d20: Haurgrim the Sagacious

   There was a request for an illustration of the Mystic Artist ability in Eclipse: The Codex Persona Classless d20 – so here’s a character who employs an obscure branch of that ability sequence; mystic architecture.

   He also uses a couple of other unusual abilities – a branch of invocation magic calling on entities that will occasionally ask for favors and services in exchange for the use of their power and Immunity to the normal limitations of a skill – a way to pull off tricks that skill alone won’t normally cover.

   As usual, Haurgrim is designed using the classless d20 rules from Eclipse: The Codex Persona (available in print HERE and in a shareware version HERE)

Haurgrim the Sagacious:

   Level Eight Magus.

   The mountains soaring above were no place for humans. There, where the deep wells of magic nourished their stony roots, were ancient caverns, wells of magic, and things sealed away since the world was young. Even the surface reaches were the domain of giants, fey, and dragons, not of men and elves.

   The depths of the forest were more friendly, but still a place of peril. But there were places where old bargains held sway, where hoary rituals and old pacts held the worst of the wild magic at bay, where the younger races tilled their fields, raised their beasts, and worshiped their gods.

   Being a Druid was a highly respectable trade. SOMEONE needed to enact the old rituals, cut the symbols into the hillsides, maintain the mystic boundaries, and mediate between the young races and the old powers. Young Haurgrim was studious, observant, and methodical – and so was apprenticed to the village druid early on. His father – Eurathin, a local baron who cheerfully acknowledged and made some provision for the bastards he fathered – cheerfully paid the apprenticeship fee.

   Haurgrim, however, was too curious for his own good. He looked beyond the minor spirits and shallow pools of earthpower which most druids called upon, becoming fascinated with the old powers, the wild magic of the outer planes. Caught up in a bit of petty warfare – another minor noble had a small quarrel with Eurathin – he called upon those powers in desperation.

   And he was answered. The chaotic power of the Wild Magic, of the Old Powers, poured through him – striking down his enemies and marking him as a true mage.

   Eurathin was delighted – the greater magics were rare, and usually only the upper nobility could boast a true mage at their courts – and sponsored him, ensuring that he had every opportunity both to study his art and to fulfill his obligations to his supernatural patrons.

   Over the years since, Haurgrim has become a master designer of mystical architecture, a skillful ritualist, and has undertaken a variety of missions – some trivial, some baffling, and some vital – on behalf of his various supernatural patrons. That’s been a large enough pain that he prefers not to call on his patrons for anything major if he can avoid it (burning a few incense sticks or something is usually sufficient to pay for cantrips and first-level spells and such, so that’s all right). For the most part, Haurgrim prefers to rely on his knowledge, his skills, and occasionally on his connections; if he can avoid an encounter, determine the weakness of a creature, or solve an ancient puzzle without resorting to magic, that’s all to the good.

   Available Character Points: Duties/Court Mage (+2 CP/Level), Restrictions/Finds armor impossibly burdensome (+1 CP/Level), Compulsive (curiosity) and Recorder (keeps notes on all the NPC’s for everyone) (+6 CP), Human Bonus, L1, L3, and L6 Feats (+24 CP), Level Eight Base (216 CP) = 270 CP.

   Human Racial Package (+0 ECL): Bonus Feat (6 CP) and Fast Learner (Specialized in Skills, +1 SP/Level, 3 CP).

   Basic Attributes: Strength 11/+0, Intelligence 20 (24)/+7, Wisdom 16 (18)/+4, Constitution 14 (16)/+3, Dexterity 12/+1, Charisma 12/+1. Original Rolls: 12, 16, 18, 12, 14, 11. Level-Based Bonuses: +2 Intelligence.

