War has ever been a constant between the forces of good and evil. It is not unheard of for individual participants to sometime lose their way, their perspective, or their heart for the endless grind of duty and battle. Momentous victories and crushing defeats between the two (or often, more) sides also send waves and riptides through the multiversal fabric, trapping outsiders in the diffraction patterns. In both cases, the Planes themselves seek to reach harmony by fusing together two normally oppositional denizens. Stripped of their own individual goals and freedoms, the resulting new dichotomous creature internalizes that cosmic war as fuel to strive for a solution (often violently) to the interplanar impasse.
Creating a Dichotomous Creature
“Dichotomous creature” is an acquired template which can be added to any two outsiders, which must be within one CR of each other and share at least one opposing alignment. These creatures are referred to as the base creatures.
A dichotomous creature uses all the base creatures’ statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
CR: +1 to the higher CR of the base creatures.
Alignment: Change the resulting creature’s alignment to true neutral.
Senses: The creature keeps the better of the base creatures’ darkvision and low-light vision ranges. Additionally, if either base creature possesses a non-alignment based extraordinary or supernatural sense (tremorsense or true seeing, for example, but not detect good), the dichotomous creature keeps that sense.
Type and Size: A dichotomous creature loses subtypes related to alignment, but it retains racial subtypes. The resulting creature also gains the larger of the base creatures’ sizes, unless the size differs by more than one step, in which case the creature’s resultant size goes up one step for every two steps of difference. No adjustments to HD, BAB, or saves are required.
Hit Dice: The resulting creature gains the higher HD of the two base creatures, plus an additional d10.
Defenses/Qualities: A dichotomous creature retains any defensive abilities of either base creature. Additionally, it keeps the highest DR of the base creatures, excluding DRs which are solely alignment-based. The creature also keeps the immunities of each base creatures as well as the highest value of shared resistances. Reduce any resistance the base creatures do not share by 5. Finally, the resulting creature retains the highest SR of its component creatures.
Speed: The creature gains all movement types of the base creatures, taking the highest speed of any shared movement.
Melee: If one of the base creatures wielded a weapon, the resulting creature will wield the same weapon, doing the same amount of damage. Additionally, the creature keeps the natural attacks of both base creatures with the higher damage dice of the base creatures for shared natural attacks.
Base Attack: The creature gains the higher base attack bonus of the component creatures.
Special Abilities: A dichotomous creature retains all special abilities the base creatures possessed, with the exception of those based on alignment, such as smite evil. Additionally, the creature gains the following special abilities.
Detect Alignment (Su)
A dichotomous creature knows the alignment of any creature within 60 feet. This functions as though the creature had continuous castings of detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, and detect law. If this ability is suppressed, the creature may resume it as a free action.
Enforced Balance (Su)
A dichotomous outsider is constantly driven to stalk and kill creatures possessing either of its original opposing alignments. As each dies, the dichotomous creature absorbs portions of the slain creature’s alignment matching one of its two original oppositional alignments. For each hit die of such a slain creature, the dichotomous creature gains an alignment point. Alignment points from creatures of opposing alignments do not stack, but instead cancel the other out, leaving the dichotomous creature with a net balance of the remaining points. Unless slain itself, it eventually reaches a moment where it has accrued alignment points equaling or exceeding twice as many Hit Dice as it currently possesses. Once this occurs, the creature returns to that base outsider’s original form, retaining all the abilities of the combined entity and gaining all of the original’s alignment-based abilities and weaknesses. This process irrevocably destroys the other base outsider.
The dichotomous outsider’s murderous compulsion to regain an alignment is usually in direct opposition to that alignment. For example, good-aligned outsiders ethically find extreme difficulty in bringing themselves to slay other good-aligned creatures, while an evil creature must curb its natural desire to lay waste to good creatures, or else it will eventually become one.
The resulting creature uses spell-like abilities at the higher CL of the two base creatures and combines the abilities the two creatures can use. The creature cannot use aligned spell-like abilities, prepared spells, or summon abilities.
Abilities: A dichotomous creature gains the higher ability scores of the base creatures.
Feats: The creature retains all feats the base creatures possessed. Shared feats do not provide any additional bonus.
Skills: The resulting creature retains all skills the base creatures possessed, as well as racial bonuses to skills. Shared skills keep the higher bonus.
Pathways Bestiary (c) 2017, Rite Publishing LLC.; Author: Steven D. Russell.