Eclipse d20 – The Atrocity Build

Today it’s another special request; in this case, it’s a level eighteen quasi-draconic uber-sorcerer. In fact, this is more or less an Eclipse version of Pun-Pun* or some of the other super-optimized builds – a grossly broken character who exploits every loophole, and severely warps the rules, in pursuit of ultimate power.

It’s also a character I would never allow; that’s why page 163 notes that it is part of the game masters job – just as it is in Champions and many other games – to look over absurd builds and say the magic word “No”.

First up, we’ll want a custom race. It’s hard to achieve ultimate power without that!

I’ll start with one of the most efficient racial builds – the Basic Dragon Package – and soup that up. Lets call it the “Greater Dragon”:

Greater Dragon Racial Package:

  • Innate Enchantment: (30 CP)
    • +2 Enhancement Bonus to Each Attribute (8400)
    • +4d6 Hit Dice (effectively maximized) (8400)
    • Enlarge Self (1400): +1 Size Category (+8 Str, -2 Dex, +4 Con, -1 Attack Modifier, -4 Skill Modifier, +2 Natural armor, Reach 10).
    • Perceptiveness: +3 to all Sensory Skill Checks (1400)
    • Sidestep: +1 Competence Bonus on All Saves (1400)
    • Warding Rune: +1 Resistance Bonus on All Saves (1400)
    • Shield: +4 Shield Bonus to AC (2000)
    • Iron Fist: +2 Levels (usually 1d8 base) natural weapons (1400).
    • Low-Light Vision (1400)
    • Personal Haste (1400): +30′ Movement, +1 attack at full BAB when making a full attack.
    • Detect Magic (700).

OK, so we’re starting off abusing Innate Enchantment.

  • Immunity/Stacking limitations when combining innate enchantment effects with external effects (Common, Minor, Minor – only covers L1-2 effects, 4 CP).
  • Immunity/the normal XP cost of Racial Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Minor, Trivial 1 CP).
  • Immunity to Antimagic and Dispelling vrs Innate Enchantments (Uncommon / Minor / Legendary, 12 CP).

And there we have three aspects-of-reality natural-law immunities. Immunities like that can be extremely broken, but we’ll presume that the game master is a yes-man and is cheerfully skipping past the notes about such purchases requiring careful supervision and only being permitted at the game masters option. Two of those – the immunity to stacking limitations and antimagic – are very obnoxious indeed.

  • Celerity/Additional Mode (Flight): Corrupted (Requires use of wings), Specialized: Poor Maneuverability (6 CP)” 60′ total base.
  • Universal DR 3/- (6 CP)
  • Occult Sense/Darksight (6 CP)
  • Occult Sense/Tremorsense (6 CP).
  • Energy Infusion (of choice, 6 CP).
  • Immunity to Aging (Uncommon/Minor/Great, 3 CP: can expect to live for several millennia at least).
  • Path of the Dragon: Shaping (6 CP).
    • The Way of the Artificer: Charmsmith (6 CP).
    • The Way of the Inner Fire: Dragonfire, Breath of the Dragon, Living Fire, and Eye of the Dragon x3 (36 CP).
    • The Way of Hosting the Essence: Pulse of the Dragon, Heart of the Dragon, Blood of the Dragon, and The Dragon’s Bones (24 CP).

Where would a high-powered character be without extensive use of the Path of the Dragon? That section is noted as not necessarily being suitable for all games due to it’s high power level – but our goal here is to make a character that isn’t suitable for ANY game, so that works just fine.

All of those abilities are Specialized and Corrupted for one-third cost: they transform the user into an obvious dragon (causing numerous social difficulties, attracting dragon hunters, and so on), make the user vulnerable to anti-dragon magical effects and weaponry, make the user an obvious supernatural being that radiates magical power and an aura that disturbs normal humans and animals even when shapeshifted, makes the user’s body parts are quite valuable, and attract rival dragons and other powers. That reduces the total cost of these abilities from 176 CP to 59 CP.

  • Defender (L/5+1 Natural Armor bonus to AC, 12 CP), also specialized and corrupted, as above, but for tripled effect. Net effect (+[3 x Level / 5] +3) Natural Armor.

