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Mischievous Meadows – Part 2

Grassy_field_with_wildflowers_north_of_the_road_-_geograph.org.uk_-_855573This month the AaWBlog has been pretty tricky with Mischievous Meadows, but it’s finally ready to reveal what all is going on in the otherwise idyllic groves and hills.

The P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. are a truly mysterious group that span the world, carrying on in different concentrations of members but pervading virtually every settlement in Aventyr in some way. Legends abound of how the organization began and who its commander is, but if anyone knows the answer to that million-gold question, they aren’t telling. The greater motives of the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. remain unclear, but one thing is certain: their lust for magic items knows no bounds. Agents of their group invade dungeons, castles, draconic lairs, and even the realms of the fell gitwerc to retrieve enchanted goods of every stripe, from simple, seemingly common rings to powerful artifacts. What they do with their ill-gotten gains remains a mystery as well, but influential fences sometimes acquire or sell truly esoteric and impressive magic items through the secretive order—albeit for a steep price.Miraculous Bellows

Alby Amhlaoibh joined the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. to avoid certain death at their enigmatic hands—he figured (rightly) that a prolonged service to the mysterious group would be better than a short end from a sharp blade. The glitter of gold can cloud one’s judgment though, and Alby’s lust for wealth eventually overcame his common sense. After dozens of tithes to the organization—all of which the gnome felt were far too generous—he concocted a plan to make good an escape.

Agent Elwin was here to collect Alby’s upcoming taxes to the organization and got unwittingly tricked by one of the gnome’s illusions, trapped in one of his lesser vaults. Knowing that his end is surely near if he can’t make a good getaway immediately, Alby is about to enact a last-ditch effort: unleashing a swarm of biddlywinks and biddlytrees to plague the realm and cover his trail! Fortunately [or perhaps unfortunately: you’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s Sidequest Saturday! – MMshe’s anticipated this maneuver (Alby wouldn’t be the first to try it) and has special ordered quite a few pepfralcons to counteract his escape plan.

PepfralconWhat does this mean for adventurers? If any are carrying the lesser shining star, they’re not in for a very easy time—but you’ll have to keep an eye on the AaWBlog to find out exactly why! Stay tuned through the end of the month to learn the resolution of Mischievous Meadows and the final fates of Agent Elwin, Alby Amhlaoibh, and the party’s magic items!

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The Deck of Miraculous Luck [Free!]

Deck of Miraculous Luck intro pic

The Deck of Miraculous Luck
A player reward system by Justin Andrew Mason

Many of us have seen it: dumb luck—an event that can only be attributed to a miraculous stroke of serendipity that manifests (almost as if by magic) appearing in the right place at the right time. Some call it fate; others call it the work of the gods. Regardless of the label applied to them, these improbable moments do happen and they can have a tremendous effect on those privy to luck’s sweet embrace.

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The Deck of Miraculous Luck consists of 30 cards, each presenting a different lucky effect that simulates those unexpected miraculous moments for player characters. As a meta-mechanic, the deck can also serve as a perfect alternate reward system, providing incentive to players to strive for exceptional endeavors.

A GM should use the deck sparingly. Many of the effects are quite powerful and if too freely distributed, could run the risk of unbalancing the intended challenge of the game.

When looking to reward a player for exceptional role-playing, solving a particularly complex puzzle, or completing a difficult quest with their character, the GM may allow that player to draw from the deck, reaping the benefits associated with that card. Every card is designed to be a boon, and there are no inherently negative effects included.

About the Deck of Miraculous Luck

This series consists of six different card types including: healing, magic item, spell, mechanic, storyline, and enhancement. There are five of each type in the 30-card deck, and every card has been sized the specifications of standard business cards (2” x 3.5”) to provide an easy method for print and use.

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There are seven “rare” cards, which are removed permanently from the deck once used. All other cards get shuffled back into the deck.

