Unicorns, Variant (3.5e Race)
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Unicorns are proud and stubborn, but intensely loyal. Their horns, as the source of their magic, essentially make them horse-plus, enhancing their physical capabilities to go with their sentience.
Unicorns in their natural form are larger than most horses and their coats may be of any colour - even those not standard for regular horses. Each has a horn, and can 'play' their horn, each Unicorn sounding like a different instrument - any instrument.
It is not unusual among Unicorn herds to find those that are horse-sized or hued are shunned for this. Herd Stallions, who decide all breeding in their herds, will not breed them in order to prevent the chance of their foals turning out similarly - regardless of whether this actually happens or not.
Unicorns seldom stray far from their herds and come across as proudly aloof of the affairs of others. They are close only to individuals that have proved themselves in some form, and shun only those with whom they compete for territory.
Nearly all Unicorns remain with their herd and answer to their Herd Stallion even when away from the herd, making them distinctly Lawful. They lean more toward Good than Neutral, though it often takes them time to admit what they are doing (especially for non-Unicorns) is in best interests. There are almost never any Chaotic or Evil Unicorns, and those that are, are outcasts and exiles with whom no Unicorn will deign to speak or deal.
Unicorns are generally found roaming the plains in herds, though they may wander away for any number of reasons.
Unicorns almost never develop any religious attachments.
From birth, every Unicorn belongs to the Herd in which they are sired, and answers to the Herd Stallion. Breeding within the Herd, as well as political and territorial disputes with others, is completely within the purview of the Herd Stallion. Lesser Stallions may challenge the Herd Stallion for command of the Herd, or may range further out and seek to start a Herd of their own.
Some Unicorns stray from their herds, though never without their knowledge. Those Unicorns shunned for being 'horse-hued' or of smaller size are more prone to these wandering urges, but they never truly leave their herd.
Once a year, in order to keep bloodlines fresh, nearby herds exchange their young with each other. At these times, the Unicorns are considered to be of their new herd, though they retain close ties with their former herd.
Herd Stallions seldom intervene when a Unicorn chooses to go wandering, though if they believe there is issue with 'their' Unicorn, they will quickly handle it - mobilizing the entire Herd if they wish to make the gravitas of the situation known.
Unicorns speak Equine and 'Horn-Talk'. Unicorns can use their musical horns to communicate with each other with the same command of language as others would in Common. For others, they can play a series of notes or a medley to attempt to communicate a general idea of their meaning - though this is limited (DC20 Sense Motive to interpret, decreases to DC15, then DC10 depending on how familiar you are with the Unicorn). Only a Unicorn can learn Horn-Talk
Due to their ability to change form (See below) they make the effort to learn the language of the form. When speaking humanoid languages (Common, Elven, Dwarven, etc) they speak with an archaic inflection caused by their own native language being similarly so (to them). As a Unicorn might say, "Canst not be human if thou canst not speak human idiom."
Most Unicorns have names that are sourced either from the instrument they play (Such as Belle for one whose horn sounds like bells) or are the Common vocalization of notes played on a horn (Such as a double-harmonica note becoming 'Neysa'). Some few have names bestowed on them by parents or the Herd themselves, but there is no uniformity in these names.
- Large Magical Beast (Size changes to Small for Unicorns as a Foal, then Medium as a Colt/Filly) with the Shapechanger subtype. Everything below assumes an adult Unicorn, adjustments must be made for younger (see further down)
- Unicorns begin with 2 levels of Magical Beast, granting them 2d10 racial hit die. Their skill points for these levels are (2+Int Mod)x5. They gain one feat from these levels. It also grants them +2 Base Attack Bonus and +3 to Fortitude and Reflex
- +4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +4 Intelligence, +2 Charisma. Unicorns are stronger, swifter and hardier than horses, and their sentience only enhances that further. Unicorns appeal to many others, and they know this.
- A Unicorn's base land speed in it's natural form is 70 feet
- Naturally magic resistant: Grants 5+HD Spell Resistance. If the Unicorn's horn is ever separated, this no longer functions.
- Natural Horn weapon: A Unicorn's Horn counts as a +3 Rapier for damage and criticals.
- Natural hoof attacks: These deal 1d4 damage each.
- Full attack: A Unicorn may attak with its horn at full BaB then either front or rear hooves (if a target is behind them) at -5.
- Spell Like Abilities: 1/day of either 'Neutralise Poison' or 'Remove Curse'. The natural magic and anti-magic, stemming from the horn, grants it curative properties. In both cases, the target must have contact with the horn.
- Low-light Vision
- Unicorns gain Alertness, Weapon Finesse and Endurance
- Control Shape (Wis) is always a class skill
- Limited Shapechanging (Su): See Below. Changing form is always a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. If hit, make a DC25 Control Shape check to change form, if you fail, you must remain in your prior form.
- Automatic Languages: Equine, Horn-Talk. Bonus Languages: Any non-secret.
- Favoured Class: Druid
- Level Adjustment: +4 (This makes the ECL of a Unicorn 6 before adding any Base Classes)
Unicorns have the ability to learn to adopt up to two other forms. This takes time to master, but by adulthood is usually achieved. Many Unicorns take Human (or a humanoid) as one of their options, but not all. Regardless of their alternate form, their horn is always present, though often as a snub-horn or horn-button.
To assume a new form for the first time, they must succeed at a DC25 Control Shape check. This check is increased by 5 for each form already mastered (Excluding their natural Unicorn form), but reduced by 2 for each attempt. Each form must be of a living creature (No Constructs or Undead, for example)
A Unicorn may not make more than six attempts in one day, and after doing so becomes exhausted.
