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Stegosaurus

The stegosaurus is easily recognized by its twin rows of diamond-shaped dorsal plates that run down its spine, and thick tail adorned with four large spikes. This strange configuration protects this herbivore from predators, as the stegosaurus can hunker down to interpose its dorsal plates between an attacker and its thick body. A stegosaurus defends itself by swinging its spiked tail at larger foes and trampling smaller opponents underfoot.

The stegosaurus often inhabits grasslands, where nutritious vegetation is plentiful and only its dorsal plates rise above waving fields of tall grass. The stegosaurus is among the most curious of dinosaurs, and hunters often find it easy to bait them with shiny trinkets or strange noises. A stegosaurus is about 30 feet long, 16 feet high at the top of its highest dorsal plate, and weighs between 2 and 3 tons.

The stegosaurus is generally more even-tempered and even gentle, despite its size, than the ankylosaurus. This combination makes it even more popular as a trained pet or guard, but even then one should take care to not annoy the dinosaur—an angry or annoyed stegosaurus can lash out with its tail with little warning. Often, it’s wiser to train smaller variants, such as the kentrosaurus. Regardless, their dorsal plates make this dinosaur a poor choice as a mount.

Recall Knowledge (Nature): DC 23

StegosaurusCreature 7

NHugeAnimalDinosaur
Source Bestiary pg. 98
Perception +15; low-light vision, scent (imprecise) 30 feet
Skills Athletics +20
Str +7, Dex +2, Con +4, Int -4, Wis +2, Cha +0
AC 23, Fort +17, Ref +13, Will +13
HP 125
Dorsal Deflection ReactionReaction Trigger The stegosaurus is targeted with a melee attack. Effect The stegosaurus leans its dorsal plates into the attack, gaining a +2 circumstance bonus to its AC against the triggering attack. If the attack misses, the stegosaurus Steps after the attack.
Speed 25 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action tail +18 (sweep, reach 15 feet), Damage 2d8+9 piercingMelee Single ActionSingle Action foot +18 (reach 10 feet), Damage 2d6+9 bludgeoningTrample Three ActionsThree Actions Large or smaller, foot, DC 25

All Monsters in "Dinosaur"

NameLevel
Ankylosaurus6
Brontosaurus10
Deinonychus2
Stegosaurus7
Triceratops8
Tyrannosaurus10
Velociraptor1

Dinosaur

Source Bestiary pg. 96
Remnants from the world’s primeval era, these enormous reptilian animals still exist in large numbers in isolated and remote wildernesses or far underground within magical Darklands caverns. Lizardfolk, orcs, giants, and other monstrous humanoids sometimes use dinosaurs as mounts, guards, or hunting animals. Humans and other ancestries have also been known to collect dinosaurs, be it to display them in menageries or keep them as exotic pets or guardians. Such activities are generally pursuits of the rich or eccentric, but certain druids and other guardians of nature feel strong kinships with dinosaurs as well and take them on as companions. When dinosaurs establish themselves in regions beyond their normal habitats, it is generally the result of these captive creatures escaping into the wild.

Dinosaur Guardians

As with most animals, dinosaurs can be tamed or domesticated, but the difficulty of this task increases along with the dinosaur’s level. Lizardfolk and orcs are fond of using dinosaurs as beasts of burden, workhorses, mounts, or even war beasts. Certain dinosaurs, such as velociraptors and deinonychuses, make excellent trackers as well. The largest and most dangerous dinosaurs, such as the tyrannosaurus, are generally avoided, although more powerful creatures like giants have been known to be able to keep them as pets, guardians, or even brutal executioners. In certain cities, dinosaurs are popularly featured as combatants in blood sports and other gladiatorial battles.

Dinosaur Resources

As animals, dinosaurs have little interest in treasure (although velociraptors and deinonychuses, like their bird cousins, enjoy keeping sparkling baubles in their nests), but the remains of adventurers strewn about their lairs often still have valuable gear. Dinosaurs can also be harvested for rare and valuable trophies such as teeth, talons, armor plates, and the like.

Dinosaurs in Fantasy

At first glance, the inclusion of dinosaurs in a fantasy setting might seem strange, but dinosaurs are an excellent creature to use in a game that bridges the gap between familiar real-world animals and legendary monsters. If having dinosaurs mix freely with lions, manticores, and dragons still seems strange to you, consider having them dwell in remote, primeval lands, as suggested in the sidebars on pages 99–100. On Golarion, dinosaurs do exist in the wilder regions of the world, particularly on the continent of Garund, though they are common enough that PCs might find some on display in a menagerie in a northern city, in use as guardian creatures, or even kept by druids as loyal animal companions.

Hollow Worlds

Another classic place that dinosaurs are found in fiction are in “hollow worlds.” Some campaign settings might not contain entire isolated worlds within them, but many, such as Golarion, have expansive underground lands. The deepest region of the Darklands of Golarion—a realm called Orv—is an optimal place to find a hollow world. Typically infused with magic that allows for jungles to grow deep underground (and sometimes even sunlike orbs that illuminate the lands from above, simulating a day‑night cycle), areas such as Deep Tolguth of Orv make perfect places for dinosaurs to roam.

Other Dinosaurs

A wide range of dinosaurs are presented on these pages, but any trip to the movies, exploration of dinosaur books, or a quick online search reveals a wealth of additional creatures that could fit into your game as well. Armor-headed pachycephalosaurs, spike-thumbed iguanodons, duck-billed hadrosaurs, sail-backed spinosauruses, and more await discovery by those who would seek out the mysteries of the lost worlds where the thunder lizards still rule!

Primeval Lands

Dinosaurs fit well into certain types of settings. They’re often found in isolated lands like primeval jungle valleys or plateaus—regions known as lost worlds for their inaccessibility and lack of any encroaching civilization. In addition to dinosaurs, other megafauna can exist in these places as well, along with giant insects or aggressive creatures like bulettes, carnivorous plants, chuuls, and drakes. Such regions can make for perilous and intriguing adventure sites, especially if you combine them with ruins of ancient civilizations to explore once the party has navigated the hostile wilderness regions.