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Shell Sentinel

This mass of shells is assembled into a shape that resembles a cross between a frog and a squid. Its “head” is a tangle of long limbs composed of razor-sharp edges, and its body seeps with foamy, toxic-looking slime.

Shell Sentinel CR 5

Source Pathfinder #98: Turn of the Torrent pg. 88
XP 1,600
LE Medium construct
Init +8 (+12 when ending discorporation); Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +8


AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+4 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 58 (7d10+20); fast healing 5
Fort +2, Ref +8, Will +4
Defensive Abilities freedom of movement, sharpened edges; DR 5/bludgeoning; Immune fire, construct traits; Resist electricity 10
Weaknesses fragile frame


Speed 5 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee 4 talons +10 (1d6+2/18–20 plus 1 bleed and poison)
Special Attacks poison cloud, pounce
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +3)
Constant—freedom of movement
At will—locate creature (see below)


Str 14, Dex 19, Con —, Int 3, Wis 15, Cha 6
Base Atk +7; CMB +9; CMD 23
Feats Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Perception), Weapon Focus (talons)
Skills Disguise +0 (+16 as shells while discorporated), Perception +8, Swim +12; Racial Modifiers +16 Disguise as shells while discorporated
Languages Aklo, Aboleth
SQ discorporate, sense the masters


Environment any (usually aquatic)
Organization solitary, pair, or gang (3–7)
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Discorporate (Su) As an immediate action, a shell sentinel can relax the supernatural energies that bind together its form, causing it to seem to fall apart into a loose tangle of shells. While discorporated, a shell sentinel gains a +16 racial bonus on Disguise checks to appear as a mound of shells. Any attempt to disperse or scatter the shells immediately ends the disguise, as the shells of a stillfunctional shell sentinel cannot be easily parted from the construct’s body. A shell sentinel can return to its normal shape as a swift action—if it does so in the same round it rolls initiative, it gains a +4 racial bonus on its initiative check.

Fragile Frame (Ex) Whenever a shell sentinel is dealt a critical hit from a bludgeoning weapon or rolls a natural 1 on a Reflex saving throw, it must succeed at a DC 12 Fortitude save to resist being forced to discorporate. For 1 round after being forced to discorporate in this way, a shell sentinel gains vulnerability to bludgeoning damage.

Poison (Ex) Poison cloud or talon—contact; save Fort DC 13; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect staggered plus 1d4 Wisdom; cure 1 save. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Poison Cloud (Su) As a standard action, or as a free action after it hits a target with at least one attack after using pounce, a shell sentinel can exude a dense, dark cloud of poisonous ink as long as it is underwater. This ink cloud forms a 10-foot-diameter spread centered on the shell sentinel that provides total concealment. Creatures other than shell sentinels within the ink cloud are considered to be in darkness, and are exposed to the shell sentinel’s poison as well. The ink cloud persists for 2 rounds before dispersing. A shell sentinel can create a poison cloud like this no more than once per minute.

Sense the Masters (Su) Every shell sentinel has the ability to sense the presence and direction of its creator, others of its creator’s race, and any creatures that are under its creator’s magical control (although not those controlled by others of the creator’s race). Most shell sentinels were created by aboleths, but the secret of their construction has been stolen and used by other aquatic races. A shell sentinel never attacks its creator, others of its creator’s race, or creatures magically controlled by its creator, unless it is attacked first or its creator gives it direct orders that countermand this. A shell sentinel’s locate creature spell-like ability functions only to divine the location of these creatures, and is not blocked by running water.

Sharpened Edges (Su) A shell sentinel’s component shells are supernaturally sharp. In addition to being the source of its talons’ enhanced threat range and bleed effect, these edges give the creature a dangerous defense. Each time a creature damages a shell sentinel with a natural weapon or attempts to grapple it, the creature takes 1d4 points of slashing damage; if the creature takes the maximum amount of damage from the sharpened edges, it also takes 1 point of bleed damage.


Shell sentinels are constructs designed specifically for use by the veiled masters or by those talented slaves with whom the veiled masters deign to share their secrets. These constructs often serve aboleths, skum, faceless stalkers, and cults of dominated humanoids as guardians, particularly of captured prisoners or other living victims. Unlike constructs whose traditions are mired in humanoid magical tradition, the typical shell sentinel appears more like a streamlined froglike creature with flippers instead of feet and a set of four talons on stalks in place of a head. A shell sentinel is composed entirely of razor-sharp shells, and the binding matrix that holds its form together and gives it its rudimentary but foultempered intelligence is a slithery black sludge distilled from the rotted flesh of unwanted slaves. The methods of extracting and preparing this slime requires living victims, and the decidedly painful and vile rendering process not only poisons the resulting construct’s personality with an appetite for misery and cruelty, but also imbues poison into its form. Contact with this toxin, which runs throughout a shell sentinel’s form, causes intense pain and clouds the minds of living creatures unfortunate enough to be subjected to it.


The veiled masters of the aboleths built the first shell sentinels, but the method of their creation has been hard to keep secret because of the common practice of teaching the formulas to talented slaves. When such slaves are rescued, they often craft shell sentinels for others. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find shell sentinels serving tribes of gillmen or merfolk—while these constructs are petty and vile in temperament, their inability to harm those who share the race of their creators makes them unusual but safe guardians for many tribes.

Shell sentinels can easily cross between marine and freshwater environments, and given proper protections can even endure in hostile liquid environments such as acid. Out of the water, shell sentinels can function, yet they lose their ability to create poison clouds and can move about only with an awkward flopping motion—as a result, they tend to stay submerged at all times.

Sometimes shell sentinels lose their original purpose following many years of inactivity. Typically, this is the fate of shell sentinels that happen to outlive their creators. After several decades of idleness, the constructs might abandon their assigned tasks and begin to wander, staking out their own territories and attacking any creatures that enter these arbitrary domains. Especially talented spellcasters can attempt to gain control over these rogue constructs if they have the Craft Construct feat, but doing so requires the targeted shell sentinel to be restrained (or to otherwise be made a willing participant) for the 1d4 days it takes to imprint a new “creator” into the construct’s primitive mind. This process requires the expenditure of 2,000 gp in resources and, at the end of the 1d4 days, a successful DC 20 Spellcraft check. If the spellcaster fails this check, she can attempt it once more, provided she spends the time and resources again.


A shell sentinel’s body consists of 200 pounds of shells, each of which must be polished and ground so that its edges are as sharp as razors. The shells must then be laid out in a pattern roughly corresponding to the creature’s final shape, and then anointed with a thick and vile necromantic reduction from the living flesh of a creature afflicted with the slime of an aboleth or of a veiled master. Other rarer alchemical reagents can be substituted for this reduction (such substitutes are required if the creator wishes the final construct to be nonevil). The entire process must take place while submerged in water, and the total cost of the components is 2,000 gp.

Shell Sentinel

CL 9th; Price 10,000 gp


Requirements Craft Construct, false life, geas/quest or dominate monster, keen edge, poison (an aboleth or veiled master can substitute its slime for this requirement), creator must be caster level 9th; Skill Craft (alchemy) DC 20; Cost 6,000 gp