Friday, November 30, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Decapitant

Hello and welcome back to Frightful Fridays! Today's set of monsters comes courtesy of my friend, Patrick, who pointed me in the direction of this article. Of course, headhunting ants make for fun monsters, but I wanted an additional aspect beyond the decapitations. A decapitant takes the skull to its monarch and feeds the monarch the decapitated victim's brain, in order to keep the monarch at a level of high intelligence. As a bonus, the decapitant gets to keep the skull of its victim. This allows PCs to figure out which are the toughest monsters, since they'll be the ones wearing the most skulls.

I hope you enjoy the decapitants. See you next week with another monster!




Humanoid and other skulls form a ring around the abdomen of this towering yellow- and red-banded ant. It has enormous, serrated mandibles and a 6-foot-long, poison-tipped stinger.
Decapitant      CR 10
XP 9,600
N Huge vermin
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +1
DEFENSE
AC 24, touch 14, flat-footed 18 (+6 Dex, +10 natural, 2 size)
hp 133 (14d8+70)
Fort +14, Ref +10, Will +5
OFFENSE
Speed 60 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee bite +18 (3d6+10 plus grab), sting +18 (2d6+10 plus poison)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks decapitation, poison
STATISTICS
Str 31, Dex 22, Con 21, Int —, Wis 12, Cha 7
Base Atk +10; CMB +22 (+26 grapple); CMD 38 (46 vs. trip)
Skills Climb +18
SQ hive mind
ECOLOGY
Environment any land
Organization solitary, scouting party (28), dragon hunting party (1 plus 920 decapitants), or colony (2199 plus 1 decapitant consort and 1 decapitant monarch)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Decapitation (Ex) If a decapitant rolls a natural 20 on its attempt to maintain a grapple, it decapitates the creature it has grappled. If the grappled target is helpless, the decapitant can spend a full-round action to decapitate the target.
Hive Mind (Ex) As long as there are at least two decapitants within 100 feet of each other, if any one of the group is aware of a particular danger, they all are. No decapitant in a group is considered flanked or flat-footed unless all of them are.
Poison (Ex) Sting—Injury; save Fort DC 22; frequency 1/round for 8 rounds; effect 1d8 Dex and paralyzed for 1 round; cure 3 consecutive saves.

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This gigantic yellow- and red-banded ant has a wreath of draconic skulls affixed to its head. It has enormous, serrated mandibles, a 6-foot-long, poison-tipped stinger, and membranous wings capable of holding it aloft.
Decapitant Consort      CR 13
XP 25,600
N Huge magical beast
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +23
DEFENSE
AC 28, touch 14, flat-footed 22 (+4 armor, +6 Dex, +10 natural, 2 size)
hp 184 (16d10+96)
Fort +16, Ref +16, Will +9
Immune mind-affecting effects
OFFENSE
Speed 60 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 30 ft., fly 40 ft. (average)
Melee bite +24 (3d6+10/1920 plus grab), sting +24 (2d6+10)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks decapitation, poison
STATISTICS
Str 31, Dex 22, Con 23, Int 10, Wis 18, Cha 15
Base Atk +16; CMB +28 (+32 grapple); CMD 44 (52 vs. trip)
Feats Coordinated Maneuvers[APG], Gang Up[APG], Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Outflank[APG], Paired Opportunists[APG], Power Attack, Swap Places[APG]
Skills Climb +23, Fly +19, Perception +23
SQ hive mind
ECOLOGY
Environment any land
Organization solitary, mated pair (1 plus 1 decapitant consort), dragon hunting party (1 plus 920 decapitants), or colony (2199 plus 1 decapitant consort and 1 decapitant monarch)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Decapitation (Ex) If a decapitant consort rolls a natural 19 or 20 on its attempt to maintain a grapple (and the grapple attempt is successful on a roll of 19), it decapitates the creature it has grappled. If the grappled target is helpless, the decapitant can spend a full-round action to decapitate the target.
Hive Mind (Ex) If a decapitant consort is within 100 feet of at least one other decapitant, if any one of the group is aware of a particular danger, they all are. No decapitant in a group is considered flanked or flat-footed unless all of them are.
The decapitant consort grants its teamwork feats to all decapitants within 30 feet of it.
Poison (Ex) Sting—Injury; save Fort DC 24; frequency 1/round for 8 rounds; effect 2d6 Dex and paralyzed for 1 round; cure 3 consecutive saves.

