Friday, April 3, 2015

Frightful Fridays! A Mythical Monster from Ancient Lore

"Hark now. Hear the sailors cry. Smell the sea and feel the sky."
—Van Morrison, "Into the Mystic"

Hello again, Ramblers!

It's been a long time, but I'm back to share another Pathfinder RPG monster with you. I created this week's submission to the Frightful Fridays collection in response to a request from our good friend, Justin. Justin is working on a campaign set on the archipelago of Iblydos in the Pathfinder setting. Since Iblydos is noted for being Golarion's source of many creatures that we know from Greek mythology, Justin was looking for stats on as many other Greek mythological creatures as he could find. He discovered that, while there are stats for land-dwelling centaurs, there aren't any stats for their aquatic cousins, ichthyocentaurs.

In mythology, the two main ichthyocentaurs, also known as sea centaurs, were sea-gods named Bythos and Aphos and were said to be the half-brothers of the centaur Chiron. I took these beings as the inspiration for the personalities of the monster race and imagined them not as simply half-centaur and half-fish, but rather, half-merfolk and half-hippocampus.

I hope that you enjoy using these wise, yet wild creatures in your own campaigns.

A sculpture of Bythos by "EvilInstinct" (


By Paris Crenshaw
This creature has the pale-skinned upper body of a powerful warrior, while its lower body combines the foreparts of a horse and the hindquarters of a sleek fish. Its forelegs end in splayed fins rather than hooves.

Ichthyocentaur         CR 3
XP 800
N Large monstrous humanoid (aquatic)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +9

AC 18, touch 10, flat-footed 17 (+4 armor, +1 Dex, +4 natural, -1 size)
hp 30 (4d10+8)
Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +7

Speed 5 ft., swim 50 ft.
Melee trident +5 (1d8+2), tail slap +0 (1d4+1)
Ranged underwater heavy crossbow +4 (1d10/19–20)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Str 15, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 11, Wis 16, Cha 12
Base Atk +4; CMB +7; CMD 18 (22 vs. trip)
Feats Endurance, Improved Initiative
Skills Diplomacy +5, Knowledge (nature) +2, Perception +10, Survival +10, Swim +11
Languages Aquan, Common, Sylvan
SQ amphibious
Gear bone scale mailUE, crossbow bolts (10), trident, underwater heavy crossbowUE

Environment Any water
Organization solitary, pair, shoal (3-10), or school (11-30 plus 3 hunters of 3rd level and 1 leader of 6th level)
Treasure NPC gear (bone scale mail, crossbow bolts (10), trident, underwater heavy crossbow)

Ichthyocentaurs (or “sea centaurs”) appear very similar to merfolk, but with a lower half resembling that of a hippocampus. Some ichthyocentaurs wear crowns of coral, shells, ferns and seaweed. Some variations of these creatures are said to possess horns that resemble the claws of crabs or lobsters. Although they can breathe out of water, sea centaurs cannot move well at all on land and prefer not to venture there unless absolutely necessary.

Sea centaurs are generally peaceful creatures. They are fiercely loyal to their families and friends, and extend that loyalty to land dwellers if they form friendships with them. They tend to get along well with merfolk, most of the aquatic fey, and other neutral or good-aligned aquatic races. They despise the sahuagin and will usually attack them on sight.

An example of shell armor by J-ndrax (
Although they dwell in the sea, ichthyocentaurs still share some of the wild nature of their air-breathing cousins, though they tend to be less prone to violent outbursts. They are, however, harsh protectors of their kin and their domains. Attacks or insults will result in swift and harsh reprisals. They are quite capable warriors and have learned to fashion exquisite armor and weapons from the bones of large animals. They even craft some armor from the iridescent shells of creatures like abalone.

Despite their military prowess, ichthyocentaurs are still not as aggressive as other centaurs. Their inherent wisdom makes them excellent advisors, emissaries, and diplomats. Their relations with the fey and other races of the sea makes them valuable resources for those who ply the surface waters, as well.

Scholars are unsure how long ichthyocentaurs actually live, but many of them possess intimate knowledge of the sea that can only be gained from decades of experience and exploration. Some say that the sea centaurs made a deal with the fey to extend their lifespans, but this has never been proven.

An average ichthyocentaur stands over 7 feet tall and weighs upward of 2,000 pounds. However, just as there are variants of the hippocampus (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 2), there are many regional variations of sea centaurs.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Bunyibble

Hello again and welcome to a new Frightful Fridays! Real life intervened over the past couple of weeks, but I missed doing these, and my queue keeps growing. Craig found this one and it piqued my mashup sensibilities, so of course I had to stat it up. Bunyibbles are fine normally, but you don't want to see them when they're angry, and you certainly don't want to hurt one when others are lurking about.
I hope you enjoy the bunyibble, and I also hope to be back next week with a new monster. Hopefully, once things settle down with the day job and other commitments, I can work through the queue much more quickly. Thanks for reading!

This creature looks like something fused the front half of a white-furred rabbit to the rear half of a shark; two rows of shark teeth line the inside of its mouth.
Bunyibble CR 1
XP 400
CN Small magical beast (aquatic)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., keen scent 180 ft., low-light vision; Perception +9

AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 13 (+2 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 13 (2d10+2)
Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +1

Speed 20 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +5 (1d6–2 plus bleed)
Special Attacks bleed (1d2), blood rage

Str 6, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 7, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +2; CMB –1; CMD 11
Feats Go Unnoticed[B], Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +6 (+2 to jump), Perception +9, Stealth +10, Swim +6; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +4 Stealth
SQ amphibious

Environment any aquatic
Organization solitary, pair, or fluffle (3–20)
Treasure none

Special Abilities
Blood Rage (Ex) If another bunyibble is injured within range of a bunyibble's keen scent, it flies into a rage. This ability otherwise works as normal.

