There were several inspirations for this class, the first and foremost being the Mist Dancer expert class. I wanted to try out something a little different than that, however, and with a bit of refluffing and new, more combat-oriented abilities, I think that I made something unique enough to consider this class as something more than a 'fix' or an 'alternate version'. Mechanically, this class took cues from both DW's Unbound class, and from Big_Jim's idea of Vitality Burn for Psionic Powers; both of those work fabulously well, and are surprisingly quite amazing when combined. This may just pave the way for more "self-contained casters" as expert or master classes, as well as different mechanics for alternate spellcasting. Please critique as needed, and I'd like to thank the LtI folks in advance!
"Shae" by Carolina Eade"Konpaku Youmu" by Banpai Akira
The veil between life and death is something that is usually a one-way ticket; everything goes in, nothing comes out. Ghosts and other necromantic beings still don't count, as they are still shackled to the afterlife and can only affect the realm of the living temporarily. The Poltergeist is an aberrant exception to this rule, being part-way into the hereafter and partially still in the material world. They can use their vital life-force to manifest mystical powers, and can pass in-and-out of reality with startling skill. Some call these beings half-ghosts, but that is a misnomer; the Poltergeist is something much greater than either of its halves.
Depending on your campaign, a Poltergeist could be...
• A necromancer's apprentice that has learned to speak with the departed in order to learn their secrets.
• A man who was scared half-to-death, and now walks the along border between worlds.
• The loyal vassal of a ghostly queen, who has served them for centuries thanks to their unique bloodline.
• A swift and serene monk who moves across the battlefield like the invisible wind.
• A hunter of the dead who consumed ectoplasm to better face horrid beings passing into reality.
• A haunted golem that literally embodies the phrase "Ghost in the Machine".Party Role:
Combatant/Specialist. You utilize a unique brand of magic that allows you to interact with both the spectral realm and the material world, phasing in-and-out of reality like a ghost in the wind.CLASS FEATURESRequirements: Sorcery
campaign quality, Charisma 13+, Resolve 6+ ranks, Sneak 6+ ranksFavored Attributes:
Charisma, Constitution, DexterityCaster:
Each level in this class increases your Casting Level by 1.Class Skills:
Blend, Bluff, Disguise, Intimidate, Notice, Prestidigitation, Resolve, Search, Sneak, TacticsSkill Points:
6 + Int mod per LevelVitality:
9 + Con mod per LevelBAB:
MediumCORE ABILITYPierce The Veil:
You gain the Blindsight
NPC quality, and attacks you make against incorporeal
targets gain AP equal to your Charisma modifier.CLASS ABILITIESEctokinesis:
At Level 1, you learn all spells listed in the Ectokinesis Spells sidebar. Poltergeist spells are cast using your Resolve (Cha) instead of the Spellcasting (Int) skill, and when Resolve-casting these spells you are always considered to have a Mage's Pouch. When you Resolve-cast these spells, you don't use Spell Points; instead, you suffer an amount of Vitality Burn (see the Vitality Burn sidebar) equal to twice the spell's level (Level 0 spells cause 1 Vitality Burn per casting). You may Resolve-cast any of these spells with a level equal to half your Class Level (rounded up).
Spells for the Poltergeist usually have to do with various spectral effects. This includes several common 'ghostly' effects; moving things without touching them, forcing others to obey your command as you possess them, and even calling up other spirits of the dead. (When Spellbound is released this list is extremely likely to change, so do not get too attached to the spells here.)
Level 0 - Dancing Lights, Feather Fall, Polar Ray, Whispers
Level 1 - Command I, Pass Without Trace, Scare I, Unseen Servant
Level 2 - Deadly Draft I, Gust of Wind, Hold Person, Levitate
Level 3 - Invisibility, Scrye II, Speak With The Dead
Level 4 - Dimension Door, Freedom of Movement, Phantasmal Killer
Level 5 - Cloudkill, Fly II, Illusionary Image V
Vitality burn isn’t the same as vitality damage – it’s the reduction of the character’s maximum vitality as spells are cast with Resolve. Since it’s a reduction in the character’s maximum vitality value, it can’t be healed, but it also only affects a character’s current vitality if the newly reduced maximum is lower than the character’s current vitality. If that is the case, the character’s current vitality drops to match his new maximum.
A poltergeist who has suffered a lot of vitality damage is able to use his powers without further endangering his life – however, getting healing in the current scene also won’t help much!
The adjusted vitality maximum is just that – the maximum vitality the character can have.
If a character’s maximum vitality is lower than the amount of vitality burn he’ll suffer for casting a spell, but higher than 0, then he may still cast the spell. Vitality burn in excess of his maximum vitality is applied to wounds. Wounds caused by excessive vitality burn are not subject to a reduction in “maximum wounds”, unlike vitality; they can be healed normally as any other wound damage.
Vitality burn is fully recovered at the start of each scene with one exception: if any of the poltergeist’s spells with a Duration other than Permanent is still in effect from a previous scene, that vitality burn is not recovered, even if the spell’s Duration ends during the current scene.
Note that this does not heal the character of vitality loss due to vitality burn, it simply returns the maximum you may have. To regain the lost vitality, the character with require some form of healing as normal.
Standard NPCs, with their lack of Vitality, cause a real problem in integrating them with the system detailed here. So here is how Standard characters and vitality burn interact.
Standard characters make a Damage Save vs. 10 + 1/2 the accumulated vitality burn (rounded down). If failed, the character suffers a cumulative -1 to his future Damage Saves.
At Level 2, you gain the Ghost Basics feat, and your maximum rank in Intimidate increases to your Class Level + 5.Spectre II:
At Level 7, you gain the Ghost Mastery feat, and your maximum rank in Intimidate increases to your Class Level + 7.Bonus Feat:
At Levels 3 and 7, you gain an additional Basic Combat or Covert feat.Fog's Cloak:
At Level 4 when in dim, faint, or no light, your threat range with Blend and Sneak checks increases by 2.Spirit Fist:
At Level 4, you may convert your unarmed attack damage to force damage without penalty.Forceful Personality:
At Levels 5 and 9, the lower of your Charisma or Constitution scores rises by 1.Signs & Portents I:
You can contact the spirits of the dead for guidance. At Level 6, as a 1-minute action, you may request a hint from the GM. If he refuses, you gain 1 bonus action die. You may use this ability a number of times per adventure equal to your starting action dice.Heavenly Fist:
At Level 8, you may convert your unarmed attack damage to divine damage without penalty.Phantom Limbs:
You reflexively slip out of reality in order to evade certain attacks. At Level 8, choose two proficiency groups (the proficiency groups are Unarmed, Blunt, Edged, Hurled, Bows, Black Powder, and Siege Weapons). You gain Damage Defiance
for those proficiency groups.One Foot in the Grave:
The barrier between life and death is extremely thin for you, and has become a boon you can utilize for a short while. At Level 10, you may burn 1 Wound in the same manner as burning Vitality (including regaining burned Wounds at the start of each scene, but not healing them unless attended to) and spend a full action in order to become incorporeal
. You burn 1 Wound at the start of each round that you are incorporeal
, and may spend a full action to become corporeal again. You instantly become corporeal if you fall unconscious or die.