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    Default the predecessor to the spirit marks feat (druid quasi-graft)

    Editing Purposes:

    • This was the original version of the Spirit Marks feat, which was posted on the boards a while ago. Still a variation on the graft flesh feat, though changed even more.
    • Inspired by the three elements known in celtic lore, earth, sea, and sky, rather than the classical four greek elements.
    • Obviously look for balance issues.
    • In particular, pricing. I am not sure how they determined prices for grafts, thus, I have taken the liberty to guestimate.
    • These are meant to be more powerful than normal grafts, and thus cost more, require more time, more prerequisites, have fewer options, etc.


    Blood of the Wild (Feat)

    The original manifestation of the wild-inspired drift of the geomancer, this has long been a secret of druidic circles and fey protectors of nature’s refuges, enabling a fusion with nature on an elemental level.

    Prerequisites: Alchemy 5, Heal 10, Know Nature 10, cast level four druid or ranger spells.

    Effect: Access to this feat means that the initiate has been favored by another who holds this secret, generally a fey, druid, or other powerful protector of nature. Acquiring any Blood of the Wild transformation is a slow process that requires much dedication, and skill.

    There are three different paths that the initiate can take, including earth, sea, and sky. All three of these elemental planes are a conglomerate of what are normally known as the classical elements, air, earth, fire, and water, and their respective paraelements. Generally, the element chosen is dependent upon the nature of the initiate, the nature of its preferred wild places, and the nature of its relations within those areas. Thusly, a human sailor undergoing the process might choose the sea as its focus, whereas a halfling farmer would probably choose the earth.

    Over the period of a month, the initiate must prepare a nightly ceremony requiring special teas, balms, incenses, smokes, bathes, potions, and oils, all brewed from the raw, magic-filled places of the natural world. These ceremonies each last 4 hours, and must be prepared in the same spot every night. It is imperative therefore, that the initiate choose its site wisely before the inception of the rituals.

    The site chosen for these ceremonies must be undefiled natural places—meaning that no form of environmental destruction such as logging, grazing of farm animals, mining, smithing, etc, can ever have happened in such an area. Further, the site must be a strong focus of natural magic, such as a magical location, a touchstone location, a wilderness fane, or any other site specifically strengthened by magic of a wild, natural character.

    Throughout the month of the rituals, the initiate undergoes subtle changes on a cosmetic level, dependent upon the elemental transformation chosen. These changes are described under each transformation. Statistical effects and abilities do not manifest until the ritual process is completely finished.

    The Blood of the Wild is a powerful gift, and only the wisest and strongest have the capability to command such magic. A creature can have only one transformation for every 7 hit dice it possesses. Since there are three phases of transformation for each element, it is unlikely that any one creature could fuse itself to all of the transformations of all three elements. Such a creature would be above the realm of mere mortals, but would be a champion of the wild.

    In order to attain the higher phases of an elemental transformation, the creature must undergo first the lower phases of the same element (a creature cannot undergo Earth, Phase Three, until it has done Phase One and Two).

    Each transformation has specific requirements that need to be met by both the caster and the recipient of the rituals, in order for the ritual to function correctly. Further, if the recipient of the ritual ever ceases to qualify for the function of the transformation, the creature will immediately lose access to the abilities granted by the ritual, and over the period of a month, will lose the cosmetic characteristics of the transformation. The only way to regain the ritual once lost is to reenact it.

    The one qualification that goes for all of the rituals is that of Natural Harmony. Both the caster and the recipient must live harmoniously with the natural world around them. This becomes similar to the way of life that a ranger or a druid would live. Any habits, repeated instances of mild discord, or singular instances of glaring discord against the way of natural harmony will cause the ritual to fail. Further, if the recipient later breaches this natural harmony, it will lose the transformation as stated in the preceding paragraph.

    The following are not the only manifestations of these rituals. A few druidic circles have been rumored to create variants of these three elemental paths, and some have even been rumored to create new paths harnessed directly to one of the paraelemental planes.

    Note: It is possible that the physical changes brought about by the rituals differ from creature to creature. An earth elemental undergoing an even deeper fusion with earth through this feat would not necessarily become tree-like within the first stage, though its earthen composition might change to incorporate more black soil, and the roots of a woody creeper. The stats would remain the same, but cosmetic changes would completely differ from a human or a dwarf entering the same transformation. The DM has the final say.

