Friday, May 18, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Tavernscourge Blob

Welcome once again to another week of Frightful Fridays! This week's monster grew out of a concept my father shared with me, where the monster was a piece of gum stuck under the table. It became this tavern-dwelling blob with an immense fondness for alcohol, including any coursing through the blood of PCs.

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

This shapeless gray mass, no larger than a typical coin, looks like putty. It smells vaguely of alcohol and the tasteless remains of prechewed food.
Tavernscourge Blob      CR 3
XP 800
N Diminutive ooze
Init +2; Senses sense alcohol, tremorsense 30 ft.; Perception +5
AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +4 size)
hp 32 (5d8+10)
Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +1
Defensive Abilities energy interaction; DR 5/piercing; Immune acid, cold, electricity, fire, ooze traits
Weaknesses vulnerability to sonic
Speed 10 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee slam +9 (1d25 plus attach)
Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks alcohol drain
Str 1, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 3, Wis 11, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +1 (+9 to maintain a grapple); CMD 6 (14 to resist breaking its grapple, can't be tripped)
Feats Great Fortitude, Skill Focus (Stealth), Weapon Finesse
Skills Climb +10, Knowledge (local) +6, Perception +4, Stealth +17; Racial Modifiers +8 Knowledge (local)
SQ agglutinant
Environment any land (taverns and inns)
Organization solitary or buzzkill (28)
Treasure incidental
Agglutinant (Ex) A tavernscourge blob gains a +8 racial modifier to CMB checks to maintain a grapple and to its CMD to resist a creature breaking its grapple. Additionally, it can take a move action to attach small objects (no larger than a coin) to itself; this grants it a +2 armor bonus to AC, but slows its base and climb speeds to 5 feet. Removing an object requires a standard action.
Alcohol Drain (Ex) Within a container of alcohol, a tavernscourge blob converts one pint of alcohol into water as it absorbs the alcohol. For each pint it absorbs, it gains 5 temporary hit points (which last for 1 minute). If it absorbs four pints of alcohol, it splits into two tavernscourge blobs, each with half the original blob’s hit points at the time it split.
When attached to a creature, it removes the effects of one pint of alcohol from the creature, which must also make a DC 14 Fortitude save or take 1 point of Constitution damage. If the creature has no alcohol in its system, it takes 1 point of Constitution damage and it must make a DC 14 Fortitude save or take an additional point of Constitution damage. For each point of Constitution damage inflicted, the blob gains temporary hit points and splits into two blobs as above. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Attach (Ex) When a tavernscourge blob attaches itself to a creature, and until it deals Constitution damage with its alcohol drain ability, the creature only notices the blob with a successful DC 16 Perception check. The check DC is Dexterity-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.
Energy Interaction (Ex) A tavernscourge blob is immune to acid, cold, electricity, and fire, but it has unusual reactions to energy types to which it is exposed. If subject to cold damage, it gains a +2 natural armor bonus to AC and its base and climb speeds are reduced to 5 feet. If subject to fire damage, it gains the effects of haste and loses its damage reduction. If subject to electricity damage, its slam attack deals 1d4 points of electricity damage for the following round; if it is attached to a creature at the beginning of its turn, it deals the electricity damage if it maintains its grapple.
Sense Alcohol (Ex) A tavernscourge blob can immediately sense the presence of alcohol in closed containers or within creatures in a 60-foot radius as if by scent. This range increases to 300 feet for exposed alcohol.

Tavernscourge blobs were alchemical creations meant to scrub alcohol from the bloodstream or from drinks, but their interactions with alcohol awoke a bizarre intelligence and an overwhelming desire for the substance. Their initial attempts to obtain their favorite drink caused them to drain the blood of their victims. They eventually came to a dim understanding that “riding” potential victims to locations with alcohol would prove more rewarding. When they arrived upon travelers at taverns, they hopped off and attached themselves to the underside of tables. There, they could absorb alcohol into their masses in secret, often cleaning up spills created by rowdy drinkers.

Tavernscourge blobs are typically content with the amount of alcohol they take in this manner, but occasionally, an overwhelming desire for drink overtakes them and they destroy kegs and kill patrons in their zeal. Worse, the more alcohol they absorb in these frenzies, the more blobs they create, exacerbating the situation.

Calmer oozes learn about their establishments’ “regulars,” often so they can attach themselves to outsiders to make trips to other taverns. By plying these oozes with alcohol and working out a way to communicate with them, creatures can gather information about the conversations and goings-on at the locations hosting the oozes.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Encasing Snail

Hello and welcome back for another Frightful Fridays! This week's monster throws shells at PCs, entrapping them within the shells which then dissolve their victims into goo. It's fun! (at least for GMs)

I hope you enjoy the encasing snail. A new monster will be here to greet you next week!

