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Nipper

by Jamie Baty

IM 44
Swarm
Fine Vermin (Extraplanar, Swarm)
Hit Dice: 2d8+2 (11 hp)
Initiative: +9 (+9 Dex)
Speed: fly 80 ft. (good)
Armour Class: 27 (+8 size, +9 Dex), touch 27, flat-footed 18
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-20
Attack: Swarm 1d6
Full Attack: Swarm 1d6
Space/Reach: 10 ft. /0 ft.
Special Attacks: Parasitic invasion, swarm attack
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft., distraction, persistent little bugs, swarm traits
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +9, Will +1
Abilities: Str 1, Dex 28, Con 13, Int -, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Hide +25, Listen +8, Spot +8
Feats: Alertness
Environment: Astral Plane
Organisation: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 3-8 HD (Fine)
Level Adjustment: -

The nipper is a potentially dangerous pest common in the Astral Plane. It is similar in appearance to a tiny centipede with 12 legs and jagged mandibles, but is rarely more than 1/4 inch long. Their swarms may contain upwards of 10,000 nippers.
Nippers burrow into their foes. Once a nipper is within a victim's body, it quickly reproduces and bears live young. It can accomplish this alone and at remarkable speed, producing 2-20 young within 1 round, and 1-10 more each round for 5 rounds thereafter. Each young nipper feeds immediately after birth.
Nippers can apparently live in the Astral Plane indefinitely without sustenance of any sort. They may float about for years in search of a host body. Unfortunately, nippers do not seem to like the taste of proteans, and usually avoid them. They also have no apparent effect on draeden. Nippers die instantly in any environment except that of the Astral Plane, and thus pose no threat to most inhabited worlds.
Immortals view nippers with much the same disdain as humans view insects. They are generally hated and occasionally subjected to mass attempts at extermination, but their species survives nevertheless. Though they might originally have come from some other plane, they are now native to the Astral.

Combat
Nippers are unintelligent. They can sense warmth and are attracted by motion. When a flock of nippers senses a victim, they quickly swarm to the attack. They all try to burrow into the victim's body.

Parasitic Invasion (Ex): Each round a character is within a nipper swarm, he must make a Fort. Save vs DC12 or have 1d10 nippers burrow into his body and lay eggs. This causes an additional 1d10 damage. After one round, a second fortitude save is allowed. If successful, nothing happens; if failed, the victim suffers 1d10 damage and 1d4 Con damage as new nippers hatch, feed on its body and lay more eggs. After the initial failure, a fortitude save is attempted each round until the victim is dead, succeeds on a save, or 5 rounds pass. Each failure results in an additional 1d10 damage and 1d4 Con damage. Each failure also increases the swarm's hp by 2 as new nippers emerge. For every 8 hp so gained, the swarm gains another HD.

Swarm Attack: A nipper swarm automatically damages any creature within squares occupied by the swarm.

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to a swarm's damage that begins its turn with a swarm in its square is nauseated for 1 round; a Fortitude save (DC 12) negates the effect. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check.

Persistent Little Bugs (Ex): Even if the nipper swarm is defeated, 3d20 nippers may persist in attacking the characters. These may be attacked as normal creatures (not as a swarm).

Swarm Traits: A nipper swarm has the following traits:
A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernible anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking.
The swarm is immune to all normal weapon damage.
Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points or lower causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack.
Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage.
Swarms cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed, and they cannot grapple an opponent.
A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).
A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells.
Nipper swarms are susceptible to high winds such as that created by a gust of wind spell. For purposes of determining the effects of wind on a swarm, treat the swarm as a creature of the same size as its constituent creatures.
A swarm rendered unconscious by means of nonlethal damage becomes disorganised and dispersed, and does not reform until its hit points exceed its nonlethal damage.

Vermin Traits: Vermin are mindless - they have no intelligence score and are immune to all mind-affecting effects. They have no sense of morality and are always neutral. They have 60ft. darkvision and any treasure they possess (which is usually none) consists of the property of former victims.

Individual Nipper
Fine Vermin (Extraplanar)
Hit Dice: 1/8d8+1 (1 hp)
Initiative: +9 (+9 Dex)
Speed: fly 80 ft. (good)
Armour Class: 27 (+8 size, +9 Dex), touch 27, flat-footed 18
Base Attack/Grapple: 0/-21
Attack: Bite +12 melee (1 hp)
Full Attack: Bite +12 melee (1 hp)
Space/Reach: 1/2 ft. /0 ft.
Special Attacks: Parasitic invasion
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft.
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +9, Will +1
Abilities: Str 1, Dex 28, Con 13, Int -, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Hide +25, Listen +5, Spot +5
Feats: Alertness, Weapon finesse (B)
Environment: Astral Plane
Organisation: Solitary, Brood (5-20), or Host (20-60)
Challenge Rating: 1/8
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: ---
Level Adjustment: ---

Occasionally, nippers are encountered in smaller numbers than found in a swarm. Some usually remain after a swarm is destroyed as well, proving how difficult they are to exterminate.

Combat
Nippers will bite in an effort to burrow into their victims.

Parasitic Invasion (Ex): If a nipper hits with its bite attack, the victim must make a Fort. Save vs DC12 or have the nipper burrow into his body and lay eggs. After one round, a second fortitude save is allowed. If successful, nothing happens; if failed, the victim suffers 1d4 damage and 1d2 Con damage as new nippers hatch, feed on its body and lay more eggs. After the initial failure, a fortitude save is attempted each round until the victim is dead, succeeds on a save, or 5 rounds pass. Each failure results in an additional 1d4 damage and 1d2 Con damage. Each failure also increases the number of nippers encountered by 1d6.

Vermin Traits: Vermin are mindless - they have no intelligence score and are immune to all mind-affecting effects. They have no sense of morality and are always neutral. They have 60ft. darkvision and any treasure they possess (which is usually none) consists of the property of former victims.