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    Default Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Here is an older critter I created on WotC's site a while back and never ported over here. Updated as of today.

    Bullet Ant Swarm
    Size/Type: Fine Vermin (Swarm)
    Hit Dice: 3d8 (13 hp)
    Initiative: +0
    Speed: 20 ft.
    Armor Class: 19 (+8 size +1 Dex), touch 19, flat-footed 18
    Base Attack/Grapple: +2/—
    Attack: Swarm (2d4 plus poison)
    Full Attack: Swarm (2d4 plus poison)
    Space/Reach: 10 ft./0 ft.
    Special Attacks: Poison, Powerful Stinger, Distraction
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 feet, Immune to Weapon Damage, Odor, Swarm Traits
    Saves: Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +0
    Abilities: Str 1, Dex 12, Con 10, Int — , Wis 10, Cha 10
    Skills:
    Feats:
    Environment: Jungle
    Organization: Solitary, Nest (2-3 swarms), Colony (4-6 swarms)
    Challenge Rating: 2
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Always neutral
    Advancement:
    Level Adjustment:

    Bullet ants inhabit humid lowland rainforests. Workers look like stout, reddish-black, wingless wasps. Notably, bullet ants have have a powerful and potent stinger which is the most debilitating of any insect. A sting from a single bullet ant is extremely painful but does but does no physical damage. In large numbers, however, the sting has the potential to be quite lethal. Furthermore, they release a musky odor when they are threatened.

    Distraction (Ex): Any living creature that begins its turn with a bullet ant swarm in its space must succeed on a DC 11 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

    Odor (Ex): Bullet ants give off a musky odor when they are threatened. A creature with the scent ability can detect a bullet ant swarm at double the normal range, i.e. within 60 feet. If the opponent is upwind, the range is 120 feet. If it is downwind, the range is 30 feet.

    Poison (Ex): The poison in the bullet ant's stinger causes intense pain. Any creature stung by a bullet ant must make a Fort Save (DC 11) or be sickened for 2d12 hours. A sickened creature takes a -2 penalty on all attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks. The save DC is Constitution based.

    A creature that makes its save is not immune to being further sickened. If a creature is required to make additional saves, the DC increases by 1 for each attack. However, the sickening effects are not cumulative so that a creature may fail multiple saves but is still only affected for 2d12 hours from the time of the last failed save.

    Creatures that are immune to poison such as Undead and Constructs are immune to being sickened but still take the physical damage if stung.

    Powerful Stinger (Ex): A bullet ant has a powerful and potent stinger. A successful hit from the collective stingers of a bullet ant swarm deals 2d4 points of damage instead of the usual 1d6 points of damage.

    Swarm Traits: A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernable anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking. A swarm made up of Tiny creatures takes half damage from slashing and piercing weapons. A swarm composed of Fine or Diminutive creatures is immune to all weapon damage. Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points or lower causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack. Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage. Also, they cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed, and they cannot grapple an opponent.

    A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects) if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind. A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells.

    Swarms made up of Diminutive or Fine creatures are susceptible to high winds such as that created by a gust of wind spell. For purposes of determining the effects of wind on a swarm, treat the swarm as a creature of the same size as its constituent creatures. A swarm rendered unconscious by means of nonlethal damage becomes disorganized and dispersed, and does not reform until its hit points exceed its nonlethal damage.

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    Last edited by Debihuman; 2013-09-27 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Updated
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    That poison should be way more potent.

    I mean, I'd call it something like nauseated or stunned for 8d6 hours.

    Way overpowered, of course.
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    That poison should be way more potent.

    I mean, I'd call it something like nauseated or stunned for 8d6 hours.

    Way overpowered, of course.
    I updated to 2d12 hours as the pain can last for 24 hours (8d6 is too long). Being sickened is more appropriate than either being nauseated or stunned, as distraction already gives the nauseated condition. Giving the same condition twice doesn't seem right. The text has been corrected as well.

    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2013-09-25 at 10:17 AM.
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    So... as a paliden I am immune to poison. How am I being damaged by it again? Hell, how am I sickened by it? I would suggest that poison immunity reduces the damage to 1d6 and negates the sickened condition.
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by bobthe6th View Post
    So... as a paliden I am immune to poison. How am I being damaged by it again? Hell, how am I sickened by it? I would suggest that poison immunity reduces the damage to 1d6 and negates the sickened condition.
    Paladins aren't immune to poison. Did you mean monks?

