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Actaeon, sculpture group in the cascade at Caserta, Actaeon
Actaeon, sculpture group in the cascade at Caserta

This amazingly tall, powerfully built humanoid has the head, antler rack, and a pair of lower legs of an elk. The rest of its body is humanlike, though covered in shaggy brown fur.

Originally  Posted by Boz of the En World forums.

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Titian - Diana and Actaeon - 1556-1559
Titian – Diana and Actaeon – 1556-1559

Actaeon, son of Aristaeus and Autonoe in Boeotia, was a famous Theban hero, trained by the centaur Cheiron, who suffered the fatal wrath of Artemis.

Artemis was bathing in the woods near Boeotian Orchomenos when the hunter Actaeon stumbled across her, thus seeing her naked. He stopped and stared, amazed at her ravishing beauty. Once seen, Actaeon was punished by Artemis: she forbade him speech – if he tried to speak, he would be changed into a stag . Upon hearing the call of his hunting party, he cried out to them and immediately was changed into a stag. His own hounds then turned upon him and tore him to pieces. The hounds were so upset with their master’s death, that Chiron made a statue so lifelike that the hounds thought it was Actaeon.

The actaeon is a solitary protector and hero of the woodlands and the creatures that live there. It is sometimes referred to as an “elk centaur,” although in reality its appearance is more similar to that of a minotaur than a centaur. Actaeons are part of a woodland “fraternity” that includes centaurstreants, and other fey creatures such as dryads. They are something like folk heroes to the other inhabitants of the forest, who treat them with awe and respect. Actaeons will often work with druid to preserve the safety of the woods, and many an actaeon has become a druid as well. Actaeons collect small hoards of treasure in well-hidden locations, like hollow tree trunks or beneath rocks. They collect coins and jewels to trade for tools, and food when it becomes scarce. An actaeon stands 9 feet tall and weighs about 550 pounds. An actaeon speaks Sylvan, and some actaeons can speak Common.

Large fey
Hit Dice11d6+22 (60 hp)
Speed40 ft (4 squares)
Armor Class17 (-1 size, +4 Dexterity, +4 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple+5/+13
AttackSpear +9 melee (2d6+4/x3) or gore +8 melee (2d8+4)
Full AttackSpear +9/+9 melee (2d6+4/x3) and gore +3 melee (2d8+2)
Space/Reach10 ft/10ft
Special AttacksBreath weapon, spell-like abilities
Special QualitiesArboreal alacrity, camouflage, damage reduction 5/cold iron, Low-Light Vision, wild empathy
SavesFort +5, Ref +11, Will +8
AbilitiesStrength 18, Dexterity 18, Constitution 15, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 13, Charisma 13
SkillsConcentration +12, Handle Animal +13, Hide +14*, Intimidate +13, Jump +8, Knowledge (nature) +15, Listen +10, Move Silently +14*, Ride +6, Search +8, Spot +10, Survival +6 (+8 following tracks, +8 aboveground)
FeatsAlertnessEndurance (b), Power Attack, Track, Weapon Focus (spear)
EnvironmentTemperate forest
Challenge Rating9
AlignmentUsually neutral
AdvancementBy character class
Level Adjustment+5


An actaeon is a formidable combatant, with a number of special tricks and powers. An actaeon will hide among the trees, practically invisible, and watch intruders in the forest. Anything that wantonly slays innocent woodland creatures, or defiles the woods in any way enrages the actaeon, which springs out of hiding to surprise its foes and exact vengeance upon them.

An actaeon carries a selection of wood and bone spears with it, and is quite capable of wielding them in conjunction with its antlers. An actaeon will use its polymorphing breath to dispatch enemies quickly and decisively, or if needed, summon woodland creatures to assist it.

Breath Weapon (Su): 10-foot cube, cloud of warm greenish mist lasting 1 round, three times per day, baleful polymorph (caster level 11th, forest animals only), Fortitude DC 17 negates. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day – summon nature’s ally VI. Caster level 11th.

Arboreal Alacrity (Su): When making a full attack action, an actaeon may make one extra attack with any manufactured weapon it is holding. The attack is made using the creature’s highest attack bonus with that weapon.

Camouflage (Ex): An actaeon can use the Hide skill in any sort of natural terrain, even if the terrain doesn’t grant cover or concealment.

Wild Empathy (Ex): This power works like the druids wild empathy class feature, except that the actaeon has a +6 racial bonus on the check (as well as a +2 synergy bonus from its ranks in Handle Animal).

Skills: An actaeon has a +4 racial bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Survival checks.

*An actaeon has a +8 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks made in forested areas.


Most actaeons are druids, rangers, or barbarians. An actaeon cleric has access to two of the following domains: AnimalKnowledge, Plant, or Protection.

Originally found in Dungeons & Dragons Master Set (Frank Mentzer, 1983), Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991), and Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994).

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