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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Shadow Theory (d20 Modern Horror)



    A game of supernatural, apocalyptic horror for d20 Modern.


    Throughout history, there have always been reports of strange, horrific creatures hiding in the darkness that surrounds our society. Stories of magic and unearthly powers abound through our collective consciousness. From where, however, do these ideas come? Why do we instinctively fear the dark? Darkness is a doorway, but it is one that we cannot open. Without the key, we begin to consider the darkness as a wall, a permanent, immovable fixture of our world, but our subconscious mind still recognizes the doorway's true purpose. We instinctively know that something, somewhere, has the key.

    Outside our perception, beyond the veil of shadow and reality, is another world, one that overlays our own in a twisted mockery only glimpsed in the most fevered dreams of the clinically insane. The denizens of this Otherworld occasionally breach the barrier when the stars are right, wreaking havoc in our world and seeding stories of crazed beasts that disembowel children who disobey their parents. These intrusions are quickly dealt with by the rare few who have the knowledge and courage to battle the darkness. Throughout the ages, these heroic individuals are all that stood between our peaceful existence and mind-bending horror. Until now.

    On November 18th, 2010, the unthinkable happened. The wall between the two worlds melted away, allowing the corrosive, alien essence of the Otherworld to bleed into our reality, corrupting and warping everything it touched. Humans became monsters within seconds of exposure, and began to seek the flesh of their former acquaintances. Not out of a need for sustenance, but out of an overwhelming desire for raw materials to fuel their own transformation. Indescribable entities from the Otherworld seeped through the shadows, complicating the already horrific event. The embodiment of nightmares crawled from beneath beds and devoured children. Gibbering death crept out of closets and alleyways, from the backseats of cars and from within the walls. Unable and unwilling to accept or understand what was happening, human society collapsed in a single, fateful night.

    Those who managed to survive did so not through strength or charm, or even skill or intellect, but through sheer luck and random circumstances. These survivors found themselves alone and desperate in a world filled with malice and hostility, populated by sinister beings that lurk hungrily in the dark. The only things that protect these rare few are their resourcefulness, their strength of will, and light. As the sun rose on that blood-soaked dawn, the entities retreated to the shadowy corners of the now-desolate cities. They fear the light.

    And now, more than ever, we fear the dark.


    This is a custom campaign setting for d20 Modern, and is very heavily a Work-In-Progress. Suggestions, opinions, and comments are welcome.

    What Is Shadow Theory?
    Shadow Theory is a custom addition to the d20 Modern system to aid in the creation of campaigns and scenarios of the survival horror or action horror genres. It draws primarily on zombie horror and can be used to run a strictly zombie campaign, but Shadow Theory also offers Lovecraftian monsters and motifs of the cosmic horror genre. Without modification, the standard Shadow Theory rules lend themselves to a campaign that players have described as a mixture of I Am Legend and Silent Hill.

    The ruleset is intended to be as modular as possible, allowing a GM to alter the rules to fit their campaign with minimal fuss. The reanimation rules can be ignored or modified should you prefer zombies that stay dead, or that remain dead only when finished off. The Entities can be ignored wholesale if you do not like the cosmic horror they embody, or the Tainted can be ignored if you prefer a more Call of Cthulhu or Silent Hill type of game. Don't want magick? Ignore the Shadow Sorcery chapter.

    However, some modules are so ingrained in the game that removing them will require across-the-board modifications. Some monsters depend on the Sanity rules, such as the Psychic Vampire or the Haruspex and its evolutions, for their abilities to function, and removing them would require the GM to come up with other means for these abilities to function. The Vitality and Wound rules, likewise, are ingrained in many of the monsters and would require some modification to them. These modifications, however, will not be an extensive overhaul, and care has been taken to make forming Shadow Theory to your particular brand of horror a relatively simple process.

    What Makes Shadow Theory Different?
    Mechanically, Shadow Theory isn't terribly different from most other games. Spells have a cost, zombies are vulnerable to repeated bludgeoning or gunshots, and a variety of opponents keeps heroes thinking of new tactics. The difference, however, lies in the themes that went into the design.

    Typical zombie horror focuses on gore for its scares. Bloody claws, mutilated corpses, and jump-out-and-get-you are common. The moral of the story, however, is almost invariably "WE are the real monsters," with the apocalyptic backdrop amplifying the inter-party conflict until the inevitable betrayal. The story teaches you that very few people can be trusted, and that most are consumed with self-interest and will abandon you to the claws of monsters if it suits them. In fact, many characters in zombie horror appear to be sociopaths.

    Shadow Theory is based on a very different premise: Humans are basically good. They may get scared, and do stupid or cowardly things when they're scared, but at their heart, humans in Shadow Theory are wired for varying degrees of altruism. Humans are social creatures. Though we fear the "every-man-for-himself" mentality in life-threatening situations, sociological studies indicate the opposite is true: when humans are faced with a crisis that threatens every individual, the affected individuals band together. Instead of a clash of self-interest, the identity fades away and merges into a single, group entity that works as one to overcome the problem. When a plane crashed into a frozen river, the survivors did not clamber out as fast as possible and walk off once they were safe. Instead, they risked their own lives to form a human chain to assist others who were still trapped in the wreckage. These individuals gained nothing from helping to save the lives of others. They were not paid, they were not rewarded with favors, and they were not given great positions within their occupation. They did it because most of us are wired to help others.

    This theme is reflected in the Sanity rules. Overcoming the adversity of the Otherworld and saving the lives of other survivors is rewarded with Sanity, a very precious commodity. Likewise, saving one's self at the cost of another is penalized with an automatic loss. This is not to force players to play altruistic saints and paragons of humanity, or space marines who fear nothing. Quite the contrary. Even if a character is selfish, they understand on a deeper level that a life is more important than social stigmas and personal wealth. They understand that they need other people as much as others need them. If they don't, the ever-present pall of the Otherworld's malice will soon make it apparent.

    Official: Alpha Version PDF Available (Revision 5) This version is the latest, containing complete and properly formatted information.

    Experimental: Shadow Theory (Latest) Note that this is renewed after every single one of my updates, and may contain formatting errors, incomplete data, and other artifacts.

    New Rules

    Advanced Classes

    Building Characters

    Of Light and Darkness

    The New World
    • The Otherworld
    • Gods of the Otherworld
    • Arkham
      • Pickman Air Force Base
      • Miskatonic University
      • St. Mary's Hospital

    Magick
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2012-02-21 at 09:55 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Sanity



    Sanity

    Deep into that darkness peering... long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting...

    ~ Edgar Allen Poe, "The Raven" ~

    Sanity is the natural mental state of ordinary life. Normal mental balance is endangered when characters confront the horrors of the Otherworld - their entities and activities are shocking, unnatural, and bewildering. Such encounters cause characters to lose Sanity points, which in turn risks temporary, indefinite, or permanent insanity. Mental stability and lost Sanity points may be restored, up to a point, but mental scars may remain.

    Insanity occurs if too many Sanity points are lost in too short a time. Insanity does not necessarily occur if Sanity points are low, but a lower Sanity point total makes some forms of insanity more likely to occur after an emotional shock occurs. The character's Sanity may be regained after a few minutes, recovered after a few months, or lost forever.

    A character may regain Sanity points, and even increase her Sanity point maximum. However, an increase in a character's Forbidden Lore skill always lowers her potential maximum Sanity by an equal amount.

    Loss of Sanity
    Conflict, abuse, or any other strong personal experience inflicts emotional scars. Additionally, some knowledge can permanently fracture the human psyche. The revelation that the laws of space and time that we believe to be universal and immutable are only locally valid, and only partly true, is more painful and destructive to the human mind than any other experience, and it is one from which we cannot walk away.

    Outside our perception, alien powers wait with hostility. Many have begun to encroach on our world. The true universe is one with no joy or comfort. It is driven by mind-bending forces to which our existence holds no significance, and our desires and needs matter not at all. Human insanity confirms these horrific realizations, and is often caused by them. Through madness, we glimpse the dark and boding truths at the heart of reality.

    Sanity is ordinarily lost in a few specific ways.

    Learning the Truth
    Knowledge is dangerous, and none more dangerous than knowledge of the Otherworld - the true face of reality in the universe. No amount of drugs or therapy can remove the danger of self-transformation from such knowledge.

    Using Spells
    Magic relies on the physics of the Otherworld. By learning and casting spells, characters visualize the unimaginable, warping their minds to follow alien ways of thought. These wound the mind. Such traumas are ones for which the casters volunteer, it is true, but they are shocks all the same.

    Reading Forbidden Tomes
    Forbidden tomes add ranks to a survivor's Forbidden Lore skill and teach magic. Studying and comprehending forbidden tomes causes all that we know to become like shadows. The whispers of the Otherworld haunts our every waking moment. Whether we try to retreat from the experience or hunger greedily for more, it destroys our confidence in what we once believed.

    Encountering the Unimaginable
    When people perceive the creatures and entities of the Otherworld, it costs them some portion of their minds, as such creatures are intrinsically discomforting and repellent. We never lose awareness of their obscene, alien nature. This instinctive reaction is an intrinsic aspect of every human being.

    Severe Shocks
    Mundane shocks can also cost Sanity. This includes witnessing untimely or violent death, experiencing personal mutilation, loss of social position, treachery, the failure of love, or whatever else the Gamemaster decides is sufficiently extreme.

    Sanity Points
    Sanity points measure the stability of a character's mind. This trait provides a way to display the sanity inherent in a character, the most stability a character can ever have, and the current level of sane rationality that a character still preserves, even after numerous shocks and horrid revelations.

    Sanity is measured in three ways: starting Sanity (5 times the character's Wisdom score), maximum Sanity (99 minus Forbidden Lore ranks), and current Sanity.

    Starting Sanity
    Starting Sanity equals a character's Wisdom score multiplied by 5. This score represents a starting character's current Sanity points, as well as the upper limit of Sanity that can be restored by therapy. After creation, a character's current Sanity score often fluctuates considerably and might never again match starting Sanity. A change in a character's Wisdom score changes the starting Sanity score in regard to what therapy can restore. Current Sanity, however, does not change if Wisdom rises or falls.

    Maximum Sanity
    The Forbidden Lore skill simulates character comprehension of aspects of the Otherworld. Once gained, this horrible knowledge is never forgotten, and the character consequently surrenders mental equilibrium. A character's Sanity weakens as his comprehension of the Otherworld increases. Such is the way of the universe.

    A character's current Sanity can never be higher than 99 minus the modifier the character has in the Forbidden Lore skill. This number is the character's maximum Sanity.

    Current Sanity
    A character's current Sanity points fluctuate almost as often (and sometimes much more often) than hit points.

    Making a Sanity Check
    When a character encounters a gruesome, unnatural, or supernatural situation, the GM may require a player to make a Sanity check with a percentile dice (d%). The check succeeds if the result is equal to or less than the character's current Sanity.

    On a successful check, the character either loses no Sanity or only loses a minimal amount. Potential Sanity loss is usually shown as two numbers or dice rolls separated by a slash, such as 0/1d4. The number before the slash indicates the number of Sanity points lost if the Sanity check succeeds (in this case, none); the number after the slash indicates the number of Sanity points lost if the Sanity check fails (in this case, between 1 and 4 points).

    A character's current Sanity is also at risk when the character reads certain books, learns the spells contained within, and attempts to cast them. These losses are usually automatic (no Sanity check is involved) – the character who chooses to undertake that activity forfeits the required Sanity points.

    For the most part, a new Sanity-shaking confrontation requires a new Sanity check. However, the GM always gets to decide when characters make Sanity checks. Confronting several horribly mangled corpses at one time or in rapid succession may call for just one Sanity check, while the same encounters at intervals of several game hours may require separate checks.

    Going Insane
    Losing more than a few Sanity points may also cause the character to go insane, as described below. If a character's Sanity points drop to 0, she begins the quick slide into permanent insanity. Each round, the character loses another point of Sanity. Once a character reaches -10 Sanity points, she is hopelessly, incurably insane. See the Psychotherapy skill for information on stabilizing a character on the threshold of permanent insanity.

    Desensitization
    Never underestimate the ability of the human mind to adapt, even to the most horrific experiences. Reading and rereading the same bit of disturbing text or seeing the same horrible image over and over eventually provokes no further loss. Within a reasonable interval of play, usually a single night of the game, characters should not lose more Sanity points for seeing monsters of a particular sort than the maximum possible points a character could lose for seeing one such monster. For instance, the Sanity loss for seeing a single forsaken husk is 1/1d6. Thus, in the same game day or in the same play session, no character should lose more than 6 Sanity points total for seeing any number of forsaken husks. Keep in mind that the interpretation of “reasonable interval” must vary by GM and situation. When it feels right, the GM should rule that the horror is renewed and points must be lost again.

    Learning or casting spells never becomes a normal thing to do. No matter how many times a character casts a spell, no matter what the time interval between castings may be, the Sanity loss is always the same. This is true of anything that a character does willingly. For example, if brutally murdering a friend costs 2/2d10 Sanity, this loss is incurred each time, even if the character loses the maximum possible points after the first or even the second murder.

    Insanity
    Character insanity is induced by a swift succession of shocking experiences or ghastly revelations, events usually connected with the Otherworld. The type of insanity incurred depends on the proportion of Sanity points lost. The duration of insanity varies as well.

    Horrifying encounters can result in three states of mental unbalance. Two of them, temporary and indefinite insanity, can be cured. The third, permanent insanity, results when a character's Sanity is reduced to -10 or below and by definition, cannot be cured.

    Temporary Insanity
    Whenever a character loses Sanity points greater than or equal to one-half her Wisdom score from a single roll, she has suffered enough shock that the GM must ask for another Sanity check. If the check fails, then the character realizes the full significance of what she saw or experienced and goes temporarily insane. If the check succeeds, the character does not go mad, but in consequence, she may not clearly remember what she experienced – a trick the mind plays to protect itself.

    Temporary insanity might last for a few minutes or a few days. Perhaps the character acquires a phobia or fetish befitting the situation, faints, becomes hysterical, or suffers nervous twitches, but she can still respond well enough to run away or hide.

    The character remains in this state for the length of time rolled by the GM. The GM must describe the insanity so that the player can roleplay it accordingly. Anyone can create new insanities as appropriate – though for the shortest extents, simple characterization will do, such as “lies on the ground and twitches,” “runs shrieking into the night,” or “drools and squeaks like a baby.” The character is overwhelmed by fear or horror, incapacitated, and then recovers quickly.

    Successful application of the Psychotherapy skill or Treat Injury skill may alleviate or erase temporary insanity.

    Temporary insanity concludes when the duration of game time rolled has elapsed, or when the GM feels the end to be appropriate. The intent of temporary insanity is forcing a character's behavior to noticeably change for a limited time. Whether this means that the character is babbling in some corner, running away in a panic, or attacking anything and everything within reach is up to the creativity and inspiration of the player and the GM.

    After the temporary insanity ends, traces or even profound evidence of the experience should remain. No reason exists that a phobia, for instance, should depart from someone's mind as quickly as a train pulls out of a station. What remains behind after the brief episode of insanity should exert a pervasive influence on the character. The character may still be a bit batty, but her conscious mind once again runs the show.

    Indefinite Insanity
    If a character loses 20% (one-fifth) or more of her current Sanity points in 1 game hour, she goes indefinitely insane. The GM judges when the impact of events calls for such a measure. Some GM's never apply the concept to more than the result of a single die roll, since this state can remove characters from play for extended periods. Beginning immediately, indefinite insanity lasts 1d6 game months (or as the GM indicates). Symptoms of indefinite insanity may not be immediately apparent. This may give the GM additional time to decide what the effects of the bout of insanity might be.

    The state of indefinite insanity is encompassing and incapacitating. For instance, a schizophrenic may be able to walk the streets babbling and gesticulating, find rudimentary shelter, and be able to scrounge for enough food to survive, but most of the business of the mind has departed into itself: She cannot fully interact with friends, family, and acquaintances. Conversation, cooperation, and personal regard have vanished.

