Excerpts 09/05/2004


Monster Manual III
More monsters -- what else is there to say?



Plenty! Fresh foes and advanced versions of classic critters lurk within Monster Manual III, waiting to add complexity to your campaign and a new edge to encounters. This fully illustrated collection of creatures offers many new enemies and a few potential allies, each heading its own page for ease of reference and from-the-book use. DMs will especially appreciate the tactics sections and world-specific advice on incorporating these monsters into particular campaign settings such as the Forgotten Realms and Eberron. Wherever your story unfolds, however, now you can populate it with a whole new menagerie of menaces.

Dracotaur

Dracotaur Dracotaur Rager, 4th-Level Barbarian
Large Dragon Large Dragon
Hit Dice: 3d12+9 (28 hp) 3d12+15 plus 4d12+20 (80 hp)
Initiative: 1 2
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares) 60 ft. (12 squares)
Armor Class: 17 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +5 natural, +2 leather armor), touch 10, flat-footed 16 20 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +5 natural, +4 masterwork chain shirt), touch 11, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+11 +7/+18
Attack: Spear +6 melee (2d6+6/3) Battleaxe +13 melee (2d6+7/3)
Full Attack: Spear +6 melee (2d6+6/3) and bite +1 melee (1d8+2) and tail slap +1 melee (1d8+6) Battleaxe +11/+6 melee (2d6+7/3) and handaxe +11 (1d8+3/3) and bite +6 melee (1d8+3) and tail slap +6 melee (1d8+10)
Space/Reach: 10 ft. /5 ft. 10 ft. /5 ft.
Special Attacks: Spit fire Rage, spit fire
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., immunity to magic sleep effects and paralysis, low-light vision Darkvision 60 ft., fast movement, immunity to magic sleep effects and paralysis, low-light vision, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +5 Fort +12, Ref +6, Will +7
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 11, Cha 13 Str 24, Dex 15, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 12
Skills: Balance +5, Intimidate +7, Jump +16, Knowledge (arcana) +4, Listen +6, Sense Motive +6, Spellcraft +4, Spot +6, Survival +6, Swim +8, Use Magic Device +7 Balance +5, Intimidate +11, Jump +28, Knowledge (arcana) +6, Listen +10, Sense Motive +7, Spellcraft +6, Spot +7, Survival +10, Swim +9, Use Magic Device +7
Feats: Armor Proficiency (light), Iron Will Iron Will, Power Attack, Two-Weapon Fighting
Environment: Temperate marshes Temperate marshes
Organization: Gang (2-3), band (6-10 plus 50% noncombatants plus 1 rager of 3rd-6th level), or tribe (30-60 plus 50% noncombatants plus 2 ragers of 3rd-6th level and 1 leader of 4th-10th level) Gang (2-3), band (1 plus 6-10 dracotaursplus 50% noncombatants), or tribe (2 plus 50% noncombatants plus 30-60 dracotaurs and 1 leader of 4th-10th level)
Challenge Rating: 3 7
Treasure: Standard Standard
Alignment: Usually neutral evil Usually chaotic evil
Advancement: By character class By character class
Level Adjustment: 5 5

This large creature has the upper torso of a muscular reptilian humanoid, a spear held tightly in its clawed hands. Its eyes are black and its sharp teeth glisten. Its lower torso resembles the body of a wingless dragon with large, clawed feet and a spiked tail that flails from side to side.

Dracotaurs are sly, merciless predators incapable of showing compassion and expecting none in return. Hard scales that vary in color from green to brown cover a dracotaur from head to tail. Males have ornate cresting on their heads, throats, and chests ranging from bright red to deep purple. A dracotaur's 4-foot-long tail, although used primarily for balance, ends in wicked spikes that can be brought to bear in battle.

Dracotaurs excrete body oil that helps keep their scales and leather armor supple. They typically wield sharp spears.

An adult dracotaur stands 7 feet tall and measures 10 feet long, weighing about 2,000 pounds.

Dracotaurs speak Draconic.

Combat

Dracotaurs overwhelm their foes quickly using ambushes and flanking tactics. Cold, calculating creatures, dracotaurs usually announce their presence by spitting gouts of fire at their foes and then charge forward with their spears. In the unfolding conflict, a dracotaur relies on its brute strength and multiple attacks to win the day.

