The Eldcaller

eldcaller_rin_by_thedandmom-d5mb2ypWritten by Casey Peavler and Ryven Cydrelle

The dead were not quiet. The dead were not still. The spirits of dark Icons and other great powers laid heavily on the world. Those who would soon be known as Eldcallers found the power to bind the violent spirits to their will, and furthermore draw on their strength and expertise in combat. Over time, the spirits of benevolent Icons saw the efforts of the Eldcallers and lent their power to these spirit warriors as well.

OVERVIEW

Play style: Playing an Eldcaller is a tenuous and un- predictable experience, but it is also one filled with the potential for incredible power. The Major Callings that an Eldcaller can invoke are prideful and fickle. The Revered Spirits, however, provide a sense of balance and stability. This class is excellent if you want to play a benevolent character who draws power from an unpredictable, dark source.

The Eldcaller is not at all complex to build. It has no spells or maneuvers to choose from so players who enjoy the Sorcerer or Chaos Mage but aren’t fond of choosing and tracking spells will find the Eldcaller a satisfying alternative. It is, however, heavily reliant on semi-random ability access so players who like being able to choose just the right power at just the right time in combat might want to look elsewhere. For those willing to bargain with the spirits of the restless dead, a frontline fighter with some surprising abilities both in and out of combat lies in store.

Ability Scores: You need Strength for your melee attacks, although those who follow the path of the Trickster can make use of Dexterity instead. Charisma is vital to keep rigid control over the spirits you have bound to your will. As with all melee warriors, Constitution is valuable for HP and physical defenses.

As an Eldcaller, you can add +2 to your Strength or your Charisma so long as you have not added to that score with your racial bonus.

Races: The Elven races are, as with many other things, the most naturally suited for becoming El- dcallers. Other strong choices include Half-Orcs, Werebeasts, Steelforged, and Tieflings. Halflings and Gnomes make excellent followers of the Trick- ster.

Backgrounds: The backgrounds of Eldcallers most often include associations with the dead, such as overseers of funerals or caretakers of familial shrines. Others come into the Eldcaller’s path accidentally or unwillingly via near-death experiences or interactions with immortal beings. A rare few are the bookish type whose studies of history and its Icons attract the spirits of those Icons, seeking to live again in some way.

Examples: One foot in the grave, Fought through Hell and lived, Dad was a ghost and Mom liked pottery, Dreamwalker, Last of my tribe, Herald of the Serpent Dominion.

Icons: The devotion to binding evil ghosts and keeping their influence away from the world at large has endeared the Eldcallers to benevolent spiritual Icons like the Priestess, the Great Gold Wyrm, and to a lesser extent the High Druid. The Lich King fears them for their power over the restless dead, although some will find an unlikely ally in him. The Diabolist may also prove a powerful companion when it comes to the nature of binding and controlling wicked spiritual beings

GEAR

Eldcallers start at 1st level with one melee weapon and light armor for combat equipment. They also usually have some physical representation of the spirits with whom they commune – a small holly bracelet for the Baumkoenig, a sachet of perfume for the Courtesan, etc. As the Eldcallers’ abilities can frighten or offend common folk, a full array of adventuring gear and rations is common cargo. El- dcallers who lean toward the material world start with 25 gp while those who are more strongly led by the spirits start with 1d6 x 10 gp in their pouches.

Armor: Eldcallers mostly remain in light armor to best take advantage of all the possible abilities and boons that might be granted by their Callings. Heavy ar- mor on an Eldcaller is a sure sign that she is on good terms with the Justiciar. The table below shows the base AC of the Eldcaller:

Type Base AC
None 11
Light 13
Heavy 15 (-2 Attack)
Shield +1

Weapons: Eldcallers tend to prefer weapons not commonly used by other warriors. Weapons with exotic origins (often related to their Callings and Ancestral Spirits) are preferred as are weapons deemed less “noble” due to their origins as farming or laboring equip- ment.

