Friday, May 26, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Blattraupe

Hey there! Unbelievably, Frightful Fridays! has managed to work its way back to a Friday. PaizoCon is to blame for this phenomenon, but I hope to get things back on track in subsequent weeks. This week's monster is the blattraupe, inspired by a finding by Theodric the Obscure himself. This caterpillar is both pro- and anti-nature, depending on how it's deployed.

I hope you enjoy the blattraupe, and I'll see you again with another monster. Thanks for reading!

This caterpillar is green with brown mottling. Minute leaves protrude from its skin.
Blattraupe      CR 3
XP 800
N Tiny magical beast
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +7
AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +2 natural, +2 size)
hp 30 (4d10+8)
Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +2
Defensive Abilities leaf armor
Speed 20 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee bite +9 (1d3–4 plus poison)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks poison, wood destroyer
Str 2, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 3, Wis 13, Cha 8
Base Atk +4; CMB +5; CMD 11 (can't be tripped)
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Climb +11, Perception +7, Stealth +15 (+19 in forests); Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth in forests
Environment temperate and warm forests
Organization solitary, pair, pile (3–6)
Treasure none
Blattraupe Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 14; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 Dex damage and victim gains the benefit of barkskin; if a victim is reduced 0 Dex, it is petrified; cure 2 consecutive saves. A creature that successfully bites the blattraupe is subject to its poison.
Leaf Armor (Ex) Once per day as a full round action, a blattraupe extrudes leaves from its body, which then surround it, granting it an additional +2 natural armor bonus and DR 2/piercing. However, its base speed drops to 15 feet when it uses this ability. This effect lasts for 1 hour, at which point the leaves fall off.
Wood Destroyer (Ex) A blattraupe bypasses a wooden object’s first 5 points of hardness. Additionally, it adds its Dexterity modifier, instead of Strength modifier, to damage against plant creatures and wooden objects. Finally, the blattraupe benefits from the Improved Sunder feat when attempting to sunder a wooden object.

A blattraupe is a woodland menace, and trees riddled with perfectly round holes mark its territory. Since the caterpillar is somewhat intelligent, it manages its lair to prevent absolute destruction of the trees supporting it. Fortunately for the creature, its poisonous bite causes victims to petrify into wooden effigies, and it can feast on such victims at its leisure. Because the blattraupe devours petrified victims entirely, very little persists to warn travelers about the dangers of blattraupen-infested woods. Worse, the creatures silently wriggle their way onto wagons and into backpacks to relocate to settlements where they can find wood aplenty. It takes very little time for a blattraupe to inflict terrible damage to structures, often toppling them as the creature indulges its gluttonous appetite at the base of such buildings.

Malicious druids and those opposed to nature employ blattraupen; the former to create life-like wooden statues to adorn their homes, and the latter to destroy forests and flush out prey. While blattraupen are reticent to destroy trees, it is possible to coerce them into it—usually by starving them.

A 7th-level neutral spellcaster with the Improved Familiar feat and the wild empathy class feature can gain a blattraupe as a familiar. While the creature serves as a familiar, the spellcaster gains a +1 natural armor bonus.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Death Crab

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Frightful Fridays! The image for this monster is courtesy of my friend, Patrick, and I really took to the idea of a scavenging crab taking the skull from a barely functional undead creature, where the fusion of the two creates an even more dangerous monster.

I hope you enjoy the death crab, and I'll be back again with another monster. Thanks for reading!

