Beetle, Knell, Lesser (CR 5)
Alignment: Always neutral
Initiative: +1 (Dex); Senses: darkvision 60 ft., scent, Listen +6, and Spot +6
AC: 20 (+1 Dex, +9 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 19
Hit Dice: 6d8+24 (51 hp)
Fort +9, Ref +3, Will +2
Speed: 40 ft., burrow 10 ft.
Space: 5 ft./5 ft.
Base Attack +4; Grapple +8
Attack: Claw +8 melee
Full Attack: 2 claws +8 melee and bite +6 melee
Damage: Claw 1d10+4, bite 1d6+2
Special Attacks/Actions: Rend 2d10+6, screech, shake the earth, trample 2d8+6
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 12, Con 18, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 11
Special Qualities: immunity to sonic, sonic healing, vermin traits
Feats: Alertness; Improved Natural Attack (claw); Multiattack
Skills: Balance +5, Jump +8, Listen +6, and Spot +6
Organization: Solitary or colony (12-24 plus 3-12 knell beetles)
Monster Manual III
Rend (Ex): if a knell beetle hits with both claw attacks, it latches onto the opponent's body and tears the flesh. This attack automatically does an additional 2d10+6 points of damage.
Screech (Su): Once per day, a lesser knell beetle can emit a cone of sonic energy from the chitinous bell above its head, just as a normal knell beetle. However, the lesser knell beetle's cone is 20 feet long, and creatures within take 5d6 points of sonic damage (reflex DC 17 half). The save DC is constitution-based.
Shake The Earth (Ex): this ability functions just as a normal knell beetle's shake the earth ability, except the reflex save DC is 17. Lesser and normal knell beetles are immune to each other's shake the earth ability, as well as their own. The save DC is strength-based.
Trample: reflex half DC 17. The save DC is strength-based.
Sonic Healing (Su): this ability functions as the normal knell beetle's sonic healing ability, except lesser knell beetles heal 1 point of damage per 3 points of sonic damage a sonic attack would normally deal.
Skills: lesser knell beetles have a +4 racial bonus on balance, listen, and spot checks.
Like their larger brethren, lesser knell beetles seek to attack in groups, using their shake the earth ability and sonic screeches to both deal damage on their foes and heal each other. A key difference in strategy when lesser knell beetles and normal knell beetles fight together seems to be an instinctual tactic. The lesser knell beetles attack in a line as a unit, while the normal knell beetles gather together behind their smaller brethren. In this way, a normal knell beetle's sonic chime attack catches many more lesser knell beetles in its blast. Due to their sonic healing ability, which is more potent than that possessed by the larger specimens, the lesser knell beetles are able to fight much longer than expected. Combined with their own screeches, lesser knell beetles often seem as durable, if not more so, than their heftier kin.
Lesser knell beetles are the equivalent of the worker drones in a beehive. They scavenge for food, build and expand the nest, and serve as frontline defenders if the colony is attacked. Although not nearly as potent as the normal knell beetles, in groups, the lesser versions can be nearly as deadly. A lesser knell beetle measures 4-5 feet long and weighs 180-200 pounds.