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03/24/2006


Variant Medusas
Elite Opponents: Creature Incarnations
By Robert Wiese

Welcome to Creature Incarnations, a column all about monsters—and strange, variant monsters at that!The D&DFight Club column presents one monster at three different power levels, so that you can insert the appropriate version into your campaign. This column, on the other hand, examines different versions of a given creature for use in different types of campaigns. Though most versions fit best into D&D campaigns, one version in this installment is for the d20 Modern game, so you can use the creature in your modern-day or future campaigns too.

Design Notes

This month we examine one of the icons of Greek mythology, the medusa. I hope everyone brought a mirror. The snake-haired creatures known as medusas have been the bane of adventurers and Greek heroes (or wanna-be heroes, at least) for ages. But as Perseus and many D&D heroes have discovered, medusas aren't that tough once you get up close to them.

The goal with Elite Opponents is to showcase different creatures in various templates, providing even more flexible opponents for your players to face. In much the same way, you might also consider variations to the medusa's gaze attack, depending on the strength and knowledge of the PCs; if the medusa's CR is significantly higher than the party, change her gaze attack to a lower save DC, or whose petrifying effect is not permanent but lasts a number of rounds—explained by the medusa's eyes have been damaged by a previous encounter.

Andrew Finch, WotC's Director of New Business, created one such version—a medusa with a stunning instead of a petrifying gaze. As Andrew notes, he believes medusas/basilisks have an interesting mechanic (Gaze), which is made less so because of its save or die effect. The choice of whether or not to avert your eyes is thus less compelling, because the cost is just too high; however, in addition to stun, his list of alternate gives some more "push your luck" choices with gaze monsters: sleep, poison/stat damage, daze, slow, nauseated, and hold.

Another of his alternates involved stacking effects—such as shaken/frightened/panicked. At first, the effects seem trivial, as a player might think, "if I fail my save, I'm just at -2." Yet if he fails the first save, the equation changes, and he now faces being forced to flee if he fails another one.

Steven Montana took the opposite approach, ratcheting up a medusa he used. He notes that medusa rogues make particularly effective villains; as PCs avert their eyes to avoid being petrified, this opens them up to the medusa's sneak attacks.

Variant Medusas

If a medusa can exist, so can variants on that theme. The versions presented here emphasize various aspects of the basic medusa to provide new and interesting challenges. The resulting creatures aren't powerhouses in melee any more than the standard medusa is, but they present other kinds of challenges. Unlike the medusa of Greek mythology, D&D medusas can be found anywhere and often appear as leaders of criminal organizations.

As a monstrous humanoid, the medusa can take on almost any template (except lycanthrope) to produce literally hundreds of very different monsters. And if werewolf medusas are just what your campaign needs, you can always break the rules and make some anyway. As long as they exist only in your own little corner of the D&D multiverse, they really won't harm anyone—except your campaign's inhabitants.

The following variant medusas are useful in their own right, but they can also serve as springboards for your imagination, leading to even more interesting variants.

d20 Modern: Part-Sidhe Medusa

Sidhe can mate with almost any kind of creature, but one still has to wonder why they do so. Perhaps the first part-sidhe medusa came about because an evil sidhe wanted an unexpected weapon against its good sidhe foes, and the idea eventually caught hold with other evil sidhe that saw the creature in action. But whatever their origins, a number of these creatures now exist, and they have spread throughout the world. Most of them spend their time advancing whatever agendas their parents and allies have in mind.

This creature combines the base medusa from the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook with the changeling template from the Urban Arcana Campaign Setting. The combination is very interesting because it degrades the medusa's already weak physical prowess while giving it more abilities to use outside of combat. A part-sidhe medusa could be the mastermind behind a criminal organization, but she would probably confine herself to organizing and directing the activities of others rather than doing fieldwork.

Changelings generally have some fey aspects deriving from their specific parentage. The fey medusa is a little thinner than a normal one, and often more curvy and alluring. Even her snaky hair is strangely attractive, writhing gracefully about her face. Her ears are slightly pointed, and her eyes are a light blue color that is almost violet. Because the changeling medusa prefers deception and persuasion to brute force, she is usually encountered in some kind of disguise. If she cannot charm, deceive, or negotiate with her target, she uses her petrifying gaze on it, then orders her lackeys attack while she retreats to a safe position.

