View Full Version : [Monster] Notable creatures of the Southern Plains

2005-09-30, 04:30 AM
This is my first attempt at creating 3rd ed monsters, so a few things here and there are probably wrong. The idea for this entry came from National Geographic articles on creatures found in a particular part of the world. Animals and like creatures are often ingnored as monsters, so I decided to do a warm plains ecoregion theme to link the group of mostly animal and magical beast monsters.

Phorusrhacoid (Terror bird/titanis walleri)
Large Animal
Hit Dice: 8D8+24(60 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 60 ft. (12 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +5 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+12
Attack: Bite +12 melee (1d6+8)
Full Attack: Slam +12 melee (2d6+8) or Bite +7 melee (1d6+8)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, swallow whole
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, Scent
Saves: Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +3
Abilities: Str 27, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 16, Cha 11
Skills: Hide -1, Jump +9, Listen +10, Spot +10, Survival +9
Feats: Alertness, Run, Track
Environment: Warm Plains
Organization: Solitary or in packs (3-8)
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
Advancement: 9-12 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: —

Phorusrhacoids are a group of bipedal carnivorous birds that range in height in from 3'-10'.
This entry focuses on a 10' tall species and also the domesticated breed used by gold lizardfolk. They have a long neck that is roughly 1/3 it's height.
Commonly called the terror birds, titanis walleri is the dominant predator in the territory it occupies.
They can reach speeds of 40 mph.

When they spot their prey they charge it. They then use their beaks to pick their prey up and slam them against the ground until dead. It then tries to swallow the prey whole. If it can't do this they use their beak to tear flesh from the corpse. Terror birds usually hunt in packs, but it's not rare to find one hunting alone.

Sprint (Ex)
Once per hour, a terror bird can move at 400 ft. when it makes a charge.

Improved Grab (Ex)
To use this ability, a Terror bird must hit a medium or smaller opponent with a bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can use it's slam attack.

Swallow Whole(Ex)
Terror birds rarely swallow their prey while it's still alive unless it's unconscious.
A Terror bird can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of up to two sizes smaller by making a successful grapple check.
The swallowed creature takes 1d6+8 points of bludgeoning damage and 6 points of acid damage per round from the terror bird’s gizzard. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 10 points of damage to the gizzard (AC 12).
A Terror bird's gizzard can hold 2 Small, 8 Tiny, or 32 Diminutive or smaller opponents.

A Terror birds have a +2 racial bonus on Listen, Spot and Survival checks.

Phorusrhacoid (Riding bird)
Large Animal
Hit Dice: 3d8+6(19 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 60 ft. (12 squares)
Armor Class: 13 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +3 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+9
Attack: Bite -2 melee (1d6+1)
Full Attack:Bite -2 melee (1d6+1)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: —
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, Scent
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +2
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 13, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 9
Skills: Jump +4, Listen +5, Spot +6,
Feats: Alertness, Run
Environment: Warm Desert, Mountains, and Plains
Organization: Domesticated
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
Advancement: -
Level Adjustment: —

This species of is commonly used by gold lizardfolk as mounts. Native to the western deserts they have adapted well to their new home on the plains.
They stand roughly 8'-9' feet tall. They are onivorous and eat mostly insects, nuts and fruits.

Riding birds are not usually trained for combat and rarely use its bite attack. Its bite attack is treated as a secondary attack and adds only half the Riding bird Strength bonus to damage.

Carrying Capacity

A light load for a riding bird is up to 200 pounds; a medium load, 201-400 pounds; and a heavy load, 401-600 pounds. A riding bird can drag 3,000 pounds.

