Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Non-Dark Sun Creatures in Dark Sun - Centipede

There are many creatures from the various monstrous manuals that have been officially added to Dark Sun. I added some unofficially for my game and I'm sure a lot of other DMs do the same.
There is no inherent problem with this, although the flavor text often doesn't fit with the Dark Sun setting. My goal is to list the various monsters that "don't fit" and rewrite their flavor text to make them fit.
I often add a new Athasian variant as well.


Giant Huge Megalo Tunnel Worm Defiling
Climate/Terrain Any Any Any Subterranean Any
Frequency Common Common Very Rare Rare Unique
Organization None None None Swarm Solitary
Activity Cycle Any Any Any Any Any
Diet Carnivore Carnivore Carnivore Carnivore Carnivore
Intelligence Non- (0) Non- (0) Animal (1) Non- (0) Exceptional (15)
Treasure Nil Nil Nil (M,N,Q) (B)
Alignment Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Evil
No. Appearing 2-24 5-30 1-4 1-6 1
Armor Class 9 9 5 4 5
Movement 15 21 18 6 18
Hit Dice 2 hp 1 hp 3 9+3 6 (48 hp)
THAC0 20 20 17 11 15
No. of Attacks 1 1 1 1 1
Damage/Attack Nil Nil 1-3 2-8 1-6
Special Attacks Poison Poison Poison Lunging Poison, Psionics, Spells
Special Defenses Nil Nil Nil Nil Nil
Magic Resistance Nil Nil Nil Nil 20%
Size T (1' long) T (6" long) M (5' long) G (25'+ long) H (18' long)
Morale Unsteady (5-7) Unsteady (5-7) Average (8-10) Steady (12) Champion (15-16)
XP Value 35 35 175 1,400 4,000

Giant centipedes are loathsome, crawling arthropods that arouse almost universal disgust from all intelligent creatures (even other monsters). They are endemic to most regions. One of the things that makes the centipede so repulsive is its resemblance to the worm. Its long body is divided into many segments from which protrude many tiny feet. Hence the name “centipede” (or hundred-footed). The giant centipede is so named because it is over 1-foot long. The body is plated with a chitinous shell and it moves with a slight undulating motion. The creature has the added benefit of protective coloration, and varies in color depending on the terrain it inhabits. Those that favor rocky areas are gray, those that live underground are black, while centipedes of the forest are brown or red.

When hunting, centipedes use their natural coloration to remain unseen until they can drop on their prey from above or crawl out of hiding in pursuit of food. They attack by biting their foes and injecting a paralytic venom. The venom can paralyze a victim for 2d6 hours, but is so weak that victims are permitted a +4 bonus to their saving throw vs poison. Due to its small size, the giant centipede is less likely to resist attacks and receives a -1 penalty to all its saving throws.
Although a single giant centipede rarely constitutes a serious threat to a man, these creatures frequently travel in groups. When more than one centipede is encountered, the monsters will fight independently, even to the point of fighting among themselves over fallen victims.

Habitat/ Society
The centipede behaves like most other insects, roving from place to place in search of food; it has no set territory or dwelling. The centipede simply goes where its hunger leads it. It is an aggressive and hungry carnivore that must eat at least once a day to survive. Hungry centipedes often resort to cannibalism.

Giant centipedes have several natural advantages, including poison and protective coloration, allowing them to compete with other small predators for game. Their venom bestows a certain immunity from being hunted, but hungry and skilled animals and large predatory birds hunt them effectively in lean times. Their preferred targets are small mammals and reptiles that are easily overcome by their weak venom. If they are very hungry, however, they have been known to attack anything that moves, including humans.

Huge Centipede
These are identical to giant centipedes save that they are only 6 inches long. Their venom is weaker than that of their larger cousins and a failed +4 saving throw will immobilize the victim for only 1d6 hours. Huge centipedes make their own saving throws at -2. Mice and other large insects are the favorite prey of huge centipedes. They in turn are hunted by giant centipedes.

The megalo-centipede, because of its great size, is no longer classed as an irritant but is a threat to human and animal alike. Its acidic poison is far more potent than that of its weaker cousins. The victims of a megalo-centipede bite receive no bonuses on their saving throws and failure indicates death. If the target successfully resists the poison, the acid burns the victim’s skin, inflicting 2d4 points of damage.
The megalo-centipede is more intelligent than its smaller cousins and it is a far more cunning hunter, although they still do not cooperate with each other. In the wilderness the megalo-centipede prey on animals the size of erdlu. In the subterranean environment, it attacks man-sized or smaller creatures, including dwarves, humans, and gith. The megalo-centipede receives no penalties to its own saving throws.

Tunnel Worm
This cousin of the giant centipede feeds upon and lays its eggs in carrion. A tunnel worm attacks by lunging out of its hidden burrow to strike with a +2 bonus to the attack roll. Success indicates the tunnel worm has seized its prey in its mandibles, but no damage is inflicted until the worm chews through the victim’s armor. It takes one round for the worm to chew through AC 2 or worse armor, two rounds for armor tougher than that but no tougher than AC 5 and three rounds for armor tougher than AC 5. Once the armor is breached, the worm automatically inflicts 2d8 points of damage each round. If the worm suffers 15 or more points of fire damage or loses 60% of its hit points, it drops its victim and retreats to its lair. Tunnel worm lairs often have treasure from earlier victims.

The defiling centipede is very intelligent and was magically created by a mad defiler. The centipede killed his creator and took over the defiler's hidden liar. Since its creation, the defiling centipede had been working to create lesser versions of itself to use to subjugate the human and demi-humans in the area. The defiling centipede speaks the language of the region in which it resides, as well as gith, and two others.
The defiling centipede has a powerful paralytic poison that is delivered through its bite. On a failed saving throw vs. poison, the victim is paralyzed for 2d6+2 hours. In addition, the centipede can cast up to third level defiling spells, as a 6th level defiler, and use psionics as a 6th level psychmetabolic psionicist.
The defiling centipede uses lesser insects and anthropods to do its bidding, as well as some local gith. The defiling centipede knows how much humans and demi-humans desire treasure and is not above sending its agents to hire mercenaries. Non of these hirelings will know who they truly work for.
The defiling centipede is a rabid speciesist and believes itself superior to humans and demi-humans. The defiling centipede is not a random encounter monster, but a real threat to a region of Athas. Dungeon Masters are encouraged to customize it's spell and psionic lists to maximum effect against the Player Characters. However, lists are provided below for convenience.
Memorized Spells (Level): Alarm (1), Charm Person (1), Enlarge (1), Sleep (1), Invisibility (2), Detect Invisibility (2), Fireball (3), Haste (3)
Psionic Summary
Level: 6
Dis/Sci/Dev: 3/3/11
Attack/Defense: EW, II / M-, IF, MB
Score: 15
PSPs: 80
Psychometabolic: Life Draining, Aging, Biofeedback, Displacement, Double Pain, Enhanced Strength (Treat the defiling centipede as having a 15 strength.)
Psychoportation: Teleport, Time Shift
Telepathy: Mindlink, Aversion, Awe, Contact, Ego Whip, Id Insinuation

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