Friday, July 31, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Quadropticat

Hello, and welcome to this week's Frightful Fridays! I'm at GenCon when this posts, but I didn't want to use that as an excuse for not putting up a monster this week. This one is courtesy of Drejk (whose blog can be found here:, and it went in an unusual direction for me. I hit upon the idea of a lawful fey creature that helps enforce treaties or confirms that dealings with mortals are on the up and up, and a four-eyed cat seemed like a strangely appropriate creature for such a task.

I hope you enjoy the quadropticat, and I'll see you next time with another monster. As always, thanks for reading!

Quadropticat      CR 3
XP 800
LN Tiny fey
Init +3; Senses low-light vision, see invisibility; Perception +17
AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +2 insight, +2 size)
hp 27 (5d6+10)
Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +5
Defensive Abilities throw off darkness
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +6 (1d4+2), 2 claws +6 (1d3+2)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks insightful combat
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +7)
   Constant—see invisibility
   1/day—discern lies (DC 16)
Str 2, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 15
Base Atk +2; CMB +9 (+11 dirty trick); CMD 11 (13 vs. dirty trick, 15 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Expertise, Footslasher, Improved Dirty Trick
Skills Acrobatics +11, Appraise +7, Bluff +10 (+18 to pass secret messages), Escape Artist +11, Perception +17, Sense Motive +17, Spellcraft +7, Stealth +19; Racial Modifiers +8 Bluff to pass secret messages, +8 Perception, +8 Sense Motive
Languages Catfolk, Common, Sylvan
SQ pierce the veil
Insightful Combat (Su) A quadropicat adds its Intelligence modifier to attack and damage rolls in place of its Strength modifier. It also gains an insight bonus to AC equal to its Intelligence modifier. It loses the benefits of this ability if it is blind.
Pierce the Veil (Su) A quadropticat does not suffer a miss chance from concealment. It also benefits from a constant see invisiblity. It loses the benefits of this ability if it is blind.
Throw off Darkness (Su) As an immediate action, a blind quadropticat can attempt a new saving throw at the end of its turn to negate the blinded condition as the result of a spell or effect. This is in addition to saving throws it can make to shake off a spell or effect that causes blindness, such as glitterdust.

Quadropticats have their origins in planes of law, where their ancestors served as impartial arbiters of contracts between planar beings as well as between outsiders and mortals. Due to a retrospectively bad deal brokered by quadropticats that resulted in the slaughter of numerous inevitables, for which the quadropticats were unfairly blamed, the powers of the lawful planes exiled the creatures to the Material Plane. Their unusual appearance prevented them from acceptance in most communities, but the fey found them intriguing and took them in.

Quadropticats, now fully fey creatures, serve the same purpose for the fey that they did in the planes of law. Their insightfulness allows them to read other creatures, so they prove valuable in ensuring both parties in a contract or treaty are honest. This is essential among the mostly capricious fey, who seek to break deals with little provocation. While quadropticats have no means to enforce these deals, their array of abilities make it difficult for a dishonest party to enter into an agreement that they intend to break later.

Strangely, despite their lawful natures and their usefulness in enforcing lawful dealings, quadropticats are nasty and unfair combatants. They seem to take pleasure in employing underhanded techniques, such as throwing dirt in an opponent’s eyes or slashing an opponent’s Achilles tendon, and take any advantage available against their foes.

Quadropticats who prefer not to deal with fey and their intrigues travel and often attach themselves to adventuring groups that can get past their weird natures. Adventuring quadropticats are fond of catfolk, perhaps because of their similar appearance, and catfolk reciprocate the attention.

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.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Amorphosaurus Rex

Hello, and welcome to a new Frightful Fridays! (slightly delayed) My friend, Dave Mallon brought this image to my attention, and I ran with the idea of an aberration that does its own gene splicing. What looks like a simple encounter should become frightening when the dinosaur flashes octopus tentacles that grab and squish PCs. For extra fun, send this monster at metagaming players expecting to fight a CR 9 tyrannosaurus rex.