Notes: Phorusrhacoids lived in South America from 62-2 million years ago. Here's a little page (http://hoopermuseum.earthsci.carleton.ca//flightless/phorus.htm) on Phorusrhacoids

2005-09-30, 04:31 AM
Blood Weasel
Diminutive Animal
Hit Dice: ¼ d8 (1 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 17 (+4 size, +3 Dex,), touch 17, flat-footed 1
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/-17
Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d2-2)
Full Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d2-2)
Space/Reach:1 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Attach, Blood Drain
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +1
Abilities: Str 1, Dex 17, Con 11, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 10
Skills: Balance +14, Climb +7, Escape Artist +5, Hide +23, Move Silently +8, Spot +3
Feats: Agile
Environment: Warm Plains and forests
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 1/10
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
Advancement: —
Level Adjustment: —

Called the lamprey of the plains, the blood weasel feeds on the blood of larger land animals.
It is usually 6"-12" in length and 1-2" wide. It's snout is long and conelike with barbs near it's mouth for attaching itself to it's host.
Their salva acts as a mild topical anesthetic. They use it to numb the area on their host they plan to attach to. They are skittish and easily frightened and will run from perceived predators, loud noises and fires.

The Blood Weasel mostly avoid humanoids, preffering to attach themselves to large herbivores.
They have been known to sometimes wander into camps and attach to sleeping individuals.

Attach (Ex)
They attempt to attach themsevles to a sleeping host. After they have numbed an intend area, they make a small incision with their teeth, insert their snout and use the barbs as hooks.
The attack causes 1 point of nonleathal damage. An attached weasel loses its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class and has an AC of 14. An attached Blood Weasel can be struck with a weapon or grappled itself. To remove an attached Blood Weasel through grappling, the opponent must achieve a pin against the creature.
Pulling one out results in 1d3 points of damage and is very painful. The best way to remove one is to frighten it.

Blood Drain(Ex)
The amount of blood drained by a Blood Weasel is nominal and causes no damage.

Disease transfer(Ex)
A Blood Weasel can unintentionally transfer blood borne diseases. The chance that a Blood Weasel is carring a disease is 1% in plains and other dry areas and 5% in humid areas(i.e. jungles, swamps).

Blood weasels have a +4 racial bonus on Climb and Move Silently checks and an +8 racial bonus on Balance and Hide
checks. They use their Dexterity modifier for Climb checks. A blood Weasel can always choose to take 10
on a Balance check, even if rushed or threatened.

Blood weasels are someitmes used by wizards as familiars. A wizard with a blood weasel familiar
gains a +3 bonus to hide checks. Shamans have several uses for blood weasel saliva.
When mixed with certain roots it makes a sleeping poiton that renders one unconscious in a sleep-like coma for 2d4 hours.
It can be made into a paralyizing poison often used on darts. Fermented it helps them reach a deep trance state.

2005-09-30, 04:31 AM
Intestine Bird
Medium Animal
Hit Dice: 5D8+10(33 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), fly 60 ft. (good)
Armor Class: 17 (+3 natural, +4 Dex), touch 14, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple:+3/+5
Attack: Tentacle +7 melee touch (strangle)
Full Attack: 4 Tentacles +7 melee touch (strangle) and Bite +2 melee (1d8+2)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, neck snap, strangle
Special Qualities: Blindsense 60 ft.
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +2
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 19, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +16*, Listen +11*, Move Silently +13, Spot +12*
Feats: Improved Grab, Flyby attack, Stealthy, Weapon Finesse
Environment: Warm and temperate plains
Organization: Solitary or pair
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
Advancement: 6-10 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment: —

Intestine Birds are notable for their intestine like tentacles on their underbelly
that are used for strangling prey. Bat-like marsupials,
they are commonly mistaken for birds because of their beak shaped snout.
They have a wingspan of 7 feet, jet black fur, and 4-6 2'foot long tentacles on their underbelly.

Nocturnal, intestine Birds use the cover of darkness to hunt it's prey.
When found it swoops down and uses it's tentacles to grab the prey around the neck. It then flies away while strangling it's prey.
It doesn't feast on it's prey until it has been strangled to death. It usually eats animals,
but may go after small children and halflings if hungry enough. It will wait until they are alone before attacking. They only attack during the day if they feel their mate or nest is threatened.

Blindsense (Ex)
An intestine bird uses echolocation to pinpoint creatures within 60 feet. Opponents still have total concealment against it unless it can actually see them.

