Friday, May 26, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Blattraupe

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

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


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

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

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


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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Death Crab

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

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



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

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

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


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Imaginought

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

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



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

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

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

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


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Ghost Maw

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

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


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

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

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

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Cloth Ooze

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

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

It's just a harmless pile of clothes.


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

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

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


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Fundamentowl


Hello and welcome to this rain-delayed Frightful Fridays! OK, so rain wasn't the only thing delaying monster entries, but I'm back with an owl which has been exposed to the darkest secrets of the universe and has returned to share these secrets with everyone--regardless of whether they want to know. Even a brief glance into the creature's star-filled eyes induces mild insanity.

Also, Theodric has returned to the blog, breaking up the interminable monster posts. It means I'll have to share again, and I'm happy for it. Check out his latest post here: Swords & Wizardry: It's what I'm running.

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



This giant owl’s feathers are a uniform gray; its blue eyes, displaying unrecognizable constellations of stars, have an almost magnetic pull.
Fundamentowl      CR 8
XP 4,800
CN Small magical beast
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +10
DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 20, flat-footed 17 (+5 Dex, +4 insight, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 95 (10d10+40)
Fort +11, Ref +12, Will +0
Defensive Abilities improved evasion, improved uncanny dodge; Immune cold
OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee 2 claws +16 (1d4–1 plus grab)
Special Attacks gaze (30 ft., DC 19), grab (Medium), inject knowledge, mental broadcast
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +14)
   3/day—dimension door, hold monster (DC 19)
   1/day—divination
STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 21, Con 19, Int 16, Wis 5, Cha 18
Base Atk +10; CMB +14 (+18 grapple); CMD 27
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Dimensional AgilityUC, Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Fly +11, Knowledge (arcana, dungeoneering, geography, history, nature, planes, religion) +20, Perception +10, Sense Motive +9, Stealth +17; Racial Modifiers +8 Knowledge (arcana, dungeoneering, geography, history, nature, planes, religion), +8 Perception, +8 Sense Motive, +4 Stealth
Languages Aklo, Common, Sylvan; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ strange knowledge
ECOLOGY
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or curiosity (3–6)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Gaze (Su) Creatures failing a DC 19 Will save take 1d4 points of Wisdom damage from a fundamentowl’s gaze. A creature that failed its save must attempt a second save to avoid 1 point of Wisdom damage converting to 1 point of Wisdom drain.
Inject Knowledge (Su) If a fundamentowl begins its turn grappling a creature, it forces a stream of information into the creature. A victim failing a DC 19 Will save takes 1d6 points of Wisdom damage (and must attempt a second save to avoid converting 1 point of Wisdom damage to 1 point of Wisdom drain), but it can take 20 on a single Knowledge skill check it makes within 24 hours and can make the check untrained. A creature gains a use of this boon for each failed save against inject knowledge.
Mental Broadcast (Su) If a fundamentowl is affected by a mind-affecting spell or effect and it fails its Will save, it broadcasts the spell or effect to all creatures within range of its telepathy. Affected creatures must also attempt the Will save (the save DC is unchanged by this ability) or suffer the same effects.
Strange Knowledge (Ex) All Knowledge skills are class skills for a fundamentowl. Additionally, the fundamentowl receives a +4 insight bonus to its AC and initiative.

Fundamentowls are one-time familiars which sought knowledge beyond what they gained while serving witches or wizards. These familiars traveled to faraway locations where reality bled away and revealed the secrets of the universe. While they gained considerable knowledge, their minds warped and they went mad. The familiars, shaped into owls for unfathomable reasons, returned to their homes and give in to their compulsions to share their secrets with other creatures, regardless of the detrimental side effects. Imparting knowledge, even forcibly, takes a burden off their minds at least for a while. Fundamentowls also locate familiars and tantalize them with hidden vistas of information denied to them by their masters, thus repeating the cycle.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Swords & Wizardry: It's what I'm running.

HAPPY SWORDS & WIZARDRY APPRECIATION DAY FROM NORTHERN APPALACHIA!

Well, it's been more than a while since you've heard from your obscure, rambling host, and Mike Welham has thankfully kept MPR from falling into utter dereliction. It might have something to do with moving across the country and having a new baby, but even before that I was running on low. Out of the interstices I creep to update you on the state of my game, which happily, will also largely be a post of joining in communal OSRness of the S&W kind.


