Griffons are majestic beasts, noble in their poise and awesome in their power. Their regal bearing is matched only by their ferocity when their ire is aroused, commanding the respect of those around them. It is difficult to deny that griffons are imposing creatures, best admired from a healthy distance.
Of course, none of that applies to little griffons, which are some of the cutest things you'll ever see.
A lesser-known variant of the griffon, little griffons are exactly what they sound like: tinier griffons. Roughly the size of a housecat, a little griffon typically has the head and wings of a small bird (pigeons and doves are among the more common varieties) and the back end of a cat. Unlike larger griffons, they have a far milder disposition, having a mellow temperament and a fairly lazy nature when not hunting for food.
Little griffons are in high demand as pets, and go for comparatively large sums of money on the open market. They're also a perennial favorite for exotic familiars, though only capable mages are able to summon them to service in this regard; a spellcaster must be at least 5th level and have the Improved Familiar feat.
Little Griffon CR 1/2
TN Tiny Magical Beast
, Senses ; ; darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent
Languages Common (cannot speak)
AC 18, touch 17, flat-footed 13 (+1 natural, +5 Dex, +2 size)
hp 5 (1 HD)
Spd 15 ft., fly 50 ft. (good)
Melee bite +8 (1d3-4) and 2 claws +3 melee (1d2-4)
Space 2.5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Atk Options pounce, rake 1d4-4
Abilities, , , , ,
SQ magical beast traits
Feats Iron Will, Weapon Finesse (B)
Skills Hide +13, Jump +0, Listen +3, Spot +7
Environment Temperate hills
Organization Solitary, pair, or pride (6-10)
Advancement 2 HD (Tiny); 3-4 HD (Small); 5-6 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment +2 (cohort)
Pounce (Ex): If a little griffon dives upon or charges a foe, it can make a full attack, including two rake attacks.
Rake (Ex): Attack bonus +3 melee, damage 1d4-4.
Skills: Little griffons have a +4 racial bonus on Jump and Spot checks.
The little griffon is designed using the rules for monster sizes in the v.3.5 Monster Manual, as well as the Miniature template from the Book of Templates 3.5 Deluxe , by Silverthorne Games, on a normal griffon. The single ability point lost when bringing the normal griffon below 4 Hit Dice was taken from Dexterity, and their Listen and Spot skills each had 3 skill points subtracted; their Hide score was adjusted based on the change to their Dexterity score and their decreased size.
Adding Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat was a judgment call so that the little griffon would be more effective at hitting; not very unbalancing since it can only inflict 1 point of damage on a successful hit anyway. Likewise, changing the level adjustment down to +2 was done because the little griffon still has great senses, good movement modes, and a high Dexterity score, but little Strength.
The little griffon's Advancement line breaks from the usual convention that a creature can advance to three times their natural Hit Dice. This is so the little griffon syncs up with the Hit Dice for a normal griffon (which begins with 7 HD), allowing you to use the little griffon as a baby griffon if you want (in this case, they lose Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat once they become adult griffons).