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Demented
2007-07-30, 12:46 AM
Tiny gargoyles patrol the sky,
feeding on unwary flesh
looking for a peaceful place
to make their final rest.

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Zanseer's Bat (Brittlebats)

"Someone told me that, here, a stone curse flies with wings."

Size/Type: Diminutive Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 1/4d10+2 (3 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 5 ft. (1 square), Fly 20 ft. (average)
Armor Class: 14 (+4 Size), touch 14, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-15
Attack: Bite +5 Melee 1d2-4 (Stone Curse)
Full Attack: Bite +5 Melee 1d2-4 (Stone Curse)
Space/Reach: 1'/0'
Special Attacks: Stone Curse
Special Qualities: Low-Light Vision, Scent, Stone blood
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +2
Abilities: Str 2, Dex 11, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +15, Listen +5, Spot +5
Feats: Alertness, Weapon FinesseB
Environment: Underground
Organization: Perch (4-8), Flock (9-18), Flight (10-100)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always Neutral
Advancement: 1-3HD
Level Adjustment:

From a distance, brittlebats appear to be ordinary bats, perhaps somewhat clumsier and sturdier than normal. Even up close, the difference is difficult to tell, only having grey-hued skin and a thin coating of dust-like stone upon their wings; normal bats, like all mammals, have red-hued skin owing to their blood.

It is when the brittlebat is put under duress that the unusual nature of its body becomes apparent. A brittlebat's ordinarily soft body and flexible wings will crack and shatter when hit with a sharp blow; its blood is grey and swiftly hardens when exposed to air, first to a clay-like consistency, then stone; exposure to light will convert a brittlebat entirely to rock in short time; panicked bats will move so swiftly that their blood spontaneously solidifies, even in mid-flight. Though a bat will return to normal with time, the injuries it suffers as a result are often lethal.

The first brittlebats are believed to have been created by a wizard named Zanseer, who was obsessed with fixating transmutation to non-magical materials. While it is doubtful that his experiments were ever true successes, the brittlebats are still a powerful reminder of magical experimentation gone awry.

Despite being unable to survive normally, at least as they are currently understood, brittle bats continue to exist, sometimes in immense number. Some claim that the stone curse acts as an infection that brittlebats can only transfer to other bats. Others believe there is an artifact, perhaps even a wizard-experimenter like Zanseer, who continues to create brittlebats for some unknown purpose.

Combat
Despite their fragile nature, brittlebats are far more ferocious than normal bats. They are not easily frightened or provoked, but will nonetheless viciously attack other animals that disturb them while they are foraging or nesting. Given the opportunity, a brittlebat will fight to the death.

Lethal Determination (Ex)
This creature gains a +4 bonus to saves against fear effects and suffers them for half as long.

Stone Blood (Su)
This creature's flesh turns to stone under stress. If it attempts to take a Full Round Action of any sort, it takes 1 damage and must succeed on a Fort save (DC 10) or suffer 1d10 CON damage as well. Exposed to direct sunlight, it takes 1 CON damage each round it is exposed. Attacks that deal solely bludgeoning damage to this creature are automatically critical hits. Spells that undo petrification will also undo CON damage suffered from this affliction.

When this creature is killed (reduced to -10 hitpoints), its body shatters; the resulting explosion of enchanted dust and fragments can consume nearby victims, turning their flesh to stone in an instant. Living creatures in the same square or adjacent squares must make a Fort save (DC 12) or take 1d6 damage. This damage is permanent hitpoint loss, as the Stone Curse ability. A being reduced to negative hitpoints by this damage or is already dying when it is hurt must succeed on another Fort save or become petrified for 1d10 rounds. A being killed by this damage is petrified instantaneously, no duration.

Stone Curse (Su)
The body fluids (including saliva) of this creature are toxic to open flesh, turning it to stone instantly. Any damage dealt by a brittlebat's bite is also permanent hitpoint loss that can only be restored by lesser restoration or more powerful restorative spells. The actual damage must be healed seperately.

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Zanseer's Bat Swarm (Brittlebat Swarm)

"You wouldn't think such fragile creatures could show such ferocity."

Size/Type: Diminutive Magical Beast (Swarm)
Hit Dice: 6d10+12 (45 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 5 ft. (1 square), Fly 20 ft. (average)
Armor Class: 14 (+4 Size), touch 14, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/
Attack: Swarm (2d6) (Stone Curse)
Full Attack: Swarm (2d6) (Stone Curse)
Space/Reach: 10'/0'
Special Attacks: Distraction, Stone Curse
Special Qualities: Half Damage from Slashing and Piercing, Low-Light Vision, Scent, Stone Blood, Swarm Traits
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +4
Abilities: Str 2, Dex 11, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +14, Listen +8, Spot +8
Feats: Alertness, Weapon FinesseB
Environment: Underground
Organization: Solitary, colony (2-4 swarms, approx. 10,000 to 20,000 bats), or grand colony (10-20 swarms, approx. 50,000 to 100,000 bats)
Challenge Rating: 7
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always Neutral
Advancement: None
Level Adjustment:

Brittlebat swarms are rare and never appear aboveground.

Combat
In combat, a brittlebat swarm attempts to surround whatever disturbed it.

Distraction (Ex):
Any living creature that begins its turn with a swarm in its space must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Lethal Determination (Ex)
This swarm gains a +4 bonus to saves against fear effects and suffers them for half as long.

