Verdigrised Forge, Ironclad Pragmatic Engineer and Honorable Defender

And today it’s another requested Eclipse d20 build…

The gate was tiny, and carefully controlled – and from it was drawn a filament of eldritch fire, primordial and unquenchable, an eternal flame to fuel the construct-forge. It was drawn through the complex internal structures, linked to the enchantments, and knotted back upon itself, that it’s puissance would endure as long as the Ironclad it empowered did.

As it’s interior furnaces ignited, never to be quenched in life, Incarnadine Flame – an Ironclad Aide/Guardian for one of the last powerful mages to fight in the Great War – strode forth, a figure of shining bronze and blazing lines of energy.

——————————————————————————————————————

The Ironclads defense had held beyond all expectations, covering the retreat and evacuation of the surviving mortal troops – but the end approached swiftly; the structure of the citadel itself was failing, stone, mortar and protective spellwork alike crumbling before the unrelenting pressure of the assault. Few of the defenders still functioned. Despite Incarnadine Flame’s devotion of its full capacity to repair and reconstruction, it could not keep up with the ever-escalating damage.

It was reinforcing the weakening foundations when the citadel finally fell, leaving Incarnadine Flame buried in the rubble – badly damaged and unable to move or make repairs with rocks in the way. It devoted its remaining capacity to storing repair, construction, and healing magic and went into stand-by mode. Sooner or later, either release or total systems failure would come.

——————————————————————————————————————

Much later, the wars long over, some local villagers gathering building stone from the ruins of a fallen border fortress inadvertently released a verdigrised and battered figure – burning still with the eternal flame that had empowered him so long ago. Fortunately for them, Incarnadine Flame sought information rather than battle with obvious farming village non-combatants. Considerable time had passed, and it was likely that the war was long over.

It was. The army, the government, and even the country which it had served, had passed into history while it endured. The locals, however, seemed to be their descendants – so Incarnadine Flame, now Verdigrised Forge, distributed much of his accumulated magics among them, and used most of the rest rebuilding the Citadel as a local place of safety.

When some bandits were attracted by the sudden local prosperity… it was a most unpleasant surprise to find that the ancient border citadel was once again a place of refuge – and that a long-forgotten people had sent a last guardian across the years to protect their descendants.

There is a new mission; to root out the menaces that threaten the land – and new, if less well-organized than the army of old, adventurer-companions to do it with.

Verdigrised Forge, Ironclad Combat Artificer

Pathfinder Package Deal:

Racial Package: Ironclad (+0 ECL):

Inherent Equipment:

  • Armor and Weapons (674 GP):
    • Masterwork Breastplate (350 GP).
    • 2x Large Heavy Crossbows (200 GP), 2d8, SRD, 19-20/x2, 120 ft.
    • 2x Warhands (Large Dwarven Waraxes, 120 GP, 2d8, 20/x3).
    • 2x Large Sai (4 GP).
  • Masterwork Kits and Tools (1300 GP ):
    • Acrobat’s Staff (Acrobatics, 50 GP), Alchemists Lab (Craft/Alchemy, 500 GP), Augmented Artisian’s Tools (Craft and Profession, 100 GP), Camouflage Cloak and Soft Boots (Stealth, 50 GP), Climbing Claws (Climb, 50 GP), Escape Kit (Escape Artist, 50 GP), Heal (Surgeons Tools, 100 GP), Jeweler’s Loup (Appraise, 50 GP), Ritualists Pouch (Upgraded Spell Components Pouch, Spellcraft and Use Magic Device, 100 GP), Samurai Styling (Intimidate, 50 GP), Spectacles and Ear Trumpet (Perception, 50 GP), Survival Kit (Survival, 50 GP), Thieves Tools (Disable Device, 100 GP)
      • Net: +2 Circumstance Bonus to Acrobatics, Appraise, Climb, Craft, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Heal, Intimidate, Perception, Profession, Spellcraft, Stealth, Survival, and Use Magic Device.
  • Other Tools (850 GP):
    • 6x Wand Chambers (600 GP).
    • Bolt Cutters (6 GP).
    • Bullseye Lantern with Continual Flame and Hood (120 GP).
    • Crowbar (2 GP, +2 to Strength Checks wherever applicable).
    • Grapnel-Firing Crossbow (70 GP).
    • Multipurpose Hammer and Sledge (Big Hands) (2 CP).
    • Silver Holy Symbol (25 GP). Very VERY few Ironclads ever developed clerical powers – but you never knew, and the expense was small.
    • Winch (25 GP).
  • Enchantments (7300 GP):
    • Feathermail (a touch-range Transmutation effect targeting armor, +3 to maximum Dex, -3 to Armor Check Penalty, reduce movement penalty by 10 for 2 rounds/level, Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP (Unlimited-Use Use-Activated) x .7 (Personal-Only) = 1400 GP. Despite its weight, Verdigrised Forge is strong enough to act as if it is light and maneuverable.
    • Industrialist/Power Tool: Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP (Unlimited-Use Use-Activated) x .5 (Only on his internal “tools”) = 1000 GP. This lets him use his normal saws as chainsaws and circular saws, fire nails into wood at a great rate, jackhammer through cobbles, and so on. In general, he gets a lot more done than any normal human.
    • Inward Holocaust/Perpetual Forge (250 GP). Verdigrised Forge can use his own flames to work and smelt metal, cook, and perform alchemical operations.
    • Repair Functions/Healing Belt (750 GP). The ability to tap into at least a little bit of positive energy each day is invaluable to any Ironclad, and was an extremely common feature.
    • Shock Absorbers/Boots of Landing (500 GP). While unspectacular, this is another common feature – relatively cheap to install and very handy. Wanting to jump down fifteen or twenty feet is pretty common on a ruinous battlefield.
    • Siege Engineer/Unseen Servant: Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP (Unlimited-Use Use-Activated) x .5 (Single Purpose: siege support. These automatically load and ready all allied crossbows and siege engines in the immediate vicinity whenever they’re discharged, including his built-in ones – although they will also help build siege engines, buttress walls, and tip cauldrons of boiling stuff. They won’t do other things though) = 1000 GP.
    • Strength of Steel/Immortal Vigor I (+12 + 2x Con Mod HP, Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP (Unlimited-Use Use-Activated) x .7 (Personal-Only) = 1400 GP. And this ability, of course, is so common for Ironclad and Mortal combatants alike that it’s barely worth mentioning.

At a total cost of 9124 GP, this equipment package will cost an additional 4 CP to add to the 5000 GP basic racial package.

Available Character Points: 48 (Level One Base) +12 (Disadvantages) +2 (Duties) (+6, GM is awarding L0 and L1 Bonus Feats, even if an Ironclad forfeits the L1 Feat) = 68 CP.

Disadvantage Notes:

  • Some people are good at being stealthy. Others are massive suits of armor filled with blazing magical energies that leak little jets of arcane fire (Incompetent/-5 to Stealth).
  • Verdigrised Forge is a walking magical laboratory and magic-item shop. Not too surprisingly, a lot of people would like to get their hands on such a handy creature (Valuable).
  • Verdigrised Forge KNOWS who created it, and knows perfectly well that they weren’t all that divine (Irreverent).
  • Illiterate (Variant): Verdigrised Forge is decades (or perhaps centuries) out of date on most things. It will be wanting to invest a couple of points in fixing this sometime.

Disadvantages generally aren’t worth the few points they provide – but they can certainly help properly represent a character. 

Basic Attributes: Str 14, Int 16, Wis 14, Con 16, Dex 14, Cha 8 (32 Point Buy, Racial +2 Con, -2 Cha, +2 Pathfinder Bonus to Int).

Basic Abilities (26 CP):

  • Hit Dice: 12 (3d4, L0 16 CP) + 12 (Magic) +15 (Con Mod x 5) = 39. As a side effect of buying a couple of extra hit dice rather than one larger one (which would get 41 HP for the same cost) this raises Verdigrised Forge’s effective “level” for the racial Imbuement power to start off with Light Fortification. That’s unlikely to be critical, but it might help – and if Verdigrised Forge raises his Constitution later on will it eventually show a hit-point profit.
  • Skill Points: 0 (0 CP) + 12 (Int Mod x 4) +8 (Fast Learner) = 20. Using fast learner to cover it’s skill point needs is a bit cheesy, but I’m very short of points for this build.
  • BAB: +1, Specialized in Axes, BAB +1 Specialized in Crossbows, both Corrupted/built-in weapons only (4 CP). Sure, a +1 BAB would cover the Sai’s too, and cost the same – but that wouldn’t help him learn martial arts.
  • Saves:
    • Fortitude: +0 (0 CP) +3 (Con) = +3
    • Reflex: +2 (6 CP) +2 (Dex) = +4
    • Will: +0 (0 CP) +2 (Wis) = +2
  • Proficiencies: None. Relies on built-in weaponry.
  • Initiative: +2 (Dex)
  • Move: 30′
  • Armor Class: 10 +5 (Armor) +2 (Dex) = 17. That’s not so hot for a war machine, even if Verdigrised Forge was never meant to be a front-line fighter. It will have to do something about this later on.

