This small, awkward reptile with a fist-sized gem jutting from between its two bulging eyes seems both surprised and perplexed.
Carbuncle CR 1
Speed 20 ft.
Melee bite +1 (1d3-3)
Special Attacks fatal faker, specious suggestion
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd; concentration +3)
Str 5, Dex 7, Con 12, Int 6, Wis 13, Cha 10
Base Atk +2; CMB -2; CMD 5 (9 vs. trip)
Feats Iron Will
Skills Stealth +10 (+14 in grass or brush), Survival +2; Racial Modifiers -4 Acrobatics when jumping, +4 Stealth in grass or brush
Languages empath 30 ft.
Carbuncles possess a crude form of telepathy, allowing them to transmit mild impressions and remembered sensations to other creatures. This form of telepathy cannot convey language or hinder a target in any way (such as by transmitting pain). Thus, a carbuncle can relate a feeling of fear or the faint smell ofleaves, but cannot directly warn an ally of a monster or tell of a treasure under a dirt mound.
As a standard action three times per day, a carbuncle can teleport as per the spell dimension door, but only within a range of 30 feet. Upon teleporting, the carbuncle leaves behind a perfect replica of itself amid a colored flash and the sound of a reptilian choke. This replica duplicates the carbuncle in all ways, though it is obviously dead and the colorless stone in its head is reduced to worthless dust.
As a standard action three times per day, a carbuncle can concentrate intently on one creature within its line of sight and attempt to impose its will upon the target. A DC 11 Will save is enough to resist this compulsion. If the target fails to resist, roll 1d6. On a result of 1-2, the target gains a flash of insight and a +2 insight bonus to its Armor Class for 1 minute. On a result of 3-4, the victim is affected as if by suggestion for 1 minute, and must follow a single (usually embarrassing, always harmless) suggestion from the carbuncle. On a result of 5-6, the victim’s thoughts are garbled with those of the carbuncle, imposing a -2 penalty to the victim’s Will saving throws for 1 minute. This is a mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Any mind-affecting spell can affect a carbuncle regardless of creature type limitations. A spell like charm person, for example, which typically only affects humanoid creatures, can also affect carbuncles.
Environment any forests or swamps
Organization solitary or group (2-8)
Never have legend and misinformation met upon a more inauspicious brow than that of the lowly carbuncle. Even the creature’s name summons ideas that range from the grandiose to the grotesque. Carbuncles appear to be little more than ungainly reptiles. What sets them apart, however, is their strange magical abilities and the fist-sized gemstone horn jutting from above their bulging eyes. Although tales differ regarding the type and value of the stone, many claim it is a ruby or garnet. In truth, however, a carbuncle’s gem is merely a highly reflective growth, not unlike a fingernail.
Carbuncles exhibit a peculiar attraction to magic-users, especially sorcerers with the fey bloodline and any who pack supplies of fresh fruit. Many enchanters laud the extraordinary mind-control powers of these intense creatures and extol the aid they can offer mages of their field—though others consider such tales something of an academic in-joke.
Never have legend and misinformation met upon a more inauspicious brow than that of the carbuncle. Even the name summons ideas from the grandiose to the grotesque. The creatures known as carbuncles appear as little more than overly ungainly and well-armored reptiles. What sets them apart, however, are their strange magical abilities and the fist-sized gemstone horn jutting from above their bulging eyes. The elusiveness of these creatures, their natural aloofness, weird powers, and glistening horns have all contributed to the creation and spread of wildly inaccurate tales about these beasts, making truths about them rarer than the awkward creatures themselves. Adult carbuncles stand just over 1 foot tall and about 3 feet long from horn to tail, weighing approximately 12 pounds. The horns of most males range through the spectrum of fiery colors, while the horns of females trend toward cooler shades.
Owing to the rarity of these unusual creatures, numerous and varied tales surround carbuncles. Although few bear any hint of truth, such legends spread from storyteller to storyteller, enlarging the dubious legend of these creatures and endowing them with all manner of doubtful powers. Much of the carbuncle’s fame comes from the “gemstone” embedded in its head. Although tales differ on the type and value of this precious stone, most claim that a carbuncle bears a ruby, garnet, or almandine. In truth, however, a carbuncle’s gem is little more than a highly reflective growth, not dissimilar from humanoid fingernails. To the dismay of those believing tales of valuable gems or stories that tell of carbuncles granting their stones to friendly creatures, these horns crumble swiftly upon removal or the body’s death. Although the truth of the matter is common knowledge to most scholars, long-held folktales die hard. Thus, quests for carbuncle gems—and for the creatures themselves—often prove synonymous with rattlesnake eggs or snipe hunts.
Habitat & Society
Cowardly but practical creatures, carbuncles make their dens wherever they might live comfortably and with little threat from predators and hunters. This typically means near groves of fruit trees deep within ancient forests, amid berry briars in stagnant marshlands, or near falls thick with water bugs. Wherever a carbuncle can eat its fill and hide from both real and imagined dangers, these nervous creatures are satisfied. Such tendencies contribute to the species’ rarity, as they have little reason or desire to ramble. Thus, only those who wander the most secluded paths of the world—and even then only those with sharp eyes—ever stumble across carbuncles.
Most carbuncles regard others of their kind with indifference. A safe and comfortable glen far from scary creatures might hold up to a half dozen carbuncles, but as soon as the group proves too large for the sanctuary to support, the youngest slink off in search of new homes. Carbuncles—even those living in close proximity—have little to do with others of their kind. While certainly intelligent enough to form relationships and societies, most carbuncles would rather spend their days pilfering honeysuckle, floating in cool springs, or reclining amid shadowy tree branches. Some carbuncle groups have even been known to die out, as none of the members can be bothered to mate. Yet should a group be threatened, they can prove quite clever in distracting enemies from others of their kind. A frequent tactic involves using their empathic abilities to create pleasing smells and sensations to coax dangerous trespassers into the path of other threats while the wily carbuncle quietly slips away.
Carbuncles exhibit a peculiar attraction to magic-users, especially sorcerers with the fey bloodline and any who pack supplies of fresh fruit. Many enchanters laud the extraordinary mind control powers possessed by these intense creatures and extol the aid they can offer mages of their field—though others consider such tales something of an academic in-joke.
A spellcaster with the Improved Familiar feat can summon a carbuncle as a familiar at 5th level.