Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Cinderella meets Don Corleone

Because I was bored...a prestige class for the Pathfinder Role-playing game. Intended for use with my take on the warlock class, but usable by any character that wants prefers spell-like abilities over spells.

A note on the "race" requirement. Within my Beyond the Shore setting, anything that is not a Human qualifies as a "Faerie". If you are playing in a more traditional high-fantasy setting but want to keep the Faerie-flavor, you may want to change this to requiring the Fey creature type or the Elf subtype, or whatever sub-set or superset of creatures you consider to be "Faeries".

The Faerie Godparent

No personal advantages will suffice without proper connections. — Charles Perrault

Faerie Godparents are enigmatic fae beings who choose to act as mentor, protector, and benefactor to one or more mortals, in the role that an actual godparent is expected to play in many societies. Faerie Godparents act in a manner atypical of their kind; they are preoccupied with the character and fortunes of their mortal protegees, often going so far as to oppose other members of their court to do so. Fairy Godparents give their mortal protegees advice, manipulate fate in their favor, and shower them with gifts (though being made by fae magic, these are often fleeting), and in exchange they demand the respect and love of their “children”. A Faerie Godparent knows that having the right connections can sometimes solve things that magic cannot, and is thus always working to grease both palms and wheels of politics.

Hit Die: d8


Race: May not have the Human subtype.
Skills: Diplomacy 8 ranks, Knowledge (nobility) 8 ranks, Perform (any one) 5 ranks
Feats: Leadership, Any 2 Teamwork Feats
Special: Must be able to use spell-like abilities, one of which must duplicate a spell of 3rd-level or higher.

Class Skills
The Fairy Godparent’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1 +0 +0 +1 +1 Welcome to the Family, An Offer You Can’t Refuse, Faerie Gifts
2 +1 +1 +1 +1 Watch Over Your Children, Bonus Feat
3 +2 +1 +2 +2 Faerie Don, Coordination 1/day
4 +3 +1 +2 +2 Faerie Glamour
5 +3 +2 +3 +3 Coordination 2/day
6 +4 +2 +3 +3 Bonus Feat
7 +5 +2 +4 +4 Coordination 3/day
8 +6 +3 +4 +4 Improved Faerie Glamour
9 +6 +3 +5 +5 Coordination 4/day
10 +7 +3 +5 +5 As You Wish, Bonus Feat

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Faerie Godparent gains no additional proficiency with weapons or armor.

Spell-like Abilities (Sp): The caster level for all of a Faerie Godparent’s spell-like abilities is equal to his Faerie Godparent class level, plus his Warlock class levels (if any). The DCs of any saving throws against a Faerie Godparent’s spell-like abilities are always equal to 10 + 1/2 his combined Faerie Godparent and Warlock levels + his Charisma modifier. Each spell-like ability may be used a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1/day).

Welcome to the Family (Ex): At 1st level a Faerie Godparent may designate a number of mortal protegees equal to his Faerie Godparent level plus his Charisma modifier. Faerie Godparents are remarkably less fickle than their peers, and once a mortal has thus been designated as a godchild, they remain so until death. When using the Aid Another action to assist one of his godchildren, the Faerie Godparent may do so as a move action, rather than a standard action and increases the bonus granted to his godchild by an amount equal to his Charisma modifier. Any cohorts granted by the Leadership feat automatically counts as a godchild and does not count against the limit of godchildren the Faerie Godparent may have.

An Offer Your Can’t Refuse (Sp): Once a Faerie Godparent chooses to take a mortal under his wing, he does not take no for an answer. Beginning at 1st level, the Faerie Godparent gains the following spell-like abilities at the listed levels: 1st level— Beguiling Gift; 2nd level— Unnatural Lust; 3rd level— Oathbind; 4th level— Indisputable Fact; 5th level— Discern Lies; 6th level— Dream; 7th level— Gaes/Quest; 8th level— Mass Demanding Message; 9th level— Sympathy; and 10th level— Overwhelming Presence. The Faerie Godparent’s Godchildren suffer a -2 penalty on saving throws against these effects.

Faerie Gifts (Sp): The Faerie Godparent learns a number of magical abilities by which he can bestow lavish, yet fleeting gifts upon his mortal protegees. Beginning at 1st level, the Faerie Godparent gains the following spell-like abilities at the listed levels: 1st level— Fool’s Gold; 2nd level— Polypurpose Panacea; 3rd level— Make Whole; 4th level — Conjure Carriage; 5th level— Minor Creation; 6th level— Major Creation; 7th level— Heroes’ Feast; 8th level— Shadow Terrain; 9th level— Polymorph Any Object; and 10th level— Resplendent Mansion.

Bonus Feats (Ex): At 2nd level, and again at 6th level and 10th level, the Faerie Godparent gains a bonus feat from the following list: Bodyguard, Center of Power, Enlarge Spell-like Ability, Extend Spell-like Ability, Extra Cohort, Guild Emissary, In Harm’s Way, Insightful Advice, Major Spell Expertise, Minor Spell Expertise, Practiced Leader, Quicken Spell-like Ability, Underworld Connections, or any Teamwork Feat.
The Faerie Godparent must meet all the normal prerequisites of the bonus feats selected.

Watch Over Your Children (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, the Faerie Godparent constantly monitors the safety and well-being of his mortal protegees. The Faerie Godparent is able to continually monitor his Godchildren as if they were affected by a continuous Status (as the spell). Should the Status effect be somehow dispelled, the connection is automatically re-established the next time the Faerie Godparent comes into contact with the Godchild.

Faerie Don (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, the Faerie Godparent’s extensive network of connections allow him to bring some of the true might of the Faerie Courts to bear. Whenever the Faerie Godparent would attract new followers from the Leadership feat, he may choose to attract Fey creatures with a Challenge Rating equal to the level of follower he would attract, in place of a normal follower.

Coordination (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, as a standard action, the Faerie Godparent can grant any Teamwork feat he knows to all of his Godchildren within 60 feet who can see and hear him as a bonus feat. Godchildren retain the use of this bonus feat for a number of rounds equal to the Faerie Godparent’s class level. The Godchildren do not need to meet the prerequisites of these bonus feats. The Faerie Godparent can use this ability once per day at 3rd level, plus one additional time per day every two levels thereafter.

Faerie Glamour (Su): Beginning at 4th level, the Faerie Godparent learns to alter his form in order to fulfill the expectations of his protegees. At 4th level, the Faerie Godparent is under the effects of a constant Glamour (as the spell). If this effect is somehow dispelled, the Faerie Godparent can re-establish the Glamour as a swift action, at will.

Beginning at 8th level, the Faerie Godparent also benefits from a continuous Adjustable Polymorph, allowing him to alter his form to that of any humanoid creature (as per the Alter Self spell) as a swift action. This is in addition to the benefits of the Glamour.

As You Wish (Sp): At 10th level, the Faerie Godparent gains the ability to grant wishes to his mortal protegees. The Faerie Godparent can cast Limited Wish as a spell-like ability. He may only use this ability when within 30 feet of one of his Godchildren, and at their express request.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Gourmand Archetypes: The Confectioner

Recently I've been experimenting with expanding the Gourmand class I created for Pathfinder with a number of Archtypes. Here is the fifth, there shall be more to follow... 

This one borrows heavily from one of the very few cannibalism-specific archetypes published by Paizo the Gingerbread Witch from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Horror Adventures supplement. It also plays a bit on the idea of Mellification (or Honey-Mummies) which I have mentioned on this blog before.

An Archetype of the Gourmand class.
These lovers of sweets are also tempters, seducing or tricking others into joining them in their sugar-laced cannibalism, either as fellow partakers or perhaps as the main course.

Consume: In order to use his Consume ability, the confectioner must render the components of the creature’s body (grinding the bones to mix with flour, rendering the fat for shortening, etc) and bake them into a sweet treat of some kind. This is much more labor intensive than a typical Gourmand, taking 2d4 hours (instead of the usual 1 hour), and requires access to a ready supply of sugar, honey, or other sweeteners. A Confectioner does not gain creature loresight from consuming a foe.
This modifies the Consume ability.

