Your breath catches as they emerge from the shadows, each a gore-splattered marionette with black hollows where their eyes should be. Only the jagged, sharpened teeth protruding from their cold porcelain smiles mar their faces. They move like nightmares, limbs held falsely and jerking from motion to motion. Tiny fingers end in wicked steel blades, still dripping from their latest victim. You turn to run knowing you are far, far too late.
Unnaturally strong and quick, slaying dolls are hive-minded constructs built to kill and bring materials back to their nest so that more dolls can be constructed. Only with fresh corpses and stolen magic items can they continue their bloody existence…
Slaying Doll (CR 1/2)
N Small construct
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +2
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +3 natural, +1 size)
hp 5 (1d10)
Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +1
Speed 40 ft.
Melee finger blades +7 (1d2+5)
Str 20, Dex 15, Con —, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +2; CMB −2; CMD −2
Feats Improved Initiative
Skills Perception +2, Stealth +8
SQ hive mind, detect magic, swarm
Environment any (usually urban)
Organization squad (5–10) or gaggle (10–50)
Treasure varies (see below)
Detect Magic (Su) Slaying dolls detect magic at will, as detect magic. This allows them to retrieve magic items to be brought back to the nest.
Hive Mind (Su) Slaying dolls are in effect one creature, joined by a hive mind. What one knows, they all know.
Swarm (Ex) When 10 or more dolls are in close proximity, they can leap upon one foe as a standard action as if they were a swarm. Apply the swarm subtype to the stats above. For the purposes of combat, treat a swarm of slaying dolls as a 6 HD swarm (60 hp, speed 40 ft., 14 AC, 2d6 damage).
Because they are lightweight, a swarm of dolls can be dispersed by high winds (such as from a gust of wind spell). When this happens, the swarm falls apart into individual dolls. Divide any damage incurred by the swarm among the surviving dolls (minimum 1 hp).
Ecology and Lore
Created as a weapon in some long forgotten conflict, each doll stands at 1–2 ft. tall and resembles a horrific puppet with razor sharp blades for fingers. They have no ecology to speak of, existing only to kill and create more dolls in an unceasing cycle of death and construction.
If ever a nest is destroyed, all dolls created by that nest die except for one. That lone survivor immediately flees to begin construction of a new nest.
The nest is a living machine capable of turning corpses and magic items into new dolls. Each nest is different, but a typical nest is about the size of a large chest. Most are disguised as common items.
When corpses are brought nearby, they are absorbed by the nest and turned into dolls. Different sized humanoids provide raw material at different rates: Small = 5 dolls, Medium = 15 dolls, Large = 25 dolls.
Magic items are particularly useful for a nest as they increase the production of dolls. For each 1,000 gp worth of magic items, doll production increases by a factor of two.
A typical nest has a hardness of 10, 50 hp, and a break DC of 30.
While the dolls have no treasure to speak of, the area around a nest is usually littered with the items of its victims. As a general rule, GMs should award a treasure equal to a CR of the party’s level for destroying a nest.
Though an individual doll is not intelligent, the hive mind has a dim intellect. The dolls tend to rush the nearest humanoid, slashing with their finger blades until their foe is dead. If enough dolls are nearby, they form a swarm. Then, while one doll drags the body back to the nest and another collects magic items, the rest look for another victim. However, if 20 dolls are slain by any one group of foes, the hive mind converges all nearby dolls on the aggressors. If the nest is in danger, all dolls return to defend it.
(This post is Product Identity.)