Stone Blood (Ex)
This swarm is subject to the effects of stone blood. If it attempts to take a Full Round Action of any sort, it takes 1 damage and must succeed on a Fort save (DC 10) or suffer 1d10 CON damage as well. Exposed to direct sunlight, it takes 1 CON damage each round it is exposed. Attacks that deal solely bludgeoning damage to this swarm are automatically critical hits. Spells that undo petrification will also undo CON damage suffered from this swarm's affliction, if they can target the swarm.

As creatures in this swarm are damaged, they will shatter, leaving an intense region of air polluted with enchanted dust and fragments. After every attack in which the swarm takes damage, living creatures in the same square or adjacent to the square that was attacked must make a Fort save (DC 15) or take damage equal to half of the damage dealt. This damage is permanent hitpoint loss, as the Stone Curse ability. A being reduced to negative hitpoints by this damage or is already dying when it is hurt must succeed on another Fort save or become petrified for 1d10 rounds. A being killed by this damage is petrified instantaneously, no duration.

Stone Curse (Ex)
The body fluids (including saliva) of this creature are toxic to open flesh, turning it to stone instantly. Any damage dealt by a brittlebat swarm's swarm damage is also permanent hitpoint loss that can only be restored by lesser restoration or more powerful restorative spells. The actual damage must be healed seperately.
______

Initially I wasn't happy with how these turned out, as they just seemed like relatively harmless critters that suffered more from combat than they dealt. It was a stretch of the imagination to assume they'd ever be in combat at all. To fix that, I gave them a more suicidal outlook and made them more of a threat after you've defeated them. They're now much more like rogue experiments with an element of mystique and danger.

It's worth noting that their organization is 4 bats minimum.
Any party facing these will probably want a 3rd-level Cleric with Lesser Restoration on call.

Changes, 1: Stone Curse now affects only a brittlebat's attack(s). Stone Blood petrification is now impermanent if the damage is not fatal.
Change, 2: "(including saliva)", to remove all doubt.
Changes, 3: Added Stone Blood to Special Qualities. Changed Stone Blood, damage is permanent. CR 1

Demented
2007-07-31, 04:55 PM
It's not had 100 views yet! It's too young to die!

Kyace
2007-07-31, 05:00 PM
Does stone blood and stone curse stack? Like, the damage of an exploding stone bat does 1d6 damage, is that damage uncurable? At first or second level, that might make a tank unplayable.

Demented
2007-07-31, 06:03 PM
It was intended to stack, but then I had also foolishly intended them to be in a CR 3 group... Probably not going to work out that way.

Thinks to rework:
-Make Stone Curse explicitly not stack with Stone Blood.
-Rework Stone Blood's petrifying mechanic.

Kyace
2007-07-31, 06:21 PM
WotC did a reworked Rust Monster where the steel/metal items weren't destroyed but armor magically lost its AC for the encounter. You might make the "uncurable" damage able to heal naturally with rest or something, that way players would be careful for the rest of the day, but not greatly hurt in the long run.

Deesix
2007-07-31, 06:44 PM
I actually really like the idea for the creature. Dangerous and dramatic little suckers, and a definite threat to a low level party. I'd use them.

DracoDei
2007-07-31, 07:08 PM
Lesser Restoration is not out of reach, even for a 1st level party... it only does 1 point of damage anyway for the single creature version.

Kyace
2007-07-31, 07:31 PM
Lesser Restoration is not out of reach, even for a 1st level party... it only does 1 point of damage anyway for the single creature version.

Until you land the killing blow and it goes boom (1d6 damage, fort negate). Then your fighter/tank is boned until you can get a scroll. :P

DracoDei
2007-07-31, 08:07 PM
He already decided to change that so it wouldn't stack.

Psionic Dog
2007-07-31, 08:26 PM
Minor Detail: The bite should be +6 (+4Size +1Dex +1BAB)

Also, I like it. Individual bats would make excelent anoyances that are fun to swat and unlikely to kill a party, but leave a lingering reminder.

DracoDei
2007-07-31, 08:34 PM
You are right, he did forget that... that actually makes it noticably more of a problem... perhaps if he dropped the CON 2 points to ensure more one hit kills... I dunno... depends on the campaign.

Demented
2007-07-31, 10:36 PM
Minor Detail: The bite should be +6 (+4Size +1Dex +1BAB)

Whoops!
I'll be fixin' that now...

As for other changes, I'm considering more, but that's only because I want to make the Stone Blood shattering effect do permanent damage without requiring that the creature be the most pushover CR 3 critter to ever grace D&D. (Not that it isn't an option.)
Should I lower the shatter damage? Make only a portion do permanent damage? Lower the save DC? Weaken the rest of the critter? ...The thing is a pretty poor flier; a clever fighter could probably outmaneuver it and throw objects as improvised weapons until it dies.

I'm also wondering about the swarm's balance...

DracoDei
2007-08-01, 10:11 AM
Actually if you are just worried about the party being able to cast Lesser Restoration you that is already taken care of... The lowest number appearing is 4, which makes for a CR 3 encounter anyway. You MIGHT upgrade the individual CR to 1 if you feel something in necessary.

Demented
2007-08-01, 05:16 PM
Alright, Stone Blood does permanent damage.
CR 1 seems like it might work, given that every last bit of damage these do is going to frustrate the Cleric. Then again, every CLW not used for this encounter is one saved for the next encounter... Eh, scratch the Dex to 11 and call it a day.