The black and crimson sigil swirled across the infant’s back – the symbol of the generational curse that had already claimed his mother. But she had taken THAT secret to her grave, and none knew the truth – or what would all too likely come to pass as the child grew. Early on the child might have been turned aside, finding another destiny – but the teacher and playmate who might led the child out of darkness died in a mysterious giant scorpion attack.
The church had little more success; the child had a quick mind and more than a little talent – but seemed to lack the faith and hope that would have made him a good cleric of the Sunlord.
That was true. Listening to the voices and lessons of the priests… always seemed to awaken a dark whisper of doubt, of anger, and of mockery from deep within himself. He skipped as much of the teachings as he possibly could. Despite his father’s urgings to follow a more peaceful path, he was drawn to the militia and the life of a warrior – where he showed almost frightening talents. No weapon seemed beyond his hand, armor hindered him little more than his own skin, injuries vanished overnight even without benefit of healing magic – and his speed and strength in battle was incredible. It seemed that they had a budding hero on their hands.
At fifteen, during yet another family quarrel, young Dallyn’s cold anger manifested itself as a blade of solid darkness, blazing with psychic balefire. The dark urges which had made it so hard for him to embrace a civilized life rose – and his father died, blood boiling as the flaming blade slid into his chest.
In his shock that inner voice continued to guide him as Dallyn left a town lit by the spreading fire which concealed his crime and went out into the world. It would be his; it was time to raise another Empire of Darkness, the night resurgent.
So; this is Eclipse, and we want Dallyn pretty heavily optimized. If he wants to start building an empire of evil single-handed he’s going to have to be pretty tough; after all Conan found that pretty rough going and HE had the author in his side.
As a result, Dallyn possesses rather a lot of power – mostly because, as an evil conqueror, he can afford to take limitations on his powers that heroes cannot. What does he care if his horrific allies wander off to eat the local peasants on occasion? Or if the side effects of his magic blight the earth, cause plagues, unleash monsters, and destroy things around him? If an evil spirit inhabits his body and constantly whispers foul suggestions to him? If the shadowy minions of his evil god use his body as a gateway through which they can slither into the material world? If he must regularly offer up intelligent beings in sacrifice?
Well, OK; it was bothersome how much time some of that stuff could take up – but that sort of thing is what minions are FOR.
Dallyn – despite his ambitions – wouldn’t really make a very good king, but he certainly makes a good conquering warlord or ravager of the countryside. For his actual build…
ECL 7 Ebonthane of Nidhogg the Devourer.
Pathfinder Package Deal: Human (Free).
Template: Chthonic Invested (+1 ECL):
Available Character Points: 168 (L6 base) +10 (Disadvantages) +12 (Duties to his God) +24 (Human, L1, L3, L5 Bonus Feats) = 214 CP.
Basic Attributes: Str 14 (16), Dex 14, Int 17 (19), Wis 14, Con 10, Cha 14 (3.5 32 Point Buy, Con 10, other attributes 14, +2 Pathfinder bonus to Int, +1 Level bonus to Int)
Basic Abilities (62 CP):
- Hit dice (See: Fast Learner): 20 (1d20, 8 CP) + 32 (5d8, 6,6,8,8,4, 10 CP) +12 (Magic) = 64 HP. His Adamant Full Plate provides DR 3/-.
- Skill Points: 2 (Purchased, 2 CP) +27 (Int Mod x 9) + 18 (Fast Learner) = 47 SP. This is cheap, but we are getting the required number of skill points from Fast Learner…
- BAB: +2 (12 CP), +2 Specialized in Swords for Double Effect (12 CP).
- Fortitude: +2 (6 CP) +0 (Con) +1 (Res) = +3
- Reflex: +4 (12 CP) +2 (Dex) +1 (Res) = +7
- Will: +0 (0 CP) +2 (Wis) +1 (Res) = +3
- Proficiencies: Light and Medium Armor with the Smooth Modifier (18 CP).
- Initiative: +2 (Dex) +4 (Improved Initiative) = +6
- Move: 60′
- Armor Class: 10 +2 (Dex) +12 (+4 Full Plate Armor) +4 (Shield) = 28 (If defaulting to his Whispering Shadow Style AC 32, Mind Like Moon, Deflect Arrows, and Ki Block).
