Hello, and welcome to Monster Week. In case you haven’t noticed, our current article line-up is pretty heavily oriented towards player characters, with tons of feats, alternate class features, magic items, and spells designed with players in mind. But this week, we’re changing our focus, and instead looking at giving a little bit of love to the monsters. All this week you’ll see options designed with monsters in mind.
Note that some of the class features for the following class refer to the character’s CR, including class levels. For those of you not familiar with the process of calculating a monster’s CR after applying class levels, the information can be found in the Pathfinder Bestiary, but bear in mind that the monstrous paragon prestige class is considered a key class for monsters of all roles, and so each level should increase the monster’s CR by 1.
New Prestige Class
Monstrous paragons are truly horrifying exemplars of their kind, with strange and terrible features that make them even more monstrous than their kin. No two monstrous paragons are exactly alike, as a monstrous paragon can belong to one of any number of different terrible inhuman races, and each monstrous paragon manifests its strange features in different ways.
To qualify to become a monstrous paragon, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +6
Special: The character must be of the aberration, dragon, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, ooze, outsider, plant, or vermin type. This class is not intended for player characters, and can only be taken with GM permission.
The monstrous paragon’s class skills are Climb (Str), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.
Hit Die: d10.
All of the following are class features of the monstrous paragon.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A monstrous paragon gains no proficiency with any weapons or armor.
Monstrous Feature: At 1st level, and every odd-numbered level thereafter, the monstrous paragon may select a single monstrous feature from the following list.
Acid Blood (Su): A powerful acid courses through the monstrous paragon’s veins, rather than normal blood. Any time the monstrous paragon is dealt piercing or slashing damage, its blood sprays forth in an adjacent square of the monstrous paragon’s choice, dealing 2d6 points of acid damage to any creatures in that square. A successful Reflex save (DC 10 + the monstrous paragon’s class level + the monstrous paragon’s Constitution modifier) halves this damage.
Breath Weapon (Su): The monstrous paragon gains a breath weapon. The breath weapon takes the form of a 30-foot cone, and deals 3d8 points of damage to each creature in the area. The damage is one of the following energy types: acid, cold, electricity, or fire. The exact energy type is chosen when this class feature is gained, and cannot later be changed. A successful Reflex save (DC 10 + the monstrous paragon’s class level + the monstrous paragon’s Constitution modifier) halves the damage. This breath weapon can be used once per minute.
This ability can be taken multiple times. Each time it is taken beyond the first, the amount of damage the breath weapon deals increases by 2d8, and the saving throw DC increases by +2.
Death Curse (Su): The monstrous paragon is able to utter a powerful curse upon his death. When the monstrous paragon dies, as an immediate action before dying, he can set this curse upon a single creature within 120 feet that he can see. The target is affected as though by the spell bestow curse, except that there is no saving throw allowed to resist the spell, and any attempt to lift the curse (such as remove curse, or similar effects) requires a caster level check (DC 10 + the monstrous paragon’s class level + the monstrous paragon’s Charisma modifier) in order to be successful.
Extra Eyes (Ex): The monstrous paragon grows several new eyes. This grants a +8 racial bonus on Perception checks made to see things, and also allows the monstrous paragon to see in all directions at once, so that he cannot be flanked.
Eyes of the Deep (Ex): The monstrous paragon’s eyes are adjusted for pitch blackness, and he gains blindsight to a range of 60 feet.
Hunter’s Reflexes (Ex): When the monstrous paragon uses the charge action, he can make an attack with each of his natural attacks, instead of just one. If the monstrous paragon is wielding a manufactured weapon, he cannot attack with that weapon on the same turn that he uses this ability.
Raging Temper (Ex): The monstrous paragon gains the rage class feature of the barbarian. He can rage for a number of rounds each day equal to 4 + his Constitution modifier (if he has the rage class feature from another source, he can now rage for a number of additional rounds equal to 4 + its Constitution modifier). The monstrous paragon also gains a single rage power for which he qualifies.
Regeneration (Su): The monstrous paragon’s body heals itself supernaturally. He gains regeneration equal to 1/2 his class level, rounded down (minimum 1). Choose two of the following energy types: acid, cold, electricity, or fire. Damage of either of these types causes the monstrous paragon’s regeneration to stop working on the round after taking the damage. This choice must be made when the ability is gained, and cannot later be changed.
