Well, I suppose I’ve had this coming for a long time: After months of lurking around over at the Emergence Campaign Webblog, I’ve come to the decision that I’ll write down my thoughts somewhere. As whoever reads this will probably have guessed already, this ominous “somewhere” is here. This post (though likely the entire site) refers to the book “Eclipse: The Codex Persona”, written by Paul M. Melroy. You can find his books, Eclipse included, HERE.
Now then, in this post I’ll be taking a look at Channeling, one of the Paths in Eclipse. Without further delay, here we go.
Channeling in itself:
Let me just say this outright: Channeling is pretty amazing. It’s like the Path of Blasphemy and Co.: No save, no SR, just death, and that’s what you get for just the basic ability!
Of course, this has limits, which, aside form a Type-restriction, are as follows:
Creatures which are affected (Intensity greater than or equal to their effective hit dice) can be Turned (Magnitude equal to their hit dice) or Destroyed (Magnitude equal to twice their hit dice or more) if the energy type opposes their own. If it matches, they can be Rebuked (Magnitude equal to their hit dice), Bolstered*, or Commanded (Magnitude of 2x hit dice or more).
*Gaining either Turn Resistance equal to [Intensity –their level] or Positive Levels (see page 86) equal to [Intensity – their level]/2 for ten rounds.
So there is that. It’s worth noting that Magnitude is increased not by pure numbers, but rather by d6, which means that it is incredibly random. Just from basic Intensity we have a range of 2d6, from 2 to 12, so depending on your luck, your available actions differ.
Intensity is also random: You DO roll a d20, but it only applies a range of penalities or boni to you, from -8 to +1. Though, as a d20 roll, you can use Luck to greatly increase your chances of getting something useful…
Now, this is pretty nice and all, but it wouldn’t be much of a Path without plenty of upgrades, right? Of course not. First of all, we can upgrade Intensity and Magnitude, which does about what you’d expect from it: You get higher numbers from your rolls!
But that’s not all. And with that, we get to the
Now this upgrade is my personal favorite: You can add an additional Type of creature to your Channeling-Range. Now this is obviously really cool: Have a problem with your mother-in-law? Add Censure (relevant Type) and you can Turn (or Command) her to stop bickering. That aside, it also allows you to Bolster your allies: Let’s assume you have all already changed your Type one way or another. Now let’s say you also full on invested into your Intensity and get your Luck on. Then we are talking about a +4 to hit, additional hit points, 5/day Smite against that particular enemy you are fighting, deal 2d6 extra damage against them and deal Double Damage on a Smite to which your extra damage applies. For the entire party. By all means, if you have the points to spare, take it. Your party will love you for it.
This is THE ability of Channeling. A set of up to level 6 spells I can choose freely as long as they fit into a theme? Of even higher levels if I choose to Specialized and/or Corrupt it? Well, sign me up! Give it the Corruption listed at the Mana ability and chunk out that Miracle. This is a no-brainer for EVERY character that utilizes Channeling. 18 CP for a choice of Wish, Miracle, Limited Wish or Presidigitation 1/day for 1 Mana? Pretty amazing if you ask me. Even if you need to buy the Mana for this purpose only, it’s only 3 CP (as it will be Specialized), well worth the cost. One of the best abilities in the book.
This ability allows you to create animated objects for one use of your Channeling. Not that great compared to the previous two abilities, but if you heavily invested into Magnitude and Intensity, you’ve got yourself some flanking-buddies/meat-shields/trap-searchers/grapple-assistants. 4 Hit Die give you a large sized bag of 52 hp…Wether that’s worth it or not is ultimately your decision.
You want this if you are evil, because the Glorious Touch subpath is pretty awesome for Empower alone, though the ability to resist any mental control via Meditations on the Divine is a nice trick too. If you are good and a Melee-User, you may want to look into The Living Darkness of Hatred’s Weal, because 25 Strenght and the choice between flight 40 ft (average), Smite and Pounce is pretty damn attractive, while a social character might find Vanishing Shadow of Hand of Darkness pretty amazing. A diplomatic encounter went wrong? Have them forget it and try again!
This ability can be pretty cool if you have an ability that relies on one thing more than the other. Glorious Touch from Empower can be one such ability, since pure damage increasing effects àla Bane and Shocking don’t require much in ways of Intensity, whereas something like Vorpal is the opposite.
Just in case you need those few d6 to finish off a low-leve goon. Not the best ability in the list by far, but it can be useful.
Normally, this ability is pretty okay, but combined with Heightened, it becomes awesome: Double your Magnitude, then substract a part of it for higher Intensity. If you want a lot of Animated Objects via Divine Command, this is also an ability that helps with it. Of course, this ability becomes even more interesting when you look at the different Subpaths…
So yeah, I didn’t mention the loss of your Holy Object, but it can happen, and in that case, you can have this ability. Of course, this should NEVER come up, because that would be like a Wizard losing his Spellbook, a Fighter losing his weapon or Asmodeus losing his Ruby Rod. Though if your character is forgetful or your DM loves to take your stuff, sure, invest those 6 CP.
So, that’s it for now. Later on, I will be looking at the various Subpaths of Channeling.