The “Chitin Mail” template effect reduces this to medium armor, eliminates the move penalty, and increases the maximum dexterity modifier to +3. The “Smooth” modifier for Medium Armor eliminates Armor Check Penalties and Arcane Spell Failure. In effect, his Full Plate hinders him no more than his normal clothing.
- Bastard Sword (Blood Reaver Style): +16/+16/+11 (+6 BAB +3 Str +4 Magic +3 MA, Haste), 1d10 + 8 (+4 Magic, +4 Str, may cause lethal or nonlethal damage), Crit 19-20/x2. Combat Reflexes, 10′ Reach, Combat Expertise. May augment with elemental damage, infliction, and various other abilities.
- Unarmed (Blood Reaver Style): +8/+8 (+2 BAB +3 Str +3 MA Haste), 1d4+3 (Str), Crit 20/x2, considered armed, may cause lethal or nonlethal damage or add in special abilities.
Other Abilities (146 CP):
Servant of the Shadows (24 CP):
- Witchcraft III (18 CP) with +3d6 Power (6 CP). Total Power 36, Save DC 15.
- Basic Abilities: The Adamant Will, Elfshot (Specialized/only inflicts wound-style penalties but may be used as a part of a successful melee attack), Glamour, Infliction (Specialized/only to add damage to melee attacks, may be used as a part of a successful attack, spend 1/2/3 power to add 3/5/7d4 damage), Witchfire (Specialized/only to give melee weapons the equivalent of the Flaming, Frost, or Shock properties, at a cost of one power per property per minute), The Hand of Shadows, and Shadowweave.
- Pacts: Gateway, Hunted, Souls, and Spirit. These pay for the Path of Darkness/Nightforge (1 power to create 20 pounds of “adamant” for one hour), Wrath of the Sea (1 Power for +6 Str for ten minutes). The Path of Water/Dismissal (Specialized/only usable as part of a successful melee attack), and Venomed Touch (1/2/3 power to create a 1d6/1d10/1d12 attribute damage poison).
Master of the Adamant Forge (24 CP).
- Immunity/the distinction between weapons and himself (Common, Minor, Major, Specialized in Swords, 3 CP). A true masters weapon is an extension of themselves; attempts to sunder or disarm them are treated as normal attacks against them and any touch-based effects and unarmed combat enhancements or martial arts which they may possess operate through their blades.
- Imbuement (Bastard Sword), with the Focused and Versatile upgrades, Specialized for Double Effect (for a total bonus of +Level/2 rounded up) and Corrupted for reduced cost/only works on adamant (or equivalent) swords that he has personally created (12 CP). His usual self-created solidified-darkness blade thus gains a +4 bonus.
- Imbuement/Armor Specialized for Double Effect (Bonus of +Level/2) and Corrupted for reduced cost/only works on heavy adamant (or equivalent) armor that he has personally created (4 CP). His usual suit of self-created solidified-darkness adamant armor thus gains a +4 bonus. This is actually a minor variant ability; Imbuement is usually used on weapons, adding to both attacks and damage, but there’s no reason why it can’t be used on armor – in which case it’s only adding to one number, and so can reasonably be applied to all kinds of armor. It’s not as if characters change out the type of armor they use very often.
- Specific Knowledges: Construction of Masterwork Plate Armor (for him), Construction of Masterwork Adamant Bastard Sword (for him) (2 CP).
- Block, Specialized/only while using one of his personal adamant blades (3 CP).
Eldritch Master (70 CP).
- All His Spellcasting: Eldritch (Full set of modifiers, 6 CP), Corrupted/all spells have (very) destructive environmental side effects. This can cut down on the party treasure, create major disturbances, cause people to hunt him, and kill off important NPC’s.
- Five Levels of Package Deal Clerical Magic, Wisdom Based Spontaneous Casting Variant, Caster Level upgraded to cover his second magic progression, below (37 CP). Spell Conversion to Harming Spells.
- 5/4/3/1 Spells of L0/1/2/3 per day plus domain slots (-/1/1/1), Known Spells 7/5/3/2 plus domain spells.
Travel Domain (Grants Freedom of Movement for One Round/Cleric Caster Level/Day and Survival as a class skill)
- Longstrider: Increases your speed.
- Locate Object: Senses direction toward object (specific or type).
- Fly: Subject flies at speed of 60′
- Dimension Door: Teleports you short distance.