Grand Total: 63 CP – or a +1 ECL race. Like all Specialized and/or Corrupted abilities (and, especially, racial packages), the game master should be careful to play up the disadvantages and make sure that they’re worth the power boost the character is getting. In the case of a greater dragon, it’s pretty nearly impossible for them to operate openly – and even in secret they’re going to have to deal with constant attacks and problems.

Well, that’s how you build a grossly overpowered-for-the-cost race. Of course, that’s also pulling another fast one; Those limitations originally reduced what would have been a +2 ECL Race to a +0 ECL Race. Now that’s a substantial savings – but the drawbacks were generally enough to make up for it.

This build is about +5 ECL to start with, and uses those same modifiers to reduce the cost to +1 ECL. That’s a considerably greater savings, and one that those limitations probably wouldn’t be enough to justify. I’d insist on adding more – but we were already assuming a yes-man game master.

This, of course, is one of the reasons that race construction is normally left to the game master; allowing people to invent their own races without putting restraints on them isn’t quite as bad as it is in normal d20, where there would be no guidelines at all – but it can still get pretty silly. It pretty much demands effective game master oversight.

Given that there wasn’t any here, this race is blatantly abusing Innate Enchantment, Immunities, and the Path of the Dragon. Normally I wouldn’t allow this – it’s begging for a serious ECL penalty as on page 163 of Eclipse – but this is going to be an NPC, and his level is arbitrary anyway. Ergo, I can amuse myself by min-maxing absurdly.

Time Master Training Package Deal (Free):

  • Occult Sense/Temporal Perception (6 CP). The user can sense disturbances in time and space, movement through either, and various odd items about time – such as whether an event can be changed or not. He or she can sometimes sense other time manipulators, but this depends on whether or not the entity in question has been meddling with time and space recently. The user can sometimes tell where and when he or she is with a perception check, but this is anything but reliable.
  • Energy Infusion/Dimensional Energies (6 CP): The user is immune to paradox, can meet him- or her-self without trouble as long as he or she indulges in a little caution, can resist the effects of having his or her past interfered with – and is immune to minor annoyances such as Slow, Time Stop, and similar manipulations. On the other hand, the user takes double damage from Cosmological Energies, and may be harmed or affected by the strange forces released by weird dimensional – destruction weapons that other characters will not even notice.

Once again, Package Deals are game-master bribes to get the characters to take on roles that will be common or especially important in the campaign. This one is pretty bloody unlikely – but it does make a passing effort to soothe the game master by looking only being half-optimized and giving a nod to Dr Who. On the other hand… “Disturbances in Space and Time” include teleportation and dimensional travel, making it very hard to get the drop on this fellow, the package includes immunity to some of the most bothersome effects in the game, and it protects the user from one of the most difficult-to-defend-against attacks in existence – being eliminated by time travelers meddling with the past. If some pest – or ill-considered personal meddling – has made it so that this guy was never born, he won’t be hindered in the least.

Now, for his actual personal abilities… I’ll arbitrarily make him level seventeen, for an effective character level of eighteen (although this build uses pretty much all of the cheesiest rules exploits, and would normally be subject to an ECL adjustment of at least +15 or so).

Available Character Points: 432 (Level 17 Base) +34 (Duties to the Guardians of Time) +10 (Disadvantages: Obligations/creating, looking after – and, if necessary, restraining or eliminating – agent teams, Compulsive/meddler, and Unarmored) +17 (Restrictions, no black magic, must keep deaths to a minimum) + 36 (L1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 Bonus Feats) +17 (Deific Corruption – from the Witchcraft Corruption Pact, pretty much free points for an NPC) = 546

So lets start spending those points. This guy should have godlike spellcasting. Ergo, lets give him…

  • Twenty levels of the Sorcerer Spell Progression (Charisma Based) without Base Caster Levels but with the Studies and Components restrictions removed (allowing the user to simply select spells to memorize from those available on the Sorcerer/Wizard lists). That gives a base cost of 17 CP/Level. Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost/Spells are not regained normally, but must be recharged by using the Rite of Chi and is affected by astrological modifiers – varying wildly in power with the time and place or (if the user opts to cast at full power regardless of the prevailing conditions) having wild side effects at the game masters option – although the user may make a Spellcraft check as a free action to try to guess what those side effects might be (113 CP).
  • Mighty Invocation x10, with the same modifiers. This provides one spell slot each of levels 10-19 – but is subject to the same limitations as the Sorcerer Spell Progression above (40 CP).

