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    Kellus's Avatar

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    Feb 2007
    The Frozen North

    Default Re: By the Inferior Science of our Enemies: Gramarie Mark II


    Image credit kachima of deviantart.com

    "You must know life to see decay."

    The meaning of life has always been one of the biggest fascinations of intelligent species, as they try to divine some purpose to the chaos they find themselves in. The question of whether life inherently has some preordained purpose is much more interesting when you actually have a bunch of superpowerful creatures that claim to be deities that created you. However, some gramarists explore other possibilities for the nature of existence, and their studies inevitably lead them to the discipline of biollurgy. This discipline allows a gramarist to explore the nature of the living and the material, and to create order from random mutation; it allows them to explore the kinds of systems that might have once led to their own existence.

    Biollurgy involves typical medical supplies, including syringes, knives, and anatomical charts. More interestingly, it also requires rudimentary electrical equipment, including wiring, voltaic cells, and an archaic form of welder known as a phlogistifier. Any specialized equipment like this is treated as a masterwork item, and provides a +2 circumstance bonus on the Heal check made to prepare a biollurgical principle. The Vitruvian Man is a legendary schematic which shows the secret geometry of the flesh and how it can be worked into the cold precision of a machine.

    Key Skill: Heal

    BIOY 101: Intro to Biollurgy
    Grade: Baccalaureate
    Prerequisite: None
    Target: 1 cubic foot of organic material or solid planetary metal
    Preparation Time: 1 hour

    This principle transforms either inanimate or organic material into a kind of material which lies somewhere in-between: biostructure. Biostructure shares traits with both creatures and objects. As part of this principle, you make a Heal check. You can target either living or dead organic material, or any kind of planetary metal (copper, lead, gold, iron, mercury, platinum, silver, or tin) with this principle. However, you can only target one kind of metal or one creature with every preparation, and you must prepare this principle consecutively enough times to target the entire metal body or creature (or at least a part of the creature that has been separated from the whole). Biostructure is a kind of organic metal material, and looks like flesh, bone, muscle, and metal twisted together in a semblance of life.

    Biostructure is treated as both a creature and an object. A mass of biostructure has the Aberration type, and although it has Strength and Dexterity scores of 0 and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores of , it does have a Constitution score. Biostructure has a Constitution score of your Heal check divided by 5, plus 10. A mass of biostructure has one Hit Die per inch of thickness (the first one is maximized, as normal). It receives bonus hit points based on its Constitution modifier, as normal for a creature. Biostructure is mindless, and thus is immune to any effect requiring a Will saving throw. It is also treated as an unattended object, and automatically fails any effect requiring a Reflex saving throw. It makes Fortitude saving throws as normal.

    Biostructure also has hardness; if it was created from a metal, it has the hardness of that metal. If it was created from a creature with damage reduction /, it uses that number instead. Otherwise, it has a hardness of 2. Biostructure also continually repairs itself, and has fast healing of half its hardness (minimum 1). Like an object, biostructure can also be broken with a sharp application of force. The break DC of biostructure is 10 + its Hit Dice + its Constitution modifier. Unlike most objects, biostructure is living matter and is vulnerable to critical hits, precision-based damage, death effects, bleeding effects, and so on. Biostructure has the same energy resistances of most objects, receiving half damage from electricity and fire, and one-quarter damage from cold. If the biostructure was made out of a metal with different energy resistances, these resistances are used instead. Similarly, it also retains any alchemetric modifications, up to and including special properties of ascended metals. Biostructure is not automatically destroyed at 0 hit points, but instead bleeds out like a living creature.

    Biostructure is always treated as either a living creature or an object for any effect which specifically targets one or the other; for example, it receives full benefit from mundane healing with the Heal skill, a cure light wounds effect, or an effect that repairs objects such as the Craft skill. In general, biostructure can have any of the same conditions applied to it as a living creature, except where its non-ability scores would invalidate it (for example, it can be lit on fire, but cannot be fascinated). Biostructure does not melt or boil, but instead burns like an organic material. It weighs as much as the material that you used to create it.