This massive snail has a bright pink foot and several mottled-brown shells which fit loosely on its back. The shells rattle as the snail moves.
Encasing Snail      CR 7
XP 3,200
N Large magical beast
Init 2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +11
AC 21, touch 7, flat-footed 21 (2 Dex, +14 natural, 1 size)
hp 85 (9d10+36)
Fort +10, Ref +4, Will +8
DR 20/bludgeoning; Immune acid; Resist cold 20, electricity 20, fire 20
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee slam +14 (3d6+9/1920 plus adhesive)
Ranged shell +6 (2d6+9 or shelling)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks adhesive, shelling, trample (3d6+9, DC 20)
Str 23, Dex 6, Con 18, Int 3, Wis 16, Cha 7
Base Atk +9; CMB +16 (+18 bull rush or drag); CMD 24 (26 vs. bull rush and drag, can't be tripped)
Feats Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (slam), Improved Drag[APG], Iron Will, Power Attack
Skills Climb +19, Perception +11, Swim +19
SQ flexible tread
Environment any temperate or warm land
Organization solitary, pair, or cluster (312)
Treasure incidental
Adhesive (Ex) An encasing snail automatically grapples any creature it hits with its slam attack. Opponents so grappled cannot get free while the snail is alive without removing the adhesive first. A weapon that strikes the snail is stuck fast unless the wielder succeeds on a DC 18 Reflex save. A successful DC 18 Strength check is needed to pry off a stuck weapon. Acid or universal solvent dissolves the adhesive, but the snail can still grapple normally. The snail can dissolve its adhesive as a swift action; the acidic material it uses deals 4d6 acid damage to a grappled creature (DC 18 Reflex for half). The adhesive also breaks down 1 minute after the creature dies. The save and check DCs are Constitution-based.
Flexible Tread (Ex) An encasing snail ignores difficult terrain.
Shelling (Ex) As a standard action, an encasing snail can fire one of its shells; it can fire a number of shells equal to twice its Constitution modifier (typically 8 times). This attack has a 30-foot range increment and a maximum range of 180 feet. The snail targets the center of a 10-foot-by-10-foot square (AC 5) with this attack. Any creatures fully within the area where the shell lands must succeed on a DC 18 Reflex save or become trapped within the shell; on a successful save, creatures move to a space adjacent to the shell. The shell has AC 17, hardness 5, and 8 hp, and is immune to acid damage. At the beginning of the snail’s turn, creatures trapped within a shell take 3d6 points of acid damage (DC 18 Fortitude for half). The save DCs are Constitution-based.
For every 2 shells the snail uses, its DR and resistances are reduced by 5. Additionally, its natural armor bonus to AC is reduced by 1. It also gains a +2 circumstance bonus to its Dexterity (this effectively maintains its AC, but improves its touch AC by 1 and reduces its flat-footed AC by 1). Finally, its base speed increases by 5 feet.
An encasing snail can reattach a shell as a full-round action. This restores one of the uses of this ability.

Encasing snails were once ordinary specimens that underwent magical and alchemical tinkering to increase their size, improve their adhesive properties, and produce a bizarre method of attack. All encasing snails are carnivores and use their shells to ensnare prey and dissolve it, so the snails can ingest the remaining slurry. Their shells are held together loosely by the same adhesive they secrete from their feet. The snails produce a burst of air which loosens and ejects the outermost shell. They can target a shell’s landing spot with surprising refinement. While they primarily use their launched shells to encase prey, they also use their shells to directly harm foes, usually those who regularly manage to avoid or escape the encasement.

An encasing snail measures 12 feet in length, is 8 feet tall, and weighs 450 pounds. A typical specimen lives up to 80 years.

Variant Encasing Snails
The snails’ creators made modifications to the snails to capture rather than destroy prey, as well as to target incorporeal prey or prey with teleportation abilities. 
Anesthetizing Encasing Snail (CR +0): Anesthetizing encasing snails are identical to ordinary encasing snails, but replace their shells’ acid damage with a numbing poison.
Anesthetizing Poison—contact; save Fort DC 18; frequency 1/round for 8 rounds; effect 1d4 Str and 1d4 Dex, and the victim is staggered for 1 round; cure 2 consecutive saves.
Ghost Encasing Snail (CR +2): Ghost encasing snails gain the advanced simple template. In addition, incorporeal creatures cannot pass through a shell which has encased them, and creatures within a shell must succeed at a DC 21 caster level check to use teleportation spells or effects to escape the shell.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Strifemonger Demon

Hello and welcome once again to Frightful Fridays! This week's monster comes with a disclaimer to carefully consider using it against your PCs, since it might ruin friendships. Alternatively, you could use it as a behind-the-scenes manipulator creating messes the PCs have to clean up. The strifemonger demon excels at turning allies against each other and just sits back and watches the mayhem.

I hope you enjoy the strifemonger demon. I'll see you next week with another (most likely, nicer) monster. Thanks for reading!

