Bestiary 4 Preview #1

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

In just a few weeks, Bestiary 4 will be making its way to your table, ready to terrorize players and delight GMs with over 300 new monsters! Each week, we are going to be taking a look at one of the terrible foes you will find in this meaty tome. First up, we have a creature from myth and legend, ready to rip your foes limb from limb! Grendel is one of the mythic monsters you will find in Bestiary 4, but you can use him in any campaign!

GRENDEL CR 19/MR7


Illustration by Roberto Pitturru

XP 204,800
CE Large monstrous humanoid (mythic)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +15
Aura frightful presence (60 ft.; DC 20, DC 16 against mythic creatures)

DEFENSE

AC 34, touch 13, flat-footed 30 (+4 Dex, +25 natural, –1 size)
hp 340 (20d10+230); regeneration 10 (unarmed strikes or natural weapons)
Fort +16, Ref +16, Will +16
Defensive Abilities ferocity, unstoppable; DR 10/epic; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft.
Melee 2 claws +32 (3d10+13/19–20 plus grab), bite +27 (4d8+6)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks blood rage, brutal surge, gruesome dismemberment, mythic power (7/day, surge +1d10)

STATISTICS

Str 36, Dex 19, Con 26, Int 9, Wis 15, Cha 8
Base Atk +20; CMB +34 (+38 grapple); CMD 48
Feats Bleeding Critical, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Exhausting Critical, Great FortitudeM, Improved Critical (claw), Iron WillM, Power AttackM, Skill FocusM (Stealth), Tiring Critical
Skills Acrobatics +19 (+23 when jumping), Intimidate +12, Perception +15 (+23 sound-based checks), Stealth +24, Swim +31; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics when jumping, +8 Perception (sound-based checks)
Languages Common
SQ display of strength

ECOLOGY

Environment cold swamps
Organization solitary
Treasure standard

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Brutal Surge (Su) When Grendel expends mythic power to add a surge die to an attack roll, he also adds a surge die to that attack’s damage roll. This is not an action and does not require him to expend any additional uses of mythic power to use this ability.

Gruesome Dismemberment (Ex) When Grendel successfully holds a creature he has grappled, he may expend one use of mythic power to attempt to dismember that creature. He attempts a grapple check; if successful, his target takes double his normal claw damage and the attack pulls off one of the target’s legs or arms. The target is sickened until it receives magical healing (or until it recovers to full hit points by natural means), and takes 2d6 points of bleed damage each round. A creature with only one an arm cannot perform actions requiring two arms or two hands. A bipedal creature with one leg missing cannot walk or run; it can crawl or hop, but is denied its Dexterity bonus against all opponents. A quadrupedal creature with one leg missing is reduced to half normal speed. At the GM’s discretion, creatures with more than four legs affected by this attack may be able to move at normal speed.

Limb ripping fun! That’s all for this week. Next week, we will take a look at a monster that is quite a bit more cuddly.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Roberto Pitturru
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So, Beowulf and a Gunslinger walk into a bar.......


Sc8rpi8n_mjd wrote:

As another poster pointed out, the bite attack (-5 to attack roll and 1/2 Str bonus to damage) seems wrong according to the Pathfinder Rules for primary/secondary natural attacks.

It's not absolute rule, it is the default general rule when specific rule does not state otherwise.

I agree that there seems to be no actual reason for making Grendel's bite secondary, though. Maybe beyond desire to keep his average damage closer to what CR suggest, but I don't think that 7 points of damage would be as important. Another possible reason is stressing Grendel's focus on claw attacks and lessen the impact of its bites for flavor reasons.

