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05/06/2003


Urban Arcana Excerpt
By Eric Cagle, Jeff Grubb, David Noonan, Bill Slavicsek, Stan!

Welcome to Urban Arcana, the new medieval-meets-modern campaign setting for the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game. Enter a world where the magical and mysterious cross the Shadow boundary to wreak havoc amid city streets, skyscrapers, and cell phones. Our sneak peek offers a look at the fantastic creatures and character classes your PCs may encounter.


Shadow Creatures

Homunculus

A homunculus is a miniature, disposable servant created by a Techno Mage to serve as his eyes and ears elsewhere. Although their appearance varies wildly depending on which Craft skill is used to create them (see the Creating a Homunculus sidebar for details), homunculi are generally about 18 inches tall with a wingspan of 2 feet. All are considered constructs but have different abilities, as noted below.

Most homunculi cannot speak, with exceptions noted below. However, the process of creating a homunculus links it telepathically with its creator. It knows what its master knows and can convey to her everything it sees and hears, up to a range of 1 mile. A homunculus never willingly travels beyond this range; if taken beyond the 1-mile range, it loses telepathic contact with its creator and seeks to regain contact at all costs. If a homunculus is slain, its creator immediately takes 2d10 points of damage. If the master is slain, the homunculus is immediately destroyed.

Species Traits

Homunculi have the following traits:

Construct: Homunculi are immune to mind-influencing effects, as well as poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, necromancy effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless. They are not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, or the effects of massive damage.

Repairable: Homunculi cannot heal damage on their own but can be repaired using the Repair skill. A successful Repair check (DC 30) heals 1d10 points of damage, and each check represents 1 hour of work. A homunculus cannot repair itself unless it has one or more ranks in the Repair skill.

Darkvision (Ex): Homunculi can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and homunculi can function with no light at all.

Biochemical Homunculus

A biochemical homunculus is made using the Craft (pharmaceutical) skill and appears as a roughly humanoid wisp of vapor. It can merge with another living being and see through its eyes.

Incorporeal (Ex): A biochemical homunculus can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, +1 or better magic weapons, and spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. It is immune to nonmagical attack forms. Even when hit by spells or magic weapons, it has a 50% chance to ignore damage from a corporeal source (except for force effects, such as magic missile, or attacks made with ghost touch weapons). It can pass through solid objects at will, but not force effects (such as a wall of force). Its attacks ignore natural armor, armor, and shields, although deflection bonuses and force effects (such as mage armor) work normally against it.

A biochemical homunculi moves silently and cannot be heard with Listen checks. It has no Strength score, so its Dexterity modifier applies both to its melee and ranged attacks. Nonvisual senses, such as blindsight and scent, do not function against biochemical homunculi. A biochemical homunculi cannot be tripped or grappled by a corporeal attacker.

Creature Meld (Su): With a successful melee touch attack, a biochemical homunculus can meld with a living organism of Tiny size or larger and see through that creature's eyes. It gains none of the host creature's other senses and exerts no telepathic control over the host creature. If a melded biochemical homunculus is taken more than 1 mile from its creator, it separates from the host creature as a move action and returns to its master with all due haste. If its host creature is slain, the melded biochemical homunculus is immediately destroyed as well.

Biochemical Homunculus: CR 1; Tiny construct (incorporeal); HD 2d10; hp 11; Mas -- ; Init +2; Spd 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (good); Defense 15, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+2 size, +2 Dex, +1 deflection); BAB +1; Grap -- ; Atk +5 melee (1d2, bite); Full Atk +5 melee (1d2, bite); FS 2 1/2 ft. by 2 1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.; SQ construct, repairable, incorporeal, darkvision 60 ft., creature meld; AL master; SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +1; AP 0; Rep +0; Str -- , Dex 15, Con -- , Int 10, Wis12, Cha 7.

Skills: Hide +10.

Feats: None.

Advancement: 3-6 HD (Tiny).

Digital Homunculus

A digital homunculus is made with the Craft (electronic) skill and resembles a mechanical insect. It has the ability to uplink with electronic devices.

Electronic Interface (Ex): A digital homunculus can attach itself to an electronic device, such as a cell phone or computer, and provide a direct link between the device and its master. Provided the homunculus and its master are within 1 mile of each other, the master can use the homunculus's interface to operate the device by remote. The homunculus also provides a +2 equipment bonus on its master's Computer Use and Disable Device skill checks provided it can attach itself to the computer or device through which (or against which) these skills are applied.

The digital homunculus must succeed at a melee touch attack to attach to any device in another creature's possession. It loses its Dexterity bonus to Defense while connected to a device.

Digital Homunculus: CR 1; Tiny construct; HD 2d10; hp 11; Mas -- ; Init +2; Spd 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (good); Defense 16, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+2 size, +2 Dex, +2 natural); BAB +1; Grap -9; Atk +1 melee (1d4-2, bite); Full Atk +1 melee (1d4-2, bite); FS 2 1/2 ft. by 2 1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.; SQ construct, repairable, darkvision 60 ft., electronic interface; AL master; SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +1; AP 0; Rep +0; Str 7, Dex 15, Con -- , Int 10, Wis12, Cha 7.

