The Penumbra Fantasy Bestiary
Name That Critter Contest
On the release of the Penumbra Fantasy Bestiary, Atlas held a contest in which contestants sent in descriptions and stats for a miniature provided by Lance & Laser Models. The winning entry was submitted by Mark L. Chance, and was included in the Penumbra FantasyBestiary. Mark also got a copy of the miniature, which is available for sale through Lance & Laser. Here's his winning entry ...
Dark, primal rain forests hold many dangers to intrepid explorers, but few of these are so conscientiously avoided as a pack of bonethieves. These reptilian carnivores are pack hunters, fast and cunning, and possess the dread ability to actually absorb bones from their prey. A bonethief assimilates stolen bones into additional protective bony horns and plating on its own body. Over a period of a few days, though, the assimilated bones are metabolized and the extra plating disappears.
A bonethief measures about 15 feet long from nose to the end of its shortish tail, and stands about 6 feet tall at the shoulder. Its thick scales are dark green to black in coloration, which are ideal for blending in with its jungle surroundings. It has a large head and strong neck, and four long, powerful legs that end in paw-like feet sporting thick talons. A ridge of bony plates and horns grows along the creature’s spine. Overlapping, bony plates cover its abdomen. The thickness and size of these protective growths varies according to how many bones the bonethief has recently absorbed.
Most bonethieves live in roaming packs, but these creatures are intelligent enough to understand the value of cooperation. Bonethieves sometimes work with kobold bands and lizard folk tribes, acting as guards and trackers.
• Missionaries of the sun god have gone missing in a jungle frontier. The PCs are hired to find out what happened and, if necessary, rescue the missionaries from whatever danger may have befallen them. The voyage into the jungle eventually pits the PCs against a savage tribe of lizard folk and their allied pack of bonethieves, who are holding the missionaries captive until they can be eaten in an upcoming annual religious celebration.
• While exploring a jungle ruin, the PCs find signs that a large number of reptiles live in the area: spoor, clutches of eggs, collected trinkets, tracks, etc. They do not, however, see the creatures themselves. Unbeknownst to the PCs, the ruins are home to one or more bonethief packs, all of which are out hunting in the jungle proper. Sometime during the PCs’ exploration, the packs return to discover intruders in their territory.
Large Magical Beast (Reptilian)
Hit Dice: 2d10+4 (15 hp)
Speed: 40 ft., climb 20 ft.
AC: 9 to 14 (–1 size, 0 to +5 natural)
Attacks: Bite +4 melee, and 2 claws +2 melee
Damage: Bite 1d8+3 melee, claws 1d6+1 each
Face/Reach: 5 ft. x 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Bone Theft, Trip
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., Low-light Vision, Scent
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +2
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 6, Wis 14, Cha 10
Skills: Climb +11, Hide +10, Listen +7, Move Silently +9, Wilderness Lore +2 (+6 when tracking by scent)
Climate/Terrain: Warm or temperate forests
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pack (6–11)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: 10% coins, 50% goods, 50% items
Alignment: Always neutral evil
Advancement: 3–4 HD (Large), 5–6 HD (Huge)
Bonethieves speak Draconic.
Bone Theft (Su): Upon a successful critical hit with any of its attacks, a bonethief can magically absorb a bone from one of its victim’s arms or legs (determine randomly which appendage is affected). A Fortitude save (DC 14) resists this bone theft. The loss of a bone renders the limb useless. The victim suffers a –4 circumstance penalty to his effective Strength and Dexterity scores in appropriate situations, such as combat. His movement is reduced by 75% if a leg is affected. If an arm is affected, the victim faces a 50% spell failure chance for any spell with a somatic component. The bone is permanently lost, but powerful magic such as regenerate can restore the victim’s limb. For each bone stolen, the bonethief’s natural AC bonus increases from its base 0 by +1 (to a maximum of +5) after 1d4 rounds, as the stolen bone forms new bony plating and spurs on the bonethief’s body. No victim can be affected by bone theft more than once per day, and the bonethief loses 1 point of this natural bonus per day.
Magical Beast: Magical beasts have Darkvision with a range of 60 feet and Low-light Vision.
Scent (Ex): Creatures with Scent can detect opponents within 30 feet by sense of smell, and can pinpoint the source of a scent if it is within 5 feet. They can follow tracks by smell, making a Wisdom check DC 10 + 2 per hour that the trail is cold
Trip (Ex): A bonethief that hits with a bite attack can attempt to Trip its opponent as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to Trip the bonethief.
Skills: A bonethief receives a +2 racial bonus to Listen and Move Silently checks, a +4 racial bonus to Hide checks, and a +8 racial bonus to Climb checks. A bonethief also receives a +4 racial bonus to Wilderness Lore checks when tracking by scent. These bonuses are figured into the skills listed above.
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