Sunday, December 11, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Spear Turtle

Hello, and welcome to this week's Frightful Fridays! I had this one done much earlier, but life intervened and delayed publication. Theodric (who is a new father again, congratulations!) passed the below image along to me, and I thought it would be fun to have a turtle that can catch prey at a distance to make up for its slow speed.

I hope you enjoy the spear turtle, and I'll see you next week with another monster. Thanks for reading!

A couple of notes

1. Voting for Here Be Monsters 3 ends tomorrow. Please consider a vote if you haven't done so already. Voting Booth Link
2. I'm doing a little giveaway for 3rd-party Pathfinder RPG material, plus some publishers have jumped in to sweeten the deal. Check out the thread here
3. My Patreon is still going. You get to see each week's monster early, and I will be collecting them into PDFs for patrons on a three-month basis. Patreon Link

This oversized turtle has a rock-like carapace and powerful jaws. It’s most astonishing feature is the bony tongue it flicks out of its mouth at a great distance.
Spear Turtle      CR 3
XP 800
N Large animal (aquatic)
Init +0; Senses low-light vision; Perception +8
AC 15, touch 9, flat-footed 15 (+6 natural, –1 size)
hp 30 (4d8+12)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +2
DR 2/bludgeoning
Speed 20 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee bite +6 (2d6+4 plus grab) or tongue +6 (1d8+4 piercing plus spearing tongue)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (15 ft. with tongue)
Str 19, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 9
Base Atk +3; CMB +8 (+12 grapple); CMD 18 (22 vs. trip)
Feats Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack
Skills Perception +8, Swim +12
SQ amphibious
Environment temperate or warm water
Organization solitary, pair, or bale (3–8)
Spearing Tongue (Ex) When a spear turtle makes a successful attack with its tongue, it receives a free grapple check to impale its victim. If it succeeds at this check, it can retract its tongue, pulling the victim 5 feet towards the turtle. It does not need to make additional checks to maintain the grapple with its tongue; it deals no additional damage, but it reels its victim 5 feet closer. Unsuccessful attempts to escape the grapple deal 1d8 points of piercing damage. While the turtle has an opponent speared, it can only make a bite attack against its speared opponent.

Many animals have adaptations to overcome shortcomings in their ability to hunt and survive, and spear turtles are no exception. To compensate for their slow speed on the land and in the water, they possess a telescoping, barbed tongue, allowing them to attack and hook prey from surprising distances. The barbs extend outward immediately after the tongue strikes a target. The difficult-to-remove spear allows the turtles to pull prey toward them simply by retracting the tongue. Retracting the tongue also retracts the barbs, allowing the turtles to employ their powerful bites.

Spear turtles live in coastal areas and primarily hunt fish and aquatic mammals, since they have greater maneuverability under water. If hunting proves sparse, they move on land to attack prey, which often brings them into conflict with humanoids living near the shore. While not particularly aggressive, hungry turtles attack humanoids if no other prey presents itself. In more populated areas, they often find themselves at odds with humanoids for fish and other mutual prey. Spear turtles typically shift to other locations when competition becomes too fierce.

Typical spear turtles measure 8 feet wide and 9 feet long, and weigh 800 pounds. Like many turtles, they are long-lived, reaching lifespans of up to 60 years.

Spear Turtle Animal Companions
Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 20 ft., swim 30 ft.; AC +6 natural; Attack bite (1d8) or tongue (10-ft. reach, 1d6); Ability Scores Str 15, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 9; Special Attacks grab, spearing tongue (1d6).

7th-Level Advancement: Size Large; AC +4 natural; Attack bite (2d6) or tongue (15-ft. reach, 1d8); Ability Scores Str +4, Con +2; Special Attacks spearing tongue (1d8).

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