The Catoblepas is the bringer of death and plague. If you look at its miniature, it seems to be slumping and falling apart, or possibly being created, as it moves. Its anatomy is odd – looking more like a torture rack than a beast. It is a terrifying sight.
When it spawns, all heroes acquire two Pestilence tokens. When it attacks, its target acquires 1 Pestilence token for each damage he takes. So Pestilence is the theme here.
The game of Planet Apocalypse has three main status ailments – Fire, Pestilence, and Stun. Pestilence is also a stand in for poison, plague, or any kind of harm that acts over time. When the Despair track reaches or passes 1, then Pestilence activates – each player with Pestilence counters takes 1 damage per counter.
You can get rid of Pestilence by using First Aid or other healing powers – basically just use a point of healing to get rid of a Pestilence marker instead of gaining health. Of course if you have 3-4 or more Pestilence, this might take a few turns. And with the Catoblepas in the game, it’s not unlikely.
Fighting the Catoblepas
The Catoblepas has a doubled toughness, like the cacodemon. Fortunately, it’s only 2+2, so not hard to overcome. However, this does mean an attacker needs at least two dice to harm the beast (not everyone has two dice, particularly in the early-to-mid game). Its attack is “only” 4d8 – it most relies on the Pestilence to hurt the players.
Usually when the catoblepas spawns, there is a turn or two in which the players have to avoid heavy fighting, because all their healing must go on cleansing their pestilence. It’s a real worry. And then if you aren’t able to knock out the catoblepas in a single round, someone is going to get hit by it for 2-4 more pestilence. Ecch.