Eclipse – Common Races

   First up for today it’s a series of quick Eclipse classless d20 breakdowns of seven of the existing playable monster races and one that isn’t normally considered playable. Most of these – other than the Janni – are fairly straightforward, but it’s always nice to have a look at the structure so you can see how to modify it to suit your particular needs.

   Besides, in Eclipse, races can also be applied to characters as Templates – if at a +1 ECL modifier over and above the cost of the race – so it’s often convenient to have some of the racial packages laid out.

   Blink Dog:

  • Celerity, +10 ground movement, Specialized/only while operating on all fours (3 CP).
  • Defender/+3 Natural Armor (18 CP).
  • Martial Arts/1d6 “Natural Weapons” (6 CP).
  • Occult Sense/Darkvision (6 CP).
  • Occult Sense/Scent (6 CP).
  • Occult Sense/Low-Light Vision (6 CP)
  • Self-Development: +6 Dexterity and +2 Wisdom (48 CP).
  • Track (3 CP).
  • Inherent Spell/Blink, with +4 Bonus Uses (5/Day, 12 CP).
  • Inherent Spell II/Dimension Door, with +4 Bonus Uses (5/Day, 12 CP).
  • Reflex Training/Extra Actions Variant, Specialized and Corrupted/magical actions only, only to trigger inherent powers, only for Blink and Dimension Door for nine extra actions per day (6 CP).

   At 136 CP, being a Blink Dog is expensive. Of course, there are some major factors that bring that down a bit: the entire cost can be considered Corrupted. Blink Dogs have no manipulative limbs, and thus cannot use most equipment. Even if shapeshifted, they are not natural tool users – their minds simply don’t work that way – and gain no bonuses for a high strength or dexterity when using tools or weapons. They’ll find clothing and armor distracting and uncomfortable even if someone else helps them get it on. They can’t speak most languages in their natural form thanks to the limitations of their voices. Finally, they’re pretty obviously animals, or at least animalistic, and thus have severe social limitations.

   That brings the cost down to 91 CP, 4 CP under the 95 CP limit for a +2 ECL race.

   The blink dog also illustrates one of the general Eclipse rules; quite a lot of the powers and abilities that are listed for creatures as being “at will” or “unlimited use” should actually be read as “with enough uses that the game master doesn’t usually need to worry about it during an encounter”. Player characters using such races will be more restricted.

   Bugbear:

  • Attribute Shift: +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma (6 CP).
  • Self-Development: +4 Strength and +2 Dexterity (36 CP)
  • Occult Sense/Darkvision (6 CP)
  • Occult Sense/Scent (6 CP).
  • Skills: +4 to Move Silently (4 CP).
  • Defender: +3 Natural Armor (18 CP).

   That’s a bit awkward: Bugbears are supposed to be a +1 ECL race, but the limit for that is 63 CP – and that all adds up to 76 CP. There are several different ways to bring that down of course, but the simplest is to Corrupt the package by requiring a “Favored Class/Rogue” – bringing the total cost down to 51 CP. Of course, you probably won’t be able to use that modifier in straight point-buy, which means that you’d probably have to drop something – or spend a few points from other sources – to match.

   On the other hand, in most settings, you can throw in Incompetent (Diplomacy), Outcast (racial prejudice against goblinoids is pretty common), and Uncivilized, as racial difficulties – saving 10 CP. That leaves them only 3 CP over, and that should be easy enough to either make up or spare.

   Gnoll:

  • Attribute Shift: Intelligence -2, Charisma -2, Strength +4 (12 CP).
  • Self-Development: Con +2 (12 CP).
  • Occult Sense/Darkvision (6 CP).
  • Defender/+1 Natural Armor (6 CP).

   That’s a total cost of 36 CP – just a bit over the 31 CP maximum for a +0 ECL race. Another one that probably isn’t worth it, although the “Favored Class” modifier would bring it down to 24 CP and +0 ECL. In pure point-buy, you’d probably want to either add some things – Scent, Tracking, and similar bonuses – to bring them up to a good +1 ECL race or simply add in a couple of racial disadvantages (say, Outcast/known cannibals and Insane/see nothing wrong with stabbing allies in the back and eating them when hungry) to take off 6 CP and bring them down to a 30 CP +0 ECL species.

   Goblin:

  • Attribute Penalty: -2 Charisma (-6 CP).
  • Shrinking I (12 CP). Among other things, this provides small size, -2 Strength, and +2 Dexterity.
  • Occult Sense/Darkvision (6 CP).
  • Skills: +4 to Move Silently and Ride (8 CP).
  • Automatic Language: Goblin (1 CP).

   At 21 CP, Goblins are well within the limits of a +0 ECL character. In fact, since attribute penalties – like most disadvantages – are a bigger pain than they’re worth, they fall neatly into the middle of the +0 ECL range even without a favored class modifier.

   Hobgoblin:

  • Self-Development: +2 Strength and +2 Dexterity (24 CP).
  • Occult Sense/Darkvision (6 CP).
  • Skills: +4 Move Silently (4 CP).

