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By Nobu Tamura ( - Own work, CC BY 2.5,, Platyhystrix
By Nobu Tamura ( – Own work, CC BY 2.5,

A green salamander-like creature, nearly three feet long, Climbs from the water on short, sturdy legs. Its most remarkable feature, however, is the skin-covered sail arising from its back.

Originally Posted by Shade of the En World forums.

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A platyhystrix (“plah-tee-hiss-stricks”) is a sail-backed amphibian related to eryops. Adventurers sometimes call them “salamanders with a sail” or “flat porcupines”.

A platyhystrix is 2 to 3 feet long, weighing around 75 pounds.

Small animal
Hit Dice1d8+2 (6 hp)
Speed10 ft. (2 squares), Swim 10 ft.
Armor Class15 (+1 size, +1 Dexterity, +3 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple+0/-3
AttackBite +2 melee (1d8+1)
Full AttackBite +2 melee (1d8+1)
Space/Reach5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks
Special QualitiesHold breath, Low-Light Vision, thermal regulation
SavesFort +4, Ref +3, Will +0
AbilitiesStrength 13, Dexterity 12, Constitution 15, Intelligence 1, Wisdom 11, Charisma 5
SkillsHide +7*, Listen +3, Spot +3, Swim +9
EnvironmentWarm marshes
Challenge Rating1
AlignmentAlways neutral
Advancement2-3 HD (Small); 4-6 HD (Medium); 7-10 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment


A platyhystrix preys on creatures smaller than itself, such as large insects and smaller amphibians.

Hold Breath (Ex): A platyhystrix can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 10 times its Constitution score before it risks drowning. For a typical platyhystrix, this is 150 rounds, or 15 minutes.

Thermal Regulation (Ex): A platyhystrix has a +2 racial bonus on saving throws made to avoid taking nonlethal damage in areas of extreme heat or cold.

Skills: A platyhystrix has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine ##176 (1991).

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