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The jabberwock is a true Creature of legend—a subject of poetry, song, and myth in many cultures. It is known to be a devastating Creature in Combat whose arrival presages times of ruin and violence; these stories also tell of the creature's fear of the tools some say were created in ancient times for the sole purpose of defeating them—vorpal Weapons. A jabberwock is 35 feet tall and weighs 8,000 pounds.
The jabberwock is not a Creature of the Material Plane, but one from the primal world of the fey. It comes from a region of reality where life is more robust, where emotions are more potent, and where dreams and nightmares can come alive. Even in such incredible realms, though, the jabberwock is a Creature to be feared. It belongs to a category of powerful creatures whose shapes and types run the gamut of possibility—a group known collectively as the “Tane.” Of the Tane, the jabberwock is said to be the most powerful, but the others in this grouping are far from helpless. Said to have been created as goliaths of war and madness, dreamt and stitched into being by the strange gods of this primeval reality, the Tane are as mysterious as they are powerful. Two other creatures of the Tane are presented in this book—the sard and the Thrasfyr. None of the Tane are lower than CR 16 in power and all possess the planar acclimation special quality, but beyond that, they generally share no specific abilities or characteristics save for their common source in the primal world.
When a jabberwock comes to the Material Plane, it does so to spread Destruction and ruin. Typically, the Monster seeks out a remote forest lair at least a day's flight from civilization, then emerges from this den once a week to seek out a new place to destroy. It has no true interest in amassing treasure, but often gathers objects of obvious value to bring back to its den in order to encourage heroes to seek it out—to a jabberwock, it makes no difference whether it seeks out things to destroy or lets those things come to it.
Jabberwocks age, eat, drink, and sleep like any living Creature, but they do not reproduce in the classic sense of the word. The Creation of a new jabberwock—or of any of the Tane, in fact—is regulated by the strange and unknowable godlike entities that dwell in the primeval world. These fey lords create new jabberwocks as they are needed—sometimes varying the exact particulars (see Variant Jabberwocks, below), but always creating a fully formed adult Creature. No young jabberwock has ever been encountered as a result.
The strange vulnerability a jabberwock possesses against vorpal Weapons has long been a matter of intrigue and speculation among scholars. Most believe that, once upon a time, only one jabberwock existed, a Creature of such great power that nothing could hurt it. Nothing, that is, save for a legendary sword forged for a mortal hero by a now-forgotten artisan or god. So epic was this battle that it created strange echoes throughout reality, and as a result, these echoes, in the form of the vorpal swords and jabberwocks known today, can be found on many worlds.
The notion of a “lesser” jabberwock is something of a misnomer, for even these creatures are powerful foes. A lesser jabberwock is generally a CR 20 version of the typical jabberwock—you can achieve a Creature of this power by lowering the typical jabberwock's Hit Dice by 3 and by reducing its ability scores by 4 points each. Alternatively, you can apply the young Creature simple template, but bear in mind that such a Monster isn't technically any younger than a typical jabberwock.
As creatures from the primal world of the fey, some jabberwocks are as varied as the strange terrains and realms in that primal world, as if these environs have more to do with their manifestation than most scholars suspect. Generally, these changes simply alter the type of Damage a jabberwock's eye beams deal and the types of energy it is immune to. A jabberwock from a primeval glacial world would possess eye beams that deal cold Damage, while a jabberwock from a storm-lashed world would deal electricity Damage with its eye beams. If the nature of a jabberwock's eye beams change, its burn ability changes to match, and it replaces its Immunity to fire with Immunity to the new energy type (while gaining resist fire 30 in place of the lost Immunity to fire).
Burble (Su) A jabberwock can burble once every 1d4 rounds as a Standard Action. This blast of strange noises and shouted nonsense in the various languages known to the jabberwock (and invariably some languages it doesn't know) affects all creatures within a 60-foot-radius spread—these creatures must make a DC 31 Will save or become confused for 1d4 rounds. Alternatively, the jabberwock can focus its burble attack to create a 60-foot line of sonic energy that deals 20d6 points of sonic Damage (DC 31 Reflex save for half). The Confusion effect is mind-affecting; both are sonic effects. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Eye Rays (Su) The jabberwock can project beams of Fire From its eyes as a ranged touch attack as a Standard Action, with a range increment of 60 feet. It projects two beams, and can target different creatures with these beams if it wishes as long as both targets are within 30 feet of each other. A Creature that takes Damage from an eye beam suffers burn.
Fear of Vorpal Weapons (Ex) A jabberwock knows that a Vorpal Weapon can kill it swiftly. As soon as it takes Damage from a Vorpal Weapon, a jabberwock becomes shaken for 1 round. If it is hit by a critical threat from a Vorpal Weapon, whether or not the critical hit is confirmed, the jabberwock is staggered for 1 round.
Planar Acclimation (Ex) A jabberwock is always considered to be on its home plane, regardless of what plane it finds itself upon. It never gains the Extraplanar Subtype.
Whiffling (Ex) A jabberwock's wings and violent motions create a significant amount of wind whenever it makes a full attack Action. These winds surround the Monster to a radius of 30 feet, and are treated as severe winds—ranged attacks take a 4 Penalty when targeting a jabberwock while it is whiffling, and Medium creatures must make a DC 10 Strength check to approach the Creature. Small or smaller creatures in this area that fail a DC 15 Strength check are blown away. See page the Wind effects table For further details on the effects of severe winds.