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Shrieker: This human-sized purple mushroom emits a piercing sound that lasts for 1d3 rounds whenever there is movement or a light source within 10 feet. This shriek makes it impossible to hear any other sound within 50 feet. The sound attracts nearby creatures that are disposed to investigate it. Some creatures that live near shriekers learn that this noise means there is food or an intruder nearby.

In the current campaign I'm running, out of a book, it explicitly says that "any damage" will completely destroy the Shrieker.

If someone kills a shrieker with a (non-magical) projectile, such as a crossbow bolt, from more than 10 feet away, does it cause the shrieker to shriek as it dies?

Clarification added because an answer below links to a third-party Bestiary entry: In the core Pathfinder book, and in the Adventure Path in question, Shriekers are not creatures. The description of them is entirely quoted above from the "Environment" section. This is the content I am asking about.

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There are two shriekers in Pathfinder;

First is in a 3rd party Beastiary one:

Killing this Shrieker stops it making any noise. (Here's the d20 one for reference too)

The shriekers shriek is an attack:

Special Attacks shriek (DC 11 Fort, 1d4 sonic)

This means this requires an action, it isn't a supernatural or spell-like ability.

Thus if the shrieker has been detected and can be disabled from range it will be dead before it can take it's action to shriek.

The second is a very poorly defined entry in the environmental section of the core rules.

Shrieker: This human-sized purple mushroom emits a piercing sound that lasts for 1d3 rounds whenever there is movement or a light source within 10 feet. This shriek makes it impossible to hear any other sound within 50 feet. The sound attracts nearby creatures that are disposed to investigate it. Some creatures that live near shriekers learn that this noise means there is food or an intruder nearby.

This version is the same one for Way of the Wicked quoted by the OP (although the WotW has slightly more text)

This shrieker has no other clarifications so the hows and whys of this shrieker aren't known.

I'm not sure why Paizo haven't done an "official" Bestiary shrieker.

However, if we link the two shriekers we can deduce:

  • The shrieker in the environmental section is similar/related to the Bestiary version (They both do nigh-on the same sort of thing and are called the same)
  • Since the WotW version can be destroyed, it is either a monster or an object, most likely a monster.
  • If The Environmental shrieker is similar to the Bestiary one then it will trigger in a similar way, it will require an 'action'
  • Therefore if you can kill it before it shrieks, it's staying dead and silent.

The description for the Environmental one is so vague any GM can make them trigger any way they want if they want to; your shrieker, make it shriek/die as you wish!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @G0BLiN No, really you can’t assume that because readied actions can’t be used outside of combat. If shrieking is a standard action, then the shrieker needs to roll initiative and get a turn before using it (or readying it). If it’s killed before that, then no shriek. That said, while not super-clearly worded, my impression is that the shriek is an automatic triggered ability, not any kind of action. Which also be consistent with the shrieker’s history (the shrieker dates back to The Strategic Review #3, 1975; it is also famously found in NetHack). \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 10 '18 at 2:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan - sorry, don't recall saying anything on this thread ;) - was that comment correctly addressed? \$\endgroup\$
    – G0BLiN
    Oct 13 '18 at 19:48
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I believe that this is a “Heart of the game,” kind of question.

The intention is for the Shrieker to yell out when it detects light or movement.

Mechanically a crossbow bolt doesn’t emit light, nor use a move action to be in flight to strike a target.

I would believe that the plant may have some neighbors in the next space, that may be triggered by the slow descent of their recently fallen neighbor, as it collapsed to the floor. If it is a lone, fully grown, environmental hazard, that takes up one medium-sized creature space, then it should not trigger if attacked, unless that attack takes a move action or greater within 2 spaces of the plant.

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