Arboreal Kraken – a 4th/5th ed. menace

Inky black, this huge squid plies the upper canopy with a gas filled bladder, strong tentacles, and a voracious appetite. A shadow and the crack of branches draw the eyes up, into the gaping maw of terror.

D&D 4th Edition stat block

Level 12 Brute
Gargantuan Aberrant Beast
700 XP

Initiative +9 Senses Perception +16
HP 154; Bloodied 77
AC 24; Fortitude 29, Reflex 23, Will 23
Vulnerable to Fire
Speed 8

Tentacle slap (standard; at-will) * Tentacle
Reach 2; +15 vs AC; 3d6 + 5 damage

Snag and Squeeze (standard; recharge 56) * grapple
Reach 2; +13 vs Reflex; 4d10 + 5 damage. Reaches out with short tentacle, grabs, and pulps.

Alignment: Evil Languages: Sylvan
Skills: Athletics +12
Str 28 (+15) Dex 16 (+9) Wis 16 (+9)
Con 24 (+13) Int 10 (+6) Cha 14 (+8)

D&d 5th edition stat block

Gargantuan Aberrant Beast, neutral evil

Armor Class 18 (Natural Armor)

HP 365 (16d20+189)

Speed: 20 ft., flight 60 ft.

STR 30 (+10) DEX 11 (+0) CON 25 (+7)

INT 10 (+0) WIS 18 (+4) CHA 20 (+5)

Skills: Stealth +4, Perception +4

Saving Throws Str +18 Dex +8 Con +15 Int +8 Wis +12

Damage Vulnerability: fire

Damage Immunities: lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from non-magical weapons

Condition Immunities: frightened, paralyzed

Senses: truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 14

Languages: understands Sylvan but cannot speak

Challenge 16 (15,000 XP)

Freedom of Movement: the Arboreal Kraken pulls itself along through the trees with tentacles, ignoring difficult ground terrain. It can spend 5 feet of movement to escape from non-magical restraints or being grappled. Due to its buoyancy, the Arboreal Kraken avoids open terrain where it is unable to propel itself (or keep close to ground).

Actions

Multiattack The Arboreal Kraken makes three tentacle attacks, each of which it can replace with one use of Snag & Squeeze.

The Arboreal Kraken has ten tentacles, at least two of which are needed for navigation and anchoring, but the rest can be used for attacks.

Tentacle Swipe Melee Weapon Attack +15 to hit, reach 30 ft., one target. Hit 15 (3d6+5) bludgeoning damage. Adjacent targets must make a DC 20 Dex save or take half damage from the attack.

Snag and Squeeze Melee Weapon Attack +15 to hit, reach 30 ft., Hit 15 (3d6+5) and the target is grappled (escape DC 18). Next available action, the kraken squeezes, dealing an automatic 4d10+5 damage. If the kraken still has multiattack slots available for this round, they can choose to do the squeeze as a standard multiattack action rather than wait until next round.

Arboreal Kraken Tactics
Striking from the trees, and keeping out of easy melee range, the Arboreal Kraken slaps freely at targets within range, then will snag someone weak and plump for food, not ingesting until the target is dead.

Arboreal Kraken Lore
Nature 22 – A gas bladder in their abdomen helps then navigate the upper canopy of the pine barrens. They are cruel creatures with a long memory, and will stalk “the one that gets away” for days just out of spite.

Notes:
In actual play, I ambushed the party with this beasite when they were already in a running battle with Drow raiders. Though most of the party didn’t know anything about the creature, the appearance (and the terror response of the Drow) really helped seal the threat.

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