Scorchrunner Jackal

Medium monstrosity, unaligned

Armor Class 13
Hit Points 38 (7d8 + 7)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
9 (–1) 16 (+3) 12 (+1) 4 (–3) 14 (+2) 10 (+0)

Saving Throws Dex +5, Wis +4
Skills Perception +4, Stealth +5, Survival +4
Damage Immunities fire Senses passive Perception 14
Languages
Challenge 1 (200 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +2

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Day Hunter. When the scorchrunner jackal makes an attack roll while in sunlight, it can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to the attack roll.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The jackal makes two Bite or Flame Ray attacks.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage.
  • Flame Ray. Ranged Spell Attack: +4 to hit, range 120 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) fire damage. If the jackal hits a creature with Flame Ray, the jackal gains half-cover against all attacks that originate more than 30 feet away from it until the start of its next turn.

BONUS ACTIONS

  • Daylight Skirmish. While in sunlight, the jackal takes the Dash or Dodge action.

ABOUT

This jackal stands as high as a human’s waist, with a coat of beautiful, dirty-gold fur. Two ridges of callused flesh run along its back, dotted with fleshy bulbs that glow orange.

Scorchrunner jackals are monstrous creatures, warped by rampant magic in the wastelands they call home. Smarter and tougher than their mundane brethren and capable of emitting rays of flame from their mouths, they work in packs to harry prey across the trackless wastes, slowly burning their quarry to death with gouts of flame. Ravenous hunters, a lone scorchrunner jackal won’t think twice of attacking unlucky humanoids caught in the vast, open plains of the badlands, while a pack will gleefully attack caravans, setting wagons alight and eating their fill of the inhabitants.

Sun-Powered Harriers. Scorchrunner jackals use daylight to fuel their magical abilities. The ridges on their back absorb the light of the sun, glowing ever-more-brightly as they charge, and slowly dimming as the jackal tires or spits flame. Travelers in scorchrunner territory fear cloudless days and high noon, when the jackals are at the height of their power. During the night, scorchrunners retreat to hidden dens, both to avoid conflict and to reserve their power until the sun rises again. In areas with harsh winters, scorchrunners are a seasonal threat, because frequent cloud cover, low temperatures, and long nights forces them to hibernate or hunter less actively for long months.

Social Hunters. Scorchrunner jackals are deeply social creatures and live in packs of up to eight adults and their pups. While territorial toward perceived threats, they are more than willing to share territory with other scorchrunner packs and creatures that have a mutualistic relationship with them. Scorchrunner packs have been observed helping wyverns, manticores, and griffons tackle difficult prey, then eating whatever the larger predator leaves behind. On rarer occasions, packs have shared a hydra’s lair, protecting its eggs during the winter, and bringing back excess meat for their massive roommate during the summer.

Bandit’s Best Friend. This sociability has caught the eye of bandits and marauders in the wastes. Particularly well-off groups often try to gain scorchrunners of their own, either by capturing pups and rearing them or by bribing a pack with meat and bringing them into the fold. Such bandits use scorchrunners as scouts and skirmishers, sending them forward to find potential victims then having them burn guards and harry defenders while the bandits attack. Particularly beloved scorchrunners often sport patchwork armor, brutal collars, or lovingly made nametags scrimshawed from the charred bones of their victims.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 3 © 2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Eytan Bernstein, Celeste Conowitch, Benjamin L. Eastman, Robert Fairbanks, Scott Gable, Basheer Ghouse, Richard Green, Jeremy Hochhalter, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Sarah Madsen, Ben Mcfarland, Jonathan Miley, Kelly Pawlik, Sebastian Rombach, Chelsea Steverson, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page