Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Snake Eyes: Evil Prestige

The following are a pair of Prestige Classes whipped up for Cultists. For those of you who played in the Adne game, Mayor McTavish was am Imperial Outcast. Rusted Savant has not yet come up--but will.

Imperial Outcast
"The Empire is a sinking ship, a dying relic of a world that the fires of Abyss are reforging, even now. True madness would be to stay before the Imperial banner."

The Imperial Outcast is a warrior class that represents fighters who have forsaken the Gwideo Empire and turned to Demogorgon's side. Like it's sister class, the Rusted Savant, it focuses around the traitor's inherent madness, and channeling that madness to useful ends.


Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Feats: Evil Brand, Thrall to Demon (Demogorgon)
Base Attack Bonus: +5
Skills: Knowledge (Religion) 2 ranks, Intimidate 8 ranks
Special: Must have been a citizen of the Gwideo Empire who renounced the Empire and his sworn his/her allegiance to Demogorgon. He may be used as an open combatant, or as a hidden foe among Imperial ranks.

Hit Die: d10
Base Attack: Full
Good Save: Fortitude
Bad Saves: Reflex, Will
Skills: 4+INT/level
Class Skills: Bluff, Craft, Disguise, Intimidate, Knowledge (religion), Perception, Profession, Sleight of Hand, Stealth
Armor and Weapon Proficiencies: An Imperial Outcast is proficient with all martial weapons. He gains no new armor proficiencies.
Class Features:
1-Madness, Charity of Madness, Witchveil, Smite Infidel
-Madness: A number of the Imperial Outcast's class features cause him Wisdom damage or drain. This is the effect of madness taking their toll on the Outcast's mind. Note that this damage can reduce an Outcast's Wisdom score to 0, causing him to completely lose touch with reality, sending his mind reeling while his body drops to ground, helpless, as soon as the action to which Madness is being applied is completed. He remains in this state until his Wisdom score is raised to at least 1. Should the Outcast avoid the Wisdom damage in some way, madness does not transfer properly and the effect is lost.
-Charity of Madness: An Imperial Outcast's mind is like a shattered mirror--fascinating and unique, but inherently broken. While his madness is incurable, what's left of his consciousness has learned to adapt, returning to its chaotic state with ease. An Imperial Outcast heals 1 point of mental ability damage per hour, and 1 point of mental ability drain per day.
-Witchveil: The Headless Witch bestows her glamered blessing on the Imperial Outcast, protecting him from Imperial Witchhunters. Any attempt to detect an Imperial Outcast's alignment reports him to be Lawful Good, as well as masking any Vile feats he possesses or Evil items he carries.
-Smite Infidel: An Imperial Outcast may channel his madness into a powerful melee attack against any foe who is not Chaotic Evil. A Smite can be performed as a free action when making a melee attack. The Outcast adds his Charisma bonus to the attack roll and his class level to the damage roll. In addition, his attack is considered to be Evil for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. Each time an Outcast uses this ability, he takes 1 point of Wisdom damage. An Outcast has no limit on the number of times he can use this ability per day, but he cannot use it more than once per round. A Smite attempted against a Chaotic Evil foe not only fails, but causes the Outcast 1 additional point of Wisdom damage.
2-Reaching Touch 1/day
-Reaching Touch: An Imperial Outcast can mimic Demogorgon's tentacles by tapping into the madness that rules his mind. As a swift action, the Outcast can add an additional 5 feet of reach to his attacks for 1 round. Using this ability causes 2 points of Wisdom damage to the Outcast. This ability can be invoked once per day at level 2, and a second time at level 4.
3-Blood Madness, Bonus Feat
-Blood Madness: An Imperial Outcast of level 3 or higher can transfer his madness into the very flesh of a foe. As a touch attack, the Outcast deals 1 point of Wisdom drain to himself and 1d6 point of Constitution damage to his target. If the touch attack misses, the Outcast still takes Wisdom damage but the Constitution damage is wasted. An Outcast may invoke this ability three times each day.
-Bonus Feat: At level 3, an Imperial Outcast may choose a bonus feat. It must be either a Vile feat or listed as a Fighter bonus feat.
4-Suggestion, Reaching Touch 2/day
-Suggestion: At level 4, the Imperial Outcast gains the ability to use Suggestion as a spell-like ability at will. Lawful Good targets recieve a -2 penalty to their save against this ability, and using this ability deals 1 point of Wisdom drain to the Outcast.
5-Emulate Demogorgon
-Emulate Demogorgon: Upon achieving level 5, an Imperial Outcast has earned the right to act as Demogorgon does, albeit with a cost. As a Swift action, an Outcast can take an extra round's worth of actions in a turn. This ability does not make any additional time pass, so effects that measure an amount of time (for example, spell durations or preparation for making a Death Attack) only count down one round, but the Outcast can make any combination of two rounds' worth of actions that turn. Using this ability deals the Outcast 2 points of Wisdom damage and 2 points of Wisdom drain. This ability has no limit on the number of times it can be used each day, but it requires at least 5 minutes of downtime between each use.

Rusted Savant
"While it is true that the Empire was founded by the greatest wizard in recorded history, the legions of the Abyss have knowledge that stretches back to the Dawn of Time. Claiming that the Gwideo Empire is a bastion of magic compared to the Abyss is like saying that the most beautiful woman who ever lived is one you saw this morning."

The Rusted Savant is a caster formerly loyal to the Empire who has forsaken his homeland and sided with Demogorgon. He takes his name from the rust colored robes favored by the cultists during the Serpent War. Like the Imperial Outcast, his game mechanics focus on exploiting his madness.

Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Feats: Thrall to Demon (Demogorgon), Corrupt Spell, any other metamagic feat
Spell-like abilities/Spellcasting: Caster level 5th
Skills: Knowledge (Arcana) 8 ranks, Knowledge (Religion) 2 ranks
Special: Must have been a citizen of the Gwideo Empire who renounced the Empire and has sworn his/her allegiance to Demogorgon. He may be used as an open combatant, or as a hidden foe among Imperial ranks.