This seemingly ordinary red crab inhabits a skull with glowing, green eyes. When the crab moves, the skull stays with it.
Death Crab      CR 3
XP 800
NE Tiny magical beast
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +8
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+2 Dex, +4 natural, +2 size)
hp 30 (4d10+8)
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +2
Immune negative energy
Speed 20 ft.
Melee 2 claws +8 (1d3+2 plus attach)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks attach, death bite, serrated claws
Str 5, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Atk +4; CMB +4 (+8 grapple); CMD 11 (19 vs. trip)
Feats Go UnnoticedAPG, Improved Initiative, Weapon FinesseB
Skills Perception +8, Stealth +14; Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth
SQ skull symbiosis
Environment coastlines
Organization solitary, pair, or band (3–6)
Treasure incidental
Death Bite (Su) If a death crab maintains a grapple against an opponent, in addition to dealing its claw damage, its attached skull bites the opponent. The creature must succeed at a DC 14 Fortitude save or take 1d2 points of Constitution damage, which grants the skull 5 temporary hit points for 1 hour (up to a maximum number of temporary hit points equal to its full normal hit points) and increases its hardness by 1 (up to a maximum of 10). The save DC is Charisma-based.
Serrated Claws (Ex) A death crab deftly attacks with its wicked claws. It gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat and adds its Dexterity modifier to its claw damage.
Skull Symbiosis (Su) The skull a death crab inhabits belonged to an undead creature and provides several benefits to the crab. While the skull is intact, the crab gains immunity to negative energy damage (positive energy still heals it), and the crab’s natural armor bonus increases by +2 (already included in its AC). Finally, the skull grants the death crab its signature death bite attack. Destroying the skull removes these abilities from the crab. The skull itself has 10 hp and hardness 5 and uses the death crab’s AC and CMD. The skull must be targeted separately to inflict damage to it, and it takes no damage from spells or effects that have an area of effect. However, if it is the area of effect for a spell or effect that deals positive energy damage to undead (such as a cleric’s channel energy), the skull suffers the damage, which bypasses the skull’s hardness and does not allow the skull a save.

When bleached skeletons wash up on shore, a strange species of hermit crabs breaks off the skulls and inhabits them. In many cases, the skeletons belong to the restless dead, so the skulls retain a measure of the malign spirits animating them. The skulls fuse to their new hosts and drive them to commit acts of murder or vengeance. This symbiotic relationship benefits the crabs, which become harder to strike and can dispatch prey with ease. Death crabs are still carrion eaters and allow their kills to rot before feasting on them. In rare cases, death induced by Constitution damage causes the remains to animate as a skeleton or zombie, but death crabs are usually quick to sever the heads from such victims, especially if the crabs have produced offspring.

Intelligent water-bound undead employ death crabs as guardians, usually favoring them over unintelligent undead, especially since the melding of the two adds a terrible intelligence to the whole. Death crabs allowed to grow to prodigious sizes inhabit the skulls of more impressive creatures provided by their undead caretakers.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Imaginought

Hello and welcome to a new Frightful Fridays! We're inching closer to this feature's namesake, and I hope to continue doing so. The imaginought is a blank slate until it experiences fearful thoughts and then takes the shape of those thoughts to terrorize its victims. It also likes to "play dead" and let its fast healing restore it to health, so it can launch a final, horrifying attack.

I hope you enjoy the imaginought, and I'll be back again with another monster. Thanks for reading!

A menagerie of horrifying images crosses this creature’s body. Its face is featureless apart from a wide, toothy grin.
Imaginought      CR 7
XP 3,200
NE Large outsider (native)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +14
Aura fear (30 ft., DC 18)
AC 20, touch 12, flat-footed 17 (+3 Dex, +8 natural, –1 size)
hp 85 (9d10+36); fast healing 2
Fort +7, Ref +9, Will +8
DR 5/good; Immune cold, fire; Resist acid 10, electricity 10
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 30 ft., fly 80 ft. (good)
Melee bite +14 (1d8+5), 2 claws +13 (1d6+5)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks fearful energies, rend (2 claws, 1d6+7)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +13)
   At will—detect thoughts (DC 16)
   3/day—burning hands (DC 15), summon swarm
   1/day—bane (DC 15), phantasmal killer (DC 18)
Str 20, Dex 17, Con 18, Int 13, Wis 15, Cha 18
Base Atk +9; CMB +15; CMD 28
Feats Dazzling Display, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack, Shatter Defenses, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics +3 (+7 to jump), Bluff +16, Climb +13, Disable Device +15, Disguise +16, Fly +11, Intimidate +21, Knowledge (local) +10, Perception +14, Stealth +11
Languages Common; telepathy 60 ft.
SQ taste of fear
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, nightmare (3–6)
Treasure incidental
Fearful Energies (Su) If an imaginought has successfully read the surface thoughts of a creature with a fear of a particular type of energy, its burning hands spell-like ability deals maximum damage of that energy type to the phobic creature. Additionally, the creature takes a –2 penalty on its save against burning hands.
Taste of Fear (Su) An imaginought gains a +8 morale bonus on Survival checks to track victims that have failed their Will save against its fear aura.

