Sunday, January 15, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Mantis Ray

Hello and welcome back for this week's Frightful Fridays! monster...not on Friday. This week's monster is another weirdo mashup, but I thought they component creatures worked well. The praying mantis parts grab hold of a victim, allowing the mouth on the manta's underside to chomp down on the victim's head. Fun!

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

This odd creature is an amalgam of manta ray and praying mantis.
Mantis Ray      CR 2
XP 600
N Medium animal (aquatic)
Init +6; Senses blindsense 30 ft., low-light vision; Perception +5
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 22 (3d8+9)
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +2
Speed 30 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee 2 claws +4 (1d3+2 plus grab), tail slap +4 (1d4+2)
Special Attacks decapitating bite, pounce
Str 14, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 1, Wis 13, Cha 8
Base Atk +2; CMB +4 (+8 grapple); CMD 16 (24 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Acrobatics)
Skills Acrobatics +9 (+13 when jumping), Perception +5, Stealth +6, Swim +10; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics when jumping
SQ amphibious, camouflage
Environment any aquatic and shorelines
Organization solitary, pair, or flight (3–12)
Treasure none
Camouflage (Ex) A mantis ray can take a full-round action, which incurs attacks of opportunity, to bury itself in loose sand or soil, granting itself a +8 circumstance bonus to Stealth checks. It can charge from its hiding spot, but its base speed is reduced by 10 feet.
Decapitating Bite (Ex) If a mantis ray begins its turn grappling an opponent, it can make a free bite attack against that opponent. The bite deals 1d6 (plus Strength modifier) points of damage and has a critical threat range of 17-20. If the mantis ray confirms the critical with its bite attack, the victim must succeed at a DC 13 Fortitude save or lose its head, and die if it requires its head to survive. The save DC is Strength-based.

The horrific experiments pairing a manta ray and a praying mantis have been lost to the mists of time, but the resultant creatures have proven fruitful enough to plague waterways and beaches since then. Mantis rays can survive outside the water for long periods of time and have adapted their hunting techniques to use the beach to hide themselves from potential prey until they leap to the attack. Fortunately, their awkward body shapes make it difficult to employ their lethal bites from their undersides. Once they have ensnared victims in their claws, though, they can maneuver the prey into position where they can behead the prey with razor-sharp teeth.

This bizarre creature can be taken as an animal companion.

Starting Statistics: Size Small; Speed 20 ft., swim 40 ft.; Attack 2 claws (1d2 plus grab), tail slap (1d3); Ability Scores Str 10, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 1, Wis 13, Cha 8; SQ amphibious, camouflage, low-light vision.

7th-Level Advancement: Size Medium; Speed 30 ft., swim 40 ft.; Attack 2 claws (1d3 plus grab), tail slap (1d4); Ability Scores Str +4, Dex –2, Con +2; Special Attacks decapitating bite; SQ +4 Acrobatics when jumping, blindsense 30 ft.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Commanding Crown

Hello and welcome to a new week of Frightful Fridays! I had this one ready to go, but then I got distracted by snow. Six inches of snow (which is a lot for this area, recently) later and it's looking quite nice. So, of course, this week's monster is not snow related. Instead, I have an illustration from Remy Nyx, who wanted a monster made from it. The result is the commanding crown, which only wishes to drop onto someone's head and encourage mild megalomania.

I hope you enjoy the commanding crown, and I'll be back next week with something else. Thanks for reading!

