And here we have an updated version of “Ghost” – going from level three to level four. That’s actually quite easy in Eclipse; there’s no need to take weird prerequisites that will only be useful later on, to hunt for weird prestige classes, or do much fiddling around to get what you want. You just spend your points on the things you want to have.
In going to level four Ghost gets… 24 Character Points (the base) +2 CP (Duties to the Chosen Ones) +6 CP (her fourth-level bonus feat) = 32 CP. Her 18 Intelligence gets her four bonus skill points and she gets two from having Fast Learner Specialized in Skills. Finally, she’ll get +1 on an attribute – in her case Dexterity.
She’s a witchcraft-based stealth expert, mystic spy, and light-duty combatant. So she wants to buy…
- Her Witchcraft II up to Witchcraft III (4 CP; normally 6 CP, but she’s limited her powers to working in shadows or darkness – which is, by the way, increasingly becoming a pain; it’s time to start buying that limitation off if she can afford it). That will give her access to another four basic powers – in her case the the Hand of Shadows (minor telekinetic effects), Glamour (minor projective telepathic effects), Witchfire (molecular-level telekinesis), and The Inner Eye (minor receptive telepathic effects). None of those are especially powerful – for example, even if you spend more points and develop Glamour to it’s limits the most powerful effects you can produce are things like Good Hope and Suggestion.
- Warcraft: +1 BAB (It’s time to get to +2) (6 CP). At the moment Ghost is relying on magical boosts to swamp her low BAB – and for the moment it’s working.
- Raise the base 1d4 hit die she gets for free to 1d6 (2 CP).
- Boost her saves with Resist: +1 Fortitude (3 CP) and +1 Will (3 CP).
- Buy a little extra Power (+3d6) as Mana (6 CP). That’s not a lot, but Witchcraft is pretty low-cost.
- +0 SP (0 CP). That’s a total of 6 skill points this level – likely enough, especially considering that she has Adept to reduce the costs of some of her skills.
- Buy another 2000 GP worth of Innate Enchantment. She had 700 GP (and the round-off) worth left unused anyway, so that will let her get something worthwhile – in this case duplicating the powers of a Healing Belt (Magic Item Compendium, 750 GP), a Hat of Disguise (1800 GP; it’s just SO handy for a spy-type), and a Least Crystal of Darkness (as per a Least Crystal of Illumination, but sheds shadows instead of light, 200 GP).
- Since she still has six character points left for this level, it’s time to buy off the “only in shadows” restriction on her Basic Witchcraft I, II, and III (6 CP). Her advanced powers will still only work in darkness, but at least the basic stuff will work anywhere. This is actually a pretty common feature of Eclipse leveling; Ghost had a fair number of powers to start with – but they were restricted and limited. Now that she’s moving up in level she’s getting rid of some of those limitations, increasing her flexibility a lot and her power a little, rather than the other way around.
So at level four Ghost will look like this:
“Chosen One” Template (“GM Plot Hook Bonus”): This provides +2 each to Strength, Constitution, and Charisma, 60′ Darkvision, a mental link with the other Chosen Ones, a bonus language (Draconic), Grant of Aid with the regeneration option, Companion with two upgrades (corrupted by an independent turn of mind), and 1d6 Natural Weapons/Claws. There may be more to the template than this but the characters still have no idea what that might be.
Race: Drow Elf (Modified):
The setting – and being a “Chosen One” – changes the standard Drow Elf. Half-price attributes makes the race cheaper and eliminate the constitution penalty. Since being a Chosen One grants darkvision (and there’s no need to buy it twice) we’re presuming the regular exposure to light has made her eyes less sensitive – reducing her darkvision range byt eliminating her light sensitivity. Condensing the skill list saves a few points on her racial bonuses too – and the Drow Inherent Spells (Darkness, Dancing Lights, and Faerie Fire once per day each) are being subsumed into her Witchcraft-based Shadow Mastery talents.
- Self-Development: +2 Charisma, +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence (18 CP).
- Improved Spell Resistance (10 + Level) (12 CP).
- Immunity/Sleep Effects (Uncommon/Minor/Major, 3 CP)
- Resist/+2 on Will saves against spells and spell-like abilities (3 CP).
- Resist/+2 on Saves versus Enchantment Spells and Effects (3 CP)
- Proficient with hand crossbow, rapier, and short sword (a limited group of weapons, 3 CP).
- Occult Sense/Detect Secret Doors (Specialized: requires a Search check and passing within 5 feet, 3 CP)
- Skills: Extra Languages, Elven and Undercommon, +2 on Perception and Stealth (6 CP)
- Disadvantage: Outcast (-3 CP). Dark Elves are widely regarded with fear and suspicion.
That reduces the cost of her race to 48 CP – or the 31 CP available to a +0 ECL race and 17 CP out of her level one allotment, which is what she opted for.
Available Character Points: 120 (Level Four Base) +10 (Disadvantages; Hunted, Valuable, and Irrationally Secretive) +24 (2x L1, L2 feat, and L4 Feats; the GM is being generous) +8 (Duties as a Chosen One) = 162. Subtracting her racial costs leaves 145 CP to spend on her build. The attribute array was 12, 12, 14, 14, 16, 16. Far more importantly, the GM is not restricting the characters choice of abilities – allowing them to gain some fairly powerful specialities early on.
