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Theme Templates

Using Theme Templates

A theme template provides a number of changes or additional equipment, skills, and abilities that you apply to the creature. Each of the templates in this book briefly introduces the organization the template is meant to represent, followed by a recommendation for effective roleplaying when using a creature with the template.

Even with these provided NPC statistics, it might still be challenging to flesh out the full ranks of a major organization, as you might need many different members of varying level and rank. The final part of this section presents a number of theme templates that you can apply to an existing creature or NPC stat block to help meet the need for your encounter or story. These templates are intended to provide a different set of abilities and equipment that grant a generic creature the appropriate flavor to present a character that is part of an organization without having to create a new set of statistics from scratch.

If you’d like to create your own theme templates, you can use these existing adjustments as a framework, though creating a creature or NPC from the ground up is recommended when possible and when time permits. These templates are fast and easy ways to make adjustments that are roughly balanced and that contain significant flavor of the organization.

All Creatures

This entry applies to all creatures that have the theme template applied, regardless of level. For example, if a template states to add the lawful trait and remove the chaotic trait, that would alter a creature’s alignment from chaotic evil to lawful evil.

Abilities

After any alterations that apply to all creatures, the templates list different entries based on the level of the creature to which the template is being applied. For example, a 5th-level creature would receive both the ability listed under the 1st Level or Higher entry and the 4th Level or Higher entry.

Each of these entries are cumulative, meaning it’s possible for a creature to gain several abilities or changes based on its level. When you add a theme template at a higher level that grants numerous additional abilities, you should strongly consider removing one of the creature’s original abilities to compensate, especially if the new abilities are highly advantageous for the creature. A theme template might even specifically instruct you to remove additional abilities. An alternative, depending on the target level, is to raise the creature’s level by 1 and adjust its numerical statistics accordingly, adding the template’s abilities without taking anything away. Either way, a template adds abilities based on the creature’s final level; for example, if you raise a 6th-level creature to 7th level, adjust its numbers, and add a template, the creature would gain the template abilities from the 7th Level or Higher entry.

If the theme template provides a creature with an innate spell or ability that requires a DC, use an appropriate DC based on the creature’s level.

Skills

In some cases, a template lists one or more skills that should be added to the base creature’s skills. The creature gains this skill as a primary or secondary skill, depending on if it has a good associated ability modifier. For example, a creature with a +5 Dexterity modifier that gains the Acrobatics skill should gain it as a primary skill, while a creature with a –1 Dexterity modifier should instead gain Acrobatics as a secondary skill. If the creature already had the skill, increase it to a higher bonus.

Equipment

If a creature gains new equipment from a theme template, this equipment should not alter any of the creature’s statistics, aside from adding a new Strike if it gains a new weapon, even if the new equipment would normally do so. For example, if a creature gains the Hellknight theme template and replaces its leather armor with Hellknight plate, the Hellknight plate itself would not alter the creature’s AC (although the creature would increase its AC by 1 due to the 1st Level or Higher entry). At your discretion, you can make adjustments for the new equipment, but if you do so, you might give the creature more advantages and disadvantages than the template accounts for.

Theme Templates and Monsters

While these theme templates are mainly intended to be applied to existing NPC stat blocks, they can be applied to other creatures with ease. This can help you create unique or otherwise interesting NPCs, such as a minotaur who is a member of the Adventurer’s Guild or a ghost who serves the Whispering Way. When using these templates, use the one that most represents the creature’s intended affiliations; while it is technically possible to have a creature that is a member of multiple organizations, such as a character who is a member of both the adventurers and the Hellknights, using more than one template is not recommended, and any templates with mutually incompatible instructions (such as one template that requires the creature to remove the chaotic trait and gain the lawful trait and one template that requires the creature to remove the lawful trait and gain the chaotic trait) should not be combined.

The following adjustments allow you as the GM to replicate creatures and NPCs that belong to specific organizations.

As a reminder, when you add a theme template at a higher level that grants numerous additional abilities, you should strongly consider removing one or more of the creature’s original abilities to compensate, or consider raising the creature’s level by 1 and adjusting its numbers accordingly so as to add the template’s abilities without taking anything away. Either way, a template adds abilities based on the creature’s final level; for example, if you raised a 6th-level creature to 7th level, adjusted its numbers, and added a template, it would gain the template abilities listed in the 7th Level or Higher entry.

The Academy

The Academy is an academic institution dedicated to the study of magic, and its members are known for combining magical traditions in unique ways.

  • All Creatures: Add the good trait. Remove the evil trait.
  • 1st Level or Higher: The creature can cast detect magic and sigil as innate cantrips. Decide whether these are arcane or primal cantrips when applying the template.
  • 4th Level or Higher: Add Arcana and Nature to the creature’s skills. It gains the Recognize Spell skill feat.
  • Level 7 or Higher: The creature gains either 2nd-level invisibility as an innate arcane spell or 2nd-level entangle as an innate primal spell. The spell can be cast once per day.
  • Level 12 or Higher: The creature gains the Quickened Casting wizard class feat.
  • Level 17 or Higher: The creature can cast 7th-level true seeing once per day as an innate arcane spell and 7th-level chain lightning once per day as an innate primal spell.

