Gravewalker (3.5e Monster)
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|Hit Dice:||9d10+66 (115 hp)|
|Speed:||50 ft., climb 30 ft.|
|Armor Class:||25 (+3 dex, +13 natural, -1 size), touch 12, flat-footed 22|
|Attack:||Pincers +15 melee (2d6+9, 20/x2)|
|Full Attack:||Two Pincers +15 melee (2d6+9, 20/x2)|
|Space/Reach:||10 ft./5 ft.|
|Special Attacks:||Draining Wave, Install Body|
|Special Qualities:||Construct Traits, Corpse Carrier, DR 10/adamantine, Immunity to Cold/Electric/Fire, Lifesense, Quasi-Multitarget, Thermal Battery, Undead Affinity, Unholy Toughness|
|Saves:||Fort +5, Ref +8, Will +6|
|Abilities:||Str 29, Dex 17, Con -, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 18|
|Skills:||Climb +8, Survival +14|
|Feats:||Improved GrappleB, Track, Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, Iron Will|
|Organization:||Solitary, Pair, or Swarm (3-18)|
|Alignment:||Always Neutral Evil|
|Advancement:||10-18 HD (Large), 19-27 HD (Huge)|
GA-SHUNK! The door burst open as the rotting head of a shark moved through, supported on a rust-colored dias surrounded by spidery legs and a vaguely crab-like visage in front. Cables extended from its surface up, around, and through the shark which jerked around like a puppet.
Originally created to gather the bodies of the dead after major bloody battles, they were cheaper to produce than normal golems for they had no internal elemental fueling their movement. Instead they fed off the dying heat of organic material. Released onto battlefields, they would gather the dead whose collective body heat served as fuel, then go inert when the task was done and the bodies delivered for burial. It was a fine idea, but the gravewalkers first offical run was a disaster. Perhaps it was something in the air, the nature of the corpses, or the stain of wild magic, but as they gathered the corpses they became possessed with malviolent intent and cunning intellects. Instead of shutting down after delivering their cargo, they turned upon the living to gain more fuel and sustainance.
Gravewalkers appear to be large metal crabs with flat tops covered in small spikes and pores, which contain thousands of cables that link to the body. A gravewalker will have one or more corpses on top of its body, the bodies squirming about unnaturally. Corpses will typically last up to 1 week before needing to be replaced, but gravewalkers have no problems with gluttony and overfeeding themselves on fresh bodies.
Gravewalkers stand 6 feet tall but are large and bulky, and are considered large creatures. They do not speak, and weight 300 pounds unburdened. They often smell of death and decay, and untrained animals naturally avoid them.
Gravewalkers will attempt to grapple weak looking creatures, placing them on its back before moving onto the next. For that reason casters and rogues are their favorite prey. Against stronger characters it will attempt to kill it first through brute force. When outnumbered, it will use draining wave until it can find a good time to grapple a weak creature. Intelligent, they can form tactics and know when to run. They are not against setting up ambushes and "accidents" either. They even have a vague sense of teamwork, giving corpses to other gravewalkers to ensure their survival.
Corpse Carrier (Ex): Gravewalkers are designed to carry heavy loads and may carry a load of a creature one size larger. With their Install Body ability they may carry a creature up to one size larger (Huge), or 2 Large creatures, or 4 Medium creatures, 8 Small creatures, 16 Tiny creatures, 32 Diminutive creatures, or 64 Fine creatures.
Draining Wave (Su): Gravewalkers can draw in life-energy from creatures nearby and devour it. Creatures in a 30 foot cone take 9d6 negative energy damage, with a DC 18 Will save for half. The gravewalker then heals 1 point of damage for every 3 points of damage it dealt total. For example, if it strikes three creatures for 30, 15, and 30 damage it has dealth 75 damage, and heals 25 hp. Draining wave has no effect on constructs or undead, niether healing nor harming them. It may use its draining wave once every 1d4 rounds. The save DC is Charisma based.
Install Body (Ex): The grim diet of the gravewalker is decaying body heat, and it achieves this by stacking corpses upon its back, anchoring them to its body by running its cables over, around, and through the corpse. It can install corpses as a standard action which provokes attacks of opportunity, scooping them from the ground and attaching them. When a corpse is installed, it gains the benefits of Corpse Carrier and Quasi-Multitarget. It can install any body which has been dead for 48 hours or less. Corpses usually last 1 week before decaying into uselessness, and so gravewalkers require a "meal" at least once per week or they go inert and helpless.
The dead are not the only ones to function as heat sources, the living are in danger of becoming a meal as well. If a living corporeal creature is grappled, next round it can attempt a pin against the gravewalker's back. If successful, the gravewalker is no longer considered grappling and may move freely, while the victim remains pinned and takes 5d6 damage every round as wires invade their body and constrict. This lasts until the victim is free, or dead.
Lifesense (Su): Gravewalkers can detect living creatures as if they shed light like a torch. This "light" is blocked by solid objects such as walls, but not by being invisible, cloaked in magical or natural darkness, or otherwise present with line of sight. Non-living or unliving creatures do not glow.
Quasi-Multitarget (Ex): When a body is installed onto its form, its wires and cables animate it and transform the corpse into a zombie form of the creature. The zombie cannot move, but it may attack and will do so at the behest of the gravewalker. Add the CR of the zombie -2 (minimum 1) to the encounter to determine experience and difficulty. This zombie animation is extraordinary, and while negative energy does run through its body it is by and large puppeted by the cables.
While hosting a zombified corpse in this matter the gravewalker is a multi-target creature, allowing creatures to attack it or the zombie, with seperate hit point totals. The gravewalker gains fast healing 5 as long as it has a corpse. It also has the effect of shield other with its zombie corpses automatically, and may transfer up to 90 hit points from the zombie to its body as a standard action which does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If the zombie runs out of hit points it is destroyed.
Turn attempts against the zombie function differently. Turning attempts render the gravewalker and zombie staggered for 1 round, while a turn which would destroy the zombie leave them dazed for 1 round instead.
Thermal Battery (Ex): Gravewalkers are immune to both fire and cold but react differently to them. If a gravewalker takes fire damage from any source it is hasted for 2d4 rounds. If a gravewalker takes cold damage it is instead slowed for 1d4 rounds. Additional damage simply increases the duration of the effect. Gravewalkers recieve no saving throw against fire and cold damaging effects.
Undead Affinity (Ex): Gravewalkers are partly healed by negative energy, recieving half the result as healing. They remain unaffected by positive energy.