Large Animal (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 3d8+9 (22 hp)
Speed: Swim 60 ft.
AC: AC: 16 (-1 size, +3 Dex. +4 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 13
Attacks: Bite +5 melee
Damage: Bite 1d8+6
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft. /10 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, swallow whole
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +2
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 16, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 9
Skills: Hide +1, Listen +5, Spot +5, Swim +12
Feats: Alertness, Dodge
Climate/Terrain: Warm aquatic
Organization: Solitary or school (20-40)
Challenge Rating: 3
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 4-6 HD (Large); 7-9 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: -
Cryptoclidus is a plesiosaur, a 10-foot-long aquatic reptile much like elasmosaurus (see the Monster Manual). Its neck isn’t as long, proportionately, as that of elasmosaurus, but the two creatures have similar ovoid bodies. Cryptoclidus propels itself through the water by "flapping" four paddle-like fins. Its tail is also finned.
Cryptoclidus normally hunts fish, darting its neck into travelling schools and snapping up prey with its sharp little teeth. However, it is capable of travelling on the surface of the water and occasionally seeks larger prey.
Improved Grab (Ex): If cryptoclidus hits an opponent that is at least one size category smaller than itself with a bite attack, it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity (grapple bonus +10). If it gets a hold, it can try to swallow the opponent. Alternatively, the cryptoclidus has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use its jaws to hold the opponent (-20 penalty on grapple check, but Cryptoclidus is not considered grappled). In either case, each successful grapple check it makes during successive rounds automatically deals bite damage.
Swallow Whole (Ex): Cryptoclidus can swallow a grabbed opponent that is at least two size categories smaller than itself by making a successful grapple check (grapple bonus +10). Once inside the gullet, the opponent takes 1d8+4 points of bludgeoning damage plus 1d6+2 points of acid damage per round from the dinosaur’s digestive juices. A successful grapple check allows the swallowed creature to climb out of the gullet and return to the mouth, where another successful grapple check is needed to get free. Alternatively, a swallowed creature can try to cut its way out with either claws or a light piercing or slashing weapon. Dealing at least 25 points of damage to the digestive tract (AC 12) in this way creates an opening large enough to permit escape. Once a single swallowed creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; thus, another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out. A Large cryptoclidus’s gullet can hold 1 Small, 4 Tiny, or 16 Diminutive or smaller opponents.