Eldcaller Melee Weapons:

One-Handed Two-Handed
Small 1d4 dagger, kama 1d6 scythe
Light or Simple 1d6 flail, sjambok 1d8 billhook
Heavy or Martial 1d8 (-2 atk) machete, jian 1d10 (-2 atk) panabas, war scythe

Elcaller Ranged Weapons:

Thrown Crossbow Bow
Small 1d4 dagger (-2 attack) 1d4 hand crossbow
Light or Simple 1d6 javelin, axe 1d6 light crossbow 1d6 shortbow
Heavy Martial 1d8 heavy crossbow 1d8 longbow

BASIC ATTACKS

Melee Attack
At-Will: One Enemy
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC
Hit: WEAPON + Dexterity damage
Miss: damage equal to your level

Ranged Attack
At-Will: One Enemy
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC
Hit: WEAPON + Dexterity damage
Miss: —

Eldcaller Level Progression

Eldcaller Level Total HP Total Feats Revered Spirits Major Callings Level-Up Ability Bonuses Damage Bonus from Ability Score
Level 1 (7 + CON mod) x 3 1 adventurer 3 3 ability mod
Level 2 (7 + CON mod) x 4 2 adventurer 3 3 ability mod
Level 3 (7 + CON mod) x 5 3 adventurer 3 3 ability mod
Level 4 (7 + CON mod) x 6 4 adventurer 3 4 +1 to three ability mod
Level 5 (7 + CON mod) x 8 4 adventurer

1 champion

3 4 2 x ability mod
Level 6 (7 + CON mod) x 10 4 adventurer

2 champion

3 4 2 x ability mod
Level 7 (7 + CON mod) x 12 4 adventurer

3 champion

3 4 +1 to three 2 x ability mod
 

Level 8

 

(7 + CON mod) x 16

4 adventurer

3 champion

1 epic

 

3

 

5

 

3 x ability mod

 

Level 9

 

(7 + CON mod) x 20

4 adventurer

3 champion

2 epic

 

3

 

5

 

3 x ability mod

 

Level 10

 

(7 + CON mod) x 24

4 adventurer

3 champion

2 epic

 

3

 

5

 

+1 to three

 

3 x ability mod

Eldcaller Stats

Ability Bonus +2 Strength or Charisma (different from racial bonus)
Initiative DEX mod + Level
Armor Class (light armor) 13 + middle mod of Con/Dex/Wis + Level
Physical Defense 10 + middle mod of Str/Con/Dex + Level
Mental Defense 11 + middle mod of Int/Wis/Cha + Level
Hit Points (7 + Con mod) x Level modifier (see level progression chart)
Recoveries 8
Recovery Dice 1d10 x level + Con mod
Backgrounds 8 points, max 5 in any one background
Icon Relationships 3 points
Talents 3 (see level progression chart)
Feat 1 per level

CLASS FEATURES

Eldcallers all have the following three class features.

INDWELLMENTS

Indwellment points represent the Eldcaller’s abil- ity to exert her will over the spirits she has bound to herself. After each full heal-up, an Eldcaller has a full complement of Indwellment points equal to 2 + her Charisma modifier. You will spend these points to fuel your other abilities.

During a short rest, roll 1d20 for each Indwellment point between your current amount and your max amount. (If you have 4 Indwellment points max and currently still hold 2 of them, roll 2d20.) For each d20 that comes up 16+, you regain an Indwellment point.

Adventurer Feat: Your new maximum Indwellment points equal 4 + your Charisma modifier.

Champion Feat: Your new maximum Indwellment points equal 5 + your Charisma modifier.

Epic Feat: Once per day recover all spent Indwell- ment Points when you score a critical hit.

MAJOR CALLINGS

As an Eldcaller you can draw on the power, wisdom, and experience of the dark spirits which you have bound. At the start of combat while you roll initiative (and sometimes outside of combat), choose a Major Calling to bind to you. That Calling gives you an ongoing benefit while you have it bound. You can also spend feats to improve the benefit a Major Calling provides.