Improved Grab (Ex)
To use this ability, an intestine Bird must hit a creature at least one size smaller than itself with its Tentacle attack.
It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.
If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can try to strangle the opponent in the following round.
They can still fly if grappling as long as the weight doesn't exceed it's load limit. It can try to grapple as many opponents as there are available tentacles.

Neck snap(Ex)
If an intestine bird flys away after an inital succesful grapple a neck snap occurs. A neck snap causes 2d4 damage as the neck is suddenly jolted in motion.

After a succesful grapple attack the intestine bird strangles a creature with it's tentacles. A creature can hold it's breath for a number of rounds equal to it's constitution score, but only if it preforms no action aside from move and free actions. A standard action or a full-round action reduces the duration for which you can hold your breath by 1 round. After that period of time, you must make a DC 10 Constitution check every round to continue holding your breath. Each round, the DC for that check increases by 1. If you fail the Constitution check, you begin to suffocate. Because it seizes its victim by the neck, a creature in the intestine bird’s grasp cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components.

Intestine Birds have a +4 racial bonus to move silently checks and a +8 racial bonus to listen and Spot checks. Listen and spot bonuses are lost if its blindsense is negated. They also have a +10 racial bonus on Hide checks made at night. At night they can move at normal speed and charge without a penalty to hide. Full-moonlight causes a -5 penalty to hide checks.

Carrying Capacity
A light load for an intestine bird is up to 58 pounds; a medium load, 59-116 pounds; and a heavy load, 117-175 pounds.

A few Intestine birds have adapted to life in cities. They usually reside in poorer districts of the city where it is easier for them to find food and go unnoticed. They mostly eat strays and rats, but occasionally go after lone individuals walking the streets late at night.

2005-09-30, 04:35 AM
Gold Lizardfolk, 1st-Level Warrior
Medium Humanoid (Reptilian)
Hit Dice: 1d8(4 hp)
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (+2 natural, +2 Leather), touch 10, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+2
Attack:Bolas +2 ranged (1d4/19-20) or Sword, short +2 Melee (1d6/19-20)
Full Attack:Bolas +2 ranged (1d4/19-20) or Sword, short +2 Melee (1d6/19-20)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: —
Special Qualities: —
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +0, Will -1
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 10, Con 11, Int 12, Wis 9, Cha 8
Skills: Climb +2, Balance +2, Handle Animal +3, Jump +5, Knowledge (nature) +3, Ride +5, Use Rope +1
Feats: Mounted Combat
Environment: Warm Desert, Mountains, and Plains
Organization: Ranchers (4-16 warriors), or community (100-500 30% noncombatants)
Challenge Rating: 1/2
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Often Neutral
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +0

Gold lizardfolk, cousins of the common lizardfolk, stand 5-6' and weigh 150-200 lbs., they have a small narrow tail 1' long. Their scales ranges from gold to dark yellow. They adapted to life in dry climes instead of wet ones. Though they aren't as strong or sturdy as lizardfolk, they don't have suffer a penalty to intelligence. They are curious and show a strong desire in learning. Gold Lizardfolk of the plains have a culture similar to the Gaucho of Argentina.

Gold lizardfolk prefer to disable an opponent using bolas instead of using direct combat. They are not violent and try to seek combat methods that avoid killing when posible.

Gold lizardfolk have a +2 racial bonus on balance checks because of their tail. They have a +1 racial bouns to Climb checks and a +2 racia/cultural bonus on a select field of Knowledge. They also have a +1 Cultural bonus on Ride and Use Rope checks.

Gold Lizardfolk As Characters
Gold Lizardfolk characters possess the following racial traits.

