Shell (3.5e Template)

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Shells are the animated bones of the dead, mindless automatons that obey the orders of their Animancer Masters.

A shell is seldom garbed in anything more than the deteriorating remnants of any clothing or armor it was wearing when slain. A shell does only what it is ordered to do. It can draw no conclusions of its own and takes no initiative. Because of this limitation, its instructions must always be simple. A shell attacks until destroyed.

Creating a Shell[edit]

“Shell” is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal creature (other than an Deathless) that has a skeletal system (referred to hereafter as the base creature).

Size and Type: The creature’s type changes to Deathless. It retains any subtype except for alignment subtypes (such as good) and subtypes that indicate kind. It does not gain the augmented subtype. It uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Hit Dice: Drop any Hit Dice gained from class levels (to a minimum of 1) and raise remaining Hit Dice to d12s. If the creature has more than 20 Hit Dice, it can’t be made into a shell by the Raise Deathless spell.

Speed: Winged shells can’t use their wings to fly. If the base creature flew magically, so can the shells.

Armor Class: Natural armor bonus changes to a number based on the shell’s size:

Tiny or smaller +0
Small +1
Medium or Large +2
Huge +3
Gargantuan +6
Colossal +10

Attacks: A shell retains all the natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature, except for attacks that can’t work without flesh. A creature with hands gains one claw attack per hand; the shell can strike with each of its claw attacks at its full attack bonus. A shell’s base attack bonus is equal to 1/2 its Hit Dice.

Damage: Natural and manufactured weapons deal damage normally. A claw attack deals damage depending on the shell’s size. (If the base creature already had claw attacks with its hands, use the shell claw damage only if it’s better.)

Diminutive or Fine 1
Tiny 1d2
Small 1d3
Medium 1d4
Large 1d6
Huge 1d8
Gargantuan 2d6
Colossal 2d8

Special Attacks: A shell retains none of the base creature’s special attacks.

Special Qualities: A shell loses most special qualities of the base creature. It retains any extraordinary special qualities that improve its melee or ranged attacks. A shell gains the following special qualities.

Immunity to Cold (Ex): shells are not affected by cold.

Damage Reduction 5/Bludgeoning (Ex): Shells lack flesh or internal organs.

Saves: Base save bonuses are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +1/2 HD + 2.

Abilities: A shell’s Dexterity increases by +2, it has no Consitution or Intelligence score, its Wisdom changes to 10, and its Charisma changes to 1.

Skills: A shells has no skills.

Feats: A shells loses all feats of the base creature and gains Improved Initiative.

Environment: Any, usually same as base creature.

Organization: Any.

Challenge Rating: Depends on Hit Dice, as follows:

Hit Dice Challenge Rating
1/2 1/6
1 1/3
2–3 1
4–5 2
6–7 3
8–9 4
10–11 5
12–14 6
15–17 7
18–20 8

Treasure: None.

Alignment: Always neutral.

Advancement: As base creature (or — if the base creature advances by character class).

Level Adjustment: —.

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