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Dungeons & Dragons / MOVED: Adventure Seeds!
« on: September 21, 2013, 05:15:12 PM »

Homebrew / Midnight Occultist [Pact Magic/Meldshaping PrC] (PEACH)
« on: January 09, 2013, 06:16:00 PM »
Author's Note
This class is, after long last, feature-complete, though there are a few known issues that I have yet to deal with. Major known issues include the general problems of Meldshaping PrCs and the awkwardness of handing out Chakras, and the fact that this PrC is much better for Totemists than it is for Incarnates. Suggestions for handling either are appreciated.

Aside from that, some of the earlier Chakra Pacts were written with a miscalculation in mind as the "maximum possible Essentia" (I missed the capacity-enhancing item from Magic Item Compendium), so some of them don't handle that situation well.

Otherwise, there was some feedback on GitP (where this PrC won a homebrew contest) on this PrC that I have not incorporated, lots of minor suggestions for individual Chakra Pacts. I am all-ears for new suggestions on any of them.

"Harbinger of Forever,
you I call, souls I offer,
you I bind, life I offer,
you I make my own!"
—Krimgûl, Midnight Occultist binding Chupoclops

Vestiges do not live, do not die, do not exist. They are other and elsewise, spirits without souls, memories of past lives and past events that cling to reality even as they are outside it, desperately trying to return, desperate for existence once more. They feed on the experiences and lives of those who bind them, but there are those who offer them greater sustenance: those who feed them the very essence of life, the soul-stuff of incarnum.

A Midnight Occultist entices Vestiges to enter into even deeper Pacts with him through the promise of Essentia, potent energy and lifeforce derived from the souls of all those who have ever lived, currently live, or ever will live. Nothing of the sort exists in the not-place in which the Vestiges find themselves stranded, and Vestiges find its allure particularly tempting. In order to make such an offer, however, the Midnight Occultist must already have considerable skill in both Pact-making and Meldshaping.

  • Class Features
    • Ability to bind 3rd level Vestiges
    • Ability to bind a Soulmeld to a Chakra.
  • Skills
    • Knowledge (Arcana) 8 ranks.

Hit Die

Skill Points per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Knowledge (The Planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Table 1: The Midnight Occultist
LevelBABFortRefWillSpecialPact Magic / Meldshaping
1st+0+2+0+2Chakra Pact (1 Vestige),
Favored Vestige Capacity
+1 level of existing Pact-making class
+1 level of existing Meldshaping class
2nd+1+3+0+3Chakra Bind
(Crown, Feet, Hands)
+1 level of existing Pact-making class
+1 level of existing Meldshaping class
3rd+2+3+1+3Expanded Vestige Capacity +1+1 level of existing Pact-making class
+1 level of existing Meldshaping class
4th+3+4+1+4Chakra Pact (2 Vestiges)+1 level of existing Pact-making class
+1 level of existing Meldshaping class
5th+3+4+1+4+1 level of existing Pact-making class
+1 level of existing Meldshaping class
6th+4+5+2+5Chakra Bind
(Arms, Brow, Shoulders)
+1 level of existing Pact-making class
+1 level of existing Meldshaping class
7th+5+5+2+5Double Vestige Bind+1 level of existing Pact-making class
+1 level of existing Meldshaping class
8th+6+6+2+6Expanded Vestige Capacity +2+1 level of existing Pact-making class
+1 level of existing Meldshaping class
9th+6+6+3+6+1 level of existing Pact-making class
+1 level of existing Meldshaping class
10th+7+7+3+7Chakra Pact (3 Vestiges),
Chakra Bind
(Heart or Throat and Waist)
+1 level of existing Pact-making class
+1 level of existing Meldshaping class
Armor and Weapon Proficiencies
The Midnight Occultist gains no armor or weapon proficiencies.

Pact Magic
At each level of Midnight Occultist, the character's Pact-making ability improves as if you had also gained a level in an Pact-making class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. His Midnight Occultist levels stack for the purpose of determining his bonus on Binding checks, the effectiveness of his Vestige granted abilities, his ability to bind higher-level Vestiges, and the number of Vestiges he can bind. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If a character had more than one Pact-making class before becoming a Midnight Occultist, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining his Effective Binder Level.

At each level, the Midnight Occultist increases his Meldshaper level, the number of Soulmelds he can shape, the number of Chakra binds he can create, and his Essentia pool as if he had gained a level in a Meldshaping class to which he belonged prior to gaining the Midnight Occultist level. He does not, however, gain any other abilities of that class, such as new tiers of Chakra binds. If he had more than one Meldshaping class before becoming a Midnight Occultist, he must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining his Essentia pool, Meldshaper level, and the number of Soulmelds and Chakra binds available.

Chakra Pact
A Midnight Occultist may make Pacts with Vestiges during his time spent reshaping his Soulmelds. When doing so, he may choose to bind a Vestige he binds to a Chakra, thus treating it as both a Vestige and a Chakra-bound Soulmeld. Offering Essentia to the Vestige can even make the Binding process easier. The rules for making Chakra Pacts and for using the abilities they grant, as well as the effects of each Vestige bound to each Chakra, are given below. A Vestige bound to a Chakra uses up one of the Midnight Occultist's usual shaped Soulmelds and Chakra Binds, and typically makes suppressing the Vestige's sign fairly pointless as it comes with a much greater visual effect that cannot be suppressed.

At 1st level, only one Vestige at a time may be bound to a Chakra. Beginning at 4th level, two Vestiges may occupy two different Chakras. At 10th, three Vestiges may be bound three different Chakras (but see the Double Vestige Bind feature, below).

Favored Vestige Capacity +1
Any Vestiges for which the Midnight Occultist has the Favored Vestige feat gain +1 to their Essentia capacity when bound to a Chakra.

Chakra Binds
As the Midnight Occultist attains higher levels, he can bind his Soulmelds and magic items to new Chakras, gaining new powers based on the combination chosen.

At 2nd level, he can bind Soulmelds to his Least Chakras (Crown, Feet, Hands), in addition to any other Chakras available.

The Lesser Chakras (Arms, Brow, Shoulders) become available at 6th.

