Eclipse d20 – Professing the Alternatives

   Yesterdays sample character, Professor Arcane, has his abilities divided into a number of smaller subpackages – Respected Academic (20 CP), Psychic Mastery (20 CP), Ritual Enchantments (8 CP), and Shamanic Lore (19 CP).

   That’s because – in Eclipse – it’s easy to create character variations by simply swapping out packages of abilities. Ergo, here are a few alternative ability packages, as well as a new creature and template, to allow for a few variations.

   The Frankenstein Complex (20 CP):

   OK, this little package makes our young professor a true mad scientist, complete with his own monster. Fortunately he’s also an excellent surgeon, which should make him (and his creature) a little more welcome in most parties.

  • Mad Insights: Inherent Spell/True Skill (+20 Insight Bonus to a Skill Check) usable four times per day, Specialized/only usable on Decipher Script, Forgery, Heal, (All) Knowledge, and Use Magic Device skill checks (3 CP).
  • I Know A Guy…: Contact/a reliable supplier of bodies and other medical oddities (1 CP).
  • A Place To Work: Privilege/access to a castle with a truly weird laboratory in it, Specialized/the character will be widely regarded as an untrustworthy mad scientist (1 CP).
  • A Gifted Surgeon: Immunity to the normal restrictions of the Heal skill (Uncommon / Major / Major, covers effects of up to level five, Specialized/requires ten minutes of work with a bag full of tools and medicines to bypass such limitations, 3 CP). Unfortunately, any given patient can only be healed by surgery once per day. The user can also:
    • DC 20: Splint broken limbs, relieve allergies and arthritis, and reduce similar troubles to something manageable.
    • DC 25: Maximize the effect of a healing spell or perform simple surgery (curing 2d4 damage).
    • DC 30: Cure blindness, deafness, or disease, or perform a Lesser Restoration (once per day per patient).
    • DC 35: Perform complex surgery (curing 3d6 damage), Neutralize Poison and heal it’s effects.
    • DC 40: Revival (allows normal treatment and recovery for up to 3 minutes after “death”), provide a full Restoration (once per day per patient).
      • These effects will require an upgrade to the Great Immunity level, for +3 CP.
    • DC 50: Perform organ transplants, perform advanced surgery (curing 4d12 damage), cure a supernatural disease, or Quicken Recovery (as per the epic level information).
    • DC 60: Perform ultra-advanced surgery (curing 5D20 damage), rebuild limbs, or redesign bodies.
      • These effects will require an upgrade to the Epic Immunity level, for another +3 CP.
    • DC 75: Build a Flesh Golem. This bypasses the usual prerequisites and 80% of the GP cost – but does not bypass the experience point cost.
    • DC 100: Induce a Perfect Recovery (as per the Epic Level Handbook).

   The Monster (12 CP):

  • Companion/Mystic Companion Variant with a +2 ECL Lesser Golem Template (12 CP).
    • Base Creature: A Medium Animated Object – an iron-plated wooden statue (Hardness 10).
    • Current Companion Bonuses (as of level two): Improved Fortune/Evasion, uses it’s master’s base saves, +1 HD (no other bonuses), +1 Natural Armor, +1 BAB, +2 Str (normally +1 Str and Con, but constructs don’t have Con), Int 8, and +6 CP. The Professor may mentally communicate with his monster at a range of up to one mile.

   Lesser Golem Template (94 CP/+2 ECL, normally only applies to Animated Objects):

