Two villains for the price of one!

Quote Originally Posted by Masa and Mune
Masa & Mune:
Symbiotic Humans




Generations ago, a blade was formed. Pounded out from the weakest steal in the purest of waters by the ancient artisan Rojiro Fernandez, the Masamune blade was passed from warrior to warrior, shaping the course of battles for hundreds of years. The blood saturated blade of such refined origin attracted a pair of powerful evil spirits who wound up inhabiting the blade. They experienced the blood of every dynasty-changing battle. Eventually, a dynasty was so cruel as to destroy all resistance, and the masamune blade found rest on top of a family hearth. The warrior’s blade of battle had become a token of nobility. Eventually, the blade became a status symbol to be inherited by the Bayushi noble family. The last inheritance delivered the blade to a pair of twin brothers who were told by the governing magistrates to figure out how to share or split the honor of having this blade as their own. They broke it in half against a rock and each kept half. The spirits were finally shunted free to find new beings to inhabit. They each possessed a young noble baby and spirit bonded with them. Those men’s later generations were the spirit linked by these evil forces.

Bayushi Masa was born into the Scorpion Clan. A thirdborn son, as a lesser samurai worked hard to achieve fame and notoriety by volunteering for service in battle between other clans as some sort internship in bloodshed. Other samurai tell stories of how Masa would swell to the size of an ogre, and smash enemies with a sword made of hellish light.

Shinjo Mune is a Unicorn Clan street hustler. The last of seven children in a rich but poorly-reputed family. Shinjo clan has been struck with the wanderlust and thrill of adventure, ever since the emporer assigned them the role of frontier exploration and expansion. Mune’s family had arranged an annulment and second marriage to a scorpion clan courtier a few generations back and continues to suffer from perceptions of severe dishonor for a few generations. Mune had an aggressive and decadent youth across the continent, buying his way out of the troubles he always found himself getting into. He was sent to a monastery in the frontierlands that specialized in training rowdy rich youth, and the experience just armed him with more self control, and a desire for power over others. His intense training culminated in the development of mild psionic potential to shrink themselves.

Masa and Mune met by chance during a parlay at the battle of Elksblood Junction. When they shook hands and repeated the same exact words at the same time. They then both said “Jynx” at the same time, as homage to a ritualized child’s game developed to acknowledge who really said what first. This simultenaety was locked further into place as each flared their psionic hidden talent to escalate for combat. Masa Growing for strength and Mune shrinking for difficulty of striking.

Reality wobbled.

The scions of the evil spirits parasitizing the mighty masamune blade of legend had struck a resonant chord with the script of reality and suddenly, the two men blended into a fusion man. Now, forever more, they must buy each other fizzy soda to unlock the fusion of themselves. The parlay at elksblood junction ended with Masa claiming that the assembled samurai-generals brashly attacking and slaying each other. The local investigator specialized in handling dead bodies and forensics confirmed that all of the samurai had attacked each other. Masa enjoyed a minor celebrity for sending the opposing armies home from battle in respect for the loss of so many great honorable samurai on both sides from the parlay tent. This ended lion/crab clan hostilities in a satisfactory way for both clans.


However cursed, Masa and Mune found that their individual powers stacked. Their psionic potentials each being squarely located in each others conciousness, but they were also a shared being. A shared being that was incredibly capable. He is hard to hit, and many attackers find that they are accidentally hitting their friends to death through their own incompetence when fighting Masamune. Masamune is also quite capable of powerful attacks that hit multiple enemies multiple times per combat using warminds sweeping strike while using insightful strike or greater insightful strike maneuvers (concentration check to determine damage).

Deceptive dodge, combat panache, elusive target, and gnome tunnel acrobatics, and good karma feats allow Mune to force attackers into hitting each other. If the opponents target an ally, they can use good karma to redirect the attack towards themselves...and then divert it into his enemies. At level 12, trickery devotion allows a double of Mune to use his feats to make enemies attack each other through the dodge feats.

The symbiotic template requires that the humanoids just be two size categories apart when they attach. For complete and total RAW availability to keep the symbiosis going with zero plot handwaving, all you need to do is replace psicrystal affinity and psicrystal containment of Mune with extend and persist power, and replace psicrystal containment of Masa with practiced manifester, which should, by CR 12 allow for MASAMUNE to exist for an entire day. Hidden talent compression and expansion paired with karmic twin offers enough mechanical narrative to allow two humans to enter into symbiosis. Considering the way CR is calculated for the template, I advanced the bad guys individual halves through class level gains. At every CR rather than advancing Masamune as a single entity that takes class levels: mostly because initiator level and maneuver availability analysis would be monstrous. The two hate to be apart, but they do detach with some frequency to handle situations that they must attend to personally.

