A creature's traits describe all its special abilities, including attacks, defenses, immunities and other such things. A creature may have any number of traits. The traits found amongst creatures of the islands are listed below:
Ability Score Loss
Some attacks reduce the opponent's score in one or more abilities. This loss can be temporary (ability damage) or permanent (ability drain).
Ability Damage: This attack damages an opponent's ability score. The creature's descriptive text gives the ability and the amount of damage. If an attack that causes ability damage scores a critical hit, it deals twice the indicated amount of damage. Ability damage returns at the rate of 1 point per day for each affected ability.
Ability Drain: This effect permanently reduces an opponent's ability score. The creature's descriptive text gives the ability and the amount drained. If an attack that causes ability drain scores a critical hit, it drains twice the indicated amount. Unless otherwise specified in the creature's description, a draining creature gains an extra recovery check with a +5 bonus whenever it drains an ability score, no matter how many points it drains.
Some ability drain attacks allow a Fortitude save (Difficulty 10 + 1/2 creature's level + creature's Charisma score). If no saving throw is mentioned, none is allowed.
A creature with this trait has the ability to assume one or more specific alternate forms. Assuming an alternate form results in the following changes to the creature:
- The creature retains the type and subtype of its original form.
- The creature loses the physical traits of its original form and gains the physical traits of its new form.
- The creature retains the special traits of its original form. It does not gain any special traits of its new form.
- The creature retains the supernatural powers and attacks of its old form (except for breath weapons and gaze attacks). It does not gain the supernatural powers, special abilities or supernatural attacks of its new form.
- The creature gains the physical ability scores (Str, Dex, Con) of its new form. It retains the mental ability scores (Int, Wis, Cha) of its original form.
- The creature retains its save bonuses, although its save modifiers may change due to a change in ability scores.
- The creature is effectively disguised as a creature of its new form, and it gains a +10 bonus on Disguise checks if it uses this ability to create a disguise.
An amphibious creature is naturally aquatic but can also survive indefinitely on land. It can breathe both air and water without difficulty.
Using non-visual senses, such as acute smell or hearing, a creature with blindsense notices things it cannot see. The creature usually does not need to make Notice checks to pinpoint the location of a creature within range of its blindsense ability, provided the creature does not have total cover. Any opponent the creature cannot see normally still has total concealment, and the creature still has the normal miss chance when attacking foes that have concealment. Visibility still affects the movement of a creature with blindsense. A creature with blindsense is still unable to use its Dodge or Parry against attacks from creatures it cannot see.
Using non-visual senses, such as sensitivity to vibrations, scent, acute hearing, or echolocation, the creature maneuvers and fights as well as a sighted creature. Invisibility and darkness are irrelevant to such a creature. The ability's range is specified in the text. The creature does not need to make Notice checks against creatures within range of its blindsight ability; it detects them automatically.
A breath weapon attack usually deals damage and is often based on some type of energy.
Such breath weapons allow a Reflex save for half damage (Difficulty 10 + 1/2 creature's level + creature's Constitution score). A creature is immune to its own breath weapon unless otherwise noted. Some breath weapons allow a Fortitude save or a Will save instead of a Reflex save.
A creature with this special quality has the ability to assume the appearance of a specific creature or type of creature (usually a humanoid) while retaining most of its own physical qualities. Changing shape results in the following changes to the creature:
- The creature retains the type and sub-type of its original form.
- The creature loses the natural weapons, movement modes, and extraordinary special attacks of its original form.
- The creature gains the natural weapons, movement modes, and extraordinary special attacks of its new form.
- The creature retains all other special attacks and qualities of its original form, except for breath weapons and gaze attacks.
- The creature retains the ability scores of its original form.
- The creature retains its original saving throws.
- The creature retains any supernatural powers it had in its original form.
- The creature is effectively disguised as a creature of its new form, and gains a +10 bonus on Disguise checks if it uses this ability to create a disguise.
The creature crushes the opponent, automatically dealing bludgeoning damage after making a successful grapple check. The amount of damage is given in the creature's entry. The creature may deal this damage even if it uses grapple to pin or move its opponent. If the creature also has the Improved Grab feat, it deals constriction damage in addition to damage dealt by the attack used to grab.
The creature receives a bonus to its Toughness saving throws against certain attacks. The creature takes normal damage from energy attacks (acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic), powers, and supernatural special abilities.
