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Creature Types

Each creature has one type, which broadly defines its abilities. Some creatures also have one or more subtypes. A creature cannot violate the rules of its subtype without a special ability or quality to explain the difference—templates can often change a creature's type drastically.

Aberration

An aberration has a bizarre anatomy, strange abilities, an alien mindset, or any combination of the three. An aberration has the following features.

Traits: An aberration possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Animal

An animal is a living, nonhuman creature, usually a vertebrate with no magical abilities and no innate capacity for language or culture. Animals usually have additional information on how they can serve as companions. An animal has the following features (unless otherwise noted).

Traits: An animal possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Construct

A construct is an animated object or artificially created creature. A construct has the following features.

Traits: A construct possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Construct SizeBonus Hit Points
Fine
Diminutive
Tiny
Small10
Medium20
Large30
Huge40
Gargantuan60
Colossal80

Dragon

A dragon is a reptile-like creature, usually winged, with magical or unusual abilities. A dragon has the following features.

Traits: A dragon possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Fey

A fey is a creature with supernatural abilities and connections to nature or to some other force or place. Fey are usually human-shaped. A fey has the following features.

Traits: A fey possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Humanoid

A humanoid usually has two arms, two legs, and one head, or a human-like torso, arms, and a head. Humanoids have few or no supernatural or extraordinary abilities, but most can speak and usually have well-developed societies. They are usually Small or Medium (with the exception of giants). Every humanoid creature also has a specific subtype to match its race, such as human, giant, goblinoid, reptilian, or tengu.

Humanoids with 1 Hit Die exchange the features of their humanoid Hit Die for the class features of a PC or NPC class. Humanoids of this sort are typically presented as 1st-level warriors, which means they have average combat ability and poor saving throws. Humanoids with more than 1 Hit Die are the only humanoids who make use of the features of the humanoid type. A humanoid has the following features (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Traits: A humanoid possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Magical Beast

Magical beasts are similar to animals but can have Intelligence scores higher than 2 (in which case the magical beast knows at least one language, but can't necessarily speak). Magical beasts usually have supernatural or extraordinary abilities, but are sometimes merely bizarre in appearance or habits. A magical beast has the following features.

Traits: A magical beast possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Monstrous Humanoid

Monstrous humanoids are similar to humanoids, but with monstrous or animalistic features. They often have magical abilities as well. A monstrous humanoid has the following features.

Traits: A monstrous humanoid possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Ooze

An ooze is an amorphous or mutable creature, usually mindless. An ooze has the following features.

Traits: An ooze possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Outsider

An outsider is at least partially composed of the essence (but not necessarily the material) of some plane other than the Material Plane. Some creatures start out as some other type and become outsiders when they attain a higher (or lower) state of spiritual existence. An outsider has the following features.

Traits: An outsider possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Plant

This type comprises vegetable creatures. Note that regular plants, such as one finds growing in gardens and fields, lack Wisdom and Charisma scores and are not creatures, but objects, even though they are alive. A plant creature has the following features.

Traits: A plant creature possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Undead

Undead are once-living creatures animated by spiritual or supernatural forces. An undead creature has the following features.

Traits: An undead creature possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Vermin

This type includes insects, arachnids, other arthropods, worms, and similar invertebrates. Vermin have the following features.

Traits: Vermin possess the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Creature SubTypes

Some creatures have one or more subtypes. Subtypes add additional abilities and qualities to a creature.

Adlet Subtype: This subtype is applied to the strange humanoid wolf creatures called adlets, and to creatures related to adlets.

Aeon Subtype: Aeons are a race of neutral outsiders who roam the planes maintaining the balance of reality. Aeons possess the following traits.

Envisaging (Su) Aeons communicate wordlessly, almost incomprehensibly. Caring little for the wants and desires of other creatures, they have no need to engage in exchanges of dialogue. Instead, aeons mentally scan beings for their thoughts and intentions, and then retaliate with flashes of psychic projections that emit a single concept in response to whatever the other being was thinking. The flash is usually a combination of a visual and aural stimulation, which displays how the aeon perceives future events might work out. For instance, an aeon seeking to raze a city communicates this concept to non-aeons by sending them a vivid image of the city crumbling to ash. An aeon's envisaging functions as a non-verbal form of telepathy. Aeons cannot read the thoughts of any creature immune to mind-affecting effects.

