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Thread: PrC Contest XVII: Mono e Mono

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    THE ONYXIAN DREAMER



    I dream of those long gone. I dream of this world. I dream, and reality shifts to accommodate me. – Jacen Orn, Onyxian Dreamer

    Shadowcasters are a lot already tied strongly to the plane of shadows. They draw on its power, and it becomes more and more a part of their very being. As this process continues, and shadowcasters become more and more attuned to the Plane of Shadows, some begin to see… something as they sleep. Most simply ignore it, and in time, never see it again. The more curious seek it out in their dreams, and soon find themselves immersed in the Onyx Dream.

    The Onyx Dream
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    Its very existence is hotly debated among planar cosmologists. No one has been there, and anyone attempting to travel there through typical means simply arrives at the Plane of Shadows, and most planar travelers will simply insist it can't possibly exist. The idea of it seems ridiculous; spirits move nowhere near the Plane of Shadows under typical understandings, and even those who claim to have travelled there say that's what creates it.

    The Onyx Dream is said to be a quasi-plane of sorts, created by ripples created in the Plane of Shadows formed by spirits passing through it. The Dream is thus little more than an echo of the Plane of Shadows, hence anyone trying to travel there ending up in the Plane of Shadows. The landscape is roughly that of the material plane, formed by the memories of passing spirits. Thus, a long-lost civilization may be seen in the Onyx Dream where it isn't on the Material Plane. Denizens of the dream are likewise echos of the spirits who have passed through. They can speak, but in broken phrases, of a knowledge based on what the creature held when he died. They don't move far from the location of their death, if at all, and the length of time the echo lasts is determined by the power they held in life. An ordinary farmer may only last a few years, but a mighty hero may very well last for centuries.


    These Dreamers learn to draw on the Onyx Dream, learning from it and gaining power from their connection to it. While they are constantly beset by claims that their power must be coming from somewhere else, and on occasion, attacked by those who think they abuse the Dream, Onyxian Dreamers continue to appear in shadowcaster sects, and are making their presence known more and more.


    BECOMING AN ONYXIAN DREAMER
    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Mysteries/Spellcasting: Must be able to invoke 3rd level Mysteries.
    Skills: Knowledge (the Planes) 8 ranks
    Special: Must have had the Onyx Dream, and investigated it over the course of several night’s sleep.

    Class Skills
    The Onyxian Dreamer's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration, Craft, Intimidate, Knowledge (the planes), Profession, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Spot.
    Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + int

    Hit Dice: d6

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

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |The Dream, Spirit Talker, Sheathed in Darkness (10%)

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    | Cursed to Dream

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Lucid Dream

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Onyx Grip

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Waking Dream, Dreamer’s Eye, Sheathed in Darkness (20%)

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    | Lingering Spirits, Onyx Strike

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Improved Lucid Dream

    8th|
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    | The Dream Realized

    9th|
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Fellow Dreamers, Dream Walker

    10th|
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Sheathed in Darkness (30%), Dream Melding[/table]

    Weapon Proficiencies: The Onyxian Dreamer gains no additional Armor or Weapon proficiencies.

    Mysteries: Every level of Onyxian Dreamer you take, you gain new Mysteries and your Mysteries progress as arcane spells/spell likes/supernatural abilities as if you had gained a level of the mystery-using class you belonged to before. You gain no other benefits of the class you belonged to before.

    The Dream (Su): The Onyxian Dreamer has the ability to access the Onyx Dream anytime while he is sleeping, unconscious, or in a meditative state (basically, anytime he would be restoring spells/day). This does not disturb rest for the purposes of gaining new spells or mysteries per day. His spirit visits the dream and is able to wander an area up to 3 miles/Onyxian Dreamer level from where his body lays sleeping; though he must move that distance as if he were moving under his own power, no magical enhancements to speed work in the Dream. There are no creatures per se in the Onyx Dream, so his spirit is in no danger. Because of the shifting nature of the Dream, any information he gains about the lay of the land or landscape in general has a chance to be inaccurate. Roll two d100. If the second roll is greater than or equal to the first, what he sees is accurate (save any DM fiat in the matter.) If not, then what he sees isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s missing some major landmark, has a landmark that isn’t there, or is simply wrong. The Onyxian Dream is constantly shifting, so no specific details can be ascertained (such as the location of the ogre leader (or any creatures for that matter) or if the artifact is on the warlord’s table), simply general landscape and landmarks, and possibly the halls of a great castle, assuming the castle has been there for some time.

