This humanoid turtle crouches near the water, a suspicious look in its eyes. The top of its bowl-shaped head is filled with water.
Kappa CR 2
Str 12, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 8, Wis 15, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +3 (+7 grapple); CMD 16
Feats Great Fortitude, Nimble Moves
Skills Escape Artist +10, Heal +5, Sense Motive +5, Swim +9; Racial Modifiers +4 Escape Artist
Languages Aquan, Common
The basin atop a kappa’s head contains water from its home river or lake. The water is emptied only if the kappa willingly tips its head or a creature pinning the kappa forces it to do so (requiring a grapple check while pinned). If the water is emptied, the kappa becomes immobile and staggered. It can still take actions, but it cannot move from the spot on its own. If the emptied head bowl is refilled with water, the kappa recovers from this condition immediately. This replacement water doesn’t have to be from the kappa’s home, but the kappa refills its head bowl from there at its first opportunity.
Environment any lake or river
Organization solitary, pair, or bale (3-6)
A kappa is a strange amphibian resembling a humanoid turtle. It dwells in fresh water, preferring a stream or river to a lake or pond. It has a small shell on its back, a blunt face, and webbed hands and feet that end in short claws. A typical kappa is green in color, but kappa skin tones can vary toward blue or yellow hues. The creature has a shallow basin in the top of its head, in which the creature carries water from its home at all times.
Kappas are puckish and like to play tricks on those who pass near or swim in their home. Kappa pranks are usually harmless and annoying, such as peeking under robes, stealing a bathers’ clothing, or pretending to be an aquatic predator. A kappa might also challenge others to grappling matches, hoping potential foes underestimate its wrestling ability. An angry kappa can be dangerous, attempting to drown mounts, animal companions, or even people who enter its home waters. The most degenerate kappas have been known to drown bathers and eat them.
Those wise to the ways of kappas know the creatures have a few weaknesses. First of all, kappas love cucumbers and horseflesh. If plied with such treats, a kappa is likely to not bother intruders, and might even be convinced to offer aid. Further, despite a kappa’s penchant for pranks, it is unfailingly polite to courteous visitors. A kappa confronted with a verbal rebuke rather than combat quickly and almost shamefully apologizes for its pranks, begging for forgiveness.
If its head bowl is emptied, a kappa usually remains stationary and pleads for help, continuing to fight only if forced to. An opponent who refills the kappa’s head bowl after spilling it receives the kappa’s deepest gratitude. Only the wisest and smartest of kappa carry flasks of water with them when they are forced to travel far from their home—most kappa don’t think this far ahead.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 3, © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors Jesse Benner, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, James Jacobs, Michael Kenway, Rob McCreary, Patrick Renie, Chris Sims, F. Wesley Schneider, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.