View Full Version : [PrC] With old odd ends... (extensive backstory)

The Vorpal Tribble
2007-01-08, 01:49 PM

The sun shown through the thickening cloud-cover, enough rays squeezing between the cracks to lighten the town. Not all were appreciative of their effort. A figure within a large wooden house only glanced up momentarily to glance at the label of a bottle illuminated in the abrupt lightening of the window.

"There it is..." he murmured to himself when a young girl of some three years ran in, shoving the door open recklessly. The man leaped forward and grabbed it before it could shake the wall upon which many a shelf was littered with glassware of all shapes, sizes and hues.

"Da! Da!" she cried, throwing herself upon his legs and wrapping her small but amazingly strong legs about him. He overbalanced and grabbed the child as he fell, rolling to his back so that she fell atop him.

"Ella..." he groaned as several vials shattered at the conclusion of his concussion. The little girl giggled and pressed her nose against his.

"Fessival! Fessival!" she crooned, treating him to a great whiff of peppermint. "Pleeeeeease!"

"What, after you come running in like a banshee?" he scoffed, crossing his eyes comically to look into hers.

"Yes? YES?" she demanded questioningly, and treated him to a big, sloppy kiss on the cheek.

A slim woman then entered, unusually tall, taller than the man, almost queenly he would often comment, though commonly possessed of a look of mischievious amusement that rather ruined the affect. She put a hand on her hips and gazed down at her husband upon the ground.

He glanced up and his eyes darted from side to side in mock panic. "Michaela, I can explain this. She forced herself upon me! I was but helpless to her feminine wiles."

"Mmm hmm, oh well, you were beginning to bore me anyways. She can have you, I will be off! Oh, the fickleness of men." the woman replied, putting a hand to her forehead.

"NO!" the girl cried, scrambling off her father to run to her mother.

The man laughed as he climbed to his feet. As he straightened he put a hand to his back with a grimace.

Michaela lifted the girl and hugged her tight, "Oh, oh, I'm not going anywhere. Except... maybe to the festival!"

As the girl's face instantly brightened her mother looked to the man with a smile, "And perhaps we shall have the company of the best healer in the entire territory?"

"Nothing would make me happier. But being the best," he said with the sudden assumed arrogance of jest, "as you so rightly say, means everyone wants his attention. Widow Ezra is down with the croup. The second time this year. She'll be needing a bit of care today. But you believe me, I'll be there for the candle lighting."

"Well, alright. The things I must put up with so that you can save lives. I'm too good for you, y'know." the woman responded, leaning over to kiss him.

"And always will be," he responded, returning the kiss firmly.


The memory of that morning, it was as bright and clear in his mind's eye as it had been in reality. They had come that night, this was also engraved within his mind, no less so than that before. She had been right, there was no pain to it, merely simple rememberance. He continued to recall as he leaped over a fallen log...


"I'm here!" he whispered loudly, wrapping his arm around Michaela's waist. She nearly dropped her candle in surprise and steadied herself.

Up above the full moon had risen, the snow clouds above enormous square patches that moved in the wind like ethereal waves across the entire sky. It seemed as if the glowing brightness above were sailing within them, the frigid breeze carrying it along, though it was un reality only the clouds that were wandering. The man reached down and lifted his daughter, wrapped snuggly in several shawls and clutching a doll. He pointed his candle wick first so that his wife could light it with her own, and joined in with the singing crowd. Several large fires burned in bricked pits, within which chestnuts roasted and those standing too near the flame, overdoing the effort to stay warm. Moths, perhaps escaped from their feasting within the tailor's shop, wheeled and flittered near the flame, only to veer off as the smoke became too much.

"Oh!" his daughter suddenly cried, looking up as the first few snowflakes began to fall.


