I will take the karakatsu as a request and will deliver it... soon. Not enough hours in the day to stat this week, so here's one from my backlog!
A fat snake-like creature slithers forth, its eyeless head split in twain by an enormous mouth. Its entire body is covered in a thick layer of bristly hair.
Nozuchi CR 5
N Small aberration
Init +5; Senses blindsight 60 ft., Perception +9, scent
AC 18, touch 13, flat-footed 17 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +5 natural, +1 Dodge)
hp 52 (8d8+16)
Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +8
Defensive Abilities spiny defense; Immune disease, gaze attacks, visual effects, illusions and attacks relying on sight
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +10 (2d6+4 plus bleed plus disease plus grab)
Special Attacks bleed (1d6), grab (Medium), swallow whole (Medium, 2d6+4 bludgeoning, AC 12, 5 hp), tumbling charge
Str 16, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 4, Wis 14, Cha 7
Base Atk +6; CMB +8 (+12 grapple); CMD 20 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Power Attack
Skills Climb +11, Perception +9, Stealth +12
Environment temperate hills
Organization solitary or pair
Disease (Ex) Black bloat—injury; save Fort DC 16; onset 1d3 days; frequency 1/day; effect 1d4 Con damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution based.
Spiny Defense (Ex) Any creature that strikes a nozuchi with a melee weapon, natural weapon or unarmed strike takes 1d4+4 points of damage from the nozuchi’s spiny hairs. Any creature that takes damage from a nozuchi’s spiny defense is exposed to the creature’s disease. Melee weapons with reach do not endanger a user in this way.
Tumbling Charge (Ex) Once per minute, a nozuchi may move up to 10 times its speed on a charge. Any attack roll made at the end of this charge is made at a +4 bonus.
Nozuchi are bizarre predators native to rolling hills. They typically lair at the tops of trees, using their keen hearing and sense of smell to pinpoint prey. Once prey is detected, the nozuchi dives upon it, rolling towards it and latching on with its immensely powerful jaws. A nozuchi is incredibly malleable and is able to stretch its body to devour even man-sized prey in a single bite. Although they prefer to eat live prey, they will take carrion—the bleeding, diseased wounds their bites leave behind often convert escaped victims into carrion rapidly.
Nozuchi are typically solitary creatures, but a mated pair may cooperate to take down large prey. They typically attack only solitary prey, as they are slow and easy to attack once they have swallowed a meal. Nozuchi eat infrequently, taking small prey once a week, or man-sized prey three or four times a year. Due to their deadly natures, seeing a nozuchi is typically considered to be bad luck—it is sometimes believed that if you see a nozuchi, you are in danger of contracting a lethal disease. A nozuchi is no more than three feet long and weighs 50 pounds without a meal in its belly.
This week, we're getting the first of a new subtype of yokai--one that will be very familiar to those with a bit of Japanese folkloric knowledge. I give you the tsukumogami!
Soul-Powered (Su) A tsukumogami adds its Charisma modifier to hit points for every Hit Die it has.
And an example!
The sound of clanking and jangling presages the arrival of this tiny man, its body made up of chipped ceramic dishes and utensils. Its head is composed of a curved bottle, and he clutches a spear in his hands.
Seto-Taisho CR 1
CN Tiny construct (tsukumogami)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +0
Aura clatter (20 ft)
AC 15, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+2 size, +2 Dex, +1 natural)
hp 16 (2d10+5), fast healing 1
Fort +0, Ref +2, Will -1
DR 5/bludgeoning; Weaknesses haunted, vulnerable to sonic
Defensive Abilities soul-powered
Speed 20 ft.
Melee longspear +3 (1d4-1) or slam +3 (1d3-1)
Space 2 ½ ft.; Reach 0 ft. (5 ft. with longspear)
Special Attacks blunted blows
Str 9, Dex 14, Con ̶, Int 5, Wis 8, Cha 13
Base Atk +2; CMB +2; CMD 11
Skills Intimidate +2, Perception +0, Stealth +2; Racial Modifiers -8 Stealth
[b]Languages Common (cannot speak)
Organization solitary, pair, unit (3-8) or company (6-24)
Blunted Blows (Ex) A seto-taisho can deal nonlethal damage with either its longspear or slam attacks without penalty
Clatter (Ex) A seto-taisho’s movements are so noisy that any creature trying to cast a spell within a 20 ft. radius of a seto-taisho must succeed a DC 15 concentration check or lose the spell. A seto-taisho takes a -8 racial penalty on all Stealth checks.
It is a common belief that inanimate objects possess a sort of personality of their own. If an object exists for long enough in a state of neglect, it may animate and try to claim some attention by force. The seto-taisho, or porcelain soldiers, are evidence of this superstition. Created spontaneously from cracked and chipped dishes, these strange constructs love nothing more than to be noticed.
Most seto-taisho dwell in inns, taverns or other eating establishments, but they may also be found around the home. They delight in making loud noises, scaring people with threatening gestures, and attacking them with their spears—although they typically blunt their weapons by placing a vase over them, to avoid dealing any real damage. Some inns take advantage of their belligerent inhabitants, convincing them to hunt pests or treating them as somewhat risky tourist attractions. For the most part, seto-taisho are happy to play along so long as their roles keep them in the public eye.
A seto-taisho stands about eighteen inches tall and weighs 10-15 pounds. No two seto-taisho look identical, although most of them bear a curved sake flask for a head. Their painted facial features nevertheless work as real eyes and ears. A seto-taisho may change its face as often as it sees fit, painting on angry eyes before a battle or giving itself a wide smile for a holiday.
An enormous creature stands here, a cross between an ogre and a shark. It clutches a polearm in its clawed hands. A beard of tendrils like an octopus’ arms dangles at the base of its massive jaws, and its nose points far beyond its emerald eyes.
