Tattoo Guardian

This beautiful, impossibly intricate tattoo appears to swirl and move along its wearer’s skin.

Tattoo Guardian CR 3 (XP 800)

N Medium construct
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +1


AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+3 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 42 (4d10+20)
Fort +1, Ref +6, Will +2
Defensive Abilities worn form, fluid form, hypervigilant; Immune construct traits


Speed 30 ft., fly 10 ft.
Melee 2 ink blades +6 (1d6+2)


Str 14, Dex 17, Con —, Int —, Wis 12, Cha 13
Base Atk +4; CMB +6; CMD 19
Feats Improved InitiativeB
SQ bodyguard


Bodyguard (Su)

Whenever the tattoo guardian’s wearer takes damage, half of the damage is transferred to the guardian (as shield other).

Additionally, the tattoo guardian gains a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls against any creatures that damaged its wearer in the previous round.

Fluid Form (Su)

A tattoo guardian does not provoke attacks of opportunity because of movement.

It is immune to critical hits and sneak attacks, and it cannot be knocked prone or grappled.

Hypervigilant (Su)

A tattoo guardian gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Reflex saves, and it always acts on the surprise round.

Worn Form (Su)

While being worn, a tattoo guardian occupies the same space as its wearer and moves with its wearer.

In this state, the wearer and the tattoo guardian use the higher of the wearer’s and the tattoo guardian’s AC and saving throws, but the tattoo guardian loses access to its fluid form ability.


Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure none

Many cultures employ tattoos as symbols of protection, but to those fortunate enough to be wearers of tattoo guardian, the protection is far more than symbolic. Fiercely loyal and protective of its ward, a tattoo guardian leaves its wearer’s skin to fight any who would harm her. Tattoo guardians are common where wealthy courtiers pay kings’ ransoms for protection against assassins hired by their rivals, and where the arts of tattooing and magic have long intertwined. Certain arcane universities are known to provide senior students of summoning and other dangerous fields of magic with vigilant tattoos to protect them from accidental harm.

Temples of virtuous deities might also ink guardians upon the skins of high-level clergy such as healers or prophets who are not skilled in battle magic. Such tattoo guardians often use the iconography of the religion for their forms: a revered healer might be adorned with a fiery phoenix that flares into life if she is threatened, while a cleric especially skilled in brewing libations might bear a different image across his shoulders.

The ink used in the construction of a tattoo guardian is amorphous, able to change shape and harden to become as sharp and solid as steel. Should its wearer be threatened, the guardian withdraws its ink from the wearer’s flesh and hardens it into a thin blade, then rises from the wearer’s skin to interpose itself between her and her attackers.

Even though a tattoo guardian can completely separate itself from its wearer, it rarely strays far from her, even in the midst of battle.

The guardian and its wearer share a magical bond; should it fail in its duty, a tattoo guardian typically self-destructs, the once-sentient ink melding with its former master’s blood. In rare cases, the guardian might gain some fragment of its dying master’s sentience and go out into the world instead. Sadly, most of these creatures are driven completely insane by the process, and are unable to pursue goals more complicated than revenge against their masters’ killers.

Tattoo Guardian Construction

A tattoo guardian must be inked by a skilled artist, with rare inks worth 500 gp derived from one of several esoteric formulae.

CL 9th; Price 14,500 gp


Feats Craft Construct; Spells animate objects, fly, geas/quest, parchment swarm, shield other; Special creator must be caster level 9th; Skills Craft (calligraphy) or Craft (tattoo) DC 20; Cost 7,500 gp

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Occult Bestiary © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Josh Colon, John Compton, Paris Crenshaw, Adam Daigle, Eleanor Ferron, James Jacobs, Joe Homes, Mikko Kallio, Mike Kimmel, Ron Lundeen, Kate Marshall, Kalervo Oikarinen, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, and F. Wesley Schneider.

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