    It is possible for characters with indefinite insanity to continue to be played as active characters, depending on the form their madness takes. The character may still be able to stumble madly through the rest of the adventure. However, with her weakened grasp on reality, she is a danger to herself and others.

    For the most part, indefinitely insane characters should be removed from active play until they recover. That player might be able to use a temporary character until the end of the story, usually an NPC survivor the party has contact with. The victim of insanity may be able to alleviate their symptoms through use of psychiatric medication (see below), allowing them to continue to be played despite their psychotic break.

    If a character goes mad near the end of an adventure, the GM may decide to set the beginning of the next adventure after the insane character recovers.

    The indefinitely insane are in limbo, unable to help themselves or others. The psychoanalysis skill can be used to restore Sanity points during this period, but the underlying insanity remains.

    After recovery, the victim retains definite traces of madness. For example, he might hesitate to step out onto a bridge for fear that “gravity will get him,” even though he knows rationally that the bridge will not collapse. The character is in control, but the experience has changed him, perhaps forever.

    Gaining the Forbidden Lore Skill
    A character's first instance of Otherworld-related insanity bestows 2 ranks of the Forbidden Lore skill, thereby lowering maximum Sanity by 2 points. Each time a character fails a Sanity check and endures another Otherworld-related episode of insanity (that is, temporary or indefinite insanity), he gains an additional rank in Forbidden Lore. No maximum rank exists for a character's Forbidden Lore skill.

    For example, Jesse has 1 rank of Forbidden Lore after reading a strange manuscript. She then steps outside, sees a psychic vampire, and goes indefinitely insane, her raving mind failing to understand the unearthly manifestation. Since she has never gone mad before, her player adds two ranks of Forbidden Lore to Jesse's character sheet. Now Jesse's maximum Sanity is 96 (99 minus 3 ranks of Forbidden Lore).

    Permanent Insanity
    Characters who reach -10 Sanity go permanently insane. The character becomes an NPC under the control of the GM. A character with -10 Sanity points may be reduced to a raving lunatic or may be outwardly indistinguishable from a normal person, but inwardly corrupted by the pursuit of knowledge and power. Some of the most dangerous enemies are characters who have gone completely insane, been corrupted by the Otherworld, and “gone over to the other side.”

    A character who has gone permanently insane can never be normal again. She is forever lost in her own world. This need not mean a lifetime in a padded cell, merely that the character has retreated so far from reality that sanity can never be restored. She might be able to lead, within restricted bounds, a more or less normal life if kept away from the things that trigger strong responses in her individual case. Yet a relapse may come quickly. Her calm façade can be destroyed in seconds if her fragile equilibrium is disturbed by even the smallest reminder of whatever it was that drove her mad.

    Characters in the Shadow Theory campaign setting who reach -10 Sanity become either one of the Lost, or one of the Fallen.

    Recovering Sanity
    A character's Sanity score can increase during the events of a campaign. Although a character's Sanity score can never exceed 99 minus her Forbidden Lore skill modifier, her current Sanity and maximum Sanity can exceed starting Sanity.

    Mental Therapy
    To give useful therapy, the therapist must have the Psychotherapy skill. Intensive therapy can return Sanity points to a troubled character. However, Sanity points restored can never exceed the patient's starting Sanity. Psychotherapy can restore but never improve the character. A character can have only one therapist at a time.

    Psychotherapy can also be used to help a character snap out of temporary insanity. It does not speed recovery from indefinite insanity, but it can strengthen the character by adding Sanity points.

    Recovery from indefinite insanity only comes with time (typically 1d6 months). It is not dependent upon the character's total Sanity points and is not connected with them. A character can be sane with 24 Sanity points and insane while possessing 77 Sanity points.

    Psychiatric Medications
    As long as a character can find a psychiatric medication and is able to take it, the symptoms of indefinite insanity can be ignored. Taking such drugs does not make a character immune or even particularly resistant to further Sanity losses. A Knowledge (earth and life sciences) check against DC 15 is needed to accurately prescribe the correct medications and dosage.

    A 50% chance exists that a given drug will have either a physical or mental side effect. If the side effects are physical, the character suffers a -1 penalty to all attack rolls, Fortitude and Reflex saves, and Strength-, Constitution-, and Dexterity-based skill checks. If the side effects are mental, the patient suffers a -1 penalty to Will saves and to Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based skill checks. If more than one medication is taken due to multiple symptoms, the character will automatically have side effects and has a 50% chance for both mental and physical side effects. Side effects last for as long as the medication is taken. The die roll is made one time, upon the first instance of a particular character's taking a particular drug.

    Long-term drug therapy can restore lost Sanity, just as use of the Psychotherapy skill can. For each month the character takes an accurately prescribed psychiatric medication, she regains 1d3 Sanity points. As with Psychotherapy, long-term drug therapy can never raise a character's current Sanity above starting Sanity.

    A character can benefit from both Psychotherapy and drug therapy in the same month.

    Level Gains
    When a character gains a level, she gains Sanity. This gain comes from the satisfaction of improving yourself and gaining experience.

    Since levels are gained as a result of experience points, and experience points are earned by overcoming threats and challenges, a character who gains levels realizes that while fantastic horrors assail our world, they can be bested – or at least driven off for a time.

    Each time a character rises to a new level, roll 1d6 and add the result to the character's current Sanity. Points gained from advancing in level are not subject to the restriction of starting Sanity. They can raise current Sanity to any total equal to or less than maximum Sanity.

    Completing Missions
    In a world dominated by supernatural horrors, mere survival is difficult enough. When the characters complete an adventure and acquire desperately needed supplies, a more secure living space, or a weapons cache despite the presence of Otherworld influence, they have done what many would consider impossible. They have helped themselves despite the overwhelming odds, and this knowledge bolsters them in the face of the Otherworld entities.

    At the end of a successful mission in which the party was in mortal danger due to the Otherworld's influence, they should be awarded 1d6 points of Sanity, or more if they foiled a powerful or dangerous entity. Like points gained from advancing in level, this increase is not subject to the restriction of starting Sanity. It can raise current Sanity to any total equal to or less than maximum Sanity.

    Preserving the Human Race
    Humans are social creatures. We desire and need each other for support and companionship, and there is no time this interdependency is more obvious than when the world crumbles under the power of alien entities.

    Whenever the characters save a previously unknown survivor from Otherworldly peril, they should be awarded with 1d6 Sanity points. Like points gained from advancing in level, this increase is not subject to the restriction of starting Sanity. It can raise current Sanity to any total equal to or less than maximum Sanity. Note that failing to do so will almost certainly result in Sanity loss as the victim is disemboweled by horrific beings. Allowing another person to fall into monstrous clutches, however, carries an even greater cost to one's psyche. Intentionally abandoning another survivor to a horrific fate, even if it's to save one's self, causes the individual to automatically fail the resulting Sanity check. The survivor will always be haunted by the thoughts of what they could have done differently.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-02-27 at 10:03 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Vitality and Wound Points



    Vitality and Wound Points


    It is uncommon to fire all six shots of a revolver with great suddenness when one would probably be sufficient, but many things in the life of Herbert West were uncommon.

    ~ H.P. Lovecraft, "Herbert West -- Reanimator" ~

    The vitality and wound points system was originally developed as a more cinematic method of handling damage than the traditional hit point system. The system allows for characters to improve the amount of punishment they can withstand as they go up in level, while still allowing for a single lucky attack to take down a character.

    Vitality Points
    Vitality points are a measure of a character’s ability to turn a direct hit into a graze or a glancing blow with no serious consequences. Like hit points in the standard d20 rules, vitality points go up with level, giving high-level characters more ability to shrug off attacks. Most types of damage reduce vitality points.

    Characters gain vitality points as they gain levels. Just as with hit points in the standard d20 rules, at each level a character rolls a vitality die and adds his Constitution modifier, adding the total to his vitality point total. (And, just as with hit points, a character always gains at least 1 vitality point per level, regardless of his roll or Constitution modifier.) A 1st-level character gets the maximum vitality die result rather than rolling. The vitality die of a character class is the same as the standard hit point die granted by that class.

    Wound Points
    Wound points measure how much true physical damage a character can withstand. Damage reduces wound points only after all vitality points are gone, or when a character is struck by a critical hit. A character has a number of wound points equal to her current Constitution score.

    Critical Hits

    A critical hit deals the same amount of damage as a normal hit, but that damage is deducted from wound points rather than from vitality points. Critical hits do not deal extra damage; for that reason, no weapon in this system has a damage multiplier for its critical hits.

    Any critical hit automatically overcomes a creature’s damage reduction, regardless of whether or not the attack could normally do so.

    Most weapons retain their normal critical threat range. If a weapon normally has a critical multiplier greater than ×2, the weapon’s threat range expands by 1 point per additional multiplier, as indicated on the table.

    {table=head] Multiplier | New Threat Range
    ×3 | 19-20
    ×4 | 18-20
    ×5 | 17-20 [/table]

    Injury And Death
    Vitality and wound points together measure how hard a character is to hurt and kill. The damage from each successful attack and each fight accumulates, dropping a character’s vitality point or wound point total until he runs out of points.

    Nonlethal Damage
    Attacks that deal nonlethal damage reduce vitality just like lethal damage, but they do not deal actual wound damage. However, whenever a character would normally have sustained wound damage, he must succeed on a Fortitude saving thow (DC 5 + number of wound points that would have been lost from the attack) or be knocked unconscious for 1d4 rounds.

    For example, a character has 3 vitality remaining, and 13 wound points. He suffers an attack from a martial artist that deals 6 points of nonlethal damage. He now has 0 vitality and 13 wound points, and must make a Fortitude save against a DC 8 (5 plus the 3 wound damage he would have suffered if the attack had dealt lethal damage) or be knocked unconscious.

    0 Vitality Points
    At 0 vitality points, a character can no longer avoid taking real physical damage. Any additional damage he receives reduces his wound points.

    Taking Wound Damage
    The first time a character takes wound damage—even a single point—he becomes fatigued. A fatigued character can’t run or charge and takes a -2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity until he has rested for 8 hours (or until the wound damage is healed, if that occurs first). Additional wound damage doesn’t make the character exhausted.

    In addition, any time an attack deals wound damage to a character, he must succeed on a Fortitude saving thow (DC 5 + number of wound points lost from the attack) or be stunned for 1d4 rounds. (During that time, any other character can take a standard action to help the stunned character recover; doing so ends the stunned condition.)

    0 Wound Points
    Wound points cannot drop below 0; any damage that would cause a character’s wound point total to drop below 0 simply causes the character to have 0 wound points. At 0 wound points, a character is disabled and must attempt a DC 15 Fortitude save. If he succeeds on the save, he is merely disabled. If he fails, he falls unconscious and begins dying.

    Any wound damage sustained by a disabled character immediately reduces him to dying, and any wound damage sustained by a dying character immediately kills him.

    Disabled
    A disabled character is conscious, but can only take a single move or standard action each turn (but not both, nor can she take full-round actions). She moves at half speed. Taking move actions doesn’t risk further injury, but performing any standard action (or any other action the GM deems strenuous, including some free actions such as casting a quickened spell) worsen the character’s condition to dying (unless it involved healing; see below).

    Dying
    A dying character is unconscious and near death. Each round on his turn, a dying character must make a Fortitude save (DC 10, +1 per turn after the first) to become stable.

    If the character fails the save, he dies.

    If the character succeeds on the save by less than 5, he does not die but does not improve. He is still dying and must continue to make Fortitude saves every round.

    If the character succeeds on the save by 5 or more but by less than 10, he becomes stable but remains unconscious.

    If the character succeeds on the save by 10 or more, he becomes conscious and disabled.

    Another character can make a dying character stable by succeeding on a DC 15 Treat Injury check as a standard action (which provokes attacks of opportunity).

    Stable Characters and Recovery
    A stable character is unconscious. Every hour, a stable character must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10, +1 per hour after the first) to remain stable.

    If the character fails the save, he becomes dying.

    If the character succeeds on the save by less than 5, he does not get any worse, but does not improve. He is still stable and unconscious, and must continue to make Fortitude saves every hour. If the character succeeds on the save by 5 or more, he becomes conscious and disabled.

    An unaided stable, conscious character at 0 wound points has a 10% chance to start recovering wound points naturally that day.
    Once an unaided character starts recovering wound points naturally, he is no longer in danger of dying.

    Recovering with Help
    A dying character can be made stable with a DC 15 Treat Injury check (a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity). One hour after a tended, dying character becomes stable, roll d%. He has a 10% chance of regaining consciousness, at which point he becomes disabled. If he remains unconscious, he has the same chance to regain consciousness every hour. Even while unconscious, he recovers wound points naturally, becoming conscious and able to resume normal activity when his wound points rise to 1 or higher.

    Special Damage Situations
    The vitality point system changes the way some special damage effects work.

    Coup de Grace
    A coup de grace functions normally in that it automatically hits and scores a critical hit (and thus the damage dealt is applied to the target’s wound points). If the defender survives the damage, he must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the amount of damage dealt) or die.

    Massive Damage
    The massive damage rule does not apply under this system.

    Healing
    After taking damage, a character can recover vitality and wound points through natural healing (over the course of hours or days), or through assistance. In any case, a character can’t regain vitality points or wound points above his full normal totals.

    Natural Healing
    Characters recover vitality points at a rate of one vitality point per hour per character level.

    With a full night’s rest, a character recovers 1 wound point, or 2 with complete bed rest for 24 hours. Any significant interruption during the rest period prevents the character from healing that night.

    Assisted Healing
    A character who provides long-term care doubles the rate at which a wounded character recovers lost vitality and wound points, just like with hit points.

    Any talents, skills, special abilities, or spells that restore hit points work somewhat differently under the vitality and wound system. Amounts of healing determined by a die roll are added to vitality, while static healing is directed at wound points. For instance, the tough hero's second wind talent restores a number of wound points equal to his constitution modifier. The first aid use of treat injury, conversely, restores 1d4 vitality. The exception to this is surgery, which always restores 1d6 wound points, regardless of character level.

    Healing that is a combination of a die roll and a static modifier, such as first aid used by a dedicated hero with the healing touch talents or by most healing spells, apply separately to either pool. A paramedic with the healing touch I talent restores 1d4 vitality and 2 wound points.

    NPCs And Monsters

    Vitality points are only granted to heroic characters. Ordinaries have no vitality points (either at 1st level or thereafter). Such characters have wound points equal to their Constitution score. Thus, a typical 1st-level police officer has no vitality points and 12 wound points. All damage dealt to such creatures is applied to their wound points.

    Most monsters, on the other hand, have both wound points and vitality points. For Small, Medium and Large creatures, a monster’s wound point total is equal to its current Constitution score. Creatures smaller or larger than that have their wound point total multiplied by a factor based on their size, as indicated on the table.

    {table=head] Size | Wound Point Multiplier
    Fine | ×1/8
    Diminutive | ×1/4
    Tiny | ×1/2
    Small | ×1
    Medium | ×1
    Large | ×1
    Huge | ×2
    Gargantuan | ×4
    Colossal | ×8 [/table]

    A monster’s vitality point total is equal to the number of hit points it would normally have, based on its type and Constitution score. The GM may choose not to assign vitality points to creatures that pose little or no threat to PCs, such as domesticated herd animals.

    Creatures without Constitution Scores
    Some creatures, such as undead and constructs, do not have Constitution scores. If a creature has no Constitution score, it has no vitality points. Instead, it has wound points equal to the number of vitality points it would have based on its HD and type. Such creatures are never fatigued or stunned by wound damage.

    Bonus Hit Points
    If a creature would have bonus hit points based on its type, these are treated as bonus wound points. (For example, a Medium construct gets 20 bonus wound points.) The same holds true for any permanent effect that increases a character’s hit point total (such as the Toughness feat, which adds 3 to the character’s wound point total).

    Damage Reduction
    Damage reduction functions normally, reducing damage dealt by attacks. However, any critical hit automatically overcomes a creature’s damage reduction, regardless of whether the attack could normally do so. For example, a critical hit against a skeleton (DR 5/bludgeoning) overcomes the creature’s damage reduction even if it was hit with a weapon that does not deal bludgeoning damage.

