View Full Version : Revisiting the Menagerie: Let's Read the Book of Templates!

2010-08-21, 12:55 AM
So, I decided to chime in on this "Let's Read" phenomenon that Rappy was so gracious to begin. Following in the footsteps of Volthawk's Advanced Bestiary thread, I decided to do the other big third-party template book.

So, what is the Book of Templates: Deluxe Edition?

Book of Templates: Deluxe Edition is a third-party D20 supplement from SilverThorne Games with approximately 85 templates ranging from various halfbreeds to self-replicating monsters and creatures without geometry. With that in mind, let's dive in!

EDIT: Feel free to discuss anything that you want regarding the content. The bumps will be appreciated and I'll at least know if anybody is actually interested in this or if I need to change how I compose the entries.


Applies to any corporeal creature except constructs, outsiders, and undead.
Type changes to Aberration

Measuring out at five pages, this is the generic "wizard made something weird at random" template, complete with multiple tables for rolling random abilities and qualities, including, but not limited to:
-Blood Drain
-Various gazes
-Grabbing powers (Improved/engulf)
-Destructive Harmonics
-Ground Manipulation (?)
- and Web

-Choker quickness
-Various resistances and immunities
-Mimic shape (again, ?)
-Regeneration and fast healing

While there isn't any stat adjustment, apparently forceful transformation makes you more chaotic and evil (if you're intelligent, of course). There is a level adjustment, but it is mostly up to DM judgement. The example creature is a cockatrice with moaning and spell resistance, and if the picture is to be believed, a bad case of the tentacles.

A spell by the name of Grafting Ritual is presented for any enterprising young arcanist who wants to make their own sins against creation, which has a built in chance of botch or complete failure. An item is also given, a bottle of adhesive specifically from an aberrant.


Applies to any living, corporeal, non-celestial creature.
Becomes Outsider with Chaotic subtype.

A demon-specific version of the Fiendish template...yawn. Detect good and law, +4 Charisma, Aura of Chaos, Fire resistance, and Smite Good are almost taken directly from Fiendish, with the new addition being Chaos Burst. This 1/day power functions as Word of Chaos, dealing 1d6 chaos damage per HD to lawful creatures. The other noteworthy change is Negative Energy Conversion, which makes positive energy powers negative. The example, an abyssal ravid, makes good use of this last power, giving it a negative-energy lash attack. For a +2 LA, an overwhelming "Meh" in most situations.


Applies to any living creature or construct.
No type change.

Just what is says on the tin, this template doesn't change what the creature looks like, but it can now slip through any opening with its now fluid body. Keeping with the oozy theme, the creature gets additional ooze hit points, improved grab and constrict, 50% immunity to sneak attacks and criticals, and the ability to double its reach for 1+Con bonus rounds. As far as stats are concerned, it gets +2 Con and -2 Intelligence, with a minimum of 2. Not too bad for a +3 LA.

Two example creatures are given, the slip-shape giant (a hill giant) and the aptly-named ultramorph (a doppleganger). Strangely enough, amorphousness is transmitted via spores, which imparts memory loss as well as the advertised ooze traits. Even worse, this melting disease can be gotten via injury or ingestion. Naturally, there is also a ritual spell (Rite of the Shapeless Form) for making helpless creatures into blobs. This is a theme the book really wants to hammer into the reader's skull: Casters, in fact, have no moral boundaries, especially since this incantation is available to clerics and druids as well!

Next time, we'll look at angels both fallen and ferocious, world-ending terrors, and monsters with magical might to the maximum!

2010-08-22, 10:24 PM
Angel, Fallen

Applies to any good Outsider.

In another case of "All on the Label", we get the specific rules to make good outsiders evil. Any abilities relevant to good become evil (or gone, if there is no evil equivalent) and the emo-to-be gets an aura of emotion, either despair, fear, lust, or rage. Stat changes include -2 Wisdom and +2 Charisma...because evil is sexy, I guess. Because of the paradoxical nature of an evil celestial, it becomes vulnerable to effects that target both evil and good, as well as an inability to go to any good-aligned plane. The entire package wraps up at a +0 LA, or +1 if it has an emotion aura. Why you wouldn't give it the aura is beyond me, seeing as the template takes away more than it gives in that regard. The example creature is a member of the Blight Pack, a group of fallen hound archons that have gone rogue due to their leader being destroyed.

Angel, War

Applies to any celestial or half-celestial.

War Angels are the battle-hardened lieutenants of the celestial armies that are the best at what to do, which is righteous butt-kicking. Not only does flight maneuverability go up one step, they get a +8 divine bonus to AC. Brilliant strike lets them make their weapons holy and brilliant energy for a few rounds, along with doing an extra 6d6 damage versus evil creatures. Other powers include a 1/day divine damage flame strike, DR, SR, a greater version of lay on hands, and to give its allies a morale boost with a hearty war cry. Just to top off this pile of silliness, there's a +6 Charisma bonus. As a +4 LA template that can only be applied to monster races or another +4 template, this probably isn't worth using in many situations, but so help your evil players if they try to invade the Upper Planes.

