Hiveskins are aggressive creatures that have developed a supernatural bond with a flying swarm, which they use either as an early warning system against potential threats or as a mean to flush out their prey. Hiveskins are often evolve in supernatural environments or are specifically bread by those who seek to hunt or defend against extremely elusive creatures. Scholars believe divine spiritual energy fuels this bond though sometimes arcane experiments with souls can also produce a hiveskin creature. A solitary hiveskin is usually the sole survivor of some catastrophe, while larger gatherings of these creatures consist of entire parties that lost their way in the woods or a hiveskin’s transformed victims. Hiveskin creatures grow layers of thick gray natural armor and are surrounded by a swarm of small flying insects that whiz in and out of the creature’s hide, seeking refuge in the hallows of the beast’s skin.
Creating a Hiveskin Creature
“Hiveskin” is an acquired or inherited template that can be added to any corporeal creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature) and one or more flying swarms (see hiveskin swarm). A hiveskin creature and its swarms use all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Alignment: Always chaotic.
Defensive Abilities: Due to the mystical symbiosis with a hiveskin creature’s swarm, a hiveskin and its swarm gain fast healing equal to the hiveskin creature’s Constitution modifier (or 1 whichever is higher). Its swarm gains all the base creature’s defensive abilities including damage reduction, immunities, resistances, spell resistance, and weaknesses. The hiveskin creature’s swarm does not gain defensive abilities that rely on the base creature’s size, strength, weapons, or reach, including combat maneuver defense. The swarm also gains all the base creature’s ranged and area special defenses except those that rely on manufactured armor.
Special Attacks A hive-skin creature’s swarm gains any special attacks that rely on touch or melee attacks. It does not gain spell-like abilities or those that rely on the base creature’s size, strength, manufactured weapons, or reach, including combat maneuvers (such as grab), rending, or trampling.
Special Qualities: Due to the symbiosis with a hiveskin creature’s swarm, its swarm gains all the base creature’s special qualities. The hiveskin creature’s swarm does not gain special qualities that rely on the base creature’s polymorph effects, size, strength, manufactured items, or reach.
Special Abilities: A hiveskin creature retains all the special abilities of the base creature, plus the special abilities as described below:
Hiveskin Swarm (Ex)
A hiveskin creature is constantly surrounded by 1 flying swarm (usually wasps) for every 3 CR the hiveskin creature possess, which make their home in its hide. Their relationship is symbiotic. If a hiveskin creature loses a swarm, it attracts new ones (or the eggs of the old swarms hatch to produce new ones within a week). Alternatively, if the base creature has the regeneration quality and the hiveskin creature is not destroyed it revitalizes the swarm in the amount of time it takes to heal the swarm to full hit points. An intelligent hiveskin creature can control its swarm(s) through the symbiotic link as if it were a summoned creature, and can direct them as a free action. The swarms attack in the hiveskin’s defense. The swarms never travel more than 400 ft. + 40 ft./Hit Dice from its host.
All-Around Vision (Ex)
Swarm Senses (Ex)
As long as the hiveskin creature is within 60 ft. of one its swarms both it and its swarms gain the senses of both including racial bonuses to Perception. The hiveskin also instantly becomes aware of any creature its swarm encounters. For example, a wasp swarm grants the hiveskin creature darkvision 60 ft. and a +8 racial bonus to Perception checks and if an invisible creature, a displaced creature, or a creature protected by a mirror image is encountered by the swarm, the hiveskin becomes aware of its exact location.
Fly On The Wall (Ex)
A hiveskin creature can focus its mind through its bond so it can see and hear a single member of this swarm, effectively using it as a spy.
Abilities: Increase from the base creature and its swarm as follows: Str +4 (+2 to attack and damage, +2 to Climb and Swim skill checks, +5 to Strength, and CMB checks, +5 to CMD), Dex +4 ( +2 to Ranged attack rolls; AC and touch AC, Initiative, and Ref saves. +2 to Acrobatics, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Fly, Ride, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth checks, add +5 to any of the base creature’s Dexterity-based DCs), Con +6 (+3 hp per HD, +3 to Fortitude saves, and any of the base creature’s Constitution-based DCs), Wis +4 (+2 to Will saves, +2 to Heal, Perception, Profession, Sense Motive and Survival checks, add +5 to any of the base creature’s Wisdom-based DCs),
Pathways Bestiary (c) 2017, Rite Publishing LLC.; Author: Steven D. Russell.