View Full Version : Prehistoric Animal [PEACH!]

2008-01-01, 05:45 PM
Alright, this is inspired by the old "lost world" genre of novels and movies (and, specifically, King Kong), and basically is attempt to make a template to just make a big animal, since there's not real "dire" template and the dire animals don't really work for my purposes (specifically, for my Design Contest Entry).

The problem is, I'm not sure what to do for the CR. It seems to make them more powerful by a lot, but HP are still low, so I'm not sure if it warrants a huge CR increase. My first guess was about +2 CR, but I'm not sure. What do you guys think?

[Also, the wording sounds a little funny, but size changes always throw me off a little regarding how much I need to actually write out, and the only size-changing template I could find, Dungeonbred, didn't really help much.]


Prehistoric Animal
Prehistoric animals are larger and fiercer than their modern versions, and they pose a great danger to those that encounter them.

Creating a Prehistoric Animal
Prehistoric animal is an inherited template that can be applied to any living, corporeal Animal (referred to hereafter as the base creature).

A prehistoric animal uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type: The creature gains the Prehistoric subtype (see below). The creature’s size increases by two size categories (to a maximum of Colossal) due to this subtype. The changes due to size are laid out on the chart below

Hit Dice: The creature’s hit dice increase to d12s due to its new Prehistoric subtype.

Initiative: The creature’s initiative may decrease due a possible decrease in Dexterity from its new size category (see chart below).

Speed: The creature’s speed increases by 20 feet (4 squares) for all movement modes.

Armor Class: The creature gets a size penalty to AC due to its size change, but its natural armor bonus increases due to its size change (see chart below), and it also gains a further +4 increase in natural armor. (A creature with no natural armor is treated as having a +0 natural armor bonus).

Base Attack/Grapple: Base Attack Bonus is unchanged. The creature’s grapple modifier increases to account for its new size category (see chart below).

Damage: The damage for creature’s natural weapons increases as on the chart below.

Space/Reach: The creature’s space and reach increase due to its new size.

Organization: Organization changes to Usually Solitary

Advancement: As base creature, but size increases due to HD advancement will change. For instance, a prehistoric hyena would normally change from Medium to Large at 4 HD. Instead, a 4 HD prehistoric hyena would be a Gargantuan creature (Medium increases to Huge because of the Prehistoric template, and a further increase of one category to Gargantuan at 4 HD). Size can never increase beyond Colossal.

Challenge Rating: 1-8 HD: +2 CR; 9+ HD: +3 CR

Table 1.1 - Changes to Statistics for Two-Size Increase:
{table=head] Old Size | New Size | Str | Dex | Con | Nat. Armor | AC/Attack
Fine | Tiny | 2 | -4 | Same | Same | -6
Diminutive | Small | +6 | -4 | Same | Same | -3
Tiny | Medium | +8 | -4 | Same | Same | -2
Small | Large | +12 | -4 | +2 | +2 | -2
Medium | Huge | +16 | -4 | +6 | +5 | -2
Large | Gargantuan | +16 | -2 | +8 | +7 | -3
Huge | Colossal | +16 | Same | +8 | +9 | -6
Gargantuan | Colossal | +8 | Same | +4 | +5 | -4[/table]

Table 1.2 – Changes to Natural Weapon Damage for a Two-Size Increase:
{table=head] Old [br] Damage | New [br] Damage
1d2 | 1d4
1d3 | 1d6
1d4 | 1d8
1d6 | 1d10
1d8 | 2d6
1d10 | 2d8
2d6 | 3d6
2d8 | 3d8[/table]


Prehistoric Sub-Type: A Prehistoric Animal is an animal in its ancient, larger, more powerful form. It retains most of the qualities of the Animal type, with the following exceptions.

Hit die increases to d12 (instead of d8).
Low-light vision, as well as darkvision to a range of 60 feet.


Sample Creature: Prehistoric Ape
Prehistoric Ape

Gargantuan Animal (Prehistoric)
Hit Dice: 4d12+27 (53 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares); climb 50 ft.
Armor Class: 18 (–4 size, +1 Dex, +11 natural), touch 7, flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+28
Attack: Claw +12 melee (2d6+13)
Full Attack: 2 Claws +12 melee (2d6+13) and bite +7 melee (2d6+6)
Space/Reach: 20 ft./20 ft.
Special Attacks: --
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +10, Ref +5, Will +2
Abilities: Str 37, Dex 13, Con 22, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 7
Skills: Climb +22, Listen +6, Spot +6
Feats: Alertness, Toughness
Environment: Tropical jungles
Organization: Usually solitary
Challenge Rating: 4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 5-8 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment: --

The creature that crashes through the jungle foliage ahead towers above you, beating its chest and bearing its huge fangs. Its thick fur is matted and reeks of meals long ago lost to the tangles of hair, and it has a wild gleam in its eyes.

