22 September 2013

Monster: Karpitrax

Attention! The following is for GM eyes only. If you wish to encounter this creature as a player, do not read this article.

"It was like a centipede one might find under a rock, but as long as a wagon pulled by six horses, and as wide as two horses side-by-side. It had long feelers sweeping in front of it, and jaws with teeth the size of daggers, and eyes like a crocodile's."


No. Enc.: 1 (2d4)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 150' (50')
Armor Class: 2 (head segment), 4 (body segment)
Hit Dice: 10
Attacks: 1
Damage: 3d8 (head segment), 1d8 (separated body segment)
Save: F10
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: XI
XP: 1,700

The karpitrax resembles a cross between a centipede and an iguana, measuring upwards of 30 feet (10 m) in length, although there have reportedly been sightings of specimens estimated at twice that length in the deepest depths of the earth closer to Hell where it is believed the creatures are spawned. Approximately the height (and twice the width) of an ox, its body consists of segmented parts (each of which is also approximately the length of an ox) that are covered in a dark purplish chitinous shell. The six legs attached to each segment have features of both arthropods and reptiles. Its head, also covered in a chitinous shell, has milky white reptilian eyes, long antennae, a saurian mouth, and two large, scoop-like mandibles. The mandibles are used for digging (or, less commonly, holding objects), although they are also used to attack things that are perceived to be inedible. Its saurian mouth is used for killing and devouring prey (i.e. anything in the animal kingdom it encounters).

One of the more unusual characteristics of the karpitrax is its ability to separate its segments, which have the ability to move independently. A typical karpitrax has four segments, each of which has one-fourth of the creature's total hit points (excess points are assigned to the head segment). If any segment is reduced to half its hit points or less, that segment will detach itself from the main body (those segments closest to the head segment), whilst any segments behind it remain attached. (Only the forward part of any segment is capable of attaching or detaching itself.) Separated segments have eyes, antennae, and mandibles, and may attack (at full hit dice) or flee independently. If the head segment dies, any surviving body segments will reconnect with one another and the forwardmost segment will grow a new head within a month. Replacement body segments are grown within a year. It is theorized that headless body segments from different specimens may attach to one another and form the enormous specimens that have been reported.

It is not known whether karpitraxes (or, alternatively, karpitraces) mate as neither eggs nor young have yet been discovered, but they have been observed in lairs, which are usually caverns filled with naturally occurring crystals and gemstones (and are often unbearably hot). Here only have karpitraxes been witnessed in an inactive state. (The Hoard Class may be doubled or tripled depending on the number of karpitraxes encountered or the depth of the lair. Deeper lairs have a higher percentage chance of containing treasure and should be adjusted to 60% or even 80%.)

Karpitraxes are found closer to the surface only near active volcanoes, where they are attracted to the heat.

Their intelligence level is unknown.

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