Dire Rhinoceros (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.
|N Huge Animal|
|Init/Senses||+1/Low-light vision; Listen +9, Spot +4|
|AC||26, touch 18, flat-footed 24|
|hp||65 (6 HD); DR 2/—|
|Resist||2 all energy types|
|Speed||40 ft. (8 squares); Thunderous Hooves|
|Melee||+15 Gore (3d6+15)|
|Space/Reach||15 ft./10 ft.|
|Atk Options||Charger, Trample, Butt, Stomp|
|Abilities||Str 30, Dex 12, Con 25, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 6|
|Charger (Ex)||A dire rhinoceros is a master charger and can automatically decide to consider a run action a charge at any point when it is running. It chooses a target for the charge and makes an attack against that target, as normal. The rhino only takes the penalties from the run action in this case, not the charge penalties as well.|
|Trample (Ex)||If a dire rhinoceros moves over top of a prone creature's square, the creature can choose to either make an attack of opportunity or try to roll out of the way. If it chooses to make the attack of opportunity, it takes 5d6 damage. If it chooses to roll out of the way, it must make a Reflex save DC 19 or a Escape Artist check DC 24 or else take 5d6 damage.|
|Butt (Ex)||As a standard action, a dire rhinoceros can headbutt a creature. It makes a Gore attack as normal. If it hits, the creature is knocked back 5ft. per 5 damage dealt and knocked prone if the dire rhinoceros deals at least 25 damage.|
|Stomp (Ex)||As a standard action, a dire rhinoceros can stomp the ground, sending a shockwave through the earth. Each creature within 30 ft. must make a Reflex save DC 19 or a Balance check DC 24 or else fall prone and take 10 damage. On a successful save or skill check the creatures still take 5 damage, but are not knocked prone.|
|Thunderous Hooves (Ex)||Whenever a dire rhinoceros runs or charges, each creature that is within 20 ft. of the rhino at any point of its movement must make a Reflex save DC 19 or a Balance check DC 24 or else fall prone. Resolve this saving throw or skill check immediately when the rhino is within range (which may mean it could trample you if it was charging at you).|
The dire rhinoceros is infamous for its bloodthristy aggression and willingness to charge and kill creatures it considers a rival or possible challenge.
Dire rhinoceros' are 10 to 16 feet long, 5 to 7 feet at the shoulder, and weigh around 15,000 lbs.
Strategies and Tactics
A dire rhinoceros runs in a straight line, hoping its thunderous hooves will knock down some enemies and allow a trample. Generally, it will prefer to trample enemies and run past if it can.
When cornered by groups, it will stomp on the ground and move over an enemy that is knocked prone to trample them and also make an escape. If one enemy is much more threatening than others, it will use its butt attack to fling the enemy away (and if the enemy is knocked prone, the rhino will trample them too).
A dire rhinoceros' hide is valued at 2,600 gp on the open market.