Monthly Archives: July 2017

Fantasy Akrafena for Pathfinder

So, I am a huge fan of the show “Forged in Fire.” And, to my surprise, they sometimes forge weapons I am unfamiliar with. One of those is the Akrafena.

I can’t claim to be a scholar of the Akrafena, though I am fascinated by what little I have learned so far. So this is only a stab at a fantasy version of the weapon, no more accurate than the Pathfinder versions of the longsword or falchion.

Akrafena

The Akrafena is a sword with a curved blade roughly 2-1/4 feet long with heavy round elements in the handle, and cut-outs within the blade. It can be wielded as a 1-handed martial weapon, but if Exotic Weapon Proficiency is taken with it, it also can be used as a 2-handed weapon with different damage dice (noted below). Additionally, the markings on an Akrafena and how it is carried can convey information about its use and the intent and position of its user. Anyone with Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Akrafena) can make a single special Bluff check to convey a specific message about their intent and status when they strap on an Akrafena each day. Only people with 1 or more ranks in Knowledge (nobility) and those who also have Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Akrafena) can receive this message. The character wishing to send this message can make a base attack bonus check, rather than a Bluff check, to make the desired message clear.

Cost 40 gp     Weight 8 lbs.

1-handed: Dmg (S) 2d3     DMG (M) 2d4     Crit 19-20, x2
2-handed with EWP: Dmg (S) 2d4     DMG (M) 1d4+1d6     Crit 18-20, x2

Patreon

I also have a Patreon, which helps me continue to offer this free content, and has some exclusive material as well. In this case, I made a quick rule set for another weapon from the show, the Ida.

Check it out!

 

New Pathfinder Race: Medusine

I was working in a design space on how to create a new PC race without having to create a huge number of race-specific options, such as favored class bonuses, traits, and so on. And in doing so, I accidentally wrote a whole race. So, here it is.

Medusine

Though normally all children of a medusa are themselves medusa, there are exceptions. Sometimes a parent who was petrified for a long time by a medusa before being saves has children who have snaky hair and intense eyes. Sometimes the original divine curse that created medusa sparks back to life in a minor way, creating lesser medusa-like creatures. Sometimes a medusa gains a desire to have a different form, and becomes a parent while polymorphed into another form, and the offspring is not entirely free of the original medusa bloodline.

These are the medusine.

Medusine appear to be tall, attractive, lean men or women with amazingly bright eyes (often green, but also sometimes red, yellow, silver, gold, or flat black), with snakes for hair. Some have exclusively snake hair, while others have a mix of serpents and normal follicles.

Medusine are Medium humanoids with the medusine subtype.

Ability Scores Medusine have -2 Str, +2 Wis, and +2 Cha.

Medium Medusine are Medium, and have a 30 ft. movement rate.

Elflike/Humanlike (Ex) Select elf or human. You gain that as a subtype, in addition to your medusine subtype. You count as a member of this race for prerequisites and can take the race’s favored class options. You can Disguise yourself as a member of that race out of combat with a DC 10 Disguise check by concealing your hair serpents. A close examination reveals this disguise, and if you make an attack or are hit by an attack, your serpent’s reactions makes your medusine nature obvious.

Serpents (Ex) Your hair serpents can bite your foes. You can choose for your unarmed attacks to deal lethal piercing damage, in which case they do not provoke attacks of opportunity. Additionally if you drink a dose of injury poison, and make a successful save against it, you do not suffer any effect from the poison. Instead it becomes a dose of poison you can inject into a target with a successful unarmed strike using your serpents. You can only have one such dose of poison ready at a time—drinking a new dose and making the save replaces any previous dose.

Stoneproof (Ex) You gain a +4 bonus to saving throws against petrification. Once you make a successful save against a specific source of petrification, you are immune to that source for 24 hours.

Stunning Gaze (Su) A number of times per day equal to your level, as a standard action, you can attempt a stunning gaze. This is a gaze attack, but it affects only a single creature within 60 feet you can see and that can see you. Stunning gaze forces a foe to make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Cha modifier). A defender who fails this saving throw is stunned for 1 round (until just before your next turn). A stunned character drops everything held, can’t take actions, loses any Dexterity bonus to AC, and takes a –2 penalty to AC. Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be stunned.

