View Full Version : Template: the way i see a lycanthrope (PEACH)

2007-12-14, 02:12 PM
Wild Avatar

—Stares silently from the shadowy undergrowth, restless and hungry—
-Omen, the godblooded wolf spirit


Some speculate that the wild avatars are the adolescent offspring of powerful spirits of the land. Others say that they are lycanthropes, and nothing more. A wild avatar is related to both in a way, and in fact, it may have been a corrupted avatar that first gave way to the natural lycanthrope breeds. They are fey, creations of the wild, protectors of the wilderness and its inhabitants. They come in many forms, all of them animals or beasts of some sort, and the majority of them are carnivorous, and the ones that aren’t are at least fiercely omnivorous.

Like a lycanthrope, a wild avatar can change its form back and forth between a humanoid shape and an animal or beast shape. Unlike a lycanthrope however, a wild avatar actually becomes the animal or beast that it has been bound to. They lack an infectious bite (unless it is venomous, or merely foul-mouthed), and cannot inflict any form of lycanthrope on its victims.

They are possessed not only of an affinity to certain animals, but also to certain temperaments and elements, all of which create an intricate, primordial being. But unlike some other nature spirits, a wild avatar is rarely bound to a specific location or landmark. They are free to roam, to pick up and move on to tend other areas. This freedom has given them a flexibility that is greatly desired among the often-bound elemental and fey spirits of the pristine wilderness.

A wild avatar is usually found within mixed company; they work closely under more powerful wild creatures such as spirits of the land, elemental creatures, druids, and the fey courts. They take their path seriously and defend their charges with a feral strength.

Wild avatars are created when the spirits of nature bless the birth of a humanoid creature with the ability to shift forms and call on the powers of the land. The gift is paid for by the service and protection of the magical beast from that time on. Though rare, it has happened on occasion that a wild avatar turned from its nature and became a tool of pure destruction, obliterating nature and those who would have been its allies as surely as anything else. Such abominations are usually called corrupt avatars, are generally loners, and hunted down vigorously by others of their kind, to be taken from their miserable and misguided existence as quickly as possible. There have been rumours though, of whole packs of corrupt avatars, allied to undead and aberrations, whose goals have become the destruction of life, and the sacrifice to elder powers.

With the might of the natural world flowing in their veins, wild avatars find the path of the druid, the ranger, and the scout to be most fulfilling and empowering. But many of them serve in other rolls. Wild avatars have even been known to follow the way of the wizard or warlock on occasion. Whatever they are and whatever their method, the goal is the same: to protect and encourage the life of the wild world.

Wild avatar is an inherited template that can be added to any humanoid (referred to hereafter as the base creature). While inherited, the effects of the template may not show up in the individual creature for quite some time, generally with the onset of puberty or the initiation into a path of magic or other supernatural study, which tends to accelerate the changes.

A wild avatar creature uses all of the base creature’s statistics and abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type: A wild avatar remains the same size, becomes the Magical Beast type, and gains the Shapechanger subtype. Do not recalculate the creature’s hit points, skill points, BAB, or Base Save Bonuses to reflect its change to Magical Beast; all changes will be noted below. The wild avatar takes on the characteristics of some type of carnivorous or omnivorous animal, or dire animal (referred to hereafter as the base animal). This animal can be any kind of carnivore or omnivore, whether a hunter, a scavenger, a forager, etc, but must be within two size categories of the base creature. Wild avatars can also adopt a hybrid form that combines the features of both the base animal and the base creature, and is the same size as the base animal or base creature, whichever is larger.

It is worth noting that very rarely a wild avatar has been created by the spirits of nature, bound to a type of beast or vermin rather than an animal. A few of the better known examples are the wild avatar ankhegs, monstrous centipedes, and spiders that have shown up throughout history.

A wild avatar uses either the base animal’s or the base creature’s statistics and special abilities in addition to those noted here.

Hit Dice and Hit Points: Same as the base creature, plus the base animal. To calculate total hit points, apply Constitution modifiers according to the score the wild avatar has in both forms.

Speed: Depending on which form the avatar is in. Base creature’s speed remains unchanged. The wild avatar’s base animal form gains a +20-foot speed bonus to all forms of movement. Hybrid form uses the better of the base animal’s (original) or the base creature's movement types and speed (so a wild avatar human-crocodile would gain a 30-foot movement speed and a 30-foot swim speed in hybrid form).