Samebito CR 12
N monstrous humanoid (aquatic)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 120 ft., keen scent, low-light vision, Perception +23,
AC 26, touch 16, flat-footed 23 (-1 size, +3 Dex, +12 natural, +4 deflection)
hp 172 (15d10+90)
Fort +11, Ref +12, Will +12
DR 10/magic; Resist cold 10, fire 10; Defensive Qualities deep-born
Speed 30 ft., swim 60 ft.
Melee +2 naginata +23/+18/+13 (1d10+12/x4), bite +18 (2d6+3 plus bleed), beard +18 (1d6+3 plus disarm) or 2 claws +20 (1d8+7), bite +20 (2d6+7 plus bleed), beard +18 (1d6+3 plus disarm)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (20 ft. with naginata)
Special Attacks bleed (1d6)
Spell-like Abilities CL 15th, concentration +19
Constant—freedom of movement, shield of faith
Str 25, Dex 17, Con 23, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Atk +15; CMB +23 (+27 disarm); CMD 36 (40 vs. disarm)
Feats Combat Expertise, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Greater Disarm, Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Master Craftsman, Multiattack
Skills Craft (weaponsmith) +21, Perception +23, Stealth +21, Survival +19, Swim +16; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +4 Stealth
Languages Common, Aquan
Environment temperate costal and aquatic
Organization solitary, pair or retinue (3-10)
Treasure double standard (+2 naginata, other treasures)
Beard (Ex) A samebito’s beard is a secondary attack that deals bludgeoning damage. A samebito may make a free combat maneuver check to disarm without provoking an attack of opportunity when it hits with its beard attack.
Deep-born (Ex) A samebito is immune to damage from water pressure.
Keen Scent (Ex) A samebito can notice creatures by scent in a 180 foot radius underwater and can smell blood in the water at a range of 1 mile.
Despite their monstrous appearances, samebito have the same range of personalities as humans do—they are as likely to be kindly as they are to be cruel. These martial giants of the deep seas maintain their own civilization far below the waves, but most of them find employment as bodyguards, artisans or elite troops for more powerful oceanic creatures such as dragons, storm giants and even kraken. They typically approach humanoids with cautious skepticism, knowing that their monstrous appearances create problems. A samebito befriended, however, is a fast and loyal ally.
Samebito are carnivores, hunting whales and other oceanic leviathans for sustenance. All samebito possess some innate magical skill, which many of them turn to the creation of magical weapons. The forges of the samebito, built around abyssal volcanoes, are said to be some of the most wondrous on the Material Plane. Although it has been said that the tears of a samebito become pearls and rubies, this is merely a reference to the vast stores of wealth that these treasures bestow upon the samebito.
This hulking giant wears the simple robes of a traveler, under which grows a layer of coarse hair. Its bald head is mostly human, save for the two rows of razor sharp teeth. Its neck stretches impossibly far, allowing it to loom ominously.
Mikoshi CR 13
CE Large monstrous humanoid
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +22
AC 28, touch 23, flat-footed 21 (-1 size, +6 Dex, +1 dodge, +7 deflection, +5 natural)
hp 178 (17d10+85); fast healing 5
Fort +10, Ref +16, Will +12
Defensive Abilities terror field; SR 24
[b]Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +22 (2d6+6 plus bleed), 2 claws +22 (1d6+6)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (20 ft. with bite)
[b]Special Attacks bleed (2d6), fear pulse, prostration gaze, sneak attack +3d6
Str 23, Dex 22, Con 20, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 19
Base Atk +17; CMB +24; CMD 48
Feats Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Mobility, Spring Attack, Stand Still, Whirlwind Attack
Skills Climb +17, Disguise +21, Intimidate +24, Perception +22, Sense Motive +19, Stealth +22, Swim +18
SQ change shape (Medium or Small humanoid, alter self), exploit fear
Environment temperate hills
Organization solitary or gang (1 plus 3-12 humanoids)
Treasure double standard
Exploit Fear (Ex) A mikoshi can use its sneak attack on any creature affected by a fear effect.
Fear Pulse (Su) Any time a mikoshi renders a living creature unconscious, all creatures within 30 feet of the mikoshi must succeed a DC 22 Will save or be panicked for 5 rounds. This is a mind-influencing fear effect. The save DC is Charisma based.
Prostration Gaze (Su) Cower for 1 round, range 60 feet, Will DC 22 negates. This is a mind-influencing fear effect. The save DC is Charisma based.
Terror Field (Su) A mikoshi gains a deflection bonus to Armor Class equal to 3 + its Charisma modifier. This is included in the statistics above. Creatures immune to fear ignore this effect.
It is said that if one looks up at a mikoshi, it will grow forever taller until the observer’s heart stops with terror. Although this is not quite accurate, this legend encapsulates the hideous aspects of these wicked humanoids—using their incredible necks and supernatural mastery over fear, mikoshi leave ruin in their paths.
Most mikoshi are solitary creatures, wandering through country roads in the guise of mortals, the better to take travelers by surprise for robbery, torture and consumption. They are consummate shapeshifters, however, and may assume the guise of a mortal in order to delight in pleasures of the flesh or lead a gang of human bandits to greater heights of depravity. A mikoshi may string on a group of bandits for months or even years, savoring the trust and respect of his men before inevitably turning on them in an orgy of violence.
All mikoshi are male and their means of reproduction is unknown. They are carnivores by preference, but delight in rich foods and alcohol of all kinds. A drunken mikoshi may reveal tales of hidden treasures and ancient secrets, but surviving a mikoshi’s company for long enough for him to become drunk is risky business indeed. A mikoshi’s neck can retract into its body like a fishing reel, giving it ogre-like proportions, or it can stretch up to twenty feet in length.
This bizarre little creature is roughly humanoid with a carapace like an insect’s. Its head is fringed with hair and bears a thin beak, and its arms end in scissor-like claws.
