Flesh-Eating Beast Template

February 15th, 2016

Alex Riggs

Exotic Encounters Archive

                It's Horse Week at Necromancers of the Northwest. There are lots of exciting horses littered about mythology, and they're a staple of the fantasy genre, so you'd expect that it would be easy to come up with an Exotic Encounters that showcases the majestic equine. Unfortunately, most of the good horse-like creatures already exist in Pathfinder. Unicorns? Check. Pegasi? Check. Hippocampus? You got it. Nightmares and centaurs? Got them too. One mythical horse that seems to be absent (or if it is in the game, I overlooked it), are the mares of Diomedes, the famous wild horses that dined on flesh, which Heracles was set to steal. This seemed like the sort of thing that you might want to apply to some of those other horse monsters (flesh-eating unicorn, anyone?), so I thought a template would be best, and while this template can technically be applied to a lot of different types of animals, I think you'll still see the connection.

Flesh-Eating Beast

Flesh-eating beasts are animals and magical beasts which normally eschew meat, but have taken up a carnivorous diet, especially one including intelligent creatures. This drives them to unnatural bouts of bloodlust, making them dangerous, but potentially useful.

Creating a Flesh-Eating Beast

“Flesh-Eating Beast” is an acquired template that can be added to living creatures of the animal or magical beast type that are normally herbivorous (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A flesh-eating beast uses the base creature’s stats and abilities, except as noted here.

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +1.

Senses: A flesh-eating beast gains the scent special quality.

Defensive Abilities: A flesh-eating beast gains DR 5/good or lawful.

Speed: The base creature’s land speed is increased by 50% (rounded down, minimum increase of 5 feet).

Melee: A flesh-eating beast gains a primary bite natural attack if the base creature didn’t have one already. Damage for the bite attack depends on the flesh-eating beast’s size, but it deals damage as though the flesh-eating beast were one size category larger than it actually is. If the base creature already had a primary bite natural attack, the flesh eating beast's bite attack deals damage as though it were one size category larger than it actually is.

Special Attacks: A flesh-eating beast gains several special attacks.

Feeding Frenzy (Ex): Whenever a flesh-eating beast is within 60 feet of a creature that currently has less than 1/2 its maximum hit points (potentially including itself), the scent of the wounds and fresh blood drives it into a feeding frenzy. The flesh-eating beast gains a +4 morale bonus to its Strength and Constitution scores, suffers a –2 penalty to AC, and must either make a bite attack against a living, corporeal creature that is not of the ooze or plant types each round, or spend a move action consuming the flesh of such a creature (which must either be helpless, willing, or dead for less than 1 hour). If there are no other creatures to attack or consume, the flesh-eating beast must bite itself, automatically succeeding on the attack roll and dealing damage as normal.

The feeding frenzy lasts for as long as there is a creature within 60 feet of the flesh-eating beast that has less than 1/2 its maximum hit points, and for 1d6 rounds thereafter. Oozes, plants, incorporeal creatures, and non-living creatures do not trigger a flesh-eating beast's feeding frenzy.

Naturally Intimidating (Ex): The first time that a flesh-eating beast hits a given creature with its bite attack each day, it can make an Intimidate check to demoralize that creature as a free action.

Rip and Tear (Ex): Whenever a flesh-eating beast confirms a critical hit with its bite attack against a living corporeal creature that is not an ooze or plant, it rips off a chunk of flesh, inflicting an amount of bleed damage equal to the flesh-eating beast's Hit Dice.

Special Qualities: A flesh-eating beast gains the following special quality.

Wild Nature (Ex): The DC of all Handle Animal checks involving the flesh-eating beast increase by +4. This also applies to other skill checks made to influence the flesh-eating beast, such as those made for a druid's wild empathy class feature. Finally, the flesh-eating beast gains a +2 bonus on saving throws made to resist compulsion effects.

Ability Scores: Str +4, Con +4, Wis –4 (minimum 1). Additionally, the base creature’s Intelligence score is halved (rounded down, minimum 1).

Skills: A flesh-eating beast gains a number of ranks in Intimidate equal to its Hit Dice, and treats Intimidate as a class skill.



                While there is nothing unusual about animals that eat meat, flesh-eating beasts are animals that would naturally eat only plants, but which have been driven to a carnivorous diet, whether by the will of cruel masters, or the whims of the fates. Creating a flesh-eating beast is generally as simple as capturing an herbivorous creature and forcing it to consume nothing but meat, generally for a period of at least 1 week per Hit Dice it possesses. The process is not foolproof, and some creatures seem to resist the condition, but overall, this method has roughly a 70% chance of success, although these odds are lowered to 50% in the case of intelligent creatures, which are much harder to transform. If the creatures are fed exclusively the flesh of intelligent humanoids, these odds are increased by 20%.

                Generally, though, a topic of much more interest is how to revert a creature from a flesh-eating beast back to its natural state. This, too, can be done, but it requires twice as long, and the success rate is much lower: generally only about 30%, although this can be increased to 50% if the creature is attended by a skilled animal handler who can calm its wild temper and urges.