    Fast Healing
    Creatures with fast healing regain vitality points at an exceptionally fast rate, usually 1 or more vitality points per round, as given in the creature’s description (for example, a vampire has fast healing 5).

    If a creature with fast healing has no Constitution score, fast healing restores lost wound points instead. The same doesn’t apply to creatures that have no vitality points but do have a Constitution score (such as a human warrior or domestic animal). Such creatures gain no benefit from fast healing.

    Regeneration
    All damage dealt to creatures with regeneration is vitality point damage, even in the case of critical hits. The creature automatically heals vitality point damage at a fixed rate per round, as given in the entry (for example, a troll has regeneration 5). A regenerating creature that runs out of vitality points becomes fatigued just as if it had taken wound point damage. Excess damage, however, does not reduce its wound points. Certain attack forms, typically fire and acid, automatically deal wound damage to a regenerating creature, though it may attempt a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt) to convert this to vitality damage, which it can regenerate normally. Otherwise, regeneration functions as described in the standard rules and in individual monster descriptions.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-03-15 at 11:23 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default New and Modified Skills



    New and Modified Skills

    Among the agonies of these after days is that chief of torments -- inarticulateness.

    ~ H.P. Lovecraft, "Hypnos" ~

    The Shadow Theory campaign introduces and modifies the standard d20 Modern skills, as described below.

    New Skill Uses
    Some previous skills gain new uses in Shadow Theory.

    Treat Injury (Wis)
    In addition to its standard uses, a Treat Injury check may be used to provide immediate care to an individual suffering from temporary insanity, just like the Psychotherapy skill. If the individual has neither skill, this is simply an untrained Treat Injury check. A roll of 1 on a Treat Injury check to provide immediate care indicates that the attempt has failed disastrously. The patient's Sanity loss doubles, possibly pushing him into indefinite insanity.

    New Skills
    Some skills in Shadow Theory are completely new. They are described below.

    Forbidden Lore (None)
    You know things that Should Not Be Known. You have had horrible supernatural experiences and read forbidden tomes, learning truly dark secrets that have challenged everything you thought you knew. Since these revelations defy logic or commonly accepted fact, it does not matter how intelligent or wise you are when using this skill – only how much exposure to this dark knowledge itself you have experienced.

    Check: You can recall or access knowledge pertaining to the Otherworld, particularly details about monsters, spells, or phenomena pertaining directly to them or the effects they have had on history. You may have insights or speculations about events you are experiencing for the first time.

    Special: You cannot gain ranks in this skill through spending skill points. You may only gain ranks through reading forbidden tomes or through experience with the Otherworld itself. Each rank you add to this skill permanently reduces your maximum Sanity by 1 point. The more you know about the horrible truths underlying reality, the less capable you are of leading a normal life.

    You cannot take Forbidden Lore during character creation, nor can it become a class skill through any means. However, there is no maximum rank; your level does not limit the number of ranks in Forbidden Lore you can acquire.

    Psychic Focus (Wis)(Trained Only)
    Use this skill to focus your willpower to perform amazing psychic feats. This skill is only useful to characters with specific psychic feats. If a power is sensory (or extrasensory), the GM may roll for you secretly so that you don't know whether you succeeded.

    Retry: Yes, but each try has a cost involved that depends on the feat.

    Psychotherapy (Wis)(Trained Only)
    Use this skill to help another person after a bad fright or a terrible shock.

    Check: The DC and effect depend on the task you attempt.

    Immediate Care: When someone suffers an episode of temporary insanity, you can bring him out of it – calming his terror, snapping him out of his stupor, or whatever else is needed to restore the person to the state he was in before the temporary insanity. This is a full-round action with a DC of 15.

    Long-Term Care: Providing long-term care means treating a mentally disturbed person for a day or more. This requires you to spend 1d4 hours per day doing nothing but talking to the patient. If successful, the patient recovers 1 Sanity point. You can tend up to six patients at a time; each extra patient beyond the first adds 1 hour to the total time devoted to therapy. You need a place to talk quietly, away from stress and distractions. The check must be made each day for each patient. A roll of 1 on a Psychotherapy check indicates that the patient loses a point of Sanity that day, as she regresses mentally due to horrors suddenly remembered. The DC for the check is 20.

    You cannot give long-term care to yourself.

    Spellcraft (Int)(Trained Only)
    Use this skill to identify utterances as they are used or ones already in place.

    Check: You can identify sorcery and supernatural effects already in place, provided that you know or have deciphered the component whispers. Speculating about utterances and whispers you do not know requires a Forbidden Lore check, instead.

    {table=head]DC | Task
    15 | Identify an utterance being used. You must be able to see and hear the utterance's manifested display, and you must know or have deciphered the component whispers. No retry.
    15 | Create a new utterance from whispers you know through experimentation. A retry is allowed, but each attempt drains Sanity (see Shadow Sorcery for details).
    20 | Identify an utterance or supernatural manifestation already in place. You must be able to see or detect the effects, and you must know the component whispers. No retry.
    25 | Decipher and understand a whisper without learning it. Each attempt requires 8 hours of study.
    30 | Understand a strange or unique supernatural effect. No retry.[/table]

    Retry: See the table above.

    Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Forbidden Lore, you gain a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-03-15 at 12:29 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Equipment



    Equipment

    Some items are new, or require special attention in Shadow Theory.

    Shotguns
    These weapons are exceptionally powerful at close range, but their power tapers off dramatically. Shotguns lose 1 die of damage per range increment beyond the first. If the damage has already been reduced to one die, every range increment afterward instead imposes a -1 penalty to damage. When used against an adjacent foe, however, the shotgun deals an extra die of damage beyond what is listed. Such a shot still suffers a -4 penalty for using a longarm in melee and provokes an attack of opportunity, as normal for firearms.

    In exchange for this very limited range, shotguns tend to be more powerful than their bullet-based counterparts.

    This supersedes the rules for shotguns in the d20 Modern Core Rulebook. Shotguns should be modified to deal three dice of base damage instead of two. The die type remains the same.

    A Browning BPS (10 gauge shotgun), for example, deals 3d10 damage to anything within 30 feet, 2d10 to anything between 30 and 60 feet away, 1d10 to anything 60 to 90 feet away, and suffers a -1 penalty for every 30 feet beyond that.

    If the shotgun is used against an adjacent foe, it provokes an attack of opportunity and suffers a -4 penalty to its attack roll, but would deal 4d10 damage.

    Weapons
    {table=head]Weapon|Damage|Critical|Damage Type|Range Increment|Rate of Fire|Magazine|Size|Weight|Purchase DC|TU|Restriction
    Flare Gun (Simple)|1d8|20|Fire|30 ft.|1|1 int.|Small|2 lb.|11|6|-[/table]

    Flare Gun: Not designed for use as a weapon, a flare gun is nevertheless capable of dealing bad burns and lighting up an area. Many survivors, however, assume the flare gun would be a powerful weapon against creatures of the darkness; this is false. The red light created by typical flares is not harmful to Tainted Ones and Entities.

    A blue, green, or purple flare, while rarer, is much more effective. These special flares deal 1d8 untyped damage to all Tainted Ones within 30 ft. of the target. Entities within this range suffer 1d12 damage. If such a creature is shot with the flare, it takes the fire damage in addition to the damage caused by the light.

    Otherworld denizens harmed by a green, blue, or purple flare must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 15) or be blinded for 1 round and dazzled for 1 minute after.

    {table=head]Weapon|Damage|Critical|Damage Type|Burst Radius|Reflex DC|Range Increment|Size|Weight|Purchase DC|TU|Restriction
    Flashbang|See text|-|See text|20|12|10 ft.|Tiny|1 lb.|15|10|Military (+3)[/table]

    Flashbang: As the name implies, these grenades emit an intense flash of light and loud bang that can disorient and temporarily blind humans. Any living creature within the blast radius that fails its Reflex save is blinded for 1d4+1 rounds and stunned for 1d6 rounds. Regardless of success or failure, the victim is dazzled for 1 minute.

    Creatures of the Otherworld, however, are physically harmed by the intense radiation. Tainted Ones caught within the blast radius suffer 6d6 points of damage, with a Reflex save (DC 15) for half damage. Entities suffer 6d8 damage instead.

    If the flashbang detonates in a square occupied by one of these creatures, however, the victim must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 12). If it fails, the Black is instantly ripped out of it, slaying the creature. The creature may reanimate, as its own powers dictate.

    Remember that the Trade Units price is for a single flashbang.

    Batteries
    When the power grid fails, batteries, flash lights, and portable generators become important tools for survival. Batteries come in varying shapes, sizes, and chemistries for various applications.

    In Shadow Theory, batteries are not an unlimited power supply that only needs to be changed when the plot demands it; they are an important and precious resource. They have a type, a chemistry, and a capacity. A battery's type determines what kinds of devices it can power, such as AA, 9-Volt, or C. The chemistry of a battery determines whether or not it can be recharged, as well as its capacity.

    Energy usage is measured in an abstract point system called EP (Electrical Points). Batteries contain a certain amount of EP, and devices drain EP while in use. When the battery is reduced to 0 EP, it contains no more power and fails. Because of the nature of serialized cells and voltage, a device cannot run with fewer batteries than it demands (a walkie talkie cannot be run with one AA battery, even if the battery is fully charged, for instance). If one battery in a set fails, the entire device loses power.

    With a DC 15 Craft (Electronics) check, a battery can be rigged to operate a device into which it is not designed to fit.

    Generally, primary batteries have longer lives and are single-use, while rechargeable batteries have shorter lives but can be reused. A player cannot know how much power a newly scavenged battery contains, but they could potentially track a freshly charged reusable one.

    {table=head]Type | Chemistry | Electrical Power Capacity | Purchase DC | Trade Units
    AAA | Alkaline | 1,200 EP | 2 (pack of 4) | 1
    AAA | Carbon-Zinc | 540 EP | 2 (pack of 4) | 1
    AAA | Nickel-Metal Hydride | 900 EP (Rechargeable) | 3 (pack of 4) | 2
    AA | Alkaline | 2,500 EP | 2 (pack of 4) | 3
    AA | Nickel+Cadmium | 800 EP (Rechargeable) | 2 (pack of 4) | 1
    AA | Nickel-Metal Hydride | 2,100 EP (Rechargeable) | 4 (pack of 4) | 3
    AA | Lithium | 3,000 EP | 3 (pack of 4) | 4
    C | Alkaline | 8,000 EP | 2 (pack of 2) | 1
    C | Carbon-Zinc | 3,800 EP | 3 (pack of 8) | 1
    C | Nickel-Metal Hydride | 5,000 EP (Rechargeable) | 3 (pack of 2) | 2
    D | Alkaline | 12,000 EP | 3 (pack of 2) | 2
    D | Carbon-Zinc | 8,000 EP | 3 (pack of 8) | 1
    D | Nickel-Metal Hydride | 10,000 EP (Rechargeable) | 3 (pack of 2) | 2
    9 Volt | Alkaline | 560 EP | 3 (Pack of 4) | 1
    9 Volt | Nickel-Metal Hydride | 300 EP | 3 | 1
    9 Volt | Lithium | 800 EP | 3 | 1
    Button | Lithium | 150 EP | 2 (pack of 6) | 1
    Laptop | Lithium | 18,000 EP (Rechargeable) | 6 | 6
    Automotive | Lead-Acid | 20,000 EP (Rechargeable) | 12 | 5
    [/table]

    AAA Battery: These batteries are small and common. They frequently power toys, TV remotes, and other small electronic devices. They can substitute for a AA, C, or D battery with a successful check, though their low capacity makes them a poor substitute.

    AA Battery: One of the most common battery types available, the AA battery is found in most portable electronics and will power most of a survivor's gear. It can substitute for a AAA, C, or D battery with a successful check.

    C Battery: C batteries are typically used in higher-drain toys and musical instruments, where power drain is a primary concern. They can substitute for a AAA, AA, or D battery with a successful check.

    D Battery: These batteries are uncommon, and are used in high-drain devices such as boomboxes, heavy-duty flashlights, geiger counters, and toys with motors. It can substitute for a AAA, AA, or C battery with a successful check. Its high capacity makes it a precious resource.

    9 Volt: The 9 volt battery is a common rectangular battery used in many toys and power tools. It is equivalent to six AA batteries for substitution.

    Button Battery: Button batteries are tiny, silver discs used to power low-drain electronics like hearing aids, wristwatches, and computer motherboards. They can be rigged to replace, and be replaced by, a AAA, AA, C, or D battery, but the results will not be pretty. Button batteries will drain at an alarmingly fast rate, and batteries used in their place will usually be as large as, or larger, than the device they're powering.

    Laptop Battery: The king of consumer batteries and sought after by survivors, laptop batteries have a very high capacity and are rechargeable. One laptop battery is equivalent to fourteen AA batteries for purposes of substitution. High performance laptop batteries are instead equivalent to twenty-two AA batteries and have an EP capacity of 27,000 EP.

    Automotive Battery: A common power source, car batteries can be found in any parking lot and in abundance in towns and cities, in varying levels of discharge. While easy to find and extremely powerful, they are heavy, frequently weighing around 15 pounds, and limited in utility for this reason. They are equivalent to eight AA batteries for substitution purposes.

    Equipment
    {table=head]Item | Size | Weight | Purchase DC | Trade Units
    {colsp=5}
    Consumer Electronics
    |
    Cell Phone | Dim | - | 9 | 1
    Digital Audio Recorder | Tiny | 1 lb. | 10 | 3
    Digital Camera | Tiny | 0.5 lb. | 14 | 4
    Notebook Computer | Med | 5 lb. | 23 | 7
    Personal Data Assistant | Tiny | 0.5 lb. | 16 | 5
    Walkie Talkie (Basic) | Tiny | 1 lb. | 7 | 2
    Walkie Talkie (Professional) | Tiny | 1 lb. | 15 | 4
    {colsp=5}
    Professional Electronics
    |
    Metal Detector | Small | 2 lbs. | 11 | 4
    Portable High Intensity UV Lamp¹ | Med | 4 lbs. | 16 | 6
    {colsp=5}
    Survival Gear
    |
    Flood Flashlight | Small | 2 lb. | 6 | 2
    Night Vision Goggles | Small | 3 lb. | 17 | 11
    Penlight Flashlight | Dim | 0.5 lb. | 3 | 1
    Standard Flashlight | Tiny | 1 lb. | 4 | 1
    {colsp=5}
    Weapon Accessories
    |
    Chest Sheath | Tiny | 1 lb. | 7 | 2
    {colsp=5}Laser Sights|
    ------ Green Laser Sight¹ | Tiny | 0.5 lb. | 13 | 7
    ------ Red Laser Sight | Tiny | 0.5 lb. | 11 | 5
    ------ Ultraviolet Laser Sight¹ | Tiny | 0.5 lb. | 15 | 12
    [/table]¹ This item is new.

    Computers and Consumer Electronics
    Most electronic items become difficult to utilize in Shadow Theory due to a lack of readily available power. Depending on how successful the heroes are in establishing themselves, however, they may find some use for the items listed below.

    Cell Phone: Cell phones cease to be particularly useful after the Event, as they can no longer be used for communication. Some cell phones store files, however, and they can detect the presence of an Otherworld aura just like a radio if the GM is using the Welcome to Silent Hill rules. The phone interprets the aura as a static-filled recieved call from 000-000-0000. A cell phone uses its own internal battery that contains 1,300 EP and can be recharged. The phone consumes only 1 EP every two minutes when on standby, however, allowing it to last for roughly 36 hours before it's dry.

    If the GM is using the Welcome to Silent Hill rule, the cell phone becomes more valuable, and its TU increases to 2.

    Digital Audio Recorder: These tiny recorders (about the size of a deck of playing cards) can record up to eight hours of audio and can be connected to a computer to download the digital recording. Digital audio recorders don’t have extremely sensitive microphones; they only pick up sounds within 10 feet. It uses two AAA batteries and consumes 2 EP per minute of use (1 from each battery).