Kami-kiri CR ½
N Small aberration
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +4, smell shapechangers
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 13 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 9 (2d8)
Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +3
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee 2 claws +2 (1d3)
Str 10, Dex 13, Con 11, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +0; CMD 11
Skills Acrobatics +5, Climb +8, Escape Artist +7, Perception +4, Stealth +11
Languages Common (cannot speak)
SQ metal claws
Organization solitary, pair or nest (3-8)
Treasure half standard
Metal Claws (Ex) A kami-kiri ignores hardness when attacking objects with a hardness of 5 or less. Objects with a hardness of 6 or higher are treated as having their full hardness against attacks made by a kami-kiri.
Smell Shapechangers (Su) This functions as the scent ability, except that it only functions when used to detect creatures using magic of the polymorph subschool, the change shape special ability or a similar effect to have the shape of a body not their own. This does not detect creatures that have disguised themselves using illusion magic or mundane disguises.
Kami-kiri are strange pests that feed on hair. Members of a household, their pets and livestock are all subject to humiliating attacks—the creature sneaks up on an unsuspecting victim, slices off their hair as close to the roots as it can get, and then makes off with its prize. Most kami-kiri feed mostly on sleeping prey, but especially audacious ones may attack at any time. Kami-kiri are not particularly violent creatures, and are more likely to run than fight back if their feeding activities are responded to with violence.
Kami-kiri have an unusual hatred for shapeshifters of any kind and go out of their way to thwart the efforts of these parasites on mortal society. Since they are relatively weak and cannot speak, however, such actions are typically limited to cutting things—hair, clothing, tapestries, anything that would get attention. A household that is especially prone to kami-kiri attacks may be one that hosts a guest in mortal guise.
A kami-kiri stands two feet tall and weighs 20 pounds. A kami-kiri can learn languages by spending ranks in the Linguistics skill. A 5th-level spellcaster with the Improved Familiar feat and at least one neutral component to her alignment can choose a kami-kiri as a familiar.
Typically, I find "what would Captain Janeway do?" to be a strong argument for the exact opposite course of action.
Christopher Hamilton wrote:
Yeah, I took one look at that encounter and said "no thanks". I ended up using a death worm (for the wormy goodness) inhabited by an intellect devourer (to play up the "things that should not be" angle). The pCs had fun with it.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #77: Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth (Wrath of the Righteous 5 of 6) (PFRPG)
There are too many enemy yokai on this list--I think it's time for a potential ally. Although just because it doesn't have an E in its alignment doesn't mean this particular yokai isn't dangerous...
This wizened humanoid resembles a cross between an ancient monk and a giant rat. Long yellow incisors peek from between his thin lips, and his ears swivel above a bald pate. His thin naked tail drags on the ground, peering from beneath homespun robes.
Tesso CR 10
LN Medium monstrous humanoid
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +20, scent
AC 25, touch 18, flat-footed 17 (+7 Dex, +7 natural, +1 Dodge)
hp 123 (13d10+52)
Fort +8, Ref +15, Will +12
Defensive Abilities evasion
Speed 40 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee unarmed strike +20/+15/+10 (2d6+4), bite +15 (1d6+2)
Special Attacks spell sunder
Spell-like Abilities CL 10th, concentration +14
At will—read magic
3/day—summon swarm (rat swarm only)
Str 19, Dex 25, Con 18, Int 15, Wis 18, Cha 12
Base Atk +13; CMB +20 (+22 disarm); CMD 35 (37 vs. disarm)
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Improved Disarm, Improved Unarmed Strike (B), Power Attack, Stunning Fist, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +20 (+24 jumping), Climb +12, Knowledge (arcana) +15, Knowledge (history) +15, Perception +20, Spellcraft +16, Stealth +23
SQ monastic training, scroll master, swarm form
Environment temperate mountains
Organization solitary, pair or dojo (3-6)
Monastic Training (Ex) A tesso deals damage with its unarmed strikes as a monk of a level equal to the tesso’s Hit Dice. Monk levels stack with a tesso’s Hit Dice to determine its unarmed strike damage.
Scroll Master (Su) A tesso can use any scroll as if it were a spell on a tesso’s spell list. The DC of any spell a tesso casts from a scroll is determined by its Wisdom modifier and the level of the spell.
Spell Sunder (Su) As a standard action, a tesso can make a single unarmed strike at its highest attack bonus. If this attack hits, it affects the creature struck as a targeted greater dispel magic (CL 13th).
Swarm Form (Su) As a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, a tesso can discorporate into a swarm of Tiny rats. In this form a tesso drops all of its gear and has a space of 10 feet and a reach of 0 feet. It gains all swarm traits and a swarm attack that deals 3d6 points of damage. It can reform its body as a full-round action as long as it has 1 hit point.
The ascetic humanoids known as tesso consider themselves to be the guardians of magical lore and ancient martial traditions. Their own histories trace their ancestry from a human monk who was so incensed about his poor treatment by a rival monastery that he transformed into a swarm of ravenous rats in order to destroy the libraries of his enemies. Tesso continue this tradition of viewing knowledge as an exclusive commodity; those temples and monasteries whose standards of archiving and maintaining sacred tomes and scrolls fail to meet a tesso’s expectations are likely to fall victim to tesso seeking to either steal or destroy those works.
Tesso maintain their own hidden temples high in the mountains, where they are happy to allow those pilgrims who make the journey to access their lore—for a price, of course. The tesso’s affinity for text extends to magical scrolls, and these are favored payments for use of tesso libraries. Tesso occasionally take humanoid pupils, and the most skilled monks may boast of years spent under the watchful eye of rat-like masters.
A tesso stands nearly five feet tall and is rangy and thin, weighing little more than a hundred pounds. Their lean muscles are as strong as iron and they are remarkably quick despite their apparent decrepitude. Tesso vary in coloration as rats do and grow grey with age. The oldest and most skilled tesso eventually turn pure white. Tesso have life-spans that extend into the centuries.