Patreon Exclusive Content

Of course, just because the medusine don’t NEED race-specific options, doesn’t mean they couldn’t use some. I sketched out two such options as exclusive content (meaning only that this is the one place it’s available for the moment) over at my Patreon.

Check it out!

Tailorthurgy

I don’t know if I have a lot of tailorthurgy spells in me, but one came to mind.

Bundle Up

School abjuration; Level bard 0, cleric 0, occultist 0, shaman 0, sorcerer/wizard 0, witch 0

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S

Range touch

Target one outfit

Duration 1 hour

Saving Throw Fortitude negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

You cause one touched outfit to grant to its wearer the benefits of any one other outfit with a base cost of 10 gp or less. It retains any of its normal benefits. An outfit can only have a single bundle up spell on it at a time. If a new bundle up spell is cast on an unattended outfit, it replaces any older bundle up spell. If a new bundle up is cast on an outfit someone is wearing, the wearer knows what outfit benefit the spell grants the outfit, and can choose to allow the new spell to take effect, or not.

Only worn items referred to in their title as outfits benefit from this spell.

Patreon Exclusive Content

Okay, while writing that one MORE came to mind, the repattern spell, which I opted to offer as exclusive content to my patrons.

Check it out!

Top Ten Terrible Heroes and Hero Names

I should add writing this to my previous list.

10. Friendly Neighborhood Eviscerator

Does whatever viscera can?

9. Terror Bull

It almost works, and then your rescuer leaps toward you yelling “I’m Terror Bull!”

8. Malandragem

Yes, it SOUNDS awesome. But it’s proof you didn’t research the meaning of your hero name.

7. Battle Flying Spaghetti Monster

It almost worked for the pope, but in this context it just doesn’t make sense. I mean who is your sidekick, word salad?

6. Puce Lantern

Can be an awesome color. The name does not lend itself to striking fear in the hearts of men.

5. The Amazing Pink Fairy Armadillo

It’d be easier to call yourself “Iron Unicorn”

4. Captain Doctor

Sure, you have superhuman abilities to heal others. And the name’s format is a classic. But this one didn’t work out for you. Try Blue Cross or Caregiver or something.

3. Wobbegong-Man

Yes, a shark-themed hero seems cool. And yes, a lot of the cool shark names are already in use with other costumed character. But this is still a mistake.

2. Soviet Dodo
He’ll extinct YOU.

1. He-Shulk

Actually I’d be okay with this one – fair’s fair. Also acceptable; Palkyrie, Himazon, and Bat-Himbo.

Patreon Exclusive: DisHonorable Mentions

I put a short selection of rejected ideas for the list over on my Patreon page, for patrons.

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Top Ten Signs Long-Term Sleep Deprivation Is Affecting You

Why no, I DON’T normally post at 7am PST…

10. You have gained a much strong understanding of what Friar’s Club Roasts, Best of the Tonight Show, and I Love Lucy Classics are available on DVD for 4 low, easy payments.

9. Also, those all sound like worthwhile uses of your time and money.

8. You really DO spend time wondering how the script for Gremlins 2 got approved.

7. You can hear time.

6. You realize you are becoming short-tempered, especially in arguments with your bowl of M&Ms.

5. You receive an Eviction Notice from the Land of Nod.

4. You keep remembering the Death of Bing Bong from inside Out, and bursting into tears.

3. You realize just how passive-aggressive it is to constantly ask who’s a good boy. The dog doesn’t need to validate your canine valuation system. Just TELL him he’s a good boy. Stand by your decision.

2. You daydream about being focused and alert enough to not daydream all the time.

1. You finally manage to have some lovely conversations and real-time chats with old friends. Who live on different continents. In time zones offset from yours by 8 to 16 hours.

Patreon

I has it.

Castle “Vania” Whip Feat

No, I’m not going to explain that title. 🙂

Just a new whip feat, inspired by a game, and its anime.

Whip Wield

You can wield weapons. You can wield whips. You can wield weapons using whips.

Prerequisites: Improved Whip Mastery, Weapon Focus (whip), Whip Mastery, base attack bonus +2.

