Ulric Kyrie Dunholtson

   Ulric is one of the sample characters in the back of Eclipse – but in a severely condensed version. Since there’s been a request or two for an expanded writeup, here we are…

   Ulric was originally designed for a relatively low-magic world, wherein:

  • Gods might or might not exist.
    • There were powers that sent occasional omens, there were plenty of extradimensional horrors that could be summoned or which sometimes broke into reality on their own, rare individuals might be sent a vision or granted some minor special powers once in awhile – but there were no divine spellcasters or deities who intervened in events on a regular or predictable basis.
    • There were quite a few religions, and variants thereof – but they worked like religions do in the real world. They were matters of faith, rather than supernatural organizations headed by super-beings.
  • Magical items were rare at best, and were generally crafted for specific individuals.
    • Characters could start out with one-quarter the usual allowance for magic items, provided that they had someone in the group capable of making them.
    • Magical weapons did not need to have an enhancement bonus.
  • Certain abilities were disallowed:
    • The Action Hero/Stunts, Blessing, Blood Curse, Create Relic, Healing Touch, Innate Enchantment, Inherent Spell, Mystic Link, and Returning abilities were not available.
    • Characters could only have one path from among Channeling, Dominion, Martial Arts, Mystic Artist, Path of the Dragon, or Witchcraft and needed special permission for anything other than Martial Arts.
  • Mages came in three basic types:
    • Hedge Wizards, who used the Paladin/Ranger spell charts (usually with specialized arcane spell lists). Hedge wizards were reasonably common.
    • Adepts, who used the Bard spell chart, usually with limited access to the Wizard/Sorcerer spell lists. Adepts were scarce. A large city might have a few.
    • Full Sorcerers or Wizards were one in a million.
  • Spells were modified:
    • The effective levels of Illusion, Enchantment, and Divination spells were reduced by one.
    • The effective levels of Conjuration (Calling, Summoning, and Teleportation) and Evocation spells were increased by one.
    • Characters could expend their own hit points to enhance spell durations: 1d3 damage per spell level enhanced spell durations by one step (rounds to minutes to hours), 1d6 per spell level enhanced them by two.
    • True Names were quite dangerous. A mage who knew his or her target’s true name could automatically bypass said target’s spell resistance (if any) and purchased saving throw bonuses (these could thus be purchased as Corrupted). They could also control, bind, or enslave named entities with relatively simple spells. Even non-spellcasters normally went by nicknames or aliases. Powerful individuals might go to great lengths to conceal their true names.
  • Characters had loyalties instead of alignments.
    • A character could have a loyalty to a person, to an organization, belief system, nation, or an ethical or moral philosophy.
    • A character could discard a loyalty at any time, but could only add one on gaining a new level.
    • A character could have a maximum of three loyalties (rated from most to least important) at any one time.
    • Shared loyalties provided a +2 circumstance bonus each when dealing with NPC’s – provided that the characters interacted enough with the NPC’s for their mutual loyalties to be discovered.
  • Injuries, and death, were serious matters:
    • Arcane healing magic existed, but each such spell (Cure Light Wounds, Cure Serious Wounds, Etc) could only be applied to a given patient once per day.
    • There was no way to raise the long dead, although healing magic would work for 1d4 minutes past the usual point of death at -10 HP. You couldn’t even come back as a sapient undead unless you’d made arrangements to prevent the departure of your soul in advance.
    • Attribute losses and energy drains other than those due to aging were never permanent.
    • If you went below 50% of your hit points, there would be notable scars. If you went below 25% of your hit points you’d need a DC 15 Fortitude save to avoid a serious infection or similar problems. If you went into negative hit points, you needed a DC 25 Fortitude Save to avoid suffering some form of permanent disability.
    • A skilled healer could patch up 1 (DC 15), 1d4 (DC 20), or 2d4 (DC 30) points of damage with a healing check made within an hour of the injury or injuries being received – although the number healed could not exceed the number of points that were actually taken within the hour.
  • Equipment varied a bit:
    • Heavy armor had to be individually fitted and required months to make. It was thus generally reserved for the extremely wealthy or otherwise important individuals. Light and medium armor was, however, generally available.
    • All crossbows were considered simple weapons, including “spring-tubes” – spring-loaded launchers for poisoned darts (as per a hand crossbow, but readily concealable and requiring five rounds to reload).
    • “Alchemists Fire” was made with naphtha and other light hydrocarbons as well as alchemy. It inflicted 2d6 damage per round rather then 1d6.
    • Poisons were common, and included poisons that caused paralysis, blindness, and similar special conditions, but generally required minutes to hours to take effect.
    • A few alchemical poisons required only a few rounds, but required magic to prepare.
    • Infectious weapons – smeared with caustics or filth – have a cycle time of days, but were otherwise treated as poisons.
  • Characters were presumed to have the “Poison Use” and Block (Melee) abilities, but only got one-third of the usual starting money – and usually had a hard time accumulating too much more.

