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Giant Swamp Eel

by Jamie Baty

Huge Animal (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 6d8+12 (39 hp)
Initiative: +6 (+2 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: swim 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armour Class: 14 (-2 size, +2 Dex, +4 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+18
Attack: Bite +9 melee (2d8 +6)
Full Attack: Bite +9 melee (2d8 +6)
Space/Reach: 15 ft. /10 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, tremorsense
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +4
Abilities: Str 23, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6
Skills: Hide +4, Jump +8, Listen +4, Move Silently +12, Spot +5, Survival +3, Swim +15
Feats: Improved Initiative, Stealthy, Weapon Focus (Bite)
Environment: Any marshes
Organisation: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 7-12 HD (Huge); 13-18 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment: -

About 20 feet long, giant swamp eels are black on their upper side and greyish green on the lower. They live in the rivers and open water of freshwater swamp.
Although basically only vicious predators, they possess a certain amount of animal cunning. They are the same breed as the common swamp eels, but they have lived long enough to grow gigantic, and have gained wisdom in the process.
Although they have no treasure, a giant eel provides a lot of valuable meat, though connoisseurs of eel meat feel that the meat loses delicacy as the animal that bears it gets larger. When pickled or smoked for the luxury trade, a typical giant eel is worth 2,000 gp.

They prefer to lurk unseen in thick water weeds, then leap upon their prey; they have been known to tail a boat for hours until one of the boatmen looked careless. When attacking, they attempt to bite their prey. If successful, they thrash- a convulsive movement that drags the prey underwater, where it begins to drown as the eel swims away.

Improved Grab (Ex): If a giant swamp eel hits with its bite attack, it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If the grapple succeeds, the giant swamp eel may hold the victim and inflict bite damage automatically each round. After the hold is established, it may attempt to drag the creature underwater in the following round. The victim will drown if unable to breathe in water (please refer to the DMG or Stormwrack for further rules on drowning.)

Tremorsense (Ex): A giant swamp eel is sensitive to vibrations in the water and can automatically pinpoint the location of anything that is in contact with the water within 60ft.

Skills: A giant swamp eel has a +8 bonus to any Hide or Move Silently check. A giant swamp eel also has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.