Karthos the Dweomer Master

Today it’s another Eclipse d20 character request – an eighth level character with an exotic race (“Watcher”, a magically-created gargoyle-dwarf creature from “Races of Renown – Bastards”), described as a “Scholarly Dweomerist” (one of the example builds in the basic Eclipse book) – but what there is in the notes also lists a high base attack bonus and some psionic caster levels. Those may have been meant to power the Dweomer abilities though, so I’ll presume that – as long as the build can power it’s abilities – the exact power source doesn’t matter. Of course, the player has also chosen a skill-based caster and taken a race with an Int penalty, so I may be entirely wrong about what he wants.

That will happen sometimes when I’m forced to guess.

Racial Template: “Watcher” (Watchers are listed as Monstrous Humanoids, but their racial traits are not entirely consistent with that; I’ll stick with the listed traits).

  • Attribute Modifiers: +4 Con (Racial Self-Development, 24 CP), +2 Wis, -2 Int (Attribute Transfer, 6 CP).
  • Rocky Skin: Natural Armor (Improved Defender, 12 CP).
  • Occult Sense/Darkvision (6 CP).
  • Racial Skill bonus: +15 to Disguise, Specialized and Corrupted/only to appear to be a statue (5 CP)
  • Immunity/Natural Sleep (Common, Minor, Minor, 4 CP). They don’t need to sleep, although they will require four hours of meditation time to prepare spells, but are subject to magical sleep effects.
  • Immunity/Hunger and Thirst (Common, Major, Minor, 6 CP). They only require one-tenth the food and water needed by a normal dwarf.
  • Wings: Celerity with Additional Movement Mode, Specialized and Corrupted / only works if the user has room to spread his or her wings, does not allow flight; only useful to break falls (half damage), provide a +10 bonus to Jump, and to eliminate the distance limitations when jumping (6 CP).
  • Template Disadvantage: Aging, but Ageless: Watchers are described as having no maximum age, but also as growing slower and weaker and having their organs shrivel up and creaking when they move as they age. Given the rather self-contradictory nature of this “power”, and the general unimportance of aging in most campaigns… I’m just going to leave it as a sort of a curse for their unnatural existence. Accursed/Ages into a sort of living death instead of passing on normally (-3 CP).
  • Template Disadvantage: Accursed/base speed is 20′ instead of 30′ (-3 CP).
  • Template Disadvantage: Outcast. Watchers are the spirits of dwarves who died of old age before completing some mighty task, hung around as ghosts, and were then bonded with the undamaged body of a dead gargoyle. This is rare, and weird, and smacks of unholy powers, makes them a freak of nature, and gives them a semi-devilish appearance to boot.

With a net cost of 60 CP, the “Watcher” is approaching +2 ECL territory. In fact, if I hadn’t opted to list their weird aging as a curse and thrown in the “Outcast” disadvantage they’d be edging into the +2 ECL range, just as they were in the original sourcebook. Still, when most of your racial powers can easily be beaten out with a bit of Innate Enchantment or a few cheap spells, a +2 ECL modifier is probably not in order.

Karthos:the Dweomer Master

Racial Template: “Watcher” (60 CP / +1 ECL)

Attributes: Str 12, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 16 (32 Point buy plus Racial, originally Str 12, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 16). Speaks Common and Dwarven. .

Available CP: 192 (L7 Base) +18 (L1, L3, L6 Bonus Feats) + 3 (Disadvantage; Back Story) +14 (Duties) = 227 CP.

Basic Purchases (109 CP)

  • Base Saves: Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +2 (21 CP)
  • 7d6 Hit Dice (14 CP).
  • Proficient with All Simple Weapons (3 CP) and Light, Medium, and Heavy Armor (15 CP).
  • Base Attack Bonus: +7 (42 CP).
  • Movement: 20′
  • Skill Points: 10 (Int) + 21 (Fast Learner, Dedicated to Dweomer) +14 (14 CP) = 45 SP.

