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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Sep 2011

    Default Re: GitP PrC Contest XXXVI: Traditionally Speaking!

    Adrospring

    I know what you feel, and I've mastered it. I know what you are. When you're this angry, it tears you apart inside not to release it. I can do so anyway.
    - Skarn street enforcer, taunting a barbarian native to the slums

    It is very easy for a member of a civilized race to get unhinged, whether in body, mind, or spirit. Great alterations and breakpoints can channel deep flaws and exalted strengths into new traits, sometimes bizarre. The classic example is a Barbarian's rage, which can unlock inhuman strength and nigh-impossible endurance. But any number of things can go wrong--open a strange tome, get curious, and you're suddenly a Binder. Spend some time training with the Sumblime Way, and your mind no longer works on the same level as anyone else's--higher in the case of Diamond Mind, lower for Tiger Claw. And this is to say nothing of genetic disease, mental illness, fanaticism, psychological trauma...it's enough to make the pursuit of order seen hopeless.

    The first adrosprings resulted from the combined studies of retired adventuring parties meeting up in their home cities, in their attempts to catalogue and understand the mechanics of a specific breakpoint: Rage. What caused it? Why are its effects so dramatic, and even moreso for frenzied berzerkers? And, most importanly, how can something so chaotic be ordered?

    They never quite answered the first two questions, but they found a method for the latter. The psychological and biological methods are quite specific, and require a degree of discipline in the subject. Thus, the information is obscure, with few interested in carrying it on--which means that the few who would learn the technique must also be learned enough to catalogue, record, discuss, and carry on the fundamental idea of understanding breakpoints.

    These modern adrosprings are rare, indeed, but their mastery of their breakpoint grants them power to rival even that of a frenzied berzerker.

    BECOMING AN ADROSPRING
    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Base Attack Bonus: +6
    Skills: Knowledge (Local) 8, Concentration 4, Tumble 4, Heal 2, Autohypnosis 2
    Feats: Weapon Finesse, Knowledge Devotion, Iron Will
    Class Feature: Ferocity. The form of rage that emerges in cities has seen the bulk of the adrosprings' work.
    Alignment: Any nonchaotic.
    Special: Must be literate. (This is not an issue except for single-classed barbarians and totemists.)
    Special: Must train with another adrospring in feats of speed, studiousness, and/or self-control. The exact details of this are up to the DM.

    Class Skills
    The Adrospring's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Autohypnosis (Wis), Concentration (Con), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Jump (Str), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Speak Language, Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)

    Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + int

    Hit Dice: d10

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Breakpoint Control, Redline 1/day

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Inspire Control

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Redline 2/day

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Spring Attack

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Redline 3/day, Greater Readline

    6th|
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Adrenal Finesse

    7th|
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Redline At-will

    8th|
    +8
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |Staccato Weaponry

    9th|
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Overpowering Redline

    10th|
    +10
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Breakpoint Mastery[/table]

    Weapon Proficiencies: An Adrospring gains no additional proficiencies.

    Breakpoint Control (Ex): All adrosprings have studied the key to control over their actions while their minds and bodies are burning incredible amounts of energy. While in a rage-like state, an adrospring can make a DC 20 Will save once per round to ignore the restrictions on what actions they can take, for the rest of the round. A "rage-like state", for the purposes of this class, is the use of an extraordinary ability that temporarily increases one or more of the character's physical attributes while preventing the character from taking certain kinds of actions. For example, ferocity, frenzy, primal scream, and rage qualify, but the Transformation spell does not (because it is not extraordinary). If the adrospring is in two or more rage-like states, the DC of the Will save increases by 5 per extra state.

    In addition, the adropspring is no longer subject to the alignment restriction of the barbarian class. If they become lawful (as many adrosprings do as they train to enter the class), they may still rage or enter ferocity, whichever is appropriate, and may continue to gain levels in the barbarian class.

    Redline (Ex): Once per day, an adrospring can push their hearts to their limits, flooding their bodies with oxygenated blood. While redlined, an adrospring gains a +6 bonus to Dexterity from sheer speed. However, they take a -2 penalty to Constitution and a -3 penalty to Fortitude saves (for a total of -4), due to extreme bodily stress. In addition, they may move an additional 5 feet when taking a 5-foot step, and they gain a +20' bonus to all move speeds. This bonus stacks with the barbarian's Fast Movement class feature. Redlining lasts for a number of rounds equal to to 5 + the adrospring's Constitution modifier, and stacks with Ferocity and any other rage-like states. A nonliving adrospring cannot benefit from this class feature, as they have no functional heart or system that could substitute.