A subtle smile creases the lips of this immaculately dressed humanoid with violet skin. A pair of curved horns seem to accent its perfect coiffure.
Strifemonger Demon      CR 9
XP 6,400
CE Medium outsider (demon)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +19
Aura treachery (DC 19)
AC 23, touch 13, flat-footed 20 (+3 Dex, +10 natural)
hp 114 (12d10+48)
Fort +12, Ref +7, Will +12
Immune electricity, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; SR 20
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +16 (2d4+4 plus mindnumb poison), gore +16 (2d6+4 plus Wisdom drain)
Special Attacks like pawns on a chessboard
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +15)
   At will—greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), hostile juxtaposition[UC] (DC 18), murderous command[UM] (DC 15)
   3/day—confusion (DC 18), unadulterated loathing[UM] (DC 17)
   1/day—dominate person (DC 19), malicious spite[UM] (DC 18), mislead, modify memory (DC 19)
Str 19, Dex 16, Con 19, Int 12, Wis 18, Cha 17
Base Atk +12; CMB +16; CMD 29
Feats Combat Casting, Conceal Spell[UI], Deceitful, Improved Conceal Spell[UI], Spell Focus (enchantment), Subtle Enchantments[UI]
Skills Bluff +22, Diplomacy +18, Disguise +22, Knowledge (local) +16, Perception +19, Sense Motive +19, Sleight of Hand +18
Languages Abyssal, Common; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ change shape (Small or Medium humanoid, alter self)
Environment Abyss or any urban
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure standard
Aura of Treachery (Su) A strifemonger demon’s aura induces distrust among ostensible allies. Creatures that fail their saves are no longer treated as allies to other creatures and can’t provide flanking, use or benefit from teamwork feats or aid another actions, or allow creatures to move through their space. Any spell or effect that requires a willing target fails if used on an affected creature, and even harmless effects require an attack roll, if applicable, and require affected creatures to attempt a saving throw to resist their effects (if a save is allowed). This is a mind-affecting effect, and the save DC is Charisma-based.
Like Pawns on a Chessboard (Su) Three times per day as an immediate action, a strifemonger demon can use its hostile juxtaposition spell-like ability. If the demon was subject to an attack, and its target fails the saving throw against hostile juxtaposition, the attack applies to the target. If it successfully uses this ability and remains in the area of effect of a spell or effect, it is still subject to that spell or effect. Instead of using the ability on itself and another target, it can use it on two separate targets; if either target succeeds on the Will save, both targets remain in their original locations.
Mindnumb Poison (Ex) Claws—Injury; save Fort DC 20; frequency 1/round for 8 rounds; effect 1d4 Wis; cure 2 consecutive saves.
Wisdom Drain (Su) A strifemonger demon’s gore attack inflicts an additional 1d2 points of Wisdom drain on a successful hit (DC 19 Will save negates). On a successful critical hit, the target does not receive a saving throw. The save DC is Charisma-based.

When strifemonger demons were mortals, they were gossips, liars, and rabble rousers who sought only to destroy friendships and lives. While their methods seemed to give them a more diabolical slant, their desire to leave emotional and physical wreckage in their wake gave them demonic forms in the afterlife. With an array of preternatural capabilities at the fingertips, they continue to sow discord among mortals, allowing their victims to destroy themselves thanks to petty jealousies or misperceived communications.

Strifemonger demons generally work alone but take on brief partnerships with other demons with more subtle techniques at their disposal. Their craft makes them inherently paranoid, and they often dissolve alliances at the merest sign of betrayal. When strifemongers work together, they target two opposing people or groups and incent them to attack each other, usually by exaggerating the conflict between the two targets. They can mask their spellcasting to make it seem like the decision to murder or ruin a foe is their target’s idea.

On the battlefield, the demons prefer not to take lives directly and will not use their physical attacks to dispatch opponents, unless their lives are at risk. Their main approach is to inflict their foes with confusion, reducing their foes’ resistance to their spell-like abilities for particularly resistant opponents, and then liberally using hostile juxtaposition to enjoy the ensuing chaos.

A typical strifemonger demon stands just under 6 feet tall and weighs 175 pounds, but their ability to change shape means they are rarely encountered in their typical size.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Frightful Fridays! More Mashups!

Welcome back to this week's installment of Frightful Fridays! It's been a fairly long time, so mashups are overdue for a return to the blog. Today's mashups are one removed from the ever-popular owlbear (yes, I am riding along with the trend). We've got the grizzlegator which gets even more angry when it should be dead, and the owlwolf, which really knows how to work with a pack.

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


This killing machine is a combination of grizzly bear and alligator. It combines an alligator’s toothy snout and tail with a bear’s massive build and powerful paws.
Grizzlegator      CR 7
XP 3,200
N Large magical beast
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., keen scent, low-light vision; Perception +12
AC 20, touch 10, flat-footed 19 (+1 Dex, +10 natural, –1 size)
hp 94 (9d10+45)
Fort +11, Ref +7, Will +7; +2 vs. mind-affecting effects
Defensive Abilities ferocity
Speed 40 ft., swim 30 ft.; sprint
Melee bite +13 (2d6+5/19–20), 2 claws +13 (1d8+5 plus grab), tail slap +11 (1d6+2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks rend (2 claws, 1d8+7)
Str 21, Dex 12, Con 21, Int 1, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +9; CMB +15 (+19 grapple); CMD 26 (30 vs. trip)
Feats Critical Focus, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Multiattack
Skills Climb +10, Perception +12, Swim +13
SQ hold breath
Environment any land
Organization solitary
Treasure incidental
Ferocity (Ex) A grizzlegator becomes extraordinarily angry when it is reduced below 0 hit points, and it gains a +2 morale bonus on Will saves and attack and damage rolls while it remains below 0 hit points.
Hold Breath (Ex) A grizzlegator can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 3 times its Constitution score before it risks drowning.
Sprint (Ex) Once per minute a grizzlegator may sprint, increasing its land speed by 40 feet for 1 round.

Grizzlegators are the result of transmuters who felt they could improve upon the owlbear design. The resulting creatures were uncontrollable engines of death which ate their creators when they reached adulthood. They then escaped out into the wild where they bred prodigiously. Scholars of grizzlegators point to the preponderance of inbreeding as a further cause for the creatures’ fury. They give no quarter once they enter combat, and fights with grizzlegators end with the death of them or their prey (in very rare cases, their prey escapes). While slowed down when they should otherwise pass out from their wounds, they become even more ferocious and land devastating blows until they reach the point where they just stop moving.

Grizzlegators even hate other grizzlegators and attack them on sight, except when they tolerate each other long enough to mate. A coupling often ends with the female grizzlegator killing the male and using the rotting meat to feed her young, which are born 15 days later. A grizzlegator litter numbers between one and four, but, often for larger litters, only one newborn grizzlegator survives its siblings.

