View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other The Honey Badger [WIP / PEACH]

2015-01-03, 08:05 PM

Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis)

Small Animal
Hit Dice: 2d8+8 (17 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 30 ft., burrow 5 ft.
Armor Class: 17 (+1 size, +3 Dex, +3 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+4
Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d6+1)
Full Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d6+1) and 2 claws -1 melee (1d4+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Ferocity, never pinned, stench
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, loud and proud, padfoot, scent, shrug it off
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +9
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 17, Con 18, Int 5, Wis 8, Cha 16
Skills: Climb +6, Escape Artist +5, Hide +5, Intimidate +14, Listen +4, Move Silently +7, Spot +4
Feats: Endurance, Steadfast Determination (B), Weapon Finesse (B)
Environment: extremely varied, including temperate and tropical forest, woodland, savanna, steppe, alpine
Organization: Solitary, or rarely pair (either mated pair or mother/cub)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: none
Alignment: chaotic neutral
Advancement: None
Level Adjustment: -

Few animals deserve their notoriety so thoroughly as the honey badger. With nonstop energy, a cunning streak and a spitfire sense of entitlement, a honey badger is a compact bundle of havoc.

Typically three feet long and rarely over 35 pounds, honey badgers are sleek and fluid despite their stocky, muscular build. Burly and broad in the shoulders, with heavy jaws capable of crushing bone and tortoise shells, honey badgers roam where they will and take what they please. Their thick skin is tough enough to resist arrows and machetes, yet loose enough for a honey badger to twist and strike when seized by a lion's jaws. Such encounters are usually provoked by the honey badgers, who are known to seek out lions and bully them away from their kills. This foolhardy aggression is not always in the honey badgers' best interest; although they may drive off lions and packs of hyenas, the tables are sometimes turned, and leopards in particular are apt to make a meal of them.

The honey badger's own appetite is best described as "bottomless omnivore," using its heavy forearms and outsized claws to excavate rodents and frogs from their burrows, along with all manner of spiders and insects--dung beetles are a particular favorite--with roots and tubers on the side. A dedicated opportunist, the honey badger will just as gladly take snakes, lizards, turtles, birds and even fish when it can get them. It scavenges carrion with equal enthusiasm. Despite the name, honey is only a modest component of its diet, and the honey badger raids beehives as much for the protein-rich grubs as for the honey itself.

With its bounding, tireless stride, a honey badger can easily cover twenty or twenty-five miles a night, although they have no scruples about staying put where food is plentiful. While usually solitary, honey badgers will congregate at a rich food source, and pairs will occasionally forage together during the brief mating season. Longer-lasting pairs are more likely to be a female and a cub, who may stay together for as long as two years. While most common in woodland and savanna, honey badgers are found across a broad variety of habitats, from deep forest to arid steppes, from coastal scrub to alpine moorlands, surviving readily at altitudes of two and a half miles.

The honey badger's brain is proportionally one of the largest of any carnivore, protected by a solid, heavy skull. Capable problem-solvers who clearly relish a good challenge, honey badgers are accomplished escape artists, even opening gate latches in pursuit of their freedom. In the cases where they adapt to captivity, honey badgers have survived up to 24 years; their lifespan in the wild is unknown.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, male honey badgers are noted for their exceptionally large testes.


Ferocity (Ex): A honey badger fights with reckless abandon, and continues to fight without penalty even while disabled or dying.

Never Pinned (Ex): A honey badger's loose skin allows it to twist freely when seized, granting a +4 bonus to attacks while grappled.

Stench (Ex): At the least provocation a honey badger deploys a pair of eversible anal glands, which release a foul-smelling musk described as "eye-watering" and "suffocating." All living creatures within 30 feet of a honey badger (except other honey badgers) must succeed on a DC 16 Fortitude save or be sickened for 5 rounds.

Loud and Proud (Ex): The honey badger's white dorsal mantle is a clear visual warning, meant to be seen and recognized. This confers a -2 penalty on Hide checks and a +2 reputation bonus on Intimidate checks.

Padfoot (Ex): A honey badger's thickly padded soles provide a +2 circumstance bonus on Move Silently checks.

Shrug It Off (Ex): For reasons not fully understood, honey badgers can shrug off scorpion stings, bee stings, and even cobra bites. Honey badgers have a +4 racial bonus to Fort saves against poison.

Skills: Honey badgers have a +4 racial bonus on Climb, Listen and Spot checks, and a +8 racial bonus on Intimidate checks. A honey badger can always take 10 on an Intimidate check, even if rushed or threatened.

