Hormad (Template)

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This adaptation copyright © 2002 Sean K Reynolds.
Original creature created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and all rights to it belong to the Burroughs estate. This adaptation is not a challenge to the rights of the Burroughs estate over the original creation.
Illustration is a detail from the Michael Whelan cover of the Del Rey Books edition of Synthetic Men Of Mars, 1986 printing.

Hormads are synthetic beings created from vats of undifferentiated humanoid tissue. They tend to be ugly, asymmetrical, and stupid, but strong and hard to kill.
    Hormads were created by Ras Thavas, a scientific genius of the Barsoomian race of red men. In a fantasy setting, their origin is alchemical rather than scientific. The hormads are "born" in great vats of bubbling liquid. Chemicals are added to the mixture and occasionally seeded with chunks of humanoid or hormad flesh. Spontaneously these chemicals cause the chunks of tissue to grow into full humanoid form, which crawl out of the vat and tend to attack anything near them. These young hormads are quickly subdued by others and dragged off for a basic education in behavior and training with weapons.
    Hormads are ugly and poorly formed. Their facial features are often distorted or misplaced, their limbs are often of unequal lengths, and their brains are very crude in construction. Most have deep red skin and black hair like the original red men from which they were formed, but hormads can be made from any humanoid flesh and so some might resemble elves, halflings, dwarves, and so on.
    Sometimes a completely monstrous hormad forms, missing limbs or with extra limbs, internal organs growing on the outside. Such things are slain and burned lest their misshapen flesh contaminate other samples in the vat. Ras Thavas keeps refining the procedure and uses better and better hormads to seed the birth of new ones; some jest that if the vats ever birth a perfectly-formed hormad, Ras Thavas would cut it up and drop the pieces in the vat in hopes of creating more like it.
    Hormads are poor thinkers and work best as base soldiers in an army. Even those with a reasonable intelligence tend to think too highly of themselves and make poor leaders because of overconfidence in their own plans.
    A hormad speaks whatever language it is taught after its "birth."

Creating a Hormad
"Hormad" is a template that can be added to any humanoid (referred to hereafter as the "base creature"). It uses all of the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

AC: Increase natural armor by +2.
Special Qualities: A hormad retains all of the special qualities of the base creature and also gain the following:
    Moderate Fortification (Ex): Hormads are created from undifferentiated tissue and have few true organs within their bodies. All of them are sometimes able to ignore critical hits and sneak attacks as if wearing moderate fortification armor (75% chance to ignore a critical hit or sneak attack)
    Regeneration (Ex): Hormads have regeneration 1. They cannot regrow severed limbs but can reattach them. Hormad limbs can still move and attack after being severed, and hormad heads can even talk if decapitated. Only fire deals normal damage to hormads.
    Hunger Stamina (Ex): Hormads can easily survive for days without food; double the time increment needed to make Constitution checks for hunger or thirst. This longevity means even their severed limbs are dangerous for a long time.
    Immunities: Hormads are immune to disease and poison.

Saves: Same as the base creature.
Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Strength +4, Con +6, Int -4, Wis -2, Cha -4.
Feats: Hormads gain Armor Proficiency (light), Endurance, Great Fortitude, and Simple Weapon Proficiency.

Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground
Organization: Pack (5-20).
Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +1 [[A combination of the fortification, slow regeneration, and unbalanced ability score modifiers.]
Effective Character Level Modifier: +4. [[Fortification is strong, regeneration to all but fire is strong, ability score modifiers are favorable.]]
Treasure: Same as the base creature.
Alignment: Same as the base creature.
Advancement: Same as the base creature. A hormad's favored class is warrior.

Sample Hormad
This example uses a human War1 as the base creature. (Hormads on Barsoom rarely wear armor, like most Barsoomian creatures, but this example gives it armor appropriate to a standard fantasy campaign.)

Tor-Dur-Bar, hormad (human)
Medium Humanoid (human)
Hit Dice: 1d8+6 (11 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 20 ft.
AC: 17 (+5 masterwork chainmail, +2 natural)
Attacks: +5 masterwork bastard sword
Damage: masterwork bastard sword 1d10+2/19-20/x2
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5ft./5 ft.
Special Qualities: Hunger stamina, immunities (disease, poison), moderate fortification, regeneration 1
Saves: Fort +7, Reflex +0, Will -1.
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 6, Wis 8, Cha 6.
Skills: Climb +1
Feats: Endurance, Great Fortitude, Weapon Focus (bastard sword)

    Like most hormads, Tor-Dur-Bar is not good with tactics and normally charges into battle with the intent of killing opponents quickly. Because of its regeneration, it is likely to stand up after its opponents "kill" it and start attacking again.

Alignment: Neutral evil.