Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ghouls of the Seventh Moon (New Race) - Part II

After the racial traits, here are some new nifty tricks for ghouls. I hope Sigfried Trent (of the Advanced Feats line) doesn’t mind if I steal his feat  format, with a few commentaries after each ability.

Isaldarian Ghoul Racial Feats

Shape of the Beast
You can assume the form of your race’s closest ally – the hyena.
Prerequisites: ghoul 4th level.

Benefit: You can assume the shape of a hyena, like the beast form I spell. You can do so once per day and remain in hyena form one hour per character level. At 7th level you can assume the form of a dire hyena.
Commentary: This feat was designed with some of the old legends regarding the Arabic ghul in mind. I saw it in an Old School blog one or two ago years, but can’t find it anymore. I also think that ghouls and hyenas are a perfect fit.

Gug Slayer
You have ventured into the deep realms of the gugs. It’s because of ghouls like you that these underground giants fear your kind.
Prerequisites: ghoul.

Benefit: You have a +4 bonus to Intimidate checks against gugs. You also have a +1 bonus on attack rolls and a +2 dodge bonus to AC against creatures of the giant subtype.
Commentary: This feat was made exclusively for Dreamland Ghouls. Gugs are too much rare on Isaldar to account for any racial hostility.

Aspect of the Barrow
You are strongly attuned to the forces of death.
Prerequisites: ghoul 3rdlevel.

Benefit: You doesn’t require food or water anymore to sustain yourself and can enter a death-like trance. While in this deep hibernation, you don’t breath and its required a Heal check (DC 25) or a spell like deathwatch to perceive that you’re alive. You can set a time or trigger to awaken (in any case, you awake if you suffer damage).
A third effect of this feat is that mindless undeads consider you one of their own. They’ll ignore you unless attacked (or ordered to attack you).
Commentary: If you desire to increase the ‘undead-ness’ of your ghoul.

Death’s Brother
You are closer to Death’s Gate than even other ghouls
Prerequisites: aspect of the barrow, ghoul 7thlevel.

Benefit: You are immune to energy drain and gain a +4 racial bonus against all death effects. However, you become vulnerable to positive energy (suffering 50% more damage).
Commentary: Same thing of above. While this feat may seem a little powerful, think that you’re paying a feat to receive the permanent effects of the spell death ward.

Dark Nourishment
You can quickly recover from wounds by devouring a corpse.
Prerequisites: ghoul.

Benefit: Once per day you can spend a minute devouring a recently dead body to recover a number of hit points equal to 1d6 for every two character levels (maximum 10d6 at 20th level).
Commentary: A classic ability that I believe deserved a feat.

Ghoul Feed
By devouring a recently deceased humanoid’s brain you can tap into his memories and steal his form temporarily.
Prerequisites: cha 13; ghoul 8th level.

Benefit: If you devour the intact and fresh brain of a recently deceased humanoid creature you gain access to his memories and to his shape. This is not an easy process for the ghoul, who must struggle against the rush of alien memories and experiences.
In game terms, this feeding works first as the spell speak with the dead. The ghoul may ask a number of "questions" equal to his character level, each enquiring usually representing a memory of the deceased (the GM has full liberty to adjudicate this process, normally using flashbacks and  disconnected scenes to answer the ghoul’s “question”).
By feeding, the ghoul also steals the deceased’s shape and mannerism. He gains a +10 bonus on Disguise checks to impersonate the target. He also gains +2 on two ability scores (the highest of the target like, for example, Constitution and Wisdom for a dwarf). The ghoul gains any natural abilities and features possessed by the target, like natural armor, natural attacks, movement, scent, low-light vision (or darkvision), racial bonus feat, racial skill bonus etc.
The ghoul can “spend” one of the “questions” above to have access to one randomly selected* feat or skill possessed by the target (the skill is considered a class skill with a number of ranks equal to the original or the ghoul’s character level, whichever is lower).
If the target is small, the ghoul also gains all the new size modifier and –2 to Str, +2 to Dex. If of tiny size, beside the size modifiers, the ghouls also gains  –4 to Str, +4 to Dex. If large, the ability score modifications are +4 to Str, –2 to Dex, +4 to Con. Only ghouls of 15th level or higher can use this feat with huge creatures, the ability score modifiers been +8 to Str, –4 to Dex, +8 to Con.
Finally, while shapechanged the ghoul loses the following racial features: Bouncy Gait, Hunger, Stench of the Dead, Transparent Flesh, Light Sensitivity, Negative Energy Affinity.
Ghoul Feed persists for a number of hours equal to the character level. It is a supernatural ability and can’t be dispelled, however it can be detected through spells like true seeing. The ghoul’s items and clothes are not affected. While in the stolen shape, the ghoul acquire the original creature’s type (and subtype, if appropriate) and alignment (this last change is only in terms of rules, the player is not forced to act in different ways).
When this effect ends, the ghoul is fatigued and suffer an extra –2 penalty to all ability scores until the fatigue is removed.
*Or chosen by the GM (a far preferable choice I think).
Commentary: Ok, this feat was the hardest to make but it was also an obligatory one. If there’s one thing that The Throne of Bones did to expand the Ghouls’ mythos and add a new depth of character to these creatures was this ability.
Actually, for those who desire a more hazardous and chaotic  experience (and a closer fidelity to the power as seen in The Throne of Bones), follow these extra rules – each time a ghoul use this feat he must succeed at a Will saving throw. The DC is 10 + ½ the target’s HD + the target’s Cha modifier. If the ghoul has less than 175 years (middle age), he suffer a –4 penalty. If less than 263 years (old), he suffer a –2 penalty.
If the ghoul fails at this saving throw, he loses his original identify during the transformation. He firmly believes that he is the devoured character and gain all its original traits and features (effectively becoming a NPC). The transformation remains in effect for a number of days equal to the ghoul’s character level at the end of which he can attempt a second saving throw with +1 bonus. This bonus is cumulative and can be reattempted at the end of these intervals.
If the ghoul rolls a natural “1”, he loses his original identify permanently. Only through powerful magic like greater restoration he can remember who he originally was and revert to his natural shape.