From a distance this creature resembles a giant snapping turtle. It has a peaked and craggy shell from which protrude four long fins and a scowling head at the end of a long neck. Rather than a turtle’s head, however, this creature’s head has irrefutably shark-like features. It has round, black eyes and a gaping maw filled with rows of razor sharp teeth.
Stygian Turtle-Shark CR 12
Speed 10 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +23 (4d8+12/19-20 plus grab), slam +22 (2d6+12)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks capsize, smite good, swallow whole (2d6+12 plus 2d6 acid damage, AC 18, 17 hp)
A Stygian turtle-shark normally begins combat using its Power Attack feat. If it grabs an opponent in its mouth it is just as likely to swallow it as it is to dive as deep in the water as it can in an effort to drown its prey.
Str 34, Dex 16, Con 25, Int 3, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +14; CMB +30 (+34 grapple); CMD 43
Feats Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Critical (bite), Iron Will, Power Attack, Swim-by Attack, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Perception +17 Swim +20
A turtle-shark can attempt to capsize a boat or ship by ramming it as a charge attack and making a CMB check. The DC of this check is 25, or the result of the captain’s Profession (sailor) check, whichever is higher. For each size category larger than the turtle-shark’s size, it takes a cumulative -10 penalty on this CMB check.
If severely threatened, a turtle-shark can completely withdraw into its shell, leaving it almost completely impervious to attack. When withdrawn, a turtle-shark gains a +8 bonus to its Armor Class and a +4 bonus on Reflex saves.
Once per day, the creature may smite a good-aligned creature. As a swift action, the creature chooses one target within sight to smite. If this target is good, the creature adds its Charisma bonus (if any) to attack rolls and gains a damage bonus equal to its HD against that foe. This effect persists until the target is dead or the creature rests.
Environment River Styx
This fiendish monster is likely to be encountered when adventurers are crossing or journeying near the RiverStyx as it winds through the underworld. Swimming lazily through the mind-poisoning waters of the river, the Stygian turtle-shark spends much of its time hunting other natives of the river, though the occasional adventurer who happens to fall into the river or wander to close to its shore makes just as tasty a meal.
Charon, charonadaemons, and various demon lords often employ these monsters as guards.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Stygian Turtle-Shark from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author Erica Balsley.