 

“Aldhere” (True Name: Ulric Kyrie Dunholtson)

   Also Known As: The Wanderer, Aldhere Firespawn, The Guardian of Midgard, Mandorak, and Zhaos.

   Level Eight Ur- (“Magically Modified”) Human Eldritch Guardian.

   Basic Attributes: Str 10 (+0), Int 20* (22) (+6), Wis 15 (+2), Con 14 (+2), Dex 17 (+3), Chr 14 (+2).

*Includes +2 for leveling.

   Available Character Points: 216 (Level Eight Base)+ 16 (Duties; Ulric receives missions and assignments from his magical patrons / Wyrd) + 16 (Fast Learner) + 10 (Disadvantages) +24 (Level-based Feats) = 282.

   Disadvantages: History (character history notes), Hunted (insane cultists, horrors from beyond, etc.), Overblown sense of responsibility, Partial Amnesia (does not remember his full history or have access to his full experience.), and Secret (immortal mage-guardian).

   Note that only the first three disadvantages actually provide any bonus character points, but nothing prevents a character from having extras if he or she wishes to offer the game master lots of plot hooks.

   Total CP Cost : Hit Dice (32) + Resistance (36) + Combat (30) + Magic Levels (16) + Skills (19) + Special Abilities (33) + Dragon Path (80) = 270

   Combat Abilities (32 CP for Hit Dice, 36 CP for Saves, 24 CP for BAB, 6 CP for Proficiencies = 98 CP).

  • Hit Points: 33 (L1/D20, Corrupted for Increased Effect/No natural healing, 16 CP) +5 (L2/D4, 0 CP), +55 (L3-8D8, Corrupted for Increased Effect/No natural healing, 16 CP) = 93 HP.
    • Corrupting the level one hit die that way is more than a bit odd, but the character did have Grant of Aid to start with, which would allow him to heal. Evidently he got infused with supernatural energies before reaching level one.
  • Initiative +3 (Dex).
  • Resistance: +4 (6) in each category (Corrupted for Increased Effect/Bonuses do not work if the opponent knows your true name, 36 CP).
    • Reflex: +3 (Dex) +6 (Purchased) = +9.
    • Will +2 (Wis) +6 (Purchased) = +8
    • Fortitude +2 (Con) +6 (Purchased) = +8
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +3 (Dex) +6 (with Staff) +4 (Mage Armor) +4 (Shield) = 27 (when all his defenses are up).
  • Warcraft IV (BAB +4) (24 CP).
  • Proficient with Simple Weapons and Bows (6 CP).

    Preferred Weapons:

  • Staff: +11 (+4 BAB +6 Int +1 Enh), 3d6+7 (2d6 Base +1d6 Flame +1 Enh +6 Int)
  • Longbow: +7 (+4 BAB +3 Dex), 1d6.