At 10th, the Midnight Occultist has a choice: he may open the two Greater Chakras (Throat and Waist), or he may instead open the Heart Chakra. He makes this choice upon reaching 10th level, and once made he cannot change it.

Expanded Vestige Capacity
The Midnight Occultist is focused on the Essentia he can offer Vestiges. Beginning at 3rd level, all Vestiges gain a +1 to their Essentia capacity when bound to a Soulmeld (this stacks with the bonus for being Favored). At 8th, this bonus increases to +2.

Double Vestige Bind
At 7th level, the Midnight Occultist can offer a truly unique position for a Vestige: He may bind it to two different Chakras simultaneously, where Essentia invested in the Pact gives the bonuses from both binds. Only one Vestige may be double-bound at a time, and it takes up two of the Midnight Occultist's Chakra Binds while doing so, though it only counts as a single Soulmeld for the purposes of determining how many he may shape, and as a single Chakra Pact for the purpose of determining how many Vestiges may be bound to Chakras.

As a Midnight Occultist, you are able to both shape Soulmelds and bind Vestiges: two of the most versatile power sources to be found in the world. What you do, what you are, depends greatly on the specific Soulmelds and Vestiges chosen, and how they are bound, and how much Essentia is invested in each. Careful thought should be given to how they are bound each day, but you should never worry about it too much: no combination will fail you.

Combat: Your combat prowess can be absolutely massive, if you wish it to be. Totemists, in particular, will find themselves able to slaughter endlessly in gruesome melee combat. Others can as well, or they can try ranged combat, or they can be a spellcaster of sorts. No one will have your ability to fill in any gaps that your party may have. Always try to consider which roles your party is lacking when making your binds.

Advancement: Advancement is an interesting issue for Midnight Occultists. Like all dual-progression classes, after level 10 the question of "now what?" becomes quite significant. Unlike most, however, you have good answers: almost anything in the game, short of attempting to start a spellcasting career this late in the game, will work well with your abilities – or, to put it another way, no matter what you choose, you'll have abilities to complement it. An interesting alternative, however, does present itself: One can qualify for Midnight Occultist without a single level in either Binder or any Incarnum class, through the use of feats. While expensive, and both the Pact Magic and Meldshaping progressions do you no good, there are interesting options here for a 1 level dip, if you wanted.

Resources: Socially, you are seen as more similar to a Binder than a Meldshaper, and you should expect to be treated as such; if anything, your relationships with the Vestiges is even more obvious than it would be otherwise. Do not expect a great deal of assistance from any but your closest allies.

"Take the blasphemy of the binders and multiply it tenfold: that is the evil of so-called midnight occultists. Not content merely to sacrifice their own souls to their dark lords, they offer up the souls of all life to their masters, so they may better revel in their depravity. I pray only that the gods are more creative than I, for I can think of nothing sufficient to punish these monsters."
--Bazut Stonehewer, Ironsoul Forgemaster

Midnight Occultists, if anything, anger traditional religious authorities even more than Binders, and even those unfamliar with the nature of their powers is likely to be terrified by their appearance once they have bound multiple Vestiges to their Chakras and display their favor so openly.

Daily Life: Your day begins with shaping your Soulmelds, during which you will also make any Pacts for the day that you wish to use. This is also likely to be the most pivotal moment in the entire day, so it is one that Midnight Occulitists revere and exult in. Once bound, your path for the day is set, and you must live with your choices.

With the binding done, the Midnight Occultist typically begins seeking more lore, more knowledge, more contact with the Vestiges and more Incarnum to offer them. Midnight Occultists rarely stay in one place for long, rarely travel in groups, rarely accept followers or fall under a leader, and rarely are interested in much besides learning more about their power. However, it is notable that of those with other goals, either ideals to champion or quests to complete or enemies to vanquish, most are especially powerful Midnight Occultists, and the most likely to get involved in an adventure.

Notables: Midnight occultism is a relatively recent development in the history of binders. Pact lore mentions nothing similar for ages, though of course due to the fragmented nature of the lore, it is entirely possible that the concept had been discovered – and lost – repeatedly through the centuries.

The modern incarnation, at any rate, began with a duskling totemist known as Touranisha. Little is known about Touranisha, though studies into duskling culture suggest that this was likely a family name and not a given name. At any rate, Touranisha is the author of the so-called "Touranisha Diaries", a series of small notebooks apparently kept by the duskling, who had been trained as a totemist, about his experiences with vestiges and about which vestiges enjoyed which chakras.

By some miracle, Touranisha's notes survived long enough to be discovered, in a small hut deep in a remote jungle, by a binder apparently of some note (but whose name has nevertheless been lost to time), who disseminated the writings among enough trusted colleagues that the name of Touranisha is well known among those who study binder lore.

Organizations: Thanks to Touranisha's writings, the Theurgian Society is aware of the practices of midnight occultists and encourages them, though the society has no meldshapers in its ranks with which to test the notes. They, and likely only they, would be thrilled to meet a midnight occultist, and would likely be very willing to help one in exchange for more information on how vestiges are bound to chakras.

Other than this, however, midnight occultists are even rarer and even more reclusive than binders, and no known groups of them exist.

NPC Reaction: Unless your Vestige and Chakra binds are chosen very carefully, you are likely to look hideous to others. While your overall humanity (or dwarfishness or elvishness or what have you) is probably visible, you are unlikely to get a warm welcome anywhere. That said, careful selection of Vestiges can reduce this issue, and many Vestiges and Soulmelds can help a great deal in dealing with the ignorant.

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) or Knowledge (Religion), or who have the Bardic Knowledge ability, can research Midnight Occultists and their unique method of binding Vestiges, but only if they are already aware of both Binders and Meldshaping (this requires DC 20 Knowledge checks for each, as described on pages 24, 28, and 32 of Magic of Incarnum, and on pages 14 and 15 of Tome of Magic). When a character makes a skill check or Bardic Knowledge check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs. A character with ranks in Knowledge (The Planes) can also gain some information about Midnight Occultists, though each of the DCs below increases by 5 for each check. A character with his own ability to bind Vestiges gains a +2 bonus on these checks, and a character who is able to bind at least one Soulmeld to at least one Chakra likewise gain a +2 bonus; characters who can do both, including Midnight Occultists themselves, gain a +1 bonus in addition to these two bonuses, for a +5 bonus in total.

