Friday, October 31, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Halloween Kaidas

Hello and welcome back to a new Frightful Fridays! Life got in the way of last week's entry, so I'm putting two monsters out this week. Since it's the two-year anniversary of the feature, I thought I'd go with my favorites—kaidas. They aren't exactly the friendly kaidas that have graced this blog before, especially the pale kaida, but the rot kaida may prove to be a valuable ally in the fight against undead monsters.


I hope you enjoy this week's monsters, and I'll be back next week with something else. Thanks for reading, and thanks for all the comments and suggestions over the past two year!

This illustration can be found here.

This dragon, not much larger than a dog, has scales the color of bleached bone.
Pale Kaida CR 7
XP 3,200
NE Small dragon
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +14

AC 19, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+4 Dex, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 76 (8d12+24)
Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +9
Defensive Abilities negative energy affinity; Immune cold, paralysis, sleep; SR 18

Speed 20 ft., fly 80 ft. (good)
Melee bite +14 (1d4–1 plus draining bite), 2 claws +14 (1d3–1 plus 1d2 Strength damage)
Special Attacks breath weapon, channel negative energy 7/day (DC 18, 4d6)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +12)
At will—detect undead
3/day—lesser animate dead

Str 8, Dex 19, Con 16, Int 16, Wis 17, Cha 19
Base Atk +8; CMB +11 (+13 steal); CMD 20 (22 vs. steal, 24 vs. trip)
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Combat Expertise, Improved Steal, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +15, Fly +21, Intimidate +15, Knowledge (religion) +14, Perception +14, Sense Motive +14, Sleight of Hand +15, Spellcraft +13, Stealth +19
Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Infernal

Environment any terrestrial or underground
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure standard

Special Abilities
Breath Weapon (Su) A pale kaida breathes a sickly pale cone that chills those caught in it to the bone. The cone deals 6d6 points of damage (half cold, half negative energy, DC 17 Reflex half). Creatures failing their saves are staggered for 1d4 rounds. The kaida can reuse its breath weapon after 1d4 rounds. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Draining Bite (Su) If a pale kaida succeeds at a critical hit with its bite attack, the target gains 1d4 negative levels. These negative levels last for 8 hours, at which time they are removed without requiring a save to avoid the negative levels becoming permanent.

Pale kaidas sprung into existence in locations dominated by undead creatures, such as ghoul empires and vampire-controlled nations. Twisted reflections of typical protector kaidas, they preserve undead creatures with an array of abilities that bolster and heal undead. During combat, they like to use the steal combat maneuver to divest opponents of their holy symbols, in the hope that they can considerably reduce their effectiveness. They are not physically powerful creatures, so they rely on channels and breath weapon attacks. If forced into melee, they use bite and claws to sap enough energy from opponents to make them manageable.

While too powerful to be taken as familiars, pale kaidas voluntarily serve powerful undead creatures with class levels, whom the dragons see as most worthy of their aid.



And this illustration can be found here.


Flies buzz around this putrescent brown dragon. Its watery eyes seem to take the measure of all creatures in view.
Rot Kaida CR 6
XP 2,400
N Small dragon
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, deathwatch; Perception +13
Aura stench (30 ft., DC 17, 1d6 rounds)

AC 19, touch 13, flat-footed 17 (+2 Dex, +6 natural, +1 size)
hp 73 (7d12+28)
Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +6
Immune negative energy, paralysis, sleep; SR 17

Speed 20 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee bite +11 (1d6+3 plus disease), claw +11 (1d4+3 plus 1d2 Charisma damage)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +7)
At will—disrupt undead
1/day—creeping doom (DC 15)
3/day—quickened disrupt undead

Str 17, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +7; CMB +9; CMD 21 (25 vs. trip)
Feats Alertness, Flyby Attack, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (disrupt undead)
Skills Diplomacy +10, Fly +14, Heal +11, Knowledge (religion) +12, Perception +13, Sense Motive +13, Spellcraft +12, Stealth +16
Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Infernal

