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Monarch of the Monsters 4 Finalist: Bouda

Monarch of the Monsters 4 Finalist: Bouda

Monarch of the MonstersIn the past few weeks, we had many wonderful entries to the Monarch of the Monsters contest, and our talented and skilled judges chose five finalists from among the entries. Each day this week, we will present one of those five finalists to you so that you can enjoy it, and, at the end of the week, you can vote on your favorite. Without further ado, here’s the bouda by Wendall Roy.

Bouda (CR 5)

This hulking, hyena-faced humanoid has numerous scars along its oversized muzzle, as if its jaw had once been ripped apart and put back together. Clouds of gnats and fleas roil around its arms.

XP 1,600
NE Medium outsider (div, evil, extraplanar)
Init +6; Senses see in darkness; Perception +9

AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+2 Dex, +5 natural)
hp 57 (6d10+24)
Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +6
DR 10/cold iron or good; Immune fire, poison; Resist acid 10, electricity 10

Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +10 (1d4+4 plus mephitic paws) and bite +10 (1d6+4)
Special Attacks defiling smear (DC 17), prey on the weak
Spell-like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +5)
Constant – detect good, detect magic
At will – ghost sound
3/day – darkness, expeditious retreat
1/day – vomit swarm

Str 19, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +6; CMB +10; CMD 22
Feats Alertness, Improved Initiative, Stealthy
Skills Climb +7, Escape Artist +8, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (planes) +4, Perception +9, Sense Motive +6, Spellcraft +4, Stealth +10
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ change shape (beast shape I, hyena only, or alter self), ravenous gorge, see in darkness

Defiling Smear (Ex) A bouda can secrete a disgusting whitish-yellow substance with the viscosity of tar to mark food and territory. As a standard action, the bouda can mark a single square, object or helpless creature with this ability. Any living creature within 30 feet of the smear must make a Fortitude save (DC 17) or be sickened for 1 minute. The stench of a smear remains potent for 1 week. A bouda can use this ability once per day.

Mephitic Paws (Ex) A bouda’s forearms are covered in a visible cloud of vermin. Any living creature damaged by the bouda’s claw attacks is nauseated for 1 round; a successful Fortitude save (DC 17) negates the effect. This ability’s DC is Constitution-based.

Prey on the Weak (Ex) A bouda can perform a coup de grace with its bite attack as a standard action.

Ravenous Gorge (Ex) As a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity, a bouda can consume the vital organs of a corpse in the square it occupies. The bouda gains temporary hit points equal to the dead creature’s HD that last for up to 1 hour. Organs consumed by this ability are gone, and will prevent attempts to restore life to a creature through raise dead or similar effects which require a mostly intact corpse.

See in Darkness (Su) A bouda can see perfectly in darkness of any kind, including that created by deeper darkness.

Environment any (Abaddon)
Organization solitary
Treasure standard

Bouda are child-eaters, despoilers of purity and ruiners of family. Appearing superficially similar to an oversized gnoll, a web of scars along its muzzle is evidence of its gluttonous eating habits. They always appear to be smiling in macabre fashion, their teeth and eyes faintly glowing yellow.

Bouda lurk on the fringes of society, using their shapechanging ability to blend in with mortals. They seek out happy families, consuming their children under cover of night and leaving behind gruesomely elaborate trophies for their victims’ parents to find. They will even mark a victim nights before their kill to drive more terror into the hearts of the helpless parents. If the bouda does not fear any possible repercussion, it may even take the time to haunt and terrorize the victim (and family) for weeks beforehand. Bouda on the run or roaming the wild assume the form of a stocky hyena.

Like all div, bouda have a personality weakness in the form of a compulsion. They are incorrigible gluttons, and when presented with a fresh humanoid corpse will take time even in combat to gorge on it or at least defile it for later consumption. Bouda are also extremely arrogant and vindictive, and will unceasingly seek revenge against any mortal that drives them from a kill.

Despite their physical power, bouda greatly relish their time on the material plane and are cowardly when outnumbered in open conflict. They prefer to carefully plot their times of attack. They strike from ambush, distracting enemies with their vomit swarm if seriously outnumbered, then cloaking the battlefield in darkness and attempting to pick off their enemies one at a time.

8 thoughts on “Monarch of the Monsters 4 Finalist: Bouda”

  1. I liked this one, because I thought it was well done and filled a niche, but also riffed off of real world myth of the bouda.

    Best of luck!


  2. I think that is has just become Mike’s second favorite.

    Anyway, it is a very tough little monster, the child eating thing just rubs me the wrong way, I think a slight re-write pointing it to a more putrefying aspect would work better.

  3. Nice Wendell,

    I am glad you acknowledged the gnoll, because I was thinking it looks like one. But why should all evil outsiders be based on human fears? Well played

  4. Glad people like it!

    The inspiration for this mean div came from real-world Ethiopian folklore of possessing spirits with malevolent powers and hyena shapeshifting ability. It, like a lot of the darker elements of humanity’s myths, has roots in racial and societal tension. There is nothing worse to me than humanity’s misplaced fear turning into hate for itself, a trait I consider outside what our species should aspire to and represented well in PF by the div. Repurposing these elements of myth by creating fantastic and horrific creatures while removing the real-world negative societal connotations is particularly satisfying to me, which is why I chose the bouda. To me, a repurposing or real-world myth like this is a bit like taking the power of imagination back from its misuse.

    I wanted a bit of an adult theme for it, as the entire concept of div should make any person uncomfortable on a visceral level. Div to me are the most frightening and threatening concept of evil outsiders categorized so far in Pathfinder. They really, really hate mortals. Their purpose isn’t to enslave, destroy, or even corrupt; it’s to utterly terrorize and ruin mortals at the very core of their “humanity”. If the nightmarish child-centric way it brings ruin to mortals makes a person uncomfortable, I’m okay with that; it makes me uncomfortable, which was my goal when designing it.

  5. This one is my favorite. I was recently reading up on the bouda, and I love the execution here. I worked on one as well, just last week, but it really didn’t turn out at all. Great job you’ve done here. That baby-eating business, folks, is essential to the folklore of this critter.

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