OK; an actual player-character would probably opt for the destructive side effects all the time or some other cheesy limitation – but I have seen characters go for cyclic magic and simply try to do everything during the times their power is at it’s peak. On the other hand, we’re already assuming a yes-man game master who doesn’t try to enforce any of the limitations on powers – so it may not matter what limitations get used here anyway.

  • Twenty Base Caster Levels, Specialized in the Sorcerer Spell Progression for Double Effect (120 CP). Another grotesque abuse really; twenty levels of a spell progression is already at the usual (Level+3) cap, and specializing for double effect is pretty questionable; it ought to be half cost instead.
  • Rite of Chi with +(3 x Con Mod) Bonus Uses (32 uses in total, each restoring 2d6 spell levels or 4d6 Power) (24 CP). That will let him recover his spells – albeit in about three days, since he can memorize a total of 612 levels of spells (after calculating attribute-based bonus spells, below). Of course, in conjunction with The Way of Inner Fire he can readily convert some of them into blasts of various sorts of energy or into dragonfire constructs.
  • Just to make this horror complete, lets throw in Theurgy – allowing him to memorize Clerical and Druidical spells too, albeit at +2 levels (6 CP).

That’s a total of 303 CP

Now, a a spellcaster capable of casting a wide variety of extremely high-level spells with the Path of the Dragon / The Dragon’s Bones can pull off one of the cheesiest tricks in Eclipse – running about with a collection of a dozen or so seventh-through-tenth level enhancing spells on all the time and pumping that Intelligence Modifier way up with one of them to let them maintain even more enhancement spells.

Couple that with an immunity to having those enhancements dispelled, and you’ve got a juggernaut. Of course, that’s another natural-law immunity, but at this point, who cares?

Personally, I only let deities and megavillains get away with this (and even then, primarily only in their personal dimensions) – characters where statistics no longer really matter anyway. Even in an atrocity build like this one – and with a character design that could easily stack twenty levels worth of enhancing metamagic onto each of the following spells – I’m not going to let the character start maintaining spells with effective levels above ten. Level nine – or, in one case, ten (to make Immortal Vigor provide an even +20 hit dice) will just have to be good enough. After all, if I let that happen – allowing every +4 levels of metamagic to boost the effect of a spell (which would provide +10 to four attributes, which would provide +5 levels of metamagic via Glory, which would provide…) then this really WOULD be Pun-Pun, with arbitrarily high attributes, infinite numbers of bonus spells, and able to pump them with infinite levels of metamagic.

So what spells shall we pick? In the interests of efficiency, I’ll just go through The Practical Enchanter and pick the level nine booster spells in each of the major categories; that way I can be sure that they’ll stack.

