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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Dark Minds (my first template/please help)

    This is my first attempt at a template. Please share your thoughts, and tell me if anything is unclear (I may have forgotten to type something.) Also, i have no idea what the level adjustment should be.

    Dark Minds
    Demons, devils, undead, all typical pawns of powerful fiends or evil wizards. Unfortunately for these evil beings, their tendency to rely on such creatures has bred adventurers with powers specifically intended for the destruction of their minions. Paladins swing holy swords. Clerics turn undead to dust with positive energy. For every reliable minion the forces of evil create, there seems to be a mortal born to destroy it. But what supernatural force had they created to destroy themselves?

    Thus were the first Dark Minds born. Dark Minds are the products of powerful fiends and evil deities who seek to swell their ranks with, mostly, willing mortals. Just before birth, a Dark Mind is infused with a surge of dark power and intent that sits silently within the folds of the mortal’s mind for the first decade or so. During this time, the power grows and develops, gaining strength from the potential evil of the mortal psyche, and remembering some basic instruction given it by the evil being that created it. At some point, usually during puberty, the entity has developed into a mind separate from, but still intimately familiar with, its host.

    While this darker entity may not have been developed enough to comprehend the earliest years of its host’s life, it recalls most of its host child hood and on with just as much clarity as the host (though perhaps with slightly more focus on the darker aspects of those memories.) This darker side usually reveals itself to its host as soon as possible, and immediately begins attempting to convince the host to pursue the goals of its creator. Though the darker side knows what such a goal is, it does not at first know how to achieve such a goal. For instance, a Dark Mind of Orcus may have a darker side that knows it was created to create powerful undead, but it does not yet know how to create them or even how to learn how. If the Dark Mind host had never heard of undead, the darker side may not even know exactly what its goal is, though it would recognize it as soon as it is exposed to anything regarding undead.

    The methods different dark sides use to convince their hosts to further their evil goals varies. Some may attempt to convince their hosts in the belief that a willing host will be far more useful than an enslaved one. Others may not directly promote their goal to their host, but instead attempt to sway them toward evil in the hopes that they will then become easier to convince. Some forego attempts to convince their hosts at all, finding the task to exerting or the host too difficult to convince (this is often the case with good aligned Dark Minds), and will simply take every opportunity to control their shared body and further the goals themselves.

    Woe to the poor soul who finds himself sharing a body and mind with such a foul parasite.

    Creating a Dark Mind:
    “Dark Mind” is an inherited template that can be added to any humanoid.

    Specials Qualities:

    A Dark Mind has the following special qualities:
    Telepathic Recoil: A Dark Mind’s mind is so filled with evil intent that any attempting to read his thoughts must make a Will Save (DC 20+ either CHA or INT mod. Whichever is higher) or take 1d6/2 HD nonlethal damage. If the creature attempting to read the Dark Mind's thoughts still manages to read her thoughts, only the thoughts of the currently dominant personality is read, though the thoughts of the other personality still register as a "whisper" in the background.

    Double Resillience
    : A Dark Mind receives a +2 on all saves against mind-affecting effects.

    Can’t Control us Both!
    : Whenever a Dark Mind fails to resist an effect that places her under the control of another creature, such as a Dominate Person, the she may make a second save using her Dark Half’s saves. If this second save succeeds, the Dark Mind is not under the control of the other creature, but is instead controlled by the Dark Half. If the Dark Mind is the subject of another such effect before the duration of the first expires, she saves with the Darker half’s saves as before, but does not gain a second chance to resist the ability. The dark half maintains control of the body after the duration of the mind-controlling effect ends. See Dark Half to determine when the host regains control.

    Dark Half: A Dark Mind’s defining feature is the evil personality it possesses. A Dark Half is effectively a second character in the same body as the host. A Dark Half retains the hit points, attributes, and skills of the host creature (a.k.a. the base creature), but when control of the body goes to the Dark Half (see below), the Dark Half possesses its own class features, spells, saves, feats, and personality. A Dark Half has a number of class levels equal to the host’s. Dark half can be of any evil allignment.

    The Dark Half gains control of the creature’s body under the following conditions:
    • When the host is reduced to one quarter of its total hit points, it must make a will save (DC 20+ 1/2 HD) or lose control to the Dark Half.
    • When the host intentionally commits an obviously evil act (like slaying an innocent), she must make a DC 20 +1/2 HD will save ;or lose control to the Darker Half.
    • Whenever the host activates one of the Demonic Body abilities (see below), she must make a DC 20 +1/2 HD will save or lose control to the Darker Half.
    • When the host is reduced to 0 or less hit points, she must make a will save (DC 20+1/2 HD) or lose control to the Dark Half.
    • There is a 1% chance each time a Dark Mind wakes up that he was overcome by his Dark Half in his sleep.
    * The host willingly relinquishes control to the Dark Half (as a standard action)

    The Dark Half must make an opposed will save against the host every 24 hours after it gained control of the body. The first time it fails this save, both the host and Dark Half are knocked unconscious for an hour. At the conclusion of this hour, the host regains control of the body.

