New week, new schedule, and new monster! Today we’re talking not about a fiend, but rather about an aberration, so I’m already excited as it is. Let’s take a look at another staple in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.
Right off the bat today’s monster is quite sturdy with a +4 CON and +3 STR, followed by +1 WIS and +0 DEX. Unfortunately for them, they do have two negative stats, INT and CHA, which are both -2.
Otyughs have a +7 modifier to their CON saves, an AC of 14, and a hefty hit point pool of 12d10+48. All around things that should have your party beating at this large aberration for some time.
Not exactly the most perceptive with their +1 WIS, today’s monster does at least have 120ft of Darkvision (likely a result of their environment) and a passive perception of 11.
Although their only language is Otyugh, these monsters can communicate at a distance of up to 120ft with their Limited Telepathy, which allows them to transmit simple messages and images but doesn’t permit the receiving person to respond.
The Otyugh has access to the Multiattack feature which it can use to make three attacks: one with its bite and two with its tentacles, so let’s start by looking at this bite; not only does it deal the highest amount of damage for this creature, but it also imposes a DC 15 CON against disease lest the target creature become poisoned until the disease is cured.
Now, considering the CR of this creature and the likelihood that the party will encounter it early in their adventure, this can be quite lethal. A creature poisoned in this way will continue to have its hit points reduced by 1d10. Unless cured, any creature that reaches 0 hit points in this manner immediately dies.
Luckily enough for the players, the Otyughs Tentacle attack is a rather standard grapple and restrained one with a bit of extra piercing damage on top of the usual bludgeoning.
Other than its Multiattack, this aberration can also Tentacle Slam its enemies, which prompts a DC 14 Con that stuns the target until the creature’s next turn on a failed save. As per usual, on a successful save, the target only takes half damage and isn’t stunned.
For those of you following, the Otyugh is a CR 5 creature.
As discussed before, Otyughs are large aberrations that first appeared in our games for 1st edition Monster Manual and although it has been through some tweaks here and there throughout the editions, for the most parts it has remained the same. The most obvious change for this creature occurred in 4th edition, where its intelligence was nerfed somewhat. That said, 5th edition does give us what is probably the strongest iteration of this creature, at least where number are concerned.
One interesting thing to note with this creature is that, unlike many of the monsters that can be found in Dungeons and Dragons, this one doesn’t seem to have any mythology origin behind it. Although some speculate that it was inspired by the massively popular Star Wars.
In terms of the creature itself, well, Otyughs are as simple as they come. They’re giant trash eating monsters who make home in places where their favorite food (read refuse and waste) is available. Although they’re happy to eat any fresh meat and creatures unfortunate enough to cross paths with them, for the most part they’re content to wallow in their own waste and food. In fact, the reason why getting bitten why one of these creatures can very quickly prove lethal is because they will eat and dispose of their waste through their mouths, so unless your wizard can cast Listerine at will, it’s probably a good idea to not get bitten.
Of course one would think that staying away from these creatures would be an easy task, but due to their preferred environments that can turn out to be easier said than done; Otyughs are pretty commonly found living in city sewers and moats; a territory they share with adventuring parties. Despite their size, they can sometimes go unnoticed thanks to their tendency to literally live under piles of trash just like that one kid in your dorm hall. Spotting them might be a matter of spotting the single stalk like tentacle that they use to keep an eye (or three) on things.
Since they’re not necessarily dangerous and usually only attack passerbys when threatened or extremely hungry, it is not altogether uncommon to hear of cities, especially in the underground, that use them as a convenient method of disposing of their trash, to the point where back in older editions they were considered trainable companions for Underdark rangers.
Another bit of lore that we have for this creature comes to us from The Book of Vile Darkness, where we learn that Asmodeus has cursed Baalzebul so that “stinking piles of rotting garbage and feces” appear wherever he’s around. Which you know, means that there’s probably a small army of Otyughs who just follow the guy around like that GIF of the kid playing the trombone.
Alright! We we have a pretty gross monster with a nasty bite. First step as always is figuring out what makes today’s monster so especial. For this one I think it’s a combination of said bite and their very peculiar environment, and since I don’t really predict this mountain of a monster coming after our players, we’ll have to make our player go to it. Here’s and idea:
Exhausted after their latest adventure, our party of heroes heads towards a small city not too far from their location. Ad they near the area though, something unusual catches their attention (and their noses) : a terrible smell wafts through the gates and out of the city. Upon getting closer to the gates, they notice that most people in town appear to be wearing face masks to somewhat minimize the smell.
After finding an inn and doing a bit of talking they learn that the city has seen in this state for the past two weeks or so; shops are closing, and travelers leave immediately before even entering the city, a hefty bounty is offered to anyone who can fix the problem.
The party follows the smell to the sewers where, after a couple of other minor encounters, they find a massive pile of trash that is blocking one of the main disposal tunnels. Upon trying to clear it, however, they soon realize that what they thought was simply a pile of trash is in fact a giant Otyugh who has made its lair under the city and is intent on building up its throne of trash.
Considering Otyughs are somewhat able to communicate with other beings, your party might be able to convince out trash monster to relocate to the nearby swamp with their help, or they might simply decide to kill on the spot, but even that would requite some unpleasant clean up for the players after the deed is done.
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