DC 20: Midnight Occultists are Binders who, thanks to their training in the arts of Incarnum, can bind Vestiges to their Chakras, gaining unique powers in the process. If an established religion brands Binders as heretics, then a Midnight Occultist surely would surely be considered an absolute evil, as many view the Occultists as literally feeding the lifeforce of the past, present, and future to the Vestiges.

DC 25: Despite what the churches say, Vestiges bound to the Chakras of Midnight Occultists do not consume Essentia: it is only invested in the Pact in much the same way that it is routinely invested in Soulmelds. In this way, the Vestiges only maintain a temporary contact with the force of Incarnum. Midnight Occultists believe, through repeated study, that Vestiges are incapable of permanently taking Essentia for themselves, as Incarnum cannot exist in the not-plane that the Vestiges now occupy. Also, in spite of claims that Binders sell their souls to Vestiges, it is a well known fact in Binder lore that Midnight Occultists have found quite definitively that Vestiges cannot be bound to the Soul Chakra.

DC 30: The practice of Midnight Occultism – the binding of Vestiges to one's Chakra – begins its history with a duskling named Touranisha. Touranisha had been trained as a totemist before taking up the binding arts, and wrote extensive notes on his experiences with the Vestiges in a series of notebooks known collectively as the Touranisha Diaries. Though the original diaries are lost, the general content of the diaries are well known among scholars of binding, even those who do not follow this practice.

DC 32: Characters who achieve this level of success can learn specific details about to which Chakras a Vestige may be bound, the appearance of a Midnight Occultist with a Vestige bound to each Chakra, and the basic power granted to those who have it bound to a Chakra (but not the powers of the Chakra binds). In order to do so, however, they must already know about the Vestige (a DC 28 Knowledge (Arcana) or Knowledge (Religion) check, or a DC 32 Knowledge (The Planes) check, as detailed on page 15 of Tome of Magic).

DC 35: Perhaps the most troubling secret in the Binder community is known only to a few, very experienced Midnight Occultists: the claim that Vestiges do not bind to the Soul Chakra is false. In fact, this is what all Binders do, though they do not know it. While melding the lifeforce of Incarnum into one's Soul is extremely difficult and only the most skilled of Incarnates can manage the feat, Vestiges are happy to do so and will for anyone who knows how to call. This is why Vestiges "cannot" be bound to the Soul Chakra: they already are, simply by being bound. The ramifications of this are heatedly, but extremely quietly, debated by the most learned of Binder scholars. Interestingly, Soulmelds can still be bound to the Soul Chakra despite the presence of a Vestige in that place, unlike every other Chakra; it is believed, however, that this is more a sign of the power of that Chakra than anything else.

DC 38: Characters who achieve this level of success can learn what a specific Vestige grants to a Midnight Occultist who binds that Vestige to a particular Chakra.

DC 40: Characters who achieve this level of success can learn important details about the specific Midnight Occultists in the campaign.

A character trying to establish contact with a specific Midnight Occultist may make a DC 40 Gather Information check to discover the necessary intermediaries and protocols for contact. Unlike ordinary Binders, Midnight Occultists tend to be exclusively recluses, so while direct contact is unlikely to work, it is often the only option. However, this check is often necessary just to find the Midnight Occultist, as even learning about one from the Knowledge check is generally insufficient to reveal his location, and asking around the Binder lore community is usually the only way to find one. The Theurgian Society (see page 90 of Tome of Magic for information on the Theurgian Society) attempts to keep track of the whereabouts of known Midnight Occultists, though to date they have induced none to actually join their ranks.

Midnight Occultists get a staggering number of options, which the Binder and Meldshapers already had in spades. Don't allow someone playing one to waste too much game-time choosing their binds – they have an unbelievable number of options, and could easily spend all day comparing combinations if you let them. Make it clear to anyone looking to enter this class that they must prepare their binds ahead of time, or else must make do with a limited amount of time with which to make those decisions. There is no such thing as a bad series of binds, so do not be afraid to rush someone who is taking too long.

That said, much of the power of Midnight Occultists comes from combining Soulmelds and Vestiges in unique ways. Encourage players to be clever with their binds, on their own time, and let them enjoy the benefit of strategic combinations. On the other hand, the number of possible combinations also makes foreseeing the exact power of the class very difficult: make it clear to players that you may need to change things so they do not combine quite so nicely, if an overpowered combination comes up. They'll be able to change their binds in a day, anyway, so it should not come as a huge blow to their plans.

Adaptation: Soulmelds and Vestiges work together amazingly well, on a mechanical as well as a flavorful level. An interesting concept might be to make the two different sides of the same coin: spirits that can be bound in different ways by different people, with Midnight Occultists learning how to master both ways. Tome of Magic even recommends possibly adapting Vestiges to be totemic spirits – which works very well, obviously, with the Totemist. The semi-religious bent of Incarnate or Soulborn would also work exceedingly well with treating the Vestiges as either angels or fiends, as Tome of Magic suggests, so really any adaptation of the Binder can work very well with Incarnum and the Midnight Occultist.

Encounters: Ultimately, Midnight Occultists are Binders with some new tricks, and their motivations and abilities are similar. Many of the Vestiges have dark pasts, making them excellent motivators of villains: Tenebrous, no doubt, seeks to return to godhood, and Acererak would like to try that too. Others want vengeance, and others simply were great fiends. At the same time, many Vestiges were good souls, and a Midnight Occultist need not, by any means, be evil: finding a good Midnight Occultist may lead to some very interesting dillemas for the players, especially the religious ones, who have to reconcile the teachings of their faith with respect to Binders, and the good that the NPC is attempting to do and needs the players' help for.