Despite the bunyibble's fearsome features, the creature is actually fairly shy and attempts to stay hidden from larger creatures. Larger and more aggressive bunyips enjoy bunyibble flesh, as do sharks, prompting the smaller bunyibble to learn to hide from anything it considers a predator. However, once a creature injures a bunyibble, it goes into a frenzy (along with any nearby bunyibbles) and will not return to its normal, docile state until its attacker is dead. Many foolish hunters have met their demises after spearing a solitary bunyibble, only to come under attack by a dozen enraged shark-bunnies who turn the water red with their foes' blood.

Owing to its typical docility, a bunyibble can be taken as a familiar by a chaotic 7th-level spellcaster with the Improved Familiar feat. The spellcaster can choose to enter blood rage when her bunyibble familiar is injured, but she cannot end the rage voluntarily afterwards.



Saturday, February 28, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Giant Velvet Worm

Howdy and welcome to another Frightful Fridays! (or Frightful word-ending-in-'days', which doesn't have quite the same ring to it) This entry is courtesy of Jason who pointed to a Cracked article about "the 24 most bizarre creatures on Earth," and these worms appealed to me, especially since they spray mucus to to capture their prey and slowly devour the ensnared prey. What's not to love?

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these giant velvet worms, and I hope to be back this Friday with a new monster. Thanks for reading!

They're so adorable

This massive worm bears dozens of crescent-shaped claws along its body, and a pair of similarly shaped mandibles jut from its mucus-dripping mouth.
Giant Velvet Worm CR 7
XP 3,200
N Large vermin
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +13

AC 20, touch 12, flat-footed 17 (+3 Dex, +8 natural, -1 size)
hp 85 (10d8+40)
Fort +11, Ref +6, Will +4

Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +12 (3d6+6 plus 1d6 acid, poison, and grab)
Ranged spit +9 touch (entangle)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks swallow whole, (4d6 acid damage, AC 14, 8 hp)

Str 23, Dex 17, Con 18, Int —, Wis 12, Cha 5
Base Atk +7; CMB +14 (+18 grapple); CMD 27 (can't be tripped)
Skills Climb +14, Perception +13; Racial Modifiers +12 Perception

Environment warm forests or swamps
Organization solitary, pair, or tangle (3–8)
Treasure incidental

Special Abilities
Giant Velvet Worm Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 19; frequency 1/round for 8 rounds; effect 2d4 Dex; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Spit (Ex) A giant velvet worm's spit acts as a tanglefoot bag, but the Reflex save DC to avoid being glued to the ground and the Strength check DC to break free increase by 4. Additionally, the spittle becomes fragile after 2d4 minutes. Finally, while a victim is glued to the ground, it takes 1d6 points of acid damage.

In primal jungles where every creature is writ large, giant versions of velvet worms keep up with their oversized prey. They possess the sticky mucus of normal velvet worms—which are more closely related to arachnids than worms—but can generate enough to ensnare humanoid creatures. The mucus also contains a bit of their digestive fluids, which softens up prey while the worms might be otherwise engaged. Finally, the worms deliver a virulent, paralytic poison with their bites. Giant velvet worms rarely attack anything larger than themselves, so clever adventurers rely on enlarge person and similar spells when venturing into known velvet worm territory.

With a successful DC 20 Survival or Heal check, a character can extract enough mucus from a giant velvet worm's body to create a tanglefoot bag. For every 5 points above the DC, the character can create an additional tanglefoot bag.



Friday, February 13, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen

Hello and welcome back to another February Frightful Fridays! This week features a critter pointed out by Jason and Craig, and it's just so cute! That's why I needed to make it a CR 18 outsider that can blast its opponents with solid beams of color, and, when it gets tired of that, drop a prismatic spray or two. It's been that kind of week.

I hope you enjoy the "rainbow death butterfly kitten" (hat tip to Paris for the extra piece of the compound noun), and I'll be back next week, perhaps with something a little less ridiculous. Perhaps. Thanks for reading!

This light construct takes the form of a rainbow-hued kitten with butterfly wings.
Regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen CR 18
XP 153,600
CN Tiny outsider (extraplanar)
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +31
Aura darkness dispelling aura (90 ft.), discordant color (60 ft., DC 19)

AC 29, touch 29, flat-footed 20 (+8 deflection, +8 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 size)
hp 264 (23d10+138); fast healing 5
Fort +19, Ref +23, Will +22; primal grace
Defensive Abilities incorporeal; Immune fluctuating immunity; SR 29

Speed 20 ft., fly 90 ft. (perfect)
Melee 2 claws +32 touch (1d4+7 brilliant energy damage)
Ranged 2 rays +32 (4d6+7 brilliant energy damage)
Space 2.5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +28)
At will—color spray (DC 19), glitterdust (DC 20), rainbow pattern (DC 22)
3/day—prismatic spray, quickened glitterdust (DC 20), scintillating pattern
1/day—prismatic sphere

—, Dex 24, Con 7, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 27
Base Atk +23; CMB +28; CMD 47 (51 vs. trip)
Feats Acrobatic, Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Point-blank Shot, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (glitterdust), Shot on the Run, Spell Penetration, Wingover
Skills Acrobatics +37, Bluff +28, Disguise +34, Fly +30, Intimidate +28, Perception +27, Spellcraft +27, Stealth +41
Languages Common (can't speak), Prismat
SQ quasi-invisibility

any (Demiplane of Primal Color)
Organization solitary, pair, or beam (3–12)
Treasure none

Special Abilities
Brilliant Energy Damage (Su) A regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen's attacks deal damage as if they were brilliant energy weapons and ignore all non-living matter, eliminating armor bonuses as well as cover bonuses provided by non-living obstacles. Its attacks cannot harm undead, constructs, or objects.

