A marsh inhabited by a swamp lord is always a dangerous place, thick with entangling vines and sucking quicksand, and it quickly gains a dark reputation throughout the nearby lands. Sometimes, the geography of such a swamp changes overnight, becoming unfamiliar even to longtime neighbors and inhabitants. Worse still, such places are often sucking graveyards that hide the bones of victims drowned, suffocated, or strangled by the swamp lords that hold sway there.
A swamp lord is an evil plant creature that inhabits a fen or quagmire. Its body—a mass of vines, moss, and pond scum—gives it excellent camouflage for moving about its domain. The swamp feeds and cares for the swamp lord, and the creature guards this resource jealously. A swamp lord always seeks to be the dominant power in the watery land it inhabits. It demands the allegiance of any thinking beings that live in its domain, and harries those who refuse its leadership until they leave.
“Swamp Lord” is an inherited template that can be applied to any living or undead corporeal creature whose Intelligence and Charisma scores are each at least 3 (hereafter referred to as the base creature). A swamp lord creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +2.
Alignment: Any evil.
Type: The creature’s type changes to plant with the appropriate augmented subtype, plus the aquatic subtype if the base creature did not already have it. Do not recalculate base attack bonuses or saves.
Armor Class: Natural armor class improves by +2.
Hit Dice: Change all of the base creature’s racial HD to d8s.
Defensive Abilities: A swamp lord gains electricity, fire, and sonic resistance 10. Additionally, it gains fast healing 5 when in a marsh.
Speed: Each of a swamp lord’s speeds is slower by 10 feet than the corresponding speed of the base creature (minimum 5 feet). If the base creature lacks a land speed, the swamp lord gains a land speed 10 feet slower than the base creature’s highest speed. If the swamp lord lacks a climb speed or a swim speed, the swamp lord gains the missing mode of movement at a speed equal to its modified land speed.
Attacks: A swamp lord gains two tentacle attacks with the grab universal ability in addition to any attacks the base creature has. If it has other natural attacks, it must choose upon creation whether the tentacles are primary or secondary attacks. It cannot thereafter change that decision. The swamp lord’s tentacles attacks deal damage based on size as an attack of one size category larger.
Reach: Each of the swamp lord’s tentacle attacks has a reach 5 feet longer than the base creature’s normal reach.
Spell-like Abilities: A swamp lord gains spell-like abilities according to its total Hit Dice, as indicated on Table 2-39. These abilities are cumulative. Caster level equals swamp lord’s total Hit Dice. The save DCs are Charisma-based.
|Total HD||Spell-Like Abilities|
|1-2||2/day—entangle, obscuring mist|
|5-6||1/day—fog cloud, soften earth and stone|
|7-8||1/day—plant growth, quench|
|13-14||1/day—wall of thorns|
Abilities: Str +4, Dex –2 (minimum 1), Con +4. If the base creature has no Constitution score it does not gain one.
Skills: A swamp lord has a +5 racial bonus on Knowledge (nature), Perception, Stealth, and Survival checks, as well as a +10 racial bonus on Escape Artist checks. Furthermore, a swamp lord may use Knowledge (nature) as though trained. When in a marsh or forest, a swamp lord gains an additional +10 racial bonus (for a total of +15) on Stealth checks.
Special Qualities: A swamp lord retains all the base creature’s special qualities and gains the amphibious special quality as well as those described here.
At will, the swamp lord can learn facts about the entire marsh it is in, and the surrounding territory, as though it had cast commune with nature.
A swamp lord leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. It may choose to leave a trail if it desires.
Advanced Bestiary, Copyright 2014, Green Ronin Publishing, LLC; Author Jeff Hersh, Developer Owen K.C. Stephens