Anek Borez, CR 20+

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   For today, it’s the compiled high-level version of Anek Borez – in this version a horrific high-level “boss” opponent suitable for characters of around level twenty – or perhaps even higher.

   Anek Borez, A.K.A “Lord Goth”

Twelth Level (ex-)Human Knight of Hades (CR 20+)

   Over the years, Lord Borez had defeated many demons, undead, and other horrors. He had aided in the defense of the realm in disputes with the neighboring realms. He had risen to be one of the most respected knight-protectors of the kingdom, even if he had become… more than a bit rigid and authoritarian as he aged. That was hardly unusual. Humans do that, and the elders provide a useful stabilizing influence in their lands and cultures.

   As a champion and a nobleman he had married, and had a family. He had been blessed with strong and healthy children – valiant sons and charming daughters, most of them as noble and firm of purpose as he himself.

   Most of them.

   One young daughter in particular was much more inclined to chaos, even if she was good. When her father forbade her to continue seeing a young nobleman from one of the neighboring (and far more chaotic) states she saw nothing wrong with eloping with the young man and skipping over the border.

   Borez was outraged at the disobedience, at the violation of his values, and at the prospect of a marriage-alliance with a nation and a house which he had fought in the past and which he continued to despise. What was the use of defending the realm if young villains were to be allowed to steal away his children?

   He took his most loyal men and best mounts and gave chase, even if that meant defying attempts by the royal guard to stop him and punching past the neighboring states border guards – only to find the young man violating his daughter when he located their campsite.

   When the blind rage was past, both the young noble and his daughter (who had attempted to stop her fathers murderous attack) were dead by his sword – and Borez refused to believe that it was unjustified, or even that he could have been wrong. If he had been wrong… then he was a murderer and a kinslayer, and that simply could not be true.

   By the time the ensuing war was over, thousands were dead, including most of his sons – and Borez had become a bloody-handed war criminal, savagely “avenging his daughter’s death” upon people who had nothing to do with it.

   When they finally dragged him to the scaffold, he swore bloody vengeance for that “injustice” upon everyone who had “betrayed him”. If the light too was going to betray him by failing to give him the “justice” that he demanded, then he would turn to the darkness.

   He descended into the darkness – first of death, and then of the lower planes – like a falling star, burning crimson with rage and innocent blood.

   His new lords were pleased indeed. Few fell so far – or so terribly. They bestowed equally terrible gifts upon him, and returned him to the mortal world to wreak his vengeance over and over again.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

   Long decades later, Borez surveyed his new body… Evidently the cultists had sacrificed a young man to provide it. Well, it was always fun having a youthful physical body again!

   And he had his mission. Spirits of darkness were being unleashed upon the world to possess corpses and raise them as undead, to spread chaos and misery, and to trouble the realm. They needed direction and organization. This sorry little cult needed to be built into a tool of terror worthy of the lower planes. The descendants of his old enemies needed to be hunted down and either corrupted or enslaved and sent screaming into the darkness.

   He would have his revenge!

   Currently Borez can usually be found “in disguise” as a startlingly handsome, languid, young man dressed in fine black clothing, sporting fancifully-jeweled ”unholy symbols”, surrounded by youthful acolytes and sycophants, and acting like the worst poseur in history. Of course, this is a superficial guise – but it still makes it easy for him to recruit bored young nobles and rebellious adolescents for his witch-coven in the service of the dark powers. As a side-benefit, it allows him to enjoy drinking, eating good meals, and disporting himself with his young recruits – all the pleasures which he foolishly denied himself before his fall.

   If it comes to a fight, he will spend two Power and use the Nightforge ability to create a full suit of adamant full plate armor – and possibly a weapon if his greatsword is too unwieldy for the available space – on the spot. Fortunately, Theurgy is not affected by armor, since it’s purely verbal.

   Borez is pretty heavily optimized (which I find easier than not these days; after thirty years of making characters, they tend to come out pretty well optimized whether I think about that or not). If the player characters aren’t, an encounter with Borez is likely to be pretty dangerous or lethal. Gods help them if he manages to lay an ambush and has his various minions ready.

   As usual, Specializations and Corruptions are for reduced cost unless otherwise noted.

   Anek Borez

   Human Racial Abilities:

  • Bonus Feat: Used to upgrade Fast Learner to plus two skill points per level (3 CP) and to allow him to buy one daily use of Channeling (3 CP).
  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for +2 SP/Level.

   The Knights of Hades are the cursed spirits of noble knights, paladins, and other mighty warriors who, once dedicated to the forces of light, turned from that allegiance and swore themselves to darkness and destruction for reasons of affronted pride, unrequited lust, or blind wrath – and who then perished without renouncing that goal, or admitting that it was unjustified, despite knowing of their coming doom.

   Few mortal warriors are powerful, prideful, and frustrated enough to qualify – and those few are greatly valued by the powers of darkness. By virtue of their embracing both evil and death, they can be returned to the material planes as Undead, still possessed of much of their mortal powers (along with their new powers as powerful undead) – rather than having to wait to be summoned as easily-banished Outsiders.

   Knight of Hades Template:

Greater Undead Package (64 CP/+2 ECL).

   All of these effects are Specialized: the user becomes an undead horror, seeks to prey on the living, becomes vulnerable to being Turned (Channeling), and will find it essentially impossible to turn away from evil without dying. This does mean that a couple of the defenses are double-specialized, but – in this case – the effects don’t overlap, and so I’ll give permission for that.