How I got to S&W

The past 10 months, I have been playing in a weekly PF game by Skype, which has just now gone on a hiatus (I leveled my magus up to 5th level, thank you very much). The year before that, I was in a 5e game in which part of the time I DMed Tyranny of Dragons and a part of the time another player DMed Princes of the Apocalypse. In the further past in San Antonio, I had run a S&W Complete game set in Waterdeep in which I relocated old modules to Undermountain -- we were having fun but I couldn't get the group together enough to really build the kind of campaign I wanted. North Texas RPG Con 2016 just whetted my appetite even more for a regular home campaign in which we would build an interesting setting, characters, and stories. Now that I have the kind of home base I want in the old butcher's shop beneath my house (complete with a massive table left by a short-lived textile business of some kind), I have started said game using S&W. 

The Players

I first found some experienced players among some of the college students of a nearby college town. As time progressed, they have proven to have a hard time continuing consistently because of their school and work loads, but I also have added two completely new players -- guys who always wanted to play but couldn't find people to teach them back in the day. Hey, scifi/fantasy reading clubs aren't a bad way to meet new players. I need to branch out again to find some more new players -- I'd like a bigger group and I miss the diversity that the college folks brought to the group. (Read: A group with gals is better.)

The Building Blocks

I started preparing the nascent setting by reading Hommlet and the original City State of the Invincible Overlord booklets. I decided Hommlet would be their home base and the province would belong to the City State. No Temple of Elemental Evil -- I would introduce another evil. The nearby town of Nulb? The characters original hometown, now in ruins thanks to an horrific event when they were children. Underneath the ruins? The Hall of Bones, adapted physically so that I could use the The Lost Catacombs pages for game mats.



I looked at the gods of the CSIO and decided that they were a bit of a mess -- both an inspiring mess (How do I explain this hodgepodge of deities as a historical development and how would they actually work as a society's pantheon?) and a mess that needed some straightening up (too many gods of the same basic kind and other types completely missing). Here are the gods in the original booklet:



Odin
Modron (“Great Mother”)
Brigid
Mabon (“Great Son”)
Thoth
Dagda
Harmakhis (Horus)
Teutates (=Toutatis)
Quetzalcoatl
Lugh
Apollo
Fenris Wolf
Nephthys (but misspelled, just as in DDG&H supplement)
(Spider God?)
Donn (Celtic Death)
Gods of Pegana (the so-called “old gods”)
Toad God in Mermist Swamp (Obviously I'm going to make Tsathoggua)
Unnamed Sea Goddess
Balder
Varuna
Hanuman the Accursed
Idun
The Sea God Manannan
Arghrasmak (Temple of the Gargoyle) “living god”
Crimson Dragon

The historical key to this is that I decided the City State was a originally a colony found by a southern Rome analogue who hired Germanic/Nordic warriors to conquer a region peopled by monsters and Celt analogues. Their great, older rival was an Egypt analogue from whom they appropriated some deities -- all things Romans were wont to do. (Wikipedia has introductory entries on this process in the religious vein.) That allowed me to revise the list by identifying various gods with one another in the following way:



Odin the Dagda, Odin All-Father
Sol Odinsson, Sol Invictus, Sol of the City State, Sol-Horus, Sol-Harmakhis, the Eye of Odin
Modron the Great Mother, Brigid
Mabon the Great Son
Thoth the Terrible, God of Knowledge and Learning
Quetzalcoatl, He-of-the-Mithral-Feathers, 1st Serpent, Dragon King, God of Rivers & Mtns
Fenris Wolf, Lord of Ragnarok
Nephthys, Lady of the Holy Mortuary, Mistress of Wealth
Death (Donn)
Tsathoggua, the Toad God, God of Wetlands and Caverns
Kiopa’a, Star of the Seas, Polestar, Queen of Sea Fae
Arghrasmak the Living God, God of Gargoyles.
Balder, the Hidden Son, Hope of Mankind
Varuna All-Seeing, Lord of Rains, Arbiter of Oaths, Guardian of Cosmic Law
Hanuman the Accursed, God of Therianthropes
Idun, Lady of the Golden Orchard, Long of Time and Limb
Typhon the Two-Faced, Tyrant of All Oceans

The rebellious gods of Pegana I kept around and the god Teutates=Toutatis (thanks, Astrix comics!) became simply a title that a social group would add to the name of their patron deity. I'm still playing around with how I'm going to handle the spider god, though Wraith Overlord: Terror of the City State has a nice idea in it. (Where the heck did that title come from? Still haven't figured it out.) And I'm still playing with what exactly I'm going to do with the Crimson Dragon. Also, a few deities also indicate that the Rome analogue not only had the rivalry with an Egypt analogue, but also some sort of contact with an Indic analogue. (Meso-america is for dragons.)