    Earth

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    Sapling’s Grace (Earth, Phase One)
    Prerequisite: Knowledge (Nature) 10 ranks, Natural Harmony
    Effect: The power of the land fuses into the creature’s body and soul, granting a +1 bonus to its Wisdom score as its instinct and lore increase. The creature also gains a +4 bonus to its dexterity and a +4 natural armor bonus to its armor class as it inherits the supple agility of the babbling creek and the pliant strength of the trees. The creature’s skin begins to darken, becoming a rich, earthen brown with green and gold highlights, with a humble elegance that imitates the bark of a cherry tree.
    Cost: 25,000 gp

    Magma Core (Earth, Phase Two)
    Prerequisites: Knowledge (Nature) 15 ranks, Natural Harmony
    Effect: The creature becomes as permanent and unyielding as the stone flanks of the mountains, gaining a +6 to its Constitution, +1 to its Wisdom, and DR 6/- as its body takes on the density and tenacity of pure stone. Further, the creature’s blood begins to boil within its veins with the heat of molten magma, granting it Fire Resistance 10, and the ability to utilize the heat metal spell as an extraordinary ability, once per encounter. The creature gains considerable bulk, its hide becoming pitted and rough, obsidian black, granite gray, or sandstone brown.
    Cost: 80,000 gp

    Summit of the Mountain (Earth, Phase Three)
    Prerequisites: Knowledge (Nature) 20 ranks, Natural Harmony
    Effect: The creature is now composed of the stuff of the earth, gaining the Earth Elemental Creature template (Manual of the Planes), regardless of its original type. The creature also gains the ability to cast spells as a druid, with caster level equal to its hit dice. It can cast spells of a level that it would be able to cast if it were a druid of its caster level from the cleric’s Earth and Magma domain lists, once per day per spell. Further, the creature gains two natural slam attacks that do 2d8 damage (for a medium creature), affect creatures as if they were magical, adamantine weapons, and cause a target that takes damage to make a successful Strength-based Fortitude save, or be knocked prone and dazed for one round. If the creature already has a slam attack, it instead gains the ability to knock a foe prone and dazed, affects creatures as if by magical, adamantine weapons, and increases its damage by one step.
    Cost: 150,000 gp


    Sea

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    Pull of the Current (Sea, Phase One)
    Prerequistes: Knowledge (Nature) 10 ranks, Natural Harmony
    Effect: The creature becomes intimately connected to the waterways of the spheres. It becomes amphibious, no matter whether it breathed air or water beforehand, and gains a swim speed of 20 feet per round. If it already possesses a swim speed, it increases by 10 feet. The creature can use the run action as long as it moves in a straight line. In addition, the creature gains a +4 bonus to its Constitution from water’s yielding fluidity and liquid force. It gains a +1 bonus to its Charisma as well, from the seductive and enchanting power of the lifeblood of the planes. The creature’s eyes reflect only the shimmering of sunlight on the surface of a lake, and its voice gains the echo of a splashing stream.
    Cost: 25,000

    Tidal Surge (Sea, Phase Two)
    Prerequisites: Knowledge (Nature) 15 ranks, Natural Harmony
    Effect: The creature begins to harness the power inherent in the movement of water, gathering the strength of a crushing waterfall, and the unrelenting might of a rising wave. It gains a further +1 bonus to its Charisma from the increased magic of water, as well as a +6 bonus to Strength, reflected in the longer, leaner body, and its rippling musculature. It also gains Cold Resistance 10 as it accustoms itself to the lightless, frigid depths of water. The creature masters the way that water surges over barriers and through obstacles. The creature is under the effects of a permanent freedom of movement spell, and can no longer be flanked. The creature’s body becomes smooth, streamlined, and powerfully built. Its skin tends toward grays, blues, and pale turquoise. Its features take on near-perfect symmetry and an extraordinarily svelte quality.
    Cost: 80,000 gp