A prehistoric ape stands approximately 45 feet tall and weighs in at about 10 tons (or 20,000 pounds). These terrifying creatures are exceedingly rare, which is a good thing – as omnivores, they’re just as likely to eat a tree as they are a human.


A prehistoric ape fights with its claws and teeth, seeking to destroy any opponents with their massive strength. Rare specimens may replace the Alertness feat with Power Attack.

Skills: Prehistoric apes have a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.

Lady Tialait
2008-01-01, 06:24 PM
Oh this is made of win. The boost of the CR should be somewhere like +1...I think all it really does it make it easier to hit them, and give them ALOT more HP, I think +1 would be far.

2008-01-01, 09:02 PM
The thing is, look at the Prehistoric Ape in comparison to some other things. It's definitely better than, say, the CR 3 Deinonychus (http://systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/monstersDitoDo.html#deinonychus-dinosaur). It has twice the HP, probably around 3 times the damage, has a climb speed, a massive grapple modifier, and better reach. If the Prehistoric Animal template's worth +1 CR, that would make it a CR 3, and that just seems too low.

In reality, I'd say it's probably closer to a Dire Boar (http://systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/monstersDitoDo.html#dire-boar) (CR 4), or maybe even a Dire Lion (http://systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/monstersDitoDo.html#dire-lion) (CR 5), so that could be a +2 or +3 CR.

Anyone else have an opinion?

EDIT: And I've just now realized - apparently Dire animals and Dinosaurs are all of the Animal type and can thus qualify for the Prehistoric Animal template! :smalleek:

Jack Zander
2008-01-02, 12:52 AM
Heh, a prehistoric T-Rex?

+2 or +3 seems fair. Not sure which though.

EDIT: And larger creatures become harder to hit with their natural armor increases.

2008-01-02, 02:09 AM
I like it. Don't know what the CR change is...

For the sake of simplicity (Even though it will be quite challenging for you) try to adapt your chart so it shows a size increase of 2 categories. Trying to add them up can get a little confusing (you have to add together both the row of the original size and the one below it)

Also, you didn't put the natural attack damage increase from size on the chart.

hehehe...prehistoric penguin...

2008-01-02, 12:11 PM
For the sake of simplicity (Even though it will be quite challenging for you) try to adapt your chart so it shows a size increase of 2 categories. Trying to add them up can get a little confusing (you have to add together both the row of the original size and the one below it)

I guess I'm losing my mind - it didn't even occur to me to do that! :smallconfused: Anyway, I've got to run some errands, but I'll be back in a bit to do that and update the entry above.

Also, you didn't put the natural attack damage increase from size on the chart.

Yeah, I just forgot about it. I'll put it here eventually too, probably doing it for a two-size increase also.

2008-01-02, 02:25 PM
Alright, I've done some editing, and added the new charts that detail two-size changes rather than just the SRD one-size change charts.

I was thinking about it, and I think maybe the CR should be something like "1-8 HD: +2 CR; 9+ HD: +3 CR." That takes into account the fact that the extra hit points add up at higher HD, and that once you start using bigger creatures (especially ones that grow naturally at higher hit dice), it's a little more powerful. Thoughts?

Beren One-Hand
2008-02-07, 01:03 PM
By using the charts provided in the Improving Monsters section in the SRD, they Constitution increase for two size increases should be as follows:
Fine to Tiny: Same
Diminutive to Small: Same
Tiny to Medium: +2
Small to Large: +6
Medium to Huge: +8
Large to Gargantuan: +8
Huge to Colossal: +8
Gargantuan to Colossal: +4

Also by these charts the damage increase for two sizes should be:
1d2 -> 1d4
1d3 -> 1d6
1d4 -> 1d8
1d6 -> 2d6
1d8 -> 3d6
1d10 -> 3d8
2d6 -> 4d6 (This is a guess as there is no 3d6 on the chart to increase once more)
2d8 -> 4d8 (This is a guess as there is no 3d8 on the chart to increase once more)

2008-02-07, 01:12 PM
This template should give the creature a bite attack, if it didn't have one before. Because everyone knows all prehistoric animals were sabertooth.