Crawling Head (CR 20)
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Initiative: +6 (+2 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative); Senses: darkvision (60-foot range) and Spot +35
AC: 12 (+2 size, -2 Dex, +6 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 12
Hit Dice: 28d12 (182 hp); DR: 35/epic
Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +20
Speed: 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Space: 15 ft./10 ft.
Base Attack +14; Grapple +32
Attack: Bite +23 melee
Full Attack: Bite +23 melee and 4 tentacles +17 melee
Damage: Bite 2d6+10/19-20, tentacle 1d8+5
Special Attacks/Actions: Cacophony, constrict 1d8+5, improved grab, spell-like abilities, vorpal bite
Abilities: Str 30, Dex 7, Con -, Int 20, Wis 19, Cha 25
Special Qualities: Absorb head, electricity immunity, sonic immunity, SR 31, true seeing, undead traits, water vulnerability
Feats: Cleave; Combat Expertise; Great Cleave; Improved Critical (bite); Improved Disarm; Improved Initiative; Improved Trip; Power Attack; Spell Penetration; Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills: Climb +49, Concentration +38, Knowledge (arcana) +36, Knowledge (religion) +36, Search +36, Spellcraft +38 (+40 deciphering scrolls), Spot +35, Survival +4 (+6 following tracks), and Use Magic Device +38 (+40 scrolls)
Advancement: 29-56 HD (Huge); 57-84 HD (Gargantuan)
Climate/Terrain: Any underground or desert
Treasure/Possessions: Standard, double items
Cacophony (Su): When a crawling head attacks, the heads stored in its body screech, howl, and cry out in pain. If a crawling head has at least ten stored heads, the horrendous noise it makes strikes fear into nearby creatures. All creatures within 60 feet of the crawling head must make a Will save each round (DC 24) or cower in fear. Cowering creatures lose their Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) and can take no actions. Foes gain a +2 bonus on their attack rolls to hit cowering creatures. This is a sonic, mind-affecting effect.
Constrict (Ex): With a successful grapple check, a crawling head can crush a grabbed opponent, dealing 1d8+5 points of bludgeoning damage.
Improved Grab (Ex): If a crawling head hits an opponent that is at least one size category smaller than itself with a tentacle attack, it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity (grapple bonus +32). If it gets a hold, it also constricts on the same round. Thereafter, the crawling head has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use its tentacles to hold the opponent (-20 penalty on grapple check, but the crawling head is not considered grappled). In either case, each successful grapple check it makes during successive rounds automatically deals tentacle and constrict damage.
Spell-like Abilities: At will - animate dead, control undead, death knell, inflict serious wounds, fear, gentle repose, shield, speak with dead; 3 day - create undead, create greater undead, finger of death, wail of the banshee. Caster level 20th; save DC 17 + spell level. As a free action once per round, a crawling head can quicken one of its spell-like abilities by absorbing one of the heads it currently stores (see the Quicken Spell-Like Ability feat).
Vorpal Bite (Ex): On a successful critical hit, a crawling head's bite attack severs the opponent's head (if it has one) from its body. Some creatures, such as golems and undead other than vampires, are not affected by the loss of their heads, but most creatures die when their heads are cut off.
Absorb Head (Su): As a free action, a crawling head can swallow the head of a Large or smaller creature that it has beheaded with its vorpal bite attack. On the following round, the victim's head becomes one of the heads stored in the creature's body. A crawling head can store a number of heads equal to its Hit Dice. It can absorb one of these heads as a free action (maximum one head per round) to quicken spell-like ability, to heal itself as if it had been targeted with a harm spell, or to grant itself a +6 enhancement bonus for 1 hour to one of its ability scores. A randomly encountered crawling head has 1d4+10 heads stored.
True Seeing (Su): A crawling head can see as if under the effect of a true seeing spell at all times.
Water Vulnerability (Ex): Water affects a crawling head in the same manner that acid affects most creatures. Water deals 1d6 points of damage to the creature per round a exposure except in the case of total immersion (such as in a deep pool of water), which deals 10d6 points of damage per round. An attack with water, such as from a hurled vial or the create water spell, counts as 1 round of exposure.
Skills: A crawling head has a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.
A crawling head uses its spells to soften up enemies before wading in to finish the job with its vicious bite and its tentacles. Most crawling heads take the time to establish intricate lairs populated with magic traps and undead guardians.
The crawling head is a horrifying undead monstrosity spawned from the severed head of a giant. A crawling head's body is a huge, bloated giant's head that has grown to enormous size. Its jaws are overdeveloped and filled with multiple rows of sharklike teeth. A seething nest of animated intestines, arteries, and veins spreads out from the head's neck, allowing the creature to slither across any surface (even vertical ones) with surprising and disturbing grace. The creature's body is severed heads that it has swallowed, each one trapped in a sac just beneath the surface of the creature's translucent skin.
An overconfident necromancer who was quickly slain by his own creation created the original crawling head ages ago. Since then, crawling heads have been slowly increasing in number in areas frequented by giants and their ilk.
A crawling head can speak Common and Giant.