Reign of Hazards
Rules - Essences - Last Haven
(Last Haven Campaign)
The essence of the Ether when brought into the Material Plane forms crystalline structures of the pure ethereal energy. These crystals, called Ethereal Essences, may form when any creature dies. The essences may be harvested from that creature’s corpse and imbued into a character or a Legendary Item, granting magical abilities.
Ethereal Essences may come from any living or undead creature. To determine if an essence has coalesced, the GM makes a flat check against the DC listed in Table: Coalescing Chance. One ethereal essence may coalesce for every 2 HD of the creature, minimum 1. The GM will make a flat check for each possible essence.
Table: Coalescing Chance
|Creature HD||DC||Creature HD||DC|
|Less than 1||-||10-11||9|
Simple observation within reach of a corpse will allow any character to determine if an essences exists. Alternatively, the use of detect magic will inform a caster of the presence of essence at range. Either of these observation methods may be subject to lighting, concealment, distraction or other obstructions at the discretion of the GM. When an essence is detected, the GM will assign the essence to a character, keeping the allocation of all Essences equal among the characters of the campaign or adventure. When that character is within reach of the essence, it will immediately enter the character’s space and into their possession. The essence may be imbued or kept it in the character’s possession for later use.
Types of Essences
By default, each essence starts as a pure Ethereal Essence. However, some essences when harvested may form into one of many different types of Elemental Essences. These essences may be aligned to either a primal element, a para-element or a demi-element. The core of the essence, in these cases, is made of that raw element derived from the planes and will have an affect on the type of magical ability received by the character or Legendary Item. A Primal Essence is attuned to a single Primal Plane while a Para-Essence is aligned to two different Primal Planes. A Demi-Essence is aligned to a Demi-Plane and is as rare as the Demi-Plane, itself. The GM will determine the type of Elemental Essence that has manifested based on the creature and context to which the essence was harvested.
TO determine whether an Elemental Essence has formed, the player will make a DC 16 flat check while harvesting the essence. If the player makes a successful check, they will receive an Elemental Essence and instantly know the type of element to which the essence is aligned. If the player fails the check, they will receive a pure Ethereal Essence.
When an essence is imbued to a character or Legendary Item, it imparts a magical ability upon them. To imbue an essence, the player declares whether the essence will be imbued to the character or to a Legendary Item in their possession. It is always successful when imbued to a character, and the character immediately receives the benefit of the essence. The character must hold the essence and describe the imbuing process. This is all fluff and fun.
Characters only gain access of the magical abilities of Legendary Items if they successfully bond with the item, with the noted exception of Curios. Any character in possession of a Curio can use the item’s abilities.
Bonding with a Legendary Item occurs when a character imbues an Ethereal Essence into it. To bond with the item, it must be held or worn in the appropriate manner. The character must make a Will Save with the DC based upon the type of Legendary Item. If the patron spirit of a Relic opposes the bonding, the DC is increased by 15, and if the patron spirit of a Relic blesses the bonding, the DC is decreased by 10. Whether the patron opposes or blesses the bonding will be determined by the GM. If the Will Save fails, the essence also fails to imbue the item and is lost. Once bonded, imbuing additional essences to a Legendary Item by the bonded character does not require a Will save. Bonding with a specific Legendary Item can only be attempted once per character level.
Note: Bonding with a Curio, and thereby adding a new magical ability to it, turns the Curio into a Wonder.
Table: Item Bonding DC
Descriptions of magical abilities and their requirements may be found on the Magical Abilities page. As abilities are ruled upon by the GM, they will be added to the reference page. Imbuing an essence is standard action. Characters can store essences and later combine multiple of them to create unique powers for Legendary Items. For example, if a character wants at-will invisibility on a sundry bond, they might imbue an air or shadow essence plus two other ethereal essences, or they might imbue four ethereal essences to an item. Additionally, some powers may only work on certain types of bonds.
At the GM’s discretion, a secondary magical ability may be inherited by a character upon imbuing any type of Elemental Essences. The GM will consider the type of essence; the character’s concept; and the dead creature’s abilities when selecting a thematically appropriate magical ability.
Passive & Triggered Magical Abilities
Magical abilities received from essences come in two varieties; passive and triggered. While passive abilities of characters are always active, passive abilities of Legendary Items only affect the character when the item is worn or held. Triggered abilities must be actively declared and acted upon by the character, in addition to holding, wearing or wielding the item. For every essence imbued to receive a triggered magical ability, the character or Legendary Item accumulates two Ethereal Points (EP). These EP are spent by triggering any magical ability the character or Legendary Item possesses. Doing so will consume a number of EP indicated in the ability’s description.
For example, a casting bond with the Culling Spell ability would cost 1 EP per spell level to cast. If an arcane bond is imbued with 1 essence for magic missile, 2 essences for bull’s strength and 1 essence for lesser reach, the item would have 8 EP (4 EE x 2 = 8 EP). Casting Magic Missile or using the Reach Spell ability will cost 1 EP, while casting Bull’s Strength would cost 2 EP. Ethereal Points reset to full following an eight-hour rest.
For every three Ethereal Essences imbued into a character, the player gains a +1 to a single ability score of the player’s choice. No score may be increased if the resulting score is greater than ten points higher than any other ability score of the character. Additionally, the player may select one feat for that character.
Armor bonds, weapon bonds and casting bonds gain an enhancement bonus according to the table below. Enhancement bonuses for casting bonds will increase the DC of any spell cast from the casting bond or from the character’s spell slots provided they are wielding the bond when casting the spell.
Table: Cumulative Essences
|Number of Essences||Enhancement Bonus||Minimum Level|