This gem-studded golden crown glows with an inner light and floats gently at a height roughly equal to a standing human’s head.
Commanding Crown      CR 12
XP 19,200
NE Tiny aberration
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +23
AC 27, touch 17, flat-footed 22 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 natural, +2 size)
hp 144 (17d8+68)
Fort +9, Ref +11, Will +14
Defensive Abilities constructed, hardness 10; Immune cold, electricity; Resist fire 10; SR 20
Speed 5 ft., fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee slam +18 (1d2–4 plus adhesive)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks adhesive, mental domination, subjugating shock
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 17th; concentration +21)
   Constant—magic aura (to radiate a strong aura of enchantment)
   3/day—quickened murderous commandUM (DC 17), mass charm person (DC 21), suggestion (DC 19)
   1/day—dominate person (DC 21), envious urgeUM (DC 22), feeblemind (DC 21), greater command (DC 21), mass hold person (DC 22)
Str 2, Dex 19, Con 18, Int 17, Wis 18, Cha 19
Base Atk +12; CMB +14 (+26 grapple); CMD 21 (can't be tripped)
Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (murderous command), Skill Focus (Bluff), Spell Focus (enchantment), Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +27, Fly +20, Knowledge (arcana) +20, Knowledge (local) +13, Knowledge (nobility) +13, Perception +23, Sense Motive +21, Spellcraft +20, Stealth +19, Use Magic Device +20
Languages Aklo, Common, Draconic, Dwarven; telepathy 120 ft.
SQ valuable corpse
Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure double (see valuable corpse)
Adhesive (Ex) The inside of a commanding crown is lined with a powerful adhesive. When it successfully strikes a target, it gains a free attempt to grapple the target without provoking attacks of opportunity. The adhesive gives it a +12 racial bonus on grapple checks and allows it to grapple without gaining the grappled condition. Strong alcohol or universal solvent dissolves the adhesive for 1d4 rounds as the crown exudes more.
Constructed (Ex) Although a commanding crown is a living creature, its body functions in many ways as a construct. For the purposes of effects targeting creatures by type, the crown counts as both an aberration and a construct. It is immune to death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects, necromancy effects, paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects, or is harmless). The crown is not subject to nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain. It is not at risk of death from massive damage. It has bonus hit points as a construct of its size. A commanding crown is destroyed when reduced to 0 hp or less.
Mental Domination (Su) If a commanding crown begins its turn grappling a humanoid, it can attempt to bend that creature’s will as a standard action. If the grappled humanoid fails a DC 22 Will save, it falls under the crown’s influence, as per dominate person. The save DC is Charisma-based.
A creature under the crown’s control benefits from the crown’s spell resistance, energy resistances and immunities, and the immunities provided by the crown’s construction special ability. The crown operates independently of the controlled creature.
Subjugating Shock (Su) Once every 1d6 rounds, a commanding crown can unleash a blast of lightning that deals 8d6 electricity damage to all creatures in a 30-foot radius (DC 22 Reflex halves). Creatures taking damage must attempt an additional Reflex save (with a +4 bonus for creatures making the initial save) to avoid becoming stunned for 1 round.
Valuable Corpse (Ex) Precious metals and valuable gems comprising a commanding crown are worth twice the value in treasure for the crown’s CR. Additionally, by placing the crown on its head, a creature can use the crown’s remaining spell-like abilities.

Imperious relatives to mimics, commanding crowns have locked themselves into a specific shape, but one they use to likewise fool victims. Whereas mimics seek to kill for sport, commanding crowns enjoy asserting control over dupes and using them to kill others. Commanding crowns attempt to appear like intelligent magic items capable of granting enchantment spells, and they speak telepathically to their chosen targets with promises of power. If necessary, they use their suggestion spell-like ability to encourage victims to place them on their heads. Once the crowns have claimed their subjects, they gather allies using their spell-like abilities to build armies and foment war against an imagined enemy. Once their carefully cultivated wars have begun, they slip off their subjects’ heads and float away to witness the carnage from afar.

Commanding crowns easily recognize other commanding crowns, which they throroughly despise. The creatures force their proxies to fight each other and have the victor destroy the opposing crown before it can claim another subject.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Needlesphere

Happy New Year and welcome back to Frightful Fridays! (not actually on Friday this week) The new year starts with a ball of needles which bounces around and treats characters as its pincushions. It then flies apart into a veritable swarm of needles to get up close and stabby.

I hope you enjoy the needlesphere, and I'll see you later this week with another monster. Thanks for reading!

