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Terkow are jungle vampires. They appear as skinless humans, and are also known as "skinwalkers," "skinchangers," "skinshifters," and a variety of other related names. As skinless creatures, terkow are constantly losing blood and must suck the blood from living beings to replenish their supply.

Though weaker than vampires in many ways, a terkow's ability to operate under direct sunlight and disguise itself by wearing the skins of its victims makes it a very dangerous opponent.

Size and Type Edit

The creature's type changes to undead (augmented humanoid or monstrous humanoid). Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.

Hit Dice Edit

Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d12s.

Speed Edit

Same as the base creature. If the base creature has a swim speed, the terkow retains the ability to swim, and is not vulnerable to destruction from immersion in salt water (see below).

Armor Class Edit

The base creature's natural armor improves by +4.

Attack Edit

A terkow retains all the attacks of the base creature and also gains a claw attack if it didn't already have one. A creature with natural weapons retains those natural weapons.

Damage Edit

Terkow have dual claw attacks. If the base creature does not have this attack form, use the appropriate damage value from the table below according to the terkow's size.

Creatures that have other kinds of natural weapons retain their old damage values or use the appropriate value from the table below, whichever is better.

Size Damage
Small 1d4
Medium 1d6
Large 1d8

Special Attacks Edit

Same as the base creature, plus the following. Saves have a DC of 10 + 0.5 ½ terkow's HD + terkow's Cha modifier unless noted otherwise.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the terkow must hit with a claw attack. If it gets a hold, it can drain blood; see below.

Blood Drain (Ex): The terkow can suck blood from a living victim with its fangs by making a successful grapple check. If it pins the foe, it drains blood, inflicting 1d6 points of temporary Constitution damage each round the pin is maintained. For every Constitution point drained, the terkow heals itself 5 hit points, up to its normal maximum.

Create Spawn (Ex):' Any creature reduced to a 0 Constitution score by the terkow's blood draining attack and then skinned by the creature returns as a true zombie if it had 4 or fewer HD, and a terkow if it had 5 or more HD. In either case, the new zombie or terkow is under command of the terkow that created it and remains enslaved until its master's death.

Special Qualities Edit

A terkow retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains those described below.

Blood Loss (Ex): A terkow continually oozes blood. This causes it to lose hit points at the rate of 2 per day. Terkow do not heal naturally; they can only restore lost hit points by draining blood or through negative energies designed to heal the undead.

Damage Reduction (Su): Terkow have damage reduction 15/magic.

Energy Resistance (Ex): A terkow has acid, cold, and electricity energy resistance 20.

Spell Resistance (Ex): Terkow have spell resistance equal to 10 + 0.5 ½ their Hit Dice.

Skin Flay (Ex): After a terkow drains a humanoid victim of blood, it flays off the victim's skin and wears it to replace its own (provided the terkow and the victim are of the same race). This provides it with several benefits:

  • Wearing a skin allows the creature to disguise itself as its victim, adding an additional +10 circumstance bonus to its Disguise checks.
  • The skin reduces the rate of the creature's blood loss to 1 hp per day instead of 2 hp per day.
  • The skin helps to absorb incoming damage, causing the creature to take half damage from weapons. This reduction is not cumulative with damage reduction—apply either the DR or the half damage, whichever results in less damage. The skin can only absorb an amount of damage equal to half the (uninjured) hit points of the original victim, at which point the skin sloughs off, revealing the monster beneath. Damage reduced due to the creature's DR is not subtracted from the skin.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A terkow is treated as if 6 Hit Dice higher when subjected to turning or rebuking attempts.

Vulnerable to Salt Water (Ex): Terkow suffer agonizing pain and take 20d6 points of damage per round of total immersion in salt water. Smaller quantities of salt water inflict 1d6 points of damage per round of contact with the creature (no save).

Saves Edit

Base save bonuses are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +0.5 ½ HD + 2.

Abilities Edit

Adjust from the base creature as follows: Str +4, Dex +4, Int +4, Wis +4, Cha +4. Being undead, terkow have no Constitution score.

Skills Edit

Terkow gain a +4 racial bonus to Bluff, Climb, Disguise, Hide, Intimidate, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot checks. Otherwise as base creature.

Feats Edit

Terkow gain Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, and Lightning Reflexes, assuming the base creature meets the prerequisites and doesn't already have these feats.

Environment Edit

Any land or underground.

Organization Edit

Solitary, pair, gang (2-5), or troupe (1-2 plus 2-5 true zombies).

Challenge Rating Edit

Same as base creature +2.

