Monstrous Physique — Bowser

We are keeping things classic this week. Over the last few months, I’ve been playing Super Mario Odyssey. The series’ villain, Bowser, seemed like the perfect candidate for stating up. He’s a big scary lizard and I know that those always serve as great monsters. Let’s-a go and have a look at Bowser!

This enormous lizard stands on two legs. Its large shell is covered in spikes and its arms end in terrifying claws.

Bowser                             CR 6
XP 4,800
N Large dragon
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +17
DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+4 Dex, +6 natural)
hp 73 (7d12+28)
Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +7
Immune paralysis, sleep
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee bite +13 (1d6+6), 2 claws +13 (1d4+6 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (15-ft. cone, once every 1d4 rounds, 5d6 fire damage, Reflex DC 17 for half), Koopa klaw
STATISTICS
Str 23, Dex 11, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 16
Base Atk +7; CMB +15 (+17 bull rush); CMD 25 (27 vs. bull rush)
Feats Awesome Blow, Improved Bull Rush, Iron Will, Power Attack
Skills Diplomacy +13, Intimidate +13, Knowledge (nobility) +10, Perception +10, Sense Motive +10, Use Magic Device +13
Languages Common
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Koopa Klaw (Ex) If Bowser successfully maintains a grapple, he can inflict damage and then throw the held creature into an empty square within 10 feet. The thrown creature is knocked prone unless it succeeds a DC 17 Reflex save. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Bowser, also known as King Koopa, is a monstrous creature from a faraway kingdom. He is an enormous creature which resembles a lizard or dragon known as a Koopa. From his personal castle, he plans assaults against the citizens of a neighboring kingdom, the Mushroom Kingdom. On many occasions, Bowser has even kidnapped the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom, Princess Peach Toadstool, only to have his plans foiled time and time again. Although he has failed countless times, Bowser remains a formidable creature. He is able to breath flames and throws his foes around with great ease. Rumors hold that Bowser holds within him the power to unleash a monstrous force capable of empowering him to cause great destruction, but few seem to truly believe this to be the case.

Monstrous Origins

Bowser is a actually a scary fellow, when he’s not driving go-karts or playing sports. As with a number of great Nintendo icons, I turned to Super Smash Bros. to help me determine Bowser’s abilities. The obvious thing is his bite and claw attacks as well as his ability to breathe fire. In order to make things more interesting, I decided to “port” over his Koopa Klaw move from the games which lets him toss his opponents aside after grabbing them. As a whole, the stat block is very simple, but that’s Bowser in a nutshell, as well. He’s a simple villain with simple plans that is simply fun to beat. I added a nod to his Giga Bowser form from the Smash Bros. series, which is a surprisingly terrifying upgrade to the Koopa. I would consider stating Giga Bowser up as well, but it would mostly just be a larger version of this Bowser. For anyone that wants their own Giga Bowser, I would recommend increasing his size to Huge, upping his HD to about 15, increasing the size and damage of the breath weapon, and possibly giving his claw attacks the options to automatically add Awesome Blows. Maybe you can throw on the kaiju subtype for good measure!

That’s it for this week! If you end up introducing Bowser into 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 developer at Paizo, working on the Pathfinder 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 the cat, and walks with Heather the wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos.

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