Kobayashi
CE Gravetouched Ghoul Nature Spirit, Large CR6 / Spirit Shaman 14

"Captain Planet", original art by Phil Cho
Spoiler: Ability Scores
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Elite Array: STR 12, DEX 10, CON 8, INT 13, WIS 14, CHA 15
Racial Adjustment: STR +4, DEX +4, CON +2, INT +6, WIS +8, CHA +8
Template Adjustment (CR8): STR +2, DEX +4, CON --, INT +2, WIS +4, CHA +2
HD Increase Adjustment (CR1,CR1,CR10,CR14,CR18): CHA +5
Final Score: STR 18 (+4), DEX 18 (+4), CON -- (--), INT 21 (+5), WIS 26 (+8), CHA 30 (+10)
Spoiler: Background
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I could've sworn the great oak tree that bound my life to this world had already been destroyed by these humanoids, yet I find myself lying conscious in the wake of their destruction. "Your mission is not yet complete", the spirit of Gaea whispered to my ear. I nodded, and knew what had to be done. It's a pity that it has come to this. I can still remember, countless seasons ago, about these humanoids cheering for me, exalting the name "Panacea Plintt", honoring the green guardian and what he stood for in their eyes. They believed in me being a champion of good, but I could see where the confusion arose from.

What I am is a champion of nature, who they also happened to see as good. And why shouldn't they? I was truly good. All my life before then, I have been a protector. Of Oakhaven--my home, my forest, my world. And with the blessing of Oakhaven's Nymphs, of these humanoids' own lands--pledging support to heed the call of aid of their own protectors of nature, who weren't always powerful enough to fight their own battles. At their direst moments, one of their shamans would summon me, I would gladly offer my aid and handily finish off what they've started.

And it felt great! Helping others who share your cause felt absolutely fulfilling!

But seasons change, and new seeds grow to replace the old trees. With each passing generation, these humanoids grew more negligent about their responsibilities, more uncaring towards nature, more reliant on their legends and heroes to fix everything for them. As their apathy blossomed, then so was mine. With each passing generation, I began to notice just how further their civilization has degenerated into, how much more they exploit and ravage nature for their wasteful or gratuitous pursuits.

Each moment helping the few who still cared was a moment more bitter than the last, until the seeds of frustration, anger, and mistrust finally bore fruit: something just clicked inside, and a more twisted version of their so-called hero began to bloom. I can feel the feral instinct and viciousness within me grow stronger with each enemy of nature that I slaughter, even finding the urge to partake of the fleshy shrubs that were once their corpses hard to resist. But, "eat them", the spirit of Gaea whispered, and so eat them I did. I can't tell for sure if it was the firethorn itself or the idea of avenging nature, but I knew then, I haven't tasted something this delicious before.

And just like that, my enthusiasm as a champion of nature had been fully reawakened!

