Sunday, February 7, 2016

Frightful Fridays! (Superbowl Sunday! Edition) Impact Moth

Hello and welcome to this week's Frightful Fridays! OK, it's a little late this week thanks to some weekend work. I couldn't find a mashup of a horse and a panther in honor of the "big game," but I figured this little guy would work nicely instead. Jason pointed out the rosy maple moth, and its coloration reminded me somewhat of the giant mantis shrimp, so I drew some inspiration from that for the moth's bullet charge ability.

I hope you enjoy the impact moth, and I hope DMs can use it to punch some holes in PCs. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you again in the next week!

This moth (found here) wants to fight.

This colorful, delicate moth flies directly into an object and shatters it.
Impact Moth      CR 4
XP 1,200
N Tiny magical beast
Init +7; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +15
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 natural, +2 size)
hp 37 (5d10+10)
Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +2
Immune mind-affecting effects
OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee slam +10 (4d6–4)
Space 2–1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks bullet charge
STATISTICS
Str 2, Dex 17, Con 15, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +5; CMB +6; CMD 13 (21 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Mobility, Weapon Finesse
Skills Fly +16, Perception +15; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
ECOLOGY
Environment any forest
Organization solitary, pair, or hail (3–12)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Bullet Charge (Ex) Once every 1d3 rounds, an impact moth can make a special charge attack. During this attack, the moth deals an extra 2d6 points of damage with its slam attack, its critical threat range doubles, and it ignores hardness of 10 or less. Additionally, it gains a +2 deflection bonus against attacks of opportunity. If an impact moth confirms a critical hit with this attack, it flies through the target and can continue moving up to double its speed.

Impact moths, also known as bullet moths, have bright colors much like any other dangerous natural creature does to mark it as a threat, despite its otherwise dainty appearance. The moths build up kinetic energy when they fly and use that to puncture material and flesh alike. Telltale holes riddle trees in their forest homes.

Impact moths are omnivores, but they prefer eating fresh kills. Multiple moths work together to bring down larger creatures and feast on the remains afterwards. The kinetic energy they generate requires them to eat twice their two-pound bodyweight every day. Impact moths live for eight years and mated pairs produce up to a dozen larvae per year. The caterpillars are drab and have none of the moths’ kinetic abilities. They pupate after 2 months, during which they feed on high-energy grains and fruits, and emerge from their cocoons 1 month later.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Plasma Fish (late because of the fish's shyness)

Hello, and welcome to another (late) edition of Frightful Fridays! He-Whose-Blog-I've-Have-Usurped posted this little guy up and demanded stats. I can't say no to Theodric the Obscure, but I got a little delayed by some freelance work.

I hope you enjoy this fire-spitting fish (in single adult and baby swarm varieties), and I'll see you on Friday with another monster. Thanks for reading!



This ghostly fish blends in with the ambient light. It spits out a glob of material that catches fire despite being underwater.
Plasma Fish      CR 2
XP 600
N Diminutive animal (aquatic)
Init +7; Senses blindsight 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +6
DEFENSE
AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +4 size)
hp 19 (3d8+6)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +1
Immune fire
OFFENSE
Speed 5 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +1 (1d3-5)
Ranged plasma spit +9 (2d6 fire)
Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks blinding burst
STATISTICS
Str 1, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 7
Base Atk +2; CMB +1; CMD 6 (can't be tripped)
Feats Go UnnoticedAPG, Improved Initiative
Skills Perception +6, Swim +11
ECOLOGY
Environment temperate or warm water
Organization solitary, pair, or school (3–20)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Blinding Burst (Ex) Instead of dealing damage with its plasma spit, a plasma fish can induce temporary blindness in its opponent. The target must succeed at a DC 13 Fortitude save or become blind for 1d6+1 round. A successful save reduces this effect to dazzled for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Plasma Spit (Ex) A plasma fish has a maximum range of 10 feet with its plasma spit. The fire produced by this attack is unaffected by being underwater.


This collection of hundreds of ghostly fish radiates light and heat.
Plasma Fish Swarm      CR 4
XP 1,200
N Diminutive animal (aquatic, swarm)
Init +7; Senses blindsight 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +9
DEFENSE
AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +4 size)
hp 39 (6d8+12)
Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +4
Defensive Abilities swarm traits; Immune fire
OFFENSE
Speed 5 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee swarm (2d6 plus 1d6 fire and distraction)
Ranged 2 plasma spits +11 (2d6 fire)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks blinding burst, distraction (DC 15)
STATISTICS
Str 1, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 7
Base Atk +4; CMB —; CMD
Feats Go UnnoticedAPG, Improved Initiative, Iron Will
Skills Perception +9, Swim +11
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Blinding Burst (Ex) Instead of dealing damage with its plasma spit, a plasma fish swarm can induce temporary blindness in its opponent. The target must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or become blind for 1d6+1 round. A successful save reduces this effect to dazzled for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Plasma Spit (Ex) A plasma fish swarm has a maximum range of 20 feet with its plasma spit. The fire produced by this attack is unaffected by being underwater.

Plasma fish are extremely shy and usually attempt to flee from larger creatures. However, if trapped, they unleash fire that works remarkably well underwater. Plasma fish eat bioluminescent plants that they combine with enzymes to produce an inert plasma within their bodies. When they spit it out, it catches fire and burns as well as if it were in air.

Plasma fish live for 5 years, during which they lay hundreds of eggs once a year. After fertilization, they gestate for 1 month. The young plasma fish congregate into a massive swarm that collectively avoids predators, which still manage to winnow the fish down to a manageable population.

A spellcaster who uses a gland from an adult plasma fish (requiring a DC 15 Heal or Survival check to remove intact) as a spell component for a spell with the fire descriptor can cast the spell underwater with no change to the spell.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Oceanic Hydra

It's a Frightful miracle! Yes, today's post is actually on a Friday. It's been a while since this feature has gone to the sea, and today's monster does so in a big way. The dread kraken-spawned oceanic hydra rampages across the sea, smashing ships and devouring sailors, and it enjoys protection from fire that would otherwise severely hinder it.

I hope you enjoy the oceanic hydra, and I'll be back next week with another monster. Thank you for reading!

PS: Don't forget the Here Be Monsters 2 contest going on now. This post has all the details you need to enter your monster. I'm hoping to see a lot of great entries!


Four crested serpentine heads are barely visible through a shroud of mist. The creature towers over maritime vessels.
Oceanic Hydra      CR 18
XP 153,600                                                                           
CE Colossal magical beast (aquatic)                  
Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +25
Aura aquatic shell (5 ft.)
DEFENSE
AC 33, touch 1, flat-footed 33 (–1 Dex, +32 natural, –8 size)
hp 312 (25d10+175); regeneration 20 (fire)
Fort +21, Ref +13, Will +12
Immune acid, cold
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., swim 80 ft.
Melee 4 bites +29 (3d8+11/19–20 plus grab)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 30 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (60-ft. cone, 10d6 bludgeoning damage, Reflex DC 29 for half, usable every 1d4 rounds), capsize, constrict (3d8+11), ship killer
STATISTICS
Str 33, Dex 8, Con 25, Int 5, Wis 18, Cha 10
Base Atk +25; CMB +44 (+46 bull rush, +48 grapple and sunder); CMD 53 (55 vs. bull rush and sunder, can't be tripped)
Feats Awesome Blow, Cleave, Cleaving FinishUC, Crippling CriticalAPG, Critical Focus, Great Cleave, Greater Sunder, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Cleaving FinishUC, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Perception +25, Swim +29
SQ hydra traits, regenerate head
ECOLOGY
Environment any aquatic
Organization solitary
Treasure standard
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Aquatic Shell (Su) A constantly flowing shroud of water surrounds an oceanic hydra. This aura douses all nonmagical fires in the area and inflicts a –4 on ranged attack rolls. Additionally, the hydra gains concealment (20% miss chance) against all attacks made from more than 5 feet away. If a creature with the fire subtype ends its turn adjacent to the hydra, it takes 25d6 points of damage (DC 29 Reflex save for half). Finally, the shell dispels any fire spells targeting or including the hydra in their area, but the hydra must succeed on a dispel check (1d20 + the hydra’s HD) against the spell (DC 11 + caster level of the fire spell). If a hydra succeeds at dispelling a spell with an area of effect, it only dispels the portion covering the hydra’s space.
If an oceanic hydra takes at least 50 points of fire damage from a single source, it loses the benefit of its shell. If it is in a body of water, it can use a standard action to restore the shell.
Breath Weapon (Su) In addition to the damage dealt by an oceanic hydra’s breath weapon, the hydra also gains a free awesome blow combat maneuver against all creatures taking damage (creatures succeeding at their Reflex saves add 8 to their CMD).
Hydra Traits (Ex) An oceanic hydra can be killed by severing all of its heads or slaying its body. Any attack that is not an attempt to sever a head affects the body, including area attacks or attacks that cause piercing or bludgeoning damage. To sever a head, an opponent must make a sunder attempt with a slashing weapon targeting a head. A head is considered a separate weapon with hardness 0 and hit points equal to the hydra's HD. To sever a head, an opponent must inflict enough damage to reduce the head's hit points to 0 or less. Severing a head deals damage to the hydra's body equal to the hydra's current HD. A hydra can't attack with a severed head, but takes no other penalties.
Regenerate Head (Ex) When an oceanic hydra's head is destroyed, two heads regrow in 1d4 rounds. A hydra cannot have more than twice its original number of heads at any one time. To prevent new heads from growing, at least 10 points of fire damage must be dealt to the stump (a touch attack to hit) before they appear. Fire damage from area attacks can affect stumps and the body simultaneously. A hydra doesn't die from losing its heads until all are cut off and the stumps seared by fire.
Ship Killer (Ex) An oceanic hydra ignores 5 points of hardness with all of its attacks.

Dread krakens took terrestrial hydras for their regenerative abilities and grafted on several abilities to create marine engines of destruction. The resulting oceanic hydras are slightly more intelligent than their land-bound progenitors and only start off with four heads. Where they truly shine is in their devastating abilities. They breathe a torrent of seawater that pushes foes away, and they have a protective watery shell that proves antithetical to fiery creatures and effects. Oceanic hydras prefer to open their attacks by breaching the hulls of ships and attacking those fleeing from the sinking vessels. As with many dread kraken creations, these hydras owe no fealty to their creators, but the krakens are content to allow the hydras to rampage on the surface while they remain safe on the ocean floor.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Here Be Monsters 2!

Here Be Monsters 2 is ramping up, and I'm one of the judges this year! I'm in amazing company with Mikko Kallio and Jacob W. Michaels, both of whom run the blog A Sword for Hire, which is hosting the contest. The inimitable Adam Daigle is guest judging.

Check out the blog for more details. The monster requirements will be released soon. I hope you consider entering, and I look forward to reading your entries.

http://aswordforhire.blogspot.fi/

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Frightful Fridays (nearly-Friday edition)! Athenaeum Sentinel

Hello, and welcome back to the second of this week's monsters. I'm zeroing in on Friday, and I anticipate actually posting a monster on the upcoming Friday. Today's monster comes from a picture on my friend Patrick's Facebook page, and an able assist by Drejk brought it to my attention. The post made reference to a devil dog, but I wanted something less evil this time (you know, for a change of pace), and the bookshelves behind the dog swerved me to the idea of a canine protector of arcane lore.

I hope you enjoy the athenaeum sentinel, and I should (really!) be back on Friday with a new monster. Thanks for reading!

No tomes for you! Rowf!

