Creature Templates

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BRCS:Chapter nine/Creatures » Creature Templates


An awnshegh refers to any creature of the Azrai bloodline that has the bloodform ability. It is also most often used to refer to creatures that actually advance as monsters instead of characters.

Creating an Awnshegh

The awnshegh template can be applied to any creature with the Azrai bloodline and the blood ability bloodform. When creating an awnshegh, conceptualize the monster’s final form and choose an appropriate type. Creatures with the major bloodform ability immediately change their type to match. Creatures with the great bloodform ability also acquire a monster ability, subject to the rules that follow. Apply all the traits of the monster type; i.e. undead do not have constitution scores, oozes gain bonus hit points, etc. Awnsheghlien can also be templated creatures of any type or form; the Magian, for instance, uses the lich template.

Any character with the bloodform ability may attempt to fight this change; a Fortitude save is allowed to not change type and acquire a monster trait. This Fortitude save must be repeated at every level the character advances, against a DC of 10 + the character’s own total character level.

Advancing as an awnshegh

When the transformation begins, a creature is eligible to take monster levels according to the type you’ve chosen. Monster levels, for this purpose, works like class levels; the benefit for each monster level is summarized below. The experience cost to advance a monster level is the same as for advancing for a regular character level; i.e. advancing to 10th level costs 45,000 XP, as per Table 3-2 in the "Player's Handbook. The monster levels are added to class levels for purpose of determining a creature’s total character level. After the transformation has been activated, you must make a Will save each time you advance a level (DC 10 + your character level) or advance as a monster, regardless of whatever other choice you would normally make. Also, at each level of advancement as a monster, a character must make a Will save against the same DC, or have his alignment change one step towards evil. The monster feat and ability advancement given below supercedes the standard feat and ability advancement in the "Player's Handbook

Advancing in character level as a creature grants increased Hit Dice, Base Attack Bonus, Saving throws, and Skills appropriate to advancement in Hit Dice for the monster type the awnshegh most resembles. The character gains Feats and ability score increases normally based on total character level plus monster level. This information is available in the Monster Manual, but the most relevant information is summarized below.

Table 9-2: Monster advancement quick reference

BAB Effect Base creature type
Good +1 x HD Magical Beast, Monst. Humanoid
Average +3/4 x HD Aberration, Animal, Construct, Giant, Humanoid, Ooze, Plant, Shapechanger, Vermin
Poor +1/2 x HD Fey, Undead
Saves Effect Base creature type
Good Fortitude +2 + 1/2 HD Animal, Giant, Magical Beast, Plant, Shapechanger, Vermin
Good Reflex +2 + 1/2 HD Animal, Fey, Magical Beast, Monst. Humanoid, Shapechanger
Good Will +2 + 1/2 HD Aberration, Fey, Monst. Humnoid, Shapechanger, Undead
Poor + 1/3 HD All saves not listed as good
Hit Dice Effect Base creature type
Exceptional d12, Con -- Undead
Good d10 Constructs, Magical Beast, Oozes
Average d8 Aberration, Animal, Giant, Humanoid, Monstrous Humanoid, Plant, Shapechanger, Vermin
Poor d6 Fey

Becoming a monster

The potential scope of possible awnsheghlien abilities is vast. Generally speaking, it is good to compare with the available abilities of monsters or characters of the same level and work from there. Thus, an advancing awnshegh shouldn’t generally be able to access abilities not available to spell-casters of the same level, nor class abilities of any significantly higher level. The monster abilities acquired by awnsheghlien should be balanced with the creature’s total level in mind, and if a creature advances, the potency of its acquired abilities should generally advance with it by level, staying roughly similar to abilities available to existing creatures or to spells accessible to spellcasters of a given level.

A scion with a bloodform (great) should gain one “monster ability” every level that they advance as a monster. A scion with a bloodform (major) should gain three monster abilities every four levels. Generally, the monster abilities accessible to awnsheghlien fall within several broad categories:

Natural abilities and anatomical changes: This includes a change in size (remember to apply all effects of a change in size), natural armor, the acquisition of a set of natural attacks (generally, two to three different attack modes at the most, with damage as appropriate to creature size and type), an increase in speed (generally by 30 feet), or the ability to move in a new way, the acquisition of special sensory abilities, or certain innate resistances. This category also includes a whole range of extraordinary abilities, such as the ability to constrict, swallow whole, fast healing, or energy resistance (generally 30 points, either to a single type, or distributed among several different types of energy).

