Animal Evolutionist (3.5e Class)
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You get two animal companions that evolve into some bad-ass monsters! 20 1 Moderate Poor Poor Good
Having spent half a lifetime dedicated to the study of the natural world, genetics, arcane magics, and religious rituals, the animal evolutionist has unlocked the secret to the advancement of species in numerous different forms. This understanding is so deep that it can even be applied to the human body, creating people who can fly, breath under water, or exhale fire upon their adversaries.
Animal evolutionists, making use of their vast intelligence, usually enjoy formulating strategies and taking command of their companions (animal or otherwise) from the edge of the field, rather than sullying their own hands with the filth of battle.
Making an Animal Evolutionist
The animal evolutionist's greatest strength lies in his animal companions. Through the facilitation of their evolutions, the animal evolutionist becomes stronger. If he should ever allow an enemy to attack him, however, he would likely be ill-equipped to defend himself.
Abilities: The two most important abilities for an animal evolutionist are Intelligence and Charisma, for advancing animals and handling them, respectively.
Races: Humans, Hound Archons, Drow, Aasimar, and Pixies would all make fine animal evolutionists. Even Tieflings could make a decent go of it, despite their racial handicap against charisma.
Starting Gold: 5d12×10 gp.
Starting Age: "Complex".
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Wild Empathy, Animal Companion 1|
|3rd||+2||+1||+1||+3||Personal Evolution I|
|5th||+3||+1||+1||+4||Personal Evolution II|
|6th||+4||+2||+2||+5||Animal Companion 2|
|7th||+5||+2||+2||+5||Personal Evolution III (natural weapon)|
|9th||+6/+1||+3||+3||+6||Personal Evolution IV|
|11th||+8/+3||+3||+3||+7||Personal Evolution V|
|13th||+9/+4||+4||+4||+8||Personal Evolution VI (auxiliary appendage)|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+5||+5||+9||Personal Evolution VII|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+5||+10||Personal Evolution VIII|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+6||+6||+11||Personal Evolution IX|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the animal evolutionist.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Animal Evolutionists spend most of their time in study and so have neglected gaining proficiency in many weapons or armor. As such, they begin with use of only Simple weapons and Light armor. At level 7, they gain a natural weapon with which they are automatically considered proficient.
Wild Empathy (Ex): An animal evolutionist can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. The evolutionist rolls 1d20 and adds his class level and his Charisma bonus to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.
To use wild empathy, the animal evolutionist and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal visibility conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
The evolutionist can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a –4 penalty on the check.
Animal Companion (Ex): At first level (and again at 8th level), the animal evolutionist gains the help of an animal companion. This animal companion is brave and true, and loyal to the evolutionist, despite the fact that the evolutionist generally just wants to exploit it for it powers.
The animals of choice (and their associated requisite Knowledge) include:
Ape (2HD) (nature),
Dog (Riding) (the planes),
Eagle (2HD) (religion),
Giant Ant (nature),
Lion (2HD) (religion),
Medium Monstrous Spider (the planes),
Snake (medium viper) (the planes),
and Polymorph Symbiote (nature).
Animal companions increase in levels at the same rate their handler does. As they level-up, they change - sometimes in size and other times in form (sometimes both at the same time). Check the chart Animal Companion Progression for their increases in hit dice, strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, charisma, wisdom, natural armor, and bonus tricks.
Hit dice increase the size of the animal, as noted in the section on improving monsters in the Monster Manual. Follow these rules for additional changes to strength, constitution, dexterity, etc. every time there is a size change in the animal companion, even at times when it changes species simultaneously.
The evolutions for the chosen animals are found on the animal's own evolution page, as linked above. Follow these guides for all significant changes to every animal.
