Wednesday, December 11, 2013

CLASS: Shamanic techno-wizard

Techno wizards are tinkerer sorcerers that explore science as if it were a shamanistic art form and practice magic as if it were a scientific discipline. The blending of these two concepts is not unnatural to them. Often a techno wizard will have had a life long curiosity with strange and wondrous objects. By young adulthood they will seek a master to begin an apprenticeship in the three schools of study.

First School - Psionic Magic (Levels 0-3

Derives from implanted biologic technology of an organic nature. Powers are bestowed through serums, potions, vaccines, salves and other medicines. Effects of these concoctions are temporary, but necessary to help train the mind of the Techno-Wizard. Abilities can be mastered in any order and include:
  • Empathy bond (soak up the mental energies of another to interpret their intentions and mood)
  • Telekinesis (level 0 = force push; level 1= force tug, level 2=move in X,Y,Z directions, level 3=complex manipulation of objects in midair)
  • Psionic Screen (mental barrier against all forms of psionic attacks)
  • Commune with animalia (speak with or command fauna)
  • Mental Blast (attack with 1d6 per level; increases all the way to 10th level)
  • Familiar (gain a familiar animal no larger than half your size that will help you in rituals by giving you +1d4 to all rolls per your level; forthcoming posts will outline how certain familiars can also unlock other cosmic powers)
  • Detect psionic flow (energy sources, read auras for empathic readings, etc.)
  • Illusion projection (project a vision, dream, etc. to one target per level)
  • Astral travel (travel anywhere without interaction in a corporeal manner)
Success is based on Wisdom/Presence attribute checks. Take into account any modifiers gained through biological/psionic enhancements.

Note: Due too background noise of the Song of Kings, direct telepathy and prophesying are extremely difficult to perform at this time.

Second School - Energy Magic (Levels 4-6)

After mastering the First School, Second School abilities are opened to the Techno-Wizard. Calling on the fires of the cosmos (subatomic particles et. al.) requires intense focus and concentration, but also a good deal of ritual practice. Drawing of runes on the skin, scarification, and scrawling artifacts or rooms with special "paint" consisting of a techno-alchemical composition is used to harness these energies. The written words are activated through speech and gestures. Techno-Wizards cannot create energy, only attract it, store it, redirect it, and manipulate it.

Abilities must be mastered in the following order:
  1. Detect and call radiation glyphs (allows for drawing energy from the weakest of background sources)
  2. Emanate heat glyph (energizes a weak heat source up to blowtorch flame)
  3. See infra (lizard glyph) and ultra (moth glyph) wavelengths
  4. Create light source (pure light, as a torch or non-harmful ray - paint object you wish to be light source)
  5. Battery Body (illustrate on the inside of an empty vessel to store energy of 1 megawatt per Techno-Wizard's level)
  6. Concentrate/Attenuate (draw rings on entire body along limbs, etc. to create holograms, laser blasts, etc.)
  7. Transmit (full body paint as well as runes on a rod or staff to act as emitter for radio, microwave wavelengths and the like)
  8. Saturate Target (paint large target area on floor, and two walls for X,Y,Z coordinates
  9. Energy sheath (paint armor or shield to become a barrier of energy or magnetism)
  10. Spacetime bending (full psionic concentration and paint body a mosaic of alternating colors in a full-body grid; allows for shaping spacetime, albeit on small scales to create small backward time fluxes for reroll opportunities, causing antigravity fields, bend light for invisibility, etc.)
Success is based on Intelligence attribute checks. Take into account any modifiers gained through cybernetic enhancements.

Note: Dark Energy is akin to "black magic" and very dangerous/unpredictable. You might power a spaceship or you might create a singularity!

Third School - Matter Sculpting Magic (Levels 7-10)

Once the First and Second schools are complete the Techno-Wizard graduates to a much more robust class of abilities. These require advanced technologies that must be worn as circlets, rings, bracers, helms, body harnesses, or other wearable forms. Abilities are not possible, if these items are removed.
Items may be permanently integrated through cybernetics, be they robotic upgrades attached to the PC's biological systems or a constant supply of nanomite supplements. If nanomites, they make take the form of a gas (as through a sealed mask), tiny capsules to swallow, or as a replacement for blood. 

Abilities must be mastered in the following order:
  1. Organize matter (simple objects of just one material, think Green Lantern's early constructs, i.e., swords, shields, hammers, fists, simple wheels, etc.)
  2. Teleportation (move PC or any single object same size or smaller)
  3. Transmorphism (change PC's shape only)
  4. Disintegrate object (range is equal to 10 meters per level - target at a time - effect is permanent)
  5. Composite constructs (more complicated creations made of multiple materials)
  6. Transform Object (change anything's shape)
  7. Technomancery (complex machines, objects capable of computations)
  8. Element conversion (reformulating matter at it's most basic level, e.g., stellar conversion, etc.)
Success is based on Constitution attribute checks. Take into account any modifiers gained through technological enhancements.


