I got the idea for this while I was doing a bit of hiking in the woods of this nature preserve thats literally in my backyard. It was getting dark and the area has always been a little creepy when suddenly several deer jumped out of nowhere not but ten feet in front of me and went pounding off in a panic.
Wary creatures are common peoples and beast that have lived so long in the terrifying shadow of supernatural beings that they have evolved extraordinarily sharp instincts and been passed down skills to survive.
Wary creatures may be found within or on the outskirts of strange forests, nearby a vampire or lich's keep, or have a long history of invasions by horrible creatures for unknown reasons. Constant fear and dread is the norm, and stories and special training have been taught while drills continuously prepare for whatever may prey upon them.
Wild wary creatures have had to hone their instincts to a razor edge to survive and compete with the paranormal inhabitants with which they share the land.
Sample Wary Creature
Wary Human Commoner 2
Medium Humanoid (human)
Hit Dice: 2d4 (5 hp)
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 11 (+1 dex), touch 11, flat-footed 10
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+4
Attack: Sickle +4 melee (1d6+3)
Full Attack: Sickle +4 melee (1d6+3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Fear innured, flighty, low-light vision, source of terror, wive's tale
Saves: Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +1
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 12, Con 11, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills: Handle Animal +4, Hide +5, Move Silently +5, Profession (farmer) +6, Spellcraft +3
, Improved Initiative, Open Minded
Environment: Temperate Plains
Challenge Rating: 1
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +2
Johnson's family has lived on this bit of land on the far outskirts of the village for hundreds of years. A sturdy fence is built within a hundred feet of the nearby forest that overlooks his fields. Strange things have happened to folk who went exploring more than a mile or two within, and several times a year theirs a moaning or singing followed by the disappearances of a number of his livestock.
His granny told him many a story of the inscribed stones out there, and the beings who put them there. To die she said would not be the end of it, for many a body got up and was seen walking about after disappearing for weeks in them woods, fungus and slime molds growing on their graying skins.
He'd tried to sneak in with his friends, curious, and it was a night of terror that'd claimed half their number. Johnson remembers the grain sickle he'd taken with him, slashing at the shadows that fought. The ichor that'd been left on it wouldn't wash off and eventually dissolved the blade.
Since then he'd been cursed they said, and it was hardly a night he could sleep with peace without the windows rustling or dreams plaguing him.
Johnson speaks Common.
Anything that comes upon Johnson in the dark after that night in the woods risks being cut first and asked questions after. If snuck up on however he's likely to launch himself forward without looking back.
Fear Inured (Ex):
Johnson has lived so long in constant dread that it is second nature to him. He gains a +4 bonus to saves against fear effects.
During a surprise round Johnson, even if he would be caught flat-footed, may still roll for initiative. On his turn he may use the run action to flee at top speed that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, but may not perform any other action until the surprise round is over. Johnson may run at 5 times his base speed on these occasions. Once he stops running he is fatigued for a full minute.
Low-Light Vision (Ex):
Johnson can see twice as far as a human normally would in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination.
Source of Terror (Ex):
Johnson gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against Aberrations and Undead. He also gains a +4 bonus on all appropriate Knowledge checks to identify and gauge the abilities of creatures of this type. Likewise, he gets a +2 dodge bonus to AC against such beings.
Wive's Tales (Ex)
: Johnson gains a +5 competence bonus on Knowledge (dungeoneering/religion) to identify and learn special powers or vulnerabilities of aberrations and undead. This Knowledge skill is considered trained for the purpose of this ability.
Johnson gains a +4 competence bonus on Hide, Move Silently and Spellcraft checks. These are considered trained skills.
Creating A Wary Creature
"Wary" is a template that can be acquired or inherited and added to any animal or humanoid with no racial supernatural abilities, hereafter referred to as the base creature.
Size and Type:
Creature type is unchanged. Size is unchanged.
All of a wary creature's speeds increase by 10 ft.
A wary creature retains all qualities of the base creature plus the following qualities.
Fear Inured (Ex):
A wary creature has lived so long in constant dread that it is second nature to them. They gain a +4 bonus to saves against fear effects.
During a surprise round a wary creature, even if they would be caught flat-footed, may still roll for initiative. On their turn they may use the run action to flee at top speed that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, but may not perform any other action until the surprise round is over. The wary creature may run at 5 times their base speed on these occasions. Once they stop running they are fatigued for a full minute (minus a number of rounds equal to the wary creature's Constitution modifier. Minimum 1 round.).
Improved Scent (Ex):
A wary creature with the scent ability has its range of smell doubled and can pinpoint the exact location of creatures of its source of terror at 15 feet.
Low-Light Vision (Ex):
A wary creature can see twice as far as a human normally would in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. The wary creature retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions. If the creature already has low-light vision the range of this vision increase by one half.
Source of Terror (Ex):
A wary creature may select up to two types of beings that has caused its wariness (these creature types are drawn from the Ranger's favored enemy table plus Mage, which covers any creature type with levels in a spell using or psionic using class). The wary creature gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against beings of this type. These bonuses stack with any gained from a Ranger's favored enemy. They also gain a +4 bonus on all appropriate Knowledge checks to identify and gauge the abilities of their chosen source of terror. Likewise, the wary creature gets a +2 dodge bonus to AC against such beings.
If a specific creature falls into more than one category of source of terror, the wary creatures bonuses do not stack.
Wive's Tales (Ex):
An intelligent wary creature gains a +5 competence bonus on Knowledge checks to identify and learn special powers or vulnerabilities of creature that fall under the source of their terror. This Knowledge skill is considered trained for the purpose of this ability.
For example a wary creature with Monstrous Humanoids as their source of terror would be able to make a Knowledge (nature) check as a trained skill with a +5 bonus to identify a hag and recall her powers or vulnerabilities.
Increase from the base creature as follows: Dex +2, Wis +2.
A wary creature gains a +4 competence bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks. Sentient wary creatures also gain a +4 bonus on Spellcraft checks and consider it a trained skill.
A wary creature gains Darkstalker
and Improved Initiative as bonus feats. Otherwise same as base creature.
Same as the base creature.
Same as base creature +2.