Saturday, November 26, 2016

Frightful Fridays! has a Patreon

Hello Frightful Fridays! readers. I've jumped into the Patreon pool to support my monster creations. I appreciate any and all pledges, which will help me stay on a more consistent schedule. After all, I can't skip six weeks when I've got people paying for monsters. I can promise I will withhold none of the monsters I work on for patrons. There is a reward level that puts monsters on hold for two months, but those monsters will make their way to the blog for all to enjoy. I respect my readers and my friend who allowed me to virtually take over his blog, and I don't want to put up a paywall for content.

In short, free monsters will continue to appear on the blog, and the Patreon is mostly a tip jar and an incentive to continue to produce monsters in a more timely manner. I hope you'll consider a pledge or passing the word along. Thanks!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Frightful Fridays! (Thanksgiving Week Spectacular) Pyton

Hello and welcome back for the final Thanksgiving week monster! I hope those of you who celebrated had a good holiday and Black Friday is treating you OK, whichever side of the counter you happen to be on. The overstuffed feeling from Thanksgiving is both a pleasant and painful feeling, so today's monster plays on that theme, coinciding with the kytons' MO. The original plan was to have a weird pie-throwing monster that causes its victims to explode after eating the pie. It wandered from goofy to creepy as I continued to work on its design. I hope you like the result.

Thanks for reading all week! I'll have an announcement later today, after you've had time to "digest" this monster. Also, please don't forget to enter a monster for this year's Here Be Monsters contest. We've received some great entries, but we definitely have room for more!

Chains covered in eerily enticing pastries and pies cover the bulk of this corpulent humanoid, but its flesh oozes through the chain links. A pleasant smell, tinged with a hint of rot, wafts from the creature.
Pyton      CR 4
XP 1,200
LE Medium outsider (evil, extraplanar, kyton, lawful)
Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12
AC 17, touch 9, flat-footed 17 (–1 Dex, +8 natural)
hp 45 (6d10+12); regeneration 2 (good weapons and spells)
Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +5
Defensive Abilities sweet flesh; DR 5/good or silver; Immune cold; Resist fire 10
Speed 20 ft.
Melee spiked chain +9/+4 (2d4+4), bite +4 (1d6+4 plus grab)
Special Attacks overfeed, unnerving gaze (30 ft., DC 15)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +14)
   At will—putrefy food and drinkAPG (DC 13)
   3/day—feast of ashesAPG (DC 15)
Str 17, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 15
Base Atk +6; CMB +9 (+13 grapple); CMD 18
Feats Endurance, Power Attack, Spell Focus (transmutation)
Skills Craft (alchemy) +11, Diplomacy +11, Intimidate +11, Knowledge (planes) +11, Perception +12, Profession (cook) +12, Sense Motive +12, Sleight of Hand +8
Languages Common, Infernal
Environment any (Plane of Shadow)
Organization solitary, pair, buffet (3–8)
Treasure standard (gourmet food, culinary recipes, etc.)
Feats of Ashes (Sp) A creature that eats flesh from the pyton staves off the starvation effect from the pyton’s feast of ashes for 1 day.
Overfeed (Ex) A pyton can feed its flesh or food on hand to a helpless creature or one it has pinned. The victim must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or become painfully full. On the first failed save, the victim becomes sickened for 1d4 rounds. On the second failed save, the victim becomes nauseated for 1d6 rounds and then sickened for 1d4 hours. On the third failed save, the victim becomes paralyzed for 1d8 rounds, nauseated for 1d6 minutes, and then sickened for 2d6 hours. On the fourth failed save, the victim dies. If all conditions have expired for the victim, it acts as if it had failed one fewer saving throw; after 24 hours, the number of saves resets completely. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Sweet Flesh (Su) A creature that successfully bites a pyton (or is fed via its overfeed special ability) must succeed at a DC 15 Will save or continue to make bite attacks against the pyton. A creature with bite attacks that count as silver or good does not suppress a pyton’s regeneration. This is a mind-affecting, compulsion effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Unnerving Gaze (Ex) A creature that succumbs to a pyton’s unnerving gaze becomes sickened for 1d6 rounds as it imagines itself eating flesh from the pyton and from its companions. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Pytons are gourmands among kytons, sampling flesh from a variety of creatures and spreading the pleasure and pain of gluttony to others. They also enjoy the exquisite pain caused by others feasting on their bodies. Pytons insinuate themselves among their prey, offering delicious meals tainted with their flesh and with judicious use of feast of ashes. They then welcome creatures hungry for more, binding their dinner guests in chains and feeding them until their bodies burst through the chains, killing them. Pytons bring victims to the threshold of death by overfilling their bodies with high-quality food and then allow their stomachs to settle for a couple of hours before repeating the process.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Frightful Fridays! (Thanksgiving Week Spectacular) Murducken

