A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

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08 April 2011

G is for Grick

There is a slimy creature, grasping and vicious, that lives in dungeons. This foul abberation lies in wait for its unsuspecting prey to pass below it, then pounces and attacks until its victim is rendered helpless.

No, not this creature.

G-R-I-C-K, not G-L-I-C-K. That would be one of these:

Although I can understand why there would be confusion. There's a striking resemblance, and they both have voracious appetites. Not to mention those grasping tentacles.

The grick is a fairly recent inclusion into the Dungeons & Dragons bestiary, first introduced in Third Edition. It was updated for 3.5 and again for Fourth Edition. Despite having played Third Edition from its initial release, I had never encountered a grick until last year. And when I did, it wasn't as a player, but as a DM.

My children still shout when I pull out the grick miniature. There unsuspecting first-level characters charged into a dungeon room that appeared empty. Almost immediately they realized the room was not empty and they were not alone: three gricks emerged from the shadows, surrounding their group.

I had also found online a .wav file--an insectile clacking sound--and played that on an endless loop as we played out the combat.

It worked better than I could have imagined.

The combination of all things worked to implant in my kids heads an abject terror for these (relatively) weak opponents. They dispatched the critters fairly handily but they were left with scars of their own. "No, Dad! Not the grick!" they yell when they see the miniature on the table.

In an effort to make these wee beasties a bit more difficult I hereby present two tweaked forms: the grim glick and the gricklet swarm. I will confess that in the interest of time I borrowed a bit from some other D&D monsters for the tweaks.

Good luck and good hunting.
Grick, Grim
Medium Aberration
Hit Dice: 4d8 (20 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), climb 20 ft.
Armor Class: 18 (+2 Dex, +6 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+5
Attack: Tentacle +5 melee (1d6+2)
Full Attack: 4 tentacles +5 melee (1d6+2); bite +1 melee (1d4+1)
Face/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Aura of Gloom (10 feet radius, DC 17), Wasting Bite
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/magic, darkvision 60 ft., scent
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +6
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 3, Wis 14, Cha 5
Skills: Climb +10|+8, Hide +3*, Listen +6, Spot +6
Feats: Alertness, Track
Environment: Underground
Organization: Solitary or cluster (2-4)
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: 1/10 coins; 50% goods; 50% items
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: 5-6 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: --

An adult grim grick is about 10 feet long from the tips of its tentacles to the end of its body and weighs some 230 pounds, although they look sickly. Its body coloration is uniformly dark, with a pale underbelly. A thin grey mist swirls perpetually around the creature.
Like their cousins, grim glicks attack when hungry or threatened. They hunt by holing up near high-traffic areas, using their natural coloration to blend into convenient shadows. When prey (virtually anything that moves) ventures near, they lash out with their tentacles. A grick's rubbery body seems to shed blows of any kind. Its jaws are relatively small and weak compared to its body mass, so rather than consume its kill immediately, a grick normally drags its victim back to its lair to be eaten at its leisure.
A grick's natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Multiple gricks do not fight in concert. Each attacks the prey closest to it, and breaks off the fight as soon as it can drag dead or unconscious prey away.
Skills: A grick has a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened.

SA-Aura of Gloom (Su): A green-grey mist constantly roils around a grim glick. The mist emanates from the glick at a distance of 10 feet. Any living creature who ends its turn inside the mist must succeed at a Will save (DC 17) or become shaken for 1 round. Leaving the mist does not remove the shaken effect before the end of its duration. This is a fear effect.

SA-Wasting Bite (Su): In addition to taking the normal bite damage, any creature hit by a grim glick’s bite attack must succeed on a Fortitude save or contract grey wasting (DC 21). Grey wasting has an incubation of 1 day and deals 1d4 points of points of Charisma drain. Grim glicks are immune to the grey wasting disease.

*Their coloration affords gricks a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks when in natural rocky areas.


Swarm, Gricklet
Tiny Animal (Swarm)
Hit Dice: 11d8 (44 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares), climb 30 ft.
Armor Class: 18 (+2 size, +5 Dex, +2 natural), touch 17, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+3
Attack: Swarm (3d6)
Full Attack: Swarm (3d6)
Face/Reach: 10. ft./10. ft.
Special Attacks: Distraction, wounding
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/magic, darkvision 60 ft., scent, swarm traits
Saves: Fort +9, Ref +14, Will +4
Abilities: Str 2, Dex 21, Con 15, Int 3, Wis 13, Cha 3
Skills: Climb +12|+10, Hide +10*, Listen +6, Move Silently $10, Spot +6
Feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Track
Environment: Underground
Organization: Solitary, cluster (2-4 swarms), or hive (5-8 swarms)
Challenge Rating: 6
Treasure: None
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: --
Level Adjustment: --

A wave of tiny, tentacled creatures swarms toward you, the clacking of their beaks and the slithering of their bodies the only sound they make as they approach.

Named for their resemblance to adult gricks, it is unknown exactly whether or not the creatures are an immature form of grick or a separate creature entirely. As with gricks, their body coloration is uniformly dark, with a pale underbelly. Unlike gricks, a gricklet’s tentacles are lined with razor-sharp needles rather than suckers. Gricklets are extremely dangerous and hunt in massive swarms, tearing apart all in their path with a relentless hunger and irresistible momentum. They make no distinction between kinds of prey and are fearless, facing obstacles with their snapping beaks and tearing arms. Gricklets are voracious and have been known to pursue prey for miles before overwhelming their victim. A gricklet stands 10 inches tall and weigh 2 pounds.

A gricklet swarm seeks to surround, attack, and overwhelm any living creature it encounters. A swarm deals 3d6 points of damage to any creature whose space it occupies at the end of its move.
Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to gricklet swarm's damage that begins its turn with a swarm in its space is nauseated for 1 round; a Fortitude DC 17 negates the effect. Even after a successful save, spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a gricklet swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills requiring patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Wounding (Ex): Any living creature damaged by a gricklet swarm continues to bleed, losing 1 hit point per round thereafter. Multiple wounds do not result in cumulative bleeding loss. The bleeding can be stopped by a DC 10 Heal check or the application of a cure spell or some other healing magic.
Skills: A gricklet swarm’s coloration affords a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks when in natural rocky areas.

Some varieties of gricklet’s are poisonous (Fortitude DC 17, initial and secondary damage 1d3 Dex) and have a Challenge Rating of 7. The poison's save DC is Constitution-based.

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