Wednesday, March 6, 2013

House Rules Hodge Podge; Character Physique

Character Physique (Re-purposed from the Arduin Trilogy)
No two adventurers are built alike. While it can be assumed that most are fairly physically active and moderately fit, build and physical competency varies greatly thanks to predisposition, eating habits and other extracurricular activities.

Note that these don't have an effect on the overall quality of a character's appearance. Any body type can be carried poorly or well and this sort of thing is better decided by the player character. It may change how an NPC or monster views the character which is of course up to the DM.

During character creation, a player may choose or roll for their characters particular physique. Note that in-game behavior such as fasting, over-eating or physical training  may alter a character's physique as decreed by the DM.

Physique Type (1d8 roll or Choose)

1. Ickle - This character is very small and childlike. This may be because the character actually is very young, but it could also be a naturally tiny build or a smoking habit gone awry. Characters of this size receive a +1 bonus to the Armor class and any attempts to slip through small spaces are cracks. They are also able to reasonably pass as children, with all the benefits and downsides that entails.

These characters are wee enough to have the same restrictions on equipment as halflings. They also are easy to chuck about, receiving a -1 penalty to saving throws against such effects as well as granting larger enemies who attempt to grab or overpower them a +2 bonus to do so.

Character types that are already very small (such as gnomes, goblins, and the aforementioned halflings) are instead just incredibly adorable, and able to re-roll any attempts to charm someone through cuteness or convince them that they are harmless.

2. Wiry - Long and lean, someone with this build is noticeably thinner and a bit taller then normal. This character has an easier time then most getting about, affording them a +2 bonus to all rolls involving acrobatics or climbing and a +1 bonus for saving throws to get out of the way of something.

However, the lack of padding means its hard to stay warm or attempt to hold your ground if caught by surprise. A -2 penalty should be applied to all saving throws against cold effects or attempts to avoid being knocked over.

3. Sturdy - Stocky due to muscularity or a bit of podge, this character is pretty sturdy and able to hold onto more then their strength score may suggest. Burly PC's are able to carry half again what they normally would be able to before being encumbered.

On the other hand, they also tend to be clumsy. They receive a -2 penalty to all tasks that require a delicate touch and failure means they probably broke something. While leaping out of the way of dragon's breath is still in line with other tasks, dodging something like the slender ray from a magic wand is a bit harder, incurring a -1 penalty to such saving throws. 

4 - 6. Average - This character has a normal, run of the mill sort of build, ranging from slim to chubby. They receive no special considerations due to their size.

7. Haggard - Some wear their experiences on their face. A Haggard person didn't get much choice. Scarred, bent and rough looking, life has spit these poor people out after some rigorous masticating. In spirit with the old adage though, all the things that didn't kill them made them stronger. Anytime a a Haggard character takes enough damage to kill them permanently, they may opt to make a Constitution check (roll under) instead. If this succeeds, they are worse for the wear but still alive. They'll be out for a while (DM discretion, usually in till the end of a fight or enough time for the characters to resolve (or fall too) whatever messed up the PC to begin with.

On the other hand, this character is already falling apart and this certainly doesn't help. Every time the PC survives this way, 1d3 points of constitution are lost permanently. They also receive 1 less hit point per level, to a minimum of 1.

8. Ponderous - This character is of not insubstantial size. Significantly plumper then the average adventurer, they not only enjoy life but are rather hardy thanks to their girth, receiving an additional hit point every single level. Shoving or rushing through them can also be pretty hard, and such attempts involve a +2 or -2 modifier, depending on which benefits the the PC.

On the other hand, Ponderous characters have issues with normal sized clothing and armor normally needing them to be adjusted for size (Costing 20% to 50% more then usual, elves are also notoriously dickish about this) unless said equipment is noted to be notably larger then normal (I.E, an Ogre's hide armor, or something like that.) Headgear is usually excluded from this calculation, though something assumes a slender face may be an issue. They are also unfortunately easy targets, incurring a -1 penalty to saving throws to get out of the way of anything.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Emerge from the sea of sorrow and set foot upon the hopless shore.

Regulus, in his madness sought out and conquered the great Sun-Machine. His efforts froze the golden sphere in the center of the sky. Beneath the great apparatus he built his City of Aeon and it is there that he still rules, basked in the light of a stolen star that has frozen his chosen people in perfect, flawless order.

But with this act, he stole the sun from half of the world which now lives at the mercy of the overwhelming chaos that is night. The tendrils of the dark lap across the surface of the world, touching each corner and slowly spreading its chaos. Even a great portion of the oceans themselves were not left unmolested; and they have become the great and terrible place known as The Sea of Shadows.

All is not lost however. The battle that granted Regulus the Sun-Machine also managed to shatter part of it, sending glowing shards about the land. These colossal fragments glow with the broken star's energy and many have built great metropolis' about them to hide from the midnight that threatens them all. At least one such city exists under the waves, ruled by Queen Undine of the Merfolk. Those creatures loved by Undine are gifted with the privilege of citizenship. Those who earn her disfavor receive a terrible fate, exile. They are sent away from the only light they know and may ever know.

Many of these unfortunate Merfolk simply perish in the depths, consumed by beasts unknown or just starving alone. Some refuse that fate and seek out what may be their only refuge; Undine's mortal enemies, the Sea Witches.

The Sea Witches are perhaps a half dozen in number, each monstrous and unique. If approached correctly they will trade the Merfolk's soul for great and preserve powers. At this point they will normally let these outcasts do as they please; their souls are there's one way or another and neither death nor prosperity can change that.

These poor, unfortunate souls are known as the Exiled Sirens.

