Pixie in the Playground
Re: GitP PrC Contest XXXV: The Last Harvest!
The Fear Techniques available to a pumpkin king to learn, and possible requirements to acquire them, are as follows:
Alone at Heart (Su): Solitude is a terror that lurks in the heart of men, yet when outside terrors press upon them so many will try to save themselves to the exclusion of others. The pumpkin king can intentionally exploit this to render an opponent truly alone through fear. By spending a round of bardic performance as a move action, the pumpkin king can select a single target; this target cannot participate in teamwork feats (unless they can do so by themselves) and are not a consideration when it comes to calculating flanking; they are on their own. This fear effect lasts 1 minute. Prerequisites: Sense Motive 4 ranks.
BEHIND YOU (Sp): The illusion of escape is useful—there is a special form of dread created when hope is crushed. And there is a whole new fear when something horrible cannot be seen, until one feels hot breath upon their neck… The pumpkin king may spend a round of bardic performance to use Dimension Door twice per day, but only so long as he appears directly behind someone. This may be used alternatively as a normal teleportation effect, or as an illusion (shadow) effect in the style of Shadow Walk (although the effect is identical to that of Dimension Door; fear comes in many colors. This Fear Technique may be taken more than once, adding another 2 uses per day each time. Prerequisites: Perform (acting) 11 ranks.
Dancing Limbs (Su): Pumpkin kings have exalted fear as an art and a science, and there have always been those willing to go to extremes for what they loved. Some pumpkin kings have learned how to separate their limbs and control them like puppets of flesh. By spending a round of performance, he may separate a hand—or a food, or even entire limbs (but not his head) and control it from afar. Treat the limb as a crawling hand (see the Bestiary 2), but it is not an undead and thus cannot be turned. It uses the pumpkin king's ability scores, natural armor, skills, and saving throws, and if it has a magical item it benefits from it. It is controlled by the pumpkin king's will, and is not really an independent being. The pumpkin king may make Intimidate checks through his crawling hand. If the limb is destroyed, it regrows in 1d4 days: this benefit applies even if the limb is destroyed while still attached to him.
Doll Master (Su and Sp): The pumpkin king doesn't let the dead rest easily. 1/day, he may use Animate Objects as a spell-like ability, but only on dolls; he may instead spend this spell-like ability to use a variant of Stone Tell allowing him to speak to a doll. He may also talk at will to dolls he made from House of Dolls, although no one else can hear them answer: however, they are under no obligation to give him truthful answers and most likely will hate him. He may transform a doll into a Soulbound Doll (see the Bestiary 2) over the course of a single day at no cost and without requiring Craft Construct. He may only have one doll be a Soulbound Doll at a time (from this ability): if the doll is one made from House of Dolls, then it is bound to obedience and loyalty, and is forced to truthfulness to his master regardless of how he hates him. Prerequisites: Craft 14 ranks.
Eldritch Prowess: The pumpkin king gains an additional level of spellcasting as indicated under the Spells per Day column on the 1st and 3rd times he selects this Fear Technique. On the 2nd and 4th, he may look through the spell lists and select two spells from any class of 6th level or below that has the fear descriptor and add it to the pumpkin king's spell's known list (if he doesn't have access to that spell level yet, he learns it when he gains access to it). On the 5th time he chooses it, he learns to pour his talent into his magic to make it more potent: by sacrificing 3 rounds of bardic music, he can increase the DC of a fear spell by 1, to a maximum increase equal to his Charisma modifier. Prerequisites: Knowledge (arcane) 5 ranks.
Enforced by Pain (Ex): One of the most basic fear responses is the fear of pain; this, of course, is something that pumpkin kings know well. Whenever a pumpkin king deals damage to an opponent in melee combat, he may make a special Intimidate check to demoralize as an immediate action; rather than making the opponent shaken, however, it inflicts a -2 penalty on their saving throws for 2 rounds.
Fear for Another's Sake (Ex): Protective instincts are powerful, but easily manipulated by fear. After successfully inflicting a fear effect on someone, the pumpkin king can make that person believe that he means ill will towards someone close to him. The target must make a Will save: on a failure, he will immediately take action to protect his ally that is closest to the pumpkin king, and will do so for 1d4 rounds. However, although they do not flee they still suffer the penalties from whatever fear effects have been placed on them. Prerequisites: Bluff 3 ranks.