This otherwise unassuming dog’s eyes glow green, as if they could pierce through to a creature’s very soul.
Athenaeum Sentinel      CR 5
XP 1,600
N Small magical beast
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., know alignment, low-light vision; Perception +14
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (+3 Dex, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 51 (6d10+18)
Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +5
Immune charm, compulsion, fear; SR 16
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +11 (2d6+6 plus trip)
Special Attacks final word
STATISTICS
Str 19, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 17, Cha 19
Base Atk +6; CMB +9; CMD 22 (26 vs. trip)
Feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
Skills Acrobatics +11 (+15 to jump), Intimidate +10, Perception +14, Sense Motive +11, Spellcraft +16; Racial Modifiers +8 Acrobatics, +8 Spellcraft
Languages Common, Elven; tongues
SQ bardic knowledge +3, blast sanctum
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Blast Sanctum (Su) If an athenaeum sentinel is caught within the area of a damaging spell or spell-like ability and the caster fails to penetrate the sentinel's SR, the effect is negated as if countered.
Final Word (Su) When an athenaeum sentinel dies, it affects all creatures within 40 feet as if targeted with the sentinel’s choice of dictum, holy word, or power word stun (CL 13th, save DC 21). If the sentinel chooses power word stun, the effect cannot exceed 150 total hit points and stuns creatures with the fewest hit points first.
Know Alignment (Su) An athenaeum sentinel automatically knows the alignment of any creature it can see.


Athenaeum sentinels were bred by mages who valued the dogs’ loyalty and infused them with magical abilities that allow them to drive off intruders and protect the repositories they protect from harm. Sentinels prefer to convince trespassers to leave peacefully, but they prepare for mayhem from chaotic or evil creatures. Their partners—the highly intelligent athenaeum sentinels do not regard them as “masters”—receive a warning akin to the alarm spell when athenaeum sentinels confront intruders and when they die. Unless the sentinels wish to inflict maximum damage to evil or chaotic opponents upon their deaths, they usually resort to power word stun on dying to hold their foes long enough for their partners to arrive and mete out whatever justice they wish to.

Because athenaeum sentinels spend much of their time around books and other documents, they have inherently absorbed considerable knowledge. While protecting their libraries, they use this knowledge to determine the best choice for their invader bane ability. Gaining a sentinel’s trust, especially convincing it that no harm will come to its protected materials, allows characters to ask it questions, for which it will provide answers to the best of its ability. Athenaeum sentinels released from duty find adventurers with whom they can share their wealth of knowledge and for whom they can act as protectors.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Frightful Fridays (mid-week edition)! Skittercorpse

Hello, and welcome back to a new edition of Frightful Fridays! I meant for this to go out on Friday, but life intervened, so here it is not even remotely close to Friday. My friend Patrick brought the artwork for this to my attention (and the alternate name of the Nope Crawler),. Since I can't say not to creepy spider-like monsters, I created the skittercorpse, which likes to pretend to be the body of a friend or family member to draw its meals close.

I hope you enjoy the skittercorpse, and I'll be back on a proper Friday with a new monster. If you're looking for more monsters, my friend Drejk posted a week's worth on his blog. You can check them out here:


Thanks for reading!


This vaguely recognizable corpse sprouts spear-like legs. A hungry maw opens at the top of its head.
Skittercorpse      CR 11
XP 12,800
CE Medium undead
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., lifesense 120 ft.; Perception +16
DEFENSE
AC 26, touch 16, flat-footed 20 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 natural)
hp 136 (16d8+64); fast healing 2
Fort +8, Ref +10, Will +13
DR 5/good and slashing; Immune undead traits
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +20 (3d6+7 plus grab), 2 claws +19 (2d6+7/19–20)
Special Attacks ability drain, create spawn, dearly departed, horrific transformation, impalement
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 16th; concentration +19)
   Constant—nondetection (also defeats necromancy spells, such as deathwatch, that reveal its undead state), spider climb
STATISTICS
Str 25, Dex 20, Con —, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 17
Base Atk +12; CMB +19 (+23 grapple); CMD 35 (can't be tripped)
Feats Dazzling Display, Deadly FinishUC, Dodge, Gory FinishUC, Improved Critical (claws), Mobility, Toughness, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics +15 (+19 to jump), Bluff +13, Climb +22, Disguise +22, Perception +16, Sense Motive +16, Spellcraft +14, Stealth +18
Languages Common
SQ lockjaw
ECOLOGY
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or abattoir (3–8)
Treasure incidental
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Ability Drain (Su) When a skittercorpse establishes or maintains a grapple with its bite, it deals 1d4 Strength drain and 1d4 Wisdom drain. A creature reaching 0 in either ability score dies as a result.
Create Spawn (Su) A creature that dies while a skittercorpse has grappled it returns as a skittercorpse 24 hours later. The new creature is independent of the skittercorpse that created it.
Dearly Departed (Su)  A skittercorpse can scan the thoughts of creatures in range of its lifesense and takes on the appearance of dead humanoids with strong connections to the scanned creatures. If a target creature fails a DC 21 Will save, it becomes shaken when it sees the skittercorpse. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Horrific Transformation (Su) When a skittercorpse assumes its true form, all creatures within 120 feet of the skittercorpse must attempt a DC 21 Will save. Failure causes the victim to become frightened for 1d4 rounds. A creature affected by the skittercorpse’s dearly departed ability incurs a –4 penalty on the save and is frightened for 2d4 rounds on a failed save or 1 round on a successful save. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Charisma-Based.
Impalement (Ex) When a skittercorpse confirms a critical hit with a claw, it can make a grapple attempt as an immediate action. A success gives its opponent the pinned condition.
Lockjaw (Ex) A skittercorpse has a +4 racial bonus to grapple checks it attempts with its bite.

Skittercorpses use deception to lure the living to them, whereupon they change into their hideous forms and latch onto their unsuspecting victims. Given their ability to read the thoughts of those who come near them and their limited capability to assume different forms, scholars assume that skittercorpses are the reanimated remains of vengeful doppelgangers. Other theories suggest they arise from the bodies of people left behind to die by their companions, and their resentment drives them to lure the living to a horrifying doom. Skittercorpses prefer to use their thought-reading ability to create the appearance of a single individual common to all their victims to improve the deception, but they usually manage to trick at least one creature into approaching their inert forms. If no one approaches and does not attack, the corpses exert enough patience to wait for the next set of victims. Skittercorpses lair in places where corpses are commonly found, such as well-traveled dungeons or graveyards.


