Eclipse – Templates for Companions

   First up for today it’s a couple of templates for Companions, since – at least in Eclipse – buying templates for them is a fairly popular option. Remember though, when you stack them it’s important to consider their total point cost, since each ECL adjustment bracket covers a range of costs.

   The two base companion templates here both take advantage of that to some extent: they’re both +2 ECL templates worth 95 character points – which would stack to 190 CP, or +5 ECL if you were to apply both of them to a single creature. The upgrades listed for them are meant to be stacked, so – at +32 CP per ECL (or very close to it), they can be stacked directly.

   Warbeasts (95 CP/+2 ECL companion template) are trained and bred for combat and riding – usually with the aid of magic, psychic powers, or advanced technology. They’re faster, tougher, and more alert than ordinary creatures. They may also be larger, since, to be most effective as a mount, a creature generally needs to be at least one size category larger than the rider.

  • +1d8 HD (12 CP).
  • Str +4, Con +2, Wis +2 (48 CP).
  • +2 Listen, +2 Ride, +2 Spot (6 CP).
  • Celerity +10′ primary movement (6 CP).
  • Proficient with Light, Medium, and Heavy Armor (15 CP).
  • Mastery (Ride, Spot, Listen), Specialized/only while aiding their rider or owner, (3 CP).
  • Opportunist/May take a free “aid another” action each round as long as it is working with it’s owner/trainer. Specialized/such actions are restricted to Ride, Spot, Listen, or Attack checks (3 CP).
  • Immunity/Training Time (Uncommon, Minor, Minor, 2 CP): Warbeasts can be trained quickly and easily.

   Upgraded Warbeast: If the creature needs to be larger to be ridden, throw in +1 level of Growth (48 CP), +1d8 Hit Die (12 CP), and +10′ to its primary movement mode (3 CP) – and an additional +2 ECL – per size category it needs to be enlarged.

   Characters are free to vary things- for example, if you want an upgraded Cheetah to ride on, you will need to make it one size category larger, but you can still stack on 32 CP worth of bonuses from the Warbeast template before you’ll exceed the limit for a +2 ECL adjustment.

   Ergo, if you want your companion to be a large riding cheetah, but don’t feel you need the full Warbeast template to make it suitable, you could just buy the Size upgrade on it’s own and pick 32 CP worth of abilities from the template to make it more suitable.

 

   Robots (95 CP/+2 ECL Companion Template) may be high-tech electronic devices, creations of gears, springs, and magic, or constructs of crystal and psionic energy – but they’re essentially a replaceable (if often expensive) tool.

  • Construct: No Constitution score, but gains bonus HP for size (12 CP). Includes immunity to ability damage [including all poisons], ability drain, energy drain, and effects requiring fortitude saves unless they work on objects or are harmless. Does not breathe, eat, or sleep, cannot tire, and can move, work, or remain alert indefinitely. Cannot be Raised or Reincarnated and are instantly destroyed at 0 HP.
  • Occult Sense (Low-Light Vision, 6 CP)
  • Immunity to all mind-affecting effects, including charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects (Common/Major/Legendary, Specialized/can only act in accordance with programming and have no self-will, Corrupted/can still be manipulated by reprogramming, abilities that target artificial intelligences, and similar effects (12 CP).
  • Immunity to things which affect biological processes, including paralysis, stunning damage, nonlethal damage, diseases, death effects, critical hits, and most necromancy effects (Very Common/Major/Legendary, Specialized/overlaps extensively with the effects of not having a constitution score, still subject to effects which target mechanisms or affect machines, requires regular maintenance, Corrupted/users cannot heal naturally; they must be repaired or use other special abilities, 15 CP.
  • Universal (also applies to energy damage) Damage Reduction 10, Specialized, not versus adamantine or electrical attacks (18 CP).
  • Extraordinary Returning, Specialized/owner must rebuild his or her companion and may have to invest a fair amount of money in it (6 CP). Fortunately for the owner, this does negate the usual experience point cost of losing a companion and the delay in obtaining a “new one”.
  • Innate Enchantment (Equipment) (10,000 GP, 11 CP)
  • Immunity to the XP cost of Innate Enchantment (Uncommon, Minor, Major, 3 CP)
  • Proficient with all built-in systems and armor (12 CP).

      The built-in equipment will, of course, vary from companion to companion; a fantasy-construct of magic may have plate armor, crossbows, and the equivalents of a few magic items. Modern robots are likely to have guns, radios, and sensor systems.

The usual Robot Upgrade is to buy +1 level of Growth (48 CP) and +15,000 GP worth of built-in equipment (15 CP) – for an additional +2 ECL. If you want a hulking robotic companion, that’s the way to go.

   Characters who want to stack the Warbeast template on top of the Robotic template will wind up with a +5 ECL modifier (and a very expensive companion). Of course, if you’re going to go that far, you’ll probably want to take the maximum +6 ECL modifier – which will provide another 32 CP to play with. That’s not enough to buy any growth, so if you want a large robotic warbeast companion, you’ll just have to be able to afford to either buy it another way, such as by using a creature that’s already large, or settle for a temporary enlargement. On the other hand, you could – if the game master feels like permitting it – buy Blessing and turn your companion into a suit of powered battle armor, buy off some of it’s limitations, or simply give it whatever minor special powers you have in mind.

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