Usual Attacks:

  • Large Heavy Crossbows: +3/+3 (+1 BAB +2 Dex +3 MA -2 Rapid Shot), 2d8, Crit 19-20/x2, Precise Shot.
  • Hands (Large Dwarven WarAxes): +6 (+1 BAB +2 Str +3 MA), 2d8 +2 (Str), 20/x3, Combat Reflexes (3 AoO).

Other Abilities (42 CP):

  • Spent on extra Innate Equipment (4 CP).
  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for Double Effect, Corrupted/only to keep Adept Skills maxed out (4 CP).
  • Adept (Enchantment Rune Magic, Mastery and Casting, Vitrolic Storm Martial Art, and Craft / Alchemy), Corrupted/all equipment used, including bonus-providing magic, must be internal (4 CP).
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted/only for Skills, only for Craft, Disable Device, Knowledge/Arcana, Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device (4 CP).
  • Genesis Forge: The blazing green flames of the Genesis Forge can infuse their magic into base materials, needing only a few runes inscribed to channel their power and turn them into powerful magical devices. Sadly, the process is slow – but it’s still invaluable on field assignments.
    • Equipage with Purchasing and Returns II (80% of value), Specialized and Corrupted/No mundane objects may be purchased or returned, purchasing items requires at least 25% of the time that would normally be required to create them (although this time may be spent doing other things), items purchased must be level-appropriate or below and may NOT require original research (6 CP).
    • Create Item, Specialized and Corrupted/only as a prerequisite (2 CP)
    • Harvest of Artifice, Specialized and Corrupted/only for use with Transmutation, only provides cash, user must specify plot-hooks resulting from such funding (2 CP). This provides 100 XP a month that can only be used for “transmutation”.
    • Transmutation, Specialized and Corrupted/only to produce money, never actually occurs on screen (2 CP).
      • That gives Verdigrised Forge a steady “income” of 200 GP/Month. It seems quite fair to let a character who starts with this ability have most of a years income from it – call it 2000 GP – to supplement his or her (or, in this case, it’s) starting cash.
  • 1d6 (6) Mana with the Resilience Option (6 CP).
  • Rite of Chi, Specialized/requires at least one hour of “rest” per d6 (3 CP).
  • Empowerment, Specialized in Wands (Currently six uses per day for Half Price, 3 CP).
  • Universal DR 2/-, Corrupted/not versus Electrical or Sonic Attacks (2 CP).

Skills:

  • Climb +8 (1 SP +2 Str +3 Pathfinder +2 Gear).
  • Craft/Alchemy: +12 (4 (2*)SP +3 Int +3 Pathfinder +2 Gear).
  • Disable Device: +9 (2 SP +2 Dex +3 Pathfinder +2 Gear).
  • Knowledge/Arcana: +7 (1 SP +3 Int +3 Pathfinder).
  • Perception +8 (1 SP +2 Wis +3 Pathfinder +2 Gear).
  • Profession/Military Engineer: +11 (2 SP +2 Wis +3 Pathfinder +2 Gear).
  • Rune Magic/Enchantment Casting: +10 (4 (2*) SP +3 Int +3 Pathfinder). Creates it’s runic effects at caster level five.
  • Rune Magic/Enchantment Mastery: +10 (4 (2*) SP +3 Int +3 Pathfinder). May create runic effects of up to second level.
  • Spellcraft: +12 (4 (2*) SP +3 Int +3 Pathfinder +2 Gear).
  • Stone-Cutter Form (Martial Art, Con): +8 (2 SP +3 Con +3 Pathfinder).
  • Use Magic Device: +3 (1 SP -1 Cha +3 Pathfinder +2 Gear).
  • Vitrolic Storm (Martial Art, Dex): +9 (4 (2*) SP +2 Dex +3 Pathfinder).

*half cost due to Adept

The Rune Magic skills are Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (the level of spells cast with them are reduced by two). Forge’s spells require at least one minute and are limited to empowering and enhancing items – creating temporary magical items or boosting and tweaking the effects of items that are already magical.

