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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Unearthed Errata: The Akashic

by Tim Wallace and Tarnah Wright

The akashic first appeared in Arcana UnearthedMonte Cook's variant D&D 3.0 system, and then was updated to 3.5 in Arcana Evolved (where I was introduced to it). I don't know whether it was its versatility or its mystic background, the class clicked with me; despite my never getting a chance to play it. When I decided to start converting bits of Arcana Evolved to Pathfinder on this blog, I knew that the akashic needed to be near the top of that list. --T. W.


Akashic
Some call it the Astral Plane. But others know it as the Akashic Record. A collective memory that includes every living creature’s experience: past, present, and future. The akashics have learned how to access this collective memory through meditation and use it to enhance their knowledge. Guilds have been built, filled with akashics who pursue specialized training by accessing the memories contained in the Akashic Record. Other akashics simply want to learn everything there is. Some use it to seek the lost mysteries of the past. And a few misuse their mysterious powers and take advantage of their fellows, forcing their secrets from them. Akashics require great discipline to access the Akashic Record, despite that focus they tend to be very free spirited. Possibly from having experienced so much from so many perspectives in one lifetime, they are not truly “themselves” any longer. But that freedom and that ability to tap into many experiences makes akashics very adaptable.
Role: Akashics are the encyclopedias of the group, able to learn things by accessing the Akashic Record, touching objects/people, or even accessing the direct thoughts of others. Through their special abilities they can enhance their fighting or spellcraft and are in general a jack of all trades. At higher levels they can impersonate other classes for a short time.
Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills
An akashic begins play with a number of class skills equal to 18 plus his Intelligence modifier.
Skill Ranks per Level: 8 + Int modifier.

Table: Akashic
Level
Base Attack Bonus
Fort Save
Ref Save
Will Save
Special
1st
+0
+0
+0
+2
Akashic pool, perfect recall
2nd
+1
+0
+0
+3
Akashic secret
3rd
+2
+1
+1
+3
Delve into collective memory
4th
+3
+1
+1
+4
Akashic secret
5th
+3
+1
+1
+4
Akashic secret
6th
+4
+2
+2
+5
Akashic secret
7th
+5
+2
+2
+5
Akashic secret, intermediate secret
8th
+6/+1
+2
+2
+6
Akashic secret
9th
+6/+1
+3
+3
+6
Akashic secret
10th
+7/+2
+3
+3
+7
Collective memory training
11th
+8/+3
+3
+3
+7
Akashic secret
12th
+9/+4
+4
+4
+8
Akashic secret
13th
+9/+4
+4
+4
+8
Akashic secret, greater secret
14th
+10/+5
+4
+4
+9
Akashic secret
15th
+11/+6/+1
+5
+5
+9
Akashic secret
16th
+12/+7/+2
+5
+5
+10
Akashic secret
17th
+12/+7/+2
+5
+5
+10
Sublime secret
18th
+13/+8/+3
+6
+6
+11
Akashic secret
19th
+14/+9/+4
+6
+6
+11
Sublime secret
20th
+15/+10/+5
+6
+6
+12
Transcendent Secret

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the akashic.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An akashic is proficient with all simple weapons. An akashic is also proficient with light armor and shields (but not tower shields).
Akashic Pool (Su): At 1st level, the gains a reservoir of energy that he can draw upon to access the Akashic Record stored within the very fabric of the Astral Plane. This akashic pool has a number of points equal to his akashic level + his Intelligence modifier (minimum 2). The pool refreshes once per day when the akashic prepares his spells.
At 1st level, an akashic can expend 1 point from his akashic pool as a swift action to give himself a +2 insight bonus to a single skill check. At 9th level, this bonus becomes +4, and at 17th level, it becomes +6.
Perfect Recall (Ex): An akashic adds half his class level (minimum 1) on all Knowledge skill checks and may make all Knowledge skill checks untrained.
Akashic Secret: As an akashic continues his training, he learns a number of abilities directly from his connection to the Akashic Record. Starting at 2nd level, an akashic learns one akashic secret. He gains an additional secret at 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 18th levels. An akashic cannot select an individual secret more than once.
Bonus Feat (Ex): An akashic that selects this secret gains a bonus feat that he qualifies for.
