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Thread: Dire [Template]

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    Default Dire [Template]

    Odd as this is, “Dire”, though a mainstay of D&D bestiaries, has never been made into a template.

    Well, I think it should be; if I want a dire swan I shouldn’t have to wait until it gets released in MMVI next to 30 more pages on Drow and Greenspawn Sourcebookfillers.

    Creating a Dire Animal
    “Dire” is an inherited template that can be added to any Animal (hereafter referred to as the base creature)

    Size and Type
    The base creature’s type is unchanged. If Tiny or smaller, the base creature's size increases to Medium. If Small or Medium, it's size increases to Large. If Large, it's size increases to Huge. Otherwise, its size remains unchanged. It's ability scores are not adjusted based on size.

    Hit Dice
    Increase from the base creature by 4 hit die.

    Armor Class
    A dire creature has a natural armor bonus of 5, or the base creature’s natural armor bonus, whichever is higher.

    Abilities
    A dire creature’s Strength increases by 10, its Constitution increases by 2, and its Charisma increases by 4.

    Challenge Rating
    Same as the base creature plus 2.
    Last edited by ArmorArmadillo; 2007-07-06 at 09:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Dire [Template]

    Honestly i think increasing size one category might be a better overall than saying increase to large
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    Default Re: Dire [Template]

    I dunno about this one... Seems like it boosts all animals equally to the same level, which doesn't seem to be what Dire does...

    My suggestions....

    Size and Type
    The base creature’s type is unchanged. Its size increases to Large. Do not adjust its statistics due to the size increase. If already Large or larger, do not increase its size.
    Increase size catagory 1 size. That way, a Dire Cat is small, but a Dire Wolf is large. Makes sense that way.

    Hit Dice
    Same as the base creature plus 4 hit die.
    Hmm.. Not bad, per say, but difficult. Again, it doesn't make sense that a Dire Cat has 4 HD while a Dire Wolf has 6. This one's kinda tough. I'd say Double HD plus 2.

    Armor Class
    A dire creature has a natural armor bonus of 5, or the base creature’s natural armor bonus, whichever is higher.
    I'd say Natural Armor +3. Or, possibly go with a size chart, like a Zombie.

    Abilities
    A dire creature’s Strength increases by 10, its Constitution increases by 2, and its Charisma increases by 4.
    I'd say +4 Str, +2 Dex, +2 Con, and +2 Cha. Also, they gain addition ability changes based on size change.

    Challenge Rating
    Same as the base creature plus 2.
    I'd say this needs a table to base CR by HD, like a Skeleton or Zombie. Static doesn't seem quite right.
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    Default Re: Dire [Template]

    I agree with everything jackmage666 said.
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    Default Re: Dire [Template]

    Yep Jakemage hit it better than the OP

    I also believe the template would be inherited not aquired.
    Last edited by jindra34; 2007-07-02 at 08:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Dire [Template]

    Quote Originally Posted by JackMage666 View Post
    I dunno about this one... Seems like it boosts all animals equally to the same level, which doesn't seem to be what Dire does...

    My suggestions....


    Increase size catagory 1 size. That way, a Dire Cat is small, but a Dire Wolf is large. Makes sense that way.


    Hmm.. Not bad, per say, but difficult. Again, it doesn't make sense that a Dire Cat has 4 HD while a Dire Wolf has 6. This one's kinda tough. I'd say Double HD plus 2.


    I'd say Natural Armor +3. Or, possibly go with a size chart, like a Zombie.


    I'd say +4 Str, +2 Dex, +2 Con, and +2 Cha. Also, they gain addition ability changes based on size change.


    I'd say this needs a table to base CR by HD, like a Skeleton or Zombie. Static doesn't seem quite right.
    Although I agree with a lot of what you say, one of the problems I had with this template was that I was trying to base it off the pre-existing Dire Creatures, which have some screwy stuff (Dire Bats for example, go from Diminuitive to Large, and Lions don't increase in size at all)

    The same goes with the Hit Die and the Str bonus, which is based off of animals and dire counterparts as given. Doubling wouldn't be something I'd go for, as that interacts really oddly with High HD low power creatures (As animals tend to have a lot of)

    What I'm trying here really to approximate the pre-existing dire creatures, which is why some of it seems awkward, but I will try to fine tune it based on your suggestions.
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    Homebrews:

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHunterEmerald
    Incidentally, Armadillo, I'd suggest you were hit by a spark of inspiration, but that would knock your armor off.

