Eclipse – the Level One Paladin of Death Build

   Here we have another sample first-level build for Eclipse The Codex Persona classless d20. In this case, we have a creepy sort of mystic warrior – but one with a specialized crusade of his or her very own. The Paladin of Death.

   Death in childbirth is all too common. The gate of life and death swings both ways – and to come to that gate, to open it and bring a new life into the world, is always to risk being drawn through. The risk is smaller for those who are strongly anchored in the material world – but it is always present.

   Most often, a child yet unborn will perish with it’s mother, drawn with her as she passes.

   On rare occasions, beyond all hope, a child is drawn living from a womb of death.

   Among such children, those who survive the vicissitudes of early childhood most often grow up untroubled. They leave the touch of death behind them, as children do, save – perhaps – for an occasional shadow upon their gaze. Their tenuous grip upon the material plane grows strong and healthy.

   A very few grow up haunted, standing upon the borders of the spirit world – touched by death, yet living. For them there is a need and a post; at the gate, a guardian and guide.

   The Paladin of Death has grown to adulthood upon the borders of the spirit world, and has accepted an office within the great cycle. It is his or her duty to destroy the undead, to free trapped souls, to fulfill the final requests of restless spirits so that they can move on, to deliver messages from the spirit realms, to aid women in childbirth, and to ease the passage of those who’s time has come.

   Basic Attributes: Str 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Con 14, Dex 10, Cha 14. (28 Point Buy)

  • Disadvantages: (Select three disadvantages for 10 CP).
  • Duties (As above, +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 Purchases (30 CP):

  • Proficient with All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP) and Light Armor (3 CP).
  • +4 Skill Points (4 CP).
  • +2 on either Reflex or Fortitude Saves (6 CP).
  • d8 Hit Die (4 CP).
  • Initial BAB +1, Corrupted/does not add to iterative attacks (4 CP).

   Special Abilities (36 CP):

  • Occult Sense/The Energies of the Spirit World: The Paladin of Death can detect spirits, undead, the approach of death – and the places where an unnatural disturbance of those cycles requires correction (6 CP).
  • One level of Full Package Clerical Spellcasting, Specialized/Must restore expended spells through the Rite of Chi, most commonly the Death and Magic domains (5 CP).
  • Rite of Chi, Specialized and Corrupted/only usable to renew clerical spells though meditation in a graveyard or other place of death, requires one hour to use to restore 2d6 levels of spells (2 CP).
  • Privilege/May arrange a peaceful and easy passing and a smooth transition into a the afterlife or into a reincarnation for those under his or her care (3 CP).
  • Luck with +3 Bonus Uses, Specialized in saving throws (5 CP).
  • Witchcraft III with Summoning (specialized in the Astral and Ethereal planes) and two Pacts – Duties (to assist and guide those on the border of death) and Rituals (must properly usher the dead out of the world, performing appropriate ceremonies) (9 CP). This provides 9 Power and a save DC against the user’s powers of 15.
  • Spectral Stride/the Paladin of Death may briefly abandon his or her hold on the material plane, to become a free spirit. Shapeshift with the Shape of Death and Incorporeal Forms enhancements, Specialized and Corrupted/only to take Incorporeal Form, and the Incorporeal Form can only be safely maintained for (Wisdom) rounds, after that, resisting the siren call of the afterworlds to return to the material realm requires a Will check at a DC equal to the number of rounds you are already past your limit. If the user fails three such checks in a row, he or she will depart for the afterworlds (6 CP).

   Further Advancement: Well, the Paladin of Death will want the usual stuff for a mid-level combatant; hit dice, saves, and BAB. More clerical spellcaster levels is a must, and a few bonus uses on Rite of Chi to allow recovering those spells in a reasonable length of time. A bit more Power is certainly in order; as it stands, a Paladin of Death will exhaust himself or herself with one or two uses of Witchcraft. At first level, they dabble in a lot of things, but they really aren’t very good with most of them. On the other hand, that same lack of specialization will leave them with a modest chunk of points left over at each level – and that’s where they should get interesting. To remain properly creepy, a lot of those points should go into the spooky powers from the Down Among the Dead Men series parts One and Two – which should lend this particular mystic a throughly unsettling feel.

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