A cohesive ball of needles rolls of its own accord. Painfully sharp needles, dripping with a viscous red fluid, fly from the mass.
Needlesphere      CR 11
XP 12,800
N Large construct
Init +9; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +9
AC 27, touch 15, flat-footed 21 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +12 natural, –1 size)
hp 112 (15d10+30)
Fort +5, Ref +12, Will +6
Defensive Abilities needle defense; DR 10/bludgeoning and magic; Immune construct traits; Resist cold 10, fire 10
Speed 40 ft.
Melee slam +18 (4d6+4 plus pain and poison)
Ranged 4 needles +19 (1d6+4 and poison)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks autonomous attacks, poison
Str 18, Dex 21, Con —, Int —, Wis 13, Cha 5
Base Atk +15; CMB +20; CMD 36 (can't be tripped)
Feats DodgeB, Improved InitiativeB, Lightning ReflexesB, MobilityB, Spring AttackB
Skills Perception +9; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
SQ camouflage, needleswarm form
Autonomous Attacks (Ex) A needlesphere can make ranged needle attacks as part of a full attack or when it uses Spring Attack.
Camouflage (Ex) Since a needlesphere looks like a pile of needles when at rest, a DC 20 Perception check is required to notice it before it attacks for the first time. Anyone with ranks in Knowledge (dungeoneering) can use this skill instead of Perception to notice the creature.
Needle Defense (Ex) Any creature that strikes a needlesphere with a non-reach melee weapon, unarmed strike, or natural weapon takes 1d6+4 points of piercing damage from the needlesphere’s needles, suffers from the creature’s pain attack, and is subject to the creature’s poison.
Needles (Ex) A needlesphere’s needles have a range increment of 20 feet. If the sphere is reduced to 50 or fewer hp, it can no longer make ranged attacks.
Needleswarm Form (Ex) On command or when a needlesphere drops to 30 or fewer hp, it reverts to a swarm of needles (refer to the statblock below). The needleswarm has the needlesphere’s current hp or the needleswarm’s listed hp, whichever is lower.
Pain (Ex) A foe hurt by a needlesphere’s slam attack or needle defense must succeed at a DC 22 Reflex save or a needle breaks off in its flesh, causing the target to become sickened until all embedded needles are removed. Removing a needle requires a DC 15 Heal check made as a full-round action. For every 5 by which the check is exceeded, one additional needle can be removed. On a failed check, the needle is still removed, but this deals 1d6+4 points of damage to the victim. The save DC is Dexterity-based.
Needlesphere Poison (Ex) Needle or slam—injury; save Fort DC 17; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 Dex; cure 2 consecutive saves.
Slam (Ex) A needlesphere’s slam attacks deal bludgeoning and piercing damage.

A cloud of needles swirls around a tiny core of metal. Each needle glows red as if it was just pulled from a fire.
Needleswarm      CR 11
XP 12,800
N Fine construct (swarm)
Init +9; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +9
AC 26, touch 24, flat-footed 20 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 natural, +8 size)
hp 97 (15d10+15)
Fort +5, Ref +12, Will +6
Defensive Abilities swarm traits; Immune construct traits; Resist cold 10, fire 10
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (perfect)
Melee swarm (3d6 plus 2d6 fire, distraction, pain, and poison)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 17), poison
Str 1, Dex 21, Con —, Int —, Wis 13, Cha 5
Base Atk +15; CMB —; CMD
Feats DodgeB, Improved InitiativeB, Lightning ReflexesB, MobilityB, ToughnessB
Skills Fly +21, Perception +9; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
Pain (Ex) A foe hurt by a needleswarm’s swarm attack must succeed at a DC 22 Reflex save or a needle breaks off in its flesh, causing the target to become sickened until all embedded needles are removed. Removing a needle requires a DC 15 Heal check made as a full-round action. For every 5 by which the check is exceeded, one additional needle can be removed. On a failed check, the needle is still removed, but this deals 1d6 points of damage to the victim. The save DC is Dexterity-based.
Needlesphere Poison (Ex) Swarm—injury; save Fort DC 17; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 Dex; cure 2 consecutive saves.

Needlespheres are odd golem-like constructs created to serve particularly sadistic spellcasters who can afford them. Like many lesser golems, needlespheres are programmed to guard an object or area when created; this programming typically cannot be changed after creation. The spheres have two basic forms: a densely compact sphere with the ability to fire individual needles at multiple targets, and a loose collection of needles capable of swarming targets. The magnetic energy holding the swarm form together generates friction among the needles, causing them to superheat and burn targets caught in the swarm.

A needlesphere is created from 1,000 pounds of individual masterwork needles and a chunk of magnetic ore costing a total of 5,500 gp.

CL 9th; Price 45,500 gp
Requirements Craft Construct, lead blades, lesser geas, poison, summon swarm, caster must be at least 11th level; Skill Craft (sculpting) DC 20; Cost 25,500 gp

Friday, December 16, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Megapede

Hello, and welcome to this week's Frightful Fridays! One of my Patreon, it's a shameless plug) patrons suggested a "millipede" made up of multiple centipedes, and the idea evolved from there. It became a swarm of centipedes with the ability to take the form of a gigantic centipede capable of crushing opponents. Plus it electrifies victims. In short, it's fun all around for characters.

