Large Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 4d10+8 (30 hp)
Speed: 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
AC: 14 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +3 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 12
Attacks: 2 claws +8 melee and bite +3 melee
Damage: Claw 1d6+5, bite 1d8+2
Face/Reach: 10 ft. /10 ft.
Special Attacks: Growth, Improved Grab, Rend 2d4+7
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., Scent
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +2
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 7
Skills: Climb +15, Listen +4, Spot +3
Feats: Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack
Climate/Terrain: Warm forest and mountains
Organization: Solitary, patrol (1 alpha male plus 1-4 males), or colony (1 alpha male plus 2-5 males and 7-21 non-Combatants)
Challenge Rating: 6
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: 5-8 HD (Large); 9-12 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: -
Blood apes are peaceful diurnal foragers with a unique defence mechanism. The alpha male (or leader) of a troop or patrol has the magical ability to make himself and other members of the group larger. Their Huge forms (see Growth, below) allow them to deal more damage in combat, but the ability to return to Large size means that they require substantially less food than Huge creatures would. Sages and scholars suggest that this ability is a residual effect of exceptionally strong growth and form-altering magic practiced on the ancestors of the current blood apes millennia ago. A blood ape resembles a red-furred mountain gorilla. Its body is compact but muscular, and its sinewy arms end in humanlike hands. The alpha male is typically the largest ape in a group. Unlike the rest of the group, he has silvery fur and a balding head. Blood apes are exceptionally territorial, and they fight to the death to protect their young and their land from intruders. Patrols occasionally forage far from the colony’s lair in search of new feeding grounds.
The alpha male in any group of blood apes begins using his growth ability on the other males at the first sign of intruders. After receiving the benefit of this power, all the males pair up to attack specific opponents. Blood apes give no warning and make no display before attacking. The alpha male uses his growth ability on himself last, then enters melee. If females and young are present, they beat a hasty retreat while the males fight.
Growth (Sp): The alpha male in every group of blood apes can use this power up to eight times per day. It functions like an animal growth spell (caster level 9th), except that it works only on adult male blood apes. The following changes apply to all subject blood apes as long as the effect of growth lasts: SZ Huge; HD 4d10+16 (38 hp); Init +1; AC 14 (-2 size, +1 Dex, +5 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 13; Atk +11 melee (2d4+9, 2 claws), +6 melee (2d6+4, bite); SQ damage reduction 10/magic; Space/Reach 15 ft. /15 ft.; SV Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +6; Str 29, Dex 13, Con 18; Climb +19.
Rend (Ex): If a blood ape hits with both claws, it latches onto the opponent’s body and tears the flesh. This attack automatically deals an additional 2d4+7 points of damage (or 2d4+13 if under a growth effect; see above).
BLOOD APE SOCIETY
One-third of the non-combatants in any colony are infants and youths, and the balance are adult females. The females have the same statistics as the males, but without the growth, improved grab, and rend abilities. The young have no combat ability.
The alpha male of a colony is the only one permitted to mate with the females of that group. As a colony grows larger, the younger males eventually break off and attempt to form their own colonies by stealing a few females. A male who succeeds immediately gains the growth ability, and over a period of six months he develops the characteristic silver fur and bald head of an alpha male.