The Meghanada

October 26th, 2015

Alex Riggs

Exotic Encounters Archive

                Rakshasas are a fun and exotic monster (and, as of the Pathfinder Bestiary 3, a whole species of fun and exotic outsiders), with rich traditions and lore behind them. We’re quite fond of rakshasas here; so fond, in fact, that we even wrote a whole book with variant rakshasas. Today, I’m happy to unveil a brand-new rakshasa, the meghanada.


Rakshasa, Meghanada

                This creature resembles a four-armed, headless giant with bright blue skin. Closer examination reveals a single large eyeball on the back of each of its massive hands, and that atop its shoulders, at what would normally be the base of its neck, is a gaping maw that extends directly downward, filled with rows and rows of needle-like teeth.

MEGHANADA                   CR 18
XP 153,600
NE Huge outsider (evil, native, raskhsasa)
Init -2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +31


AC 29, touch 4, flat-footed 29 (-4 Dex, +25 natural, -2 size)
hp 325 (26d10+182)
Fort +21, Ref +8, Will +22
DR 20/good and piercing; Resist acid 10, cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10, sonic 10; SR 33


Speed 30 ft.
Melee 4 slams +32 (2d8+10/19-20)
Special Attacks detect thoughts (DC 27), maw (10d6 slashing damage plus 10d6 acid damage, AC 22, 32 hp), sap strength, windmill slam
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 10, concentration +14)
     5th (3/day)interposing hand
     4th (6/day)mass reduce person (DC 18), stoneskin
     3rd (7/day)fly, haste, slow (DC 17)
     2nd (7/day)bear’s endurance, bull’s strength, protection from arrows, resist energy
     1st (7/day)enlarge person, jump, reduce person (DC 15), true strike, vocal alterationUM
     0 (at will)dancing lights, daze, detect magic, detect poison, ghost sound (DC 14), light, mending, read magic, resistance


Str 30, Dex 6, Con 22, Int 8, Wis 20, Cha 18
Base Atk +26; CMB +38 (+42 bull rush or sunder); CMD 44 (46 vs. bull rush or sunder)
Feats Awesome Blow, Greater Bull Rush, Greater Grapple, Greater Sunder, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (slam), Improved Grapple, Improved Sunder, Intimidating Prowess, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Toughness
Skills Acrobatics +25, Bluff +8, Disguise +12, Fly +21, Intimidate +44, Perception +34, Swim +39; Racial Modifiers +4 Bluff, +8 Disguise
SQ change shape (any humanoid; alter self or giant form II), clumsy


Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure standard


                Clumsy (Ex): A meghanada is particularly clumsy and awkward in its movement. A meghanada applies its Dexterity penalty to its attack rolls, and applies twice its Dexterity penalty to its AC, CMD, and Dexterity-based skill checks. If the meghanada gains a positive Dexterity modifier, this ability does not apply until its Dexterity modifier becomes negative again.

                Maw (Ex): A meghanada has a gaping, toothy maw, which is useless for grabbing and holding creatures, but is large enough that a creature that is dropped into it can be swallowed whole. This functions identically to the swallow whole universal monster ability, except that the meghanada does not need to begin its turn with an opponent grappled in its mouth, it merely needs to begin its turn in control of the grapple.

                Sap Strength (Su): As a standard action, a meghanada can drain the strength from nearby living creatures, weakening them and strengthening itself. Each living creature within 30 feet must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 27) or suffer 1d4 points of Strength damage. For every 10 points of Strength damage inflicted in this way, the meghanada gains a +2 enhancement bonus to its Strength score, which lasts for 1 minute. A meghanada must wait 1 minute between uses of this ability.

                Windmill Slam (Ex): As a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a meghanada can spin its body around with its arms outstretched, savagely beating all creatures within its reach. The meghanada makes a full attack, and applies the result of each attack roll to each creature within reach (it rolls damage once for each attack and applies that damage to each creature hit by that attack). After using this ability, the meghanada falls prone in its space, and is sickened for 2d4 rounds.



                Meghanada rakshasas are born from mortal souls that are obsessed with their own physical perfection, and which are unable to release their attachments to their bodies after death. This obsession with physical fitness and bodily perfection carries over into the meghanada as well: the humanoid parts of a meghanada are always flawlessly-sculpted examples of idealized human physique, and these creatures spend a great deal of their time engaging in improving their physical condition. Though they adhere roughly to the caste system shared by all rakshasa, meghanada believe chiefly in the virtue of strength, and the discipline to endure pain and physical discomfort. Those who can best these creatures in contests of strength, or demonstrate great fortitude and stoicism, are sure to earn their grudging respect, and may be able to convince the meghanada to render them with simple aid.

                Of course, meghanada are more than simple bodybuilders, and as much as they respect those of great physique, they also secretly resent and hate them, and want to steal their physical prowess for themselves. If able, they will not hesitate to devour such an individual, and they claim that by doing so they are able to absorb the eaten creature’s strength.

                Being obsessed more with physical might and power than social might and power, meghanada rakshasa typically interact much more rarely with humanoid society, and many become hermits that train constantly in remote locations. Some, however, serve in the employ of greater rakshasa (such as maharajas), acting as enforcers. Maharajas particularly value these brutes because, though they are not above usurping their masters, they are far less likely to do so than other rakshasa castes, and the maharaja is more likely to sense the impending treachery long in advance, and can prepare for it accordingly.