View Full Version : They Won't Even Let You Scream (3.5 Template)

Realms of Chaos
2011-02-10, 02:09 PM
Looking back through all of my old works, it surprises me that I've never made a template before (or at least not in its own thread). I'm pretty new to this but I guess that I'll give it a shot. :smallconfused:

Although they act chiefly as assassins, some glooms (ELH, p192) choose not to kill their victims. Instead, they may knock out a creature and force feed them a tiny scrap of their own rubbery flesh. The victim of this attack and their offspring are forever transformed. Their eyes grow small and beady, their skin turns rubbery and gray, and their mouths stretch wide and are filled with wicked teeth. After a few generations, humanoids and monstrous humanoids with this condition produce a fully-grown gloom as a child, a child that slays the mother during birth and starts life by hunting down its own father. These warped individuals, though arguably blessed, are known as the gloom-cursed.

Sample Gloom-Cursed Creature: Gloom-Cursed Wolf
Medium Magical Beast
Hit Dice:2d10+4 (15 hp)
Initiative: +8
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (+4 Dex, +2 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapply: +2/+3
Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d6+1)
Full Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d6+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Trip, Sneak Attack +1d6
Special Qualities: Blindsight 10 feet, Low-light Vision, Quiscence, Scent, Spell Resistance 12 against divination effects.
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +1
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 19, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Hide +5, Listen +3, Spot +3, Survival +1*
Feats: Darkstalker, Improved Initiative, Track(b), Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pack (7-16)
Challenge Rating: 2
Advancement: 3 HD (Medium); 4-6 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: –

A mangy looking quadredal creature walks towards you in total silence. Though it looks vaguely like a wolf, it’s eyes are mere dots on the sides of its head and its mouth opens far too wide. Large patches of fur are missing, revealing equally grey flesh underneath.

Whether out of respect for their hunting interest, for their own amusement, or to accomplish unfathomable ends, Glooms occasionally curse a creature that possesses no chance of creating another gloom, such as a wolf. In a wild environment, gloom-cursed wolves hunt in packs without sound, silently trouncing prey and quickly clearing out most other forms of prey as they breed and feast.

Combat: Gloom-Cursed Wolves often rely on ambush to secure prey, attacking creatures who wonder too far away from safety and biting through vital tendons and veins as they knock the creature down. The silence of the wolves prevents their prey from even calling out for help. As they have no means to contact each other at a great distance and no great need to surround prey, Gloom-Cursed Wolves hunt in much closer formation than their mundane cousins, trying to keep each other in visual range.
Quiscence (Su): A Gloom-Cursed Wolf is constantly silent as per the silence spell. Unlike its unearthly progenitor, however, the silence extends 5 feet beyond the creature’s body and can’t be suppressed.
Sneak Attack: As the rogue class feature.
Trip (Ex): A wolf that hits with a bite attack can attempt to trip the opponent (+1 check modifier) as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip the wolf.
*Wolves have a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent.

Creating a Gloom-Cursed
“Gloom-Cursed” is an inherited template that can be added to any living, corporeal creature.

Size and Type: Animals with this template become magical beasts and humanoids become monstrous humanoids, but otherwise the creature type is unchanged. Size is unchanged.
Special Attacks: A Gloom-Cursed creature retains all special attacks of the base creature and also gains the following special attack.
Sneak Attack +1d6: A Gloom-Cursed creature gains sneak attack as the rogue class feature. This damage stacks with other sources of sneak attack damage that a Gloom-Cursed creature may acquire.
Special Qualities: A Gloom-Cursed creature retains all special qualities of the base creature and also gains the following special qualities
Quiscence (Su): A Gloom-Cursed creature is constantly silent as per the silence spell. Unlike its unearthly progenitor, however, the silence extends 5 feet beyond the creature’s body and can’t be suppressed.
--Spell Resistance 10 + HD (including class levels) against divination effects.
--Blindsight 10 feet
Feats: A Gloom-Cursed creature gains Improved Initiative and either Darkstalker (Lords of Madness) or Silent Spell as bonus feats.
Abilities: Dex +4
Languages: A sentient Gloom-Cursed creature automatically learns Drow Sign Language.
Challenge Rating: As base creature +1
Level Adjustment: As base creature +2

