View Full Version : The Spineshark

2008-05-19, 10:18 AM
Thought to be a product of the same mind that created the Owlbear, the Spineshark is a cross between a shark and a dire porcupine.

Spineshark, Large
Size/Type: Large Magical Beast (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 7d10+7 (45 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: Swim 60 ft. (12 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +4 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+12
Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d8+4) or Spikes + ranged
Full Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d8+4) or Spikes + ranged
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: ó
Special Qualities: Blindsense, keen scent
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +3
Abilities: Str 17, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 2
Skills: Listen +8, Spot +7, Swim +11
Feats: Alertness, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative
Environment: Cold aquatic
Organization: Solitary, school (2-5), or pack (6-11)
Challenge Rating: 2
Advancement: 8-9 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: ó

Combat:Spinesharks circle and observe potential prey, then dart in and bite with their powerful jaws.

Blindsense (Ex)
A spineshark can locate creatures underwater within a 30-foot radius. This ability works only when the spineshark is underwater.

Keen Scent (Ex)
A spineshark can notice creatures by scent in a 180-foot radius and detect blood in the water at ranges of up to a mile.

Spikes (Ex)
With a complicated wriggle (as a full-round action), the spineshark launches 2d6 of its spines at any one creature (make an attack roll for each spine). This attack has a range of sixty feet with no range increment. 1d4-1 (to a maximum of the number of spines launched) are poisoned. This ability may be used three times per day.

Quills (Ex)
Any creature striking a spineshark with a natural weapon or attempting to grapple takes piercing damage from the spineshark's quills.

A spineshark has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Okay, I need some help here. So far what I have is copied directly from the SRD's shark entry (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/shark.htm) with the type changed. I've never done any sort of homebrewing before, so I don't really know how to go about it. I know I want some sort of poison-quill attack, perhaps as a ranged thing, and I suspect the quills would give an added natural armor bonus and increase the CR, but I don't know how to go about it.

Better, but still needing work. I have, at last, added the launching and defensive spines, but there are an appalling lack of numbers. I need a ranged base attack bonus, an attack range and crit range for each spike, and a damage amount for the quills. I also need to specify which poison the spikes use. I've looked at the ones in the DMG, and don't like any of them, so it'll probably have to be homebrewed. What I'd really like is something dealing CON and then HP damage, but there don't seem to be any core poisons that hit ability for primary damage and HP for secondary.

Also I'll need help adjusting the CR and combat description from these attacks.

2008-05-19, 10:16 PM
Hey, I like the idea. It seems like something that would make a really cool encounter, especially with a cool spine attack.

I don't think that the spines need to increase the AC, but maybe they could deal damage when they're hit by a melee attack.

As for making homebrew stuff, I donít think itís too complicated. After youíve made whatever you want (poison barbs, bonuses to AC, extra attacks, etc) just decide how powerful it is compared to other monsters. Then you just figure out the CR from that. What CR were you aiming for?

2008-05-20, 12:36 AM
I'd say azalin is on the right track about the quills. I'd perhaps add an extra couple of points of natural armor, plus a (secondary) slam attack that does 1d8 + 1/2 Str modifier piercing (and maybe slashing) damage. Then give it a "Quills (Ex)" ability that says something like, "Any time an adjacent creature strikes a spineshark with a melee attack, the attack creature takes damage as if it had been hit with the spineshark's slam attack." That should let folks with ranged weapons or reach weapons have a better time with it and force some clever tactics from others.

As for shooting the spines, take a look at the Manticore (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/manticore.htm)'s Spikes ability. You don't have to copy it exactly, but it seems like a pretty good approximation for what you're going for.

I'd consider upping the HD and stuff, and maybe giving it some slightly better stats. I mean, you're not limited to using the Shark's stats if you're homebrewing a whole new creature. Don't go crazy, but don't constrain yourself!

For figuring out your creature's Challenge Rating, the best method I know of (besides extensive playtesting and tweaking) is probably one developed by The Vorpal Tribble here on the boards. You can find it somewhere here on Fax Celestis's Guide to Homebrewing (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10313) and I've reproduced it below.

1. Divide its average HP by 4.5 to 6,
4.5 for 5 HD or lower, 5 for 6-10 HD, 5.5 for 11-15 HD, 6 for 16-20 HD.
2. Add 1 for each five points above 10 its AC is, minusing 1 for every 5 below.
3. Add 1 for each special attack (+2 to +5 or more if its got a decent number of spells in its spell-like abilities).
4. Add 1 for each quality unless you deem it worthy of more. Add 1 for each resistance and 10 points of DR it has, and 2 for each immunity.
5. Add 1 for every two bonus feats it has.
6. Divide by 3.

Hope all that was helpful!

2008-05-20, 01:02 PM
I'm not actually aiming for any particular CR. I started from the name, then figured out what combination it would be, and that's about as far as I got before I started this thread. Rtg, I'll take a look at those links. Thanks for the help.

2008-06-25, 03:55 PM
So I've now added launched and defensive spines. What I still need is listed in the first post.

2008-06-25, 04:34 PM
The monster is far too good for CR 2.

2008-06-25, 05:03 PM
Yes, I know that. As a matter of fact, the last sentence of the lately-updated first post starts with "Also I'll need help adjusting the CR".

2008-06-25, 05:53 PM
CR of somewhere in the range of 3-4, more likely 4.
Spikes would be under Special Attacks.
Base attack is +6, because Magical beasts have BAB equal to their HD.
So the normal attack would be +9(+7 BAB -1 size +3 Str), and ranged would be +8(+7 BAB -1 size +2 Dex).
Poison (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#poison).