Flaming Apparition (Su): Beings that live, yet are consumed by flame, make a strike and horrifying image. A pumpkin king with this Fear Technique can spend a round of bardic performance to burst into flame: anyone striking him with a melee attack or whom he strikes suffers 1d6 points of fire damage, and the pumpkin king gains resistance 5 against fire attacks and is immune to his own flame. He can hurl a glob of flame as a ranged touch attack dealing 1d6 points of damage (range increment 20 feet). He can take this multiple times: each time increasing the fire resistance by 5. When he takes it twice, he can spend a round of bardic performance to shoot a gout of flame: a 15 foot cone of fire dealing 1d6/class level damage. Thrice, and he increases his speed by 10 feet when aflame. Four times, and the damage the fire deals is increased to 2d6. Five times, and he is immune to fire damage when engulfed in flames, and whenever he successfully Intimidates someone he deals fire damage to them equal to ½ the amount by which he surpassed the skill DC. Prerequisites: Spellcraft 5 ranks.
Flesh-Enthroned Worm (Ex): The pumpkin king has gotten rid of their inadequate, useless innards, replacing them with bugs: insects and spiders and scorpions, perhaps even crabs—vermins of all sorts infest them (by DM fiat, they may be permitted to have rats, snakes, etc. inside them instead). They can abandon their flesh to take on a swarm form as though using a polymorph effect, becoming a swarm of whatever vermin composes the pumpkin king's body (which can have a CR no higher than the pumpkin king's class level). He may stay in swarm form for as long as he continues to spend rounds of bardic performance. When the components come together into humanoid form, they don't have skin unless he reenters his or take someone else's (in which cases it magically changes to become what he once had, having none of its original properties). Prerequisites: Handle Animal 9 ranks.
Freakish Familiar (Ex): A partner in crime can make anything easier, and fear is no exception: many pumpkin kings take on a familiar as a companion who will never abandon them, and as a spook par excellence. The pumpkin king gains the ability to summon a familiar, and the Improved Familiar feat. Amongst the Improved Familiars the pumpkin king can take include a zombie or skeleton version of a normal familiar (obtainable at CL 5), a vampire or ghost version of a normal familiar (obtainable at Caster Level 9), or a Spellbound Doll (also at Caster Level 9).
Haunt Coalescence (Su): The pumpkin king learns a hidden method to leave a lasting imprint of terror on a location. A pumpkin king can create a haunt (see the Gamemastery Guide) as a lasting horror on a location, a type of spectral trap that will last for a long, long time. For purposes of creating a haunt, follow the same rules as creating a trap (but using Spellcraft or Knowledge (religion) as the central skill), with the money being spent on specialized incenses to draw in spiritual powers and bind them to the area. The pumpkin king can dispel his own haunt as a full-round action, permanently ending it. If he uses this ability in his King's Palace, he does not need to pay anything and can set up a haunt in 1 hour per CR, although this type of haunt disappears when the palace does.
Haunted House (Su): The pumpkin king's mastery over his abode grows to an extent that can have lethal repercussions over those trapped inside. He can control whether or not people can leave his King's Palace (a successful Will save is enough to bypass this, however, and can be retried every 2 hours), and can attack people with the servants and the house itself: every 2 hours inside, anyone he targets must make a Will save or take 1d6 points of damage: alternatively, he can deal a single point of damage to Strength or Charisma. Prerequisites: Knowledge (engineering) 6 ranks, King's Palace class ability.
Headless (Su): The pumpkin king has gained a terrifying power: his body operates on fear, and his head is… just another limb. The pumpkin king's body can operate without his head, independently (although it can't see) or under the direction of the still-living head (which can mentally control the body). Losing his head does not kill the pumpkin king, although if it is destroyed he still dies. If his head is gone for a full week, either his body grows a new head or his head grows a new body, at the pumpkin king's discretion; the other dies. His head can still talk, can cast spells that don't require material or somatic components, and can fly at a speed of 20 feet (perfect maneuverability). Prerequisites: Dancing Limbs Fear Technique, character level 14.
