The Atlantean Stormtrooper

One of the characters who took part in yesterday’s session is an Atlantean stormtrooper, a demi-human custom class built using the rules for Zaharans. Atlanteans in my campaign are described as follows:

In every city along the Atlantean Sea, you will find a neighborhood populated by the dour, yellow-skinned descendants of the rulers of lost Atlantis. These modern Atlanteans live among humans, but separately, in urban enclaves they call holds. Here, they attempt to preserve their unique culture. While technically human, the arcane experiments of their ancestors twisted the Atlantean bloodline, making them almost magical creatures, but warping their appearance in the process. Yellow skin, black hair, and red or purple eyes mark them as something alien.

Due to pacts forged by the long-dead sorcerer-kings of Atlantis, modern Atlanteans are still attended by Chthonic spirits – demonic familiars bound to instruct them in the ways of magic. This dark inheritance has given them a sinister reputation among their human neighbors, despite that fact that Atlanteans tend to be exceptionally Lawful creatures. Atlanteans are far more invested in preserving civilization than most, the temptations constantly whispered to them by their familiars notwithstanding. Atlanteans have found themselves their human neighbors’ scapegoats in the past, but pogroms are much less effective when the leaders of the affected population are all sorcerers.

Atlanteans do not sow. As even the stupidest of them is as intelligent as the average human, they gravitate towards work that rewards an exceptional mind. In Tescoria, the Atlanteans have mostly managed to retain their ancestral holdings in the colonies of the centuries-defunct Atlantean Empire, forming the bulk of the nobility of the ancient city-states of the Unholy Lands. In Valgenheim, they tend to make their living as merchants, physicians, alchemists, engineers, lawyers, or members of other professions. One place you do not find them is among the clergy.

Atlanteans take pride in maintaining a culture separate from the humans around them. They still use ancient Imperial Atlantean names rather than names similar to those used by the humans they live among. Atlantean holds are more like one another than they are like the cities around them.

Atlantean Stormtrooper

Prime Requisite: STR, DEX, and INT
Requirements: INT 9, WIS 9, CHA 9
Hit Dice: 1d4
Maximum Level: 12

Experience Level Title HD CON STR DEX WIS Attack CL 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
0 1 Stormtrooper 1d4 14+ 15+ 16+ 17+ 10+ 1 1
3,675 2 Storm Sergeant 2d4 13+ 14+ 15+ 16+ 9+ 1 1
7,350 3 Storm Lieutenant 3d4 13+ 13+ 15+ 16+ 9+ 2 2
14,700 4 Storm Captain 4d4 12+ 13+ 14+ 15+ 8+ 3 2 1
29,400 5 Storm Major 5d4 11+ 12+ 13+ 14+ 7+ 3 2 1
58,800 6 Storm Colonel 6d4 11+ 12+ 13+ 14+ 7+ 4 2 2
120,000 7 Storm Marshal 7d4 10+ 11+ 12+ 13+ 6+ 5 2 2 1
240,000 8 Storm Commander 8d4 9+ 10+ 11+ 12+ 5+ 5 2 2 1
410,000 9 Storm Lord 9d4 9+ 10+ 11+ 12+ 5+ 6 2 2 2
580,000 10 Storm Lord, 10th Level 9d4+2 8+ 9+ 10+ 11+ 4+ 7 3 2 2 1
750,000 11 Storm Lord, 11th Level 9d4+4 7+ 8+ 9+ 10+ 3+ 7 3 2 2 1
920,000 12 Storm Lord, 12th Level 9d4+6 7+ 8+ 9+ 10+ 3+ 8 3 3 2 2

Atlantean stormtroopers are veteran archer-mages from Atlantean militias.

As the name implies, stormtroopers are primarily soldiers. Like fighters, they advance in attack and saving throws by two points every 3 levels. At first level, stormtroopers hit an unarmored foe (AC 0) with an attack throw of 10+. In addition, they gain an accuracy bonus of +1 to all attack throws with missile weapons. Due to their careful aim, they increase their base damage roll from successful missile attacks by +1 at 1st level, and by an additional +1 at 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th level. Stormtroopers are trained to fight with all weapons, but they may only wear leather armor and helmets. They are not trained to use shields, but they may fight two-handed or dual wield weapons.Atlantean stormtroopers are veteran archer-mages from Atlantean militias.