Yes. Only creatures that WotC intentionally released into the OGL or gave permission for OGL versions to be made by Necromancer Games back in the early 3e days can appear in Pathfinder products. Kopru were not one of these creatures. Although there is some additional overlap between "D&D" monsters and "Pathfinder" monsters, this all comes from creatures based on mythology/folklore/pop culture.
Doc Necrotic, don't take the radio silence personally. Homebrew monster threads don't attract a whole lot of chatter--typically people will just raid them for stats and move on. I'm at work right now (and the filter hates tumblr), so I can't comment on your beasties yet, but I'll do so once I'm home.
My rationale for a CR 2 hari-onago is as follows: most yokai are spook stories. A person encounters something scary and dangerous, but escapes to tell the tale. A CR 11 hari-onago, like the B4 one, would just butcher any ordinary person they come across.
Anyway, design philosophy aside, it's time for another critter. This is the first oni that I'll be covering in this thread--certainly not the last.
Striding forth is an enormous man clad in the robes of a priest with only a single lolling eye in the center of his forehead and elephantine ears. He clutches a staff in one hand and grinds his overlarge teeth in anticipation.
Hitotsu Oni Statistics:
Hitotsu CR 9
LE Large outsider (giant, native, oni)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, Perception +18
AC 22, touch 13, flat-footed 20 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +6 natural, +4 armor, +1 shield)
hp 126 (11d10+66); regeneration 5 (fire or acid)
Fort +13, Ref +5, Will +11
Speed 40 ft.
Melee masterwork quarterstaff +15/+15/+10/+5 (1d8+6)
Special Attacks channel energy (negative, 6d6, 7/day, DC 19)
Spells CL 11th, concentration +15
At will—darkness, invisibility
1/day—animate dead, charm monster (DC 18), chain lightning (DC 20), divination, phantom palanquin
Str 22, Dex 15, Con 22, Int 15, Wis 19, Cha 18
Base Atk +11; CMB +17; CMD 28
Feats Command Undead, Double Slice, Improved Initiative, Selective Channeling, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Fighting
Skills Bluff +18, Diplomacy +15, Disguise +18, Intimidate +18, Knowledge (religion) +16, Perception +18, Ride +8, Sense Motive +12, Use Magic Device +18
Languages Common, Giant
SQ change shape (Small, Medium or Large humanoid, alter self or giant form I), flash of ruin
Environment temperate forests
Organization solitary or retinue (1 plus 2-5 cyclopes)
Treasure double standard
Flash of Ruin (Su) Three times per day, a hitotsu may have a burst of destructive insight as a swift action. Any time the hitotsu deals damage until the beginning of its next turn, it can roll damage twice and take the better result.
Phantom Palanquin (Sp) This spell functions as a phantom steed spell, except that the palanquin has 20 hit points + 1 per caster level (or 33 hit points for the average hitotsu) and grants any creature riding it cover.
Much as cyclopes are more mystically inclined than most giants, so too are their oni counterparts. The hitotsu oni are the sages and councilors of the oni race and delight in turning humanoids away from the worship of true gods towards that of the oni. Most hitotsu are skillful religious scholars, all the better to hide their false faith behind a web of lies and half-truths.
In combat, hitotsu prefer to rely on magic than brute force. They are skilled spellcasters and can channel negative energy, blasting foes with waves of destruction. Most hitotsu hide behind layers of bodyguards, trusted servants and undead minions. If forced into a direct confrontation, however, they are skilled in the use of weapons.
Unlike most oni, hitotsu have no desire to rule directly, instead preferring to manipulate events from the shadows disguised as a trusted priest, bureaucrat or functionary. They are equally at home among small or large humanoids, and may even infiltrate multiple communities within a region, enticing giants and humans to clash in a destructive war that leaves no-one the victor save the malicious oni. A hitotsu in its natural form stands twelve feet tall and weighs 2000 pounds.
So today's Paizo blog post spoiled the table of contents for B4, and there's only one Japanese critter in there that was in my list (I think--I'll have to double-check). In the interest of comparison, this week's entry is my take on this particular undead yokai.
This beautiful pale-skinned woman grins playfully behind her well-manicured hand. Her hair is long and flows nearly to the ground, each strand ending in a tiny barb.
Hari-onago CR 2
Hari-onago are the undead shades of women whose vanity led to the ruin of their lives and the lives of others. They retain their beauty even in undeath—what signs of decay they express are subtle and typically concealed with makeup and perfumes. Hari-onago are more social than the typical undead creature and live within human societies, the better to attract attention. Hari-onago crave constant flattery and praise and delight in their appearances causing jealousy and infidelity. Those who are foolish enough to succumb to their charms are strung along on promises for months before being brutally slaughtered.
In combat, hari-onago fight with sharpened nails and their deadly barbed hair. This hair is used to ensnare and torment victims. The results of a hari-onago attack are gruesome to behold, and often interpreted as the handiwork of a mortal maniac. Hari-onago are infuriated by laughter, interpreting it as being aimed at them regardless of its true intentions, and may lash out violently at a laughing man regardless of the setting or consequences. Hari-onago sometimes live together and form acting companies, geisha houses or other social groups in which to spin their deceitful webs. These hari-onago publicly act friendly to one another, but scheme constantly to gain an advantage over their “sisters”. A hari-onago conforms to the dimensions of a human woman, and always wears her hair long.
I promised something weird for the next yokai, and I'm here to deliver. What's weird in the world of yokai? How about an actual animal?
This enormous salamander-like creature trots forth on short, thick legs. Its tail is as thick as a tree trunk, and its mouth gapes open to reveal row after row of tiny, sharp teeth.
