Pendulum Scorpion (3.5e Monster)
Rate this article |
Discuss this article
|Hit Dice:||18d8+54 (135 hp)|
|Speed:||50 ft, climb 30 ft|
|Armor Class:||27 (+18 natural, -1 size), touch 9, flat-footed 27|
|Attack:||Claw melee +16 (1d6+6 plus grab, 20/x2) or Tail Blade melee +16 (1d10+6, 19-20/x3)|
|Full Attack:||Two Claws melee +16 (1d6+6 plus grab, 20/x2) and Tail Blade melee +16 (1d10+6, 19-20/x3)|
|Space/Reach:||10 ft/5 ft|
|Special Attacks:||Constrict 1d6+6, Improved Grab, Sharpness|
|Special Qualities:||Darkvision 60 ft, DR 10/adamantine, Immunities, Tremorsense 60 ft, Vermin Traits|
|Saves:||Fort +14, Ref +6, Will +8|
|Abilities:||Str 23, Dex 10, Con 16, Int -, Wis 15, Cha 1|
|Skills:||Escape Artist +16, Hide +4, Listen +10, Move Silently +8, Spot +10|
|Feats:||Combat ExpertiseB, Improved GrappleB, Power AttackB|
|Alignment:||Always True Neutral|
|Advancement:||19-36 HD (Large), 37-54 HD (Huge)|
The rogue narrowly avoided the pendulum trap and breathed a sigh of relief as the swinging blade embedded itself in the side wall. The relief turned to dread as descending from a crevice a giant scorpion descended, the "pendulum trap" rising as a bladed tail instead.
Pendulum scorpions are strange and unnatural creatures which are nevertheless now a free roaming and breeding species, much like the origins of the owlbear. A fusion of pendulum blade and scorpion, the blade replaces the poison stinger of the giant scorpion. Its body is bred to live in dungeons as guardians surviving on very little sustenance, its exoskeleton re-enforced with heavy metals as a natural part of its diet, and its blade razor sharp. When pendulum scorpions are young monster trainers expose them to certain areas, treasures, or other things intended to be guarded to imprint upon them a desire to protect and hoard more of the item, often things like jewels, gold, or a particular area. From that point the pendulum scorpion guards on its own with surprising canny. Though mindless, its instincts give it mastery of its own lair.
They appear similar to large giant scorpions, but are clad in sleek red metallic chitin and have a large black pendulum blade for a tail. They are the size of horses, but they are good at squeezing through tight areas which seem too small for their kind. They are red due to the high iron content in their diet and they are sometimes known for eating weapons as well as flesh and bone.
Pendulum scorpions are ambush predators, often tied with actual traps. In its own lair it is capable of surprising tactics for a mindless creature, such as luring others into pre-existing traps. However it needs support if traps need to be repaired or reset. It may actively hunt when hungry or when seeking to add a desired item to its guarded collection, but otherwise lets opponents stumble into them instead. It has no actual concept of value, and will gladly guard worthless items as well as valuable ones.
Constrict (Ex): A pendulum scorpion deals automatic claw damage on a successful grapple check.
Immunities (Ex): Pendulum scorpions are immune to acid. Some variants may be immune to a different element, such as fire for pendulum scorpions adapted to molten environments. They are also immune to death effects, mind-affecting effects, poison, and paralysis.
Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a pendulum scorpion must hit with a claw attack. A monstrous scorpion can use either its Strength modifier or Dexterity modifier for grapple checks, whichever is better.
Sharpness (Ex): The pendulum scorpion has a massive blade on its tail which has a 19-20/x3 critical and counts as adamantine for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction. The blade has the vorpal quality and may also be used to make trip attacks without provoking attacks of opportunity.
Skills: Pendulum scorpions have a +16 racial bonus to Escape Artist checks due to their polished outer shells. They also have a +8 bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot checks.
Owning a Pendulum Scorpion
The methods to create pendulum scorpions are lost, but one can be "programmed" when they are young, imprinted with an area or item type to guard. Likewise they can be pushed as an animal, to a point, and are treated as Magical Beasts for the purposes of Wild Empathy and Handle Animal checks. They have no tricks but may be pushed.
A pendulum scorpion egg can be purchased for 4000 gp. They take 1 year to raise to adulthood, after which their programming is set, barring unusual and heavy retraining attempts. Trained pendulum scorpions are non-hostile to their master, and may be trained to recognize other simple effects (such as wearing yellow) to keep them from attacking allies.