Medium size.
+2 Balance
+1 Climb
+1 Knowledge(pc choice)
+2 Natural armor bonus
Heavy Armor Proficiency penalty: The Heavy Armor Proficiency feat is needed to wear heavy armor regardless of class. Gold lizardfolk find heavy armor uncomfortable and need a feat to wear it properly.
Automatic Languages: Aurum
Bonus Languages:Common, Draconic, Aranean, Dakon
Favored Class: Ranger or Rogue. PC must pick one at the first level, it cannot be change later. Warm plains Lizardfolk can use the Rogue Variant: Wilderness Rogue (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#rogueVariantWilderness Rogue)
Level adjustment +0

Warm Plains Gold Lizardfolk characters possess the following Cultural traits.
+1 Ride
+1 Use Rope
Weapon Familiarity: Gold Lizardfolk may treat the Whip and Bolas as simple weapons, rather than exotic weapons.
Illiteracy: Gold Lizardfolk of the plains lack a written language. They can spend 2 skill points to learn a written language of another language they speak. Wizards use quipu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quipu) to store spells.
+1 Knowledge(pc choice)

2005-09-30, 04:37 AM
Illusion Spider
Small Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 5d10+10(37 hp)
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 17(+1 size, +4 dex, +2 natural), touch 1, flat-footed 1
Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+2
Attack: Bite +10 melee (2d4+1 plus poison)
Full Attack: Bite +10 melee (2d4d+1 plus poison)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Poison
Special Qualities: Blur, illusory self, tremorsense 60 ft., web
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +3
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 19, Con 14, Int 4, Wis 15, Cha 17
Skills:Hide +7, Jump +6, Listen +13, Move Silently +5, Spot +14
Feats:Alertness, Weapon Finesse
Environment: Warm Plains
Organization: Solitary, pack (3-6), colony (9-12)
Challenge Rating: 4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
Advancement:6-8 HD (Small); 9-12 HD (Medium); 13-15 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment: —

A semi-inteligent spider 2-3' in length that uses illusions to disguise itself and catch prey. In recent years these creatures have gone from animal inteligence to semi-inteligence. The reason for this is debated, some believe it's a natural part of the creature's evolution, others say the creatures are being manipulated(e.g. wizards messing with forces of nature).
They live in burrows, small colonies whose tunnels run 30'-50' and are 4'-5' wide, with a central chamber for egg nests and food storage with at least one opening per spider. Prey is often dragged here before being killed and eaten. They have slow metabolisms, a medium sized creature can feed a colony for a week.

Illusion spiders hunt by disguising themselves with illusory self to attract unsupecting prey. Since they have become more inteligent their tatics have changed. Where they used to be solitary hunters, they now also hunt in packs luring prey into an ambush. When their prey get close enough they cease their illusion, using suprise they try to bite and paralyze the prey with their poison. If successful they wrap it up with their web fiber and drag it back to the colony.

Illusory Self (Su)
This abillity is similar to the spell major image except it surrounds the spider and can't be moved. They can hold the form for as long as they concentrate on it. The spider creates an illusion that it thinks it's prey will be lured to. For instance it usually takes the form of a bush or shrub and waits for an antelope to try to eat it. If trying to attack humandoids, one spider takes on a similar form appears to be in distress. It can only make simple cries(i.e. "help me"!) and not complex phrases. The other spiders wait, disguised nearby forming a circle around the "distresed" spider. The spiders attack when help reaches the center spider.
A will save against a DC 20 is needed to see through an illusion of a natural object like a shrub or bush, +5 ranks in either knowledge (nature) or Survival nets a +2 bonus to the saving throw. Humaniod illisions are easier to see through and only require will save against a DC of 15.

Poison (Ex)
An Illusion Spider has a poisonous bite. The save against the poison is fortiude vs. a DC of 14. If the saving throw fails the opponent is paralyzed for 1d4+2 hours, secondary damage is 1d3 strength damage.

Blur (Su)
When an illusion spider feels threatened it uses blur as a defense while tring to escape.As per the 2nd level Sorcerer/Wizard spell the illusion spider gains a 20% to miss chance. A will save against a DC 15 is needed to see through the illusion.

Tremorsense (Ex)
An illusion spider can detect and pinpoint any creature or object within 60 feet in contact with the ground.

Web (Ex)
Illusion spiders use webs to bind their prey. A strength check against a DC of 20 is needed to break free.

Illusion spiders have a +4 racial bonus on jump checks and +8 racial bonus on listen and spot checks.

