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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Baron Corm's Avatar

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    Apr 2005
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    Avatar by Kymme
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    Default Heartbreakers [3.5]

    I thought that to counteract all of the softness and cuteness on Valentine's Day, I would create a creature which was absolutely anti-love, instead of soppy cupids and all that. Feel free to add your own if you start getting sick.


    Slowly walking towards you is a skeletal creature, which somehow manages to have a sad expression on its face. Trailing behind it on a blackened cord is a blackened heart. It seems more pitiful than malicious.

    Thanks to DracoDei for help and permission.

    Morticard
    Size/Type: Medium Undead
    Hit Dice: 14d12+126 (217 hp)
    Initiative: +2
    Speed: 45 feet (9 squares)
    Armor Class: 35, touch 28, flat-footed 33 (+2 dex, +7 natural, +9 insight, +7 shield)
    Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+9
    Attack: Heartthrow +9 melee touch (1d8 negative)
    Full Attack: Heartthrow +9 melee touch (1d8 negative)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks: Heartthrow, heart stomp
    Special Qualities: Undead traits, damage reduction 5/good, shared actions, unholy bond
    Saves: Fort +13, Ref +6, Will +18
    Abilities: Str 14, Dex 14, Con -, Int 19, Wis 29, Cha 15
    Skills: 8 skills with a max rank of 17
    Feats: Shield Ward (B), five more
    Enviroment: Any
    Organization: Solitary or Cord (1 morticard plus 2-4 dark hearts)
    Challange Rating: 17
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: Usually neutral evil
    Advancement: 15-25 HD (Medium)
    Level Adjustment: -

    The creator of a dark heart sometimes has a higher purpose in mind. When the heart of a still-living creature is replaced with a dark heart, and special rituals are performed, that creature becomes a morticard. Additional details about the morticard creation ritual are outlined in the spoiler below.

    The morticard's first and only impetus is to roam the land, destroying all members of the same sex as it (and therefore the opposite sex of the scorned harvested creature from the ritual below). It does this with great shrewdness, because it contains the wisdom gained from being love scorned.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Creating a Morticard

    1. Create a dark heart with no more or less than 14 HD. The harvested creature must have been in love with the receiving creature. It is common to use the desecrate spell in conjunction with divination spells to help get the right amount of HD.

    2. Cut open the dark heart receiver and place the heart inside. The receiver must have a Charisma score of at least 16 and scorned the harvested creature.

    3. Cast create greater undead. Casting time is changed to 6 minutes, and components are changed to 12,500 GP and 500 XP. For the spell to work, you must have a caster level of at least 37. Effective caster level is increased by 1 per caster level of willing participants.

    4. While the ritual is ongoing, the receiving creature does not die from not having a heart, and is immune to negative energy damage. However, it still feels pain from both. Each minute, the dark heart beats once per elapsed minute, using its Negative Energy Pulse ability, possibly damaging the ritual participants. For example, during the 4th minute, it beats once every 2.5 rounds. If a participant is killed from this damage, its caster level is not subtracted from the pool. It has a 5% chance to rise as a dark heart loyal to the morticard, when the ritual is complete. However, if the ritual leader is killed, the ritual is ended.

    5. Once the 5th minute has passed, all the organs fall from the receiving creature, including the dark heart, which now appears to have a cord attached to it. The morticard has been created. It is not under the control of anyone, unless additional spells are cast.


    Combat

    A morticard will try to gain a surprise round by acting pitiful. After that, if there are multiple enemies, it will use Heart Stomp, or if there is a single enemy, it will feint, and then use Heartthrow.

    Being a creature of great intelligence, it will attempt to use advanced battle tactics so that it may use its move action ability, which is more powerful than its heart's move action ability, and its heart can use its standard action ability, which is more powerful than its own.

    Heartthrow (Su)

    The morticard can throw his heart at an opponent, splattering its tainted blood onto the creature. This is treated as an attack with a whip, except that it deals 1d8 negative energy damage instead of whip damage. A creature killed by this damage has a 1% chance to have its heart rise as a dark heart loyal to the morticard.

    Shared Actions

    As long as the morticard has a heart bonded to him, he may only take 1 standard or move action per round. His heart may take whichever action he didn't use. The morticard always acts first, though he shares the same place in initiative as his heart.

    When the morticard takes a move action to actually move, the morticard heart is automatically dragged along at the morticard's speed.

    Heart Stomp (Su)

    As a move action, the morticard may stomp on, smack, or otherwise abuse his heart, squeezing out its energies in a concentrated form. This deals 7d12 negative energy damage to all creatures within 15 feet (DC 26 Will half, save is Wisdom-based). It deals no damage to the heart itself. A creature killed by this damage has a 15% chance to have its heart rise as a dark heart loyal to the morticard.