I hope you enjoy the amorphosaurus rex, and I'll be back next time with a new monster. Thanks for reading!

This smallish, green-skinned tyrannosaurus extrudes a pair of tentacles from its back.
Amorphosaurus Rex      CR 14
XP 38,400
CN Huge aberration
Init –2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +11
AC 30, touch 6, flat-footed 30 (–2 Dex, +24 natural, –2 size)
hp 210 (20d8+120); fast healing 2
Fort +12, Ref +4, Will +12
Defensive Abilities adaptive resistance, amorphous; DR 10/cold iron; Immune acid, polymorph; Resist cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5
Speed 50 ft., swim 80 ft.
Melee bite +23 (4d6+15/19–20 plus grab), 2 tentacles +22 (2d8+5)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (2d8+10), swallow whole (2d8+10, AC 22, 21 hp)
Str 31, Dex 6, Con 22, Int 5, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +15; CMB +27 (+29 bull rush and overrun, +31, +29 overrun); CMD 35 (37 vs. bull rush and overrun)
Feats Awesome Blow, Dazzling Display, Diehard, Endurance, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Overrun, Multiattack, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (tentacle)
Skills Intimidate +15, Perception +11, Swim +18
Environment any
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none
Adaptive Resistance (Su) When an amorphosaurus rex takes energy damage greater than its current resistance, the value increases by 5 for subsequent energy damage (for example, if a spell deals 7 points of fire damage, it takes 2 points of damage, and then its resist fire increases to 10). This increased resistance lasts for an hour after it takes damage.

Related to chaos beasts and gibbering mouthers, proto-amorphosaurus rexes had a similarly unstable form. Unlike those creatures, the amorphosaurus rexes instinctively locked in on the alpha predator at the time and their outward appearance permanently changed. However, they retained rudimentary shapeshifting abilities, allowing them to generate decidedly non-dinosaur features, with octopus tentacles as their weapons of choice. Their internal organs constantly shift, making it impossible to harm them by damaging an internal organ. Their weird biology allows them to heal wounds rapidly as well. Finally, they have a modicum of protection from elemental damage, and this protection increases as they are exposed to it.

While the tyrannosaurus rex is the typical form taken by amorphosaurus rexes, variants include sharks and bears. Regardless of the shape they “fix” on, they always have an incongruous feature (tentacles, whip-like tails, fanged mouths within mouths, etc.) that mark them out as unnatural.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Ghost-Hunting Bat

Hello and welcome to this week's edition of Frightful Fridays! The ghost-hunting bat, based on the Honduran Ghost Bat, is not exactly frightful, unless you happen to be playing an undead creature, but I figured that the spate of undead (plus the nasty dobhar chú from last week) needed a little balance. So, these little guys will be very helpful to PCs in a ghast- and vampire-infested campaign, or they will make great opponents against evil characters who happen to be ghasts, vampires, or the like.

I hope you enjoy the ghost-hunting bat, and I'll be back next time with another monster. Thanks for reading!

Ghost-hunting bats resting after a successful hunt

This snowy white bat flits about while turning its ears to-and-fro in search of something unseen.
Ghost-Hunting Bat      CR 2
XP 600
NG Tiny magical beast
Init +3; Senses blindsense 50 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +8
AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 12 (+3 Dex, +2 size)
hp 19 (3d10+3)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +3
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4
Speed 5 ft., fly 50 ft. (good)
Melee bite +8 (1d3–4 plus drain inhibitor)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks channel positive energy (4/day, 2d6, DC 14), part the veil, raze undead
Str 2, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 4, Wis 15, Cha 13
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 10
Feats Improved Channel, Turn Undead, Weapon Finesse
Skills Fly +11, Perception +8 (+16 to locate undead or notice disguises used by undead), Stealth +11; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception to locate undead or notice disguises used by undead
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or purge (3­–16)
Treasure none
Drain Inhibitor (Su) If a ghost-hunting bat deals damage to an undead creature, the target must attempt a DC 12 Will save. If it fails, it cannot use any ability that damages or drains attributes or levels through a negative energy effect until the beginning of the bat's next turn. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Part the Veil (Su) A ghost-hunting bat can unleash a cry as a standard action that causes all incorporeal undead within 30 feet that fail a DC 12 Will save to lose the benefits of incorporeality until the beginning of the bat's next turn. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Raze Undead (Su) When a ghost-hunting bat attacks an undead creature, it adds its Dexterity modifier to damage instead of its Strength modifier, and its bite counts as a magical weapon.

