pathfinder sketch dump
Makes me think we need more toad monsters…
I fixed your problem, Wes. Also, seriously cool art!
Stinky slime and lush moss run down the sides of this enormous, grove-back toad creature. It’s slithering blue tongue…
Hummock CR 8
N Gargantuan magical beast
Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +12
AC 17, touch 5, flat-footed 17 (–1 Dex, +12 natural, –4 size)
hp 115 (10d10+60); fast healing 5
Fort +13, Ref +6, Will +6
Immune poison, Resist acid 5, cold 5
Weaknesses vulnerable to electricity
Speed 30 ft., swim 10 ft.
Melee tongue +16 (2d6+10 plus root), 2 slam +11 (1d6+5)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 20 ft. (40 ft. with tongue)
Special Attacks Root
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +9)
Constant—ant haul, pass without trace
Save DCs are Wisdom-based.
Str 30, Dex 9, Con 23, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 5
Base Atk +10; CMB +24; CMD 33
Feats Blind-Fight, Improved Overrun, Iron Will, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Perception +12, Stealth –5 (+5 in swampy environments); Racial Modifiers +10 Stealth in swampy environments
Languages Boggard (cannot speak)
SQ grove, swamp stride
Environment temperate or warm marshes and aquatic
Organization solitary, pair, or convoy (one hummock and 2d6 boggards)
Grove (Su) The Hummocks back is covered in brush, moss, and small trees, which allow it to convert sunlight and swamp muck into food. So long as it’s grove remains above water, a hummock does not need to eat or breath.
Root (Su) The blossoms coating a hummock’s tongue and filled with magically-charged seed pods, which it uses to distract enemies. A creature struck by a hummock’s tongue attack must also succeed at a DC 21 Reflex save or be rooted in place by the rapidly-growing plantlife. Treat this as an entangle spell, but with a target of one creature. The saving throw is Constitution-based.
Swamp Stride (Ex) A hummock can move through any sort of natural difficult terrain at its normal speed while within a swamp. Magically altered terrain affects it normally.
The ancient progeny of druidic magic and drug-fueled boggard rituals, hummocks are plant-choked walking islands who provide solid ground in the deepest, most fetid swamps. Originally bred from giant toads, their bodies have been thoroughly infused with flora, granting the powerful creatures many of the same tenacity and immunities of plant kingdom. Infused with preternatural fertility, hummocks encourage plant growth wherever they pass, and are sometimes worshipped by druids or hunted by civilized folk wishing to employ this trait.
Some remote boggard tribes still breed hummocks as guardians and mounts, but more often than not their feral descendants are found wandering undirected through the deepest swamps and untamed rivers. They are irritable creatures who prefer quiet places, but an in-bred obedience to divine magic, and they can be found throughout warm, wet regions under the direction of powerful druids, clerics, and oracles. Some go so far as to build small huts or structures, transforming a hummock into a mobile stronghold.
Hummocks breed once every four years, either among themselves or giant toads. The former produces a handful of algae-encrusted tadpoles, while the later results in truly enormous toads. Hummocks stand eight feet tall at the shoulder and nearly twenty feet across, and weigh three to four tons.
I’ll see your monster stats, and raise you the above map, and this:
The Hummock Pool
A murky line of tangled mires runs along the southern coast of Varisia, where that vast frontier reluctantly drowns itself in Conqueror’s Bay. Collectively called the Mushfens, these swamps are a trackless, sinking land, home to wild beasts, oversized insects, and brutes that care nothing for the stinking wet. It would be a totally forsaken land, where it not such a perfect hiding place for bandits and outcasts. But even such lawless sorts must content with the true masters of the swamp, territorial tribes of boggards, marsh giants, monstrous insects, and worse. And unbeknownst to most, in the muck sleeps the lost relics of the nearly forgotten land of Eurythnia, Realm of Lust, one of the seven shattered nations of ancient Thassilon. A fecund power infuses in the Mushfens, and what breeds and spreads amid its brackish pools serve more than just savage nature.
A1. Low Banks
Marshy banks surround the Hummock Pool, the ground too loose and damp for the swamp’s denser undergrowth to take root. Instead, several ancient mangroves rise at the water’s edge, their roots stretching into the muck. The ground is solid enough to move over and the vegetation is too low to hide anything of significant size. Beyond these shores, though, dense ferns and tangled trees knot together in seemingly endless hedgerows (see page 427 of the Core Rulebook).
A2. Bogs (CR 6 and 8)
This pool of muddy water is divided into two areas, the shallows close to the bank and the deep.
