There are many who summon creatures from the Outer or Elemental Planes – but they are fools. Such beings are powerful, and have long memories, and do not appreciate being torn from their places, even in spirit, to dance to the whims of some mortal mage. Worse… each time you call on a creature, you give it’s home realm a bit more of a claim upon your soul. If you summon creatures of evil, it is an act of evil, and it binds you to the realms of evil – and the same for creatures of good, or law, or even of elemental energies. Why else do so many magical specialists at last become creatures of the planes?
There is a plane, however, from which one may draw what you will without commitment, a plane to which every sapient mind holds a natural gate, just waiting to be exploited… the realm of dreams. There, where every mind nightly weaves a realm of it’s own, in the thousand shattered mirror-shards and within the walls of the invisible labyrinth, one can find both allies and foes to call forth with no greater obligations.
A dream to some. A nightmare to others!
The request was to build a character like the Pathfinder Summoner. So OK… for the basic’s we’ll want: +15 BAB (90 CP), 20d8 HD (80 CP), +24 Saves (72 CP), 40 SP (40 CP), Proficient with Simple Weapons (3 CP) and Light Armor (3 CP) with the Smooth modifier (+3 CP). Why the character needs d8 hit dice when it’s a pet-based caster build is a bit of a mystery, but OK; Fast Learner Specialized in Hit Dice (6 CP) saves 40 CP off the Hit Die price – for a total base cost of 257 CP. If you want to use this build in a Pathfinder game instead of a 3.5 game you’ll also want a Pathfinder Race and Package Deal – but that doesn’t cost anything.
For the spellcasting we’ll want 20 levels of the Bardic Spellcasting Progression using Charisma-Based Spontaneous Arcane Casting, Corrupted for Increased Effect (+1 each to Spells Per Day and Spells Known over the base chart, spells thus become available one level early/A Chimeric Master has a very limited spell list to choose from. (160 CP). That takes us up to 417 CP.
Now for some special abilities…
- To get unlimited use of his or her zero-level spells we’ll want: Shaping, Specialized for Increased Effect (only works for the characters limited list of level zero Chimeric Master spells), Corrupted/must be free to gesture and speak (4 CP).
- +4 to a Save, Specialized/only for the benefit of his or her Companion, which uses the Masters save bases with it’s own attributes (6 CP).
- Spell Formula Knowledge: Summon Monster VII, VIII, and IX, Gate (4 CP). Unfortunately a Chimeric Master doesn’t have spell slots this high – but he or she can use relevant spell-trigger items.
- Immunity/the barriers between Reality and Dream, (Common, Severe, Major), Specialized for reduced cost and corrupted for increased effect (using this ability is a swift action and the user may selectively leave items with his or her companion)/only to allow the user to take the Companions place in the realm of dreams or return therefrom, requires touching the Companion to depart the material plane and emerging next to it on the return, if the companion is slain on the Material Plane the user is forcibly returned to it’s position, taking 4d6 damage and being stunned for one round (6 CP).
- Double Enthusiast x3, Specialized and Corrupted/may only be changed when the user increases in level, can only be spent on blatant physical mutations, using these makes the user obviously unnatural (18 CP).
- Occult Skill/Dream-binding (3 CP). This wasn’t a part of the original idea, but there are a few points left over and it fits this variant.
- To get some dedicated summoning powers we’ll want: Channeling (either Positive or Negative) with Cha Mod +7 Daily Uses, Specialized/Only for Conversion (7 CP) + Spell Conversion to a set of four L6 or below spells, Corrupted for Increased Effect (L9 or below)/All spells must be summoning-related, only one summoning may be active at a time, effects that do not involve the user’s Apparition of Dreams are limited by caster level as usual (12 CP), +4 Uses of Channeling, Specialized and Corrupted/only for summoning or exchanging places with the user’s Apparition of Dream (2 CP). The spells are:
Summon Apparition of Dream: The user may call forth his or her Companion (purchased below). It requires one minute to summon the Apparition from the realm of dreams, but only a standard action to call his or her Apparition to his or her side from anywhere within long range with the side effects of a Dimension Door spell.
Transposition of Dream: The user may trade places with his or her Apparition of Dream within long range. This requires a standard action and has the same side effects as a Dimension Door spell.
Summon Monster IX; While this version’s monsters remain for a maximum of one minute, it can also be used as Summon Monster I-VIII to suit the user’s level.
Gate: This is the standard effect, but is not usable until level seventeen. All components must be supplied.
