It’s Greco-Roman Week here at Necromancers of the Northwest, a time to celebrate the classical inspiration of a great deal of Western fantasy. Nowhere do we find this truer than in our monsters. Most Western games, including Pathfinder, make heavy use of the classical Greek monsters: medusa, the minotaur, centaurs, hydras, cyclops, non-medusa gorgons, and so forth; the list is seemingly endless. Thus it proved difficult to find a monster that wasn’t already a major staple in the game. After reflecting on several choices, I decided to go straight to the top with the terrible father of all monsters, Typhon.
This creature is so fearsome and powerful, it’s no wonder that it hasn’t been reproduced hundreds and hundreds of times and made its way into the common collective lore that drives modern fantasy. As tall as the stars, with hundreds of fire-spitting serpent heads, eyes made of fire, great wings that block out the sun, a pair of great writhing serpents for feet, and hundreds of voices making every kind of noise in a tangled and lawless fashion, Typhon sounds more like Lovecraft than Hesiod. The main flaw with Typhon is that he should something like CR 100, but as that goes too far beyond the scope of most games to be convenient for this article, this is a CR 25 version. The descriptive text is borrowed from Theogony by Hesiod.
In size and strength he surpassed all the offspring of Earth. As far as the thighs he was of human shape and of such prodigious bulk that he out-topped all the mountains, and his head often brushed the stars. One of his hands reached out to the west and the other to the east, and from them projected a hundred dragons' heads. From the thighs downward he had huge coils of vipers, which when drawn out, reached to his very head and emitted a loud hissing. His body was all winged: unkempt hair streamed on the wind from his head and cheeks; and fire flashed from his eyes.
TYPHON CR 25
CE Colossal magical beast
Init +14; Senses blindsense 500 ft., darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 1,000 ft.; Perception +55
Aura voices of all creatures (20 ft.)
AC 45, touch 13, flat-footed 34 (+10 Dex, +1 dodge, +32 natural, -8 size)
hp 575 (46d10+322)
Fort +33, Ref +35, Will +16
DR 20/epic; Immune ability damage, ability drain, death effects, disease, fire, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, sleep, staggered, stunning; Resist acid 20, cold 20; SR 36
Weaknesses thunder and lightning weakness
Speed 200 ft., fly 500 ft. (clumsy)
Melee bite +60 (4d6+21/19-20), 2 bites +60 (2d6+21/19-20 plus grab and poison), 2 wings +55 (2d6+10/19-20)
Special Attacks breath weapon (300-ft. cone, 30d6 fire damage, Reflex DC 38 for half, usable every 1d4 rounds), burning gaze, constrict (3d6+21) dragon fire burst, grow heads, serpent rake
Str 52, Dex 30, Con 22, Int 11, Wis 9, Cha 3
Base Atk +46; CMB +75 (+79 to grapple); CMD 96
Feats Alertness, Agile, Bleeding Critical, Blinding Critical, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Dodge, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Critical (wing), Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, Improved Iron Will, Great Cleave, Great Fortitude, Greater Grapple, Iron Will, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Fly), Skill Focus (Perception), Toughness, Weapon Focus (bite), Weapon Focus (wing)
Skills Fly +61, Perception +55
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Infernal
Voices of All Creatures (Ex): Typhon constantly emanates horrible voices from every imaginable creature in a torrent of endless screeches and growls. Creatures within 20 feet of Typhon must succeed on a Will save (DC 25) or be confused for as long as they remain within 20 feet of Typhon, and for 1 minute thereafter. The saving throw DC is Charisma-based.
Burning Gaze (Ex): Typhon has a gaze attack that deals 5d6 points of fire damage to creatures within 100 feet. Creatures are not allowed a save against this ability.
Dragon Fire Burst (Ex): As a full-round action, Typhon can throw his dragon-headed hands wide and unleash a torrent of fire, which deals 40d6 points of fire damage to all creatures within 100 feet of Typhon. A successful Reflex save (DC 39) halves this damage. Typhon can use this ability at will, but must wait at least 1 minute between uses.
Grow Heads (Ex): As a full-round action, Typhon can grow an additional head, which lasts for 2d10 rounds. This additional head allows him to make an additional bite attack which deals 3d6+21 points of damage and has a critical threat range of 19-20.
Poison (Ex): Bite—injury; save Fort DC 39; frequency 1/round for 10 rounds; effect 2d4 Str drain and target is fatigued; cure 1 save.
Serpent Rake (Ex): As a full-round action, Typhon can swing his mighty arms, which end in hundreds of fire-breathing poisonous serpents, about him in an arc, causing all creatures within his reach to be attacked by 1d10 serpent heads. Each attacking head makes a bite attack at +60, which deals 1d10+21 points of damage and exposes the struck creature to his poison. Typhon can use this ability at will. Whenever Typhon uses this ability, he suffers a –10 penalty to AC for 1 round.
Thunder and Lighting Weakness (Ex): Typhon is vulnerable to thunder and lightning and suffers twice as much electricity and sonic damage, and whenever he suffers damage from one of these sources, he must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 40) or be nauseated for 1 round.
Born of the very mortal world and fathered by the very deepest hell, Tartarus, Typhon is a terrible, hateful, and unlawful force, which exists to defy the gods, destroy their works, and assert his dominion over their creation. Together with his mate Echidna, he fathered many terrible and triumphant beasts, including the gorgon, hydra, minotaur, sea serpent, cyclops and other giants, and numerous sorts of fierce giant animals including rocs and giant lions. Utterly evil in his defiance, his wickedness passed to his children and endlessly blights all mortal kind. Absolutely sure of his personal power, which was at one time unrivaled by any in creation, Typhon once roamed the world unchecked and spread wrath and destruction to all the children of the gods. In the end, only through divine intercession was his wrath restrained.
In his creation, Typhon was born in anger and hate from the greatest of forces, in vengeance for the ousting and destruction of the primordial titans and giants which ruled over the world, though other legends claim his origins are in retribution for another fault of the king of gods. In this purpose, he is wholly consumed with destroying and perverting everything the gods stood for, undoing their deeds and chasing them from the world with his fury. In those times, Typhon had power comparable to or greater than any god and made war upon them, easily routing the young deities at every turn.
Ultimately, Typhon's reign of terror would come to end only when Zeus confronted him directly, with all his terrible power and divine weapons and armor. The two fought across worlds for many nights, and the fury of their struggles was such that much of creation was consumed by lightning and fire, and the very seams of reality were nearly rent. It was only through the prowess of mighty Zeus, who hurled 100 divinely charged lightning bolts into Typhon’s monstrous head, that he was subdued. Still, the monster would not die. Unable to slay the mighty beast, Zeus sealed him for all time in Tartarus, the deepest and most inescapable hell, and to this day Typhon dwells there now. Occasionally, however, some portion of Typhon's power escapes his prison and is made manifest in a shade of his former glory, eager to take up his mission again. He wishes to wreak endless havoc upon mortal kind, and actively seeks to destroy the gods and all their worshipers. In addition to these goals, he seeks to free himself in truth from Tartarus, that he may again destroy the world and challenge the gods directly, and above all, seek his vengeance against Zeus.