Tunnel Brute

This hideous beast appears to be some bizarre crossing of a brutal giant, such as an ogre or troll, with an insect. Although humanoid in shape, it is covered in a hard chitin. Its eyes are faceted, and its mouth boasts two pairs of mandibles, the lower larger than the upper. It hunches as it walks, its knuckles nearly dragging the floor, and a large tail with a needle-like stinger curls up above its head. A horrific, oppressive stench emanates from the creature; the air around it almost seems to simmer with the fumes.

Tunnel Brute CR 7

XP 3,200
CE Large monstrous humanoid (giant)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +11; Aura miasma of despair (15 ft. radius, DC 19)


AC 17, touch 9, flat-footed 17 (+8 natural, -1 size)
hp 84 (8d10+40)
Fort +11, Ref +6, Will +4


Speed 20 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee sting +15 (1d6+6 plus poison), 2 claws +12 (1d6+3), bite +12 (1d8+3)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks poison

Tactics While tunnel brutes are sufficiently powerful to overcome almost any foe through strength alone, they are canny enough to make use of fairly sophisticated tactics. Their favored method of attack is to lurk behind a thin layer of earth or stone, then burst out upon unsuspecting prey, leading the attack with their debilitating sting.


Str 23, Dex 11, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 13
Base Atk +8; CMB +15; CMD 25
Feats Iron Will, Multiattack, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (sting)
Skills Acrobatics +8, Climb +20, Intimidate +12, Perception +11, Stealth +8
Languages Tunnel Brute (see below), Giant


Miasma of Despair (Ex)

As the spell crushing despair, 15-ft. aura, Fortitude DC 19 negates. The effect lasts for as long as the subject remains in the area, plus 2d4 rounds. Subjects who successfully save must save again every round they remain within the area of effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Poison (Ex)

The same pheromones that create the miasma of despair effect are concentrated in the brute’s stinger as a relatively weak poison. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Sting—injury; save Fort DC 19, frequency 1/round for 6 rounds, effect 1d2 Con, cure 1 saves


Environment underground
Organization solitary, brood (2–4)
Treasure standard

The tunnel brute is only tangentially related to other giants, and even trolls give it a wide berth. They dwell deep underground, occupying existing caverns and tunneling between them with their nigh-unbreakable claws. Due to their abnormal metabolism, tunnel brutes can go for weeks without food. At the same time, they are constantly ravenous, and when the opportunity to feed arises, they gorge themselves, to better to ride out the leaner days. Anything that lives (and a few things that do not) is food to a tunnel brute; they do not negotiate, do not deal, and recognize other living creatures only as either threat or prey.

A tunnel brute stands between 8 and 9 feet tall, and is over half that in width. It weighs nearly half a ton. They are capable of burrowing through solid rock, as well as loose earth and soil, though their speed is reduced by one quarter (to 5 feet) when they do so. Tunnel brutes are covered in a hard chitin, which gives them their insectoid appearance. Colors range from black to dark blue to dull yellow to burnt umber.

Tunnel brutes communicate among themselves through a complex series of subharmonic sounds, gestures, and pheromones. These pheromones have a debilitating effect on other living beings, causing them to spiral into severe emotional lows. On the exceedingly rare occasions they address others, they speak a crude form of Giant.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Iconic Bestiary: Classics of Fantasy Copyright 2005, Lions Den Press; Author Ari Marmell

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