Saturday, May 31, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Loup Corbeau

Welcome back to a delayed Frightful Fridays! I apologize for the delay caused by some real-life, work-related issues, but I hope today's offering will make up for the wait. Theodric the Obscure pointed out this image, from the recently released movie Maleficent, as well as a number of other fey-related creatures. Regular readers know I like creature mashups, so this one appealed to me. Based on the associated fey creature images, some of which will appear here in the future, I decided that a fey origin fit this creature much better.

I hope you enjoy the loup corbeau, and I'll be back on Friday with a new monster. Thanks for reading!

This sable wolf's eyes gleam with intelligence. Weirder still are the tufts of feathers comprising its tail, overhanging its eyes, and jutting out at odd places. All four of its legs ending in a bird's claws complete the unnerving visage.
Loup Corbeau CR 2
XP 600
CN Medium fey
Init +2; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +12

AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 natural)
hp 22 (4d6+8)
Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +5
Weakness vulnerability to animal spells

Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +4 (1d6+3 plus trip)
Special Attacks creature of omen
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th; concentration +5)
3/day—hide from animals
1/day—hunter's howl (DC 13), longstrider, magic fang

Str 14, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 7, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +2; CMB +4; CMD 17 (21 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Mobility
Skills Acrobatics +9, Perception +16, Stealth +9, Survival +8 (+12 when tracking by scent); Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +4 Survival when tracking by scent
Languages Common, Sylvan
SQ hunter

Environment temperate forests and plains
Organization solitary, pair, pack (3–10), unkindness (11–100)
Treasure none

Special Abilities
Creature of Omen (Su) Any intelligent humanoid seeing a loup corbeau knows that it portends a great or terrible future, and must make a DC 13 Will save. If the victim fails the saving throw, it is shaken for the duration of a future combat encounter, or other stressful situation, within 24 hours (as determined by the GM). However, if the potential victim beats this ability's save DC by 5 or more (or rolls a natural 20), it instead gains a +2 luck bonus on ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks during all future combat encounters within 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Hunter (Ex) A loup corbeau treats Survival as a class skill and gains a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent.
Vulnerability to Animal Spells (Ex) A loup corbeau can be affected by spells that normally affect animals. For spells that do not normally allow a saving throw (such as hide from animals, which only allows a saving throw for recipients, but not for the animals warded against), a loup corbeau can attempt a Will or Fortitude save as appropriate to the spell.

Mixing and matching creatures is not the sole purview of mad wizards and unknowable aberrant beings. Fey ladies and lords also dabble in the creation of animal combinations based on animals that pique their interest, such as the raven-and-wolf mashup known as the loup corbeaux (loup corbeau, singular). Fey do not stop at just merely merging two creatures together and throwing the combination out into the wild as a beast. Rather, they granted the new creatures intelligence and power and set them out to wreak havoc on mundane settlements. The most notable effect derives from the foreboding that confronts all humanoids, who seem to have strong superstitions about ravens, wolves, or both. The loup corbeaux have not completely ascended their animal natures, however, and remain susceptible to effects that target animals. Sages speculate that the fey left this as a failsafe in case the loup corbeaux turn against them.

Loup corbeaux breed true, and many live in the wild where they congregate in packs or temporarily in much larger unkindnesses. The combination of the incredible eyesight of a raven and the strong sense of smell of a wolf make them formidable hunters. They reserve most of their spell-like abilities for tough prey; on the hunt, they make liberal use of longstrider thanks to its extended duration. Loup corbeaux have a wide range of vocalizations, allowing them to bark, howl, caw, croak, and even speak (albeit with a raven-like croak). They use these vocalizations to communicate with each other and confuse prey.

A group of loup corbeaux gathering in an unkindness weed out the weak members in an unusual way: they all simultaneously use hide from animals, and those who cannot perceive the others are ripped to shreds. The survivors are free to mate with the assurance that their offspring are of superior stock.