    You can also use this principle to join two masses of biostructure together into a single one. The combined mass has the worst of all of the individual statistics between the two masses, but adds the volume of them together. Preparing this principle also lets you shape the biostructure however you like based on its volume. Living creatures who object to you transforming part of them into biostructure or attaching more biostructure to them are allowed a Fortitude save to resist the procedure, against a DC of 5 + 5 for every BIOY principle you know.

    Whenever you prepare this principle, you set a new Heal check for the mass as normal, which potentially changes its hit points. You can also reshape it, potentially changing its thickness and thus Hit Dice. If any change would add new hit points, it receives them healed on top of its previous hit points. However, preparing this principle doesn't heal damage that was previously dealt to the biostructure. If Hit Dice or hit points are removed from, hit points that the biostructure still has are removed first, potentially destroying the biostructure if it has received unhealed damage in any given location.

    Biostructure doesn't need to eat or drink, but it does breathe (usually through noisy, rasping lungs that gasp at the air), which means that it can convert gases from one form to another. Your options for this conversion are between any two of the following gases: oxygen, carbon dioxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, or water vapour. One cubic foot of animate structure can transform up to a quarter of a gallon of gas every round. The particular gas conversion performed by a mass of biostructure is set when you prepare this principle, and can be changed by preparing it again; joining biostructure lets you pick either gas conversion to be dominant for the joined mass. Similarly, it also can only survive in a set temperature range (no more than a 100 degree Centigrade spread). You can set this range when you prepare the principle; ambient temperatures outside this range are treated as extreme weather for the biostructure.

    BIOY 191: Blacksmithing for Biologists [Specialist]
    Grade: Baccalaureate
    Prerequisite: Heal 4 ranks
    Target: 1 cubic foot of biostructure
    Preparation Time: Special

    This principle transforms a mass of biostructure into a usable good. Any tool which can normally be made out of metal or of animal products can be made from biostructure. This includes any finished object which can be made with a Craft check, but does not include food or water.

    More interestingly however, the finished good retains all of the properties associated with biostructure, including fast healing, gas conversion, counting as a creature, and so on. You can also use this on a biollurgical chassis to create worn objects which are essentially 'permanently worn' by them, such as a suit of armour. The chassis must have an appropriate empty body equipment slot in order for you to shape them like this. In order to make anything fancy or magical, you'll need the appropriate crafting feat as normal. Otherwise, as long as you have at least 1 rank in the appropriate Craft skill, you can use your Heal skill in place of the normal Craft check. This principle takes as long to prepare as it would normally take to craft the item; the upside is that the object is alive, you don't need to pay for materials, and you can use your Heal skill instead.

    BIOY 228: Animate Construction
    Grade: Magisterial
    Prerequisite: BIOY 101, Heal 8 ranks
    Target: 1 cubic foot of biostructure OR a finished chassis
    Preparation Time: 1 hour

    This principle transforms a freestanding mass of biostructure into what's known as a biollurgical chassis. A chassis is a collection of biostructure given a form of actual life. It gains a Strength score and a Dexterity score, which combined equal twice the Constitution score of the mass. The exact values are set when this principle is first prepared, and neither the Strength nor the Dexterity can be more than twice the value of the other. The chassis has an Intelligence of 1 or 2 (chosen by you), a Wisdom score of 10, and a Charisma score of 2. This change makes it vulnerable to a wider range of effects, and it responds to many things like a creature now (such as effects requiring Reflex saves). However, it is still made of biostructure, and counts as an object for all relevant purposes as described in BIOY 101; it also keeps its hardness (but loses its fast healing).

