Mudman (3.5e Creature)

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MUDMAN[edit]

Mudman
Size/Type: Medium Ooze
Hit Dice: 2d10+9 (20 hp)
Initiative: -3 (-2 Dex, -1 muddy)
Speed: 20' (4 squares), climb 15'
Armor Class: 14 (-2 Dex, +6 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+8
Attack: Slam +5 melee (1d6+4 plus dispel)
Full Attack: Slam
Space/Reach: 5'/5'
Special Attacks: Dispel, engulf item, hurl mud, improved grab, spell absorption, suffocation
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60', combine, DR 15/bludgeoning, magicsense 150', muddy, ooze traits, resist electricity 20 & fire 10, spell vulnerabilities, weapon resistance
Saves: Fort +6, Ref -3, Will +1
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 7, Con 16, Int 4, Wis 13, Cha 1
Skills: Concentration +5, Hide -1*, Listen +4, Spellcraft +8
Feats: EnduranceB, Improved DisarmB, Weapon Focus (Slam)
Environment: Magical mudpools
Organization: Solitary, puddle (2-5), mudslide (3-15)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: Standard (75% magic items; no coins, gems, or art objects)
Alignment: Neutral
Advancement: 3-5 (Medium), 6-10 (Large), 11-19 (Huge), 20-37 (Gargantuan), 38-72 (Colossal), 73+ (Titanic)
Level Adjustment:

You grudgingly walk through the much surrounding a wizard's tower to reach the entrance. But a few steps in, the mud forms a large hand attached to a thick arm that grabs you! On all sides, rising from the mud are several dwarf-like shapes of mud. They close and throw chunks of mud at you, burying you. The one that grasped you rises and keeps you pinned while you struggle to breathe. Another that reaches you clumsily grabs at your potion belt.

Mudmen are formed in muddy pools where rivers contaminated by spell energy (even mildly magical ones, such as a stream eroding a magic structure) collect, evaporate, and concentrate the dweomer. Because they are beasts of magic, mudmen are sometimes called dweomerlings. Mudmen are dimly-intelligent life forces with but one goal -- to devour all magic, in any form, they can get their muddy grips on.

When in a physical form, mudmen take on the appearance of animated mud in a stocky humanoid shape, about 4 feet tall and almost as wide. Their coloration varies between a dirty brown and a tar black. They have four thick fingers on each hand. Their legs are usually submerged within the pool, though are perfectly capable of leaving (but find extended excursions in drier areas uncomfortable and "itchy", and risk drying up if they spend more than a few days away from a large source of water). Their eyes and mouths are pools of jet black shadow.

Within a mudman's range of magicsense, it can "feel" the subtle differences in spells, creatures, items, etc. and thus can easily identify them based on this information; it's as obvious to magicsense as a human's clothes, hair color, and facial expression is to eyesight. It uses this to hunt down magic items and other sources of delicious energy.

Unlike most oozes, dweomerlings do not breathe, and they "eat" only spell energy.

A mudman can subsist on the magic of its muddy pool, but this is equivalent to grazing on grass; they prefer to find tastier fare, such as magic items (the higher its CL, the better; potions and scrolls are snacks). They can absorb spells directly, and this is equivalent to an instant buffet almost akin to a Heroes' Feast. They're also capable of feeding on the ambient magic permeating the atmosphere -- akin to photosynthesis -- but this is even less filling; they can survive indefinitely, but after a few days it leaves them ravenous and irritable.

They feed on magic items by using their Dispel attack; it feeds every second it remains in contact with one while it's dispelled. It takes a couple weeks (roughly one per CL) to completely drain a magic item, turning it mundane. One-use magic items like scrolls and dust of appearance take roughly one day per CL to "eat". Magic items

Their land speed increases by 5' with every size increase, and their climb speed increases by 5' with every two size increases.

Mudmen speak Dweomerspeak, which is communication via minute magical discharges that they are innately sensitive to (the range is roughly twice as far as its magicsense).

Combat[edit]

Mudmen are less intelligent than an orcish runt, but they have a predator's cunning, its prey being magic. They don't care to kill others -- but will do so if they're dangerous -- they just want their magic, and if they have to drag them under or bury them in mud first first, the mudmen will.

They brazenly approach spellcasters in hopes that they'll enjoy a banquet in the form of a fireball or solid fog.

If no one is casting spells, they'll hurl mud on the one with the most magical auras being registered by their magicsense, so they can approach and take at their leisure. A mudman is careful not to damage any magic equipment, and it never dispels what it can absorb.

They work well together like a wolf pack or lion pride.