When you roll a 7-13 on an attack roll, your Major Calling begins to struggle against you and must be Bargained with or exchanged for another, both of which are free actions. To Bargain roll a number of d6s equal to the number of Relationship Points you have with the Major Calling’s related Icon + 1. Select the highest-rolling die. On a 1-4 the Bargain fails and you must bind another Major Calling. On a 5 you can remain in control of your current Major

Calling. On a 6 you remain in control of your current Major Calling and demand a Boon from it.

Ryven says…

Do your GM a favor and Bargain with your Major Calling after your turn is over. Rolling to Bargain with a Major Calling during your turn can really slow down play.

You can also spend an Indwellment as a free action to initiate a Bargain with your current spirit. This Bargain follows the same rules as a normal Bar- gain except you can select any die as your result. This is the only way to intentionally lose a Major Calling. You still need to roll the d6s to see if the Calling tries to offer you a Boon to keep it around.

Casey says…

A particularly evil GM might occasionally offer to let you keep your current spirit in exchange for accepting a minor geas from the Calling. If your GM is not an evil GM, encourage her to become one.

 

Adventurer Feat: You retain your Calling on a 4. Champion Feat: You gain an extra Bargain dice the first time you Bargain each encounter.
Epic Feat: You can Indwell 2 spirits at the same time. When you trigger a Bargain, you may choose one or both Callings to be at risk.

SHEPHERD OF THE UNSLEEPING

In some communities and cultures Eldcallers are treated with the same reverence as Clerics because of their ability to speak to the recently departed, relaying their final wishes and helping lay them to rest.

When you encounter a corpse that has been dead less than three days you may spend one Indwell- ment to perform a Minor Calling and speak to it as if it were still alive. You also gain access to the Cleric’s spell Turn Undead and may use it as if you were one level lower.

Adventurer Feat: Your connection to the spirits al- lows you to stave off the grasp of death. You may cast the Cleric spell Heal once per day.
Champion Feat: You may add your Strength or Dex- terity modifier to your Turn Undead attack roll in place of Wisdom.
Epic Feat: You may cast Heal a number of times per day equal to your Charisma modifier.

REVERED SPIRITS

Revered Spirits are the spirits of mostly benevolent beings. Choose three to accompany you on your journey at all times.

THE JUSTICIAR

An Emperor of an earlier Age who revitalized the Dragon Empire, reuniting rebellious lands through the power of his army and codifying a new set of laws which stand to this day.

You no longer take the penalty for wearing heavy armor.

Adventurer Feat: Roll a saving throw when you take a critical hit while the escalation die is even. On a successful save the attack becomes a normal hit.
Champion Feat: When using a shield also apply its defense bonus to your PD.
Epic Feat: The Justicar was famous for reinventing mounted combat. You can summon 1d4+1 spectral mounts for 5 hours per day.

THE CHILD KING

Powerful fey who protected children from the malice of monsters and other evil supernatural beings. Slain by the Baumkoenig.

Once per day you may demand a Boon from the Major Calling you are using.

Adventurer Feat: Re-roll one bargain check per day.
Champion Feat: Gain an extra Relationship point.
Epic Feat: After a successful Bargain you can teleport to one nearby location you can see.

THE MESSENGER

Liaison between the gods of light and mortalkind who sacrificed his immortality to banish the Dhampyr King to the grave for all time.

Add the escalation dice to your disengage checks for one encounter per day.

Adventurer Feat: Gain a +1 to all disengage checks.
Champion Feat: You can imbue a mundane item with a message up to ten words long which can only be receive by the intended recipient(s).
Epic Feat: After a full heal-up roll a normal save. On a success, you can fly until your next extended rest.

THE TRICKSTER

A cut-purse who founded a revolution and overthrew the Nine Dwarf Lords, becoming the first Dwarf King.

Use Dexterity in place of Strength to determine melee attack and damage.

Adventurer Feat: Learn one Rogue at-will power. It is recharge 12+ for you.
Champion Feat: You can add one Rogue daily or re- charge power to your list of abilities.
Epic Feat: Onceperday on a successful attackagainst an enemy whom you are either hidden from or who is engaged with another creature, roll sneak attack damage as if you were a Rogue of the same level.