Spit Fire (Su): A dracotaur can spit a glob of fire as a standard action. Once a dracotaur spits, it cannot spit again for 1 minute. The dracotaur's spittle is a sticky adhesive substance that ignites when exposed to air, much like alchemist's fire. This glob of fiery spittle is treated as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 20 feet.

A direct hit deals 2d6 points of fire damage. Every creature within 5 feet of the point where the spittle hits takes 1d4 points of fire damage from the splash. Unlike alchemist's fire, a dracotaur's spittle does not continue to burn.

Skills: Because of their tails, dracotaurs have a +4 racial bonus on Balance, Jump, and Swim checks.

Dracotaur Rager

The most feared warriors in a dracotaur tribe are often barbarians who use their brute strength and ferocity to claim power.

The dracotaur rager presented here had the following ability scores before racial adjustments and Hit Dice ability score increases: Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10.

Combat

Dracotaur barbarians enter a rage immediately upon joining a combat.

Rage (Ex): Twice per day, this dracotaur rager can enter a state of fierce rage that lasts 10 rounds. The following changes are in effect as long as he rages: AC 18 (touch 9, flat-footed 18); hp increase by 14; Atk +15 melee (2d6+9/3, battleaxe); Full Atk +13/+8 melee (2d6+9/3, battleaxe) and +13 (1d8+43, handaxe) and +8 melee (1d8+4, bite) and +8 melee (1d8+13, tail slap); SV Fort +14, Will +9; Str 28, Con 24. At the end of his rage, the dracotaur barbarian is fatigued for the remainder of the encounter.

Trap Sense (Ex): A dracotaur rager has an intuitive sense that alerts it to danger from traps, granting a +1 bonus on Reflex saves and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks by traps.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A dracotaur rager can react to danger before its senses would normally allow it to do so. It retains its Dexterity bonus to AC even if it is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, it still loses its Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

Dracotaur Society

Dracotaurs gather in small, nomadic tribes. Dracotaurs respect power above all, and they measure power in terms of raw strength and arcane magical ability. Their leaders are usually mighty warriors, sorcerers, or both.

Although dracotaur tribes occasionally fight over land, rival tribes quickly band together when faced with a common outside threat. Dracotaurs will also ally with other reptilian creatures, including lizardfolk and nagas. Although they are not devout creatures, dracotaurs see true dragons as powerful embodiments of the ancient gods and will give their lives in the service of such creatures. Much of the race's arcane knowledge comes from the ancient teachings of the true dragons.

Dracotaurs rarely stay in any one place long enough to warrant the building of permanent settlements. However, tribes will often lay claim to ancient ruins and use them as sanctuaries, training grounds, or neutral meeting places.

Dracotaurs and centaurs despise one another, and many a dracotaur warrior dreams of devouring the flesh of a fallen centaur foe.

Dracotaurs as Characters

When they are not hunting or defending their territory, many dracotaurs pursue the study of sorcery. Dracotaur barbarians, fighters, and rangers are also common. Dracotaur clerics (which are rare) worship Tiamat and can choose from the Destruction, Evil, and Trickery domains.

Dracotaur characters possess the following racial traits:

+8 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +4 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma.

Large size: -1 penalty to Armor Class, -1 penalty on attack rolls, -4 penalty on Hide checks, +4 bonus on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits double those of Medium characters.

Space/Reach: 10 feet/5 feet.

A dracotaur's base land speed is 50 feet.

Darkvision out to 60 feet, low-light vision.

Racial Hit Dice: A dracotaur begins with three levels of dragon, which provide 3d12 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +3, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +3, Ref +3, and Will +3.

Racial Skills: A dracotaur's dragon levels give it skill points equal to 6 (6 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (arcana), Listen, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Spot, Survival, Swim, and Use Magic Device. Because of their tails, dracotaurs have a +4 racial bonus on Balance, Jump, and Swim checks.

Racial Feats: A dracotaur's Hit Dice give it two feats.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Proficient with natural weapons and with all simple weapons. Proficient with light armor.

+5 natural armor bonus.

Natural Weapons: Bite (1d8) and tail slap (1d8).

Special Attacks (see above): Spit fire.

Special Qualities (see above): Immunity to magic sleep effects and paralysis.

Automatic Languages: Draconic. Bonus Languages: Any.

Favored Class: Sorcerer.

Level adjustment +5.

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