Long ago, Gravewight was a diligent student of the arcane arts, studying at one of the worlds great centers of magical scholarship. There – in the finest traditions of the dark arts – Gravewight enslaved the weak, destroyed rivals, pacted with infernal powers, and offered sacrifices. There he walked the bridge of blades above the abyss – and there he fell. Even in the shadowy towers and echoing libraries of that place… there were things that you did not do and boundaries that you did not cross.
Gravewight became bored, as Gravewright does – and did those things, and crossed those boundaries.
Gravewright was not content with mere money and power that came with being a respected and powerful dark wizard. Gravewright became obsessed with immortality – and set to work on Lichdom.
That took a lot of research, and using up a lot of younger students in the experiments. It took burning away much of Gravewight’s memory, throwing away it’s humanity, and renouncing the person it had once been – and there are still deeper and darker secrets of undeath to uncover – but Gravewrights quest succeeded. It is eternal now, even if what it feels is but an eternal hunger for the lives of others and for acquiring ever-greater arcane lore and secrets. Gravewright seeks such things without remorse or pity.
Along the way, that brought him to the Obsidian Blades – an order of assassins who were in need of a mage willing and able to supply them with minor magical devices and with no scruples whatsoever.
Gravewright fit the bill perfectly – and was quite willing to help out more directly on missions where that was required as long as its phylactery could be kept utterly secure. Gravewright does not limit itself to working exclusively for the Obsidian Blades – it continues to work as a crafter of potions, scrolls, wands, and stranger things, selling it’s creations through various dealers and blinds – but its association with the Obsidian Blades is useful and profitable. It could easily do quite well for itself if it focused entirely on crafting – but magical research beckons, even if, with all eternity before it, there is no hurry at all…
Whatever it was before has been sealed into its tomb. Only Gravewright remains.
Level Six Lesser Lich Wizard
Racial Template: Minimal Lich (+1 ECL / 63 CP):
- No Constitution Score (0 CP). Like it or not, Liches are quite dead. As genuine “immortality” goes, lichdom is a complete bust. Still, most liches have entirely lost the emotions that would make that important, so what do they care?
- Immunity to Cold (Common, Major, Trivial, 5 points of resistance, 3 CP).
- Immunity to Electricity (Common, Major, Trivial, 5 points of resistance, 3 CP).
- Occult Sense/Darkvision 60′ (6 CP)
- Advanced Finesse (substitute Int for Con for bonus hit points) (12 CP)
- DR 5/Magic (6 CP)
- Attribute Shift: +2 Dexterity, -2 Strength (6 CP). In worlds using the half-attribute-cost rule (such as this one) treat this as a simple +2 Dexterity.
- Defense: Natural Armor +1/5 levels (6 CP)
- Innate Spell: Desecrate (2/day) (6 CP)
- Returning (Extraordinary): Must destroy Phylactery, Specialized/Everybody knows this one (6 CP).
- Immunity (Common +6 CP, Major +3 CP, Major 1/1): Reduce all critical hit damage by 30 points (9 CP)
- Resist/+2 to Saves versus Mind-Affecting Effects (3 CP).
- Template Disadvantage: Accursed/Malign Animation. Liches – even rather minimal ones – are animated by negative energy. Positive social emotions and memories simply find no purchase in their minds. At best, thanks to the intellectual focus which originally brought them to this state, a Lich will retain a cold intellectual curiosity, a fascination with magic, a willingness to work with a group that advances their purposes, and perhaps a few hobbies. (-3 CP).
The Minimal Lich Racial template is derived from the Minimal Vampire Racial Template – and does not carry the full set of “undead” immunities; instead it merely grants a bit of resistance to various effects. Of course this IS an Eclipse build; characters are perfectly free to build up those immunities and more advanced undead powers later on.
Available Character Points: 168 (L6 Base) +10 (Disadvantages: Accursed, Outcast (Undead Abomination), and Untrustworthy (Evil Lich)) +12 (Duties to the Obsidian Blades) +18 (L1, L3, and L5 Bonus Feats) = 208 CP. The Pathfinder Package Deal bonus of +1 CP/Level provides an additional 6 CP, but these have not yet been spent.
Basic Attributes: Str 10, Dex 18 (20), Con -, Int 20 (22), Wis 15, and Cha 10 (12). (Purchased: Str 10, Dex 15+2+1 at L4= 18, Con 7 (before undeath), Int 18+2 (Pathfinder)= 20, Wis 15, and Cha 10.
Basic Abilities (62 CP):
- Hit dice: 12 (L1d12, 8 CP) +16 (5d4) +66 (6 x (Int Mod + Dex Mod)) = 94 HP.
- Skill Points: 6 (Purchased, 6 CP) +45 (Int Mod x 9) + 18 (Fast Learner) = 69 SP.
- BAB: +2 (12 CP), +2 additional Specialized in Staves (6 CP).
- Fortitude: +0 (0 CP) +0 (Con) +2 (Res) +1 (Mor) = +3
- Reflex: +4 (12 CP) +5 (Dex) +2 (Res) +1 (Mor) = +12
- Will: +5 (15 CP) +2 (Wis) +2 (Res) +1 (Mor) = +10
- Proficiencies: All Simple Weapons (3 CP).
- Initiative: +5 (Dex)
- Move: 30
- Armor Class: 10 +5 (Dex) +4 (Armor) +4 (Shield) +4 (MA) +1 (Nat) = 28
- Usual Attacks:
- Staff: +6 (+4 BAB +0 Str +1 Enh +1 Mor), 1d6+2 (Enh and Mor) + 1d6+1 (Fire), Crit 20/x2. Combat Reflexes, Reach, Whirlwind Attack, Inner Strength, Ki Block and Vanishing.
- Staff-Delivered Touch Attack: +11 (+4 BAB +5 Dex +1 Mor +1 Enh), 1d6+2 (Fire) plus spell effect, Crit 20/x2. Combat Reflexes, Reach, Whirlwind Attack, Inner Strength, Ki Block and Vanishing.
- Flame Dart: +8 (+2 BAB +5 Dex +1 Mor) Ranged Touch Attack, 1d6+2 (Fire), Crit 20/x2, 120′ range, maximum one per round.
- Masterwork Light Crossbow: +9 (+2 BAB +5 Dex +1 Enh +1 Mor) 1d8+1 (Mor), Crit 19-20/x2, 80 Ft Range Increment.
Special Abilities (155 CP):
- Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for Double Effect (from original humanity, retained after becoming a lich by paying for it, 6 CP).
- Adept (Knowledge: Arcane, History, Religion, and Planes, 6 CP).
- Fast Learner, Specialized in Wizard Spell Progression Levels for +2 CP/Level (6 CP)
- Action Hero/Invention, Specialized and Corrupted/only for Inventing Spells (at 2 AP per level of the spell, half that for existing spells), only during downtime – for a total of 3(Level+2) AP per level (6 CP). At L6 that’s a total of 99 action points so far.
- Advanced Improved Augmented Bonus: Add (Dex Mod) to (Int Mod) when calculating HP (18 CP).
- Companion (Familiar) with a +2 ECL Template (12 CP).
- +8 levels of the Wizard Spellcasting Progression, Specialized for Reduced Cost/must ritually sacrifice large animals and the occasional sapient being to keep these powers active, must carry especially engraved sigils to cast spells, and his spellcasting causes minor negative energy effects (deaths of plants, occasional destruction of unattended items, and 1d6 damage to all allied living creatures in a twenty foot radius) (44 CP after Fast Learner). At Int 20 this provides him with 4L0, 6L1, 5L2, 4L3, and 3L4 spells per day. He has not purchased the ability to use his L0 spells repeatedly as of yet but does get the base allotment of “all” L0 wizard spells and seven standard first level spells of choice.
- Finesse: Touch attacks use Dex instead of Str (6 CP)
- Staff Like Bone: Immunity/the distinction between weapons and himself (Common, Minor, Major, Specialized in Staves, 3 CP). The power of his undeath flows through the dead wood of a stave as through his bones; attempts to sunder or disarm his staff are treated as normal attacks against him – and any touch-based effects, unarmed combat enhancements, or “unarmed” martial arts which he has will operate through his staff.
