Happy Halloween, everybo…
Oh, right. It’s November the 2nd. Sadly, a combination of real-life troubles and a creative block (I scrapped this article twice!) pulled me off the track. In that case, you can consider this one less of a Halloween celebration and more of a Halloween afterparty. Besides, have you seen my content? Every issue is the ‘Halloween issue.’ I’m like some kind hybrid of Santa Clause and David Cronenberg, stuffing the stockings of all the good tabletop roleplayers with my wriggling monstrosities.
But for this not-quite-holiday special, I’m going to give the gift that keeps on giving. I’m not just going to give you a monster, but I’m giving you a way to make your own super monster. And don’t worry, I brought enough spare parts for the whole party!
Hello and welcome to Eldritch Excursion, the blog that collaborates to build its flavor out of whatever spare mechanics I’ve got growing in the vats. This time around, we’ll be revisiting the concept of Collective Archetypes and allow your entire party to invest their efforts into building a combat monstrosity. Yes, for those of you who were excited at the giant golem concept that I hinted at, we’re on our way to the payoff.
Carrier Dedication Feat 2
[Archetype] [Collective] [Dedication]
Prerequisite Trained in a skill depending on your mount’s type (see below)
You have animated, grown, summoned, or otherwise constructed a creature that can serve as a unique carrier mount that grants access to you as well as any allies that wish to contribute to its creation. This mount may be as simple as a self-driving cart or as complex as a magically created monstrosity. Your mount is a Large creature. It begins with a 4 in Intelligence and a 10 in every other ability score. You gain three Ability Boosts that may be applied to the mount, but they must be applied to three different ability scores. It is trained in Perception, all saves, unarmed strikes, unarmored defense, and one skill of your choice. It has a speed of 30 feet, cannot speak, and lacks the appendages to perform any action that has the Manipulate trait. The carrier mount’s level is equal to your own and it has a number of Hit Points per level equal to 5 + its Constitution modifier.
Special When you first select this feat, choose a creature type. The creature type dives your mount special properties and also determines what skill is required to take this feat:
- Aberration (Occultism) Your carrier mount gains a +2 circumstance bonus to saves against emotion effects. If it rolls a success on a saving throw against an emotion effect, it instead gets a critical success.
- Beast (Nature) Your carrier mount gains low-light vision and increases its speed by 10 feet.
- Construct (Arcana or Crafting) Your carrier mount gains hardness equal to one third of your level. (minimum 1)
- Undead (Religion) Your carrier mount gains the basic undead benefits.
Collective Each additional member of the collective grants your carrier mount the following:
- 2 extra Hit Points per level.
- Three addition Ability Boosts. Each set of Ability Boosts must be spent on three different ability scores, and cannot raise an ability above 18.
- Training in one additional skill
- If the collective includes at least four members, their contributions allow an increased mass. You may increase the mount’s size to Huge upon taking this feat or when gaining a level. This does not adjust its ability scores or increase its reach.
Everyone Takes the Wheel
Some aspects of the mount rules may leave questions hanging in the air as to how the logistics of a shared mount may work. Barring significant changes in the release of the big update, carrier mounts can hold any number of riders so long as the riders do not overlap with themselves. In other words, imagine a room with the dimensions of the mount’s battlefield presence, (10 feet by 10 feet for Large, 15 feet by 15 feet for Huge,) and try to place the party in that room. If they can comfortably fit in the room, they can comfortably fit on the mount.
Managing your carrier mount involves complex actions such as channeling energy to direct an undead mass or projecting your will onto a complex golem with many moving parts. Each member of the collective that is currently riding on the carrier mount may use the Direct Carrier action.
Direct Carrier [one action]
Frequency Once per round
You spend time convincing, ordering, or otherwise directing your carrier mount to take action. You ‘donate’ your action to the mount. Up to three actions may be gifted to the mount in this way. After the final action is gifted by a member of the collective, the mount springs into action, taking its turn immediately after that character as though coming out of Delay. If the mount has a condition that reduces the number of actions per turn, such as slowed, the maximum number of gifted actions changes accordingly. If the mount does not have the prerequisite number of actions by the end of the round, takes its turn on initiative count 0 and may take one action for each one gifted to it.
Special If a member of the collective simply wishes to drive the carrier mount, they may instead use this action to cause the mount to immediately Stride or use one of its other movement types.
Carrier Defenses Feat 4
Prerequisites Carrier Dedication
You’ve invested in protecting your shared mount by giving it special training, body modifications, or a generous application of armored plating. Choose one of the following.
- Your carrier mount gains armor. This armor grants it a +1 item bonus to Armor Class and has a +4 Dex cap. This armor can be modified by runes as normal.
- Your carrier mount becomes Expert in Fortitude saves.
- Your carrier mount becomes Expert in Reflex saves.
- Your carrier mount becomes Expert in Will saves.
- You thicken the armor that your mount already has, increasing its base item bonus by 1 (maximum +5) and decreasing the Dex cap by 1.
Collective Each member of the collective must select a different option. The only exception is thickening the armor, which requires another member to have already selected armor and may be taken multiple times.
Alright, you’ve got the beginnings of a sweet ride and you’re already imagining what it would look like to attach a gazebo to the back of a war trained ankylosaurus. ‘But where’s my lightning cannon?’ I can hear you asking as you realize the article is almost over. Don’t worry, friends. I still remember, but it turns out making an archetype is tricky when the dedication feat alone takes up a third of the word count. Come back next time and I’ll show you how to pimp your ride with boarding planks and a portable shark aquarium.