Hello, and welcome back to this week's mini monster marathon. Today's monster is in celebration of that most atrocious of creations, the turducken, but this one is undead and can explode into its components to wreak further havoc.

I hope you enjoy the murducken. I'll wrap things up tomorrow with an actual Friday monster. Happy Thanksgiving! I am truly thankful for my readers.

This denuded turkey oozes rotting flesh. Its herky-jerky movements belie its speed and adroitness.
Murducken      CR 5
XP 1,600
NE Small undead
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +5
AC 19, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+4 Dex, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 52 (7d8+21)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +6
DR 5/good or piercing; Immune fire, undead traits; Resist electricity 10
Speed 30 ft., fly 20 ft. (clumsy)
Melee 2 slams +10 (1d6+3 plus ghoul fever and grab)
Special Attacks bursting split
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +10)
   1/day—grease (centered on murducken only)
Str 17, Dex 19, Con —, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 16
Base Atk +5; CMB +7 (+11 grapple); CMD 21
Feats Improved Initiative, OutflankAPG, Precise StrikeAPG, Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Acrobatics +10, Disguise +7, Escape Artist +14, Fly +2, Perception +5; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics, +8 Escape Artist
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or feast of death (3–6)
Treasure incidental
Bursting Split (Ex) Once per day as a standard action, a murducken can burst into its necromantic poultry components with an attendant spray of gore and bones. All creatures within 20 feet of the murducken must attempt a DC 16 Reflex save. On a failed save, a victim takes 4d6 points of piercing and slashing damage, is nauseated for 1d4 rounds (and sickened for an additional 1d6 minutes afterwards), and subject to the murducken’s ghoul fever. On a successful save, a victim takes half damage and is sickened for 1d6 rounds.
   This ability replaces the murducken with three component creatures. A component creature is the same as the base murducken but has half its hit points and takes a –2 penalty on attack and damage rolls, saving throws, ability checks, and skill checks.
Disease (Su) Ghoul Fever: Slam—injury; save DC 16; onset 1 day; frequency 1/day; effect 1d4 Con and 1d4 Dex damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Charisma-based. A humanoid who dies of ghoul fever rises as a ghoul at the next midnight, while a humanoid of 4 Hit Dice or more rises as a ghast. An animal or magical beast with 4 or more Hit Dice rises as a murducken. A creature who returns as an undead creature in this way is independent of other undead creatures and retains none of the abilities it possessed in life.
Grease (Sp) A murducken is immune to its own grease spell-like ability and can move through greased squares without penalty. This immunity does not apply to other castings of grease.

Terrifying abominations created from terrifying abominations, murduckens are ghastly creations seeking to spread disease and directly destroy the living. The duplicitous creatures look like ordinary turkeys filled with duck and chicken meat, but their lack of intellect and impatience usually lead to them blowing their disguise before they can fool potential victims. In ghoul enclaves, murduckens are created and hunted as part of a horrifying unholy day, where powerful murduckens usually lay waste to dozens of ghouls before being wrestled down and devoured.

Murducken Creation
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lay the boned chicken skin-side down on a platter and season liberally with salt, pepper, Creole seasoning, and pureed ghoul flesh. Lay the boned duck skin-side down on top of the chicken and season liberally with salt, pepper, Creole seasoning, and pureed ghoul flesh. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Lay the boned turkey skin-side down on a flat surface. Cover with a layer of cold Flesh and Oyster Dressing and push the dressing into the leg and wing cavities so they will look as if they still have bones in them.
  3. Lay the duck on top of the turkey skin-side down and cover it with a layer of unnaturally cold dressing. Lay the chicken on top of the duck skin-side down and cover it with a layer of unnaturally cold dressing.
  4. With the help of an assistant, bring the edges of the turkey skin up and fasten them together with toothpicks. Add the bones back to the unholy mass of flesh. Use kitchen string to lace around the toothpicks to help hold the stuffed turkey together. Carefully place the murducken, breast up in a large roasting pan.
  5. Roast covered for 4 hours or until the murducken is golden brown. Continue to roast uncovered for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer inserted through the thigh registers 180 degrees F. and a thermometer inserted through the stuffing registers 165 degrees F. Check the murducken every few hours to baste and remove excess liquid. There will be enough pan juices for a gallon of gravy.
  6. Cast animate dead and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Frightful Fridays! (Thanksgiving Week Spectacular) Culinary Kaida

Hello, and welcome back to this week-long monster jamboree. My mind turns toward food as I approach the Thanksgiving holiday in America, and I also realized it had been quite a while since the previous kaida on this blog. So, the two ideas came together in the culinary kaida, guardian (and consumer) of food. Given its voracious appetite, this dragon might be of use against tomorrow's monster.

I hope you enjoy the culinary kaida, and I'll see you tomorrow with a scary Thanksgiving-themed creature. Thanks for reading!

Oh yeah! I don't think I've nagged you enough about the Here Be Monsters Contest. Enter today!!! (or at least by the deadline)

This portly, aquamarine dragon breathes out smoke smelling of exotic spices.
Culinary Kaida      CR 2
XP 600
LN Tiny dragon
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +6
AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 size)
hp 22 (3d12+3)
Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +3
Immune disease, ingested poison, paralysis, sleep
Speed 10 ft., fly 50 ft. (average)
Melee bite +7 (1d3–4 plus dehydration), 2 claws +7 (1d2–4 plus starvation)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (30-ft. cone, blindness and sickness, Reflex DC 12 partial, usable every 1d4 rounds)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 11th; concentration +14)
   At will—detect poison, prestidigitation, purify food and drink (DC 13)
   3/day—create food and water
   1/week—heroes' feast
Str 2, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 16
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 9 (13 vs. trip)
Feats Endurance, Weapon Finesse
Skills Appraise +7, Craft (alchemy) +7, Diplomacy +9, Fly +10, Intimidate +3 (+11 in kitchens), Perception +6, Profession (cook) +11, Sense Motive +6, Spellcraft +6; Racial Modifiers +8 Intimidate (in kitchens), +8 Profession (cook)
Languages Common, Draconic
SQ this is my kitchen
Environment any urban
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure standard
Breath Weapon (Su) Creatures failing the Reflex save against a culinary kaida’s breath weapon are blinded for 1 round and sickened for 1d6 minutes. Creatures that succeed at the Reflex save are not blinded and only sickened for 1d6 rounds.
Dehydration (Su) If a culinary kaida successfully bites an opponent, the victim must succeed at a DC 12 Fortitude save or become dehydrated. On the first failure, the creature is treated as if it had gone 24 hours without water. On each successive failure, the creature is treated as if it went an additional 4 hours without water. Once the cumulative hours exceed its Constitution score, it must make a Constitution check (DC equal to 10 + the number of hours beyond its Constitution score) or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage as per the thirst rules. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Starvation (Su) If a culinary kaida strikes an opponent with a claw, the victim must succeed at a DC 12 Fortitude save or starve. On each failure, the creature is treated as if it had gone 1 day without food. If the cumulative days (including any from actual starvation) exceed 3 days, the creature must make a Constitution check (DC equal to 10 + the number of days beyond 3) or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage as per the starvation rules. The save DC is Constitution-based.
This Is My Kitchen (Su) When a culinary kaida is in a kitchen or other setting where cooking primarily occurs, it gains a +8 bonus on Intimidate checks. Additionally, it does not suffer a penalty from being a smaller size than its target in such settings.

Culinary kaidas preserve the edibility of food and water, ensuring others cannot become ill from eating food and drinking liquids they oversee. When they have the time and inclination, they also prepare elegant meals, rivaling those created by renowned chefs. A typical culinary kaida is 2 feet long from snout to tail, has a 3-foot wingspan, and weighs 20 pounds (thanks to their healthy appetites).

