Hoard Scarab Swarm (CR 5)
AC: 13 (+1 Dex, +2 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 12
Hit Dice: 6d8+6 (33 hp)
Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +3
Speed: 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Space: 10 ft./-
Base Attack +4; Grapple -
Full Attack: Swarm
Damage: swarm 2d6
Special Attacks/Actions: Burrowing, distraction
Abilities: Str 11, Dex 13, Con 13, Int -, Wis 12, Cha 2
Special Qualities: swarm traits, vermin traits
Skills: Hide +13* and Listen +5
Climate/Terrain: Warm deserts
Organization: Individual swarm or cluster of swarms (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).
Hoard scarabs are unintelligent and cannot speak or understand any languages.
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 HD||Swarm Base Damage|
|21 or more||5d6|
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.