Dire Hummingbird Swarm (3.5e Monster)
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This monster is balanced to fit in a high level of balance game. I have taken the liberty of not using the standard D&D rules for determining various statistics for this monster. As a result, it may seem a bit stronger (or weaker) than some SRD monsters of the same CR and that is fine. I think it will pose an appropriate challenge for characters of its CR.
Dire Hummingbird Swarm
|N Diminutive Animal (Swarm)|
|Init/Senses||+3/Listen +4, Spot +4|
|Aura||Really Annoying Buzz|
|AC|| 21, touch 14, flat-footed 17|
(+4 Dex, +4 size, +3 Natural)
|hp||22 (3 HD); takes 1/4 weapon damage|
|Speed||0 ft., fly 40 ft., perfect (8 squares)|
|Melee||Swarm (4 + blood drain)|
|Space/Reach||10 ft./0 ft.|
|Abilities||Str 1, Dex 16, Con 8, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 8|
|Really Annoying Buzz (Ex)|| A dire hummingbird swarm creates a loud buzz that can be heard for miles, but up close is simply the most aggravating sound ever. Each creature within 60 ft. must make a Will save DC 16 at the start of their turn or else either choose to take whatever means they have available to move into the swarm's square and try to kill the swarm or else flee with their best possible means for 2 rounds.
As long as a character is within 60 ft. of the swarm, they take a -4 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks, and DCs of abilities that do not involve the swarm as a target. The character may make a Concentration check DC 12 (note this check has a -4 penalty making it effectively DC 16), as a swift action, to ignore this effect for 1 round.
|Swarmy Evasion (Ex)||Unlike a normal swarm, dire humming bird swarms are exceptionally mobile and take half damage from any area of effect spell that requires a reflex save for half damage on a failed save, and no damage on a successful save.|
|Blood Drain (Ex)||Each turn a dire hummingbird swarm damages an opponent consecutively, it deals an extra 2 points of damage as it drains more blood. For example, if it hits Fighter Bob 5 times in a row, it deals 4 + 6 + 8 + 10 + 12 damage to him, for a total of 30 damage. Every time a dire humming bird swarm deals extra damage in this way, it heals 2 hitpoints.|
A loud buzzing sound fills the air. As it grows closer, your body tenses with aggravation: it is probably the most annoying noise you have ever heard. You draw your sword, expecting some aberrant horror from the far realms, but like a small multicolored cloud in the sky, you see the swarm slender needle-beaked hummingbirds fly straight towards you. And, although your senses tell you to run, you really want to stop that incessant noise!
A swarm of Dire Hummingbirds rarely occurs and is usually a response to some nearby magical phenomenon that causes dire hummingbirds to become even crazier and more savage than normal. When this swarm congregates, it flies wherever it can, draining anything with blood.
Luckily, due to the extremely high metabolism of the swarm, it usually disperses on its own after a few days, at most, otherwise, they will run out of food and starve to death. Of course, if they run out of food, that means they have killed everything they can find.
Strategies and Tactics
A dire hummingbird swarm has a very effective strategy: lure in aggravated creatures and drain all the blood from them before they can escape. They tend to try to make the best use of their blood drain ability, chasing down enemies that try to flee when the damage stacks up high.