Dire Lion (3.5e Monster)
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You may be looking for the Dire Lion from the SRD instead.
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.
|N Huge Animal|
|Init/Senses||+2/Low-light vision, scent; Listen +8, Spot +8|
|AC||20, touch 17, flat-footed 18|
|hp||45 (5 HD); DR 1/—|
|Speed||50 ft. (10 squares); Run|
|Melee||+14/+14 Claws (1d6+2) +14 Bite (1d6+2)|
|Space/Reach||15 ft./10 ft.|
|Atk Options||Pounce, Sneak Attack +2d6, Rend, Roar|
|Abilities||Str 25, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 10|
|Skills|| Intimidate +8, Hide +8*, Move Silently +8|
*In areas of tall grass or heavy undergrowth, the Hide bonus improves to +12.
|Pounce (Ex)||If a dire lion charges, it can make a full attack.|
|Sneak Attack (Ex)||A dire lion has 2d6 of sneak attack damage, as the Rogue ability.|
|Rend (Ex)||Whenever a dire lion hits with both claw attacks, it deals an additional 2d6+4 damage.|
|Roar (Ex)||As a move action, once per minute, a dire lion may loudly roar. This thunderous sound requires each creature within 30 feet to make a fortitude save DC 18 or else be Deafened and Staggered for 1 round. Any creature that fails its save and is within 5 ft. of the dire lion must make a second fortitude save DC 18 or else be Stunned instead of staggered. Dire lions are immune to this effect.|
Dire lions are patient hunters, just like their smaller cousins, but apt to take on bigger prey.
Dire lions grow to be up to 15 feet long and weigh up to 3,500 pounds.
Strategies and Tactics
A dire lion is all about the initial attack. It waits patiently, hiding in very tall grass and then suddenly charges out with a deadly pounce. If all its attack hit on a pounce, it will deal 11d6+10 damage (average 48.5).
After a pounce however, the lion is not as strong a fighter, although still no pushover. Dire lions tend to hunt in pairs to make good use of their sneak attack through flanking. At the beginning of combat they usually focus on a single target, one dire lion charging from one side, while the other readies an action to pounce from the other side as soon as its opposite is adjacent to the enemy so that both get their sneak attacks off in tandem.
A dire lion pelt is actually exceptionally durable. It can either be used as 1,500 gp worth of materials towards creating any magic item that provides damage reduction or the pelt can provide enough material to fashion a non-magical cloak that provides DR 1/—. Dire lion pelts can be sold on the open market for 1,500 gp, generally, as well.