I love learning about new mythological creatures from around the world. It’s something that I feel was instilled in me by Pathfinder. When I learned that so many of the creatures in the Bestiaries had origins in real life, I grew fascinated. Eventually, I learned to also return to that deep well myself when I started writing monsters of my own. And with this week’s entry, I return yet again to the real world for a monster. This week we scour through Colombia’s monsters and find an interesting take on a shapeshifter. Let’s take a look!
This haggard, hideous woman appears to be in her twilight years. Her appearance gives off a feeling of uneasiness.
Tunda CR 4
NE Medium monstrous humanoid (shapechanger)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +10
AC 16, touch 11, flat-footed 15 (+1 Dex, +5 natural)
hp 37 (5d10+10)
Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +6
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d8+2), 2 claws+8 (1d6+2 plus grab)
Special Attacks blood drain
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th)
At will—detect thoughts (DC 15)
3/day—charm person (DC 14)
Str 14, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 17
Base Atk +5; CMB +7 (+11 grapple); CMD 18
Feats Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Weapon Focus (claw)
Skills Bluff +12, Diplomacy +8, Disguise +12, Perception +10, Stealth +9; Racial Modifiers +4 Bluff, +4 Disguise
SQ change shape (alter self), imperfect copy
Environment temperate forests and mountains
Blood Drain (Su) A tunda can suck blood from a grappled opponent; if the tunda establishes or maintains a pin, it drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution damage. The tunda heals 5 hit points or gains 5 temporary hit points for 1 hour (up to a maximum number of temporary hit points equal to its full normal hit points) each round it drains blood.
Imperfect Copy (Ex) A tunda can almost perfectly assume the appearance of specific individuals when using change shape. The imperfections are noticeable with a successful Perception or Sense Motive check. The DC is equal to 10 + the tunda’s rank in Disguise (DC 15 for the typical tunda).
A tunda is a vile, shapeshifting creature that feeds on humanoids. A tunda’s true form resembles that of an ugly human woman. A tunda always bears some kind of deformity, typically a wooden leg, but it can range from a missing eye to a significantly scarred face. Although the tunda is a shapeshifter, it is unable to completely reshape this deformity, thus requiring a tunda to hide this flaw in some other manner. A tunda attempts to lure individuals towards her by shifting to the form of a loved one and drawing the individual into her lair. Once the individual is drawn into the lair, the tunda feeds on the victim much like a wild animal or a ghoul. Loggers are especially wary of tundas as they tend to lose their comrades to the wicked forest creatures.
In Your Game
The Tunda’s Call
A PC or one of their allies hears the call of a loved one nearby. A tunda calls out to this individual and the PCs have to act quickly to prevent the tunda from catching its latest prey.
The Tunda’s Curse
A local hunter takes the wooden leg of a recently slain tunda and keeps it as a trophy. Slowly, the hunter feels a compulsion to replace a leg with that of the tunda. The PCs must deal with a village plagued by paranoia as they slowly discover that the tunda’s dark power is transforming the hunter into something evil.
The Tunda’s Prisoner
While traveling through a forest, the PCs encounter a fleeing individual. The individual recently escaped from the lair of a tunda and asks the PCs for help. The tuned is hot on the trail for the victim and will find them soon!
As I mentioned in my intro, the tunda hails from Columbia. The tunda is similar to a lot of other mythical destructresses like the siren or the llorona. She is able to change her shape to lure people to her forest home where she feeds upon them. In legend, the tunda has a wooden leg in the shape of a molnillo, a wooden whisk used in the creation of hot drinks in Latin America. A tunda has to keep her wooden leg hidden lest she is found out when luring a would-be victim. My first though with the tunda was that she was basically a doppelganger/vampire mix. In fact, that was the basis of her stats. I gave her the doppelganger’s change shape ability and the vampire’s blood drain. To represent the wooden leg, I figured imperfections of any kind would do the trick. The wooden leg felt too obvious so the idea of perhaps an incorrectly mimicked face or wrong hair color would be the giveaway.
That’s it for this week! Please let me know if there are other countries in which I should search for monsters. If you end up up introducing the tunda into your game or you have any request for a future Monstrous Physique, please drop me a line at KnowDirection@hotmail.com.