  • No Constitution score (0 CP). Includes immunity to ability damage (including all poisons), ability drain, energy drain, and effects requiring fortitude saves unless they work on objects or are harmless. Does not breathe, eat, or sleep, cannot tire, and can move, work, or remain alert indefinitely. They cannot be Raised or Reincarnated and are instantly destroyed at 0 HP.
  • Negative Energy Metabolism (0 CP): Undead are healed and enhanced by negative energy and harmed or hindered by positive energy, instead of the reverse. As a side effect, they regain 10 HP whenever they would normally suffer a negative level, but treat Positive Levels as negative levels.
  • Finesse (3 CP): May substitute their (Cha Mod) for their (Con Mod) when calculating hit points and related effects such as concentration checks.
  • Immunity to things which affect biological processes (Very Common/Major/Epic, Corrupted: cannot heal naturally, must use other special abilities, 15 CP). This includes paralysis, stunning damage, nonlethal damage, diseases, death effects, critical hits, and most necromancy effects.
  • Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects) (Common/Major/Legendary, Corrupted/the user loses all but vague memories of most positive emotions, 12 CP).
    • That loss of positive emotions means that the undead can’t really understand things like love, loyalty, courage, and compassion. This makes opponents motivated by such things really hard to predict, leads them to underestimate how far such feelings can drive mortals, and – incidentally – makes it difficult to maintain disguises in some circumstances and will lead to a great deal of guilt if he ever is restored to life.
  • Occult Sense/Darkvision (3 CP).
  • Damage Reduction 5/-, Specialized/only versus physical attacks for Double Effect (10/-), Corrupted/not versus Magical Weapons (4 CP)
  • Immunity to Energy Attacks. That’s Very Common, Major, Great/60 Points, Specialized and Corrupted/only works against cold and electricity (5 CP).
  • Leadership: Greater Undead normally have other undead – or infernal – followers (3 CP).
  • Imbuement with the Improved and Superior modifiers/unarmed variant (9 CP). The touch of the Undead can have a variety of effects depending on how powerful they are.
    • At level twelve, Borez is currently getting the equivalent of a +4 bonus to his unarmed attacks and – thanks to some later abilities – with swords. He’s currently using his Imbuement ability to add +2d6 of (Negative) Energy Damage (+2 from the Imbuement), Toxic (One point of Constitution Damage, +1 from the Imbuement), and Keen (the last +1 from his imbuement) to his fists and swords. This has already been included in the combat information section below.
  • +4 Turn Resistance (4 CP).
  • Defender, Specialized for Double Effect (+2xLevel/5 rounded down Natural Armor, 6 CP).
    • Borez, at level twelve, currently gets +4 Natural Armor.

   This sub-package is suitable for any character who wants to be undead. Just apply it as a +2 ECL acquired template and get some way to heal your injuries…

   Knight of Hades Upgrades

(over the Greater Undead package):

   Knights of Hades add the following items to the basic Greater Undead Package, leaving them subject to the same limitations. This does require that the limitations be upgraded a bit though; the Knights of Hades are major champions of the Dark Powers. As such, their activities draw a constant stream of attacks, interventions, and opposition from good churches, higher powers, and other powerful creatures of good.

   Infernal Leadership Package (+35 CP):

  • +4 Charisma (Half cost in a Template, 12 CP).
  • Unholy Might: Augmented Bonus/adds (Cha Mod) to (Str Mod) for the purposes of combat and other applications of brute force (3 CP).
    • That’s a bit cheesy – that should probably be Advanced Augmented Bonus at the least – but the difference is only a few CP.
  • Presence/Aura of Cause Fear (3 CP). That will keep the pathetic minions off.
  • Spell Resistance of 10 + Level (6 CP).
  • Grant of Aid with +12 Bonus Uses, Specialized/only heals hit point damage (6 CP).
  • Upgrade Turn Resistance to Immunity to Turning (Common, Severe, Major, +2 CP).
  • Returning. Unless you take care to entrap a Knight of Hades soul when you destroy it, or chase it back to the lower planes and disrupt it there, they tend to come back (3 CP).
  • Major Privilege/can confirm Witchcraft Pacts and swear followers to the Powers of Darkness (3 CP).
    • Technically this is fairly meaningless; no one really needs to confirm Witchcraft Pacts OR Oaths – but it has style, and it makes up for that slightly-cheesy Unholy Might ability.

   Infernal Command Package (58 CP):

   Newly-recruited Knights of Hades are generally powerful warriors, but usually lack the ability to cast, or effectively counter, spells. To counter this weakness, they are granted the direct command over magical energies. That doesn’t give them any particularly sophisticated effects to call on, but it certainly gives them a variety of options.

  • Inherent Spells: 12xL1 (12 CP), 8x L2 (15 CP), 8x L3 (17 CP), 8x L4 (17 CP), and 8x L5 (17 CP). All Specialized and Corrupted: Only usable to power Theurgy, immediate commands only, blatantly displays the user’s nature when used via a burst of infernal energies (incidentally negating any attempt at stealth), attracts the notice of various powers of light. Caster Level = User’s Level, Save DC is Charisma based. Net cost: 26 CP.
  • Metamagic/Easy and Metamagic/Elemental Manipulation with the Fast modifier and four levels of Streamline, all Specialized and Corrupted/Only works to Quicken his spells and to change the damage of damage-causing spells to Profane/Negative Energy damage, requires the patronage of the greater powers of the lower planes, who WILL demand regular services and offerings, must possess – and prominently display – a very expensive (2500 GP+) bejeweled unholy symbol to gain this enhancement (14 CP).
  • Mastery x2/all Theurgy Verb Skills, Specialized for Double Effect (may “Take 20″)/Immediate commands only: No long-term enchantments, duration spells, triggered or waiting effects, etc (12 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus/adds (Cha Mod) to all Theurgy Skills (6 CP). Note that it requires a Cha Mod of at least +3 to use fourth level effects and of at least +5 to use fifth level effects.
  • Reflex Action with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted/only for Theurgy, only allows a single spell to be cast despite the Quickening effect (6 CP).

   That gives our Knights of Hades a total template cost of 160 CP – in +4 ECL territory. If you’re converting a character into a Knight of Hades in Eclipse, simply add that to his or her racial package, eliminate any overlapping or conflicting elements (such as a Constitution bonus or Penalty), and see what you wind up with.

   If you start with a normal human though, you’ll still wind up with a +4 ECL modifier

    Borez has improved on a number of the powers in this package, for which see below.

   Rithian Blademaster Package Deal (0 CP):

   The Rithian Blademasters are one of the oldest and most respected warrior-orders of the western realm. While they have several rival schools, the purity of the Rithian techniques is unquestioned and the honor of their school has been fiercely maintained across the centuries. More than a few great champions have come from their halls. They will NOT be pleased to hear that an undead horror is using, and abusing, their techniques, and will certainly sponsor efforts to eliminate such a dishonor.

  • Block/Melee (4 CP) with Multiple (4 CP) and Riposte (4 CP), all Corrupted/only usable while using a sword.

   A Rithian-trained fighter can attempt (by spending an Attack of Opportunity and making a DC 20 Reflex Save) to block up to sixty points of damage from a successful melee attack up to twice per round – and if they do successfully block an attack (and have another Attack of Opportunity available to use), they get an immediate counterstrike at their full BAB. Given Borez’s horrific Reflex save, he can generally pretty well count on deflecting two melee attacks – and getting two extra attacks of his own – every round that he’s in melee as long as his opponents can hit him at all.