I hope you enjoy this week's monster, and I'll be back with another monster next week. Thanks for reading!

The “skin” of this massive centipede ripples. The ripples derive from thousands of centipedes comprising this creature.
Megapede      CR 9
XP 6,400
N Tiny magical beast (swarm)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +19
Aura electricity (5 ft., 1d6 electricity)
AC 24, touch 24, flat-footed 20 (+8 deflection, +4 Dex, +2 size)
hp 102 (12d10+36)
Fort +12, Ref +12, Will +4
Defensive Abilities swarm traits, wrest metal; Immune cold, mind-affecting effects, negative energy
Weaknesses vulnerability to electricity
Speed 20 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee swarm (3d6 plus 5d6 electricity, distraction, and poison)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 18), megapede crush (3d6 plus 2d6 electricity, DC 16), poison, slough centipedes
Str 10, Dex 19, Con 14, Int 3, Wis 10, Cha 7
Base Atk +12; CMB —; CMD
Feats Deadly FinishUC, Great Fortitude, Improved Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perception), Toughness
Skills Climb +12, Perception +19, Stealth +17
Environment temperate or warm land
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none
Megapede Crush (Ex) As a full round action, a megapede can coalesce itself into a long centipede form, allowing it to trample all creatures in a 50-foot line (allowing a chance to evade the trample or make an attack of opportunity as per the trample ability), starting at any square occupied by the megapede. At the end of this action, the megapede returns to its 20-foot space at the line’s terminus.
Megapede Poison (Ex) Swarm—injury; save Fort DC 18; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 2d4 Dex; cure 2 consecutive saves.
Slough Centipedes (Ex) As a standard action, a megapede can dislodge enough centipedes to create a centipede swarm in at least one adjacent square. This reduces the megapede’s hit point total by the centipede swarm’s hit points and reduces the megapede’s space by 5 feet; it also loses access to its megapede crush ability. If a megapede ends its turn in the same square as the centipede swarm, it can reincorporate the swarm into its mass, adding the swarm’s current hit points to its total and increasing its space by 5 feet again. A megapede cannot reduce its space below 10 feet by means of this ability.
Vulnerability to Electricity (Ex) Spells or effects that deal electricity damage to a single target affect a megapede; the electricity damage is unadjusted (not dealing +50% damage) in this case. Spells or effects that deal electricity damage and affect an area deal twice the electricity damage to a megapede. However, a megapede takes no electricity damage from another megapede's attacks or abilities.
Wrest Metal (Ex) The electrostatic field holding the megapede together also interacts with metal weapons. If a metal weapon strikes a megapede it receives a free disarm attempt that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Its effective CMB for the attempt is +16.

A discovery by a wizard who wished to create a gigantic gestalt creature in the image of its component creatures, centipedes turned out to have the best aptitude for the electrostatic process binding them together. The resultant megapedes were loosed into the world to wreak havoc. The process gives them a modicum of intelligence as the component creatures can rapidly exchange information throughout the whole, allowing them to use basic tactics. Megapedes typically attack like typical swarms but they also jolt creatures which enter their electrical fields. They can launch out into a centipede-like form to target difficult-to-reach opponents, and they are capable of expelling centipedes from the gestalt to independently attack foes. Megapedes are carrion eaters, but they are aggressive enough to kill creatures and wait for decay to set in.

Megapedes spawn by breaking off a piece of their collective, which holds a lesser electrostatic field, when they encounter a large number of centipedes. This smaller unit absorbs the independent centipedes and grows into a full-sized creature in an hour-long process. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Spear Turtle

Hello, and welcome to this week's Frightful Fridays! I had this one done much earlier, but life intervened and delayed publication. Theodric (who is a new father again, congratulations!) passed the below image along to me, and I thought it would be fun to have a turtle that can catch prey at a distance to make up for its slow speed.

