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Prakash

by Greg Weatherup

A long while back I had set myself a challenge to randomly select some multiclass characters weighted towards those classes and races not normally used in Mystara, then see if I could mystaranize a rational character concept out of the resulting mash-up. I've now come back to finalizing some of them.

For this one I had rolled an Elan Shugenja/Revelator, Revelator being the refluffed version of a Psion which I use. I came up with this whole story about Elans being converted at Lhamsa, Glantri, but as I went about stating the character I realised that the Elan's Charisma penalty was just too great for the class combination so I rolled again and got a Lupin. Lupin's aren't rare in Mystara, but Shugenja's & Revelator's (Psion's) definately are not mystaran normal so I figured good enough - beside's, despite Lupin's being Mystaran you really don't see too many Lupin characters anyhow, and this would give me the oportunity to show some of my 3e Lupin rules, which I have only posted fragments of so far, ie see here. In the end I really came to like this character concept. As for future Prestige Class opitons, there's nearly too many suitable possibilities to list (I think I'll save that for a future post). I've ruled that his syncretic Water focused religion is basically the Shugenja Order of the Gentle Rain, membership: 1 - just himself.

 
Prakash, aka "Pop" ECL-2
Male Lupin Shugenja-1/Revelator Avatar-1
CN Medium Monstrous Humanoid (Psionic)
Init: +1; Senses: Listen+6, Spot+6; Low-Light Vision, Scent (150% range), +1 to detecting lycanthropes & shapeshifters
Aura: Chaotic (Faint)
Languages: Fluent in Sindhi; Casual in Thyatian (Glantrian dialect)
AC: 11 Touch:11 Flat-footed: 10
Hp: 9 (1d6+1d4+2 HD)
Vulnerabilities: Repelled by Wolfsbane, -4 to sonic or odor attack & applicable saving throws
Fort: +1, Ref: +1, Will: +4
Speed: 20' (He's carrying a Medium-load)
Melee: Mwk Quarterstaff -2 melee (1d6-3); Bite -3 melee (1d4-3); Silvered Dagger -3 melee (1d4-4)
Ranged: Light Crossbow +1 ranged (1d8)
Base Atk: +0; Grapple: -3
Attack Options: Spells (5/4), Truths
Spells Known: (Caster Level 1st, Ranged Touch Attack +1)
1st Level: Cure Light Wounds*, Endure Elements@, Sleep
Orisons:: Cure Minor Wounds*, Flare, Light, Purify Food and Drink@, Read Magic@
*= Order Spells; @=Element (Water) Spells
Truths Known: 1st Level: Float, Sephiroth Ray, Slow Breathing
Clarity Points/day: 2
Abilities: Str 5, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 15
SQ: Divine Spellcasting, High Lupin Senses, Pariah Lupin Traits
Feats: Alertness, Magical Aptitude, Psicrystal Affinity, Spell Focus (Water), Weapon Proficiency (Simple Weapons)
Skills: Balance-1, Climb-6, Concentration+3, Heal+3, Hide-2, Jump-6, Knowledge (Arcana)+7, Knowledge (The Planes)+4, Knowledge (Psionics)+4, Knowledge (Religion)+4, Listen+6, Move Silently-2, Profession (Laborer)+1, Psicraft+3, Search+5, Sense Motive-2, Spellcraft+5, Spot+6, Survival+4, Swim-9

