Friday, June 15, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Glacier Bulette

Hello and welcome back to Frightful Fridays! As implied (or promised or threatened) earlier, I had more elemental bulettes in my mind after working on the stone bulette. The glacier bulette is essentially a massive shell of ice surrounding an extremely large bulette specimen. Of course, as a creature with the cold subtype, it has vulnerability to fire, but using fire to defeat this bulette might be more dangerous than not, since it gains quite a bit of momentum when temporarily freed from its icy shell.

I hope you enjoy the glacier bulette. I'll be back next week with another monster!

This towering iceberg stands on four legs. Icy spikes protrude from its hide, and chunks of ice calve from its body at random intervals.
Glacier Bulette      CR 12
XP 19,200
N Colossal magical beast (cold)
Init 3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft. (120 ft. on ice); Perception +14
AC 27, touch 1, flat-footed 27 (3 Dex, +28 natural, 8 size)
hp 168 (16d10+80); fast healing 5 (while standing on ice or snow or in wintry precipitation)
Fort +15, Ref +7, Will +11
Defensive Abilities impenetrable hide; DR 10/—; Immune cold
Weaknesses vulnerability to fire
Speed 20 ft., burrow 20 ft. (40 ft. through ice and snow only); ice glide, icewalking
Melee bite +22 (3d8+19/1920 plus grab), 2 claws +21 (2d6+13)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 20 ft.
Special Attacks ice spray, savage bite, swallow whole (6d6 cold damage, AC 24, 16 hp), trample (6d6+19, DC 31)
Str 37, Dex 5, Con 20, Int 2, Wis 19, Cha 10
Base Atk +16; CMB +37 (+39 bull rush, +41 grapple); CMD 44 (46 vs. bull rush, 48 vs. trip)
Feats Awesome Blow, Crippling Critical[APG], Critical Focus, Dazzling Display, Improved Bull Rush, Intimidating Prowess, Iron Will, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Climb +17, Intimidate +20, Perception +14, Stealth -19 (-3 in icy conditions), Swim +17; Racial Modifiers +16 Stealth in icy conditions
Environment any cold
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none
Ice Glide (Ex) A burrowing glacier bulette can pass through nonmagical ice and snow as easily as a fish swims through water. Its burrowing leaves behind no tunnel or hole, nor does it create any ripple or other sign of its presence. A control water spell cast on an area containing a burrowing bulette flings the bulette back 30 feet, stunning the creature for 1 round, unless it succeeds on a DC 15 Fortitude save.
Ice Spray (Ex) As a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a glacier bulette can shake loose icy spikes it has accumulated on its body. All creatures within 30 feet of the bulette take 12d6 points of cold and piercing damage (Reflex DC 23 halves). Creatures that take attacks of opportunity do not receive Reflex saves to avoid the damage. The save DC is Constitution-based.
A glacier bulette can only use this ability once per day, but if it stands on ice or snow or is in wintry precipitation, it regains the use of this ability after 1d6+1 rounds.
Icewalking (Ex) This ability works like the spider climb spell, but the surfaces a glacier bulette climbs must be icy. The bulette can move across icy surfaces without penalty and doesn’t need to make Acrobatics checks to run or charge on ice.
Impenetrable Hide (Ex) The ice forming a glacier bulette’s outer shell grants it considerable protection. It gains DR 10/. When the bulette must attempt a Reflex save to avoid taking energy damage, other than fire damage, from an area of effect spell or effect, it makes a Fortitude save instead; if it succeeds on the Fortitude save, it takes no damage, and if it fails it takes half damage). Finally, when targeted by a ranged spell or effect with a single target, the spell or effect has a 50% chance of deflecting off the bulette. If the bulette has an attack of opportunity remaining, it can deflect the spell or effect back to its source.
If a glacier bulette takes at least 40 points of fire damage in one round, it reduces all the benefits of its impenetrable hide (DR 5/, 25% chance of deflecting a single-target spell or effect, takes full damage on a failed Fortitude save) until the end of its next turn. If the bulette takes at least 80 points of fire damage in one round, it loses all benefits of its impenetrable hide until the end of its next turn.
Savage Bite (Ex) A glacier bulette applies 11/2 times its Strength modifier to damage inflicted with its bite attack, and threatens a critical hit on a 1920.
Vulnerability to Fire (Ex) If a glacier bulette takes 40 points of fire damage in a round, it gains the benefits of the haste spell for 1 round. The duration of this benefit increases by 1 round for every 20 additional points of fire damage the bulette takes that round. If the bulette takes fire damage while hasted in subsequent rounds, any additional duration overlaps with rather than adds to the current duration.

Glacier bulettes enjoy their lonely existences in the polar regions of the world where they charge at ancient glaciers to bring avalanches down upon themselves. They are cantankerous at best when other creatures intrude on their solitude, and, while they have animal intelligence, they instinctively know to bury themselves in snow and ice to launch surprise attacks on their foes. Despite their massive size, they are ponderous creatures and move almost as slowly as their namesakes. When fire melts their dense icy hides, though, their speed increases drastically, and they use this increased speed to charge at and crush opposition.

Glacier bulettes stand 30 feet tall, measure 40 feet from snout to tail, and weigh 10 tons. Their slow metabolisms help guarantee some longevity, with the oldest bulettes reaching 500 years of age.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Triangulene

Hello and welcome back for another edition of Frightful Fridays! This week's monster is a strange two-dimension being which can inflict some pain on its 3-D foes. The triangulene also introduces some weird effects, centered around the number 3. Hopefully, using this monster will not cause math anxiety, especially when it comes to applying damage reduction and resistances.

