Tome of Magic introduces three new magic subsystems for the D&D game. Any or all of these systems can easily be inserted into a campaign. Pact magic gives characters the ability to channel lost souls, harnessing their abilities to gain supernatural powers. Shadow magic draws power from the mysterious Plane of Shadow. Truename magic gives characters that learn and properly use the true name of a creature or object immense power over it. All three systems introduce new base classes and spellcasting mechanics. Also included are new feats, prestige classes, magic items, and spells.
The excerpts below include information about each of the three new systems, a couple of vestiges, the noctumancer prestige class, a weapon special ability, the Lexicon of the Evolving Mind list, and a creature. For more from the main introduction in this book, check out the February 2006 Preview.
Large Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 11d8+44 (93 hp)
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares), fly 80 ft. (poor)
Armor Class: 22 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +12 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 21
Base Attack/Grapple: +11/+20
Attack: Claw +15 melee (1d6+5)
Full Attack: 2 claws +15 melee (1d6+5) and bite +13 melee (1d8+2)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Pounce, rake, Truespeech interrogation, utterances
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision
Saves: Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +7
Abilities: Str 20, Dex 13, Con 18, Int 22, Wis 14, Cha 15
Skills: Concentration +18 (+22 speaking defensively), Diplomacy +18, Knowledge (any two) +20 (+22 truename research), Listen +16, Sense Motive +16, Spot +16, Truespeak +24
Feats: Combat Casting, Iron Will, Multiattack, Truename Research
Environment: Warm deserts
Challenge Rating: 8
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 12-16 HD (Large); 17-33 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: +6 (cohort)
A muscular, leonine creature with a strangely human face regards you with uncanny intelligence. Its large body is brown, but down its length you see narrow, faint bands of black. Two large feathered wings grow behind its shoulders, and it has eerie green eyes. When it opens its mouth, you have only a moment to regard its daggerlike teeth before it begins to speak -- and you feel the structure of the world begin to press in with bewildering rapidity on your suddenly fragile mind.
Loquasphinxes are rare creatures, and they are avid students of Truespeech. They spend most of their time in aeries on desert plateaus or hills, studying the world around them and adding to their Truespeech vocabularies. Mostly, loquasphinxes seek to be left alone, but they can be roused to pursue any rare collection of knowledge, whether books or a particularly learned individual.
Unlike some other sphinxes, loquasphinxes come in both genders. They need not seek out an androsphinx or gynosphinx to mate. They are also connoisseurs of good conversation, and many conflicts with loquasphinxes have been averted by wise creatures that have been willing to share an interesting anecdote or piece of information. Some loquasphinxes are even sought out for their tremendous knowledge and willingness to identify magic items using their analyze item utterance. Even the most friendly of loquasphinxes is typically unwilling to allow anyone free access to its abilities, however, and these creatures are commonly known to accept large bribes -- although bribes of knowledge and information are more readily accepted than those of gold or valuables.
A loquasphinx is around 9 feet long and weighs between 500 and 750 pounds. It speaks Common and up to six other languages, which vary with each individual loquasphinx.
A loquasphinx only usually attacks when forced to do so -- or if another creature has something it wants, whether food, money, or most especially, information. It tends to begin combat from the air, circling its enemies at a range of 60 feet and using utterances on likely targets to soften up its foes. A loquasphinx keeps its truespeak interrogation ability active at all times, targeting a different creature each time one succumbs to the effect. If its utterances prove to be ineffective, or if a group of foes contains a truespeaker capable of countering their effects, a loquasphinx resorts to melee attacks.
Rake (Ex): +12 melee, damage 1d6+2.
Truespeech Interrogation (Su): A loquasphinx is a master of Truespeech, and bombards its prey with a confusing barrage of riddles posed in the purest of languages. Each round as a free action, a loquasphinx can pose a question in Truespeech to a creature within 60 feet. Whether the creature knows the answer to the question is irrelevant. A loquasphinx's words, couched in Truespeech, are filled with power, and if the target creature does not succeed on a DC 17 Will save, it is confused for 3 rounds. The save DC is Charisma-based.
A creature with ranks in Truespeak can attempt to counterspeak to negate the effect of this ability, as described on page 234. In addition, a creature with Truespeak can choose to make an opposed Truespeak check instead of a Will save, attempting to answer the loquasphinx's question instead of simply resisting its potent magic. If the creature's check is higher than that of the loquasphinx, it is completely unaffected by truespeak interrogation.
Utterances (Sp): Lexicon of the Evolving Mind: 4th -- spell rebirth; 3rd -- moderate word of nurturing; 2nd -- speed of the zephyr; 1st -- knight's puissance. Lexicon of the Crafted Tool: 2nd -- agitate metal, analyze item. Lexicon of the Perfected Map: 1st -- shockwave. Truenamer level 10th.
Skills: Loquasphinxes are naturally more in touch with the truenames of the world, and receive a +4 racial bonus on Truespeak checks (included in the statistics above).
LOQUASPHINXES IN EBERRON
Loquasphinxes inhabit the deserts of Xen'drik. A few can also be found in the Blade Desert of the Talenta Plains. One halfling tribe, the Ghatharon, formed an amicable alliance with a loquasphinx named Stheravimalquataram. Word of this passed at a gathering of laths in Gatherhold, and all Talenta halflings know to respect (and avoid) loquasphinxes.
LOQUASPHINXES IN FAERÛN
Loquasphinxes are most commonly found in the deserts of Mulhorand and Anauroch. According to rumor, they guard several ruins in Raurin, the Dust Desert. Velaquateraturin, a 7th-level loquasphinx truenamer, makes its home in Anauroch among the Scimitar Spires.