All of Mune’s skills become racial bonuses to Masa’s skills. This makes Masamunes concentration, tumble, and autohypnosis check bonuses crazy high.





Bayushi Masa
NE [ulr=“http://archive.wizards.com/default.a...sm/20070214a”] Hidden Talent Bonus Feat[/url] Soulknife 4/ warblade 7/ warmind 7/ fighter 1

Str 15
Con 14
Dex 13
Int 8
Wis 10
Cha 12
All level ups go to wisdom

Shinjo Mune
LE Feat Rogue 4/cobra strike monk 2/skilled city dweller (http://archive.wizards.com/default.a...d/we/20070228a) fighter 2/skilled city dweller psychic warrior 1/Elocator 3/Fortune’s Friend 5
Str 8
Con 10
Dex 12
Int 15
Wis 14
Cha 13
Add +1 to dex at level 4
Add +1 int at level 8
Add +1 cha at level 12,
Add +1 wis at level 16, and 20


CR HD BAB Fort Ref Will skills Feats Abilities Racial bonus on Skill Checks PP
X 1 1 0 2 2 concentration 4 autohypnosis 4, k psionics 4, tumble 4 B: Hidden Talent (XPH p.67) (expansion), B: weapon focus (mind blade), 1: Karmic Twin (OA p.64), B: Psicrystal Affinity (XPH p.49) Mind blade, Weapon Focus (mind blade), Hidden Talent, detach - 2
3 2 2 0 3 3 concentration 5, autohypnosis 5, k psionics 5, tumble 5 1:Hidden Talent (compression), B: Karmic Twin, B: combat expertise Throw mind blade, bonus feat, trapfinding concentration +2, autohypnosis +2, tumble +4, Hide +4, move silently +4, bluff +4, disable device +4, UMD +4, intimidate +4, perform +4, k. dungeoneering +2 4
4 3 3 2 3 3 concentration 6, k history 2, tumble 6 3: Psychic renewal(ToB p.32) Battle Clarity (Ref Saves), Weapon Aptitude, Maneuvers: Moment of Perfect mind, Steel Wind, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Stance of clarity - 4
5 4 4 3 4 3 concentration 7, k psionics 7, tumble 7 B:Psionic Weapon (xph p.50), B: Dodge Bonus feat, Unarmed Strike, Bonus Feat, Flurry of Blows, AC bonus concentration +5, tumble +5, umd +5, k. local +1, hide +5 4
6 5 5 3 5 4 concentration 8, k psionics 8, tumble 8, autohypnosis 6 3: psicrystal containment, B: mobility MindBlade+1, Bonus feat, Evasion concentration +6, tumble +6, balance +1, perform +6, k. arcana +1 4
7 6 6 4 6 4 concentration 9, tumble 9, balance 1 6:Instant clarity (ToB p.31), B: spring attack Uncanny Dodge, bonus feat, spell reflection, Maneuver: Action before thought concentration +7, tumble +7, bluff +7, perform +7, intimidate +6 4
8 7 7 6 6 4 psicraft 2 Chain of personal superiority +2, trap sense +1 Manifesting: Prevenom Weapon, (xph 125) concentration +8, tumble +8, bluff +8, perform +8, intimidate +8, umd +8, k. local +2 6
9 8 8 7 7 4 psicraft 4 6: Trickery Devotion (Complete Champion p.63), B: Deceptive Dodge (Drag Compendium p.95) Chain of defensive posture +2, Manifesting: Urban strider (CPsi, 104) Concentration +9, tumble +9, umd +9, bluff +9, disable device +6, hide +6 , move silently +6, k. local +3 9
10 9 9 7 8 5 concentration 10, tumble 10, UMD 1, k. local 1 9: psicrystal containment, B: combat panache (PHBII p. 93) Battle Ardor (Critical confirmation), bonus feat, Maneuver: Insightful Strike concentration +10, tumble +10, umd +10 9
11 10 10 7 8 6 disable device 1/2, concentration 11 B: Elusive target (ComWarrior 110) Enduring Body (DR 1/-), bonus feat concentration +11, tumble +11, umd +11, climb +1 13
12 11 11 9 9 6 disable device 1, concentration 12 9: good karma (CS p.77) B: gnome tunnel acrobatics (Dungeonscape, p. 44) bonus feat, Manifesting: force screen, Hustle (Xph p.111) concentration +12, tumble +12, autohypnosis +8 18
13 12 12 9 9 6 autohypnosis9, concentration 13 12:psionic meditation, B: sidestep charge Sweeping strike, scorn earth, sidestep charge, manifesting: chameleon concentration +13, tumble +13, UPD +4, autohypnosis +10 25
14 13 13 9 9 7 Concentration 14, tumble 11, k. local 3 opportunistic strike, maneuver: Absolute Steel concentration +14, tumble +14, autohypnosis +14, upd +7 25
15 14 14 10 11 7 autohypnosis10 concentration 14 12: steady concentration (Ros p.144) Enduring Body (DR 2/-), Easy luck, extra fortune, more luck than skill, (2 luck reroll) Manifesting: concealing amorpha concentration +15, tumble +15, disable device +8, umd +12, hide +7, move silently +7, bluff+ 11 33
16 15 15 10 12 7 autohypnosis11, concentration 15 15: linked power, B: Advantageous Avoidance(CS p.73) Chain of personal superiority +4, bonus luck feat, 3 luck reroll concentration +16, tumble +16, disable device +10, umd +14, bluff +14 42
17 16 16 10 12 7 Concentration 16, tumble 12, k. local 5 B: combat reflexes Bonus feat, dimension step, manifesting: Call item, Maneuver: Iron heart surge concentration +17, tumble +17, upd +10, autohypnosis +17, disable device +12 44
18 17 17 11 12 8 Concentration 18, tumble 14 15: Trickery devotion improved uncanny dodge, Extra fortune, fortune’s favorite, 4 luck reroll concentration +18, tumble +18, bluff +18, umd +17 44
19 18 18 11 13 8 concentration 20, tumble 16 18: martial study (Manticore parry), B: Unbelievable luck (CS p.81) Battle Cunning (Damage), bonus luck feat, 6 luck reroll, Maneuvers: greater insightful strike, Manticore parry concentration +19, tumble +19, autohypnosis +18, bluff +19, disable device +16 44
20 19 19 13 13 8 tumble 18 B: martial study (Scything Strike) Bonus feat, tower shield proficiency, Extra fortune, lucky strike, 7 luck reroll concentration +20, tumble +20, bluff +20, autohypnosis +20, umd +19 44