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    Default Re: Dire [Template]

    I was thinking a while ago of making a "Dire" template, but searching around online I managed to find this one on the EnWorld Creature Catalog. it works pretty well.

    There's also a PDF somewhere online that has several non-standard dire animals (dire ram is the only I remember), plus a template at the end. I can't find it, but I remember finding the template interesting enough to make a half black dragon dire sheep.

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    Default Re: Dire [Template]

    I still think its an inherited template.
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    Default Re: Dire [Template]

    Dire Humans

    Dire human are feral degenerate beastly counterparts to normal civilized humans. They live in packs like wolves or great apes. They are aggressive hunters and prefer to eat their prays flesh while it's still alive.

    Large: As Large creatures, humans have -1 AC and BAB penalty, and +2 natural armor.

    HD: +2hd

    Abilities: +12 Str, +0 Dex, +6 Con, -4 int, -2 cha

    Natural Armor: +3

    Human base land speed is 40 feet.

    1 extra feat at 1st level.
    (Dire humans gain an additional feat for their 3rd Hit die. All dire humans choose multi-attack for their first feat and typically either dodge, power attack, combat reflexes, athletic or acrobatic as their second feat

    4 extra skill points at 1st level and 1 extra skill point at each additional level.
    *

    Automatic Language:None (Dire humans communicate through a privative demi-language of hand signs and grunts)

    Favored Class: Barbarian.

    ECE: +3


    Sample

    Dire Human
    Large Humanoid
    HD: 3d8+12=24
    AC: 16 (10-1large+2dex+5 natural)
    Flat Footed (14)
    Touch (11)
    Init:2
    Speed:40
    BAB/Grapple: +2/+11
    Attacks: +9 Claw (1d6+7), bite +3 (2d4+3)
    Full Attack: 2 claws and one bite
    Special abilities: none
    Special qualities: none
    Feats: Multi-attack, dodge
    Abilities: str 25, dex 14, con 18, int 6, wis 10, cha 6
    Skills: climb 9, jump 9, move silently 4, spot 1
    Alignment: usually CE or CN
    Organization: Hunting party (3-5) or troop (6-24)
    CR: 3
    Environment: temperate and tropical forests, swamps and marshes, underground

    Dire Human Troop Leader (level 2 barbarian)
    Large Humanoid
    HD= 3d8+2d12+20=44
    AC: 21 (10-1large+2dex+5 natural+5 hide)
    Flat Footed (14)
    Touch (11)
    Init:2
    Speed:50 (fast movement)
    BAB/Grapple: +4/+17
    Attacks: +13 Claw (1d6+9), bite +7 (2d4+4) or heavy mace +13(1d8+12)
    Full Attack: 2 claws and one bite or 1 heavy mace
    Special abilities: Rage
    Special qualities: Uncanny dodge
    Feats: Multi-attack, power attack
    Abilities: str 28, dex 14, con 18, int 6, wis 10, cha 8
    Skills: climb 9, jump 9, move silently 4, spot 1
    Alignment: usually CE or CN
    Organization: Hunting party (3-5) or troop (6-24)
    CR: 5


    Dire humans hunt in packs and prefer ambush tactics droping down from high points. A favored tactic involves the hunting part edging and forcing the pray into a clearing or boxed area where the rest of the troop lies in weight. Some Dire humans will throw rocks or use privative spears for ranged or reached weapons. The leader of any dire human pack is typically the strongest and oldest male. The leader typically has one to three levels in barbarian or fighter, and may arm himself with armor and weapons taken from slain "civilized pray". Dire Human spell casters are druids or bards
    Last edited by Ing; 2007-07-03 at 11:13 AM.

