Throe Berserker (3.5e Monster)
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|Throe Berserker||Greater Throe Berserker|
|Size/Type:||Medium Monstrous Humanoid||Medium Monstrous Humanoid|
|Hit Dice:||5d8+30 (52 (partial) or 70 (full) hp)||15d8+165 (232 (partial) or 285 (full) hp)|
|Speed:||60 ft.||60 ft.|
|Armor Class:||21 (+3 dex, +8 natural armor, -2 rage), touch 11, flat-footed 16||33 (+5 dex, +18 natural armor, -2 rage), touch 13, flat-footed 16|
|Attack:||Claw +12 (1d6+7, 20/x2) or Cursed Chains +13 (2d4+9, 20/x2)||Slam +27 (1d6+12 plus 1d6 negative, 20/x2) or Cursed Chains +30 (2d4+20 plus 1d6 negative, 19-20/x2)|
|Full Attack:||Two Claws +12 (1d6+7, 20/x2) and Cursed Chains +13 (2d4+9, 20/x2)||Two Slams +27 (1d6+12 plus 1d6 negative, 20/x2) and Cursed Chains +30 (2d4+20 plus 1d6 negative, 19-20/x2)|
|Space/Reach:||5 ft./5 ft. (10 ft. with chains)||5 ft./5 ft. (10 ft. with chains)|
|Special Attacks:||Darkvision 60 ft., Death Throes||Darkvision 60 ft., Death Throes, Necrotic Flame|
|Special Qualities:||Cursed Wires, Immune to Exhaustion/Fatigue/Mind-Affecting Effects, Sadomasochism||Cursed Wires, Damage Reduction 10/silver, Immune to Ability Damage/Ability Drain/Death Effects/Energy Drain/Exhaustion/Fatigue/Mind-Affecting Effects, Mettle, Sadomasochism|
|Saves:||Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +6||Fort +17, Ref +14, Will +13|
|Abilities:||Str 25, Dex 17, Con 25, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 4||Str 35, Dex 21, Con 31, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 4|
|Skills:||Intimidate +6, Jump +19||Intimidate +16, Jump +24|
|Feats:||DiehardB, Power Attack, Great Fortitude||DiehardB, Power Attack, Great Fortitude, Improved ToughnessCW, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Critical (Cursed Chain)|
|Organization:||Solitary or Pair or Pack (3-20)||Solitary or Pair or Pack (3-20)|
|Challenge Rating:||6 (7 at full hp)|
|Alignment:||Always Chaotic Evil||Always Chaotic Evil|
|Advancement:||6-14 HD (Medium)||16-30 HD (Medium)|
His eyes were crazed and bloodshot, his body nearly naked and cover in blood. Once, the crazed madman before you may have been human, but now his body was marred by deep gashes crisscrossing his entire frame which wept blood, a thin silver wire cutting deep into him with every move, and a silvery spiked chain dragged behind him attached deep into his arm. With a scream of rage, excitement, and agony the lunatic charged ready to draw more blood!
Throe berserkers are a terrible creation which takes a normal humanoid or monstrous humanoid, and transforms them into a gibbering foaming lunatic with a short lifespan and a terrible curse.
The process which creates throe berserkers wraps silver wire around their bodies, which tightens and drinks their blood as it slowly cuts through their host. The cursed wires keep the throe berserker in constant pain, and the only way to stave off the pain, indeed the only way to survive, it to keep on killing. Such torment breaks the mind of any unwilling victim, turning them into a mindless berserker whose only desire is to bath in blood and thus sate the cursed wires thirst but for a few moments.
Disturbingly enough, many throe berserkers come from willing stock, zealous fanatics to the cause of some dark lord who send them on this one final suicide mission into glory. Due to the nature of the throe berserker they are extremely short lived, rarely surviving beyond a single battle, with lifespans measured in days.
Throe Berserkers have no concept of strategy or self-preservation, for such concepts are lost in the blinding pain they experience constantly. They willingly throw themselves at the enemy knowing their time is short, staving off the inevitable demise just one moment longer by bathing themselves in the blood of their enemies. Yet they are not completely mindless, capable of determining which targets would fall quickest and employing simple tactics such as ganging up on a single target. So long as a tactic means they can hurt people faster, they will employ it even in favor of a better but more planned out tactic. Unless properly controlled (generally through rebuking) they will even turn on their allies simply for the sake of bloodshed.
