Legend of the Five Rings – Reflexive Spells

   Reflexive Spells can be used without taking an action – or even during someone else’s action. It’s a part of their design. Sadly, this means that they’re invariably pretty weak. They must be taken as innate powers with no casting roll required, and so only free raises may be used with them. They’re most commonly encountered built into special techniques. Some of the more common reflexive spells are listed below, but there are others – and some higher level possibilities.

   Level One:

  • Self-Hypnosis: the user may instantly convince him or herself that something is the truth, however silly it may be – foiling powers and abilities that detect lies or are triggered by them.
  • Tongue’s Lure: the user may make a contested willpower check to get someone to reveal more then they meant to in a conversation.
  • Ch’i Battle; the user may make a contested void check to make an opponent who just attacked them to lose his or her next attack.
  • Strength of Steel: doubles the user’s armor bonuses for three combat rounds.
  • Undetection; adds the user’s stealth check result to the target number of any attempts at detecting the user by magic for the next hour.
  • Psychic Weapon I: creates an arrow, knife, or similar small, light, weapon. It will last for up to ten minutes, although it will immediately vanish if someone attempts to use it against it’s creator.

   Level Two:

  • Warcry: causes fear for two rounds in those nearby, with a TN of (User’s rank + 1)x5 to resist.
  • Redirect; the user may make an opposed check against an attacker to redirect an attack to another target within five feet.
  • Fortune’s Aid; allows the user to keep all the dice he or she rolls on a particular skill check or effectively doubles his or her skill rank for a single roll.
  • Crippling Blow; allows an attack to cause a special effect, such as blindness, reduced movement, or some similar severe penalty, for the next hour. The victim, however, may resist normally and the attack must connect for the spell to take effect.
  • Touch of Arcana: allows the user’s flesh, or a specific weapon he or she touches, to take on the properties of a particular magical material for the next five rounds.
  • Serene Aura: keeps a chosen target from instigating any hostile action or contested roll against you for up to an hour – as long as you also refrain from doing so against them. This doesn’t work on animals, demons, or those lost to considerations of honor.
  • Magic Disruption: allows the user to strike a magic-wielder and make a contested void check against them. If the user wins, his victim will be unable to use any form of magical powers through the end of the next round. This will not, however, work again before the end of the next round; there won’t be anything to disrupt.
  • Psychic Weapon II: creates a one-handed weapon, bow, or similar weapon. It will last for up to ten minutes, although it will immediately vanish if someone attempts to use it against it’s creator.
  • Mastery: allows the user to automatically succeed on a check, but only with a minimal success.

   Level Three:

  • Blades of Truth: negates all of a target’s special damage-reducing powers save for spending void points for (Honor) rounds.
  • Blade Arcane: causes whatever weapon the user indicates to be treated as an arcane material of his or her choice for the next five rounds in addition to whatever other properties it may have.
  • Ultimate Evasion: the user evades any one single-target attack.
  • Psychic Weapon III: creates a two-handed weapons of choice. It will last for up to ten minutes, although it will immediately vanish if someone attempts to use it against it’s creator.
  • Ranged Strike: allows the user to make a single melee attack using archery range modifiers.
  • Otherworldly Essence; the user may add his or her level in a chosen dimensional energy to every die used for an attack roll, damage roll, defense roll, or skill roll this round.

Eclipse – Character Construction Cribsheet

. I’ve been asked to put up a specialized index to some of the articles and examples for building classless d20 characters in Eclipse beyond what comes in the book itself – so here it is. If you’re building a character, the usual sequence will be Race – Template (if any) – Basic Build, so that’s how this is organized. If you’re looking for “how-to” information, next up is the level-by-level class breakdowns and the general power-package information and examples. After that, for inspiration, swiping power packages from, and use in other games, comes the sample higher-level characters.

Character Creation and System Primer

Sample Races:

Sample Templates:

Sample Level One Character Builds:

  • Iron Dragon:  unarmed and unarmoured tank.
  • Shamanic Adept: a speaker to spirits.
  • Vedic Master: a matter transmuter and self-enhancer.
  • The Bulwark : a MMORPG – or 4′th Edition D&D – style tank/controller.
  • Kabalistic Ritualist: a ritual mage. Includes the Priestly Scholar, Demonologist, Expert Ritualist, and Canny Spellblade variants.
  • The Street Rat: a roguish street kid. Includes the Black Marketeer, Spellthief, Street Survivor, Gang Leader, and Wiz Kid variants..
  • The Wraith: a short-range teleporter.
  • The Swashbuckler: an unarmored fighter. Includes the Cinematic Hero, Experienced Duelist, Agile Master, Florentine Fighter, Demon Hunter, Dilettante Noble, Golden One, Shadow Adept, Military Man, Spirit Speaker Magical Dabbler, and Ruthless Questor variants.
  • The Primal Warrior: a shapeshifter-berserker.
  • Animist: a non-spellcasting wizard who speaks with creatures and objects.
  • Harbringer of Doom:  an optimized skirmisher, and what NOT to do.
  • Alarian Legionaire Build and some Sample Legionaires (these characters use the half-price attribute rule).
  • Courtly Witch: a noblie intriguer with hidden psychic powers.
  • The Battlerager: a totemistic warrior with rage-based augmentations.
  • The Witch: a low-powered but extremely flexible psychic.
  • The Gifted Psion: a second-edition style psion build.
  • The Dweomer Master: a master of particular psychic fields.
  • The Starfire Adept: a stress-powered master of psychic skills
  • The Revised Psion: variants on the standard Psion build. Psychic Knight, Expert Psion, Natural Psion, Tower Resident, Fatebound Psion, Spirit Warror, and Psychic Artificer.
  • Transhumans: mutants and superheros with limitless use of some specific powers.
  • Scholarly Priest: a master of channeling aid to his or her friends.
  • The Hellguide: a revenant from the abyss
  • the Werewolf: a young ECL1 shapeshifter
  • The Cyber-Warrior: and how to buy Cyberware
  • Runesmith: a caster who builds up spells a bit at a time
  • Tollers: characters who summon essences into themselves
  • Poseur or Mad Cultist: single-school spellcasters
  • Mystic Adept: a design-it-yourself spontaneous spell point caster available in many different flavors.
  • The Collector: a ritualist and collector of magical devices
  • The Tech Wiz: a build for hackers, security breakers, and tinkerers. Includes the Technical Hero, Kit-Basher, Robot Master, Intuitive Expert, Expert Technician, Wondersmith, and Hacker variants.
  • The Hotshot Pilot: a master of some type of vehicle.
  • The Investigative Reporter: the truth is out there. Includes the Hard-Hitting Detective, World Traveler, Intuitive Reporter, Lucky Intern, Magical Dabbler, and Tough Reporter variants.
  • The Elementalist: a specialist in a particular branch of magic
  • The Fortunate Hero: a character who can provide his own lucky breaks
  • The Bloodmarked: a victim of his or her own innate powers. Essentially consists entirely of variants.
  • Khamsin The Wanderer, a warrior-mage designed to buy each of his spells, and their casting level, individually.
  • Inaro Montban, a mystical agent of the Limbo Wheel built using a house rule I don’t recommend – but found irresistably amusing.
  • The Paladin of Death, a guardian of life’s cycle.
  • Ruth Gelman: A young – if very deadly – level one sharpshooter from the Federation-Apocalypse setting.
  • Ishinomorel. Shadow Elf Archer-Runemaster. Level Two Upgrade.
  • Tristan. Shadow Elf Pirate-Elementalist. Level Two Upgrade.
  • Ysmir. Shadow Elf Scout-Firemaster. Level Two Upgrade.
  • Vehn Rageclaw: Veltine Warrior-Mad Scientist.
  • Rudra Mogzul, Thunder Dwarf Warrior. Level Two Upgrade (offsite link).
  • Peregrine, a Veltine Bodyguard-Companion.
  • Building the Level One Bladesinger
  • S’stam: An Ikam Follower-Bodyguard.

