Dire Toad (3.5e Monster)
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This monster is balanced to fit in a high level of balance game. I have taken the liberty of not using the standard D&D rules for determining various statistics for this monster. As a result, it may seem a bit stronger (or weaker) than some SRD monsters of the same CR and that is fine. I think it will pose an appropriate challenge for characters of its CR.
|N Medium Animal|
|Init/Senses||+1/low-light vision; Listen +3, Spot +3|
|AC||16, touch 14, flat-footed 14|
|hp||14 (1 HD)|
|Speed||30 ft. (6 squares); Quick Leap, Incredible Hop|
|Melee||+5 Bite (1d6, Swallow Whole)|
|Space/Reach||5 ft./5 ft.|
|Atk Options||Poison Spikes, Sticky Tongue, Swallow Whole|
|Abilities||Str 1, Dex 12, Con 11, Int 1, Wis 14, Cha 4|
|Skills||Jump +8, Escape Artist +6, Hide +8 (when in murky water)|
|Quick Leap (Ex)||Dire toads are slippery little creatures, hopping about in random directions, easily avoiding attacks. As an immediate action, a dire toad can jump 30 ft. in any direction. This jump does not provoke any attacks of opportunity.|
|Incredible Hop (Ex)||Once per minute, when a dire toad charges, it may leap up to 120 ft. in any direction. Some dire toads use this ability to hunt flying water fowl, which is a somewhat disturbing sight.|
|Poison Spikes (Ex)|| Any creature that hits a dire toad in melee risks cutting themselves on small thorny spikes that line its back. When the dire toad is hit, the attacker must make a Reflex Save DC 14 or else be exposed to the dire toad's hallucinogenic poison. The poison requires a Fortitude save DC 14 and on a failed save causes the attacker to be confused for 1 round. There is no secondary effect.
After the confusion, the creature will be on an acid trip for 1 hour, which makes them Dazzled. They will hallucinate things during this time, but no hallucinations will be severe enough to hamper their ability to act normally.
At the DM's discretion, a player exposed to many doses of dire toad poison might be more severely affected (hallucinating to the point that it does affect their ability to make sound decisions).
|Sticky Tongue (Ex)||As a swift action, a dire toad can make an attack roll with a +5 bonus against a creature within 30 ft. If it hits, it may pull the creature into melee range and automatically hit the creature with a bite attack, if it wishes.|
|Swallow Whole (Ex)||A dire toad is basically a big mouth with legs. Whenever it hits with a bite attack against a creature its size or smaller, it can attempt to swallow the creature by making an opposed grapple check. The swallowed creature takes 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage and 3 points of acid damage each round. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 4 points of damage to the gizzard (AC 12). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out.|
Dire toads are an extremely dangerous monster found in swamps. They wait in murky waters and when a worthy meal comes within range, they leap out and strike.
Most dire toads are about the size of a dwarf in height, although they are much wider and are basically a massive mouth with strong jumping legs. Their color varies from browns and greens to some more exotic tropical species which have bright reds and oranges. In general, dire toads have spines along their back, which act as little needles to inject doses of their hallucinogenic poisons. And, although an established hero might be able to shrug off these poisons after a few moments, regular folk have been known to be driven completely insane after a single exposure.
Strategies and Tactics
A dire toad will lie in wait, hiding in the marshes until their prey comes near. When a vulnerable target is within 150 ft., they will leap forward, combining their incredible hop and sticky tongue to attempt to swallow their target. If they can, they will try to escape with a swallowed creature, to digest it underwater in the marshes.
Dire toad poison is a totally sweet trip. It also makes a pretty good weapon. Dire toad poison has the effects as noted above (ingested or injury, DC 14, confusion for 1 round, dazzling afterwards). A single dire toad has 2 doses worth of poison, which is enough for a fun night.
Dire toad venom is valued at 150 gp on the open market.