Sunday, October 15, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Monster Mayhem! Byway Crab

Welcome back to the Frightful Fridays! fifth anniversary celebration. Today's monster is nicer than the previous two, generally speaking, and may find itself helping out PCs on a temporary basis. The byway crab governs planar travel and stops abuses of it, so most of the time it will not run into PCs as an antagonist.

See you tomorrow with another one. Thanks for reading!

The air warps around this pink and purple crab and reveals alien vistas.
Byway Crab      CR 14
XP 38,400
N Tiny outsider (extraplanar)
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +22
Aura travel lockdown (30 ft., DC 23)
AC 29, touch 25, flat-footed 22 (+6 deflection, +6 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural, +2 size)
hp 207 (18d10+108)
Fort +12, Ref +17, Will +16
Defensive Abilities dimensional grace; DR 15/unaligned
Speed 15 ft., climb 15 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +17 (1d3–3 plus attach)
Space 2–1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks word substitution
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18th; concentration +22)
   At will—dimension door, planar adaptation[APG]
   3/day—banishment (DC 21), greater dispel magic, plane shift (DC 21), quickened dimension door
   1/day—astral projection, blasphemy (DC 22), dictum (DC 22), etherealness, gate, holy word (DC 22), overland flight, shadow walk (DC 20), word of chaos (DC 22)
Str 4, Dex 23, Con 22, Int 19, Wis 21, Cha 18
Base Atk +18; CMB +22 (+26 grapple); CMD 36 (44 vs. trip)
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Combat Casting, Dimensional Agility[UC], Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (dimension door), Skill Focus (Knowledge [planes]), Spell Focus (evocation)
Skills Bluff +25, Climb +14, Diplomacy +22, Disable Device +22, Escape Artist +27, Knowledge (arcana) +25, Knowledge (planes) +31, Linguistics +11, Perception +22, Sense Motive +22, Spellcraft +25, Stealth +22, Survival +22, Swim +14
Languages Abyssal, Aquan, Auran, Celestial, Common, Ignan, Infernal, Terran
SQ dimensional grace
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or hub (3–12)
Treasure none
Damage Reduction 15/unaligned (Su) A byway crab reduces damage from melee attacks by creatures with chaotic, evil, good, or lawful subtypes and reduces damage from aligned manufactured weapons.
Dimensional Grace (Su) A byway crab is immune to dimensional anchor, dimensional lock, and spells or effects that force it to undertake extradimensional travel. It can choose to suppress this immunity as a free action.
Travel Lockdown Aura (Su) A byway crab’s travel lockdown aura acts as dimensional lock and ghostbane dirge. However, a creature succeeding at a DC 23 Will save when attempting a spell or effect barred by dimensional lock has a 50% chance for the spell or effect to work properly. The byway crab is not subject to its own aura.
Word Substitution (Sp) A byway crab can sacrifice a use of its blasphemy, dictum, holy word, or word of chaos spell-like abilities to substitute for one of the other spell-like abilities.

Byway crabs were originally unobtrusive vermin feeding on planar detritus as they bounced around the planes. The creatures possessed an inherent gift for acclimating to even the most hostile planes and would often tag along with all sorts of creatures as they travelled through the multiverse. Gradually, the crabs gained sentience as they lived longer and strange planar energies mutated them. As they became more aware of their place in the planar landscape, they gathered together and deliberately chose where they voyaged. They witnessed brutal warfare and all manner of creatures, regardless of ethos or morality, use the Material Plane as their staging ground for these wars and bring death and destruction to innocents with no awareness of realities beyond their own. After witnessing the utter obliteration of a world, byway crabs decided they would police travel among the planes and prevent outsider armies from using unaware worlds as their warfronts. Ironically, the byway crabs managed to bring various warring factions together to eliminate them and many fled to the backwaters they vowed to protect. The scattered creatures work independently to protect their worlds and shut down planar travel where they can. They also use their gifts to grant powerful adventurers access to planes to take the fight to outsiders as their proxies. However, they are drawn to those who abuse planar travel and seek to force them to cease opening portals to other planes.

A typical byway crab measures 7 inches in diameter and weighs a mere 5 pounds. IF allowed to reach its natural lifespan, it can live nearly a millennium.

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