 

   Magic Levels (16 CP):

   Eight Levels of Hedge Magician (using the Ranger Chart), plus 8 Base Caster Levels (Specialized in Hedge Magic only). Both are Corrupted/ Casting spells requires an Alchemy skill check at (DC 5 + 5xSL) and Specialized/he can only recover 2d6 levels of spells per day. For the Ranger Spellcasting Levels the Corruption is used to increase the effect (raising the effective level to 12), while the Specialization reduces the cost to 1 CP/Level (8 CP). For the Base Caster Levels everything is applied to reduce the cost – providing a base caster level of 8 for a mere 8 CP. Of course, this involves double-specializing; and that’s always a warning flag – but he is only saving 8 CP on the deal.

   Usual Spells:

  • L0 (4): Brew, Smoke Cloud, Spray, and Phosphorescence.
  • L1 (3): Distillation, Entangle, and Fastburn.
  • L2 (2): Alchemic Mist and Glitterdust
  • L3 (2): Antitoxin and Touch of Alkahest (Only with a mana point)
  • L4 (2): Protoplasmic Salve and Vital Elixir

    Special Abilities (57 CP):

  • Immunity To Aging: (Free in setting. 0 CP).
  • Self-Development: +2 Int with regard to Skills, Specialized/only applies to skill points per level (6 CP)
  • Adept (Healing): May buy the Craft/Physician, Craft/Herbalist,Craft/Alchemy and Diplomacy skills at one-half cost (6 CP).
  • Adept (Scholar): May buy Knowledges, Spellcraft, and Sense Motive at one-half cost (6 CP).
    • This is stretching another point; “Adept” normally applies to specific skills – on the other hand, the group skills – Craft, Profession, and Knowledge are indeed related, and seem unlikely to break the game. It’s stretching a point again, but it’s allowable.
  • Augmented Bonus: Int Mod to Dex Mod/AC. Specialized; only while wielding a staff (3 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus: Int Mod to Str Mod/Melee Bonus. Specialized; Only while wielding a staff (3 CP).
    • Both of these stretch things again; for most characters melee is pretty common. On the other hand, he is a primary spellcaster who stays out of melee when he can. Ergo, it’s acceptable.
  • Reflex Training: Bonus Spellcasting action. “Ride The Dragon” only, Specialized/only when channeled thru a staff (3 CP).
  • Grant of Aid: Regain 1d8+5 HP/1d3 Attribute Points/1 Negative Level once per day per three levels or part thereof, usable as needed (6 CP).
  • Fast Learner: Specialized in The Dragon Path for +2 CP/Level (6 CP).
  • Mana (6 points): May spend 1-3 points to reduce the effective level of a spell by 1-3, 1 to resist mental influences and controls, or 2 on Hysteria, below (6 CP).
  • Hysteria: Boosted Magic. +6 to base caster level or double the effect of a single spell for 2 mana (6 CP).
  • Cloaking: Disguises his mystical aura – most notably, his immortality and his Path of the Dragon powers – allowing him to appear as a mere physician and dabbler in hedge magic (6 CP).

   The Dragon Path (80 CP):

  • Shaping and Heart of the Dragon: Create minor magical effects, Trivial 6, L0 (+6), L1 (+12). Corrupted; Requires gestures and minor special effects (16 CP).
  • Charmsmith, Spellforging, and Dragonsmith (Arms and Armor). May make “trivial” magical devices (Prestidigitation-level effects), Enhanced and Spell-Storing items, and Magical Arms and Armor (18 CP).
  • Eye of the Dragon (x3): Absorb 3x (Int) spell levels/Day, and store up to 3x (2x Con) spell levels (18 CP).
  • Dragonfire: May release available spell levels as blasts, shields, and raw magical energy (6 CP).
  • Pulse of the Dragon: May draw mana from the environment. Corrupted; Maximum of 1/minute (4 CP).
  • Ride The Dragon: May channel absorbed power into the following spells (18 CP). Spells marked with an “*” can be channeled through his staff.
Level One Spells:  
Cure Light Wounds Heals 1D8+Level (5 Maximum)
Delay Poison Poison immunity that lasts for one hour/level
Expeditious Retreat Double speed and jump for one minute/level
Feather Fall Prevents falling damage
Lesser Restoration Heals 1D4 Temporary Attribute damage.
Mage Staff* +1D6 Force Staff Damage for 1Minute/Level
Missile Deflection* +20 AC Versus Missiles for 3 Rounds.
Resistance* +5 on next saving throw.
Second Strike* Target gets an extra attack.
Shield +4 shield bonus to AC for 1 Min/Level.
Shield Wall* Shield 5’R from (Int) Damage
Speak With Animals Communicate With Beasts
True Strike* +20 to hit on next attack.
Voorish Sign* +3 CL on next spell, Disrupts Illusions as per “Dispel Magic”.
Wieldskill +10 on next skill roll
   
