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Seasonal Creature (CR +1)[3pp]


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Seasonal creatures change as the world does. Their bodies and souls are linked to the slow shift from spring to summer, summer to autumn, and autumn to winter.

In spring, a seasonal creature exhibits great strength and lust for life. It seems exuberant and foolhardy, young again despite all its years and frail like a newborn. In summer, some of the zest for living that characterized it in spring has faded, tempered by thoughts of the autumn and winter to come. Autumn brings physical weakness and growing wisdom, plus a need to prepare for the coming winter. Winter is a time for thoughtfulness—a time to reflect on the events of the year and learn from them before the coming spring makes the seasonal creature a young fool again.

Like its outlook, the seasonal creature’s appearance changes throughout the year. In spring, its skin is bright green, and new leaf shoots and budding flowers grow from its head like hair. Summer darkens the greens and causes the flowers to fall as fruit begins to ripen. In autumn, the seasonal creature’s skin turns yellow or brown, and its leaves become fiery red and orange. In winter, its leaves and vine-like hair wither and fall away, its skin pales to pure white, and hair the color of the winter sky grows in where the green shoots once sprouted.

Creating a Seasonal Creature

Seasonal” is an acquired or inherited template that can be added to any living creature that normally lives above-ground (referred to hereafter as the base creature).

A seasonal creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here. When the season changes, the seasonal creature loses the changes imposed during the previous season and gains those for the next one.

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +1.

Saving Throws: A seasonal creature gains morale modifier on certain saves based on the current season, as follows:

Spring: The seasonal creature gains a +2 bonus on saves against fear effects and a –2 penalty on saves against cold effects.

Summer: The seasonal creature gains a +2 bonus on saves against fire effects and a –2 penalty on saves against cold effects.

Autumn: The seasonal creature gains a +2 bonus on saves against cold effects and a –2 penalty on saves against polymorph effects.

Winter: The seasonal creature gains a +2 bonus on saves against cold effects and a –2 penalty on saves against fear effects.

Defensive Abilities: A seasonal creature uses all the base creature’s defensive abilities and gains the following:

Resistances (Ex)

A seasonal creature gains energy resistance based on the season, as follows:

Spring: The seasonal creature gains resistance +5 to cold and fire.

Summer: The seasonal creature gains resistance +5 to electricity and fire.

Autumn: The seasonal creature gains resistance +5 to cold and electricity.

Winter: The seasonal creature gains resistance +10 to cold.

Special Attacks: The seasonal creature retains all the base creature’s special attacks and gains those described here.

Energy Damage (Su)

Each of a seasonal creature’s natural and manufactured weapon attacks deals extra energy damage depending on the season.

Spring: +1d4 fire

Summer: +1d6 fire

Autumn: + 1d4 cold

Winter: +1d6 cold

Seasonal Spellcasting (Su)

If the base creature casts spells or possesses spell-like abilities, the seasonal creature gains a +1 bonus to caster level and save DCs for specific effects, as follows:

Spring: illusion effects

Summer: evocation effects

Autumn: transmutation effects

Winter: necromancy effects

Abilities: A seasonal creature’s ability scores change from the base creature according to the season, as given on Table 2-36: Seasonal Abilities (minimum 1).

Table 2-36: Seasonal Abilities
Season Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
Spring +4 +4 -4 -4 -4 +4
Summer +2 +2 -2 -2 -2 +2
Autumn -2 -2 +2 +2 +2 -2
Winter -4 -4 +4 +4 +4 -4

Skills: A seasonal creature does not gain extra skill points from this template. Do not recalculate the seasonal creature’s skills based on its Intelligence changes. The seasonal creature gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Knowledge (nature) checks and Stealth checks in natural environments where its seasonal colors blend with the environment. Additionally, it gains the following bonuses according to the season:

Spring: +2 circumstance bonus on Craft, Heal, and Handle Animal checks

Summer: +2 circumstance bonus on Acrobatics, Climb, and Swim checks.

Autumn: +2 circumstance bonus on Bluff, Disguise, and Sleight of Hand checks.

Winter: +2 circumstance bonus on Escape Artist, Perception, and Survival checks

Using the Seasonal Template

The seasonal template is a package of four templates that can be divided and used separately. It can also can be made an acquired template with no modification.

You can use this template to redefine any creature. Fey creatures or those with various fey-themed templates are excellent choices as base creatures. This template can also be used in conjunction with the seelie and unseelie templates where the base creature gains one of these templates depending on the season.

The template can also be used to create subraces for humans, elves, or other PC races.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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