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Siren (3.5e Template)

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Ganteka Future (talk)
Date Created: 12 August 2008
Status: Version 2.0: Needs reviewal and balance-checking.
Editing: Please feel free to edit constructively!
SirenTemplate

Human female in siren form

Siren Template

[[Summary::Sirens are afflicted with a terrible curse of the sea, much like lycanthropy. A siren changes shape into a blood-thirsty creature and stalks the living.]]

Creating a Siren

Siren is an acquired or inherited template that can be added to any living humanoid, fey or giant (referred to as the base creature or character). Creatures cannot have be both lycanthropes and sirens. Sirens are immune to the curse of lycanthropy and vice versa.

The siren template can be inherited (for natural sirens) or acquired (for afflicted sirens). Sirenum, the source of the curse, is a magical disease. Sometimes a siren begins life as a typical humanoid, fey or giant who subsequently contracts sirenum after being bitten and poisoned by a siren. Such a creature is called an afflicted siren. Other sirens are born as sirens, and are known as natural sirens. Natural sirens cannot be cured of sirenum, but afflicted sirens can.

Siren functions as an acquired template for creatures who contract the magical disease sometime during their lifetime. Though, this magical disease is passed on to their children. A child of a siren is a natural siren unless the race's un-templated type would prevent it from gaining the template, otherwise a child born of a siren inherits the siren template and is a natural siren.

An afflicted siren looks like a normal member of her race, except that her skin is often of a slightly unusual shade, cold or clammy. When she transforms into her siren form, her legs reshape into powerful, sharp fins and a long fish-like tail grows from her back that allows her to slither along the ground or swim deftly through the water. Her hands extend into jagged, webbed claws and her teeth become like sharp needles. A feral glint gleams in her eyes. Her appearance resembles that of a monstrous mermaid.

As an option, a DM should consider adding anklets into his game, assuming the place of magical footwear, such as shoes and boots. These anklets take up the footwear magic item body slot. When she transforms, these anklets stay around her front fins.

As the disease is magical, her clothing and gear reshapes to fit her new form. Gear that does not fit her new form falls off.

Siren Types

Sirens come in several varieties. Some have the tails of great sharks, scaled fish, eels or even great serpents. Their colors also vary widely, but most have pale sickly skin when not in siren form.

Not all sirens are female, but a majority of them are. Typically, this is because sirens are more likely to prey upon men and convert women into helpful sisters. Male sirens are often loners and compete directly against small shoals of female sirens.

Siren culture varies from location to location and from setting to setting.

Size and Type

The Monstrous Humanoid Type replaces her humanoid or giant type. If she is fey, she retains that type. Additionally, she gains the Aquatic Subtype and the Shapechanger Subtype.

She retains her size.

Speed

In her base creature form, she gains a swim speed equal to her base land speed.

While in siren form, her swim speed increases by +10 feet and her base land speed, drops by 10 feet (minimum of 5 feet). A siren is adept at slithering along the ground, propping herself up with her front fins or on a coiled tail.

Attack

Sirens gain the use of a bite as a secondary natural weapon. Her hands become claws dealing damage on the chart as below.

In siren form, her claws deal slashing/piercing damage and she is considered armed and does not provoke attacks of opportunity. In siren form, her bite deals slashing/piercing/bludgeoning damage.

These attacks deal damage based on the siren's size.

Table: Siren Size and Damage
Siren Size Claw Bite Blood Drain
Con Damage
Fine 1 1 1
Diminutive 1 1d2 1
Tiny 1d2 1d3 1d2
Small 1d3 1d4 1d3
Medium 1d4 1d6 1d4
Large 1d6 1d8 1d6
Huge 2d4 2d6 2d4
Gargantuan 2d6 3d6 2d6
Colossal 3d6 4d6 3d6

Full Attack

A siren fighting without weapons uses either her claw attack (see above) or any other natural weapons she may have. If armed with a weapon, she usually uses the weapon as her primary attack along with her bite or other natural weapon as a secondary attack. Attacks with secondary natural weapons are made with a –5 penalty on the attack roll, no matter how many there are, and add only 0.5 ½ the creature’s Strength bonus to damage.

