Beast Heir (3.5e Template)
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Beast Heirs are humanoids who have some amount of magical beast blood in them from their heritage. Those that are truly the direct offspring are instead known as Half-Beasts.
Beast Heirs are the result of the introduction of magical beast blood into a mortal bloodline; specifically a cross of a feline, canine or ursine magical beast and a human, elf, half elf or Shifter. Though they could be generations removed from their magical beast ancestors, Beast Heirs can surface from a family's heritage seemingly at random and without provocation, albeit such seemingly spontaneous occurrences are not; Beast Heirs are a genetic factor, and can be, rarely, brought into existence by introducing more wild blood once again.
Although most claim that Beast Heirs arose from the haphazard and abominable uses of magic, blaming arcane sorcery specifically, the reality stems from the animal soul and its wild agents. It is not unusual for the animal soul to imbue select animals with humanoid intellect, causing them to become magical beasts, rather than pure animals and allowing them to venture off into the world to accomplish its goals in a similar manner it does for its mortal agents. In their travels such creatures might court humanoid races and the results of such may include introducing magical beast blood into an otherwise mortal line. The direct offspring of such events are called Half-Beasts, rather than Beast Heirs; in keeping with this, a Half-Beast cannot be a Half-Beast without also being a Beast Heir.
Beast Heir Qualities
Compared to the base creature, the Beast Heir is significantly more animal-like in mannerisms and appearance. All Beast Heirs rely heavily upon subtle body language ranging from certain narrowing of the eyes, faint cantings of the head, to grimacing and or snarling. Unlike the base creature, Beast Heirs are entirely capable of accurately producing the sounds of their magical beast heritage; a wolf heritage Beast Heir for example can howl just as well as he can speak fluently. It is not uncommon for Beast Heirs to intensely study those they are interacting with during said interaction, even if such behavior is not socially acceptable. Certain manners may represent a lack of authority, or presentation of a challenge, and it is wise for those interacting with a Beast Heir to be aware of the individual's animal heritage in order to have better ground to stand on in conversation. A well known example is that one wouldn't want to stare into a wolf Beast Heir's eyes in a heated debate of their authority as that action is a direct challenge, whereas they would need stare down that same Beast Heir if they were the one in a position of authority, and should the Beast Heir stare back, they are offering the challenge of authority. Such nuances, however subtle or grand, vary by individual and specific heritage and just how much wild blood runs in their veins.
Physically, Beast Heirs are larger and more robust than the base creature in terms of scale and weight, but are markedly more muscular and physically apt. All Beast Heirs sport vivid gold or ice blue eyes that glint with a feral wildness to them, that which is frequently unnerving enough to spark suspicion in other humanoids; the attentiveness and shine of their eyes speaks of a feral, predatory nature. Depending on their heritage, a Beast Heir may feature retractable or fixed claws, in the case of feline and ursine Beast Heirs respectably, or faintly elongated teeth with a subtly more pronounced jaw for canine Beast Heirs. These qualities are not remotely foreign to them, and a Beast Heir makes added use of their blood granted traits whenever beneficial to them, at times without their explicit knowledge of such.
Regardless if a Beast Heir was raised in civilization, they fair very poorly in such environments, often finding themselves somewhat lost as to where to go or what to do. This sense can be overwhelming, particularly in crowds or in foreign lands where there are likely to be language and cultural barriers.
Creating a Beast Heir
The Beast Heir template is an inherited template that can be added to any corporeal humanoid or monstrous humanoid (referred to hereafter as the base creature) that is a human, elf, half elf, or Shifter.
Special: This template can also be applied to any creature that already has the Canine, Feline, or Ursine subtype. In these cases the Beast Heir must choose inline with the existing subtype.
Size and Type
The base creature’s type does not change.
Same as the base creature.
Same as the base creature for Beast Heirs with a feline or ursine heritage. Canine heritage Beast Heirs gain a +10 bonus to land movement speed.
Feline or canine heritage Beast Heirs increase the base creature’s natural armor bonus by +1. Ursine heritage Beast Heirs instead increase the base creature’s natural armor bonus by +2.
All Beast Heirs gain two claw attacks if they did not already have them. Beast Heirs with a canine heritage receive an aditional bite attack if they did not already have one.
The base damage for 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 Beast Heir's 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.
Same as the base creature.
All Beast Heirs gain Low-Light Vision.
- All Beast Heirs receive an increase to Wisdom of +2.
- Canine heritage Beast Heirs gain a +2 bonus to Dexterity.
- Ursine heritage Beast Heirs gain a +2 bonus to Constitution.
Same as the base creature.
Varies. However, most Beast Heirs inhabit the same environment as the base creature they originated from.
Varies. Solitary or pair, sometimes family (3-4). In the case of canine heritage Beast Heirs, this can be as large as a pack (6-10), or a similar amount for feline heritage Beast Heirs who owe their bloodline to a lion or similar pride oriented feline.
Same as base creature.
By character class.
Beast Heir Weaknesses
All Beast Heirs by nature of existence alone, are subject to certain weaknesses others of their base creature origin are not subject to.
- Despite being the distant relatives of magical beasts, which are sentient creatures and not animals, Beast Heirs are a taboo thing in most civilized societies. The wrongful stigma associated with their coming into being provides a permanent penalty to the Beast Heir's presence in the normal, dignified world.
- Civilized persons, like those found in major cities and large settlements, who succeed in a DC 15 Spot check and would normally be indifferent toward the base creature are instead unfriendly toward the Beast Heir. Regular civilized humanoids can recognize the subtle unusualities in the Beast Heirs that otherwise might go unnoticed in other less culturally advanced parts of the world, and as part of a frequently held cultural taboo, wrongfully discriminate.
- Such examples of discrimination include the overpricing goods, even those which are bountiful and or mundane, which are sold specifically to the Beast Heir, gossiping about them and spreading untruths or lies, denying services such as a seat in a tavern or a room at an inn even if coin has been offered, verbal mockery or insult with disparaging terms or common slang, avoiding the Beast Heir and or interacting only with their non-Beast Heir companions, or generally unfair suspicion of their person.
- This taboo may not always be present among every major civilized culture, however, the stigma against Beast Heirs and Half-Beasts is near universal, even though wrongfully applied.
- Animal mannerisms and appearances for a Beast Heir are difficult if not near impossible to hide in environments that are civilized or heavily advanced socially. All attempts to utilize the Disguise and Diplomacy skills take a -2 penalty whenever the Beast Heir is the individual making those checks in such environments. This penalty does not apply in uncivilized environments like that of a nomadic barbarian tribe, a farming hamlet, or a druid's grove, or any similar environment where civilization is not readily present.
- Beast Heirs 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. As such, a Beast Heir 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. A Beast Heir who becomes a lycanthrope cannot be cured of their lycanthropy because they are a natural lycanthrope rather than an afflicted lycanthrope. Due to their unique bond with lycanthropy the Beast Heir is also unable to afflict the curse of lycanthropy on others.
- No other qualities of afflicted lycanthropy are assumed by an infected Beast-Heir; 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 Beast Heir, but may not turn a feline or ursine heritage Beast Heir into a werewolf, for example.