Dungeons & Delvers: Bloated Basilisk Variant

I ran a one-shot adventure back when Dungeons & Delvers was still in its playtesting phase, with Melissa and Adam playing a druid and fighter respectively. They had to locate and slay a basilisk, a very difficult feat given that it was just the two of them and they were only 1st-level, so I reduced the basilisk's level a bit and didn't use some of its abilities: otherwise there would have been virtually no chance of success.

It was otherwise very much like the basilisk presented in the Black Book, which is in turn based on at least one mythological interpretation of the basilisk.

But, while Melissa was rewatching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood  (it's been four or so years since the first time) there was a part with Gluttony that made me think of a scene from Conqueror of Shambala (a movie that follows the events of the first Fullmetal Alchemist series that deviates quite a bit from the manga), in which Al and Wrath fight a drastically altered Gluttony that had lots of snake-like appendages and bled philosopher's stone.

This in turn for some reason made me think of a basilisk that is so bloated it is literally bursting at the seams with toxic blood. It constantly writhes in agony, and it's eight swollen legs flail about, occasionally finding purchase and providing meager assistance as it moves. You could sometimes generously describe it's movement as slithering, but really it mostly flops and flails and sometimes rolls and bounces, making its speed unpredictable (and sometimes surprisingly quick).

More humorous but considerably more dangerous and destructive. No real ecology behind it: it's just a literal blight on the land, placed or created by someone or something (or maybe it came into being purely by chance), that exists only to bring death and ruin, both intentionally and incidentally. If you want to throw one of these at your players, just take the normal basilisk (Black Book, page 104) and add/change the following:

  • XP: Increase to 216.
  • Speed 2d6 x 5 (10-60) feet. Roll at the start of each round.
  • Blood Spurt A creature that inflicts Wound damage on the basilisk using a melee weapon must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or suffer 1d8+3 poison damage. They are safe if they are wielding a weapon with Reach.
  • Blood Spray At the start of the basilisk's turn, creatures within 1d4 x 10 feet of it (roll each round) must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save of suffer 1d8+3 poison damage.
  • Death Throes A creature that slays a basilisk with a melee attack (even one with Reach) suffers 5d8+3 poison damage (DC 15 Fortitude save for half). Same goes for anyone touching you.

You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book. Only color softcovers available right now, but the others should become available in a week or two.

It look a lot longer than expected, but we finally released The Jinni. As with our other monstrous classes, this one is more faithful to the mythology (so don't go in expecting elemental-themed jinn).

After putting it to a vote, the next couple of classes on the docket are the warden (think 4E D&D warden) and apothecary (gotta go see what they're all about).

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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