Giant Hanzaki statistics:
Giant Hanzaki CR 6
N Huge animal (aquatic)
Init +0; Senses limited blindsense 30 ft., Perception +7, scent
Aura stench (10 ft., DC 17)
AC 18, touch 9, flat-footed 18 (-2 size, +10 natural)
hp 75 (9d8+36)
Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +6
Speed 20 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +12 (2d6+7 plus grab), tail slap +6 (2d8+3)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (15 ft. with tail slap)
Special Attacks swallow whole (2d6+7 bludgeoning damage, AC 15, 7 hp)
Str 25, Dex 11, Con 18, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 4
Base Atk +6; CMB +15 (+19 grapple); CMD 25 (29 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Bull’s Rush, Iron Will, Power Attack, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Perception +7, Stealth +2, Swim +21; Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth
Environment cold rivers
Limited Blindsense (Ex) A giant hanzaki’s blindsense only functions underwater
Near-Sighted (Ex) All creatures more than 30 feet away from a giant hanzaki are treated as having total concealment against it.
The large river salamanders known as hanzaki continue to grow throughout their lifetime. Already the size of a male human at the stage most consider to be their adulthood, they can reach titanic proportions if left undisturbed for centuries. These giant hanzaki continue to live much as their smaller brethren do, preferring only the coldest, clearest mountain streams. Although they rarely interfere in the lives of surface-dwellers, careless fishermen on these rivers sometimes end up inside a giant hanzaki’s stomach. Hanzaki of all sizes are sensitive to pollution, and a giant hanzaki might lash out at communities dumping toxins into their rivers.
Giant hanzakis are oddly vocal for salamanders, communicating with barks, grunts, whines and a call that sounds much like the cry of a baby. When angry or threatened, they exude a milky fluid with a sharp pungent smell. They have a keen sense of smell and the ability to pick up vibrations in the water, which compensates for their very poor eyesight. A giant hanzaki is thirty feet tall and weighs 10 tons. Rumors indicate that they can grow even larger still, but few giant hanzaki live the thousand years needed to reach a truly immense size.
Giant Hanzaki as Animal Companions
This particular monster couldn't seem to make up its mind whether it was incorporeal or not in LM. So I split the difference.
Voidwraith CR 8
LE Medium elemental (air, cold, extraplanar, necromental)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +16
Aura airless (10 ft.)
AC 21, touch 16, flat-footed 15 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +5 natural)
hp 93 (11d8+33)
Fort +6, Ref +12, Will +9
Defensive Abilities amorphous, negative energy affinity
DR 5/-, Immune cold, elemental traits, undead vigor; Weakness fire
Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee touch +16 (2d6 cold plus 1d4 Constitution drain)
Special Attacks vacuum pulse
Str -, Dex 21, Con 17, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 15
Base Atk +11; CMB +16; CMD 27
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Spring Attack, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +16, Fly +27, Intimidate +16, Knowledge (planes) +15, Perception +16, Sense Motive +16, Stealth +19
Languages Auran, Infernal
Environment Plane of Air
Organization solitary, pair or gasp (3-6)
Airless Aura (Su) Creatures within 10 feet of a voidwraith cannot breathe and must hold their breath or begin to suffocate.
Gaseous (Ex) A voidwraith is formed of a wispy cloud-like substance. As such, it has no Strength score and cannot manipulate solid objects. Voidwraiths have the amorphous special quality and can squeeze through a space as small as 1 inch in diameter without slowing down.
Vacuum Pulse (Su) As a standard action once every 1d4 rounds, a voidwraith can draw creatures and towards it. When using its vacuum pulse, a voidwraith can make a special Combat Maneuver check on all creatures within 30 feet; success indicates that the creature is drawn 5 feet towards the voidwraith as well as an additional 5 feet per 5 by which the voidwraith succeeded its CMB check.
Said by some sages to be the living embodiment of the last breaths of a dying fiend, voidwraiths are wicked elementals composed of equal parts air and negative energy. They are not nearly as solid as most air elementals, but use this fluidity to creep unawares into even the most tightly defended areas to feed on the breath of the living. Voidwraiths are masters of hit-and-run tactics, whittling away at the life forces of their victims before surrounding the poor soul in its airless aura to delight in its last seconds.
Sadly, I haven't gotten a chance to watch the Great Yokai War. Definitely something to pursue this year.
Yokai Number 2 is also a bit of a classic, and one that I've seen a few variations of crop up on the boards over the years. Next week, though, we're going to get weird.
This creature resembles nothing so much as a cat the size of a man. Its forked tail flicks behind it as if in agitation as it rears up on its hind legs.
Nekomata CR 8
NE Medium magical beast
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, Perception +12, scent
AC 22, touch 15, flat-footed 17 (+5 Dex, +7 natural)
hp 95 (10d10+40)
Fort +11, Ref +12, Will +7
Defensive Abilities evasion; Immune poison; Resist fire 10
Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft (good).
Melee bite +15 (1d8+3), 2 claws +15 (1d6+3)
Special Attacks invest corpse, pounce
Spell-like Abilties CL 10th, concentration +13 (+17 casting defensively)
At will—command undead (DC 15), dancing lights, death knell (DC 15), ghost sound (DC 13), pyrotechnics (DC 15)
3/day—empowered flaming sphere (DC 15)
1/day—fear (DC 17), fireball (DC 16)
Str 17, Dex 20, Con 19, Int 16, Wis 15, Cha 16
Base Atk +10; CMB +13; CMD 28
Feats Combat Casting, Empower Spell-like Ability (flaming sphere), Iron Will, Persuasive, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +15 (+19 when jumping), Bluff +10, Diplomacy +12, Disguise +10 (+18 while using change shape ability), Fly +10, Intimidate +12, Perception +12, Stealth +15
Languages Common, Infernal, Sylvan
SQ change shape (any feline animal or humanoid, beast form II or alter self), perfect copy
Environment temperate hills or urban
Organization solitary, pair or host (1-2 plus 1-4 wights)
Invest Corpse (Su) As a full-round action, a nekomata can touch an adjacent humanoid corpse and transform it into a wight under its control. Doing so deals 1 temporary negative level to the nekomata that remains as long as the wight remains in existence. Wights created by this ability do not gain the create spawn ability. A nekomata can destroy one of the wights it created as a standard action if the wight is within 30 feet.