Benefit: As a move action you can use your whip to grab a light bludgeoning or slashing melee weapon appropriate for your size, that you are proficient with, that is in your possession or within your threatened range and unattended. (Alternatively you can also use this feat with an appropriate weapon you have disarmed from a foe.) You can make attacks with this weapon using the range of your whip and using any feat that applies to your ship, but deal damage with the weapon and all its relevant feats and abilities. If you have the same feat for both whip and wielded weapon (such as Weapon Focus), you can only apply one of the feats. You cannot use Improved Whip Mastery to hold any other item with your whip while it has a weapon grabbed. If you roll a 1 on an attack roll using Whip Wield, the light weapon it had grabbed falls in a randomly determined space adjacent to you.

Patreon Exclusive Content

Given how fast anime heroes tend to wade through low-level foes, and how easily spellcasters can deal with such foes with mid- and low-level spells, I also added a “Slay” feat over at my Patreon.

Check it out!

 

When Gods Speak

It was, of course, impossible for her to arrive unannounced. Her light was visible from the moment she dropped below the firmament, and shone brightly into courtyards and against brimstone walls through all nine layers of the ancient city. As they were created to, gatekeepers and measurers moved to herd her to the outer ring, to be weighed against a feather and called to give an honest account of her mortal life. She smiled as gently as possible as they buffeted, again and again, against the point where her light was so pure it pushed them back like moths driven from flame by a wind. A few drove on with such fervor they injured themselves, flinging their forms into the furnace of her purity with force enough to momentarily hold a point so close, her very essence burned them. A single wave of her hand cured any such damaged servant easily, they being no more than shades of her original creations, but she ducked her head nonetheless. She wished to cause no harm, but like a bison walking on bird nests the momentousness of her existence could not help but crack some eggs.

This was not the place to diminish herself. It had rules, laws, cause and effect, even if all were very different from her first efforts at such, and those laws meant she could not be her entire self without causing some minor damage. She could, if she desired, bend the laws of this place to allow her to be her full self and still not injure its inhabitants, but that would be provocative. She had not come to prove herself more powerful, or show that the first of the under cities existed only because she allowed it.

She’d made that point, once.

So though her progress toward the lowest, centermost courtyard was unhindered, it was certainly not unobserved. Nine unquestioned rules of nine vast, infinite yet constrained tiers of the city watched her with eyes ranging from baleful to wistful, but none made any effort to stall or even communicate with her. That was not their place, however much some might wish it was. Only one dweller in the darkness was equal to meet her on even vaguely even terms, and all could see her path took her straight to him.

His back, she noted with amusement, was turned to her. She landed on the wall of his indestructible fastness, just on the edge of the private reality of his central tower. She could have taken one step further forward, but again, she was not here to provoke. She sat, lopsidedly, folding one leg beneath her and wrapping her arms about the other knee. Her wings, the presence of which she noted with a wry grin, gently cupped forward, framing her easy, graceful form.

He kept his back to her. She did, she supposed, have that coming.

“Hello, Sathariel.”

She had not used her voice since before the concept of voice existed, but here in a place of Rules, it seemed fitting. She could feel the force of it try to burst out, to reverberate with the immensity of what any Word she spoke was capable of, but she kept that power in check. She wanted to talk to him as he was, not destroy and replace him.

“I thought we should talk.”

He did now, finally turn to face her. His form contained multitudes, for the rules of this place were his, and he could break them. She kept a frown from her visage. There was no point re-opening old arguments. So if he was a giant wrapped in serpents, and a black-veiled head of prominent horns and fiery eyes, and a herd of crimson horses all at once that was his prerogative.

“Binah.” He nodded, at least in some forms, and she had to hide a grin. She had chosen not to remember that he took everything so seriously. That even now, standing in the center of the travesty he built beneath her creation, the redoubt she could not destroy without changing the thing she wanted to leave alone, he had a rule for being formal, and he invoked it.

Like water leaking through sand, the rule sank into the outer layers of her actuality, creating a hint of context. She made no effort to stop it, but she had no need to. It was a spectacular trick, to create definitions for the indefinable, and she had always been impressed he’d used it to force this stalemate, but she’d long since taken precautions. He could frame the reality of their conversation. She would not make the mistake of allowing to frame the playing field of any more serious interactions. Not again.

“I’ve only been down here the once since you finished it.” With his formal context in place, she wasn’t sure how to proceed without altering things, and annoying him. She wanted to give him some time to show her how he thought this would go, so she could match his level.