Level Two Spells:  
Elder Sign (Free)* Hold Back Cthulhoid Horrors (A GM bonus spell).
Fylgja (Falcon) Personal shapechange to falcon-form.
Protection from Energy* Absorbs 12/Level of a specified type.
Remove Paralysis Unparalyzes up to four creatures.
Rope Trick Dimensional Hiding Place
Suggestion Verbal manipulation.
Tarnkappen A.K.A.; “Invisibility”
Level Three Spells:  
Cure Serious Wounds Cures 3d8+CL points of damage.

    Skill Points: 11 (Human) + 56 (5 x 10 + 6 x 1, Int) + 19 (CP) = 96

Skills marked with an “*” are purchased at half price due to Adept.

Skills: (73 + 19 CP = 83) Rank Cost Att. Special Total
Alchemy 11 5* 6   +17
Concentration 06 6 2   +8
Craft: Herbalist 11 5* 6   +17
Craft: Labwright 03 3 6 +2 Sy +11
Craft: Physician 11 5* 6   +17
Craft: Smith 05 5 6   +11
Diplomacy 11 5* 2 +2 Sy +19
Intimidate 07 7 2   +9
Knowledge: Arcana 11 5* 6   +17
Knowledge: History 11 5* 6   +17
Knowledge: Geography 11 5* 6   +17
Knowledge: Religion 11 5* 6   +17
Listen 03 3 2   +5
Profession: Cook 03 3 2   +5
Ride 02 2 3   +5
Sense Motive 11 5* 2   +17
Spellcraft 11 5* 6 +2 Sy +19
Spot 08 8 2   +10
Survival 05 5 2   +7

    Languages Spoken (6): Common, Infernal, four according to campaign.

    That all comes to a mere 270 CP – leaving 12 CP unspent.

   To continue his theme – and for a high-powered game – these can be spent on Blood of the Dragon and The Dragon’s Bones – providing him with a couple of extra first level spells each minute to stretch his own power reserves and the ability to sustain several spells indefinitely. Admittedly, he can’t cast very powerful spells to maintain – but keeping up Shield, Mage Armor, Fast Healing I, Delay Poison, and Expeditious Retreat will boost his talents considerably.

   To make him a better fighter in a low magic setting, buy Reflex Training (the Combat Reflexes) version and either Block (or enhanced Block if the setting rules apply).

   To make him more of a legendary mystic, buy Ritual Magic and – perhaps – Augmented Bonus (Adds Wis Mod to the base for Int Based skills).

   Equipment (up to 3000 GP total):

   Horse and packhorse, shoulder bag (Medical kit and minor items), coil of light silk rope, packet of candles, tinderbox, whetstone and other “pocket junk”, fishing hooks and line, money belt, water flask (Metal), oriental writing kit, incense, glue pot (Metal), honey candy, soap, strigil, towel, assorted unreliable maps, runestone set and casting cloth, longbow, four each alchemists fire*, Antitoxin*, and holy water, “Drow” poison and Sassone Leaf poison (Base DC 16, 2d12 HP/1d6 Con).

   On packhorse: Alchemists kit, lots and lots of herbs, camping/cooking kit, supplies (about 2 weeks), change of clothing, medical gear (basic), light crossbow, handlamp with several oil flasks, and smith’s tools.

