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- Oct 2009
Shtriga Template, Updated (3.5e, PEACH)
I actually created this template quite a while ago, but I wasn't very satisfied with it. So I changed quite a few things about it, and added a few more abilities and weaknesses. In case anyone is wondering, greater bestow curse can be found in Complete Divine. The Shtriga creation ritual is an optional rule, mainly added for flavor text. It's created using the incantation rules from Unearthed Arcana.
Shtrigas are a special form of undead that can only be created from hags. They can only be created from a special ritual that requires a coven to be present. Usually, the coven joins together with the express purpose of turning each of its members into a shtriga, before each member goes their separate way.
Shtrigas are solitary creatures who don’t like to compete with others of their kind for their favored source of sustenance, which is the souls of infant children. Though shtrigas can survive off of the souls of any creature, they seem to take a perverse pleasure in consuming the souls of newborn children, to the point that it is an uncontrollable craving.
Shtrigas are rare creatures, especially since they cannot create spawn or be created with a simple spell. They usually resemble the hags that they are created from, though their flesh shows subtle hints of decay and their eyes are bright blue. They are infamous for their eyes, which are sometimes referred to as the evil eye, and a glance from a shtriga can cause extreme sickness or another form of curse.
Creating a Shtriga
“Shtriga” is an acquired subtype that can be added to any hag (with the exception of Night Hags and other “hags” with the Outsider type), henceforth referred to as the base creature. The shtriga uses all the base creature’s statistics, except as mentioned below.
Size/Type: Type changes to Undead (Augmented Monstrous Humanoid). Do not recalculate Base Attack Bonuses, saves, or skill points. Size remains the same.
Hit Dice: All current and future Hit Dice become d12s.
Armor Class: A shtriga gains a +4 bonus to her natural armor.
Special Attacks: A shtriga retains all the special attacks of the base creature, while also gaining the following;
Soul Drain (Su): When a shtriga pins an opponent during a grapple, the shtriga automatically drains a portion of the opponent’s soul, bestowing two negative levels for every round the pin is maintained. Each time these negative levels are bestowed, the shtriga gains 5 temporary Hit Points. A creature killed by a shtriga with this ability cannot be raised from the dead with any spell short of true resurrection unless the shtriga is killed first.
Pale Eye (Su): Three times per day, as a standard action, a shtriga can look into the eyes of an enemy with a burning hate. That enemy must make a Will save (DC 10 + ½ the shtriga’s HD + the shtriga’s Wisdom modifier), or be cursed as if having been the target of a bestow curse (caster level 15th or equal to the shtriga’s HD, whichever is higher). If the shtriga has yet to use any of its uses of this ability for the day, the shtriga may instead opt to use this ability only once for the day in order to mimic the effects of a greater bestow curse spell.
Warp Wood (Sp): The touch of a shtriga is extremely harmful to objects made out of wood. Anything composed of wood that is touched by a shtriga can be effected as if by the warp wood spell, as though cast with a caster level of 15th or equal to the shtriga’s HD, whichever is higher. Using this ability is a standard action. Regardless of whether the shtriga consciously decides to warp the wood or not, the shtriga’s handprint is permanently carved into the part that she touched, though this print alone isn’t enough to full warp the item.
Special Qualities: The shtriga keeps all the special qualities of the base creature, and gains the following.
Alternate Form (Su): As a standard action, a shtriga can assume the form of a swarm of mosquitoes. The shtriga loses her soul drain and warp wood abilities in this form, but gain all the abilities of a normal mosquito swarm. A shtriga can remain in this form until she decides to revert to her normal form.
Damage Reduction: A shtriga gains Damage Reduction 10/Cold Iron, unless the base creature has better Damage Reduction (in which case it keeps the original value).
Spell Resistance: A shtriga has Spell Resistance equal to its HD + 15.
Turn Resistance: Shtrigas have +2 Turn Resistance.
Abilities: A shtriga gains +4 Strength, +4 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, +6 Wisdom, and +2 Charisma. As undead creatures, shtrigas do not have Constitution scores.
Challenge Rating: +2
Alignment: Same as base creature.
Level Adjustment: +3
Shtrigas have several weaknesses, despite their strengths. A person who spends a standard action shouting the name of their favored deity and a quick prayer causes the shtriga to recoil. A recoiling shtriga must stay at least five feet away from the person shouting the prayer, and cannot make touch or melee attacks against him for the rest of the encounter.
If a person carves a holy symbol out of bone and places it over the main entrance of a structure during a religious holiday, any shtrigas inside the structure are trapped within for the rest of the day unless the symbol is removed. Some people use this weakness to trap shtrigas in a home and burn them alive.
Shtrigas are especially fond of sucking the souls from infants, but if one were to dip an iron coin into the blood of a newborn that he has personally killed, the coin functions as an amulet of Hide From Undead (but only against shtrigas) whenever it is carried or worn. Due to the heinous nature of the act, most people do not consider this an option.
Shtriga Creation Ritual
Effective Level: 9th
Skill Check: Knowledge (Religion) 21, 6 successes; Knowledge (Arcana) 21, 3 successes
Components: V, S, XP, SC
Casting Time: 90 minutes
Target: Single Living Hag
Saving Throw: None.
Spell Resistance: No.
This ritual can only be performed by hags (living or undead) during a waxing moon, and the target must be a living hag. During this ritual, the three hags meet in an open field, and the target-to-be begins chanting as the other two hags dance around her.
At the end of the ritual, the chanting hag drops dead and the other two hags bring her corpse to a safer location. They will not know if the ritual was successful or not until twenty-four hours have passed; at that time, if the ritual was successful the hag will reanimate (gaining the shtriga template). If it was not, the hag simply never rises.
Secondary Casters: This ritual requires two additional casters, both of whom must be hags (or a form of undead created from a hag) to perform the dancing part of the ritual. This ritual cannot function with just the verbal components performed by the target. The secondary casters must remain in close range to the primary caster for the duration of the ritual.
XP Component: The potential shtriga must sacrifice 500 XP for the ritual to work.