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    Default [Creature] Knock on wood...

    Burl Noggin

    Medium Fey (augmented humanoid)
    Hit Dice: 9d6+45 (76 hp)
    Initiative: +0
    Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares)
    Armor Class: 23 (+5 enhancement, +8 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 23
    Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+13
    Attack: Head Butt +14 melee (3d6+13)
    Full Attack: Head Butt +14 melee (3d6+13)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks: Awesome blow
    Special Qualities: Blindsight 120 ft., improved woodland stride, merge with wood, plant traits, resistance to cold and electricity 10, trackless step, wood whisper
    Saves: Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +7
    Abilities: Str 28, Dex 10, Con 21, Int 5, Wis 12, Cha 6
    Skills: Balance +7, Climb +21, Jump +60, Knowledge (nature) +9, Survival +7
    Feats: Brachiation(B), Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (head butt)
    Environment: Any forest
    Organization: Solitary
    Challenge Rating: 8
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Always neutral
    Advancement: 10-18 HD (Medium)
    Level Adjustment: -

    A burl noggin appears as a burly human except that instead of a head a large woody protrubance has grown in its place. Twisted, living branches of wood extends from where the base of the skull would be and grows along the spine and down the arms and legs.

    Burl noggins were once great enemies of fey kind, such that instead of being merely killed they were taken to the plane of Faerie itself for trying. Once found guilty their heads were fed into the great bole of a tree whoes trunk sprouts hundreds of still-living heads of other horrible criminals. The tree merges with the body and keeps it alive as it begins to grow a gnarled burl where the head once was. The criminal's head then sprouts nearby to watch the process.

    After a number of months the burl has grown larger than the original head and detaches from the tree. The fey peoples now have a great ally and warrior completely devoted to their cause.

    A burl noggin understands sylvan but cannot speak.

    Combat
    Burl noggins tend to watch strangers to the woods warily, though acting otherwise if so directed by its fey masters. If the being seeks not to harm the woods the burl noggin remains quiescent but ever watchful. Behavior to the contrary is dealt with swiftly as the burl noggin leaps down from its viewpoint in the branches and charges head down to crush its victim against the trunk of a tree.

    Awesome Blow (Ex): When a burl noggin uses its head butt attack it can send its opponents flying as if it had the Awesome Blow feat.

    Faerie Spawned (Ex): Fey creatures gain a +4 bonus on charisma-based checks when interacting with a burl noggin. Burl noggins also will obey implicitly any directive given them by fey creatures involved in its creation or those they direct it to obey. A burl noggin will never attack fey creatures unless directed so by its masters. In turn fey instinctively sense a burl noggin's devotion to their welfare.

    Improved Woodland Stride (Ex):
    A burl noggin may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at its normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. This ability even works within thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion.

    Merge With Wood (Su): A burl noggin may merge with living wood as a standard action as the Meld Into Stone spell for as long as it wishes, its head remaining on the side of the tree as if it had grown there.

    Strength of Branch and Root (Su): A burl noggin's strength is drawn from that of the forest. While in wooded terrain a burl noggin gains a +40 enhancement bonus to jump checks. As well it may climb up living objects such as trees and vines at its land speed as the Spider Climb spell. If removed from the forest a burl noggin's strength score is reduced to 12 and loses its bonus to jump checks, though it may still climb.

    Trackless Step (Ex): A burl noggin leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. It may choose to leave a trail if so desired.

    Wood Whisper (Su): Though a burl noggin possesses no eyes it can see as far a normal person in wooded terrain by sensing the subtle changes of the forest around it. A burl noggin may use Speak With Plants and Whispering Wind at will, with the latter having no set range besides the borders of the woods it occupies.

    Skills: A burl noggin gains a +6 racial bonus on balance and survival checks.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Scorpina's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Creature] Knock on wood...

    In the description where you say 'accept that instead of a head...' it should be 'except'.

    Rules wise, superb as always.
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    Abd al-Azrad's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Creature] Knock on wood...

    Wow... that's a really powerful fighter. It's very hard to make Fey into good fighters, what with their pathetic HD and BA. I'm somewhat impressed.

    I'm not sure it really fits a CR 9 monster, however. 24 average damage a round is pretty good, but with no (a) ranged abilities or (b) magical defenses, and with relatively few HP, it seems that it would be a real toss-up as to whether it would present much of a threat to a mid-level party.

    Granted, its mobility is freakin' impressive. 50ft. speed, brachiation, ridiculous Jumping AND woodland stride. It would be a very good skirmisher, but I wouldn't want it to stay in melee more than two rounds if I was controlling it. They've got a fantastic opening in a fight, but not much staying power.