Darkness Dispelling Aura (Su) Light bends and warps around a regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen such that it suppresses darkness in a 90-foot-radius around it.

Discordant Color (Su) A regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen can radiate a 60-foot-radius aura of sight-destroying patterns of color as a free action. Creatures within the affected area must succeed on a DC 19 Fortitude save or be permanently blinded. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by the regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen's ability for 24 hours. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Fluctuating Immunity (Su) At the beginning of an encounter, a regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen has complete immunity to two random energy types (acid, cold, electricity, or fire), and for one of those energy types (chosen randomly), it can reflect any spell or effect that only targets it. The creature has resist 20 for the other two energy types. As a swift action, it can randomly select the energy types from which it gains immunity.

Primal Grace (Su) A regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen gains a bonus equal to its Charisma bonus on all saving throws. Additionally, it gains bonus hit points equal to its Charisma bonus per Hit Die.

Quasi-Invisibility (Su) The color-warping abilities possessed by the regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen allow it to use its Stealth without penalty, even when running or in plain sight.

Regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen (singular and plural are the same) normally reside in a demiplane comprised of a near infinite number of hues, most in the visible spectrum of light but still indiscernible by most creatures not native to the plane. This demiplane acts as the source of all color for the multiverse and touches every plane, except for varied locations on (mostly) evil-aligned planes devoid of all color. The creatures issue forth from their home plane, heralded by a seeming explosion of rainbows, after multiple successive castings of color-related spells within a small time frame—such as a wizard's duel where the combatants often choose prismatic spray or the like.

Regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen attempt to take a harmless, if misjudged, form to give the impression of harmlessness. While regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen can create nearly any semi-solid object from the colors around them, they cannot create anything larger than a Tiny sized. However, they can easily manipulate color to produce their spell-like abilities and provide themselves with an odd chameleonic ability that renders them virtually invisible. Their peaceful intentions rapidly fade in the face of any aggression, and they unleash their full primal fury on those they perceive as foes. Undead creatures and constructs confuse a regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen, since they have immunity to its main attacks, but the regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen switches to its devastating prismatic spell-like abilities to dispatch such creatures.

Communicating with regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen is an exercise in futility. The creatures understand the primary language of whatever plane they visit, but they cannot speak. Instead, they use color, in the visible spectrum as well as outside it, to express themselves. Two or more regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen create a nausea-inducing display of strobing colors when they "talk" among themselves.

A variety of creature known as the "least" regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen exists, but those who have studied the creatures do not know if these less powerful creatures are young versions or just lesser creatures with similar appearances. Least regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen have the same statistics as a cat (with the exception of having Cha 11), and can use color spray (DC 11) as a spell-like ability three times per day. These creatures are incorporeal, but must maintain a solid colorform when stationary, losing their incorporeality when they do not move. A caster with Improved Familiar and at least 4 levels in an arcane spellcasting class can take a least regenbogentodschmetterlingkätzchen as a familiar.




Friday, February 6, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Nullephant

Hello there! It's been a while since the last installment of Frightful Fridays! and I apologize for my long absence, but I am back now with a new monster, with thanks to my friend Craig for the image. The nullephant's face is not just good for frightening everything that see it; it also conceals a deadly weapon. The creatures were born of nightmares and plan to continue producing nightmarish encounters with those they attack and such dry of their physical and mental essences.

I hope I managed to do this disconcerting image justice, and I hope you like the nullephant. I'll be back soon with a new monster. Thanks for reading!


This appears to be an ordinary elephant, apart from the fact that its ears and trunk simply do not exist.
Nullephant CR 12
XP 19,200
NE Huge magical beast
Init –2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +17

AC 26, touch 6, flat-footed 26 (–2 Dex, +20 natural, –2 size)
hp 168 (16d10+80)
Fort +15, Ref +8, Will +11

Speed 40 ft.
Melee gore +22 (3d6+8), slam +22 (2d8+8), null trunk +21 (1d4+4 plus grab)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks null trunk, trample (2d8+12, DC 26)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 16th; concentration +19)
At will—invisibility

Str 27, Dex 6, Con 21, Int 7, Wis 18, Cha 16
Base Atk +16; CMB +26 (+30 grapple); CMD 34 (38 vs. trip)
Feats Coordinated Charge[UC], Coordinated Maneuvers[APG], Distracting Charge[ACG], Iron Will, Multiattack, Outflank[APG], Power Attack, Weapon Focus (null trunk)
Skills Intimidation +16, Perception +18; Racial Bonuses +8 Intimidation

Environment temperate plains
Organization solitary, pair, or herd (3–12)
Treasure none

Special Abilities
Null Trunk (Su) A nullephant's trunk remains invisible at all times and is immune to attempts to make it visible (through means such as faerie fire or glitterdust). Spells such as see invisibility allow the recipients to see the trunk as though it were composed of a hungering void. If an opponent cannot see the null trunk, the nullephant attacks its flat-footed armor class (mitigated by abilities such as uncanny dodge).
If a nullephant successfully grapples a foe with its trunk, it deals 1d4 points of Charisma drain and 1d4 points of Constitution drain. A victim must attempt two DC 23 Fortitude saving throws, one for each attribute. A success reduces the effect to 1 point of ability damage. Nullephants are immune to this ability. The save DCs are Constitution-based.