Midnight Occultists are secretive and suspicious, and more than a few are megalomaniacs. Even if the priests are wrong about what it is they do, no one can claim to fully understand the Vestiges, and only a fool would deny that binding them is risky, since their motives cannot be known. Midnight Occultists only take this further than Binders. Given that Incarnates and Soulborns are typically extremely passionate about their own goals, and Totemists are known for their savagery even when working for the causes of Good, an Evil Midnight Occultist will be extremely grandiose in their plans: theirs will be to awaken banished gods and devils, summon elder evils from beyond, or perhaps return their favored Vestige to reality and power. A Midnight Occultist will often be extremely paranoid and meticulous, but drawing a small cult, especially with Anima Mages and Soulcasters, is quite possible.

ECL 13: Krimgûl is a Shifter Midnight Occultist whose tribe worships the Vestiges, hunting in their jungle home for appropriate sacrifices to offer to the spirits, and Krimgûl is the best of the hunters. The party may encounter him after he has stalked them for days, when he is likely to wait for them to sleep and ambush them. His goal is simple: to bring the corpses of great warriors to the high shaman for sacrifice to the vestiges.

Krimgûl (Shifting)
Male Wildhunt Shifter Totemist 2/Binder 3/Midnight Occultist 8
Chaotic Evil Humanoid (incarnum) (shapechanger)
Init +9, Senses: Listen +10, Spot +10
Languages Common

AC 22, Touch 16, Flat 20 (Armor 5, Dex 2, Insight 5, Natural 1, Trait -1)
HP 163 (13 HD)
Fort +21, Ref +17, Will +12

Speed: Land 30 ft. (6 squares), Climb 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee Balam's Bite +17 (1d6+1d6+14/x2) or
Melee Poison Bite +12 (1d6+1d6+9/x2) or
Melee Claw of the Wyrm +10 (1d6+1d6+2/x2)
Full-Attack Balam's Bites +17/+17/+17 (1d6+1d6+14/x2), Claws of the Wyrm +10/+10 (1d6+1d6+2/x2) or
Full-Attack Poison Bite +12 (1d6+1d6+9), Claws of the Wyrm +10/+10 (1d6+1d6+2/x2)
Base Attack +9; Grapple +14
Atk Options Chupoclops Poison +1d8 damage on natural attacks (included above)
Supernatural Abilities Balam's Cunning (reroll one attack, saving throw, or skill check per 5 rounds), Balam's Icy Glare (2d6 Cold damage Gaze, Will negates), Chupoclops' Web (as Web, but deals poison damage), Ethereal Watcher, Shifting 1/day (10 rounds), Teleport self only up to 10 ft.

Vestiges Typically Bound (EBL 11th, Binding Check of 1d20+9):
Balam, the Bitter Angel
Chupoclops, Harbinger of Forever

Soulmelds Typically Shaped (Meldshaper level 10th, Essentia 9)
Balam's Chakra Pact (Totem Bound) (5/6 Essentia)
Chupoclops' Chakra Pact (Feet Bound) (Totem Bound) (1/6 Essentia)
Blink Shirt (Heart) (0/3 Essentia)
Claws of the Wyrm (Hands) (0/3 Essentia)
Dread Carapace (Arms) (2/3 Essentia)
Totem Avatar (Shoulders) (1/3 Essentia)

Abilities Str 20, Dex 14, Con 24, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 6
Special Qualities Scent, Chakra Bind (Totem, Crown, Hands, Feet, Arms, Brow, and Shoulders), Meldshaping, Soul Binding (2 vestiges), Pact Augmentation (1 ability), Suppress Sign, Chakra Pact (2 vestiges), Double Vestige Bind, Prescience (+5 Insight bonus to AC, Initiative, and Reflex saves), Weapon Finesse, Aura of Despair (-4 to Attacks rolls, checks, saves, and damage rolls to all in 10 to 20 ft.), Soulsense 10 ft., Deathwatch, Pounce.
Feats Dragontouched, Improved Binding, Multiattack, Bonus Essentia, Double Chakra (Totem)
Skills Balance +3, Climb +6, Jump +13, Knowledge (Arcana) +5, Knowledge (Nature) +5, Listen +10, Sense Motive +2, Spot +10, Survival +8, Tumble +8
Possessions +1 Light Fortification Chain Shirt of Improved Agility, Amulet of Health +4, Belt of Giant Strength +1, Vestments of Resistance +2

When not shifting, Krimgûl has the following altered statistics:
HP 150 (13 HD)
Fort +20
Abilities Con 22
Special Qualities loses Scent.

Hook "My Hunt ends only with you upon the pyre."

Incarnum is from Magic of Incarnum, © 2006 Wizards of the Coast. Pact Magic and the Vestiges are from the Tome of Magic, © 2005 Wizards of the Coast. Ashardalon, Pyre of the Unborn is from Dragon Magic, © 2006 Wizards of the Coast.

"Midnight Occultist" image is adapted from Invoker Idris by Aaron Foster, a.k.a. Razorb. All credit to him for the image.

Legend Homebrew / Legend of Eberron
« on: May 06, 2012, 01:29:32 AM »
Here're some thoughts on running Legend in the Eberron Campaign Setting.

Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Halfling, Human, and Orc remain as-is.

Elf player characters should indicate whether they are an Aerenal or Valenar elf by heritage; this has no direct mechanical benefit but does come up in some feat requirements, and may affect how others view them.

Half-Orcs are just ignored since Eberron barely uses them anyway. Any case where a Half-Orc would be used, just use an Orc. Player characters should indicate if they are an Orc or Half-orc during character creation; this has no direct mechanical effect but does come up in some feat requirements, and may affect how others view them.

Warforged, of course, use the Sentient Construct racial track.

New races:
  • +2 to any one ability score
  • Medium size
  • Minor Shapechange – Changelings can change their body to take on the physical resemblance of any humanoid (read: two arms, two legs, one head, attached to a central torso) of the same size.
  • +1 (+1/8 levels) racial bonus to Bluff checks.
  • Bonus Feat: Chatty Bugger, Feign Death, Confusion
Daelkyr Half-blood
  • +2 Con
  • Medium size
  • Personal Symbiont – Daelkyr Half-bloods are born with a symbiont attached to them, and it cannot be removed. The symbiont
  • +1 (+1/8 levels) racial bonus to Medicine checks.
  • Bonus Feat:
  • +2 to any one ability score
  • Medium size
  • Ghostwise Sight, 45 ft.
  • +1 (+1/8 levels) to Diplomacy checks
  • Bonus Feat: Any
* Note: This is based on the proposed changes to the Elf race.

  • +2 Intelligence
  • Medium size
  • +1 to Will saves
  • +1 (+1/8 levels) to Arcana checks
  • Bonus Feats: The Earth Cracks, The Sun Grows Dim, True Names
  • +2 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Cha
  • Medium Size
  • Shifting – Once per [Encounter], lasting a number of rounds equal to your highest Circle, you may Shift as a Free Action. Doing so gets you one of the following benefits for the duration (chosen at character creation, and cannot be changed):
    • Beasthide: +1 to Armor Class, gain temporary Hit Points equal to half your level.
    • Longtooth: Natural Bite weapon, which deals 1d8 damage and cannot be disarmed. Also +1 to attack and damage rolls.
    • Cliffwalk: When climbing, move at full speed and take no combat penalties.
    • Razorclaw: Pair of natural Claw weapons, which can be used together to deal 2d6 damage, and cannot be disarmed. Cannot be used while holding objects.
    • Longstride: +10 ft. movement speed bonus.
    • Wildhunt: You are aware of creatures within 30 ft. by sense of smell alone. This is sufficient to know which square they are in, giving you a +1 (+1/8 levels) bonus to your Perception defense against targets within. If the target successfully uses Stealth despite this bonus, or is otherwise undetectable to you aside from this feature, the target is [Concealed] to you even though you know roughly where it is.
  • +1 (+1/8 levels) to Athletics checks
  • Bonus Feats: Breakneck Pace, To Iron Married, Wake
I am tempted to make Racial Tracks for the Daelkyr Half-bloods, Kalashtar, and Shifters, since they are kind of limited by being plain races. Especially the Kalashtar; the best I could do for Psionics was to give them magic-y racial feats.

This is mostly for NPCs who need to be statted; players are free to do whatever they like. Which can easily include this list, if that's what they like. Just going through all the classes in the Eberron Campaign Setting for now. Fighters, Sorcerers, and Wizards will be custom-made to match the NPC since those classes are very generic and can mean very different things to different characters.

  • Artificer [Int, Cha] (8 HP/level, 6 skills, Medium BAB, Good Fort, Good Ref) – True Mage, Mechanist Savant, Item Creation (new, see link)
  • Barbarian (core class)
  • Bard [Cha, Dex] (10 HP/level, 6 skills, Good BAB, Good Ref, Good Will) – Arcane Lore, Chirurgic Poet, Force of Will
  • Cleric [Wis, Cha] (8 HP/level, 4 skills, Good BAB, Good Fort, Good Will) – Incantation, Virtue or Necromancer, Shaman Spellcasting
  • Druid [Wis, Con] (10 HP/level, 6 skills, Medium BAB, Good Fort, Good Will) – Runesong Scholar, Au Naturel (new, see link), Spellcasting (new, see link)
  • Fighter (to be custom-built on a case-by-case basis for NPCs that are Fighters, since Fighters don't share a whole hell of a lot in common)
  • Monk (core class)
  • Paladin (core class)
  • Ranger (core class, may multiclass for Au Naturel in cases where Animal Companion is important)
  • Rogue (core class)
  • Sorcerer (generally based on a Sage chassis)
  • Wizard (generally based on a Tactician chassis)
In addition to Animal Companion, Item Creation, and Wild Shape (tracks for the Artificer and Druid), the following tracks have the following changes (mostly fluff).

  • Arcane Lore, Chirurgic Poet, and Force of Will are the Bard's tracks, but do not map perfectly to the D&D Bard's three iconic features (Bardic Knowledge, Bardic Music, and Spellcasting); instead each one of the tracks is a combination of the three features used in different ways. Any character with any of these tracks may be said to have some bardic training or experience.
  • Though there is no specific "Fighter" class, the Knight track is very-commonly a part of characters who would be Fighters in D&D. As such, it does not require Guild Initiation.
  • Mechanist Savant is a basic track of the Artificer class; as such, one does not need Guild Initiation to take it.
  • Mechanist Savant is the Artificer's ability to craft Homunculi, and True Mage's features are the Artificer's Infusions.
  • Racial tracks, for the most part, do not entail actually being the race in question. Even if you mechanically take the track as a racial (i.e. you use the track's associated racial stats and stat progression), you are usually a member of one or another of Khorvaire's many humanoid races. Choose which at character creation.
    • Sentient Construct and the Undead tracks are the major exceptions; taking one of those as a racial generally does require that one actually be one of these sorts of things. One can take Sentient Construct with a Guild Initiation feat or the Shaman's Path, which is like taking the "Renegade Mastermaker" prestige class (Magic of Eberron). Taking an Undead track the same way is similar, a la the "Deadgrim" prestige class (Magic of Eberron) or "Pale Master" prestige class (Libris Mortis).
    • Celestial and Demon may simply be the blessings or boons of good or evil gods, respectively. These things need not have been desired or sought out by the character, who need not worship whoever gave the track and racial qualities to him or her. They may have some influence on the character's thoughts or feelings, but nothing even remotely like control; the character's actions are still dictated by his or her own will.
    • Dragon, Pegasus, Unicorn, and Utter Brute are simply magical and martial styles. The dragon and pegasus wings may be grafts or blessings or spells or what have you; if a graft, "dragon" wings almost certainly did not come from a dragon of Argonnessen, however. The actual dragons may use the Dragon track, but simply having the track does not make you one.
    • Pegasus and Unicorn in particular, and occasionally Dragon as well, can also be interpreted as powers stemming from a character's mount. This works very well for some of the more mount-centric races, such as the Talenta Halflings or Valenar Elves.

Iconic Feats
I need to think of what I want the Dragonmarked feats to actually do, though I have come to the brilliant conclusion that each should also count as a Guild Initiation feat for the appropriate guild.