Vitriolic Storm Martial Art (Dex)

This crossbow style focuses on infusing bolts with corrosive mystical energies, eventually gaining the ability to virtually annihilate obstacles and barriers – burning through wood, stone, and metal with the corrosive energies of the user’s art.

  • Requires: +1 BAB specialized in Crossbows, access to Mana.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Power 4, Synergy/any Military Profession, and Defenses 1.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot, Precise Shot, and Weapon Kata (Siege Engines).
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Focused Blow, Touch Strike, and Wrath (Acid).

Known Techniques (5): Attack 3, Rapid Shot and Precise Shot.

and…

Stone-Cutter Form (Con):

This dwarven form focuses on classic dwarven axe techniques – you stand there, you strike at anything that comes near you with your full strength, you take any counterattacks you must, and you smash things…

  • Requires: +1 BAB specialized in Axes.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 3, Defenses 2, Power 2, Toughness 3.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Battlecry, Breaking, Combat Reflexes, Mind Like Moon.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Iron Skin, Ki Block, and Vanishing.

Known Techniques (4): Attack 3, Combat Reflexes.

Equipment (2150 GP):

One-Charge Wands (Note that Verdigrised Forge has no native ability to use Wands save for his own, specialized, Rune Magic wands – although he’d be well advised to pick that up soon – and so generally must rely on using Luck to “Take 20″ on Use Magic Device and then Empower the wand with his Mana – of which he currently gets only 1d6+1 (six maximum) points per day – to avoid using a charge. Unfortunately, he generally has no applicable base caster level to boost them with either).

  • Caster Level Seven: Cure Critical Wounds (420 GP).
  • Caster level five: Dispel Magic (225 GP), Fireball (225 GP), Protection From Energy (225 GP), Flame Arrow (225 GP) and Protection from Arrows (225 GP).
  • -These are in his Wand Compartments where they’re handy and safe. At a total of 1545 GP, they take up a three quarters of his equipment budget.

That leaves Verdigrised Forge with some 600 GP worth of gear – and not a lot of actual needs. It may carry some food, clothing, and blankets, either for the convenience of any companions of for folk in need of such things along the way – but Verdigrised Forge itself need not eat or drink, is impervious to normal weather, and needs no clothing, tools, sources of light, armor, bedding, external weapons, or even flint and steel. It can even make its own alchemical items at half cost.

Still, Verdigrised Forge can use a few items. A writing kit can be handy, as can a block and tackle with some rope or chain, a bag of caltrops, a plentiful supply of bolts, and likely a mule to load things on. Other than that… perhaps a few potions?

Verdigrised Forge is hardly the best fighter ever, and isn’t much of a mage or rogue – but it is about as self-sufficient as it’s possible to get, and can provide all kinds of handy backup within a party – especially if it comes down to a siege situation. Further advancement (likely explained as “repairing old internal damage”) will mostly involve upgrading the number of times per day that it can use it’s various abilities, getting more Mana, and adding Imbuement for Crossbows and for its Axe-Hands rather than any rapid increase in power.

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.

The Practical Enchanter can be found in a Print Edition (Lulu), an Electronic Edition(RPGNow), and a Shareware Edition (RPGNow).  There’s an RPGNow Staff Review too.

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11 Responses

  1. Is using Innate Enchantment in this manner, to purchase reusable items something that would work with any character or is the intent here only to make it work with the fact the character is a construct and has a body that was crafted to an end?

    For example, would a character that uses his mind to produce gear be something that would work with this approach? I have been wanting to reflect a mundane crafting style that uses items that only exist in mental storage, in the same type of way the mind blade Mau-Jehe from Weapons of Legacy works. There are ways to create that with a minor privilege “unique item forms” or an Immunity “things being stolen or misplaced” with a Specialization and Corruption of “can be take be taken by other people with this same Immunity” and ” anyone can take these items from you if you are unconscious due to any reason”

    • It could certainly work with most characters concepts that say “I don’t need to make trips to buy some stuff or bother with carrying it with me”. The reason why is flavor text and should certainly be used in building the character concept, but it shouldn’t stop you from building things how you want to (only the GM can do that). Of course, I tend to be a fan of using Enthusiast specialized so that it can only be used shift around a specific set of ability (double effect).