   Saving Throws (36 CP):

  • Reflex: +2 (Purchased, 6 CP) + 1 (Dexterity) +2 (Resistance) = +5
  • Fortitude: +4 (Purchased, 12 CP) +3 (Constitution) +2 (Resistance) = +9
  • Will: +6 (Purchased, 18 CP) + 1 (Wisdom) +2 (Resistance) = +9

   Basic Abilities (65 CP):

  • Initiative: +1
  • Alignment: Lawful Good
  • Move: 30
  • Hit Dice: L1-8d8 (32 CP)
    • Hit Points: 8 (L1d8) + 42 (8, 8, 5, 8, 3, 7, 3) + 24 (Con Mod x 8) = 74
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +1 (Dexterity) +4 Armor (Mage Armor) +4 Shield (Shield Spell) = 19.
  • Proficiencies: All Simple and Druidic Weapons (9 CP).
  • Languages (6 + 4): Common, Elvish, Celestial, Infernal, Sylvan, Draconic, and the four Elemental Languages.
  • Warcraft: +4 (24 CP).
  • Usual Weapons:
    • Scimitar +5 (+4 BAB +1 Masterwork), 1d6, Crit 18+/x2.
    • Light Crossbow +6 (+4 BAB +1 Dex +1 Masterwork), 1d8, Crit 19+/x2, 80′ Range Increment.

   Purchased Abilities:

   Greater Invocation (24 CP): 4 Levels of Intelligence-Based Wilder Power Progression as Spell Levels (Divide power by 1.8 to convert to available spell levels. Substitute Components for Restrained on the basic progression). Specialized and Corrupted for triple effect (effective level 12): does not provide any actual powers to work with, these must be bought separately, only works to power Paths and Metaspells which invoke various entities, such entities may occasionally call on him for various services or favors – and the more often he calls upon them, the more likely this is. Provides (126 + [Int Mod x 6])/1.8 (85 total) spell levels to work with and allows him to use path- or metaspell-based effects of up to level six.

   Paths and Metaspells: 36 CP.

  • The Adamant Darkness of the Nameless One: Creates and – at higher levels – solidifies and manipulates – darkness. Often used to create barriers, chains, weapons, and storms of darts.
  • Eilken’s Word of Unbinding: Breaks spells and controlling effects, releases bonds, and – at very high levels – can disintegrate matter.
  • The Winds of Malgaunt: Provides telekinetic effects.
  • The Eye of Sutekh: Lays compulsions and commands.
  • The Krellian Beasts: Creates – or perhaps unleashes – psychic constructs.
  • The Transmutation of Ordanth: Elemental transmutation and polymorph effects.
    • OK, these are a quick set, and could use more descriptions and limitations – but this is getting long enough already.

Mystic Artist / Architecture (6 CP).

  • Haurgrim can design and build structures that affect all those within or around them with the power of his art. With an applicable skill of 24 (since reference-work and magical bonuses do not count in determining how many ways he can use his power), he is entitled to use ten of the basic abilities. In his case he has selected the following options:
  • Inspiration Abilities:
    • Emotion; he can design structures that inspire strong emotions in all who view or enter them (Save DC 11 + Int Mod).
    • Competence (Skipped).
    • Greatness; he can design structures that inspire those contemplating them or within them with +1 Positive Level and 1d10 temporary hit points.
    • Excellence; he can design structures that grant those within them or contemplating them to +4 Morale Bonuses which may be applied to their saves, their AC, their attacks, or to the damage they inflict in melee.
    • Mass Greatness; basically as above, at least for someone who creates buildings rather than arts which only affect a small number of people.
    • Mass Excellence; basically as above, at least for someone who creates buildings rather than arts which only affect a small number of people.
  • Synergy Abilities:
    • Block; he can design his structures to resist magic which would damage them, such as Earth to Stone or Disintegrate.
    • Group Focus (Skipped).
    • Amplify; he can design structures which boost the abilities of friendly spellcasters, providing them with a +2 caster level bonus.
    • Harmonize; He can incorporate any two these functions into a single building.
    • Serenity; he can design structures that will, once per week each, allow anyone who contemplates them to regain “uses-per-day” abilities and be refreshed as if by a nights rest.
    • Rule the Horde; he can design structures that render those who contemplate or enter them non-hostile and inflict a chosen Suggestion on them (Will save DC 22 + Int Mod).
  • Mystic Architecture Ability Modifiers:
    • Seeking (6 CP): Haurgrim can limit the effects of his architecture to particular targets, such as “the rightful inhabitants of the city” or “the followers of a particular god” or some such. This allows him to design a wide variety of custom structures.
    • Whispers (6 CP): The source of his architectures effects is not immediately obvious; it will take special measures, such as divination, to trace them down.
  • Mystic architecture can produce some fairly powerful effects relatively cheaply – at least in terms of Character Points. On the other hand, the direct utility to most characters is strictly limited. It does, however, offer a wonderful way to create castles that cannot be easily penetrated by a few spells, glorious temples that actually impress visitors or which enhance the powers of the priests within them, and similar dedicated structures. If the architect who designed the walls of a town happens to have incorporated the Block and Greatness effects with the Seeking modifier, the walls will not readily fall to supernatural attacks – and the guards upon them will gain a very useful advantage.

