Monstrologers give the needs and interests of monsters primacy over those of their own kind. They usually feel alienated or distant from other people, preferring solitude and the company of the monsters they love. Some monstrologers hate the Noble Races and send their charges against them; others simply seek to protect the creatures that adventurers love to kill. All monstrologers have an empathy for nature, but they disagree with druids who see monsters as unnatural.
Rejecting civilization, monstrologers are often druids or rangers. A few clerics of Jancassis become monstrologers, seeking to use monsters as agents of revenge. Some monstrologers with arcane backgrounds simply seek to study and research monsters; others want to create and tinker with new forms of life.
As NPCs, monstrologers tend to fall into two camps: preservers and improvers. Preservers see monster-kind as threatened by the noble races; their mission is to protect and sustain monsters and their homes from intrusion, exploitation, theft, and death. Improvers, on the other hand, tend to see monsters as clay to be shaped, as proxies to be deployed, and as friends to whom they give gifts. But all monstrologers are uncomfortable in "civilized" places, entering them only in great need.
Hit Die: d8
To qualify to become a monstrologer, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
- Base Attack Bonus: +5
- Base Will Save: +3
- Skills: Handle Animal 3 ranks, Survival 3 ranks
- Lore: A Knowledge skill at 5 ranks, chosen from Arcana, Dungeoneering, or Nature (see Choose Specialty, below)
- Special: Must be an exile from civilization (see below), Monstrologers sever all ties that once bound them to society and family. A monstrologer candidate must show this alienation in some way. Here are a few possibilities (Pick just one of these!):
- Outcast: The candidate is a criminal, hunted, or on the run. Perhaps she broke taboos or laws. Perhaps she was framed or falsely accused. For whatever reason the candidate is not welcome in her former home, and she has become disillusioned with society in general.
- Mocked: The candidate has suffered abuse and mockery, most often because of some obvious physical deformity. He hates those who mocked him and feels intense loathing for almost all people.
- Insane: The candidate suffers from some form of insanity that has driven her from society. This could be a simple phobia, such as a fear of crowds, fear of being indoors, or fear of people. Or it could be a serious disorder, like paranoid delusions or a manic tendency to fly into homicidal rages.
- Evil: The candidate seeks power over others and selfishly uses monsters in order to advance his plan of destruction and conquest. Or the candidate simply desires to inflict pain and suffering on the Noble Races through his monsters and minions. Evil is an option for NPCs only.
The monstrologer's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Chr), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Fly (Dex), Handle Animals (Chr), Heal (Wis), Knowledge [Arcana, Dungeoneering, Geography, Nature, Planes] (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Note: Monstrologers can use Handle Animal and Ride with monsters at no penalty, and can ride monsters bareback with no penalty.
Skill Points per level: 4 + Int modifier
|Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special|
|1st||+0||+1||+0||+1||Wild Empathy, Target Monsters, +1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|2nd||+1||+1||+1||+1||Choose Specialty, +1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|3rd||+2||+2||+1||+2||Lesser Favored Enemy, +1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|4th||+3||+2||+1||+2||Monstrous Creation OR Defend Region, +1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|5th||+3||+3||+2||+3||Tend Monsters, +1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|6th||+4||+3||+2||+3||Breed Specialty, +1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|7th||+5||+4||+2||+4||Monstrous Spawn OR Befriend Region, +1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|8th||+6||+4||+3||+4||Greater Favored Enemy, +1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|9th||+6||+5||+3||+5||Uplift Monsters, +1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|10th||+7||+5||+3||+5||Master Specialty, +1 level of existing spellcasting class|
Monster Ethos: Any aberration, beast, dragon, magical beast, or vermin, as listed in the Monster Manual, is a monster. Animals are not monsters. Monstrologers may not directly or indirectly harm monsters except with nonlethal damage. However, they are free to use magic to control and direct monsters. They often direct monsters to attack others, but they will not send their creatures on suicide missions (this prohibition does not apply to summoned monsters, who return, unharmed, to their place of origin if they die). If a monstrologer violates this ethos, she loses all special abilities until she has atoned by spell or by performing deeds of compensation. Note: Although some monstrologers object to it, this ethos does not condemn others who harm monsters.
