The material below is designated as Open Game Content
Medium Elemental (Native, Water)
Hit Dice: 4d8+12 (30 hp)
Speed: 10 ft. (2 squares), swim 50 ft. (10 squares)
Armour Class: 16 (+2 Dex, + 4 natural), touch 12, flat- footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+9
Attack: Claw +5 melee (1d4+3)
Full Attack: Claw +5 melee (1d4+3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Force wave, steal breath
Special Qualities: Dissolve
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +6, Will –1
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 4, Wis 6, Cha 12
Skills: Disguise +10*, Hide +8, Swim +10*
Feats: Improved GrappleB, Power Attack, Skill Focus (disguise)
Environment: Any aquatic
Organisation: Solitary or tragedy (4–12)
Challenge Rating: 3
Alignment: Usually chaotic evil
Level Adjustment: —
There is a figure thrashing in the water. It is obviously drowning and in need of help. If the characters make a successful Spot check (DC 10 + drowning shade’s Disguise bonus): On closer examination, you can make out nothing of the creature below the waterline; it has no legs or lower body. Something is very odd, here.
Drowning shades may resemble undead, but in truth they are tainted elementals. When a mortal dies by drowning having gone unrescued when someone could have saved them, a little of his anger and sorrow at his fate is absorbed by the surrounding water. This shell of fury and indignation sometimes takes on a life of its own, forming a drowning shade. The shade seeks to drown others to make them feel what its creator/self once felt. When underwater, the shade is a shapeless mass of bubbling black water. At the surface, it appears to be a drowning fi gure, although this illusion does not extend below the waterline. A true seeing spell or similar effect reveals the shade for what it is.
Shades are pitiful, bitter creatures, without any purpose or interest other than causing death. Should a drowning shade drown enough creatures, its anger may fade and it may dissolve back into ordinary water, but more often it just keeps creating more of its kind. Strong storms and currents can tear shades apart, destroying them, so they tend to form colonies in the shallows, in the lees of islands, in harbours or underground.
The drowning shade seeks to drown its opponents. Ideally, a foe mistakes the shade for an actual drowning person and leaps into the water to save it. The shade then grapples with its victim, dragging him down under the water and stealing his breath. Should a target not co-operate, the shade uses its force wave ability to knock the target into the water. Gangs of shades have been known to bat victims back and forth with force waves.
Dissolve (Su): As a standard action, a shade can dissolve into water. In this form, it gains damage reduction 15/ magic, but is still vulnerable to energy attacks or spells. It cannot grapple or use its steal breath or force wave abilities. The shade uses this power to retreat from combat or to stalk opponents.
Force Wave (Su): Once per round, as an attack action, a shade can fire a jet of water. This is a ranged touch attack with a range of 30 feet. The target of the jet must make an opposed Strength check against the shade’s Constitution (16). If the shade wins, the character is pushed back five feet and must make a Balance check (DC 10) to avoid falling.
Skills: Drowning shades have a +4 racial bonus to Disguise checks, but only when pretending to be a drowning Medium humanoid. They have a +4 racial bonus to Hide checks when underwater. They have a +8 racial bonus to Swim checks and may always take 10 on a Swim check even if distracted or endangered. A shade may use the run action while swimming, provided it moves in a straight line.
Steal Breath (Su): Anyone touched by a drowning shade loses one round’s worth of breath. This is irrelevant for a character who is breathing normally, but anyone who is underwater and holding his breath will soon begin to suffer. The shade must make a touch attack to use this ability, but it is applied automatically to anyone the shade is grappling with. For example, a fighter with Con 15 is grappling with a drowning shade. He has been dragged underwater. Normally, he could hold his breath for 15 rounds, but because of the shade, each round he spends grappling counts as three rounds (one normal, one extra for being in combat and one for the steal breath ability), so he will start choking after five rounds. Multiple shades can concentrate their attacks on a single foe.