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    Default Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template...

    The story of the Symbiote template.

    One day, within the pages of Savage Species, lay a little template. Forgotten, and ignored in favour of Incarnate Constructs, Multi-headed and even Winged. There he sat with his Turic and Insectile brothers, pondering about his future.

    He thought about his other brothers, more "useful" brothers and resolved to better himself, to find his perfect companion.

    So he left. He left Savage Species and embarked on his quest. Through books and online articals he trawled, looking, searching for that one thing that would make him powerful. He found it. He found it in the same manual that his Incarnate Construct brother finds his power.

    He saw it and rejoiced, it saw him and rejoiced likewise. The Symbiote template had found it, his soul mate, his twin his perfect companion!

    Well, companions, if you want to be pedantic.

    But what, what did he find? What gives him such power? What flowered such passion? What new trick, and belive me, it is new, will bring such dread into the hearts of DMs everywhere?

    Can you guess? No? Let me tell you:

    The Dread Blossom Swarm






    Now that the story's over, let's just examine the Symbiote Template for starters.


    The Symbiote Template

    The Symbiote Template is an odd one, it combines two creatures of the following types: Animal, Humanoid, Plant and Vermin, into one creature, gaining all the special attacks and qualities (Both good and bad) of the Host and Guest. The guest must be at least two sizes smaller than the host. The Physical stats are of the host, and the Mental stats are of the guest, as a result, the resulting creature is often much stupider, naive and repellent than the Host normaly.

    This means that a Symbiote is best as a martial character, rather than a caster. Unless it casts off a physical stat, of course.

    The Guest also gives its feats and skills as Bonus Feats and Racial Skill Bonuses to the host.

    The Template carries the miniscule Level Adjustment of +1.



    Dread Blossom Swarm

    The Dread Blossom Swarm is located in MMIII. The important parts of the monster are:

    It's called out as a Tiny plant.

    It has Seven hit dice.

    It explicitly calls out plant and swarm traits as special qualities.

    It has Regeneration as a special quality.

    It explicitly calls out Half damage from piercing/slashing as a special quality.




    Why they're useful to us

    As a Tiny Plant, a Dread Blossom Swarm can be used in conjuntion with a Medium or larger host. Most player races are Medium Humanoids.




    Seven Hit Dice is a bit of an odd one. The template explicity states that the minimum inteligence score a symbiote can have is 3. Later on in the type pyramid section, Savage Species calls out the guest gaining a higher Inteligence score. What's important to us is the Dread Blossom Swarm gains an Inteligence score. And by extention, Skillpoints and Feats.

    10 skillpoints, which equates to 5 ranks in any skill except Hide, Listen and Spot, which it can gain 10 ranks in.

    And 3 feats. 1 first level feat, 1 third level feat and 1 sixth level feat. The Host gains these feats as bonus feats, which by definition can be used regardless of whether or not the host has the prerequisites. And yes, this does mean Leadership as an ECL 2 character.

    If you cant think of a use for a +5 bonus to any skill and three free feats that you don't have to meet the prerequisites for, you're not thinking hard enough.


    Plant and Swarm traits are big deals. The two together gives the host the following:

    • Low-light vision
    • Immunity to all mind-affecting spells or abilities (charms,
    • compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects)
    • Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, polymorph, and stunning, Not subject to critical hits (And by extention, precision damage)
    • You breath and eat, but not sleep
    • Immune to flanking
    • Half damage from piercing and slashing attacks
    • At 0 hitpoints or lower, you break up. However the hell that works.
    • Never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage
    • You cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed, and you cannot grapple an opponent.
    • Immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate). This is also a bane, as you cannot be buffed.
    • You take half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells.
    • When rendered unconscious by means of nonlethal damage you become disorganized and dispersed, and do not re-form until your hit points exceed your nonlethal damage. However the hell that works.



    Regeration 5, bypassed with Fire and Cold. Do I really need to explain this one?


    Did I forget to mention you get all this as an ECL 2 character?