The entry indicates the bonus and the type of attack that negates the ability. A supernatural weapon automatically negates any damage reduction negated by a mundane weapon type. For example, skeletons have damage reduction +2/bludgeoning. This means they get a +2 bonus to their Toughness saves, unless hit by a bludgeoning weapon. They also lose their +2 bonus if hit by a supernatural weapon.
For purposes of harming other creatures with damage reduction, a creature's natural weapons count as the type that ignores its own damage reduction. For example, a vampire has damage reduction +4/ silver and supernatural. This means a vampire can bypass the damage reduction of other creatures that are vulnerable to silver or supernatural weapons, including other vampires.
The creature can see in total darkness, out to the specified range (usually 60 feet). Darkvision is black-and-white only, but is otherwise like normal sight.
The creature needs a particular substance to survive, much like humans need food, water, and air. When denied what it needs, the creature suffers the effects of starvation, dehydration, or suffocation, depending on how dependent it is on the substance.
When heroes come into contact with a disease, they must make a Fortitude saving throw against a Difficulty of 10 + the disease's virulence rank to avoid becoming infected. The method of infection depends on the disease. Some are airborne, while others require physical contact.
If a hero becomes infected, there is a period of anywhere from a few hours to a week or more during which the disease lies dormant. Then the disease takes effect. The initial effect is typically a point or two of ability damage (usually Strength or Constitution or perhaps a point of each).
After that, the victim makes another Fortitude save against the same Difficulty each day to fight off the disease. If that save fails, the character suffers the disease's effects again. If it succeeds, there is no effect that day. Two successful Fortitude saves in a row indicate the character has fought off the disease. Some diseases may have additional effects, such as nausea or rendering the hero staggered or disabled while fighting off the disease.
The creature can attempt to engulf an opponent as a standard action simply by walking straight into it. It can usually only attempt to engulf creatures smaller than itself. It cannot make any other attacks during a round in which it engulfs. Targets being engulfed must succeed on a Reflex save or be engulfed; on a success they are pushed back or aside (opponent's choice) as the creature moves forward. Engulfed creatures are considered to be grappled and trapped within the creature's body and may also be subject to additional attacks from thee engulfing creature. The save Difficulty is usually Strength-based.
The creature makes recovery checks at an exceptional rate, perhaps as often as once a minute (10 rounds). Fast healing stops working when a creature is dead. Except for its speed, fast healing works just like natural healing, and doesn't provide any benefit against attacks that don't deal damage. It also doesn't allow a creature to regrow or reattach severed body parts.
Fear attacks can have various effects.
Fear Aura: The use of this ability is a free action. The aura can freeze an opponent or function like the fear effect of the Heart Shaping power. Other effects are possible. A fear aura is an area effect. The descriptive text gives the size and kind of area.
Fear Cones and Rays: These effects usually work like the fear effect of the Heart Shaping power.
If a fear effect allows a saving throw, it is a Will save (Difficulty 10 + 1/2 creature's level + creature's Charisma score). All fear attacks are mind-influencing effects.
A creature with this ability can cease or resume flight as a free action. If the ability is supernatural, it becomes ineffective under conditions that negate the use of supernatural powers, and the creature loses its ability to fly for as long as the negating effect or conditions persist.
This special quality makes a creature's very presence unsettling. It takes effect automatically when the creature performs some sort of dramatic action (such as charging, attacking, or snarling). Opponents within range who witness the action may become frightened or shaken. Actions required to trigger the ability are given in the creature's descriptive text. This ability affects only opponents lower in level than the creature.
An affected opponent can resist the effects with a successful Will save (Difficulty 10 + 1/2 creature's level + creature's Charisma score). An opponent that succeeds on the saving throw is immune to that same creature's frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failed save, the effect lasts for two rounds for each point the save failed. Frightful presence is a mind-influencing effect.
A gaze attack takes effect when opponents look at the creature's eyes. The attack can have almost any sort of effect: petrification, death, charm, and so on. The typical range is 30 feet, but check the creature's entry for details. The type of saving throw for a gaze attack varies, but it is usually a Will or Fortitude save (Difficulty 10 + 1/2 creature's level + creature's Charisma score). A successful saving throw negates the effect.
