D&D Fight Club09/29/2006


Jial, Seawolf Cutthroat



Design Notes

Since aquatic creatures get little exposure, take a look at this one. The seawolf is a creature presented most recently in Stormwrack--basically, a kind of sea wolf-were without being an actual lycanthrope. This creature may not stand up in the arena against a group of characters, but in a campaign where he can use allies and situations to his advantage he should hold his own.

Seawolves are supernatural creatures of the deep, but they can change shape into a human form and come onto land to murder humanoids and spread woe in their wakes. In packs, seawolves hunt ships like sahuagin do, climbing aboard in the dark hours of the night to kill all aboard and seize any treasure they can find. Seawolves prefer company, and they gather in small packs whenever they can.

Jial is typical of his kind: hostile and easily angered. Despite these traits, he can control his feelings so they don't show. He prefers to be a lone wolf, so when working with a pack, he prefers to go into human towns and set things up for an attack by the rest of his pack. He is skilled at insinuating himself into a good situation where he is trusted, and then betraying those who trusted him. Though small for a seawolf, he makes his slighter size work to his advantage as much as he can. He focuses on movement and hit-and-run tactics, and he uses his morphic abilities to surprise his foes as much as possible. He never underestimates the value of surprise.

Jial has three forms, and so we have three statistic blocks for each level.

Jial at 2nd Class Level

Because of his warshaper level, Jial prefers his human or hybrid form and the immunity to critical hits and sneak attack he gains from them. In a fight, he strikes and then moves away, making his foes come to him. Because he cannot do a lot of damage on land, he prefers luring someone into the sea where he has a big advantage.

Jial (Seawolf Form) CR 5
Seawolf swashbuckler 1/warshaper 1
CE Medium magical beast (shapechanger)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Listen +8, Spot +8
Languages Common, Aquan, Sahuagin

AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14
(+4 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 55 (6 HD)
Fort +12, Ref +8, Will +5

Speed 10 ft. (2 squares), swim 40 ft.; Swim-By Attack
Melee bite +10 (1d6+2)
Base Atk +5; Grp +7
Atk Options curse

Abilities Str 14, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 16
SQ change shape, hold breath
Feats Iron Will, Stealthy[B], Swim-By Attack, Weapon Finesse[B], Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Balance +6, Bluff +10, Diplomacy +5, Disguise +8 (+10 acting in character), Escape Artist +7, Hide +8, Intimidate +5, Jump -8, Listen +8, Move Silently +8, Profession (sailor) +4, Spot +8, Swim +10*, Tumble +9

Jial (Hybrid Form) CR 5
Seawolf swashbuckler 1/warshaper 1
CE Medium magical beast (shapechanger)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Listen +8, Spot +8
Languages Common, Aquan, Sahuagin

AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14
(+4 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 55 (6 HD)
Immune stunning, critical hits
Fort +12, Ref +8, Will +5

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares), swim 20 ft.; Swim-By Attack
Melee bite +10 (1d6+2) and
2 claws +4 melee (1d4+1)
Base Atk +5; Grp +7
Atk Options curse
Special Actions morphic weapons

Abilities Str 14, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 16
SQ change shape, hold breath, morphic immunities
Feats Iron Will, Stealthy[B], Swim-By Attack, Weapon Finesse[B], Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Balance +6, Bluff +10, Diplomacy +5, Disguise +8 (+10 acting in character), Escape Artist +7, Hide +8, Intimidate +5, Jump +4, Listen +8, Move Silently +8, Profession (sailor) +4, Spot +8, Swim +10*, Tumble +9

Jial (Human Form) CR 5
Seawolf swashbuckler 1/warshaper 1
CE Medium magical beast (shapechanger)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Listen +8, Spot +8
Languages Common, Aquan, Sahuagin

AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 19
(+4 Dex, +3 armor, +2 shield, +4 natural)
hp 55 (6 HD)
Immune stunning, critical hits
Fort +12, Ref +8, Will +5

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee+1 rapier +11 (1d6+3/18-20)
Base Atk +5; Grp +7
Special Actions morphic weapons
Combat Gear 4 potions of cure light wounds

Abilities Str 14, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 16
SQ change shape, hold breath, morphic immunities
Feats Iron Will, Stealthy[B], Swim-By Attack, Weapon Finesse[B], Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Balance +6, Bluff +10, Diplomacy +5, Disguise +8 (+10 acting in character), Escape Artist +7, Hide +8, Intimidate +5, Jump +4, Listen +8, Move Silently +8, Profession (sailor) +4, Spot +8, Swim +10*, Tumble +9
Possessions combat gear plus +1 rapier, +1 leather armor, +1 light steel shield

Hook "Come join me for a swim, and be my lunch."

