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Shelf of Biting Books

Medium swarm of tiny constructs, typically unaligned

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 135 (18d8 + 54)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
17 (+3) 14 (+2) 16 (+3) 6 (-2) 10 (+0) 7 (-2)

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, slashing
Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blind, charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned
Languages Understands the languages they were written in, but cannot talk
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +3

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Astounding Leaps. Biting books can jump up to 10 feet high or 20 feet across.
  • False Appearance. While the biting books remain motionless, they are indistinguishable from normal books.
  • Soothed by Song. Music can lull biting books into a calm state. A successful DC 14 Charisma (Performance or a musical instrument) check makes the books stop attacking and behave friendly toward the player. If the performance continues for at least one minute, the books fall unconscious for one hour or until they suffer damage.
  • Swarm. The swarm can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa, and the swarm can move through any opening large enough for a Tiny book. The swarm can’t regain hit points or gain temporary hit points.

ACTIONS

  • Swarm of Bites. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 0 ft., one creature in the swarm’s space. Hit: 21 (4d8+3) bludgeoning damage or 12 (2d8+3) bludgeoning damage if the swarm is at half its maximum hit points or less.

ABOUT

What seems to be an ancient tome springs to life and tries to snap you with pages like jaws. Biting books are codices that have become animated.

Sometimes this is intentional using the awaken book spell (page 9), either to dissuade thieves or prank rivals. Sometimes these books appear spontaneously, when exposed to magic for a long time.

Needlessly Territorial. Though they have no need for food or other resources, biting books are universally cranky and lash out at any strangers who come near. Fortunately, their aggressive attitude is calmed by soothing music, and a few minutes of a lullaby can put them to sleep. Occasionally biting books form a bond with a single humanoid, who they do not lash out against. Most often this is the creator of the book, but occasionally somebody who discovers a lost book can befriend it.

Valuable Dangers. Biting books often contain rare volumes within their pages, so many libraries and collectors keep biting books in a secure section that requires special permission to access. Reducing the books to 0 hit points destroys the books and ruins their contents, so those interested in collecting the books must find alternate ways to deal with them.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

This and That: Book and Shelf, Copyright 2022 Sneak Attack Press; Author Matthew J. Hanson, William Fischer.

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