A monster's gaze attack is described in abbreviated form in its description. Each opponent within range of a gaze attack must attempt a saving throw each round at the beginning of his or her turn in the initiative order. Only looking directly at a creature with a gaze attack leaves an opponent vulnerable. Opponents can avoid the need to make the saving throw by not looking at the creature, in one of two ways.
Averting Eyes: The opponent avoids looking at the creature's face, instead looking at its body, watching its shadow, tracking it in a reflective surface, and so on. Each round, the opponent has a 50% chance (1-10 on a d20) to not need to make a saving throw against the gaze attack. The creature with the gaze attack, however, gains concealment against that opponent.
Wearing a Blindfold: The opponent cannot see the creature at all (also possible to achieve by turning one's back on the creature or shutting one's eyes). The creature with the gaze attack gains total concealment against the opponent.
A creature with a gaze attack can actively gaze as an attack action by choosing a target within range. That opponent must attempt a saving throw but can try to avoid the creature's gaze as described previously. Thus, it is possible for an opponent to save against a creature's gaze twice during the same round, once before the opponent's action and once during the creature's turn.
Gaze attacks can affect incorporeal opponents. A creature is immune to gaze attacks of others of its kind unless otherwise noted.
Allies of a creature with a gaze attack might be affected. All the creature's allies are considered to be averting their eyes from the creature with the gaze attack, and have a 50% chance to not need to make a saving throw against the gaze attack each round. The creature also can veil its eyes, thus negating its gaze ability.
The creature is completely immune to some effect, suffering no harm or other effect from it. Essentially, the creature always succeeds on its saving throws against that effect, regardless of the Difficulty. So a creature immune to cold never suffers damage from cold, for example.
Abrupt exposure to bright light (natural or supernatural light equal to full daylight) blinds the creature for a round. On subsequent rounds, the creature is dazzled (-1 on attack rolls, Notice checks, and Search checks) while operating in bright light.
This special attack renders the victim immobile. Paralyzed creatures cannot move, speak, or take any physical actions. The creature is rooted to the spot, frozen and helpless. Paralysis works on the body, and a character can usually resist it with a Fortitude saving throw (the Difficulty is given in the creature's description). A paralysis effect does not allow a new save each round. A winged creature flying in the air at the time that it is paralyzed cannot flap its wings and falls. A swimmer can't swim and may drown.
A petrification attack turns a creature permanently to stone if they fail their saving throw. The saving throw is usually a Fortitude save (Difficulty of 10 + 1/2 the creature's level + the creature's Constitution). The exact details and difficulty for the saving throw are given in the creature's description. A petrification effect may be reversed with a Difficulty 25 Earth Shaping check followed by a Difficulty 25 Flesh Shaping check.
Poison attacks deal initial damage--such as temporary ability damage or some other effect--to the victim on a failed Fortitude save. Unless otherwise noted, another saving throw is required 1 minute later (regardless of the first save's result) to avoid secondary damage. The Fortitude save against poison has a Difficulty equal to 10 + half the creature's level + the creature's Constitution score. A successful save negates the damage.
When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, its attack deals extra damage in addition to the normal benefits and hazards of a charge. The amount of damage from the attack is given in the creature's description.
The creature can use various supernatural powers. Unless specified otherwise in its statistics, a creature has power ranks equal to an adept of its level with the normal effects and non-lethal damage (if the power is fatiguing).
A creature with the Rake ability gains the listed Rake bonus as a damage bonus whenever it makes a successful grapple check and chooses to deal damage against its opponent. Rake attacks are not subject to the usual -4 penalty for attacking with a natural weapon in a grapple.
This form of special attack works like a ranged attack. Hitting with a ray attack requires a successful ranged attack roll, ignoring any bonus granted by a shield. Ray attacks have no range increment. The creature's descriptive text specifies the maximum range, effects, and any applicable saving throw.
A creature with this ability is difficult to kill. Damage dealt to the creature is treated as non-lethal damage. The creature automatically gains an extra recovery check each round, with the bonus given in the entry. Certain attack forms, typically fire and acid, deal lethal damage to the creature, which doesn't go away. The creature's descriptive text describes the details. A regenerating creature that has been rendered unconscious through non-lethal damage can be killed with a coup de grace. The attack cannot be of a type that automatically converts to non-lethal damage.
Attack forms that don't deal physical damage (such as ability damage or ability drain) ignore regeneration. Regeneration also does not damage caused by starvation, thirst, or suffocation. Regenerating creatures can regrow lost portions of their bodies and can reattach severed limbs or body parts; details are in the creature's descriptive text. Severed parts that are not reattached wither and die normally.
