Inaro Montban, Agent of the Limbo Wheel

   Here we have a point-buy d20 character of a type that I’ve often seen -usually from people who swore up and down that they’d just gotten really lucky rolling – but have never managed to roll up for myself. However, the game master for this campaign informed me that he would be using Eclipse; the Codex Persona classless d20 rules (available in print HERE and in a shareware edition HERE) with a couple of additional house rules:

  • All characters would be starting at level one.
  • They were to be humans or near-human races built on 12 CP.
  • They got +2 CP bonus if the player came up with a completed character sheet on his or her own.
  • They got to use the optional Natural Power Base rule (Eclipse, page 102), giving all characters a base of (Charisma/2) Power and (Constitution/3) Generic Spell Levels to work with, whether they knew how to use it or not.
  • They could have up to 3 CP worth of Relics to start with.
  • They would be built using 32-point point buy attributes – but you could add character points from among those available at level one to those 32 points.

   Now, that last one wasn’t one I’d normally recommend, but it let me create a character that I’ve been waiting to see since the little blue book came out – the legendary “legitimate character with all 18’s”.

   Of course, that didn’t leave all that many points for anything else, but I stretched them as far as possible.

   The child was unblemished. All that was finest in the race, every innate strength of mind and body a human had ever known, expressed itself in him.

   The time between the lightning and the thunder. A waiting for the fulfillment of prophecy. A fitting host for the rise of darkness. If the majesty of Ankyroth, the shadow that shines, the night that drives forth the light, the angel of the abyss, was to be sullied by incarnation in a mere human host, the boy would be closest among men to the perfection of the black star.

   When he was of age a sliver of darkness entered his soul to prepare the vessel – and a glimpse of his destiny was granted to him.

   He fled, screaming. There were yet a few hours before he darkness would claim him utterly – although there was nowhere in the world, in life or in death, where he could hide.

   Yet Fate demands a sliver of hope in every prophecy. Some loophole of freedom for the cheating of destiny. While the great hosts of light and dark rushed towards apocalyptic collision, a near-forgotten power saw a moment of opportunity – a chance for second best.

   And that had always been his speciality. When the youngster stumbled into the old sacred circle, Lugh took him, imbued him with a touch of his own, fading, power to counterbalance the mental -if not physical and magical -influence of the darkness, and thrust him onto Wheel of Worlds, to spend his life beyond the reach of Ankyroth, Someday prophecy would come to pass. Someday there would come another child – but not this one, not today.

   On the Wheel of Worlds, Inaro was taken under the wing of a team of field agents – operatives for the Limbo Wheel*.

Inaro Montban

   Level 1 Agent, Limbo Wheel Campaign.

   Available Character Points:

  • Racial Allowance: 12 CP
  • Level One Base: 48 CP
  • Level One Bonus Feat: 6 CP
  • Disadvantages: Duties (limbo wheel agent, +2 CP/Level), Restrictions (no conventional Armor or Spells, +2 CP/Level), Broke (one-third starting cash), Compulsive Womanizer, and Recorder (+10 CP), Illiterate/All Languages (from an oral culture, +2 CP). 16 CP
  • Fast Learner/Specialized in Witchcraft, +2 CP/Level. 2 CP.
  • Completed Character Sheet: 2 CP
    • Grand Total: 86 CP.

   Character Point Expenditures:

  • Innate Enchantment/The Essence of Ankyroth (Corrupted: Detects as dark magic and attracts beings who want to exploit it, 9000 GP total value, 6 CP, all effects unlimited use use-activated at caster level 1 and personal-only [cost x.7] where applicable unless otherwise noted): Mage Armor (1400 GP), Magic Missile, Burning Hands, and Shocking Grasp once per day each (1200), Immortal Vigor I (+12 + 2x Con Mod HP, 1400 GP), Expertise (+2 Competence bonus to all skills and checks, 1400), Fortune’s Favor (+2 Luck bonus to all skills and checks, 1400), and Inspiring Word (+1 Morale Bonus on saves, checks, attacks, and damage, 1400).
  • Priestly Witchcraft with two Pacts (6 CP): 18 Power, Save DC 17. Pacts: Duties/Champion of Lugh and Rituals/Seasonal Celebrations. Powers: The Adamant Will, Glamour, Healing, Hyloka, The Inner Eye, Shadowweave, and Witchsight.
  • Extra Attribute Points for Point Buy Attributes (32 Base + 64 CP = straight 18’s).
  • Starting Relic/The Sigil of Lugh (3 CP):
    • Mana/Power Option (+3d6/11 points, 6 CP)
    • Fast Learner (specialized in Witchcraft, for +2 CP/Level, 6 CP)
    • Double Enthusiast (Specialized/Only for Witchcraft, Corrupted/Only changes when you learn the power it’s currently bestowing, provides +6 CP for a Witchcraft ability, 6 CP).

   Basic Attributes: Strength 18 (+4), Dexterity 18 (+4), Constitution 18 (+4), Intelligence 18 (+4), Charisma 18 (+4), and Wisdom 18 (+4).