    Special attacks

    The Dread Blossom Swarm has three attacks:

    Distraction, Blood Drain and Poision Pollen.


    Distraction can't be used because you're not a swarm. You just have the traits.

    Blood Drain can't be used for the same reason. As well as the fact you can't grapple anymore.

    Poision Pollen, however, can be used. You constantly produce a contact poision in a 15 foot radious. DC 17 Fort Save, primary: paralysis
    for 1 round, Secondary: paralysis for 1 minute.

    Did I mention ECL 2 yet? I think I did.



    Other tricks

    Since the posting of this thread, many points, counter points and additions have been voiced. This section is the collection of them.


    Dread Barbarian

    Credit to TroubleBrewing for this

    A Dread Blossom Symbiote is weak to Fire and Cold damage, and an easy low level way to take care of those is to be a Barbarian.


    Your first class level is, obviously, Barbarian, or any other class that lets you rage. You then have your Symbiote pick up the following feats: Blazing Beserker, Frozen Berserker and Extra Rage. This now gives you three rages per day, so assuming you have four encounters per day, you are vulnerable for only one of them.


    So, there you have it. The story of the forgotten template.

    Feel free to pick holes in this.
    Last edited by Sgt. Cookie; 2013-03-26 at 03:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    So what's the thing in MMII that goes so well with Incarnate Construct?
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    No, MMIII (3) contains an entry for Warforged. Commonly used with Incarnate Construct to give LA -2. Dread Blossom Swarm is found in the same Monster Manual.
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    I'll be probably using this. As a DM.
    I don't actually know why Wizard didn't add dragons to the list of legit hosts: a big dragon covered by a dread blossom swarm would be pretty cool.

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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    I must point out though that the CR of your symbiote will NOT be +1, it will be +6, as the Dread Blossom Swarm has a CR of 6.

    This is because the CR of an NPC symbiote is the combined CR of both parties, but as a PC, the cost is a static +1 LA.
    Last edited by Sgt. Cookie; 2012-10-29 at 01:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    The low ECL is due to fact that you use Host HD (1) not Guest (7) I assume.

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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Yes, that's something I forgot to mention. Your hitdice/hit points are dependent solely on the host.
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Whooooaaaaaa that's totally awesome. I'll try these shenanigans next time I play in a cheesy campaign. Bookmarked!
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Yeah I can think of some uses for this.
    I'm just a normal everyday barbarian
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    You could even take both the Incarnate Construct and the Symbiote template: unleash hell and have fun as an incarnated symbiote <free LA +1 slot> hippie warforged!
    Last edited by Uncle Pine; 2012-10-29 at 02:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Pine View Post
    You could even take both the Incarnate Construct and the Symbiote template: unleash hell and have fun as an incarnated symbiote <free LA +1 slot> hippie warforged!
    Sounds like a great candidate for Landforged Walker (Secrets of Xen'drik).

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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    I've actually used this combination before, flavoring it as a champion of a god of death and decay with an elf blighter as the base creature and the dread blossom swam appearing to be rotting autumn leaves instead of flowers. It's pretty much as scarily effective as you think it would be.

    Two other tricks involving the Symbiote template:

    1) Casting maximized empowered awaken on a tree gives you a plant creature with a score of 18+(3d6/2) in all three mental stats and plant traits--and since it uses animated object stats, it can also have Constrict and/or Blind if it has vines, willow branches, etc. Combine with a creature of your choice; a caster class is an easy pick, really too easy, but there are plenty of good and/or interesting ones. The last time I used this, I combined it with a monk (with the plant appearing to be his cloak) so he would have great defenses and good grappling and could focus most of his resources and point buy on shoring up other weaknesses.

    2) Combined with the above: Whenever monsters have class features or racial casting, they're listed as special attacks and special qualities. The host thus gains the symbiote's class features and vice versa while they're joined. If you can awaken a plant and give it class levels, you can effectively partially gestalt a character in exchange for +1 LA.

