Sunday, April 23, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Fundamentowl


Hello and welcome to this rain-delayed Frightful Fridays! OK, so rain wasn't the only thing delaying monster entries, but I'm back with an owl which has been exposed to the darkest secrets of the universe and has returned to share these secrets with everyone--regardless of whether they want to know. Even a brief glance into the creature's star-filled eyes induces mild insanity.

Also, Theodric has returned to the blog, breaking up the interminable monster posts. It means I'll have to share again, and I'm happy for it. Check out his latest post here: Swords & Wizardry: It's what I'm running.

I hope you enjoy the fundamentowl, and I'll be back again with another monster. Thanks for reading!



This giant owl’s feathers are a uniform gray; its blue eyes, displaying unrecognizable constellations of stars, have an almost magnetic pull.
Fundamentowl      CR 8
XP 4,800
CN Small magical beast
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +10
DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 20, flat-footed 17 (+5 Dex, +4 insight, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 95 (10d10+40)
Fort +11, Ref +12, Will +0
Defensive Abilities improved evasion, improved uncanny dodge; Immune cold
OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee 2 claws +16 (1d4–1 plus grab)
Special Attacks gaze (30 ft., DC 19), grab (Medium), inject knowledge, mental broadcast
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +14)
   3/day—dimension door, hold monster (DC 19)
   1/day—divination
STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 21, Con 19, Int 16, Wis 5, Cha 18
Base Atk +10; CMB +14 (+18 grapple); CMD 27
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Dimensional AgilityUC, Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Fly +11, Knowledge (arcana, dungeoneering, geography, history, nature, planes, religion) +20, Perception +10, Sense Motive +9, Stealth +17; Racial Modifiers +8 Knowledge (arcana, dungeoneering, geography, history, nature, planes, religion), +8 Perception, +8 Sense Motive, +4 Stealth
Languages Aklo, Common, Sylvan; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ strange knowledge
ECOLOGY
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or curiosity (3–6)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Gaze (Su) Creatures failing a DC 19 Will save take 1d4 points of Wisdom damage from a fundamentowl’s gaze. A creature that failed its save must attempt a second save to avoid 1 point of Wisdom damage converting to 1 point of Wisdom drain.
Inject Knowledge (Su) If a fundamentowl begins its turn grappling a creature, it forces a stream of information into the creature. A victim failing a DC 19 Will save takes 1d6 points of Wisdom damage (and must attempt a second save to avoid converting 1 point of Wisdom damage to 1 point of Wisdom drain), but it can take 20 on a single Knowledge skill check it makes within 24 hours and can make the check untrained. A creature gains a use of this boon for each failed save against inject knowledge.
Mental Broadcast (Su) If a fundamentowl is affected by a mind-affecting spell or effect and it fails its Will save, it broadcasts the spell or effect to all creatures within range of its telepathy. Affected creatures must also attempt the Will save (the save DC is unchanged by this ability) or suffer the same effects.
Strange Knowledge (Ex) All Knowledge skills are class skills for a fundamentowl. Additionally, the fundamentowl receives a +4 insight bonus to its AC and initiative.

Fundamentowls are one-time familiars which sought knowledge beyond what they gained while serving witches or wizards. These familiars traveled to faraway locations where reality bled away and revealed the secrets of the universe. While they gained considerable knowledge, their minds warped and they went mad. The familiars, shaped into owls for unfathomable reasons, returned to their homes and give in to their compulsions to share their secrets with other creatures, regardless of the detrimental side effects. Imparting knowledge, even forcibly, takes a burden off their minds at least for a while. Fundamentowls also locate familiars and tantalize them with hidden vistas of information denied to them by their masters, thus repeating the cycle.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Swords & Wizardry: It's what I'm running.

HAPPY SWORDS & WIZARDRY APPRECIATION DAY FROM NORTHERN APPALACHIA!

Well, it's been more than a while since you've heard from your obscure, rambling host, and Mike Welham has thankfully kept MPR from falling into utter dereliction. It might have something to do with moving across the country and having a new baby, but even before that I was running on low. Out of the interstices I creep to update you on the state of my game, which happily, will also largely be a post of joining in communal OSRness of the S&W kind.


How I got to S&W

The past 10 months, I have been playing in a weekly PF game by Skype, which has just now gone on a hiatus (I leveled my magus up to 5th level, thank you very much). The year before that, I was in a 5e game in which part of the time I DMed Tyranny of Dragons and a part of the time another player DMed Princes of the Apocalypse. In the further past in San Antonio, I had run a S&W Complete game set in Waterdeep in which I relocated old modules to Undermountain -- we were having fun but I couldn't get the group together enough to really build the kind of campaign I wanted. North Texas RPG Con 2016 just whetted my appetite even more for a regular home campaign in which we would build an interesting setting, characters, and stories. Now that I have the kind of home base I want in the old butcher's shop beneath my house (complete with a massive table left by a short-lived textile business of some kind), I have started said game using S&W. 

The Players

I first found some experienced players among some of the college students of a nearby college town. As time progressed, they have proven to have a hard time continuing consistently because of their school and work loads, but I also have added two completely new players -- guys who always wanted to play but couldn't find people to teach them back in the day. Hey, scifi/fantasy reading clubs aren't a bad way to meet new players. I need to branch out again to find some more new players -- I'd like a bigger group and I miss the diversity that the college folks brought to the group. (Read: A group with gals is better.)

The Building Blocks

I started preparing the nascent setting by reading Hommlet and the original City State of the Invincible Overlord booklets. I decided Hommlet would be their home base and the province would belong to the City State. No Temple of Elemental Evil -- I would introduce another evil. The nearby town of Nulb? The characters original hometown, now in ruins thanks to an horrific event when they were children. Underneath the ruins? The Hall of Bones, adapted physically so that I could use the The Lost Catacombs pages for game mats.