Changeling Medusa CR 12
Female changeling medusa Fast hero 1/Charismatic hero 2
CE Medium-size Fey
Init +5; Senses low-light vision
Languages English (speak, read/write), Spanish (speak, read/write)

Defense 25, touch 19, flat-footed 20
(+5 Dex, +3 natural, +4 classes, +3 armor)
hp 35 (9 HD); DR 5/magic
Mas 10
Immune sonic/concussion
Resist evasion, fire 10
Fort +4, Ref +13, Will +6

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Ranged Glock 17 pistol +13 (2d6) or
Ranged Glock 17 pistol +13/+8 (2d6) or
Melee knife +12 (1d4/19-20) or
Melee snakes +12 (1d4 plus poison) or
Melee knife +7/+2 (1d4/19-20) and
Melee snakes +7 (1d4 plus poison)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
BAB +7; Grap +7
Atk Options petrifying gaze, poison
AP 9
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th):
3/day -- detect magical aura
1/day -- charm person, object reading

Abilities Str 10, Dex 20, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 19
Talents
evasion (Fast hero), fast-talk (Charismatic hero)
Feats Armor Proficiency (light), DeceptiveB, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Point Blank Shot, Simple Weapons ProficiencyB, Weapon Finesse (snakes)
Skills Bluff +21 (+23 when lying), Disguise +19, Drive +7, Knowledge (current events) +5, Knowledge (streetwise) +4, Move Silently +10, Pilot +5, Sleight of Hand +7, Spot +10
Rep +2
Possessions Glock 17 pistol, undercover vest, 20 rounds ammo for Glock, fashionable action-oriented clothing

Hook "I like you. Maybe we could meet at my place later and work out a deal?"

Petrifying Gaze (Su): The gaze of the changeling medusa turns the target to stone permanently (Fort DC 17 negates). Each opponent within 30 feet of her must attempt a saving throw each round at the beginning of its turn in initiative order. She can also actively gaze as an attack action by choosing a target within range, which must then attempt a saving throw.

Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 13, initial damage 1d6 Str, secondary damage 2d6 Str.

Monstrous Four-Legged Medusa

The tauric template from Savage Species can produce some interesting creatures. When selecting a tauric combination, try to choose a base creature whose abilities somehow complement those of the base humanoid.

DMs often use this template to create entirely new races for their campaigns, but whether more than one tauric medusa exists is up to you. Such a creature could have resulted from the twisted experimentation of an evil wizard or druid, or it could be the result of a breeding program that somehow produced a species capable of breeding true. If a number of these creatures exist in your campaign world, then they should probably live in some remote area because the dominant races would probably chase them away from any civilized lands.

The tauric medusa-manticore combines the best attributes of both base creatures and eliminates the worst aspects of each. The manticore's leonine body with its spotted fur pattern merges with the medusa's humanoid torso, and the leathery, dragonlike wings lie flat across her back. Her spiked tail whips back and forth in a perpetual state of restlessness, as if she is barely holding back an urge to fire spikes at a target. Her snaky hair writhes in tempo with the tail movement, giving her a frantic look most of the time.

This monster's spikes are not her best weapon, but she prefers to soften up foes from a distance during the early rounds of a fight using her bow, tail spikes, and ranged spells. She is smart enough to disable any foes holding holy symbols first, since such creatures can usually heal her other opponents. If she can get a foe within the extended range of her gaze attack, she immediately tries to petrify that creature, unless doing so would be a bad idea tactically. She reserves charging into melee for later rounds, after she has disabled the healers or run out of ranged combat capability. The tauric medusa-manticore is a poor flyer, but she can make flyby attacks on two opponents at once, and she makes good use of that tactic if it doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity from other foes.

Tauric Medusa-Manticore CR 10
Female tauric medusa-manticore sorcerer 8
LE Large monstrous humanoid
Init +3; Senses Listen +11, Spot +11; darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent
Languages Common

AC 20, touch 12, flat-footed 17
(-1 size, +3 Dex, +2 armor, +6 natural)
hp 174 (HD 20)
Fort +12, Ref +10, Will +12