Note: This class is a work in progress, and may be updated. :)

Sisters of Chyon and the Tenth Labyrinth


In the southern hemisphere, in the continent of Ueris, lay the ruins of one of the true wonders of Benu--the Tenth Labyrinth.

Legend says that a great technomancer called Chyon of Dhrom had taken residence among the canyonlands to while away the millennia, developing incredible technologies the likes of which Benu had not seen. His powers of intellect and ambition did not go unnoticed and before long nearby kingdoms sent spies, hoping to procure his secrets by any means necessary.

Maze of Madness

To ward off, confuse, and confound his enemies, Chyon used his techno magicks to carve a great maze into the canyons that looked natural to the untrained eye. He added many deadly pitfalls, traps, and puzzles as well as various "guardians" to deter robbers from stealing the magnificent secrets kept safe within his vaults.

Countless intrepid adventurers paid the ultimate price for their curiosity or their bounties. But some did escape with partial maps of his labyrinth. Eventually Chyon came to realize that the sheer number of attempts would catch up with him. So he finally created a final maze--the tenth.
 

Instead of a completely separate labyrinth though, he connected all the mazes into a giant, moving, multi-level mega puzzle. Each of the previous nine were now interconnected. No single map could ever be produced with enough accuracy to be useful in future expeditions.

The Ultimate Guardians

Having achieved such great accomplishments on Benu, Chyon understood that living in this dimension became like a straight jacket to his now otherworldly abilities. Knowing he soon must depart for a higher plane, he left behind two master guardians to watch over his labyrinth.

Chyon knew he could not himself stay on Benu to personally judge the intentions of those who entered the maze, so he forged two great female sphinx to test would-be invaders and robbers.

He imbued the sphinxes with consciousness. Sephia would be assess would-be assailants through pointed interrogation using logic and reason. Qureo, possessed the ability to empathically evaluate the sincerity and intentions of the entrant. Both are quite cruel and pityless.

They remain the most formidable guardians of the labyrinth--stationed just before the great vault--at the heart of the puzzle. Anyone lucky enough to make it that far, would be tested. Only honorable individuals of noble purpose would be permitted entrance. And they would be re-tested upon exit, for it was under the weight of bearing witness to the astounding artifacts inside the vault, that avarice-riddled entrants would buckle.

Sphinx Powers and Abilities  


The sisters are just under 100 feet tall, and have the ability to stare into the very soul of their targets. Through a massive psionic attack they can render victims powerless, petrified with fear, or vaporized. They are made of an unknown material which is nye indestructible.

Psionic Roar

Victims must roll Save vs. Stunned or Paralysis. Characters with Dexterity or Agility scores lower than 8-9 suffer a -1 penalty, 6-7 suffer -2, and 5 or lower -3. Paralyzing effect lasts for 1d6 rounds. The sisters will then conduct the Test of Courage on their targets. Should their prey fail, the Sisters will employ optic blasts to dispose of targets.

Test of Courage

The sisters will forge an illusion in the mind of their targets in which they must face their deepest fears. Victims must roll Save vs. Fear using the same modifiers found in the Psionic Roar above. Failure indicates they are now also paralyzed (roll 1d6 to determine duration). Those who lose their save also lose commensurate Charisma/Presence attribute scores (-1, -2, -3, per above). Victims who's Charisma/Presense falls below 4 will be driven mad for the remainder of the session.

Disintegrating Optic Blasts

These deadly beams render the final judgement on those poor, unfortunate souls at their feet. They gain a +1, +2, or +3 to hit (the exact oppisite of the ranges found in Psionic Roar). Damage is extreme: 2d8+1 for each eye (fire as two, simultaneous shots per sphinx).

Rumors:

  • Chyon is thought to be the first of the Ancient Kings to disappear from Benu.
  • The souls of Chyon's own sisters are thought to reside (or be trapped) within the giant statues.
  • Anyone pure of heart who can pass both into and out from the inmost vault, shall be free to leave without harm, provided they leave without taking any artifacts.
  • A hologram of Chyon (which appears real) will apparate before the great sphinx sisters to intimidate his victims before the test begins.
  • Chyon may be the inventor of some of Benu's more well-known artifacts.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ancient Secrets: Planetary Alignment


Eons ago, the Temple of Ru sat atop the end of a long rocky pier that was cut from the landscape by philospher stonecutters. The roofless, pentagonal temple sat peering into the night sky, with five sets of staircases (three steps each) that faced each other and met in mid-air.

Inlaid in the first step of each stair, rests brick with an ancient inscription of glyphs for each season. Four of the five stairs still have their glyph bricks. Today, the temple is long fallen, but the three steps for each season remain.

