Sunday, March 1, 2015

Advanced Bestiary: Puss in Boots

This past fall, Green Ronin released a Pathfinder edition of the Advanced Bestiary, which was originally published as a v.3.5 sourcebook. This book is a collection of templates, designed to increase the value of any other bestiary you own by letting you alter and customize those monsters. The first Advanced Bestiary was easily my favorite Green Ronin title outside of their Freeport product line, and this new edition promises to hold a similarly cherished status in my gaming library.

I've decided to show my appreciation for the new book by updating some of the creatures I created using the old version's templates. The first of these applies the manimal template to a cat to create a creature inspired by the fairy-tale character Puss in Boots, especially as portrayed in the Shrek movies.

XP 200
Manimal cat warrior 1 (Advanced Bestiary 197; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 131)
N Tiny monstrous humanoid
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +5
AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 size)
hp 3 (1d8-1)
Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +1
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +5 (1d2-4), bite +5 (1d3-4), or rapier +5 (1d3-4/18-20), bite +0 (1d3-4)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Str 3, Dex 15, Con 8, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 11
Base Atk +1; CMB +1; CMD 7
Feats Weapon Finesse
Skills Climb +6, Perception +3, Stealth +14; Racial Modifiers +4 Climb, +4 Stealth
Languages Common
SQ animal blood
Environment temperate and hot plains or urban
Organization solitary, pair, or pack (3-12)
Treasure NPC gear (rapier, other treasure)
Special Abilities
Animal Blood (Ex) A manimal counts both as an animal, monstrous humanoid, and humanoid for the purposes of spells, abilities, and effects that specifically affect creatures of specific types. See the manimal template.

A  manimal cat resembles a normal cat that walks upright and has prehensile fingers on its forepaws. The differences in body types are minor enough that manimal cats can still walk around on all fours, and pose as normal cats if necessary. However, these felines are quite proud, and prefer to walk as humans do, and even wear scaled-down human-style clothing. They lack human modesty taboos, but find it undisgnified to be seen in public without at least a pair of shoes or boots.

Due to their small stature, these felines avoid honest fights with larger creatures, preferring to stalk enemies to gauge their weaknesses before attacking with surprise.

Manimal cats speak Common. Those with high Intelligence tend to learn the languages of either Tiny or Small races (Gnome, Halfling, Sylvan) or very large ones (Giant).

Manimal Cat Characters
Like normal housecats, manimal cats tend to be solitary creatures but will team up with members of their own or other races if they see profit in the alliance. The cat will always try to dominate such a relationship, whether through trickery, charm, or intellect.

Manimal cats lack racial Hit Dice. Instead, the have Hit Dice appropriate to their class and level. Most are warriors or experts, but leaders are most often rogues. Other common class choices include bard, ranger, and sorcerer. They rarely have the aptitude or inclination to become clerics, druids, or wizards, and lack the physical prowess for the barbarian and fighter classes.

XP 800
Manimal cat rogue 4
CN Tiny monstrous humanoid
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +7
AC 18, touch 17, flat-footed 13 (+1 armor, +4 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 size)
hp 25 (4d8+4)
Fort +2, Ref +8, Will +1 
Defensive Abilities evasion, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +9 (1d2-2), bite +9 (1d3-2), or +1 rapier +10 (1d3-2/18-20), bite +4 (1d3-2)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks sneak attack +2d6
Str 6, Dex 19, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 13
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 13
Feats Dodge[B], Mobility, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +11, Bluff +8, Climb +9, Escape Artist +11, Intimidate +8, Perception +7, Perform (dance, sing) +6, Sleight of Hand +11, Stealth +23; Racial Modifiers +4 Climb, +4 Stealth
Languages Common
SQ animal blood, rogue talent (combat trick, ledge walker), trapfinding
Gear +1 rapier, boots of armor +1

Puss in Boots is a trickster, thief, and sometimes assassin. He wears an expensive rapier, a plumed silk hat, and his signature high boots, all scaled to his size. When not skulking in the shadows, he walks with a swagger that puts the cockiest human to shame. He shamelessly flirts with attractive females of all races, and has been known to challenge much larger creatures to duels over trivial insults. These habits frequently land him in trouble, which he trusts to his luck and reflexes to get him out of.

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