Kinesthetic Memory (Su): An akashic’s sensory memory is so precise that he can easily get around with no penalty when he has a single damaged or deprived sense and is in familiar surroundings. For example, a blind akashic can move about in his home, a clothing shop he frequents, or inside a castle he has viewed extensively with magic, operating with no penalties. He still suffers the normal penalties for being blinded (or deafened) in combat or unfamiliar surroundings.
Combat Focus (Su): The akashic can expend 1 point from his akashic pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.
At 5th level, these bonuses can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: dancing, flaming, flaming burst, frost, icy burst, keen, shock, shocking burst, speed, or vorpal. Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property's base price modifier (see the Magic Weapon Special Ability Descriptions). These properties are added to any that the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any magical other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the arcane pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the akashic uses this ability. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than the akashic.
An akashic can only enhance one weapon in this way at one time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends.
Defense Focus (Su): The akashic can expend 1 point from his akashic pool as a swift action to gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the dodge bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level.
Forgotten Secret (Su): An akashic with this ability can access the collective memory of the Akashic Record and reproduce the effects one secret stored within. When he uses this ability, he selects one akashic secret (not an intermediate secret or greater secret) that he does not know and can use that akashic secret for a number of rounds equal to his level. He must pay any point costs associated with the secret as normal. Using this ability is a standard action and expends 2 points from his akashic pool, plus the point cost of the secret he chooses.
Psychometry (Su): The akashic can witness a past event by tapping into the collective memory of the Akashic Record. To do this, the akashic must touch a creature, object, or location as part of a full-round action and expend 1 point from his akashic pool. If he is touching a creature, he relives the event as if he were that creature. If he is touching an object, he relives the event as if he were the last creature to wield that object. And if he is touching a location, he relives the event as if he were the last creature to occupy that location. He experiences the most recent event involving the creature, object, or location (prior to his use of psychometry) for a number of rounds equal to his level. While experiencing the vision, he is blind and deaf to his immediate surroundings. He may choose to end the vision at any time.
Skill Focus (Ex): An akashic that selects this secret gains the Skill Focus feat.
Precision Attack (Ex): Drawing upon the collective memory of the Akashic Record to remember the vital spots of other creatures, an akashic can make devastating attacks. Any time the akashic’s target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the akashic flanks the target, the akashic’s attack deals +2d6 extra points of precision damage. Should the akashic score a critical hit with a precision attack, do not multiply this extra damage.
The akashic can make precision attacks with ranged weapons, but only up to a range of 30 feet. This damage stacks with other forms of precision damage, such as the rogue’s sneak attack.
Tongues (Su): The akashic can speak and understand the language of any intelligent creature. As a standard action, the akashic can cast tongues (self only), using his level as the caster level. Each use of this ability expends 2 points from his akashic pool.
Unlock Mystery (Su): The akashic can divine the properties and command words of magic items. As a standard action, the akashic can cast identify, using his level as the caster level. Each use of this ability expends 1 point from his akashic pool.
Delve Into Collective Memory (Su): At 3rd level, an akashic may make a special check with a bonus equal to his level + his Intelligence modifier to see whether he knows some relevant information about notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places. This takes 10 minutes and expends 3 points from his akashic pool. This check will not reveal the powers of a magic item but may give a hint as to its general function. The akashic may not take 10 or take 20 on this check; this sort of knowledge is essentially random. The GM determines the Difficulty Class of the check by referring to the table below.
DC
Type of Knowledge/Other Modifiers
10
Common information, known by a substantial minority of people.
20
Uncommon information but available, known by a few local people.
25
Obscure information, known by few and quite hard to come by.
30
Extremely obscure information, known by very few, possibly forgotten by most who once knew it, possibly known only by those who don’t understand the significance of the knowledge.
+1
Information based on knowledge possessed more than 100 years ago.
+5
Information based on knowledge possessed more than 500 years ago.
+10
Information based on knowledge possessed more than 1,000 years ago.
Intermediate Secret: Beginning at 7th level, an akashic can select one of the following intermediate secrets in place of an akashic secret. An akashic cannot select an individual intermediate secret more than once.
Astral Conjuration (Su): As a standard action, the akashic can draw upon the material of the Astral Plane to cast any sorcerer or wizard conjuration (summoning) or conjuration (creation) spell of 3rd level or lower. This functions as the spell shadow conjuration, except that the mimicked spells are composed or ectoplasm, and therefore have full effect against incorporeal creatures (no Will save to disbelieve). Each use of this ability expends 2 points from his akashic pool.