Extension of All (Ex) Through an aeon's connection to the multiverse, it gains access to strange and abstruse knowledge that filters through all existence. Much of the knowledge is timeless, comprised of events long past, present, and potentially even those yet to come. Aeons gain a racial bonus equal to half their racial Hit Dice on all Knowledge skill checks. This same connection also binds them to other aeons. As a result, they can communicate with each other freely, over great distances as if using telepathy. This ability also works across planes, albeit less effectively, allowing the communication of vague impressions or feelings, not specific details or sights. Due to the vast scope of the aeon race's multiplanar concerns, though, even the most dire reports of a single aeon rarely inspire dramatic or immediate action.

Void Form (Su) Though aeons aren't incorporeal, their forms are only a semi-tangible manifestation of something greater. An aeon's void form grants it a deflection bonus equal to 1/4 its Hit Dice (rounded down).

Agathion Subtype: Agathions are beast-aspect outsiders native to Nirvana. They have the following traits.

Air Subtype: This subtype is usually used for outsiders with a connection to the Elemental Plane of Air. Air creatures always have fly speeds and usually have perfect maneuverability. Air creatures treat Fly as a class skill.

Angel Subtype: Angels are a race of celestials, or good outsiders, native to the good-aligned outer planes. An angel possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Aquatic Subtype: These creatures always have swim speeds and can move in water without making Swim checks. An aquatic creature can breathe water. It cannot breathe air unless it has the amphibious special quality. Aquatic creatures always treat Swim as a class skill.

Archon Subtype: Archons are a race of celestials, or good outsiders, native to lawful good-aligned outer planes. An archon possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Asura Subtype: An asura has the following traits, unless otherwise noted in the creature's entry.

Augmented Subtype: A creature receives this subtype when something (usually a template) changes its original type. Some creatures (those with an inherited template) are born with this subtype; others acquire it when they take on an acquired template. The augmented subtype is always paired with the creature's original type.

Azata Subtype: Azatas are a race of celestials, or good outsiders, native to chaotic good-aligned outer planes. An azata possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Behemoth Subtype: A behemoth is a neutral Colossal magical beast of great strength and power. Behemoths possess the following traits unless otherwise noted.

Catfolk Subtype: This subtype is applied to the humanoid felines called catfolk and creatures related to catfolk.

Chaotic Subtype: This subtype is usually applied to outsiders native to the chaotically aligned outer planes. Most creatures that have this subtype also have chaotic alignments; however, if their alignments change they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature had a chaotic alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment. A creature with the chaotic subtype overcomes damage reduction as if its natural weapons and any weapons it wields are chaotically aligned (see Damage Reduction, page 299).

Clockwork Subtype: Clockworks are constructs created through a fusion of magic and technology. They have the following traits unless otherwise noted.

Cold Subtype: A creature with the cold subtype has immunity to cold and vulnerability to fire.

Daemon Subtype: Daemons are neutral evil outsiders that eat souls and thrive on disaster and ruin. They have the following traits unless otherwise noted.

Dark Folk Subtype: Dark folk are reclusive subterranean humanoids with an aversion to light.

Demodand Subtype: Demodands are chaotic evil outsiders who stalk the Abyss. Unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry, demodands possess the following traits.

Demon Subtype: Demons are chaotic evil outsiders that call the Abyss their home. Demons possess a particular suite of traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry) as summarized here.

Devil Subtype: Devils are lawful evil outsiders that hail from the plane of Hell. Devils possess a particular suite of traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Div Subtype: Divs are neutral evil outsiders that sow misfortune and ruin. They have the following traits unless otherwise noted.

Dwarf Subtype: This subtype is applied to dwarves and creatures related to dwarves. Creatures with the dwarf subtype have darkvision 60 feet.

Earth Subtype: This subtype is usually used for outsiders with a connection to the Elemental Plane of Earth. Earth creatures usually have burrow speeds, and most earth creatures can burrow through solid rock. Earth creatures with a burrow speed possess tremorsense.

Elemental Subtype: An elemental is a being composed entirely from one of the four classical elements: air, earth, fire, or water. An elemental has the following features.

Elf Subtype: This subtype is applied to elves and creatures related to elves. Creatures with the elf subtype have low-light vision.

