Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cenotaphite (2e AD&D monster)

Found this while digging through my hard drive. Pre-3e, but it had Greyhawk names, so late '90s-era; 1997-1999.

Human, Cenotaphite

CLIMATE/TERRAIN:     Graveyard/Subterranean
FREQUENCY:                    Rare
ORGANIZATION:            Family
ACTIVITY CYCLE:         Nocturnal
DIET:                                    Carrion
INTELLIGENCE              Low
ALIGNMENT:                    Neutral Evil 

NO. APPEARING:             3-12
ARMOR CLASS:                8
MOVEMENT:                    9
HIT DICE:                           1+1
THAC0:                                19
NO OF ATTACKS:            1
DAMAGE/ATTACK:        1-4 (club or dagger)
SPECIAL ATTACKS:      Diseased bite
SPECIAL DEFENSES:     Immunity to poison and disease
SIZE:                                     M (5')
MORALE:                           Unsteady (7)
XP VALUE:                         120

Cenotaphites are a cursed and diseased race of humans. They are slightly smaller than average height, with pale, jaundiced skin (often obscured by dirt and grime), and dark, ragged hair.  Their eyes are blue or brown, with yellow "whites", and their teeth are crooked but sharp.

Combat:  Primitive cenotaphites attack with primitive clubs (that inflict only 1d4 points of damage), daggers, or their teeth (see below).  Their command of tactics is basic; they may attack from ambush, or surround prey, but little more.
Advanced cenotaphite cultures are more sophisticated in their tactics and weapons.  They use clubs (1d6 damage), or ancient spears and swords as weapons, and powerful warriors may bear shields or salvaged armor from the ruins, improving their Armor Class.  These advanced cenotaphites are likely to prey upon tribesmen and caravans as well as animals and individuals, and may concoct advanced deceits and traps to capture and kill their quarry.
All cenotaphites are immune to poison and non-magical disease, but are carriers themselves.  The bite of a cenotaphite forces the victim to make a saving throw versus poison, or acquire a deadly rotting disease.  This illness manifests itself in 2d4 days, and erodes one point of charisma and constitution per day.  The victim also takes 1d4 points of damage per day; these points cannot be regained by non-magical means until the disease is cured.

Habitat/Society:  Cenotaphites congregate and live in necropolises and abandoned cities, such as those found in the fringes of the White Wastes, or below the Glimmering Plain.  They are the tortured descendants of survivors of cataclysms, epidemics, genocide, and divine catastrophe.

Most cenotaphites are rude primitives, barely capable of intelligent thought and speech.  Their "rulers" are stronger and faster cenotaphites, who beat those who displease them and eat those who anger them.  They dig shallow burrows in the ruins of their ancestors, or else acquire tombs, cellars, and dry wells as lairs.

A few yellow ghoul communities, however, have preserved vestiges of their past.  These "advanced" cenotaphites speak various ancient tongues, depending on their ancestry, and have excavated subterranean warrens to house their people.  They organize society as they imagined it once to be, though these remembrances are poor and distorted at best.  A very rare few of these cenotaphites have rediscovered magic and the worship of the gods, and may have shamans (of levels 1-6) or wizards (of levels 1-4) in their midst or as their rulers.  Advanced cenotaphites believe themselves to be the dedicated guardians of their fallen culture, and viciously resist changing their ways, regardless of the provocation or incentive.
Cenotaphites communities, if starved of other food sources, will turn upon themselves, eating the eldest and weakest first.  If the community survives, advanced cenotaphites launch raids into human communities to kidnap women and use them as breeders to rebuild the cenotaphites' population.

Ecology:  Cenotaphites, sometimes called yellow ghouls or grave eaters, are carrion feeders and cannibals, surviving on rats, snakes, spiders, and bats, killing their prey and leaving it to rot for several days before eating it.  Advanced cenotaphite settlements raise colonies of rats for this purpose.
Cenotaphites are strong only en masse, and periodically ravaged by stronger carnivores.  Most settlements live in accordance with their habitat, neither giving nor taking in excess.

Cenotaphites are fertile with normal humans, but the offspring are always cenotaphites themselves.  Cenotaphites age slightly faster than humans, reaching maturity at ten years and old age at forty.  Most do not live that long.

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