Skittercorpses attract will-o’-wisps to their lairs, as the latter creatures feast on the overwhelming fear generated by the former creatures. In return, will-o’-wisps act as candles or other sources of light to add to the ruse of an ordinary corpse.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Cats and Dogs



Hello, and welcome back to Frightful Fridays! I am partially making up for the absence with a pair of entries today, so I've got an unusual cat and dog for you. The staubvolkekatze is a curious earth elemental with an appropriately cat-like form. Meanwhile, the pugbug (name courtesy of Paris Crenshaw) hides its alien appearance behind the pug's equally alien appearance. Thanks to Derek for the find on the staubvolkekatze, and to Patrick for the find on the pugubg!

I hope you enjoy both creatures, and I'll be back with another pair of monsters to get back on track. Thanks for reading!


A billowing cloud of dust moves of its own accord and forms the face of a cat.
Staubvolkekatze      CR 2
XP 600
CN Small outsider (earth, elemental, native)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +6
DEFENSE
AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 11 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 size)
hp 19 (3d10+3)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +1
Immune elemental traits
Weaknesses vulnerable to wind
OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft., burrow 20 ft., fly 30 ft. (average)
Melee slam +7 (1d3–4 plus choking and stinging dust)
Special Attacks choking and stinging dust, death curse
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd; concentration +4)
   1/day—obscuring mist
STATISTICS
Str 2, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 5, Wis 11, Cha 12
Base Atk +3; CMB –2; CMD 12 (can't be tripped)
Feats Dodge, Mobility, Weapon FinesseB
Skills Escape Artist +9, Fly +9, Perception +6, Stealth +12
Languages Terran (cannot speak)
SQ compression
ECOLOGY
Environment warm deserts and plains
Organization solitary, pair, or dust storm (3–8)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Choking and Stinging Dust (Ex) A creature struck by a staubvolkekatze’s slam attack also takes 2d6 points of piercing and slashing damage. Additionally, the creature must succeed at a DC 12 Fortitude save or become sickened for 1d4 rounds. If it already has the sickened condition from this ability, it instead becomes nauseated for the duration. The save DC is Constitution-based.
If a creature ends its turn adjacent to the staubvolkekatze, the creature takes 1d6 points of piercing and slashing damage.
Death Curse (Su) If a staubvolkekatze dies, all creatures it damaged during the previous minute are affected as if by cup of dustAPG (DC 13 Fortitude negates).
Vulnerable to Wind (Ex) A staubvolkekatze takes 1 point of damage if it is subjected to strong winds. Severe winds deal 1d4 points of damage to the staubvolkekatze, and more powerful winds require it to succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1 per 10 mph) to avoid destruction.

A staubvolkekatze is an inquisitive earth elemental with a weak cohesion in the dust particles making up its form. Scholars speculate that the first staubvolkekatze sprung into existence as a result of a larger earth elemental’s disintegration. The creature patterned its appearance after the first living being it encountered—a cat—and all staubvolkekatzen take the same appearance. If left to its own devices, a staubvolkekatze is docile and will not attack. It follows someone it finds interesting and indulges its curiosity as long as its focus of attention allows it. Other than it becoming bored, the only non-hostile means of discouraging its attention is to subject it to powerful winds.

A staubvolkekatze’s curiosity leads it to ally with spellcasters who can communicate with it. A 7th-level spellcaster with the Improved Familiar feat and the ability to speak Terran can select a staubvolkekatze as a familiar. The creature loses its death curse ability when it becomes a familiar.



The little dog’s face tears open to allow an arachnoid creature to crawl out of it.
Pugbug      CR 4
XP 1,200
CE Tiny aberration
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +8
DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 16 (+4 Dex, +4 natural, +2 size)
hp 37 (5d8+15)
Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +5
Defensive Abilities dog shell; DR 5/piercing or slashing; Resist acid 10
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee bite +9 (1d4–2 plus 3d6 acid and poison)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks shellburst
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +7)
   3/day—ventriloquism (DC 13)
   1/day—darkness, misdirection
STATISTICS
Str 6, Dex 19, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 15
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 13 (21 vs. trip)
Feats Deceitful, Lightning Reflexes, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +11 (+7 to jump), Bluff +9, Climb +9, Craft (taxidermy) +8, Disguise +9 (+13 Disguise while in dog shell), Escape Artist +10, Perception +8, Stealth +16; Racial Modifiers +4 Disguise while in dog shell
Languages Aklo, Common
ECOLOGY
Environment any land
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Dog Shell (Ex) A pugbug spends most of its life in a hardy dog shell. As a full-round action, it can extract itself from the shell, leaving it intact for reentry. Upon doing so, it loses its natural armor bonus and DR, but its speed increases by 10 ft., and it gains a climb speed of 20 ft. (adding +8 to its Climb checks).
Pugbug Poison (Ex) Bite—Injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d4 Dex; cure 2 consecutive saves.
Shellburst (Ex) As a swift action, a pugbug can burst forth from its dog shell, destroying the shell in the process. This gory display forces all creatures that see it to make a DC 14 Will save. Failure causes a victim to become shaken.

A global war ruined a distant world populated by intelligent arachnoid and insectoid creatures. The arachnids won the war, but their planet will soon stop supporting life. They discovered a new world with an environment similar to that of their world, and their greatest minds developed a way to travel to their potential new home. Exercising caution, they elected to send a handful of scouts to discover whether the populace would welcome their arrival, or, barring that, whether they could destroy or enslave the inhabitants. The scouts enjoy crafting disguises for themselves from other creatures, and they formerly used the carapaces of their insectoid enemies to infiltrate their camps. During their first forays into this world, they discovered the ubiquity of dogs and the access the animals had to various locations. They decided to assume the form of pugs, since pug eyes provide them with a perfect disguise for their overly large eyes. Their species name is an unpronounceable set of clicks mixed with pheromones, so they are known as pugbugs to those that have uncovered their ruse.

