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Ebon Tiger

by Jamie Baty

Rage of the Rakasta 16, MMC 113
Large Magical Beast (Extraplanar, Incorporeal)
Hit Dice: 6d10+36 (69 hp)
Initiative: +7 (+3 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares)
Armour Class: 15 (-1 size, +3 Dex, +3 Deflection), touch 15, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+10
Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d8)
Full Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d8 + Blindness) and 2 claw +3 melee (1d4)
Space/Reach: 10 ft. /5 ft.
Special Attacks: Blindness
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft., low-light vision, manifestation, scent
Saves: Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +4
Abilities: Str -, Dex 17, Con 23, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 16
Skills: Hide +9*, Jump +1, Listen +4, Spot +4, Survival +4
Feats: Dodge, Improved Initiative, Track (B) Weapon Finesse
Environment: Prime, Ethereal, and Inner Planes
Organisation: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 7-12 HD (Large); 13-18 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: -
These fearsome magical creatures look like great cats wholly composed of black fire. Physically, an ebon tiger resembles a normal tiger, except that its body is uniformly black with no snipes. Lighter patches of darkness mark the creature's eyes, teeth, and whiskers. These areas sometimes faintly sparkle with magical energies, especially when the ebon tiger is anm or excited.
Ebon tigers are solitary hunters that roam the Prime Material, Ethereal, and other inner planes. Ebon tigers prefer thickly overgrown places where trees and shrubs provide shadowy conditions even during daylight.

Ebon tigers by reputation are very territorial, bad tempered, and ruthlessly vicious. This reputation is not entirely deserved. Wild ebon tigers tend to be shy and reclusive, attacking only when hungry or threatened. Being shy, however, they are quite likely to regard any intrusion as a threat.
It is not clear where ebon tigers originated. It is possible that they first came from a gloomy Deep Ethereal demiplane; it is equally possible that they owe their existence to ancient magical experiments made by an unknown priest or wizard. Rakasta priests often use ebon tigers as guards to protect important places or treasures. Their stealth and utter fearlessness as guard beasts has gone a long way toward establishing the ebon tiger's reputation as a heartless killer.

Ebon tigers do not appear to require water or sleep. They spend their lives endlessly prowling. They require freshly killed meat from time to time but can go for months without eating. They prefer to kill their food themselves and consume every last scrap, but they will accept fresh meat from their keepers. Ebon tigers fed in this manner need food about every six weeks.

In spite of their possibly artificial origins, ebon tigers are a viable species. Their annual mating season is about six weeks long. During this time, they ignore their normal hunting territories as males and female's seek each other out After a brief mating, the pair splits and the female gives birth to ld3 cubs 10 to 12 weeks later. The mother protects the cubs for two years while they grow to about half their adult size and learn to stalk and hunt. At this time the cubs go and seek out their own territory.

Ebon tigers are masters of stealth. Their senses extend into the Ethereal Plane and they can attack (and be attacked by) ethereal and out-of-phase creatures at all times when on the Prime plane.
Areas guarded by ebon tigers frequently are lit by flickering torches or oil lamps that create many shadows. Intruders who venture into these areas often suffer a nasty shock when the ebon tiger leaps to the attack. Ebon tigers attack with their claws and teeth. An ebon tiger's bite can cause blindness in addition to normal damage.

Blindness (Su): A victim bitten by an ebon tiger must make a fortitude saving throw vs DC 16 (Cha based) or go blind in 1d4 rounds.

Scent (Ex): This special quality allows an ebon tiger to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell.

Manifestation (Su): An ebon tiger dwells on the Ethereal Plane and, as an ethereal creature, it cannot affect or be affected by anything in the material world. When an ebon tiger manifests, it partly enters the Material Plane and becomes incorporeal on the Material Plane. A manifested ebon tiger can pass through solid objects at will. A manifested ebon tiger remains partially on the Ethereal Plane, where is it not incorporeal. A manifested ebon tiger can be attacked by opponents on either the Material Plane or the Ethereal Plane. The ebon tiger's incorporeality helps protect it from foes on the Material Plane, but not from foes on the Ethereal Plane (it is not considered incorporeal on the Ethereal Plane).

Incorporeal Subtype: Can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, +1 or better magic weapons, or magic, with a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. Can pass through solid objects at will, and own attacks pass through armour. Always moves silently. Please see the 3.5E Monster Manual for additional information on incorporeal traits.

Skills: Ebon tigers receive a +8 racial bonus to all Hide checks. *This bonus increases to +12 in shadowy, darkened or nighttime conditions.