Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gestalt for d20 modern- random though

One of my DM is running a d20 modern game and we are using gestalt for character creation. And it yielded interesting results. By using d20 modern character class on one side and a d20 class for another, it seems to be the key to the main complaints for FX spellcaster lagging too many spell levels behind. More interestingly, it allowed combination with classes not seen for traditional d20. My favourite so far for this style is the mix between d20 future and Eberro classes.

Look for this space as I would share the various builds I have come up with.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Adapting your DM style to the group dynamics.

As many RPG blogs have explained, the table-top rpg experience is a dynamic one. With different people in a group, how a game is being played out would be different as well. With it comes the inevitable play style. Some players like to be lone wolf and do their thing in the darkness. I like to rush into situations without any thought and sometimes just wanna bash something.

Therefore, one man's meat is another's poison. As I ran games for different groups, I find that the needs of the group differ as well. My Star Wars group tend towards combat and would gravitate towards fighting than negotiating. This leaves interesting situation where the hostage need to be alive

My original group is more like what a blogger described. When we play a game, we analyse and analyse. We used detective skills and every situation is like a CSI crime scene. We build assumptions and correct illogical behavior. Essentially, as one of the DM put it, we are a paranoid bunch. Every move is a calculated one and we would talk through a situation endlessly to reach a conclusion.

In this situation, DMing for the two groups would be a differenr experience. Because of the player's needs, the most important part of the game would vary. For the Star Wars group, I tend to play more epic-like combat. Of course, it is not combat after combat. How the combat starts and the interesting features in the combat would be my obsession in the game. Maybe the environment would not be the smooth battleground and enemies could use the landscape to their advantage.

For my other group, NPCs play an important factor. Their personality is the key to the game, not their stats. To add in red herring here and there is equally important as well. I could not begin to describe the joy when my players obsesss about the fact that a wyvern has been sighted when it was just a random wyvern.

It is essentially a simple logic of answering the needs of the player. Any game ultimately needs to answer needs of both teh DM and the players. Obviously, it is not an indication of the DM needing to be a pushover. But player's needs is a priority for the DM

So, the next time you pick up the DM hat, think about your player's quirks and needs. Then, craft the game to suit them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

D20 Elite opponent: Cassandra Carver, vestige bound

 Sometimes beings could be trapped between worlds. Never truly existing, these beings are eager to experience life again in exchange for a taste of the being's power. Ages ago, a few people learned how to strike a bargain with these beings known as vestiges. By melding one's soul with the vestige, the person gains power. 

In some cases, the vestige is able to choose invest part of themselves into a newborn baby. Once chosen, the chosen mortal would be constantly bound to the vestige. It is not unusual that parents are frightened by how their child seems to have an "invisible friend" that could do "magic tricks".

As the child grows up, they would master the gifts of the vestige as they mature. Depending on the personality of the chosen, they might choose to fight with the alien presence within or they may choose to align their goals with the vestige.

Dressed in the latest fashion, no one would connect Cassandra to be a former evangelist from America's "Bible Belt". Cassandra had always felt a presence known as "Astaroth" all her life. She knew nothing about of this being. She only knew that she had an uncanny prediction of the future and a way with people. Cassandra's charismatic ways made her popular among the churches she preached in.

However, an embezzlement scandal disgraced Cassandra and she was chased out of the faith. Within months, Cassandra opened the club with her partner and paramour, Rachel Strange. It ostensibly serves as just another wicked night spot in a city known for its iniquity. Night after night, Cassandra revels in the make merry crowd and secretly recruits potentials into an Inner Circle among the crowd. the Inner Circle's activity is still a hidden secret and time would only tell what Cassandra plans for them.

Use Cassandra either as an enemy or a foe. Players could obtain information from Cassandra at a cost. Cassandra could act as a forewarning of any major events that may happen to the players. Alternatively, Cassandra could be planning a power play in the city and her goals come into direct conflict with the players. If used this way, Cassandra would probably act as a mastermind of sorts.

Cassandra(Dedicated Hero 3/Charismatic Hero 3): hp 21; Mas 10; Init +1; Spd 30 ft.; Defense 14, touch 14, flatfooted 13 (+1 Dex, +3 class); BAB +3; Grap +2; Atk +2 melee (1d3–1 nonlethal, unarmed strike); Full Atk +2 melee (1d3–1 nonlethal, unarmed strike) or +4 ranged; FS 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; AL any; SV Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +5; AP 0; Rep +3; Str 8, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 18.

Occupation : Religious (bonus class skills: Knowledge [theology and philosophy], Sense Motive).

Skills: Bluff +13, Diplomacy +17, Gather Information +9, Knowledge (business) +4, Knowledge (theology and philosophy) +4, Listen +5, Profession +4, Read/Write English, Read/Write Latin, Perform +13, Sense Motive +11, Speak English, Speak Language (any one), Speak Latin, Spot +5.
Feats:Deceptive, Frightful Presence,Renown, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Simple
Weapons Proficiency, Trustworthy, Windfall.

Talents (Dedicated Hero): Empathy, intuition.

Talents (Charismatic Hero): Charm (males), favor.

