5e SRD >Creatures >

Tardigrade

Huge fiend, neutral evil

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 126 (11d12 + 55)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 11 (+0) 21 (+5) 10 (+0) 13 (+1) 11 (+0)

Saving Throws Str +8, Dex +4, Con +9
Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities blinded, exhaustion
Senses blindsight 120 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 11
Languages Abyssal, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Legendary Resistance (3/day). If the tardigrade fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
  • Magic Weapons. The tardigrade’s weapon attacks are magical.
  • Necromantic Death and Rebirth. When the tardigrade dies, the souls trapped within it explode outward. Each creature within 20 feet of it must make a DC 16 Constitution saving throw, taking 17 (5d6) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Each creature is also exposed to the soul seepage curse (page 123). This explosion destroys the tardigrade’s body and leaves behind a rocky cyst 2 feet across that weighs 1,000 pounds. The cyst is immune to all damage and, after 1d10 days, it hatches into a new tardigrade with all of the dead tardigrade’s imprisoned souls, excepting souls that have been freed or restored in the interim.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The tardigrade attacks with its claws three times.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d8 + 4) slashing damage.
  • Soul Dart. The tardigrade targets one creature it can see within 120 feet of it. The target must make a DC 16 Constitution saving throw, taking 31 (7d8) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS

The tardigrade can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The tardigrade regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

  • Capture Soul. The tardigrade chooses a dead body within 60 feet. If the creature died in the past 1 minute, the tardigrade pulls in the creature’s soul, which thereafter presses visibly out from the tardigrade’s side, and regains 10 hit points. If magic attempts to return the creature to life while the soul is trapped in the tardigrade, the creature must succeed on a DC 17 Charisma saving throw or it fails to return to life (the soul is not trapped while the tardigrade is a cyst).
  • Claw. The tardigrade makes a claw attack.
  • Soul Dart (Costs 3 Actions). The tardigrade uses its Soul Dart.

ABOUT

This six-legged creature has a rounded, rubbery body with no head. Each of the creature’s feet ends in scythe-like claws. Screaming faces press outward from the creature’s flesh.

A monstrously large version of the mundane, pond-dwelling micro-animal, the tardigrade is known for its incredible resilience. Loping along on six clawed limbs, the tardigrade’s headless neck roils with the screaming faces of the damned. These faces also push outward from inside the creature’s rubbery skin, wailing desperately for release. The tardigrade collects these souls from victims slain by its razor-sharp claws.

Endless Return. The tardigrade draws sustenance from the souls imprisoned within it to restore its physical form whenever it is destroyed. When the tardigrade is slain, these souls are thrown outward, injuring the tardigrade’s foes in a final, spiteful attack. The souls don’t dissipate but rather wait, immaterial and powerless, for the tardigrade to be reborn. The physical form of the tardigrade collapses into a stony cyst that is immune to harm and, within only a few days, hatches into a new tardigrade. This period of dormancy is the only opportunity for the souls of those slain by the tardigrade to be reclaimed.

Relentless. The tardigrade is as relentless as it is resilient. When it sets its mind on a particular task, it proceeds doggedly with its plan, even if it is slain over and over in the attempt. The tardigrade is not a mindless brute, however, and it learns from its past mistakes, changing its plans to improve its chances of achieving its goal. Its typical approach is to doggedly fight its way into important defensive locations or redoubts.

Legions. The tardigrade most often appears in invasions with Annwn, Cocytus, Gehenna, and Phelegethon fiends.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Sandy Petersen’s Planet Apocalypse, © 2021, Petersen Games.