Those were the first to fall. White, clean snow. Not the muddy slush or red-soaked frost that was to come. An army had invaded that night, one the townspeople had only heard rumors about. They lay only on the very outskirts of the territory of the Lord Remar, and their was always much lively debate if they were any truth that he ruled over them. They had never come within even a league, but tonight that was to change.

Enough warning had been given so that the women, children and elderly could be sent off into the mines to hide. A defense had been mounted, and though it were a large town and the soldiers hardly more than a raiding party, the battle would not be won quickly.


"Hammond! We have a new bunch coming in!" an elderly man, barely able to wield his sword, shouted, then ducked out from the tent.

The man cursed under his breath, and finished sewing up the belly of his current patient. Two of his assistants grabbed each end of the wounded man's blanket and carried him out.

He quickly cleansed his hand in a basin already stained with blood and ran out. A wagon had pulled up next to his tent, and from within issued the cries and moans of which could not be men. An old woman sitting on the edge, holding a screaming Ella, looked up as Hammond approached.

"The soldiers, they found us, and tried to take our supplies. Michaela, she wouldn't let them, so they... they..." she faltered and glanced to a blanket in the middle of the wagon. Hammond leaped up, and dashed to it. He pulled it up, and underneath was the face of his wife, pale with death, a great wound in her chest.

He looked up into the snow falling upon him and shook his head, mute with the motion boiling inside him. He looked back down and ran his hand across his wife's freezing face. His head then jerked around as Ella coughed horribly behind him. He jumped off the side and ran around to the back.

"Ella, was she hurt?" he said, his voice so pained that the old woman almost wept.

"I don't think so. She just keeps coughing..."

Hammond quickly unwrapped the shawl and blanket from his daughter to looker her over. He bit his lip so hard that it bled when he felt the depression in her chest. Her breathing was becoming more labored, and some blood had begun to trickle from her mouth.

"Her ribs are broken, she can't breathe." he said in a tight voice, and took the girl from the woman's arms.

Rushing her into the tent, he set her down upon the table and had several more heated bricks placed around her. He pulled the cork off of a bottle and held it under her nose until she stopped moving. Despite this her hand closed tightly over her doll. He was choosing a scalpel when the sound of screams was heard outside. He dashed over to poke his head out when something dark momentarily blocked out the moonlight and was slammed against the side of his head.


He awoke to a splash of icey water. He sat up sputtering and looked up into an unfamiliar face, darkened with sweat and grime.

"You're a healer?" he said gruffly.

"I... yes... my daughter! Where is she?" he shouted, struggling to his feet despite the agony that coursed through his bruised head.

His legs were kicked from behind and he fell to his knees.

"I have wounded men. Our healer has taken ill. You will take his place." the man before him responded.

"So they may rise again to kill my people?" Hammond said defiantly.

"HA! Your people? You have no more 'people'. To the last man we have fought."

"The wounded, what of them?"

"They are no longer suffering if thats what you mean."


He worked on the wounded well into the night, going about sewing up wounds and setting limbs, but he worked as an automoton, his mind dead to all but his motions.

They kicked him out sometime after midnight, no longer of any use, and his aid earning him the chance to live. Had they given him the option it is likely he wouldn't have chosen life. He followed the smell of burning until he found his way back to the flaming village. Within the pits were the smoking remains of dozens of bodies. Fire that had once been warmth and light and comfort had become stinking death and misery. He poked idly around, not knowing what to look for, but unable to think of the next course of action. After some time he stood and was walking off when he noticed one of the moths, a small, white fuzzy thing, slowly beating its wings. It sat atop a familiar doll, the one she had clutched even as she died. A doll he had made for her only a week before for the winter festival.


With the sound of rustling paper it came back to him vividly. He had been searching for more old jars in the attic when he had noticed her old crib. It had had a cracked leg which he had always meant to have repaired, but Ella had since grown to large for it and it had been forgotten. He had sawn off the leg and used it to carve the doll's head and body. His wife had then sewn it a dress, made from the scraps of Ella's old blanket. Michaela had teased him about this, but his sentimental ways was one of the many things she loved about him. Everything in his life was to mean something.