Supernatural and spell-like abilities: The existing variety of abilities is enormous; in general, an awnshegh can select approximately ten levels of spells as spell-like abilities usable at will, as long as a spellcaster of the same level can access them, or any supernatural ability similar to one possessed by creatures of the same size and type.

Bonuses: An awnshegh can acquire racial bonuses to skills (up to +16, usually divided among several different skills), ability scores (+4 to any one, or +2 to any two), or any two bonus feats as inherent monster traits. An awnshegh can also gain a +5 natural bonus on its AC, increase its effective size by two categories for purposes of its natural weaponry, or increase its reach by 5 feet.

Class abilities: An awnshegh can acquire special class abilities as monster traits. Generally, these shouldn’t exceed what is accessible to characters of roughly the awnshegh’s level, though this is very dependent on the ability in question. Also, in cases in which an awnshegh does get a class ability, it may be modified or improved in some ways.

Hit dice: Awnsheghlien that have advanced at least one size category can take extra hit dice as a monster trait. These don’t count against the awnshegh’s advancement for purposes of abilities, feats or ability scores, though they do count for purposes of attack and save bonuses and skills. An awnshegh that advances to medium-size or a smaller size can take 2 HD, one that advances to large size can take 4 HD, one that advances to huge size can take 8 HD, one that advances to gargantuan size can take 16 HD, and one that advances to colossal size can take 32 HD. This counts as an extra ability above and beyond the size increase itself. A given hit dice bonus can be taken multiple times. However, any given hit dice bonus can only be taken starting at the 5th level a character has advanced as a monster, then at most every four levels thereafter.

Also note that it is often possible to split up abilities that are numerically defined in order to create a more organic progression into the full monster abilities. In this way, for instance, a monster can gain a skill bonus of +8 and a 15 ft. speed increase at one level, then add another +8 and 15 ft. at another level, instead of adding the full skill bonus at one level and the full speed bonus at another.

Finally, an awnshegh may also acquire certain negative qualities – light sensitivity, special vulnerabilities, etc. In general, these can be used to offset an extraordinarily powerful ability, or grant the ability to purchase additional monster abilities. In order for either of these to occur, the negative quality should be an actual hindrance to the awnshegh.

For all effects that grant saving throws, the DC should be set at 10 + 1/2 the awnshegh’s hit dice + a relevant ability modifier of the awnshegh (often its bloodline). For caster level purposes, also use the awnshegh’s total number of hit dice.


An Ehrshegh is any Scion who has the Bloodtrait blood ability. Ehrsheghlien follow the same rules as awnsheghlien, except as follows.

Ehrshehglien are created from any other bloodline except that of Azrai, and they use the Bloodtrait blood ability in place of Bloodform.

Ehrsheghlien advancement is completely voluntary; one is never forced to make a save when one advances a level.

Ehrsheghlien advancement does not affect a character’s alignment; however, in order to advance as an ehrshegh, a character must be within one step of the alignment of the god his bloodline is derived from: Anduiraslawful neutral; Basaïalawful neutral; Brennachaotic neutral; Maselaneutral good; Reynirneutral; Vorynnneutral. Thus, an ehrshegh of Masela can be either lawful good, neutral good, chaotic good, or neutral. If a character changes alignment so that he is no longer within one step of the alignment of his bloodline, he can’t advance as an ehrshegh again until his alignment is corrected. A character whose alignment does not exactly match his bloodline is treated as multiclassing into a non-favored class, and may suffer experience penalties.

Shadow World Creature

Numerous creatures call the Shadow World home. Most of these creatures have been corrupted by the spreading evil of the Shadow World and have perhaps gained power in the process. Regardless, creatures of the Shadow World tend to be hostile in disposition towards creatures from Aebrynis.

Creating a Shadow World Creature

This template can be applied to any non-undead creature that calls the Shadow World home, hereafter referred to as the “base creature.” The most common creatures to which to apply this template are animals, halflings, and fey. The creature’s type changes to “fey.” It uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Hit Dice: Decrease to d6.

Speed: The shadow world creature retains any movement modes the base creature has, and has a special 30 ft. bonus to movement while in the Shadow World.

Damage: The shadow world creature retains any natural attacks possessed by the base creature.

Special Attacks: A shadow world creature retains all the special attacks of the base creature.

Shadow World creatures with a Charisma score of 8 or higher gain spell-like abilities depending on their hit dice, using their hit dice as caster level:

Special abilities
Minor image 3/day, and chill touch 1/day
Change self 3/day, and cause fear 1/day
Gaseous form 3/day, and Shadow walk 1/day
Mirage arcana 1/day, and confusion 1/day
' Dream or nightmare 1/day

Special Qualities: A shadow world creature retains all the special qualities of the base creature. It also gains low-light vision, damage reduction 5/+1, and immunity to charm, fear, sleep, and polymorph effects. A Shadow World creature can always see invisible, as per the spell.

Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +0, Dex +2, Con +0, Int +2, Wis +0, Cha +2.

Skills: A shadow world creature gains a +2 racial bonus on all Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search and Spot checks. These bonuses stack with existing racial bonuses.

Climate/Terrain: Any land

Organization: Same as the base creature

Challenge Rating: As the base creature +1

Treasure: Same as the base creature

Alignment: Change to “usually neutral evil

Advancement: Same as the base creature

Shadow World Halfling

Small Fey

Hit Dice: 1d6 (3 hp)

Initiative: +2 (Dex)

Speed: 50 ft.

AC: 16 (+1 size, +2 Dex, +3 studded leather)

Attacks: Longsword +2 melee

Damage: Longsword 1d8-1 and sleep

Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Halfling traits, Spell-like ability

Special Qualities: Halfling traits, Immunities, See Invisible, Damage Reduction 5/+1

Abilities: Str 8, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 11, Cha 13

Skills: Climb +0, Hide +7, Jump +0, Listen +5, Move Silently +6, Search +2, Spot +2

Feats: Weapon Focus (longsword)

Climate/Terrain: Any land

Organization: Company (2-4), squad (11-20 plus leaders), or band (30-100 plus leaders and animals)

Challenge Rating: 1

Treasure: Standard

Alignment: Usually neutral evil

Advancement: By character class


Halfling traits: +2 racial bonus on Listen, Jump, Climb and Move Silently checks, +1 racial bonus on all saving throws, +2 morale bonus on saves against fear effects, +1 racial attack bonus with thrown weapons, shadow sense (able to detect evil, necromancy and undead on a search check).

Spell-like ability: 3/day – minor image; 1/day – chill touch. DC 11 + spell level.

Immunities: Immune to charm, fear, sleep, and polymorph effects.

Spectral Scion

Spectral scions are the ghostly remnants of scions slain by violent bloodtheft. They are most common in cases of bloodtheft involving tighmaevril, but may also be created in other cases. Spectral scions harbor resentment towards living scions and seek to claim the bloodlines of living scions for their own.

Creating a spectral scion

“Spectral scion” is a template that can be added to any creature with the scion template, hereafter referred to as the base creature. In order to create a spectral scion, first apply the ghost template to a scion then apply the spectral scion template. The spectral scion’s type is undead. The spectral scion uses all of the ghostly scion’s statistics and special abilities except as noted below.

Special Attacks: The spectral scion retains any special attacks that the base creature has. It gains the following special attacks:

Bloodline drain (Su): Any successful attack by the spectral scion upon a living scion inflicts 1d6 points of temporary bloodline damage, unless the scion manages a successful Fortitude save, modified by his Bloodline score instead of Constitution, against a DC of 10 + 1/2 the spectral scion’s HD + the spectral scion’s Charisma modifier. This may cause the temporary loss of specific blood abilities. If a spectral scion drains a character’s bloodline to 0, that character permanently loses his bloodline.

Energy drain (Su): Any creature hit by the spectral scion gains one negative level. The DC to negate this negative level is 10 + ½ the spectral scion’s HD + the spectral scion’s Charisma modifier.

Blood abilities (Sp): As the spectral scion drains power from living scions, it gains the ability to empower aspects of its own shattered bloodline. For each point of Bloodline drained, a spectral scion may use any one of its blood abilities once.

Special Qualities: The spectral scion retains any special qualities of the base creature. It gains the following special qualities:

Phantom bloodline (Su): A spectral scion no longer has any bloodline of its own. Only by drawing on the blooded power of the living can the spectral scion regain some of its former power temporarily.

Detect scions (Su): A spectral scion can sense the presence of any scions within a one-mile radius of itself. By concentrating for one round, it can sense the general direction of any scion, starting with strongest (by bloodline score), and learning the direction of successively weaker scions, round by round. If any scion comes within 60 feet of a spectral scion, the spectral scion is always aware of the exact location of that scion, as long as the scion remains within 60 feet. Therefore, the spectral scion is fully aware of the scion and cannot be caught flat-footed, flanked, or in any way lose its Dexterity bonus to that scion.

Successor awareness (Su): The spectral scion is always aware of the direction and distance to its closest and most powerful heir, if that heir is a scion. The spectral scion receives a -2 morale penalty on any attacks made against that character.

Challenge Rating: As the base creature +1 (remember to add an additional +2 for the ghost template first).