We all know about mimics, and mimics are awesome: they can be just about anything and pose a cunning surprise for unwary adventurers. Unfortunately, a mimic is rather large and thus cant pose a long-term surprise; plus, a lot of savvy players know better than to run up and open a massive chest without poking it with a 10-foot pole first. So how about a similar monster the PCs will never be expecting in a treasure they won’t be suspicious about? I give you the gem haunt.
What at first seemed to be large gleaming gem suddenly shimmers and seems to melt, becoming a gel-like substance filled with needle-sharp stingers that swirl in the brilliantly colored goo. Completing the transformation is a large, oddly humanoid eye which opens in the middle of the goo.
THE GEM HAUNT CR 3
CE Diminutive aberration
Init +9; Senses all-around vision, darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +2
AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 14 (+4 size, +5 Dex)
hp 30 (4d8+12)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +6
Defensive Abilities amorphous; Immune critical hits, precision damage
Speed 10 ft.
Melee sting +12 (1d2-2 plus poison)
Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks lithovore
Str 6, Dex 20, Con 16, Int 6, Wis 14, Cha 6
Base Atk +3; CMB –3; CMD 12
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Disguise +5 (+25 when mimicking a gem), Stealth +24; Racial Modifiers +20 Disguise when mimicking a gem.
SQ mimic gem
All-Around Vision (Ex): A gem haunt sees in all directions at once. It cannot be flanked.
Amorphous (Ex): When not mimicking a gem, a gem haunt has an amorphous and unstable shape. It is immune to critical hits and precision damage and can squeeze itself through any space that is not watertight.
Lithovore (Ex): A gem haunt gains its nutrition by devouring petrified creatures. This process requires a full-round action, during which the gem haunt deals 1 point of Constitution drain to the petrified creature each round. For every point of Constitution drained, the gem haunt regains 5 hit points and absorbs enough nutrition to sustain itself for 1 week. If a character is reduced to 0 Constitution in this way, it dies. Its petrified body crumbles to dust, leaving a single gem worth 500 gp per Hit Dice in the dust pile, in the place where its heart used to be.
Mimic Gem (Ex): A gem haunt has the ability to alter itself to become any gem of Diminutive size or smaller. An Appraise check reveals that the gem has a value of 2,000 gp. A successful Perception check opposed by the gem haunt’s Disguise check is required to discern that the gem haunt is something other than it is. A gem haunt gains a +20 racial bonus on Disguise checks made to mimic a gem, and always treats Disguise as a class skill. While mimicking a gem, a gem haunt’s senses are reduced to the 5-foot area immediately around it.
Poison (Ex): Type injury; Save Fortitude DC 15; Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; Effect 1 Dexterity damage; if the target’s Dexterity is reduced to 0 by this poison, he become petrified for 1 minute, taking on the appearance of the last gem that the gem haunt mimicked with its mimic gem ability; Cure 1 save.
Gem haunts are thought by some to be the result of magical energies latent in discarded material components for spells. Other schools of thought claim that they are born from the mangled remains of souls left in gems used for soul traps. Whatever the case, these aberrant creatures born from magic are twisted monstrosities with limited intelligence and intense carnivorous appetites that drive it to kill. Their strange powers allow them to change shape from that of a gem, theorized to be the gem that spawned them, to the strange semi-liquid creature that scholars consider to be their natural form. While there was some early debate whether these strange creatures were oozes or something else, modern scholars cite their solid and complex structures, along with their surprising intelligence, to favor the latter argument.
Whatever their origins, gem haunts are cunning and ruthless predators who lie in wait to poison and ultimately devour their prey. While gem haunts prefer to hunt small, weak animals and semi-intelligent humanoids attracted to shiny objects, they won’t hesitate to attack larger, more intelligent prey, especially when hungry. In combat, gem haunts tend to be fairly pragmatic, preferring to attack when their target is at its weakest and remaining in the battle only long enough to get what they need before fleeing to safety. Despite their intelligence, gem haunts have no discernible culture or society.