   Available Character Points: 312 (level eight base) +10 (Disadvantages; ) +24 (Duties: originally to his native realm, now service to his dark lords) +24 (Fast Learner, Specialized in BAB) +30 (L1, L3, L6, L9, and L12 Bonus Feats) = 400 CP. I’ve spent 394 of them; go ahead and purchase some minor customization, or an upgrade for his followers, or a sanctum or something.

   Basic Attributes:

  Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
Rolled 17 16 18 16 17
Level +1 +2
Template +4
Magic +8 +8 +8
Total 26 24 18 16 31

   Well, those were some REALLY good rolls there. While I’m being generous, and rolling 5d6k3 for major villains – on the theory that they have to have some advantage to have managed to rise to that status – random chance has done very well by Borez here.

   Basic Abilities (176 CP):

  • Hit Points: 12 (L1d12, 8 CP) + 61 (L2-12 d8, 44 CP) +4 (1d4 Bonus HD, 8 CP) +24 (Magic) +170 (17 x Cha Mod) = 271.
    • Borez always relied more on his ability to block attacks than on raw hit points, but as a Knight of Hades he isn’t doing too badly on the hit point front either. The bonus hit die does add a few hit points, but – rather more importantly – gets his effective level up to thirteen for his witchcraft, for his inherent spells, and for using his Channeling abilities.
  • BAB +8 (48 CP) +4 for +12, Corrupted/only with unarmed combat and swords (16 CP).
  • Saves:
    • Fortitude: Not applicable.
    • Reflex: +8 (Purchased, 24 CP) +7 (Dex) +10 (Cha) +4 (Resistance) = +29
    • Will: +2 (Purchased, 6 CP) +3 (Wis) +10 (Cha) +4 Resistance = +19
      • When “Berserk” add another +2 to Saves.
      • For most characters I’d spend some more points on saving throws – but Borez gets to add his huge Charisma modifier to his Reflex and Will saves and is immune to almost everything that requires Fortitude or Will saves anyway. Ergo, buying up his saves too far is a waste of time and points.
  • Proficient with Light and Medium Armor with the Smooth modifier, Specialized/only to eliminate the Armor Check Penalty (13 CP), Proficient with All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP).

   Combat Information:

  • Initiative: +9 (+7 Dex +2 Improved Initiative).
  • Move: 120′ (30 Base +60 Enhancement +30 Circumstance).
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +7 (Dex) +14 (Armor) +8 (Shield) +4 (Natural) +1 (Martial Art, save when using archery) = 44
  • Special Defenses: DR 10/-, Energy Resistance 10, Immunity to Cold, Lightning, and Positive Energy, plus the typical immunities of the undead.
  • Usual Weapons:
    • Greatsword: +35/+35/+35/+30/+25 (+12 BAB +8 Str +10 Cha +4 Martial Art +1 Magic), for 4d6+28+1 Con Damage (2d6 Base +2d6 Negative Energy [+8 Str +10 Cha]x1.5 +1 Magic), Crit 17-20/x2. Adamant.
    • Longsword: +34/+34/+34/+29/+24 (+12 BAB +8 Str +10 Cha +4 Martial Art), for 1d8+2d6+18+1 Con Damage (1d8 Base +2d6 Negative Energy +8 Str +10 Cha), Crit 17-20/x2. Usually adamant, since he simply creates these as needed.
    • Unarmed: +34/+34/+34/+29/+24 (+12 BAB +8 Str +10 Cha +4 Martial Art), for 1d4+2d6+18+1 Con Damage (1d4 Base +2d6 Negative Energy +8 Str +10 Cha), Crit 19-20/x2.
      • When using the Nightmare Storm Style: Blind-Fight, automatic trip on a critical hit, +5′ Reach, 12 phantom Con points to power Paralyze (2 Con, Fort DC 14 to avoid 1d6 minutes of paralysis), and Touch Strike (1 Con to make an attack a touch attack).
      • When using Obsidian Heart Kung Fu: +5′ Reach, DC 15 Reflex Save to avoid Surprise, Breaking, Expertise (up to -5 to attacks to gain up to +5 dodge bonus on AC), 12 Phantom Con points to power Ki Block (2 Con, DC 20 Reflex to entirely block an attack), and Vanishing (4 Con to gain a full rounds movement at any time – as if using Time Stop).
      • When “berserk” add +4 to his BAB (which will result in an extra attack) and +2 to his Cha Mod.
      • Note that Borez is getting two extra attacks at his full attack bonus when making a full attack due to his doubled-up personal haste effect. Yes, this is cheesy. He’s a boss horror.
    • Composite Longbow: +20/+20/+20/+15 (+8 BAB +7 Dex +4 Martial Art +1 Magic), for 1d8+1d6+19 (1d8 Base +1d6 Fire +8 Str +10 Cha +1 Magic), Crit 19-20/x3 plus automatic trip, 330′ range increment.

   Other Abilities:

   Advanced Blademaster Training (38 CP):

   As a mortal, Borez was a heavily-armored acrobatic fighter – something that really only works in magical realms, where there are ways around the weight and encumbrance of armor. He relied on moving in fast, blocking or absorbing attacks, and hacking his foes into tiny bits. As a Knight of Hades, he still does pretty much the same thing; he’s just inhumanely good at it.

  • Block/Missile (4 CP), Corrupted/only usable while using a sword.
  • Immunity/the distinction between weapons and himself (Common, Minor, Major, Specialized in Swords, 3 CP). For true blademasters, their weapons are truly extensions of themselves; attempts to sunder or disarm them are simply treated as normal attacks against hem, and any touch-based powers and “unarmed” combat enhancements or martial arts which they may possess operate through their blades.
  • Reflex Training/Combat Reflexes Variant (6 CP). He gets eight attacks of opportunity per round.
  • Improved Initiative +2 (3 CP).
  • Immunity/Penalties for wearing armor (Very Common, Minor, Major, Specialized in eliminating Dexterity Bonus Caps – raising them by +6) (6 CP). With this ability, and the Chitin Mail effect below, Borez essentially suffers no penalties for wearing full plate armor.
  • Fast Learner, Specialized in BAB for Double Effect (+2 CP/Level) (6 CP).
  • Fortune/Evasion Variant (6 CP). Borez takes no damage from attacks which offer a reflex save for half effect if he saves successfully.
  • Enhanced Strike: Hammer with +2 Bonus Uses (usable three times per minute), Corrupted/Only usable with a sword (6 CP).
  • Imbuement/Armor Specialized for Double Effect (Bonus of +Level/2) and Corrupted for reduced cost/only works on heavy adamant (or equivalent) armor that he has personally created (4 CP). His usual suit of self-created solidified-darkness adamant armor thus gains a +6 bonus. This is actually a minor variant ability; Imbuement is usually used on weapons, adding to both attacks and damage, but there’s no reason why it can’t be used on armor – in which case it’s only adding to one number, and so can reasonably be applied to all kinds of armor. It’s not as if characters change out the type of armor they use very often.

