Starfinder: Demon's Claw

Chris Van Deelen

Demon’s Claw Combatant CR 3 XP 800

Neutral medium plant

Init +1; Senses: Low-light vision 60 ft.; Perception +8

 

Defense                                                             HP 40

EAC: 14; KAC: 16

Fort: +7; Ref: +5; Will: +2

Defensive Abilities:; Immunities: Plant immunities

 

Offense

Speed: N/A

Melee: Claw +11 (1d6+5 S Crit DC+2)

Space: 5 ft., Reach: 10 ft.

Offensive Abilities: Digestive enzymes

 

Statistics

Str +2; Dex +2; Con +4; Int -; Wis +0; Cha +0

Skills: stealth +13, survival +8

Other Abilities: Attraction scent

Languages: None

 

Ecology

Environment: Any tropical forest or jungle.

Organization: Solitary or medium groups (3d4)

 

Special Abilities

Attraction scent (Ex): The fungus then waves lazily in the air, producing pheromones that smell like cooked meat or decaying flesh in order to attract prey. This has a radius of five hundred feet and will affect any creature with a sense of smell, and always smelling like its favorite meat, be it cooked or decayed. A will (DC 12) is required to ignore the scent and not travel towards it. If the save succeeds, the target is immune to the scent for 24 hours.

Digestive Enzymes (Ex): Once a target is within 10 feet, it will lash out slash with the tentacle-like fingers. The ‘hand’ if it successfully strikes, releases a powerful digestive enzyme. A Ref save (DC 12) is required to avoid this coming into contact with the Enzyme. If the save fails, the target will, on the next round, begin to suffer 1d4+3 points of acid damage. This will continue to burn the target until it is washed away (any liquid will do, including water).

 

Despite the rather grotesque appearance, this is not actually an animal, but instead a strange form of predatory alien fungus.

The fungus starts out as a bulbous growth, found in wherever there are copious amounts of decaying matter – typically lots of rotting leaves or other vegetable matter, although it can also be found where there are corpses.  The hand grows slowly over a period of a few days, the ‘fingers’ elongating and eventually turning a deep red in color until they finally split apart. The typical fungal growth has between three to seven ‘digits’ (2d3+1), and they grow to a length of ten feet. The main body of the creature can grow up to five feet in length and can weigh several hundred pounds for a well fed, fully grown specimen.

This fungus hunts by producing a powerful pheromone, which smells like meat to anything with an olfactory sense.  It counts on the pheromone to attract prey to its location. When potential prey arrives, the fungus will strike out with the tentacle-like claws. Even though the creature is not too large, it does have a fairly impressive reach, allowing it to strike at targets that would normally believe they were safe from attack. The creature uses this attack to injure a target, and begin the breakdown. Even a single round of this attack will provide the creature with the nutrients it requires to survive.

This enzyme has no effect against non-organic material, but cloth made of natural fibers, armor made of leather or other natural materials will automatically suffer sundering damage when it comes into contact, meaning it could very well be destroyed if exposure is long enough. 

The fungus can use this attack each round. Once prey has been reduced to goo, the creature will dip its digits into the mess and suck up the nutrients released. After this happens, it will then release spoors into the air. Many will hit the remains and take root, growing, while others will float on the air until they land in a suitable location to take seed and grow into a new fungal plant.

Starfinder Creature Index

Chris Van Deelen is the creator and contributor to over half of the Wisdom from the Wastelands series, contributor to the Swords of Kos: Hekaton anthology, and the recently released 'Swords of Kos: The Rite'. He also wrote Creatures of the Tropical Wastelands, and 100 Oddities found in a Car. As prolific as he is, Chris Van Deelen continues to write and produce material which will be in publication soon. Not only is he a prolific content creator, he also has a wide selection of fiction and stories! If you like his work, please follow his personal author page on Facebook and on Twitter to keep up with his latest news and game content.