Spirit Centipede

More Oriental Adventure Monsters – inspired by Nioh and Japanese Mythology.

DESCRIPTION

              “Spirit Centipede” by Matt Cavota

The spirit centipede ( a giant centipede with the yokai template) is a poisonous shapeshifter that frequently administers punishments on behalf of the Celestial Bureaucracy. The creature resembles an enormous centipede about 4 feet long, complete with a segmented body, multiple legs, and two long feelers. However, it has a human face with a bald head, bushy moustache, and nine eyes evenly distributed about its head. The chitinous shell covering the length of its body alternates segments of green, scarlet, and silver.

The spirit centipede can utter simple phrases in Common, as well as in languages common to the area it inhabits and Spirit Tongue (Kami).

Combat: The greater spirit centipede can freely shapeshift between five forms, each representing one of the Five Venoms originally identified by the great Wa scholar Hujiiko Jiriki (All Medium sized versions of the following creatures with the yokai template applied – centipede, scorpion, snake, spider, and toad). Shapeshifting is an action.

All five forms are about the same colour and size and gain the additional action to cough up a black fog cloud with a 15’ diameter sphere with additional effects based on the creature’s form (otherwise treat it as a stinking cloud spell with a recharge of 6).

As detailed below, movement rates and black cloud attacks vary between forms. Though the centipede can shapeshift an unlimited of times per day, it only can use a given fog cloud attack three times per day. Victims must contact the cloud to suffer its effects. (The creature itself is immune.) All effects are cumulative.

  • Centipede. Victims must save vs. paralyzation or become immobile for the next 2-8 (2d4) rounds.
  • Scorpion. Victims must save vs. spells. Failure means their vision is blurred for the next 2-8 (2d4) rounds. During that time, they suffer a -4 penalty to all to-hit rolls.
  • Snake. Victims suffer 1-10 hit points of poison damage. A successful saving throw vs. poison cuts this damage in half.
  • Spider. Victims are affected as if by a pain spell (Dexterity and Strength are reduced to 3, -3 penalty on to hit rolls, -1 on damage rolls, -3 on reaction attacking adjustment, +4 on reaction defensive adjustment) for the next 2-8 (2d4) rounds. A successful saving throw vs. spells negates this effect.
  • Toad. Victims immediately fall into a deathlike coma for 1-6 turns. A successful saving throw vs. death magic negates this effect.

Habitat/Society

Spirit centipedes have no permanent lairs. They roam from place to place in search of food, or travel as directed by the Celestial Bureaucracy to punish heretics or the unworthy.

Ecology

All spirit centipedes can eat most inorganic objects, but they have a special taste for minerals. When freely given, and kept in an earthenware jar inside a building, a scale from a greater spirit centipede has the same properties as a charm of protection from disease.

Lesser Spirit Centipede

                   (c) TSR 2e Monstrous Compendium

The lesser spirit centipede is a smaller (Small) version of the greater spirit centipede, with a few changes. Its chitinous shell is entirely black. Its shapeshifting is limited to three forms: centipede, snake, and toad. Its fog clouds work the same, except the region of effect is reduced to a 10-foot diameter. Regardless of its current form, if a lesser spirit centipede crawls over the body of an ailing person, it mimics a cure disease spell.

Least Spirit Centipede

The least spirit centipede is a small (Tiny) version of the lesser spirit centipede, with a few changes. Its chitinous shell is entirely white. It can shapeshift only between two forms : centipede and toad. Its fog clouds work the same, except the diameter of the cloud is reduced to 5 feet. A spirit centipede may give its reincarnation as a favor or to repay a debt of honor. When it dies under these conditions, the creature’s body turns to brass. The brass body works as a charm of protection from spirits when hung inside a building.


Example Spirit Centipede:

COVETOUS SHEN PUNISHER OF THE GREEDY
Medium beast (yokai), lawful neutral

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 5 (1d8 + 1)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
STR   DEX     CON     INT   WIS   CHA
5 (-3) 14 (+2) 12 (+1) 10 (+0)  7 (-2)  3 (-4)
Damage Resistance bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren’t crystal
Senses Blindsight 30 ft., Passive Perception 8
Languages Common, Spirit Tongue
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)
Ethereal Sight. The yokai can see 60 feet into the Ethereal Plane.
ACTIONS

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or take 10 (3d6) poison damage. If the poison damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the target is stable but poisoned for 1 hour, even after regaining hit points, and is paralyzed while poisoned in this way.

Black Fog Cloud (Recharge 6). The spirit centipede exhales a 15- foot cone of paralysing smoke. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or be paralysed for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Change Shape. The spirit centipede magically polymorphs into a Tiny, Small or Medium scorpion, snake, spider, or toad, or back into its true form. It retains its Int, Wis and Cha scores and its Black Fog Cloud action changes based on the creature it shifted into:

  • Scorpion. The spirit scorpion exhales a 15- foot cone of blinding dust. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or be blinded for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
  • Snake. The spirit snake exhales a 15- foot cone of poison gas. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw, taking 5 (2d4) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The target is also poisoned for 1 minute on a failed save. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
  • Spider. The spirit spider exhales a 15- foot cone of pain gas. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or have disadvantage on all attack rolls, ability and skill checks and saving throws for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
  • Toad. The spirit toad exhales a 15- foot cone of cloying gas. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 10 Charisma saving throw or become unconscious for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

 


THE MUKABE – THE GREAT CENTIPEDE
Huge monstrosity (yokai), lawful neutral

Armor Class 17 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points 168 (16d12 + 64)
Speed 50 ft., climb 40 ft.
STR      DEX     CON     INT      WIS     CHA
23 (+6) 16 (+3) 18 (+4) 10 (+2) 14 (+2) 12 (+1)
Skills Perception +6, Stealth +7
Damage Resistance bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren’t crystal
Damage Immunities poison
Senses Darkvision 90 ft., Passive Perception 16
Languages Common, Spirit Tongue
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)
Ethereal Sight. Mukabe can see 60 feet into the Ethereal Plane.
ACTIONS

Multiattack. Mukabe makes two attacks: one with its chomp and one head bash.

Chomp. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10 + 6) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or take 17 (5d6) poison damage. If the poison damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the target is stable but poisoned for 1 hour, even after regaining hit points, and is paralyzed while poisoned in this way.

Head Bash. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: 17 (2d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage plus 17 (2d10 + 6) force damage to all creatures within 10 feet of the target. Even on a miss the force damage is still applied.

Breath Weapons (Recharge 5–6). Mukabe uses one of the following breath weapons.

  • Poison Spew (Recharge 5–6). Mukabe exhales a line of poison that is 20 feet long and 5 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, taking 66 (12d10) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
  • Paralysing Spit. Mukabe exhales paralysing gas in a 20-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or become paralysed for 1 minute (save ends). This effect ends for a creature if the creature takes damage.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS
Mukabe 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. Mukabe regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

  • Rock Puke. Ranged Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, range 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 28 (4d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage.
  • Swallow. Mukabe makes one bite attack against a Medium or smaller target. If the attack hits, the target is also swallowed, and the grapple ends. While swallowed, the target is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside Mukabe, and it takes 21 (6d6) acid damage at the start of each of the Mukabe’s turns. Mukabe can have only one creature swallowed at a time. If Mukabe takes 30 damage or more on a single turn from the swallowed creature, he must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate the creature, which falls prone in a space within 10 feet of him. If Mukabe dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by him and can escape from the corpse by using 15 feet of movement, exiting prone.

Banner Credit: Nioh by Team Ninja (screenshot)