Morphic Immunities (Ex) When in hybrid or human form, Jial is immune to stunning and critical hits.

Curse (Su) Any human bitten by a seawolf must succeed on DC 15 Will save or fall prey to a unique curse. On the night of the next new moon, the character transforms into a seawolf. The character's ability scores, class levels (and racial HD, if any), racial traits, and other special abilities are replaced by those of a seawolf. He or she also becomes chaotic evil in alignment. The curse can be broken by a successful break enchantment or remove curse spell or effect, but the caster must succeed on a caster level check (DC 15) to successfully undo the curse (which restores the character's race to human). The save DC is Charisma-based.

Morphic Weapons (Su) As a move action, Jial can grow natural weapons that deal damage appropriate for the size of the creature (see Table 5-1 on page 296 of the Monster Manual). If he's in hybrid form, he can grow his claws or bite to do damage as if he were a Large creature instead of a Medium one.

Change Shape (Su) A seawolf's natural form is that of a wolf-headed seal, but it can assume two other forms: a human or a wolf-human hybrid. The human form is unique; a seawolf in human form always assumes the same appearance and traits. In human form, a seawolf cannot use its bite attack, and it does not convey its curse. In hybrid form, a seawolf's swim speed is reduced to 20 feet, but it has a much faster land speed, and it gains two claw attacks (or can use its claws to wield weapons, if it prefers). This form otherwise resembles the seawolf form. A seawolf remains in one form until it chooses to assume a new one. A change in form cannot be dispelled, not does a seawolf revert to its natural form when killed. A true seeing spell, however, reveals its natural form if it is in human form.

Hold Breath (Ex) Jial can hold his breath for 96 rounds.

Skills A seawolf has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Jial at 6th Class Level

With more warshaper powers, Jial prefers his alternate forms even more, and he hardly ever remains in his seawolf form even underwater.

Jial (Seawolf Form) CR 9
Seawolf swashbuckler 3/warshaper 3
CE Medium magical beast (shapechanger)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Listen +8, Spot +8
Languages Common, Aquan, Sahuagin

AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14
(+4 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 91 (10 HD)
Fort +14, Ref +11, Will +7

Speed 10 ft. (2 squares), swim 40 ft.; Run, Swim-By Attack
Melee bite +14 (1d6+4)
Base Atk +9; Grp +11
Atk Options curse, insightful strike

Abilities Str 14, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 16
SQ change shape, grace, hold breath
Feats Iron Will, Run, Stealthy[B], Swim-By Attack, Weapon Finesse[B], Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Balance +6, Bluff +12, Diplomacy +7, Disguise +11 (+13 acting in character), Escape Artist +10, Hide +8, Intimidate +5, Jump -8, Listen +8, Move Silently +8, Profession (sailor) +4, Sense Motive +7, Spot +8, Swim +12*, Tumble +14

Jial (Hybrid Form) CR 9
Seawolf swashbuckler 3/warshaper 3
CE Medium magical beast (shapechanger)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Listen +8, Spot +8
Languages Common, Aquan, Sahuagin

AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14
(+4 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 111 (10 HD)
Immune stunning, critical hits
Fort +16, Ref +11, Will +7

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares), swim 20 ft.; Run, Swim-By Attack
Melee bite +14 (1d6+6) and
2 claws +8 melee (1d4+4)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Base Atk +9; Grp +13
Atk Options curse, insightful strike, morphic reach
Special Actions morphic weapons

Abilities Str 18, Dex 18, Con 22, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 16
SQ change shape, grace, hold breath, morphic body, morphic immunities
Feats Iron Will, Run, Stealthy[B], Swim-By Attack, Weapon Finesse[B], Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Balance +6, Bluff +12, Diplomacy +7, Disguise +11 (+13 acting in character), Escape Artist +10, Hide +8, Intimidate +5, Jump +6, Listen +8, Move Silently +8, Profession (sailor) +4, Sense Motive +7, Spot +8, Swim +14*, Tumble +14

Jial (Human Form) CR 9
Seawolf swashbuckler 3/warshaper 3
CE Medium magical beast (shapechanger)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Listen +8, Spot +8
Languages Common, Aquan, Sahuagin

