Eclipse – Level One Sample Twilight Isles Character: Tristan Galanodel

   Here we have another of the characters for the Twilight Isles setting. Since there were requests to use templates – and it is a fairly rough place – the characters will be starting at ECL 2. In the case of the Shadow Elf characters, who are using a +0 ECL race with no template, these writeups will be done at level one. That way we can take a look at how the character is going to develop and be played before boosting them to level two, and they’ll be more useful as examples for other people.

   In this case, the player wants a middle-aged sailor/pirate with moderate combat skills, a wide range of skills, and some basic magic – something that can be used to attack spells, some personal enhancements, and water control.

   +0 ECL Shadow Elves Summary (The full writeup is available over HERE).

  • +2 Int, +2 Dex, +2 to Str, Con, Wis, or Chr (as per house), and +2 to any attribute.
  • Low-Light Vision.
  • May use Charms and Talismans according to their Wealth Level, and four CP worth of Relics.
  • +2d6 Hit Dice (treated as two rolls of “6”).
  • +1 bonus on Saves. Additional +2 to Saves versus Spells.
  • Skill Bonuses: +2 Search, +3 to all skills in a chosen group (as per house), may add their Int Mod to their scores in wisdom-based skills (Heal, Listen, Profession, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival).
  • Use-Activated Abilities at Caster Level One: Dancing Lights 1/Day, Detect Magic 1/Day, Faerie Fire 1/Day, Fast Healing 1 (for up to 16 points per day), and Magic Weapon 1/Day.
  • They also gain unlimited use-activated caster level one use of any one first-level spell permitted by the game master (as per house). Spells such as “Cure Light Wounds” are available once per day per level instead of being truly unlimited-use.
  • Shadow Elves are inherently enchanted, and can be readily spotted – and their houses identified – by a simple Detect Magic spell.
  • Shadow Elves can only tolerate (Con) “points” worth of regular magic items – and the “point” cost of any given item is up to the game master (as a rule, low-level single-charge items are little trouble, spell storing items are only moderately troublesome, and permanently-active personal enhancement items are very troublesome). Annoyingly enough, this limit also affects temporary external spells – although their short-term nature means that the limit is increased by the user’s (Con Mod).

   The Shadow Elves are really quite formidable – but those magic item restrictions will pinch later on. Without those limitations they’d be a +1 ECL race.

   Tristan has been knocking around for years – quite a few years. He’d never tried to really climb the social ladder directly, being more interested in trading, a bit of piracy here and there, and poking around the fringes of the Twilight Seas – but he and his crew recently ran into a pretty nasty negative-energy creature out near the edges of the Sea of Darkness. Most of them didn’t survive – and, with their dead rising against them, the gravely-weakened survivors were forced to abandon the ship.

   Tristan got the cutter back to Ishorin with most of the survivors still alive – but by then it was too late to repair the damage to his and their abilities with any kind of magic that they could afford.

   Being without most of his talents wasn’t satisfactory. He had acquired enemies over the course of his career, might have an undead crew after him, and a middle-aged elf without much in the way of powers, skills, or wealth got no respect even from his family.

   Besides, he was used to having them.

   The quickest, if most dangerous, way to rebuild his abilities was to take up a career as an adventurer – even if that would mean working with kids who were trying to prove themselves and taking all sorts of idiotic, and often unprofitable, missions.

   Fortunately, at least his Galano House talents (+2 Con, +3 bonus on dexterity-based skills, and Weapon Mastery/Sabre [+4 BAB with Sabres – a type of Scimitar]) and other basic abilities were still working.

  • Disadvantages: Hunted (various old enemies), Aged (is beginning at middle age), Poor Reputation (is known to have lost his ship and crew and might be being pursued by undead) (+10 CP).
  • Duties: In royal service (+2 CP/Level) (+2 CP).
  • Package Deal/Old Salt: Since Tristan has the Aged disadvantage and has been level-drained, I’m going to give him a special deal to adapt Aged to pure point-buy. He’ll get +4 CP and +4 SP with the caveat that none of his skills can start above rank one; they were all drained to the minimum, leaving him familiar with many skills, but master of none.
  • Total available character points: 48 (Level One Base) + 10 (Disadvantages) +2 (Duties) + 6 (Level One Bonus Feat) +4 (Package Deal) = 70

   Basic Attributes: Str 13, Dex 19, Con 10, Int 19, Wis 15, Cha 17

Base Power 8, Base Spell Points 3, Personal Mana 3.

   Basic Purchases (33 CP):

  • Proficient with All Simple Weapons and Swords (6 CP).
  • +8 Skill Points (8 CP).
  • +1 on Fortitude and Reflex Saves (6 CP).
  • Totals: Reflex +6 (+1 Purchased +4 Dex +1 Race), Fortitude +2 (+1 Race +1 Purchased), Will +2 (+1 Wis +1 Race). Additional +2 racial bonus versus Spells.
  • d8 Hit Die (4 CP). Hit Points 8 + 12 (Racial) + 0 (3x Con Mod) = 20 HP.
  • Initial BAB +1, (6 CP), additional +1 with Swords (3 CP).

