I hope you enjoy the death's head scarab beetle and the radervish. I'll see you next week with another monster!
A chalky white skull on this beetle’s underside contrasts with the midnight hue of the rest of its carapace.
Death's Head Scarab Beetle CR 9
N Tiny vermin
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +1
AC 23, touch 19, flat-footed 16 (+6 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural, +2 size)
hp 119 (14d8+56)
Fort +13, Ref +10, Will +5
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee bite +18 (4d6+6 plus rip flesh)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks consume body
Str 19, Dex 23, Con 18, Int —, Wis 13, Cha 6
Base Atk +10; CMB +14; CMD 29 (37 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge[B], Improved Initiative[B], Mobility[B], Weapon Finesse[B]
Skills Acrobatics +18 (+22 to jump), Climb +14, Stealth +22; Racial Modifiers +12 Acrobatics, +8 Stealth
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or abattoir (3–60)
Consume Body (Ex) As a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a death’s head scarab beetle can devour the entirety of a living Medium or smaller creature that has died within the past hour. The beetle heals a number of hit points equal to the creature’s maximum hit points.
Alternatively, once per week, a death’s head scarab beetle can deposit eggs in the corpse of a (formerly) living creature. The eggs rapidly develop into larvae, which grow into 2d6 full-sized beetles in 10 rounds. Dealing 20 points of energy damage to the corpse before this time has elapsed destroys the larvae. Newly grown beetles cannot use this form of the consume body ability.
Rip Flesh (Ex) When a death’s head scarab beetle successfully bites its target, the target takes 2d6 points of bleed damage, and takes 1d4 points of bleed damage to a random physical ability score (d6 result: 1–2 Strength, 3–4 Dexterity, 5–6 Constitution). A successful DC 21 Fortitude save halves both types of bleed damage. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Legends about death’s head scarab beetles speak of a town that fell on tough times as it suffered through a brutal winter. The townsfolk devoured their winter stores and turned their hunger toward livestock and pets, eventually running out of those as well. Faced with turning to cannibalism, the town’s leaders proposed entrapping wayward travelers as food, and the plan succeeded, keeping the town fed until spring could arrive. Their last victim just before the spring thaws cursed the townsfolk just before dying, and the spirits of the countless prior victims gave weight to the curse. As a result, the people transformed into mindless beetles with insatiable hunger and a white skull denoting them as dangerous.
Since then, death’s head scarab beetles have spread throughout the world in order to satisfy their unending craving for flesh. A single beetle can devour a human in seconds, leaving only skeletal remains in its wake. They also breed prodigiously, but they must deposit their eggs within a day of producing them, or their progeny will devour them before perishing if there is no immediate source of food available. Assassins risk their own lives to use death’s head scarab beetles to carry out larger jobs or to ensure no witnesses remain.
Death’s head scarab beetles measure 1–1/2 foot in length and weigh 2 pounds.
This red root vegetable bobs up and down in the air as its leaves whirl rotor-like above it.
Radervish CR 7
N Tiny plant
Init +9; Senses low-light vision; Perception +3
AC 20, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 natural, +2 size)
hp 82 (11d8+33)
Fort +10, Ref +10, Will +6
Defensive Abilities evasion, uncanny dodge; Immune plant traits
Speed 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (good)
Melee 2 leaf blades +15 (2d6–4 plus 2d4 bleed)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft. (5 ft. with leaf blades)
Str 2, Dex 21, Con 16, Int 5, Wis 17, Cha 10
Base Atk +8; CMB +11; CMD 18
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Spring Attack, Weapon Finesse, Whirlwind Attack[B]
Skills Acrobatics +20 (+16 to jump), Fly +20
Languages Sylvan, Treant (can’t speak)
Environment temperate forests
Organization solitary, pair, or flight (3–12)
Camouflage (Ex) A radervish looks like a normal plant when at rest. A DC 20 Perception check is required to notice it before it attacks for the first time. Anyone with ranks in Survival or Knowledge (nature) can use either of those skills instead of Perception to notice the radervish.
Fixtures of fey gardens and forests featuring other intelligent plant life, radervishes are excitable plants that throw themselves into battle to protect their homes. The leaves protruding from their tops move independently of their bodies, allowing them to spin them rapidly to keep themselves aloft. These leaves also have razor-sharp edges, making them formidable foes as they open up terrible wounds in their prey.
Radervishes in the employ of intelligent creatures overcome their impulsiveness and heed their masters. If they are given orders to do so, they remain still long enough to surprise prey. When left to their own devices, though, they give little thought to their own lives when attacking opponents. They enjoy putting themselves in the center of combat where their leafy blades can bite into as many targets as possible.
Radervishes measure 1-foot in diameter, and their leaves stretch to 6 feet. They only weigh several ounces. Surprisingly, dead radervishes are just as edible as regular radishes.
Radervish Plant Companions
Druids and other characters who can gain plant companions can choose a radervish as a companion. A radervish companion is not quite as intelligent as its wild cousins.
Starting Statistics: Size Tiny; Speed 20 ft., fly 30 ft. (good); AC +2 natural armor; Attack 2 leaf blades (1d6); Ability Scores Str 2, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 10; Special Qualities low-light vision, 5-foot reach with leaf blades.
4th-Level Advancement: Attack 2 leaf blades (2d6 plus 2d4 bleed); Ability Scores Dex +4, Con +2.