Special Quality of Chosen of the Vestige:

Favored from Beyond (Su): Cassandra gains a +2 bonus to saving throws against all mind-affecting spells and abilities.

Influence from Beyond: Once per day, Cassandra needs to make a DC check of 22 to avoid letting the vestige's personality dominate her personality.Cassnadra needs to roll a d20+her character's level+her Charisma modifier. If she fails, she become exceptionally enchanted with her voice. She would take the stage and make a speech whenever the opportunities presents itself. 

Angelic Lore: Astaroth constantly whispers the secrets of reality in the back of Cassandra's mind, allowing you to draw on his own nigh-infinite knowledge. This functions as the bardic knowledge ability (PH 28), based on Cassandra's HD.

Astaroth's Breath: Once every 5 rounds, Cassandra can exhale a 60-foot cone of foul-smelling gas. Creatures within the cone must make a Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round and sickened for an additional 1d4 rounds. Those who make the save are merely sickened for 1 round. Creatures immune to poison or disease are immune to this effect.

Honeyed Tongue: Cassandra gain a +4 competence bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks.

Divination: Once per day, Cassandra could cast Divination as a spell-like ability using her HD as the caster level

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kaorti Part I

Tales has been told of knowledge seekers that have gone too far into the unknown. Some went insane from the alien nature of their discovery. Some was transformed indefinitely into monsters. An unfortunate few suffered both consequences.

One such tale was the creation tale of Kaorti. Explorers of the Far Realm, they were unprepared for the onslaught of chaos and madness. Going mad with the alien things they see, they immediately went insane. That was not the end of the mad realm's gift to them. Person by person, the explorers become monstrous in their form. As the newly formed Kaorti was born, they had no memory of what they were before. They had only one desire and that was to spread the gift of madness to other people.

Kaorti is one of my favorite creatures in d20. Strangely alien and infectious in their touch, they make incredile foes for mortal foes. Too bad that they were designed in d20 where all sort of madness are just laughed at by characters. I have also redesigned them to be more Call of Cthulhu and less monsters.

I hope to describe more about the ecology of them ( although I think Dragon 358 covered it too briefly for my taste )

Kaorti: Medium outsider (extraplanar, evil); 
HD 2d8; hp 9; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16; Base Atk +22; Grp +0; Atk +4 melee (1d6 Strength, draining touch) or +1 melee (1d6-1, bite) or +4 melee (1d6-1, ribbon shortsword); Full Atk +4 melee (1d6 Strength, draining touch) or +1 melee (1d6-1, bite) or +4 melee (1d6-1, ribbon shortsword); SA Despair, Draining Touch, vile transformation; SQ darkvision 60 ft., immunities (poison), material vulnerability, outsider traits; AL NE; SV Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +3; Str 8, Dex 14, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 11, Cha 16.

Skills and Feats: Autohypnosis: +7, Concentration +5, Craft (any) +7, Craft (any) +7, Heal +13, Intimidate +8, Knowledge (arcana) +7, Knowledge (the planes) +7, Spellcraft +9, Spot +6, Survival +5; Exotic Weapon Proficiency (ribbon shortsword),Weapon Finesse.
Despair (Su): At the mere sight of a Kaorti, the viewer must succeed on a Will save(DC 10 + 1/2 Kaorti’s HD + Kaorti’s Cha modifier) or be paralyzed with fear for 1d4 rounds. Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same Kaorti’s despair ability for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Draining Touch (Su) : A Kaorti that hits a living target with its draining touch attack drains 1d4 points from Strength. On each such successful attack, the Kaorti heals 5 points of damage to itself.
Vile Transformation (Su): A guardian can infuse any living creature with otherworldly essence from the Far Realm, permanently transforming the target into a mockery of its previous form. This process takes 8 hours, during which time the guardian's jaws must be locked onto the victim, who must be either willing or helpless for the duration. After 8 hours, the victim must make a Fortitude save (DC 13). Failure indicates that the victim transforms into a kaorti (if the victim was humanoid), or into a kaorti thrall. If the victim succeeds at the save, the guardian can attempt the transformation again; each additional attempt to transform a victim increases the save DC by +1. (See the Fiend Folio for more on transformed creatures.)

Material Vulnerability (Ex): A guardian must make a Fortitude save each hour (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage and become fatigued. The fatigued condition persists until the kaorti recovers all the nonlethal damage it took from its exposure to the Material Plane. If rendered unconscious through the accumulation of nonlethal damage (from this ability or from any other source), the Material Plane environs begin to deal normal damage at the same rate (Fort save negates; save DC continues to increase per check as stated above). If the guardian wears his resin suit or is inside his cyst, he is protected from the effects of the Material Plane.

