Arboreal creatures live in the canopies of forests and jungles. They conduct their lives entirely above-ground, swinging from bough to bough, climbing through the branches, and balancing on tree limbs as they move from place to place.
The coloration of an arboreal creature aids its ability to hide in the high boughs of trees. Its skin may be green, gray, or brown, depending on its environment, and its hair color may change with the seasons. A typical arboreal creature has long climbing limbs that are awkward to walk on, but occasionally one may climb primarily with two limbs and have stunted hind legs.
“Arboreal” is an inherited template that can be added to any living, nonaquatic, corporeal creature with grasping limbs (referred to hereafter as the base creature). An arboreal creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Speed: An arboreal creature gains a climb speed equal to the base creature’s highest speed and loses any fly speed the base creature has. Each of the base creature’s other speeds decreases by 10 feet (to a minimum of 5 feet). If the base creature’s climb speed is already its highest speed, it increases by +10 feet, and all other speeds decrease as described above.
Attacks: The arboreal creature retains all the base creature’s attacks and its weapon and armor proficiencies. These attacks retain the same primary or secondary status they had for the base creature.
Additionally an arboreal creature gains the following.
When an arboreal creature is brachiating (swinging from tree to tree; see Brachiation below), it can attack with any one limb that it is not using to brachiate. If the base creature has a leg attack, the arboreal creature retains that attack and deals normal damage with it. If the base creature lacks such an attack, the arboreal creature gains a slam attack with an appropriate limb that it can use only while brachiating. The slam is a primary attack if the base creature has no other natural attacks. Otherwise, it is a secondary attack. .
Damage for the brachiating slam attack depends on the base creature’s size as if the base creature was one size category larger.
Abilities: Str +2, Dex +2.
Skills: An arboreal creature gains a +10 racial bonus on Acrobatics checks and a +4 racial bonus on Perception checks. In forested or jungle environments, an arboreal creature gains a +4 bonus on Stealth and Survival checks.
Special Qualities: An arboreal creature retains all the base creature’s special qualities and gains those described here.
By hanging beneath or within a canopy of trees (or similar structures with many limbs), an arboreal creature can swing hand over hand and move at a speed equal to its climb speed. It follows the rules for climbing while moving in this fashion, but the base Climb DC for brachiation is 10. The trees that the creature uses for this movement must have numerous limbs that can support its weight. Any tree that the arboreal creature can climb without causing it to bend is suitable for brachiation.
While brachiating, when the distance between trees exceeds twice its reach, it can make the leap as if it was jumping with a running start. The DC for the leap is equal to the distance between the trees. Bonuses from having a land speed greater than 30 do not apply to this check. If the arboreal creature fails is Acrobatics (jump) check while making the leap by less than 5, it can make a DC 15 Acrobatics check to catch a ledge, branch or other handhold 5 feet below its target location. If it misses the check by more than 5 it falls as normal, but can make the usual Acrobatics check (DC 15) to ignore the first 10 ft. of the fall.
Environment: Any forest.
Advanced Bestiary, Copyright 2014, Green Ronin Publishing, LLC; Author Jeff Hersh, Developer Owen K.C. Stephens