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Author Topic: [FantasyCraft] The Incarnate [kinda a blue mage type thing]  (Read 1259 times)
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« on: November 23, 2009, 01:34:23 AM »

The Incarnate

A brother to the Monster Slayer, the Incarnate lives to take the fight to creatures that most couldn’t even face.  Like his kindred, his motto is “Know thine enemy”, but he takes a more extreme approach, become like that which he hunts.

Depending on your campaign setting an Incarnate could be:
  • An obsessed warrior, trying to become powerful enough to defeat any foe.
  • A brave knight, sacrificing his humanity, so that others won’t have to.
  • A wizards experiment, gone horribly wrong, or perhaps flawlessly right.
  • A devoted servant of a monstrous god, granted boons for his faith.
  • A warrior who discovered ancient rituals to bind the spirits of monsters to himself, and gain a measure of their power.

Party Role: Combatant / Wild Card – Depending on the abilities he trained prior to, and indeed after, becoming an Incarnate, he could be any number of things, but always will he be a formidable foe.

Class Features
Requirements: Base Attack 3+, Resolve 4+ Ranks, 2+ Studies [Monster Species]
Favored Attributes: Strength and Constitution
Class Skills: 8
Skill Points: 4 + Int modifier per level
Vitality: 12 + Con modifier per level

Base Attack: High
Fort Save: Medium
Ref Save: Low
Will Save: High
Defence: Medium
Initiative: Medium
Lifestyle: Low
Legend: Medium

Core Ability: Eviscerate: Each time you spend an action die to boost an attack check with a melee or natural weapon the attack also gains Armour Piercing equal to the action die result.

Class Abilities:
Awakening: The Incarnate awakens something within themselves, and may take the first step on one of the monstrous paths, for which they possess a corresponding study. If the incarnate is also a priest, they may now count natural attacks as their ritual weapon, for the purpose of class abilities, paths, and other options.

Unstoppable Force: At level 2, your natural attacks gain the Keen quality equal to your strength modifier.  At Level 7, your natural attacks heal you of vitality equal to half the damage inflicted [after damage reduction / resistance].

Evolution: The Incarnate evolves further away from what they once were, you may take an addition step on one of your monstrous paths, or begin a new one.  If the Incarnate is also a priest they may use this ability to instead take a step on one of their alignments paths.

More than Human:  You can use your preys’ abilities as if they’re your own. At Level 4, once per session as a 1-minute action, you may choose 1 NPC quality except class ability, damage defiance, feat, or veteran with an XP value of 5 or less belonging to any of of the monsters you have a Study in. You gain this NPC quality until the end of the scene. At level 8 you may use this ability twice per session.

Heritage Obtained: The Incarnate uses his power to unlock the powers of another race, you gain one heritage feat, ignoring “Level 1 only” requirements.

Natural Advancement: The Incarnate embraces his unique heritage, at level 6, you gain a bonus Species feat.

Immovable Object: At level 8, you gain Thick Hide equal to your Constitution Modifier.

Perfect Incarnation: At level 10, the Incarnate learns to awaken the full extent of the power within them, and as a full round action may transform into one of the monsters they have a study in.  This monster is a special NPC with a threat level equal to the Incarnates career level, worth no more then 100XP.  Using this ability is very taxing, and Incarnates can only sustain the transformation for a number of rounds equal to their constitution score.  They may use this ability once per session.

1: Awakening. Eviscerate.
2: Unstoppable Force I.
3: Evolution.
4: More than Human 1/Session. Heritage Obtained.
5: Evolution.
6: Natural Advancement.
7: Unstoppable Force II. Evolution.
8: More than Human 2/Session. Immovable Object.
9: Evolution.
10: Perfect Incarnation.

Sample Monstrous Paths

Path of the Stone Golem
Stone Golem I: You gain a Slam I natural attack.
Stone Golem II: You gain the Improved Stability NPC quality, and your Slam improves to Slam II.
Stone Golem III: You gain the Knockback NPC quality, and your size increases by 1 step.
Stone Golem IV: Your type changes to Construct.
Stone Golem V: You gain Spell Defence IV.

Path of the Fire Dragon
Fire Dragon I: You gain a Bite I natural Attack.
Fire Dragon II: You gain Damage Resistance [Fire and Heat] equal to your Path Step x 3, and your Bite improves to Bite II.
Fire Dragon III: You gain a Fire Breath attack [as per Drake, see page 9], and may take breath weapon feats as a Drake.
Fire Dragon IV: You gain the Fearsome and Menacing Threat NPC qualities
Fire Dragon V: You gain a Winged Flight speed equal to twice your land speed.

What do you guys think?  Also if anyone wants to throw together a monstrous path, feel free to contribute.  Wink
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 06:42:41 PM by Turnip666 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2009, 03:38:47 AM »

Gonna have to think on the fixed abilities a little bit (there is a certain dependence on natural attacks that might be tuned to be a bit more free-form) but there is a lot of potential in this Smiley. Its a very flexible base.

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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2009, 07:29:45 AM »

I'm definitely on board with this class. A "totemist" class is something I was also looking to try to make once I got a better understanding of class mechanics. I thought it was one of the most unique and interesting concepts of the 3.X era, along with warlocks.

Just a few random thoughts on my first pass through...

I think Morgenstern is correct though, that there should be a little more free-form nature to the 'natural attack' aspect currently indicated.  If you were to say model a sidhe, you really don't have a "natural attack" to grant it, though you could refocus it to their Extraordinary Save attack, but that doesn't work with the Keen follow up power.  I think I'd also like to see the "binding" of the ability last longer, more like an incarnum totemist, choosing their augmentations once per day but lasting until changed.
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 01:46:21 AM »

My thoughts for improvement are to:
  • Change the core to be "Melee or Natural Attack".
  • Change Unstoppable Force to be a selection of offensive options.
  • Change Unnatural Ferocity to grant a species feat, that way you aren't locked into Natural Ferocity [for non-natural attack paths].

