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Special Conversion Thread: Lycanthropes and their ilk

Cleon

Adventurer
Weredrake [Vulgar Drakanthrope] (Template)
Description.

Background.

Creating a Weredrake
"Weredrake" is a template that can be added to any humanoid or giant (referred to hereafter as the base creature). Becoming a weredrake is very much like multiclassing as a dragon and gaining the appropriate Hit Dice.

The weredrake takes on the characteristics of some type of creature of the dragon type (referred to hereafter as the base dragon). The base dragon cannot be a true dragon; drakanthropes based on true dragons use the Weredragon template instead.

The base dragon must be a creature whose original type is dragon, it may not be a creature that possesses the dragon type by virtue of a template (such as a half-dragon otyugh) or similar means.

Size and Type: The base creature's type does not change, but the creature gains the shapechanger subtype plus any subtypes possessed by the base dragon.

The base dragon's size must be within one size category of the base creature's size (Small, Medium, or Large for a Medium base creature).

Weredrakes can adopt a hybrid shape that combines features of the base creature and the base dragon. A weredrake's hybrid form is the same size as the base creature or the base dragon, whichever is larger.

Some weredrakes are unable to shapechange into dragon form and are only able to adopt their base creature and hybrid forms.

A weredrake uses either the base creature or the base dragon's statistics and special abilities in addition to those described here.

Hit Dice and Hit Points #1: Same as base creature plus those of the base dragon.

To calculate total hit points, apply Constitution modifiers according to the score the weredrake has in each form.

Speed: Same as the base creature or base dragon, depending on which form the weredrake is using. Hybrids use the base creature's speed and have a fly speed equal to one-half the base dragon's flight speed (if any) with a maneuverability one step worse than the base dragon's (minimum clumsy). If the base creature already has a fly speed, the hybrid form uses whichever flying speed and flight maneverability is better.

Armor Class: If the base dragon is a normal monster the weredrake's natural armor bonuses increase by +2 in all forms. In hybrid form, a weredrake's natural armor bonus is equal to that of its base creature form or dragon form, whichever is better.

Base Attack/Grapple: Add the base attack bonus for the base creature to the base attack bonus of the base dragon's Dragon Hit Dice. The weredrake's grapple bonus uses its attack bonus and modifiers for Strength and size depending on the weredrake's form.

Attacks: Same as the base creature or base dragon, depending on which form the weredrake is using. A weredrake in hybrid form gains two claw attacks and a bite attack as natural weapons; the bite attack becomes a gore attack if the base dragon has a gore attack but no bite attack. If the base dragon has a special attack tied to another natural weapon, such as the poison of a wyvern's sting attack or the tail sweep of a Huge albino wyrm's tail-slap attack, it also gains that natural attack when in hybrid form.

Damage: .

Special Attacks: A weredrake retains all the special attacks of the base creature and gains those described below. Saves have a DC of 10 + 1/2 weredrake's HD + weredrake's ??? modifier unless noted otherwise.

Special Attacks: A weredrake retains the special attacks of the base creature or base dragon, depending on which form it is using, and also gains the special attacks described below.

Breath Weapon (Su): A weredrake can use its breath weapon when in hybrid form.

Crush (Ex): A weredrake whose base dragon possesses the crush special attack can use it when in hybrid form.

Frightful Presence (Su): A weredrake whose base dragon possesses the frightful presence special attack can use it when in hybrid form.

Tail Sweep (Ex): A weredrake whose base dragon possesses the tail sweep special attack can use it when in hybrid form.

I don't think we should give weredrakes the usual Curse of Lycanthropy special attack - mainly to avoid the risk of PC weredrakes!.

Special Qualities: A weredrake retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains those described below. Saves have a DC of 10 + 1/2 weredrake's HD + weredrake's ??? modifier unless noted otherwise.

Saves: Add the base save bonuses of the base dragon's Dragon Hit Dice to the base save bonuses of the base creature.

