Friday, July 27, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Catichoke

Hello and welcome to Frightful Fridays! I've reached into my cache of images for this week's monster, which will trigger all the allergies. The catichoke leaves a cloud of smoke and dander in its wake, invoking sneezing and coughing fits in everyone caught in the cloud. Spellcasters who don't like their adventuring companions can select a catichoke as an improved familiar.

I hope you enjoy the catichoke, and I'll see you next week with another monster. Thanks for reading!

This gray cat head rests atop a cloud of similarly colored smoke. When it moves, it leaves clouds of smoke in its wake.
Catichoke      CR 2
XP 600
N Tiny outsider (air, earth, elemental, native)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., smoke sight; Perception +7
AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 12 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 size)
hp 22 (3d10+6)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +2
DR 5/magic; Immune elemental traits; Resist fire 10
Speed 20 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee bite +3 (1d23 plus 1d4 Str)
Space 21/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks billowing flight, Strength damage
Str 4, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 4, Wis 13, Cha 11
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 13 (can't be tripped)
Feats Dodge, Mobility
Skills Escape Artist +17, Fly +15, Perception +7, Stealth +16; Racial Modifiers +8 Escape Artist
SQ gaseous
Languages Auran, Terran (can only speak to other catichokes)
Environment temperate and warm land
Organization solitary, pair, or clouder (312)
Treasure none
Billowing Flight (Ex) All squares a catichoke passes through when it flies are affected as if stinking cloud had been cast on them (DC 13 Fortitude negates). The cloud reaches from the catichoke’s height down to the ground. The affected squares revert to normal at the end of the catichoke’s next turn (provided it doesn’t travel through the squares again during its next turn). The save DC is Constitution-based.
Gaseous (Ex) A catichoke can pass through small holes or narrow openings without reducing its speed. It cannot enter water or other liquid. If the catichoke attacks another gaseous creature (either as a result of the catichoke’s Strength damage reducing a victim to 0 Strength, through an inherent special ability, or by gaseous form or a similar spell or effect), it adds its Dexterity modifier to damage rather than its Strength modifier (1d2+3 points of damage for a typical catichoke).
Smoke Sight (Su) A catichoke can see through fire, fog, and smoke without penalty.
Strength Damage (Su) A creature that takes Strength damage from a catichoke’s bite attack becomes smoke if its Strength score is reduced to 0. The affected creature acts as if it were targeted by gaseous form until its Strength score increases above 0.

The origin of catichokes is unclear; various sages claim wayward border elementals stuck on the Material Plane took on a native form and stuck with it through generations, while others posit a group of cats became infused with elemental energies at a weak point between the Material Plane and the Elemental Planes of Air and Earth. Whatever their actual origin, all catichokes release unending clouds of dander-filled smoke as they move, leaving those who witness them wondering how such small beings can produce so much material. The clouds seem to coalesce into the cat-like creatures after a few seconds, so the creatures can reuse them, meaning they don’t have an infinite supply.

Catichokes are persistent enemies of hell hounds. As with their origins, it is unknown how the creatures came into contact with each other. The most likely explanation is that a group of planar travelers who befriended the cats encountered a pack of hell hounds and the catichokes pass on the tale of this meeting to their children. Another, less popular, explanation also provides another possible origin for the catichokes’ genesis: they were bred specifically to attack hell hounds and other infernal denizens.

A typical catichoke is 1 foot in length, stands 6 inches tall, and weighs a slight 4 pounds.

A spellcaster of at least 7th level with at least one neutral component to alignment who takes the Improved Familiar feat can select a catichoke as a familiar. If the spellcaster with a catichoke familiar has at least one spell with the air or earth descriptor prepared or known, the spellcaster can use gaseous form once per day as a spell-like ability.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Inferno Bulette

Hello and welcome back to Frightful Fridays! We're in the middle of the hot days of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, so it seems appropriate to wheel out the last of the elemental bulettes, the inferno bulette, today. This bulette melts everything and is so hot it can penetrate fire immunity and resistance (except for creatures with the fire subytpe). It's already fairly angry, but targeting it with cold damage makes it enraged, and it will go after the source of the cold.

