PDA

View Full Version : Help homebrewing a template for immortals?



MonkeySage
2013-02-05, 12:08 AM
I'm running a game which features Immortals pretty prominently, and I made a template to apply to these characters. The game is based on the epic fable Journey to the West, and I used some ideas from that story in designing the template, as well as adding or editing my own. But much like this exposition, I am not very eloquent in my wording and comes out pretty sloppy.... So I'm hoping maybe to clean up the mess.

Before I elaborate further, I realize that if this were applied to a character, that character's ECL would probably go through the roof. I still want this to be achievable for the players though, so I want to create a good enough incentive for that sacrifice.

I really apologize for the sloppiness.... I welcome any suggestions for improving this too.
So here it is:

The template for immortal can be applied to any humanoid creature or spirit.

Hit die: All current and future are changed to 1d8, or to their current highest, whichever is higher.

Speed is the same as the base creature

+6 Natural AC

All attacks are the same as the base creature

Abilities: +6 Str, +4 Dex, +4 Con, +2 Int, +4 Wis, +2 Cha

Immortals do not need to eat, sleep or drink, unless their class calls for them to do so.... so spell casters still need to rest. Immortals do not get tired, hungry, or thirsty.

Immunity to critical hits, death magic, sleep effects, enchantments, disease, most poisons, and fatigue.

They can otherwise be damaged normally, however when reduced to 0 HP, they are just knocked out until they regenerate; takes 1 hour to heal 1 hit point. There are exceptions to this, which I'll list as weaknesses.

Fast healing, 5hp/round

They do not age, and do not suffer the effects of aging. Any age induced ability damage from before is removed. This does not make them outwardly younger though. :P

Immortals can summon a magic cloud at will, this allows them to fly at twice their usual movement speed while riding on it.

Weaknesses:
Jade is sacred to immortals because it is at least partly the source of their immortality. It's also one of the few things that can kill them, if a weapon is made from it.
Taint(see oriental adventures) can cause them to lose most of the benefits of this template after a few days(thinking 1d6 days?), and then it will have the same effect on them that it has on most living things.


Acquiring it, in one of four ways:
1. Eat an immortal peach. The peaches grow once every few thousand years. Anyone with access to one of these peaches has the easiest route to immortality.
2. Elixer of Life, as a wonderous item.
3. Be trained by an existing immortal, provided they're taking students.
4. Simple enlightenment(In game terms I'm not sure how i'd make this work)

Is anyone willing to help me clean this up?
This is the first time I've done something like this... last time I homebrewed, it wasn't anything quite this ambitious...

I don't want to punish my players if they fulfill the requirements for this. What can I do to make this more of a reward without it being more op than it has to be?

Also, what would be the LA for this?


Oh should prolly specify, I'm trying to use the 3.5 system.

Debihuman
2013-02-05, 09:12 AM
I think you have a pretty good start. You might want to determine whether this template grants Divine Rank 0. It seems like it does.

Spirit and Spirit Folk are different things in Oriental Adventures. Do you mean that Spirit Folk can take this template or creatures with the Spirit Subtype can? It does make a difference.

No class as far as I know requires the creature to eat, breathe or sleep (a homebrew might). It's probably better to just say that they don't need to breathe, eat, and sleep but can choose do so if they so desire.

You should probably look at a bigger sample of official Templates to see how to write one up. The easiest way is to go through a creature's stat block and see how it affects it line by line.

You'll need to stat out a sample Magic Cloud. It's fairly powerful so I recommend limiting it in size and speed.

I'd peg this a no less than LA +3 and likely higher.

Rather than making jade weapons lethal (assuming you mean they die if they take so much as 1 point of damage from a jade weapon), why not give them vulnerability to jade weapons (they take 50% more damage) or at least allow a save to avoid death? Fast healing 5 probably shouldn't apply to wounds caused by jade weapons.

When you say that they are immune to most poisons can you elaborate on this? Are they immune to natural poisons only or just non-magical poisons?

Taint is nasty in OA. I'm not sure you should wait even a day to lose the benefits of this if you become tainted. It should be an immediate effect. On the other hand, you probably should give them some way of detecting taint.

LA is high but wait until the Template is complete before assigning it. You may want to tweak it further.