A stormtrooper can learn and cast arcane spells as a mage of two-thirds his stormtrooper level, as summarized on the Spell Progression table above. Like a mage, the stormtrooper’s spell selection is limited to the spells in his repertoire. A stormtrooper’s repertoire can include a number of spells up to the number and level of spells listed for his level, increased by his Intelligence bonus. Stormtroopers can use any magic items that are available to mages or fighters.

Like all Atlantean spellcasters, the Atlantean stormtrooper was taught the art by a demonic Atlantean familiar. This companion spirit looks like a 1′ – 1 ½’ tall imp or gargoyle, but can use illusions to disguise itself as a bat, cat, rat, raven, or small snake, or an animate puppet, doll, or ventriloquist’s dummy, or a 1′ tall evil clown. The Atlantean familiar has AC 2. It can fly [90(30)], and walk [60(20)], but prefers to ride about on its Atlantean’s shoulder. The familiar’s HD & hp are equal ½ its Atlantean’s HD & hp, and its INT equals its Atlantean’s INT. The familiar has a number of general and class proficiencies equal to its Atlantean and chosen from its Atlantean’s class list. The Atlantean familiar speaks Infernal and understands all languages spoken by its Atlantean. The Atlantean familiar can teleport to Hell or to its Atlantean’s side at will. It grants its Atlantean a +1 bonus on all saving throws when it is within 30′, but it usually teleports to Hell as its first action in any combat situation. The Atlantean familiar is obligated to teach its Atlantean magic (serving as a master who teaches spells until the Atlantean reaches 9th level), but it rarely obeys commands or grants requests (roll on Reaction to Hiring Offer chart each time; -1 if its Atlantean is Neutral, -2 if Lawful), If the familiar spirit is slain, the Atlantean must succeed on a CON save or immediately take damage equal to the familiar’s maximum hp. The familiar isn’t really destroyed, just banished to Hell for a year and a day, like any other demon, or until its Atlantean gains a level, at which point its obligation to teach its Atlantean overrides its prohibition on returning to the mortal plane after its physical manifestation was destroyed.

In addition to his spellcasting ability, an Atlantean stormtrooper has two spell-like abilities, both of which take a single round to cast, like a normal spell. Once per hour, the stormtrooper may protect himself with a shield for 3 turns. This shield negates any magic missiles that target the stormtrooper and also grants him an Armor Class of 7 against missile attacks and 5 against melee attacks, provided those attacks do not originate from behind him. They may also cast the new spell energy bow (described below) once per hour.

Like all Atlanteans, the stormtrooper has been taught to speak, read, and write Atlantean, Draconic, Goblysh, and Infernal, as well as the common tongue of the continent where he was raised. Much of the Atlantean’s training has been at the hands of demonic spirits, rendering him inexorable in the face of horrors that terrify normal men. He is immune to all natural and magical fear effects.

The shadow may rely upon ancient pacts of service and obedience by which the lords of Atlantis bound the dark powers of the world, which grant all Atlanteans a +2 bonus to reaction rolls when encountering intelligent chaotic monsters. Intelligent chaotic monsters also suffer a -2 penalty to saving throws against any charm spells cast by an Atlantean.

Finally, Atlanteans grow in power “after the flesh”, as they call it. If transformed into intelligent undead, Atlanteans retain their racial powers and any class abilities. Once transformed, the Atlantean may continue to advance in Hit Dice without limit, even past his class’s maximum level. A 1 HD undead Atlantean stormtrooper requires 4,000 XP to advance to 2 HD, and the amount of XP required to advance as an undead doubles with each HD thereafter (round values greater than 20,000 XP to the nearest 1,000). All of the Atlantean’s class abilities will continue to progress without regard to his class’s maximum level, to a maximum of 14th level.

However, because of their dark souls, the grim embrace of death holds special perils for Atlanteans. Whenever a deceased Atlantean rolls on the Tampering With Mortality table, he suffers a penalty on the 1d20 roll of -1 per level of experience.