If you decide to inflict one (or three) of these on your players, I'd love to hear about it. I'll see you next week with another monster. Thanks for reading!

This bronze, equilateral triangle fades in and out of view as its two-dimensionality renders it invisible from certain viewpoints.
Triangulene      CR 9
XP 6,600
N Medium construct (extraplanar)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 30 ft.; Perception +9
Defensive Abilities 3vasion
AC 24, touch 15, flat-footed 18 (+5.1 Dex, +9 natural)
hp 99 (12d10+33)
Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +6
DR 9/adamantine, slashing, and two-dimensional; Immune construct traits; Resist acid 9, cold 12, electricity 21, fire 15
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 3 slams +18 (3d6+3/18/x3 plus 3d3 bleed)
Special Attacks unlink
Str 15, Dex 21, Con —, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +12; CMB +15; CMD 30
Feats Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perception), Toughness, Weapon Fin3sse, Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Acrobatics +15, Disguise +3, Escape Artist +9, Perception +9, Stealth +15; Racial Modifiers +6 Acrobatics, +3 Escape Artist, +9 Stealth
SQ tripartite enforcement, two-dimensional
Languages Flatlander, Triangulene
Environment any (flatland dimension)
Organization solitary or trio
Treasure none
Tripartite Enforcement (Ex) An attack roll results in a success against a triangulene when the d20 roll is divisible by 3 (a 20 is an automatic miss). The attack roll must also be an 18 on the d20 (which is always an automatic hit against the triangulene), or the roll must equal or exceed the triangulene’s Armor Class. The above restrictions apply as well to confirming critical threats against the triangulene. Damage dealt to the triangulene is reduced to the nearest multiple of 3 (this ability applies after reducing damage for a successful save).
When a triangulene attacks, it receives 3 d20s and chooses the best result; it must also roll a number divisible by 3 on its attack roll to ensure a successful attack against a target. A roll of 18 on the d20 is an automatic hit against its target. The triangulene’s damage increases to the nearest multiple of 3. Likewise, when it inflicts bleed damage, the bleed damage increases to the nearest multiple of 3.
Two-Dimensional (Ex) A triangulene’s two-dimensionality makes it effectively invisible from beyond 60 feet. Additionally, it can position itself as a swift action to make itself invisible to all creatures in a 30-foot cone. This form of invisibility cannot be detected with see invisibility or true seeing.
Unlink (Ex) As a move action, a triangulene can unlink its three sides to become a line. This renders it invisible to all creatures (this invisibility also cannot be detected with see invisibility or true seeing) and increases its reach to 15 feet, but it can only make a single slam attack which deals piercing damage on its turn. It can return to its normal form as a move action.

Triangulenes hail from an alternate plane of existence where everything exists in two dimensions. When the triangulenes’ flatland dimension suffered an accidental incursion from a three-dimensional plane, the inhabitants were baffled by and fearful of the deific intruders. The plane’s leading arcane researchers realized they had encountered three-dimensional beings for the first time and decided to send a squad of intrepid triangulenes to travel beyond their realm and investigate. Triangulenes try to remain hidden observers, but they resort to violence if nec3ssary. Their strange interactions with multi-dimensional planes afford them several protections they take advantage of against their foes. Communicating with them is possible, but they speak in a strange cadence and employ abstract mathematical concepts in conversation.

Triangulene trios which have spent considerable time in three-dimensional often merge together to form pyrrhamids.

Triangulenes all have three sides measuring 6 feet in length, and they weigh a mere 3 pounds.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Stone Bulette (PLUS: news about a design contest)

Hello, and welcome back for another week of Frightful Fridays!

Before I get to this week's monster, I want to direct your attention to a design contest I'm helping out with. You can find the announcement here: I hope you'll consider entering! I'm looking forward to seeing the community's creativity.

Now for today's monster, which is the stone bulette, a larger and slightly less aggressive relative to the standard bulette. This bulette can only jump in place, but it tends to knock everyone down when it does. It can also launch stones from its stomach with about as much force as cannon fire. If the bulette happens to have swallowed a PC, the poor character may find him- or herself ejected along with the stone.

I hope you enjoy the stone bulette, and I'll see you next week with another monster!

This four-legged stone behemoth stands firmly on the ground beneath it. A rumble akin to a rockslide emanates from its stomach.
Stone Bulette      CR 11
XP 12,800
N Gargantuan magical beast
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +15
AC 25, touch 7, flat-footed 24 (+1 Dex, +18 natural, 4 size)
hp 147 (14d10+70)
Fort +14, Ref +10, Will +10
Defensive Abilities fortification (50%), rockhead; DR 10/—; Immune acid, bleed, petrification
Speed 40 ft., burrow 40 ft.; earth glide
Melee bite +20 (3d6+13/1920 plus grab), 2 claws +19 (2d8+9)
Ranged gut stone +13 (4d6+9)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks gut stone, leap, savage bite, siege bulette, swallow whole (4d6 bludgeoning damage, AC 19, 14 hp), trample (3d6+13, DC 26)
Str 29, Dex 12, Con 20, Int 3, Wis 19, Cha 8
Base Atk +14; CMB +27 (+31 grapple or sunder); CMD 38 (42 vs. bull rush, 40 vs. sunder, 46 vs. trip)
Feats Deadly Finish[UC], Greater Sunder, Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Power Attack, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics +10 (+14 to jump), Perception +15
SQ stability
Environment any land
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure incidental
Gut Stone (Ex) A stone bulette can spit out a rock from its stomach with incredible force. The bulette’s gut stone has a range increment of 60 feet and receives a +2 racial modifier on attack rolls. Creatures swallowed whole when the bulette launches a gut stone must succeed at a DC 22 Reflex save or fly out with the stone, taking damage as if falling for the number of feet the bulette launches the stone.
Alternatively, the bulette can use a specialized gizzard to grind the stone into smaller rocks to create a 30-foot cone that deals 4d6 bludgeoning damage to all creatures caught in the area (Reflex DC 22 for half). This use of the bulette’s gut stone has no effect on creatures it has swallowed whole.
The save DCs are Constitution-based. A stone bulette typically starts an encounter with 4 gut stones. It can take a full-round action to burrow into the ground to replenish its supply, but it cannot use these new gut stones until 1d4 rounds later.
Leap (Ex) A stone bulette can leap in place as a move action, which provokes attacks of opportunity. When it lands, all creatures within 30 feet of it fall prone. Creatures that don’t take attacks of opportunity can attempt a DC 26 Reflex save to remain standing. The save DC is Strength-based.
Rockhead (Ex) A stone bulette has delayed reactions to mind-affecting spells and effects and to the notion it is dying. A mind-affecting spell or effect doesn’t begin to affect the bulette until the beginning of the originating creature’s next turn. At the beginning of the bulette’s turn, it attempts another Will save (if applicable) against any delayed mind-affecting spells or effects.
Additionally, when a stone bulette is brought below 0 hit points but not killed, it can fight on for 1 more round as if disabled. At the end of its next turn, it immediately falls unconscious and begins dying.
Savage Bite (Ex) A stone bulette’s applies 11/2 times its Strength modifier to damage inflicted with its bite attack, and threatens a critical hit on a 1920.
Siege Bulette (Ex) A stone bulette ignores up to 10 points of hardness when damaging objects. If it charges or makes a full attack against an object or structure, it deals double damage.
Stability (Ex) A stone bulette receives a +4 bonus to CMD against bull rush and trip combat maneuvers.

Stone bulettes resulted from further arcane experimentation with the base stock, infusing earth elemental traits into the newer creations. These bulettes move through rock and soil as if it were water and leave faint “ripples” in the ground as signs of imminent attacks.

While stone bulettes are more patient than their terrestrial kin and wait for opportunities to attack, they often enter a frenzied state where they devour everything in their paths. They consume all material they encounter, but prefer stone over metal and flesh. Their strange stomachs shape stone into smooth, weighty rocks with which they can pepper prey from great distances. These bulettes don’t wait long before closing with distant foes as they charge into battle, crushing and swallowing their opponents. Victims unfortunate enough to land in a stone bulette’s stomach find themselves unwitting projectile material when the bulette launches one of its gut stones.

Stone bulettes become especially angered when they come across structures larger than themselves and repeatedly ram these affronts until nothing is left but piles of rubble, which the bulettes usually ingest. Likewise, if a weapon continually penetrates their rocky hide, they focus their attacks on the offending item until they satisfactorily destroy it. Clever tacticians aware of a stone bulette’s hunting grounds can use the beast as an uncontrollable siege weapon, with all the terrible implications of doing so.

A stone bulette typically measures 20 feet from maw to tail and weighs in at a massive 3 tons.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Amber Bear

Hello and welcome back for another Frightful Fridays! Today's monster is a friendly bear who likes to get up close and personal with its prey, mostly by absorbing prey into its mass and then transforming its future food into a solid chunk of amber. The amber bear could also serve as a plot device to introduce a forgotten critter/horror into your campaign.

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

This translucent orange bear seems to have no organs within its mass, but it has several petrified bones floating around.
Amber Bear      CR 8
XP 4,800
N Large animal
Init +3; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +14
AC 20, touch 8, flat-footed 20 (–1 Dex, +12 natural, –1 size)
hp 102 (12d8+48)
Fort +12, Ref +7, Will +9
Defensive Abilities amorphous; DR 10/slashing; Resist acid 5, electricity 5, fire 10
Weaknesses vulnerability to cold
Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +15 (2d6+6 plus grab), 2 claws +15 (2d4+6 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks swallow whole (2d6 bludgeoning damage plus amber petrification, AC 16, 10 hp), trample (2d6+9, DC 22)
Str 23, Dex 8, Con 19, Int 2, Wis 16, Cha 11
Base Atk +9; CMB +16 (+18 drag, +20 grapple); CMD 25 (27 vs. drag, 29 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Drag[APG], Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (bite), Weapon Focus (claw)
Skills Climb +20, Perception +14, Stealth –1 (+7 in forests); Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in forests
SQ compression
Environment temperate or warm forests
Organization solitary, pair, or preserve (3–8)
Treasure incidental
Amber Petrification (Ex) While an amber bear has a creature swallowed whole, the creature must attempt a DC 20 Fortitude save. On the first failure, the victim becomes staggered for 1d4 minutes. On the second failure, the victim becomes immobilized for 1d4 hours. On the third failure, the victim petrifies into a solid piece of amber (as if affected by flesh to stone and requiring similar means to reverse the effect). While an amber bear has a victim swallowed whole, it loses the benefits of compression. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Amorphous (Ex) Critical threats against an amber bear still require a confirmation roll. On a confirmed critical hit, or when applying precision damage, the creature encased within the amber bear takes the extra damage. The bear still takes the base damage from the successful hit.
Trample (Ex) An amber bear can choose to grapple the first creature it successfully tramples. If it begins its next turn with the creature grappled in this way, it can absorb it into its body as if it used swallow whole. it deals no bite damage when it does so.
Vulnerability to Cold (Ex) If an amber bear takes cold damage, it loses the benefits of compression and its amorphous ability (including additional damage dealt to a swallowed creature), and its damage reduction becomes 5/slashing, until the end of its next turn.

Amber bears are prehistoric animals that live in primordial woods verging on the primal world of the fey. They share their homes with evolutionary antecedents to many modern animals and throwbacks with no modern equivalents. The bears hunt animals smaller than themselves, but they do not eat them in a conventional manner. Instead, the bears encase their prey in the semisolid amber composing their bodies. This amber eventually petrifies potential food, which the bears regurgitate and feast on later. Amber bears require very little in the way of nutrients and feed infrequently, so they often carry petrified victims for weeks or months at a time.

Amber bears hate cold and migrate out of temperate forests prior to the onset of wintry weather. If opponents target the bears with spells or effects that deal cold damage, the bears focus their attention on such opponents.

Amber bears live up to 30 years, but they can go into extreme forms of hibernation where they completely solidify (becoming statue-like), which extends their lives indefinitely. Fully grown amber bears weigh between 600 and 700 pounds and are 8 feet in length.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Tavernscourge Blob

Welcome once again to another week of Frightful Fridays! This week's monster grew out of a concept my father shared with me, where the monster was a piece of gum stuck under the table. It became this tavern-dwelling blob with an immense fondness for alcohol, including any coursing through the blood of PCs.

I hope you enjoy the tavernscourge blob, and I'll see you next week with another monster!

This shapeless gray mass, no larger than a typical coin, looks like putty. It smells vaguely of alcohol and the tasteless remains of prechewed food.
Tavernscourge Blob      CR 3
XP 800
N Diminutive ooze
Init +2; Senses sense alcohol, tremorsense 30 ft.; Perception +5
AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +4 size)
hp 32 (5d8+10)
Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +1
Defensive Abilities energy interaction; DR 5/piercing; Immune acid, cold, electricity, fire, ooze traits
Weaknesses vulnerability to sonic
Speed 10 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee slam +9 (1d25 plus attach)
Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks alcohol drain
Str 1, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 3, Wis 11, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +1 (+9 to maintain a grapple); CMD 6 (14 to resist breaking its grapple, can't be tripped)
Feats Great Fortitude, Skill Focus (Stealth), Weapon Finesse
Skills Climb +10, Knowledge (local) +6, Perception +4, Stealth +17; Racial Modifiers +8 Knowledge (local)
SQ agglutinant
Environment any land (taverns and inns)
Organization solitary or buzzkill (28)
Treasure incidental
Agglutinant (Ex) A tavernscourge blob gains a +8 racial modifier to CMB checks to maintain a grapple and to its CMD to resist a creature breaking its grapple. Additionally, it can take a move action to attach small objects (no larger than a coin) to itself; this grants it a +2 armor bonus to AC, but slows its base and climb speeds to 5 feet. Removing an object requires a standard action.
Alcohol Drain (Ex) Within a container of alcohol, a tavernscourge blob converts one pint of alcohol into water as it absorbs the alcohol. For each pint it absorbs, it gains 5 temporary hit points (which last for 1 minute). If it absorbs four pints of alcohol, it splits into two tavernscourge blobs, each with half the original blob’s hit points at the time it split.
When attached to a creature, it removes the effects of one pint of alcohol from the creature, which must also make a DC 14 Fortitude save or take 1 point of Constitution damage. If the creature has no alcohol in its system, it takes 1 point of Constitution damage and it must make a DC 14 Fortitude save or take an additional point of Constitution damage. For each point of Constitution damage inflicted, the blob gains temporary hit points and splits into two blobs as above. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Attach (Ex) When a tavernscourge blob attaches itself to a creature, and until it deals Constitution damage with its alcohol drain ability, the creature only notices the blob with a successful DC 16 Perception check. The check DC is Dexterity-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.
Energy Interaction (Ex) A tavernscourge blob is immune to acid, cold, electricity, and fire, but it has unusual reactions to energy types to which it is exposed. If subject to cold damage, it gains a +2 natural armor bonus to AC and its base and climb speeds are reduced to 5 feet. If subject to fire damage, it gains the effects of haste and loses its damage reduction. If subject to electricity damage, its slam attack deals 1d4 points of electricity damage for the following round; if it is attached to a creature at the beginning of its turn, it deals the electricity damage if it maintains its grapple.
Sense Alcohol (Ex) A tavernscourge blob can immediately sense the presence of alcohol in closed containers or within creatures in a 60-foot radius as if by scent. This range increases to 300 feet for exposed alcohol.

Tavernscourge blobs were alchemical creations meant to scrub alcohol from the bloodstream or from drinks, but their interactions with alcohol awoke a bizarre intelligence and an overwhelming desire for the substance. Their initial attempts to obtain their favorite drink caused them to drain the blood of their victims. They eventually came to a dim understanding that “riding” potential victims to locations with alcohol would prove more rewarding. When they arrived upon travelers at taverns, they hopped off and attached themselves to the underside of tables. There, they could absorb alcohol into their masses in secret, often cleaning up spills created by rowdy drinkers.

Tavernscourge blobs are typically content with the amount of alcohol they take in this manner, but occasionally, an overwhelming desire for drink overtakes them and they destroy kegs and kill patrons in their zeal. Worse, the more alcohol they absorb in these frenzies, the more blobs they create, exacerbating the situation.

Calmer oozes learn about their establishments’ “regulars,” often so they can attach themselves to outsiders to make trips to other taverns. By plying these oozes with alcohol and working out a way to communicate with them, creatures can gather information about the conversations and goings-on at the locations hosting the oozes.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Encasing Snail

Hello and welcome back for another Frightful Fridays! This week's monster throws shells at PCs, entrapping them within the shells which then dissolve their victims into goo. It's fun! (at least for GMs)

I hope you enjoy the encasing snail. A new monster will be here to greet you next week!

