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Augmented Creature (CR varies)

Cyborg, half-construct, abomination, all of these describe the augmented creature. A fusion of flesh and machine, either through magical or technological means, augmented creatures have both the benefits and weaknesses of both the natural and artificial.

Typically half-mad from the process that created them, augmented creatures are usually under forced servitude to their maker, or they wander the world, trying to find meaning in their mad existence. Augmented creatures with low intelligence are particularly ferocious, having a tendency to attack anyone that intrudes on their territory. Those with intelligence are in constant turmoil, as the flesh and the machine and are always seeking to upgrade themselves with better augmentations.

Creating an Augmented Creature

Augmented” is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal creature (hereafter referred to as the base creature). An augmented creature uses all of the base creature’s special abilities and statistics except at noted below.

Challenge Rating: As base creature +2, plus 1 for every 3 AP (augmentation points) spent above maximum (see below).

Defensive Abilities: An augmented gains acid, cold, fire, and sonic resistance; regeneration (bypassed by electricity damage); and damage reduction (bypassed by adamantine) equal to 5 plus one-fifth of its total Hit Dice (rounded down). It loses any electricity resistance or immunity to electricity it has. Additionally, an augmented creature has spell resistance 11 + its total Hit Dice.

Weaknesses: An augmented gains the following weaknesses.

Electricity Vulnerability (Ex)

Electricity damage stuns an augmented creature for 1d4 rounds and bypasses its regeneration but not its spell resistance. A Fortitude save vs. a DC equal to half the damage taken negates the stunning effect.

Of Two Worlds (Ex)

An augmented creature counts as both a creature of its type and a construct against effects specific to type. Any healing effects or repairs to an augmented only heal half damage, as they each only apply to the flesh or machine part of the creature. Spells only affecting objects can affect an augmented as well. Damaging magical effects must still overcome an augmented’s spell resistance.

Hit Dice: An augmented creature’s Hit Dice do not change, but it does gains bonus hit points as a construct of its size (minimum 5 hp), and all bonus hit points due to Constitution are reduced by one-half.

Attacks: An augmented creature’s natural attacks count as adamantine and cold iron for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

Abilities: Str +2, Con –2 (minimum 1), Wis –2.

Special Qualities: An augmented creature gains the following.

Augmentation Psychosis (Ex)

An augmented creature that has a Wisdom score of 2 or less (including no score), is overcome with rage and gains the ferocity universal monster ability. This rage is identical to the barbarian’s rage ability, but it is permanent. When in a state of rage, effects that remove rage or calm rage make the augmented creature staggered for one round. Effects that raise the augmented creature’s Wisdom above 2 cure the rage and ferocity.

If an augmented creature’s Wisdom score ever reaches 0, it becomes insane. The insanity, but not the rage, can be cured with appropriate healing magic.

Repairs (Ex)

An augmented creature can be healed by making an appropriate Craft check against a DC of 15 and paying a cost for materials of 10 gp per hit point to be healed. The repairs can heal no more than half of the creature’s total damage taken, and repairing the creature requires a full day.

Augmentations (Ex or Su)

Augmentations can be of either magical or technological origin. Magical augmentations are treated as a supernatural ability; all others are extraordinary abilities. Each augmentation has a gold piece cost as well as an augmentation point cost (AP cost). Unless otherwise specified the cost for an augmentation is 100 gp multiplied by the number of existing augmentations the creature has. Unless otherwise specified an augmentation takes 1 day to implant.

An augmented creature gains a number of augmentation points (AP) equal to its Constitution score (Charisma score for creatures with no Constitution). An augmented creature does not have to spend all its augmentation points at once, and it can gain additional points by taking the Additional Augmentation feat (see Appendix A). For every augmentation point spent above the creature’s Constitution score, it takes 1 point of permanent Wisdom drain, as it becomes more and more machine. For example, a creature with a 15 Con that has spent 17 APs would have 2 points permanent drain to Wisdom. The drain cannot be healed by magic or rest until either the creature’s Constitution permanently increases or enough augmentations are removed to bring its used construction point total its maximum.

In addition to the augmentations listed below, an augmented creature has access to all the abilities an animated object has via its construction points (1 CP = 1 AP). However, if a construct ability says it doesn’t stack if taken multiple times, the augmentation does stack, but the cost increases by 1 AP each time it is taken.

Installing an augmentation requires an appropriate Craft check. The DC for this check is 20 plus the AP costs of the augmentation. If the check fails by 5 or more, the augmentation is destroyed, but the augmented creature regains the AP spent on the augmentation. If the check fails by 10 or more, the augmentation is destroyed and the AP cost is not recovered.

An augmented creature can upgrade, remove, or switch out one of its augmentation for another one of equal AP value with an appropriate Craft check. Unless otherwise stated, if the check fails, it can be attempted again without spending further AP. Upgrading an augmentation is simply a matter of spending the additional AP cost and making the Craft check.

Removing an augmentation is riskier. When removing an augmentation, the augmented creature takes its HD in damage, but it gains the AP cost of the removed augmentation back. However, the hit point damage is permanent unless the augmentation is replaced with another one (not necessarily the same one). If the Craft check fails by more than 5, the AP cost is not recovered and the hit point damage becomes permanent, even if the augmentation is replaced.

Switching out an augmentation is a two-step process and requires two Craft checks. First, the current augmentation needs to be removed (as above); then the new augmentation is installed. If the creature fails either Craft check by more than 10, both augmentations are rendered useless, and the AP points for both augmentations are lost.

