Karkinoi Brood Swarm

Each member of this horde of blue crab-like things is armed with a menacing, over-sized pincer.

Karkinoi Brood Swarm CR 4

XP 1,200
CE Tiny monstrous humanoid (aquatic, swarm)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0


AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+2 Dex, +4 natural, +2 size)
hp 39 (6d10+6)
Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +5
Defensive Abilities swarm traits


Speed 20 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee swarm (2d6)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks clinging grasp (DC 15), consume, distraction (DC 14)


Str 6, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 3, Wis 10, Cha 7
Base Atk +6; CMB —; CMD
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Improved Initiative, Step Up
Skills Swim +15
Languages Aquan
SQ scuttling swarm, water dependency


Clinging Grasp (Ex)

The spawn in a karkinoi brood swarm clutch with their pincers to tenaciously cling to other creatures and each other, inhibiting their targets’ movement as they swarm over prey. When the karkinoi brood swarm ends its turn in the space of a Medium or smaller creature, that creature must succeed at a DC 15 Reflex save or become entangled. This effect lasts for 1 round or until the creature leaves the karkinoi brood swarm’s space, whichever comes first.

The save DC is normally Strength-based, but because the karkinoi brood swarm has the Agile Maneuvers feat, the DC is instead Dexterity-based.

Consume (Ex)

A karkinoi brood swarm can rapidly consume any creature it swarms over. Against helpless or nauseated targets, a karkinoi brood swarm’s attack deals 4d6 points of damage.

Scuttling Swarm (Ex)

A karkinoi brood swarm can use its Step Up feat to move and reshape itself when a creature takes a 5-foot step while within the swarm’s area. Each part of the swarm can move 5 feet, provided each part of the swarm ends this movement in a square occupied by the creature taking the 5-foot step or in a square that the swarm occupied before taking this movement.

Water Dependency (Ex)

A karkinoi brood swarm can survive out of the water for 1 hour per point of Constitution. Beyond this limit, it runs the risk of suffocation, as if it were drowning.


Environment any water
Organization solitary, pair, or wave (3–4 swarms)
Treasure none

The brutish karkinoi reproduce after collecting sufficient meat to feed their offspring, which is usually obtained by raiding coastal settlements. After mating, the female karkinoi lays a mass of eggs in the calm water of a coastal sea cave or sheltered underwater area. The voracious spawn hatch almost simultaneously, instinctively cluster together to form an endlessly ravenous karkinoi brood swarm, and devour all nearby meat. The taste of that first meal imprints itself on the karkinoi spawn, pushing these creatures to become savage marauders when they mature.

The karkinoi brood mother remains close by her progeny after they hatch, both to educate them and to safeguard them from predators, especially other karkinoi, which have been known to cannibalize karkinoi spawn. Karkinoi spawn mature rapidly, growing larger and aggressively vying for domination over each other. A karkinoi brood swarm’s spawn rapidly diminish in number as the stronger members consume the vanquished. Eventually the karkinoi adolescents split up, searching for their own aquatic lairs and ample sources of soft meat.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Module: Plunder & Peril © 2014, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Alex Greenshields, Matthew Goodall, Steven T. Helt, and Ben McFarland.

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