    I think bullet ant stingers here are assumed to be physically more powerful, so the damage should be the same (you're actually getting stung, not just contact poisoned), but the sickness should be a poison effect, yes.
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Monks don't gain immunity to poison until 11th level and this is CR 2.

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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Organization: nest
    How many of these swarms is in a "nest". Usually this line would say something like

    Nest (1), Large nest (2), Super nest (3-4)
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Oh for... Ok, monk, or undead, or a golem, or... anything really. I summon a human skeliton using summon undead 1, and it enters the swarm. So the ants... sting it to death? And it is staggered by the effects of the toxin on its... bones?
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by inuyasha View Post
    How many of these swarms is in a "nest". Usually this line would say something like

    Nest (1), Large nest (2), Super nest (3-4)
    More like

    Small Colony (1), Queen's Migration (2-3), Large Colony (4-6)

    -----

    Giant Bullet Ants (CR +1)


    Odor (Ex):
    A giant bullet ant give off a musky odor when they are threatened. A creature with the scent ability can detect a bullet ant at double the normal range, i.e. within 60 feet. If the opponent is upwind, the range is 120 feet. If it is downwind, the range is 30 feet.

    Powerful Stinger (Ex):
    A giant bullet ant (any variety) has a powerful and potent stinger. A successful hit from the stinger of a bullet ant deals 1d8+1 points of piercing damage plus 1d6 acid (or 2d6+1 piercing and 1d6 acid if its a giant bullet ant soldier). However, the the pain from the stinger is intense. Any creature stung by a bullet ant must make a Fort Save (DC 11 if worker, DC 12 if soldier, DC 13 if queen) or be sickened for 2d12 hours. The save DC is Constitution based.

    A creature that makes its save is not immune to being further sickened. If a creature is required to make additional saves, the DC increases by 1 for each attack. The sickening effects are not cumulative so that a creature may fail multiple saves but is still only affected for 2d12 hours from the time of the last failed save.
    Last edited by LordErebus12; 2013-09-26 at 10:49 AM.
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by bobthe6th View Post
    Oh for... Ok, monk, or undead, or a golem, or... anything really. I summon a human skeliton using summon undead 1, and it enters the swarm. So the ants... sting it to death? And it is staggered by the effects of the toxin on its... bones?
    There is no poison. The sting causes physical damage and the sickened condition due to extreme pain. Creatures that don't feel pain, such as undead and constructs ignore the sickened condition. Monks take damage normally since the sickened condition isn't caused by poison. If I had wanted poison, it would say poison.

    Fixed Organization as well.

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    Last edited by Debihuman; 2013-09-26 at 12:53 PM.
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either. Note I generally only critique 3.5 and Pathfinder material.
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    This is extremely cool, I'm wishing I'd thought of it.

    Please note, however, that actual bullet ants do inject a venom, named poneratoxin, which is a potent neurotoxin. Note that paralysis of the affected limb is a frequent side effect and multiple stings can cause death.

    Granted, you've said you don't want this to be a poison-based effect; any particular reason for that?

    Either way, they're pretty vicious creatures. I've had a bull ant jump on the back of my neck, which caused a little concern, but fortunately I never ran into the balas. Some people say they're called bullet ants because that's what the sting feels like. I say that's what it takes to stop one.


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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    This is extremely cool, I'm wishing I'd thought of it.
    Thanks.

    Please note, however, that actual bullet ants do inject a venom, named poneratoxin, which is a potent neurotoxin. Note that paralysis of the affected limb is a frequent side effect and multiple stings can cause death.
    Interesting. I still think saves vs. paralysis are too tough for CR 2 and any save vs. death is right out.

    Granted, you've said you don't want this to be a poison-based effect; any particular reason for that?
    At 2nd level, they probably can't afford anti-toxin and most poisons are too harsh for CR 2. Multiple ability damage losses could quickly lead to death for the PCs. I want to hurt them not kill them :-)

    I can drag out the suffering (and make them roll lots of saves) but the outcome doesn't equate to damage loss, it just takes longer to wear off. This is good for timing. I want to soften them up with these and if they're too wounded, they won't be able to handle the next encounter.

    Either way, they're pretty vicious creatures. I've had a bull ant jump on the back of my neck, which caused a little concern, but fortunately I never ran into the balas. Some people say they're called bullet ants because that's what the sting feels like. I say that's what it takes to stop one.
    I'm just glad I never met these for real. I'd be more than a "little" concerned.

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    Last edited by Debihuman; 2013-09-26 at 06:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by bobthe6th View Post
    Oh for... Ok, monk, or undead, or a golem, or... anything really. I summon a human skeliton using summon undead 1, and it enters the swarm. So the ants... sting it to death? And it is staggered by the effects of the toxin on its... bones?
    Undead and constructs are immune to the sickening, because it requires a Fort save. (As Debi noted in the entry, but it would be true even without that.)

    I can't tell what damage type a swarm attack is, but if you really think it's horrible for spider or scorpion or bullet ant swarms to be able to damage skeletons, just consider it piercing damage and there you go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    At 2nd level, they probably can't afford anti-toxin and most poisons are too harsh for CR 2. Multiple ability damage losses could quickly lead to death for the PCs. I want to hurt them not kill them :-)
    Poison doesn't have to mean ability score damage (for example, drow sleep poison). In this case, it would be logical for the poison to simply cause sickening, so just mark the sickening effect as poison, and bob's your uncle. (So to speak.)
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Swarm damage is in the SRD:

    Swarm Attack
    Creatures with the swarm subtype don’t make standard melee attacks. Instead, they deal automatic damage to any creature whose space they occupy at the end of their move, with no attack roll needed. Swarm attacks are not subject to a miss chance for concealment or cover. A swarm’s statistics block has “swarm” in the Attack and Full Attack entries, with no attack bonus given. The amount of damage a swarm deals is based on its Hit Dice, as shown in the table.

    A swarm’s attacks are nonmagical, unless the swarm’s description states otherwise. Damage reduction sufficient to reduce a swarm attack’s damage to 0, being incorporeal, and other special abilities usually give a creature immunity (or at least resistance) to damage from a swarm. Some swarms also have acid, poison, blood drain, or other special attacks in addition to normal damage.

    Swarms do not threaten creatures in their square, and do not make attacks of opportunity with their swarm attack. However, they distract foes whose squares they occupy, as described below.
    I still think the sickening effect is a result of the sting simply being that painful but not related to poison.

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    Last edited by Debihuman; 2013-09-26 at 08:39 PM.
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either. Note I generally only critique 3.5 and Pathfinder material.
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Originally Posted by Debihuman
    I still think the sickening effect is a result of the sting simply being that painful but not related to poison.
    Well, your critter, of course; but you could model it on the Tiny centipedes in the SRD, which have a poison attack with a DC 10 Fort save and 1 point of Dex damage. Maybe you could modify that for the swarm? Even first-level characters should be able to handle a DC 10 Fort save without too much trouble.



    Originally Posted by Debihuman
    I'm just glad I never met these for real. I'd be more than a "little" concerned.
    By "a little concern" I mean "grabbing the back of my neck and whipping my hand away faster than I ever thought possible," quickly followed by "getting the @#%$&!! away from their &%#$@!!in' bullhorn acacias already!"

    These were Pseudomyrmex, so not quite as ferocious as the balas, but still incredibly aggressive in defending their symbiote homes. The ant jumped on me from an overhanging branch, and they don't just go after large mammals--they methodically destroy every last sapling and vine anywhere around the acacia trees, to remove all possible competition. The soil around that patch of acacias was as bare and sterile as if you'd taken a flamethrower to the earth.

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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Swarm damage is in the SRD:
    Well, swarm attack, but yes (I already looked it up and it was not clear enough). It's subject to DR in theory, which would certainly include /magic, /epic, /adamantine, /good, etc, but might or might not include /bludgeoning, /slashing, or /piercing, which is the question I had.

    I still think the sickening effect is a result of the sting simply being that painful but not related to poison.
    As far as I know, actual bullet ants' stings are painful almost entirely because of the poison, which is primarily a neurotoxin. Here's some pages that back that up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    It does seem the pain is caused by poison as you've pointed out, so despite my sutubbornness on this I concede. See updated bullet ant and please let me know what you think.

    I still tried to keep the poison within a reasonable range.

    I added the final bits: swarm traits and immunity to weapon damage (which is part of their swarm traits). Should be complete now.

    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2013-09-27 at 11:56 AM.
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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Vicious. I like it, especially the flavorful odor ability. The stronger poison is nice too. And I don't see a single error. Good show

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    Default Re: Bullet Ant Swarm (3.5) PEACH

    Looks great, nothing more to add really.
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
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