  1. Enhance Attribute: +12 Int (Level Nine)
  2. Enhance Attribute: +12 Chr (Level Nine)
  3. Enhance Attribute: +10 to Str, Dex, Con, and Wis. (Level Nine)
  4. Immortal Vigor X: +20d6 HD (Level Ten)
  5. Warding Rune/Epic: +10 Resistance to Saves. (Level Nine)
  6. Skill Mastery/General: +12 Competence Bonus to all Skills. (Level Nine)
  7. Grand Haste: Extra full action each round, +3 to Hit, +3 Dodge bonus to Reflex Saves and AC. (Level Nine)
  8. Fortunes Favor IX: +10 Luck Bonus to Skill and Attribute Checks. (Level Nine)
  9. Superheroism: +6 Morale Bonus to Attacks, Saves, Checks, Damage, Str and Con, Immune to Fear, +60 HP. (Level Nine)
  10. Force of Will: +4 Effective Levels (in Eclipse: +4d8 HD, +4 all Saves, +4 BAB, +24 CP. The CP are invested in Immunity/Antimagic and Dispelling versus personally-maintained spells (Uncommon/ Minor/ Epic, 9 CP) and Luck with +6 Bonus Uses, 15 CP). (Only level seven, but the highest-level spell available in this category; the next step in the sequence would be level twelve).
  11. Spell Resistance (a bit of a waste since it’s only level five, but SR 52 is not bad – and the spell-based version definitely applies against psionics too. If necessary, I can simply assume a more advanced version that also provides psionic resistance and protections against any local, campaign-specific, powers).
  12. Armor of Light: +(Cha Mod) Sacred Bonus on all saving throws. (Only a level three spell, but – at this level of Charisma – it’s far too useful to pass up. Wait! I can assume a more advanced version, which will also include the level one effects of Ward of Light and Wrath of Heaven. At caster level forty, those will have hit their limits of a +6 Sacred Bonus to Armor Class and a +6 Sacred Bonus to Attacks and Damage. That would still only be level five or six – but it’s not quite so wasteful).
  13. Grand Ward of Heaven: +12 Luck Bonus to Armor Class and Saving Throws. (Level Eight).

Basic Attributes: OK, now that we have some idea what his absurd bonuses are going to be like, it’s time to sort out his stats. In this case, we’ll go with 32-point point-buy attributes.

STAT Initial Race Size Spells ½-Cel Level Special Total
STR 08 +2 +8 +10 +4 +6 Mor 38 (+14)
DEX 12 +2 -2 +10 +2 24 (+07)
CON 12 +2 +4 +10 +4 +6 Mor 38 (+14)
INT 16 +2 +12 +2 +4 Inh 36 (+13)
WIS 12 +2 +10 +4 28 (+09)
CHA 16 +2 +12 +4 +4 +4 Inh 42 (+16)

Those inherent bonuses are expensive – costing some 110,000 GP of the 440,000 GP this ECL 18 character has to spend on equipment – but it does provide more bonus spells, which is a good thing. That half-celestial template? That’s a temporary modifier, the result of a special ability that will be described later on.

Oh yes: Hit Dice: That’s 42 (17d4 from Level 17, first die taken as 4) + 24 (4d6 HD at maximum from Race) 78 +20d6 (from Immortal Vigor X) +22 (4d8 from Force of Will) +630 (Con Mod x 45 Hit Dice) +60 (Superheroism Spell) = 856 HP. That should be enough to last for awhile.

Saves Epic Warding Rune Force of Will Grand Haste Dodge Super Heroism Base Bought Grand Ward of Heaven Armor of Light Race Net
Fort +10 +4 +6 +14 +3 +12 +16 +2 +67
Reflex +10 +4 +3 +6 +7 +3 +12 +16 +2 +63
Will +10 +4 +6 +9 +3 +12 +16 +2 +62

A total of +9 in Saves is (27 CP). There really should be more points in saves here, but we’d have to such a few away from somewhere else to get them – and this character is relying on massive bonuses. That bypasses the restrictions of the standard Adventurer Template, but we’ve ignored a lot more restrictions than that already.

Now, we wouldn’t want to miss a save, so throw in Luck with +(Cha Mod) Bonus Uses, Specialized in Saving Throws – to let him reroll if he gets a “1” and cares (6 CP).

Well, now that we know his attributes, we can sort out how many spells he gets. Despite buying the Sorcerer spell progression in order to get more spells per day, this character does not have a “studies” limitation. While this means that he cannot be a spontaneous caster, and must prepare his spells in advance, it also means that he can simply select from the entire list of available spells instead of having to fool around with spell books.

