Weretiger Template Class
By Sean K Reynolds
Weretigers are powerful but secretive creatures that prefer to remain hidden from humanoid civilization. But unlike wererats (who usually seek solitude for criminal purposes), weretigers simply enjoy working and hunting alone.
Affliction with this form of lycanthropy only rarely occurs by accident, since weretigers normally attack only for food and choose easy prey. Now and then, however, a weretiger is driven away from its intended kill after only wounding it, and the victim survives with the lycanthropic curse. Occasionally, a pride of natural weretigers deliberately infects another creature with lycanthropy in order to strengthen the numbers of the group.
A character who chooses to keep his lycanthropic curse can progress in the weretiger template class to gain weretiger abilities. This template class can also be used by natural weretigers who wish to start play at lower levels and develop their powers, or for characters who somehow acquire this form of lycanthropy from another source.
This template class can be taken only by a lycanthrope who is aware of his condition, whether because he was born a weretiger or because he realizes that he is afflicted with lycanthropy. Any ability noted as applying to all forms is available to the weretiger in his natural, hybrid, and animal forms, but not forms acquired via polymorph or other means.
Each lycanthrope template class has three levels, but only natural lycanthropes can take all the levels it offers. An afflicted lycanthrope can take only 1st and 2nd levels in the class, since his level adjustment is +2 instead of +3.
Lycanthrope template classes also follow special rules relating to the benefits such characters acquire from their animal natures. The template allows for a level adjustment of +3 (or +2 for afflicted lycanthropes), but that value does not include the Hit Dice from the lycanthrope's animal form. So while a 1st-level human natural weretiger warrior (as presented in the Monster Manual) has a level adjustment of +3, his ECL is actually 7 -- 1 from his warrior Hit Die, +3 from the template, +6 for his tiger Hit Dice.
Thus, in addition to the levels offered via the appropriate lycanthrope template class, each kind of lycanthrope also has a separate (optional) class progression for his animal abilities. Essentially, a character progressing as a lycanthrope multiclasses into the template class and can also multiclass into the appropriate animal class if desired.
The animal class is entirely optional. No would-be lycanthrope is required to take it, but doing so is an advantage, since a character without it is weaker than other lycanthropes of the same type. Taking levels in the appropriate animal template class gives the character the animal's Hit Dice and hit points (in all forms), saving throw bonuses (in all forms), skill points (in all forms), racial skill bonuses (in all forms), conditional skill modifiers (in animal form), ability score modifiers (in hybrid or animal form), natural armor bonus, and special attacks (such as the tiger's rake). Levels in the animal class may be taken at any point after the character takes one level in the lycanthrope template class. He is also free to take levels in other classes between levels of the template class and the animal class, as desired. The animal class, like the template class, does not count when determining whether a character takes an XP penalty for multiclassing.
An afflicted weretiger that is cured of lycanthropy (as described in the Monster Manual on page 178) immediately loses all weretiger template class levels and tiger class levels (if any). These levels cannot be restored with restoration or similar magic; they are simply gone. Most lycanthropes that do not wish to lose their lycanthropy in this way deliberately fail their saving throws against the spell in order to prevent this traumatic change.
The Weretiger Template Class
|1st||+1||Wis +2, natural armor +2, alternate form (tiger), low-light vision, shapechanger subtype, weretiger feat (Alertness)|
|2nd||+1||Alternate form (hybrid), tiger empathy, damage reduction 5/silver, weretiger feats (Improved Natural Attack [bite], Improved Natural Attack [claw])|
|3rd||+2||Curse of lycanthropy, damage reduction 10/silver|
Weretiger Template Class Features
All of the following are class features of the weretiger template class.
Ability Score Changes: The indicated ability score increases or decreases by the amount noted. These changes are cumulative.
Natural Armor Improvements: At 1st level, the weretiger's natural armor bonus increases by +2. A character that does not normally have a natural armor bonus (such as a human) is considered to have an initial natural armor bonus of +0 for the purpose of this ability. Thus, a human's natural armor bonus would increase to +2 at 1st level. These changes are cumulative. The weretiger also gains additional natural armor increases in hybrid or animal form from the animal class.
Alternate Form (Su): At 1st level, the weretiger can take the form of a tiger, and he undergoes this change involuntarily on the nights of the full moon or in times of stress, as described in the Monster Manual. Unless the weretiger is a natural lycanthrope, he does not automatically have control over this ability and must attempt a Control Shape check to intentionally change form or to resist an involuntary change. For an afflicted lycanthrope, Control Shape is a class skill for all classes as well as racial Hit Dice, if any. Natural lycanthropes have full control over when they change shape and do not need to take ranks in this skill. Changing form is a standard action that can be attempted once per round.
A weretiger character who is aware of his condition retains his identity and does not lose control of his actions when he changes. Each time he involuntarily changes to his animal form, however, he must make a Will save (DC 15 + number of times he has been in animal form) or permanently assume the alignment of his lycanthrope kind (neutral for weretigers) in all forms. Any voluntary change to tiger or hybrid form immediately and permanently changes the character's alignment to neutral.
Until the character has taken one or more levels in the optional tiger animal class (see Tiger Abilities, below), changing shape to tiger form does not give him the abilities of a tiger -- he simply is able to take that creature's shape, as if he had a perfect disguise. Since this ability is of limited use, most characters taking levels in the weretiger template class choose to take levels of the tiger class as well in order to gain the full abilities of their animal forms.
At 2nd level, the weretiger can assume a hybrid form -- a shape between his humanoid and his tiger forms. As with the tiger form, this change is purely cosmetic unless the character has taken the tiger class to gain the appropriate abilities.
