There are 3 types of normal monothot: black, tan, and red. The black species is found in nearly any temperate environment. The tan species is found in any sandy environment. The red species is black with a red underside, and is found in any temperate forest. All share the same basic structure: A small hemispherical body with 6 small legs for moving and 2 larger 'legs' used for burrowing and uprighting itself in the event it is overturned.
The monothot's main usefulness requires it to be turned over and spun on its back. In a few seconds, the monothot will stop its rotation with its large set of legs. It is unknown why, but when this occurs, the monothot's head is always pointing north!
The monothot usually never uses its pitiful bite, as it usually goes unmolested, has no natural enemies, and isn't a carnivore. When it does, it often does no damage at all. At most, it can deliver one point of damage if it hits a vulernable spot. However, a monothot can burrow through an earth elemental (or similar dirt creatures), devouring soil for food and causing 1-2 points of damage every other turn.
Monothots reproduce by laying eggs about once a week. The eggs are almost unnoticable, but are extremely durable, and will die in about a year. When another monothot comes within 3 feet of a cluster of eggs, it will make its way to them and eat them. The eggs are fertilized inside the monothot, then regurgitated. The eggs will hatch in about a week. The larvae are strange, unwhole creatures. Within 24 hours, all the larvae will unte in one mass and form a chrysalis. In 3 days time, the chrysalis will break open, spilling out the larvae, which have united into a full-grown monothot. A monothot typically lives 5-7 years.
The monothot feeds on moist soil, usually 1-2 feet below ground. The black feeds on regular, everyday dirt. The tan has a less durable structure, and can eat only sand, though any type of sand is acceptable. The red monothot eats regular soil, but can also eat dead wood. Monothots seem to have no need for air, so are usually kept in canvas bags of the appropriate soil. The monothot usually eats only 5-6 times its weight in a day.
It is unknown how monothots determine the direction of true north. It is considered a sin or bad omen to kill or injure a monothot, as they are absolutely harmless, cost almost nothing to maintain, and provide a welcome service. Mages that employ spells that consume monothots are despised. Most of the spells needing monothots, therefore, do not consume the monothot in their casting.
With the appearance of a tan monothot, except with small, lady-bug like wings that allow remarkable flight. The flying monothot has all the same abilities and ecology of a normal monothot, but its diet is unknown, and no flying monothot has survived in captivity for more than a week. Sages speculate that they eat the air itself, and must fly most of the time to survive.
Flying monothots have no burrowing legs, instead stopping their rotation when spun by expanding their wings.
The crystal monothot can inhabit almost any terrain, and can eat any soil. It has the appearance of a regular monothot, except it looks like it is made entirely of crystal, except for a black stomach where the soil is digested. They are the only type of monothots that cannot determine north when spun on their back. They will stop facing any direction they please, which is usually due east or west (30% east, 30% west, 5% north, 5% south, 30% any other).
The torunish monothot has the same appearance and measly bite of a black monothot, but any bite makes the victim save vs. poison or be affected as per a confusion spell.
Torunish monothots also exude a weird force field to a radius of 25 feet that makes the arcane formulas of spells waver in the minds of spellcasters. Any spellcaster attempting to cast a spell must make an intelligence check with a +2 bonus, or misread the energy patterns in his/her head and botch up the spell.
Torunish monothots are named for the mythical land of Toruna, that is reputed to have a force field that erases any memorized spells, preventing spellcasting.
Created by the evil wizard Amberlei, these monothots are giant versions of the black monothot. Each has a bite attack, and 2 attacks with its spiked forelegs. Any succesful bite injects confusion venom, as a Torunish monothot, and requires a save vs poison to negate. A successful leg attack forces a save vs paralysis with +1, or be paralyzed for 1d4 rounds. Amberleish monothots eat meat, whether fresh or carrion.
Amberlei used created these monothots as the first line of defense of his stronghold in the Aldeemahn Jungle. They exude a powerful ‘Superstitious Aura’ that affects any who see them. If the viewer fails a save vs. spell at -3, the viewer will become afraid to harm the monothot. Those who are not familiar with the superstition against harming monothots ignore the -3 penalty when they try to save.
There is a 3rd edition version of this creature.