   The Lesser Mastery (10 CP):

   Powerful enchanted objects are rare and expensive, while few men possess the potential to wield the greater magics – but a great many people can learn a few techniques for channeling ambient magical energy into enhancing their abilities. Thus The Lesser Mastery was a major portion of Lord Borez’s training as an aspiring hero in his youth.

  • Innate Enchantment: 11,000 GP effective value, Specialized for half cost/all effects are represented by exotic sigils on the skin, his innate magics block the effects of spells and powers that would normally supersede the bonuses they grant, and adding or upgrading enchantments requires strange and exotic ingredients (6 CP). All of his innate enchantments are Spell Level One, Caster Level One, Unlimited-Use Use-Activated, and Personal-Only where relevant. The effects include:
    • Chitin Mail: L1 Transmutation. For one minute per level of the caster whatever armor the user is wearing is treated as being one armor category lighter. The maximum dexterity bonus increases by two, the armor check penalty is reduced by two, arcane spell failure goes down by 15% (to a minimum of 5%), and the speed penalty is eliminated (1400 GP).
    • Enhanced Attributes/+2 Each to Str, Dex, and Cha (4200 GP).
    • Light Foot: L1 Transmutation. The user becomes extremely light on his or her feet, gaining a +30 circumstance bonus on his or her ground movement speed, a +10 circumstance bonus on jump checks, and DR 10 versus Falling Damage [only], for 1d6+2 rounds. The user is, however, considered one size category smaller in a Bull Rush, Grapple, Trip, or Overrun situation (1400 GP).
    • Personal Haste: Provides +30′ Movement and +1 attack at the user’s full BAB when making a full attack (2000 GP).
    • Shield: Provides a +4 Shield Bonus to AC and protects against Magic Missiles (2000 GP).
  • Immunity to Dispelling, Antimagic, and Countermagic (Common/Minor/Great. Specialized in protecting innate enchantments only, Corrupted/only covers powers in this package (4 CP)
    • A great many campaigns will limit characters to 11,000 GP worth of Innate Enchantments – enough to grant characters some interesting and useful powers, and to make them considerably more likely to survive at lower levels, but not enough to make any really major changes at high levels. This batch of abilities would normally cost 880 XP to activate – but we don’t really need to worry about that in an NPC.

   The Grand Mastery: Walking the Path of Darkness (24 CP):

   Borez’s excellent service to his infernal masters, and the swathe of destruction he has cut both across the world and through the ranks of opposing heroes, have earned him the favor of the dark powers. The minor innate enchantments he had as a mortal have now been augmented and amplified by his infernal masters until they have become fearsome powers indeed.

   At ECL level sixteen an NPC is only supposed to get 77,000-100,000 GP worth of gear, instead of the 260,000-340,000 that a PC is supposed to get. Given that essential unfairness, I’m going to let Borez have a hefty slice of cheese by allowing him to spend an additional 24 CP on his Innate Enchantments – and to take some of the most powerful abilities I can come up with to boot

  • Upgrade his three level one +2 attribute enhancements to the level two +4 versions. That’s (Spell Level Two x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only -1400 GP (the amount already invested) = 7000 GP each, for a total of 21,000 GP.

   Add two more first-level enhancements:

  • Infernal Vigor (the negative-energy equivalent to Immortal Vigor: Adds +12 hit points to lesser undead and +(12 + 2 x Cha Mod) hit points to greater undead. Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP (for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated) x.7 (for personal use only) = 1400 GP.
  • Lesser Energy Resistance. This provides Resistance 5 versus all forms of Energy. Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP (for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated) x.7 (for personal use only) = 1400 GP.

   Now I’ll add a truly horrendous fifth-level enhancement:

  • The Dominion of the Night; Guiding Hand of the Infernal Prince: This mighty talent doubles the effect of some of the character’s Innate Enchantments. That’s Add Metamagic/Amplify +4 (Double Effect) to any one spell of up to level three (Spell Level Five x Caster Level Nine) x 2000 GP (for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated) x .7 (for Personal Use Only) x .8 (for Abilities to be amplified are fixed once selected) x .6) affects a maximum of seven spells or ten levels worth of spells, whichever is less) x.8 (cannot affect spells of above level two) = 24,192 GP). Note that this cannot be applied to a particular ability more than once.
    • In Borez’s case, this has been applied to his Str, Dex, and Cha boosts, and to his Personal Haste, Shield, Infernal Vigor, and Lesser Energy Resistance powers. That raises those enhancements to +8 to Str, Dex, and Cha, +2 full-BAB attacks with a full attack and +60′ Movement, +8 to AC, +(24 + 4 x Cha Mod) HP, and Energy Resistance 10 – a pretty impressive package, even if it does pre-empt a lot of other magic items and has a base cost nearly two entire levels worth of character points and a fair chunk of XP. With a net cost of +48,000 GP, this has a net cost of 24 CP – and nearly 4000 XP – even after Specialization. Fortunately, as an NPC, Borez doesn’t have to worry about those XP. As a boss-level monster for what I’d expect to be a well-optimized batch of PC’s, he also doesn’t have to worry about game master permission for this kind of cheese – although, to be fair, this large slice of cheese is probably worth adding a level, or maybe even two, to his effective challenge rating.
    • Of course, the entire Infernal Command package deal was already a bit cheesy – so even for a major opponent, this is probably all the cheese I’m going to allow.

   Blessings of the Darkness (24 CP).

   Long decades of service and honor as a mortal had earned Borez several blessings from the celestial powers – some modest portion of the powers of a true Paladin. Of course, as often happens when a mortal finds such a path too difficult to follow and turns to darkness, the powers of the lower planes were more than happy to replace those lost blessings.

