Hoard Scarab (CR 1/2)
Alignment: Always neutral
Initiative: +1 (Dex); Senses: tremorsense 20 ft., darkvision 60 ft., and Listen +5
Languages: No language
AC: 11 (+8 size, +1 Dex, +2 natural), touch 19, flat-footed 20
Hit Dice: 1/8d8+1 (2 hp)
Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +1
Speed: 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Space: 1 ft./0 ft.
Base Attack +0; Grapple -21
Attack: Bite +3 melee
Full Attack: Bite +3 melee
Damage: bite 1d2-5
Special Attacks/Actions: Burrowing
Abilities: Str 1, Dex 13, Con 13, Int -, Wis 12, Cha 2
Special Qualities: Vermin traits
Skills: Hide +13* and Listen +5
Climate/Terrain: Warm deserts
Organization: Solitary or cluster (2-5)
Burrow (Ex): If a hoard scarab hits a Small or larger living creature with a bite attack (or if a hoard scarab swarm hits with its swarm attack), on its next turn it can attempt to burrow into the target's flesh. The target may attempt a Reflex save (DC 11 for an individual scarab, or DC 14 for a swarm) to prevent the hoard scarab from burrowing in (a helpless creature can't prevent the burrowing). If the save fails, each round thereafter the target takes 1d2 points of Constitution damage (from an individual scarab) or 2d4 points of Constitution damage (from a swarm of scarabs).
A hoard scarab doesn't leave a target until the target is dead. Once a hoard scarab has burrowed into its target, it can be destroyed by any effect that would cure a disease, such as remove disease or heal. (A single spell eliminates all burrowing hoard scarabs, though it gives no protection against further burrowings.)
Creatures with immunity to disease, as well as those with a natural armor bonus (including enhancement) of +3 or better, are immune to a hoard scarab's burrowing attack.
Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to the swarm's damage that begins its turn with a swarm in its square is nauseated for 1 round (Fortitude DC 14 negates). Even with a successful save, spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using any skill involving patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Swarm Traits: A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernible anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking. A hoard scarab swarm is immune to all weapon damage.
Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points or fewer causes the swarm 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 hoard scarab swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate). A swarm takes a -10 penalty on saving throws against spells or effects that affect an area, such as many evocation spells or splash weapons. If such as attack does not allow a saving throw, the swarm takes double damage instead.
Hoard scarab swarms 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 hoard scarab swarm, treat the swarm as a creature of Fine size. Wind effects deal 1d6 points of nonlethal damage to the swarm per spell level (or Hit Die 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.
Skills: Hoard scarabs have a +4 racial bonus on listen checks. Hoard scarabs have a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks when they are concealed among coins (at least 10 coins for an individual scarab, or at least 10,000 coins for a swarm). A hoard scarab has a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.
An individual hoard scarab seeks to burrow into its target's flesh. However, hoard scarabs prefer to attack en masse, swarming over a target and chewing it apart.
A hoard scarab is an eyeless, beetlelike creature that hides in piles of treasure. Thanks to its size and its silver or golden shell, it looks much like a coin when dormant (though close observation reveals its nature). A swarm resembles a pile of gold and silver pieces.
Hoard scarabs are often hidden among the treasure of a dragon (hence their name). They often live in a symbiotic relationship with the dragon, keeping the wyrm's scales clean of troublesome vermin (the dragon's natural armor keeps it safe from the scarab's burrowing ability).