Eclipse – Kysen Nial, the Nemesis

   Our next sample Eclipse d20 character is designed to function as a serious nemesis for a low-level party. As a nemesis, he’s designed to stand up to the entire party at least briefly – albeit possibly with the assistance of a low-level henchman or two – and then escape. With a little luck, he may escape over and over again before they manage to get him.

   Kysen Nial has heard that “crime doesn’t pay”, “you’ll never get away with this”, and “now, fool, you shall learn what it means to”, lots and lots of times. He’s quite determined to demonstrate that it does, that he can, and that he’ll never learn.

   His primary goal is to survive and escape any consequences for his actions. Money and power come next. Revenge and getting rid of heroes (preferably by framing them for his own actions) is nice.

   Honor, battle-glory, and all that sort of nonsense doesn’t even make the list.

   Kysen started off on the streets, and was always one of the ones who got along on sheer viciousness. Since he’s found that there are powers that are willing to act as patrons for nothing more than the occasional sacrifice and a steady stream of evil actions, he’s been quite successful in the service of the Powers of Darkness. He’s gotten to kill off his old rivals and enemies, along with quite a few people who’ve simply offended him, he’s lived well, and he’s acquired wealth.

   Now the Dark Powers are demanding a bit of extra payback. It’s not a very big favor though. It isn’t even particularly unpleasant. They’re simply asking that he go to work on discouraging the next generation of likely heroes while they’re still inexperienced brats.

   It shouldn’t be much of a problem.

   Kysen Nial

   Level Three Human Nemesis

   Total available character points: 96 (Level Three Base) + 10 (Outcast/Vicious Criminal, Inept/Charisma, and Hunted/at least one hero) +6 (Duties to the Lords of Darkness, +2 CP/Level) + 18 (Human, Level One, and Level Two Bonus Feats) = 130 CP.

   Package Deal: Servant of the Dark Powers. This 12 CP package deal provides Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Corrupted/only for checks and defensive rolls, not for attacks (8 CP) and Immunity/Divination (Common, Minor, Minor/effects of up to level three, 4 CP). Unfortunately, it also means that the character belongs to a secret evil cult, can only be raised if his or her dark masters decide that it suits their purposes, and is generally more than a little crazy.

   Basic Attributes: Str 16, Int 14, Wis 12, Con 16, Dex 14, Chr 12

   Basic Purchases (70 CP):

  • Proficient with Proficient with All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP) and Light Armor (3 CP)
  • +16 Skill Points (16 CP).
  • +2 on Reflex Saves (9 CP).
  • +1 on Will Saves (3 CP).
  • Hit Dice: d20 (L1, 16 CP) + 2d8 (L2-3, 7, 6, for 8 CP) = 42 HP.
  • BAB +2, Specialized in Bladed Melee Weapons (6 CP).

   Special Abilities (60 CP):

  • Contact/a local corrupted noble (1 CP).
  • Adept (6 CP): Gather Information, Sleight of Hand, Spot, and Tumble.
  • Block/Missile (6 CP).
  • Block/Melee, Corrupted/only while holding a blade (4 CP)
  • Reflex Training/three extra actions per day variant (6 CP)
  • Reflex Training/Combat Reflexes variant, Corrupted/only while holding a blade (4 CP).
  • Mana/Specialized in Theurgy for Double Effect (6 CP): 4d4 Generic Spell Levels
  • One Caster Level Specialized in Theurgy (3 CP).
  • +4 to each of the six Theurgic Nouns, +1 to each of the twelve Theurgic Elements, Specialized/requires several minutes to compose spells, Corrupted/causes bothersome side effects instead of simply wasting time and power when a spell fails (12 CP).
  • Berserker/Invocation of the Dark Lords, +8 BCL when active. (6 CP). Note that he CANNOT use this at the same time that Dirge is active – and that this results in fatigue afterwards.
    • With this arrangement, using Theurgy is pretty simple: decide what you want to do and assign a spell level to it. Spend the necessary number of spell levels. Roll 1d20+5 versus a DC of 5 (Cantrip), 10 (level one), 15 (level two), 20 (level three), or 25 (level four). That’s simply because this setup has all the noun and verb skills at the same level.
  • Create Relic, Specialized/using points from Enthusiast only, Corrupted/two-point relics maximum (2 CP). This provides him with a total of 4 CP worth of relics.
  • Enthusiast, Specialized in Relics (double effect), Corrupted/two point relics maximum x2 (4 CP).