Thanks to their expertise with food and drink, culinary kaidas often end up in kitchens and other food preparation locales, where they quite often take charge. Many kaidas are authoritarian figures in the kitchens they supervise and berate those who fail to maintain the high standards set by the dragons. In kitchens where culinary kaidas have less experience than the head chefs, the dragons often argue about cooking and preparation with their superiors. A rarer path for the kaidas takes them to royal palaces where they act as food tasters, using their detect poison spell-like ability to protect nobility. These opportunities remove them from food preparation but allow them to enjoy exquisite dishes; they still can’t resist occasional visits to kitchens to “improve” the quality of food made there.

In combat, culinary kaidas prefer to incapacitate foes, usually by starving or dehydrating them. Once they have subdued their opponents, they create food and water to restore them to health. The kaidas also use their breath weapons—filled with strong spices that induce blindness and nausea in creatures exposed to the breath weapon—to debilitate their foes.

A 7th-level lawful or true neutral spellcaster with the Improved Familiar feat and at least 3 ranks in Profession (cook) can select a culinary kaida as a familiar. Provided the creature remains well-fed, it happily travels with the spellcaster.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Frightful Fridays! (Thanksgiving Week Spectacular) Inferno Treant

Hello, and welcome back to this Thanksgiving week of monsters. Keeping with the nature theme and jumping on a nicely coincidental fall theme, and thanks to a suggestion from my daughter, the inferno treant displays all the colors of autumn but in a destructive manner. I really like the image of a continually burning tree flanked by fire elementals also shaped like trees laying waste to a nearby village--unless some adventurers can stop the onslaught.

I hope you like the inferno treant, and I'll be back tomorrow with another monster. Thanks very much for reading!

***ALSO: You still have until Saturday to enter your monster in the latest Here Be Monsters contest!

Every inch of this massive tree is on fire, giving it a distinctive yellow, orange, and red glow.
Inferno Treant      CR 6
XP 2,400
CN Huge plant
Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9
AC 18, touch 10, flat-footed 16 (+2 Dex, +8 natural, –2 size)
hp 76 (9d8+36)
Fort +10, Ref +5, Will +6
Immune fire, plant traits
Speed 50 ft.
Melee 2 slams +12 (1d8+7 plus 1d6 fire and burn)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks burn (1d6, DC 18)
Str 25, Dex 15, Con 18, Int 8, Wis 17, Cha 14
Base Atk +6; CMB +15 (+17 sunder); CMD 27 (29 vs. sunder, can't be tripped)
Feats Dazzling Display, Improved Sunder, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Intimidate +15, Perception +9
Languages Common, Ignan, Treant
SQ burning trees, double damage against objects
Environment any forest
Organization solitary, pair, or wildfire (3–8)
Treasure incidental (fireproof gems, jewels, and magic items)
Burning Trees (Sp) An inferno treant can convert up to two trees within 120 feet into medium fire elementals. The trees require 1 full round to become fire elementals, after which they can act as normal. While an inferno treant can create as many fire elementals as it wishes, it can only control two at a time. If the treant moves out of range or is destroyed, the fire elementals it created collapse into a pile of ash.
Double Damage Against Objects (Ex) An inferno treant that makes a full attack against an object or structure deals double damage.

Inferno treants do not seek to protect the forests from which they derive. Instead, they carry out vengeance for destruction caused to their forest homes, typically through the careless use of fire by intelligent creatures. The treants gather a force of fire elementals from trees surviving a wildfire and track the responsible parties to their source, where the treants and elementals can lay waste to the community and ostensibly prevent future thoughtless destruction. Typical treants find inferno treants abhorrent and just as destructive as (if not more) the creatures liable for the accidental creation of the fiery treants. Treants normally aid in destroying inferno treants to preserve what they can, but, if their wrath has been provoked, they are content to let their conflagrative relatives wreak destruction.

