View Full Version : Monster Cr question - the Shadow Screamer

Fiery Diamond
2008-02-15, 12:42 PM
Ok. Before I post the monster, I want to note a few things.

This monster is a D&D adaptation of a monster my sister and I created for a type of roleplay we did several years back. I know that some of its abilities are not standard, such as its Frightful Paralysis attack. I don't really want critiques on that kind of thing.

This is pretty much the final form of the monster - I just want to have an idea of what CR this is. However, if you think the HD or SR should be changed in order to conform to the CR that the rest of the abilities make this creature, please tell me and give me suggestions on that.

One of its feats is a homebrew feat: Weapon Artistry. I've already had this feat posted on these forums, I don't really want to debate it; but so that you know what it does, I'll rewrite it here:
Weapon Artistry:
You are skilled at using light weapons to strike and twist at vulnerable spots in order to deal more damage, utilized your Dexterity to its fullest potential.
Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +1, Weapon Finesse
Benefit: Any weapon you can use with Weapon Finesse you can use with Weapon Artistry. With such weapons, you may use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on damage rolls. You cannot use this ability if you are carrying a shield.
Special: A fighter may select Weapon Artistry as one of his fighter bonus feats.

The home plane of this creature is also a homebrewed plane, but that really isn't relevant to determining CR or understanding how the monster works (I just didn't want questions about it).

So, here's the creature:

Shadow Screamer

Medium Outsider (Evil, Extraplanar)
{table]Hit Dice: | 8d8+8 (44 hp)
Initiative: | +4
Speed: | 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: | 21 (+4 Dex, +4 cloak, +3 deflection), touch 17, flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple: | +8/+9
Attack: | shadow short sword +12 melee (1d6+4 plus 1d2 Con)
Full Attack: | shadow short sword +12/+7 melee (1d6+4 plus 1d2 Con)
Space/Reach: | 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: | Frightful paralysis, constitution damage, spell-like abilities
Special Qualities: | Darkvision 60 ft., spell resistance 15, severe light sensitivity, special visibility, cloaked, revivification, vulnerability to light
Saves: | Fort +7, Ref +10, Will +6
Abilities: | Str 12, Dex 19, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 11, Cha 16
Skills: | Climb+12, Escape Artist+16, Hide+20* , Jump+12, Knowledge (the planes)+12, Listen+11, Move Silently+12, Spellcraft+11, Spot+11
Feats: | Ability focus (frightful paralysis), Weapon Finesse, Weapon Artistry
Environment: | Outer Plane of Shadow
Organization: | Solitary, pair, team (4-8), or horde (20-60)
Challenge Rating: | ?
Treasure: | None
Alignment: | Always Neutral Evil
Advancement: | 9-14 (medium)
Level Adjustment: | --[/table]

A small human-shaped figure approaches in the darkness, gliding silently toward you. It is draped in a cloak of the deepest purple, and it is difficult to make it out. Even the eyes of the creature are covered by the hood of the cloak, yet it seems to be able to see anyway. As it approaches you, it suddenly pulls back its hood and snarls. You find yourself staring into large, fearsome yellow eyes, paralyzed with fear.

The Shadow Screamers lurk in the night, coming upon innocents unawares. Because of both their nature and the deep purple cloaks they wear, it is difficult to spot them. Travelers from another realm, they seem to like nothing better than causing fear and subsequently killing their paralyzed foes. Even more frightening is their ability to revive, even after being destroyed. As long as their purple cloak exists, they have not truly been defeated.
A Shadow Screamer is about 5 feet tall and weighs less than a Halfling. They speak Common.


Frightful Paralysis(Su): A Shadow Screamer can pull back its hood, glare, and snarl at a nearby foe, causing paralysis. This ability can function one of two ways and can be used as either an immediate or move action. When used as a swift action it is called Sudden Fright; when used as a move action it is called Glaring Terror.
Sudden Fright(Su): As an immediate action, the shadow screamer pulls back its hood, revealing large yellow eyes and a snarl. It targets one creature within 5 feet. The target must make a DC 19 Charisma-based Will save or be paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds. The hood falls back into position at the end of the shadow screamer’s next turn. While the hood is pulled away, the shadow screamer has severe light sensitivity (see below).
Glaring Terror(Su): As a move action, the shadow screamer pulls back its hood, revealing large yellow eyes and a snarl. It can now target one creature within 15 feet on its turn every round as a free action. The target must make a DC 15 Charisma-based Will save or be paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds. The hood remains pulled back until the shadow screamer uses another move action to re-cover its face. While the hood is pulled away, the shadow screamer has severe light sensitivity (see below).
Constitution Damage(Su): A successful hit with a shadow screamer’s sword deals 1d2 points of temporary constitution damage. A creature killed by this constitution damage cannot be raised until a remove curse is cast on the creature's remains.
Spell-like Abilities(Sp): 6/day—invisibility. 3/day—dimension door.
Severe Light Sensitivity(Ex): While their hoods are pulled back, shadow screamers are dazzled in torchlight or within the bright radius of a light spell, and blinded in bright sunlight or within the bright radius of a daylight spell. If a torch or item bearing a light spell is thrust at its face (a move action), a shadow screamer is blinded and stunned for 1 round. If an item bearing a daylight spell is thrust at its face (a move action), it is blinded and stunned for 1d4+1 rounds, and then blinded for an additional 1d2 rounds, even if the daylight is extinguished.
Special Visibility(Su): A shadow screamer, while visible, is visible only to the naked eye. It is undetectable by magic, including spells such as detect evil or scrying. However, when it turns itself invisible, detect spells and see invisibility become able to discern it.
Cloaked(Ex, Su): A shadow screamer always wears its cloak. This cloak provides a +4 armor bonus to AC (an extraordinary effect) and a +3 deflection bonus(a supernatural effect). The cloak also has additional properties. It is the source of life for the shadow screamer. It is the source of the Revivification ability of the shadow screamer. The cloak may be targeted with slashing or piercing attacks instead of the shadow screamer itself. In such a circumstance, the cloak emits a magical energy in order to protect itself (a supernatural effect). The cloak has AC 22, hardness 5, and 20 hit points. If it is destroyed, the shadow screamer (along with its sword) and cloak both vanish into nothingness.
Revivification(Su): If a shadow screamer is slain, its body vanishes, and its cloak falls to the ground. The cloak has AC 12, hardness 5, and 20 hit points in such a situation. If the cloak is not destroyed, the shadow screamer reappears in the same spot, wearing its cloak, in 1d10 rounds, with full hit points and ready to act (its sword vanishes and appears along with the body). This can happen any number of times. If the cloak is destroyed, it and the shadow screamer vanish permanently.
Vulnerability to Light(Ex): A shadow screamer is effected by searing light, sunbeam, and sunburst as if it were an undead creature.
Skills: The Shadow Screamer has a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks. This increases by +4 during the night (for a total modifier of +24).

2008-02-15, 02:35 PM
I'd estimate roughly CR 6-7 off the top of my head... But the Con damage could get nasty. However, at this level, the SR isn't a huge factor, as a level 6 caster with no feats gets past it 60% of the time, but the creature is fairly dangerous... especially if the party doesn't figure out its weaknesses, or think to destroy the cloak...

Can someone run this through VT's approximate CR calculator? That'd probably be a fast way of getting a decent estimate.

2008-02-17, 02:50 AM
CR 8 seems about right.