Shrieking Terror, Five-Headed (CR 10)

Medium Aberration (Extraplanar)
Alignment: Always neutral evil
Initiative: +8 (+4 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative); Senses: darkvision 60 ft., Listen +5, and Spot +14
Languages: Infernal


AC: 21 (+4 Dex, +7 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 17
Hit Dice: 15d8+30 (97 hp)
Fort +9, Ref +11, Will +12
Speed: Fly 40 ft. (good)
Space: 5 ft./5 ft.
Base Attack +11; Grapple +12
Attack: 5 bites +16 melee
Full Attack: 5 bites +16 melee
Damage: Bite 1d6+1 plus poison
Special Attacks/Actions: Kiss, poison, pounce, shriek
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 18, Con 15, Int 5, Wis 12, Cha 8
Special Qualities: fast healing 5
Feats: Combat Reflexes; Great Fortitude; Improved Initiative; Iron Will; Lightning Reflexes; Weapon Finesse; Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills: Hide +7, Listen +5, Move Silently +6, and Spot +14
Advancement: 16-19 HD (Medium); 20-30 HD (large)
Climate/Terrain: Tarterian Depths of Carceri
Organization: Solitary, cluster (2-5), or mob (6-11)
Treasure: None

Source: Monster Manual III

Combat

A shrieking terror generally begins combat by using its shriek ability. It then selects a paralyzed foe as its first victim, and one or two heads kiss it while the other three or four either attack any active foes that come near, or use their shriek ability defensively.

A shrieking terror can be killed by severing all its heads or by slaying its body. To sever a head, an opponent must make a successful sunder attempt with a slashing weapon. (The player should declare where the attack is aimed, either at the body or at a head, before making the attack roll.) An opponent can strike at a shrieking terror's heads from any position in which he could strike at the shrieking terror's body, because the monster's heads writhe and whip about during combat. An opponent can ready an action to attempt to sunder a shrieking terror's head when the creature bites at him.

Each of a shrieking terror's heads has hit points equal to the creature's full normal hit point total divided by 10. For example, if a shrieking terror has 97 hit points, 9 or more points of damage severs a head (97 + 10 = 9.7, rounded down to 9). losing a head deals damage to the body equal to the head's full normal hit points. After a head is severed, a natural reflex seals the neck shut to prevent further blood loss. A shrieking terror can no longer attack with a severed head but takes no other penalties.

Each time a head is severed, two new heads spring from the stump in 1d4 rounds. A shrieking terror can never have more than ten heads at any one time, and any extra heads it gains beyond its original number wither and die within a day. To prevent the stump from growing two new heads, at least 5 points of fire or acid damage must be dealt to the stump (requiring a touch attack to hit) before the new heads appear. A flaming weapon (or similar effect) deals its energy damage to the stump in the same blow in which a head is severed. Fire or acid damage from an area effect (such as a fireball spell or dragon breath) may burn multiple stumps in addition to dealing damage to the shrieking terror's body. A shrieking terror does not die from losing its heads until all its heads have been cut off and the stumps seared by fire or acid.

A shrieking terror's body can be slain just like any other creature's, but shrieking terrors possess fast healing and are difficult to defeat in this fashion. Any attack that is not (or cannot be) an attempt to sunder a head affects the body. For example, area effects deal damage to a shrieking terror's body, not to its heads. Targeted magical effects cannot sever a shrieking terror's heads (and thus must be directed at the body) unless they deal slashing damage and could be used to make sunder attempts.

Kiss (Su): Each head of a shrieking terror can kiss a paralyzed target with a successful melee touch attack (attack bonus +15). An affected opponent must succeed on a DC 23 Fortitude save or begin a terrible transformation that turns the creature into a vargouille within 24 hours (and often much sooner; roll 1d6 separately for each phase of the transformation). First, over a period of 1d6 hours, all the victim's hair falls out. Within another 1d6 hours thereafter, the ears grow into leathery wings, tentacles sprout on the chin and scalp, and the teeth become long, pointed fangs. During the next 1d6 hours, the victim takes 1 point of Intelligence drain and 1 point of Charisma drain per hour (to a minimum score of 3 in each ability).

The transformation is complete 1d6 hours later, when the head breaks free of the body (which promptly dies) and becomes a vargouille. This transformation is interrupted by sunlight, and even a daylight spell can delay death, but to reverse the transformation requires a remove disease spell or similar effect. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +4 racial bonus.

Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 19 or be unable to heal the shrieking terror's bite damage naturally or magically. A neutralize poison or heal spell removes the effect, while delay poison allows magical healing. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Pounce (Ex): If a shrieking terror moves or charges a foe in a round, it can still make a full attack with all its heads at no penalty.

Shriek (Su): As a full-round action, a shrieking terror can open its distended mouths and let our a terrible sound. Anyone within 60 feet (except other shrieking terrors and vargouilles) that hears this shriek and can clearly see the creature must succeed on a DC 24 Fortitude save or be paralyzed with fear for 2d4 rounds or until the monster attacks the target, moves out of range, or blocks the target's line of sight to it. A paralyzed creature is susceptible to the shrieking terror's kiss (see above). A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by the same terror's shriek for 24 hours. The shriek is a mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +1 racial bonus for each of its heads. (If a shrieking terror gains or loses heads, the save DC changes accordingly.)

Skills: A shrieking terror has a +2 racial bonus on listen checks and Spot checks, thanks to its multiple heads. (This bonus is negated if the creature is reduced to one head.)

Extraplanar Subtype

A subtype applied to any creature when it is on a plane other than its native plane. A creature that travels the planes can gain or lose this subtype as it goes from plane to plane. This book assumes that encounters with creatures take place on the Material Plane, and every creature whose native plane is not the Material Plane has the extraplanar subtype (but would not have when on its home plane). An extraplanar creatures usually has a home plane mentioned in its description. These home planes are taken from the Great Wheel cosmology of the D&D game (see Chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master's Guide). If your campaign uses a different cosmology, you will need to assign different home planes to extraplanar creatures.

Creatures not labeled as extraplanar are natives of the Material Plane, and they gain the extraplanar subtype if they leave the Material Plane. No creature has the extraplanar subtype when it is on a transitive plane; the transitive planes in the D&D cosmology are the Astral Plane, the Ethereal Plane, and the Plane of Shadow.