    Digital Camera: Digital cameras come in all shapes and sizes. Because film development is a rare opportunity at best, they are the only cameras that retain any usefulness after the Event. A cheap consumer digital camera uses four AA batteries and consumes 48 EP (12 EP per battery) with every shot, regardless of whether or not the picture was saved.

    Notebook Computer: Laptops are relatively light-weight, portable computers that retain some utility even when the power grid fails. They require a laptop battery, and drain 150 EP per minute of use. If the computer has been upgraded to grant a bonus to Computer Use checks, it instead consumes 200 EP.

    Some laptops are netbooks: small, extremely efficient computers designed for light activity. They impose a -4 penalty on all Computer Use checks, but are much more eco-friendly. Netbooks consume only 35 EP per minute of use.

    Personal Data Assistant: Most modern characters will combine their cell phone and PDA needs by buying a smartphone instead of carrying two devices. A smartphone uses its own internal battery that contains 1,300 EP and can be recharged. The phone consumes only 1 EP every two minutes when on standby, however, allowing it to last for roughly 36 hours before it's dry.

    Walkie Talkie (Basic): This dime-store communications device has only a few channels. Anyone else using a similar walkie-talkie within range can listen in on the character’s conversations. It has a range of 2 miles and takes two AA batteries to operate. It drains 4 EP per minute of use, or 2 EP from each battery.

    If the GM is using the Welcome to Silent Hill rule, the walkie talkie becomes more valuable, and its TU increases to 3.

    Walkie Talkie (Professional): This high-end civilian model allows a character to program in twenty different frequencies from thousands of choices—making it likely that the character can find a frequency that’s not being used by anyone else within range. The device can be used with or without a voice-activated headset (included). It has a range of 15 miles.

    Professional walkie talkies might use AA batteries like the dime store version, but most use a built-in rechargeable battery. The battery holds 1,300 EP and can be recharged. The walkie-talkie consumes 2 EP per minute. If the GM is using the Welcome to Silent Hill rule, the walkie talkie becomes more valuable, and its TU increases to 5.

    Professional Electronics
    This category is a catch-all for available technology that is not typically used by the public. These items are much rarer than their price would indicate, and are usually only found in use by hobbyists or special companies.

    Metal Detector: This handheld device provides a +10 equipment bonus on all Search checks involving metal objects. It requires two 9 volt batteries but only drains 2 EP per minute (1 from each battery).

    Portable High Intensity UV Lamp: This bulky, professional LED lantern emits a 10 ft. cone of intense ultraviolet radiation. Blood and many otherwise invisible chemicals glow when exposed to UV light, granting a +4 equipment bonus to Search checks involving blood, chemicals, or fire accelerants. UV light is dangerous, however, and humans within this area without protective eyewear are dazzled. Tainted ones suffer 1d6 points of damage per round they remain within the area (Reflex DC 15 for half damage). Entities suffer 1d8 damage instead.

    The UV lamp comes with its own, device-specific battery equivalent to eight AA batteries and with an EP capacity of 4,000. It drains 35 EP per minute of use. The battery itself is essentially a miniature car battery, and weighs three pounds (already included in the item's weight).

    Survival Gear
    These items can help survivors get along in their environment.

    Flood Flashlight: Practically a handheld spotlight, this item projects a bright beam 100 feet long and 50 feet across at its end. The device typically takes four D batteries, and consumes an impressive 320 EP (80 EP per battery) per minute of use.

    Night Vision Goggles: Night vision goggles use passive light gathering to improve vision in near-dark conditions. They grant the user the ability to see in darkness, also called darkvision (range 120 ft.)—but because of the restricted field of view and lack of depth perception these goggles provide, they impose a –4 penalty on all Spot and Search checks made by someone wearing them.

    Night vision goggles must have at least a little light to operate. A cloudy night provides sufficient ambient light, but a pitch-black cave or a sealed room doesn’t. For situations of total darkness, the goggles come with an infrared illuminator that, when switched on, operates like a standard flashlight whose light is visible only to the wearer (or anyone else wearing night vision goggles).

    Night vision goggles typically use a lithium battery equivalent to two AA batteries that contains 1,500 EP and cannot be recharged. The device consumes 2 EP per minute of use.

    Pen Flashlight: This small flashlight can be carried on a key ring. It projects a beam of light 10 feet long and 5 feet wide at its end. It uses a single AAA battery and consumes 5 EP per minute of use.

    Standard Flashlight: This durable, portable flashlight can be found in nearly any home and projects a beam 30 feet long and 15 feet across at its end. It uses two D batteries and drains 50 EP per minute, or 25 EP from each battery. LED versions are rarer, but use two AA batteries instead and drain only 16 EP per minute (8 from each battery).

    Weapon Accessories
    Certain non-weapon items are meant to attach to weapons, augmenting them and making them better at what they do, more convenient, or giving them new abilities.

    Chest Sheath: Designed for when combat is inevitable, this sturdy leather sheath keeps a character's combat knife readily accessible on their chest or shoulder. A knife so sheathed cannot be concealed, and is in fact quite obvious, but the knife can be drawn as a free action as though the character possessed the Quick Draw feat.

    Green Laser Sight: The green laser sight is a more powerful version of the red laser sight that is used by the military. It grants a +1 equipment bonus on all attack rolls made against targets no farther than 30 feet away, but can function during the daytime. The green beam is painfully obvious, and grants a +6 bonus on Spot checks to locate the shooter using it.

    It uses a button battery and drains 1 EP for every 10 rounds it is used.

    Red Laser Sight: This small laser mounts on a firearm, and projects a tiny red dot on the weapon’s target. A laser sight grants a +1 equipment bonus on all attack rolls made against targets no farther than 30 feet away. However, a laser sight can’t be used outdoors during the daytime. The beam is relatively obvious, however, and grants a +4 bonus on Spot checks to locate the shooter.

    It uses a button battery and drains 1 EP for every 10 rounds it is used.

    Ultraviolet Laser Sight: Invisible to the human eye, the ultraviolet laser sight causes only the target to fluoresce, granting no bonuses to find the shooter. It grants a +1 equipment bonus on all attack rolls made against targets no farther than 30 feet away. It is visible in bright light, however, and agitates creatures of the Otherworld.

    Whenever you attack a creature of the Otherworld with a weapon equipped with an ultraviolet laser sight, the creature suffers a -1 circumstance penalty to attack rolls for one round. You may aim the laser at the creature without actually firing in order to hinder it in such a way, but doing so still takes an attack action.

    Creatures of the Otherworld gain a +10 bonus to spot the shooter, however, as they can perceive the normally invisible light.

    It uses a button battery and drains 1 EP for every 5 rounds it is used.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2012-02-26 at 10:09 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Occultist



    Occultist

    That Crawford Tillinghast should ever have studied science and philosophy was a mistake. These things should be left to the frigid and impersonal investigator, for they offer two equally tragic alternatives to the man of feeling and action; despair if he fail in his quest, and terrors unutterable and unimaginable if he succeed.

    ~ H.P. Lovecraft, "From Beyond" ~


    The Occultist walks a fine line between mad obsession and dangerous curiosity. An occultist isn't content to simply survive the Otherworld intrusion; he wants to understand it. Whether his intentions are malicious or pure, the occultist learns to manipulate the raw, corrosive energy of the Otherworld and shape it to his desires, often with a high cost upon his body and mind. The occultist knows that should his concentration ever slip, should he give the dark powers access to his body and mind and cease to control it, even for a second, he may not survive the experience.

    Still, the power the darkness offers is too alluring for some to resist, and these rare few seek it out. They dig through musty tomes and indecipherable journals looking for shreds of evidence or glimmers of insight from earlier encounters with the Otherworld, eager and desperate to know more about the threat they face.

    Take this class if you wish for your character to walk the fine line between our world and the Otherworld, and to learn to harness shadow sorcery in a more efficient manner.

    Requirements
    To qualify to become an Occultist, the character must meet the following criteria.
    Skills: Decipher Script 6 ranks, Forbidden Lore 1 rank, Knowledge (Arcane Lore) 6 ranks, Research 6 ranks.
    Feats: Studious, Educated

    Class Information
    The following information pertains to the Occultist advanced class.

    Hit Die
    The Occultist gains 1d6 hit points per level. The character's Constitution modifier applies.

    Action Points
    The Occultist gains a number of action points equal to 6 + one-half her character level, rounded down, every time she attains a new level in this class.

    Class Skills
    The Occultist's class skills are as follows.
    Concentration (Con), Craft (Visual arts, writing)(Int), Decipher Script (Int), Drive (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Investigate (Int), Knowledge (arcane lore, history, theology and philosophy)(Int), Profession (Wis), Read/Write Language (None), Research (Int), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (None), Spellcraft (Int).
    Skill Points at Each Level: 5 + Int modifier.

    The Occultist
    {table=head]
    Level
    |
    Base Attack
    Bonus
    |
    Fort
    Save
    |
    Ref
    Save
    |
    Will
    Save
    |
    Class Features
    |
    Defense
    Bonus
    |
    Reputation
    Bonus

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +1
    |Spell Resistance|
    +0
    |
    +0

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Shadow Aspect|
    +1
    |
    +0

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +2
    |Bonus Feat|
    +1
    |
    +1

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +2
    |Sanity Resistance 1|
    +1
    |
    +1

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Black Binding I|
    +2
    |
    +1

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |Bonus Feat|
    +2
    |
    +2

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |Black Binding II|
    +2
    |
    +2

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |Sanity Resistance 2|
    +3
    |
    +2

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Bonus Feat|
    +3
    |
    +3

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |Annulment|
    +3
    |
    +3
    [/table]

    Spell Resistance (Su): At 1st level, an Occultist becomes resistant to the Otherworld's energies due to his familiarity. He gains Spell Resistance equal to 5 + His Occultist level. This ability never interferes with his own use of utterances and can be voluntarily lowered at any time.

    Shadow Aspect: As he grows in power and understanding, the Occultist learns to exert more and more influence over the Otherworld's forces. At 2rd level, he gains the Shadow Aspect psionic feat, even if he doesn't meet the prerequisites. He may use Spellcraft instead of Psychic Focus for this feat.

    Bonus Feats: At 3rd, 6th, and 9th level, the Occultist gets a bonus feat. The bonus feat must be selected from the following list, and the Occultist must meet all the prerequisites of the feat to select it.

    Alertness, Archaic Weapons Proficiency, Attentive, Confident, Defensive Martial Arts, Focused, Frightful Presence, Iron Will, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Point Blank Shot.

    Sanity Resistance (Ex): At 4th level, the Occultist's familiarity with the Otherworld affords him a modicum of psychological protection against it. Sanity loss caused by the Otherworld, such as encountering horrific creatures, reading tomes, or casting spells, is reduced by 1 point, to a minimum of 0. At 8th level, this reduction increases to 2 points. Sanity loss caused by mundane shocks, including the Lost and disturbing acts committed by Entities, is not affected.

    Black Binding I: At 5th level, the Occultist's power grows to allow mastery over a creature infested by the Black. If he so chooses, the Occultist can spend one day to summon a Corrupted and bind it to his will. The Corrupted must be a 1 hit die ordinary, but may have any basic class level the Occultist chooses. It follows his commands to the letter, with an outward attitude of Helpful. Inwardly, the creature resents the Occultist and will try to pervert the Occultist's commands.

    The creature called is a random individual from the local population, and arrives in 1d6+1 days sometime during the night. When the summoned being is encountered, the occultist instinctively knows the creature is under his or her control.

    Should this creature ever be slain, it will rise again during the Reanimation, just like all other Tainted ones. It will remain under the Occultist's control if this occurs.

    The creature itself does not cause Sanity loss for the Occultist, but it may frighten his companions. Occultists typically dress up their "pets" in heavy, concealing clothes to make them less frightening, as well as protect them from sunlight.

    Black Binding II: At 7th level, the Occultist's mastery over the creatures of the Black improves. He may summon and bind a Stage 2 Tainted (Bruiser, Edward, Roughneck, Wight, Haruspex, or Harpy) instead. This ability otherwise remains the same. Corrupted gained from this ability never know whispers of their own, though they can be taught them.

    Annulment (Su): At 10th level, an Occultist is the master of the Black. By spending 1 action point and an attack action, the Occultist can attempt to rip apart the Black that composes an Entity or powers a Tainted one. The monster must be within 60 feet, and gets a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 Occultist’s level + Occultist’s Cha modifier). If the save fails, the Otherworld essence is torn into its component energies, completely and truly destroying the creature. The Entity or Tainted One does not rise again during the Reanimation.

    If the save succeeds, the creature is still stunned for 1d4+1 rounds as it struggles to hold itself together.

    This is a supernatural ability.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-04-04 at 11:59 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Default The Otherworld



    The Otherworld

    When the stars were right, They could plunge from world to world through the sky; but when the stars were wrong, They could not live. But although They no longer lived, They would never really die.

    ~ H.P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu" ~

    The Otherworld is a terrifying and alien reality where nightmares are made real. For unknown and possibly unfathomable reasons, the veil between their and our realities has broken, allowing the Otherworld to bleed into our universe and contaminate the very foundation of our reality.

    The Reanimation
    The apocalyptic breaching of the veil is signaled by a sudden, violent, and brief bout of eldritch green thunder that threads its way across the sky before vanishing. It is a repeating phenomena that occurs every night from the initial invasion onward. It signals a reconnection with the Otherworld and prompts the mass manifestation of Entities. Additionally, tainted ones who were slain during the previous day reanimate immediately and simultaneously.

    Manifestation
    Darkness acts as a doorway for the entities of the alternate reality, allowing them to seep through the veil and transfer themselves bodily to our plane of existence. Any sufficiently dark location large enough to contain the forming entity could potentially act as an intrusion point. Survivors who are aware of the manifestation ability of the entities should remove cabinet doors and box lids, and empty the closets of their safehouse, or they might unwittingly invite a guest.

    Interestingly, entities never manifest while observed. It is not known whether a present observer actually prevents them from doing so, or if they simply choose a more dramatic entry. It is not uncommon for an entity to rise up from behind a low wall or other obstruction that covers their manifestation. Even more strangely, cameras, video recorders, and other electronic surveillance measures also seem to prevent manifestation, as if they were a real observer.

    To manifest, an entity must be in a location dark enough to grant concealment, and must also succeed on a Hide check against any observers (if applicable). Treat casual observers as taking 10 on their Spot checks. Red and orange light does not interfere with manifestation, but higher frequencies of light do (all colors except red and orange). If it is not dark enough or if they fail their Hide check, they cannot manifest in that location.

    Tainted ones cannot manifest.

    The Black
    From the depths of attics and sewers, where the light of day dares not go, emerged a dark and corrosive energy of the Otherworld. Some survivors simply call it The Black, or The Darkness. The energy itself is invisible, but its presence is heralded by a thick, black frost that forms instantly on any physical object The Black moves near or over, but vanishes as soon as the Black moves away. This gives the visual sensation of a living carpet of utter darkness that creeps along floors and walls, constantly growing and shrinking as the invisible essence ebbs and flows. This frost can coat whole floors or walls if The Black is pervasive enough.

    The Black bestows two negative levels per round on any creature who comes into contact with it. Any creature slain by the Black arises as a tainted one 1d4+1 rounds later (witnessing such a transformation causes 1/1d4+1 Sanity loss). Entities or tainted ones who stand in a square filled with the Black gain fast healing 2. If the creature is not slain, the negative levels disappear after one hour and never result in actual level loss.

    Like the entities, the Black is destroyed by ultraviolet light, but it will quickly grow back if darkness again overtakes the area. The Black cannot grow into areas filled with visible light, such as those areas lit by electric lights or sunlight through a glass window, but it will not be pushed back if it was already there.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-03-15 at 01:46 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Shadow Theory [d20 Modern Horror]

    Reminds me a little of Don't Rest Your Head, but will follow progress with interest.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Shadow Theory [d20 Modern Horror]

    Keep going. You are on to something.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lord Loss's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Shadow Theory [d20 Modern Horror]

    This is awesome. D20 Modern Meets Don't Rest Your head with a little CoC thrown in for kicks. Keep up the good work. Will most likely provide a critique in the future.
    Bienvenue Au Kébec !!!
    Improve Kébec's Industry!
    Improve Kébec's Transport!
    Improve Kébec's Security!