I hope you enjoy the inferno bulette, and I'll see you next week with another monster!

If you want to revisit the other elemental bulettes (or look them over for the first time!), these handy links will take you to them.

Stone Bulette
Glacier Bulette
Blitz Bulette

This creature, shaped like a massive teardrop of flame with four legs, transitions in color from blue at its head, through white and orange along its body, to red at its tail.
Inferno Bulette      CR 19
XP 204,800
N Huge magical beast (fire)
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +21
AC 34, touch 16, flat-footed 26 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +18 natural, 2 size)
hp 324 (24d10+192)
Fort +22, Ref +21, Will +16
Immune fire
Weaknesses vulnerability to cold
Speed 60 ft., burrow 40 ft., fly 90 ft. (good); detonating teleport
Melee bite +31 (3d6+9 plus 8d8 fire and burn), 2 claws +31 (2d8+9 plus 6d8 fire and burn)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks burn (4d6, DC 30), burn through
Str 28, Dex 25, Con 27, Int 2, Wis 22, Cha 11
Base Atk +24; CMB +35 (+39 sunder); CMD 53 (55 vs. sunder, 57 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Following Step[APG], Greater Sunder, Hover, Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Mobility, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception), Step Up, Step Up And Strike[APG]
Skills Acrobatics +25 (+37 to jump), Fly +7, Perception +21
Languages Ignan
SQ superheated
Environment any warm land
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none
Burn Through (Su) As a full-round action, an inferno bulette can make a special charge attack. Creatures in the path of the charge take 11/2 times the fire damage dealt by the bulette’s bite attack and are subject to burn, but they take no physical damage. Targets of this ability can make an attack of opportunity against the bulette. If a target forgoes its attack of opportunity, it can attempt a DC 29 Reflex save to take half damage and avoid burn. The save DC is Dexterity-based.
A charging inferno bulette that deals sufficient damage to an object to destroy it with this ability can continue its charge with no penalty.  When using this ability against larger structures (like a wall), the bulette does not destroy the structure if it deals sufficient damage to substance's hit points (per the breaking and entering rules in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook), but it leaves a hole equal to its size in the structure.  If it does not deal enough damage to destroy the object or break through the structure, it stops adjacent to the object and takes 1d6 points of damage for every 10 feet it moved to reach the object.
An inferno bulette must wait 1d4 rounds before using this ability again.
Detonating Teleport (Su) Once every 1d4+1 rounds, an inferno bulette can explode and propel itself up to 120 feet from its current location. All creatures within 20 feet of the bulette’s original location take 10d8 points of fire damage (DC 30 Reflex save for half). This is a teleportation effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Superheated (Su) An inferno bulette’s body reaches extreme high temperatures, which taper off from its head to its tail. Its bite attack ignores up to 20 points of fire resistance, and its claws ignore up to 10 points of fire resistance. When it charges, including when it uses its burn through ability, its attacks ignore fire immunity. Creatures with the fire subtype retain their fire immunity against the bulette’s attacks.

Bulettes touched by the Elemental Plane of Fire undergo a transformation where plasma replaces most of their flesh. These inferno bulettes generate incredible heat, with the greatest amount concentrated in their heads. The further from the bulettes’ head, the cooler their bodies become, but even their tails emanate heat at a lava-like intensity. The cantankerous creatures often test their fiery bodies against standing structures and opponents.

Inferno bulettes are straightforward opponents and use their inherent abilities at the first opportunity. They charge about battlefields and overrun as many opponents as possible. When they can’t charge and have no nearby opponents, they detonate themselves to jump to a target. Likewise, when foes inflict cold damage against the bulettes, they take advantage of their maneuverability to destroy cold-using foes along with all objects on their foes.

Unlike most elemental-touched bulettes, inferno bulettes serve roles in their elemental plane. Powerful generals from the Elemental Plane of Fire use inferno bulettes as shock troops to destroy defensive lines and generally demoralize the opposition. Salamanders attempt to ride the bulettes into battle and often fall prey to their own mounts without some sort of magical control.

