Monday, January 3, 2011

General Rules: Monsters - Lycanthrope: Wereviper (Template)

Wereviper (adapted from Twisted Lore)

Werevipers are humanoids who can transform themselves into Large viper snakes. In its natural form, a wereviper looks like any other member of its kind, but has distinctly sharper teeth than others of its kind. They prefer to work in the warm sun and will complain about cold weather, bundling up nearly twice as much as the average individual. In viper form, a wereviper resembles a powerful version of the normal animal, but on close inspection, its eyes (which often glow red in the dark) show a faint spark of unnatural intelligence.

A natural wereviper (or an afflicted wereviper that has become aware of its affliction) can assume a hybrid form that is a mix of its humanoid and animal forms. A hybrid has hands and can use weapons, but it can also attack with its teeth. A hybrid can spread lycanthropy with its bite, and it has the same damage reduction that its animal form possesses.

Lycanthropy can be spread like a disease. Sometimes a lycanthrope begins life as a normal humanoid or giant who subsequently contracts lycanthropy after being wounded by a lycanthrope. Such a creature is called an afflicted lycanthrope. Other lycanthropes are born as lycanthropes, and are known as natural lycanthropes.

A wereviper in its humanoid form uses whatever tactics and weapons are favored by others of its kind, though it tends to be slightly more aggressive. A lycanthrope possesses the senses of its animal form, including scent and low-light vision, and it has a deep empathy for (and ability to communicate with) animals of its animal form. An afflicted lycanthrope damaged in combat may be overwhelmed by rage, causing it to change to its animal form involuntarily. Werevipers are quick and dangerous opponents, lashing out up to 10 feet with their heads and attacking adjacent opponents with their weapons.

"Wereviper" is a template that can be added to any humanoid creature, that creature referred to hereafter as the "character". The wereviper takes on the characteristics of a Large viper snake, referred to hereafter as the "animal". Creatures with this template use all of the base creature's statistics and special abilities, except as noted here:

Size and Type: The creature's type does not change, but the creature gains the shapechanger subtype. Many lycanthropes can adopt a hybrid shape that combines features of the character and the base animal. A lycanthrope's hybrid form is the same size as the animal form or the base form, whichever is larger.

Hit Dice: Same as the character plus those of the animal. To calculate total hit points, apply Constitution modifiers according to the score the lycanthrope has in each form.

Speed: As character or animal, depending on which form the lycanthrope is using.

Armor Class: As character or animal's natural armor +2, depending on which form the wereviper is using.

Attacks: As character or animal, depending on which form the wereviper is using.

Damage: As character or animal, depending on which form the wereviper is using.

Space/Reach: As character in humanoid form. In animal or hybrid form, the wereviper occupies a space 5 feet by 5 feet and has 10 foot reach.

Special Attacks: As character or animal, depending on which form the wereviper is using (plus curse of lycanthropy in animal form).
  • Lycanthropic Affinity (Su): Werevipers can communicate and empathize with snakes. This gives them a +4 bonus on checks made to influence the snake's attitude and allows the wereviper to communicate simple concepts and (if the animal is friendly) commands to the animal, such as "friend", "foe", "flee", or "attack".
  • Curse of Lycanthropy (Su): Any humanoid injured by a wereviper but not actually killed has a chance to contract lycanthropy after the encounter is over. This chance equals 1% per point of damage dealt by the lycanthrope's natural attacks; if several lycanthropes of the same type injure the character, add the chances together. Damage from different types of lycanthropes must be tracked separately. A character killed by a lycanthrope and then raised or resurrected has a 100% chance of contracting lycanthropy.
Special Qualities: All werevipers gain the following special qualities:
  • Alternate Form (Su): All werevipers can shift into the form of a Large viper snake and a viper snake-humanoid hybrid. Changing to or from animal or hybrid form is a full-round action. In hybrid form, a wereviper has a humanoid lower body with a very flexible torso and a snake's head on a long, sinuous neck. A wereviper generally prefers snake form, taking advantage of the surprise of its damage reduction. Upon assuming natural form, the lycanthrope regains hit points as if having rested for a day. If slain, the lycanthropic creature reverts to its humanoid form, though it remains dead. A part of the body separated from the whole retains its natural form however. This shapeshifting ability can be difficult for some lycanthropes to control.
  • Damage Reduction (Su): A wereviper's animal and hybrid forms gain damage reduction 15/silver.
  • Low-Light Vision (Ex): The wereviper gains low-light vision in any form.
  • Scent (Ex): The wereviper gains scent in any form.
  • Poison (Ex): In animal or hybrid form, a wereviper's bite is poisonous. Bite, Fortitude save (DC 10 + the wereviper's Constitution modifier); initial and secondary damage 1d6 temporary Constitution.
Saves: Add the base saves for the animal to the base saves for the base creature.

Abilities: A wereviper in humanoid form receives a +2 to Wisdom, due to its animal cunning. In animal or hybrid form, a wereviper receives the following ability adjustments: Dexterity +6 and Wisdom +2.

Skills: All lycanthropes gain a +4 racial bonus to Listen and Spot checks no matter what form they are in. Weresnakes in animal or hybrid form gain the same skills as a normal Large viper snake in addition to any skills they have in their humanoid forms. If a wereviper has a skill in both its humanoid and animal forms, use the better score.