Armor Class: The base creature’s Armor Class increases by a +5 natural armor bonus in all forms. In hybrid form, the avatar uses the (adjusted) Armor Class of the base animal +2.

Base Attack/Grapple: Add the Base Attack Bonus for both the base creature and the base animal. The wild avatar’s grapple uses Base Attack Bonus, plus Strength, and size modifiers, depending on which of the three forms they are in at the time.

Attacks: Same as the base creature, or base animal, dependant on which form the avatar is using. The hybrid form uses all of the attacks of the base animal, calculated to size, and at one damage category higher (as if the Improved Natural Attack feat had been applied).

Special Attacks: A wild avatar retains all of the special qualities of the base creature, and gains the following special abilities.

Blood Offering (Su): Every time the wild avatar injures a foe for the first time in combat, when on any natural terrain (earth, sea, or sky, but not stone flooring, worked tunnel, wooden planking, etc) it becomes hasted as the spell (caster level equals total Hit Dice) until the end of its next turn.

Eyes of the Predator (Su): As a swift action each round, a wild avatar can use a gaze attack that freezes a creature in its tracks in sudden distraction and unease. This attack does not affect everyone within range as a normal gaze attack—only the creature who the wild avatar is actively targeting. The foe must roll a Will save (DC is Charisma-based) or have his movement checked for one round. All other rules and options for gaze attacks apply. Normally ‘checked’ is a condition brought about by a physical blow or push; here it is the effect brought on as the wild avatar forces the foe to stutter and pause as it rethinks its choice of action. This is not a fear affect, but is mind-affecting.

Savage Scream (Ex): The wild avatar manifests the strength of the wild in its war cries, whether a howl, a roar, a screech, or even a hoot. As a standard action, it can give a thunderous war cry that strikes terror into the hearts of its enemies and bolsters its allies’ morale. Any time a wild avatar sounds a war cry, all of its allies within 30 feet gain a +2 morale bonus to attacks and saves for one round, while any enemy within 60 feet must roll a Will save (DC is Charisma-based) or be shaken with fear for one round. In addition to being shaken, the enemy must now make saves against subsequent war cries, by the same wild avatar or another, at a +2 DC in order to resist the fear effect. The second time that a foe is shaken, it must save against subsequent war cries (now at a +4 DC) or it will flee the scene in fright; it will remain frightened for one round per Hit Dice of the wild avatar. If unable to flee the radius of the war cry, the foe will cower in fear for one round, after which time it will be shaken for one round per Hit Dice of the wild avatar, and be subject to further frightening or cowering effects. This special ability is only available for creatures whose base animal has a means of vocalization. This is an ability that wild avatars take advantage of when using pack tactics. On almost every round where at least two or three of them are fighting together, one of the wild avatars will take the time needed to sound a booming war cry. Even if one avatar is fighting in mixed company, it will aid its fellows with the war cry as often as is reasonable.

Spells: A wild avatar casts spells as a 4th level druid (giving it 5/3/2 spells per day).

Spell-like Abilities: At will—camouflage, pass without a trace*, summon nature’s ally I*; 3/day—cure moderate wounds, wood wose*; 1/day—animal messenger, endure elements, greater magic fang*; 1/week—primeval movement (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66496). The caster level is equal to Hit Dice, and the save DC is Charisma-based.

* Spells and spell-like abilities with a divine focus component are ritual in nature, and require the wild avatar to spill onto natural earth (unspoiled water can work for underwater creatures) 1 hit point worth of blood for each level of the spell. Though this blood does not necessarily have to be the avatar’s own, it cannot be part of its own attack or an enemy’s attack, another sacrifice, or any unrelated incident or activity; it must be spilt intentionally by the avatar with the purpose of enacting the ritual.

Special Qualities: A wild avatar retains all of the special qualities of the base creature, and gains the following special abilities.

Alternate Form (Su): As a standard action, a wild avatar may shift into its humanoid form, its base animal form, or its hybrid form, as though using the polymorph self spell on itself. Its gear is not affected, and it does not regain hit points for changing form. Only the specific base creature, base animal, and hybrid form indicated for the animal can be assumed. It does not assume the ability scores of the animal, but instead adds the values listed below under the Abilities heading to its own ability scores. The hybrid form is bipedal, animal-featured, and has prehensile hands with opposable thumbs (if base creature had opposable thumbs) that can grasp tools and weapons.