I looked at the gods of the CSIO and decided that they were a bit of a mess -- both an inspiring mess (How do I explain this hodgepodge of deities as a historical development and how would they actually work as a society's pantheon?) and a mess that needed some straightening up (too many gods of the same basic kind and other types completely missing). Here are the gods in the original booklet:



Odin
Modron (“Great Mother”)
Brigid
Mabon (“Great Son”)
Thoth
Dagda
Harmakhis (Horus)
Teutates (=Toutatis)
Quetzalcoatl
Lugh
Apollo
Fenris Wolf
Nephthys (but misspelled, just as in DDG&H supplement)
(Spider God?)
Donn (Celtic Death)
Gods of Pegana (the so-called “old gods”)
Toad God in Mermist Swamp (Obviously I'm going to make Tsathoggua)
Unnamed Sea Goddess
Balder
Varuna
Hanuman the Accursed
Idun
The Sea God Manannan
Arghrasmak (Temple of the Gargoyle) “living god”
Crimson Dragon

The historical key to this is that I decided the City State was a originally a colony found by a southern Rome analogue who hired Germanic/Nordic warriors to conquer a region peopled by monsters and Celt analogues. Their great, older rival was an Egypt analogue from whom they appropriated some deities -- all things Romans were wont to do. (Wikipedia has introductory entries on this process in the religious vein.) That allowed me to revise the list by identifying various gods with one another in the following way:



Odin the Dagda, Odin All-Father
Sol Odinsson, Sol Invictus, Sol of the City State, Sol-Horus, Sol-Harmakhis, the Eye of Odin
Modron the Great Mother, Brigid
Mabon the Great Son
Thoth the Terrible, God of Knowledge and Learning
Quetzalcoatl, He-of-the-Mithral-Feathers, 1st Serpent, Dragon King, God of Rivers & Mtns
Fenris Wolf, Lord of Ragnarok
Nephthys, Lady of the Holy Mortuary, Mistress of Wealth
Death (Donn)
Tsathoggua, the Toad God, God of Wetlands and Caverns
Kiopa’a, Star of the Seas, Polestar, Queen of Sea Fae
Arghrasmak the Living God, God of Gargoyles.
Balder, the Hidden Son, Hope of Mankind
Varuna All-Seeing, Lord of Rains, Arbiter of Oaths, Guardian of Cosmic Law
Hanuman the Accursed, God of Therianthropes
Idun, Lady of the Golden Orchard, Long of Time and Limb
Typhon the Two-Faced, Tyrant of All Oceans

The rebellious gods of Pegana I kept around and the god Teutates=Toutatis (thanks, Astrix comics!) became simply a title that a social group would add to the name of their patron deity. I'm still playing around with how I'm going to handle the spider god, though Wraith Overlord: Terror of the City State has a nice idea in it. (Where the heck did that title come from? Still haven't figured it out.) And I'm still playing with what exactly I'm going to do with the Crimson Dragon. Also, a few deities also indicate that the Rome analogue not only had the rivalry with an Egypt analogue, but also some sort of contact with an Indic analogue. (Meso-america is for dragons.)


Deities I added

First off, I needed a paladin patron to take the places of Muir (I don't care for the name) and Cuthbert (I wanted to cut the odd real-world tie here and have a Joan of Arc like feel to the figure, but germanified). Thus was born St. Ingaberht. She heads the following list:

Ingaberht, Patron Saint of Templars and Holy Knighthood

Orcus, Punisher of Broken Oaths, Demon Lord of the Undead
Frey, Lugh, Lord of the Elves
Circe, Witch Goddess
Morithal, Lord of Unceasing Hunger: Remember this little gem!?

This kind of top-down work gave me lots of ideas for the setting and hooks for potential stories, and allows the players to locate their characters within the setting. Less of them took me up on the idea of having their character being from Nulb, but they still came up with ideas for why they were in Hommlet and interested in Nulb and each other, so it worked out.


Now the question, Why and how does S&W provide the ruleset for this campaign? To be continued in a second posting!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Greenspark

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Frightful Fridays! This week's monster is not exactly frightful, unless the characters like to wantonly destroy forests. A greenspark could still be a valuable ally against undead or other abominations in a forest setting, as she and her kin give their lives to save the forest from harm against such creatures.

I hope you enjoy the greenspark, and I'll see you again with another monster. Thanks for reading!


The outline of a leaf- and ivy-covered woman is barely visible within this bright green mote of light.
Greenspark      CR 3
XP 800
NG Diminutive fey
Init +3; Senses greensight 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +9
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 size)
hp 27 (5d6+10)
Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +5
DR 5/cold iron
OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft., burrow 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (good)
Melee mwk dagger +10 (1 nonlethal/19–20 plus poison)
Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks enliven plants, lightbringer, sneak attack +3d6
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +7)
   At will—faerie fire
   1/day—plant growth, tree shape, tree stride
STATISTICS
Str 1, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +2; CMB +1; CMD 7
Feats Dodge, Flyby Attack, Mobility, Weapon Finesse
Skills Diplomacy +10, Escape Artist +10, Fly +17, Knowledge (nature) +17, Perception +9, Perform (wind instruments) +10, Sense Motive +9, Stealth +19; Racial Modifiers +8 Knowledge (nature)
Languages Sylvan; plantspeech
SQ luminous
ECOLOGY
Environment temperate forests
Organization solitary, pair, verdancy (3–16)
Treasure normal (masterwork dagger and other treasure)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Enliven Plants (Su) As a full-round action, a greenspark can merge with a 10-foot radius of living plants or a tree 10 feet tall or less (not including plant creatures) and take rudimentary control of the plant(s). She can create an entangle effect (DC 13 Reflex partial) in a 10-foot-radius around her if she animates grass and other small plants pushing through the ground, or an effect similar to liveoak (but the animated treant gains the young creature template and it cannot move) for a tree. While merged, she takes no damage from melee attacks, but she still takes damage from spells or effects with an area of effect, and she dies if the plant or group of plants she controls is destroyed. Disengaging from a controlled plant is a move action for the greenspark. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Lightbringer (Su) A greenspark can create a daylight effect for 5 hours at the cost of her life. Eight or more greensparks can create the equivalent of the sunburst spell and create daylight for 24 hours at the cost of their lives.
Luminous (Su) A greenspark sheds light equal to that provided by a torch. The light is always green in color, but the greenspark usually sets it to a brilliant emerald color. As a swift action, she can extinguish the light.
Plantspeech (Ex) A greenspark has the ability to converse with plants as if subject to a continual speak with plants spell, and most plants greet her with an attitude of friendly or helpful.
Poison (Ex) Poison Oak: Injury—dagger; save Fort DC 13; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d4 Dex damage and victim is sickened until Dex damage is healed; cure 1 save.

Greensparks are ardent defenders of their forest homes and pack considerable power in their deceptively tiny frames. Similar to dryads, greensparks are all female (or, rather, those who have encountered them report this fact, and no one has provided evidence of male greensparks). The fey are not bound to the forest like their dryad sisters, but they remain there out of a profound sense of duty. They are generally friendly to visitors to the forest and light the way for lost travelers. However, those who harm the plants or other forest denizens receive the greensparks’ ire, first in the form of nettling dagger attacks. The poison oak oil covering the greensparks’ daggers is fast acting and causes severe and distractive itching. If that tactic fails, greensparks merge with plants to hold trespassers in place or pummel trespassers with animated trees. Against unnatural foes, greensparks sacrifice themselves, usually in a large enough group to generate a sunburst effect, to preserve the forest.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Brass Belt Master

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Frightful (almost opposite of) Fridays! This edition's monster is something I've wanted to do for a while: a creature capable of sparring with PCs and learning as it goes. I borrowed somewhat from the brawler class for the brass belt master's ability to change feats out as quickly as possible. Hopefully, one (or more) of these will challenge your characters as it adapts in combat.

I hope you enjoy the brass belt master, and I will be back again soon with another monster. Thanks for reading!


This brass clockwork approximates a powerfully built human; it takes a sparring stance.
Brass Belt Master      CR 9
XP 6,400
N Medium construct
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +19
DEFENSE
AC 24, touch 16, flat-footed 18 (+6 Dex, +8 natural)
hp 86 (12d10+20)
Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +8
Defensive Abilities evasion, hardness 10; Immune construct traits, cold, electricity, fire
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee unarmed strike +20/+15/+10 (2d6+7) or
   unarmed strike +18/+13/+8 (2d6+5), unarmed strike +18/+13 (2d6+5)
Special Attacks stunning fist (3/day, DC 19)
STATISTICS
Str 20, Dex 23, Con —, Int 15, Wis 18, Cha 7
Base Atk +12; CMB +17; CMD 33
Feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Deflect ArrowsB, Double SliceB, Improved Two-Weapon FightingB, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Two-Weapon FightingB, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Skills Acrobatics +18 (+22 when jumping), Bluff –2 (+14 when feinting), Escape Artist +18, Perception +20, Sense Motive +20; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics when jumping, +16 Bluff when feinting
Languages Common, Dwarven (can't speak)
SQ adaptive combatant
ECOLOGY
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, gym (3–12)
Treasure incidental
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Adaptive Combatant (Ex) A brass belt master can gain the benefit of one combat feat as an immediate action or three combat feats as a swift action. The total additional combat feats it can gain equals its Wisdom modifier (for a total of 14 feats for a typical brass belt master). The creature can replace any of the listed bonus feats or any of the new feats selected through this ability, but cannot replace any of its other starting feats. Additionally, the brass belt master must meet all the feat’s prerequisites (meaning it cannot swap out a feat that would act as a prerequisite for a new feat), and it uses its Hit Dice as its fighter or monk level for the purpose of qualifying for feats. If a feat’s prerequisite level is higher than its Hit Dice, it may attempt a Wisdom check with a DC equal to the prerequisite level to acquire the feat; on a failure, the brass belt master may not attempt to gain the feat again for 24 hours.
A brass belt master that acquires templates which increase its CR gains bonus feats equal to the CR increase.

Brass belt masters were clockwork sparring constructs given sentience to increase the challenge of fighting them as opposed to the predictability of preprogrammed automata. This sentience drove many of the creations to seek out their own challenges as the clockwork creatures became bored with what they saw as inferior opponents. While some were dismantled after pitched battles, several managed to escape and form collectives in abandoned mines or in high-altitude locations where they could train peacefully with each other. As they began to break down or desired to create additional brass belt masters, they realized they needed to reengage with the outside world. Believers in fair fights and not wishing to gain infamy by forcibly taking the materials they required, they sought to challenge worthy opponents with the necessary metal and tools as the prize. Several became ronin, traveling from village to village and dispatching monsters or other threats to the villages in return for supplies. Some even wound up in the company of adventuring fleshy creatures who proved themselves worthy in combat. Whatever their journeys, brass belt masters find themselves returning occasionally to the gyms they call home. While a brass belt master gym is not difficult to find, since the clockwork creatures seem to eschew slyness, creatures following a brass belt master to its gym typically find themselves overmatched against the gym’s residents.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Terrorpin

Hello, and welcome to this week's Frightful Fridays! This one had me reaching back into the archives of images friends have sent along the way. The idea of a massive construct turtle resonated with me, so here you go. It starts off a lumbering brute of a creature, but it transforms into a crazed engine of destruction under certain circumstances. Hopefully, it will be quite the surprise to the PCs.

I hope you enjoy the terrorpin, and I'll see you later with another monster.



This creature looks like a gigantic, ponderous, armor-plated turtle. Its most formidable features are its powerful jaw and mouth lined with serrated edges, seemingly capable of crushing anything.
Terrorpin      CR 12
XP 19,200
N Gargantuan construct
Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 120 ft.; Perception +4
DEFENSE
AC 27, touch 5, flat-footed 27 (–1 Dex, +22 natural, –4 size)
hp 148 (16d10+60)
Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +9
Defensive Abilities fortification (25%), retraction; DR 10/adamantine; Immune construct traits, cold, electricity, fire; Resist acid 20
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +22 (3d6+10 plus grab), slam +22 (4d6+10)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (3d6+10), sundering bite, trample (4d6+15, DC 28)
STATISTICS
Str 31, Dex 9, Con —, Int —, Wis 19, Cha 4
Base Atk +16; CMB +30 (+34 grapple); CMD 39 (43 vs. trip)
Skills Swim +18
SQ frenzy
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Frenzy (Ex) When a terrorpin takes any acid damage or is reduced to less than half its hit points, its base speed increases to 60 feet. Additionally, while in this state, it can trample and then make a bite attack from the location its trample ends. A frenzied terrorpin incurs a –2 penalty to its AC.
Retraction (Ex) If commanded, a terrorpin can retract its head into its armored shell, increasing its fortification to 50%. However, it cannot make bite attacks and is effectively blind (50% miss chance) when it makes slam attacks.
Sundering Bite (Ex) A terrorpin can make a sunder attempt with its bite attack against an opponent's weapon or armor without provoking attacks of opportunity. It bypasses hardness as if it were using an adamantine weapon.

