Archives of Nethys

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Monster Templates

Man-Eating Animal (CR +1, +2, or +3)

Pathfinder #74: Sword of Valor pg. 88
Acquired/Inherited Template Both
Simple Template No
Usable with Summons No

Scholars will explain that though many animals fight to defend their territory and their young, only a few apex predators hunt humanoids for food. Yet any villager across the Inner Sea region can recount tales about maneating beasts that once lurked in the local wilderness (and might still). Any sort of animal can become a man-eater, from known predators to seemingly harmless herbivores. Though the creatures and locations may change, certain elements remain the same in tales of man-eating animals. Having tasted human flesh, these animals can’t be sated by any other type of food. Man-eaters have terrible bites, and hunters’ arrows bounce off their hides. Man-eaters are unusually bold, no longer frightened by human presence like their kin. Yet they are also canny, employing tactics no mere animal could conceive. Man-eaters appear able to understand human speech, and some of the more fanciful stories even claim the animals can speak.

A man-eating animal can be distinguished from its common relatives by its carnivorous teeth, enlarged jaws, and the glint of intelligence in its eyes.

Ecology

Most tales of man-eating animals are sparked by rabid or starving (but otherwise normal) animals, but true man-eaters do exist. Such abominations are the result of a fiendish spirit fusing with that of a mundane animal. Though not wholly fiendish in nature, the beast gains limited sentience, increased resilience, and unnatural appetites. Despite popular belief, eating humanoid flesh isn’t enough to turn an animal into a maneater. The creature must be exposed to chaotic and evil influences, whether from a planar gate, demonic altar, or transformative elixir (such as the blood of Baphomet). Man-eating animals can also result from botched summonings and incomplete exorcisms. A fiendish spark set loose might inhabit an animal’s form so that the foul spirit can continue to spread suffering.

Man-eating animals are no longer part of the natural ecology. They hunt almost ceaselessly, preferring intelligent prey above all else. They rarely die of natural causes, almost always meeting their ends in bloody conf lict. These creatures can and do mate with members of their original species. In cases of multiple births, only one of the litter inherits this corruption, and it soon devours its siblings.

Habitat & Society

Individual man-eaters might be found anywhere—the freak results of black magic and vicious natures—but they’re encountered in numbers only where fiendish inf luence is strong. Man-eating animals are most common in the blasted landscape of the Worldwound, where they nearly outnumber their natural counterparts. In Kyonin, maneaters have been born to otherwise normal animals, a sign to the elves that Tanglebriar’s corruption is expanding.

Man-eating animals, especially large bovines such as aurochs and bison, are sacred to the followers of Baphomet, demon lord of beasts. Away from civilized lands, cults of Baphomet raise small herds of these carnivorous cattle, feeding them on corpses when live victims are unavailable. Man-eating animals serve as guards and pets for dark cultists and the demons they worship. Though too intelligent and willful to be trained like normal animals, man-eaters gladly serve those who encourage their bloodlust. A dissatisfied man-eater, however, is likely to turn on its so-called master the second its master displays a moment of weakness.

With their rudimentary intelligence, man-eating animals are able to understand the guttural tongue of the Abyss, and to learn common words in the language of those they hunt. Many take advantage of hunters who assume they are dumb animals.

Man-eaters’ combination of animal instinct and demonic cunning allows them to more easily hunt their preferred prey: humanoids. Man-eating animals are known to track victims over long distances, their enhanced senses and great endurance allowing them to continue the chase long after their prey becomes fatigued. An innate sense of direction sometimes allows a man-eater to anticipate (or overhear) its victim’s destination and reach it before the creature. Even latched gates and animal traps prove ineffective against the man-eater’s cunning.

“Man-Eating” is an inherited or acquired template that can be added to a creature of the animal type. A maneating animal uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

CR: HD 4 or fewer, as base creature + 1; HD 5 to 10, as base creature + 2; HD 11 or more, as base creature + 3.
Alignment: Chaotic evil.
Type: A man-eating animal’s type changes to magical beast. It retains any subtypes except for alignment subtypes.
Armor Class: A man-eating animal’s natural armor improves by +2.
Hit Dice: A man-eating animal’s racial HD change to d10s.
Defenses/Qualities: A man-eating animal gains darkvision 60 feet, and DR 5/slashing (if HD 11 or fewer) or 10/slashing (if HD 12 or more).
Melee: A man-eating animal gains a bite attack. Damage from the bite attack depends on the creature’s size (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 301–302). If the base creature already has a bite attack, it gains Improved Natural Attack (bite) and Improved Critical (bite) as bonus feats. It also adds 1-1/2 times its Str bonus to the damage (or twice its Str bonus if a bite is its only natural attack).
Abilities: Con +4, Int +2, Wis +4, Cha +4.
BAB: A man-eating animal’s base attack bonus is equal to its Hit Dice.
Skills: A man-eating animal gains a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks to follow tracks.
Languages: A man-eating animal understands Abyssal and Common, but cannot speak.

Blood of Baphomet

The demon lord of beasts grants dedicated followers the means to turn ordinary animals into man-eaters by means of a magical elixir. Called the blood of Baphomet, this ichorous fluid is purported to contain the distilled essence of animal savagery. A cleric of Baphomet can gain access to the required spells from her domains: beast shape III from the Animal domain or Fur subdomain and rage from the Demon or Ferocity subdomain.

The Blood of Baphomet wondrous item can be found here.