Creature Feature (Starfinder): Carrion Prowler

Carrion Prowler CR 8

This creature is hunched over but moves swiftly on digitigrade legs, the sharp claws on its hands gleaming wetly as it closes in.

CE Large aberration
Init +2;  Senses darkvision 60 ft., blindsense (scent) 30 ft.; Perception +16


EAC 20; KAC 22
Fort +10; Ref +10; Will +9


Speed 40 ft.
Melee claw +19 (4d4+8 Sl, stagnating venom)
Multiattack bite +19 (1d12+10 P, critical bleed), 2 claws +16 (2d6+7 Sl, stagnating venom)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. 
Offensive Abilities stagnating venom


Str +4; Dex +2; Con +6; Int +0; Wis +2; Cha -2
Skills Athletics +16, Stealth +16, Survival +21
Languages Aklo
Other Abilities tracker


Stagnating Venom (Ex)

The serrated claws of a carrion prowler hold a particularly vicious venom that oozes along their length. Whenever a carrion prowler strike a foe with its claws, the target must make a DC 16 Fortitude save. On a failure, the damage inflicted by that attack cannot be healed, whether through magical or mundane means. With a DC 25 Medicine check using sufficiently advanced technology or a casting of mystic cure at at least 3rd level, all instances of stagnating venom can be removed from a target.

Tracker (Ex)

Prowlers are supernaturally skilled at tracking prey. By spending a resolve point as a standard action, a prowler can enhance its senses to incredible heights, essentially allowing them to know exactly what creatures in the area did in the past. For one hour, a prowler can perceive all the actions carried out in a sixty foot radius from itself up to 24 hours ago. This ability does not grant it the ability to perceive creatures it normally could not using its ordinary senses. While this ability is active, the prowler has +10 to Initiative checks if there is a member of the opposing group within 60 feet of itself and on Survival checks to track, but takes -4 on its attack rolls and -2 to both EAC and KAC as it becomes confused trying to pick out a present creature amid the past images.


Environment any area rich in prey or carrion
Organization single, prowl (2-6)

Across the universe there are generally two types of species: those that remain restricted to specialized habitats and those who find themselves capable of surviving in many places. There is, however, a third kind of species, one capable of adapting as needed to the environment. The creatures known as prowlers are an example of this third group.

Carrion prowlers share the same basic physical features as all members of the prowler species. Standing on digitigrade legs with a hunched posture, carrion prowlers are one of the largest prowler breeds at nearly fourteen feet tall. If forced to stand straight against the general design of their skeletons, a carrion prowler can usually reach up to seventeen or eighteen feet tall. Their arms end in clawed hands equally useful for savaging foes and serving as feet when the carrion prowler wishes to crawl on all fours for greater stealth. Their heads are largely dominated by a wide fanged mouth and three eyes so close-set they could be confused for a single trinocular orb. A carrion prowler differs from other prowlers in that it is not particularly adapted to blend in or survive in one specific environment. A carrion prowler’s hide is usually a blotching mix of purples, blues, yellows, and greens, appearing like some full-body bruise. Long spines of bone protrude from their vertebrae through their skin along their backs, with additional spines at their forearms, shoulders, hipbones, and thighs. These jagged protrusions make them unappealing to larger predators and can be used as weapons of last resort by a cornered carrion prowler, turning every movement into a slash with crude biological blades. Their most notable feature is their claws, which are heavily serrated and feature several venom glands.

Despite their size and physical might, carrion prowlers do not like to hunt prey. Instead they prefer to scavenge, feeding on half-rotted carcasses they come across. However, simple scavenging cannot sustain a creature of a carrion prowler’s size, so they hunt by necessity. Rather than attack and kill prey immediately, carrion prowlers prefer hit and run tactics. Using their stagnating venom and the ragged wounds left by their bites, they deal vicious injuries to a target before retreating almost immediately. The carrion prowler then follows the injured prey, deliberately giving them time to regroup with other herd animals in order to give the carrion prowler more targets to wound in such a way. In certain regions, it is not uncommon to see entire herds of animals sporting severe wounds with a  carrion prowler following some distance back to collect the dead. Against larger targets, carrion prowlers tend to work in packs for a war of attrition. A single carrion prowler will attack and injure the creature before quickly withdrawing, only for another to take their place. The prowl will thus cycle through its members, slowly whittling down their foe until it is sufficiently injured to treat as any other wounded prey animal.

Once prey is injured, a carrion prowler will follow it for as long as is necessary for the unhealing injuries to kill them through infection or blood loss. Once a prey creature has died, the carrion prowler will collect the body and pierce it on a higher tree branch, allowing the meat to rot to a suitable consistency for their personal preferences. A carrion prowler is equally capable of digesting rotting meat and bone, ensuring that no bite goes to waste. This makes them favored allies by certain criminal groups, as a carrion prowler will be more than happy to dispose of bodies simply for the payment of getting to eat the corpse in the first place.

One of the most lethal mistakes to make when dealing with carrion prowlers is to assume they are mere animals. Despite their bestial nature and primitive feeding habits, a carrion prowler is just as intelligent as the average human. Usually they have no need to practice more advanced thinking than the animals they hunt, but those who make an enemy of a carrion prowler will soon find themselves the targets of merciless guerilla attacks. Carrion prowlers will leverage their status as apex predators to cause other animals to stampede at enemies, set up crude traps from whatever they have on hand, and target necessary resources for survival to wear away at enemies. When they judge an enemy to be suitably weakened they still will not attack, instead preferring to lurk and observe their enemy, digging up the graves to eat the bodies of any who fall to their traps. Only if they suspect the enemy has the potential of rescue or escape to they reveal themselves, pouncing from ambush to maim and injure as many as possible. In these circumstances they smear their fangs with the venom from their claws, ensuring that the hemorrhaging wounds left by their bites never close.

About nwright

A freelance writer for the Open Gaming website who looks forward to building plots out of monster entries for you to enjoy as a player or DM.

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