  • Improved Augmented Bonus: May add his (Cha Mod) to his Reflex Saving Throws, Specialized/only works as long as he continues to enjoy the favor of the dark powers (6 CP).
  • Improved Augmented Bonus: May add his (Cha Mod) to his Will Saving Throws, Specialized/only works as long as he continues to enjoy the favor of the dark powers (6 CP).
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses (12 CP).

   The Lure of the Night (Net 18 CP):

   Like a fair number of more mystically-inclined warriors, Borez possessed some minor occult talents as a mortal. In his case, they were Witchcraft – primarily because it was fairly easy to master the basics, its selection of psychic tricks and minor healing powers were very useful to a warrior, and because the advanced ability to create weapons and armor on the spot (a trick he STILL employs and relies on) was pretty handy. Those abilities have changed a bit as a Knight of Hades (for example, changing his Pacts and dropping the minor healing discipline in favor of laying minor curses), but haven’t really grown very much. He has learned to weave better illusions though; they’re awfully convenient in his new line of work.

   This isn’t a tremendous amount of power – although the ability to simply create his weapons and armor on the spot is pretty handy – but it is a good deal more than most villagers ever get, it’s fairly versatile, and it can be used without destroying his disguise. It’s also something that he can offer to teach the basics of to new recruits. Besides, even small illusions – and the ability to deceive divination effects – both come in very handy in masking his true nature.

  • Witchcraft III (18 CP). Total Power 45, Will Save DC 23.
  • Pacts: Spirit, Souls, Gateway, Taboos, and Hunted (-30 CP).
  • Basic Abilities: The Adamant Will, Elfshot, Glamour, The Hand of Shadows, The Inner Eye, Shadowweave, and Witchsight.
  • Advanced Witchcraft: +6d6 (28) Power (12 CP), Advanced Shadowweave (may create illusions of up to level three, 6 CP), The Path of Darkness/Nightforge (one power to create 20 pounds of “adamant” for one hour, 6 CP) and The Dark Flame (one power for +6 Charisma for ten minutes, 6 CP).

   Dark Channeling (17 CP):

   Borez is no great Master of Channeling, but he’s learned to use the energies of death in a modest variety of ways – and to find easy opportunities to do so when those energies are released in combat.

  • Unholy Inspiration: Add +(2x Cha Mod) additional daily uses of Channeling (9 CP).
  • The Opening of the Gate: As the gates of death open to receive another soul, Borez can tap into the powers that lie beyond that gate. Opportunist/whenever a sentient living creature dies in the immediate vicinity, Borez gets a free opportunity to use his Negative Energy Channeling. Specialized and Corrupted/he must personally kill the victim, he can only use his spell conversion effects, and this is a blatant act of evil since it causes the victim to expire in horrific agony as a portion of his or her inevitable death is drawn away and his or her spirit briefly lingers (2 CP).
  • Summoning the Darkness: Channeling/Conversion to a set of four level five effects. Corrupted/the use of these effects twists and poisons the area where they’re used, blighting plants, stirring up old horrors (which will not be under the user’s control), sending up a flare of evil energies, and attracting opposing forces (6 CP). The spells available are:
    • Dust of Ages: A version of Animate Dead that requires neither gems nor bodies. Unfortunately, the lack of a solid structure means that the creatures called forth are unstable, and will return to the dust from which they were summoned after 1d4+1 hours.
    • Harm Self: This is identical to the basic Harm spell, but is only usable on the caster.
    • Unhallow: This is a standard spell.
    • Call of Damnation: A version of Animate Dead that does not require gems and has short range (without requiring actual line of sight), so that it can be cast near bodies to have them come to the user’s aid

   Minor Abilities (40 CP):

   OK, here we have some little stuff that really isn’t part of any of the other packages.

  • Hardening Exercises: This buys off the Corruption on his natural damage reduction versus physical damage, taking it from 10/magic to 10/- (4 CP).
  • Might of the Inferno: Berserker, +4 BAB and +4 Cha for ten rounds (1 + Level/3, currently four) times per day (6 CP). Note that, as a cold-hearted Undead, Borez is immune to the mental-focusing effects of invoking this power.
  • Enhanced Strike/Crushing with +2 Bonus Uses. Three times per minute he may apply all the damage from a full attack sequence as a single attack (9 CP).
  • Adept: May buy the Bluff, Concentration, Diplomacy, and Intimidate skills for half cost (6 CP).
  • Upgrade the Grant of Aid in the Knight of Hades template from Specialized for Half Cost to Double Effect (restores 2d8+10 points of damage per use) (6 CP). At the moment, this provides him with (Level/3 rounded up +13) uses per day.
  • Upgrade his Leadership for Double Effect instead of Half Cost (+3 CP). He’s taken that to allow him a single follower of well above the usual level (his Cauchemar Nightmare steed) and to boost the usual x2 multiplier to x3.
  • Armor of the Night: Reflex Training/may use his Nightforge witchcraft ability to create weapons and armor for himself and for willing targets regardless of initiative and without it counting as any kind of action (6 CP)

   The Hellfire Forge (8 CP):

   Borez has learned to channel his unholy power into a selection of vicious relics – forging them in the infernal flame of his own corrupted spirit.

  • Double Enthusiast, Specialized in Relics for double effect (4 CP worth of Relics) (6 CP).
  • Create Relic, Specialized and Corrupted/only points from Enthusiast, maximum of 2 CP Relics (2 CP).

   His usual selection includes:

   Torc of the Deceiver (2 CP Relic):

   This elegant silver neckpiece is inlaid with gold and studded with small gems, outlining the form of a serpent biting it’s own tail, and wearing a similar serpent-collar of it’s own.

  • Shapeshift, with Shape of Death, Specialized and Corrupted/only allows shifting into a normal human and is essentially cosmetic. The user seems quite normal and can eat, drink, and enjoy the other pleasures of life – but his or her actual game statistics are unchanged. Unfortunately, any major use of dark powers (such as his Infernal Command abilities) will burn away the quasi-illusory shell like tissue paper (4 CP).
  • Advanced Shape of Death/the user may become Incorporeal. Corrupted/this state can only be sustained for a few minutes at a time (4 CP).
  • Cloaking/detection effects show the user as a normal human, Specialized/only works while the user is Shapeshifted into human form (3 CP).
  • +2 Bonus Uses of Shapeshifting (3 CP).
  • With a total cost of 14 CP, the Torc of the Deceiver is a 2 CP Relic.

