Trapper’s Bane

Trapper’s Bane

seal“It’s gonna be a good haul this year!” Morant shouted to his partner as he clubbed another seal to death, blood spilling to the snowy ground below.

“Yeah, they’re plentiful this…” Morant’s partner’s response became a scream as one of the seals unhinged its jaws and then chomped down on the man’s arm, severing it.

Morant stared wide-eyed at the scene and readied his club to smash the creature, which had his partner’s arm dangling out of its saw-toothed mouth. He never laid a blow on it, though, as several dead seals rose up and engulfed him, bringing him down to the ground, and shredding him to pieces while he cried for mercy. The surviving seals scampered about the blood-soaked snow unmindful of the carnage around them…

Once both men breathed their last, the murderous creature took its leave, and the unliving seals trailed behind it, carrying the trappers’ bodies off.

Considered by many druids to be nature’s response to overhunting of fur-bearing animals, a trapper’s bane presents a nasty surprise to those who think they’re dealing with defenseless animals.

Typical Characteristics

A trapper’s bane looks like a typical member of its species, until it launches its attack and reveals an unnaturally hinged jaw and hundreds of sharp teeth.

Combat

The creature allows trappers to go about their business to lull them into a false sense of security and to build up an army of dead creatures it can use later. It attacks with surprise to severely wound one of its opponents and activate its frightful presence. The trapper’s bane then animates any dead animals to help attack remaining foes while it calms any living animals in the area. The creature concerns itself only with the destruction of its prey, and it fights to the death.

Habitat & Society

A trapper’s bane does not naturally exist; instead, it spontaneously appears when a fur-bearing animal is on the brink of extinction. It mimics that species’ appearance and lives only as long as required to drive out or kill those who would exterminate its adopted species.

Occasionally, a non-good druid calls one of these creatures to wreak havoc on a nearby community, summoning one with summon nature’s ally: at 5th level (for CR 6 creatures) and 6th level (for CR 7/8 creatures) for purposes of that spell.

Creating a Trapper’s Bane

“Trapper’s bane” is an acquired template that can be added to any fur-bearing animal with 3 HD or less (referred to hereafter as the base animal).

CR: A trapper’s bane’s CR is the base animal’s +5.

Type: The creature’s type becomes magical beast. Size remains unchanged.

Alignment: Becomes chaotic neutral.

Senses: Gains darkvision 60 ft.

Aura: Gains frightful presence 30 ft.

Armor Class: Natural armor increases by +4.

Hit Dice: Change all of the base animal’s HD to d10s and add 7 racial HD to this total.

Speed: All modes increase by 20 ft.

Attacks: Increase the number of dice for the base animal’s bite by 1. All other attacks remain the same.

Special Attacks: Gains the following 2 special attacks:

Innocent Seeming (Ex)When opponents first encounter a trapper’s bane, they must make Sense Motive checks against the bane’s Bluff check. If the creature’s first attack in the encounter is against an opponent who fails the check, it adds 2d6 sneak attack damage for that attack.

Wounding (Ex)A trapper’s bane’s bite attack deals 3 bleed damage.

Spell-Like Abilities: Gains the following spell-like abilities (CL is equal to the creature’s HD, DC is Wisdom-based): At will—calm animals, 1/day—animate dead (animals only, uses mental direction).

Ability Scores: Str +2, Dex +4, Con+2, Int +4, Wis +2, Cha +4.

BAB: BAB equals HD.

Skills: Gains 7 skill ranks and +4 racial bonus in Bluff, which is considered a class skill.

Feats: Gains Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, and Lunge as bonus feats. A base animal with Improved Initiative instead gains Weapon Focus (bite) as a bonus feat.

Saves: Base save bonuses for racial Hit Dice are: Fort +1/2 HD +2, Ref +1/2 HD +2, Will +1/3 HD.

Sample Trapper’s Bane—Murder Fox CR 6

XP 2,400
Trapper’s bane fox (dog)
CN Small magical beast
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +9
Aura frightful presence (30 ft., DC 14)

DEFENSE
AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 16; (+3 Dex, +5 natural, +1 size)
hp 68 (8d10+24)
Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +4

OFFENSE
Speed 60 ft.
Melee bite +10 (2d4+2/19-20 plus wounding)
Special Attacks innocent seeming, wounding
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th)
At will—calm animals (DC 13)
1/day—animate dead (animals only, uses mental direction)

STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 17, Con 17, Int 6, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +8; CMB +9; CMD 22
Feats Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Lunge, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Acrobatics +3 (+7 jumping), Bluff +14, Perception +9, Survival +2 (+6 scent tracking); Racial Modifiers +4 Bluff, +4 Acrobatics when jumping, +4 Survival when tracking by scent

ECOLOGY
Environment any land
Organization solitary
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Innocent Seeming (Ex) When opponents first encounter a murder fox, they make Sense Motive checks against the fox’s Bluff check. If the creature’s first attack in the encounter is against an opponent who fails the check, it adds 2d6 sneak attack damage for that attack.

Wounding (Ex) A murder fox’s bite attack deals 3 bleed damage.

(Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible)

3 thoughts on “Trapper’s Bane”

  1. It seems too specialized/specific. How many PCs are over-zealous trappers? Would PCs help a trapper who was plauged by one of these creatures (assuming that NPC survived its’ first attack)? It’s a great idea, I’m all for vengeful forest animals ’cause I’m a druid at heart, but I dont’ know where I’d put this in a game.

  2. @JP I hope the Trapper’s Bane works out for you. Thanks!

    @JeninCanada The creature is definitely something that I intended to be more of a one-time, “surprise” encounter. The idea I used in my game was to run a little subplot about local mink trappers disappearing. When the players eventually decided to check out the disappearances, they confronted one of these.

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