    Maelstrom’s Grasp (Sea, Phase Three)
    Prerequisites: Knowledge (Nature) 20 ranks, Natural Harmony
    Effect: The creature has become a being of pure element, gaining the Water Elemental Creature template (Manual of the Planes), regardless of its original type. The creature also gains the ability to cast spells as a druid, with caster level equal to its hit dice. It can cast spells of a level that it would be able to cast if it were a druid of its caster level from the cleric’s Cold and Water domain lists, once per day per spell. Further, the creature gains the ability to Liquefy 3 times per day in order to absorb an attack, to attack another, or to squeeze through tight openings or bonds. Each use is a swift action that adds negates any weapon or force damage until the beginning of the creature’s next turn—but not energy damage—and grants a +20 circumstance bonus to Escape Artist or defensive grapple rolls, and allows the creature to slip into any opening that is large enough to admit a creature three sizes smaller than its actual size. Once inside the opening, the creature can move at its normal movement rate (and can utilize the run action) through the confined space. If the creature’s move ends while still within such a cramped space, it is ejected out the nearest end of the space and has to make a Fortitude DC 20 save or take 1d6 points of damage for every ten feet of distance ejected. The last use of this Liquefy ability is that the creature can attempt to drown any grappled foe. As a standard action, the creature may force a grappled foe to make a successful Fortitude save (10+1/2 HD+Con mod), or it will begin to drown—this round foe falls unconscious; next round foe drops to -1 hit points and is considered to be dying; third round, foe drowns. Using this attack causes the creature to lose 10 hit points as well as one of its daily uses of the Liquefy ability.
    Cost: 150,000 gp


    Sky

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    Sandstorm (Sky, Phase One)
    Prerequisites: Knowledge (Nature) 10 ranks, Natural Harmony
    Effect: The creature connects with the explosive power of the wind, giving it a +4 bonus to Strength. The wind whistles in from around the globe, always moving, always seeking, and the creature also gains a +1 bonus to Intelligence as it begins to gather knowledge and understand the interconnectivity of things. Capable of harnessing the ferocious bursts and steadying drafts of wind, the creature gains a +8 to all Balance and Jump checks, and a +4 to Charge, Overbear, and Trip rolls, both offensive and defensive. A constant breeze stirs about the creature, always ruffling nearby clothing, hair, foliage, and loose soil. This breeze gains force when emotions are strong, blowing papers and dousing candles in the creature’s wrath or passion.
    Cost: 25,000 gp

    Thunder’s Might (Sky, Phase Two)
    Prerequisites: Knowledge (Nature) 15 ranks, Natural Harmony
    Effect: The creature infuses itself with the power of the storms, receiving another +1 bonus to Intelligence, and a +6 bonus to Dexterity as it becomes adept at the nimble play of air currents and the scything gusts of the hurricane. The creature becomes a conduit of electrical energy, granting it Electricity Resistance 10, and a constant field of static that surrounds it, occasionally shocking others and causing weird, auroral effects. Three times per day, this field can be expanded to reproduce the effects of the radiant sphere spell (see my homebrew sig). The creature appears incorporeal and translucent at times, its physical essence seeming to billow and diffuse, almost as if an illusion created by motes of dust in a shaft of light or curling clouds of steam. The creature’s appearance take on an airy nature, adopting colors that often portray its mood, darker, stormier violets and indigos when angry, rosier reds and oranges when reflective or content.
    Cost: 80,000 gp

    Tundra Wind (Sky, Phase Three)
    Prerequisites: Knowledge (Nature) 20 ranks, Natural Harmony
    Effect: The creature has become a being of pure element, gaining the Air Elemental Creature template (Manual of the Planes), regardless of its original type. The creature also gains the ability to cast spells as a druid, with caster level equal to its hit dice. It can cast spells of a level that it would be able to cast if it were a druid of its caster level from the cleric’s Air and Lightning domain lists, once per day per spell. Further, the creature gains a Skirmish ability that adds +2d6 damage to all attacks, and a +2 competence bonus to Armor Class in any round during which it moves at least 10 feet. These bonuses stack with any preexisting Skirmish abilities. Further, during a round in which the creature moves at least 20 feet, it gains 50% concealment as its billowing, amorphous form rushes past its foes, making it extremely difficult to strike effectively.
    Cost: 150,000 gp
    Last edited by Stycotl; 2008-04-03 at 01:47 PM.
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    Default Re: the predecessor to the spirit marks feat (druid quasi-graft)

    so, thoughts? i am specifically curious as to what people think of this one, compared to the spirit marks (in my homebrew sig) that this inspired.
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    Default Re: the predecessor to the spirit marks feat (druid quasi-graft)

    maybe i smell bad. i promise i showered this morning, even brushed my teeth and put deoderant on. promise.

    it's somewhat long, but fairly simple. i would be very appreciative of any that wanted to take the time to read it and comment. aaron out.
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    Default Re: the predecessor to the spirit marks feat (druid quasi-graft)

    bump......
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    Default Re: the predecessor to the spirit marks feat (druid quasi-graft)

    I can't speak to whether or not they are balanced or not but I certainly very much like the idea of these rituals. Very cool.