Level-by-Level Class Breakdowns:

General Build Information and Power Packages:

Sample Higher-Level Characters:

. . Note that these characters were generally built for particular campaigns, and so are sometimes built using campaign-specific variants – usually a price break on especially-relevant abilities. These are covered in the Campaign Sheets for the relevant campaigns – Federation-Apocalypse Campaign, Ironwinds Campaign, Atheria Campaign, Twilight Isles Campaign, and Darkweird Campaign.

Level Two Sample Characters:

Level Three Sample Characters:

Level Four Sample Characters:

  • Cadmel, Anime Sorcerer. A roguish anime-style sorcerer with unlimited use of his spells.
  • Ithulsin the Outcast: a powerful mentalist with the Krell Psychic Adept template.
  • Li Kao, a d20 Samurai and Shintoist mystic. Exchanges favors with spirits for his magical talents.
  • Lingering Smoke, a quick conversion of a Sidereal Exalted character to Eclipse.
  • Jamie Wolfe – a MLELF Cyborg Super-Soldier.
  • Dr Solomon Brenner: A highly skilled, if monstrously immoral, surgeon from the Linear Realms..

Level Five Sample Characters:

Level Six Sample Characters:

Level Seven Sample Characters:

  • Esteria, a slightly senile old woman with poor control of her magic and entirely too many dragon-cats.
  • Kelsaru Ana’Nasu, a crystal dragoness, powerful telepath, and Kevin Sanwell’s girlfriend.
  • Xaliotl, an obsessive fire mage.
  • Marty Tabard (offsite link), Battling Businessman and dimensional wanderer.

Level Eight Sample Characters:

Higher Level Sample Characters:

  • Level Ten: Raven, a druid/thief/dragon who’s wandered in from older editions.
  • Level Eleven: One, the Number Lord of Identity.
  • Level Twelve: Peter Leland (Offsite Link), a cartoon business raider and possum breeder.
  • Lord Zero: The Number Lord of Eternity. A crazed godling.
  • Level Thirteen: Adam, Praetorian Nightmare: a melee death-machine nightmare for entire high-level parties.
  • Level Eighteen: The Atrocity Build: A grossly abusive build designed for raw sorcerous power – and his Companions.
  • Epic Level: A Balor, spawn of darkness…
  • Epic Level: Amilko Moonshadow: History and Character Sheet. One of the few epic-level squirrels out there.

Level Twenty Breakdowns:

Legend of the Five Rings – Mudra

   Mudra are mystical gestures and postures which focus and channel the trickle of chi that anyone can tap via meditation. They require a meditation skill level of at least three times the level of the effect being used – and most require both hands, sitting still, and several minutes of meditation to activate, although the effects last for about one minute after the user stops. Anyone who meditates can learn Mudra as per acquiring any other spell formula as an innate ability.

   Level One:

  • Tranquility; banishes fear and stress, allowing the user to get along on only half the usual amount of sleep and to resist fear effects.
  • Purity; allows the user to try and cast out personal impurities – including poisons and spirits – through meditation. The target number for any such attempt is set by the game master.
  • Lesser Sealing; keeps the user’s energies from interacting with those of an item or spell, allowing safe handling of dangerous things. Unlike many other Mudra, this one allows slow movement and only occupies one hand.
  • Aura; allows the user to walk around – albeit slowly – while radiating an impression, such as “I am a worthy recipient of alms” or “I am too angry to mess with”. Animals are strongly influenced, humans always “get the message”, but can resist it with an opposed willpower check.
  • Hibernation; greatly slows the user’s metabolism, and allows him or her to tolerate a drastically lowered body temperature.
  • Void Flare; this mudra simply burns off the trickle of energy supplied by meditation in as occultly-spectacular a manner as possible – making the user easily detectable by anyone else who uses occult powers in the vicinity.
  • One with the Tao; allows the user to attune himself or herself to his or her surroundings. The user cannot be surprised and gains a +10 bonus to initiative.

   Level Two:

  • Stasis; the user need not eat, breathe, age, or make rolls against progressive conditions, such as diseases or poisons, while maintaining this Mudra.
  • Magic Resistance; the user gains an effective magic resistance equal to the results of his or her meditation check.
  • Illusion Penetration; the user will become aware of any illusions in the immediate vicinity.
  • Hand of (Material); the user’s unarmed blows are treated as if his or her hands were made of a particular mystical material.
  • Deflection; this mudra allows the user to calmly deflect blows, gaining a +10 bonus to his or her AC while he or she remains on the defensive and is either sitting or standing.
  • Radiance; allows the user to generate an eerie glow, roughly equal to torchlight, either from his or her entire body or from a selected portion of it. Unlike most Mudra, this one can be used while walking around slowly.
  • Immovability; grants the user enormous mass (many tons) and great durability – equal to being made of the hardest metal – but also prevents him or her from moving more than an inch or so an hour, although this does not disrupt the mudra. Given time, however, the user can easily push through an iron wall.