   Immunity to the normal restrictions of the Heal skill (Uncommon / Major / Major, covers effects of up to L5, Specialized; requires ten minutes of work with a bagful of tools and medicines to bypass such limitations, 3 CP). The user can also:

  • DC 20: Splint broken limbs, relieve allergies and arthritis, and reduce similar troubles to something manageable.
  • DC 25: Maximize the effect of a healing spell or perform simple surgery (curing 2d4 damage). DC 30: Cure blindness, deafness, or disease, or perform a Lesser Restoration (once per day per patient).
  • DC 35: Perform complex surgery (curing 3d6 damage), Neutralize Poison and heal it’s effects.
  • DC 40: Revival (allows normal treatment and recovery for up to 3 minutes after “death”), provide a full Restoration (once per day per patient).
    • These effects will require an upgrade to the Great Immunity level, for +3 CP.
  • DC 50: Perform organ transplants, perform advanced surgery (curing 4d12 damage), cure a supernatural disease, or Quicken Recovery (as per the Epic Level Handbook).
  • DC 60: Perform ultra-advanced surgery (curing 5D20 damage), rebuild limbs, or redesign bodies.
    • These effects will require an upgrade to the Epic Immunity level, for another +3 CP.
  • DC 75: Build a Flesh Golem. This bypasses the usual prerequisites and 80% of the GP cost – but does not bypass the experience point cost.
  • DC 100: Induce a Perfect Recovery (as per the Epic Level Handbook).
    • Unfortunately, any given patient can only be healed via surgery once per day.

   Minor Abilities:

  • Druidic Spellcasting I (8 CP): 3L0 and 2L1 spells per day.
  • Ritual Magic (6 CP): Can produce a wide variety of magical effects with his Spellcraft skill – given time and materials.
  • Augmented Bonus/Perceptive Studies (6 CP): Adds his Wis Mod to his Int Mod for knowledge skills.
  • Augmented Bonus/Defensive Charms (6 CP): May add his Int Mod to his saving throws three times per day.
  • Innate Enchantment (6 CP/5000 GP value): All spells unlimited use-activated at caster level one, Shield (2000 GP), Mage Armor (personal only for x.7, 1400 GP), and +2 Wisdom (1400 GP).
  • Skill Emphasis/Knowledge; Architecture and Engineering (3 CP): +2 bonus.
  • Favors (3 CP): Haurgrim has connections with the local nobility, and can obtain some minor favor or bit of aid from them once per session.
  • Fast Learner: Specialized in Skills, Corrupted for Knowledge Skills Only (+3 SP/Level, 6 CP).
  • Adept II (10 CP). Corrupted, may only be applied to knowledge skills, and only then if the user takes time out to study in a library. 1.5x Effect (six knowledge skills) on the first instance, reduced cost on the second, to cover all knowledge skills.

   Skill Points: 34 (CP Spent) + 11 (Human) + 24 (Fast Learner, only for Knowledges) + 55 (Intelligence) = 124 SP.

