This hideously malformed, hairless, pustule-covered corpse moves and snarls more like an undead hound than an undead man.
Speed 30 ft.; four-footed run
When a festrog takes damage from a piercing or slashing weapon, some of its boils rupture, squirting the attacker with puslike fluids. The noxious secretions carry a potent contact disease that causes those infected to break out into painful necrotic boils.
Every time a festrog makes a successful bite attack, it feeds on its opponent’s flesh and gains 5 temporary hit points. The festrog cannot have more than 5 temporary hit points gained by this ability at one time.
A festrog can run on all fours at speed of 50 feet if it doesn’t hold or carry anything in its hands. When running on all fours, it is treated as if it had the Run feat.
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, gang (3-5), or pack (6-11)
Note: Additional information has been added from other sources (see Section 15: Copyright Notice for details.)
A festrog is an undead abomination spawned when a creature is killed by a massive release of negative energy (perhaps due to planar bleeding, the destruction of a potent artifact, or even certain magical attacks by powerful undead), and then mutilated by an outside force, such as the scavenging of wild animals. Sometimes called dog-ghouls for their ability to run on all fours, the name often causes opponents to misinterpret this creature’s abilities and grossly underestimate its intelligence, for the festrog is in fact a rather canny monstrosity.
Festrogs inhabit remote areas near places where they were slain. It’s not uncommon for a tribe of festrogs to share territories with ghouls. Most festrogs gather in small bands, based on whatever loose affiliations they might recall from when they were alive, and choose dwellings in sunless areas easily defended with group tactics. Like ghouls, they tend to skulk about graveyards, though they prefer ones with tombs and mausoleums so they can hide during the day. They hunt nocturnally in packs, preferring open areas like plains, farmlands, or open forests where they can track down prey with few places for it to run or hide. These packs wander semi-nomadically, often traveling miles beyond their dwellings in pursuit of mortal flesh.
A festrog is a deformed ghoulish humanoid wrapped with tight bands of muscle, so powerful it appears to have warped and contorted the creature’s bone structure. The creature bears a human-like face with an elongated skull and a tremendous lower jaw filled with serrated shark-like teeth. Driven by unearthly hunger to consume living flesh (though it will eat carrion or long-dead corpses if it cannot find fresh meat), the festrog hunts constantly. Whatever it devours merely decomposes in its stomach, giving it a slightly gas-bloated appearance. Its tainted, corpse-like flesh is disease-ridden and covered in hundreds of welted boils, some swollen to the size of a halfling’s fist.
The create undead spell can create festrogs as if they were ghasts. The caster must be able to cast contagion, have access to that spell in a scroll or other magic item, or work with another caster who has access to the spell; creating the festrog expends the prepared contagion spell, uses an appropriate spell slot, or a charge from the magical source. If the corpse to be animated died of necrotic boils (the disease that festrogs spread) the contagion spell is not necessary.
Festrogs inhabit remote areas near those places where they were slain. Most gather in small tribes, based on whatever loose affiliations they might recall from when they were alive, and choose dwellings in sunless areas easily defended with group tactics. Like ghouls, they tend to skulk about graveyards, though they prefer ones with tombs and mausoleums so the can hide during the day. They hunt nocturnally in packs, preferring open areas like plains, farmlands, or open forests where they can track down prey with few places for them to run or hide. These packs wander semi-nomadically, often traveling miles beyond their dwellings in the pursuit of mortal flesh.
The entropic power of negative energy often produces a strange variety of mutations.
Adventurers journeying to remote locations high in the mountains report encounters with festrog-like undead formed from the warped flesh of more primal creatures such as ogres, hill giants, and trolls. Their social and hunting behavior is similar to normal festrogs, though they possess far less intelligence and apply only minimal use of organized tactics. When attacking opponents, they sometimes break into a bizarre feeding frenzy, becoming almost impossible to stop. Mountain festrogs are Large (including all normal modifiers for this size change), have two more hit dice than normal, and have Intelligence 2 or 3 rather than the normal 10.
These abominable variants remain partially alive, stuck in a half-transformed state between life and undeath. Some experience no symptoms of this change for weeks, then spontaneously become ravenous for fresh meat and rapidly gain their monstrous abilities. They are identical to standard festrogs except they have the aberration type instead of the undead type. The turn undead ability repels them like a fear effect but cannot destroy them outright. They cannot heal naturally but negative energy heals them. Perhaps more frightening than normal festrogs, living festrogs require food to survive, thus they hunt even more frequently and voraciously than their undead kin. If killed, the creature may rise as an undead festrog the next night.
On occasion, when a powerful human transforms into a festrog, he retains enough of his former memories to retain his former class abilities. Such festrogs continue to develop their character classes, and often evolve into powerful undead adversaries. Thankfully, there exist only a few reports of encounters with high festrogs.
Not all festrogs arise from the corpses of humanoids; sometimes the corpse of an animal or a more unusual quadruped is sufficient. The natural posture for these festrogs is to be on all fours, but they can stand on their hind legs and use their simple clawed hands to manipulate things in the manner of humanoids. Most beastkin festrogs are barely more intelligent than common animals but the stranger ones tend to be as cunning as a typical festrog made from a human corpse. Pathfinders have seen lion-festrogs, wolf- and worg-festrogs, even a howlerfestrog, and one explorer reports encountering a barghest-festrog leading a tribe of goblin-festrogs on the edge of the world.
While there are no festrogs known to possess true vampirism, there are some who hunger for blood rather than meat. These vampire-festrogs may be the result of humanoids turned into vampires or vampire spawn in an area conductive to forming festrogs. They flush bright red when they have fed recently, fading to a bruised blue-black when deprived of their favorite food. Some vampires use them as “hounds” to hunt prey or guard their lairs. Vampire-festrogs given a steady supply of vampire blood tend to gain fast healing and turn resistance like their masters.
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.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #45: Broken Moon. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Tim Hitchcock.
Pathfinder Module D4: Hungry Are the Dead Copyright 2008, Paizo Publishing, LLC. Author: Tim Hitchcock.