Actually, this is something that bugs me about the template: it can only be applied to celestials. Is this supposed to tell me that the archons and guardinals just can't have awesome war generals; that it takes that special blend of lawful and good to pull these tricks? Or am I just reading to much into a single sentence?


Applies to any creature.

Hoo boy, with a name like Apocalyptic, you know this has to be good! "Apocalyptic creature" cover several niches: divine wrath, magically-created juggernaut, or force of nature. One might think the Tarrasque when these descriptions are used, but Big T has a spin-off template all to his own much later in this book.

An apocalyptic is a size larger than normal, gets d12 hit die at the minimum for its new size multiplied by ten and maximized :smalleek:. All its speeds increase by 30 feet, natural armor increases by ten, gains a deflection bonus equal to 5% of their new HD AS WELL as a divine bonus equal to 10% their new HD, making the recipient unusually hard to hit. As far as attacks go, it gets two slams with typical damage for a creature a size larger than its new size. There is a specific note that Colossal creatures get a 4d8 slam.

Special attack damage is to be increased to an acceptable level if it seems too low using additional rules in the book. It also gets one new special attack, Word of the Apocalypse. Once per day in a 400 foot + 400 feet per HD radius, this attack automatically kills up to one creature per HD that fails a Will save (10 + 1/2 HD + Charisma). Any creature that makes this ludicrous save (or is immune to death effects) still takes (10% of the creature's HD)d8 in sonic damage!

Naturally, something this deadly needs a host of resistances to keep those lucky shots from bringing it down. So, it gets DR/- equal to 1/3 it HD, SR equal to 10+1/3 its HD, and immunity to mind-affecting spells, stunning, paralysis, disease, death by massive damage, ability drain, acid, cold, electricity, and fire damage. It also gets divine rejuvenation 3 times a day, letting it heal to full as a standard action with no attack of opportunity, just to make it seem like your efforts were completely useless.

As far as saves and stats go, it gets a divine bonus to saves equal to 5% HD and to ability scores equal to 10% HD. Naturally, its CR balloons into the stratosphere, with a +15 modifier plus 10% of its HD (seeing a pattern here?). It also drops triple loot.

The two example terrors are a titan and a hell hound, coming in at CR 56 and 22, respectively.

Also, if I'm figuring this out correctly, an apocalyptic housecat would have 10d12 HD, AC 25, and would be CR 16...the template does say it works better on mid to high HD monsters...

Arcane Servitor

Applies to any creature capable of using magic

After that last one, I think I need something a little more tame. An arcane servitor is a magic-using creature that has made itself more magical...


"ahem" Sorry about that. This template is pretty straightforward, it gives an extra use of every spell-like and supernatural ability the creature has, plus one more per 4 HD. It also gets Read Magic, Mage Armor and Detect Magic at will, along with SR equal to 10+HD, along with all Knowledge skills trained .

The really mind-blowing powers come from the fact that it gets sorcerer casting equal to 1/2 HD and total arcane spell immunity to any spell a caster of it's HD in levels or lower could cast. It should go without saying that these powers in tandem in 3.5 can make life difficult for any party bereft of martial attackers. A +2 to both Intelligence and Charisma makes sure that the creature can use the casting it receives. The example creature, a lillend, seems to present a quite worthy foe at its new CR of 9.

Now for the bad news. Any PC wishing to get some free casting will be saddled with a +4 LA for their hubris. Not only does this diminish the casting the template would give, it also slows down the character's other abilities in relation to the party. Arcane Servitor does seem to work best as something to put on monsters to give them a bit more punch (metaphysically speaking).

Whew! That got crazy for a second. Next time, defenders of the faith, animals both leaders of the pack and paragons of the species, and a special something if you've ever wanted an owlbear with machetes for arms.

2010-09-02, 10:37 AM
Oh dear, how did I miss this thread? I feel rather bad now...

It is worthy of note that in the Deluxe Edition 3.5 version of the Book of Templates, the Abyssal template is not present (I imagine they couldn't squeeze it in between the heaps of other templates) and the Fallen Angel and War Angel templates are renamed Fallen and War Aspect respectively, presumably to note that they aren't angel-specific. Indeed, the War Aspect is even less inclusive than you wanted for the War Angel; in that version, any outsider can take the template, so you can have war aspects for all the outsider spectrums.

Anyway, I'll be watching this thread advance from now on.

2010-09-02, 02:53 PM
That Apocalyptic template seems a bit odd, though thinking about it using a tribe of Apocalyptic Orcs as footsoldiers of the badguys for a high level party to fight through would be neat.

Also, based on some of the other entries I'm surprised they made aberrant so open and pick and choosy. I wonder why they didn't break it into multiple templates considering just how much stuff there is.