Happy GLOGtober! Still playing catch-up, but here's your swirling rainbow vortices post.
First, we have to talk about BATTLEFIRE.
I mentioned it first a bit earlier, in this cosmology (sort of) post. If fire is the purest representation of Man's dominion over Nature, BATTLEFIRE is the purest representation of violence. It could also be described reasonably as a swirling rainbow vortex.
If you wield BATTLEFIRE, you have a pool of BATTLEFIRE Dice, Exploding, or BDE, which are d6s. It starts at zero and you get 1 BDE every time you kill something. You can hold BDE equal to your level (max. 4), and they expire whenever you take a long rest.
Whenever you deal damage, you can expend as many of your BDE as you want in order to roll them and add the [sum] to your damage - in fact, you have to roll the better of your Intelligence or Charisma to not expend any.
BDE that roll a 6 explode both mechanically and narratively, dealing their damage to everything within a 5' radius (including you, increasing by 5' for each 6 rolled, with a Dexterity roll for half) and adding another BDE to the roll, which can also explode.
BATTLEFIRE is most commonly wielded by BATTLEMAGES, but the secrets of its containment can also be taught to Fighter-types who have achieved utter mastery of their craft (in game terms, reached fourth level).
Every type of BATTLEMAGE wields BATTLEFIRE, as per the above. All BATTLEMAGEs are spellcasters, but cast spells with BDE instead of MD and any damage dealt by them is BATTLEFIRE damage. When used to cast a spell, BDE still work as normal - always expended, replenished through murder, explode on 6s, etc.
This is a whole bunch of classes. They are very combat focused. I might do these in sort of a microclass format, because holy hell are there ever a lot of them. BATTLEMAGES start with normal starting gear for a Wizard-type character plus one or two weird things.
Thanks to Lexi.
Notable starting equipment: An executioner's hood, and a headsman's axe that can wound ghosts and spirits and deals full damage to undead. The axe is cursed to never leave the AXEORCIST's side, and will reappear in their possession within 24 hours even if utterly destroyed. The curse is tied to the AXEORCIST's soul, and cannot be removed without killing the AXEORCIST.
For every template in AXEORCIST, count your Attack as one higher when attacking with axes.
A You can smell undead, and sense what type of magic raised them. Mindless undead roll morale as if they had a fear-response when fighting you.
B Your axe-blows dispel magic and banish possession. When you kill something, it can't be raised as undead.
C While reciting a litany of AXEORCISM, you cannot be touched by the undead. You can make one extra attack per round with no penalty.
D If you ever die, you will return as an AXE REVENANT, animated by BATTLEFIRE. If you AXEORCISE 13 other undead before the next full moon without dying again, you will return to life - if you fail, your cursed axe will behead you itself.
2. ENCHANTERMINATOR also known as MAN-AT-CHARMS
Stolen from deus ex parabola.
Notable starting equipment: An iron mask bolted and locked to your skull, which provides protection as a full helm. Two ghost-bottles containing the spells suggestion and charm.
R: 10' T: a single intelligence D: instantaneous S: Charisma partial, see text
- Coherent single thoughts. "I should kill my husband", "I should walk off this cliff", "Who even needs a king, anyway?" Unlikely to have lasting effect, but repeat castings may be disturbing for the target.
- Implications and complex knowledge. A suspicion of spousal infidelity, a sudden ennui which catches you off guard, an impression that democracy is a good idea. Hard to shake off, and much more likely to stick around.
- Motivations. You are sure your husband is cheating on you, you know you have nothing left to live for, the king is definitely a murderous bastard with an army of mind-controlling torturers at his command. Deprogramming, at this stage, is difficult.
- Definite knowledge. You caught your spouse cheating on you, and if you can find a gun you can kill the two of them before they get away. You've already decided to kill yourself, and now you're searching for a nice high building so you can end it immediately. The rebellion contacted you weeks ago, and tonight at the Grand Ball the bourgeois will realize all that they have done. Deprogramming is only possible if the target survives.
For every template of ENCHANTERMINATOR, ignore 1 point of damage from each event while under the effect of a mind-affecting enchantment.
A While under the effect of a mind-affecting enchantment, you do not require food, water, or rest.
B While under the effect of a mind-affecting enchantment, count your Strength as four higher and you cannot be slowed or restrained.
C While under the effect of a mind-affecting enchantment, you can sense creatures and objects within 100'. This sense is blocked by 10' of stone, 1' of wood, 1" of iron, or a thin sheet of lead.