Treasure Edit

Double standard.

Alignment Edit

Always chaotic evil.

Advancement Edit

Same as the base creature +Level Adjustment::8.

Terkow Characters Edit

Terkow are always chaotic evil, which causes characters of certain classes to lose their class abilities. In addition, certain classes suffer additional penalties.

Clerics Edit

Terkow clerics lose their ability to turn undead but gain the ability to rebuke undead. This ability does not affect the terkow's controller or any other terkow that a master controls. A terkow cleric has access to two of the following domains:

Chaos, Destruction, Evil, or Trickery.

Sorcerers and Wizards Edit

Terkow sorcerers and wizards retain their class abilities, but if a character has a familiar, the link between them is broken and the familiar shuns its former companion.

Sample Terkow Edit

This example uses a human 4th-level sorcerer as the base creature.


Size/Type: Medium Undead (Augmented Humanoid)
Hit Dice: 4d12+3 (29 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 30 ft.
Armor Class: 17 (+2 Dex, +4 natural, +1 ring), touch 13, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+4
Attack: Claw +4 melee (1d6+3)
Full Attack: 2 claws +4 melee (1d6+3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved Grab, Blood Drain, Create Spawn, Spells
Special Qualities: Blood Loss, Damage Reduction 15/magic, Darkvision 60 ft., Acid, Cold, and Electricity Resistance 20, SR 12, Skin Flay, Turn Resistance +6, Salt Water Vulnerability, Undead Traits
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +6
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 14, Con -, Int 18, Wis 14, Cha 22
Skills: Bluff +10, Climb +6, Concentration +7, Disguise +10, Hide +6, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (arcana) +11, Listen +9, Move Silently +6, Search +10, Sense Motive +6, Spellcraft +11, Spot +9
Feats: Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Scribe Scroll, Toughness
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary or squad (3-5)
Challenge Rating: 6
Treasure: Double standard
Alignment: Usually chaotic evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +8

SMW::on A skinless humanoid with great claws leers menacingly at you. It licks bloody lips in hungry anticipation of your death. The presence of a pouch and equipment informs you that there is more to this monster than an ugly disposition.

This terkow sorcerer was just beginning a promising career in the arcane academy before an expedition to the southern jungles turned his life into unlife. A terkow slaughtered the spellcaster's companions before feeding on him last. The terkow has long since been freed of its master's control and slowly continues to learn sorcery—if only to defeat creatures more easily in order to harvest more skin.

Combat Edit

The terkow sorcerer uses invisibility to enter a community and then abduct a merchant or other humanoid who sees many people in the course of a day. The terkow learns what it can shadowing the target before abducting and draining him. The resulting undead minion is kept nearby in a safe location until needed (or the terkow leaves the community). In its new post, the terkow sorcerer masquerades as the victim, biding its time until it is convenient to take another victim for blood draining. As many as a dozen targets can be drained in a large city before anyone suspects it of the crimes.

When engaged in melee, the terkow uses its claws to rend enemies while they attempt to penetrate its appreciable defensive qualities. For ranged targets, magic missile is the standard attack form. If it needs to retreats, the terkow first attempts to sleep its foes. Failing that, it either flees invisibly or takes a hostage for a more orderly withdrawal (the latter if there are not more than five foes present).

Spells Known: (Spells per Day: 6/8/5; DC 16 + spell level): 0 — arcane mark, detect magic, light, mending, read magic, resistance; 1st — mage armor, shocking grasp, sleep; 2nd — invisibility

Treasure Edit

Double standard — The terkow has discarded the weapons it used in life in favor of its new claws. Replacement equipment comes in the form of magic items and coin/gems:

  • shoulder bag [1 gp]
  • ring of protection +1 [2,000 gp]
  • scroll of identify (x2) [125 gp each]
  • scroll of misdirection (CL 3rd) [150 gp]
  • scroll of silence (CL 3rd) [200 gp]
  • scroll of undetectable alignment [50 gp]
  • wand of magic missile (CL 3rd) (23 charges) [1,035 gp]
  • citrine gems (x3) [50 gp each]
  • 20 sp
  • 162 gp

In Your Campaign Edit

Although a terkow normally discards its weapons in favor of its claws, this does not necessarily have to hold true for all of them. Besides the spellcasting terkow, you can inject some variety by allowing the warrior classes (barbarians, fighters, paladins, or rangers) a chance to retain the desire for a weapon. Roll a 10% chance for every 2 HD the character has to see if it keeps its primary melee weapon (thus a 6th-level fighter would have a 30% chance).

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