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Lapsosaur (Gliding Lizard)
Hit Dice: 4d8+8 (26 hp)
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares), fly 30 ft. (clumsy)
Armour Class: 14 (–1 size, +1 Dex, +4 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+10
Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d8+3)
Full Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d8+3) and 2 claws +3 melee (1d6+1)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: —
Special Qualities: Gliding
Saves: Fort +6,Ref +5,Will +6
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 14 ,Cha 12
Skills: Balance +3, Jump +11
Feats: Multiattack, Skill Focus (Jump)
Environment: Warm plains, warm forests, warm urban
Organisation: Solitary, family (2–5), pack (6–20)
Challenge Rating: 2
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 5–6 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: —
The creature ahead resembles an odd cross between a large ostrich and a reptile. It has a roundish central body, thin legs and arms and a thin, stiff tail. When it holds its arms out, bony spines spring out, supporting folds of skin that catch the wind.
The lapsosaur is commonly found in tropical jungles and savannahs. It is a carnivore, feeding on small animals and is generally not a threat to humanoids unless it is starving or is attacked and cannot flee. It is also commonly domesticated as a riding beast in cultures where horses are uncommon or where mountainous or uneven terrain makes the creature’s gliding abilities exceptionally useful.
Riding a lapsosaur is not easy. Anyone who has not trained extensively on the creatures (defined as adding skill ranks to Ride after spending at least a month riding the lapsosaur regularly) suffers a –3 penalty on all ride checks and a –8 penalty to stay on when the creature makes a gliding leap. Individuals from cultures that train lapsosaurs and that have ranks in Ride at 1st level are assumed to have had appropriate training.
The lapsosaur is very skilled at using its natural weapons and will do so if it is attacked or if it is seeking food. If facing a superior opponent, it will turn and run, using its gliding ability to put as much distance between itself and its enemy as possible. It will use the local terrain, especially pits, canyons and rivers, to its advantage in this, leaving landbound opponents far behind.
Gliding (Ex): The lapsosaur cannot fly, but it can glide. After a full-move action, it can leap to the air, making a Jump check as it does so. It may then glide twice the horizontal distance indicated by the check before coming down to earth. A rider must make a Ride check (DC 15) when it does this, subject to the penalties noted above; if the rider fails, he is dumped off at the beginning of the jump. In addition, the lapsosaur can leap off from a high point, such as a cliff and then glide slowly down; while doing this, it has the flight characteristics noted under Speed, with the exception that it cannot gain altitude and will lose a minimum of five feet of altitude per round of flight. A rider must make a Ride check (DC 5) each round to stay on the creature, subject to the penalties noted above.