He had then taken the cuttings from his beard, and his wife a lank of her long, dark hair, and had glued them to the doll. Together they had given it to Ella, who had not let go of it since.


Its dress was now in tatters and the hair burned away. He had laughed in a way horrible to hear and grabbed a handful of his beard which he yanked away, hardly feeling it. He pressed them to the doll's head, sticking firmly to the mixture of blood, ash and resin that glistened atop.

He gripped it convulsively and walked to his home, now only half a house, the rest smoldering wreckage. While he stood watching the fire spreading a timber from above fell, and bits of glowing ash were thrown up. They began to wheel about before coalescing into a woman clothed in a black dress. Her dark grey hair cascased nearly to the ground. Her face was old yet young, wisdom etched in every feature, yet unwrinkled. She reached forward to catch the doll as it fell from his grasp.

"Hello Hammond." she said simply.

He simply looked a her dumbly, even her fantastic arrival not inciting much within him.

"Hammond, I know all that has happened to you. You have spent your entire life devoted to others. Your wife, your daughter, all those around you. You gave so much and in return you have been given ashes. I have thus been sent to aid you. What good healer do you wish?"

The glazed look faded somewhat from Hammond's eyes and he looked up, "My wife and daughter, can they be brought back?"

The woman shook her head, "I am sorry. I have no power over death, nor to change that which has occurred."

"Then nothing. There is nothing. I only wish away all this pain, forever." he replied, and looked up to the woman, "Will you take me to my family?"

"I hav already said that death is something I cannot give. Nor would your death be a good thing. There is much you can still do. If not for you, others." she then sighed, "But I can take away your pain if thats what you truley wish."

"Oh yes, that is my wish."

The woman nodded and gestured to an old burlap sack that lie near a tipped-over wagon. "Take that, and search your home. Bring to me what things of value are still left to you."

He did so and she leaned forward to whisper into his ear. After several minutes the faintest of ironic smiles came to his lips and he nodded.

He went about the house, and came to his and his wife's room on the outskirts of the wreckage, still comparatively untouched. He pulled an iron-bound chest from the foot of the bed and opened it. Displayed was a large quilt, carefully folded and clean, though burnt through in several places. He removed it and set it atop his sack. Below it was a singed white dress, lace and silked curled up and browned by the heat.

"With the attire of past hopes I clothe myself." he whispered, putting both within. He then looked back to it. "Her hope chest... thats what she called it. Well, hope has been released. It will instead hold the darkness of my soul."

Scraping away the remains of a dresser he noticed a glint. Grabbing a handful of soot he peered at it, seeing many sewing needles and pins.

"To know I have not died I will feel these forever in my gut, where they shall prod me from apathy all my days."

He searched the ruin for several more hours before coming away, the sack in the chest and the chest gripped with both hands. He set out then for the mines, the source of hope for those that had sought to flee the battle. The soot-woman trailed behind.


His state of almost dream-like reminescening then faded away as his eyes caught the glow of fires up ahead. Those guarding the perimeter gaped as the being leapt into view. Arrows thudded into its chest but it ignored these utterly. He spotted the familiar markings on one of the tents and dashed forward. The general lay upon his bedroll asleep when in a single hand he was grasped and lifted aloft. A vague wrinkling and folding of the cloth and the slit for a mouth made what could have been a face. That and the two marbles that glistened in the lamplight.

"Who... what are you?" the man gasped.

"The one that you killed. I am..."

The figure paused in thought and seemed to be contemplating.

"The ragman." Hammond finally finished, and with a casual twist of his wrist the man's neck snapped.

There was no pleasure in the killing. Merely a vague sense that something that needed done had been accomplished. That was the main surprise he had had when he looked upon himself in a pond those days before. The surprise was he had felt no surprise. He no longer felt anything.