Aberrant Dragonmark [Iconic, Racial] (Prereq: Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Half-elf, Halfling, Human, or Orc race) –

Bladebearer of the Valenar [Combat, Iconic] (Prereq: Valenar Elf race) – Your ancestral spirits travel with you in your blade and steed; you have no need for any City of the Dead. You own a Valenar double-scimitar that may be used as any level of magic weapon (mundane, lesser, greater, relic, or artifact), taking on the qualities of the level at which you equip it. You gain the benefits of any one [Combat] feat for which you meet the level requirements, but you may change which feat that is, along with the magical qualities of the double-scimitar, in each [Scene]. All combat feats work for your Valenar double-scimitar.

Dragonmark of Detection [Iconic, Racial] (Prereq: Half-elf race) – This feat may confer the benefits of the Guild Initiation feat for House Medani.

Dragonmark of Finding [Iconic, Racial] (Prereq: Human or Orc race) – This feat may confer the benefits of the Guild Initiation feat for House Tharashk.

Dragonmark of Handling [Iconic, Racial] (Prereq: Human race) – This feat may confer the benefits of the Guild Initiation feat for House Vadalis.

Dragonmark of Healing [Iconic, Racial] (Prereq: Halfling race) – This feat may confer the benefits of the Guild Initiation feat for House Jorasco.

Dragonmark of Hospitality [Iconic, Racial] (Prereq: Halfling race) – This feat may confer the benefits of the Guild Initiation feat for House Ghallanda.

Dragonmark of Making [Iconic, Racial] (Prereq: Human race) – This feat may confer the benefits of the Guild Initiation feat for House Cannith.

Dragonmark of Passage [Iconic, Racial] (Prereq: Human race) – This feat may confer the benefits of the Guild Initiation feat for House Orien.

Dragonmark of Scribing [Iconic, Racial] (Prereq: Gnome race) – This feat may confer the benefits of the Guild Initiation feat for House Sivis.

Dragonmark of Sentinel [Iconic, Racial] (Prereq: Human race) – This feat may confer the benefits of the Guild Initiation feat for House Deneith.

Dragonmark of Shadow [Iconic, Racial] (Prereq: Aerenal Elf race) – This feat may confer the benefits of the Guild Initiation feat for House Phiarlan or House Thuranni.

Dragonmark of Storm [Iconic, Racial] (Prereq: Half-elf race) – This feat may confer the benefits of the Guild Initiation feat for House Lyrandar.

Dragonmark of Warding [Iconic, Racial] (Prereq: Dwarf race) – This feat may confer the benefits of the Guild Initiation feat for House Kundarak.

Racial Feats
Right of Council [Racial] (Prereq: Aerenal Elf race) – You have the right to enter the City of the Dead, since you've got an Ancestor unliving there that you can go meet. You may request that your Ancestor cast Legend Lore for you once per [Quest], but you must actually physically go to the City of the Dead to request it.

Valenar Marauder [Racial, Skill] (Prereq: 6th level, Ride as a trained skill) – You own a Valenar warhorse, the swiftest mount in Khorvaire. In addition to its other properties, your Mount has the Speed Boost and Turbo properties.

The "obvious" way to do Druid is with an Animal Companion track, a Wild Shape track, and a Spellcasting track. Unfortunately, those first two are extremely difficult to do. What I've done is use the Runesong Scholar track because it seems very fitting, and moved Animal Companion and Wild Shape into one track. I may undo this decision if I come up with another seven ideas that seem balanced.

But at any rate, the all-new Au Naturel track has rules for an Animal Companion that is, I think, balanced. Which is something I, myself, doubted was possible. At any rate, tell me what you think of the Druid.

OK, "Infusions" are just True Mage, and "Homunculi" are just Mechanist Savant, because why re-invent the wheel?

But my Artificer class does have an all-new Item Creation track, and it's terrifying because balance on that sort of thing is hard.

Some will probably call it a cop-out since it's really just "Wand Creation" for the most part, but still. Let me know what you think. Particularly on how wand uses per day scale, with how the levels scale, etc. I want it to be not better nor worse than spellcasting, but that's really hard.

General Legend Discussion / Diablo LL: Legend of Destruction
« on: April 01, 2012, 03:30:11 PM »
So, my girlfriend was interested in a solo campaign, and I don't know anything nearly as well as Diablo II, which will be helpful because I've never DMed before. I figure the game works pretty well as a solo quest, and hopefully with some house rules it can be meaningful.

These are my notes on how I'm going to stat things, feel free to point out any Bad Ideas.

  • The game started at level 1.
  • Player started with 4 Healing Potions; they are plentiful (note to self: remember to hand these out more often)
  • Player started with 1 Scroll of Town Portal; these are not quite as plentiful but pretty common. If you have at least one when you die, you manage to dive through the portal back to Camp. (I'm going to hand these out often enough that the player will basically never run out, because I don't want to figure out what happens on death otherwise)
  • Player started with a mundane longbow, and nothing else. Soon found mundane gear.
  • Player probably should have more HP than usual (have not implemented yet).
  • The PC came across the Rogue camp under a moderate siege by a Fallen myriad, two Zombies, and a Quill Rat. The camp has three caravan guards (Grunts with Reach) and three rogues (ranged Strikers)
  • Akara gave the quest to clear the Den of Evil, and the game begins.
The below are just the types and stats for enemies in each area; I haven't yet quite worked out the specific encounters in each area.

My thought for handling encounters and exploration is to have a lookup table for what you find after an encounter (e.g., you might have a 30% chance of finding the Den of Evil after each encounter on the Blood Moor or something).

Magic items are found after specific boss battles. The item's tier will be set, but the item itself randomly generated. The player may trade it for any other item of the same tier while in town. The player may swap between multiple items of the same tier for a given slot while in town. When she finds a new magic item, she may always elect to equip it immediately, replacing another item if desired.

"Unique" monsters in Diablo II are actually randomized monsters with stats a fair bit better than that of their kin, plus randomized special powers.

