Found in warm, dark areas deep underground, aboleth are nightmarish amphibious creatures that superficially resemble monstrous fish weighing over 6,000 lbs. They have multiple eyes, asymmetrical fins, and two long tentacles coated in thick, corrosive mucous that does an additional 2d4 points of acid damage to any creature struck by a tentacle or which comes in direct contact with their bodies. Mucous from their skin forms a murky cloud in the water around them, causing 1d4 points of acid damage to any creature within the same water and within 10 feet. They are generally solitary, and highly territorial. However, they do come together to mate, and at odd times when their arcane interests coincide. Seldom do aboleth form lasting alliances, however – most such alliances end in mutual antipathy.
Using an Action Die, an aboleth can attack with a 30-foot cone-shaped blast of psionic energy doing 4d6 damage (Will DC 15 for half). Once a creature has saved successfully, it cannot be further affected by the same aboleth’s psionic blast for a period of 24 hours.
Aboleth are coated in a slimy mucous which can infect humanoid creatures by contact unless a Fort save (DC 10) succeeds. The skin of infected humanoids becomes transparent and permeable. The affected creature can breath water through its skin, but if outside of water for more than 6 rounds takes 1 point of Stamina damage per round until dead. If the humanoid succeeds in a second save (Fort DC 10) 6 hours later, the infection ends and the victim’s skin returns to normal. A second failed save makes the victim fall dormant for 6 hours, after which it has undergone a full metamorphosis into a skum under the aboleth’s telepathic control. At any time before full metamorphosis, the infection can be reversed by a successful Lay on Hands check of 3 HD or better. Afterwards, no mortal magic can restore the victim. This slime affects any humanoid struck by an aboleth’s tentacle attack, or any humanoid that touches an aboleth with bare flesh (including unarmed attacks).
Aboleth employ skum both as guardians and as hands to perform their vile experiments. They have been known to direct their skum in projects to undermine coastal towns and cities. Aboleth hate land-dwelling humanoids, and have been known to enslave them without any obvious purpose in mind. Any given aboleth can telepathically control up to 20 skum at a time, and can hold another 20 skum in an inert state as potential replacements.
Aboleth are interested in the arcane arts, and may have spells equal to a wizard with 1d6 levels. All of an Aboleth's spells can be cast silently; otherwise, they may have mercurial affects similar to those of any other caster. When rolling an Aboleth's mercurial affects, the judge should modify the roll by -20%.
Aboleth prefer to act through their skum whenever possible. Because of their telepathic link to their skum, they generally have a very good idea as to how capable adventurers are long before they encounter them directly. An aboleth will typically keep at least 10 skum in reserve, to prevent adventurers from closing with them unless the aboleth so desires – in which case the skum are used to prevent opponents from fleeing. If possible, aboleth will meet opponents in deep water, where they can use their Swim skill to gain combat advantage.
Dangerous opponents are met with an opening salvo of psionic blasts, while skum are used prevent them from either closing or running out of range. If an aboleth believes that its opponents are weakened, it will attempt to convert them into skum. Even if it has more skum than it can keep, it is easier to dispatch a dormant foe than one which is actively fighting back.
Aboleth: Init +3; Atk tentacle +5 melee (1d7+4 plus acid and infection); AC 18; HD 6d10+60; MV 10’ or swim 50'; Act 2d20; SP psionic blast, acid, acid cloud, infection; SV Fort +12, Ref +4, Will +20; AL C.
Skum: Init –2; Atk by weapon +0 melee (by weapon); AC 10; HD 1d8; MV 20’ or swim 30'; Act 1d20; SP infravision 60’, immune to psionic blast; SV Fort +4, Ref –2, Will –4; AL C.