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    Default Re: the predecessor to the spirit marks feat (druid quasi-graft)

    Very impressively written, but perhaps a little too complicated. You haven't used a lot of standard dnd benchmarks (like using 7hd/ability rather than the more standard 2/3/4/5/10, or 8hr rituals), but this may not necessarily be a bad thing, though it is certainly odd. I don't imagine many games allow for a month downtime, though making it a long period makes sense.

    I'd like to see this as a sort of alternative to magic items for nature classes, a far superior version of the vow feats from BoED. Is that what you are going for?

    Also, did you read the elemental enhancements article in Dragon magazine quite a while ago, as this really reminds me of it.

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    Default Re: the predecessor to the spirit marks feat (druid quasi-graft)

    Quote Originally Posted by katarl View Post
    Very impressively written, but perhaps a little too complicated. You haven't used a lot of standard dnd benchmarks (like using 7hd/ability rather than the more standard 2/3/4/5/10, or 8hr rituals), but this may not necessarily be a bad thing, though it is certainly odd.
    it has been so long i don't even remember what you are referring to here; i'm gonna have to go through and reread my own creation, and then i can address this. as it stands though, i do work somewhat out of precedent on a lot of things. i try to reign it in sometimes, but this is one of my older homebrews.

    I don't imagine many games allow for a month downtime, though making it a long period makes sense.
    huh. that's funny, because a lot of the games that i've played in have months or years of downtime between chapters.

    I'd like to see this as a sort of alternative to magic items for nature classes, a far superior version of the vow feats from BoED. Is that what you are going for?
    that is a very intersting idea, and unfortunately, one that i can't take credit for thinking of. this is worthy of some brainstorming though.

    Also, did you read the elemental enhancements article in Dragon magazine quite a while ago, as this really reminds me of it.
    no, i haven't heard of it. do you know what issue it was?
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    Default Re: the predecessor to the spirit marks feat (druid quasi-graft)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    Blood of the Wild (Feat)

    The original manifestation of the wild-inspired drift of the geomancer, this has long been a secret of druidic circles and fey protectors of nature’s refuges, enabling a fusion with nature on an elemental level.

    Prerequisites: Alchemy 5, Heal 10, Know Nature 10, cast level four druid or ranger spells.

    Effect: Access to this feat means that the initiate has been favored by another who holds this secret, generally a fey, druid, or other powerful protector of nature. Acquiring any Blood of the Wild transformation is a slow process that requires much dedication, and skill.

    ...

    Each transformation has specific requirements that need to be met by both the caster and the recipient of the rituals, in order for the ritual to function correctly. Further, if the recipient of the ritual ever ceases to qualify for the function of the transformation, the creature will immediately lose access to the abilities granted by the ritual, and over the period of a month, will lose the cosmetic characteristics of the transformation. The only way to regain the ritual once lost is to reenact it.

    The one qualification that goes for all of the rituals is that of Natural Harmony. Both the caster and the recipient must live harmoniously with the natural world around them. This becomes similar to the way of life that a ranger or a druid would live. Any habits, repeated instances of mild discord, or singular instances of glaring discord against the way of natural harmony will cause the ritual to fail. Further, if the recipient later breaches this natural harmony, it will lose the transformation as stated in the preceding paragraph.
    This really confuses me. The beginning of the entry makes it seem like the feat (and therefore, the feat requirements) are needed to undergo the transformation. The later portions of the entry seem to imply that the feat is only required to cast the ritual, and the recipient need only meet the requirements for the phase of the ritual itself. Which is it? If it's the second, I don't see too many PCs bothering to waste a feat slot on this, if they can get all the benefits without spending the feat. The only exception would perhaps be those druids and rangers who decide to apply these rituals to their animal companion.
    Last edited by Pyrusticia; 2009-06-21 at 01:34 AM.
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    Default Re: the predecessor to the spirit marks feat (druid quasi-graft)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post

    that is a very intersting idea, and unfortunately, one that i can't take credit for thinking of. this is worthy of some brainstorming though.

    no, i haven't heard of it. do you know what issue it was?
    In Dragon 304 (mercenaries), there was an article about prestige 'races', where you paid xp to gain inherent abilities. It was quite interesting, but a little bit short, and i've never seen it followed up.

