The Kadian Ritualist

   Lord Kevin, god of Transformation, Witchcraft, and Travel has committed himself to imbuing a limited number of “trainees” with the ability to ritually open interdimensional gates. Admittedly, that’s mostly as a backhanded method of inconveniencing some of his major opponents, but it’s still not his preferred mode of operation; he prefers to recruit Thralls rather than to train ritualists. Still, it’s not too big a bother to have his Thralls and facilities transform and train a few of them – and he will at least make sure that they do hear about the advantages of becoming a Thrall over those of becoming a Ritualist.

   Still, rituals can be useful; if any of the Thralls want to spend some time picking one up, the classes for that (6 CP) section will be open to them as well.

   Since the Federation-Apocalypse campaign is an Eclipse d20 game, this package is set up for Eclipse. If you’re unfamiliar with that, Eclipse is available in print HERE, in a shareware .pdf version HERE, and in a .pdf version including Eclipse II and the web expansion HERE.

   The Ritualist “Training Program” involves genetic modification and magical tinkering to modify the trainee’s species template, as well as a high-end package-deal training program to provide another +12 CP. It includes:

  • Fast Learner Specialized in Skills for Double Effect (+2 SP/Level, 6 CP).
  • Two Bonus Feats – one as the usual human bonus feat, one to allow them to retain at least a part of their racial/realm background abilities (12 CP).
  • Enhanced Durability: +2d0 Hit Dice (needed to qualify for the Wolverine Genegrafts, below, 8 CP).
  • Wolverine Genegrafts: Shapeshift, with Attribute Modifiers, Hybrid Form, Clear Speech, and Variants (Human Appearance), Specialized/wolverine form only and Corrupted/cannot actually Change Forms (9 CP). This replaces the user’s physical racial attribute modifiers and abilities with those of a Wolverine – Str +4, Dex +4, Con +8, +2 Natural Armor, 1d4 Natural Weapons, Scent, a +8 Racial Bonus to Climb, and Berserker (using the standard “Barbarian” bonuses).
    • Yes, that’s very cheesy, and no, it won’t normally work outside the Manifold Campaign, which allows cheap physical boosts due to the prevalence of starships and mecha.
  • Gateway Ritual: Inherent Spell: Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect (a level nine spell – Gate)/Requires a lengthy ritual, cannot be used for summoning, draws on the power of Kadia (where caster level requirements are not an issue), and thus requires the expenditure of magic points anywhere else (6 CP).
    • Since magic points are a very limited resource, ritualists who start with Constitutions below 12 will only be able to perform a ritual once a week or at best (and will not be able to perform off-dimension magic after using one for some days) – although a low constitution is a rare thing in students from Inversion (or in the Manifold in general) and WILL be tested for in advance.
  • One extra skill point in Knowledge/The Manifold (1 CP)
  • A +3 Speciality in Knowledge/The Manifold/The Major Realms (with a special focus on places that are good to trade with and ones that are good to stay out of).

   With a net total of 31 CP (for a +0 ECL race) and 12 CP (for a maximum-value package deal), the package replaces the students original species – and will only work for people who have spent at least a part of their time in Kadia, since they’ll need to have visited to tap into it’s energies.

   If a student wishes, he or she may opt to spend his or her personal bonus feat on either retaining more of their world-specific bonuses or on an additional advanced ritual, such as a Teleportation Gate (these last up to one minute per level and go anywhere within a dimension but not outside it, otherwise as per Gate), Improved Polymorph Any Object (+1 to Duration Factor), or some similar mighty effect.

   Developing the Faith/Kevin skill so as to mitigate the magic point expense, and thus the ability to use rituals more often, is an optional extra.

Human Variants I

   Upgraded humans, with extra abilities or feats based on region, culture, local adaptions, genetic engineering, mutations, animals, or other sources, are probably the most common of all d20 variants. That’s because humans – while adaptable and widespread – have the most generic possible bonuses.

   In Eclipse d20, it’s also because humans – unlike most of the other races – have a lot of unspent points left over in their racial template. Humans do have a notable long-term advantage since their racial template has Fast Learner in it, allowing them to take it twice – but those twenty-two left-over points beckon to us all.

   Of course, if you spend them all, humans may become a bit TOO good later on – but that leaves us plenty of wiggle-room to make some variants. Ergo, most of the following types of humans have the basic human package (One Bonus Feat, Fast Learner Specialized in Skills for half cost, 9 CP) plus another ten points worth of bonuses.