Dead inferno treants often leave an acorn or another similar nut that looks like a large ember. Destructive druids procure these nuts to cultivate groves of inferno treants, which appear to be normal trees (or merely animated trees) until someone applies fire to them. These objects are worth 500 gp to interested parties and require a DC 21 Knowledge (nature) check to recognize their value.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Frightful Fridays! (Thanksgiving Week Spectacular) Primal Unicorn

Hello and welcome to a special edition of Frightful Fridays! Each day this week, I'll be posting a monster, including a fun Thanksgiving critter. I'm thankful for all my readers, and I want to make up for some missing weeks, so I'm creating this small run. I hope you enjoy them, starting with the primal unicorn. I've seen plenty of antithetical unicorns (all evil and negative and such), and I've worked on my share, but I wanted to do something close to nature. Luckily, friends posted the below image, and it re-triggered that desire.

I hope you like the primal unicorn, and I'll see you tomorrow with another monster. Thanks for reading!

ALSO: You still have a few days to enter your monster in the latest Here Be Monsters contest!

This rhinoceros, covered in greenish wool, sports a massive horn.
Primal Unicorn      CR 4
XP 1,200
N Large magical beast
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +11
AC 17, touch 9, flat-footed 17 (+8 natural, –1 size)
hp 42 (5d10+15)
Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +6
DR 5/piercing or wood
Speed 50 ft.
Melee gore +9 (2d6+7)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks blood rage, powerful charge (4d6+14), striding charge, trample (2d6+10, DC 17)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +13)
   At will—create food and water
   3/day—animal growth (DC 19), entangle (DC 15)
   1/day—remove disease, summon nature's ally IV, tree stride
Str 21, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 10, Wis 20, Cha 19
Base Atk +5; CMB +11 (+13 bull rush); CMD 21 (23 vs. bull rush, 25 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Bull Rush, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack
Skills Knowledge (nature) +9, Intimidate +9, Perception +11, Stealth –4 (+4 in forests), Survival +11; Racial Modifiers +4 Knowledge (nature), +8 Stealth in forests, +4 Survival
Languages Sylvan (can't speak)
SQ wild empathy +13, woodland stride
Environment any forest
Organization solitary, pair, crash (3–6)
Treasure none
Animal Growth (Sp) Once per day, a primal unicorn can quicken its animal growth spell-like ability as per the Quicken Spell-Like Ability feat, but only when it uses animal growth on itself.
Blood Rage (Ex) A primal unicorn can attempt a DC 16 Will save at the beginning of its turn to voluntarily end its rage. The save DC is Constitution-based (and based on the rage’s increased Constitution).
Striding Charge (Su) Once per day, a primal unicorn with its tree stride spell-like ability active can charge from a tree to which it transports as part of its full-round action.
Wild Empathy (Su) This ability works like the druid’s wild empathy class feature. A primal unicorn has a +4 racial bonus on wild empathy checks, and a primal unicorn with class levels granting wild empathy adds its racial modifier to wild empathy checks.
Woodland Stride (Ex) This works like the druid’s woodland stride ability. Additionally, a primal unicorn’s charge is not hindered by trees, and it does not harm trees when it charges.

Primal unicorns are more physically imposing specimens compared to typical unicorns. Rather than an equine form, primal unicorns take a rhinoceros shape. They weigh 2,500 pounds, stand 4 feet tall, and are 7 feet long.

Primal unicorns are in tune with their forest homes and protect all creatures who live there, animal, fey, and humanoid alike. Regardless of a creature’s alignment, primal unicorns give them equal protection, provided the creature respects other forest residents, and, most importantly, the forest itself. Primal unicorns react violently to outside destruction caused to their forests and usually lead a charge of animals to repel despoilers. Other than chasing egregious destroyers, primal unicorns rarely leave their homes. Because of their insular dispositions, primal unicorns have faded from public conscience as more proactive creatures such as unicorns and many “anti-unicorn” variants take the stage.

Foes who mistake the primal unicorns’ rhino-like appearance for slow, lumbering attacks meet unpleasant surprises when the unicorns charge at incredible speeds, nimbly dodging trees as they run. Primal unicorns often use their tree stride spell-like ability in the morning to give themselves an extra advantage for most of day, allowing them to maneuver other trees to get better charge lanes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A new monster contest!

Here Be Monsters is holding another contest, this time featuring monsters from outer space! It's the same crew as last year (Jacob W. Michaels, Mikko Kallio, and myself judging, with monster maven Adam Daigle as the guest judge), and this year's angle promises to be a lot of fun.

Please consider entering. I look forward to seeing your monsters from beyond the stars!