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Greater Gargoyles (PC class)by Marco Dalmonte
Today I wanna talk about this PC class I invented based on the cartoon series gargoyles. I designed it some months ago and revised it in January. It's on my webpage now but I feel it would be better to post it here again to know your opinion. Just read it and tell me what should be changed and why, so I might be able to get a broader view of the thing.
A new D&D/AD&D Class for Mystara
By Marco Dalmonte
(Special Thanks to Lars Herrmann and Håvard
Origins of the Greater Gargoyles
As told by Professor von Berg of the Great School of Magic
The origins of the beings known as Kargoyles are lost in the mists of time. These mythical creatures have sometimes been encountered by daring adventurers and explorers inside the most shunned and ancient castles or the most remote areas of the world. Nevertheless, nobody has ever shown a concrete proof of their existence so far, and the rumours about their creation are merely speculations spread by sages, seers, fools and drunkards. Nowadays, nobody can say for sure who is right and who is wrong, and for the sake of correctness I will list all the current theories about these legendary creatures. There are however some points that all the legends have in common: the kargoyles are not constructs but living beings (thus they must eat and can reproduce like humans, even though they lay eggs according to some rumours), but probably something went wrong with their creation or they earned the enmity of a powerful being and so they became cursed with the Stone Sleep: like the undead, they cannot live under the sun. They are living beings with a strong resemblance to gargoyles, but they cannot really communicate with gargoyles.
The current theories about the Kargoyles' creation are four:
1. Kagyar's Experiment: they were created by Kagyar as the first experiment to design a durable and tough race about 100-200 years before the creation of dwarves (Kogolor). Then the Blackmoor catastrophe altered their biological structure and magical essence magical and it turned out that the sunrays petrified them. So Kagyar transported most of them in the Hollow World, where the Red Sun radiations didn't affect them (this is also explains why it is so rare to meet a greater gargoyle). Those who remained on the surface eventually became the Kargoyles, and learnt to live with their curse they now call the Stone Sleep. Up to now, very few know of their existence, mostly Kagyar's devout followers (dwarves). Probably surviving Kargoyles live in Rockhome.
2. The Ultimate Guard: they were created by a sorcerer of Glantri who was the Runemaster 300 years ago. He altered the existing unintelligent gargoyles to make them intelligent beings and use them as superb guards and retainers. He wanted to create a new race and indeed he succeeded, save for the fact that he didn't expect the sunrays could petrify them. However, since he most needed them to guard his tower, he employed them as night guards, and they proved highly successful. One fateful day the Runemaster was defeated in a duel by another Cryptomancer and his tower nearly destroyed. Without their master, the kargoyles left the tower and scattered to the four corners of Glantri, living in clans and hiding from the greedy eyes of the other wizards. Another version of this theory has the kargoyles stay in the ruins of the tower out of fealty towards their former master. They now live inside it and guard it awaiting for the Master to return...
3. The Sin of Kargol: they have been created by Kagyar when he slept with Mother Earth in the beginning of times. The first kargoyles were the sons of Kagyar and lived with their father in his Mighty Fortress in the Upper Skies, where they helped him forge weapons and craft superb items. Yet one fateful day, the fire of Kagyar's forge went out and Kagyar became terribly depressed and grim. His oldest son, Kargol, was sick at the heart seeing his father's disgrace, and tried to help him. He knew that only one thing could renew the fire of Kagyar's forge: the sun's rays. So he sneaked into Ixion's Fiery Palace and tried to steal a lock of his burning hair while he was sleeping. Unfortunately Ixion caught him and Kargol panicked. He flew across the halls with Ixion's hair in his hand and then he stumbled into Helios, Ixion's son, who tried to stop him. In the ensuing fight he accidentally killed him and run to his father's Palace in awe. Kargol was able to relight Kagyar's forge, but Ixion's curse affected him immediately after, for he petrified in front of his own father. Yet Ixion was not satisfied and wanted to rip Kargol to pieces for what he did to him and his son: so Kagyar crafted a statue similar to his son and gave it to Ixion, who reduced it to ashes in his fury and left Kagyar's palace. Kagyar didn't know what to do for his unfortunate son, so he placed him into Mother Earth's womb, where he hoped he would have rested in peace. But Mother Earth's heat and love dissolved Ixion's curse, and Kargol breathed again. He knew however that the Sun's curse was still upon him and that the sun was deadly to him. So he begged his mother to create a companion that would have shared with him his fate and loneliness. Kargol impregnated Mother Earth with his tears and she generated Gayle, Kargol's companion. They lived inside Mother Earth's womb for decades until Gayle became pregnant and she gave birth to her first child: but the child was stillborn, cold and still as the rock. Mother Earth expelled it from her womb and it began to circle around her in opposition with Ixion's fiery chariot: thus the Moon was born. The stillborn child made it possible for Kargol and Gayle to step out of their Mother's womb when she was visible in the sky, and they thanked her for this gift. Kargol and Gayle generated others in the following centuries, but they were all cursed as their parents were, and thus they became the Kargoyles... (Some sages speculate that the main material component used to produce normal -lesser- Gargoyles is a moon fragment...)