   Level Three:

  • Spirit Walking; allows the user to engage in a limited form of astral projection. He or she must remain passively focused on meditation, but can send their spirit to various locations while doing so. Alternatively, this mudra can be used to simply release the user’s spirit, resulting in a peaceful death.
  • Invisibility; allows the user to meld into the background, both physically and magically. While this mudra is active, the user may add his or her meditation skill to his or her stealth-related skills and allowing the user to employ his or her meditation skill as a magical stealth skill against various forms of detection magic.
  • Energy Resistance; allows the user to subtract the results of his or her mediation skill check (to a minimum of zero) from any energy damage inflicted on him or her while the mudra is active. Unlike most other mudra, this one can be maintained with one hand while moving around slowly – allowing the user, for example, to walk through a fire while remaining unaffected.
  • Self Healing; the user accomplishes one full days worth of healing per hour that this mudra is maintained.
  • Awakening; infuses a target item or creature with a bit of the energy the user is tapping into. An item can be briefly “awakened” as a magical item (the exact properties are up to the game master, but they are always simply bonuses), an unconscious target will be awakened, and any living creature can be healed of one point of damage. Unfortunately, actually selecting a target and infusing it ends the mudra – and an “awakened” item will return to sleep in a few minutes at most.
  • Deep Trance; your meditations achieves results in one-third of the usual time – at which point this mudra can simple be abandoned in favor of another.
  • Sacred Barrier; allows the user to generate a ward as long as he or she continues to meditate, forcing creatures who attempt to enter to make an opposed meditation check against the user to do so. Even if they succeed, the user may inflict half the value of his or her meditation check as damage upon them.

Eclipse – The Bloodmarked Level One Build

   Here we have another sample level one classless Eclipse d20 character – in this case, one of the common types of cinematic antagonists and occasional heroes – the Bloodmarked.

   Some folk have power in their blood. Not the safe, potential, power of those with sorcerous bloodlines or the part-blooded natural-to-the-user power that comes from having a dragon or outsider ancestor, but wild power – the power of pacts (whether your own or those of some ancestor), bound magical entities, and inhuman forces – burning within them, warping and twisting mortal flesh that was never meant to contain it.

   Some mortals – impatient for power, unwilling to slowly develop their abilities and tolerances – make such pacts, bind entities, and infuse themselves with forces of their own will. Others are unwilling victims. It matters little; either can be represented with the Bloodmarked build.

   A Bloodmarked character is actually fairly simple: he or she simply has a collection of powers to draw upon – some weaker, some stronger, some usable more or less often, and many of them with noxious side effects. On the other hand, they don’t require any study, aren’t affected by the use of armor, and allow plenty of time for their user’s to study other things. Not usually too flexible, but reasonably effective – and easy for the GM to plan for, since there won’t be many surprises in the build. Once the character picks out his or her powers at a particular level, they’re set.

   By it’s nature, a Bloodmark Build comes fairly close to being a specialized version of Eclipse; it’s a toolkit for building the kind of character you want. You pick out the parts that fit your ideas, customize them, and assemble your character. That’s why it’s presented as a general menu of abilities, rather than a specific combination of them.

  • Disadvantages: (Select three disadvantages for 10 CP).
  • Duties or Restrictions (Bloodmarked characters may have obligations to their patrons, be unable to handle holy objects or enter holy places, be compelled to do any number of bizarre things, or suffer various weird restrictions. It all depends on just where their power comes from. In any case, we can presume +2 CP/Level).
  • Total available character points: 48 (Level One Base) + 10 (Disadvantages) +2 (Duties) + 6 (Level One Bonus Feat) = 66, 18 of which (from disadvantages, duties, and the bonus Feat) may be spent outside of the Adventurer framework restrictions.

   Basic Attributes: Variable. Bloodmarked characters tend to have high constitutions, usually put Strength or Dexterity next, and their other attributes depend on their background. They don’t actually need much of anything in the way of mental attributes if their abilities are inherited, but characters who actually summon things and bargain for power will probably a decent Wisdom and Intelligence.

   Basic Purchases (36 CP):

  • Proficient with All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP) and Light and Medium Armor (9 CP).
  • +4 Skill Points (4 CP).
  • +2 on Fortitude Saves (6 CP).
  • d8 Hit Die (4 CP).
  • Initial BAB +1, Corrupted/does not add to iterative attacks (4 CP).

   Variants abound here: ritualist, magical, or roguish types may want to drop the BAB, some of the weapons, and/or some of the armor in favor of more skills and saves,  while those focused on combat may prefer a larger hit die. This is an Eclipse build, so such decisions are entirely up to the player.  

Special Abilities (30 CP):

  • Bloodmark Powers (18 CP):
    • Basically, what we’re going for here is a bunch of inherent spells, all Specialized and Corrupted to decrease their costs. For simplicity – or as simple as this kind of character can get – I’ll set this up as a menu; Pick an inherent spell package and the spells in it, then pick one option from the Specialization menu and one item from the Corruption menu to apply to that package. If you still have character points left over, either do it again or go buy something else.
  • Possible Inherent Spell Packages:
    • A level one spell, usable eight times per day (3 CP, +1 CP per 4 additional uses).
    • Two level one spells, usable twice per day each (2 CP, +1 CP per 2 additional uses of each).
    • A level two spell, usable twice per day (2 CP, +1 CP per 2 additional uses).
    • A level three spell, usable once per day (2 CP, +1 CP per 2 additional uses).
    • A thematically-related level three and a level four spell, each usable once per day (4 CP, +1 CP per 2 additional uses of one of the spells).
    • A thematically-related set of a level three, level four, and level five spell, each usable once per day (6 CP, +1 CP per 2 additional uses of one of the spells).
    • A thematically-related set of a level three, level four, level five, and level six spell, each usable once per day (8 CP, +1 CP per 2 additional uses of one of the spells).
    • A thematically-related set of a level three, level four, level five, level six, and level seven spell, each usable once per day (12 CP, +1 CP per 2 additional uses of one of the spells).
  • Specialization Options:
    • Reduce effective caster level to one-third the user’s hit dice (not compatible with the similar Corrupted modifier)
    • Does 1d4 damage per spell level to the caster (no save) and his or her friends and allies within 30 feet (Fort save for half),
    • The power requires some difficult-to-acquire catalyst, which it slowly uses up.
    • The power must be externally renewed, either from some specific immobile source or by performing some awkward and complex ritual or sacrifice
    • The power is supplied by a particular – and demanding – supernatural patron. The more it’s used, the more special missions and services the patron will demand in exchange.
    • Possession of this power leaves some severe disfiguring and identifiable sign on the user’s body, as well as distorting the user’s aura and causing very bad reactions.
    • The use of this power will slowly taint or corrupt the user, eventually – perhaps never if used very rarely, slowly if used with caution, and quite rapidly if used whenever the character feels like it – turning him or her into a monstrous NPC.
    • Something else. Discuss this with your game master.
  • Corruption Options:
    • Reduce effective caster level to two-thirds the user’s hit dice (not compatible with the similar Specialized modifier).
    • Twists and poisons the environment nearby.
    • Sometimes attracts dangerous magical creatures.
    • Possession of this power leaves some minor disfiguring and identifiable sign on the user’s body, and causes poor reactions or suspicion.
    • Only usable on a weekly basis, rather than daily – or requires Mana, rather than simply being usable so many times per day (a primary option in superhero worlds, where there’s a continuous supply of Mana to work with).
    • Power requires a vulnerable external device to use; such as a wand, ring, or other focus.
    • The power manifests in a bizarrely twisted fashion or requires that the user call on forbidden names and powers. Anyone who observes it is likely to react with horror and see the user as a wielder of blasphemous and forbidden powers.
    • Something else. Discuss this with your game master.
  • Obviously enough, this kind of build offers a great deal of power relatively cheaply – or at least cheaply in terms of character points. There are, however, a major restriction over and above the limitations the character has already selected: the minimum level to use an inherent spell is equal to [(the level of the inherent spell x 2) – 1]. Unless the game master opts to waive that requirement – more likely for effects like Clairvoyance or Healing than for Fireball and Summon Monster – various powers may not be usable for some time, or might only be usable while an appropriate Berserk or other temporary enhancement is in use.

   What could we do with this?

   Ithori was a peaceful herbalist and minor ritualist, specializing in healing, blessing fields, and similar tasks. When a demon rose to attack the small and peaceful village in which he lived, he – like the other townsfolk – sought refuge in the chapel.

   The village priest died horribly, his death buying no more than a few hours before the protective spell he had laid about the chapel with his dying strength would fade. The demon announced that it would spare most of their village if they would send out one in four of the village children in tithe – announcing that, when the ward fell, it would take them all if the villagers refused to submit.

   Most of the villagers were not so foolish as to embrace such evil in exchange for mere physical survival. They busied themselves in praying for rescue, for a miracle, or in preparing to fight – however hopeless their cause – when the ward collapsed.

   Ithori worked frantically on a binding ritual. The demon had arrogantly announced it’s name, he stood upon holy ground, and perhaps the gods – or the soul of their martyred priest – would aid him.

   This being backstory – and thus fair game for improbable coincidence and extraordinary strokes of luck – Ithori successfully completed his ritual just as the demon burst in through the chapel doors. Sadly, Ithori had no vessel suitable for containing a demon – except one. He bound the demon (which, thanks to this being backstory, blew it’s chances to resist, no matter how unlikely that was) into his own body.

   While that saved his village, and gave him access to some of the demons unholy power, it has it’s price. The demons presence is constantly painful, it leaves him unable to enter holy places, and it leaves him vulnerable to holy items and to items intended for use against demons (and unable to use them).

   The powers he can draw from it are – of course – both Specialized and Corrupted: his demonic powers mark him in several ways (glowing red eyes, traces of scales on the skin, the various magical problems noted above, and an aura of evil and demonic power – all of which tends to be pretty hard on his social life and causes various problems with those who hunt down supernatural evils), and his powers are blatantly hellish in origin and corrupt the area in which they’re used.

   At the moment he has some basic fire related powers (Produce Flame, Burning Hands), the ability to summon and command lesser evils for a short time (Summon Monster), and the ability to tap into some of it’s resistances (Resist Energy). At higher levels he may learn to command considerably greater powers, or even learn to channel the creature directly (Summon Specific Monster, the Channeling Variant. See The Practical Enchanter). It’s never going to be easy, and it’s going to cause him constant problems. Will he be a tragic hero, and strive for the best despite his flaws – or will he become embittered, and turn against humanity?

   How about a character who inherited an ancestors pacts with the meddlesome Lords of Fate? Mu’lin can tap into a wide variety of powers, but using them means undertaking more missions for the Lords of Fate and tends to attract bizarre and dangerous events – which tends to force her to draw on her powers, which means more errands. That’s a vicious loop she prefers to stay out of if she can, so she relies more on other abilities and on those of her allies.

   Karthan can draw on the vast energies of the massed stars of the galaxy, producing a range of potent “cosmic energy powers”. Unfortunately, drawing on such power is dangerous; the waste energies damage the user and his nearby companions (or enemies for that matter) and requires special talismans – a set of engraved crystals set into a pair of bracers – to channel properly.

   Vandri, impatient for magical power, has resorted to summoning up minor spirits and either forging pacts with them or binding them into herself, rather than investing years in study and practice. In her case, each pact and binding suffers from it’s own limitations. Powers derived from binding lesser creatures often suffer from reduced caster levels, others require offerings and services to renew, still others are damaging to call upon…

   Adventuring is, of course, yet another group to fast and easy power – if you’re not averse to risk. Of course, if Vandri was averse to taking risks in pursuit of power, she wouldn’t be resorting to Bloodmarks…

   Was your character exposed to the energies of a wild dimensional rift, blasted with weird radiations, bonded with the occult potential of a magical nexus, or contaminated with some bizarre magical substance? The Bloodmarked build will cover it nicely.

   At this point there are still twelve character points left to spend. Of course, given the number of possibilities inherent in the Bloodmarked build so far, there’s no one option for spending them that will fit – but here are some common variants.

  • A Ritualist will, of course, need Occult Ritual (6 CP), a +3 Speciality in Spellcraft/Occult Ritual (1 CP), Skill Emphasis/Spellcraft Specialized in Rituals (3 CP), and Specific Knowledge of some rituals (2 CP).
  • A Warrior – probably with inherited or accidental powers – will probably want proficiency with heavy armor (6 CP) and some sort of combat trick or enhancement. There are dozens of possibilities, but an Enhanced Strike option (6 CP) is probably easiest.
  • A classical Priest or Mage will want a level of conventional magic – 10 CP for a Cleric, and 14 CP (having to scrape up another 2 CP somewhere) for Wizard – and will probably see his or her bloodmark powers as a sideline or even an unwanted burden. It’s likely that exploring the source, and consequences, of those abilities will be a major theme.
  • A Roguish type will probably see those powers as a useful edge, and as a surprise to be used to augment his or her skills. He or she will be best served by taking Adept (6 CP) to half the cost of his or her most frequently-used skills, one level of Augmented Attack (as “Sneak Attack”, 3 CP), and +3 Skill Points (3 CP).
  • An Atrocity build will want more bloodmark powers and some way to access higher-level spells than he or she could normally use – for example, +2d0 Hit Dice (allowing access to effects a level higher than normal as well as providing +[2x Con Mod] extra hit points) (8 CP) and +4 CP worth of bloodmark powers (4 CP). Other options include an immunity to the level requirements for using inherent spells (if the game master is willing to put up with it), using the Journeyman ability, Berserker (to boost the user’s effective level for a time), and simply talking the game master into allowing it.
  • The Accidental Victim could have virtually any combination of abilities, since whatever he or she was before will have nothing whatsoever to do with his or her Bloodmarked powers – and is pretty typical of builds for sueprhero worlds.

