Many years ago, I ran The Vanishing Village by Marcus Rowland from Dungeon #19 for my wife Kate. Or rather, I attempted to run it. Her player character took one look at the suspiciously empty small village and decided to give it a wide berth. Every so often in the months (and years!) that followed she would ask me what would have happened if her character had gone into “that village.” I wouldn’t tell her.
Then, a few years ago I was running Rise of Tiamat and the characters reached Xonthal’s Tower. I’ve always thought the house hunters– the oversized mimics that made up the Vanishing Village – were great fun, so I couldn’t resist the chance to feature a real life Dread Gazebo as the PCs wandered the hedge maze surrounding the tower.
I couldn’t find any stats I liked online so came up with the following which I am sharing here as they worked pretty well. And, if you get the chance, check out The Vanishing Village!
Gargantuan monstrosity (shapechanger) neutral
Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 202 (15d20 +45)
Speed 15 ft.
STR 18 (+4) DEX 12 (+1) CON 16 (+3) INT 5 (-3) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 8 (-1)
Skills Stealth +5
Damage Immunities acid
Damage Resistance cold, fire
Condition Immunities prone
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Pidgin common
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)
Camouflage. The house hunter can use its action to change its appearance to resemble that of a building, and can produce dim flickering light (bioluminescence) to resemble candle or lantern light, at any body opening, and can imitate domestic noises (muffled voices, clucking hens, the tolling of a temple bell etc.)
Adhesive (Building Form Only). The house hunter adheres to anything that touches it. A Huge or smaller creature adhered to the house hunter is also grappled by it (escape DC 16). Ability checks made to escape this grapple have disadvantage.
False Appearance (Object Form Only). While the house hunter remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from an ordinary building.
Grappler. The house hunter has advantage on attack rolls against any creature grappled by it.
Multiattack. The house hunter makes three attacks: one with its tongue and two with its tentacles.
Tongue. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (3d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage, and the target is subjected to its adhesive trait.
Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (3d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage, and the target is subjected to its adhesive trait.
Swallow. The house hunter makes a tongue or tentacle attack against a Huge or smaller creature it is grappling. If the attack hits, that creature takes the attack’s damage and is swallowed, and the grapple ends. While swallowed, the creature is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the house hunter, and it takes 21 (6d6) acid damage at the start of each of the house hunter’s turns.
If the house hunter takes 30 damage or more on a single turn from a creature inside it, the house hunter must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate all swallowed creatures, which fall prone in a space within 10 feet of the house hunter. If the house hunter dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape from the corpse using 15 feet of movement, exiting prone.
Another character can force open the bony plates covering an opening (“door” or “window”) in a house hunter’s body from outside with a DC 16 strength check.
Main image by Bryan Cox