Legacy (3.5e Template)
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Through a long lifetime of influencing the surrounding lands, some creatures in the world have amassed a reputation among the commonfolk as being especially dangerous, accomplished or powerful. Basically, they're monsters, with a legacy that has emboldened and empowered them.
Legacy monsters are meant to be able to function as elites or bosses with fairly little overall effect on the functionality of the source material, where the DM will be free to put as much or as little effort as desired in the creation of a boss-level encounter. And sometimes, DMs may simply find the need to provide adequate challenge to highly optimized, VH-level parties that rip through every encounter in seconds. As such, a Legacy system.
This template should, under no normal circumstance, be allowed for use by player characters.
Creating a Legacy Monster
The Legacy template is acquired only in the sense that it is given to any chosen creature as a representation of their uncanny exploits. An ogre warlord that has united all of the scattered giant clans or a heavily mutated version of a normal creature could be a Legacy monster, and so could a powerful, battle-scarred war beast trained from infancy to execute any creature unfortunate enough to be thrown in its maze (like the Rancor from Return of the Jedi). In the most basic terms, these creatures are extraordinary exemplars of their kind, often come with a name and an established backstory, and are sometimes downright unique. Lots of legacy humanoids, monstrous humanoids and giants will have some class levels to justify the bequeathal of the template.
Any monster that receives the Legacy template will get a fixed legacy bonus from +1 (somewhat elite) to +9 (godlike). Depending on these bonuses, the monster's capabilities and resilience will be greatly increased.
Size and Type
A legacy monster's size and type remain unchanged unless it makes sense for them to change. A legendary warlord will likely retain a more or less standard size for its race, but a mutated beast might grow to the occasion.
Legacy monsters gain the 'Legacy' subtype, to denote their awesomeness.
Legacy monsters have maximized Hit Dice. Furthermore, a legacy monster's total hit points increase by 50%, plus an additional 50% for every point of legacy bonus, up to a maximum of +500%.
Legacy monsters gain a bonus to all of their speeds of 10%, plus an additional 10% per point of legacy bonus, to a maximum of double their original values. Legacy monster's speeds are rounded down to the nearest increment of 5 feet.
Legacy monsters gain their legacy bonus to AC. This bonus applies to touch attacks and to flat-footed AC.
Legacy monsters gain their legacy bonus to attack and damage rolls.
Legacy monsters gain their legacy bonus to their effective caster level, initiator level, manifester level and similar class ability component levels for all their special attacks. All save DCs of their abilities also increase by their legacy bonus.
Legacy monsters gain a bonus to all of their resistances, fast healing, damage reduction, regeneration and other special qualities with numerical values equal to 20% plus 20% per point of legacy bonus, to a maximum of three times their original values. Values are always rounded down to the nearest integer.
This does not include spell resistance, power resistance, or other defenses that work similarly and are checked against with a 1d20 roll, such as martial defense, which instead increase by their legacy bonus. A legacy monster also gains a bonus equal to his legacy bonus to its effective Hit Dice for the purpose of shrugging off HD-dependent effects like holy word.
Legacy monsters also get the following special qualities.
- The Legacy Lives On (Ex): if a legacy monster fails a saving throw against a spell or effect that would kill or destroy it outright, it instead takes damage as though it suffered a disintegrate spell as cast by a spellcaster with the appropriate caster level.
- Throw Off the Disability (Ex): If a legacy monster is targeted by a non-instantaneous effect or harmful status condition, it can recover far quicker from it. For the purpose of a legacy monster throwing off status conditions or control impairing effects such as being slowed, confused, stunned, deafened and the like, one round counts as a number of rounds equal to the monster's legacy bonus + 1 (maximum 10). Regardless of its legacy bonus, a legacy monster is completely immune to any negative effect that only lasts one round.
Legacy monsters gain a +2 bonus to all ability scores per point of legacy bonus. Creatures with an Intelligence score with 2 or less cannot increase their Intelligence past 2.
Legacy monsters gain their legacy bonus to all saving throws. This bonus requires no situational awareness and is always active.
Legacy monsters gain their legacy bonus to all skill checks, except for Knowledge checks, which remain unchanged.
As base creature + Legacy bonus.