Horrifying Haunter (Su): Spirits and ghosts have long struck a basic fear in humankind. By spending two rounds of bardic performance, this Fear Technique lets a pumpkin king become incorporeal for a round. He gains a fly speed of 20 feet and a touch attack dealing 1d2 points of Strength damage. Prerequisites: Knowledge (religion) 7 ranks.
House of Dolls (Su): Dolls and puppets have an inherent eeriness to them that pumpkin king's have take advantage of since their creation. When a pumpkin king kills someone, instead of ending their life they can expend 2 rounds of bardic performance as an immediate action to create a special polymorph effect. The target gets a Will save: if successful, they suffer the damage and die. If they fail, they are transformed into a small, 1 foot-tall doll, inanimate and unaware. However, the pumpkin king gets to make an Intimidate check to demoralize everyone within 15 feet when he does so, and in the future can make Intimidate checks against anyone who sees the doll if he desires. An enemy made into a doll cannot be brought back to life by anything short of a Wish or Miracle, but a targeted Break Enchantment, Remove Curse, Greater Dispel Magic, Stone to Flesh, or Heal will return him to normal, although he will still be dead. As a doll he is not dead, but he does not register as alive, either. A pumpkin king may willingly return a doll to normal, either dead or at the amount of health they had before the pumpkin king would have killed them. Prerequisites: Craft 9 ranks.
Like Calls to Like (Su): Fear can feel a resonance with those who echo its principles; it is for this reason that on the days when the living dead stalk amongst the living and the malignant fey play live-ending cruelties on the innocent that the pumpkin king is sought out by all who know of him. A pumpkin king can use a special ability at will that resembles a specialized Detect Evil spell. But instead of detecting evil, it instead detects aberrations, undead, fey, and evil outsiders.
Mirror Image (Su): It looks at you in the mirror, wearing your face but not your soul—you know it wants it. The doppelganger is greatly feared for mimicking other's forms, and fear is as always the pumpkin king's domain. By spending 2 rounds of bardic performance the pumpkin king can assume the form of a humanoid within 30 feet as though by the Alter Self spell. The pumpkin king gains a +2 bonus to attack, damage, and AC against the person they are copying; if he successfully kills the person they are copying (he must strike the finishing blow), the duration of the effect extends to 1 day/class level. Prerequisites: Disguise 7 ranks.
Monstrous Head (Ex): The pumpkin king has severed his own head and replaced it; perhaps with a skull, perhaps with a pumpkin, perhaps with someone else's face. Regardless, it is clearly inhuman and horrific. The role the pumpkin king's head would play is now taken over entirely by the fear that has partially consumed his soul; he doesn't actually use his head for anything, is immune to head-severing attacks, and gains 20% fortification against critical hits and sneak attacks. So long as he can stick an object where his head would be, he can function perfectly well without one. If he ever gets the Headless Fear Technique, he can either make his Monstrous Head fly around, or actually have two head: one on his body, one independent. Prerequisites: Disguise 5 ranks.
No Room to Run (Su): Tight spaces entrap and constrict and suffocate—fear of enclosed spaces is another terror the pumpkin king can exploit. With a standard action and an Intimidate check opposed by the opponents grapple CMD, the pumpkin king can trap his opponent in fear—illusory terror besets his foe on all sides and crushes down from every direction. If successful, the opponent is considered to be flanked and loses his Dexterity bonus to AC for one round. Prerequisites: Escape Artist 3 ranks.
Nothing (Su): Nothing happens—expectation of what can happen can drive people to create horrors in their own minds even worse than anything another could force upon them. The mind can become its worst enemy. The pumpkin king spends a full round action and a round of bardic performance doing nothing—simply standing. Everyone within 30 feet suffers 1d8 points + their own Charisma modifier (if positive) points of damage and is shaken for 1 round. They suffer a -2 penalty on their saving throw against the next fear effect you use on them (or if it requires a skill check, you gain a +2 bonus).
Primal Fear (Su): The pumpkin king can wield a fear that is more basic than thought; beginning with it, even a mind-that-isn't-a-mind becomes like putty in his hand. By spending a standard action and a round of bardic performance, he can remove a single target's immunity to mind-affecting effects for 1 hour. Prerequisites: The Seeds of Fear Fear Technique.