  • Inhuman Strength: Self-Development/+6 Strength (36 CP).
  • Implacable: Immunity/Magic that allows Spell Resistance (Very Common, Severe, Major, 18 CP). Lesser Golems are immune to magical effects that allow spell resistance of up to level five, and receive a +8 bonus on saves against similar higher-level effects.
  • Elemental Imbuement: Grant of Aid with +4 Bonus Uses/Specialized and Corrupted for triple effect, only works when the Lesser Golem is subjected to a particular type of elemental attack (whether or not it works), only to heal hit point damage (12 CP).
  • Durability: +2d10 Hit Dice (28 CP).
  • Reconstruction: Returning/all Lesser Golems can be readily rebuilt by their creators if destroyed (6 CP).
  • Accursed: All Lesser Golems can be Slowed for 2d4 rounds by being subjected to either of two different types of elemental attacks – although being subjected to the attack type that heals them will automatically eliminate any remaining rounds of being Slowed (-3 CP).
  • Accursed: All Lesser Golems occasionally go berserk. There’s a cumulative 1% chance of this happening per round it spends in combat. A berserk Lesser Golem goes on a rampage, attacking the nearest living creature or smashing some object smaller than itself if no creature is within reach, then moving on to spread more destruction. The creatures master can try to regain control with a DC 19 Charisma check (made each round). It takes a full minute of inactivity to reset the chance of going berserk to 0%.

   The Creature:

  • Abilities: Str 20, Dex 10, Con –, Int 8, Wis 1, Cha 1.
  • Medium Construct. Hit Dice: 5d10+20 Hit Points: 61, Initiative: +0, Move: 40′ (Legs), AC: 19 (+4 Armor/Chain Shirt under ragged shirt, +5 Natural), BAB: +2, Attack: Slam +7/1d6+5.
  • Special Qualities: Darkvision 60′, Hardness 10 (iron surface), Low Light vision. Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease , death effects, necromancy effects, critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, energy drain, any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects, or is harmless), death from massive damage, and any need to eat, sleep, or breathe. Cannot heal damage normally, immediately destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points or less. Since it was never alive, a construct cannot be raised or resurrected.
  • Since this construct has Int, it gets 6 CP and five skill points for its two basic hit dice.
  • It can understand, but not speak, the Common Tongue (Free), Climb +6 (1 SP), Knowledge Local +0 (1 SP, allowing it to be sent on errands), Knowledge Geography +0 (1 SP, allowing it not to get lost, 1 SP), and Spot -2 (2 SP, which at least improves matters a bit).
  • This gives it Proficiency with Light Armor (3 CP) and 3 CP (or 2000 GP) worth of Innate Enchantment – a disguising cantrip that makes it look like it’s made of flesh (1000 GP) and five cantrips 1/day each (at 200 GP each); these include Cure Minor Wounds, Know Direction, Mage Hand, Mending, and Spark (as per Ray of Frost, but Electrical. This is most often used to trigger it’s Grant of Aid and so heal itself once per day).

   The creature is actually fairly formidable – at least when it comes down to lifting heavy objects or acting as a tank. It’s a lot less effective once special attacks start becoming important in the game. Still, it’s a wonderful thing to have to hide behind at lower levels – at least until it goes berserk for a while and wipes out half the party. Use with caution.

   Alchemic Mastery (20 CP)

   This package provides the character with a plentiful supply of minor magical devices, including some quite useful options. On the other hand, if the character gets stripped of his assorted toys, or is on a long adventure and runs out of disposable items, he or she is quite out of luck until he or she can return home and make some more.

