Archive for January, 2018

Attaining Titanic Power

January 14, 2018

Titans are the new zombies.

That’s my takeaway of the monsters from the eponymous Attack on Titan series. Having recently finished the second season of the anime, I have to admit that I’ve rarely encountered monsters that fall as deeply into the uncanny valley as the titans do. Recognizably human in form but having no cognitive abilities beyond those of animals, the titans do nothing but try to eat any humans they see, wandering aimlessly in search of new prey.

That alone would make them fearsome creatures, but in addition to the great strength their tremendous mass provides, they’re also nearly impossible to kill. Each titan can regenerate from virtually any degree of damage, restoring even lost limbs and organs in a short period of time. Only a strike to a particular area of the body, where the back of the neck meets the shoulders, is able to kill them. Naturally, this is exceptionally difficult to pull off, especially when facing a swarm of titans.

The situation is such that, at the start of the series, humanity has been reduced to a late-Renaissance civilization consisting of a single massive city-state and some satellite villages collectively ensconced behind a series of gargantuan walls. But when the outermost wall is breached, the fate of the human race is suddenly thrown into doubt. That’s when a new hero stepped up to combat the titan menace…on their own terms.

Titan Warrior Template (75 CP/+2 ECL)

Titan versus titan

Because everyone wants to suplex a kaiju.

The titan warrior is an Eclipse-based template that allows an individual to transform themselves into a humanoid of immense proportions. Manifesting bones, muscles, and organs seemingly out of nowhere, their original body remains cocooned within their titan form where the back of the neck meets the shoulders. With immense strength and prodigious vitality, a titan warrior is almost unstoppable by conventional measures.

Titan Transformation (24 CP)

  • Immunity to the inability to use Shapeshift to change into a Giant-type creature (uncommon/major/major) (6 CP).
  • Shapeshift (6 CP) with the Growth (+3 CP), Variants (+3 CP), and Attribute Modifiers (+6 CP) modifiers.

In a Pathfinder game, this Immunity to would be for Shapeshifting into Humanoid-type creatures, but would otherwise retain the same cost (particularly given this template’s specialization; see below).

Godlike Vitality (108 CP)

  • 20d0 Hit Dice (80 CP), specialized for increased effect/only gain hit points from these Hit Dice (i.e. Con bonuses) while in titan form, these count as temporary hit points that are lost first.
  • Immunity to being unable to restore lost temporary hit points (common/major/epic), specialized for half-cost, only for temporary hit points gained from assuming titan form (13 CP).
  • Grant of Aid (6 CP) with the Mighty (+3 CP) and Regenerative/regrow lost limbs (+3 CP) modifiers, corrupted for increased effect/only restores hit points at a rate of 2 per round, regeneration functions at a rate of 1d4 hours.
  • Immunity to aging (uncommon/minor/major) (3 CP).

The series places a great deal of emphasis on striking particular areas of the body in order to quickly cripple or kill enemies, most obviously in the titans having a single point of vulnerability. However, damage dealt to a titan warrior’s titan form doesn’t translate back to their real bodies. Given that the d20 System abstracts damage so heavily, a mass of temporary hit points is probably the best compromise.

The temporary hit points gained in titan form automatically renew themselves with each transformation (though Grant of Aid does not renew in terms of how much it can heal in a day). That’s quite unbalanced, but it’s true to what we see in the series, and the restrictions on how often transformations can be used (see below) helps to keep this somewhat in line.

Engine of Destruction (18 CP)

  • Bonus Attack/bite, specialized for increased effect/only available in titan form, on a confirmed critical hit against a creature at least one size category smaller, a random limb is severed (6 CP).
  • Martial Arts/two increases to damage die, specialized for double effect/only for titan form’s natural weapons and unarmed strikes (6 CP).
  • Double Damage/only versus structures and inanimate objects, specialized double effect/only when in titan form (6 CP).

The Martial Arts increases should get the natural weapons for most Large-size titans to 1d12, and Huge-sized titans to 2d10. Along with their high Strength scores and Double Damage (actually triple damage with their specialization) versus structures and inanimate objects, titan warriors are able to inflict incredible damage to their enemies, to say nothing of the local environment!

Altogether, this comes out to a full 150 CP, which is nearing a +5 ECL modifier. However, the entire template is specialized for one-half cost, bringing it down to 75 CP and well within a +2 ECL modifier, due to the following:

  1. The Hit Dice granted by this template do not count for any factors, outside of the template itself, that consider Hit Dice/level (i.e. they are only counted for the titan warrior template’s Shapeshift and Grant of Aid abilities).
  2. This template’s use of Shapeshift may only be used to emulate a single specific Giant-type creature and nothing else (most PCs will want a storm giant, but since this is a template the choice is the GM’s).
  3. Transforming requires the titan warrior to injure themselves for at least 1 point of damage (this is typically a swift action, and can be done unarmed, but not if the character is pinned, paralyzed, or otherwise sufficiently restrained).
  4. The details of the titan form’s physical appearance are set and cannot be altered.
  5. The titan form cannot speak.
  6. Each transformation can last no more than 1 hour (though multiple uses of Shapeshift can be used to extend a single transformation without changing back).
  7. Once changed back the titan warrior must wait at least 10 minutes before transforming again.
  8. Changing back is automatic if all of the titan form’s temporary hit points are lost (i.e. the character has been cut out of their titan body).
  9. Whether transformed or not the titan warrior cannot utilize any abilities, spells, magic items, etc. that allow for other forms of benign physical transformation.

Paying 25 CP allows this template to be corrupted instead of  specialized, allowing for three of the above restrictions to be bought off. These are often restrictions 5, 6, and 7.


Going with a storm giant, this template will grant the user the following modifiers when transformed: Huge size, +120 temporary hit points (or more, depending on the user’s natural Constitution), Str +28, Dex +4, Con +12, +12 natural armor, +20 ft. speed, 40 ft. swim speed, low-light vision, +8 to Swim checks (may take 10, may use the run action when swimming in a straight line), two slam attacks (base 2d10 damage) and one bite attack (base 2d10 damage).

Other characters with this template might have it be based on different giants (e.g. hill or stone giants), which would represent having a titan form of differing size and power. A hill giant-based titan warrior, for example, would gain: Large size, +80 temporary hit points (or more, depending on the user’s natural Constitution), Str +14, Dex -2, Con +8, +9 natural armor, +10 ft. speed, low-light vision, two slam attacks (base 1d12 damage) and one bite attack (base 1d12 damage). That’s not quite as strong as a storm giant-derived titan, but still considerably strong.

Characters with the titan warrior template bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “go big or go home.”