Monstrous Physique — Bubble Dragon

Welcome again to Fighting Friday where I have another monster for you! By request, I have yet another video game character for you. This time, we return to an arcade classic, Bubble Bobble! The heroes, Bub and Bob, are small dinosaurs?, dragons?, (it’s hard to say) that jump around and capture bad guys in bubbles. Let’s see how they do making their way into Pathfinder.

This large, stout lizard stands on two legs and resembles a small dinosaur. It sports colorful spikes and a joyful demeanor.
Bubble Dragon                  CR 4
XP 1,200
N Small dragon
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +8
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (+3 Dex, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 47 (5d12+15)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +4
DR 5/magic; Immune paralysis, sleep
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d4+1), 2 claws +7 (1d3+1)
Special Attacks bubble breath
STATISTICS
Str 13, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 14
Base Atk +5; CMB +5; CMD 18
Feats Blind-Fight, Improved Initiative, Run
Skills Acrobatics +16, Appraise +9, Climb +17, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +9, Perception +8, Sense Motive +8, Use Magic Device +10; Racial Modifiers +8 Acrobatics
Languages Common
SQ bubble rush, great leaps
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure standard
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Bubble Breath (Ex) As a standard action, a bubble dragon blows out an enormous bubble that travels up to 40 feet in a line. The bubble stops once it has traveled the full distance or if it is blocked by a wall or other solid obstacle. A bubble remains intact for a number of rounds equal to the bubble dragon’s Constitution bonus, if any (3 rounds for a typical bubble dragon, minimum 1 round) and bursts at the end of this time. Each round, the bubble slowly rises 10 feet. A creature can climb on top of a bubble with a successful DC 25 Climb check. A bubble dragon can climb on top of its own bubbles without needing a Climb check.
If a bubble collides with a creature when first blown out, the creature must succeed on a DC 15 Reflex save or become trapped within the bubble. A creature within a bubble can burst it with a successful DC 20 Strength check or by dealing 15 points of piercing or slashing damage to the bubble. A bubble dragon doubles its damage against a creature trapped within one of its bubbles. A bubble can only support one creature of Large size or smaller. If a Huge or larger creature collides with the bubble or attempts to climb a bubble, the bubble instantly bursts. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Bubble Rush (Ex) Once per day as a full-round action, a bubble dragon can spray a barrage of bubbles in a 30 foot line. These bubbles are stopped by obstacles and collide with creatures as noted in the bubble breath ability above. When spraying these bubbles, the bubble dragon can spray in a vertical line, creating a column of bubbles. Bubbles stacked in this manner do not rise every round. A creature can climb on the bubble column as normal.
Great Leaps (Ex) A bubble dragon cannot fly, but it can vault to great heights and distances. Once per round, as part of its movement, a bubble dragon can jump up to 30 feet either horizontally or vertically. This jump is in addition to any normal movement the bubble dragon makes for the round. When jumping in this manner or when deliberately falling, a bubble dragon ignores the first 200 feet fallen when determining damage from a fall.

Bubble dragons are creatures from a faraway land. They have the ability to breath out enormous bubbles capable of capturing other creatures within. Once captured, a bubble dragon will either attack its prey or run away if it believes the creature is exceptionally dangerous. Bubble dragons are particularly fond of fruit and sweets such as candy and cakes. Bubble dragons come in two primary colors: a verdant green and a deep azure. Typically, a bubble dragon is not particularly dangerous and is usually friendly to those that offer it treats.

In Your Game

The Bubble Cliffs
The PCs need to scale a precarious set of cliffs to reach their goals. Unfortunately, fields of antimagic and heavy winds make scaling the cliffs near impossible. The only way to guarantee safe passage is for the PCs to convince a bubble dragon to create bubbles of safety to ride the winds to the top.

The Endless Cave
The PCs are transported to a strange challenge: a race against a pair of bubble dragons through a cave with 100 chambers. The PCs must travel through the caverns, avoiding strange enemies and dangerous hazards, while also keeping ahead of the dragons, who are masters of the cave after years of racing.

Sweet Treats
A local village collects a great hoard of fruit for a local festival. The fruit attracts a pair of bubble dragons, who begin to eat the fruit. The PCs must race to snatch up the rest of the fruit and lure the dragons away from the village.

Monstrous Origins

Translating video game characters into the game can always be a bit difficult, especially with older games with more simple move sets and mechanics. Here’s what Bub and Bob can normally do: run, jump, blow bubbles. There’s not much to it. This makes keeping the essence of the characters somewhat of a challenge. The bubble portion is easy. It’s kind of an at-will aqueous orb ability. In the game, once an enemy is capture in a bubble, jumping into the bubble knocks it off screen. This became the double damage portion of the bubble, which helps bring out damage to where we need it to be. The jumping is more difficult, however. The rules for jumping with acrobatics severely limits characters from making the kind of old-school giant jumps that filled old video games. I considered making a quasi flight maneuver, but the mechanics were a bit messy. Instead, I just opted to throw in an extra super jump with every movement, which I feel works a bit more elegantly than any kind of half-baked flight or bonus to Acrobatics could ever create.

That’s it for this week! Please let me know if this continued delving into video games are something you like. I can always return to more traditional beasties! If you end up playing with a bubble dragon in your game, or you have any request for a future Monstrous Physique, please drop me a line at KnowDirection@hotmail.com.

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a freelance writer from Lincoln, Nebraska. He has written for Paizo Inc, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and more third-party publishers. His hobbies include gaming both tabletop and video, making jokes, obsessing over time travel, taking naps with Hugo the cat, and walks with Heather the wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos.

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