Debby

MonkeySage
2013-02-05, 02:15 PM
I was actually thinking about whether or not this grants a divine rank, since if a lowly level 1 commoner happened upon one of those peaches(not that it's likely given they only grow in the spirit world), they could gain the template. I even thought about this scenario, I think it'd be hilarious to have an inconspicuously immortal peasant.

Spirit... Given that I've attempted to reconcile Oriental Adventures(a 3.0 book) with the 3.5 system, I've altered the nature of a spirit creature. In 3.0, a hengeyokai's creature type is shapechanger. In this campaign, shapechanger is not a creature type, so a hengeyokai's creature type is Spirit. So Spirit in this campaign is a creature type, not subtype, and applies to Hengeyokai, Spiritfolk, and my own homebrew race, Bangwai(sort of like tieflings but instead of fiends, they're descended from oni :) ). I should have specified this, to avoid confusion, but I kinda took it for granted that I made this change.

I mainly specified that they do not have the vital needs of mortal races unless they are a spell caster that needs to rest to replenish their spells. They don't get physically tired, but a spell caster still needs to rest his or her mind.

I'll look into the other templates, and stat out a magic cloud.

Jade weapons: Normally when an immortal is reduced to 0 hp, they are just knocked out, and cannot be brought below 0 hp. They normally can't be mortally wounded. A jade weapon could break through that protection though, I'm thinking as a coup de grace after the immortal is knocked out.
I like the fast healing suggestion with regards to jade weapons.

As for poisons, I said most because I'm leaving room for certain magical poisons, maybe tainted poisons?

I like your suggestions about taint, my reasoning was that since... you could say an immortal has cultivated a jade essence in them... that would give them temporary immunity to taint, but this is one of those things I wasn't sure about. Great suggestion about being able to detect taint.

DracoDei
2013-02-05, 08:30 PM
The hitpoint thing could use re-writing. It currently sounds like if they had sorcerer levels only before taking the template, then all current and future hitdice are d8s. Good enough if they just keep taking more sorcerer levels.

But what if you throw in a barbarian level? If it is right before they take the template then all present and future hitdice are d12s. If it is right afterward then the d12 gets nerfed to a d8 it seems like. Is this what you meant? Or did you mean that dipping barbarian after taking this template increases all present and future hitdice to d12s?

I like what you have done with aging.

One thing that I would consider doing is waiting until the last member of the party has the template before giving all benefits of the template. Especially the fast healing and stat bonuses. That would keep the LA down, and then when everyone has it you can fully activate it for them all.

To expand on the previous concept, consider turning it into a PrC with only the requirements you already have. Once everyone in the party has at least one level of it, give them all free levels in it equal to the amount needed to make one (or more if there is a tie for most levels) of them maxed in it. The rest of them must take their next levels-ups in it until they are individually maxed.

MonkeySage
2013-02-05, 10:23 PM
Draco, you pose a good point about the hit die. I could probably make it d12 across the board, that'd make it simpler...



Hmm, I had another idea i'd like to discuss with you further Draco.

What if I could scrap the divine rank system, and use this template as a spring board for designing a replacement? I could then elaborate on the template, because there were a number of features I wanted to include but I was afraid of making it too powerful. What if instead of tying in divine ranks, I just replaced the divine rank system?


Maybe the end result wouldn't resemble traditional d&d, but it would certainly make for a good challenge, and I'm still trying to stay within 3.5 rules.

DracoDei
2013-02-05, 11:01 PM
Nota Bene: I haven't really looked at the Divine Rank stuff in a very long time.

Sounds like it might work better for the lower divine ranks... IE the ones that Mortals and Immortals(Divine Rank 0 or None under the current system) can interact with in a meaningful manner on a personal basis. Noting that if my knowledge of Anime isn't too misleading than that might be a LOT of the Oriental gods.

In any case I would focus on the lower powered stuff first, but with a slight eye towards making things scalable in the future.

Quite frankly a 20th level martial initiator, let alone an arcane spellcaster would seem to be a fair match (as in fighting or whatever) for many of the gods that appear in stories.

