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    Lightbulb [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    Scourge Beetle Swarm

    Diminutive Vermin (extraplanar, swarm)
    Hit Dice: 13d8+13 (71 hp)
    Initiative: +1
    Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), burrow 20 feet., climb 20 ft.
    Armor Class: 18 (+1 dex, +3 natural, +4 size), touch 15, flat-footed 17
    Base Attack/Grapple: +9/-
    Attack: Swarm (3d6)
    Full Attack: Swarm (3d6)
    Space/Reach: 10 ft./0 ft.
    Special Attacks: Distraction, famine, scourge
    Special Qualities: Await the unworthy, blindsight 120 ft., darkvision, immunity to weapon damage, swarm traits, tremorsense 60 ft., vermin traits
    Saves: Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +7
    Abilities: Str 1, Dex 13, Con 12, Int -, Wis 16, Cha 1
    Skills: -
    Feats: -
    Environment: Any land or underground
    Organization: Swarm, Scourge (3-6 swarms), Plague (10+ swarms)
    Challenge Rating: 7
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Always neutral
    Advancement: -
    Level Adjustment: -

    Scourge beetles, despite their name, are very unassuming insects that could fit in the palm of your hand. They have a streamlined, dark-brown carapace and no apparent eyes. Despite their strong shell they are very flexible and can curl and bend with ease. They move with great hyperactivity, speeding forward almost as fast as a man and burst into frantic motion over a meal.

    Scourge beetles are sent as a punishment upon entire lands by dark deities to punish unbelievers or those who would thwart them. They quickly devour and multiply until little is left alive. When everything is consumed they then sleep until awakened by the presence of newcomers.

    Combat
    Scourge beetles use their tremorsense to follow creatures from underfoot, pouring out once they reach them to quickly devour every organic scrap.

    Await the Unworthy (Ex): A scourge beetle has such high energy needs that they would starve in 4 days without nourishment. If such would happen they do not die but instead bury underground and go dormant indefinitely. They remain this way until awakened by the approach of potential food.

    Blindsight (Ex): Scourge beetles can “see” by emitting high-frequency sounds, inaudible to most other creatures, that allow them to locate objects and creatures within 120 feet. A silence spell negates this and forces the swarm to rely on its vision, which is approximately half as good as a human’s.

    Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to a scourge beetle's swarm damage that begins its turn with a swarm in its square is nauseated for 1 round; a Fortitude save (DC 17) negates the effect. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check.

    Famine (Ex): Scourge beetles can decimate crops with ease. While moving at their base speed while burrowing they can effectively decimate all non-tree plants in any square they occupy by devouring their root systems. The plant dies 24 hours later.

    Scourge (Ex): Disease-swarm; Fortitude DC 17, incubation period one day, damage 1d6 Constitution. This damage continues every hour as the beetle eggs hatch and begin to gourge and grow. If the victim dies a new swarm of scourge beetles emerges. The save DC is Constitution-based.

    Skills: Scourge beetles have a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks. They can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.
    Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble; 2008-09-12 at 01:22 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    VT, this is really good but I think you miss the mark with the Await the Unworthy. An indefinite fast would be impossible. 13 HD creatures do not warrant immortality. Save that for epic swarms. For this swarm treat it like hibernation for up to six months after which they must forage for food or perish. Besides, beetles can eat wood and dung, stuff that tends to be plentiful. The odds of them having to even use this ability in a standard fantasy campaign is going to be rare unless you unleash them in a hostile environment.

    Here's what I mean:

    Await the Unworthy (Ex): A scourge beetle has such high energy needs that they would starve in 4 days without nourishment. If such would happen, they do not die but instead bury underground and go dormant. They can hibernate for up to six months, but then must forage for food or perish. They are immediately awakened by the approach of potential food.

    Minor complaints aside, I think it's an excellent monster.

    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2008-09-12 at 12:35 PM.

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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    An indefinite fast would be impossible? They've found dormant insects and inside of sealed locations after decades, if not centuries. There is a type of subterranean newt I believe it was that goes years without eating standardly. Some seeds can last literally thousands of years.

    Non-magical life is obviously possible of this kind of thing, and these are sent by deities or their followers specially made for this task. I think it is very possible.

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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    Well if it is good enough for the Elan, it is good enough for these things I guess... just make it (Su) if you think it requires further justification.

    Oh... and you forgot the actual AC.

    You realize that random wandering antelope are going to turn the boarders of the area into a solid line of burried beetles over a century two if there is a sharp demarkation? That doesn't work since the creature has to SURVIVE the attack...
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2008-09-12 at 01:19 PM.
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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    I'd never seen a burrowing swarm before, but it makes so much sense. It could pop out of nowhere and return before it could be destroyed. Another good one.