Skills: Hide +10.
Feats: None.
Advancement: 3-6 HD (Tiny).

Creating a Homunculus

Techno Mages have the ability to construct homunculi. Creating a homunculus requires time, skill, equipment, and various raw materials (including a pint of the creator's blood) that are consumed during the construction process.

Acquiring the necessary equipment and supplies to build a homunculus requires a successful Wealth check (DC 20).

Once the necessary supplies are obtained, a Techno Mage must spend 1 week building the homunculus. During this time, the Techno Mage must labor for 8 hours a day. A character not actively working on the ritual must rest and perform no other activities except eating, sleeping or talking. If she misses a day, the process fails, and the ritual must begin anew. At the end of the period, the Techno Mage makes an appropriate Craft check (DC 20). The type of Craft check depends on the nature of the homunculus; for example, creating a flesh homunculus requires a Craft (chemical) skill check. A successful check means the procedure has worked. A failed check indicates that the process has failed, although the Techno Mage may start again from scratch. A Techno Mage cannot take 10 or take 20 on the Craft check.

A Techno Mage can create an advanced homunculus with more than 2 Hit Dice (maximum 6 Hit Dice). Each extra Hit Die adds +2 to the purchase DC and +2 to the Craft check DC. For example, creating a 3-HD homunculus sets the purchase DC at 22 and requires a successful Craft check against DC 22.

The Techno Mage may create any number of homunculi. However, when a homunculi perishes, its death deals 2d10 points of damage to the Techno Mage. Homunculi are constructs and, as such, may be stored until needed.

Flesh Homunculus

A flesh homunculus is formed from the living tissue of the Techno Mage. It resembles an emaciated, bipedal bat with needlelike fangs that inject a sleep-inducing venom. It is constructed using the Craft (chemical) skill.

Poison (Ex): Venomous bite: Fortitude save (DC 12); initial damage sleep for 1 minute; secondary damage sleep for another 5d6 minutes.

Damage Reduction 5/+1 (Ex): A flesh homunculus ignores the first 5 points of damage dealt by a nonmagical weapon.

Fast Healing 3 (Ex): A flesh homunculus heals 3 points of damage each round so long as its master is alive and the homunculus has at least 1 hit point.

Flesh Homunculus: CR 1; Tiny construct; HD 2d10; hp 11; Mas -- ; Init +2; Spd 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (good); Defense 14, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 size, +2 Dex); BAB +1; Grap -9; Atk +1 melee (1d3-2, bite); Full Atk +1 melee (1d3-2, bite); FS 2 1/2 ft. by 2 1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.; SQ construct, repairable, darkvision 60 ft., poison, damage reduction 5/+1, fast healing; AL master; SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +1; AP 0; Rep +0; Str 7, Dex 14, Con -- , Int 10, Wis12, Cha 7.

Skills: Hide +10.
Feats: None.
Advancement: 3-6 HD (Tiny).

Mechanical Homunculus

A mechanical homunculus is made of metal and resembles a miniature robot. It is constructed using the Craft (mechanical) skill. This homunculus has limited artificial intelligence, allowing its master to program it with specific skills.

Darkvision (Ex): The mechanical homunculus has night vision sensors that improve the range of its darkvision to 120 feet.

Acid Spittle (Ex): The bite of a mechanical homunculus injects mild acid that deals an additional 1d6 points of acid damage. The fumes of this acid are not poisonous.

Skills: A mechanical homunculus has 10 skill points, which its master assigns to specific skills when the homunculus is first created. The skill ranks can be assigned only to the following skills: Computer Use, Decipher Script, Demolitions, Disable Device, Knowledge (any), Listen, Navigate, Read/Write Language (any), Repair, Search, Speak Language (any), and Spot. No skill can have more than 5 ranks assigned to it, and all of the skills are treated as class skills.

A damaged mechanical homunculus with one or more ranks of Repair can attempt to repair itself or aid another's attempts to repair it (see Aiding Another in Chapter Four: Skills of the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game).

Mechanical Homunculus: CR 1; Tiny construct; HD 2d10; hp 11; Mas -- ; Init +2; Spd 10 ft., fly 30 ft. (average); Defense 15, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+2 size, +2 Dex, +1 natural); BAB +1; Grap -8; Atk +2 melee (1d3-1 plus 1d6 acid, bite); Full Atk +2 melee (1d3-1 plus 1d6 acid, bite); FS 2 1/2 ft. by 2 1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.; SQ construct, repairable, darkvision 120 ft., acid spittle, skills; AL master; SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +1; AP 0; Rep +0; Str 8, Dex 14, Con -- , Int 10, Wis12, Cha 7.

Skills: Disable Device +3, Hide +10, Listen +3, Repair +4, Speak Language (any one), Spot +3.
Feats: None.
Advancement: 3-6 HD (Tiny).

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