The Bulette: A RM Conversion

Copyright Kerry Drake © 2003

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

Also known as a landshark, the bulette (pronounced Boo-lay) lives only to eat and is a terrifying predator avoided by other creatures.

The bulette is naturally armored with large plate-like scales. The scales are various shades of blue mixed with earthy brown tones at head and rear, and gray and greenish tints elsewhere. Its teeth and nails are a dirty off-white. Its yellowing eyes have unexpectedly vivid blue-green pupils.

Combat: A bulette will attack anything it thinks it can eat. The elves are the only sentient race that it refuses to eat, and it seems to dislike the taste of dwarves. Always hungry, it is constantly roaming its territory in search of food. The landshark relies on vibrations to detect prey when burrowing underground. When it senses movement, the crest of the bulette breaks to the surface and the creature begins its attack. Landsharks are vicious, brutal, and fear nothing and nobody. The bulette always attacks, choosing as its target the easiest or closest prey. When attacking, the bulette employs its large jaw and front feet.

Incredibly, the landshark can jump up to 8 feet with blinding speed, and uses this to escape if cornered or injured. If jumping on a creature the beast's huge size and weight prove a devastating attack (100LTs). The bulette possesses only two vulnerable areas: the shell under its crest (AT 3(30)), which is only raised during intense combat, and the region of the bulette's eyes (AT 4(30)), but this is a small oval area about 8 inches across.

Habitat/Society: The bulette is a solitary animal normally with the rare mated pairs being the only landsharks, which will share a territory. All other creatures are considered prey. Bulettes wander their territory (up to 30 square miles) constantly seeking food, burrowing underground solely to rest or surprise prey.

Bulettes consume their victims totally as their stomach acid is so strong that it can destroy even metal and enchanted items. Having denuded a territory of food, the bulette will move into a new area, even if it is inhabited by humans or other intelligent races.

Very little is known of the life cycle of the bulette. They presumably hatch from eggs, but no young have ever been found, though small landsharks have been killed. It may be that the bulette is hatched from very small eggs, with few young surviving to maturity. Still other sages theorize that the bulette bears live young. There is also evidence that the bulette, like carp and sharks, grow larger as they get older, for unusually large landsharks of 11 feet tall and taller have been seen. Certainly no one has ever come upon the carcass of a bulette that died of old age.

Ecology: The bulette has a devastating effect on the ecosystem of any area it inhabits. Literally nothing that moves is safe from it -- man, animal, or monster. In the process of hunting and roaming, the landshark will uproot trees of considerable size. In hilly and rocky regions, the underground movements of the bulette can start small landslides. Ogres, trolls, and even some giants all move off in search of greener and safer pastures when a bulette appears. A bulette can turn a peaceful farming community into a wasteland in a few short weeks, for no sane human or demihuman will remain in a region where a bulette has been sighted.


There is only one known benefit to the existence of the bulette: The large plates behind its head make superb shields, and dwarven smiths can fashion them into shields of +5 to +15 in value. Some also claim that the soil through which a bulette has passed becomes imbued with magical, rock-dissolving properties. Many would argue, however, that these benefits are scarcely worth the price.

Appendix A: RM Statistics

LEVEL

13D

BASE RATE

112, Burrow 24

MAX PACE / BONUS

FSpt / 10, Walk / 0

MOVEMENT SPEED

FA / CR

ATTACK QUICKNESS

MF

SIZE/CRIT

L / II

HITS

145E

ARMOR TYPE(DB)

20(20)

ATTACKS

80LBi, 100LBa

# ENCOUNTERED

1-2

TREASURE

--

BONUS EP

K

OUTLOOK(IQ)

Hungry (NO)

(wms)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-8; 9 ½ ' tall, 12 feet long.

H2>Appendix B: Revised System Reference Document Entry

Bulette

Huge Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 9d10+45 (94 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares), burrow 10 ft.
Armor Class: 22 (ñ2 size, +2 Dex, +12 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+25
Attack: Bite +16 melee (2d8+8)
Full Attack: Bite +16 melee (2d8+8) and 2 claws +10 melee (2d6+4)
Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Leap
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., lowlight vision, scent, tremorsense 60ft.
Saves: Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +6
Abilities: Str 27, Dex 15, Con 20, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 6
Skills: Jump +18, Listen +9, Spot +3
Feats: Alertness, Iron Will, Track, Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Temperate hills
Organization: Solitary or pair
Challenge Rating: 7
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 10-16 HD (Huge); 17-27 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment:

Also known as the landshark, the bulette is a terrifying predator that lives only to eat.

COMBAT

A bulette attacks anything it regards as edible, choosing the easiest or closest prey first. The only creatures it refuses to eat are elves (and it dislikes the taste of dwarves). When burrowing underground, a landshark relies on its tremorsense ability to detect prey.

When it senses something edible (that is, senses movement), it breaks to the surface, crest first, and begins its attack.

Leap (Ex): A bulette can jump into the air during combat. This allows it to make four claw attacks instead of two, each with a +15 attack bonus, but it cannot bite.

H2>Appendix C: Open Gaming License and Legal Matters

This article: "The Bulette: A RM Conversion", Copyright &copy: 2003 by Kerry Drake, is an Open Gaming article.

This article is covered by the Open Gaming License. The title "The Bulette: A RM Conversion" is Product Identity, all other material in this article (except the entirety of Appendix A and the Open Gaming License itself) is Open Game Content. Appendix A is Closed Content and may not be reproduced without permission of the author and The Guild Companion. Portions of this work are derived from the (Revised) System Reference Document, Copyright © 2000-2003 by Wizards of the Coast, and are used with permission.

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Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich baker, Andy Collins, David noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

"The Bulette: A RM Conversion", Copyright © 2003 by Kerry Drake, first published by The Guild Companion (http://www.guildcompanion.com)

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