    I would have thought they'd have Tremorsense rather than Blindsight, but I don't know much about beetle anatomy.
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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
    I would have thought they'd have Tremorsense rather than Blindsight, but I don't know much about beetle anatomy.
    It does have tremorsense. It's blindsight is from being very sensitive to sound, so I gave them both.

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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble View Post
    An indefinite fast would be impossible? They've found dormant insects and inside of sealed locations after decades, if not centuries. There is a type of subterranean newt I believe it was that goes years without eating standardly. Some seeds can last literally thousands of years.

    Non-magical life is obviously possible of this kind of thing, and these are sent by deities or their followers specially made for this task. I think it is very possible.
    Technically it is bug larvae that can go into diapause for extended lengths of time -- not a swarm of bugs. A swarm being adult bugs cannot do this although they could go for long lengths without food and withstand long winter by going into torpor. For an extraordinary ability it's nonsense but if you were thinking of making it a supernatural gift from an Insect God, I'm all for that.

    Here's a cool insect domain that I found over at EnWorld by Dr. Rictus.

    INSECT DOMAIN
    Granted Power: Rebuke or command insects as an evil cleric rebukes or commands undead. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Cha modifier.

    Insect Domain Spells

    1. Buzzing Bee§: Bee gives -10 penalty on Move Silently and hinders Concentration checks.
    2. Burrow§: Subject can burrow with a speed of 30 feet.
    3. Infestation of Maggots§: Touch attack deals 1d4 Con damage/round.
    4. Mass Burrow§: As burrow, but affects 1/level subjects.
    5. Insect Plague: Locust swarms attack creatures.
    6. Enveloping Cocoon§: Entraps subject creature and denies save for attached spell.
    7. Creeping Doom: Swarms* attack at your command.
    8. Cocoon§: Preserves a corpse and reincarnates with no loss of level.
    9. Summon Nature’s Ally IX:** Calls creature to fight.

    * Swarms appear to be army ants rather than the usual centipedes, but function identically.

    ** May summon a grig or pixie from the normal summon nature’s ally list, or a Truly Horrid Umber Hulk (see MM) of neutral alignment.

    § See Spell Compendium.

    Now for the appropriate god(ess)(es)...

    Bralm would work from Forgotten Realms. She's a lesser goddess and you can read about her in Complete Divine. or there's this alternate version from EnWorld:
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/general...revisited.html


    Debby

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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    What is this "Truly Horrid" template?... Or is that just fluff or some sort of obscure joke?
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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    Life is capable of amazing things. Just because 'most' are unable to exist with the extremes of these guys, doesn't mean by a long shot that it is impossible

    For example an Olm is an amphibian that can go 10 years without food by limiting activity and storing nutrients. An arthropod could easily do this especially if it was designed to.

    If you want to go for impossible look at the giant insects in the MM. They could not physically exist and still be anything close to the physiology of an insect.

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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    Cicadas routinely hibernate underground for 13 or 17 years as a natural part of their life cycle. To say that the OP's swarm cannot do this is absurd.

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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeta Kai View Post
    Cicadas routinely hibernate underground for 13 or 17 years as a natural part of their life cycle. To say that the OP's swarm cannot do this is absurd.
    Cicada young (nymphs) do this, but adult cicadas do not. Adults only live above ground for about 4 weeks if they don't get eaten. This is why you don't see nymph swarms but you do see adult cicada swarms.

    I knows my bugs!

    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2008-09-12 at 07:58 PM.

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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Cicada young (nymphs) do this, but adult cicadas do not. Adults only live above ground for about 4 weeks if they don't get eaten. This is why you don't see nymph swarms but you do see adult cicada swarms.
    Those nymphs are some of the most reviled & troublesome swarms that ever plague the Midwest. It's no wonder that cicada nymphs are commonly called locusts.

    Regardless, the point has been made: insects can go dormant for long periods. Q. E. D.

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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    I've heard that there are some minerals that can survive long times underground with no nutrients. Just thought I'd put that out there.
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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
    I've heard that there are some minerals that can survive long times underground with no nutrients. Just thought I'd put that out there.
    Minerals?

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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    Indeed, these minerals suffer no change in composition despite being in the ground for a very long time. This is a completely natural process, there is absolutely no magic involved.


    ...Yeah, everyone was naming things that could survive underground and I felt I needed to contribute. I'm not quite sure were the joke is actually, or what it is about, but I had to make it.
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    Default Re: [Creature] And the land shall become but dust!

    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
    Indeed, these minerals suffer no change in composition despite being in the ground for a very long time. This is a completely natural process, there is absolutely no magic involved.
    Even more amazingly, some of those 'minerals' are really just trees in disguise.
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