Pugbug scouts maintain their disguises while they are on this world and only extract themselves from their shells when they have been found out and must escape. In order to preserve their disguises, they forgo applying acid damage and poison to their bites. Pugbugs are insectivores, but they find meat palatable and will eat scraps typically provided to dogs. They have also discovered that digging around an ant mound is not uncommon behavior for dogs, so they can supplement their diets without arousing suspicion.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Weeping Willow Dragon

Happy Halloween! (for those of you on the West Coast) Today got away from me, so this is going up just a little late. I wanted a dragon to finish up the week, and this seems suitable for the season. Weeping willow dragons are guardians of graveyards, but they see undead creatures as a reasonable component of the natural order, so they have no problem with ghouls and vampires roaming around. They have immunity to many undead powers, so they present formidable foes for creatures that think they can take advantage of the dragons' outlook.

I hope the weeping willow dragon is to your liking (along with all the other spooky monsters from this week), and I'll be back on Friday with another monster. As always, thanks for reading!


This draconic creature has bark-like skin and leaves drooping down to the ground. It glares with cold menace.
Weeping Willow Dragon
NE dragon
BASE STATISTICS
CR 5; Size Small; Hit Dice 6d12
Speed 60 ft.
Natural Armor +5; Breath Weapon cone, 2d6 negative energy
Str 13, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 10
ECOLOGY
Environment any land (graveyards)
Organization solitary
Treasure double
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Call to the Dead (Su) An old or older weeping willow dragon can affect intelligent undead with mind-affecting effects.
Gloom (Su) A very young or older weeping willow dragon reduces the illumination level in a 30-foot radius by one step to a minimum of dim light (it does not affect areas of dim light or darker). This darkness is treated as a 2nd-level spell for purposes of overcoming it. An adult or older dragon reduces the illumination level by up to two steps, increases the radius to 60 feet, and can reduce the illumination level to darkness. Its darkness is treated as a 4th-level spell. A wyrm or older dragon reduces the illumination level by up to three steps, increases the radius to 90 feet, and can create an area of darkness similar to that created by deeper darkness. Its darkness is treated as a 7th-level spell.
Immune to Negative Energy (Su) A weeping willow dragon takes no damage from negative energy. It is also immune to ability drain and energy drain.
Living Graveyard (Su) A great wyrm weeping willow dragon can bring the graveyard it calls home to life. This acts as per the animate objects spell, but it can choose different objects as a swift action at the beginning of its turn.
Plant Traits (Ex) In addition to dragon immunities, a weeping willow has plant immunities (mind-affecting effects, poison, polymorph, and stunning).
Spell-Like Abilities (Sp) A weeping willow dragon gains the following spell-like abilities, usable at will upon reaching the listed age category. Young—ghost sound; Juvenile—ray of enfeeblement; Adult—command undead; Old—enervation; Ancient—eyebite; Great wyrm—finger of death.
Undead Guardian (Su) An young adult or older weeping willow dragon grants channel resistance to undead within its frightful presence aura. The bonus equal the dragon’s Charisma modifier.
See in Darkness (Su) An ancient or older weeping willow dragon can see in magical darkness.

Age Category
Special Abilities
Caster Level
Wyrmling
Immune to negative energy, plant traits
Very young
Gloom
Young
Ghost sound
Juvenile
Frightful presence, deathwatch
1st
Young adult
DR 5/good and magic, spell resistance, undead guardian
3rd
Adult
Death knell
5th
Mature adult
DR 10/magic
7th
Old
Call to the dead, enervation
9th
Very old
DR 15/magic
11th
Ancient
Eyebite, see in darkness
13th
Wyrm
DR 20/magic
15th
Great wyrm
finger of death, living graveyard
17th

Young Weeping Willow Dragon      CR 9
XP 6,400
NE Large dragon
Init +5; Senses dragon senses; Perception +15
Aura gloom (30 ft.)
DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 10, flat-footed 20 (+1 Dex, +11 natural, –1 size)
hp 105 (10d12+40)
Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +9
Immune ability drain, energy drain, negative energy, plant traits
OFFENSE
Speed 60 ft., fly 200 ft. (poor)
Melee bite +15 (2d6+5), 2 claws +14 (1d8+5), tail slap +12 (1d6+2), wing +12 (1d8+2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks breath weapon (40-ft. cone, DC 19, 6d6 negative energy)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +11)
   At will—ghost sound (DC 11)
STATISTICS
Str 21, Dex 13, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 12
Base Atk +10; CMB +16 (+18 bull rush); CMD 27 (29 vs. bull rush, 31 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Appraise +9, Fly +3, Heal +15, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (nature) +14, Knowledge (religion) +14, Perception +15, Spellcraft +14
Languages Common, Draconic, Sylvan


Adult Weeping Willow Dragon     CR 13
XP 25,600
NE Huge dragon
Init +4; Senses dragon senses, see in darkness; Perception +23
Aura frightful presence (180 ft., DC 21), gloom (60 ft.)
DEFENSE
AC 28, touch 8, flat-footed 28 (+20 natural, –2 size)
hp 200 (16d12+96)
Fort +16, Ref +10, Will +14
DR 5/magic; Immune ability drain, energy drain, negative energy, plant traits; SR 24
OFFENSE
Speed 60 ft., fly 200 ft. (poor)
Melee bite +23 (2d8+8), 2 claws +22 (2d6+8), tail slap +20 (2d6+4), wing +20 (1d8+4)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (15 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks breath weapon (50-ft. cone, 12d6 negative energy), crush
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 16th; concentration +19)
   At will—deathwatch, death knell (DC 16), ghost sound (DC 13)
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 5th; concentration +8)
   2nd (5/day)—blindness/deafness (DC 16), unshakable chillUM (DC 16)
   1st (7/day)—alarm, chill touch (DC 15), detect undead, ray of sickeningUM (DC 15)
   0 (at will)—bleed (DC 14), detect magic, disrupt undead, penumbraUM, ray of frost, touch of fatigue (DC 14)
STATISTICS
Str 27, Dex 11, Con 22, Int 16, Wis 19, Cha 16
Base Atk +16; CMB +26 (+28 bull rush); CMD 36 (38 vs. bull rush, 40 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Multiattack, Power Attack, Spell Focus (necromancy), Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Appraise +11, Bluff +9, Fly +3, Heal +23, Intimidate +22, Knowledge (nature) +22, Knowledge (religion) +22, Perception +23, Spellcraft +22, Stealth +11, Use Magic Device +22
Languages Aklo, Common, Draconic, Sylvan, Undercommon
SQ undead guardian


