Eclipse – the Stormlord Template

English: Severe storm in Sydney in 1991, pictu...

All right already! We’re coming!

Today it’s a template request based a suggestion by Fireslayne – although it has, of course, been put throughly mangled along the way…

There have always been Thunder Gods. An earthquake, volcano, or tidal wave may unleash greater devastation – but they are rarities that many will never see. Storms – with their winds, floods, and lightning – display the awesome power of the Thunder Gods on a regular basis.

Some – blessed by the Thunder Gods, bearing their blood, or infused or merged with the power of a storm, carry a portion of that power within themselves. An odor of ozone hangs about them, sparks dance across their skin, eyes and scars may be lit with electrical fires. For those with eyes to see, the signs are clear.

StormLord (158 CP/+4 ECL):

Furies of the Storm (71 CP):

  • Strength Of The Thunder Gods: Attribute Modifiers: Str +2, Dex +2, Con +4, Cha -4. (Two levels of Attribute Shift, 12 CP, +4 Con, 24 CP. (In worlds using the half-price attribute rule eliminate the Charisma penalty and either reduce the total cost from 36 CP to to 24 CP or boost strength and constitution a bit more).
  • Wrath Of The Heavens: Smite (Select Something) 1/Day (6 CP)
  • Tempered In The Lightning: Defender/+2 Natural Armor, Corrupted/does not increase with level (8 CP)
  • Electric Flesh: +2 Constitution for Hit Point purposes only (6 CP In a Template. If the half-price attribute rule is in place, just upgrade constitution for all purposes).
  • The Living Lightning: Immunity/Electrical Damage (Common, Major, Great (up to 60 points), 18 CP).
  • Disadvantage: Incompetent/-5 on attempts to be stealthy. When you emit electrical sparks, glow a bit, and smell of ozone, it’s rather hard to hide (-3 CP)

Mastery of the Winds (49 CP):

  • Walk Upon The Winds: Celerity/+10′ Ground Movement (6 CP).
  • Riding The Storm: Inherent Spell I, II, III, IV: Summon Medium Air Elemental (Specific Monster Summoning, L3), Large (L4), Huge (L5), and Greater (L6), all Corrupted/requires appropriate minimum levels (5/7/9/11) to use (16 CP).
  • Blood Like Thunder: Inherent Spell with +2 Bonus Uses, Specialized (only lasts one round per level) for Double Effect/a L6 variant of Warband (from the Practical Enchanter); has no range but can affect targets within a 30′ radius (6 CP). (This is replacing Blessing of the Storm – mostly because open-ended bonuses are system-breaking).
  • Within The Whirlwind: Improved Augmented Bonus: Adds (Con Mod) to (Dex Mod) when calculating armor class (12 CP).
  • Strike Of The Tornado: Improved Augmented Bonus: Adds (Con Mod) to (Str Mod) for melee combat purposes (12 CP).
  • Disadvantage: Accursed. Being constantly surrounded by rushing winds may be cool and refreshing, but it makes it extremely difficult to read or write on paper or parchment, to use paper money, to avoid stirring up clouds of dust, to use scrolls, to spice your food, or to hear what’s going on around you (-5 penalty whenever relevant, -3 CP).

Lightning Mastery (38 CP):

  • Storm Surge: Berserker with +4 Bonus Uses and Enduring, Specialized/only usable once per “encounter”, and Corrupted/while “berserk”, and for (10-Con Mod) rounds thereafter, the user will be unable to use Hammer of the Skies or One with the Lightning unless he or she is hit by an electrical attack which would normally inflict at least 4d6 damage. Adds +6 Str and a +2 Deflection bonus to AC as it wraps the user in his or her own private storm (5 CP).
  • Hammer Of The Skies: Augment Attack/+4d6 damage on a Critical Hit, Specialized/number of dice will not exceed the critical multiplier of the weapon, cannot active more often than once ever other round (6 CP).
  • One With The Lightning: Inherent Spell/Immortal Vigor III (provides 6d6 +(6 x Con Mod) temporary hit points) with +2 Bonus Uses, Specialized/only lasts for one minute, cannot be used on other characters (4 CP).
  • Convulsive Strengths: Spell Resistance II, Specialized against electrical effects and effects that lower the user’s strength or constitution (6 CP).
  • Lightning Storm: Inherent Spell II/Lightning-based version of Blistering Radiance (Spell Compendium) with +2 Bonus Uses (9 CP), with the Sculpting Metamagical Theorem and three levels of Streamline, all Specialized and Corrupted/only to add Targeting to the Lightning Storm (8 CP). As a fourth-level offensive spell this is generally not available for use until level 7+.