Perfect Copy (Su) A nekomata can assume the appearance of specific individuals when it uses its change shape ability.
Nekomata are gluttonous and indolent cat-like creatures that use their shapeshifting abilities to live like parasites on human societies. Although they are more than capable hunters, they much prefer to disguise themselves as common household cats and allow themselves to be pampered by pet-owners. Once bored with the easy life, they kill their owners and masquerade as them, devouring as much as they can before being discovered or moving on. Nekomata can consume their own body weight in a single sitting and have a particular fondness for lamp oil, which affects them as alcohol does humans. Nekomata love fire almost as much as they love food, and may make mischief by starting fires while in disguise.
Nekomata have the eerie ability to raise the dead as intelligent servants. They do this by granting a corpse a part of their own souls, which weakens the nekomata but gives it a loyal companion. Nekomata typically use these thralls as servants to pamper it further, but may send them on missions to gather food or as disposable bodyguards.
In lands where nekomata are active, various superstitions govern cat ownership. Many people believe that ordinary housecats transform into nekomata if mistreated, over-fed or just after a long life-time. Cats with long tails are viewed as especially suspect. A nekomata stands five feet tall when it stands on its hind legs, and weighs two hundred pounds.
It lives! Appropriate, as this is a thread about the living dead. I'm still working on the necromentals--the cinderspawn ended up being a completely different beast than the original. I like it a lot more. How about you?
Cinderspawn CR 5
CE Medium elemental (extraplanar, fire, necromental)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +11
Aura choking smoke (5 ft., DC 15)
AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 17 (+2 Dex, +7 natural)
hp 52 (7d10+14)
Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +8
Defensive Abilities negative energy affinity
Immune elemental traits, fire, undead vigor; Weakness cold
Speed 30 ft.
Melee slam +11 (1d6+6 plus burn)
Special Attacks burn (2d6 fire plus 1d4 Cha damage, DC 15)
Str 19, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 14
Base Atk +7; CMB +11; CMD 23
Feats Cleave, Iron Will, Power Attack, Vital Strike
Skills Acrobatics +12, Climb +14, Intimidate +12, Perception +11, Stealth +12
Languages Abyssal, Ignan
Environment Plane of Fire
Organization solitary, pair or gang (3-8)
Aura of Choking Smoke (Ex) A cinderspawn is constantly wreathed in an aura of smoke, granting it concealment as per the blur spell. Any living creature adjacent to a cinderspawn must succeed a DC 15 Fortitude save or be overwhelmed with coughing, taking 1d6 points of non-lethal damage and being dazed for 1 round. A strong or stronger wind dispels the aura of choking smoke, which reforms 1d4 rounds after the cinderspawn is no longer affected by the wind. The save DC is Constitution based.
Cinderspawn are created when a fire elemental is inundated with water infused with evil and negative energy, such as that of the River Styx. Cinderspawn are infused with malice for all life, but especially despise beauty—their own lovely flickering flames have been replaced with dull char and ugly smoke. A cinderspawn’s actions are driven by this burning resentment, leading them to vandalize works of art and try to murder creatures lovelier than they. The searing flames of a cinderspawn leave welts and scars on both the flesh and the soul, spreading their ugliness to their victims.
So, I love monsters. I got at far as I did in RPG Superstar by virtue of the caliban. I did a bunch of Libris Mortis conversions, although real life has forced that thread to go fallow (one of these days...). I even founded a small-press company, Demiurge Press, in order to showcase some of my original creations. But I felt like I needed a project on the boards to show off some originality.
Enter the Year of Yokai.
52 weeks. One creature drawn from Japanese myth and legend each week. All free. All here.
Let's get started, shall we? We'll begin with one that I've heard plenty of cry for on the boards over the years. I've got the next couple planned out, but if anyone out there has a request of something they really want to see, I'll see if I can make it happen.
A weasel-like creature weaves through the air at incredible speed. Its legs end not in paws, but in long bone sickles.
Kamaitachi CR 4
CE Small magical beast
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +6
AC 17, flat-footed 12, touch 16 (+1 size, +5 Dex, +1 natural)
hp 33 (6d10)
Fort +5, Ref +10, Will +3
Defensive Abilities wind warp
Speed 10 ft., climb 10 ft., fly 90 ft. (good)
Melee 2 claws +12 (1d6+1 plus pain) or slam +12 (1d4+1 plus trip)
Spell-like Abilities CL 4th, concentration +5
3/day—cure light wounds (DC 12)
Str 13, Dex 20, Con 11, Int 4, Wis 13, Cha 12
Base Atk +6; CMB +10; CMD 21 (25 vs. trip)
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Flyby Attack, Weapon Finesse
Skills Climb +9, Fly +16, Perception +6, Stealth +14
Environment temperate forests
Organization solitary, trio (3) or flight (5-9)
Flight (Su) A kamaitachi’s flight is magical in nature.
Pain (Ex) The shallow, precise cuts inflicted by a kamaitachi are immensely painful. Any creature injured by a kamaitachi’s claws must succeed a DC 13 Fortitude save or suffer a -1 penalty to AC and attack rolls for one minute. Attacks from additional kamaitachi cause the penalties to stack and extend until one minute after the last attack. The save DC is Constitution based.
Wind Warp (Su) A kamaitachi gains the benefits of a displacement spell any round in which it moves 30 feet or more. A true seeing spell negates this miss chance.
