X-Gene (3.5e Template)
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Sometimes, mortals are born with an extra, mutated gene called the "X-gene" by the few scholars aware of it, for lack of a better term, if nothing else. Other times, it can simply form after an individual experiences certain events in his life. Their ability to heal almost any injury within minutes or even seconds, resist the passage of time and their mental and physical superiority over most ordinary members of their species and other benefits of their condition often makes them legendary figures among their kind. However, they are just as likely to be ostracized, envied and feared for their abilities, especially in primitive or particularly insular societies, and in such cases, those with the X-gene tend to live reclusively. Primitive cultures may even see those gifted with the X-gene to be minor gods or spirits, while others may revile them as demons or bad omens.
Creating an X-gene Creature
The X-gene can be an acquired or inherited template. It is not always present at birth, and in other cases may form after a near-death experience, an intense, traumatic incident or simply through age. The X-gene is very rare, and only humans, elves, and half-elves are born with it. An X-gene creature loses all benefits of this template if its type changes to aberration (usually in the case of elans or skum), construct (except half-golems), dragon, elemental, fey, ooze, plant or undead. An individual with the X-gene uses all the base creature's statistics unless otherwise noted.
- Heightened Senses (Ex): Those blessed with the X-gene are unnaturally aware of their surroundings; this heightened sense gives them the uncanny dodge ability.
- Ageless (Ex): An X-gene creature does not take any penalties from aging and does not die of old age, nor can they be magically aged. Any penalties from aging accrued before the acquisition of this template are instead treated like a special form of ability damage. Once per month, the creature can attempt a DC 25 Fortitude save. If it succeeds, one ability point lost to aging is restored at the end of the next month. If it fails, it cannot be restored by any means short of divine intervention. For example, if a character with the X-gene loses 6 point of Strength prior to the activation of the gene, then regains three but fails his fourth save, he cannot regain any more. One can still increase ability scores through leveling-up or items such as a Tome of Gainful Exercise, provided that it has not already reached the limit of +5 for permanent enhancement bonuses to ability scores in the case of using tomes or similar items. An X-gene creature cannot regain more than one ability point per month using the original, natural method.
- X-gene Immune System (Ex): Due to the constant regeneration of the cells in its body, an X-gene creature is immune to poison, disease, fatigue and ability damage. Anything that would normally cause exhaustion instead causes fatigue and anything that would normally drain an ability score instead causes ability damage. X-grene creatures have no need to eat, sleep or breathe, but can do so if they wish.
- Darkvision (Ex): The X-gene forces the body to new limits, causing it to evolve and surpass its kin. The X-gene grants darkvision with a range of 120 feet. If the base creature already has darkvision (such as a drow), the range doubles.
- Regeneration (Ex): The X-gene causes the creature's body to heal at an accelerated rate, giving it regeneration 2. All lethal damage inflicted is treated as non-lethal damage, but acid still deals lethal damage. If a limb or body part (including the head) is somehow lost, it will grow back in 2d6 minutes unless the part was removed with acid. Any limb or body part may be immediately reattached as a free action by holding it to the stump (obviously, one cannot reattach its own head under normal circumstances).
The X-gene enhances every physical and mental trait of the creature, making it surpass most of its kin. The X-gene creature gains +2 to all of its ability scores.