This massive snail has a bright pink foot and several mottled-brown shells which fit loosely on its back. The shells rattle as the snail moves.
Encasing Snail      CR 7
XP 3,200
N Large magical beast
Init 2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +11
AC 21, touch 7, flat-footed 21 (2 Dex, +14 natural, 1 size)
hp 85 (9d10+36)
Fort +10, Ref +4, Will +8
DR 20/bludgeoning; Immune acid; Resist cold 20, electricity 20, fire 20
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee slam +14 (3d6+9/1920 plus adhesive)
Ranged shell +6 (2d6+9 or shelling)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks adhesive, shelling, trample (3d6+9, DC 20)
Str 23, Dex 6, Con 18, Int 3, Wis 16, Cha 7
Base Atk +9; CMB +16 (+18 bull rush or drag); CMD 24 (26 vs. bull rush and drag, can't be tripped)
Feats Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (slam), Improved Drag[APG], Iron Will, Power Attack
Skills Climb +19, Perception +11, Swim +19
SQ flexible tread
Environment any temperate or warm land
Organization solitary, pair, or cluster (312)
Treasure incidental
Adhesive (Ex) An encasing snail automatically grapples any creature it hits with its slam attack. Opponents so grappled cannot get free while the snail is alive without removing the adhesive first. A weapon that strikes the snail is stuck fast unless the wielder succeeds on a DC 18 Reflex save. A successful DC 18 Strength check is needed to pry off a stuck weapon. Acid or universal solvent dissolves the adhesive, but the snail can still grapple normally. The snail can dissolve its adhesive as a swift action; the acidic material it uses deals 4d6 acid damage to a grappled creature (DC 18 Reflex for half). The adhesive also breaks down 1 minute after the creature dies. The save and check DCs are Constitution-based.
Flexible Tread (Ex) An encasing snail ignores difficult terrain.
Shelling (Ex) As a standard action, an encasing snail can fire one of its shells; it can fire a number of shells equal to twice its Constitution modifier (typically 8 times). This attack has a 30-foot range increment and a maximum range of 180 feet. The snail targets the center of a 10-foot-by-10-foot square (AC 5) with this attack. Any creatures fully within the area where the shell lands must succeed on a DC 18 Reflex save or become trapped within the shell; on a successful save, creatures move to a space adjacent to the shell. The shell has AC 17, hardness 5, and 8 hp, and is immune to acid damage. At the beginning of the snail’s turn, creatures trapped within a shell take 3d6 points of acid damage (DC 18 Fortitude for half). The save DCs are Constitution-based.
For every 2 shells the snail uses, its DR and resistances are reduced by 5. Additionally, its natural armor bonus to AC is reduced by 1. It also gains a +2 circumstance bonus to its Dexterity (this effectively maintains its AC, but improves its touch AC by 1 and reduces its flat-footed AC by 1). Finally, its base speed increases by 5 feet.
An encasing snail can reattach a shell as a full-round action. This restores one of the uses of this ability.

Encasing snails were once ordinary specimens that underwent magical and alchemical tinkering to increase their size, improve their adhesive properties, and produce a bizarre method of attack. All encasing snails are carnivores and use their shells to ensnare prey and dissolve it, so the snails can ingest the remaining slurry. Their shells are held together loosely by the same adhesive they secrete from their feet. The snails produce a burst of air which loosens and ejects the outermost shell. They can target a shell’s landing spot with surprising refinement. While they primarily use their launched shells to encase prey, they also use their shells to directly harm foes, usually those who regularly manage to avoid or escape the encasement.

An encasing snail measures 12 feet in length, is 8 feet tall, and weighs 450 pounds. A typical specimen lives up to 80 years.

Variant Encasing Snails
The snails’ creators made modifications to the snails to capture rather than destroy prey, as well as to target incorporeal prey or prey with teleportation abilities. 
Anesthetizing Encasing Snail (CR +0): Anesthetizing encasing snails are identical to ordinary encasing snails, but replace their shells’ acid damage with a numbing poison.
Anesthetizing Poison—contact; save Fort DC 18; frequency 1/round for 8 rounds; effect 1d4 Str and 1d4 Dex, and the victim is staggered for 1 round; cure 2 consecutive saves.
Ghost Encasing Snail (CR +2): Ghost encasing snails gain the advanced simple template. In addition, incorporeal creatures cannot pass through a shell which has encased them, and creatures within a shell must succeed at a DC 21 caster level check to use teleportation spells or effects to escape the shell.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Strifemonger Demon

Hello and welcome once again to Frightful Fridays! This week's monster comes with a disclaimer to carefully consider using it against your PCs, since it might ruin friendships. Alternatively, you could use it as a behind-the-scenes manipulator creating messes the PCs have to clean up. The strifemonger demon excels at turning allies against each other and just sits back and watches the mayhem.

I hope you enjoy the strifemonger demon. I'll see you next week with another (most likely, nicer) monster. Thanks for reading!

