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Owlbear, Catchclaw (Spheres)

Catchclaw Owlbear CR 5

XP 1,600
N Large magical beast
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +11

Defense

AC 18, touch 11, flat-footed 16 (+2 Dex, +7 natural, -1 size)
hp 54 (6d10+24)
Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +4

Offense

Speed 30 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee bite +10 (1d8+5), 2 claws +10 (1d8+5 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (15 ft. with claws)
Special Attacks wide grip

Might

Martial Tradition Monstrous Combatant (Berserker x1, Gladiator x1, Wrestling x2); PAM Wis

Berserker Sphere – Talents Bloody Counter

  • berserking (12 temporary hit points, -2 AC)
  • brutal strike (special attack action; battered; martial focus, +12 damage)
  • Bloody Counter; immediate action, allow target to automatically strike you, make a brutal strike against target, go first if target battered

Gladiator Sphere – Talents (boast) Bloodthirst, Menace

  • boast (immediate action after critical hit, reduce enemy to 0, or successful combat maneuver, apply (boast) in 40-ft. radius); (boast) DC 15
    • Bloodthirst (boast); make an attack as part of the boast
    • Menace (boast); enemies must succeed at a Will save or cannot come closer for 1 round
    • Prowess (boast); roll next attack twice and take better
  • strike fear (full-round action, expend martial focus to demoralize 30-ft. radius; apply (demoralization) to enemies shaken)

Wrestling Sphere – Talents Grandstanding Slam, Ground Game; (slam) Hard Whip, Power Bomb; Special Double Slam (make 2 slams on 2 separate grappled creatures as part of the same action)

  • Grandstanding Slam; after using a (slam), intimidate other nearby creatures with a +4 bonus
  • Ground Game; can trip creature when maintaining a grapple or on being grappled
  • slam (immediate action, end grapple and apply (slam); (slam) DC 15
    • Hard Whip (slam); throw target 15 ft. and deal 1d6+5 if target collides with an object
    • Power Bomb (slam); deal 1d8+5 and Fort save or fatigued for 1 round
    • snag (swift action, melee touch attack +10, battered until end of turn or as long as held)

Statistics

Str 21, Dex 15, Con 18, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +6; CMB +12 (+18 grapple); CMD +24 (26 vs. grapple)
Feats: Dirty Fighting, Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, Muscular Reflexes
Skills Intimidate +12, Perception +11; Racial Modifiers +6 Intimidate

Special Abilities

Double Slam (Ex)

When a catchclaw owlbear uses a (slam) talent, it can choose to apply that (slam) talent to each creature it is currently grappling, ending the grapple and applying that (slam)’s effects to each creature normally (this allows a catchclaw owlbear to use a (slam) on each creature grappled in each of its two claws).

Wide Grip (Ex)

A catchclaw owlbear’s massive claws allow it to grapple with unusual control. A catchclaw owlbear does not gain the grappled condition if it grapples a foe using its claws.

About

Environment any cold, forest, or mountain
Organization solitary, pair, pack (3-7)
Treasure incidental

This massive frame of feather and fur features long crooked claws which seem to be made for reaching out and snatching prey. Owlbears have long been famous for their massive strength and ferocity, with the strength of a bear and the wisdom and agility of an owl, they make up for their two namesakes by being an apex predator.

Catchclaw owlbear are a unique subspecies, having long, crooked claws which allow them to reach further to catch prey, reach into deep tree hollows and burrows, and otherwise incapacitate their prey. Powerful and imposing, catchclaw owlbears use their massive claws to grab and slam or toss their prey around like ragdolls, tiring them out while asserting their dominance.

A prone creature can attempt a Bluff check opposed by the catchclaw owlbear’s +11 Perception bonus to “play dead”.

Adventurers have spread this tactic by word of mouth, after many bloody encounters with these territorial combatants, and some catchclaw owlbears who have been fooled by this tactic before are likely to maul the “corpse” even if they believe the creature to be dead.

Variants

Suffused by local magics or created by sick experimentation, these owlbear variants shape their domains with their frightening powers.

Rimecoat Owlbear (CR +0)

Living at high altitudes, rimecoat owlbears harness and intensify the storms they make their homes in. Their fur and feathers are a soft white with bands of gray, which help them blend with their snow-covered homes. Rimecoat owlbears hunt at the start of intense snowstorms, and will hibernate during the warm months. While infrequently tamed, they make for reliable companions to hunters in frozen areas as they are competent, hearty, and excellent trackers.

