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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Faerie Bestiary: Card Soldier

by Adam Frank and Tim Wallace

Card Soldier
Waddling towards you is a single rectangular creature with stubby arms and legs grasping a spear. The rectangle is solid white with a large single spade printed on it. Its face is dour. As it marches to you it splits, and splits again soon you are surrounded by numerous of these soldiers, their faces all holding a similar expression, the only difference between these creatures is that each one has a different number of spades, diamonds, clubs or hearts.
  

CARD SOLDIER      CR 1/2
XP 200
NE Small construct
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +1
--------------------
DEFENSE
--------------------
AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 11 (+1 size)
hp 15 (1d10+10)
Fort +0, Ref +0, Will +0
DR 5/slashing; Immune construct traits
Weaknesses susceptible to mind-affecting effects, unbalanced
--------------------
OFFENSE
--------------------
Speed 20 ft.
Melee spear +4 (1d6+1/×3)
--------------------
STATISTICS
--------------------
Str 13, Dex 11, Con —, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 7
Base Atk +1; CMB +1; CMD 11 (7 vs Trip Attempts)
Feats Weapon Focus (spear)
Skills Perception +1, Profession (soldier) +1
Languages Common, Sylvan
SQ stack 'em up
Other Gear spear
--------------------
SPECIAL ABILITIES
--------------------
Stack 'Em Up (Ex) Ten card soldiers of a single suit (spades, clubs, hearts, or diamonds) can stack themselves together as a full-round action to become larger and more powerful.
Susceptible to Mind-Affecting Effects (Ex) A card soldier is susceptible to mind-affecting effects, despite the fact that it is a construct.
Unbalanced (Ex) A card soldier takes a –4 penalty to CMD against trip attempts.

The card soldiers are a creation of the Queen of Hearts who will follow her orders without fail, if sometimes they do so ineptly. She uses these soldiers to perform duties, or guard the castle and nearby grounds. Despite their fragile appearance each is hardy. At any given time there are forty soldiers, if one is struck down another will inevitably show up soon. They are simple creatures, about four feet tall, feet at the bottoms of their large rectangular bodies and short stubby arms one of which grips a long, deadly spear. Their faces are actually on the rectangle they do not have discernible heads.
In battle they focus on their large flat bodies to block the enemy from moving or will stack themselves into groups of ten to fight better. The soldiers are hardy creatures shrugging off all but the mightiest of blows while they fiercely defend their turf. The power of a single card soldier, while negligible, becomes a frightening thing when paired with their fellows. The Queen of Hearts is willing to employ these soldiers as kingdom, army, castle guard, groundskeeper, or janitor as the mood strikes. Even when doing jobs other than soldiering, their spears are always nearby, or, if the job permits, in hand. The soldiers are always ready to do battle at a moment’s notice and will fight fiercely to the bitter end.

CARD SOLDIER STACK     CR 8
XP 4,800
NE Large construct
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +10
--------------------
DEFENSE
--------------------
AC 21, touch 11, flat-footed 19 (+2 Dex, +10 natural, -1 size)
hp 95 (10d10+40)
Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +4
DR 10/adamantine; Immune construct traits
Weaknesses susceptible to mind-affecting effects, unbalanced
--------------------
OFFENSE
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 spear +16/+11 (2d6+8/×3)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
--------------------
STATISTICS
--------------------
Str 20, Dex 14, Con —, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 11
Base Atk +10; CMB +16; CMD 28 (24 vs Trip)
Feats Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Toughness, Weapon Focus (spear)
Skills Perception +10, Profession (soldier) +10
Languages Common, Sylvan
SQ cut the cards
Other Gear +1 spear
--------------------
SPECIAL ABILITIES
--------------------
Cut the Cards (Ex) A card soldier stack can spit into its ten component card soldiers as a full-round action.
Susceptible to Mind-Affecting Effects (Ex) A card soldier stack is susceptible to mind-affecting effects, despite the fact that it is a construct.
Unbalanced (Ex) A card soldier stack takes a –4 penalty to CMD against trip attempts.



Thursday, May 12, 2016

Faerie Bestiary: Queen of Hearts

by Adam Frank and Tim Wallace

Queen of Hearts
Approaching a tall thin woman dressed in red you start to feel fear well up from the most primal parts of your mind. Her beauty is incredible and you wonder if that is part of what you fear; perfection, a fey beauty, cold, calculating, hatred emanates forth from her.
  