Hit Die: d6
Base Attack: Half
Good Save: Will
Bad Saves: Fortitude, Reflex
Skills: 2+INT/level
Class Skills: Bluff, Craft, Disguise, Intimidate, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Planes), Knowledge (religion), Linguistics, Profession, Spellcraft
Armor and Weapon Proficiencies: A Rusted Savant gains proficiency with all simple weapons and one martial weapon of his choice. He gains no new armor proficiencies.
Class Features:
1-Madness, Charity of Madness, Witchveil, Madness Magic, Spellcasting
At each level, a Rusted Savant gains a level of spellcasting or Invocation use as if he had gained a level in a casting class he previously belonged to. He gains no other benefits of that class.
-Madness: A number of the Rusted Savant's class features cause him Wisdom damage or drain. This is the effect of madness taking their toll on the Savant's mind. Note that this damage can reduce an Savant's Wisdom score to 0, causing him to completely lose touch with reality, sending his mind reeling while his body drops to ground, helpless, as soon as the action to which Madness is being applied is completed. He remains in this state until his Wisdom score is raised to at least 1. Should the Savant avoid the Wisdom damage in some way, madness does not transfer properly and the effect is lost.
-Charity of Madness: A Rusted Savant's mind is like a shattered mirror--fascinating and unique, but inherently broken. While his madness is incurable, what's left of his consciousness has learned to adapt, returning to its chaotic state with ease. Rusted Savant heals 1 point of mental ability damage per hour, and 1 point of mental ability drain per day.
-Witchveil: The Headless Witch bestows her glamered blessing on the Rusted Savant, protecting him from Imperial Witchhunters. Any attempt to detect a Rusted Savant's alignment reports him to be Lawful Good, as well as concealing any Vile feats he possesses and evil items on his person
-Madness Magic: A Rusted Savant may consume his own sanity to improve the potency of his spells. A Rusted Savant may reduce the level adjustment of a metamagic feat when he applies it to a spell by taking damage to his Wisdom score equal to the level adjustment reduction. This damage is taken as the spell is cast, and cannot reduce a level adjustment by more than half the Rusted Savant's class level, rounded up. For example, a Sorceror 5/Rusted Savant 2 could cast Empowered (+2 spell level) Scorching Ray (2nd level spell) out of a third level slot and take 1 point of Wisdom damage. Likewise, a Wizard 5/Rusted Savant 2 could prepare any number of Empowered spells in a slot 1 level above their normal spell level, but would take 2 points of Wisdom damage each time such a spell is cast. If a Rusted Savant's Wisdom score returns to its normal value, any lasting effects of Madness Magic immediately dissipate, dispelling the entire effect.
2-Suffocating Madness (-1)
-Suffocating Madness:
At level 2, a Savant learns a new way to entangle his magic with his own madness. By dealing himself 1 point of Wisdom damage, a Rusted Savant can cause all nonevil creatures within the area of effect of the next spell he casts to receive a -1 penalty on their saving throws. Applying this ability multiple times will not cause the penalties to stack. At level 4, the Savant may double the Wisdom damage to incur a -2 penalty instead.
3-Mind to Body, Bonus Feat
-Mind to Body:
At level 3, a Rusted Savant can transfer his madness into the flesh of a foe, ravaging it. The Savant gains Contagion as a spell-like ability, usable three times per day. Lawful Good targets recieve a -2 penalty to their saves against the ability. Each use of this ability causes the Savant 1 point of Wisdom drain.
If this ability is used against a Paladin or similar Lawful-Good aligned foe with disease immunity, Demogorgon's greatest spite is directed against the target. The target must make their Fortitude saving throw as usual, but upon a failed save, the target loses all class features of the class that granted him disease immunity for a number of rounds equal to the Savant's class level.
-Bonus Feat: At level 3, a Rusted Savant may choose a Metamagic, Vile, or Reserve feat as a bonus feat. He must still meet the prerequisites for that feat.
4-Suffocating Madness (-2)
5-Emulate Demogorgon
-Emulate Demogorgon: Upon achieving level 5, a Rusted Savant has earned the right to channel a small amount of Demogorgon's power, albeit with a cost. As a standard action, the Savant can use one of two Gaze attacks that effect all foes within 30 feet who do not have their eyes averted or covered. Beguiling Gaze acts as Charm Monster, while Insanity Gaze acts as Confusion. In addition, if two Savants work together, each foe affected by both gazes are instead affect by an effect similar to Hypnotism accept that they recieve no saving throw bonus and there is no hit die limit. Each attack has a save DC of 15+Savant's Charisma Modifier, and causes 2 points of Wisdom damage and 2 points of Wisdom Drain to the Savant each time it is invoked.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Complete Respec: The Complete Warrior Classes in 3.75

In November, 2003, Wizards of the Coast published one of the first D&D 3.5 supplements, Complete Warrior. The three base classes contained within may have made the cut at the dawn of 3.5, they quickly became antiquated by new classes and updates to the core classes, while getting love from Wizards very sparingly--and the argument could be sustained that some (*cough*Samurai*cough*) classes were never up to par in the first place. These three classes, Hexblade, Samurai, and Swashbuckler, were missing a power level appropriate for 3.5, and are laughably inadequate in 3.75's higher power curve. The following are 3.75 updates updates of the Complete Warrior base classes.

Witchknight (Formerly "Hexblade")

Probably the best loved class of from Complete Warrior, the Hexblade was a nongood, arcane Paladin. Unfortunately, he had some design flaws. The Hexblade lacked the protection of a real warrior, with only light armor and no shields, but never got enough casting to be a real spellcaster. His redux, the Witchknight, attempts to address these problems by strengthening his casting (though still keeping it short of a full-fledged caster) and giving him some better options in combat. As for the name change, "Hexblade" isn't a generic term like "Fighter," "Cleric," and "Samurai" are, and so is viable for copyright protection from Wizards of the Coast. Of the classes presented in this article, the Witchknight is closest to his 3.5 iteration, as that class was actually liked.

The Witchknight is the classic Dark Knight, an antihero who wanders the land with a variety of motives. Witchknights tap into the dormant power of the slumbering Leviathan, utilizing small amounts of its power while it lies dreaming. Some Witchknights are aware of the thin line they walk by risking waking the beat, while others do not truly understand the source of their power. Unlike a traditional witch, the Witchknight is well versed in the arts of combat, and does not hesitate to use steel when magic fails and vice versa.

Abilities: Many of the Witchknight’s class features (including his spellcasting) are keyed to Charisma. A Witchknight planning on entering melee combat benefits from a high Strength and Constitution score, and the lightly armored Witchknight benefits from a high Dexterity to improve his defense.

Role: Depending on which options he chooses, a Witchknight can function well in a variety of ways. Those that favor Necromancy spells can prove to be durable melee combatants, while those favoring Enchantment can be frightful combat controllers. Furthermore, the Witchknight’s high Charisma combined with his social skills allow a Witchknight to function as a party “face.”

Alignment: Any nongood.

Hit Die: d10

Good Save: Will

Bad Saves: Fortitude, Reflex

Base Attack Bonus: Full (as Fighter)

Skill Points Per Level: 2+INT (X4 at level 1)

Class Skills: Acrobatics, Bluff, Craft, Diplomacy, Disguise, Intimidate, Knowledge (Arcana and Local only), Profession, Spellcraft

Weapons and Armor Proficiency: A Witchknight is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with light armor. Using heavier armor or a shield may cause his spells to fail.

Class Features:

1-Bewitch, Armored Mage, Cantrips, Spells

-Bewitch: A Witchknight can give a visible foe within 60 feet the Evil Eye as a swift action. The target must make a Will saving throw (DC 10+½ Witchknight Class Level+Witchknight’s CHA modifier) or suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, skill checks, ability checks, and saving throws. This penalty lasts for one hour per Witchknight level; however, if a Witchknight dies, any Bewitchments he has inflicted fade within an hour. A Witchknight may use this ability once per day for every two class levels he possesses, rounded down (minimum 1).

-Armored Mage: Witchknight spells are not as varied as those cast by other Arcane casting classes, giving a Witchknight room to make allowances for armor. A Witchknight ignores the Arcane Spell Failure chance of all light armor when casting Witchknight spells; any other spells cast by the Witchknight incur normal arcane spell failure, as do any shield, medium, or heavy armor the Witchknight is wearing.

-Cantrips: A Witchknight may use any Cantrip he knows as a spell-like ability at will.

-Spells: Witchknights cast spells from the Witchknight Spell List (see below), and learns and casts spells just as a Bard does. A Witchknight acquires spells per day and spells known as a Bard does (see table 4-3 and 4-4 on pages 17 and 18 of the Pathfinder RPG) A Witchknight needs a Charisma score of at least 10 plus the spell level to learn a spell. The saving throw DC of a Witchknight spell is determined by his Charisma modifier, and a Witchknight may receive extra spells per day if he has a high enough Charisma score.

2-Supernatural Resistance

-Supernatural Resistance: A Witchknight knows more about magic than most, including its weaknesses. He adds his Charisma modifier to any saving throw made against a Spell, Spell-Like Ability, or Supernatural Ability.

3-Mettle, Advanced Learning

-Mettle: The eldritch secrets Witchknights are privy to fortify both mind and body. If a Witchknight succeeds on a Fortitude or Will saving throw, he may completely ignore the effect, even if it normally has a lesser effect on a successful save (For example, a 3rd level Witchknight who succeeded on his save against Inflict Light Wounds would take no damage instead of half damage).

