Bugbear in the Playground
Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!
Creature of Legend
Prestige/Template Monster Class
Monster Manual II
To become a Creature of Legend, a creature must fulfill the following requirements:
- 4 or more HD.
- At least one level in a monster class.
- Any creature type but humanoid (Monstrous humanoid is ok), undead, construct, ooze or swarm.
- Must have defeated an opponent of a CR greater than one's own HD in single combat, without the intervention of allies.
The DM is encouraged to use his or her own discretion in interpreting whether the potential Creature of Legend had 'assistance'. In general, one or two borrowed pieces of equipment or any spells/effects that would last for a week or longer (such as a persisted magic fang) are not considered assistance, nor is having allies keep lesser minions of your opponent at bay. Conversely, examples such as allies actively contributing with short term buffs before the battle, flanking, adding debuffs to the opponent, controlling the battlefield or helping to damage the opponent would be considered interference and would void the possibility of that encounter allowing entry to this class.
|1st||+0||+0*||+0*||+0*|| Body of Legend, Fabled Strength, Fabled Power|
|2nd||+1||+0*||+0*||+0*|| Legendary Strength, Legendary Power |
4+Int per level
Class Skill Skills
: As Base Creature
: Creatures of Legend do not gain any new proficiencies.
Body of Legend
: Unlike other monster classes, the creature's original racial traits are retained. The Creature of Legend gains Outsider traits, if it did not already have them, with the augmented subtype if necessary. Their native plane is the plane they call home.
Creatures of Legend are touched by a great power, removing many of their minor imperfections and creating some aesthetic changes (it might grow decorative horns, patterns on its hide, scales or skin, glowing eyes). There is no mechanical benefit to these aesthetic changes.
A creature of legend has an added +1 Natural AC (this stacks) for every two HD they have, and good save progression for the saving throw of the player's choice.
Further, for every 3HD the creature has in total, pick one material: the creature's natural attacks are considered to be forged of any and all of the listed materials for the purposes of bypassing DR. Alternately, the player may elect to be able to deal standard damage to incorporeal opponents with their natural attacks, or take a +1 bonus on attack rolls.
For every 5HD the creature has, pick one of the four alignments (Good, Evil, Law, Chaos): the creature's attacks (note: not just natural attacks) are considered to be of that alignment for the purposes of bypassing DR and other defenses.
: Creatures of Legend are blessed with an increasing number of special qualities, as the powers that be take more notice of them. With the first level in this class, the creature may select one of these powers. This choice is made once and requires a limited wish, miracle or true wish to change:
- Enhanced power for each of the creature's special attacks and spell like abilities, increasing the DCs by +1, +1 for every 8HD of the creature.
- Fast Healing equal to 1/2 the creature's HD.
- Greater damage for each of the creature's natural attacks, causing them to deliver damage as if they were increased in step by one size category.
- Immunities to two of the following: acid, electricity, fire, cold, poison or polymorphing. You may take this ability a second time, choosing 2 additional things from the list.
- Immunity to Mind Affecting effects.
- Reflective hide, causing the creature to be affected by a continuous effect not dissimilar to the spell 'Spell Turning'. At the beginning of each encounter, a DM should roll 1d3 and consult the table below, following the appropriate column for your d3 result and current HD:
This is determines the efficacy of the effect for the duration of the encounter, and the result should be kept private from the player. The reflectiveness of the hide doesn't decrease as the creature absorbs spells as it does with Spell Turning. The effect works only on spells that have you as a target, and reflects them back on the caster. In the event of spells that are of a higher level than whatever value you obtained at the beginning of the encounter, the damage is divided appropriately between you and your opponent. Similarly, if you are targeted by an effect that doesn't deal damage, roll a 1d100 to determine whether it affects you or your opponents, with the values above in mind. (ie. If you had a 6 and your opponent cast an 8th level spell at you, you'd reflect 6/8 (or 3/4, 75%) of the effects back at the caster.)
|HD||1 (on 1d3)||2 (on 1d3)||3 (on 1d3)|
Alternately, pick two of the following:
- Increased damage for each of your natural attacks, as listed above, but only if you have & can obtain 2 or less such attacks. If you gain more natural attacks at a later date, the other choice made her becomes void. (ie. If you have 2 claw attacks and pick this option + flight, you lose flight if & when you gained a bite attack.)
- DR/material, with the material being iron, silver or adamantium, equal to 1/2 the Creature's HD. If a Creature already has DR from other sources, increase it by +5.
- SR equal to 11+HD. If a Creature already has SR from other sources, increase it by +5.
- All seeing, allowing the creature to see invisible foes and see in even magical darkness. Increase the range of the creature's vision by 50%.