Cauldron Cook (Ex): At 2nd-level, a confectioner gains the Cauldron and Child-Scent witch hexes. These function as a witch of the gourmand’s level. For the purpose of brewing potions, the Confectioner is treated as if he knew all 1st-level spells from the Witch spell list. At 8th-level this expands to include all 2nd-level spells from the Witch spell list, and at 14th-level this expands to include all 3rd-level witch spells. When brewing potions with his cauldron, he can create small candies, pastries, or similar edible items identical in effect and application to normal potions. At 11th level, he gains the Cook People hex.

Tricky Treats (Sp): At 5th level, a confectioner learns a unique ability that lets him create a piece of candy or a similar sweet as a full-round action. If eaten by the confectioner or a single creature she designates when she creates it, the sweet functions as either a single Goodberry or a Polypurpose Panacea (as determined at creation).

Anyone else that eats the sweet becomes nauseated (Fort DC 10 + 1/2 the gourmand’s level + the gourmand’s Charisma modifier negates); a creature nauseated by the sweet can attempt a new saving throw each round at the end of its turn to end this effect.

A confectioner can create a number of sweets each day equal to his Charisma modifier + his level. These sweets retain their potency for 24 hours and then turn to crumbs.

Horrible Hunger (Sp): At 17th level, a confectioner can affect a target as if she had cast Feast of Ashes on it (Fort DC 10 + 1/2 the gourmand’s level + the gourmand’s Charisma modifier negates). This hunger is so intense that any creature can offer the target food as a standard action and the target is compelled to eat it, as if the creature offering it had cast Beguiling Gift (DC as above). The Confectioner can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1/day).

Cauldron Cook, Tricky Treats, and Horrible Hunger replace all instances of the Acquire Skill ability.

Mellify Corpse (Sp): Starting at 6th level, a confectioner can transform a corpse into an undead creature as per the spell Animate Dead by bathing the corpse in raw honey. This ability can be used at-will, with a casting time of 1 hour, and requires 250 gp (10 gallons) of honey per hit die of the undead to be created as a material component. Starting at 12th level, this ability functions as per the spell Create Undead.

At any time, the Confectioner may choose to feed on one of his Mellified Corpses. Each successful bite attack the Confectioner makes against a Mellified Corpse benefits him as per the Cook People hex. The first time the Confectioner feeds on one of his Mellified Corpses, he relinquishes control of that undead creature and it immediately becomes hostile (after the first successful bite attack against it).

This replaces the Acquire Feat abilities gained at 6th and 12th levels.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Some Thoughts on Slings

File under: Random rant about D&D things that bug me...

Disclaimer: I don't personally know how to use a sling, because they are hard, and that is the point...

Of all the weapons that appear in the D&D game, the humble sling may be the most mis-represented. This all probably started with G.G. making slings the only ranged weapon available to Thieves in AD&D, with an eye towards his own vision of Thieves as an 'urban' class -- despite the fact that slings are a very pre-urban weapon and traditionally associated with rural shepherds.

This carried over through many versions of D&D, and, mostly from the view of keeping the original Thiefly weapon selections the sling was classified as a "Simple" weapon in modern (3.x and later) D&D and given very low accurate range and low damage output. All of these things are just...wrong. The weapon described in the D&D game is clearly not a sling, it is a "slingshot" -- which is extremely anachronistic to most D&D settings since the slingshot did not (and could not) exist prior to the invention of vulcanized rubber (1839).

First, let's address the modern classification as "Simple" weapon. Excluding weapons which are simply thrown, ranged weapons in D&D basically fall into three categories: crossbows, bows, and the sling. The crossbow is fired by pointing it at a target, siting along the stock, and pulling a trigger -- the simplest possible method of attack. This is a simple weapon. The bow is similarly intuitive, knock, draw, release -- though it requires more practice to do accurately. This is a martial weapon.

Accurate use of a sling requires the user to stand 60-degrees off from their target (rather than pointing strait at them), nest the bullet, rotate multiple times to generate speed, then release at exactly the right moment in the arc to send the bullet towards the target. Because of the rotation of the sling, any minor variation (early or late) in the release timing will result in missing the target entirely. This is not intuitive, and requires much more training and practice than accurately using a bow. While the sling may have been "common" in ancient warfare, it is by no means "simple". In sufficiently early settings where they were in major use the sling might be considered a "Martial" weapon, but, by virtue of difficulty of use, should probably be classified as "Exotic".

