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Basilisk (4e Monster)

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Date Created: September 27, 2010
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Basilisks are reptilian predators native to a wide range of climates and environments. Each variety of basilisk has a deadly gaze attack: though the exact effects vary from one species to the next, few people would want to meet a basilisk eye-to-eye. Basilisks are sometimes given an undeserved reputation for being evil or cruel creatures; in truth, they are no more malicious than other predatory beasts like bears or snakes.

Frost-Eye Basilisk Edit

FrostEyeBasilisk
A female frost-eye basilisk, with its distinctive summer coloration. Image by Wayne Reynolds
DracomortisAdded by Dracomortis

This variety of basilisk is found primarily in regions that are cold year-round, particularly favoring those with heavy snow and ice. Males have pure white scales along their back and tail, with the slightest hint of blue along their stomach. Females possess white scales only during the winter months: they shed these in favor of brilliant blue scales during the summer in order to help them attract potential mates. Both genders are equally aggressive and will attack almost anything that crosses their paths. Frost-eyes are typically solitary creatures except during the mating season, but these basilisks have been known to gather in small cooperative packs, particularly when food is scarce: this behavior allows them to hunt much larger game that they could not otherwise take down, opening up additional sources of sustenance.

Frost-Eye Basilisk
Level 11 Artillery
Large natural beast (reptile)
XP 600
Initiative +10 Senses Perception +11
HP 93; Bloodied 46
AC 23; Fortitude 24, Reflex 24, Will 21
Resist 15 cold
Speed 6 (ice walk), climb 4
BasicMelee Bite (standard; at-will)
+18 vs. AC; 1d8 + 10 damage.
BasicRanged Shatterfrost (standard; at-will) ♦ Cold
Ranged 10; +16 vs. Fortitude; 2d6 + 10 cold damage (4d6 + 15 cold damage if the target is frozen), and the target is no longer frozen.
Area Freezing Gaze (standard; recharge D6 (4) D6 (5) D6 (6)) ♦ Cold, Gaze
Area burst 3 within 10; +14 vs. Reflex; 3d8 + 10 cold damage, and the target is frozen (save ends). A frozen creature is restrained and has vulnerability 5 cold.
Alignment Unaligned Languages
Skills Stealth +12
Str 13 (+6) Dex 20 (+10) Wis 13 (+6)
Con 21 (+10) Int 2 (+1) Cha 8 (+4)

Frost-Eye Basilisk Tactics Edit

A frost-eye basilisk initiates combat by using freezing gaze, attempting to hit as many foes as possible. It then targets frozen enemies with shatterfrost one at a time until all of them have broken free; it then repeats this strategy once its gaze is available again. Frost-eyes prefer to strike from hiding, particularly among icy mountains or other steep natural structures where they can climb out of reach of most predators and use their ranged abilities without fear of retaliation.

Frost-Eye Basilisk Lore Edit

A character knows the following information with a successful skill check.

Nature DC 20: Although frost-eyes are one of the weaker species of true basilisks, they are still deadly predators that are known to inhabit some of the coldest regions of the world. Their white scales allow them to blend flawlessly with the snowy regions that make up their favored environments; a frost-eye will bury itself partially in the snow and lie in wait until potential prey approaches, then quickly overwhelm the hapless victim with its icy glare. Most inhabitants of the regions where frost-eyes live know not to leave their homes when visibility is low due to inclement weather, for the chance of accidentally stumbling across a basilisk in such conditions is exceptionally high. These basilisks are sometimes hunted as a valuable resource: their blood is a natural insulator that can help protect against the cold when smeared on one's skin, their scales are strong enough to be turned into armor, and their meat, while it tastes something like burnt leather, is high in nutrients.
Religion DC 20: Some northern tribes of barbarians and shamans revere the frost-eye basilisk as a great hunting spirit. To these people, the frost-eye represents the penultimate tundra hunter: a creature that is both powerful and cunning, patient and fearless. So esteemed is the basilisk that it is standard tradition in some cultures to offer a portion of every meal as a ritual sacrifice to the spirit of these basilisks, in the hope that the creature will bestow a portion of its ferocity upon the tribe's warriors.
Nature DC 25: There are legends of an immense white basilisk the size of a dragon, which is said to sleep beneath the mountains of the world's northernmost reaches. According to these legends this basilisk has existed since before the war between the primordials and the gods, and it is from this single creature that all other basilisks were eventually spawned. The truth of these tales is highly debated, as no evidence of such a creature has ever been found. Nonetheless, adventurer and scholar alike sometimes set off in search of this creature, but all have returned home empty-handed. Skeptics are quick to point out that if the "great white basilisk" ever really did exist, it is likely that it was actually a dragon of some sort, or that its size was greatly exaggerated by those who reported their encounter with it.

