Somewhere between human and animal lies the manimal. Some say that these creatures are the abominable results of sorcerous crossbreeding between humans and animals. Others speak of bizarre druidic rites that can give animals human forms.
A manimal is an animal-like creatures with a humanoid shape and intellect. A manimal has two legs to walk upon and two arms with hands that can manipulate tools. Manimals are often mistaken for lycanthropes—more powerful creatures whose origins are lost to time.
"Manimal" is an inherited or acquired template that can be added to any animal. A manimal retains all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +1.
Alignment: Usually neutral.
Type: The creature's type changes to monstrous humanoid. Recalculate BAB, hit points, saves, and skill points.
Senses: A manimal gains darkvision 60 ft.
Speed: If the creature has a land speed slower than 10 ft. (or no land speed at all), it gains a land speed of 10 ft.
Attacks: The manimal retains all the base creature’s attacks except those that depended on limbs that have turned to legs. Any other natural attacks it has retain the same primary or secondary status they had for the base creature.
Special Attacks: A manimal retains all the base creature's special attacks except rake.
Special Qualities: A manimal retains all the base creature's special qualities and gains those described here.
If the base creature was aquatic but did not have the amphibious special quality, the manimal gains it now. An amphibious creature can breathe both air and water equally easily.
A manimal counts both as an animal and a humanoid for the purpose of spells, abilities, and e?ects that specifically a?ect animals. It is allowed a Will save to resist spells and effects that specifically affect animals, even if the effect does not normally allow a Will save. The DC for such a save equals 10 + the spell’s level + caster’s appropriate ability modifier. If the effect is not a spell, the DC is equal to 10 plus 1/2 manimal’s HD plus manimal’s Charisma modifier. Success renders the manimal immune to that particular effect for 24 hours. Awaken animal has no effect on a manimal.
If the base creature has wings or a tail, these appendages adjust to ?t the manimal. Of its other limbs, two become legs, and all others become arms. Any creature that does not have enough limbs of the appropriate kind to form at least two legs and two arms simply grows the necessary limbs.
Abilities: Int +8, Cha +2
Using Manimals In Your Game
Manimals can provide an interesting way to introduce anthropomorphic creatures into your games without the unbalancing effect that lycanthropes can have. Some might consider anthropomorphic creatures and characters silly, but lycanthropes are really no less so. Anthropomophic creatures can be funny, but they can also be terrifying, depending upon how they are played and presented.
Before you try out the manimal template, consider how you want it to work in your game. Once you know what purpose your manimals will serve, you can find a way to introduce them that suits their function in your game. Here are a few ideas.
- The template might be applied to animals because of a spell, such as the one below.
- A magic item could transform all the animals that live nearby or that touch it into manimals.
- A manimal race might be one of your game worlds normal races, just like gnolls or lizardfolk.
- A single crazed wizard or druid might be responsible for all the manimals in your world.
- A distant island or a different plane could be home to a host of different manimal races.
- A curse might transform PCs or NPCs into manimals until it is ended.
- A disrupted reincarnate or awaken animal spell might cause the creation of a manimal.
Changing Manimal Sizes
If you’re comfortable with advancing monsters and using difficult templates, you may ?nd it fairly easy to alter a manimal’s size to suit your game. If you want Medium manimal horses, Small manimal cats, or any size other than the base creatures’ for your manimals, follow the guidelines in the Bestiary for advancing a creature and extrapolate that information to cover shrinking the creature. Changing the manimal’s size usually affects it's Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, natural armor, natural attack damage, Stealth modifier, and size modifier to attack and damage.
The manimal template allows players to play animal-like characters, and it also provides a way to create all the anthropomorphic creatures a GM could want for a campaign.
An easy way to distinguish the various manimal races you create is to give them different standard alignments. For example, most predator races might be evil, omnivores neutral, and herbivores good. The reliance of the base creature on a social unit might determine its alignment on the law-chaos axis. Creatures that live in groups with strict hierarchies might be lawful, while those that normally live solitary lives could be chaotic. Neutrality might be apply to creatures that have a less strict social hierarchy or that often live singly but sometimes form social groups. Using this system, manimal wolves might be considered lawful evil, manimal bears could be chaotic neutral, and manimal horses might be neutral good.
The template has no standard level adjustment because the resulting creature is a new monster. To determine the level adjustment of a manimal, look at the level adjustments of creatures of similar size and HD and adjust the level adjustment accordingly. In most cases, the level adjustment should be +1, but great Strength or special attacks might warrant a level adjustment of up to +3.