Monday, January 3, 2011

General Rules: Monsters - Nifern

Nifern (from Serpent Kingdoms)
medium Animal

Hit Dice: 2d8+4 (13 hit points)
Initiative: -2
Speed: 40 feet
Armor Class: 16 (+2 Dexterity, +4 natural); touch 12, flat-footed 14
BAB/Grapple: +1/+4
Attack: Claw +4 melee (1d6+3, piercing and slashing, 20 x2)
Full Attack: 2 claws +4 melee (1d6+3, piercing and slashing, 20 x2) and bite +2 melee (1d8+1, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing, 20 x2) and sting +2 melee (1d4+1 plus poison, piercing, 20 x2)
Space/Reach: 5 feet by 5 feet/5 feet
Special Attacks: Poison
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 feet, scent, hold breath
Saves: Fortitude +5, Reflex +5, Will +2
Abilities: Str 16, Int 2, Wis 14, Dex 14, Con 15, Cha 9
Skills: Listen +3, Spot +4, Survival +4 (+9 when tracking)
Feats: Multiattack, Track
Environment: Underground
Organization: Solitary, pair, group (3 - 5), or pack (6 - 12)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 3 - 4 Hit Dice (medium); 5 - 6 Hit Dice (Large)

Niferns are the scaly equivalent of hunting dogs. Though native to dark, underground places, many of them exist aboveground, both in the wild and as pets. Scalykind creatures often employ niferns as hunters, trackers, and loyal guardians.

A nifern is a scaled quadruped with a head that looks like an odd cross between a lizard's and a canine's. it has no eyes, and its oversized jaws are studded with sharp fangs. Its tail looks similar to that of an ordinary dog except that it ends in a stinger and is carried above the back, like a scorpion's.

Naturally blind, a nifern uses its other sense to provide the information that eyes normally would. Its keen sense of smell not only aids in tracking, but also helps it differentiate friends from foes on the battlefield.

Niferns are normally kept in small groups, although they have been known to form packs of thirty or more individuals in the wild, menacing all who enter their territory. The largest and strongest nifern normally leads a pack. A nifern's drive for food and its voracious appetite lead it to attack nearly everything it encounters.

Niferns prefer to attack their prey in numbers, but their tactics are fairly straightforward. They rush head-on into battle and sting to immobilize their prey. Creatures that prove resistant to the poison are attacked with vicious claws and powerful jaws.

Poison (Ex): Sting, Fortitude save Dc 13, initial damage paralysis for 1d10 rounds, secondary damage 1d4 Strength. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Hold Breath (Ex): A nifern can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to four times its Constitution score before it risks drowning.

Skills: Because of its keen sense of smell and natural instinct for tracking, a nifern receives a +5 racial bonus on Survival checks made to track.

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