The Hope of Erethor
Bonus Core Class
Magic is a pervasive element on Aryth. While most people must learn the art of using magic, there are a few who, without formal training, have an inherent sense of the arcane flows that swirl about them. These souls can imbue themselves with this arcane energy, enhancing themselves beyond the ability of normal folk. Such individuals have the potential to become orphics.
Adventures: Orphics present a unique danger to Izrador and his minions: although their raw magic potential is more limited than that of a channeler, would-be channelers can be prevented from ever learning their craft. Orphics on the other hand can utilize the magic energy of Aryth with instinctual skill, consuming energy that Izrador desires to fulfil his malevolent goals. However, some orphics are corrupted by, or even choose to serve the dark god, using their powers to hunt down insurgents and battle the fey. Those who do not bend to Izrador’s will are hunted by his minions and they must move through Eredane with caution, using their powers subtly, hindering the Shadow’s progress without drawing too much attention to themselves.
Characteristics: Orphics do not truly understand their innate sense of magic, only how to use it. Some orphics use the energy to make themselves into incredibly fast and strong athletes, while others develop their senses to levels far beyond mortal beings. Many orphics focus their energy on becoming great warriors dedicated to defeating minions of the Shadow. All orphics have a good skill selection and a variety of powers to augment themselves.
Alignment: Orphics can have any alignment, and have no preference to any axis. Lawful orphics are usually spiritualistic in their approach, treating their powers like a religion. Conversely, chaotic orphics feel a primal connection to the world and let arcane energy flow through them at will.
Background: No one is certain why certain individuals can sense and make use of the arcane energy of the land the way orphics can. Whether by chance or unseen force, the ability to feel and make use of magic energy without any training can show up in anyone.
Orphics seldom form groups, and even those are informal. In the safer parts of Eredane, deep within Erethor, small numbers of orphics may gather and share their experiences. Most orphics find the best way to discover themselves is to put their abilities to the test.
Races: Orphics are rare among all races, but some show a greater inclination to the class than others. Orphics are much more common among humans than any other race. While few elf or halfling orphics exist, elflings make natural orphics and are nearly as common as they are among humans. Dwarves, being inherently non-magical, have few orphics in their ranks, though the few that exist are capable of killing orcs by the legion. Dwarrow and gnome orphics are slightly more common than dwarven orphics. The very rare orc or dworg orphic is a terrifying foe.
Other classes: Orphic can usually get along with most other classes easily. They are simultaneously familiar with and puzzled by channelers; orphics have the same connection to arcane energy that channelers do but lack the understanding it requires to cast spells. Lawful orphics get along with defenders well, sharing a similar devotion to discipline and training. Chaotic orphics can relate strongly to the barbarian’s primal fury.
Game Rule Information
Orphics have the following game statistics.
Abilities: The three physical attributes- Strength, Dexterity and Constitution- are all equally important for orphics, as most of their skills and abilities are based on those skills. Wisdom is also important for a number of skills.
Hit Die: d10.
Starting Gold: 5d4 gp.
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).
Skill points at First Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.
Skill points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the orphic.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An orphic is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, and shields (except tower shields).
Spell Energy: An orphic has an amount of spell energy equal to his level. He uses this spell energy to power his special abilities. He may not ever learn or cast spells unless he takes the Magecraft feat, just like any other character. The orphic treats his spell energy in the same way as a channeler. All rules that govern spell energy for channelers also apply to orphics, including recovery time and the ability to channel more energy at the expense of Constitution. However, unlike a channeler the orphic does not have a magic tradition and does not gain extra spell energy equal to an ability modifier (unless he takes the Magecraft feat). Spell energy from orphic levels stacks with that gained from other classes or feats, though limitations on orphic powers are always based on class level, not character level.
Orphic Powers (Su): Orphics gain a number of unique abilities that are powered by spell energy. Orphic Powers are described below.
Enhance Ability (Su): An orphic can increase one of his physical attribute scores, either Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution, by 2 points for every point of spell energy spent. This increase lasts for one minute. The orphic can input up to his full orphic level in spell energy (instead of half his level, like orphic powers). He can not enhance more than one ability score per round. Using this ability is a free action.
Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level, an orphic gains the extraordinary ability of evasion. If exposed to any effect that normally allows a character to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, he takes no damage with a successful saving throw. Evasion can only be used if the orphic is wearing light or no armor.
Soft Fall (Su): At 4th level, the orphic is not as affected by falls as other people. For every point of spell energy spent, he suffers damage as though the fall were 20 feet less. For example, an orphic falls 60 feet. As he falls he spends two spell energy to soften the impact, and takes damage as though the fall were only 20 feet high. Activating this power is a free action. He may input no more than half his level in spell energy for any single fall.
Detect Magic (Sp): At 5th level, the orphic has developed his sense of arcane magic to a point that he can use Detect Magic at will.
Heal Self (Su): At 7th level, for every point of spell energy spent, the orphic heals 1d8 hit points of damage on himself. This is a free action, but may only be used once per round. He may input up to half his orphic level in spell energy for any single use of this power.
Improved Evasion (Ex): Gained at 9th level, this works just like evasion except the orphic now takes only half damage on a failed Reflex save.
Power Affinity (Ex): At 11th level, the orphic gains expertise with one of his orphic powers. He chooses a single awakened power. Once decided upon, this choice cannot ever be changed. When activating this power, he uses one less point of spell energy, to a minimum of 1, than he otherwise would require.
