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Bipedal Creature (CR Special)

A bipedal creature possesses the body of a humanoid and the features of some other creature. It has two legs and at least two arms that are capable of wielding weapons and manipulating tools, and it stands either erect or hunched like an ape. Bipedal races often form stable societies, cultures, and nations, even if the multi-legged or legless creatures they resemble are solitary beings or simple hunter-gatherers.

When a creature gains this template, two of the base creature’s limbs (usually the last pair) become legs, and any other limb except a head that has a natural attack becomes an arm capable of either wielding a weapon or making a natural attack, as the creature chooses. Arms need not be jointed limbs in the typical sense; tentacles or other limbs could also be capable of wielding weapons and objects. If these transformations do not grant the bipedal creature at least two arms and two legs, it either converts limbs that do not have natural attacks or grows limbs until it meets these minimum numbers.

If the base creature has wings or a tail that do not make natural attacks, these limbs remain as they were, adjusting in size to fit the bipedal creature’s body without dragging. Any of the base creature’s limbs not accounted for in this process become vestigial.

Creating a Bipedal Creature

Bipedal” is an inherited or acquired template that can be added to any living creature that does not have a generally humanoid form (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A bipedal creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Speed: If the base creature has a land speed, it changes to the speed given on Table 2-8, even if the base creature’s land speed is greater. If the base creature lacks a land speed, the bipedal creature’s land speed is half the speed indicated on the table (minimum 5 feet).

Table 2-8: Bipedal Speed
Size Land Speed
Fine 5 ft.
Diminutive 10 ft.
Tiny 20 ft.
Small 20 ft.
Medium 30 ft.
Large 40 ft.
Huge 50 ft.
Gargantuan 60 ft.
Colossal 60 ft.

Attacks: The bipedal creature retains all the base creature’s natural attacks except those employing limbs that have become legs. If its Intelligence score is 3 or higher, it can also wield weapons normally with its arms, and it retains all the base creature’s weapon and armor proficiencies. Any natural attacks it has retain the same primary or secondary status they had for the base creature.

Space/Reach: The base creature’s space and reach change according to the Creature Size and Scale. For creatures of Large size or greater, use the “tall” option. If the base creature has a longer reach than normal for its size, the bipedal creature retains that reach.

Special Attacks: A bipedal creature retains all of the base creature’s special attacks except rake.

Using the Bipedal Creature Template

The bipedal creature template can radically change how monsters fit into your game world. With it, you could make a race of bipedal deer that live like monkeys, or build whole nations of magical beasts that are normally relegated to random encounters in the wilderness. Good dragons could walk the land as giants do, while evil dragons might move on all fours like animals.

The bipedal template is also useful for making monsters suitable for other templates.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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