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Maddening May: Dark Scion Template

shoggoth_lineart__matt_bulahaoDark Scions
Touched (or consumed) by the ancient entities that dwell between the stars or in strange congruent dimensions, dark scions are similar to half-fiends or half-dragons. The template can also be used to represent “unique” boss monsters or servants of Great Old Ones, and the creature’s appearance can have very little to do with that of the base creature. Children of and servants to madness, these beings sometimes gather cults around themselves to pursue their agendas. Others, unhinged and alone, seek powerful magic to open a gateway back “home”.

This horrific creature is the size of a horse, with the staring eyes and hooked beak of a squid, and fan-like wings that seem more insectile than reptilian. Its black fur bears the reflective gloss of strange oils. Various vents along its chest whistle and shriek as it exerts itself.

Dark Scion Hiracosphynx     CR 7
XP 2,800
CE Large outsider (native)
Init+2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., blindsight 20 ft; low-light vision; Perception +14
AC 19, touch 11, flat-footed 17 (+2 Dex, +8 natural, -1 size)
hp 76 (8d10+32)
Fort +10, Ref +8, Will +5
DR 5/magic; Resist acid 10, cold 10, sonic 10; Immune poison, fear
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft, swim 30 ft, fly 60 ft. (poor), starflight
Melee bite +12 (1d10+5), 2 claws +12 (1d8+5)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with tentacles)
Special Attacks pounce, shriek
Spell-like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +9)
     3/day—blur, lesser confusion (DC 13)
     1/day—call the void, touch of idiocy (DC 16), black tentacles
Str 21, Dex 14, Con 19, Int 6, Wis 17, Cha 14
Base Atk +8; CMB +14; CMD 26 (30 vs. trip)
Feats Cleave, Flyby Attack, Power Attack, Ability Focus (touch of idiocy), Improved Natural Attack (claws)
Skills Fly +3, Perception +14, Sense Motive +11, Knowledge (arcana) +6, Stealth +8; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +4 Disguise
Languages Sphinx, Aklo
SQ Alternate form, no breath
Shriek (Su) The shrill shriek of a hieracosphinx deafens non-sphinxes within a 60-foot-radius spread for 2d4 rounds (DC 18 Fort negates). Once a creature successfully saves against this effect, it is immune to the hieracosphinx’s shriek for 24 hours. Using this ability is a standard action. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Alternate Form (Su) cure serious wounds(3d8+8 hp), fear DC 16, 4 tentacles +7 (1d6+2).

A dark scion hiracosphynx is an agent of unknown powers. It is driven to seek out vaults and ruins containing forbidden or dangerous knowledge and disseminate it where it can cause the greatest amount of harm. In particular, it is known for lurking at sites of great significance in the manner of more intelligent sphinxes


Creating a Dark Scion
Dark scion” is an inherited or acquired template that can be added to any living, corporeal creature with an Intelligence score of 4 or more. A dark scion uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Image_Portfolio_102_Fantasy Jason Walton 40CR: HD 4 or less, as base creature +1; HD 5 to 10, as base creature +2; HD 11 or more, as base creature +3.
Alignment: Any evil
Type: The creature’s type changes to outsider (native). Do not recalculate HD, BAB, or saves.
Armor Class: Natural armor improves by +2
Defenses/Qualities: Gains darkvision 60 ft, blindsight 20 ft; immunity to poison and fear; acid, sonic, and cold resistance 10; DR 5 magic (if 11 HD or less) or 10/magic (if HD 12 or more); and SR equal to creature’s CR +11 (maximum 35).
Speed: A dark scion gains a climb and swim speed equal to its base land speed.
Melee: The dark scion without any natural attacks gains two tentacle attacks based on its size (1d6 for a medium creature). The dark scion counts as a “tall” creature for the purposes of the reach of these tentacles. A dark scion’s melee attacks function as magical weapons. A dark scion with a natural attack gains Improved Natural Attack as a bonus feat.

Special Attacks
Spell-like Abilities (Sp): A dark scion with an Intelligence or Wisdom score of 8 or higher has a cumulative number of spell-like abilities set by its HD. Unless otherwise noted, these spell-like abilities are usable 1/day. CL equals the creature’s HD (or the CL of the base creature’s spell-like abilities, whichever is higher).