Inferno bulettes measure 22 feet in length. The ionized gas constituting most of the bulettes’ bodies make them extraordinarily light, with most specimens weighing a relatively mere 500 pounds.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Drop Sloth

Hello and welcome back to Frightful Fridays! Happy Friday the 13th! Today's monster is a birthday present for my son, who wanted me to design a sloth. He originally wanted a dire sloth, but that was already in the Tome of Horrors. I proposed the drop sloth below, and he agreed to that. The drop sloth is so slow that it warps time and space, not in any kind of scientifically accurate way, mind you. The fey-touched wilderness where drop sloths originated don't play by the rules, though.

I hope you enjoy the drop sloth, and I'll see you next week with another monster!

This brown-furred creature looks like a typical arboreal sloth grown to prodigious size with its front pair of paws featuring three scythe-like claws. It moves at a nearly imperceptible speed.
Drop Sloth      CR 9
XP 6,400
N Huge magical beast
Init 3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 120 ft.; Perception +16
AC 23, touch 5, flat-footed 23 (3 Dex, +18 natural, 2 size)
hp 126 (12d10+60)
Fort +13, Ref +5, Will +8
DR 10/—; Immune falling damage, speed-changing magic, staggered, stunning
Speed 5 ft., climb 5 ft.
Melee claw +18 (3d6+12/1920)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks crush
Str 27, Dex 5, Con 20, Int 4, Wis 18, Cha 7
Base Atk +12; CMB +22; CMD 29 (33 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Critical (claw), Improved Vital Strike, Power Attack, Staggering Blow, Vital Strike
Skills Climb +22, Perception +16
SQ space-time distortion
Environment any forest
Organization solitary, pair, or singularity (38)
Treasure none
Crush (Ex) A drop sloth at a height greater than 10 feet or higher can land on foes two or more size categories smaller than the sloth as a full-round action, using its whole body to crush them. It can maneuver itself to land anywhere in a radius equal to its current height from the ground. Creatures in the affected area must succeed on a DC 21 Reflex save or be pinned, automatically taking bludgeoning damage equal to 3d8 plus 11/2 times the sloth’s Strength bonus during the next round, unless the sloth moves off them. If the sloth chooses to maintain the pin, it must succeed at a combat maneuver check as normal. Pinned foes take damage from the crush each round if they don’t escape. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Additionally, when a drop sloth uses this ability, it creates a 20-foot-diameter pit with a depth twice the vertical distance it fell.
Immunity to Speed-Changing Magic (Su) A drop sloth is immune to spells and effects that decrease or increase its speed, such as haste and slow.
Space-Time Distortion (Su) A drop sloth’s uncanny slowness has several effects on physical interactions around it. As a move action which does not provoke attacks of opportunity, a drop sloth can attempt a single combat maneuver check (with a +4 racial bonus) against all creatures within 30 feet of it to either pull them toward it or push them away. It can only create one effect when it uses this ability. Creatures move 20 feet towards the sloth (stopping when they are adjacent to the sloth) or 20 feet away from it. Creatures larger than the sloth move 10 fewer feet for every size category larger than the sloth. The creatures’ movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and creatures moved this way stop if they would move into a solid object or creature.
Once per day as a standard action, a drop sloth can move backwards up to 1 minute along its personal timeline. This typically allows it to reset its position and restore lost hit points to the beginning of combat.

Drop sloths were ordinary sloths which found their ways into primordial forests infused with ancient magic that caused the sloths to grow to enormous size. A significant decrease in speed accompanied this growth, and the drop sloths’ supreme slowness has strange effects on the passage of time and the influence of gravity around them. The sloths resist all effects to change their speed, and they can use their slowness to slide themselves backward through time. As drop sloths are not highly intelligent creatures, they take advantage of this ability when they have been severely wounded or when they want to position themselves for additional drop attacks. They also become supermassive when they fall from heights, surprisingly not affecting the branches from which they hang prior to their falls. Drop sloths create immense craters; a strong sign of lairing drop sloths are deep pits near stout trees.

