Monday, January 3, 2011

General Rules: Monsters - Compsognathus

Compsognathus (from Dragon Magazine #318)
Tiny Animal

Hit Dice: 1d8 (4 hit points)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 30 feet
Armor Class: 16 (+2 size, +4 Dexterity); touch 16, flat-footed 12
BAB/Grapple: +0/-11
Attack: Bite +6 melee (1d3-3 plus infection, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing, 20 x2)
Full Attack: Bite +6 melee (1d3-3 plus infection, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing, 20 x2)
Space/Reach: 2½ feet by 2½ feet/0 feet
Special Attacks: Infection
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, resistant to disease, scent
Saves: Fortitude +2, Reflex +6, Will +2
Abilities: Str 4, Int 2, Wis 14, Dex 19, Con 10, Cha 11
Skills: Hide +14, Listen +4, Move Silently +6, Spot +4
Feats: Skill Augmentation (Hide and Move Silently), Weapon Finesse
Environment: Warm forests
Organization: Solitary, pair, pack (3 - 6), or swarm (7 - 12)
Challenge Rating: ½
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 2 - 3 HD (Tiny)

The compsognathus is a quick and surprisingly small dinosaur, one of the smallest in fact.

These dinosaurs are quite vocal, and their chirps and twitters grow very rapid and excited when they sense a nearby source of food or danger. Their speed and tiny size make them popular familiars with wizards and sorcerers who dwell in areas populated by these and other dinosaurs.

A compsognathus rarely grows to a length of more than 3 feet, and even then nearly half of its length is composed of its tail and long neck.

A compsognathus never attacks a creature larger than itself unless it is part of a swarm that grossly outnumbers the enemy. The jaws of a compsognathus contains dozens of tiny pockets that collect virulent bits of infected food. When they bite, this infected material is transferred to the victim's wound. They prefer to dart in and bite at their prey, then run a safe distance away and watch as their infectious bite takes effect before moving back in for the kill.

Infection (Ex): When a creature is bitten by a compsognathus, it must succeed at a DC 10 Fortitude save or take 1 point of Strength damage. This saving throw must be repeated once per minute for 1d6 minutes to avoid taking additional Strength damage. The effects of multiple bites are cumulative.

Although this effect is similar to poison, it is in fact more closely related to disease. Neutralize poison and poison immunity have no effect on this Strength damage, but remove disease immediately stops the effects of all such wounds. creatures that are immune to disease are also immune to this infection. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Resistant to Disease (Ex): A compsognathus is immune to the infectious material produced by its bite and to the bites of other compsognathi. Against other diseases, it gains a +4 racial bonus on all saving throws.

Compsognathi as Familiars
Compsognathi can serve as familiars for characters eligible to obtain familiars including arcane engineers, hexblades, mind weavers, shadowsworn, sorcerers, and wizards. Arcane casters with compsognathus familiars gain a +3 bonus to Hide checks.

Compsognathi as Animal Companions
If raised from an egg, a compsognathus can be trained using Handle Animal. A 1st-level druid, 3rd-level outdoorsman, or 1st-level ranger may take a compsognathus as an animal companion.

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