In addition to detailed text explaining how each card is used, they are individually numbered 1-30 and offer a title, an icon identifying card type, and a use indicator (automatic, triggered, or expend).

Automatic cards have an effect that happens immediately after the card is drawn. Expendable cards are held by the player who drew them until that player desires to use the card’s effect. Triggered use cards explain a stipulation that must be met before the card’s effect takes place.

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Get the Cards for Free!

This PDF is arranged to fit pre-perforated printable Avery® Business Card sheets (Compatible Products: 38373, 5881, 8373, 8869, 88220, 88221). However, you can download a compressed ZIP file that contains the individual card graphics and can be arranged to fit other templates if needed.

Enjoy! If you find The Deck of Miraculous Luck useful and would like to see it expanded with additional series, be sure to comment at the bottom of this article. I am considering releasing a new quarterly series of 30 cards that can be added to the deck if there is call for me to do so.

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Series I Deck Description & Card Texts

The content of each of the cards has been included below in order of the assigned card number.

Description Syntax
[#] – [Title] ([Use Indicator]) {Type} [Rarity Indicator]
Card Description

#01 – Is there a Medicus in the House? (Auto) {Healing}
The PC finds a stash of healing potions. This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon the container (a simple non-descript burlap sack) containing several potions. Inside the sack are 3d4 cure light wounds potions, 2d4 cure moderate wounds potions, 1d4 cure serious wounds potions, and (1) cure critical wounds potion. There is nothing else in the sack. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#02 – Dead Man Walking! (Trigger) {Healing}
The next time the PC dies an automatic resurrection effect triggers (resurrection, CL 20th) that affects only that character. This effect remains permanent until used. If something prevents this effect from occurring when the PC dies, then it triggers as soon as possible instead. The PC must be DEAD to trigger this effect. In the story, the cause of this resurrection forever remains mysterious and unexplained. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#03 – All Together Now (Expend) {Healing}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to have the PC, party, and all allies instantaneously restored to maximum hit points and all their negative effects (poison, negative spell effects, curses, ability drains, etc.) are removed. Use of this card also restores any negative levels of the targets. This card can only be expended once by the owner before being returned to the deck. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#04 – Like a Rock (Expend) {Healing}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to activate an effect of Damage Reduction 20/— to target creature or character. This DR has a duration of 24 hours and cannot be removed by any means, magic or otherwise. This card can only be expended once by the owner before being returned to the deck. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#05 – Can’t Touch Me Now (Auto) {Healing} |Rare|
The PC automatically gains immunity to one (1) negative status effect type of choice from the following three status effects: poison, disease, fatigue. This immunity is permanent. When this card is used, permanently remove it from the deck.

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#06 – Take One Down, Pass it Around… (Auto)  {Magic Item}
The PC finds a small wooden chest containing 2d4 random magic potions. This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon an un-trapped, unlocked chest containing the potions. There is nothing else in the chest. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#07 – Okay, Who Robbed the Magic Shop!? (Auto) {Magic Item}
The PC finds a small wooden chest containing 1d6 random minor wondrous items. This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon an un-trapped, unlocked chest containing the magic items. There is nothing else in the chest. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#08 – Wyrd Place to Stash a Treasure (Auto) {Magic Item}
The PC finds a small wooden chest containing 1d4 random medium wondrous items. This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon an un-trapped, unlocked chest containing the magic items. There is nothing else in the chest. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#09 – Fortune & Glory, Kid. (Auto) {Magic Item} |Rare|
The PC finds a small steel chest (with a masterwork lock, Disable Device DC 25) containing one random major wondrous item. This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon an unlocked chest containing the magic item. Do not reveal what the item is until the chest has been opened. After this card is used, permanently remove it from the deck.

#10 – Stick to the Possibilities (Auto) {Magic Item}
The PC finds one fully charged random wand or one fully charged random rod (GM’s choice). This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon the rod or wand. Put this card back into the deck after use.