An imaginought is a bogeyman created from the fearful thoughts of those who enter the foreboding space it inhabits. A blank slate before it is first created, it develops a suite of tricks and powers to maximize the impact of its frightful nature. The creature inherently knows what its “creator” fears, but, should it survive beyond the moment of its creation, it learns to read thoughts to improve and expand its tactics.

A hulking brute of a bipedal creature, standing about 8 feet tall, an imaginought starts with very few details on its dead grey flesh, other than dagger-like claws and a gnashing bite. As it encounters more fears, it coalesces into a preferred nightmare form. A palpable wave of fear emanates from an imaginought. Each creature has subtle differences based on the phobias it has tasted. Typically, though, an imaginought features insects, spiders, or snakes crawling along its body, or a fiery aura. An imaginought is sensitive to numeric superstitions, so it may have 13 total digits on their hands, 6 digits on each hand, or an odd number of horns crowning its brow. These features do not give the creature extra or more powerful attacks. An imaginought also speaks in a familiar voice to its victim, usually belonging to an authority figure or someone who bullied the victim in the past.

An imaginought lives only to sow terror. It likely lets victims go so it can invoke a sense of fear of subsequent encounters. The creature enjoys playing dead where it waits for its victim to draw near and check on it or strike a fatal blow, at which point it leaps up in a horrifying display and continues its attack. Among themselves, imaginoughts are dull and lifeless, perhaps exchanging fearful patterns with each other. The creatures have no original thoughts of their own and rely on sentient creatures’ thoughts and fears from which they create mirror distortions. Without intelligent victims to feed them, they become inert. Thus, imaginoughts stalk their victims to maintain a flow of negative emotions. Some imaginoughts work with animate dreams and night hags to enhance the terror they create and provide the more powerful creatures with victims.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Ghost Maw

Hello, and welcome to a new edition of Frightful FridaysTerrible Tuesdays! This week's monster, the ghost maw, is fun for underground explorations where flight is not quite so easy. Maybe it's not fun for the characters who find themselves trapped in 30 cubic feet of stone, though.

I hope you enjoy the ghost maw, and I'll see you again with another monster. Thanks for reading!

A ghostly worm of incredible size and featuring a gnashing, toothy mouth emerges from the surrounding stone.
Ghost Maw      CR 14
XP 38,400
NE Colossal undead (incorporeal)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 120 ft.; Perception +17
AC 26, touch 26, flat-footed 23 (+21 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 dodge, –8 size)
hp 210 (20d8+120); fast healing 5 (while underground)
Fort +12, Ref +8, Will +14
Defensive Abilities incorporeal, malevolent mantle, rejuvenation; Immune undead traits
Speed fly 90 ft. (poor)
Melee incorporeal touch +18 (6d6+8 negative energy/19–20)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 30 ft.
Special Attacks incorporeal terrain, trample (6d6+11 negative energy, DC 22)
Str —, Dex 15, Con —, Int 1, Wis 14, Cha 23
Base Atk +15; CMB +33; CMD 57 (can't be tripped)
Feats Critical Focus, Dodge, Exhausting Critical, Improved Critical (incorporeal touch), Improved Initiative, Mobility, Skill Focus (Fly), Skill Focus (Perception), Tiring Critical, Weapon Focus (incorporeal touch)
Skills Fly +10, Perception +17, Stealth –6 (+10 underground); Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth (+24 underground)
Environment any underground
Organization solitary
Treasure none
Incorporeal Terrain (Su) As a standard action, a ghost maw can transform force solid terrain equal to its space to become incorporeal. Creatures on the transformed terrain must succeed at a DC 26 Reflex save or fall 30 feet (taking 3d6 points of damage). As a free action at the beginning of the ghost maw’s next turn, it can return the terrain to corporeality. Creatures caught in the reconstituted terrain take 8d6 points of damage, as if buried in a cave-in (DC 26 Reflex save for half damage). The creature takes damage as per being buried in a cave-in (1d6 points of nonlethal damage per minute, and then 1d6 points of lethal damage on a failed DC 15 Constitution check each minute after falling unconscious). The save DCs are Charisma-based.
Malevolent Mantle (Su) A ghost maw has a +16 deflection bonus (which stacks with the deflection bonus provided by its Charisma modifier). It also has a +8 racial bonus on its attack and damage rolls.
Rejuvenation (Su) When a ghost maw is destroyed, it only remains destroyed for 2d6 days. After this time, the creature reforms where it was destroyed, fully healed. The only way to permanently destroy a ghost maw is to destroy its corpse and cover the remains in a gallon of holy water (or use a spell such as consecrate).