-Advanced Learning: A Witchknight’s comprehension of the world and the secret powers underlying it never ceases. Over the course of his travels, a Witchknight may add a new spell to his class list of any level he can cast at any level at which he has the Advanced Learning class feature. This new spell must be taken from the Bard or Sorceror/Wizard class list and must be from the schools of Divination, Enchantment, Necromancy, or Transmutation.



-Witchcraft: At level five, a Witchknight’s knowledge of supernatural world has grown to the point that he can call forth and control an unnatural manifestation. This manifestation takes one of two forms.

The first is that the Witchknight gains control of his shadow and can control it as a separate entity. His shadow cannot attack or interact with the world at large in any way, and it does not provide flanking bonuses to attack rolls. The Witchknight may direct his shadow to move up to his land speed as a free action once each turn. Technically harmless though it may be, the shadow is unnerving, and any foe occupying the same square or an adjacent square to the shadow takes a -2 penalty to armor class and saving throws; the penalties for multiple shadows do not stack. In addition, any creature can occupy the same square as the shadow to gain the benefits of concealment (though hostile creatures still take the penalties). A Witchknight is unafraid of his own shadow and can see through it, thus negating concealment and penalties caused by the shadow (though he can sit in his own shadow and gain concealment against others).
At first, the Witchknight can command only his own shadow. He may summon forth an additional shadow at ninth level, and a third shadow at fourteenth level. At nineteenth level, the penalties inflicted by his shadow increase to -4.

Alternately, the Witchknight may choose to call down an aura of power upon himself. The Witchknight may activate any aura he knows as a swift action. The aura will then sustain itself until the Witchknight falls unconscious (including sleep), activates a different aura, or willfully deactivates the aura (another swift action). Auras normally have a range of 10 feet, and the Witchknight chooses one aura known at level 4.

At levels 9 and 14, the Witchknight may choose an additional Aura known. At level 19, all the Witchknight’s auras’ effects increase by one-half and have their range extended to twenty feet. A Witchknight can have only one aura active at a time.

Aura choices:

-Clumsiness: All foes within the aura have all movement speeds reduced by 10 feet and take a -4 to Climb, Swim, and Fly checks.
-Despair: All foes within the aura take a -2 penalty to all saving throws.

-Dread: All foes within the aura take a -2 penalty to attack rolls and weapon damage rolls.

-Incompetence: All foes within the aura take a -2 penalty to all skill checks and ability checks.

-Unease: All foes within the aura take a -2 penalty to AC.

-Terror: All foes within the Aura take a -4 penalty to saves and checks made to resist Fear effects. In addition, any foe immune to fear instead receives a +4 bonus on his saving throws (after the effects of the aura).

6-Witch’s Shield 1/day

-Witch’s Shield: Beginning at level six, a Witchknight can make subtle alterations to fate itself. As a free action, he can invoke a field around himself that promotes bad luck in aggressive actions directed at him. Whenever the Witchknight is attacked while this field of bad luck is active, any attack rolls made against him are rolled twice, and the attack is made using the worse roll. The shield can sustain a number of attacks equal to the Witchknight’s Charisma modifier (regardless of the roll’s result) before it dissipates. This ability functions once per day at level six, an additional time at level twelve, and a third time at level eighteen.

7-Advanced Learning

8-Greater Bewitching

-Greater Bewitching: At level 8, the penalties inflicted by Bewitching a target increase to -4.

9-Witchcraft (+1 Shadow/Aura Known)


11-Advanced Learning

12-Witch’s Shield 2/day


14-Witchcraft (+1 Shadow/Aura Known)

15-Dire Bewitching, Advanced Learning

-Dire Bewitching: At level 15, the penalties inflicted by Bewitching a target increase to -6



18-Witch’s Shield 3/day

19-Witchcraft (Increased penalties), Advanced Learning

20-Frightful Presence

-Frightful Presence: At level 20, the Witchknight gains Frightful Presence, effective against any non-ally with hit dice less than or equal to the Witchknight’s. The save DC of the Witchknight’s Frightful Presence is equal to 20+his Charisma modifier, and a successful save renders the subject immune to the Witchknight’s Frightful Presence for 24 hours. A Witchknight’s Frightful Presence has no effect on creatures with more hit dice than the Witchknight, and he can disable it or activate it as a free action.

Witchknight Spell List

*= New Spell


Arcane Mark, Bleed, Daze, Detect Magic, Lullaby, Message, Prestidigitation, Read Magic, Touch of Fatigue


Cause Fear, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Erase, Expeditious Retreat, Hideous Laughter, Hypnotism, Lesser Confusion, Prey on the Weak*, Seek Blood*, Sleep, Undetectable Alignment


Alter Self, Blindness/Deafness, Blur, Bull’s Strength, Cat’s Grace, Daze Monster, Detect Thoughts, Eagle’s Splendor, False Life, Hold Person, Scare, See Invisibility, Suggestion, Terrify*, Tongues, Vampiric Touch


Bestow Curse, Charm Monster, Confusion, Crushing Despair, Deep Slumber, Dispel Magic, Fear, Glibness, Locate Creature, Slow, Stupify*


Devour the Weak*, Dominate Person, Feeblemind, Foul Curse*, Freedom of Movement, Hold Monster, Modify Memory, Telepathic Bond


Greater Dispel Magic, Mass Suggestion, Mind Fog, Nightmare, Seeming, Shadow Walk, Symbol of Fear, Song of Discord, True Seeing


Demand, Discern Location, Finger of Death, Horrid Wilting, Irresistible Dance, Slay the Weak*, Power Word Stun, Symbol of Insanity

New Spells:

Devour the Weak

Level: Witchknight 4

School: Necromancy

Casting Time: 1 Swift Action

Components: V, S

Range: Touch

Target: Melee Weapon Touched

Duration: 1 round

Description: Every sharp point along your blade turns into a gnashing mouth.

For one round, your weapon deals 2d6 extra damage. However, against Bewitched foes, your weapon instead deals 5d6 extra damage, has its enhancement bonus increased by 3, and grants a +4 profane bonus to rolls made to confirm critical hits. In addition, whenever you deal weapon damage to a Bewitched foe, you gain half that amount (rounded down) as temporary hit points (up to one-half your normal maximum hit points).

Foul Curse

Level: Witchknight 4

School: Necromancy

Casting Time: 1 Swift Action

Components: V, S

Range: Touch

Target: Melee Weapon Touched

Duration: 1 round/Hour/level

Description: A crackling, purplish corona of darkness swathes your weapon. You can’t help but grin.

For one round, any enemy damaged by your weapon receives a negative level. These negative levels last for a number of hours equal to your caster level and cannot cause actual level loss.

Prey on the Weak

Level: Witchknight 1

School: Divination

Casting Time: 1 Swift Action

Components: V, S

Range: Touch

Target: Melee Weapon Touched

Duration: 1 round

Description: With a muttered curse, spectral blood drips across the edge of your blade. It’s ready to seek out prey.

Prey on the Weak adds 1d4 damage to the melee weapon you hold until the end of the round. However, against Bewitched foes, it deals +1d6 damage instead and increases the weapon’s enhancement bonus by +2, as well as granting a +4 profane bonus to rolls made to confirm critical hits.

Seek Blood

Level: Witchknight 1

School: Divination

Casting Time: 1 Swift Action

Components: V, S

Range: Personal

Target: Self

Duration: 1 round or until discharged.

Description: You concentrate, and the weaknesses in your foe’s defenses are illustrated as if lit up.

You gain a +10 bonus on your next attack roll. If you do not use this bonus before the start or your next turn, the spell dissipates with no effect.

Slay the Weak

Level: Witchknight 6

School: Necromancy

Casting Time: 1 Swift Action

Components: V, S

Range: Touch

Target: Melee Weapon Touched

Save: Fortitude partial (see text)

Duration: 1 round

Description: Your weapon turns inky black and drips ethereal blood.

