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Scarab Beetle Swarm

This mass of iridescent blue-black insects emits a foul stench, and a faint chorus of thousands of clicking and clacking jaws can be heard from all sides.

Scarab Swarm CR 3

XP 800
N Fine vermin (swarm)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +4


AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 18 (+8 size)
hp 22 (4d8+4)
Fort +5, Ref +1, Will +1
Defensive Abilities swarm traits; Immune mind-affecting effects, weapon damage


Speed 30 ft., climb 10 ft., fly 20 ft. (clumsy)
Melee swarm (1d6 plus disease and distraction)
Space 10 ft., Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 13)


Str 1, Dex 10, Con 13, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 2
Base Atk +3; CMB —; CMD
Skills Climb +8, Fly +0, Perception +4; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception


Disease (Ex)

Filth fever: Swarm—injury; save Fort DC 13; onset 1d3 days; frequency 1 day; effect 1d3 Dex damage and 1d3 Con damage; cure 2 consecutive saves.


Environment warm deserts
Organization solitary, pair, or infestation (3–6)
Treasure none

The scarab beetle is indigenous to warm deserts. Scarabs are small, six-legged insects with sharp protrusions on their front legs that they use to aid in burrowing. They are primarily coprophagous, eating dung for sustenance. An individual scarab often spends days rolling a single ball of detritus across the desert until it can find the perfect place to bury and deposit eggs in the dung. Because of this practice of burrowing underground to create new life, scarab beetles have long been associated with burial rites.

A scarab swarm comprises thousands of scarab beetles, each filthy from its constant contact with dung. Normally inattentive toward other creatures, scarab swarms subject those that get in their way to thousands of sharp bites as well as a highly infectious disease. Indeed, the bites of a scarab swarm are the least of their victims’ worries, as the disease they carry claims far more lives than their hunger.

Some religious scholars theorize that scarabs are prone to swarm because they’re drawn to the same malign energy that causes some undead to rise, though most people regard this explanation as purely superstition. Some see the arrival of a scarab swarm as a portent for ill fortune and upon encountering such a sight utter quick prayers to the Lady of Graves.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Source Pathfinder Adventure Path #79: The Half-Dead City © 2014, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Crystal Frasier, Jim Groves, Will McCardell, Michael McCarthy, and Amber E.Scott.

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