An augmentation can be made internal, thus hiding it within the augmented creature’s body, by spending the augmentation’s AP cost a second time. The augmentation must reasonably find inside the body of the creature to be made internal. A DC 25 Perception check is required to detect if a creature has an internal augmentation.

Specific Augmentations

Advanced Sensors (1 AP): The augmented creature gains one of the following: darkvision +60 ft., low-light vision, blindsense +60 ft., or blindsight +60 ft. This augmentation may be made multiple times to a single sense, but each addition increases the cost by +1 AP.

Enhanced Ability Score (2 AP): Increase one ability score, excluding Wisdom, by +2. Wisdom can only be increased in +1 increments due to the negative effect augmentations have on a creature’s sense of self. This augmentation can be taken multiple times, but each enhancement increases the cost by +1 AP.

Enhanced Hit Dice (1 AP): Racial Hit Dice are increased by +1. If the augmented doesn’t have racial HD, it gains one. The augmentation can be taken multiple times, but each enhancement increases the cost by +1 AP.

Enhanced AC (1 AP): Increase AC by +1. If extraordinary, this bonus is either an armor, dodge, or natural AC bonus. If supernatural, the bonus is either a deflection or dodge bonus. This ability can be taken multiple times, and similar bonuses granted from this augmentation stack with each other, but do not necessarily stack with bonuses granted from other sources.

Faster Movement (1 AP): Increase the speed of one of your existing modes of movement by +5 ft. This augment can be taken multiple times at standard cost.

Hardened (1 AP): Gain hardness +1. This augmentation can be taken multiple times at standard cost.

Integrated Ammunition (1 AP): The augmented creature can store up to 20 arrows, 20 bolts, 50 sling bullets, or 10 pieces of firearm ammunition within its body. It can recover one piece of ammo as a free action for the use in a ranged weapon. If the creature has an integrated ranged weapon or firearm, it can reload the weapon as a standard action. Reloading the creature’s store of ammo is a full-round action. This augmentation can be taken multiple times, each time it applies to a different kind of ammunition. The cost of this augmentation does not include the ammunition, which must be purchased separately.

Integrated Magic (Special AP): A single spell can be used by the augment as a supernatural ability. The AP cost is equal to half the spell’s level. Each ability can be used one time per day. The number of times per day can be increased by 1 per additional AP spent. This ability can be made “At will” for triple, and “Constant” for quadruple the AP cost. Unlike other augments, integrated magic is always a supernatural ability.

Integrated Weaponry (Firearm) (2 AP): As integrated ranged weapon (see below), but the weapon is a firearm.

Integrated Weaponry (Melee) (1 AP): Replace one of the augmented’s natural attacks with a one-handed melee weapon. The weapon is part of the augmented creature and cannot be dropped, but can be improved to masterwork and given magical effects for the usual costs. A weapon can be integrated into the creature without replacing a natural attack by increasing the cost by +1 AP. An augmented creature is always proficient in the specific weapon it is integrated with. An integrated weapon is considered a natural attack, but if the augmented creature is capable multiple attacks with the weapon it keeps those attacks. The cost of this augmentation is as normal plus the cost of the weapon.

Integrated Weaponry(Ranged)(2 AP): The augmented creature has some kind of non-firearm ranged weapon integrated. The weapon must be one the creature could normally carry, cannot be dropped, and can be improved to masterwork and given magical effects for the usual costs. An integrated ranged weapon does not include ammunition. An augmented creature is always proficient in the specific weapon it is integrated with. An integrated weapon is considered a natural attack, but if the augmented creature is capable multiple attacks with the weapon it keeps those attacks. The cost of this augmentation is as normal plus the cost of the weapon.

Nimble Flyer (2 AP): If you have a fly speed, increase your maneuverability by one step. This augment can be taken multiple times.

Powerful Weapon (1 AP): Choose one of your integrated melee weapons. The weapon is used as if it was being wielded two handed.

Science-Fiction In a Fantasy World

The use of science-fiction elements in a fantasy world can be controversial. However, it can be fun to play in a world that combines high technology and magic. The 1980’s cartoon Thundaar the Barbarian, the steampunk genre, elements of the Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, and the classic cyberpunk RPG Shadowrun are all examples of how fantasy and sci-fi can work together. Your players facing a raiding party of augmented creatures that serve an augmented dragon or other powerful villain can be memorable and fun (one word… cyber-goblins!)

The augmented template is meant to fill a common trope of sci-fi, the cyborg. If, however, you want to limit the sci-fi elements of the template, you can rename it to “mechanized” or “half-construct” and restrict the augmented to strictly magical effects.

Using the Augmented Template

The augmented template offers a GM many options that can be added to any creature. However, a GM needs to be careful exactly what combination of elements are chosen. An augmented creature not carefully crafted can become unbalanced very quickly. When you create an augmented creature, compare the final creature with other creatures of similar CR. If the augmented has many more capabilities, consider increasing its CR or changing the augmentations it has to bring it in line with its CR.

If you wish to make your own augmentations, use the augments in this template and those available to animated objects as guides. Generally, no augmentation should cost more than 2 AP for the standard fare in your world. A standard augmentation should only give the equivalent advantage of a +1 or +2 weapon or armor effect, add no more than one attack per augmentation, or allow more abilities than a mid-range-cost magic item. If you want to add technology way above the standard in your world (laser rifles, etc. for your standard fantasy world) or augments that emulating much higher costing magical effects, increase the AP cost by 1 or 2 as appropriate.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Advanced Bestiary, Copyright 2014, Green Ronin Publishing, LLC; Author Jeff Hersh, Developer Owen K.C. Stephens