I have access to some neat templates in 3.5 but my party and DM wants to make some custom ones. We don't really levelup classically in our classes, but find orbs of power that enhance our "natural abilities".

One of the players wanted a wolf theme to his barbarian, so instead of a level in barbarian, he wants some sort of very light lycanthrophy. Sort of what Wolverine from X-Men is. Basically a human with wolf-like senses and instinct.

We have the freedom to choose what we like. Like this wolf barbarian wants very acute sense and some reflex bonus (he is out trap triggerer and look-out) but NOT want any combat enhances. God knows he has enough of that.

We are all civil enough to accept criticism and nerfs from each other if things get imbalanced.

We just need a set of rules for template crafting, as its not acceptable to modify pre-existing templates. Found some unofficial ideas but we would like either official ones or something really balanced.


The official wizards supplement: Savage Species

This book provides rules (however shitty) for making your own templates and a host of templates to use. If I may recommend, however, may I suggest to take class levels instead and call them natural power-ups? Templates tend to make physically fragile characters and are not meant for character progression through the game.

Specifically, Chapter 2, which offers the ability to create monstrous characters from scratch provides an à la carte level adjustment for each of the abilities described in its section.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Discipol Take care that Savage Species has a lot of problems. Some of these are due to when the book was released (in that weird “3.25” transition period between 3.5, as was the Book of Vile Darkness), but more it has to do with the fact that Savage Species was originally intended to be an entirely new spin-off product. Eventually, Wizards scrapped the idea and shoved all of the already-done work on it into a D&D book. The results were... interesting, but not exactly well designed. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 7 '14 at 15:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ we can always compare a made-up template with a pre-existing one to compare power although, indeed, incomparable are...incomparable xD \$\endgroup\$ – Discipol Jan 7 '14 at 17:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Again, to amplify my answer, this is silly. use levels as advancement. They work better. refluff them as necessary. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jan 8 '14 at 11:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan, I never knew it was a spin-off, that makes me curious about what they wanted to do! \$\endgroup\$ – mirv120 Jan 8 '14 at 16:53

Suggestion: use Incarnum instead of templates

While Brian Ballsun-Stanton's mention of Savage Species fits under "official [guidelines] or something really balanced", it does so entirely due to it being official. In other words - those guidelines are not balanced.

As an alternative, I suggest using abilities from the Magic of Incarnum supplement to represent your "enhanced natural abilities".

To take the examples you listed, Scent-lite can be gained from the Hunter's Circlet soulmeld, and enhanced reflexes from the Impulse Boots soulmeld.

This would probably be easiest to implement by adding a partial Gestalt with meldshaping classes, or by granting Incarnum feats as bonus feats.

  • \$\begingroup\$ HMMMM gestald. forgot all about this. thank you mate, we will look into it. \$\endgroup\$ – Discipol Jan 8 '14 at 20:08

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