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Symbiont, Grappling Claw

Grappling Claw CR 1

This writhing mass of thorns and vines bristles with barbs and lashing tendrils.

XP 400
N Tiny plant
Init +1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +5


HP 20; EAC 11; KAC 13
Fort +35 Ref +3; Will +1; DR 3/slashing; Immunities plant immunities


Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee claw +8 (1d6+1 S plus grab)
Space 2 1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft. (5 ft. with claw)
Offensive Abilities claw bore


Str +0; Dex +4; Con +2; Int –; Wis +1; Cha -4
Skills Athletics +10
Other Abilities bond, host abilities, mind link, symbiont healing


Claw Bore (Ex)

If a grappling claw symbiont begins its turn grappling a creature, its claw bores deeper into creature’s flesh, seeking vital organs and dealing 1 Constitution damage and 1 Strength damage.


Symbiont Grappler (Ex)

Dozens of vines unwind, springing from the symbiont’s root to reach for handholds, granting the host a 30-foot climb speed. Additionally, the grappling claw symbiont can wrap itself around a fixed object up to 15 feet away as a grappling hook.

Symbiont Whip (Ex)

The grappling claw symbiont can project numerous, intertwined vines which act as a whip, and which the host can use as if fully proficient. In addition, the host can attempt to grapple creatures with the whip up to 10 feet away with a +12 bonus, or the host’s melee attack, whichever is higher. On a successful attack, the host does not gain the grappled condition but cannot take any actions with the limb the grappling claw is attached to. Grappled creatures may attack the symbiont as if it were in their reach.


Slot wrist; Price 5,000 gp; Cost 2,500 gp

A grappling claw symbiont attaches to its host’s wrist, encircling the hand in a series of strong, yet flexible vines. When commanded, the vines unravel with the ability to stretch up to 15 feet away. Very fine leaves all along the vines assist them in grappling and hooking around objects.


Environment any (Kir-Sharaat)
Organization solitary

Symbionts are custom-grown plant creatures tailored to serve specific purposes, like living tools. There are myriad forms of symbionts on Kir-Sharaat that serve mundane purposes, like mobility enhancing exoskeletons to assist erahthi who possess difficulty walking or lifting heavy objects, communication symbionts that can relay messages, even clothing that sizes itself to fit its wearer and protects against parasites and pests. This section focuses on combat-oriented symbionts designed during the Century War.

Though the erahthi created symbionts first, their widespread use is now found beyond the boundaries of Kir- Sharaat and organizations across the Aethera System traffic in the secrets of their creation. Creatures of all species can create plant symbionts, and some have even begun to experiment with creating symbionts of other creature types, like aberrations and elementals. Symbionts are created in special laboratories and each have a monetary cost associated with them like magic items.

Erahthi have created a wide variety of living plant symbionts to take the place of typical equipment, and these symbionts are often sought after as curiosities or specialized weapons. A plant symbiont can be affected by spells that target plant creatures, though it is mindless, incapable of independent action, and has no ability scores other than Constitution (which is always equal to its item level). It is subject to poisons and diseases, though it does not need to breath and is always protected as well as a creature with active environmental protection from armor. If it is forced to make a saving throw, its save bonus is always equal to its item level. If it suffers a condition that would normally cause it to take a penalty to attacks, damage, save DCs, saving throws, or AC those penalties apply to any attack or effect created with it. Plant symbionts “eat” by absorbing part of the charges or fuel (or energy from some other form of ammunition) when fired. They do not sleep or breathe, cannot communicate in any way, retain all plant immunities (including saving throw bonuses), are immune to pain effects, and are mindless.

If damaged, a plant symbiont can regain Hit Points from effects that restore Hit Points to living creatures, such as a mystic cure spell, and it regains a number of Hit Points equal to its item level each day. You can use the Life Science or Medicine skill instead of Engineering to repair a living weapon.

In addition to the relatively helpless normal plant symbiont, there exist advanced plant symbionts which can transform into an independent form and back as a full-round action. While in independent form, an advanced plant symbiont acts a drone with an effective mechanic level of its item level -3, save that it is considered a plant rather than a construct for the purpose of determining effects and possesses no feats or mods save for initial mods gained from its drone chassis. An advanced plant symbionts’ chassis is determined when it is created and items of lower than 4th level cannot be made into advanced plant symbionts. The owner of the advanced plant symbiont may control the advanced plant symbionts as if they were the drone’s master.

A normal plant symbiont version of an item costs 10% more than normal. An advanced plant symbiont version of an item costs 50% more than normal.

Unbonded, a grappling claw symbiont appears as a tiny mass of coiled vines. Despite its very small size, the flexible nature of its vines allows them to stretch in order to attack enemies. The ends of the vine are designed to harden as a result of its grappling capabilities, allowing the symbiont to slash at opponents. The grappling claw symbiont seeks to grapple prey and use its hardened vines to bore into the target, much like a drill.

The erahthi designed the grappling claw symbiont to aid in construction of Kir-Sharaat, allowing workers to move along the planet’s massive trees quickly. With the advent of exploring the other worlds of the Aethera System, the grappling claw symbiont proved its usefulness in facilitating travel along alien terrain and even in deep space. Erahthi explorers are often trained in the grappling claw symbiont’s proper use, allowing them to rappel quickly along multiple types of terrain.

During the Century War, the erahthi redesigned the grappling claw symbiont to be more weaponized. Specialized erahthi soldiers climbed and swung through enemy defensive positions and fortifications. The newly designed whip function allowed the erahthi to subdue or incapacitate targets quickly and quietly. The new weaponized version of the grappling claw symbiont remains the most popular and widely produced.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Alien Codex (Starfinder) © 2019, Legendary Games; Lead Designer: Jason Nelson. Authors: Anthony Adam, Kate Baker, John Bennet, Eytan Bernstein, Robert Brookes, Russ Brown, Duan Byrd, Paris Crenshaw, Jeff Dahl, Robyn Fields, Joel Flank, Matt Goodall, Robert J. Grady, Jim Groves, Steven T. Helt, Thurston Hillman, Tim Hitchcock, Nick Hite, Daniel Hunt, Mike Kimmel Marshall, Isabelle Lee, Jeff Lee, Lyz Liddell, Jason Nelson, Richard Pett, Tom Phillips, Jeff Provine, Alistair J. Rigg, Alex Riggs, Wendall Roy, Mike Shel, Neil Spicer, Todd Stewart, Russ Taylor, Rachel Ventura, Mike Welham, George Loki Williams, Scott Young.