The malevolent spirit of a burrowing worm which dies while trapped in the earth, a ghost maw seeks to entomb other creatures in the earth and watch them slowly die due to lack of lack of oxygen and the press of earth upon their bodies. It achieves this by rendering ground it intersects with into incorporeality, pulling victims into the ground, and then restoring the earth to reality, crushing all those unable to escape the trap. Failing to harm its prey through its preferred method, it passes over them and drains the life from those unable to move out of the way.

Intelligent incorporeal creatures lure ghost maws to groups of victims and wait for the ghostly worms to entomb the victims within rock where they make easy targets. Ghost maws attack anything that moves, so incorporeality is no guarantee of safety from the creatures. However, the worms prefer flesh and blood creatures to incorporeal prey, so they attack available corporeal creatures, especially those rooted to the ground. Ghost maws are instinctively aware of their connection to the earth and usually stay within reach so they can benefit from its embrace.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Cloth Ooze

Hello, and welcome to another Frightful not-so-Fridays! This time, I've got an ooze for you, and, well, it's indistinguishable from a pile of dirty laundry. It is slightly more strangle-y than dirty laundry, though.

I hope you enjoy the cloth ooze, and I'll see you next time with another monster. Thanks for reading!

It's just a harmless pile of clothes.

This mismatched pile of clothing quivers ever so slightly.
Cloth Ooze      CR 4
XP 1,200
N Medium ooze
Init +5; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception +7
AC 13, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 47 (5d8+25)
Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +3
DR 5/slashing; Immune ooze traits
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +7 (1d6+6 plus grab and trip)
Special Attacks constrict (1d6+4), reflexive disarm, strangle
Str 19, Dex 12, Con 21, Int 1, Wis 14, Cha 4
Base Atk +3; CMB +6 (+10 grapple); CMD 18 (can't be tripped)
Feats Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Perception +7
SQ camouflage, single-minded attacker
Environment any underground or urban
Organization solitary
Treasure incidental
Camouflage (Ex) Since a cloth ooze looks like a pile of clothes when at rest, a DC 20 Perception check is required to notice it before it attacks the first time. Anyone with ranks in Survival or Knowledge (dungeoneering) can use either of those skills instead of Perception to notice the ooze.
Reflexive Disarm (Ex) If a cloth ooze has an attack of opportunity remaining, it makes an immediate disarm attempt when struck by a melee weapon. Since the ooze cannot distinguish between weapons, it makes this attempt when struck by a natural weapon or an unarmed strike, automatically failing.
Single-Minded Attacker (Ex) A cloth ooze always uses Power Attack when attacking. Its stats reflect this. Additionally, the ooze attempts to first grab an opponent it has hit with its slam attack. If it fails to grab its opponent, it makes a trip attempt.
Strangle (Ex) Foes grappled by a cloth ooze cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components.

Cloth oozes possess the typical acidic composition common to oozes, but it is considerably weaker. Therefore, they cannot burn their victims with their attacks and must instead wait for victims to succumb to their blows or strangulation before they can digest their meals. An odd property of cloth ooze acid renders them unable to dissolve cloth; rather, the material sticks to them. This gives them a small measure of protection and makes it difficult for anything other than slashing weapons to harm them effectively.

Another slight difference between cloth oozes and most ordinary oozes is their very rudimentary intelligence. This suits them well as they have migrated to urban environments where their ability to blend in works better than in a dungeon environment. They have enough patience to wait for a victim to move adjacent to them before they attack. The material comprising them allows them to grab hold of victims, or, failing that, tangle up their victims and cause them to topple over.
Creatures which provide cloth oozes with a steady diet can keep them as guardians, but the oozes have a propensity for turning on their “masters” when food is scarce or when careless controllers get too close.