CR9 is the ideal introductory level for this villain. Masamune has a few attack diversions, a few psywar abilities, and some initiator strikes. All of his tricks work at this point. Instant clarity/psychic renewal: 3x day gain focus after a strike, swift action spend focus to recover maneuver by paying power point cost equal to the maneuver level. The psi crystals can also hold focus. He has +21 concentration and +18 tumble. He must fight defensively to activate deceptive dodge. In any combat situation with multiple opponents, Masamune tries to get flanked to activate elusive target, relying on his uncanny dodge abilities to help. Masamune has the spell reflection ACF from complete mage and evasion.

A good plot for this level is the arranged marriage of Masa or Munes’ families. They are in love with each other on a fundamental level, and will delay and spurn this turn of events. Putting one demand on the process after another. They may attempt to kill their bride or their bride’s families. Or, if you want to go a comical route, they demand that their bride be willing to marry both of them simultaneously and in order to please them, they must have four legs to spread. Which is confounded by the fact that the dragon clan’s Takekawa family has an eligible tauric spellweaver/tauric draconic human/camel princess that they’ve locked in a tower for the last 20 years who has studied shugenja magics. Her older siblings all died in an oni-related incident. And she happens to fit all of those provisions of MasaMune. The nice thing about the lands of the mutant magic using princess is that they are in vital opium trafficking territory, and Masa could turn a blind eye to that part of his family’s business for them.


CR 12, If masamune is struck, they use Combat panache the next round (bluff check vs sense motive) as a move action to make them attack someone else, using hustle to get their move back to help activate gnome tunnel acrobatics combat puppeteer ability. Elocator’s Scorn earth helps tumble through difficult terrain, and insightful strike allows you to use your concentration check in place of damage rolls. Hustle also helps with the psionic meditation at CR 13. Steady concentration allows for the taking of 10 on concentration checks. This Level is the high point of the villain. Everything after this requires psionic or spellcasting support and a number of mooks. Masamune will avoid combat situations where they fall privy to ranged attacks, but will engage in combat with multiple melee opponents whenever possible.

