Friday, September 28, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Elyftephant and Octoquestrian

Hello and welcome back for Frightful Fridays! I've got two monsters for you this week, each fitting a loose theme of mounts. The elyftephant itself serves as a mount, primarily to undead creatures. It tramples everything in its path and provides protection for the creatures ensconced in its chest cavity, not that the undead elyftephant needs organs after all. This week's second offering, the octoquestrian, is an octopus-like aberration that likes riding horses, to mitigate its inability to get around on land. Woe betide anyone who kills an octoquestrian's mount, though, since the octoquestrian will turn the killer into its new horse.

I hope you enjoy the elyftephant and the octoquestrian. I will see you Monday for the start of the month-long Frogtober celebration. Thanks for reading!

Here are the links to the inspiration images for this week's monsters:


Despite the emaciated frame of this obviously undead elephant, it moves with a powerful stride.
Elyftephant      CR 6
XP 2,400
NE Huge undead
Init 2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
AC 20, touch 6, flat-footed 20 (2 Dex, +14 natural, 2 size)
hp 76 (9d8+36); fast healing 5
Fort +7, Ref +1, Will +6
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4; DR 5/magic; Immune cold, undead traits; Resist acid 10, electricity 10
Speed 30 ft.
Melee gore +14 (2d8+10), slam +14 (2d6+10)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks increased damage against objects, trample (2d6+15 plus 2d6 negative energy, DC 24)
Str 31, Dex 6, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 19
Base Atk +6; CMB +18 (+20 bull rush); CMD 26 (28 vs. bull rush, 30 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Bull Rush[B], Power Attack[B]
Skills Perception +16
SQ riding chamber
Environment any land
Organization solitary or war unit (224 plus 212 skeletal champions or other intelligent undead)
Treasure incidental
Increased Damage Against Objects (Ex) An elyftephant that makes a full attack against an object or structure deals double damage. If the elyphtephant charges an object or structure, it deals triple damage against the object or structure.
Riding Chamber (Su) An elyftephant’s chest cavity is carved out, leaving space for 2 Medium or 1 Large creature to sit in relative comfort. Creatures within this cavity gain cover from attacks and benefit from the elyftephant’s elemental immunities and resistances. Additionally, these creatures take half damage from spells or effects that affect an area. The elyftephant’s riding chamber is suffused with negative energy however. At the beginning of the elyftephant's turn, it deals 2d6 points of negative energy damage (DC 18 Will save halves) and heals 2d6 damage to creatures healed by negative energy. An intelligent undead creature within the riding chamber can spend a move action to command the elyftephant. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Elyftephants are undead engines of war created by powerful liches and other undead transmuters. Rather than exposing riders atop their creations as living creatures are forced to do so with elephants, these creators built in a chamber to comfortably house other undead creatures. On occasion, these cavities are filled with mindless undead that leap into battle after the elyftephants batter down obstacles, but the elyftephants creators wanted undead generals and the like to control the battlefield from the safety of the larger creatures’ interior. These riding chambers are inimical to living creatures, so elyftephants cannot be turned against their masters very effectively.

Uncontrolled elyftephants charge at the largest object or collection of living creatures, and they always use Power Attack when in combat.

An elyftephant stands 11 feet tall and weighs 8,000 pounds. It can be created with create undead using an elephant’s corpse. The caster must be at least 15th level, and the elephant’s corpse must have taken negative energy damage before it died.