Cinder-Eye Basilisk Edit

Basilisk
One of the lesser varieties of cinder-eye basilisk. Image by Scott Fischer
DracomortisAdded by Dracomortis

Cinder-eyes favor warm climates, but can be found in nearly any region of the world. Their bodies are covered with very fine scales that are typically dark orange or brownish-red. Like most basilisks, their backs are covered in short, rigid spines; these serve primarily to help regulate the creature's body temperature rather than to ward off predators. Males are slightly larger than females (the difference is small enough to go unnoticed by casual observers) but there is otherwise little difference between the two genders. A more powerful variety of cinder-eyes, known as fireguts, are actually elemental creatures. They are largely identical to their more mundane cousins, but typically possess brighter colorations.

Cinder-Eye Basilisk
Level 13 Brute
Large natural beast (reptile)
XP 800
Initiative +7 Senses Perception +13
HP 163; Bloodied 81
AC 25; Fortitude 28, Reflex 22, Will 23
Resist 15 fire
Speed 6
BasicMelee Bite (standard; at-will)
+18 vs. AC; 3d6 + 18 damage.
Close Burning Gaze (standard; at-will) ♦ Fire, Gaze
Close blast 3; +14 vs. Reflex; 1d10 + 18 fire damage, and ongoing 5 fire damage (save ends).
Close Ragefire Blood (immediate reaction, when hit by an attack while the basilisk is bloodied; at-will) ♦ Fire
Close burst 2; each creature in the burst takes 10 fire damage, and the cinder-eye basilisk takes an extra 5 damage from the triggering attack. A cinder-eye basilisk cannot choose to forgo the use of this ability.
Alignment Unaligned Languages
Str 26 (+14) Dex 12 (+7) Wis 14 (+8)
Con 23 (+12) Int 2 (+2) Cha 8 (+5)


Cinder-Eye Firegut
Level 15 Artillery
Large elemental beast (mount, reptile)
XP 1,200
Initiative +15 Senses Perception +14
Fire's Glow aura 5; the aura provides dim light within its affected area.
HP 120; Bloodied 60
AC 27; Fortitude 29, Reflex 30, Will 24
Resist 30 fire
Speed 6
BasicMelee Fiery Bite (standard; at-will) ♦ Fire
+22 vs. AC; 1d10 + 12 fire damage.
BasicRanged Viscous Flamespit (standard; recharge D6 (5) D6 (6)) ♦ Fire
Ranged 10; +20 vs. Fortitude; 4d8 + 12 fire damage, and ongoing 5 fire damage (save ends). First Failed Save: Ongoing 10 fire damage (save ends). Second Failed Save: Ongoing 15 fire damage. Aftereffect: Ongoing 5 fire damage.
Close Burning Gaze (standard; at-will) ♦ Fire, Gaze
Close blast 3; +18 vs. Reflex; 1d10 + 18 fire damage, and ongoing 5 fire damage (save ends).
Fire-eater (while mounted by a friendly rider of 15th level or higher) ♦ Mount
The firegut's rider gains resist fire 10 (if the rider already has resist fire, increase it by 5 instead). In addition, the rider can coat his weapons or ammunition in the firegut's flaming spit as a free action, causing all damage dealt by that weapon or ammunition to be fire damage until the end of the rider's next turn.
Alignment Unaligned Languages
Str 18 (+11) Dex 27 (+15) Wis 14 (+9)
Con 24 (+14) Int 2 (+3) Cha 8 (+6)

