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View Full Version : That sounds... bearly legal! Just plain unbearable! [PEACH!]



Morph Bark
2010-06-17, 06:41 PM
First off, this idea got started in a thread over at BrillantGameologists (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=8308.0), and I decided to expand upon it and actually put it to action! (For anyone who wants to know, my name is Morpholomew there, I use that name most often.)




Bearly Legal Grizzly Swarm
Gargantuan Magical Beast (Swarm)
Hit Dice 31d8+495 (598 hp)
Initiative +12
Speed 40 ft
AC 32 (+27 natural, -1 Dex, -4 size), touch 5, flat-footed 32
Base Attack/Grapple +23/+57
Attack Swarm 6d6 and bite +45 melee (4d8+22, 19-20)
Full Attack Swarm 6d6 and 4 bites +45 melee (4d8+22, 19-20)
Space/Reach 30'/0' (10' for Gargantuan bears)
Special Attacks expert grappler, improved grab, om-nom-nom, second chance, swallow whole, trample
Special Qualities easy maintenance, hardy, linked minds, low-light vision, scent
Saves Fort +40, Ref +17, Will +31
Abilities Str 55, Dex 11, Con 39, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 16
Skills Appraise +34, Autohypnosis +37, Balance +34, Climb +56, Concentration +48, Escape Artist +34, Handle Animal +37, Heal +37, Hide +22, Intimidate +37, Jump +56, Listen +37, Move Silently +34, Perform +37, Ride +34, Search +34, Spot +41*, Survival +37, Swim +60*, Tumble +34
Feats Blind-Fight, Endurance (B), Improved Critical, Improved Initiative, Improved Toughness, Power Attack, Run, Track
Epic Feats Dire Charge, Epic Toughness, Legendary Tracker, Superior Initiative
Environment Cold forests
Organization Solitary
Challenge Rating 21
Treasure None
Alignment Usually neutral
Advancement --
Level Adjustment --

Before you a strange yet terrifying sight appears. Giant bears! With upon them: less giant bears! And stacked further on top of those are more bears, ultimately controlled and directed by a bunch of small black bears at the very top. In perfect simultaneous unison, the bears roar and it is like a sonic tsunami rolls over you. The bear armies of the wild have arrived.

All-around Vision (Ex): There is so many bears, of course they keep in touch and quite literally look out for each other. A bearly legal grizzly swarm is never caught flat-footed and gets a +4 bonus to Spot checks.

Easy Maintenance (Ex): A bearly legal grizzly swarm eats as if it were one size category smaller and isnít picky in what it eats.

Expert Grappler (Ex): A bearly legal grizzly swarm can maintain up to four grapples without penalty and still make attacks as normal against other targets (normally, attacking other targets would impose a -20 penalty on grapple checks). The bearly legal grizzly swarm still loses one bite attack for each grapple maintained. It is never considered flat-footed while grappling.

Hardy (Ex): A bearly legal grizzly swarm has a +2 racial bonus on saves against disease and poison.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a Gargantuan grizzly must hit with a bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Linked Minds (Ex): The bears somehow share a consciousness with one another, which allows them to group together and act as they do, as if they were on-par with the humanoid races. Quite like a hive-mind, except the bears retain their individuality and need not be with hundreds of them to be reasonably intelligent.

Om-nom-nom (Ex): The Gargantuan bears that are part of a bearly legal grizzly swarm can make bite attacks against creatures in their space (which they have thus swarmed) or within 10 ft of them (one bear takes up one side of the swarmís area and can only attack on that side and not from the other three sides of their area, but it can still attack anyone within the area). Each of them can do this only once per turn (meaning 4 attempts) and the swarm may not move during this turn.

