Weekly Beastie – The Blind Medusa

blind-medusaFrom Greek Mythology to present day, few monsters are as iconic and memorable as Medusa. So it’s no surprise she made a transition to fantasy RPGs, albeit with a few changes. “Medusa” now refers to an entire race of cursed beings instead of a single woman, and she’s no longer a Gorgon sister. (Which raises other questions in D&D Bestiaries.)

The Blind Medusa is my twist to the concept, where carrying a shiny reflective shield won’t protect you from her transformative powers. Instead, the safest action is to put out your torch so you’re equally blind, and sneak past before she finds you.

Just don’t trip over the statue of someone who failed.

A pay-what-you-want, OGL compatible PDF of The Blind Medusa can be found at DriveThruRPG. You can also support our Weekly Beasties by giving to our Patreon page. The Beastie itself can be found below:

Medium monstrosity, Chaotic Evil

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)

Hit Points 127 (17d8 + 51)

Speed 30 ft.

STR 10 (+0) DEX 15 (+2) CON 16 (+3) INT 12 (+1) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 15 (+2)

Damage Immunities All damage requiring the perception of visible light, such as gaze attacks.

Condition Immunities Any condition requiring the perception visible light, such as gaze attacks

Skills Deception +5, Insight +4, Stealth +5

Senses Blindsight 20 ft., Passive Perception 15

Languages Common

Proficiency Bonus +3

Challenge 7 (2900 XP)

Stone Sight. Whether it’s a gift from dark gods or a side effect of her damaged eyes, the Blind Medusa’s power to transform men to stone has grown far more powerful. Now anyone who merely looks at the Blind Medusa risks being turned to stone.

Anyone within 60 feet of the Blind Medusa who sees her must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw. If the check fails by 5 or more, the character turns into stone and is killed.
Otherwise, the character takes d20 damage as their body hardens into stone and is petrified for a full round. On a success, the character is only stunned for a full round.

There are three ways to fully avoid the effects of Stone Sight.

First, a character may fully avert their eyes at the start of the turn unless surprised, which requires a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Doing so means they cannot see the Blind Medusa until the start of the next turn.

They must make a new Dexterity save at the start of each turn as long as the Blind Medusa is within 60 ft. of their location.

Second, any character may fully close their eyes at the start of a turn unless surprised. Navigating their surroundings requires a DC 20 Wisdom check each turn at a disadvantage unless they have Blindsight, in which case they may move without penalty.

Finally, if both the character and Blind Medusa are in complete darkness, Stone Sight will have no effect. All characters without Blindsight will only be able to see 5 feet in any direction. If the Blind Medusa is within 5 feet of another character, her features are obscured just enough to protect them from Stone Sight, but not Petrifying Touch. Characters with Darkvision cannot take advantage of the darkness using this method.

Actions

Multiattack. The Blind Medusa may attack using both Snake Hair and Petrifying Touch in a single turn.

Snake Hair. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage plus 14 (4d6) poison damage.

Petrifying Touch. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (1d20 + 2) damage, stunned for 1 round. If killed by Petrifying Touch, the target is turned fully into a statue.

Gorgon Breath. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) damage, target is marked by Blind Medusa. Target’s relative location can be sensed from a distance of up to 100 feet for 12 hours.

The Medusa is already a legendary creature in countless fantasy worlds, recognized for her petrifying gaze and terrifying hair of snakes. Many warriors will brave their lairs for fortune and glory, only to have their statuesque corpses left behind to mark the event.

In one such lair, a young fighter used his wits to avoid the Medusa’s direct gaze with a reflective shield, thinking it would protect him. (It did not.) There was however, an unintended side effect: the Medusa became caught in its own gaze. Her face was permanently scarred by petrifying stone, blinding her and rendering her sight useless

In the months that followed, starving and alone, she called upon her gods to give her new abilities which would let her survive and praise their names. Her request was granted, increasing her powers exponentially. Now her cracked eyes are the last thing many heroes see before they become a permanent fixture of her dark lair.

There is only one certain way to escape the Blind Medusa’s wrath: Put out your torches, close your eyes, and sneak out of her home before she finds you.

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