Eclipse – Building d20 Psychics Part V, The Dweomer Master First Level Build

   Our next sample level one Eclipse classless d20 character build is another psychic example – in this case, the Dweomer Master. Dweomer is a system of psychic powers revolving around a series of feats which offer access to a variety of broad psychic skills. A dweomer-wielder may thus attempt an enormous variety of effects, but their powers aren’t totally reliable and many other effects will lie outside of their range. Unfortunately, this means that the game master will often be called on to rule on the “level” of many effects on the fly. Fortunately, d20 provides an immense array of benchmarks to refer to, making this a relatively easy task.

   Exactly what role a Dweomer Master will fill in the game depends very much on where he invests his or her feats and skill points: one may specialize in healing and extra-sensory perception, another in psychokinesis and warping the laws of nature.

   Unfortunately, there is just no getting away from the need for game-master interpretation. Asking “what can I do with Electrokinesis?” is like asking “What can I do with my hands?” or “What is a chemistry good for?”. Even the Continuum II rules – which listed twenty-five ability trees based on psychic awareness or “Introspection” (the summaries are listed HERE), fifty based on C’hi, and better than six hundred psychic discipline trees spread over ten basic fields – wound up listing plenty of extremely broad effects. Anything which can be fit into a reasonably-sized RPG book must either focus on a narrow range of possibilities or content itself with set of general rules and let the game master rule on specific cases.

   Personally, I prefer the general rules: telling people that they can’t have a more-or-less reasonable power that fits the way their abilities are supposed to work never suited me. The general approach allows the players to be more easily surprised by some unexpected ramification and avoids the endless proliferation of special-case rulings and individual powers that cripples most game systems in the end – just as 3.5 wound up bogged down in an endless array of prestige classes and feats scattered over hundreds of sourcebooks, magazines, and documents. Eclipse was intended to fix that. (Eclipse: The Codex Persona is available in print HERE and in a shareware .pdf version HERE).

   The Dweomer Master

  • Disadvantages: (Select three for 10 CP), and add
  • Duties (to a feudal overlord, school, deity, faith, or whatever, +2 CP/Level. Restrictions – such as not using armor and major weapons – can be substituted readily).
  • 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: Str 8, Int 18, Wis 8, Con 12, Dex 14, Chr 10 (28 point buy).

   Basic Purchases (30 CP):

  • Proficient with All Simple Weapons (3 CP) and Light Armor (3 CP).
  • +14 Skill Points (14 CP)
  • +2 on Will Saves (6 CP)
  • d8 Hit Die (4 CP)
  • Initial BAB +0 (0 CP).

   Special Abilities (36 CP):

  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills (6 CP, +2 SP/Level. We’ll assume the user picked this up at level zero, for +2 SP at level one).
  • Adept (Select four Dweomer Skills, 6 CP).
  • Access to one Dweomer Field (6 CP).
  • One Base Caster Level, Specialized in Dweomer for double effect (6 CP).
  • Mana I/Generic Spell Levels Option (2d4), Specialized for half cost/only for Dweomer (3 CP).
  • Mana I/Power Option (3d6), Specialized for half cost/only for Dweomer (3 CP).

   With a total of 32 skill points at level one, a Dweomer Master can afford to spend 8 getting their four Adept skills up to +4, another 16 on getting the rest of the skills in their dweomer field up to +4 (although they’ll likely lag the others later), and still have 8 skill points left – 12 if human (in which case they may want to spend their bonus feat either on gaining access to a second dweomer field or – if the game master will allow it – on another incidence of Adept, which will make it far easier to keep their dweomer skills up and let them pick up some others to work with at low levels).

   Character concepts which involve psionic abilities causing a physical strain may want to either Corrupt part or all of their reserves (either “user must make a fortitude check or suffer fatigue when tapping into these points” or “user suffers one point of nonlethal damage for each level of effect produced using these points) or to apply a similar modifier to one or more of their Dweomer skills (making a particular discipline or set of disciplines especially draining to use). In this case limiting things to a daily recovery may not be quite what the character had in mind, so some of the points saved can go to Rite of Chi with Bonus Uses – probably Corrupted or Specialized to make it take longer. That way their power can recover gradually as they rest as well as when they get a full nights sleep (or at dawn or whatever system the game master favors).

   It’s worth nothing that the Dweomer Master is one of the few builds that can adapt to “superhero” settings – where the characters gain access to (Con Mod) points of Mana every round for free – with no trouble at all; they can simply use it to power their psionic abilities at the usual ratio of one point of mana being equal to one spell level and two power.

   Further Advancement: Obviously enough, the Dweomer Master is going to want to keep buying Generic Spell Levels, Power, and Skills, as well as the usual saving throws and hit dice. As their power increases they’ll probably learn to get along without the gestures and vocalizations that lesser psychics use to focus their concentration (Immunity to effect level increases due to being bound or restrained). They may also want to pick up Circle Operations (a.k.a. “Ritual Magic”, although they usually use appropriate psions as “components” – a practice which can put the operators in considerable danger, but makes “components” much easier to find for a ritual group). Various forms of Berserker and Hysteria can provide an emergency boost, and Companions or Followers may be in order. Mastery – the ability to “Take 10” on some skills while under stress – may prove invaluable to a Dweomer Master; it means that their lower-level spells will be reliable, rather than occasionally failing under pressure.

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One Response

  1. […] The Dweomer Master: a master of particular psychic fields. […]

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