The Gatekeepers, a militant sect of druids, created the first horrid animals to defend Khorvaire against incursions from the nightmare plane of Xoriat. The druids took various dire animals and magically altered them to create new animal species that breed true.
Horrid animals are dire animals that have been reshaped and bred for battle. Although Gatekeepers continue to use horrid animals as companions and sentinels, wild horrid animals are common in the western wilderness of Khorvaire, primarily in the Shadow Marches, the Eldeen Reaches, the Demon Wastes, and Droaam.
CREATING A HORRID ANIMAL
“Horrid animal” is an inherited template that can be added to any dire animal (referred to hereafter as the base creature).
A horrid animal uses all of the base creature’s statistics and abilities except as noted here.
- Armor Class: Bony or chitinous plates cover the horrid animal’s body, giving it an armored appearance and improving its natural armor bonus to AC by +5.
- Special Attacks: A horrid animal retains all of the special attacks of the base creature and gains the following special attack.
- Acidic Attack (Ex): A horrid animal’s primary attack deals an extra 1d6 points of acid damage per 4 HD of the horrid animal (maximum 5d6). A horrid animal’s secondary attacks do not deal acid damage.
- Special Qualities: A horrid animal retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains the following qualities.
- Ill-Tempered (Ex): Handle Animal checks involving a horrid animal take a –4 penalty, since horrid animals are more difficult to control than normal animals or even dire animals.
- Immunity to Acid (Ex): A horrid animal has immunity to acid.
- Improved Natural Healing (Ex): A horrid animal heals naturally at three times the normal rate, recovering 3 hit points per Hit Die with a full night’s rest.
- Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Con +4.
- Feats: A horrid animal gains Improved Natural Attack as a bonus feat for each of its natural weapons.
- Challenge Rating: As base creature +1. If the base creature has a fractional CR ( such a s 1 /3 or 1 /2 ), the horrid animal has a CR of 1.
- Alignment: Always neutral evil.