Deities I added

First off, I needed a paladin patron to take the places of Muir (I don't care for the name) and Cuthbert (I wanted to cut the odd real-world tie here and have a Joan of Arc like feel to the figure, but germanified). Thus was born St. Ingaberht. She heads the following list:

Ingaberht, Patron Saint of Templars and Holy Knighthood

Orcus, Punisher of Broken Oaths, Demon Lord of the Undead
Frey, Lugh, Lord of the Elves
Circe, Witch Goddess
Morithal, Lord of Unceasing Hunger: Remember this little gem!?

This kind of top-down work gave me lots of ideas for the setting and hooks for potential stories, and allows the players to locate their characters within the setting. Less of them took me up on the idea of having their character being from Nulb, but they still came up with ideas for why they were in Hommlet and interested in Nulb and each other, so it worked out.


Now the question, Why and how does S&W provide the ruleset for this campaign? To be continued in a second posting!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Greenspark

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Frightful Fridays! This week's monster is not exactly frightful, unless the characters like to wantonly destroy forests. A greenspark could still be a valuable ally against undead or other abominations in a forest setting, as she and her kin give their lives to save the forest from harm against such creatures.

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


The outline of a leaf- and ivy-covered woman is barely visible within this bright green mote of light.
Greenspark      CR 3
XP 800
NG Diminutive fey
Init +3; Senses greensight 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +9
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 size)
hp 27 (5d6+10)
Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +5
DR 5/cold iron
OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft., burrow 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (good)
Melee mwk dagger +10 (1 nonlethal/19–20 plus poison)
Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks enliven plants, lightbringer, sneak attack +3d6
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +7)
   At will—faerie fire
   1/day—plant growth, tree shape, tree stride
STATISTICS
Str 1, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +2; CMB +1; CMD 7
Feats Dodge, Flyby Attack, Mobility, Weapon Finesse
Skills Diplomacy +10, Escape Artist +10, Fly +17, Knowledge (nature) +17, Perception +9, Perform (wind instruments) +10, Sense Motive +9, Stealth +19; Racial Modifiers +8 Knowledge (nature)
Languages Sylvan; plantspeech
SQ luminous
ECOLOGY
Environment temperate forests
Organization solitary, pair, verdancy (3–16)
Treasure normal (masterwork dagger and other treasure)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Enliven Plants (Su) As a full-round action, a greenspark can merge with a 10-foot radius of living plants or a tree 10 feet tall or less (not including plant creatures) and take rudimentary control of the plant(s). She can create an entangle effect (DC 13 Reflex partial) in a 10-foot-radius around her if she animates grass and other small plants pushing through the ground, or an effect similar to liveoak (but the animated treant gains the young creature template and it cannot move) for a tree. While merged, she takes no damage from melee attacks, but she still takes damage from spells or effects with an area of effect, and she dies if the plant or group of plants she controls is destroyed. Disengaging from a controlled plant is a move action for the greenspark. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Lightbringer (Su) A greenspark can create a daylight effect for 5 hours at the cost of her life. Eight or more greensparks can create the equivalent of the sunburst spell and create daylight for 24 hours at the cost of their lives.
Luminous (Su) A greenspark sheds light equal to that provided by a torch. The light is always green in color, but the greenspark usually sets it to a brilliant emerald color. As a swift action, she can extinguish the light.
Plantspeech (Ex) A greenspark has the ability to converse with plants as if subject to a continual speak with plants spell, and most plants greet her with an attitude of friendly or helpful.
Poison (Ex) Poison Oak: Injury—dagger; save Fort DC 13; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d4 Dex damage and victim is sickened until Dex damage is healed; cure 1 save.

