RPG Adaptation: Castlevania Forgemasters [PF1]

Having watched the Netflix adaptation of Castlevania through to its conclusion, I can honestly say that the characters that I found most interesting were the forgemasters Hector and Isaac. So, the following is my homage to them.


New Trait

Akashic Focus (Magic)

You can channel your spellcasting through akashic constructs.

Benefit: Select one veil you can shape or constellation you can manifest. The effects of this selection depend on if you are a spellcaster or a spherecaster as detailed below. If you have both types of casting select one of them to benefit from this trait when you gain it.

  • Spellcaster: As long as you have the selected veil shaped, or you are in physical contact with a manifestation of the selected constellation, you are treated as having all of the material components and focuses needed for spellcasting, except for those components that have a specific cost, and divine focuses. For the purposes of this benefit you can touch your constellation’s champion manifestation as part of casting a spell as long as it is adjacent to you. 
  • Spherecaster: If you have the material casting drawback, once per day, as long as you have the selected veil shaped or you are in physical contact with a manifestation of the selected constellation, you can use a sphere ability without expending material components as outlined in the drawback. For the purposes of this benefit you can touch your constellation’s champion manifestation as part of the action to use a sphere ability as long as it is adjacent to you. 

New Casting Tradition

Forgemaster

Forgemasters use a unique tool of their own devising to work their magic. While they have the capacity for many different magics,  first and foremost, forgemasters are adepts at reanimating flesh to serve their will.

Magic Type: Arcane

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence

Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Magical Signs(bright glow around body or focus), Necromantic Limit (reanimate; Death) Somatic Casting x1 

Boons: Easy Focus, +1 spell point, +1 per 6 levels in casting classes


New Lost Constellation

Constellations are an Akashic offshoot largely belonging to the Zodiac Class found in Classes of the Lost Spheres: Zodiac(affiliate link)from Lost Spheres Publishing. If you haven’t had a look at the Zodiac class and the idea of wielding the power of the constellations themselves appeals to you, I highly recommend you give the class a look.

The Forgemaster

“Hell is populated by humans who went against the will of God. But the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, says that one day Hell will be emptied and its doors will rattle in the wind. Through my hand, God lifts the damned from Hell in his mercy to enact their penance on the Earth as my soldiers.” — Forgemaster Isaac

Characters choosing the Forgemaster must replace another constellation with it. This choice may be made whenever the character first chooses a cosmology or adapts to a new one.

Vicious and fanatically loyal, the Forgemaster turns foe and stranger alike into tools to serve their cause. 

Element: Fire

Manifestations: Champion, Equipment, Weapon

Champion (Essence cost 5): You gain the ability to manifest the Forgemaster constellation in the form of a human necros (affiliate link) whose class level is equal to your zodiac level -3 (minimum 1). The Forgemaster always has the foragemaster casting tradition. If the champion form of the Forgemaster is dismissed, undead created by them instantly crumble to worthless dust. Other undead under the Forgemaster’s control are released from their control.

Essence: Essence: For each point of essence invested in the champion form of the Forgemaster, it gains +5 hit points, and a +1 insight bonus to AC and attack rolls. For every 3 points of essence invested, the Forgemaster’s corpse puppet gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC.

Equipment (Essence cost 3): You gain the ability to manifest the Forgemaster as a large ceremonial hammer with a head similar to that of a lucerne hammer. The wielder of this hammer treats their caster level as being +1 higher for determining the number of undead they can create and control when using the death sphere’s reanimate ability, the animate dead spell, or similar effect. If the wielder loses possession of this hammer, or the amount of essence invested is reduced, any undead previously created by them in excess of the number of Hit Dice they can currently control become uncontrolled. They choose which creatures are released from their control. 

Essence: For each point of essence invested in the equipment form of the Forgemaster the wielder increases the number the bonus to their caster level by an additional 1. 

Weapon (Essence cost 2): You gain the ability to manifest the Forgemaster as a masterwork dagger. The wielder of this weapon is treated as having the Throat Slicer feat, even if they would not normally meet its prerequisites. For every two zodiac levels you possess, this weapon gains a +1 enhancement bonus. As long as the weapon has at least a +1 enhancement bonus, these bonuses can be used to add magical weapon properties to it, consuming an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. These bonuses and properties are decided when the weapon is manifested and cannot be changed until the next time the zodiac manifests the weapon.

Essence: If you have at least 1 point of essence in the weapon form of the Forgemaster, when the wielder deals the killing blow on a living creature they can as an immediate action reanimate that creature as if by animate dead using you zodiac level as the caster level. Undead created in this way are destroyed and crumble to worthless dust after a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier. For each additional point of essence invested, undead created by this weapon last for an additional 2 rounds before being destroyed.


New Template

“He’s not dead. We create life from death here.” – Forgemaster Hector

Night Creature (CR +0)

Though the mystical trappings used to bring night creature’s to life are consistent with necromancy they are not undead. They are monstrous life created from death through the arts of a forgemaster. 

Animating a Night Creature

A living creature with levels in the necros class, or that is wielding the equipment or weapon form of the Forgemaster constellation, can apply the night creature template to any undead they create as a part of the creation process. A necros’s corpse puppet can receive this template when it is created. 

Creating a Night Creature: Night creature is an inherited template that can be applied to any corporeal undead creature(referred to hereafter as the base creature) at the time of their creation. A night creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

CR: Same as the base creature 

Type: The undead gains the “night creature” subtype.

Weaknesses: If the base creature is damaged or suffers negative effects in bright light or daylight, it loses that weakness.

Defensive Abilities: Gain gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against disease, ability drain, and energy drain.

Immunities: The base creature loses all normal undead immunities except against mind-affecting effects. A night creature is at risk of death from massive damage, but is not immediately destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points. Like a living creature a night creature must eat and breathe. 

Abilities: Night creatures retain the Intelligence and Constitution scores it had before being reanimated and do not use their Charisma score in place of their Constitution score when calculating hit points, Fortitude saves, and any special ability that relies on Constitution. Though Intelligent and possibly capable of speech a night creature does not retain any knowledge or memories from their previous life, but it does retain any languages they possessed other than secret languages or languages gained from class levels. 

Special Qualities: 

  • Living Dead(Ex): Night creatures have myriad monstrous appearances, subject to the whims and abilities of their creators, but regardless of their outward appearance they have bodies of living flesh. Creatures using the spell detect undead  or similar effects can distinguish night creatures from normal undead. 
  • Necromantic Birth (Ex): The nature of their creation limits night creatures in ways similar to intelligent undead. For the purposes of effects that make a distinction between unintelligent/mindless/non-intelligent undead and intelligent undead (e.g. an amethyst pyramid ioun stone) night creatures are always treated as being the least favorable of the two.
  • Speechless (Ex): When a night creature is created the creator rolls a d100. On a 90 or lower the night creature is incapable of speaking, limited to beastial growls and other similar vocalizations.

Notes:
Armies of the Night: As is often the case with character options that focus on minions, in the hands of an inexperienced player, dealing with the undead that can result from the Forgemaster constellation can bog down game play, especially in combat.  I strongly recommend that GMs only allow experienced players to select the Forgemaster Constellation.
Champions of Woe?: In some circles there is some concern over the relative strength of sphere champions (classes that blend spheres of might and spheres of power). While I won’t weight in on this point here, if access to such a class via the Forgemaster’s champion form is a problem here is an “easy fix”.  Add the following text to the Forgemaster’s champion entry: ” The Forgemaster can only gain magic talents via their blended training ability. Additionally, they do not select a martial tradition at first level.”.

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