Eclipse – Building d20 Psychics Part VI, the Starfire Adept Level One Build

   Our next sample level one Eclipse classless d20 character build is another psychic example – in this case, the Starfire Adept.

   Eons past, the Krell ruled a star-spanning empire and possessed knowledge and power beyond belief. Their greatest project was a machine that would free them of the need to craft things of physical matter. Instead, it would directly manifest whatever they willed and provide each of them with near-limitless power. Over a million years of civilization they had forgotten. In the depths of their Ids there still lurked the selfish, ravening, primordial instincts of the savages from which they had risen so long ago – and their machine gave them near-limitless power and the freedom to roam as well. (Yes, this is very loosely adapted from Forbidden Planet, itself a loose adaption of The Tempest by Sir William Shakespeare).

   It was long believed by those few scholars who knew something of the Krell that they had perished utterly. They were wrong… the Krell Psychic Adepts – a malign group descended from Krell outcasts that seeks to resurrect the ancient dominion of the Krell in their own corrupt image – had wielded their terrible psychic powers behind the scenes for eons, learning many terrible secrets along the way.

   More recently has come the revelation that the ancient Krell machine was not utterly destroyed, but merely scattered – broken into a myriad crystalline shards of psychic energy hurtling through space, time, and dimension, each capable of some tiny fragments of the functions of the whole. Occasional minds, somehow compatible with the ancient device, come to host such psychic shards, gaining access to as much power as they can physically handle – whether they know it’s origin or not. Inevitably, such “Starfire Adepts” – whether one considers them blessed or cursed – will find themselves touched by subtle machinations of the Krell Psychic Adepts, whether to aid or to oppose them.

   The Starfire Adept is designed to create characters who must develop fairly specific psychic skills and find their use stressful – but who recover quite rapidly from such exertions. Thanks to the use of the Body Fuel power, and the consequent inability to quickly heal the nonlethal damage they take to power their abilities by supernormal means, they avoid the most troublesome pitfall of damage-powered abilities – getting the damage healed up the next round in some fashion and going on to blast away indefinitely – but they still have the potential to spam very large numbers of midlevel effects each day at higher levels. I’d recommend caution with this one unless you’re letting other characters take Innate Enchantment, Siddhisyoga, Path of the Dragon, and similar abilities.

  • 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 12, Int 14, Wis 12, Con 12, Dex 12, Chr 14 (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):

  • Access to one Dweomer Field (6 CP).
  • Adept (Select four Dweomer Skills, 6 CP).
  • One Base Caster Level, Specialized in Dweomer for half cost (3 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus/add “appropriate” (game master chosen) attribute modifier to Thaumaturgy and Dweomer Skills (6 CP).
  • Body Fuel, Versatile, and Efficient III (10 CP), Specialized/only to use HP to power Thaumaturgy and Dweomer, Corrupted/must buy very narrow Thaumaturgy and Dweomer skills. Thus Trivial effects cost 1 HP, Easy ones 4, Average ones 8, Difficult ones 12, Amazing ones 16, Grandiose ones 20, and Epic ones 24 – subject to the usual character level cost multipliers – and their abilities will only have a few applications each.
  • Immunity/lethal damage from using Body Fuel (Very Common, Major, Minor, Specialized/only converts lethal damage to nonlethal damage, 5 CP). Please note that this does NOT bypass the basic limitation of damage taken from the use of the Body Fuel power: such supernatural damage can only be recovered through natural healing, not through the use of magic, technology, psychic powers, or any other special abilities. I don’t recommend EVER allowing a Starfire Adept to buy this power up; as it stands, they can use up to level six effects without taking any real damage, but will have to wield higher-level powers sparingly, since such damage heals on a daily, rather than an hourly, basis. Partial immunity to the rules of the game is already a pretty big warning flag. After all, at level 10, this fifteen character point Body Fuel and Damage Immunity combination can fuel twenty sixth level spells per day. It’s not as bad as allowing a sorcerer to buy “Immunity to having to spend spell slots”, but it’s still extremely potent.

   Further Advancement: This is an easy one: Saves, Hit Dice, Base Caster Level, Skills. Since a Starfire Adept has effectively purchased all the raw magical power he or she will ever need to fuel his or her abilities at first level, he or she will have plenty of points left over to buy access to more types of dweomer and more dweomer skills. They’ll start to fall behind at extremely high levels, when using truly major powers will start to cost them some real hits on top of the nonlethal damage, but they should have plenty of character points left to buy other things by that time. They might want to get an extra hit die or two (Specialized: extra hits only represent a nonlethal damage buffer), and perhaps something like Berserker or some Mana and Hysteria to boost their power in emergencies though.

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One Response

  1. […] The Starfire Adept: a stress-powered master of psychic skills […]

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