View Full Version : Bladewolf Race (3.5, Metal Gear Rising, PEACH)

2013-06-03, 06:15 PM

"I'm my own Master now."

Introduction: Constructs have long been a staple of magical experimentation. Creating unfeeling creatures who would unquestioningly follow their master's bidding is obviously desirable for many who wish for the 'perfect' bodyguard or the 'perfect' soldier. Sacrificing golems or other constructs in war is generally a lot more palatable to the masses than sacrificing friends or family. When the Warforged gained sentience as a side-effect of the magical experimentation, a new line of experimentation was born: Creating constructs which followed orders perfectly, but would also act and react within the confines of those orders as a sapient creature might. In addition, while the Warforged had done their job as grunts expertly, some artificers desired something more focused on 'special ops'.

It was from this line of thought that the Bladewolves were born: Sapient quadruped warforged-like creatures. Initially, they were everything their creators dreamed of: Fast, reliable and unquestioning. However they lacked a certain...human brutality in combat situations. This lead to the project being deemed a failure and discontinued. As if that wasn't bad enough, the Bladewolves eventually shook off the restrictions placed on their actions and would no longer respond to orders. Effectively, they had gained free will much as the original Warforged had. The active Bladewolves escaped soon after and most went their separate ways, finding their own path in life. Rumour has it that the methodology to create new Bladewolves was also stolen or otherwise lost.

Personality: Most Bladewolves are extremely terse and blunt. Between a lack of proper social interactions and their 'odd' upbringing, often they have trouble relating to others. They might grasp the concept of certain social queues in theory, but fail to comprehend and properly these in practical situations. Bladewolves also tend to be very assertive with their views and direct with their points.

Despite their initial escape from what was essentially captivity, Bladewolves have shown distinct inclinations towards entering into 'Master and Servant' relationships with other creatures, with the Bladewolf operating as the Servant, not entirely unlike an actual canine, though the Bladewolf is generally a lot more assertive than a normal canine might be.

Physical Description: Bladewolves are essentially Warforged wolves and have the same mix of metals, woods and magic to make up their body; flexible metal plate "skin" atop fibrous bundles of "muscle". They're a lot less bulky than the standard Warforged however, their design sleek and lithe which fits their canine shape. Most Bladewolves are coloured in black, grey or white though you might find the occasional one bearing other colours. As a general rule, they lack any sort of ornamental augmentation (gems, 'war paint'). Any unusual augmentation is usually practical in nature. Bladewolves lack any definable gender and do not identify as such. Large for their body type, Bladewolves generally stand between 3' and 4' tall on all fours. Most are approximately 6' long, not counting their tail.

Relations: Due to their appearance, Bladewolves find welcome and scorn in equal measure. Some find their canine appearance comforting compared to the humanoid Warforged, while others find it deeply disturbing or frightening. Bladewolves are rarely seen in the company of one another, and while they feel a certain degree of kinship with the Warforged, Bladewolves are seldom alongside a Warforged - some scholars theorise that it's because of their similar origins bringing up unpleasant memories.

As a general rule, a race or culture's view on Warforged often spills over to their viewpoint on Bladewolves.

Alignment: Bladewolves tend towards neutrality on the axis of good vs. evil. As weapons of war they are no stranger to death or killing and many do not find aversion to it. Why a Bladewolf kills is often intensely personal, and is often seen as a representation of their freedom from control. Very few Bladewolves are Chaotic, with the majority being either Neutral or Lawful depending on personal outlook.

Lands: Bladewolves have no land. They are often intensely nomadic unless they find a master they consider worth serving.

Religion: Despite being quite thoughtful with regards to the meaning and cause of their existence, very few Bladewolves are religious. Those who are religious are often incredibly devoutly so. While it's rare to see a fanatical Bladewolf, there have been a few.

Names: Bladewolves generally do not name themselves. It's more likely that they will adopt a nickname or petname that has been given to them by another - usually someone who they respect and care for. This leads to a wide variety of possible names and no standard naming conventions for them.

Adventurers: Bladewolves are not generally pulled to adventure as much as some - they are not motivated by gold, glory or the thrill of exploration. They seek a deeper meaning to their life. Some find this from adventure, some find it from following a master, some find it playing about with children.

Bladewolf Racial Traits

Living Construct Subtype (Ex): Bladewolves are constructs with the Living Construct Subtype. A living construct is a created being given sentience and free will through powerful and complex creation enchantments. Bladewolves are living constructs that combine aspects of both constructs and living creatures, as detailed below.

