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Echidna Giant

By John Gould - Mammals of Australia (1849-1861), Public Domain,, Echidna Giant
By John Gould – Mammals of Australia (1849-1861), Public Domain,

This large creature is covered in spines. It somewhat resembles both a giant porcupine and an anteater. It has an elongated slender snout and a tiny, toothless mouth from which a long tongue flickers. Its limbs are short and strong, ending in large claws.

Originally Posted by Shade of the En World forums.
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A giant echidna is an egg-laying mammal that resembles a spiky ball. The wander with a rolling, waddling gait in search of ants and other insects. They use their powerful claws to tear into trees, termite nests, and other insect-rich structures, then slurp up large amounts of this prey with their sticky tongues. Thanks to their powerful claws, echidnas are swift burrowers, and can dig through substances as strong as iron. Their spines connect to special muscles, giving giant echidnas great control over their spines, which assists them in Climbing. Because their bodies are exceptionally tolerant to cold, giant echidnas range across a large variety of environments. They are equally likely to be active during day or night. A giant echidna is 10 feet long and weighs 100 pounds. It has a lifespan of 50 years or more.

Echidna, Giant
Large animal
Hit Dice9d8+27 (67 hp)
Speed30 ft. (6 squares), burrow 30 ft.
Armor Class15 (-1 size, +6 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple+6/+15
AttackBite +10 melee (1d6+5)
Full AttackBite +10 melee (1d6+5) and 2 claws +5 melee (1d4+2)
Space/Reach10 ft./5 ft.
Special AttacksChew, drag, tongue sweep
Special QualitiesLow-Light Vision, improved burrowing, scent, temperature regulation
SavesFort +11, Ref +6, Will +3
AbilitiesStrength 20, Dexterity 11, Constitution 17, Intelligence 2, Wisdom 11, Charisma 8
SkillsClimb +9, Listen +4, Spot +4, Survival +4*
FeatsAbility Focus (tongue sweep), Endurance, Great Fortitude, Track
EnvironmentTemperate or cold land
Challenge Rating5
AlignmentAlways neutral
Advancement10-18 HD (Large); 19-27 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment


A giant echidna uses its tongue sweep to gather up prey, then drags it to its mouth to chew. Although generally non-aggressive except to insects, a giant echidna will defend itself if threatened.

Chew (Ex): Each round, a giant echidna deals 3d6+5 points of bludgeoning and piercing damage to any opponent held in its mouth. A giant echidna cannot use its bite attack in any round in which it chews.

Drag (Ex): Any creature damaged by the spiny anteater’s tongue sweep becomes stuck to the tongue. The giant echidna drags stuck opponents 5 feet closer each subsequent round (provoking no attack of opportunity) unless that creature breaks free, which requires a DC 21 Escape Artist check or a DC 21 Strength check. The check DCs are Constitution-based and include a +4 racial bonus. The tongue has 10 hit points and can be attacked by making a successful sunder attempt. However, attacking an anteater’s tongue does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the tongue is currently attached to a target, the anteater takes a -4 penalty on its opposed attack roll to resist the sunder attempt. Severing the tongue deals 5 hp of damage to the anteater.

Once a stuck opponent reaches the giant echidna’s space, the echidna may make a grapple attempt as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it succeeds, it establishes a hold and can chew. The echidna may hold only one opponent at a time. The others remain stuck to its tongue (unless they escape as detailed above) but are not dragged closer.

A giant echidna cannot use its bite attack in any round in which it drags an opponent.

Improved Burrowing (Ex): A giant echidna may use its burrow speed to travel through wood and even metal. Additionally, a giant echidna’s claw attacks ignore the first 5 points of hardness.

Temperature Regulation (Ex): An echidna’s lukewarm blood and embedded spines allow it to better tolerate cold temperatures, but also makes it more vulnerable to heat. A giant echidna need not make a Fortitude save to avoid nonlethal damage in cold temperatures. However, it suffers a -4 penalty on Fortitude saves to avoid nonlethal damage in hot temperatures (see Heat Dangers in the DMG).

Tongue Sweep (Ex): The giant spiny anteater attacks by sweeping with its tongue as a standard action. The sweep affects a half-circle with a radius of 20 feet, extending from an intersection on the edge of the anteater’s space in any direction. Creatures within the swept area are affected if they are one or more size categories smaller than the anteater. Affected creatures must make a DC 19 Reflex save or become stuck to the tongue (see Drag below). The save DC is Constitution-based.

Skills: A giant echidna has a +4 racial bonus on Climb checks due to its ability to the special muscles to which its spines are attached. *Giant echidnas have a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent.

Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #186 (1992).

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