Half-Grue (3.5e Template)
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Grues are an odd race of creatures that are native to a thin layer of space in between the Material Plane and the plane of shadow.
Half-grues are creatures that are for one reason or another share half their bloodline with a grue. This is one of the few ways to observe a grue's characteristics (as the partial shadow nature of grues make capturing one exceedingly difficult). Their appearance becomes more-and-more grue-like as they grow more powerful, some of the most powerful half-grues are rumored to actually be Ur-Grues.
Half-grues are common to the more populated areas of the plane of shadow. There is rumored to be a city comprised entirely of intelligent half-grues to be somewhere on the plane of shadow sitting between 2 alternate material planes.
Owing to the predatory nature of the Grue, the half-grue seems to follow suit. "The hunger" for food, this rapid metabolism forces the half-grue to always be hungry. This translates to other aspects of a half-grue's life. Intelligent half-grue report seeing every conversation instinctively turning into a sort of hunt for them. Like they are viewing everyone else as natural prey, that they both depend on and that they feel superior to.
 Creating a Half-grue
There are two ways to become a half-grue. Either be born of a humanoid, monstrous humanoid, fey, native outsider, or giant and an Ur-Grue (a grue which is born with heightened intelligence instead of the animalistic intelligence most grues are born with), or in some rare instances casting Shadow-walk while a grue is about to eat the creature will cause the grue and caster to merge into one creature. This can happen to any class of creature except those native to the plane of shadow. This can also happen backwards by a grue being shunted into the plane of shadow (via a bright light) while a being is standing in that spot. In either case the being with the higher intelligence score (usually the being, very rarely an Ur-Grue) becomes in command of the new creature.
 Size and Type
Size remains unchanged
Creature never gains the extraplanar subtype on the plane of shadow and for all intents and purposes a native of both the plane of shadow and the material plane. If type is normally outsider it becomes native outsider. If type is normally "animal" then it becomes "magical beast".
 Hit Dice
hitdice remain unchanged
When in the plane of shadow add +10 to combat movement speed. If using shadow walk to move through the plane of shadow, the half-grue and a number of companions equal to his hit-dice can move 80 miles an hour rather then 50 for long-range travel.
Any natural attacks are increased by 1 die category, if base creature has no natural attacks then this does nothing.
 Special Qualities
Darkvision 60 ft. if base creature has darkvision, this increases by 30 ft
Light sensitivity: Half-grues are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell for the first round, every round thereafter they are sickened. Although half-grues are not subject to being shunted into the plain of shadow like full-blooded grues, they do feel sick to their stomachs when exposed to bright light.
The hunger: Half-grues have a rapid metabolism. This means that they only experience the primary effect of poisons (not the secondary effect, it's flushed out of their system before it kicks in) however it means that they require double the food and water of a creature their size. If the half-grue ever gains the ability to go completely without food and water (such as from the monk class), they retain a sense of hunger and emptiness that equates to -1 wisdom which can only be removed permanently by way of a wish or miracle spell.
Has Scent for 15 ft. However they can only smell creatures on the plane of shadow or the ethereal plane. While on the ethereal plane or the plane of shadow they can only smell creatures on the material plane (or other plane bordering the plane of shadow)
 Spell-like abilities:
As the Half-grue gains hit dice, they receive spell-like abilities unlocking the nature of the grue. Many of these spell-like abilities are different as they are drawing power from the plane of shadow. All of these abilities can only be used on planes bordering the plane of shadow or in areas of darkness. Caster level equals HD in darkness or on the plane of shadow it is equal to HD+2
Note: the half-grue must have a wisdom score of at least 10 to unlock these abilities
3HD: Darkness (centered on the half-grue) can be used a number of times per day equal to HD-2, at 12HD this ability becomes "At will", also gain Blur usable a number of times per day equal to HD/3.
6HD: Blink or fear (either can be used from the same spell pool) usable a number of times per day equal to HD-5
10 HD: Dimension door usable a number of times per day equal to HD/10 rounded to the nearest one, Shadow walk (self only) at will
13 HD: Glibness, usable a number of times per day equal to the number of ranks Half-grue has in bluff. This ability can be used to feint in combat as well as what is stated in the spell.
15 HD: Shadow walk (with normal restrictions on the number of people who can be taken) at will, Deeper Darkness (centered on self) at will
18 HD: Shades, twice per day. Weird once per day
+2 Strength +2 wisdom +2 constitution -2 intelligence
Owing to their grue-origins, half-grues are strong, and have a heightened connection to their instincts however they are less intelligent then most others of their race
+5 hide and move silently in dark areas, this becomes +1 everywhere else
+2 intimidate, +3 intimidate while the half-grue is in shadowy illumination or in darkness if the intimidated creature has darkvision, and if the creature being intimidated does not have darkvision +6 while the half-grue in total darkness. Whether or not the target has darkvision.
These skill bonuses do not count as ranks for any purpose.
On the plane of shadow only, half grues gain the benefit of Blind-fight this reflects a "Shadow-sense" that is common in half-grues. If the half-grue HAS blind-fight instead the half-grue's scent ability becomes always active on the plane of shadow (although the half-grue must still be ON the plane of shadow for it to work on the material plane, however it does not become inactive on the plane of shadow if the half-grue is on the plane of shadow and has the blind-fight feat)
Same as base creature
 Challenge Rating
Often Chaotic neutral or chaotic evil.
Grues are solitary predators by nature. Their half-blood progeny retains this trait.
As the Half-grue advances (as base creature or class level) its appearance changes radically.
1-2 HD: The half-grue looks as a base creature excepting while eating, when it's teeth will suddenly press out before each bite (this is involuntary and cannot be suppressed).
3-5 HD: The half-grue's skin/fur/scales turns a deep chocolate brown, if the base creature's coloration is anything other then midnight black this is obviously apparent. The half-grue's teeth are now very long and very sharp and rather obvious.
6-9 HD: The half-grue's eyes grow very large and his eyelids become transparent. His hands become noticeably bulkier and almost all of his bones are thicker.
10-13 HD: The half-grue's arms grow, if he was a humanoid, they are now down to his knees. His legs seem smaller... actually they just are much more comfortably held bow-legged.
14-17 HD: The half-grue's shoulders change now he walks as an ape with his arms providing primary locomotion. His feet have changed noticeably into a fist-like round state that are still quite comfortable to stand on. With experimentation, the half-grue finds he can hold and manipulate things with his feet.
18+ HD: The half-grue grows a third eye in the middle of his forehead. This eye grants sight of color while use of darkvision is employed but is otherwise ornamental. A dark smokiness reminiscent of the plane of shadow itself seems to be burning off the half-grue.
 Why does the half-grue's appearance change?
As the half-grue gains hit dice, the energies plane of shadow begins to flow into the half-grue beginning to twist the creature into a shadow of its former self. They do become essentially high-powered Ur-Grues at 18 hit dice but before then they are neither corporeal nor are they grues.
 Level Adjustment