The shallows (colored light green on the map) are not terribly deep, holding just over 1 foot of standing water. This area is considered a shallow bog (see page 427 of the Core Rulebook). In these stagnant shallows, tadpoles and dragonfly nymphs fight endless tiny wars. The water teems with life, visible and invisible, and is not fit to drink. Those who drink the water or who are entirely submerged must make a DC 16 Fortitude save or contract dysentery.
The waters of the deep go only slightly deeper than those closer to shore, falling away to a depth of 4 to 5 feet. This area is considered a deep bog (see page 427 of the Core Rulebook). The churn of the nearby falls constantly stirs mud into the water and makes it impossible to see more than a few inches beneath the surface.
Every round, those in this area might notice that the 20-foot-in-diameter island at the pool’s center (not depicted) is actually a living creature. Characters can make Perception checks opposed by the hummock’s Stealth check every round to realize this.
Creatures: While a few catfish and water snakes make their home in the muck, even they are merely prey to the giant dragonfly nymphs (pictured) that hunt the deep waters. At any time three of these juvenile dragonflies are actively hunting, though others might be hidden in the rocks and beneath the falls. There is a cumulative 20% chance per round that a character in the water attracts the attention of the nymphs—which attack any creature of Large size or smaller. The pool grants the hunters their Stealth bonus in shallow water, while a combination of their darkvision and aquatic nature allows them to effectively see in the murk. Even if these insects are killed, three more inevitable appear within 24 hours. These three creatures alone make a CR 6 encounter.
Besides the oversized dragonfly nymphs, a single hummock makes its home in the deep water. This particular hummock has slept here for months and in addition to the grove growing on its back, natural moss and creeping vines cover it, granting it an additional +10 circumstance bonus on its Stealth check. The hummock ignores any creature in the pool so long as it isn’t damaged. The gigantic amphibian won’t immediately stir even if a smaller creature climbs on its back, though it only tolerates such things for so long. Every round a creature of Medium or Large size climbs on the hummock, there is a cumulative 10% chance that the creature awakes and attacks. It ignores creatures smaller than Medium size indefinitely.
Treasure: A hollow log lies on a small island on the east side of the pool. Once used by a local bandit as a hiding place for his loot, anyone who makes a DC 14 Search check on the island finds three bottles of good Riddleport rum (worth 10 gp each), a set of silver cutlery (worth 40 gold pieces), and a tiny but masterfully sculpted figurine of two romantically entwined succubi. A DC 15 Appraise check sets the sculpture worth at about 300 gold pieces. However, anyone who makes a DC 18 Knowledge (local) check in addition to their Appraise check recognizes the figurine as the work of the famed Magnimarian sculptor Ayavah (see Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Magnimar, City of Monuments). Realizing this prestige doubles the sculpture’s value.
A steep slope rises from area A2 to area A6. Tangled roots and vines cover the rocky slope, making this entire area difficult terrain.
Development: The giant dragonflies in area A5 can make Perception checks to notice any creature in this area.
A4. Rubble Rise (CR 5 and 6)
A roughly 30-foot-tall wall of rocks rises here, remnants of the sinkhole that created the Hummock Pool countless ages ago. Mist from the falls constantly sprays these rocks, making them difficult to scale, requiring a DC 17 Climb check to ascend.
A sizable gap in the rocks leads into an unstable 10-foot-by-10-foot cave—the walls of which only have hardness 8 but only 5 hit points. If the walls are reduced to 0 hit points a cave-in occurs (see page 415 of the Core Rulebook).
Creature: A single nightbelly boa, a breed of giant constrictor snake, currently dozes in the cave. Any creature that comes within 10 feet of the cave’s mouth awakens the reptile. At night, the snake ignores creatures—growing lazy in the cold dark—unless they try to enter its den. During the day, though, it attacks any creature that approaches.
Trap: A battered crate lies as the back of the cave, a treasure claimed by a boggard shaman who spent an unfortunate night in this cave. Inside are four skyrocket fireworks. The fireworks are still intact, but age and moisture have made them dangerously unstable. Anyone who opens the crate—requiring a DC 12 Strength check—must succeed at a DC 16 Reflex save to avoid setting off the volatile explosives. If the check fails, 1d4 of the skyrockets explode (the others being too soaked to ignite). The explosions affect all creatures in the cave as well as the walls, risking a cave-in (see above). This is a CR 6 trap.
Treasure: The crushed skeleton of a boggard shaman lies inside the cave. Aside from a disgusting robe made of insectile wings and a headdress made from a giant dragonfly’s carapace, it has a pouch containing two potions of cure moderate wounds (held in watertight dragonfly thoraxes), a strange clay dragonfly sculpture, and a set of pipes of haunting (also made out of dragonfly parts). The clay figure functions exactly as a bird feather token, except that what is summons appears to be fist-sized dragonfly. If the cave collapses these treasures are difficult to recover without considerable effort and some might be destroyed.