An rimecoat owlbear is a variant catchclaw owlbear which exchanges talents (Gladiator (Bloodthirst), Wrestling (Grandstanding Slam, Ground Game)) for the following:

Aura winter’s embrace (20-ft., cold and precipitation 4)

Sphere-Like Abilities (CL 5; MSB +5; MSD 16; concentration +6; CAM Cha)

Constant: Weather Sphere – Talents (mantle) Gelid Body, Razor Ice

  • mantle (gain (mantle) effects when in certain weather conditions)
    • Gelid Body (mantle); (while in Cold 3 or higher) cold resist 5 and DR 5/bludgeoning, improving by 1 for each category above 3. Improves further at severity 5 and 7.
    • Razor Ice (mantle); (while in Cold 4 or higher) +1 slashing damage on attacks and against attackers using unarmed or natural weapons, +2 per severity above 4

Feats: Mantled Caster

Skills +11 Survival

Special Abilities

Sphere-Like Abilities (Sp)

A rimecoat owlbear possesses sphere-like abilities, as indicated in its stat block. The rimecoat owlbear’s caster level for these sphere-like abilities is equal to its CR.

Winter’s Embrace (Su)

A rimecoat owlbear may surround itself with a weather-altering aura, constantly changing the area around the rimecoat owlbear to be Cold and Precipitation severity 4 in a 20-foot radius, causing heavy snow. This functions as the Weather sphere control weather sphere effect. A rimecoat owlbear may activate or suppress this ability as a free action.

See the Weather sphere for more details on weather severity effects.

Winter Stalker (Su)

A rimecoat owlbear gains one free rank in Survival for each Hit Dice it possesses. In addition, a rimecoat owlbear treats any Cold or Precipitation weather severity as three steps less severe and ignores any difficult terrain or penalties imposed by Cold or Precipitation weather severities. (Mantle) talents the rimecoat owlbear possesses still work according to the true severity level.

Environment any cold

Umbradark Owlbear (CR +0)

The umbradark owlbear is a bestial king of the night, able to move swiftly in the darkness and catch its prey by surprise.

Umbradark owlbear will often claim a small cave or tree hollow to rest in during the daytime as their home, rarely moving about until night falls. An umbradark’s appearance is similar to a normal owlbear, except their feathers are tinted an unusually glossy, almost oil-like black and have a banded fur pattern on their legs and stomach.

Umbradark owlbears rarely become problematic enough to be worth hunting or removing from an area, as their incredibly territorial nature combined with their nocturnal tendencies puts them at close odds with other would-be terrors of the night. Many villages actually prefer the presence of an umbradark owlbear as a known and predictable creature compared to what else could be lurking in the night.

An umbradark owlbear is a variant catchclaw owlbear which exchanges talents (Berserker (Bloody Counter), Gladiator (Bloodthirst), Wrestling (Ground Game)) for the following:

Weaknesses light blindness

Sphere-Like Abilities (CL 5; MSB +5; MSD 16; concentration +6; CAM Cha)

Constant:

Dark Sphere – Talents Greater Meld; (meld) Feed On Darkness (2), Step Through Darkness

  • meld (bonuses while in an area of dim-light or darker)
  • Feed On Darkness (meld); gain fast healing 2
  • Greater Meld; (meld) talents work in any area of dim light or (darkness)
  • Step Through Darkness (meld); move action, teleport 40 ft. from one area of (darkness) to another; Special usable every 1d4 rounds

Skills +11 Stealth

Special Abilities

Nocturnal Terror (Ex)

An umbradark owlbear gains one free rank in Stealth for each Hit Dice it possesses. In addition, an umbradark owlbear does not need to be seen when attempting to demoralize a target, and only needs to be heard, such as when using the Wrestling sphere Grandstanding Slam talent or the Gladiator sphere strike fear ability.

The umbradark owlbear cannot use the Step Through Darkness meld while grappling another creature.

Sphere-Like Abilities (Sp)

An umbradark owlbear possesses sphere-like abilities, as indicated in its stat block. The umbradark owlbear’s caster level for these sphere-like abilities is equal to its CR.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Spheres Bestiary: Magical Beasts and Climactic Encounters, © 2021, Drop Dead Studios; Author: Steven Alpert.