   Obsidian Athame (1 CP Relic):

   This razor-sharp obsidian blade glitters with crimson sparks deep within when called upon, although the blade becomes cloudier as fewer “charges” remain in it. It’s powers are both Specialized and Corrupted/their “charges” can only be recovered (a maximum of once per day) by the using the blade to in the ritual sacrifice of a sapient being to the dark powers.

  • +(2 x Cha Mod) uses of Luck (4 CP).
  • +2d6 (10) Mana with the Spell Enhancement option (4 CP). Note that a sacrifice will only restore two points of this reserve – but Anek can call upon it to unleash a few really impressive spells if he must.
  • With a total cost of 8 CP, the Dark Athame is a 1 CP Relic.

   That leaves Borez with a one-point relic unassigned. There are some things that would be really useful to Borez – but which seem like overkill, or at least out of character, for the moment. Still, with a relic, he can have at least one of them…   Possible one-point relics in this category include:

  • Upgrading his Infernal Command ability by adding eight level six spell slots with the same limitations – at a net cost of (6 CP). This is about as far as that ability can reasonably be pushed – but allowing Borez to throw around Disintegration and Death spell effects should probably be avoided for several levels.
  • Upgrading his Berserker ability with Odinpower and Odinmight. This will allow it to add +6 to his BAB, +6 to the Caster Level of his Infernal Commands, and +6 to his Charisma (3 + Cha Mod) rounds (1 + Level/3) times per day (6 CP).
  • Simply adding another (+Cha Mod) daily uses of Channeling (6 CP) – although, this will mean that, unless the characters manage to cut off his ability to tap those energies, a fight against him may never end; with thirty or so uses of Harm available either by taking an action or whenever he kills some henchman, bystander, or companion creature, it may become virtually impossible to wear him down.

   Relics, of course, are extremely powerful toys . In his case, they’re effectively providing an extra 16 CP worth of abilities . On the other hand, at least they can be taken away… 

   Skill Points: 39 (CP Spent) +60 (Int) +30 (Racial) = 129 SP.

  • Str (+8): Climb, Jump +55 (1 SP +36 Speed +10 Light Foot), Swim.
  • Dex (+7): Balance, Escape Artist, Hide, Move Silently, Open Lock, Ride +10 (3 SP), Sardorian Archery Style +9 (2 SP), Sleight of Hand +8 (1 SP), Tumble, and Use Rope.
  • Int (+4): Appraise, Craft (Armorsmith +10 (6 SP), Weaponsmith +5 (1 SP)), Decipher Script, Forgery, Knowledge (Arcana, Architecture and Engineering +5 (1 SP), Dungeoneering, Geography +5 (1 SP), History +5 (1 SP), Local +5 (1 SP), Nature, Nobility and Royalty +5 (1 SP), Religion +5 (1 SP), The Planes +5 (1 SP), Search, Speak Language +9 (5 SP), and Spellcraft +19 (15 SP).
  • Wis (+3): Heal, Listen +13 (10 SP), Profession, Sense Motive +14 (11 SP), Spot +18 (15 SP), and Survival.
  • Chr (+10): Bluff* +25 (7 SP), Concentration* +25 (7 SP), Diplomacy* +25 (7 SP), Disguise +21 (1 SP +10 Hat), Gather Information, Handle Animal, Intimidate* +25 (7 SP), Nightmare Storm Martial Art +23 (13 SP), Obsidian Heart Kung Fu+21 (11 SP), Perform/Stringed Instruments +11 (1 SP), Use Magic Device.

Skills marked with an “*” are half-price due to Adept.

   Nightmare Storm Martial Art (Cha)

   This martial art focuses on channeling negative energy into the user’s hands and weapons, allowing him or her to cleave through armor to hit more accurately, absorb the energy of incoming blows with his or her bare skin, sense the life energy of foes, cause them to crumple when struck, and to disrupt their bodies with a mere touch. It is, however, a terrible strain on the metabolism of a living creature…

  • Requires: Ability to channel negative energy and Imbuement (Unarmed Combat)
  • Basic Abilities: Attack 4, Defenses 3, Strike, Synergy/Channeling Checks.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Blind-Fight, Mighty Blow, Reach, and Weapon Kata (Pick).
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength x2, Paralyze, and Touch Strike.
  • Known Techniques (12): Attack 4, Defenses 1, Blind-Fight, Mighty Blow, Reach, Inner Strength x2, Paralyze, and Touch Strike.

   Obsidian Heart Kung Fu (Cha)

   Obsidian Heart Kung Fu is a purely mystical form which progresses from simple evasion and awareness of the user’s surroundings (basic Defenses and Mind Like Moon) on to generating a seething aura of negative energy around the user – an amorphous, quasi-solid thing which lashes out to strike at opponents or deflect incoming attacks while the user remains virtually immobile. At it’s highest levels, the user may even support or move his or her own body with the aura, allowing him or her to accomplish some fairly impressive feats – although this comes at a considerable cost to his or her energy reserves.

  • Requires: The ability to channel negative energy.
  • Basics: Attack 4, Defenses 4, Power 2, Strike, Synergy/Hide, Synergy/Move Silently,
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Reach, Mind Like Moon (may avoid being surprised or caught flat-footed with a DC 15 reflex save), Breaking (may add martial arts skill to the strength check when trying to break objects), Expertise (May transfer up to five points from attack bonus to armor class as a dodge bonus if making an attack).
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Ki Block, Light Foot, and Vanishing.
  • Known Techniques (11): Attack 4, Defenses 1, Reach, Mind Like Moon, Breaking, Expertise, Ki Block and Vanishing.

   Naturally enough, Borez will be using this form by default – making him virtually immune to being surprised, and thus making sure that no one will be able to attack him without him having a chance to manifest his armor.

   Sardorian Archery Style (Dex)

   The Sardorian Style focuses on military discipline. Ignore distractions, remain calm, draw smoothly, focus on your target, release, and repeat. Trust your allies to keep the enemy troops off you and use volley fire to deal with major opponents.  Unfortunately, since arrows have distinct limitations as weapons (at least for more-or-less normal people in a d20 universe), be prepared to fall back and switch to a different weapon. 

  • Requires: Dex 14+, BAB 3+
  • Basics: Attack 4, Power 2, Synergy/Craft (Bowyer), Synergy/Hide, and Toughness 2.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Deflect Arrows, Rapid Shot, Mighty Blow, and +1d6 Sneak Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Ki Focus, Serpent Strike, and Touch Strike.
  • Known Techniques (5): Attack 4 and Mighty Blow.