Terrorpins are constructed guardian creatures with similarities to golems, but are powered by clockwork or steam-driven mechanisms rather than elemental spirits. Their creators have a modicum of control over the constructs and can transfer that control to another creature during the crafting process. Terrorpins often have internal cavities where their controllers can sit in comfort, untouchable by opponents until the terrorpins have been utterly destroyed. When they are operating on standing orders, they have some autonomy and might attempt to destroy weapons proving particularly effective against them. Terrorpins give the illusion of being lumbering monstrosities, but, when they take sufficient damage or when acid harms their internal systems, energy reserves kick in and allow them to rampage through opponents. A terrorpin’s controller can override this rampage; otherwise, it requires healing the creature to restore it to its normal ponderous state.

Standard terrorpins stand only 18 feet tall, but their necks give them extra reach. They typically weigh over 10 tons. While rituals are unnecessary to create the constructs, the adamantine and intricate machinery that go into building them cost 40,000 gp, and a craftsperson must have the Craft Construct feat.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Echocat

Hello and welcome to a new installment of Frightful Fridays! I was going through the archives of images provided by friends, and I came across a margay which can mimic the sounds of monkeys to help in their hunts. I extrapolated this inherent sonic capability, so the echocat can create sonic constructs which last for a little while and have nearly the same physical potency as the echocat.

I hope you enjoy the echocat, and I'll see you next time with another monster. Thanks for reading!

It's really cute, until it screams.

This spotted, tawny cat has large, expressive eyes and even larger ears. Tiny waves ripple in the air around it.
Echocat      CR 6
XP 2,400
CN Small magical beast
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +13
DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 19, flat-footed 17 (+4 deflection, +4 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 68 (8d10+24)
Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +5
Defensive Abilities evasion; Immune sonic
Weaknesses silence vulnerability
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +13 (1d6+1 plus grab), 2 claws +13 (1d4+1)
Special Attacks grab (Medium), pounce, rake (2 claws +13, 1d4+1), sonic scream
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +9)
   At will—ventriloquism (DC 12)
   3/day—dimension door
STATISTICS
Str 12, Dex 19, Con 17, Int 6, Wis 16, Cha 13
Base Atk +8; CMB +8 (+12 grapple); CMD 26 (30 vs. trip)
Feats Dimensional AgilityUC, Dimensional AssaultUC, Dimensional DervishUC, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +1 (+9 to mimic sounds), Climb +9, Perception +13 (+21 for checks involving sound), Stealth +12 (+20 in forests); Racial Modifiers +8 Perception for checks involving sound, +8 Stealth in forests
SQ duplicate self, sound mimicry (animal noises)
ECOLOGY
Environment temperate and warm forests
Organization solitary, pair, or reverberation (3–8)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Duplicate Self (Ex) An echocat creates a sonic duplicate of itself when it uses its dimension door spell-like ability. The duplicate is identical to the echocat with the following exceptions: it gains the incorporeal subtype (losing its natural armor bonus), has half the originating echocat’s maximum hp, and can only make melee attacks (but none of the echocat’s special attacks). It remains for a number of rounds equal to 1d4 + its Charisma modifier (minimum 1). It is an independent creature which typically attacks the nearest foe. The duplicate disappears in an area of magical silence.
Silence Vulnerability (Ex) In an area of magical silence, an echocat loses its deflection bonus, and it cannot use its sonic scream ability.
Sonic Scream (Ex) Once every 1d4 rounds, an echocat can unleash a piercing cry that deals 5d6 points of sonic damage to all creatures in a 30-foot cone (DC 17 Reflex halves). Creatures failing their saves are deafened for 1 hour.

Echocats come from the same unusual locations which spawned destrachans and yrthaks, but the smaller animals made forest and jungles their homes where they can avoid the larger predators and prey upon smaller animals in turn. Their primary prey consists of monkeys and other primates, which the cats draw into their waiting jaws by mimicking calls produced by their prey. Easily frightened by larger creatures, echocats attempt to wait such creatures out while perched on branches where their patterned fur allows them to blend in with the foliage. If they must attack, they make liberal use of their sonic screams and create echoes of themselves while using devastating attacks while travelling at the speed of sound, duplicating the effects of dimension door. Once at a safe distance, they throw their voices to draw away attackers. If they must stay and fight, they make tactical use of their sonic copies.

While echocats cannot normally be taken as companion creatures, they enjoy travelling with bards and creatures with sonic abilities. Harpies who manage to control their destructive urges keep echocats for extra protection.

Echocats are 4 feet long, including a nearly foot-long tail, and weigh 50 pounds.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Bullet Squirrel

Hello, and welcome to this week's Frightful Fridays! My college-age child suggested a squirrel that moved around the battlefield like a bullet, and I happen to feature a lot of squirrels on the blog (I'm actually afraid to count the number of squirrel entries I have), so this was a no-brainer. This should go from, "oh, look at the cute little squirrel" to "why am I on the ground and my arm is broken" for your characters pretty quickly.

I hope you enjoy the bullet squirrel, and I'll see you next time with another monster. Thanks for reading!

Pew! Pew! Pew!