Apparition of Dreams (Companion/Companion Creature Variant), Specialized for Reduced Cost and Corrupted for Increased Effect. An Apparition of Dreams is…
- Quasi-Real; the Apparition is sustained by it’s master’s will. It can be Dismissed or Banished like an Outsider (returned to it’s summoner’s dreams) and will vanish if it’s master is unconscious, asleep, or dead. In either case it must then be resummoned. If it moves more than 100 feet from its summoner it’s current and maximum hit points are reduced by 50%. At mare than 1000 feet the totals are reduced by 75%, and at 10,000 or more it is immediately returned to the realm of dreams.
- As an aspect of it’s Master, the Apparition shares his or her body slots – but not the effects of items. If there’s a conflict, the Apparitions conflicting item or items goes inactive.
- An Apparition of Dreams It does not heal naturally. If recalled from death via it’s Returning ability, it starts at one-half it’s normal hit points when summoned the next day
- An Apparition of Dreams cannot wear armor; it disrupts it’s connection to it’s Master.
So to build our Companion we want…
- Companion (Companion Creature), Increased Effect/The Companion gains bonuses based on the (3 x its Masters Level/4) rounded off rather than on its (Masters Level/2) rounded down (6 CP).
- As usual for a Mystic Companion, the basic creature is normally a creature of CR 2 or less. Even before any template modifications, however, the creature will always appear fantastical.
- Transform, Increased Effect (while only the Master may transform, his or her items will remain functional (6 CP).
- Template II (12 CP), Increased Effect/beyond the fixed items below, the contents of this template are pretty much up to the Player, with only modest Game Master input/veto power.
Apparition of Dream Template Abilities:
- Returning (if “slain” reforms after it’s master gets a nights rest and dreams it back into existence, 6 CP) with Rewrite (Corrupted/only when master gains a level or enacts a mighty ritual, 3 CP).
- Storage with Spell Storing, Specialized and Corrupted/only to release spells transferred to the companion over the Power Link, spells may be disrupted, identified, or blocked as if they were being cast on the companions end, the companion must take the same casting action as the actual caster 4 CP)
- Presence/Mighty Guardian. The user may provide a +1 Circumstance bonus to the armor class and saving throws of allies within a 10′ radius. If the user has a mental link to an ally within that radius the bonus is a +2 for that specific individual, Specialized for Double Effect/the user must be able to move freely, must be aware of the individuals presence, and must be fully functional; if the user is stunned, asleep, helpless, grappled, stuck in the mud, entangled, etc, the effect fails (6 CP).
- Mystic Link (3 CP), with Power Link (+3 CP), Identity Link (+3 CP),and Communications Link (+3 CP), all Corrupted for Increased Effect/The Master and the Apparition of Dreams are blatantly obviously bonded – with identical mystic symbols glowing on their skin or some such to easily identify them. As long as the user and/or companion can be seen, the linkage cannot be mistaken.
- (Power Link): The Master and the Apparition share their languages and knowledge skills.
- (Identity Link): The user and the Apparition may portion out damage between themselves, although neither may be reduced below the point of death in this way.
- (Communications Link): Allows full sensory sharing.
- Occult Sense/Darkvision (6 CP).
- +4 on Will Saves against Enchantment spells and effects (6 CP).
- Adept (Deception, Knowledge/The Planes, Perception, one skill of choice, 6 CP).
- +2 Constitution (12 CP).
At a total of 61 CP, this leaves 98 CP available to buy unique abilities with. That’s quite a lot. Each Apparition of Dreams will be wildly individual.
The Apparition of Dream is an appallingly powerful companion – but really isn’t particularly worse than having a well-optimized cohort, and is more expensive. The fact that it can be extensively rebuilt between levels definitely complicates things though; if the characters are rising in level quickly enough it might be worth giving it some pretty specialized abilities for a bit.
And that pretty much completes the Chimeric Master. Actually playing one will involve a lot of additional decisions – what to buy how soon, what to buy in incremental steps rather than all at once, and what you’re going to put into your Companion’s design – but if you aren’t willing to make choices, Eclipse probably isn’t the game system for you in the first place.
Eclipse: The Codex Persona is available in a Freeware PDF Version, in Print, and in a Paid PDF Version that includes Eclipse II (245 pages of Eclipse races, character and power builds, items, relics, martial arts, and other material) and the web expansion. Here’s a Featured Review of it and another Independent Review.
- Eclipse, The Factotum and the Seneschal (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse, True Names, and Nymic Magic from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse – Leading the Way from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Beasts of Atheria Part II – Bears and Horses (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Inherent Spells, Spell Conversion and the Pointlessly Awesome! (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse and the Tier System from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- “Little” Bear, Wrestler of Magic (ruscumag.wordpress.com)