Melinissa, Level Two Children’s Crusade Child Dybbuk

Tibetan endless knot

The cycle turns

Sometimes determination is not enough – and too much.

Sometimes there are gaps.

Places, both natural and artificial, where the ancient barriers have been breached.

Places where a lost, lonely, or determined spirit can force its way through.

It’s a pleasant fantasy, but children that vanish are not raised by wolves or any other wild animal.

But a shard of hope, however unlikely, is better than none.

Intelligent beings resist.

They may hear a whispering voice, or sense a presence that no one else can see, but little more.

Animals, however… Animals are easy to influence and control.

There are reasons for legends of were-creatures, of animals undertaking incredible odysseys to avenge their masters, and strangely intelligent animals


The raiders had swept down from the mountains, and had rolled over the small village as a wave might sweep aside a few grains of sand. One young woman – Melinissa – had been tending to the nearby sacred grove, performing the small daily rituals that would secure the village against the wild magics of the wilderness for the day.

A crossbow bolt nailed her to the sacred tree, spilling the offering-chalice at her feet – and the spirits of the grove heard, and answered. The spirit that had been Melinissa seized control of the nearest formidable host – in her case, a wolf, a member of the local pack.

That host didn’t last for long – but she killed two raiders and badly injured three more before they brought it down.

There were a lot more animals in the forest though, and Melinissa was filled with the strengths of anger and the spirits of the grove.

A month later, one of the local dryads discovered a very confused raccoon with two souls.

They taught her to control her talents – and sent her back into the lands of men. It was always nice to have someone available who straddled both worlds.

Melinissa is a character for the Children’s Crusade game (The Children’s Crusade: The advantages and disadvantages of playing with youthful characters and/or youthful players. Part I (basics, world laws, and sample characters – a mystic warrior and a healer), Part II (setting up for party unity and sample characters – a blademaster and a knight of flame), Part III (Fostering and a sample character – a skillmaster and lesser magician), Part IV (advantages for the game master and sample characters – a superheroic archer) and so is set up with the following world laws in effect:

To keep things simple, all Children’s Crusade characters:

  • Are basically human (although cosmetic variations occur), and have an attribute array of 16, 14, 14, 12, 12, 10 (32 point buy).
  • Begin with two bonus feats at level one, rather than one and gain an additional bonus feat at every odd level thereafter.
  • Have identical character point totals. They all have Duties to their Liege (+2/Level), +12 (for their two level one bonus feats) +6 (for their racial bonus feat) + 72 (the level two base allotment) + 10 (for the three allowable disadvantages) = 104 CP.
  • Have one disadvantage is unique to themselves, as well as Obligations (bodyguards to the young royals) and Valuable (they’re good for ransom or for political pull on their parents and royal friends).
  • Thanks to intensive training from one source or another, all of these characters are spending the points from their racial bonus feat on Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills – thus raising their effective racial skill point bonus from +1/Level (four at level one) to +3/Level, (twelve at level one). This is a cheap way to get more skill points, but it fits in well – and leaves them with a base of 98 CP to spend. Characters can normally only have fast learner once, but humans have it built into their race, and so can have it twice.
  • Many of the characters use some Innate Enchantments. Unless otherwise specified, all of those effects are spell level zero or one, caster level one, unlimited-use use-activated, and personal-only (where applicable) – for a net effective “cost” of 700 GP per L0 effect and 1400 GP per L1 effect.


Level Two Dybbuk

Personal Disadvantage: Vengeful. Melinissa is rather obsessive about eliminating bandits, raiders, and people (especially humanoids) who attack small villages.

Basic Attributes: Str 14, Int 10, Dex 14, Wis 12, Con 16, Cha 12

Basic Purchases:

  • Warcraft (BAB): +4, Specialized and Corrupted/only with natural melee weapons (8 CP).
  • Hit Dice: Level One: 20 (L1, d20, 16 CP) +7 (L2, d8, 4 CP) +5 (Extra d6 HD, 10 CP) +9 (3x Con Mod) = 41 HP.
  • Proficient with Simple Weapons (3 CP)
  • Armor Class 10 (Base) +4 (Mage Armor) +2 (Dex) = 16
  • Initiative +2
  • Save Bonuses: +2 Fortitude (6 CP), +1 Reflex (3 CP). With her attribute modifiers and a +1 morale bonus this gives her Fortitude +6, Reflex +4, and Will +2.
  • Skill Points: 4 (Purchased, 4 CP) +0 (Int Mod x 5) +15 (Fast Learner) = 19 SP.

Melinissa isn’t all that big on skills, despite the tutoring of the fey and her +1 Morale Bonus. She knows the basics of farming (Profession/Farmer +3, 1 SP), a bit about nature (Knowledge/Nature +2, 1 SP) and the local area and its rituals (Knowledge/Local +2, 1 SP – and now, in the fashion of d20, and thanks to her spiritual links, a generic ability), and a bit about animals (Handle Animal +3, 1 SP).

Thanks to her animal experiences, she also has Climb +8 (5 SP), Hide +8 (5 SP), and Survival +7 (5 SP).

Other Powers:

Spirit Child: Melinissa is a spirit, and remains a spirit even when embodied in an animal host. Thus she can see and communicate with spirits – and will return as soon as she finds another suitable body if her host is slain, as long as the sacred grove that anchors her spirit to the land survives. On the other hand, she’s vulnerable to exorcisms, can be detected as an unnatural spirit, and will lose these powers if she is ever returned to true life as a human being. Thus these three powers are all Corrupted for reduced cost.