Chaotic or fey spellcasters of caster level 7th who have the Improved Familiar feat can gain a loup corbeau as a familiar. A loup corbeau can target the spellcaster with any spell-like abilities it possesses (even those with a target of "You").

A spellcaster capable of casting summon nature's ally III (or a more powerful version) can add a loup corbeau to the list of available creatures.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Doppel Ooze

Welcome back to Frightful Fridays! for the second Friday monster in a row. I'm just as surprised as you are. This week's monster comes by request from Paizo friend, Orthos, who provided me with a cool image and asked me to create a monster with it. Since the monster comes from a game sold by a company that does not seem happy with unauthorized images, and I'd like to keep Theodric from receiving nastygrams, I will link to the artist's DeviantArt page where the image is located—and, lo, here it is.

The doppel ooze was a fun monster to work on, and I especially had fun with the notion that the ooze keeps spawning all these attacks and movement modes as it goes, making this an extremely difficult foe the longer it stays in a fight. I hope you can use this ooze to frighten your players. Thanks as always for stopping in at Mythopoeic Rambling, and I'll be back next week with a new monster.


What at first appears to be a gigantic violet ooze with several large skeletons suspended in its mass sprouts several mismatched heads and limbs from various megafauna.
Doppel Ooze CR 10
XP 9,600
N Gargantuan ooze
Init –2; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception +11

AC 24, touch 4, flat-footed 24 (–2 Dex, +20 natural, –4 size)
hp 142 (15d8+75); regeneration 5 (cold)
Fort +10, Ref +3, Will +3
Immune acid, electricity, fire, ooze traits

Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (poor), swim 30 ft.; cumulative movement modes
Melee slam +16 (3d6+13)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 20 ft.
Special Attacks engulf (DC 26, 2d6 acid), extrusion, self-flanker

Str 29, Dex 6, Con 21, Int —, Wis 7, Cha 16
Base Atk +11; CMB +24; CMD 32 (can't be tripped)
Skills Climb +17, Fly +4, Perception +11, Swim +17; Racial Modifiers +16 Fly, +16 Perception

Environment any temperate or warm
Organization solitary
Treasure incidental (acid-resistant items only)

Special Abilities
Cumulative Movement Modes (Ex) A doppel ooze only starts with its 40 ft. base speed. As part of its extrusion ability (see below), it can add a movement mode (burrow, climb, fly, or swim), as listed in the stat block above.
Extrusion (Ex) Once per round as a free action, a doppel ooze can extrude a head or limb from its mass, adding another attack to its melee attacks. This extra attack has the same attack bonus and deals the same amount of damage as its slam attack.
Self-Flanker (Ex) If a doppel ooze makes two or more attacks on the same creature, it gains a flanking bonus for all those attacks. This applies to multiple creatures, provided the ooze has enough attacks to split up among the creatures.

Dark rumors purport that a powerful wizard created the first doppel ooze as a devastating weapon that would absorb all the capabilities and weapons of the victims its consumed. The ooze would grow bizarre copies of these absorbed creatures and attack with a mélange of teeth, claws, spikes, and tails. This ooze of course then turned on its creator and added him to its collection of dissolved bodies before escaping into the wild. The original doppel ooze then split off other oozes as it grew too large to effectively move due to all its kills.

A doppel ooze's normal state is similar to that of a gelatinous cube, and it returns to this state when it rests or digests a recent kill. Generally a straightforward hunter, the ooze possesses surprising cunning that belies its mindlessness. Sages speculate that the ooze gains rudimentary pack or otherwise beneficial hunting tactics from the creatures it consumes, and it can apply those tactics against later opponents. This allows the ooze to position its mimicked weapons to flank opponents or choose advantageous movement abilities to outmaneuver them. Doppel oozes do not work with others of their kind; a doppel ooze within blindsight distance of another attacks the other ooze in preference to any other creature. The only exception is when a doppel ooze newly splits, and the two oozes give each other a "grace period" during which they evidently cannot distinguish the other ooze as a separate entity.