Drop sloths are herbivorous but eat very little considering their weight, so they have almost no impact on the forests where they live. Since they don’t eat meat and prefer not to move much, they rarely attack other creatures. However, a pair of drop sloths rearing its young becomes protective of their offspring and attack intruders. Sometimes, a solitary sloth just becomes irritable for no apparent reason and launches itself at anything moving near it. In primordial woods ruled by fey, some fey manage to train drop sloths to act as guardians. This typically requires decades of work, so most fey become bored with the activity and leave the sloths to their own devices.

Drop sloths are 18 feet in length and weigh 1 ton. They somehow avoid breaking branches from which they hang, but when they fall on prey, their weight effectively increases to 5 tons. Drop sloths are extremely long-lived, reaching several centuries in age, with some specimens living for up to two millennia.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Swamp Rabbit

Hello and welcome back for another installment of Frightful Fridays! Today's monster came at the request of one of my Patreon patrons (Patreon plug:, who became a Pathfinder Society Venture Captain in upstate South Carolina. The new lodge chose the swamp rabbit as its symbol/mascot, and he wanted stats for it. As always, I took a few wee liberties with the base animal, and the result is below.

I hope you enjoy the swamp rabbit, and I'll see you next week with something else. Thanks for reading!

White fur peeks through the otherwise mud-covered fur belonging to this rabbit, which possesses webbed rear paws oversized even compared to other rabbits.
Swamp Rabbit      CR 4
XP 1,200
N Small animal
Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +6
AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 37 (5d8+15)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +3
Defensive Abilities wriggle free; Resist fire 5 (in swamps only)
Speed 40 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d6), 2 slams +7 (1d6)
Special Attacks muck splash
Str 11, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +2; CMD 16 (20 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Mobility, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +9 (+13 to jump), Escape Artist +11 (+15 in swamps), Perception +6, Stealth +11 (+19 in swamps), Swim +8; Racial Modifiers +8 Escape Artist (+12 in swamps), +8 Stealth in swamps
SQ hold breath
Environment temperate and warm swamp
Organization solitary, pair, or warren (324)
Treasure none
Muck Splash (Ex) As part of full round action, a swamp rabbit on muddy ground can move its speed and attempt to blind a single target within 10 feet of it at any point during its move. The swamp rabbit resolves this as a dirty trick maneuver and gains a +4 racial bonus to its CMB for the attempt.
Wriggle Free (Ex) Generations of escaping alligators, crocodiles, and other grabby predators, as well as humanoid-laid traps, have allowed swamp rabbits to develop loose skins that enable them to escape grasps more quickly. A swamp rabbit can attempt an Escape Artist check to escape a grapple as a move action. If it instead uses a standard action, it gains a +4 racial bonus on the check.

Swamp rabbits are nearly amphibious herbivores that forage in marshes and other swamplands. They primarily eat grasses, reeds, and other vegetation found in their habitats. Unlike many other herbivores, swamp rabbits stand and fight, rather than run, when threatened. They have powerful teeth, and they use their overly large legs to forcefully kick their foes. Generations of tussles with alligators have helped develop their offensive and defensive capabilities, such that they have become natural enemies to alligators and other swampy predators. A lone swamp rabbit acts as bait for a predator and even allows itself to get snagged by the larger creature before a rush of rabbits descends on the predator to kill it or drive it away.

A swamp rabbit stands 3 feet tall, but can stretch to 4 feet in length, and weighs 80 pounds. They live approximately 15 years.

Swamp Rabbit Animal Companions
Druids and rangers who spend much of their time in swamps or other muck-filled areas benefit from having a swamp rabbit as an animal companion.

Swamp Rabbit Companions
Starting Statistics: Size Small; Speed 30 ft., swim 20 ft.; Attack bite (1d4), 2 slams (1d4); Ability Scores Str 9, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 8; SQ low-light vision, wriggle free
4th-Level Advancement: Ability Scores Str +2, Con +4; Attack bite (1d6), 2 slams (1d6); Special Attacks muck splash