Possessions: 371sp equivalent in coinage, Masterwork Quarterstaff with 1 silvered End, Silvered Dagger, Light Crossbow, 10 Bolts, 2 Silvered Bolts, Spell component pouch, Psicrystal, Obfudas, 1 Sunrod, Belt Pouch, Flint & Steel, 5 Days Trail Rations, Waterskin, Peasant's Outfit
Psicrystal (see below)
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Discipline (Ex): Apotheistic Truths
Divine Spellcasting (Sp): Prakash has an elemental based spontaneous divine spellcasting
Elemental Focus (Ex): Water, opposed to Earth
High Lupin Senses (Ex): +4 bonus to Listen, Search, Spot, & Survival; -4 to sonic & odor attacks and applicable saving throws; 150% of normal scent range
Pariah Lupin Traits (Ex): Low-Light Vision, Natural attack: 1 Bite (1d4/x2), Scent, -2 Penalty to Sense Motive; +1 to detecting Lycanthropes and Shapeshifters; Repelled by Wolfsbane
Revelator Bonus Feats: Psicrystal Affinity
Sense Elements (Sp): 3/day as a full-round action Peter can become aware of all sources of one chosen element (air, earth, fire, or water) within 10', learning it's size but not precise location nor actual nature. By concentrating longer on each subsequent round Peter can either extend his magical senses out to 15' or gather more information about one source via a Spellcraft check. On subsequent rounds he can retry his Spellcraft check on the same item, or shift his attention to a different item, or extend the range of his senses as above. This divination is blocked by 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt.

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Description: 23 years old, though some white whiskers around his face make him look older to a human's eye. 4’8”, 74 lbs. A Nantyaj caste Pariah Lupin (Canis sapiens canus Hunter) he was brought up in the traditional pariah lupin faith of Vrilatha (the Sindhi name of Pflarr) glorifying learning & study, and the cultural hatred of the mythical lycanthropes. Traditionally only 2 occupations are open to the nanyaj pariah’s: manual laborer or shapeshifter hunters. Due to his low strength (5), he was not well suited to a life of a labourer, but in modern times there is no call for full-time shapeshifter hunters, thus Pop was resigned to a miserable existence, until he learned about Lal of Sundara (See the Sixth and Eleventh Aspects), a nantyaj caste lycanthrope-hunting human who had fled into the Nemkin Ylaka and devoted his life to helping Monks. Pop set out to emulate this lupin-like (in his view) human and searched for a monk order to serve. He bounced from Monastery to Monastery, picking up bits and pieces of various philosophies, and eventually syncretised his own informal philosophy, focused on serving Monks in return for their mentorship as a gateway to learning and understanding the world to learn the truths hidden behind everyday reality, and like Lal in the swamp, studying the elemental powers and how the elements both effect and are effected by this reality and the true reality (A syncretism of Vrilatha, Gnostics, and Sundara). He is particularily fascinated by trying to understand magic. It seems to use the elements to pierce the shadow of this reality, perhaps to the true reality of the universe. Where better to go than into Glantri - The Kingdom of Magic - to learn more about magic? So he decided to head towards Lhamsa to perhaps serve the monks there. Enroute though, he met someone who, in an instant, challenged all his notions – Michel Druschel – a lycanthrope-tainted monk. Half of Prakash's nature, upbringing, and beliefs says he should slay him, the other half says he should serve this Monk, and Pop is fascinated and simultaneously utterly unnerved by this unexpected dichotomy. Now, nearly a year later, he still sometimes has to swallow the instinctual urge to attack Michel, but Pop grudgingly has to admit that he views the strange Michel as a friend, and even, with his odd monkish philosophy focusing on Chaos and the Fey, a mentor with a unique viewpoint. - What other of Prakash's background belief's are also biased and wrong? It's a reminder to him that in addition to striving to understand the wider world, he also needs to learn about himself and overcome his inner failures in order to seek routes to full and true enlightenment.

