Shieldbug (3.5e Monster)
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|Hit Dice:||3d8+6 (19 hp)|
|Armor Class:||14* (+2 dex, +3 natural, -1 size), touch 11, flat-footed 12|
|Attack:||Slam +4 melee (1d8+4, 20/x2)|
|Full Attack:||Slam +4 melee (1d8+4, 20/x2)|
|Space/Reach:||10 ft/5 ft|
|Special Attacks:||Push, Stink (DC 13), Trample (DC 14)|
|Special Qualities:||Darkvision 60 ft, Hardhead|
|Saves:||Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +2|
|Abilities:||Str 16, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 1, Wis 13, Cha 3|
|Environment:||Warm Deserts or Temperate Plains|
|Organization:||Solitary, Pair, or Herd (3-12)|
|Alignment:||Always True Neutral|
|Advancement:||4-6 HD (Large), 7-9 HD (Huge), 10-12 HD (Gargantuan)|
- Does not include the bonus from Hardhead.
The scuttling of legs like a furious drumbeat announced the arrival of a stampede of insects. Get out of the way!
Shieldbugs (also known as acanthosomatidae cranius titanus, or Headbutt Beetles) Giant beetles with oversized shield-like heads, these creatures have been domesticated by certain desert and plains dwelling creatures to use as mounts. Slower and duller than horses, but easier to please with food offerings, these giant beetles offer its rider protection even as they obscure the rider's vision. They come in either earthen browns or black and deep green, depending on the environment they are found in. They are opportunistic scavengers and omnivores, eating meat when possible but also grazing on plants. They are territorial and can be found fighting their own kind in vigorous headbutting and king of the hill type battles. Their spawn can be found hidden away in dug out pits and caves, where they start as oversized grubs feeding on compost and anything that drops in the pit until they are old enough to crawl out, cocoon themselves, and enter the adult phase.
Would be domesticators enjoy them for their lack of pickiness on what they will eat, allowing the beasts to be used as composters and waste disposal.
Shieldbugs fight by trampling and ramming things with their head. They seek to push creatures off high elevations when possible, but have a weakness in fighting multiple creatures at once.
Hardhead (Ex): The namesake for the insect, the shieldbug's face is very protected granting it a +4 shield bonus to AC. However, it can only apply this bonus against a single target each round, typically assigned to the first person to attack it in this round. This shielded head helps riders as well, granting half its bonus (+2 shield) to the rider's AC, but obscuring their view causing a -2 penalty to attack rolls and Spot checks. A rider can forego the penalty, but also the bonus, by leaning to the side outside of the shield's protection.
Push (Ex): A shieldbug can start a bull rush maneuver without provoking an attack of opportunity. It also bull rushes on a critical threat, or if it takes a -2 penalty to attack. In all cases, if it has moved at least 10 ft in a round it need not follow the creature with the bull rush.
Stink (Ex): If panicked, a shieldbug can release a noxious cloud. Once per day as part of a move action leaving a threatened space (such as withdraw) it can release a cloud in its square it is leaving + its threatened reach (a 15 ft cube for most). This cloud does not obscure vision, but smells terrible. Creatures within must make a DC 13 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round and sickened for 5 rounds after, or sickened for 1 round on a successful save. The cloud dissipates after 5 rounds naturally. Shieldbugs are immune to each others stink.