Special Attacks

These attacks are only available to the siren when she is in her siren form.

Siren Song (Ex): The siren screeches a horrific discord. A burst of sonic energy radiates from her in all directions. All creatures within the area take 1d6 sonic damage per siren HD. This ability affects a close range radius (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 HD). Targets become dazed for one round unless they succeed a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 0.5 ½ her HD + her Constitution modifier). Other sirens are naturally resistant to Siren Song.

This ability is usable a number of times per day equal to 1 + 1 per 3 HD (+2 total at 3 HD, +3 at 6 HD and so on).

Table: Siren Song
Range Save DC Damage
25ft. +5 ft./2 HD 10 + 0.5 ½ HD + Con modifier1 1d6 sonic/HD

Blood Drain (Ex): A siren can deal a ghastly wound to a living victim with her sharp fangs by making a successful grapple check. If she pins the foe, her bite drains blood, dealing Constitution drain each round the pin is maintained. Damage is based off of the siren's size (see above).

Sirenum Poison (Su): If a siren hits with her bite attack, she may choose to inject her poison. Any humanoid, Fey or giant injected with a siren's poison must succeed on a Fortitude save DC is 10 + the siren's Constitution modifier + 0.5 ½ the siren's HD or become nauseated for 1d4 minutes. One hour later, the victim must make a second save, at the same DC or contract sirenum. A siren can only produce enough poison for one bite every 24 hours. See: Sirenum Poison on the Market below for what happens when this toxin become available for trade.

Alternate Form (Su): A siren can change to her base form or siren form as a standard action. A slain afflicted siren reverts to her base form, although she remains dead. Separated body parts retain their siren form, however. A natural siren remains in whatever form she had upon her death.

Afflicted sirens initially have no control over when they change to their alternate form (see Sirenum as an Affliction, below).

Special Qualities

Blood Lust (Ex): Sirens crave fresh blood, and will typically take it any way they can get it. If a siren doesn't get at least a half-pint of fresh blood to drink every 24 hours, she suffers a −2 penalty on Dexterity, Constitution and Charisma. This penalty cannot reduce these scores below 1. Double the amount of blood needed for every size larger than medium she is. Halve the amount of blood needed for every size smaller than medium she is.

Amphibious (Ex): Regardless of her form, a siren can breathe both water and air.

Low-light Vision (Ex): Sirens can see twice as far as humans in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.

Darkvision (Ex): A siren can see with no light source at all, out to 60 feet.

Skills

A siren gains a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. She can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. She can use the run action while swimming, provided she swims in a straight line.

Escape Artist, Hide and Swim are always treated as class skills.

Environment

Sirens can be found in any marine or aquatic environment, such as oceans, reefs, lagoons, estuaries, bays, rivers, lakes, and swamps. However, sirens prefer areas frequented by hapless prey, like humans, but also reclusive enough as to not draw attention from those who might hunt them down.

Organization

Solitary or pair, sometimes shoal (3-4), school (5-10) or coven (11-30).

Sirens typically gather in small groups and attack in concert to throw their prey off guard, though they often hold no allegiances to each other.

Occasionally, a dominant siren will coordinate a school of sirens into a well organized culture. Their numbers total to that of a small town or thorp. However, keeping such a large group satisfied requires constant raids on other folks (often shipping vessels and port towns). They may resort to kidnappings so that they may hold victims and farm their blood to satisfy their needs.

Challenge Rating

Same as base creature +1.

Treasure

Standard, though typically they don't carry things that spoil in the water.

Alignment

Wild sirens are typically neutral evil, as their craving for fresh blood drives them to ignore the needs of others.

Advancement

By character class. Sirens fare well at many different roles. Some like to strike heavily, others like to sneak in and strike quickly, while others learn magical arts and weaken enemies before closing in.

Level Adjustment

Same as the base creature +1.