This minute gray squirrel zips about unpredictably, making a loud crack as it shoots from location to location.
Bullet Squirrel      CR 5
XP 1,600
N Tiny animal
Init +5; Senses low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +8
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 12 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 size)
hp 52 (7d8+21)
Fort +8, Ref +10, Will +4
Defenses hardheaded; Resist fire 10
OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft., burrow 30 ft., fly 90 ft. (perfect); bullet trajectory
Melee bite +12 (1d3–4), slam +12 (1d4–4)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks gunshot slam
STATISTICS
Str 3, Dex 21, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 11
Base Atk +5; CMB +8 (+10 bull rush); CMD 15 (17 vs. bull rush, 19 vs. trip)
Feats Death from AboveUC, Dodge, Improved Bull RushB, Mobility, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +15, Fly +17, Perception +8, Stealth +17; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics
ECOLOGY
Environment temperate forests
Organization solitary, pair, magazine (3–20)
Treasure incidental
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Bullet Trajectory (Ex) A bullet squirrel can only burrow or fly in a straight line, and it must travel its full movement rate when it burrows or flies. If it flies into the ground, it reduces it burrow speed by 1/3 the  distance it flew. If it flies out of the ground, it reduces its fly speed by 3 times the distance it burrowed. If the squirrel strikes a solid object other than a creature, it takes damage as if it had fallen a distance equal to its remaining movement.
Gunshot Slam (Ex) When a bullet squirrel burrows or flies, it acts as if it is charging, with the applicable +2 bonus on its attack and a –2 penalty to its AC, its slam attack deals 2d4 points of damage plus 1d6 fire damage, and it adds its Dexterity modifier rather than its Strength modifier to damage from its slam. Additionally, the squirrel receives a free bull rush attempt against the target of its attack. If it exceeds the target’s CMD by 5 or more (or rolls a natural 20), it can opt to knock the target prone rather than push the target back.
Hardheaded (Ex) A bullet squirrel leads with its head when it attacks or faces a situation where it could take damage. When it falls or takes damage from its bullet trajectory ability, it can attempt a Reflex save (DC 10 + 5 for every 10 feet of the fall) to take half damage.

For whatever unfathomable reason, squirrels more than any mammals other than bats have received the gift of flight. The same is true of bullet squirrels which fly with incredible velocities, allowing them to shoot into soft ground as well. The animals use this incredible ability to store nuts deep in the ground, and away from carefully dug out warrens, where only they can reach. Their bulletlike flight allows them to defend themselves against predators or quickly escape in dire situations. This has made the miniscule creatures aggressive, and they often shoot right into creatures intruding on their territory. They also consume their weight in fruits and nuts every day to feed their fast metabolisms.

Bullet squirrels are nearly 1 foot in length and weigh 2 pounds. They live up to 10 years and, in the wild, produce a litter of 1d6 young twice a year.

Bullet Squirrel Companions
Starting Statistics: Size Tiny; Speed 10 ft., burrow 20 ft., fly 60 ft.; bullet trajectory; Attack bite (1d3), slam (1d4); Ability Scores Str 3, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 11; Special Qualities hardheaded, low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft., Special Attacks gunshot slam (1d6 plus Dex modifier and 1d4 fire).

4th-Level Advancement: Ability Scores Dex +4, Con +4; Special Attacks gunshot slam (2d4 plus Dex modifier and 1d6 fire); Feats Improved Bull Rush.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Frightful Fridays (Super Bowl Edition)! Grabbly Bear

Hello, and welcome to another week of Frightful Fridays, slowly but surely becoming a complete misnomer. In honor (horror) of the infamous puppybabymonkey from last year's Super Bowl, I'm throwing out a slightly more reasonable mashup today. It just wants to give player characters hugs!

I hope you enjoy the grabbly bear, and I'll see you sometime in the future with another monster. Thanks for reading!



This large brown bear has a number of rubbery squid-like tentacles writhing from its shoulders. The creature alternates guttural noises with shrieks and flute-like sounds.
Grabbly Bear      CR 9
XP 6,400
NE Large aberration (aquatic)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +17
DEFENSE
AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 21 (+2 Dex, +12 natural, –1 size)
hp 112 (15d8+45)
Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +12
DR 10/cold iron; Defensive Abilities amorphous; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +17 (1d8+6/19–20 plus grab), 3 tentacles +14 (1d6+3 plus babbling affliction, grab, and pull)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (15 ft. with tentacles)
Special Attacks blood rage, constrict (claws only, 1d6+6), pull (tentacle, 5 ft.), roving tentacles
STATISTICS
Str 22, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 7, Wis 16, Cha 12
Base Atk +11; CMB +18 (+22 grapple); CMD 30
Feats Dazzling Display, Deadly FinishUC, Gory FinishUC, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (claw), Multiattack, Skill Focus (Intimidate), Weapon Focus (claw)
Skills Escape Artist +20, Intimidate +22, Perception +17, Swim +14; Racial Modifiers +8 Escape Artist
Languages Aklo (can’t speak)
SQ amphibious
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or calamity (3–8)
Treasure incidental
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Babbling Affliction (DC 18) (Su) If a grabbly bear strikes an opponent with a tentacle or manages to hit its target’s touch AC with a tentacle (dealing no damage to the target), the victim must succeed at a DC 18 Will save or begin to babble uncontrollably for 1d6 rounds. An affected victim cannot cast spells with verbal components and cannot use magic items requiring a command word. A creature that makes its save is immune to that grabbly bear’s babbling affliction for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Constrict (Ex) A grabbly bear can only constrict with its claws.
Roving Tentacles (Ex) A grabbly bear takes no penalties on its tentacle attacks while it has an opponent grappled with its claws, and it can make attacks of opportunity with its tentacles.

Grabbly bears (alternatively: squid bears, ursopuses, or squears) are the creations of a mad deity from antiquity or the deity’s powerful minions. The fusion of squid and bear stuck and the creatures bred true. While many sunk beneath the waves to prey on creatures underwater, some remained on dry land to terrorize victims there. Their adaptability to a variety of environments and their spongy bodies make them difficult to avoid or kill. They usually target obvious spellcasters when they open combat to neutralize their greatest threats, by making it impossible for the victims to intone their spells. They then pull prey into their embrace, first by using their tentacles to bring victims closer and then with their claws as they deliver a crushing bear hug. While grabbly bears are moderately intelligent and are capable of tactics on the battlefield, very few of them flee once they join battle. When they die, they unleash a shrieking paean to their sleeping deity.

