Archives of Nethys

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Template Grafts | Universal Monster Rules


Ksarik

Source Alien Archive pg. 70

Ksarik CR 4

XP 1,200
N Large plant
Init +1; Senses blindsense (scent) 30 ft., low-light vision; Perception +10

Defense

HP 52; RP 3
EAC 16; KAC 18
Fort +8; Ref +6; Will +3
Defensive Abilities fast healing 2; Immunities plant immunities

Offense

Speed 40 ft., climb 40 ft.
Melee tentacle +12 (1d6+9 B plus ingested adaptation)
Ranged acid spit +9 (1d4+4 A) or thorn dart +9 (1d6+4 P plus carrion spores)
Offensive Abilities ingested adaptation

Statistics

STR +5; DEX +1; CON +3; INT -3; WIS +1; CHA -1
Skills Acrobatics +10, Athletics +15 (+23 when climbing), Survival +10

Ecology

Environment temperate or warm forests (Castrovel)
Organization solitary, pack (2–5), or infestation (6–11)

Special Abilities

Acid Spit (Ex) As a standard action once every 1d4 rounds, a ksarik can spit a glob of acid at a target within 60 feet.

Ingested Adaptation (Su) Whenever a ksarik deals damage to a living creature with its tentacles, it siphons off a portion of the target’s genetic code and psychic resonance, temporarily reshaping its own physiology and psychology to match its victim’s. This grants the ksarik one of the following abilities (provided the target has it) for 1 minute: blindsense (up to 60 feet), blindsight (up to 60 feet), darkvision (up to 60 feet), damage reduction (up to 5/—), resistance to one type of energy damage (up to 20 points), burrow (up to 40 feet), fly (up to 40 feet, with maximum average maneuverability), swim (up to 40 feet), or water breathing. Alternatively, the ksarik can gain the ability to understand (but not speak) up to three languages that the target knows, gain the target’s weapon proficiencies (its tentacles can operate two-handed weapons in this state), or change the damage dealt by its acid spit ability to any one energy type dealt by one of the target’s supernatural attacks. A ksarik can maintain only one adaptation at a time, and gaining a new adaptation ends the previous one. A ksarik can spend 1 Resolve Point to extend the duration of an ongoing benefit by 8 hours. It can also spend 1 Resolve Point to gain a second adaptation and sustain them both simultaneously.

Thorn Dart (Ex) A ksarik can fire one of its thorns as a ranged attack. The dart has a range of 100 feet, deals piercing damage, and exposes the target to carrion spores.

Carrion Spores

Type disease (injury); Save Fortitude DC 13
Track physical; Frequency 1/day
Effect When an infected creature reaches the comatose state, 1d10+10 Diminutive ksarik seedlings burrow out of its flesh and wriggle away. This ends the disease and deals 1 piercing damage for each ksarik seedling.
Cure 2 consecutive saves

Description

Ksariks’ ancestors lived on Castrovel as mindless, animate plants that scavenged for food and sprouted their seedlings within corpses, rarely posing more than an incidental threat to other species. Millennia of ongoing strife between the planet’s formians and lashuntas bombarded these primeval ksariks with psychic energy, and only decades before the two factions’ recent peace deal, the plants began exhibiting rudimentary intelligence and a predatory drive. In an unsettlingly small number of generations, ksariks have developed a pack mentality, low cunning, and the preternatural ability to adopt competitors’ strengths.

A typical ksarik is a 12-foot-long quadruped made up of dense plant matter, including specialized tissues such as powerful tendons, woody internal supports that resemble bones, and flexible sheets of lignin that serve as a form of armor. Its head is immense and stocky, comprising approximately a dozen feeding tendrils that obscure its underdeveloped mouthparts. Its eyestalks project from either side of its head, providing a wide range of vision that sacrifices much of its ability to see targets immediately in front of it. To make up for this, a ksarik’s feeding tendrils are covered in an array of unusual sensory organs: some can discern the source of smells, while others sense movement and changes in light.

Originally occupying a niche between decomposers and scavengers, ksariks adapted to sniff out carrion and digest every piece of a rotting corpse. A ksarik’s body produces a steady supply of several different acids that help it break down food into a more manageable form, and modern ksariks regularly employ these acids in self-defense and hunting. The plants also have numerous thorns that grow along their legs and back. Botanists theorize that these also served as selfdefense when the ksariks were slower-moving creatures that resided lower on the food chain. Now, however, ksariks use these thorns as a form of reproduction, firing them into live prey and infecting those creatures with spores that gradually grow into nascent ksariks that feed on the host, and then painfully burrow out of the flesh days later. The spores must be fertilized beforehand in a process that resembles sexual congress between two ksariks, leaving both with a supply of seeds that remain viable for months afterward.

The most fearsome of the ksarik’s abilities is its capability of extracting and assimilating other creatures’ genetic codes, temporarily mimicking its prey’s adaptations. Studies suggest this ability is as much tied to a ksarik’s physical characteristics as it is some rudimentary psychic ability that allows the plant to adjust its body in accordance with a stolen genetic blueprint. Most of this code is unstable within the plants, meaning ksariks can rarely maintain an adaptation for more than a minute or, at most, a few hours. However, trace amounts of foreign DNA remain, and it appears that parents are able to pass lesser versions of their adopted abilities to their offspring.

This enhanced evolution has drawn ksariks into otherwise unsuitable habitats on Castrovel, where they have quickly outcompeted other species, even driving several of them to extinction. Due to this explosive growth, most lashuntas consider them an ecological nuisance, though xenobiologists have lobbied against the species’ eradication until it can be properly studied—especially now that the ksariks have begun absorbing and demonstrating signs of rudimentary culture.

The most notable evidence of this cultural development is the lilting melodies ksariks sing when in close proximity to one another. Scientists have yet to discover the purpose of these songs, as their best efforts to determine if they provide any information to the plants has failed. What’s more, their attempts to replicate the sounds only lead to angering nearby ksariks, the creatures being seemingly affronted by the endeavor. These sounds appear to emanate directly from a ksarik’s skin instead of any particular orifice, a fact that opponents of ksarik conservation hold as proof that the plants aren’t purposefully making them. Of course, those on the other side of the argument believe it doesn’t matter from where the songs come.

Adaptive Serum

A handful of scientists who have spent countless hours studying the ksariks’ ingested adaptation ability have discovered a formula that provides a facsimile of that power when imbibed. This magical serum alters users at a genetic level, granting them the ability to withstand energy attacks.