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    Default Re: the predecessor to the spirit marks feat (druid quasi-graft)

    Do you gain the LA when you take in the elemental template?

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    Default Re: the predecessor to the spirit marks feat (druid quasi-graft)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrusticia View Post
    This really confuses me. The beginning of the entry makes it seem like the feat (and therefore, the feat requirements) are needed to undergo the transformation. The later portions of the entry seem to imply that the feat is only required to cast the ritual, and the recipient need only meet the requirements for the phase of the ritual itself. Which is it?
    you might have to point out the confusing part itself to me, because when i read back through it, it seems clear to me–but i am the one that wrote it, so of course it seems clear to me.

    that said, the caster with the feat can apply the 'grafts' to other, qualifying individuals (like animal companions, other player characters, etc).

    If it's the second, I don't see too many PCs bothering to waste a feat slot on this, if they can get all the benefits without spending the feat.
    quite true. but that is the nature of most craft feats and things of similar nature, and doesn't bother me too much. this wasn't something that i was expecting to become mainstream among rangers and druids, but something that i built as a mechanic for a few particular builds in mind.

    The only exception would perhaps be those druids and rangers who decide to apply these rituals to their animal companion.
    exactly.

    originally posted by katarl:
    In Dragon 304 (mercenaries), there was an article about prestige 'races', where you paid xp to gain inherent abilities. It was quite interesting, but a little bit short, and i've never seen it followed up.
    ah, cool. i like prestige races. those were originally created for the oathbound campaign as far as i am aware (though maybe oathbound stole them from dragon mag–i dunno). some of the specifics of the feat were in fact inspired by the prestige races of oathbound (3.0, not 3.5 when they turned into individual feats...).

    i am actually working on a couple of prestige races that i will eventually post here, but it might be a long time yet...

    originally posted bypie guy:
    Do you gain the LA when you take in the elemental template?
    i'm not sure what you mean exactly. this isn't a feat to acquire the elemental templates. in fact, an elemental can acquire these 'grafts' if they want. there is no LA mechanic involved, just the feat acquisition and the xp/gp/time prereqs for the ritual.

    EDIT: incidentally, fellow playgrounders, i am finishing up a psychic grafts system for psionicists that will be posted within a week or two on the homebrew forum. stay tuned!
    Last edited by Stycotl; 2009-06-22 at 05:16 PM.
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    Default Re: the predecessor to the spirit marks feat (druid quasi-graft)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    i'm not sure what you mean exactly. this isn't a feat to acquire the elemental templates. in fact, an elemental can acquire these 'grafts' if they want. there is no LA mechanic involved, just the feat acquisition and the xp/gp/time prereqs for the ritual.
    I thought that the elemental templates had LA attached. The last tiers of all three progressions say that you get an elemental template. My question is: do you gain the LA of the elemental templates when you reach the last tier?

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    Default Re: the predecessor to the spirit marks feat (druid quasi-graft)

    *sheepish grin*

    yeah, i forgot that this version had the elemental templates attached. i'm working off of three versions of this feat, the newest of which came into being as i was posting version two on the forum, and i have yet to actually copy it to my library. so i forget what i have in this thread sometimes.

    yeah, you would gain the LA then (though the dm can rule differently on that). in most cases that i have seen where a ritual or a feat or something grants a template, you take the LA. if there are enough examples to the contrary, i'd be happy to rule the other way.
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    Watchtower––Volume III (running since 2008)

    Announcer— “Your cable television is experiencing difficulties. Please do not panic. Resist the temptation to read or talk to loved ones. Do not attempt sexual relations, as years of TV radiation have left your genitals withered and useless.”

    Wiggum, checking— “Well I'll be damned.”

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