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#11 – You had to let it Linger (Expend) {Spell}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to have all spells cast by target PC gain x4 duration and/or range for a 24-hour period. This also affects applicable effects of spell like abilities or magic items (wands, rods, scrolls, etc.) used by the affected target. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#12 – I’m like Rubber, You’re like Glue… (Expend) {Spell}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to reflect any spell back at its caster as if with any five metamagic feats (your choice) at CL 20th. This effect appears in the story as an unexplained momentary ripple in arcane essence that alters the caster’s original spell. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#13 – Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe… (Expend) {Spell}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to change the target(s) of any spell cast in the presence of your PC. The nature or source of the spell doesn’t matter in regard to this effect. The new target is automatically affected by the spell (provided that the target could be affected by a spell of that type). This effect should appear in the story as an unexplained momentary ripple in arcane essence that alters the caster’s original spell. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#14 – What is this Sorcery!? (Expend) {Spell} |Rare|
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to cause target PC to gain immunity to magic (as a golem) for 24-hours. This effect cannot be negated or altered by any means for its duration, except by the affected target. The affected target may temporarily suspend the ability and be affected by magic normally for 1 round as a free action. After use, permanently remove this card from the deck. 

#15 – Need to See Your Papers (Auto) {Spell}
The PC finds a stash of scrolls. This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon the container (a simple non-descript leather scroll tube) containing several scrolls. Inside the tube are 2d4 random arcane scrolls (maximum CL 10th) and 2d4 random divine scrolls (maximum CL 10th). There is nothing else in the scroll tube. Put this card back into the deck after use.

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#16 – Finish Him! (Expend) {Mechanic}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to turn any single d20 die roll result into a natural critical success (natural 20). If used on an attack roll it automatically confirms a critical hit. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#17 – Finding an Important Lesson (Expend) {Mechanic}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to turn any single d20 die roll result into a natural critical failure (natural 1). Put this card back into the deck after use.

#18 – Save the Best for Last (Expend) {Mechanic}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to activate an effect that causes all saving throws of one type (Fortitude, Reflex, or Will) for the PC to result in success (regardless of DC). This effect lasts for 24-hours and cannot be altered or removed in any way. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#19 – Hey, Mom: Watch This! (Expend) {Mechanics}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to turn any one skill check (trained or untrained) made by the PC into an automatic success. This does not enable the PC to do the impossible, but it provides the maximum success results for any skill check. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#20 – Wale of a High Roller (Expend) {Mechanic} |Rare|
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to add a +2 bonus to *all* of the PCs checks for a 24-hour period. This magnificently lucky effect should appear blatantly obvious in the story and seem to be caused by some unknown, unseen force or divine intervention. This bonus does not apply to rolls when determining permanent random numbers (hit die roll, for example). This bonus applies to all attack rolls, damage, saving throws, skill checks, and the like. After use, permanently remove this card from the deck.

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#21 – Can’t We All Just Get Along? (Expend) {Storyline}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to make target NPC more “friendly” towards the PC. This does not alter the NPC’s agenda or demeanor, or how he or she feels about other party members or NPCs. It changes only the target NPC’s demeanor towards the PC. This effect is at the discretion of the GM, but should be allowed if at all possible. The change in demeanor is liberal enough to be noticed. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#22 – If at First You Don’t Succeed… (Expend) {Storyline}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to undo the results of any encounter. The PC and allies start back at the beginning of the encounter as if it never happened and retain full memory of all events that took place during the encounter. This should be explained in the story as an intensely vivid sense of déjà vu. This card must be used during the encounter that is being “undone.”  Put this card back into the deck after use.

#23 – If I Knew Then What I Know Now (Automatic) {Storyline} |Rare|
You may choose one past event to change as if it never happened. Since this effect can have tremendous (or possibly even detrimental) effect on the story and whether or not a specific event can be changed is completely at the discretion of the GM. If the event you want to alter is deemed too important to be changed, the GM will work with you to select a narrower range of changes related to that specific event that can be allowed. If no agreement can be reached between the player and GM, then this card should be discarded and another card drawn by the player. After use, permanently remove this card from the deck.