Sirenum as an Affliction

When a character contracts sirenum through a siren's poisonous bite, no symptoms appear until the first night of the next full moon. On that night, the afflicted character involuntarily transforms into her siren form at sunset (applying this template). The character remains in siren form, unable to return to her base form, until the next dawn.

After the initial transformation during the first full moon, the character is subject to involuntary transformation at sunset. These involuntary transformations last until the first night of the next full moon a month later, at which time, she gains full control over her transformation to and from siren form.

The Power of the Curse

An afflicted siren may quickly gain control of her curse without having to wait for two full moons to pass. A casting of bestow curse on her may be used to strengthen the magical disease and allow her to immediately take full control of her siren form and abilities.

A casting of remove curse or break enchantment may be used to revert her to her base form for 24 hours. The caster must make a caster level check (1d20 + caster level, maximum +15) against a DC of 11 + her HD.

Changing Form

Changing form is a standard action.

If she is an afflicted siren, she cannot voluntarily change until the first night of the second full moon after becoming afflicted.

Curing Sirenum

Only afflicted sirens can be cured of sirenum.

For those who seek a cure, the natural world provides one. An afflicted character who eats a pinch of heat root within 2 hours of a siren's poisoned bite can attempt a second Fortitude save to shake off the affliction. The DC is equal to the initial DC + 5. If a healer administers the medicinal root, use the character's save bonus or the healer's Heal skill modifier, whichever is higher. The character gets only one chance, no matter how much heat root is consumed. Heat root is a fairly common in medicinal shops and apothecaries and can be purchased for 4 gp an ounce (64 gp per pound).

Heat root is potent and spicy. Consuming it may cause vomiting, Constitution damage and nausea. Upon eating a dose of the root (one ounce), the character must succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or take 1 point of Constitution damage, vomit and become nauseated for 1d4 hours. Heat root's beneficial effects take effect one minute after consumption.

A limited wish, wish or miracle spell also cures the affliction, provided the character receives the spell during nightfall.

Characters undergoing this cure are often kept bound or confined in cages until the cure takes effect.

Sirens as Characters

Becoming a siren does not change a character's favored class.

A campaign with a focus on aquatic adventuring would favor their swimming prowess. Since a siren can also operate adequately on land, a serpentine siren would be appropriate for a land-bound campaign.

Sirens in Combat

Sirens fare the best against living opponents that they can grapple and deal Constitution damage with their Blood Drain ability. A natural siren favors draining its opponents Constitution with several bites first before it attempts to inject its Sirenum Poison. Creatures without blood or are too dangerous to attack in melee and grapple are dealt with using their sonic damaging Siren Song.

Sirens prefer to use tricks and tactics that grant them surprise or put their prey in poor positions to defend themselves. Utilizing their low-light vision, they attack at dawn, dusk and moonlit nights on their terms. They pick on the small and the weak or unarmored. Against ships, they've been known to claw into hulls and sink ships. A small shoal of sirens working in concert can cripple a ship rather quickly.

A single siren may prefer to climb up the side of a ship during a quiet hour to get the drop on a single opponent. A siren has no death wish and typically won't rush into a combat with a greater number of opponents. Often having previously lived among civilized lands, an afflicted siren is craftily aware of the habits of her prey.

Siren Poison

Table: Sirenum Poison
Poison Type Initial Damage Secondary Damage Base Price
Sirenum Poison Injury DC 10 Nausea Contract Sirenum 1000 gp

Nausea (Ex): The afflicted subject experiences wracking stomach distress. Nauseated creatures are unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention. The only action such a character can take is a single move action per turn.

Poison DCs and Price

The DC of the poison often varies from the listed Base Price of 1000 gp for a DC 10 poison. The poison costs 100 gp per point of DC value.

Example: DC 15 = 100 gp × 15 = 1500 gp Base Price per dose.

Harvesting Poison

Sirenum poison may be harvested from a siren, dead or alive. Though, a Craft (alchemist) or (poison maker) skill check or a Heal skill check (living siren only) DC 20 is required to harvest the poison.

A siren that has used its poison bite in the past 24 hours lacks poison to harvest.