The base animal form of the wild avatar is now its “natural” form. It is considered an intelligent, magical form of whatever beast or animal it once was. A slain wild avatar reverts to its base animal form, although it remains dead. Separated body parts remain in whatever form the wild avatar was in when slain.

Damage Reduction (Ex): A wild avatar has damage reduction 10/silver in any form.

Darkvison (Ex): A wild avatar has darkvision out to 60 feet in all forms.

Fast Heal (Ex): A wild avatar heals 2 hit points naturally every round.

Foul Descent (Ex): A wild avatar is a spirit of nature, a protector of the pristine and wild places. The stench of civilization, of dark magic, felled lumber, oily smoke, and unnatural chemicals slowly kills its primeval spirit. Wild avatars are harmed as much by the negative auras of the undead and the negative energy plane as they are the choking stink of urban development. The dangerous energies of such areas drive it to extremes of rage and depression. For the first hour of such exposure, a wild avatar is stirred up by a furious wrath that gives it various benefits in social and combat situations as described below. After that first hour though, the rage gutters to smoldering embers as the heavy weight of despair and apathy set in, and the wild avatar must roll a Fortitude save (DC depends on the nature and strength of the blight) every day of continued exposure or suffer one negative level. Once removed from the blight, a wild avatar regains negative levels at the rate of one per day. For this reason, wild avatars avoid civilization and its filth except when they are conducting their stealthy guerilla assaults.

The effects of the wild avatar’s rage during the first hour of exposure to the ailing blight of civilization or negative energy:

{table=head]Source|Examples|Fortitude DC|Wrath

Trivial|Farmhouse; significant heap of trash; seagoing ship; cleared or blighted copse or small pond; adjacent to a zombie|

Minor|Small village; cleared or blighted acre, large pond, or small lake; site of a recent raise the dead spell; adjacent to a wraith or ghoul|
+2 Intimidate rolls

Moderate|City; factory; landfill; cleared or blighted local wilderness, such as a glen or lake; adjacent to a ghost or vampire|
+4 Intimidate, +2 damage rolls

Aggravating|Metropolis; cleared or blighted major ecosystem, such as a mountain range or forest; within the radius of an unhallow spell; adjacent to a banshee or demilich|
+6 Intimidate rolls, +3 damage rolls, +2 temporary hit points per HD, -2 Will saves

Overwhelming|Mechanus or the Negative Energy Plane; within the radius of an unholy blight spell; adjacent to a gravewyrm or atropal|
+8 Intimidate rolls, +4 damage rolls, +4 temporary hit points per HD, -4 Will saves [/table]

Low-Light Vision (Ex): A wild avatar has the low-light ability in any form.

Scent (Ex): A wild avatar has the Scent ability in any form.

Wild Empathy (Ex): In any form, a wild avatar can communicate and empathize with any animal, beast, or dire animal related to his base animal form. This gives them a +4 racial bonus on checks when influencing the animal’s attitude, and allows the communication of simple ideas, and (if friendly) commands, such as ‘friend’, ‘foe’, ‘attack’, ‘flee’, etc.

Wild Stride (Ex): A wild avatar may move freely through natural terrain, and through any kind of natural undergrowth unhindered, as if it possessed both the flawless stride and woodland stride abilities.

Wilting Soul (Ex): A wild avatar is the embodiment of nature and creation, and is vulnerable to dark magic and polluting artificiality. It suffers a -2 penalty to all saving throws against such effects as the ones listed above in the foul descent ability, and to all negative energy effects, and artificial toxins and acids. In addition, all variable, numeric effects are considered Empowered (as the metamagic feat) against the wild avatar. The foul descent ability is an extension of this ability, and thusly does not need a further modification to saving throws, etc.

Base Save Bonuses: Add the Base Save Bonuses of the base animal to those of the base creature for total.

Abilities: In any form, a wild avatar gains a +2 bonus to Wisdom and Charisma. When in animal or hybrid form, a wild avatar’s physical ability scores improve according to its kind. These adjustments are equal to the base animal’s normal ability scores -10 if even, or -11 if odd (Example: a creature whose base animal has a Constitution of 23 would add +12 to its Constitution score in animal and hybrid form). In addition, a wild avatar gains a +4 bonus to his Strength score in hybrid form, and a +4 bonus to his Dexterity score in his animal form. A wild avatar may gain another ability score increase by virtue of its increased Hit Dice.