  • Returning (4 CP). As a form of haunt, Melinissa can only be prevented from returning to “life” by finding the sacred grove that anchors her spirit to the land and destroying it.
  • Occult Sense/Spirit Sight (4 CP). As a spirit, Melinissa can easily see other spirits.
  • Mindspeech with Spirit Speech, Specialized/only for communication with Spirits (4 CP).

Her other abilities include:

  • Spirit Not Flesh: Shapeshift with Attribute Modifiers and +4 Bonus Uses (12 CP). Melinissa can now override her “hosts” natural form to take the take the forms of normal animals of up to three hit dice. Sadly, she’s still limited to taking the forms of animals that frequent the sacred grove – and it doesn’t have an ocean nearby and is a temperate woodlands. Ergo, no penguins, seals, crocodiles, or other exotic forms. That’s Corrupted for reduced cost.
  • Indomitable Will to Live: Grant of Aid with +4 Bonus Uses, with the Bonus Uses specialized in hit points only for double effect (8 bonus uses and 12 CP total). Flesh is of little importance to a spirit, so it is easy enough for Melinissa to channel otherworldly energies into her current host to repair it on the fly.
  • Fey Training: Innate Enchantment (6 CP, for an effective value of up to 5000 GP). Her effects include Etheric Shield (Mage Armor, 1400), Spirit Fire (Produce Flame, 2000), Unquenched Spirit (Inspiring Word, +1 to attacks, saves, checks, and damage, 1400), and Dancing Lights (1/Day, 200).
  • Fey Training: Immunity to the XP cost for Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Minor, Trivial, only covers L0 and L1 effects, 2 CP).

Combat Information:

  • Melinissa can use Produce Flame as a touch attack in any form, causing 1d6+1 damage with a bonus to hit equal to her current dexterity modifier. This isn’t all that powerful, but it IS the only ranged attack she’s got.

Melinissa’s favorite combat-forms are:

Black Bear (for maximum raw strength and intimidation).

  • Str 22 (+6), Dex 16 (+3), and Con 20 (+5).
  • Move 40, Initiative +3, AC 19, Hit Points 47.
  • Fortitude +8, Reflex +5, and Will +2.
  • Attack: Claw, +11, 1d4+7, Crit 20/x2.
  • Full Attack: Claw +11/+11, 1d4+7, Crit 20/x2, Bite +6, 1d6+4, Crit 20/x2.
  • +4 to Swim. Scent and Low-Light Vision.

Leopard (for maximum armor class, agility, and stealth).

  • Str 20 (+5), Dex 22 (+6), Con 20 (+5).
  • Move 40, Climb 20, Initiative +6, AC 21, Hit Points 47.
  • Fortitude +8, Reflex +8, and Will +2.
  • Attack: Bite +10, 1d6+6, Crit 20/x2. May use Improved Grab if a bite attack hits.
  • Full Attack: Bite +10, 1d6+6, Crit 20/x2, Claw +5/+5, 1d3+3, Crit 20/x2. If both claws hit, she gets two more free claw attacks as a rake. Also gets full attacks on a charge.
  • Balance, Climb, and Jump +8, Hide and Move Silently +4. The Hide bonus improves to +8 in areas of tall grass of heavy undergrowth. Scent and Low-Light Vision.
  • Some Net Skills: Balance +14, Climb +19, Hide +16 (+20 in tall grass or heavy undergrowth), Move Silently +11, and Jump +14. This is, of course, Melinissa’s favorite form for sneaking around.

Wolverine (for maximum durability and tunneling).

  • Str 18 (+4), Dex 18 (+4), Con 24 (+7).
  • Move 30, Burrow 10, Climb 10, Initiative +4, AC 20, Hit Points 53.
  • Fortitude +10, Reflex +6, and Will +2.
  • Attack: Claw +9, 1d4+5, Crit 20/x2.
  • Full Attack: Claw +9/+9, 1d4+5, Crit 20/x2, Bite +4, 1d6+3, Crit 20/x2.
  • Climb +8. Scent and Low-Light Vision.

If Melinissa is injured in combat in her wolverine form, she will fly into a rage – not stopping until either she or her opponent is dead.

Raging Wolverine:

  • Str 22 (+6), Dex 18 (+4), Con 28 (+9),
  • Move 30, Burrow 10, Climb 10, Initiative +4, AC 18, Hit Points 59.
  • Fortitude +12, Reflex +6, and Will +2
  • Attack: Claw +11, 1d4+7, Crit 20/x2.
  • Full Attack: Claw +11/+11, 1d4+7, Crit 20/x2, Bite +6, 1d6+4, Crit 20/x2.
  • Climb +8. Scent and Low-Light Vision.

2 Responses

  1. […] with Roland Huntley (skill monkey / trickster mage), Part IV with Nikoli Verburger (mystic archer), Melinissa (a ghostly dybbuk), and Tamlin Cooper (youthful […]

  2. […] with Roland Huntley (skill monkey / trickster mage), Part IV with Nikoli Verburger (mystic archer), Melinissa (a ghostly dybbuk), and Tamlin Cooper (youthful […]

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