Monstrous Physique — Nemean Lion

This week’s entry takes far back to ancient Greece from where the most common mythology seems to hail. Here, we tap one of the most well known mythical figures of legend: Heracles. Heracles fought many fearsome creatures and accomplished many great deeds. Among them were his slaying of the Nemean lion, a powerful lion immune to all attacks. This mighty beast is the focus of this week’s entry. Let’s take a look.

This enormous lion stands as tall as a man at the shoulder. Its brilliant fur shines with a subtle golden glow.

Lion, Nemean CR 8/MR 3
XP 1,600
N Large magical beast (mythic)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +11
AC 20, touch 11, flat-footed 19 (+2 Dex, +10 natural, –1 size)
hp 95 (10d10+40)
Fort +10, Ref +9, Will +4
Defensive Abilities golden fur
Speed 50 ft.
Melee bite +16 (2d8+7 plus grab), 2 claws +17 (1d8+7/19–20)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks pounce, rake (2 claws +17, 1d8+7)
Str 25, Dex 15, Con 18, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Atk +10; CMB +21 (+25 grapple); CMD 33 (37 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Critical (claw), Improved Initiative, Run, Skill Focus (Perception), Weapon Focus (claw)
Skills Acrobatics +12, Perception +11, Stealth +7 (+11 in undergrowth); Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics, +4 Stealth(+8 in undergrowth)
Languages Common (cannot speak)
Environment warm plains or hills
Organization solitary
Treasure incidental
Golden Fur (Ex) The Nemean lion is immune to weapon damage unless the wielder is mythic and the weapon is at least a +2 or equivalent weapon, such as a +1 flaming weapon. Non-mythic weapon attacks can only damage the Nemean lion if they are at least a +5 or equivalent weapon. The Nemean lion is not immune to ability damage, spell damage, or damage from grappling or similar effects.
Powerful Claws (Ex) The Nemean lion’s claws are extremely sharp, allowing them to ignore any armor bonuses to AC and hardness less than 10.

The Nemean lion is a legendary beast hailing from a far-off land. The lion is roughly the same shape and size of a dire lion, but with bright, brilliant fur. This fur is impervious to all manner of attack. Blows glance off the lion and arrows bounce away harmlessly. In addition to its fur, the lion’s claws are notably sharp, piercing through armor as if it were paper.
The Nemean lion tends to keep to itself unless provoked. It will occasionally wander near civilization, but only as necessary to find its next hunt. The lion finds a mate every century to sire children. These children eventually grow to become dire lions imbued with a spark of their father’s mythic power. Each of these lions has claim to the title of the Nemean lion.If one were to ever slay its father it would become the new Nemean lion by gaining its father’s mythic power.

In Your Game

The Golden Fur
The PCs require the Nemean lion’s fur to further progress on their adventures. They may need to avoid a volley of arrows or to fight a more powerful foe. Regardless, they must track down the Nemean lion, slay the beast, and then devise a way to skin the monster.

The Lion’s Claw
One of the PC’s foes encountered the Nemean lion and survived. The foe managed to break off one of the lion’s claws and fashion it into a new weapon. The PCs must take down their foe now wielding an unstoppable weapon.

The Nemean Cubs
A trio cubs, the spawn of the Nemean lion, end up lost. The PCs stumble upon the cub and must work to wrangle up the cats and return them to their father. The cubs are unnaturally strong and require great effort to capture.

Monstrous Origins

The Nemean lion has its origins in Greek mythology. Specifically, it has ties to the 12 labors of Heracles. Heracles first labor was to slay a vicious lion that resided near Nemea. The lion sported a golden fur immune to all attacks and claws sharp enough to slay a man with one swipe. Heracles eventually bested the beast by wrestling with it and eventually strangling it to death. As the lion has ties to mythology, I decided to make it a mythic creature. In regards to what it can do, it’s basically just a stronger lion, but its fur and claws are as powerful as the legends say. I made sure to word the lion’s fur ability to allow it to still be susceptible to strangulation. Otherwise, this is actually quite the simple monster.

That’s it for this week! Please let me if you would like to see more mythic creatures. If you end up up introducing the Nemean lion 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

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