- Innate Enchantment (5000 gp worth, 6 CP): Inspiring Word (1400) +1 Morale Bonus on saves, attacks, checks, and damage, Void Sheath (700) Store three items in a personal pocket dimension, Force Shield II (1,400) +4 Shield AC Bonus, and Force Armor II (1,400) +4 Armor AC Bonus.
- Spell Storing/Scribe Scroll (6 CP).
- Double Enthusiast with Adaption, Specialized in Relics (4 CP worth of Relics) (8 CP).
- Create Relic, Specialized and Corrupted/only with points from Enthusiast, only to create relics related to making magical devices (2 CP). (Thus his Sorcerous Tools let him access any two item creation feats).
- Midnight Sun Stave (2 CP Relic): Reflex Action (three action per day variant) with +4 Bonus Uses / Specialized and Corrupted/only to release the spells bound into the stave (4 CP), 1 1/2d6 Mana (9 CP) as 3d4 generic spell levels, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect (24 spell levels)/only measures the number of spell levels that can be bound into the staff, the user must charge it using his own spells. In effect, the Midnight Sun Stave can store 24 levels of spells. Seven times per day one can be released as an immediate action.
- Turn Resistance (2 CP). This grants a bonus of +1 effective Hit Die for the purpose of resisting Channeling, spells, and other Hit-Die based effects only per 2 CP invested. It’s most commonly found in the undead, but can be useful to any character at times.
- Elemental Manipulation Metamagical Theorem with Streamline, Specialized / only to make spells Disruptive (Targets affected by a disruptive spell must make concentration checks when using spells or spell-like abilities (DC equals the save DC of the disruptive spell plus the level of the spell being cast) for 1 round. Targets that avoid the spell’s effects avoid this feat’s effect as well). No increase to spell level (6 CP).
- Lacing Metamagical Theorm with Streamline, Specialized/only to apply the Penetrating option (+3 to penetrate Spell Resistance for +0 spell levels, additional +3 per additional spell level, 6 CP).
- Major Privilege/Member of the Obsidian Blades (6 CP).
- Heartstone Attunement / The Obsidian Blades (6 CP).
Attunement to the Obsidian Blades heartstone allows the free use of Unseen Servant, Disguise Self, Sleep, and Summon Weapon (lasts one minute per level, as per Spiritual Weapon but must be wielded, L1) at caster level one. It allows the free use of Spider Climb, as well as three uses per day of Invisibility, at caster level three as well as a +2 bonus on rolls regarding knowing about, or using, poison. Secondarily it grants access to the following Sorcerer / Wizard Spell Formula:
- 10L0: Bleed, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Drench, Ghost Sound, Light, Mending, Open/Close, Prestidigitation, and Ray of Frost.
- 7L1: Abundant Ammunition, Expeditious Retreat, Feather Fall, Magic Weapon,, True Strike, Vanish, and Ventriloquism.
- 5L2: Darkvision, Ghoul Touch, Knock, Pernicious Poison, and Pyrotechnics.
- 4L3: Blacklight, Blink, Shrink Item, and Spell Resistance (Lesser) (from The Practical Enchanter).
- 3L4: Enervation, Phantasmal Killer, and Vermin Shape I.
- 2L5: Baleful Polymorph, and Suffocation.
Why am I listing available spell formula instead of just noting the usual Spell Pool? It’s because this game is being run with all major spellcasters as spontaneous casters. That’s not what I usually recommend, but so be it!
Chosen In-Class Skills: Craft and Profession (Automatic), Fly, Knowledge (Arcana, History, Religion, and Planes), Linguistics, one Martial Art, Perception, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Stealth, and Use Magic Device.