    My Trophies!

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    Also, if anyone has any sort of problem at all that they feel like talking about, my PM box is open.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default The Lost



    The Lost

    Humankind cannot bear very much reality.

    ~ T.S. Eliot ~

    The Lost are pathetic, ravenous creatures who survived the Otherworld invasion, but only in body. Their minds were unable to handle the trauma they experienced that night. When they came face-to-face with a darkness few could have even imagined, their only choice was to become it. While physically unharmed by the Black, the Lost mimic the single-minded murderous behavior of the Tainted, because that is all that is left of them. Who they are, and who they once were, the culmination of all of their hopes, fears, and dreams, is gone. Only overwhelming, primal horror remains.

    Because they are not afflicted by the Otherworld, the Lost can venture into the daylight, making them a constant threat to the survivors. They lack the supernatural abilities of the Tainted or the Entities, but they make up for it with sheer rage and a disturbing inability, or perhaps overwhelming desire, to feel pain.

    The Lost can usually be found roaming the streets in small bands, cannibalizing corpses and devouring trash to feed themselves. They maintain enough self-awareness to eat when they are hungry and take shelter when it rains but their instinctive avoidance of dark areas reigns above any other urge.

    Weak Reaver
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=width="100%"]|Medium Humanoid (Human) |Medium Humanoid (Human)
    |Smart Ordinary 1 / Charismatic Ordinary 1 |Strong Ordinary 1 / Tough Ordinary 1
    Vitality Dice: | 1d6+2+1d6+2 (11 VP) | 1d8+4+1d10+4 (17 VP)
    Wound Points: | 17 | 22
    Initiative: | +1 | +1
    Speed: | 30 ft. | 30 ft.
    Defense: | 11 (+1 Dex, +0 Class) | 13 (+1 Dex, +2 Class)
    Base Attack/Grapple: | +0 / +1 | +1 / +5
    Attack: | Slam +1 melee (1d4+1) | Slam +5 melee (1d4+6)
    Full Attack: | Slam +1 melee (1d4+1) | Slam +5 melee (1d4+6)
    Space/Reach: | 5 ft. / 5 ft. | 5 ft. / 5 ft.
    Allegiances: | The Lost | The Lost
    Special Attacks: | Ravage | Ravage
    Special Qualities: | Shattered Mind | Shattered Mind
    Action Points: | 0 | 0
    Reputation: | +0 | +0
    Saves: | Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +2 | Fort +6, Ref +1, Will +0
    Abilities: | Str 12, Dex 12, Con 14, Int -, Wis 13, Cha 15 | Str 18, Dex 12, Con 19, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 8
    Sanity: | -10 | -10
    Sanity Drain: | 0/1 | 0/1
    Occupation: | White Collar | Blue Collar
    Skills: | None | None
    Feats: | Simple Weapon Proficiency, Toughness | Simple Weapon Proficiency, Toughness
    Challenge Rating: | 1 | 1[/table]
    Reavers are humans completely overcome by a psychotic rage. They wear the same clothes they did when they lost their minds, usually torn and smeared with blood, dirt, and their own filth. They are locked in a constant state of adrenaline high, causing their skin to flush and their veins to bulge. Their vacant eyes are wide with horror, rarely, if ever, blinking, and they drool like a hungry animal when they catch sight of living prey.

    Some reavers kick, flail, roar and swear even when by themselves, but most fume quietly until they see a potential target for their hatred.

    A reaver is not much more disturbing than a particularly violent and frenzied mental patient, and should only force a sanity check if it startles the characters or if it is particularly gruesome in appearance (covered in fresh blood or physically mutilated, for instance).

    Combat
    Reavers are unimaginitive and straightforward combatants. Their seething rage causes them to charge forward in an effort to deal as much damage as quickly as possible, usually by tackling a victim then beating their head against the floor until they stop struggling.

    Ravage (Ex): A weak reaver that wins a grapple check violently pounds its foe against the floor, walls, or other such features of the environment, automatically dealing damage equal to that dealt by its slam attack.

    Shattered Mind (Ex): A reaver is immune to all mind-affecting attacks.


    Bone Collector
    Spoiler
    Show
    Medium Humanoid (Human)
    Strong Ordinary 3 / Tough Ordinary 3
    Vitality Dice: - (- VP)
    Wound Points: 18
    Initiative: +1
    Speed: 30 ft.
    Defense: 16 (+1 Dex, +4 class, +1 leather jacket)
    Base Attack/Grapple: +5 / +7
    Attack: Unarmed strike +7 melee (1d6+2 nonlethal) or knife +7 melee (1d4+2) or Browning BPS +6 ranged (3d10) or Remington 700 +6 ranged (2d10)
    Full Attack: Unarmed strike +7 melee (1d6+2 nonlethal) or knife +7 melee (1d4+2) or Browning BPS +6 ranged (3d10) or Remington 700 +6 ranged (2d10)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft. / 5 ft.
    Allegiances: Corrupted Loved One
    Special Attacks: -
    Special Qualities: -
    Action Points: 0
    Reputation: +1
    Saves: Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +2
    Abilities: Str 15, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 8
    Sanity: -10
    Sanity Drain: 0/1
    Occupation: Rural
    Skills: None
    Feats: Simple Weapon Proficiency, Personal Firearm Proficiency, Toughness, Brawl
    Challenge Rating: 3

    Bone collectors result from the lengths people will go to for love. A bone collector is insane, but still lucid. They are capable of making plans, interacting with other humans, and building and maintaining shelter. They are still vulnerable to attacks by the Corrupted and plan appropriately. They will fight and destroy any monsters that come their way, with one exception: the bone collector is fiercely dedicated to their loved ones, even though they have been lost to the darkness. Chained in their basements, locked in their children's rooms, or strapped to a hospital bed are the undead remains of the bone collector's life.

    Unwilling to accept that the people they loved and built their lives around have been lost, the bone collector continues to care for them despite their "illness," and will go so far as to murder other survivors, prepare them, and feed them to the undead creature they love.

    A bone collector is not much more disturbing than a twitchy guy who sits in the corner at parties, and should only force a sanity check if it startles the characters or if it is particularly gruesome in appearance (covered in fresh blood or physically mutilated, for instance).

    Bone Collectors use the same statistics they possessed before going insane; the one above is merely an example.

    Combat
    Bone collectors function like serial killers, although they feel empathy and experience emotional turmoil whenever they feel they need to kill. Bone collectors who find a potential target will either befriend it or stalk it until it is alone, and then kill it as efficiently as possible. Firearms are a bone collector's favored weapons.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-03-17 at 05:02 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Shadow Theory [d20 Modern Horror]

    Ya know, I've never actually even heard of Don't Rest Your Head until now. I'll check into it. Sounds pretty cool.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-04-02 at 07:07 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Shadow Sorcery



    Shadow Sorcery

    To see the world in a grain of sand
    and Heaven in a wild flower
    To hold infinity in the palm of your hand
    and eternity in an hour.

    ~ William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence" ~


    The Otherworld is a realm constantly in flux. Monolithic forces craft and warp energy into shapes that match nothing seen in the material world, only to destroy them moments later leaving nothing but a scream. These chaotic forces are sensitive to thoughts and certain states of mind, allowing one who is knowledgeable and crazy enough to manipulate the raw forces of the Otherworld, then pull the resulting manifestation through the veil into our world. This manifestation is, for all intents and purposes, magickal in nature.

    Doing so is extremely dangerous. Even when done correctly, the Otherworld devours a part of the caster's mind, body, or soul in the process, as it is the anathema of who and what we are.

    A character of any class can learn shadow sorcery, but the occultist learns to do it well. Unlike casters in Urban Arcana, characters in Shadow Theory need not prepare their magick ahead of time, nor is there a hard limit to how many times per day they can cast. Since each use carries a vicious cost, however, few will be careless with their magick, and even fewer will live to tell the tale.

    The Components of Sorcery
    Learning to manipulate the raw force of the Otherworld is a complicated process involving the acquisition and understanding of several pieces of information. These components can often be found in forbidden tomes, written by those who have been graced by the Otherworld in eons past.

    Whisper: A single, alien state of mind that forms a small psychic connection to the Otherworld is called a whisper. They do nothing by themselves, but can create amazing supernatural effects when combined. They are usually only shared by those who are completely insane, and are not always found with the appropriate lexicon.

    Whispers are either a "verb" or a "noun," which affects how they can be combined.

    By default, a character who has learned a whisper knows how to connect their mind to the Otherworld using that particular set of meditations, but they do not know what this can achieve. They do not know the name or meaning of the whisper, but can still blindly experiment with it in hopes of finding a combination it can be used in. An intelligent individual may be able to deduce a whisper's meaning through observing the other whispers with which it can interact.

    Lexicon: A lexicon categorizes the whispers and explains their meaning and history. A lexicon is usually written by a more academically minded individual who may not even personally know the whisper they write about.

    A character with a whisper but not the associated lexicon does not know the whisper's meaning or name. A character with a lexicon but not the whisper itself knows the whisper's name, meaning, and symbol but not how to perform it. They can identify utterances using the whisper with Spellcraft, but they cannot use an utterance that requires the whisper as a component.

    Murmur: Some whispers have no apparent meaning, and cannot be used to create utterances. They are called murmurs. Murmurs can be attached to an utterance, in which case they can increase the power, range, or other aspect it. They are essentially meta-whispers.

    Murmurs are completely optional. They have associated lexicons just like normal whispers.

    Utterance: A pairing of two whispers that creates a supernatural effect is called an utterance, and is the main goal of shadow sorcery. An utterance is a complete, packaged magickal effect that can be used round after round, but consumes a part of the caster in the process. They are composed of a "verb" whisper and a "noun" one.

    A character who has combined two whispers successfully learns that they can create a magickal effect, and can use the utterance from then on, but does not know what this effect is. Obviously, the character will get a good idea of the utterance after a few castings.

    Sorcerous Scroll: A scroll is similar to a lexicon in that it is an academic explanation of the Otherworld phenomena. A sorcerous scroll usually indicates which two whispers can be combined to create an utterance, and then explains the utterance itself in detail.

    A character with a scroll learns the details of the utterance, such as range, number of possible targets, maximum damage, and various other miscellanea. Without the component whispers, the utterance still cannot be cast. Without a lexicon identifying the whispers, the formula for the utterance, which is simply the names of the two components, is useless.

    Using an Utterance
    Unless otherwise noted, using an utterance follows the same rules for casting a spell, as stated in the d20 Modern Core Rulebook.

    Counterspell
    Using a counterspell requires a Spellcraft check, as normal. If successful, the counterspeller can cast the spell in reverse, creating a backwash of Otherworld energy and shorting out the enemy spell. Murmurs have no effect on whether an utterance can be countered, and using a counterspell does not carry a corruption cost.

    Spell Information
    An utterance has no school or level. Instead, it has a corruption cost, which indicates the sacrifice the Otherworld demands in exchange for its energies. The cost is paid immediately upon finishing the spell. If the cost would damage an ability score below 0, the ability instead drops to 0, and the spell fails (except in the case of Constitution, where the spell continues as normal despite killing the caster).

    Creatures with -10 Sanity, like the Fallen, or who lack Sanity scores, such as the Tainted or Entities, never suffer Sanity loss for casting spells. They do, however, pay the ability score cost as normal.

    Caster Level
    For every level of Occultist the character has, their caster level increases by 1. For every level of another class, the character's caster level increases by ½ (round down, minimum 1).

    A Tainted One has a caster level equal to half its Hit Die, unless otherwise noted, while an Entity's caster level is equal to its Hit Die.

    Saving Throw
    The save DC of an utterance, if it allows one, is 10 + 1 per echelon above one + the ability modifier of the score the spell consumes (before consumption). Some spells may have higher DCs, as noted in their description. Most often, these are spells that do not also have an increasing effect, such as Bind.

    Light and Darkness
    Because magick involves a connection with the Otherworld, it can be disrupted by light. Bright light, such as from spotlights or the sun, prevent a character from using an utterance unless than can find a shadowed spot through which to channel (sticking your hand into a dark cabinet or shadow of a building will suffice). A channeler cannot use their own shadow, but they can use a friend's.

    Friends of the caster may find this constant need for darkness to be eerily reminiscent of the Entities.

    Learning an Utterance
    Utterances can be learned through experimentation or through deliberate and careful study. Experimentation allows the character to learn utterances they would otherwise not know, but is difficult and hazardous.

    Learning Through Experimentation
    Christina has been an avid reader of dark tomes ever since the Event took place. After spending weeks reading one such tome, written in archaic french, she uncovers the meditations required to use a whisper hidden in the disjointed prose. Her GM tells her to write Whisper 13 on her character sheet. The book did not tell her what these meditations achieve, only how to do them. She adds them to the two she already knows, Whisper 7 and Whisper 8.

    Confident she has enough for at least one utterance, she begins to experiment, channeling the whispers and observing how they interact with each other. First, she tries Whisper 7 and Whisper 8. Her GM secretly rolls a Spellcraft check for her (DC 15). She observes that the whispers do not connect or meld together at all, and she decides they must be unable to go together. She suffers 1d4 points of Sanity loss for a failed attempt at experimentation. Even though she did not actually cast anything, she still connected her mind with the Otherworld, which exacts a psychological toll. She rolls a 1, and decides to keep going. Next she tries Whisper 7 and Whisper 13. After another secret Spellcraft check, her GM tells her that the two whispers mesh together when she channels them, indicating that the two form an utterance together. She suffers 1d6 points of Sanity loss for successfully combining two whispers into an utterance.

    Christina still does not know what this utterance does, but she's happy to write Utterance 5 on her magick notes sheet. She simply knows that Whisper 7 and Whisper 13 make Utterance 5. Now all she needs to do is weigh the pros and cons of casting a mystery spell in the confines of her safe house, possibly endangering her friends if the spell is of the offensive variety.

    Learning Through Study
    Like Christina, Marco became extremely interested in forbidden tomes after the Event, as he was eager to learn more about what was or will be happening to him and his friends. Unlike Christina, he is extremely cautious when dealing with the Otherworld. Marco learned the same whispers she did, but he also sought out lexicons before attempting anything. He knows that Whisper 7 is Joudemak (Creature) and Whisper 8 is Vuru, the Deaf murmur.

    Through reading an old french journal, Marco learns Whisper 13. He doesn't know what it does, and decides to remain on the safe side and not try to combine it with Joudemak. He checks the two scrolls he has, and finds that both Pi'loi and Ythiak can be combined with Joudemak. One creates a summoning spell, the other is a kind of mind control spell.

    Later on, after an encounter with one of the Fallen, Marco acquires a strange manuscript. Again, he pours over it, eventually finding three lexicons buried in the text. He learns of two whispers he does not personally know (but can now identify through Spellcraft), and finds that Whisper 13 is, in fact, Pi'loi (Summon).

    Without any experimentation or Sanity loss, he now knows the Summon Monster utterance, and because of the scroll's detailed description of the spell's effects, he knows that the creature remains even when his control is broken. Good thing he didn't cast it in the safehouse.

    Spell-Like Abilities
    Some creatures possess spell-like abilities, the innate capacity to generate effects that mimic certain spells. A spell-like ability is not actually a spell; they are not composed of whispers, nor can they be modified by murmurs. A creature need not know the component whispers of the spell they're replicating, nor does knowledge of a spell-like ability allow the creature to cast the spell or use the whispers that compose it.

    Spell-like abilities have no visual or auditory manifestations, and so cannot be identified. A creature with access to a higher echelon for its spell-like ability must spend extra time casting, just like a spellcaster with the Orbo murmur.

    Creatures never pay a corruption cost for their spell-like abilities.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-03-25 at 01:40 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Ohio, USA
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    Default Whispers

    Whispers

    Whispers either possess a verb or noun nature, and cannot be combined with another whisper of the same type (all utterances are composed of a verb+noun pair: there are no verb+verb or noun+noun utterances).

    A character who learns a whisper automatically knows the associated symbol. A lexicon contains the symbol, name, and meaning, but not how to use the whisper. Scrolls contain the names, but not the symbols or meanings, of the two whispers needed to cast that utterance.