Environment any terrestrial
Organization solitary, pair, or dissolution (3–8)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities
Disease of Reclamation (Su) Disease—bite; save Fort DC 17; onset 1 hour; frequency 1/day; effect 1d6 Con (living creature) or 1d6 Cha (undead creature); cure 2 consecutive saves. While a victim suffers from this disease, it only gains half the hit points from natural and magical healing. Undead creatures do not benefit from immunity from disease against a rot kaida's disease of reclamation. A creature that is not undead nor returned to life through a spell or effect is immune to this disease. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Despite their appearance, rot kaidas are neither evil nor undead. They serve to offer finality for those creatures that have cheated death, which puts them at odds with undead creatures. Unfortunately, they can also bring suffering to those who have been returned to life. Rot kaidas dodge the question of whether they serve another power, but they seem to gravitate towards clerics and other followers of death deities who treat undead as abominations. The kaidas absolutely hate pale kaidas and will attack them in preference to any other opponents.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Nightmare Squirrel

Hello, and welcome back to Frightful Fridays! This makes two Fridays in a row now, but I promise not to let it go to my head. This week's monster is courtesy of a challenge by Jacob Trier on a Facebook thread featuring the delightful image below. I workshopped the stats a little on the thread (wherein I got crucial feedback about the squirrel needing a throw acorn attack), so it's all the better for it.


Two weeks until Frightful Fridays! turns two (on Halloween happily enough). I'm still looking for any suggestions for how I can celebrate this, er, momentous occasion. Feel free to leave a comment. At any rate, I certainly hope you enjoy the nightmare squirrel, and I appreciate you checking it out!

The inspiration for this charming creature can be found here.

"It's just a harmless squirrel. I'm not totally sure why it's surrounded by ghouls, though. Maybe it's in trouble."
Nightmare Squirrel CR 13
XP 25,600
NE Tiny magical beast
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +14

AC 29, touch 29, flat-footed 22 (+6 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 profane, +2 size)
hp 171 (18d10+72)
Fort +15, Ref +17, Will +10
Immune fear, negative energy

Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +26 (1d4–4 plus 2d6 negative energy and curse of broken sleep)
Ranged burred acorn +26 (1d6–4 piercing plus inflict negative energy weakness)
Space 2.5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks curse of broken sleep
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18th; concentration +22)
At will—fear (DC 17)
3/day—quickened phantasmal killer (DC 19)

Str 2, Dex 23, Con 19, Int 4, Wis 18, Cha 19
Base Atk +18; CMB +22; CMD 29 (33 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (phantasmal killer), Run, Spell Focus (illusion), Spring Attack, Underfoot[APG], Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +16, Climb +12, Intimidate +19, Perception +14, Stealth +18; Racial Modifiers +8 Climb, +8 Intimidate, +4 Perception

Environment any temperate
Organization solitary, pair, or jump scare (3–12)
Treasure whatever it has squirreled away

Special Abilities
Burred Acorn (Ex) A nightmare squirrel gnaws on acorns, which allows the acorns to imbed themselves in the flesh of the squirrel's foes. If an acorn deals lethal damage, it clings to its target, inflicting negative energy weakness. Removing the acorn deals 1d4 damage, but a character making a DC 15 Heal check removes the acorn without damage.
Curse of Broken Sleep (Su) Bite—injury; save Will DC 21; frequency 1 day; effect 1d4 Wis damage and fatigued for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based, and a nightmare squirrel has a –2 penalty on the save DC.
Inflict Negative Energy Weakness (Su) While at least one burred acorn is imbedded in a victim's flesh, the victim takes 50% more damage from spells and effects that deal negative energy damage to hit points or attributes. Additionally, the victim incurs a –4 penalty on saving throws against negative energy effects or to remove negative levels.

Nightmare squirrels are typical squirrels that somehow managed to survive a brush with negative energy or exposure to the Negative Energy Plane. After this event, they metamorphose into creatures with blue-tinged fur and black, soulless eyes (not terribly dissimilar to typical squirrels). They also become capable of reaching into their prey's darkest fears in order to break their prey, immediately or eventually through terrible dreams. While nightmare squirrels have no telepathic abilities of which anyone is aware, when they show their frightful forms to victims, the forms apply specifically to fears and anxieties possessed by their victims.