Skills: A wild avatar gains skill points equal to (2+Int modifier, minimum) per Hit Dice of its base animal form, as if it had multiclassed into that animal type (Animal is never its first Hit Dice though, and it does not therefore gain quadruple skill points for any animal Hit Dice). Any skills given in the base animal’s description are class skills for the wild avatar’s animal levels. In any form, the wild avatar has both the base creature and the base animal’s racial skill bonuses, although conditional skill bonuses apply only in the associated form.

Language: A wild avatar can articulate the humanoid and other languages it knows even in animal form, and can manage the base animal’s methods of vocal communication with extreme effort. Each attempt to communicate in such a way requires a standard action. A wild avatar’s hybrid form has no problems with any of its humanoid or animal languages and can speak and cast without hindrance.

Feats: Add the base animal’s feats to the base creature’s feats. If this results in the wild avatar having the same feat twice, it gains no additional benefit unless the feat can normally be taken more than once, in which case the feats work normally. This process may give the wild avatar more feats than a character of its total Hit Dice would normally be entitled to; if this occurs, any ‘extra’ feats are denoted as (B) bonus feats.

It is possible that a wild avatar cannot meet the prerequisites for all of its feats when in a certain form. If this occurs, the wild avatar still has the feats, but cannot use them when in said form.

A wild avatar gains Dodge, Endurance, Improved Toughness, Iron Will, and Natural Spell as (B) bonus feats. Natural Spell in this case works for the avatar’s alternate form (though all spells take at least a standard action to pronounce in this form) and any wildshape ability it might later pick up through druid levels.

Environment: Same as the base creature or base animal.

Organization: Solitary, pair, or pack (3-6).

Challenge Rating: By class level or base creature, modified according to the Hit Dice of the base animal: 1 HD to 2 HD, +3; 3 HD to 5 HD, +4; 6 HD to 10 HD, +5; 11 HD to 20 HD, +6; 20 HD or more, +7.

Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +8. In addition, a wild avatar’s character level is increased by the number of racial Hit Dice of the base animal.

Treasure: Standard

Alignment: Any. Wild avatars tend towards neutral as they follow the animalistic sides of their nature. Though they make the protection and reverence of nature their highest regard, they come in all shades of alignment.

Advancement: Character class.

Editing purposes:
• Balanced?
• Overall clear?
• Fluffy-goodness?
• Clear that avatar is discouraged by both artificial, wild-bane, civilization-type effects, and entropic, life-sucking, neg-plane effects?
• Foul descent table clear?
• War cry effect clear?
• am not sure if flawless stride (scout) already encompasses woodland stride (druid/ranger) or not
• Sure there is something else…

2007-12-14, 02:28 PM
wow, ok, who here is really good at the tables? i might need to email someone what the table is supposed to look like. sigh. these are the times when i wish that i could just cut-n-paste, or that i was really computer savy.

anyway, thanks.

EDIT: fixed it. bout time too...

2007-12-15, 07:06 PM
hey guys, i know it is long, but i would really like some feedback on this. specifically, does +8 LA seem to high. at first i thought it was just right, but now i am beginning to wonder. i feel confident about the CR adjustment, but could use some critique there too. i also need some table-making genius to help me out wi the foul descent table.

but make no mistake, mostly i just want some feedback.

thanks, aaron out.

brian c
2007-12-15, 07:13 PM
Eh... anything with LA higher than about 3 is almost never going to be used by a PC anyway. If it's a monster make it a monster, but if it's supposed to be playable then LA can't be that high. From my skimming over it though, it would need to have a very high LA (8 sounds about right; like I said, no one is going to take it with high LA so it doesn't matter exactly)

Lord Tataraus
2007-12-15, 07:45 PM
Wow...that is really powerful, I have no idea how this is a lycanthrope, but it's not my place to argue with you. I'd increase racial hit dice to double base creature or if you don't want to do that increase LA to +9 or +10 but that might be a bit much, seriously this is really powerful. Though, I might not be too good at judging high level stuff. Also, the low-end CRs are a bit too low.

If you still need help making tables, you can PM or email me (lordtataraus@gmail.com) with your info tonight or tomorrow and I'll get it to you as soon as I can.

2007-12-24, 12:08 AM
i've been moving across the country for the last week, and so haven't had time to post.

thanks for the info.

the la is high on purpose. this is not a template i had imagined characters taking unless we were epic. this was specifically for two npcs in the game i am running. one is wolf-born, the other bear-born.

there will later be atagonists with the template, and they are supposed to be powerful--hopefully enough to frighten the players.

