Eclipse Monster Characters – Level By Level

Ancient Armored Dune Dweller on Patrol

Ancient Armored Dune Dweller on Patrol (Photo credit: bob in swamp)

The question this time is how to use Eclipse to build a high-ECL creature starting at level one – something like the way that “Savage Species” did it.

That’s actually pretty easy; just look at what they get – and break it up into template levels. Taking a Template Level in lieu of a normal one gets you 32 CP instead of 24 – but it doesn’t provide a free d4 hit die or intelligence-based bonus skill points – and a +0 ECL race can have up to 31 CP worth of abilities. That also conveniently eliminates all of the “Savage Species” style guesswork while still letting you freely personalize things.

For an example, lets take the basic Minotaur. A Minotaur gets…

  • A +4 racial bonus to Search, Spot, and Listen. That’s 6 CP in Skill Points and Adept (6 CP).
  • A +5 Natural Armor Bonus. That’s 30 CP in Defender, selecting Natural Armor.
  • Attribute Shift: -2 Cha and +2 Dex. That’s 6 CP.
  • Double Damage, AKA “Powerful Charge”, 6 CP.
  • Growth, for 48 CP (given how many bonuses Growth provides, it’s pretty expensive).
  • Immunity to Mazes and getting lost. That’s Common, Minor, Major, for 6 CP.
  • Immunity to being caught flat-footed – also Common, Minor, Major, 6 CP.
  • Natural Weapons capable of doing 1d8 damage. That’s 9 CP
  • Occult Sense/Darkvision. That’s 6 CP.
  • Proficiency with the Greataxe and all simple weapons. That’s proficiency with All Simple Weapons and One Martial Weapon, 6 CP.
  • Tracking. That’s 3 CP.

Overall, that’s a total of 138 CP. Fortunately for the character-point budget, the entire template is Corrupted: Minotaurs are obvious monsters, have rather limited social skills, do not gain additional natural armor with levels, suffer a -4 Intelligence modifier, and need to have most equipment especially made. That brings their costs down to 92 CP – a +2 ECL species.

For a “young” +1 ECL minotaur, you only get 95 (63 after Corruption) CP worth of those abilities. That means dropping at least 43 (29 after Corruption) CP worth of abilities. A youthful minotaur might have only +1 Natural Armor (saving 24 CP), 1d4 Natural Weapons (Saving 6 CP), won’t yet have Powerful Charge (saving 6 CP), won’t have Immunity to being caught Flat-Footed (saving 6 CP again; I guess they get more paranoid and wary as they group up), and only gets +2 to Search, Spot, and Listen (Saving 3 CP). That’s a total of 45 (30 after Corruption) CP saved – bringing them down to 93 (62 after Corruption) CP – just under the 63 CP +1 ECL allowance. Next time they take a template level, all of that will go back in.

A very young +0 ECL Minotaur also drops the Growth, saveing 48 (32) CP – one template levels worth of points. That means a +0 ECL Minotaur Child only gets

  • A +2 racial bonus to Search, Spot, and Listen. That’s 3 CP in Skill Points and Adept (6 CP).
  • A +1 Natural Armor Bonus. That’s 6 CP in Defender, selecting Natural Armor.
  • Attribute Shift: -2 Cha and +2 Dex. That’s 6 CP.
  • Immunity to Mazes and getting lost. That’s Common, Minor, Major, for 6 CP.
  • Natural Weapons capable of doing 1d4 damage. That’s 3 CP
  • Occult Sense/Darkvision. That’s 6 CP.
  • Proficiency with the Greataxe and all simple weapons. That’s proficiency with All Simple Weapons and One Martial Weapon, 6 CP.
  • Tracking. That’s 3 CP.

That’s 45 CP – or 30 CP after the Corruption, just a point under the 31 CP limit for a +0 ECL race.

Thus, to play a Minotaur at first level, you can either take a +1 ECL adolescent Minotaur at level zero or a +0 ECL (precocious) child Minotaur at level one. To finish growing up you’ll want to add two template levels as you go along. Exactly when doesn’t matter – but I’d expect it to be within the first few years of adventuring.

One Response

  1. […] Monstrous Races Level-By-Level: The Minotaur (and general principles) and the […]

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