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This enormous monarch ant is nearly immobile and has no apparent means of attack. However, its bloated, amorphous body crackles with arcane energy.
Decpaitant Monarch      CR 16
XP 76,800
N Gargantuan magical beast
Init 3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +6
DEFENSE
AC 31, touch 3, flat-footed 31 (+4 armor, 3 Dex, +24 natural, 4 size)
hp 250 (20d10+140)
Fort +19, Ref +9, Will +14
SR 27
OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft.
Space 20 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 20th; concentration +27)
   9th (6/day)—energy drain (DC 26), meteor swarm (DC 26), wail of the banshee (DC 26)
   8th (6/day)—maze, prismatic wall (DC 25), protection from spells
   7th (7/day)—deflection[APG], insanity (DC 26) , mass hold person (DC 26)
   6th (7/day)—greater dispel magic, stone to flesh (DC 23), true seeing
   5th (7/day)—acidic spray[UM] (DC 22), dominate person (DC 26), interposing hand, suffocation[APG] (DC 22)
   4th (7/day)—phantasmal killer (DC 21), shout (DC 21), stoneskin, wall of ice (DC 21)
   3rd (8/day)—aqueous orb[APG] (DC 20), hold person (DC 22), lightning bolt (DC 20), protection from energy
   2nd (8/day)—bull's strength, false life, hideous laughter (DC 21), mirror image, scorching ray
   1st (8/day)—burning hands (DC 18), charm person (DC 20), grease, mage armor, magic missile
   0 (at will)—acid splash, arcane mark, bleed (DC 17), detect magic, jolt[UM], mage hand, mending, message, resistance
STATISTICS
Str 34, Dex 4, Con 25, Int 15, Wis 22, Cha 25
Base Atk +20; CMB +36; CMD 43 (can't be tripped)
Feats Combat Casting, Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Greater Spell Penetration, Iron Will, Persistent Spell[APG], Quicken Spell, Selective Spell[APG], Spell Focus (enchantment), Spell Penetration, Spell Perfection (dominate person)[APG]
Skills Diplomacy +27, Knowledge (arcana) +25, Sense Motive +26, Spellcraft +25
Languages Common, Draconic
SQ confer spells, emergency consort, omniawareness, random trivia, shared spell resistance
ECOLOGY
Environment any land
Organization solitary, mated pair (1 plus 1 decapitant consort), or colony (1 plus 2199 decapitants and 1 decapitant consort)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Confer Spells (Su) When a decapitant monarch casts a spell with a range of touch or personal and targets itself, all decapitants within 100 feet of the monarch are also targeted by the spell.
Emergency Consort (Su) Once per day, a decapitant monarch spend 1 minute to convert one of its decapitants into a decapitant consort. The hasty process produces a less viable specimen, so it gains the degenerate creature template (2 on all rolls, including damage rolls, and to special ability DCs; 2 to AC and CMD; 2 hp/HD), and it dies 1 hour after creation.
Omniawareness (Su) A decapitant monarch is vaguely aware of everything its decapitants perceive. It is not considered flanked or flat-footed unless all decapitants within 300 feet of the monarch are.
As a move action, a decapitant monarch can choose a decapitant within 100 miles through which it can perceive the target decapitant’s surroundings. The monarch is limited to the sensory capabilities of the target decapitant and cannot use spells to enhance the target decapitant’s ability to sense its surroundings. The monarch is effectively blind while it uses this ability, but it can dismiss it as a free action.
Random Trivia (Ex) The consumption of brain matter from a diversity of creatures gives a decapitant monarch access to a wide array of information. It adds half its Hit Dice on all Knowledge skill checks and may make all Knowledge skill checks untrained. Additionally, 3 times per day, it can take a full-round action to probe the depths of its acquired memories, granting it a +30 insight bonus on any Knowledge skill check.
Shared Spell Resistance (Su) Decapitants within 100 feet of a decapitant monarch gain spell resistance equal to the monarch’s spell resistance 2.
Spells A decapitant monarch casts spells as a 20th-level sorcerer. The spell list above is representative, and can change from monarch to monarch, with the exception of dominate person, which all monarchs know.

Decapitants are carnivorous giant ants with a penchant for separating victims’ heads from their bodies. This serves as more than a gruesome means of death that winds up fueling horror stories told around campfires. The mindless decapitant soldiers bring the heads back to their colonies. Upon arrival, the soldiers scoop out the brain matter and feed it to the highly intelligent decapitant monarchs that control the colonies, and receive the victims’ skulls as trophies. While decapitant monarchs prefer brains from intelligent creatures, they make do with other brains. Monarchs are careful not to strip the territory around their colonies of living creatures to ensure they have a steady supply of brains.

The exception to this conservative feeding is when scouting units of decapitants uncover evidence of lairing dragons. Decapitant monarchs have an addiction to draconic brains and uproot their colonies to move near their favorite food. This is often preceded by a wave of devastation, as the monarchs desire a substantial supply of brains to make the journey. Dozens of soldiers carry monarchs for these relocations, while dozens more scout ahead to ensure no danger may befall their monarchs.

Other than soldiers and monarchs, decapitants have attendants to the monarchs known as consorts. Decapitant consorts are the only decapitants capable of flight without the aid of magic. Beyond serving as attendants to their monarchs, they lead war parties of decapitants against dragons, as well as forces invading territory belonging to their colonies. Consorts come from the ranks of soldier decapitants or from captured and enthralled humanoids. Monarchs prefer humanoids as stock for their consorts, since they find humanoids to be more inherently adaptable than even the most powerful decapitants. The conversion process takes less time for humanoids than for decapitants and requires monarchs to give up less of the brain matter that makes up their diets. It takes 3 months to transform a decapitant into a decapitant consort, but it takes 1 month for a humanoid to transform into a consort. Monarchs employ dominate person to keep their potential consorts docile while convincing their future consorts of the glory and sense of belonging awaiting them as part of the colony.

Decapitant colonies that lose their monarch but not their consort rebuild quickly as the consort becomes the new monarch over the course of a week. Colonies without a monarch or consort require over a year to rebuild, with scouting parties retrieving skull and brains and bringing them to the colonies’ sequestered remnants, whereupon one of the decapitants emerges as a new monarch.

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