What at first appears to be a spindly, dead tree suddenly crawls from its camouflage, its wiry antenna twitching in the air.
Giant Walking Stick CR 5
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +10 (1d6+5)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks nauseating spray
A walking stick can spray a 15-foot cone of irritating, foul-smelling liquid once every 1d4 rounds. Creatures within this area must succeed at a DC 17 Reflex save or be sickened for 5 rounds. Alternatively, the walking stick can target a single creature within 30 feet with a stream of this fluid. To use this version of its nauseating spray, the walking stick must succeed at a ranged touch attack (+5 for most walking sticks). If the target is hit, it must succeed at a DC 17 Fortitude save or become nauseated for 5 rounds; otherwise, it is sickened for 5 rounds. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Environment warm deserts and forests
Organization solitary, pair, or brood (3–12)
Though most people think of deserts as desolate and dead lands, the rocks and sands harbor an impressive array of life. Invisible during the heat of the day, hundreds of species of animals and insects—both magical and not— call these sandy expanses their home. Life in the desert requires hardy bodies and clever adaptations. Some of these adaptations make vermin capable of threatening passing caravans and armed travelers.
Hard exoskeletons help the giant insects retain moisture in the oven-hot temperatures of the desert. Like many other desert creatures, which have evolved to bite, sting, prick, or irritate, most desert vermin possess some manner of venom to deter attackers or to take down prey. The same adaptations that allow these vermin to thrive in the desert also make them a threat for adventurers who brave the dunes in search of lost lore or treasure.
More common in rocky badlands than the great sandy dunes, stick bugs of all sizes are often mistaken for the fallen palm fronds or thorny leaf less trees found near oases and other spots in the desert where vegetation grows.
Giant walking sticks often remain motionless for days at a time, waiting for the right prey to pass by before striking.
When engaged with a foe too difficult to overtake, giant walking sticks flee from the fight. They usually expel their nauseating spray in these situations, but some can even break off their own limbs in order to escape, regrowing the missing arm or leg later once they’re safe.
A fully grown giant walking stick stretches from 6 to 10 feet long, but typically weighs only 120 pounds.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #81: Shifting Sands © 2014, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Richard Pett, with Benjamin Bruck, Adam Daigle, Thurston Hillman, Michael McCarthy, Patrick Renie, Amber E. Scott, and Russ Taylor.