QUEEN OF HEARTS      CR 16
XP 76,800
CE Medium fey
Init +10; Senses low-light vision; Perception +27
Aura despair (30 ft., paralyzed for 1d4 rounds, Will DC 27 negates)
--------------------
DEFENSE
--------------------
AC 29, touch 17, flat-footed 22 (+6 Dex, +1 dodge, +12 natural)
hp 247 (26d6+156); fast healing
Fort +15, Ref +21, Will +19
DR 10/cold iron and good; Resist cold 30, electricity 30, fire 30; SR 27
--------------------
OFFENSE
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 viridium light mace +20/+15/+10 (1d6+4) or 2 claws +20 (1d8+3)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 16th; concentration +20)
   5/day—blistering invective[UC] (DC 16)
Oracle Spells Known (CL 16th; concentration +20)
   8th (3/day)—call construct[UM]
   7th (5/day)—blasphemy (DC 21), repulsion (DC 21)
   6th (6/day)—greater dispel magic, harm (DC 20), mass inflict moderate wounds (DC 20)
   5th (6/day)—greater command (DC 19), slay living (DC 19), unhallow, unholy ice[UM]
   4th (7/day)—chaos hammer (DC 18), dismissal (DC 18), freedom of movement, spit venom[UM] (DC 18)
   3rd (7/day)—deeper darkness, dispel magic, inflict serious wounds (DC 17), magic circle against law
   2nd (7/day)—bear's endurance, bull's strength, cure moderate wounds, death knell (DC 16), hold person (DC 16)
   1st (7/day)—bane (DC 15), cause fear (DC 15), divine favor, doom (DC 15), entropic shield
   0 (at will)—bleed (DC 14), create water, detect magic, guidance, light, read magic, resistance, spark[APG] (DC 14), stabilize
--------------------
STATISTICS
--------------------
Str 16, Dex 23, Con 20, Int 11, Wis 6, Cha 18
Base Atk +13; CMB +16; CMD 33
Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Eldritch Claws[APG], Eschew Materials, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (claw), Rending Claws[APG], Thundering Spell[APG], Toughness, Traumatic Spell[OA], Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (claw)
Skills Bluff +33, Intimidate +30, Knowledge (geography) +29, Knowledge (nature) +29, Perception +27, Use Magic Device +33
Languages Common, Sylvan
SQ madness
Other Gear +1 viridium light mace, noble's outfit
--------------------
SPECIAL ABILITIES
--------------------
Despair (Su) All creatures within a 30-foot radius that see the Queen of Hearts must make a DC 27 Will save or be paralyzed by fear for 1d4 rounds. She can choose which creatures are affected. Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the Queen of Hearts' despair ability for 24 hours. This is a paralysis and a mind-affecting fear affect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Madness (Ex) The Queen of Hearts uses her Charisma modifier on Will saves instead of her Wisdom modifier, and is immune to insanity and confusion effects. Only a miracle or wish can remove the Queen of Hearts' madness. If this occurs, she gains 6 points of Wisdom

Standing in a red gown a golden crown with heart shaped red rubies ringing it. The queen of hearts has no discernible plans or forethought; she will order death for anyone at the drop of her crown, the turn of a mood. Her hatred for existence is complete and her lust for power, all consuming. She will act only when necessary though. While she loves violence, absurdity, and giving the order to slay, she will almost never participate in the act unless forced.
A powerful sorceress, the Queen of Hearts projects fear into the hearts and minds of those she is around. She is more than willing to order the execution of any who offend, or merely annoy her and unless she changes her ever fickle mind will make sure to see the death carried out. The Queen will often hold a trial should she so desire. Everything she does is to show her power or to exercise her hatred.
She rules her kingdom with an iron fist and those who disobey her ever-changing rules rarely live to know why they were beheaded, much less regret crossing the Queen. She will constantly change the laws of her realm to suit whatever whims she may have at the moment. Her beauty is matched only by her madness. The mind of the Queen of Hearts is a terrifying thing as she is ruled as strongly as she rules her kingdom by her madness and hatred.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Faerie Bestiary: King of Hearts

by Adam Frank and Tim Wallace

King of Hearts
A short pale humanoid in beautifully ornate deep purple robes trimmed in gold and silver approaches. He wears a crown that seems too big for his head, studded in various assorted gems of all types, cuts, and sizes. His large nose seems to take up over half of his face and his small black eyes seem to stare into oblivion. He survey’s you and your group. “W-w-welcome to Wonder-wond-w-wonderland,” he stammers out and suddenly, his royal finery seems misfitting on someone so out of sorts.


