Saturday, January 16, 2016

Frightful Fridays (nearly-Friday edition)! Athenaeum Sentinel

Hello, and welcome back to the second of this week's monsters. I'm zeroing in on Friday, and I anticipate actually posting a monster on the upcoming Friday. Today's monster comes from a picture on my friend Patrick's Facebook page, and an able assist by Drejk brought it to my attention. The post made reference to a devil dog, but I wanted something less evil this time (you know, for a change of pace), and the bookshelves behind the dog swerved me to the idea of a canine protector of arcane lore.

I hope you enjoy the athenaeum sentinel, and I should (really!) be back on Friday with a new monster. Thanks for reading!

No tomes for you! Rowf!

This otherwise unassuming dog’s eyes glow green, as if they could pierce through to a creature’s very soul.
Athenaeum Sentinel      CR 5
XP 1,600
N Small magical beast
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., know alignment, low-light vision; Perception +14
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (+3 Dex, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 51 (6d10+18)
Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +5
Immune charm, compulsion, fear; SR 16
Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +11 (2d6+6 plus trip)
Special Attacks final word
Str 19, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 17, Cha 19
Base Atk +6; CMB +9; CMD 22 (26 vs. trip)
Feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
Skills Acrobatics +11 (+15 to jump), Intimidate +10, Perception +14, Sense Motive +11, Spellcraft +16; Racial Modifiers +8 Acrobatics, +8 Spellcraft
Languages Common, Elven; tongues
SQ bardic knowledge +3, blast sanctum
Blast Sanctum (Su) If an athenaeum sentinel is caught within the area of a damaging spell or spell-like ability and the caster fails to penetrate the sentinel's SR, the effect is negated as if countered.
Final Word (Su) When an athenaeum sentinel dies, it affects all creatures within 40 feet as if targeted with the sentinel’s choice of dictum, holy word, or power word stun (CL 13th, save DC 21). If the sentinel chooses power word stun, the effect cannot exceed 150 total hit points and stuns creatures with the fewest hit points first.
Know Alignment (Su) An athenaeum sentinel automatically knows the alignment of any creature it can see.

Athenaeum sentinels were bred by mages who valued the dogs’ loyalty and infused them with magical abilities that allow them to drive off intruders and protect the repositories they protect from harm. Sentinels prefer to convince trespassers to leave peacefully, but they prepare for mayhem from chaotic or evil creatures. Their partners—the highly intelligent athenaeum sentinels do not regard them as “masters”—receive a warning akin to the alarm spell when athenaeum sentinels confront intruders and when they die. Unless the sentinels wish to inflict maximum damage to evil or chaotic opponents upon their deaths, they usually resort to power word stun on dying to hold their foes long enough for their partners to arrive and mete out whatever justice they wish to.

Because athenaeum sentinels spend much of their time around books and other documents, they have inherently absorbed considerable knowledge. While protecting their libraries, they use this knowledge to determine the best choice for their invader bane ability. Gaining a sentinel’s trust, especially convincing it that no harm will come to its protected materials, allows characters to ask it questions, for which it will provide answers to the best of its ability. Athenaeum sentinels released from duty find adventurers with whom they can share their wealth of knowledge and for whom they can act as protectors.

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