The light brown, furred creatures inquisitively survey their surroundings, each comforted by the presence of the others.
Burrowling CR 1
Str 10, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 13
Base Atk +2; CMB +3; CMD 13
Feats Agile Maneuvers
Skills Acrobatics +6, Escape Artist +6, Perception +10, Stealth +10, Survival +5; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception
SQ greater than the sum
Burrowlings gain bonuses and teamwork feats when they work with other burrowlings. If a burrowling succeeds at an aid another attempt, it grants a +3 bonus (instead of the usual +2). A burrowling who flanks with another provides an additional +1 bonus to its ally’s attack roll. Finally, two adjacent burrowlings are considered to have the Coordinated Defense and the Duck and Cover teamwork feats.
Environment temperate or warm desert or plains
Organization solitary, pair, coterie (3–8), town (40–200, 1/4 of which are adult burrowlings)
A burrowling, looks like a 3-ft.-tall anthropomorphic prairie dog. Burrowlings work together at every task: including digging tunnels, foraging, and rearing of young. The creatures are omnivorous, eating roots, berries, insects, and reptiles—with snakes being a particular delicacy. However, the creatures shun mammals as a food source due to a very broad definition of cannibalism. More sophisticated burrowling towns that remain sheltered from depredation set up rudimentary farms, where they grow the fruits and vegetables they usually find in the wild. Some towns have domesticated prairie dogs, which burrowlings train to stand watch alongside their masters. Pairs of adults stand watch around the perimeter of the town and sound a warning when they spot a foe. An alerted town retreats to the relative safety of previously clawed-out warrens, while the strongest creatures add more tunnels if necessary, and close off access from the surface until the threat has passed. If combat becomes necessary, the creatures stand together in defense of the helpless young and fight with crude slings or their sharp teeth and claws.
If abduction or other mishap separates a burrowling from its coterie or town, the creature becomes despondent, crying plaintively for others of its kind. A burrowling town never considers exile, seeing execution as more humane for a criminal, but a town rarely sends out a search party for its missing comrade since it requires all able-bodied creatures to remain behind to protect and forage for the community. Therefore, a lone burrowling usually dies within a week, unless it can find its way back to its town or discover another burrowling town. Very rarely, a solitary creature makes its way to a non-burrowling settlement where it attempts to fit in with and assist its new community. This leads to frustration for the creature and those it interacts with as it tries, and fails, to anticipate what its erstwhile companions want. Eventually, the creature joins an adventuring party in the hope the party can lead it to a settlement. After spending at least 6 months with a party, the burrowling can use its greater than the sum ability with its new allies. Communication with a burrowling proves difficult since the creature regularly intersperses barks and “pips” into its Common.
Burrowlings live up to 15 years, assuming they reach their natural lifespan. Twice a year, a burrowling female bears a litter of up to three pups, but in especially dangerous regions, the creatures breed prodigiously in an attempt to keep their overall population ahead of massive attrition. In cases like this, a female has a litter of five pups once a month. A burrowling pup reaches adulthood in a year, having learned from its caretakers and through interactions with its siblings how to integrate into burrowling society.