For today, it’s the start of a character conversion – 3.0/3.5 Legends of High Fantasy d20 to Eclipse Classless d20. Since Eclipse covers all the basics easily, I’m going to take a character with some unusual variant classes to illustrate with.
Liam Ko was a Sorcerer-Priest from Cemar, a high-fantasy world where most magical powers were innate to their wielders, rather than being acquired as enchanted items, where the Monotheistic Faith of the High Father dominated the world, and where Sorcerers and Druids expended their hit points to power flexible innate metaspells rather than using spell slots and specific spells.
In particular, Cemarian Priests were spontaneous casters with a severely restricted spell list and few combat capabilities – although they did have ecclesiastical “powers” based on their authority as priests. Of course, that sort of thing only worked on other members of their religion.
Cemaran characters used the Talent rules (as found in Legends of High Fantasy and The Practical Enchanter) rather than magical items. They also used the original 3.- rules for buying magical bonuses to skills, which might prove a bit more troublesome to translate.
The Sorcery is going to be the hardest bit of course: Cemarian characters didn’t have any problem healing their wounds to provide more magic, and could cast a few spells per day without spending hit points on them – which lets out Body Fuel and most forms of Mana, Power, and Magic Points, as well as Hexcrafting, Thaumaturgy, and most of the other magic systems in Eclipse. The flexible effects let out most forms of Inherent Enchantment as well.
The general rule for Eclipse still holds: any form of magic which doesn’t have a hard limit on how much or what you can do generally translates to the Path of the Dragon. Unfortunately, that’s extremely expensive. Fortunately, Cemarian-style sorcery offers enough limitations – having to buy spells separately, having to spend hit points or tap into external sources of energy to power them, and the necessity of buying caster levels to go with your powers (rather than simply relying on your overall level like most other innate talents) should help keep those costs under control.
I may build an alternative path using Mana and/or Body Fuel anyway. Near-unlimited use of combat sorcery didn’t matter much on Cemar, since actual combat was a rare and significant event in that world – and so “running out of spells” was virtually unheard-of anyway. That’s also why noncombat spells and abilities were usually much more important than combat powers there – but that doesn’t hold true in most d20 worlds, so an adjustment may be in order.
Fortunately, his personal history doesn’t really need any “conversion”.
Lian showed his sorcerous talents early; weaving simple charms to enhance his knowledge, senses, and speed. Naturally enough, he was apprenticed out as soon as he possibly could be; an untrained sorcerer was a danger to himself and to everyone else around him. The local priests provided intensive religious education as well; youthful sorcerers could fall to the lure of black magic all too easily.
Things got a lot more serious a few years later. Lian was out camping with a few friends when one of them unwisely traced the runes on an ancient pillar in the woods. There wasn’t much power left in the old spells, but it had still been containing a very minor demon. Unleashed it would have been more then a match for a few village youngsters, but the White Light responded to Lian’s desperate call.
The spell backlash left Lian hanging on the edge of consciousness – but the light sustained him even as it burned the demon to harmless ash.
He was adrift within that light for a long time.
When he awoke under the care of the priests back at the village he woke knowing that his talents had been granted to him for the service and protection of others.
Over the ensuing years, Lian’s dedication proved firm – and gained direction. He was a skilled crafter of charms and talismans, but the ancient techniques of creating greater devices and weapons – such as the ancient Holy Swords – had been lost during the Lich King’s second invasion. The mage-smith orders had been wiped away, like the paladins they had armed and armored.
Wiped away with a vicious thoroughness suggesting that – even if his invasion could not succeed – the Lich-King saw this as an acceptable substitute.
One of Liam’s great-grandfathers had been a true mage-smith – and that lore would be needed. Talented, dedicated, sorcerer-priests were few and far between.
Liam received a series of ancestral visions, and accepted them. There would be many other missions and calls along the way – but Liam would at least begin to regather the broken and scattered fragments of the ancient lore. The order of the mage-smiths would be reborn.
Liam soon exhausted the lore available locally – and set out to seek elsewhere. Senacus – the greatest tradeport in the known world – held enough clues to keep him busy for several years
Personal Data; Ht 5’6, Wt 123 Lb, Fur; Red-Brown (Tends to vary), Eyes; Green, Age; 128 (—), Place Of Birth; Rig ShouChin, Xin Highlands, Thirdborn of four children, Occupation; Scholar-Priest and Mage-Smith, Ethnic Origin; Xin Elf, Clan Ethall, Marital Status; Single, Religion; Priest of the High Father /Ry-Hinsu Path, Base Of Operations; Senecas, Hanora Elemental Temple, Education; Apprenticed to village sorcerer Learaman Ko (Quite early – since he showed considerable talents), religious instruction at the Varinn Earth Temple. Source of income; creation and sale of charms and talismans.