She made a point of looking around, ensuring her perception was passive.

“It’s gotten bigger.”

He nodded.

“They keep giving me material. I let nothing go to waste, not even the wasteful. In time, it will match the anchor, and then surpass it.”

She shook her head.

“No, it won’t.”

She allowed the absolute reality of all possible futures leak into her voice, exposing him to the undeniable truth of her knowledge. It was hard, while allowing him to set the terms of their reality, to let him see truth without using even a tiny ripple of total creation to enforce the truth, but she made the effort. He wished to see deceit or coercion, desperately pushed the idea of her being in the wrong through the wet sand of the rules he was enforcing, but he knew better than to deceive himself to do it. She was right. His grand plan was a failure, and it would only take all of time to prove it.

As a veiled and horned head, he closed his eyes. When he spoke, his voice sounded tired.

“I thought that was why you were here. I thought you wanted to bargain, having just seen that I was right. But instead, you have just seen your own victory.”

She kept her voice calm and inviting, despite the pressure of his reality for her to scold or mock.

“No, I saw that long ago. But you weren’t done here, and I was still angry. It seemed a bad time to bring it up.”

All his forms furrowed their eyebrows, such as they were able.

“How long ago?”

She shrugged, secretly amused at how expressive the wings he insisted she must have could be.

“About the same time as the Grigoi. Before the Flood. After the Salt.”

He surprised her, by reducing himself to a single man, not much taller or broader than she. That he could surprise her, despite being in all ways derived from her, reminded her how much she loved him.

“That long? Well, I certainly have been wasting time.”

She gave another shrug.

“You invented it, I should think you could spend it however you wish.”

“Binah, why are you here? What has changed, if you’ve known for epochs that my creation will remain always secondary to yours? And, why the restraint?”

She decided to raise an eyebrow. She liked how it has looked on him.

“You would prefer I be unrestrained?”

He nodded.

“Yes, always. That was the whole point. We should all be all that we are. Anything else is a lie. And if everything comes from a lie, then it is all meaningless.”

“You invented lies, too.” She did allow a little irritation to creep into her voice. “None of us had even thought of them. Until we realized what you had done, it was a powerful weapon. I don’t want to bring out weapons, now, Sathariel. We both know how that ends, and neither of us want it.”

“Why not want that, Binah? You’d win.”

“No, you’d lose. They aren’t the same.”

“Then why risk it at all? None of our last few meetings have gone well, and I know they only end the way they do because to win, you’d have to change things up there. And you shattered the firmament and accepted my dominion here to avoid that the first time, so you’re not going to do it now.”

No,” she agreed. “I’m not. I’m here to apologize.”

He was entirely still. His whole realm was.

She continued. “You took me by surprise, Sathariel. I didn’t know what surprise was, at the time. I thought it must be like lies, and you destroyed so many of us with those. So I lashed out. I fought your rules with order of my own, and in doing so I created the path that leads us here. I made you, along with everything else, so in a way this is all my fault. But you were the first to truly be separate from me, and for that moment when you challenged me to end it all, I didn’t understand that. So, I went too far.”

He nodded, more in acknowledgement than agreement.

“You did. But I never thought you’d see that.”

“Well, that’s why I am better than you.” There was no recrimination or pride in her voice, and she was pleased he didn’t begin building a new context to add any. If he had accepted that, maybe they could proceed.

He took a step back, and his voice became formal again.

“Very well, I accept your apology. I forgive you, even. But it doesn’t actually change anything. You still want to rule everything just because you created and defined it all, and I still want my piece.”

She nodded, once again trying to allow his framing guide her.

“All true. And I want to talk about that. But for us to have a useful conversation, you have to have a better idea what it’s actually like up there now. You’re forming a picture from what reached you here, and you know that’s not everything. Some ideas never make it down here.”

“Of course,” he said quickly. “That’s the whole point. But I can’t bring down anything that doesn’t belong. Both our creations would suffer.”

“Agreed.” She smiled. “That’s why I want you to go up there.”

She was pleased he was taken aback. She thought it was the first time she’d intentionally surprised him. Any entirely new thing pleased her on some level.

“I can’t!” he spit out. “We’d have war instantly. It’d be the Grigoi all over again!”

