3. The Starborn.   Posted by Aenarion.Group: 0
 GM, 11 posts
Tue 25 Dec 2018
at 15:43
3. The Starborn
This section describes the rules needed to create a Starborn character. The mechanics of the nature of the Starborn are represented in the form of a template, giving a character certain bonus abilities and traits. All the Player Characters are  automatically given this template, though they are not aware they possess it. The template does not in any way change their Effective Character Level – the increase in power is suitably minor that it does not create a significant advantage to warrant such a penalty.

Though Player Characters are not initially aware of their nature as a Starborn, or the special powers they have as a result, each should be given the list of Patron Stars and the attendant birthmarks so that they can choose which birthmark they begin the game with. The birthmark is permanent, and cannot be changed.

The Starborn Template

‘Starborn’ is a template that can be added to any living, corporeal creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A Starborn uses the base creature’s statistics and special abilities  except as noted here.

Special Qualities:

Birthmark: Every Starborn has a birthmark somewhere upon his body that represents the force of the Patron Star to which he is connected. This birthmark will usually be silvery-blue in color and take the shape of a symbol associated with the appropriate star. The Player should decide whether the birthmark is visible when the character is clothed or not and where on his body it is.  It must be at least an inch and no more than a foot in diameter. Noticing a visible small birthmark of this kind is not difficult, requiring only a Perception check (DC 10) to achieve. If the character wishes, a visible birthmark can be hidden with a Disguise check (DC 10) and suitable materials such as greasepaint. The birthmark grants specific bonus abilities depending on the Patron Star chosen. See the list given below for details.

Sense Host (Su): Starborn automatically sense any character with the Host template that comes within 300 feet. They do not know distance or direction, but the sensation of evil increases as they come closer. If they can visually see the Host character, then they are immediately aware of the nature of the character as a member of the Host. In the hands of the proper Starborn, a signature item takes on special properties.

Starsoul: Unlike most living beings in Ashfar, Starborn can be returned to life as described in Magic Restrictions in Ashfar.

Signature Item: Every Starborn is associated with a particular signature item. When within five miles of an unclaimed signature item, the Starborn experiences a faint and strange sensation of longing. There is, however, no indication of why they are feeling this sensation or what it means. If within 10 feet of an unclaimed signature weapon then the Starborn experiences a stronger sensation that something that is rightfully their property is close to hand, though they gain no specific details as to the distance or direction.
 GM, 12 posts
Tue 25 Dec 2018
at 15:49
3. The Starborn
The Patron Stars

The Starborn are all magically linked to an actual star and its constellation in the heavens of Ashfar. They are the material incarnation of that star’s essence. More than one person can be an avatar of each star. The stars are diverse in nature but all are on the same side – that of life and the power to make one’s own choices. The darkness opposes all of them equally. It is this common origin, irrespective of individual alignment, which makes the Player Characters on the same side. As children of the same Goddess, they belong to the same world, even if they personally would rather despoil it than preserve it. Their destiny is to be protectors of the realm against threats from below the surface and above it, where the darkness grows and is nourished.

The opponents of the Starborn are the Host, who are incarnations of the darkness in the same way that the Player Characters are incarnations of the stars. The clash between the Player Characters and the drow (and their allies) is thus more than just a fight between material powers. It is the playing out of an age-old conflict between cosmic principles and the outcome will determine the fate of the world for an age to come. The Starborn have become incarnate on Ashfar before, to defend the earth against the onslaught of the dark. Part of the mystery of the storyline depends on the characters’ finding out about what previous avatars of the same star managed to achieve. By learning about other Starborn heroes who came before them, they can finally come to realize what a pivotal part they play in the destiny of Ashfar.

Signature Items

During character creation, the Player should specify which type of magical weapon, armor or shield he would most prefer, if he were given the choice. This will help the Games Master decide what signature item the Player Character should have. The signature items are objects that are part of the Starborn characters’ personal legend, completely bound to them and as much a part of the star’s essence as the characters themselves are. Signature items are like magic items that evolve. As the characters advance in experience level, their signature items gain new powers and enhancements. At the start of the game, the Player Characters do not have any signature items at all. In the course of the story, they must find and retrieve the items that once belonged to their former avatars.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:52, Tue 25 Dec 2018.

 GM, 13 posts
Tue 25 Dec 2018
at 16:01
3. The Starborn
The Constellations

Each of the Starborn is the incarnation of the energies of a single Patron Star. These stars are part of constellations, which determine the type of energy concerned and the benefits that are conferred upon those who are born under them. The Players should each choose a birth sign from the list below. Note that more than one Player can choose the same sign, as each sign contains multiple stars. As the year progresses, each of the constellations in turn appears on the horizon. The months are thus named after the twelve signs, so that the year begins with the month of the Great Wolf and ends with the month of the Watchman. There is a rough correspondence between the sign and the activity of the month in peasant communities; for example, the month of the Reaper corresponds with harvest time.

The Benefits Of The Signs

Each sign has two benefits that a Starborn born under the sign can draw upon. One (and only one) of the benefits of a given sign can be invoked once per game session. As the benefit is a manifestation of fate, it takes the form of a luck bonus to the stated check. A result of ‘automatic success’ gives the minimum result necessary to indicate success, no more. The ability can only be used when the skill check DC is 20 or less. These benefits cannot be used when the character is within 150 feet of a member of the Host or a fragment of the Abyssal Altar, as the energies of the Dark prevent the auspicious currents of the stars from reaching their avatars.

1. The Great Wolf

A wolf’s head bares its teeth, with a single star forming the gleam in its eye. The wolf represents the threat of starvation during the cold, dark months of winter, but is also a positive sign, as he devours the old year and its woes. Those born under the wolf’s sign are usually practical, down-to-earth people, with a tendency to be harsh, having contempt for the soft and weak. They are fiercely protective of their few true friends and allies.