4. The Bane of Undead: these Kargoyles were created by powerful mages who lived in an area tormented by vampires and other night-stalkers. After some time the mages experienced that their own constructs were far too weak to stand the ongoing attacks and raids by the undead. They caught some vampires and experimented with living and non-living material. Finally they crossed a vampire with a gargoyle. Life got into existence as this new life opened its eyes for the very first time. It had the body of a gargoyle but the strength of a vampire in rage. But something went wrong and with the might came the weakness to sunlight. Shocked in the first moment the mages paid less attention to this draw-back because their new "comrades" could guard their homes as they were active just the same time the enemy was on the loose.
STATISTICS FOR PC KARGOYLES
+2 to STR, CON (max 19)
- -4 DEX
Wizard, Priest, Thief (d6); Fighter (d8). Starts with 1 HD at Normal Monster level for a maximum of 10 HD at ninth level. Gains automatic HP from 10th level and beyond according to his class. OD&D rules: Kargoyle starts with a negative XP value equal to the XP needed to advance to first level of his class.
Level AC NM 7 1 6 3 5 5 4 7 3 9 1
Note: Dexterity bonus applies (if any). Kargoyles cannot wear any armour bulkier than chain mail and they get the best AC provided either by the armour or by their skin.
L, from 6' to 10', 600 to 1200 lbs, with wings.
9 walk, 15 on fours, 24 (C) fly (only from higher ground, not true flight)
1%/lvl for priests and mages, 2%/lvl for thieves and fighters. MR affects ALL spells, good and bad, and they can't drop it. In other words, Cure Wounds spells have to get through the MR too. MR does affect their own spells, too.
If the kargoyle spellcasters (M-U and Clerics) want to drop their MR forever, they must undergo a special ritual before they reach 9th level: if they don't perform it and progress beyond 9th level, they won't ever get rid of their MR.
to natural cold, fire and normal diseases.
2 claws, 1 tail which deal 1d8 damage, 1d4 for tail (non-fighters use only 2 claws which deal 1d4 damage). The Kargoyle gets only one attack per round when using weapons: multiple attacks are possible only for Fighters who reach the 12th level (OD&D rules).
All Greater Gargoyles' (regardless of their class) natural attacks hit as +1 weapons.
Level limits (OD&D/AD&D):
Cleric Fighter Thief Wizard
15/12 36/20 20/14 10/10
(No Druids, Bards, Paladins, Rangers, or Psionics allowed)
* It turns to stone when the sun touches its skin and reverts to normal form only when the sun sets. Once it has turned to stone it cannot awake from the "Stone Sleep" until the sun sets: it can however avoid turning into stone during daytime if he avoids direct sunlight;
* When the kargoyle is petrified, it has AC 0 and all the damage done applies to the normal form when it turns at the sunset. Every item carried by the kargoyle when he petrifies turns to stone as well. Also, during the Stone Sleep it is immune to mental attacks, it is not aware of what's happening near it and cannot save against physical attacks (such as Fireball or Lightning Bolt);
* If the kargoyle goes without the Stone Sleep for more than 48 hours, he starts losing Constitution points at the rate of 1 each 6 hours: when he reaches zero, he is forever petrified (no save -PC is lost; only a Wish can revive him). He can avoid the Stone Death by going into Stone Sleep before he loses all Con points: while in Stone Sleep he regains 1 Con point each 2 hours of sleep;
* It needs food to sustain itself like every human being. However, the kargoyles can eat much more substances than the normal humans or demi-humans, including food normally eaten only by animals and even rotten food. They are not scavengers however, and will never eat corpses. * It can be damaged by normal weapons;
* It can be cured only using Magic. Also, a kargoyle automatically heals 1 point of damage per experience level every time he falls into Stone Sleep;
* If the kargoyle dies (reaches -1 HP), it falls apart to pieces and can be raised only using a Wish;
* The kargoyle cleric can only be a follower of Kagyar, Gea or Terra (optional).
Behaviour & Motivations:
The player is free to find the drives and motivations for his kargoyle PC according to which of the legends about the origins of kargoyles he believes. Alternatively, he could very well be in search of the true origins of his race, trying to unlock the mystery behind his existence (which has been purposefully left to the DMs) or invent new beliefs and legends about the greater gargoyles' origins he chooses to follow (or to disbelieve). Whichever way of thinking and acting he chooses, he must however remember that there may be other kargoyles out there that have a different belief and will probably fight against those who threaten it (and with it, the stability of their world)...