A5. Falls (CR 6)
A small waterfall trickles down the rock face from another boggy expanse to the northwest. Creatures that succeed at a DC 20 Climb check can scale the waterfall.
Creatures: Two giant dragonflies endlessly dart about the top of the falls. While they are most interested in hunting in the larger pool to the northwest, they immediately notice any creature that climbs the falls or ascends area A3 without concealing itself. They might also notice particularly noisy creatures in the other areas around the Hummock Pool.
Treasure: One of the dragonflies is still digesting its most recent meal: Varisia’s would-be first dragonfly rider, a gnome from the town of Wartle named Colk Molmudi. A victim of his own aspirations, Colk is no more, his bones and equipment midway through the giant insect’s tract. Those who slay the dragonfly—and who are subsequently showered in lukewarm Colk—can search the resulting slurry to find 200 sticky gold coins, a broken horse’s harness, an array of sleigh bells, a Small suit of +1 padded armor, and a ring of jumping (which gave the gnome his terrible idea in the first place).
A6. High Banks
Slow waters ooze over a rocky slope here, falling into the Hummock Pool below. Creatures in this area have a largely unobstructed view into areas A1, A2, and A5.
Treasure: A cluster of thick gray grasses dominate the western shore of this area. Any character who makes a DC 15 Knowledge (nature) check recognizes this as cabble-weed, a popular sedative used recreationally by many Korvosans. Those who spend 20 minutes harvesting the plants find enough for 30 doses, which altogether are worth 300 gp to an interested buyer. Cabble-weed has the same effects as flayleaf, but can only be ingested after it is used to make a bitter tea.
Game Masters who want incorporate the Hummock Pool into their campaign might use it as the objective of the following plots.
Chase for the Cure: Supposedly nobody’s come down with Rivertongue—a disgusting disease that causes people to drown in their own salvia—for centuries. Be that as it may, the son of one of the PCs’ acquaintances has. Records claim that the ailment can be cured by drinking an infusion made using strange plants that grow upon giant amphibians called hummocks. The trouble is that nowadays such beasts are quite rare in Varisia. Alone or with the help of a local tracker, the PCs are able to locate the home of one of the Mushfens’ last hummocks. Once they do, though, there’s still a catch: due to the fundamental connection between the hummock and its grove, the creature has to remain alive—not just through its plants’ harvesting, but until the infusion is prepared. This could be challenging enough, even if it weren’t for the nearby boggard hunters and their semi-cannibalistic taste for hummock meat.
Lost Lorn: Ask anyone in Wartle and they’ll say that Lorn Folladein grows the best cabble-weed south of the Yondabakari. The toothless halfling druid is responsible for keeping many buyers in southern Varisia appropriately mellow with his special herbal concoctions, which prove far less bitter (if somewhat briny tasting) than usual. The problem is, the foggy-eyed halfling hasn’t been seen in Wartle for months. A contact in Wartle wants the PCs to go check in on his friend Lorn—and more importantly, his late harvests. The only problem is that Lorn made some enemies in Korvosa years ago and, as such, took to living in the Mushfens. The route the PCs are provided with isn’t difficult to follow and leads to the Hummock Pool. It turns out Lorn had been cutting his cabble-weed with weird plants harvested from the back of the pool’s gigantic resident. The hummock finally grew tired of the spacey nuisance and swallowed Lorn whole. Several sacks of cabble-weed, picked hummock grove, and a combination of the two lie on the pool’s north shore, suggesting the details of the unusual tale.
Swampy Love: A Wartle trapper returns to town with a story of the strangest thing. Deep in the swamp he happened upon a marsh giant kneeling at the side of a pool reciting croaking poetry to what appeared to be a swampy island. When he finished, though, the island reared up, revealing itself to be gigantic living thing. The trapper has no idea what the “eyeballed island” is, but, in his words: “That just ain’t right!” Someone might want to check out what’s going on at that pool.
Where the Blue Fly Grows: Consumption of blue dragonflies is central to the shamanistic rites of numerous Mushfens boggard tribes. For generations, a pool deep in the swamps has served as the flies’ sacred spawning place, where the shimmering giants mate and protect their pale nymphs. Recently, though, a hummock discovered the hallowed bog and, finding the murky water and delicious insects to its liking, moved in. Now the boggards of the Stumpblood tribe find their entire way of life jeopardized. After the PCs are captured by boggard raiders, they’re offered their freedom if they can help the warty humanoids drive off their titanic amphibian cousin.
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