Eclipse – The Poseur (or Mad Cultist) Level One Build

   Our next sample level one Eclipse classless d20 character build is – or was – a relatively normal person – before something happened to him or her. Now, he or she finally has power, just like all those lordly adventurers.

   Well, not quite just like them.

   The Poseur wasn’t formally trained as an adventurer. He or she may have dabbled in some weird cult, obsessed over some ancient magical tome, been afflicted by an ancient artifact, or tried on one ring too many in his or her jewelry shop – but he or she was a normal person with a normal life before something awakened a poorly-controlled magical talent within him or her.

   The Poseur – thanks to his or her extreme magical specialization – possesses a good deal of raw magical power; but is pretty useless outside that speciality even when he or she manages to maintain control of his or her magic. On the other hand, that will leave him or her with plenty of character points to buy secondary abilities with – or to maintain a fine, upstanding, position in a community as something other than a crazed cultist-servant of the mad gods.

  • Disadvantages: (Select three disadvantages for 10 CP. Aged is especially appropriate).
  • Duties (typically to an organization, feudal lord, or as agreed to with the game master. Crazed NPC’s may want to go for service to the gods of madness or some such. In either case, +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. The Poseur will probably want a decent constitution, and a decent score in whatever attribute his or her magic is based on, but otherwise was a fairly normal person – and so should have attributes suitable to his or her base profession.

   Basic Purchases (30 CP):

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

   Special Abilities (36 CP):

  • One and One-Third Sorcerer Magic Levels, Specialized and Corrupted for triple effect (effectively level four)/can only use a single type of magic (select theme: Conjuration, Fire, Chaos, or whatever), must make a Reflex save against each spell they cast to maintain full control (21 CP). The Casting Attribute should be selected to suit the type of magic involved.
    • Variants may need to make a Fortitude check to avoid fatigue, a Will save to avoid some sort of spell backlash, or specialize their magic in some other method. The point here is to have a good deal of power, but only in one especially narrow field and with serious drawbacks.
  • Privilege (3 CP): the Poseur is a respected member of society, member of the appropriate guilds and organizations, and with a well-established lifestyle.
  • Augmented Bonus (6 CP): Adds a second attribute modifier when using skills reliant on a particular attribute – applied so as to enhance the user’s primary professional skills. Thus, for example, a lawyer reliant on his Knowledge/Local (law) might have learned to take advantage of his high Constitution to study more intensively – an advantage that he will be able to apply just as readily to other intelligence-based skills.
  • Skill Emphasis (3 CP): +2 to whatever skill the character relies on in his or her basic profession – usually a craft, profession, or lore skill.
  • Enthusiast, Specialized in Relics (1 CP): The Poseur has enough connections that he or she can always get one to provide some temporary mystical trinket that focuses his or her wild powers – a 1 CP Relic.
  • Contacts (2 CP): The Poseur starts off with a couple of useful contacts. A lawyer may know some wealthy or influential individuals, a jeweler may know a dealer in gems and precious metals as well as a minor magical artificer, and so on.

   Further Advancement: The Poseur can upgrade his or her raw magical power fairly cheaply – but surviving the consequences of misdirected spells is considerably more difficult. He or she will be well advised to buy up saving throws, good-sized hit dice, and some personal combat abilities – even if mostly defensive ones – to fall back on when his or her one-track magic doesn’t work. It will probably be in character to keep up his or her professional credentials with more skill points as well, but that’s a pretty modest drain on the resources of an adventurer. Unlike most sensible characters, the Poseur is a marvelous candidate for entirely random supernatural powers – weird immunities, strange inherent spells, bizarre innate enchantments, and – for those with obliging game masters – even the Path of the Dragon in some of it’s most flashy aspects.

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

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