Archives of Nethys

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Granule Construct Swarm

A faint buzz fills the air as a dark cloud of smoke or dust gathers out of nowhere, swiling amorphously, then suddenly darts forward with purpose.

Granule Construct Swarm CR 6

Source Seven Swords of Sin pg. 30
N Fine construct (swarm)
Init +10; Senses blindsight 100 ft.; Listen +6, Spot +6

Defense

AC 24, touch 24, flat-footed 18 (+6 Dex, +8 size)
hp 55 (10d10); fast healing 1
Fort +3, Ref +9, Will +9
Defensive Abilities construct traits, dispersion; DR 10/magic; Immune weapon damage; Resist fire 10

Offense

Speed 0 ft., fly 40 ft. (perfect)
Melee swarm (2d6)
Space 10 ft., Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction, infest

Statistics

Str 1, Dex 22, Con —, Int 6, Wis 18, Cha 10
Base Atk +7; Grapple -14
Feats Ability Focus (distraction), Ability Focus (infest), Alertness, Iron Will
Skills Hide +29, Listen +6, Move Silently +12, Spot +6
SQ construct traits, hive mind, swarm traits

Ecology

Environment living hosts in any climate
Organization solitary or hive (2-4)
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Dispersion (Ex) As an immediate action, a swarm can disperse into the air around it, expanding to fill any area up to a 30-fool square. While dispersed, the swarm deals no damage and may not use its special abilities, but it is able to immediately hide in plain sight with a +10 bonus and takes only the standard amount of damage from area effects. Once dispersed, it takes the swarm 2 rounds to coalesce again, during which time it cannot attack. A granule construct swarm can remain in its dispersed state indefinitely.

Distraction (Ex) Any living creature that begins its turn with a granule construct swarm in its space must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save of be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Hive Mind (Ex) Any granule construct swarm with at least 1 hit point per hit die forms a hive mind, giving it an intelligence of 6. When a granule construct swarm is reduced below this threshold, it becomes mindless. In addition, a granule construct swarm shares its collective consciousness with any granule construct hosts within 100 feet. As long as it remains in contact, the hosts cannot be flanked, and if one of them is aware of an enemy, they all are.

Infest (Ex) As a standard action, a granule construct swarm may attempt to infest a living creature whose square it inhabits. The targeted creature must make a DC 17 Fortitude save or gain the granule construct host template, as a portion of the granule construct swarm invades and begins reproducing inside its body. The transformation takes 1 minute, during which time the host is incapacitated as its body warps and spasms. A remove disease or heal spell cast on a granule construct host forces the swarm to abandon the body, removing the template. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Description

Granule construct swarms are the product of powerful artificers pushing the boundaries of their craft. Alone, each individual is a barely sentient construct so tiny as to be practically invisible, a speck of dust that moves under its own power. Brought together by the thousands into a swarm, however, the complex linking of simple systems creates an emergent consciousness of humanlike intelligence, although alien enough to make communication nearly impossible. Granule construct swarms exist solely to infest larger living organisms and reproduce in the relative safety and comfort provided by their bodies. Capable of repairing and replicating out of the raw elements around them, granule constructs within a host are almost unstoppable through physical means, burrowing their way into flesh and sending signals through the bloodstream. Once safely ensconced, granule construct swarms modify their hosts to maximize survival potential, a trait that leads certain people to intentionally cultivate granule construct swarms inside themselves, despite the resulting deformities. Energy damage to a host damages the granule construct swarm equally, but normal weapon damage does not. Granule constructs can vacate dead or dying creatures whenever they so choose, emerging as a standard swarm.

Environment: Although created in arcane laboratories, granule construct swawrms can travel anywhere safe to their host creatures.

Typical Physical Characteristics: Up close, each microscopic granule construct appears as a silver sphere with an all-purpose orifice at one end that it uses to gather information, take in nutrients, and focus the electromagnetic charges that propel it through the air. At the opposite end emerges a single manipulator claw. In a swarm, they appear as a dense cloud, somewhere between dust and a shadow, that constantly shifts shape and emits a faint hum.

Creating a Granule Construct Host

Once inside a host's body, a granule construct swarm makes a number of modifications which it finds beneficial, toughening it and making it more aware to ensure maximum surviva1. "Granule construct host" is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal aberration, animal, dragon, fey, giant, humanoid, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, or vermin (referred to hereafter as the base creature). Granule construct hosts use all of the base creature's statistics except as noted below.

Armor Class: Creatures with this template gain +2 to their natural armor bonus as their skin thickens and toughens.

Attack: A granule construct host retains all the attacks of the base creature and also gains a claw attack if it didn't already have one. if the base creature can use weapons, the granule construct host retains this ability. A creature with natural weapons retains those natural weapons. A granule construct host fighting without weapons uses either its claw attack or its primary natural weapon (if it has any). A granule construct host armed with a weapon uses its claw or a weapon, as it desires.

Damage: Granule construct hosts have 2 claw attacks. If the base creatue does not have this attack form, use the appropriate damage value from the table below according to the granule construct host's size. Creatures that have other kinds of natural weapons retain their old damage values or use the appropriate value from the table below, whichever is better.
SizeDamage
Fine1
Diminutive1d2
Tiny1d3
Small1d4
Medium1d6
Large1d8
Huge2d6
Gargantuan2d8
Colossal4d6
Special Attack: A granule construct host retains all the special attacks of the base creature and gains infest.

Infest (Ex): Once per week, a granule construct host may make a touch attack to allow the swarm inhabiting it to split and infest another creature. If it succeeds, both creatures become infested, otherwise the granule constructs remain in the pre-existing host.

Special Qualities: A granule construct host retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains those described below.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Granule construct swarms retain an awareness of their surroundings even while inhabiting a body, and as a result granule construct hosts retain their Dexterity bonus to AC even if caught flat-footed or attacked by an invisible opponent, although they still lose their Dexterity bonus if immobilized.

Blindsight: To a range of 100 feet.

Hive Mind (Ex): While a creature hosting a granule construct swarm normally maintains free will, the swarm living inside maintains contact with any other granule construct swarms or hosts within 100 feet and shares this link in brief, painful flashes. As long as one of the connected creatures is not flanked, none of them are, and if one is aware of a foe, all are.

In addition, if at any point a granule construct swarm infesting a host body feels threatened, it may attempt to take over control of the host's body. At that point, the host must make a DC 15 Will save or obey the swarm's commands for 1d1O rounds, which normally translates to attacking or fleeing from the source of the overwhelming threat.

Abilities: Modify from the base creature as follows: +2 Con, -6 Cha (minimum of 1). A granule construct host's body twists into a monsterous mockery of its former shape, all bulging veins and dark shadows moving beneath their skin.

Challenge Rating: As base creature.