Monday, August 28, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Jewel Caterpillar

Hello and welcome to another Frightful Fridays! (where it's Friday somewhere in the multiverse) This edition's monster is just a caterpillar...which happens to eat gems as its main source of food. So, if that gem of brightness is causing problems, chuck one or two of these, or an entire swarm, at the party. It's too adorable to stay mad at for long.

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


video


This spiky caterpillar appears to be made from a translucent crystal.
Jewel Caterpillar      CR 4
XP 1,200
N Diminutive magical beast
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., gem sense 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +6
DEFENSE
AC 19, touch 17, flat-footed 16 (+3 Dex, +2 natural, +4 size)
hp 42 (5d10+15)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +3
Defensive Abilities fade out; DR 5/bludgeoning; Immune electricity, fire; Resist acid 10
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee bite +4 (1d2–5 plus poison)
Ranged energy ray +12 touch (3d6 acid, cold, electricity, or fire [see below])
Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks consume gem, poison, spines
STATISTICS
Str 1, Dex 17, Con 17, Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 14
Base Atk +5; CMB +4; CMD 9 (can't be tripped)
Feats Go UnnoticedAPG, Improved Initiative, Iron Will
Skills Appraise –2 (+10 when evaluating gems), Climb +11, Perception +6, Stealth +19; Racial Modifiers +12 Appraise when evaluating gems
ECOLOGY
Environment any temperate or warm land
Organization solitary, pair, or vault (3–12)
Treasure standard (intact jewel caterpillar corpse)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Consume Gem (Ex) As a full round action, a jewel caterpillar can destroy a gem it touches. When it does so, it heals an amount of hit points equal to 1/10 the gem’s gp value. A magic gem receives a Reflex save (DC 15) to avoid destruction. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Energy Ray (Ex) A jewel caterpillar can fire an energy ray that deals 3d6 points of damage of a chosen energy type (acid, cold, electricity, or fire). Once it fires an energy ray, it must wait 1 round before it can fire another energy ray. During this delay, it changes color to match the type of energy damage it will deal on its next attack (acid—green, cold—blue, electricity—yellow, fire—red). The ray has a 40-foot range increment.
Fade Out (Ex) As a swift action, a jewel caterpillar can make itself translucent or return to its fully visible state. This grants it partial concealment (20% miss chance) and a +8 racial bonus on Stealth checks. While translucent, the caterpillar cannot use its energy ray.
Gem Sense (Su) A jewel caterpillar can sense the presence of gems within 60 feet as if using the scent ability.
Jewel Caterpillar Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d3 Dex, and a creature reduced to 0 Dex while poisoned transforms into a gem statue (worth 1,000 gp per creature’s total HD), as if affected by flesh to stone; cure 2 saves.
Spines (Ex) Any creature attacking a jewel caterpillar with natural weapons or an unarmed strike takes 1d2 points of piercing damage and is subject to the caterpillar’s poison. A creature that grapples a jewel caterpillar takes 1d4 points of piercing damage each round it does so.


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This carpet of gem-like caterpillars glows with undulating patches of blue, green, red and yellow.
Jewel Caterpillar Swarm      CR 8
XP 4,800
N Diminutive magical beast (swarm)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., gem sense 90 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +11
DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 18, flat-footed 18 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural, +4 size)
hp 85 (10d10+30)
Fort +10, Ref +10, Will +5
Defensive Abilities swarm traits; Immune electricity, fire; Resist acid 10
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee swarm (2d6 plus distraction and poison)
Ranged 4 energy rays +18 touch (3d6 acid, cold, electricity, or fire [see below])
Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks consume gem, distraction (DC 18), poison, spines
ECOLOGY
Environment any temperate or warm land
Organization solitary, pair, or vault (3–8)
Treasure double (intact jewel caterpillar corpses)
STATISTICS
Str 1, Dex 17, Con 17, Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 14
Base Atk +10; CMB —; CMD
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Mobility, Weapon Focus (energy ray)
Skills Appraise –2 (+10 when evaluating gems), Climb +11, Perception +11, Stealth +19; Racial Modifiers +12 Appraise when evaluating gems
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Consume Gems (Ex) If a caterpillar swarm begins its turn sharing a space with one or more gems or creatures carrying gems, it can destroy a gem in each square it occupies as a move action. Doing so heals the swarm an amount of hit points equal to 1/10 the gem's gp value. Magic gems or gems in a creature’s possession receive a Reflex save (DC 18) to avoid destruction. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Energy Ray (Ex) Each round, a jewel caterpillar swarm can fire one ray of each energy type (acid, cold, electricity, and fire). It does not incur an attack of opportunity when using its energy rays, and it can attack with its energy rays even while moving. Each ray has a 40-foot range increment.
Gem Sense (Su) A jewel caterpillar swarm can sense the presence of gems within 90 feet as if using the scent ability.
Jewel Caterpillar Poison (Ex) Swarm—injury; save Fort DC 18; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d3 Dex, and a creature reduced to 0 Dex while poisoned transforms into a gem statue (worth 1,000 gp per creature’s total HD), as if affected by flesh to stone; cure 2 saves.
Spines (Ex) Any creature attacking a jewel caterpillar with natural weapons or an unarmed strike takes 1d6 points of piercing damage and is subject to the caterpillar’s poison.

