Monstrous Physique — Flying Bison

I’m a big fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel series, The Legend of Korra. In addition to being well-written series with lots great characters and amazing action, they also feature a lot of interesting creatures. Some of these pull from the mythologies of east Asia, but others are just two different animals mashed together. These include otter penguins and catgators. The most popular of these is a mix of a bison and a manatee. These creatures, known as flying bison, are the inspiration for airbenders in the series. Of course, the most notable of these is Appa, who served as the main hero’s companion in the first series. As I’m a fan of big, fluffy, cute, and butt-kicking creature, it was only right for the flying bison to get an entry on this series. Let’s have a look. Yip yip!

This enormous, six-legged beast resembles a giant bison. It is covered in thick fur and sports a long, flat tail.

Bison, Flying                                    CR 6
XP 2,400
N Huge animal
Init +3; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +8
AC 21, touch 11, flat-footed 18 (+3 Dex, +10 natural, –2 size)
hp 76  (9d8+36)
Fort +10, Ref +9, Will +3
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (perfect), swim 30 ft.
Melee slam +12 (3d8+12)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Str 26, Dex 17, Con 18, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 15
Base Atk +6; CMB +16 (+20 vs. Bull Rush); CMD 29 (31 vs. bull rush, 35 vs. trip)
Feats Awesome Blow, Greater Bull Rush, Improved Bull Rush, Hover, Power Attack
Skills Fly +14, Perception +8
Environment temperate forests, mounatins, and planes
Organization solitary, pair, or herd (3–15)
Treasure none

Flying bison are extraordinary creatures capable of manipulating the air around them allowing them to fly. These creatures are rather gentle and typically friendly with humanoids. They become attached to individuals from a young age, particularly aerokineticists as they share the ability to manipulate air. A friendly flying bison is a very powerful ally as it will not only allow itself to be ridden, but will also serve its allies with extreme loyalty. Flying bison tend to form a bond with one particular individual and will go to great lengths to keep that individual safe. An angered flying bison is a force to be reckoned with.

In Your Game

The Flying Captive
The PCs visit a local circus and find a flying bison forced into performing as part of the show. The PCs must find a way to liberate the tortured creature and possibly deal with the ire of the show runners.

The Flying Samurai
An awakened flying bison serves as a samurai for a local lord. The PCs find themselves embroiled in a conflict with the samurai and have to contend with the extremely powerful warrior.

Seeking Transport
The PCs need to travel a great distance, such as across the sea and their best bet is a flying bison. The PCs must track down a flying bison and befriend it in hopes of securing their travel.

Monstrous Origins

Flying bison, well at least on in particular, feature prominently in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Appa, serves as the big and fluffy companion to the gang of heroes. He is, for the most part, just a big, lumbering beast that can fly. He is also able to swim and gets into scuffles throughout the series. Beyond his flight, the flying bison in the series do not have any particularly extraordinary abilities. I thus made sure that the stats for the flying bison were big and strong to match the ferocity seen in the show.

That’s it for this week! Please let me if you would like to see more of the Avatar universe’s amalgam creatures. If you end up up introducing flying bison into your game or you have any request for a future Monstrous Physique, please drop me a line at

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a developer at Paizo, working on the Pathfinder Lost Omens line and formerly on Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines. He's done freelance 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 Nova his cat, and walks with his wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos. Consider checking his material on his Patreon at

Gen Con 2017 Seminar Series
Gen Con 2017 Seminar Series