Vermin, Greater (3.5e Class)
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Not all vermin are of the same strength. Some vermin, having lived for some time, grow in strength to become greater than others of their kind. These are greater vermin.
Making a Greater Vermin
Role: Greater vermin make great ambush predators, as well as very capable combatants. A greater vermin never has a roll in the party, due to the fact that only vermin can take levels in the class. Despite this fact, greater vermin can make good mounts.
Abilities: By taking this class, a vermin can roll ability scores as characters do or use the elite array. A vermin needs as high a Dexterity score as possible; high Constitution and Strength scores are also incredibly useful. A vermin must take the improved vermin template.
Races: As a "vermin advancement class", only vermin creatures can take levels in this class.
Alignment: Any, though vermin are almost always (with few exceptions) neutral.
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+0||+1||Sneak Attack +1d6, Evasion|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+1||+3||Sneak Attack +2d6|
|4th||+4||+4||+1||+1||+4||Improved Web +2, Improved Poison +2|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+1||+5||Sneak Attack +3d6, Improved Uncanny Dodge|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+2||+2||+6||Improved Web +4, Improved Poison +4|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+2||+2||+7||Sneak Attack +4d6, Bonus Feat|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+2||+2||+8||Improved Web +6, Improved Poison +6, Woodland Crawl|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+3||+3||+9||Sneak Attack +5d6, Special Ability|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+3||+3||+10||Improved Web +8, Improved Poison +8|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+7||+3||+3||+11||Sneak Attack +6d6|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+4||+4||+12||Improved Web +10, Improved Poison +10, Special Ability|
|13th||+13/+8/+3||+8||+4||+4||+13||Sneak Attack +7d6, Bonus Feat|
|14th||+14/+9/+4||+9||+4||+4||+14||Improved Web +12, Improved Poison +12|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+5||+5||+15||Sneak Attack +8d6, Special Ability|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+5||+5||+16||Improved Web +14, Improved Poison +14, Camouflage|
|17th||+17/+12/+7/+2||+10||+5||+5||+17||Sneak Attack +9d6, Hide in Plain Sight|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+6||+18||Improved Web +18, Improved Poison +18, Special Ability|
|19th||+19/+14/+9/+4||+11||+6||+6||+19||Sneak Attack +10d6, Bonus Feat|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+6||+20||Improved Web +20, Improved Poison +20|
All of the following are class features of the Greater Vermin.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: None. A vermin is only proficient with its natural attacks.
Sneak Attack (Ex): If a Greater Vermin can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.
The Greater Vermin’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the Greater Vermin flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two Greater Vermin levels thereafter. Should the Greater Vermin score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.
Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.
A Greater Vermin can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies—undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The Greater Vermin must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A Greater Vermin cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.
Evasion (Ex): A Greater Vermin can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the Greater Vermin is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless Greater Vermin does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a Greater Vermin can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.
Improved Web (Ex): At 4th level and every 2 levels hereafter, the Escape and Break DCs of any webs that the Greater Vermin spins increase by 2, and their hit points increase by 2. If the Greater Vermin is unable to use the web ability, then its Natural Armor bonus increases by 1.
Improved Poison (Ex): At 4th level and every second level hereafter, the Fortitude Save DC increases by 2. The Damage dice improves by one category at 4th level and every fourth level hereafter to a maximum of 5 categories larger at 20th level.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A Greater Vermin of 8th level or higher can no longer be flanked.
This defense denies another creature or character the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least 2 extra sneak attack dice.
If the Greater Vermin already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum Greater Vermin level required to flank the character.
Bonus Feat: At 7th level and every 6th level hereafter, the Greater Vermin gains a bonus feat which prerequisites it meets.
Woodland Crawl (Ex): Starting at 8th level, a Greater Vermin may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment.
However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion still affect her.
Special Ability: At 9th level and every 3rd level hereafter, the Greater Vermin gains a special ability from the following list:
Crippling Strike (Ex): A Greater Vermin with this ability can sneak attack opponents with such precision that her blows weaken and hamper them. An opponent damaged by one of her sneak attacks also takes 2 points of Strength damage. Ability points lost to damage return on their own at the rate of 1 point per day for each damaged ability.
Defensive Roll (Ex): The Greater Vermin can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than she otherwise would. Once per day, when she would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), the Greater Vermin can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, the Greater Vermin must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt). If the save succeeds, she takes only half damage from the blow; if it fails, she takes full damage. She must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute her defensive roll—if she is denied her Dexterity bonus to AC, she can’t use this ability. Since this effect would not normally allow a character to make a Reflex save for half damage, the Greater Vermin’s evasion ability does not apply to the defensive roll.