    Spirit Talker (Su): Spirits form the Onyx Dream and spirits inhabit it, or at least their echoes do. While in the Onyx Dream, the Dreamer can attempt to speak to these spirits, and learn what they once knew. The Onyxian Dreamer can use Speak with Dead, with caster level equal to your character level as many times a day as he can invoke third level mysteries, as if he were standing at the location he is standing in the Onyx Dream. Spirits in the Onyx Dream tend to linger where they died, and aside from beings of especially high power, only linger for a decade at most. They will, however, be on the ‘surface’ of the dream, visible as points of light. He need not dig up corpses from a graveyard he wanders to, for example, but he must travel there in the Onyx Dream.

    Sheathed in Darkness (Su): The Dreamer begins to draw power from the Onyx Dream, pulling a little bit of it back with him every time he wakes from it. This misty blackness follows the Dreamer, and is the easiest way to recognize one. At second level, all abilities that require an attack roll against the Dreamer suffer a 10% miss chance. This increases to 20% at 5th level, and 30% at tenth. A Dreamer can suppress this at will, and the visual effects also disappear. He must revisit the Onyx Dream, however, to regain the effect.

    Dreamer’s Curse: Even while tapping into the unexplored depths of the Dream, a Dreamer must continue his studies in shadow magic. The unique mingling of spirit and shadow in the Onyx Dream allow the Dreamer to use shadow magic in a way he couldn’t imagine before. The Onyxian Dreamer gains access to a unique Initiate Path of Mysteries, Dreamer’s Curse. Mysteries in the path are defined below.
    Spoiler
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    4 Cursed to Dream: Shadows swarm over the area, covering eyes as the gentle caress of spirits lull creatures to sleep. As the spell Sleep, but there is no HD cap.
    5 Welling Grief: We all have things we'd rather forget. Times were were most afraid, terribly sad, or lost the will to live. Some repress these memories, some have managed to forget them altogether. Even animals know fear, but go on living their lives despite what horrors they may have seen. The mind does a remarkable job of protecting us from these memories, but for one who walks your very dreams, those memories become a powerful weapon to wield. With a gaze attack (range, 30'), the Onyx Dreamer reminds a creature of its darkest times. For 1 round/2 Onyxian Dreamer levels, the afflicted creature must make a Will save or spend a standard action stricken with the worst emotions it has ever experienced, unable to act. (Mind effecting)
    6 Nightmares Awaken: Even when we are awake, our nightmares haunt us, lingering at the back of our mind. By reaching into the Onyx Dream, the Onyxian Dreamer can bring these nightmares to the forefront, empowered with shadow magic. Target creature in range (Medium) must make a Will save. If successful, the creature is merely shaken for 1d4 rounds. If it fails, the creature is Panicked for 1d6 rounds, and suffers 1d6 wisdom damage.

    Lucid Dream (Su): Just as someone might understand they were dreaming an ordinary dream and take flight or alter the dream entirely, the Onyxian Dreamer comes to learn how to manipulate his world while sleeping. While in the Onyx Dream, the Dreamer can adopt a certain movement type. When he enters the dream, he can select Flight (Average), Swim (with water breathing), or Burrowing, and he can move at his land speed with that movement type.

    Onyx Grip (Su): The Dreamer further draws the Dream into himself and his weapon. His shadows course through the dreamstuff and into his foes. As a standard action, you can invoke any Touch mystery you know and deliver it through a melee attack. The melee attack is considered a touch attack.

    Waking Dream (Su): Many people who dream wish they could bring their dreams with them to the waking world. Onyxian Dreamers enjoy dreaming of a place that is real, and is all too easy to draw into the Material Plane. The movement you gained in the Onyx Dream with your Lucid Dream ability carries over to the waking world. Shadowy wings or claws or fins gird your body, and enable you to move as if you were still dreaming. A Dreamer can suppress this at will, and the visual effects also disappear. He must revisit the Onyx Dream, however, to regain the effect.

    Dreamer’s Eye (Su): Every creature spends some amount of time connected to the Onyx Dream, even if they don’t know it. Even elves in their meditation touch the Dream without knowing. A Dreamer understands this, and can manipulate these connections to his advantage. By channeling some of his shadow magic through the Onyx Dream to the creature’s mind, he gains versatility in his mysteries other shadow casters cannot grasp. At his option, the Onyxian Dreamer's mysteries that normally allow a Reflex or Fortitude save now require a Will save instead. Otherwise, the mystery resolves as normal.

    Lingering Spirits (Su): The Dreamer has spent enough time in the Onyx Dream so that now when he visits, he can commune with the latent spirits that formed the area. They tell him legends, secrets, and simple stories of the area. Treat this as Bardic Knowledge, but use the Dreamers Knowledge (The Planes) skill instead.

