November 28, 2017

Isle of Teeth

Comments from the Finger: Sorry about the late post -- the monster chapter of High Seas has consumed my weekend and kept me from writing anything substantial, so you get an excerpt from that instead. Here's one of the higher CR monsters that we're including in the book.
     Also, this one came together pretty recently, so it has gotten next to no proofreading. Feel free to point out any errors I might have made along the way!

Isle of Teeth

Plenty dismiss the Isle of Teeth as a sailor's legend, a folktale told to children about the perils of far-off seas; however, nothing could be further from the truth. Though initially the so-called 'Isle' appears to be a lone desert island, populated by a few coconut trees, this huge predator reveals itself when it rises from the waves to devour entire ships.
     Deep Origins. Even by the tremendous scale of sea serpents and oceanic dragons, the isle is colossal, and may be the largest living creatures known to man, save the legendary tarrasque and the dreaded kraken. From its clawed feet to its domed back, it's covered in bony plates, exposing very little of its pale underlying flesh. But the isle's most prominent feature is its gaping mouth which, lined with rows of enormous teeth, makes up most of its face. Unsettlingly, the isle doesn't appear to have eyes whatsoever, and detects its prey exclusively by sound. 
     Merfolk wisdom tells that the isles' true place is not at the surface of the ocean, but in its very deepest recesses. Their bony plates reinforce their bodies from the immense pressure of ocean trenches, where all light vanishes, and eyes are meaningless. For millennia, the beasts ruled the depths unchallenged, but where there is total dominance, life eventually adapts. Even larger, deadlier beasts arose in the trenches, leviathans which make sea serpents look diminutive by comparison. The surviving isles of teeth were banished to the ocean's surface, where they took hold of a ruse to capture whatever food they could.
     Boundless Appetite. Despite their size, isles of teeth need comparatively little food, for they lay dormant in an unsteady slumber until their prey wanders too close. In their sleep, they are in a constant state of hunger, wanting for more food but uneasily waiting for it to arrive. They can sleep in this manner for centuries, accumulating all manner of sand and sediment, before being awoken into a voracious rage.

Isle of Teeth
Gargantuan monstrosity (titan), unaligned

Armor Class 20 (natural armor) 
Hit Points 330 (20d20 + 120)
Speed 10 ft., swim 60 ft.

28 (+9) 
8 (-1) 
22 (+6) 
9 (-1) 
17 (+3) 
12 (+1)

Saving Throws Str +15, Dex +5, Con +12
Skills Perception +9
Damage Resistances cold, fire; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, paralyzed 
Senses blindsight 240 ft., passive Perception 19 
Challenge 18 (20,000 XP)

Legendary Resistance (1/Day). If the isle of teeth fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
Amphibious. The isle of teeth can breathe air and water.
False Appearance. While the isle of teeth remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal desert island. Diving underwater to view the isle from underneath reveals its true nature.
Siege Monster. The isle of teeth deals double damage to objects and structures.

Multiattack. The isle of teeth makes four attacks: two with its claws, one with its bite, and then it can use its Swallow or its Heave.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 31 (4d10 + 9) piercing damage.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d8 + 9) slashing damage.
Heave. The isle of teeth rears up and crashes into the water, creating a shockwave. Each creature within 15 feet of the isle of teeth must make a DC 18 Dexterity saving taking 33 (6d10) bludgeoning damage and being knocked prone on a failed save. A creature takes double damage if it is directly underneath the isle of teeth. On a successful save, a creature takes half damage and is not knocked prone.
     A ship damaged by this ability also springs 1d4 leaks.
Swallow (Recharge 4-6). The isle of teeth makes one bite attack against a Large or smaller creature. If the attack hits, the target takes the bite's damage, the target is swallowed. While swallowed, the creature is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the isle of teeth, and it takes 35 (10d6) acid damage at the start of each of the isle of teeth's turns.
     If the isle of teeth takes 40 or more damage on a single turn from a creature inside it, the isle of teeth must succeed on a DC 18 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate all swallowed creatures, which fall prone in a space within 10 feet of the isle of teeth. If the isle of teeth dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape from the corpse by using 30 feet of movement, exiting prone.

