Terrain Lord

Throughout the lands, druids, hunters, and rangers protect the natural world from wanton destruction by evil races or natural disaster. Among these guardians arise those so dedicated to their and powerful, granted divine abilities enabling them to fulfill their chosen path. Terrain lords possess a special affinity to a specific landscape, which allows them to become true masters over their chosen terrain. Terrain lords take the name of their terrain as part of their identity. Thus, a terrain lord that has mastered the mountains becomes a mountain lord, while one who has mastered the swamps becomes a swamp lord, and so on. Granted their powers by the gods of nature, terrain lords tirelessly labor to defend their lands and guard the world against total devestation.

Terrain Lord is an acquired template that can be added to any living, corporeal creature with 14 HD (or class levels) or higher. A terrain lord retains the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

CR: +2

Class: Druid, hunter, or ranger. Additional classes may be considered at the GM’s discretion.

HD: 14 or higher.

Alignment: Any nonevil.

Defenses/Qualities: A terrain lord gains immunity to poison, DR 5/silver (if HD are 17 or less) or 10/silver (if HD are 18 or more), +4 on his Leadership score (if he has the Leadership feat), and a +4 competence bonus on all Animal Handling and Knowledge (nature) skill checks. If the terrain lord already has DR/silver from a class feature, it increases by 5.

Special Abilities: A terrain lord gains the following special abilities:

Animal Shape (Su): A terrain lord gains the ability to turn himself into any small or Medium animal and back again once per day, plus one additional time per day every 3 Hit Dice above 14, to a maximum of three times per day. His options for new forms include all creatures with the animal type that are found in his chosen terrain (see terrain affinity). This ability to change his shape functions like the beast shape I spell. The effect lasts for 1 hour per Hit Dice, or until he changes back. Changing form (to animal or back) is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. The form chosen must be that of an animal the terrain lord is familiar with. Unlike a druid, a terrain lord does not lose his ability to speak while in animal form, and can communicate normally with other animals of the same general grouping as his new form. At terrain lord with 16 Hit Dice can use this ability to change into a Large or Tiny animal. When taking the form of an animal, animal shape now functions as beast shape II. A terrain lord with 18 Hit Dice can use animal shape to change into a Huge animal. When taking the form of animals, animal shape now functions as beast shape III. This ability otherwise functions as the druid’s wild shape ability.

Know Direction (Ex): A terrain lord always knows the direction of true North, as if he were under the sconstant effects of a know direction spell. Therefore, he can never become lost in the wilderness.

Leap (Ex): A cat lord adds half its Hit Dice to all Acrobatics checks made to jump, and is always treated as if it had a running start when jumping.

Scent (Ex): A terrain lord gains the scent special ability.

Terrain Affinity (Ex): A terrain lord gains an affinity with one of the following terains of his choice: cold, desert, forest, jungle, mountains, plains, swamp, underground, or water. He gains a +4 bonus to all Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks when he is in this terrain.

Trackless Step (Ex): A terrain lord leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. He may choose to leave a trail if so desired.

Woodland Stride (Ex): A terrain lord can move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion, however, affect him.

Spell-Like Abilities: A terrain lord gains the following spell-like abilities: At will-speak with animals, speak with plants; 3/day–call animal, longstrider; 1/day–hallucinatory terrain (chosen terrain only), tree stride. Caster level equals the terrain lord’s HD (or character level of the base creature, whichever is higher).

Abilities: A terrain lord gains a +4 bonus on one ability score of its choice and a +2 bonus on two other ability scores of his choice.