Honeybee Swarm

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Originally Posted by MythMage of the Dicefreaks forums.

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A dark, buzzing cloud of black and yellow insects bursts from the nearby trees.

A honeybee swarm forms for one of two reasons: to found a new colony, or to defend an existing colony.

Honeybee Swarm
Fine vermin (Swarm)
Hit Dice 10d8-20 (16 hp)
Initiative +5
Speed 5 ft., Climb 5 ft., Fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Armor Class 23 (+5 Dexterity, +8 size), touch 23, flat-footed 18
Base Attack/Grapple +7/–
Attack Swarm (2d6 plus poison)
Full Attack Swarm (2d6 plus poison)
Space/Reach 10 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks Distraction, poison, sting
Special Qualities Darkvision 60 ft., immune to weapon damage, swarm traits, tenacity, vermin traits
Saves Fort +5, Ref +8, Will +4
Abilities Strength 1, Dexterity 21, Constitution 6, Intelligence –, Wisdom 12, Charisma 9
Skills Climb+13, Spot +5, Survival +1*
Feats Weapon Finesse (B)
Environment Temperate plains
Organization Domesticated, solitary, or colony (4-8)
Challenge Rating 4
Treasure Honey
Alignment Always neutral
Advancement None
Level Adjustment


Honeybees are generally only aggressive when defending their hive or when significantly disturbed by themselves. They are more likely to attack when they perceive hair, dark colors, and/or carbon dioxide.

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature that begins its turn with a swarm in its space must succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 13, initial and secondary damage 1d3 Constitution. This poison acts differently than that possessed by a single honeybee because a swarm inflicts many more stings at a time than one (or a few) honeybees can.

Sting: A bee that successfully stings a creature with skin leaves its stinger embedded in that creature’s skin (effectively disemboweling itself), and dies 1 round later. It usually tries to distract its victim during that time by acting like it will attack again, which allows the bee’s hive-mates more time to attack. A swarm attack from a honeybee swarm inflicts 8d10 individual bee stings upon an affected creature. Despite this fact, the sheer number of bees in the swarm prevents it from suffering loss of hit points through this loss of members.

Tenacity (Ex): A honeybee swarm does not disburse when reduced to zero hit points, instead remaining coherent until most of the insects are dead. This allows the swarm to continue functioning normally until its hit points are reduced to -20.

Skills: A honeybee swarm has a +4 racial bonus on Spot checks and a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks. * It also gets a +4 bonus on Survival checks to orient itself.

A honeybee swarm uses its Dexterity modifier instead of its Strength modifier on Climb checks. It can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened.

Swarm (Additional)

Swarms are dense masses of Fine, Diminutive, or Tiny creatures that would not be particularly dangerous in small groups, but can be terrible foes when gathered in sufficient numbers. For game purposes a swarm is defined as a single creature with a space of 10 feet—gigantic hordes are actually composed of dozens of swarms in close proximity. A swarm has a single pool of Hit Dice and hit points, a single initiative modifier, a single speed, and a single Armor Class. It makes saving throws as a single creature.

Many different creatures can mass as swarms; bat swarms, centipede swarms, hellwasp swarms, locust swarms, rat swarms, and spider swarms are described here. The swarm’s type varies with the nature of the component creature (most are animals or vermin), but all swarms have the swarm subtype.

A swarm of Tiny creatures consists of 300 nonflying creatures or 1,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Diminutive creatures consists of 1,500 nonflying creatures or 5,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Fine creatures consists of 10,000 creatures, whether they are flying or not. Swarms of nonflying creatures include many more creatures than could normally fit in a 10-foot square based on their normal space, because creatures in a swarm are packed tightly together and generally crawl over each other and their prey when moving or attacking. Larger swarms are represented by multiples of single swarms. A large swarm is completely shapeable, though it usually remains contiguous.


In order to attack, a single swarm moves into opponents’ spaces, which provokes an attack of opportunity. It can occupy the same space as a creature of any size, since it crawls all over its prey, but remains a creature with a 10-foot space. Swarms never make attacks of opportunity, but they can provoke attacks of opportunity.

Unlike other creatures with a 10-foot space, a swarm is shapeable. It can occupy any four contiguous squares, and it can squeeze through any space large enough to contain one of its component creatures.


Swarms are extremely difficult to fight with physical attacks. However, they have a few special vulnerabilities, as follows:

A lit torch swung as an improvised weapon deals 1d3 points of fire damage per hit.

A weapon with a special ability such as flaming or frost deals its full energy damage with each hit, even if the weapon’s normal damage can’t affect the swarm.

A lit lantern can be used as a thrown weapon, dealing 1d4 points of fire damage to all creatures in squares adjacent to where it breaks.

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