This dark purple octopus sits atop a white steed and seemingly guides the animal with its tentacles.
Octoquestrian      CR 5
XP 1,600
CN Medium aberration (aquatic)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12
AC 19, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 59 (7d8+28)
Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +7
Speed 10 ft., swim 60 ft.
Melee 4 tentacles +10 (1d6+1)
Special Attacks insurmountable
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +11)
   At will—mount
   3/day—charm animal (DC 15), phantom steed
Str 13, Dex 21, Con 18, Int 18, Wis 14, Cha 19
Base Atk +5; CMB +6; CMD 21 (29 vs. trip)
Feats Animal Affinity, Mounted Combat, Ride-by Attack, Spirited Charge, Trample[B], Weapon Finesse[B]
Skills Acrobatics +15 (+7 to jump), Escape Artist +15, Handle Animal +16, Knowledge (nature) +14, Perception +12, Ride +17, Stealth +12, Survival +12, Swim +15
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Sylvan; speak with animals (horses only)
SQ amphibious, emergency mount, tentacled rider
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or cavalry (320)
Treasure standard
Emergency Mount (Su) An octoquestrian casts mount as a standard action, rather than taking 1 round. Additionally, it can expend two uses of phantom steed to cast it in 1 round rather than 10 minutes.
Insurmountable (Su) Once per day as a standard action, an octoquestrian can make a touch attack. If it strikes a living target, the target must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or transform into a light warhorse. This is a similar effect to baleful polymorph, so a victim that fails its Fortitude save must also make a DC 17 Will save. If this save fails, the victim loses all its extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities (as well as its ability to cast spells, if applicable), and uses the stats for a light warhorse. It still retains its class and level (or HD), as well as all benefits deriving from them, such as base attack bonus, base save bonuses, and hit points. It retains any class features other than those listed above. The save DCs are Charisma-based.
If the octoquestrian does not strike a target after activating this ability, it can effectively hold the charge until it successfully strikes a target, or it uses a spell-like ability (in which case, it loses the charge).
Tentacled Rider (Ex) An octoquestrian takes no penalty on Ride checks for riding bareback.

When the dread kraken sent its octopus armies to land to invade, those octopodes who did not question the order (and thus survived the dread kraken’s unspeakable wrath) worked out methods to adapt to land. Many of them turn to magic or spontaneously mutated, some transforming their tentacles into legs and some gaining the ability to fly. A rare few retained their original forms and used the available resources found on dry land to move about. One such species used horses as their mode of transportation and adopted the moniker octoquestrian. Octoquestrians possess innate animal empathy and a small suite of magic powers to control or conjure horses. They prefer living, tentacle-trained horses to those summoned or created with magic, but make do with what they have. If they lose a horse they have reared themselves, they employ their most devastating magic to permanently transform the killers into horses, which they ride in their previous mounts’ stead.

Despite their generally chaotic nature, octoquestrians work exceptionally well together and employ sound battlefield tactics. Octoquestrians often take levels in cavalier to improve their skill with horses and to bolster their ability to conduct battle effectively as part of an octoquestrian cavalry.

A typical octoquestrian measures 4 feet tall, while its tentacles extend for 6 feet, and it weighs 150 pounds. An octoquestrian can live for up to 125 years.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Owlhoneybadger

Hello and welcome back for another Frightful Fridays! Today's monster was going to feature in the Monstober marathon, but I will be cooperating with Hugo Solis, who is participating in Inktober (here is a sample of Hugo's excellent artwork to give you an idea). So, you will get illustrations to go with the monster stats for a whole month. Expect a very froggy month, overall.

Back to this week's monster, which is another mashup similar to an owlbear. Here is a link to the lovely illustration of the owlhoneybadger. This little critter is always angry, but using a spell to tell it "Lighten up, Francis" will only make it angrier.

I hope you enjoy this week's monster, and I'll see you next Friday with another one!