Secondly, there is the issue of range. Pathfinder lists the sling's range as a 50-ft. range increment (compared to 100 ft. for a longbow or even 60-ft. for a shortbow). Procopius's "Wars of Justinian", the writer implies that the Roman slings had greater range than the bows used by the Huns, and other ancient writers repeatedly stress the slings advantage of range over bows. Modern tests have shown that, with a high trajectory, a sling can have an effective range of more than 1200 feet (a range only matched in testing by high draw-weight, high trajectory composite bows). Weapons in Pathfinder can be fired a maximum 10 range increments, which, if we go by the 1200-ft. number, puts the range increment for a Sling at 120-ft. (rather than a mere 50-ft.) which fits with accounts of it out-ranging a bow.

Then there is the matter of damage-output. 3e D&D and Pathfinder list the sling's damage as a meager 1d4 (less than a thrown club -- which is less dense, fast, or aerodynamic than a lead sling bullet). Everyone is familiar with the story of David and Goliath (a boy taking out an armored giant with a single well-placed sling bullet) -- but that can be easily written off as a critical hit / divine smite / etc. However, the late Roman writer Vegetius gives an argument that slings, in general are more devastating than bows (in addition to the better range), writing in his "De Re Militari":
"Soldiers, notwithstanding their defensive armour, are often more annoyed by the round stones from the sling than by all the arrows of the enemy. Stones kill without mangling the body, and the contusion is mortal without loss of blood."
Numerous accounts of both men and beasts (lions, bears, etc.) being slain by a single (long range) shot from a sling exist. Implying that the weapon is at least as deadly as a bow or crossbow. Both bows and crossbows deal 1d8 damage in D&D, so it stands to reason that a sling bullet should deal at least that much.

Further, Vegetius writes:
"There is the greater reason for instructing all troops, without exception, in this exercise, as the sling cannot be reckoned any encumbrance, and often is of the greatest service, especially when they are obliged to engage in stony places, to defend a mountain or an eminence, or to repulse an enemy at the attack of a castle or city."
So, you've got a weapon that weighs practically nothing, fits in your pocket, has near infinite readily available ammunition just lying on the ground (though cast lead bullets are better), can be rapidly manufactured from simple materials, has range better than a bow, and is just as deadly (if not moreso) than other available ranged weapons. Why would anyone use anything else?

Because (and this gets back to the first classification point), it is hard to learn to use. Slings are an Exotic weapon, that takes extra training (read Feat or Proficiency slots) to learn to use effectively. Any random yokel (Thief, Wizard, etc.) can't just pick this thing up and use it with any level of success.

So, for you Pathfinder playing people, here is the corrected entry for the weapons table:

Ranged Weapons
CostDmg (S)Dmg (M)CriticalRangeWeight1Type2SpecialSource
Sling--1d61d8x3120 ft.--BPRG:CRB

If you need mechanical justification for why it's "Exotic" despite having damage output set at the same as a bow. (1) The range is longer. (2) It costs nothing and weighs nothing (which is a huge advantage in resource-strapped campaigns).

Gourmand Archetypes: The Monster Chef

Recently I've been experimenting with expanding the Gourmand class I created for Pathfinder with a number of Archtypes. Here is the fourth, there shall be more to follow... 

Themes of cannibalism and eating intelligent monsters to gain their powers show up here and there throughout Pathfinder products. While Dreamscarred Press's Path of War: Expanded does not have any rules specifically oriented towards eating-as-power, it does introduce (in some detail) a martial order dedicated to cooking exotic monsters -- which closely mirrors some of the ideas presented in the Gourmand class. This Archetype modifies the Gourmand to fit the Ordre des Repas Exotiques and uses rules from Path of War and Path of War: Expanded.

An Archetype of the Gourmand class.
“I swear to be a true and faithful artist—to never compromise my vision because of petty traditions or banalities, and to accept and learn from the mistakes I place on the plate. I will not waste the beasts I hunt, nor tarnish the names of my fellow Chefs without just cause, and may my faithless tongue choke my unworthy throat if I am false.”