Greensparks are ardent defenders of their forest homes and pack considerable power in their deceptively tiny frames. Similar to dryads, greensparks are all female (or, rather, those who have encountered them report this fact, and no one has provided evidence of male greensparks). The fey are not bound to the forest like their dryad sisters, but they remain there out of a profound sense of duty. They are generally friendly to visitors to the forest and light the way for lost travelers. However, those who harm the plants or other forest denizens receive the greensparks’ ire, first in the form of nettling dagger attacks. The poison oak oil covering the greensparks’ daggers is fast acting and causes severe and distractive itching. If that tactic fails, greensparks merge with plants to hold trespassers in place or pummel trespassers with animated trees. Against unnatural foes, greensparks sacrifice themselves, usually in a large enough group to generate a sunburst effect, to preserve the forest.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Brass Belt Master

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Frightful (almost opposite of) Fridays! This edition's monster is something I've wanted to do for a while: a creature capable of sparring with PCs and learning as it goes. I borrowed somewhat from the brawler class for the brass belt master's ability to change feats out as quickly as possible. Hopefully, one (or more) of these will challenge your characters as it adapts in combat.

I hope you enjoy the brass belt master, and I will be back again soon with another monster. Thanks for reading!


This brass clockwork approximates a powerfully built human; it takes a sparring stance.
Brass Belt Master      CR 9
XP 6,400
N Medium construct
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +19
DEFENSE
AC 24, touch 16, flat-footed 18 (+6 Dex, +8 natural)
hp 86 (12d10+20)
Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +8
Defensive Abilities evasion, hardness 10; Immune construct traits, cold, electricity, fire
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee unarmed strike +20/+15/+10 (2d6+7) or
   unarmed strike +18/+13/+8 (2d6+5), unarmed strike +18/+13 (2d6+5)
Special Attacks stunning fist (3/day, DC 19)
STATISTICS
Str 20, Dex 23, Con —, Int 15, Wis 18, Cha 7
Base Atk +12; CMB +17; CMD 33
Feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Deflect ArrowsB, Double SliceB, Improved Two-Weapon FightingB, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Two-Weapon FightingB, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Skills Acrobatics +18 (+22 when jumping), Bluff –2 (+14 when feinting), Escape Artist +18, Perception +20, Sense Motive +20; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics when jumping, +16 Bluff when feinting
Languages Common, Dwarven (can't speak)
SQ adaptive combatant
ECOLOGY
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, gym (3–12)
Treasure incidental
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Adaptive Combatant (Ex) A brass belt master can gain the benefit of one combat feat as an immediate action or three combat feats as a swift action. The total additional combat feats it can gain equals its Wisdom modifier (for a total of 14 feats for a typical brass belt master). The creature can replace any of the listed bonus feats or any of the new feats selected through this ability, but cannot replace any of its other starting feats. Additionally, the brass belt master must meet all the feat’s prerequisites (meaning it cannot swap out a feat that would act as a prerequisite for a new feat), and it uses its Hit Dice as its fighter or monk level for the purpose of qualifying for feats. If a feat’s prerequisite level is higher than its Hit Dice, it may attempt a Wisdom check with a DC equal to the prerequisite level to acquire the feat; on a failure, the brass belt master may not attempt to gain the feat again for 24 hours.
A brass belt master that acquires templates which increase its CR gains bonus feats equal to the CR increase.

Brass belt masters were clockwork sparring constructs given sentience to increase the challenge of fighting them as opposed to the predictability of preprogrammed automata. This sentience drove many of the creations to seek out their own challenges as the clockwork creatures became bored with what they saw as inferior opponents. While some were dismantled after pitched battles, several managed to escape and form collectives in abandoned mines or in high-altitude locations where they could train peacefully with each other. As they began to break down or desired to create additional brass belt masters, they realized they needed to reengage with the outside world. Believers in fair fights and not wishing to gain infamy by forcibly taking the materials they required, they sought to challenge worthy opponents with the necessary metal and tools as the prize. Several became ronin, traveling from village to village and dispatching monsters or other threats to the villages in return for supplies. Some even wound up in the company of adventuring fleshy creatures who proved themselves worthy in combat. Whatever their journeys, brass belt masters find themselves returning occasionally to the gyms they call home. While a brass belt master gym is not difficult to find, since the clockwork creatures seem to eschew slyness, creatures following a brass belt master to its gym typically find themselves overmatched against the gym’s residents.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Terrorpin

Hello, and welcome to this week's Frightful Fridays! This one had me reaching back into the archives of images friends have sent along the way. The idea of a massive construct turtle resonated with me, so here you go. It starts off a lumbering brute of a creature, but it transforms into a crazed engine of destruction under certain circumstances. Hopefully, it will be quite the surprise to the PCs.

I hope you enjoy the terrorpin, and I'll see you later with another monster.