   Saving Throws:

  • Reflex +0 (Purchased) +4 (Dexterity) +1 (Morale) = +5
  • Fortitude +0 (Purchased) +4 (Constitution) +1 (Morale) = +5
  • Will +0 (Purchased) +4 (Wisdom) +1 (Morale) = +5

   Other Basics:

  • Hit Dice: L1 d8 (4 CP)
  • Hit Points: 8 (L1 d8) + 4 (Con Mod) + 20 (12+ 2x Con Mod from Immortal Vigor Innate Enchantment) = 32
  • Alignment: Lawful Good with Dark Influences.
  • Warcraft +0 (0 CP)
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +4 (Dexterity) +4 Armor (Mage Armor) = 18.
  • Proficiencies: All Simple Weapons (3 CP).
  • Languages: Common, four additional.
  • Move: 30
  • Initiative: +4
  • Natural Power Base (0 CP): Base of of (Charisma/2) power and (Constitution/3) generic spell levels (currently 9 Power, 6 Generic Spell Levels).

   Usual Weapons:

  • Light Crossbow: +5 attack (+4 Dexterity, +1 Morale), 1d8+1 (Morale) damage, Crit 19-20/x2, 80′ range increment.
  • Ironshod Quarterstaff: +5 attack (+4 Strength, +1 Morale), 1d8+5 (+4 Strength, +1 Morale) damage, Crit 20/x2.
  • Dagger: +5 attack (melee or thrown, +4 Strength or Dexterity, +1 Morale), 1d4+5 (+4 Strength, +1 Morale) damage, Crit 19-20/x2, 10′ range increment.

   Skills: 16 Skill Points (Intelligence). +1 Each to Decipher Script, Disable Device, Handle Animal, Slight of Hand, Tumble, Use Magic Device, and all ten Knowledge Skills (the complete “cannot be used unskilled” list). All also receive +1 Morale, +2 Competence, +2 Luck bonuses, and +4 Attribute bonuses, putting all of these skills at +10. All other skills are at +9.

Class Description/Future Possibilities:

   In many ways Inaro is hardly even first level yet. After all, virtually all of his CP went into “natural” talent and he’s nearly untrained. What little power he has was mostly thrust upon him – and he wasn’t really looking for a career of adventure. He’s not ineffectual; even a tiny fragment of Ankyroth’s might makes him substantially tougher and more competent than any ordinary human, although his externally-directed abilities are (at least as yet) fairly trivial. Similarly Lugh gave him a variety of ways to enhance his skills and to escape, but little offensive capability. He is, however, an adequate healer and – thanks to Lugh and a touch of Ankyroth’s millennia of experience – decent at an incredible range of skills. Given catch-as-catch-can training, his basic development is going to be rogue-like – better saves and base attack bonus, probably a bit of sneak attack, some cloaking/evasion effects, Grant of Aid, Luck, and 3-4 points per level worth of actual skills. Unlike a Rogue, he’s also likely to pick up additional Innate Enchantments (+2 to all attributes for 6 CP, another 28 to make it +4 all around, upgrade his three offensive effects to unlimited use (3 CP), possibly add an effect or two), add Metamagic/Elemental Manipulation (Specialized and Corrupted: the +0 switch elemental effect only, only for innate spells, 2 CP), Empowerment/Innate Talents, and Immunity to Dispelling (only to protect his innate talents). His Witchcraft abilities will develop as well, but will probably – once again – lean towards attribute boosts and other self-enhancements, a few more points of Power, and – much later – some Rite of C’hi and Bonus Uses.

Campaign Role:

   Inaro, at least at first, is an innocent with unwanted power, responsibility, and horrific enemies abruptly thrust upon him. He walks a tightrope above an abyss which could swallow a world.

   In a party he is a competent general backup at first (until other people’s specialized techniques start outrunning raw attribute bonuses too much), and a competent skills-master and minor healer thereafter. Whether his talents will be worth the constant attentions of various monsters and evil spellcasters trying to claim the power of Ankyroth for themselves is another matter, but lets assume that the party is heroically inclined.

The Limbo Wheel Campaign Setting:

   The Limbo Wheel was originally a subsetting I used about twenty-five years ago – essentially a framing device for a succession of relatively short, dimension-hopping, adventures after the characters had blasted themselves out of their home dimension at the conclusion of an adventure about one real year or fifty-odd sessions long. It let the players experiment with a lot of exotic character ideas as well, since their primary characters could always be “off on another mission” for a couple of sessions without seriously disrupting the flow of events. One of the original players opted to pick it up as a primary setting not so long ago.

   The Limbo Wheel normally pulled adventurers out of self-inflicted magical disasters, that should have killed or horribly warped them, into a misty and vaguely-defined inter-dimensional limbo. There it provided them with a talisman that would translate languages, guide them to a selection of gates, and supply them with a bit of cryptic guidance to the worlds and missions which lay beyond those gates. The gates normally led to worlds that could use their talents to resolve some crisis or possessed some locally-useless resource which was desperately needed elsewhere. On arrival at one of those destinations, the characters could leave Limbo behind – or undertake a mission.

   If they took it and made a creditable try, they would be led to a gateway back to limbo. If they successfully resolved it without causing another catastrophe, they would be led to an appropriate reward – and could either remain in their new world or be led to a gateway back to limbo and their choice of another mission.

   Whatever power lay behind limbo seemed to be extremely well-informed, generally benign, and either very very alien or subject to severe restrictions on how much information, let alone intervention, it could provide in the “lower” dimensions. Still, knowing just where a small band of adventurers could have a major impact was pretty effective in itself.

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One Response

  1. […] Inaro Montban, a mystical agent of the Limbo Wheel built using a house rule I don’t recommend – but found irresistably amusing. […]

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