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Sacred Guardian (Dread Codex Monster)

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Sacred Guardian
Size/Type: Gargantuan Undead
Hit Dice: 23d12 (149 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 40 ft.
Armor Class: 21 (-4 size, -1 Dex, +16 natural), touch 5, flat-footed 21
Base Attack/Grapple: +11/+38
Attack: Bite +22 melee (4d6+15)
Full Attack: Bite +22 melee (4d6+15) and 2 claws +17 melee (2d8+7)
Space/Reach: 20 ft./15 ft.
Special Attacks: Trample (2d8+22)
Special Qualities: Blindsense 30 ft., Damage Reduction 10/magic, Darkvision 60 ft., Fast Healing 5, Ground Meld, Low-light Vision, Spell Resistance 25, Turn Resistance +4, Undead Traits
Saves: Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +19
Abilities: Str 40, Dex 9, Con —, Int 11, Wis 18, Cha 6
Skills: Intimidate +21, Listen +26, Move Silently +22, Sense Motive +27, Spot +21
Feats: Alertness, Awesome Blow, Cleave, Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack
Environment: Any land
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 16
Treasure: Triple Standard
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 24-46 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment:

The earth before you opens like a great blooming flower. But instead of a beautiful bud, from inside rises a giant tiger. The creature's skin is almost a translucent white and its eyes glow with a green radiance. The tiger's claws click and its powerful tooth-filled jaw clenches for battle.

The sacred guardian is a ghostly tiger of great size which keeps eternal watch over very special graveyards and other burial sites. Whether the guardian is summoned or created for its task is not known; the only certainty being that it is the stuff of powerful magic. The one commonality that sages have discovered amongst the sites protected is that they all have something to do with famous (or infamous) adventurers. Whatever secrets these places hold are not easily going to be retrieved.

Combat Edit

The sacred guardian rises from the earth as soon as it senses an intruder. Any intruder—even one who stumbles into the graveyard by accident—is considered a foe and is likely to be attacked furiously; however, anyone who immediately attempts to leave while assuring the sacred guardian that it has no intention of harming or stealing from the graves (note the guardian's +27 Sense Motive bonus) may be allowed to depart safely.

The sacred guardian's uses all the attacks available to it, but it cannot speak. Once the threat is gone, whether killed or driven off, the guardian melds back into the earth, which settles over it undisturbed. Nothing can cause the guardian to leave its post inside the graveyard or burial site it guards.

Trample (Ex): Reflex DC 36 half. The save DC is Strength-based.

Earth Meld (Su): The sacred guardian can enter and leave the earth of its graveyard as if by means of the spell meld into stone. Leaving and entering the ground is a move action.

Treasure Edit

Triple standard — The vast amount of treasure in the area a guardian calls home comes from all of the creatures the great cat has slain. Coins and items are pushed off of graves but that is as far as the guardian will trouble itself with the stuff.

  • Fire opal (x7) [900 gp each]
  • Red-brown spinel (x8) [120 gp each]
  • Boots of Striding and Springing [5,500 gp]
  • +3 dwarven waraxe [18,330 gp]
  • Potion of enlarge person [250 gp]
  • Potion of resist energy (fire) 10 [300 gp]
  • Ring of x-ray vision [25,000 gp]
  • Scroll of baleful polymorph (CL 9th) [1,125 gp]
  • Scroll of break enchantment (CL 9th) [1,125 gp]
  • 20,110 gp
  • 500 pp

In Your Campaign Edit

The sacred guardian is not a well known creature. Those who fight it tend to perish or never speak of it lest it bring a convulsive fit of fear. Those who successfully parlay without combat don't speak of it partially out of reverence for the place and partially because they fear the great cat will come for them in their sleep should they utter a word. There are a couple of ways you can use this cat in your game.

First, the mere legend of the sacred guardian can be used in a plot. If an enemy of the party wants to use a burial ground for secret meetings, he can make sure the PCs get to know about the sacred guardian legends first. That way, when they find out about the evil creature's dealings and move to stop him, he can create an illusory duplicate of the guardian to scare the PCs away. And, to a lesser degree, keep all common folk away from the area as well.

Second, perhaps the sacred guardian doesn't guard the dead at all. Perhaps really great adventurers are asked to serve on another plane of existence before their deaths. If they agree to serve the beings that contact them, these unknown creatures help to fake the adventurer's death, provide an elaborate burial site, and then bring the adventurers out of this world. To ensure that no one discovers the portal to that other plane which is left in the graveyard or site, the sacred guardian is summoned to duty there.



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