Some people – perhaps the victims of bargains made in a previous life, touched by some curse visited on a parent, or having been offered up to some dark god shortly after birth – are marked from infancy by terrible powers. They are protected, guided, and – almost inevitably – corrupted by the evil spirit which lives within them. While some few will defy their destiny, most will be lost to it – walking the world as a bane upon the forces of light. They are destined to strife – and to them are given the strengths that they will need to survive in battle. As they grow in strength, they will acquire an entourage of monstrous spirits – none of which can be truly slain, or even fully banished from the material plane, while their “master” endures to anchor them there.
The Chthonic Invested (32 CP/+1 ECL):
Innate Enchantment: 8000 GP effective value, Corrupted/Counts against the limits on Innate Enchantment totals despite being in a racial template, marks the bearer with some obvious sign of dark powers (6 CP). All innate enchantments are Spell Level One, Caster Level One, Unlimited-Use Use-Activated, and Personal-Only where relevant. The effects include:
- Chitin Mail: L1 Transmutation. For one minute per level of the caster whatever armor the user is wearing is treated as being one armor category lighter. The maximum dexterity bonus increases by two, the armor check penalty is reduced by two, arcane spell failure goes down by 15% (to a minimum of 5%), and the speed penalty is eliminated (1400 GP).
- Immortal Vigor I (The Practical Enchanter): Provides +(12 + 2 x Con Mod) Hit Points.
- Personal Haste (The Practical Enchanter): Provides +30′ Movement and +1 attack at the user’s full BAB when making a full attack (2000 GP).
- Protection From Good (SRD): (1400 GP). Note that this prevents a Chthonic Imbued from being truly controlled by his or her Dark Guardian; he or she cannot simply be compelled into evil; the choice must be theirs.
- Master’s Touch (Spell Compendium): The user is effectively proficient with all weapons and shields (1400 GP)
Dark Guardian Of The Damned, Guide to Nightfall Eternal: An additional 6 CP worth of Innate Enchantment, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect (18,000 GP Value)/the Dark Guardian is dedicated to the service of one or another evil god and the destruction of his or her foes and all their works. It constantly whispers corrupting councils to its “master”, encouraging deeds that serve its god. At young adulthood it will begin subtly encouraging its “master” to kill his or her current guardian(s), twists it’s “master’s” physical form to reflect his or her ongoing corruption – and renders him or her near-blind (a symbolic necessity). It will, however, share it’s own senses with said “master” as long as he or she serves the causes of the Dark Guardian’s evil god.
When it’s “master” reaches young adulthood, he or she will be subtly urged to dispose of his or her current guardians (if any) and to dedicate himself or herself fully to the service of the Dark Guardians god – his or her “true parent”. If there are threats to either the child, or to its slide into darkness, before that… well, that is what huge shadow-scorpions are for.
The Dark Guardian is built as a Phylactery of Faithfulness (1000 GP) and an Intelligent Amulet of Tears (itself, as a “construct”, equipped with a Healing Belt (750 GP) and an Amber Amulet of Vermin (Huge Monstrous Scorpion, 700 GP) of it’s own). That’s 2300 GP and a Base Ego of 1), Intelligent (NE Alignment, 500 GP), Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 14 (4000 GP, +7 Ego), Telepathy and Sense-Sharing (1500 GP, +2 Ego), 120′ Senses (1000 GP), Darkvision (500 GP), Blindsense (5000 GP, +1 Ego), and Shield 3/Day (1200 GP, +1 Ego). Net Ego: 12.
Immunity to Dispelling, Antimagic, and Countermagic (Common/Minor/Great. Specialized in protecting innate enchantments only (6 CP).
Leadership with the Exotic and Emperor’s Star improvements (Evil Outsiders and Accursed Beings, the positive level points go to Returning), Corrupted for Increased Effect on Leadership (CR of up to (Level-2) instead of ECL and (Level-3)) and Reduced Cost on the Improvements / Followers are loyal to the Dark Guardian and its God rather than to the character (12 CP).
Note that you CAN take your “Dark Guardian” as a “follower”. That will make it far more useful – and give it even more power over you. The Chthonic Invested also make popular leaders for various types of Lycanthropes and other accursed beings; it provides them with minor bonuses (which are handy) and the ability to return from the dead (which is a pretty major benefit).
+3 Specialty in Knowledge/Religion (The Dark Powers), +3 Specialty in Diplomacy (Negotiation with Evil Outsiders) (2 CP).
Yes, this is another high-efficiency “bad guy” template – in this case one for Warrior-Mages. Assassins, and Black Knights. The Chthonic Invested are tough, fast, skilled with weapons, and inhabited by an evil spirit that can provide them with blindsense and a bit of protection and healing. That’s not a huge set of advantages – but it’s certainly a convenient one.
Besides, it’s coming up on Halloween, and this year it’s getting an early start.
- Raykul Tepes, Scion of the Damned (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse – Heir of Darkness (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- [Emergence Campaign] Illurion Voice-Of-Nightmares, Bard of the Unmaking (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Illurion Voice-Of-Nightmares, Bard of the Unmaking from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse: The Summoner and the Chimeric Master (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse – Androids and Constructs (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse – Gar Ashwood, Pathfinder/Dragonstar Soulmech Gunslinger-Detective (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse – Dressed for Success from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Balancer Of Scales, Dragonstar/Pathfinder Paladin (ruscumag.wordpress.com)