View Full Version : Birds of a Feather

2006-04-10, 03:01 AM
Murder of Crows

Tiny Animal (Swarm)
Hit Dice: 4d8 (18 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (average)
Armor Class: 14 (+2 size, +2 Dex), touch 14, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/
Attack: Swarm (1d6 plus eye peck)
Full Attack: Swarm (1d6 plus eye peck)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Distraction, eye peck
Special Qualities: Half damage from slashing and piercing, low-light vision, swarm traits
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +3
Abilities: Str 1, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6
Skills: Listen +7, Spot +8
Feats: Alertness, Lightning Reflexes, Weapon FinesseB
Environment: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary, flock (2-4 murders), or colony (5-8 murders)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: 1/10 standard
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: None
Level Adjustment:

Fluttering shadows appear above the treetops, accompanied by frenzied cawing. Black shapes dart down toward you, wings flapping at your faces, claws tearing at your hair, and bills pecking sharply at your skulls.

This can be used to represent a large group of any birds of the genus Corvus, including crows, ravens, and rooks. The birds rarely attack people, especially in such great numbers, but can be commanded to it by magic - at the DM's discretion, summon swarm and similar spells may be used to summon a murder of crows instead of a swarm or bats or rats (other swarms may not be replaced with crows).


The crows attack relentlessly, pecking, scratching, and clawing at their opponents.

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature that begins its turn with a swarm in its space must succeed on a DC 12 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Eye Peck (Ex): Any living creature damaged by a murder of crows must succeed on a DC 12 Reflex save or be blinded. The spells remove blindness, heal, and regenerate can cure this condition. The save DC is Constitution-based.


The statistics are based on the raven entry in the MM and SRD.

I'm not sure about the Eye Peck attack; remove blindness explicitly can't return eyes that are missing. I considered requiring a Fort save to see if your eyes can still be restored by remove blindness, but that seemed unnecessarily complex. In any case, I don't think a CR 2 opponent should cause permanent conditions that can only be removed by a 6th- or 7th-level spell. As it stands, a party attacked by these will likely need a 3rd-level spell for the less fortunate members.

Pawk! Pawk!

2006-04-10, 03:06 AM
I like it, though I can't help with balance. I was thinking of making a spell that summoned something like this, similar to Warhammer's The Crows' Feast.

2006-04-10, 03:08 AM
Maybe something with grapple checks?
And if they just peck, that'd cause temporarily blindness. If they peck for x amount of turns, maybe?

2006-04-10, 03:28 AM
I like it, though I can't help with balance. I was thinking of making a spell that summoned something like this, similar to Warhammer's The Crows' Feast.

That was sort of my idea here, too. I created the swarm so various hags, vampires, etc. can summon and control murders of crows in Ravenloft.

Maybe something with grapple checks?

Swarms can't grapple. None of them get a grapple check bonus, and the subtype traits specifically forbid it. (Anyway, grappling with an individual crow/raven/rook would be ridiculously easy: they have a modifier of -13.)

Counting turns of pecking gets a bit too complex, again. (How many? When does the pecking counter reset?)

2006-04-10, 04:23 AM
Animals NEVER have treasure.

2006-04-10, 04:24 AM
You might make an exception for crows if you find where they nest. They tend to collect shiny things, and shiny things might include a few copper pieces for example.

2006-04-10, 06:32 AM
Yeah, I'm concerned about the Eye Peck, too...

Stick with the remove blindness option, with the reasoning that you'd need to be incapacitated for the crows to be able to actually pluck out your eyes. In most cases the eye will just be damaged.

I'd also rule that it takes one failed save per eye to be completely blinded. Any bonuses that a creature or character has from multiple eyes are lost as their number of functioning eyes are reduced. A creature reduced to one eye suffers a -2 to melee attacks, Spot and Search checks, and -4 to ranged attacks, due to having no depth perception.

Is that helpful?

2006-04-10, 09:35 AM
There's actually a statblock for a murder of crows in Tome of Magic. Odd place for it, eh? Your creation is almost the same, the only difference being the blindness attack. Which I belived the Tome of Magic entry was missing. (Did they see The Birds?)

As with the others, I agree that the blindness abilitiy is a little powerful. Personally, I'd make it only last a few rounds. The other idea, as previously stated, is to add a penalty to Spot/Search and attack rolls. I'd say either is fine, as long as neither is permanent.

2006-04-10, 10:30 AM
LOTR: The Third Age much?


Oh, I see, a murder is what a flock of crows is called...had a I bothered to look that up I might not have sounded like dummy.

There's a spell some enemies cast in LOTR: The Third age called Murder of Crows.

Jack Mann
2006-04-10, 04:22 PM
And a flock of ravens is a conspiracy.

So, if you had a group of crows that was acting oddly...

And the local ravens decided to lock them up for their own good...

Would you have a conspiracy to commit murder?