A subtle smile creases the lips of this immaculately dressed humanoid with violet skin. A pair of curved horns seem to accent its perfect coiffure.
Strifemonger Demon      CR 9
XP 6,400
CE Medium outsider (demon)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +19
Aura treachery (DC 19)
AC 23, touch 13, flat-footed 20 (+3 Dex, +10 natural)
hp 114 (12d10+48)
Fort +12, Ref +7, Will +12
Immune electricity, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; SR 20
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +16 (2d4+4 plus mindnumb poison), gore +16 (2d6+4 plus Wisdom drain)
Special Attacks like pawns on a chessboard
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +15)
   At will—greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), hostile juxtaposition[UC] (DC 18), murderous command[UM] (DC 15)
   3/day—confusion (DC 18), unadulterated loathing[UM] (DC 17)
   1/day—dominate person (DC 19), malicious spite[UM] (DC 18), mislead, modify memory (DC 19)
Str 19, Dex 16, Con 19, Int 12, Wis 18, Cha 17
Base Atk +12; CMB +16; CMD 29
Feats Combat Casting, Conceal Spell[UI], Deceitful, Improved Conceal Spell[UI], Spell Focus (enchantment), Subtle Enchantments[UI]
Skills Bluff +22, Diplomacy +18, Disguise +22, Knowledge (local) +16, Perception +19, Sense Motive +19, Sleight of Hand +18
Languages Abyssal, Common; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ change shape (Small or Medium humanoid, alter self)
Environment Abyss or any urban
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure standard
Aura of Treachery (Su) A strifemonger demon’s aura induces distrust among ostensible allies. Creatures that fail their saves are no longer treated as allies to other creatures and can’t provide flanking, use or benefit from teamwork feats or aid another actions, or allow creatures to move through their space. Any spell or effect that requires a willing target fails if used on an affected creature, and even harmless effects require an attack roll, if applicable, and require affected creatures to attempt a saving throw to resist their effects (if a save is allowed). This is a mind-affecting effect, and the save DC is Charisma-based.
Like Pawns on a Chessboard (Su) Three times per day as an immediate action, a strifemonger demon can use its hostile juxtaposition spell-like ability. If the demon was subject to an attack, and its target fails the saving throw against hostile juxtaposition, the attack applies to the target. If it successfully uses this ability and remains in the area of effect of a spell or effect, it is still subject to that spell or effect. Instead of using the ability on itself and another target, it can use it on two separate targets; if either target succeeds on the Will save, both targets remain in their original locations.
Mindnumb Poison (Ex) Claws—Injury; save Fort DC 20; frequency 1/round for 8 rounds; effect 1d4 Wis; cure 2 consecutive saves.
Wisdom Drain (Su) A strifemonger demon’s gore attack inflicts an additional 1d2 points of Wisdom drain on a successful hit (DC 19 Will save negates). On a successful critical hit, the target does not receive a saving throw. The save DC is Charisma-based.

When strifemonger demons were mortals, they were gossips, liars, and rabble rousers who sought only to destroy friendships and lives. While their methods seemed to give them a more diabolical slant, their desire to leave emotional and physical wreckage in their wake gave them demonic forms in the afterlife. With an array of preternatural capabilities at the fingertips, they continue to sow discord among mortals, allowing their victims to destroy themselves thanks to petty jealousies or misperceived communications.

Strifemonger demons generally work alone but take on brief partnerships with other demons with more subtle techniques at their disposal. Their craft makes them inherently paranoid, and they often dissolve alliances at the merest sign of betrayal. When strifemongers work together, they target two opposing people or groups and incent them to attack each other, usually by exaggerating the conflict between the two targets. They can mask their spellcasting to make it seem like the decision to murder or ruin a foe is their target’s idea.

On the battlefield, the demons prefer not to take lives directly and will not use their physical attacks to dispatch opponents, unless their lives are at risk. Their main approach is to inflict their foes with confusion, reducing their foes’ resistance to their spell-like abilities for particularly resistant opponents, and then liberally using hostile juxtaposition to enjoy the ensuing chaos.

A typical strifemonger demon stands just under 6 feet tall and weighs 175 pounds, but their ability to change shape means they are rarely encountered in their typical size.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Frightful Fridays! More Mashups!

Welcome back to this week's installment of Frightful Fridays! It's been a fairly long time, so mashups are overdue for a return to the blog. Today's mashups are one removed from the ever-popular owlbear (yes, I am riding along with the trend). We've got the grizzlegator which gets even more angry when it should be dead, and the owlwolf, which really knows how to work with a pack.

I hope you enjoy this week's selections, and I'll see you next week with another monster!


This killing machine is a combination of grizzly bear and alligator. It combines an alligator’s toothy snout and tail with a bear’s massive build and powerful paws.
Grizzlegator      CR 7
XP 3,200
N Large magical beast
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., keen scent, low-light vision; Perception +12
AC 20, touch 10, flat-footed 19 (+1 Dex, +10 natural, –1 size)
hp 94 (9d10+45)
Fort +11, Ref +7, Will +7; +2 vs. mind-affecting effects
Defensive Abilities ferocity
Speed 40 ft., swim 30 ft.; sprint
Melee bite +13 (2d6+5/19–20), 2 claws +13 (1d8+5 plus grab), tail slap +11 (1d6+2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks rend (2 claws, 1d8+7)
Str 21, Dex 12, Con 21, Int 1, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +9; CMB +15 (+19 grapple); CMD 26 (30 vs. trip)
Feats Critical Focus, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Multiattack
Skills Climb +10, Perception +12, Swim +13
SQ hold breath
Environment any land
Organization solitary
Treasure incidental
Ferocity (Ex) A grizzlegator becomes extraordinarily angry when it is reduced below 0 hit points, and it gains a +2 morale bonus on Will saves and attack and damage rolls while it remains below 0 hit points.
Hold Breath (Ex) A grizzlegator can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 3 times its Constitution score before it risks drowning.
Sprint (Ex) Once per minute a grizzlegator may sprint, increasing its land speed by 40 feet for 1 round.

Grizzlegators are the result of transmuters who felt they could improve upon the owlbear design. The resulting creatures were uncontrollable engines of death which ate their creators when they reached adulthood. They then escaped out into the wild where they bred prodigiously. Scholars of grizzlegators point to the preponderance of inbreeding as a further cause for the creatures’ fury. They give no quarter once they enter combat, and fights with grizzlegators end with the death of them or their prey (in very rare cases, their prey escapes). While slowed down when they should otherwise pass out from their wounds, they become even more ferocious and land devastating blows until they reach the point where they just stop moving.