Outsider Traits: A guardian has darkvision 60 ft. and cannot be raised or resurrected (though a wish or miracle spell can restore life).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

[Demonomicon] Aspect of Abraxas

Large Outsider (chaotic, evil, extraplanar, tana'ri)
Hit Dice: 9d8 +9 (49)
Initiative: +2
AC:18, touch 11, flat-footed 17
Speed:  60ft, fly 60 ft (perfect)
Base Attack/ Grapple: +9/+17
Attack: Flail +13 ( 1d10+4+ 1d4 Wisdom Drain) or tail slap +13 (3d6+4)
Full attack: Flail +13/+8 ( 1d10+4+ 1d4 Wisdom Drain) and tail slap +13 (3d6+4)
Special Attack: Spell-like abilities,Wisdom Drain
Special Qualities: Dark Vision 60 ft, low-light vision, Bardic Knowledge ( +12) , Dr 10/ Cold iron or good, Resistance to acid 10, cold 10, and fire 10, Immunity to electricity and poison, telepathy 100 ft
Space/Reach: 10 ft / 5 ft
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +10
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 13, Cha 12 
Skills: Bluff +14, Concentration +10, Diplomacy +3, Knowledge(Arcana)  +11, Intimidate +3, Spot +11
Feats:  Dodge, Iron Will, Mobility, Spring Attack

Wisdom Drain : Abraxas drains 1d4 points of Wisdom each time it hits with its flail.

This version is a mid-level manifestation of Abraxas. Typically, this aspect could be found in sacrificial rituals in which followers offer sacrifice to their unholy god. In return, this aspect would reveal horrendous techniques to their cultist to further spread misery in the world.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

[Demonomicon] Abraxas, Supreme Unknown

It is a truth within the multiverse that knowledge is power. One of the most powerful secrets in the universe is that of arcane knowledge.And Abraxas is one of the few beings that can be said to possess all of these secrets.

Equally, Abraxas' follower are seekers of the most forbidden knowledge and through their search, become privy to some of the most dangerous knowledge that exist in the world. Yet herein lies Abraxas' insidious plans. Without the proper wisdom, these knowledge are akin to nuclear bombs and Abraxas' followers are not the sanest bunch. Often than not, these secrets would be improperly used and the consequence become dire to the world. And with each such incident, Abraxas smiles.

Appearing as a rooster-headed man, Abraxas carries a whip and a shield. His legs are replaced by two hideous serpents that is said to hiss constantly. Yet the most powerful weapon of Abraxas is his mind. Possessing a powerful technique known as the "Final Incantation", Abraxas is able to unamke the most epic spells woven by immortals and mortals alike.

As said, followers of Abraxas come in all forms. Yet, they all have one thing in common which is an unusual thirst for knowledge.Most seek knowledge for power. Many received the unholy whispers of Abraxas' minions in their dream.

In recent times, many have come to seek knowledge for instant gratification. Wanting a quick fix, most bargain away their most prized possession for a glimpse of the knowledge that could bring them the solution to their life. Most do not care about the consequence of other people around them. These are Abraxas' favourites. By being indifferent to other people, they spread chaos and evil through their newly acquired knowledge.

Abraxas lives in a layer known as Plemora. A mock paradise created through complex illusion and magic, followers of Abraxas indulge in pleasures both known and unknown to man. In reality, the realm acts as a container of spiritual energy. With each pleasure, the spiritual energy of the devotee is siphoned and stored in the realm. Abraxas plans to acquire even energy and ascend to godhood. Recently, he discovered the Greyzone. Eying the large amount of energy, Abraxas is researching on how to acquire the energy allowing him to cut short his plans to ascension.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

[Nightwatch Campaign Setting] Vampires

As William was cursed with the form of the wolf, Marcus' curse was far worse. William had become a predator in appearance only. William still had his senses, however marred it is with the feral nature. Marcus was changed to become predatory in every sense.

With the curse , Marcus slowly lose both his humanity and conscience. He too was transformed in appearance as well. His teeth grew longer and he thirst for something no food nor drink could fulfill. In the dark of night, during an encounter with a careless maiden, Marcus' found that blood alone could satiate him.

Unlike William, Marcus relished in his monstrous power and he continued preying on people.Tales tell of unfortunate travelers who fell prey to Marcus. Eventually, the villagers found out but it was too late. Marcus had simply disappeared into the night, never to be seen again.

Many speculated the true story behind the Corvinus Brother. Some say the Corvinus brothers was turned into monsters when they offended the most powerful Witch in the world then. No one could say who is right or wrong.

Yet the Legend of the Corvinus Brother still lives on in  both the shifter and vampire world. Unlike in the traditional Dracula novels, the vampiric race does not fear the sun. True, they were sensitive to the sunlight but they would never burn. They are not the unfeeling undead. Vampires breed true and dalliance with humans always result in vampires being born.

The vampires are divided into two groups. Those who never tested living blood in their live are known as Virgins. Those are the lucky ones.When a vampire first taste blood, they would have to live with a thirst all their lives. Tales have been told of unwilling vampires being forcefully given their first taste of blood and become the slave to other person.


  • +2 Charisma, –2 Constitution: Vampires are fast and seductive, but closer to death than most mortals.
  • Senses: Low-light vision and darkvision 60 feet.
  • Undead Resistance: Vampiress gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against disease and mind-affecting effects.
  • Light Sensitivity: Vampires are dazzled in areas of bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
  • Negative Energy Affinity: Vampires are alive, but reacts to positive and negative energy as if it were undead—positive energy harms it, negative energy heals it.
  • Blood Drain : A vampire can suck blood from a grappled opponent; if the vampire establishes or maintains a pin, it drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution damage. The vampire heals 5 hit points or gains 5 temporary hit points for 1 hour (up to a maximum number of temporary hit points equal to its full normal hit points) for each round you make a successful attack. You can choose to not gain this power. If you do, you also do not gain the blood dependency trait described below. Anytime , you can choose to manifest this power. If you do, you gain the blood dependency trait 
  • Blood Dependency: If a vampire does not use its blood drain ability against a living creature once per day, it must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or become fatigued. Each day after the first that the half-vampire does not drink blood directly from a living creature, the DC increases by 1 until itfails the save and becomes fatigued. After that, it must make a DC 20 Fortitude save each week (with the DC increasing by1 each week thereafter) that it does not use its blood drain or become exhausted.The fatigue or exhaustion caused by blood dependency cannot  be eliminated by rest (though magic can offset the condition until the vampire fails another save). Using its blood drain ability eliminates a half-vampire’s fatigue immediately, or reduces exhaustion to fatigue 
  • Gift of the Dark:  The Vampire could choose of the following gift:
Fortitude(Ex): The Vampire gains a +2 to his natural armor

Undead Resistance(Su) : Choose either electricity or cold. You gain a 10 to the chosen energy type

Charm Gaze (Su): Some vampires can charm humanoid or monstrous humanoid opponents just by looking into their eyes. This is similar to a gaze attack, except that the vampire must use a standard action, and those merely looking at the half-vampire are not affected. Anyone the half-vampire targets must make a successful Will save or fall under the half-vampire’s influence as though affected by a charm monster spell (caster level equal to the character level). Any creature that successfully saves against a vampire’s charm gaze cannot be affected by that half-vampire’s charm gaze for 24 hours. The ability has a range of 30 feet.

The vampire can use this ability once per day. For every five character level he possess, he gains one more use of the ability.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

[Nightwatch Campaign] Shifter Race

Legend has it that the first shifter and vampire was created together. Once, there was a powerful Other family under the name of Corvinus. It was said that Corvinus had a set of twins. Named Marcus and William, Marcus was bitten by a bat while William was bitten by a wolf. From that moment on, the first werewolf and vampire was born.

Losing restraint on his bestial urges, William disappeared into a grove and never to be seen again. When he appeared again, William's once bestial features had all but disappeared. He claimed that he met an angel in the grove who transformed his curse into a blessing. He was now blessed by the forest to become its champion.

William is said to become the greatest leader the villages have seen in history and would lead the Corvinus family to glory. 

All shifters claim descent from William. Or at least the elder shifters would tell the young shifters who would promptly dismiss these tales as ridiculous. This was only one example of how the shifters have changed in the modern days.

When elder shifters tells of tales of how shifters was revered as preservers of nature and champions of the downtrodden, they are more often than not ignored. The fast paced society have led the shifter race to be more "civilised" as one of the elder human Others put it. With large vasts of land disappearing by the minute, many shifters have grew up in urban areas without seeing a forest in their lifetime. Nature, to these shifters, was a foreign concept.

Rumors has it that there is a movement between elder shifters who are trying to maintain the old ways. But with so many distractions, the shifter race seems to be losing their tradition more and more.

Shifter Racial Trait 
 * This is adapted from the Eberron Camapign Setting.

Ability Score : Wisdom
• +2 Dexterity,,  –2 Charisma: Shifters are lithe and agile, but their fundamental bestial nature detracts from both their social interaction.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, shifters have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Shifter base land speed is 30 feet.
• Low-Light Vision: Shifters can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
• +2 racial bonus on Balance, Climb, and Jump checks: A shifter’s animalistic heritage enhances many of his physical skills.
• Shifting (Su): A shifter can tap into his bestial to gain short bursts of physical power. Once per encounter, a shifter can enter a state known as shifting. Each shifter has one of ten shifter traits—characteristics that manifest themselves when a character is shifting. Shifter traits are described below.Each shifter trait typically provides a +2 bonus to one of the character’s physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution) and grants some other advantage as well.

Shifting is a free action and lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the shifter’s Constitution modifier. (If a shifter trait or other effect increases the character’s Constitution modifier, use the newly improved modifier.) A shifter can take feats to improve this ability.

Every shifter feat a character takes increases the duration of his shifting by 1 round. For every two shifter feats a character takes, the number of times per encounter he can tap into the ability increases by one. So, a character with two shifter feats can shift two times per day (instead of the usual one), and each use of the ability lasts for a number of rounds equal to 5 (instead of 3) + the shifter’s Con modifier.

Shifting Traits:

Beasthide (Su):While shifting, a beasthide shifter gains a +2 bonus to Constitution and natural armor that provides a +2 bonus to AC.

Cliffwalk (Su):While shifting, a cliffwalk shifter gains a +2 bonus to Dexterity and has a climb speed of 20 feet.

