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!
"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
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
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.