The so-called Nowhere Dimension is a malevolent plane of existence that seeks to consume every material bit of the universe, leaving nothing but void in its wake. Elder gods managed to wall off the rest of reality from the Nowhere Dimension, but occasionally it leaks through to the Material Plane—and other planes to a much lesser extent. It makes its incursions into primal areas virtually untouched by sentient beings other than fey and consumes what it can before ancient defenses once again seal off the breaches. Of all animals, elephants are the most sensitive to the Nowhere Dimension's intrusions, and their investigations typically come to horrifying ends. However, a hardy herd survived one such encounter, losing their trunks and ears to the void in the process. The event changed these elephants, which bore a mere fraction of the terrible hunger of the void in their trunks, driving the elephants to feed on the essence of other creatures. They grew more cunning, and their burgeoning intellect, nurtured by the living void, led them to seek out sentient prey.

Nullephants breed true with each other and they have a 50% chance of producing a nullephant when mating with an ordinary elephant. This birth invariably results in the new nullephant's mother becoming its first victim. The creatures gather in large numbers and attack en masse, relying on a surprising array of teamwork tactics. An individual nullephant attempts to grab one creature with its trunk, and, once it manages to snag a victim, it then relies on its tusks to keep rescuers at bay. Worse, a nullephant can extend the null field comprising its trunk to make itself completely invisible. Only the sound of heavy hooves give away a charging group of nullephants hiding in their null fields.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Black Friday Edition

Hello, and welcome back to the latest Frightful Fridays post! Day job and freelance deadlines have kept me away from the blog, but I am delighted to bring you another seasonal monster, this one pointed out to me by my good friend Patrick. Since yesterday was Thanksgiving in America, and the usual tradition is turkey, a lot of turkey-themed images appeared on the internet. This one was too delightful to pass up, and so I present the griffurkey, one of the most ornery creatures from which to obtain delicious roasted meat.

I hope you enjoy today's monster, and I should be back next week with something different. Thanks for reading!

This strange creature has the body of a lion, and the head—complete with wattle—stumpy wings, and feathered fan belonging to a turkey.
Griffurkey CR 5
XP 1,600
N Large magical beast
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +17

AC 18, touch 10, flat-footed 17 (+1 Dex, +8 natural, –1 size)
hp 57 (6d10+24)
Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +4
Defensive Abilities ferocity

Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee bite +9 (1d8+4), 2 talons +9 (1d6+4/19–20)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks pounce, rake (2 claws +9, 1d6+4)

Str 18, Dex 13, Con 18, Int 4, Wis 15, Cha 7
Base Atk +6; CMB +11 (+13 overrun); CMD 22 (24 vs. overrun, 26 vs. trip)
Feats Flyby Attack, Improved Critical[B] (talon), Improved Overrun, Power Attack
Skills Fly +4, Perception +17

Environment temperate plains
Organization solitary, pair, or gang (3–8)
Treasure none

Some barbaric tribes feel that the thrill of the hunt and the potential for grievous injury at the teeth, claws, and talons of their prey makes the meat all the tastier. This definitely holds true for the beast known as the griffurkey, an aggressive and ill-tempered combination of lion the turkey. Considering their resemblance to the majestic griffon, it is curious that the barbarians describe the meat as a combination of fowl and horse flesh.

Griffurkeys certainly look less than regal compared to their griffon cousins, as their unimpressive wingspan makes them clumsier at flying. They are also less intelligent than griffons, and most people would agree that they are less aesthetically pleasing. However, griffurkeys are powerful and bellicose creatures that prefer to attack creatures with similar temperaments, such as boars and bears. They prefer to attack by flying through their intended prey, knocking their victims down before pouncing on them and attacking with their array of terrifying natural weapons.

Aficionados of griffurkey meat have met with failure in domesticating the creatures and raising them on farms. Even those griffurkeys raised from hatchlings turn their ire against those who have captured them well before they become a viable source of meat. The creatures attack those who attempt to handle them and repeatedly bash themselves against enclosures in their overwhelming desire to escape captivity. Likewise, efforts to training griffurkeys as mounts akin to griffons have met with the same bullheaded attitude.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Halloween Kaidas

Hello and welcome back to a new Frightful Fridays! Life got in the way of last week's entry, so I'm putting two monsters out this week. Since it's the two-year anniversary of the feature, I thought I'd go with my favorites—kaidas. They aren't exactly the friendly kaidas that have graced this blog before, especially the pale kaida, but the rot kaida may prove to be a valuable ally in the fight against undead monsters.


I hope you enjoy this week's monsters, and I'll be back next week with something else. Thanks for reading, and thanks for all the comments and suggestions over the past two year!

This illustration can be found here.

