Kobold Press

Splicer Beast

naptimeThis doglike predator is covered in a jigsaw of thick brown scars. Three razored tusks jut from its lower jaw. With an ungodly thunder crack, the creature shreds itself into two identical beasts, each swiftly loping forward to encircle its prey. Then each beast divides again…

The homely splicer beast can tear itself into duplicates, creating a pack of cunning hunters where there was once a single beast. While otherwise mechanically equivalent to a CR 2 monster, given time, the splicer beast’s ability to duplicate itself enables it to quickly reach much higher levels of challenge…

Splicer Beast (CR 2)

XP 800
N Medium magical beast
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +4

DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 21 (3d10+4)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will 0

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee gore +5 (1d8+2)

STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 9, Cha 12
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 17 (19 vs. trip)
Feats Athletic, Improved Initiative
Skills Climb +4, Perception +4, Stealth +6, Swim +4
SQ splice, superior flanking

ECOLOGY
Environment temperate hills and plains
Organization solitary
Treasure incidental (heart)

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Splice (Su) As a standard action, a splicer beast can tear itself into two fully-formed identical creatures. Both the original splicer beast as well as the new one—known as a splice—can divide themselves further dividing in subsequent rounds. Given enough time, a splicer beast can rapidly multiply, creating a pack. A splice pack, however, can never grow larger than the original splicer beast’s Constitution score. If a splicer beast (or a splice) has a move action remaining when it splices, both the original and resulting splices can each expend that move action in that same round.

All newly created splices have hp identical to the current hp total of the originating splice at the time it is made. A splicer beast can maintain its splices for up to 1 hour; after that, the splices reform into the original splicer beast (or the longest living splice if the original has been slain). Once this “suck back” has occurred, the splicer beast cannot reuse its splice ability for 1 hour.

Superior Flanking (Ex) When a splicer beast or one of its splices flanks a target it gains a +4 flanking bonus to hit instead of +2.

Ecology

Splicer beasts are ill-tempered loners, each preferring the company of its self-created pack to others of its kind. When two splicer beasts meet, they battle over territory, often warring for days, littering the ground with the corpses of their splices. With an animal-like intellect, splicer beasts have no language, communicating their dominant expressions through scents and guttural snorts. Splicer beasts are asexual: every few years one of its splices spontaneously becomes its own creature. The new beast must retreat before its sire recognizes it as a threat to its territory and turns on it.

Habitat and Society

Splicer beasts roam large swaths of territory. Like most canines, splicer beasts mark their boundaries with urine. A splicer beast often hunts creatures much larger than itself, using its splice ability and its endless patience to wear its foe down over a series of days or even weeks.

Where available, splicer beasts lair in shallow caves, often splicing to its full pack size before falling asleep. The teeming bodies warm its shelter and provide temporary protection while it drifts off to sleep.

Tactics

A splicer beast uses its scent ability to track prey for hours before sneaking close enough to ambush a target. If possible, it will splice during a surprise round. Once engaged it splices as a standard action and then uses its remaining move action to circle around behind its opponent for flanking opportunities.

Because its splice ability makes it so difficult to slay, splicer beasts are nearly fearless. However, the creature is cunning enough to recognize the threat posed by area effects. As a result, it avoids dragons of all types and is intimidated by humanoid spellcasters who wield wide-area magic, such as fireball.

Splicer Beast Heart

The 11-chambered heart of the splicer beast is valued for its inexplicable regenerative properties. Whenever a brewer incorporates the heart of an original splicer beast into the brewing of a healing potion of any strength, the potion is empowered, as per the metamagic feat. Usable only once, a splicer beast heart typically fetches up to 100 gp on the open market.

(This post is Product Identity.)

12 Replies to "Splicer Beast"

Harris

June 14, 2010 at 3:40am

I love this idea (and the notion of dropping it on my players:))

Daigle

June 14, 2010 at 5:39am

Mike, I *love* this critter! Awesome idea!

JeninCanada

June 14, 2010 at 7:08am

This is sooo fabulous. :D

Wolfgang

June 14, 2010 at 7:26am

It reminds me a little of the spawning monsters in Gauntlet, Doom, etc, or the smart rats in Planescape. If you let too many of them generate, you’re in big trouble…. :)

Fischkopp

June 14, 2010 at 12:26pm

Wow, love the fluff on this, as well.
And bonus body parts to sell… ;)

Phillip Larwood

June 14, 2010 at 2:08pm

Fabtastic monster as one would expect from Master Kortes, but it’s hit points are way off (it should have 22)and it’s Fort and Reflex saves should be +5 not +4. Finally, its skills should be Climb +4, Perception +4, Stealth +6, Swim +4.

Editing Mike Kortes work makes me feel like a Paizo editor.

David Nett

June 14, 2010 at 4:43pm

I want one as a pet.I will call him Jamie Madrox!

Seriously – great creature. Very cool.

Cyrino

June 14, 2010 at 5:13pm

This is great… YOINK! :D

David

June 14, 2010 at 6:18pm

Heh, this sounds like it’d be awesome to see. I originally thought the “tearing” was the creature literally tearing itself apart with its teeth! O_o (But then, who says it isn’t? :P)

Kobold Quarterly

June 14, 2010 at 9:36pm

Phil, clearly we miss some. But the HP should be 21…

Creature fixed!

Phillip Larwood

June 15, 2010 at 4:28pm

Actually, the hit points are 22. Remember, all monsters and NPCs have average hit points + .5 for every HD. So it’s 5.5 multiplied by 3 = 16. Then 16 + 6 (you also need to change it from 4 in the stat block) = 22.

And yes, I understand. It’s impossible to catch every mistake. You just have to look at some of the work done on various books out there to know that (not naming names).

This monster actually reminds me of the nonafel (cat-of-nine-tails) in the old 1st ed. Fiend Folio. I’ve always wanted that monster redone for 3.5/Pathfinder and now I have the next best thing!

DoomedPaladin

June 17, 2010 at 10:40am

Isn’t splicing what you call it when you connect two things? I guess they might have been named by someone who saw them combining after a battle.

I wonder, would these things work as (dangerous) livestock? Orcs might keep one in a pen and eat the splices when needed.