Hivenest monsters are nonliving creatures that house colonies of insects in their bodies, whether deliberately or as a result of infestation. The bugs crawl across their exterior and through their internal cavities constantly, wrapping their hosts with a layer of vermin. Hivenest monsters are particularly common in desert lands, where the mummification techniques used on undead tomb guardians attract swarms of scarab beetles.
Creating a Hivenest Monster
"Hivenest" is an acquired template that combines two creatures into one hybrid creature. The template can be added to any Large or larger corporeal plant, undead, or construct (referred to hereafter as the base creature) and to any Diminutive or Fine vermin of the swarm subtype (referred to hereafter as the base swarm).
Special Attacks: A hivenest monster retains the special attacks of the base creature, and also gains the following attacks.
- - Hivenest Attack (Ex): Any crea¬ture struck by one or more of a hivenest monster's natural weapon attacks also takes damage from the base swarm's swarm attack at the end of the hivenest monster's turn, as if the base swarm had ended its turn occupying the same space as the creature. Any effect, such as damage reduction, that reduces or negates swarm attack damage is applied separately to the natural weapon attack and to the swarm attack. If the swarm attack of the base swarm delivers poison, acid, or some other special effect, a successful hivenest attack delivers the same effect.
- - Hivenest Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to a hivenest attack's damage that begins its turn in a square adjacent to a hivenest monster is nauseated for 1 round. A Fortitude save negates the effect; use the save DC for the base swarm's distraction special attack. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells while adjacent to a hivenest monster requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a successful DC 20 Concentration check.
Special Qualities: A hivenest monster retains the special qualities of the base creature, and also gains the following qualities.
- - If the base swarm has blindsense, blindsight, or tremorsense, the hivenest monster retains that ability. The hivenest monster also retains any racial bonus on Spot checks or Listen checks possessed by the base swarm.
- - Hivedeath (Ex): If a hivenest monster is reduced to 0 hit points, the monster is destroyed but the swarms that nest within it are released. One or more base swarms are immediately placed in the space previously occupied by the hivenest monster. Each swarm has full hit points, regardless of the damage taken by the hivenest monster, and acts independently of any control the hivenest monster was under. Effects that completely destroy the hivenest monster's body (such as disintegrate or implosion) prevent the hivedeath effect. The maximum number of swarms released is based on the size of the base creature.
|Base Creature Size||Number of Swarms Released|
Challenge Rating: As a group consisting of the base creature and as many of the base swarms as are released during hivedeath.
Sample Hivenest Monster: Hivenest Minotaur Zombie.