Monday, January 3, 2011

General Rules: Monsters - Scythe Falcon

Scythe Falcon (adapted from the Creature Collection)
Tiny Animal

Hit Dice: 2d8 (9 hit points)
Initiative: +7
Speed: 10 feet, 60 feet (good)
Armor Class: 17 (+2 size, +3 Dexterity, +2 natural); touch 15, flat-footed 14
BAB/Grapple: +1/-9
Attack: Claw +6 melee (1d3-2, slashing, 20 x2)
Full Attack: Claw +6 melee (1d3-2, slashing, 20 x2) and wing slash +6 melee 1d6-2, slashing, 19-20 x2)
Space/Reach: 2½ feet by 2½ feet/0 feet
Special Attacks: Diving charge
Special Qualities: Darkvision 120 feet, low-light vision
Saves: Fortitude +0, Reflex +8, Will +2
Abilities: Str 7, Int 5, Wis 14, Dex 17, Con 10, Cha 5
Skills: Move Silently +5, Spot +8
Feats: Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Weapon Finesse
Environment: Any land
Organization: Solitary, pair, or family (1 - 2 and - 5 offspring)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 3 Hit Dice (Small)

Like must falcons, the scythe falcon is a very fast flyer. in fact, it is one of the fastest animals in the world. Its sleek feathers are normally brown, although he most notable feature of the scythe falcon is a razor-sharp ridge of bone that is forward-facing along the length of its wings. This bone is featherless and cuts through flesh as easily as it does the wind.
Scythe falcons mate for life and are frequently encountered in pairs. Unless the pair has young that must be guarded at a nest, they always hunt together.

Armed with extraordinary natural means of attack—the wickedly sharp, hard, bony ridge at the forefront of its wings — a scythe falcon uses a diving attack that shears through flesh and bone. They are generally uninterested in fighting longer than is required to gain a meal. However, they are fiercely loyal to their mates, so if one bird of a pair is killed, the other almost always fights to the death.

Diving Charge (Ex): If the scythe falcon moves at least 20 feet toward a target and then hits it with a wing slash attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 1d4 slashing damage.

Flyby Attack (Ex): A scythe falcon can attack at any point before, during, or after its movement if it is flying. When a scythe falcon attacks using its Flyby Attack, it does not provoke Attacks of Opportunity from movement.

Scythe Falcon as Familiars
Scythe falcons can serve as familiars for characters eligible to obtain familiars including arcane engineers, hexblades, mind weavers, shadowsworn, sorcerers, and wizards. Arcane casters with scythe falcon familiars gain a +3 bonus to Move Silently checks.

Notes: As presented in the Creature Collection, the scythe falcon had the Mobility feat without having the required Dodge feat prerequisite. Further, the Mobility feat was useless to the scythe falcon as long as it had the Flyby attack feat. I removed the Mobility feat and gave the scythe falcon the Weapon Finesse feat. I also removed the wildly overpowered Dismemberment ability and replaced it with the Diving Charge ability. I also altered its movement rates to bring the creature more in line with other flying birds.

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