#24 – Someone to Lean On (Trigger) {Storyline}
The PC gains a devoted follower. The follower must be of the same race as the PC, but can be any gender or class that you choose. The follower has one-fourth the experience level of the PC. This follower should come into contact with the PC as soon as the GM deems it plausible to the storyline, and should possess equipment and treasure typical for a NPC of that type and level. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#25 – It’s Your Lucky Day! (Auto) {Storyline} |Rare|
Congratulations! You’ve drawn the Lucky Bonus card. Permanently remove this card from the deck, and you should draw two new cards (gaining the advantages of both).

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#26 – Practice Makes Perfect (Auto) {Enhancement}
The PC gains a +5 miscellaneous bonus to any one skill of your choice (trained or untrained). This bonus is permanent. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#27 – Sometimes it Only Takes One (Auto) {Enhancement}
The PC gains +1 to any one ability score (STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, or CHA). This bonus is permanent. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#28 – My, What Big Feat You Have! (Auto) {Enhancement}
The PC gains an extra feat (your choice). The PC must meet all the prerequisites to obtain the chosen feat. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#29 – It’s the Spice of Life (Auto) {Enhancement}
The PC immediately gains +2d6 to his or her maximum hit point total. This bonus is permanent. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#30 – Taking Things to a Whole New Level (Auto) {Enhancement} |Rare|
The PC automatically gains 1 more experience point than is needed to advance to the next experience level. When used, permanently remove this card from the deck.

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[This entire guy is Justin Andrew Mason’s wonderfully put together project! Send some love his way folks! -MM]

You can also follow AdventureAWeek.com on Facebook to get sneak peeks at the plethora of supplemental materials for Rise of the Drow! Alongside the Player’s Guide you can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at pages from the prologue (taking PCs from 1st through 6th level) and epilogue (moving PCs from 16th to 20th level), and stay on top of the brewing Snow White Kickstarter!

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Infernal Choir

infernal choirInfernal Choir     CR 9
XP 6,400
CE persistent haunt (50 ft. radius)
Caster Level 9th
Notice Perception DC 29 (to notice a barely audible unholy keen)
Hp 40; Trigger proximity; Reset 1 day

Effect When the haunt manifests, a wizard in tattered robes springs from the ground. He waves a baton as if directing a symphony; he points to to the ground a group of demons appear. These demons sing to music that appears from out of nowhere. The melody and the deep baritones of the demons are not for human ears and the high-pitched shrieking of quasits do not make it anymore delightful (quite the opposite). The deep bass voice of the glabrezu lead singer (that wears a sparkling purple tuxedo) is the only thing barely tolerable. Everyone in the haunt’s area takes 2d8 sonic damage from the cacophony of off-key notes and the generally horrifying nature of demonic singing. Furthermore each round the haunt is active everyone in its area takes 3d6 bleed damage as their ears, nose, and eyes start to bleed from the unnatural assault on the senses. Fortitude DC 19 negates the bleed damage (deaf creatures are immune to the bleed damage). The haunt can manifest at different places across the land independently of Perry’s grave’s location. The only clue the haunt leaves behind is a glimmering business card with the text:

Perry Gwibbles
Singer Extraordinaire
Independent Agent for hire

The card disappears at first sunlight after a performance.

 

Destruction Summoning a celestial choir to perform the ballad of the Nearsighted Gnome on Perry Gwibbles’ grave destroys the haunt; hopefully celestials don’t find it beneath themselves to perform the lewd and rude drinking song. The Nearsighted Gnome was, according to Perry Gwibbles, the lowest form of entertainment that ever existed across the planes.