D While under the effect of a mind-affecting enchantment that you cast yourself, any cast on you by others are consumed utterly. If you die while enchanted, your lingering spells pilot your corpse onward for a number of days equal to your level before dissipating.
3. GOREACLE also known as VIVISECTZIER or SOOTHSLAYER
Thanks to Josie.
Notable starting equipment: An athame, a disemboweling hook, a book of omens, a bronze reference liver.
For every template in GOREACLE, gain skill with one method of divination. The first one is, of course, always haruspicy.
A The blood, gore, and viscera of your fallen enemies reveals the immediate future of the battle to you. Each time you slay an opponent in melee combat, you receive +1 bonus to Attack, damage, and AC for the remainder of the encounter.
B When you slay an opponent of equal or greater HD in single combat, you may ask the DM one yes or no question which they will answer truthfully.
C When you critically hit an opponent in melee combat, you hook out one of their intestines and read the future of their actions upon it. Your next attack against them automatically hits, or their next attack against you automatically misses, whichever occurs first. This only works on creatures with guts.
D You have learned to take trophies from those you kill, turning them into grisly runestones engraved with the EIGHT-LETTER NAME. When you place a series of skulls so engraved within 10' of each other, creatures must roll Charisma to successfully pass the lines between them or interact with them in any way. In addition, the skulls count as foes slain in melee combat for your A template ability if you crush them.
4. HEXECUTIONER also known as DWEOMURDERER
Thanks to Xenophon of Athens.
Notable starting equipment: A greatsword, a rapier, a dagger, a raven's skull engraved with the spell propagate curse, and a curse (roll a d6).
R: earshot T: one creature that can both hear and see you, and one curse D: instantaneous S: Charisma partial, see text
Copies an existing curse to the target, which makes a Charisma roll to resist with [sum] difficulty. If the target fails their Charisma roll the copied curse is permanent, otherwise it fails to gain purchase on the target's soul and dissipates in [dice] days.
- Curse of Hatred. The cursed suffers a -2 penalty to reaction rolls. Animals and things of animal intelligence attack them on sight.
- Curse of Blight. The cursed's touch causes plants to wither and food and water to turn to rot and mud. This is enough to sustain them, barely and unpleasantly, but means they no longer recover hit points through lunches and is probably very inconvenient in other ways as well.
- Curse of Shadow. The cursed is enveloped by shadow, even if outside on a sunny day or under the effect of a paladin's Blessing. This is actually sort of a boon if they're a sneaky type and don't suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or anything similar.
- Curse of Failure. The cursed suffers a critical failure whenever they would normally achieve a critical success.
- Curse of Ruin. The cursed's touch turns gold to lead, silver to tin, and diamonds to smoky quartz. It will have similar effect on any precious metal or stone.
- Curse of BATTLEFIRE. The cursed loses 1 maximum hit point per day as BATTLEFIRE consumes them from the inside out. This is incredibly painful, as one might expect. In addition, if they were not previously a wielder of BATTLEFIRE, they become one. Expending at least 1 BDE staves off the curse's effect for that day.
For every template in HEXECUTIONER, you deal an additional 1d6 damage when attacking a cursed target.
A You can detect magic by scent, curses by flavor, and cast curse-related spells without spending an action.
B Gain a second random curse. You know the distance and direction of every target that carries a curse you have placed on them.
C Gain a third random curse. You can cast spells on targets that carry a curse you have placed on them from any range.
D Gain a fourth random curse. You can instantly teleport to the location of any target that carries a curse you have placed on them, by rolling and expending 4 BDE. If any of the BDE explode, they explode at both the location you are departing and the location you are appearing.
Notable starting equipment: Rainbow-colored round sunglasses that cause illusions to appear partially transparent and insubstantial, an extremely garish outfit, a hand mirror with the spells illusion and color spray scratched into it.
For every template in KILLUSIONIST you learn one spell from the KILLUSIONIST spell list, in order:
R: [dice] * 100' T: a nonblind creature capable of fear D: instantaneous S: Intelligence or Charisma partial
You extract a phantasmal image of the target's deepest fear and send it hurtling toward them. The target rolls the higher of their Intelligence (to recognize the illusion) or Charisma (to withstand the fear): If they fail and [sum] is greater than their current hit points they die of fright, or if it is lesser than their current hit points they are panicked and must flee or cower helplessly. If they succeed, then they are shaken and suffer 2 difficulty on all actions until they take a minute to calm down.