   Further Advancement: A character who’s serious about this path will want the basics – saves, hit dice, skills, and BAB (more if they have a melee build in mind, less if they have magical support in mind), and more bloodmark powers. Unfortunately, a major disadvantage of this sort of build is that you can buy more advanced powers in a particular sequence, and you can buy more uses – but you usually can’t change the powers you’ve already got outside of buying off their limitations or turning them into increased effects rather than cost reductions. Characters who aren’t relying on their bloodmark powers will want to build up whatever abilities they are relying on – but that’s general enough that I really can’t provide much of a direction there other than “go and consult the book”.

Eclipse: The Codex Persona is available in print HERE and in a shareware .pdf version HERE.

Legend of the Five Rings – Sagmahi Kashti Madrase (Old Yodatai Divine Bushi School)

   With all the wild powers of the seas and salt waters arrayed against them, the Yodatai Empire is limited to those places to which it’s legions can march. A tidal estuary, a narrow strait, an island a mile or so offshore – or an are of shoreline within reach of a storm waves and tidal surges – are all almost as out of reach of the Yodatai as another world.

   Around the ocean borders of the empire, a hundred small towns and cities maintain a limited independence from the Yodatai. They can’t afford to antagonize the empire – the legions themselves may not be able to reach them, but there are always mercenaries, both magical and mundane – hence they exist either as tiny fugitive groups of disorganized scavengers or as client-states of the Yodatai.

   Within the bounds of the Yodatai realms, and for a short distance beyond them, the ancient gods of the Yodatai may walk freely, the current estrangement between the Yodatai and their gods not withstanding.

   Even the Stormlord, Master of Tides and Currents, the Dance and Spirit of the Raging Sea, sometimes borrows a body from amongst the creatures of the sea, transforms it, and walks among men – if not among the Yodatai who labor under his curse.

   Sadly even among the client-states, the Iilgyr – the demigodling-offspring of Yodatai gods and mortal heroes and lovers – are not welcome, and remain all-too-easily recognized. The Stormlord, obsessed with his vendetta against the Yodatai, took his infant son to Mons Midil and left him in the care of the lesser spirits who served the gods – distant both from purpose and from the sea.

   Sagmahi is now about four and a half centuries old – the mortal equivalent of fifteen or sixteen. He has spent his life gazing out across the distant reaches of the world and it’s broad seas – and being stuck on a boring mountain peak. The falling-out between the Yodatai and their gods is a mere an annoyance to the major gods, who can easily bridge the gap between the worlds under their own power and possess local bodies as they please, but the Iilgyr are not so talented – and their peculiar physical traits make them easily recognizable should they attempt to sneak down into the mortal world.

   Sagmahi’s personal school, as amplified by his own blessing, is a school for wanderers, traders, and explorers. This makes it doubly frustrating for him to be struck on Mons Midal; he can’t even use half the abilities of his school for anything.

   Sagmahi Kashti Madrase (Old Yodatai Divine Bushi School):

  • Benefits: +1 Intelligence, Glory 2, Status 1, Wealth 3, Honor 2.0.
  • School Skills: Athletics, Battle, Commerce (note that this does not cause honor problems for non-samurai; that’s a local prejudice), Courtier, Hunting, Investigation, Land Vehicles, Lore/Travel (covers geography, trade, trade, seas and sailing, and general information about the creatures and cultures of other lands – albeit rarely in much detail unless very difficult rolls are made), Water Vehicles, and any three skills of choice provided that they include at least one weapon skill.

   School Techniques:

   First Technique/Rah Durdast Sier, the Path of the Distant Wanderer:

   With the endurance gained from hard roads and the blessing of the far-traveler, the Sagmahi Adept:

  • Gains (School Rank) Free Raises whenever repairing, operating, or navigating a vehicle (5).
  • May add his or her Intelligence to all school skill rolls (5).
  • May double the effect of each void point spent on buying off damage (a common feature of the Iilgyri schools, since their patrons are somewhat protective of their acolytes, 5 points).
  • Like all the Iilgyr schools, the Blessing of Sagmahi himself is a major element. This means that this school only functions to full effect while Sagmahi approves of the user and will never be a large one; like all the Iilgyr, Sagmahi simply doesn’t have the power to support all that many devotees. Ally with Major Influence (can provide +20 points worth of abilities, 4), Minor Devotion (0), Major Eccentricity (2), and Minor Inconvenience (Sagmahi wants regular weekly prayers and small offerings, -1) (Net cost 5).

   As a patron spirit, Sagmahi provides:

  • Mastery of Stowing: Any items packed away by a user of this technique, or under his or her supervision, take up only 10% as much space, and weigh only one-tenth as much, as they normally would (the Reduce to Talisman spell with an indefinite duration, lesser effect, and larger volume affected, making it level two, taken as a Gift, allowing an immediate TN 15 meditation check to regain the point of Void spent powering it) (8). To make most efficient use of this gift, pack larger items first.
  • Improvised Repair: The user may take any item from “Broken” or “Poor” quality to “Average” with a TN 15 skill check within 1-2 rounds. The TN is reduced to 10 if he or she can spend a few minutes at the job (level two self-powered Psychic “Repairman” Power) (6).
  • Terrain Sense: The user is always through “familiar” with the terrain, obstacles and barriers, and the layout of any structures within a radius of (Awareness x 150) feet (A level two self-powered Psychic Sense) (6).

   Yes, Sagmahi does aid himself in the use of his school. Godlings can do that.

   Second Technique/Rah Kashti Farman, the Path of the Commander:

   The Wanderer is now adept at leading men, adapting to new situations, and improvising to meet new challenges. He or she now gains:

  • +1 Attack with Pistols, Bows, or CAh,rossbows (5)
  • The ability to keep a vehicle functioning under the worst of conditions. Any vehicle which the user is currently commanding will have it’s effective level of quality upgraded by one step – including from “broken” or “destroyed” to “poor” (5 – 5 for the command requirement = 0)
  • The ability to add twice his or her intelligence to all school skill rolls, replacing the benefit from the level one technique (+5).
  • The knack of Universal Excellence. The Sagmahi Adept may add his or her Void (which must be at least three) to a skill for ten minutes. This may be done without cost up to (Void) times daily, but costs a Void Point each additional time this ability is used after that (innate self-powered level three spell) (9).
  • A +2 bonus on his or her effective Water ring when calculating his or her movement rate (1).

   Third Technique/Avaz Barq, the Voice of Thunder.

   The Sagmahi Adept is now so attuned to the wide world, it’s currents, and it’s storms, that its power flows through him or her, and into his or her actions, weapons, and commands. The Sagmahi Adepts powers now include:

  • If his or her Void is at least four, his or her skill enhancements from Universal Excellence will now last for a full hour (+3).
  • Immunity/the Sagmahi Adept does not need to actually be using a Cannon or Siege Weapon to use their attack statistics, provided that he or she is using a pistol, bow, or crossbow instead (10 – 5 = 5).
  • The Adept is now immune to lesser communications difficulties: his or her words can be clearly heard over the din of battle or the raging of a storm, he or she can clearly understand others under similar conditions, and languages – whether spoken or written – are no barrier to communication (5).
  • The Adept may call upon up to (Rank + 2) supernatural favors per day, each rated at a rank of up to (Level of the skill used/2). He or she may use Lore/Travel to reduce travel time for himself and those he or she leads, find routes, evade transient obstacles such as storms, fires, and stampedes, and obtain general information about areas. Battle may be used to obtain temporary Spirit Allies (usually Iilgyr or the greater Yodatai gods) for themselves and at least some of those under their command. Commerce may be used to obtain supplies and basic services, such as repairs and medical aid. Sadly, each such favor invoked costs a void point) (10 – 5 for cost = 5).

   Fourth Technique/Zere Shamshir, the Armor of the Blade:

   The Sagmahi Adept has become hardened to trials of the world, and secure in his or her ability to meet those trials successfully. He or she now gains:

  • +1 Attack with Pistols, Bows, or Crossbows (5)
  • +3 on his or her Movement Multiplier (7).
  • Expert defense: he or she may subtract his or her Intelligence from the wounds inflicted by any attack which affects them, reducing the damage to a minimum of 0 (5).
  • If the user’s Void is at least five, his or her skill enhancements from Universal Excellence will now last for a full day (+3).

   Fifth Technique/Paki Vashi, the Purity of the Wilderness:

   The Sagmahi Adept is now at one with the forces of the world, and flows with them, home everywhere and nowhere. His or her words may span the world, and he or she is now:

  • Immune to Major Communications Difficulties – such as distance and encryption. Perhaps sadly, this extends only to communications addressed to them or to people in general; it is not a method of eavesdropping on anyone anywhere (+5).
  • Able to trade two rolled dice for kept dice on any roll save for attacks and damage (5).
  • Travel Hardened. The Adept may subtract (Willpower) from the wounds inflicted by any attack, reducing them to a a minimum of zero (5).
  • Able, up to once per week, to spend a point of void and make a TN 20 Meditation check to expel 1K1 points of any malign dimensional energy, such as taint (5).

   Sagmahi Kashti Madrase is primarily a school for ship-captains, wanderers, and travelers. It’s not particularly useful to a courtier, and is of relatively little use in melee combat – although, at higher levels, it does make the user tough enough to stand up to quite a lot of minor opponents. It’s not bad at range, if only because firing off attacks that strike like siege weapons can be quite useful (and can take out a lot of minor opponents) – but it’s still no match for a dedicated archery school. It comes into it’s own when trying to keep a ship afloat, when delivering a message across the world, or when attempting to deliver a desperately-needed load of supplies.

Eclipse – The Level One Fortunate Hero Build

   Here we have another sample level one classless Eclipse d20 character – in this case, one of the common types of cinematic protagonists – the Fortunate Hero.

   We’ve all seen them. The heroes who always find a convenient weapon, a stash of oil, or secret door, just when they’d be dead otherwise. They’re especially prolific in cinematic productions, but they pop up in pulp novels, newspaper serials, and fairy tales.

   There are heroes who rely on their quick wits, on their strong right arms, on their dynamite fists, on their outstanding agility, on their mystic lore, on their stealthy ways, or on their marvelous skills – and then there are those who rely on coincidence, convenient last-moment escapes, and retakes. The ones for whom everything just seems to go right, who always manages to pull through somehow, who’s dialogue is so hackneyed as to be actively painful. They have the backing of the gods, or even of the mysterious authors, and who thus – at least in those worlds fully under the control of such beings – need never lose.

   Of course, in a game, all powers have their limitations. Rely on it too much, and your luck just might run out.

   Still, there are much worse things than being a Fortunate Hero.

  • Disadvantages: (Select three disadvantages for 10 CP).
  • Duties or Restrictions (Fortunate heroes often find it almost impossible to refrain from coming to the aid of random people, giving villains a second chance, or going to absurd lengths in pursuit of vengeance. Alternatively, they may have duties to some organization or religion, refuse to use various powers and/or types of equipment, or otherwise place themselves at a disadvantage sufficient to dramatically make up for their absurd luck on occasion, +2 CP/Level).
  • Total available character points: 48 (Level One Base) + 10 (Disadvantages) +2 (Duties) + 6 (Level One Bonus Feat) = 66, 18 of which (from disadvantages, duties, and the bonus Feat) may be spent outside of the Adventurer framework restrictions.

   Basic Attributes: Variable. Fortunate (Action) Heroes tend to be muscular, dexterous, and good-looking. Fortunate (Comedy) Heroes tend to be durable and sociable. Fortunate (Detective) Heroes tend to be perceptive and intelligent. In general, their attributes have little impact on their success or failure anyway; it all depends on how well they can take advantage of their good luck.

   Basic Purchases (31 CP):

  • Proficient with All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP) and Light Armor (3 CP). (Oddly enough, no matter what kind of armor it looks like a Fortunate Hero is wearing, it acts – and is worn – just like light armor).
  • +3 Skill Points (3 CP).
  • +2 on either Reflex or Fortitude Saves (6 CP).
  • d10 Hit Die (6 CP).
  • Initial BAB +1, Corrupted/does not add to iterative attacks (4 CP).

   Special Abilities (35 CP):

  • 2d6+2 Mana with the Reality Editing option. Corrupted/only usable for Reality Editing (10 CP). The Fortunate Hero can always find a way to gain an advantage or escape certain death.
  • Rite of Chi with +2 Bonus Uses, Specialized/only usable while sleeping for at least an hour or when the game master cuts to a later scene. (4 CP).
  • Universal (also affects energy damage) DR 2/-, Specialized for Double Effect (4/-): only converts lethal damage to nonlethal damage (3 CP)
  • Universal Jack of All Trades: is treated as having one skill point invested in any skill he or she wishes to use, Corrupted/only applies to the standard skills available in the setting, not to more esoteric abilities (8 CP).
  • Innate Enchantment: Four use-activated level one spells at caster level one, usable three times per day each (4800 GP, 6 CP), True Strike, True Save, True Evasion, and True Skill (all provide a +20 insight bonus to a single roll or against a single attack, activating when needed). Perhaps fortunately, it will require 32 CP each to activate these uses – a total of 284 to activate them all. The Fortunate Hero will probably have to endure a few failures – showing that he or she is indeed mortal and fallible – before the constant stream of successes begins.
  • Grant of Aid, Corrupted/requires at least a minute’s rest, or a several-round show of deep concern by another character, to activate (4 CP).

   Further Advancement: Hit Dice, BAB, and a few points on Skills are a given – but Saves are a must; nothing bad ever seems to happen to a fortunate hero. After that? Special combat tricks are a good idea, as is upgrading pretty much every one of their initial abilities – more Mana, more Bonus Uses on Rite of Chi, and more Grant of Aid. Sadly for the Fortunate Hero, their Innate Enchantments are already at the maximum available for insight bonuses – but there are lots of other minor enhancement spells that the Fortunate Hero can get, gaining a wide variety of +1 and +2 bonuses. Immunity to having those effects dispelled or disrupted would then be in order.

   The Fortunate Hero is very much a player-based character. A tactical player, one who’s simply in search of efficiency or one who likes solving puzzles, will probably find such a character boring. A player who wants to be flamboyant, come up with unlikely-but-dramatic solutions, and who would like to bypass inconvenient questions – such as “why would there be a handy trench under their feet and a stockpile of oil handy?” or “You’ve never learned to fly a plane, now you want to land a crippled jumbo jet during a hurricane?” – will probably have a blast. Finally he or she will be able to get that sort of stunt to work when he or she really needs it to!

   And the fact that the number of such stunts which can be gotten to work each day is limited will ensure that the other players can continue making a meaningful contribution with their own approaches. That way the cinematic narrative and bizarre hijinks won’t take over the game.

Eclipse – Companions and a Dealing with Dragons

   We’ve looked at some of the ways that Companions can make an Eclipse d20 characters life easier. After all, they basically let you run multiple characters – letting you get around some of the biggest limitations in the game; normally you only get so many actions, and normally you can only be in one place at a time.

   Companions can make character’s lives a lot more difficult as well. Ergo, we’ll take a look at one of Dungeons and Dragons most iconic creatures – a dragon – and see what it might do with some Companions.

   Take Roykorishtian, a Juvenile Black Dragon. To convert him to Eclipse d20 – where character designs are often more specific and focused than in basic d20 games – we’ll apply the quick-conversion rule on page 191. He gets +6 CP/Level to spend on anything that helps him out, without worrying about Specialization and Corruption. At 13 hit dice, that gives him 88 extra CP to spend. Quite a lot, but this IS a dragon we’re talking about here.

   So: lets give him six Companion Creatures (36 CP) with the Half-Dragon Template (12 CP), Might (6 CP), Great Form (6 CP), and Transform (6 CP) modifiers. For some personal abilities, we’ll get him Shapeshift (6 CP), and two Inherent Spells with +2 Bonus Uses each – Blink (9 CP) and Dimension Door (9 CP). If the situation looks too bad, Roykorishtian will act just like any other creature that wants to live; he will get out of there and take cover. Since he can share the effects of spells and powers that affect him with his Companions, he’ll usually take them along when he bails out via Dimension Door.

   Six companions provide +36 CP worth of abilities: We’ll keep things simple again. Since Roykorishtian has invested a chunk of his draconic energies in his Companions to give them the half-dragon template, they can transfer energy back to him in times of need: each of them provides Grant of Aid. At level thirteen that’s thirty uses per day – enough to let him survive and recover from a great deal of damage.

   Next level up he may want to get Luck; he wouldn’t want to get hit with some save-or-die effect without a reroll handy. After that? Probably Contacts and – perhaps – alternative breath weapons or energy substitution on his usual acid.

   He’ll also have triple CR 7 treasure – 7,800 GP. That’s not much actually; it’s far below the 19,000 GP expected for a level seven character, much less the 35,000 GP expected for a 13’th level NPC character, the 110,000 expected for a 13’th level player character, or the ungodly sum that would be expected for a character of his ECL. Oh well, he’s not a PC and life isn’t fair – but we can expect him to have invested a fair chunk of what little he’s managed to accumulate in items that are actually useful to him. Ergo, a Clasp of Resistance +2 (as per the Cloak, 4000 GP), Bracers of Armor +1 (1000 GP), a Potion of Nondetection (for use while escaping or hiding, 750 GP), and a potion of Undetectable Alignment (300 GP). He will, of course, be wearing the Clasp and Bracers.

   Now we’ll need to sort out those Companions.

  • With a level 13 master, Companion Creatures get +6d8 Hit Dice, +6 BAB, +6 Natural Armor, +3 Str, +3 Con, Int 8, Improved Fortune/Evasion, and +39 CP.
  • They use their master’s base saving throws with their own attribute bonuses.
  • Their master may communicate with them, and opt to share the effects of spells and powers used on him or her with them, at ranges of up to one mile.
  • Animals become magical beasts, most other creatures types are unchanged.
  • Might provides +2 BAB, +2 Saves, +2 Armor Class, and +12 CP to spend.
  • Great Form provides Righteous Might as a free action three times per day: +8 Str, +4 Con, +4 Natural Armor, DR 10/Good, and other minor size modifiers.
  • Transform provides the new forms basic body structure – limbs, nonmagical movement modes, and natural weapons.
  • Half-Dragon provides d6 natural weapons, a once-per day Inherent Spell breath weapon, low-light and darkvision, Immunity to Sleep, Paralysis, and One Energy Form (Acid in this case), +4 Natural Armor, Str +8, Con +2, Int +2, and Cha +2, and boosts their racial HD to d12’s.
  • We’ll use Leopards as the base creatures because they’re CR 2, they’re medium-sized which means no size modifications to apply when they transform, they’re a sensible choice, and because I like big cats.

   Let us add up all those modifiers and see what Roykorishtian’s companions look like:

Abilities:

Str 27 (+8), Dex 19 (+4), Con 20 (+5), Int 10, Wis 12 (+1), Cha 8 (-1).

Hit Dice:

3d12 (from 3d8 racial) + 6d8 (Companion) + 45 (Con) = 97

Initiative:

+4

Speed:

40 ft (8 squares), climb 20 ft.

