Several months ago, when I posted The Hall of a Dozen Deaths, I mentioned that I had been unable to find the Hook Horror in either one of Paizo’s Bestiaries. I found this really disappointing, because the Hook Horror is one of my favorite, classic D&D monsters. As best as I can tell, Wizards of the Coast doesn’t actually have any particular ownership on the monster. It originally appeared in a magazine called White Dwarf published by Games Workshop, before appearing in TSR and later WotC products. Though if I am wrong on that, or if my quotations from Monster Manual II are problematic, I imagine I’ll receive a cease and desist letter if this blog ever ends up on Wizard’s radar.
Below is the classic Hook Horror monster, updated for the Pathfinder role playing game. I based it off of the Hook Horror as it appeared in the Dungeons and Dragons Third Edition Monster Manual II. I realize, of course, that it’s no great task to update a monster from D&D 3 to Pathfinder, but I decided to post this for three reasons. First, easy as it is to simply throw a 3.0 monster into a Pathfinder game, few GMs will take the time to notice that the creature should have different skills and more feats, so I took care of that. I also calculated combat maneuver bonus, which is important to the Hook Horror, due to its special grabbing attack. Second, it has been a very long weekend, with lots of computer issues, and I really don’t have the energy for a more full bodied post. And my final, very selfish reason, is that people have been getting to my blog by typing “Pathfinder Hook Horror” for months. At least now they won’t reach my blog only to realize that what they’re looking for isn’t here.
So, without further ado:
The hulking creature has the screeching head of a vulture, with the hard carapace of an insect. It’s long limbs end in wicked hooks, which look like they’re good for more than just climbing.
Hook Horror (CR6)(Aberration/Underground/Temperate)
N Large Aberration
Init +3; Senses Perception +9, Blindsight 60ft.
AC 22, touch 12, flat-footed 19 (-1 size, +3 Dex, +10 natural)
hp 65 (10d8 + 20)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Wis +8
Speed 20 ft., Climb 20ft.
Melee bite +8 (2d6 + 3); 2 claws +13 (1d8 + 7)
Space 5ft.; Reach 10ft.
Special Attacks: Improved Grab, power sunder, rending bite
Str 24 Dex 17 Con 14 Int 7 Wis 12 Cha 9
Base Atk +6/1 CMB +14; CMD 27
Feats Cleave, Improved Trip (B), Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Awesome Blow, Improved Natural Attack (Claw)
Skills Climb +16, Stealth +8, Acrobat +9, Perception +9
SQ light sensitivity
Organization Solitary, pack (5-20), or clan (21-40)
Sly hunters of cavernous subterranean areas, hook horrors are territorial monsters that distrust intruders and fiercely protect their hunting grounds. Underground areas where hook horrors dwell echo with the constant clacking and scraping sounds of their hooks against stone, as they wend their way across cliffsides and cavern walls.
A hook horror stands about 9 feet tall, and weighs approximately 400 pounds. Its long, powerfully built arms and legs end in wickedly curved hooks. Its head resembles a vulture’s, with a monstrous beak. Its torso is shaped like a beetle’s body and covered with a rough, stonelike exoskeleton, studded with sharp, bony protuberances.
Hook horrors normally live in extended family groups or clans, each of which is ruled by the eldest female. The eldest male usually leads the clan’s hunters and warriors. The clan stores its eggs communally, in a central, well-defended area of its home system of caverns or warrens.
Hook horrors are omnivores, consuming lichens, fungi, plants, and any animals they can catch. Meat is their preferred food, and drow is rumored to be one of their favorite meals.
Hook horrors attack in groups, using their climbing skills to ambush foes from above. They fight cooperatively and work together against the largest and best armed opponents. Hook horrors use their arm hooks to trip foes. If a battle goes poorly, they retreat by scaling walls.
Improved Grab (Ex) If a hook horror hits an opponent that is at least one size category smaller than itself with both claw attacks, it deals normal damage, and rolls a combat maneuver check to begin a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it gets a hold, it automatically hits with its rending bite attack on the same round (this replaces its normal bite attack for that round.) Thereafter, the hook horror has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use its claws to hold the opponent (-20 penalty on combat maneuver checks to grapple, but the hook horror is not considered grappled). In either case, each successful grapple check it makes during successive rounds automatically deals damage for both claw attacks and a rending bite.
Power Sunder (Ex) A hook horror attempting to strike a foe’s weapon or shield does not incur an attack of opportunity. On a successful power sunder attack, a hook horror deals double damage.
Rending Bite (Ex) A hook horror can automatically bite a grabbed foe for 3d6 + 19 points of damage.
Blindsight (Ex) A hook horror emits high-frequency sounds, inaudible to most other creatures, that bounce off nearby objects and creatures. This ability enables it to discern objects and creatures within 60 feet. The hook horror usually does not need to make perception checks to notice creatures within range of its blindsight. A silence spell negates this ability and forces the hook horror to rely on its weak vision, which has a range of 10 feet.
Light Sensitivity (Ex) Exposure to bright light (such as sunlight or a daylight spell) imposes a -2 penalty on a hook horror’s attack rolls.
Skills: A hook horror recieves a +8 racial bonus on stealth checks when in subterranean areas. This is not included in the calculation of Hook Horror’s stealth check above.