Thera: The ShuKenja

   Today it’s another one of the exotic base classes from the d20 world of Thera – in this case, the wizard-priests of the Eastern Empire.

   The ShuKenja (“Followers Of Magic”) attune their spirits to Thera’s Runes – making their power a part of themselves. While this grants them tremendous flexibility within the limits of their specialities, they’re limited by the Rule Of Three; ShuKenja cannot attune to more then three runes.

   Thanks to the thousands of runes available on Thera, ShuKenja vary enormously. A wielder of the Runes of Purification, Healing and Warding makes an excellent village priest – but a master of Storm, War, and Beasts is a different proposition.

Level

BAB

BCL

MSL

A

B

C

Special Abilities

01

0

0

0

2

1

0

Rune Mastery II

02

1

1

1

3

1

0

Runesense

03

1

2

1

3

2

1

Talent I

04

2

3

2

4

2

1

Attunement I

05

2

3

2

4

3

1

Famalier/Mount

06

3

4

2

5

3

2

Talent II

07

3

5

3

5

3

2

RuneMastery III

08

4

6

3

6

4

2

Meditation

09

4

6

3

6

4

3

Contacts

10

5

7

4

7

5

3

Talent III

11

5

8

4

7

5

3

Attunement II

12

6

9

4

8

6

4

Tong Membership

13

6

9

5

8

6

4

Sustained Spell

14

7

10

5

9

7

4

Talent IV

15

7

11

5

9

7

5

RuneMastery IV

16

8

12

6

10

7

5

Spirit Invocation

17

8

12

6

10

8

5

Talent V

18

9

13

6

11

8

6

Attunement III

19

9

14

6

11

9

6

Position/Patron

20

10

15

7

12

9

6

Talent VI

Class Features:

  • Alignment; Any, but Diabolic is very rare.
  • Hit Die; D6
  • Mana per Level; Chr + Int OR Chr + Wis
  • BAB, BCL, and MSL; Base Attack Bonus, Base Caster Level, and Maximum Spell Level usable.
  • Saves A, B, and C; Assign to Fortitude, Willpower, and Reflex as seems appropriate to the character.
  • Class Skills; Alchemy (Or Animal Empathy), Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Heal, Perform, Intimidate, Knowledge (Specify), Pick Pocket, Profession, Runecraft, Scry, Speak Languages, Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device. “Runecraft” is automatically limited to bonded runes, QV; Rune Mastery. Specialist Shukenja are usually known as Wu Yen.
  • Skill Points; 4+Int Modifier Per level, x4 at L1.
  • Weapon and Armor Proficiency; Simple Weapons and any two Martial Weapons, or a single Exotic Weapon.

Special Abilities:

  • Rune Mastery permits the user to bond with one of Thera’s (numerous) runes. The user may weave any spell within the domain of the rune for which he/she both has the necessary mana, and lies within the limits of his ability. Each level of this ability allows the user to bond with a single new rune, or to upgrade his/her attunement to one already bonded. Bonding to a rune a second time halves the mana costs of spells using that rune. Bonding a third time converts runic spellcasting to a supernatural ability and provides a +5 bonus on Runecraft.
    • Unfortunately, tapping into a rune without having a spell ready to channel it’s energies through is somewhat unstable, even a Shukenja must make a Runecraft check to do so – albeit at a DC of only [(Spell Level + 1)x5]. Thanks to their special attunement, a failure is not dangerous, but is time-consuming; the casting will require 1 extra round per point by which the roll was missed. Shukenja may take ten on such rolls if the situation isn’t stressful.
    • Roll Runecraft >= (Spell Level +1) x 5
  • Runesense permits user’s to detect it when the powers of a bonded rune are being used in the immediate area. The user may spend skill points on a “runesense” skill to enhance this ability if desired; high rolls will allow the user to analyze the forces in play.
  • Talents permit the user to progress a step along the path of his / her chosen talent(s). Some sample talents are provided – but others are certainly possible. See “Talents”, below.
  • Attunement allows the user to gain a minor special ability related to a “mastered” rune. These may be a particular feat or some lesser supernatural “talent”. Common effects include minor resistances, the ability to infuse your weapons with some special ability, a (modest) boost to an attribute, immunity to possession or acquiring a spirit-companion.
  • Familiar / Mount allows the user to gain a familiar, mount or animal companion, as seems appropriate to the nature of his/her runes. The appropriate tables of abilities should be used, albeit at -3 levels.
  • Meditation permits the user to regain mana as if within a magic circle, without the need to actually draw one. A ShuKenjas recovery is always based on his or her Charisma.
  • Contacts allows user’s to make a Charisma check to see if they know someone in the area. Such an individual may or may not help of course – but will at least be inclined to talk, rather then chase you away. ShuKenjas keep in touch with a great variety of people, and are often owed a few favors.
  • Tong Membership indicates that you will be approached or recruited by a “secret society” of some sort. Such a group is always fairly compatible with the character’s personality – but refusing to join is unwise. ShuKenja are highly respected and valued members of Tongs, even if outsiders regard them with suspicion.
  • Sustained Spell gives the user the ability to keep one spell at a time running past it’s normal duration – or even indefinitely. Sadly for the ShuKenja, they can’t begin sustaining for 1D4 hours after dropping a prior choice.
  • Spirit Invocation permits the user to call on the spirits for a spell even if they don’t have enough mana left. This can be used once per day to cast a single spell of up to level seven – but the user will owe the “spirits” a notable favor.
  • Position / Patron indicates that a magical being of some sort will offer you a position, or become your patron, in the celestial bureaucracy. You may be given very odd jobs, but you may continue to intervene after death and will enjoy a certain authority over spirits and minor fey.