Powerful aberrant creatures capable of speaking Aklo can exert a modicum of control over grabbly bears, but they usually use this power to direct the creatures to attack their enemies and leave them untouched.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Fur Golem

Hello and welcome to today's Frightful Fridays! I'm drawing ever closer to actually publishing these on Friday. Today's monster was inspired by my friend Vesu Vias, who knows I like cats and freaky images from which I can make monsters. I extended the theme to make this viable for all types of furry creatures to create a golem that also serves as an awful fashion statement.

I hope you enjoy the fur golem. I'll be back again with another monster. Thanks for reading!

(and, because I haven't done it in a while, if you enjoy these monsters, please consider looking at my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FrightfulFridays. $1 per month gets you access to all the monsters early.)




A number of pelts squirm around this living fur coat, which lurches forward with surprising speed.
Fur Golem      CR 7
XP 3,200
N Medium construct
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +1
DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 13, flat-footed 18 (+3 Dex, +8 natural)
hp 75 (10d10+20)
Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +4
DR 10/slashing; Immune construct traits, magic
Weaknesses vulnerability to acid
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +14 (2d6+4 plus grab)
Special Attacks constrict (2d6+4), smother
STATISTICS
Str 19, Dex 17, Con —, Int —, Wis 12, Cha 3
Base Atk +10; CMB +14 (+18 grapple); CMD 27 (can't be tripped)
SQ garment
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Garment (Ex) A Small, Medium, or Large creature capable of controlling a fur golem can wear it as a coat, as it conforms to the creature’s body shape. The wearer gains a natural armor bonus depending on its size (Small +6, Medium +4, Large +2). An attack that hits the wearer splits its damage as follows: damage reduced by the fur golem’s DR is dealt to the wearer and all other damage (including energy damage from magical weapons) is split equally between the wearer and the golem. The wearer and golem each take half damage from damage-dealing spells and effects. The golem provides no protection from non-damaging spells and effects targeting the wearer or including the wearer in the area of effect. A creature can wear a fur golem without armor proficiency, but a worn fur golem acts as masterwork hide armor for the purposes of max Dex bonus (+4), armor check penalty (–2), and arcane spell failure chance (20%).
A worn fur golem can make a slam attack during its wearer’s turn, but it cannot grab or smother foes.
Immunity to Magic (Ex) a fur golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance, with the exception of spells and spell-like abilities that have the acid descriptor, which affect it normally. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.
·       Animal growth affects a fur golem as if it were an animal, and it receives no saving throw. A fur golem affected by animal growth cannot be effectively worn by a Small creature, and the size-based benefits apply to the next larger size (Medium->Large->Huge).
·       Dominate animal allows the caster to act as the golem’s controller for the spell’s duration.
·       Hold animal slows a fur golem for 3 rounds (no saving throw).
·       A magical attack that deals electricity damage breaks any slow effect on the golem and heals 1 point of damage for every 3 points of damage the attack would otherwise deal. If the amount of healing would cause the golem to exceed it full normal hit points, it gains any excess as temporary hit points. A fur golem gets no saving throw against attacks that deal electricity damage.
Smother (Ex) When a fur golem grapples a target, it forms an airtight seal around its prey. A grappled target cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components and must hold its breath, as per the suffocation rules.

Fur golems feature several animal pelts stitched together into a vaguely cloak-like shape. The creations are autonomous, but they can also be worn to provide their creators with protection.

Typical fur golems are 5 feet tall and weigh 200 pounds.

Construction
The fur comprising a fur golem can come from any number of animals, including a single Large animal. For aesthetic purposes, the same species of animal is typically used. Treating the fur for proper animation as a golem requires magical powders and unguents worth at least 1,000 gp.

FUR GOLEM
CL 10th; Price 17,000 gp
CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Construct, dominate animal, limited wish, suffocate, creator must be caster level 10th; Skill Craft (cloth) DC 16; Cost 9,000 gp


Monday, January 23, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Mantis Ray (magical beast edition)

Hello! I received a comment about the mantis ray in the last post asking why it wasn't a magical beast, similarly to the owlbear. My only answer is that I wanted to design it as an animal companion. So, considering that request, I decided to create a magical beast version for the mantis ray. I still couldn't quite get away from making it a companion creature--this time as an improved familiar. I hope this provides you a suitable alternative to the animal version of the mantis ray.

This odd creature is an amalgam of manta ray and praying mantis.
Mantis Ray      CR 2
XP 600
N Medium magical beast (aquatic)
Init +6; Senses blindsense 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +5
DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 22 (3d10+6)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +2
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee 2 claws +5 (1d3+2 plus grab), tail slap +5 (1d4+2)
Special Attacks decapitating bite, pounce
STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 1, Wis 13, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +5 (+9 grapple); CMD 17 (25 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Acrobatics)
Skills Acrobatics +9 (+13 when jumping), Perception +5, Stealth +6, Swim +10; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics when jumping
SQ amphibious, camouflage
ECOLOGY
Environment any aquatic and shorelines
Organization solitary, pair, or flight (3–12)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Camouflage (Ex) A mantis ray can take a full-round action, which incurs attacks of opportunity, to bury itself in loose sand or soil, granting itself a +8 circumstance bonus to Stealth checks. It can charge from its hiding spot, but its base speed is reduced by 10 feet.
Decapitating Bite (Ex) If a mantis ray begins its turn grappling an opponent, it can make a free bite attack against that opponent. The bite deals 1d6 (plus Strength modifier) points of damage and has a critical threat range of 17-20. If the mantis ray confirms the critical with its bite attack, the victim must succeed at a DC 13 Fortitude save or lose its head, and die if it requires its head to survive. The save DC is Strength-based.

A 7th-level neutral spellcaster (or one with the aquatic subtype) with the Improved Familiar feat can gain a mantis ray as a familiar.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Mantis Ray

Hello and welcome back for this week's Frightful Fridays! monster...not on Friday. This week's monster is another weirdo mashup, but I thought they component creatures worked well. The praying mantis parts grab hold of a victim, allowing the mouth on the manta's underside to chomp down on the victim's head. Fun!

I hope you enjoy the mantis ray, and I'll see you next time with another monster. Thanks for reading!