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    Default Re: Dire [Template]

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmorArmadillo View Post
    Although I agree with a lot of what you say, one of the problems I had with this template was that I was trying to base it off the pre-existing Dire Creatures, which have some screwy stuff (Dire Bats for example, go from Diminuitive to Large, and Lions don't increase in size at all)

    The same goes with the Hit Die and the Str bonus, which is based off of animals and dire counterparts as given. Doubling wouldn't be something I'd go for, as that interacts really oddly with High HD low power creatures (As animals tend to have a lot of)

    What I'm trying here really to approximate the pre-existing dire creatures, which is why some of it seems awkward, but I will try to fine tune it based on your suggestions.
    I ran into your problem a few years ago when I was trying to Dire a Duck for my wife's Paladin - it's in inside joke. I made it large enough to ride as she wanted it for a mount. In the end it wasn't much for useful then a Dire Bear with wings instead of claws. I came to the conclusion that Dire is very very random. It seems whom ever wanted to make a Dire Animal did and by their own rules.

    In the MM1 the Dire Shark is size Huge. WTH! I would use a sliding scale. For creatures Small and smaller increase size by three, Medium and Large by 2, and Large or larger by 1 (obviously Colossal stays Colossal - I'd maybe have Gargantuan not change size either but this is all silly as most animal aren't that big). Anyways, let the change in size affect their physical stats (there is a table in the back of the MM that has average STR, CON and DEX by size category). In the end I usually just wing in using a current Dire animal that is close to what I need and call it a day.

    You picked a very hard thing to model. Good luck!
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    Default Re: Dire [Template]

    Interesting discussion so far. I have always wanted to see a Dire Template and, having played Baldur's Gate, also a Dread Template.
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    Default Re: Dire [Template]

    Ok, so I do appreciate the comments I've gotten, and I've made my first revision.

    The size system has been adjusted to a sliding scale, which contradicts some pre-existing dire animals, but they don't really make sense anyway.

    My current issue is the stats; I don't want to base it on size, because the system for that is really buggy. However, the static system I used here seems a little bit asymetric. However, if I add another scaled system, that makes this template too busy.
    Gnoll Paladin with Zanbatou Avatar by Oregano.

    Homebrews:

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHunterEmerald
    Incidentally, Armadillo, I'd suggest you were hit by a spark of inspiration, but that would knock your armor off.

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    Default Re: Dire [Template]

    Dire is a hard template to make because it can serve several different purposes depending on which animal it is applied to. For small, non-threatening animals (cats, frogs, mice, weasels, etc.) the template needs to up them to the point that they are a threat to a low level party, but exactly how much they need to be upped in order to accomplish that varies greatly depending on the animal.

    For animals that move in groups, a dire version of them might only be small, since the DM can reasonably send 5 or 6 of them at a party (see: dire rat). For solitary creatures, though, the size and strength increase needs to be much greater (see: dire bat).

    Worse, animals that are medium or large, but still not really dangerous to people (cows, deer, big fish, horses unless you've pissed them off and backed them into a corner) need to be altered in completely different ways. Making a dire cow huge size doesn't really make a lot of sense - rather, you'd want to up it's strength and give it some relevant attacks (which would probably need to vary from creature to creature), and maybe tack on some natural armor.

    Then, finally, you have the animals that are already dangerous, for which the dire template is just supposed to make them more dangerous. Again, though, how best to do this varies from creature to creature. Making a tiger huge size would be counterproductive, since half of the reason a tiger is dangerous is that it will tend to stalk the PCs and gain the advantage by getting the jump on them (so up physical stats, with more than usual emphasis on dexterity), whereas making a dire rhinoceros bigger than a normal rhinoceros makes perfect sense (the better to take advantage of the "charge in and squish anything in my way" battle tactic).

    So, really, it would seem like any sort of dire template would have to be more of a guideline than a set of hard and fast rules. Maybe offer a bunch of different possible changes (size increase, strength-heavy stat boost, dex-heavy stat boost, extra natural weapons, etc.) and let the one applying the template choose 2 or 3 of them to apply.

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