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 50 ft. (clumsy); Flyby Attack, Great Flyby Attack
Melee claw +20 (2d4+5) or
Melee mwk quarterstaff +21 (1d8+7) or
Melee 2 claws +20 (2d4+5) and
Melee +18 snakes (1d4+2 plus poison) or
Melee mwk quarterstaff +21/+16/+11/+6 (1d6+5) and
Melee 2 claws +18 (2d4+2) and
Melee snakes +18 (1d4+2 plus poison) or
Ranged mwk shortbow +19 (1d6/x3) or
Ranged mwk shortbow +19/+14/+9/+4 (1d6/x3) or
Ranged 6 spikes +18 (1d8+5/19-20)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +16; Grp +25
Atk Options Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, poison
Special Actions petrifying gaze, spikes
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 8th):
4th (3/day) -- polymorph
3rd (6/day) -- displacement, haste
2nd (7/day) -- alter self, scorching ray, see invisibility
1st (7/day) -- disguise self, expeditious retreat, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, shield
0 (6/day) -- acid splash, arcane mark, detect magic, ghost sound (DC 13), mage hand, prestidigitation, read magic, touch of fatigue (DC 13)

Abilities Str 20, Dex 16, Con 20, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 16
SA petrifying gaze, poison, spikes
Feats Flyby Attack, Great Flyby Attack, Irresistible Gaze, Multiattack, Piercing Gaze, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
Skills Concentration +13, Hide -1, Intimidate +11, Knowledge (arcana) +9, Listen +11, Move Silently +12, Spellcraft +11, Spot +11, Survival +9
Possessions masterwork quarterstaff, masterwork shortbow, quiver of Ehlonna with 60 arrows, bracers of armor +2

Hook "My petrifying gaze, tail spikes, and formidable combat prowess tell me that you are about to die."

Petrifying Gaze (Su): The gaze of the tauric medusa-manticore turns the target to stone permanently (Fort DC 21 negates). Each opponent within 60 feet of her must attempt a saving throw each round at the beginning of its turn in initiative order. She can also actively gaze as an attack action by choosing a target within range, which must then attempt a saving throw.

Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 16, initial damage 1d6 Str, secondary damage 2d6 Str.

Spikes (Ex): With a snap of her tail, the tauric medusa-manticore can loose a volley of six spikes as a standard action (one attack roll per spike). This attack has a range of 180 feet with no range increment. All targets must be within 30 feet of each other. The creature can launch only twenty-four spikes in any 24-hour period.

Fiery Medusa

In this version, its suggested to provide the medusa's snakes with an unexpected breath weapon—in this case, fire. You might consider further modifications depending on what environment the medusa occupies (and which dragon ancestry she shares); for example, providing her snakes with a frost breath weapon for an arctic medusa, or acidic breath for a swamp-dwelling medusa. Like the yuan-ti, such medusas might exhibit more serpentine forms depending on the strength of their dragon ancestry... and might make powerful guards, or wives, for such dragons.

Certain templates—especially fire-based ones—can work very well together. The result of crossing a half-dragon/half-medusa with a creature of elemental fire, this medusa has both the half-dragon (red) template from the Monster Manual and the half-elemental (fire) template from Manual of the Planes. If you want a medusa whose snaky heads can do something other than bite, use the suggested modification to the creature's breath weapon given below that allows the breath to issue from the snake heads instead of the mouth. This alteration doesn't change how the breath weapon works or allow the creature to take any additional actions in a round, but it looks cool and tends to catch adventurers off guard. And if you really want to pump up the fire aspect of the fiery medusa, give it a flaming bow.

The face and snaky hair of this medusa have a red tinge, and ruddy, scalelike skin covers her body. Though she has formidable combat abilities, she still prefers to disarm suspicion with deception and soften up or kill her foes with ranged attacks. The fiery medusa uses her breath weapon only if a petrification attempt fails, then she uses ranged attacks for as long as possible and employs her wands to cure herself or pin down foes. She prefers not to use her rage ability until she is forced into melee. Since she is very aware of her vulnerability to cold, she uses whatever cash she gets to supply herself with items that help her resist that form of energy.

Half-fire-elemental/quarter-red-dragon/quarter-medusa CR 14
Half-Fire-Elemental/Quarter-Red-Dragon/Quarter-Medusa Barbarian 1/Ranger 2
CE Medium outsider (fire)
Init +5; Senses Listen +13, Spot +13; darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision
Languages Common

AC 29, touch 15, flat-footed 25
(+5 Dex, +6 armor, +8 natural)
hp 76 (9 HD)
Immune fire, paralysis, sleep
Fort +10, Ref +13, Will +6

