Saturday, September 13, 2014

Alternate Class Paths: Kishu Osore

Custom Monastic Tradition based on gaining power from experiencing terror.



The Kishu Osore is a technique from an ancient time.  The name translates to "Fear Rider".  At one time, there were a number of different "Kishu" techniques, all designed to allow a person to function while experiencing some extreme of emotion in the hopes that the people trained in this secret would be, for all intents and purposes, immune to all the negative aspects of fear, rage, sorrow and the like.  Indeed, the thought was that fear or rage would be a source of power for the trainee.

Unfortunately, the innovator of the technique rushed to teach it and gather accolades as a master before he'd truly mastered it or even completed the technique.  The individuals trained in this technique, including the original master himself, slowly or quickly became dominated by that one emotion in almost every aspect of their life.

For example, each Kishu Osore became fixated on one triggering sensation that could fill them with fear.  It was usually something connected to the original training.  In the beginning, being exposed to the trigger would produce brief periods of being startled and reacting defensively, or perhaps striking out.  However, they would slowly react to broader and broader catalysts, reaching paranoia and then eventually reaching the point where they would be little more than a killing machine.  A killing machine that lost almost no tactical skill or mastery of combat.

Other Kishu would fail to figure out how to use the power generated by the technique and literally burn themselves out long before they could go finally insane.

The technique was forbidden and most records of its teaching were destroyed.  Eventually it was almost completely forgotten.  Unfortunately, now that knowledge of what it does has been lost to time, it has started to appear again as people discover lost manuals of training.

Ride the Fear

At third level, once a Monk chooses this Tradition, they are no longer affected by the Frightened Status in the normal way.  Instead, they experience the following:

  • While Frightened, the Monk must make every effort to destroy the source of the fear. 
  • Every round they remain Frightened, they gain 1 point of Osore. This all vanishes once they are no longer frightened.
  • If someone or something blocks their way, they must fight their way past until they are free to attack the source of the fear again.  If the obstacle is something or someone they don't want to hurt, then they must make a Charisma Saving Throw against a difficulty of 8+Osore as they try to reassert their true personality over their own willpower run wild.
  • They gain Advantage on saving throws against mind-affecting status effects. 
All Kishu Osore have a phobia which can force them to make a Wisdom Saving Throw or become Frightened.  To begin with, the trigger is something rare or easily avoided.

Osore Flare

In the beginning, Osore is a power source that the Monk cannot do much with.  It will accumulate as long as the Monk is Frightened.  At 6th level, as they descend deeper into this tradition and fight to master it, the Monk begins to lose control of this power source.

If it surpasses the Monk's current level of Ki, then they begin to erupt in a sickly orange and purple fire as the Osore leaks out of them and covers their weapons.  Once the Osore has surpassed their Ki, three things persist until the Monk has more Ki than Osore again.

  • The Monk deals bonus Necrotic damage in melee equal to their Proficiency Bonus.  This is also dealt to anyone grappling them them or items they touch, not including weapons.
  • 1 Hit Point is converted to 2 Temporary Hit Points each round.  To a maximum of their normal Hit Points + twice their level.  For every 5 Osore over Ki they have, 1 more Hit Point is converted in a round.
  • The character now rolls saving throws against effects that cure Frightened status because they are no longer as easy to calm down.  They have advantage on these saves because they are mind-affecting abilities. This includes reaching the normal end of a fear duration.
Once the character is no longer frightened, all temporary hit points vanish.  If they have less than half their normal Hit Points when then this happens, they must make a Constitution Save against a DC equal to 12+the number of rounds the Frightened lasted.  If they fail, they fall unconscious.  If they succeed, they merely have one level of Exhaustion.

Tricks of Fear

At 11th level, the character picks up some tricks for using their Osore.  They can select three of the following abilities.

Fear Lent them Wings - Spend 1 Osore to increase your Unarmed Movement bonus speed by 50% and double the distance of all jumps for 1 round.

Burning Terror - Spend 1 Osore to gain bonus Necrotic damage on melee attacks this round.

Long Reach of Fear - For 1 Osore, you can extend your reach for 5ft for one attack.

Projected Fear - Spend 1 Osore to make an Intimidate check as a bonus action on someone standing between you and the source of your fear.  For 2 Osore, you make the check with Advantage.

Tactical Terror - Spend 2 Osore to behave without restrictions for a number of rounds equal to their Wisdom modifier.  After those rounds are over, they return to fixating on the source of their fear.

Osore Ki - They can spend 2 Osore as if it were 1 Ki to activate other Monk abilities.

Terrified Strength - They can spend 1 Osore to gain Advantage on any Strength check.

Horrifying Wounds - The Kishu Osore spends 2 Osore and the wounds they cause this round require double the normal amount of healing to be recovered.  Objects they touch that they are not wearing or wielding might be damaged or destroyed.  Trees or other such inanimate plants struck accidentally or otherwise will grow sickly and start to die.

Once the Kishu Osore is no longer Frightened, they need to make a Wisdom save against a DC of 8 + the amount of Osore spent in the fight.  If they fail this roll, then they gain a level of Paranoia.  Each time the monk gains a level of Paranoia, expand their Phobia so that more things trigger a Frightened status.  If the Paranoia grows higher than the Monk's Wisdom Modifier, then they become permanently in a Frightened state, eventually coming to the conclusion that everything is a threat.  Only extreme circumstances can recover the Kishu Osore once this happens.

Mastery of Fear

If the Kishu Osore reaches 17th level without succumbing to either death or insanity, then they achieve mastery over the cursed technique.  The Kishu Osore becomes immune to the negative impacts of fear, both the normal effects and those caused by this Traditions earlier powers.  They are now able to think clearly no matter how frightened they are.  This means that they do not have to destroy the source of the fear, especially if they recognize that it is not a real threat.

The Kishu Osore no longer gains Paranoia and all Paranoia levels are reset to 0.

The Kishu Osore can trigger a fear state in themselves up to three times.  They refresh their ability to trigger their own fear after a Long Rest.

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