Bats seem naturally drawn to dark places, and undead creatures sometimes bend bats to their will to attack their foes. Ghost-hunting bats are also drawn to evil locations, but they are anathema to the undead and are implacable foes to the creatures. In natural settings, they gather in large groups to hunt undead. Their evolved abilities make them surprisingly effective against their chosen prey.

Good-aligned clerics and others who despise the undead attract ghost-hunting bats, which may come to the rescue for characters having a difficult time in combat with undead. A good character who has the Improved Familiar feat and 7 total levels in spellcasting classes can gain a ghost-hunting bat as a familiar.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Dobhar Chú

Hello and welcome to a new installment of Frightful Fridays! Now that I'm done with *shudder* vampire clowns, I'm switching to something a little more mundane: a killer "water hound" that combines the adorableness of the otter with the attitude of a movie monster shark. Also, as I discovered when I read up on this guy, it eventually becomes a creature similar to the Loch Ness Monster when it "grows up." Fun stuff!

I hope you enjoy the dobhar chú, and I'll see you next time with a different monster. Thanks for reading!

This creature looks like a cross between a dog and an otter; its otter-like head is broad and flesh-rending teeth fill its mouth.
Dobhar Chú      CR 3
XP 800
NE Medium magical beast (aquatic)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +5
AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+3 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 32 (4d10+16)
Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +2
Speed 30 ft., swim 80 ft.
Melee bite +6 (2d6+3 plus grab)
Special Attacks blood drain (1d2 Constitution), haunting screech, revenge seeker
Str 15, Dex 17, Con 18, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 9
Base Atk +4; CMB +6 (+10 grapple); CMD 19 (23 vs. trip)
Feats Diehard, Endurance
Skills Intimidate +9, Perception +5, Swim +14; Racial Modifiers +8 Intimidate
Environment any water
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none
Haunting Screech (Su) Once per day as a swift action, a dobhar chú can unleash a horrifying scream. Creatures within 30 feet of the dobhar chú must succeed at a DC 11 Will save to avoid becoming shaken for 1d6 rounds. This is a sonic, mind-affecting, fear effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
When a dobhar chú dies, it sounds a similar screech that does not induce fear in opponents, but instead alerts its mate to the creature(s) responsible for its death. Its mate can hear the scream up to 1 mile away, even while underwater.
Revenge Seeker (Su) A dobhar chú that hears its mate's death cry enters into a rage. It gains +2 Constitution and +2 Strength, and takes a 2 penalty to its AC. Additionally, it benefits from locate creature for 1 hour, allowing it to find the creature that dealt the killing blow to its mate. This rage lasts for 1 hour or until its target is dead, whichever is shorter. The dobhar chú cannot end its rage voluntarily.

Dobhar chú are nasty creatures that menace even highly traveled waterways. They are voracious creatures that will kill and eat any living animal, but they prefer to attack humanoids who are unused to the water. The otter-like creatures use their unearthly shrieks to unnerve prey and relentlessly attack afterwards. Killing a dobhar chú does not end the threat, as the dying creature emits another shriek to call its mate, which enters into a frenzy wherein it gains the uncanny ability to find the one who delivered the killing blow.

Dobhar chú have a lifespan of roughly 20 years, but their aggressive natures usually cause them to die much earlier. While the creatures cannot become animal companions, they sometimes ally with evil aquatic druids, rangers, or hunters for protection, especially if it has lost its mate. Legend holds that a dobhar chú reaching its natural lifespan transforms into an elasmosaurus, and, in this form, the creature can truly terrorize visitors to its watery domain.