    A GM is encouraged to create new whispers to add to their Shadow Theory game.


    {table="width=80%"]
    |
    |
    |
    |

    Arlo-molegh
    Reveal
    |
    Yg-laa
    Project
    |
    Bogtene
    Protect
    |
    Lalenol
    Summon
    |
    Halot-Labo
    Absorb

    |
    |
    |
    |

    Ngthlh-ddh
    Dispel
    |
    Ort-ehoglh
    Dominate
    |
    Rtathu-bog
    Decieve
    |
    Ystharnotag
    Restore
    |
    E'migubbor
    Imbue

    |
    |
    |
    |

    Lot-aug
    Corrode
    |
    Nanyothua
    Shadow
    |
    Otharsaz
    Mind
    |
    Uggot
    Self
    |
    Ith-ys
    Object

    |
    |
    |
    |

    Chaugorhac
    Creature
    |
    Yghaz-legh
    Electricity
    |
    Iqubony
    Fire
    |
    Phu-ug
    Area
    |
    Phakel
    Soul

    |
    |
    | |

    Degachabo
    Death
    |
    Bbhothigug
    Body
    |
    A'nacatugh
    Light
    | |
    [/table]
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-03-17 at 05:02 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Murmurs

    Murmurs

    Murmurs are learned and identified just like whispers, but they cannot be used to create new spells, as they lack a verb or noun nature. However, they can be attached to an utterance to augment it.

    Attaching an murmur increases the casting time, however. A casting time of a standard action increases to 1-round, and each additional murmur increases the casting time by another round. For example, an echelon 3 Asklepios utterance with the Lo murmur has a casting time of 3 rounds, taking effect at the beginning of the caster's turn on the 4th round (Standard action becomes 1 round with Lo, plus one additional round for each of the two Or-bos required to reach echelon 3).

    The number of murmurs a caster may attach to a spell depends on their caster level.

    {table=head]Caster Level | Maximum Number of Murmurs
    1st - 3rd | None - Cannot use murmurs at this level.
    4th - 6th | 1 Murmur
    7th - 9th | 2 Murmurs
    10th - 12th | 3 Murmurs
    13th - 15th | 4 Murmurs
    16th - 18th | 5 Murmurs
    19th - 21th | 6 Murmurs
    +3 Caster Levels | +1 Murmur[/table]

    There is theoretically no limit to how many murmurs can be applied, and Entities may even be able to cast Echelon 6 or higher utterances, but because of the caster level limits, non-epic survivors are limited to 4 or fewer murmurs.

    Unless otherwise noted, a murmur can only be applied once to an utterance.

    {table] | Es
    Time
    Adding this murmur to a spell doubles the duration. A spell with a duration of Instantaneous, Permanent, or Concentration is unaffected by Es.
    | Lo
    Grasp
    Adding this murmur to a spell doubles the range. A spell with a range of Personal is unaffected by Lo.
    | Orvo
    Blind
    Adding this murmur to a spell causes it to lack a visual manifestation, increasing the Spellcraft DC to identify it by +5. If combined with Vuru, the Deaf murmur, the utterance cannot be identified during casting and therefore cannot be countered.
    | Vuru
    Deaf
    Adding this murmur to a spell causes it to lack an auditory manifestation, increasing the Spellcraft DC to identify it by +5. If combined with Orvo, the Blind murmur, the utterance cannot be identified during casting and therefore cannot be countered.
    | Or-bo
    Power
    Or-bo increases the spell's power level by one echelon, making it deal more damage, harder to resist, or have additional or different effects. Unlike most other murmurs, Or-bo can be attached multiple times to an utterance, increasing the spell's echelon and casting time each use.[/table]
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-03-17 at 05:03 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default The Tainted



    The Tainted

    When I was a kid, my father told me there was no such thing as monsters; my nightmares were just figments of my imagination. As I got older, I had to wonder, was he lying to me... or just wrong?

    ~ Harry Dresden, from "The Dresden Files" ~

    When the Black slays a human being, it transforms and reanimates their dead body with the sinister power of the Otherworld. Their features twist and reshape, becoming more feral and frightening, while their mind becomes evil and inhuman. Tainted ones hunger for the flesh of the uncorrupted, but not because they need sustenance. They devour other humans to use as raw materials for their own transformations. The more humans a tainted one eats, the more skin, bones, and muscles it can incorporate into its own, rapidly changing form.

    The Children of the Black come in various stages, depending on the amount of mutation they have undergone. Freshly corrupted Tainted ones are largely human, though more sinister in appearance and possessing murderous and inhuman desires. As they devour more flesh, they evolve into new shapes and gain strange powers reminiscent of those possessed by the Entities.

    While the Tainted retain no knowledge or abilities of their former life, it is believed that who the person used to be will influence their evolutionary path. A man who worked as a bouncer, for instance, will likely take the path of the Bruiser, while a woman who did parkour as a hobby will likely take the path of the Edward. This also influences their hunger: the bruiser will devour muscle tissue and skin, while the Edward will benefit from the consumption of tendons and bones.

    Ecology
    The Tainted Ones fear the light. It burns the Otherworld essence from them, leaving a dead husk, but the essence will return if the corpse is once again exposed to darkness. A tainted one exposed to direct sunlight loses a third of its wound points each round, collapsing in death at the end of the third round.

    Because of this hatred of the light, the Tainted "sleep" during the day, huddling in darkened corners of lightless rooms and entering a trance-like state in which they stare blankly, muttering and groaning to themselves for hours. They are not unconscious, however, and may still hear or spot a careless survivor who stumbles into their den, though they do suffer a -4 penalty to Spot and Listen checks made during their altered state. Survivors who have stumbled into a tainted one's den during this period have reported that the creatures seem to cluster together when they "sleep," hinting that the monsters might retain some vestigial social nature.

    If an entity has manifested, the tainted ones will instead huddle around it during the day, fawning over and worshiping the otherworldly horror while it hibernates. While it does not technically cause Sanity loss, survivors who have seen this practice find it to be a deeply disturbing sight.

    At night, however, the tainted ones set out and roam the streets in bands. They will attack any living creatures they see, whether they be animals, survivors, or one of the Lost, and consume their flesh. Interestingly, they ignore the Fallen, appearing to be able to sense them instinctively.

    They do not fight together, and have no concern for their dead. The tainted appear to only group up because it makes them more dangerous. However, they may be aware that they cannot truly die, and therefore do not fear destruction or mourn the temporary demise of their comrades. Every night, at the instant the Otherworld comes crashing against our world like an unholy wave, the Tainted ones are restored beneath an eldritch green storm. During the Reanimation, all tainted ones are restored to full wound and vitality points, cured of all ability damage, and even physically reassembled if they were missing limbs or were hacked to pieces. This even reanimates tainted ones who have fallen to 0 wound and perished.

    It is said there are ways to permanently destroy a tainted one, but this may simply be wishful thinking on the part of desperate and hopeless survivors.

    Defilement
    Tainted Ones are compelled on an instinctive level to seek out and consume the flesh of living creatures, regardless of whether the source is living or dead. During the feeding process, some of the Black within the Tainted One is transfered to the corpse, which rapidly begins to spread and infect the dead body. 1d4+1 rounds after the feeding began, regardless of whether it was interrupted, the corpse rises as a Corrupted as if it had been slain by the Black.

    Once the corpse reanimates, any and all Tainted cease feeding on it, indicating that they perceive their own kind as inedible much like humans do.

    It is important to note that any mostly intact corpse can be defiled, and the Tainted need not have killed it to defile and reanimate it. Victims of accidental death, suicide, homicide, starvation, or any other causes can be defiled in this way.

    Tainted Subtype
    Tainted beings are normal creatures, frequently humans, who have become corrupted by the Otherworld's power. Though they vary in appearance and abilities, they all share some similar traits.

    Child of the Black (Ex): A Tainted One is immune to the negative effects of the Black, and instead gains fast healing 2 when exposed to it.

    Cold Immunity: Tainted Ones are immune to cold, unless otherwise noted.

    Sunlight Vulnerability: When a Tainted One is exposed to intense ultraviolet light, such as that from the sun, it rapidly begins to die; it looses one third of its Wound points at the beginning of its turn for as long as it remains within the light. If it does not flee the light by the time it drops to 0 Wound, it perishes.

    Darksight (Su): Tainted Ones can see in darkness as easily as a human can see in light. They cannot distinguish color under these circumstances.

    Stage 1 Animiasis
    Animiasis (literally "corruption of life") is the name given to the process through which the Black alters and mutates an affected creature's mind and body. Upon initial corruption, only rudimentary and cosmetic changes occur, such as a blackening of the hair and whitening of skin and eyes, as well as strengthening of the muscle and sinew. Stage 1 Corrupted are statistically similar to what they once were; use the following template or generic Corrupted for Stage 1.

    All of the Stage 1 Tainted Ones are level 1 Ordinaries.

    Corrupted - Ordinary Template: A template and generic humans to cover all low-level zombies.

    Stage 2 Animiasis
    As the Corrupted devours more flesh, the animiasis creates new growths and mutations that grant the affected creature new abilities beyond its previous abilities. They still appear much like they were in life and in Stage 1, but at this level they begin to differentiate into distinct types.

    All of the Stage 2 Tainted Ones are level 2.

    Bruiser - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong]: The musclebound evolution of a Corrupted with Strong levels.
    Edward - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast]: The clawed evolution of a Corrupted with Fast levels.
    Roughneck - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Tough]: The infectious evolution of a Corrupted with Tough levels.
    Wight - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Smart]: The sinister evolution of a Corrupted with Smart levels.
    Haruspex - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Dedicated]: The psychic evolution of a Corrupted with Dedicated levels.
    Harpy - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Charismatic]: The painfully loud evolution of a Corrupted with Charismatic levels.

    Stage 3 Animiasis
    After achieving stage 2, the corrupted continue to consume more flesh. Some continue along the same path they began, improving the abilities they already possess, while some others begin to branch out, mixing the powers of their original form with the powers of another and creating terrible crossbreeds.

    All of the Stage 3 Tainted Ones are level 5.

    Brute - Large Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Strong]: A walking mountain of corrupted muscles, the brute is a frighteningly powerful evolution of the Bruiser.
    Tyrant - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Fast]: Combining the muscles of a Bruiser and the razor-sharp claws of an Edward, the Tyrant is a terrifying combatant capable of shredding unaware survivors.
    Tank - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Tough]: The rock-solid evolution of a Roughneck and a Bruiser.
    Strangler - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Smart]: A sadistic, muscular Corrupted who enjoys choking its victims again and again and again...
    Tormented - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Dedicated]: Rage and pain are all this Corrupted knows, and it wants to share as much of it as possible.
    Wailer - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Charismatic]: A powerful Tainted creature who can knock its opponents down with its voice.
    Stalker - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Fast]: A deadly assassin capable of fading into the darkness.
    Assembler - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Tough]: A vile, lightning-fast zombie possessing the abilities of both the Edward and the Roughneck, capable of coating its natural weapons in putrid bile.
    Crawler - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Smart]: A tactical Tainted One who attacks with knife-like shards of bone.
    Ghost - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Dedicated]: A chilling former-human who uses its ability to alter perception to "vanish."
    Bullet-Chaser - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Charismatic]: - A quick and stealthy zombie who possesses a strange fascination with high speeds.
    Blight - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Tough/Tough]: A disgusting spreader of Otherworldly disease who prefers to inject his victims directly.
    Vampire - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Tough/Smart]: - A durable monster who focuses on consuming the life of its victims to heal itself.
    Inevitable - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Tough/Dedicated]: A determined foe, it never ceases its hunt for its chosen victim.
    Hummer - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Tough/Charismatic]: A tough Tainted whose subsonic droning can wreak havoc with a party of desperate survivors.
    Demiliche - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Smart/Smart]: A powerful sorcerer evolved from the Wight, capable of reanimating dead Corrupted.
    Monk - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Smart/Dedicated]: Transcendent and psychic, the monk can lay waste to an opponent's mind, carving deep scars that will never fully heal. Evolves from a Wight and a Haruspex.
    Persona - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Smart/Charismatic]: A deceptive creature capable of assuming the appearance of a dead survivor and mimicking environmental noises.
    Medusa - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Dedicated/Dedicated]: A psychic zombie with a paralyzing gaze that evolves from a Haruspex.
    Wraith - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Dedicated/Charismatic]: A zombie whose supernatural wails are as dangerous to magick as it is to survivors.
    Siren - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Charismatic/Charismatic]: A sonorous zombie whose bone-shattering screams pale in comparison to the threat posed by its words.

    Stage 4 Animiasis
    Few Tainted ever reach Stage 4 of their evolution due to the incredible amount of time and resources required. Those who do, however, are widely feared and become local legends, whispered about by survivors who still cling to life within their domain.

    Many creatures of this stage have overt supernatural abilities or non-human physical features, revealing the corruption that has taken hold deep within their being.

    All of the Stage 4 Tainted Ones are level 10.

    See Predecessor - Large Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Strong]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Fast]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Tough]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Smart]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Dedicated]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Charismatic]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Fast]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Tough]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Smart]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Dedicated]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Charismatic]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Tough/Tough]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Tough/Smart]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Tough/Dedicated]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Tough/Charismatic]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Smart/Smart]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Smart/Dedicated]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Smart/Charismatic]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Dedicated/Dedicated]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Dedicated/Charismatic]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Charismatic/Charismatic]: -

    Stage 5 Animiasis
    Believed to be the final stage of a Tainted One's evolution, Stage 5 corruption is extremely rare. Very few Corrupted are successful enough to reach this stage, and even then it took them years, possibly decades to achieve. Thankfully, their rarity means these creatures will almost always be solitary, never appearing with others of their caliber. Barely human, these creatures terrorize the countryside they inhabit, possibly for centuries after the apocalypse, and their power is known far and wide.

    All of the Stage 5 Tainted Ones are level 15. At this point, the difference between Tainted and Entity is academic, and for this reason there are no more stages. These beings will soon shed their mortal shell and transcend the veil between realities as a new Entity.

    See Predecessor - Large Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Strong]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Fast]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Tough]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Smart]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Dedicated]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Strong/Charismatic]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Fast]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Tough]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Smart]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Dedicated]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Fast/Charismatic]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Tough/Tough]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Tough/Smart]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Tough/Dedicated]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Tough/Charismatic]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Smart/Smart]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Smart/Dedicated]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Smart/Charismatic]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Dedicated/Dedicated]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Dedicated/Charismatic]: -
    See Predecessor - Medium Humanoid (Tainted) [Charismatic/Charismatic]: -
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-07-03 at 02:54 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Utterances

    Utterances

    Utterances are created when two whispers are combined by a knowledgeable caster. Not all combinations of verb and noun whispers will create an utterance, and no two scrolls will call an utterance by the same name. Animate Dead found in one scroll may be found as Black Binding or Putrid Puppet in another.

    This area will be filled as progress is made in creating new spells. It is heavily a work-in-progress.


    {table=width=100%]|
    Reveal
    |
    Project
    |
    Protect
    |
    Summon
    |
    Absorb
    |
    Dispel
    |
    Dominate
    |
    Deceive
    |
    Restore
    |
    Imbue
    |
    Corrode
    Shadow
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    | |
    -
    Self
    |
    -
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    Object
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    Venom
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    | |
    Unmake
    Creature
    |
    -
    |
    -
    | | |
    -
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    Electricity
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    | | | |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    Fire
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    Cleanse the Sin
    |
    -
    Area
    | |
    -
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
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    Void
    Soul
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    Death
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    Body
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    | | |
    -
    |
    -
    Light
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    | |
    -
    [/table]
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-08-16 at 02:10 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Utterance : Summon Monster

    Summon Monster
    Lalenol + Chaugorhac
    Corruption Cost: 2 Strength damage and 1d4 Sanity
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Close (25 ft. +5 ft./ 2 levels)
    Target, Area, or Effect: One monster
    Duration: Permanent (D)
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No

    This ancient incantation summons a denizen from the Black, and binds it to your will. This embodiment of evil may be commanded to rend your foes asunder, or to destroy the very foundations of the world, but this wicked power is not to be commanded lightly, for the toll on a mortal mind is dreadful, indeed.