This dragon, not much larger than a dog, has scales the color of bleached bone.
Pale Kaida CR 7
XP 3,200
NE Small dragon
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +14

AC 19, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+4 Dex, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 76 (8d12+24)
Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +9
Defensive Abilities negative energy affinity; Immune cold, paralysis, sleep; SR 18

Speed 20 ft., fly 80 ft. (good)
Melee bite +14 (1d4–1 plus draining bite), 2 claws +14 (1d3–1 plus 1d2 Strength damage)
Special Attacks breath weapon, channel negative energy 7/day (DC 18, 4d6)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +12)
At will—detect undead
3/day—lesser animate dead

Str 8, Dex 19, Con 16, Int 16, Wis 17, Cha 19
Base Atk +8; CMB +11 (+13 steal); CMD 20 (22 vs. steal, 24 vs. trip)
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Combat Expertise, Improved Steal, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +15, Fly +21, Intimidate +15, Knowledge (religion) +14, Perception +14, Sense Motive +14, Sleight of Hand +15, Spellcraft +13, Stealth +19
Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Infernal

Environment any terrestrial or underground
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure standard

Special Abilities
Breath Weapon (Su) A pale kaida breathes a sickly pale cone that chills those caught in it to the bone. The cone deals 6d6 points of damage (half cold, half negative energy, DC 17 Reflex half). Creatures failing their saves are staggered for 1d4 rounds. The kaida can reuse its breath weapon after 1d4 rounds. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Draining Bite (Su) If a pale kaida succeeds at a critical hit with its bite attack, the target gains 1d4 negative levels. These negative levels last for 8 hours, at which time they are removed without requiring a save to avoid the negative levels becoming permanent.

Pale kaidas sprung into existence in locations dominated by undead creatures, such as ghoul empires and vampire-controlled nations. Twisted reflections of typical protector kaidas, they preserve undead creatures with an array of abilities that bolster and heal undead. During combat, they like to use the steal combat maneuver to divest opponents of their holy symbols, in the hope that they can considerably reduce their effectiveness. They are not physically powerful creatures, so they rely on channels and breath weapon attacks. If forced into melee, they use bite and claws to sap enough energy from opponents to make them manageable.

While too powerful to be taken as familiars, pale kaidas voluntarily serve powerful undead creatures with class levels, whom the dragons see as most worthy of their aid.



And this illustration can be found here.


Flies buzz around this putrescent brown dragon. Its watery eyes seem to take the measure of all creatures in view.
Rot Kaida CR 6
XP 2,400
N Small dragon
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, deathwatch; Perception +13
Aura stench (30 ft., DC 17, 1d6 rounds)

AC 19, touch 13, flat-footed 17 (+2 Dex, +6 natural, +1 size)
hp 73 (7d12+28)
Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +6
Immune negative energy, paralysis, sleep; SR 17

Speed 20 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee bite +11 (1d6+3 plus disease), claw +11 (1d4+3 plus 1d2 Charisma damage)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +7)
At will—disrupt undead
1/day—creeping doom (DC 15)
3/day—quickened disrupt undead

Str 17, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +7; CMB +9; CMD 21 (25 vs. trip)
Feats Alertness, Flyby Attack, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (disrupt undead)
Skills Diplomacy +10, Fly +14, Heal +11, Knowledge (religion) +12, Perception +13, Sense Motive +13, Spellcraft +12, Stealth +16
Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Infernal

Environment any terrestrial
Organization solitary, pair, or dissolution (3–8)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities
Disease of Reclamation (Su) Disease—bite; save Fort DC 17; onset 1 hour; frequency 1/day; effect 1d6 Con (living creature) or 1d6 Cha (undead creature); cure 2 consecutive saves. While a victim suffers from this disease, it only gains half the hit points from natural and magical healing. Undead creatures do not benefit from immunity from disease against a rot kaida's disease of reclamation. A creature that is not undead nor returned to life through a spell or effect is immune to this disease. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Despite their appearance, rot kaidas are neither evil nor undead. They serve to offer finality for those creatures that have cheated death, which puts them at odds with undead creatures. Unfortunately, they can also bring suffering to those who have been returned to life. Rot kaidas dodge the question of whether they serve another power, but they seem to gravitate towards clerics and other followers of death deities who treat undead as abominations. The kaidas absolutely hate pale kaidas and will attack them in preference to any other opponents.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Nightmare Squirrel

Hello, and welcome back to Frightful Fridays! This makes two Fridays in a row now, but I promise not to let it go to my head. This week's monster is courtesy of a challenge by Jacob Trier on a Facebook thread featuring the delightful image below. I workshopped the stats a little on the thread (wherein I got crucial feedback about the squirrel needing a throw acorn attack), so it's all the better for it.


Two weeks until Frightful Fridays! turns two (on Halloween happily enough). I'm still looking for any suggestions for how I can celebrate this, er, momentous occasion. Feel free to leave a comment. At any rate, I certainly hope you enjoy the nightmare squirrel, and I appreciate you checking it out!

The inspiration for this charming creature can be found here.

"It's just a harmless squirrel. I'm not totally sure why it's surrounded by ghouls, though. Maybe it's in trouble."
Nightmare Squirrel CR 13
XP 25,600
NE Tiny magical beast
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +14

AC 29, touch 29, flat-footed 22 (+6 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 profane, +2 size)
hp 171 (18d10+72)
Fort +15, Ref +17, Will +10
Immune fear, negative energy

Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +26 (1d4–4 plus 2d6 negative energy and curse of broken sleep)
Ranged burred acorn +26 (1d6–4 piercing plus inflict negative energy weakness)
Space 2.5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks curse of broken sleep
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18th; concentration +22)
At will—fear (DC 17)
3/day—quickened phantasmal killer (DC 19)

Str 2, Dex 23, Con 19, Int 4, Wis 18, Cha 19
Base Atk +18; CMB +22; CMD 29 (33 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (phantasmal killer), Run, Spell Focus (illusion), Spring Attack, Underfoot[APG], Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +16, Climb +12, Intimidate +19, Perception +14, Stealth +18; Racial Modifiers +8 Climb, +8 Intimidate, +4 Perception

Environment any temperate
Organization solitary, pair, or jump scare (3–12)
Treasure whatever it has squirreled away

Special Abilities
Burred Acorn (Ex) A nightmare squirrel gnaws on acorns, which allows the acorns to imbed themselves in the flesh of the squirrel's foes. If an acorn deals lethal damage, it clings to its target, inflicting negative energy weakness. Removing the acorn deals 1d4 damage, but a character making a DC 15 Heal check removes the acorn without damage.
Curse of Broken Sleep (Su) Bite—injury; save Will DC 21; frequency 1 day; effect 1d4 Wis damage and fatigued for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based, and a nightmare squirrel has a –2 penalty on the save DC.
Inflict Negative Energy Weakness (Su) While at least one burred acorn is imbedded in a victim's flesh, the victim takes 50% more damage from spells and effects that deal negative energy damage to hit points or attributes. Additionally, the victim incurs a –4 penalty on saving throws against negative energy effects or to remove negative levels.

