Human Variants III – The God-Touched Human

   The Old Gods were born of the wild powers of nature. The raging storm, the blazing sun, the fearsome flood, the turning of the seasons… All were dangerous forces, far beyond the strength or skill of men to control. Even worse, the Lords of the Elements were quarrelsome and fallible. If the cantankerous Winter Hunter chose to hurl a late blizzard in protest against the turning of the seasons, then that was what he would do. There would be little warning, and the fact that freezing the tender shoots of the new plants would mean a hard year for all and starvation for many meant no more to the Winter Hunter than brushing aside a spider’s web meant to a mortal.

   The Old Gods thought nothing of destroying the world – and creating a new one which might suit them better – if it, or it’s inhabitants, displeased them. Indeed, they often made several attempts before deciding that the current world was good enough.

   The Old Gods were capricious as well. Some years were plentiful, others barren. Offerings were accepted or denied upon a whim. Men were raised up and cast down for reasons which no mortal would ever know. Children were sent in swarms – and taken away by disease and accident almost as swiftly.

   If an Old God intervened directly, it meant that he or she was changing the order of the world even more than usual – whether to demand that the mortals undertake some terrible task, to inform them in passing that some mighty change was underway, or to demand an offering of something that had taken his or her fancy.

   Their blessings were transient, and their punishments terrible. To come to their notice, or to stand in their presence, was not a good thing. There was a reason why to be Touched by the Gods was an euphemism for madness and despair. Those so afflicted were uneasy guests, and were often barely tolerated within their tribes. The might provide some warning of catastrophe, but they might also stand at it’s center.

   Still, those touched by the gods were opened to the supernatural world, and could channel some tiny part of its power – usually in the form of occasionally being able to call on animal spirits to lend them a bit of their strength. The universe was not – quite – totally unfair.

   The God-Touched Human (+0 ECL Human Variant):

   The God-Touched start off with three disadvantages, for a total of ten extra CP:

  • Accursed: A God-Touched Human is an open channel for supernatural entities, allowing them to easily extend their powers into the physical world – and that fact is quite obvious to such entities. Fortunately, a God-Touched character may make opposed willpower checks with a +3 bonus to prevent particular actions, and may even be able to dominate some weaker entities. There’s not much hope of controlling any major ones though.
  • Incompetent: God-Touched Humans suffer a -3 penalty on all Charisma-based skill checks. Like it or not, they’re outsiders, they have a hard time with normal social expectations, and they might start doing dangerous supernatural things at any moment.
  • Obligations: The God-Touched are occasionally subject to various supernatural demands. While they can keep these to a minimum by living quietly and avoiding supernatural entanglements as much as possible, that won’t always work – and adventurers generally don’t live quietly anyway. While they can turn down such demands, that option carries a serious risk of having something nasty happen later on.

   On the upside, they get:

  • The basic human racial package:
    • One Bonus Feat (6 CP)
    • Fast Learner Specialized in Skills for half cost (3 CP).
  • Natural Channel:
    • Major Privilege/they may use the Channeling variants of Summoning spells without suffering from the usual +1 spell level modifier (6 CP).
  • Touch of the Spirit World:
    • Occult Sense/Spirit Awareness. They may “see”, and “hear” spirits of all sorts. In d20, that’s any creature on a co-existent plane (6 CP).
      • And
    • Mindspeech and Spirit Speech, Corrupted/only to communicate with spirits and creatures on co-existent planes (8 CP).
  • Totem Invocation:
    • Inherent Spell I (Specialized/only as a prerequisite, 3 CP), Inherent Spell II (the Channeling variant of Summon Nature’s Ally II, with a duration of ten minutes per caster level [+2 Spell Levels]. This would normally be a fifth level spell thanks to the Channeling modifier, but a God-Touched characters special privilege (above) reduces it to level four again, 6 CP) with +2 Bonus Uses (3 CP).

   That’s a total of 41 CP, or 31 CP after the disadvantages are applied – right at the limit for a +0 ECL race. Moreover, that Totem Invocation can be pretty handy; temporarily borrowing the abilities of a bear, or – say – summoning wolf-spirits into yourself and several of your friends, can be a major edge at lower levels. Of course, being possessed by some evil spirit and turning on your friends can be a pretty big downer too – and the game master should be sure to play up some of those disadvantages every so often. Nothing comes without a price…

   Most god-touched go on to become priests or shamans, although it’s not unknown for them to become warriors of some sort or to buy some Spirit Favors to work with.


4 Responses

  1. I was curious. Can you gain more points from disadvantages if you have some as part of a racial package and you take more part of your class selection?

    You have 10 pts worth as part of the racial template above, if I wanted to take a few more as part of a character I was making would I be able to get points for them or would they just be for RP?

    I was also wondering about the Privilege Natural Channel. How is that a social or legal thing? Would it be better to buy it as Amplify Metamagic with Streamlne and Fast – Specialized and Corrupted: only to allow Channelling variants of summoning spells without the +1 modifier for 6 cp?

    • That’s really up to the GM, who has to approve all those templates and character builds – but my usual answer is yes you can. Disadvantages are, after all, designed to be more trouble than they’re generally worth. If someone really wants to take on…

      *A racial template with some built-in disadvantages.
      *A set of personal disadvantages
      *Acquire a few more that are associated with a package deal (that’s one reason why package deals have no net cost of course).
      *Take a ritual holy oath (pick up two related disadvantages and a bonus feat, if you break said oath lose the bonus feat and the two disadvantages but pick up a long-term curse) as a few characters, such as Orin, have rituals for allowing.
      *Pick up a Party Template ( ).

      Then they might be able to get points for quite a few disadvantages – and I’d probably let them. With that many disadvantages attached to their character I’d never need to come up with an adventure hook again.

      Of course, most of those are special mechanisms, are only partially under the characters control, and cause him or her immense amounts of trouble.

      Two – the Package Deal and the Experienced Party Template – are basically GM bribes, and will be applying to pretty much everyone if they’re in play.

      That leaves the Oath and the Racial Template disads (since almost everyone has personal ones). That IS a 16 CP bonus – but the price is pretty heavy.

      “Natural Channel” got classified as a social thing because – in a setting where this template is in play – the spirits the character is a channel for can be expected to be playing a major role. Ergo, it wasn’t the Characters power, but the spirits indulgence which made those particular spells work better. Since the price is the same anyway, I went with the choice that seemed to fit the style better.

  2. […] species), Spirit-Touched Humans (natural shaman), Elan (psychicly augmented humans, scroll down), God-Touched Humans (spirit […]

  3. […] species), Spirit-Touched Humans (natural shaman), Elan (psychicly augmented humans, scroll down), God-Touched Humans (spirit […]

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