New Monster – Scythe Drake

30 November, 2014

Striking like lightning the winged creature, a lesser dragonkine, lashed out with its tail.  The hard bone at the end of the drake’s tail cut through the mail on the warrior’s leg and the flesh underneath as though it were water.

SCYTHE DRAKE    CR 6        XP 2,400
N Large dragon
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +17
AC 21, touch 11, flat-footed 19 (+2 Dex, +10 natural, –1 size)
hp 63 (6d12+24)
Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +8
Immune sleep, paralysis
Speed 20 ft., fly 60 ft. (poor)
Melee tail-slash +9 melee (2d8+6 /19-20), bite +9 melee (1d8+4), 2 wings +5 (1d6+2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with tail)
Special Attack rake (2 talons +9, 1d6+4)
Str 19, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 7, Wis 13, Cha 11
Base Atk +6; CMB +11 (+15 grapple); CMD 23
Feats Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Fly +5, Perception +17, Sense Motive +10, Stealth +7; Racial Modifier +4 Perception
Languages Draconic
Bleeding Critical (Ex)
On a successful critical hit, the wound inflicted by the tail slash inflicts 1d3 points of bleed damage as well as its normal damage.
Powerful Tail (Ex)
The drake’s musculature efficiently drives its tail, allowing it to use 1.5x its Strength bonus for determining damage.
Sorcerous Sense (Su)
The Scythe drake has an innate ability to sense active magic gaining a +4 racial bonus to Perception checks locate magically hidden creatures or to detect spell-casting.  This also gives them a +2 racial bonus to saves when they are aware that a magical ability or spell is being cast against them.

Environment hills and mountains
Organization solitary, pair, or flight (3–6)
Treasure standard

Scythe drakes are lesser dracoforms and distant cousins to wyverns sharing their territorial nature.  However, the scythe drake hunts by using the blade-like end of its tail to kill its prey with powerful cuts.  They are favored by some dragons to guard mountainous regions from intruders while others use them to hunt rogue spell casters.

A mated pair of scythe drakes is quite capable of taking down quite large prey and rarely a group of them will cooperate to cull a herd or attack a caravan.

A scythe drake is about 18 feet in length, more than half which is a tail ending in curved bone that is sharpened to a killing edge. The average scythe drake weighs 1,800 pounds.  A sub-variant is the twin-tailed scythe drake whose tail forks into two smaller killing blades. [Twin-tailed scythe drakes receive two tail-slash attacks but their base damage is only 2d6.]

Scythe drakes prefer to engage in passing attacks, wounding their prey with their powerful tail and running it down as it becomes exhausted.  Spell casters and other magic users will attract a drake’s attention and ire if said magic is directed against the drake.

Notes:  Created for the Forbidding Island adventure, in its twin-tailed variant not entirely sure of the CR as it is the same as the wyvern which is slightly tougher but with less damaging potential, though the wyvern poison makes up for much of that.

The bone tail of a scythe drake can be crafter into a weapon such as a Scythetail Sovnya.

For a D&D take on them

One comment

  1. There are nasty weapons in dragonish-kind beyond breath weapons, it seems.

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