Nightmare squirrels are typical squirrels that somehow managed to survive a brush with negative energy or exposure to the Negative Energy Plane. After this event, they metamorphose into creatures with blue-tinged fur and black, soulless eyes (not terribly dissimilar to typical squirrels). They also become capable of reaching into their prey's darkest fears in order to break their prey, immediately or eventually through terrible dreams. While nightmare squirrels have no telepathic abilities of which anyone is aware, when they show their frightful forms to victims, the forms apply specifically to fears and anxieties possessed by their victims.

Intelligent undead keep nightmare squirrels as a mockery of familiar or animal companion. The squirrels act as spies for the undead who would might otherwise incur the wrath of paladins and other do-gooders. They also have a couple of abilities that nicely complement the abilities of many undead creatures. Additionally, these terrible animals are not susceptible to positive energy (their immunity to negative energy allows them to live among their masters), rendering the usual catch-all tactics against undead less effective.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Flechette Piranhawk

Welcome to a Friday (whaaat?) edition of Frightful Fridays! Today's monster is courtesy of Theodric the Obscure, and it's been in the archives for a while. This week I decided that I wanted to create a horrifying murderbeast, and this fit the bill. Considering the paladin (or perhaps cavalier) going up against the piranhawk, I wanted something in the high CR range.


This feature's two-year anniversary is coming up in three weeks (excitingly enough, on Halloween). Is there anything in particular you'd like to see in celebration of the anniversary? Let me know in the comments. For now, I hope you enjoy the flechette piranhawk, and I'll be back next week with a new monster. Thanks for reading!

You can find the illustration of this deadly creature here.


This gigantic bird has the wings of a hawk, featuring a mix of feathers and scales, and the head of a fish, mouth lined with razor-sharp teeth. Its bright plumage belies its fearsome demeanor.
Flechette Piranhawk CR 15
XP 51,200
CE Large magical beast (aquatic)
Init +7; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., keen scent, low-light vision; Perception +30

AC 30, touch 12, flat-footed 27 (+3 Dex, +18 natural, –1 size)
hp 230 (20d10+120); regeneration 10 (fire)
Fort +18, Ref +15, Will +10
Defensive Abilities ferocity; Immune cold, electricity, fear

Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft. (good), swim 80 ft.
Melee bite +25 (2d8+6/19-20 plus grab and 1d4 bleed), 2 talons +25 (2d6+6)
Ranged 4 flechettes +22 (1d8+6/19-20 plus 1d4 bleed)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks fast swallow, rend (2 talons, 3d6+9), swallow whole (5d6 acid damage, AC 19, 23 hp)

Str 22, Dex 17, Con 23, Int 5, Wis 18, Cha 8
Base Atk +20; CMB +27 (+31 grapple); CMD 40
Feats Devastating Strike, Greater Vital Strike, Impact Critical Shot, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Critical (flechette), Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Opening Volley, Point-Blank Shot, Vital Strike
Skills Fly +10, Perception +30, Swim +20; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
SQ amphibious

Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or flensing (3–8)
Treasure none

Special Abilities
Flechettes (Ex) A flechette piranhawk can use its flechettes as part of a full-attack action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The flechettes deal piercing and slashing damage.

A transmuter working on a superior version of the owlbear cast the resulting creature out when it turned out to be smaller than expected. The wizard assumed the beast, dubbed the flechette piranhawk, would live out its life terrorizing those in its domain before experiencing an undignified death. Unfortunately, the first piranhawk proved capable of fertilizing fish eggs to create yet more piranhawks, eventually leading to a growing population of the foul beasts, as subsequent generations proved equally fecund. Piranhawks are fearless and voracious predators that eat anything with flesh.

When hunting prey, piranhawks open with a volley of flechettes from close range to injure and possibly knock down their prey. They then attack the creatures they injured in an attempt to swallow smaller prey whole or to tear apart larger prey. Piranhawk flechettes are fish-like scales honed to razor sharpness. Thanks to the creatures' regenerative capability, they readily grow these scales back, allowing for a near endless supply of ranged ammunition. In the rare cases where opponents prove too difficult to handle or when piranhawks suffer tremendous injury (reducing them below 0 HP), they escape to the air or the sea.

A character who succeeds at a DC 20 Heal or Survival check can extract 1d8+1 flechettes, Large exotic light weapons that deal 1d8 points of piercing and slashing damage, and which inflict 1d4 points of bleed the first time they strike an opponent.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Abductor Prawn

Hello, and welcome to another installment of the currently wildly misnamed Frightful Fridays! Today's monster is courtesy of Paris Crenshaw, and, for some reason, my imagination took me to the possibility of an extraplanar bounty hunter. The abductor prawn spends a considerable amount of time watching its opponent, and when it is ready to strike, it ususally grabs its target from invisibility. Once it latches onto its target, the prawn transports the target to the location of the creature that contracted it. It then disappears to the same location to collect its payment (or the remainder thereof).


