Stygian (3.5e Creature)

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Size/Type: Huge Aberration (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 12d8+96 (150 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), swim 40 ft.
Armor Class: 20 (-2 size, +12 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+22
Attack: Tentacle +15 melee (1d10+5 plus stygian parching)
Full Attack: 4 tentacles +15 melee (1d10+5 plus stygian parching) and bite +9 melee (3d6+2)
Space/Reach: 15 ft./15 ft.
Special Attacks: Maddening visage, stygian parching, glamour, spells
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., regeneration 10, spell resistance 22, water dependent
Saves: Fort +12, Ref +4, Will +10
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 10, Con 26, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 20
Skills: Concentration +23, Knowledge (arcana) +17, Knowledge (history) +17, Spellcraft +17
Feats: Blind-Fight, Heighten Spell, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (tentacle)
Environment: Cold aquatic
Organization: Solitary, sect (1 plus 3-4 stygian minions) or cult (1-3 plus 5-8 stygian minions plus 20-50 cultists)
Challenge Rating: 13
Treasure: Triple goods (gems and jewelry only)
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Advancement: 13-18 HD (Huge); 19-30 HD (Gargantuan); 31-42 HD (Colossal)
Level Adjustment:

A fleeting glimpse can be enough
to destroy a mind.

You've descended (at least you think you're going downwards) the staircase for what feels like days, your eyes hurting from the strange tricks of the architecture and the ghastly lamps that illuminate the staircase with a turquoise glow. Finally you reach a great chamber, to which dozens of similar staircases lead. In the middle of the area sits a titanic figure, garbed in purest white and with a stern face you have a hard time looking at. Unable to control your movement, you approach the figure, who reaches out a hand — except for some reason, it looks nothing like a hand at all.

Many beings have challenged gods over the course of history, but one of the greatest foes to deities are stygians, beings from the far reaches of time who were defeated by the gods in ages past. They've descended to the deepest depths of the vastest oceans (hence the name), where they bide their time and seek to grow their power, so that one day they could challenge they gods they so despise. Stygians are vain, prideful creatures, and create beautiful glamours that resemble regal giants to hide their true forms: an upright torso of pulsating, gray and dark green flesh, with great flailing tentacles all about.


Stygians are first and foremost great sorcerers, and prefer spellcasting to melee combat almost invariably. A stygian typically situates itself close enough to foes for its maddening visage to take effect, but places stygian minions and mad cultists between itself and foes. As intelligent creatures, stygians use both their spells and their natural abilities effectively, and if they must they will initiate close combat, trusting their natural regeneration and high hit points to make sure they survive.

Maddening Visage (Su): Any sentient creature within 60 feet that views a stygian must succeed on a DC 21 Will save each round or take 1d4 points of Wisdom damage. Any creature that succeeds on its save but remains within 60 feet of the stygian must continue to save each round. Other stygians are immune to this effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Stygian Parching (Su): Supernatural disease—slam, Fortitude DC 24, incubation period 1 day; damage 1d4 Str, 1d4 Dex and 1d4 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Unlike normal diseases, stygian parching continues until the victim reaches Constitution 0 (and dies) or is cured as described below.

Stygian parching is a powerful curse, not a natural disease. A character attempting to cast any conjuration (healing) spell on a creature afflicted with stygian parching must succeed on a DC 20 caster level check, or the spell has no effect on the afflicted character.

To eliminate stygian parching, the curse must first be broken with break enchantment or remove curse (requiring a DC 20 caster level check for either spell), after which a caster level check is no longer necessary to cast healing spells on the victim, and the stygian parching can be magically cured as any normal disease.

An afflicted creature who dies of stygian parching becomes a shriveled, desiccated shell that barely resembles the creature it was in life.

Glamour (Su): Stygians use powerful illusion magic to change their appearance to that of massive, godlike figures in roughly humanoid form. A stygian's glamour functions like a permanent disguise self spell (Will DC 21 disbelieves). A creature who disbelieves or otherwise sees through the illusion (whether through a successful Will save, a true seeing spell or any other method) immediately takes 1d4 points of Wisdom damage and can never be fooled by that stygian's glamour again.

Spells: Stygians cast spells as 9th-level sorcerers.

Typical Sorcerer Spells Known (6/8/7/7/5); save DC 15 + spell level): 0—daze, detect magic, light, mage hand, open/close, ray of frost, read magic, prestidigitation; 1st—true strike, charm person, color spray, ray of enfeeblement, reduce person; 2nd—acid arrow, darkness, blindness/deafness, eagle's splendor; 3rd—stinking cloud, lightning bolt, slow; 4th—phantasmal killer, animate dead.

For each additional 2 HD of a stygian above 12, the stygian's natural spellcasting ability improves by one level (to a 10th-level sorcerer at 14 HD, an 11th-level sorcerer at 16 HD, and so on). Each 2 HD gained also increases the stygians’s Challenge Rating by 1 (instead of the normal +1 CR per 4 added HD for aberrations).

Regeneration (Ex): Fire and acid deal normal damage to a stygian. If a stygian loses a limb or body part, the lost portion regrows in 3d6 minutes. The creature can reattach the severed member instantly by holding it to the stump.

Water Dependent (Ex): Stygians can survive out of the water for 1 hour per 2 points of Constitution (after that, refer to the drowning rules).

Skills: A stygian has 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.

Bestow Madness[edit]

Since a stygian quickly sends nearby non-stygians to a catatonic stupor with its maddening visage, ordinary cultists can't operate near a stygian. However, the stygian can bestow the madness extraordinary ability onto a willing follower as a full-round action that deals 1 point of Constitution damage to the stygian. Creatures with the madness ability (whether granted by the stygian, or naturally possessed like with derroMM1) are immune to the maddening visage ability of stygians and their minions. Stygians take pains to convert powerful sorcerers to their service, since the madness greatly improves their natural abilities.

Madness (Ex): A mad person uses their Charisma modifier on Will saves instead of their Wisdom modifier, and has immunity to confusion and insanity effects. Such a person cannot be restored to sanity by any means short of a miracle or wish spell. The madness provides a +6 bonus to their Charisma score and a –6 penalty to their Wisdom score. Someone restored to sanity gains 6 points of Wisdom and loses 6 points of Charisma.

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