R: unlimited T: an unconscious mind capable of fear D: instantaneous S: Charisma partial
You infest the mind of a target (which you must be able to name and clearly picture) with hideous and terrible visions. The target must roll Charisma to resist the nightmare; if they fail, they take [sum] damage as they claw and tear at themselves in their sleep. Regardless of it they succeed or fail, they gain no benefits from any rest that was disturbed by the nightmare.
R/T: self D: [sum] minutes S: none
You divide yourself into [dice] + 1 quasi-real duplicates, each of which is illusory to the others but completely real to anyone else and share perceptions, thoughts, and memories. Whenever any one of you takes any damage then that one pops like a balloon and a different you was the real one, and if any of you use a magic item then that copy of the item was real and the rest were all illusory duplicates.
R: touch T: a reflective surface D: permanent S: none
You reach into a mirror or mirrorlike surface and retrieve [dice] copies of anything you can see within it, which emerge at the same size as they appeared in the mirror. If animate, they have a personality that is halfway between that of a creepy ghost girl from a J-horror movie and a serial killer. Assuming you have a similar personality, you might still get along.
A You can deal 1d6 damage to illusions with a touch if you choose to do so.
B You can speak with illusions - not the thing they are depicting, but the spells themselves. Illusions you cast persist for one additional minute beyond their duration, even if dispelled or dismissed.
C When you touch an illusion, roll opposed Intelligence against its creator. If you succeed, you control the illusion now.
D You can choose for illusions you are currently touching to be completely real.
6. METEOBRAWLOGIST also known as ELEMENTALFIST
Thanks to Lexi.
Notable starting equipment: A pair of brass knuckles, an umbrella.
For every template in METEOBRAWLOGIST you are immune to progressively more intense weather and environmental effects, which are detailed in the templates.
A You are immune to discomfort due to temperature or weather, like a too-hot or too-cold day. Your fists deal 1d6 base damage, and inflict whatever the effect of the current weather is on the target (to scale: if it's drizzling they get a little wet, if it's a downpour they become soaked and possibly blasted back by the deluge).
B You are immune to long-term exposure damage from temperature or weather, like marching in 30+ degree sunlight or sleeping through a below-0 night. You can predict what the next change in the weather will be by standing outside for ten minutes.
C You are immune to short-term exposure damage from temperature or weather, like being dunked in boiling water or locked in a freezer. Whenever you critically hit or kill an opponent with an unarmed attack, you may have the DM reroll the weather (or apply the last change you predicted, if it hasn't come to pass yet).
D You are completely immune to damage from temperature or weather, like a dragon's fire breath or a wizard's cone of cold spell. Your fists inflict the maximum effect of whatever the current form of weather is on your targets, which deals up to 2d6 additional damage and may cause other problems for them based on the form that it takes.
Thanks to BaaL.
Notable starting equipment: A scythe, an edgy outfit, several skulls.
For every template in NECROMANSLAUGHTERER, you may designate one undead you have created to retain its ability to speak and some semblance of its former personality and intelligence.
A When you kill a living creature, you can roll and expend a number of BDE equal to its HD in order to raise it as a skeleton or zombie under your control. If your killing blow was struck with BATTLEFIRE, it is raised automatically without further expenditure.
B You can speak to corpses - even animate ones - and learn the spell magic missile, which you call teeth.
C You can heal undead at a rate of 1 hit point per round with a touch. When you strike an undead of equal or fewer HD than you with a melee attack, it is destroyed and deals 1 damage to its creator through necromantic feedback.
D When you die, you continue to fight on as an undead until your skeleton is completely destroyed.
8. MARKSMEDIUM also known as PERFORACLE
Thanks to Xenophon of Athens.
Notable starting equipment: A heavy crossbow, 20 bolts, 3 javelins, and a dagger.
For every template in MARKSMEDIUM, count your Attack as one higher for ranged attacks.
A When you hit an enemy with a ranged attack you can cast a spell on them regardless of range without spending an action and any future attacks you make against them ignore AC for the rest of the combat.
B When you kill an opponent with a ranged attack, the DM must tell you one secret they knew.
C When you hit an enemy with a ranged attack you can have it ricochet or pierce through them to any other target within 30'. Roll another attack roll against the new target; if it hits, any BDE expended or spells cast on the first target also apply to the second.
D When you kill an opponent with a ranged attack, the DM will roll your next random encounter in advance and tell you what it will be. This can stack multiple encounters into the future if you kill additional opponents before the next random encounter is triggered.
Stolen from Squig.
Notable starting equipment: A sword.
For every template in SWORDSERER, count your Attack as one higher when attacking with swords.
