Publication:Dread Codex/Monsters/Death Squid
|This material is published under the OGL|
|Size/Type:||Large Undead (Aquatic)|
|Hit Dice:||10d12 (65 hp hp)|
|Speed:||Swim 30 ft.|
|Armor Class:||20 (-1 size, +3 Dex, +8 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 17|
|Attack:||Tentacle +9 melee (1d8+5)|
|Full Attack:||Tentacle +9 melee (1d8+5) and bite +4 melee (2d6+2)|
|Space/Reach:||10 ft./10 ft.|
|Special Attacks:||Constrict 1d8+5, Energy Drain, Improved Grab|
|Special Qualities:||Animate Dead, Darkvision 60 ft., Ink Cloud, Jet, Sunlight Powerlessness, Undead Traits|
|Saves:||Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +9|
|Abilities:||Str 21, Dex 17, Con –, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 12|
|Skills:||Hide +12, Knowledge (any one) +14, Listen +17, Search +14, Spot +17, Swim +13|
|Feats:||Alertness, Blind-Fight, Dodge, Improved Initiative|
|Organization:||Solitary, pair, or fleet (3-9)|
|Alignment:||Always chaotic evil|
|Advancement:||11-22 HD (Large); 23-30 HD (Huge)|
This creature looks like a dead squid. At least half a dozen withered tentacles squirm behind the beast's flaking black-skinned body. Two hollows where its eyes should be shine with a dark crimson radiance.
Death squids survive by sucking the life force from living creatures. They haunt both the depths and the surface of the world's larger bodies of water. Some sages believe they are the souls of sailors who drowned beneath the waves. Others are convinced that there are necromantically-charged stones from a long-submerged undead kingdom which turn large aquatic lifeforms into death squids on contact.
What is certain is that these aquatic undead are not to be taken lightly.
Attacking only at night or in the deepest depths of water, death squids are the creatures that some sea legends are based on. Naughty children are told to shape up or else the death squid will get them. Some sailors hold to an old belief that a slain pirate rises again as a death squid that eternally hunts for its killer, prompting pirate-slaying sailors to retire from sea life.
Death squids strike opponents with their tentacles, draining the life from their prey before finishing their victims with their powerful jaws. If a death squid encounters a large number of foes or a powerful opponent, it resorts to using its animating ink to create undead allies or simply to cover its escape.
Animate Dead (Su): Twice per day, a death squid may choose to have its ink cloud (see below) animate any corpse with which it comes into contact. A single cloud can animate up to 12 HD of undead, as if it were a single casting of the animate dead spell (caster level 12th). These undead do not attack the death squid, but attack any living foes within reach. The death squid cannot have more than 24 HD worth of undead animated at one time.
Constrict (Ex): A death squid deals automatic tentacle damage with a successful grapple check.
Energy Drain (Su): Living creatures hit by a death squid's tentacle attack gain one negative level. The DC is 16 for the Fortitude save to remove a negative level. The save DC is Charisma-based. For each negative level bestowed, the death squid gains 5 temporary hit points.
Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the death squid must hit an opponent of up to Medium size with an arm attack. If it establishes a hold, it automatically drains energy and constricts each round that the hold is maintained.
Ink Cloud (Ex): A death squid can emit a cloud of jet-black ink in a 60-foot spread four times per day as a free action. The cloud provides total concealment, which the death squid uses to escape a combat that is going badly or to cover itself when exposed to sunlight. Creatures within the cloud are considered to be in total darkness.
Jet (Ex): A death squid can jet backward once per round as a full-round action, at a speed of 180 feet.
Sunlight Powerlessness (Ex): Death squids are utterly powerless in natural sunlight (not merely a daylight spell) and flee from it.
Skills: Death squids have a +8 racial bonus on Swim checks. They can always choose to take 10 on Swim checks, even if rushed or threatened.
None — These undead sea creatures have no use for treasure and, as such, do not hoard or carry any. Their lair is the ocean itself, so any treasure remaining from a kill is left with the body, which could be hundreds of miles distant by the time the PCs encounter one.
In Your Campaign
Sahuagin clerics use death squids to bolster any large-scale attack force. In fact, sahuagin are actually the creators of the death squid, despite the more prominent origin theories bandied about (mentioned above). The ritual used to create them was unique to the evil sea humanoids, but has since been sold to land cultures in exchange for other magics. Some organizations introduce death squids into a city's sewer system either to protect their headquarters there or simply to cause mayhem.
Properly preserved, a death squid's ink can be used to animate dead as the spell (caster level 12th). Characters having Knowledge (arcana) ranks of 10 or more know how to preserve the ink. The harvesting of ink from one death squid (or one vial) is only enough to animate 24 HD worth of undead at one time. The other caveat is that the ink only works on bodies that are less than a week old. One vial of death squid ink sells for 1,800 gp and requires the Knowledge ranks (above) and the Brew Potion feat.