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

A couple of notes

1. Voting for Here Be Monsters 3 ends tomorrow. Please consider a vote if you haven't done so already. Voting Booth Link
2. I'm doing a little giveaway for 3rd-party Pathfinder RPG material, plus some publishers have jumped in to sweeten the deal. Check out the thread here
3. My Patreon is still going. You get to see each week's monster early, and I will be collecting them into PDFs for patrons on a three-month basis. Patreon Link

This oversized turtle has a rock-like carapace and powerful jaws. It’s most astonishing feature is the bony tongue it flicks out of its mouth at a great distance.
Spear Turtle      CR 3
XP 800
N Large animal (aquatic)
Init +0; Senses low-light vision; Perception +8
AC 15, touch 9, flat-footed 15 (+6 natural, –1 size)
hp 30 (4d8+12)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +2
DR 2/bludgeoning
Speed 20 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee bite +6 (2d6+4 plus grab) or tongue +6 (1d8+4 piercing plus spearing tongue)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (15 ft. with tongue)
Str 19, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 9
Base Atk +3; CMB +8 (+12 grapple); CMD 18 (22 vs. trip)
Feats Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack
Skills Perception +8, Swim +12
SQ amphibious
Environment temperate or warm water
Organization solitary, pair, or bale (3–8)
Spearing Tongue (Ex) When a spear turtle makes a successful attack with its tongue, it receives a free grapple check to impale its victim. If it succeeds at this check, it can retract its tongue, pulling the victim 5 feet towards the turtle. It does not need to make additional checks to maintain the grapple with its tongue; it deals no additional damage, but it reels its victim 5 feet closer. Unsuccessful attempts to escape the grapple deal 1d8 points of piercing damage. While the turtle has an opponent speared, it can only make a bite attack against its speared opponent.

Many animals have adaptations to overcome shortcomings in their ability to hunt and survive, and spear turtles are no exception. To compensate for their slow speed on the land and in the water, they possess a telescoping, barbed tongue, allowing them to attack and hook prey from surprising distances. The barbs extend outward immediately after the tongue strikes a target. The difficult-to-remove spear allows the turtles to pull prey toward them simply by retracting the tongue. Retracting the tongue also retracts the barbs, allowing the turtles to employ their powerful bites.

Spear turtles live in coastal areas and primarily hunt fish and aquatic mammals, since they have greater maneuverability under water. If hunting proves sparse, they move on land to attack prey, which often brings them into conflict with humanoids living near the shore. While not particularly aggressive, hungry turtles attack humanoids if no other prey presents itself. In more populated areas, they often find themselves at odds with humanoids for fish and other mutual prey. Spear turtles typically shift to other locations when competition becomes too fierce.

Typical spear turtles measure 8 feet wide and 9 feet long, and weigh 800 pounds. Like many turtles, they are long-lived, reaching lifespans of up to 60 years.

Spear Turtle Animal Companions
Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 20 ft., swim 30 ft.; AC +6 natural; Attack bite (1d8) or tongue (10-ft. reach, 1d6); Ability Scores Str 15, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 9; Special Attacks grab, spearing tongue (1d6).

7th-Level Advancement: Size Large; AC +4 natural; Attack bite (2d6) or tongue (15-ft. reach, 1d8); Ability Scores Str +4, Con +2; Special Attacks spearing tongue (1d8).

Monday, December 5, 2016

More Free Monsters! (repost)

The reveals for the latest Here Be Monsters contest are out. Please check them out and consider voting after you've had a chance to read through them. Voting ends on the 12th!

(reposting because I shouldn't have been doing this while I was distracted by my day job, and I forgot that the reveals were being done hourly)

Monster 1: Strife Wasp
Monster 2: Voidweaver
Monster 3: Eon-Scarred Probe
Monster 4: Void Herald
Monster 5: Star Cinder

And finally...


Friday, December 2, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Faerie Dragon Noble

Hello and welcome back to another Frightful Fridays! Blog boss Theodric the Obscure pointed out the below illustration to me, and it screamed faerie dragon, but not just any faerie dragon. So, I statted up a faerie dragon noble, considerably more powerful than lesser faerie dragons, but not extremely powerful in the draconic scale.

I hope you enjoy the faerie dragon noble, and I'll be back next week with another monster. Thanks for reading!

Also Two Items of Note
I'm giving away stuff, and I'm asking for your money (or just general support). First, the now annual tradition of Christmastime third-party giveaway is taking place, and a lot of other publishers have jumped in, making it really awesome. All you have to do is sign up here:, and the drawings will start on the 13th.