    So, let's combine the two, because why not? A 5th-level gestalt druid with 27 Wis in a non-gestalt game, with his companion the dread blossom/5th-level druid symbiotic creature. That technically only comes out to ECL 8, but I can't think of many things that would be scarier for a low-mid level party to run into.
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Quote Originally Posted by danzibr View Post
    Whooooaaaaaa that's totally awesome. I'll try these shenanigans next time I play in a cheesy campaign. Bookmarked!
    Thanks. I was just surprised no one posted this before.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vknight View Post
    Yeah I can think of some uses for this.
    I'm just a normal everyday barbarian
    Every class that's not dependent on mental stats can find a use for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Pine View Post
    You could even take both the Incarnate Construct and the Symbiote template: unleash hell and have fun as an incarnated symbiote <free LA +1 slot> hippie warforged!
    Now all we need is a decent LA +1 template.

    On another note, that combo can give Leadership at first level for no cost. Not that it does much good, no cohort. Assuming you had Might Makes right, you could have several other 1st level characters following you around. And if they all had the same set up...

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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    LA +1 you say?
    Why not try some Half-Minotaur if you want to go meatshield.
    Also with warforged base i don't believe the rules stat that you can't take admantine body if you take Incarnate Construct, also it would not be effected as its not counted as natural armor...
    The question is can we add Dragonborn for the claws, wings, and tail attacks?
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Yes. I've looked it up now. Dragonborn are Humanoids with the Dragonblood subtype. So yes, you could have an Incarnate Construct Warforged Dragonborn/Dread Blossom Symbiote.
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Cookie View Post
    Yes. I've looked it up now. Dragonborn are Humanoids with the Dragonblood subtype. So yes, you could have an Incarnate Construct Warforged Dragonborn/Dread Blossom Symbiote.
    I would really like to see the story of how such a thing came into being
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Quote Originally Posted by Vknight View Post
    Also with warforged base i don't believe the rules stat that you can't take admantine body if you take Incarnate Construct, also it would not be effected as its not counted as natural armor...
    The question is can we add Dragonborn for the claws, wings, and tail attacks?
    Absurdly, an Incarnate Construct Warforged, a Dragonborn Warforged, and a Dragonborn Incarnate Construct Warforged can all still take and benefit from Adamantine Body. The only requirement is that you take it at 1st level, and your race is Warforged. Dragonborn and Incarnate Construct change your type, remove a bunch of racial features, etc., but they do not change what race you are for prerequisites. And Adamantine Body does not actually require that you still have your Composite Plating, doesn't even say it replaces it. All it says that "Your armor bonus is increased to +8 and you gain damage reduction 2/adamantine. However, [...]"

    Doesn't Incarnate Construct make you a Giant if you're large enough? Can we somehow do this so we can take Primordial Giant (LA +0) too? Would do wonders for our mental scores.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Cookie View Post
    Now all we need is a decent LA +1 template.
    Well, Feral and Mineral Warrior are the usual go-to choices for that. Half-Minotaur, as mentioned, is very good. There's also Lolth-touched, pretty sure that's LA +1 and it is definitely insane, but then you have to be, well, touched by Lolth. That's probably neither a safe nor wise choice.
    Last edited by Answerer; 2012-10-31 at 11:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Quote Originally Posted by Twilightwyrm View Post
    I would really like to see the story of how such a thing came into being
    Incarnate Construct Warforged Dragonborn/Dread Blossom Symbiote.
    (Template)Warforged, get Incarnate Construct'ed
    Found Bahamut, dedicated life to him: Dragonborn
    Find Dread Blossom symbiote and merge with it

    Tada. Makes sense, cause they're all applied templates, not inherited.

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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Quote Originally Posted by 2xMachina View Post
    (Template)Warforged, get Incarnate Construct'ed
    Found Bahamut, dedicated life to him: Dragonborn
    Find Dread Blossom symbiote and merge with it

    Tada. Makes sense, cause they're all applied templates, not inherited.
    You'd still be LA +1 at the end of this due to the required order of application, tho- Incarnate Construct won't counteract an LA you acquire later. This particular set up will basically give you a Human with no racial features.. if you're not going to actually use Incarnate Construct for anything (Draconic + Lolth-Touched works, although it conflicts pretty heavily with becoming Dragonborn later) you may as well start with a Human or another strong LA 0 race instead.

