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New Monster – Umray

2 October, 2009

The first monster of our month of monster here.  Travel between the islands of the Sea of Stars is routine but not without its dangers.  One of which is:

Umray
Flashing out of the darkness is an equally dark form, all wings and teeth.  It savagely attacks and vanishes back out into the darkness of space.

Umray CR 2 (600 XP)
N medium magical beast (shadow)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; Perception +7
DEFENSE
AC 17, touch 3, flat-footed 14; (+3 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 19 (3d10+3)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +2
Defensive Abilities Evasion, Resistance to Cold 8
OFFENSE
Spd 5 ft., Fly 60 ft (good)
Melee Bite +6 (1d6+1/19-20 + critical wounding), 2 wing spikes +3 (1d3)
STATISTICS
Str 13, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 2
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 14
Feats Weapon Finesse (bite), Flyby Attack
Skills Perception +7, Stealth +9; +12 racial bonus to stealth checks when made against the background of space.
SQ Shadow Blend, Light Vulnerability
Environment the space between the stars
Organization lone, group (2-8) or school (5-50)
Treasure Value occasional items in stomach

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Critical Wounding (Ex) Anyone who suffers a critical hit from an Umray’s will bleed for 1 hit point of damage per round until magically healed or a successful heal check (DC 15) is made.

Shadow Blend (Su): In any conditions other than full daylight, an Umray can disappear into the shadows, giving it nine-tenths concealment (40% miss chance).  Artificial illumination, even a light or continual flame spell, does not negate this ability.  A daylight spell, however, does.

Light Vulnerability: Umrays avoid all light and are vulnerable to damage from such sources, taking half again (150%) damage from such sources, and suffering a -5 racial penalty to save against any non-damaging effect with the light designator or a similar effect (such as color spray).  They also suffer a -1 attack penalty in direct sunlight.

Umrays are predators that fly through the space between and under the islands.  Looking much like manta rays with larger mouths filled with exceedingly sharp teeth and wings that end in night black spurs of bone.  Their skin is supple and a dull black, allowing them to blend in with the star fields they are likely to be observed against.

How they reproduce and where they lair is unknown.  But all sailors on the Sea of Star fear attack by umray schools.

Umrays prefer flashing by biting at their victims and then vanishing back into the shadows.  Once they have taken down their victims they descend to feed.

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5 comments

  1. This is really nice; aerial creatures who live near or on the ocean and hunt for food in it are an overlooked aspect of ocean ecology in most RPGs. In real life, though, they’re really neat and very specifically adapted for their environment. In a fantasy setting, of course, the umbrays don’t have to retreat to land or rest on the water — they can fly all day, making them a hazard to seafarers even out in the middle of nowhere. Very cool.


  2. Pretty cool, although I do see some strange design choices, f.ex; Why is the DC for the bleeding based on damage and not the standard formula of 10+1/2 HD + relevant ability modifier (I would assume strength in the case of this ability), and why 40% miss chance and not 20% or 50% which are the standard percentages used for concealment in the rulebook.

    As Saragon mentioned above, this monster does fit a niche which are strangely lacking in D&D’s ecology and I’ve always been a fan of shadow critters.


    • Back in the early days of 3rd edition, there were more than two type of cover and concealment. (Which give you some idea when the Umray was originally written.) But I have always liked the finer gradiations of such things.

      The save was just something different. Honestly, it is such a weak power it should probably just be automatic.


      • Yeah, I remember the old concealment rules. It actually took me quite a while to realize that those rules had changed from 3.0 to 3.5.

        I agree that the bleeding from the bite should be automatic.


        • I like the grainer detail of the old concealment/cover rules but I do not usually worry about such except when they benefit the PCs.

          And critical bite adjusted.



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