   Personal Relics:

   Dirge (1 CP Relic): This black longsword shows a faint tracery of twisted runes along the lower portion of the blade. Once it’s activated, the runes flare with red light, and the blade is wreathed in dark fire which trails in the air where it passes. Blood will mute the runes, but – if it does not wound another once activated – it will twist in it’s user’s hands and wound him or her if it does not feed itself on another’s blood before the runes start to fade on their own. Berserker with Odinpower and Enduring (+6 BAB, +6 AC, +3 to Reflex Saves, -2 to Will Saves for [3 + User’s Con Mod] rounds once per day per three levels of the user or part thereof with no fatigue afterwards) and Imbuement (gains an Enhancement Bonus of +[User’s Level/4]). Both powers are Specialized and Corrupted; the blade is obviously unholy when active, the user must whisper the blade’s true name in the ancient tongue to activate it, once activated the blade must taste blood – inflicting normal base damage – at least once or the user will suffer that damage when the “berserker” effect ends, and it must be attuned to the user’s personal power to use, rather than being a truly independent relic (6 CP). Dirge may have higher powers, but those would require investing more points in it to discover – and most bearers are sensible reluctant to do so. Given the bloodthirst the blade exhibits when barely awakened, who knows what the price of such things would be?

   Sigil of Dark Fortune (1 CP Relic): This bloodstone ring glitters with an crimson sparks when called upon, although the stone becomes duller and duller as fewer “charges” remain to it. +12 Bonus Uses of Luck, Specialized and Corrupted/the user is blatantly being aided by evil supernatural forces, the user must offer prayers, small sacrifices, and at least a few drops of blood from someone the user has personally ritually tortured or murdered to restore the ring’s “charges” after they’ve been fully or partially depleted, must be attuned to the user’s personal power to use, rather than being a truly independent relic (6 CP).

   Umbral Torc (2 CP Relic): This tarnished silver neckpiece imbues the wearer’s tongue with the arcane forces, allowing him or her to hold spells on the edge of manifestation, to be released with a simple word. Power Words, Improved, Specialized in storing personally-cast spells; may store [4xCon/3] total spell levels (10 CP), allows the user to speak the Celestial, Infernal, and Draconic languages (2 CP). Corrupted/must be attuned to the user’s personal power to use, rather than being a truly independent relic. The Umbral Torc can have another two character points invested in it, which will activate it’s powers of Harbringers, Spellforms, and Sendings – the entire rest of the Power Words list.

   Kysen normally stores his full allotment of spells, cast with the aid of Luck and his Invocation of the Dark Lords – which allows him to cast fourth-level spells with an effective caster level of nine. He’ll normally have Dimension Door to escape with (4), an area-effect attack spell like Fireball – but designed to stun for capturing people, rather than killing them (3), a blade-enhancing spell which adds to his damage in melee (2), a Cure Critical Wounds (3), Prayer (3), Hold Person (2), True Strike (1), Shield (1), Color Spray (1), and Magic Missile (1). He’ll use them to try and seize an early edge in a fight, or to escape with if he’s getting the short end of the stick – or even just looks likely to be in serious danger. The Umbral Torc is the major item of “treasure” in Kysen’s possession and – unlike his other two relics – isn’t especially evil or horrific.

   Skill Points: 6 (Human) + 16 (purchased) + 12 (Intelligence) = 34

   Skills: Gather Information +4 (3 SP x 2 Adept +1 Chr -2 Inept), Sleight of Hand +8 (3 SP x 2 Adept +2 Dex), Spot +8 (3 SP x 2 Adept +1 Wis), and Tumble +8 (3 SP x 2 Adept +2 Dex), Concentration +9 (6 SP +3 Con), any suitable strength-based Martial Art +9 (6 SP +3 Str), and spend the remaining ten to suit the campaign.

   Kysen relies on his power words, his infernal luck, and occasional extra actions; luck to block blows and deadly missiles, luck to make saving throws, luck to get off needed spells in time, Reflex Training to get up defensive barriers and spells when magically attacked. He’s generally not out to kill, he’s out to inflict damage, get the characters into trouble, deprive them of their rightful gains, and get away. If taking hostages will improve his odds, he’ll take them. If framing his targets is the easy way to go, consider them framed.

   As he improves, he’ll want to invest two more points in the Umbral Torc, improve his magical defenses, upgrade his magic and melee capabilities (especially his armor class) with roughly equal priority, acquire more connections, and pick up Leadership so that he can have his own gang of thugs. It should be quite a few levels before the characters can finally eliminate him, and hopefully he’ll have caused them a lot of grief in the meantime.

One Response

  1. […] Kysen Nial, a nemesis for low-level characters. […]

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