Carbuncle

Carbuncle

This creature resembles a cross between an anteater and an armadillo. Embedded in its head is a large, red jewel. The creature has a long snout and a low-slung body protected by thick bands of leathery hide, which are dappled gray and brown, shading to lighter colors of gray on its underbelly.

Carbuncle

XP 25 ()

Unaligned Small

Initiative +0


DEFENSE

AC 11 (natural armor)

hp: 4 (1d6 + 1)

Saving Throws: Dex +2


OFFENSE

Speed: 10 ft.

Melee Attack—Bite: +2 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). Hit: 1d4 piercing damage.


STATISTICS

Str 7 (–1), Dex 10 (+0), Con 12 (+1),

Int 10 (+0), Wis 18 (+4), Cha 8 (–1)

Languages: Telepathy within 100 ft.

Senses: Darkvision 60 ft.


TRAITS

Discord: As an attack, a carbuncle can telepathically sow discord in one creature within 30 feet. An affected creature must make a successful DC 14 Wis saving throw or fall into loud bickering and arguing with those around him or her. Meaningful communication is impossible. If creatures of different alignments are affected and bickering, each has a 30% chance that they feel compelled to attack the person they are bickering with who is the most different in alignment. Bickering lasts 5d4 rounds. Fighting (if it occurs) begins 1d4 rounds into the bickering and lasts 2d4 rounds.


ECOLOGY

Environment: Temperate

Organization: Solitary

Deep in the tangled underbrush of and in the remote regions of dismal swamps and bogs lives a strange creature called the carbuncle. It is a shy creature that seeks to avoid encounters. Should it seek interaction, a carbuncle often begins by proudly announcing the value of the gem in its forehead just to watch the reaction the information arouses.

Despite its shy nature, the carbuncle has a mischievous side as well. It sometimes joins travelers so it can play pranks on them and observe the reactions of the unfortunate victims of its curiosity. After joining with a party, a carbuncle eventually seeks to breed hostility and suspicion between party members. They have been known to telepathically contact nearby monsters and draw them to the party, so that it can watch the battle and read the thoughts of the party under attack before slipping away.

A carbuncle can be coerced to surrender the gem in its forehead with a successful DC 20 Cha (Deception) check. If the attempt fails, the carbuncle sees through the deception and flees. If the carbuncle relinquishes its gem, it grows another one within one month. When a carbuncle is slain, its forehead gem crumbles to dust.

Though fascinated by combat, carbuncles are nearly helpless in melee. They enjoy setting up encounters using their powers and watching the brutal scenes unfold, but they surrender immediately if attacked themselves. In a lethal situation, a carbuncle first tries to bargain for safety with its gem. If that fails, it can will itself to die rather than suffer torment (and rather than giving up its gem to someone it suspects will only kill it anyway).