Coral (Lankhmar)

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Death CoralGiant Coral
Climate/Terrain: Coastal WaterCoastal to Deep Water
Frequency: CommonVery Rare
Organization: ColonyColony
Activity Cycle: AnyAny
Diet: OmnivoreCarnivore
Intelligence: Non-(0)Animal (1)
Treasure: 20% of ZC
Alignment: NeutralNeutral
No. Appearing: 100-100010-100
Armor Class: 6 (10)0 (8)
Movement: 1 in coral12 in coral, Sw 3
Hit Dice: 1 hp3 to 8
THAC0: 203-4 HD: 17
5-6 HD: 15
7-8 HD: 13
No. of Attacks: 1-101
Damage/Attack: 11d4 per HD
Special Attacks: Paralysis, Razor Edges
Special Defenses: RetreatRetreat
Magic Resistance: NilNil
Size: T (2" long)L to H (7'-20' long)
Morale: Unsteady (5-7)Steady (11-12)
XP Value: 2703 HD: 270
4 HD: 420
5 HD: 650
6 HD: 975
7 HD: 1,400
8 HD: 2,000

Coral is the tubular skeleton shells of calcium secreted by the beings which live within it. Coral can be of nearly any color from dull_ green or brown to brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges. White coral also exists. Of course, typical coral is no major threat to adventurers. However, death coral and giant coral are much more formidable. Death coral blends in well with regular coral and is indistinguishable from it.

Combat: Death coral does not leave its coral shell. Instead it extends its tiny tentacles and feeds on small ocean organisms much as typical coral does. However, if a large animal (fish or adventurer) gets too close, as many of the little animals as possible (typically 1-10) extend themselves and attack the victim. Each individual animal makes an attack roll, and those that hit cause 1 point of damage each. Moreover, the attacked being must then make a saving throw vs. paralyzation (+5 bonus) for each successful hit. Failure means that the victim is paralyzed for 1d4 rounds and likely falls down onto the coral bed. This is almost always fatal as next round 1-100 of the animals then are able to attack the helpless victim.

Although each individual animal in a death coral colony has only 1 hp, it is usually a waste of time to attempt to combat them with conventional methods (due to their sheer number). Even area affect spells have little lasting effects, as death coral extends some 5' into the reef or ocean floor upon which it is imbedded. At all times nearly 50% of the animals are somewhere deep within the complex. Impending threats cause those on the surface of the coral complex to also retreat deep into the coral.

The two armor classes represent the coral rock (AC 6) and the animals (AC 10).

Habitat/Society: Death coral, although deadly, are not a real threat to those sea dwellers who know of them. In fact, it is a common practice by tritons, mermen, locathah, and sahuagin to use _death coral as a sort of watch dog or trap. The only danger being that they must keep track of which coral is typical and which is the death variety.

Ecology: Several sea animals (such as barracuda) are not subject to their paralysis and often dine on the coral (both rock and animals). Certain starfish and urchins also eat them. They are considered a delicacy among most of the intelligent sea races (much like escargot among humans). Just as with regular coral, the red-orange, pinkish, or white varieties are valued as fancy quality gems (100 gp for an unchipped, polished specimen). In addition to this the listed treasure type is typically found lying around death coral where it was "left" by the last victim.

Giant Coral

Giant coral ranges from 2'-8' in diameter and stands from 2'-20' high. It is always colored the same as the precious variety of normal coral (red-orange, pinkish, or white). The animals which inhabit it don't look like typical coral animals, but are long dark black slug like snakes whose diameter exactly fits their coral openings.

Giant coral have mouths lined with many rough bony plates which are capable of biting holes in rocks, ship hulls, and through armor.

Combat: Giant coral typically wait for their victims to approach their huge reef. They then dart out of their coral tubes to their full length and attack their victims with their rock grinding mouths. The damage from this is based upon their size. Roll 1d4 for each Hit Die of the monster (thus a 4 HD giant coral does 4d4 damage).

They are known to occasionally swim out of their protective coral tubes (AC 0) and attack boats or swimming victims. However, they swim very slowly and are only AC 8.

Although the inside of the coral tubes are pearly smooth, the outsides are covered in razor sharp ridges, some 4-6" high, and running several feet. Anyone coming into contact with these ridges suffer 1d10 points of damage.

If threatened, giant coral can retreat into the safety of their reef where only the foolish pursue them as areas open up where many of the beings can attack at once.

Habitat/Society: Giant coral are considered a threat to all. However, there are rumors that they allow certain lampreys and eels to live with them.

Ecology: The coral from their tubes is considered valueless. However, the intact tube complexes are an invaluable naturally occurring dwelling used by many different marine animals (both intelligent and non-intelligent). The listed treasure represents the remains of past victims.