Evil Subtype: This subtype is usually applied to outsiders native to the evil-aligned outer planes. Evil outsiders are also called fiends. Most creatures that have this subtype also have evil alignments; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has an evil alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment. A creature with the evil subtype overcomes damage reduction as if its natural weapons and any weapons it wields are evil-aligned (see Damage Reduction, page 299).

Extraplanar Subtype: This subtype is applied to any creature when it is on a plane other than its native plane. A creature that travels the planes can gain or lose this subtype as it goes from plane to plane. Monster entries assume that encounters with creatures take place on the Material Plane, and every creature whose native plane is not the Material Plane has the extraplanar subtype (but would not have it when on its home plane). Every extraplanar creature in this book has a home plane mentioned in its description. Creatures not labeled as extraplanar are natives of the Material Plane, and they gain the extraplanar subtype if they leave the Material Plane. No creature has the extraplanar subtype when it is on a transitive plane, such as the Astral Plane, the Ethereal Plane, or the Plane of Shadow.

Fire Subtype: A creature with the fire subtype has immunity to fire and vulnerability to cold.

Giant Subtype: A giant is a humanoid creature of great strength, usually of at least Large size. Giants have a number of racial Hit Dice and never substitute such Hit Dice for class levels like some humanoids. Giants have low-light vision, and treat Intimidate and Perception as class skills.

Gnome Subtype: This subtype is applied to gnomes and creatures related to gnomes. Creatures with the gnome subtype have low-light vision.

Goblinoid Subtype: Goblinoids are stealthy humanoids who live by hunting and raiding and who all speak Goblin. Goblinoids treat Stealth as a class skill.

Good Subtype: This subtype is usually applied to outsiders native to the good-aligned outer planes. Most creatures that have this subtype also have good alignments; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has a good alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment. A creature with the good subtype overcomes damage reduction as if its natural weapons and any weapons it wields are good-aligned (see Damage Reduction, page 299).

Halfling Subtype: This subtype is applied to halflings and creatures related to halflings.

Human Subtype: This subtype is applied to humans and creatures related to humans.

Incorporeal Subtype: An incorporeal creature has no physical body. An incorporeal creature is immune to critical hits and precision-based damage (such as sneak attack damage) unless the attacks are made using a weapon with the ghost touch special weapon quality. In addition, creatures with the incorporeal subtype gain the incorporeal special quality.

Inevitable Subtype: Inevitables are construct-like outsiders built by the axiomites to enforce law. They have the following traits.

Kami Subtype: Kami are a race of native outsiders who serve to protect what they refer to as “wards”—animals, plants, objects, and even locations—from being harmed or dishonored. All kami are outsiders with the native subtype. A kami possesses the following traits unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry.

Kyton Subtype: Kytons are a race of lawful evil outsiders native to the Plane of Shadow who feed on fear and pain. Kytons possess the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Lawful Subtype: This subtype is usually applied to outsiders native to the lawfully aligned outer planes. Most creatures that have this subtype also have lawful alignments; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature had a lawful alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment. A creature with the lawful subtype overcomes damage reduction as if its natural weapons and any weapons it wields are lawfully aligned (see Damage Reduction, page 299).

Leshy Subtype: A leshy is a nature spirit that inhabits the body of a specially grown plant. Regardless of their kind, all leshys share the following traits in addition to those granted by the plant type (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Native Subtype: This subtype is applied only to outsiders. These creatures have mortal ancestors or a strong connection to the Material Plane and can be raised, reincarnated, or resurrected just as other living creatures can be. Creatures with this subtype are native to the Material Plane. Unlike true outsiders, native outsiders need to eat and sleep.

Nightshade Subtype: Nightshades are monstrous undead composed of shadow and evil. They have the following traits.

Oni Subtype: An oni is an evil spirit who takes humanoid form to become a native outsider. All oni have the following traits, unless otherwise noted in a specific creature's entry.

Orc Subtype: This subtype is applied to orcs and creatures related to orcs, such as half-orcs. Creatures with the orc subtype have darkvision 60 feet and light sensitivity (half-orcs do not have light sensitivity).

Protean Subtype: Proteans are serpentine outsiders of pure chaos. They have the following traits.

Qlippoth Subtype: Qlippoth are chaotic evil outsiders from the deepest reaches of the Abyss. They have the following traits.

