Thursday, November 12, 2020

Non-Dark Sun Creatures in Dark Sun - Dune Stalker


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.

Dune Stalker

Dune Stalker
Dune Stalker, Greater

Climate/Terrain All, except Silt
All, except Silt
Frequency Very Rare
Very Rare
Organization Solitary
Activity Cycle Day
Diet Carnivore
Intelligence High (13-14) High (13-14)
Treasure Nil
Alignment Neutral Evil
Neutral Evil
No. Appearing 1
Armor Class 3
Movement 12 12
Hit Dice 6
THAC0 15
No. of Attacks 1
Damage/Attack 2-12
Special Attacks Kiss of Death
Kiss of Death
Special Defenses Can Only be Hit by Magical Weapons
Can Only be Hit by Magical Weapons
Magic Resistance 30% 30%
Size M (7' tall) M (7' tall)
Morale Elite (14) Elite (14)
XP Value 2,000

Vile in both their nature and in their appearance, dune stalkers are native to the Paraelemental plane of Magma. They will attack good whenever it appears and attempt to deliver its bizarre and fatal “kiss of death”.
The dune stalker appears as a tall, gaunt, and naked humanoid, with an unusually large, ovoid-shaped head, extremely long arms and legs, and razor-sharp claws on its hands and feet. The skin is reddish-orange in hue and extremely dry and abrasive to the touch. The eyes are large, and the nose is narrow and long. The chest is abnormally broad at the top, narrowing uniformly to a relatively tiny waist. There is no hair whatsoever on the creature. It does not sweat.

The dune stalker’s principal ranged attack is delivered by sonic vibration. The dune stalker’s broad chest apparently allows it to take in a huge quantity of dry, hot air, which is then forced out under tremendous pressure through a resonance chamber in the nasal passages. This sonic vibration has a range of 60’ in a cone extending from the mouth, and expands to 10’ in diameter at the extreme end of its range. The vibration causes 2-12 points of damage to each person within the cone, and causes temporary deafness for 1-10 rounds. No saving throw is permitted. Those outside the cone of effect will hear an eerie, nasal roar.
At close range, the dune stalker will attempt to deliver a “kiss of death” to whichever target within melee range is most identifiable as good. This is accomplished when the dune stalker places its lips in direct contact with the bare skin of its victim, and makes a sonic vibration attack. The sonic vibrations set up by the “kiss of death” are of such intensity that failure to make a successful saving throw vs. death means instant death. A successful saving throw renders the victim unconscious for one melee round. In a “kiss of death,” the attack has no other area of effect, although those nearby will still hear a muted trumpeting roar.
Dune stalkers have 30% magic resistance, and are only harmed by magical weapons. If attacked by a group, only some of which have magical weapons, the dune stalker will move first to attack those with magical weapons, particularly if they are of good alignment.
If the dune stalker's sonic attack are somehow blocked, or temporarily eliminated, the dune stalker can attack with its claws, doing 1d6 damage with each one.

Habitat/ Society
The dune stalker is a faultless tracker and have the ability to detect any trail less than a day old. Summoned from the Paraelemental Plane of Magma by a high-level evil defiler or cleric, its quest on the Prime Material Plane may be general or specific. Only once the quest is completed does the dune stalker return to its own plane. Accordingly, dune stalkers are relentless and unmerciful in the pursuit of their assigned quest. As the literal terms of their quest are what binds them to the Prime Material Plane, they seek literal compliance and will be released from their quest if such is achieved, even if the intent of the quest remains unfulfilled.
Similarly, even though they may accomplish the intent of their summoner, unless the literal terms of the quest are met, they will remain bound to the Prime Material Plane, roaming the desolate desert areas seeking violent release of the anger within them. In addition, throughout their existence on this plane, dune stalkers will always attack good should it be encountered in any form or combination.
Dune stalkers are solitary creatures when encountered on the Prime Material Plane. There is no evidence of an ability to plane shift without the summons of a high-level evil magic user.
Little is known of dune stalkers on their own plane. It is clear to all who encounter them on the Prime Material Plane that they are desperately unhappy during their unrequested stay. They loathe coolness and moisture of any kind. Dune stalkers frequent only desert areas, and move with their greatest ease only during the hottest part of the day. It is also possible that they cannot hear sounds in the range of human hearing.

The bones of a dune stalker are very strong, and made up of many hollow tubes, spiraling around one another to form an extremely strong bundle. This makes the bones almost impossible to work. The hide of a dune stalker is too abrasive to make a desirable leather for garments and the like, but does perform admirably as an abrasive sandpaper.

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