Next, I am pushing my Patreon (the mind-control masters at Patreon compel it). Check it out here:

Wisps of fog and strange, colorful images surround this multi-colored dragon with insect-like wings. A glimmer of whimsy tinges its practiced, haughty expression.
Faerie Dragon Noble      CR 7
XP 3,200
CN Medium dragon
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +15
AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+6 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 84 (8d12+32)
Fort +10, Ref +12, Will +10
Immune paralysis, sleep; SR 19
Speed 20 ft., fly 90 ft. (perfect), swim 50 ft.
Melee bite +14 (1d8+2), 2 claws +14 (1d6+2)
Special Attacks breath weapon (15-ft. cone, euphoric bliss, Fort DC 18 partial, usable every 1d4 rounds), phantasmal knockout
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +12)
   At will—greater invisibility
   1/day—break enchantment, summon (level 4, 1d3 faerie dragons 73%)
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 8th; concentration +12)
   4th (4/day)—phantasmal killer (DC 20)
   3rd (6/day)—deep slumber (DC 17), loathsome veilUM (DC 19)
   2nd (7/day)—haunting mistsUM (DC 18), hideous laughter (DC 16), mirror image
   1st (7/day)—charm person (DC 15), color spray (DC 17), grease, silent image (DC 17), ventriloquism (DC 17)
   0 (at will)—acid splash, arcane mark, dancing lights, detect magic, flare (DC 14), ghost sound (DC 16), mage hand, open/close (DC 14)
Str 14, Dex 23, Con 19, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 19
Base Atk +8; CMB +10; CMD 26 (30 vs. trip)
Feats Greater Spell Focus (illusion), Spell Focus (illusion), Weapon Finesse, Wingover
Skills Appraise +15, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Escape Artist +14, Fly +18, Knowledge (arcana) +13, Knowledge (nature) +13, Knowledge (nobility) +13, Perception +15, Sense Motive +15, Stealth +13, Swim +14, Use Magic Device +15
Languages Aklo, Common, Draconic, Elven, Sylvan; telepathy 200 ft.
SQ faerie dragon hive mind
Environment temperate or warm forests
Organization solitary, pair, coterie (3–6), or court (7–12 plus 10–30 faerie dragons)
Treasure double
Breath Weapon (Su) Creatures failing the breath weapon’s Fortitude save are stunned for 1d4 rounds and then staggered for 1d6 rounds. For the duration, affected creatures are immune to spells and effects with the emotion descriptor. Creatures succeeding at the Fortitude save are instead sickened for 1d4 rounds and gain a +6 morale bonus on saves versus spells and effects with the emotion descriptor for the duration.
Faerie Dragon Hive Mind (Su) As long as there are two or more faerie dragons (ordinary or noble), including at least one faerie dragon noble, within 200 feet of each other, if one faerie dragon in the group is aware of a particular danger, they all are. No faerie dragon in the group is considered flanked or flat-footed unless all of them are.
Phantasmal Knockout (Sp) A faerie dragon noble can choose to make a victim of its phantasmal killer spells unconscious (and stable at -1 hp) instead of killing the victim. When it does so, the dragon can implant a suggestion as per the spell triggered suggestionACG, with a duration equal to a year and a day or until completed.
Spells A faerie dragon noble casts spells as an 8th-level sorcerer.

While faerie dragons tend toward independence except with respect to their clans, they respect all elder faerie dragons, especially those who have undergone the metamorphosis to faerie dragon noble. Faerie dragons who have accrued considerable power create a chrysalis of primal matter, from which they emerge a year later as noble specimens; the dragons jealously guard the secret to this transformation process. Faerie dragons try to assume a more serious attitude after their change, but they often fall into the same stunt pulling antics as lesser faerie dragons. The escalating pranks the nobles carry out among themselves often involve large portions of their forest homes and including unsuspecting neighboring communities.

As liaisons to fey courts, faerie dragon nobles don’t have to leave the fun behind, but they prove exasperating to more serious fey. When the time comes to be serious, though, the dragons immediately make the switch, becoming terrifying in their intensity. They prefer not to use lethal force even in dire situations, even learning to temper their most dangerous spell, phantasmal killer. When implanting a suggestion within the strange dreams the dragons’ modified phantasms impart, they typically cause victims to perform highly embarrassing in front of as large an audience as possible.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Frightful Fridays! has a Patreon

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

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

Friday, November 25, 2016

Frightful Fridays! (Thanksgiving Week Spectacular) Pyton

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Frightful Fridays! (Thanksgiving Week Spectacular) Murducken

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Frightful Fridays! (Thanksgiving Week Spectacular) Culinary Kaida

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Frightful Fridays! (Thanksgiving Week Spectacular) Inferno Treant

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 21, 2016

Frightful Fridays! (Thanksgiving Week Spectacular) Primal Unicorn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A new monster contest!

