Unicorns, Variant (3.5e Race)
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- 1 Unicorns
- 1.1 Personality
- 1.2 Physical Description
- 1.3 Relations
- 1.4 Alignment
- 1.5 Lands
- 1.6 Religion
- 1.7 Social Structure
- 1.8 Language
- 1.9 Names
- 1.10 Racial Traits
- 1.11 Limited Shapechanging details
- 1.12 Younger Unicorns
- 1.13 Alternative: Racial progression
- 1.14 Vital Statistics
- 1.15 Racial Substitution Levels
These unicorns are based on those found in the land of Phaze, from Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series. Their horns, as the source of their magic, essentially make them horse-plus, enhancing their physical capabilities to go with their sentience.
Unicorns are proud and stubborn, but intensely loyal.
Unicorns in their natural form are larger than most horses and their coats may be of any color - 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.
- +4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +4 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom, +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.
- Magical Beast (Shapechanger)
- Large (long): As a Large (long) creature, an unicorns takes a -1 size penalty to Armor Class, a -1 size penalty on attack rolls, a +4 size bonus on special attack (bull rushes, grapples, overruns, and trips) checks, and a -4 size penalty on Hide, but it uses larger weapons than humans use, and its lifting and carrying limits are three times those of a Medium character. They have a space of 10 feet and a reach of 5 feet.
- Unicorns base land speed is 50 feet feet.
- Automatic Languages: Equine, Horn-Talk
- Bonus Languages: Common, any non-secret
- Favored Class: Druid
- Level Adjustment: +0
- Effective Character Level: 4
- Unicorns begin with 4 levels of Magical Beast, granting them 4d10 racial hit die. Their skill points for these levels are (2+Int Mod)x7. They gain two feats from these levels. It also grants them +4 Base Attack Bonus, +4 to Fortitude, +4 to Reflex and +1 to Will base saves
- Unicorn racial class skills are Control Shape, Listen, Perform (Horn), Heal, Spot and Survival
- Naturally magic resistant: Grants 8+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 magic +1 Rapier for damage and criticals. At each character level you gain an ability score increase, this increases by one, to a maximum of +5. You still gain the ability score increase as usual.
- Natural hoof attacks: These deal 1d6 damage each. These are treated as masterwork, gaining the benefits as any other masterwork weapon, and may later be enchanted.
- Full attack: A unicorn may attack with its horn at full BaB then 2 hoof attacks at -5.
- Spell Like Abilities: 1/day of either Neutralize 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.
- Unicorns gain Alertness, Endurance, Weapon Finesse and Run as racial feats
- 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.
Limited Shapechanging details
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) that possesses HD equal to or less than your ECL, but never higher.
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 colors 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.
Younger unicorns may be more suitable starting points for lower ECL starts or just those who want to grow into their abilities. Younger unicorns are still a force to be wary of, but not as much so as their elders.
Alterations for a Colt/Filly (Medium)
- +2 Strength, +1 Dexterity, +1 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +1 Wisdom, +1 Charisma. These replace the Adult stat-mods given above.
- Size becomes Medium (Long)
- Base Land Speed reduced to 40ft
- Gain only 3 levels of Magical Beast (Giving only 3d10 RHD, (2+Int Mod)x6 skill points , +3 Base attack Bonus, +3 to Fortitude, +3 to Reflex and +1 to Will base saves. They retain the Bonus Feats)
- Colts and fillies have generally only mastered one alternate form.
- Hoof attacks deal only 1d4 damage
- Colts and Fillies do not gain Run as a racial feat.
- When a colt or filly becomes adult, these alterations are replaced by the standard adult traits as above
Alterations for a Foal
- +1 Strength, +1 Dexterity, +1 Constitution, +1 Intelligence, +1 Charisma. These replace the stat-mods given above.
- Size becomes Small (Long)
- Base Land Speed Reduced to 30ft
- Gain only 2 levels of Magical Beast (Giving only 2d10 RHD, (2+Int Mod)x5 skill points , +2 Base attack Bonus, +3 to Fortitude, +3 to Reflex. They gain only one Bonus Feat)
- Foals have yet to begin mastering their alternate forms.
- Foals gain neither Run or Endurance as racial feats.
- No natural Hoof attacks.
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.
Alternative: Racial progression
|Level||Hit Dice|| Base
|1st||1d10||+1||+2||+2||+0||Bonus Feat, Spell Resistance, Magic Horn, Alertness, Weapon Finesse|
|2nd||2d10||+2||+3||+3||+0||+1 Str, +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Int, +1 Cha, Limited Shapechange|
|3rd||3d10||+3||+3||+3||+1||+1 Str, +1 Int, +1 Wis, Size Increase (Medium (Long)), +10ft movement speed, Hooves 1d4, Endurance|
|4th||4d10||+4||+4||+4||+1||+2 Str, +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Wis, +1 Cha, Bonus Feat, Size Increase (Large (Long)), +10ft movement speed, Hooves 1d6 and Masterwork, Spell-like Abilities, Run|
All of the following are class features of the unicorn monster class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Unicorns are proficient with their natural weapons, but not with armor or shields.
Feats: A unicorn receives one feat at 1st level and one at 4th level. After 4th level it gains feats normally according to its effective character level (the total of its Hit Dice, level adjustment, and class levels) as any other character.
Spell Resistance (Su): At 1st level, a unicorn gains Spell Resistance of 8 + HD
Magic Horn (Su): A unicorn's horn is naturally magical and counts as a +1 rapier. At each level a unicorn gains an ability score increase, this enhancement bonus improves by +1, to a maximum of +5. You still gain the ability score increase as normal.
Racial Feats: At 1st level a unicorn gains Alertness and Weapon Finesse as bonus feats. At 3rd level it gains Endurance, and at 4th level it gains Run.
Limited Shapechange (Su): Starting at second level a unicorn may now attmept to adopt and master alternate forms. See the section above for rules on this.
Medium Size: At 3rd level, a unicorn's size increases to Medium (Long).
Hoof attacks (Su): At 3rd level, a unicorn can now attack with their hooves for 1d4 damage each, and may make two hoof attacks at once. At 4th level these improve to 1d6 each, and are treated as Masterwork.
Large Size: At 4th level, a unicorn's size increases to Large (Long). As a Long creature, they do not gain the improved reach other Large creatures do.
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|40 years||50 years||60 years||+2d6 years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||6' 8"||+1d6||1,100 lb.||+2d4 lb.|
|Female||6' 6"||+1d6||900 lb.||+2d4 lb.|
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 the Unicorn Companion normally gained at 8th
Benefit: You gain the feat Surrogate Spell (As Savage Species) which allows you to cast your Healer 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 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.
|Effective Character Level||4 +|
|Favored Class||Druid +|
|Identifier||3.5e Race +|
|Level Adjustment||0 +|
|Racial Ability Adjustments||+4 Strength +, +2 Dexterity +, +2 Constitution +, +4 Intelligence +, +2 Wisdom + and +2 Charisma +|
|Size||Large (long) +|
|Skill||Control Shape +, Listen +, Perform +, Heal +, Spot + and Survival +|
|Skill Points||2 +|
|Summary||These unicorns are based on those found in the land of Phaze, from Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series. +|
|Title||Unicorns, Variant +|
|Type||Magical Beast +|