The isle of teeth can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature' s turn. The isle of teeth regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
     Bite. The isle of teeth makes one bite attack.
     Move. The isle of teeth moves up to its speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
     Heave (Costs 2 Actions). The isle of teeth uses its heave ability.

11/28/17: Heave: Ability Added
Saving Throws: Int, Wis, Cha, removed
Skills: Perception added
Multiattack: Reworked
Attack damages fixed
Legendary Actions: Swallow replaced with Heave
11/29/17: Swallow: Escape conditions reworded for consistency


  1. Who said mimics are medium?

    This seems like a pretty fun trap to use, and reminds me a bit of the Dune Mimic from the Kobold Press "tome of beasts". I do have 3 small issues with is-

    in the description it is said to have "Abyssal origins", which in D&D has a very specific connotation- demons. Maybe 'deep origins' instead?

    Why the proficiency in all saving throws? no other creature has that, and it doesn't really need.

    And perhaps the most important- the island doesn't have any unique attacks or abilities, which is a bit disappointing for a legendary creature. What about something similar to the Tarrasque's caparace? Or having some kind or odd ranged attack?

    1. Good point about the Abyss connotations. I didn't even consider that while writing; at the time, I was more concerned about not using the word 'Deep' too many times. Should work in the title, though.

      The proficiency with all saving throws was taken from the Kraken and Tarrasque, the two most comparable monsters I could draw to it. Though that being said, it's hard for me to tell if that's an aspect of them being /huge/, or them being high CR.

      And fair deal with finding a unique action or trait -- I suppose aping the tarrasque's Swallow isn't really enough to count as 'unique'. I'll think it over -- if you (or anyone else) has suggestions, I'm happy to listen to them.

    2. The Tarrasque actually has proficiency only with mental saves, and the Kraken doesn't have cha. I think it's mostly connected to the high CR. Maybe what makes most sense is the same proficiencies as the creature really closest to it, the Dragon Turtle (dex, con, wis).

      As for a unique ability...How about being able to slam itself into the water, creating a bludgeoning shockwave/tidal wave? It helps against ships, and gives it area/range damage.

      Oh, and I forgot- I think you forgot to write proficiency in perception, judging by the passive.

    3. I like that! I'll write something up.

      And yeah, I totally missed the perception proficiency. I'll fix that too.

    4. Alright -- I've added Heave, and fixed those other issues. I'm sure there's other problems hiding in here as well, since I'm a little rusty on high CR monsters, but it's definitely a start.

  2. You have the Bite and Claws both doing bludgeoning damage and while at that size it might as well be bludgeoning I still think that's wrong. From the horrifying pictures I've seen of Turtle teeth the Bite should most definitely do Piercing damage and claws of any size should thematically deal slashing right?

    1. Yeah, that's 100% a copypasta error -- I'll fix it soon.

  3. Another thing that is kind of bugging me, the way that Swallow is worded makes it sound like it makes an additional Bite attack. Is that right?

    1. That's correct. That leads me to something else I've been meaning to fix: the multiattack shouldn't give the option between a Swallow, Bite, and Heave -- it should just offer Swallow or Heave.

    2. You mean Claw? Because that bugged me too. The weird extra Claw attack at the end didn't make a lot of sense.

    3. Right -- I'm revising it to:

      Multiattack. The isle of teeth makes four attacks: two with its claws, one with its bite, and then it can use its Swallow or its Heave.

    4. Something else, I think Heave would make more sense as a Legendary Action than Swallow since Swallow has a Recharge.

    5. Yeah, I agree with that -- good change.

    6. So is there gonna be a Wednesday post or are we doing Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday this week?

    7. I'm working on it now, but yeah, I realize that I've been really behind this week. High Seas has really been kicking my ass.

  4. So using this in my pirate campaign

  5. Shouldn't Swallow read "If the isle of teeth takes 40 or more damage on a single turn from a creature inside it..." so as to stay consistent with other creatures' Swallow abilities?

  6. i think it should get all three of its legendary reistances. i dont like the idea of this creature failing B-master stuff