Henborn Basilisk (Template)
Copyright © 2002 Sean K Reynolds. All rights reserved.
(This creature is inspired by The Book of the Dun Cow, a talking animals story by Walter Wangerin Jr. dealing with the conflict between good and evil.)
Henborn basilisks are the spawn of a cockatrice and a normal bird.
Black-scaled, aggressive, and vicious, they resemble snakes and bite with
extremely deadly venom.
Some sages speak of the original cockatrice, perhaps the ancestor to the better-known form in the world today. These creatures are born of an round egg laid by an old rooster during the hottest month of summer and hatched by a toad. Sometimes these creatures hatch among other birds (chickens or otherwise) and come to dominate their flock with their weird powers and aggressive nature. When these cockatrices mate with the flock's hens, the monsters born of these eggs are henborn basilisks, snakelike creatures with an evil disposition.
A henborn basilisk is a snakelike creature anywhere from one to five feet long. They have red eyes, sharp fangs, and black scaly flesh. They have four small legs but walk and slither equally well, and are good at jumping. They prefer to live in the water but swarm onto land to attack prey. They hate all other creatures except their own kind and cockatrices. They do not appear to be related to the large six-legged basilisks which turn creatures to stone. Because their cockatrice parent usually spawns them with many birds in a flock, henborn basililks tend to be found in larger numbers than normal snakes.
Creating a Henborn Basilisk
"Henborn basilisk" is a template that can be added to any snake (referred to hereafter as the "base creature"). The creature's type changes to "Magical Beast (aquatic)." It uses all of the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Most henborn basilisks are Small or smaller, but it is possible for them to be born from the eggs of larger birds (such as ostriches) and therefore grow to larger size.
Speed: As the base creature. If base creature does not have a Swim speed, it gains a swim speed equal to its normal speed.
AC: As the base creature.
Attacks: Same as the base creature. A henborn basilisk's bite is always poisonous, even if the base creature's bite is not.
Special Attacks: A henborn basilisk retains all of the special attacks of the base creature and also gains the following attacks:
Poison (Ex): A henborn basilisk's poison is especially potent, dealing initial and secondary 2d6 Constitution damage. This poison is still considered snake poison.
Special Qualities: A henborn basilisk retains all of the special qualities of the base creature and also gains the following:
Petrification Immunity (Ex): Henborn basilisks are immune to petrification attacks of all kinds.
Skills: A henborn basilisk has a +8 racial bonus to Jump checks.
Snake Poison Immunity (Ex): Henborn basilisks are immune to all poisons from snakes and snakelike creatures (such as couatle, naga, and so on).
Saves: Same as the base creature.
Abilities: Same as the base creature.
Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground
Organization: Same as the base creature, plus colony (3d6) or swarm (10d10).
Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +1 [[Fewer cool abilities than the fiendish template, but definitely more dangerous than a common snake.]
Treasure: Same as the base creature.
Alignment: Usually neutral evil
Advancement: Same as the base creature.
Sample Henborn Basilisk
This example uses a Small viper as the base creature.
Small Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 1d8 (4 hp)
Initiative: +3 (Dex)
Speed: 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
AC: 17 (+1 size, +3 Dex, +3 natural)
Attacks: Bite +4 melee
Damage: Bite 1d2-2 and poison
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5ft. (coiled)/5 ft.
Special Attacks: Poison
Special Qualities: Petrification immunity, scent, snake poison immunity
Saves: Fort +2, Reflex +5, Will +1.
Abilities: Str 6, Dex 7, Con 11, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 2.
Skills: Balance +11, Climb +12, Hide +15, Jump +6, Listen +9, Spot +9
Feats: Weapon Finesse (bite)
Poison: DC 11, initial and secondary damage 2d6 Constitution.
Challenge Rating: 1
Skills: Henborn basilisks receive a +4 racial bonus to Hide, Listen, and Spot checks and a +8 racial bonus to Balance and Jump checks. They can use either their Strength or Dexterity modifier for Climb checks, whichever is better.
Alignment: Neutral evil.