Feats: As the character plus Iron Will. Lycanthropes can also learn the Improved Shape Control feat. When in animal or hybrid form, a wereviper gains the Combat Reflexes, Multiattack, and Weapon Finesse feats.

Climate/Terrain: As character or Large viper snake.

Organization: Solitary or pair, sometimes family (2 - 40), pack (6 - 10), or troupe (family plus related animals).

Challenge Rating: By class level or base creature +3.

Treasure: Standard.

Alignment: Always neutral evil.

Advancement: By character class.

Lycanthropy As an Affliction
When a character contracts lycanthropy through a lycanthrope’s natural attacks (see above), no symptoms appear until the first night of the next full moon. On that night, the afflicted character involuntarily assumes animal form and forgets his or her own identity, temporarily becoming an NPC. The character remains in animal form, assuming the appropriate alignment, until the next dawn.

The character’s actions during this first episode are dictated by the alignment of its animal form. The character remembers nothing about the entire episode (or subsequent episodes) unless he succeeds on a DC 15 Wisdom check, in which case he becomes aware of his lycanthropic condition.

Thereafter, the character is subject to involuntary transformation under the full moon and whenever damaged in combat. He or she feels an overwhelming rage building up and must succeed on a Control Shape check (see below) to resist changing into animal form. Any player character not yet aware of his or her lycanthropic condition temporarily becomes an NPC during an involuntary change, and acts according to the alignment of his or her animal form.

A character with awareness of his condition retains his identity and does not lose control of his actions if he changes. However, each time he changes to his animal form, he must make a Will save (DC 15 + number of times he has been in animal form) or permanently assume the alignment of his animal form in all shapes.

Once a character becomes aware of his affliction, he can now voluntarily attempt to change to animal or hybrid form, using the appropriate Control Shape check DC. An attempt is a standard action and can be made each round. Any voluntary change to animal or hybrid form immediately and permanently changes the character’s alignment to that of the appropriate lycanthrope.

Changing Form
Changing form is a standard action. If the change is involuntary, the character performs the change on his next turn following the triggering event. An afflicted character who is not aware of his condition remains in animal form until the next dawn. An afflicted character who is aware of his or her condition (see above) can try to resume humanoid form following a change (voluntary or involuntary) with a Control Shape check, but if he fails his check, he remains in animal (or hybrid) form until the following dawn.

Curing Lycanthropy
An afflicted character who eats a sprig of belladonna (also called wolfsbane) within 1 hour of a lycanthrope’s attack can attempt a DC 20 Fortitude save to shake off the affliction. If a healer administers the herb, use the character’s save bonus or the healer’s Heal modifier, whichever is higher. The character gets only one chance, no matter how much belladonna is consumed. The belladonna must be reasonably fresh (picked within the last week).

However, fresh or not, belladonna is toxic. The character must succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Strength damage. One minute later, the character must succeed on a second DC 13 save or take an additional 2d6 points of Strength damage.

A remove disease or heal spell cast by a cleric of 12th level or higher also cures the affliction, provided the character receives the spell within three days of the lycanthrope’s attack.

The only other way to remove the affliction is to cast remove curse or break enchantment on the character during one of the three days of the full moon. After receiving the spell, the character must succeed on a DC 20 Will save to break the curse (the caster knows if the spell works). If the save fails, the process must be repeated.

Characters undergoing this cure are often kept bound or confined in cages until the cure takes effect.

Only afflicted lycanthropes can be cured of lycanthropy.

Werevipers as Characters
Becoming a wereviper does not necessarily change a character’s favored class but usually changes alignment (see above). This alignment change may cause characters of certain classes to lose some of their class features.

Wereviper characters possess the following racial traits:

  • Abilities: +2 Wisdom. In viper snake or hybrid form the wereviper character gains +6 Dexterity.

  • Size: Same as the base creature or the base animal form.

  • Space/Reach: As character in humanoid form. In animal or hybrid form, the wereviper occupies a space 5 feet by 5 feet and has 10 foot reach.

  • Racial Hit Dice: A wereviper gains 3d8 racial hit dice. As a result of these hit dice, a wereviper has +2 Base Attack Bonus, +3 base Fortitude save bonus, +3 base Reflex save bonus, and +1 base Will save bonus.

  • Racial Skills: A wereviper adds skill points for its animal Hit Dice. It gains skill points equal to (2 + Intelligence modifier, minimum 1) x 6. The werevi[er's racial skills are Balance, Climb, Hide, Listen, and Spot. The wereviper’s maximum skill ranks are equal to its animal form Hit Dice + its racial Hit Dice (if any) + its class levels + 3. Any racial skill adjustments of the wereviper’s base race and its animal form (but not conditional adjustments) are added to its skill modifiers in any form.

  • Racial Feats: Werevipers gain Combat Reflexes, Multiattack, Weapon Finesse, and Iron Will as bonus feats.

  • +2 natural armor bonus in any form.

  • Special Qualities: Alternate form (Large viper snake or viper snake-humanoid hybrid), snake empathy, curse of lycanthropy (in animal or hybrid form only), poison, low-light vision, and scent. In addition, a wereviper gains damage reduction as follows:
    • Afflicted lycanthrope: Damage reduction 5/silver (in animal or hybrid form only).
    • Natural lycanthrope: Damage reduction 10/silver (in animal or hybrid form only).

  • Automatic Languages: As base creature.

  • Favored Class: Same as the base creature.

  • Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +4 (afflicted) or +5 (natural).
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