SpellLevel TotalSpells Default Prepared Spells
00 06 It doesn’t matter; he gets limitless make-up-your-own cantrips anyway.
01 10 Animate Rope, 3x Charm Person, Color Spray, 2x Hypnotism, Protection from Evil, True Strike, Unseen Servant
02 10 Alter Self, 2x Hypnotic Pattern, Minor Image, Pyrotechnics, 2x Scorching Ray, Summon Swarm, 2x Web
03 10 Dispel Magic, 3x Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Major Image, Magic Circle Against Evil, Protection from Energy, Slow, Suggestion
04 10 2x Bestow Curse, Black Tentacles, Confusion, Dimensional Anchor, Globe of Invulnerability, Greater Invisibility, Phantasmal Killer, Rainbow Pattern, Remove Curse
05 09 Baleful Polymorph, Cloudkill, Cone of Cold, Dream, Fabricate, Hold Monster, Telekinesis, Teleport, Wall of Stone
06 09 2x Disintegrate, 2x Greater Dispel Magic, Geas/Quest, Repulsion, Summon Monster, True Seeing, Undeath to Death.
07 09 Banishment, Forcecage, Grasping Hand, 2x Greater Teleport, 2x Plane Shift, and 2x Prismatic Spray
08 09 4x Heal, 2x Polymorph Any Object, Maze, Prying Eyes, Summon Monster.
09 08 Dominate Monster, Gate, 2x Summon Monster, Teleportation Circle, Mass Hold Monster, Prismatic Sphere, Wish
10 03 Arcane Geist, Cleanse the Soul, and Excellent Lore (+18 CP for 24 hours)
11 03 Interdict, 2x Sight From Beyond
12 03 Grand Sphere of Invulnerability, Grandiose Inflation, Prismatic Lance
13 02 The Hidden Ways, Scrying Maze
14 02 Inner Thunder, Wandbane
15 02 Evil Eye, The Triune Self
16 02 Brisnell’s Final Thievery, Talespinner
17 01 Master of Space and Time
18 01 Cosmic Awareness
19 01 Photon Transformation

The Save DC’s will be (10 + Cha Mod + Spell Level), or (26 + Spell Level), with a caster level of forty.

Of course, I personally don’t have a 36 Intelligence and – for that matter – didn’t spend a lot of time sorting out this spell list. It really would be quite fair to simply leave most of the spell slots open and simply assume that this character has whatever spell best fits the situation; given that intelligence, he would probably have figured out what he’d need well in advance.

That leaves only 210 CP to finish up this particular atrocity.

Now, we wouldn’t want our horror not to get to act a lot…

  • Improved Reflex Training: Gains a bonus action whenever an opponent in the vicinity uses a reflex action, Corrupted/Only while unencumbered (8 CP)
  • Reflex Training/Combat Reflexes Variant, Corrupted/Only while unencumbered (4 CP).
  • Reflex Training/Extra Actions Variant, Specialized in Spellcasting for Double Effect (gets two extra actions to cast spells with) with +(Dex Mod) Bonus Uses, Corrupted/Only while unencumbered (4 CP).

Now that’s another “recommended against game master permission required” entry, but it’s hardly a major one compared to a lot of the other things this character has already bought.

Now, if he’s up against a similar atrocity build, that actually has a chance of really hurting him, our ubermage will probably start off with a Spellcasting Reflex Action to throw The Triune Self and sprout some extra arms thanks to his shapeshifting with variants. Coupled with Grand Haste, that will give him a total of two physical and four magical actions each round, with each normal reflex action allowing another rounds worth of physical activity and two magical actions – or four spellcasting actions only for one of his specialized spellcasting reflex actions.

Just to frustrate people some more, lets add in:

  • Block / Melee (6 CP).

and

  • Block / Missile, Corrupted/only while unencumbered (4 CP).

Those will let him use his eight Attacks of Opportunity to parry incoming attacks with a DC 20 Reflex save.

Now, some BAB is in order – so it’s time to buy some Warcraft.

+8 BAB, Corrupted/only for use with spells and “unarmed” attacks (32 CP).

BAB BAB(With F.O.W.) Grand Haste Super Heroism Wrath of Heaven Unarmed Martial Art Stat Net
Melee +12 +3 +6 +6 +4 +14 +45
Ranged +12 +3 +6 +6 +7 +34

Well, if he isn’t using some utterly horrific spell, he can just punch people at +45/+45/+40/+35 for 1d8+26 (+14 Str +6 Super Heroism +6 Wrath of Heaven), Crit 20 / x2. Oh, wait, with Grand Haste – stacking with Personal Haste – he can do that TWICE a round. That’s usually silly when he could summon some horrific spell-weapon that would be much more effective, but he CAN.

