Template Levels (D20 Modern Variant Rule)
From D&D Wiki
Templates are a common feature in all d20 system games, however they do not accurately depict what would happen if such templates could be used by an actual creature. If Lycanthropic creatures did exist, an afflicted Lycanthrope would eventually become more skilled with his powers as he used them. An article on the official Dungeons & Dragons homepage gives examples of templates as classes, but this section is for GMs with template using PCs that don't want to risk losing levels if the template is removed. I will use d20 Modern classes as an example for these rules.
Template Level Basics
The basic idea of template leveling is to simulate the effects of learning to understand the abilities one gains from it. This system was designed for Lycanthropic PCs, but any template is possible.
Template Levels, or "TL", are considered a separate stat from character levels. For example, a skill that uses effective Character Level would ignore any template levels gained, unless the GM specifically allows it. A character gains one template level the moment they obtain the template, and gain one every time they would normally gain a level, as long as the template is in place. This TL is in addition to their their standard class level.
- For Example, assume a Human Strong Hero 1 in the Urban Arcana setting is in battle with a Werewolf. The Werewolf successfully lands a bite attack, and thereby activates it's Curse of Lycantropy(Su) ability. The Strong hero fails the Con save, and does not have any belladonna lying around to prevent the curse from taking hold. Assuming the Werewolf lets him live, he takes on the Lycantrope (Werewolf) template the next full moon. He is now a Lycantropic Human Strong Hero 1(Werewolf TL 1). On the third level, he would be a Strong Hero 3 (Werewolf TL 2), and so on until he reaches level 19, in which the template would reach the maximum level of ten.
Template Skills and Feats
The Hero immediately would gain all the basic skills, Feats, and abilities the Template offers at TL 1. In this case, it would be the Alternate Form, Curse of Lycantropy, Wolf Empathy, Control shape, and stat bonuses granted, as well as the 2 level adjustment for being a monstrous humanoid. The GM could redistribute the template skills if desired, such as granting Alternate Form and Control shape at TL 1 and Curse of Lycanthropy at TL 3. Or you can design new skills.
This Rule is perfect if you think that a template is too powerful for a character to be using, or you want to add new skills to it. A good idea is to add templates from other classes. Or you can make up your own.
- Example Feat:
- Partial Transformation(Su)
You learn to control your powers to transform parts of your body into their alternate form. Choose Legs, Arms, Skin, or Head. The transformation does not provoke an attack of opportunity, and does not heal like a full transformation. This does not require a control shape check. Prerequisits Werewolf TL 3, Control Shape 5. Legs, Your legs become those of a wolf. Your Speed increases to 50 feet as if in hybrid/wolf form. Arms, Your arms take on a wolf hybrid form. You gain +2 Str, and +4 Dex, as well as the ability to use your claws as a natural weapon as if in hybrid/wolf form. Skin, You become covered in Fur. You obtain a +2 Natural AC bonus (does not Stack), and damage resistance 15/silver as if in hybrid/wolf form. Head, your face takes on wolf like features. You obtain Darkvision, Bite, and Scent as if in hybrid/wolf form.
You can also make up new skills, such as Detect Lycantrope(Su) or grant class specific skills or spells, such as granting them a strong or fast hero feat.
Removing the Template
If a character somehow has the Template removed or replaced, they lose all TL and abilities granted by it, including stat bonuses, feats, and skills. All skill points invested return to the player.