Monday, February 22, 2021

Gargriffs + Gargriff Masks

Gargriff (5 HD, +7 AC, two stone talon attacks at 1d8+1, water spout attack at 1d2 knock back on hit, swimming, protection of water lichen, fountainborn and surprises on 4 in 6)
Morale- 12 in fountain, 7 everywhere else
Numbers- 1 or 1d6

The Gargriff is a powerful monster that resides inside of ancient fountains, city plazas, old palace gardens and abandoned aqueducts. They tend to have the bodies of demons, dragons, leviathans, fish-men, crocodiles or gryphons but they always have the faces of lions and wings. They cannot fly, but can 'glide' through water faster then a fish can swim, making them incredibly dangerous in larger arenas. In small fountains, the Gargriff can only make minor use of this ability. If they have access to open water, consider them able to retreat or engage instantly- they dive under the water after each attack and can only be hit with a natural attack roll of 20 (before modifiers) unless you have a method of isolating them. They are not especially intelligent but know how to grab and drown tough targets. The Gargriffs are also made of stone, and are as such incredibly tough and dangerous.

When the Gargriff leaves water, its mouth spurts water in a constant, slow and steady stream. This water is coming from a reserve inside of its body, but it can suck up water through any part of it, which is filtered through the stone and spit back out. For this reason, Gargriff water is known to be especially pure and makes the perfect supply of fresh water in a dry dead city. This spurt can also be turned into an attack; any round the Gargriff may fire its water spurt with incredible intensity which deals 1d2 damage on knocks the foe back on a hit. Usually, they'll use this to splash people into water or off high ledges to maximize effectiveness. Each Gargriff can only use this ability twice until needing to rest with at least some of its body in a pool of water, preferably a fountain.

Gargriffs organize themselves by age. The older Gargriffs are the ones with the most limescale and lichen growing on their bodies; these Gargriffs are considered in charge and get the more 'comfortable' places on the fountain- usually the most damp place to acquire yet more water damage and staining. Additionally, this water lichen acts as a barrier which protects the Gargriff against one ice or fire spell, after which the lichen will be destroyed and protection nullified. There is a 1 in 6 chance for any Gargriff to be an “elder” with this level of buildup.

Finally, the Gargriffs are born of fountains and constructed pools, and that is where they are drawn. Even though they would be more effective in larger lakes or even the ocean, the Gargriffs can't stop themselves from roosting at old crumbling fountains. Because of how well they blend in, sitting in the centers of these fountains and spitting water all around them- they have a 4 in 6 chance to surprise a party who approaches to investigate or to take a rest.

Gargriff Masks
When a Gargriff dies, the face it was making upon its death is frozen onto its face (usually a snarl or a pathetic pained groan). The creature is made of stone, but somehow “solidifies” from animated stone after it is dead- meaning that its body becomes much more brittle and even harder to work with. For this reason, Gargriff Masks can only be made in special situations; usually when a Gargriff is beheaded with a +3 magic sword or its entire body except its head is shattered somehow. It may also be possible to use iron stakes, hammers, and chisels to slowly free the head from the carcass of a dead Gargriff but this will take a full 6 hours of labor to accomplish for a group of average humans.

The Gargriff Mask is a magic item. It is as heavy as it looks and is nearly impossible except very large and strong beings (ogres or humans with +3 Strength modifier or better) to be able to wear in any comfort. The masks cover the entire face and as such you can't wear a helmet while using it, unless one is specially constructed around the Mask. They are a highly prized magic item and even the most careful of adventurers may be tempted to fight a pack of these fearsome monsters just for the chance to get a hold of one of these.

Gargriff Mask - +1 Magic Mask
Stats- Provides +4 AC, Water Breathing, Sink in Water

The Gargriff Mask is incredibly heavy and strong. It counts as an encumbering item, as such wearing this mask counts as though you are wearing the heaviest plate armor or are overburdened with load simply due to its size and weight. The mask is also made of stone; as such it grants +4 AC, but for the purposes of magic item destructive spells or abilities only consider it a +1 magic item, as its magical power is only inherited from the creature postmortem.

Despite the Gargriff' Mask being made of solid stone with no holes, putting this on your head as a mask magically makes you able to see from its eyes, speak through its mouth, and breathe through the stone mask itself. The Gargriff mask never moves or changes expression, but your voice can be clearly heard through the rumbling mouth. It is possible to breathe through the Gargriff mask, but it can be straining since you are breathing air through its porous surface- treat your Constitution modifier as -1 for things like cross country running, sprinting in a chase, or fighting in prolonged battles as long as you have the mask on. You can recover your breath by stopping and lifting the mask one combat round, but doing so will leave you vulnerable for attack.

Due to its materials, anyone wearing this mask will sink in water. This effect is incredibly frightening the first time it happens, but this is where the true power of the mask kicks in. The hard to breath material stone can filter not just air, but also water. As you breathe in underwater, your lungs will be filled with air. This mask allows you to breathe underwater, but you are still subject to the Constitution penalty for strenuous activity. Essentially- you can breathe underwater but its similar to having asthma or a low constitution.

Groups of Gargriff Mask wearers have been known to invade underwater fortresses without warning, or act as scouts and trackers for pirate hunters- scaling the ocean floor or the lake bottom for treasures or enemies to fight beneath the murky waters no Gargriff would ever dare swim.

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