Hybrid monsters—those created by sticking two existing things together to make a third, new thing, are cool. The ancient Greeks and Romans clearly thought so: look at the minotaur, the medusa, the pegasus, the manticore, the gryphon, and so many more. Most of these monsters combine only two, maybe three creatures at most. But what if you just went crazy with it and made a mix-and-match monster out of a half-dozen different animals? If man + bull = a CR 4 monster, surely slapping together all the things will make a super powerful titan of destruction, right? This week’s Exotic Encounters presents just such a monstrosity, the terasynchos.
This creature is humanoid in shape, but has the head of a snarling lion, with a mouth full of row after row of jagged shark teeth, a mane composed of writhing serpents, the horns of a bull, the talons and wings of an eagle, and the tail of a scorpion. It has large compound eyes, and boasts a second set of arms that end in crab-like pincers.
TERASYNCHOS CR 17
NE Large monstrous humanoid
Init +8; Senses darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision; Perception +31
AC 28, touch 13, flat-footed 24 (+4 Dex, +15 natural, –1 size)
hp 287 (23d10+161)
Fort +15, Ref +19, Will +20
Defensive Abilities all-around vision, natural cunning; DR 10/adamantine; Immune cold, curses, fire, polymorph; Resist acid 10, electricity 10, sonic 10; SR 28
Speed 40 ft.; fly 80 ft. (average)
Melee mwk greataxe +28/+23/+18/+13 (3d6+7/19–20/x3), bite +27 (1d8+5/19–20), gore +27 (1d8+5), 2 talons +27 (1d6+5), sting +27 (1d6+5 plus poison), 2 pincers +22 (1d8+2), serpent mane +22 (1d4+2 plus poison)
Ranged mwk composite longbow [+4 Str] +27/+22/+17/+12 (2d6+4/x3)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (5 ft. with serpent mane)
Special Attacks breath weapon (60-ft. cone, 18d6 fire damage, Reflex DC 27 half, usable every 1d4 rounds), paralyzing gaze
Str 21, Dex 19, Con 22, Int 15, Wis 20, Cha 22
Base Atk +23; CMB +29; CMD 43
Feats Combat Reflexes, Following Step, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Critical (greataxe), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Lunge, Step Up, Step Up and StrikeAPG, Toughness
Skills Fly +28, Intimidate +32, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +25, Perception +31, Stealth +26, Survival +31
SQ eclectic ancestry
Eclectic Ancestry (Ex): Terasynchoi are an amalgamation of so many different kinds of creatures that they function simultaneously as several different creature types. A terasynchos counts as belonging to all creature types other than construct and undead for the purposes of determining how it is affected by spells and abilities (for example, it counts as an aberration or fey for rangers who have selected those creatures as favored enemies, it is subject to spells like charm person and hold person, and as long as its alignment doesn’t change, it counts as an evil-aligned dragon for the purposes of a paladin’s smite evil class feature).
Natural Cunning (Ex): A terasynchos possesses innate cunning and logical ability. This gives it immunity to maze spells and prevents it from ever becoming lost. Further, it is never caught flat-footed.
Paralyzing Gaze (Su): Paralyzed for 1 minute, 60 feet, Fortitude DC 27 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Poison (Ex): Serpent mane—injury; save Fort DC 27; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d3 Con damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Poison (Ex): Stinger—injury; save Fort DC 27; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d4 Strength damage; cure 1 save. The save DC is Constitution-based.
It is generally accepted that these horrifying creatures were the result of some horrible experiment gone wrong, as no man or deity is willing to take credit for creating these monstrosities, and surely such a strange amalgamation of animal parts could never have come about naturally.
Whatever their origin, terasynchoi are a race that breeds true, and they have carved out niches for themselves in the world, generally in remote locations far from civilization. Although they are quite intelligent, terasynchoi tend to live primal, almost animalistic lives, hunting and stalking prey and retiring to caves and abandoned buildings to serve as their dens. Whether this is the result of animal instincts somehow instilled from whatever process created the strange hybrids, a result of being cast out from society, or due to some other reason, is unclear. That said, a terasynchos that is given a compelling reason can act quite civilized and betrays a surprising level of sophistication in thought and speech.