Of all the monsters across all the realms and all the planes, tarrasques are easily the most dangerous. These massive beings are vicious, deadly, and surprisingly resistant to magical spells which normally protect the communities in their path. When just one emerges from the bowels of the earth, entire cities will be lost as countless adventurers sacrifice themselves to halt its progress.
And yet, even the most powerful of tarrasques once began life as an innocent hatchling.
A mature tarrasque can lay a single dwarf-sized egg every 500 years, although mating pairs are uncommon. When an egg is laid, it gestates for six months before hatching, usually with the assistance of its mother or another helpful creature.
The hatchling always imprints on the first creature it sees, trusting its “parent” to feed and protect it in an uncertain world. If the creature it bonds with is not an adult tarrasque, the hatchling will still become a lifelong companion to it and treat any trusted allies like its own family. While the hatchling’s first attempts at combat are enthusiastically clumsy, it will eventually grow into a powerful being in its own right.
Which is a problem. The typical adventurer’s life is short and brutal. Even an elf who retires from questing will reach an advanced age at 750 years, fabled rumors of immortality to the contrary. Tarrasques, meanwhile, live for millennia. There has never been a recorded case of such a creature dying of natural causes. So eventually, the tarrasque hatchling will lose its imprinted parent. And when that happens, it will start to lash out at creatures around it.
Most of the civilized world views tarrasques as monsters. But the tragic reality is every single tarrasque is vicious because it is grieving the loss of its mother.
A pay-what-you-want, OGL compatible PDF of the Tarrasque Hatchling is available at DriveThruRPG. You can also support our Weekly Beasties by giving to our Patreon page. The Beastie itself can be found below:
Medium monstrosity, unaligned
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 15 (1d20 + 4)
Speed 30 ft.
STR 19 (+4) DEX 11 (+4) CON 19 (+4) INT 3 (-4) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 11 (+0)
Saving Throws Int +2, Wis +5, Cha +5
Damage Immunities fire, poison ; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from non-magical weapons
Condition Immunities charmed, paralyzed, poisoned
Senses blindvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Proficiency Bonus +2
Challenge 2 (450 XP) at 1 hit dice, increase by +5 for every fifth hit dice
Magic Resistance. The tarrasque hatchling has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Reflective Carapace. Any time the tarrasque hatchling is targeted by a magic missile spell, a line spell, or a spell that requires a ranged attack roll, roll a d6. On a 1 to 5 the tarrasque is unaffected. On a 6 the tarrasque is unaffected, and the effect is reflected back at the caster as though it originated from the tarrasque, turning the caster into the target.
Growth Spurt. If the tarrasque hatchling has imprinted on a player character, it will age each time the player character gains a level. Each time the imprinted character adds a new class level, the tarrasque hatchling gains an additional hit dice.
At five hit dice, the tarrasque hatchling gains +1 to its Strength and Constitution ability scores, +1 to its proficiency bonus, and +1(natural armor) to its AC. It gains these bonuses cumulatively for every five hit dice gained afterwards.
The tarrasque hatchling gains an extra damage dice for successful attacks at five hit dice, and again for every five hit dice gained afterwards.
The tarrasque hatchling increases in size from Medium to Large upon earning fifteen hit dice with this method.
Once the player character has reached the maximum character level, the tarrasque hatching stops aging until it is separated from the imprinted character for six months. At this point, it resumes aging and gains one feature or Legendary feature of an adult tarrasque every 500 years.
Upon gaining all features of an adult tarrasque, the hatchling has fully matured. At this point, the GM can replace all tarrasque hatchling stat block abilities and features with the standard tarrasque stat block except for the Imprint feature.
If the tarrasque hatchling has imprinted on a non-player character, they can age and grow as the GM deems appropriate using the described method.
Imprint. Upon hatching, the tarrasque hatchling will imprint on the first living creature it sees. The tarrasque hatchling will be able to sense the location of the imprinted creature within 10 miles per hit dice. The imprinted creature will be able to give commands to the tarrasque hatchling using Wisdom (Animal Handling) checks at a +1 bonus for each of the hatchling’s hit dice.
If the tarrasque hatchling cannot locate its imprinted character, or if its imprinted character has died, it will become sullen and respond to Animal Handling commands at a -1 difficulty per hit dice.
If the tarrasque hatchling has not seen its imprinted character in six days, it will flee to a secluded area to build a makeshift nest, which takes six months. Once it has established a nest, it will become hostile to all creatures.
If a tarrasque hatchling or adult tarrasque is reunited with its imprinted character at any point after becoming hostile, it can recognize them with an unmodified DC 27 WIsdom (Animal Handling) check, which can be attempted once per hour. A similar check can be attempted by someone who has disguised themselves as the imprinted character, recreating their presence right down to their unique smell.
On a success, the tarrasque is no longer hostile to all creatures and responds to its imprinted character once again. However if the tarrasque cannot sense the imprinted character, it will immediately revert to its hostile state after 12 hours.
Clumsy. Each additional attack roll made with multiattack is disadvantaged – and exponentially so. When the tarrasque hatchling attacks, roll an extra d20 for every previous attack it attempted in the same round, up to the total of five attacks. Use the lowest result. The GM should describe this failures as adorably charming.
For every hit dice above the first, the tarrasque hatchling can ignore its Clumsy feature for one of its extra attacks each round. Once the tarrasque has 5 hit dice, it can ignore the Clumsy feature entirely.
Multiattack. The tarrasque hatchling always make five attacks: one with its bite, two with its claws, one with its horns, and one with its tail. These attacks are subject to the Clumsy feature listed above.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 11 (1d12 + 4) piercing damage. On a success, the target is grappled (escape DC 20). Until this grapple ends the tarrasque hatchling can’t bite another target.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 9 (1d8 + 4) slashing damage.
Horns. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 10 (1d10 + 4) piercing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 8 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage. The target creature must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.