Armor Class:

10 +4 (Dex), +11 (natural, 1 base, 6 companion, 4 half-dragon), +2 (positive levels) = 27

BAB:

+2 (Base) +6 (Companion) +2 (Positive Levels) = +10

Attack:

Natural Weapons (1d6 base, 1d10 after bonuses) = 1d10

Full Attack:

Bite and two claws

Saves:

+7 (Master’s Base) +2 (Positive Level), totals Fort +14, Ref +13, Will +10

Skills:

Balance +12 (+4 Dex +8 Racial), Climb +16 (+8 Str +8 Racial), Hide +8 (+4 Dex +4 Racial, +4 circumstance in areas of tall grass or heavy undergrowth), Jump +16 (+8 Str +8 Racial), Listen +6 (3 SP +1 Wis +2 Alertness), Move Silently +8 (4 Dex +4 Racial), Spot +6 (3 SP +1 Wis +2 Alertness).

Special:

Low-light vision, Darkvision, Scent, Improved Fortune/Evasion, Alertness, Weapon Finesse (now irrelevant since Str now exceeds Dex), Immunity to Sleep, Paralysis, and Acid, Inherent Spell/Acid Bolt (line or cone, 1d4/user level to 10d4, once per day), Improved Grab, Pounce, and Rake.

Great Form:

Righteous Might as a free action three times per day: +8 Str, +4 Con, +4 Natural Armor, DR 10/Good, and other minor size modifiers.

Transformed:

Movement: Ground 60, Fly 150/poor, Swim 60 and +7 Natural Armor (+12 replaces the +1 base and the +4 for half-dragon).

51 CP:

+6 Bonus Uses with Inherent Spell/”Breath Weapon”, 9 CP), Immunity/having to breathe while underwater (Uncommon, Severe, Minor, 6 CP), Spell Resistance of 5+Master’s Level (6 CP), Block/Missile (6 CP), Grant of Aid (6 CP), Power Words (can store 7 levels of spells, 6 CP), Shapeshift (6 CP), Inherent Spell, Specialized for Double Effect/requires one-minute ritual, only to recharge power words, a Level Six Greater Invocation for any arcane spell effect of level three or less (6 CP).

Basic Link:

Their master may communicate with them, and opt to share the effects of spells and powers used on him or her with them, at ranges of up to one mile.

   Yes, that’s right: with +5 ECL worth of modifiers applied to a CR 2 creature and stacked with the Companion Creature modifiers, these things are just as personally formidable as their master at the moment – and might even be a bit worse. Of course, that matches; CR 7+ creatures, about as formidable as CR 7+ master. Unless some of the characters are extremely specialized, confronting Roykorishtian and his friends is going to be extremely dangerous. If they’re wise, any such confrontation will be proceeded by a good deal of investigation and preparation (getting everyone equipped with acid resistance and ghost strike weapons – and having a dimensional anchor spell or two available – would be a good start). Of course, that’s more like what fighting even a young dragon ought to be like; if a low or mid-level group isn’t careful, and foolishly backs him into a corner, he may well kill the lot of them.

   If the game master is keeping the players from running amuck designing specialists, it’s only fair to restrain the monsters too – but so many players design their characters for total overkill that it’s fun to design a few monsters for it too.

   As a creature, Roykorishtian is not stupid. He’s not brilliant either – but he did listen to some advice before he left his mother’s lair. He knows about arrows of slaying, and dragonbane weapons, and high-level characters, and he wants nothing to do with any of them. That’s one reason why he’s invested so much of his personal power in companions that can support him in a fight and impersonate dragons (if necessary, with the help of a nondetection or specialized illusion spell to cover divination) as a front.

   Some possible schemes for Roykorishtian include:

  • Caravan raiding. Roykorishtian will either scout them in small animal form or – if possible – actually join them. If there’s no reason not to raid them, he can send in a few companions. If they’re being driven off, it’s time to either tip the balance – if he can do so safely – or be one of the heroic defenders and “drive them off” in hopes of a reward. If a caravan is too strong to take, well, at least he can still try to collect a good payment for guarding it.
  • The same sort of scheme will do nicely for robbing tax collectors and such. If there happen to be weaker groups of monsters or bandits or some such around, he’ll gladly raid them, steal their treasure – and then try to collect a reward for doing so.
  • Theft. As long as it won’t be easy to trace to him, Roykorishtian will gladly deploy his companions, and even take personal action, to snatch any available treasure. He will, however, probably have to do his own scouting.
  • Actual adventuring. Roykorishtian can take human form, even if he does look pretty young to be out on his own, and would certainly be an asset to most mid-level parties. It wouldn’t be a lot of cash compared to what an elder dragon might rake in – but it would be pretty good for a juvenile dragon. Besides, allies can be helpful, and – if they aren’t – you can always kill them off and take their stuff.
  • Protection rackets. He won’t even have to get involved directly; he can just send out a minion, sit back, and rake in the cash. This is a classic dragon routine – but, unfortunately, he’ll have to find a territory where no other dragon is operating before he can expect to get away with this kind of scheme. Confronting an older dragon in it’s home territory isn’t a terribly good idea.
  • Honest work. Roykorishtian may not want to work himself – most dragons consider it beneath them after all – but renting out a “dragon” or two is pretty easy. Does some mighty evil warlord want a dragon mount? Does some powerful mage want a draconic guardian for his tower? Why not?.
  • If he does get traced to a lair (which he doesn’t have yet), he’ll deploy his companions first – and if it isn’t going well, he’ll get out, leaving one of them to impersonate him and divert the enemy. A Handy Haversack or bag of holding or two will suffice to keep his treasure in – and he’ll want one to keep his potions and such handy anyway.

   Roykorishtian’s battle tactics are pretty basic at the moment: he is a kid after all. If there’s a fight, and there’s a reason not to simply escape, he’ll deploy his companions, have them all douse the area with acid – they’re all immune to acid anyway, so there’s no reason not to catch each other in their areas of effect – and activate his Blink effect on their behalf when things go to hand-to-hand. He’ll stay out of it himself unless he’s VERY sure that his participation will tip the balance in his favor. He’d rather take the shock of losing a companion and have to recruit a new one than die.

   It’s fairly likely that – the first several times that a group encounters Roykorishtian – they won’t even find out that he’s a dragon. Even if they’re willing to assault the “kid” the first time, he should be quite tough enough to get away. He may not even have to reveal his dimension-door ability – and, sensibly, would prefer to keep just how tough he is, his identity, and as many of his personal capabilities, secret for as long as he possibly can. It will help him live longer.

   Actually pinning him down will be quite a challenge – and if it comes to that, he’d rather surrender, beg, or submit than die. It’s a lot easier to get over hurt pride than it is to get over being dead.