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Remember how, way back in the “Ape” entry, I commented that I wasn’t fond of the “pulp fiction carnivorous gorilla” cliches some of them were leaning on? Then you might imagine how I feel about this particular monster. I first saw them in the 3e Monster Manual, but they might have appeared in a supplement for an earlier edition.
A girallon is what happens when you take every single one of those cliches, lump them together, and double the result. It’s an evil carnivorous gorilla that has twice the size, twice the appetite for human flesh, and twice the number of arms as the standard version of the trope. To complete the cliche bingo card, girallons have white fur and are frequently worshipped as gods by “savage jungle-dwelling tribes”. So yeah, not a great look so far.
Girallons are voracious carnivores and messy eaters that have the habit of leaving viscera and entrails lying around their territories. They can climb and move through the treetops with practiced ease, but their large size means they need to sleep on the ground. Their lairs are usually in caves or ruins. Though not sapient, some of them learn to make trails in their territory’s vegetation that lead to prime ambush spots, which can act as an effective lure for sapient prey.
Girallons are usually the most badass predators in their region. They’re either solitary or organized in small bands, and do not willingly seek out allies of other species. Still, they’re sometimes “tamed” by giants, trolls, fomorians and other such sapients. Prospective girallon keepers must be either big and strong enough to physically beat the creatures into submission, or have the knowledge of magic necessary to keep them dominated.
The basic model and the template used for the others. This is a Large Natural Beast and a Level 12 Brute with 145 HP. It has a ground speed of 8 and a climb speed of 6. Its four arms act as a Threatening Claws aura (1) that makes all enemies inside grant combat advantage, and a Combat Climber trait that make it not provoke opportunity attacks when climbing.
The basic claw attack is Reach 2 and does the heavy damage expected of a brute, and the Claw Flurry special (recharge 5+) allows it to make four half-damage claw attacks.
This specimen is much bigger and stronger than a typical girallon. It has all the same traits as the basic model but is level 17 with 195 HP. It has two new abilities as well.
The first is a positioning thing: Whirling Claws is a free action triggered when an enemy starts its turn within 2 squares of the alpha. The alpha slides that enemy 1 square, which is perfect for breaking flanking maneuvers.
The other is a special attack: Rend and Tear targets enemies in a Close Blast 3, does heavy damage, and slides the targets 3 squares on a hit.
A long time ago some devils decided infusing packs of girallons with the power of Hell for use as bioweapons in the Blood War would be a swell idea. Now there are packs of Infernal Girallons roaming and hunting through both the Elemental Chaos and the Nine Hells.
These have all the same traits as a basic girallon but are Immortal instead of Natural. They have the Devil keyword and Darkvision. They’re Level 22 Brutes with 249 HP and all the same abilities as a basic girallon.
Their first new power is a trait named Burning Soul. This aura (2) causes 10 fire damage to enemies caught inside, or 20 if the girallon is bloodied. Better give your defenders some protection from fire.
Their other new power is an attack named Burning Ichor, a Close Blast 3 that does immediate and ongoing fire damage (save ends).
So yeah, an even bigger girallon that is on fire.
You already know my opinion of their lore. I’m tempted to reskin these things into demons or some other type of monster. I guess the exception is the lore for Infernal Girallons. “Devils tried to do science, it did not go as planned” is a good hook.
Mechanically, the Girallon is a basic paragon-tier brute, serviceable but not spectacular. The enhanced versions add more interesting special attacks, so depending on your needs you might want to down-level an alpha instead of using the basic version.