Here’s what I love about the giant shark bowl ooze from Tome of Beasts 2: Creature Codex by Kobold Press: it’s a perfect over-the-top addition to a master villain’s lair in 13th Age. Spy movie masterminds often have tanks full of sharks, alligators, piranhas, and other menaces in their headquarters. These remind everyone who they’re dealing with, and are also handy ways to dispose of intruding heroes and unlucky henchmen.
The giant shark bowl ooze does them one better—not only is the shark deadly, the aquarium itself is a monster.
The original is designed for 5th Edition under the OGL, and as soon as I saw it, I sat down and statted it for 13th Age. (Many thanks to Rob Heinsoo for giving it a development pass before posting.) Whereas the original is treated as one monster, my version treats it as two. The ooze is a variant of the gelatinous dodecahedron, and the shark is a non-mook version of the Iron Sea shark, both from the 13th Age Bestiary.
Giant Shark Bowl Ooze
A giant shark swims within a huge fishbowl, circling above a sandy floor strewn with seashells, a small castle, and a treasure chest. While you’re figuring out how to kill the shark and get the treasure, the bowl lashes out with a gelatinous pseudopod and engulfs you.
Huge 7th level blocker [ooze]
Shlup’n’schlorp +13 vs. PD—30 damage, and the giant shark bowl ooze engulfs the target if it’s smaller than the ooze.
Miss: The ooze can make a spasms attack as a free action.
[Special trigger] C: Spasms +13 vs. AC (up to 2 attacks, each against a different nearby enemy)—20 damage
Engulf and suffocate: Engulfed targets automatically take 20 damage at the start of the ooze’s turn, and are consider nearby to (and soon to be engaged with!) the giant shark swimming inside the ooze. The shark acts after the ooze’s turn, and can engage any engulfed targets. The shark cannot attack targets outside the ooze (unless it moves out of the ooze, see its stats below). Engulfed targets can escape the ooze with a successful disengage check at a -5 penalty.
Instinctive actions: Gelatinous creatures have no brains, sometimes they just do things. When the escalation die is odd, instead of making an attack or moving, roll a d8 to see what the giant shark bowl ooze does. If an option is not available (you roll a 1 but there are no nearby enemies), reroll until you get a valid option.
- The giant shark bowl ooze makes a squash attack against 1d4 nearby enemies as it rolls and shlorps around the area. Any enemies already engulfed by the giant shark bowl ooze take 10 thunder damage.
C: Squash +10 vs. PD (1d4 nearby enemies)—20 damage, and the target is stunned (easy save ends, 6+)
- The giant shark bowl ooze throws out whip-like tendrils and makes a sudden orifice attack against each enemy engaged with it. Then it pulls each nearby enemy next to it and engages that creature.
Sudden orifice +15 vs. PD (each enemy engaged with it)—The giant shark bowl ooze engulfs the target if it’s smaller than the giant shark bowl ooze
- Hundreds of finger-size slimes slither out from the interior of the giant shark bowl ooze and begin worming their way across the bodies of each of its enemies in the battle. Until the end of the battle, when a non-ooze creature takes any damage besides ongoing acid damage, it also takes 10 acid damage.
- The giant shark bowl ooze produces spikes. It gains a +4 bonus to all defenses until the end of the battle.
- The giant shark bowl ooze makes a spasms attack. If it misses with either attack roll, after the attacks, it can make a stretch and engulf attack as a free action.C: Stretch and engulf +13 vs. PD (one nearby or far away enemy)—30 thunder damage, and the giant shark bowl ooze engulfs the target if it’s smaller than the ooze
- C: Pseudopod slaps +13 vs. AC (one nearby enemy)—40 thunder damage
Natural odd hit: The target pops free from the giant shark bowl ooze and is knocked far away, and the ooze makes the attack again against a different nearby enemy as a free action.
Natural even hit: The giant shark bowl ooze engulfs the target if it’s smaller than the giant shark bowl ooze.
PD 19 HP 400
Double-strength 5th level wrecker [beast]
Initiative: +7 (but don’t roll for the giant shark, it acts immediately after the giant shark bowl ooze)
Massive jaws +10 vs. AC—36 damage
Miss: 18 damage.
Frenzy: While staggered, if the giant shark is unengaged at the start of its turn, it must roll an easy save (6+). On a failure, the giant shark must move and attack a random nearby enemy that’s staggered, or a random nearby non-ooze creature if there are no staggered enemies. Yes, this means the giant shark might propel itself torpedo-like out of the ooze at a target.
Shredder: When an enemy misses with a melee attack against the giant shark and rolls a natural 1–5, the attacker takes 18 damage.
In a bowl, yo: As mentioned above in the its ooze bowl’s stats, the giant shark can’t attack enemies unless they’re in the ooze with it; the ooze was reduced to 0 hp and has dissolved; a PC thought that getting the shark out of its bowl would somehow be a good idea; or the shark has erupted from the ooze during frenzy. Likewise, thanks to the ooze’s protection, very few attacks from outside the bowl can affect the giant shark. If you decide that a particularly powerful or clever attack from outside the bowl can choose the shark as a target, the shark gets a +5 to all its defenses against that attack.
Last, dying thrash: If the giant shark is outside of its bowl, the shark takes 25 damage at the end of its turns. When it reaches 0 hit points and dies, roll this attack against all nearby non-ooze creatures: +12 vs. PD—18 damage
PD 19 HP 140
About 13th Age
13th Age combines the best parts of traditional d20-rolling fantasy gaming with new story-focused rules, designed so you can run the kind of game you most want to play with your group. Created by Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet, 13th Age gives you all the tools you need to make unique characters who are immediately embedded in the setting in important ways; quickly prepare adventures based on the PCs’ backgrounds and goals; create your own monsters; fight exciting battles; and focus on what’s always been cool and fun about fantasy adventure gaming. Purchase 13th Age in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.