Creature Feature – The Creeping Pit

The Creature Feature for show #1 comes from Dragon magazine #101, the Creeping Pit.

FREQUENCY: Very rare
NO. APPEARING: 1
ARMOR CLASS: Not applicable
MOVE: 12″
HIT DICE: See below
% IN LAIR: Nil
TREASURE TYPE: See below
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1 engulfment
DAMAGE/ATTACK: See below
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Engulfment, cast victims into Astral Plane
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Immunity to physical and magical attacks
MAGIC RESISTANCE: See below
INTELLIGENCE: Unratable
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
SIZE: L (6′ diameter, 10′ deep)
PSIONIC ABILITY: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil
LEVEL/X.P. VALUE: VI/1000

An extremely curious and rare phenomenon, a creeping pit is created when a bag of devouring (see DRAGON® issue #89, “Ihagnim” in Creature Catalog I) is placed within a portable hole. The combination of these two magical items opens a rift to the Astral Plane, which closes in one hour. The closed rift then changes, for reasons un- known, into a creeping pit.
The creeping pit has a quasi-sentience, and it seems to stay in the general area in which it was created. The pit looks exactly like a mobile portable hole, and it is always 6′ in diameter and 10′ deep. It can move freely over any fairly level surface, and can travel up and down ramps (but not stairs).
Any live creature coming within 30′ of the creeping pit will be “attacked” by it; the pit attempts to slide under the creature’s feet, causing it to fall in. The only way to avoid falling in the pit is to jump to any available area not occupied by the pit. To see if the creature has avoided the pit, roll a 20-sided die; if the result is below or equal to that creature’s dexterity, then the creature has avoided falling in. If the result is higher, the creature has fallen into the pit. There must be available floor space to which a potential victim can jump in order to even try to avoid the pit.
A creature falling into a pit will usually take 1-6 hp damage when hitting bottom, but sometimes (10%) there will be sufficient garbage at the bottom to break the fall without harm. Any victim may easily get out of the pit if the means are at hand, but that creature will then be subsequently attacked by the pit, and the victim may find himself in a new area. (The pit is always on the move and can easily slide under doors).
Creeping pits are not affected by any type of magical spell or weapon attack. The only way to affect a pit is to create another extra- dimensional hole inside it. This can be done by casting a gate within it, or by throwing a bag of holding or portable hole into the pit. This will reopen the pit’s interdimensional rift, and creatures and objects within a 10′ radius of the pit must make a save vs. spell or be swept into the Astral Plane. This rift will then close in one hour, the creeping pit destroyed. Creatures in the Astral Plane will not be able to use the rift to get back into the Prime Material Plane, as it is a one-way opening only.
Even if a creature cannot escape from a creeping pit, it will probably end up in the Astral Plane. For every hour that material (living or non-living) is in the pit, there is a 25% chance that it will “fade” into the Astral Plane.
Even though a creeping pit cannot be killed in the conventional sense, experience points should be awarded by the DM if characters overcome it by creating a hole within the pit as outlined above, or by filling it with some substance, making it easy to walk upon.

4 thoughts on “Creature Feature – The Creeping Pit

  1. This creature was created by a friend of mine, Dan Proulx, who submitted it to dragon magazine. I think it was a contest they ran to create new monsters.

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