This creature looks like a gigantic, ponderous, armor-plated turtle. Its most formidable features are its powerful jaw and mouth lined with serrated edges, seemingly capable of crushing anything.
Terrorpin      CR 12
XP 19,200
N Gargantuan construct
Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 120 ft.; Perception +4
DEFENSE
AC 27, touch 5, flat-footed 27 (–1 Dex, +22 natural, –4 size)
hp 148 (16d10+60)
Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +9
Defensive Abilities fortification (25%), retraction; DR 10/adamantine; Immune construct traits, cold, electricity, fire; Resist acid 20
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +22 (3d6+10 plus grab), slam +22 (4d6+10)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (3d6+10), sundering bite, trample (4d6+15, DC 28)
STATISTICS
Str 31, Dex 9, Con —, Int —, Wis 19, Cha 4
Base Atk +16; CMB +30 (+34 grapple); CMD 39 (43 vs. trip)
Skills Swim +18
SQ frenzy
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Frenzy (Ex) When a terrorpin takes any acid damage or is reduced to less than half its hit points, its base speed increases to 60 feet. Additionally, while in this state, it can trample and then make a bite attack from the location its trample ends. A frenzied terrorpin incurs a –2 penalty to its AC.
Retraction (Ex) If commanded, a terrorpin can retract its head into its armored shell, increasing its fortification to 50%. However, it cannot make bite attacks and is effectively blind (50% miss chance) when it makes slam attacks.
Sundering Bite (Ex) A terrorpin can make a sunder attempt with its bite attack against an opponent's weapon or armor without provoking attacks of opportunity. It bypasses hardness as if it were using an adamantine weapon.

Terrorpins are constructed guardian creatures with similarities to golems, but are powered by clockwork or steam-driven mechanisms rather than elemental spirits. Their creators have a modicum of control over the constructs and can transfer that control to another creature during the crafting process. Terrorpins often have internal cavities where their controllers can sit in comfort, untouchable by opponents until the terrorpins have been utterly destroyed. When they are operating on standing orders, they have some autonomy and might attempt to destroy weapons proving particularly effective against them. Terrorpins give the illusion of being lumbering monstrosities, but, when they take sufficient damage or when acid harms their internal systems, energy reserves kick in and allow them to rampage through opponents. A terrorpin’s controller can override this rampage; otherwise, it requires healing the creature to restore it to its normal ponderous state.

Standard terrorpins stand only 18 feet tall, but their necks give them extra reach. They typically weigh over 10 tons. While rituals are unnecessary to create the constructs, the adamantine and intricate machinery that go into building them cost 40,000 gp, and a craftsperson must have the Craft Construct feat.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Echocat

Hello and welcome to a new installment of Frightful Fridays! I was going through the archives of images provided by friends, and I came across a margay which can mimic the sounds of monkeys to help in their hunts. I extrapolated this inherent sonic capability, so the echocat can create sonic constructs which last for a little while and have nearly the same physical potency as the echocat.

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

It's really cute, until it screams.

This spotted, tawny cat has large, expressive eyes and even larger ears. Tiny waves ripple in the air around it.
Echocat      CR 6
XP 2,400
CN Small magical beast
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +13
DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 19, flat-footed 17 (+4 deflection, +4 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 68 (8d10+24)
Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +5
Defensive Abilities evasion; Immune sonic
Weaknesses silence vulnerability
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +13 (1d6+1 plus grab), 2 claws +13 (1d4+1)
Special Attacks grab (Medium), pounce, rake (2 claws +13, 1d4+1), sonic scream
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +9)
   At will—ventriloquism (DC 12)
   3/day—dimension door
STATISTICS
Str 12, Dex 19, Con 17, Int 6, Wis 16, Cha 13
Base Atk +8; CMB +8 (+12 grapple); CMD 26 (30 vs. trip)
Feats Dimensional AgilityUC, Dimensional AssaultUC, Dimensional DervishUC, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +1 (+9 to mimic sounds), Climb +9, Perception +13 (+21 for checks involving sound), Stealth +12 (+20 in forests); Racial Modifiers +8 Perception for checks involving sound, +8 Stealth in forests
SQ duplicate self, sound mimicry (animal noises)
ECOLOGY
Environment temperate and warm forests
Organization solitary, pair, or reverberation (3–8)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Duplicate Self (Ex) An echocat creates a sonic duplicate of itself when it uses its dimension door spell-like ability. The duplicate is identical to the echocat with the following exceptions: it gains the incorporeal subtype (losing its natural armor bonus), has half the originating echocat’s maximum hp, and can only make melee attacks (but none of the echocat’s special attacks). It remains for a number of rounds equal to 1d4 + its Charisma modifier (minimum 1). It is an independent creature which typically attacks the nearest foe. The duplicate disappears in an area of magical silence.
Silence Vulnerability (Ex) In an area of magical silence, an echocat loses its deflection bonus, and it cannot use its sonic scream ability.
Sonic Scream (Ex) Once every 1d4 rounds, an echocat can unleash a piercing cry that deals 5d6 points of sonic damage to all creatures in a 30-foot cone (DC 17 Reflex halves). Creatures failing their saves are deafened for 1 hour.