KING OF HEARTS      CR 9
XP 6,400
NE Medium fey
Init +8; Senses low-light vision; Perception +17
Aura peace (30 ft.)
--------------------
DEFENSE
--------------------
AC 22, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+8 Dex, +3 natural, +1 shield)
hp 125 (15d6+60)
Fort +9, Ref +17, Will +8 (-4 vs. fear effects)
DR 5/cold iron; SR 20
Weaknesses slave to the queen, vulnerable to fear
--------------------
OFFENSE
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 mithral sword cane +12/+7 (1d6+4), +1 darkwood sheath +12/+7 (1d6+4)  
--------------------
STATISTICS
--------------------
Str 17, Dex 26, Con 18, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 15
Base Atk +7; CMB +10; CMD 28 (32 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Double Slice, Improved Two-weapon Fighting, Persuasive, Rhetorical Flourish, Two-weapon Defense, Two-weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +26, Bluff +20, Diplomacy +24, Intimidate +4, Knowledge (geography) +19, Knowledge (nature) +19, Perception +17, Sense Motive +17
Languages Common, Sylvan
Other Gear +1 mithral sword cane, +1 darkwood sheath, noble's outfit
--------------------
SPECIAL ABILITIES
--------------------
Aura of Peace (Su) Creatures within a 30-foot spread from the King of Hearts feel a sensation of peace wash over them, as if affected by calm emotions, except he can choose which creatures are affected. A DC 19 Will save negates the effects of this aura for 1 round, but a new save must be made each round to continue to resist the effects. The saving throw is Charisma-based.
Slave to the Queen The King of Hearts must follow any command given to him by the Queen of Hearts, as if under the influence of a nonmagical geas effect.
Rhetorical Flourish When using the Diplomacy skill to make a request or change a creature's attitude, The King of Hearts can use verbal misdirection. To do so, he must make a Bluff check against that creature. If he succeeds, he gains a +4 bonus on his next Diplomacy check against that creature if the check is made within the next minute. If he fails by 5 or more, he instead takes a –2 penalty on his next Diplomacy check against that creature. Alternatively, The King of Hearts can use this feat to retry a single failed Diplomacy check against a creature. He takes a –4 penalty on his Bluff check when using Rhetorical Flourish in this way. If he succeeds, rather than gaining this feat's normal bonus, he can retry his last Diplomacy check against the creature if that check was made in the past minute.
Vulnerable to Fear The King of Hearts takes a –4 penalty on Will saves against fear effects.

The King of Hearts is a small creature about three and a half feet tall. He is always seen wearing robes and a crown, both of incredible make. The King always seems confused or frightened, his face is constantly shrouded by worry and anxiety and he stammers. He is always accompanied by the Queen of Hearts and will acquiesce to anything she requests, or as is more often the case, demands of him. His face is odd with an oversized nose and small black eyes that never seem to focus on one thing too long.
Despite his fearful demeanor, or possibly due to it, many of those around the King seem to fear him. He gives off unease in waves and this will commonly lead to adventurers becoming frightened in his presence. At his heart he is a fey, and he has a fickle nature that rivals that of his queen though he rarely is able to display it while overshadowed by the Queen.
Utterly devoted to his Queen, either by love, geas, or fear, the King will go out of his way to do what the queen wants of him. Little will stop him in his task to please his lady. He will more often than not delegate to the guards and take the credit for himself unless they fail or foul up the request, then the failure, and whatever due punishment, falls at the feet, or often the heads, of the guards.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Feat-Based Spellcasting

by Tim Wallace

One aspect of of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and 3.5 that I don't think has ever been done correctly is giving players access to spellcasting through feats. At least not in a way that is balanced and still fun. This is my attempt my attempt to remedy it.

Spell Dabbler
Your innate magical ability is starting to show itself.
Prerequisites: Cha 10, Knowledge (arcana) 1 rank.
Benefit: Choose three cantrips, knacks, or orisons from any one spell list. You may cast these spells an unlimited number of times per day. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.
Special: If you later select the Hedge Caster of the 1st Echelon feat, it and its antecedent feats must use the same spell list you choose for this feat. If you select this feat after selecting Hedge Caster of the 1st Echelon, you must select 0-level spells from the same spell list you chose for that feat, unless that spell list does not have 0-level spells. You may not choose a spell list for which you already have access to spells from by having levels in a spellcasting class.

Illustration by Yuikami and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-
Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. (original image)
Familiar
A magical pet has made its way to you. You can sense its loyalty and you feel a strong bond to it.
Prerequisites: Cha 11, Knowledge (arcana) 1 rank, Spell Dabbler or Hedge Caster of the 1st Echelon.
Benefit: You gain the service of a mystical advisor, a familiar to both serve you and reveal to you secrets unknown to most mortals. This uses the same rules as the wizard's arcane bond class feature (link). Use your character level as your effective wizard level when determining the abilities of your familiar. You can choose any of the familiars available to a wizard.
If a familiar is lost or dies, it can be replaced 1 day later through a special ritual that costs 500 gp per character level. The ritual takes 8 hours to complete.

Hedge Caster of the 1st Echelon
Your magical abilities are strong enough to be considered among the ranks of spell casters.
Prerequisites: Cha 11, Knowledge (arcana) 1 rank.
Benefit: Chose a spell list (bard, cleric/oracle, druid, inquisitor, magus, mesmerist, occultist, psychic, shaman, sorcerer/wizard, spiritualist, summoner, or witch). You know and can cast 1st-level spells from that spell list (as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells Known and Spells per Day). Any antecedent Hedge Caster feats you take must use this same spell list. You may gain bonus spells per day for having a high Charisma score (see Chart: Hedge Caster Bonus Spells per Day). Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.
You need not prepare your spells in advance. You can cast any spell you know at any time, assuming you have not yet used up your allotment of spells per day for the spell's level.
Some spells can be undercast. This means that you can cast the spell at the level that you know, or as any lower-level version of that spell, using the appropriate spell slot. When you a spell, it is treated exactly like the lower-level version, including when determining its effect, saving throw, and other variables. For example, a spellcaster who adds beast shape III to his list of spells known can cast it as beast shape I, II, or III. If he casts it as beast shape I, it is treated in all ways as that spell; it uses the text and the saving throw DC for that spell, and requires him to expend a 3rd-level spell slot.
Whenever you add a spell to your list of spells known that can be undercast, you can immediately learn a spell in place of each lower-level version of that spell you know. In essence, you lose each earlier version and can replace it with another spell of the same level that is on your spell list.
Special: If you later select the Spell Dabbler feat, it must use the same spell list as you chose for this feat, unless the spell list you chose for this feat does not have 0-level spells. If you select this feat after selecting Spell Dabbler, you must select the same spell list you chose for that feat. You may not choose a spell list for which you already have access to spells from by having levels in a spellcasting class.

Chart: Hedge Caster Spells Known and Spells per Day
Hedge Caster
————Spells per Day————
————Spells Known————
Feat
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
1st Echelon
2
1
2nd Echelon
3
2
1
1
3rd Echelon
3
2
2
1
4th Echelon
3
3
2
2
1
1
5th Echelon
3
3
2
2
2
1
6th Echelon
3
3
3
2
2
2
1
1
7th Echelon
3
3
3
2
3
2
2
1
8th Echelon
3
3
3
3
2
3
2
2
1
1
9th Echelon
3
3
3
3
2
3
3
2
2
1
10th Echelon
3
3
3
3
3
2
3
3
2
2
1
1

Chart: Hedge Caster Bonus Spells per Day
Charisma
——Bonus Spells per Day——
Score
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
12–13
1
14–15
1
1
16–17
1
1
1
18–19
1
1
1
1
20–21
2
1
1
1
1
22–23
2
2
1
1
1
1
24–25
2
2
2
1
1
1
26–27
2
2
2
2
1
1
28–29
3
2
2
2
2
1
30–31
3
3
2
2
2
2
32–33
3
3
3
2
2
2
34–35
3
3
3
3
2
2
36–37
4
3
3
3
3
2
38–39
4
4
3
3
3
3
40–41
4
4
4
3
3
3
42–43
4
4
4
4
3
3
44–45
5
4
4
4
4
3

Hedge Caster of the 2nd Echelon
As you continue to experiment your natural ability has grown to accommodate your power.
Prerequisites: Cha 12, Hedge Caster of the 1st Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 3 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 3rd Echelon
As your power grows you gain further magical talents.
Prerequisites: Cha 12, Hedge Caster of the 2nd Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 4th Echelon
None doubt your natural talent for magic.
Prerequisites: Cha 13, Hedge Caster of the 3rd Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 6 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 5th Echelon
Your power grows, your magics are evident even to the layman.
Prerequisites: Cha 13, Hedge Caster of the 4th Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 7 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 6th Echelon
Despite your lack of formal training or practice you can hold your own among other casters.
Prerequisites: Cha 14, Hedge Caster of the 5th Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 9 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 7th Echelon
Magical power hold little mystery for you. Despite the lack of direct study the arcane or divine arts have truly revealed themselves to you.
Prerequisites: Cha 14, Hedge Caster of the 6th Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 10 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 8th Echelon
You are among the elite! Without training or the magical talent of a sorcerer you can stand on your own as a spellcaster.
Prerequisites: Cha 15, Hedge Caster of the 7th Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 12 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 9th Echelon
Through dedication, blessing, or luck, you have become one of the few most powerful spell casters.
Prerequisites: Cha 15, Hedge Caster of the 8th Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 13 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 10th Echelon
You have reached the echelon of your magical prowess. You have gained more power than most dream of!
Prerequisites: Cha 16, Hedge Caster of the 9th Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 15 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.