Dark Archive

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I love it! :)

And to everyone who is leery of the Mythic Rules... those are not that complex to use. Mythic Rules work the same way as every other optional/variant mechanic in Pathfinder splatbooks; they're layered on top of the core rules. Just as variant channeling or archetypes. Yeah, the PCs will become more powerful, but that just means I can use more monsters per encounter. And, mythic monsters might actually have a chance to regularly hit those AC optimizers, which non-mythic/level-appropriate monsters and NPCs do not. As far as I can tell, mythic monsters are pretty easy to run, and add some flavor and unique twists to old concepts (such as the ancient owlbear Sean mentioned).

Don't fear the Mythic -- embrace it! ;)


Awesome artwork! Awesome monster!

But one thing I don't understand...

All this arm-ripping hype... I mean a Gray Render can easily rip off the arms of an army of useless human peasants too, same could be said about Glabrezu, Hezrou and other powerhouses or creatures with sharp limbs, so why only this creature can tear off limbs?

Quote:
Next week, we will take a look at a monster that is quite a bit more cuddly

I hope its not the Almiraj Rabbit again :-p I hope its Kamaitachi the Sickle Weasel!!! Cute but extremly deadly! But I sure hope it isn't the giraffe or another animal-planet animal...

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Gancanagh wrote:
All this arm-ripping hype... I mean a Gray Render can easily rip off the arms of an army of useless human peasants too, same could be said about Glabrezu, Hezrou and other powerhouses or creatures with sharp limbs, so why only this creature can tear off limbs?

Because other than Grendel, we don't have rules for dismembering opponents.

And because he's Grendel.


Ok, that explains it all :-p

I really love those nails tho!


I fail to see the weakness vs. Beowolf this monster so obviously lacks as well as the social group it belonged to (Grendell had a mother).
Therefor I can only conclude that this is a complete miss as a monster and needs heavy revision ;)


I am really looking forward to this book!


The more I think about it, the more inclined I am to sub out one of Grendel's feats for improvised weapon mastery (for that "beating with limbs" idea).

(Or, more likely, just give it as a bonus feat.) :p

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Nah, give him the Catch Off-Guard feat. Then he can not only use the limbs, but get some flat-footed attacks as well.

Besides, with the feat description of:

"Unarmed opponents are flatfooted against any attacks you make with an improvised melee weapon."

... you will be able to hand out the 'unarmed' puns.

Sovereign Court Contributor

Hmm. Grendel's mom is even more badass. I'm wondering how many Mythic Levels she has...

Grand Lodge

I notice that he has no SR. Meh, He'll be a piece o' cake! ;-)

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Wow that is a great creature. Fantastic start to bestiary 4 previews! Without mythic adventures the only issues in the stat block will be mythic feats and the SQ display of strength. There is nothing else to make this creature difficult to incorporate into a non-mythic game. I agree with SKR (a disturbing trend?) use him "as is", don't strip back abilities. Ignore the mythic feats if you don't have access to them (use mythic power attack though, at his level it adds +18 damage per attack without penalties to hit for 1 mythic power!!!). At CR19 he's a memorable encounter. Love the design, love the scary abilities. Oh yeah, and that artwork is freaking awesome! More please...


So... Beowulf was a monk?


Wow CR19 makes me wonder how strong his Mother is.

Beowulf wasn't a monk, he was a fighter who specialized in grappling and unarmed strikes;)

Next weeks creature....cuddly?

The Exchange

Detect Magic wrote:
If Grendel is a CR 19, what level must Beowulf have been to single-handedly defeat him? Haha.

Dude, Beowulf was so obviously a munchkin... He was probably around level 5, with maybe a couple of mythic tiers on him (or maybe slaying Grendel was the event that granted him those tiers?)


art preview next week maybe?


It looks like everything's in the statblock. Even the mythic feats simply add flat bonuses that are incorporated in the math, with the exception of Mythic Power Attack. (Which is no more complex to calculate than regular old Power Attack.)


So am I the only one who's disappointed that Grendel is ripping people's arms off, not the other way around?

Dismemberment is Beowulf's finishing move, not Grendel's.