Grizzlegators even hate other grizzlegators and attack them on sight, except when they tolerate each other long enough to mate. A coupling often ends with the female grizzlegator killing the male and using the rotting meat to feed her young, which are born 15 days later. A grizzlegator litter numbers between one and four, but, often for larger litters, only one newborn grizzlegator survives its siblings.

A typical grizzlegator is 15 feet long and weighs 2,000 pounds. They have natural lifespans reaching 12 years, but never reach old age.


We don't give a hoot!

This creature has a lupine body with tufts of feathers protruding from where its legs join its body. An inquisitive owl’s face replaces the expected wolfen visage.
Owlwolf      CR 3
XP 800
N Medium magical beast
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent, superior low-light vision; Perception +10
AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 natural)
hp 37 (5d10+10)
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +3
Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +8 (1d6+4 plus trip)
Special Attacks leaping charge
Str 17, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 3, Wis 14, Cha 12
Base Atk +5; CMB +8; CMD 21 (25 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility
Skills Acrobatics +6, Perception +10, Stealth +8; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception
SQ effortless leap, pack tactics
Environment any forest
Organization solitary, pair, or pack (3–18)
Treasure none
Effortless Leap (Ex) An owlwolf is always considered to have a running start when attempting Acrobatics checks to jump.
Leaping Charge (Ex) An owlwolf can jump while charging, allowing it to ignore difficult terrain when it charges. When it makes a charge in this way, it deals double damage with its bite, and it gains a +4 circumstance bonus on its trip attempt after a successful bite attack.
Pack Tactics (Ex) An owlwolf gains the Pack Tactics feat when it is with other owlwolves.
Superior Low-Light Vision (Ex) An owlwolf can see four times as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.

Owlwolves, in contrast to grizzlegators, are the result of a more refined approach to fusing two animals together. They are much more intelligent than their component animals, and they are more likely to follow orders from trusted handlers. Additionally, they work well with each other or a creature with which they have bonded and become even more formidable. Owlwolves have keen senses, allowing them to smell prey and spot targets hundreds of feet away in the dimmest of light. They cannot fly, but they have feathered membranes which enhance their ability to maneuver in combat.

Owlwolves are similarly sized to wolves but their hollower bones put them on the light end of the wolves’ range of weights.

On rare occasions, an owlwolf bonds with a humanoid. The bonding process takes several months. Once an owlwolf is bonded, both it and its partner gain Pack Tactics as a bonus feat; additionally, the owlwolf gains any teamwork feats possessed by the owlwolf’s partner as bonus feats.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Gorebark

Hello and welcome back for another edition of Frightful Fridays! In a departure for me, I've created something that isn't a plant that likes to kill all humanoids. This week, you get the gorebark, an alien plant-like thing which likes to kill all plants (and then pretend to be a plant, so it can kill humanoids, but that's just a bonus as opposed to its main goal).

I hope you enjoy the gorebark, and I'll see you next week with another monster!

This misshapen, rubbery tree manifests a tortured face from which acrid pulp dribbles.
Gorebark      CR 11
XP 12,800
CE Large aberration
Init 1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +22
AC 24, touch 8, flat-footed 24 (-1 Dex, +16 natural, 1 size)
hp 168 (16d8+96)
Fort +13, Ref +4, Will +13
DR 15/cold iron and slashing; Immune acid, plant traits; Resist electricity 20, fire 10
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +20 (3d6+8/1920 plus grab)
Ranged spit +10 touch (4d6 acid)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (30-ft. cone, 8d6 acid and bludgeoning damage, Reflex DC 24 for half, usable every 1d4 rounds), expulsion of pulp, flora destroyer
Str 27, Dex 8, Con 22, Int 11, Wis 16, Cha 15
Base Atk +12; CMB +21 (+23 bull rush, +25 grapple); CMD 30 (32 vs. bull rush, can't be tripped)
Feats Awesome Blow, Critical Focus, Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (slam), Power Attack, Sickening Critical, Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Bluff +18, Disguise +18, Knowledge (nature) +19, Perception +22
Languages Aklo, Sylvan
SQ change shape (any plant, plant shape III), plant suit
Environment any forest
Organization solitary or stand (28)
Treasure standard
Expulsion of Pulp (Ex) Once per day as a move action, a gorebark can vomit out its innards. It deals 12d6 points of acid damage to creatures it is currently grappling. Additionally, it increases its fire resistance to 20 for 1 minute. After the gorebark uses this ability, it cannot use its breath weapon for 2d4 rounds. It gains an additional use of this ability when it successfully uses its plant suit ability.
Flora Destroyer (Ex) A gorebark doubles its acid damage against plants for all its attacks that deal acid damage.
Plant Suit (Su) As a full-round action, a gorebark can take the form of a dead Medium, Large, or Huge plant creature. When it does this, it takes on the creature’s size and appearance and gains a +10 bonus on Disguise checks made to impersonate the victim. The stolen form is preserved while the gorebark assumes it, but is destroyed if the gorebark takes more than 10 points of damage or if the gorebark decides to destroy the plant form as a standard action. The gorebark reverts to its normal size if its stolen form is destroyed.