    This principle is possibly unique in that once a chassis has been created, this principle cannot be reprepared on it to add mass or change its fundamental statistics. Instead, it is immutable after taking on life of its own. Thus, to create a chassis larger than 1 cubic foot, a longer amount of time must be spent on multiple preparations of this principle at the point of original conception. For example, by spending eight hours at the outset, the chassis could be 8 cubic feet in volume, unchangeable afterwards. As part of this principle you make a Heal check, which must match or exceed the Heal check originally made to create the biostructure; upon success, this becomes the new Heal check of the chassis. Failure indicates the principle doesn't take hold, but the time spent on it is still wasted.

    A chassis has different Hit Dice than a normal mass of biostructure. It trades its normal Hit Dice for a single Aberration Hit Die, and gains an additional Hit Die for every size category above Medium. It has a full complement of senses, including colour vision, normal human hearing, scent, taste, and touch. A biollurgical chassis cannot advance by nature of its racial Hit Dice, and never seems to wear out or grow old. It is never at risk of dying from old age, but also cannot reproduce. Now that it has true life, it also requires a normal diet, including water to drink and food to eat. When you prepare this principle you can decide whether the chassis subsists on vegetable matter (herbivorous), animal matter (carnivorous), or both (omnivorous). Whatever you decide, a chassis requires its own body weight in food every month. It also requires a full 8 hours of sleep every night. The chassis has a maximum ground speed of 20ft., plus 10ft. for every size category above Small. You can also decide exactly what the chassis looks like: it can either resemble dead and decayed flesh, sewn-together body parts, a horrifying monstrosity of protruding eyes, flesh, bone, and metal, or a robot. Your DM may allow other aesthetics upon request.

    Your chassis does not have any natural weapons or other features normally. However, you can add some features later on by preparing this principle again on a finished chassis. This causes the chassis to twist and mutate and grow in strange new ways; this procedure works very much like a xenoalchemical graft. You don't need to have the normal class features to perform this, or any monstrous material. A chassis can have up to three features grown onto it in this way, and each one requires a new preparation of this principle. Every time you add a feature you need to match the Heal check originally made to create the chassis. Success indicates that you can add a single graft of 1st or 2nd level. These grafts are not restricted by normal body slots, since there's no telling what the chassis looks like at this point. This principle can also grow one 0-level graft as well, representing mundane appearances or handicaps built into the chassis. This doesn't take up a normal slot. The xenoalchemist level for any graft grown like this is equal to the Hit Dice of the chassis, and the saving throw against one of these grafts' effects has a DC of 10 + 1/2 the chassis' HD + the chassis' Constitution modifier.

    By default a chassis has up to two manipulative limbs, such as arms or pincer claws. It also has a full complement of body slots to wear magic items or to receive further grafts. However, if you want to get a little more creative with the anatomy, you can trade out body slots in either of these two cases at a rate of 2:1 at the moment of conception. That is, by removing two body slots you can add another of an existing slot, such as removing the Legs and Throat graft slots to add another Arms graft slot. Once you decide on the anatomy like this, it can't be changed.

    BIOY 273: Artificial Reckoning [Specialist]
    Grade: Magisterial
    Prerequisite: BIOY 101, Heal 8 ranks
    Target: A finished chassis
    Preparation Time: 1 hour

    This principle grants some kind of advanced control or intelligence to a biollurgical chassis. As part of this principle, you make a Heal check, which must match or exceed the original Heal check made to create the chassis. Upon success, you must choose one of the following options. A chassis can have more than one of them (aside from Circuited and Sentience simultaneously).