Ancient Weeping Willow Dragon     CR 18
XP 153,600
NE Gargantuan dragon
Init +3; Senses dragon senses, see in darkness; Perception +33
Aura frightful presence (300 ft., DC 27), gloom (90 ft.)
DEFENSE
AC 34, touch 5, flat-footed 34 (–1 Dex, +29 natural, –4 size)
hp 348 (24d12+192)
Fort +22, Ref +13, Will +20
DR 15/magic; Immune ability drain, energy drain, negative energy, plant traits; SR 30
OFFENSE
Speed 60 ft., fly 250 ft. (clumsy)
Melee bite +33 (4d6+12), 2 claws +32 (2d8+12), tail slap +30 (2d8+6), wing +30 (2d6+6)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 15 ft. (20 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks breath weapon (60-ft. cone, 20d6 negative energy), crush, tail sweep
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 24th; concentration +29)
   At will—death knell (DC 19), deathwatch, enervation, eyebite (DC 23), ghost sound (DC 15)
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 13th; concentration +18)
   6th (4/day)—circle of death (DC 23), disintegrate (DC 21)
   5th (7/day)—hold monster (DC 20), magic jar (DC 22), suffocationAPG (DC 22)
   4th (7/day)—animate dead, charm monster (DC 19), enervation, phantasmal killer (DC 19)
   3rd (7/day)—lesser animate deadUM, displacement, ray of exhaustion (DC 20), vampiric touch
   2nd (7/day)—blindness/deafness (DC 19), command undead (DC 19), false life, spectral hand, unshakable chillUM (DC 19)
   1st (8/day)—chill touch (DC 18), detect undead, ray of enfeeblement (DC 18), ray of sickeningUM (DC 18), shield
   0 (at will)—arcane mark, bleed (DC 17), dancing lights, detect magic, disrupt undead, mage hand, penumbraUM, ray of frost, touch of fatigue (DC 17)
STATISTICS
Str 35, Dex 9, Con 26, Int 20, Wis 23, Cha 20
Base Atk +24; CMB +40 (+42 bull rush); CMD 49 (51 vs. bull rush, 53 vs. trip)
Feats Greater Spell Focus (necromancy), Greater Vital Strike, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Multiattack, Persistent SpellAPG, Power Attack, Quicken Spell, Spell Focus (necromancy), Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Appraise +32, Bluff +32, Fly +4, Heal +33, Intimidate +32, Knowledge (nature) +32, Knowledge (religion) +32, Perception +33, Sense Motive +33, Spellcraft +32, Stealth +6, Use Magic Device +24
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Draconic, Infernal, Sylvan, Undercommon

Friday, October 30, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Skull Spider

Hello, and thank you again for joining me in this celebration of three years of monster blogging. Today's post is on its rightful night, too. I couldn't let this mini run of monsters go by without including a spider monster. They're inherently creepy (at least to me), but I added a little more by having this spider drop its babies off in its victim, so they can gnaw on its brain and then make a home in the victim's skull and pretend to be him or her. That is a thing I could see sentient spiders doing, but that's just me.

I hope you enjoy the skull spider, and I'll be back tomorrow with the grand finale for this week's run. Thanks for reading!


Eight bristled, segmented legs support a humanoid skull with scraps of hair and rotting flesh making the victim’s features somewhat recognizable.
Skull Spider      CR 11
XP 12,800
LE Tiny aberration
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +21
DEFENSE
AC 26, touch 22, flat-footed 16 (+9 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural, +2 size)
hp 136 (16d8+64)
Fort +9, Ref +14, Will +12
Defensive Abilities improved evasion, skull; Immune mind-affecting effects
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +23 (1d4–1 plus grab and poison)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks deposit spiders, grab (Large)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 16th; concentration +20)
   Constant—nondetection
   1/day—stoneskin
STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 29, Con 18, Int 21, Wis 14, Cha 19
Base Atk +12; CMB +19 (+23 grapple); CMD 29 (37 vs. trip)
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Combat Expertise, Deceitful, Dodge, Improved Feint, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +24, Climb +21, Disguise +24, Escape Artist +16, Knowledge (all) +13, Perception +20, Spellcraft +19, Stealth +21
Languages Common, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Halfling, Orc; telepathy 300 ft. (skull spiders only)
SQ hive mind
ECOLOGY
Environment any temperate
Organization solitary, pair, infiltration (3–6), hive (7–20)
Treasure incidental
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Deposit Spiders (Ex) If a skull spider successfully grapples an opponent, it can deposit dozens of miniscule spiders in the victim as a swift action. At the beginning of the victim’s next turn and each minute thereafter, it must succeed at a DC 22 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Charisma drain. The victim is unaware of this drain, and a successful DC 20 Heal check is required to discover the infestation. When the victim reaches 0 Cha, one of the minute spiders grows to its adult size and takes control of the victim. The spider retains all of the victim’s knowledge, abilities, and skills as well as its own.
Removing the spiders requires area of effect damage equal to one-fourth the skull spider’s maximum hit points. Any spell or effect that harms vermin also works on the spiders.
Hive Mind (Ex) If within 300 feet of each other, no skull spider is considered flanked or flat-footed unless they all are.
Skull Spider Poison (Ex) Bite—Injury; save Fort DC 22; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d2 Dex; cure 1 save. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Skull (Ex) A skull spider typically inhabits a humanoid skull when it begins combat. As long as it does so, it gains hardness 5, but all its movement rates decrease to 15 ft., it takes a –4 penalty to Dexterity, and it loses the benefit of improved evasion. The spider’s statistics with the skull are Ref +12; Defensive Abilities hardness 5; Speed 15 ft., climb 15 ft.; Melee bite +21 (1d4–1 plus grab and poison); Dex 25; CMB +17 (+21 grapple); CMD 27 (35 vs. trip); Skills Escape Artist +14, Stealth +19.