Astral Evocation (Su): As a standard action, the akashic can draw upon the material of the Astral Plane to cast any sorcerer or wizard conjuration (summoning) or conjuration (creation) spell of 4th level or lower. This functions as the spell shadow evocation, except that the mimicked spells are composed or ectoplasm, and therefore have full effect against incorporeal creatures (no Will save to disbelieve). Each use of this ability expends 2 points from his akashic pool.
Bonus Feat (Ex): An akashic that selects this secret gains a bonus feat that he qualifies for.
Delve Into Personal Memory (Su): An akashic can mentally probe the memory of one other creature within 30 feet. As a standard action, the akashic mentally forms a question the creature can answer with a single word. No shared language is needed, nor does it matter whether the creature is conscious or aware. The creature can make a Will save (DC 10 + half the akashic’s class level + the akashic’s Charisma modifier). If the creature fails its save, the akashic gains the answer as if the creature mentally answered the question as truthfully as possible. In any event, the creature does not know the akashic made the attempt. Each use of this ability expends 1 point from his akashic pool.
Forgotten Feat (Su): An akashic with this ability can access the collective memory of the Akashic Record and reproduce the effects of one feat stored within. When he uses this ability, he selects one feat that he qualifies for and does not know and he can use that feat for a number of rounds equal to his level. Using this ability is a standard action and expends 2 points from his akashic pool.
Impersonate (Su): The akashic can tap into the memories of a specific creature to impersonate that individual. As a standard action, the akashic can cast disguise self to take on the appearance of a specific individual that the akashic has seen before for 1 minute per level. Creatures that are familiar with the individual receive a Will saving throw to see through the illusion. The DC of this saving throw is 10 + 1/2 the akashic's level + the akashic's Intelligence modifier. This illusion also changes the akashic's speech, if he has heard the individual talk and can speak its language. Each use of this ability expends 1 point from his akashic pool.
Lesser Astral Projection (Su): The akashic can travel to the Astral Plane. This functions as lesser astral projection, using the akashic’s level as the caster level. Each use of this ability expends 3 points from his akashic pool.
Improved Precision Attack (Ex): Any time the akashic’s target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the akashic flanks the target, the akashic’s attack deals +3d6 extra points of precision damage. An akashic must have the precision attack secret before choosing this secret.
Modify Memory (Su): As a full-round action, the akashic can call upon the Akashic Record to alter the memories of a creature. This functions as modify memory, using the akashic’s level as the caster level. Each use of this ability expends 2 point from his akashic pool.
Skill Focus (Ex): An akashic that selects this secret gains the Skill Focus feat.
Unlock Mysteries (Su): As a standard action, the akashic can call upon the Akashic Record to discern everything about the magic imbuing a creature or object. As a standard action, the akashic can cast analyze dweomer, using his level as the caster level. Each use of this ability expends 3 points from his akashic pool. An akashic must have the unlock mystery secret before choosing this secret.
Collective Memory Training (Ex): Starting at 10th level, an akashic counts 1/2 his total magus level as his effective level in other classes (such as fighter or monk) for the purpose of qualifying for feats. If he has levels in other classes, these levels stack.
Greater Secret: Beginning at 13th level, an akashic can select one of the following intermediate secrets in place of an akashic secret. An akashic cannot select an individual greater secret more than once.
Astral Projection (Su): The akashic’s ability to travel the Astral Plane improves. This functions as astral projection, using the akashic’s level as the caster level. Each use of this ability expends 5 points from his akashic pool. An akashic must have the lesser astral projection secret before choosing this secret.
Bonus Feat (Ex): An akashic that selects this secret gains a bonus feat that he qualifies for.
Greater Astral Conjuration (Su): As a standard action, the akashic can draw upon the material of the Astral Plane to cast any sorcerer or wizard conjuration (summoning) or conjuration (creation) spell of 6th level or lower. This functions as the spell greater shadow conjuration, except that the mimicked spells are composed or ectoplasm, and therefore have full effect against incorporeal creatures (no Will save to disbelieve). Each use of this ability expends 3 points from his akashic pool. An akashic must have the astral conjuration secret before choosing this secret.