A typical grizzlegator is 15 feet long and weighs 2,000 pounds. They have natural lifespans reaching 12 years, but never reach old age.


We don't give a hoot!

This creature has a lupine body with tufts of feathers protruding from where its legs join its body. An inquisitive owl’s face replaces the expected wolfen visage.
Owlwolf      CR 3
XP 800
N Medium magical beast
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent, superior low-light vision; Perception +10
AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 natural)
hp 37 (5d10+10)
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +3
Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +8 (1d6+4 plus trip)
Special Attacks leaping charge
Str 17, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 3, Wis 14, Cha 12
Base Atk +5; CMB +8; CMD 21 (25 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility
Skills Acrobatics +6, Perception +10, Stealth +8; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception
SQ effortless leap, pack tactics
Environment any forest
Organization solitary, pair, or pack (3–18)
Treasure none
Effortless Leap (Ex) An owlwolf is always considered to have a running start when attempting Acrobatics checks to jump.
Leaping Charge (Ex) An owlwolf can jump while charging, allowing it to ignore difficult terrain when it charges. When it makes a charge in this way, it deals double damage with its bite, and it gains a +4 circumstance bonus on its trip attempt after a successful bite attack.
Pack Tactics (Ex) An owlwolf gains the Pack Tactics feat when it is with other owlwolves.
Superior Low-Light Vision (Ex) An owlwolf can see four times as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.

Owlwolves, in contrast to grizzlegators, are the result of a more refined approach to fusing two animals together. They are much more intelligent than their component animals, and they are more likely to follow orders from trusted handlers. Additionally, they work well with each other or a creature with which they have bonded and become even more formidable. Owlwolves have keen senses, allowing them to smell prey and spot targets hundreds of feet away in the dimmest of light. They cannot fly, but they have feathered membranes which enhance their ability to maneuver in combat.

Owlwolves are similarly sized to wolves but their hollower bones put them on the light end of the wolves’ range of weights.

On rare occasions, an owlwolf bonds with a humanoid. The bonding process takes several months. Once an owlwolf is bonded, both it and its partner gain Pack Tactics as a bonus feat; additionally, the owlwolf gains any teamwork feats possessed by the owlwolf’s partner as bonus feats.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Gorebark

Hello and welcome back for another edition of Frightful Fridays! In a departure for me, I've created something that isn't a plant that likes to kill all humanoids. This week, you get the gorebark, an alien plant-like thing which likes to kill all plants (and then pretend to be a plant, so it can kill humanoids, but that's just a bonus as opposed to its main goal).

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

This misshapen, rubbery tree manifests a tortured face from which acrid pulp dribbles.
Gorebark      CR 11
XP 12,800
CE Large aberration
Init 1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +22
AC 24, touch 8, flat-footed 24 (-1 Dex, +16 natural, 1 size)
hp 168 (16d8+96)
Fort +13, Ref +4, Will +13
DR 15/cold iron and slashing; Immune acid, plant traits; Resist electricity 20, fire 10
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +20 (3d6+8/1920 plus grab)
Ranged spit +10 touch (4d6 acid)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (30-ft. cone, 8d6 acid and bludgeoning damage, Reflex DC 24 for half, usable every 1d4 rounds), expulsion of pulp, flora destroyer
Str 27, Dex 8, Con 22, Int 11, Wis 16, Cha 15
Base Atk +12; CMB +21 (+23 bull rush, +25 grapple); CMD 30 (32 vs. bull rush, can't be tripped)
Feats Awesome Blow, Critical Focus, Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (slam), Power Attack, Sickening Critical, Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Bluff +18, Disguise +18, Knowledge (nature) +19, Perception +22
Languages Aklo, Sylvan
SQ change shape (any plant, plant shape III), plant suit
Environment any forest
Organization solitary or stand (28)
Treasure standard
Expulsion of Pulp (Ex) Once per day as a move action, a gorebark can vomit out its innards. It deals 12d6 points of acid damage to creatures it is currently grappling. Additionally, it increases its fire resistance to 20 for 1 minute. After the gorebark uses this ability, it cannot use its breath weapon for 2d4 rounds. It gains an additional use of this ability when it successfully uses its plant suit ability.
Flora Destroyer (Ex) A gorebark doubles its acid damage against plants for all its attacks that deal acid damage.
Plant Suit (Su) As a full-round action, a gorebark can take the form of a dead Medium, Large, or Huge plant creature. When it does this, it takes on the creature’s size and appearance and gains a +10 bonus on Disguise checks made to impersonate the victim. The stolen form is preserved while the gorebark assumes it, but is destroyed if the gorebark takes more than 10 points of damage or if the gorebark decides to destroy the plant form as a standard action. The gorebark reverts to its normal size if its stolen form is destroyed.

While gorebarks are considered abominations among intelligent plant creatures and those who revere nature, they are regarded as ordinary on their strange and distant home worlds. Gorebarks have a similar role to treants in their fleshy forests. On rare occasions, gorebark spores or saplings make the journey across the stars and land in terrestrial forests. When they do, they first assume the form of a normal plant to get an understanding of their environment and the plants in it. As they learn, they gain confidence in their ability to pretend to be intelligent plant creatures. Gorebarks take perverse pleasure in fooling druids and intelligent plant creatures before betraying them. Their acidic composition is especially deadly to plants, and they absorb the slurry from destroyed plants to fuel their destructive capabilities. They try to leave the bark of their kills intact, so they can squeeze themselves into their victims and perpetuate their ruses. Eventually, their desire to destroy overcomes them and they devastate the plant life and use the shells of the trees and plant creatures they destroy to populate their own grotesque forest parodies. They mix their own spores with plant spores to spawn more of their species.

