Grasping Graves (CR 4)

Treading on the burial sites of the unquiet dead can be treacherous, as the buried dead seek to drag the living down into their restless graves.

These patches of shallow graves are often found near sites of mass burials, such as those that follow plagues or famines, and are typically 60 feet across. Once a creature enters the area, rotting, grasping hands rip from the earth, turning the entire patch into difficult terrain and targeting each creature inside with a grapple combat maneuver check each round at the end of that creature’s turn. The hands don’t provoke attacks of opportunity, and have a CMB of +12 (with a base attack bonus of +8 and a +4 bonus due to their Strength). This check is attempted each round for every creature in the hazardous area.

If the hands successfully grapple a creature, that creature takes 1d6+4 points of bludgeoning damage, gains the grappled condition, and is unable to move without breaking the grapple first. The grasping claws receive a +5 bonus on grapple checks against creatures they are already grappling, but can’t move or pin foes. Each round the grasping claws succeed at a grapple check, they deal 1d6+4 additional points of damage. The skeletal hands have a CMD of 22, hardness 5, and 5 hit points each. The hands take full damage from channeled positive energy (no save). However, destroying a particular set of hands doesn’t harm the overall hazard, which generates new skeletal hands to grasp all creatures freed in this way on the following round. The only way to evade the hazard is to move out of the affected area, after which the unquiet spirits that animate the grasping graves become dormant once again.