Benefit: +1 luck bonus to any single attack roll or +1d4 additional damage to any damage roll.

2. The Unicorn

The unicorn’s star-tipped horn, reminiscent of the icicles of winter, breaks the horizon as the snowdrops break the cold earth. It is as cold, bright and pure as the ice but brings the promise of renewed life. People born under the unicorn are enthusiastic, keen and direct. They can become obsessive; when they want something, they stop at nothing to get it. They detest circumlocution and petty debate when there is action to be taken.

Benefit: +2 luck bonus to Armour Class for one round or +10 ft. increase to movement speed for 1d4 rounds.

3. The Delver

The earth has now softened after the winter frosts. The symbol of a man (or, as some say, a dwarf) digging the ground represents the sowing time, when the farmers plant seeds in the soil. A star gleams at the tip of his shovel. Those born under this sign are often curious, inquisitive people, with a desire to look below the surface and find out the secrets of others.

Benefit: +2 luck bonus to a single Fortitude saving throw or automatic success on a single Strength-based skill check.

4. The Wave

Heavy rains and floodwaters follow the full thaws of spring. The Wave is the symbol of the rushing waters and signals the beginning of the season of safe sea voyaging. Those born under the Wave tend to be graceful, empathic people, though like the waters they can be deceptive and shallow.

Benefit: +2 luck bonus to a single Reflex saving throw or automatic success on a single Charisma-based skill check.

5. The Satyr

With spring in full bloom, the blood runs hot in man and beast alike. The Satyr is the sign of animal energy, fully restored to life. This is an exultant sign, representing joy in one’s own strength and the freedom to exercise it. Those who have the Satyr as their birth sign enjoy life to the full. They can sometimes annoy people by taking nothing seriously, treating life as one big joke. When they are in the mood to be cruel, they can be viciously sadistic in the name of their own fun.

Benefit: +2 luck bonus to a single Will saving throw or temporary hit points (+1 per character level) lasting 5 rounds.

6. The Rose

The Rose is the beauty of the blossoming earth made manifest in the heavens, though its thorns also symbolize treachery and cruelty for its own sake. The people of the Rose are often physically attractive and able to manipulate those around them by subtle cues. They make good leaders, whether of heroes or villains.

Benefit: +3 luck bonus to any single Initiative check or automatic increase in Non-Player Character reaction by one stage upon initial contact (see the Diplomacy skill).

7. The Firedrake

A firedrake is the old name for a dragon, specifically one who breathes flame. This sign symbolizes the searing heat of summer. It also calls to mind the dim memory of the time when dragons would visit the towns of men to receive tribute; this would always be in the seventh month, as the herds and crops were at their fullest then, allowing for the greatest plunder. Those born Firedrakes are difficult to read; they conceal deep thoughts behind placid faces and can smoulder with resentment for years before taking action. They are usually rational and calm, though they can break into furious fits of passion when provoked or stirred.

Benefit: +2 luck bonus to Armour Class for one round or +1 luck bonus to Armour Class for three rounds.

8. The Reaper

The Reaper appears at the end of summer, the figure of a tall man with a sweeping scythe. He stands for hard work, the fruits of labor and the reward (or punishment) that waits for you after death. This is an auspicious sign to be born under, signifying the power to conquer whatever lies before you. Those born under the Reaper’s scythe are strong-willed, sometimes to the point of bullheadedness. They do not give up easily.

Benefit: +1 luck bonus to any single attack roll or +3 luck bonus to a single critical check (made after a critical threat has already been scored).

9. The Flail

The Flail is both the tool that threshes the barley and the weapon of the same name. As the Flail rises in the sky, the earth beneath is scourged by wind and rain. Summer is over and the hardships of the darker months begin. Those whose sign is the Flail are meticulous and focused. They are very thorough in their investigations and tend to stick doggedly to a task until it is achieved. They make excellent researchers; many wizards are born under this sign.

Benefit: +2 luck bonus to a single Fortitude saving throw or automatic success on a single Intelligence-based skill check.

10. The Spinner

The Spinner is one of the more mysterious signs: a huge spider, with eight closely clustered stars for eyes. The common interpretation is that the spider stores up food and weaves webs, reflecting the work of stockpiling and cloth spinning that happens at this time. Other interpretations see the spinner as the sign of magic, weaving the web of fate and trapping the unsuspecting with charms. Spinners are patient people by nature, who enjoy making plans and hatching plots. They can bide their time for a long while before taking quick, decisive action.

Benefit: +2 luck bonus to a single Reflex saving throw or automatic success on a single Wisdom-based skill check.

11. The Spectre

The eleventh month is often said to be of ill omen. The animals are slaughtered on its first day, in the blood-harvest; by the end of the month, the bitter cold of the season has usually claimed its first victims. The sign of the Spectre is a grim reminder of death, which also has its place in the order of things. It also recalls the belief that the souls of the dead are believed to revisit the world during this month, to make sure they have not been forgotten. Those born under the sign of the Spectre seem to be older than their true age, as if they were recalling some previous life.

Benefit: +2 luck bonus to a single Will saving throw or +2 luck bonus to any skill check.

12. The Watchman

Sixteen stars form the shape of a man holding a lantern aloft. His lantern is the brightest star in the sky, the symbol of hope through the winter months. Characters born under the Watchman make natural leaders. They have a nigh-unshakable confidence in themselves, which radiates to those around them. This leadership ability makes them superb teachers, battle leaders or even criminal bosses.

Benefit: +2 luck bonus to any other character’s skill check or +1 luck bonus to any other character’s saving throw; the character must be within line of sight.