Monster Chefs are the founders and masters of the Ordre des Repas Exotiques. The warrior-chefs of the Ordre des Repas Exotiques consider themselves artists without peer. Ambition drives them to seek out legendary monsters and otherworldly horrors as tests of their might, and to prepare such beasts as culinary delights not known in this world or any other. Each challenges her peers to outdo their latest accomplishment, and together they spread through the world looking to immortalize their name on a plate.

The Chefs of the Ordre des Repas Exotiques work with a fervor that borders on insanity. Each looks to push the limits of cooking into new and exciting places, and to push their own personal limits against tougher challenges, mightier foes, and deadlier hunts.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Monster Chefs are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor, but not with shields. This replaces the standard gourmand weapon and armor proficiencies.

MaĆ®tre de l’Ordre: Starting at 1st level, a Monster Chef of the Ordre des Repas Exotiques gains an insight bonus on all Knowledge checks made to identify creatures equal to 1/2 his Gourmand level (minimum +1), and can make such checks untrained. In addition, the Chef is immune to the effects of ingested poisons, and cannot contract diseases by eating or drinking tainted faire (she may still contract diseases in other ways).
This replaces Gourmand’s Gluttony.

Consume: Because of their emphasis on seeking out only the most exotic of faire, a Monster Chef’s consume ability does not work on any creature with the Humanoid or Animal type.
This modifies the Consume ability.

Maneuvers: A Monster Chef begins his career with knowledge of three martial maneuvers. These maneuvers must be selected from the Steel Serpent discipline and any one other secondary discipline of his choice. If the associated skill of his selected secondary discipline is not on his class skill list, he gains it as a class skill.

Once the Monster Chef knows a maneuver, he must ready it before he can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by Monster Chef is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in it or its discipline’s description. A Monster Chef’s maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and he does not provoke attacks of opportunity when he initiates one.

The Monster Chef learns additional maneuvers at higher levels, as indicated on Table: Archetype Maneuver Progression. The maximum level of maneuvers gained through Monster Chef levels is based on his full Gourmand level, according to the standard rules for martial adepts, rather than the limits indicated on the table. A Monster Chef must meet a maneuver’s prerequisite to learn it. See the Systems and Use chapter in Path of War for more details on how maneuvers are used.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even numbered initiator level thereafter (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), the Monster Chef can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one he already knows. In effect, he loses the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. He can choose a new maneuver of any level he likes, as long as he observes the restriction on the highest-level maneuvers he knows; the Monster Chef need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. He can swap only a single maneuver at any given level. A Monster Chef’s initiation modifier is Charisma, and each Monster Chef level is counted as a full initiator level.

Maneuvers Readied: A Monster Chef can ready all three of his maneuvers known at 1st level, and as he advances in level and learns more maneuvers, he is able to ready more, but must still choose which maneuvers to ready. A Monster Chef must always ready his maximum number of maneuvers readied. He readies his maneuvers by practicing and meditating on his cooking skills for ten minutes. The maneuvers he chooses remain readied until he decides to practice again and change them. The Monster Chef does not need to sleep or rest for any long period of time in order to ready his maneuvers; any time he spends ten minutes practicing, he can change his readied maneuvers.

A Monster Chef begins an encounter with all his readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times he might have already used them since he chose them. When he initiates a maneuver, he expends it for the current encounter, so each of his readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (unless he recovers them, as described below).

Monster Chef’s are driven and inspired by the taste of exotic meats. A Monster Chef recovers a single expended maneuver any time he succeeds on a Bite attack against a creature other than an Animal or Humanoid. If the Monster Chef successfully uses his Swallow Whole attack on a creature with a type other than Animal or Humanoid, he regains a number of expended maneuvers equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

Stances Known: A Monster Chef begins his career with knowledge of one stance from either of his disciplines. At 4th, 7th, 11th, and 13th levels, he can select an additional stance to learn. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended and the Monster Chef does not have to ready them. All the stances he knows are available to his at all times, and he can change the stance he is currently maintaining as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance or discipline description.

Unlike with maneuvers, a Monster Chef cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one he already knows.

A Monster Chef’s martial Maneuvers and Stances replace all instances of the gourmand’s Acquire Class Feature ability.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Gourmand Archetypes: The Sacred Cannibal

Recently I've been experimenting with expanding the Gourmand class I created for Pathfinder with a number of Archtypes. Here is the third, there shall be more to follow... 

