Eclipse, Paths and Powers: Channeling Subpaths Part I

In my last post, we were talking about the basic abilities of channeling, and we discovered that they had a good amount of power if you were willing to spent the points.

Now, we’ll be talking about the subpaths, the paths inside the paths of power.

Let’s jump right in:

Glorious Touch (positive energy wielders only):

Empower:

This is the first ability of this path… And it’s amazing. Cha Mod “plusses” to your armor, shield or weapon? Ok, so we need a good Cha (or whatever we added via Augment Bonus or substituted via Finesse), but as soon as we got that up, we get some serious action in here, right? Well, sorta, because there are two limitations: The first one is that it lasts Magnitude rounds, the second one is that a single special ability can have a max of Intensity/3 “plusses” in value. Magnitude, well, I’d say it depends on what campaign you are playing in and how your group plays, but more than 20 will likely not be necessary. The Intensity is a different beast altogether: You will NEVER need more than 15 Intensity (except if you want to use epic-level enhancements, which will require up to 24). As a dedicated channeler at… Let’s assume level 3, we have at least a 11 Base Intensity, and if we use our luck, well, well probably be at a +0 with that. So we have 11 Intensity, but can now subtract 4 Magitude-Dice (via Heightened Channeling) to pump it up to the required 15 Intensity. Our resulting Magnitude? We are talking 4d6+5. Ok, on average, we are one off… Of course, we aren’t talking about Great Channeling at all. Now, you should also consider that this stacks with the Imbuement special ability…

Might:

Sacred boni. These things are rare, and this ability gives them. That alone makes it interesting. Our choices are +2 to any physical attribute, which is nice, even if strenght isn’t that great of an ability score for most people. The +2 to saves is VERY attractive, because again, nothing normally grants this bonus. Movement Speed and Hit Points might also be good, but that depends on the build you have: If you have more than 10 Hit Die or Finessed something to key off your Con-Score, that’s obviously far more attractive. You can double up on every ability, if you have the points for it, at which point it becomes a very good all-round buff, but, while interesting, this is not an ability that will make or break you.

Meditations on the Divine:

We are gonna see an ability like this again in other paths, but the idea is: Mindcontrol sucks. This helps you get rid of it. Awesome and solid ability.

Invigoration:

This gives you Magnitude rounds of Fast Healing 1 and Intensity Hit Points. Imma be honest here, this is not that great. The Temp HP will most likely be outclassed by most spells that grant them and Fast Healing 1 isn’t worth a channeling attempt.

The Inner Fire:

There is an ability with the same name in the book, but this is the “Meditations on the Divine”-version for poisons and diseases. Or it’s what it would be if it weren’t for the bonus granted to unarmed strikes and Fire Resistance for Magnitude rounds!… Yeah, this isn’t that great if you aren’t a grappler… But if you can convince your DM to allow you to swap out the damage type, it might be interesting RP-wise.

Lifegrant:

There are two interpretations I have for this. If the first two applicatios still require the XP cost, I’m gonna be short and brutal with this: It doesn’t off anything Conversion doesn’t offer, and it does it worse. If it doesn’t cost XP for these applications, it’s pretty awesome and you should take it. The Great Awakening-like ability… I’d say that it’s worth it if you don’t have access to it via other methods. So yeah, this ability, while situational, is a good one to take.

Hatred’s Weal (Negative Energy Wielders only):

Dark Awakening:

I’m… not sure what to think of this ability: It allows you to create Undead far beyond any simple undead creation spell… but you don’t get to control them and have those weird Intensity and Magnitude-limits. Hmm… Let’s see: At max, level and Cha mod excluded, we have an Intensity of 9 (Base 8+1) and a Magnitude of 16d6 (due to Great Channeling). That… is good enough to create a Lavawight with 32 HD and 23 CR at Level 8 and with 22 Charisma, giving you 17 Intensity (increased to the necessary 23 by giving up Magnitude-Die) and 16d6+14 (reduced to 10d6+14), but it still doesn’t grant you the ability to influence it. I’d say pick it up if you really want to be a Necromancer, but leave it if you don’t. It’s second ability, however, is a BEAST. It allows you to apply any undead template you want to have, PERMANENTLY, without a need for RP explaination. Ladies and Gentleman, the Ghost Template. A whooping +5 LA, I know, but it offers some serious buffs in exchange for that: Another +4 Charisma, a Magic Jar-like (Su), at-will force a Will-Save against PANICKED(!) and allows for a 1d20+HD check against DC 16 to come back from everything that would normally kill you. Is this ability an absolute necessity? No. Can it be awesome? Yes. One should decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not he sould take this ability (unless your DM allows you to make custom templates, in which case you should take this immediately).

Shadow Casting:

You give up XP to create copies of yourself that can possess other people. If you have access to a Thought Bottle, take this ability and never look back. It’s amazing.

Call Inner Demons:

Allows you to create a Intensity/2 level Astral construct. The great part? This ability is ENTIRELY INDEPENDANT OF MAGNITUDE! That means with Great Channeling, you will almost always hit the required 18 Intensity to summon a level 9 Astral Construct. This is so delicious. Oh, did I mention it regenerates your Mana, increases your CL (up to a +6 bonus) and givesa few Temp HP in addition to that? Also, it lasts 10 Minutes +10 Minutes per kill. If this isn’t awesome, I don’t know what is.

Touch of the Reaper:

It’s 2 negative levels, no save. Pretty good, but also kinda boring. It’s solid, don’t get me wrong, but I prefer more exotic abilities.

Touch of Annihilation:

Disintegrate, but as a Melee Touch attack with a lower DC. That is all.