I hope the arts preview next week with the cuddly creature isn't a normal everyday animal like the Giraffe (I got the feeling the giraffe will show up because it was in a podcast so much)

I hope Kamaitachi, Swan Maiden, Vouivre (her woman side is cuddly probably) or anything other monstrous and not animal.

But they say monster and not animal, animals aren't monsters.


Cthulhu can be cuddly...

Grand Lodge

Izar Talon wrote:
Cthulhu can be cuddly...

And as d20 cthulhu has shown, if it has stats, it can be killed. I'd rather not see stats for beings like this that are not suppose to be killed.


Devil's Advocate wrote:

So am I the only one who's disappointed that Grendel is ripping people's arms off, not the other way around?

Dismemberment is Beowulf's finishing move, not Grendel's.

Retread the poem.


Yeah Grendel did rip peoples limbs off in the story, Beowulf did it to him as a form justice and/or revenge.

Well the evil Tooth fairy might be considered "cuddly".


Thanks for stating up one of the most enduring named monsters in western mythology. I want to see him dismember something/body!


I dunno. Used to be Grendel would have just been a troll with a few barbarian levels. I guess that's just one of the fundamental drawbacks of a level based system. Always have to keep making things ever more extreme to keep the PCs challenged. All starts to get a bit DBZ after awhile though. :/

Dark Archive

Arikiel wrote:
I dunno. Used to be Grendel would have just been a troll with a few barbarian levels. I guess that's just one of the fundamental drawbacks of a level based system. Always have to keep making things ever more extreme to keep the PCs challenged. All starts to get a bit DBZ after awhile though. :/

That's the thing, 'though, you can pretty much make a 'street level' Grendel with a jacked-up bugbear with a single rogue level, if the party is 1st level. The same encounter could work with an ogre, a troll, a half-troll giant, a half-black-dragon fiendish shoggoth, etc., depending on what level you want to place the 'Grendel' encounter.

This Mythic Grendel is just what you'd do to challenge a 15th+ party, which, IMO, is *really* not what the Grendel story was about.

What made Grendel scary wasn't that he could dismember folk, it was that he could sneak into a room full of warriors and kill one of them without the others waking up. But that sort of stuff doesn't make for much of an encounter. "You wake up. Karl's dead. Write up a new character..."


One oddity from the way PF works though is he’s a large 20 HD limb ripping mythic monster with a frightful presence aura and he only adds +12 to Intimidate checks because of his 8 CHA score. But he’s a great swimmer with +31 on those checks because he's so strong. Something seems out of whack with that. He sure get the Scary as Hell feat or something to boost that Intimidate bonus. :-)


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

So if you're not using the mythic rules, and don't even want to look up the description of the mythic feats (free on the PRD), you can use them as the normal versions of those feats.

Wait...Mythic is on the PRD now?!?!??

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Legendarius wrote:
One oddity from the way PF works though is he’s a large 20 HD limb ripping mythic monster with a frightful presence aura and he only adds +12 to Intimidate checks because of his 8 CHA score. But he’s a great swimmer with +31 on those checks because he's so strong. Something seems out of whack with that. He sure get the Scary as Hell feat or something to boost that Intimidate bonus. :-)

Considering that demoralizing an opponent is a check vs. 10 + HD + Wis, with an average result of 22, Grendel is still pretty scary to an average 12th-level fighter.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

DM Pendin Fust wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

So if you're not using the mythic rules, and don't even want to look up the description of the mythic feats (free on the PRD), you can use them as the normal versions of those feats.

Wait...Mythic is on the PRD now?!?!??

It's the next book scheduled to appear on the PRD. All of the books in our core rulebook line end up on the PRD. The tech team is working on it, it just takes a little while.


Ah thanks Sean. Thought I missed it going up somehow.

Silver Crusade

Auxmaulous wrote:

Eh, first creature up and I don't run mythic rules so it's useless without a conversion or non-mythic stats.

Does not bode well for my pre-order.