Second Chance (Ex): If the bearly legal grizzly swarm is rendered unconscious through nonlethal damage, it disperses, disorganized. If it was brought down to 0 hp through lethal damage, then 30% of the bears that are part of the swarm are dead, 30% are at 0 hp and the rest are at low hp. No matter the outcome for them, the Gargantuan bears regurgitate the Small bears inside of them, unless they have any enemies swallowed as well. The Small bears inside of the Gargantuan bears are unaffected by any damage done to the swarm.

Skills: As mentioned under "All-around Vision", a bearly legal grizzly swarm gets a +4 bonus to Spot checks. Furthermore, as bears are used to swimming, they get a +4 bonus to Swim checks.

Swallow Whole (Ex): A Gargantuan bear can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of Large or smaller size by making a successful grapple check. Once inside, the opponent takes 1d10+10 points of crushing damage plus 1d10+6 points of acid damage per round from the bearís digestive juices. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by dealing 50 points of damage to the bearís digestive tract (AC 23). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out.

The bearís gullet can hold 2 Large, 8 Medium, 32 Small, or 128 Tiny or smaller creatures. (This is why, after swallowing one Large creature, it cannot hold more, as the 16 Small bears inside take up as much space as one Large creature.)

Trample (Ex): A bearly legal grizzly swarm that simply moves over a creature and doesnít end its movement with that creature in one of its occupied squares can trample that creature. It can trample multiple creatures at once. A trampled creature takes damage equal to 3d8+1Ĺ Str modifier. The creature can either take an attack of opportunity against the swarm with a -4 penalty or make a Reflex save (DC 25 + the swarmís Str mod) for half damage.

Morph Bark
2010-06-17, 06:42 PM
First, let's see what sizes of bears we can work with, using the dungeonbred and titanic templates and shrink animal and enlarge animal:
Small: shrunken black bears (picked the obvious)
Medium: black bears, shrunken grizzly bears, dungeonbred grizzlies (picked dungeonbred grizzlies)
Large: grizzly bears, enlarged dungeonbred grizzlies (picked enlarged dungeonbred grizzlies)
Huge: enlarged grizzlies, dungeonbred titanic black bears, shrunken titanic dungeonbred grizzlies (picked shrunken titanic dungeonbred grizzlies)
Gargantuan: titanic dungeonbred grizzlies, titanic black bears (picked titanic dungeonbred grizzlies)

The Gargantuan bears each have 16 Small bears inside. This creature has a hivemind and functions as an awakened animal. Wis and Cha increased by 4 for being a swarm: the bears look out for each other and help one another. Physical ability scores are simply taken from the largest component animal: a titanic dungeonbred brown bear (a grizzly bear).

1 bear tower has 21 bears: 1 Gargantuan bear (titanic dungeonbred brown bear) with 16 Small bears inside (shrunken black bears), 1 Huge bear (shrunken titanic dungeonbred brown bear) on top of that, 1 Large bear (enlarged dungeonbred brown bears) on top of that, 1 Medium bear (dungeonbred brown bears) on top of that and 1 Small bear to top it all off. In total: 1 Gargantuan, 1 Huge, 1 Large, 1 Medium, 17 Small, per tower.

Minimum amount of creatures needed for a hivemind is 50, so the minimum amount of bear towers needed is 3. Since 4 would make a nicer square, weíll use that.

Rules for HD calculation have been broken somewhat, because if it was a simple case of adding up the HD of the component creatures, this thing would have had 378 HD, give or take:
8x25 = 4x27 = 2x29 = 1x31
4x6 = 2x8 = 1x10
68x3 = 34x5 = 17x7 ≈ 16x7 = 8x19 = 4x21 = 2x23 = 1x25. So nevermind. 2x31 would be 33, 31+30 would be 32 and 10 and 25 arenít even close to those. Iím going with 31 HD. And yes, DnD math is weird.

Titanic makes natural armour bonus into +20. Since this is more than a single titanic creature, it should be more than this. Simply added the brown bearís and black bearís natural armour bonuses on top of that to make the swarmís natural armour bonus.

While actually more like a mob (and swarms technically canít have component creatures larger than Tiny), a mob requires some tracking of individual hp, which is tough when the component creatures all have greatly different amounts of it. Instead, I chose to simply add some mob traits on the side to make the creature more realistic (but no less funny and wtfawesome). Finally, while I based the feats off HD as normal, I simply maxed out all skills that awakened bears would seem capable of reasonably performing (social skills, craft, profession, knowledge and those requiring opposable thumbs are all out): Appraise, Autohypnosis, Balance, Climb, Concentration, Escape Artist, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Ride, Search, Spot, Survival, Swim and Tumble.
Oh, and the swarm attack deals 1d6 more damage than the maximum swarms can do because dungeonbred creatures get Improved Natural Attack for all their attacks, so it felt like it fit, even though it normally canít go higher than 5d6.

Mangles
2010-06-17, 07:15 PM
This is ridiculous in the best sort of way

DracoDei
2010-06-17, 08:12 PM
I didn't think you could make swarms out of anything bigger than Tiny... or does HiveMinding change that rule?

Also a link for cross-referencing purposes:
Fractal Bear (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8290906&postcount=8)

Morph Bark
2010-06-18, 01:23 AM
Here is the explanation for that:


While actually more like a mob (and swarms technically canít have component creatures larger than Tiny), a mob requires some tracking of individual hp, which is tough when the component creatures all have greatly different amounts of it. Instead, I chose to simply add some mob traits on the side to make the creature more realistic (but no less funny and wtfawesome).

I am not sure if hiveminding changes anything about it, but it likely changes some things.

Debihuman
2010-06-18, 04:20 PM
So, a bearly legal bear swarm consists of 4 towers of bears with each tower being controlled by a Gargantuan Bear that can make a Bite attack.

The comma in Attacks should be replaced by "or" or "and." Full Attack round should definitely list the 4 bites.

Here's some changes I would suggest to your stat block:

Space/Reach: 30 ft./0 ft. (10 feet for Gargantuan bears)

Attack: Swarm 6d6 and bite +45 melee (4d8+22)

Full Attack: Swarm 6d6 and 4 bites +45 melee (4d8+22)

A 31 HD creature has 7 standard feats and up to 4 epic feats (11 feat total plus any bonus feats). Right now it has 8 feats, one of which is epic. So you can give it 3 more epic feats if you like.

Here are some feats that you might want to consider adding:

Damage Reduction [Epic] --The creature would gain damage reduction 3/-. Dire Charge [Epic] -- you can make a full attack against a target you charge
Epic Fortitude.

Debby

Morph Bark
2010-06-18, 04:53 PM
Thanks for the help there, Debby. Also, actually, 3 of its feats are Epic (Superior Initiative, Epic Toughness and Legendary Tracker) and one is a Bonus feat (Endurance), so it has room for only one more Epic feat. Dire Charge sounds good, does it qualify for the prerequisites?

Merk
2010-06-18, 05:37 PM
This is the best monster.

I'm not sure if it deserves CR 21, though. It could certainly give many melee types trouble, but then again it seems easy enough for a party with 21st level WBL and spellcasting to just fly and be invisible outside of its range and chip away at it, or do even nastier things to it.

Morph Bark
2010-06-18, 05:42 PM
This is the best monster.

I'm not sure if it deserves CR 21, though. It could certainly give many melee types trouble, but then again it seems easy enough for a party with 21st level WBL and spellcasting to just fly and be invisible outside of its range and chip away at it, or do even nastier things to it.

Hmmm... true. This was mainly done by extrapolating from brown bears true gratuitous application of templates (some adding HD) and some mixing and mashing to make it in the end all homebrew.

However, I intend to make a follow-up creature to this that might make up for the lack of flight and spell-like abilities. Yeah, those Small bears? They actually have class features of high-Tier classes (admittably, of only level 5, but with tons of them... yeah).

Debihuman
2010-06-18, 07:51 PM
Bonus feats don't count towards the total of feats a creature can have. That's why they are "bonus." However, it isn't good form to give out more than 2. If a creature needs a 3rd bonus feat, it makes more sense to give it an additional hit die so that it qualifies for it.

The critter should should have a total of 11 feats for its hit dice (7 standard and 4 that can be either standard or epic) and bonus feat(s).

Normally you list the feats first and then list the epic feats separately. So it still needs a few normal feats to get to the 7 standard feats. I missed which feats were epic earlier so thanks for letting me know.

The prerequisite for Dire Charge is Improved Initiative so it qualifies.

Debby

Morph Bark
2010-06-19, 04:21 AM
I'm sorry if it wasn't clear, but I knew what a bonus feat is, otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned it.

Dire Charge it is then! It fits with the whole "a thousand bears of the bear empire descent upon you" gig (even though one swarm doesn't have nearly that many bears in it).

Debihuman
2010-06-19, 06:24 AM
No problem. I think I misunderstood you as well. So we're both clear as mud apparently!


Feats: Dire Charge (E), Endurance (B), Epic Toughness (E), Improved Initiative, Improved Toughness, Legendary Tracker (E), Run, Superior Initiative (E), Track (3 feats remaining)

Actually you'd reword this as:

Feats: EnduranceB, Improved Initiative, Improved Toughness, Run, Track [3 more needed]
Epic Feats: Dire Charge, Epic Toughness, Legendary Tracker, Superior Initiative.

It makes it a lot easier to identify in the statblock.

Here are feats that I recommend and why. You need to pick three so I think these make the most sense.


Alertness: With all those bears (think of all the eyes and ears it has), it should have bonuses to Spot and Listen.
Improved Critical: Makes the Gargantuan bear's bite a bit more imposing.
Power Attack: With the 4 bites, that helps a little.


More Special Abilities: at 31 HD, it's a little weak in this department (and I almost NEVER recommend adding Special Abilities). I think it could benefit from the following: All-Around Vision, Scent (lots of noses there), and Stability.

What do you think?

Debby

Morph Bark
2010-06-19, 06:47 PM
I seperated Feats and Epic feats and added all the feat-holes left. I didn't use Alertness though, since I didn't want to use a feat that would be nigh useless (considering for all its skills shown it gets max skill points due to at least one or two bears part of the swarm having invested so much). Instead I picked Blind-Fight.

Also, big d'oh! moment at Scent. I forgot to add that completely! As well as low-light vision, considering all animals get both of those. Thanks for the (unintentional?) reminder. :smallsmile: I added some form of All-around Vision, but no Stability. A swarm cannot be tripped or bull-rushed to my knowledge. The idea would be that the bears keep each other on their feet, so even if you could trip or bull-rush them, you could only target one, and it'd have a bunch of other bears backing it up to keep it on its feet (paws?) and keep on going. This goes for "swarms" of larger creatures like these bears as well as I saw somewhere (forgot where exactly, sadly).

It might not be quite CR 21 yet to any base class out there, but as said before, I intend to add something extra that would make it all up for it. Woo! Go clarity of mud!


EDIT: Also added the "linked minds" ability, which... basically does nothing. But it explains how this whole thing actually functions. :smalltongue:

imp_fireball
2010-09-22, 12:50 PM
The name seems to be suggest that this should be a swarm of anthropomorphic bear lawyers with miniature anthropomorphic bear lawyers doing a cheer leader pyramid on top of each one, smaller then the next... etc.


Also added the "linked minds" ability, which... basically does nothing. But it explains how this whole thing actually functions.

That just belongs in the fluff then - abilities shouldn't be there for explanation unless they have an actual mechanical affect. You should also note in the fluff that it can't be dispelled/disabled in anyway (with exceptions if you want) if you want this to behave like a proper vermin swarm (but intelligent).

Vaynor
2010-09-22, 04:53 PM
The Red Towel: Thread necromancy.