When he reaches 7th level, the Atlantean stormtrooper may begin to research spells, scribe magical scrolls, and brew potions as if he were a 5th level mage.

When he reaches 9th level, the storm lord may construct an Atlantean hold. The hold is an urban settlement, and must include at least 10,000gp of urban investment. The hold must be built within a civilized or borderlands domain, whether that domain is ruled by the storm lord or his liege. Once the hold is complete, the storm lord attracts 3d6x10 1st level Atlanteans (roll on the table below to determine class) as followers. These soldiers expect to be paid normal wages for 1st level veteran mercenaries. Other mercenaries the storm lord hires are not expected to be Atlanteans. His followers bring with them 75 Atlantean urban families, who form the hold’s initial population. One-fifth of the additional urban families that join the hold as it grows are Atlantean urban families (as opposed to one-tenth in a typical human-ruled domain). Peasant families that join the storm lord’s domain, if any, are human families.

d%: Follower Class (roll for each group of 10 followers)
01-40: Atlantean Stormtroopers (Composite Bow, Sword, Leather Armor, Helmet)
41-50: Mounted Atlantean Stormtroopers (Composite Bow, Sword, Leather Armor, Helmet, Light Warhorse)
51-70: Atlantean Mentalists (Spear)
71-80: Atlantean Mentalists (Sword, Short Sword)
81-90: Atlantean Swordsmages (Sword, Plate Armor, Helmet, Shield)
91-00: Mounted Atlantean Swordsmages (Lance, Sword, Plate Armor, Helmet, Shield, Heavy Warhorse with Chain Barding)

Atlantean Stormtrooper Proficiency List: Alchemy, Alertness, Ambushing, Battle Magic, Black Lore, Bribery, Combat Reflexes, Command, Contemplation, Elementalism, Fighting Style, Illusion Resistance, Leadership, Loremastery, Magical Engineering, Military Strategy, Mystic Aura, Precise Shooting, Prestidigitation, Riding, Running, Sensing Power, Skirmishing, Sniping, Soothsaying, Unarmed Fighting, Unflappable Casting, Wakefulness, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus

The Atlantean Stormtrooper was built as follows:

Atlantean (Zaharan) Value: 1 = 825 xp
Hit Die Value: 0 = 0 xp
Fighting Value: 2 (4 custom power swaps) = 1600 xp
Thievery Value: 0 = 0 xp
Divine Value: 0 = 0 xp
Arcane Value: 2 = 1250 xp

Note: I know the energy bow custom power violates the “no blast effects” rule for spell-like abilities, but I like it, so it stays.

New Spell

Energy Bow
Arcane 1
Range: self
Duration: 1 round per level

This spell allows the caster to enchant a short bow, longbow, or composite bow that he wields, allowing it to fire bolts of electricity instead of arrows. While enchanted, the bow does not consume ammunition, it’s attacks count as magical attacks, and it inflicts 1d6+1 points of electrical damage instead of the normal 1d6 damage. The weapon’s range is unaffected, and the caster must make attack throws to hit, and may cleave, with the weapon as normal. The damage bonus from the Air Elementalism proficiency applies to attacks with the bow, as do all modifiers to attack throws and damage rolls that would normally apply, including DEX bonuses, proficiency bonuses, magic item bonuses, etc. The round in which the spell is cast is the first round of its duration, and the caster may attack with the bow in that round. The enchantment only functions for the caster; for everyone else, this spell is used to create energy bows.

The Energy Bow spell was built as follows:

Effect: Blast 1d6+1 damage per level = 33
Effect: Elemental Damage: Electricity = x1
Effect: Max 1d damage = x0.1
Targeting: 1 creature = x1
Targeting: Attack throw required = x0.35
Duration: 1 round per level = x4
Range: 240′ = x1.2
Saving Throw: None = x1
Source: Arcane = x1
Total: 5.3856 (Level 1)

New Magic Item

Bow +1, Energy Bow: Attacks from this bow inflict electrical damage and do not consume ammunition.


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