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
CE Medium undead
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., lifesense 120 ft.; Perception +16
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
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
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
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or abattoir (3–8)
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.