View Full Version : Help please! Power sucking race

2012-03-18, 02:55 PM
hi guys, how are you?
I'm in desperate need of your homebrew magnificence :)
I'm trying to create a race based from a book i'm writing.
The thing is I don't know how to create them, they are like vampires, but called "Shadows", basically a shadow creature embraces a human and turns it into a shadow. The main problem is that they can suck the blood of a victim and choose to absorb an ability the victim possesses. This means, if it sucked the blood of monster that could use fireball at will, it gained such ability. They cannot do it all the time, but i don't know how to make this, and how to balance it, at least slightly.
And don't start with the LA :P

So, how would you implement this in a game? what requisites and/or penalties would you adjust? what LA would you select?

2012-03-18, 05:44 PM
Well, in terms of 3.5, you first want to decide how the power-sucking works. How long will it take (in terms of rounds, minutes, etc.?)

Can it absorb any kind of ability? (Can you take somebody's ability to cast spells? Their extraordinary abilities? Their spell-like abilities? Their supernatural abilities? Some of all of the above?)

How long is the stolen ability retained? (Forever? For a certain predefined number of rounds/minutes/days/etc.? If the duration is limited but not predefined, is the limitation based on some innate quality of the 'shadow' -- such as its Charisma score or the number of its racial hit dice, or based on the nature of the ability stolen -- can you hold onto extraordinary abilities longer than supernatural abilities? If you steal a spell-like ability, will the level of the spell affect how long you can hold onto it?)

If I were doing this, I would model it after the spellthief (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20050107a) from Complete Adventurer -- if you don't have that book, you can read the class description on the wizards.com website in that link. They have an ability called 'steal spell' that you could read and modify.

As far as limitations, the steal spell ability has some pretty good ones. You could restrict the shadow from stealing more than one ability per embrace/attack, or even from stealing more than one ability per victim. At-will abilities are probably going to trip you up; I would probably put a cap on that, so that an ability that can be used at-will by the original monster can only be used three times a day by the thief (or something like that). I would also limit the HD of the victims, so that a 1st-level shadow can't nick a pit fiend's big toe and gain its wish spell-like ability.

It's definitely a neat and interesting concept, though extremely complicated. You have a thin line between making it versatile and fun enough to play without making it so powerful that it's impossible to write an adventure for them.

2012-03-18, 06:06 PM
Hi steward, thanks for your reply!

The power sucking would take until the victim breaks free, or until all it's blood was sucked. I thought of implementing this by forcing a grapple check that deals X damage (from the blood loss) to the victim.
I was thinking it would only be spell like or supernatural abilities, because spellcasting is learned and not natural, and thus would not make the shadow interested in it (although it's more probable that it already has spellcasting :P). and extraordinary abilities excel from a person's body, for example super strenght, and a shadow does not have a material body all the time.
In my book, shadows tend to learn an ability forever. Or until another shadow steals it, at the cost of killing them.
The spellthief could be a great model to base this class on, but my knowledge of homebrew-fu is limited, so i think i'll need some help with that :).

Also, I think that your idea of capping the number of abilities by level is great, of course I can't limit it to once per victim, because to learn that ability the victim must be killed.

The shadows are a fallen society, because they battled each other to absorb his fellow's abilities thus starting a killing spree of the race and allowing just the younger one's to live.

Of course I could make a line of feats adapting to the different kinds of feeding, I mean, a shadow can suck the blood of a human or a troll, but it must have other methods to get an ability of a construct, or an undead (burning the bones and eating the ashes?)

2012-03-21, 02:09 PM
Help please.