   With a total cost of 34 CP, the Hobgoblin is just three character points over the limit for a +0 ECL race. That’s rather sad. I’d probably just throw in something like the “Outcast” disadvantage (to represent prejudice) or “Compulsive” (militarism) for -3 CP – and a +0 ECL race.

   Janni:

  • Self-Development: +6 Strength, +4 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +4 Intelligence, +4 Wisdom, +2 Charisma (132 CP).
  • Celerity/Additional Movement Mode/20′ Flight (12 CP).
  • Occult Sense/Darkvision (6 CP).
  • Defender/+1 Natural Armor (6 CP).
  • Improved Initiative +4 (6 CP).
  • Inherent Spells: Speak with Animals (L1, 4/Day – OK, this was originally three, but that really wouldn’t save anything – 6 CP), Change Size (L2, 2/Day, 6 CP), Invisibility (L3, 3/Day, 9 CP), Create Food and Water (L3, 1/Day, 6 CP), and Plane Shift (L5, 3/Day, 12 CP).
    • Originally they had Ethereal Jaunt for one hour once per day – but this works better, and is cheaper, as Plane Shift.
  • Immunity/Fire (Common/Severe/Minor, 6 CP): May ignore the first 12 points of damage from any fire-based attack.
  • Mindspeech (6 CP).
  • Immunity/the effects of the Elemental Planes (Uncommon, Major, Major, 6 CP).
    • This originally had a forty-eight time limit after which you started taking one point of damage per hour. Given that this is trivial, it’s not worth the time to reproduce.

   Well, that comes out to a whopping 219 CP – a +6 ECL race, since the limit on +5 ECL is 191 CP. Of course, the Favored Class/Rogue restriction would bring things down to 146 CP, or a +4 ECL race. Neither matches the +5 ECL from the Monster Manual, although they do bracket it.

   On the other hand, that mess of Inherent Spells is pretty unappealing, and there are better ways:

   Buy Channeling (of “elemental energy”) at twelve uses/day, Specialized/only for Conversion (10 CP), and some Conversion, all Corrupted/no individual spell may be used more than three times per day. One set of four spells of levels 4-5 (12 CP): Plane Shift, Greater Invisibility, Create Feast, and Mirage Arcana. One set of four spells of levels 1-2 (6 CP): Speak with Animals, Change Size, Pyrotechnics, and Flame Blade. That saves 11 CP -but we’d still need to save another 17 CP to bring them down to a +5 ECL race in a pure point-buy game.

   Personally, I’d probably drop the Fire Immunity – after all, if Janni are a mix of all the elements, why aren’t they similarly resistant to other elemental energies? – and probably either a couple of points off the Intelligence or Wisdom bonuses (judging by the old stories, the Janni aren’t all that wise or clever) or the Mindspeech and Natural Armor. Both of those are easy enough to pick up later, but certainly aren’t very important to the concept.

   That would bring things down to an even 190 CP, just within the +5 ECL bracket.

   Lizardfolk:

  • Attribute Shift: -2 Intelligence, +2 Strength (6 CP).
  • Self-Development: +2 Constitution (12 CP).
  • Adept: May buy Balance, Jump, Climb, and Survival at half cost, Specialized/only affects racial skill purchases (3 CP).
  • Skill s: +4 to Balance, Jump, and Climb (6 CP).
  • Defender: +5 Natural Armor (30 CP)
  • Martial Arts: 1d4 Natural Weapons (3 CP)
  • Immunity/the need to breathe: Common, Severe, Trivial/they can hold their breath for up to eight minutes or so (3 CP).

   A grand total of 63 CP makes this a +1 ECL race or +2 ECL template to be applied to an existing race.

   Lizardfolk come out pretty much exactly right without any need to throw in any disadvantages – although “Favored Class” would be in order in classical games even if it wouldn’t make any difference. You could make a case for “Uncivilized” – but the description doesn’t really indicate that they CAN’T be civilized, it just notes that they generally AREN’T – and, since it isn’t needed anyway, I’m not going to put it in.

   Ogre:

  • Attribute Shift: +2 Strength and -2 Intelligence (6 CP).
  • Attribute Loss: -2 Intelligence and -2 Charisma (-12 CP).
  • Large Size (48 CP). Note that this includes +8 Str, +4 Con, -2 Dex, 10′ reach, and the other size modifiers.
  • Celerity, +10′ ground movement (6 CP).
  • Occult Sense/Darkvision (6 CP)
  • Defender/+5 Natural Armor (30 CP)

   With a grand total of 84 CP, the Ogre falls neatly into the 64 to 95 CP range for a +2 ECL Race.

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2 Responses

  1. […] The Blink Dog (+2 ECL), Bugbear (+2 ECL), Gnoll (+1 ECL), Goblin (+0 ECL), Hobgoblin (+0 ECL), Janni (… […]

  2. […] Janni channel Elemental Energy to produce a variety of elemental effects, as might be expected of creatures that are living links to the elemental planes. […]

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