1 to 2 blur 3/day
3 to 4 touch of idiocy
5 to 6 call the void, lesser confusion 3/day
7 to 8 black tentacles
9 to 10 greater invisibility
11 to 12 summon monster VI (1d3 advanced gricks)
13 to 14 ethereal jaunt 3/day
15 to 16 caustic eruption
17 to 18 mass suffocation
19 to 20 implosion

Blessing of the Dark Tapestry (Su): A dark scion with 10 HD or more gains a unique ability granted by its dark masters. Chose one of the following, or invent your own.
          Aneurysm: The target takes 1d4 damage (plus 1d4 for every 3 HD possessed by the dark scion) from ruptured nervous tissue (no save).
         Horrific Death: The dark scion gains the ferocity special ability, and its tentacles deal an additional 1d6 acid damage. When it is first reduced to negative hit points, creatures within its threatened area take 1d8 acid damage for every two hit dice the dark scion possesses (Reflex for half). While at negative hit points, the dark scion gains an insight bonus equal to its Charisma modifier on attack rolls and damage rolls. When it finally dies, the dark scion dissolves into a pool of unidentifiable goo.
          Strangle: The target is staggered for 1 round (Fortitude negates).
          Tentacular: The dark scion’s tentacle attacks gain the grab special ability, and it gains constrict. A creature that takes constrict damage from a dark scion also takes 1 point of Wisdom damage. The dark scion gains Multiattack and Combat Reflexes as bonus feats.
           Thralldom: The target is dominated for one round (Will negates). A creature that successfully saves is immune to this effect for 1 hour. This is a mind-affecting effect.
           Whispers from the Void: As a free action, a dark scion may make mental contact with a creature within range of its telepathy. The dark scion may only maintain one mental link at a time. As long as this contact is maintained, the dark scion may spend a swift action to attempt one of the following psychic attacks. The save DC for any of these abilities is equal to 10 + ½ the dark scion’s hit dice + the dark scion’s Charisma modifier.

Special Qualities
Alternate Form (Ex): A dark scion’s appearance only hints at its terrible true form. Once per day as a swift action after it has been reduced to half its total hit points, a dark scion may assume its true form, generally an unspeakable mass of tentacles.
Upon assuming its true form:

  • the dark scion is subject to an instantaneous cure spell (HD 4 or less, cure moderate wounds; HD 5 to 10, cure serious wounds; HD 11 or more, cure critical wounds; caster level equal to the dark scion’s HD).
  • creatures witnessing the transformation must make a Will save (DC 10 + ½ the dark scion’s hit dice + dark scion’s Charisma modifier) or take 1d6 Wisdom damage and be rendered shaken for 1 hour. On a successful save the creature takes 1 Wisdom damage and is shaken for 1d6 rounds. This is a mind-affecting fear effect, though creatures immune to fear are still subject to taking Wisdom damage.

When in this form, the dark scion:

  • gains 4 tentacle attacks (damage based on size, 1d4 for a Medium creature, +5 foot reach for tentacle attacks)
  • has no discernible anatomy, making it immune to critical hits and precision-based damage (such as sneak attack).

Starflight (Ex): If the base creature has a fly speed, the dark scion gains starflight; it can survive in the void of outer space. The creature flies at its normal fly speed; travel between worlds takes centuries (time matters not to such beings).

Telepathy (Ex): A dark scion gains telepathy to a range of 30 feet.

Abilities: A dark scion gains a +4 bonus to Constitution and Charisma, and a +2 bonus to Strength and Wisdom.

Skills: A dark scion with racial HD has skill points per racial HD equal to 6 + Intelligence modifier. Racial class skills are unchanged, and class level skill ranks are unaffected. A dark scion has a +4 racial bonus to Disguise checks to appear to be a barely-normal specimen of the base creature.

Languages: Dark scions speak Aklo as well as any languages spoken by the base creature.

[Submitted by Jared Jeanquart!]

1 thought on “Maddening May: Dark Scion Template

  1. Oho! This I can totally use in my campaign!!!!

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