A You can fight with any warblade as if it were any other, or throw it with a range of 10' per level. If you didn't already speak swordsong, you do now.
B You can eat swords or sword-like objects as if they were rations.
C While wielding a warblade, you get a free attack against any opponent that misses you in melee.
D You are supernaturally intimidating to swords. When you attempt to threaten or bribe one, it must roll morale or refuse to be lifted against you. This doesn't take an action, and works on any warblade within earshot that is not wielded by a sword witch.
10. TRANSMUTILATOR also known as TRANSFLOGRIFIER
Notable starting equipment: A 100' spool of bonefloss (as strong as spidersilk, much less sticky), a box of titanium pins of varying length and width, 2 car batteries, a welding mask, fireproof apron and mittens, a set of jumper cables, 5 sewing needles that punch through bone effortlessly, 6 iron coat hangers, 3 old newspapers, a 120lb tank containing 10,200 litres of compressed argon gas, and an incredibly sharp scalpel.
For every template in TRANSMUTILATOR you can shift up to two points around between the four stats of any subject with a clean operating theatre and an hour's work. This causes an amount of damage to them equal to the number of points being moved.
A You have skill in anatomy and medicine. You achieve critical hits with melee weapons or ranged weapons within their first range increment when you would normally critically miss, and never need to roll to perform surgery.
B You can tailor a creature's bones and flesh in order to halve or double its weight, adjust its speed by 10', or produce a perfect facsimile of a different individual of its species provided you have a reference.
C You can weld new appendages, organs, et cetera that are in relatively good condition onto or into an animate body by expending 1 BDE per attachment. You roll with advantage on mutation tables, saves against disease or poison, biomancer mishap tables, and other afflictions of the flesh, and can confer this benefit upon others for 24 hours with 1 hour of surgery.
D You can weld a severed head onto a body to resurrect both under the head's control, as long as neither is critically damaged or decomposed.
Thanks to Purplecthulhu.
Notable starting equipment: A broken sword, a bloody uniform, a tattered banner.
For every template in TRAUMATURGE, your opponents suffer a -1 penalty to morale checks.
A You have skill in psychiatry, intimidation, and discipline. You can see scars through clothing and count the number of levels in Fighter-type classes someone has and the number of people they have killed by looking into their eyes. Your count might be slightly higher than true if the person has experienced other intense traumas.
B You can transfer traumatic experiences between two people with a touch. You can be one of those people. This doesn't remove the experiences from anyone, just spreads them to more people. You can choose to enter a fugue state at any time, becoming immune to fear and other mind-affecting effects at the cost of being unable to do anything other than hurt people until any immediate danger or conflict has passed.
C You smell blood when a location you're in has seen death. You can call forth the spirits of those who were killed violently at a site with 10 minutes of ritual, and give them forms of bloody phantasm which allow them to affect the material world with 10 more.
D You are skilled at exploiting the invisible links between people. When you hit an opponent with an attack, their allies within eyesight and earshot must choose to either take the same damage or flee.
12. WARCRIMELOCK also known as MASSACREGICIAN
Thanks to Oblidisideryptch.
Notable starting equipment: A briefcase containing six Walther Model 2 pocket pistols (semiautomatic, 6 round box magazine, count Attack as one lower due to no sights), 7,000 rounds of .25 ACP (1d6, R0), and a bloodstained note containing the spell cloudkill.
For every template in WARCRIMELOCK, there is an additional very large bounty on your head and an additional party of very competent bounty hunters searching for you.
A You are skilled in explosives, chemistry, and torture (which is not generally an effective method of extracting information. We'll leave it to your DM to decide what being 'skilled' at it means, given that fact.) Your attacks deal an extra 1d6 explosive or poison damage, your choice with each attack; when one misses, it remains in the location where it landed forever as a piece of potential violence. Pieces of potential violence have a 1-in-6 chance of detonating spontaneously when handled, dealing the same 1d6 explosive or poison damage.
B You can cause any weapon you carry to appear as anything else of approximately similar size and material. If you have no BDE you can expend one anyway, at the cost of taking whatever damage is rolled on it even if it doesn't explode.
C You can imbue area-of-effect spells into objects, which are triggered when they are impacted with force. These have a 1-in-6 chance upon use of being duds and instead becoming a piece of potential violence that releases the imbued spell when it detonates.
D The explosive or poison damage from your A template (and attack-generated pieces of potential violence) is doubled, to 2d6. At will, you can detonate all pieces of potential violence within your line of sight, regardless of whether you are aware of them or not.