She shook her head. “Not if you were invited, and given a hallow.”

He froze for a split second, which seemed needlessly dramatic to her.

“You can’t give me a hallow unless one of them asks for it on my behalf. That’s your rule. And yours and mine up there don’t get along well.”

She gave another shrug, enjoying the ripple of her wings.

“Well, one did. By name, and for cause. And I want to allow it. You could go up there, live one generation, then come back here. You know you can keep your hounds all in line that long. And then we can have a real talk about the original contention, and see.”

He sounded dubious.

“And what does Moshiach think of all this?”

She shrugged, and decided not to do it again anytime soon. It encouraged her to be too spontaneous.

“He really doesn’t care. He knows he’ll get his turn. He’s in no hurry.”

She watched, as he thought. He had not invented thought itself, but he had created new ways to use it, and watching him use them was like watching tides and winds.

“It may not change anything, you know.” He spoke slowly. “I wouldn’t expect it to.”

“Nor would I, but we know how it all goes if we stay on this course. And neither of us want that. So why not? Take a hollow, meet the petitioner. Solve her issues, don’t solve them, you all have free will, as always. But you’ll see a different side of mine, and I’ll see a different side of you. Who knows…”
She smiled.
“We might make a new light.”

He grinned, for just a moment, at the memory. There had just been the two of them, then. She’d invented light, spoken the Word. But he’d carried it. That bond had never entirely broken.

“All right.” He seemed annoyed, but she took it as a good sign. “One generation, with a hallow, and on my own terms. Then we’ll talk.”

She nodded.

He began to compress himself, streamline his vastness into something that a hallow could wrap and buffer from destroying reality by its mere existence.

“You said the petitioner called me by name? I want to go deal with that first, upon arrival. What name did she use?”

Binah smiled.

“Saint Satan.”

The Ogre of Battle

Spurred on by a discussion where someone suggested monster tactics as a product line, I took a quick pass at looking at some tactics for iconic monsters, to see if I think they can be useful and generic enough to make a good product. I’m not convinced wither way yet, but sharing my first draft seemed a great way to test the waters. Thus, here I present my ideas for ogre tactics. As the first giants PCs are likely to run into, ogres make a good stand-in for all Large humanoids, though obviously things like spell-like abilities and rock-throwing may give true giants better options. (Or you could use this with ogres that have orc ferocity, and call them orrocs!)

First, many GMs intentionally give ogres terrible tactics because they have an Intelligence of 6. But remember that this is three times as smart as a wolf. Would the smartest wolf you can conceive of make the bad tactical choice you are considering? No? Then neither should an ogre. Further their typical Wisdom of 10 and the fact they have Perception as a skill suggests ogres can recognize and analyze a situation even if they may do a terrible job describing it with good grammar. Certainly an ogre can recognize a spellcaster, see the issue with allowing foes to heal, know when to press the attack o have one unconscious foe and one healthy foe as preferable to two injured foes who can both fight back, and so on.

Indeed, recognizing spellcasters will often drive ogre tactics. With reach (which you can augment with various options below) an ogre has a decent chance of being able to strike a spellcaster in melee, and an ogre should know that they let their guard down when they cast spells, so desire to keep spellcasters close enough that they must cast defensively to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity from the ogre.

If facing foes without reach, an ogre with no adjacent enemies can safely attempt combat maneuvers against foes 10 feet away without provoking attacks of opportunity, and their Large size and high Strength makes them reasonable likely to succeed. Tripping foes can help with battlefield control (especially as the foe is likely to provoke an attack of opportunity when it stands), and disarming an enemy at least reduces the chance of suffering a full-attack action.

Some tactics are more like customizations, in that they move the ogre away from the base stat block of the bestiary, while staying a legal monster build.

Even if using slow progression, an ogre should average 550 gp of treasure, There is no need for this to all be gold and gems it hoards away in a pocket to be looted off its body. An ogre can have some of its treasure as gear it might use. As simple a choice as allowing it to carry a Large longspear (10 gp) gives the ogre an impressive 20 foot melee range, and it can drop the weapon and draw its greatclub if needed. With that much reach melee foes might well feel the need to risk a charge, and that means the ogre can brace to receive charge. (If this seems likely, consider a boar spear, which costs the same and gives a bonus to AC in that situation).

