Encounters: The Great Lurker

Posted on July 8, 2012 by


As the ship sails through the tunnels of the underdark, the crew becomes nervous.  Something horrible lurks beneath the waters of this underwater cave, something capable of ripping their ship to pieces.  This monstrosity is somewhere between shrimp, horse-shoe crab, and praying mantis, large enough to destroy the heroes’ ship.

Setting the Field: Use your party’s ship, or design one for the encounter.  It should have siege weapons that the heroes can use, and you should know how many hit points the ship has (around 7 or 8).  Information on ships and ship combat can be found here.

Siege weapons on the ship can be fired as a standard action, but must also be reloaded as a standard action.  They hit on a d20 roll of 10 or higher, and you will probably want them to do a lot of damage, due to the high miss rates.


The lurker gets two or three turns each round, and you can choose to space them out in the initiative order however you like..

Phase A – The Approach

The lurker starts the fight in Phase A, roughly 36 squares from the edge of the ship.  Each round the lurker moves 12 squares towards the ship and makes an attack against ever creature not behind cover that deals minimal damage and adds ongoing poison damage as the monster rains poison needles down on the crew.  This phase gives the players a choice between taking cover and getting in some free damage with their siege weapons.

At the end of the third turn, the lurker reaches the ship and sinks it’s giant kaiser blades into the deck, beginning Phase B.

Phase B – Close Quarters

With its claw blades sunk into the deck of the ship, the Great lurker deals one point of damage to the ship at the beginning of each round.

On each of its turns the lurker chooses a target at random.  If the target is within 3 squares from the ship’s edge it is a bite attack that deals medium damage.  If the target if more than 3 squares away, it is a poison spit attack that deals low damage but deals ongoing damage as well.

The crew must shoot each of the lurker’s claws with a siege weapon to make it release the ship.  If they do, the lurker sinks beneath the water o its next turn and begins Phase A again.

Phase C – Creepy Crawlies

When the lurker hits 75%, 50%, and 25% health, it moves to Phase C on its next turn, sinking under the water and then appearing on the ceiling.  Each turn the lurker drops a non-minion enemy onto the deck of the ship.  These enemies should take their turn at the beginning of each round, and should be standard difficulty enemies for the heroes’ level.

The lurker continues to rain down monsters on the deck of the ship until it is shot down with one of the siege weapons, causing it to return to whatever Phase it was in before.

Repeat Until Murdered

Posted in: Encounters