This week’s Exotic Encounter is a classic: a cold-hearted reptilian killer with bright red armor-like scales that spits flames and likes to attack its victims from above. Of course, it’s not actually a red dragon, but rather a man-sized fire-breathing lizard, called the flamespit.
This creature is a long, thin lizard. It is about three feet tall off the ground, but nearly eight feet in length. Its body is a bright red color, with bands of yellow and orange across its back. As it opens its mouth, red-hot flames lick the sides of its face from within, and it hisses menacingly.
FLAMESPIT CR 3
N Medium magical beast
Init +3; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +9
AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 13 (+3 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 34 (4d10+12)
Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +2
Resist fire 10
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d8+4 plus grab and scorch)
Ranged flameball +7 (1d6 fire plus see text)
Special Attacks scorch
Str 17, Dex 16, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +4; CMB +7 (+11 grapple); CMD 20 (24 vs. trip)
Feats Great Fortitude, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Climb +7, Perception +9, Stealth +11 (+15 in undergrowth), Swim +11; Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth (+8 in undergrowth)
SQ expert climber
Expert Climber (Ex): A flamespit’s feet allow it to climb virtually any surface, no matter how slick or sheer. In effect, a flamespit is treated as constantly being under a natural version of the spell spider climb.
Flameball (Ex): As a standard action, a flamespit can launch a ball of flaming mucus from its mouth as a projectile weapon. Treat this as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 5 feet, and a maximum range of 30 feet. If the attack hits, the target suffers 1d6 points of fire damage, and his body is coated with the flaming material, causing him to catch on fire. For more information on catching on fire and putting out fires, see the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook.
Scorch (Ex): A flamespit naturally produces flames in special sacs in its body, which it can release into its mouth when attempting to subdue its prey. Whenever the flamespit successfully initiates or maintains a grapple, it inflicts 1d4 points of fire damage. These flames serve to distract the victim as they cook him, and the target suffers a penalty to CMB and CMD equal to the amount of damage inflicted in this way until the end of the flamespit’s next turn. These penalties do not stack: if the creature would suffer from two such penalties, use the highest.
Known in some areas as “spitting land-drakes,” or “fire lizards,” and often mistaken by those who encounter them as hatchling red dragons, these nasty, brutish creatures are not related to dragons in any way, although they do have a number of similar features. A flamespit is in many ways like a far more mundane giant lizard, and its claim to fame is that it has a pair of special pouches in its body that contain volatile chemicals that ignite when exposed to air. These “flame sacs” can be used to produce flame within the flamespit’s mouth whenever it is stressed or hunting. The main use for these flames is to sear the flesh of the flamespit’s victims, which not only provides it with far more nourishing and easily-digestible cooked meals, but also serves to weaken the victim’s defenses and allow the flamespit to keep its grasp.
The flames have a variety of other uses, however. Flamespits are fairly territorial creatures, and they will often mark their territory to others of their kind by charring patches of ground, the bark of trees, and so on. In mating season, male flamespits compete against one another by creating larger and more colorful displays of flame from their mouths, as the flamespits can alter this coloration by controlling the mixture of chemicals that they release from their flame sacs.