Basic Attributes: Str 14, Dex 19 (21), Int 18, Wis 12, Con 16, Chr 16
- Warcraft (BAB): +2 (12 CP).
- Hit Points / Dice: 21 (L1-4d6, 6, 5, 4, 6, 8 CP) +12 (4 x Con Mod) = 33 HP.
- Proficient with All Simple Weapons (3 CP)
- Armor Class 10 (Base) +5 (Dex) +4 “Armor” +1 (Martial Art) +1 (Deflection) = 21 (23 when using her Shadow Form). (Her “Robes” can turn into any kind of clothing desired and – at the moment – provide a +4 AC bonus and a +1 Deflection bonus).
- Initiative +5 (Dex)
- Save Bonuses: +1 Fortitude (3 CP) +1 Reflex (3 CP) +2 Will (6 CP). This gives her Fortitude +4, Reflex +6, and Will +3.
- Skill Points: 6 (Purchased, 6 CP) +24 (Int Mod x 6) +6 (Fast Learner) = 36 SP.
- Sai (Well, actually a disarming dagger in game terms, but she likes the look): +12/+12 (+2 BAB +3 BAB (Magic) +5 Dex, +1 MA, +1 Enh, Serpents Strike), 1d6 (improved base damage) +2 (Str) +1 (Enh), Crit 19-20/x2. 1d6 Sneak Attack, Disarming (+4 to Disarm rolls but no bonus to use sleight-of-hand to hide it). She usually dual-wields, but – at the moment – this is just a special effect.
- Finesse: uses Dex Mod instead of Str Mod to hit with knives, daggers, short swords, sai, and similar weapons (6 CP).
- Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for +2 SP/Level (starting at level “-1″, 6 CP).
- Adept: pays half cost for the Acrobatics, Deception, Stealth, and NightWraith Martial Art skills (6 CP).
- Expert Rogue/Augmented Bonus: Adds (Int Mod) to (Dex Mod) with dexterity-based skills (6 CP).
- Block/Melee, Specialized / Only with Short Blades, Costs 1 Power/Use (3 CP). Ghost can manifest momentary adamantine shields to help save her skin…
- Innate Enchantment/9000 GP Value (10 CP). All abilities; (Spell Level ½ or 1) x (Caster Level 1) x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated (2000 GP) x .7 (Personal-Only, if applicable) or item copies.
- Increase Attribute/Dex +2 [1400 GP]
- Martial Mastery (+3 to hit – Sai/Dagger) [700 gp]
- Fortune’s Favor II (+2 Luck Skills) [1400 gp]
- Expertise II (+2 Competence Bonus to All Skills) [1400 gp]
- Serpent Strike (Additional Melee Attack) [1400 gp]
- Healing Belt [Magic Item Compendium, 750 GP]
- Hat of Disguise [SRD, 1800 GP]
- Least Crystal of Darkness [As per Least Crystal of Illumination, but absorbs light instead of shedding it, 200 GP].
- Immunity/the normal XP costs of Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Minor, Trivial, 1 CP).
Using Serpent Strike is more than a bit cheesy, but restricting it to a second melee attack (instead of an extra attack at any moment) makes it somewhat more reasonable. It still means that a simple “dispel magic” against caster level one will drastically reduce the characters combat abilities though – and it’s so useful to a melee combatant that they’d be fools not to take it.
Shadow Mastery Package:
“Ghost” can tap into the magics of twilight and darkness, channeling those hidden forces into a modest variety of tricks. This particular ability package is being purchased as Witchcraft, with all advanced abilities Corrupted / will not work in areas of bright illumination and can be dispelled by light-based powers. That’s a bit of a bottleneck – but this is only a supplementary set of abilities.
More importantly, Witchcraft is a very cheap and efficient way to get some fairly good powers – but it doesn’t improve that much with level. Thus it’s great for low-level characters, fair for mid-level characters, and only a minor supplement for high-level characters.
- Witchcraft I, II, and III; 18 CP. This provides (Str+Dex+Con)/3 Power (that’s 18 power) and seven basic witchcraft abilities. Where relevant, the Will Save DC against these abilities is 16. The range is thirty feet; going past that is possible, but costs more power.
- Adamant Will. This allows her to spend 2 power as a reflex action to resist various forms of mind control or to make a second save against mind-reading or “truth” effects. For three power she may reflexively present a false aura to detection spells or ignore pain.
- Glamour: Projective telepathy. +6 on relevant social skills for 1 power/ten minutes, and minor emotional influence and hypnotic effects at L0 for 1 power and L1 for 2 power.
- Hand of Shadows: Covers minor telekinetic effects. 1 power/minute to do things you could do physically, do an hours worth of light work for 1 power, first-level animation effects (entangle, animate rope, etc) 2 points each, +2 if excessive force or fine control is required.
- Inner Eye: Thought-sensing. See surface thoughts, find hidden beings, share senses, and read psychic impressions for small costs. If used socially +6 on relevant checks for 1 power/1- minutes.