   The New Imperium and Old Empire are “Star Wars” settings. Here, the local humans (and most of the other races) get:

  • The people of Star Wars get to act as if almost all planetary atmospheres are acceptable – and as if even the vacuum of space has a non-toxic and marginally breathable (if thin) atmosphere. They can hear sounds there, have their cloaks flutter in the breeze, and survive space for a brief period unprotected – or indefinitely with little more than an oxygen mask. That’s Immunity/Atmospheric Conditions (Uncommon, Severe, Minor). Sadly, this ability is Corrupted/they cannot turn it off. They have to bank to turn their spacecraft at speed, have top speeds in space rather than thrust limitations, can be deafened by nearby explosions in a vacuum, and have poor senses of smell. None of those are really big problems of course, but they’re only saving two character points on the deal anyway (4 CP).
  • Immunity/Encounter Odds; the people of the Star Wars settings find the universe a small place indeed. They’re forever running into old acquaintances, stray relatives, and personal enemies, despite the utter absurdity of such a thing in a place the size of a galaxy. (Common, Minor, Trivial, 2 CP).
  • Luck, Corrupted/if used to attack, cause trouble, or for evil purposes, it will cause karmic backlash and drag the user into more and more evil (4 CP).

   Inversion is a futuristic realm, featuring a long-term struggle for survival against ecological catastrophe. Here the local humans get:

  • Immunity to toxins, pollutants, and disease (Common, Major, Minor, for a +4 bonus on relevant rolls, 6 CP). Like it or not, all the people who weren’t unusually resistant are long-dead.
  • +2 to Concentration (2 CP). Grim determination is the key to long-term survival in Inversion.
  • +2 Hit Points (purchased as +2 sides to their first-level hit die, 2 CP). In such a setting, minor accidents are a way of life.

   The English Fantasy Realm includes the worlds of The Dark is Rising, Harry Potter, the Changes Trilogy, and many more. In general, people in such fantasies tend to be either fanatical (and more than a bit thuggish) or bright and plucky. In either case, however, they share a willful blindness to anything they don’t want to know, and will warp the obvious facts of a situation into complete unrecognizability rather than change their minds.

  • +2 Intelligence (12 CP, Corrupted/user must make a will check to recognize something is not in accordance with their assumptions – for example, that a companion has betrayed them or that there actually is a supernatural horror out there.
  • Resist, +2 Bonus on Will Saves, Corrupted/only versus mental control (2 CP). No, this does not help them with the saving throw noted above.
  • The Thuggish Brute variant adds the bonus to Strength or Constitution rather than Intelligence and must make a will save to have any information that disagrees with his or her assumptions actually register; otherwise they simply will not really hear it.

   Singular is a world revolving around scientific advancement – a realm trapped by it’s tendency to seek the solution to EVERY problem in ever-higher technology.

  • Upgrade the basic human Fast Learner ability to +2 Skill Points/Level (3 CP).
  • Major Privilege/Characters from Singular get a Technological Aptitude attribute, which is rolled normally. Specialized/the characters Technological Aptitude Modifier is subtracted from any skill check that is related to mystical powers (3 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus/Characters from Singular add their Technological Aptitude Modifier to all their technically-related skills in addition to the usual attribute modifier – whether it is positive or not. Specialized/Characters from Singular also subtract their Technological Aptitude Modifier from any skill check that is related to psionic powers (3 CP).
  • Enthusiast, Specialized in Skills Only, Corrupted for Technological Skills Only (1 CP, provides one “floating” skill point for technological skills that can be reassigned with a few days of study).
  • Later-generation Singularites have a full 30-CP racial template, having also been genetically engineered for:
    • Logical Outlook: Characters from Singular gain a natural +1 bonus on Computer Operation checks (+1).
    • Enhanced Neurology: +2 Intelligence (Normally 12 CP, reduced to 6 CP by world laws). As a note, there have been many attempts to enhance the intelligence bonus even further, but they tend to lead to psychological problems and instability. Of course, player characters may be the fortunate exceptions.
    • Rapid Healing: Grant of Aid/Specialized (requires several hours): May heal 1d8+5 damage OR 1d3 points of attribute damage OR one negative level once per three levels per day or part thereof, 3 CP), with the Regenerative option/Corrupted (requires lots of food and rest, 2 CP), allowing them to slowly regrow lost limbs and organs.

   In the Manifold setting, where players get to design their own human variants, player characters – who have left their own realms to adventure in the wider universe – get to spend the last twelve character points in the +0 ECL allotment as well. They, after all, are defining a bit of their own reality.