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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MagFlare's Avatar

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    Default Something Completely Different: Patchwork Shambler

    Here's an idea for a sort of prestige class/template I've been tossing around. While it's definitely overpowered compared to other PrCs, I don't think that's a problem - no PC would want to take it, though it'd make for an interesting (and fairly horrible) NPC.

    [hr]

    The greatest members of any sentient race have at least one thing in common: they strive for perfection. But while self-improvement is a noble goal, it can be corrupted. Twisted. Transformed into something terrible.

    That is the purpose of the Goaders. Hailing from the Lower Planes, they are evil entities without bodies - entities who can freely enter the Material Plane as beings of pure idea and pass into the minds of ambitious individuals. There they whisper their terrible thoughts into the minds of their hosts, urging them onward to a sort of perfection that can only be achieved through discipline, sacrifice, and sewing parts of other creatures onto themselves.

    The result is the patchwork shambler. A mess of heads, limbs, and exposed organs held together by a network of clumsy stitches, these miserable creatures represent the drive for self-perfection in its most terrible form. Once the possessed host has performed enough horrific modifications to his frame - often by harvesting spare parts from his loved ones - the Goader abandons the body, leaving the patchwork shambler to see himself as he truly is. Those shamblers who don't take their own lives invariably die as their sewn-together bodies gradually fall apart.

    Patchwork shamblers tend to exist at the fringes of society, entering towns and villages only to track down new "acquisitions." When dealing with others, shamblers are often charismatic and personable - although they tend to mutter inaudibly to themselves or stare vacantly into the distance - and invariably wear shapeless cloaks to conceal their fearsome nature.


    Patchwork Shambler

    Alignment: Any non-evil (Goaders consider it a waste to corrupt individuals who are already committed to evil.)
    BAB: +5
    Special: Must be devoted to self-perfection and be possessed by a Goader.

    HD: d12
    BAB: As Dragon Disciple
    Saves: As Dragon Disciple
    Proficiencies: None
    Skill Points per Level: 2 + Int modifier
    Class Skills: Climb, Jump, Swim, Spot, Listen, Search

    Level 1: Horrific Graft, Path to Perfection
    Level 2: Horrific Graft, Infernal Stitching 1/day
    Level 3: Horrific Graft, -1 Dex
    Level 4: Horrific Graft, Infernal Stitching 2/day
    Level 5: Horrific Graft, Redundant Systems
    Level 6: Horrific Graft, Infernal Stitching 3/day, -1 Dex
    Level 7: Horrific Graft, Driven
    Level 8: Horrific Graft
    Level 9: Horrific Graft, -2 Dex
    Level 10: Horrific Graft, Degeneration

    Horrific Graft: The patchwork shambler is able to harvest body parts from the fallen, then attach these parts to himself using a common needle and thread. Harvesting parts from a corpse is usually as simple as hitting AC 10 with a slashing weapon. Once it's been removed from its former owner, the patchwork shambler can attach the part to himself in five rounds (although they usually prefer to do this outside of combat). The patchwork shambler can only attach one new body part to himself per level, but if he loses a part, it can be reattached using the above rules.

    The patchwork shambler gets different benefits depending on the body part.

    Head: +2 Spot, +2 Search. If the head belonged to an arcane spellcaster, the patchwork shambler gets an additional +2 to that creature's spellcasting stat and can cast spells as though he had gained a level in the creature's primary spellcasting class.

    Arm: +2 to grapple checks, +1 Str. The patchwork shambler gains a slam attack for every additional arm he grafts to his body. The damage this attack deals is based on the size of the arm: small arms deal 1d4 damage, medium arms deal 1d6 damage, large arms deal 1d8 damage, et cetera. Str modifiers apply normally.

    Leg: +5 feet to base land speed. The patchwork shambler gains new slam attacks for leg grafts just as he does with arm grafts.

    Heart: +2 Con. The patchwork shambler also gains the ability to rage once per day (as a barbarian) per heart graft.

    Pair of Wings: Flight. Whether they are harvested from a harpy, a dire bat, or any other creature, a pair of appropriately-sized wings grants the patchwork shambler the ability to fly at his base land speed with clumsy maneuverability. For each new pair of wings he grafts to himself, his maneuverability increases by one increment (from clumsy to poor, from poor to average, et cetera) and his flight speed increases by 20 feet.

    Other grafts are possible. Note that the patchwork shambler must perform the stitching himself in order for the graft to be accepted - the Goader is unsatisfied unless the shambler is an active participant in his own downfall.