The Vorpal Tribble
2007-01-08, 01:50 PM

"I am not a monster. My heart is still in the right place. It's in a box, where it can no longer suffer hurt.." Hammond Mar, Healer of the Tampi Massacre

All have heard the stories, the witch that locked her heart in a chest and replaced it with a lump of stone. Alike to this tale is the ragman. It is a desperate path to take, often by those seeking immortality without going the way of the lich. Others seem to take these drastic measures to kill all sensation, yet have no wish to truley die. They construct themselves a body built of dead things bit, by little bit, yet are alive with the power of symbolism. It is a deeply personal process, the meaning of each new part only known to the maker.
For instance a sword may have been used to do many horrible deeds, but it is not unto itself evil, yet it can be a symbol of such. This is the power that the Ragman wields.

Hit Die: d10

Class: May not be a druid, ranger, or of any other class or prestige class that grants divine spells through nature instead of a higher power.
Skills: Craft (alchemy) 6 ranks, Heal 8 ranks
Special: You must composed of flesh and blood. Living constructs such as Warforged cannot take this class.

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Chosen Item, Sympathetic Replacement (skin)
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Sympathetic Replacement (eyes)
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Sympathetic Replacement (guts)
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Sympathetic Replacement (muscles)
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Sympathetic Replacement (lungs)
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Sympathetic Replacement (mind)
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Sympathetic Replacement (heart)
8th +6 +6 +2 +6 True Construct
9th +6 +6 +3 +6 Spirit of the Thing
10th +7 +7 +3 +7 Immunity to MagicClass Skills
The ragman's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Heal (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge (any, each taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Spot (Wis), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.


Class Features
All of the following are class features of the ragman prestige class.

Chosen Item: You choose an item that emotionally represents your past life, perhaps your hopes and dreams. It need not have gold piece value, but must have unmatched personal value and be no larger than 2 sizes smaller than your physical size.
When you have this item in your possession, you gain a +2 morale bonus on all save and attack rolls. If this item is ever destroyed, you lose this bonus, and take a further -2 morale penalty until it is repaired by the use of a Mending or Make Whole spell. A chosen item can be retrieved from destruction with a wish or miracle.

Sympathetic Replacement (Ex): You are able to remove the neccessary organs and instantly replace them with objects you designate as their replacement. The supernatural forces of symbolism allows them to functions as the original organ. This acts as the Gut spell listed below, except it can only be used on yourself, and simultaneously puts the object in its place. You learn how to fully and successfully replace bits of your body at each level listed on the table above.

These organs may be placed within a special container where they lie dormant yet are still living. Until 8th level these organs may be replaced in the order that they were removed if the ragman ever wishes to revert back to his original life and form. He may at any time replace these without having to regain levels in this class.

Skin: You replace your skin with thick cloth or other flexible material treated with a special concotion. You lose any original natural armor you possessed and gain instead a +2 to natural armor. You also become immune to pain as well as poisons delivered via contact or injury. Spells and affects dealing with the skin also do not affect you.

Eyes: You replace your eyes with artificial orbs made of glass, stone, wood, or similiar. You gain immunity to blinding and gaze attacks. You are considered blind and eyeless to all ill affects that stem from sight.

Guts: You replace your digestive system with knotted rope and a sack full of sharp objects. You no longer become nauseated and have no need to eat or drink. You cannot however gain the benefits of any imbibed materials, such as potions, waters, goodberries and similiar.

Muscles: You replace your muscles and tendons with springs and chains. You gain a +4 bonus to Strength and Dexterity. You do however take damage from heat metal and chill metal as if you were wearing metal armor. Likewise, you are affected by repel metal or stone as if you were wearing metal armor. The metal makes you vulnerable to rusting grasp, taking 2d6 points of damages from the spell (Reflex half; save DC 14 + caster's ability modifier). You take the same damage from a rust monster's touch (Reflex DC 17 half). You must spend 10 gold a week keeping yourself well oiled or freeze up helplessly.

