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 Feats for the Aberration Hunter

Aberration races have threatened humanoid societies throughout history. In response to this threat, those who resist these monstrosities and take the fight to their secret lairs have learned special tricks and talents to aid their efforts.

Aberrant Feats

Fighting aberrations

This book adds a new feat type: the aberrant feat. Unlike typical feats, aberrant feats manifest as physical changes to your character's features (or as additions to your character's appearance). These feats twist and reshape your form, and you become alien in appearance.

A character who has selected at least one aberrant feat gains an inhuman, unsettling presence. You take a -1 penalty on Diplomacy, Disguise, Gather Information, Handle Animal, and wild empathy checks for every aberrant feat you possess (-2 with two feats, -3 with three feats, and so on).

Some aberrant feats have an additional cumulative effect based on your total number of aberrant feats. This accumulation increases as you gain additional aberrant feats. For example, a character with Aberration Blood who selects Durable Form gains 4 hit points (two for each aberrant feat he possesses). If he later selects Bestial Hide, he gains another 2 hit points (in addition to the normal benefit of Bestial Hide).

Aberration Banemagic

You can cast spells that do additional damage to aberrations.

Benefit: When you cast a spell that deals damage to an aberration, you deal an extra 2d6 points of damage. A single spell can never gain this extra damage more than once per casting. For instance, a fireball deals the extra damage to all aberrations in the area it affects. However, if a 3rd-level wizard casts magic missile and produces two missiles, only one of them (of the wizard's choice) gains the extra damage, whether or not both missiles are directed at the same aberration or two different aberrations. If a spell deals damage for more than 1 round, it deals this extra damage in each round. Scrolls scribed by you do not gain any benefit from Aberration Banemagic. Scrolls activated by you also gain no benefit from Aberration Banemagic. The same is true for most other magic items, such as wands and potions. However, staffs activated by you use not only your caster level but also gain the benefit of this feat, if applicable. If the spell allows a saving throw, the DC of the saving throw increases by 2. The additional damage dealt by this spell is either halved on a successful saving throw or negated entirely, depending on how the regular damage dealt by the spell is affected by a successful saving throw.

Bestial Hide [Aberrant]

Your skin is thicker, scalier, or furrier than normal.

Prerequisite: Aberration Blood.

Benefit: Your natural armor bonus to AC improves by 1 for every two aberrant feats you possess.

Inhuman Vision [Aberrant]

You possess the inhuman eyes of some strange creature. They might look segmented or larger or without pupils. You might even have eyestalks.

Prerequisite: Aberration Blood.

Benefit: You gain a racial bonus on Spot checks equal to the number of aberrant feats you possess.

The range of your darkvision improves by 5 feet for every aberrant feat that you possess. If you do not already have darkvision, you gain darkvision out to 5 feet for each aberrant feat you possess.

Music of the Outer Spheres

You can use your bardic music to create discordant, insane sounds. This music is particularly effective against aberrations, and can sicken them, vitalize them, or fill them with lethargy.

Prerequisites: Perform (any) 11 ranks, bard level 9th.

Benefit: You can now use the following additional bardic music abilities.

Lull Aberration (Sp): You must target a single aberration within 30 feet with this ability. You can target an additional aberration for every three bard levels above 9th that you possess. A targeted aberration must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 bard's level + bard's Cha modifier) or become lethargic and partially hypnotized by the discordant sounds of your performance. Affected aberrations are slowed, as per the spell.

Sicken Aberration (Sp): Any aberration within a 30-foot spread centered on you must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 bard's level + bard's Cha modifier) or become sickened for as long as you continue to use this ability. If an aberration makes this saving throw, it does not have to make another saving throw to avoid becoming sickened unless you activate this ability again.

Vitalize Aberration (Sp): All aberrations within a 30-foot spread centered on you gain a +2 morale bonus to all special attack and spell-like ability save DCs and a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class.

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