Gorebarks ally themselves with other aberrations and malevolent plant creatures, especially fungi and other "unnatural" plants.

A typical gorebark stands 10 feet tall and weighs 500 pounds. A usual specimen can live up to 300 years.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Crow Wraith

It's Friday, so it's time for another monster! Today's offering is a fey creature who crosses the gap between life and death. It also deals death (not so much with the life), but only for those it is contracted to kill. Most PCs, being quite unassuming, should never cross a crow wraith's path. Or maybe I've got that wrong...

I hope you enjoy the crow wraith. Thanks for reading!

This biped has a skeletal face and skin color in stark contrast between bone-white and a shadowy black. Immaterial crows peel away from the creature’s midsection, revealing its spine.
Crow Wraith      CR 14
XP 38,400
N Medium fey
Init +7; Senses low-light vision; Perception +27
AC 28, touch 18, flat-footed 20 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 natural)
hp 199 (21d6+126)
Fort +13, Ref +19, Will +15
Defensive Abilities evasion, improved uncanny dodge; DR 10/silver; Immune cold, mind-affecting effects
Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee unarmed strike +22/+17/+12 (2d6+6)
Special Attacks death attack (DC 22), sneak attack +8d6, stunning fist (5/day, DC 23)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +25)
   1/day—summon swarm (corvid swarm only; use stats for bat swarm)
Str 22, Dex 25, Con 23, Int 14, Wis 17, Cha 20
Base Atk +15; CMB +21; CMD 39
Feats Canny Tumble[ACG], Combat Expertise, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Feint, Improved Unarmed Strike, Mobility, Spring Attack, Stunning Fist, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Skills Acrobatics +31 (+35 to jump), Bluff +29, Climb +18, Escape Artist +31, Fly +18, Knowledge (religion) +18, Perception +27, Sleight of Hand +31, Stealth +31, Swim +18
Languages Aklo, Common, Sylvan; speak with animals (corvids only)
SQ corvid empathy +25, hide in plain sight, murder form
Environment any land
Organization solitary
Treasure standard
Corvid Empathy (Ex) This ability functions as a druid’s wild empathy, except it only works on corvids. A crow wraith is treated as a 20th-level druid for this ability.
Death Attack (Ex) A crow wraith can perform a death attack as a 10th-level assassin.
Hide in Plain Sight (Su) A crow wraith can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as it is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, it can hide itself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind. The crow wraith cannot hide in its own shadow.
Murder Form (Su) Once per day, as a standard action, a crow wraith can transform itself into a swarm of incorporeal crows. Its updated stats are included below. The crow wraith can remain in this form for up to 1 minute (returning to its normal form requires a standard action), but the transformation takes a toll on it, causing it to become fatigued for 1 hour afterwards.
Summon Swarm (Sp) When a crow wraith summons a corvid swarm with its spell-like ability, the swarm gains the wraith’s damage reduction (for cases where weapon damage may apply) and immunity to cold.

Crow Wraith (murder form)      CR 14
XP 38,400
N Medium fey (incorporeal, swarm)
AC 23, touch 23, flat-footed 15 (+5 deflection, +7 Dex, +1 dodge)
Defensive Abilities evasion, incorporeal, swarm traits; DR 10/silver; Immune cold, mind-affecting effects
Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee swarm (5d6 plus 1d4 Cha drain and distraction)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 26)
Str —, Dex 25, Con 23, Int 14, Wis 17, Cha 20
Base Atk +15; CMB —; CMD

Crow wraiths are unusual fey who are harbingers and bringers of death. They are created from the corpses of fey nobles fed to crows or other corvids. This bridge between life and death gives them a strangely balanced morality and allows them to usher fey, regardless of their affiliation, to their ultimate reward. They also serve as assassins for the fey courts, usually targeting mortals who have grievously offended fey nobles or represent a persistent obstacle to fey noble schemes. In rare cases, crow wraiths assassinate other fey, but this only occurs for grave breaches of contract.

Crow wraiths possess incredible physicality as well as the ability to dissolve into a swarm of ghostly corvids—crows, primarily, but ravens are a popular choice, while more flamboyant crow wraiths choose blue or green jays. They prefer to retain their corporeal, humanoid forms when carrying out assassinations, mostly because they enjoy the satisfaction of a well-placed nerve strike that incapacitates or outright kills their targets. Additionally, when they kill quarry in their murder form, the corpses are disfigured in an unnatural way, prompting more scrutiny by investigators looking into deaths wrought by crow wraiths. All the same, crow wraiths leave tokens of their claims of accountability for their murders, usually in the form of large white feathers held by their victims.

The wraiths fundamental ties to corvids grants them a rapport with the birds, and they often use corvids to scout targets or sites where they plan to carry out their deeds. Crow wraiths sometimes take favorite crows as companions. When engaged in pitched combat, they send the crows away to protect the birds. They have an innate ability to summon a swarm of corvids, but they only do so to create distractions when they face certain defeat against resolute foes.

A typical crow wraith stands just over 6 feet tall and weighs 150 pounds.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Sidereal Tick

Hello, and welcome back to Frightful Fridays! I've got a more serious, albeit weird, monster this week. The sidereal tick rides along on colossal horrors from beyond the stars and jumps off to attack more palatable prey (like, say, PCs). To sustain itself, it drains its victim's physical blood and essence and pulls the husk into the void making up its stomach. As an added bonus, it's difficult to remove, just like non-Lovecraftian ticks.