I've been wanting to write up the honey badger ever since I saw an excellent (and hilarious) documentary on PBS Nature near the start of last year. A few days ago the topic came up in a thread on the Playground, I started reading up on them, and it seemed the thing to do.

Also, I should mention that I'm listing the honey badger's Intelligence as 5, but skills are calculated as if the creature had an Intelligence of 2. The Int score of 5 represents where I feel the honey badger should rate in terms of behavior, but I'm keeping the skills at the animal baseline to avoid mechanical complications. (Or at least that's the idea.)

It's been a while since I've homebrewed a 3.5 animal, and I'd forgotten what a hassle it is to pick through the cumbersome section on critter creation at the back of the Monster Manual. Reading the sources was fun, but figuring out BAB and skill points not so much.

For this reason, I'd appreciate it if someone could double-check my math on those points, and help answer my most nagging question: is this critter really CR 2?

Other constructive commentary also welcome.

Anonymous. Mellivora capensis (Schreber, 1776). Encyclopedia of Life (http://eol.org/pages/328035/overview).

Gooder, S. et al. 2014. Honey Badgers: Masters of Mayhem (http://video.pbs.org/video/2365179375/?utm_source=youtubeutm_medium=pbsofficialutm_campa ign=naat_covefullprogram). PBS NOVA/WGBH Educational Foundation.

Kingdon, J. 1997. The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals. Academic Press, London.

Vanderhaar, J. M. and Hwang, Y. T. 2003. Mellivora capensis. Mammalian Species 721: 1-8.

Changed Iron Will to Weapon Finesse at nonsi's suggestion--works much better all around.

2015-01-04, 08:50 AM
BAB = +1 (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm) (regard this link later on)
Also, with such high Dex, I'd replace Iron Will with Weapon Finesse.
This will validate the bite attack having +4.

I'd also add to Never Pinned that a honey badger truly cannot be pinned (may be held in a Grapple but not pinned).

Finally, I'd give it Climb speed (15' seems fine to me).

As for stats:
- Will: way way too high. +0 for 2HD animal (it's not a dire animal) and neg. Wis don't do good to will saves.
- Don't have time now to go over the skills, but they also seem too high. (re-use the above link and recalculate)

2015-01-04, 10:08 AM
Originally Posted by nonsi

Thanks for your comments and suggestions, I appreciate your looking this over.

Originally Posted by nonsi
Will: way way too high. +0 for 2HD animal (it's not a dire animal) and neg. Wis don't do good to will saves.

Note that Steadfast Determination (PHB 2, p. 83) allows you to use your Con bonus instead of Wisdom for Will saves. It requires Endurance as a prerequisite, so that part seemed to fit nicely.

As far as the base Will save, the table on p. 290 of the Monster Manual lists animals as having Good saves for "Fort, Ref (and sometimes Will)," which seemed to suggest the option was there depending on the animal involved. A high Will save is something I wanted, so it seemed appropriate.

If I'm reading everything correctly, that's a +3 base save from the Good progression, +4 from the Con bonus through Steadfast Determination, and +2 from Iron Will.

2015-01-04, 10:25 AM
If I'm reading everything correctly, that's a +3 base save from the Good progression, +4 from the Con bonus through Steadfast Determination, and +2 from Iron Will.

Yes, but without Weapon Finesse, Mr. Badger has +2 to hit with its primary attack and -3 with secondary attacks (hence the suggestion to swap Iron Will)....... or you could say that Steadfast Determination is gained even though the badger doesn't meet the prereqs (this is something you'd encounter every once in a while, in some context or another), which will allow you to trade Endurance for Weapon Finesse.

2015-01-04, 10:36 AM
You've convinced me to switch out Iron Will for Weapon Finesse, since he'll be using that a lot more than making Will saves, and +7 is still pretty good.


2015-01-05, 06:16 AM
I've seen that documentary, but I don't think I agree that just because honey badgers are skilled problem-solvers that their Int should be 5. Doesn't that mean they should have a language? Besides, apes, octopi, and porpoises all have Ints of 2 (and a *Celestial* porpoise's is only 3).

I certainly DO wish that 3.5 supported finer distinctions between subhuman intelligence levels, but *shrug*

Everything else looks good to me; I might just use this. I don't think a level 1 commoner should be able to take down a honey badger by himself most of the time, and you seem to have met that criterion :smallsmile:

2015-01-05, 11:22 PM
I'd be a were-version of that :smallbiggrin:.

2015-01-14, 12:54 PM
Really good job but I have to agree that Int should be 2. They don't have a language and they don't make tools just use what's at hand. Other animals use tools too but that doesn't give them higher Int either. They also don't strike me as particularly chaotic.