And now that I’ve gotten caught up, it’s back to a mixture of game systems…
Taric has come a long ways since his second level “pit fighter” writeup and illustrates a common trend with Eclipse-based characters – a desire to experiment with more exotic options as they go up in level. He’s increased his skills, dealt with his pursuers (who are not crazy enough to pursue someone who’s grown so powerful), and gone from being a very angry young man with a big weapon to something of a hero. He’s also awakened the power of his draconic heritage, obtaining some options beyond “smack them with a big sword” along the way.
Taric, along with most of his family, was captured in a border raid. Unlike most of the youngsters who were sold as servants, he was more rebellious than sensible, and kicked up enough trouble to wind up being sold to a gladiator school.
He was cheap and disposable – and so was drilled with heavy armor (to keep him standing for a bit) and a single, impressive, weapon. After all, he wasn’t expected to live long enough to use a second one.
Unexpectedly, he turned out to have some talent (or at least decent muscles and plenty of anger), and survived his initial bouts. That really rather surprised his trainers – and so did the stroke of luck which gave him a good chance to escape and the speed at which he grabbed it.
Taric started off his adventuring as a paranoid, vicious, young man with a long list of people (captors, masters, trainers, people who killed friends of his, people who cheered too loudly for his opponents, and more) whom he wanted to see dead. Unlike many such, however, a bit of adventuring awoke a spark of nobility in his soul – he would not see other youngsters victimized as he and his friends had been – and with that noble spark awoke the latent power of his great-great grandfather’s gold dragon blood.
Draconic blood can express itself in many ways. In some it grants the potential for sorcery. Others, with blood more pure, are twisted into quasi-reptilian forms. In still others it lies sleeping, allowing it’s bearer to pass as human – until some event calls it forth. Some reach within themselves in search of raw power to serve wrath, ambition, and greed – and if their heritage is chromatic, they sometimes find it. Others search for strength during some moment of heroism or moral choice – and to them a metallic heritage may answer.
Race: Ur-Human (Golden Dragon Heritage, +1 ECL):
- Bonus Feat (6 CP): Fast Learner, Specialized in Hit Dice for Double Effect and +2 CP/Level (a d6 base).
- Fast Learner/Specialized in Skills for Half Cost and +1 SP/Level (3 CP).
- Str +4, Con +4, Int +4, Cha +4 (Since the setting is using the half-price attributes option, and attributes in a template already only cost half what they normally would, these cost a mere 24 CP – a definite bargain. I worlds where that rule does not apply reduce the bonuses to a total of +8).
- Natural Weapons (4 CP): Taric’s nails are hard and sharp enough to cause serious injuries; he always counts as being armed.
- Low-Light Vision (6 CP):
- Shaping (Specialized, only as a prerequisite, 3 CP):
- Dragonfire (Specialized and Corrupted/Only for personal Shields, but can be used reflexively, 4 CP): While nowhere near as tough as a full dragon, Taric can still divert a certain amount of damage (4 points per spell level expended) to his magical reserves.
- Eye Of The Dragon (6 CP): May absorb up to (Int) spell levels per day, storing a maximum of (2 x Con) levels at any given moment.
- Ride the Dragon (6 CP): May channel absorbed spell levels into the following supernatural abilities; Scorching Ray, Cure Serious Wounds, Remove Paralysis, Shield Other, and Protection From Energy.
- Wings of the Dragon (6 CP): L6 Spell: Spirit of the Dragon, Enhance Attribute/All Six by +6 each.
- Speak Language/Draconic (1 CP).
At 63 CP this is a +1 ECL race (as Taric has taken it) or a +2 ECL template. Also, like most customized races and templates, it’s completely centered on what the character wants to be doing – and so is very effective for it’s ECL cost. Of course, in a combat-focused character, there’s nothing at all wrong with that.
Basic Attributes: Str 21 (+5), Dex 10 (+0), Con 16 (+3), Int 16 (+3), Wis 16 (+3), and Cha 14 (+2). (32 Point Buy plus Race, +1 L4 Level Bonus to Str).
Available Character Points: 144 (Level five Base) +24 (Human, L1, L2, L4 Bonus Feats) +10 (Disadvantages) +10 (Duties/Guardian) = 188 CP.
Basic Abilities (96 CP):
- Hit Points: 20 (L1d20, 12 CP) +8, 9, 6, 9 (L2-5d10, 8 CP) +48 (6 x [Con Mod + Str Mod]) = 100
- BAB +5, Specialized/Melee Weapons and Corrupted/Greatsword only for Triple Effect (+15 total) (30 CP)
- Corrupting his attack to “Greatsword Only” is stretching things a bit now that he uses a Spirit Weapon; he’ll always have his Greatsword handy. On the other hand, there are (or at least should be) plenty of situations in an adventurers life when there just isn’t room to wield a Greatsword and Taric will just have to find another way to manage. As a game master I’d be making sure that those pop up every so often. Now if he was a shortsword specialist, it probably wouldn’t be allowable; if you can move at all there’s usually enough room for those.