Speed 40 ft. (6 squares)
Melee claw +13 (1d6+4) or
Melee+1 greatsword +14 (2d6+7/19-20) or
Melee+1 greatsword +14/+9 (2d6+7/19-20) and
Melee bite +8 (1d6+2) and
Melee snakes +8 (1d4+2 plus poison) or
Melee 2 claws +13 (1d6+4) and
Melee bite +8 (1d6+2) and
Melee snakes +8 (1d4+2 plus poison) or
Ranged+1 composite shortbow +15 (1d6+5/x3) or
Ranged+1 composite shortbow +15/+10 or
Ranged +13/+13/+8 (1d6+5/x3) with Rapid Shot
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +9; Grp +13
Atk Options Combat Reflexes, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, favored enemy humans +2, poison, rage 1/day
Special Actions breath weapon, petrifying gaze
Combat Gearwand of cure light wounds, wand of entangle, scroll of resist energy
Spell-like Abilities (CL 6th):
1/day -- burning hands (DC 14), flaming sphere (DC 15), produce flame

Abilities Str 18, Dex 20, Con 16, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 19
SA breath weapon, petrifying gaze
SQ outsider traits, vulnerability to cold, wild empathy +6
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Natural Attack (claw), Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid ShotB, TrackB
Skills Bluff +13, Diplomacy +6, Disguise +13 (+15 acting), Hide +12, Intimidate +16, Listen +13, Move Silently +13, Ride +9, Spot +13, Survival +10, Tumble +8, Use Magic Device +6
Possessions+2 chain shirt, +1 greatsword, +1 composite short bow (+4 Str bonus) with 20 arrows, amulet of health +2, ring of protection +1, wand of entangle, wand of cure light wounds, scroll of resist energy

Hook "Should I consume you with fire, or add you to the statues in my garden?"

Breath Weapon (Su): Once per day, this medusa can breathe a cone of fire that deals 6d8 points of fire damage (Reflex DC 16 half). She can breathe the cone either through her own mouth, or through the mouths of the snakes that constitute her hair. The snakes in her hair must be pointing in the same direction as her face when breathing, and they create the same effect as using her breath weapon the normal way. Using her breath weapon takes a standard action, regardless of where the breath originates.

Outsider Traits: This medusa has darkvision to a 60-foot range, and she cannot be raised or resurrected (though a wish or miracle spell can restore life).

Petrifying Gaze (Su): The gaze of the fiery medusa turns the target to stone permanently (Fort DC 17 negates). Each opponent within 30 feet of her must attempt a saving throw each round at the beginning of its turn in initiative order. She can also actively gaze as an attack action by choosing a target within range, which must then attempt a saving throw.

Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 13, initial damage 1d6 Str, secondary damage 2d6 Str.

Ghostly Medusa

Since the trademark feature of the medusa is her petrifying gaze, creating an undead version that doesn't retain this ability makes no sense. Corporeal undead keep their special abilities, but incorporeal ones often do not. The ghost template from the Monster Manual, however, not only lets the medusa keep her petrifying gaze, but it also adds even more gaze attack goodness.

As might be expected, the ghostly medusa looks transparent. Looks can still kill, however, and her horrific appearance makes that adage even more applicable. Merely looking at the ghostly medusa forces a foe to make three Fortitude saves (against her horrific appearance, her corrupting gaze, and her petrifying gaze). When she actively uses her gaze as an attack action, two Fortitude saves are required (against the corrupting and petrifying gazes). Furthermore, since she has a base attack bonus of +6, she can use her gaze attack twice per round as a full attack action. If all enemies are averting their eyes, she disappears into the floor and comes back later, after her foes have let their guard down.

Ghost Medusa (Manifested) CR 9
LE Medium Undead (Incorporeal)
Init +2; Senses Listen +9, Spot +16; darkvision 60 ft.
Languages Common

AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 14
(+2 Dex, +4 deflection)
hp 39 (6 HD)
Immune ability drain, critical hits, damage to physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity), death effects, disease, energy drain, fatigue and exhaustion effects, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), nonlethal damage, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, stunning, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless)
Resist turn resistance +4
Fort +2, Ref +7, Will +6

Speed fly 30 ft. (6 squares) (perfect)
Melee Touch incorporeal touch +6 (1d4 ability points)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +6; Grp --
Atk Options Point Blank Shot, draining touch
Special Actions corrupting gaze (Fort DC 17), horrific appearance (Fort DC 17), petrifying gaze (DC 17)

Abilities Str --, Dex 15, Con --, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 19
SQ incorporeal traits, manifestation, undead traits
Feats Pervasive Gaze, Point Blank Shot, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +11, Diplomacy +6, Disguise +11 (+13 acting), Hide +10, Intimidate +6, Listen +9, Move Silently +8, Search +9, Spot +16

Hook "Now that I am dead, my gaze is even more powerful than it was in life."

