Monstrous Physique — Zerg Evolution, Part 4

Hello! Some of you have just recently had some time off. For some of you, it was just another day. Either way, I hope you get some good gaming in! As for me, it’s another week and another Zerg! This week, we take a look at another new unit from Starcraft 2, the caustic roach. Let’s have a look.

As always, before we get started, here’s the zerg subtype for those who need it.

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.

Roach                                         CR 4
XP 1,200
N Medium aberration (zerg)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +15
DEFENSE
HP 50
EAC 16; KAC 18
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +5
Defensive Abilities burrow, fast healing 2
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Ranged acid spit +12 (1d6+4 acid)
STATISTICS
Str +1, Dex +5, Con +3, Int –3, Wis +0, Cha –1
Skills Perception +15
Languages Zerg
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or squad (3–12)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Acid Spit (Ex) A roach sprays acid at a range increment of 60 feet. A roach cannot attack flying targets with this attack.
Burrow (Ex) A roach can burrow into the ground as a standard action. The roach can move at half its speed and is treated as invisible while burrowed, but it cannot attack. Any abilities or effects that can see invisible creatures or dispel invisibility reveal a burrowed roach. While burrowed, the roach gains blindsight (sound) 30 feet.

Roaches are particular hardy Zerg with the capability of producing large amounts of acid. A roach can use this acid offensively, spraying its foes to burn them away. The roach’s rigid body makes it incapable of aiming its attacks upwards. As such, roaches tend to fight alongside hydralisks due to the hydralisks’ anti-air capabilities. Roaches tough claws also allow them to dig through the ground while they are burrowed. This allows roaches to move discreetly through the ground and ambush its enemies.

Roach Strains

Roaches can mutate to create different forms of acid. These mutations lead to the parasitic corpser roach and the slowing vile roach.

Corpser                                         CR 4
XP 1,200
N Medium aberration (zerg)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +15
DEFENSE
HP 50
EAC 16; KAC 18
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +5
Defensive Abilities burrow, fast healing 2
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Ranged necrotic spit +12 (1d4 acid)
STATISTICS
Str +1, Dex +5, Con +3, Int –3, Wis +0, Cha –1
Skills Perception +15
Languages Zerg
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or squad (3–12)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Burrow (Ex) A corpser can burrow into the ground as a standard action. The corpser can move at half its speed and is treated as invisible while burrowed, but it cannot attack. Any abilities or effects that can see invisible creatures or dispel invisibility reveal a burrowed corpser. While burrowed, the corpser gains blindsight (sound) 30 feet.
Necrotic Spit (Ex) A corpser sprays acid at a range increment of 60 feet. A corpser cannot attack flying targets with this attack. The attack creates a single roachling in a space adjacent to the target which acts immediately.

Corpsers are full of parasitic life forms known as roachlings. When a corpser sprays its acid, it also launches a handful of roachlings with the spray. Most of these roachlings die upon impact, but a few tend to survive to attack the corpser’s foe. Groups of corpsers can create dozens of roachlings at once and they use these parasites to quickly overwhelm their enemies.

Roachling                                     CR 1/3
XP —
N Tiny aberration (zerg)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +3
DEFENSE
HP 6
EAC 9; KAC 11
Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +2
Defensive Abilities fast healing 2
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +10 (1d6+1 piercing)
STATISTICS
Str +1, Dex +0, Con +3, Int –3, Wis –1, Cha –2
Other Abilities decayed life, swarming
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Decayed Life (Ex) A roachling immediately dies at the start of its next turn.
Swarming (Ex) Roachlings are compact, allowing multiple roachlings to share a square without impediment. Up to 4 roachlings spawn can share the same square.

The unstable nature of the corpser’s acid prevents a roachling from living for more than a few seconds. Roachlings are born with a ravenous appetite and they will attack anything in their site until their bodies collapse due to the instability.

Vile                                         CR 4
XP 1,200
N Medium aberration (zerg)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +15
DEFENSE
HP 50
EAC 16; KAC 18
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +5
Defensive Abilities burrow, fast healing 2
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Ranged sluggish spit +12 (1d4+3 acid)
STATISTICS
Str +1, Dex +5, Con +3, Int –3, Wis +0, Cha –1
Skills Perception +15
Languages Zerg
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or squad (3–12)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Burrow (Ex) A vile can burrow into the ground as a standard action. The vile can move at half its speed and is treated as invisible while burrowed, but it cannot attack. Any abilities or effects that can see invisible creatures or dispel invisibility reveal a burrowed vile. While burrowed, the vile gains blindsight (sound) 30 feet.
Sluggish Spit (Ex) A corpser sprays acid at a range increment of 60 feet. A corpser cannot attack flying targets with this attack. A creature struck by the spit becomes entangled unless it succeeds at a DC 13 Reflex save. An entangled creature can remove the slowing acid as a standard action.

The vile roacher’s caustic acid does not immediately burn its enemies. Instead, this acid has major adhesive properties. The acid clings to the vile’s foes, making it difficult for the foe to move. Vile roachers use this property to help slow enemy troops en masse, making them sitting ducks for other Zerg creatures.

That’s it for this week! 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 developer at Paizo, working on the Pathfinder World Guide line and formerly on Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines. He's done freelance 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 Nova the cat, and walks with heather the wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos.

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