Hailing from a distant world where they destroyed its civilizations, skull spiders traveled to this planet to start their conquest anew. These aberrant creatures have a spider-like appearance, but they are not true spiders. They feast on brain tissue and prefer brains belonging to intelligent creatures. After feeding, they gain the memories and abilities of the creature they consume, and they roost in the victim’s skull and impersonate the victim. Their stolen memories fade over time, however. After a three- to five-year period, the spiders bud offspring and detach themselves from their host, using the skull as armor and leaving a gory, headless body behind. Until this time, skull spiders typically conduct themselves as their victims would behave and gain new experiences to share with other skull spiders, including their offspring.

Skull spiders gather in groups for mutual protection and information sharing. Small groups infiltrate a settlement and slowly convert the inhabitants. If skull spiders exclusively populate the settlement, the creatures send out a reconnaissance group to scout for a suitable spot to relocate. Mass exoduses of skull spiders leave baffling trails of headless corpses.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Deadflesh Infester

Hello, and welcome back to the third-anniversary celebration of Frightful Fridays! Today's monster continues the theme of doing terrible things to characters. This one definitely wears its inspiration on its bloody sleeve.

I hope you enjoy the deadflesh infester, and I'll see you tomorrow with another terrifying monster. Thanks for reading!


This blood-red zombie moves much more quickly than others of its kind. It has a wicked grin in anticipation of mayhem.
Deadflesh Infester      CR 10
XP 9,600
CE Medium undead
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +17
DEFENSE
AC 24, touch 16, flat-footed 18 (+6 Dex, +8 natural)
hp 127 (15d8+60); fast healing 5
Fort +9, Ref +13, Will +10
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4; DR 10/slashing; Immune cold, fire, undead traits; SR 20
Weaknesses vulnerable to positive energy
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +18 (2d8+6 plus deadflesh infestation), 2 claws +18 (2d6+6 plus deadflesh infestation)
Special Attacks create spawn, smite good 1/day (+4 attack and AC, +15 damage)
STATISTICS
Str 23, Dex 22, Con —, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 19
Base Atk +11; CMB +18; CMD 34
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dazzling Display, Deadly FinishUC, Gory FinishUC, Lightning Reflexes, Lunge, Weapon Focus (bite, claw)
Skills Bluff +16, Climb +14, Disguise +18, Intimidate +26, Perception +17, Stealth +17; Racial Modifiers +8 Intimidate
Languages Abyssal, Common
ECOLOGY
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or mob (3–16)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Create Spawn (Su) A creature that dies while suffering from deadflesh infestation rises as a deadflesh infester, as an independent creature, 1 round later.
Deadflesh Infestation (Su) When a deadflesh infester damages an opponent, it leaves some of its flesh in the wound. The target must succeed at a DC 21 Fortitude save to avoid this infestation. If the target fails, it moves at half its base speed and takes a –2 on attack rolls, damage rolls, and skill checks. The infesting flesh starts with hit points equal to the damage dealt. An infested victim must attempt a DC 21 Fortitude save at the beginning of each of its turns. If it fails, it takes damage as if struck by the deadflesh infester’s claw attack, and the infesting flesh gains hit points equal to the damage inflicted. If the infestation’s hit points exceeds its victim’s current hit points, the victim is staggered. The save DCs are Charisma-based. This is a curse effect.
Removing the infestation requires dealing positive energy damage equal to the infesting flesh’s hit points. The infesting flesh uses the deadflesh infester’s SR and Will saves. A successful use of remove curse or more powerful spell also removes the infestation.
Deadflesh infestation is not cumulative. A victim currently suffering from an infestation cannot be affected by this ability again.

Deadflesh infesters are zombies infused with Abyssal energies, giving them intelligence, speed, and an overwhelming desire to create more zombies in the most gruesome way possible. In combat, they break off teeth or fingers and imbed them into their opponents’ flesh. These fragments take on a life of their own and eventually turn the victim’s body against itself. Powerful infesters can detach fragments of their bodies and direct them to force themselves down victims’ throats.

A creature with access to create greater undead and caster level 20 can create a deadflesh infester. Demons with an affinity for the undead also seed skin-bound texts containing a ritual to create a deadflesh infester in deserted locations for the gullible or insane to discover.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Fleshroil

Hello, and welcome back to Frightful Fridays, celebrating its third anniversary on this blog (plus maybe a little catch up from missing weeks). The next monster "rolls" in to grab PCs' arms and legs...permanently. I couldn't find an image I was happy with, but I'm sure that my searching put my household on a few federal watchlists. So, I am providing a somewhat related image that I will eventually create a monster for instead.

By the way, for sadistic or sinister GMs, note that the fleshroil cannot use the treasure it obtains incidentally when it takes arms and legs. However, there's nothing saying you can't allow it to benefit from rings of protection and other passive magical items.

I hope you enjoy the fleshroil, and I'll see you tomorrow with another seasonal monster. Thanks for reading!



This creature looks like a tumbleweed composed of dismembered arms and legs.
Fleshroil      CR 7
XP 3,200
CE Large undead
Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12
DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 8, flat-footed 20 (–1 Dex, +12 natural, –1 size)
hp 85 (10d8+40); regeneration 5 (acid)
Fort +7, Ref +2, Will +7
Defensive Abilities amorphous; Immune undead traits; Resist cold 10, electricity 10, fire 5
OFFENSE
Speed 50 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +13 (2d6+7 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks dismember, rend (2 slams, 2d6+10)
STATISTICS
Str 24, Dex 9, Con —, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 19
Base Atk +7; CMB +15 (+20 grapple, +17 sunder); CMD 24 (26 vs. sunder, can't be tripped)
Feats Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception), Step Up, Weapon Focus (grapple)
Skills Acrobatics +10 (+18 to jump), Climb +19, Perception +12; Racial Modifiers +8 Acrobatics
ECOLOGY
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or malignancy (3–6)
Treasure standard (magic rings, gloves, boots, etc.)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Consume (Ex) As a full round action, a fleshroil can tear apart and harvest the limbs of a helpless creature of its size or smaller, killing the creature. It is treated as fighting defensively while using this ability. After it has consumed a creature, it gains hit points equal to the creature’s Constitution score and a 10-foot increase to its base speed. If it has consumed one Medium creature (or the equivalent), it applies the advanced creature template. If it has consumed four Medium creatures (or the equivalent), it applies the giant creature template. It cannot gain more than one of each template.
Within 1 minute of consuming four Medium creatures, a fleshroil splits into two identical creatures, both with the same statistics as the original fleshroil (thus losing the templates).
Dismember (Ex) If a fleshroil deals rending damage to an opponent or pins its opponent, it makes a sunder attempt against that opponent as a swift action. If the attempt succeeds, the fleshroil tears off one of the opponent’s arms or legs. The target takes 1d6 points of bleed damage and cannot perform actions requiring two arms (with the loss of an arm) or cannot walk or run (with the loss of a leg).