For one round, your weapon deals 3d6 extra damage. Against a foe that is Bewitched, it instead deals 7d6 extra damage, has its enhancement bonus increased by 5, and grants a +4 Profane bonus to rolls made to confirm critical hits. In addition, any Bewitched foe struck by your blade must make a Fortitude save or drop dead.


Level: Witchknight 3. Sorceror/Wizard 4

School: Necromancy

Casting Time: 1 Standard Action

Components: V, S

Range: Personal

Target: 40 foot burst, centered on you

Duration: 1 round

Saving Throw: Will Negates

Description: With a menacing pose, your enemies realize just how bad an idea challenging you is.

When you cast this spell, an almost palpable aura of dread emanates from you for twenty feet in every direction. Any foe that fails its save cowers in terror for one round and takes 1d6 Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma damage.


Level: Witchknight 2, Sorceror/Wizard 3

School: Necromancy

Casting Time: 1 Swift Action

Components: V, S

Range: Personal/Close (25 feet+5 feet/2 levels)

Target: Self/One Creature

Duration: 1 round/level

Description: You narrow your eyes at your target, and show them why you are a denizen of nightmares.

You gain a bonus to your Intimidate checks equal to your caster level. In addition, when you cast this spell, you may immediately attempt to Demoralize a single opponent.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Setharah Otepth

Courtesy of Lacey Scott. This is "Cloak"- the inspiration for the Cloaked Sisters, the Goddess known as the "Cloaked Lady", and the bastion of Law in Otep.

Apologies for the quality of the image- its much nicer than the upload will allow.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Snake Eyes: Race Updates

People have been wanting to play races outside the core races, so these are some updates of 3.5 Rules to make some new 3.75 races.

Kobold (Monster Manual)
Kobolds are distantly descended from dragons, although that may not be obvious to the casual observer. Kobolds exist almost entirely as slaves within the Mobb, where their puny frames coupled with Sorcerous talent have made the fortunate in their number magical workhorses and the unfortunate manual labor. Kobold Sorcerors are typically kept with a minder of some sort, usually a well-trained Ogre.

Racial Abilities
Ability Scores: -4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma. Kobolds are puny but quick, and their Draconic heritage grants them depth of personality that is rarely shown to outsiders.
Reptilian: Kobolds are humanoids with the Reptilian subtype.
Small: As small creatures, Kobolds gain a +1 size bonus to armor class and attack rolls, but must use smaller equipment and have half the normal carrying capacity.
Normal Speed: Though they are barely the size of Halflings, Kobolds move at speed normal for a human, 30 feet per round.
Darkvision: Kobolds have darkvision out to 60 feet.
Keen: Kobolds have a +2 racial bonus to Craft (Trapmaking) and Perception checks.
Thick Hide: Kobolds have a +1 natural armor bonus.
Languages: Kobolds speak Common and Draconic, and can learna any other language.
Favored Class: Sorceror or Rogue
Level Adjustment: +0

Goliath (Races of Stone)

Goliaths are massively muscled creatures rumored to be of Ogre stock. They typically stand over seven feet tall. Goliaths of Otep have uniform skin and grow hair as humans do, typically in shades of black and gray (regardless of age). Goliaths are known for their skill in forging edged weapons. Goliaths are the longest-lived creatures in Otep, with the exception of the Elves, frequently living in excess of 600 years.

Racial Abilities

Ability Scores: +4 Strength, -2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom. Goliaths are huge and long-lived, granting them insight on the world at large. Their girth comes at a price, resulting in their relative clumsiness.
Monstrous Humanoid: Goliaths are Monstrous Humanoids, and are thus inherently skilled with all simple weapons.
Darkvision: Like all Monstrous Humanoids, Goliaths have Darkvision out to 60 feet.
Powerful Build: Due to their unusual size, Goliaths may count as large if it is to their advantage to do so. This includes using large size weapons, but Powerful Build does not bestow any additional natural reach.
Long Stride: Goliath landspeed is40 feet, due to their long legs.
Momentum: Due to their weight (often in excess of 600 pounds), once a Goliath is moving he experiences significantly more inertia than a humanoid. Goliaths treat all jumps as if they had a running start.
Perceptive: Goliaths gain a +2 racial bonus to Sense Motive checks, due to their long experience dealing with others.
Languages: Goliaths speak Common and Giant. They can learn Dwarven, Elemental, and Gnoll.
Favored Class: Barbarian or Druid
Level Adjustment: +1

Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon)
Note: Dragonborn are not part of the main continent's inhabitants in 190 GD and are not actually playable in the Serpent War campaign.

Racial Abilities

Ability Scores: +2 Strength, -2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma. Dragonborn are large in body and spirit, but somewhat clumsy.
Dragonblood: Dragonborn are Humanoids with the Dragonblood subtype.
Normal Speed: Dragonborn land speed is 30 feet.
Breathe Weapon: Dragonborn have a breathe weapon they can use once every 1d4 rounds. It deals 1d8 points of damage, plus 1d8 per three HD the Dragonborn possesses in a fifteen foot cone. A Dragonborn chooses the energy type of his or her breathe weapon at level one and it cannot be changed later. At level 11, the Dragonborn's breathe weapon increases to a 30 foot cone. Enemies struck by the breathe weapon are entitled to a Reflex saving throw (DC 10+Half the Dragonborn's hit dice+Dragonborn's CON mod) for half damage.
Fury: When a Dragonborn is dropped below half his maximum hit points, his hunter's instincts take over. He gains a +1 racial bonus to all attack rolls and a +1 racial bonus to melee damage rolls.
Adaptive Flesh: Dragonborns' bodies are used to taking a punishing and being put back together. Whenever a Conjuration (Healing) spell is cast on a Dragonborn, the Dragonborn heals a number of hit points equal to his Constitution modifier, up to his normal maximum.
Languages: Dragonborn speak Common and Draconic, and can learn any bonus language.
Favored Class: Paladin or Sorceror
Level Adjustment: +0

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Snake Eyes: The Arcane Swordsage - The Most Powerful Class You Didn't Know Exists

This article is a write-up on a character class variant that is covered in Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords but in fairly ambiguous language. The following is how I'll be handling the rules for it, should one of you powergaming freaks decide to play it.

