View Full Version : [3.5/Pathfinder Monster] White Wanderer

2011-09-06, 01:38 PM
Here is the writeup for a Linnorm Kings themed monster that I'm considering submitting to Wayfinder magazine. Would you mind looking it over and telling me what you think?

A weather-beaten and rugged man in rough, ice-caked travelling garb stumbles toward your camp out of the dark, arms extended longingly toward your campfire.

White Wanderers plague the frozen wastes of the North much as zombies and skeletons infest graveyards and battlefields in warmer climates. When a creature dies of cold and exposure, longing for a warm fire with its last thoughts, there is a chance that it will rise up and keep searching for warmth as a White Wanderer. They retain blurred memories of the time before their death but invariably don't know what they've become, and any further experiences fade and are forgotten within a matter of hours. Driven inexorably onward by an insatiable hunger for warmth, White Wanderers drift South out of the forests and mountains toward camps and towns, plaintively seeking shelter with chilling tales of getting lost in blizzards or trapped in cold crevasses. Their unique curse serves to reinforce their stories, as it disguises their undead nature, and a group of travellers may not notice they have a Wanderer in their midst until their fire has died out and the chilling cold that the undead emits has doomed them all to a similar fate.

Though they retain a thin veneer of humanity at first, things can turn ugly if you attempt to turn one away from your campfire. Denied the heat it hungers for, the White Wanderer will erupt into a frenzy of frustrated rage and attack with ice-heavy fists, all skill, technique and identity from its former life forgotten. Tales tell of entire villages, frozen to death during especially bad storms, rising as herds of Wanderers to bring cold doom to their neighbours.

Creating a White Wanderer
“White Wanderer” is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal creature (other than an undead or cold subtype) with at least 2 Hit Dice and 3 Intelligence, and without immunity to cold damage, referred to hereafter as the base creature.
Challenge Rating: This depends on the creature's new total number of Hit Dice, as follows:
2 1 400
3–4 2 600
5–6 3 800
7–8 4 1,200
9–10 5 1,600
11–12 6 2,400
13–16 7 3,200
17–20 8 4,800
21–24 9 6,400
25–28 10 9,600
Alignment: Always neutral evil.
Type: The creature's type changes to undead. It retains any subtype except for alignment subtypes (such as good) and subtypes that indicate kind. It does not gain the augmented subtype. It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Armor Class: Natural armor is based on the White Wanderer's size:
White Wanderer Size - Natural Armor Bonus
Tiny or smaller +0
Small +1
Medium +2
Large +3
Huge +4
Gargantuan +7
Colossal +11
Hit Dice: Change all of the creature’s racial HD to d8s, then add 2 racial Hit Dice to this total (creatures without racial HD gain 2). HD from class levels are unchanged. White Wanderers use their Charisma modifiers to determine bonus hit points (instead of Constitution).
Saves:[/b] Base save bonuses for racial Hit Dice are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +1/2, HD + 2.
Defensive Abilities: White Wanderers gains DR 5/slashing and cold, in addition to undead traits. They also gain immunity to fire, and for each point of fire damage (magical and otherwise) dealt to a White Wanderer, it is healed for 1 point of damage.
Speed: White Wanderers are made heavy enough by encrusted ice that they can no longer fly.
Attacks: A White Wanderer retains all the natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature. It also gains a slam attack that deals damage based on the White Wanderer's size, but as if it were one size category larger than its actual size.
BAB: A White Wanderer's base attack for racial HD is equal to 3/4 its Hit Dice.
Skills: Gains skill ranks per racial Hit Die equal to 4 + its Int modifier. Class skills for racial HD are Climb, Disguise, Fly, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), Perception, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, and Stealth. Skills gained from class levels remain unchanged.
Feats: White Wanderers gain Toughness as a bonus feat. When enraged, a White Wanderer loses the benefit of all feats that would modify combat rolls.
Special Qualites:
Enrage (Su): A White Wanderer is not aware that it is undead, and will respond will all class features and abilities like normal if interacted with. However, if a violent attempt is made to force it away from a heat source or it is reduced to ½ hit points, it goes berserk and mindlessly attacks the nearest living creature with its bare hands.

Special Abilities:
Absorb Heat (Su):
Any time a White Wanderer deals cold damage to a living creature or extinguishes a heat source with its aura, it gains fast healing 5 for 1 round.

Chilling Aura (Su):
The mere presence of a White Wanderer drains the heat out of everything around it, starting with specific heat sources such as open fires and hot metal. At the beginning of each round, enough heat is drained out of all specific heat sources in a 15 ft radius to extinguish the equivalent of a burning torch. A typical campfire would gutter out after two or three rounds, while other heat sources would take longer to extinguish. After specific heat sources are drained, the temperature drops 5° F every round until the temperature reaches –30° F. Those that fail their save against the Winter's Glamour special ability are unable to notice this change in temperature and its effect on them. Multiple auras are not cumulative. A creature that dies after taking damage as a result of this aura rises as a White Wanderer 1d6 rounds later.

Cold (Su):
A creature touching a White Wanderer or attacking it with natural weapons or unarmed strikes takes 1d6 cold damage. A White Wanderer's slam attack does an additional 1d6 cold damage. A creature killed by a White Wanderer's cold damage rises as a White Wanderer 1d6 rounds later.

Winter's Glamour (Su):
One of the effects of the White Wanderer curse is that their undead nature is supernaturally concealed. Those who view a White Wanderer must make a Will save (DC 15 + the White Wanderer's Cha modifier) or view it as it looked just before it died. Those who fail their save will ignore or explain away any facts that would make them believe that the White Wanderer is something other than how they see it. They also become numb to and unable to notice the dangerous cold environmental effects produced by proximity to White Wanderers. Whenever a creature that failed it's save is damaged by the Cold special ability or a slam attack, they are allowed another save at -5 DC. Those that have a White Wanderer's undead nature pointed out to them by an ally are allowed a second save at normal DC, but cannot save this way again another for 24 hrs. This is a mind-effecting supernatural ability.

2011-09-06, 04:30 PM
This is an interesting, flavorful template. A little feedback:

Your template changes creatures to undead but does not remove their Constitution scores.
There is a loose comma in your Will save description.
I know that fly is a class skill for the undead type, but it seems odd to grant fly as a class skill in the same template that eliminates the ability to fly.
Stylistically, I like it. However, for the fluff and crunch to blend well, I'd suggest a longer onset time before chilling aura snuffs out torches and campfires. The white wanderer obviously wants to pose as a chilled traveler seeking a warm fire, but it's impossible to avoid suspicion if campfires wink out 15 seconds after you approach them.
You might also wish to reproduce the rules for cold damage taken at –30° F, to save the GM the trouble of looking it up.

2011-09-07, 11:18 AM
What would you recommend for the Chilling Aura onset time?

2011-09-07, 12:17 PM
Depending on how you envision it, I'd expect anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour.