Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Rare but dangerous - the Catoblepas

You don’t come across it that often; hell, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered it. Probably just as well. Just look at those stats.

Don’t worry about being stunned for 1-10 rounds by its tail. That’s by far preferable to its gaze. If you meet its gaze, you die – no saving throw. It’s like Tomb of Horrors on legs. No matter what level you are, no matter what magic items you’ve got, you die. No saving throw.

There’s a 2 in 6 chance that someone in your party is going to meet that gaze. It might be you. If it’s not you, the danger’s not over because, there is a 25% chance that it will raise its head long enough to gaze at you. It increases by 15% per round if both you and it stand still.

If you’re not dead by now, then run and dodge while you’re doing it because if it has to move its head around, the chance of it gazing at you drops to 10% per melee round. Don’t bother going astral or ethereal – its gaze works there as well.

Oh and even if you avert your eyes while fleeing, the gaze still works. Okay, you get a saving throw against Death Ray. Good luck!


  1. How about this guy versus a small band of umber hulks for a Saturday Night Main Event?

  2. "Tomb of Horror on legs." Thanks for trotting out this monstrosity. I've managed to ignore the thing for 25 years, but, next time I'm DMing a party that's high enough level that I won't feel guilty, I'm putting it on-stage.

  3. This thing has always freaked me out. I have never fought nor encountered one, and I hope I don't.

  4. It's no wonder the guys on page 14 of the PHB look so terrified. And by the look of it, there's another one in the background. Hell, their DM must sure be in a bad mood.

    Rusty - I'll certainly give that some consideration. I've got something interesting lined up for this week, but thereafter, sure, why not?

  5. I remember meeting one in a swamp once ages ago - certainly sorted out the men from the hobbitses - not quite TPK but close.....not unlike the Dracolisk in Tsojcanth....nassty preciousss........sss