A Unicorn may only assume a form up to their own size category. They may go as many size categories smaller as they wish, however. When assuming a new form, use the physical abilities (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, or ability modifiers, whichever is more appropriate, of the new form. Mental abilities (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma) are not affected. If the new form has no natural armor, use the Unicorn's own. If it does have natural armor, use the higher of the two.
It is theoretically possible for a Unicorn to master more than two alternate forms, but it represents such a great investment of time and energy that few do.
While in these alternate forms, they cannot use their horns as either a weapon or an instrument. They take a -2 penalty on all checks to use their alternate form's natural capabilities (if applicable) until they have adopted it at least ten times, for a total duration of 48 hours, after which they are considered familiar with this form. They must invest skill points in Speak Language if they wish to speak any languages of the new form.
In addition, if the form chosen can fly, until you are considered familiar with that form, your maneuverability is reduced to Poor unless it is already Poor or worse. Once you are familiar, this returns to the usual maneuverability for that form.
Once a Unicorn is familiar with their human(oid) form, if they chose one, they may choose to appear clothed. Their clothing can be of any design they choose, but their colours are decided by the unicorn's coat. These clothes can be given to others and will magically resize to fit the first person (only) who wears them. A Unicorn can create new clothes when he next changes to that form. Any such clothes worn when a Unicorn changes out of his human form disappear. For all other items on a Unicorn when they change form, they are considered dropped in the nearest free space.
Alterations for a Colt/Filly (Medium)
- +2 Strength, +1 Dexterity, +1 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +1 Charisma. These replace the Adult stat-mods given above.
- Size becomes Medium
- Base Land Speed reduced to 60ft
- Gain only 1 level of Magical Beast (Giving only 1d10 RHD, x4 instead of x5 on skill points, +1 BaB and +2 to Fort and Will. They retain the Bonus Feat)
- Even as a 1RHD creature, taking class levels does not overwrite this.
- Youth Unicorns have generally only mastered one alternate form.
- Hoof attacks deal only 1d3 damage
- LA: +3 (Total ECL before class levels: 4
- When a Youth becomes adult, these alterations are replaced by the standard adult traits as above
Alterations for a Foal
- +1 to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence and Charisma. These replace the stat-mods given above.
- Size becomes Small
- Base Land Speed Reduced to 50ft
- Gain no levels of Magical Beast but are still considered as such. Upon becoming a Youth, they gain their first level of it as above. Do not multiply 1st Class Level skill points by 4; this is reserved for the first level of Magical Beast given on becoming a Colt/Filly.
- Foals have yet to begin mastering their alternate forms.
- No natural Hoof attacks.
- LA: +2 (Total ECL before class levels: 2)
Unicorns are considered Foals until they reach the age of two, Colt (for males) or Filly (For females) until the age of four. Unicorns mature quickly.
Racial Substitution Levels
(These will eventually be moved to their own pages)
Replaces: If you select this, you do not gain Bardic Knowledge
Benefit: As a Unicorn, your horn provides you with a natural musical instrument. You may use your Bardic Music at the same time as any other actions, though you must pass a DC18 Concentration check to do so.
In addition, you gain the feat Surrogate Spell (As Savage Species) which allows you to cast your Bard spells in non-humanoid forms by performing the verbal and somatic gestures more appropriate for your form. This does not negate any material requirements.
Replaces: If you select this, you do not gain Armored Mage
Benefit: You gain the feat Surrogate Spell (As Savage Species) which allows you to cast your Beguiler spells in non-humanoid forms by performing the verbal and somatic gestures more appropriate for your form. This does not negate any material requirements.
Replaces: If you select this, you lose the domain power of one of your domains. You can choose which domain power to give up.
Benefit: You gain the feat Surrogate Spell (As Savage Species) which allows you to cast your Cleric spells in non-humanoid forms by performing the verbal and somatic gestures more appropriate for your form. This does not negate any material requirements.
Note: You do not have to take both of these, you can choose to take only one of them.
Replaces: If you select this, you do not gain an Animal Companion
Benefit: You gain the feat Surrogate Spell (As Savage Species) which allows you to cast your Druid spells in non-humanoid forms by performing the verbal and somatic gestures more appropriate for your form. This does not negate any material requirements.
Replaces: If you select this, you lose Wild Shape and all future iterations of it
Benefit: At each time you would ordinarily gain a new use of Wild Shape, you may choose to instantly learn a new form. It must be of a creature you have seen, and may not exceed your size category. You do not have to make any of the usual Control Shape checks, and you are considered familiar with it instantly.
At 15th level, you may assume Huge forms even if your size category is not huge, and at 16th and 18th you may add the form of a medium Elemental, even if you have not seen that Elemental. At 20th level you may add a Huge Elemental form similarly.
You are not required to choose what these forms are immediately, and they are not lost if not used.
Replaces: If you select this, you do not gain Arcane Attunement
Benefit: You gain the feat Surrogate Spell (As Savage Species) which allows you to cast your Duskblade spells in non-humanoid forms by performing the verbal and somatic gestures more appropriate for your form. This does not negate any material requirements. In addition, when you gain Arcane Channeling, you may channel magic using your natural horn attack.
Replaces: If you select this, you do not gain the first level Fighter Bonus Feat
Benefit: You gain Mounted Combat as a free feat, and you may always take 20 on ride checks necessary, even in situations where you would not otherwise be able to.
Replaces: If you select this, you do not gain a special mount.
Benefit: You gain the feat Surrogate Spell (As Savage Species) which allows you to cast your Paladin spells in non-humanoid forms by performing the verbal and somatic gestures more appropriate for your form. This does not negate any material requirements.