Encounters by Locale: Storm Horns and Thunder Peaks - Cave, Lower Levels
Lurker Above (CR 8)
Alignment: Always neutral
Initiative: +5 (+1 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative); Senses: darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent, tremorsense, Listen +11, and Spot +11
AC: 15 (-2 size, +1 Dex, +6 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 14
Hit Dice: 10d8+50 (95 hp)
Fort +8, Ref +4, Will +11
Speed: 10 ft., climb 10 ft., fly 30 ft. (good)
Space: 20 ft./5 ft.
Base Attack +7; Grapple +11
Attack: Slam +13 melee
Full Attack: Slam +13 melee
Damage: Slam 1d8+12
Special Attacks: Constrict 1d8+12, improved grab, smother
Abilities: Str 27, Dex 12, Con 21, Int 5, Wis 18, Cha 4
Special Qualities: immunities, levitate
Feats: Improved Initiative
Skills: Climb +16, Hide -2*, Listen +11, Move Silently +12, and Spot +11
Advancement: 11-16 HD (Huge), 17-22 HD (Gargantuan)
Climate/Terrain: Any underground
Organization: Solitary, pair, or flock (3-5)
Treasure: Half standard
A lurker above attacks only to feed, but is almost always hungry. When at rest, it attaches itself to the ceiling of a large cave or cavern. Upon sensing prey (generally with its tremorsense), the lurker above becomes awake and alert. It positions itself over a target, then drops down to attack. A lurker above always attempts to grapple and constrict the largest target in a group, then levitate out of counterattack reach. If targets can attack the lurker above at range, it attempts to move its grappled target to one side of its body and make slam attacks against other targets.
Constrict (Ex): A lurker above deals 1d8+12 points of damage with a successful grapple check.
Improved Grab (Ex): If a lurker above hits an opponent that is at least one size category smaller than itself with a slam attack, it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity (grapple bonus +23). If it gets a hold, it constricts on the same round. Thereafter, the lurker above has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use its body to hold the opponent (-20 penalty on grapple check, but the lurker above is not considered grappled). In either case, each successful grapple check it makes during successive rounds automatically deals slam and constriction damage. A lurker above may not have more than one target grappled at a time.
Smother (Ex): In addition to constricting its victim, a lurker above that has made a successful grapple check against a target cuts off all the prey's air. Targets being smothered use the same rule as for drowning: They can hold their breath for a number of rounds equal to twice their constitution. After this time, the target must make a Constitution check (DC 10) in order to continue holding its breath. Each round, the DC increases by 1.
When the target fails its Constitution check, it begins to suffocate. In the first round, it falls unconscious (0 hp). On the following round, it drops to -1 and is dying. In the third round, it succumbs and dies.
Immunities (Ex): Because of its rubbery hide and ability to stretch easily, a lurker above takes only half damage from bludgeoning attacks.
Levitate (Ex): The body of a lurker above is naturally buoyant, allowing it to gain and lose altitude. Thus a lurker above may produce an effect like that of the levitate spell, as a free action, moving at a base speed of 20 feet.
Scent (Ex): The creature can detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell.
Tremorsense (Ex): When attached to a rocky surface, a lurker above can automatically sense the location of anything within 180 feet that is in contact with the same rock. This capability enables a lurker above on the ceiling of a cavern to sense the approach of creatures walking across the bottom of the cavern.
Skills: A lurker above gains a +4 racial bonus on Listen and Move Silently checks. *When attached to the ceiling in rocky areas with little vegetation, a lurker above gains a +12 racial bonus on Hide checks.