Also referred to as “sickle weasels”, kamaitachi are sadistic monsters that delight in causing suffering. There is no game a kamaitachi prefers than making hit-and-run attacks on a hapless passerby, leaving shallow and incredibly painful cuts in their wake. Kamaitachi are gregarious creatures and often participate in these revels in gangs of three—one to knock a victim to the ground, one to slice the prone victim and the third to heal the wound to make sure the toy doesn’t die from the attention. Kamaitachi prefer to strike against lone targets and avoid those that are armed and armored. Sickle weasels are oddly superstitious creatures and dislike even numbers—if a single kamaitachi from a trio is slain, the other two will not stop until they have recruited a third to fill their ranks.
They spend most of their lives in the air, landing only occasionally to sleep or when feeding. Kamaitachi are carnivores that prey on small birds and rodents, although if they accidentally cause the death of a victim they will not hesitate to feed on the corpse. Their trios are not segregated by sex, and many kamaitachi matings are between playmates. Kamaitachi are vaguely intelligent, although they do not speak any languages. A kamaitachi could be taught to understand speech, but doing so would be a dangerous errand indeed.
Mix up the Magister's stat-block a bit. Make her a reanimator and have her murder all of the prisoners, then send the prisoners and derro alike after the PCs as zombies. Or, if you can get a player to cooperate, have her drag off a sentry and replace them using an extract of disguise self. Get the shard, get to the surface then cause some havoc (in this case, the PC would be "safe" locked in the dungeon for a week or two).
I had Klang, a goblin bard, as a PC in Rise of the Runelords way back when the path first came out. He was introduced as a spy/hostage--he was a Birdcruncher passing intel along to Sandpoint on a rival tribe, the Thistletop goblins. The sheriff turned him over to the party after the Swallowtail Festival attack with orders to keep an eye on him.
Over the course of the game, he had his name written down (which caused him to transform into a hobgoblin via sympathetic magic), became the chief of the Thistletop goblins, killed Xanesha, lost the Thistletop goblins to the nilbog that had been created when his name was written down and then retired from the party after saving the party knight's soul from Hell via a fiddle contest.
I've done much the same thing in my game, adding devotees of Cadrilstraka to the game as minibosses and to provide a through arc. The leader of the initiative is Diata leSath, a half-dragon doppelganger created by Cadrilstraka to serve her as a spy in the Aspis Consortium. The PCs have met her in half-elven form at a Pathfinder Society function, and know that there's bad blood between her and Sheila Heidmarch. Diata's spy in the organization is Prince Mandali, the awakened ape friend of the Heidmarchs, who has a lot of gambling debts to pay off.
Round 1: The PCs are attacked by Tassiera, a modified version of the island defender druid from the NPC Codex. Diata hired her to attack the PCs upon leaving the Crow. Control water to trap their boat, wild shape to turn into a giant octopus and pull them into the sea. Scared the players quite a bit.
Round 2: Upon interrogating the Grey Maidens, the PCs will find out that their goal at the Lady's Light is indeed to find the Shard of Lust and deliver it to a mysterious blue-haired patron in Kaer Maga (Cadrilstraka under a polymorph spell) in exchange for an army of giants to take back Korvosa.
Round 3: Upon leaving the Lady's Light, the PCs will be set upon by Diata leSath and her gang of thugs. Diata will try to bluff the PCs by appearing as Sheila Heidmarch, insisting that they be reassigned and turn over all shards to her. She's got a scroll of teleport, allowing her to escape if she gets the opportunity.
Once the PCs get to Kaer Maga, their curiosity about the Grey Maidens' contact will likely bring them into contact with the various information brokers of the Asylum Stone, whereupon they'll learn that Cadrilstraka is rumored to be out in the desert looking for Thassilonian relics... and is way out of their league.
If people are interested, I can provide Diata leSath's statistics. She's pretty brutal.
The two canonical post-Earthfall Azlanti descendents are morlocks and dark folk. Both are suitable at low levels, but have that pesky light sensitivity. Of course, that might mean little on a perpetually fog-shrouded island.
Skum are a very good suggestion. In fact, this thread has inspired me towards a riff on the Time Machine, in which friendly, docile and dumb coastal gillmen are raised as livestock by the skum lurking in deeper waters.
Since this weapon would be found in Alaznist's sanctum, possible purposes could be:
1. Reforge the Sihedron. Alaznist has the forge, after all, although why she would want to when it would restore Xin is a bit of a mystery (as a WMD?)
2. Glorify Alaznist and/or Yamasoth. Would make Beyond the Doomsday Door very interesting...
3. Subjugate giants. Plenty of giant enemies throughout the Path--killing or enslaving them could make a good running plot.
I've got another Creature Codex in the pipe, and I hope to submit some pitches to Paizo in the months to come. Of course, I'm currently more focused on finishing my teaching credential...
The final four pitches look great! This is an awesome set of finalists we have this year, and I'd be excited to read any of these modules.
This was a bad idea.
Both of the imps immediately threw out suggestion spells--"slay Lord Baz's assassin!". Fireday resisted. Luna did not.
Round 1. Color spray knocks Nisha out.
This led to a consultation of the rules. Could nonlethal damage be dealt on a coup de grace? After all, you can make lethal attacks with a nonlethal weapon at an attack penalty... and there's no roll for a coup de grace... but this was due to a Strength penalty...
Nisha rolled for her save-or-die at DC 11. It came up a 2. Goodbye, Nisha. On the other hand, Lord Baz was killed by the bleed damage she dealt, so it was not all for naught.
The first in a four part series. And yes, since I've de-templated this concept, that does mean that number 4 is going to be effectively an original creature.
Negative Energy Affinity (Su) A necromental is treated as an undead creature for the purposes of positive and negative energy.
Dessicator CR 2
NE Small elemental (extraplanar, necromental, water)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +7
AC 14, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +1 natural, +1 Dodge)
hp 22 (4d10)
Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +4
Defensive Abilities negative energy affinity
Immune elemental traits, undead vigor
Speed 20 ft., swim 60 ft.