This odd creature is an amalgam of manta ray and praying mantis.
Mantis Ray      CR 2
XP 600
N Medium animal (aquatic)
Init +6; Senses blindsense 30 ft., low-light vision; Perception +5
DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 22 (3d8+9)
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +2
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee 2 claws +4 (1d3+2 plus grab), tail slap +4 (1d4+2)
Special Attacks decapitating bite, pounce
STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 1, Wis 13, Cha 8
Base Atk +2; CMB +4 (+8 grapple); CMD 16 (24 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Acrobatics)
Skills Acrobatics +9 (+13 when jumping), Perception +5, Stealth +6, Swim +10; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics when jumping
SQ amphibious, camouflage
ECOLOGY
Environment any aquatic and shorelines
Organization solitary, pair, or flight (3–12)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Camouflage (Ex) A mantis ray can take a full-round action, which incurs attacks of opportunity, to bury itself in loose sand or soil, granting itself a +8 circumstance bonus to Stealth checks. It can charge from its hiding spot, but its base speed is reduced by 10 feet.
Decapitating Bite (Ex) If a mantis ray begins its turn grappling an opponent, it can make a free bite attack against that opponent. The bite deals 1d6 (plus Strength modifier) points of damage and has a critical threat range of 17-20. If the mantis ray confirms the critical with its bite attack, the victim must succeed at a DC 13 Fortitude save or lose its head, and die if it requires its head to survive. The save DC is Strength-based.

The horrific experiments pairing a manta ray and a praying mantis have been lost to the mists of time, but the resultant creatures have proven fruitful enough to plague waterways and beaches since then. Mantis rays can survive outside the water for long periods of time and have adapted their hunting techniques to use the beach to hide themselves from potential prey until they leap to the attack. Fortunately, their awkward body shapes make it difficult to employ their lethal bites from their undersides. Once they have ensnared victims in their claws, though, they can maneuver the prey into position where they can behead the prey with razor-sharp teeth.

MANTIS RAY COMPANION
This bizarre creature can be taken as an animal companion.

Starting Statistics: Size Small; Speed 20 ft., swim 40 ft.; Attack 2 claws (1d2 plus grab), tail slap (1d3); Ability Scores Str 10, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 1, Wis 13, Cha 8; SQ amphibious, camouflage, low-light vision.

7th-Level Advancement: Size Medium; Speed 30 ft., swim 40 ft.; Attack 2 claws (1d3 plus grab), tail slap (1d4); Ability Scores Str +4, Dex –2, Con +2; Special Attacks decapitating bite; SQ +4 Acrobatics when jumping, blindsense 30 ft.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Commanding Crown

Hello and welcome to a new week of Frightful Fridays! I had this one ready to go, but then I got distracted by snow. Six inches of snow (which is a lot for this area, recently) later and it's looking quite nice. So, of course, this week's monster is not snow related. Instead, I have an illustration from Remy Nyx, who wanted a monster made from it. The result is the commanding crown, which only wishes to drop onto someone's head and encourage mild megalomania.

I hope you enjoy the commanding crown, and I'll be back next week with something else. Thanks for reading!


This gem-studded golden crown glows with an inner light and floats gently at a height roughly equal to a standing human’s head.
Commanding Crown      CR 12
XP 19,200
NE Tiny aberration
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +23
DEFENSE
AC 27, touch 17, flat-footed 22 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 natural, +2 size)
hp 144 (17d8+68)
Fort +9, Ref +11, Will +14
Defensive Abilities constructed, hardness 10; Immune cold, electricity; Resist fire 10; SR 20
OFFENSE
Speed 5 ft., fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee slam +18 (1d2–4 plus adhesive)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks adhesive, mental domination, subjugating shock
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 17th; concentration +21)
   Constant—magic aura (to radiate a strong aura of enchantment)
   3/day—quickened murderous commandUM (DC 17), mass charm person (DC 21), suggestion (DC 19)
   1/day—dominate person (DC 21), envious urgeUM (DC 22), feeblemind (DC 21), greater command (DC 21), mass hold person (DC 22)
STATISTICS
Str 2, Dex 19, Con 18, Int 17, Wis 18, Cha 19
Base Atk +12; CMB +14 (+26 grapple); CMD 21 (can't be tripped)
Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (murderous command), Skill Focus (Bluff), Spell Focus (enchantment), Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +27, Fly +20, Knowledge (arcana) +20, Knowledge (local) +13, Knowledge (nobility) +13, Perception +23, Sense Motive +21, Spellcraft +20, Stealth +19, Use Magic Device +20
Languages Aklo, Common, Draconic, Dwarven; telepathy 120 ft.
SQ valuable corpse
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure double (see valuable corpse)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Adhesive (Ex) The inside of a commanding crown is lined with a powerful adhesive. When it successfully strikes a target, it gains a free attempt to grapple the target without provoking attacks of opportunity. The adhesive gives it a +12 racial bonus on grapple checks and allows it to grapple without gaining the grappled condition. Strong alcohol or universal solvent dissolves the adhesive for 1d4 rounds as the crown exudes more.
Constructed (Ex) Although a commanding crown is a living creature, its body functions in many ways as a construct. For the purposes of effects targeting creatures by type, the crown counts as both an aberration and a construct. It is immune to death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects, necromancy effects, paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects, or is harmless). The crown is not subject to nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain. It is not at risk of death from massive damage. It has bonus hit points as a construct of its size. A commanding crown is destroyed when reduced to 0 hp or less.
Mental Domination (Su) If a commanding crown begins its turn grappling a humanoid, it can attempt to bend that creature’s will as a standard action. If the grappled humanoid fails a DC 22 Will save, it falls under the crown’s influence, as per dominate person. The save DC is Charisma-based.
A creature under the crown’s control benefits from the crown’s spell resistance, energy resistances and immunities, and the immunities provided by the crown’s construction special ability. The crown operates independently of the controlled creature.
Subjugating Shock (Su) Once every 1d6 rounds, a commanding crown can unleash a blast of lightning that deals 8d6 electricity damage to all creatures in a 30-foot radius (DC 22 Reflex halves). Creatures taking damage must attempt an additional Reflex save (with a +4 bonus for creatures making the initial save) to avoid becoming stunned for 1 round.
Valuable Corpse (Ex) Precious metals and valuable gems comprising a commanding crown are worth twice the value in treasure for the crown’s CR. Additionally, by placing the crown on its head, a creature can use the crown’s remaining spell-like abilities.