Spoiler: Table (not of the wooden variety)
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CR Class Base
Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Skills* Feats Class Features
5 Nature Spirit,
Large (8HD)
+4 +2 +6 +6 Concentration 5, Diplomacy 11, Knowledge(Arcana) 5, Knowledge(Local-Taer) 2, Knowledge(Nature) 11, Knowledge (Religion) 5, Listen 11, Sense Motive 11, Spellcraft 5, Speak Language "6"(Aquan, Auran, Ignan, Terran, Sylvan, Elven), Spot 11 Supernatural
Transformation
(Shapechange),
Supernatural
Transformation
(Arboreal
Transformation),
Battle Jump
Fey (Spirit), SLAs, Local Knowledge, Symbiosis, DR5/cold iron, Wild Empathy (use HD), Acid Immunity, SR16
6 Spirit Shaman 1 +4 +4 +6 +8 Concentration 7(+2), Diplomacy 12, Knowledge(Nature) 12, Listen 12, Sense Motive 12, Spot 12 Practiced
Spellcaster
(Spirit Shaman)
Spirit Guide
7 Spirit Shaman 2 +5 +5 +6 +9 Concentration 9(+2), Diplomacy 13, Knowledge(Nature) 13, Listen 13, Sense Motive 13, Spot 13 Chastise Spirits
8 Gravetouched Ghoul +5 +5 +6 +9 MultiattackB Undead, Ghoul Fever, Paralysis, +2 Turn Resistance, Diet Dependent
9 Spirit Shaman 3 +6 +5 +7 +9 Concentration 12(+3), Diplomacy 14, Knowledge(Nature) 14, Listen 14, Sense Motive 14, Spot 14 Detect Spirits
10 Spirit Shaman 4 +7 +6 +7 +10 Concentration 15(+3), Diplomacy 15, Knowledge(Nature) 15, Listen 15, Sense Motive 15, Spot 15 Extend Spell Blessing of the Spirits
11 Spirit Shaman 5 +7 +6 +7 +10 Concentration 16, Diplomacy 16, Knowledge(Nature) 16, Listen 16, Sense Motive 16, Spellcraft 7(+2), Spot 16 Follow the Guide
12 Spirit Shaman 6 +8 +7 +8 +11 Concentration 17, Diplomacy 17, Knowledge(Nature) 17, Listen 17, Sense Motive 17, Spellcraft 9(+2), Spot 17 Ghost Warrior
13 Spirit Shaman 7 +9 +7 +8 +11 Concentration 18, Diplomacy 18, Knowledge(Nature) 18, Listen 18, Sense Motive 18, Spellcraft 11(+2), Spot 18 Dimensional Jaunt Warding of the Spirits
14 Spirit Shaman 8 +10 +8 +8 +12 Concentration 19, Diplomacy 19, Knowledge(Nature) 19, Listen 19, Sense Motive 19, Spellcraft 13(+2), Spot 19
15 Spirit Shaman 9 +10 +8 +9 +12 Concentration 20, Diplomacy 20, Knowledge(Nature) 20, Listen 20, Sense Motive 20, Spellcraft 15(+2), Spot 20 Spirit Form 1/day
16 Spirit Shaman 10 +11 +9 +9 +13 Concentration 21, Diplomacy 21, Knowledge(Nature) 21, Listen 21, Sense Motive 21, Spellcraft 17(+2), Spot 21 Fell Animate Guide Magic
17 Spirit Shaman 11 +12 +9 +9 +13 Concentration 22, Diplomacy 22, Knowledge(Nature) 22, Listen 22, Sense Motive 22, Spellcraft 19(+2), Spot 22 Recall Spirit
18 Spirit Shaman 12 +13 +10 +10 +14 Concentration 23, Diplomacy 23, Knowledge(Nature) 23, Listen 23, Sense Motive 23, Spellcraft 21(+2), Spot 23
19 Spirit Shaman 13 +13 +10 +10 +14 Concentration 24, Diplomacy 24, Knowledge(Nature) 24, Listen 24, Sense Motive 24, Spellcraft 23(+2), Spot 24 Mindsight Exorcism
20 Spirit Shaman 14 +14 +11 +10 +15 Concentration 25, Diplomacy 25, Knowledge(Nature) 25, Listen 25, Sense Motive 25, Spellcraft 25(+2), Spot 25
*Cross-class skill ranks in boldface
Spoiler: Spells per Day and Spells Retrieved per Day
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CR Spells per Day | Spells Retrieved per Day
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
6 3 3 2 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7 4 3 3 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 5 3 4 2 2 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 6 3 5 3 3 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 6 3 6 3 4 1 2 1 - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 6 3 6 3 5 2 3 1 - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 6 3 6 3 6 2 4 1 2 1 - - - - - - - - - -
14 6 3 6 3 6 2 5 2 3 1 - - - - - - - - - -
15 6 3 6 3 6 3 6 2 4 1 2 1 - - - - - - - -
16 6 3 6 3 6 3 6 2 5 2 3 1 - - - - - - - -
17 6 3 6 3 6 3 6 3 6 2 4 1 2 1 - - - - - -
18 6 3 6 3 6 3 6 3 6 2 5 2 3 1 - - - - - -
19 6 3 6 3 6 3 6 3 6 3 6 2 4 1 2 1 - - - -
20 6 3 6 3 6 3 6 3 6 3 6 2 5 2 3 1 - - - -
Spoiler: Highlight and General Playstyle
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General
His main physical fighting style revolves around the Battle Jump feat, the most iconic usage of which sees him shapechanging into a (MM3) Wood Woad, Treewalk-ing (free action) multiple times to scan an entire forest, exiting/falling out of a tree at 10ft. of altitude above the target enemy to trigger Battle Jump, and then Treewalk-ing again to teleport back into the tree and avoid falling damage. If the enemy is not close enough to any properly-sized tree, he can try either shapechanging into a decent bullrushing animal form, casting a spell that bull-rushes/pushes creatures, or tactically using Arboreal Transformation. Basically, Kobayashi is nigh unbeatable in physical combat within a dense forest. Also, I'm not sure if he'll get bonus points for accidentally breaking Quall's Feather Token (Tree), but I just feel the need to mention such a fact.