    Onyx Strike (Su): The Onyx Dream has become an integral part of the Onyxian Dreamer. Shadows shift around him as he moves, and lash out when he strikes as he draws the power of the spirits into his attacks. The Dreamer can add his Charisma modifier to attack rolls.

    Improved Lucid Dream (Su): Your speed while using Lucid Dream improves to 50ft, and if you choose the Flight movement type, your maneuverability improves to Good. This transfers over to the Waking Dream ability as appropriate. Your waking base land speed remains the same, but your alternate movement speeds are increased.

    The Dream Realized (Su): While the Dreamer has long since become accustomed to the ways of the Onyx Dream, its bizarre landscape and otherworldly air are anathema to the waking world. By allowing others a glimpse of his nightly domain, the Dreamer can hamper an otherwise routine occurrence. Once a round, as an immediate action, the Dreamer can force a creature within 50ft to reroll one d20 roll; he can do this as many times/day as he can invoke initiate mysteries.

    Fellow Dreamers (Su): While in the Onyx Dream, the Dreamer can interact with others sleeping at the same time he is. He can talk to them as if they were both awake, and the spirit of the other dreamer will interact with him as if under the effects of a Charm Person spell. Upon waking, the other dreamer won’t remember the conversation took place, but will recognize the Dreamer, without knowing from where.

    Dream Walker (Su): Nightly the Onyxian Dreamer wanders the the amorphous terrain of the Onyx Dream. His dreams, to him, are as much reality as the world we all live in. He finds power from this most ultimate of connections to a world that barely is. He gains access to a new Master path of mysteries, Dream Walker.

    Spoiler
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    7 Dreams Made Real: Dreams tend to come in two flavors: pleasant and unpleasant. The Onyxian Dreamer can give substance to both of these. Casting this mystery can function as a casting of True Creation, with no XP cost. Due to the inherently temporary nature of dreams, however, objects you create with this mystery only exist for 1 hour/Character level. Alternatively, a casting of this mystery can function as a casting of Summon Monster VI, giving substance to your opponent's nightmares to fight against them.
    8 Dream Stride: As a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, he can seamlessly enter any living creature with a mind whose size equals or exceeds his own and pass any distance to another living creature on the same plane in a single round, regardless of the distance separating the two. A Dreamer merely designates a direction and distance (“a living creature twenty miles due west of here”), and the Dream Stride mystery transports him to a destination creature as close as possible to the desired location. He can’t specify a named individual as the endpoint unless he has previously interacted with that creature in the Onyx Dream.

    The entry and destination creatures need not be familiar to the Onyxian Dreamer. A Dreamer cannot use himself as an entry creature. If an intended entry creature is unwilling, he must make a successful melee touch attack to enter. (A missed touch attack does not use up a casting of this mystery) When exiting a creature, a Dreamer chooses an adjacent square in which to appear. Entering and exiting a creature is painless unless a Dreamer wishes otherwise (see below). In most cases, though, the destination creature finds being the endpoint of a magical portal surprising and quite unsettling.

    If he desires, a Dreamer can attempt to make a nightmarish exit from the destination creature. He bursts forth explosively from the creature’s body, dealing 3d6 points of Wisdom damage unless the creature makes a Will save When he makes a nightmarish exit, a Dreamer must succeed on a DC 15 Will save or be stunned for 1 round from the shock of his expulsion.
    9 Dream Form: As the spell Astral Projection.

    Dream Melding (Su): The Dreamer’s powers have moved far beyond merely tapping into the Onyx Dream. He had made it as much a part of himself as the blood that flows in his veins. Nightly, he wanders the wastes of the Dream, just to know the secrets it has to offer. The Dreamer's vision becomes a mingling of two worlds, granting him the ability to see what he cannot. The Dreamer gains Mindsight 100ft. The Dreamer also knows the Onyx Dream so well, he can access its landscape, even when waking, to work around obstacles and draw his shadows further than they've ever gone. Additionally, 3 times/day the Dreamer may target a creature he can see with his Mindsight with a mystery, even if the creature is normally out of range, and even if he would otherwise lack line of sight and/or line of effect to the creature.

    PLAYING AN ONYXIAN DREAMER
    The Onyxian Dreamer combines various methods of learning what others cannot learn with the nebulous and dark power stolen from the Onyx Dream.
    Combat: You’re far from a primary melee combatant, but the ability to improve your touch mysteries with Onyx Grip and Onyx Strike, combined with the improved defense offered by your Sheathed in Darkness will allow you to be more involved.
    Advancement: Metashadow feats and other Shadowcaster feats are still a boon to the Dreamer, as well as any other prestige class that you might take from a Shadowcaster base. Improving your mysteries is key.
    Resources: The Onyx Dream is a resource beyond what many people could hope to call on. Other than that, other Onyxian Dreamers are always ready and willing to help a fellow Dreamer.