    The morticard does not have to be in adjacent to his heart to use this attack; if he has to he can simply tighten the heartcord. He often uses this method of abuse when his heart is attached to a creature by its Engorge ability.

    Unholy Bond (Su)

    The morticard receives a bonus to hit points equal to 1 per HD per point of Wisdom bonus. He receives a bonus to Fortitude saves equal to his Wisdom bonus. He receives a shield bonus to AC due to the fact that he can use his heart to parry, and because the heart will intelligently deflect attacks on its own.

    The morticard and his heart are bonded by a 15 foot long magical black cord. The morticard holds it in his hand, and is incapable of letting go of it. It ends in a harness around the heart. The cord is ethereal to anyone but the morticard and his heart; another creature's hand would pass right through it. A creature who finds the cord on the ethereal plane can sunder it as if it was an adamantine whip with a +7 enhancement bonus (turning the base undead back into what it was, and the heart back into a dark heart).

    Skills

    Morticards receive a +10 racial bonus on Bluff checks. They use their pitiful appearance to become underestimated, then sneak attack.


    Morticard Heart
    Size/Type: Tiny Undead
    Hit Dice: 3d12 (46 hp)
    Initiative: +2
    Speed: 5 feet (1 square)
    Armor Class: 37, touch 23, flat-footed 35 (+2 dex, +14 natural, +9 deflection, +2 size)
    Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-5
    Attack: Engorge +14 melee (7d8 negative)
    Full Attack: Engorge +14 melee (7d8 negative)
    Space/Reach: 2.5 ft./0 ft.
    Special Attacks: Engorge, dark pulse
    Special Qualities: Undead traits, shared actions, unholy bond, unholy toughness
    Saves: Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +5
    Abilities: Str 14, Dex 15, Con -, Int -, Wis 15, Cha 29
    Skills: -
    Feats: -
    Enviroment: Any
    Organization: -
    Challange Rating: -
    Treasure: -
    Alignment: Usually neutral evil
    Advancement: 4-14 HD (Tiny)
    Level Adjustment: -

    A morticard heart will engorge if possible, or inch closer to a creature if not possible. On a command from the morticard (usually if there are many creatures nearby or the morticard is weak), it will use Dark Pulse.

    If the morticard has used its move action and the morticard heart is not near enough to anything to use Engorge, it will simply do nothing. However, because the morticard heart moves in tandem with the morticard when it moves, and the morticard is very intelligent, this rarely happens.

    Engorge (Su)

    The morticard heart can latch on to a creature's chest, pumping tainted blood into its body. This deals 7d8 negative energy damage. If the morticard heart readies an action, it can use this ability as soon as it is flung at a creature by the morticard's heartthrow attack. If the creature was flatfooted for the morticard's attack due to a feint, it remains flatfooted for this attack. A creature killed by this damage has a 10% chance to have its heart rise as a dark heart loyal to the morticard.

    Once this attack hits once, it no longer requires an attack roll to hit. The morticard heart may not be removed from the creature's chest unless it is killed or moves by itself. A wish or miracle spell could also remove it.

    As part of this action, the morticard heart may hurl itself 5 feet into the target creature's square.

    Shared Actions

    As long as the morticard heart has a morticard bonded to him, he may only take 1 standard or move action per round. His morticard may take whichever action he didn't use. The morticard always acts first, though he shares the same place in initiative as his heart.

    When the morticard takes a move action to actually move, the morticard heart is automatically dragged along at the morticard's speed.

    Dark Pulse (Su)

    As a move action, the morticard heart may beat, squeezing out its energies in a concentrated form. This deals 3d12 negative energy damage to all creatures within 15 feet (DC 20 Will half, save is Charisma-based). A creature killed by this damage has a 5% chance to have its heart rise as a dark heart loyal to the morticard.

    Unholy Bond (Su)

    The morticard heart is immune to any damage or negative effects, unless they are good-aligned or carry the good descriptor. It adds its Charisma bonus, Wisdom bonus, and Dexterity bonus to its attack. If its morticard dies, it reverts back to a normal dark heart.

    The morticard and his heart are bonded by a 15 foot long magical black cord. The morticard holds it in his hand, and is incapable of letting go of it It ends in a harness around the heart. The cord is ethereal to anyone but the morticard and his heart; another creature's hand would pass right through it. A creature who finds the cord on the ethereal plane can sunder it as if it was an adamantine whip with a +7 enhancement bonus (turning the base undead back into what it was, and the heart back into a dark heart).

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