Arcane Swordsage
All Class Features are identical to those presented for the normal Swordsage on Page 16 of Tome of Battle: The Book of Nines Swords except the following:
Hit Die: d6 (Note: This class is powerful, and as a result breaks 3.75's normal rule of 3/4 base attack always getting at least a d8 hit die)
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An Arcane Swordsage is proficient with all simple weapons and all martial melee weapons (but not martial ranged weapons, although they are proficient with weapons that can be used as thrown weapons). An Arcane Swordsage is not proficient with any form of armor or shield.
AC Bonus: An Arcane Swordsage adds his Wisdom modifier to his AC as long he is not wearing medium or heavy armor and is not carrying a shield. This bonus applies even against touch attacks and when the Arcane Swordsage is flat-footed, but is lost when the Arcane Swordsage is immobilized or helpless.
Maneuvers and Spells: Maneuvers are learned as normal and can be exchanged for new maneuvers as written. However, in place of a maneuver, a Swordsage can learn a single Arcane spell chosen from the Sorceror/Wizard or Wu Jen spell list. The chosen spell may only be of the schools of Abjuration, Evocation, or Transmutation and is learned in place of a maneuver of equivalent level.
An Arcane Swordsage must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 plus the spell level to learn a spell. Save DCs are determined using the Arcane Swordsage's Wisdom modifier. Since Arcane Swordsages cast their spells as maneuvers instead of using spell slots, Arcane Swordsages do not gain bonus spells per day. All Arcane Swordsage spells incur normal arcane spell failure chance.
For the purpose of feats, class feature, etc., all spells known by an Arcane Swordsage are considered to be known spells. However, an Arcane Swordsage does not have a class spell list, and thus can only use wands or other items if they have a spell he personally knows (unless he has ranks in Use Magic Device). An Arcane Swordsage prepares and casts his spells as if they were maneuvers, with the spells occupying slots as readied maneuvers. Note that an Arcane Swordsage can only use Reserve Feats (or any other effect requiring a spell being "available to cast") if he has a spell of the corresponding type readied--simply knowing the spell will not suffice (although, if time allows, the Arcane Swordsage can simply change his readied maneuvers to regain access to the effect). In addition, a single spell cannot be readied more than once--it must be refreshed as a maneuver if the Arcane Swordsage wants to use it again.
An Arcane Swordsage's caster level is equal to his Arcane Swordsage level. Unlike his Initiator level, his caster level does not increase by 1/2 when taking levels of other classes (nor will multiclassing with other martial adepts increase his caster level). Note that because maneuvers are class features, not spells, only Prestige Classes that grant "+1 Level of Class Features" will increase his spells/maneuvers known and caster level. The maximum level of spell he can learn at any given level is determined by his Arcane Swordsage level:
Spell Level/Class Level
For the purposes of gaining/losing maneuvers and spells, consider all known spells to be martial maneuvers. An Arcane Swordsage can use the Martial Maneuver feat to choose another spell if he so desires.
Spells are used and refreshed in the same manner that maneuvers are. That is, they can be refreshed with 5 minutes of downtime, swapped out between known and readied with 5 minutes of meditation. Using the Adaptive Style feat will let an Arcane Swordsage swap out and refresh all his spells and maneuvers as a full-round action, or he can quickly meditate to refresh a single maneuver or spell as a full-round action.
Due to the fact that an Arcane Swordsage does not have spell slots, he cannot use metamagic feats that increase or decrease a spell's level. He can, however, make use of metamagic feats that do not (for example, Sudden Empower from Complete Arcane).
For the purposes of qualifying for maneuvers and stances, spells of the following schools count as maneuvers of the corrosponding Schools of the Sublime way:
Abjuration: Setting Sun, Shadow Hand
Evocation: Desert Wind, Tiger Claw
Transmutation: Diamond Mind, Stone Dragon
Feats that affect maneuvers of the Sublime school do not effect spells of the corresponding school of magic.

And that about covers it. Use it wisely.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Snake Eyes: New Races

While the following races aren't necessarily new, they either aren't statted in Pathfinder or are a variant of existing races. All of these are available to players whenever they want to build one.

Dwarf, Highland
After the Devastation, some dwarves found themselves unwilling to return to their caverns, feeling that banding together with other survivors made their continued existence more likely. These dwarves are more social than most, but their long exposure to human impulsivity makes them less prone to the usual dwarven patience.

Racial Abilities:
Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom. Highland Dwarves are as tough as normal dwarves and resoundingly clever, but have a tendency towards recklessness. They're more personable than normal dwarves, but not to an extent that makes them stand out against other races.
Medium: Highland dwarves are shorter than humans, but stocky and are therefore medium size.
Slow and Steady: Highland Dwarves have a base land speed of 20 feet, but are unhindered by armor or loads.
Darkvision: Since they have only been above ground for a generation, Highland dwarves retain Darkvision out to 60 feet.
Highland Song: Highland Dwarves may always treat Perform (Wind Instruments) as a class skill. In addition, Highland Dwarves get a +2 racial bonus to Perform (Wind Instruments) checks made to play the bagpipes.
Keen Senses: Highland Dwarves get a +2 bonus on taste and touch-based Perception checks.
Greed: Highland Dwarves treat Appraise as a class skill to determine the value of precious metals, gemstones, or any nonmagical item that includes them.
Hearty: Highland Dwarves recieve a +2 bonus to saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities. In addition, Highland Dwarves may add their Charisma bonus to saving throws against Compulsion and Fear effects, do to their tendency to be natural leaders.
Weapon Familiarity: Highland Dwarves are automatically proficient with Warhammer, Great Axe, and Heavy Pick. In addition, they treat any exotic weapon with "Dwarven" in its name as a martial weapon.
Hatred: Since Highland Dwarves have been busy with the horrors above ground rather than below, they recieve +1 bonus on attack rolls against evil outsiders.
Defensive Training: Highland Dwarves receive a +4 dodge bonus against giants.
Stability: Highland Dwarves receive a +4 bonus to resist trip or bull rush attempts while standing on the ground.
Favored Class: Fighter or Wizard
Languages: Highland Dwarves speak common and dwarven, and can learn Elemental, Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, and Undercommon.
Level Adjustment: +0

Humans have a recorded tendency to breed with nearly anything, and fiends are no exception. Tieflings may be descended from Devils as well as Demons, but most on Otep are of demonic stock due to their presence over their lawful counterparts. Tieflings may appear completely human, or may have horns, fangs, or claws, but a large percentage of their number have tails. Tieflings are quick-witted, as slow individuals rarely survive to reproduce, or even into adulthood.

Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma. Tieflings are quick in body and mind, but those that are not sociopathic still seem a bit "off."
Medium Size: Tieflings are the standard size for humans, though individual heights may vary.
Outsider: Tieflings are Outsiders with the Native subtype. They can be resurrected as if they were humans.
Fiendish Quickness: Tiefling base landspeed is 40 feet. In addition, Tieflings get a +2 racial bonus to Initiative checks. This speed is the result of slow Tieflings being eliminated from the population, usually by bands of peasants with torches and pitchforks.
Unholy Vision: Tieflings have Darkvision out to 60 feet. In addition, they can use their darkvision to see through magical darkness created by spells and spell-like abilities they cast (but not those cast by others).
Inborn Training: As Outsiders, Tieflings are automatically proficient with all simple and martial weapons.
Quick Witted: Tieflings have a +2 racial bonus on Bluff checks and Stealth checks. This tendency has developed as Tieflings unable to talk or sneak their way out of trouble rarely survive.
Demonic Vestiges: All Tieflings bear some traces of their fiendish legacy. All Tieflings have resistance 5 to Cold, Electricity, and Fire. In addition, each Tiefling has one of the four following traits with the accompanying physical sign. If the physical sign is removed (to permit blending in with the human masses), the benefit is lost:
-Claws. Tiefling claws may be long and curved or short and razor sharp. If a Tiefling wears gauntlets or thick gloves the claws are not visible but cannot be used. Each claw deals 1d4 slashing damage.
-Fangs. A Tiefling may have only a longer pair of canines, or an entire set of pointed teeth. A Tiefling with Fangs gains a bite attack that deals 1d6 of piercing damage.
-Horns. Tiefling horns may be pointed (like a bull) or curved (like a ram), and grant the Tiefling a gore attack that deals 1d6 piercing damage plus the Tiefling's strength modifier.
-Tail. Tiefling tails are typically non-prehensile. The tale gives the Tiefling a better sense of balance, resulting in a +2 racial bonus to Acrobatics checks and a +4 racial bonus to resist a bull rush.
Spell-like abilities: A Tiefling can cast Darkness once per day, using his character level as his caster level. Starting at level 6, a Tiefling can cast Darkness one additional time per day. At level 10, a Tiefling can cast his Darkness spell-like ability as a Swift action instead of a standard action.
Favored Class: Rogue or Fighter
Languages: Tieflings speak Common and either Infernal or Abyssal and can choose any bonus language, provided they have a high enough intelligence.
Level Adjustment: +1

Descended from humans and celestial, Aasimar are beautiful, graceful creatures infused with the holy light. Aasimar are regarded highly in Otep, where their light touches all too few in a land in the shadow of darkness.