Adventurer’s Guild

The Adventurer’s Guild recruits members of all kinds, so long as they are willing to report, explore, and cooperate.

These like-minded adventurers and explorers travel the world to seek new knowledge and experiences.

  • 1st Level or Higher: Add Adventurer’s Guild Lore, one other Lore, and Stealth to the creature’s skills.
  • 4th Level or Higher: The creature adds its level to its ability modifier to determine its total modifier for any skill not listed in the creature’s stat block.
  • 7th Level or Higher: The creature gains a wayfinder and the Careful Explorer feat.
  • 12th Level or Higher: The creature can cast hypercognition once per day as an innate occult spell.
  • 17th Level or Higher: The creature can cast 9th-level true seeing once per day as an innate occult spell.

The Consortium

Members of the The Consortium are always seeking ways to earn more coin. They are unscrupulous and aggressive in their methods, and put finances above morality.

  • All Creatures: Add the evil trait. Remove the good trait.
  • 1st Level or Higher: Add Deception or Thievery to the creature’s skills.
  • 4th Level or Higher: The creature gains the rogue’s surprise attack class feature.
  • 7th Level or Higher: The creature can cast invisibility once per day as an innate arcane spell.
  • 12th Level or Higher: The creature gains the rogue’s deny advantage class feature.
  • 17th Level or Higher: The creature gains 9th-level nondetection as a constant innate arcane spell, which also affects the creature’s items.

Crimson Assassins

The Crimson assassins are killers for hire who work under a strict code of rules and requirements. Once they are on the job, these tireless killers relentlessly pursue their targets.

  • All Creatures: Add the evil and lawful traits. Remove the chaotic and good traits.
  • 1st Level or Higher: Remove the creature’s melee weapons from its items. Add two sawtooth sabers to the creature’s items, and add a sawtooth saber Strike with an attack bonus equal to the creature’s highest melee Strike.
  • 4th Level or Higher: Add Stealth to the creature’s skills.
  • 7th Level or Higher: The creature gains the Crimson Shroud feat.
  • 12th Level or Higher: The creature gains the Mantis Form feat.
  • 17th Level or Higher: The creature can cast 9th-level invisibility once per day as an innate divine spell.

Cult of the Dead

This cult of necromancers, nihilists, and undead are intent on supporting their lich leader’s goals.

  • All Creatures: Add the evil trait. Remove the good trait.
  • 1st Level or Higher: Add Undead Lore to the creature’s skills. It can cast chill touch as an innate divine cantrip.
  • 4th Level or Higher: The creature can cast the touch of undeath bloodline spell once per day as an innate divine spell.
  • 7th Level or Higher: The creature can cast 2nd-level harm once per day as an innate divine spell; for every 2 levels it has beyond 7th, harm is heightened another spell level.
  • 12th Level or Higher: The creature gains the Command Undead cleric class feat. It gains an additional use of its harm innate spell that it can use only with Command Undead.
  • 17th Level or Higher: The creature gains the negative healing ability, which means the creature is damaged by positive effects that damage undead, is healed by negative effects that heal undead, and doesn’t benefit from healing effects.

Eagle Knights

The Eagle Knights are a military group dedicated to fighting tyranny and defending their homeland.

They risk their lives to fight injustice and champion the rights of the individual.

  • 1st Level or Higher: Add Diplomacy and Society to the creature’s skills.
  • 4th Level or Higher: The creature can cast the inspire competence and inspire courage composition cantrips once per day each as innate divine spells.
  • 7th Level or Higher: When using the Aid reaction, if the creature rolls a success, it gets a critical success instead.
  • 12th Level or Higher: Remove one of the creature’s reactions (if any) from its available options, and replace it with the Attack of Opportunity reaction.
  • 17th Level or Higher: The creature can cast 9th-level freedom of movement once per day as an innate divine spell.

Firebrands

Firebrands tend to be rebellious liberators or boastful daredevils. They seek to draw attention to themselves.

  • All Creatures: Add the chaotic trait. Remove the lawful trait.
  • 1st Level or Higher: Add Acrobatics and Athletics to the creature’s skills.
  • 4th Level or Higher: Increase the creature’s Speed by 5 feet.
  • 7th Level or Higher: Add Deception, Diplomacy, or Intimidation to the creature’s skills. If you added Deception, add the Confabulator skill feat; if you added Diplomacy, add the Glad-Hand feat; and if you added Intimidation, add the Battle Cry feat.
  • 12th Level or Higher: The creature can cast 3rd-level heroism once per day as an innate occult spell.
  • 17th Level or Higher: The creature gains the Bravo’s Determination feat.

Freedom Network

Members of the Freedom Network fight against slavery where they can, liberating slaves and helping those in need.