Defending a +2 LA:
I know that I’m relatively new to template creation but I’ve seen that whenever one is produced, there is almost always a case that is raised on behalf of lowering the proposed LA (unless it’s horribly overpowered and needs a higher one, which I doubt is the case here). In any case, here is my case in support of +2 LA.
First off, this class grants +1d6 sneak attack so a Gloom-Cursed Rogue possesses +2d6 at EL 3 just as they normally would. Likewise, the two (decent) bonus feats that this template grants actually put a player ahead of the curve, feat-wise.
That said, what a player loses is hit points and skill points (the second one being a big deal as it makes you wait two levels later for your PrC). In return for that, however, you get a +4 Dex bonus, some okay SR to help you remain undetected (which is your goal if you have this template anyway), a small bit of blindsight (which never hurts), and, most importantly, quiescence. The ability to automatically succeed on all move silently checks has so far been restricted to incorporeal creatures (none of which are accessible before EL 3) and people with the silence spell (again accessible at EL 3). The ability to move around unhindered, kill foes without alerting more, smash through windows without causing a fuss, and so forth is a very big deal.
My last reason for supporting LA +2 is a rather meta- reason but perhaps my most valid one. I have a feeling that most people who would want this to be LA +1 are in the process of imagining this in combination with the Dark template for the “perfect combo”. Even if this template on its own would qualify as an LA +1, there is very little chance that a combination of this and the dark template qualifies as LA +2 due to an uncomfortable amount of synergy present in the construction. As such, LA +2 to be safe.
I may be wrong about this, however, and I welcome you to try convincing me to the contrary.

There, that was surprisingly fun. Even more surprisingly, that was pretty fast (only an hour or so). I should probably consider doing some more of these when I've got some time. :smallbiggrin:

2011-02-10, 02:58 PM
While the template isn't too terribly powerful, it is at the right power level for it's CR/LA increase. Why I'm saying it's not very powerful, is that I'd imagine creatures able to cause such a transformation to be pretty powerful, and creatures able to eventually create one of their creators should be pretty strong, too.

I'm not saying you should make it more powerful. It's actually perfectly balanced as is, and making it stronger would throw off the balance. However, I'd imagine that there should be a 'greater' version, too, is what I'm trying to get at.
Those that are further down the reproductive line, closer to producing actual glooms, would be stronger.

To say that this is definitely a stealth based template would be an understatement. To say that these are creepy would also be an understatement. And to say that I'd want to meet one would be an all-out lie.
Good work!

Land Outcast
2011-02-11, 12:13 AM
What can I say?
I love it, it's neat, both crunch and fluff.
Quiscence rocks (silently), and the choice to give it just a +4 Dex is reasonable (and you avoid giving out lesser miscelaneous bonuses).

Beyond that, I was about to suggest details for a possible "greater" version, and realized I'm not sure what'd be the target... I mean, how CR heavy should it be?

Realms of Chaos
2011-02-11, 01:04 AM
I'm considering the possibility of a greater template but I honestly doubt that it would be that exciting, as only monstrous humanoids and humanoids (which become monstrous humanoids) would ever advance that far in the transformation, it would like just grant a couple monstrous humanoid RHD, +2d6 more sneak attack, a fear aura, and maybe better dex/blindsight. Nothing to write back home about and I'm not sure if its really worth the trouble when a good DM could simply describe the gradual transformation in visual terms, making some creatures obviously more evolved (outside of mechanics, at least) than others.

That said, I'll make the greater gloom-cursed template if more people ask for it.

The Tygre
2011-02-11, 03:39 PM
Asking for it! Asking for it! The Gloom needs more love! Love the Gloom!

2011-02-12, 05:27 PM
Asking for it! Asking for it! The Gloom needs more love! Love the Gloom!

Yeah, this.