After Kobayashi turned over a new, darker, leaf, he began showcasing easily recognizable M/O and memorable feats to increase his crusade's infamy, with the hope that like-minded individuals join his cause, or even just commit similar types of attack in his name; humanoids in the vicinity of his attacks would be gone missing, while left behind in his wake were rows of beautiful thorny bushes of different varieties, depending on location--roses, blackthorns, mountain pines, common hollies, fuschia-flowered gooseberry, and firethorns--and sometimes accompanied by a huge oak tree or two. Some of his better known feats of renown were 1. disposing, in a blink of an eye, thousands of enemies hunting him within a forest, and 2. completely submerging dragged enemies in lava and coming out the lake of fire completely rejuvenated instead of harmed. A successful Spellcraft check might show that discovered oak trees are actually people turned to trees via an Arboreal Transformation effect, while successful Knowledge (Nature) checks will identify specific monsters of nature that exhibit related abilities separately: the Splinterwaif fey can turn humanoid/fey corpses into bushes, the Wood Woad plant can move quickly from tree to tree, and the Phoelarch monstrous humanoid can be healed by fire.

A large part of Kobayashi's other combat methods aren't exactly the most optimal; rather, they are based on, in his perspective, things that most illustrate the wrath and vengeance of nature (including usage of the elements, since the inner planes are canonically the building blocks of the material plane's "nature"). Mass destruction effects such as tornadoes, tidal surges, fissures, and explosions, work to evoke a sense of nature's uncaring power, while precision strikes, such as targeted impalement, spontaneous combustion, asphyxiation, and drowning, work to evoke a sense of Kobayashi's personal retribution from individual people's violation of nature.
Spoiler: Examples of such themed spells from the PHB and the SpC
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1st: Entangle
2nd: Fog Cloud, Kelpstrand
3rd: Crumble, Dehydrate, Downdraft, Heatstroke, Wind Wall
4th: Eye of the Hurricane, Flame Strike, Murderous Mists, Rushing Waters, Spike Stones
5th: Control Winds, Inferno, Wall of Sand
6th: Blood Sirocco, Drown, Extract Water Elemental, Stonehold, Tidal Surge
7th: Animate Plants, Control Weather, Fire Storm, Storm of Elemental Fury, Storm Tower, Swamp Lung, Water Spout
In a nutshell, Kobayashi feels like a Druid with lower-level spells, superior shapeshifting across the board, and no animal companion/s. However, he's most suited to play like a guerilla fighter, as befits the eco-terrorism angle, not shying away from unloading all his daily resources in one big fight and bailing out easily if it doesn't go his way. He's not too optimal, preferring visually-engaging style and a certain degree of ham, but he is at least aware of it and even deliberately prefers it to better showcase the raw power of nature.

Spoiler: CR5: Panacea Plintt, the green guardian (Sweet Spot)
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Kobayashi was a paragon of selfless heroism for the sake of protecting nature. Not only did he protect the small forest where his home-tree resides, but he also pledged support to a group of foreign nature defenders, heeding their calls for help on their direst of moments. He became a popular hero and legend amongst the commonfolk associated with these allies and was referred to in the common tongue as "Panacea" Plintt, Plintt being a name derived from the sound of twisted wood.

