Hit Dice: 6d8+30 (57 hp)
Speed: 30 ft.
AC: 19 (-2 size, +1 Dex, +10 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 18
Attacks: Tail slam +10 melee, or death ray +3 ranged touch
Damage: Tail slam 1d6+12 plus stun
Face/Reach: 15 ft. /10 ft.
Special Attacks: Death ray, stun
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., scent
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +3, Will +6
Abilities: Str 26, Dex 13, Con 21, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 8
Skills: Jump +10, Listen +3, Spot +3, Survival +4
Feats: Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Power Attack
Climate/Terrain: Any marsh
Organization: Solitary, pair, or family (3)
Challenge Rating: 6
Treasure: 1/10 coins, 50% goods, 50% items
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 7-12 HD (Huge); 13-18 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment: -
The catoblepas is a bizarre, loathsome creature that inhabits dismal swamps and marshes. It is thought to be the result of a magical experiment gone terribly wrong. Though it hunts for meat only occasionally, the creature’s deadly nature is legendary.
The body of a catoblepas resembles that of a bloated buffalo, and its legs are stumpy, like those of a pygmy elephant or a hippopotamus. Its muscular tail, which it can move with blinding speed, ends in a chitinous knob. The head is perched upon a long, weak neck that can barely support its weight, so the creature tends to hold its head very low to the ground. The face looks like that of a warthog, but uglier.
Catoblepases mate for life, and when more than one is encountered, the group is either a mated pair or (10% chance) a family consisting of a mated pair with a single offspring. The juvenile catoblepas in such a group has 3d8+15 HD (28 hp) and does not fight, nor does it have any of the adult creature’s special attacks.
Catoblepases do not collect treasure. Any valuables in their vicinity are there because previous victims dropped them. The creature’s lair is usually an area that offers both shelter and firm ground, hidden by tall reeds or marsh grasses that the catoblepas is canny enough not to consume. An adult catoblepas has little to fear from other marsh denizens, but its young are vulnerable to predators.
Normally, the catoblepas is a meandering grazer, wandering the marsh in search of the most succulent grasses and weeds. But once a month, usually under the light of a full moon, it hunts for meat to round out its diet of reeds and grasses. Usually it dines on easy prey such as fish, marsh birds, eels, rats, large amphibians, snakes, and other marsh animals during this period, but it is willing to hunt larger creatures if necessary.
The creature makes full use of its reach when attacking with its tail and it never tries to engage more than one enemy at a time. It usually reserves its death ray attack for self-defence. A pair of catoblepases tries to flank a single target and slay it before moving on to another.
Death Ray (Su): The catoblepas can project a thin, green ray up to 160 feet from its bloodshot eyes. Any living creature struck by this ray must make a Fortitude save (DC 18) or die instantly. Even on a success, the target takes 5d6 points of damage. After striking one target, the ray dissipates, and the attack cannot be used again for 1d4 rounds.
Stun (Ex): Any living creature struck by the catoblepas’s tail must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 18) or be stunned for 1 round. (A stunned character cannot act and loses any Dexterity bonus to Armour Class. An attacker gets a +2 bonus on attack rolls against a stunned opponent.) Success indicates that the target takes only the normal damage for the attack.