Half-Beast (3.5e Template)

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Half-Beast[edit]

Half-Beast are humanoids who are the offspring of a magical beast of feline, canine, or ursine nature and a mortal creature, specifically a human, elf, half-elf or Shifter. Beings of animal power, they are the hybridization of two unalike ideals.

Though only portions of their heritage carries over, Half-Beasts are borderline another race altogether from their progenitors. Most Half-Beasts' humanoid heritage stems from their mother's side, and they gain many of the greater qualities of a magical beast from their fathers, though this is not always true; there are many Half-Beasts who have magical beast mothers and humanoid fathers, but this is the exception and not the rule. Effectively part of two worlds, that of mortal races and the animal soul's domain, Half-Beasts have no true, specific place in the material world for them; they are not animals, nor magic beasts who can freely mingle among them, nor are they true humanoids who can live life without harassment or judgment among their peers.

It is widely known, in the case of Half-Beasts, their origin, whereas the lesser Beast Heir seems to be a subject of superstition. Though often attributed to the work of arcane magic in the case of Beast Heirs, it is never truly mistaken as to the origin of a Half-Beast; most common folk know well of the mingling of magical beast and humanoid blood and steer clear of its products. As such, the discrimination is far stronger in many major societies against such Half-Beast individuals who "subvert the norm", regardless of their innocence in a matter they hadn't any control over.

The children of Half-Beasts are almost always Beast Heirs.

Half-Beast Qualities[edit]

Like Beast Heirs, Half-Beasts are even more pronouncedly animal in physical and behavioral quality.

Though not feral, nor unintelligent in the slightest, Half-Beasts are particularly influenced by non-verbal communication; the way in which one stands, arms crossed or not at all, the revealing of their palms or the clenching of their fists, however light or tightly, all contribute in ways that most humanoids pay almost no heed to. A Half-Beast's favored communication is frequently that of both non-verbal and selective word choice, or in effect, the ability to convey what it is they are saying with little to actually be said. This route and behavior of communication is sadly all but lost on most mortal races who place value on diplomacy and words rather than deeds and intent. Though often not long winded, Half-Beasts are notorious for punctuating their dialogue with snarls, growls, rumbles and other forms of additional communication, displaying their emotion; if studied correctly, Half-Beasts openly (and willingly) allow their intentions to be perceived in their entirety by a viewer. Conversation may turn violent, if needed, but the ultimate deciding factor of hostility is the reaction of the individual the Half-Beast becomes more pronouncedly aggressive toward and less the action of the Half-Beast themselves.

It is not to say Half-Beasts cannot be charming, let alone charismatic, but its difficult to approach other races, even those of a parent's, which consider themselves well above the feral world and anyone remotely related to it, particularly by blood, magical beast or not.

There is no denying the physical qualities of a Half-Beast's magical beast heritage being overly abundant; most feature thick, robust mane-like patches of hair growing from scalp to neck, tracing between the shoulders. Coarse and naturally toned in color, this hair is able to bristle in most Half-Beasts and is another indicator of their demeanor or intent when they communicate non-verbally. Regardless of their specific heritage each Half-Beast has an identifiably muscular build that is less bulk and more raw leanness with animal quality and quantity to it; there is no lack in range of motion due to its scale, which is appropriate for their form. Ursine Half-Beasts are frequently more powerfully built and robust in every sense of the word, while canine Half-Beasts are lean and exhibit a notable runner's build, those of feline heritage however vary radically based on their specific bloodline; tiger Half-Beasts are muscular and all around well trimmed for example, whereas cheetah Half-Beasts lean more toward a thinner frame with long extremities.

In the case of feline Half-Beasts, the digits of the hands are slightly widened and thickened at the palms and have secure anchors for their retractable claws. In the case of those with ursine heritage, this is equally pronounced but decidedly lacking in the ability to fully withdraw their claws. Unlike Beast Heirs, all Half-Beasts have pronounced facial features and not just those of canine origin; canine and incisor teeth are lightly elongated and pointed as are the premolars which are more similar to carnassials than premolars. While not orc-like, their facial construction faintly leans toward that of their magical beast origin, giving it a certain raw savagery and animal aggression uncommon in their mortal parent's blood. One of the more telling traits of a Half-Beast is the upper body's slight enlargement compared to the torso to accommodate larger organs combined with a very dense abdomen and broadened shoulders and hips; these traits, common among quadrupeds, present a more unusual profile in mortal races, indicative of a Half-Beast due to their magical beast parent.

Some Half-Beasts are decidedly more animal-like than they are humanoid-like; though biologically and functionally the same, these variants of Half-Beasts are frequently mistaken for lycanthropes who are in their hybrid forms. Such errors on the behalf of the uneducated, xenophobic, or fearful have lead to multiple incidents and scares in the past which resulted in unnecessary loss of life and property for Half-Beasts and regular humanoids alike. These variant Half-Beasts, compared to their humanoid parent, are only vaguely humanoid, with their notable humanoid features being bipedalism, capacity for speech, intellect, and fully functional hands of which retain thumbs; again one can readily understand why these Half-Beasts can be easily mistaken for lycanthropes.

Half-Beasts are almost completely out of their element in a civilized environment and find functioning among normal civilizations an act border-lining futility. While not incapable of functioning in society, Half-Beasts often find themselves subjects of misguided and or overzealous ridicule and hatred, but rarely do such incidents swing directly to violence; few commoners, let alone guards, would dare pit themselves against a Half-Beast.

