The abandoned children were disposable – and they were trained to kill. It wasn’t that they were fabulously skilled or some such mythical nonsense. No brilliant Sensei had made them into unstoppable Ninja, or set them against each other, or sent out only “the best” – but even well-trained guards could often be taken by surprise by a child who suddenly went from “crying and lost” to “firing poisoned flechettes into your guts”. Sure, a lot of them died – but so what? There were always more – and the kids never knew enough to reveal anything worthwhile about the people or facility that had trained them.
Every so often a child was lucky. In this case, his target – a paladin of the Father – survived, and captured his youthful assailant alive, and took him into his care – training him to follow in his own footsteps under the guidance of a local aspect of The Father.
Racial Template: Half-Elf (Drow) (25 CP/+0 ECL):
- May pick the attribute that gets the +2 pathfinder bonus – buying off a Corruption worth 4 CP normally but only worth 2 CP with the half-cost attribute rule in effect (2 CP).
- May pick two favored progressions at first level, buying down he Pathfinder Templates “Fast Learner” ability to merely “Corrupted” (1 CP).
- Occult Sense/Low-Light Vision (6 CP).
- Counts as both elven and human for any effect related to race (No cost).
- Immunity/Sleep Effects (Uncommon/Minor/Major, 3 CP)
- +2 against enchantment spells and effects (Resist, 3 CP).
- +2 on Perception skill checks (2 CP).
- One bonus feat (6 CP). Currently this gets set to a skill-enhancing feat by default, but I prefer the original version with a free choice.
- Bonus Language: Elven (1 CP).
When Amilko Moonshadow unleashed his wave of chaos near the galactic core, the changes reached the rim of the galaxy. The Amilko Event had MANY strange effects (among them, disrupting the laws of classes that had held since the beginning and allowing many new abilities and types of magic) – but one of the more common was to grant quasi-animalistic templates (+1 ECL) to the young of many fringe worlds. The divine order, ordained by the gods, has been broken – and none knows what will come of it. As it happened, this youngster acquired the “Cat Person” template…
“Cat Person”: Acquired (In Early Childhood) Racial Template, 32 CP/+1 ECL.
- Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills, Corrupted/only to keep Racial Adept Skills maxed out (4 CP).
- Adept (Acrobatics, Climb, Stealth, Survival, 6 CP).
- +6 Racial Bonus on Adept Skills (12 CP).
- Str +4 (12 CP), Dex +6 (18 CP), and Con +4 (12 CP) – all purchased at one-quarter price because they’re part of a racial template AND the half-price attribute rule is in play.
The Template – like most of those bestowed by the Amilko Event – is Specialized; anthropomorphs are subject to strong instincts (and will occasionally require will checks to resist those instincts), suffer major species-related social prejudices (including often being mistaken for monsters), have assorted dietary restrictions, are somewhat limited with regard to equipment (a lot of it must be especially-fitted for particular species), and are readily described and recognized since their transformation is blatantly obvious.
Available Character Points: 48 (Level one base) +10 (three Disadvantages of choice) +2 (Duties to the Space Marines) +6 (Level one bonus Feat) +6 (Racial Bonus Feat) = 72 CP, 8 SP due to Int.
Basic Attributes: Str 14, Int 14, Wis 14, Con 18, Dex 22, Chr 14 (3.5 32 Point Buy: Purchased: Str 10, Int 14, Wis 14, Con 14, Dex 14, Chr 14. Pathfinder bonus to Dex, +4 Str, +6 Dex, +4 Con due to race).
Basic Abilities (37 CP):
- Hit dice: 12 (d12, 8 CP) +12 (Magic) + 12 (Con Mod x 3) = 36.
- Skill Points: 2 (Purchased, 2 CP) +8 (Int Mod x 4) = 10.
- BAB: +1 (6 CP).
- Fortitude: +0 (0 CP) +4 (Con) = +4
- Reflex: +0 (0 CP) +6 (Dex) = +6
- Will: +1 (3 CP) +2 (Wis) = +3
- Proficiencies: All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP), Light and Medium Armor (9 CP).