Dreamsight (Su): The dreamsight trait is the rarest of all shifter traits, and many dreamsight shifters become druids within shifter communities. Unlike other shifter traits, which increase a shifter’s physical abilities, the dreamsight trait sharpens a shifter’s instincts and awareness. While shifting, a dreamsight shifter temporarily gains a +2 bonus to Wisdom and gains the ability to communicate with animals as if under the effect of a speak with animals spell.

In addition, the shifter gains a +2 bonus on Handle Animal and wild empathy checks, even while not shifting.

Gorebrute (Su): While shifting, a gorebrute shifter temporarily gains a +2 bonus to Strength and manifests powerful horns that can be used as a natural weapon, but only during a charge attack. (The horns are too awkward to use as a natural weapon in any circumstance other than a charge.) If a gorebrute shifter uses his horns in a charge attack, the horns function as a natural weapon, dealing 2d6 points of damage (plus an extra 1 point for every four character levels he has). A gorebrute shifter can’t combine a charge attack with his horns with any other attack, even if he has the ability to make more than one attack as part of a charge (such as from the pounce ability).

Longstride (Su):While shifting, a longstride shifter gains a +2 bonus to Dexterity and a bonus of +10 feet to his base land speed.

Longtooth (Su): While shifting, a longtooth shifter gains a +2 bonus to Strength and grows fangs that can be used as a natural weapon, dealing 1d6 points of damage (plus an extra 1 point for every four character levels he has) with a successful bite attack. He cannot attack more than once per round with his bite, even if his base attack bonus is high enough to give him multiple attacks. He can use his bite as a secondary attack (taking a –5 penalty on his attack roll) while wielding a weapon.

Razorclaw (Su):While shifting, a razorclaw shifter gains a +2 bonus to Strength and grows claws that can be used as natural weapons. These claws deal 1d4 points of damage (plus an extra 1 point for every four character levels he has) with each successful attack. He can attack with one claw as a standard action or with two claws as a full attack action (as a primary natural weapon). He cannot attack more than once per round with a single claw, even if his base attack bonus is high enough to give him multiple attacks. He can attack with a claw as a light off-hand weapon while wielding a weapon in his primary hand, but all his attacks in that round take a –2 penalty.

Swiftwing (Su): While shifting, a swiftwing shifter temporarily gains a +2 bonus to Dexterity. His arms grow leathery flaps of skin (similar to a bat’s wings), which grant him a fly speed of 20 feet (average maneuverability).While airborne, the shifter can’t use his hands for anything other than flying, though he can still hold or carry objects. A shifter can’t fly while carrying a medium or heavy load or while wearing medium or heavy armor.

Truedive (Su):
While shifting, a truedive shifter temporarily gains a +2 bonus to Dexterity and a swim speed of 30 feet. Gaining a swim  speed grants him a +8 racial bonus on Swim checks.

In addition, the shifter can hold his breath for a number of rounds equal to 5 × his Constitution score before he risks drowning. A truedive shifter gains this benefit even when he isn’t shifting.

Wildhunt (Su):While shifting, a wild hunt shifter temporarily gains a +2 bonus to Constitution and the scent ability.

When not shifting, a wildhunt shifter gains a +2 bonus on Survival checks due to the lingering effects

Friday, July 6, 2012

[Nightwatch Campaign Setting] The Awakened

Design Notes
To reflect the varying nature of the Awakened (human Others), I have decided on a modular approach. Much like the Modern Adept, the Awakened could pick and choose which power he wishes to choose. Of course , he could choose to be ao ordinary human, not picking any supernatural abilities.

Awakened Racial Traits
Touched by the Greyzone : All Awakened are considered Shadow Creatures for all relevant spells and abilities.

Medium: As Medium Creatures, the Awakened have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Base land Speed:  The Awakened base land speed is 30 ft.

Varying Nature:
The Awakened can choose 2 of the following racial traits:

Bonus Feat: The Awakened could choose a Bonus Feat at 1st level

Skilled: The Awakened gains an additional 4 skill rank. Whenever, the Awakened gains a new level, he gains one extra skill rank as well.

Magician Prodigy: Select a spell of level 1 and lower. You can use the chosen spell as a spell-like ability once per day. The saving throw (if any) has a DC of 11+your Charisma Modifier. The caster level is one half of your character level.

You gain one extra use of this ability for every 5 character level you gain.

Special: If you took a level in Modern Adept, you could use your spellcasting ability score modifier to substitute Charisma modifier.

Scent: You gain the scent special ability.

Blindsight: You gain Blindsight special ability up to 60ft.

Energy Resistance: Choose an Energy Type. You gain resistance 10 to the chosen energy type.

Skill Specialist: Choose a skill. You gain a +4 racial bonus to the skill.

Ability Focus: Choose an ability. Gain +2 in the chosen ability score.

Natural Armor: Gain +1 natural armor to your Defense

Thursday, July 5, 2012

[Nightwatch Campaign Setting] Race Decisions

As in the original novels, there were different races with different characteristics. Among them, there were the Human Others ( dubbed either Magicians), Shifters and Vampires. There were also Incubus/ succubus.