Corrupting Gaze (Su): The ghostly medusa can blast living beings with a glance at a range of up to 30 feet. Any creature that meets her gaze must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or take 2d10 points of damage and 1d4 points of Charisma damage.

Draining Touch (Su): If the ghostly medusa hits a living target with her incorporeal touch attack, she drains 1d4 points from any one ability score she selects. On each such successful attack, she heals 5 points of damage to herself.

Horrific Appearance (Su): Any living creature within 60 feet that views the ghostly medusa must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or immediately take 1d4 points of Strength damage, 1d4 points of Dexterity damage, and 1d4 points of Constitution damage. A creature that successfully saves against this effect cannot be affected by this ghostly medusa's horrific appearance for 24 hours.

Incorporeal Traits: The ghostly medusa has no physical body. She can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons or creatures that strike as magic weapons, and spells, spell-like abilities, or supernatural abilities. She is immune to all nonmagical attack forms, and even when hit by spells or magic weapons, she has a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source (except for positive energy, negative energy, force effects such as magic missile, or attacks made with ghost touch weapons). Although it is not a magical attack, holy water can affect her, but a hit with holy water also has a 50% chance of not affecting her.

The ghostly medusa can enter or pass through a solid object but must remain adjacent to its exterior, so she cannot pass entirely through an object whose space is larger than her own, nor can she pass through a force effect. She can sense the presence of creatures or objects within a square adjacent to her current location, but enemies have total concealment (50% miss chance) from her when she is inside an object. In order to see farther from the object she is in and attack normally, she must emerge. While inside an object, the ghostly medusa has total cover, but when she attacks a creature outside the object she has only cover, so a creature outside with a readied action could strike at her as she attacks. She can pass through and operate in water as easily as she does in air.

The ghostly medusa cannot fall or take falling damage, and she cannot make trip or grapple attacks, nor can she be tripped or grappled. In fact, she cannot take any physical action that would move or manipulate an opponent or its equipment, nor is she subject to such actions.

The ghostly medusa has no weight and does not set off traps that are triggered by weight. She moves silently and cannot be heard with Listen checks if she doesn't wish to be. Nonvisual senses, such as scent and blindsight, are either ineffective or only partly effective with regard to her. Like other incorporeal creatures, she has an innate sense of direction and can move at full speed even when she cannot see.

Petrifying Gaze (Su): The gaze of the ghostly medusa turns the target to stone permanently (Fort DC 17 negates). Each opponent within 30 feet of her must attempt a saving throw each round at the beginning of its turn in initiative order. She can also actively gaze as an attack action by choosing a target within range, which must then attempt a saving throw.

Manifestation (Su): When the ghostly medusa manifests, she partly enters the Material Plane and becomes visible but incorporeal there. In that state, she can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons, or spells, and she has a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. She can pass through solid objects at will, her own attacks pass through armor, and she always moves silently. In this form, she can strike opponents on the Material Plane only with her touch attack. She also remains partially on the Ethereal Plane, where she is not incorporeal. While manifested, the ghostly medusa can be attacked by opponents on either the Material Plane or the Ethereal Plane. Her incorporeality helps protect her from foes on the Material Plane, but not from those on the Ethereal Plane. She is not considered extraplanar while on either of these planes.

Rejuvenation (Su): If she would otherwise be destroyed, the ghostly medusa can return to her old haunts with a successful level check (1d20+6) against DC 16. The only way to get rid of her for sure is to determine the reason for her existence and set right whatever prevents her from resting in peace.

Undead Traits: Negative energy (such as an inflict spell) can heal the ghostly medusa. When reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, she is immediately "destroyed" (see Rejuvenation).

Ghost Medusa (against Ethereal) CR 9
LE Medium Undead
Init +2; Senses Listen +9, Spot +16; darkvision 60 ft.
Languages Common

AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 13
(+2 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 39 (6 HD)
Immune ability drain, critical hits, damage to physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity), death effects, disease, energy drain, fatigue and exhaustion effects, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), nonlethal damage, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, stunning, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless)
Resist turn resistance +4
Fort +2, Ref +7, Will +6

