Copyright 2009 Wizards of the Coast

We already looked at lizardfolk during our reading of the first Monster Manual and the Monster Vault. As we saw before, there are several different ethnicities of lizardfolk. The first MM had the human-sized “greenscales” and the larger “blackscales”. The Vault also contained a “poisonscale” type, which turns out to have debuted here in the MM2.

Poisonscale lizardfolk have a smaller and slighter build than greenscales, though they’re still Medium. To make up for their lack of brute strength, they developed a kind of internal alchemy: by eating certain specific plants, they can sweat poison. They usually apply this poison to their weapons, but some poisonscales like to apply it directly to their enemies by wrestling with them.

The lore in this entry is more focused on the individual stat blocks than on overall lizardfolk culture, so presumably everything that was said in the first Monster Manual still applies here. The stat blocks themselves are different enough from what we got in the MV to be worth discussing.

All lizardfolk in this entry are Medium Natural Humanoids with the Swamp Walk ability, allowing them to ignore swampy difficult terrain. They also usually do something poison-related, though the specifics vary per stat block.

Poisonscale Magus

These spellcasters specialize in toxic magic. They occupy positions as honored advisers in poisonscale communities, but this power and respect comes at a cost. Their own magic poisons them, and shortens their lives.

Magi are Level 2 Artillery with 32 HP and speed 6, carrying daggers into battle for use as implements and in emergencies. All of their spells target Fortitude, so they’re a threat to your squishies.

In a fight a magus is likely to open up with a Poison Barrage (encounter) an area burst attack that deals poison damage and inflicts Vulnerable 5 Poison on thise it hits (save ends). A miss does half damage and inflicts the vulnerability for a turn.

Then they’ll target individual vulnerable enemies with Poison Blood, a ranged spell that deals immediate and ongoing poison damage (save ends). As a minor action it can also use Corrupt Poison, a ranged spell that slides someone suffering from ongoing poison damage 3 squares and slows them (save ends).

There are enough interesting interactions here that the magus works more like a fragile Controller than as Artillery.

Poisonscale Slitherer

This represents your typical poisonscale warrior. Their slight build makes them a bit cowardly, but they have good teamwork and their somewhat oversized tails make them very stable.

Slitherers are Level 2 Soldiers with 36 HP and speed 5. They carry spears for melee combat, and javelins for fighting at range. They prefer that last one because it’s safer, and because their javelins are poisoned! This manifests as a secondary attack against Fortitude, which does about double the damage of the initial hit.

Their ironically named slitherer bravery trait gives them a +2 attack bonus when adjacent to at least one ally, and slitherer stability makes them immune to knockdowns and forced movement. That’s surprisingly powerful for a level 2 soldier, and makes them an excellent wizard counter-measure.

Poisonscale Savage

This warrior doesn’t bother with fiddly stuff like poisoning weapons or personal hygiene. It slaps enemies with its tail to cover them in poisoned sweat, and them clubs them to death while they’re weakened.

The savage is a Level 2 Brute with 45 HP and speed 6. It will probably start the fight with the single javelin it carries, which damages and inflicts ongoing poison damage because it’s all sweaty. After that it attacks with a greatclub, and can slap with its tail as a minor action. The tail does no damage, but inflicts ongoing 5 poison damage on a hit (save ends).

Poisonscale Collector

Collectors are responsible for gathering the special plants that allow poisonscales to produce their poison. This means they’re also trained herbalists and alchemists. They’re Level 3 Lurkers with 36 HP and speed 6.

Collectors are armed with Daggers, which do physical and ongoing poison damage. Once an enemy is taking ongoing poison damage from this or any other source, the collector can do several unpleasant things to them.

First of all, the Poison Strike passive trait gives them a +2 damage bonus against poisoned targets. Blinding Poison is a spell that targets a poisoned creature’s Fortitude, dealing damage and blinding them on a hit (save ends). And End Strike is a stab that targets someone who can’t see the collector and does a bunch of physical damage.

So this is one of those lurkers who can do something harmful to the PCs every turn, though it takes a bit longer to activate its ultimate attack. That process can be sped up if it has additional buddies who can inflict ongoing poison damage.

Poisonscale Myrmidon

A veteran warrior, fighting in a more disciplined manner with a club and a shield. It’s a Level 3 Soldier with 47 HP and speed 6. Its only attack is a club that damages and marks on a hit, but it also has the collector’s Poison Strike trait.

Myrmidons can’t poison enemies themselves, so they rely on the support of other allies who can. They’re good to pad the ranks of an all-poisonscale force, though you’re probably better off using lizardfolk from the other books if you have a mixed force or want more interesting mechanics.

Final Impressions

The poison theming here is interesting, and several of these stat blocks don’t get repeated in the Vault, so it’s worth it to update them. As long as you avoid the extra-xenophobic lore in the Vault, its stat blocks are good.