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metalshop
2007-12-16, 01:20 AM
This is a new creature template I whipped up today while making the annual X-mas pilgrimage through the airport.
It's from a campaign world I'm working on.

Any comments welcome.

Pandoran Creature.

A Pandoran creature is one who has been tainted by the transformative influences of Pandora's Plague. They become stronger, faster, and gain access to magical abilities, but they also become dangerously unstable. Many Pandorans become violent and irrational. Eventually, as their physical body changes to become monstrous, their minds also succumb and they become nothing more then a predator, hungry for blood.

Alignment Shift: When the template is first applied they must make a DC 19 Will save or have their alignment permanently shift one step towards chaos or one step towards evil (DM's choice). This may only be reversed with a Wish, Miracle, or Atonement spell. The strength of the taint increases as their own personal power increases so they must repeat this save every 4 levels, with a cumulative +4 increase to the DC.

Relations with other Races: While Pandorans are feared and loathed, there are no overt external physical changes occur until the change is quite far advanced, so many low-level Pandoran's pose as ordinary members of their race, passing off their abilities as spells or the effects of magic items. When their nature becomes known they are almost universally shunned, since even the most noble Pandoran will almost always eventually succumb to the darkness growing within them.

Appearance: Initially the only change to their appearance is easy to pass off as the effect of training. Their muscles become more defined and they look extremely physically fit. As the taint progresses however, their eyes change color, becoming a dark purple. After that their skin becomes either grey or purple, their nails and teeth elongate, their hair falls out or turns white, and they grow taller. These changes only occur when they gain an ability.

Variant Rule: Hidden Pandorans. The DM may chose to use hidden pandorans instead. For whatever reason (perhaps deliberate alteration, perhaps natural resistance, the visible effects of the change are almost invisible in a hidden Pandoran. They appear as a normal member of their race, though a Sense Motive check (against the Pandoran's Bluff check, on which the Pandoran receives a penalty of half their level) or a Knowledge (anatomy) check DC 19-1 per two levels of the Pandoran, will reveal that something is off. This option should never be available to the PC's and is intended for evil NPCs and BBEGs. Add +1 to the Pandoran's level adjust.

Game Rules:

Hit dice improve one step. D4s become d6's, d6's become d10's, d10's become d12's, etc.

Str +2, Dex +2, Con +2, Cha -2. Pandoran's are in every way physically superior to other members of their race but their aggressive and impatient temperaments make them difficult to get along with.

DR 5/Cold Iron. A Pandoran's flesh becomes leathery and durable.

Special Quality: When the template is first applied, the creature gains one special quality from the following list. Additionally, they gain a new one every four levels (whenever they must make the Save against alignment shift, regardless of wether they succeed or fail.) Each ability may only be chosen once.

Reconstructive Flesh: The Pandoran gains fast healing, recovering a number of hit points equal to their Con bonus every round. This effect increases as their Con increases, but only counts bonuses from natural sources (leveling up and templates). Bonuses from spells and equipment to not alter it. Appearance Shift: Their blood become a dark inky purple and thickens to the consistency of syrup, though this does not adversely affect them.

Durable Hide: The Pandoran's DR increases by an amount equal to their Con bonus. This effect increases as their Con increases, but only counts bonuses from natural sources (leveling up and templates). Bonuses from spells and equipment to not alter it. Appearance Shift: Their skin gradually becomes purple (if it was originally dark) or grey (if it was originally light).

Blinding Speed: The Pandoran may cast Haste, Swift (as per the Spell Compendium, p. 110.) a number of times a day equal to their Dex bonus. They may omit the verbal component in favor of a somatic one. This effect increases as their Dex increases, but only counts bonuses from natural sources (leveling up and templates). Bonuses from spells and equipment to not alter it. Appearance Shift: Their limbs and torso elongate. If they do not already have Boundless Capacity their shoulders and torso become sleeker and more aerodynamic.

Vicious Strike: The Pandoran gains a sneak attack of 1d6 per two points of Dex bonus. This attack increases as their Str increases, but only counts bonuses from natural sources (leveling up and templates). Bonuses from spells and equipment to not alter it. If the Pandoran has a sneak attack from another source, such as rogue levels, the two of them stack. Appearance Shift: Nails and teeth grow long and sharp.

Brutal Strike: The Pandoran gains a natural attack whose die size is equal to double their Str bonus rounded down to make it even. (+2=d4, +3=6, +4=d8, +5=d10, +6=d12.) This attack increases as their Str increases, but only counts bonuses from natural sources (leveling up and templates). Bonuses from spells and equipment to not alter it. This attack deals lethal damage and may be used in conjunction with their sneak attack. If they already receive a lethal unarmed attack from another source (monk levels, improved unarmed attack, etc.) the die is simply added as bonus damage. Appearance Shift: Their fists and feet grow larger.

Boundless Capacity: The Pandoran's carrying capacity (light. medium, heavy carry weights) increases by 20 for every point of Str bonus. This effect increases as their Str increases, but only counts bonuses from natural sources (leveling up and templates). Bonuses from spells and equipment to not alter it. Appearance Shift: Cords of muscle and sinew stand out, bulging abnormally. If they do not already have Blinding Speed, their shoulders and torso become thicker.

Note: It is up to the DM's discretion how quickly the changes manifest themselves.

Level Adjustment: +3? [Not sure about this at all. Are these abilities too powerful? Anything with this template is supposed to be a serious badass.]

I will probably edit this later and add in more penalties to diplomacy and peaceful interaction, to represent the fear and loathing which society directs towards Pandorans.

Lemme know what you think!