Today’s Exotic Encounter is none other than a giant frog. Or, rather, a gianter frog, as there’s already a giant frog, which is, sadly, only Medium-sized, and cannot use its swallow whole ability on characters that aren’t gnomes, halflings, goblins, or kobolds. But rather than just make it bigger, we also made it better, by adding some unusual new features. The result is, I think, an encounter that’s sure to liven up your party’s next trip to the swamp, marsh, or jungle. Enjoy.
This massive frog is the size of a horse, its huge bulbous eyes staring at you intently. The back of its slick green body is covered with numerous three-foot-long quills, which drip with a strange ichor. Without warning, it opens its gaping maw and a blast of sound like an immense foghorn hits you full in the face.
JUBA FROG CR 4
N Large animal
Init +5; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +3
AC 16, touch 10, flat-footed 15 (+1 Dex, +6 natural, -1 size)
hp 38 (4d8+20)
Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +0
Defensive Abilities quills
Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee bite +8 (1d8+6 plus grab) or tongue +8 touch (grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (15 ft. with tongue)
Special Attacks bellowing croak, pull (tongue, 5 feet), swallow whole (3d6 acid and bludgeoning damage, AC 13, 3 hp), tongue
Str 23, Dex 12, Con 20, Int 1, Wis 8, Cha 6
Base Atk +3; CMB +10 (+14 grapple); CMD 21 (25 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
Skills Acrobatics +11 (+15 jumping), Perception +3, Stealth +1 (+5 in swamps), Swim +14; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics (+8 jumping), +4 Stealth (+8 in swamps)
Environment warm marshes and aquatic
Organization solitary, pair, or army (3-8)
Bellowing Croak (Ex): As a move action, a juba frog can unleash a bellowing croaking sound, which forces all creatures within 30 feet of it to succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 17) or be deafened for 1d4 rounds. This is a sonic effect. The saving throw DC is Constitution-based.
Additionally, several juba frogs working together can use their bellowing to weaken their prey before hunting. If three or more juba frogs use this ability each round for an hour or more, all creatures that are able to hear them (Perception DC 0 at a distance of 1 mile from the frogs) must succeed on a Will save (DC 17) or be unnerved by the constant ominous croaking, becoming shaken for 1 hour and suffering 1 point of Wisdom damage. This is a sonic mind-affecting fear effect. The saving throw DC is Constitution-based.
Quills (Ex): A juba frog’s back is covered with long, spiked quills, coated in poison. Any creature that hits a juba frog with a natural attack or unarmed strike, or which gains control of a grapple with a juba frog, is automatically struck by one of these quills, suffering 1d4 points of piercing damage and being exposed to juba frog poison.
Juba Frog Poison: Bite—injury; save Fort DC 17; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1 Str damage; cure 1 save.
Tongue (Ex): A juba frog’s tongue is a primary natural attack with reach equal to three times its normal reach. A juba frog’s tongue deals no damage on a hit, but can be used to grab. A juba frog does not gain the grappled condition while using its tongue in this manner.
Juba frogs are terrors that stalk tropical swamps and jungles, and which natives quickly learn to avoid, lest they become the juba frog’s next meal. These massive amphibians are primarily active at night, and often spend several hours during the twilight croaking loudly and in great numbers, to soften up any nearby prey before they begin their hunt. Although juba frogs do wander in search of prey in the night, making them much more active hunters than many frogs, they are still fairly sedentary, and rarely travel more than one or two miles in search of a meal. Creatures who are able to escape a juba frog will find that it is not interested in pursuing them very far, and will quickly lose interest, which is why most of those who are familiar with the animal recommend running away at full speed on sight.
It is unclear whether the juba frog developed its signature long quills as a defense mechanism or a hunting tool. They are clearly more useful for defensive purposes, but juba frogs generally lack natural predators, begging the question of what they would be protecting themselves from. On the other hand, the spines themselves serve little purpose for the juba frog’s normal hunting methods. Scholars have suggested that they may be vestigial features, such as to protect them from natural predators that no longer exist, or that the juba frogs may in fact be evolving in ways that will make them more useful offensively, a thought which is very unsettling to those who live near the creatures.