Excerpts 04/08/2005

Lords of Madness Excerpt
By Bruce R. Cordell, Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes, JD Wiker

Aberrations and more await you within the pages of Lords of Madness! With this D&D accessory, you can learn more about aboleths, beholders, mind flayers, neogi, grell, Tsochari, and more. Additionally, PCs who wish to hunt these creatures can add new feats, spells, magic items, and grafts to their list of options. (Plenty of choices abound, so be prepared to start making even tougher decisions on what your character should do or get next!) Our sneak peek of this book includes a look at chuuls, beholder magic, mind flayer goals, neogi defilers, grell anatomy, Tsochari, half-farspawn, some sample feats, and a couple of prestige classes.

Sample Prestige Class: Fleshwarper


The flesh is the key. It holds the secrets, the hidden words. It is the constant between man and beast and monster. It is a simple matter, once the way of the flesh is understood and embraced, to use it to your will. It should not be abhorred simply for its differences, because the eye can be retrained to find beauty in all things. For what is more beautiful than the primal flesh? It is simply the purest form of expression one can hope to achieve.

-- Erkin Tiorki, fleshwarper

The fleshwarper is destined to walk a lonely path, for few have the stomach to accept what he considers enjoyable. To a fleshwarper, there is no greater canvas than flesh itself. To reshape, reform, and rebuild the flesh into a new form is a closer step to divinity. To a fleshwarper, there are no taboos, only possibilities.

Becoming a Fleshwarper

Most fleshwarpers are primarily wizards or sorcerers with a level of cleric (or, more rarely, druid); this cleric or druid level raises your maximum ranks in Heal to your character level + 3 even if you were forced to buy several of the required ranks as a cross-class skill. The adept NPC class from the Dungeon Master's Guide has access to both Heal and Knowledge (arcana), as well as the summon familiar class feature, and thus can qualify for this class by 6th level without multiclassing. Such dedication pays in the long run. The fleshwarper learns countless eldritch and disturbing secrets that most people can never even guess at. Intelligence is perhaps the most important of the class's abilities, since many of the fleshwarper's class skills are keyed to it. The ability keyed to the fleshwarper's spellcasting is also important, as is Constitution, since he has fewer hit points than most other characters.

Entry Requirements

Alignment: Any nonlawful.

Skills: Heal 4 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 8 ranks.

Feat: Graft Flesh*.

Special: Summon familiar class feature.

* New feat.

Table 9-6: The Fleshwarper Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Special Graft
1st +0 +2 +0 +0 Aberrant familiar 500 --
2nd +1 +3 +0 +0 Elder secret 700 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
3rd +1 +3 +1 +1 Graft mastery 900 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th +2 +4 +1 +1 Aberrant familiar 1,200 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
5th +2 +4 +1 +1 Elder secret, graft mastery 1,500 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
6th +3 +5 +2 +2 Rapid grafting 2,000 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
7th +3 +5 +2 +2 Aberrant familiar, graft mastery 2,500 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
8th +4 +6 +2 +2 Elder secret 3,000 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
9th +4 +6 +3 +3 Graft mastery 4,000 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
10th +5 +7 +3 +3 Aberrant apotheosis, aberrant familiar 5,000 +1 level of existing spellcasting class

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level): Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Heal, Knowledge (all skills taken individually), Search, Speak Language, Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device.

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