Groveback (3.5e Creature)

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Author: Ront Iron-Roar

Size/Type: Gargantuan Aberration
Hit Dice: 27d8+243 (351 hp)
Initiative: -2
Speed: 40 ft (Cannot Run)
Armor Class: 21 (-4 Size, -2 Dex, +20 natural), touch 4, flat-footed 26
Base Attack/Grapple: +19/+44
Attack: +33 melee Stamp (2d8+13)
Full Attack: 2 Stamps +33 melee Stamp (2d8+13)
Space/Reach: 20 ft/15 ft.
Special Attacks: Trample (4d6+19), Sap Boost.
Special Qualities: Barry, Blindsight 100 ft, Dehydration Vulnerability, Growth, Immunities, Partial Actions, Skid, and Scent.
Saves: Fort +20, Ref +8, Will +16
Abilities: Str 36, Dex 6, Con 28, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Listen + 25 Survival +15
Feats: Alertness, Improved Toughness, Improved Natural Armor(3), Great Fortitude, Power Attack, Cleave, Weapon Focus(Stamp)
Environment: Temperate Plain
Organization: Solitary or Pair.
Challenge Rating: 11
Treasure: None.
Alignment: Always Neutral
Advancement: 28-34(Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment:
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What once was an immobile grouping of trees soon becomes animated. Branches and trunks swaying and trembling as the ground around them begins to buckle as it bulges upward, soon enough a massive box-shaped head burst from the surface supported by long thick neck. Soon, enough a massive carapace supporting the multitude of vegetation rise soon after. Two thick muscular legs push the creature up from the earth as it shakes itself of clumps of dirt.

These massive turtle-like creatures move around using a pair of thick, pillar-like forelegs, but most of the weight is carried by an enormous rear skid that leaves a distinctive deep trench in its wake. During a 10-year hibernation period, the 60-foot-high groveback remains largely buried and immobile just beneath Darwin IV's surface. Vegetation takes root and grows on its vast, porous carapace, a bizarre form of symbiosis that gives this behemoth its name. The small forest is shaken off when the animal emerges from dormancy. The large eye-shaped structures behind the nose are actually massive gill books that must be kept moist at all times.


A Groveback has very little interest in combat; it is content with its cycle of migration and hibernation. A disturbed Groveback, however, can prove a difficult opponent. Only a Groveback with Growth will utilize its Sap Surge to boost its prowess during combat.

Trample (Ex): Reflex DC 28 half, 4d6+19 damage.

Sap Boost (Ex): A Groveback with Growth can utilize the sap pumped into its system by the plants that adhere to its porous shell for an energy boost. The Groveback gains a +8 conditional bonus on its strength and dexterity modifier. It can choose to run and it can take full-round actions. However, it gains a –2 penalty on saves as its body and mind cope with the massive amounts of energy it receives from the sap. The following stat changes apply to the Groveback:

  • Armor Class: 27 (-4 Size, +2 Dex, +20 Natural) Touch: 8 Flat-footed: 26
  • Initiative: +2
  • Attack: + 37 melee Stamp (2d8+17)
  • Full Attack: +37 melee 2 Stamps (2d8+17)
  • Special Attacks: Trample 4d6+25
  • Saves: Fort +18 Ref +6 Will +14

Bury (Ex): A Groveback can use one round to bury itself entirely in the ground. It gains full concealment and it looses its dehydration vulnerability, because its gill boxes are covered.

Blindsight (Ex): A Groveback has Blindsight to 100 feet.

Dehydration Vulnerability (Ex): Due to its water-absorbent form and the massive gillboxes on its head, a Groveback is more vulnerable to dehydrating effects. If a Groveback becomes dehydrated or takes 28 Dessication damage, begin rolling for suffocation. Exposing the gill boxes to moisture ceases the suffocation and the Groveback begins breathing normally again.

Growth (Ex): When a Groveback has buried itself for long enough, it grows a layer of vegetation on its shell. Due to the reinforcement of its shell, it gains a +7 Natural Armor bonus to AC. Due to the growth upon its back, a Groveback is especially vulnerable to catching aflame, taking a –2 penalty on reflex saves to avoid catching fire.

Immunities (Ex): Groveback has immunity to gaze attacks, visual effects, illusions, and other attack forms relying on sight.

Partial Actions (Ex): Grovebacks are a naturally slow creatures. Thus they can only take partial actions.

Skid (Ex): Grovebacks have a massive rudder-like skid jutting down from their hindquarters, pressing into the ground for stability. Anything tracking a Groveback immediately gains a +10 bonus on tracking, as the skid leaves a trench through the ground. Additionally, the Groveback gains +4 on checks to resist bullrush, overrun, and similar effects.


A Groveback has a +8 racial bonus on Listen Checks. A Groveback with Growth has a +8 bonus on Hide checks in forests or when crouching. This bonus improves to +20 when it is buried.

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