   Knowledge Skills: Arcana, Dungeoneering, Geography, History, Local, Nature, Nobility and Royalty, Religion, and the Planes, all +11 (Skill Points spent) + 11 (Effective Intelligence Modifier for Knowledge Skills) + 2 (Masterwork Reference Work) + 3 (Competence) = +27. Architecture and Engineering also gets a +2 bonus from his Skill Emphasis. Net cost: 50 SP.

   Other Skills: Concentration +14 (11 SP +3 Con), Craft/Alchemy +8 (1 SP +7 Int), Disable Device +18 (11 SP +7 Int), Disguise +2 (1 SP +1 Cha), Heal +15 (11 SP +4 Wis), Listen +10 (6 SP +4 Wis), Ride +2 (1 SP +1 Dex), Search +15 (11 SP +4 Wis), Speak Language/+4 Languages (4), Spellcraft +18 (11 SP +7 Int), Spot +10 (6 SP +4 Wis).

   Major Equipment:

  • Masterwork Items: Silver Dagger, Scimitar, Light Crossbow, Mages Bag (+2 to Spellcraft), Healers Pouch (+2 to Heal), and an Alchemists Kit.
  • Magical Items: Ring of Feather Falling, Wand of Cure Light Wounds, Cloak of Resistance +2, Hat of Disguise, Universal Encyclopedia (Masterwork Reference Work, +2 Enhancement and +3 Competence bonus to all Knowledge Skills), Heward’s Handy Haversack, Amulet of Health +2, Headband of Intellect +4.
  • Minor items: Riding Horse and Tack, Packmule and Tack, Fine Clothing, 20 Bolts, Sling and Bullets, Rations, Bedroll, Water Flask, Writing Kit, Candles, Silk Rope, Hammer and Pitons, 3 Oil Flasks, Bullseye Lantern, Thieves Picks and Tools, Small Steel Mirror, Silver Holy Symbol, Signet Ring, Spyglass, Tarp, assorted minor personal items (grooming, bathing, etc).
  • Special Materials: 3x Holy Water, 3x Antitoxin, 6x Sunrods, Tanglefoot Bag, and an assortment of incenses and such for making offerings to his patrons.

   Haurgrim is a pretty formidable mage if he’s forced to use his powers – but he’d really rather not. On the other hand, knowledge is also very useful – and that he has in plenty.

   For future advancement, Haurgrim would be well served by the Sanctum ability sequence, by acquiring a few more metaspells, and – perhaps – by upgrading his Innate Enchantment (despite the experience-point cost) and his druidical talents. Ways to boost his healing skill even further are probably in order as well. He may want to start getting into politics soon – or to try to obtain a domain of his own and thus enter the nobility in his own right.

4 Responses

  1. […] The last time we saw Haurgrim he was level eight. Over the last four levels Haurgrim has begun to move from “adventurer” to “patron of adventurers” as his own activities have begun to focus on politics, major negotiations with the creatures of the old, wild, magic in the mountains, and on dealing with threats to his father’s barony and its people, rather than on personal aggrandizement. Somewhat to his surprise, that’s been proving to be every bit as busy and exciting as chasing around in old ruins and magical caverns. […]

  2. […] Haurgrim the Sagacious, a magus, mystical artist, and demonstration of how to build an advanced skill. […]

  3. The flavor text for block says that architecture would only block effects like flesh to stone (and generally what seems to be earth manipulating effects), so I’m confused why you are saying that the blocked ability would be a major help.

    • It will block magical effects intended to damage or negate the architecture – so the walls and foundations will not Disintegrate, or turn to Mud, or get reshaped with Stone Shape,or be undermined with Move Earth, or be penetrated with Passwall, and so on – most of which are pretty common ways to make walls fall down in d20. These won’t be falling fall when such effects are used on them.

      The useful advantage for the guards mostly lies in Greatness with Seeking. After all, that gives them +1d10+ Con Mod HP, +1 BAB, +1 on Saves, +1 on AC, and a bonus feat – which can substantially boost the abilities of a low-level guard.

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