Monday, January 3, 2011

General Rules: Monsters - Jaculi

Jaculi (from Serpent Kingdoms)
Medium Magical Beast

Hit Dice: 6d10+18 (51 hit points)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 30 feet, climb 20 feet, swim 20 feet
Armor Class: 16 (+3 Dexterity, +3 natural); touch 13, flat-footed 13
BAB/Grapple: +6/+9
Attack: Bite +9 melee (1d6+4, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing, 20 x2)
Full Attack: Bite +9 melee (1d6+4, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing, 20 x2)
Space/Reach: 5 feet by 5 feet/5 feet
Special Attacks: Animal trance, constrict 1d8+4, flying gore, improved grab
Special Qualities: Darkvision, 60 feet, low-light vision, scent, chameleon power, spring
Saves: Fortitude +7, Reflex +8, Will +3
Abilities: Str 17, Int 11, Wis 12, Dex 17, Con 15, Cha 2
Skills: Balance +11, Climb +11, Hide +10, Jump +20, Listen +10, Spot +10, Swim +11
Feats: Power Attack, Skill Augmentation (Listen and Spot), Toughness
Environment: Warm forests
Organization: Solitary or coil (4 - 40)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: 7 - 12 Hit Dice (Large)

Although the name jaculi is sometimes used as a collective term for tree-dwelling snakes, including the boomslang and the emerald tree boa, the jaculi is a particular kind of creature.

A jaculi looks like a snake with mauve to dark purple scales. Its bony arrowhead-shaped head is studded with stubby but sharp parallel horns that point straight forward towards its nose.

Jaculi are intelligent hunters that never forget past experiences. They are wise enough to attack isolated creatures, avoid falling onto pointed objects or obvious weapons, and seek out sleeping prey. A jaculi typically uses its animal trance ability to lure small birds or furred forest creatures into a nest or den, then slithers inside and uses its body to block the exit.

Against formidable foes, a jaculi begins combat by launching itself from a high spot, such as a tree branch or the roof of a building, for a flying gore attack. Should it face attacks from more than a single foe - or a hard fight from its chosen victim - it springs to the nearest tree and climbs out of reach. If pursued, it jumps from tree to tree to get away, seeking a place to hide, then turns and follows its foes unseen, attacking again when conditions are advantageous.

Jaculis usually swallow small prey whole, but they can also bite and chew, savaging prey too large to swallow. Unless they are starving, they eat only prey they have killed themselves less than two days ago. when feeding hungry young, jaculi sometimes slay a large beast and hides in or under the corpse to await vultures or other carrion-feeders, which it slays as well.

Animal Trance (Sp): Once per day, a jaculi can sway in place and flash its eyes to hold prey motionless. This mind-affecting ability works like the spell of the same name. Caster level 12th, save DC 9.

Chameleon Power (Sp): At will, a jaculi can change the coloration of its body as a standard action to match its surroundings, gaining a +10 circumstance bonus on Hide checks.

Constrict (Ex): On a successful grapple check, a jaculi deals 1d8+4 points of bludgeoning damage.

Flying Gore (Ex): A jaculi can hurl itself down on an opponent like an arrow from a point 30 feet or more above. This flying gore attack is made as a +10 melee attack and deals 1d8+6 points of piercing damage from the jaculi's horns and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a jaculi must hit with its bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes hold and can constrict. If a jaculi takes more than 10 points of damage, it flees to seek easier prey.

Spring (Ex): A jaculi can gather its coils and then launch itself in a jump. The Jump DC for both long jumps and high jumps are halved, and no running start is required. Furthermore, when jumping down, the jaculi takes damage as if it had dropped 70 feet fewer than it actually did.

Skills: A jaculi has a +4 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, and Spot checks, and a +8 racial bonus on Balance, Climb, and Jump checks.

A jaculi can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened.

A jaculi uses either its Strength modifier or its Dexterity modifier for Climb checks, whichever is higher.

A jaculi has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

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