I hope you enjoy the sidereal tick, and I'll see you next week with another monster.

This odd insectile creature has several legs sprouting from random locations on its body, clear eye-like organs covering its body, and a gaping, toothy maw opening up into darkness.
Sidereal Tick      CR 10
XP 9,600
CN Small aberration
Init +11; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +15
AC 23, touch 19, flat-footed 15 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 127 (15d8+60)
Fort +11, Ref +12, Will +8
Defensive Abilities all-around vision, amorphous; DR 10/cold iron; Immune cold, mind-affecting effects; Resist acid 20; SR 21
Weaknesses susceptibility to vermin spells
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +19 (1d62 plus attach and blood drain)
Special Attacks attach, blood drain (1d3 Con and 1d3 Cha), true and terrifying visage
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 15th; concentration +17)
   Constant—displacement, freedom of movement
   At will—dimension door
   3/day—quickened dimension door
Str 6, Dex 25, Con 18, Int 7, Wis 9, Cha 14
Base Atk +11; CMB +17 (+21 grapple); CMD 26 (can't be tripped)
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Dimensional Agility[UC], Disorienting Maneuver[UC], Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (dimension door), Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +20, Escape Artist +20, Perception +15, Stealth +19; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
Special Qualities no breath
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or infestation (310)
Treasure standard
Attach (Ex) A sidereal tick has a +4 racial bonus on combat maneuver checks made to start and maintain a grapple and to its CMD against attempts to break grapples it initiated. If the tick is attached to a creature, the creature moves with the tick when it uses its quickened dimension door spell-like ability. Additionally, the victim gains the tick’s spell resistance, which the victim cannot voluntarily lower.
Blood Drain (Su) A creature reduced to 0 Con or 0 Cha as a result of a sidereal tick’s blood drain is lost to the void constituting the tick’s interior. While the creature is in the void, it cannot be brought back to life short of a miracle or wish spell. If the tick is killed, it disgorges whatever portion of the void it touches; each creature consumed by the tick has a 25% chance of spilling out.
Susceptibility to Vermin Spells (Ex) A sidereal tick is affected by spells that target vermin as if it were a vermin. It loses the benefit of its spell resistance for such spells.
True and Terrifying Visage (Su) A sidereal tick’s true appearance is grotesque at a primal level. A creature using true seeing or similar magic to see things as they are in reality must attempt a DC 19 Will save. On a failed save, the creature becomes confused for 1d6 rounds and must succeed at a second Will save to avoid becoming permanently confused (as per the insanity spell). On a successful save, the victim is instead confused for 1 round. Regardless of the result of the saving throw, the creature can’t be affected by the same sidereal tick’s true and terrifying visage for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting compulsion effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Sidereal ticks are pests that attach themselves to aberrant creatures from the far reaches of the universe. While the creatures are nuisances to the horrors from beyond the stars, they are devastating to victims unused to impossible geometries. Often, groups of the creatures dislodge themselves from their hosts and ravage worlds in advance of the more terrifying creatures. In this way, an invasion of sidereal ticks acts as an early warning for an apocalyptic threat to those knowledgeable about the weird vermin.

Sidereal ticks have voracious appetites they barely sate on their normal fare. When presented with food with fixed anatomies, they become insatiable. Once they attach themselves to such prey, they remain affixed until their prey is dead and consumed or they are killed or forcibly removed. Their strange relation to reality allows them to avoid many attacks and move with relative ease. They use their teleportation ability to escape with prey, especially when faced with armed resistance. Fortunately, while they have alien minds, they react to magic similarly to terrestrial vermin.

Sidereal ticks measure 3 feet in diameter and weighs 15 pounds. They have relatively short lifespans at 5 years but enter hibernative states that prolong their lives when traversing the stars with their hosts.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Sci-Fi Sunday (Delak)

Hello and welcome to another Starfinder edition of monster blogging. Don't worry if you think you've seen something like this before. You probably have. At any rate, I hope you enjoy the entirely "original" delak.

[Image not displayed...for reasons]

This construct looks like a metal-studded metallic salt shaker. It spins around on an axis and shouts, “Stop! Do not flee!” while firing its raygun indiscriminately.
XP 1,638,400
CE Medium construct (technological)
Init +10; Senses blindsight (thermal) 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +41
DEFENSE            HP 120
EAC 42; KAC 44
Fort +23; Ref +23; Will +19
Defensive Abilities delakantium; Immunities acid, cold, construct immunities, electricity, fire, sonic; Resist force 10
Weaknesses bull rush susceptibility
Speed 30 ft.; fly 30 ft. (Ex, poor)
Melee suction extension +37 (18d10+40 B; critical asphyxiation [DC28])
Ranged delak raygun +40 (13d10+25 F; critical disintegration [DC 30])
Offensive Abilities phrase of fear
Str +15; Dex +8; Con —; Int +4; Wis +1; Cha +12
Skills Computers +41, Intimidate +46, Sense Motive +41
Languages Delak
Environment any