Hit Die: d6
Weapons Allowed: Exiled Sirens may use any weapons that clerics can, as well as spears and tridents.
Armor Allowed: Any armor may up to banded may be warn, though scale mail is preferred. Special considerations must be made when it comes to swimming and transformation (As noted below). Exiled Sirens cannot use shields
Fight As: Cleric
Save As: Cleric
Advance As: Cleric

Class Considerations

Walker of two worlds: The primary "gift" of the Exiled Siren is their ability to survive and move on both the surface and the depths of the ocean. The most obvious aspect of this trait is their lower half, which is able to shift from the long tail and fin characteristic of the Merfolk to the twin legs known to humanity. This transformation takes a full round to preform and is actually quite painful - the Exiled Siren must make a saving throw versus Paralysis and Petrification to keep from screaming or shouting during it. Extensive covering of the legs (from armor or otherwise) must be removed prior to the transformation; flimsier clothing may simply tear.

Movement value remains the same as a human's normal land speed in both forms, though the type (Swim Speed versus Land Speed, respectively) changes.

Another, less physically noticeable but important feature is the ability to breathe both air and water. This is not quite the same as typical amphibian creatures, since they can survive both conditions indefinitely, but there are fine gills along their neck in either form.

Shadow Touched: Traveling through the Sea of Sorrows has left the Siren vulnerable to the mutating touch of the darkness. Their skin is usually marble white, grey or obsidian in color, their eyes are solid dark orbs and their once elegant tails are usually frayed and matted. When the Exiled Siren is first created, one of the following further mutations should be chosen or rolled for on the following table. Of course, alternate mutations may be suggested by the player or DM.

Please note, the Exile Siren's strange eyes grant them the ability to see in total darkness at a 50' range.

Exiled Siren Mutations (1d6)

1. Natural Weapons: Some of the exile's features have warped to the point of becoming deadly; they may have shark's teeth, bony ridges along their forearms or anything else the player may imagine. These allow the Siren to do 1d4 damage in melee combat, even when unarmed.

2. Unsightly Scales: The outcast has dark or multicolored scales all along its body that are rather difficult to hide. They are thick and resilient, granting them a +1 bonus to their armor class that stacks with other defenses.

3. Webbed Digits: A thin film of skin is present between the Siren's fingers. While it makes wearing things like normal gloves impossible, it does grant them an extra 30' of movement to their swim speed.

4. Bulbous Eyes: While the deep black eyes of the forsaken can be alluring in a way, this one has been cursed with enormous globes that are impossible not to notice. This unfortunate state extends the Exile's dark-vision to 100' as opposed to 50'.

5. Luminescent Hair: The long, flowing hair of this Siren glows faintly, granting a short range of visibility (Usually close to that of a torch) around them. This mutation does not effect the outcast's dark vision. While considered beautiful by some, it does make it hard for an exile to hide their nature, short of covering the top of their head.

6. Carrion Guts: Adapting to live off of whatever is available, this Siren is able to consume nearly any organic matter for sustenance - even rotted and decaying material. Exiles with this mutation tend to have grotesquely distended stomachs or painfully emaciated ones.

Lovely Little Lie: The Exiled Siren is constantly of their piteous state thanks to the altered features they wear, but they can deceive themselves and others for a time. Each morning the forsaken can decide to hide their distinguishing physical features (As noted above) including their mutations, causing them to appear as relatively normal human beings. Sirens with their mutations hidden do not benefit from said mutations unless this power is deliberately cancelled.

Once this power has been cancelled, it may be restored again in twenty four hours. Transforming from their human like legs to their tail automatically ends this power.

Sea Witch's Blessing: Every one of the forsaken is able to call upon the powers of the Sea Witch that granted them their new life. This takes the form of incantations, curses and other magic that are very much like the divine spells granted to Clerics and other warrior priests. The symbol of their patron that was branded on their body bleeds visibly whenever a spell is cast and while this is normally harmless, it does betray their nature to anyone in the know. Casting a spell has no other effect on their Lovely Little Lie.

Mechanically, an exile's spell progression matches that of a Cleric's. They also choose from an altered spell list, as noted below.

1st Level Spells: Create Water (Reversible), Cure/Cause Light Wounds, Detect Magic, Prot from Law/Chaos, Purify Food and Drink, Remove Fear, Resist Cold, Sanctuary (3)

2nd Level Spells: Augury, Bless, Delay Poison, Hold Person, (Un)Holy Chant, Reveal Charm, Silence 15' Radius, Speak With Animal, Spiritual Weapon, Obscuring Mist (3)

3rd Level Spells: Animal Growth, Animate Dead, Cause Blindness, Cause Disease, Dispel Magic, Glyph of Warding, Curse, Speak with Dead, Striking, Water Breathing, (2)

4th Level Spells: Create Food and Water, Cure/Cause Serious Wounds, Divination, Exorcise, Lower Water, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Evil 10' Radius, Wall of Ice, Ice Storm, Polymorph Others

5th Level Spells: Cure/Cause Critical Wounds, Dispel Evil, Quest, Plane Shift, Raise Dead, True Seeing, Cone of Cold, Hold Monster

6th Level Spells: Animate Objects, Blade Barrier, Conjure Animals, Atmosphere Bubble, Hold Monster, Part Water, Speak With Creatures, Word of Recall, Freezing Sphere

7th Level Spells: Astral Projection, Control Weather, Gate, Summon Demon, Regenerate, Resurrection, Symbol

Beyond Hope: When an Exiled Siren becomes Level 15, the Sea Witch's brand twists into a new symbol representing them personally; they have finished their transformation and become a witch themselves. Their magic no longer comes from a patron, instead it boils outwards from deep within their corrupted heart.

At Level 20, their body twists into a stranger, more monstrous form and they lose the ability to take on a human form at all. It is said that this final transformation can be prevented if the Siren's soul is reclaimed from the Sea Witch that took it, but this is far easier said then done.