Gutpuppet (CR 3)
Initiative: +3 (Dex); Senses: Listen +7
AC: 14 (+1 size, +3 Dex), touch 14, flat-footed 11
Hit Dice: 4d8+20 (38 hp)
Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +4
Speed: 5 ft. or 40 ft. (see text)
Space: 2 1/2 ft./5 ft.
Base Attack +3; Grapple -2
Attack: Spikes +7 ranged
Full Attack: Spikes +7 ranged
Damage: 1 plus poison
Special Attacks/Actions: Fluidic burst, poison, spike spit
Abilities: Str 9, Dex 16, Con 20, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 5
Special Qualities: Corpse armor, walk corpse
Skills: Hide +7, Listen +7, and Survival +11
Advancement: 3-4 HD (Medium-sized); 5-7 HD (Large)
Fluidic Burst (Ex): The gutpuppet typically walks around bloated, its many sacs filled with the necrotic poison it uses to animate dead bodies (see below). However, the fluid does not need to enter a body to cause damage -- mere contact is enough to harm. Whenever the gutpuppet sustains five or more points of damage from a single blow, one of its sacs ruptures, spewing fluid in a 10-foot burst in the direction from which the damage came. A Reflex save (DC 15) avoids contact with the poison. Anyone coming into contact with it suffers 1d10 points of temporary Strength damage unless he or she makes a successful Fortitude save (DC 17). Attackers are subject to this effect whether the gutpuppet is in or out of a host body since the fluid is under such high pressure. Note that a corpse with a gutpuppet inside it also sweats the poison, making contact with the corpse's skin dangerous.
Necrotic Poison (Ex): The gutpuppet's spikes inject a fluid that helps the creature animate dead flesh. But when injected into living tissue, this fluid immediately begins to liquefy the living tissue with which it comes into contact. During the first round of injection, the victim must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 17) or suffer 1d10 points of damage, 1d8 points of permanent Strength damage, and succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 17) or fall unconscious from the extreme pain that burns through the entire body including the brain. Secondary damage (see Poison) is the same.
Unfortunately for the gutpuppet, injected fluid destroys the inner tissue it comes into contact with, rendering the victim useless as a host corpse, as the monster needs functioning muscle tissue in order to walk bodies. Someone who dies from being injected with the poison is rendered unusable as a corpse. Standing fluid is also toxic; anyone touching it suffers 1d10 points of temporary Strength damage unless a successful Fortitude save (DC 17) is made. Strength returns at a rate of 1 point per day. There is no secondary damage from touching standing gutpuppet fluid.
Spike Spit (Ex): The gutpuppet uses the mouth of the host body as a convenient opening through which to "spit" spikes at living creatures. Each spike carries a dose of necrotic poison (as described above).
Corpse Armor (Ex): When the gutpuppet is nestled inside a chest, it uses the surrounding dead flesh as protection. This tactic results in damage reduction of 2/--.
Walk Corpse (Ex): When not inside a corpse, the gutpuppet has a speed of 5. When in a corpse and animating it, the creature moves at a speed of 40.
Skills and Feats: The gutpuppet has a racial bonus of +4 on Survival and Listen checks. It receives Track as a bonus feat.