There are five solstices in the Benuvian calendar that take place at the crossroads of the seasons:
  • Veral - growth season (although little grows easily on Benu)
  • Aesat - high season
  • Aumut - falling away
  • Borea - season of death
  • Indeko- twillight before rebirth

Reckoning of Ru: Astral Alignment

A solstice on Benu is anything but ordinary. On these holy days, the constant stars in the sky that make up the Circlet of Nioro (Warrior Huntress)--align along one of five different paths. Beginning at noon, a priestess of Ru (Five-headed Celestine Godess) would speak an incantation--saying aloud the season inscribed on the aligned stair--and a doorway to another world would open.

Five different stairs. Five different solstices. Five different conjunctions. Five different seasons. Five different portals to outer realms.

Intrepid scholars excavating the site have identified three destinations, based on centuries of research and self endangerment during solstice times.
  • Veral - Kurust (although little grows easily on Benu)
  • Aesat - Raathnor
  • Aumut - Trigor ("third" in Benuvian tongue)
  • Borea - Quadrat ("fourth" in Benuvian tongue
  • Indeko- Lagol
Three stairs still seem to function, while the other two lie dormant. They've been named numerically for now. It's unknown why they no longer activate. It's possible the destinations were destroyed or migrated to another plane by some cosmic force.

Different Days, Different Worlds

There's a rumor, that more worlds appear on other holidays too, when different constellations are in alignment. But since those occurances happen with even greater rarity, it's unknown where those portals may lead.

In recent times, few are brave enough to ascend the Stair of Ru, and those who do are never again seen. A low, briny lake now covers the area surrounding the stair, and it's been said that an ancient codex of all the possible portals may lie hidden below the surface. Just one of many lost secrets of the Temple of Ru.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monster: The Khoulak



Background

The khoulak are a race of winged, carnivorous humanoids who live in rocky aeries. They are nocturanal and prey on all living things (not the undead). They are feared by all living creatures.


Livelihood/Society

Little is known of khoulaki society except that they are nocturnal, and seem to be of a hive mind, often acting in unison. They live in caves in the highlands or atop cliffsides, keeping them as cavernesque aeries.

They attack in feasting parties, preferring to eat what they can on the site of the attack. They will take prisoners to hold captive and eat later. They have at least primative tools for fashioning prey cages and setting up basic campsites.

They employ no familiars or other beasts, surely they eat anything in their domain.


Appearance/Physicality

No one has ever seen a khoulak's (obscured) mouth and lived. They envolope their prey in batlike wings attached to their arms and--presumably by the sound--vomit corrisive acid to digest their prey. The only facial features apparant are a pair of large, pupilless, lidless eyes. They have no discernable ears or noses, though they seem to still possess those senses.

Senses
Khoulak have large eyes which give them infravision, allowing them to see in darkness, but are exceptionally nearsighted. This ability makes them less effective in broad daylight. They also possess a keen sonar sense which allows them to zero in on their prey with extreme accuracy in total darkness.

Overpowering Grapple
They are powerful adversaries--for most victims they are nearly impossible to escape from, once enveloped in their terrible, suffocating wings. Anyone caught in their grasp will find it nigh impossible to escape. Their wings are attached along their arms down to their wrists.


Methods of Attack

Their idea of combat is to eat their enemies.


Rumors

Khoulak are thought to be demons from the Plane of Death. They sound a "devouring scream" as they feast on their prey, which causes a paralyzing fear in any future victims in the vicinity.

Their presence is felt before they are seen--usually a feeling of terrible dread or foreboding.

It's said that the khoulak were summoned by accident through the incompetence of a boastful wizard, who was immediately punished for waking them from their astral slumber.

Gullible travelers believe the khoulak to be worshipers of the moon godess Zeth, since they're night beasts and surely there must be something they fear. These fools wear her sigil (three colbalt-colored eyes in various states of opening) on a pendant or charm as a desperate hope for safety.



If encountered as a monster:

STATS
FREQUENCY: Rare
NO. APPEARING: Packs of 8 or more
ARMOR CLASS: 11
MOVE: 5 on ground, 20 in flight
HIT DICE: 2d8+2
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: Acid vomit 2d12; Bite 1d8+2; Paralyzing scream - stunned for 1d4 rounds
SPECIAL ABILITIES/SKILLS: Sonar - Emit a clicking noise that helps them detect movment and objects up to 100 meters (in air); Coordinated attack - can intimidate prey through practiced attack patterns. Infravision, but limited by nearsightedness (range of 5 meters).
SPECIAL DEFENSES: ?
MAGIC RESISTANCE: They cannot be harmed by diseases or acid
INTELLIGENCE: Excellent
ALIGNMENT: Neutral evil
SIZE: M
PSIONIC ABILITY: It's believed that the khoulak possess some form of telepathy to communicate with one another, since they are a mostly silent species. It's not know if this ability extends to other races.

If played as a PC:

Prime Requisite Requirements: PHY 13, AGL 15
Hit Dice: Add +2 for being a scary-ass bastard
Max Level: 10