Intelligent undead keep nightmare squirrels as a mockery of familiar or animal companion. The squirrels act as spies for the undead who would might otherwise incur the wrath of paladins and other do-gooders. They also have a couple of abilities that nicely complement the abilities of many undead creatures. Additionally, these terrible animals are not susceptible to positive energy (their immunity to negative energy allows them to live among their masters), rendering the usual catch-all tactics against undead less effective.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Flechette Piranhawk

Welcome to a Friday (whaaat?) edition of Frightful Fridays! Today's monster is courtesy of Theodric the Obscure, and it's been in the archives for a while. This week I decided that I wanted to create a horrifying murderbeast, and this fit the bill. Considering the paladin (or perhaps cavalier) going up against the piranhawk, I wanted something in the high CR range.


This feature's two-year anniversary is coming up in three weeks (excitingly enough, on Halloween). Is there anything in particular you'd like to see in celebration of the anniversary? Let me know in the comments. For now, I hope you enjoy the flechette piranhawk, and I'll be back next week with a new monster. Thanks for reading!

You can find the illustration of this deadly creature here.


This gigantic bird has the wings of a hawk, featuring a mix of feathers and scales, and the head of a fish, mouth lined with razor-sharp teeth. Its bright plumage belies its fearsome demeanor.
Flechette Piranhawk CR 15
XP 51,200
CE Large magical beast (aquatic)
Init +7; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., keen scent, low-light vision; Perception +30

AC 30, touch 12, flat-footed 27 (+3 Dex, +18 natural, –1 size)
hp 230 (20d10+120); regeneration 10 (fire)
Fort +18, Ref +15, Will +10
Defensive Abilities ferocity; Immune cold, electricity, fear

Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft. (good), swim 80 ft.
Melee bite +25 (2d8+6/19-20 plus grab and 1d4 bleed), 2 talons +25 (2d6+6)
Ranged 4 flechettes +22 (1d8+6/19-20 plus 1d4 bleed)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks fast swallow, rend (2 talons, 3d6+9), swallow whole (5d6 acid damage, AC 19, 23 hp)

Str 22, Dex 17, Con 23, Int 5, Wis 18, Cha 8
Base Atk +20; CMB +27 (+31 grapple); CMD 40
Feats Devastating Strike, Greater Vital Strike, Impact Critical Shot, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Critical (flechette), Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Opening Volley, Point-Blank Shot, Vital Strike
Skills Fly +10, Perception +30, Swim +20; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
SQ amphibious

Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or flensing (3–8)
Treasure none

Special Abilities
Flechettes (Ex) A flechette piranhawk can use its flechettes as part of a full-attack action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The flechettes deal piercing and slashing damage.

A transmuter working on a superior version of the owlbear cast the resulting creature out when it turned out to be smaller than expected. The wizard assumed the beast, dubbed the flechette piranhawk, would live out its life terrorizing those in its domain before experiencing an undignified death. Unfortunately, the first piranhawk proved capable of fertilizing fish eggs to create yet more piranhawks, eventually leading to a growing population of the foul beasts, as subsequent generations proved equally fecund. Piranhawks are fearless and voracious predators that eat anything with flesh.

When hunting prey, piranhawks open with a volley of flechettes from close range to injure and possibly knock down their prey. They then attack the creatures they injured in an attempt to swallow smaller prey whole or to tear apart larger prey. Piranhawk flechettes are fish-like scales honed to razor sharpness. Thanks to the creatures' regenerative capability, they readily grow these scales back, allowing for a near endless supply of ranged ammunition. In the rare cases where opponents prove too difficult to handle or when piranhawks suffer tremendous injury (reducing them below 0 HP), they escape to the air or the sea.

A character who succeeds at a DC 20 Heal or Survival check can extract 1d8+1 flechettes, Large exotic light weapons that deal 1d8 points of piercing and slashing damage, and which inflict 1d4 points of bleed the first time they strike an opponent.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Abductor Prawn

Hello, and welcome to another installment of the currently wildly misnamed Frightful Fridays! Today's monster is courtesy of Paris Crenshaw, and, for some reason, my imagination took me to the possibility of an extraplanar bounty hunter. The abductor prawn spends a considerable amount of time watching its opponent, and when it is ready to strike, it ususally grabs its target from invisibility. Once it latches onto its target, the prawn transports the target to the location of the creature that contracted it. It then disappears to the same location to collect its payment (or the remainder thereof).


