Encounters by Locale: The Lowerdark (Underground, Wilderness)

Desmodu (CR 9)

Large Monstrous Humanoid
Alignment: Usually neutral good
Initiative: +3 (Dex); Senses: blindsense 120 ft., darkvision 60 ft., scent, Listen +12, and Spot +12
Languages: Undercommon, Terran, Desmodu

AC: 20 (-1 size, +3 Dex, +5 natural, +3 masterwork studded leather), touch 12, flat-footed 17
Hit Dice: 12d8+48 (102 hp)
Fort +10, Ref +11, Will +10
Speed: 20 ft. (40 ft. when galloping), climb 30 ft.
Space: 10 ft./10 ft.
Base Attack +12; Grapple +21
Attack: 2 claws +16 melee and bite +14 melee, or masterwork notbora +15/+10/+5 melee and masterwork notbora +15 melee and bite +14 melee, or Large heavy lance +16/+11/+6 melee, or masterwork mighty composite longbow (+4 Str bonus) with masterwork arrows +16/+11/+6 ranged
Damage: Claw 1d4+5, bite 1d6+2, or notbora 2d6+5/19-20 (primary), notbora 2d6+2 (offhand), Large heavy lance 2d6+7/x3, masterwork mighty composite longbow (+4 Str bonus) with masterwork arrows 1d8+4/x3
Special Attacks: Screech, sonic abilities, wounding
Abilities: Str 20, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 15, Wis 15, Cha 11
Special Qualities: gallop, speak with bats, +4 racial bonus on saves against sonic effects, wild empathy
Feats: Combat Reflexes; Combat Expertise; Great Fortitude; Multiattack; Quick Draw; Two-Weapon Fighting (B)
Skills: Balance +13, Climb +19, Handle Animal +8, Jump +15, Listen +12, Move Silently +9, Ride (bat) +11, Spot +12, Tumble +11, and Use Rope +9
Advancement: By character class
Climate/Terrain: Underground
Organization: Solitary, pair, company (4-7), troop (8-18 plus 1 leader of 2nd-5th level), colony (20-80 plus 5 3rd-level elders and 1 leader of 4th-6th level), or enclave (100-600 plus 10 3rd-level elders, 5 5th-level senior elders, and 1 leader of 5th-9th level)
Treasure: No coins, 1/2 goods, standard items, plus equipment

Source: Monster Manual II


Desmodus use their sonic abilities to give themselves bonuses and their foes penalties. Their favorite melee weapon is the notbora, an exotic double weapon of their own invention. These creatures often rush into melee on all fours, using smokesticks to blind foes. They follow up by using the Quick Draw feat to draw their notboras and attack as they stand up. Desmodus also are fond of dropping down on opponents from the ceiling of a cavern, and they make full use of their superior reach in melee. Once battle is joined, they jump and tumble to bypass the foes' front line and attack opposing spellcasters or set up flanking attacks.

Screech (Su): Once per day, a desmodu can produce a screech that can literally tear items apart. The creature can choose one of two effects.
Ray: A ray deals 5d6 points of sonic damage to any creature or object it strikes. This attack has a range of 30 feet.
Spread: A sonic concussion causes every creature (except other desmodus) within a 30-foot spread centered on the desmodu to be stunned for 1d4 rounds. A successful Fortitude save (DC 20) negates the effect.

Sonic Abilities (Su): At will, a desmodu can emit sub-sonic vibrations, choosing one of two effects. It takes a standard action to invoke an effect or to concentrate to maintain it.
Despair: Each foe in a 30-foot spread centered on the desmodu takes a -2 morale penalty on saving throws, attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and weapon damage rolls for as long as the desmodu concentrates and for 1d4 rounds thereafter. A successful Will save (DC 16) negates this sonic, mind-affecting effect.
Hope: Every ally in a 30-foot spread centered on the desmodu gains a +2 morale bonus on saving throws, attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and weapon damage rolls for as long as the desmodu concentrates and for 1d4 rounds thereafter.

Wounding (Ex): A desmodu's saliva contains an anticoagulant that causes bite wounds the creature inflicts to bleed freely. A wound resulting from a desmodu's bite attack bleeds for an additional 1 point of damage per round thereafter. Multiple wounds from such attacks result in cumulative bleeding loss (two wounds for 2 points of damage per round, and so on). The bleeding stops on its own after 1 minute. Alternatively, it can be stopped by a successful Heal check (DC 15) or the application of a cure spell or some other healing spell (heal, healing circle, or the like).

Blindsight (Ex): A desmodu emits high-frequency sounds, inaudible to most other creatures, that bounce off nearby objects and creatures. This ability enables it to discern objects and creatures within 120 feet. The desmodu usually does not need to make Spot or Listen checks to notice creatures within range of its blindsight. A silence spell negates this ability and forces the desmodu to rely on its vision (which is as good as a human's).

Gallop (Ex): A desmodu can get down on all fours and gallop along like an ape at a speed of 40 feet, provided that its hands are free.

Speak with Bats (Sp): This ability functions like a speak with animals spell (caster level 1st), except that it only works on bats and is usable at will.

Skills: A desmodu receives a +4 racial bonus on Spot and Listen checks, which is lost if its blindsight is negated. The creature also gets a +2 racial bonus on grapple checks. When wearing light armor or no armor, the creature gains a +2 bonus on Balance and Jump checks. All these racial bonuses are included in the statistics above. When a desmodu has its hands free and deliberately jumps down from a height, subtract 10 feet from the distance fallen to determine damage. If it makes a successful Jump check (DC 15), reduce the effective distance fallen by another 10 feet.

Underdark Encounters