Skill Point Expenditures (all +1 Morale, +3 Pathfinder): Craft/Alchemy +18 (6 SP +6 Int +2 Tools), Fly +15 (+6 SP +5 Dex), Knowledge/Arcana, History, Religion, and The Planes all +19 (9 SP (4 with Adept) +6 Int), Linguistics +11 (1 SP +6 Int), Perception +17 (9 SP +2 Wis +2 Familiar), Sense Motive +15 (9 SP provided by Headband of Vast Intellect +2 Wis), Spellcraft +19 (9 SP +6 Int), Stave of Ahriman +19 (Martial Art, 9 SP +6 Int), Stealth +13 (4 SP +5 Dex), and Use Magic Device +15 (+9 SP +2 Cha).
Languages Known (7): Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Goblin, Infernal, and Undercommon.
Stave of Ahriman Martial Art (Int):
Arcane energies glow within the staff like veins of molten iron, spelling out terrible truths of blood and death. While the physical side of the Stave of Ahriman art focuses on circular blocks and defense, it’s true power is derived from channeling magic through the weapon. Great masters may possess additional powers (Imbuement, Countermagic/Specialized, only while wielding a staff, and so on), but even basic expertise may be enough to let the user turn a single-target spell into a blazing ring of power (combining a Touch Attack spell, Whirlwind Attack, and Reach).
- Requires: Weapon Focus/Staff or equivalent point buy, Staff of Bone, ability to cast first level arcane spells with at least one touch attack spell.
- Basic Techniques: Defenses 4, Power 2, Toughness 2, Synergy/Acrobatics, Synergy/Jump, and Synergy/Spellcraft.
- Advanced and Master Techniques: Combat Reflexes, Mind Like Moon, Reach, and Whirlwind Attack.
- Occult Techniques: Inner Strength x2, Ki Block, and Vanishing.
Known Techniques (10): Defenses 4, Combat Reflexes, Reach, Whirlwind Attack, Inner Strength, Ki Block and Vanishing.
Equipment (23,500 GP Net Value):
Magical Gear: Headband of Vast Intellect +2 (2000 GP*, attuned to Sense Motive), Cloak of Resistance +2 (2000 GP*), Handy Haversack (1000 GP*), +1 Quarterstave (1600 GP*), Wand of Invisibility (2250 GP*), Lesser Ring of Flames (Produce Flame at caster level one at will, had to buy this one, 2000 GP), Lesser Staff of Evocation (Magic Missile and Shocking Grasp at one charge each, base caster level eight, classic style/50 charges, 4500 GP*), Dimension Stride Boots (1000 GP*), Ring of Silent Spells (1000 GP*), Chronocharm of the Horizon Walker (250 GP*), ten wands with ten charges each (level one utility spells at caster level one, 750 GP*), and five wands with ten charges each (level two utility spells at caster level three, 2250 GP*) (grand total 21,500 GP).
*Made – thanks to his Sorcerous Tools – personally, at half cost.
Minor Gear: Scholars Outfit, 10 Daggers (20 GP), Masterwork Light Crossbow (335 GP), 100 Bolts (10 GP), 12 Spellbooks (180 GP), Two Spell Component Pouches (10 GP), Basic Alchemy Lab (200 GP), Artisan’s Tools (5 GP), 50′ Silk Rope (10 GP), Writing Kit (10 GP) (Net 780 GP).
Minor Valuables: 1520 GP, 600 GP worth of Onyx
The player wants a Ghost-Butler – the spirit of Gravewright’s deceased uncle – as a familiar. That’s mildly awkward; sapient beings are usually more Followers than Companions and there’s no point in losing your memory if someone is hanging around to point stuff out. Still, it’s doable; we just need an appropriate base – in this case a Pathfinder Poltergeist. Those are CR 2 Undead, and normally you can only have a CR 1 creature as a Familiar. Fortunately, this just means that we’ll need to take a template and mark off 32 CP for the +1 CR. We can also assume that uncle whoever doesn’t have too many coherent memories of the old days either; he missed out on a lot of that stuff and becoming a poltergeist linked to his obsessive undead nephew hasn’t helped his memories out one little bit.
Now a Poltergeist is incorporeal, naturally invisible, returns after being destroyed unless it’s done properly (in this case by destroying the phylactery). They’re normally bound to a particular place, but being bound to a creature is certainly reasonable enough. They have telekinesis and can drop their invisibility to frighten people. As a Familiar it has one-half it’s master’s hit points (47), and it’s skill and save bases are as per it’s Master. Poltergeists fly at 20′, with perfect maneuverability.