    This spell summons a creature of the Otherworld (either a tainted one or an entity) and binds it to your command. It appears where you designate and acts immediately, on your turn. It attacks your opponents to the best of its ability. You may telepathically command the creature as a free action, redirecting its attacks or perhaps having it perform other tasks, as you see fit. This spell is permanent, but can be broken as a standard action.

    In addition to the corruption cost, the summoned creature itself may force a Sanity check.

    Unfortunately, the telepathic link forged by this spell is particularly harmful to mortal psyches, giving them access to a sinister, alien mind. While this spell is in effect, the caster loses 1 Sanity point per round, ending when they reach 0 Sanity or spend a standard action to dismiss the summoning. If more than one Summon Monster spell is in effect, the loss is 1 Sanity point per spell per round, and they must be dismissed individually.

    Dismissing Summon Monster breaks the link, but does not send the creature back to its home plane. Most denizens of the Black resent being controlled and will use their newfound freedom to enact vengeance upon their former master.

    A creature must be summoned in an area dark enough for manifestation, but may be within line of sight.

    Echelon 1: This spell summons a Stage 1 Tainted One.
    Echelon 2: This spell summons a Stage 2 Tainted One.
    Echelon 3: This spell summons a Stage 3 Tainted One.
    Echelon 4: This spell summons a Stage 4 Tainted One.
    Echelon 5: This spell summons a Stage 5 Tainted One.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-04-14 at 06:12 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default The Entities



    The Entities

    Sometimes, fear is the appropriate response.

    ~ 1, from "9" ~


    The Entities. The mysterious, supernatural beings who ripped humanity from its stagnation. The demons wrought of the Otherworld, sent to Earth to devour the souls of the wicked. The alien intruders who lurk in the dark. However you look at them, the Entities are some of the most feared creatures in all of existence.

    Composed of the very essence of darkness, Entities come in all shapes and sizes. They are not a unified race like humans, but a mixture of various creatures who have their own ecosystems, habits, and powers. Only their fear of light and their hatred of those who live within it bind them together as a coherent whole.

    Where Tainted Ones are monsters that arise when our world is contaminated by the Otherworld, the Entities are those that arise when the Otherworld is contaminated by our own. They are the result of an Otherworld denizen being compressed and conformed to fit into our world, our physics, our rules. Like a man's shadow is a two-dimensional projection of a three-dimensional creature, so to is an Entity merely a three-dimensional projection of something more.

    Ecology
    Entities fear the light, even more so than a Tainted One, because they have no native component. They are composed completely of Otherworld essence. An entity brought into direct sunlight is disabled, able to take only a single move or standard action that round. It is utterly destroyed on the next round if it was unable to escape the light.

    Shadows are the Entity's home, and they are also its threshold. Entities can materialize out of thin air, an eerie act called manifestation. When this happens appears to be random, and may not be intentional on the part of the intruder, adding a confusing layer of uncertainty to an already terrifying phenomenon. People who survive the apocalypse quickly learn to fear the dark in all of its obscure places, and for good reason.

    During the day, Entities who have manifested lie dormant. It is not known whether they actually need sleep like humans do, or if they are simply conserving energy. An entity goes into a trance during the day, usually at sunrise, and remains this way until sundown, unless disturbed. A dormant entity suffers a -10 penalty on Listen and Spot checks. Tainted ones accompanying the entity will "sleep" with it, gathering around and trancing with it. This may be a kind of defensive instinct, since the tainted ones have a significantly higher awareness during their trance than an entity. If they are disturbed, they will awaken their patron.

    The most terrifying aspect of the entities, which makes survivors fear them regardless of their size or strength, is their complete indestructibility. An entity that falls to 0 wound drops to the floor and lays motionless. Its aura dims, and it is for all intents and purposes dead, but death is merely a temporary condition for a creature composed of the Black. 1d4+1 rounds after its apparent death (12 to 30 seconds), an entity rises once again, recovering all lost wound, vitality, and ability points. Even limbs severed from the creature are reformed from the darkness. Survivors facing entities usually don't waste ammunition or time on such creatures, as the practice of fighting an entity is futile, and merely buys a short respite before the creature resumes the assault once again.

    It is said there are ways to permanently destroy an entity, but this may simply be wishful thinking on the part of desperate and hopeless survivors.

    Entity Subtype
    Entities are a particular kind of creature born from the Otherworld's energies. They are horrific beings that vary wildly in appearance and power, but they all possess a few traits shared by all Entities.

    Child of the Black (Ex): An entity is immune to the negative effects of the Black, and instead gains fast healing 5 when exposed to it.

    Cold Immunity: Entities are immune to cold, unless otherwise noted.

    Reanimation (Su): When slain, an entity remains dead for 1d4+1 rounds. After this time, it reanimates with full hit points and even regenerates lost body parts. Damage sustained while dead does not affect this ability or increase the time it takes to reanimate.

    Darksight (Su): Entities can see in darkness as easily as a human can see in light. They cannot distinguish color under these circumstances. However, they cannot see in light.

    Dim light, such as the area illuminated by a standard flashlight, grant one-tenths concealment against Entities (10% miss chance).

    Bright artificial light (such as that created by a floodlight, searchlight, or installed lighting like fluorescent lights) grants one-half concealment (20% miss chance).

    Indirect sunlight (such as on an overcast day) grants nine-tenths concealment (40% miss chance).

    Direct sunlight grants total concealment, and Entities cannot see into it (50% miss chance and must guess who square the survivor is in).

    Sunlight Vulnerability: When an entity is exposed to intense ultraviolet light, such as that from the sun, they are immediately disabled and may take only a single standard or move action in the first round of exposure. If they do not successfully flee the light, they are instantly destroyed on the next round. They will not reanimate until exposed to darkness.

    The Entities
    The most common manifestations of the Otherworld have the Entity subtype.
    Shattered Promise - Tiny Undead (Entity): The faceless ghost of a child who never lived.
    Forsaken Husk - Medium Undead (Entity): A terrifying but weak manifestation of the Otherworld.
    Lurker - Small Aberration (Entity): A disturbing creature that wears humans like a skin.
    Corpse Flower - Huge Plant (Entity): White petals and the stench of death.
    Floral Spectre - Medium Plant (Entity): Quasi-undead plants trapped in servitude to the corpse flower who took their life.
    Tindalos - Huge Aberration (Entity): A powerful, trap-like creature that grabs prey and drags them bodily into the Otherworld.
    Eleos - Large Outsider (Entity): An angelic Entity whose claws are capable of causing uncontrollable bleeding.
    Whisper In the Dark - Huge Undead (Incorporeal, Entity, Swarm): A powerful and destructive embodiment of the Otherworld's malice, appearing as a sentient mass of the Black.
    Golanac - Large Monstrous Humanoid (Entity): A burly, four-armed monster capable of burrowing through solid stone to reach its prey.
    Jumping Jackal - Medium Monstrous Humanoid (Entity): Boing. Boing.
    Heartseeker - Medium Vermin (Entity): A venomous stalker of the night skies.
    Psychic Vampire - Medium Abberation (Entity): A spider-like entity who literally feeds on fear.
    Hollow Man - Small Undead (Entity): The fractured soul of a person who never lived, filled with resentment and Otherworldly power.
    Nak'Tar - Tiny Magickal Beast (Entity): Small, carnivorous, spider-like insects of the Otherworld.
    Nak'Tar Spiderling Swarm - Fine Magickal Beast (Entity, Swarm): A seething carpet of legs and hunger.
    Nak'Tar Hivewalker - Medium Undead (Entity): An animated corpse infested by a nak'tar collective and given an unholy hive mind.
    Voiceless - Medium Construct (Entity): Corpses stitched shut and filled with arcane powers, forced into a mockery of life but a vile spellcaster.

    The Others
    Some supernatural creatures lack the Entity subtype, and do not share their allegiances. It is unknown if these creatures come from somewhere else, or if they are simply a different kind of Entity.
    Chitterer - Diminutive Magickal Beast: A harmless but extremely annoying specimen of Otherworld wildlife.
    Gatekeeper - Large Outsider: A non-euclidean keeper of passageways.
    Being from Beyond - Small Aberration (Incorporeal): A terrifying predator from another dimension.

    Unique Entities
    Like humans, entities likewise have unique individuals within their numbers with unusual statistics or notable circumstances.
    The Heart of Darkness - Colossal Undead (Entity, Incorporeal, Swarm): An ancient Whisper in the Dark that has grown to apocalyptic proportions. Resides within the Bermuda Triangle.
    Horror - Large to Colossal Outsider (Entity): The embodiment of a city's soul.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-10-28 at 05:51 PM.

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    Default New Feats



    New Feats

    These feats from the d20 Modern Core Rulebook are not used in Shadow Theory.
    • Low Profile
    • Renown
    • Windfall


    Mentalist
    You have studied the ways of the mind, and know how they work.
    Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to all Psychotherapy and Psychic Focus checks.
    Special: Remember that Psychotherapy cannot be used untrained.

    Psionic Feats
    Shadow Theory introduces a new kind of feat, the Psionic feat. Psionic feats are bought and function just like normal feats, but grant the user abilities of a paranormal nature. Some Psionic feats require a Psychic Focus check to activate, and many come with a price. The ectenic cost of a feat is the price paid, usually in terms of Sanity or Wisdom, to power the paranormal ability.

    All psychic feats require a high Wisdom. Those that involve projection, rather than simply receiving, also require a high Charisma.

    Astral Projection [Psionic]
    You are capable of detaching your psyche from your body, allowing you to visit other places and see into other realities without moving.

    Prerequisites: Wisdom 15+, Charisma 15+, Sixth Sense, Second Sight

    Benefit: Astral projection has many benefits. By spending one minute to enter into a meditative state and succeeding on a Psychic Focus check, you gain the ability to project your mind to another place and see it as if you were there. You need not know the place in question, but you must either give directional information (three miles north) or have a photograph or extremely detailed description. The DC depends on various factors, as indicated on the table. You may also target an object or person known to you. Once projected to your chosen spot, you may float in three dimensions, unaffected by gravity, at a speed of 60 feet. You may wander and inspect things in this disembodied state for as long as you dare, but you cannot interact physically with anything. This prevents you from moving or triggering devices, but you can also move through floors, ceilings, and walls. Gruesome sights, such as monsters or mundane shocks, still cause Sanity loss if you see them.

    {table=head]Circumstance | DC
    100 feet away or less | 10
    1,000 feet away or less | 15
    up to 1 mile away | 30
    up to 100 miles away | 40
    up to 1,000 miles away | 45
    Farther | 50
    Centered on known person | -2
    Area familiar to you | -2
    Atunned to person in area | -5
    Atunned to area | -5[/table]

    Anything with the Sixth Sense feat can sense your presence, and those that possess Second Sight can see you. You are considered incorporeal, so if they possess a weapon with at least a +1 enhancement bonus, know certain spells, or are incorporeal themselves, they can attack you, too.

    If you spend an hour meditating with a person or location, you can attune yourself to them, making it easier to astrally visit the person or place later. You remain attuned so long as you visit or touch the place or person at least once a week. Modifiers due to a person and location are cumulative. If you are familiar with both the person and the area, the DC drops by -4. If you are attuned to both the area and a person in it, such as a friend back at your safehouse, the DC drops by -10. Because you must be familiar with a person or place to attune to it, familiarity with a person or place and attunement to it do not stack.

    Action: Entering into the meditative state requires one minute and a successful Psychic Focus check. Leaving the state is a full-round action.

    Ectenic Cost: 2 Wisdom and 1 Sanity upon success, 1 on a failure. Additionally, you lose 1 point of Sanity for every round you spend astrally projecting.

    Bilocation [Psionic]
    By focusing your will, you can project it into a quasi-real duplicate of yourself that can move and act independently of you.

    Prerequisites: Wisdom 15+, Charisma 15+, Sixth Sense, Second Sight, Astral Projection, Shadow Aspect

    Benefit: You may create a quasi-real double of yourself as a full-round action. The duplicate is solid and moves naturally, just like you do. It is, in fact, controlled by your subconscious. The duplicate may speak and perform actions just like you, though it may profess different opinions or offer different suggestions (these suggestions and opinions are your own). Even if it disagrees, it is always allied to you, as you and it are the same individual.
    You are constantly aware of what the duplicate thinks, feels, and experiences as if you were the duplicate (because you are). If it experiences Sanity loss, you both do. If it spots a monster hiding in the rafters, you both see it.

    In combat, the duplicate acts on your turn and can take any actions you could, though any Sanity loss, ability score damage, negative levels, or other unsavory effects afflict both of you equally. None of your equipment is duplicated, so you will need to give it weapons if you plan on using it in combat.

    While either of you is casting or concentrating on a spell, the other one cannot cast. Likewise, only one of you can be using a psychic feat at any given time (not including bilocation, which neither of you can use while the duplicate lives).

    Both you and your duplicate possess the same health pool. If either of you takes damage, you both do. If your duplicate is killed, it vanishes, and you collapse with 0 Wound points as normal.

    You and your duplicate must both spend a full-round action to dissolve the duplicate and reintegrate yourself. Doing so provokes attacks of opportunity for both of you. You need not be near each other to dissolve your duplicate, and because you know exactly what the other one thinks, feels, hears, and sees, you know when the other wants to reintegrate (possibly even to save you both, if the duplicate faces impending death).

    Action: Creating or dissolving the double is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

    Ectenic Cost: Creating the duplicate causes 1 point of Wisdom damage and 1 point of Charisma damage, as well as 1d6 Sanity loss. You suffer an additional 1 point of Sanity loss per round you bilocate.

    Empathy [Psionic]
    You are sensitive to psychic emanations and can sift through the waste psychic energy of living beings, prying into their thoughts.
    Prerequisites: Wisdom 15+, Sixth Sense
    Benefit: You can read the minds of others. Doing so requires a Psychic Focus check. The DC depends on circumstances, primarily the distance between you and your target. If you succeed, you can listen in on their surface thoughts for as long as you concentrate. Only the conscious thoughts are heard, not memories or secrets (unless the target is actively thinking about the memory or secret).

    You can also sense emotions that your target is currently feeling.

    If your target does not think in words, such as an animal or a person who had been deaf from birth, you get feelings, impressions, and images.

    If your target has the Entity subtype, you suffer Sanity loss equal to that of a failed check for seeing the monster and you receive nothing.

    {table=head]Circumstance|DC
    Touching target|5
    30 feet away or less|10
    100 feet away or less|15
    1,000 feet away or less|20
    up to 1 mile away|25
    up to 100 miles away|30
    up to 1,000 miles away|35
    Farther|40
    Target is known to you|-2
    Target has the Sixth Sense feat|-2
    Target has the Telepathy feat|-5
    Target willing|-5
    Target unwilling|+2[/table]

    Action: Both attempting to read a mind and sustaining the mind reading is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
    Ectenic Cost: 1 Sanity on failure, 1 Wisdom damage and 1d4 Sanity on success.

    Premonition [Psionic]
    Whether intentional or not, you gain insights into the future.
    Prerequisites: Wisdom 15+, Sixth Sense
    Benefit: You may make a Psychic Focus check (DC 15). If successful, you may propose a single course of action (such as opening the locked door in front of you or proceeding down the left staircase), and receive either a Weal (Good), Woe (Bad), or Nothing (Neutral) answer. The visions you receive are too incoherent and symbolic to divulge any details, but through them you can generally gauge how successful your proposed action will be. You have a 70% chance of receiving a correct answer, +5% per psionic feat you possess; otherwise, you receive the Nothing answer. You cannot tell whether a Nothing answer is the result of a failed premonition or not.
    Action: Full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
    Ectenic Cost: Dependent upon the Psychic Focus check: 1 Wisdom damage and 1d4 Sanity loss on success, 1 Sanity loss on failure.

    Psychometry [Psionic]
    Through simple contact you can grasp visions of the past associated with an object.
    Prerequisites: Wisdom 15+, Sixth Sense, Premonition, Empathy
    Benefit: You can receive information about an object or place's past in the form of fragments or readings.