    ONYXIAN DREAMERS IN THE WORLD
    They are bastardizing history! Bastardizing our ancestors! Your ancestors! Their abilities will destroy the very thing they claim to love! – Jon Rogge, Temple Waker

    Some of the more educated in the world consider Onyxian Dreamers to be simply mad, handwaving their unique abilities away as a mutation or development of Shadowcaster’s usual abilities. Other people, if they even realize there’s something different about the dreamer, find their abilities remarkable, especially their ability to know what they cannot know, and some Dreamers find work as fortune tellers or detectives of sorts, wandering the Dream to find the answers sought.

    There are those, however, who think Dreamers need to be stopped immediately. They consider the Onyx Dream a treasure trove of ancient and lost peoples, artifacts, and information. For these, soaring on wings of dreamstuff is taking the energies of their revered dead and using it for your own means. When these people encounter Onyxian Dreamers, often open conflict in inevitable.
    Daily Life: A daily life is not as common among Onyxian Dreamers as much as the nightly life. Almost every Dreamer will spend their sleeping hours learning as much as possible. They will talk to a nearby lingering spirit about the creatures in the area or scout out the landscape as much as possible. They are a curious lot by nature; they have to be, or else they never would have investigated the Dream to begin with. Some will take up more in-depth study of the Planes, in an effort to better explain and defend the existence of the Onyx Dream. Most avoid making their names widely known, however, due to recent conflicts with the more cavalier followers of the ideals of the Sleeping Temple.
    Notables: Matthias Noon was allegedly the first shadowcaster to awaken to the Onyx Dream. His writings and studies on the Dream were widely criticized and attacked as folly and the deranged ramblings of a man who stumbled too close to the Shadows. There is some talk about whether his writings came first, or the writings of the Sleeping Temple came to light first, but it is of little import. It did create some animosity between Matthias and Jon Rogge, culminating in a grand debate over how this 'plane' should be interacted with. The two parted ways with an even greater distaste for each other.

    The twins Jane and James Maston are also famous. The two discovered the Dream around the same time. James worked its powers to his advantage, quickly rising to power with aspirations of conquest. Jane stood against him in a crucial hour, turning against her brother and eventually killing him. She was later found dead, apparently attacked by a small organized band using powers not unlike her own. Her spirit, should you find it in the Onyx Dream, claims it was the work of the Wakers. She seems unable to elaborate on who the Wakers are, but she died so long ago, it is likely her hate for them is all keeping her echo present.
    Organizations: Sects of shadowcasters are safe havens for Onyxian Dreamers. As long as they keep the abilities that overtly display them as a Dreamer, however, they are largely free to join any organization that would accept a shadowcaster. Many universities unknowingly or willingly employ Dreamers for their knowledge and drive for curiosity. Many others, however, reject them en face, preferring the much more practical, reverent approach to learning from the Dream of the Wakers.

    NPC Reaction
    Most NPCs are understandably nervous around Onyxian Dreamers. Some think they’re crackpots to believe in such a wild notion. Some were already off-put by the shadows they drew power from, and all the more frightened when the power of the spirits is brought into the equation. Some think the Dreamers are a menace to the past, openly abusing the power of a realm composed of the memories of old, twisting it, draining it of meaning and history.

    ONYXIAN DREAMERS IN THE GAME
    Onyxian Dreamers have a keen skill for finding information that would otherwise be impossible to find. They are also potent combatants with their mysteries, bolstered by the power they’ve found in the Dream.
    Adaptation: The Onyx Dream can be substituted for any other source of power shadowcasters might draw on. If necessary, it would require only a small amount of effort to adapt the Dreamer to work with more typical casting classes, but the informational gathering abilities would need to be reflavored and explained.
    Encounters: Encounters with Onyxian Dreamers need not be hostile, though often when a Dreamer has made himself known, hostilities will not be far behind. Perhaps the party heard rumor of a mage who can contact another realm to learn information others cannot. Perhaps a Dreamer came to the party seeking protection from the zealots of the Sleeping Temple who seek to keep him from further meddling with the dream, or hires the party to help him kill such zealots, describing them as foolhardy saints, revering something long lost and trying to turn the Dream into something it was never meant to be.
    Last edited by Hyooz; 2010-03-15 at 03:40 PM.

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