Swarm, Hellwasp (CR 8)

Diminutive Magical Beast (Extraplanar, Evil, and Swarm)
Alignment: Always lawful evil
Initiative: +10 (+6 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative); Senses: darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, Listen +10, and Spot +10


AC: 20 (+4 size, +6 Dex), touch 20, flat-footed 14
Hit Dice: 12d10+27 (93 hp); DR: 10/magic
Fort +10, Ref +14, Will +7
Speed: 5 ft., fly 40 ft. (good)
Space: 10 ft./0 ft.
Base Attack +12; Grapple -
Attack: Swarm
Full Attack: Swarm
Damage: Swarm 3d6 plus poison
Special Attacks/Actions: Distraction, inhabit, poison
Abilities: Str 1, Dex 22, Con 14, Int 6, Wis 13, Cha 9
Special Qualities: hive mind, immune to weapon damage, resistance to fire 10, swarm
Feats: Ability Focus (poison); Alertness; Improved Initiative; Iron Will; Toughness
Skills: Hide +19, Listen +10, and Spot +10
Advancement: -
Climate/Terrain: Bleak Eternity of Gehenna
Organization: Solitary, fright (2-4 swarms), or terror (11-20 swarms)
Treasure: None

Source: Monster Manual

Combat

Like any swarm, a hellwasp swarm seeks to surround and attack any living prey it encounters. A swarm deals 3d6 points of damage to any creature whose space it occupies at the end of its move. The swarm can take over the bodies of its prey and infest both the living and the dead, using them as horrible living (or unliving) puppets to accomplish acts of wickedness that a swarm of insects could never attempt.

A hellwasp swarm's attack is treated as an evil-aligned weapon and a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature that begins its turn with a hellwasp swarm in its space must succeed on a DC 18 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Inhabit (Ex): A hellwasp swarm can enter the body of a helpless or dead creature by crawling into its mouth and other orifices. Inhabiting requires 1 minute, and the victim must be Small, Medium, or Large (although four swarms working together can inhabit a Huge creature). The swarm can abandon the body at any time, although doing this takes 1 full round. Any attack against the host deals half damage to the hellwasp swarm as well, although the swarm's resistances and immunities may negate some or all of this damage.

If a hellwasp swarm inhabits a dead body, it can restore animation to the creature and control its movements, effectively transforming it into a zombie of the appropriate size for as long as the swarm remains inside. If a hellwasp swarm inhabits a living victim, it can neutralize the effects of its own poison and control the victim's movement and actions as if using dominate monster on the victim. The hellwasps quickly consume a living victim, dealing 2d4 points of Constitution damage per hour they inhabit a body. A body reduced to Constitution 0 is dead.

A hellwasp-inhabited creature is relatively easy to spot, since its skin crawls with the forms of insects inside. The swarm is intelligent enough to attempt to hide beneath loose clothing or a large cloak to keep its presence from being detected. The swarm can attempt a Disguise check to conceal its inhabitation of a host, with a -4 penalty if currently inhabiting a Small host.

A remove disease or heal spell cast on an inhabited victim forces the hellwasp swarm to abandon its host.

Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 18, initial and secondary damage 1d6 Dex. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Hive Mind (Ex): Any hellwasp swarm with at least 1 hit point per Hit Die (or 12 hit points, for a standard hellwasp swarm) forms a hive mind, giving it an intelligence of 6. When a hellwasp swarm is reduced below this hit point threshold, it becomes mindless.

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.

Evil Subtype

A subtype usually applied only to outsiders native to the evil-aligned Outer Planes. Evil outsiders are also called fiends. Most creatures that have this subtype also have evil alignments; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has an evil alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment. A creature with the evil subtype overcomes damage reduction as if its natural weapons and any weapons it wields were evil-aligned (see Damage Reduction).

Swarm Subtype

A swarm is a collection of Fine, Diminutive, or Tiny creatures that acts as a single creature. A swarm has the characteristics of its type, except as noted here. A swarm has a single pool of Hit Dice and hit points, a single initiative modifier, a single speed, and a single Armor Class. A swarm makes saving throws as a single creature.

A single swarm occupies a square (if it is made up of nonflying creatures) or a cube (of flying creatures) 10 feet on a side, but its reach is 0 feet, like its component creatures. In order to attack, it moves into an opponent's space, which provokes attacks of opportunity. It can occupy the same space as a creature of any size, since it crawls all over its prey. A swarm can move through squares occupied by enemies and vice versa without impediment, although the swarm provokes attacks of opportunity if it does so. A swarm can move through cracks or holes large enough for its component creatures.

A swarm of Tiny creatures consists of 300 nonflying creatures or 1,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Diminutive creatures consists of 1,500 nonflying creatures or 5,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Fine creatures consists of 10,000 creatures, whether they are flying or not. Swarms of nonflying creatures include many more creatures than could normally fit in a 10-foot square based on their normal space, because creatures in a swarm are packed tightly together and generally crawl over each other and their prey when moving or attacking. Larger swarms are represented by multiples of single swarms. (A swarm of 15,000 centipedes is ten centipede swarms, each swarm occupying a 10-foot square.) The area occupied by a large swarm is completely shapeable, though the swarm usually remains in contiguous squares.

Traits: A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernible anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking. A swarm made up of Tiny creatures takes half damage from slashing and piercing weapons. A swarm composed of Fine or Diminutive creatures is immune to all weapon damage.

Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points or lower causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack. Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage. Also, they cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed, and they cannot grapple an opponent.

A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting spells and abilities (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects) if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind. A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells.

Swarms made up of Diminutive or Fine creatures are susceptible to high winds such as that created by a gust of wind spell. For purposes of determining the effects of wind on a swarm, treat the swarm as a creature of the same size as its constituent creatures (see Winds, page 95 of the Dungeon Master's Guide). For example, a swarm of locusts (a swarm of Diminutive creatures) can be blown away by a severe wind. Wind effects deal 1d6 points of nonlethal damage to a swarm per spell level (or Hit Dice of the originating creature, in the case of effects such as an air elemental's whirlwind). A swarm rendered unconscious by means of nonlethal damage becomes disorganized and dispersed, and does not re-form until its hit points exceed its nonlethal damage.

Swarm Attack: Creatures with the swarm subtype don't make standard melee attacks. Instead, they deal automatic damage to any creature whose space they occupy at the end of their move, with no attack roll needed. Swarm attacks are not subject to a miss chance for concealment or cover. A swarm's statistics block has "swarm" in the Attack and Full Attack entries, with no attack bonus given. The amount of damage a swarm deals is based on its Hit Dice, as shown below.

Swarm HDSwarm Base Damage
1-51d6
6-102d6
11-153d6
16-204d6
21 or more5d6

A swarm's attacks are nonmagical, unless the swarm's description states otherwise. Damage reduction sufficient to reduce a swarm attack's damage to 0, being incorporeal, and other special abilities usually give a creature immunity (or at least resistance) to damage from a swarm. Some swarms also have acid, poison, blood drain, or other special attacks in addition to normal damage.

Swarms do not threaten creatures in their square, and do not make attacks of opportunity with their swarm attack. However, they distract foes whose squares they occupy, as described below.

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to a swarms damage that begins its turn with a swarm in its square is nauseated for 1 round; a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 swarm's HD + swarm's Con modifier; the exact DC is given in a swarm's description) negates the effect. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check.