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Tome of Templates


Did a beloved NPC die and return as a ghost? Get bitten by a werewolf or vampire? What if that warlord is a goblin? Or that goblin is part spider? Or do you just want to surprise players?

This supplement introduces over 50 new templates to tweak and customize your D&D creatures!

So that knight riding toward your players’ characters can be a bugbear, or a ghost, or a drider. Or all three!

The templates include:

  • aarakocra
  • banshee
  • bugbear
  • bullywug
  • centaur
  • death knight
  • doppelganger
  • dracolich
  • dragonborn
  • dragon, shadow
  • drider
  • drow
  • duergar
  • dwarf
  • elf
  • ghost
  • gith
  • gnoll
  • gnome
  • gnome, deep
  • goblin
  • half-dragon
  • halfling
  • half-orc
  • harpy
  • hobgoblin
  • kenku
  • kobold
  • kuo-toa
  • lamia
  • lich
  • lizardfolk
  • medusa
  • merfolk
  • minotaur
  • mummy
  • orc
  • sahuagin
  • satyr
  • skeleton
  • specter
  • thri-kreen
  • tiefling
  • troglodyte
  • troll
  • vampire spawn
  • werebear
  • wereboar
  • wererat
  • weretiger
  • werewolf
  • wight
  • wraith
  • yuan-ti pureblood
  • zombie

What Is a Template?

A template is a lot like a background or class. But instead of adding features to or altering a player character, a template modifies a nonplayer creature. The modifications might come in the form of new features, attacks, proficiencies, and more.

The template might even change the fundamental nature of the creature. For example, many of the templates in this supplement change a living creature into an undead abomination. Several other templates make a more subtle change, like changing a generic nonplayer character stat block into a drow or a dwarf.

Why Use Templates?

One reason to use templates is that you can surprise your players. They might know what to expect with a typical banshee. But what is that ghostly knight? When it pulls back its visor and lets out a bloodcurdling wail, that's a surprise.

Another reason might be that the story demands it. What happens when the NPC accompanying you dies and returns as a ghost or is bitten by a wererat and contracts lycanthropy? Templates can provide the statistics to support the twists and turns of your campaign.

Finally, you can fine tune generic stat blocks. A drow is memorable, but a drow swashbuckler who wears their hat at a rakish tilt is unforgettable!

How Do You Use Templates?

Start with a stat block from any 5th edition hardcover or supplement. Then pair it with a template. Be sure that your chosen stat block meets the prerequisites of the template. For example, the skeleton template requires a once living creature with a skeletal structure.

Then modify or add as the template features specify, one by one. Most of the templates require you to change the creature's challenge rating, using the rules in chapter 9 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Finally, give it a new name, usually by pairing the names of the original creature and the template used.

You can often apply more than one template. While you cannot make a creature both a mummy and a vampire spawn, for example, there's no reason you can’t make a drow swashbuckler vampire spawn.

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Skylar S August 25, 2021 8:10 pm UTC
I would've named this something different, as there is a successful book of the same name here on this site. In fact, for that reason I kept ignoring this book because i thought it was that one (which I already own) when this is infact a book I'm quite interested in now I know it is a different one.
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File Last Updated:
July 05, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on July 05, 2021.