I hope you enjoy the abductor prawn, and I'll be back sometime in the next seven days with another monster. As always, thanks for reading!


The abductor prawn is based on the skeleton shrimp, found here.

This creature appears to be a floating skeleton belonging to a gigantic shrimp, but the shrimp's near-invisible carapace soon reveals itself.
Abductor Prawn CR 12
XP 19,200
LN Large outsider (extraplanar, lawful)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +23

AC 27, touch 13, flat-footed 23 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +14 natural, –1 size)
hp 168 (16d10+80); fast healing 5
Fort +15, Ref +15, Will +9
DR 10/chaotic; Immune cold, mind-affecting effects; Resist acid 20, electricity 20; SR 21

Speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee 4 pincers +20 (2d6+5 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (2d6+5), I have you now, learn routine
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 16th; concentration +19)
Constant—detect magic
At will—greater invisibility
3/day—plane shift (DC 20)
1/day—dimensional lock, discern location

Str 20, Dex 17, Con 20, Int 15, Wis 18, Cha 16
Base Atk +16; CMB +22 (+26 grapple); CMD 36 (44 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Disruptive, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Lunge, Spellbreaker, Teleport Tactician[APG]
Skills Bluff +22, Disable Device +20, Fly +20, Knowledge (planes) +21, Perception +23, Sense Motive +15, Spellcraft +21, Stealth +18, Survival +23 (+31 when tracking); Racial Modifiers +8 Survival when tracking
Languages Celestial, Common, Infernal
SQ complete the contract, lockout wake

Environment any
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure double

Special Abilities
Complete the Contract (Su) An abductor prawn can travel (or force an unwilling creature to travel) to its contractee's precise location when it uses plane shift.
I Have You Now (Su) If an abductor prawn succeeds at pinning its opponent, it can use plane shift as a swift action against its opponent and imposes a –8 penalty on the opponent's Will save.
Learn Routine (Ex) An abductor prawn that spends one hour studying its mark (including at least one combat) predicts how its target behaves. This grants the prawn a +4 bonus on all attack rolls against the target for 24 hours afterwards. The prawn cannot benefit from this ability against more than one creature.
Lockout Wake (Su) If an abductor prawn uses its plane shift spell-like ability on itself, it leaves a dimensional lock in its wake. It must have at least one use of its dimensional lock spell-like ability to create this effect, and this ability expends one use of dimensional lock.

Bizarre planar bounty hunters, abductor prawns have achieved a reputation for always collecting their targets. Once abductor prawns have received their assignments, only death will keep the prawns from completing them. This doggedness comes at a premium, of course, but many powerful outsiders that do not have the time to pursue someone themselves easily have the means to pay an abductor prawn to do the dirty work for them. Their inherent lawfulness attracts devils and archons alike, both of which seek to find targets due for some sort of punishment. Additionally, chaotic creatures, aware of the prawns' reputation, put aside their disdain for their lawful nature to contract them to hunt down targets.

Abductor prawns exert considerable patience when hunting their prey. They plane shift into the last known location of their targets and use discern location to gain a precise fix. If discern location fails, they use their prodigious tracking ability as a mundane substitute. Once they have acquired their target, the prawns follow it around invisibly to observe the target's actitivities, noting capabilities and vulnerabilities. If they can catch a target alone, they will attack at that moment, but they possess enough physical strength to ward off all but the most determined defenders. As a last resort, the prawns plane shift away without their quarry, but they are sure to attempt a capture again, after more observation.

A rare few abductor prawns apply their talents to the art of assassination. Since nearly all abductor prawns find tasks involving murder distasteful at best, finding one willing to carry out an assassination is difficult. However, these deadly prawns have an evil alignment, so a savvy creature with the ability to detect evil or otherwise discern another creature's alignment will have less trouble finding an assassin.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Manic Monsterdays! (nee Frightful Fridays!) Scaly-Foot Snail

Hello, and welcome to the official Frightful Friday entry! I hope the other five monsters held you over until today. This week's monster is courtesy of my friend Drejk, Wojciech Drejk Gruchała, and I thought this real-world creature had quite a bit of potential in a fantasy setting. So, it's kind of a scavenger that follows a rust monster around, eating leftover metal the rust monster might have missed, as well as adventurers who suddenly can't as effectively fight the snail thanks to said rust monster.

I hope to be back to my regular Friday posts this week, and I certainly hope you enjoy the scaly-foot snail. Thanks for reading!

You can read more about the snail here (maybe with some help from Google Translate)

This dark-shelled snail makes a scraping sound when it moves. Bits of metal protect its fleshy foot.
Scaly-Foot Snail CR 2
XP 600
N Small vermin
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7

AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+1 Dex, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 19 (3d8+6)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +0
Immune acid, mind-affecting effects, rusting effects; Resist fire 5

Speed 20 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee slam +4 (2d6+1 plus disease)

Str 13, Dex 12, Con 15, Int —, Wis 9, Cha 4
Base Atk +2; CMB +2; CMD 13 (can't be tripped)
Skills Climb +9, Perception +7, Stealth +1; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception, –4 Stealth

Environment any underground
Organization solitary, pair, or rout (3–12)
Treasure incidental

Special Abilities
Disease (Ex) Tetanus: Slam—injury; save Fort DC 13; onset 1 day; frequency 1/day; effect 1d4 Dex damage and 50% of loss of speech for 24 hours; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Scaly-foot snails are common dungeon inhabitants, but very few reports of them reach the outside world because they usually accompany rust monsters, who receive all the attention. The snails have a pseudo-symbiotic relationship with rust monsters, in which the snails clean up scraps of metal left behind by the aberrations. Since they eat flesh in addition to metal, they also attack creatures rendered defenseless by the lack of armor and weapons. These bits of metal incorporate into the snails, giving their typical weak spot—the fleshy part they extend from their shell for locomotion—as much protection as their shells. Due to the strange enzymes that allow them to incorporate metal, they also gain protection from the rust monster's rust attack. Unfortunately for the snails, the metal scrapes against most other surfaces, negating the creatures' chances to sneak up on prey. The pieces of rusted metal attract a host of anaerobic bacteria, thus providing scaly-foot snails with the ability to inflict tetanus on their victims.