Speculation about the fleshroil, also known as the fleshwheel or limbroll, focuses on two possible origins: it grew from a troll’s (or multiple trolls’) severed limbs or it derives from partially ooze-digested victims. It shares odd traits with both trolls and oozes, making either theory possible. However, it is an undead creature, animated by malign energies created by the trauma of losing limbs. The dim intelligence it possesses drives it to add more limbs to its mass, eventually “reproducing” once it has added enough to its collective.

Ghouls and other creatures with a taste for humanoid flesh farm fleshroils and send them out to wreak terror in the surrounding lands while gathering meals for the fleshroils’ masters. A creature with a minimum caster level of 18 that can cast create undead may use that spell to create a fleshroil, but this requires at least two corpses.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Skull of Ill Omen

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of Frightful Fridays! Real life brought the monster production to a halt, so I'm making up for lost time and publishing a monster a day until Halloween. I also wanted to celebrate this feature's 3-year anniversary with some creepy and/or scary monsters, like this curse-generating skull. I think a lot of players will be unhappy after an encounter with this monster, so I'd suggest using it sparingly.

I hope you enjoy(?) the skull of ill omen, and I'll see you tomorrow with a new monster. Thanks for your patience during the delay, and thanks for reading!



This jade skull floats just above the ground and radiates a sickly green light.
Skull of Ill Omen      CR 13
XP 25,600
NE Diminutive undead
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +29
DEFENSE
AC 28, touch 24, flat-footed 22 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural, +4 profane, +4 size)
hp 180 (19d8+95); fast healing 5
Fort +11, Ref +13, Will +12
DR 10/bludgeoning; Immune cold, electricity, undead traits; Resist fire 10; SR 24
OFFENSE
Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Ranged 2 cursed touches +23 touch (2d6 negative energy plus bestow curse)
Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks create spawn, cursed backlash, escalating curse, final curse, spellwarp
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 19th; concentration +24)
   At will—dimension door (DC 19), telekinesis
   11/day—bestow curse (DC 20)
   3/day—major curseUM (DC 23)
   1/day—beguiling giftAPG (DC 16), telekinetic sphere (DC 23)
   1/month—cursed earthUM
STATISTICS
Str 1, Dex 20, Con —, Int 18, Wis 13, Cha 21
Base Atk +14; CMB +15; CMD 25 (can't be tripped)
Feats Combat Expertise, Deceitful, Dodge, Greater Spell Focus (necromancy), Improved Feint, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Point-Blank Shot, Skill Focus (Perception), Spell Focus (necromancy)
Skills Bluff +28, Disguise +28, Fly +25, Knowledge (arcana, religion) +26, Knowledge (planes) +23, Perception +29, Spellcraft +26, Stealth +39
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Infernal
ECOLOGY
Environment any land
Organization solitary
Treasure normal (inert skull)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Create Spawn (Su) A creature that dies while suffering from a curse (from bestow curse or major curse) inflicted by a skull of ill omen becomes a new skull of ill omen after 13 days. The new skull is not under the control of its creator.
Cursed Backlash (Su) When a creature deals physical damage to a skull of ill omen, the attacker must succeed at a DC 24 Will save or take half the inflicted damage as negative energy damage. An opponent successfully dealing energy damage to the skull must also succeed at a DC 24 Will save or take half the energy damage (damage type does not change). The save DCs are Charisma-based.
Cursed Touch (Su) The bestow curse effect on a successful ranged touch attack counts against the skull of ill omen’s uses of its bestow curse spell-like ability.
Escalating Curse (Su) If a victim of a skull of ill omen’s bestow curse spell-like ability makes its save, the DC for subsequent uses of its bestow curse increases by 1.
For each failed attempt to remove a curse (from bestow curse or major curse) inflicted by the skull, the DC to remove the curse increases by 1.
Final Curse (Su) When a skull of ill omen is destroyed, it creates an effect as per cursed earthUM, except it inflicts all effects. Additionally, the creature dealing the fatal blow to the skull must succeed at a DC 26 Will save or be afflicted as if by a double-strength bestow curse (–6 decrease to two ability scores or 12 decrease to one ability score, or –8 penalty on attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks). The curse cannot be removed with anything less powerful than a miracle or wish spell. The save DC is Charisma-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.
Spellwarp (Su) If a caster fails to penetrate a skull of ill omen’s spell resistance and the skull has successfully identified the spell, it can choose the spell’s parameters (target(s), area, etc.). It cannot maintain concentration on a spell it warps in this manner.

A skull of ill omen results when a creature dies while under the effects of a powerful curse. Embittered by its death, the victim retains the cursed energy and its body quickly withers away. The skull animates and travels the land to afflict the living with terrible curses of its own devising. It finds a graveyard or other appropriate location and disguises itself as a moss-covered humanoid skull. From its new home, it surreptitiously casts cursed earth, and relishes in the misfortunes wiping out most of the inhabitants. It then moves on to the next settlement to repeat the process. It prefers not to directly harm people, since its curses create more skulls of ill omen, but it will make exceptions for particularly dogged meddlers.

A skull of ill omen enjoys collecting cursed items and it researches legends surrounding such items when it travels to a large settlement. It hires evil or gullible adventurers to retrieve the items. Rarely, the skull will use beguiling gift to force an opponent to take a cursed item. It will then falsely promise to remove the curse if the victim does the skull’s bidding.

An inert skull is worth 12,000 gp, but it imposes a 20% chance of cursing magic items produced within 200 feet of it.