Gargantuan? Check. Pretty much gorilla-esque? Check. Able to open a can of whoop-ass with its opposable thumbs on any dinosaur in the vicinity? Check.
At only CR 8 despite its Gargantuan size, the megaprimatus will never be able to go up against any of Pathfinder’s kaiju. (Heck, even yesterday’s mapinguari, despite only being Huge, would probably beat the megaprimatus in a tussle, due to its more accurate claws and its overall magical nature.) But if you’re looking to recreate the dinosaur vs. ape vs. explorers hate triangle of the original 1933 King Kong film (or the 2005 Peter Jackson remake), megaprimatus is perfect. (After all, T. rex is only CR 9. And by the way, the megaprimatus actually owes its name to that 2005 remake—King Kong’s species name in the movie is Megaprimatus kong.)
Another reason I like megaprimatus hanging out around CR 8 is that, as an old-school D&D fan, I of course received a copy X1 The Isle of Dread in my Expert Rules blue box set. The Isle of Dread and particularly its village of Tanaroa owe a lot to King Kong’s Skull Island, and I like that the megaprimatus remains roughly in the Pathfinder’s version of the Expert range.
After a year of struggles and triumphs, the settlers of the jungle island of Jade Heaven are ready to celebrate their first new year. Out come the colorful costumes, the dragon puppets, the stilt walkers, and the foo dog parade floats—with some dinosaur floats mixed in, to celebrate the strange fauna of the settlers’ new home. But the noise attracts a curious megaprimatus…who, mistaking the parade floats for actual dinosaurs, immediately attacks.
On the little-explored continent of Elund, megaprimatuses are not born—they're made. If the silverback male in a gorilla troop dies of unnatural causes, the females give off stress pheromones that cause the next silverback to grow to monstrous size. When a wave of poaching strikes the White Mountain Range, a plague of megaprimatuses is loosed upon the region.
To honor the queen’s 50th birthday, an expedition is sent to bring her exotic tribute. And exotic the tribute is indeed: The expedition captures a male megaprimatus—a particularly apt gift, as the queen’s beloved uncle who raised her was known as “The Gorilla” in his army days. But expeditions can take months…and while the expedition’s musketeers and rangers were away, the queen fell ill and the same uncle used draconian measures to quell a bread riot. Now, to the expedition’s dismay, no one is in any mood to celebrate the presence of yet another great ape. And then in the dark of the night, rebels cut the beast loose…
—Pathfinder Bestiary 5 31
Got some nice comments on my “Mammon” entry. (Thanks in particular to Bucephalus, and dr-archeville pointed out a nice Simpsons Easter egg.)
One of my long-term readers, AlgaeNymph, was a little worried about the disclaimer I threw in setting up my Biblical adventure seed.
Just to be clear, that wasn’t a generic CYA disclaimer. In my historical adventure seeds, I’m happy to riff on how our real religions and religious themes might operate in a magical Earth (which you all seem to like—more readers have commented on the phrase “Jesuit blue dragon” than anything else I’ve ever written). I’m also happy to abuse a few sacred cows when necessary. (In my historical fantasy adventure seeds, the antebellum and Civil War South will always be portrayed as evil, for obvious reasons, and no, I’m not even a little bit sorry.)
But my third Mammon adventure seed didn’t just invoke a particular religion. It referenced an event from the Bible itself, that supposedly took place in Christianity’s holiest week—in Judaism’s most holy site, BTW—and it potentially changes Jesus’s motives for doing so. That’s some double black diamond messing-about, and out of respect for my readers of faith it felt proper to flag that I was aware of that fact.
Looking for the megapon ant? It’s back here.