Monday, October 2, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Monster Mayhem! Kairuku

Welcome back to day two of the fifth-anniversary celebration for Frightful Fridays! Today's monster is the CR 1 kairuku, a massive penguin with a razor-sharp beak. It also makes for a nice animal companion, especially for northern or water-based campaigns. Plus, it's a penguin, and (IMHO) penguins are cool.

I hope you enjoy the kairuku, and I'll see you tomorrow with another monster.

This penguin stands almost five feet tall. Its long beak has serrated edges.
Kairuku      CR 1
XP 400
N Medium animal
Init +0; Senses low-light vision; Perception +6
AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 12 (+2 natural)
hp 15 (2d8+6)
Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +1
Defensive Abilities stability; Resist cold 5
Speed 20 ft., swim 60 ft.
Melee bite +3 (1d6+3 plus grab)
Special Attacks serrated beak
Str 15, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +3 (+5 bull rush, +7 grapple); CMD 13 (19 vs. bull rush, 17 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Bull RushB, Power Attack
Skills Perception +6, Stealth +0 (+8 when underwater), Swim +10; Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth when underwater
SQ hold breath
Environment cold coastlines
Organization solitary, pair, or colony (3–16)
Treasure none
Hold Breath (Ex) A kairuku can hold its breath for a number of minutes equal to 4 times its Constitution score before it risks drowning.
Serrated Beak (Ex) If a kairuku succeeds at a combat maneuver check to maintain a grapple, it adds twice its Strength modifier to its bite damage.
Stability (Ex) A kairuku has a +4 racial bonus to CMD against bull rush and trip attempts while standing on ground. Additionally, it moves across icy surfaces without penalty, and it gains a +8 racial bonus on Acrobatics checks to run or charge on ice.

Kairukus are prehistoric forebears to modern-day penguins but still exist in more remote arctic locales. They are expert hunters which can take on moderate sized sharks and even humans who encroach on their territories. They either attack by latching onto prey and gnawing it with their serrated beaks or by pushing foes into water where they gain an advantage, especially over landbound foes. They have a thick layer of blubber which gives them protection from physical blows and the cold typical of the open seacoasts where they hunt. Despite their height relative to everyday penguins, they have a low center of gravity, and their webbed feet provide them surety on icy surfaces.

A typical kairuku stands at 4 feet, 9 inches, and it weighs 150 pounds.

Kairuku Animal Companions
Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 20 ft., swim 60 ft.; AC +1 natural armor; Attack bite (1d6); Ability Scores Str 13, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 8; Special Qualities low-light vision, hold breath, stability.

4th-Level Advancement: AC +1 natural armor; Ability Scores Str +2, Dex –2, Con +2; Special Qualities cold resistance 5, grab, serrated beak.


  1. Being a fan of megafauna and other prehistoric beasts (I used several in place of modern counterparts in my homebrew world) I really like this.