Melee slam +4 (1d6 plus dessicating touch)
Special Attacks breath weapon (15 ft. cone, Fort DC 13 negates, 1 Con damage, once every 1d4 rounds)
Str 11, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 12
Base Atk +4; CMB +3; CMD 15
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative
Skills Escape Artist +8, Perception +7, Stealth +12, Swim +15
Environment Plane of Water
Organization solitary, gang (2-4), mob (7-12) or plague (20-80)
Dessicating Touch (Su) Any living creature struck by a dessicator’s slam attack must succeed a DC 13 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage and become fatigued. This damage and fatigue cannot be recovered until the victim consumes at least a liter of water. A creature that is fatigued due to this ability cannot become exhausted by multiple attacks, although multiple attacks can cause more nonlethal damage.
Dessicators are the least of the necromentals, but make up for this weakness with sheer numbers. They are vermin of the least trafficked regions of the Plane of Water, ganging up on unwary water elementals or mortals and draining them of their precious bodily fluids. Despite their awkward appearance, they are incredibly graceful in the water. On the Material Plane, dessicators gather near water in deserts, hoping to drain the last precious morsels of water from those already suffering from thirst.
Glad to see that this thread still has followers. I'm afraid that I haven't had much time to pay attention to it lately, what with my teaching, my Demiurge Press work, and my run at RPG Superstar. But that doesn't mean I've forgotten it! And to prove that...
Slaughter Wight Statistics:
Slaughter Wight CR 8
NE Medium undead
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +15
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 18 (+4 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 85 (9d8+45)
Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +11
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2
Immune undead traits
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +13 (1d6+6 plus energy drain)
Special Attacks channel negative energy (5d6, 8/day, DC 19), create spawn, energy drain (1 level, DC 19) sneak attack +3d6
Str 23, Dex 19, Con -, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 20
Base Atk +6; CMB +12; CMD 26
Feats Dazzling Display, Improved Critical (slam), Intimidating Prowess, Shatter Defenses, Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Acrobatics +13, Intimidate +23, Knowledge (religion) +13, Perception +15, Stealth +16
Languages Abyssal, Common
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, gang (3-6) or onslaught (3-6 plus 12-24 wights)
Create Spawn (Su) A humanoid creature slain by a slaughter wight rises as a wight within 1d4 rounds of its death. This wight remains enslaved by the slaughter wight that created it until the slaughter wight is slain. Wights created in this fashion retain none of the abilities they had in life.
Slaughter wights are foul creatures that have been created by the gods of death for only one purpose—slay all in their path. Slaughter wights are a blight on existence, leaving depopulated villages in their wake and gathering an ever-growing army of life-draining monsters to their sides. Due to their ability to channel negative energy, they are viewed as powerful allies or thralls by evil clerics, and nightshades often employ them as aides-de-camp in their campaigns against civilization.
Thank you all for your comments and your votes! I'm glad that the caliban was able to speak to so many of you. Now, to peel back the curtain and reveal some of my thoughts and design philosophies behind the caliban.
Even before I knew I was an RPG Superstar contestant, I started thinking about the monster round. I'm a monster buff through and through, and I knew I wanted to do a few things in particular.
Firstly, I wanted to make a low-level monster. There's a lot of perception that low CR = boring, and I wanted to do my part to overturn that. Second, I wanted to make a non-evil creature that nevertheless serve as an antagonist. I wanted to make something to hang plots around, not just serve as a speedbump... but could also serve as a random encounter if the GM wanted to. Last, I knew I wanted to make a monstrous humanoid. James Jacobs has said that there aren't enough monstrous humanoids in the game, and I agree with him. And so many of them come with baggage. Morlocks live underground. Sahuagin live in the ocean. Skum live in the ocean underground. Doppelgangers are urban, and centaurs are good guys (for some reason).
I do hate to disappoint some of you, who either wanted the caliban to be a playable race or suspected it was "upgraded" to a CR 2 monster from a homebrew race, but the caliban was always intended to be a CR 2, Hit Dice-having monster. I don't believe that all vaguely people-shaped things in RPGs have to be playable. I also wanted to tinker with having high Hit Dice for the CR, but low ability scores. I think that those tweaks worked pretty well.
The Caliban in the Real World:
So the caliban was actually the third monster inspired by real-world legends this round, along with the argopelter and the boto-ocota-de-rosa. Not just the eponymous Caliban, but a whole host of cryptids from the American South. The South is home to lots of stories about hairy hominids with goat-like, reptilian and fishy features, such as the Maryland Goatman, the Lake Worth Monster of Texas and the Honey Island Swamp Monster from Louisiana. These provided a lot of the trappings for the caliban--the fishy/goaty appearance, the unsettling scream, the hatchet (favored weapon of the Goatman) and the four toed tracks (left by the Honey Island Swamp Monster, or possibly an American alligator, depending on whether you ask a True Believer or not).
About that Name...:
Yes, the caliban is named in reference to The Tempest, although the Clash of the Titans reference was also somewhere in the back of my mind. The name was inspired by Caliban's role as a monstrous birth. I tinkered with "mooncalf", an old-fashioned word for a monstrous birth and one that is actually used to refer to Caliban himself, but mooncalf had two strikes against it. Firstly, the word is pretty obscure. I was afraid if I used it that I'd get lots of confusion about why it wasn't very cow-like or from the Moon. Secondly, there's already a mooncalf in "the world's most popular roleplaying game", and it is from the Moon. So mooncalf was out, and caliban was in.
Again, thank you for all of the comments, criticism and feedback. I'm especially impressed by Eric Morton's caliban plot-hooks. I've been an admirer of your monster request thread for some time now, and I'm happy to have grabbed your imagination.
See you in R4!