Imperious relatives to mimics, commanding crowns have locked themselves into a specific shape, but one they use to likewise fool victims. Whereas mimics seek to kill for sport, commanding crowns enjoy asserting control over dupes and using them to kill others. Commanding crowns attempt to appear like intelligent magic items capable of granting enchantment spells, and they speak telepathically to their chosen targets with promises of power. If necessary, they use their suggestion spell-like ability to encourage victims to place them on their heads. Once the crowns have claimed their subjects, they gather allies using their spell-like abilities to build armies and foment war against an imagined enemy. Once their carefully cultivated wars have begun, they slip off their subjects’ heads and float away to witness the carnage from afar.

Commanding crowns easily recognize other commanding crowns, which they throroughly despise. The creatures force their proxies to fight each other and have the victor destroy the opposing crown before it can claim another subject.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Needlesphere

Happy New Year and welcome back to Frightful Fridays! (not actually on Friday this week) The new year starts with a ball of needles which bounces around and treats characters as its pincushions. It then flies apart into a veritable swarm of needles to get up close and stabby.

I hope you enjoy the needlesphere, and I'll see you later this week with another monster. Thanks for reading!


A cohesive ball of needles rolls of its own accord. Painfully sharp needles, dripping with a viscous red fluid, fly from the mass.
Needlesphere      CR 11
XP 12,800
N Large construct
Init +9; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +9
DEFENSE
AC 27, touch 15, flat-footed 21 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +12 natural, –1 size)
hp 112 (15d10+30)
Fort +5, Ref +12, Will +6
Defensive Abilities needle defense; DR 10/bludgeoning and magic; Immune construct traits; Resist cold 10, fire 10
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee slam +18 (4d6+4 plus pain and poison)
Ranged 4 needles +19 (1d6+4 and poison)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks autonomous attacks, poison
STATISTICS
Str 18, Dex 21, Con —, Int —, Wis 13, Cha 5
Base Atk +15; CMB +20; CMD 36 (can't be tripped)
Feats DodgeB, Improved InitiativeB, Lightning ReflexesB, MobilityB, Spring AttackB
Skills Perception +9; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
SQ camouflage, needleswarm form
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Autonomous Attacks (Ex) A needlesphere can make ranged needle attacks as part of a full attack or when it uses Spring Attack.
Camouflage (Ex) Since a needlesphere looks like a pile of needles when at rest, a DC 20 Perception check is required to notice it before it attacks for the first time. Anyone with ranks in Knowledge (dungeoneering) can use this skill instead of Perception to notice the creature.
Needle Defense (Ex) Any creature that strikes a needlesphere with a non-reach melee weapon, unarmed strike, or natural weapon takes 1d6+4 points of piercing damage from the needlesphere’s needles, suffers from the creature’s pain attack, and is subject to the creature’s poison.
Needles (Ex) A needlesphere’s needles have a range increment of 20 feet. If the sphere is reduced to 50 or fewer hp, it can no longer make ranged attacks.
Needleswarm Form (Ex) On command or when a needlesphere drops to 30 or fewer hp, it reverts to a swarm of needles (refer to the statblock below). The needleswarm has the needlesphere’s current hp or the needleswarm’s listed hp, whichever is lower.
Pain (Ex) A foe hurt by a needlesphere’s slam attack or needle defense must succeed at a DC 22 Reflex save or a needle breaks off in its flesh, causing the target to become sickened until all embedded needles are removed. Removing a needle requires a DC 15 Heal check made as a full-round action. For every 5 by which the check is exceeded, one additional needle can be removed. On a failed check, the needle is still removed, but this deals 1d6+4 points of damage to the victim. The save DC is Dexterity-based.
Needlesphere Poison (Ex) Needle or slam—injury; save Fort DC 17; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 Dex; cure 2 consecutive saves.
Slam (Ex) A needlesphere’s slam attacks deal bludgeoning and piercing damage.

A cloud of needles swirls around a tiny core of metal. Each needle glows red as if it was just pulled from a fire.
Needleswarm      CR 11
XP 12,800
N Fine construct (swarm)
Init +9; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +9
DEFENSE
AC 26, touch 24, flat-footed 20 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 natural, +8 size)
hp 97 (15d10+15)
Fort +5, Ref +12, Will +6
Defensive Abilities swarm traits; Immune construct traits; Resist cold 10, fire 10
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (perfect)
Melee swarm (3d6 plus 2d6 fire, distraction, pain, and poison)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 17), poison
STATISTICS
Str 1, Dex 21, Con —, Int —, Wis 13, Cha 5
Base Atk +15; CMB —; CMD
Feats DodgeB, Improved InitiativeB, Lightning ReflexesB, MobilityB, ToughnessB
Skills Fly +21, Perception +9; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Pain (Ex) A foe hurt by a needleswarm’s swarm attack must succeed at a DC 22 Reflex save or a needle breaks off in its flesh, causing the target to become sickened until all embedded needles are removed. Removing a needle requires a DC 15 Heal check made as a full-round action. For every 5 by which the check is exceeded, one additional needle can be removed. On a failed check, the needle is still removed, but this deals 1d6 points of damage to the victim. The save DC is Dexterity-based.
Needlesphere Poison (Ex) Swarm—injury; save Fort DC 17; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 Dex; cure 2 consecutive saves.

Needlespheres are odd golem-like constructs created to serve particularly sadistic spellcasters who can afford them. Like many lesser golems, needlespheres are programmed to guard an object or area when created; this programming typically cannot be changed after creation. The spheres have two basic forms: a densely compact sphere with the ability to fire individual needles at multiple targets, and a loose collection of needles capable of swarming targets. The magnetic energy holding the swarm form together generates friction among the needles, causing them to superheat and burn targets caught in the swarm.

Construction
A needlesphere is created from 1,000 pounds of individual masterwork needles and a chunk of magnetic ore costing a total of 5,500 gp.

Needlesphere
CL 9th; Price 45,500 gp
CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Construct, lead blades, lesser geas, poison, summon swarm, caster must be at least 11th level; Skill Craft (sculpting) DC 20; Cost 25,500 gp