Ability Scores: +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma. Aasimar are calm and beautiful.
Medium Size: Aasimar recieve no bonuses or penalties for their size.
Normal Speed: Aasimar have a base land speed of 30 feet.
Outsider: Aasimar are Outsiders with the Native subtype. They can be resurrected as if they were humans.
Darkvision: Aasimar have Darkvision out to 60 feet.
Natural Champion: As Outsiders, Aasimar are automatically proficient with all simple and martial weapons.
Celestial Hide: Aasimar have resistance 5 to acid, cold, and electricity.
Radiance: Aasimar can channel the holy light that is part of their being. Activating or deactivating Radiance is a free action and can be used for a total number of rounds each day equal to the Aasimar Charisma bonus plus 3, (minimum 3 rounds). While Radiance is in effect, attack rolls and damage rolls made against the Aasimar take a -1 penalty. Creatures that aim their attacks without using sight (for example, blindsight) do not suffer this penalty. Using Radiance eliminates any concealment the Aasimar possesses. Using Radiance while invisible has no effect, but counts against the Aasimar's total rounds per day of Radiance.
Keen: Aasimar get a +2 racial bonus to Perception and Diplomacy checks because they are perceptive and charitable.
Spell-like abilities: An Aasimar can cast Daylight once per day, using his character level as his caster level. Starting at level 6, an Aasimar can cast Daylight one additional time per day. At level 10, an Aasimar can cast his Daylight spell-like ability as a Swift action instead of a standard action.
Favored Class: Paladin or Bard
Languages: Aasimar speak Common and Celestial, and can choose any language, assuming they have a high enough Intelligence.
Level Adjustment: +1

Fragments: The History of Before

This is part of the campaign setting im starting to write. It's short and to the point, details a very specific area and includes a side bar (highlighted in green).

Rahab- or what came before

Knowledge of the time before the Devastation is limited to the few surviving creatures that lived through it, and the rarest of surviving tomes detailing its history. What can be learned through research is limited- less than 10 books survive in Otep telling of the once great Mageocracy that ruled the land. Of those 10 only 3 have had any true scholarly influence and they are; The Lawless of Kym, Emissary: The holy tome of Bahamut, and Gwideon I’s journal.

What has been gleaned about the Mageocracy of Kym is sparce. Mostly gathered from Gwideon’s journal it appears that Kym was divided into multiple principalities; each of which was ruled by a council of powerful wizard. These individual councils elected “Kings” to run the daily issues while the mages studied and grew in power. Each council sent their most powerful member to the city of Somnium where the council of Archmages met to discuss the course of the Mageocracy as a whole. Gwideon’s diary covered the lessons he learned while under the tutelage of Name Here, a distinguished Archmage whose fate remains unknown. Among those entries are recollections in which Gwideon served as an assistant to Name Here and accompanied him to council.

The only other information readily available about Kym comes from the short tome The Lawless of Kym, a classification system for renegade wizards. Rankings range from A-C, and the colors White, Red and Black; An A rank threat was the equivalent to a mad Archmage rampaging throughout the kingdom. A Rank threats required the immediate dispatch of War Wizards and Spell Slayers to destroy, no matter the cost. B Rank wizards represented malicious, cruel or evil wizards who had yet to loose control of their magic or infringe on the laws openly. These B rankers faced heavy sanctions. A C rank threat was a rogue apprentice or terminally late payers of dues, these only required a stern reprimand until they became a higher level threat. White threats represented individuals that could be destroyed with little loss of life in the kingdom. Red threats represented a substantial threat, including the potential destruction of a city or principality should true fighting break out. Black threats represented planar wide catastrophe should they be engaged in open combat.

 Besides the classification system, the Lawless of Kym includes a listing of the 5 most dangerous threats identified by the order, compiled approximately 6 years before the Devastation. It is assumed that the A rank threats were constantly being hunted, while the B rank threats were under intense supervision. The lack of any Black rank threats only shows how little the Order knew about the coming darkness. What became of these 5 is unknown to even the most dedicated scholar.

             1) Yves the Lucid- Red A

            2) The Mirror Maiden of Somnium- Red B

            3) The Shadow Sage of Blackport- Red B

            4) Vio Pio the Hell Wizard- White B

            5) Mary Two-Hearts- White A 

Scholars of Epistorium have many reasons to cheer on the new settlement of “Gra”. Besides the reclamation of lands from Chaos, the settlement opens the doors to entirely new scholarly frontiers. Libraries unseen for half a millennia can now be perused for surviving tomes and ruins thought lost forever to the madness of chaos are available for excavation. Combined with the longer life span of elves, many of whom are only 1 or 2 generations removed the loss of their ancestral empire, it is possible that Epsitorium’s former grandeur may yet return to Otep. 

Of the lands known once as Disharpa there is no surviving knowledge known to the world. This western continent is referenced only once in the journal of Gwideon in the following passage. 

            I traveled across the sea to the mighty lands of Disharpa. The land of the Orcs is dead, their palaces and temples are in ruins, the immortal Priest-Kings are nothing more than bone.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Snake Eyes: New Base Class - Spellwarrior


Out of the depths of the lost nation of Kagamaro comes a different breed of warrior. Initially developed as a counter to the Duskblade of Epistorium, the spellwarrior seeks to integrate the various nuances of the arcanist with the brute force of a swordsman. He manages to accomplish both feats by specialization, only learning certain aspects of combat and magic, but then combining the aspects he best understands.

Abilities: The Spellwarrior relies on Intelligence for his spellcasting and class features. Spellwarriors focusing on melee combat also benefit from a high Strength and Constitution. All Spellwarriors favor a high Dexterity both for defense and for ranged attack rolls.

Alignment: Most Spellwarriors are lawful, due to the rigors that advancement as a Spellwarrior requires, but Spellwarriors can be of any alignment.

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills: Balance, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (Arcana, History, The Planes), Profession, Spellcraft

Skill Points: 2+INT (X4 at first level)

Base Attack: Average (as Rogue)

Good Save: Will

Bad Saves: Fortitude, Reflex

Weapons and Armor Proficiencies: Spellwarriors are proficient will all simple and martial weapons, bucklers, light armor, and medium armor. However, Spellwarrior spells incur arcane spell failure chance until his skill in casting can accommodate it.

    Class Features:
    The Spellwarrior casts Arcane spells from the Sorceror/Wizard spell list. In order to learn a spell, a Spellwarrior must have an Intelligence score of at least the spell’s level plus ten. The save DCs of a Spellwarrior’s spells are determined by his Intelligence modifier, and he receives bonus spells per day for having a high Intelligence score.
    A Spellwarrior must prepare and cast his spells just as a Wizard does. A Spellwarrior may cast a number of spells each day as if he were a Wizard. Unlike a Wizard, a Spellwarrior cannot specialize in a school to gain bonus spells per day. A Spellwarrior begins play knowing 2 1st level spells. These spells may be divided in any combination between his two granted schools (see below). A Spellwarrior gains one new spell known each level, and can only choose spells from the Granted Schools available to him. A Spellwarrior uses a complicated system of mnemonics and mental conditioning to recall his spells and does not use a spellbook, thus a Spellwarrior cannot add spells to his spells known via scrolls the way a Wizard can. In addition, a Spellwarrior's time is vital, and thus he does not bother to learn cantrips.
    Like all Arcane spellcasters, a Spellwarrior needs 8 hours of uninterrupted rest in order to regain expended spells.

