||Temperate or tropical/Swamp
||Q, (J, K, L, M, N)
||3, Sw 12
|No. of Attacks:
||T (1' high)
Muckdwellers are a species of small intelligent bipedal amphibians that lurks
in swamps, marshes, or still, mud-bottomed waters. They have been known to
serve lizard men and kuo-toa.
Muckdwellers are only 1-foot tall and resemble upright gila monsters with
large, partially webbed rear feet. Their forepaws are prehensile, but very small
and weak. Their backs are colored a mottled gray and brown, and their
underbellies are yellow. They have short tails that are used for swimming and keeping
their balance on land. They speak their own hissing language and possibly (50%
chance) the lizard man tongue.
Muckdwellers use ambush techniques. Packs of muckdwellers wait for a victim;
when one arrives, several squirt water (at up to a ten-yard range) into the
victim's eyes, which temporarily blinds it (a successful saving throw vs. wands
negates this, but surprised creatures get no saving throw). A blinded victim
cannot act in that round, loses all Dexterity bonuses, and all attacks against the
victim gain a +2 bonus to the attack roll. Furthermore, if the muckdwellers lure
the victim into knee-deep muddy waters, the victim loses all Dexterity bonuses
and fights with a -1 penalty to its attack roll, due to unsteady ground. If
the water is waist-high, the penalty increases to -2; if the water is chest-high,
the penalty is -3. A ring of free action
or equivalent magic negates these penalties. These disadvantages do not apply
to the amphibious muckdwellers. Usually, a muckdweller fights only if it is
cornered or if it is certain it can score an easy kill.
The lair of these creatures is underwater, but they always have a muddy,
above-water area for resting, sunning themselves, and eating. There are 5d4
muckdwellers in each lair. They keep shiny-things (gold, gems, etc.) in hoards in their
above ground lairs. If 16 or more monsters are encountered in this lair, they
have double the given type Q treasure.
Muckdwellers are an intelligent species, but they have very little culture.
They have a very primitive nature worship that emphasizes the supremacy of water
over land. They like shiny things because they gleam like the sea. Due to the
weakness of their hands, they do not use or produce tools and use their back
paws for burrowing and their teeth for cutting. They occasionally build tiny rafts
of cut reeds and mud to float on the surface of the water, and propel
themselves quickly with their hind legs (movement 18). They infrequently build crude
shelters of reeds, twigs, and mud. These shelters are designed to protect them
from predators, not to shelter them, as weather doesn't bother them very much.
Because of the size difference between muckdwellers and lizard men,
muckdwellers consider lizard men to be a superior species and occasionally serve them.
Muckdwellers believe in the "survival of the fittest" and have no room for love,
mercy, or compassion. Scoring the deathbite on a much larger creature gives the
individual elite status in the community, while being killed by a bigger
creature is a mark of shame, for it demonstrates poor hunting ability.
Omnivorous muckdwellers will eat plants, insects, and aquatic animals, but
fresh, warm-blooded meat is their preferred diet.
Muckdwellers are amphibians that spend their larval stage in the water but
their adult stage on land. Their average life span is 9 to 12 years. It takes
three years to grow to full-size. Muckdwellers in temperate climates hibernate
during the winter months. Their natural enemies are snakes and certain giant
carnivorous fishes. A muckdweller community has a hunting range of about two miles'