Armor Class: 10 (Base) +15 (Natural) +4 (Shield) +7 (Dex) +3 (Dodge) +14 (Permanent L9 Force Armor) +12 (Luck) +6 (Sacred) +4 (Martial Art) = 75.

He’ll want a Martial Art of course.

Dragon’s Wrath Kung Fu (Con).

  • Description? This is an atrocity build; all we’re interested in is game mechanics. Uh… This martial art focuses on a stable stance, shrugging off attacks while concentrating on powerful raking and smashing blows.
  • Requires: Racial Natural Weapons (Claws) inflicting 1d4 base damage or better, Con 16+.
  • Basic Abilities: Attack 4, Defenses 4, Strike
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Mind Like Moon (that way he’s pretty much immune to being surprised), Breaking Technique (just in case he needs to escape bonds or something), Weapon Kata (Staff) (Well, he is a mage), Reach, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength x2, Ki Block, and Vanishing.
  • Known Techniques: Well, the base is +14, and the +12 Competence Bonus probably applies. I’ll be strict for once, and say that Luck and Morale bonuses don’t add to the techniques known. Since there are seventeen techniques in the art, I’ll just presume he spent the eight skill points it would take to get a skill of 33, all the techniques, and an even +60 on his breaking rolls.

That lets him smash inanimate objects with an effective strength check at +14 (Str Mod) +12 (Luck) +6 (Morale) +8 (Skill Points) +12 (Competence) +14 (Con Mod) – a net total of 1d20 + 60. That will let him casually smash through three-foot reinforced stone walls and such.

Now, we still need to account for that Half-Celestial template – and keep it going pretty much all the time. For that we want:

  • Ten levels of the Wilder Power Progression with no Base Caster Level and Corrupted/No powers known (20 CP). That provides 88 + (Cha Mod x 5) – or 168 – Power.
  • Witchcraft I, II, and III (18 CP) with The Secret Order (6 CP), Leaping Fire (6 CP), Breath of Peruza (6 CP), Dismissal (6 CP), and Ridden by the Loa with Firm Control, Specialized in the Half-Celestial Template (9 CP). Five Pacts (Ritual, Duty, Guardianship, Epic Quest, and Corruption, -30 CP). This provides an additional (Str + Dex + Con)/3 (or 33) +4 (The Secret Order) Power (for a total of 205) and access to all twelve basic Witchcraft abilities with a base Save DC of 29. It also allows the user to take on the Half-Celestial Template for one power per hour. With his bonus hit dice, that will give him the full half-celestial spell suite to play with, just for extras.
    • Half-Celestial Template Spells (1/Day unless otherwise noted): Daylight (At Will), Protection from Evil 3/Day, Bless, Aid, Detect Evil, Cure Serious Wounds, Neutralize Poison, Holy Smite, Remove Disease, Dispel Evil, Holy Word, Holy Aura 3/Day, Hallow, Mass Charm Monster, Summon Monster IX (Celestials Only), Resurrection.
    • Half-Celestial Other Abilities: +1 Natural Armor, Smite Evil 1/Day, Darkvision 60′, Immunity to Disease, Resistence to Acid, Cold, and Electricity 10, DR 10/Magic, Spell Resistance 35 (In case he wants to trade in his spell resistance spell for something else), and +4 on saves versus Poison.
  • As a happy side effect, Breath of Peruza will allow him to get along without breathing, resist pain, survive mortal wounds, and resist poisons and drugs – or, for that matter, to survive until his power points run out as a naked brain.

Of course, here we’re back in “specifically cautioned against” territory. While Witchcraft has relatively low upper limits in many ways, it’s very efficient about those things that it can do. That’s why there’s a note on page 121 at the end of the Witchcraft section advising the game mater to be wary of characters who combine large reserves of Power with Witchcraft.