For the human Others at least and the incubus/succubus, they were magic users with different abilities. The difference in hexing and battle magic is perhaps the different spell abilities selected? To that end, I was thinking ofusing some akin to the Silverbrow Humans. Silverbrow Humans are just like humans except that they could cast feather fall as a spell-like ability in exchange for having less skills. So to that end, maybe a good solution is to vary that spell-like ability.

For shifters and vampires, most players have a knee jerk reaction to playing these races. The answer is simple. You simply could not play one at level 1. And the vampire is at a whooping ECL 8. Now I have seen some solutions. The best one I seen so far was the d20 modern werewolf sourcebook I read once ( if anyone could supply me the name of the book, i would be happy to update it here). In the book, the werewolf template was basically divided into a base class. Something akin to Savage Species, the more you take in the class, the better you are at being a werewolf.

So, I think I might go along with the concept for both the werewolf and the vampire.

For the vampire, I would probably be going along with the Dhampir from the Pathfinder. The reasoning is simply that it is a bit stronger than the human race but should be able to be tweaked. For the Shifter race, i think the Shifter from the Eberron is a good match.

What about the other races? Well, the Nightwatch Universe has always been primarily a Human only world. So races like elves and dwarves are probably Shadow Creatures. Now Shadow Creatures could be benign individuals or cruel manipulators. But they are always hunted down. So players playing these race may choose to be refugees hiding from the cruel Others ( as they see it to be).

In conclusion, it seems that I may need to recreate (with minimal effort) some races for the Nightwatch Universe.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

[Nightwatch Campaign] Selene, Modern Druid

When Selene was born , her gift for communication to the animals was told as a sign of greatness by the local Shifter community. Those who have been blessed by the gift of Dreamsight was far and few between. Traditonally, they would grow to become great leaders.

Trained in the way of shamanism, Selene grew to learn to listen to the voice of nature. The voice of the nature drew Selene like a siren's song. As she mastered her abilities more, Selene's instinct drew her to wander around the various sites around the world.
Selene, Urban Adept

Selene: Female Shifter (Dreamsight), Modern Adept 5; CR 5; Medium humanoid (Shapechanger); HD 5d6+5;
hp 20; Mas 14; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; Defense 15, touch 15, flatfooted 12 (+3 Dex, +2 class); BAB +2; Grap +1; Atk +1 melee (1d3–1 nonlethal, unarmed strike); Full Atk +1 melee (1d3–1 nonlethal, unarmed strike); FS 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; SQ Low-light vision ; AL any; SV Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +6; AP 6; Rep +10; Str 8, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 11, Wis 18, Cha 8.

Skills: Concentration +9, Read/Write English, Sense Motive +12

Feats: Extra Modern Adept Talent x2,  Simple Weapon Proficiency
Talents (Modern Adept): Spirit Companion, Rapid Summoning, Enhanced Summoning, Wild Empathy

Spells (6/6/4):
0 lvl -  Cure minor wounds, detect magical aura, detect poison, know direction, read magic
1st level - Cure Light wounds, Entangle, Shifter Prowress, Summon Nature's Ally 1
2nd lvl - Barkskin, Summon Nature's Ally 2

Possessions: casual outfit.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

[Nightwatch Campaign Setting] Modern Adept Part 3 - Conjuration Talent Tree

Conjuration Talent Tree
You are talented in the art of summoning, controlling and banishing supernatural creatures.
Rapid Summoning (Ex): Any time you casts a conjuration (summoning) spell, its casting time is 1 standard action rather than 1 full round. (Creatures so summoned can only take a standard action in the round they are summoned.) 
Augment Summoning (Ex): You gain the Augment Summoning as a bonus feat

Enhanced Summoning (Ex):  The duration of your conjuration (summoning) spells is doubled. Creatures summoned by those spells receive a +3 luck bonus on their attack rolls.
Obtain Familiar: You obtain the services of a magical companion. This functions exactly as the Mage class feature except that you use your Modern Adept to determine your familiar’s abilities.
Obtain Wild Companion: You obtain the services of an animal companion. This functions exactly as the Druid Class Feature except that your effective Druid Level is equal to one half of your Modern Adept level (round down and minimum 1).

Obtain Spirit companion: You summon forth a spirit creature to aid you in your adventures. This creature is both invisible and intangible, but it provides you with real benefits.
The divine companion stores spell energy and redirects it to you according to your level and your needs. To fill this reservoir, you must cast one or more targeted spells at this creature. A spell so cast does not produce its normal effect; the companion simply absorbs the spell's energy. It can store a number of spell levels equal to your Modern Adept level. You can cast spells into it at any time, but after you rest and recover your spell slots for the day, the divine companion loses any stored energy.
The divine companion exists outside reality and cannot be affected by spells, spell-like abilities, or any sort of antimagic effect or dispel check. It cannot, however, release its arcane energy within an antimagic field or similar effect. It uses your caster level for any checks required, and when it releases arcane energy, the level of the effect created equals the number of spell levels released.
The divine companion can release its stored spell energy in either of the following ways, at your command. You can use each effect as often as you wish, until the companion's stored energy is depleted.
Healing (Su): As a standard action, you can order your divine companion to convert the energy it has stored into healing power. This is the equivalent of a conjuration (healing) spell. This effect heals you for 1d6 points of damage per stored spell level, or as many levels as you designate (up to the maximum currently stored).
Shielding (Su): As a swift action, you can order the creature to convert the energy it has stored into protecting you. This is the equivalent of an abjuration spell that provides you with a deflection bonus to AC and a resistance bonus on saves each equal to the number of stored spell levels, or as many levels as you designate (up to the maximum currently stored). This effect lasts for 1 round per arcane caster level you possess.
Turn or rebuke Shadowkind: As an attack action, you could choose to affect the selected group of Shadow Creatures. When you take this talent, choose a type of creature from the following list and whether you want to turn or rebuke:
Aberration, Elemental,Magical Beasts, Outsider (chaotic), Outsider (evil), Outsider (good), Outsider (lawful), Undead.
This ability functions exactly like the Acolyte’s Turn and Rebuke Undead except that it pertains to the chosen creature type