- The creature grows a pair of wings, giving it flight equal to 150% of its base land speed at average maneuverability. If the creature already has wings, it grows an additional, matching pair, giving them additional flight speed of +10' per 5HD, one step of increased maneuverability and their choice of one of the following feats: Hover or Wingover (SRD) or Aerial Reflexes, Aerial Superiority, Born Flyer, Diving Charge, Flyby Attack, Improved Flight or Winged Warrior (Races of the Wild).
At second level, the Creature of Legend is enhanced by the power that thrums through them. Any DR becomes DR/-, they gain +10' to each mode of movement available to them, and the Creature of Legend's statistics are increased: The CoL gets +4 to its lowest ability score (Or +2 to two ability scores tied for last place) and the player's choice of +1 to three different attributes or +2 to a single attribute.
: A second level Creature of Legend is truly awe inspiring, and bards will tell tales of how it has abilities not seen in others of its kind. The player may select one additional Fabled Power as listed above and one Legendary Power chosen from the list below (This choice is permanent, but may be altered with a limited wish, miracle, wish):
- Breath Weapon - The Creature of Legend can exhale a terrible breath weapon, scouring flesh from their foes. The breath weapon is a cone extending 30 feet in front of the Creature, delivering 1d6 damage/HD, with a reflex save (DC 10 + ½ CoL's HD + CoL's Con bonus). The Creature may choose one of the following damage types (Fire, Lightning, Acid, Cold) or select a rarer damage type (Sound, Force) with the damage reduced to 1d4/HD. Once the choice of damage type is made, it is permanent. Once the breath weapon is used, the Creature of Legend must wait 1d4 rounds to use it again.
Advancement: The range of this attack increases by 5' for every two HD of the creature and the Creature of Legend may select one metabreath feat for every 8HD it has.
- Frightful Presence - When the Creature of Legend makes a loud sound (roar, growl, or other sound appropriate to its form), it inspires terror in all creatures within 20' that have a CR lower than it's own HD. Each potentially affected opponent must make a Will save (DC is 10 + ½ CoL's HD + CoL's Cha bonus) or become shaken. A foe that fails by 4 or more is Frightened, and a creature that fails by 8 or more is Panicked. If a creature fails multiple subsequent saves, their condition worsens by a minimum of one step. Once a foe has successfully saved against the effect they are immune for the remainder of the day.
Advancement: The range increases by 10' for every five HD of the Creature. At 12HD, the creature's roar vibrates with raw power. Treat this as a standard action, with the radius and DC listed above. Foes in the area must make a save as normal, but foes who would normally be immune by virtue of being mindless must make an initiative roll to oppose the check or take no actions that turn, as their senses are overwhelmed by the sheer presence of their foe. Once a foe has been affected by this, they cannot be affected again that encounter.
- Poison - Venom seeps and pools down from between the Creature of Legend's teeth in a caustic drool. If it does not already have a bite attack, it gains one dealing 1d4+½ Str damage, with the attack damage scaling upwards or downwards for every size category the creature is larger or smaller than medium. The creature delivers a poison with any successful bites. The poison is Injury based and deals 1d6 Str damage in initial and secondary damage. The DC is equal to 10 + ½ CoL's HD + CoL's Con bonus. In the event that the creature already has a way of delivering another kind of poison via. natural attack, they may add this poison to that natural attack instead.
Advancement: For every 4HD after 4th, the venoms of the Creature of Legend becomes that much more terrible. Pick one of the following:
- The save DC increases by +2
- The poison inflicts +2 Str damage as part of the initial and secondary effects.
- The poison is corrosive and reduces opponents' AC by 1d4 on a successful attack with your bite. To undo the effect, the armor must be repaired (for removable armor) or healed like ability damage (for natural armor).
- The bite damage is considered to be vile damage and 1/3rd of the Str is ability drain, instead (round up). Choosing this option multiple times adds +1d4 vile damage to the bite and makes an added one third of the Str into ability drain.
- The poison inflicts a negative level as secondary damage.
- The poison is so potent it will even affect creatures that would normally be immune, sapping whatever kinds of energy sustain the creature, even negative or magical energies. Golems, undead and creatures that are normally immune to poison are affected. Such creatures take half the ability damage they normally would.
- The poison persists in the victim's system for long durations, acting much like a disease. After the secondary damage, the victim must make another saving throw every minute. Failure means they take ability damage again. Two successful saves against the poison (including initial and secondary damage) means the victim has successfully shaken off the poison's effect.
- Raging Blood - When the Creature of Legend is damaged by a piercing or slashing weapon, elementally infused blood splashes onto its opponents in a 5' cone, dealing 1d4 elemental damage (Fire, Cold, Electric or Acid - this choice is made once and applies thereafter.