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee Touch incorporeal touch +8 (1d4 ability points) or
Melee snakes +8 (1d4 plus poison) or
Melee knife +6 melee (1d4/19-20) or
Melee knife +6/+1 melee (1d4/19-20) and
Melee snakes +3 (1d4 plus poison) or
Ranged +4 shortbow (1d6/x3) or
Ranged +4/-1 shortbow (1d6/x3)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +6; Grp +6
Atk Options Point Blank Shot, draining touch, poison
Special Actions corrupting gaze (Fort DC 17), horrific appearance (Fort DC 17), petrifying gaze (DC 17)

Abilities Str 10, Dex 15, Con --, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 19
SQ incorporeal traits, manifestation, undead traits
Feats Pervasive Gaze, Point Blank Shot, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +11, Diplomacy +6, Disguise +11 (+13 acting), Hide +10, Intimidate +6, Listen +9, Move Silently +8, Search +9, Spot +16

Hook "Now that I am dead, my gaze is even more powerful than it was in life."

Corrupting Gaze (Su): The ghostly medusa can blast living beings with a glance at a range of up to 30 feet. Any creature that meets her gaze must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or take 2d10 points of damage and 1d4 points of Charisma damage.

Draining Touch (Su): If the ghostly medusa hits a living target with her incorporeal touch attack, she drains 1d4 points from any one ability score she selects. On each such successful attack, she heals 5 points of damage to herself.

Horrific Appearance (Su): Any living creature within 60 feet that views the ghostly medusa must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or immediately take 1d4 points of Strength damage, 1d4 points of Dexterity damage, and 1d4 points of Constitution damage. A creature that successfully saves against this effect cannot be affected by this ghostly medusa's horrific appearance for 24 hours.

Petrifying Gaze (Su): The gaze of the ghostly medusa turns the target to stone permanently (Fort DC 17 negates). Each opponent within 30 feet of her must attempt a saving throw each round at the beginning of its turn in initiative order. She can also actively gaze as an attack action by choosing a target within range, which must then attempt a saving throw.

Manifestation (Su): When the ghostly medusa manifests, she partly enters the Material Plane and becomes visible but incorporeal there. In that state, she can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons, or spells, and she has a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. She can pass through solid objects at will, her own attacks pass through armor, and she always moves silently. In this form, she can strike opponents on the Material Plane only with her touch attack. She also remains partially on the Ethereal Plane, where she is not incorporeal. While manifested, the ghostly medusa can be attacked by opponents on either the Material Plane or the Ethereal Plane. Her incorporeality helps protect her from foes on the Material Plane, but not from those on the Ethereal Plane. She is not considered extraplanar while on either of these planes.

Rejuvenation (Su): If she would otherwise be destroyed, the ghostly medusa can return to her old haunts with a successful level check (1d20+6) against DC 16. The only way to get rid of her for sure is to determine the reason for her existence and set right whatever prevents her from resting in peace.

Undead Traits: Negative energy (such as an inflict spell) can heal the ghostly medusa. When reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, she is immediately "destroyed" (see Rejuvenation).

Additional Feats

The following feats are from books other than the Player's Handbook and the Monster Manual.

Great Flyby Attack (from Savage Species): Using this feat requires a full-round action. When flying, you can move up to your fly speed in a straight line and attack a number of opponents equal to your Dexterity bonus. All targets must be within your reach along the line of your movement. Make one attack roll, add the appropriate modifiers, and compare the result to the AC of each opponent you are attacking. If any hits are successful, make one damage roll and add the appropriate modifiers. Each successful hit deals the full damage to that creature; do not divide the result of the damage roll among the targets. Targets of your attack do not get attacks of opportunity against you, but other opponents that would be entitled to attacks of opportunity may take them.

Irresistible Gaze (from Savage Species): Add +2 to the DC of all saving throws against your gaze attack. The benefit of this feat stacks with the benefit provided by the Ability Focus feat.

Pervasive Gaze (from Savage Species): A creature that averts its eyes has only a 25% chance to avoid the need for a saving throw against your gaze attack.

Piercing Gaze (from Savage Species): Because of the sheer force of your presence, you add 30 feet to the range of your gaze attack.

About the Author

Robert Wiese entered the gaming hobby through the Boy Scouts and progressed from green recruit to head of the most powerful gaming fan organization in the world. He served as head of the RPGA Network for almost seven years, overseeing the creation of the Living Greyhawk and Living Force campaigns, among other achievements. Eventually, he returned to private life in Reno, Nevada, where he is still involved in writing, organizing conventions, and playing. He also models proteins for the Biochemistry Department of the University of Nevada, Reno, and spends as much time as possible with his wife and many pets.

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