- Teleport: Instantly transports you as far as 100 miles/level.
- Find the Path: Shows most direct way to location.
- Teleport, Greater: As teleport, but no range limit and no off-target arrival.
- Phase Door: Creates an invisible passage through wood or stone.
- Astral Projection (M): Projects you and companions onto Astral Plane.
Time Domain (Grants Improved Initiative):
- True Strike: +20 on your next attack roll.
- Gentle Repose: Preserves one corpse.
- Haste: One creature/level moves faster, +1 on attack rolls, AC, and Reflex saves.
- Freedom of Movement: Subject moves normally despite impediments.
- Permanency (X): Makes certain spells permanent.
- Contingency (F): Sets trigger condition for another spell.
- Legend Lore (MF): Learn tales about a person, place, or thing.
- Foresight: “Sixth sense” warns of impending danger.
- Time Stop: You act freely for 1d4+1 rounds.
- Five Levels of the Bardic Spell Progression (Int-Based, Spontaneous Variant, picking spells from the Pathfinder Magus Spell List, 27 CP). Can cast 3/4/2 spells/day of levels 0/1/2, knows 6/4/3.
Minor Abilities (28 CP):
- Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (3 CP).
- Adept (May buy his two Martial Arts, Profession (Military Commander), and Knowledge (Religion), for half cost. 6 CP).
- Fast Learner, Specialized in Hit Dice (reduces initial d20 to 4 CP, d8’s to 2 CP, 6 CP)
- Luck with +3 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Saves (5 CP).
- Reflex Training (Three Actions/Day Variant) with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / cannot be used off-action, only to allow the substitution of casting a spell for one attack in an attack sequence (6 CP).
- Rite of Chi with +1 Bonus Use (8 CP).
Skills (53 SP):
- In-Class Skills: Craft (Int) and Profession (Wis) (Automatic). Survival (from Clerical Domain, Wis). Chosen: Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana, History, and Religion), Two Martial Arts (Var), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), and Spellcraft (Int).
Wait a moment! This character DOESN’T have Perception as a class skill?
No. No, he doesn’t. He’s BLIND. He relies on his Dark Guardian – Shadow-Upon-The-Moon – to share what IT sees with him, and so it’s the one with the perception skill.
- Anyway…. this really isn’t a particularly skill-based character outside of his martial arts… 15 SP go to having 1 SP in each of his fifteen class skills – including Craft (Smithcraft) (he doesn’t fix his own gear much these days, but he used to) and Profession (Military Commander). Of the remaining 32, 12 go to maxing out his Adept skills, and four more each go into Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (Arcana), Ride, and Spellcraft.
- Net Skills: Bluff +6 (Cha), Blood Ripper Form Martial Art +14 (Wis), Craft (Smithcraft) +8 (Int), Diplomacy +10 (Cha), Intimidate +10 (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana +12, History +8, and Religion +16, Int), Profession (Military Commander) +14 (Wis), Ride +10 (Dex), Sense Motive +6 (Wis), Sleight of Hand +6 (Dex), Spellcraft +12 (Int), Survival, and Whispering Shadow Martial Art +14 (Dex).
The Stalking Shadow Style has several subschools – Bone Cleaver, Blood Reaver, and Flesh Ripper – based on the Axe, the Sword, and Unarmed techniques respectively – but they all build on the same philosophy. The Will to Kill lies within the mind; both weapons and hands are mere extensions of that will. Without that will… they are nothing, to be brushed aside by anyone who knows the truth. When your will is one with darkness… the merest touch can kill.
Coiling shadows obscure the practitioner of the Stalking Shadow Style, his or her blows strike at vital points, leaping like shadows cast by a stroke of lightning – sudden and deadly. It’s masters are few, and hidden, and often charge highly for lessons – and if a student lacks the Will to Kill… the lesson is always the same, for the teachers do not.
Blood Ripper Form (Wis):
- Requires: Witchcraft (Infliction and Shadowweave), BAB +2 or more, and evil alignment.
- Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Defenses 3, Power 4, Strike.
- Advanced and Master Techniques: Combat Reflexes, Expertise, Reach, and Mobility.
- Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Light Foot, Touch Strike, and Vanishing.
- Known Techniques (7): Attack +3, Combat Reflexes, Expertise, Reach, and Vanishing.
