Medusa

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.

Medusa

Medium monstrosity, lawful evil


Armor Class 15 (natural armor )

Hit Points 127 (17d8+85)

Speed 30 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
10 (+0) 15 (+2) 16 (+3) 12 (+1) 13 (+1) 15 (+2)

Skills Deception +5, Insight +4, Perception +4, Stealth +5

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages Common

Challenge 6 (2300 XP)


Petrifying Gaze. When a creature that can see the medusa’s eyes starts its turn within 30 feet of the medusa, the medusa can force it to make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw if the medusa isn’t incapacitated and can see the creature. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature is instantly petrified. Otherwise, a creature that fails the save begins to turn to stone and is restrained. The restrained creature must repeat the saving throw at the end of its next turn, becoming petrified on a failure or ending the effect on a success. The petrification lasts until the creature is freed by the greater restoration spell or other magic.

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

If the medusa sees itself reflected on a polished surface within 30 feet of it and in an area of bright light, the medusa is, due to its curse, affected by its own gaze.

Actions


Multiattack. The medusa makes either three melee attacks—one with its snake hair and two with its shortsword—or two ranged attacks with its longbow.

Snake Hair. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage plus 14 (4d6) poison damage.

Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.

Longbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 150/600 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) poison damage.

Source: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary.

Medusas are human-like creatures with snakes instead of hair. At distances of 30 feet or more, a medusa can easily pass for a beautiful woman if she wears something to cover her serpentine locks—when wearing clothing that conceals her head and face, she can be mistaken for a human at even closer distances. Medusas use lies and disguises that conceal their faces to get close enough to opponents to use their petrifying gaze, though they like playing with their prey and may fire arrows from a distance to lead enemies into traps. Some enjoy creating intricate decorations out of their victims, using their petrified remains as accents to their swampy lairs, but most medusas take care to hide the evidence of their previous conflicts so that new foes won’t have advance warning of their presence.

Used to concealing themselves, medusas in cities are usually rogues, while those in the wilderness often pass themselves off as rangers or trackers. The most notorious and legendary medusas, though, are those who take levels as bards or clerics. Charismatic and intelligent, urban medusas are often involved with thieves’ guilds or other aspects of the criminal underworld. Medusas may form alliances with blind creatures or intelligent undead, both of which are immune to their stony gaze. Spellcasting medusas often serve as oracles or prophets, usually dwelling in remote locations of legendary power or infamous history. Such oracle medusas take great delight in their roles, and if presented with the proper gifts and flattery, the secrets they offer can be quite helpful. Of course, the lairs of such potent creatures are liberally decorated with statues of those who have offended them, so the seeker of knowledge is well advised to tread carefully during such meetings.

All known medusas are female. Rarely, a medusa may decide to keep a male humanoid as a mate, usually with the help of elixirs of love or similar magic, and is always careful to not petrify her prisoner—at least until she grows tired of his company.