2007-12-24, 12:45 AM
If for NPCs then it is very well done, cool fluff

2008-07-07, 08:49 PM
ok, i went through and fixed some of the abilities, finally gave it a table that worked, and added the portrait.

comments, thoughts, rants?

2008-07-08, 08:46 AM
I just looked at this. Interesting. I'll have to look at it some more before I can give you any useful opinion.


2008-07-08, 09:05 AM
It's cool but I frankly don't see how a PC could ever use it. The +8 LA AND the animals hit dice would send their ECL through the roof.

2008-07-08, 09:31 AM
thanks for the replies. notice that the LA issue has already been resolved. it's not meant to be a viable player option unless you're running gestalt or a nifty epic campaign. however, as an npc option, it has been pretty fun. and now i am actually thinking about trying one as a pc in a higher level pbp gestalt game, which means that sooner or later i will have to start looking at the new threads in the recruiting forum again.

2008-07-08, 11:30 AM
I like it. I would use it as a possible druid summoned creature.

I don't like the frequency of the saves vs negative levels. I'd make them easier to beat and make them 1/week. I'd also have the creature recover a negative level per 24hrs they spend in animal form.
Some small human habitations are little more complicated than a wolf den especially with medieval technology. There should be some level where the human\animal creature accepts the human need for shelter. It should have a reaction to cities and filth though.

I don't care about the LA because I see this sort of like a summoned woodland avenger.


2008-07-08, 01:15 PM
I like it. I would use it as a possible druid summoned creature.

I don't like the frequency of the saves vs negative levels. I'd make them easier to beat and make them 1/week. I'd also have the creature recover a negative level per 24hrs they spend in animal form.
Some small human habitations are little more complicated than a wolf den especially with medieval technology. There should be some level where the human\animal creature accepts the human need for shelter. It should have a reaction to cities and filth though.

I don't care about the LA because I see this sort of like a summoned woodland avenger.


some cool ideas. in particular, as far as the bolded section goes, there is wiggle room for the avatar within small areas of tech/civilization. notice that the first level, labelled trivial, requires no will save. it is an irritant, but one that is easily overcome. thus, wolf-avatar omen might really be uncomfortable and restless within his own little cabin on the lake, and would rather be out roaming the woods, but he still spends time there with his human wife and sextuplets (example; omen doesn't really have a cabin, a wife, or sextuplets). once he decides to go into town for supplies, though, he needs to start rolling those saves unless he is there for under an hour--an hour in which if he does not control himself, might drive him to berserk violence.

i don't like too much the idea of increasing the interval of will saves, though i am willing to listen to further arguments. partially due to the idea that an avatar or pack of avatar should be focusing on skirmishing missions and guerilla warfare within blighted areas, rather than prolonged campaigns in the areas, and partially (mostly) because it fits the flavor better in my opinion. also, if it were less often, it would hardly be a drawback. i can imagine an avatar wasting away over the period of a few weeks (say, 10-15 level drops within a two-week period) if it consistently fails its saves. a tougher beast might be able to hold on for a month or two, and an epic avatar might last close to a year, but they would all eventually succumb unless they left the blighted area.

imagine the poor avatar being imprisoned in an area like that.

2008-07-09, 03:03 PM
i don't like too much the idea of increasing the interval of will saves, though i am willing to listen to further arguments. partially due to the idea that an avatar or pack of avatar should be focusing on skirmishing missions and guerilla warfare within blighted areas, rather than prolonged campaigns in the areas, and partially (mostly) because it fits the flavor better in my opinion.

I see what you mean but I think there is another role for a creature like this. A creature more resistant to human cities might actively work to further their decay.

Perhaps a different approach?

Two cases.

In your example an avatar is only clothed as a humanoid but remains an animal underneath. This animal needs the world of nature to survive and stay alive. Animal to Human Guise

In a second case a humanoid is discarded by civilization and saved by nature. This is not the guerrilla but the turncoat. Humans are nature too and sometimes the very rare among us remember that. They are weaker lycanthropes than the above but more adaptive inside of human settlements.

Human to Animal Guise

Neither type chooses to like the other but they recognize their bond. Sort of like a Wolf vs. a German Sheppard.

What ya think?

2008-07-09, 05:03 PM
i'm interested in hearing more about it. i am having a hard time understanding what the playable differences would be--are you talking different mechanics as well as fluff, or the same creature (same stats), but different fluff?