- Initiative: +6 (Dex)
- Move: 30′
- Armor Class: 10 +6 (Dex) +7 (Ar, Battle Suit) +4 (Sh) = 27
- Pulse Screamer Pistol(s): +7 or +5/+5 (+1 BAB +6 Dex, -2 Rapid Shot), 2d4 Sonic, Crit 20/x2, 100′ range increment. Since they can draw on the generator in his Battle Dress they have unlimited ammo when he’s wearing his armor, the usual 30 shots each otherwise.
Other Notable Equipment: Battle Suit with generator, hardly-used civilian clothes, credstick, datapad, two datachips, theological database, personal communicator, survival pack, two minicells.
Special Abilities (35 CP):
- Occult Sense/Detect Ma’at: This ability detects disturbances in “the balance” – a criminal going unpunished disturbs the balance. A child’s inheritance being stolen disturbs the balance. Opening a rift into another dimension disturbs the balance. Many other things disturb the balance – and how far away then can be sensed depends on just how great the disturbance is. Specialized and Corrupted: what constitutes “a disturbance of Ma’at” is determined at the discretion of the GM, as are any details that he or she provides (2 CP).
- Divine Aid (all Corrupted; only while doing a fair job of being a noble, honorable, paladin): Luck (4 CP), +4 bonus uses each specialized in defense, attack, and skills (6 CP).
- Fortune/Evasion, Corrupted/not usable in heavy armor, while carrying a medium or heavy load, or while otherwise restrained (4 CP).
- Servant of the Gods: One level of Clerical Package Deal Spellcasting, Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost/user may only renew his spells by conducting a formal religious ceremony taking some hours, spell slots can only be used to power Theurgy (3 CP).
- Vengeance Domain: Grants: Holy Zeal (Berserker, +4 BAB and +4 Con], L1 Doom, L2 Locate Creature, L3 Rage, L4 Bestow Curse, L5 Shout, L6 Harm, L7 Destruction, L8 Spell Turning, and L9 Storm of Vengeance.
- Mysticism Domain: Grants: Divine Providence: Add (Cha Mod) as a luck bonus to saves for (Cleric Level) rounds once/day as a free action. L1) Divine Favor, L2) Spiritual Weapon, L3) Visage of the Deity, Lesser, L4) Weapon of the Deity, L5) Righteous Might, L6) Visage of the Deity, L7) Holy Word, L8) Holy Aura, and L9) Visage of the Deity, Greater).
- Mana, 1d6 as 2d4 (6) generic spell levels, Specialized/only usable for Theurgy (3 CP).
- Two-weapon gunfighter: Bonus Attack, Specialized/only with dual-wielded Pistols (3 CP).
- A Nose For Trouble: Professional/Search, Specialized in Trapfinding (3 CP)
- Righteous Eye (Net 7 CP), Companion (Familiar) with +2 ECL Template (Spirit Fetch) +3 CP Transference, and Might, all Specialized and Corrupted: Righteous Eye is quite independent, will insist on strict standards of behavior and the defense of innocents, and often brings in requests for mission from various Celestials, murder victims, and similar. Total of 18 CP from Might and Transference. Points go to Innate Enchantment (A “Handy Haversack” that it shares with him, Immortal Vigor I (from The Practical Enchanter), and Shield, and 2x Healing Belts (from the Magic Item Compendium, 8 CP), and access to “Department Q” of the Celestial Intervention Agency (10 CP). Bestows Heka Magic (Augmented Bonus, uses Charisma as a base attribute for Theurgy skills) as it’s 6 CP “familiar” benefit.
- Enthusiast (Double): Specialized: Can only be changed by traveling to the Celestial Realms and expending a Spirit Favor to pick up a new supply of items, Corrupted: Only usable on “Inherent Spell” and similar abilities (to be described as various technical gizmos). The two modifiers triple the effect, providing a total of 6 “Floating” CP to make such items at a cost of 6 CP.