AC 25, touch 15, flat-footed 21
(+4 Dex, +4 armor, +2 shield, +1 deflection, +4 natural)
hp 111 (10 HD)
Immune stunning, critical hits
Fort +16, Ref +11, Will +7

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares); Run
Melee+2 rapier +16/+11 (1d6+8/18-20)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Base Atk +9; Grp +13
Atk Options curse, insightful strike, morphic reach
Special Actions morphic weapons
Combat Gear 4 potions of cure light wounds

Abilities Str 18, Dex 18, Con 22, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 16
SQ change shape, grace, hold breath, morphic body, morphic immunities
Feats Iron Will, Run, Stealthy[B], Swim-By Attack, Weapon Finesse[B], Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Balance +6, Bluff +12, Diplomacy +7, Disguise +11 (+13 acting in character), Escape Artist +10, Hide +8, Intimidate +5, Jump +6, Listen +8, Move Silently +8, Profession (sailor) +4, Sense Motive +7, Spot +8, Swim +14*, Tumble +14
Possessions combat gear plus +2 leather armor, +1 light steel shield, +2 rapier, ring of protection +1

Hook "I have many surprises, both in and out of the water, so watch yourself."

Morphic Immunities (Ex) When in hybrid or human form, Jial is immune to stunning and critical hits.

Grace (Ex) Jial gains a +1 competence bonus on Reflex saves (included above).

Morphic Reach (Su) Jial's reach when in hybrid or human form is 5 feet greater than normal. The extra reach is not visible until he uses it.

Curse (Su) Any human bitten by a seawolf must succeed on DC 15 Will save or fall prey to a unique curse. On the night of the next new moon, the character transforms into a seawolf. The character's ability scores, class levels (and racial HD, if any), racial traits, and other special abilities are replaced by those of a seawolf. He or she also becomes chaotic evil in alignment. The curse can be broken by a successful break enchantment or remove curse spell or effect, but the caster must succeed on a caster level check (DC 15) to successfully undo the curse (which restores the character's race to human). The save DC is Charisma-based.

Insightful Strike (Ex) Jial can add his Intelligence bonus (+2; already included above) to damage done with any weapon he can use Weapon Finesse with, in addition to his Strength bonus. Targets immune to critical hits or sneak attack are immune to insightful strike.

Morphic Weapons (Su) As a move action, Jial can grow natural weapons that deal damage appropriate for the size of the creature (see Table 5-1 on page 296 of the Monster Manual). If he's in hybrid form, he can grow his claws or bite to do damage as if he were a Large creature instead of a Medium one.

Change Shape (Su) A seawolf's natural form is that of a wolf-headed seal, but it can assume two other forms: a human or a wolf-human hybrid. The human form is unique; a seawolf in human form always assumes the same appearance and traits. In human form, a seawolf cannot use its bite attack, and it does not convey its curse. In hybrid form, a seawolf's swim speed is reduced to 20 feet, but it has a much faster land speed, and it gains two claw attacks (or can use its claws to wield weapons, if it prefers). This form otherwise resembles the seawolf form. A seawolf remains in one form until it chooses to assume a new one. A change in form cannot be dispelled, not does a seawolf revert to its natural form when killed. A true seeing spell, however, reveals its natural form if it is in human form.

Hold Breath (Ex) Jial can hold his breath for 96 rounds when in seawolf form and 132 rounds when in human and hybrid forms.

Morphic Body (Su) Jial gains a +4 bonus to Strength and Constitution when in hybrid or human form.

Skills A seawolf has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Jial at 11th Class Level

Jial has added movement to his repertoire by this level, doing extra damage with the hit-and-run attacks that he likes best. Nearly always in human or hybrid form, he now moves fast enough in any form that his natural form is actually a detriment to him. He strikes and moves, and he prefers to have allies who cast powerful spells against adventurers of this level. If he can get foes underwater, he does so at the first opportunity.