Ragdoll Body (Su): The pumpkin king's form can suffer any amount of damage and still stand, stitched and horrific in its inexorable malice. A pumpkin king may spend 1 round of performance and a standard action to make an Intimidate check as though to demoralize everyone within 30 feet (although they aren't demoralized). Every success grants the pumpkin king damage reduction equal to ½ his class level against attacks from that person. This damage reduction stacks with other sources of DR. The pumpkin king is immune to death from massive damage and takes falling damage although he fell half the distance, in addition to the other effects.
Screaming Scare (Su): Sound can play an important part in fear—rhythmic thuds mimic heartbeats and sudden noises can spark fits of weeping terror. The pumpkin king masters the interplay of sound and silence, and can spend a round of bardic performance as a standard action to amplify the next loud noise to terrifying extremes. The next source of sonic damage within 1 minute does 50% more damage and lets you make a single Intimidate check on everyone who took damage from the sound.
The Dreadful Dead (Sp): The pumpkin king can use Animate Dead as a spell-like ability once per day. At level 6 he may instead choose to use Create Undead, and at level 10 he may instead use Create Greater Undead, with a caster level equal to his effective bard level. Prerequisits: Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks.
The Nose Knows (Su): The sense of smell is often overlooked, but pumpkin kings have developed methods to extend their ability to scent beyond the natural realm. Pumpkin kings gain the scent ability, but can also specifically smell the presence of children, those who are afraid, and any being capable of using a fear effect as an extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like ability, and gains a +4 bonus on perception checks involving such individuals. Prerequisites: Perception 5 ranks.
The Seeds of Fear (Su): With delicate subtlety, the pumpkin king can sow the beginnings of terror in a strong mind; when they begin to grow they can crack and tear apart even the most stalwart of barriers. The pumpkin king can spend a standard action and a round of bardic performance to remove a single target's immunity to fear for 1 hour.
The Taste of Terror (Su): To a pumpkin king, fear is more savory than any meal and more heady than any drug. After successfully making a target shaken, a pumpkin king gains a +1 moral bonus to saving throws for 1 minute per hit dice of the target. After making a target frightened, the pumpkin king gains 1 temporary hit points per hit dice of the target, which last until the end of the day or until use up: a pumpkin king may not gain more temporary hit points in a day than twice his class levels. After successfully making a target panicked, the pumpkin king heals 1d4 hit points per hit dice of the target (any extra hit points disappear). A pumpkin king cannot heal more than twice his class level in this method per day.
Twisted Contortions (Ex): The pumpkin king's body has become little more than another tool for him to use to inflict terror, and it may bend and contract in ways that no other body was meant to do. He can hide under the bed, in the cracks behind a door, or slither through a window. He gains a +2 bonus to Escape Artist checks, and can fit through spaces as though he were 2 sizes smaller; he can even fit through spaces smaller than his head. He gains damage reduction 1/piercing or slashing. This can be taken multiple times, each time granting an addition +1 to DR and +2 to Escape Artist. Prerequisites: Escape Artist 9 ranks.
Weaver of Nightmares (Su): Nightmares contain a type of personalized fear that is difficult to recreate in the waking world; often, it is easier and more entertaining to craft that personalized horror for someone in their dreams. 1/day, by spending ten minutes within 10 feet of a sleeping individual (or, at 10th level, being within 1 mile of a sleeping individual you are aware of), the pumpkin king may inflict a special [/i]Nightmare[/i] effect on them. He has complete control over this nightmare, and it becomes a fear effect (thus enabling him to reduce the damage it deals or even negate the effect, for whatever reason he might want that). These nightmares (personalized each night) persist for 4 days. The pumpkin king gains a +4 insight bonus to Intimidate checks against someone whose nightmares they have starred in within the last week. Prerequisites: Perform (acting) 12 ranks.
Where is He? (Su): True fear isn't just felt in the body and mind; it inundates the very surroundings, saturates the air until one chokes on it. Often, what you can't see is more terrifying than what you can: a pumpkin king unseen can haunt one's nightmares until their dying breath. A pumpkin king with this does not need to be seen or heard to make Intimidate checks, so long as others are aware of his presence. Further, each time he successfully makes an opponent shaken, frightened, or panicked while they cannot see him, he gains another +1 to the DC of his next fear effect or Intimidate check against them. Prerequisites: Stealth 10 ranks.