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Illiterate Scribe
2008-03-06, 06:32 PM
The Soulfire Channeller

'I have long suspected that some sort of primal energy existed as a common unifying force of consciousness, life, and magic - after all, are not the beings of the Rule of Three, the belief-spawn of the Outer Planes, the world-spawn of the Inner Planes, and the flesh and blood inhabitants of the Prime all made of the same higher substance at heart? I do not wish to stake a great deal on this, since it seems that barely a week goes by without a cutter claiming to have found the deepest nature of reality - but nonetheless, I would advise all those who are interested in the world to keep a close eye on this 'soulfire'. - Tor Dalis, planeswalker and expert on, as he describes them, phenomena.

Spellfire - the purified essence of magic, that which is channeled into spells to give them life beyond words scribed on a page, beyond holly berries, beyond bat guano.

Incarnum - the purified essence of life, that which animates base corporeal forms, to give them life beyond meat and bones, beyond skin, beyond ever-so-slowly decomposing sacks of flesh.

It is not entirely unsurprising that some have posited a connection. The existence of a pure, profound basis for reality has been posited since time immemorial - whatever it is, it has been tapped through True Speech, through the mind, through a multitude of sources.

Recently, savants of these two phenomena, however, claim to have gained access to the pure animating force of the universe. It's something somehow more than positive energy, or spellfire, or incarnum (again, so they claim - who's to say that they aren't deceiving us by conjuring hellfire in a sweet guise?), and those who channel it have a great mastery of manipulating magic and the planes - and of incinerating their opponents with blinding pulses of light.

Becoming a Soulfire Channeler

Channellers of soulfire are a very rare breed - among those who channel spellfire, very few draw links between the deep mysteries of magic and those of life. Those who do - either through scholarly research, or through a natural affinity to their craft, since vita calls to vita - rarely meet others of their kind, and are usually taken by others to be simply incarnum-wielders, or warlocks. The fools.

Soulfire Channelers in the world

Evil soulfire channelers look upon their art as one that surpasses lesser magic, and allows them free access to the gearbox of the universe - an attitude that makes them rightly feared. There are, however, few Channelers who simply see soulfire as a tool - if you are learned or wise enough to harness it, you must surely know what fundamental forces you are playing with.

Good soulfire channelers, on the other hand, respect the fundamental, unsullied nature of what they use - soulfire is a way back, or so they say, to the initial purity of the universe.

Prerequisites

Skills - truespeak 4 ranks, know (the planes) 8 ranks, concentration 8 ranks, spellcraft 4 ranks.

Feats - spellfire wielder, endurance.

Class features - must have an essentia pool.

The Soulfire Channeler - d6 hit dice.

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+0|
+2|
0|
+2|Soulfire, expanded essentia pool.
2nd|
+1|
+3|
+0|
+3| Soulfire defence.


3rd|
+1|
+3|
+1|
+3| Soulfire blast +1

4th|
+2|
+4|
+1|
+4| -

5th|
+2|
+4|
+1|
+4| Soulfire blast +2

6th|
+3|
+5|
+2|
+5| Soulfire inspiration

7th|
+3|
+5|
+2|
+5| Soulfire blast +3

8th|
+4|
+6|
+2|
+6| -
9th|
+4|
+6|
+3|
+6| Soulfire blast +4

10th|
+5|
+7|
+3|
+7|Tear open the Weave[/table]

Skill points - 4+int per level.

The Soulfire Channeler's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are concentration (Con), diplomacy (Cha), knowledge (religion) (Int), knowledge (the planes) (Int), knowledge (arcana) (Int), sense motive (Wis), speak language (none), spellcraft (Int), and truespeak (Int).

Soulfire (Su) - the primary art of soulfire channeling lies in the union of mind and matter, the fusion of life and magic to access that which animates all things at the deepest level. Henceforth, a Channelerís spellfire and soulmeld abilities radiate pure white light, which glows as brightly as a torch. Even when without soulmelds or active abilities, she is still noticeably suffused with a calm light. It is, however, much harder to shape than either of its baser forms; investing, or reinvesting, essentia in soulfire abilities takes a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. A channeller gains her class level + her Con modifier in spellfire ranks each morning - this takes an hour's meditation.

Expanded essentia pool (Su) - the Channeler gains essentia equal to half her class level. She does not, however, gain any other abilities associated with meldshaping, however, such as an increased meldshaped level, or further shaped soulmelds or chakras.

Soulfire defence (Su) - one of the trademark abilities of a spellfire wielder is the ability to absorb magic, harmlessly dissipating it, or, more likely, storing it for devastating counter-attacks. This ability can be supplemented with soulfire - its profound connection with the spirit of a wielder can deflect hostile magic with much greater skill than normal adepts. The Channeller can invest essentia in this ability; each point can then be used as an immediate action to absorb a spell using the spellfire rules, but then becomes uninvested.

Soulfire blast (Su) - The character may invest the indicated amount of essentia in the Soulfire blast ability (note - this circumvents the normal limitations on the amount of essentia that can be invested in an ability). These function as additional damage dice on a spellfire blast (that, therefore allow blasts to be made without expending spellfire levels, and increase the save DC by an amount equal to the invested essentia. This ability also allows that Channeler to invest essentia on a breath weapon or eldritch blast ability, and then to channel spellfire through it.

Soulfire inspiration (Su) - channelling the universeís animating forces, an adept at this art can vastly increase her aptitude at changing it. When making a skill check, the Channeler can expend up to five levels of spellfire to gain an insight bonus on the check equal to the number of levels expended. She may invest extra essentia in this ability; each point invested allows her to expend another five levels of spellfire.

Tear open the Weave (Su) - at tenth level, the Channeler can pull back the veils separating reality and its shadow, between life and death - and pass beyond them. With a minuteís concentration, during which the channeler cannot be disturbed, a pathway can be opened through an actinic crack in the fabric of a plane. The caster, along with one willing subject per level, can enter this rift, which then closes. The group travelling can then either travel up five thousand miles in any direction, or travel onto another plane. If the former option is chosen, then one hour elapses for each for each five hundred miles travelled; if the latter, then six hours elapse for the entire trip. No time elapses for the group travelling - they are undetectable by any means, and are effectively in stasis in an unreachable plane for the duration of the trip. At the end of the trip, all of the participants are fatigued.

Adaptation - if playing in a non-Forgotten Realms Setting, then replace references to spellfire or the Weave with whatever the basic cosmic nature is - perhaps Planescape Channelers could appeal to the Ordial plane, or Eberron ones could siphon it off from the stars beyond the orrery.

Q/A

Q:ZOMGWOFLS SPELLFIRE!

A:Calm down, the ability's vastly overrated, as it happens. Sure, it can be horribly abused by a warlock, but, other than that, do you really face enough people each day who cast targeted spells at you to maintain a continual defence? Even a mighty finger of death is only going to give you 8d6 worth of blasting. Remember also that most spellcasters won't want to act as batteries for you - they have far better things to do for you than give you d6 worths of damage (the damage scales better for them, for a start), so, even with the regeneration and a high con, you'll be limited to either more minor blasts, or one or two huge novas. Minor playtesting suggests that you really want to save your blasts.

Q:Why is the 'Tear Open the Weave' ability so weird?

A:Heh, just to add a capstone slightly more interesting than 'lol, more damage'. It allows utility not based on spellfire (always handy), large-scale mobility a la Shadow Walk, and also, perhaps most interestingly, a little bit of time-jiggery-pokery - the stasis can and should be used creatively.

More questions here ...

Thoughts?