Jial (Seawolf Form) CR 14
Seawolf swashbuckler 3/warshaper 3/scout 5
CE Medium magical beast (shapechanger)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Listen +13, Spot +18
Languages Common, Aquan, Sahuagin

AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14; uncanny dodge
(+4 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 134 (15 HD)
Resist evasion
Fort +16, Ref +15, Will +8

Speed 20 ft. (4 squares), swim 60 ft.; Rapid Swimming, Run, Swim-By Attack
Melee bite +17 (1d6+5)
Base Atk +12; Grp +14
Atk Options curse, insightful strike, skirmish (+2d6, +1 AC)

Abilities Str 14, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 16
SQ battle fortitude, change shape, fast movement, grace, hold breath, trackless step, trapfinding
Feats Fleet of Foot, Iron Will, Rapid Swimming, Run, Stealthy[B], Swim-By Attack, Weapon Finesse[B], Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Balance +6, Bluff +12, Diplomacy +7, Disguise +11 (+13 acting in character), Escape Artist +20, Hide +13, Intimidate +5, Jump -2, Listen +13, Move Silently +13, Profession (sailor) +4, Search +13, Sense Motive +12, Spot +18, Swim +12*, Tumble +19

Jial (Hybrid Form) CR 14
Seawolf swashbuckler 3/warshaper 3/scout 5
CE Medium magical beast (shapechanger)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Listen +13, Spot +18
Languages Common, Aquan, Sahuagin

AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14; uncanny dodge
(+4 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 164 (15 HD)
Immune stunning, critical hits
Resist evasion
Fort +18, Ref +15, Will +8

Speed 40 ft. (8 squares), swim 40 ft.; Rapid Swimming, Run, Swim-By Attack
Melee bite +17 (1d6+7) and
2 claws +11 melee (1d4+5)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Base Atk +12; Grp +16
Atk Options curse, insightful strike, morphic reach, skirmish (+2d6, +1 AC)
Special Actions morphic weapons

Abilities Str 18, Dex 18, Con 22, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 16
SQ battle fortitude, change shape, fast movement, grace, hold breath, morphic body, morphic immunities, trackless step, trapfinding
Feats Fleet of Foot, Iron Will, Rapid Swimming, Run, Stealthy[B], Swim-By Attack, Weapon Finesse[B], Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Balance +6, Bluff +12, Diplomacy +7, Disguise +11 (+13 acting in character), Escape Artist +20, Hide +13, Intimidate +5, Jump +10, Listen +13, Move Silently +13, Profession (sailor) +4, Search +13, Sense Motive +12, Spot +18, Swim +14*, Tumble +19

Jial (Human Form) CR 14
Seawolf swashbuckler 3/warshaper 3/scout 5
CE Medium magical beast (shapechanger)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Listen +13, Spot +18
Languages Common, Aquan, Sahuagin

AC 30, touch 18, flat-footed 26; uncanny dodge
(+4 Dex, +5 armor, +3 shield, +4 deflection, +4 natural)
hp 164 (15 HD)
Immune stunning, critical hits
Resist evasion
Fort +18, Ref +15, Will +8

Speed 40 ft. (8 squares); Run
Melee+2 keen rapier +19/+14/+9 (1d6+9/15-20)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Base Atk +12; Grp +16
Atk Options curse, insightful strike, morphic reach, skirmish (+2d6, +1 AC)
Special Actions morphic weapons
Combat Gear 4 potions of cure light wounds, 4 potions of cure moderate wounds

Abilities Str 18, Dex 18, Con 22, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 16
SQ battle fortitude, change shape, fast movement (+10 ft.), grace, hold breath, morphic body, morphic immunities, trackless step, trapfinding
Feats Fleet of Foot, Iron Will, Rapid Swimming, Run, Stealthy[B], Swim-By Attack, Weapon Finesse[B], Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Balance +6, Bluff +12, Diplomacy +7, Disguise +11 (+13 acting in character), Escape Artist +20, Hide +13, Intimidate +5, Jump +10, Listen +13, Move Silently +13, Profession (sailor) +4, Search +13, Sense Motive +12, Spot +18, Swim +14*, Tumble +19
Possessions combat gear plus +2 keen rapier, +2 studded leather armor, +2 light steel shield, ring of protection +4

Hook "I am a blur of death in the deep, and a blade of death on the land."

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Jial cannot be caught flat-footed and reacts to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. See the barbarian class feature, page 26 of the Player's Handbook.

Morphic Immunities (Ex) When in hybrid or human form, Jial is immune to stunning and critical hits.

Evasion (Ex) Jial can avoid damage from certain attacks with a successful Reflex save. See the monk class feature, page 41 of the Player's Handbook.

Grace (Ex) Jial gains a +1 competence bonus on Reflex saves (included above).

Morphic Reach (Su) Jial's reach when in hybrid or human form is 5 feet greater than normal. The extra reach is not visible until he uses it.

