January 23rd, 2017

Joshua Zaback

Exotic Encounters Archive

                I have a great fondness for small monsters. They inspire my imagination, chiefly because I feel like such things could easily be living on in a swamp somewhere, beneath everyone’s notice. Small creatures also must be a little more fantastic to make up for their lack of big teeth and claws, which makes them fun to create. For Mini Week, I got the opportunity to make one such small monster: the pollywoggle, a charming mix of frog, bird, and cat. These three tiny creatures are some of my favorite little dudes, and rolling them all into one was fun and exciting.


The adorable creature before you appears to be a puffy, oversized frog, except it has fluffy white wings, as well as furry claws where a traditional frog might have webbed feet. From its forehead grows a single stout spiral horn, much like a unicorn.

POLLYWOGGLE              CR 3
XP 800
N Tiny magical beast
Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +2


AC 15, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+2 Dex, +1 natural, +2 size)
hp 30 (4d10+8)
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +3


Speed 15 ft., fly 30 ft. (average), swim 30 ft.                        
Melee bite +8 (1d4+2), and 2 claws +8 (1d2+2), or tongue +8 touch (grab)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft. (10 ft. with tongue)
Special Attacks breath weapon (30-ft. cone, stunning gas, Fortitude DC 16, usable every 1d4 rounds) , launch assault, rake (2 claws +8, 1d2+2)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th, concentration +11)
1/daycomprehend languages, detect secret doors, discern lies, see invisibility
1/weekdivination, tongues, zone of truth (DC 16)


Str 14, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 18
Base Atk +4; CMB +4; CMD 16
Feats Ability Focus (breath weapon), Improved Natural Attack (bite)
Skills Fly +13, Swim +17; Racial Modifiers +8 Swim
Languages Celestial, Common, Draconic
SQ enhance magic


Environment temperate swamps
Organization solitary, pair, or group (3-6)
Treasure standard


Breath Weapon (Ex): A pollywoggle can breathe a 30-foot cone of poisonous gas once every 1d4 rounds. Creatures caught in the cone must succeed on a DC 16 Fortitude save or be stunned for 1d4 rounds. At the end of each round, a stunned creature can make a new saving throw to negate this effect. This is a poison effect.

Enhance Magic (Su): A pollywoggle is inherently tied to a single school of magic (usually divination), and increases the caster level of all spells of the chosen school cast within 10 feet of it by 2.

Launch Assault (Ex): A pollywoggle that successfully grabs a creature with its tongue can launch forward into that creature’s square as a free action. If it does, it may immediately make a bite attack against that creature.

Improved Familiar: A wizard whose alignment is within 1 step of neutral can gain a pollywoggle as an improved familiar, if he has a caster level of at least 7.



A pollywoggle is a strange creature, originally created by the master wizard Jervas Imote to serve as a focus for his power. Combining magical energies with his frog familiar, he caused the creature to exhibit several unusual qualities, including feathery wings, sharp claws, and a small horn on the forehead. The experiment was also a resounding success in creating a focus for his magical power, as indeed his new creation enhanced his spell so long as he remained close. Owing to a desire to create a broader range of magical foci, Jervas imbued several other frogs with the same power in order to further improve his spellcasting ability. Unfortunately for Jervas, the creatures he dubbed as pollywoggles eventually began to breed, and soon escaped his lab into the wilds.

Today, pollywoggles can be found in swamps throughout the realms, merrily pursuing the humble life of a frog, catching bugs and defending their lily pads. Somewhat more intelligent than the average animal, pollywoggles are chiefly concerned with making a comfortable home for themselves, with abundant food available. To that end, they often strike bargains with wizards who are in need of a powerful familiar, serving them in exchange for a comfortable place to sleep, various small trinkets, and a steady supply of crickets and other insects.