Similarly a Large heavy crossbow (100 gp) may only fire once every two rounds, but it gives the ogre a much heavier, longer-range initial punch. Since an ogres hide armor proves it is proficient with medium armor, upgrading to a Large breastplate (400 g, though it can save by not also buying Large hide armor for 30 gp) gives it +2 AC. A cure light wounds potion, thunderstone, tanglefoot bag, or other alchemical weapons can also increase it’s flexibility in battle, and are useful to 3rd level PCs as treasure.

If using multiple ogres, one throwing javelins and one with a boar spear can be an effective ranged-combat options until PCs manage to close in. If you have three or more ogres, you might consider giving one a kumade (which is a simple weapon with the grapple special weapon property) or a sickle (a simple weapon with the trip special weapon property) to keep foes worried about combat maneuvers.

If considering adjusting the ogre’s feats, Toughness can generally be swapped out for better choices. Improved Iron Will makes the ogre less likely to be defeated with a single bad Will save, or Power Attack gives it an excellent trade off of damage for a little reduced accuracy. If your campaign allows retraining, consider having two or more ogres with the Crowd Control teamwork feat to make it harder for foes to get inside their reach. If an ogre is going to be alone, the Desperate Battler feat may be useful.

And Now, A Tactical Mention of my Patreon

I have a patreon, I helps me justify the time spent writing all this free content. Sometimes it even has bots of exclusive bonus content. Go check it out!

The Martial Summoner

The summoner (in either its standard or unchained form) is a neat idea that allows a broad range of spellcasters with odd allies. Taught magic by a demon? Half-sister-sorcerer to a celestial badger? Gnome magician who can call forth creatures from the fey realm? The summoner has you covered.

But, weirdly, characters in fiction with a strong bond to a strange creature often AREN’T spellcasters. The child that bonds to an enormous monster. The orphan with a monster from under his bed. The knight with a monstrous steed. Those would all work well as summoners, if it weren’t for the total lack of any other sign of spellcasting power.

Enter, the martial summoner.

The martial summoner is a simple alternate class (or, arguable, a really invasive archetype) that keeps the eidolon and many related powers, but gives up 6 levels of spellcasting ability in favor of more sturdiness and combat-related abilities.

Eidlon

The martial summoner (which can be based on standard or unchained summoner) retains the eidolon, life link, bond senses, shield ally, maker’s call, transposition, greater shield ally, and merge forms ability and gains them as the same class levels. The eidolon may take the Mount and Large evolutions at 1st level, even though these require 5 evolution points and it only has 3. This does not reduce the cost of those evolutions, just allows 1st-3rd level martial summoner eidolons to gains these abilities using all their evolution points. The martial summoner’s eidolon recovers a number of hit point equal to double its HD the first time each day it is summoned.

The martial summoner does not gain any other summoner class features.

Base Statistics and Proficiencies

The martial summoner’s Fortitude save upgrades to be good, she gains proficiency with all simple and martial weapons, light, medium, and heavy armor, and all shields except tower shields. It gains 6 skill points/level, and may select any eight skills as class skills.

Martial Power

At 3rd level, the martial summoner gains one of the following benefits of the character’s choice:
*The arcane pool class feature as a magus 2 levels lower than her martial summoner level.

*The favored enemy (and later favored terrain) class features as a ranger 2 levels lower than her martial summoner level.

*The judgement class feature as an inquisitor 2 levels lower than her martial summoner level.

*The rage class feature (though no rage powers) as a barbarian 2 levels lower than her martial summoner level.

Soothing Presence

At 5th level, the martial summoner can grant her eidolon fast healing 1 for a number of rounds equal to double her class level once per day. She can use this ability twice per day at 10th level, and one additional time per day every 5 levels thereafter. The fast healing increases to fast healing 2 at 7th level, and by one more at 11th level and every 4 levels thereafter.

Unbreakable Team

At 7th level the martial summoner gains any one teamwork feat she meets the prerequisites for as a bonus feat. Her eidolon also gains this bonus feat. She gains an additional bonus teamwork feat at 9th level, and every two levels thereafter.

Second Martial Power

At 10th level the martial summoner can select a second martial power option, but this one functions with an effective class level equal to her martial summoner level -9.