An Archetype of the Gourmand class.
Sacred Cannibals eat the dead not out of any inherent viciousness, nor epicurean curiosity, but rather out a deep respect for the departed. To the Sacred Cannibal, consuming their kills is a holy act, sharing in the vital energies of the departed, defending against the scourge of undeath, and unlocking great occult potentiality.

Class Skills: A Sacred Cannibal adds Knowledge (religion) and Knowledge (the planes) to his list of class skills.

Sacred Consumption (Su): Sacred Cannibals feed on the bodies of friend and foe alike as a show of respect and devotion. They must be present to witness the death of a creature in order to consume it, but need not have actively participated in the death (i.e. they do not have to have damaged the creature themselves). The act of consuming for a Sacred Cannibal is a highly ritualized and time consuming act — involving carefully extracting organs, cutting them into very small pieces, and selectively roasting and eating those pieces or burning them in sacrifice according to pattern known only to them, while leaving the rest of the body intact for burial or cremation. Using the consume ability takes 2d4 hours for the Sacred Cannibal (instead of the usual 1 hour). Sacred Consumption can only be used on creatures that are of the same type as the Sacred Cannibal (i.e. a human Sacred Cannibal may only use consume on humanoids).

In addition to the normal effects of using Consume, any corpse consumed by a Sacred Cannibal is treated as if it was permanently under the effects of a Sanctify Corpse spell. This effect is subject to dispel magic (against a caster level equal to the Sacred Cannibal’s gourmand level), but is otherwise permanent.

This modifies the Consume ability.

Ritual Consumption: The Sacred Cannibal treats all acts of killing and eating as holy rituals by which he can unlock great occult power. At 1st level, the Sacred Cannibal gains Haruspicy as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the normal prerequisites. In addition, at 4th level and every 3 levels thereafter, the Sacred Cannibal automatically learns one Occult Ritual of his choice. At 4th level, this must be a 4th-level ritual. At 7th level, he learns a 5th-level ritual; at 10th level, he learns a 6th-level ritual; at 13th level, he learns a 7th-level ritual; at 16th level, he learns an 8th-level ritual; and at 19th level, he learns a 9th-level ritual.

All rituals learned in this manner have double the normal casting time, and require a fresh corpse of the same creature type as the Sacred Cannibal to be partially eaten as an additional material component. Rituals learned by other means do not have this limitation.

This replaces Epicurean, and all instances of the Acquire Special Quality ability.

Bane of the Eaters: Starting at 9th level, the Sacred Cannibal becomes immune to all afflictions (such as curses, diseases, and poisons) delivered via a bite attack. The Sacred Cannibal is also immune to the Blood Drain universal monster ability, and the Create Spawn ability of various undead creatures. This replaces Swallow Whole.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Gourmand Archetypes: The Taste-Tester

Recently I've been experimenting with expanding the Gourmand class I created for Pathfinder with a number of Archtypes. Here is the second, there shall be more to follow... 

An Archetype of the Gourmand class.

BlindtastingSmall.jpgTaste-Testers are the best of the best when it comes to having a refined palate, easily able to distinguish even the most minor and subtle of differences in ingredients or circumstance between foods. Whereas other gourmands wolf down entire beasts whole to satisfy their arcane appetites, the Taste-Tester is often content with a single lick or sniff. But woe be to those who run afoul of their expert tongues.

Lashing Tongue (Su): Where other Gourmand’s focus their training in supernaturally strengthening their jaws, the taste-tester concentrates on the power of his tongue. At 1st level, the Taste-Tester gains Agile Tongue as a bonus feat. At 8th level, he gains Tongue Lash as a bonus feat, and can perform grapple combat maneuvers with his tongue. At 16th level, the reach of his tongue increases to 15 feet and he gains Powerful Tongue as a bonus feat. He need not meet any of the prerequisites for these feats.

This ability replaces the Bite class feature.

Taste the Rainbow (Sp): A Taste-Tester does not need to fully consume a foe to learn about its nature, a simple taste will suffice. Starting at 2nd level, the Taste-Tester can attempt a melee touch attack with his tongue as a standard action. If the attack hits, the target must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the gourmand’s level + the gourmand’s Charisma modifier) or be affected by a Creature Loresight spell.

