Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Screaming Dead

As my players were investigating the ruins of Yaramuke, I wanted an undead monster that was unknown to them and creepy. I created the screaming dead specifically to end a session with their inhuman shrills.
I found this image and thought they looked sufficiently creepy and violent and they'd fit well in the Dark Sun setting. This image is why I chose to make them blind, among other details.
If you have players that know all of the monsters in the manuals, throw some of these at them for some new thrills.

Screaming Dead

Screaming Dead
Climate/Terrain Ruins of Yaramuke
Frequency Very Rare
Organization Band
Activity Cycle Any
Diet Nil
Intelligence Animal (1)
Treasure Nil
Alignment Chaotic Neutral
No. Appearing 3-24
Armor Class 5
Movement 12
Hit Dice 3 + 2
THAC0 17
No. of Attacks 2 or 3
Damage/Attack 1-6/1-6/3-8
Special Attacks Leap Attack, Constitution Drain
Special Defenses Resistance to Piercing Attacks
Magic Resistance Nil
Size M (7' Long)
Morale Champion (15-16)
XP Value 975

The screaming dead are unique six-limbed undead monsters that reside in the ruins of Yaramuke. The magic that was used in the attack and defense of the city warped areas of Yaramuke and spontaneously gave rise these twisted undead monsters.
Screaming dead are blind, but have enhanced senses of hearing and smell. They despise sunlight and stay in dark areas of the ruins until nightfall. A lair may be discovered by finding skeletal husks near it.
Screaming dead slowly and quietly walk among the ruins until they hear prey approach. When they hear prey, they will scream, which acts like the echolocation of certain bats. This allows them to "see" their prey in the darkest of areas. They prefer their first attack to be a leap attack, which allows screaming dead to jump up to thirty feet horizontally, or fifteen feet vertically. This leap attack grants the screaming dead a +2 bonus to all attacks in the turn they leap. However, leaping increases the screaming dead's armor class by 2.
Screaming dead attack with their middle bladed arms for 1d6 damage. If both bladed arms hit, they grab with their forward arms and bite with their fanged mouths for 1d6+2 points of damage. The target is grappled and must succeed at a open doors roll to escape. Biting their victims drains 1 point of constitution, unless the victim saves vs petrification. If the The loss of constitution is temporary and returns at a rate of 1 point per day. If the victim reaches zero temporary constitution, the screaming dead will begin draining permanent constitution at the same rate.
If a target is grappled, the screaming dead may attack with both claws and bite with a +1 bonus, or it may forgo it's two claw attacks and drag its victim 10 feet in a straight line. This is usually done to escape sunlight. Screaming dead hate sunlight and take 1d4 points every round they are exposed to it.
The flesh of the screaming dead is hard and tightly compacted, which grants the monster an armor class of 5. In addition, they are nearly immune to piercing damage, only taking one point of damage from piercing attacks.

Habitat/ Society
Screaming dead hide in dark areas of the ruins of Yaramuke until nightfall, when they venture forth to seek victims. They are in constant pain and only the draining of constitution temporarily alleviates their eternal agony.
Screaming dead do not collect treasure, but some treasure may be found among their victims.

As undead creatures, screaming dead do not fill an ecological role.

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