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Dhole

Dhole CR 25

This truly gigantic, miles-long worm horror with a huge engulfing mouth bursts through the world’s crust with earthquake-inducing force.

XP 1,638,400
CN Colossal magical beast
Init +3; Senses blindsense 6 miles, tremorsense 600 ft.; Perception +46

DEFENSE

AC 43, touch 1, flat-footed 43 (–1 Dex, +42 natural, –8 size)
hp 561 (34d10+374)
Fort +32, Ref +20, Will +22
Defensive Abilities blind, compression; DR 15/—; Immune acid, cold, fire, gaze weapons, magical control, paralysis, poison, sight-based attacks, sleep, stun; SR 36

OFFENSE

Speed 100 ft., burrow 100 ft.
Melee bite +46 (8d6+30/19–20 plus grab), slam +46 (8d8+30/19–20 plus grab)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 90 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon, constrict (10d6+30), devastation, overwhelming strength, swallow whole (20d6 bludgeoning damage and 20d10 acid damage, AC 31, 56 hp), trample (10d8, DC 47), tremor

TACTICS

Dholes are unfazed by extreme temperatures and are not harmed by the strongest poisons or acid. They can burrow through the earth at an incredible speed, creating an environmental hazard as much as presenting a combat challenge. They prefer to spit on smaller foes from miles away or simply roll over them, reserving bites and grappling for enemies of comparable size to themselves.

STATISTICS

Str 50, Dex 8, Con 32, Int 3, Wis 29, Cha 27
Base Atk +34; CMB +62 (+66 bull rush, +64 sunder); CMD 71 (73 vs. bull rush, 73 vs. sunder, can’t be tripped)
Feats Awesome Blow, Critical Focus, Great Fortitude, Greater Bull Rush, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Critical (slam), Improved Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Improved Iron Will, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Staggering Critical, Vital Strike
Skills Perception +46
Languages Aklo (rarely speaks)
SQ massive

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Blind (Ex)

A dhole is blind, and senses through its tremorsense ability and its incredible blindsense (although it generally only needs to use the latter to target its breath weapon). It is invulnerable to all sight-based effects and attacks, including gaze attacks.

Breath Weapon (Su)

Once every minute, a dhole can expel a prodigious amount of thick acidic slime from its gullet. This breath weapon has a range of 6 miles, and creates an 80-foot-diameter spread of slime in its targeted area. A creature within this area must make a successful DC 38 Reflex save or take 20d10 points of acid damage. A successful save reduces the damage to 10d10.

In addition, a creature within this area must succeed at a DC 38 Fortitude save or be stunned for 1d6 rounds. The slime transforms the area it coats into difficult terrain.

Furthermore, all creatures in the area of effect or creatures that attempt to enter the area must succeed at a DC 29 Reflex save or be entangled by the slime. The slime’s acid weakens considerably after the initial strike: each round a creature remains entangled by dhole slime, or ends its turn within the area of difficult terrain created by the slime, that creature takes 2d6 points of acid damage.

Dhole slime persists for 2d6 hours and dhole lairs are typically pre-caked with the stuff. A dhole can move through dhole slime without penalty. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Devastation (Ex)

As a full round action, a dhole can assault a structure, dealing 20d6+30 points of damage.

Immune to Magical Control (Ex)

A dhole is immune to nearly all forms of mind control, including all charm monster, suggestion, and dominate monster spells. It is similarly immune to magic jar and possession attempts.

Confusion and other mind-affecting effects that don’t allow another creature to control a dhole directly work normally. Rare effects that allow a creature to manipulate the exact effects of confusion on a creature provide one of the few ways to magically control a dhole, essentially pushing it in a particular direction. Other methods, particularly those tied to strange and powerful artifacts, may work normally (GM’s discretion).

Massive (Ex)

Because dholes are so massive, uneven ground and other terrain features that form difficult terrain generally pose no significant hindrance to a dhole’s movement, though areas of forest or settlements are considered difficult terrain to a dhole. A Huge or smaller creature can move through any square occupied by a dhole, or vice-versa. A dhole can make attacks of opportunity only against foes that are Huge or larger, and can be flanked only by Huge or larger foes. A dhole gains a bonus for being on higher ground only if its entire space is on higher ground than that of its target.

It’s possible for a Huge or smaller creature to climb a dhole: this generally requires a successful DC 30 Climb check, and unlike the normal rules above about dholes and attacks of opportunity, a Small or larger creature that climbs on a dhole’s body provokes an attack of opportunity from the monster (typically a slam attack).

Overwhelming Strength (Ex)

A dhole always applies 1-1/2 times its Strength modifier on all natural weapon attacks.

Tremor (Ex)

Each round in which a dhole uses its burrow speed to travel at least 50 feet, it affects the area through which it burrows as if by an earthquake spell (a dhole that moves slower than this still causes the ground to rumble, but not significantly enough to emulate an earthquake). This earthquake affects an area equal to the space the dhole moved through and to a 60 foot-radius around that area.

ECOLOGY

Environment any underground
Organization solitary
Treasure incidental

Dholes are enormous maggot-like beings which literally hollow out entire worlds, ultimately destroying them.

The inhabitants of worlds infested by dholes typically focus largely on spells and anti-dhole tactics in an effort to slow their worlds’ destruction. Almost always, this effort ultimately fails, though dogged defense can often hold off a world’s fate for centuries or even millennia. Truly gigantic, dholes can grow up to miles in length and weigh hundreds of thousands or millions of tons. Even the Great Old Ones think twice before meddling with these supreme worms.

Dhole reproduction follows a bizarre generation alternation method, which is how they travel from planet to planet. When a dhole gives birth, its new larva does not appear in the material plane; instead, it emerges in the Dreamlands as a bhole hatchling. This creature lives and grows in the Dreamlands until it becomes an adult bhole. At that point, it gives birth to a cluster of larvae in the material universe, typically at the heart of a planet or in an area already infested by dholes, to assist in finishing off a world they have invaded. These offspring are dhole hatchlings.

The terrifying reality of this method of reproduction is that there is no way to prevent dholes from attacking a given world. They don’t travel to it from space: they simply appear within it, at the whim of a monstrous Dreamlands creature.

Dholes can survive in the magma deep under the world and in the iron core of planets. They cool off this core as they burrow, weakening the planet and eventually causing the core to solidify. The dholes generate huge tunnels and earthquakes as they burrow, causing amazing destruction that should terrify any mortal.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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