Weapon & Armor Proficiency: Monstrologers are proficient in light and medium armor and shields. They are proficient with all simple weapons. Druid monstrologers, however, remain bound by their oaths to use only certain armors. Arcane monstrologers usually avoid armor because it interferes with spell casting.
Spells Per Day: When a new monstrologer level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (better wildshape, metamagic or item creation feats, and so on). This essentially means that she adds the level of monstrologer to the level of some other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before she became a monstrologer, she must decide to which class she adds her monstrologer levels for purposes of determining spells per day when she first adopts the PrC. Also, see Spell Appendix, below.
Sect: With their typically poor social skills, monstrologers seldom gather in groups, being as fearful of each other as they are of most people. Some have affiliated themselves with certain Druidic Circles. Some monstrologers do associate at second hand -- their monstrous minions meet to exchange letters and packages. In this way, news, knowledge, and supplies trickle though the very loose monstrologer community.
Wild Empathy: The monstrologer gains the same ability that druids and rangers have, and monstrologer levels stack with other classes that gain Wild Empathy. However, the monstrologer can use Wild Empathy with monsters as well, at no penalty. And see below (Choose Specialty) for a special bonus.
Target Monsters: The monstrologer loses the ability to cast spells that target specific non-monster creatures. However, the monstrologer gains the ability to cast spells that are monster-specific. These changes are listed in the Appendix, below.
Choose Specialty: The monstrologer selects one kind of monster to be her specialty: aberration, dragon, magical beast, or vermin. The monstrologer must have eight ranks in a Knowledge skill pertaining to her specialty: Arcana for dragons and magical beasts; Dungeoneering for aberrations; or Nature for vermin. For skills that interact with or concern specialty monsters, she gains a bonus on checks (including ability checks and Wild Empathy) equal to her monstrologer level. Moreover, the DC for her spells targeting specialty monsters is increased by her monstrologer level. She gets a saving throw bonus against these creatures equal to her monstrologer level. Finally, she gets a bonus equal to her level in combat with these monsters: at the start of each round, she applies part of the bonus (from none to all) to attacks and the remainder to AC.
Lesser Favored Enemy: The monstrologer gains a favored enemy bonus of +1 against all non-monsters. This ability is just as a ranger, giving a bonus to attacks, weapon damage, Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks checks. If the monstrologer has ranger levels, then when this ability is gained, he loses all his prior favored enemy bonuses and stacks ranger and monstrologer levels for determining the size of the favored enemy bonus: +1 at level 3, +2 at level 8, +3 at level 13, and +4 at level 18. Note that favored enemy bonuses apply to ranged and melee touch attacks (like rays).
Monstrous Creation OR Defend Region
Monstrous Creation: The monstrologer gains "Monstrous Creation" as a special class-exclusive item-creation feat. Using the same procedures, costs, and rules for making magic items, the monstrologer can warp or alter monsters, generally boosting abilities or adding new ones. Monsters altered with this feat become sterile, The cost in time and gold are set in the BGC and approved by the DM. Any creature warped or altered by the monstrologer subsequently is friendly toward him. The monstrologer has no special empathy or connection with a created monster, although it serves him in specific tasks or endeavors, if the monstrologer communicates his desires to it.
Defend Region: The monstrologer gains the benefits of the Ranger's Favored Terrain bonuses when in an area defined by the DM as a "monster preserve". If the Monstrologer already has a favored terrain that falls in his Monster Preserve, the bonuses stack.
Tend Monsters: All monsters under the monstrologer's care heal damage at twice their normal rate. All monsters reared by a monstrologer reroll ones and twos on hit dice. All Handle Animal training times for monsters are in days instead of months, and rearing times are in months instead of years.
Breed Specialty: The monstrologer knows how to successfully breed monsters within his specialty, both of the same species and of different species.
- Within the same species (say, two gorgons), matings are always successful. A well-bred monster gains max hit points for its first hit die and rerolls ones thereafter; it also gains a +2 to any one attribute chosen by the monstrologer.
- Across species (say, a gorgon and a dragonne), hybrid matings succeed at a rate of 10% plus 1% per level. Stats for successful hybrids are determined by the DM, working with the BGC. All hybrids are sterile. Note that to arrange breedings, a monstrologer often uses magic to control behavior.