With a net cost of 158 CP the Stormlord template is a +4 ECL template – like the Half-Celestial or Half-Infernal templates… Why is the template broken down into three sections? Why not?

As far as the game goes… A Stormlord is essentially a junior superhero. While this is a pretty good package for a warrior type, I have to admit that – in Eclipse – high-end templates are relatively uncommon; since you can freely tailor your character anyway, the principle use of Templates is to obtain attribute bonuses on the cheap. 

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10 Responses

  1. Wouldn’t it be substantially more efficient to build a good number of these powers using channeling?
    The Innate spells could pretty easily be built as channeling spell conversion, which a quick look says would probably be cheaper and offer more versatility.

    • Conversion can only produce spell effects appropriate to the type of energy being channeled, and any given game master might be hard to convince that there’s an energy source suitable for Channeling that covers summoning air elementals, boosting a band of warriors, giving yourself more hit points, and invoking selective-target lightning storms.

      Secondarily, the set includes 13 daily spells, which would call for 21 CP on uses. Buying a set of seventh level conversion slots (since the necessary spells are L6, L3, L6, and L7) costs 21 CP as well – and an immunity sufficient to cover the “godhood or epic level” requirement on conversions to spells of level 7+ would be pretty pricey. You might not save much of anything on the 50 CP total cost anyway.

      And I hope that makes more sense now!

  2. Channeling (3 + (3 * Cha Mod) uses a day) (24 CP)
    Conversion (‘Air’) of spells of up to level 6 (12 CP)
    Effect List (Lightning Immunity 1, Summon Greater Air Elemental 2, Summon Air Elemental 3, Storm Surge 4, Hammer of the Skies 5, One With Lightning 6, Convulsive Strengths 7, Lightning Storm 8, ‘Walk upon the Winds’ 9) (18 CP)
    Within the Whirlwind and Strike of the Tornado (12 CP)
    Strength of the Thunder Gods (24 CP)
    Electric Flesh (6 CP)
    Immunity to Dispelling (Common/Minor/Legendary) Specialized for Reduced Cost / Only for Channeling Effects, only to make ‘buff’ effects undispellable. (12 CP)
    2d6 Mana with Spell Enhancement Specialized and Corrupted for reduced cost / only for facilitating actually using the Lightning storm effect up to 3 times a day (4 CP)
    Inherent Spell (Warband Variant) (18 CP) (6 CP for initial buy, 2 level of advanced specialized for half cost ‘only as a prerequisite’ and another level of advanced)
    Total: 24 + 12 + 18 + 12 + 24 + 6 + 12 + 4 + 18 – 10 (original disadvantages) = 120
    That’s enough to take off one level from the level adjustment, and contains a bit of replicating problems. Plus, I’m 75% sure that I actually have like 4 more spells that I could select for the effect list. Hammer of the skies seemed like a fairly minor effect, easily coverable as a combat enhancement, Storm Surge is a combination of a Level 1 shield of Faith and a level 5 ‘hour per level’ attribute enhancement effect, A level 5 effect is enough to get general spell resistance that good for 1 min/ level, so could easily have a decent duration variant, And lightning storm is accomadated with Mana. More flexibility too.
    Basically, it was also that a lot of the effects were feasible just by looking up a spell that would accomplish the same effect (especially since there still on theme).