Organization solitary, squad (2–12), devastation (13–200)
Asphyxiation (Ex) A creature affected by a delak’s asphyxiation is considered grappled (as is the delak) and reduced to 0 Hit Points on a failed Fortitude save. If the delak succeeds on a grapple combat maneuver check to renew the grapple with its suction extension, the target must attempt the DC 28 Fortitude save again.
Bull Rush Susceptibility (Ex) The DC for the melee attack to perform a bull rush combat maneuver against a delak is its KAC + 4. A successful bull rush combat maneuver against a delak pushes it back 10 feet, plus 10 additional feet for every 5 by which the result of attack roll exceeds the DC. The creature performing the bull rush can instead knock the delak prone if it exceeds the DC by at least 5. Standing from prone requires a full action for a delak.
Delakantium (Ex) A delak is covered in nigh-impenetrable plating, which grants it hardness 40. At the GM’s discretion, a delak raygun bypasses this hardness, and the delak's immunity to fire, fully or to a certain degree (typically in increments of 10).
Disintegration (Ex) If a delak scores a critical hit with its delak raygun, the raygun’s damage is rolled four times. Additionally, the target must succeed at a DC 30 Fortitude save or be reduced to ash (this also occurs if the damage from the raygun reduces the target to 0 Hit Points).
Phrase of Fear (Ex) A delak has a particular phrase it shouts ominously as it attacks (examples include “Expunge with impunity!” and “Dismantle forcefully!”). Creatures that can hear the delak must succeed at a DC 28 Will save or become frightened. Creatures with a proper name equating to a profession (such as “Lawyer”) are immune to this effect; and allies of such creatures gain a +4 morale bonus on their Will saves.

A delak can possess other abilities at the GM’s discretion. It can also lose any of the above abilities at the GM’s discretion.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Dihydrogen Monoxide Swarm

Hello and welcome back for another Frightful Fridays! Today's monster is the lowest-CR monster I've worked on for Frightful Fridays! However, that doesn't mean it's a pushover, especially in large numbers. Sure, on land, the dihydrogen monoxide swarm needs an external force to actually be effective, but, in water, it can be quite deadly.

I hope you enjoy the dihydrogen monoxide swarm, and I'll see you next week with another monster!

Can you find all the swarms in this image?

This densely packed swarm is translucent but presents a mirrorlike surface from certain angles.
Dihydrogen Monoxide Swarm      CR 1/8
XP 50
N Fine construct (swarm)
Init –5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception –5
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 13 (–5 Dex, +8 size)
hp 5 (1d10)
Fort +0, Ref –5, Will –5
Defensive Abilities swarm traits; Immune construct traits, acid, cold, electricity
Weaknesses vulnerability to fire
Speed 0 ft.; immobile
Melee swarm (1 plus choking hazard and distraction)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 10), drown, flame killer, inexorability, scalding retribution
Str 1, Dex 1, Con —, Int —, Wis 1, Cha 2
Base Atk +1; CMB —; CMD
SQ camouflage
Environment any
Organization solitary or collective (2–10,000)
Treasure incidental
Camouflage (Ex) Since a dihydrogen monoxide swarm looks like ordinary water when at rest, a successful DC 10 Perception check is required to notice it before it attacks for the first time. Anyone with ranks in Survival, Knowledge (nature), or Craft (alchemy) can use any of those skills instead of Perception to notice the swarm.
Choking Hazard (Ex) If a dihydrogen monoxide swarm enters a square with a creature that needs to breathe, the creature must succeed at a DC 5 Reflex save or become sickened for 1d4 rounds.
Drown (Ex) A creature caught in a dihydrogen monoxide swarm for consecutive rounds is at risk for drowning.
Flame Killer (Ex) While a dihydrogen monoxide swarm takes extra damage from magical and alchemical fire that affects an area, it can affect nonmagical sources of flame. If it enters a square with an unprotected, nonmagical fire, the fire must succeed on a DC 5 Reflex save or be extinguished.
Immobile (Ex) A dihydrogen monoxide swarm requires another creature to act on it for it to move. If placed in a container, the swarm can be thrown with a 20-foot range increment. Alternatively, the swarm can hide among a downpour and as it falls; the swarm takes no falling damage from this.
Inexorability (Ex) While at rest, a dihydrogen monoxide swarm still deals 1d6 points of damage per year to creatures or objects in constant contact with the swarm. This damage bypasses hardness.
Scalding Retribution (Ex) If a dihydrogen monoxide swarm dies by taking fire damage, it transforms into a gas dihydrogen monoxide swarm for 1 round. It immediately deals 1d6 points of fire damage to creatures in its space, and deals 1d6 points of fire damage to creatures entering its space. At the end of its next turn it dissipates.

Sometimes the scariest monsters are those that seem the most innocuous. Such is the case with dihydrogen monoxide swarms, which appear to the untrained eye as nothing more than typical water. In fact, the creatures often lay in wait for unsuspecting prey to submerge themselves into water containing them, where they can strike and infiltrate their targets’ lungs. Even more terrifying, dihydrogen monoxide swarms left unattended devastate flesh and objects over time.

As they are usually immobile (except in rare occasions when they attack from the sky), they must rely on allies to generate their devastating attacks. They are often befriended by aquatic creatures and elementals from the Plane of Water. The swarms have no concept of the world around them and are content to remain inert, provided they stay out of heat sources for prolonged periods.

Variant Dihydrogen Monoxide Swarms
The most typical encounter with dihydrogen monoxide swarms occurs with the creatures in liquid form. However, they can assume a solid shape in extreme cold conditions and a gaseous form in extreme heat.

Ice Dihydrogen Monoxide Swarm: Gains a +2 natural armor bonus to AC and deals 1d4 points of damage with its swarm attack. Loses its choking hazard, drown, and flame killer abilities. If an ice dihydrogen monoxide swarm takes fire damage, it reverts to its liquid form.