The Living Darkness:

Remember when I said that Call Inner Demons was awesome? Now imagine that as an armor which substitutes your strenght for it’s, takes all damage you would take, grants you it’s abilities and gives an additional saving throw for every save. BOSS. If you don’t know how good this is, there is no helping you.

 

Alright, this is it for this post. I will continue with the other subpaths in a later post.

 

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3 thoughts on “Eclipse, Paths and Powers: Channeling Subpaths Part I

  1. Ah, Glorious Touch. The path for shining champions, obsessive witch-hunters, and anyone else who wants to take their Channeling and go Martial with it.

    Oddly enough, the local games have surprisingly few serious Channelers running about. Quite a few who use Conversion or some other bit of Channeling to support a particular concept, but not so many pure channelers.

    As for the individual powers… Empower and Might are, of course, the “I am prepared to deal with YOU” combo – while Meditations on the Divine says “and you cannot easily stop me!”.

    Invigoration usually gets taken because you need it to get to the rest of the Glorious Touch chain – but it has seen a fair amount of use when combined with the “usable on others” and “Circle of Power” modifiers. Invigorating the city guard and militia as the attack begins, or using it to heal everyone up between encounters, sometimes comes in handy.

    Now if your GM lets you get away with using Conversion to apply a spell to everyone within a Circle of Power practically everything becomes redundant – but that is quite a stretch given that you convert the energy to a spell; the spell itself is not a channeling effect.

    The Inner Fire does default to fire of course, but – as noted ay back on page three… ” If someone wants to create a weird variant on something, let them.”. So if you really want to be filled with holy lightning, or the eternally-reverberating words of the divine, or some such, then so be it!

    Lifegrant does not cost XP (or require material or focus components of course) when duplicating the Resurrection and Awaken spells – although if the GM decides to announce that “Sir George weighs 140 pounds, so resurrecting him will cost 14 XP!” it isn’t really worth arguing over. It’s giving life to things that have never lived that normally costs some XP. If you want to take some Passenger Pigeon models and recreate the species… they weighed about ten ounces, so it’s 16 per XP for adults, probably thirty or so to the XP for ones that are young, but old enough to take care of themselves.

    Hatred’s Weal is, of course, more or less the opposite of the Glorious Touch path – focused on turning the forces of negative energy loose in the world.

    Dark Awakening has (so far) mostly been used to create minor, disposable, and easily controlled minions without having to pay 25 GP per hit die for Animate Dead, to make trouble by simply creating a few uncontrollable major horrors and then leaving, and been specialized – usually limiting the number and power of the undead that can be produced in exchange for more control – effectively turning it into a version of Leadership with undead followers or becoming a Mummy Lord or some such.

    Turning yourself into an undead is basically a one-shot version of Returning of course (after all, you can’t use this to return after being “killed” again unless you get to be genuinely alive again first) with a bit of a rebuild. That actually hasn’t actually seen much use; most characters just buy the special abilities they want more directly.

    Shadow Casting has – at least so far – mostly been used for espionage and sabotage, although at least one artificer-type has used them both to do a lot of the work and to donate the XP he needed to make items – giving up 90 XP to make a first-level aide with 900 XP to give up for crafting (and, of course, getting rid of the shadow afterwards to get his hit point back).

    Call Inner Demons has mostly been a thing for villains of course – allowing them to slaughter a bunch of villagers, to force the heroes to hunt down and battle the construct, and then to show up to fight. It does make a good sidekick for any character though.

    Touch of the Reaper is functional. I have to agree that it isn’t particularly exciting though.

    Touch of Annihilation is more of a utility thing than a combat tactic. Are you wrapped in chains? Waking up in a form-fitting sarcophagus or buried in the earth? A ray can difficult to manage when you can’t move, but this will work just fine. After all, there’s not much point in returning as an undead horror of choice if you can’t get out of your tomb to terrorize the peasants!

    Finally, of course, The Living Darkness makes you very difficult to stop. Want to impersonate a demon lord? Hold the pass against an army? This will help quite a lot.

    Hm. If you keep this up, and I have time to keep making notes on your notes… I will have to add some links and perhaps do an article series on “insights” or something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Glorious Touch is pretty amazing if it fits into your build. Personally I’m a big fan of making it apply Vorpal and Speed for a short amount of time and combine that with Rapid Strike for those times when you just HAVE to take that one enemy down.

      I think the lack of pure Channelers results from the people that would normally play them being intimidated by the costs for Magnitude and Intensity. At least, that’s what I experienced. When it comes down between the two, it appears Mystic Artist is more popular due to the abilities you gain from simply investing Skill Points as opposed to CP.

      Invigoration… I guess I can see it as useful if you affect a big group with it, but other than that, I’ve had great success with it when specializing or corrupting it for more temp HP and fast healing. Or when I specialize or corrupt hysteria (or more specifically, the Mighty-improvement) to get a better multiplier up. Fast healing 1 and Intensity hit points aren’t that impressive, but fast healing 6 (if both abilities are specialized and corrupted for increased effect) and 6x Intensity hp is far more impressive and makes an army a whole lot more robust.

      Conversion… Conversion is just very, very good. There are not many abilities in Channeling that can keep up with it, but then again, there aren’t many abilities in Eclipse that can keep up with it. It’s nice and requires you to be thematic though, so it’s not a bad ability to have in any case.

      With Lifegrant, I was actually thinking about Awakening, since Awakening (as in, the spell) costs 250 XP every time.

      On Shadow Casting… isn’t that illegal? I mean, I though that Shadow Casting required at least 100 XP… In any case, it can be a pretty great spell, as it gives you the ability to possess a large amount of people or multiplies you XP available.

      Touch of Annihilation is indeed useful utility. Disintegrate is too. When I said that it’s Disintegrate as a Melee Touch attack, I meant that it has (nearly) all the same utilities, which makes it a good ability.

      Like

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