Rakshasa Subtype: A rakshasa is a lawful evil spirit born into the Material Plane. A shapechanger that can walk with ease among humanoids, a rakshasa's true form has animalistic features and strangely jointed limbs. All rakshasas are native to the Material Plane, and have the following traits unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry.

Ratfolk Subtype: This subtype is applied to the humanoid rodents called ratfolk and creatures related to ratfolk.

Reptilian Subtype: These creatures are scaly and usually cold-blooded. The reptilian subtype is only used to describe a set of humanoid races, not all animals and monsters that are true reptiles.

Sasquatch Subtype: This subtype is applied to the humanoid beings called sasquatches and creatures related to sasquatches.

Shapechanger Subtype: A shapechanger has the supernatural ability to assume one or more alternate forms. Many magical effects allow some kind of shapeshifting, and not every creature that can change shapes has the shapechanger subtype. A shapechanger possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Swarm Subtype: A swarm is a collection of Fine, Diminutive, or Tiny creatures that acts as a single creature. A swarm has the characteristics of its type, except as noted here. A swarm has a single pool of Hit Dice and hit points, a single initiative modifier, a single speed, and a single Armor Class. A swarm makes saving throws as a single creature. A single swarm occupies a square (if it is made up of nonflying creatures) or a cube (of flying creatures) 10 feet on a side, but its reach is 0 feet, like its component creatures. In order to attack, it moves into an opponent's space, which provokes an attack of opportunity. It can occupy the same space as a creature of any size, since it crawls all over its prey. A swarm can move through squares occupied by enemies and vice versa without impediment, although the swarm provokes an attack of opportunity if it does so. A swarm can move through cracks or holes large enough for its component creatures.

A swarm of Tiny creatures consists of 300 nonflying creatures or 1,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Diminutive creatures consists of 1,500 nonflying creatures or 5,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Fine creatures consists of 10,000 creatures, whether they are flying or not. Swarms of nonflying creatures include many more creatures than could normally fit in a 10-foot square based on their normal space, because creatures in a swarm are packed tightly together and generally crawl over each other and their prey when moving or attacking. Larger swarms are represented by multiples of single swarms. The area occupied by a large swarm is completely shapeable, though the swarm usually remains in contiguous squares.

Swarm Traits: A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernable anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking. A swarm made up of Tiny creatures takes half damage from slashing and piercing weapons. A swarm composed of Fine or Diminutive creatures is immune to all weapon damage. Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points or less causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack. Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage. Also, they cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed, and they cannot grapple an opponent.

A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms) if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind. A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells.

Swarms made up of Diminutive or Fine creatures are susceptible to high winds, such as those created by a gust of wind spell. For purposes of determining the effects of wind on a swarm, treat the swarm as a creature of the same size as its constituent creatures. A swarm rendered unconscious by means of nonlethal damage becomes disorganized and dispersed, and does not reform until its hit points exceed its nonlethal damage.

Swarm Attack: Creatures with the swarm subtype don't make standard melee attacks. Instead, they deal automatic damage to any creature whose space they occupy at the end of their move, with no attack roll needed. Swarm attacks are not subject to a miss chance for concealment or cover. A swarm's statistics block has “swarm” in the Melee entry, with no attack bonus given. The amount of damage a swarm deals is based on its Hit Dice, as shown below.

Swarm HDSwarm Base Damage
1–51d6
6–102d6
11–153d6
16–204d6
21 or more5d6

A swarm's attacks are nonmagical, unless the swarm's description states otherwise. Damage reduction sufficient to reduce a swarm attack's damage to 0, being incorporeal, or other special abilities usually give a creature immunity (or at least resistance) to damage from a swarm. Some swarms also have acid, blood drain, poison, or other special attacks in addition to normal damage.

Swarms do not threaten creatures, and do not make attacks of opportunity with their swarm attack. However, they distract foes whose squares they occupy, as described below.

Swarms possess the distraction universal monster rule. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a caster level check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Will save.

Vanara Subtype: This subtype is applied to vanaras and creatures related to vanaras.

Vishkanya Subtype: This subtype is applied to vishkanyas and creatures related to vishkanyas.

Water Subtype: This subtype is usually used for outsiders with a connection to the Elemental Plane of Water. Creatures with the water subtype always have swim speeds and can move in water without making Swim checks. A water creature can breathe underwater and can usually breathe air as well. Water creatures treat the Swim skill as a class skill.