Creating a Half-Beast[edit]

The Half-Beast template is an inherited template that can be added to any corporeal humanoid or monstrous humanoid (referred to hereafter as the base creature) that has the Beast Heir template already applied.

Size and Type[edit]

The creature’s type changes to magical beast, and it becomes an augmented monstrous humanoid. Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged. The shapechanger subtype, if present, is also retained.

Hit Dice[edit]

Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d10s.

Speed[edit]

Land speed +10 feet, other movement modes unchanged.

Armor Class[edit]

Feline or canine heritage Half-Beasts increase the base creature’s natural armor bonus by +2. Ursine heritage Half-Beasts instead increase the base creature’s natural armor bonus by +3.

Attack[edit]

All Half-Beast of feline or ursine heritage gain two claw attacks if they did not already have them. Half-Beast with a canine heritage instead receive a bite attack if they did not already have one.

Damage[edit]

The base damage for a feline or ursine Half-Beast claw attack varies with its size as follows: Fine 1, Diminutive 1d2, Tiny 1d3, Small 1d4, Medium-size 1d6, Large 1d8, Huge 1d10, Gargantuan 2d6, Colossal 3d6. If the base creature already has a claw attack, the damage dies are advanced by one step instead. The base damage for a canine Half-Beast bite attack varies with its size as follows: Fine 1d2, Diminutive 1d3, Tiny 1d4, Small 1d6, Medium-size 1d8, Large 1d10, Huge 2d6, Gargantuan 3d6, Colossal 4d6. If the base creature already has a bite attack, the damage dies are advanced by one step instead.

Special Attacks[edit]

Half-Beasts of feline heritage gain Pounce.

Special Qualities[edit]

All Half-Beasts gain the Scent extraordinary ability, along with gaining Darkvision out to 60 feet.
All Half-Beasts gain Fast Healing equal to one half of their hit dice. This benefit does not stack with other sources of fast healing.
Half-Beasts can communicate and empathize with animals or magical beasts of their beast heritage. This gives them a +4 racial bonus on checks when influencing an animal’s or magical beast's attitude and allows the communication of simple concepts and (if the animal or magical beast is friendly) commands, such as "friend," "foe," "flee," and "attack."

Abilities[edit]

All Half-Beasts receive an increase to Wisdom of +2.
Feline heritage Beast Heirs gain a +2 bonus to Strength and Dexterity.
Canine heritage Beast Heirs gain a +2 bonus to Dexterity.
Ursine heritage Beast Heirs gain a +2 bonus to Constitution.

Skills[edit]

All Half-Beasts receive a bonus to their Knowledge (Nature) and Sense Motive skills of +2.

Feats[edit]

All Half-Beasts gain the Iron Will feat as a bonus feat.
Half-Beasts with feline heritage gain the Weapon Focus (Claw) feat as a bonus feat, even if they do not meet the prerequisites.
Half-Beasts who are of ursine heritage gain the feats Weapon Focus (Claw), Snatch and Toughness as bonus feats, even if they do not meet the prerequisites.
Half-Beasts of canine heritage gain the Run, Track, and Weapon Focus (Bite) feats as bonus feats, even if they do not meet the prerequisites.

Environment[edit]

Same as the base creature.

Organization[edit]

Same as the base creature.

Challenge Rating[edit]

Same as base creature +1.

Treasure[edit]

Standard.

Alignment[edit]

Same as the base creature.

Advancement[edit]

By character class.

Level Adjustment[edit]

Same as the base creature +1.

Half-Beast Weaknesses[edit]

Cultural Taboo

Being the direct descendant of a magical beast, a Half-Beast suffers from a significantly worse status in most cultures than those who are Beast Heirs. As such, highly civilized persons need only make a DC 10 Spot check to recognize the Half-Beast as a Half-Beast because of their clearly animal qualities and supernatural presence rather than the normal DC 15. Uncivilized cultures, persons of rural areas, or individuals frequently in contact with the wilderness, or those otherwise friendly with it, still do not, however, have a chance to immediately become unfriendly toward the Half-Beast based on appearance and mannerisms alone.

Lycanthropic Embrace

Half-Beasts are prone to an unusual condition specific to them that causes afflicted lycanthropy to manifest in radically pronounced ways of which originate from their mixed heritage. A Half-Beast who would become afflicted with lycanthropy instead manifests the lycanthropy as if they were a natural lycanthrope, even though Half-Beasts are monstrous humanoids. As such, a Half-Beast must make a saving throw as normal when they are subject to Curse of Lycanthropy. If the Half-Beast fails their saving throw they become a natural lycanthrope instead of an afflicted lycanthrope, but may not utilize their humanoid form, thus effectively losing it, and may only assume their animal form, while their hybrid form becomes their natural form. A Half-Beast who becomes a lycanthrope cannot be cured of their lycanthropy because they are a natural lycanthrope rather than an afflicted lycanthrope.
No other qualities of afflicted lycanthropy are assumed by an infected Half-Beast; they are, for all intents and purposes, natural lycanthropes.
Lycanthropic Embrace's effects only apply for heritages that match the lycanthrope, otherwise they are immune as normal for their type; a werewolf may infect a canine heritage Half-Beast, but may not turn a feline or ursine heritage Half-Beast into a werewolf, for example.

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