Monday, July 2, 2012

[Nightwatch Campaign Setting] Modern Adept Part 2 - Sorcery Talent Tree

As a continution of the Modern Adept, I have created 2 talent trees for the Modern Adept. Themed around sorcery and conjuration, I hope to use this to enhance flexibility of the Modern Adept. 

The first talent tree is based more like evocation spells ( duration and not the school of magic). These abilities are usually short term and enhances the firepower of the Modern Adept.
Sorcery Talent Tree
You are a prodigy in your spellcasting talents and this mainifests in the form of expanded reportoire in arcane prowress
Eldritch Blast (Su): you can launch an energy bolt as a ranged touch attack against a target within 60 ft. If this attack hits, it deals ld8 points of damage +1 per two Modern Adept levels you possess. You can do this a number of times per day equal to 3+ your spellcasting ability score modifier.
You can choose this talent multiple times. Each additional time you take it, you gain 3 extra uses per day.

School Mastery: When you select this ability, choose a school of magic. At each new spell level you gained, you choose a spell from the school of magic selected. You gain a bonus spell per spell level, which must be filled with the spell from that level which you have chosen.
In addition, whenever you cast the chosen spell, you can cast it as a caster one level higher than you normal caster level.
Prerequisite: You must take this as your level 1 bonus feat. If you take this talent, you do not gain any more bonus feats at 5th and 10th level.
Domain Mastery: This function as the Pathfinder Cleric Domain class feature except that you may choose only one domain. Replace your spellcasting ability score for the Wisdom Modifier.
Prerequisite: You must take this as your level 1 bonus feat. If you take this talent, you do not gain any more bonus feats at 5th and 10th level.
Energy Affinity(Ex): You must choose an energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic). Any time you cast an evocation spell with the chosen energy type, you cast the spell as if her caster level were one higher (affecting range, duration, damage, caster level, level checks, and any other factor influenced by caster level).

In addition, for three time per day, you can modify an evocation spell. When casting a spell with the acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic designator, you can modify the spell to use your chosen type of energy instead.

Charm(Su) : As a standard action at will , you can charm an animal or humanoid creature within 30 feet by beckoning and speaking soothing words. This improves the attitude of an animal or humanoid creature by 1 step, as if you had successfully used the Diplomacy skill. The effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to your spellcasting ability score modifier. A Will save (DC 10+1/2 your Modern Adept Level+your spellcasting ability score modifier) negates this effect. Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this ability again for 1 day.

At 8th level, this effect improves the attitude of the target creature by 2 steps. This is a mind-affecting charm effect. 

Protection Aura (Su): Once per day as an immediate action, you can activate a protective aura. While it is active, you gain a +2 deflection bonus to AC, as does every ally within 30 feet of you. This bonus increases by 1 for every five Modern Adept levels you possess (maximum +3 at 10th level). This effect lasts for 1 minute.
You can select this class feature multiple times. You can one extra use per day for each additional time you take this class feature.
Natural Divination(Ex) : You can read the entrails of a freshly killed animal or humanoid to gain an insight bonus equal to your spellcasting ability socre modifier on one saving throw. Alternatively, by observing and interpreting the flights of birds, you may apply a +10 competence bonus on any one skill check. Finally, by charting marks in dirt or stone, or observing the behavior of sand when thrown into the wind, you gain a +4 insight bonus on one initiative check. These bonuses must be used during the next 24 hours and you must declare you are using the bonus before the check or save is made. Making a natural divination takes 10 minutes. You may use natural divination (in any combination) once per day plus one additional time per day for every five Modern Adept levels you have attained.

Brief Figment (Su): You create a figment double of yourself. This is similar to mirror image except that only 1 image is created . You can’t activate this ability in response to an attack that you aren’t aware of
The image would disappear when struck or at the end of your turn if it is not maintained on the same round. Maintaining the image is a standard action.  Activating this ability is an immediate action, and you can use this spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to your spellcasting ability score modifier (minimum 1).

