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
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 22 (3d8+9)
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +2
Speed 30 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee 2 claws +4 (1d3+2 plus grab), tail slap +4 (1d4+2)
Special Attacks decapitating bite, pounce
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
Environment any aquatic and shorelines
Organization solitary, pair, or flight (3–12)
Treasure none
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.

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.


  1. Why oh why isn't this a magical beast like the owlbear?

  2. I was wavering between the two choices, and it ultimately came down to creating an animal companion.