Template - Dark Creature

Dark creatures dwell on the Plane of Shadow, sometimes crossing into other planes where the barriers between dimensions are weak. Just as parts of the Plane of Shadow resemble a strange, distorted version of the Material Plane, dark creatures superficially resemble creatures from the Material Plane. Dark creatures are shadowy, more elusive, and spookier than their material counterparts. Gray and black are their most common colors, and they almost never boast bright hues such as white or yellow. Other creatures native to the Plane of Shadow exist that have stronger or weaker connections to the energies of the place (such as the shadow mastiff) and do not follow this template.

Creating A Dark Creature

"Dark" is an acquired or inherited template that can be added any creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature).

Dark creatures tend to be much duller in color, with more gray and black skin tones and hair highlights, than their Material Plane versions. In general, they also weigh less, as if part of their very substance was mere shadow stuff.

A dark creature has all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type: Type and size are unchanged. Dark creatures encountered away from the Plane of Shadow have the extraplanar subtype.

Speed: As base creature, +10 feet to all modes of movement.

Special Qualities: A dark creature retains all the special qualities of the base creature and also gains the following.

Skills: Same as the base creature, plus Hide +8 and Move Silently +6.

Environment: Changes to Plane of Shadow.

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature or same as base creature +1; see below.

Alignment: Usually one step different from the base creature, rarely good.

Level Adjustment: +1

Behind The Curtain: Dark Creatures

The dark template is designed to be simple and flavorful. You can easily apply it on the fly to add shadow-based creatures to the campaign. It's a simple, streamlined version of the shadow creature template.

The dark creature template should either add +0 or +1 to a creature's CR. Some creatures won't gain much benefit from the template. For example, a white dragon already has darkvision, superior low-light vision, and immunity to cold. It gains a small increase to its already good speed and the ability to hide in plain sight. This template won't appreciably increase its CR. On the other hand, a creature such as a lion gains greater benefit and likely merits a +1 increase to its CR.

Its level adjustment is low, making it a reasonable cost for PCs. You might allow a player character with a strong connection to the Plane of Shadow to acquire this template in lieu of a class level.

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