 

Adventure Hook Perry Gwibbles was a promising young wizard studying enchantments at the esteemed Academy of Magical Studies in Owlsburg. A member of the academy’s renowned choir, it was said he would become the choir’s next lead singer. One day Perry was working in an academy laboratory on a potion that would enhance one’s vocal abilities. As he added the final ingredient, it reacted explosively to the other components of the concoction. The explosion threw Perry across the room and as the smoke cleared he opened his mouth to scream for help, but only a feeble croak emerged from his lips.

A professor helped Perry over to the infirmary and all the way the afflicting mage was croaking like a frog. After days of tests Perry was given the bad news—his condition was not reversible. He would have screamed but instead he croaked much to the amusement of the people assembled around him. Perry abandoned his enchantment studies and instead started to study conjuration, but only three months after his accident, he was killed in a summoning accident (a hezrou misinterpreted his croaking greeting as an insult and ate him in front of his stunned fellows.) Perry’s remains were buried outside the city on a hill overlooking his beloved academy, but the mage’s will to succeed at singing was strong, and he is bound to his grave, doomed to perform with a passionate albeit untalented choir.

Do you have a chilling idea for a haunt or cursed item? Send it along to us at submit (at) adventureaweek.com, but please, bear the following in mind before you submit anything for review:

1. Anyone can submit an entry.

2. One entry per person at any one time. An entry must be your own work, not being published previously or considered by any other publisher, and it must original and not infringe upon copyrighted material.

3. All entries become property of Adventureaweek.com, LLP.

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Spell Drain (CR 6)

Runoff

A bit of water runs into a pile of leaves.

Type: magical; Perception DC 24; Disable Device 19

Trigger Touch; Reset None

Effect

The pile of leaves covers a large grate, and the water drains into it, down into what looks like a cave or sewer, big enough to climb down and explore. However, if the grate is removed, it unleashes a blast of energy. Spell Drain(DC 22 Will Save or randomly lose 1d4+1 levels of spell slots); multiple targets (all targets within 30′)

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Lesser Shining Star

lesser ring of shining starsLesser Shining Star
Aura weak transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot ring; Price 7,600 gp; Weight

DESCRIPTION
This simple iron band is topped by a curious ivory stone that glitters in the night.

Every time one of the magic of one of these rings is activated, it twinkles with a brief illumination of starlight. In addition to replicating the effects of a ring of feather falling, the lesser shining star can be used three times per day to grant the user a Stealth check while under observation. This check is made at a -5 penalty, and afterward the wearer may take a single 5-foot step; after that, moving to any square breaks the effect, as does any violent action (just as if the wearer were under the effects of invisibility).

The lesser shining star can also be used to divine the location of a ring of shining stars once per day; it automatically determines where the nearest ring of shining stars is if it sits within a mile of the wearer, and if not, it points them in the general direction of the nearest location containing one.

 

HISTORY
Success on a Knowledge (arcana) check to learn more about the lesser shining star reveals some facts about the unique item’s lore:

DC 15     These enchanted rings are valuable and powerful aides to any adventurer, but many claim they are cursed—by what exactly none will way, but they are rarely seen in the marketplace for very long, if at all.

DC 20     Rumors posit that lesser shining stars are actually cursed by the celestial tapestry so far above. Their tendency to sparkle in starlight affirms this notion and many of the tales about unfortunate deaths seem to coincide with the movements of the heavenly bodies.

DC 25     The true origins of these enchanted rings lay with the Sideribus Volunt, an order of wizards from long ago, but this does little to explain their unfortunate curse. While powerful mages, so much of their history is lost to time that none can fathom why their creations would wreck havoc on those who wear them.