Cursed Chain: A part of the cursed wires which surround the body, these chains hang off the arms and are identical to silver spiked chains. They are connected to the body, and thus cannot be disarmed and may be "drawn" as a free action. Greater Throe Berserkers possess ghost touch cursed chains +3, but they are usually destroyed in its death throes along with the berserker. For either kind, if a berserker is prevented from using death throes, the chain can be removed from the body (DC 25 Heal check to do it safely on a helpless throe berserker which deals 25 points of damage to the berserker) but one must take care to use remove curse on it (DC 25). Otherwise, using the cursed weapon will force a DC 20 Will save each time you use it, and failure will turn you into a throe berserker of the appropriate type. An uncursed chain loses its ghost touch property and is not connected to the body, but it retains all other aspects.
Cursed Wires: The cursed wires which keep a throe berserker in pain feast on blood, be it the host or the blood of others, as well as curse its host with constant pain. They cause the throe berserker to lose 1d6 hp a round while in strenuous situations (such as battle), or 1 hp a minute outside of battle. The cursed wires do have the benefit of making them immune to other sources of pain, such as from a symbol of pain or any attack which employs pain as the means of the effect. Also as a result of the wires, they are in a constant state of rage as a barbarian of their level (bonuses to strength, constitution, will saves, and penalty on AC have already been added).
Perhaps as a result of the necrotic energies applied to the cursed chain, throe berserkers count as undead for the purposes of spells and effects that target undead, as well as living creatures. They may be rebuked, controled, or turned. If a turning check results in destruction, they instead are stunned for 1 round/level. In addition, while they can be healed by curative spells they cannot benefit from fast healing or regeneration.
Throe berserkers always recieve maximum hp, but because they are always bleeding out they are not often found at maximum hp, but partial hp instead. If the throe berserker has recently fed and is at full hp, increase the CR by 1.
Death Throes (Su): If a throe berserker perishes (due to outside forces or its own cursed wires), it explodes in a horrible eruption of bone shards, silver shrapnel, and body parts. This deals 1d4 points of slashing silver damage per HD in a 10 ft. radius, and destroys the cursed wires and chain in the process. Reflex save for half, DC 19 for the normal, and DC 27 for the greater version. The saving throw is Constitution based.
Sadomasochism (Ex): Damage done by the claws or cursed chain transfer half of its damage as healing as long as the target possesses blood, literally draining into the creases in their skin and filling the cracks. Because of this, throe berserkers must continue to fight, or the cursed wires will eventually contract too far and cut them apart.
Greater Throe Berserkers
Mettle (Ex): If a greater throe berserker makes a successful Will or Fortitude saving throw that would normally reduce the spell's effect, it suffers no effect from the spell at all. Only those spells with a Saving Throw entry of "Will partial," "Fortitude half," or similar entries can be negated through this ability.
Necrotic Flame (Su): Greater Throe Berserkers not only half their body suffering, but also their soul as it releases a terrible black flame as the wire cuts into their astral presence. They deal 1d6 points of negative energy damage on all melee attacks, and those grappling them or making melee non-reach attacks against them are also subject to this damage as they draw too close to this astral flame.
Creating Throe Berserkers
Creating a throe berserker is an evil act which involves crafting the cursed silver wires and chains, and then placing them on a living humanoid or monstrous humanoid victim of at least 5 HD, who lose their original aspects and gain the aspects of a throe berserker of equal HD to them. Creatures of 15 HD or greater turn into greater throe berserkers instead. Recovering someone who has been turned into a throe berserker is difficult... they must have break enchantment cast upon them, DC 10 + the berserker's HD. Success frees the throe berserker's sanity and stops the wires, which must be removed with a DC 25 Heal check (which deals 25 points of damage to the victim), and then either destroyed or uncursed to completely return the victim to normal. Attempts at using the cursed chains may result in repossession.
To create cursed wires, you need a silver spiked chain (345g) and the appropriate feats and spells. Moderate necromancy; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, bestow curse, rage, and vampiric touch; Price 8,845 gp; Cost to create 4,575gp, 340 xp; Weight 10 lb.