A creature must have a Constitution score to have regeneration.
Resistance to Energy
The creature has a bonus to Toughness saving throws against damage of the given energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic) each time the creature is subjected to such damage. The entry indicates the bonus and type of damage affected.
This ability allows the creature to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. Creatures with the scent ability can identify familiar odors, just as humans do familiar sights.
The creature can detect opponents within 30 feet by sense of smell. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents can be detected at twice these ranges. Overpowering scents can be detected at triple normal range.
When a creature detects a scent, the exact location is not revealed--only its presence somewhere within range. The creature can take a move or standard action to note the direction of the scent. If it moves within 5 feet of the source, the creature can pinpoint that source.
A creature with the scent ability can follow tracks by smell, making a Survival check to find or follow a track. The typical Difficulty for a fresh trail is 10 (no matter what kind of surface holds the scent). This Difficulty increases or decreases depending on the strength of the quarry's odor, the number of creatures being tracked, and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail is cold, the Difficulty increases by 2. The ability otherwise follows the rules for the Track feat. Creatures tracking by scent ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.
The creature is sensitive to a certain substance and must make a Fortitude save (Difficulty 15) when coming in contact with it to avoid suffering a level of fatigue. The creature must repeat the save attempt every 10 minutes it remains in contact with the substance.
A creature with supernatural immunity avoids the effects of supernatural powers and supernatural abilities used directly on it. This works exactly like supernatural resistance, except that it cannot be overcome. Sometimes supernatural immunity is conditional or applies to only supernatural powers of a certain kind or power rank.
A creature with supernatural resistance can avoid the effects of supernatural powers and supernatural abilities used directly on it. To determine if a supernatural power or ability works against a creature with supernatural resistance, the user must make an adept level check (1d20 + adept level). If the result equals or exceeds the creature's supernatural resistance, the power works normally, although the creature is still allowed a saving throw.
A creature with the summon ability can summon other creatures of its kind, but it usually has only a limited chance of success (as specified in the creature's entry). Roll a d20: On a failure, no creature answers the summons. Summoned creatures return whence they came after one hour. A creature that has just been summoned cannot use its own summon ability for 1 hour. Most creatures with the ability to summon do not use it lightly, since it leaves them beholden to the summoned creature. In general, they use it only when necessary to save themselves.
If a creature with this special attack begins its turn with an opponent grappled in its mouth (see the Improved Grab feat), it can attempt to swallow that opponent by making a new grapple check. If it succeeds, it swallows its prey, and the opponent takes bite damage. Obviously you can't swallow prey that isn't smaller than you. Being swallowed has various consequences, depending on the creature doing the swallowing. A swallowed creature is considered grappled, while the creature that did the swallowing is not.
A swallowed creature can try to cut its way free with any light slashing or piercing weapon by inflicting a wounded status or worse on the damage track to the swallowing creature, or it can just try to escape the grapple. The defense of the interior of the creature is 10 unless otherwise noted, and modifiers for Dexterity do not apply. The Toughness save of the interior of a creature that swallows whole is normally only its Constitution score. If the swallowed creature escapes the grapple, success puts it back in the attacker's mouth, where it may be bitten or swallowed again.
As a full-round action, a creature with this special attack can move up to twice its speed and literally run over any opponents smaller than itself. The creature merely has to move over the opponents in its path.
A trample attack deals bludgeoning damage (the creature's slam damage + 1.5 times its Strength score). The creature's descriptive text gives the exact amount.
Trampled opponents can attempt Reflex saves to take half damage. This is considered an area attack for purposes of Evasion and similar traits.
The save Difficulty against a creature's trample attack is 10 + 1/2 creature's level + creature's Strength score. A trampling creature can only deal trampling damage to each target once per round, no matter how many times its movement takes it over a target creature.
A creature with tremorsense is sensitive to vibrations in the ground and can automatically pinpoint the location of anything that is in contact with the ground. Aquatic creatures with tremorsense can also sense the location ofcreatures moving through water. The ability's range is specified in the creature's descriptive text.
Vulnerability to Energy
Some creatures have vulnerability to a certain kind of energy effect (typically either cold or fire). Such a creature takes half again as much (+50%) damage as normal from the effect, regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed, or if the save is a success or failure.