  • Minionmancy with diplomacy (coupled with sense motive) for intelligent creatures and Wild Empathy for animals
  • Access to all Wu Jen wood spells 1/day, including Arboreal Transformation, to defend and nurture the forests
  • CL8 Shapechange (Supernatural) is pretty crazy even if used thematically (i.e. assuming the form of nature-related creatures):
    • Assassin Vine for Entangle at will
    • Fey forms for CHA madness and save-or-suck/die
    • Plant/Vermin/Animal forms for poison
    • Animal/Giant/Monstrous Humanoid forms for beatsticks (especially felines and certain trolls for pounce + Battle Jump)

Spoiler: CR10: "Gaea Ma Shakti De"
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Kobayashi has already fallen by now, exacting cruel and brutal revenge on those who exploited nature without thought or care (i.e. those that practice wasteful usage of natural resources; e.g. spellbook users, scroll-spammers, artisans for vanity or social-status items, etc.). Being turned into a Gravetouched Ghoul gives him more freedom by breaking his dependence to his now-destroyed home-tree. Due to how vaguely-enough defined a "corpse" is, he can now "optimize" "recycling" an enemy humanoid under the effects of Ghoul Fever by taking out its (or its corpse's) heart, transforming the dead heart into a new small thorny shrub, and then letting the rest of the body rise as a heartless ghoul within the grounds of his next site of attack.

  • CL8 2nd-level druid spells; Updraft for a swift action Battle Jump enabler
  • CL12 Shapechange now has access to 12HD forms
  • Multiattack benefits forms with multiple natural attacks, especially with Pounce and Battle Jump

Spoiler: CR15: "I heard you went insane." "I heard you were a shrub."
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At this point, he also begins recruiting in his crusade other feyfolks and elementals, which he considers to be fellow spirits of nature. He turns the corpses of uncooperative feyfolks into shrubs to serve as example to others.

  • Detect Spirits to search for these allies, and then Chastise Spirits to punish those being less than cooperative, with Blessing/Warding of the Spirits used to defend against those who fight back.
  • Guide Magic for one, free, concentration-duration spell at a time for some (summoning) spells, "wall" spells, and detect good/evil/spirit SLAs
  • Spirit Form for survivability via incorporeality without shapechanging
  • CL13 5th-level druid spells
    • Spike Stones, Inferno, Rushing Water, and Control Winds for thematic, flashy spells
    • Extended Lion's Charge for unconditional pounce for 2 turns
  • Dimensional Jaunt for a standard action Battle Jump enabler, so Updraft + Dimensional Jaunt = 2 Battle Jumps
  • Improved minionmancy with fey/elemental allies and summoning/trean-imation spells
  • CL17 Shapechange

Spoiler: CR20: Plants and Zombies
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In addition to his own powers and abilities, at this point, Kobayashi will have massive forces of all sorts at his disposal to pose a serious threat on entire civilizations--from his personal minions (animals, treants, and zombies) to allies and underlings who pledged allegiance to him and his cause (feyfolks, elementals, druids, spirit shamans, etc.)

  • CL18 7th-level druid spells:
    • Control Weather, Storm of Elemental Fury, and Swamp Lung for more awesome visuals
    • Liveoak and Animate Plants spells for minionmancy and free trees for your uber Battle Jump
    • Shuffle spell for a move action Battle Jump enabler, so Updraft + Shuffle + Dimensional Jaunt = 3 Battle Jumps
  • Mindsight when using forms with Telepathy, for better detection of enemies and potential recruits (Mindsight reveals creature type!)
  • Fell Animate "recycle" more enemies, giving heartless (as the ghoul above) zombies 100% under your command
  • Improved minionmancy with fey/elemental allies, summoning/trean-imation spells, and Fell Animate feat.
  • CL22 Shapechange
Spoiler: Sources
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Libris Mortis: Gravetouched Ghoul103, Fell Animate26
Oriental Adventures: Large Nature Spirit177
Complete Divine: Spirit Shaman14
Complete Arcane: Practiced Spellcaster82, wu jen spells
Complete Mage: Dimensional Jaunt41, wu jen spells
Spell Compendium: druid spells
Shining South: Shuffle49
Monster Manual III: Phoelarch121, Splinterwaif164, Wood Woad196
Unapproachable East: Battle Jump42
Savage Species: Supernatural Transformation39
Lords of Madness: Mindsight126