Excerpts 09/05/2004


Monster Manual III
More monsters -- what else is there to say?



Plenty! Fresh foes and advanced versions of classic critters lurk within Monster Manual III, waiting to add complexity to your campaign and a new edge to encounters. This fully illustrated collection of creatures offers many new enemies and a few potential allies, each heading its own page for ease of reference and from-the-book use. DMs will especially appreciate the tactics sections and world-specific advice on incorporating these monsters into particular campaign settings such as the Forgotten Realms and Eberron. Wherever your story unfolds, however, now you can populate it with a whole new menagerie of menaces.

Boneclaw

Large Undead
Hit Dice: 10d12+40 (105 hp)
Initiative: +8
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (-1 size, +4 Dex, +3 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+14
Attack: Piercing claw +7 melee (2d6+7)*
Full Attack: 2 piercing claws +7 melee (2d6+7)*
Space/Reach: 10 ft./20 ft.
Special Attacks: Reaching claws
Special Qualities: +2 turn resistance, damage reduction 5/bludgeoning, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to cold, undead traits, unholy toughness
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +9
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 18, Con -- , Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 19
Skills: Hide +13, Intimidate +17, Listen +15, Move Silently +17, Search +15, Spot +15
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (claw), Power Attack
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary, skewer (2-4), or marrow (6-11)
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: 11-22 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: --

*Includes adjustments for Power Attack feat.

This large skeletal humanoid's clawlike fingers are at least two feet long. Worse, the slender, knife-sharp claws contract and extend in length from moment to moment, sometimes instantly reaching a length of 10 or more feet, before slowly contracting.

Boneclaws are bloodthirsty undead that enjoy using their extendable claws to bring death to the living. The lore of the dead does not reveal from what dark necromancer's laboratory or fell nether plane boneclaws entered the world. Perhaps they merely "evolved" from lesser forms.

The boneclaw is an intelligent skeletal undead that possesses exceptional control over the length of its claws. At will, a boneclaw can extend one or two of its finger-claws out to a distance of 20 feet, neatly skewering fleshy creatures that stand in the way.

A boneclaw stands about 8 feet tall and weighs about 300 pounds.

Boneclaws speak Common and Abyssal.

Combat

A boneclaw likes to get the drop on its enemies, especially when its foes are still at range, surprising them with an attack of opportunity by extending its claws as its enemies close to melee range. With its Combat Reflexes, this can occur often within the same fight.

A boneclaw normally attacks using its Power Attack feat, taking a -2 penalty on its attack rolls and gaining a +2 bonus on damage rolls.

Reaching Claws (Ex): A bone-claw can make melee attacks with its bone claws, instantly extending them as part of an attack to a distance of up to 20 feet (thereby allowing the boneclaw to threaten more squares than even its Large size would otherwise indicate).

Unholy Toughness (Ex): A boneclaw gains a bonus to its hit points equal to its Charisma modifier x its Hit Dice.

Boneclaws in Eberron

Droaamite necromancers working for the Daughters of Sora Kell have learned how to transform ogre magi skeletons into boneclaws. During the Last War, spies from Karrnath failed to steal the secrets of boneclaw construction from a cabal of necromancers operating within the Great Crag (Droaam's capital). Through careful negotiation, however, Emerald Claw agents have succeeded where the Karrns failed and have begun creating their own boneclaw killers.

Boneclaws in Faerûn

Rumors persist that Szass Tam, the zulkir of necromancy in Thay, created the first boneclaws to protect Thayan enclaves. However, boneclaws have been encountered in the service of various liches and necromancers across Faerûn. Some necromancers speak of a night hag who visits them in their dark dreams, trading the secrets of boneclaw creation for some "gift" to be named later.

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