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Shoggoth, Proto-

Proto-Shoggoth CR 13

The humanoid’s skin splits apart with the nauseating sound of tearing flesh as a monstrous pink mass of pseudopods emerges through a growing rent in its skin. A mass of reeking protoplasm boils forth from the deflated human skin, which slips limply to the ground.

XP 25,600
CE Medium ooze
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +11

DEFENSE

AC 28, touch 18, flat-footed 20 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 natural)
hp 187 (15d8+120); fast healing 5
Fort +13, Ref +14, Will +13
Defensive Abilities all-around vision, amorphous; DR 10/—; Immune acid, cold, ooze traits; Resist fire 10, sonic 10; SR 24

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +22 (2d8+10 plus grab and 2d6 acid)
Special Attacks constrict (2d8+10), explosive ambush, suffocate

STATISTICS

Str 31, Dex 25, Con 26, Int 6, Wis 22, Cha 9
Base Atk +11; CMB +21; CMD 39
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Disguise), Weapon Focus (slams)
Skills Climb +18, Disguise +7 (+23 when using masquerade), Perception +11, Swim +23; Racial Modifiers +16 Disguise when using masquerade
Languages Aklo, Common
SQ compression, masquerade

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Explosive Ambush (Ex)

When a masquerading protoshoggoth attacks, it explodes from its stolen skin in a hideous assault. This destroys the stolen skin completely.

A proto-shoggoth gains a +4 bonus on its initiative check when it begins a combat in this way. A proto-shoggoth gains a +4 bonus on the attack roll, damage, and grapple check of any attack it makes in a round in which it uses explosive ambush.

Masquerade (Ex)

A proto-shoggoth can masquerade as a Medium creature as long as it has a skin to hide inside. Unless the skin is harvested within a few hours of a creature’s death or magically preserved until the proto-shoggoth puts it on, the proto-shoggoth can only masquerade as an undead version of the creature whose skin it inhabits. While worn, the proto-shoggoth maintains the skin’s integrity, and it does not decay further. A proto-shoggoth can harvest a full skin from a dead creature as a full-round action, and inhabiting a harvested skin is a standard action for a proto-shoggoth.

The proto-shoggoth cannot take violent actions (such as attacking) while wearing a skin, but it can move about normally using its own speed. If the creature it stole the skin from could climb or swim, the proto-shoggoth can climb or swim using its own climb or swim speeds, but it does not gain speeds from stolen skins (for example, it does not gain a fly speed from taking a winged humanoid’s skin).

Suffocate (Ex)

Each time a proto-shoggoth inflicts constrict damage on a creature, the proto-shoggoth has a chance to flow over the victim’s mouth and nose. If the constricted creature fails a DC 25 Reflex save, it cannot speak, cast spells with verbal components, or breathe as long as it remains grappled by the proto-shoggoth. (Use the normal rules for suffocation.) The save DC is Constitution-based.

ECOLOGY

Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or invasion (3–8)
Treasure standard

A proto-shoggoth is a creature formed from shoggothlike material: protoplasm more delicate than the standard shoggoth. They can be created in a number of ways, including by directly degenerating normal (even humanoid) tissue to a more primitive state.

Until the moment of its release, the proto-shoggoth attempts to hide its true nature encased with a humanoid skin, often wearing strong leather clothing or even armor to contain its true form. When it attacks, the humanoid form suddenly bursts open, releasing the creature like a geyser of flesh and rage.

In attacking, the proto-shoggoth typically bursts through its human skin in a surprise move, spraying itself over its intended target, and trying to suffocate and otherwise kill. Afterwards, it may gut the target, wearing its victim’s body as a shell to begin the masquerade anew.

Ecology

The term “proto-shoggoth” is something of a misnomer.

It is indeed a creature formed from shoggoth-like protoplasm, albeit far more delicate. It is less toxic and much weaker proportionally than a true shoggoth, and it also lacks the same mutational power. However, because of its greater “liquidity,” a proto-shoggoth is capable of holding a shape and masquerading as a human, at least when contained within tough clothing and the husk of a living creature. By contrast, with its power, heat, and consumptive enzymes, a true shoggoth would rapidly break through a borrowed skin. Some wicked scholars find this characteristic of a proto-shoggoth immensely useful, and they apply arcane and biological science toward creating and domesticating these entities.

A proto-shoggoth is unable to maintain as large a size as a true shoggoth, and is rarely more than a f e w hundred kilograms in mass. It does not have the brute strength of a shoggoth, and while it can strangle or burn an enemy, it does so less quickly and efficiently.

On the other hand, it can easily squeeze through a pipe or under a door, and it can also mimic the humanoid vocal apparatus with amazing accuracy.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos, © 2017, Petersen Games; Authors: Sandy Petersen, Arthur Petersen, Ian Starcher.