I'm thinking that uniques should have both Grunt and Striker bonuses (a la Minion) plus one of the following:
  • Extra Strong Probably perma-Rage.
  • Extra Fast Maybe Monk's Unarmed Strike + Weapon Master? +10 ft. move speed
  • Spectral Hit on hit, roll 1d4. Outcomes:
    • +2 Fire damage, Ref vs. [On Fire] for 1 [Round]
    • Fort vs [Slowed] for 1 [Round]
    • +1d4 Electricity damage
    • +1 Poison damage per [Round], 1d4 [Rounds]; Fort save ends
  • Fire Enchanted attacks: +KOM Fire damage, Ref vs [On Fire]. On death, (Lv)d6 Fire damage to all in Melee range.
  • Cold Enchanted attacks: +KDM Cold damage, Fort vs [Slowed] for 1 round. On death, (Lv)d4 Cold damage to all in Close range, Fort vs. [Slowed] for 1+(Lv+2)/3 rounds.
  • Lightning Enchanted attacks: +1dX, where X scales based on level somehow, in Electricity damage. Treated as having the Shield Kingship, but dealing Electricity damage.
  • Magic Resistant Worldhewn? seems too good
  • Stone Skin Indestructable? see Magic Resistant
  • Mana Burn almost think... this just shouldn't be a thing.
  • Cursed Tempted to use Word of Pain from Warlock
  • Aura Probably Bastion somehow?
Uniques also have backup in the form of "minions" in D2 lingo (need a different name for them in Legend since Minion is already a Mook type). These gain minor versions of the above bonuses:
  • Extra Strong +1 attack/damage.
  • Extra Fast +10 ft. move speed.
  • Spectral Hit some sort of elemental resistance
  • Fire Enchanted attacks: +1 Fire damage, Ref vs [On Fire].
  • Cold Enchanted attacks: +1 Cold damage, Fort vs [Slowed] for 1 round.
  • Lightning Enchanted attacks: +1 Electricity damage.
  • Magic Resistant +1 to all Saving Throws
  • Stone Skin +1 AC
  • Mana Burn nothing, probably
  • Cursed benefit directly from the cursing
  • Aura benefit directly from the aura
Blood Moor (COMPLETE)
  • Fallen: 1st level Myriad, no ability to replace bodies; when a body is killed, remaining bodies spend their next Move action fleeing in the opposite direction of whoever did it.
  • Quill Rat: 1st level Striker, but half the normal HP.
  • Zombie: 1st level Grunt, but can move only in 5 ft. steps.
The Den of Evil (COMPLETE)
Quest: Defeat 3 Encounters in the Den. The last includes Corpsefire. By the time the player has found and about half-way cleared the Den, she should have more than enough mundane items to kit herself out as she would have been normally.
  • Fallen, Quill Rats, and Zombies: as above.
  • Fallen Shaman: 1st level ranged Striker, can spend a Standard to replace a body from a nearby Fallen.
  • Gargantuan Beast: 1st level Grunt
Zombie, plus Spectral Hit. Corpsefire has a few Zombies with him.

Corpsefire drops a Lesser Item.

Quest Reward
After clearing the Den of Evil, Akara grants the player one Champion-tier Legendary ability. (chose Chameleon)

Player also given ability to effectively count "double" in combat: rolls initiative twice, gets two turns per round, uses of any limited abilities are doubled (e.g. 1/round -> 2/round, 1/encounter -> 2/encounter, etc). Effectively two of the same character sharing one space.

Cold Plains
  • Dark Hunter: 1st level melee Striker
  • Dark Spearwoman: 1st level melee Striker with +5' Reach
Bishibosh (Optional)
Fallen Shaman, plus [Fire Resistance]. Can spend a Standard Action 1/Encounter to resurrect a Fallen Shaman in [Close] range.

Bishibosh drops an Ankh and a Lesser Item.

Caves (Optional)
  • Dark Ranger: 1st level ranged Striker
1st-level ranged Unique with Cold Enchanted. Has a few Dark Rangers with her. When she or any of her pack hit, it triggers a DC 10 Ref save, or the target's Move speed is halved.

Coldcrow drops an Ankh and a Firebrand.

Burial Grounds
  • Zombie: As before.
  • Skeleton: 1st level melee Striker, DR 1 but half HP
Blood Raven
1st level Ranged Striker, 1/Enc can add +1d6 Fire damage to attack. Can spend Standard to summon a Zombie adjacent to her.

Upon defeating Blood Raven, player gains level 2

Quest Reward
Kashya gives the player a Rogue (as in the faction, not the class) cohort. The Cohort is a ranged Striker who may lower the AC of all enemies within 20 ft. by -2 for 2 [Rounds], 1/Encounter. May choose between a Rogue who knows Cold Arrow (1/Encounter, attack triggers Fort vs. [Slow]) or Fire Arrow (1/Encounter, attack triggers Ref vs. 1d6 Fire damage and [On Fire])

Stony Field
  • Fallen and Fallen Shamans: as before
  • Foul Crow: [Flying], but must stop flying to attack in melee. 1st-level Mook who deals 1d6 + 2 damage.
  • Foul Crow Nest: Spawns a new Blood Hawk once every 2d4 [Rounds] while PC is nearby. Has 50 HP.
  • Carver: as Fallen but level 2.
  • Goatmen: level 2 melee Striker with Reach
Carver, but some True Mage gave him the Shield Kingship. Damage from the Kingship is Electricity damage.

Rakinishu drops an Ankh and a Granite Spike.

Both of the following may be randomly found on the Stony Field:

Black Tome
Gives a quest to kill the Countess in the Forgotten Tower (later)

Cairn Stones
The Stony Field has a ring of Cairn Stones. The player recognizes them as obviously magical, but cannot use them at the moment.

Underground Passage
  • Carver, Dark Ranger, Goatman: as above
  • Carver Shaman: 2nd-level Fallen Shaman
  • Misshapen: 2nd-level Striker, melee or ranged. Ranged attacks deal Electricity damage.
  • Skeleton Archer: 2nd-level ranged Striker, DR 1 but half HP.
Dark Forest
  • Carver, Carver Shaman, Skeleton Archer: as above
  • Brute: 2nd-level Grunt.
  • Spike Fiend: 2nd-level Quill Rat.
Treehead Woodfist
2nd-level Minion with the Utter Brute track. Has a few other Brutes with him.

