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Termite, Swamp

by Travis Laney

Small Vermin [Aquatic]

Hit Dice: 1d8 (4 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 10 ft., Swim 30 ft.
Armor Class: 16 (+1 size, +5 natural)
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/-4
Attack: Bite +1 melee (2d4)
Full Attack: Bite +1 melee (2d4)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Ink
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., vermin traits
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +0, Will +0
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 11, Con 11, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 7
Skills: --
Feats: --
Environment: Warm marshes
Organization: Cluster (1-4)
Challenge Rating: 1/3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
Advancement: 2-3 HD (Small)
Level Adjustment: --

Water termites range from 1'-5' long, the largest found only in ocean waters. All are shaped like normal termites, except for an elastic sac in tier abdomen which can intake and expel water for movement and feeding. When the sac is completely expanded, the creature looks like a large balloon with a small insect-like head on the front.

The real terror of these creatures is the destruction they bring to ships. They cling to hulls, each causing points of hull damage equal to their bite before letting go. Once any damage has been inflicted, there is a 50% chance per round that someone will notice the leakage.2


The creature does not bite unless cornered; instead, it uses an inky spray for defense.

Ink (EX): When frightened, a water termite may squirt a stream of black ink at its opponent. Above water, the ink takes the form of a ranged touch attack, with a range increment of 10 feet. A victim hit by the stream of ink must make a Fortitude save (DC 10, Constitution-based) or be paralyzed for 1 minute. The termite may squirt ink up to once per minute.

Underwater, the ink does not paralyze but provides an inky cover for the creature's retreat, forming a cloud 10' high x 10' wide x 10' long. The cloud provides total concealment and obscures all vision within the cloud (including magical or supernatural vision.)

The water termite first appeared in the Dungeons & Dragons Expert Rulebook, by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson (1983).

This 3.5 Edition conversion is (c) 2007 by Travis Laney

1.    Cook, D., 1983. The Master of the Desert Nomads. Random House, Inc.

2.    Gygax, G. and Arneson, D., 1983. Dungeons & Dragons Expert Rulebook. Random House, Inc.

3.    Allston, A. 1991. Rules Cyclopedia. Random House, Inc.