While gorebarks are considered abominations among intelligent plant creatures and those who revere nature, they are regarded as ordinary on their strange and distant home worlds. Gorebarks have a similar role to treants in their fleshy forests. On rare occasions, gorebark spores or saplings make the journey across the stars and land in terrestrial forests. When they do, they first assume the form of a normal plant to get an understanding of their environment and the plants in it. As they learn, they gain confidence in their ability to pretend to be intelligent plant creatures. Gorebarks take perverse pleasure in fooling druids and intelligent plant creatures before betraying them. Their acidic composition is especially deadly to plants, and they absorb the slurry from destroyed plants to fuel their destructive capabilities. They try to leave the bark of their kills intact, so they can squeeze themselves into their victims and perpetuate their ruses. Eventually, their desire to destroy overcomes them and they devastate the plant life and use the shells of the trees and plant creatures they destroy to populate their own grotesque forest parodies. They mix their own spores with plant spores to spawn more of their species.

Gorebarks ally themselves with other aberrations and malevolent plant creatures, especially fungi and other "unnatural" plants.

A typical gorebark stands 10 feet tall and weighs 500 pounds. A usual specimen can live up to 300 years.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Crow Wraith

It's Friday, so it's time for another monster! Today's offering is a fey creature who crosses the gap between life and death. It also deals death (not so much with the life), but only for those it is contracted to kill. Most PCs, being quite unassuming, should never cross a crow wraith's path. Or maybe I've got that wrong...

I hope you enjoy the crow wraith. Thanks for reading!

This biped has a skeletal face and skin color in stark contrast between bone-white and a shadowy black. Immaterial crows peel away from the creature’s midsection, revealing its spine.
Crow Wraith      CR 14
XP 38,400
N Medium fey
Init +7; Senses low-light vision; Perception +27
AC 28, touch 18, flat-footed 20 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 natural)
hp 199 (21d6+126)
Fort +13, Ref +19, Will +15
Defensive Abilities evasion, improved uncanny dodge; DR 10/silver; Immune cold, mind-affecting effects
Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee unarmed strike +22/+17/+12 (2d6+6)
Special Attacks death attack (DC 22), sneak attack +8d6, stunning fist (5/day, DC 23)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +25)
   1/day—summon swarm (corvid swarm only; use stats for bat swarm)
Str 22, Dex 25, Con 23, Int 14, Wis 17, Cha 20
Base Atk +15; CMB +21; CMD 39
Feats Canny Tumble[ACG], Combat Expertise, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Feint, Improved Unarmed Strike, Mobility, Spring Attack, Stunning Fist, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Skills Acrobatics +31 (+35 to jump), Bluff +29, Climb +18, Escape Artist +31, Fly +18, Knowledge (religion) +18, Perception +27, Sleight of Hand +31, Stealth +31, Swim +18
Languages Aklo, Common, Sylvan; speak with animals (corvids only)
SQ corvid empathy +25, hide in plain sight, murder form
Environment any land
Organization solitary
Treasure standard
Corvid Empathy (Ex) This ability functions as a druid’s wild empathy, except it only works on corvids. A crow wraith is treated as a 20th-level druid for this ability.
Death Attack (Ex) A crow wraith can perform a death attack as a 10th-level assassin.
Hide in Plain Sight (Su) A crow wraith can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as it is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, it can hide itself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind. The crow wraith cannot hide in its own shadow.
Murder Form (Su) Once per day, as a standard action, a crow wraith can transform itself into a swarm of incorporeal crows. Its updated stats are included below. The crow wraith can remain in this form for up to 1 minute (returning to its normal form requires a standard action), but the transformation takes a toll on it, causing it to become fatigued for 1 hour afterwards.
Summon Swarm (Sp) When a crow wraith summons a corvid swarm with its spell-like ability, the swarm gains the wraith’s damage reduction (for cases where weapon damage may apply) and immunity to cold.

Crow Wraith (murder form)      CR 14
XP 38,400
N Medium fey (incorporeal, swarm)
AC 23, touch 23, flat-footed 15 (+5 deflection, +7 Dex, +1 dodge)
Defensive Abilities evasion, incorporeal, swarm traits; DR 10/silver; Immune cold, mind-affecting effects
Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee swarm (5d6 plus 1d4 Cha drain and distraction)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 26)
Str —, Dex 25, Con 23, Int 14, Wis 17, Cha 20
Base Atk +15; CMB —; CMD

Crow wraiths are unusual fey who are harbingers and bringers of death. They are created from the corpses of fey nobles fed to crows or other corvids. This bridge between life and death gives them a strangely balanced morality and allows them to usher fey, regardless of their affiliation, to their ultimate reward. They also serve as assassins for the fey courts, usually targeting mortals who have grievously offended fey nobles or represent a persistent obstacle to fey noble schemes. In rare cases, crow wraiths assassinate other fey, but this only occurs for grave breaches of contract.

Crow wraiths possess incredible physicality as well as the ability to dissolve into a swarm of ghostly corvids—crows, primarily, but ravens are a popular choice, while more flamboyant crow wraiths choose blue or green jays. They prefer to retain their corporeal, humanoid forms when carrying out assassinations, mostly because they enjoy the satisfaction of a well-placed nerve strike that incapacitates or outright kills their targets. Additionally, when they kill quarry in their murder form, the corpses are disfigured in an unnatural way, prompting more scrutiny by investigators looking into deaths wrought by crow wraiths. All the same, crow wraiths leave tokens of their claims of accountability for their murders, usually in the form of large white feathers held by their victims.

The wraiths fundamental ties to corvids grants them a rapport with the birds, and they often use corvids to scout targets or sites where they plan to carry out their deeds. Crow wraiths sometimes take favorite crows as companions. When engaged in pitched combat, they send the crows away to protect the birds. They have an innate ability to summon a swarm of corvids, but they only do so to create distractions when they face certain defeat against resolute foes.

A typical crow wraith stands just over 6 feet tall and weighs 150 pounds.