Now, for more cheesiness, we cannot miss out on Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills (for +2 SP/Level, 6 CP) and both possible instances of Adept (12 CP) – to get half price on eight skills.

That also has some specific cautions listed, but I think we’ve established that those are being ignored by now, haven’t we?

Sadly, temporary bonuses won’t help get skill points – so we’ve only got 80 SP (Intelligence) + 40 SP (Fast Learner, we’ll just assume that he got it with his disadvantage points as soon as he was born) + 33 SP (CP Spent). That’s 153 SP, of which it will cost 80 to max out all eight Adept skills and 8 for his Martial Art.

So for his eight most relevant skills, that will come out to about:

  • 20 (Base) +12 (Competence) +12 (Luck) +6 (Morale) +12 (about his average attribute bonus; at this point, who cares?) = +62.

For other skills, he’ll have a base of roughly +42. There are still 65 SP to spread around anywhere that a +42 base seems insufficient. He speaks lots of languages too. That’ll do.

OK, we’re down to a mere 56 CP.

Proficiencies? Who Cares? This fellow certainly doesn’t need armor or weapons – and if he has to take a non-proficiency penalty, it’s not like it’s going to matter any. That too is a violation of the Adventurer Template requirements, and of all common sense – but neither requirements nor common sense have anything to do with this build.

Well, we wouldn’t want to be caught off-guard, so lets take…

  • Immunity/Natural Sleep (Common, Minor, Trivial, 2 CP).

To walk the streets, we’ll want:

  • Shapeshift with Variants. Specialized/Cosmetic only (4 CP). May lose physical abilities (such as flight when in a form without wings), but game statistics are otherwise unchanged regardless of which medium to huge animal or humanoid form he appears in. Of course, growing extra arms and such has no actual game statistics.

To make the spellcasting even more absurd, how about buying…

  • Improved Glory, Corrupted/spells cast using this modifier require an extra action to cast (8 CP) and the Metamagical Theorems of Amplify, Area, Extension, Lacing, Persistent, and Sculpting. That’s (36 CP), and it will allow him to use those metamagics and to add up to (Con Mod) spell levels worth of any metamagic he knows spontaneously to a spell up to (Con Mod) times per day. That’s fourteen extra levels of Metamagic fourteen times per day. That would let him – say – throw Polymorph Any Object in a level eighteen slot (with six levels of area and four of lacing for improved brackish – preventing anyone from absorbing it) and decide to have it affect everyone and everything in the plane with ANOTHER fourteen levels of Area. Yep. That’s the milky way galaxy AND all the others. They’re all hamsters!

Or perhaps they’re all Healed or hit with Power Word: Kill or something. That’s good too.

Of course, abusing Glory that way is a page 163 violation – and pretty much demands a “no”.

  • To make sure that he can cover anything that’s been overlooked, we can throw in Action Hero / Stunts (6 CP). That way, if something utterly unexpected comes up, our “hero” can deal with it. That’s good for things like buying a spot-immunity to a successful Vorpal attack.

Now, this fellow could do with some minions. He can create some powerful agents with some of the very high-level spells, such as Greater Familiar (Level 13), Disciples of Power (Level 16), and Lifemaker (Level 19) – or fake his presence with other spells – but what he really wants is a couple of Companions.

  • Companion with Might (+2 Positive Levels), Transform (Corrupted/only allows the companion to take a form similar to it’s masters current form; it does not allow the master to transform), Template (the Spirit Fetch template), and Additional, all Specialized/due to excessive magical feedback, the companions cannot actually come close enough to their master to assist him directly, they can only act as remote representatives (14 CP).

The Companions will certainly be using the “Companion Creatures” rules, and will probably use a Leopard base or some such. They’ll have the usual companion bonuses for a level seventeen master – Improved Fortune (Evasion), +8d8 Hit Dice, +8 Natural Armor, +8 Warcraft, +4 Str and Con, +51 CP, and Int 8, the benefits of two positive levels (+2 BAB, Saves, and AC and +12 CP), and a mystic link with their master that will let them share all of their master’s enhancement spells and will let him channel spells and powers through them. Coupled with – say – Power Words (Specialized in storing spells granted by their master for double effect) and a minor staff or a couple of wands for show, they should be quite capable of confronting most parties of adventurers on their own.