When I was writing it I figured I'd make all the paths first step give the iconic natural attack of the monster, and didn't look at various monsters enough to realise some don't have natural attacks at all.  Still I did only have 20 mins to put it together, so there were bound to be some oversights.

The reason I didn't make their capstone ability last longer is that its massively powerful, and having that available to much would be horribly broken, so I went with a smaller figure, that sorta has a reasoning behind it.  Any ideas how long it should last?  I think a generic scene would be potentially too long.

I also tried to avoid "refocusing" on a per day [which I really don't like] or a per adventure [which I really do like] because I think thats more the perview of a full base class that focuses on binding and the like.

EDIT: You actually started a chain reaction of ideas in my head, once I've got something functional on paper I'll post it.  It'll be a Totemist base class [name may change].
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 01:56:11 AM by Turnip666 » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2009, 05:52:29 AM »

Just tossing random ideas off the top of my head here. I am by no means an expert on FC mechanics, so I'm not sure how these will go over.

Would it be possible to make it a Point Buy system?  Mages get Spell Points for spells.  What if Incarnates/Totemists got Shape Points?   These points would in effect act just like XP for the purpose of "buying" Natural or Extraordinary attacks. 

Then you could use a Spellcasting-like skill (Incarnation?) to make a DC, just like casting a spell for success/failure in attaining the required ability.

"Incarnations" (i.e. powers) would be learned like spells: X number to start and +1 for each new rank in the control skill. You can't take on a quality you haven't 'researched' and know.


Incarnation Adept: You learn 2 additional 1-XP NPC Qualities as Traits. Also, once per scene as a free action, you may spend and roll up to 3 action dice to gain a number of incarnation points equal to the result. These action dice cannot explode.

Form of the Beast: At Level 1, you may purchase ranks in the Incarnation skill, learn NPC Qualities as Traits, and take on Traits you know.

When an incarnate gains his first Incarnation Points he immediately learns a number of NPC Qualities, known as Traits, of any XP Value equal to his Incarnation ranks. Depending on the nature of the setting, these traits may be chosen or randomly assigned by the GM. Once learned, traits may not be exchanged. Note that knowing a trait doesn’t mean a character can assume it — the limits of incarnation assumptions are set by a character’s class.

Losing and Regaining Known Traits: Should an incarnate’s known traits decrease — temporarily or permanently — he chooses which traits are lost. Should this number later increase again the character must relearn the lost traits before he can gain new ones. Lost traits may be relearned in any order.

Incarnation Points: An incarnate assumes traits by spending incarnation points, which he gains from a number of sources (primarily class). He pays incartnation points equal to a traits NPC Quality XP value each time he tries to assume it (and doesn’t regain them even if his Incarnation check fails). Incarnation points are fully recovered at the start of each scene.
Not sure how many points they should get as they level. This is something we'd have to play with and see what is balanced. Maybe half a mage's SP?

Incarnates and other incarnation users can spend skill points to purchase ranks in the Incarnation skill, which is only available to characters with a set requirement?. Incarnation operates like any other skill.
Tools: An incarnate without an incarnation totem is considered untrained even when he has Incarnation ranks (see New Equipment).
Knowledge: Monster traits; shapeshifitng techniques

Acts exactly like Spellcasting, but with the DC based on the XP Value of the trait, rather than on spell level, and down one slot so a 1XP Trait = 0 Level spell.

Incarnate Level 1 Example: Let say our level 1 Incarnate puts 4 ranks into the Incarnation skill.
He knows 6 Traits NPC Qualities, 2 of which have to 1XP NPC Qualities. Lets say he chooses the following traits:  Darkvision I (1 XP), Fast Healing (1 XP), Fearless I (2 XP), Claw II (4 XP), Natural Defense [lethal] (5 XP), and Invisibility (8 XP).  At first level lets say he has 1 Incarnation Point and chooses to spend it to take on the Fast Healing trait for the scene, needing a DC 13 to take on the quality.

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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 06:12:58 AM »

Certainly an interesting take on the idea, and something to ponder.
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2009, 07:16:23 AM »

Another, simpler option along the same lines would be to grant the class X Shape Points at each level in the same manner as mages get Spell Points. However, instead of being a recharging resource like spells, the class would "Bind" these incarnations each level, again using the points as an equivalent to XP.

So for example, if the Incarnate got 1 Shape Point at first level, they could choose a 1XP quality to bind to themselves as a permanent class ability for that level, so they could for instance gain Darkvision I (1 XP) or Fast Healing (1 XP) as if it were a class ability.  At 2nd level, lets say they increase to 2 Shape Points and they get to reselect their binds. They could then bind say Darkvision I (1 XP) AND Fast Healing (1 XP) OR Fearless I (2 XP).

Then as a class ability at higher levels, allow them to reselect their binds more often than at the beginning of the level, say for instance when they have a month, week or day of downtime (or progressively better rate as they level).

Just more thoughts. I think I like this version better than making them just like spells.
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2009, 07:29:21 AM »

You'd want to be careful in not given very specific NPC qualities, just due to the fact that something thats worth 1-2xp to an NPC might be worth a shitload to a PC, and other "expensive" qualities, might be worthless to PC's.

Might go smoother if you unlock specific abilities at certain class levels, rather then basing them on the XP cost of the quality.

I'd certainly be interested in seeing what you come up with.
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