Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Monster: Nightling

CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Lower Planes, Plane of Shadow
FREQUENCY: Very rare
ORGANIZATION: Solitary or small group
DIET: Special
INTELLIGENCE: Genius (18-19)
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
NO. APPEARING: 1-3 (3)
ARMOR CLASS: 9, 5, or 1
MOVEMENT: 12, Fl 30 (B)
HIT DICE: 7 +3 (base)
THAC0: 13
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d4/ 1d4 / 1d6
SIZE: M (6’ tall)
MORALE: Champion (15-16)
XP VALUE: 5,000 (+1,000 per additional HD over 7)

Nightlings are a something like cross between a shadow fiend and a succubus, and for all that can be proven, that is what they actually are. Though very beautiful, they are a dark and dangerous creature from the most dreaded of the lower planes. Lurking in regions of darkness, they attack not only to satisfy a desire to do evil, but also to gain power by siphoning off the life energy of its victims.

The nightling looks like a tall, slender humanoid female with large bat-like wings. These creatures have nasty claws on both their hands and feet, which are always exposed as the nightling clothes itself in nothing but darkness.

Nightlings speak Common and the language of fiends of the lower planes.

Combat: The primary interest of nightlings is in the stealing of life force from their victims, and therefore they will attempt whenever possible to approach when their prey is deep in slumber. Like shadows, these horrors are 90% undetectable when they move through dimly lit or shadowy conditions.

If they are able to approach their victim undetected while he sleeps (95% chance in darkness, 45% in dim light, 20% in bright light), the nightling positions its mouth about an inch from the sleeper’s own mouth and nose. For 1d3 rounds it silently breathes in the breath of its victim, and its victim breathes in the exhalations of the nightling. At the end of this process the victim is paralyzed for 1d4 hours, unless a save is made vs. breath weapon, in which case the paralysis effect is negated. The nightling then embraces the victim, which instantly awakens him. If paralyzed, he can neither resist nor call out for help--and is completely aware of what is happening. The embrace of a nightling will energy drain their victim, causing him to lose one life level per round for 1d4 rounds. Each life level drained from the victim adds a Hit Die to the nightling who has drained him.

The nightlings are also adept at physical combat, though they shun it. When they attack those who have not spotted them, they always attain surprise. Each round the monster is able to strike with two of its wicked claws (inflicting 1d4 points of damage each) and its horrible bite (inflicting 1d6 points or damage.)

Once engaged in combat, the power of the creature depends upon the lighting in the area of battle. In brightly lit areas (open sunlight, a continual light spell, and such), the nightling is greatly weakened. Here, its Armor Class is 9 and all attacks that strike it do double damage. Because of this, nightlings will normally flee from opponents in bright light.

In dimmer lighting, that created by a torch, lantern, or light spell, the nightling is somewhat better off. Here, it has an armor class of 5, though it still suffers normal damage from attacks. When it strikes in these conditions, however, it gains a +1 on its attack rolls.

In darkness, anything up to candle or moonlight, the creature is at its deadliest. Here, it gains a +2 on all attack rolls and is Armor Class 1. Further, all damage done to the creature is halved.

Regardless of the lighting around it, the nightling is immune to all damage from fire, cold, and electricity (whether magical or mundane in nature.) A light spell cast directly at the creature inflicts 1d6 points per level of the caster, although this damage may be reduced (or enhanced) by the lighting in the area.

Whenever the nightling gains surprise, it will spring onto its victim. Because of the small wings on its back, it can leap up to 30 feet and strike with four claws (each doing 1d4 points of damage.) When it leaps, it cannot employ its bite attack.

Once per day, the nightling may cast a darkness, 15' radius spell or subject all persons within a 30 foot area to a fear spell. Once per week, it can cast a magic jar spell at a single target (provided that it has a suitable receptacle for the victim at hand.) If the victim of the magic jar attack makes his saving throw, however, the nightling is stunned for 1d3 rounds during which time it cannot act.

Nightlings can be turned by clerics as if they were "special" creatures on the undead turning chart.

Habitat/Society: The nightling is called into the Prime Material Plane by the use of magical gate spells and similar incantations.

Ecology: The nightling has no role in the ecology of the Prime Material Plane.

NOTE: I thought these DC Heroclix figures for Fury would make an interesting D&D monster. The above description is what I came up with, drawing on the descriptions for both the Shadowfiend (Ravenloft Compendium) and the Succubus (MC8). No copyright or trademark infringement intended.

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