    Questions of flavour: they have what appears to be a permanent Barkskin, ridiculous Strength, Awesome Blow as a bonus feat it cannot qualify for, and a +40 enhancement bonus to Jump checks. In the latter of these, a hint is made that it draws its prodigious strength from the woods. Could this indicate a weakness when it is removed from the natural world? I would almost expect all of these apparent magical enhancements could be lost if it leaves the woods.
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    Default Re: [Creature] Knock on wood...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpina
    In the description where you say 'accept that instead of a head...' it should be 'except'.
    Whoops, adjusted.

    I'm not sure it really fits a CR 9 monster, however. 24 average damage a round is pretty good, but with no (a) ranged abilities or (b) magical defenses, and with relatively few HP, it seems that it would be a real toss-up as to whether it would present much of a threat to a mid-level party.
    Well, recall, 24 average, plus 1d6 if it gets slammed into a tree (and is thus rendered prone). But yeah, perhaps not a proper CR 9.

    Then again, looking at other CR 9's from the Monster Manual it might not be that bad. Perhaps a CR 8.


    In the latter of these, a hint is made that it draws its prodigious strength from the woods. Could this indicate a weakness when it is removed from the natural world? I would almost expect all of these apparent magical enhancements could be lost if it leaves the woods.
    " If removed from the forest a burl noggin's strength score is reduced to 12 and loses its bonus to jump checks, though it may still climb."


    What about Tree Stride, Transport Via Plants, or Tree Shape as spell-like abilities?
    Well, was trying to keep it from actually having spells, but its Meld With Wood ability is at least as good as Tree Shape.

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    Abd al-Azrad's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Creature] Knock on wood...

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble
    Perhaps a CR 8.
    It's a tough call. It would be very vicious on the offensive. I just don't think it's got much for defenses beyond a passable AC.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble
    " If removed from the forest a burl noggin's strength score is reduced to 12 and loses its bonus to jump checks, though it may still climb."
    I knew that was somewhere in there. I just didn't read it properly. My mistake.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophismata View Post
    You are a bad, bad man, Abd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    'Psionics' is just tapping into the core of magic within yourself, whereas the mumbo-jumbo dancing, gibbering, and flinging around esoteric material components is like trying to paint-by-numbers when the guy next to you is rendering works from Picasso by memory alone.

    Abd's contribution to the Animate/End A World project.

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    Fax Celestis's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Creature] Knock on wood...

    Quote Originally Posted by Abd al-Azrad
    I'm not sure it really fits a CR 9 monster, however. 24 average damage a round is pretty good, but with no (a) ranged abilities or (b) magical defenses, and with relatively few HP, it seems that it would be a real toss-up as to whether it would present much of a threat to a mid-level party.

    Granted, its mobility is freakin' impressive. 50ft. speed, brachiation, ridiculous Jumping AND woodland stride. It would be a very good skirmisher, but I wouldn't want it to stay in melee more than two rounds if I was controlling it. They've got a fantastic opening in a fight, but not much staying power.
    Without Spring Attack, it's going to have to stay in melee. CR 8.

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    Default Re: [Creature] Knock on wood...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax_Celestis
    Without Spring Attack, it's going to have to stay in melee. CR 8.
    Well, no, it won't. Its Awesome Blow ability allows it to exit melee with a successful hit. I would play it something like, wait in the trees, leap attack charge with Awesome Blow when the party approaches, then after they act (and likely someone charges back into melee) Awesome Blow and retreat. As I said, two rounds. If it stays still, it's a goner, however.
    That is not dead which can eternal lie
    And with strange aeons even death may die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophismata View Post
    You are a bad, bad man, Abd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    'Psionics' is just tapping into the core of magic within yourself, whereas the mumbo-jumbo dancing, gibbering, and flinging around esoteric material components is like trying to paint-by-numbers when the guy next to you is rendering works from Picasso by memory alone.

    Abd's contribution to the Animate/End A World project.

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    Default Re: [Creature] Knock on wood...

    Ooh, didn't think about that. Difference is, though, that Awesome Blow only affects one person, while Spring Attack would effectively remove the Burl Noggin from battle. Depends on quantity/quality of opposition, in that case.

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    Default Re: [Creature] Knock on wood...

    Any chance of a LA +X (cohort)? You see, I've got this pixie... ;D

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    Default Re: [Creature] Knock on wood...

    Quote Originally Posted by ghost_warlock
    Any chance of a LA +X (cohort)? You see, I've got this pixie... ;D
    Can you even get fey cohorts?

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    Default Re: [Creature] Knock on wood...

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble
    Can you even get fey cohorts?
    maybe he is a pixie? I don't see why you can't have a fey cohort... anyway, I think this as a cohort would be over powering, unless you were at very high levels...

    nice creature, BTW.
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    Default Re: [Creature] Knock on wood...

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble
    Can you even get fey cohorts?
    *shrug* For a pixie, I don't see why it wouldn't attract other fey for cohorts. A human PC can attract a worg (magical beast) so why not?

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    Default Re: [Creature] Knock on wood...

    I'm not that good with LAing creatures that aren't meant to be player characters, but I'd say at least a +5.

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