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

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

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Flabberghast

Hello, and welcome back to a new edition of Frightful Fridays! (slightly delayed) This week's monster goes against my normal appreciation for gnomes and fey by bringing out an undead monstrosity focused on fey (and gnomes thanks to their bloodline). It's still a potentially nasty monster against other characters, too.

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

This skeletal creature’s bones fade into a set of withered brambles where its legs should be. It has alternatively bony and branch-like horns protruding form its skull.
Flabberghast    CR 6
XP 2,400
CE Medium undead
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +15
Aura aura of despair (10 ft., DC 17)
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+4 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 67 (9d8+27)
Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +9
Defensive Abilities evasion; DR 5/cold iron; Immune undead traits; Resist cold 20, electricity 10; SR 17
Weaknesses compulsion vulnerability
Speed 30 ft., fly 40 ft. (good)
Melee 2 claws +11 (1d6+2 plus 1d6 Cha damage), gore +10 (1d8+2)
Special Attacks broken beauty, create spawn, feybane, rend (2 claws, 1d6+3)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +12)
   3/day—dancing lightsfaerie fire
   1/day—confusion (DC 16), deep slumber (DC 16), entangle (DC 14), glitterdust (DC 15), major image (DC 16)
Str 14, Dex 19, Con —, Int 17, Wis 16, Cha 17
Base Atk +6; CMB +8; CMD 22
Feats Combat Casting, Lightning Reflexes, Vital Strike, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (claw)
Skills Bluff +12, Fly +12, Intimidate +15, Knowledge (arcana) +11, Knowledge (nature) +12, Perception +15, Sense Motive +15, Spellcraft +11, Stealth +14
Languages Aklo, Common, Sylvan
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, reprisal (3–6)
Treasure standard
Aura of Despair (Su) Any creature within or entering a flabberghast’s aura must succeed on a DC 17 Will save or take a –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, ability and skill checks, and weapon damage for as long as it remains within the aura. A creature that successfully saves is immune to the same flabberghast’s aura for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.
   Additionally, a flabberghast suppresses spells and effects granting morale bonuses within its aura, but it does not dispel them.
Broken Beauty (Su) If a flabberghast confirms a critical hit with its claws, in addition to inflicting 1d6 points of Charisma damage, it deals 1d2 points of Charisma drain (DC 17 Will save negates). If the flabberghast successfully drains Charisma, it gains a temporary +1 enhancement bonus to all Charisma-based skill checks, and save DCs for its spells and abilities. These bonuses stack with each other and last for 1 hour. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Compulsion Vulnerability (Su) A flabberghast generally enjoys an undead creature’s immunity to mind-affecting effects, but it still falls prey to the seemingly bizarre rules governing fey. It must attempt a Will save against a spell or effect with the compulsion descriptor, and it incurs a –4 penalty on such saves.
Create Spawn (Su) If the flabberghast kills a gnome or a fey creature, either through damage or by reducing the creature to 0 Charisma, the creature returns as a flabberghast one hour later. Other creatures killed by a flabberghast rise as ghasts.
Feybane (Su) Once per day as a swift action, a flabberghast can imbue its gore attack with the bane (fey creatures and gnomes) weapon ability for 1 minute.

Fey are no strangers to undeath and several of their number fall prey to vampires, spectres, and other foul creatures. However, flabberghasts are undead unique to fey. Typically resulting from fey creatures brought low by the backstabbing machinations omnipresent in faerie courts, flabberghasts return to a twisted form of unlife, embittered against all other fey. This hatred also applies to humanoids with fey origins such as gnomes. Flabberghasts prefer targeting the objects of their ire over other creatures but are not so overwhelmed by rage to ignore obvious threats. Ultimately, the creatures wish to diminish all beauty in the world and often stop just short of killing foes to force them to suffer (at least temporarily) with disfigurations.

Despite, or perhaps because of, their antipathy toward fey, flabberghasts ally with unseelie fey to destroy their opponents. Only powerful nobles deal with flabberghasts, because the creatures almost invariably seek to betray their allies, usually after bolstering their numbers.