At this level, a second marriage (if they killed the bride or family before the first marriage) would make a great plot reason to hire PCs to keep Masamune out of trouble. They may split and attempt to have each half run away right before the ceremony….Another option, if you’ve decided to have masamune and his/their spellweaver camel consort get married and rule, would be to use them as a powerful villainous couple. Perhaps they are attempting to take over rulership of the dragon clan and have chosen to secretly incite rivalries between the Isaka Family and their western neighbors of the Ibe family. Masamune is 100% against shadowlands taint, (“The shadowlands always win!”) and begins a draconian crackdown on shadowlands studies (like those of his wife’s family) and maho magic.

At the highest levels, Masamune has 7 luck points to use on good karma shenanigans, a ton of PP to re-obtain maneuvers, two or three different abilities to strike two opponents or more at full force, 4 psionic focuses at the beginning of battle, and 4 different ways to make opponents hit each other. He has greater insightful strike and the ability to take 10 concentration checks on which he has (with no gear), a +40 to. When combined with sweeping strike, that means that he is dealing 100 damage to two people and can regain a focus while initiating the strike and/or spend his focus to re-ready the maneuver.

At really high levels, Masamune is a great lieutenant type character who needs a buffer and some ranged attack allies. His story arcs at this point can include taking over some mountain passes to secure a monopoly on fizzy drinks. Some court intrigue about the mutants running around pretending to be samurai up north that causes them to begin retributive slaying of the slanderer’s families.

In all honesty, it would be really cool that if you ever kill masamune in combat, that his mindblade drops into a real life sword with the abilities of the ancient masamune blade.

Spoiler: Masa and Mune's individual statblocks
Show

Masa:
Level Class BAB Fort Ref Will skills Feats Abilities PP
1 Soulknife 1 1 0 2 2 concentration 4 autohypnosis 4, k psionics 4, tumble 4 B: Hidden Talent (XPH p.67) (expansion), B: weapon focus (mind blade), 1: Karmic Twin (OA p.64), B: Psicrystal Affinity (XPH p.49) Mind blade, Weapon Focus (mind blade), Hidden Talent 2
2 Soulknife 2 2 0 3 3 concentration 5, autohypnosis 5, k psionics 5, tumble 5 Throw mind blade 2
3 Warblade 1 3 2 3 3 concentration 6, k history 2, tumble 6 3: Psychic renewal(ToB p.32) Battle Clarity (Ref Saves), Weapon Aptitude, Maneuvers: Moment of Perfect mind, Steel Wind, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Stance of clarity 2
4 Bonus Feat Soulknife 3 4 3 3 3 concentration 7, k psionics 7, tumble 7 B:Psionic Weapon (xph p.50) Bonus feat 2
5 Soulknife 4 5 3 4 4 concentration 8, k psionics 8, tumble 8, autohypnosis 6 MindBlade+1 2
6 warblade 2 6 4 4 4 concentration 9, tumble 9, balance 1 6:Instant clarity (ToB p.31) Uncanny Dodge. Maneuver: Action before thought 2
7 warmind 1 7 6 6 4 psicraft 2 Chain of personal superiority +2: Manifesting: Prevenom Weapon, (xph 125) 4
8 warmind 2 8 7 7 4 psicraft 4 Chain of defensive posture +2, Manifesting: Urban strider (CPsi, 104) 7
9 warblade 3 9 7 8 5 concentration 10, tumble 10, UMD 1, k. local 1 9: psicrystal containment Battle Ardor (Critical confirmation) 7
10 warmind 3 10 7 8 6 disable device 1/2, concentration 11 Enduring Body (DR 1/-), 11
11 warmind 4 11 8 9 6 disable device 1, concentration 12 Manifesting: Hustle (Xph p.111) 16
12 warmind 5 12 8 9 6 autohypnosis9, concentration 13 12:psionic meditation Sweeping strike 22
13 warblade 4 13 9 9 6 Concentration 14, tumble 11, k. local 3 maneuver: Absolute Steel 22
14 warmind 6 14 10 10 7 autohypnosis10 concentration 14 Enduring Body (DR 2/-), Manifesting: concealing amorpha 30
15 warmind 7 15 10 10 7 autohypnosis11, concentration 15 15: linked power Chain of personal superiority +4 39
16 warblade 5 16 10 10 7 Concentration 16, tumble 12, k. local 5 B: combat reflexes Bonus feat, Maneuver: Iron heart surge 39
17 warblade 6 17 11 11 8 Concentration 18, tumble 14 improved uncanny dodge 39
18 warblade 7 18 11 11 8 concentration 20, tumble 16 18: martial study (Manticore parry) Battle Cunning (Damage) Maneuvers: greater insightful strike, Manticore parry 39
19 fighter 1 19 13 11 8 tumble 18 B: martial study (Scything Strike) Bonus feat, tower shield 39