Treehead Woodfist drops an Instant Tree.

Tree of Innifus
Discovered after killing Treehead Woodfist, drops the Scroll of Innifus. Akara can transcribe this so the player can activate the Rune Stones in the Stony Field. This opens a portal to Tristram.

  • Carver, Carver Shaman, Goatmen, Skeleton Archers: as above
2nd-level Minion with the Smiting track.

After killing Griswold, the player gains level 3, and finds Deckard Cain and Wirt.

Drops a lot of money and Wirt's Leg. Haven't decided what to do with these.

Deckard Cain
10th-level Tactician, but never sees combat. Will make Knowledge checks for free (in fact, you'll soon wish he would stop).

Quest Reward
Akara gives the player a Broken Ring. Other NPCs will trade other Lesser Items for it.

Black Marsh
(after the Dark Forest)
  • Carver, Carver Shaman: as before.
  • Blood Hawk: 2nd-level Foul Crow; deals 1d6+4 damage.
  • Blood Hawk Next: 3rd-level Foul Crow Nest; has 60 HP.
  • Devilkin: 3rd-level Fallen
  • Thorn Beast: 3rd-level Quill Rat
  • Yeti: 3rd-level Grunt
The Forgotten Tower (optional)
  • Devilkin: as above
  • Ghost: 2nd-level melee Striker, can pass through objects and creatures (mindlessly aggressive though, so it's not going to play peek-a-boo)
  • Vile Archer: 3rd-level ranged Striker
  • Vile Hunter: 3rd-level melee Striker
  • Vile Lancer: 3rd-level melee Striker with +5' Reach
The Countess
3rd-level Minion with the Vampire Water Elemental Water Elemental as Vampire track, has some Vile Archers/Hunters/Lancers with her.

The Countess drops an Ankh, a Meat Grenade, and a Lesser Item.

Quest Reward
Though still level 3, the player gains her second Lesser Item early.

Tamoe Highlands
  • Returned: 3rd-level Skeleton
  • Returned Archer: 3rd-level Skeleton Archer
  • Returned Mage: As Skeleton Archer, but deals Fire damage, and has a Firebrand.
The Monastery
  • Vile Archer, Vile Hunter, Vile Lancer, Yeti: as before
  • Disfigured: 3rd-level version of Misshapen
Inner Cloister
  • Disfigured, Vile Archer, Vile Hunter, Vile Lancer, Yeti: as before
  • Devilkin, Disfigured, Returned, Returned Mage, Vile Lancer
  • Devilkin Shaman: 3rd-level Fallen Shaman
The Smith
3rd-level Minion with the Iron Magi track.

The Smith guards the Horadric Malus, and also drops an Ankh and a Firebrand.

Quest Reward
Charsi does something with the Horadric Malus.

  • Devilkin, Devilkin Shaman, Disfigured, Returned, Returned Mage: as before
  • Gargoyle Trap: 3rd-level Minion with the Fire Elementalist track, but immobile and only gets a turn every other Round.
Pitspawn Fouldog (optional)
I'm not allowed to make this encounter as nasty as it is in the computer game, methinks. Pitspawn Fouldog is often a name to run away from very fast....

Anyway, I'm out of time for now, though I do have notes for more. Just one last thing...
Andariel, Handmaiden of Anguish
4th-level Demon/Professional Soldier/Acid Elementalist
Feats: By Will Sustained, The Earth Cracks, You Will Falter
Items: Broken Stele, Grim Fragment
Demon Magic: Darkness
Elemental Finesse: Forced Vulnerability


General Discussion / Brominion, awesome deck-building card game
« on: March 10, 2012, 03:02:07 PM »

Does anyone else play this? It's a pretty awesome card game. I'm told it's similar to playing an MtG draft, except that you draft as you play, and how well you play determines what cards you can get (and thus how well you'll do).

It can be a lot of fun, though I will warn you that it can be a lot of suck with the wrong cards/people.

Legend Homebrew / Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« on: March 07, 2012, 11:06:59 PM »
The Warlock

Warlocks are spellcasters, relying on summoning fiendish minions to do their jobs. These fiends can be bound to others with the Convoker track; this puts brutal curses on them. They may instead be bound to an Invoker himself; this grants powerful boons. Or they may simply be summoned using traditional Spellcasting; the fiends make for disposable Mooks that can open up a variety of tactical opportunities.

Mechanically, Convoker is a powerful offensive track. Possibly too powerful, honestly; feedback would be nice. Word of Pain, in particular, seems to scale improperly: it deals substantial portions of its potential damage right from level 1. The damage multiplication of Maladict is probably just inappropriate, but for now I'm keeping it because it amuses me. Tweaking there will happen though.

The Invoker track uses a scheme that was originally suggested for Combat Alchemist, that is to have a semi-"spellcasting" track with four tiers, mirroring the item tiers, and three non-tier-based circles (so it's half a track, and half a progression a la spellcasting). Combat Alchemist is still incomplete, so I think this is the first public use of the concept. Essentially, it's very similar to the Tome of Magic Binder from 3.5. The specific effects of the binds are all in need of balance critique.

The Spellcasting track uses two new conditions I've created, [Bound] and [Summoned]. The exact rules can be found at the end of the document, but the gist of it is that [Bound] creatures get no independent actions. Instead, they have a controller who can spend an action (typically a Swift action) to order them to attack or use a special ability. [Summoned] creatures simply disappear when they die or lose the [Summoned] condition.

The idea behind the vast majority of the Warlock's spells is that they spend a Standard action to summon a Mook, who they can then order about as Swift actions. Effectively, the expenditure of a Standard action and a spell slot sets up a Swift-action ability that can be used for the rest of the encounter.

Anyway, I am very interested in responses, thoughts, and most definitely any balance help. My sense of Legend balance is not as strong as you might think; most of my contributions to Legend have been conceptual, and I don't have a good sense for the numbers and expectations yet.

Also, feel free to comment on the formatting of the webpage itself. I developed a fairly-intricate PHP-based scheme for the automatic creation of these pages, and it still requires fine-tuning, so feedback there is appreciated. In particular, I know the Table of Contents is in desperate need of population.

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