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Herd Animal, Bison

Bison Creature4

N Large Animal

Senses Perception +8; scent (imprecise) 60 feet

Skills Athletics +14, Survival +10

Str +6, Dex +3, Con +5, Int -5, Wis +2, Cha -1

AC 20; Fort +13, Ref +11, Will +8

HP 70

Cold Adaptation The bison reduces the effects it suffers from cold environments by one step.

Speed 30 feet

Melee [one-action] hoof +12, Damage 2d6+6 bludgeoning

Melee [one-action] horn +12, Damage 2d8+6 piercing plus Knockdown

Pointed Charge [two-actions] The bison surges forward at its foe, horns lowered. It Strides twice. If the bison ends its movement within melee range of an enemy, it makes a horn Strike against that enemy. This Strike gains the fatal d12 trait.

Rolling Thunder [three-actions] The bison kicks up dust and shakes the ground as it charges. The stampeding bison Strides up to twice its Speed in a straight line, dealing 4d6+6 bludgeoning damage (DC 21 basic Reflex save) to any Medium or smaller creature in its path. Multiple bison can participate in Rolling Thunder by spending this ability’s actions and waiting to charge until the herd is ready. Before the beginning of their next turn, they can then charge as a reaction triggered by an adjacent bison beginning its Rolling Thunder charge. All bison in the combined charge must charge in parallel lines, so the areas can’t overlap. The combined charge deals an additional 3d6 bludgeoning damage to creatures in the area, and a creature that fails the Reflex saving throw is also knocked prone.


Bison are large bovines with short faces and two horns; they weigh an upwards of 2,000 pounds and stand up to 6 feet at the withers. Bison herds thunder across grassy plains, shaking the earth.

Communal by nature, bison gather in large numbers for the summer mating season before the bulls split off to wander the prairie grasses. Bison have adapted well to harsh prairie winters, as their shaggy fur, which grows thicker in winter, insulates them; in the face of blizzards, they survive by facing steadfastly into the howling winds and hunkering down to reduce their exposure.

The way that bison wallow in dirt or rub against large stones might make it easy to mistake their docile nature for passivity. However, this presumption has been the ruin of many hunting parties. Their plentiful meat and thick furs make bison an appealing bounty, but with the ground thundering beneath them, bison can quickly overpower inexperienced hunters unprepared for a stampeding herd. These hunting parties sometimes hire particularly daring adventures, who can add their spells, steel, and expertise to ensure a successful hunt.

While the bison of the plains are the best known and most numerous, they have cousins both in thick boreal forests and along wide, open steppes. These bison variants stand taller but can’t match the speed and aggression of their smaller plains relatives. Hunting bison is a communal endeavor. Centaurs from the plains organize into hunting brigades and run alongside members of a stampeding herd, lancing and shooting at them from close range.

Less mobile peoples use disguises to shepherd bison into position before scaring them to rush over sheer drops or into corrals where they can be slaughtered. A single bison herd can provide enough meat, hides, and furs for an entire community.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 (Second Edition) © 2021, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Logan Bonner, James Case, Jessica Catalan, John Compton, Paris Crenshaw, Adam Daigle, Katina Davis, Erik Scott de Bie, Jesse Decker, Brian Duckwitz, Hexe Fey, Keith Garrett, Matthew Goodall, Violet Gray, Alice Grizzle, Steven Hammond, Sasha Laranoa Harving, Joan Hong, James Jacobs, Michelle Jones, Virginia Jordan, Tj Kahn, Mikko Kallio, Jason Keeley, Joshua Kim, Avi Kool, Jeff Lee, Lyz Liddell, Luis Loza, Ron Lundeen, Philippe-Antoine Menard, Patchen Mortimer, Dennis Muldoon, Andrew Mullen, Quinn Murphy, Dave Nelson, Jason Nelson, Samantha Phelan, Stephen Radney-Macfarland, Danita Rambo, Shiv Ramdas, Bj Recio, Jessica Redekop, Mikhail Rekun, Patrick Renie, Alex Riggs, David N. Ross, Simone D. Sallé, Michael Sayre, Mark Seifter, Sen.H.H.S, Abigail Slater, Rodney Sloan, Shay Snow, Pidj Sorensen, Kendra Leigh Speedling, Tan Shao Han, William Thompson, Jason Tondro, Clark Valentine, Ruvaid Virk, Skylar Wall, Andrew White, and Landon Winkler.