Echocats come from the same unusual locations which spawned destrachans and yrthaks, but the smaller animals made forest and jungles their homes where they can avoid the larger predators and prey upon smaller animals in turn. Their primary prey consists of monkeys and other primates, which the cats draw into their waiting jaws by mimicking calls produced by their prey. Easily frightened by larger creatures, echocats attempt to wait such creatures out while perched on branches where their patterned fur allows them to blend in with the foliage. If they must attack, they make liberal use of their sonic screams and create echoes of themselves while using devastating attacks while travelling at the speed of sound, duplicating the effects of dimension door. Once at a safe distance, they throw their voices to draw away attackers. If they must stay and fight, they make tactical use of their sonic copies.

While echocats cannot normally be taken as companion creatures, they enjoy travelling with bards and creatures with sonic abilities. Harpies who manage to control their destructive urges keep echocats for extra protection.

Echocats are 4 feet long, including a nearly foot-long tail, and weigh 50 pounds.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Bullet Squirrel

Hello, and welcome to this week's Frightful Fridays! My college-age child suggested a squirrel that moved around the battlefield like a bullet, and I happen to feature a lot of squirrels on the blog (I'm actually afraid to count the number of squirrel entries I have), so this was a no-brainer. This should go from, "oh, look at the cute little squirrel" to "why am I on the ground and my arm is broken" for your characters pretty quickly.

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

Pew! Pew! Pew!

This minute gray squirrel zips about unpredictably, making a loud crack as it shoots from location to location.
Bullet Squirrel      CR 5
XP 1,600
N Tiny animal
Init +5; Senses low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +8
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 12 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 size)
hp 52 (7d8+21)
Fort +8, Ref +10, Will +4
Defenses hardheaded; Resist fire 10
OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft., burrow 30 ft., fly 90 ft. (perfect); bullet trajectory
Melee bite +12 (1d3–4), slam +12 (1d4–4)
Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks gunshot slam
STATISTICS
Str 3, Dex 21, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 11
Base Atk +5; CMB +8 (+10 bull rush); CMD 15 (17 vs. bull rush, 19 vs. trip)
Feats Death from AboveUC, Dodge, Improved Bull RushB, Mobility, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +15, Fly +17, Perception +8, Stealth +17; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics
ECOLOGY
Environment temperate forests
Organization solitary, pair, magazine (3–20)
Treasure incidental
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Bullet Trajectory (Ex) A bullet squirrel can only burrow or fly in a straight line, and it must travel its full movement rate when it burrows or flies. If it flies into the ground, it reduces it burrow speed by 1/3 the  distance it flew. If it flies out of the ground, it reduces its fly speed by 3 times the distance it burrowed. If the squirrel strikes a solid object other than a creature, it takes damage as if it had fallen a distance equal to its remaining movement.
Gunshot Slam (Ex) When a bullet squirrel burrows or flies, it acts as if it is charging, with the applicable +2 bonus on its attack and a –2 penalty to its AC, its slam attack deals 2d4 points of damage plus 1d6 fire damage, and it adds its Dexterity modifier rather than its Strength modifier to damage from its slam. Additionally, the squirrel receives a free bull rush attempt against the target of its attack. If it exceeds the target’s CMD by 5 or more (or rolls a natural 20), it can opt to knock the target prone rather than push the target back.
Hardheaded (Ex) A bullet squirrel leads with its head when it attacks or faces a situation where it could take damage. When it falls or takes damage from its bullet trajectory ability, it can attempt a Reflex save (DC 10 + 5 for every 10 feet of the fall) to take half damage.