Improved Evasion (Ex): This ability works like evasion, except that while the Greater Vermin still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks henceforth she henceforth takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless Greater Vermin does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Opportunist (Ex): Once per round, the Greater Vermin can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another creature or character. This attack counts as the Greater Vermin’s attack of opportunity for that round. Even a Greater Vermin with the Combat Reflexes feat can’t use the opportunist ability more than once per round.
Skill Mastery: The Greater Vermin becomes so certain in the use of certain skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions.
Upon gaining this ability, she selects a number of skills equal to 3 + her Intelligence modifier. When making a skill check with one of these skills, she may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so. A Greater Vermin may gain this special ability multiple times, selecting additional skills for it to apply to each time.
Feat: A Greater Vermin may gain a bonus feat in place of a special ability.
Epic Greater Vermin
|21st||Sneak Attack +11d6|
|23rd||Sneak Attack +12d6, Bonus Feat|
|25th||Sneak Attack +12d6|
|27th||Sneak Attack +13d6|
|29th||Sneak Attack +14d6, Bonus Feat|
2 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Vermin hit dice: Rather than gaining normal hit dice, the Greater Vermin gains additional Hit Dice from the vermin type.
Sneak Attack: The vermin's sneak attack increases by +1d6 at 21st level and every second level hereafter.
Special Abilities: The Greater Vermin can replace a bonus feat with one of her Greater Vermin Special Abilities.
Bonus Feats: The epic Greater gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Greater bonus feats) every three levels after 20th.
Epic Greater Vermin Bonus Feat List: Blinding Speed, Epic Dodge, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Speed, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Sneak Attack, Legendary Climber, Lingering Damage, Self-Concealment, Sneak Attack of Opportunity, Spellcasting Harrier, Superior Initiative. The rogue may choose a special rogue ability instead of a bonus feat.
Greater Tiny Monstrous Spider Starting Package
Weapons: Fangs. A Spider is unable to wield any other weapons.
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2.
Feat: Weapon Finesse (Bite).
Greater Vermin in the World
|“||Deceptive. That’s what lolth loves about them. The tiny vermin that has a huge kick!||”|
|—Xil'enai, Drow Cleric|
Greater Vermin are normal vermin that have gone above and beyond those of their species in terms of strength.
Daily Life: Greater Vermin live in much the same way as those of their species, though they are able to take more risks and attack greater prey items.
Organizations: Greater vermin are organized in the same way as normal vermin of the same species.
NPC Reactions: NPCs usually react to greater vermin in the same way they would to normal vermin, followed up by great surprise, when a vermin usually too weak to harm the NPC kills and eats them!
Greater Vermin Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Nature) can research Greater Vermin to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
DC 5: Greater Vermin are vermin that are above and beyond normal vermin of the same type.
DC 10: A greater vermin can be deceptive in it's power. Many a high-level adventurer has been slain by weak vermin with a high level in the Greater Vermin class.
DC 15: Greater vermin have the sneak attack skills of a rogue, along with a great ability to hide, making them devastating ambush predators.
DC 20: Greater vermin also possess various rogue and ranger abilities that aid them in ambushing. Greater vermin also have much thicker hides than normal vermin and greater poison (and in the case of spiders, webs).
Greater Vermin in the Game
Greater vermin is not a viable class for PCs. It's main use in the game is to create challenging encounters from vermin usually too weak to challenge the characters.
Adaptation: This could be used to create suitable powerful mounts for the characters, or be modified to work with creatures similar to spiders, etc. to make them greater ambushers.
Sample Encounter: Greater vermin are great ambush predators, sneaking up on their prey and pouncing when the time is right.
EL 16: A Greater tiny monstrous spider waits to ambush the PCs from above. When the PCs pass underneath, the spider drops down on a PCs and sneak attacks her.
|Greater Monstrous Spider, Tiny|
|Hit Dice:||15d10+45 (140 hp)|
|Speed:||20 ft. (4 squares), climb 10 ft.|
|Armor Class:||32 (+2 size, +5 Dex), touch 17, flat-footed 27|
|Attack:||Bite +22 melee (1d4+3 plus poison)|
|Full Attack:||Bite +22 melee (1d4+3 plus poison)|
|Space/Reach:||2-1/2 ft./0 ft.|
|Special Attacks:||Poison (DC+12), web (DC+12), Sneak Attack +8d6|
|Special Qualities:||Darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft., vermin traits, Woodland Crawl, Improved Evasion, Crippling Strike, Oppertunist|
|Saves:||Fort +13, Ref +9, Will +5|
|Abilities:||Str 16, Dex 21, Con 16, Int 3, Wis 10, Cha 2|
|Skills:||Climb +11, Hide +34*, Jump –1*, Spot +7*|
|Feats:||Weapon FinesseB, Improved Natural Attack, Skill Focus (Hide), Improved Initiative, Track, Dodge.|
|Advancement:||By Character Class|