  1. Armored Mage (light armor), Granted School (X2), Basic Arcane Combat.
    Armored Mage: Due to their skill in using arcane spells in combat, Spellwarriors slowly learn to overcome the encumbering nature of armor. Starting at level 1, a Spellwarrior can ignore the arcane spell failure chance caused by light armor. At level 2, a Spellwarrior can ignore the spell failure chance of a buckler. At level 7, he can overcome the spell failure chance of medium armor. Spells he knows from other classes incur their normal arcane spell failure chance.
    Granted Schools: At level one, a Spellwarrior chooses two schools of magic. He gains the ability to cast spells from those schools and only those schools—the other six schools are treated as forbidden schools for specialist wizards. A Spellwarrior gains a third Granted School at level 5 and fourth at level 10.
    Basic Arcane Combat: At level one, the Spellwarrior begins to combine weapon combat and arcane spellcasting. He selects a single arcane combat style, choosing one style from one of his granted schools.
  2. Armored Mage (buckler)
  3. -
  4. Combat Casting
    Combat Casting:
    At level 4, the Spellwarrior gains Combat Casting as a bonus feat.
  5. Granted School
  6. Intermediate Arcane Combat
    Intermediate Arcane Combat:
    At level 6, a Spellwarrior may select a Basic or Intermediate Arcane Combat maneuver for any school he knows. He is not required to choose an Intermediate maneuver of the same school that his basic maneuver is from, as long as both maneuvers are taken from granted schools.
  7. Armored Mage (Medium Armor)
  8. Somatic Weaponry
    Somatic Weaponry:
    At level 8, a Spellwarrior gains Somatic Weaponry as a bonus feat, allowing him to cast spells with somatic components even if both hands are full.
  9. Granted School

Capstone Feat

Advanced Pupil [Capstone]
Requires: Spellwarrior 10, Spellcraft 13 ranks

Benefit: You may select an Advanced Arcane Combat Maneuver from any of your granted schools.

Arcane Combat


  • Abjuration: As long as a spell effect is providing a bonus to your Armor, Shield, or Deflection armor class, you may add your Intelligence modifier to your saves, up to your class level.
  • Conjuration: Whenever you and a summoned creature are flanking a foe, you may add your Intelligence bonus to your weapon damage rolls.
  • Divination: You may ignore miss chances and bonuses to AC provided by cover that your opponents possess, as long as you are capable of detecting a magical aura on them.
  • Enchantment: Whenever an enemy’s attitude toward you improves, that target is flat-footed against your attacks until you or one of your allies attacks him. In addition, enemies do not receive combat bonuses to saves against spells you cast against them.
  • Evocation: You gain a competence bonus on ranged attack rolls and damage rolls with ranged weapons equal to your Intelligence modifier. This bonus only applied against foes that have been struck by a ray spell since the beginning of your last turn.
  • Illusion: You may use image spells to flank with foes.
  • Necromancy: As long as you have temporary hitpoints, you gain a +1 competence bonus on attack rolls for each 5 temporary hit points you possess (up to your Intelligence modifier).
  • Transmutation: Weapons you wield have their critical multiplier increased by one against any opponent who has a different size category than you. This bonus stacks with the Improved Critical feat and Keen weapon enhancement, but is applied after the feat/enhancement effect (for example, a weapon with a normal critical range of 19-20 would instead critical on 16-20).


  • Abjuration: You may cast an Abjuration spell with a range of personal or touch as a swift action. Spells with a range of touch can only be cast on you. Treat the spell as if it were prepared with the Quicken Spell feat, but do not increase it’s level.
  • Conjuration: Before you make a full attack with a melee weapon, you may cast a Conjuration (Summoning) or Conjuration (Calling) spell to summon a creature into flanking position with you as a swift action. If your base attack bonus is +5 or lower, you must spend a full-round action to attack. The summoned creature cannot attack the turn you summon it, but it can make attacks of opportunity. You may only use this ability if you control no summoned or called creatures.
  • Divination: Whenever you succeed in a saving throw against an opponent’s spell or ability or an opponent misses you with a weapon attack, you may cast a Divination spell that targets either your or that opponent as an immediate action.
  • Enchantment: Whenever you hit an opponent with a melee weapon attack, you may cast an enchantment spell on that opponent as a swift action. If that spell requires a touch attack, your attack will suffice (you do not need to roll again). If the spell allows a save, the target takes a -2 penalty on that save.
  • Evocation: When you make a full attack with a ranged weapon, you may substitute an Evocation ray spell for any single attack in the sequence. Casting a ray spell this way is a Swift action.
  • Illusion: When an opponent attacks you, you may cast an Illusion spell targeting either yourself, that opponent, or a square either of you occupy as an immediate action. This ability is resolved before the attack roll, but the enemy automatically attacks the correct square (for example, if you cast Invisibility using this ability, you would gain total concealment, but the enemy still knows what square you occupy).
  • Necromancy: When an opponent hits you with an attack or spell, you may cast a Necromancy spell targeting that opponent as an immediate action.
  • Transmutation: When an attack or spell you control drops a foe, you may cast a Transmutation spell as an immediate action.


  • Abjuration: You may sacrifice a prepared Abjuration spell in order to gain a bonus on your saves equal to the spell’s level. Activating this ability is an immediate action, and it lasts for a number of rounds equal to your intelligence modifier.
  • Conjuration: You may sacrifice a prepared Conjuration spell to teleport (yourself and your equipment only) a number of feet up to 20 times the spell’s level as a move action. You do not need line of sight for this teleportation. If you teleport into an occupied square or solid object, you are shunted into the nearest available square and take 1d6 per square you are shunted.
  • Divination: You may sacrifice a prepared Divination spell to a bonus to your Initiative checks and Reflex saves equal to the spell level sacrificed as an immediate action. If you use this ability during or before the first round of combat, you do not begin that encounter flat-footed. This bonus lasts for a number of rounds equal to your intelligence modifier. Allies with Divination spells on them that you have cast also recieve this bonus.
  • Enchantment: When you hit an opponent with a melee weapon, you may sacrifice a prepared Enchantment spell as a swift action in order to add one point of mental ability damage to your attack per level of the spell sacrificed. You may only damage one attribute at a time this way (for example, sacrificing a 5th level spell slot could deal 5 Charisma damage, but not 3 Intelligence and 2 Charisma). This ability cannot lower an ability score below 1.
  • Evocation: You may sacrifice a prepared Evocation spell in order to add 1d6 per level of the spell to the damage of all ranged attacks you make until the end of your turn. Using this ability is a swift action.
  • Illusion: You may sacrifice a prepared Illusion spell to gain 1d6 of sudden strike damage per spell level. Using this ability is a swift action, and it lasts for a number of rounds equal to your Intelligence modifier.
  • Necromancy: When an opponent hits you with an attack or spell, you may sacrifice a prepared Necromancy spell as an immediate action to bestow a curse on your foe. That foe immediately gains a negative level. Any foe that strikes you while the curse remains in effect also gains a negative level. These negative levels disappear after a number of minutes equal to your intelligence modifier and cannot cause level loss. You cannot cause a single target to gain more than one negative level per round with this ability, and the curse lasts a number of rounds equal to the spell level sacrificed. You may activate this ability as a swift action at will.
  • Transmutation: Whenever an opponent attacks you and misses, you may sacrifice a prepared Transmutation spell in order to gain a fly speed (perfect maneuverability) equal to 20 times the level of the spell sacrificed. You may then take a move action, but can use it only to move (not to perform move-equivalent actions). Because your opponent is already occupied, you do not provoke attacks of opportunity for this movement from the opponent that just missed you (and that opponent only). You may also choose not to move. If you move out of your opponent's range this way, he cannot continue to attack you. This ability is an immediate action and the flight speed lasts a number of rounds equal to your intelligence modifier.

Monday, August 25, 2008

20 Questions

Bonus Exp! 20 Questions

Back in the mid 90’s AEG (Alderac Entertainment Group) released two amazing roleplaying games; Legend of the Five Rings and 7th Sea. Before the combat system was introduced, before classes or clans, techniques or spells there was a smaller section called “20 Questions”. These 20 questions were aimed at fleshing out a character, making them more than a pile of numbers or a stereotypical sword swinger. King and country, honor and family- these were just as important to character creation as how many dice rolled or how high a stat was.

Compare that to Dungeons and Dragons. Many people create a set of powers first and a personality second when playing DnD, mostly because combat is such a major part of the game. There’s nothing wrong with this. The d20 system and the new 4th edition system both promote such thinking. But do me a favor, next time your make a character for Otep answer these 20 questions before you’re done. Maybe you’ll only answer 5, maybe you’ll make it the whole way through- but hopefully you’ll find something out about your character you didn’t know.

Not all of these questions have to be answered. Some of them might not even apply to you.

1) What is your name and what is its meaning?

a. Not every name has a meaning, but many do. Were you named after someone? Is your “name” really a nickname given to you in childhood? If you aren’t human does you name have a meaning in your native tongue?

2) Where are you from?

a. More than just “The underdark/the empire/the free nations.” Name a city, name a town (make one up if you feel like it), name a climate.

3) Who raised you?

a. Did you have loving parents? An abusive single parent? A grandfather or grandmother? An older sibling? Were you an orphan on the street raised by a guildmaster or adopted by a church? What was your relationship with the person/organization that made you who you are?

4) What is the most important thing you learned as a child?

a. Everyone learns vital lessons while they are young, moreso in a fantasy world. Did you learn that you really couldn’t trust strangers? Not to follow the lights in the woods? Did you learn that even the ugliest creature can just be misunderstood? Did you learn something hopeful that lifts you up or did this realization crush your spirits?

5) What was the moment that you grew up?

a. Everyone grows up sometime, and its not a matter of age. Was this your first heartbreak? The death of a loved one? A monster attack? Has it yet to happen and your character is still an innocent at heart?

6) Why are you an adventurer?

a. Why did you leave your home and enter the most dangerous profession in the world? What is your ultimate goal, and what does it mean to have accomplished that? Think hard on this one, it defines who you are becoming more than any other question.

7) How did you learn your class?

a. Did you learn archery from the man who raised your or spells from an old woman in the woods? Were you raised in a church looking forward to being ordained each day or did you practice stealing by sneaking into the chapel and taking donations for yourself? Saying “I went to wizard school” is lazy, picking a name for it is better- a favored teacher, a rival and a lost love is perfect.

8) Do you like what you do, or do you wish you had chosen a different path?

a. Do you ever wish you hadn’t sold off your first day of winter to that thing in the woods? Do you stand next to the Paladin and regret your life of mercenary work? How could anything be better than communing with your deity or throwing bolts of eldritch fire?

9) What is the best thing about your profession?

a. The rhythm of battle as soldiers follow your every order? The thrill of a perfect heist? The twang of a bow and the crunch of leaves? The anticipation as you walk the line between damnation and power?

10) What is the worst thing about your profession?

a. Failing to save a friend as they lie dying in your arms, the power of your faith not quite enough? An eldritch tome that has no answers, only more questions? Knowing that as good as you are, somewhere in the world a better swordsman is sharpening their skills? The looks of frustration when you walk bye as people think you’re judging them just because of the paladin’s crest upon your chest?

11) Who do you admire most in the world?

a. The woman who raised you? Your teacher at the academy? Your king? The father you never met? A long dead hero who you’ve based your life upon? A fallen friend you couldn’t save?

12) Who are you loyal to?

a. This doesn’t have to be a complete list of ideals, but instead the one faction/group/person you are most loyal to in the world.

13) Who do you hate most in this world and why do you feel that way?

a. With few exceptions everyone dislikes something or someone. Maybe the fey took your older sister away into the woods and now you carry a blade of cold iron. Perhaps a corrupt governor put your mentor in jail (or perhaps the governor threw your corrupt mentor in jail) and you still plot revenge. Maybe you hate an entire race, an entire faction, an entire city or an entire country- just make sure you know why.

14) What choices have you made that affected your alignment?

a. Sure your character sheet says you’re Lawful Good… but what have you ever done to back that up? What good things have you done in the past; remember it’s not enough to do nothing wrong and claim it as goodliness. If your character is evil explain why, just being a killer or an arrogant bastard isn’t nearly enough.

15) How do you feel about Magic?

a. Magic is a major part of the world… but it remains apart from the everyday. Do you view it as a tool, a weapon or both? Does it scare your or excite you? Do you love the art or have you hated it for taking up more of your mother’s time than you ever did.

16) Do the ends justify the means to you?

a. Can evil deeds be justified and is your character willing to take those actions? Everyone has to do things they don’t want to- that’s part of growing as a character. This is a question of How far will you go.

17) What would it take to buy your loyalty?

a. It’s said that every man has a price, what’s yours? You’re character may not know this but you as the player most certainly should. Is it the life of your family? Magical knowledge beyond your wildest dreams? Ascending in power and influence? Or is it simply the glitter of gold?

18) What is your shameful secret?

a. Maybe you don’t have one of these… but it’s a lot more fun if you do. This can be something fun like “My surly Dragonborn rogue loves to dance… but he’s terrible at it.” Something character building “I accidentally killed my pet with Dad’s wand and have sworn never to use magic again.” Or something tragic “My beloved teacher tried to sacrifice me to Orcus during his ascent to Lichdom.”

19) Why are you with these people (the party)?

a. You may not be able to answer this question yet, but think about it when you get the chance. Just because random fate has thrown you together on a quest isn’t usually enough to stick around for the longterm. Does the fey warlock remind you of your lost sister? Do these misguided souls need the influence of your deity to make sure they stay on the proper path? Has the fighter insulted your magic and now its time to show him how powerful you really are?

20) What is your favorite color?

a. Add a splash of color to your character description and background. Does your hardened warrior woman own a menagerie of pink dresses that she would never show anyone? Are you an elf that can’t stand getting yet another green cloak for his birthday? Are you a rogue that really loves wearing black even though it makes you even more conspicuous than you already are?

And now for a few bonus questions.

1) Are you open about your past?

a) Is he an open book, sharing uncomfortable details or stories that make no sense since the people involved are complete strangers to everyone else? Does she say as little as possible and divert the questions cleverly back, hording her secrets? Do you get angry when people ask those questions? Do you make it all up each time you’re asked (Want to know how I got these scars?).

2) Are you in a relationship?

a) Is your character married, widowed, engaged or dating someone back home (or in the party)? Do you chase after wenches and elf princesses despite having promised to be true or are you a proud man-eater leaving a trail of broken hearts and crushed hopes in your wake? Does chastity make up a party of your religion or do you engage in life to the fullest each night you make it back to the inn? Are you looking for the love of your life or have they already passed you by? Are women just a distraction from your true love (battle/magic/money) or are men just dimwitted pigs and you find better companionship among other women?

3) What is your gretest merit?

a) Are you courageous, loyal and true? Charitable and patient? Would you throw yourself into the mouth of Hell to save a friend? Nobodies asking you to be a saint, just a hero.

4) What is your greatest flaw?

a) Are you greedy or vain? Vengeful or murderous. Would you endanger your entire party to accomplish you’re goals or hold debts over their heads to get your way? You’re still a hero but all the best heroes have flaws that humanize them. (Its why nobody likes Superman, and everyone loves Batman)

5) Why do you keep going?

a) When things get rough, when your friends die all around you, when demons pour out of gates to the abyss and nameless horrors scream across the sky… what keeps you going? Is it love? Duty? Vengeance? When you take a sword to the gut what makes you stand up again despite the pain? When its you and 4 others against the world what really goes through your head?

That’s all for now folks. Other articles, a primer on setting changes, new fiction and game announcements for this year are all coming soon.

Also I want to give out huge props to Andrew on his excellent fiction.