MonkeySage
2013-02-05, 11:51 PM
Going on the idea that we're working on a slightly smaller power scale, what if I broke up the perks I've already listed? Ranking would allow me to start small, instead of just handing it all over in one chunk. I had thought of this as something that is developed over time, hence how it is possible to acquire immortality by training with an existing immortal.

Any suggestions for how further ranks might be gained since i'm not using worshippers? Leveling aside?


Hmm... maybe they have a way of feeding experience points into another counter, representing their spiritual training. When ever enough exp has been fed into it, they advance, and can choose from a few minor perks, while unwittingly also advancing towards immortality? And one of those described methods above for acquiring the immortal template could be a way to advance a little faster or something.
Samurai can already do something similar to this with their ancestral daisho...

DracoDei
2013-02-06, 03:07 AM
Going on the idea that we're working on a slightly smaller power scale, what if I broke up the perks I've already listed? Ranking would allow me to start small, instead of just handing it all over in one chunk. I had thought of this as something that is developed over time, hence how it is possible to acquire immortality by training with an existing immortal.

Any suggestions for how further ranks might be gained since i'm not using worshippers? Leveling aside?


Hmm... maybe they have a way of feeding experience points into another counter, representing their spiritual training. When ever enough exp has been fed into it, they advance, and can choose from a few minor perks, while unwittingly also advancing towards immortality? And one of those described methods above for acquiring the immortal template could be a way to advance a little faster or something.
Samurai can already do something similar to this with their ancestral daisho...

As I said, my recommendation is just to turn the whole thing into a PrC.

MonkeySage
2013-02-07, 07:42 PM
I decided to go with the idea that this could be a replacement for divine ranks and here's what i've got so far. Granted, this is vastly less powerful than traditional divine ranks, but that is part of the point. Rank 0 doesn't even have eternal youth.


So it's no longer a "template" so much as a ranking system, i just need to figure out how entities would advance in rank... Naturally I figured that the spirits that shamans and shugenja pay tribute to could prolly have gained ranks through age. Other immortals, like the Jade Emperor, are probably on par with the intermediate deities of normal d&d in terms of power. The goddess of mercy would be a lesser deity or a demigod I think...

Immortal

Rank 0(Transitioning Immortal):
A. Natural AC 1
B. Abilities: +1 Str
C. Timeless Body (Ex): You no longer take penalties to your ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties youíve already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and you still die of old age when your time is up.

Rank 1(Emerging Immortal):
A. Natural AC 2
B. Abilities: +1 Str, +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Wis
C. Undying (Ex) : An immortal of rank 1 does not age, and any existing ability penalties relating to current age are removed, as if she were in the prime of her life once again. The immortal retains their current age only in a cosmetic sense.
D. Detect Taint (Sp) (At will): As the spell detect evil, applied instead to Taint.
E. Damage Resist 5/Jade
F. Immunities: Death Magic, Sleep Effects, Enchantments, Disease, Most Poison(Tainted poisons are an exception).

Rank 2(Awakened Immortal):
A. Natural AC 3
B. Abilities: +1 Str, +1 Int, +1 Cha
C. Deathless (Ex): When reduced to 0 HP, an immortal takes no further damage unless it is from a jade weapon. The immortal is knocked out. Within an hour, the immortal heals back 1 hit point. Taint can still kill them as it would a mortal, and jade weapons can be used for a coup de grace that will kill an immortal.
D. Transcendence (Ex): You no longer feel hunger and do not need to sleep or breathe. You may eat and sleep if you choose.
E. Immunities: Massive Damage, Fatigue

Rank 3(True Immortal):
A. Natural AC 4
B. Abilities: +1 Str, +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Wis
C. Hit dice: Change all present and future hit die to d12s
D. Summon Magic Cloud (Sp) (At will): Immortals can travel quickly by way of cloud. The cloud can carry the immortal that summoned it, and up to 500 lbs of extra weight as long as the immortal can carry it. Itís speed is 150 ft, and as a full round action can move up to 5 times faster.
E. Polymorph (Sp) (1/day/immortal rank): As a level 12 Sorcerer.
F. Spell Resistance 10+Immortal Rank
G. Energy Resist 5 + Immortal Rank
H. Immortal Aura: Will Save DC 10 + Immortal Rank + Charisma Modifier
I. Damage Resist 10/Jade