  • Talismonger: +1 SP in Craft/Lesser Arcana (Charms, Talismans, and Alchemical Items) (1 CP).
  • Privilege/Professional Talismonger: The character may be assumed to have a comfortable lifestyle, a selection of Charms and Talismans, an Alchemists Lab (and a place to put it), and relevant tools, paper and writing implements, and assorted Artisans Tools, Specialized/only applies when the character has time to practice their trade, access to a home of some sort, and can use their skills unmolested. If the character is busy, on the run, or far from home, their gear won’t be available (1 CP).
  • Use of Charms and Talismans (from The Practical Enchanter): Shaping, Specialized and Corrupted for increased (level one and weak level two) effects/can only produce the effects for which the user has the appropriate foci ready, can only use seven Charms and three Talismans at any one time, Charms and Talismans are modestly expensive (normally 10-25 GP; a full starting set is about 150 GP) and take some time to attune for use (6 CP).
  • Mystic Craftsman: An expert Alchemist can make lots of minor items without spending XP or money. While that means that they’re inherently temporary, that doesn’t make them any less useful. This is purchased as…
    • Enthusiast (Double): Specialized and Corrupted for triple effect (6 floating CP)/can only be changed with a trunk full of alchemical gear given a day or two (and thus usually only between adventures), only usable to buy “Innate Spell”, “Occult Talent”, and similar magical gifts (6 CP).
    • Create Relic, Specialized/only to make limited-use items costing no more than 3 CP each (3 CP).
    • Blessing, Specialized/only for use with items created with this package (+3 CP). This lets other people use the items he creates.
  • Alchemical potions, scrolls, and talismans are normally bought Specialized/does not recover, for half cost. For example:
    • Pouch of Fireball Dust. Inherent Spell/Fireball, +4 Bonus Uses. 1 CP. For 2 CP you can have a pouch with 13 uses. For 3 CP you get 21. The same pattern works for other L3 spells, such as Cure Serious Wounds (L2 spells get an extra use, if you want L1 spells you get two of them with the same number of uses each). Unfortunately, this doesn’t bypass the level requirements for using innate spells, so low-level alchemists may have to wait a bit before they can start blowing things up – unless the game master feels like letting them.
    • Minor Scrolls: Improved Occult Talent, Corrupted: Slots must be preset, Effect x 1.5 (7x L0, 5x L1 spells in total). For a sample list, this would cover scrolls of Light, Message, Detect Magic (x2), Read Magic, Create Water, Mage Hand, Magic Missile, Silent Image, Obscuring Mist, Entangle, and Color Spray. As usual for “innate spells” these are cast at an effective caster level equal to the characters total level. 2 CP.
    • Curative Ointment. Healing Touch with Bonus Uses (5 doses that Cure the user’s [Chr Mod x Level HP]) and Improved/Switch/Empower with Bonus Uses (4+Level/3 total uses of Remove Disease, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Cure Serious Wounds, Remove Curse, Neutralize Poison, and Restoration). 3 CP.

   This character has a useful advantage: not only does he or she have a good supply of low-level gizmos to start off each adventure, but he or she can pass them around and can make them with any spell effect he or she desires: you don’t have to “learn” spells to get them as innate spells or occult talents. adly, you can’t copy spell formulas from them; no matter what they look like, they’re not really “Scrolls” in that sense.

   Magic Theorist (20 CP).

   This simple package makes the character a competent academic spellcaster – albeit one who will have to deal with a substantial chance of spell failure when casting spells under pressure in the field. Still, a Magic Theorist can attempt pretty much any effect – as long as it’s first level or less.

  • The Fundamental Theorems: Augmented Bonus/May use his (Int Mod) as a base for his Theurgy Verb Skills (6 CP).
  • Minimal Practice: One Base Caster Level, Specialized/only for Theurgy (3 CP).
  • A Bit of Natural Power: Mana/4d4 Generic Spell Levels, Specialized/does not recover normally, Corrupted/Only usable for Theurgy (4 CP).
  • Drawing Down the Light: Rite of Chi with +2 Bonus Uses, Specialized/requires an hour or study and meditation (4 CP).
  • Hanging Spells: Power Words/may store Con/3 levels of spells, and release them as move-equivalent actions, Specialized/only for storing personally-cast theurgy spells and requires at least ten minutes of preparation to store a spell (3 CP).

   Optional Ritual Enchantment (+6 CP):

   Ritual Enchantments are simply items that are props and channels for the user’s power, rather than having any real power of their own. If they get stolen or broken, the user can simply make another one without any particular cost other than some time. This, of course, means that the game master should feel perfectly free to steal, blow up, or otherwise destroy such items every so often; if the character didn’t want to suffer the effects of that limitation every so often, he or she should not have taken it.

  • Rowan Wand (6 CP): +2 Base Caster Levels Specialized in Theurgy, Corrupted/requires the use of a ritually-prepared wand (4 CP) and +2d4 Generic Spell Levels, Specialized/does not recover normally, Corrupted/Only usable for Theurgy (2 CP). Sadly, a Rowan Wand doesn’t improve the user’s odds of successfully casting spells – but they’ll work better when he or she does pull it off.

   In this particular case, this would be an appropriate replacement for the Athame in the Professors Ritual Enchantments package.