Abilities: All weredrakes gain +2 to Wisdom and +2 to Charisma. [i.e. the same mental stat adjustments as a Half-Dragon.]

In addition, when in dragon form, a weredrake's physical ability scores improve according to its kind. Weredrakes based on normal monsters use the base dragon's normal ability scores base -10 or -11 to determine the dragon form's physical ability score adjustments.

A weredrake in hybrid form modifies its physical ability scores by the same amount.

In addition, a weredrake may also gain an additional ability score increase by virtue of its extra Hit Dice.

Skills: A weredrake gains skill points equal to (6 + Int modifier, minimum 1) per Hit Die of its dragon form, as if it had multiclassed into the Dragon type. (Dragon is never its first Hit Die, though, and it does not gain quadruple skill points for any Dragon Hit Die.) Any skill given in the base dragon's description is a class skill for the weredrake's dragon levels. In any form, a weredrake also has any racial skill bonuses of the base creature and of the base dragon, although conditional skill bonuses only apply in the associated form.

Feats: Add the base dragon's feats to the base creature's. If this results in a weredrake having the same feat twice, the weredrake gains no additional benefit unless the feat normally can be taken more once, in which case the duplicated feat works as noted in the feat description. This process may give the weredrake more feats than a character of its total Hit Dice would normally be entitled to; if this occurs, any "extra" feats are denoted as bonus feats.

It's possible that a weredrake cannot meet the prerequisites for all its feats when in humanoid form. If this occurs, the weredrake still has the feats, but cannot use them when in humanoid form. A weredrake receives Iron Will as a bonus feat.

Environment: Same as either the base creature or base dragon?
Organization: Solitary, pair, or family (3-7).
Challenge Rating: .
Treasure: Same as either the base creature or base dragon?
Alignment: Same as the base dragon?
Advancement: By character class.
Level Adjustment: .

Sample Weredrake
The following sample creature has gained the weredrake template.

Originally appeared in FR7 - Hall of Heroes (1989).
 
Last edited:

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Cleon

Adventurer
Okay, it'd take me some time to go through the Weredragon/True Drakanthrope and rework it to be true dragon only.

It seems more appropriate to edit the Working Draft and then we can amend it in pieces as Rough Drafts.

i.e. I'll rework the Weredragon and then we can do "Size and Type" as the first Rough Draft.
 


freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
That's a lot. We should pick one to do first. I suspect the weredrake will be a bit easier, so let's go with that one.

I guess the first question is about the bracketed bit in the Attacks line. I think I'd keep wing attacks for the hybrid, but the tail should probably not be long enough to do a tail slap. What do you think?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
That's a lot. We should pick one to do first. I suspect the weredrake will be a bit easier, so let's go with that one.

Yes, the Weredrake is definitely the simpler conversion since it's closer to the SRD Lycanthrope template in principle so we don't have to worry about all those age categories.

I guess the first question is about the bracketed bit in the Attacks line. I think I'd keep wing attacks for the hybrid, but the tail should probably not be long enough to do a tail slap. What do you think?

Many non-true dragons don't even have wing or tail attacks, but those that do might have it as their "special schtick". The Albino Wyrm for example has an exaggeratedly long and powerful tail.

It just seems a bit of a shame denying them a signature natural weapon in hybrid form.

The only standard monster dragons I found with wing attacks in the CC were the Common Dragonet and Vandalraug Battle Drake. It was only a casual browse though, so there may be some wing-attacking dragon monsters that I missed.

And what about the Cetus, which only has "Gore or Tail Slap"? The Lycanthrope template precedent would be to give it gore/claw/claw in hybrid form like a wereboar.

Some of the smaller species don't have claw attacks either, such as the Firedrake which only has a bite attack. One wonders why it would gain claws in hybrid form, but I guess the same question applies to standard lycanthropes of animals without claw attacks such as the wereboar and werewolf.

