There are prestige classes that apply or effectively apply a template to the character that attains a certain level.

To clarify, I am not asking about other "Apotheosis" prestige classes, those being prestige classes that change your creature type without applying a pre existing template, such as the Rimefire Witch.

Prestige Classes I have found that apply templates:

The Dragon Disciple from the Dungeon Master's Guide:

At 10th level, a dragon disciple takes on the half-dragon template.

This class does not apply the template all at once, merely gives you stats, natural armor, breath weapon, natural weapons, and wings building up to those equivalent to the template, giving you the remainder of your ability boosts at 10th level, then telling you that your character now has the Half-Dragon template.

Walker in the Waste from Sandstorm:

On reaching 10th level, you learn to apply the secrets of waste preservation to your own body, becoming a dry lich. You must undergo the Sere Rite, overseen by another dry lich, which includes preserving your flesh, removing your organs and storing them in special canopic jars, and imbuing your body with foul magic to make it undying. See the dry lich template, page 155

This class simply gains the template upon reaching the appropriate level.

The Dragon Devotee from Races of the Dragon is much more specific about the template acquisition process:

At 5th level, you gain all the abilities of the draconic creature template (see page 74) that you have not already gained as dragon devotee class features—except that you do not apply the template's level adjustment. Specifically, you gain the dragonblood subtype in addition to any subtype you might already have. You also gain darkvision out to 60 feet, low-light vision, and a +2 bonus on Intimidate checks and Spot checks.

In the case of the Dragon Devotee and the Dragon Disciple, the prerequisites of these Template prestige classes set the precedent of not already having the template that will be granted by the class. (In the case of the Dry Lich, Walker in the Waste is required to obtain the template at all.)

If there are any prestige classes that "Basically" apply a template (In short, a prestige class that grants identical bonuses to a pre existing template, but does not explicitly state that it is doing so.) They are also in line with what I am looking for.


1 Answer 1


These are the classes that I can find that reference a template directly. Classes that “effectively” offer a template are trickier: it’s not always clear what counts, and in any event, there’s nothing to easily search by. I don’t have a plan for tracking those down at the moment.

As predicted, almost all of them gradually build up the benefits of the template, which is granted “properly” by the capstone. The only exceptions are Vadalis beastkeeper—which is a weird case—and the wild-shape-only templates from blighter and planar shepherd. Well, and the Dragon Compendium mountebank, but that’s a base class and the feature in question is quite possibly the worst in the entire edition, and in any event Dragon Compendium is by Paizo and not Wizards of the Coast.

Prestige Classes

  • Blighter 3rd (Complete Divine): skeleton
    • Only while wild shaped
  • Disciple of Ashardalon 12th (Draconomicon): half-fiend
    • Gradually built up over the course of the class
  • Dragon devotee 5th (Races of the Dragon): draconic
    • Requires not having the draconic template
    • Gradually built up over the course of the class
  • Dragon disciple 10th (Dungeon Master’s Guide): half-dragon
    • Noted in the question
    • Requirements block anyone with the template
    • Gradually built up over the course of the class
  • Planar shepherd 3rd (Faiths of Eberron): any that turns an animal into a magical beast (!)
    • Only while wild shaped
  • Vadalis beastkeeper 10th (Dragonmarked): magebred, sort of
    • At 10th level, your constant exposure to the arcane essence of magebred animals and magical beasts causes a transformation within your own form that mimics the magebred template.

    • Spells out exactly what you get
  • Walker in the waste 10th (Sandstorm): dry lich
    • Noted in the question
    • Requirements block anyone with the template (not that you can get it any other way)
    • Gradually built up over the course of the class

Base Classes

Not requested, but there are a few

  • Death master 20th (Dragon Compendium): lich
    • Gradually built up over the course of the class
  • Dread necromancer 20th (Heroes of Horror): lich
    • Gradually built up over the course of the class
  • Mountebank 20th (Dragon Compendium; not the Complete Scoundrel prestige class): half-fiend
    • While the whole class has a diabolical theme, none of the specific features of half-fiend are granted by previous class features.
    • The same feature that grants the half-fiend template also whisks the character to the Outer Planes where they become “an NPC under the DM’s control.”
    • Thanks to @Prevarications for pointing it out.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't there that really silly one that you get from drinking ground-up meteors? It's got some name like "Green Star Adept". I think you become a construct at level 10? \$\endgroup\$
    – J. Mini
    Mar 6, 2022 at 22:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @J.Mini That turns you into a construct, but doesn’t involve any particular template to do it. There are a lot of classes that match that description, but the question (thankfully) explicitly leaves them out. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Mar 6, 2022 at 22:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Mountebank (Dragon Compendium, not the Complete Scoundrel PrC) gives the half-fiend template in what is probably the worst capstone in all of 3.5. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8, 2022 at 2:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Prevarications True indeed; forgot about that stinker. Gah. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Mar 8, 2022 at 2:21

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