Deathraven Swarm (CR 20)

Tiny Magical Beast (Swarm)
Alignment: Always neutral
Initiative: +8; Senses: darkvision 120 ft., Listen +12, and Spot +25

AC: 15 (+2 size, +3 Dex), touch 15, flat-footed 12
Hit Dice: 18d10 (99 hp); DR: 10/magic
Fort +11, Ref +16, Will +10
Speed: 10 ft. fly 120 ft. (perfect)
Space: 10 ft./0 ft.
Base Attack +18; Grapple +18
Attack: Swarm
Full Attack: Swarm
Damage: Swarm 4d8 plus pluck eyes and touch of death
Special Attacks/Actions: Blind, distraction, touch of death
Abilities: Str 11, Dex 17, Con 11, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6
Special Qualities: swarm traits
Feats: Ability Focus (distraction); Ability Focus (touch of death); Alertness; Improved Initiative; Improved Natural Attack (swarm); Iron Will; Lightning Reflexes
Skills: Listen +12 and Spot +25
Advancement: None
Climate/Terrain: Any
Organization: Solitary, murder (2-4 swarms), or slaughter (6-9 swarms)
Treasure/Possessions: None

Source: Book of Exalted Deeds

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature that begins its turn with a deathraven swarm in its square must make a DC 21 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Pluck Eyes (Ex): Each round the deathraven swarm deals damage to a creature, there is a 20 chance that it plucks out the creature's eyes, blinding it permanently. A remove blindness/deafness spell does not replace the lost eyes or cure the blindness. A heal spell restores both the creature's eyes and its vision.

Touch of Death (Su): Any living creature wounded by a deathraven swarm must make a DC 21 Fortitude save or die. A creature killed by a deathraven swarm cannot be raised, reincarnated, or resurrected. Only a wish or miracle spell can restore a life taken by this swarm. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Swarm Traits: A swarm of deathravens rakes half damage from slashing and piercing weapons. It is immune to critical hits, flanking, and spells that target a certain number of creatures (such as disintegrate). The swarm takes a -10 penalty on saving throws against spells or effects that affect an area, such as many evocation spells or grenadelike weapons. If the area effect attack does not allow a saving throw, the swarm takes double damage instead. Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying stare by damage. Also, they cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed.

The swarm deals automatic damage to any creature whose space they occupy at the end of their move, with to attack roll needed. Swarm attacks are not subject to a miss chance for concealment or cover.

Skills: A deathraven swarm gains a +8 racial bonus on Spot checks.

Deathraven swarms are sent to dispatch truly vile and despicable beings. Creatures enveloped by a deathraven swarm are more likely to succumb to its touch of death ability than its comparably weak claw and bite attacks, although deathravens sometimes feast on their victims' flesh, leaving nothing behind but bare bones.

Unlike most other swarms, a deathraven swarm can grapple foes and items, lifting a Medium or smaller creature off its feet and sweeping in up into the sky.

Swarm Subtype

A swarm is a collection of Fine, Diminutive, or Tiny creatures that acts as a single creature. A swarm has the characteristics of its type, except as noted here. A swarm has a single pool of Hit Dice and hit points, a single initiative modifier, a single speed, and a single Armor Class. A swarm makes saving throws as a single creature.

A single swarm occupies a square (if it is made up of nonflying creatures) or a cube (of flying creatures) 10 feet on a side, but its reach is 0 feet, like its component creatures. In order to attack, it moves into an opponent's space, which provokes attacks of opportunity. It can occupy the same space as a creature of any size, since it crawls all over its prey. A swarm can move through squares occupied by enemies and vice versa without impediment, although the swarm provokes attacks of opportunity if it does so. A swarm can move through cracks or holes large enough for its component creatures.

A swarm of Tiny creatures consists of 300 nonflying creatures or 1,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Diminutive creatures consists of 1,500 nonflying creatures or 5,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Fine creatures consists of 10,000 creatures, whether they are flying or not. Swarms of nonflying creatures include many more creatures than could normally fit in a 10-foot square based on their normal space, because creatures in a swarm are packed tightly together and generally crawl over each other and their prey when moving or attacking. Larger swarms are represented by multiples of single swarms. (A swarm of 15,000 centipedes is ten centipede swarms, each swarm occupying a 10-foot square.) The area occupied by a large swarm is completely shapeable, though the swarm usually remains in contiguous squares.

Traits: A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernible anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking. A swarm made up of Tiny creatures takes half damage from slashing and piercing weapons. A swarm composed of Fine or Diminutive creatures is immune to all weapon damage.

Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points or lower causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack. Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage. Also, they cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed, and they cannot grapple an opponent.

A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting spells and abilities (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects) if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind. A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells.

Swarms made up of Diminutive or Fine creatures are susceptible to high winds such as that created by a gust of wind spell. For purposes of determining the effects of wind on a swarm, treat the swarm as a creature of the same size as its constituent creatures (see Winds, page 95 of the Dungeon Master's Guide). For example, a swarm of locusts (a swarm of Diminutive creatures) can be blown away by a severe wind. Wind effects deal 1d6 points of nonlethal damage to a swarm per spell level (or Hit Dice of the originating creature, in the case of effects such as an air elemental's whirlwind). A swarm rendered unconscious by means of nonlethal damage becomes disorganized and dispersed, and does not re-form until its hit points exceed its nonlethal damage.

Swarm Attack: Creatures with the swarm subtype don't make standard melee attacks. Instead, they deal automatic damage to any creature whose space they occupy at the end of their move, with no attack roll needed. Swarm attacks are not subject to a miss chance for concealment or cover. A swarm's statistics block has "swarm" in the Attack and Full Attack entries, with no attack bonus given. The amount of damage a swarm deals is based on its Hit Dice, as shown below.

Swarm HDSwarm Base Damage
21 or more5d6

A swarm's attacks are nonmagical, unless the swarm's description states otherwise. Damage reduction sufficient to reduce a swarm attack's damage to 0, being incorporeal, and other special abilities usually give a creature immunity (or at least resistance) to damage from a swarm. Some swarms also have acid, poison, blood drain, or other special attacks in addition to normal damage.

Swarms do not threaten creatures in their square, and do not make attacks of opportunity with their swarm attack. However, they distract foes whose squares they occupy, as described below.

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to a swarms damage that begins its turn with a swarm in its square is nauseated for 1 round; a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 swarm's HD + swarm's Con modifier; the exact DC is given in a swarm's description) negates the effect. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check.