In addition, the storm of energy surging through the Creature of Legend makes it nigh unstoppable. The Creature of Legend gains one Raging Blood Surge that it may expend to bypass the effects of a failed save or to bypass an obstacle (such as a force cage, a pit, or a cliff). When this ability is triggered, requiring a standard action, the Creature of Legend enters a rage, shaking off the spell or ability effect or using a demonstration of elemental strength to tear past the offending obstacle (leaping up a cliff or across a pit, bashing through a force wall), as part of the action. Alternately, it may use the Raging Blood Surge to continue fighting after falling to negative hitpoints, which allows it to continue fighting until it reaches a number of negative hitpoints equal to three times its Con score. When the Raging Blood Surge ends, which occurs after 1 minute or at the creature's whim, the Creature of Legend returns to 1 hitpoint and becomes fatigued. The Raging Blood Surge is made available again when the Creature of Legend either defeats an opponent (or a collection of opponents) of equal or greater CR than itself or when it returns to maximum hitpoints. As such, it is possible for the creature to regain and use multiple surges in a single encounter.
Advancement: The ability does another 1d4 elemental damage for every 3HD the Creature of Legend has. The cone increases in size by 5' for every 10HD the Creature of Legend has.
- Spells - Provided it does not already have divine casting or divine caster advancement from another source, the Creature of Legend can now spontaneously cast divine spells, with the ability to cast each spell known once a day. For spells known, the Creature of Legend must pick two domains, and can access any spell of a level that's no more than 1/2 it's HD. (A level 6 creature could cast up to level 3 spells).
Should the creature take levels in a divine spellcasting class, it may elect to have its Monster Class & Creature of Legend levels stack for the purposes of determining CL and spells per day. This does not apply retroactively; An 8th level Creature of Legend acquiring one level of cleric would gain the spells per day it would have gained going from 8th level cleric to 9th level cleric, but wouldn't retroactively gain the spell options of a 1st to 8th level cleric.
My design intent in the CoL was finding a way to advance some of the existing monsters so they retained their status as 'monsters' and so the core monsters kept their natural vulnerabilities or qualities, while allowing room for them to be more viable.
The Fabled Strength and Legendary Strength abilities are primarily ways to shore up weaknesses vs. higher level encounters, giving creatures with various holes in their design (ie. a less than stellar DR/Magic) to shore up those holes. Similarly, creatures who only have natural attacks and the inability to wield weapons (Say, the Griffon, above) can now affect higher level enemies with more obscure DRs.
I wanted the stat bonuses to feel 'legendary', so I tried to make them big without allowing the player to stack any one stat. As is, you get a sizeable bonus to your dump stat (which is largely thematic, as the creature becomes more perfect, losing weaknesses as they become something truly awesome) and either a fair spread out bonus or a smaller, focused bonus.
August 4th, 2010:
- Slight clarifications in the class entry 'defeat a stronger foe' prerequisite.
- Added the option of being able to strike incorporeal opponents or just gaining a + to attack rolls, in Fabled Strength.
- Changed the bonus to DCs to 1 + 1 per 8HD. Made it so it doesn't affect spells.
- Removed fear from the list of possible immunities.
- Changed SR to 16+HD
- Changed some of the Legendary Powers to make them more versatile and tempting. Breath Weapon now grants some metabreath feats to scale up a little more later on. Poison now offers some choices that let you do vile damage, ability drain, more damage, raise DCs, bestow negative levels, melt armor or affect foes who are normally immune to poison. Terrifying presence now has utility against mindless foes and raging blood scales up fairly dramatically.
- The Spells option of the Legendary Powers is altered to be 1/2 HD rather than Current HD-3.
Second batch of changes, August 4th, 2010:
- SR changed back to 11+HD, and merged with DR. Now offers stacking benefits with other sources, just in case.
- Immunity to mind affecting effects is now a standalone ability pick.
- Some of the weaker choices are now part of a 2 for 1 package deal on the list. This includes improved natural attack size, but only if you have 2 or less natural attacks.
- Poison now progresses more swiftly, from every 6HD to every 4HD after 4th.
- Raging Blood now offers a more active ability, the Raging Blood Surge, which lets the creature tear past many obstacles or ignore failed saving throws, so it can keep on fighting.
- Spellcasting changed to Oslecamo's suggested domain method.
Third batch of changes, August 4th, 2010:
- Broke DR and SR apart again. Sigh. They're now choices in the 2 for 1 deals.
August 10th, 2010:
- Updated the poison progression and tidied it up.
August 15th, 2010:
- Edited to specify the armor bonus is natural and what their native plane is.
October 10th, 2010:
- Reduced the Raging Blood elemental damage from 2d4 per 3HD to 1d4 per 3HD.
- Revised the spellcasting ability from the ability to cast per day as a sorcerer, with spells known from three domain lists (to casting each spell once a day, from 2 domain lists).
October 11th, 2010:
- Reworded a bit in the spellcasting ability, so it's a little clearer.
Last edited by Hyudra : 10-11-2010 at 12:10 PM.