Plaguebrood larva are born from nightmares of disease and horror, but also are a sign of the nightmare plagues growing in power. They are also a nightmare of the monsters returning even after destruction, an endless wave of death, and from that they actually do work to sustain attacks. These larva grow and metamorphose into copies of nearby deceased aberrations, sometimes rebirthing swarms of lesser monsters and other times bringing back something great and powerful to cause more destruction even after its defeat.
These creatures are a mass of diseased flesh, red wrapped in green. A roughly spherical lump of red tissue is mostly wrapped in green flesh, and then two clumsy, malformed legs let it waddle around. In the front of its “body” is a large, red eye, though it seems to also be comprised of the same tissue that spills out of its green flesh in other spots around the orb. They can spit a thick wave of putrid fluid over short distances, but are otherwise very weak fighters and are slow, clumsy, and unintelligent. On its own, one is relatively easy to bring down with ranged attacks, but if they are allowed to gather close to aberrant corpses they can trigger their growth spontaneously, bodies splitting open to spill forth a wave of more dangerous horrors.
This monster is quite difficult to balance properly, and in many situations it could be quite overpowered, shifting the course of a battle drastically. In others however, if it is unable to trigger its hiveling ability, they may be simply helpless and get destroyed. This balance should be the intention of a fight with them, either with one staying in the back lines of a fight against many weak aberrations in order to try and respawn them, forcing players to attempt to bypass the front lines to take out the larva, or potentially a story fight of trying to prevent a larva from reaching the corpse of a recently destroyed powerful aberration to prevent a copy of the creature from being created. In general, players should be made aware of this creature’s ability before getting surprised by it, at least if the larva has the option of creating the maximum power of creatures it can. Their spawning ability is also a little wiggly of a feature to try and explain, so if you do use it don’t feel to bad about having to be a little hand-wavey with where the resulting creatures wind up.
Originally from the Dreamblade Anvilborn Encyclopedia.
Large aberration, unaligned
Armor Class 8
Hit Points 161 (14d10 + 84)
Speed 20 ft.
Str 14 (+2) Dex 7 (-2) Con 22 (+6) Int 4 (-3) Wis 8 (-1) Cha 6 (-2)
Damage Resistances poison
Condition Immunities blinded
Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius) passive Perception 9
Challenge 4 (1100 XP)
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6+2) bludgeoning damage.
Plague Spit (Recharge 3-6). The plaguebrood larva targets one creature it can see within 30 feet of it. That target must succeed on a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or get splattered in a diseased goo. The target takes 32 (5d12) poison damage, and must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or contract a disease. Until the disease is cured, the target is poisoned and can’t regain hit dice by completing a long rest. Every 24 hours, one of the target’s hit dice is expended. If the target has no unexpended hit dice, it instead must roll one hit die and add its Constitution modifier; it’s hit point maximum is reduced by that amount. If the target’s hit point maximum drops to 0 as a result of this disease, the target dies.
Deathswarm Hiveling. The plaguebrood larva targets the corpses of any number of aberrations within 60 feet of it whose combined CR is equal to 6 or less. The creatures must have died within the last 24 hours. It then makes a DC 17 Constitution saving throw. On a success, the plaguebrood larva is destroyed, and it creates a living copy of each of those aberrations. These copies are at half hit points, but otherwise are brand new creatures with full access to their abilities. These copies appear in the plaguebrood larva’s space, or as close as possible to it. Other creatures in those spaces may make a DC 16 Strength saving throw; on a failure, they are pushed back to give space for the copy to arrive. If there is no space for a copy to take (even squeezing), that copy fails to be created and is destroyed.
Large 4th level leader [aberration]
Slam +7 vs. ACC2A0- 12 damage
R: Plague Spit +7 vs. PD (one nearby enemy)C2A0- 18 ongoing poison damage, and the target is weakened and doesnE28099t add the escalation die to its attacks (save ends all)
Deathswarm Hiveling:C2A0As an action, the larva attempts a hard saving throw (16+), adding the escalation die to the d20. On a success, the larva is destroyed, and it creates copies of aberrations that died nearby during this battle with a combined level of 6. Large and double-strength creatures count as double their level, huge and triple-strength count as triple their level, and mooks count as 1/2 their level for the purposes of this ability. Level 0 creatures canE28099t be copied with this action. All created creatures except mooks are staggered when created, and appear from the larvaE28099s corpse.
Slow:C2A0The larva is incredibly slow. It takes two move actions for it to cover the distance of a normal move.
ACC2A016 PDC2A015 MDC2A011 HPC2A0140