I’ve recently discovered that there’s a lot to be said for creature templates that actually make monsters weaker, rather than stronger. Although the ones that offer extra power, like ghost and vampire, are often the sexier templates in the bunch, applying a template that makes a creature much weaker actually allows you to use powerful monsters you wouldn’t normally be able to include at your party’s level, giving them a big climactic fight without being unfair. Zombies have been used in this way to great effect in several adventures I can think of off the top of my head, and it got me thinking about some other templates you can use to get a taste of the big leagues with power that’s safe enough for the little leagues. This brought me to the idea of creatures made of paper, and ultimately, to today’s Exotic Encounter.
Origami is an ancient art of folding paper in order to make it take on beautiful shapes, and practiced origami artists can make paper take on the forms of familiar creatures. Some spellcasters have learned how to imbue origami creatures with animating spirits, and use such creatures as messengers, spies, guardians, or for other, stranger purposes. Although origami creatures are typically much more fragile than their living counterparts, they are often nearly as deadly.
Creating an Origami Creature
“Origami creature” is an inherited template that can be added to any corporeal creature. An origami creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities, except as noted here.
CR: Same as the base creature –2.
Type: The creature’s type changes to construct (augmented). Do not recalculate class Hit Dice, base attack bonus, saves, or skill points.
Senses: An origami creature gains blindsight 60 feet, and loses all other senses.
Armor Class: The origami creature’s natural armor bonus to AC is reduced by –4 (to a minimum of 0).
Hit Dice: Change all racial Hit Dice to d10s. Class Hit Dice are unaffected. As constructs, origami creatures do not have a Constitution score. Unlike most constructs, origami creatures do not gain bonus hit points based on size.
Defensive Abilities: The origami creature loses any damage reduction the base creature possesses, as well as any resistances or immunities to various damage types. As a construct, it gains the standard construct immunities. Origami creatures also gain spell resistance equal to their new CR +11. An origami creature loses all spell-like and supernatural defensive abilities the base creature possessed, but retains extraordinary defensive abilities.
Weaknesses: Origami creatures gain fire vulnerability. Additionally, they gain the following weaknesses.
Fragile Construction (Ex): Whenever a creature confirms a critical hit against an origami creature with a bludgeoning weapon, the origami creature’s Strength and Dexterity scores are permanently reduced by 6 as its body is crumpled. If this reduces either score to 0, the origami creature is destroyed. Whenever a creature confirms a critical hit against an origami creature with a slashing weapon, the origami creature must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt) or be destroyed, as it is cut in two.
Highly Flammable (Ex): An origami creature that suffers any amount of fire damage must succeed on a DC 20 Fortitude save or catch on fire, suffering 1d6 points of fire damage each round until the flames are put out (for more information on catching on fire, see the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook).
Water Vulnerability (Ex): Splashing an origami creature with at least 1 gallon of water or similar liquids inflicts 1d3 points of damage to it, and reduces its natural armor bonus to AC by 1. Immersion in water inflicts 10 points of damage per round to the origami creature, and reduces its natural armor bonus to AC by 2 per round of immersion. These effects stack, but cannot reduce the origami creature’s natural armor bonus to AC to less than 0. The origami creature’s natural armor bonus to AC restores itself naturally at a rate of 1 point per 10 minutes until it is fully dry, but damage inflicted in this way remains until healed.
Speed: Same as the base creature. If the base creature had a fly speed, its maneuverability increases by two steps (to a maximum of perfect).
Melee: Same as the base creature, but all natural attacks deal slashing damage. If the base creature did not possess any natural attacks, it gains a primary slam attack. If the base creature typically wielded a manufactured weapon, a paper version of the weapon is incorporated into the origami creature’s form for the purposes of serving as this slam attack, and the attack’s damage dice are equal to the base damage dice of that weapon (for example, if the base creature was Medium-sized and typically wielded a dagger, its slam would deal 1d4 points of damage, but if it typically wielded a greataxe, the slam would deal 1d12 points of damage). If there is no appropriate weapon for the slam attack to emulate, it instead deals damage appropriate for the origami creature’s size. Whether patterned after a weapon or not, the slam attack deals slashing damage, and its critical threat range and critical multiplier are unaltered.
Special Attacks: An origami creature loses all spell-like and supernatural special attacks the base creature possesses, but retains all of its extraordinary special attacks, and gains the following special attack.
Paper Cut (Ex): Whenever an origami creature confirms a critical hit with one of its natural attacks, it also inflicts an amount of bleed damage equal to 1/2 its Hit Dice (rounded down). This bleed damage can be healed with a DC 15 Heal check.
Special Qualities: An origami creature loses all spell-like and supernatural special qualities the base creature possesses, but retains all of its extraordinary special qualities, and gains the compression and freeze universal monster abilities.
Ability Scores: Str –2, Dex +4, Int –2 (unless the base creature’s Intelligence is already less than 7). As a construct, an origami creature has no Constitution score.