This combination of owl and muscular badger features massive paws with talon-like claws covered in fresh and dried blood. Its bloodshot eyes bulge just above its open, spittle-flecked beak.
Owlhoneybadger      CR 6
XP 2,400
N Small magical beast
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +16
AC 19, touch 11, flat-footed 17 (+2 Dex, +8 natural, 2 rage, +1 size)
hp 76 (8d10+32)
Fort +10, Ref +8, Will +6
Defensive Abilities ferocity; Resist compulsion effects; Immunities fear
Speed 30 ft., burrow 20 ft.
Melee bite +14 (1d6+5), 2 claws +14 (1d8+5)
Special Attacks hybrid hunter, hyper rage
Str 20, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 11
Base Atk +8; CMB +12; CMD 22 (26 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Perception +16, Survival +2 (+14 to follow tracks); Racial Modifiers +12 Survival to follow tracks
Environment temperate or warm forests and plains
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure incidental
Hybrid Hunter (Ex) An owlhoneybadger gains a +4 bonus on Perception and Survival checks against hybrid creatures (including other owlhoneybadgers). It also gains a +4 bonus on attack and damage rolls against hybrid creatures.
Hyper Rage (Ex) An owlhoneybadger is always in a state of rage (reflected in its stats above). If something manages to break its rage, it takes 2 to its Strength and Constitution, and loses the rage modifier to its AC.
If an owlhoneybadger takes damage more than once between the end of its turn and the beginning of its next turn, it enters into an extreme form of rage as an immediate action. It gains an additional +2 bonus to Strength and Constitution, and it loses its Dexterity modifier to AC (making it vulnerable to sneak attacks and other attacks benefitting from a creature losing its Dexterity modifier to AC). It also gains DR 5/— and immunity to mind-affecting effects. Finally, its ferocity improves, such that it is not staggered until its hit point total reaches a negative amount equal to its Constitution score, and it doesn’t die until its hit point total reaches a negative amount equal to twice its Constitution score.
While an owlhoneybadger is in hyper rage, as a free action at the beginning of its turn, it can immediate end any one of the following conditions currently affecting it: blind, dazed, dazzled, entangled, exhausted, fatigued, nauseated, sickened, or stunned. All other conditions and effects remain, even those resulting from the same spell or effect that caused the selected condition. It can use this ability at the start of its turn even if a condition would prevent it from acting.
Once an owlhoneybadger enters hyper rage, it cannot end it until all creatures are out of its sight or it dies.
Resistance to Compulsion Effects (Ex) An owlhoneybadger gains a +2 racial bonus on Will saves against compulsion spells or effects. Additionally, it rolls twice on such Will saves and takes the best result. If the owlhoneybadger succeeds on a Will save against a compulsion spell or effect, it enters hyper rage (as per the special ability above).

A cabal of wizards, realizing their mistake in creating uncontrollable hybrid monsters, decided to create a hunter of such abominations. Perhaps predictably, they compounded their mistakes when they magically engineered owlhoneybadgers. Many didn’t live long to regret their mistake when they unleashed a pair of their creations on a pack of owlbears. The owlhoneybadgers proved to be efficient and brutal killing machines, but they entered an unreasoning rage when the owlbears fought back. After destroying the owlbears, the owlhoneybadgers turned on their creators, who discovered that their magic to render the owlhoneybadgers docile was utterly ineffective. Those wizards who could teleport away did so, leaving their helpless compatriots behind to face the wrath of their creations.

While the cabal took precautions to only create female owlhoneybadgers, they didn’t realize the owlhoneybadgers could mate with ordinary honey badgers. The offspring were all owlhoneybadgers, so their numbers grew. Owlhoneybadgers are just as likely to kill one another than mate, owing to their inbred hatred of hybrid creatures. Those knowledgeable about owlhoneybadgers have learned to summon hybrid creatures, which owlhoneybadgers attack in preference to any other creature, and make their escape.

A mature owlhoneybadger is 5 feet long from snout to tail tip, can stand as tall as 4 feet when it rears up, and weighs up to 400 pounds.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Golden Scale Worm

Hello and welcome back for another Frightful Friday monster! I'm returning to the natural world for inspiration, and today's horror is the Antarctic scale worm. Look at thing's head! I dressed it up a little bit for gaming purposes, adding some terrible abilities and giving it the ability to eat gold to maintain its glorious mane of spines. Still, these updates shouldn't be unexpected when players get a look at the source material.

I hope you enjoy the golden scale worm, and I'll see you next week with another monster!

So pretty!