You also gain a slam attack that deals damage according to your size as shown on the following table.

Size Damage
Fine 1
Dimunitive 1d2
Tiny 1d3
Small 1d4
Medium 1d6
Large 1d8
Huge 2d6
Gargantuan 4d6
Colossal 6d6Lungs: You replace your lungs with bags of perhaps sweet grass and flowers soaked with scented oils and perfumes. You no longer need or are capable of breath. You gain immunity to drowning, asphixiation, inhaled poisons, and similiar.

Mind - You replace your mind with a writing medium of some type, such as paper or silk. You must spend a number of weeks equal to your intelligence modifier writing down all that you wish to remember (minimum of 1 week). You become immune to all mind-affecting effects. You take a -6 penalty to all skill checks. Should your head be lost, such as by a Vorpal weapon, you do not die but become truley mindless.

Heart: You replace your heart with your chosen item mentioned above. You lose your constitution score and gain all the effects thereof, though lose any extra hit points from its modifiers. In spite of this your chosen item infuses you with the dedication to your cause, giving you an uneartly determination. You heal lethal damage as if you were still alive. This ability does not allow you to heal with magical healing of the Conjuration (healing) school.

All hit dice not derived from a class become d10's. You also gain bonus hit points based on size, as shown on the following table.

Construct Size Bonus Hit Points
Fine -
Dimunitive -
Tiny -
Small 10
Medium 20
Large 30
Huge 40
Gargantuan 60
Colossal 80You can be repaired by spells or the use of the Craft Construct feat.

If reduced to 0 hit points you are disabled. You can take only a single move action or standard action in each round, but strenous acitivity does not risk further injury. When your hit points are less than 0 and greater than -10, you are inert. You are unconscious and helpless and cannot perform any actions. You do not lose additional hit points unless more damage is dealt to you, however, as with a normal creature that has become stable.

True Construct: You have decided to take the final step to severing your link to your old body. As your organs in their special place die your soul fuses with this body of dead things and cannot be raised or resurrected. Your memory returns and you lose the penalty to skill checks as well as the risk of becoming mindless through loss of head.

Your type changes to construct with all the traits of the type. You gain immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromancy effects, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. You are not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain.

Spirit of the Thing (Su): As a full round action you may allow your mind and life force to animate an inanimate object of any size from Tiny to Gargantuan within ten feet as the Magic Jar spell. Your body goes limp and helpless. You may remain within this object for a number of minutes equal to your Charisma-modifier (minimum 1). At this point you must return within 10 feet of your body to reanimate it. For every round over this duration you take 1 point of Charisma-damage.

Once per day you may even take over the body of an animated or sentient construct, such as a golem or inevitable. This ability is similar to a magic jar spell (caster level equal to the ragman's HD), except that it does not require a receptacle. To use this ability, the ragman must be within 10 feet of the target. The target can resist the attack with a successful Will save (DC 10 + prestige class level + ragman’s Cha modifier).

Immunity to Magic (Ex): You become immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance as if you were a golem.

2007-01-08, 02:09 PM
Good gods man, this is win!

One thing seems kindof vauge though, does replacing your eyes make you blind? Or just blocks negative effects as if you were blind?


2007-01-08, 02:37 PM
I like it. I don't have time to read it but it looks good. Better thematically than that joke of a presige class Green Star Adept. It overlaps a bit with the lich but I think it does it originally enough to have it's uses.

2007-01-08, 02:53 PM
I like the idea but its way too long and too much of a commitment. This conversion would take half of a character's pre-epic levels. Mythic examples, I can think of, even lichdom accomplish this is a much shorter time.

