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New Monster – StagWolf

25 October, 2010

Oh, it is just some deer.  Wait!  There is something wrong.  Look at that muzzle and tail.  Oh no.  Run!  Just run!  Stagwolves!

StagWolf                                               CR 3 (800 XP)
N medium magical beast (chemeric)
Init +7; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +16
DEFENSE
AC 16 (+3 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 5d10+10 (37 hp)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +5
Defensive Abilities appear harmless, guarding horns
OFFENSE
Spd 55 ft
Melee gore +9 melee (2d4+4/19-20) and Bite +8 (1d6+3 + trip)
Special Attacks powerful charge (4d4+8/19-20 gore), sneak attack +1d6
STATISTICS
Str 17, Dex 17, Con 15, Int 6, Wis 14, Cha 12
Base Atk +5; CMB +8; CMD 20 (24 against trip)
Feats improved initiative, iron will, weapon focus (gore)
Skills Perception +11, Stealth +12, Survival +10; Racial Modifier +4 Perception, +4 Stealth, +4 Survival
SQ hard to track
Environment the wilds near human habitation
Organization single, pair, pack (3-5), great pack (12-20)
Treasure Value incidental
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Appear Harmless (Su): A casual glance will perceive the stagwolf as just a simple stag. A Will save (DC 13) will dispel the harmless guise.  The save is Charisma based.

Guarding Horns (Ex): When fighting defensively, the stagwolf gains a +2 shield bonus to its armor class as its horns catch and deflect blows.

Hard to Track (Ex): anyone trying to track a staghound suffers a -5 penalty to their skill check due to its odd foot prints and ever changing gait.

It is unknown where the StagWolf came from, what is know is that they are cunning hunters who strike and disappear.  Appearing as a stag with the head and tail of a wolf but with a full set of dangerously pointed antlers.  They never seem to prey on either of their related species, deer and wolf, and they prefer domesticated prey such as cattle and sheep above all other.

The StagWolf’s gait changes between that of the wolf and the stag as best befits the terrain it crosses.  Oddly its feet seem to change as well to match their current gait.

There only seem to be male stagwolves.  How they reproduce is unknown.

What you may know about the StagWolf:
Knowledge (Arcane or Nature) DC 18. These predators are extremely dangerous and have a habit of preying on domesticated animals.  Their charge has ruined more than one hunter.

Knowledge (Arcane or Nature) 24.  The stagwolf has an uncanny ability to avoid hunters and is a dangerous and cunning foe.

Druids and Rangers receive a +2 bonus on this knowledge check.

TACTICS
Before Combat: Stagwolves avoid people as much as possible, recognizing them as a threat.  If they are being hunted, they will attempt to turn the tables on their pursuers. When hunting they seek isolated or wounded targets avoiding groups.

During Combat: A stagwolf will almost always begin combat with a powerful charge.  If there are more than one, the will cooperate try to isolate and kill the weakest or most distant of their foes and then retreat and look for an opportunity to do the same again.

Morale: Stagwolves are not fearless, but they are quite willing to fight, if out numbered and dropped below 25% of its hit points a stagwolf will try to withdraw, fighting defensively.  If there are multiple stagwolves, they will act to cover each others retreat once they are outnumbered and wounded.

Notes: Partly inspired by this discussion of monster traits over on Exchange of Realities and by my love of chimeric creatures in general.

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