Eclipse – the Mystic Adept Level One Build

   A great many people like Spell-Point-and-Spontaneous-Casting-of-Known-Spell systems, whether it’s because they don’t like the idea of “preparing spells” as if they were concoctions, because they feel that such systems are more “organic” or “natural”, because they don’t like the idea of fiddling around with spell books, because they want gradual, rather than daily, magical recovery, or because they have old objections to the old (and ill-thought) terminology of “memorizing” and “forgetting” spells. Others dislike the idea of fixed spell progressions, preferring to build their own eclectic lists of spells.

   So here’s the Mystic Adept – an Eclipse Classless d20 build that allows characters to do just that. The Mystic Adept possesses a personal pool of magical energy, and can draw on it to cast any spell that he or she knows. Unfortunately, the Mystic Adept starts off with a relatively small number of spells, and will only gain more relatively slowly.

   This particular design is pretty generic – which is why twelve character points have been left available for customization.

  • Disadvantages: (Select three for 10 CP), and add
  • Duties (to a feudal overlord, school, deity, faith, or whatever, +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: 18, 14, 12, 10, 8, 8 (28 point buy). In general, the Mystic Adept will want an 18 in his or her primary spellcasting attribute,

   Basic Purchases (30 CP)

  • Proficient with All Simple Weapons (3 CP) and Light Armor with the Smooth Modifier (6 CP).
  • +5 Skill Points (5 CP)
  • +2 on any two Saves (12 CP)
  • 1d8 Hit Die (4 CP)
  • Initial BAB +0 (0 CP)

   Now, to cast spontaneous spells, our Mystic Adept needs four things – some Power or Generic Spell Levels to power them with, a Caster Level of at least (Twice the level of the spell being cast -1), some spell formulas purchased at double cost so they can be used spontaneously, and a casting attribute of at least (10+The level of spell being cast). Hopefully he or she will have a decent casting attribute. To obtain our other three items buy:

   Special Abilities (36 CP):

  • Mana – either the 2d4 Generic Spell Levels option or the 3d6 Power option. Mystic Adepts who rely on Spell levels pay one-half spell level for a Cantrip or Orison, and one per level of the spell as usual. Mystic Adepts using Power pay one point for a Cantrip or Orison and twice the level of the spell plus one point for using higher level spells (since there are no “level zero” psionic powers). This is Corrupted if it can only be used to power Arcane spells and Specialized if it can only be used to power Divine spells.
    • Optionally, the game master may wish to institute a “gradual recovery” rule. In this case, simply divide the user’s total magical reserve by 24. That’s how much you get back per hour of light activity. If there’s heavy activity, such as combat, in any given hour the user doesn’t regain anything. Each hour of sleep counts as two hours of light activity.
  • Base Caster Level: 6 CP/Level if usable for any spell, Corrupted if it’s usable for major groups of spells – such as “All Arcane Spells” or “All Divine Spells” – and Specialized if it can only be used for groups such as “Cleric Spells”.
    • This gives us three basic divisions: Generic Spellcasters, who can learn any spell, but who have to pay 6 CP per 2d4 Spell Levels/3d6 Power and 6 CP per Caster Level, Arcane Spellcasters who pay 4 CP per 2d4 Spell Levels/3d6 Power and 4 CP per Caster Level, and Divine Spellcasters who pay 3 CP per 2d4 Spell Levels/3d6 Power and 4 CP per Caster Level. Either of the latter can reduce the cost of their Caster Levels to 3 CP each if they restrict themselves to a particular spell list. Our three basic 12 CP variants would be:
      • General Caster: 6 CP on 3d6 Power or 2d4 Generic Spell Levels, 6 CP on +1 Base Caster Level.
      • Divine Caster: 6 CP on 6d6 Power or 4d4 Generic Spell Levels, 4 CP on +1 Base Caster Level for Divine Spells, 2 CP on an extra spell formula. A divine caster can also afford to drop the “Smooth” modifier on his or her armor proficiency and either get a few more skill points, learn to use shields, or learn to use an additional weapon or weapons.
      • Arcane Caster: 8 CP on 6d6 Power or 4d4 Generic Spell Levels, 4 CP on +1 Base Caster Level.
  • Spell Formula: These cost 2 CP each for any spell that the characters Base Caster Level will support. Arcane spells are subject to armor failure percentages and component requirements as always, Divine spells generally are not. In any case, Fast Learner specialized in Spell Formula will allow the character to automatically gain one spell per level, starting at level one (6 CP).
  • Having only one spell at level one is a bit lame, ergo we shall also buy Improved Occult Talent, Specialized/the spells gained must be powered from the user’s existing power reserves and are cast at his or her base caster level, rather than using his or her hit dice as a caster level (6 CP). That gets our Mystic Adept a selection of five Cantrips or Orisons and three first level spells to use in addition to his or her spell from Fast Learner.

   That’s 24 CP, and a decent starting magical package. On the other hand, we still have 12 CP to spend… Enough for a couple of selections from among:

  • A Familiar (Companion, 6 CP).
  • Spell Storing (6 CP – or 12 CP if upgraded).
  • Another set of five Cantrips/Orisons and three first level Spells (6 CP). The Mystic Adept could even take this option twice, for a total of 15 Cantrips/Orisons and 10 first level spells.
  • Buying a Domain or Path (see Paths of Power for a selection of Paths) (6 CP) will allow the user to gain a linked set of spells. Unfortunately, the open-ended structure of this build, the game master will have to pay special attention to such Domains and Paths: If they contain spells that the user’s power reserve or casting levels will not normally support, the user will have to either upgrade some of his or her reserves to match or buy some matching reserves.
  • Some Additional Power or Generic Spell Levels (cost varies with the speciality as listed above).
  • A second basic package – probably stacking one of the speciality versions on top of the general version or doubling up on one of the speciality packages (12 CP).
  • +2 Base Caster Levels specialized in a particular type of spell (6 CP). This will also allow the user to start off with a second-level spell of the chosen type, using it at caster level three. This can be quite useful, but will burn through his or her magical reserves rather quickly. Additional Power or Generic Spell Levels – possibly only usable for the speciality type of magic – may be in order.
  • A bit of Channeling – three uses per day (6 CP) at +4 Intensity (6 CP) is a classic for divine-style spellcasters.
  • Shapeshift (6 CP) has many uses, even if a low-level character can’t do it often or take any of the more formidable forms.

   Or we could get Rite of Chi with Bonus Uses to allow the user to rebuild his or her magical reserves between encounters, Grant of Aid to represent benign powers or spirits helping out, a bit of Witchcraft to add low-level versatility – well, to be blunt, you could buy all kinds of things. It just depends on where you want to take the character.

   Further Advancement: Well, more saves, more power or generic spell levels, base caster levels, and spells are obviously in order. Unfortunately, the Mystic Adept doesn’t get bonus spells for having a high casting attribute. If he or she wants to match the number of spells and the amount of power available to a high-level spellcaster using a more conventional progression, it will require the investment of slightly-more-than-comparable amounts of character points – a consequence of taking a slightly more flexible route to power.


2 Responses

  1. […] Mystic Adept: a design-it-yourself spontaneous spell point caster available in many different flavors. […]

  2. […] The Mystic Adept has the option to use clerical-style magic, albeit not actual clerical spellcasting. It does represent another approach though. […]

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