At higher levels the orphic gains this ability again. He can either apply it to another power or to one with which he already has an affinity. If the latter, he decreases the spell energy requirement by another 1 point. However, he always uses at least 1 spell energy for any activation.
Spell Resistance (Ex): At 13th level, the orphic’s affinity for arcane energy enables him to resist negative effects. He gains spell resistance equal to 10 + one-half his orphic level.
While an orphic can make use of spell energy, he does not cast spells. Instead, he uses the energy to enhance his own physical characteristics. An orphic’s powers are supernatural abilities that give off a magical aura when activated and while in use. At first level, an orphic has awakened one power. Every odd level thereafter, he awakens a new power.
An orphic can activate a power as a free action, but only one power can be activated each round. There is no limit to the number of powers that may be active at any given time, but he may not have more than one instance of any single power active, nor can he use additional energy to enhance a power that is currently active.
For many powers the orphic can choose how much spell energy to spend; the more spent the greater the effect. For any single activation, he may spend no more spell energy than one-half his orphic level (except at 1st level, when he may always spend 1 point of spell energy).
The orphic always needs to activate his power before any actions are resolved. He cannot retroactively apply a power to improve the outcome of a completed action. He can deactivate a power at any time, though he does not regain any spell energy if the power has not lasted its full duration.
Burst of Speed: The orphic increases his base speed by +20 feet per spell energy for one minute. In addition, if spends at least 2 spell energy, he gains the benefits of the Mobility feat. If he spends at least 3 spell energy, he also gains the benefits of the Spring Attack feat.
Energy Resistance: The orphic gains damage reduction against one type of energy (his choice) equal to 5 per point of spell energy for 10 minutes.
Evasive Action: For every point of spell energy, the orphic gains a +3 bonus to AC and any attacks that target him suffer a 5% miss chance. These benefits last for one minute. In addition, if he spends at least 3 spell energy, he is no longer subject to any attacks of opportunity. The orphic must be wearing light or no armor to gain the benefits of this ability.
Extreme Focus: The orphic gains a +5 bonus per spell energy on a single skill check with one of the following skills: Balance, Bluff, Concentration, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Forgery, Open Lock, Perform, Search, Sleight of Hand, Use Magic Device, Use Rope. In addition, he can take 10 with this skill even if stress or distraction would normally prevent him from doing so.
Heightened Senses: The orphic receives a +4 bonus per spell energy to Spot or Listen checks for 10 minutes. In addition, he can take 10 even when he would otherwise be prevented from doing so.
Improved Movement: The orphic gains a +5 bonus per spell energy to a Climb, Jump, or Swim check. In the case of Jump, there is no maximum distance or height. In the case of Climb and Swim, the orphic’s default speed is half his base speed (instead of one-quarter) for one round.
Mighty Break: The orphic does +1d10 damage per spell energy to any object that he attempts to break. Similarly, on any ability check to attempt to instantly break an item (such as bursting open a door, breaking a rope, or bending bars, etc), the orphic gains a +5 bonus per spell energy to the attempt.
Mighty Strike: For every point of spell energy, the orphic inflicts +1d6 damage on a single attack. In addition, for every 2 points of spell energy spent, he can knock his foe back 5 feet. The orphic can spend more energy to apply this bonus to multiple attacks in a round (assuming he is capable of multiple attacks), but he can only apply the knock back effect to a particular foe once per round.
Mighty Toss: For every point of spell energy, the orphic increases the maximum range and the range increment of any thrown object, including weapons such as spears and slings, by 100% of it’s normal range. For example, 4 spell energy increases the range of a shortspear by 400%, to a range increment of 100 feet and maximum range of 1000 feet. Only hurled items can gain this benefit. Projectiles reliant on mechanical assistance, such a crossbows and bows, cannot gain any benefit. This power lasts for 1 minute.
Night Sight: For 1 spell energy, the orphic gains the benefits of the Blind-Fight feat. For 2 spell energy, he gains darkvision out to 60 feet. If he already has darkvision, it’s range is extended another 60 feet. For 4 spell energy, he suffers no penalties when functioning in the dark or for being blinded, with unlimited range. All versions of this power last 10 minutes.
Piercing Strike: For 1 spell energy, the orphic can make attacks as though he had a magic weapon. For 3 spell energy, he attacks as though he wields a silver or cold iron weapon (his choice). For 5 spell energy, he attacks as though he holds an adamantine weapon. All versions of this power last 1 minute.
Purify Self: For 2 spell energy, the orphic receives the benefits of either delay poison or lesser restoration. For 3 spell energy, he gains the benefits of either remove disease or remove curse. For 4 spell energy, he gains the benefits of either neutralize poison or restoration.
Spirit Warrior: For 1 spell energy, the orphic can sense undead or outsiders as per detect undead. For 3 spell energy, he gains the ghost touch property to all his attacks. For 5 spell energy, the orphic gains both the ghost touch and disruption properties to all his attacks. All versions of this power last 1 minute.
True Vision: For 1 spell energy, the orphic can sense invisible or concealed creatures within 15 feet. For 2 spell energy, he gains the benefits of the see invisible spell. For 5 spell energy, he gains the benefits of true seeing. All levels of this ability last 10 minutes.
Table: The Orphic
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Author: Christopher Fox (Fizz)