    Path to Perfection: Once a character begins to gain levels in the patchwork shambler PrC, he can no longer gain levels in any other class without immediately beginning to suffer the effects of Degeneration.

    Infernal Stitching: The patchwork shambler may spend an entire round stitching up his wounds, healing damage equal to 2d6 plus 1/level of patchwork shambler. If attacked while stitching himself up, he must succeed at a Concentration, Profession (tailor), or Heal check (whichever is highest) versus the damage dealt to him in order to complete the repairs. If he fails the check, he loses that use of Infernal Stitching for the day.

    Redundant Systems: As the patchwork shambler gains body parts, he becomes less vulnerable to attacks that target vital areas. When the patchwork shambler is attacked, only natural rolls of 20 count as critical threats regardless of the weapon's critical range.

    Driven: The patchwork shambler's quest for perfection has so thoroughly consumed him that nothing can sway him from his path. He becomes immune to all mind-affecting effects, as well as sleep-inducing effects.

    Degeneration: Ultimately, the Goader abandons the body of the patchwork shambler, and he sees himself for what he has become: a murderous abomination. His body, no longer held together by the Goader's will, begins to disintegrate. Upon reaching tenth level, the Goader will remain alive for a number of days equal to 3d6 plus his Con modifier, then die. No saving throw is allowed.

    It is conceivable that a spell exists which can permanently bind the Goader to the patchwork shambler, allowing the patchwork shambler to live indefinitely.

    [hr]

    What do you think? Creepy? Stupid?
    Evan Dittismith avatar courtesy of The Stoney One.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Something Completely Different: Patchwork Sham

    Definately a very interesting NPC class, imagine encountering one of those monstrosities somewhere!

    Very much suited to a horror campaign especially if it's developed extensively and described well.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Something Completely Different: Patchwork Sham

    Is there be a way to prematurely exorcise a Goader?

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Something Completely Different: Patchwork Sham

    It seems to me that Cha penalties may be more appropriate than Dex penalties. However, this class is very powerful (although it does lead to the character's inevitable death), and penalties to both might not be unreasonable.

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    Default Re: Something Completely Different: Patchwork Sham

    Looks really interesting. I'm going to use this in my campaign.
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Something Completely Different: Patchwork Sham

    Very appropriate for a Ravenloft or Cthulu based campaign but could be fitted in just about anywhere with a little work.

    Imagine an evil spellcaster or cleric who controls one of these as a minion by binding the Goader that inhabits it. If the minion disobeys then pop no more Goader and death follows a short while later. Would be even more effective if the shambler is someone the PCs must trust or rely on for some thing they need for the quest/mission.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MagFlare's Avatar

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    Default Re: Something Completely Different: Patchwork Sham

    Quote Originally Posted by UnrealTiger
    Definately a very interesting NPC class, imagine encountering one of those monstrosities somewhere!

    Very much suited to a horror campaign especially if it's developed extensively and described well.
    Thanks for the compliment. I imagine the most terrible thing you could do with this class is have someone the PCs already know be possessed by a Goader.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jothki
    Is there be a way to prematurely exorcise a Goader?
    I really ought to do a separate writeup for the Goader, covering the rules of both possession and exorcism. Needless to say, it ought to be pretty tough to exorcise one of these guys - let's say that Dismissal or Banishment would potentially do the job, but...

    1.) Goaders have crazy-high Will saves,

    2.) the patchwork shambler sees any attempt to exorcise him as an attack, and

    3.) even if you do succeed, the patchwork shambler enters the Degeneration phase, making death inevitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deleran
    It seems to me that Cha penalties may be more appropriate than Dex penalties. However, this class is very powerful (although it does lead to the character's inevitable death), and penalties to both might not be unreasonable.
    I'd considered that. My only problem with a Cha penalty is that Cha represents physical attractiveness and social skills as well as willpower; patchwork shamblers definitely lack the first two, but they've got all sorts of willpower, and I'm not sure how best to penalize #1 and #2 without harming #3 as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by McDeath
    Looks really interesting. I'm going to use this in my campaign.
    Thanks! Tell me how it works out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marak_Knight
    Very appropriate for a Ravenloft or Cthulu based campaign but could be fitted in just about anywhere with a little work.

    Imagine an evil spellcaster or cleric who controls one of these as a minion by binding the Goader that inhabits it. If the minion disobeys then pop no more Goader and death follows a short while later. Would be even more effective if the shambler is someone the PCs must trust or rely on for some thing they need for the quest/mission.
    I like this idea. It actually makes the patchwork shambler a little bit sympathetic.
    Evan Dittismith avatar courtesy of The Stoney One.

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