Alternate versions of scaly-foot snails exist, particularly those that feast on exotic metals. For example, adamantine scaly-foot snails have DR 20/adamantine and can bypass DR and hardness as if they wielded adamantine weapons.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Frightful Fridays! (Manic Monsterdays) Siege Scorpion

Welcome to a laaate installment of Frightful Fridays! A siege scorpion is a not-so-mindless, yet still immune to mind-affecting effects, vermin-like creature, so their one-time masters had to train them somehow, but that knowledge has been lost to time. Most likely characters will encounter a scorpion as it lays siege to a castle or other fortification.


I hope you enjoy the siege scorpion, and I will be back in four days with a new monster. Thanks for reading!

This fun little monster can be found here.


This massive scorpion has a dark carapace with a dull metallic appearance. Its gigantic claws look like they could crush stone and its stinger could easily impale a person.
Siege Scorpion CR 17
XP 102,400
N Colossal magical beast
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +30

AC 32, touch 4, flat-footed 30 (+2 Dex, +28 natural, –8 size)
hp 287 (23d10+161)
Fort +20, Ref +15, Will +8
DR 20/adamantine; Immune acid, cold, fire, mind-affecting effects

Speed 60 ft., burrow 40 ft.
Melee 2 claws +27 (5d6+12 plus grab), sting +27 (4d8+12/19–20)
Ranged 4 stingers +21 (4d8+12/19–20)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 20 ft. (30 ft. with sting)
Special Attacks constrict (5d6+12), destructive weaponry, poison, sundering claws, volley of stingers

Str 34, Dex 15, Con 25, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 5
Base Atk +23; CMB +43 (+47 grapple); CMD 55 (63 vs. trip)
Feats Bleeding Critical, Combat Reflexes, Crippling Critical, Critical Focus, Critical Mastery[B], Deadly Finish, Diehard, Endurance, Hammer the Gap, Improved Critical (sting), Opening Volley, Power Attack
Skills Climb +20, Perception +30; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception

Special Abilities
Destructive Weaponry (Ex) A siege scorpion's attacks bypass hardness as if they were adamantine weapons.
Poison (Ex) Sting—injury; save Fort DC 28; frequency 1/round for 8 rounds; initial effect paralysis for 1d6 rounds; secondary effect 1d6 Str and 1d6 Con; cure 3 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Sundering Claws (Ex) If a siege scorpion deals constrict damage to an opponent, it gains an automatic sunder attack against the opponent's armor without incurring attacks of opportunity.
Volley of Stingers (Ex) A siege scorpion regrows lost stingers in rapid succession, allowing it to fire a total of four per round as part of a full attack. It cannot make a melee attack with it stinger during this attack. The scorpion has a +4 racial bonus on its ranged attacks with the stingers.

Destructive engines of war used in ancient battles, siege scorpions were shelved when their masters no longer need them. The long-lived creatures, infused with barely sentient elemental spirits, bred in their forgotten underground hold. They recently escaped and dispersed to resume their tasks of leveling fortifications and dispatching defenders, but as masterless beasts. With no direction, and a dim recollection of their duty, the scorpions attack anything that looks remotely defensible. Fortunately, they spare poor villages without any obviously tall walls or forts.

The earth elemental infusion gives siege scorpions a nigh-impenetrable carapace and the capability to bypass all but the strongest materials. The fire elemental infusion grants siege scorpions a surprising grace for their size and bulk. Finally, the water elemental infusion allows them to rapidly regenerate lost stingers to fire a barrage at defenders. All three infusions provide immunity to the related energy types. The scorpions' ancient creators could never get an air elemental infusion to stick, but rumors hold that successful infusions allow their scorpions to charge their flung stingers with an explosive ball of energy when they strike a target.

Typical siege scorpions weigh 12 tons and live for 1,500 years.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Inspiration from things you drink

I ran across this as a single in the cold beer fridge at HEB.  The joint product of three breweries, it is really good.  Or more to the point, outstanding.  I recommend trying it even if you are not a big IPA fan, the way that the blackness of the malt really stands up to the hops.  It is the product of cooperation between three breweries, and apparently inspired by the metal band Vulgaari.

And when it comes to inspiration, I believe in getting inspiration anywhere and everywhere.  Whether you are a beer fan or not, the three-headed demon or devil on the label is worthy of some mythopoesis -- just look at the crazy mix of features!  So let's see what Mike and I can come up with.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

All in the cards

Tim Shorts over at Gothridge Manor has a short but interesting article up about using Tarot cards as game props.  And you know how I love cards!  Here, take a look.  Of particular interest is a link to an expansion he did some years back on the Deck of Many Things.

In the blog maintenance department, I've added a tag for Cards.  Take a look and see if you've missed any Rambles on gaming with cards.  Also, on the practical side, if you need boxes to store your cards in, try Hobby Lobby.