Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bat Swarm & Dire Bat

The dire bat entry is proof positive of the value of flavor text.  The only complaint I have with the Pathfinder Bestiary’s otherwise outstanding design is that sometimes the eye just travels right over the flavor text blocks, tucked away in italics as they are above the stats.  In that case, one sees a CR 2 monster—ho-hum, a big bat, barely a threat to even a beginning party.  But the flavor text: “This giant, furry bat is nearly the size of an ox”!  That is what I want characters to experience—a monstrous beast with wings “wider than two men.”  Not “You see a dire bat.”  Meanwhile, bat swarms are likely to be one of the first challenges PCs encounter with the swarm and wounding features.

Halfling servants are disappearing from Lord Cheswick’s house.  A dire bat that has settled up a disused chimney is to blame.

The Leatherwing goblins hold the eating of gnomes to be taboo.  Instead they leave gnomish victims hanging in cages above a nearby cave mouth.  Swarms of bats pass through at dawn and dusk, feasting on any sacrifices as they go.

Bugbear rangers and druids are fond of dire bat companions.  They share a similar love of the night and are both sharp-eared predators. The fear the bats inspire also makes the bugbears’ murders that much more delicious.

Pathfinder Bestiary 30

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