Custom Powers - from Breath Weapons to Flagellation

Here are a few Custom Powers I have thought about for various races/classes I am thinking of.


Breath Weapons (costs 5 powers): once per day, the character may use a breath weapon which causes 1d4 damage per level of experience. The available breath weapons are:

30’ long, 10’ wide cone of fire.

20’ long, 5’ wide lightning bolt.

30’ long, 10’ wide cloud of freezing vapor.

20’ long, 5’ wide line of acid.

10’ by 10’ cloud of poison vapor.

This is a weaker version of a Dragon’s breath.


Energy Resistance (costs 3 powers): choose one type of energy or damage - acid, fire, cold, or electricity. The character is immune to mundane versions of this damage - for example a character with Fire Resistance will be immune to regular fires - and enjoys a +4 bonus to saving throws against magical versions of this energy (such as fireballs in the example above. A character may not be resistant to more than one type of energy.


Flagellation: the character can whip herself (literally! or inflict pain on herself otherwise) into a furious religious zeal. She suffers 1 point of damage per level of experience, but gains a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls and becomes immune to fear. The character may not retreat from combat while this lasts. Furthermore, the Judge may rule that she will have to attack, to the best of her lethal ability, the nearest enemy of her faith, even if the player thinks this is not a prudent choice. The zealous fury lasts until the combat ends.


Martyrdom: upon reaching 0 hit points, the character may choose to remain in full fighting condition, functioning as if she has above-zero hit points, and applying any further damage as negative hit points. She may continue fighting until she reaches a negative number of hit points equal or exceeding her Constitution score, or stays conscious for a number of rounds equal to her level of experience - the sooner between them. Then she falls, unconscious mortally wounded. The price of her sacrifice is that she suffers a penalty of -1 per level of experience to both Mortal Wounds *and* Tampering with Mortality rolls related to that injury.


Rake (also known as Bone-Breaking Strength or Fists of Iron): similar to Fangs and Claws, minus the fangs; thus the claws get stronger at the same cost level. The character gains a claw/claw attack routine. The character can also opt to do non-lethal damage, but in that case he will only be able to do a single attack, as per brawling. This custom power counts as 2 or more custom powers if selected, depending on the claw damage.

2 powers - 1d3-1/1d3-1 damage

3 powers - 1d4-1/1d4-1 damage

4 powers - 1d6-1/1d6-1 damage

5 powers - 1d8-1/1d8-1 damage.

What do you think of them?



I quite like these! Making a Draconian and a zealot, right?

Breath Weapon seems to be too many powers for a 1/day use.

Compare to being able to cast Fireball as a spell-like ability once per day; one power for d6 damage/level in a 10’ radius. It’s recommended that Fireball, as a 3rd-level spell, not be available before third level, and requires spellcasting declaration/concentration, so I could see 2-3 powers for Breath Weapon, but five seems excessive.

So maybe 3 powers for a 1d6/level breath weapon? or a 3/day 1d4/level breath weapon?

I have not run numbers on this so it’s off the top of my head; I think I would lean towards three powers baseline for a 1d4/level breath weapon, plus one additional power for each additional daily use.

By frontloading the cost with a higher baseline but lower cost per additional use, you both limit the access to a breath weapon and account for the fact that each additional use is less of an increase in usefulness than the first use.

This is very close to how I designed the Dragon Cleric class in my campaign. Clerics can usually Invoke the Divine once per day instead of Turn Undead, which grants them 1D6+1 temporary hitponts (and certain other effects based on their religion). Invoking the Divine can be done twice daily at 4th level and trice daily at 10th level. It provides 2D6+1 temporary hit points at 7th level and 3D6+1 at 13th level.

Dragon Cleric

Special ability: Breath weapon, when Invoking the Divine instead of temporary hit points you open your mouth and unleash dragon's breath of the same type you were baptized in.You are not immune to the effect of your own breath. The breath weapon deals D4 damage per level and it's area and range is 1/5 of the worshipped dragon. Creatures may save vs. Blast to avoid all damage.

Lightning: bolt 20' long and 1' wide

Fire: cone 15' long 6' wide

Wind, Steam, Ice: cone 15' long 6' wide leaves obscuring cloud for one round

Poison: cloud 10' long 10' wide leaves obscuring cloud for one round

Acid: jet 20' long and 1' wide


So maybe 3 powers for a 1d6/level breath weapon? or a 3/day 1d4/level breath weapon?


You can always run the effect through the companion spell creator and see how it would look as a spell.  That would give a good idea of its power level as a spell and then base the points/damage from there.  Abet it mentions damage spells not being something that usually gets an innate power, but could work if its one additional custom power point for that too.

Keep in mind too that fireball is really a 5th level spell by calculations, but thats only 3rd due to a breakthrough in spell research.

I wonder how much 1d4/level 3x a day would cost. Remember, at level 1 you do 1d4 damage to a small area; at level 5 (spell level 3) you do 5d4 for an area smaller than a fireball. Seems reasonable.

Some thoughts of clockwork men and Golems as playable characters - the main relevant power.

Construct: this is a “package deal” for mechanical or Golem characters, such as sentient automatons. It includes the following features:

The character does not have to eat, drink, or breath.

It is immune to poison and disease.

It is immune to magic specifically affecting living beings but receives double damage from spells specifically affecting constructs or inanimate objects, as well as from electricity-based effects.

The character does not sleep, but rather require a 4-hour period of inactivity per day to renew its energy (for example, wind up a clockwork man’s springs), which allows the character to renew spells.

The character is not a living being and thus does not heal naturally, nor does it benefit from healing spells or potions or from laying on hands. However, it may repair itself; a full day’s work of self-repair will restore 1d3 hp to the construct. Furthermore, a character with the Magical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering proficiencies, or those who know how to Design, Build, and Repair Automatons, may use machine oil and simple spare parts costing 10gp - such as screws and gears - to restore 1d3 hp to a construct immediately after combat. Furthermore, a Mending spell (IIRC this doesn’t exist yet in ACKS - I will create it and include it in BCK) will restore 1d6+1 hp to the construct. A Greater Mending spell will cure 2d6+1 hp.

This shouldn’t cost too much due to the healing limitation and electricity (etc) vulnerability, Maybe 5 custom powers?

What do you think?

Some thoughts about undead PCs as well; only Ghoul-type, as I don't think Energy Drain is something I'd like to give to PCs.

Undead: the character is an undead creature.  this is a “package deal” for undead characters. It includes the following features:

Undead do not need to breath and do not need to drink water (though some feed by drinking blood). They are immune to poison and disease.

Undead do not need to sleep but, but rather require a 4-hour period of inactivity per day to renew spells and other daily abilities.

The character heals as any normal character provided he feeds appropriately. An undead character must eat at least 10lb of dead humanoid flesh a day to heal normally. It will not starve if deprived of meat, but will not heal unless it stays in a Sinkhole of Evil. Reversed healing spells also heal undead characters, and Animate Dead restores them as Restore Life and Limb restores a living character. Regular (non-reversed) healing spells damage the undead character.

Any spells and effects which affect undead also affect the undead character.

Turning undead affects an undead PC, though the character may save vs. Spells to avoid its effect. If a PC is Turned, this works like a Fear spell. He flees, or if he cannot flee, he cowers in terror. If he is Destroyed by turning, it's as if he were disintegrated. If controlled, it's as if he were charmed.

Given the limitations, I wonder how much this custom power will cost...