Kobold Press

Journeys to the West: The Isle of Morphoi and Its Creatures (Part 4)

Morphoi HulkVenture again to the Isle of Morphoi, where we peer at the Morphoi hulk, which has been illustrated by Chris McFann. You can venture beyond the jump now to read the entire entry, and then head over to the Journeys to the West Kickstarter and join the crew if you want to see more about this area of the world! You can also take a look at the Part 1Part 2, Part 3, plus maps. Also, as of this blog entry, the Kickstarter has surpassed the map level of funding, so watch for an update that tells you what’s next on the horizon for this project! Thanks go to all of those who have joined our crew. We hope that more of you will join us in our adventures.

Morphoi Hulk

An enormous crablike brute rises silently out of the waves, trailing bits of kelp and flexing its main set of claws as it steadily treads toward the island’s interior. Gouges and scrapes mar its rusty-looking carapace in a dozen places, marking it as a difficult and tenacious foe.

Morphoi Hulk     CR 8

XP 4,800
CN Large native outsider (aquatic)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60ft, low-light vision; Perception +13

DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 13, flat-footed 20 (+1 Dex, +3 insight, +8 natural, –1 size)
hp 95 (10d10+40)
Fort +12, Ref +11 Will +12
Immune poison; SR 19

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee 2 claws +13 melee (2d6+6 plus grab) and bite +13 melee (2d6+3 plus poison)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks Spore burst (DC 19; 1/day)

STATISTICS
Str 23, Dex 13, Con 19, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 16
Base Atk +10; CMB +17 (+21 grapple); CMD 28
Feats Disruptive[B], Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Multiattack
Skills Climb +19, Knowledge (Planes) +13, Perception +13, Stealth +13, Survival +13, Swim +27; Racial Modifiers +8 Swim
Languages Aquan, Common
SQ Amphibious, Capable Grappler, Extraplanar Insight, Ferocity

ECOLOGY
Environment coasts, marshes, underwater
Organization solitary, pair, gang (3–5), or family (5–16)
Treasure standard

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Capable Grappler (Ex) Using its extra set of arms, a morphoi hulk can use its grab ability against creatures of its size (Large) or smaller.

Extraplanar Insight (Su)
A morphoi hulk adds its Charisma modifier as a racial bonus to all its saving throws, and as an insight bonus to AC. This ability also grants morphoi hulks the Disruptive feat as a bonus feat; it also allows advanced morphoi hulks to take feats requiring the Disruptive feat, even if the creature might not otherwise qualify for the feat.

Poison (Ex)
Bite—injury; save Fort DC 19; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d3 Charisma damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Spore Burst (Ex)
Once per day as a move action, a morphoi hulk can release a lingering cloud of poisonous spores from its eye stalks. The cloud moves with the hulk for 5 rounds before dissipating. The spores have the same effect as the morphoi hulk’s poisonous bite, affecting any creature within 5 ft. Anyone entering the cloud or standing within its area of effect on their turn must make a Fortitude save or suffer the poison’s effects. This effect is Constitution-based, and it can be used above or below the water’s surface. The cloud only lasts for 3 rounds underwater.

The towering and stoic hulks appeared on Morphoi and several other islands in the Western Ocean centuries ago. Dubbed the Morphoi hulks by the islands’ populace, these creatures, whose true name has been long forgotten, claim a now-dead civilization summoned them to battle the neh-thalggu, the hulks’ natural enemies, after the sorcerer aberrations invaded Midgard in their living ships. Unfortunately for the hulks, their summoners tasked them with the complete eradication of the neh-thalggu insurgents, and this duty has yet to be fulfilled; thus, they remain bound to Midgard. The Morphoi hulks have been on the plane so long now that they have acclimated to it and are considered natives.

Several times a year, the hulks go on hunting rampages, scouring Morphoi and other isles for neh-thalggu, but, in fact, they delight in killing anything unlucky enough to cross their path. When not seeking neh-thalggu foes, the Morphoi hulks keep to themselves, building tunnel warrens and chambers of coral and resin (created with their saliva) in shallow lagoons.

Fulfill your sense of adventure by hopping on board the Journeys to the West Kickstarter project. We’re still accepting crewmembers.

(This post is Product Identity.)

11 Replies to "Journeys to the West: The Isle of Morphoi and Its Creatures (Part 4)"

BrianLiberge

December 6, 2011 at 7:08am

Cool! I love the fact that most of the time they’re relatively peaceful.

Kobold Quarterly

December 6, 2011 at 10:22am

Except, of course, when they are not!

Kobold Quarterly

December 6, 2011 at 5:00pm

I’m a little weirded out by the spores released from eye stalks. It’s gross, but it also doesn’t make a ton of sense.

Mushrooms have stalks and spores, but not eyes. Crabs have eyes and stalks but not spores.

Seems a weird blend of sources.

xellos

December 6, 2011 at 6:20pm

Perhaps it’s how they cry. =P

Christina Stiles

December 6, 2011 at 8:00pm

I put that eye stalk spore site in there, thinking it’d be odd but cool place to take advantage of the ability Ben created. Do you want the site changed, or do you think they should not have spores?

Wolfgang

December 6, 2011 at 10:30pm

Oh, I think they could have spores. I’m trying to figure out how eyes generate them.

Honestly, my own love of mycology is totally tripped me up and I’m clearly overthinking it… Spores are so specific to reproduction, and eyes are so poorly suited to producing them, and really, crabs that grow from spores…?

When what’s important is that they are giant extraplanar crab men and I should worry less about their love lives. :)

BrianLiberge

December 7, 2011 at 6:31am

They are originally abberations right?

einherjar

December 7, 2011 at 12:34pm

Great to see crustacean-beasts! A great write-up with a nice mix of abilities to fulfill it’s niche and purpose. I’m not totally won over by the depiction – the colours are good, but the scale exoskeleton is not as clear. I’d also like to see the second set of grappling arms enlarged and the locomotive limbs more crablike and less humanoid. Still, it is a hulk, so it does look like a hulking brute…

AmbySlaad

December 7, 2011 at 7:24pm

Well, there are parasites that infest snail eyestalks driving them to get eaten by birds. Maybe the fungus was originally a parasite in the proto-hulks, then they developed a symbiosis, and eventually became one organism.

PW_Shea

December 15, 2011 at 11:59am

What if their entire head is covered in this fungus? What if it’s a fungus that feeds on the morphoi hulk’s unique physiology and is therefore unique to the hulk (a mutation in what was otherwise non-threatening, perfectly safe fungi)? What if it is a source of constant irritation and pain to the hulk? What if it “releases” the spores by using its claws and eyestalks (especially the latter as they are closer, more flexible and therefore better suited for the task) to “wipe” off the spores?

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