Oops! That’s 70 CP! We’ve overspent by 14 CP! Whatever shall we do?

Oh, wait; this is an NPC, and a high-level one. I shall just presume that he’s had a good chunk of Unique Training – 14 CP worth towards his lifetime limit of 36 CP (Base Int x 2). That’s slightly cheesy of course – but it’s nowhere’s near as cheesy as the rest of this build.

As for equipment… Well, he’s entitled to another 330,000 GP worth of initial gear. Of course, given his power level, most normal equipment is pretty meaningless to him.

  • I’ll presume 200,000 GP invested in a couple of Relics – worth a total of 4 CP. Those could be responsible for another 24 CP worth of his abilities – allowing him a few more points in his pool. That’s enough to provide any of a number of useful abilities.
    • Perhaps Dominion, Manipulation, Sphere of Influence, and Godfire? That’s about the ultimate emergency-backup package – and it’s quite plausible for an entity of this power level. Even if he hasn’t actually founded a race, or built a world, or some such, he’s quite capable of it.
    • Perhaps the Fortune ability sequence? Evasion, Impervious, and Defiant with a double dose of more Bonus Uses of Luck for Saving Throws Only? That way the character need never fail a saving throw, and will never take even partial effect from anything that allows one.

Of course, he’s already capable of absorbing spells and has massive Spell Resistance.

Anyway, that leaves 130,000 GP – a set of Staves of Fire and Healing for each of his companions? That will suck up 91,000 GP right there – leaving 39,000 for minor stuff. Personally I like some Feather Tokens, and a few other trinkets – but they really aren’t going to make much of any difference.

What is this utterly unplayable character good for? Well, mostly it’s a good guideline on what NOT to do or allow – and you can always steal a few of the more reasonable bits from it when you need a megavillain for some reason.

And now for a footnote…

*Pun-Pun relies on an effect called “Manipulate Form” from a monster called a “Sarrukh”. Since those aren’t OGL this footnote is a “Fair Use” item put in for reference, rather than being OGL.

The “Manipulate Form” power allows a Sarrukh to make major physical changes in certain creatures native to Toril with a touch. This allows ability scores to be decreased to one or increased to a maximum equal to the users corresponding score and allows the user to grant or remove extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like abilities. The changes are immediate, permanent, and hereditary.

I must admit, that – and a few similar unrestricted abilities – are things you can’t actually build in Eclipse. The first question in Eclipse is “how does this work?” – and the mechanism normally imposes it’s own limits. If the “Manipulate Form” power is an innate epic-level spell or psionic effect (and it’s hard to see it being anything else) – well, those have upper limits.

You could access such abilities indirectly through Shapeshift with the “Enchanted” modifier, since it allows you to use a forms extraordinary or supernatural abilities, albeit not it’s spell-like or spellcasting abilities. Of course, shapeshift is not a licence to take on any form you want; it only allows you to take forms that exist in the setting (the explanation for that is on THIS list). Ergo, if the game master:

1) Puts creatures with poorly-thought-out, unexplained, and unrestricted abilities into the setting.

2) Then allows a player character to access such abilities instead of consulting page 163 and saying “no”.

3) Lets people play who want to try to spoil the game instead of contributing to everyone’s fun.

and

4) Doesn’t toss such players out when such behavior becomes apparent.

Then

5) The problem is not in the rules.

Fortunately, if you’re building creatures with Eclipse, this will never come up. If you’re just taking creatures from sourcebooks then remember the note on page 32. In Eclipse the monster statistics from sourcebooks are regarded as summaries which provide enough detail for the game master to run the creature during a fight. Player characters who want to use such creatures as characters – whether by taking them as a race or by shapeshifting – have to figure out how those abilities work. If a player character wants to access some bizarre power via shapeshifting, and the game master has any doubts that power, it’s the players job to come up with how that power is built in Eclipse.

After that, it’s up to the game master to determine whether or not that power is acceptable or whether it will have to be banned or modified.

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