Gas Dihydrogen Monoxide Swarm: Gains immunity to fire and deals 1d4 points of fire damage with its swarm attacks. Loses immunity to cold and its drown ability. Strong wind (natural or magical) automatically destroys a gas dihydrogen monoxide swarm. If the swarm takes cold damage, it reverts to its liquid form.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Cloister Kaida

Hello, and welcome back for another Frightful Fridays! I haven't put together a kaida in quite a while, and this seemed like a good time to revisit the little dragons. Today's kaida is a staunch protector of temples, at least until the temple falls, and then it finds a new, kinda related religion to follow. In addition to being powerful in-house defenders, especially when paired with a high-level cleric, it is possible for a party to pick one up as a temporary companion, especially if its deity deems it necessary to send the dragon out adventuring.

I hope you enjoy the cloister kaida, and I'll see you next week with another monster.

Maddening swirls and emblems of fire cover this flying lizard-like creature. Its eyes glow with otherworldly power.
Cloister Kaida      CR 4
XP 1,200
CE Tiny dragon
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +12
AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +2 natural, +2 size)
hp 37 (5d12+5)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +8
Defensive Abilities cloistered; Immune paralysis, sleep; SR 15
Speed 20 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee bite +3 (1d44), 2 claws +3 (1d34)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks channel energy 6/day (DC 15, 3d6)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +9)
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 5th; concentration +9)
   3rd—bestow curse (DC 17), blindness/deafness (DC 17), fireball[D], magic circle against law[D]
   2nd—align weapon[D] (chaos only), boiling blood[UM] (DC 16), darkness, hold person (DC 16), produce flame[D]
   1st—bane (DC 15), burning hands[D], detect good, murderous command[UM] (DC 15), protection from law[D], shield of faith
   0 (at will)—bleed (DC 14), detect magic, guidance, resistance
D Domain spell; Domains Chaos, Fire
Str 2, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 19, Cha 17
Base Atk +5; CMB +6; CMD 12 (16 vs. trip)
Feats Great Fortitude, Persuasive, Selective Channeling
Skills Diplomacy +13, Fly +11, Intimidate +13, Knowledge (religion) +16, Perception +12, Sense Motive +12, Use Magic Device +11; Racial Modifiers +8 Knowledge (religion)
Languages Common, Draconic
SQ restore domain spell
Environment any (temple devoted to its deity)
Organization solitary, guard (25), legion (618)
Treasure incidental
Channel Energy (Su) A cloister kaida can channel energy as a 5th-level cleric. It channels positive or negative energy depending on its current alignment and its deity’s alignment (this example kaida channels negative energy). Additionally, it can expend two uses of channel energy to inflict damage to all non-worshippers of its deity or to heal all worshippers of its deity.
Cloistered (Su) While within a temple to its deity, a cloister kaida’s spell resistance increases to 17 against spells cast by divine casters that don’t worship its deity. The kaida does not benefit from spell resistance against spells cast by divine casters that worship its deity.
Restore Domain Spell (Su) As a standard action, a cloister kaida in contact with a divine caster that worships its deity can expend one of its domain spells to restore the same domain spell already cast by the divine caster.
Spells A cloister kaida casts divine spells as a 5th-level cleric. It gains access to two domains appropriate to the deity it worships and the ability to channel energy, but it gains no other cleric abilities. The kaida counts as a holy (or unholy) symbol for purposes of using a focus.

Note: The above is a sample cloister kaida. There are myriad possibilities based on the deities they could follow. Typically, they choose detect spells for at least one opposing alignment and a couple of defensive spells. Their remaining spells are offensive spells appropriate for their deities.

Cloister kaidas, also informally known as temple dragons, are miniature defenders of places of worship devoted to the deities they serve. Their main priority is the protection of the temples’ upper echelons, especially those that receive divine power from their deities. They remain invisible and cast defensive spells, if any, on themselves or their charges, and then use their offensive, non-domain spells on their foes. The kaidas keep their domain spells in reserve, so they can share the spells with more powerful divine casters.

If their place of worship falls while they still live—cloister kaidas have a reasonable sense of self-preservation and are aware of a lost cause—they attempt to relocate to another temple to the same deity, or they find a similarly aligned deity to which they adapt. In this case, the kaidas temporarily lose all cleric-related abilities but can choose a deity within one step of their current alignment. They find secluded places in their new locations and enter chrysalises, from which they emerge after one year. During their metamorphoses, they shed skin embossed with their old holy symbols and adopt the holy symbols appropriate to their new deities on their new skin.

Cloister kaidas live for nearly 500 years, so it is possible for a single kaida to migrate in this way from one alignment extreme to another and back again over the course of its life. The dragons’ longevity also makes it possible for them to be the only living creatures who remember otherwise forgotten religions.

Cloister kaidas sometimes leave their familiar surroundings to undertake missions for their deities. They attach themselves to adventurers who include at least one worshipper of their deities. In rare cases, cloister kaidas discover a predilection for adventuring and remain with a group, provided they have a requisite worshipper. Cloister kaidas usually flee from groups who no longer have worshippers of their deities, but they expend the effort to convert someone from a beloved group if a worshipper in the group died.

A cloister kaida measures 1 foot in length and weighs 15 pounds.

Cloister Kaida Adepts
Cloister kaidas with the advanced creature template or class levels in cleric gain the granted powers from their chosen domains. Their effective cleric level is equal to their Hit Dice plus any cleric levels they possess.