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Restorationistsby Andrew Theisen
I've been talking with Geoff lately about how the game effects of Energy Drain (ie, loss of levels) might manifest itself in literary or real life terms. Specifically, why a magic user would suddenly find himself unable to cast spells that he was previously able to cast, and still has written down in his books.
My thought is that the Energy Drain causes trauma to the body- physical and/or mental, as opposed to just "draining energy" from the victim. IE, a mage might repress memories related to the terror causing event, inadvertently blocking off knowledge of certain spellcasting practices, etc. In effect, then, the Energy Drain is similar to say, a Sanity loss in Call of Cthulhu and similar games.
That being the case, I thought- why not invent a character kit that is specifically trained to deal with this sort of thing? Hence I introduce...
Description: The Restorationist is a specialist in the arts of healing. Part psychiatrist, part physical therapist, the Restorationist seeks to repair traumas to the body that are brought about through horrific experiences. Though he mainly concentrates on treating injuries caused by the Undead, he also is able to cure difficulties relating to a wide range of mental and physical disabilities.
Restorationists often perform their practices outside of organised theocracies. They charge for their services, sometimes at less expensive rates than those of clerics. Their techniques are purely non-magical, drawing upon the natural healing capabilities of the body and mind, as opposed to the instantaneous and divine restoration provided by the clerical spell of the same name. As a result, they also take time, and rarely may result in more trauma being inflicted upon the client. Other side effects normally associated with clerical healing (such as ageing) are not incurred by the Restorationist.
The training of a Restorationist is a long and arduous process, and not for the undisciplined. As a result, they are few in number, which makes clerical assistance a more viable alternative for many. Their circles being small, however, most Restorationists know of one another by reputation at least, if not personally.
To become a Restorationist, the character must possess a Wisdom of 14 or better, and Strength and Constitution scores of 12 or higher. The discipline is demanding both physical and mentally, and only those of stern character need apply. They must also be of Lawful alignment, though they can be Good, Neutral, or (rarely) Evil.
Role: The Restorationist provides a complementary service to the healing provided by organised clergy. They are most useful in campaigns that partake in Undead or Horror oriented themes. Not only do they provide a useful means of restoring damages wrought by those sorts of creatures, they can also be a source of information for player characters. In order to heal trauma, they must be familiar with the causes of such damage, and so may possess information of use when fighting undead monsters.
Secondary Skills: If you use the Secondary Skills options, Restorationists may choose from the following list- Healer, Herbalist, Historian, Veterinarian.
Weapon Proficiencies: The Restorationist may utilise any weapons allowed by his class.
Non-weapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiencies- Healing. Required- Reading/Writing (common tongue). Recommended: Herbalism, Languages (Modern), Local History, Reading/Writing (additional tongues), Religion, Spellcraft. Note that if Reading/Writing (common tongue) is not a part of the standard class proficiencies, it must still be bought at the additional cost (ie, one extra slot, as if learning another class proficiency).
Equipment: Most of the Restorationist's work comes through close contact with the victim, and not through outside assistance. It should be noted, however, that many Restorationists have their own clinics, which contain small libraries at worst. Some Restorationists go much further and either invest in or invent devices which they feel may be of assistance in their work. The costs (and effectiveness) of such devices is left to the DM's judgement.
Special Benefits: The Restorationist receives a number of special benefits relating to healing.
Primarily, the Restorationist has the ability to restore levels lost to the Energy Draining effects of undead (and similar creatures). For every level of the Restorationist, there is a 5% chance to restore level loss. Restoration of lost levels takes 1 month per level loss, during which time the victim cannot perform any activity more strenuous than normal waking practices (sleep, eat, etc.) Any adventurous activity will negate the success of the Restoration.
The chances of success are checked halfway through the required period. At this point (and only at this point), the Restorationist will know whether his practices are having any effect on the victim or not. If so, the healing can continue for the remainder of the period. If not, the Restorationist cannot help this victim any longer (for this particular Energy Drain, at any rate; victims of future drains may attempt once more)- he will have to refer the victim to another Restorationist.
Effects of the Restoration are otherwise similar to the 7th level Priest spell of the same name. Note that there is no ageing associated with this ability.
The Restorationist also gains the ability to attempt to heal traumas caused by spells or spell-like effects such as Fear, Strength loss (from a Shadow, for example), or other similar mental and/or physical traumas. (What exactly constitutes a healable trauma is at the DM's discretion, but note that many undead abilities and Enchantment/Charm effects are likely choices).
The chances for healing such abilities is the same as for Restoration, but the time frame is different. Generally, it lasts for 1 week per point of loss (in the case of ability loss), or level of spell (for spells/spell-like effects). Chances of success are checked at the halfway mark, as above.
Special Hindrances: The Restorationist also has certain hindrances, as well. First and foremost is the chance that, though trying to cure his client, he may actually damage him further. For every level of difference between the Restorationist and the victim, there is a 2% chance of failure. In case of level loss, difference should be calculated according to the victim's level prior to the loss. (IE, a 14th level character, reduced 2 levels by an Energy Drain, and being healed by a 9th level Restorationist, incurs a 10% chance of failure). There is always at least a 2% chance of failure.
Failure to heal a metal defect caused by a spell or spell-like effect (such as Fear) will cause such defects to become permanent. Failure to cure an Energy Drain result in the victim losing additional levels, equivalent to the number the Restorationist attempted to cure. Additionally, the Restorationist loses half the number of Energy Drained levels, with a minimum of 1 level lost. (Example, the 14th level character above would lose an additional 2 levels, dropping him to 10th level. The Restorationist who failed to cure him would drop 1 level to level 8.)
Due to their often isolationist tendencies, Restorationists receive a -1 on all Reaction Rolls in their initial dealings with others.
Finally, if a Restorationist ever falls victim to such trauma as he usually deals with (a Fear spell, etc.), he will lose all of his healing abilities until such time as the trauma is cured. The cure can come from either outside assistance, or simply naturally overcoming the damage (regaining levels lost to an Energy Drain through adventuring, for example).
Wealth Options: The Restorationist starts out with the normal monetary allotment for his character class.
Races: The Restorationist kit is open to any race, though dwarves, gnomes, and halflings seem less suited to it than do elves or half-elves.
Classes: This kit seems naturally suited for Clerical types, but it is conceivable that other character types might make suitable Restorationists. At the DM's option, Fighters (including Rangers and Paladins), Psionicists, Magic-Users (though not Specialists), may all become Restorationists.
Possible Campaign Notes: Restorationists can appear anywhere on Mystara you'd like, naturally, but here are a few suggested locations-
Glantri- Restorationists would be in high demand in the strongly anti-clerical Principality, particularly in the undead infested regions. The monastery of Lhamsa, hidden high in the mountains, seems a likely location for such practitioners to hide out.
Island Nations- The mystic order that lives on Blackrock Island, in the Minrothad Guilds, might be home to some Restorationists. Similarly, the (often addled) mystics of White Island, in Ierendi, may be Restorationists... if they can be communicated with.
Karameikos- A Restorationist or two would probably find much work for them in the undead haunted domains of this nation.
Darokin- The Restorationists Guild might be most prosperous in this mercantile nation. Devoid of major religious movements, they might be sought out as an alternative. (Of course, there doesn't seem to be a major undead problem here, so...)
Anyway, I just made this up on the spur of the moment, so there will probably be some things I overlooked, and some problems/overpower/underpower, who knows. Let me know what you think!