Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Too Stupefied to Know their Lives were Past (GLOG Class: Specialist)

...the hangman asked the raven and it croaked a sharp reply,
"Black-clad are they who follow Death, who for the Tower ride,
"And black their steeds and black their deeds and black each deathly eye,
"They gave their breath to old gray Death, but still they have not died..."

    This is the first original class for the Unfinished World I've written in quite a while (the Noble was a pastiche of Locheil's excellent Sacred One, and the Manufactory was a rewrite of the shoddily-assembled original). To continue my Discord ramblings of how a strongly-flavored class can be as easily transported to another setting as a "generic" one, I offer you the Abaddon.

    Is he childe who failed his quest but (horribly, mayhap regrettably) survived, who rode north seeking the Dark Tower and returned as less than ghoul, the inferior of the two final metamorphoses possible for the Sword-Shepherd? Yes, but he's also an oogy-boogy ghosty-spooky. He could be a phantom or a revenant. Maybe your Cleric bungled the Resurrection spell and now your bard doesn't have elbows (or anything else). Maybe you open up a tomb in Starstrom, Qal Ashen or the Enlightened Empire and an Abaddon jumps out. Why not?

Source: guess, liberal

Class: Abaddon

    You are one of the rare survivors of the pilgrimage to the Dark Tower. Theoretically, an Abbadon cannot fumble with any weapon and can fight in all kinds of armor and while carrying a shield, though they may be too weak to carry some of them. If it comes to it, tcan also ride a horse. 

Skills: 1. Deep sea fishing, 2. Fortress architecture, 3. Cartography
Starting Equipment: Frightening outfit (as unarmored, -1 to enemy morale checks), mostly-black horse with one white sock, a cruel saber (as medium) and two pieces of Foreign Kit (see bottom of this post).
  • A No Bones, Honest Light, +1 to-hit
  • B Eclipse, +1 HP
  • C Free From Hope, +1 AC
  • D Lord and Lady Gone, +1 HP
No Bones
    Your body is gone, along with your old life and most of your mind. You have no bones — and, for that matter, no blood or meat or skin. You are a soul pinned to this world only by its seven chakras. You expand to fill a room like a fine vapor and are only visible where light passes through you. You are immune to poison and falling and do not need to eat or drink. It is difficult or impossible for you to sink in liquid, and even if you did you wouldn't need to breathe. You are still vulnerable to charm and fear effects, and still must sleep. You can move through any space a party balloon could be squozed through, and can be crammed into any space you could fit half a dozen such party balloons.
    In your vaporous state you move slowly, and can only interact with objects in the form of a strong wind. Backpacks aren't appropriate but you could roll a barrel of belongings along. While so diluted, you are invulnerable to normal weapons, but exposure to sunlight blasts you to a sooty smudge on the floor, the size of a man's shadow when he stands directly beneath the sun. This deals 1d6 damage per HD you possess. In that state, you are deaf and half-blind and cannot affect the world at all until you find total darkness to reform in.
    If being a body without organs doesn't sound good, there is another option; you could pull yourself together underneath some suitably baggy clothing and stay there. If you have gloves, this gives you hands; if you have boots and trousers, this lets you command a horse; if you have a hat and a mask and a heavy coat, this protects you from the sun and His terrible strength.
    In your solid state you can interact with objects directly, and walk as fast as you care to. You take half-damage from normal weapons (unless they are made from gold or specifically enchanted against your kind) and might be mistaken for a normal person, if you're somewhere normal people where flapping black cloaks. You can even attack, though because of your weak grip and lack of motive force you have disadvantage on melee attacks and require special prosthetics to pull a bow-string or swing a sling.
    In any state, if you would take a fatal wound, or if you are reduced below 0 hitpoints by sunlight or a gold weapon, one of your chakras is destroyed. See the section below these templates to find the effects of that, and how they can be replaced.

Honest Light
    You can project light at-will. It is no brighter than the brightest light shining upon you (red and flickering in a torchlit cave, blinding in daylight) and so it is of little use illuminating areas. Under this light, minds are affected with strange fancies. Roll 1d6 on this table each time you use this ability:
  1. Anger
  2. Sadness
  3. Mirth
  4. Guilt
  5. Delusion
  6. Fear
     After projecting your light, you must wait until the next dawn to do it again.

    Your ability to control your volume and density has improved. If you wish, you can occupy a set of clothes or armor while another person is wearing them. You may add your strength bonus to their attacks and strength checks, your wisdom bonus to their initiative and so forth. You can also subtract your bonus from theirs if you wish to hinder instead of help. You take ⅓rd of any damage the two of you receive, and they take the other ⅔rds (do not round!).

Free of Hope
    You have freed yourself from the last chain, and can control your volume and density to the point that in your vaporous state you can float like a cloud or occupy water (you aren't breathable, but you are dry) and in your solid state you can step in air as if climbing a ladder.

Lord and Lady Gone
    You no longer need clothing to take your solid form, you only need strong shadows. Remember that any room with only a single light source must have strong shadows. In complete darkness, you simultaneously occupy a whole room while being as strong and solid as a wainwright (no longer suffering disadvantage on melee attacks). You can beat, choke, shove and smash people in your darkness, or catch fists, blades, arrows and jaws to protect them.

Chakras: Their Gain and Loss

  • On the peak of your scalp, the Crown Chakra
    Grants Connection, Reality
    Without this chakra, you are undead. You don't want to be undead for a whole lot of reasons. To replace this chakra, you must pay 50gp.
  • At your third-eye, the Vision Chakra
    Grants Perception, Sanity
    Without this chakra, you can neither see nor hear, and must navigate by touch. To replace this chakra, you must eat a pair of very fresh eyes.
  • In your throat, the Voice Chakra
    Grants Intention, Effect
    Without this chakra, you can neither speak nor deliberately interact with others. To replace this chakra, you must eat a very fresh voicebox.
  • Over your heart, the Memory Chakra
    Grants Definition, Self
    Without this chakra, you can neither apply stat bonuses nor penalties. To replace this chakra, you must eat — what else? — a very fresh heart.
  • In your guts, the Furnace Chakra
    Grants Application, Will
    Without this chakra, you can neither attack nor pass saves against magic. To replace this chakra, you must sleep on a bed of burning coals for a full day and night.
  • At the end of your spine, the Basal Chakra
    Grants Execution, Mass
    Without this chakra, you can neither enter your solid form nor use other abilities related to your volume and density. To replace this chakra, you must sleep in a closed grave for a full day and night.
  • At the fork of your legs, the Genital Chakra
    Grants Generation, Form
    Without this chakra, you cannot regain hitpoints. To replace this chakra, 😏😏😏😏😏 (you must receive 6 hitpoints of magical healing per HD you possess).

    When you lose a chakra you also lose a random stat — not lose points, lose the stat. You automatically fail, or cannot attempt, any roll which would involve that stat. When you regain a chakra you reroll a random missing stat and keep the new result. If you are ever missing 4 of your 7 chakras at the same time, you evaporate into your component pieces, return to the place you came from, and are at last truly dead.

