A quadrupedal creature possesses the features of a humanoid, but the general form of a lion or horse. A quadrupedal version of a humanoid creature has legs instead of arms, and a longer-than-normal torso placed between and behind its front legs. Its elongated neck and shortened legs give it a general form similar to that of a sphinx or a barghest.
Quadrupedal creatures rarely have the ability to manipulate tools, and most live nomadic existences, following sources of food and traveling with the seasons. A quadrupedal race inclined to settle down might ally itself with nearby humanoids, gaining equipment and dwellings in return for service as mounts.
“Quadrupedal” is an inherited template that can be added to any bipedal creature with at least two arms and a head (referred to hereafter as the base creature). The base creature’s arms become legs, and its hands become hoof-like or paw-like, depending upon whether its lower body resembles that of a horse or a lion. A quadrupedal creature must wear barding instead of normal armor and cannot wear boots designed for bipeds. A quadrupedal creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Speed: The base creature’s land and burrow speeds (if any) each increase by +10 feet. If the base creature has a climb speed, it is replaced by a climb speed equal to one-half the quadrupedal creature’s land speed or 10 feet, whichever is faster. If the base creature has a fly speed based on the possession of wings, the quadrupedal creature’s maneuverability class is reduced by one step (minimum clumsy).
Attacks: The quadrupedal creature retains all the base creature’s attacks, each of which retains the same primary or secondary status it had for the base creature. If the base creature possessed a single claw or slam attack, the quadrupedal creature gains an additional attack of the same type with the same primary or secondary status and the same base damage. If the base creature has at least one head but lacks a bite attack with it, the quadrupedal creature gains a secondary bite attack with each head. If the base creature possesses arms but has no claw or slam attacks with them, the quadrupedal creature gains a primary slam attack with each such limb. The quadrupedal creature’s lack of human-like hands prevents it from using weapons, employing a shield, or manipulating items any better than a bear or a horse could. It loses all of the base creature’s weapon and armor proficiencies unless it gains the regular use of the ability to take a shape with hands. In this case, the proficiencies of its class or creature type should automatically be restored so that the quadrupedal creature need not take weapon proficiency feats to regain them.
If the quadrupedal creature gains a bite or slam attack from the application of this template, the damage for each is based on size.
Space/Reach: The quadrupedal creature has a space and reach appropriate for its new shape, as given on Table 2-35. If the base creature had greater than normal reach for its size, add 5 feet to the reach indicated on the table.
|Small||5 ft./5 ft.|
|Large||10 ft./5 ft.|
|Huge||15 ft./10 ft.|
|Gargantuan||20 ft./15 ft.|
|Colossal||30 ft./20 ft.|
Special Attacks: A quadrupedal creature retains all of the base creature’s special attacks except those that rely on fine manipulation with the hands. If a special attack relies on the base creature taking humanoid form, it must instead take quadrupedal form.
Skills: The quadrupedal creature retains the base creature’s racial skill bonuses. If the base creature has skills that require fine manipulation with the hands (such as Perform [string instruments]), recalculate skill points for the quadrupedal creature’s racial Hit Dice according to its type, then purchase its skills afresh, treating the base creature’s skills as class skills. The quadrupedal creature retains any skill points gained from class levels.
Special Qualities: The quadrupedal creature retains all the base creature’s special qualities except those that rely on fine manipulation with the hands. If a special quality relies on the base creature taking humanoid form (such as the doppelganger’s change shape ability), it must instead take quadrupedal form.
Quadrupeds can carry heavier loads than bipeds can. Multiply the values corresponding to the creature’s Strength score from Table 7-4: Carrying Capacity by the appropriate modifier, as follows: Fine ×1/4, Diminutive ×1/2, Tiny ×3/4, Small ×1, Medium ×1-1/2, Large ×3, Huge ×6, Gargantuan ×12, Colossal ×24.
If the base creature can use weapons and has free hands after gaining the quadrupedal template it gains the undersized weapons ability.
Creating a race with more than two legs adversely affects that race’s ability to use standard feet slot magic items. The best way to deal with this is to create variant magic item versions of the various boots, shoes, and slippers that can be worn by this race. Allow members of these races to find ankle bracelets of speed or horseshoes of spider climb that act just like their traditional magic item counterparts, but fit the new race’s form.
Quadrupedal creatures may cast spells, but those requiring somatic and material components cannot be used unless the quadrupedal creature has a means of bypassing the need for such components. In most cases, it is easiest to assume that quadrupedal creatures can make use of somatic and material components in the same ways that other monstrous spellcasters can. Spell-like abilities may be used in the same manner as the base creature used them.
Advanced Bestiary, Copyright 2014, Green Ronin Publishing, LLC; Author Jeff Hersh, Developer Owen K.C. Stephens