Basilisk

Source: System Reference Document 5.0
The text on this page is Open Game Content, and is licensed for public use under the terms of the Open Game License v1.0a.

Basilisk

Medium monstrosity, unaligned


Armor Class 15 (natural armor )

Hit Points 52 (8d8+40)

Speed 20 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
16 (+3) 8 (-1) 15 (+2) 2 (-4) 8 (-1) 7 (-2)

Senses tremorsense 60 ft., passive Perception 10

Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Petrifying Gaze. If a creature starts its turn within 30 feet of the basilisk and the two of them can see each other, the basilisk can force the creature to make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw if the basilisk isn’t incapacitated. On a failed save, the creature magically begins to turn to stone and is restrained. It must repeat the saving throw at the end of its next turn. On a success, the effect ends. On a failure, the creature is petrified until freed by the greater restoration spell or other magic.

A creature that isn’t surprised can avert its eyes to avoid the saving throw at the start of its turn. If it does so, it can’t see the basilisk until the start of its next turn, when it can avert its eyes again. If it looks at the basilisk in the meantime, it must immediately make the save.

If the basilisk sees its reflection within 30 feet of it in bright light, it mistakes itself for a rival and targets itself with its gaze.

Actions


Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) poison damage.

Source: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary.

The basilisk, often called the “King of Serpents,” is in fact not a serpent at all, but rather an eight-legged reptile with a nasty disposition and the ability to turn creatures to stone with its gaze. Folklore holds that, much like the cockatrice, the first basilisks hatched from eggs laid by snakes and incubated by roosters, but little in the basilisk’s physiology lends any credence to this claim.

Basilisks live in nearly any terrestrial environment, from forest to desert, and their hides tend to match and reflect their surroundings—a desert-dwelling basilisk might be tan or brown, while one that lives in a forest could be bright green. They tend to make their lairs in caves, burrows, or other sheltered areas, and these dens are often marked by statues of people and animals in lifelike poses—the petrified remains of those unfortunate enough to stumble across the basilisk.

Basilisks have the ability to consume the creatures they petrify, their churning stomach acid dissolving and extracting nutrients from the stone, but the process is slow and inefficient, making them lazy and sluggish. As a result, basilisks rarely stalk prey or chase those who avoid their gaze, counting on their stealth and the element of surprise to keep them safe and fed. When not lying in wait for the small mammals, birds, and reptiles that normally make up their diet, basilisks spend their time sleeping in their lairs, and those brave enough to capture basilisks or hide treasure near them find that they make natural guardians and watchdogs.

An adult basilisk is 13 feet long, with fully half of that made up by its long tail, and weighs 300 pounds. Some breeds have short, curved horns on their noses or small crests of bony growths topping their heads like crowns. Though normally solitary creatures, coming together only to mate and lay eggs, in particularly dangerous areas small groups may band together for protection and attack intruders en masse.

For unknown reasons, weasels and ferrets are immune to the basilisk’s stare, and sometimes sneak into basilisk lairs while a parent is hunting in order to consume its young. Some legends suggest that a basilisk’s blood can transmute common stones into other material, but this is likely a case of witnesses misinterpreting the magical restoration of previously petrified creatures or body parts.