Dude, just take off all the mythic components. It's not that hard.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Devil's Advocate wrote:

So am I the only one who's disappointed that Grendel is ripping people's arms off, not the other way around?

Dismemberment is Beowulf's finishing move, not Grendel's.

Grendel dismembered Hrothgar's warriors. Beowulf returning the favor was poetic justice.


Ross Byers wrote:
Devil's Advocate wrote:

So am I the only one who's disappointed that Grendel is ripping people's arms off, not the other way around?

Dismemberment is Beowulf's finishing move, not Grendel's.

Grendel dismembered Hrothgar's warriors. Beowulf returning the favor was poetic justice.

literally


Arikiel wrote:
I dunno. Used to be Grendel would have just been a troll with a few barbarian levels. I guess that's just one of the fundamental drawbacks of a level based system. Always have to keep making things ever more extreme to keep the PCs challenged. All starts to get a bit DBZ after awhile though. :/

Vegeta! What does the scouter say about his CHALLENGE RATING!?


Axial wrote:
Arikiel wrote:
I dunno. Used to be Grendel would have just been a troll with a few barbarian levels. I guess that's just one of the fundamental drawbacks of a level based system. Always have to keep making things ever more extreme to keep the PCs challenged. All starts to get a bit DBZ after awhile though. :/
Vegeta! What does the scouter say about his CHALLENGE RATING!?

It's OVER 35!


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Cold Napalm wrote:
Izar Talon wrote:
Cthulhu can be cuddly...
And as d20 cthulhu has shown, if it has stats, it can be killed. I'd rather not see stats for beings like this that are not suppose to be killed.

Have you ever read The Call of Cthulhu?

He got popped by being rammed with a boat.

He reformed automatically, but Cthulhu was "killed" in the very story in which he first appeared. By a single guy ramming him with a little boat. He got better. I see no reason why the same opportunity to ram Cthulhu with a tug-boat should not be afforded to the adventurers of Golarion.

This attitude that gods are omnipotent, completely incorporeal beings really annoys me, because it's a concept mostly limited to more modern, especially Abrahamic, religions, and doesn't really fit very well in a game based on ancient legends and mythology mixed with '30s pulp weird tales and fantasy literature. The gods of the ancient Greeks, Romans, Norse, and other Europeans were living, physical beings, who lived in faraway places atop mountains or in the clouds, and had bodies and ate and drank just like the humans who worshiped them. They loved and fought and killed and died just like their human worshipers, and OFTEN loved and fought and killed and died ALONGSIDE their mortal followers. They had bodies, and some of them were just BARELY more than human, and could be injured and even killed by heroes. In the Illiad, Achilles hit Aphrodite in the arm with a spear and made her run away, and later mauled ARES HIMSELF so badly that the god had to retreat from the battlefield!

And in '30s pulp and fantasy literature, humans battled god-like aliens and mythical beings all the time, sometimes even recasting the ancient gods as alien entities who were mistaken for supernatural gods by ancient humanity. But when modern man encountered them, with modern (or future!) technology, we were very often more than a match for them.

And THAT is the tradition in which Cthulhu firmly belongs, an ancient god who is really a powerful alien, and might be defeated and even killed (but not permanently!) by sufficiently powerful heroes with the right tools or technology (or magic.) (Now the Outer Gods, they're a different story, and they AREN'T getting stats. Trying to get into a swordfight with Azathoth would be rather futile, as would trying to stab Yog-Sothoth. His half-human Sons, on the other hand... well, one of them was killed by a guard dog.)

That's one of the things about the Mythic rules that is so cool; they so wonderfully mirror the way the heroes and gods of real life mythology blended and blurred together, when sometimes you can't tell whether a character in a legend is a god or just a powerful hero or creature, with even a human hero has a cult dedicated to him, or an ancient wolf in the forest that is somehow more than mortal and walks in two worlds has it's own small group of devoted worshipers (both of which can be modeled perfectly with the Mythic rules and the Divine Source ability.)