MUNE
Level Class BAB Fort Ref Will skills feat abilities PP
1 Feat Rogue 0 0 2 0 concentration 2, autohypnosis 2, tumble 4, Hide 4, move silently 4, bluff 4, disable device 4, UMD 4, intimidate 4, perform 4, k. dungeoneering 2 1:Hidden Talent (compression), B: Karmic Twin, B: combat expertise bonus feat, trapfinding 2
2 cobra strike monk 1 0 2 4 2 7:concentration 5, tumble 5, umd 5, k. local 1, hide 5 B: dodge Unarmed Strike, Bonus Feat, Flurry of Blows, AC bonus 2
3 cobra strike monk 2 1 3 5 3 concentration 6, tumble 6, balance 1, perform 6, k. arcana 1 3: psicrystal containment, B: mobility Bonus feat, Evasion 2
4 Spell reflection (CM p.35) feat rogue 2 2 3 6 3 11: concentration 7, tumble 7, bluff 7, perform 7, intimidate 6 B: spring attack bonus feat, spell reflection 2
5 feat rogue 3 3 4 6 4 11: concentration 8, tumble 8, bluff 8, perform 8, intimidate 8, umd 8, k. local 2 trap sense +1 2
6 feat rogue 4 4 4 6 4 11: Concentration 9, tumble 9, umd 9, bluff 9, disable device 6, hide 6 , move silently 6, k. local 3 6: Trickery Devotion (Complete Champion p.63), B: Deceptive Dodge (Drag Compendium p.95) uncanny dodge 2
7 skilled city dweller Fighter 1 5 6 6 4 5: concentration 10, tumble 10, umd 10 B: combat panache (PHBII p. 93) bonus feat 2
8 Fighter 2 6 7 6 4 6: concentration 11, tumble 11, umd 11, climb 1 B: Elusive target (ComWarrior 110) bonus feat 2
9 skilled city dweller psywarrior 1 6 9 6 4 8: concentration 12, tumble 12, autohypnosis 8 9: good karma (CS p.77) B: gnome tunnel acrobatics (Dungeonscape, p. 44) bonus feat, manifesting: force screen 2
10 Elocator 1 6 9 8 6 10: concentration 13, tumble 13, upd 4, autohypnosis 10 B: sidestep charge scorn earth, sidestep charge, manifesting: chameleon 3
11 Elocator 2 7 9 9 7 10: concentration 14, tumble 14, autohypnosis 14, upd 7 opportunistic strike 3
12 fortune’s friend (complete Scoundrel p.38) 1 7 9 11 7 10: concentration 15, tumble 15, disable device 8, umd 12, hide 7, move silently 7, bluff 11 12: steady concentration (Ros p.144) Easy luck, extra fortune, more luck than skill, (2 luck reroll) 3
13 fortune’s friend 2 8 9 12 7 concentration 16, tumble 16, disable device 10, umd 14, bluff 14 B: Advantageous Avoidance(CS p.73) bonus luck feat, 3 luck reroll 3
14 elocator 3 9 10 12 7 10: concentration 17, tumble 17, upd 10, autohypnosis 17, disable device 12 dimension step, manifesting: Call item 5
15 fortune’s friend 3 9 11 12 8 10: concentration 18, tumble 18, bluff 18, umd 17 15: Trickery devotion Extra fortune, fortune’s favorite, 4 luck reroll 5
16 fortune’s friend 4 10 11 13 8 concentration 19, tumble 19, autohypnosis 18, bluff 19, disable device 16 B: Unbelievable luck (CS p.81) bonus luck feat, 6 luck reroll 5
17 fortune’s friend 5 10 11 13 8 concentration 20, tumble 20, bluff 20, autohypnosis 20, umd 19 Extra fortune, lucky strike, 7 luck reroll 5