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Dust Manta

Dust Manta CR 6

XP 2,400
N Large magical beast
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, sense through (vision [sand only]); Perception +13

DEFENSE HP 90

EAC 18; KAC 20
Fort +10; Ref +10; Will +5
Defensive Abilities desert hide; DR 5/—; Resistances fire 5

OFFENSE

Speed 15 ft., burrow 80 ft.
Melee stinger +17 (1d8+9 P plus dust manta toxin)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Offensive Abilities burrowing charge, sand spit

STATISTICS

Str +3; Dex +5; Con +2; Int –1; Wis +1; Cha +0
Skills Acrobatics +13, Athletics +13, Stealth +18

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Burrowing Charge (Ex)

A dust manta can leap into action at breathtaking speed. A dust manta that takes the charge action using its burrow speed doesn’t take the normal charge penalties to its attack roll or its AC, and its target must succeed at a DC 14 Perception check or the target is flat-footed against the attack.

Desert Hide (Ex)

A dust manta’s tough, sand-colored hide protects it against the dangers of the desert, granting it DR 5/— and resistance to fire 5. In addition, if a dust manta is at least halfway buried in sand or any fine, similarly colored substance, it can attempt a Stealth check to hide as if it had cover or concealment.

Sand Spit (Ex)

As a standard action, a dust manta can spew sand at its foes in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in the area must succeed at a DC 14 Reflex save or become blinded for 1 round.

ECOLOGY

Environment warm deserts
Organization solitary, pair, pod (3–8), or fever (3–8 dust mantas plus 1 dust manta monarch)

On desert worlds throughout the galaxy, strange, ray-like creatures make their home in sand flats and dunes, moving through the terrain as if through liquid. These terrors are known as dust mantas, and they reside in the eternal sunlight of the planet’s hemisphere. Those who observe dust mantas from afar might presume them to be peaceful creatures with an idyllic life, but scientists and adventurers who approach them without knowledge of their brutal ways often find this to be the last mistake they ever make.

Dust mantas closely resemble giant versions of common rays, with a beige coloration that allows them to blend in to their sandy surroundings and a nasty-looking tail capable of injecting a horrific toxin. Dust mantas burrow through sand as easily as their aquatic counterparts glide through water, which allows them to quickly close the distance to their prey. They attack with their stingers, injecting a dangerous toxin that quickly breaks the victim’s body down to dust; dust mantas are filter feeders, and they rely on this toxin to disintegrate food sources into filterable particles. To dust mantas, dissolving prey in this way is not cruel, but simply a matter of everyday survival. Dust mantas gravitate toward areas in which they can find prey.

The average dust manta stretches 10 feet across and weighs 1 ton.

On rare occasions, a dust manta can develop into the larger and more ferocious dust manta monarch.

These enormous rays have three tails that allow them to inflict massive damage, as well as a more potent toxin when they deliver their deadly stings.

Dust manta monarchs can create localized dust storms that choke and blind those creatures unlucky enough to be caught within, making it easier for the dust manta monarch and any accompanying dust mantas to ambush their unfortunate prey. When food is scarce, a single monarch might roam the desert with a pack of smaller dust mantas, scaring up enough prey to feed the whole fever.

The typical dust manta monarch stretches 20 feet across and weighs 8 tons.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Starfinder Alien Archive 2 © 2018, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Alexander Augunas, Kate Baker, John Compton, Adam Daigle, Brian Duckwitz, Eleanor Ferron, Amanda Hamon Kunz, James Jacobs, Mikko Kallio, Jason Keeley, Lyz Liddell, Ron Lundeen, Robert G. McCreary, Mark Moreland, Matt Morris, Adrian Ng, Joe Pasini, Lacy Pellazar, David N. Ross, Stephen Rowe, Chris Sims, Owen K.C. Stephens, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor.