Encounters: Cormanthor - The Rimwood
Pernicon (CR 1/4)
AC: 17 (+8 size, +7 Dex, -8 natural), touch 25, flat-footed 10
Hit Dice: 2d8 (10 hp) per swarm of ten
Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +2
Speed: 30 ft.
Space: 10 ft./0 ft.
Base Attack +10; Grapple -
Full Attack: Swarm
Damage: Swarm 1d6 plus Constitution drain 1d10
Special Attacks: Constitution drain
Climate/Terrain: Temperate and warm desert
Organization: Colony (4-400) 300-3000 in nest
As a rule, the pernicon is an inoffensive creature, but it will attack in large numbers if disturbed.
Pernicons form swarms when attacking. They leap upon their victims and grip exposed flesh with the pincers located at the rear of their abdomens. Pernicons are quite capable of worming their way under clothing or through joints in armor, so protective clothing or equipment is not complete proof against them. It takes at least ten pernicons to mount an effective attack, and each swarm of ten makes one attack each round. No more than five swarms can attack a single man-sized creature at once. For larger creatures, one additional swarm can attack per size class larger than man-sized; for smaller creatures, subtract one swarm per size class.
Attacks with blunt weapons do normal damage to a pernicon swarm. Each point of damage inflicted will kill one insect. Piercing and slashing weapons can kill only one insect per successful attack. When one or more pernicon in a swarm are killed, any additional pernicons in the area immediately join it to bring the number back up to ten.
When a swarm "hits," the victim suffers 1d10 hit points of damage (per swarm) from the pincers. In addition, the pernicons drain water and other bodily fluids from the target, causing the loss of one point of Constitution. Each round thereafter, this drain will continue automatically (no roll required).
If a victim's Constitution falls to three or lower, the victim collapses into unconsciousness. If the Constitution falls to zero, the victim dies. A raise dead spell will recover 50% of a slain victim's Constitution, while resurrection will recover 75%. If the victim survives, he/she will recover lost Constitution points at her natural healing rate for lost hit points.
Spells such as fireball will kill every pernicon in the area of effect. A flaming torch or Flame Tongue sword will kill 2d4 pernicons each round; a pool of flaming oil will kill 2d8 pernicons on the round it ignites, but the insects will avoid the area thereafter. Strong winds, including a gust of wind spell, will disperse all swarms in the area of effect.