Enhanced Cures (Su): Add +2 points per spell level to the amount of damage healed by any Conjuration [Healing] spell that you cast

Transitioning from DM to Player

It was not often that I am a player for some of my gaming groups. With the most GM experience under my belt, I tend to be the GM most of the time. This phenomenon went on for a while and before I know it, I had become a full-time GM for a good one year. Of course, I was a player for some game. But those games never lasted or I was bored with it ( I had an exceedingly short attention span)

But nevertheless, it seemed that I had picked up some bad habits along the way. You see, the GM tends to control the whole world. As an article had mentioned, the GM knows the whole story. The non-player character's motivation and personality wholly belonged to the GM. So why does X happen and not Y was reasonable to the GM.

But once I transitioned into a player last Saturday, the lack of control (plus some other RL problems) caused to have an outburst that I had never frankly had before. The issue at hand was not the storyline. The DM had created a flavorful world and it was reminiscent of CthulhuTech and Shadowrun. No, the issue was with the system.

It was not that the system used( in this case, Unisystem) was terrible. But I felt that M&M system was a better approach for a good epc game. And I felt that since it was a good epic game that featured mecha, M&M was a good system. Plus it was flexible and easy to use.

But I failed to envision my GM's vision. Maybe he wanted a more lethal system and fear was a major element within the world ( we were fighting bizzare creatures). So in response, I lashed out and argued incessantly. And that made the session a dreadful one.

The way I handled things was not mature enough I guess. However, the worst thing I had done was not respecting the poor GM that was decent enough to run for me. He had his vision and I had mine. RPG is after all a collaborative game. The social element is the most major factor within the Table-top's game. Removing that would only be akin to playing computer games alone. After all, if you do not respect people, why would they want to play with you?

Respect forms the basis for many social interactions. Whether you are the GM or a player, you would want respect from your other players and your GM. And respect is a mutual thing. Many young players I have encountered missed that element when they play a game. But that is true for experienced players as well. I know of stories in which the experienced players would scold a novice player every single time they make a wrong spell to cast. Or the player that sleeps in front of the GM when he conducts a session. And every single time that happened, the session would become a sour experience. And trust me, if the player is new, the experience would put him off RPG for a good time.

So I guess, we all have our lessons to learn and for me, I think I have just found mine.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

[Nightwatch Campaign Setting] Modern Adepts

As per my previous post, I have created a base class that features spellcasting.

Modern Adept

Wielding magic by inspiration alone, the Modern Adept is a force to be reckoned with. Unlike Mages who needs to learn the tenets of casting spell, the Modern Adept is able to produce arcane effects instinctively. As they progress in understanding the magical forces within them, the Modern Adept learns to hone magic as an effective tool to get them out of any sticky situations.

Hit Die: d6

Action Points: Modern Adepts gain a number of action points equal to 5 + one-half their character level, rounded down, at 1st level and every time they attain a new level in this class.

Class Skills: Choose any 4 skills as your class skills plus Craft, Knowledge (all) and Profession
Also, the starting occupation the hero selects can provide additional class skills to choose from.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (3 + Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 3 + Int modifier.

 The Table: Modern Adept
Class LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveClass FeaturesDefense BonusReputation Bonus
1st+0+0+0+1Spellcasting, Bonus Feats+0+1
5th+2+1+1+3Bonus Feats+2+2
10th+5+3+3+5Bonus Feats+3+4

Starting Feats

In addition to the two feats all characters get at 1st level, a Modern Adept begins play with the Simple Weapon Proficieny feat.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Modern Adept.

Bonus Feats

At 1st, 5th, and 10th level, the Modern Adept gains a bonus feat. The Modern Adept must meet any prerequisites.

The following talents can be selected in place of bonus feats (unless noted, each may only be selected once).


A Modern Adept  must choose at 1st level whether to be an arcane spellcaster or a divine spellcaster. This choice has no impact on the spells that she may learn, but affects what kinds of scrolls she can use and which ability score controls her spellcasting. An arcane spellcaster may designate either Intelligence or Charisma as the ability score that determines the highest-level spell she can learn or cast, and the Difficulty Class of her spell's-saving throws. A divine spellcaster must use Wisdom or Charisma to determine the highest-level spell she can learn or cast, and the DC of her spell's saving throws. 

A Modern Adept may select from the spell list of the Acolyte, Cleric and Druid (for divine Modern Adepts) or Mage, Sorcere/Wizard (for arcane Modern Adept). He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a Mage or Acolyte must (see below). 

To learn or cast a spell, a Modern Adept must have a the selected ability score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Modern Adepts’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the selected ability score modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a Modern Adept can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Modern Adept Spells per Day . In addition, he receive bonus spells per day if he has a high score in the selected ability score.


Spells per Day











A Modern Adept's  selection of spells is extremely limited. A Modern Adept begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of your choice. At each new Modern Adept level, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Modern Adept Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a Modern Adept knows is not affected by his selected ability score; the numbers on Table: Modern Adept Spells Known are fixed.) 

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered Modern Adept level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a Modern Adept can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the Modern Adept "loses" the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level Modern Adept spell the sorcerer can cast. A Modern Adept  may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.

A Modern Adept need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. He does not have to decide ahead of time which spells he’ll cast.

Table: Modern Adept Spells Known
LevelSpells Known