THE WATCH CAPTAIN

A noble officer of the law who slew an evil king when no- body else would stain their hands with royal blood.

Spend an Indwellment to auto- matically perceive the next 1d3 hidden or invisible creatures or traps you encounter.

Adventurer Feat: Increase to 1d4 hidden creatures or traps.
Champion Feat: Increase to 1d6 hidden creatures or traps.
Epic Feat: Add lies to the list of things you can perceive.

THE FIRST GIANT

A noble warrior who slayed many dark gods at the begin- ning of the world before he was killed by his three evil sons.

You no longer take a penalty for wielding heavy weapons.

Adventurer Feat: When you miss with an even at- tack roll and the escalation dice is odd, deal half damage.
Champion Feat: Just let me throw a barrel at it. Once per day you can grab something you normally couldn’t lift and throw it as a Strength-based ranged attack. On a hit, your weapon damage is d12s.
Epic Feat: The ability granted by the Champion Feat is now recharge 16+.

THE MILLENNIAL

An astral being who appeared as a comet every years and heralded prosperousness for all. Died in captivity at the hands of the Merchant.

Once per encounter when a nearby ally spends a recovery, you may spend one of your recoveries and add the total to the amount they heal.

Adventurer Feat: Once per day a nearby ally can Rally as a quick action.
Champion Feat: Once per day when you spend a Recovery roll d20’s for your Recovery dice.
Epic Feat: You cease to age and your skin and hair take on a youthful appearance. You have a healthy glow about you. Literally. You can cease to glow when necessary.

THE SYMPATHIST

A magician who created a style of magic that could be learned by anyone who was willing, but was executed by the Wizard King before he could teach his findings.

Once per day, an ally can gain the benefits of one of your Major Callings if you hit an enemy adjacent to her with an attack. She does not have to choose the Calling you are currently bound to. Your ally loses her Calling by the same rules as you, and can Bar- gain as well. Once your ally’s Calling is gone she does not gain another.

Adventurer Feat: When an ally is under the effect of your Calling, she rolls damage as if she were one level higher.
Champion Feat: Pick one Major Calling after each full heal-up. For one encounter you roll damage as if you were one level higher while using that Calling.
Epic Feat: You don’t need a ranged weapon to make ranged attacks anymore, and can attack simply with the techniques of The Sympathist. You deal damage in accordance with the die of your melee weapon.

MAJOR CALLINGS

THE DHAMPYR KING

The father of all vampires who nearly toppled the Dragon Empire before being defeated by the Messenger and the Justiciar.

The first time in an encounter that each creature ends its turn engaged with you, its takes your level in ongoing damage (save ends).

Boon (Great Gold Wyrm, Diabolist): One engaged enemy takes twice your level in ongoing damage (save ends) and you or a nearby ally can spend a Recovery and gain twice that amount of HP.

Adventurer Feat: When you hit a creature taking ongoing with a natural even attack, you gain temporary HP equal to one half of a Recovery.
Champion Feat: When you hit a target taking on- going damage with a melee attack of 16+, the save increases to a hard save (16+).
Epic Feat: Each time a creature ends its turn enaged with you, it takes the ongoing damage. You can also see in the dark.

THE BAUMKOENIG

A powerful tree spirit who led a rebellion in the Fey world to utterly destroy Mortalkind. The dark reaches of the Cairnwood mark his grave.

Enemies engaged with you cannot both attack and roll to disengage in the same turn. As a standard action you can make an attack (Str or Dex vs PD) against a nearby unengaged enemy. On a hit, that enemy is now engaged with you and takes 1d6 per (your) level damage.

Boon (High Druid, Archmage): All enemies engaged with you are now stuck (save ends).

Adventurer Feat: It’s like your skin is made of bark or something. Gain resist 12+ . Your resistance does not apply to fire.
Champion Feat: You’re all greenish too. When in sunlight your attacks deal sun (holy) damage on an even hit.
Epic Feat: Seriously, what’s up with your skin? Increase to resist 16+. Still doesn’t help against fire.

