illustration from by Kentarō Miura
Once there was a civilization, now long gone, whose knowledge and craft surpassed all others. Its people wanted for nothing; their mechanical and medical prowess allowed them to live long and leisurely lives.
To better pursue their artistic and intellectual endeavors, they created living servitors to perform the menial and manual tasks – separate lines to work farms and factories, to maintain households and administer offices, to protect the borders, and to project force when necessary.
Despite its power, this empire fell, as all empires must. It’s unknown what precipitated the collapse – foreign invasion, natural catastrophe, or internal insurrection – very little of their historical accounts remain. Most of the servitors, bereft of the work they were literally born to do, went extinct. But some, shock trooper stock bred for maximum aggression and endurance, survived.
Now, they call themselves the shoggurim and they know no masters but themselves.
No. Appearing: Highly variable. A typical raiding party consists of 6 to 10 individuals.
Hit Dice: 1d10 to 10d10; shoggurim with 5 to 9 hit dice are Large sized, a shoggurim with 10 hit dice is Huge. Since they never stop growing throughout their lifetimes, even larger shoggurim are possible.
Movement: Normal human
Armor: Medium (tough skin supplemented by additional pieces of armor)
Attack: By weapon or unarmed attack (1d4 damage for Medium-sized shoggurim, 1d6 for Large shoggurim, and 1d8 for Huge shoggurim)
Morale: Medium sized shoggurim have average morale, Large shoggurim have high morale, and Huge shoggurim have very high morale
- Immutable Form: Due to their chimeric biology, shoggurim are immune to spells and effects that alter the body.
- Godless: Having witnessed the decline and fall of the beings who had supposedly been their gods, shoggurim are unshakably atheistic. They gain Advantage on all saving throws versus spells and effects of a divine origin.
Shoggurim with 4 or more hit dice also gain one of the following abilities (choose or roll 1d12):
1 – Facestealer: By means of a grisly ritual, the shoggurim can adopt the appearance of another creature. The process decreases the target’s Charisma score by 2d6 points; a successful Constitution saving throw halves the points lost. Every time the disguised shoggurim takes damage, they must roll 1d20; on a result of 10 or less, they revert to their true appearance.
2 – Walking Hive: A symbiotic swarm of insects crawls upon the shoggurim’s body. Once per day as a standard action, they can rouse the swarm to attack.
3 – Four-armed: The shoggurim has a second pair of arms of equal muscle-mass and coordination to the first. As well as being able to wield double the amount of weapons and equipment, the shoggurim has Advantage on grappling checks.
4 – Burning Blood: Whenever the shoggurim is wounded, it releases a spray of corrosive blood; creatures adjacent them must succeed a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 damage.
5 – Threatening Display: As a standard action, the shoggurim can momentarily become terrifying; all creatures that can see them must succeed a Wisdom saving throw or become immobilized with fear until the end of the shoggurim’s next turn. A creature can only be affected by this ability once every 24 hours.
6 – Four-legged: The shoggurim has a second pair of legs of equal muscle-mass and coordination to the first. They have double the normal movement speed and have Advantage on Strength checks to resist knockdowns and forced movement.
7 – Pachydermic: Due to their naturally thick hide, the shoggurim takes half damage from non-magical weapons.
8 – Sweeping Tail: As an additional attack, the shoggurim can use their thick, muscular tail to attempt to trip an opponent within melee reach. Unless the target succeeds a Strength or Dexterity saving throw, they are knocked prone.
9 – Transfer Harm: As a reaction to suffering damage, the shoggurim can attempt to transmit the wound to another living creature it can see. If the target fails a Constitution saving throw, it suffers damage as if it had been struck instead of the shoggurim.
10 – Entangling Pelt: A creature that strikes the shoggurim in melee must succeed a Strength saving throw or become grappled.
11 – Parasitic Spy: The shoggurim can infect a living creature with a parasitic fluke that psychically links the shoggurim and the host. As long as the infected creature is within a number of miles equal to the shoggurim’s hit dice, the shoggurim can see and hear what it does.
12 – Mephitic Exhalation: As a standard action, the shoggurim can belch forth a cloud of noxious vapors. All living creatures within a conical area 15 feet long and 15 feet wide at it’s widest end must make a Constitution saving throw. Creatures that fail the save are incapacitated for a number of rounds equal to the shoggurim’s hit dice; those that succeed suffer Disadvantage on attack rolls, saving throws, and ability and skill checks instead. The shoggurim can use this ability once for every three hit dice it possesses.
Shoggurim appearance varies wildly from individual to individual, a mix of multiple humanoid and animal characteristics. They are hermaphroditic, mature quickly and never stop growing as they age. They can eat just about anything – plant or animal, living or carrion.