Greater Astral Evocation (Su): As a standard action, the akashic can draw upon the material of the Astral Plane to cast any sorcerer or wizard conjuration (summoning) or conjuration (creation) spell of 7th level or lower. This functions as the spell greater shadow evocation, except that the mimicked spells are composed or ectoplasm, and therefore have full effect against incorporeal creatures (no Will save to disbelieve). Each use of this ability expends 3 points from his akashic pool. An akashic must have the astral evocation secret before choosing this secret.
Greater Delve Into Personal Memory (Su): An akashic can mentally probe the memory of one other creature within 30 feet. As a standard action, the akashic mentally forms a question the creature can answer with up to one word per akashic level in length. No shared language is needed, nor does it matter whether the creature is conscious or aware. The creature can make a Will save (DC 10 + half the akashic’s class level + the akashic’s Charisma modifier). If the creature fails its save, the akashic gains the answer as if the creature mentally answered the question as truthfully as possible. In any event, the creature does not know the akashic made the attempt. A character can use this ability once per day as a standard action. Each use of this ability expends 1 point from his akashic pool. An akashic must have the delve into personal memory secret before choosing this secret.
Greater Precision Attack (Ex): Any time the akashic’s target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the akashic flanks the target, the akashic’s attack deals +4d6 extra points of precision damage. An akashic must have the improved precision attack secret before choosing this secret.
Jack-of-All-Trades (Ex): The akashic can use any skill, even if the skill normally requires him to be trained. At 16th level, the akashic considers all skills to be class skills. At 19th level, the akashic can take 10 on any skill check, even if it is not normally allowed.
Memory Possession (Su): The akashic can absorb the memories of any intelligent creature who is alive or who has ever lived for 1 round per level. During this time, the creature’s personality takes control of the akashic’s body. Akashics use this ability to allow their allies to speak with and ask questions of the possessing memory (often that of an ancestor, absent friend, or other well known figure). If the possessing memory seeks to say or do something against the akashic’s will, the akashic may attempt a Will saving throw (DC 20) to prevent it. Activating this ability is a full-round action and expends 3 points from his akashic pool.
Skill Focus (Ex): An akashic that selects this secret gains the Skill Focus feat.
Sublime Secret: At 17th and 19th level, the akashic can select one of the following secrets. These secrets originate from the akashic’s ability to look into very recent memories on a moment’s notice.
An akashic may not select any sublime secret more than once.
Memory of One’s Own Thoughts (Su): The akashic can look into the moments-old memories of a creature’s thoughts, effectively reading the creature’s thoughts only a fraction of a second after the creature has them. The akashic can read the mind of every creature within 30 feet as if he had cast detect thoughts. This ability allows him to read the surface thoughts of any creature that he are aware of after only 1 round of concentration. Creatures in this area are allowed a Will save to negate the effect. The DC of this Will save is 10 + 1/2 his akashic level + his Intelligence modifier.
Memory of One’s Own Intentions (Su): The akashic can know the moments-old memories of a creature’s intentions in combat, whether he swings low or high or stabs with a quick thrust. The akashic gains an insight bonus to his Armor class equal to his Intelligence modifier. If the akashic is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity bonus, he also loses this bonus.
Memory of One’s Own Presence (Su): By reading the moments old memories of all near him, the akashic has perfect knowledge of the exact location of any thinking being within 30 feet. Within that range, invisible and hidden foes are revealed to the akashic. The akashic cannot be flanked and never loses his Dexterity bonus to attacks from foes within 30 feet. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the akashic by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has akashic levels.
Memory of One’s Own Weakness (Su): Seven times per day, the akashic can know the moments-old memories of a creature’s thoughts in combat. As a swift action, the akashic chooses one target within 30 feet. The akashic's melee attacks deal extra damage whenever the attacks are made against his target. This extra damage is equal to 1/2 the akashic's level. Furthermore, he can add his precision damage (from all sources) to all attacks made against his target, even if he is not flanking it or it is not flat-footed. This requires much of the akashic's concentration. The akashic takes a –2 penalty to his Armor Class, except against attacks made by his target.
Transcendent Secret (Su): At 20th level, the akashic can delve into the Akashic Record once per day to gain any ability of any other class, gained at 15th level or lower. This ability cannot be used to gain spells, a different base attack bonus, or different saving throws—only level-based class abilities like a fighter’s weapon training or a sorcerer’s bloodline powers. No ability gained lingers longer than 24 hours.