For whatever unfathomable reason, squirrels more than any mammals other than bats have received the gift of flight. The same is true of bullet squirrels which fly with incredible velocities, allowing them to shoot into soft ground as well. The animals use this incredible ability to store nuts deep in the ground, and away from carefully dug out warrens, where only they can reach. Their bulletlike flight allows them to defend themselves against predators or quickly escape in dire situations. This has made the miniscule creatures aggressive, and they often shoot right into creatures intruding on their territory. They also consume their weight in fruits and nuts every day to feed their fast metabolisms.

Bullet squirrels are nearly 1 foot in length and weigh 2 pounds. They live up to 10 years and, in the wild, produce a litter of 1d6 young twice a year.

Bullet Squirrel Companions
Starting Statistics: Size Tiny; Speed 10 ft., burrow 20 ft., fly 60 ft.; bullet trajectory; Attack bite (1d3), slam (1d4); Ability Scores Str 3, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 11; Special Qualities hardheaded, low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft., Special Attacks gunshot slam (1d6 plus Dex modifier and 1d4 fire).

4th-Level Advancement: Ability Scores Dex +4, Con +4; Special Attacks gunshot slam (2d4 plus Dex modifier and 1d6 fire); Feats Improved Bull Rush.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Frightful Fridays (Super Bowl Edition)! Grabbly Bear

Hello, and welcome to another week of Frightful Fridays, slowly but surely becoming a complete misnomer. In honor (horror) of the infamous puppybabymonkey from last year's Super Bowl, I'm throwing out a slightly more reasonable mashup today. It just wants to give player characters hugs!

I hope you enjoy the grabbly bear, and I'll see you sometime in the future with another monster. Thanks for reading!



This large brown bear has a number of rubbery squid-like tentacles writhing from its shoulders. The creature alternates guttural noises with shrieks and flute-like sounds.
Grabbly Bear      CR 9
XP 6,400
NE Large aberration (aquatic)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +17
DEFENSE
AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 21 (+2 Dex, +12 natural, –1 size)
hp 112 (15d8+45)
Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +12
DR 10/cold iron; Defensive Abilities amorphous; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +17 (1d8+6/19–20 plus grab), 3 tentacles +14 (1d6+3 plus babbling affliction, grab, and pull)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (15 ft. with tentacles)
Special Attacks blood rage, constrict (claws only, 1d6+6), pull (tentacle, 5 ft.), roving tentacles
STATISTICS
Str 22, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 7, Wis 16, Cha 12
Base Atk +11; CMB +18 (+22 grapple); CMD 30
Feats Dazzling Display, Deadly FinishUC, Gory FinishUC, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (claw), Multiattack, Skill Focus (Intimidate), Weapon Focus (claw)
Skills Escape Artist +20, Intimidate +22, Perception +17, Swim +14; Racial Modifiers +8 Escape Artist
Languages Aklo (can’t speak)
SQ amphibious
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or calamity (3–8)
Treasure incidental
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Babbling Affliction (DC 18) (Su) If a grabbly bear strikes an opponent with a tentacle or manages to hit its target’s touch AC with a tentacle (dealing no damage to the target), the victim must succeed at a DC 18 Will save or begin to babble uncontrollably for 1d6 rounds. An affected victim cannot cast spells with verbal components and cannot use magic items requiring a command word. A creature that makes its save is immune to that grabbly bear’s babbling affliction for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Constrict (Ex) A grabbly bear can only constrict with its claws.
Roving Tentacles (Ex) A grabbly bear takes no penalties on its tentacle attacks while it has an opponent grappled with its claws, and it can make attacks of opportunity with its tentacles.

Grabbly bears (alternatively: squid bears, ursopuses, or squears) are the creations of a mad deity from antiquity or the deity’s powerful minions. The fusion of squid and bear stuck and the creatures bred true. While many sunk beneath the waves to prey on creatures underwater, some remained on dry land to terrorize victims there. Their adaptability to a variety of environments and their spongy bodies make them difficult to avoid or kill. They usually target obvious spellcasters when they open combat to neutralize their greatest threats, by making it impossible for the victims to intone their spells. They then pull prey into their embrace, first by using their tentacles to bring victims closer and then with their claws as they deliver a crushing bear hug. While grabbly bears are moderately intelligent and are capable of tactics on the battlefield, very few of them flee once they join battle. When they die, they unleash a shrieking paean to their sleeping deity.

Powerful aberrant creatures capable of speaking Aklo can exert a modicum of control over grabbly bears, but they usually use this power to direct the creatures to attack their enemies and leave them untouched.