    • Alternatively, you could probably use a variant of the basic ‘partial skill-based caster’ package using Lightning, Personalization, Combat Augmentations, and Time warping (or Permanancy, or Amplification) from another dweomer field with the usual amplifications for more options and probably less even with the attribute enhancements.

      • (For the record, it should probably include finesse to change the stat that Channeling uses accumulate from, probably Con.)
        Also, the ‘more hit points’ is probably an ablative air barrier of some kind (for theme requirements, plus the ‘electric flesh’ thing being allowed as description).
        Within the Whirlwind and Strike of the Tornado can probably get reasonable approximations from spells around level 6, but eh.

      • There are some problems there:

        It looks like you’re using Conversion to produce spell effects of up to level six, and then using Spell Conversion on those spells. Unfortunately, Spell Conversion only works on Prepared Spells and to spells which the user could already access (and, for arcane spells, is still subject to Arcane Spell Failure for Armor). Since spells produced by Channeling Conversion are not prepared spells, templates don’t have spell lists, and you’d need a caster level and a way to deal with Arcane Spell Failure, it doesn’t look like this will work properly.

        It’s true that spells can duplicate most of the various effects in the template – but they need a fairly high caster level to make them do so. But as a template you can have a Level Zero Stormlord at ECL 3. As written, the only level-dependent effects are the Elemental Summonings for Riding The Storm (levels 5/7/9/11) and the minimums for Inherent Spells (Blood Like Thunder and One With The Lightning – although those often get a pass as being a general party booster and purely defensive – and Lightning Storm (L7)) .

        For example, even presuming that “Lightning Immunity” is a double-strength variant of Resist Energy that only works on Lightning (which does not work, since it would greatly reduce the cost of buying devices that offer energy resistance), it would need a high caster level to get to sixty points.

        For some secondary notes…

        Channeling Uses: Since this is a template, you can’t count on any particular attribute modifier. It needs to use Bonus Uses rather than +(Cha Mod) uses. The difference is pretty small though (only about 3 CP) or – as you note – you could just Finesse to a different attribute (although, in a Template, that has the same problem). .

        The base return rate for Mana is only 1-2 points per day; you’d need some Rite Of Chi with Bonus Uses to refill the pool each day. (only 4 CP though).

        Basically, spells can do a lot of the same things – but they generally can’t do them as passive, all-day effects at caster level zero, which is what is needed here.

        You can certainly do a lot of the same stuff with a minor caster package too – but that will run into caster level problems as well; templates don’t automatically bypass the (Level +3) restriction on caster levels, so even if you put them all into a template, they’ll only become available gradually.

        Secondarily, this was a request – and a lot more game masters are willing to put up with a template full of odd, specific, powers than are willing to put up with a freeform spellcaster. Ergo it’s written so that it could be used in a game that’s either not using Eclipse or is only experimenting with some of the options.

      • Ah. I was thinking overly much in ‘if I had a character at this level, I would…”.
        The limitations on conversion you stated aren’t particularily visible (honestly, the only thing i noticed was the word ‘conversion’).
        I didn’t think that there were limitations to using attributes in templates like that (e.g you have a few races with ‘+2 to a chosen attribute’, which seems to imply your allowed to leave that sort of thing open ended if it fits your concept).
        I guess it would make more sense to use your version if you were lower level, and mine if otherwise.
        (FYI, I was thinking a variant of Protection from energy, greater).

      • Well, like most builds… it suits some characters, not others. I must admit that Eclipse is pretty compressed, simply because expanding everything would have made it an eight hundred page book that mo one would ever read. So there isn’t any flavor text in there.

        Oh, you could certainly leave the choice of attribute open – after all, the original version includes “smite: with a choice of what you smite – but if you;re going to leave a lot of things open you might as well just note “bonus feat” instead.

        I think the original request was for a “son of a thunder god” concept. That’s a major reason for the extra hit points – so that you’re more likely to survive being four levels behind in a relatively low-level game.

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