Courser Drake (5e Creature)

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Courser Drake[edit]

Large beast, unaligned

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 26 (4d10 + 4)
Speed 45 ft.

18 (+4) 12 (+1) 13 (+1) 2 (-4) 12 (+1) 5 (-3)

Skills Perception +3
Senses passive Perception 13
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Aggressive. As a bonus action, the drake can move up to its speed toward a hostile creature it can see.

Endurance Hunter. The drake has advantage on saving throws against exhaustion.

Pouncing Charge. If the drake moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a gore attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the drake can make one bite attack against it as a bonus action.

Keen Smell. The drake has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks related to smell.

Relentless (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). If the drake takes 16 damage or less from a single attack that would drop it to 0 hit points, it drops to one hit point instead.

Thorny Rear. If a creature deals a melee attack to the drake from behind it, it takes 3 (1d6) piercing damage.


Multiattack. The drake makes two attacks: one with its beak and one with its gore.

Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d12 + 4) piercing damage.

Gore. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage.

During Kaimere's Tyrant Dynasty, ceratopsians were one of the dominant groups of megafauna in both terrestrial and aquatic habitats: most dry habitats were dominated by chasmosaurines while wetland habitats. While they do still survive in the Known World today, the Dynastic Extinction has rendered them a shadow of their former glory, with only a few semi-aquatic centrosaurs left in the Known World and the chasmosaurs long having been rendered completely extinct. However, up in the mountains, a distantly related branch of horned dinosaurs took a decidedly different path.
Slim and Brutal. As stated above, these shield drakes were neither centrosaurines or chasmosaurines, in fact they were not closely related to them at all: rather they are descended from more basal members of the clade known as protoceratopsids. These protoceratopsids took to a different approach to their giant cousins in the lowlands, adapting their legs to be long and highly cursorial and sharp binocular vision to allow them to see where they were leaping as they spend their time in the mountains climbing the rocks and dining on the taproots of local plants. In addition, these ceratopsians- called courser drakes -have filamentous structures covering their tails and a number of species, including the two species still found in the modern Known World, adapted their filaments into quills which they use to defend themselves from the rear.
Some have remained in the mountains and this group is represented today by the baoqu of the Crescent Mountains in Ni'Khar. These horse sized animals are very similar to the ancestorial courser drakes, dining mostly on taproots and leaping from rock to rock to evade dromaeosaurs. However, they are decidedly omnivorous especially compared to the centrosaurine shield drakes and are highly aggressive, known to run down and kill riders and their mounts.
Many courser drakes however came down from the mountains and began to specialized for open habitats, but once the portal began to bring in ungulates they struggled to adapt due to their slower top speeds. While they have spread and diversified to the north of Ni'Khar and spread east into Kairul, the only species of these open habitat drakes in the Known World is called the Avudi by the Shu. While not the most common or dominant beasts on the Houze Praire, these beasts are fairly successful and adaptable, switching from predominantly herbivory to almost exclusive carnivory during the dry season. While they are not as fast as their ungulate prey, the Shu note their astonishing endurance which allows them to run down horses with ease, especially when mounted.

Varient: Avudi, Baoqu, and Forest Avudi

The Avudi and Baoqu are minimally different from each other and thus would likely share almost all the above traits in their statblock. To make an Avudi, simply add the Steppe Camouflage trait to the courser drake statblock. To make a Baoqu, do the same thing with Mountain Camouflage instead.

To the northern forests of Ni'Khar, there is a dark colored Avudi subspecies that inhabits the forests. Due to how little these lands are explored, not much is known about them except that they are much smaller and more shy than their ferocious prairie cousins. Forest avudi do not have the Aggressive trait and do have the Boreal Camouflage trait, but otherwise share the same statistics as a regular courser drake.

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