Gold spines protrude from the edge of this pale flatworm. Roughly one quarter of its size is taken up by its head, featuring massive, bone-crushing mandibles.
Golden Scale Worm      CR 3
XP 800
N Small vermin (aquatic)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +8
AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 13 (+2 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 30 (4d8+12)
Fort +7, Ref +3, Will +1
Speed 20 ft., climb 10 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee bite +6 (2d6+4/1920 plus blood drain and grab)
Special Attacks blood drain (1d3 Constitution), powerful bite, spines (+6, 1d4+2 plus poison)
Str 15, Dex 14, Con 17, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 5
Base Atk +3; CMB +4 (+8 grapple); CMD 16 (can't be tripped)
Skills Climb +10, Perception +8, Swim +10; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
SQ amphibious, camouflage, gold eater
Environment cold oceans and coastlines
Organization solitary or cache (212)
Treasure standard (golden spines)
Blood Drain (Ex) Enzymes in a golden scale worm’s bite induce continuous blood drain. If a target escapes the worm’s grapple, it takes 1 point of Constitution bleed.
Camouflage (Ex) A golden scale worm looks like golden spindles when at rest and a DC 20 Perception check is required to notice it before it attacks for the first time. Anyone with ranks in Survival or Knowledge (nature) can use those skills instead of Perception to notice the worm.
Gold Eater (Ex) A golden scale worm can spend a full-round action to consume the equivalent of 10 gold coins. It heals 1d10 hit points after doing so.
Poison (Ex) Spines—Injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d6 Str; cure 1 save.
Powerful Bite (Ex) A golden scale worm's bite attack always applies 2 times its Strength modifier on damage rolls and threatens a critical hit on a roll of 1920.
Spines (Ex) When a creature attacks a golden scale worm with an unarmed strike or natural attack, or with a manufactured melee weapon while adjacent to the worm, the worm automatically gains a free attack with its spines. Likewise, if the worm maintains a grapple, it gains a free attack with its spines.

Golden scale worms primarily inhabit polar oceans, where they feed on fish and mammals that share the waters with them. When food runs scarce, they make landfall and attack humanoids living in coastal villages. While they are primarily carnivorous, their strange body chemistry allows them to synthesize gold, which nourishes them and adds to the protective, poison-tipped spines ringing their bodies. Thus, they are often encountered in shipwreck locations where they scrounge for sunken treasure and feed on scavengers picking at the remains of dead sailors.

Outside their natural habitats, they wind up in the lairs of intelligent creatures, especially undead and others that can withstand the worms’ blood drain and poison. Golden scale worms are placed among treasure to add to their deceptive appearance.

Even though they are unintelligent, they are instinctively aware of the interest their golden spines draw and curl up into a tight ball when at rest, revealing only the golden spines. Creatures that reach for the “treasure” are exposed to the worms’ poison, which debilitates them, so the worms can more effectively latch onto them and drain their blood. Worms do not stop to feed on gold belonging to their victims, unless they are heavily injured and have no means to escape.

A golden scale worm’s poison remains fresh for 1 hour after it dies, so canny adventurers can use its spines as impromptu weapons, with the usual risks of handling poisonous objects.

A typical golden scale worm specimen measures 5 feet in length (over 1 foot of which is its head) and is 1 foot wide. It weighs 60 pounds, mostly in the gold composing its spines.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Bone Spider

Hello and welcome back to Frightful Fridays! It's been quite some time since I've featured a spider here, so I've got two spiders for you. The bone spider is a teeny spider that likes to eat your bones, but it's too small to eat an entire skeleton on its own. Instead, it uses the skeletons it harvests to build a massive skeletal spider and uses those to create mayhem and kill more victims.

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

Not pictured: the spider driving this thing

This red spider has chalky outlines that look like humanoid bones lining its legs, thorax, and abdomen. Viscous green liquid sizzles when it drips from its mandibles and hits the ground.
Bone Spider      CR 7
XP 3,200
NE Diminutive magical beast
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +13
AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 14 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 size)
hp 85 (9d10+36)
Fort +10, Ref +10, Will +5
Defensive Abilities improved evasion; Immune mind-affecting effects
Speed 10 ft.
Melee bite +17 (1d25 plus 5d8 acid and poison)
Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks extract skeleton, poison
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +13)
   1/day—animate dead (skeletons only), cause fear (DC 15), false life, fear (DC 18)
Str 1, Dex 19, Con 18, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 19
Base Atk +9; CMB +9; CMD 15 (23 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Go Unnoticed[APG], Improved Initiative, Mobility, Weapon Finesse
Skills Craft (boneworking) +19, Perception +13, Stealth +20; Racial Modifiers +20 Craft (boneworking)
SQ animation cessation, bone spider casing, oracular spider
Environment any land
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none
Animation Cessation (Su) A bone spider that uses its animate dead spell-like ability can end the effect for skeletons it animates. This effectively destroys the undead, and they cannot be animated again.
Bone Spider Casing (Ex) A bone spider that has extracted enough bones to build a Colossal skeleton shaped like a spider can spend 2 days to build a bone spider casing (see below). It must use a Colossal creature’s skeleton or the equivalent (2 Gargantuan creatures, 4 Huge creatures, 8 Large creatures, etc.) to create the casing.
A bone spider must be in the contact with the casing in order to control it, which requires a standard action. While the spider is within the casing it has total cover and cannot be targeted by effects or attacks that require line of sight or line of effect. It is still subject to spells or effects that affect an area.
A bone spider can spend 1 minute to repair a bone spider casing, healing it 1d8 hit points with a Small creature’s skeleton, 2d8 hit points with a Medium creature’s skeleton, 4d8 hit points with a Large creature’s skeleton, and 8d8 hit points with a Huge or larger creature’s skeleton.
Extract Skeleton (Su) If a bone spider is touching a corpse, it can rip the bones from the corpse's flesh as a full-round action. Creatures witnessing this must succeed on a DC 18 Will save or become shaken. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Oracular Spider (Su) A bone spider gains revelations as if it were an oracle with the bones mystery. Its oracle class level equals its Hit Dice. Additionally, the spider can use the mystery's bonus spells as spell-like abilities once per day each.
A typical bone spider chooses armor of bones, death’s touch, and soul siphon as its revelations.
Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 18; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d6 Str; cure 2 consecutive saves. A victim reduced to 0 Strength due to this poison dies.


This enormous skeleton shaped like a spider is composed of bones from a plethora of creatures and held together by thick webbing.
Bone Spider Casing      CR 7
XP 3,200
N Colossal undead
Init 2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +13
AC 20, touch 0, flat-footed 20 (2 Dex, +20 natural, 8 size)
hp 85 (10d8+40)
Fort +7, Ref +1, Will +9
DR 10/bludgeoning; Immune acid, cold, electricity, undead traits; Resist fire 10
Speed 60 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee bite +14 (3d6+21)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 20 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (30-ft. cone, 5d8 acid damage, Reflex DC 19 half, usable every 1d4 rounds), trample (3d6+21, DC 29)
Str 39, Dex 7, Con —, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 19
Base Atk +7; CMB +29; CMD 37 (45 vs. trip)
Feats Dazzling Display, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack, Step Up, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Climb +32, Intimidate +31, Perception +13, Stealth 10
Environment any land
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none
Breath Weapon (Su) A bone spider casing can only use its breath weapon 3 times per day.

Bone spiders are intelligent arachnids that feed on bone matter and have a preternatural capacity for reshaping it. Despite their potent acid and deadly poison, they felt their miniscule size made them less imposing than they wished to be. They turned their boneshaping abilities toward creating soul-charged skeletons as large as the mightiest creatures to walk the earth. The spiders pilot these creations to impose their will and to harvest more bones from victims, usually to effect repairs on their war machines. Especially powerful bone spiders have at least two such bone casings built and ready for use.

Bone spiders rarely cooperate with each other and typically only long enough to reproduce and stand guard over unhatched eggs. Bone spider coupling usually ends when their newborn spiders hatch. The parents then combat each other with their spider skeletons, with the winner destroying the loser. The newborn spiders use the remains from these massive battles to create their own, much less impressive versions to best their siblings. Among hundreds of baby spiders, only a handful survive this grand melee.