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The porcupine, sometimes called a quill pig, is a shy, gray-and-brown herbivore covered in barbed quills. Though most comfortable on the forest floor, a porcupine can climb trees adeptly to seek out leaves, bark, and insects for food. The giant porcupine is no less shy than its smaller kin, but these 5-foot-long specimens climb only the ancient old growth of deep forests. Both species are found only in temperate woodlands, though a giant porcupine prefers forests with less undergrowth where it can maneuver more easily.

When startled or threatened, a porcupine employs multiple strategies to discourage potential predators. It emits a pungent odor that warns other creatures away, rattling its quills and chattering its teeth loudly to provide an additional auditory warning. If cornered, it raises its quills, faces away from the danger, and charges backwards at full speed, impaling any unlucky creatures is in its path.

A porcupine's barbed quills—in actuality long, stiff hairs—hook into a foe's flesh. A creature can easily pull free from the porcupine should a creature come into contact with one, but the quill's barbed tips continue to dig into the victim's skin from the creature's own movements. Removing the quills is a painful process, and quills that break off under the skin can sometimes requires a healer's assistance to remove effectively. Contrary to popular belief, however, a porcupine can't shoot its quills, making it a threat only to a creature brazen or foolish enough to attack it directly.

Porcupines use the same defensive tactics regardless of size, but the giant porcupine is often devastatingly effective given its sheer mass. Fortunately, these creatures tend to flee at the first opportunity to do so. The few attempts to train them as guardians have ended poorly for this reason, though some druids and other woodfolk have, on occasion, persuaded these creatures to accompany them as companions.

Recall Knowledge - Animal (Nature): DC 16

Elite | Normal | Weak

Giant PorcupineCreature 2

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 207
Perception +8; low-light vision, scent (imprecise) 30 feet
Skills Athletics +8 (+10 to Climb)
Str +4, Dex +2, Con +4, Int -4, Wis +2, Cha +0
AC 18; Fort +10, Ref +8, Will +6
HP 32
Passive Points A creature that hits a porcupine with an unarmed Strike or a non-reach melee Strike takes 1d8 piercing damage (basic Reflex save). On a critical failure, the creature also takes 1d4 persistent piercing damage as the quills hook into its flesh.
Speed 25 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action quills +11 [+6/+1], Damage 1d8+4 piercing plus embed quillMelee Single ActionSingle Action tail +11 [+6/+1], Damage 1d6+4 bludgeoningEmbed Quill A creature damaged by the porcupine's quills Strike must succeed at a DC 18 Reflex save or some of the quills remain embedded in its body, dealing 1d4 persistent piercing damage.Rearward Rush Two ActionsTwo Actions Effect The porcupine scuttles backward, quills extended. It Strides twice, then makes a quill Strike. The target is flat-footed against this Strike unless it has seen a Rearward Rush before.

Sidebar - Treasure and Rewards Protected Assets

While a giant porcupine is well protected, it's also highly sought after by hunters. Its soft flesh is very tasty when cooked, a delicacy prized in woodland communities. The porcupine's quills are another valued commodity, reaching nearly 3 feet long. Skilled artisans use the smaller quills to craft beautiful, wearable art, while the longer ones can be made into lightweight throwing weapons.