Inspired by last night's viewing of Pirates of the Caribbean 3...
Salt Scuttler Swarm
Tiny Magical Beast (earth, extraplanar, swarm)
Hit Dice: 13d10+65 (136 hp)
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), swim 10 ft.
Armor Class: 21 (+1 dex, +8 natural, +2 size), touch 13, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +13/-
Attack: Swarm (3d6)
Full Attack: Swarm (3d6)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Distraction, haul of the masses
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/-, immunity to acid, resistance to fire 10, salt sifter, stone in the sand, thirstless
Saves: Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +5
Abilities: Str 6, Dex 12, Con 21, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 3
Skills: Climb +4, Listen +7, Spot +7, Survival +2, Swim +4
Feats: Ability Focus (haul of the masses), Athletic, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Sand Skimmer
Environment: Any lower plane or warm desert
Organization: Solitary, scrabble (2–4 swarms), or wave (5–20 swarms)
Challenge Rating: 10
Alignment: Always Neutral
Level Adjustment: -
This appears as a smooth, sandy grey skipping stone approximately the side of an outstretched palm. That is until cracks forms in its shape and it unfolds into a small crab with oversized pinchers.
Salt scuttlers are creatures of some of the most inhospitable wastes in the planes. Salt deserts and red seas are their favored homes. Many of the lower planes, particular the abyss, have layers locale such as this where salt scuttlers can be found in numbers uncountable. Deities and powerful demons often make use of them and are responible for their presence in the material plane. Some indigineous peoples have managed to tame these crabs and use them for transporting great weights across the deserts or deadly seas.
A salt scuttler simply awaits potential prey to walks amongst them while in stone form and then rise up to swarm it. Those that manage to escape are often persued, slowly but inexorably, waiting for their prey to perish from exposure or stop to rest.
Any living creature vulnerable to a swarm’s damage that begins its turn with a swarm in its square is nauseated for 1 round; a DC 21 Fortitude save 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.
Haul of the Massess (Ex):
A salt scuttler swarm can together lift enormous weights. The typical carrying capacity of the swarm is 13,500 lbs. Many swarms often come together or are herded to lift even greater objects, the capacity above multiplied by the number of swarms. The object to be lifted must not take up more than twice the area of the swarm.
The swarm can drag or push 5x this ammount. Favorable conditions can double these numbers, and bad circumstances can reduce them to one-half or less.
Creatures that take damage from the swarm must succeed on a DC 16 reflex save or be caught up and be hauled along. The target can escape by using a full-round action to make a DC 16 Strength check or a DC 16 Escape Artist check. The save DC is Strength-based.
The carrying capacity is determined by the strength of the individual (6) and how much the multi-legged creature can lift over its head (45 lbs.) multiplied by the number within the swarm (300). See Carrying Capacity in the Player's Handbook and Swarm Traits in the Monster Manual 3.5.
Salt Sifter (Ex):
A salt scuttler can breathe air and water equally well, though only in saltwater, blood, or red seas (see supernatural terrain in Sandstorm). They suffocate normally in fresh water.
Stone In the Sand (Ex):
As a standard action a sand scuttler can squat down, its shell and claws fitting together seamlessly. While in this form it cannot move, but appears in all ways as a simple stone. A DC 20 Knowledge (nature) or Craft check related to stone is required to recognize it as something other than a rock. It is considered 'unusual stonework' for the purpose of a dwarf's stonecunning ability.
A salt scuttler is a creature naturally devoid of liquid. They do not require drink and are immune to dessication and blood-loss.
A salt scuttler gains a +4 racial bonus on climb and swim checks.