Eclipse d20, PCGen, and Talented Leopards

   The good folk over at PCGen are working up datasets for Eclipse and The Practical Enchanter – and Eclipse in general, and the Talents from The Practical Enchanter are creating a few complications. Considering that Eclipse is a lot closer to the Hero System or Champions than it is to standard d20, that’s only to be expected.

   One of the odd characters I’ve been building to test the dataset is a sapient leopard. Now, there is no such race in PCGen, but one can work around that by simply taking a normal leopard and boosting the base stats you roll enough to cancel the Intelligence and Charisma modifiers – and thus make it into a playable character.

   Now, a normal leopard has three hit dice, and three levels of “animal”. The usual way to build that in Eclipse would be to take some template levels and buy the relevant abilities to match. A quick breakdown for an Eclipse Leopard Template looks like this:

  • Bonus Hit Dice/3d8 (36 CP).
  • Celerity: +10′ Land (6 CP) and +10 Climb (6 CP).
  • Defender/+1 Natural Armor (6 CP).
  • Warcraft/+2 BAB (12 CP).
  • Martial Arts/1d6 Natural Weapons (6 CP).
  • Occult Sense/Low-light vision (6 CP).
  • Occult Sense/Scent (6 CP).
  • Save Bonuses: Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +1 (21 CP).
  • Self-Development: Str +6, Dex +8, Con +4, and Wis +2 (120 CP)
  • Skill Boosts: Balance +8, Climb +8, Hide +4 (additional +4, Specialized/only in areas of tall grass or heavy undergrowth), Jump +8, Listen +5, Move Silently +4, Spot +5 (44 CP)
  • Finesse: May use Dex Mod instead of Str Mod for melee attacks with natural weapons (6 CP).
  • Improved Grab: Evasive (May grab without provoking attacks of opportunity, 3 CP) and Reflex Training (may grab as a free action if it hits with a bit, 6 CP).
  • Pounce: Reflex Training/May charge as a free action if making a full attack afterwards (6 CP).
  • Rake: Reflex Training, Specialized for Double Effect, Extra attacks if starting off in a grapple (6 CP), and Specialist/makes up for in-grapple attack penalty for using natural weapons (3 CP).

   Of course, in the interests of making this a playable character – a sapient leopard – this discards the animal-level intelligence and charisma. PCGen translates that as a -8 Intelligence modifier and a -4 Charisma modifier. There’s no point in buying those.

   That comes out to 299 Character Points. That’s rather a lot.

   On the other hand, there are some severe drawbacks to being a quadrupedal animal. They have no – or very clumsy – manipulative abilities, they can’t use most gear, and they’re generally treated as property at best (or as monsters at worst). Ergo, it’s fair enough to treat that package as being Specialized and Corrupted. That takes it down to 100 character points – somewhat over the border for a +3 ECL race.

   That matches well enough with simply taking “leopard” as a race in PCGen and tweaking the mental attribute scores – so I’ll go ahead with that and see how it turns out.

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