Friday, July 24, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Assassin Squirrel

Hello and welcome to a new edition of Frightful Fridays! This week's monster is courtesy of Owen K.C. Stephens who posted a link to a "vampire" squirrel on his Facebook page, and then Craig Johnston alerted me to it. Since I've done a couple of vampire creatures recently, but I really wanted to do something with this squirrel, I decided to make it an insanely effective assassin instead. It might be fun to have your low-level characters stroll through a park and witness an ostensibly harmless squirrel leap up and rip out an NPC's throat before scampering off with the victim's necklace.

I hope you enjoy the assassin squirrel, and I will try to have a monster ready to go for next Friday while I'm at GenCon. Thanks for reading!

“I say, is that squirrel carrying a crossbACK!”
Assassin Squirrel      CR 15
XP 51,200
NE Tiny magical beast
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +26
AC 32, touch 32, flat-footed 22 (+9 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 insight, +2 size)
hp 171 (18d10+72)
Fort +15, Ref +20, Will +11
Defensive Abilities defensive roll, improved evasion, improved uncanny dodge; Immune poison
Speed 30 ft., climb 40 ft.
Melee bite +29 (1d6+9), 2 claws +29 (1d4+9)
Ranged +3 stalking light crossbow +28 (1d4+3/19–20)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks death attack, dexterous killer, poisonous blood, sneak attack +9d6
Str 2, Dex 29, Con 18, Int 23, Wis 21, Cha 12
Base Atk +18; CMB +25 (+27 steal); CMD 42 (44 vs. steal, 46 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Expertise, Deadly Aim, Deceitful, Dodge, Improved Feint, Improved Initiative, Improved Steal, Mobility, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +25, Bluff +31, Climb +19, Disable Device +20, Disguise +23, Escape Artist +25, Knowledge (local) +24, Perception +26, Sleight of Hand +20, Stealth +29; Racial Modifiers +8 Bluff
Languages Common, Elven, Gnome, Halfling, Undercommon (can’t speak)
SQ fast stealth, fast tumble, hide in plain sight
Gear +3 stalking light crossbow, crossbow bolts (20), bag of holding (type I)
Environment any land
Organization solitary
Treasure double (gear plus gems and jewels)
Death Attack (Ex) An assassin squirrel must study a potential victim for 3 rounds (spending a standard action each round). If it then makes a sneak attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack reduces the victim to –1 hp, if it fails a DC 25 Fortitude. If the saving throw succeeds, the attack still deals normal sneak attack damage. The squirrel must make the death attack within 3 rounds of completing its 3 rounds of study. The save DC is Intelligence-based.
Defensive Roll (Ex) Once per day, when an assassin squirrel would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat, it can attempt to roll with the damage. If it succeeds at a Reflex save (DC equals damage dealt), it only takes half damage from the strike; otherwise, it takes full damage. It must be aware of the attack to use this ability, and it cannot use the ability if it is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC.
Dexterous Killer (Ex) An assassin squirrel adds its Dexterity modifier to damage done by its natural weapons.
Fast Stealth (Ex) An assassin squirrel can move at full speed using the Stealth skill without penalty.
Fast Tumble (Ex) An assassin squirrel does not add 10 to the DC of an Acrobatics check when using the skill at full speed to move through a threated square without provoking an attack of opportunity.
Hide in Plain Sight (Ex) An assassin squirrel can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as it is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, it can hide itself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind. However, it cannot hide in its own shadow.
Poisonous Blood (Ex) An assassin squirrel’s blood is toxic sludge. A creature that successfully bites the squirrel poisons itself. As a full round action, the squirrel can deal 1 point of damage to itself to create enough poison to coat its claws (or 10 crossbow bolts), requiring an additional standard action to apply. The poison persists for 1 hour before becoming useless, and it is only good for one successful attack.
Assassin Squirrel Poison—injury or ingested; save Fort DC 23; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 Con; cure 2 consecutive saves.

Unassuming killers, assassin squirrels have cultivated their inconspicuousness as they find a suitable victim. They have razor-sharp teeth and claws that inflict grievous wounds, and they add the devastating ability to find vital organs to rend when they strike. Finally, their blood is naturally toxic, allowing them to bleed themselves to coat their weapons with poison.

Assassin squirrels are thankfully rare, and only go on their hunts once a year. They always take a trophy from their victims, typically a small, shiny item, but they have been known to take ears or fingers from difficult-to-kill prey. The most common theory about these squirrels is that fey nobles employ them to assassinate dangerous mortals, or other fey as part of their internecine squabbles. This would explain the equipment possessed by the squirrels, since they do not seem to have any other means of producing it. Other beings can employ the assassins, but the price is steep, usually no less than 10,000 gp for a target.

Assassin squirrels have very short lifespans, with most specimens living no more than twenty years. However, they are potent killers from a month after they are born until they die. Infant assassin squirrels are left to their own devices shortly after their births and must learn to kill to survive. Often, a young assassin squirrel’s first target is one of its parents.

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