By: Arjan Wardekker
Difficulty: CR +1, LA +1 or +2
Game: Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)
"Icarean" is a template that can be added to any corporeal creature with an Intelligence score of 6 or more. The creature's type is unchanged. An Icarean creature uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
As the legends go, a young man named Icarus and his father tried to escape from imprisonment in a labyrinth on an island. His father, being a master of innovation, created wings of feathers and wax for his son and himself. The father cautioned Icarus not to fly too high for the sun would melt the wax, nor to low for the waves would drench the feathers. The joy of flying and his youthful exuberance caused Icarus to ignore the warnings. He flew too high and plummeted to his death.
Less known legends tell a different tale (note: this is where the story of the template leaves actual Greek mythology): that of one of the more friendly gods being amused by the incident and granting Icarus true wings just before he smashed into the sea. Icarus lived to tell the tale and to fly once more (and as high as he liked). These legends also tell of his offspring being granted the same gift. After many, many generations, Icarus' bloodline became obscure and his blood thinned. Only every once in a while another man or woman is born with wings and this Icarean is considered to be some very, very distant relative of Icarus himself.
As Icareans appear in many different races and creatures, both humanoid and non-humanoid, this direct relation to Icarus is often denied by scholars. The Icareans and their relatives however, usually cling to this tale, either because they really believe it or because they simply have no other explanation for their situation.
Becoming an Icarean:
In general, the Icarean is an inhereted template. Players wishing to play one will need to decide so at the time of creation of their charachters. In some cases, however, an existing character or creature can receive the template. This will require a god to specifically grant this character the template and it will only happen if the god has actual reasons to do so. Generally, it will require a Miracle spell or some other form of divine intervention, and usually it will also require some negotiation with the deity petitioned to grant the template. Results of the negotiation of course depend on the deity in question (is he/she likely to do something like this?) and his attitude towards the caster of the Miracle spell and the character to receive the template.
Speed/movement: An Icarean gains a pair of feathered wings (color determined by player). The Icarean can fly for a certain time per day and at a certain speed and maneuverability as indicated in the table below.
NOTE 1: That the flight time is indefinitly doesn't mean that the character can fly on forever. The character is still limited to the normal travel time maxima (standard 8 hours of travel per day and more with constitution checks; see Player's Handbook). It means that the character has full flight capabilities.
(or Hit Dice):
|Maximum Flight Time|
|as base racial speed
as base racial speed
as 2x base racial speed
as 2x base racial speed
as 3x racial speed
NOTE 2: Should this template be added to a creature that already has wings or other flight capabilities, the best statistics apply. If the best statistics are those of the Icarean template, they only apply for the duration of the Maximum Flight Time.
NOTE 3: The speed multiplier only deals with the base racial speed. The base racial speed is the race's or creature's most normal speed (e.g. land speed for humans, swim speed for whales, etc.). Possible speed modifiers due to class abilities (e.g. the monk's fast movement), feats (run feat), items (boots of springing and striding, medium or heavy armor, etc.), or anything else that is not racial, are added only after multiplying. E.g. a level 20 human monk normally has a speed of 90, which is a modifier of +60 on its base racial speed (30 for humans). A level 20 Icarean human monk would have a speed of 30 x3 (icarean multiplier) +60 (monk adjustment) = 140.
The rules in the table above apply to the standard version of the template. Alternatively, the template may be played with full flight capabilities immediately, instead of only at level 9+. This alternative version has a higher level adjustment, but the same challenge rating adjustment, compared to the standard version. Therefore, it will be useful mainly for monsters and non-player characters (NPCs). Player characters wanting to take full advantage of the template at low level can also use this template, but may find the higher level adjustment to be a large downside at the higher levels.
Attacks: The Icarean can make a wing buffet attack as an off-hand attack. A wing buffet deals as much damage as an unarmed strike (1d2 for Small characters/creatures, 1d3 for Medium, 1d4 for Large, 1d6 for Huge, 1d8 for Gargantuan, and 2d6 for Colossal). The damage dealt is always subdual. Class abilities, such as the ability of the monk to do normal damage with his unarmed strikes, do not modify this. Strength bonuses do not apply to this attack, as the Icarean will need to be careful not to damage the wing.
Abilities: Same as the base creature, but Intelligence is at least 6.
Challenge Rating: Same as base creature + 1 (both standard and alternative version).
Level Adjustment: +1 (standard version) or +2 (alternative version).
This material is distributed under the Open Game License Version 1.0a (view a copy of the license). All of this material is designated as Open Game Content, in accordance with Section 1(d) of the Open Game License, Version 1.0a.
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