- (Large, treated as Huge) Greatsword Attack: +25/+20/+15 (+15 BAB +5 Str +1 Enh +4 MA), 3d8+8, Reach 15′. Can intercept and absorb spells in this range as well. May inflict lethal or nonlethal damage at will.
- Armor Class: 10 (Base) +3 (Dex) +7 (Armor) +4 (Shield, only while using a greatsword) = 24
- Skill Points: 9 (9 CP) + 16 (Fast Learner) +24 (Int) = 49 SP
- Fortitude: +0 (Purchased, 0 CP) +3 (Wis Mod, See Below) = +3
- Reflex: +0 (Purchased, 0 CP) +3 (Wis Mod, See Below) = +3
- Will: +6 (Purchased, 18 CP) +3 (Wis Mod, See Below) = +9
- Taric is much more worried about mind control than he is about being blasted or poisoned. In his case that’s not entirely unreasonable; he has Luck for those must-make saves, and most will saves are less than lethal.
- Proficient with Light, Medium, and Heavy Armor (15 CP), Proficient with Great Sword (3 CP).
Special Abilities (88 CP):
- Upgrade Human Fast Learner ability to +2 SP/Level (3 CP).
- Advanced Improved Augmented Bonus/adds (Str Mod) to (Con Mod) when calculating hit points (18 CP).
- Spirit Weapon (Greatsword, 6 CP): Taric has learned to generate his own greatsword out of pure will, expressed as light.
- Eye of the Dragon (Again, 6 CP): This increases his daily absorption limit to (2 x Int) and storage capacity to (4 x Con).
- Lunge (6 CP). Gives him 5′ of Reach.
- Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Saving Throws (6 CP).
- Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Attacks (6 CP).
- Reflex Training (3 Actions/Day variant) with +4 Bonus Uses (12 CP).
- Improved Initiative +2 (3 CP).
- Skill Emphasis/Survival, Specialized in Tracking for Double Effect (+4, 3 CP).
- Anime Master, Specialized in Greatswords (3 CP). He can wield a large greatsword as if it was a normal one.
- Track/Wilderness (3 CP).
- Innate Enchantment (5000 GP Value/6 CP).
- Warblade (A variant of Shillelagh, a normal Greatsword becomes +1 and is considered on size category larger, 2000 GP).
- Whirling Guard (Shield, x.8 only works when holding a Greatsword, 1600 GP).
- Perceptive Focus (+2 Wisdom, Personal-only, 1400 GP).
- Immunity/The normal XP cost of Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Major, Trivial, 2 CP).
- Enthusiast, Specialized for Double Effect/only for Relics (3 CP)
- Create Relic, Specialized and Corrupted/only for relics that enhance his dragon powers, only for making relics with his Enthusiast points (2 CP).
- Current Relic: The Dragonfire Ring: Pulse and Heart of the Dragon, Specialized/only as prerequisites, Blood of the Dragon (12 CP); May use (Cha Mod) spell levels worth of Path of the Dragon effects each minute without cost.
- Listen +11 (8 SP +3 Wis)
- Survival +13 (8 SP +3 Wis +2 Sy)
- Spot +13 (8 SP +3 Wis +2 Sy)
- Sense Motive +11 (8 SP +3 Wis)
- Mjolnir’s Strike (Martial Art) +13 (8 SP +5 Str). Requires Weapon Focus on a two-handed weapon.
- 7 techniques: Attack +4, Strike, Blind-Fight, and Reach.
- Iron Wind Style (Martial Art) +11 (8 SP + 3 Wis):
- 6 Techniques: Strike, Synergy/Survival, Synergy/Spot, Power 1, Mind Like Moon, Instant Stand.
- Tumble +1 (1 SP +0 Dex)
Taric’s been equipped at the “NPC” level – mostly so as to leave easy room for customization.
- Minor Mundane Gear: 90 GP
- Adamantine Shuriken/Small Blade variety: A handy tool (60)
- +1 Banded Mail (1400).
- Restful Crystal: Lets you sleep well in armor (500).
- Armband of Elusive Action: 1/Day avoid provoking Attack of Opprotunity (800).
- Boots of the Cat: Avoid falling damage, land on your feet (1000 GP).
- Chronocharm of the Horizon Walker (1//day move 1/2 move as a swift action (500).
- Amber Item of Vermin/Summon Huge Monstrous Scorpion for one minute 1/day (700).
- Everfull Mug (200)
- Everlasting Rations (350)
Taric is still almost entirely reliant in melee combat with a Greatsword – but he has begun to branch out a bit. His basic “move in and hack things” strategy really hasn’t changed much though.