- Shadowweave: This allows the manipulation of light and darkness to create minor illusions and special effects. Cantrip level effects can provide bonuses of up to +6 on things like disguise checks and cost one power per ten minutes of activity. A first level effect (such as Color Spray or Faerie Fire) costs one power.
- Witchfire: Manipulate heat or cold (1d8 for 1 power, 3d6 for 2, +1 for a modest area of effect, -1 if using pre-existing flames), infuse or extract drugs and toxins, trivial effects for 1 power per 10 minutes of activity.
- Witchsight: Spend one power to enhance a sense for an hour – gaining either a +6 bonus on relevant checks or extending an existing sense (such as upgrading her sense of smell to Scent). Spending one power on a specific roll – such as attempting to detect poison by scent – triples the bonus.
Advanced Witchcraft Abilities (All Corrupted for Reduced Cost / will not work in areas of bright illumination and can be dispelled by light-based powers). At level four “Ghost” can have two Pacts. She currently only has one; Duties (she must spend a great deal of time lurking in the shadows, for only there can she feel at home) – but this reduces the cost of her advanced abilities by (-6 CP).
- Advanced Shadowweave (Specialized/only allows access to second level light and darkness effects at the cost of 2 power, 2 CP).
- Nightforge (4 CP): Creates “Solid Darkness” – a material equivalent to Adamantine – for one Power per 20 lb. It lasts an hour and can be used to entrap people.
- “Shadow Form”/Ashen Rebirth with the Dimension Door and Teleportation upgrades (8 CP). Ghost may spend one power to merge with the darkness for one minute. In that form she gains DR 10/-, the ability to walk on walls and ceilings, the ability to pass through cracks and crevices, a +5 enhancement bonus to stealth, and a (Cha Mod) deflection bonus to her AC. While in this form she may spend 2 power to dimension door from one shadow to another as long as she can trace a transverseable path between them or 7 power to teleport to another shadow.
This is a minor variant on the usual Ashen Rebirth power – notably weaker, but without the damaging side effects or the conspicuousness of turning into flame.
- +7d6 (27) Power (12 CP). With her 19 base that gives her a total of 46 Power each day.
- Acrobatics: +6 (SP*) +5 (Dex) +2 (Luck) +2 (Competence) +4 (Int) = +19
- Deception: +6 (SP*) +3 (Cha) +2 (Luck) +2 (Competence) = +13
- Nightwraith Martial Art (Dex): +6 (SP*) +5 (Dex) +2 (Luck) +2 (Competence) +4 (Int) = +19
- Perception: +6 (SP) +1 (Wis) +2 (Luck) +2 (Competence) +2 (Race) = +13^
- Perform (Stringed Instrument) : +6 (SP) +5 (Dex) +2 (Luck) +2 (Competence) +4 (Int) = +19
- Persuasion: +6 (SP) +3 (Cha) +2 (Luck) +2 (Competence) = +13
- Stealth: +6 (SP*) +5 (Dex) +2 (Luck) +2 (Competence) +2 (Race) +2 (Synergy) +4 (Int) = +23^
- Thievery: +6 (SP) +5 (Dex) +2 (Luck) +2 (Competence) +4 (Int) = +19
*Adept Skills, purchased at half cost.
^ May be augmented with Witchcraft.
Skills in the setting have been somewhat condensed:
- Acrobatics: Covers Balance, Tumble and Escape Artist.
- Athletics: Covers Climb, Jump and Swim.
- Arcana: Covers Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft.
- Linguistics: Covers Forgery and Decipher Script.
- Deception: Covers Bluff and Disguise.
- Survival: Covers Knowledge (Nature) and Survival.
- Perception: Covers Search, Spot, and Listen.
- Persuasion: Covers Diplomacy and Intimidation.
- Stealth: Covers Hide and Move Silently.
- Thievery: Covers Disable Device, Open Locks, and Sleight of Hand.
Everything else is as per the SRD.
Nightwraith Martial Art (Dex):
The Nightwraith Style focuses on concealment, sudden strikes at vital areas, and on the use of the Sai – as well as inherent mastery of the powers of (physical) darkness. It is smooth, flowing, and generally performed in dark, loose-fitting clothing with wide sleeves and pants – both of which serve to conceal the user’s movements in swirling folds of cloth. It’s generally regarded as the private art of the Lahir Wraiths (a secretive order of Drow assassins) and they’ve been known to object to having it spread around.
- Requires: Access to Shadow Mastery – or at least something similar. Uses the Sai.
- Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Defenses 2, Power 2, Strike, and Synergy/Stealth.
- Advanced and Master Techniques: Combat Reflexes, Sneak Attack I, Prone Fighting, and an Unarmed Kata (allows use while unarmed as well as with a Sai).
- Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Light Foot, Serpent Strike, and Touch Strike.
- Known Techniques (10): Attack 1, Defense 1, Power 1, Synergy/Stealth, Combat Reflexes, Sneak Attack I, Prone Fighting, Touch Strike, Inner Strength, and Serpent Strike.
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