      So in your case it might be Enthusiast: Specialized in Innate Enchantment. The Innate Enchantment effect could then be used to mimic the many “Summon Items/Tools/Weapons/Armor” spells that you can find out there and allow yourself to summon forth various things that can then be swapped out for other items every few hours/days depending on how many points you put into it. As a side bonus, it would allow you to call forth most any low level enchantment you might need given warning and time to prepare without a lot of expense.

      Lot’s of ways to build things, each with their own costs and advantages.

      • I am aware of that route, to refine what I was asking, was about getting an Innate Enchantment of a nonconsumable mundane item. Not a spell effect like the 3.0 psionic Call Item, or the 3.x Call Armor / Call Weapon effects. I was meaning more the usage in the sections “Armor and Weapons” “Kits and Tools” and “Other Items”. I was wondering if there were different rules governing the direct purchase of mundane items as Innate Enchantments and if there was any changes in the way anything worked with that. Partially this is because even taking a 2 CP Innate Enchantment work 1k of gear would give a HUGE amount of mundane gear and if one took a whole feat of it 5k worth of mundane non consumable gear would probably be close to all the mundane gear a character normally uses.

        This of course just then begs the question of how to purchase consumables in such a fashion.

      • There aren’t really any different rules governing the purchase of mundane gear through innate enchantment; it’s just a rarity. After all, while it’s no concern for an Ironclad, most mortal heroes will want to be able to take their armor off once in awhile.

        So yes, you can spend a couple of CP getting the built-in or arcane equivalent of a bunch of mundane gear – but unless you’ve got a concept that calls for such a thing few characters want to. Sure, it’s good for a level or two – but after that it’s a waste. Better to take Action Hero / Crafting, or a Stipend, or some other ability that will grow with your character later on.

        For consumables… the most direct way with Innate Enchantment is just to get an ability that will do what you want several times per day and just add the effect as “pulling something out”. Equipage and a Stipend will cover it nicely as well. There are other ways too, but those are the first two that come to mind.

    • Well, the intent in this particular case was to represent equipment that was literally built into a construct-body – but that’s basically just special effects. You could do the same thing to represent cyberware, or a series of minor exalted-style “charms” (“Craftsman Needs No Tools” (Crafting Tools), “Stance of the Crane” (Balance Tool), “Catspaw Whisper” (soft shoes for Move Silently), and so on), or psychic constructs, or whatever.

      I don’t usually take this sort of approach for mundane gear for fantasy characters since it rarely fits the concept – and beause most fantasy characters have better uses for points than replacing a few bits of cheap gear.

      Now, in the Federation-Apocalypse setting your gear is restricted by your “Gadgetry” skill instead of by money – and given that much of it is very high-tech, preventing people from taking it away can be quite important. Ergo, a number of characters in that setting have an Immunity to having their gear taken away, representing getting it implanted as Cyberware.

      At least one has recently taken a high-end Immunity to the requirement that implanted systems be able to actually fit into his body, and so has (magically) installed a Colossal Mecha – although the youngster is currently a bit annoyed to find that this has restricted him to visiting those worlds where that immunity will work for fear of exploding.

  2. I think I could enjoy playing this guy, although I would probably swap a few things around for my own tastes.

  3. Could you go into a bit more detail about what this branch of Rune Magic would allow him to do? I assume we are talking ‘Enchantment” more like an Artificer or the Mastercrafter from here, rather than the School of Magic version?

    • Oh dear, that’s my older-edition english and “Enchant an Object” showing again, rather than later-edition game terms.

      This is indeed more like the Artificer or Mastercrafter version; it’s basically for modifying the properties of items – giving weapons magical enhancements, animating a rope, making chains much tougher to break, and so on. most commonly used for temporary weapon enhancements. Thus the notation about

      “The Rune Magic skills are Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (the level of spells cast with them are reduced by two). Forge’s spells require at least one minute and are limited to empowering and enhancing items – creating temporary magical items or boosting and tweaking the effects of items that are already magical.”

      Thus his talents are very good for making his crossbows +1 for awhile, or making a net sticky, or making something lighter and able to float – but no, they aren’t any good at all for inflicting mental compulsions on people.

  4. […] Verdigrised Forge, Ironclad Pragmatic Engineer and Honorable Defender. A sapient golem-warrior and living artifice-furnace. […]

  5. […] presume that he (sensibly) gets himself a dedicated crafter of some sort (and perhaps someone like Verdigrised Forge to help maintain things), so as to be able to get his items on the cheap. From this point on, his […]

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