  • All Creatures: Add the chaotic trait. Remove the evil and lawful traits.
  • 1st Level or Higher: Add Acrobatics to the creature’s skills, with a bonus 2 higher when used to Escape.
  • 4th Level or Higher: Increase the creature’s Speed by 5 feet.
  • 7th Level or Higher: Add Deception to the creature’s skills. It gains the Unfettered Halfling ancestry feat, even if it isn’t a halfling.
  • 12th Level or Higher: The creature can cast freedom of movement once per day as an innate divine spell.
  • 17th Level or Higher: The creature gains the Foil Senses and Slippery Secrets skill feats.

Hellknights

Hellknights are disciplined individuals who seek to maintain order and quell chaos. The myriad Hellknight orders are all highly structured and regimented. This template gives a low-level creature significantly more treasure than the normal maximum for its level, due to expensive armor; adjust the total treasure in your adventure accordingly.

  • All Creatures: Add the lawful trait. Remove the chaotic trait.
  • 1st Level or Higher: Remove the creature’s armor (if any) from its items. Add splint mail to the creature’s items. If the creature wasn’t wearing heavy armor before this adjustment, its Speed is reduced by 5 feet and it gains +1 AC.
  • 4th Level or Higher: The creature gains resistance to mental and slashing equal to half its level.
  • 7th Level or Higher: Add Hellknight plate to the creature’s items instead of splint mail. The creature can cast discern lies once per day as an innate divine spell.
  • 12th Level or Higher: Remove one of the creature’s reactions (if any) from its available options, and replace it with Attack of Opportunity. If applying the 1st-level template ability caused the creature’s Speed to be reduced, that Speed is now restored to its original value.
  • 17th Level or Higher: The creature’s attacks deal 1d6 additional lawful damage on a hit. As is normal for aligned damage, this damages only chaotic creatures.

Houses of Perfection

The students of the Houses of Perfection are dedicated to the martial and mystical practices of Vudra. They are disciplined figures capable of improbable physical feats.

  • All Creatures: Add the lawful trait. Remove the chaotic trait.
  • 1st Level or Higher: Remove the creature’s melee weapons (if any) from its items. Replace the creature’s melee weapon attacks with a fist unarmed attack that deals d8s for damage.
  • 4th Level or Higher: The creature gains the ki strike ki spell and gains a focus pool of 1 Focus Point. The creature’s ki spells are divine.
  • 7th Level or Higher: The creature’s Speed increases by 5 feet. It gains the perfect strike ki spell. Its focus pool increases to 2 Focus Points.
  • 12th Level or Higher: The creature adds the appropriate ki spell for its School of Perfection: unblinking flame revelation for Unblinking Flame, unbreaking wave advance for Unbreaking Waves, unfolding wind rush for Unfolding Wind, or untwisting iron buffer for Untwisting Iron. Its focus pool increases to 3 Focus Points.
  • 17th Level or Higher: Choose one saving throw. When the creature rolls a success on that saving throw, it gets a critical success instead.

Knights of the Fallen

Though their nation has fallen, the Knights of the Fallen remain vigilant against undead. They are unwavering in their cause and fight with honor.

  • 1st Level or Higher: Remove the creature’s melee weapons (if any) from its items. Add a longsword and steel shield to the creature’s items with a Strike at the same attack bonus. It gains the Shield Block reaction. Add Undead Lore to the creature’s skills.
  • 4th Level or Higher: The creature gains the Reactive Shield fighter feat.
  • 7th Level or Higher: The creature gains the Necromantic Resistance feat.
  • 12th Level or Higher: The creature gains the Lastwall Warden feat.
  • 17th Level or Higher: The creature can cast the champion’s sacrifice devotion spell once per day as an innate divine spell.

Lion Blades

The Lion Blades are a secret organization in Taldor, protecting the nation via espionage, intrigue, and infiltration. They creatively use every tool at their disposal.

  • 1st Level or Higher: Add Deception and Stealth to the creature’s skills.
  • 4th Level or Higher: Observers are never granted circumstance bonuses to Perception checks due to the creature Impersonating a person of a different ancestry, age, and so on, as long as the disguise is appropriate for its size.
  • 7th Level or Higher: The creature gains the Lost in the Crowd feat.
  • 12th Level or Higher: The creature gains a +10-foot status bonus to its Speeds.
  • 17th Level or Higher: The creature gains the Flicker feat.

Swordlords

Swordlords are masters of combat trained in the dueling sword. They value honor above everything.

  • 1st Level or Higher: Remove the creature’s melee weapons (if any) from its items. Add the dueling sword to the creature’s items with a Strike at the same bonus as its best melee Strike.
  • 4th Level or Higher: Add Intimidation to the creature’s skills. The creature gains the Duelist’s Edge free action.
  • 7th Level or Higher: Remove one of the creature’s reactions (if any) from its available options, and replace it with the Attack of Opportunity reaction.
  • 12th Level or Higher: The creature gains the Unnerving Prowess free action.
  • 17th Level or Higher: The creature gains the Saving Slash reaction.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Lost Omens World Guide (Second Edition) © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, Ron Lundeen, Liane Merciel, Erik Mona, Mark Seifter, James L. Sutter.