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Swarm, Bullet Ant

By © Hans Hillewaert, CC BY-SA 4.0,, Swarm, Bullet Ant
By © Hans Hillewaert, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The bullet ant is named on account of its powerful and potent sting. The bullet ant inhabits humid lowland rainforests from 
Nicaragua south to Paraguay.

Initiation Rites

The Satere-Mawe¬†people of Brazil use intentional bullet ant stings as part of their initiation¬†rites into manhood. The ants are first knocked out by drowning them in a natural¬†chloroform, and then hundreds of them are woven into sleeves made out of leaves,¬†stinger facing inward. When the ants come to, boys slip the sleeve down onto¬†their arm. The goal of this initiation rite is to keep the sleeve on for a¬†full ten minutes. When finished, the boys’ arms are temporarily paralyzed¬†because of the venom, and they may shake uncontrollably for days. The only¬†“protection” provided is a coating of charcoal on the hands, supposedly¬†to confuse the ants and inhibit their stinging. To fully complete the initiation,¬† however, the boys must go through the ordeal a total of 20 times over the¬†course of several months or even years.

Originally Posted by DebiHuman of the Wizards Community forums.

On this Thread

Swarm Bullet Ant
Size/TypeFine vermin (Swarm)
Hit Dice3d8 (13 hp)
Speed20 feet
Armor Class19 (+8 size +1 Dexterity)
Base Attack/Grapple+2/‚ÄĒ
AttackStinger +6 melee (2d4+2/19-20)*
Full AttackStinger +6 melee (2d4+2/19-20)*
Space/Reach10 ft./0
Special AttacksPowerful Stinger, Distraction
Special QualitiesDarkvision 60 feet, Odor, Swarm traits
SavesFort +2, Refl +1, Will +0
AbilitiesStrength 1, Dexterity 12, Constitution 10, Intelligence ‚ÄĒ ,Wisdom 10, Charisma 10
SkillsHide +16
FeatsWeapon Focus (stinger), Weapon Specialization (stinger)
Challenge Rating2
AlignmentAlways natural
Level Adjustment=

* Only the stingers from a bullet ant swarm cause piercing damage. Individual stingers hurt a lot, but only cause the sickening effect as noted below.

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature that begins its turn with a bullet ant swarm in its space must succeed on a DC 11 Fortitude save or be 
nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Odor (Ex): Bullet ants give off a musky odor when they are threatened. A creature with the Scent ability can detect a bullet ant swarm at double the normal range, i.e. within 60 feet. If the opponent is upwind, the range is 120 feet. If it is downwind, the range is 30 feet.

Powerful¬†Stinger (Ex):¬†A bullet ant has a powerful and potent¬†stinger. A successful hit with the stingers from a bullet ant swarm deals¬†2d4+2 points of piercing damage. [As noted above, individual bullet ants do¬†not deal piercing damage]. Furthermore, the pain from the stinger is intense.¬†Any creature stung by a bullet ant’s stinger must make a Fort Save (DC 11)¬†or be sickened for 1d4 hours. The save DC is¬†Constitution¬†based.

A creature that makes its save is not immune to being further sickened. If a creature is required to make additional saves, the DC increases by 1 for each attack. The sickening effects are not cumulative so that a creature may fail multiple saves but is still only affected for 1d4 hours.

Skills: Bullet ants gain a +16 to Hide for size.

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