Terrifying Roar (Su): The monstrous paragon is capable of letting out a bellowing roar which turns the bowels of even the most stalwart of warriors to jelly. This is a standard action, and all creatures within 120 feet of the character that can hear him must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + the monstrous paragon’s class level + the monstrous paragon’s Charisma modifier) or become panicked for 1 minute. Even those that succeed on their save are shaken for 1 minute. Any target that has at least as many Hit Dice as the monstrous paragon, however, is only shaken if he fails the saving throw, and suffers no effect if he succeeds on the saving throw. This ability can be used at will, but no more than once per minute, and any creature that has been subject to the ability in the last 24 hours, whether they succeeded on their saving throw or not, gain a +8 bonus on their saving throw to resist the effect.
Toxins (Ex): The monstrous paragon’s body manufactures a poison, which he delivers with one of his natural attacks. The natural attack to be affected must be chosen when the ability is gained, and cannot later be changed. Whenever the monstrous paragon deals damage with that natural attack, the target is exposed to the poison. The poison has no onset period, and a frequency of 1/round for 6 rounds. The DC of the Fortitude save to resist the poison’s effects is equal to 10 + the monstrous paragon’s class level + the monstrous paragon’s Constitution modifier. The poison deals either 1d2 points of Strength damage or 1d3 points of Dexterity damage. This choice is made when the ability is gained, and cannot later be changed. A single successful save cures the victim of the poison.
This ability can be taken multiple times. Each time it is taken after the first, the saving throw DC increases by +1, and for every two times it is taken beyond the first, the amount of ability score damage dealt is increased by 1.
Damage Reduction (Ex): At 2nd level, a monstrous paragon gains damage reduction, or improves its existing damage reduction, if it has any. If the monstrous paragon does not possess damage reduction, he gains DR 5/cold iron or DR 5/silver. This choice is made when the monstrous paragon gains this class feature, and cannot later be changed. When the monstrous paragon’s CR (including his class levels) is 10 or higher, the DR increases to 10/cold iron or 10/silver.
If the monstrous paragon already has damage reduction, the amount of that damage reduction increases by 5. If the monstrous paragon has more than one type of damage reduction (such as DR/evil and DR/cold iron), only one instance of damage reduction is increased, and, once chosen, cannot later be changed.
Resilience (Ex): At 4th level, the monstrous paragon becomes particularly resilient to one type of special ability. He must select Fortitude, Reflex, or Will. Any time he is subject to an ability that allows the chosen type of saving throw in order to reduce an effect (such as a Reflex save for half damage, or a Will save to be shaken, instead of frightened), if he succeeds on the saving throw, he is completely immune to the effect, instead of simply suffering the lesser effect. The saving throw in question must be chosen when the class feature is gained, and cannot later be changed.
Lethal Form (Ex): At 6th level, the monstrous paragon’s natural weapons become more efficient tools of death and destruction. His natural attacks deal damage as though he were one size category larger than he actually is. This stacks with any other effect that would increase the amount of damage a monstrous paragon’s natural attacks deal, including the Improved Natural Attack feat.
Spell Resistance (Su): At 8th level, the monstrous paragon gains spell resistance equal to 6 + its CR (including its class levels).
Greater Monstrous Feature: At 10th level, the monstrous paragon gains one of the three abilities listed below.
Immortal (Su): The monstrous paragon is extremely difficult to kill. The monstrous paragon becomes immune to death effects, and does not die as a result of being reduced to less than 0 hit points, although he still falls unconscious. If the monstrous paragon has the ferocity special ability, or something else that would allow it to remain conscious after being reduced to less than 0 hit points, he automatically falls unconscious when his negative hit point total exceeds his Constitution score. The only way to kill a monstrous paragon with this ability is to sever its head (this can be done as a special application of the coup de grace action. The headsman must be using a slashing weapon, and must specifically declare that he is attempting to behead the monstrous paragon, otherwise the rules for a coup de grace remain the same, and the monstrous paragon is subject to it despite being otherwise immune to death effects. A vorpal weapon’s special ability can also slay a monstrous paragon with this ability).
Even then, if the head is reattached to the monstrous paragon’s body within a year and a day, it will reattach and he will return to life in 1d4 days.
Stone Gaze (Su): The monstrous paragon gains a gaze attack that turns creatures to stone. The gaze attack has a range of 30 feet, and any creature affected by it must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 20 + the monstrous paragon’s Charisma modifier) or be petrified permanently. A stone to flesh spell, or similar, can reverse the effect. The monstrous paragon can suppress or resume this ability as a swift action. For more information on gaze attacks, see the Pathfinder Bestiary.
Wings (Ex): The monstrous paragon grows a pair of huge, bat-like or insectile wings, which grant him flight. He gains a fly speed equal to twice his movement speed, with a maneuverability of good. He also gains Hover and Wingover as bonus feats.