Come to think about it, there are multiple dragons with stinger-equipped tails - such as the SRD's Wyvern or Dragon #251's Bloodstinger. Our bloodstinger conversion even gives it Sting as a primary attack. A sting in the tail would be a nice addition to a hybrid form werewyvern!
 

Cleon

Adventurer
How about adding the following to the Creating a Weredrake section?:

The base dragon must be a creature whose original type is dragon, it cannot be a non-dragon that somehow gained the dragon type such as a half-dragon otyugh or draconic ogre.

It just feels wrong to have the template be able to produce a weredrake from anything you can slap the Draconic and Half-Dragon templates on.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Speaking of things that just feel wrong, I'm constantly bothered by the fact that the Dragonne is a Magical Beast rather than a Dragon.

It's just so, so wrong!

Hmm… what would a Dragon typed Dragonne look like anyway?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
How about adding the following to the Creating a Weredrake section?:

The base dragon must be a creature whose original type is dragon, it cannot be a non-dragon that somehow gained the dragon type such as a half-dragon otyugh or draconic ogre.

It just feels wrong to have the template be able to produce a weredrake from anything you can slap the Draconic and Half-Dragon templates on.

Dang it, I forgot that the Draconic template does not change the base creature's type like the half-dragon template does.

Better make that "The base dragon must be a creature whose original type is dragon, it cannot be a non-dragon that somehow gained the dragon type such as a half-dragon otyugh."
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Agreed on the caveat about the base dragon, though I wonder about the wording. Half-dragon is an inherited template, so any half-dragon creature is dragon type since birth --- hasn't actually "gained" the dragon type (in a simulationist way of reading the rules). How about we make it explicitly mechanical: "The base dragon must be a creature whose original type is dragon and may not possess the dragon type by virtue of an inherited or acquired template."?

On the attack line, of course it will have the signature attacks in dragon form, but I was thinking that the hybrid would have wings but not necessarily a long enough tail for a slap, since it's roughly humanoid. But I can see the appeal, especially for something like a gore. Any ideas about wording for that?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Agreed on the caveat about the base dragon, though I wonder about the wording. Half-dragon is an inherited template, so any half-dragon creature is dragon type since birth --- hasn't actually "gained" the dragon type (in a simulationist way of reading the rules). How about we make it explicitly mechanical: "The base dragon must be a creature whose original type is dragon and may not possess the dragon type by virtue of an inherited or acquired template."?

How about:

The base dragon must be a creature whose original type is dragon, it may not be a creature that possesses the dragon type by virtue of a template or similar means (such as a half-dragon otyugh).

On the attack line, of course it will have the signature attacks in dragon form, but I was thinking that the hybrid would have wings but not necessarily a long enough tail for a slap, since it's roughly humanoid. But I can see the appeal, especially for something like a gore. Any ideas about wording for that?

Well I can see two basic approaches.

First option — just give it everything!:

A weredrake in hybrid form gains two claw attacks and a bite attack as natural weapons; the bite attack becomes a gore attack if the base dragon has a gore attack but no bite attack. If the base dragon has additional natural attacks such as wing, tail or sting attacks, it gains those attacks when in hybrid form. If the base dragon has more than two claw attacks, its hybrid form can only wield weapons in two of its claws.

Second option — it only gains an additional natural attack if it has a Special Attack that employs it:

A weredrake in hybrid form gains two claw attacks and a bite attack as natural weapons; the bite attack becomes a gore attack if the base dragon has a gore attack but no bite attack. If the base dragon has a special attack tied to another natural weapon, such as the poison of a wyvern's sting attack or the tail sweep of a Huge albino wyrm's tail-slap attack, it also gains that natural attack when in hybrid form.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
First option — just give it everything!:

A weredrake in hybrid form gains two claw attacks and a bite attack as natural weapons; the bite attack becomes a gore attack if the base dragon has a gore attack but no bite attack. If the base dragon has additional natural attacks such as wing, tail or sting attacks, it gains those attacks when in hybrid form. If the base dragon has more than two claw attacks, its hybrid form can only wield weapons in two of its claws.