Curse (Su) Any human bitten by a seawolf must succeed on DC 15 Will save or fall prey to a unique curse. On the night of the next new moon, the character transforms into a seawolf. The character's ability scores, class levels (and racial HD, if any), racial traits, and other special abilities are replaced by those of a seawolf. He or she also becomes chaotic evil in alignment. The curse can be broken by a successful break enchantment or remove curse spell or effect, but the caster must succeed on a caster level check (DC 15) to successfully undo the curse (which restores the character's race to human). The save DC is Charisma-based.

Insightful Strike (Ex) Jial can add his Intelligence bonus (+3; already included above) to damage done with any weapon he can use Weapon Finesse with, in addition to his Strength bonus. Targets immune to critical hits or sneak attack are immune to insightful strike.

Skirmish (Ex) Jial relies on mobility to deal extra damage and improve his defense. He deals an extra 1d6 points of damage on all attacks he makes during any round in which he moves at least 10 feet away from where he was at the start of his turn. The extra damage applies only to attacks made after Jial has moved at least 10 feet. The skirmish ability cannot be used while mounted. The extra damage applies only against living creatures that have a discernible anatomy. Undead, constructs, oozes, plants, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are not vulnerable to this additional damage. Jial must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. Jial can apply this extra damage to ranged attacks made while skirmishing, but only if the target is within 30 feet. Additionally, Jial gains a +1 competence bonus (not included above) to Armor Class during any round in which he moves at least 10 feet. The bonus applies as soon as the scout has moved 10 feet, and lasts until the start of his next turn.

Morphic Weapons (Su) As a move action, Jial can grow natural weapons that deal damage appropriate for the size of the creature (see Table 5-1 on page 296 of the Monster Manual). If he's in hybrid form, he can grow his claws or bite to do damage as if he were a Large creature instead of a Medium one.

Battle Fortitude (Ex) Jial gains a +1 competence bonus on Fortitude saves and initiative checks (already included above).

Change Shape (Su) A seawolf's natural form is that of a wolf-headed seal, but it can assume two other forms: a human or a wolf-human hybrid. The human form is unique; a seawolf in human form always assumes the same appearance and traits. In human form, a seawolf cannot use its bite attack, and it does not convey its curse. In hybrid form, a seawolf's swim speed is reduced to 20 feet, but it has a much faster land speed, and it gains two claw attacks (or can use its claws to wield weapons, if it prefers). This form otherwise resembles the seawolf form. A seawolf remains in one form until it chooses to assume a new one. A change in form cannot be dispelled, not does a seawolf revert to its natural form when killed. A true seeing spell, however, reveals its natural form if it is in human form.

Fast Movement (Ex) Jial's land speed is faster (+10 foot enhancement bonus; included above) than the norm for his race. See the barbarian class feature, page 25 of the Player's Handbook.

Hold Breath (Ex) Jial can hold his breath for 96 rounds when in seawolf form and 132 rounds when in human and hybrid forms.

Morphic Body (Su) Jial gains a +4 bonus to Strength and Constitution when in hybrid or human form.

Trackless Step (Ex): Jial cannot be tracked in natural surroundings. See the druid class feature, page 36 of the Player's Handbook.

Trapfinding (Ex) Jial can use the Search skill to locate traps with a DC higher than 20, and he can use Disable Device (if taken) to bypass a trap or disarm magic traps. See the rogue class feature, page 50 of the Player's Handbook.

Skills A seawolf has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Additional Feats

These feats are not presented in the Player's Handbook or Monster Manual.

Fleet of Foot (from Complete Warrior): When running or charging, you can make a single direction change of 90 degrees or less. You can't use this feat in medium or heavy armor, or if you're carrying a medium or heavier load. If you are charging, you must move in a straight line for 10 feet after the turn to maintain the charge.

Rapid Swimming (from Stormwrack): Your swim speed increases by 20 feet.

Swim-By Attack (from Stormwrack): When swimming, you can take a move action and another standard action (such as an attack) at any point during the move. You cannot take a second move action during a round when you make a swim-by attack.

About the Author

Robert Wiese entered the gaming hobby through the Boy Scouts and progressed from green recruit to head of the most powerful gaming fan organization in the world. He served as head of the RPGA Network for almost seven years, overseeing the creation of the Living Greyhawk and Living Force campaigns, among other achievements. Eventually, he returned to private life in Reno, Nevada, where he spends as much time as possible with his wife, new son Owen, and many pets.

He is still involved in writing, organizing conventions, and playing, and he models proteins for the Biochemistry Department of the University of Nevada, Reno.

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