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Gem Dog

Small monstrosity, unaligned

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 112 (15d6 + 60)
Speed 50 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
22 (+6) 16 (+3) 18 (+4) 12 (+1) 18 (+4) 13 (+1)

Skills Perception +8, Stealth +7
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons that aren’t adamantine
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 18
Languages
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Special Traits

Actions

  • Multiattack. The gem dog attacks once with its bite and twice with its claws, or it can make two Gem Spine Spray attacks.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 28 (4d10 + 6) piercing damage.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d8 + 6) slashing damage.
  • Gem Spine Spray. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 30 (5d10 + 3) piercing.
  • Blinding Gleam. If the gem dog is in bright light, it can force one creature that it can see within 60 feet of it to make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw if the gem dog isn’t incapacitated. On a failed save, the creature is blinded for 1 minute as the gem dog reflects light into its eyes. A creature that isn’t surprised can avert its eyes to avoid the saving throw at the start of its turn. If it does so, it can’t see the gem dog until the start of its next turn, when it can avert its eyes again. If it looks at the gem dog in the meantime, it must immediately make the save.

About

This creature looks like a canine, but its fur gleams and shimmers in a brilliant hue as if the creature is made out of gems.

A gem dog is a canine-ish pack hunter that appears from a distance to be made out of gems. Long ago, a pack of wild dogs came to live in a region blasted by a battle between two powerful wizards. Like many of the wildlife in the region, the dogs were forever altered by their sojourn into so chaotically magical a land, though unlike most of the others, the gem dogs came out both uncorrupted by the less savory lingering enchantments and able to survive as a viable magical species all their own. Since then, they have spread throughout the land though they have never grown numerous.

Gem dogs remain carnivores as the wild dogs from which they mutated, but in addition to ordinary prey, gem dogs must also consume quality minerals to survive. They have no interest in diamonds but can smell jade, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and alexandrite, among others, for miles. While they can gain sustenance from many silicates and other mineral sources (even sand), they far prefer the purest, clearest gem crystals when they can get them. Gem dogs will rarely threaten humanoids for any reason, but they will happily steal bags or stashes of gems whenever they can get to them.

Starving gem dogs in a large pack might attack a party of travelers.

Gem dog jaws are freakishly strong for their size in order to crunch up delicious gemstones. Their teeth and claws are similarly freakishly hard. A gem dog can do a lot more harm than it looks like it should be able to, and combined with their skillful use of their blindingly glittering coats, gem dog packs take down surprisingly large prey from time to time. Gem dogs have crystalline spines along their backs that can be violently ejected at foes. The loss of the spines causes minor pain; therefore, they only shoot the projectiles if truly afraid.

Gem dogs can come in the colors of nearly any gemstone (even white, despite their disdain for diamonds), but usually, only 2–3 colors are represented in a single pack. The “gems” in gem dogs’ fur and spines are worthless, crumbling within hours of being removed from a living gem dog (and even faster if the gem dog is slain). Gem dogs’ hard, glittering outercoat is prickly and cold, but beneath that, gem dogs are soft and warm like regular dogs, especially on their bellies. If raised from puppyhood, it is said that gem dogs can be domesticated and trained, but between their high intelligence and sheer destructive power, few would be able to control one — especially when a friend’s jewelry looks tasty.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Horrors © 2018, Frog God Games, LLC; Authors: Kevin Baase, Erica Balsley, John “Pexx” Barnhouse, Christopher Bishop, Casey Christofferson, Jim Collura, Andrea Costantini, Jayson ‘Rocky’ Gardner, Zach Glazar, Meghan Greene, Scott Greene, Lance Hawvermale, Travis Hawvermale, Ian S. Johnston, Bill Kenower, Patrick Lawinger, Rhiannon Louve, Ian McGarty, Edwin Nagy, James Patterson, Nathan Paul, Patrick N. Pilgrim, Clark Peterson, Anthony Pryor, Greg Ragland, Robert Schwalb, G. Scott Swift, Greg A. Vaughan, and Bill Webb