THE COURTESAN

A noblewoman who nearly seized control of the Dragon Empire as the power behind the throne through subtle manipulations, seductions, and blackmail.

Your words and actions take on more weight due to subtle inflections of tone and careful manipulation of your body language. When you assume this spirit you can choose to either be able to disengage as a quick action or to make it a hard check to disengage from you.

Boon (Elf Queen, Priestess): Your next attack deals double damage and the target can’t disengage from you (hard save ends).

Adventurer Feat: You can call on the Courtesan dur- ing social situations. If you spend an indwellment, you may use your highest ability score for all social skill checks for one hour.
Champion Feat: You can make a Charisma attack versus the normal MD of any nearby nonallied in- telligent creature. On a hit, the creature will answer a single question honestly.
Epic Feat: Your critical hits deal triple damage.

Casey says…

Honest does not always mean the same thing as complete or accurate, although for the sake of your players’ sanity don’t play this card TOO often. Playing it even once is enough to make them a paranoid mess for the rest of a campaign.

THE CAESAR

An ancient warlord who conquered half the world in the era before the rise of the Dragon Empire. His empire died with him in battle against the armies of the Genghis, bringing about a Dark Age.

Gain a +1 to AC while engaged with the same target as an ally. Becomes +2 at Epic.

Boon (Crusader, Emperor): You summon a Spirit Le- gionnaire, who grants the same defense bonus as to one of your allies until they become staggered. Adventurer Feat: Your defense bonus now applies to PD as well.

Champion Feat: Your defense bonus now applies to MD as well.

Epic Feat: Increase the defense bonus by another +1.

THE GENGHIS

Chief of Chiefs and ruler of the western tribes by the right of combat. When he died battling The Caesar the tribes went to war over who would be Genghis next, tearing themselves to shreds.

Gain a +1 to attack against enemies that are not engaged with any of your allies. Becomes +2 at Epic.

Boon (Orc Lord): Gain an extra standard action; this action will not trigger Bargains if desired.

Adventurer Feat: Gain +5 to attacks of opportunity.
Champion Feat: Increase the attack bonus by +1. Epic Feat: Once per day when you gain the Boon of The Genghis, any allies engaged with the same enemy as you get to immediately take a standard action against that enemy.

THE THOUGHT LORDS

Seven powerful psionicists who drained the power of all other psions during their Age.

You can make your thoughts heard by your allies, hear thoughts directed at you and can easily facilitate psychic communication between up to 6 other people. You may also deal psychic damage with your attacks.

Boon (Three, Lich King): You can insert one short sentence into the mind of a nearby non-allied and intelligent creature, which they will believe to be their own thought for 24 hours.

Adventurer Feat: On an odd roll your attacks target MD instead of their normal defense.
Champion Feat: Once per day, a target you hit can no longer attack anyone except you (save ends) Epic Feat: The save from the Champion feat in- creases to a hard save (16+).

THE MERCHANT

A being who attained great power through greed, buying and selling not only goods but favors, memories, power, and lives.

The Merchant adds extra value to something you own while he is inhabiting you. Roll 1d4.

1: Weapon. Your attacks deals additional damage equal to your level of a type you choose.

2: Armor. When hit with an attack, roll a hard save. On a success, take only half damage.

3: Belt. Add the escalation dice to your saving throws, including death saves and last gasp saves.

4: Gloves. If you hit with a natural even attack, spend a quick action to attack again. This second attack deals half damage on a hit.

Boon (Prince of Shadows, Dwarf King): Pick a nearby non-allied creature. You can use a ring, necklace, or other piece of adornment to create a magic item based off one of their abilities, chosen by the DM. This item can be used as a quick action three times before it reverts to a normal item again.

Adventurer Feat: After you expend all your uses of the item granted by your boon, the power on the item now becomes a daily. This only applies to one item ever, so choose wisely.
Champion Feat: Your boon grants four uses of the item’s magic property.
Epic Feat: Make one more expended item a daily item.