    The Dark half can loose control of the body to the host in the same manner the host can loose control with the exceptions of the use of the Demonic Body Abilities and committing an evil act. The host need not make a will save every 24 hours after regaining control.

    The side of the personality not in control is just as aware of its surroundings as the personality currently in control. The only exception to this is when control of the body is lost when a personality falls to zero or less hit points, but the inactive personality regains awareness after one minute after control has been lost.

    Demonic Body A Dark Mind has the ability to channel the dark energy in their system into manifestations of dark power. As a full round action, a Dark Mind may choose to gain any of the following abilities which lasts for one minute/ HD. This ability is usable once/day for every four HD the Dark Mind possesses, and only one option from below may be used at a time.
    *Evil Eye: The Dark Mind gains a gaze attack with a range of 30 ft. Anyone who makes eye contact must make a save as if targeted by Charm Person. The DC is 10+ Dark Mind's HD.
    *Devil Skin: The dark mind gains damage reduction equal to its hit dice. This is bypassed by good or cold iron weapons.
    *Wings: The Dark Mind gains a flight speed of 60 ft. with average maneuverability.
    *Ghoulish Claws: The Dark Mind gains a claw attack. He is considered proficient with this claw. The claw does 1d6 slashing damage, and a successful attack requires the target make a DC 14 fort. save or be paralyzed for 1d4 rounds.
    *Dexterous Tail: The Dark Mind gains a flexible tail. The tail itself is not very effective as a weapon (1d2 non-lethal damage), but it allows the dark mind to wield an extra one-handed weapon. The extra weapon takes a -6 on attacks rolls.
    *Devil's Tongue: The Dark Mind gains a forked tongue. He recieves a +10 on all bluff checks, and the scent ability.
    *Ear for Danger: The Dark Mind gains a set of demonic ears. These grant him a +4 on listen checks, and the ability to hear a threat before it strikes (+5 on Ref. saves.) The later ability does not work on silent threats such as a silenced arrow or sword.

    Ability Feed: Different Dark Minds are created for different purposes. To help compensate for a natural inaptitude for whatever purpose they were intended, Dark Minds are given the ability to “feed” one ability score to another. As a free action, a Dark Mind may increase any given ability score by any a;mount up to their number of HD. Doing so requires that they reduce another ability score by twice the amount increased. If they choose to increase a physical ability (strength, dexterity, constitution) they must decrease either intelligence, wisdom, or charisma, and vice versa. A Dark Mind can only maintain this shift in ability scores for a number of minutes at a time equal to their HD. They may end the use of this ability as a free action.
    Last edited by StoryKeeper; 2008-03-26 at 07:37 PM.
    Some Stuff I've tried brewing:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Dark Mind- Evil split personality template
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75765

    Eldritch ghost- Warlock/Ninja PrC
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...eldritch+ghost

    Student of the Fox- Class based on kitsune
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77615


    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dark Minds (my first template/please help)

    I like it.
    it reminds me of a storyline from the Morbius comics when he got Lillin blood in him and developed an evil alter-ego.

    Couple things:
    1. In the third point under Dark Half there's a "mmust" that should be "must."
    2. In Can't Control Us Both! you say "Darker Half" (twice) when the ability is "Dark Half."
    3. You say "The Dark half can loose control of the body to the host in the same manner the host can loose control with the exception of the use of the Demonic Body Abilities." but I think you should also make an exception of intentionally committing an evil act.
    4. Why the restriction on what classes a Dark Half can take?
    5. Can the Dark Mind "feed" one ability score into another even when the Dark Half is not in control?
    6. As a balancing factor I think "feeding" one ability score from another should cost 2 points from the one being lowered to raise the other 1 point (ex -6 Int +3 Str). It is still a very versatile ability, then you wouldn't have to make the penalty last 10 times as long (which I think is a bit much, maybe only twice as long would be better). That would make it less of being awesome for a ocuple seconds and sucking for a long time and more of a versatile yet balanced ability.
    7. Can a Dark Mind activate the Demonic Body even while the Dark Half is not in control?
    8. I think you should put a /day on the Demonic Body abilities and add the stipulation that a Dark Mind may have no more than one active at a time.

    I definitely like the flavour of this. I do wonder why you chose the Demonic Body abilities that you chose though. They all fit, but I just wonder why those specifically and not anything else.
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilElitest View Post
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    Many thanks to Bisected8 for the Jokertar.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dark Minds (my first template/please help)

    Thanks for pointing out the typos. I've edited those. To answer points 4-8...

    4. There should probably be more options in the list, but I was trying to avoid letting them have access to classes that would require intensive study or training that the character might not actually have. For example, wizards study for years before being able to cast spells, but if the host spent his childhood learning to be a fighter or something instead, where did the dark half learn to cast spells? Of course, if the host trained to be a wizard, then the dark half could have been leaning over his shoulder so... I tried to give it options that would come from having innate gifts, but it would probably make more sense to just remove the restriction.

    5 and 7. Hm... I had imagined the personality not in control at the time being unable to do anything but communicate with the other half, but it would be interesting if it could activate those abilities itself... although the Dark Half could potentially weaken the host by feeding an ability the host would soon need, or waste the use of the demonic body ability by using it prematurely.