Monstrous Spawn OR Befriend Region
Monstrous Spawn (requires Monstrous Creation): Monsters created or altered with the Monstrous Creation and Breed Specialty abilities are fertile and breed true 50% of the time. Of course, breeding new species requires both a fertile male and a fertile female.
Befriend Region (requires Defend Region): Within the monstrologer's home monster preserve, no monster (except non-native or summoned monsters) will attack or harm the monstrologer. In fact, monsters tend to help and defend the monstrologer, unless it totally opposes the monster's nature to do so.
Greater Favored Enemy: The monstrologer's favored enemy bonus vs. non-monsters rises to +2.
Uplift Monsters: All monsters -- friends and foes -- within medium range of the monstrologer (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) are cured of all non-magical disease. Moreover, all monsters in range gain healing ability as if they were wearing a ring of regeneration -- healing 1 hp per hour and regrowing lost parts. The monstrologer cannot turn this ability off, and this aura alerts all monsters in range to the location of the monstrologer.
Master Specialty: All monsters of the character's specialty within close range (25 feet plus 5 feet per two levels) are affected as by a mass charm spell. Even those affected monsters who save treat the monstrologer as if he were under the effect of a sanctuary spell. This ability "turns off" for ten minutes if the monstrologer (or his allies) inflicts damage on a specialty monster.
Monstrologers cannot cast the following spells: Animal Growth, Animal Messenger, Animal Shapes, Animal Trance, Calm Animals, Charm Person, Charm Monster, Command, Command Plants, Command Undead, Control Plants, Control Undead, Create Greater Undead, Create Undead, Daze, Daze Monster, Detect Animals or Plants, Detect Undead, Diminish Plants, Disrupt Undead, Disrupting Weapon, Dominate Animal, Dominate Person, Elemental Swarm, Giant Vermin, Halt Undead, Heal Mount, Hold Animal, Hold Monster, Hold Person, Imbue with Spell Ability, Invisibility to Animals, Invisibility to Undead, Locate Creature, Locate Object, Magic Fang, Mount, Neutralize Poison, Obscure Object, Plant Growth, Protection from Evil/Chaos/Law/Good, Repel Metal or Stone, Repel Vermin, Repel Wood, Speak with Animals, Speak with Dead, Speak with Plants, Summon Monster, Summon Nature's Ally, and Undead to Death. ALSO, no greater, lesser, improved, mass, etc variations on the above spells.
- Special: Note that the monstrologer gains access to Summon Monstrous Ally instead of Summon Monster and Summon Nature's Ally. The new Summon Monstrous Ally ranges from I to IX, and it summons monsters equivalent in power to those of the other spells. Also note that vermin are not immune to mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects) cast by monstrologers.
- Spell Acquisition: Divine spell casters (including witches) gain access to these spells as they do all spells. Wizards lose any forbidden spells in their books and may replace them with any from the above list that they can cast. Sorcerers and Bards have a one-time chance to "forget" spells they know in order to learn spells from the list above. As they gain levels, arcane casters gain spells normally.
Monstrologers instead gain access to the following spells:
- Daze Monster - just like Daze, except the spell applies to a monster with up to five hit dice.
- Detect Monster - just like Detect Animals or Plants, except the spell applies to monsters.
- Discipline Monster - just like Disrupt Undead, except the spell affects a monster and causes only nonlethal damage.
- Monster Messenger - just like Animal Messenger, except the spell applies to a small or tiny monster.
- Calm Monster - just like Calm Animals, except the spell applies to monsters.
- Invisibility to Monsters - just like Invisibility to Undead, except the spell applies to monsters.
- Lesser Charm Monster - just like Charm Person, except the spell applies to monsters.
- Monster Friendship - see below for spell description.
- Monster Mount - just like Mount, except it summons a medium or large non-flying monster with up to four hit dice to serve as a loyal mount, but not to fight.
- Monster Trance - just like Animal Trance, except the spell applies to monsters.
- Protection from Monsters - just like Protection from Evil/Chaos/Law/Good, except the spell applies to monsters, not to a particular alignment.