Attacks[edit]

Dispel (Su): If it wishes, when it attacks with a natural weapon or makes a simple melee touch (+0), it delivers a targeted dispel check against the creature or item hit or touched (CL = HD + 10; max 30). Any magic item engulfed (see below) is automatically targeted with this dispel attempt at the beginning of the mudman's turn.
Any magic weapon striking the mudman is automatically targeted by a weaker dispel attempt (CL = HD; max 20).
This ability does not affect artifacts.
Engulf Item (Ex): When a mudman gets a hold of a magic item -- usually when it disarms -- it can engulf that item within itself as a swift action. Its body can hold up to one Medium object (e.g. greataxe), four Small objects (e.g. longsword), sixteen Tiny objects (e.g. dagger), etc. If a slashing or piercing weapon injures it (unlikely, given its damage reduction), the weapon is immediately ejected into an adjacent square.
A mudman can "swallow whole" on grappled creatures (except its body can only hold one Small, four Tiny, etc; swallowed creatures escape with a contested Strength check [+4 circumstance if the creature has a burrow speed] or by dealing 10 damage [20 if Large, 40 if Huge...] with any weapon, even nonlethal damage with saps or unarmed strikes), but all swallowing enemies does is suffocate them, and mudmen aren't smart enough to do that anyway.
Hurl Mud (Ex): Mudmen can hurl big chunks of themselves at enemies. It's treated as a thrown weapon (range increment 20') that deals 1d4+1 (half Str modifier) in nonlethal damage, and blinds enemies on a critical hit until they take a move action to wipe the mud off. Mud hardens on impact and can slow it down if enough hit.
If a creature is hit by Hurl Mud twice, it is slowed until it spends a full-round action to wipe the mud off itself. If hit four times, it is immobilized and begins to suffocate per drowning rules until it spends a full-round action to escape; it then needs to spend another full-round to wipe off the mud so it is no longer slowed.
If you have mour than two arms or have a Strength or Dexterity score of 16 or higher (24 if Large, 32 if Huge...) you can escape or wipe off this large, cloying amount of mud with a move action instead of full-round.
This assumes a Medium mudman attacking a Medium creature. It takes half as many per size the opponent is smaller than the attacking mudman, and twice as many per size the opponent is larger than the mudman. E.g. a Large mudman immobilizes and suffocates a gnome with one thrown dirtball (half, then half again).
The mudman takes 5 damage (15 if Large, 25 if Huge...) whenever it uses this attack.
Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the mudman must hit with a slam attack. If it gets a hold, it absorbs spells (see Spell Absorption). It gains a racial bonus on grapple checks equal to twice its hit dice (max +10).
Spell Absorption (Su): Mudmen feed on magic. They automatically absorb up to *3 HD in spell levels (6 for average mudmen) per day. Once they absorb this many, they are "full" and cannot absorb any more spells or spell-like effects that day (further spells affect them normally).
They can absorb spells cast upon them, ongoing spell effects (e.g. fog cloud, blade barrier, wall of force, hallow), active spells on creatures (e.g. bull's strength, charm person, flesh to stone) if they get a hold in a grapple, etc.
They can only absorb 1d3 spell levels per 2 HD (min 1d3) at a time; if it was a targeted spell, it is "ruined" and thus immediately ends. If it's an ongoing effect, it can "touch" it and thus absorb; it doesn't end until the mudman absorbs enough levels to equal the effect (its level is reduced likewise; it still acts in every way like it's supposed to, except for the reduced level).
This ability doesn't affect epic spells.
Suffocation (Ex): If a mudman begins its turn grappling a foe, it may attempt to pin. An opponent pinned by a mudman starts to suffocate as per the drowning rules.

Qualities[edit]