Whispering Shadow Style (Dex):
- The Wind Whispers Over Water And Snow.
- Shadows Pass Without Trace, Disturbing Nothing.
- Darkness Hides All, Bit What Is Hidden From Darkness?
- What Words Can Be Hidden From The Wind Which Bears Them?
- The Riddle Of The Night Whispers In Silence.
- Learn The Stance Of The Void, The Absence Of Being.
- Seeing, Not Seen.
- Where Enemies Strike… BE NOT.
- Requires: Witchcraft (Glamour and Shadowweave), Dex 14+.
- Basic Techniques: Defenses 4, Synergy/Acrobatics, Escape Artist, Perception, Slight of Hand, Stealth, and Use Magic Device.
- Advanced and Master Techniques: Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Instant Stand, and Mind Like Moon.
- Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Healing, Ki Block, and Resist Pain.
- Known Techniques (7): Defenses 4, Mind Like Moon, Deflect Arrows, and Ki Block.
Equipment: Chronocharm of the Horizon Walker (take a half-move that does not provoke attacks of opportunity as a swift action three times per day, 500 GP), Vest of Resistance +1 (Torso, 1000 GP), Belt of Strength +2 (Belt, 4000 GP), Headband of Intellect +2 (Head, 4000 GP), Ring of Mystic Fire. +1 Caster Level with Fire-Based Spells/Psionics, 3 Charges/Day, spend 1/2/3 charges as part of a casting action to add +2/3/4 d6 of damage to a fire-based spell or power (Ring, 7500 GP), Boots of Stomping. 3/Day as a standard action topple creatures and objects in a 15′ cone, Reflex DC 15 to avoid falling if on the ground (600 GP). Leaves 5900 GP.
Followers from Leadership, 16 CR; 2’nd level Werewolf (4), Imp (2), Quasit (2), Lesser Nightmare (Planar Handbook, 4), and Shadow-Upon-The-Moon, his Dark Guardian (4).
While the others are mostly just monsters (and the werewolf is left open for development; it’s only level two anyway), as a fourth-level “Cohort”, Shadow Upon The Moon – his Dark Guardian – has 120 CP and 21 SP to spend. These go to…
Shadow-Upon-The-Moon, Dark Guardian, L4 Psionic.
- Six levels of the Psion Magic Progression (Kineticist, 72 CP): 44 Power. Available Powers are 5xL1 (1 Power); Call to Mind, Control Light, Control Object, Matter Agitation, Telempathic Projection. 4xL2 (3 Power); Control Sound, Energy Missile, Id Insinuation, Knock (Psionic), and 4xL3 (5 Power); Dispel Psionics, Energy Cone, Energy Wall, and Time Hop.
- Reflex Action (3/Day variant) with +4 Bonus Uses (12 CP).
- Adept (Knowledge Arcana, Religion, History, and Perception, 6 CP).
- Fast Learner/Specialized in Skills, corrupted for Increased Effect/only to keep Adept Skills at maximum (6 CP).
- Witchcraft II (12 CP): The Hand of Shadows, Healing, and Witchsight.
- Rite of Chi with +4 Bonus Uses (12 CP).
- Skills: Knowledges +13 (Arcana, Religion, and History, +3 Int +7* SP, +3 Pathfinder), Perception +12 (+2 Wis +7* SP +3 Path), Spellcraft +13 (+3 Int +7 SP +3 Pathfinder), Linguistics +13 (+3 Int +7 SP +3 Pathfinder), and Knowledge/The Planes +13 (+3 Int +7 SP +3 Pathfinder).
Shadow-Upon-The-Moon will generally use it’s powers to help Dallyn out – but it has it’s own purposes, even if it has only limited means to work towards them.
Dallyn here is pretty obviously a major villain – and a rather versatile one.
- Raykul Tepes, Scion of the Damned (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chthonic Invested (Acquired or Inborn Template. 32 CP/+1 ECL) (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse – Heir of Darkness (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- [Emergence Campaign] Illurion Voice-Of-Nightmares, Bard of the Unmaking (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Balancer Of Scales, Dragonstar/Pathfinder Paladin (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse – Getting Crafty and Professional with Demonology and Military Command (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse – Androids and Constructs (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Illurion Voice-Of-Nightmares, Bard of the Unmaking from Emergence Campaign Weblog (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)