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Dread Lacedon (CR +1)

Dread lacedons are corpses animated by the restless spirits of those who drowned or were killed but not devoured by a dread lacedon. They swim through the ocean depths in deadly schools or stalk though swamps seeking other creatures to drown and devour. With its bloated body discolored by rot, a dread lacedon is horrifying to look upon. Its thick limbs sport sharp claws almost hidden by folds of flesh, and its mouth is a gaping maw filled with sharklike teeth. Heedless of its body’s condition, a dread lacedon takes no notice of the seaweed that tangles in its hair or the tiny sea creatures that take up residence in its body. Now and then, the inexorable killing bite of a dread lacedon is accompanied by a crustacean crawling from its mouth or eye socket, coming to partake of the meal before the dread lacedon consumes it all.

Creating a Dread Lacedon

“Dread lacedon” is an acquired template that can be added to any living creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A dread lacedon uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +1.

Size and Type: The creature’s type changes to undead with the appropriate augmented subtype. Do not recalculate base attack bonuses, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.

Hit Dice: Change all current and future Hit Dice to d8s.

Speed: If the base creature has both a swim speed and a land speed, the lower of the two increases to match the higher. If it lacks one of those speeds, the dread lacedon gains the missing mode of movement at a speed equal to the other. If the base creature lacks both modes of movement, the dread lacedon gains both at a speed equal to one-half the base creature’s highest speed.

Armor Class: The dread lacedon’s natural armor bonus improves by +3 over that of the base creature.

Attack: The dread lacedon retains all the base creature’s attacks, and its weapon and armor proficiencies. These attacks retain the same primary or secondary status they had for the base creature. If the base creature possesses at least one mouth but has no natural attack with it, the dread lacedon gains a bite attack with each mouth. The bite attack is primary if the base creature has no natural attacks; otherwise it is secondary. If the base creature possesses at least one arm but has no natural attacks with it, the dread lacedon gains a secondary claw attack with each such limb.

Damage: If the dread lacedon gained bite or claw attacks from the application of this template, the base damage for each is as given on the following table.

Table: Damage

Size Bite Base Damage Claw Base Damage
Fine 1
Diminutive 1d2
Tiny 1d3 1
Small 1d4 1d2
Medium 1d6 1d3
Large 1d8 1d4
Huge 2d6 1d6
Gargantuan 2d8 1d8
Colossal 4d6 2d6

Special Attacks: The dread lacedon retains all the base creature’s special attacks and gains those described here.

Command Lacedons and Ghouls (Su)

A dread lacedon can automatically command all normal lacedons and ghouls within 30 feet as a free action. Normal lacedons and ghouls never attack a dread lacedon unless compelled.

Control Water (Su)

A dread lacedon can use control water as the spell (caster level equals dread lacedon’s character level) three times per day. It must be in the area of water to be affected in order to initiate the effect, though it need not remain there afterward. Dread lacedons often use this ability to trap ships or flood land.

Create Spawn (Su)

In most cases, dread lacedons feast on the bodies of the fallen, or sea creatures such as sharks devour them. However, any creature killed by a dread lacedon that lies undisturbed until the next midnight rises as a dread lacedon at that time. The new dread lacedon is under the control of its creator if the latter is within 30 feet of it at the time it rises. A protection from evil or gentle repose spell cast on the corpse prevents its conversion.

Improved Grab (Ex)

To use this ability, a dread lacedon must hit with a natural attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold.

Nauseating Flesh (Ex)

A creature that damages a dread lacedon with a bite attack, or swallows one whole, or otherwise eats its flesh must succeed on a DC 20 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 day. Success drops the duration of the nausea to 1d4 rounds. Nausea can be negated by a remove disease or purify food and drink effect.

Paralysis (Ex)

A creature damaged by a dread lacedon’s natural attack must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 dread lacedon’s HD + dread lacedon’s Cha modifier) or be paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds.

Special Qualities: The dread lacedon retains all the base creature’s special qualities and gains the one described here.

Channel Resistance (Ex)

A dread lacedon has channel resistance +4.

Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +4, Dex +4, Int +2, Wis +4, Cha +4. As an undead creature, a dread lacedon has no Constitution score, but uses Charisma for bonus hit points and for the fortitude save.

Skills: The dread lacedon gains a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Environment: any aquatic, plus any land if the base creature has a land or fly speed.

Organization: solitary, pair, gang (3–4), pack (5–12), or school (13–24).

Alignment: always chaotic evil.