Foreign Kit (roll 2d20 or choose yourself):
  1. Frightening Outfit. Riding boots, kid gloves, hose, chaps, button-down shirt, smoked lenses, face-wrappings, broad gaucho, all in jet-black, all care-worn and travel-stained. 0 slots worn, 2 carried.
  2. Mostly-Black Horse. Not the horse you set out to the Tower on; not by six or seven of them. Not even the one you started back on. Equipped with 1 sack of saddlebags, can carry 2.
  3. Cruel Saber. Single chisel-edge (like a left-handed sushi knife), with a fat backwards-curving tip for piercing hearts and striking at the side of the skull. As medium, 1 slot.
  4. Carapace Shield. Light as wood, but inflammable. Bears a strange sigil; a ring with five barbs circling seven lines of foreign script. 1 slot.
  5. Lightbulb Revolver. Casts sunlight in a 50' cone. Requires a half-hour of winding between shots. 1 slot.
  6. Whipsword. Strictly worse than a normal sword, usually. As a medium weapon, but +1 against enemies carrying shields, and strikes you in the face on a fumble. 1 slot.
  7. Hammer and 10 iron nails. ⅓rd slot and 1 slot, respectively.
  8. Grappling hook and 50' of rope. ⅓rd slot and 1 slot, respectively
  9. Artur Hoxha's Small Book of Mildly Interesting Zoological Observations & Immacualte [sic] Taxonomy. While presented as a conventional, rambling work by an eccentric natural philosopher, close reading reveals aforementioned natural philosopher did not spend much time, if any, in the conventional 3-dimensional world. While working with it as a reference (i.e. open in your off-hand), you have an extra check when identifying or experimenting with creatures from other planes. ⅓rd slot.
  10. Speaking Compass. Has a switch to change it from dial to voice ("north is left... north is left... north is straight ahead...") or to touch-sensitive (irritating to use, but silent and works in the dark).
  11. Inaccurate Map. Out of date by several centuries, and focused in the wrong place. Marks several no-longer-extant cities in the distant, frozen south.
  12. Scale Model. Heavy brass tetrahedron in a pair of concentric rings, allowing it to be rotated and examined. Mountain ranges and oceans are marked clearly, but population centers and political borders are absent. One face has a fine, thin spike extending up from its center. 2 slots.
  13. Three sticks of implosives. Very much like explosives, but much more inconvenient to use. ⅓rd slot each, in a waxed paper wrapping.
  14. Jar of Man-Eating Scarabs. At least a hundred of them in a buzzing clay jar sealed with asphalt What the Hell are they eating in there? 1 slot.
  15. Chipped piece of a crystal ziggurat. Nicked from a great cairn in the blazing north. When it hears voices, it chants along in a bassy but slightly-flat harmony. Allows you to play ventriloquist tricks while in vaporous state.
  16. Trade-Spider Fertility Totem. Utterly incomprehensible symbolism, praise the Lord. Repairs your Genital Chakra, once.
  17. Treasure-Hunter Magnet. Attracts gold, not iron.
  18. Canteen of Cactus-Slug Butter. Smells incredibly delicious, produces powerful vomiting. 10 doses. 1 slot.
  19. Packet of Boiled Honey Candy. Smells incredibly delicious, produces surprising moral fiber and repairs 1 point of stat damage (doesn't fix your missing chakras). 10 doses. 1 slot.
  20. A strange or inexplicable curio. Roll 1d6:
    1. Greatcoat of Virgin's Wool. The fabric was woven from the hair of maidens, and cut with shears forged from grave-goods, quenched in baby's blood and sharpened on the living teeth of slaves. None of this provides any supernatural benefit, but by golly does it drive up the price. As unarmored, +2 reaction from evil creatures, -1 reaction from clerics and holy men.
    2. Three-lock sword. A heavy blunt-tipped executioner's sword of adamant, with three keyholes running along its fuller. These were mass-produced, once, but now only a handful remain — when they take a life, or score a critical hit, one of the locks is undone. When all three are unlocked, the sword will open up like a jewelry box. Recall that all such weapons are terribly cursed.
    3. Model ship in a large glass bottle. Tiny figures scuttle on its tiny deck, thrown about on a churning sea of darkness, under rags of brightly-coloured sails. How'd they fit the little guys in there?
    4. Indigo Mask. An odd bulbous hat, a leather collar, and a corrugated veil running between the two. Worn by monkey-clerics in the Blazing North, or so you tell credulous young'uns.
    5. Music box. Plays a high, childish song about armies marching through Hell unimpeded.
    6. Cylinder of red beeswax. While shaped like a cylinder, bees won't hurt you. While in other shapes, other things happen — fuck you, I'm not your fucking encyclopedia. Figure it out.
Lines in a foreign script: