Friday, June 26, 2015

Disembodied: For the character who won't call it quits

This character template is designed to reflect the way spirits are handled in most comic books, movies, and fiction, as opposed to the standard OGL d20 and OGL Modern games. It will be further fleshed out with a couple feats and a talent tree in a future post.
   (For the record, the primary characters being modeled here are DC Comics' Deadman and Holyoke/Gerona's Duke of Darkness.)
   It, and related material, is fully compatible with the superpower rules and alternate magic systems presented in NUELOW Games books like Madden's Boys, Mystery Woman of the Jungle, and The Curse of Egypt.
   All text is this post is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with it. Copyright 2015 Steve Miller.

Click here for more art by Rhaokja
Death isn't the end for this character's fight. Whether through divine or demonic intervention, or pure stubborness, the character's bodiless spirit remains in the world, continuing to pursue the goals it had in life.
   To acquire this template, the character must die--drop below -10 hp, or whatever threshold for character death is used in the campaign in question. The character is then modified as follows:
   Size and Type: Size technically remains the same as base creature, but there is nothing present but formless, substanceless spiritual energy. Creature type changes to Spirit. The character is neither undead nor living, but exists in an in-between state.
   Hit Dice: As base creature. (Hit points are generally meaningless for the Disembodied, but there are certain talents they can gain where they matter, so they should still be kept track of as the character gains levels.)
   Speed: As base creature.
   Armor Class/Defense Rating: As base creature, but the character is impervious to harm from all sources and weapons, save those coming from gods or certain rare and powerful artifacts.
   Attack/Full Attack Bonus: As base creature.
   Special Attacks: Disembodied characters can perform the following attacks with a full round action.
        Possess (Su): Take control of a living body. The Disembodied must make a successful touch attack. The targeted host receives a Will save vs. the Disembodied character's Wisdom attribute + 5. If the Disembodied successfully takes over the target, he or she now has full control of his or her body. The target's Strength, Constitution scores are unchanged, but the Intelligence and Wisdom scores are those of the Disembodied, as are all class- and level-dependent abilities. The Dexterity score becomes half of the combined Dexterity score of the target and the Disembodied's Dexterity score in life. The Charisma scores becomes half of the combined Charisma score of the target and the Disembodied. None of the target's class abilities, skills, feats, or knowledge is available to the Disembodied. 
   Only one Disembodied can possess a living being at a time. If a second Disembodied attempts to possess someone that is already "host" to a disembodied, it will seem as if an invisible wall is keeping the second Disembodied from entering the target.
   If the possessed body takes damage, the Disembodied must roll a Will save (DC15+damage suffered) or be ejected. If a host dies while the Disembodied is possessing him or her, the Disembodied must roll a Will save (DC30) or suffer the fate of death (permanent this time) as well.
   The Disembodied can end a possession at will, with a standard action.
   A character that is "host" to a Disembodied has no recollection of events while possessed.
   Special Qualities: Disembodied characters have the following special qualities
        Formless (Su): The Disembodied exist as pure psychic/spiritual energy. They may appear to     themselves as they did in life, but they have no actual form or substance. No barriers in the physical world can prevent entry, except those specifically prepared with magical rituals that ward off spirits.
        Invisible (Su): The character cannot be seen by any means, except by creatures who can see spirits, such as gods and cats.
        Damage Reduction (Su): All damage suffered by a Disembodied is reduced to 0, except for very specific and powerful artifacts, or spells and weapons wielded by gods.
   Abilities: The Disembodied has no Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution scores. However, there are some situations where the physical attributes that the Disembodied had in life can matter--such as the Dexterity score when possessing one of the living--so the old character sheet should still be retained. 
   Skills: All skills are retained and may be improved according to class and level advancement.
   Feats and Talent Trees: All feats and talents are retained. This template gives access to the Disembodied Spirit talent tree and feat.
   Terrain: Any, usually same as base creature.
   Organization/Allegience: Solitary/Same as base creature
   Challenge Rating: Same as base creature +2
   Advancement: By character class.


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