It can be difficult to maintain a dungeon that houses large living monsters. They consume vast amounts of food and water each day, produce a large amount of waste, and generally have shorter life spans than smaller creatures of a similar nature. They also require a lot of space to lair and even more to fight effectively. But some of the larger dungeon monsters offer advantageous special attacks that can be difficult to find in smaller creatures. For skilled monster breeders, the answer is to dungeonbreed the desired monsters.
Smaller than most of their kin, dungeonbred monsters are selected for long-term survival underground. They can go longer periods of time between eating, and they live significantly longer. Although reducing their size weakens their combat prowess, the gains in maneuverability, stealth, and accuracy make up for that.
Creating a Dungeonbred Monster
"Dungeonbred" is an inherited template that can be applied to any living corporeal aberration, animal, magical beast, or vermin that is Large or bigger (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A dungeonbred monster uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Size and Type: The size of the creature is reduced one step, so that a Large base creature becomes a Medium dungeonbred monster.
Speed: If the base creature flies, its maneuverability improves by one step (from clumsy to poor, poor to average, average to good, or good to perfect).
Special Qualities: A dungeonbred monster retains the special qualities of the base creature, and also gains the following qualities.
- Easy Maintenance (Ex): Dungeonbred monsters consume food and water as if they were one size smaller than they actually are (and thus two sizes smaller than the base creature). Further, all carnivorous dungeonbred monsters that are bred for the same dungeon will eat the same type of prey eagerly, regardless of the base creature used in each case, cutting down on the need to import exotic prey for different monsters.
- Hardy (Ex): A dungeonbred monster has a +2 racial bonus on saves against disease and poison.
Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +4, Con +4. Since a dungeonbred monster is reduced in size from the base creature, remember to adjust its ability scores appropriately.
Skills: If the base creature has a racial bonus on Hide checks or Move Silently checks in a certain terrain, that bonus applies to underground environments instead. Adjust the creature's Hide modifier to reflect its smaller size.
Feats: Dungeonbred monsters gain the Improved Natural Attack feat for each of their natural weapons as a bonus feat, effectively retaining the original natural weapon damage of the base creature. They also gain Endurance as a bonus feat.
Challenge Rating: As the base creature.
Sample Dungeonbred Monster: Dungeonbred Chimera, Blue.