Some creatures are not great themselves but serve as vessels for divine power whether that power be righteous and damnable, maters not. The reveal themselves to be two separate beings with different personalities with the uttering of a magic word or phrase at their moment of transformation into their avatar form, otherwise they tend to be ordinary examples of their respective race, culture, and ethnicity, though they can be juveniles or elders in their culture. The divine champion’s avatar appears to be struck by lightning, engulfed in flames, anointed by sacred light, shrouded in vile darkness, or glow with otherworldly energy. This avatar form tends to looks only slightly like the divine champion’s normal form, is always larger, and more awe inspiring than the divine champion’s normal form.
Creating a Divine Champion Creature
“Divine champion” is an acquired template that can be added to any creature with an Intelligence of 4 or higher (referred to hereafter as the base creature) thank can speak a language.
A divine champion creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Special Note: A divine champion gains none of the modifications below except for the avatar form ability unless it is in its avatar form.
Senses: The avatar form gains darkvision 60 ft.
Hit Dice: The avatar form changes the creature’s HD to d12s. Once these hp are rolled, they cannot be rerolled.
Defenses/Qualities: In avatar form the divine champion gains DR 5/special (see below, increase to 10 if the divine champion’s CR is 10 or higher, increase to 15 if the divine champion’s CR is 15 or Higher), immune ability drain, ability damage, disease, energy drain, poison, and polymorph; (any of these effects that have taken hold on the divine champion are suppressed while in avatar form.); Resist 5 to four of the standard energy types (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic); Every 4 HD it possesses (4, 8, 12, 16 and 20), increase the existing resist by 5, exchange complete immunity rather than raising it to resist 25.
Weaknesses: vulnerability to special energy the divine champion gains vulnerability to the energy type not selected and damage dealt by this energy type cannot be regenerated by the divine champion creature.
Speed: In avatar form the divine champion creature gains fly (Su) 30 feet with perfect maneuverability.
Special Abilities: A Divine champion gains the special abilities described below.
Avatar Form (Su)
Granted the imbued power of his patron, the divine champion can transform itself from its normal form into an avatar of divine might. Taking avatar form is an immediate action, but is always a spectacular affair; the divine champion appears to be struck by lightning, engulfed in flames, anointed by sacred light, shrouded in vile darkness, or glow with otherworldly energy. This automatically ruins any attempt at stealth and invisibility and grants a +20 circumstance bonus to the Perception checks to notice the divine champion. Changing to or from avatar form requires a command word to be spoken, so a gag or a silence effect can prevent it from occurring.
It is always in the prime of life, even if the champion is younger or older, and is obviously virile and powerful. The avatar displays an obvious magical nature, the exact details of which depend on the deity or ethos that created the avatar; the divine champion may crackle with an aura of electricity, or have eyes of flame and skin of steel, or any other mystic appearance. This counts as a polymorph effect, though the avatar’s appearance is always the same. The avatar is almost like a separate character, with its own Hit Dice, hit points, base attack bonus, base saves, ability scores, hit points, feats, and skills as an outsider except its HD are d12s. Familiars, animal companions, and paladin mounts continue to serve the avatar as they would the champion, as do cohorts and followers gained from the Leadership feat (if both forms possess the feat). The base creature cannot use any of his normal feats or skills when in avatar form. All equipment carried by the base creature changes appearance slightly to match the avatar’s overall image and new size.
Damage the creature takes when in avatar form comes from the avatar’s hit points, rather than the base creature’s own hit points. Likewise, damage suffered while in normal form does not affect the avatar’s health. The hit point total for each form “freezes” when the creature switches forms, so that if the avatar is wounded, it will still be wounded the next time the base creature calls on it. If the avatar is reduced to negative hit points, the base creature immediately reverts to normal form (complete with whatever hit point total he had before changing.) If the avatar is outright killed, the base creature loses the ability to take avatar form (see below).
The base creature and its avatar must each be healed (and raised or resurrected) separately, but the creature can choose to mentally direct any healing spell or effect to which it is subject too, to heal its avatar rather than his normal self. If either form is subject to a healing effect that would heal more hit points than that form has suffered in damage, the leftover healing may be transferred to the other form.
