Monstrous Physique — Zerg, Part 2

This week, I continue spawning more zerg for your game table. Last week, I covered most of the basic units for the zerg. This week, I cover the rest of the ground troops, including my favorite zerg unit, the lurker! Let’s take a look!

Zerg
Zerg are a collection of creatures integrated into one collected hive mind by a being known as the Overmind. They are capable of metamorphosis into a variety of creatures via a shared repository of genetic information.
Traits: Fast healing 2; Zerg with a fly speed do not suffer the normal environmental effects of being in a vacuum.

Hydralisk                                         CR 3
XP 800
N Medium aberration (zerg)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +13
DEFENSE
HP 40
EAC 14; KAC 16
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +4
Defensive Abilities burrow, fast healing 2
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Ranged spines +11 (1d6+3)
STATISTICS
Str +1, Dex +4, Con +2, Int –3, Wis +0, Cha –1
Skills Perception +13
Languages Zerg
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or cluster (3–12)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Burrow (Ex) A hydralisk can burrow into the ground as a standard action. The hydralisk cannot attack or move while burrowed and is treated as invisible. Any abilities or effects that can see invisible creatures or dispel invisibility reveal a burrowed hydalisk. While burrowed, the hydralisk gains blindsight (sound) 30 feet.
Spines (Ex) A hydralisk has countless spines housed beneath its carapace plates and can fire them at enemies at a range increment of 60 feet.

Hydralisks serve as the zerg’s medium assault warriors. Hydralisks derive their genetic makeup from the peaceful herbivores of Slothein. An evolutionary acceleration and manipulation led to the creation of the hydralisks of tday. They are staple of the battlefield for zerg armies, able to attack both grounded and flying enemies. Housed in the hydralisk’s carapace plates, the spines are long, slender tools of death. Their grooved shape allows them to fly great distances and pierce their target. Although they are vicious enough on their own, hydralisks become nightmares when massed into groups.

Lurker                                               CR 5
XP 1,600
N Large aberration (zerg)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
DEFENSE
HP 70
EAC 17; KAC 19
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +6
Defensive Abilities burrow, fast healing 2
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft.
Space 5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Offensive Abilities subterranean spines +12 (1d6+4)
STATISTICS
Str +5, Dex +3, Con +2, Int –3, Wis –1, Cha –2
Skills Perception +16, Stealth +11
Languages Zerg
Ecology
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or swarm (3–12)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Burrow (Ex) A lurker can burrow into the ground as a standard action. The lurker cannot move while burrowed and is treated as invisible. Any abilities or effects that can see invisible creatures or dispel invisibility reveal a burrowed lurker. While burrowed, the lurker gains blindsight (vibration) 60 feet.
Subterranean Spines (Ex) A lurker can fire a 30 foot line of spikes as a ranged attack. It can only attack with these spines while burrowed. A lurker can only attack creatures in squares on the ground. Flying creatures in squares above the ground or creatures on higher ground are unaffected by these attacks.

Lurkers act as heavy defense troops for the zerg. They were created by further development of the hydralisk genus. The mutation pushed the hydralisk body into something more resembling an arthropod. The hydralisk spines become reinforced with a thick chiton and grow attached to the lurker’s body with elastic tissue and membranes. These supra-dense spines are capable of piercing though almost all forms of earth to impale a lurker’s enemies. A lurker can only emit these spines while underground, however, and a lurker is especially vulnerable while above ground. As such, most lurkers act as defenders of zerg hive clusters.

Defiler                                              CR 5
XP 1,600
N Large aberration (zerg)
Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +9
DEFENSE
HP 60
EAC 16; KAC 17
Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +10
Defensive Abilities burrow, fast healing 2
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Space 5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Offensive Abilities consume, dark swarm, plague
STATISTICS
Str +0, Dex –1, Con +0, Int +2, Wis +3, Cha +5
Skills Perception +9, Stealth +4
Languages Zerg
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary or pair
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Burrow (Ex) A defiler can burrow into the ground as a standard action. The defiler cannot attack or move while burrowed and is treated as invisible. Any abilities or effects that can see invisible creatures or dispel invisibility reveal a burrowed defiler. While burrowed, the defiler gains blindsight (sound) 100 feet.
Consume (Ex) A defiler can consume a zerg at least one size category smaller than itself as a full-round action. Upon consuming a zerg, the defiler regains 10 hit points and the DC of its plague swarm ability increases by +1 for 1 minute. A defiler can gain the benefits of this ability again after 1 minute.
Plague Swarm (Ex) A defiler can release a thick cloud of living insects and corrosive spores in in area up to 100 feet from the defiler as a standard action. A living, non-zerg creature takes 1d8+6 damage on its turn each round while in the cloud. A successful DC 15 Fortitude save halves this damage. This cloud remains for up to 1 minute, but otherwise functions as fog cloud. A defiler can only maintain one plague swarm at a time. Using this ability again dismisses a previous plague swarm.

Defilers serve as shock troopers for the zerg. They are not made of any particular genetic code, instead housing portions of all possible zerg genetic code. The defiler uses its access to the genetic matrices to produce various deadly toxins. Defilers tend to avoid direct combat, instead they attack with their unique bio-chemical abilities. Once they launch their toxins, they burrow down until they can rejuvenate their stores of venom.

Ultralisk                                           CR 8
XP 4,800
N Huge aberration (zerg)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +21
Aura frightful presence (60 ft., DC 16)
DEFENSE
HP 125
EAC 20; KAC 22
Fort +10, Ref +10, Will +9
Defensive Abilities fast healing 2, ferocity; DR 10/adamantine
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee blades +19 (3d4+10)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
STATISTICS
Str +6, Dex +2, Con +4, Int –3, Wis –1, Cha –2
Skills Perception +21
Languages Zerg
Other Abilities kaiser blades
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or pack (3–6)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Kaiser Blades (Ex) An ultralisk’s blades ignore up to 30 points of hardness and are treated as adamantine alloy and magic for the purposes of damage reduction.

The enormous ultralisks serve the zerg as heavy assault warriors. Although they derive their genetics from the Brontolith of the planet bearing the same name, they bear little resemblance to the original, docile creatures. Ultralisks act as the backbone of zerg armies and are considered as dangerous as any armored vehicle. Using their tremendous size, they charge enemies, acting as living battering rams. Due to their large size and a lack of proper appendages for the task, ultralisks are unable to burrow into the ground like their zerg siblings.

That’s it for this week! I should have the rest of the zerg statted up with the next entry. If you end up introducing the Zerg into your game or you have any request for a future Monstrous Physique, please drop me a line at KnowDirection@hotmail.com.

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a freelance writer from Lincoln, Nebraska. He has written for Paizo Inc, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and more third-party publishers. His hobbies include gaming both tabletop and video, making jokes, obsessing over time travel, taking naps with Hugo the cat, and walks with Heather the wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos.

Burst of Insight

Leave a Reply