Raw sirenum poison has a short shelf life of only a week and requires the appropriate checks to craft it into the poison that is sold. This shelf life is extended so long as the poison is in the process of being worked from raw poison to salable poison.

Siren Poison on the Market

Occasionally, a siren's poison is harvested and sold in back alley dealings and shady bazaars. Being a magical disease, it radiates a faint magical aura from the transmutation school. It is an injury poison DC 10 that does nauseation as primary damage (lasting for 1d6+1 rounds) and the sirenum magical disease an hour later as secondary damage. A single dose of Siren Poison costs 1,000 gp.

See: Poisons for information on poison use and application.

Example NPC

EL 4:

{{#set:Name=Siren Warrior|CR=4|Size=Medium|Summary=Human born with the siren's curse.|Type=Monstrous Humanoid (Human, Aquatic, Shapechanger)}} {{#set:Race=human}}

Siren Warrior

CR 4

human fighter 3
NE Medium Monstrous Humanoid (Human, Aquatic, Shapechanger)
Init/Senses +3/Listen +1, Spot +1
Languages Common
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10
(+2 Dexterity, +1 deflection (ring of protection +1))
hp 22 (3 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +5/+3/+2
Speed 30 feet (6 squares) in human form. 20 feet in siren form., swim 30 feet in human form. 40 feet in siren form.
Melee Claw +5/ (1d4+1/×2) or
Melee Full Attack: 1 Claw +5/ (1d4+1/×2) and a Bite +0/(1d6/×2)
Base Atk/Grp +3/+4
Special Actions Siren Song (Ex), Blood Drain (Ex), Sirenum Poison (Su)
Abilities Str 13, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
SQ Low-Light Vision (Ex), Darkvision (Ex) 60 feet, Amphibious (Ex), Blood Lust (Ex), Alternate Form (Su)
Feats Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Armor Proficiency (Heavy), Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Weapon Finesse, Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple
Skills +7 Climb (Str), +6 Escape Artist (Dex), -1 Handle Animal (Cha), +8 Hide (Dex), +2 Intimidate (Cha), +1 Jump (Str), +2 Ride (Dex), +12 Swim (Str)
Possessions ring of protection +1, 500 gp (kept in her lair)
Low-Light Vision (Ex) A siren warrior can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of shadowy illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
Darkvision (Ex) Darkvision is the extraordinary ability to see with no light source at all, out to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only (colors cannot be discerned). It does not allow sirens to see anything that they could not see otherwise—invisible objects are still invisible, and illusions are still visible as what they seem to be. Likewise, darkvision subjects a siren to gaze attacks normally. The presence of light does not spoil darkvision.
Amphibious (Ex) Regardless of her form, a siren warrior can breathe both water and air.
Blood Lust (Ex) Sirens crave fresh blood, and will typically take it any way they can get it. If a siren doesn't get at least a half-pint of fresh blood to drink every 24 hours, she suffers a −2 penalty on Dexterity, Constitution and Charisma. This penalty cannot reduce these scores below 1.
Alternate Form (Su) A siren warrior can change to or from siren form as a standard action. A natural siren remains in whatever form she had upon her death, as do any separated body parts.
Siren Song (Ex) 2 times per day, a siren warrior can screeches a horrific discord. A burst of sonic energy radiates 30 feet from her in all directions. All creatures within the area take 3d6 sonic damage. Targets are allowed a Fortitude saves DC 13 to avoid becoming dazed for one round. Other sirens are naturally resistant to Siren Song.
Blood Drain (Ex) A siren warrior can deal a ghastly wound to a living victim with her sharp fangs by making a successful grapple check. If she pins the foe, her bite drains blood, dealing 1d4 Constitution drain each round the pin is maintained.
Sirenum Poison (Su) If a siren warrior hits with her bite attack, she may choose to inject her poison. Any humanoid, Fey or giant injected with a siren's poison must succeed on a Fortitude save DC is 13 or become nauseated for 1d4 minutes. One hour later, the victim must make a second save, at the same DC or contract sirenum. A siren can only produce enough poison for one bite every 24 hours.



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