Any spell or ability affecting the creature also affects the avatar when it is taken (unless the avatar form is immune to it). The avatar is affected by spells that specifically target or affect native outsiders but the base creature is not (unless it is a native outsider). An anti-magic field suppresses the avatar form as long as the creature remains within, but the avatar form returns if the creature leaves the area.
The divine champion creature may take avatar form for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + its avatar’s Constitution modifier +2 additional rounds for each HD it possess. Temporary increases to Constitution, such as those gained from rage and spells like bear’s endurance, do not increase the total number of rounds that a divine champion can be in avatar form per day. The total number of rounds of avatar form per day is renewed after resting for 8 hours, although these hours do not need to be consecutive. At the end of this period, it reverts back to its normal form, and is fatigued for an amount of time equal to the length of time it held avatar form. The champion can also return to normal form voluntarily as an immediate action, which will naturally shorten the duration of its exhaustion.
Avatar’s Companion (Su)
When the divine champion changes to avatar form, it may choose to transform a animal companion to match its avatar form if it is within 30 feet of the divine champion at the time of transformation. The companion gains the divine champions DR, immune and resist defensive abilities and gains temporary hit points equal to its normal maximum hit points (effectively doubling its hit points). When the divine champion loses its avatar form the animal companion loses these benefits.
Avatar Weapon (Su)
The divine champion creature can cause one of its weapons to change shape along with him when it takes its avatar form. The weapon changes to any one other simple or martial weapon, but keeps all enchantments and is crafted from the same special materials (if possible). The divine champion creature chooses a weapon to be its avatar weapon by meditating on it for 8 hours and deciding what its alternate form will be; once chosen, the weapon can only transform to that single shape. The champion can meditate again to switch the ability to a different weapon or to change the alternate form to that of a different weapon. If divine champion creature has at least 5 HD, this ability grants its chosen weapon (or natural weapon) a +1 enhancement bonus. For every three HD beyond 5, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +6 at 20 HD. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon bonuses to a maximum of +5, or they can be used to add any magical weapon properties. Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s cost (see Table: Melee Weapon Special Abilities). These bonuses are added to any properties the weapon already has, but duplicate abilities do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. The bonus and properties granted by the avatar form are determined when the form taken and cannot be changed until the avatar form taken again. The avatar form imparts no bonuses if the weapon is held by anyone other than the divine champion creature but resumes giving bonuses if returned to the divine champion creature. These bonuses apply to only one end of a double weapon.
A divine champion creature can select one domain from among those belonging to its deity or ethos. It can select an alignment domain only if her alignment matches that domain. Each domain grants a number of domain powers, depending on the HD of the divine champion creature. It gains access to these powers only in its avatar form, a divine champion creature does not gain the bonus spells listed for each domain, nor does it gain bonus spell slots. The divine champion creature uses its HD as its effective cleric level when determining the power and effect of its domain power.
Explosive Transformation (Su)
Choose one form of energy that to which the avatar form has resist 10 or greater and does not have a vulnerability to. All other creatures within 5 feet of the divine champion when it assumes its avatar form take 1d6 points of damage from the chosen form of energy for every HD the base creature possesses. Creatures who are not grappling with the divine champion can make a Reflex saving (DC 10 +1/2 the divine champion’s HD + its Constitution Modifier).
Special Damage Reduction (Ex/Su)
Choose a required type of weapon, alignment, and material type appropriate to oppose the divine champion (example: slashing, lawful good, obsidian weapon) only this exact type of weapon can be used to overcome the avatar form’s damage reduction, damage dealt by this weapon cannot be regenerated by the divine champion creature and it takes half again as much (+50%) damage as normal.
Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: upon taking the avatar form the divine champion gains 3 ability score points plus 1 additional ability score point for every HD it possesses (to a maximum of 23). Once these scores are assigned, they cannot be reassigned.
Feats: Upon taking the avatar form the divine champion selects all new feats and gains a bonus feat plus one for every 6 HD it possess (to a maximum of 4 bonus feats). Once these feats are chosen, they cannot be changed.
Skills: Upon upon taking the avatar form the divine champion loses all its current skill points and gains skill points based on its HD as an outsider and has the class skills of an outsider. Once these skills are assigned, they cannot be reassigned.
Pathways Bestiary (c) 2017, Rite Publishing LLC.; Author: Steven D. Russell.