Second option — it only gains an additional natural attack if it has a Special Attack that employs it:

A weredrake in hybrid form gains two claw attacks and a bite attack as natural weapons; the bite attack becomes a gore attack if the base dragon has a gore attack but no bite attack. If the base dragon has a special attack tied to another natural weapon, such as the poison of a wyvern's sting attack or the tail sweep of a Huge albino wyrm's tail-slap attack, it also gains that natural attack when in hybrid form.

I suppose there's Third Options that are between the two extremes — like it auto-gains any natural attack that is a primary attack or is better than a regular secondary attack due to some an intrinsic advantage like increased Reach, ×1 or ×1.5 damage bonus, augmented critical et cetera.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
The "template caveat" you propose looks fine to me!

I'll take door #2, I mean option #2. Makes the hybrids a bit simpler.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
The "template caveat" you propose looks fine to me!

I'll take door #2, I mean option #2. Makes the hybrids a bit simpler.

Updating the Weredrake (Vulgar Drakanthrope) Working Draft.

I rephrased "type by virtue of a template or similar means (such as a half-dragon otyugh)" to "by virtue of a template (such as a half-dragon otyugh) or similar means" since half-dragon is a template not a similar means!

So damage next I suppose.

Shall we use a modified version of the True Dragon table for the claw/bite/whatever damage?

For the "special melee attack" presumably they do the same damage as the base dragon, but adjusted for size if the hybrid form is a size bigger or littler.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Sounds reasonable (on the base dragon)!

So, damage would be "Same as the base creature or base dragon, depending on which form the drakanthrope is in." with a table for the hybrid based on the True Dragon table? I could go for that, maybe with a caveat that it's the lesser of the table or base dragon damage for any attack shared by both (what if the base dragon doesn't have claws or a bite?!?!). How did you want to modify this table from the True Dragon?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Sounds reasonable (on the base dragon)!

So, damage would be "Same as the base creature or base dragon, depending on which form the drakanthrope is in." with a table for the hybrid based on the True Dragon table? I could go for that, maybe with a caveat that it's the lesser of the table or base dragon damage for any attack shared by both (what if the base dragon doesn't have claws or a bite?!?!). How did you want to modify this table from the True Dragon?

[So, if we set the damage to be the Claw and Bite columns from the SRD's Dragon Space/Reach, Attacks, and Damage table it'd be something like:]

Damage: Same as the base creature or base animal, depending on which form the lycanthrope is in. The hybrid form’s attacks deal damage equal to the base dragon or as indicated in the Hybrid Form Damage Table, whichever is higher.

Hybrid Form Damage Table
Hybrid SizeClawBite
Tiny1d31d4
Small1d41d6
Medium1d61d8
Large1d82d6
Huge2d62d8
Gargantuan2d84d6
Colossal4d64d8

[That's basically one damage step higher than the Lycanthrope's Hybrid Size damage table.

However the original Weredragons had "Their bites and clawed hands each do 1d6 points of damage", which'd suggest only the Claw attacks are increased, suggesting the following:
]

Damage: Same as the base creature or base animal, depending on which form the lycanthrope is in. The hybrid form’s attacks deal damage as indicated in the Hybrid Form Damage Table.

Hybrid Form Damage Table
Hybrid SizeClaw & BiteOther Attacks
Tiny1d3As base dragon
Small1d4As base dragon
Medium1d6As base dragon
Large1d8As base dragon
Huge2d6As base dragon
Gargantuan2d8As base dragon
Colossal4d6As base dragon

Do you have any preferences?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Come to think of it, we should include something along the lines of the Lycanthrope template's "A hybrid may attack with a weapon and a bite, or may attack with its natural weapons. The bite attack of a hybrid is a secondary attack."

How about "In hybrid form a weredrake may attack with just its natural weapons, or wield weapons with one of both of its claws while making secondary attacks with its remaining natural weapons."?
 

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