Common ShuKenja Talent Trees:

The Spirit Way:

   The path of ghosts and demons focuses on the forces of the Astral and Ethereal plane. This path’s talents must be taken in order;

  • Wraith Eyes grants the ability to perceive Astral or Ethereal beings with a successful DC 15 Spot check.
  • The Spirit Tongue allows the user to speak with the spirits of nature and the dead, pro- jecting his or her thoughts into the level of reality in which they dwell. While this does not guarantee that they’ll listen or respond, they will at least understand…
  • Reaching Beyond permits the user to extend the effects of his touch and powers into both the Astral and Ethereal plane, taking whichever set of modifiers is most advantageous.
  • Going Forth allows the user to engage in a limited form of “Astral Projection” – using a trance state to explore the Astral and Ethereal planes. Thanks to this experience, characters with this talent may easily return as spirits after death.
  • Walk The Worlds permits it’s user to cross the boundaries between the Astral, Ethereal, and Physical planes under specific circumstances; at a crossroads or henge, at twilight and dawn, through mirrors, thru meditation, or whatever seems appropriate. As a rule this can be done up to three times per day – carrying along up to (Chr Mod) others.
  • Spirit Gate allows the user to open a gate to the Astral / Ethereal, to either pass thru or to call forth spirits. Unfortunately, this requires a lengthy ritual, and does not grant command over what is summoned.

The Herbalists Way:

   Mystic Herbalists can infuse their potions and mixtures with energy drawn from the flow of positive and negative C’hi.

  • Brew Potion allows the creation of magical potions, as per the standard rules.
  • Healing Infusions can Neutralize Poisons, Cure Critical Wounds, Cure Blindness, Cure Deafness and repair many similar afflictions. This talent permits it’s user to apply a mixture of herbs to produce such an effect three times per day. Using this talent requires Herbalism at 8+.
  • Venom Mastery permits the user to create a variety of toxins capable of inflicting up to 1D6/1D6 attribute damage – or four times that to HP, Power, Mana. These have a DC of (14 + Int Mod). This requires Herbalism 8+
  • Spelldraughts allow the herbalist to share the effect of a single-target, or “personal”, spell with up to eleven others, once per day. Using this requires Herbalism at 10+
  • DragonPowder allows it’s users to apply up to three “levels” of metamagic to spells in a day, without raising the levels of the spells so enhanced or having metamagical feats. This requires Herbalism at 12+
  • SpellCrystals take many forms; handfuls of quartz pebbles, written prayers, firecrackers and powdered herbs. Their effect is similar; the user may precast and save for later user up to three spells at a time – releasing them as if they were quickened. It requires Herbalism at 15+.

The Warding Way:

   This path focuses on channeling magic into personal defenses.

  • Spirit Ward allows the user to add his/her Charisma Modifier to one category of saves… It may be taken up to three times – each time it applies to a new save catagory.
  • The Heaven Shield allows the user to throw a counter- or defensive spell as a “reflexive action” three times a day.
  • The Thunder Ward allows the user to divert damage from HP to MP, essentially a crude but automatic defensive spell.
  • The Imperial Ward permits the user to take the brunt of supernatural attacks on those in a 10′ R – anybody the user chooses to protect within that area will take half or no effect. This ability can be used up to 3/day.

The Sages Way:

   The path of the scholar is fairly obvious, but is one of the most highly respected.

  • Mystic Lore; While this pertains to mystic events, occult secrets, magical symbolism and so on, it works just like Bardic Lore.
  • Incantation calls on spirits to reduce the required level of any single spell effect the user wants to cast by one, 3x times a day. It can also be used to reduce the level of any 3 specific effects by one level permanently. No single spell can, however, be subject to both effects.
  • Invocation allows the user to regain (5D6) Mana Points, as a free action, 1/day.
  • Secret Lore grants bonus mana equal to the user’s skill in Knowledge/(Select; Feng Shui, The Planes, Religion, Astronomy, or Mineralogy), or Herbalism provided that he or she is properly equipped with talismans. This may be taken up to three times – adding three skills.
  • Stop The Sands permits user’s to interrupt the normal initiative/combat sequence to take an extra action up to three times a week. The strain of this extraordinary effort does, however, cause fatigue. Incantation and Invocation are both prerequisites.

The Way Of Immortality:

   This path concentrates on controlling C’hi – and using it to maintain the physical body. It’s disciplines include;

  • Purity Of Body; As per Monks.
  • Wholeness Of Body; As per Monks.
  • The Embryonic Pearl allows the user to add half of his or her personal mana score to the duration of each age category.
  • Diamond Body; As per Monks. Requires both Purity and Wholeness Of Body as prerequisites.
  • Inner Alchemy; The user need not breathe and no longer suffers aging penalties. This does, however, require the Embryonic Pearl ability.
  • Perfect Self; As per Monks. Unlike a monk, the user no longer ages at all, but undergoes a gradual purification/transformation into an ethereal member of the Celestial Court. When the characters “time is up” they will ascend, and take their place as a spirit functionary. They tend to gradually “withdraw” long before that however. Requires both Diamond Body and Inner Alchemy.
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