Jewel caterpillars are descendants of ancient earth elemental vermin driven from the Plane of Earth because of the creatures’ voracious appetites for minerals. The surviving caterpillars became less ravenous as the available resources dwindled in their new homes. However, they gained a discerning palette for precious gems, while becoming much more cunning to allow them to obtain their favorite foods. Individual caterpillars take advantage of their ability to sense gems, minute size, and translucence to sneak into backpacks and other containers and devour gems they find there. When confronted with multiple choices, they use an innate ability to appraise the worth of the gems, so they can consume the most expensive gems and sneak away after sating themselves. In cases where gems are scarce, jewel caterpillars rely on their poison to transform victims into gemstone, and they then subsist on the transmuted substance. Gemstone “constructions” of partial animals and other creatures mark the presence of active jewel caterpillar lair.

A creature with the earth and elemental subtypes, the Improved Familiar feat, and at least 7 levels in a spellcasting class can take a jewel caterpillar as a familiar.

Preserving Jewel Caterpillar Corpses
A character can harvest a jewel caterpillar corpse that did not die from massive damage or was not reduced to twice its Constitution score below 0. By succeeding on a DC 20 Craft (jewelry) check, a character preserves the jewel caterpillar corpse such that it provides gp appropriate for the caterpillar’s CR. Failing this check by less than 5 garners a reward equal to half the gp value, while a failure by 5 or more renders the corpse worthless. For a jewel caterpillar swarm, the DC of the Craft (jewelry) check increases by 5, but the reward for success (or a failure by less than 5) doubles.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Elemental Swarms (air and earth)


Hello, and welcome to another (slightly late) edition of Frightful Fridays! I have two semi-related monsters for you this time, thanks to a discussion where my friend Gregg suggested swarms. I couldn't decide between the earth elemental swarm and the air elemental swarm, so I ended up including both.

I hope you enjoy these weird swarms, and I'll see you soon with another monster. Thanks for reading!


A cloud of sand kicks up suddenly and moves against the prevailing direction of the wind.
Sandshred Swarm      CR 9
XP 6,400
NE Fine outsider (earth, elemental, native, swarm)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +17
DEFENSE
AC 23, touch 23, flat-footed 18 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +8 size)
hp 114 (12d10+48)
Fort +11, Ref +12, Will +6
Defensive Abilities swarm traits; Immune elemental traits
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee swarm (3d6 plus blinding sand, distraction, and scouring sand)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 19)
STATISTICS
Str 1, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 3, Wis 14, Cha 9
Base Atk +12; CMB —; CMD
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Stance, Mobility, Toughness, Wind Stance
Skills Knowledge (nature) +10, Perception +17, Stealth +24
ECOLOGY
Environment any desert
Organization solitary, pair, or sandstorm (3–6)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Blinding Sand (Ex) A creature damaged by a sandshred swarm must attempt a DC 19 Reflex save. On a failed save, the victim is blinded for 1d4 rounds; on a successful save, the creature is instead dazzled for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Scouring Sand (Ex) A creature damaged by a sandshred swarm must succeed at a DC 19 Fortitude save or take 1d2 points of bleed damage. Bleed damage inflicted by this ability stacks with itself. The save DC is Constitution-based.

A sandshred swarm is composed of hundreds of individual earth elementals collected for mutual protection. The individual creatures in this living sandstorm enjoy the feeling of flesh peeling away as they strike living creatures. While not capable of nuanced tactics, the elementals have learned the value of lying in wait among desert sands with which they are virtually indistinguishable. The swarm mixes in with shifting sand to give itself additional protection from attacks.

Evil elementalists and powerful earth elementals command sandshred swarms and have discovered a technique to bottle the swarms up and release them on unsuspecting victims.



Dozens of individual, miniature storms throw hundreds of miniscule lightning bolts, producing a strong ozone odor.
Supercell Swarm      CR 11
XP 12,800
CN Tiny outsider (air, elemental, native, swarm)
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +21
DEFENSE
AC 24, touch 20, flat-footed 16 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural, +2 size)
hp 147 (14d10+70)
Fort +13, Ref +18, Will +8
Defensive Abilities swarm traits; Immune elemental traits
OFFENSE
Speed fly 80 ft. (good)
Melee swarm (3d6 plus 4d6 electricity, distraction, and multishock)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 21)
STATISTICS
Str 2, Dex 25, Con 19, Int 5, Wis 18, Cha 14
Base Atk +14; CMB —; CMD
Feats Dodge, Hover, Improved Initiative, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Toughness
Skills Fly +25, Knowledge (nature) +14, Perception +21, Stealth +25
ECOLOGY
Environment any temperate or warm land
Organization solitary, pair, or squall (3–6)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Hover A supercell swarm is treated as a Large creature for the purposes of this feat.
Multishock (Ex) A creature damaged by a supercell swarm must succeed at a DC 21 Fortitude save, or become staggered for 1d4 rounds. If a creature is already staggered and fails this save, it is instead stunned for 1d4 rounds. Stunned creatures are unaffected by this ability. The save DC is Constitution-based.

A supercell swarm results when a massive thunderstorm begins to break up and air elementals attracted to the storm inhabit the cloud fragments. The elementals give the storm new life and collectively attack creatures still caught outside. They relish overwhelming the nervous systems of their victims, but they rarely remain among such victims while other mobile targets are available. Given a choice, a supercell swarm prefers to pursue flying creatures and knock them out of the sky.

The unpredictable elementals resist control by other creatures, even more powerful air elementals. Spellcasters capable of generating severe weather can attract a supercell swarm, but are equally potential prey for the elementals.