Amphibious creatures belong to neither air nor water, and they are native to neither land nor sea. Bogs, swamps, and mires—whether hot, mild, or frozen—are their homes.
An amphibious creature breathes both air and water, and it is comfortable in both. It has slick-looking, smooth skin and large eyes that gather light, granting it clear vision even in the murk of muddy waters. It also possesses fins or webbed appendages—which serve it well in water— and legs, allowing it to move about on land.
An amphibious creature’s body shape is similar to that of the base creature but smoother to facilitate swimming, and its digits (if any) are webbed. It also gains fins in appropriate locations. If the base creature lacked strong legs to walk on, the amphibious creature gains two or four such appendages, whichever is most appropriate for its body form. These legs are not capable of gripping weapons and are not useful for attacking foes, but they can be used for locomotion, including climbing and jumping.
“Amphibious creature” is an inherited template that can be added to any living, corporeal creature that breathes air and lacks a swim speed or that breathes water and lacks a land speed (referred to hereafter as the base creature). An amphibious creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Type: The base creature gains the aquatic subtype.
Senses: An amphibious creature gains low-light vision.
Armor Class: The skin of an amphibious creature aids its breathing both in and out of water. But because its body covering must be moist and supple to achieve this purpose, any natural armor the base creature had is less effective. Thus, the amphibious creature’s natural armor bonus is equal to the base creature’s natural armor bonus –2 (minimum 0). If the base creature had no natural armor bonus, this feature of the amphibious template causes no change.
Weaknesses: An amphibious creature gains the following weakness.
Because an amphibious creature’s skin aids in its breathing, it takes a –2 penalty on Fortitude saving throws against gases, contact and inhaled poisons, and all other inhaled effects.
Speed: If the base creature has a land speed but lacks a swim speed, the amphibious creature gains a swim speed equal to the base creature’s highest other speed. Its land, climb, fly, and burrow speeds each decrease by 10 feet (to a minimum of 5 feet) from the base creature’s values.
If the base creature has a swim speed but lacks a land speed, the amphibious version gains a land speed of 10 feet slower (to a minimum of 5 feet) than the base creature’s swim speed.
Skills: Any racial bonuses to skills based on environment changes to the creature’s new environment as appropriate.
Special Qualities: An amphibious creature retains all the base creature’s special qualities gains the amphibious universal monster ability.
Languages: If the amphibious creature can speak, it gains the ability to speak Aquan in addition to any other languages the base creature knows.
Environment: If the amphibious creature gains a swim speed, it also gains the aquatic and marsh terrains in its environment description. If it gains a land speed, it also gains a land terrain that would normally be found near the base creature’s watery habitat or the marsh terrain.
Advanced Bestiary, Copyright 2014, Green Ronin Publishing, LLC; Author Jeff Hersh, Developer Owen K.C. Stephens