 
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Prakash's Psicrystal
CN Diminutive Construct
Init: +2; Senses: Listen+4, Spot+4; Telepathically Sighted 40'
Aura: Chaotic (faint)
Languages: Fluent in Sindhi. Can understand, but not speak Thyatian (Glantrian dialect) at a casual level.
AC: 16 Touch:16 Flat-footed: 14
Hp: 2 (1d4+1 HD)
Fort: +1, Ref: +1, Will: +4
Speed: 30'*, climb 20'*; *=both are 0' if the self-propulsion ability is not active
Melee: -
Ranged: -
Base Atk: +0; Grapple: -17
Space/Reach: 1 ft./0 ft.
Attack Options: -
Abilities: Str 1*, Dex 15*, Con -, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 10; *=Strength and Dexterity are "-" if the self-propulsion ability is not active
SQ: Construct traits, hardness 8, psicrystal granted abilities (improved evasion, personality, self-propulsion, share powers, sighted, telepathic link)
Feats: Alertness
Skills: Balance+3, Climb+10*, Concentration+2, Heal+3, Knowledge (Arcana)+1, Knowledge (The Planes)+1, Knowledge (Psionics)+1, Knowledge (Religion)+1, Listen+4, Move Silently+6, Profession (Laborer)+1, Psicraft+0, Search+2, Spellcraft+0, Spot+4; *=a Psicrystal can always take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.

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Construct Traits (Ex): Immunity to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, diseas, death effects, necromancy effects, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and moral effects), and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain. It cannot heal damage but it can be repaired.
Improved Evasion (Ex): If the psicrystal is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, it takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.
Personality (Ex): Each psicrystal has a distinct personality. This psicrystal sees itself as the be-all, end-all master of all spiritual and philosophical topics.
Self-Propulsion (Su): As a standard action Prakash can will the psicrystal to form spider, ectoplasmic legs to move around on or climb with. The legs fade into nothingness after one day (or sooner, if Prakash desires)
Share Powers (Su): Prakash can have any Truth (but not any psi-like ability) he reveals on himslef also affect his psicrystal if it is within 5' at the time. If the Truth has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the psicrystal if it moves farther than 5' away and will not affect the psicrystal again, even if it returns to Prakash before the duration expires. Additionally, Prakash can reveal a truth with a target of "You" on his psicrystal instead of on himself. Prakash and the psicrystal cannot share truths if the truths normally do not affect constructs.
Sighted (Ex): Although it has no physical sensory organs, a psicrystal can telepathically sense its environment as well as a creature with normal vision and hearing. Darkness (even supernatural darkness) is irrelevant, as are areas of supernatural silence, though a psicrystal still can't discern invisible or ethereal beings. A psicrystal's sighted range is 40'.
Telepathic Link (Su): Prakash has a telepathic link with his psicrystal out to a distance of up to 1 mile. Prakash cannot see through the psicrystal's senses, but the two of them can communicate telepathically as if the psicrystal were the target of an Analalia truth revealed by Prakash. Because of this telepathic link Prakash has the same connection to an item or place that the psicrystal does.

 
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Note: Other party members are (or are going to be):

Michel Druschel, Shifter Fey-disciple
Peter Loofbourow, Draconic Human Guide
Prakash, aka "Pop", Lupin Mystic & ascetic (see above)
Wannlun, Gnome of mysterious background
Ionafán Zaborsky, Human student of necromancy


Like with the other characters in this series, I'm working on a possible ECL 20 advancemet. I actually had done one up to 16th level but have since started back over from scratch as I realised I should be focusing on increasing Intelligence more than Charisma at every fourth level - Charisma is not quite as important as I first thought for this build since he's never going to get the highest level's of spellcasting - and a spontaneous caster already has more spells per day than a prepared caster so the bonus is not as useful - meanwhile Intelligence does boost his psionic's and gives more skill points.

I'm aiming to alternate at each level between a divine class and a psionic class, though a a level dip (or maybe more) of Charlatan (Dragon Magazine #335) would get thrown in to help him disguise his powers as being arcane casting to blend in within glantri.

I've decided that Anarchic Initiate (Complete Psionic) & Metamind (Expanded Psionics Handbook) are the key psionic prestige class goals for him, Though for Anarchic Initiate I'm wondering if the 3rd level abilities are more of a detriment than a bonus, meanwhile I start to question the usefulness of a multi-classed Metamind since only every other level increases his revelation (manifester) level (which results in only every 4th level in this multiclass build).