- Command Monster - just like Command, except the monster does not have to understand the caster's language.
- Monster Fangs - just like Magic Fang, except the spell applies to all of a monster's natural attacks.
- Speak with Monsters - just like Speak with Animals, except the spell applies to monsters.
- Hold Monster Only - just like Hold Monster, except the spell applies only to monsters.
- Locate Monster - just like Locate Creature, except the spell applies only to a monster.
- Neutralize Monster Poison - just like Neutralize Poison, except the spell applies to the poison of a monster.
- Obscure Monster - just like Obscure Object, except the spell applies only to a monster.
- Greater Charm Monster - just like Charm Monster, except the spell applies only to monsters.
- Greater Command Monster - just like Greater Command, except the spell affects monsters who then obey the command regardless of language.
- Greater Monster Fangs - just like Greater Magic Fang, except the spell applies to all of a monster's natural attacks.
- Imbue Monster with Spell Ability - just like Imbue with Spell Ability, except there is no minimum Int or Wis, and no need for any components (like a spell-like ability).
- Dominate Monster - just like Dominate Animal, except the spell applies to monsters.
- Monster Growth - just like Animal Growth, except the spell applies to monsters.
- Shrink Monster - just like Shrink Item, except the spell applies to a willing monster.
- Create Monster - just like Create Undead, except the spell creates any monster in the caster's specialty with hit dice up to half the caster's level. The caster has no control over the created monster.
- Heal Monster - just like Heal Mount, except the spell applies to a monster friend.
- Charm Many Monsters - just like Mass Charm Monster, except the spell applies only to monsters.
- Monster Shapes - just like Animal Shapes, except the spell gives targets the shape of monsters.
- Monster Swarm - just like Elemental Swarm, except the spell summons random monsters from the caster's specialty.
- Mass Hold Monster Only - just like Mass Hold Monster, except the spell applies only to monsters.
- Repel Monster - just like Antipathy, except the spell affects all/only monsters.
- Attract Monster - just like Sympathy, except the spell affects all/only monsters.
- Create Greater Monster - just like Create Monster, except with a hit dice limit up to twice the caster's level.
- Enchantment (Charm) [Mind-Affecting]
- Level: Monstrologer 1
- Components: V, S, M
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
- Target: One monster with max 2 hit dice per monstrologer level
- Duration: Instantaneous
- Saving Throw: Will negates
- Spell Resistance: Yes
The character wins the loyalty of a monster. The spell functions only if the character actually wishes to be the monster's friend. If the character is not willing to treat the monster as a friend the spell fails. A monster's loyalty is natural (not magical) and lasting. A befriended monster desires to stay near his monstrologer friend, but may balk at entering places that it perceives as dangerous. If the monster is in the monstrologer's specialty, it must save twice and succeed both times to resist this spell.
If the monster has an intelligence less than 3, then the character can teach the befriended monster three specific tricks or tasks for each point of Intelligence it possesses, per the Handle Animal skill. (More intelligent monsters can simply act, without needing tricks.) Each trick takes one hour to teach. If the friend has Intelligence 0, it can still learn two tricks. Even without any training, the friend will stay near the monstrologer, attack anything that attacks it, and attack any creature in melee with the monstrologer.
The monstrologer can have only only monster friend at a time. The character may dismiss a monster friend to enable the character to befriend a new one.
The monster cannot have more than 2 hit dice per monstrologer level. However, monstrologers who do not have an animal companion, and mages who do not have familiars, can add ranger, druid, and mage levels to the maximum hit dice allowed.
The material component of this spell is a bit of food that the monster finds especially tasty.
Note to the DM
Playing a monstrologer is not easy. They are reclusive, anti-social, people-haters who generally want to be left alone. It requires an excellent background to justify why a monstrologer would become associated with an adventuring group. They simply won't enter cities unless forced. They are outcasts for good reason, and they are not welcome in civilized lands. Certainly, no usual village, town, or city would tolerate the monsters that these characters often have as friends. It might make more sense to have a monstrologer in a group that is already nature-heavy -- full of druids, rangers, gnomes, elves, and barbarians. But only allow this PrC if it works in the game and if the character has earned it through great role play.