Low-Light Vision (Ex): A 1st-level weretiger gains low-light vision.
Shapechanger Subtype (Ex): At 1st level, the weretiger gains the shapechanger subtype.
Weretiger Bonus Feats: At 1st and 2nd level, the weretiger gains the feats indicated on Table SP-13 as bonus feats, assuming that he doesn't already have them. If the weretiger doesn't meet the prerequisites (if any) for a bonus feat, he gains the feat but cannot use it until he does meet the prerequisites. The Improved Natural Attack feats have no effect until the weretiger gains a bite or claw attack from the tiger animal class or another source (see Monster Manual, page 304, for the effects of this feat).
Tiger Empathy (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a weretiger in any form can communicate and empathize with normal or dire tigers. This ability gives him a +4 racial bonus on checks made to influence the attitude of such creatures. It also allows the communication of simple concepts and (if the animal is friendly) commands, such as "friend," "foe," "flee," and "attack."
Damage Reduction (Ex): At 2nd level, the weretiger gains damage reduction 5/silver. At 3rd level, a natural lycanthrope gains damage reduction 10/silver. An afflicted lycanthrope's damage reduction does not improve beyond 5/silver.
Curse of Lycanthropy (Su): At 3rd level, a natural weretiger can infect other creatures with lycanthropy. Any humanoid or giant hit by the bite attack of a weretiger in animal or hybrid form must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or contract lycanthropy. Afflicted lycanthropes do not transmit lycanthropy.
The Tiger (Lycanthrope) Class
|Class Level||Hit Dice||Base Attack Bonus||Fort. Save||Ref. Save||Will Save||Skill Points||Special|
|1st||1d8||+0||+2||+2||+0||2 + Int mod.||Str +2, natural armor +2, tiger abilities, bite|
|2nd||2d8||+1||+3||+3||+0||2 + Int mod.||Str +2, Dex +2, scent|
|3rd||3d8||+2||+3||+3||+1||2 + Int mod.||Str +2, Con +2, natural armor +1, 2 claws|
|4th||4d8||+3||+4||+4||+1||2 + Int mod.||Str +2, Con +2, improved grab, Large|
|5th||5d8||+3||+4||+4||+1||2 + Int mod.||Str +2, Dex +2, natural armor +1, pounce|
|6th||6d8||+4||+5||+5||+2||2 + Int mod.||Str +2, Con +2, rake|
Tiger Animal Class Features
All of the following are class features of the tiger class. Ability Score Changes: The indicated ability score increases or decreases by the amount noted. These changes are cumulative. Natural Armor Improvements: At 1st level, the character's natural armor bonus increases by +2. A character that does not normally have a natural armor bonus (such as a human) is considered to have an initial natural armor bonus of +0 for the purpose of this ability. Thus, a human's natural armor bonus would increase to +2 at 1st level. These changes are cumulative. Tiger Abilities (Ex): Upon taking a level in the tiger animal class, the character gains the animal's Hit Dice (in all forms), base attack bonus (in all forms), base saving throw bonuses (in all forms), ability score modifiers (in hybrid and animal forms), skill points (in all forms), and natural armor bonus (in hybrid and animal forms), as well as the special abilities indicated on Table SP-14. When the weretiger is in tiger form, his speed changes to 40 feet. In all forms, he gains a +4 racial bonus on Balance, Hide, and Move Silently checks. When in tiger form and in areas of tall grass or heavy undergrowth, his Hide bonus improves to +8. Class skills for the tiger racial Hit Dice are Balance, Control Shape, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, and Swim. Bite: The tiger animal class gives the weretiger a bite attack in his animal and hybrid forms. The bite is a natural weapon that deals 1d6 points of damage. When he attains 2nd level in the weretiger template class and gains the Improved Natural Attack (bite) feat, his base bite damage improves to 1d8.
Scent (Ex): As a 1st-level tiger, a weretiger in any form gains the scent ability. Claws: Upon reaching 3rd level in the tiger class, a weretiger gains two claw attacks in his animal and hybrid forms. His claws are natural weapons, each dealing 1d4 points of damage. When the weretiger attains 2nd level in the weretiger template class and gains the Improved Natural Attack (claw) feat, his base claw damage improves to 1d6.
Improved Grab (Ex): At 4th level in the tiger class, the weretiger gains the improved grab ability. To use it, he must hit a creature at least one size category smaller than himself with a claw attack. He can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If he wins the grapple check, he establishes a hold. If he has the rake ability, he can make two rake attacks at the start of each round against a foe that he is grappling. He can use this ability only on creatures at least one size category smaller than himself.
Large (Ex): When a weretiger reaches 4th level in the tiger class, his animal and hybrid forms become Large size. In either of those forms, he takes a -1 penalty to AC and attack rolls because of his size, and his Space/Reach changes to 10 ft./5 ft. His bite and claw damage each increase by one step (see Monster Manual, page 296. His ability scores change as indicated on Table SP-14.
Pounce (Ex): If a weretiger who is 5th level or higher in the tiger class charges an opponent while in tiger form, he can make a full attack even though he has moved. If he has the rake ability, he can include two rake attacks as part of his full attack.
Rake (Ex): At 6th level in the tiger class, the weretiger gains extra attacks with his rear claws in certain circumstances. When he makes a pounce attack or starts a turn grappling with his claws while in animal form, he can make two additional claw attacks against the target for normal claw damage. The weretiger cannot begin a grapple and rake in the same turn. Rake attacks are not subject to the usual -4 penalty for attacking with a natural weapon in a grapple.