I hope you enjoy the abductor prawn, and I'll be back sometime in the next seven days with another monster. As always, thanks for reading!


The abductor prawn is based on the skeleton shrimp, found here.

This creature appears to be a floating skeleton belonging to a gigantic shrimp, but the shrimp's near-invisible carapace soon reveals itself.
Abductor Prawn CR 12
XP 19,200
LN Large outsider (extraplanar, lawful)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +23

AC 27, touch 13, flat-footed 23 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +14 natural, –1 size)
hp 168 (16d10+80); fast healing 5
Fort +15, Ref +15, Will +9
DR 10/chaotic; Immune cold, mind-affecting effects; Resist acid 20, electricity 20; SR 21

Speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee 4 pincers +20 (2d6+5 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (2d6+5), I have you now, learn routine
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 16th; concentration +19)
Constant—detect magic
At will—greater invisibility
3/day—plane shift (DC 20)
1/day—dimensional lock, discern location

Str 20, Dex 17, Con 20, Int 15, Wis 18, Cha 16
Base Atk +16; CMB +22 (+26 grapple); CMD 36 (44 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Disruptive, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Lunge, Spellbreaker, Teleport Tactician[APG]
Skills Bluff +22, Disable Device +20, Fly +20, Knowledge (planes) +21, Perception +23, Sense Motive +15, Spellcraft +21, Stealth +18, Survival +23 (+31 when tracking); Racial Modifiers +8 Survival when tracking
Languages Celestial, Common, Infernal
SQ complete the contract, lockout wake

Environment any
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure double

Special Abilities
Complete the Contract (Su) An abductor prawn can travel (or force an unwilling creature to travel) to its contractee's precise location when it uses plane shift.
I Have You Now (Su) If an abductor prawn succeeds at pinning its opponent, it can use plane shift as a swift action against its opponent and imposes a –8 penalty on the opponent's Will save.
Learn Routine (Ex) An abductor prawn that spends one hour studying its mark (including at least one combat) predicts how its target behaves. This grants the prawn a +4 bonus on all attack rolls against the target for 24 hours afterwards. The prawn cannot benefit from this ability against more than one creature.
Lockout Wake (Su) If an abductor prawn uses its plane shift spell-like ability on itself, it leaves a dimensional lock in its wake. It must have at least one use of its dimensional lock spell-like ability to create this effect, and this ability expends one use of dimensional lock.

Bizarre planar bounty hunters, abductor prawns have achieved a reputation for always collecting their targets. Once abductor prawns have received their assignments, only death will keep the prawns from completing them. This doggedness comes at a premium, of course, but many powerful outsiders that do not have the time to pursue someone themselves easily have the means to pay an abductor prawn to do the dirty work for them. Their inherent lawfulness attracts devils and archons alike, both of which seek to find targets due for some sort of punishment. Additionally, chaotic creatures, aware of the prawns' reputation, put aside their disdain for their lawful nature to contract them to hunt down targets.

Abductor prawns exert considerable patience when hunting their prey. They plane shift into the last known location of their targets and use discern location to gain a precise fix. If discern location fails, they use their prodigious tracking ability as a mundane substitute. Once they have acquired their target, the prawns follow it around invisibly to observe the target's actitivities, noting capabilities and vulnerabilities. If they can catch a target alone, they will attack at that moment, but they possess enough physical strength to ward off all but the most determined defenders. As a last resort, the prawns plane shift away without their quarry, but they are sure to attempt a capture again, after more observation.

A rare few abductor prawns apply their talents to the art of assassination. Since nearly all abductor prawns find tasks involving murder distasteful at best, finding one willing to carry out an assassination is difficult. However, these deadly prawns have an evil alignment, so a savvy creature with the ability to detect evil or otherwise discern another creature's alignment will have less trouble finding an assassin.