- Create Relic. Specialized: only to make limited-use items costing a maximum of 3 CP each. Corrupted: only usable with points from Enthusiast (2 CP).
- Blessing. Specialized and Corrupted/only to loan items created with this package to Vaylin (2 CP).
Relevant items are normally bought as Inherent Spell (Sometimes with Bonus Uses): Specialized (Does not recover, Half Cost). For example:
- Grenade Launcher. Inherent Spell: Fireball, +4 Bonus Uses (5 total). 1 CP. For 2 CP you can have 13 uses. For 3 CP you get 21. The same pattern works for other L3 spells, such as Cure Serious Wounds (L2 spells get an extra use, if you want L1 spells you get two of them with the same number of uses each).
- Minor Gizmos: Occult Talent/Improved, Corrupted: Slots must be preset, Effect x 1.5 (7x L0, 5x L1 spells in total). For example you could be carrying two Flares (Light x2), a one-shot emergency transmitter (Message), a compass (Know Direction), canteen (Create Water), superglue (Mending), some antidote (Delay Poison), a hologram projectior (Silent Image), two smoke bombs (Obscuring Mist x2), a knockout gas grenade (Sleep), and a flash-pack (Color Spray). As usual these “spells” are cast at an effective caster level equal to the characters total level. 2 CP
- First Aid Kit. Healing Touch with Bonus Uses (5 doses that Cure [Charisma Mod x Level] HP) and Improved/Switch/Empower with Bonus Uses (4+Level/3 total uses of Remove Disease, Remove Blindness/ Deafness, Cure Serious Wounds, Remove Curse, Neutralize Poison, and Restoration). 3 CP.
More occult items are certainly possible – but that batch will pass without too much notice, and Paladins in the Dragon Empire need to keep their heads down a bit at the moment.
Skills aren’t particularly central to our paladin’s character conception – but it’s worth noting that his Racial Adept Skills (Acrobatics, Climb, Stealth, and Survival) are all automatically at ([Level+3] Skill Points +6 [Racial] +3 [Pathfinder In-Class Bonus) +[Attribute Modifier]) At level one that’s +(12 + Att Mod) – or +19 Acrobatics, +15 Climb, +19 Stealth, and +15 Survival).
Craft and Profession are considered “In-Class” automatically. For his selected in-class skills… I’d suggest Diplomacy, Fly, Heal, Knowledge/Arcana, Knowledge/The Planes, Knowledge/Religion, Linguistics, Perception, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Stealth, and Swim. None of those are critical to him – and to take advantage of the Pathfinder +3 bonus, he might as well put 1 SP (including his “favored class” bonus) into everything but Linguistics.
At level two his “Wealth by Level” is a mere 1000 Credits – although it might be a bit more since the usual starting wealth in Dragonstar is 2d6x100 Credits. Still nowhere’s near enough to buy anything much better than what he’s issued anyway, although a few personal items are reasonable enough (such as the ubiquitous wand of Cure Light Wounds…).
It would be a good idea for him to pick up a martial art soon, but at the moment he doesn’t really qualify for most of them.
The Balancer of Scales is reasonably formidable – and has Luck to guarantee him a “20” when he really needs one – but the weaponry available in Dragonstar still makes the best strategy one of dealing with situations with evasion, cleverness, and negotiation rather than combat. His “Sense Ma’at” ability is much more general – and far more interesting and ambiguous – than “Detect Evil”. You detect an evil presence? Deal with it with caution and fight if necessary. You detect a child who’s been cheated out of her inheritance, or a woman being forced into a political marriage against her will, or a strange artifact upsetting the weather patterns across a continent? That’s just a bit more complicated.
Finally, of course, as an Eclipse character he’s compatible with (3.0) Dragonstar and with Pathfinder – as well as with pretty much every other d20 setting. That way you can just let the players build their characters and not worry about having to convert everything.
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 – Gar Ashwood, Pathfinder/Dragonstar Soulmech Gunslinger-Detective (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse – Androids and Constructs (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse: The Summoner and the Chimeric Master (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse, The Factotum and the Seneschal (ruscumag.wordpress.com)