    6. Let me look at that after I've posted this; I may change it as suggested.

    8. You know how when you're tired, you just forget to add some things... I'll go change that.

    As for why I chose those demonic body options, they were just the first things that came to mind, but I may add more later.

    Thanks for the advice, please keep it coming, especially on what the level adjustment should be.
    Some Stuff I've tried brewing:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Dark Mind- Evil split personality template
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75765

    Eldritch ghost- Warlock/Ninja PrC
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...eldritch+ghost

    Student of the Fox- Class based on kitsune
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77615


    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dark Minds (my first template/please help)

    Hm...



    ...Nope, not quite. The Prince retained control in both forms. Curses!

    ----

    More constructively:

    I like it, for the most part. The part about the ability transfers could use some cleaning up, though. First off, it should be its own (Ex) or (Su) ability. Second, it could be worded in a manner that uses more official terms (eg "The Dark Mind can take X points of ability burn to an ability in exchange for a +X unnamed bonus to a different ability. The ability burn goes away after...") Lastly, is it only available to the Dark Half, or to the host as well?

    I'm also curious as to whether or not either side can voluntarily cede control to the alter ego. The host can always activate his demonic body and voluntarily forgo the saving throw (say, to avoid taking responsibility for his actions, or because he's "not strong enough" to "do what must be done"), but what if the Dark Half feels like putting the host back in the driver's seat? That sort of thing would be invaluable for subtlety and corruption: For instance, the Dark Half could force his host back into control after placing him in a Paladin Trap (that is, a situation contrived so that any action, including inaction, will appear to be Evil) to "teach you a lesson" about morality, or it could even pretend to be a benign symbiotic force that only takes over when its power is needed (at least, until it's ready to launch the Master Stroke). Plus having access to a second set of class abilities is nice.

    Lastly, is the host aware and conscious during the Dark Half's period of control? And, if so, does the detect thoughts spell target them both, or just the guy in control?
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Mewtarthio, you have scared my brain into hiding, a trembling, broken shadow of a thing, cowering somewhere in the soothing darkness and singing nursery rhymes in the hope of obscuring the Lovecraftian facts you so boldly brought into daylight.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dark Minds (my first template/please help)

    I've always toyed with the idea of a multi-personality character, that actually could switch and do things better in one mind than the other. (Completely unrealistic, but so are dragons.) This offers a good means, but lord those Will saves are high. Any particular reason for the High Saves? I mean from a player's point of view that makes it all the better...

    Oh also, when changing are hit points received? Or is the creature just unstable while under 1/4 of the Hit Dice, bouncing between one form and the other?
    Come with me, time out of mind...

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dark Minds (my first template/please help)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mewtarthio View Post

    First off, it should be its own (Ex) or (Su) ability. Second, it could be worded in a manner that uses more official terms (eg "The Dark Mind can take X points of ability burn to an ability in exchange for a +X unnamed bonus to a different ability. The ability burn goes away after...") Lastly, is it only available to the Dark Half, or to the host as well?

    I'm also curious as to whether or not either side can voluntarily cede control to the alter ego.

    Lastly, is the host aware and conscious during the Dark Half's period of control? And, if so, does the detect thoughts spell target them both, or just the guy in control?
    I'll edit the ability feeding thing soon. Thanks for pointing that out. Both of the other things were points I meant to include the first time, but forgot to type out.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChumpLump View Post
    Oh also, when changing are hit points received? Or is the creature just unstable while under 1/4 of the Hit Dice, bouncing between one form and the other?
    The Dark Half retains the hit points of the host when it takes control. If you were to get healed during this time, or gain extra hit points somehow, then yes, as it is currently written, you could get damaged again and control could quickly shift back to the other personality. That may need changed, but it could also be interesting to see that kind of instability.

    As for the high saves, I wanted th saves to be set so that there was some chance that the current personality could resist the other, but looking on it now... I think I'll lower that to DC 20 +1/2 HD.
    Last edited by StoryKeeper; 2008-03-24 at 07:43 PM.
    Some Stuff I've tried brewing:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Dark Mind- Evil split personality template
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75765

    Eldritch ghost- Warlock/Ninja PrC
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...eldritch+ghost

    Student of the Fox- Class based on kitsune
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77615


    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dark Minds (my first template/please help)

    More Demonic Body options added.
    Some Stuff I've tried brewing:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Dark Mind- Evil split personality template
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75765

    Eldritch ghost- Warlock/Ninja PrC
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...eldritch+ghost

    Student of the Fox- Class based on kitsune
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77615


    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dark Minds (my first template/please help)

    I think that it might be a good idea to have the LA based on the base creature's alignment. A good Dark Mind will be far more reluctant to risk their Dark Half take control than an evil one. Also, I suggest that you make it explicit that the Dark Half is always an NPC.
    Quote Originally Posted by Asmodeus View Post
    However, the general consensus about the best way to stop a monster from attacking is to kill it. In the case of undead, we recommend killing it again.
    2 useful principles for keeping roleplaying games fun.

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