Monstrous Physique — Rathalos

Monster Hunter World is out! It’s my first foray into the series and I’m having a great time with the game so far. It’s a great action game and really sells on the feeling of fighting an enormous monster. While I don’t know a lot about the series still, I know I have heard the name rathalos plenty of times, so let’s give that one a go this week!

This terrifying reptile stands on two legs and has a pair of large wings. It bears a tough hide and fearsome fangs.

XP 12,800
N Huge dragon
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +19
AC 26, touch 11, flat-footed 23 (+3 Dex, +15 natural, –2 size)
hp 149 (13d12+65)
Fort +13, Ref +11, Will +10
Immune fire, paralysis, sleep
Weakness vulnerable anatomy, vulnerability to electricity
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft. (good)
Melee 2 bites +20 (3d10+9), tail slap +15 (1d10+4)
Special Attacks breath weapon (30-ft. line, once every 1d4 rounds, 8d6 fire damage, Reflex DC 21 for half)
Str 29, Dex 16, Con 20, Int 4, Wis 15, Cha 13
Base Atk +13; CMB +24; CMD 36 (40 vs. trip)
Feats Flyby Attack, Hover, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Snatch
Skills Fly +20, Perception +19, Stealth +12
Environment any temperate or tropical
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none
Vulnerable Anatomy (Ex) A rathalos’s body is vulnerable to attacks against specific parts. Specifically, a rathalos’s head, wings, and tail are susceptible to attacks. A creature can declare any of its attacks against either of these parts. Each part has an AC equal to that of the rathalos and a number of hit points equal to 1/4 of the rathalos’s hit points (37 points for a typical rathalos). Reducing a part to 0 hit points or fewer breaks, or severs in the case of the tail, that particular piece. Breaking the rathalos’s head causes it to lose its Strength bonus to its bite attacks. Breaking one wing reduces its fly speed to 40 feet (poor). If both wings are broken, it loses its fly speed. If the tail is severed, it drops its tail, losing its tail slap attack. This tail can be sued in the creation of a masterwork slashing or piercing weapon. A weapon created with this tail as part of the process, the weapon deals 1 point of fire damage in addition to its normal damage. If this weapon is enhanced with the flaming, flaming burst, or similar weapon properties, the damage die of fire damage granted by these properties increases by one step.

Rathalos are creatures from a far-off land closely related to wyverns or drakes. The natives of these distant lands call the rathalos the “King of the Skies.” They tend to make their homes in forests, swamps, mountains, and even volcanoes. Rathalos are generally apex predators in their homes, but the dangerous ecosystems in which rathalos reside occasionally cause them to clash with other large predators near their home. Unfortunately for these other predators, the rathalos’ ability to fly grants them a distinct advantage. Most rathalos swoop in and pick up their prey or foes, but can spit powerful burst of flame against creatures to large or to dangerous to snatch up. Brave hunters seek rathalos for their body parts which can be used in the crafting of durable armor and powerful weapons.

Monstrous Origins

Rathalos are one of the mascot creatures from the Monster Hunter series. The game is based around a gameplay loop of preparing for a big hunt, searching for the quarry, fighting a big monster, collecting parts from a defeated monster, and using the new parts to create equipment for the next hunt. Rathalos are big wyverns with very powerful attacks. Hunters need powerful armor to survive their attacks and even more powerful weapons to hurt such big creatures. For the stats, it was easy enough to make a dragon with most of the rathalos’ attacks. The big thing I wanted to make sure made it was the ability to break certain parts of the rathalos for some kind of benefit. Just like in the game, you can cut off a rathalos’s tail and make a cool weapon with it!

That’s it for this week! If you end up introducing rathalos 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 World Guide 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 the cat, and walks with heather the wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos.

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