   Items marked with an “*” are enhanced via his Distillation spell. His remaining funds are carried.

    Magical Equipment (9005 GP. Technically over, but 5 GP is acceptable).

  • Staff: Casts Shillelagh on itself as needed (1400), Flaming (2000).
  • Arrows: 3x +1 Spell Storing (480).
  • Amulet of Intellect +2 (4000)
  • Flask of Curative Draughts (“Wand” of Cure Light Wounds, 750)
  • Scroll of Dispel Magic (375).

    With a normal equipment allowance of 36,000 GP, the campaign rules allowed our hero up to 9000 GP worth of magical items – provided that someone in the party could make them – and a total of 12,000 GP worth of equipment. Fortunately, the groups other mage could make wondrous items and they could cooperate on the Dispel Magic scroll,

   General Background:

   Ulric was chosen centuries ago. There are others: the Wolf-Binder, The Shamanistic “Lady Of Many Spirits”, The Trickster, The Thunderer, The Mistress Of Life And Fire, and the Lightbringer. Each has their own task, and endures across the ages.

   Ulric is the Wanderer. It is his duty to maintain the ancient wards and to fulfill the mysterious dictates of Wyrd.

   He does not know his age. He knows that he was born in the far north, where he was called to battle a spirit of winter that sought to engulf the world. Since then he has traveled widely, visiting strange lands, and battling eldritch foes. His travels have lasted for a thousand years or more.

   Some years ago there was a major, coordinated, effort. A cult attempted to open the shadow gates and let the outer darkness in. Aldhere spent centuries of accumulated magical power to defeat the cultists, drive back the outer ones, and seal the gates again. It has taken years for him to regain this modest portion of his power – and much has been forgotten. For now it will be best for him to travel with companions.

    General Description:

   Ulric normally travels disguised as a prosperous healer/herbalist. He’s tall, of medium-to-slender build, and nordic, although his age is a bit hard to place; While youthfully strong and supple, his hair and beard are wolf- gray (when he doesn’t dye them) and there are faint wrinkles around his eyes and mouth. Most get the impression that he’s in his late thirties or early forties. His eyes are blue and he gives the impression of being a bit grouchy.

   Special Notes:

   The Chosen (unlike those unfortunates who have been taken by the dark powers as undead minions) are vibrantly alive, generally benign, and reasonably cooperative with each other. Unfortunately, their supernatural life energies tend to pre-empt most natural healing. Luckily for them, they do not age, and always have Grant of Aid and Fast Learner in their speciality. They can be weakened for lengthy periods by massive expenditure of their powers and usually prefer not to attract too much attention in any case, so most of them tend to go easy on the raw power they employ.

   The Chosen are considered Ur-Humans (Or Ur-whatever their original race was). “Ur-” simply means “magically altered”.

    In his original appearances, Ulric was notable for his troublemaking – announcing that he was going to a small cave on the beach to recarve an ancient inscription that was weathering away and conduct a long-forgotten ceremony there to “renew the seal”, stopping in an alleyway to remove a mysterious packet from the hand of a fresh corpse and leaving it pinned to the door of a thieves guild safehouse with a dagger, or visiting an old altar in the woods to clean it and lay out a burning lamp, a pile of meat, and the skin of a werewolf the group had killed a week ago before reciting a prayer to the moon goddess and departing.

   He also cheerily went on many missions simply because “the fates demanded it” – while turning down others for similar reasons.

   Aren’t free plot hooks fun?

    Overall, Ulric is a high-powered build, with a several warning flags, and extensive use of the Path of the Dragon (a major warning flag in itself). On the other hand, he’s lumbered himself with enough plot hooks to hang three entire campaigns on – as well as a desire to keep his major powers quiet, a gratuitous selection of enemies, erratic allies, and a willingness to undertake weird missions simply “because’. Having the players doing most of the work of keeping the campaign moving is a big enough plus to put up with a build worse than this one – at least in my opinion.

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