They're called Liminal Beings, between mortal and divine, with the difference between mortal hero and divine being a gradual transition of steps, with the two blending into each other, not a hard line separating them. The Mythic rules are a wonderful representation of these kinds of Liminal Beings. I mean REALLY perfect.

But now I'm babbling, so I'll end here.


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Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Axial wrote:
Vegeta! What does the scouter say about his CHALLENGE RATING!?
It's OVER 35!

Gasp! Let's all just stand around like a bunch of idiots while he charges up his limb rending power for the next half hour!!!!!


Izar Talon wrote:
In the Illiad, Achilles hit Aphrodite in the arm with a spear and made her run away, and later mauled ARES HIMSELF so badly that the god had to retreat from the battlefield!

That was Diomedes, and he had help from Athena, but still, I agree that mortals vs. immortals is not an uncommon fixture of mythology, and is certainly (IMO) well within the scope of fantasy rpgs, or should be.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Arikiel wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Axial wrote:
Vegeta! What does the scouter say about his CHALLENGE RATING!?
It's OVER 35!
Gasp! Let's all just stand around like a bunch of idiots while he charges up his limb rending power for the next half hour!!!!!

Will the Mythic heroes be able to thwart Grendel's evil plans? Tune in next time on...PATHFINDER Z!!!


Cthulhudrew wrote:
Izar Talon wrote:
In the Illiad, Achilles hit Aphrodite in the arm with a spear and made her run away, and later mauled ARES HIMSELF so badly that the god had to retreat from the battlefield!
That was Diomedes, and he had help from Athena, but still, I agree that mortals vs. immortals is not an uncommon fixture of mythology, and is certainly (IMO) well within the scope of fantasy rpgs, or should be.

I thought it was Odyseus with the help of Athena, who wounded Aphrodite??

But to be honest I liked the part where Aphrodite goes off whining to Zeus, she been harmed by a mortal, finding no comfort whatsoever as Zeus merely says: What were you (the goddess of love) doing there (on a battlefield) anyway?? A real nice way to treat your half-sister (Yes I am being sarcastic)


Where does Grendel fit in Golarion


Probably the Lands of the Linnorm Kings.


Snowleopard wrote:
I thought it was Odyseus with the help of Athena, who wounded Aphrodite??

"Diomedes with his ruthless bronze had gone to run down Aphrodite..."

Iliad, book 5.

I always find it funny that Diomedes is ranked second only to Achilles, when he comes across as so much more deadly, to mortal and immortal alike.

He was awesome!!

But yeah, Aphrodite and the other gods were kind of whiners. It's funny. :)


Izar Talon wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
Izar Talon wrote:
Cthulhu can be cuddly...
And as d20 cthulhu has shown, if it has stats, it can be killed. I'd rather not see stats for beings like this that are not suppose to be killed.

I see no reason why the same opportunity to ram Cthulhu with a tug-boat should not be afforded to the adventurers of Golarion.

now THIS should be a statted up vehicle.


Mythic Tug Boat;)


Well, vehicles CAN be legendary items... ;)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Detect Magic wrote:
If Grendel is a CR 19, what level must Beowulf have been to single-handedly defeat him? Haha.

Also unarmed. And naked.

Seriously, what level are we supposing Beowulf is? Why's he not off fighting demon lords and protecting the cosmos?

And if Grendel's CR 19, what's his mum? And the dragon?

Also... wouldn't running off to bleed to death in the swamp from the stump of his arm be kind of implausible if Grendel has regeneration? Sure, it's against natural attacks and unarmed strikes, but if he doesn't die after the first round of non regeneration, the bleeding stops on the next and he starts regenerating again.


The pathfinder stats for him are based on his depiction in the poem. It's not a perfect science; it's understandable that not every bit of the story can be re-created within the rules of the game.

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