Symbiants, like farrealmers, are represented in many different ways. This is similar to a +0 template being added to a given race to represent its bond with the symbiant.
Physical Description: On their own, symbiants are an ooze-like creature. When bonded with a host, they may appear to be a normal member of that race, or they can transform the host, giving them a suit of natural armor that can coat up to the host’s entire body. They can even use this outer shell to form different weapons and shields.
Society: Symbiant society is a collected consciousness from which all symbiants are split. When they bond with a host, this pseudo-hivemind is often severed, but some are able to retain or relearn it over time.
Relations: Symbiants with a host often blend their personalities, becoming a mix of both. By themselves, symbiants cannot last long in most natural environments, so they are compelled to act on survival instincts, which can make them dangerous. Their alien understanding of creatures can lead them to forcibly take over a host (or sometimes to leave their existing host) if the alternative would mean their death.
Alignment and Religion: Symbiants with ties to their collective consciousness are typically neutral, having no other drive than to live and grow. Bonded symbiants can be of any alignment, whether complimenting or opposing that of their host.
A few symbiants who have lived long enough away from their collective have grasped the concept of religion and seek a greater symbiant deity on whom they can rely. Others adopt the religion of their host or see the collective itself as their god, hoping to one day rejoin it when their mission is complete.
Adventurers: A symbiant’s key objective is to understand the world outside of their collective consciousness. To that end, many find themselves bonded to adventurers, either by hiding their true identity and acting as magical equipment for as long as they can, or striking a bargain with their host and working together for mutual benefit.
Names: Symbiants tend toward more descriptive names that hold meaning to their role and the powers they have learned over time. Adventurers who exhibit strange magic, wear body-changing armor, and go by names like Rage, Inquisition, or Poison are often symbiants.
|Aging||Height & Weight|
|Symbiants can rejuvenate themselves by rejoining their collective consciousness, but otherwise age with their host.||A symbiant without a host is often a tiny creature, but with 5-ft.-reach thanks to its tentacles. They are about 1-ft. tall and weight between 2 and 12 lbs.|
Racial Bond: Most symbiants do not survive long without a host to whom they can bond. In addition to the traits below, choose a base race that acts as the symbiant’s host. The host loses any resistance (but not immunity) to fire or sonic damage and effects it may have (unless it also possesses the Symbiant Adaptation feat).
Bonded Outsider (0 RP): Symbiants are outsiders with the augmented and native subtypes, as well as any subtypes possessed by their host. Unlike other outsiders, this does not grant the symbiant darkvision. The symbiant counts as both an outsider and its host’s type for the purposes of effects such as the ranger’s favored enemy class feature.
Dual-Minded (1 RP): Symbiants gain a +2 bonus on all Will saving throws.
Reactionary (1 RP): Once per day, when a symbiant rolls for initiative, it can roll twice and take the better result. It must decide to use this ability before rolling its check.
Hive Memory (1 RP): Pick up to two skills. These skills are always considered class skills for the symbiant.
Bite (2 RP): Symbiants gain a bite attack which deals 1d4 piercing damage on a hit. This is a primary attack, or a secondary attack (made at a –5 penalty) if the symbiant is also wielding manufactured weapons.
Fire and Sonic Vulnerability (–5 RP): All symbiants have vulnerability to fire and sonic damage, taking 50% more damage from those types. They also suffer a –4 penalty on all saves against non-damaging fire, light, and sonic effects.
A symbiant can replace either its own or its host’s racial traits with any of the following traits (or combination of traits) totaling the same race points (RP). A symbiant cannot have more than 3 traits from the same category as racial traits (advanced and monstrous symbiants may be available, at the GM’s discretion).
Symbiant Strength (0+ RP): Symbiants will sometimes override a host’s natural attributes with their own. This grants the symbiant +2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, –2 Wisdom. This alters and replaces the host’s ability score modifiers.
If the host’s former ability scores were worth 1 or more RP, the symbiant gains an equal amount of traits listed here without replacing the listed traits.
Danger Sense (2 RP): The symbiant gains a +1 bonus on Reflex saves to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. In addition, it gains a +1 bonus on Perception checks to avoid being surprised by a foe. These bonuses increase by 1 every 3 character levels the symbiant attains beyond 1st (to a maximum of +6 at 18th level). This ability counts as trap sense for the purpose of any feat or class prerequisite, and can be replaced by any archetype class feature that replaces trap sense. The bonuses gained from this ability stack with those gained from trap sense (from another class).
Fearless (1 RP): The symbiant gains a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear effects. This stacks with similar bonuses such as lucky.
Illusion Resistant (1 RP): Some symbiants gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusion spells or effects.
Unnatural (2 RP): Symbiants will sometimes unnerve normal animals, and train to defend themselves against the inevitable attacks from such creatures. Members of this race take a –4 penalty on all Charisma-based skill checks to affect creatures of the animal type, and receive a +4 dodge bonus to AC against animals. Animals’ starting attitude toward members of this race is one step worse than normal.
Silent Hunter (2 RP): The Symbiant reduces the penalty for using Stealth while moving by 5 and can make Stealth checks while running at a –20 penalty (this number includes the penalty reduction from this trait).
Climber (2 RP): The symbiant has a climb speed of 20 feet, and gain the +8 racial bonus on Climb checks that a climb speed normally grants.
Expert Climber (4 RP): Requires Climber. The symbiant can cling to cave walls and even ceilings as long as the surface has hand- and footholds. In effect, it is treated as being constantly under the effects of a non-magical spider climb spell, save that the symbiant cannot cling to smooth surfaces. This trait doubles the normal +8 racial bonus on Climb checks normally granted to creatures with a climb speed (to a total +16 bonus).
- Jumper (2 RP): Some symbiants are always considered to have a running start when making Acrobatics checks to jump.
Claws (2 RP): The symbiant gains 2 claw attacks which each deal 1d4 slashing damage on a hit. These are primary attacks, or secondary attacks (made at a –5 penalty) if the symbiant is also wielding a manufactured weapon. If this grants the symbiant three or more natural attacks, it qualifies for the Multiattack feat.
Frenzy (2 RP): When the symbiant takes damage, it flies into a frenzy for 1 minute, gaining a +2 racial bonus to Constitution and Strength, but a –2 penalty to AC.
Tendril (2 RP): The symbiant can make a melee attack out to 10 feet with a long, sticky tendril. This is a secondary attack (made at a –5 penalty). A creature hit by this attack cannot move more than 10 feet away from the symbiant and takes a –2 penalty to AC as long as the tendril is attached (this penalty does not stack if multiple tendrils are attached). The tendril can be removed by the target or an adjacent ally by making an opposed Strength check against the symbiant as a standard action or by dealing 2 points of damage to the tendril (AC 11, damage does not reduce the symbiant’s hit points). The symbiant cannot move more than 10 feet away from a creature stuck to its tendril, but it can release its tendril from the target as a free action. A symbiant can only have one creature attached to its tendril at a time. This trait can be taken up to two times. The second time it is taken, the symbiant gains the ability to pull a creature attached to its tendril 5 feet toward it as a swift action.
Life Sense (3 RP): The symbiant does not need to make Perception checks to pinpoint the location of living, breathing creatures within 30 feet of it. Those creatures still benefit from cover and concealment if it cannot see them.
The following options are available to all symbiant characters who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.
- Barbarian: Gain 1/6 of a new barbarian rage power.
- Bard: Add one spell from the bard spell list to the bard’s spell list. The spell must be at least 1 spell level below the highest level the bard can cast.
- Battle Augur: Choose a cleric domain. Each time this is selected, gain the next available domain spell the chosen domain grants. The battle augur can cast these spells once per day each using his spell slots of the appropriate level.
- Druid: Add 1 spell from the druid spell list to the druid’s spell list. The spell must be at least 1 spell level below the highest level the druid can cast.
- Paladin: Add 1 spell from the paladin spell list to the paladin’s spell list. The spell must be at least 1 spell level below the highest level the paladin can cast.
- Psychic: The psychic treats his Wisdom bonus as 1/3 point higher for the purpose of determining the number of uses or rounds per day of her discipline powers.
- Ranger: Add +1/4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against one creature type from the list of ranger favored enemies.
- Rogue: Gain 1/6 of a new rogue talent.
- Wizard: Add +1-1/2 to the wizard’s CMD when resisting two combat maneuvers of the character’s choice.
The following racial archetypes are available to symbiants:
The Book of Many Things Volume 2: Shattered Worlds, © 2019,Samurai Sheepdog; author Kevin Glusing.