This replaces the Acquire Skill ability gained at 2nd level, and modifies the Consume ability.

Extraordinary Salivation (Su): At 4th level, the Taste-Tester’s learns to change the chemical makeup of his own saliva. As a standard action, he can cause his tongue to become coated in a potent concoction which duplicates the effects of either an Adhesive Spittle spell or a Caustic Spittle spell. Each time the gourmand activates this ability, he must choose which effect to use. The spittle remains active for 1 round per gourmand level, or until the next time the Taste-Tester makes a successful melee attack or melee touch-attack with his tongue. The first target his by a tongue attack within the duration is affected by his spittle. Any save DCs for extraordinary salivation are equal to 10 + 1/2 the gourmand’s class level + the gourmand’s Constitution modifier. This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to 3 + the gourmand’s Constitution modifier (in any combination).

This replaces the Acquire Class Feature ability gained at 4th level.

The King’s Taster (Su): At 10th level, the Taste-Tester becomes immune to ingested poisons or diseases, but not poisons or diseases transmitted by other vectors. In addition, the Taste-Tester can, with a single bite, instantly identify whether a given dish or beverage is safe for consumption, and know with perfect accuracy the nature of any poison, disease, curse, or spell-effect infusing the food.

This replaces the Acquire Special Quality ability gained at 10th level.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Neural Networked Spells: Part 3

As promised, here are two more Pathfinder RPG compatible spells based on dumb spell names generated by AI. You can see the last sets here and here.

This is the point where the names the AI spit out start getting truly strange...

Cow of Aurally

School: Conjuration (summoning), Divination (scrying)
Level: Druid 4th, Occultist (Conjuration) 3rd, Ranger 3rd, Shaman 4th, Sorcerer/Wizard 4th, Summoner 3rd
Casting Time: 1 round
Components: V, S, M (a few hairs from the tail of a cow, a small trumpet)
Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft. / level)
Effect: 1 summoned cow
Duration: 1 minute / level
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: none

Created by the conjurer Fomend when he needed a way to unobtrusively spy on a rural community, this spell conjures a single cow under the conjurer’s command, and establishes a psychic link with the beast. On completion of the casting, a single cow (use the statistics for an Aurochs) appears anywhere within the spell’s range. The cow will move where the caster silently wills, but otherwise behaves as a normal animal of its kind. It will not attack on command, but will defend itself if attacked.

For the duration of the spell, the caster can hear through the cow’s ears. He can hear anything happening in the cow’s vicinity, but uses the cow’s Perception check (perception +9) for any hearing-related perception checks that he must make. In addition, once during the spell’s duration, he can attempt to read the aura of any one creature that he hears speaking in the cow’s vicinity as if using the Aura Reading occult skill unlock (also using the cow’s Perception skill modifier). The caster must hear the speaker continuously for 1 minute in order for the Aura Reading to work (rather than the usual 10 minutes required to perform a reading).

Because of the unique nature of the connection established with the cow, the cow does not radiate magic, but is revealed by Detect Psionics or similar abilities as if it were the target of a power of the Telepathic discipline. The spell immediately ends if the cow is killed, or if the cow ever moves beyond the spell’s range. When the spell ends or is dispelled, the cow is instantly sent back to where it came from.

MoUs of Farts

School: Enchantment (compulsion)
Level: Bard 1st, Cleric/Oracle 1st, Inquisitor 1st, Magus 1st, Mesmerist 1st, Paladin 1st, Sorcerer/Wizard 1st
Casting Time: 1 round
Components: V, M (a scrap of paper inscribed with the phrase “He who smelt it, dealt it.”)
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: The caster + 1 willing creature per level
Duration: 1 hour per level (D)
Saving Throw: special
Spell Resistance: none (harmless)

Created by a young mage possessed of rather impressive flatulence, this spell creates an MoU between the wizard and one or more willing parties, in which they agree to refrain from commenting or reacting when one of the parties lets one rip. This magical Memorandum of Understanding is formal, but not legally binding.