While the array of weapons and movement make a doppel ooze a terrifying opponent, its lack of intelligence prevents it from truly realizing its potential. However, those same rumors that speak of the ooze's origins also caution that the original ooze eventually absorbed its creator's mind and now hunts other intelligent creatures to add to its truly formidable array of powers.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Forlorn Kaida

Frightful Fridays! has returned once again (many apologies for the long absence), and it does so with a new kaida, albeit an undead one. The little bit of mythology I have developed for these dragons and their affinity for particular objects, ideals, or areas, caused me to question what happens when the focus of their affinity gets destroyed or (worse) abandoned by others. The fact that I'd let this feature go dormant provided some impetus to the idea, and I had a new monster.
Serendipitously, before I could seek out an image to match the concept I had in mind, Theodric got me in touch with an artist who agreed to provide the first ever commissioned piece of art for Frightful Fridays! I was quite excited to see the piece below, which captures the forlorn kaida's essence. This link takes you to her DeviantArt page. I look forward to future collaborations with her, and you may see some of her non-FF creations in this very blog!

Thanks for reading (and your patience during the long downtime)! I plan to be back next week with a new monster.

This little draconic creature seems to fade into nothingness; its sorrowful expression hints at a great tragedy that befell it.
Forlorn Kaida CR 4
XP 1,200
NE Tiny undead (incorporeal)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +9

AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 15 (+3 deflection, +3 Dex, +2 size)
hp 37 (5d8+15)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5
Defensive Abilities incorporeal, rejuvenation; Immune undead traits

Speed fly 40 ft. (perfect)
Melee incorporeal touch +8 (2d6)
Space 2.5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +8)
At will—touch of fatigue (DC 14)
1/day—ray of exhaustion (DC 17)

Str —, Dex 16, Con —, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 17
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 17 (21 vs. trip)
Feats Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Knowledge [arcana]), Spell Focus (necromancy)
Skills Fly +23, Intimidate +11, Knowledge (arcana) +12, Perception +9, Sense Motive +9
Languages Common, Draconic
SQ bond focus

Special Abilities
Bond Focus (Ex) A forlorn kaida retains memories related to its former bond. The kaida can take one of the following as a class skill: Appraise or any Craft or Knowledge skill (the default is Knowledge [arcana]). The selection for the kaida's Skill Focus feat matches its chosen class skill.
Breath Weapon (Su) A forlorn kaida can breathe out a 15-foot cone of gray mist once every 1d4 rounds. Those caught in the cone must succeed at a DC 15 Will save or suffer from the effects of crushing despair (–2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks, skill checks, and weapon damage rolls). The spell good hope counters the breath weapon's effect. This is a mind-affecting affect with a Charisma-based save DC.
Rejuvenation (Su) Simple combat does not usually destroy a forlorn kaida. It instead restores itself in 2d4 days. Truly destroying a forlorn kaida requires some action related to the formerly living kaida's bond (recovering a lost bonded object, finding a new item to which the kaida's spirit can bond, or the like).

The vast majority of bonded kaidas discover new items with which they bond when something destroys their bonded item. However, some kaidas become so attached to their bonded items, they die when the items are destroyed. The dragons' spirits remain behind as forlorn kaidas to haunt the locations where the destruction occurred. Other forlorn kaidas form when their bonded items' owners casually discard the items. All forlorn kaidas take on the same appearance regardless of their former physical appearance, suggesting to sages who study the dragons that the kaidas all bond similarly with the despair they experience regardless of the cause.

While forlorn kaidas detect as evil creatures, most kaidas do not wish to inflict harm on others. Unfortunately, they seek release from the all-consuming sadness they do not understand, and people who come across the dragons experience a portion of that sadness during the encounters. The forlorn kaidas' bonds provide them with unique knowledge, and those who communicate with the dragons may gain information about their former bonds. This in turn, may provide some understanding of the way to put the kaidas at rest. Those kaidas that have given into their despondency often find themselves as companions to more powerful undead creatures.