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Slaads have appeared in every 4e Monster Manual so far. This one gives us more exotic varieties.
Basic slaad lore remains the same: technically sapient frog-like monsters from the Elemental Chaos with lolrandom minds and a propensity to implant eggs into other creatures. You can see the lore specific to each new variety in their descriptions below.
As a reminder, chaos phage is a level 16 disease that represents being implanted with a slaad egg. Stage 1 has no effect beyond this, stage 2 gives you a Will penalty and makes you attack randomly while bloodied, stage 3 means the embryo bursts out of your skull and kills you.
Like other diseases it’s not hard to remove with the right ritual, but the symptoms are severe enough that you’ll want to do it sooner rather than later. And as usual the ritual takes time and costs a bunch of healing surges, so it’s something that might add time pressure to a slaad focused adventure.
Slaads are mostly immune to the chaos storms that often rage through portions of the Elemental Chaos, which is why they like to follow these storms around. When one of these storms manages to affect a slaad, it can mutate it into a golden slaad. Golden Slaads are revered by their chromatic brethren, who follow them around as if they were a chaos storm themselves.
Golden slaads are even more chaos-infused than their relatives, and can inject that raw chaos in any victims they bite. Their gold-colored forms are unstable, and if they’re wounded they became unable to sustain those forms, becoming quivering (but still dangerous!) piles of ooze.
These creatures are Huge Elemental Humanoids and Level 20 Controllers with 193 HP. They have a ground speed of 8 and a teleport speed of 6, as well as low-light vision and an immunity to chaos phage (like all slaads).
Their bite is reach 3 and deals physical damage, with a random rider depending on the result of the attack roll. If the roll is odd, it slides the target 3 squares. If it’s even, it dazes them for a turn.
They can also emit Chaos Croaks in a Close Burst 5 (recharge 5+). This targets Will, does psychic damage, and has a random rider rolled on a d6 table:
Target is teleported 1d6 squares in a random direction (rolled on a d8).
Target makes a melee basic attack against a random creature adjacent to it.
Target is stunned for a turn.
Target is slowed (save ends).
Target takes an extra 10 damage of a random elemental type rolled on a d10.
Target is exposed to chaos phage, and if it was dazed by the slad it becomes stunned instead (save ends).
When the slaad is first bloodied it suffers an Amniotic Transformation and becomes an ooze. It becomes unable to teleport and its speed drops to 4, but it gains a Corrosive Pseudopodia attack that can be used as an opportunity action against any adjacent enemy who moves or makes an attack. It deals minor acid damage and grabs the target on a hit. With a minor action, the slaad can sustian all of its grabs, deal acid damage to the victims, and regain 5 HP per grabbed victim. So the loss of speed isn’t that crippling, because the slaad now wants people to get adjacent to it. And it still retains the use of its other attacks!
This is an undead slaad. While it’s most often created on purpose by powerful necromancers, it can also arise naturally when a slaad dies in the Abyss. These “natural” putrid slaads have a tendency to obey demon lords, so you bet Orcus loves them.
The putrid slaad loses its ability to spread chaos phage, but it still fights very similarly to a living one. It will even eat its victims. The remains rot inside its non-functional guts, and then the monster vomits them when it attacks its next victims.
Putrid Slaads are Large Elemental Animates (Undead), and Level 19 Brutes with 227 HP. Its basic Claw attack pulls the target 1 square, and Graping Claws allows it to make 2 of those with a single action. If both attacks hit, the slaad grabs the victim.
Once the putrid slaad has grabbed someone, it will hit them with its Horrific Spew (recharge 6), which deals both immediate and ongoing acid and necrotic damage (save ends). The spew can also be used as a Close Blast 3 attack, but it has a +2 to-hit bonus when focused on the grabbed victim.
The slaad can also cast aside its grabbed victim, pushing them 5 squares, dealing some automatic physical damage to the victim, and using it to make an area attack against anyone adjacent to the victim when it lands.
More slaads. As far as late-edition slaads go, these are pretty cool mechanically. Golden Slaads finally deliver the promised dose of pure chaos people expect when they first read the slaad’s basic lore, and putrid slaads have this cool cycle of grabbing people and tossing them aside, with an occasional dose of disgusting barf.