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by Andrew Theisen

Small Aberration
Hit Dice: 2d8+2 (11 hp)
Initiative: +1 (Dex)
Speed: 20 ft.
Armour Class: 22 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +10 natural)
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-1
Attack: Fist +4 melee (1d6+2) or club +4 melee (1d4+2)
Full Attack: Fist +4 melee (1d6+2) or club +4 melee (1d4+2)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: None
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft.
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +3
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +7, Listen +2, Spot +2, Tumble +5
Feats: Great Fortitude
Environment: Underground
Organisation: Solitary, or cluster (2d6)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually chaotic
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +1

Skills: When fully retracted into its shell, a geonid gets a +8 racial bonus to Hide checks.

Comments: Well, obviously I left out the "descriptive" elements at the moment. I will note, however, that I thought the idea of the geonids tumbling around/rolling around in combat, especially in groups, appealed to me (hence why I gave them the Tumble skill).

The high armour class is what primarily gives them the level adjustment. +1 may be too low, what with the ability score adjustments, but since the geonid can't wear armour ever (due to its shell) I figure I could stand to lower the LA. Still, at a CR 2, with an AC that high it is tough. The downside is that at a CR 3, with those HP and low BAB, it doesn't really stand up very well either. So I erred on the side of caution and gave it a CR 2.

With the small size, it doesn't really make sense for it to ever use weaponry (it does more damage with its natural attacks). It is listed as doing 1d8 points of damage- I gave it 1d6 and a Strength bonus, because 1d8 for a small creature seemed high. Then again, I'm not too comfortable with such a high strength and other ability score adjustments. At the moment, I'm leaning towards dropping the "straight" conversion and giving it a lower natural damage score (like 1d4 + Str, rather than 1d6 or 1d8)- maybe even 1d3, so that it would actually benefit from using weapons?

I also wasn't sure whether to give it Great Fortitude or Toughness as a feat. Aberrations have low Will scores, so that's why I felt the rocklike geonid should have a higher Fort score, but I could also see it benefiting from Toughness.

Ideally, I'd like to get the Level Adjustment down to +0, but I don't know that that's feasible. At least keep it at +1 (max). The NPC fighters in the DMG have ACs at/around 22, with higher BABs, so I figure the geonid is kind of on an even keel with 3rd level characters. If we come up with a Savage Species progression, we could knock down the natural armour at early levels to scale so that it would be even with 1st and 2nd level characters.