Blindsight (Ex): RTSRD. Every size above Medium, increase the range by 30'.
Combine (Ex): Mudmen can amalgamate with each other and function as a single entity. If two are adjacent, they each spend a full-round action to become one. The amalgamated mudman has a hit dice equal to the sum of its component mudmen -1 per additional mudman beyond the primary one (the one with the biggest HD is treated as the primary, even if it's already an amalgamated one); -2 per additional Large mudman, -4 per Huge, -8 per Gargantuan, -16 per Colossal, etc. Furthermore, increase the Strength, Constitution, and Wisdom of the amalgamated mudman by one for every pair of mudmen in the pile. It takes a full-round to cast off a single mudman, usually the largest secondary mudman.
The way this works (which probably doesn't) is confusing, so just make it happen "off-camera" or something. Or dispatch a really advanced mudman or two while saying, "OH EM GEE IT'S A WHOLE BUNCH OF 'EM PUT TOGETHER!!" Whatever. It's doubtful your players would know the difference.
Damage Reduction (Ex): As a beast made of thick mud, weapons that cut or stab are extremely ineffective -- though any weapon has a hard time injuring its muddy form (see weapon resistance).
Its /bludgeoning DR increases by five at every 5 HD, and by another five every size it is above Medium (but lower it by 5 every size it is below Medium).
Energy Resistances (Ex): Increase fire and electricity resistance by 10 each with each size category above Medium. When they go above 50, the mudman is instead immune.
Magicsense (Ex): This works like blindsense (RTSRD), but only on creatures with a caster level or spell-like abilities, for ongoing magic effects, or magic items. It always knows the spell level and caster level of spells, creatures, and magic items. The higher, the more delicious.
If a creature casts a spell or uses a spell-like ability, this ability functions like blindsight on that creature for a number of rounds equal to the spell's level times its caster level.
This also functions as a continuous detect magic (CL 10; = HD + 10) in the area of this ability, always at the 3rd round of concentration.
Spellcraft is keyed off Wisdom (it's intuitive for mudmen), it is always a class skill, it always has maximum ranks (over and above any skill points it normally has), and it has a racial bonus to Spellcraft equal to HD (max +20).
Every size above Medium, increase the range by 50'.
Muddy: Their magic mire makeup makes mudmen naturally tough and resilient, yet sluggish and slow to respond. Mudmen have: bonus HP = *1.5 ConMod per HD (instead of ConMod per HD); bonus natural armor = HD (above what they'd normally have); +1 racial bonus to Con checks, Con-based skill checks, & Fort saves per 2 HD (max +10); 1 more Con per 2 HD (above what they'd have normally); good Fort save progression.
However, mudmen also have: -1 racial penalty to Dex checks, Dex-based skill checks (except for Escape Artist), & Ref saves per 2 HD (max -10).
They're more stable than dwarves: +6 racial to ability checks to resist bull rush & trip attacks when on the ground (+8 on muddy ground).
They naturally heal at twice the rate while submerged in wet or muddy areas, and naturally heal at quadruple the rate while submerged in magical mud that is capable of spawning mudmen.
Spell Vulnerabilities: Soften earth and stone really messes them up, dealing 1d8+1 damage per caster level to every mudman in the area that's on the ground being softened. Each is entitled to a Fortitude saving throw as if the spell normally provided one (taking half damage on a successful save).
Transmute Mud to Rock acts like Flesh to Stone to all in the area so long as the area cube(s) is positioned to completely cover them (though if it fails the Fort save, it takes 1d10+2 damage per caster level, which will probably "petrify" it anyway) If the area cubes only covers part of one or more, it still takes 1d10+2 per caster level, half damage on a successful Fort save. Transmute Rock to Mud casted on one that's been "petrified" by TMtR acts as Stone to Flesh, bringing it back to its mucky self.
Horrid Wilting damages mudmen as if they were water elementals (and are similarly vulnerable to other dessicating attacks). Dispel Magic and its deriatives deal 1d6 damage per the result of the dispel check (whether it's area or targeted) with no save. Mage's Disjunction acts as a Fortitude save or die on all in the area, dealing 1d12+3 to any who make the save anyway.
This ability prevents spell resistance from ever functioning.
Weapon Resistance (Ex): Its ambulatory, semi-liquid form doesn't take damage like other substances. Weapons (manufactured, natural, or otherwise) or other physical attacks that deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage or which could be reduced by DR always roll the lowest on the damage die roll; only the force behind the blow truly counts.
Weapons with +6 or higher enhancement, monsters whose natural weapons count as epic, and all artifacts ignore this ability.
Skills: +1 racial bonus to all Con-based skill checks (see Muddy), -1 racial penalty to all Dex-based skill checks except Escape Artist (see Muddy), +2 racial bonus to Spellcraft (see Magicsense), +20 racial bonus on Escape Artist checks.
+8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.
*+8 racial bonus on Hide checks to hide in or as mud or similar substance like a swamp, bottom of a riverbed, or a dirt path after a torrential rainfall. If the area is large enough, or the mudman spreads itself thin enough, its size penalty to Hide checks (if any) is negated.

Adventure Ideas[edit]

  • Low Level: The players are hired to take back an heirloom scepter, stolen by a thief who was subsequently killed by the equally greedy mudmen while foolishly trying to escape through the monster-infested swamp.
  • Mid Level: While on the bottom of a deep lake surrounding a sorcerer's tower, a dozen mudmen suddenly form from the silt and reach for the players' magic items, including the cheap water-breathing devices acquired in town.

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