    Fragments: A fragment is a brief bit of sound, conversation, or thought that remains with the object or place in the form of a disembodied psychic impression. They are very weak and usually only remain in association with traumatic or otherwise pivotal life experiences. They require no action on your part to receive; merely touching or interacting with the object is enough to unlock its fragments.

    Whether or not an object or place contains a fragment, and what the fragment relates to, is up to your GM. Most objects have no fragments.

    Reading: By concentrating with a touched object for one minute, you can attempt a psychic focus check to discern a single piece of information or brief scene relating to the object touched. The DC depends on what you're attempting to discern and when it happened. Multiple owners overwrite the previous owner's psychic impressions, making it difficult to dig up past information. Likewise, even an abandoned object has its psychic impressions worn away.

    Complete visions are three-dimensional and all-consuming; the psychic loses sight of where they are and is immersed completely in the past scene as a silent observer.

    {table=head]Circumstance | DC
    Surface fact about previous owner (name, mood, view of the object) | 10
    Deep fact about previous owner (beliefs, important historical facts) | 15
    Complete Vision of a pivotal scene involving the object | 20
    Reading back one owner¹ | +5
    Abandoned for more than one month¹ | +5
    Abandoned for more than one year¹ | +5
    Abandoned for more than a decade¹ | +5
    Abandoned for more than a century¹ | +5
    Abandoned for more than a millennium¹ | +10
    Abandoned for more than a million years¹ | +10[/table]
    ¹ Cumulative. Apply for every owner between the previous one and the one you're reading, or apply for every time period abandoned. Learning the name of the previous owner of an item abandoned for 20 years, for instance, has a DC of 25. Learning the name of the owner before that is DC 30 (10 for simple fact, +5 for owner before previous, +5 for being abandoned more than one month, +5 for being abandoned more than one year, and +5 for being abandoned more than a decade).

    Action: Receiving a fragment takes no action at all. Reading an object intentionally takes at least 1 minute.
    Ectenic Cost: Fragments cost nothing to receive. Readings cause 1 point of Wisdom damage and 1d4 points of Sanity damage on a successful read, and 1 point of Sanity loss on a failure. Note that what you see in the vision may also cause further Sanity loss.

    Second Sight [Psionic]
    You perceive the world around you not only with your eyes and ears, but with your mind as well.
    Prerequisites: Wisdom 15+, Sixth Sense
    Benefit: This feat grants multiple perceptive abilities.
    First, you can perceive supernaturally invisible creatures and objects, regardless of whether they are innately invisible, using a spell, or using a special ability. You still cannot see naturally invisible phenomena, like infrared light or air.
    Second, you can perceive the Black, and need not rely on the black frost it casts to tell you where it is or what space it occupies.
    Third, you may use Psychic Focus instead of Spot or Listen to detect a Tainted One or Entity.
    Action: None. This ability functions continuously.
    Ectenic Cost: None.

    Sixth Sense [Psionic]
    You are sensitive to the Otherworld. Whether because you come from a long line of psychics and witches, or because you had a traumatic, near-death experience, you are intimately familiar with the metaphysical side of the universe.
    Prerequisites: Wisdom 15+
    Benefit: You may take other Psionic feats. Additionally, you may sense the presence or absence of an Otherworld aura just like a radio using the Welcome to Silent Hill variant, except your GM need not be using that variant for this ability to function.
    Action: None. This ability functions continuously.
    Ectenic Cost: None.

    Shadow Aspect [Psionic]
    You are aware of your own dark side. Unlike most people, who run from and deny it, you have embraced it, and accepted it for what it is. Because of this, your darker thoughts and emotions do not control you.
    Prerequisites: Charisma 15+, Wisdom 15+, Sixth Sense
    Benefit: You are immune to the corruptive influence of the Black, and do not lose levels when in contact with it. Furthermore, you may make a Psychic Focus check (DC 20) against an adjacent square occupied by it (If you have the Second Sight psionic feat, you gain a +2 bonus on this check). On success, you may disperse one 5 ft. cube of the Black, rendering it harmless. It returns 1d4+1 rounds afterwards, however.
    Action: Resisting the Black takes no action. Dispersing it is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity.
    Ectenic Cost: Resisting the Black has no cost. Dispersing the Black costs 1d4 points of Sanity on a successful Psychic Focus check, 1 point of Sanity on a failure.

    Subtle Psionics [Psionic]
    Your powers, while strong, often go unnoticed.
    Prerequisites: Wisdom 15+, Sixth Sense
    Benefit: You are only considered psionic when it benefits you. Abilities that have greater affects on characters with certain psionic feats or psionic feats in general treat you as if you possessed no psionic feats.
    Action: None. This ability functions continuously.
    Ectenic Cost: None.

    Telekinesis [Psionic]
    You are capable of exerting your will in a literal sense, moving and manipulating objects and creatures with your thoughts.
    Prerequisites: Charisma 15+, Wisdom 15+, Sixth Sense
    Benefit: You may manipulate objects and creatures from a distance with a Psychic Focus check. The DC depends primarily upon the target's weight, but also on the distance between you. You can exert influence in different ways, as follows.

    Sustained Force: You can lift an object and move it up to 20 feet per round. Creatures are allowed a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Charisma modifier) to negate the force; if they succeed, you suffer Sanity loss as if you had failed the check. You must concentrate and make checks every round to maintain the effect, but only the initial check causes Sanity loss.

    Maneuver: You can attempt a trip, disarm, bull rush, or grapple (including pin) against another creature. The DC is 15, modified by distance. The target's weight does not matter, only the target's size. For every size category above Medium your target is, the DC increases by +4. For every size category below, the DC decreases by -4. If you succeed on the check, you use the result in the opposed ability or grapple checks.

    Violent Force: You can instead expend all your energy to throw an object or creature a certain distance. You need not use all your weight allowance on one object; total the weight of all objects being thrown to determine the DC, up to a maximum of one object per rank you have in Psychic Focus.

    Weapons deal their normal damage, but with a +1 strength modifier per 10 feet thrown. Note that crossbow bolts and arrows deal damage as daggers, and bullets deal no damage when used in this way.

    Soft objects deal 1 damage for every 30 pounds thrown, while hard, dense objects deal 1d6 points for every 30 pounds. Creatures thrown against a solid object, such as a wall, sustain 1d6 damage per 10 feet moved.

    {table=head]Circumstance|DC
    Target within 5 feet|0
    Target within 10 feet|5
    Target within 25 feet|10
    Target within 60 feet|15
    Target within 120 feet|20
    Target within 250 feet|25
    Every 50 feet farther|+5
    Every 15 pounds of weight|+2
    Every 10 feet thrown|+5[/table]

    Action: Sustained Force and Violent Force are standard actions. Maneuver is a full-round action. All uses provoke attacks of opportunity.
    Ectenic Cost: 1 Sanity on failure, 1 Charisma damage and 1d4 Sanity on success.

    Telepathy [Psionic]
    You have a strong psychic presence, and can project your thoughts into the minds of others.
    Prerequisites: Wisdom 15+, Charisma 15+, Sixth Sense
    Benefit: You can send short psychic messages to others, who hear your message spoken in your voice in their mind. Emotion and dull physical sensations can be sent as well. You must make a Psychic Focus check to send the message, with a DC dependent on several factors (primarily distance).

    The message must be 25 words or less. Longer messages require multiple checks.

    Your message is simply that; a message. You have no control or special privileges in regards to the creature you message. You need not have a language in common, but creatures who are not capable of complex language (such as animals and most monsters) will not understand the message.

    {table=head]Circumstance|DC
    Touching target|5
    30 feet away or less|10
    100 feet away or less|15
    1,000 feet away or less|20
    up to 1 mile away|25
    up to 100 miles away|30
    up to 1,000 miles away|35
    Farther|40
    Target is known to you|-2
    Target has the Sixth Sense feat|-2
    Target has the Empathy feat|-5[/table]

    Action: Sending a message is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
    Ectenic Cost: 1 Sanity on failure, 1d4 on success.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2012-02-21 at 09:46 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: [d20 Modern] Shadow Theory (Apocalyptic Horror Setting)

    Wow, the magic of using someone else's computer... I did not know the whisper runes appear like BLACK BOXES instead of runes when using Internet Explorer. I forgot IE does not support transparent PNGs, only GIFs, so I'll change that soon.

    EDIT: Whisper runes should appear as intended now.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-04-12 at 12:45 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Default Re: [d20 Modern] Shadow Theory (Apocalyptic Horror Setting)

    Added the Bruiser and Edward (Tainted Ones) and the Lurker (Entity), as well as Premonition and Shadow Aspect (Psionic Feat).

    If anyone has any idea what Challenge Rating the monsters should have, please let me know. I'm a terrible judge of such things.

    Also, spell ideas would be sweet.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-04-13 at 02:08 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [d20 Modern] Shadow Theory (Apocalyptic Horror Setting)

    This is a fascinating thread, indeed. D20 Modern doesn't get nearly enough love as I feel it should...so I'll take a look at your monsters, maybe give them a little playtest if I have the spare time, and see what Challenge Ratings I can come up with for you.
    LGBTitP

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    Default Re: [d20 Modern] Shadow Theory (Apocalyptic Horror Setting)

    That was actually the reason I decided to work on Shadow Theory instead of a floating islands campaign setting for D&D. I figured if I do the fantasy setting, it would just be yet another D&D 3.5 setting, but no one ever seems to do anything with d20 Modern, so I chose to work on it instead. Also, horror is just fun.

    Thanks in advance for the Challenge Ratings. I think the Bruiser, Edward, and Forsaken Husk are all CR 1-2, while the Lurker is probably in the 6-8 range.

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    Default Utterance : Asklepios

    Asklepios
    Ystharnotag + Bbhothigug
    Corruption Cost: 2 Wisdom damage and 1d4 Sanity
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Close (25 ft. +5 ft./ 2 levels)
    Target, Area, or Effect: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Will half (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    This incantation calls upon ambient ethereal energies to repair the physical form. Paradoxically, however, some things simply work better in disrepair.

    This utterance calls upon ambient life energy, restoring 1d8 hit points, +1 per caster level (max +5) to the target creature. The Asklepios utterance cannot raise a creature's hit points beyond their normal maximum, and any extra restoration is ignored. Creatures of the Undead type, however, are damaged by this spell. They receive a Will save for half damage.

    Echelon 1: The spell restores 1d8+1/level hit points (Max +5).
    Echelon 2: The spell restores 2d8+1/level hit points (Max +10).
    Echelon 3: The spell restores 3d8+1/level hit points (Max +15).
    Echelon 4: The spell restores 4d8+1/level hit points (Max +20).
    Echelon 5: The spell restores 10 damage/caster level. Wound points are healed first, then Vitality.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-02-27 at 09:53 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Utterance : Animate Dead

    Animate Dead
    Halot-Labo + Degachabo
    Corruption Cost: 2 Constitution (Permanent) and 1d6 Sanity
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target, Area, or Effect: One Corpse
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No

    This sinister magick conjures the dark essence of the Otherworld and binds it to a dead body, prodding the corpse into a mockery of life to do your will. Those who would dare utter this incantation may never know peace in the afterlife... but if you are reading this scroll you are likely damned, anyway.

    This utterance conjures the Black and forces it into the corpse touched, animating the dead body as a Forsaken Husk. The creature is under your complete control and responds to your commands to the best of its abilities. It does so without hesitation, but because of its rudimentary intelligence, commands must be simple and short.

    The creature remains under your control indefinitely. If it is slain, it will rise again just like a normal Entity. The creature is permanently destroyed by sunlight, however.

    Entities and Tainted Ones can tell that the Forsaken Husk animated by this spell is not one of them, and will treat it just as they would the caster (they'll usually attack).

    Echelon 1: The corpse becomes a Forsaken Husk with 2 HD.
    Echelon 2: The corpse becomes an advanced Forsaken Husk with 4 HD.
    Echelon 3: The corpse becomes an advanced Forsaken Husk with 6 HD.
    Echelon 4: The corpse becomes an advanced Forsaken Husk with 8 HD.
    Echelon 5: The corpse becomes an advanced Forsaken Husk with 10 HD.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-02-27 at 09:52 PM.

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    Default Utterance : Enchant Item

    Enchant Item
    E'migubbor + Ith-ys
    Corruption Cost: 2 Intelligence damage and 1d4 Sanity
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target, Area, or Effect: Touched object
    Duration: Instantaneous or 1 Minute/Level (see text)
    Saving Throw: Fortitude negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    Scars of the past are forgotten, and that which is old is made new once again. Such is the power of enchantment.

    This spell has a wide range of outcomes, depending on the nature of the target object. Regardless of the ultimate effects of the utterance, Enchant Item restores 1d8 hit points to the touched object in addition to the other benefits. This effect is instantaneous.

    Broken Object: An object that has been destroyed (reduced to 0 hit points) is mended, but with a single hit point. Further castings of the spell can erase the remaining damage. This effect is instantaneous.

    Weapon: A weapon, regardless of whether it is melee or ranged, gains a +1 enhancement bonus to attack and damage rolls while the utterance is in effect. Ranged weapons so enchanted bestow their enchantment to their ammunition. This lasts for 1 minute per caster level.

    Armor: The touched armor gains a +1 enhancement bonus to Defense. The object must grant an equipment bonus to Defense to be considered armor; otherwise, it is just an object. This effect lasts for 1 minute per caster level.

    Battery: The battery becomes fully charged. This effect is instantaneous.

    Powered Device: The device receives power from an unknown source, allowing it to operate while the spell lasts even in the absence of a proper power supply. This effect lasts for 1 minute per caster level.

    Other Object: An object that does not fall under any of the other categories simply gains +5 hardness and +10 hit points, as well as Spell Resistance 10. The benefits do not transfer to the wearer or holder, however, so a character wearing an enchanted amulet does not gain Spell Resistance, and someone wearing an enchanted jacket does not gain Damage Reduction 5/-. This does protect the object itself from attacks directed at it, however. This effect lasts for 1 minute per caster level.

    Echelon 1: As above.
    Echelon 2: As above, but the enhancement bonuses are +2 and the spell restores 2d8 hit points. Spell Resistance becomes 12.
    Echelon 3: As above, but the enhancement bonuses are +3 and the spell restores 3d8 hit points. Spell Resistance becomes 14.
    Echelon 4: As above, but the enhancement bonuses are +4 and the spell restores 4d8 hit points. Spell Resistance becomes 16.
    Echelon 5: As above, but the enhancement bonuses are +5 and the spell completely repairs the object. Spell Resistance becomes 18.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-02-27 at 09:52 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: [d20 Modern] Shadow Theory (Apocalyptic Horror Setting)

    I am considering a Speed murmur, which offsets the time cost of the other murmurs and reduces the casting time by one step, but increases the Corruption cost, probably by 50% each use. If applied to a vanilla echelon 1 utterance, it would act like quicken, reducing the casting time to a free action. Does that sound reasonable?

    Any comments or suggestions on the workability of the whisper-based magick system would be great, particularly about the murmurs and their mechanics.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: [d20 Modern] Shadow Theory (Apocalyptic Horror Setting)

    While I haven't had a chance to actually playtest them, comparing them to otherm onsters, I can say that you're probably right on the CR marks.

    Forsaken Husk is probably CR 1; it's unpleasant and creepy, but its relatively low ability scores and special qualities (or lack thereof) render it a lower level encounter.

    Bruisers and Edwards should be CR 2, due to the fact that...well....they have two class levels, and that's how things tend to work. They don't really have any major notes to elevate them above that.

    The Lurker I'd pin at CR 6. In a fight, it'll probably get smacked around fairly nastily by a matching-level group of heroes, but its Body Thief elevates its fear factor.
    LGBTitP

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    Default Re: [d20 Modern] Shadow Theory (Apocalyptic Horror Setting)

    Definitely would suggest you allow Wis 15+ as an alternative or even a substitute for the Cha 15+ psionic feat prerequisites, given that this is the attribute most closely associated with awareness.

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