Dweomer Master (88 CP):

  • 8 Caster Levels, Specialized in Dweomer (24 CP)
  • Dweomer (Select Field, 6 CP)
  • Adept x2 (Eight Dweomer Skills, 6 CP)
  • Fast Learner, Specialized and Corrupted for triple effect / only for skills, only for Dweomer skills (6 CP).
  • Mana, 6d6 (21 Points), Corrupted/only for use in Dweomer (24 CP)
  • Rite of Chi with +12 Bonus Uses, Corrupted/only for restoring Mana pool for Dweomer (16 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus/Adds (Cha Mod) to Dweomer Skills (which normally have no base attribute, 6 CP).

Other Abilities (18 CP):

  • Attribute Shift/Uses Cha Mod for Will Saves (6 CP).
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Saving Throws (6 CP).
  • Innate Enchantment (6 CP).
    • “Guardian Spirit”. Item Duplicate – an Intelligent Healing Belt (750 GP), with Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10 (500 GP), Understands Common, Communicates by Empathy, has 30′ Senses (0 GP), and has it’s own Healing Belt (+750 GP). Casts Resurgence 3/Day (1200 GP). Ego 2.
    • Item Duplicate – an Amulet of Tears (2300 GP): 3 Charges/Day, spend 1/2/3 as Swift Action for +12/18/24 temporary hit points for ten minutes.

This leaves 12 CP to spend, and nothing too obvious to spend it on – especially since we have no way of knowing what field of Dweomer the player is interested in; a subtle telepath will have very different needs from a rampaging psychokinetic. Presumably the player intends to use magic to compensate for the lack of combat-related special talents; otherwise that high base attack bonus will be something of a waste.

Well, the best source of convenient tricks for martial characters is Witchcraft – and that will also cover the minor psychic abilities that got referenced in the original request.

  • Witchcraft II, with four Pacts (to be selected by the player, 12 CP). Witchcraft III (Provides 15 Power, access to seven basic witchcraft abilities, and a save DC of 13 + Cha Mod). (I suggest The Adamant Will, Glamour, The Hand of Shadows, Hyloka, The Inner Eye, Shadoweave, and Witchfire) and three advanced abilities. For a generic semi-warrior +3d6 Power, Nightforge, and Leaping Fire would probably be best.

Skills (45 Points, see above):

  • Dweomer Field, Skills – all eight at (9 SP +3 (Cha) = +12) (32 SP due to Adept).
  • Speak Language: +1 (Infernal) (1 SP).
  • Spot +2 (SP) +0 (Wis) = +2
  • Listen +2 (SP) +0 (Wis) = +2
  • Concentration +2 (SP) +4 (Con) = +6
  • Knowledge/Psionic +2 (SP) +1 (Int) = +3
  • Knowledge/Nature +2 (SP) +1 (Int) = +3
  • Knowledge/Royalty +2 (SP) +1 (Int) = +3

Karthos is a reasonably effective spellcaster, capable of producing level one and two effects with a 90% success rate, three and four effects with a 65% chance of success, level five and six effects with a 40% chance of success, and level seven and eight effects with a 10% chance of success – although attempting a level seven or eight effect will cost almost half of his power reserves and has a fair chance of backlashing instead of simply failing. That’s impressive, but with only 21 mana available, he’ll be well advised to stick with carefully-tailored lower level spells. He’d be well advised to pump up his Dweomer skills at least until the level three and four effects become reliable (even a +2 Charisma booster will be well worthwhile for him, since it will improve those success rates by 5% each). Using Witchcraft he’s also a fairly effective fighter – albeit in brief bursts.

3 Responses

  1. Are you allowed to take 20 on Dweomer casting checks through the Luck feat?

    • Certainly – as long as the game master is willing to allow it. I haven’t had much trouble with it, but I’m generally pretty freewheeling about magic – if only because characters meddling with things that they don’t fully understand has led to some really entertaining disasters at times.

      As always, if it’s giving the game master excessive amounts of trouble, or is making the game less fun, don’t do it. If everyone is having fun with it, go right ahead!

      And I hope that helps!

  2. […] look like and blanked. I was able to maybe get something somewhat workable by multiplying what the Karthos build had […]

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