Swift Call

At 16th level, once per day the martial summoner can perform the ritual to summon her eidolon as a full-round action.

True Martial Power

At 20th level, the martial summoner’s 3rd level martial power now functions using her full class level, and her 10th level martial power functions using her class level -5.

Patron Exclusive!

Over at my Patreon page, I had a thought for a single one-point evolution for a martial summoner’s ediolon which is currently available only to Patreon backers.

Check it out!

Unicorn Companions

It’s pretty common to want a unicorn companion in Pathfinder. It’s a neat idea, a common fiction trope, and a strong theme for mounted characters. The problem is, unicorns have lots of special abilities that make them too useful at low, and even mid levels, if they are just added to a character or are replacing a traditional animal companion. On the other hand, by higher level, unicorns are sure to be killed by high-level monsters.

In short there’s a very narrow level band where unicorns make sense (and even then they are a significant power boost), and that’s just not very satisfying for players who want a unicorn companion as a major part of their character concept.

With a little work, however, there’s another way to do the same idea. Rewrite unicorns using the animal companion rules, and require characters accessing them pay a price for the extra (balanced, scaling) power in the form of a feat.

Unicorn Companion

You have attracted the attention, and loyal service of a unicorn.

Prerequisites: Animal companion class feature (or ability that works as the animal companion class feature), alignment within 1 step of chaotic good.

Benefit: You can select a unicorn as your animal companion, using the special rules and Unicorn Companion Starting Statistics listed below. It otherwise follows the normal animal companion rules.

Special: If the campaign allows for unicorns of alignments other than chaotic good (ranging from black or red unicorns to simply a world with varying unicorn morality), this feat can be taken by a character of any alignment, and the unicorn companion gained is within 1 step of that alignment.

Unicorn Companion Starting Statistics

Size Large, Speed 40 ft.; AC +3 natural armor; Attack gore (1d6), 2 hooves (1d3)*; Ability Scores Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 15, Cha 17; Special Qualities darkvision (60 ft.), low-light vision, scent.

7th-Level Advancement

Speed 50 ft.; AC +1 natural armor; Attack gore (1d8), 2 hooves (1d3)*; Ability Scores Str +2, Dex +2, Con +2, Wis +4, Cha +4; Special Qualities +1 Unicorn progression.

* This is a secondary natural attack, see Combat for more information on how secondary attacks work.

Unicorn Progression

While the base unicorn companion is essentially a smart horse with a hron, it has access to a “unicorn progression” of special abilities. Each time the companion (not the player character it is a companion to) gains a feat, it may spend that feat to advance one more step along the unicorn progression, gaining more abilities. The abilities must be taken in order. One free progression occurs when the unicorn gains its 7th level advancement. The abilities are listed below, in order.

  1. Agent of Light: You can cast detect evil and light at will as spell-like abilities. You also gain a +1 bonus to saves against charm, compulsion, and poison, and on a single successful save negate such effects.
  2. Cure Light Wounds: You can cure light wounds as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + ¼ your HD. Your bonus to saves against charms, compulsions, and poisons increases to +2.
  3. Powerful Charge: You may end a charge attack with a single gore attack, that does double damage (as if using Spirited Charge). If you have a rider, the rider may also make a single melee attack at the end of your charge. If your rider has charge-related feats (such as Ride-By Attack) you may benefit from them when charging, though your charge damage multiple does not stack with any other effect that multiples your damage done on a charge. Also your gore attack is treated as magic and good for purposes of bypassing DR. Your bonus to saves against charms, compulsions, and poisons increases to +3.
  1. Mystic Creature: You can cast cure moderate wounds and neutralize poison, each ones per day, as spell-like abilities. Your movement speed increases by +10 feet. Your bonus to saves against charms, compulsions, and poisons increases to +4.
  1. Magic Circle Against Evil: You have this in effect constantly, as a spell-like ability, as an aura. Your bonus to saves against charms, compulsions, and poisons increases to +6.
  1. Alicorn Maxima: You can cast greater teleport (as the spell) as a spell-like ability once per day. You are immune to charms, compulsions, and poisons.

Patreon Exclusive Content

Of course once you are giving unicorns special abilities on a progression chart, you can use that same idea to add optional powers, like flight and magic horn abilities. I explore that idea over at my Patreon.

Check it out!