    • Circuited: The chassis loses its Intelligence score entirely again, and becomes mindless. However, it is now a valid node for a heuristical circuit (created by HEUR 101) to target, and the actions of the chassis are now considered a logical decision for such a circuit. Commands can be given in plain language through the circuit, and it can relay sensory information back into the circuit. Advanced features, such as triggers and responses, can be placed on the chassis' behaviour like normal for any part of a heuristical circuit. An exotic intelligence in the circuit can control the chassis as if it was the brain of the creature. A sentient chassis is allowed a Will saving throw to resist this, against a DC of 5 + 5 for every BIOY principle you know.
    • Instincts: The chassis receives up to 10 broad instructions that dictate its general behaviour, although it is unable to think beyond them. These are more instincts than anything else, such as 'search for food', 'follow directions', 'hunt birds', and so on. If you prepare this principle multiple times, you can add additional instincts. A sentient chassis is allowed a Will saving throw to resist this, against a DC of 5 + 5 for every BIOY principle you know.
    • Sentience: The chassis' Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores increase to 10. It is now fully sentient and self-aware, and can take actions in its own self-interest. It automatically learns and can speak Common, and is eligible to take levels in any NPC or PC class that it qualifies for (although until it does, it keeps its first Aberration Hit Die, like any intelligent creature). This also grants the chassis a soul.

    BIOY 340: Erratic Mutations
    Grade: Doctorate
    Prerequisite: Any three BIOY principles, Heal 15 ranks
    Target: A finished chassis
    Preparation Time: 1 hour

    This principle allows further alteration and mutation of a biollurgical chassis. As part of this principle, you make a Heal check, which must match or exceed the original Heal check made to create the chassis. Upon success, you can cause a new graft to grow from it, as if you were using BIOY 228. However, this principle targets three new graft slots, which can hold 3rd or 4th level grafts. Otherwise, this works exactly like the grafting version of BIOY 228.

    BIOY 381: Eccentric Genetics [Specialist]
    Grade: Doctorate
    Prerequisite: Any four BIOY principles, Heal 15 ranks
    Target: A finished chassis
    Preparation Time: 1 hour

    This principle allows you to modify the genetics of a biollurgical chassis, allowing it to grow and propagate beyond its original design. As part of this principle, you make a Heal check, which must match or exceed the original Heal check made to create the chassis. The chassis can now advance in Hit Dice like a normal creature, and it advances by one size category with every 5 extra Hit Dice (to a maximum of up to three size categories beyond its original size; the maximum size is set when you prepare this principle). You can also set one method of your choice for the chassis to reproduce, such as asexual budding, normal mammalian reproduction (in which case the chassis gains gender, and you can immediately spend 12 hours making an identical chassis of the other gender), egg-laying, and so on. Along with these changes, the chassis loses its immunity to old age; you can set a maximum age, anywhere up to your Heal check result in years. Adult age, middle age, old age, and venerable age are determined accordingly.

    When the chassis reproduces, certain features are passed down. Instincts are inherited, or sentience if the chassis is sentient. Grafts are also inherited, although every child has a 1% chance per graft (1 on a d100) of an inherited graft being the graft 1d4 spots down its list instead (looping around to the top of the list if the roll would take it past the final graft, and moving down one graft further if the new graft requires a prerequisite the chassis doesn't have). Only one such mutation can occur per child. 0-level grafts are also always mutated, causing similar but slightly different appearances from the parent; they don't count as a primary mutation, however.

    Reproduction requires a certain gestation period, based on the size of the initial creature to be born (that is, the size category at the lowest Hit Dice). The gestation period is 1 month, with an additional four months for every size category above Tiny. Reproduction is possible when a chassis reaches adulthood.

    Otherwise, the species breeds true, and is for all intents and purposes a new creature fresh from the Monster Manual.

    Playing as a Biollurgical Creature: A chassis is viable as a PC. With your DM, follow the guidelines with these principles to design a race, or your DM might use them to design new artificial species for her campaign setting. A chassis has a Level Adjustment of +1 for a basic Medium-sized race that has a Heal check of 10, sentience, and three 1st or 2nd level grafts. A chassis that also has three 3rd or 4th level grafts instead has a Level Adjustment of +3. Being made out of exceptionally sturdy or alchemetrically altered materials could also raise the Level Adjustment by an additional +1 or +2 based on the extra advantage.
    Last edited by Kellus; 2013-07-11 at 10:01 PM.