Requirements: In order to make a successful evolution, the animal evolutionist needs to know what he is doing. For that purpose, he must have a Skill score in the appropriate kind of Knowledge of at least half (rounding up) of the level at which the evolution takes place. For example, an ape evolves into a girallon at level 11 if the evolutionist has a Knowledge (nature) score of at least 6. A dog may evolve into a nessian war hound at level 17 if the evolutionist has a Knowledge (the planes) score of at least 9. If the Knowledge score is not high enough, the evolutionist would have to wait until his next level-up to try again.
If an animal companion ever dies (and there is no one around to reanimate it), then the evolutionist must undergo a lengthy process to replace it.
- Step 1. Make sure you have a blood or tissue sample from the lost animal - Many evolutionists opt to keep recent blood samples in vials for just such an occasion.
- Step 2. Find a new level-1 animal of the same type that was lost (let your DM know that you're looking for one).
- Step 3. Bring the animal to a safe space that you could use for a laboratory. Using at least 20,000gp worth of alchemist's equipment (if you're lucky, there might be another scientist nearby who would let you use his stuff - again, talk to your DM), you may begin applying the advances marked by the genes in the blood (or tissue) sample of the old animal to the new animal.
- Step 4. For every two levels of advancement (rounding up), the evolutionist must spend one day working in the lab. Because of the expense of lab work and animal feed, every day spent there costs an additional 100gp. By the end of the process, the new animal may not exceed the level of the one that was lost.
Bonus Feat (Ex): At level 2, the animal evolutionist gains a bonus feat. Bonus feats may also be taken later, in lieu of evolutions.
Personal Evolution (Ex): Due to intensive study of his animal companion, the animal evolutionist discovers methods by which a person may artificially evolve beyond his mundane human state. At level 3, and every second level thereafter, the animal evolutionist may gain one new power, according to the animals he keeps. The powers are listed on the animal's own Evolution page. The evolutionist may only gain one power during every evolution. The power may only be chosen from those available at or below the level given, and only from his own animals.
The evolutionist may already have one or more of the abilities listed by his animal. For any evolution, he may choose instead to gain a bonus feat.
The requirements for each individual evolution are listed in parentheses. If an animal appears in the parentheses, it means the evolutionist must already have that animal (if an animal gains an evolution at the same level, the evolutionist may allow his animal to evolve first in order to gain new powers). If the animal evolutionist has already gained a prerequisite from one animal, he may then use it for an evolution gained from another animal. For example, Vinny, the level-9 animal evolutionist, already gained his bite natural weapon from his Velociraptor. During his personal evolution IV, he may choose to gain "acid sting" from his giant ant.
All powers gained through evolution function exactly as they do for the animals from which they came.
- Natural Weapon: For every natural weapon, the evolutionist gains the Improved Unarmed Strike feat (including damage given). Consider this for subsequent feats that require improved unarmed strike.
- Auxiliary Appendage: Each auxiliary appendage gives an enhancement for the animal evolutionist. The evolutionist may take more than one auxiliary appendage, but may not take the same one more than once.
Animal Companion 2 (Ex): At level 6, the animal evolutionist may take on a second animal for study, combat, and even friendship. This new animal begins at level 1 and advances at the same rate as you (and your other animal companion) do. When you gain another personal evolution, you may gain any powers from it, up to the point at which you have advanced.
- Unlike your first animal companion, the second one must be found, caught, or bought (be sure to let your DM know about this).
Study of these animals is an intensive process - practically a lifestyle of its own. If an animal evolutionist falters in his studies (by taking on another class, for instance), his animal companions may not advance beyond their current state.
|Article Balance||Moderate +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Moderate +|
|Class Ability Progression||Other +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Poor +|
|Identifier||3.5e Class +|
|Minimum Level||1 +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Poor +|
|Skill||Concentration +, Control Shape +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Diplomacy +, Handle Animal +, Heal +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Profession +, Ride +, Spellcraft +, Spot +, Survival + and Use Magic Device +|
|Skill Points||4 +|
|Summary||You get two animal companions that evolve into some bad-ass monsters! +|
|Title||Animal Evolutionist +|
|Will Save Progression||Good +|