Re: [Creature] Forget the giant rats...
Quills (Ex): A porcupine's needle-sharp quills deal 1d4 piercingdamage to any creature that successfully hits it with an unarmed attack grabs it or starts its turn grappled with it
Strength bonuses that the aggressor applied to its attack against the porcupine are also added to the damage. Damage taken from porcupine quills heal at half the normal rate unless removed with a DC 16 heal check. Creatures with natural armor of +5 or more take only half damage from a porcupine's quills.
The grappling just makes the most sense and that is how spikes work as well.
Hitting harder a needle doesn't mean you will deal more damage to your self.
You are thinking "pierce you skin with the quills, but still hit the porcupine". So, if you have a +10 strength you will hit it harder. If you have a -5 strength you hit it softly. In both cases you have pierced your skin with the same needles. The -5 might actually mean you did it slower and it was more painful. Practically, hitting it harder is your best choice because of that.
Also, if you are wearing a full-plate or simply some gloves, your attack is still unarmed, but practically you wouldn't be dealt damage at all. So the +5 natural armor "shield" doesn't make that much sense. Don't go into that much details, because you would also have to think WHERE the natural armor is (maybe it is not on your palms that you are using to hit it with).
Furthermore, mechanic-wise spikes don't work that way. Because you don't want the super-strong-leveled-up Barbarian punching a porcupine and being dealt 1d4+40 damage. And the super-weak-noob Wizard punching it and being deal 1d4 damage. Makes no sense.
You also don't want this Master Monk that can pass a Golem's iron skin without feeling pain with simply a high Basic Attack (high skill) being dealt a lot of damage from some porcupine's needles.
What you could do is have this:
Quills (EX): ... If you miss the porcupine you are dealt 1d4 piercing damage.
Now that can you can simulate more nicely. You hit it but couldn't by pass its needles. You are thus dealt damage from them. This works well for a weak person trying to kick them or punch them. If he manages to do it right, good. Otherwise, too bad.
If you are just strong enough to deal damage by choosing to hit the needles you can add that possibility as well. Typically if you score [AC-your STR] you hit it but are dealt damage.
You can add +STR damage on this occasion and/or if you miss.
To simplify I would finally combine everything and have simply this:
Quills (Ex): A porcupine's needle-sharp quills deal 1d4 piercing damage to any creature that attacks it (hits or miss) with an unarmed attack, grabs it or starts its turn grappled with it. Damage taken from porcupine quills heal at half the normal rate unless removed with a DC 16 heal check.
I hadn't mention why I crossed out the Natural Armor part. Well, because you have two problems
a) If you have non-natural armor, like a full-plate with iron gloves, it is even better.
b) Natural armors are not full-body armors necessarily. A porcupine biting another porcupine won't have any protection, its +5 NA comes mostly from its needles.
To solve this you can just phrase what is logical true. That you get the damage if you physically touch it. To simplify, if you have a +5 NA or more (no matter where) you are dealt half damage. If you are wearing gloves or boots with hardness of +X or more, you are dealt no damage.
I have to add also that you might want to add the occasion of stepping on it, to have it like a trap in a dark room. You won't be attacking or grappling with it, so you won't be dealt damage. You should add this as well.
Now I would FINALIZE quills like
Quills (Ex): A porcupine's needle-sharp quills deal 1d4 piercing damage to any creature grabs it or starts its turn grappled with it. If you physically touch it you are dealt 1d4 piercing damage** plus 1d4 additional piercing damage if it involved using an unarmed attack against it. Damage taken from porcupine quills heal at half the normal rate unless removed with a DC 16 heal check.
Porcupine gets an additional + 5 natural bonus against unarmed or natural attacks.
Porcupines gain a +4 racial bonus to avoid being grappled.
**To determine if you physically touch it (like punch it while wearing an iron glove or stepping on it) assume that the needles can by-pass armor up to +4 armor bonus or/and that the damage is subject to Hardness and DR (so the iron glove would reduce the damage by its hardness maybe your boots as well).
Now, you add a +5 armor bonus to simulate even better the quills against unarmed damage. It is simply harder to hit it. If you hit it with your bare hands you will be dealt damage since you physically touched it.
It you miss, but you would hit its Touch AC, then leave it up to the DM or for any other details of touching it.
Finally, if you use an unarmed attack against it (and you actually touch it) then you are dealt an additional 1d4 damage (still a penalty you wanted)
Include also the original name of the Dire Beaver then in parenthesis after its name, just because it will give it the "based on a true story" marketing bonus
EDIT: Siiiigh. That was waaaay too much things for a porcupine monster reply :( :S
Last edited by Waargh! : 08-19-2010 at 12:03 PM.