    Activating redline is an immediate action, and can be done while flatfooted at the start of combat before rolling initiative. As part of the immediate action, the adropsring may activate their ferocity class feature simultaneously, if there are any uses left.

    Redlining is extremely physically taxing on the circulatory system, and the character must burn off their energy. While redlined and under any of the below conditions, the adrospring takes 2 damage to all physical ability scores. The first time they take this damage in a day, it is ability burn instead of damage.

    - The character fails to move at least 10 feet during each of their turns
    - The character is physically still during their action, such as if reading a scroll (this condition only causes damage once per round)
    - The character's redline ends.

    When the adrospring's redline ends, they are also sickened. If the character is still under the effect of ferocity, the sickened condition does not apply until after the ferocity ends--at which point the character is nauseated, not merely sickened.

    While redlined, the character cannot use any Charisma- or Intelligence-based skills (except for intimidate), the Concentration skill, or abilities that require patience or bodily stillness, nor can she read scrolls. Note that these restrictions are subject to Breakpoint Control.

    At 3rd level, the adrospring can use this ability twice per day, and at 5th level, three times per day. At 7th level, and adrospring is studied enough in their own breakpoints that they can use this ability at-will.

    Inspire Control (Ex): At 2nd level, an adrospring is more practiced in breakpoint control, and can lead by example. Any ally who can see the adrospring gains the benefit of their Breakpoint Control class feature, but applies a -5 penalty to the relevant Will saves.

    Spring Attack (Ex): At 4th level, an adrospring gains Spring Attack as a bonus feat. They need not meet the prerequisites.

    Greater Redline (Ex): At 5th level, the adrospring has studied their breakpoint enough to invigorate their heart beyond its normal limits, while still remaining healthy (as in, their chest does not immediately explode.) The dexterity bonus from redlining increases to +10, and the character may move yet another 5 feet when taking a 5-foot step, for a normal total of 15'.

    Adrenal Finesse (Ex): At 6th level, an adrospring practices their speed enough to use it as the primary source of force behind their blows. Whenever an adrospring does damage with a melee weapon, replace any reference to their Strength modifier in the damage calculation with the total of their Dexterity modifier and their Strength penalty (if they have one). This ability does not stack with other abilities that would add the character's Dexterity modifier to their damage.

    Staccato Weapory (Ex): At 8th level, when an adropsring makes a full attack action, they may choose not to make their attacks which are at their full Base Attack Bonus. These attacks are delayed, and expire when their next turn begins. At any time while the adrospring has delayed attacks, they may use them as an immediate action, taking all of the attacks against a target within range and using those attacks as they would have occurred during the full attack routine. If they have a 5-foot step available, they may take it before the attacks, as part of the immediate action.

    Overpowering Redline (Ex): At 9th level, an adrospring knows the details of their breakpoints, and can be as calculatedly cruel as possible to their hearts without quite going over the line into self-destruction. The Dexterity bonus from redlining increases to +12, and the character may move yet another 5 feet when taking a 5-foot step, for a normal total of 20'.

    Breakpoint Mastery (Ex): At 10th level, an adrospring has learned all there is to know about how their minds and bodies are affected during a breakpoint, and can perfectly control themselves. If they are lawful, they may ignore any restrictions on their actions from any rage-like states they enter--if they are frenzied, for example, there is no danger of attacking their allies. (They still would take 2 nonlethal damage per turn until the frenzy ended). In addition, they can ignore the duration limits on any rage-like state. However, when they exceed the normal duration, they take 2 damage to all physical ability scores from internal abuse. For every multiple of the duration that they exceed, they take this damage again. For example, a 10th-level adrospring with a Constitution score of 13 may redline as long as they like, but will take 2 damage to their physical ability scores every 5 + Constitution modifier rounds. (Notice that the damage will accrue as their Constitution modifier decrements and shortens the next interval).

    If the adrospring is not lawful, they have not yet achieved perfect control. They instead gain a +5 bonus to their will saves to use their Breakpoint Control class feature. The adrospring later becomes lawful, this class feature functions as it does in the above paragraph.