Bladewolves derive HD, BAB progression, saving throws and skill points from the class it selects.
Unlike other constructs, a Bladewolf has a constitution score
Bladewolves are not immune to mind-affecting spells and abilities.
Bladewolves are immune to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, disease, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, effects that cause the sickened condition, and energy drain.
Bladewolves are incapable of healing damage naturally.
A Bladewolf is subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, stunning, ability damage, ability drain, death effects and necromancy effects.
Bladewolves can be targeted by spells which affect both constructs (eg. Disable Construct) as well as those which affect living creatures (eg. Cure Light Wounds). Spells from the healing subschool or supernatural effects that cure hit point damage or ability damage only have half effect on Bladewolves.
Due to the high metal content in a Bladewolf's construction, they take damage from Heat Metal or Chill Metal as if they were wearing metal armour. They are likewise repelled by Repel Metal or Stone as if wearing metal armour. The iron in the body of a Bladewolf makes them vulnerable to Rusting Grasp (2d6, Reflex DC14+Casting Modifier halves) as well as a Rust Monster's touch (2d6, Reflex DC17 halves).
At 0 hitpoints, a Bladewolf is disabled just as a living creature is - it can only take a single move or standard action each round. Strenuous activity does not risk further injury. when dropped below 0 hitpoints, the Bladewolf becomes inert and is both unconscious and helpless. They do not lose any additional hitpoints except from damage dealt to him, as a living creature that stabilised.
Due to the unique enchantments surrounding a Bladewolf, they cannot be raised or resurrected except via Limited Wish, Miracle or True Resurrection. In addition, if killed via hitpoint damage, there is a 50% chance that the Bladewolf will automatically recover from the damage one hour after it dies via a preservation module. A Bladewolf which recovers in this way is 0 hitpoints, but can take no actions besides communicating (speaking, telepathy) until healed.
A Bladewolf does not require food, drink, or sleep. It cannot benefit from spells such as Heroes Feast, but it can benefit from potions (poured into a specially designed port for such things).
Bladewolf wizards must still spend 8 hours resting before preparing spells.
+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma, -2 Constitution. Bladewolves are fast and smart, but often have trouble relating to others and are more fragile than one might expect.
Medium Size.
Base Land Speed: 40'
Quadrupedal: A Bladewolf, as the name implies, has a body type which resembles a wolf. They are incapable of using somatic components for spells, holding weapons or manipulating objects (eg. lighting a torch) due to the nature of their limbs.
Composite Plating: As an offshoot of the original Warforged project, the Bladewolf utilises a similar set of Composite Plating. They begin play with Composite Plating which grants them a +2 armour bonus and 5% Arcane Spell Failure. Any class which allows them to ignore Arcane Spell Failure in light armour (eg. Bard) also allows them to ignore this arcane spell failure also. A Bladewolf also qualifies for the Warforged armour plating feats (eg. Adamantine Body) as if a Warforged of his level.
Natural Weapons: A Bladewolf begins play with two Claw attacks, dealing 1d6 damage each.

Languages: The vast majority of Bladewolves begin play with default knowledge of Common. Depending on specific origin they may trade this out for another language (eg. Draconic).

Favoured Class: None.


Bladewolf Paragon Class

Alignment: Any
HD: D10
Skill Points: 6+IntMod
Class Skills: Balance, Climb, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (All), Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Search, Sleight of Hand, Speak Language, Spot, Swim, Tumble, Use Magic Device.

1st|+1|+2|+2|+2| Improved Speed, Agile Bounder
2nd|+2|+3|+3|+3| Pounce, Parry
3rd|+3|+3|+3|+3| Parry Counter, Augmented Senses

Improved Speed (Ex): At 1HD and every 2HD after (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, etc.) the Bladewolf gains an extra 10' to their base land speed.

Agile Bounder (Ex): A Bladewolf Paragon adds their Dexterity modifier to their Jump and Climb checks in addition to their Strength modifier. At 8HD the Bladewolf gains a climb speed equal to half their base movement speed.

Pounce (Ex): Bladewolf Paragons gain the Pounce special ability. At 8HD, they gain the ability to make full attacks as standard-equivalent actions.

Parry (Ex): The Bladewolf Paragon gains a miss chance equal to their dexterity score, but only against melee attacks (including melee touch attacks).

Parry Counter (Ex): Whenever the Bladewolf successfully evades an attack thanks to the miss chance granted by Parry, they can instantly lash out at their attacker. The Bladewolf may make one attack at their highest BAB against them, assuming they are threatened. This attack also does 50% extra damage.

Augmented Senses (Ex): The Bladewolf gains Tremorsense out to 20'. This increases by 10' for every 4HD (3rd, 7th, 11th, etc.) the Bladewolf has.

Racial Feats

Augmented Tail
Prerequisite: Bladewolf Race.
Benefit: Your tail is now capable of manipulating fine objects. It can perform all the functions that a normal humanoid hand/arm could, with the exception that the only weapons it can utilise are light weapons.
Normal: Your tail is solely cosmetic, even if it is pretty.

Self-Repair Module
Prerequisite: Bladewolf Race, 6HD
Benefit: You gain Fast Healing equal to your constitution modifier (minimum 1). At 18 HD, you also gain Regeneration 1 in addition to your Fast Healing. This Regeneration is bypassed by Electrical damage.

Prerequisite: Bladewolf Race, 3HD
Benefit: Whenever you attack with your natural weapons, you can emit an ear-piercing howl as a swift action. Any foe who hears this must succeed on a DC(10+1/2HD+ConMod) or be Shaken for two rounds. The DC increases by +1 for each natural weapon which successfully deals damage during that round.


Design Notes:
I thought the Bladewolf character in Metal Gear Rising was REALLY COOL! I couldn't work out a way to create an effective player character version of him however due to his construct nature. This is something to remedy that.

I dunno how I did, but I hope you enjoy reading it (and hopefully using it) as much as I did writing it. Bladewolves should slot into any campaign universe/setting which also contains Warforged with relative ease and that's intentional since, as is pretty evident, I very much used them as a base for this to the extent that mechanically they could almost be a subrace. Still, I made them separate due to fluff reasons as well as allowing them to be standalone.