For the duration of the spell, all affected parties refuse to speak of any unusual smells. Whenever a creature affected by this spell is subject to a scent-based attack (such as the Stinking Cloud spell or a creature with the Stench special quality), he may make Will save (DC equal to the save DC of MoUs of Farts) as a free action each round, on a successful save, he ignores any effects of the scent-based attack for that round (this negates any need to make a normal save against the attack in question). On a failed save, he becomes subject to the scent-based attack normally (requiring additional saves against the attack as appropriate).

This spell can be dismissed by any of the affected parties at any time by verbally commenting an unpleasant smell, or by making a gesture to that effect. Once the MoU has thus been broken, the spell is nullified for all participants. Any character that gains the Nauseated condition automatically breaks the MoU, ending the spell for everyone involved.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Gourmand Archetypes: The Cephalovore

Recently I've been experimenting with expanding the Gourmand class I created for Pathfinder with a number of Archtypes. Here is the first, there shall be more to follow...

This one blends elements from the two conflicting "psychic" rules for Pathfinder, both elements from Paizo's Occult Adventures and psionics rules from Dreamscarred Press's Ultimate Psionics. Similarities to the Illithid (or Mind Flayer), which is considered product identity for D&D, are not-at-all coincidental.

The Cephalovore

An Archetype of the Gourmand class for the Pathfinder role-playing game.

While Gourmands are notoriously un-picky eaters, the Cephalovores are quite the opposite. Cephalovores specialize in the consumption of one thing only — brains. Specifically the brains of intelligent or psychically capable creatures. Through this unique diet the cephalovore hopes to expand his own consciousness.

Class Skills: A Cephalovore adds all Knowledge skill to his list of class skills.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A Cephalovore is proficient with all simple weapons, light picks, and heavy picks, and with light and medium armor, but not shields. This replaces the Gourmand’s normal weapon and armor proficiencies.

Brain Surgery: Because of their extensive experience in working with brains, the Cephalovore gains the Trepanation feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. At 8th level he gains Cranial Adjustment as a bonus feat, and at 16th level, he gains Cranial Implantation. The Cephalovore does not need to meet any of the prerequisites of these feats. This ability replaces the Bite class feature.

Consume: A cephalovore must consume the entire brain of his foe in order to use his Consume ability. This modifies the Consume ability.

Aggressive Trepanation: At 9th level, the Cephalovore learns to quickly and efficiently penetrate the skull of his foe and expose that which the caphalovore most desires. As a full-round action, the Cephalovore can make an attack with a light or one-handed piercing weapon. On a successful attack, the target’s skull is penetrated, dealing 1d3 points of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma damage, in addition to the base damage of the weapon. On a natural 1 on the attack roll, the Cephalovore’s intentionally slip-shod work turns out to be beneficial, affecting the target as if he had successfully performed a full Trepanation.
This ability replaces Swallow Hole.

Psionics: Starting at 1st level, the Cephalovore gains a limited psionic abilities. He is treated as a Psionic character and gains a number of psionic power points as a Aegis of his Gourmand level. In addition, he receives bonus power points per day if he has a high Intelligence score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Power Points), treating his manifester level for the purposes of bonus power points as equal to his Gourmand level.

The Cephalovore learns specific powers as he advances in level. The Cephalovore simply knows these powers; they are ingrained in his mind, and he does not need to prepare them, though he must get a good night’s sleep each day to regain all his spent power points. The Difficulty Class for saving throws against the Cephalovore’s powers is 10 + the power’s level + the cephalovore’s Intelligence modifier.

At 1st level, the Cephalovore knows the Bite of the Wolf and Detect Psionics powers. Detect Psionics does not count as a knack for the Cephalovore — the Cephalovore must always expend power points to use it.
At 4th level, the Cephalovore adds Psychic Interference and Sense Minds to his list of psionic powers known.
At 7th level, the Cephalovore adds Feat Leech and Psionic Blast to his list of psionic powers known.
At 10th level, the Cephalovore adds Psychic Drain and Power Leech to his list of psionic powers known.
At 13th level, the Cephalovore adds Leech Field to his list of psionic powers known.
At 16th level, the Cephalovore adds Decerebrate to his list of psionic powers known.
At 19th level, the Cephalovore adds Psychic Chirurgery to his list of psionic powers known.

This replaces Epicurean, Gourmand’s Gluttony, and all instances of the Acquire Special Quality ability.