DC 30     Particularly well-connected fences and dubious thieves’ guild leaders are the true reasons so many adventurers die while wearing a lesser shining staran enigmatic group known only as P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. goes out of their way to collect each and every one of these magical rings. While they won’t pay as much for them as most would prefer, refusing to part with the enchanted band is a sure way to seal one’s fate.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, featherfall, locate object, rope trick; Cost 3,800 gp 152 xp

 

 

Do you have an idea for an enchanted sword, arcane-empowered armor or unique magic item? Take a look at the submission rules and send a brief summary of your proposed enchanted item titled ‘Armory of Adventures submission’ to submit(at)adventureaweek.com with the following:

  • the nature of the item (weapon, armor or wondrous)

  • one or two sentences about its appearance

  • what the item in question does

  • the components and spell(s) used in its construction

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Pepfralcon

PepfralconPepfralcon    CR 9
XP 6, 400
N Medium magical beast
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +8
DEFENSE
AC 23, touch 17, flat-footed 16 (+6 Dex, +1 dodge, +6 natural armor)
hp 110 (13d10+39), fast healing 1
Fort +9, Ref +13, Will +6
Immune fire
Weakness cold
OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft., fly 70 ft. (perfect); hovering inferno
Melee beak +19/+14/+9 (1d8+3 plus 1d6 fire, Crit 19-20/x2+1d10 fire)
Ranged flaming feathers +19/+14/+9 (1d8+2 fire, Range 20 ft.)
Special Attacks flaming feathers (ranged touch, 1d8 fire; Reflex DC 18 or catch on fire), hovering firestorm (30-ft. radius, 6d6+12 fire, Reflex DC 18 halves)
STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 23, Con 15, Int 5, Wis 14, Cha 11
Base Atk +12; CMB +14; CMD 31 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Dodge, Flyby Attack, Hover, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Natural Weapon (bite), Toughness, Weapon Finesse
Skills Fly +19, Perception +8 (+14 visual), Stealth +13, Survival +8; Racial Modifiers +6 Perception (visual only)
Languages
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Fiery Flurry (Ex) Any natural attacks made by a pepfralcon deal +1d6 fire damage as its plumage scatters with each violent movement. Any creature that strikes a pepfralcon with a natural weapon or without a melee weapon that grants reach takes 1d6 fire damage as the shed feathers whip at their limbs in response. These feathers never ignite flammable materials.
Flaming Feathers (Ex) The pepfralcon can fling it’s fiery plumage at enemies within 20 feet (any farther and the quills are consumed in the flames. On a successful ranged touch attack, targets take 1d8+2 fire damage and make a DC 18 Reflex save or catch on fire.
Hovering Firestorm (Ex) As a full-round action, a pepfralcon can create a miniature tempest centered around the square they occupy. This maneuver provokes attacks of opportunity. The pepfralcon spins wildly and swiftly whips out feathers that turn a 30-foot radius into a tempest of flames that deal 6d6+12 fire damage (Reflex DC 18 halves). Any flammable objects in the area catch fire (attended objects receive a DC 15 Reflex save).
Hovering Inferno (Ex) Any round in which a pepfralcon does not take a full movement, any squares adjacent to their path of movement (including squares they briefly occupy) are filled with its scorching plumage as the bird sheds fiery feathers everywhere it goes. Creatures in any of these squares make a DC 18 Reflex save or take 1d6+2 fire damage (success negates). Normally these feathers burn out before igniting materials, but as a swift action the pepfralcon can intensify its feathers’ heat to ignite flammable materials.

TACTICS
The pepfralcon is a swift, dangerous, and powerful predator of the skies. It uses its powerful flames to scorch opponents, attempting to scatter enemies with a hovering firestorm before attacking any individual that it thinks to be a threat. While not particularly smart, they are well trained and can memorize a certain number of commands (generally three or four) to follow in a battle, specifying up to three targets explained to them beforehand by their minders.

These unlikely avians are fastidiously bred and raised by P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. as a means to control rampant biddlywink populations (their natural prey). Only the enigmatic members of that mysterious group understand the complex mating and birthing habits of the scorching predators or where they are indigenous to, secrets they protect with their lives. Pepfralcons instinctively recognize the organization’s symbol after centuries of incessant imprinting and are rarely found without one of the perplexing agents nearby.