   Special Abilities (37 CP):

  • Base Lifestyle: Common (0 CP). Thanks to royal patronage, Tristan can use Charms and Talismans as if he was at the Well-Off wealth level.
  • Path of the Dragon: Shaping, Pulse of the Dragon, and Heart of the Dragon II. Specialized for Double Effect/can only produce Fire, Water, and Self-Enhancement Effects (currently at an effective caster level of three for his three hit dice and effects of up to level two – or three with +2 Mana and four with +3 Mana), Corrupted/requires a set of runic sigils and either gestures or incantations to work (20 CP). It’s pretty annoying to need those Sigils again. Hopefully he’ll be able to do without them again soon.
  • Augmented Bonus/Fast Thinker: Adds his Dex Mod to his Int Mod when calculating the bases of Int-based skills (6 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus/Long Experience: Adds his Int Mod to his Dex Mod when calculating the bases of Dex-based skills (6 CP).
  • Reflex Action/Three extra actions per day variant, Specialized/Path of the Dragon abilities only (3 CP).
  • Immunity/Attribute losses due to aging (Uncommon, Major, Trivial; only reduces the total lost by one per attribute, 2 CP).

   Skill Points: 16 (Int) + 8 (CP Spent) +4 (Lifestyle) +4 (Package Deal) = 32



1 SP +3 Cha

Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, and Gather Information



1 SP +4 Dex +4 Int +3 Race

Balance, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Hide, Intimidate, Martial Art/Sabre Master, Move Silently, Open Lock, Sleight of Hand, Tumble, and Use Rope



1 SP +4 Int +4 Dex

Appraise, Craft/Carpenter, Craft/Smith, Knowledge/Arcana, Knowledge/Geography, Knowledge/Local, Search (Extra +2 Race), and Spellcraft



1 SP +1 Str

Climb, Jump, and Swim



1 SP +2 Wis +4 Int

Heal, Listen (Extra +4 Charm), Profession/Sailor, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival

   Sabre Master Martial Art (Dex)

   The formal style of House Galano, this art focuses on swift mobility, striking unpredictably from every angle, aiming for any vital point which presents itself rather than attempting to power through defenses. Blows should be struck swiftly – but they should never be targeted against an armored or otherwise resistant spot. He who strikes home first is by far the most likely to live.

  • Requires: At least +1 BAB Specialized in Swords.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Defenses 2, Power 2, Strike, Toughness 1.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Combat Reflexes, Sneak Attack II, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Ki Block, Light Foot, and Resist Pain
  • Known Techniques (6): Attack II, Strike, Sneak Attack I, Whirlwind Attack, Light Foot.

   Combat Notes:

  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +4 (Dex) +4 (Shimmermail) = 18
  • Usual Attacks:
    • Sabre (Scimitar): +9/+4 (+2 Purchased +4 Racial +1 Strength +2 Martial Arts), Damage 1d6+1 (Strength), Crit 18-20/x2. 1d6 Sneak Attack, Whirlwind Attack
    • Thrown Dagger: +5 (+1 Purchased +4 Dex), Damage 1d4+1 (Strength), Crit 19-20/x2, 10 foot range increment.

   Charms (3):

  • Amulet of the Stallion: Enhances male potency.
  • Captain’s Torc: +4 to Listen, may make himself heard in difficult circumstances or at long range.
  • Foothold Boots: Provide a momentary foothold three times per hour.

   Talismans (1):

  • Shimmer Mail: +4 Armor Bonus with no penalties.


   The Black Compass (1 CP) has been around for centuries, and has led as often to disaster as to success – but it’s users have a habit of coming back from the sea, which alone is enough to make it a prized possession of any seafarer, even if they never scrape up the courage to take it in their hand or mount it on a ship and follow where it leads.

  • Deep Sleep with Cosmic Awareness, Specialized and Corrupted/does not actually reduce the need for sleep, the user must attune it with his or her own character points, only provides a cryptic runic sigils and a compass bearing when used (4 CP).
  • Returning, Specialized and Corrupted/only works when the user is lost at sea or stranded on a small island and the status of his or her body remains unknown, the user must attune it with his or her own character points (2 CP).
  • With a total cost of 6 CP, the Black Compass is a 1 CP relic.

   Other Equipment: Being fairly broke right now, Tristan is equipped with basic gear only – rope, a bedroll, a grapnel, some basic rations, his weapons, his magical foci, his logbook, and some spare clothing. He’ll probably want to pick up some tools (especially some thieves picks and tools) and replacement spyglass as soon as possible.

   Tristan is a moderately potent fire and water mage and an absurdly-good Skillsmaster for first level – especially if he has time to work an enhancement spell. Part of that is because the party is short of skill-based characters, and part of it is simply that this character is peaking very early indeed: he’s already stacking in quite a lot of all the skill bonuses he’ll ever be able to get. From this point on, it’s mostly going to be skill points – and he’ll have to specialize a lot more.


One Response

  1. […] Tristan. Shadow Elf Pirate-Elementalist. Level Two Upgrade. […]

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