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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    (Template) was for the 2 LAs before Incarnate. I thought Incarnate removed the Symbiote effects a little, so I added after. LA1 for that is still pretty cool.

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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    The OP is certainly a potent threat at first level, but the combination of '+50% damage from area attacks, comes apart at 0 hp, Regeneration is bypassed by fire' leaves a hellacious hole in its defenses. A Flaming Sphere is a monstrous threat since the 'breaking up at 0 hp' suggests that lethal damage equal to your hit points is instant death - you can't be healed or even Raised without a body. Even Burning Hands is a risk if the caster isn't vulnerable to the poison aura.

    EDIT: Actually, the 'can't be single-targeted' means you're pretty much no-go for ALL low level healing. If you take fire or cold damage, you might be healing it the slow way for much of your career.

    EDIT 2: Unless I'm misreading something, of course.
    Last edited by Lapak; 2012-10-31 at 12:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapak View Post
    The OP is certainly a potent threat at first level, but the combination of '+50% damage from area attacks, comes apart at 0 hp, Regeneration is bypassed by fire' leaves a hellacious hole in its defenses. A Flaming Sphere is a monstrous threat since the 'breaking up at 0 hp' suggests that lethal damage equal to your hit points is instant death - you can't be healed or even Raised without a body. Even Burning Hands is a risk if the caster isn't vulnerable to the poison aura.

    EDIT: Actually, the 'can't be single-targeted' means you're pretty much no-go for ALL low level healing. If you take fire or cold damage, you might be healing it the slow way for much of your career.

    EDIT 2: Unless I'm misreading something, of course.
    Area healing spells aren't impossible. Get Fast healing as well will help (become a Dragon shaman?)

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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Area healing spells aren't impossible. Get Fast healing as well will help (become a Dragon shaman?)
    It's not an insurmountable problem, to be sure, but Dragon Shaman only gets you halfway and area healing is much, much less common than targeted. The 'spells or effects' business makes it that much harder to work around, too. It's the combination that's problematic: you're immune to a lot of things, but the things that DO hurt you hurt you more badly and are harder to heal, plus you've got no wiggle-room in your hit point floor.

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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    So, now we have two questions:

    How do we get Fast Healing? Dragon Shaman is one way. Any others?

    How do we deal with the glaring weakness against Fire/Cold as early as possible? Dealing with this issue is going to make question 1 moot.
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Cookie View Post
    So, now we have two questions:

    How do we get Fast Healing? Dragon Shaman is one way. Any others?

    How do we deal with the glaring weakness against Fire/Cold as early as possible? Dealing with this issue is going to make question 1 moot.
    Be 1/2 Red and 1/2 White Dragon? Yes, I know that makes it more like 1/4th but eh.

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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Can you even take half-dragon multiple times?

    Either way, while that's the easiest, it's certainly not the cheapest. Can it be done cheaper than that?
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Trying to find something. If there is some part elemental template or something similar.
    That or having 10resistance will make it so you can shrug off weaker attacks from people that don't have access to powerful stuff
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    Two rings of cold/fire resistance 10 would ring up to 24,000 GP. So not really useful till higher levels.
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    I can't help but note one (rather glaring) flaw in this particular trick; in the very first chapter of SS the book gives a pretty sizable chunk of page space to the idea of eyeballing level adjustments and changing them to match the abilities of the creature.

    It would be foolish to expect that level adjustment to stand if you wanted to play this combo at a table, assuming the DM would even let you play such a creature at all.
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    Default Re: Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story about the forgoten template..

    True. But that particular segment is dependent on DM fiat, which is not RAW.

    This trick, however, is RAW. And RAW states the LA of the Symbiote template is +1.
    Last edited by Sgt. Cookie; 2012-10-31 at 04:40 PM.
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