I've identified Elemental Savant (Complete Arcane) as the key divine prestige class goal for him, though a late level dip into Entropomancer (Complete Divine) would be thematically appropriate and gives a neat ability (Shard of Entropy). However I calculate that Prakash wouldn't qualify until 14th & 18th level respectively for the two classes on the current build path, and Entropomancer would require Great Fortitude as one the limited feat choices - not sure it's worth it (though he is shaping up weak on both Fortitude and Reflexes despite being excellent on Will)

I've debated about Psion Uncarnate (Expanded Psionics Handbook) as another psionic prestige class, especially with the concerns about the 2 prestige classes I identified above - but to be useful he has to have an armor that would be better than the deflection bonus he would loose while incorporeal - but he has no armor proficiency at all! At the very least a level dip might be thematically appropriate for the incorporeal touch. Alternatively maybe I should dump Anarchic Initiate and make Psion Uncarnate the key (with or without Metamind), change Prakash to Lawful, and add Consecrated Harrier (see below) back in to the running.

The dessication attack of a 5th level Elemental Warrior (Planar Handbook) would be very appropriate, but he wouldn't even qualify for the 1st level until quite late due to his very low Base Attack Bonus (he's not a combat character - low BAB & low Strength), and every level of Elemental Warrior means not advancing either of his spellcasting nor psionics - though the higher HD could potentially help offset these really bad hit point rolls I seem to be making so far.

Void Disciple (Complete Divine) is thematically appropriate but requires 2 metamagic feats - metamagic feats not being that useful to spontaneous casters and he wouldn't be able to go for them till late in the pregression so would only get a level or two worth from this class. 2 feats just for Sense Void (physical senses) 1/day doesn't seem worth it.

I occasionally consider Ardent Dilletant (Planar Handbook) as another divine prestige class- thematically it could match with the Sundara aspects and would give a nice infusion of skill points, though that would either have to be very late in the progression or it would mean putting off Elemental Savant and/or Entropomancer even further since that first level doesn't improve the caster level.

Defiant (Planar Handbook) might be extremely thematically appropriate to the gnostics, but it seems likes the powers are more hindrances than benefits - and it supports neither his spellcasting nor his psionics. I think I read somewhere about converting Cleric levels into Defiant levels, if that can be done with Shugenja levels (he's going to have 6 of those) then maybe I'll reconsider.

Elemental Warrior (Planar Handbook) could be thematically appropriate, especially the 5th level dessication attack a water focused one gets, but qualifying with his bad BAB is hard - and levels of Elemental Warrior help neither his spellcasting nor his psionics - so I can't justify 5 late levels of this just for the dessication attack. Plus the other abilities just give me the mental image of a smelly wet dog.

Caostician (Planar Handbook) could be something that rubs off on Prakash from Michel's philosophy (I'm actually wondering in hindsight if it would of been a good choice for Michel), and could help with the really bad rolls I'm getting for hp's, but again, it helps with neither his spellcasting nor his psionics.

I had previously considered and rejected Consecrated Harrier (Complete Divine) & Geomancer (Complete Divine) as while they were both thematically appropriate (Consecrated Harrier for lycanthrope hunting and Geomancer for his elemental magic) they both had effectively impossible requirements for this build: Lawful alignment for Consecrated Harrier when I needed Chaotic for Anarchic Initiate, and arcane casting rquired for Geomancer. I had even considered Cipher Adept (Planar Handbook) & Sacred Fist (Complete Divine) as potentially being stuff he picked up from monks - one of the entry feats of Sacred Fist is even a bonus for Cipher Adepts, but even still it was too many feats for what were ultimately combat oriented prestige classes - with his low strength he's never going to be a combat focused build.

There really isn't a good prestige class for a multiclass divine caster - psionicist.