   This actually leaves Borez with six character points left over – enough for one more feat or minor special ability. Go ahead; customize him a bit. You could add Mystic Link with Summons so he can call up his nightmare steed (6 CP), buy another bonus hit die and boost his caster level that way, boost his initiative even higher, or a hundred other things. You wouldn’t want anyone who encounters him to survive the experience too easily!

   Notable Equipment:

  • Dark Ambassador“: A +1 (2000 GP) Adamant (+3000 GP) Folding (a minor variant on “Hideaway”; it fits into a dagger’s sheathe, +2000 GP) Slow Burst (critical victims are slowed for three rounds unless they make a DC 14 will save, +5000 GP), Intelligent (Neutral Evil, Int 15, Wis 15, Cha 10, Ego 11, 120′ vision and hearing, 60′ darkvision, Special Powers [all Caster Level One, Spell Level One, Usable at Will]: Produce Flame with Rapid Casting (adds 1d6+1 fire damage, will fire as a ranged touch attack at +5 to hit once per round. Just for style, it burns black. +4000 GP), Unseen Servant (+2000 GP), and Faerie Fire (+2000 GP)) Greatsword. Hardness 22, HP 23. Net cost: 20,050 GP.
    • A Lesser Crystal of Return: Allows him to draw Dark Ambassador as free action or to call it to him from up to thirty feet away as a move action (1000 GP).
    • The blade has a lions-head hilt, and is inscribed with a pattern of intertwining serpents writhing up the blade. Borez usually tucks Dark Ambassador into a forearm sheathe up his sleeve so that he can appear unarmed. Fortunately, the sleeve-material (he prefers silk) is light enough not to hinder the blades senses overmuch. He’s also taken it as a follower – granting it some levels of its own and greatly increasing its powers.
  • Vilewind“: +1 Composite Longbow of Distance (8400 GP), Adapting (adjusts to user’s strength modifier, +1000 GP), Autoloading (produces a normal arrow or bolt whenever drawn if none is already in place, +1600 GP).
    • A Lesser Crystal of Energy Assault (Fire, 3000 GP).
    • With his gauntlets, his shots have a range increment of 330 feet, allowing him to, for example, ride his nightmare steed around at an altitude of 1500 feet – taking a mere (-8) penalty to his own shots while being effectively out of range of most opponents.
  • A Handy Haversack (2000 GP).
  • Dust of Tracelessness (250 GP).
  • A Potion of Invisibility (300 GP).
Head Hat of Disguise: Disguise Self at will (1800 GP).
Eyes Goggles of Foefinding (Ignore AC bonuses from cover, 2500 GP).
Throat Chronocharm of the Horizon Walker: May take a half-move that does not provoke attacks of opportunity as a swift action three times per day (Upgraded, 3/day instead of 1/day, 1500 GP).
Torso Vest of Resistance +4 (16,000 GP).
Body Shiftweave (Emulates various clothing, does not fill slot, 500 GP).
Waist Belt of Endurance: 3 Charges/Day, spend 1/2/3 as a swift action to gain 12/18/24 temporary hit points. These last for up to ten minutes, but don’t stack with other temporary hit points (2300 GP).
Shoulders Vanisher Cloak (Brief invisibility 3/day, 2500 GP)
Forearms Bracers of Doom (the positive-energy variants are called Bracers of Life). Use Activated Harm (L6 x L11 x 2000 GP) x .1 (once per week) x .7 (only works on the wearer) = 9240 GP. These will automatically activate whenever the user drops below a chosen HP threshold – by default, 10%
Hands Gauntlets of Extended Range (a variant made for Archery, rather than for thrown weapons, 2000 GP)
Ring Ring of Retaliation. The evil version of a Ring of Vengeance; 3/day, when a critical hit is scored on the wearer, the attacker will be blasted with 5d6 profane damage, no save. No action is required (4500 GP).
Ring Ring of Mystic Fire. +1 Caster Level with Fire-Based Spells, 3 Charges/Day, spend 1/2/3 charges as part of a spellcasting action to add +2/3/4 d6 of damage to a fire-based spell (7500 GP).
Feet Boots of Stomping. 3/Day as a standard action topple creatures and objects in a 15′ cone, Reflex DC 15 to avoid falling if on the ground (600 GP)

   And figure about 500 GP worth of normal gear – A dagger or two, arrows, a blanket (mostly for keeping up appearances), pens, ink, and paper, a coil of silk rope, a few alchemical items, tools, a musical instrument, a couple of courtier’s outfits (with the relevant jewelry), and so on.

   That’s a net of 88,500 GP – halfway between the allotted amounts for NPC’s at levels sixteen and seventeen. If there’s something else you really think he ought to have, however, just go ahead and add it; townsfolk with money are easier to find – and rob – than monsters hiding in distant lairs

   Where did Borez get his gear? Personally, I figure that he raided a few merchants, pillaged a small town, or mugged a few low-level adventurers. He’s very powerful, he’s evil, he can easily defeat a small horde of low-level types, and he can teleport and walk through walls. Money just isn’t really a problem for villains; unlike monsters that hide in secret lairs and distant dungeons, townsfolk are really easy to find.

   His tactics are generally straightforward:

  • In the face of minor opposition, he will rely on his passive or mundane talents – exploiting his spell resistance, high armor class, and ability to block attacks while he casually lashes out with a physical weapon. If he takes damage – unlikely in any conflict with lesser foes – he’ll let his Grant of Aid take care of it. He may even let lesser foes escape, or fall back, to maintain his pretense of being nothing more than a poseur.
  • If he’s facing a powerful group of foes, or major magical opponents, he’ll generally lash out with magic first. He can, if necessary, unleash two quickened spells per round on his action and one quickened spell as a reflex action – and even if he saves the reflexive spell for a defensive effect or counterspell, one or two good blasting spells (usually boosted by his Ring of Mystic Fire) can go a long ways towards cutting down on his opponents. Unfortunately, with an effective caster level of only thirteen at the moment, his higher-level spells aren’t yet as effective as they might be.
  • If he has a few moments to prepare, calling up a few powerful skeletons is usually a good idea – and he does have a total of 78 ECL worth of followers of up to CR or ECL 13 (with one higher). Personally, I’d give him:
    • A Cauchemar Nightmare (ECL 19) to serve as a steed.
    • An Imp (CR 2) to serve as a messenger and as a contact with his dark masters.
    • A Greater Barghest (CR 5) to devour victims that he wants to make sure do not turn up again.
    • Some Undead – perhaps a quartet of Advanced Megaraptor Skeletons (CR 6 each, for a total of 24) – that somehow turned out to be stable after being summoned or some more-or-less random creatures drawn from the surrounding area.
    • About thirty level zero youngsters – his deluded followers, sacrifices, and pawns (count as ECL 1/2 each, for a total of 15).
    • Dark Ambassador is empowered as a level ten Psion (ECL 13).
      • Of those, however, only Dark Ambassador, the Imp and perhaps the Nightmare and Barghest are likely to be immediately available; the Skeletons aren’t much for blending in and will have to be stashed somewhere.
  • Borez prefers not to leave anyone alive who knows his real identity, and – unless there’s a good reason not to – he fights to kill. He WILL spend one of his attacks making sure that a fallen opponent is really dead, pursue fleeing opponents, and go after weaker targets first. Having to block a bothersome Attack of Opportunity is a small price to pay for moving past a warrior to take down a weak target. He isn’t sporting, and he doesn’t fight fair. The only reason he isn’t dripping with poison is that he would rather spend his money on more useful things.
  • He knows perfectly well that – thanks to his high armor class, blocks, and damage reduction – he can withstand one heck of a lot of physical punishment. Ergo, he’ll focus on eliminating any spellcasting or energy-wielding enemies first.
  • Regardless of the nature of his opponents, if he takes too much damage, he’ll try to escape – either by exploiting his movement charms and high movement rate or via Dimension Door or Teleport. He’ll normally save at least one spell slot of the appropriate level for that. He’s not the greatest genius in d20 history, but he’s no fool.

   OK: Borez is both figuratively and literally something of a monster – a horrific bad-ass boss villain, capable of annihilating parties – or small armies – that don’t figure out what they’re getting into and prepare and plan appropriately. After all, boss villains should always be pretty threatening… Hopefully any party that encounters him will be at least somewhat aware of what they’re up against, will have taken the appropriate precautions, will have characters with spell absorption and powerful defensive talents of their own, and will be good and ready for the fight. Otherwise he could quite possibly pull off a total party kill.

   Of course, this is a Halloween character. Go ahead, have a total party kill, and then let them all wake up with some of the creepy talents from last years Halloween article series. Here we have Part I, Part II, and Part III.

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9 Responses

  1. I have a quick question regarding the pricing of Anek Borez’s innate enchantments from The Lesser Mastery.

    He has 11,000 gp of innate enchantments, specialized for half-cost, which reduces them to 5,500 gp. You’ve got that costing 6 CP, but p. 34 of Eclipse has 6 CP buying up to 5,000 gp worth of innate enchantments, and every +1,000 gp costs another 1 CP. Given that he’s over the 5,000 GP limit, shouldn’t those innate enchantments cost 7 CP, rather than 6?

    • Ah, that ones easy; 11,000 GP worth of Innate Enchantments costs 12 CP – and Specialized generally applies to the CP cost. I should probably have written it as “12 CP worth of Innate Enchantments (11,000 GP effective value)”. I fear that’s one of those spots where I’m so used to my personal conventions for writing characters that it never occurred to me that it could be read differently.

      You will find a few characters who run a bit over or under on the values of course; that’s just the when it comes to a final ability cost, the general rule is “round under .5 down, over .5 up, and .5 as you like”.

      There are a few esoteric ways to abuse that of course, but for the most part, if people want to put all that work into the game just to save a couple of character points… good. At least they’re invested in the game.

  2. Does utilizing the Nightmare Storm and/or Obsidian Heart Kung Fu martial arts require expending a use of channel negative energy? Given that they use it so much (and that the former requires being able to Imbue it into your unarmed strikes), it seems like there’s a case to be made that they do – if so, how long does it “power” the martial art for?

    Also, does damage inflicted via these martial arts count as negative energy damage, or is it standard weapon damage?

    • As it stands, the use of negative energy is simply a special effect with no serious effect on the mechanics beyond the usual “At the game masters option a fireball may set things on fire, while a frostball may leave them coated in ice” level of effects. Thus both do normal damage – and the note about Nightmare Storm being a strain on the metabolism of a living creature simply reflects the fact that using it’s occult effects will rapidly exhaust the user’s constitution.

      Now, like most things in Eclipse, either art could easily be Specialized or Corrupted to require the expenditure of channel negative energy – upgrading the effects (perhaps by making the damage unholy / negative energy damage), reducing the cost, or increasing the number of techniques known. Any of those options could be very dangerous. .

  3. […] Nightmare Storm martial art is taken from this post on the Emergence Campaign Weblog. Dirk was, as with all of his esoteric abilities, taught it by […]

  4. I got a question:
    In Eclipse it says on page 61

    128-169+4 ECL
    160-191+5 ECL

    I always thought it was a typo, but here you say
    “That gives our Knights of Hades a total template cost of 160 CP – in +4 ECL territory.”

    If that is true, then what determines whe a 160-169 CP template falls into +4 ECL or +5 ECL? Is it a DM’s call kind of thing?

    • It is indeed a typo (all that proofreading and they still got through). The error here is mostly because Borez was something of a rush job (a special request for a friend who wanted a villain for an upcoming game) – and I suspect that I was thinking “I want to squeeze this down under 160 points” and forgot the “under” part in the rush. leaving the template over by 1 CP.

      Oh well. If I have some extra time one of these days I may find somewhere to extract the extra 1 CP from.

      Congratulations by the way; you’re spotting all my typos and telling me where my explanations are unclear – and that’s very helpful. Thank you very much.

      • Actually, now that I read over a few posts… wouldn’t it be a +5 Template anyway, because it’s acquired?

        On that note, does this mean that Ridden by the Loa cannot provide the Half-Celestial or Half-Fiendish Template, because Ridden by the Loa would “add” this template on top of a race, increasing it’s ECL by one automatically?

      • Well, it’s 160 CP – so if it’s added to a racial (or other) template worth 9 CP or less after the removal of any now-inapplicable modifiers, it’s still +4 ECL. If you add it to something more expensive… first you need to eliminate overlapping or contradictory modifiers and abilities and then you can add it up and see what’s left.

        Ridden by the Loa can provide “classical” +4 ECL templates for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s temporary, and so the exact cost is generally less important. Secondly it’s for back-compatibility. There are, after all, thousands of templates out there that someone might want to use – and converting them all into Eclipse would be an enormous and mostly useless project. Thus “Ridden by the Loa” got a bit of a pass.

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