Cinder-Eye Basilisk Tactics Edit

A cinder-eye basilisk is not a brilliant tactician; it simply wades into the thick of combat, using burning gaze if there are multiple enemies in range or simply biting the nearest target if there are not. Once it is bloodied and begins using ragefire blood, it attempts to stay adjacent to as many foes as possible. A cinder-eye basilisk may attempt to flee when it is first reduced to one-quarter of its health (40 hit points), but if its enemy pursues then it fights to the death.

Fireguts fight with a bit more finesse, but are equally simple-minded in their approach. They attempt to stay a few squares away from their quarry, loosing viscous flamespit whenever it is available to strike at foes who continually move out of range of its other abilities. It moves in closer to use burning gaze repeatedly until it can spit again, then retreats back to maximum range. Riders typically keep their firegut mounts out of the fray as often as possible, relying on their own ranged attacks to augment the basilisk's flamespit.

Cinder-Eye Basilisk Lore Edit

A character knows the following information with a successful skill check.

Nature DC 20: Cinder-eyes are a species of basilisk originally native to the Elemental Chaos, though they were brought into the world at some unknown time and have lost much of their connection to their home plane. Their gaze can ignite most flammable materials, including living creatures, and even their blood is hot enough to cause severe burns. Those specimens adapted to living in the world have an unusual and crippling mutation: when badly wounded, the basilisk's veins begin spraying blood out of the creature's body with surprising force. While this is effective at warding off predators (few creatures enjoy being doused in searing blood), the basilisk has no means to control it, and may very well die from blood loss as a result. This mutation is thought to be a result of the basilisk's body adapting to the material world without having fully shed its elemental nature.
Because they cannot fully control their fiery abilities, cinder-eyes can be a major hazard to heavily wooded areas and have been known to inadvertently start massive forest fires capable of destroying many miles of natural habitat. Those who make their homes within the wild places of the world (most notably eladrin and elves) as well as those who view themselves as guardians of nature (such as druids) will often either slay or attempt to relocate any cinder-eyes they encounter to other areas where the basilisk is less likely to cause problems.
Arcana DC 25: Fireguts are a more powerful variety of cinder-eyes that either remained within the Elemental Chaos or, in rare cases, managed to retain their elemental nature even after countless generations of breeding in the natural world. As such, they can be thought of as the purebreds of the species. Because they fully retain their elemental nature, fireguts have greater control over their abilities: they do not suffer the mutation of their lesser kin and instead possess the ability to lob a ball of flaming saliva from their mouth that adheres to the unfortunate victim as it burns into its body. Fireguts are prized as mounts by azer and other elemental races; they are surprisingly easy to train, and as long as they are treated well and regularly fed they become fiercely protective of their handlers (presumably because the firegut recognizes the handler as the source of its food, a commodity that is otherwise scarce within the Elemental Chaos).

Encounter Groups Edit

Left to their own machinations basilisks are typically solitary creatures unless they are currently with a mate or looking after newborn offspring, but sentient races sometimes raise basilisks as guardians or mounts, in which case they might be encountered as part of a large group consisting of several different types of creatures.

Level 11 Encounter (XP 3,200) — Adopted "Wyrmlings"

  • 1 adult blizzard dragon (level 12 elite controller, Monster Manual 3 pg. 66)
  • 3 frost-eye basilisks (level 11 artillery)

Level 15 Encounter (XP 6,000) — Azer Outriders



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