As a Familiar for an ECL 7 master it gains a +4 bonus to it’s Deflection (normally Natural Armor, but it’s incorporeal, so a total of +6 Deflection with it’s Charisma for a total of 10 +3 Dex +6 Def +4 Armor +4 Shield = 27) and Intelligence, gains Improved Fortune (Evasion), and uses it’s masters base Skills, Saves, BAB, and Effective Level. May automatically use “Aid Another” on it’s masters Perception checks while it’s nearby, telepathic communication with it’s master, and lets it bestow 6 CP worth of abilities on it’s master.
Attributes: Str -, Dex 15 (16), Con -, Int 6 (10 with ECL 7 Master), Wis 12, Cha 12 (14)
With a +2 ECL Template it gets 93 CP to spend.
- First up: Taking a base CR 2 creature as a Familiar (32 CP).
- Innate Enchantment (7 CP): All at Spell Level One, Caster Level One, Unlimited-Use Use-Activated and Personal-Only where appropriate. +2 Dex (1400 GP), Unseen Servant (2000 GP), +2 Cha (1400 GP), and Deathwatch (1400 GP). Note that the +2 Dex and Cha and Deathwatch abilities are shared with it’s master when it’s within range.
- Immunity/The XP costs of it’s innate enchantments (Minor, Minor, Trivial (L1 effects only), 1 CP). This isn’t strictly necessary in Pathfinder, but it’s not like it’s expensive.
- Negative Energy Channeling: (Cha Mod + 11) Uses/Day, Specialized/only for Spell Conversion (10 CP), Spell Conversion to Inflict Serious Wounds, Summon Undead III, Bestow Curse, and Earthward III (Negative Energy Shield) (9 CP).
- Cloaking/Conceals it’s Magical Aura (6 CP).
- Cloaking/Conceals it’s Psychic Aura (6 CP).
- Celerity/+10 Flight Movement (6 CP).
- Presence/Aura of Death, Specialized for Double Effect (Death Knell); operates a maximum of (Cha + 3) times daily, but can be used off initiative without it counting as an action (6 CP).
- Reflex Training/Three extra actions per day variant (6 CP).
- +1 Int, +1 Dex (with the half-price attribute rule in play, 6 CP). Already included above.
Bestowed Ability: Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Saving Throws.
Master’s Skills (all +3 Pathfinder, has undead type so no morale bonus): Craft/Alchemy +9 (6 SP), Fly +20 (+6 SP +3 Dex +8 Natural Flyer), Knowledge/Arcana, History, Religion, and The Planes all +12 (9 SP (4 with Adept)), Linguistics +4 (1 SP), Perception +15 (9 SP +1 Wis +2 Master), Sense Motive +13 (9 SP provided by Headband of Vast Intellect +1 Wis), Spellcraft +12 (9 SP), Stave of Ahriman +12 (Martial Art, 9 SP), Stealth +12 (4 SP +5 Dex), and Use Magic Device +14 (+9 SP +2 Cha).
Gravewright has… rather a lot of magical power. Specializing an entire, major, spell progression will do that – and so will the fact that the rest of his build is also pretty thoroughly optimized. So will the use of alterable relics combined with Pathfinders elimination of experience point costs; that particular combination will let a spellcaster make almost anything he or she could want to have, effectively nearly doubling up on his or her gear. So will letting him build his own template for his familiar. So will… well, I think everyone has gotten the point.
He’ll probably still need some minions and cannon fodder if he’s going to fight a group of adventurers, but he’s probably a lot more interesting as someone that the characters have to bargain with to get those specialty magical devices that player-characters always seem to want.
- Gareth Tamson, Feyblooded Cartographer of Dreams (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- [Emergence Campaign] Dallyn Vortys, Ebonthane of Nidhogg the Devourer, Level Seven Would-Be Dark Lord (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Raykul Tepes, Scion of the Damned (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 – Androids and Constructs (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse – Dressed for Success from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)