||Any salt water
||3, Sw 12
|No. of Attacks:
||Ink, color change
||Large (9'-12' across)
The dreaded "cuttlefish" are the scourge of ocean-going sailors and fishermen.
Malicious and cunning, giant octopi have been known to attack ships, sinking
smaller craft and stealing crew members from the larger ships.
Giant octopi change their color to blend into their surroundings, and the
range of colors and patterns available to them is extensive, from green to deep
black, blue speckles and red stripes. Tentacles are often disguised as seaweed.
Once camouflaged, there is only a 10% chance to detect them, and usually it is
their eyes that give them away. Normal coloration is grey to brown, and their
vicious beaks are a deep yellow with a bright orange mouth and tongue.
An octopus will readily attack swimmers or small vessels in order to eat the
crew. Several have been known to cooperate in order to overwhelm a larger ship,
and any craft seized by these monsters loses way and comes to a full stop in
A giant octopus generally attacks with six of its eight tentacles, using two
to anchor itself. Each striking tentacle causes 1d4 points of damage, but unless
the member is loosened or severed, it constricts for 2d4 points of damage
every round after striking. If a victim is dragged close enough to the beak, the
monster can bite for 2d6 points of damage.
Any victim under 8 feet tall or long can be struck by only one tentacle at a
time, and the chance that both upper limbs are pinned on a successful strike is
25%, while the chance that both upper limbs are free is also 25%. When both
upper limbs are held, the victim has no attack; if only one limb is held the
victim attacks with a -3 penalty to its attack roll; if both limbs are free (i.e.,
the tentacle is wrapped around the victim's body) then the victim attacks with a
-1 penalty to its attack roll. Tentacles grip with a Strength of 18/20. Any
creature with a Strength equal to or greater than 18/20 can grasp the tentacle
and negate its constriction. This does not free the victim, and the octopus will
immediately seek to drag the victim to its mouth to eat it. To break free, a
tentacle must be severed; this requires 8 points of damage. (These hit points are
in addition to those the octopus gains from its 8 Hit Dice.)
Once three or more tentacles are severed, it is 90% probable that the octopus
will retreat, ejecting a cloud of black ink 40 feet high by 60 feet wide by 60
feet long. This ink cloud completely obscures the vision of any creature within
it. The wounded octopus then camouflages itself in its lair or a nearby hiding
place. It takes the monster two to three months to grow back severed tentacles.
While octopi cooperate to attack a food source, they live a solitary
existence, preferring to shelter in warm water of medial to shallow depth. Lairs are
made in wrecked ships and undersea caves; any treasure found there is just an
incidental leftover from previous meals. Consummate hunters, these monsters have
great patience and cover a very small area, waiting for their food to come to
them. Mating season comes every spring. Like most marine animals, octopi leave
their eggs in a reef to fend for themselves.
When prey is scarce, or if it has been wounded, an octopus turns to
scavenging, eating everything from small crustaceans to seaweeds. Survival is paramount
with this monster. It prefers to hunt at night, and often a man missing during
the late night watch has been grabbed by a giant octopus, pulled quickly over
the side, and eaten.
Giant octopi's leathery hide is tough and waterproof, and it is worked into
fine rain ponchos by sailors lucky enough to catch and kill one. Another
byproduct of these monsters is their ink -- they are most often hunted for this
commodity. Giant octopus ink can be used to pen magical scrolls.
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