View Full Version : Pathfinder Hokhoku [Brain-eating giant ravens][Crossroads]

Admiral Squish
2014-06-26, 07:03 PM
Created for Crossroads: The New World (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?345327-Crossroads-II-I-m-on-a-Mammoth)

Huge Magical Beast

Hit Dice:
8d10+32 (76 hp)


30 ft (6 squares), fly 60ft (Good)

Armor Class:
19 (-2 size,+5 dex, +6 Natural), touch 13, flat-footed 14


Beak +13 melee (2d6+7) or Talon +13 melee (1d8+7 plus Grab)

Full Attack:
Beak +13 melee (2d6+7) and 2 Talons +10 melee (1d8+2 plus Grab)


Special Attacks:
Fear Aura

Special Qualities:
Carry Off, Cruel Beak, Darkvision 60, Low-light Vision, Scent

Fort +10, Ref +11, Will +4

Str 24, Dex 20, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 14, Cha 18

Fly +13, Perception +13

Flyby Attack, Scent of Fear, Multiattack, Hover

Any Cold

Solitary, Pair, or Flight (3-6)

Challenge Rating:




From far below, it looks much like a hawk, or perhaps an eagle, soaring through the air, but as it descends, it’s immense size becomes clear. It looks much like an enormous raven, with coal-black feathers covering much of its body, but it bears patches of white and red on its head and the underside of its wings. That‘s when you see its not just descending, it‘s swooping toward you, and a cold fear grips you.

Hokhoku are enormous, raven-like birds that nest in the high mountains in the north of Fusang and Tuniitaq. They live well above the treeline in enormous nests, usually as mated pairs, and soar down to hunt warm-blooded prey. They are somewhat intelligent, and can often understand one or more of the local human languages, though they cannot speak, and they rarely are in the mood to listen. They are almost purely predatory, with a special taste for brains and eyes, and they regard humans as a special delicacy. They will even chose to pursue human prey over less clever animals if the opportunity presents itself. They seems to take a wicked pleasure in hunting humans, and may toy with their meal once they’ve managed to secure it before delivering the killing blow.

Hokhuku are known by many names, including Galokwudzuwis, Gwagwakhwalanooksiwey, and Bakbakwakanooksiewae. This only serves to increase confusion, as some groups believe them to be a specific pair of unique creatures, and others have special names for one gender or another. Hokhoku are very similar between the genders, apart from their distinct beaks. Male beaks are short, straight, and thick, good for cracking tough bones and skulls, while the female beaks are long, slender, and have a slight spiral to them, good for reaching into eye sockets or the cracks of a skull to pull out the meaty bits inside.

Hokhoku aren’t particularly brilliant, but those expecting to fight a simple animal may well be surprised by their use of tactics. They usually simply swoop in, use their fear aura to render their prey defenseless, and grab them with their talons to soar back to the nest. If attacked, or facing multiple opponents, they may harry their prey with flyby attacks until someone succumbs to fear, then snatch up the fleeing victim and flee to the nest. They never fight to the death if they have the option to escape with a meal.

Carry Off (Ex): Hokhoku are known for their tendency to suddenly swoop down on terrified victims and carry them off the their nests to be eaten. A hokhoku takes no penalty to combat maneuver checks to start or maintain a grapple using just their talons, as long as the target is two or more sizes smaller than them. A hokhoku that does this is not considered grappled, but their target is.

Cruel Beak (Ex): Hokhoku are highly gender-morphic. Males have thick, heavy-duty beaks, perfect for cracking and crunching bones and skulls, while females have very long, slightly spiraling beaks that seem impractical, but are great for getting into narrow gaps and pulling out the soft, meaty bits.

A male hokhoku that successfully pins a creature in a grapple can make a special bite attack against them. If successful, the target must make a fortitude save (DC 21) or die instantly due to a crushed skull. If the save is successful, the target still takes bit damage as normal. The creature must be a living creature that is vulnerable to critical hits. This save is strength-based.

A living creature that is hit by a female hokhoku’s bite attack bleeds for 1d6 points of damage. In addition, on a successful critical hit, the target must make a reflex save (DC 20) or be Blinded permanently as the hokhoku plucks out the creature’s eyes. The blindness can be healed with any spell or ability that would allow limbs to be re-grown. The save is Dexterity-based.

Fear Aura (Su) A hokhoku is a menacing bird, capable of striking fear into the hearts of those nearby. As a free action once per round, the hokhoku can radiate supernatural fear. All creatures within 30 feet when it uses this ability (except other hokhoku) must make a will save (DC 18) or be Panicked for 8 rounds. A successful save leaves them Shaken for the same duration. If they successfully save, they cannot be affected by that hokhoku’s fear aura for 24 hours.

Skills: A Hokhoku gains a +4 racial bonus to Perception checks.

Admiral Squish
2014-06-26, 07:18 PM
So, here's another monster for the crossroads setting. Sorta snowballed a few inter-related giant man-eating bird myths of the pacific northwest/canada into one creature, out of the interest of expedience. I think they're pretty cool, and they're definitely not something you want to run into in the wild. I'm a little fuzzy on the CR, it might need to be lower, but I figured a death/blinding effect probably deserved a few extra notches. So, what do you people think?

2014-06-29, 06:08 PM
I think the CR is fine where it is. Nice touch, adding the part about tactics, instead of just saying "it attacks you until either it's dead or you are".

I also like that it seems like a plausible part of its environment, not something divorced from nature, like most monsters are; and I appreciate that you use biology terms like "gender morphic" in their description. Are you going to add a section on the "Ecology of the Hokhoku" as well?

Question: how does a bird open and close a corkscrew-shaped beak?

2014-06-29, 07:43 PM
Question: Why not give it the Snatch feat as a bonus feat (see Carry Off) since there are already rules for this.


Admiral Squish
2014-06-29, 09:40 PM
Thanks, I do agree with the tactical concerns that get raised periodically. I can understand some monsters that fight to the death, but these guys certainly don't seem like the sort to do it.

I was not planning to add an ecology section, honestly. I don't think they're commonplace enough to warrant the extra work, and I think you get a pretty good picture of what they live like and how they fit into the world.

Honestly, I don't know how the corkscrew beak is supposed to work, but it's an important part of the myth. Maybe it just opens at the end, or maybe it's more like a hummingbird's tube beak, with barbed tongue to get goodies out.

Snatch actually has nothing to do with Carry Off. First, Snatch applies to the claws and bites of the creature, not talons, and the hokhoku shouldn't be grappling with their beaks. Second, Snatch essentially gives a grab special ability and constriction against enemies three or more sizes smaller, which is largely useless as they already have the grab ability and the only player character that would be three or more sizes smaller than them would be little folk. And third, it actually does not modify their ability to grapple with a specific part of their body, despite the text seeming to indicate that it should.
I did consider it, but it really doesn't do what I wanted it to.

2014-07-01, 07:05 AM
The talons damage bonus should be +3 when used as secondary weapon.

Thanks for doing this one. I just couldn't get my head wrapped doing it and it makes a LOT more sense making one creature instead of separate ones.


Admiral Squish
2014-07-01, 09:32 AM
Oooh, good catch.

And it's not a problem, I had fun making them!