Dragon Magazine

Fish, Tropical

2173



 Grouper, GiantMorenaPorcupine FishRay, Electric
Climate/Terrain:Tropical salt waterTropical salt waterTropical salt waterTropical salt water
Frequency:UncommonUncommonRareRare
Organization:SolitarySolitarySolitarySolitary
Activity Cycle:AnyAnyAnyAny
Diet:CarnivoreCarnivoreCoralCarnivore
Intelligence:Animal (1)Animal (1)Animal (1)Animal (1)
Treasure:Nil (R,X)NilNilNil
Alignment:NeutralNeutralNeutralNeutral
No. Appearing:11-41-21-3
Armor Class:53 (6 if stationary)67
Movement:Sw 12Sw 15Sw 9Sw 9
Hit Dice:63+212+4
THAC0:151719Nil
No. of Attacks:111Nil
Damage/Attack:2d61d4+21d3Nil
Special Attacks:Swallows wholeSurprise on 1-5PoisonSurprise on 1-8, electrical shock
Special Defenses:NilEvades missilesNilCamouflage
Magic Resistance:NilNilNilNil
Size:H (16’+ long)S (3-4’ long)S (2-3’ long)M (6’ long)
Morale:Elite (13)Average (10)Unsteady (5)Average (8)
XP Value:1,4002,0003,000420

Giant Grouper

The giant grouper is a lurking predator that can be found near coral reefs and the wrecks of sunken ships. The largest specimens have been known to reach a length of 20 feet and weigh 1,000 pounds. Its huge jaws act as a giant suction pump, drawing smaller fish into its gaping maw. This giant fish sometimes stalks solitary divers like a great cat.

On a roll of 20, the giant grouper swallows a creature of man-size or less; otherwise, the creature is merely bitten. When a grouper swallows, it creates a great suction that sweeps the intended prey and all tiny creatures (size T) within 10 feet into its maw; none of the swallowed creatures are damaged in the round they are swallowed. A person swallowed with a dagger or similar small, sharp weapon in hand can cut his way out by inflicting damage equal to 25% of the groupers original hit points. The grouper’s digestive fluids inflict 1d4 points of damage per round, starting the round after the creature is swallowed. An enterprising character who has been swallowed might try to leave the grouper when it opens its mouth to swallow other prey, as well; this requires a successful Strength check.

Morena

The morena is similar to a moray eel in shape, but has the disposition of a piranha. It is aggressive and avoided even by sharks. The morena resides in coral reef niches or caves, much like a moray eel, and might be mistaken for one while at rest. The morena is gray-green, but may be lighter or darker, blending in with its aquatic environment.

If disturbed in its lair, a morena may shoot out to 40 feet in a single thrust, surprising on a roll of 1-8 and gaining a +2 bonus to its attack roll. Otherwise, it moves with a quick side-to-side pattern. Missile fire automatically misses the rapidly moving creature at first, and a penalty of -4 applies to an opponent’s missile attack rolls against it thereafter.

While in motiom, the morena has an Armor Class of 2. When it bites, not only does the morena inflict 1d4+1 points of damage, but its jaws lock, inflicting 2d4+2 each round thereafter. When its jaws are locked or when th creature is stationary, the morena has an Armor Class of 6. The morena releases its hold and flees if reduced to a third of its hit points or less. A morena regenerates at a rate of 1 hit point per turn, though it dies if reduced to 0 hit points.

Porcupine fish

The porcupine fish is related to the puffer fish. It is found near rocky coasts and coral reefs. Territorial, it does not stray far from its feeding grounds, where it eats coral, clams, and small crustaceans. If threatened, it flees to its abode at the earliest opportunity. The porcupine fish is not aggressive, but can be dangerous.

If provoked, a porcupine fish might bite for 1d3 points of damage. When attacked or threatened, however, the fish inflates its body to three times its normal size. This causes numerous dagger-length spines to appear across its body. A natural physical attack (such as a bite or tentacle) against a porcupine fish allows it an attack roll for its spines. If the spine atack is successful, the opponent receives 3d4 points of physical damage and must make an immediate saving throw vs. poison. Failure means the poisoned creature will die within 1d4 rounds. If an attacker comes within 5 feet, a panicked porcupine fish might dart forward suddenly to attack with its spines. Barracuda eat them, becoming toxic to human consumption in the process.

Electric Ray

This tropical ray is most often found at depths up to 200 feet in warm ocean water, though it has also been encountered within wading distance of shore. A slow swimmer, the electric ray most often buries itself in the sandy floor of the sea to avoid its enemies; if buried, it is considered invisible. The ray uses its electrical shock to stun or kill the smaller fish upon which it feeds. This can be panful, but is harmless to man-sized creatures.

However, when stepped on or when threatened by larger predators, the ray releases its stored energy in one burst, with a radius of 15 feet. Creatures in this area must make a successful saving throw vs. paralyzation or be stunned (reeling and unable to take coherent actions) for 2d4 rounds. Despite saving throws, the following electrical damage is taken: those within 5 feet take 2d6 points of damage, those within 10 feet take 1d6, and those within 15 feet take 1d3. Those within 30 feet feel a slight tingle, but are otherwise unaffected.

The ray recharges itself in 5d4 rounds, and can release a major shock up to five times a day. After delivering a burst, the ray flees.


Last Modified: June 10, 2010, 11:56:54 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition


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