    PLAYING AN ADROSPRING

    Combat: Adrosprings are the dexterity-based analogue for the frenzied berzerker, but play in much the same way. Attack and destroy until the encounter is over, with little thought to defense. With such an extreme Dexterity score after redlining, they are very difficult to hit and pass Reflex saves easily. On top of a d10 hit die, they are fiendishly difficult to take down through force of arms alone.
    Advancement: Any path that rewards speed and agility is an opportunity for a powerful adrospring. Adropsrings would be known to pursue two-weapon fighting or to multiclass as swordsages, were they common enough to be well-known.
    Resources: An adrospring needs a source of healing, even moreso than most characters. When they overexert themselves day after day, they need the help of spells such as restoration, and more than likely, the care of a mundane healer every night for their persistent ability burn--per the rules of the Heal skill, providing long term care (DC 15 Heal check) for a night will allow an adrospring to heal 2 points of ability burn per score instead of only 1.

    ADROSPRINGS IN THE WORLD
    She's a nice woman and all--good head on her shoulders--but she tries so hard to control herself that it's been makin' her real sick. If she dies, I can't make any more money from my folks fixing her up.
    - Wealthy tavern chain owner

    Daily Life: Though an adrospring is often in study of themselves, there is a tradition of disconnect between fighting and the quest for self-mastery. Those adrosprings who adventure often make a point of not discussing combat if it can be helped, and insist on finding time to relax and train.

    Adrosprings who live in cities--which are most of them--tend to have plans for relaxation and healing. Meditation, extended sleep, and good meals restore themselves after efforts that nearly rip their minds and bodies apart. But health and rest are only one part of their lives. Dedicated to understanding their breakpoints, they use some of their spare time to perform physical tests, calculations, and mental explorations into how their mind and bodies react, culminating in experimental redlining in their homes.

    Notables: The dwarf Garrahal, one of the members of the first group of adrosprings, still lives in at the edge of a human city. He is now aging and more of a scholar than a fighter, but still capable. He fielded the study of ferocity and has many scars from trying to teach others who did not take so kindly to the adrospring ideas.

    Adropsrings are new to the world, so the most powerful adrospring is generally understood to be Hydroltoke, a Very Old Amethyst Dragon, who acts as a a guardian of a trade route across borders for a reasonable fee. He has dryly commented that his favorite foods are wizards who have prepared Shivering Touch.

    Organizations: Adropsrings don't have an organization of their own, on account of their rarity.

    NPC Reaction
    The common people are likely to ignore their impenetrable talk of breakpoints and instead treat them as any other scholar-warrior, in a similar way as to Swiftblades.

    ADROSPRINGS IN THE GAME
    The adrospring is a powerful class, which is why the requirements are difficult, but it provides a needed improvement to Dexterity-based combatants. Two-weapon fighting is normally the only way to get high damage output, and even then, the results are normally unimpressive compared to two-handed fighting, and are much easier to hamper through damage reduction and mobility contraints. The adrospring class is a flavorful and powerful option that changes this dynamic.
    Adaptation: Adropsrings belong anywhere where they can have time to themselves for practice and rest, a counterweight to where a frenzied berzerker would normally develop. If cities are uncommon in your campaign setting, adrosprings could develop in natural areas, and be adapted to natural overtones instead of intellectual ones.
    Encounters: Fighting an adrospring usually occurs in their home city. There, they can use their mobility to work around city obstacles that could challenge other characters.

    Sample Encounter
    EL 14: After two hit-and-run sabotages on their equipment every time they enter the city in which they purchase equipment, the party finds a red Jermlaine. He desires revenge for that one time they killed the rats in the tavern cellar, and attacks immediately.

    Kitzai
    LE Draconic Jermlaine Barbarian (Ferocity Variant) 5/Adrospring 8 [Ferocity and Redlining]
    Init +0, Senses: Listen +, Spot +,
    Languages
    ------------------------------------------------
    AC , touch , flat-footed ()
    hp ( HD)
    Fort +, Ref +, Will +
    ------------------------------------------------
    Speed ft. ( squares)
    Melee
    Base Atk +, Grp +
    Atk Options
    Combat Gear
    Spells Prepared
    Supernatural Abilities
    -----------------------------------------------
    Abilities Str , Dex , Con , Int , Wis , Cha
    SQ
    Feats
    Skills
    Possessions
    Last edited by Kazyan; 2012-11-21 at 07:21 AM. Reason: Nitpicking