2006-09-12, 07:14 PM
Hmm. An interesting assemblage of monsters! For MitP purposes, here are my comments:

Phorusrhacoid (Terror Bird):
-Swallow Hole should not allow a Large creature to swallow a Medium creature whole, usually. I could see a big python managing it, but not a bird. Refer to the size guidelines in the DMG. Remember, a human is Medium sized, a halfling is Small, and a cat is Tiny, if you need some guidelines. I suggest Small or Tiny. I think that's implied by your source, too.
-The speed seems off. A Cheetah's normal move is 50', with Sprint giving it ten times that on a charge... but cheetahs are the fastest in the world, they're quadripedal, and they're pretty small. I think your Large animal might have a base move of 60' possibly, but probably not 400 feet on a charge (normally they would charge 120'). This is just a guess... the article you reference claims a top speed of 60km/hour, whereas cheetahs are supposedly capable of 112 km/hr. Based on that, I'd give them about 220' for charge (a bit less than half that of a cheetah).
-Survival skil is normally not for things with Animal intelligence. Note that not even a Camel gets it. Check out the tasks listed in the skill description: some of them assume an intelligent actor, such as providing food and water to other people, predicting the weather, and so on.
-They sure look like they should have a kick or talon-based attack, too. Your choice on that one.

Pending adjustments, I'll still give a
Phorusrhacoid (Terror Bird): MitP Vote: Yes.

Phorusrhacoid (Riding bird):
-maybe a kick or talon-based attack, instead of the bite? Otherwise, it looks fine to me.
Phorusrhacoid (Riding bird): MitP Vote: Yes

Blood weasel:
-seems like it should do more than just 1 nonlethal damage, and no ongoing harm, to have a weasel attached to you and drinking your blood. I'd suggest an ongoing penalty to CON, if you don't want to do bleeding hitpoint drain.
Blood weasel MitP Vote: Yes

Intestine bird:
Awesome. Love it. These guys are scary and gross. Although they have flight and a good grappling attack, they lack defense - I'm not sure they'll do well as CR3. A 3rd-level party equipped with ranged attacks or (especially) offensive magic will probably make mincemeat of them. Maybe CR2?
Intestine bird MitP Vote: Yes

Gold Lizardfolk
Another very good entry. Nitpick:
-you say +2 Knowledge under Skills, but in the 'as characters' list it's +1. You also list +1 knowledge under racial traits. Is this intentional? It seems odd.
-Even at LA +0, they seem maybe slightly weak: basically, some skill bonuses and a couple of racial weapons, but also an armor restriction and illiteracy (which is also odd, because literacy is generally set by character class - so barbarian gold lizardfolk will be illiterate (but would be anyway) and all other classes grant literacy for free. Only unclassed gold lizardfolk are illiterate, so, why put it in the 'as characters' section?) I think they need some kind of interesting racial ability to help boost them, even at LA +0.
Gold Lizardfolk: MitP Vote: Yes

Illusion spider:
-touch and flat-footed ACs are wrong?
-Illusory self: indicate the basis for the saves. Since this is a (su) rather than a (sp), it's not a caster-level basis. CHA base? need to do the math here to check on DCs. Alternatively, just give it one of the illusion spells at will as a (sp), and use those rules for DCs (give it an effective caster level and choose INT or CHA as the base).
-Same thing with Blur
-Web: under what conditions may it be used? How long to make and use a web? It seems like you don't intend this to be a combat ability. If so, make that explicit (e.g., make it take 10 minutes to bind someone with webbing or something).
-The INT 4 is not 'semi-intelligent' - it's as smart as something like 5% of the total human population. (There are as many INT 3-4 humans as there are INT 17-18 humans.) INT 4 creatures are capable of language and culture. I see what you're trying to do, but, remember: even great apes have an INT of 2 in D&D. Maybe leave them their 4 INT, and throw in a rudimentary language, tool-making abilities, and some cultural content?
Illusion Spider: MitP Vote: Yes

Well done Rimx!