What would happen if you, for example, charged 10% exp of each new level and confined the changes to purely physical ones? No BAB, No Skills etc... Honestly I can't imagine how morphing into an animated object gives you better combat skills.


my 02

The Vorpal Tribble
2007-01-08, 03:05 PM
One thing seems kindof vauge though, does replacing your eyes make you blind? Or just blocks negative effects as if you were blind?
The latter.

I like the idea but its way too long and too much of a commitment. This conversion would take half of a character's pre-epic levels. Mythic examples, I can think of, even lichdom accomplish this is a much shorter time.Takes no longer than most other Prestige classes to get to the good part, and actually a bit shorter time is spent than most.

You can become a construct by 14th level. The only way I know of one becoming a Lich through a class is by taking 20 levels in Dread Necromancer.

I guess if your DM allows you could possibly become a Lich by 11th level, but I don't know of many that would allow a sudden +4 jump in LA.

Honestly I can't imagine how morphing into an animated object gives you better combat skills.How does gaining levels in any non-fighter based class give you better combat skills? Through experience and improving yourself and broadening your horizons. No different for this fellow.

Or if you mean the Spirit of the Thing ability, doesn't really help your combat skills, but imagine being able to suddenly inhabit a trebuchet or some other siege weapon. Just start rolling over things.

2007-01-09, 12:52 AM
My hat is off.

2007-01-09, 08:17 AM
Similarly. Damn fine work.

2007-01-10, 09:02 AM
That's chillingly interesting.

Should their alignment switch to True Neutral?

2007-01-13, 09:58 AM
Don't think so. People will follow this path for different reasons.

What does replacing your eyes do to your vision in terms of blindsense, low-light vision, darkvision, etc?

2007-01-13, 03:37 PM
And thus I clothe my naked villainy, With old odd ends, stol'n forth of holy writ; And seem a saint, when most I play the devil. Ah Shakespeare. I really love this class, well done Vorpal. You should get a job as a writer, the back story is incredible!

The Vorpal Tribble
2007-01-14, 10:07 AM
Don't think so. People will follow this path for different reasons.
Yeah, what he said :smallwink:

What does replacing your eyes do to your vision in terms of blindsense, low-light vision, darkvision, etc?
Nothing, you still possess it (ah, the wonders of magic), you just no longer have any ability to be harmed by sight-based attacks and the like.

You should get a job as a writer
Thanks, hoping to be there someday.

2007-01-14, 12:51 PM
I'm a little worried that it's too powerful at first level, making it appealing to take this class for just one level. Chosen Item's a bit much. Maybe drop it to +1? +2 on _all_ saves and attack rolls might be pushing it for a first-level ability, even with the class prereqs.

Fax Celestis
2007-01-14, 01:13 PM
What I'm curious of is that some of the abilities seem to have attached drawbacks (eyes, arms), but others don't (lungs, guts). Is this intentional?

2007-01-14, 11:19 PM
Kudos! Really great. Cool story too. Wow...

2007-01-15, 02:46 AM
this class seems to put into my head Sally from the nightmare before christmas. would the spell heart to stone (spell compedium) affect people taking this class as normal?

Unrelated note: is it possible for someone to create Nightmare Before Christmas monsters or PrCs based on the 3 forms of jack skellington? (the forms are pumpkin king, jack and sandy claws)

The Vorpal Tribble
2007-01-15, 01:59 PM
What I'm curious of is that some of the abilities seem to have attached drawbacks (eyes, arms), but others don't (lungs, guts). Is this intentional?
The drawbacks of the others were intentional, but for the lungs and guts, just didn't see anything that would be an obvious drawback.

would the spell heart to stone (spell compedium) affect people taking this class as normal?
I wouldn't think so, though I'd have to see the spell and I don't own the Compendium.

2007-01-16, 09:57 PM
heart of stone just replaces a fleshy heart with one created out of stone. it gives the target some nifty things, but reduces natural healing to 1 point a day (regardless of chara level) and if your real heart is slain, you die instantly. you gain some resistances and some DR.

(hope this isn't breaking any rules)