Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Body King

Micah on the OSR Discord server wanted some race-as-class parasites. So OK here's mine. I was inspired by 3 things I've been digging lately:

  • The Thing
  • That new Venom movie where Tom Hardy eats chicken from the trash 
  • The concept of royalty.

There are a bunch of other better entries that I need to post once I find their links. Blogging, folks? It's hard.
This is you. Hi

You are the Body King.
Yours is the unseen kingdom, and the men-at-arms who raise your banner are both cavalier and carriage. This is the class you play if you want to be an infection the rest of the party shares.

You get +2 HP per Body King Template (but only when you’re inside someone--see below).

Body King
A The Viscid Demesne, Noblesse Oblige, Blade of the King
B Tumorous Accolade
C Contagious Mandate
D Superdermal Magnificence

Knowingly or not, your party members are your knights. It takes a standard action to burrow inside a knight; it takes half your move to burst out of one, out of the mouth or a stab wound or any other egress that may present itself (but do try to keep your regality). If you’re expelled from a knight by any means against your will, you’re stunned for the following round, and can only twitch and twist on the ground.

Outside of them, you’re about a foot long and have a thrashing tail that can do 1 damage if it hits. You can’t benefit from any Strength ability bonus and you have 1 HP and unarmored AC. You die after a day of exposure.

When you’re inside one of your knights, they have access to any template levels you have outside of your Body King template, and if any of your ability scores are higher than theirs, they can use yours instead.

You have a telepathic connection with the knight you occupy. You can speak through their mouth or you can expose yourself physically partway out of their body and speak with your own.

You have a defense of 16, and can only be attacked on a turn you’re using a Body King ability. If your enemy misses you they still might hit your knight. Whenever your knight is struck by an enemy, you can choose to take the hit instead. If you or your knight drop to 0 hit points, you are immediately expelled.

You can attack from inside your knight, weaponizing their morphology into ropy pseudopods, acidic expulsions, ballistic teeth, or whatever other suitably Body Horror thing you can think of. You do 1d6+str damage with a maximum range equal to a shortbow’s.

You can now grant Accolades unto your knights in the form of gross body mods. You must be inside a knight to give them an Accolade, but they persist for their listed duration whether you’re there or not. You know a number of Accolades equal to how many Body King templates you have and can use them each once per day. It’s a standard action to grant an Accolade.

You are now capable of infesting individuals who aren’t your knights. This connection is turbulent and tenuous; if conscious and unrestrained your host is allowed a save on first infection to resist your entry. If they succeed you’re immediately expelled.
You can only last an hour inside a non-knight host before you are expelled. If you leave your host for this or any reason, they must save or die.

Your knights are forever shaped by their service. Choose two Accolades you know to unlock their Magnificences. You may now grant these to any host you enter. They are permanent alterations and remain after you depart. The process takes one minute and is very painful.
If you die, all granted Magnificences immediately cease to function and are painfully shed over the course of a week.

Chitinous Cuirass: Your knight’s sternum stretches and reknits itself. They gain 2 AC for an hour.
      MAGNIFICENCE: As above but permanent, and they also gain a +2 to their Save.

By My Hand: Your knight gains a natural melee attack dealing 1d8+Str damage for an hour.
     MAGNIFICENCE: As above but permanent, and they also gain a natural ranged attack dealing 1d6+Str.

Bugle-Call Nodule: A nodule grows on your knight’s neck. They can pop it to flood their body with adrenaline and reroll initiative. Lasts an hour or until use.
     MAGNIFICENCE: Your knight can reroll initiative once per fight and has +2 to their next attack in any encounter they do.

Inculcated Assassin: You may make an attack through your knight even if you’re not inside them. This still takes your action. Lasts until rest or use.
     MAGNIFICENCE: You may make an attack through your knight at any time, as long as they’re within a mile of you.

Of Royal Blood: You infest an artery of your knight and produce within it a dose of powerful neurotoxin, suitable for ingestion or the coating of a weapon. The administering of it forces a save or the user suffers disadvantage on all mental checks and saves for an hour. The dose itself holds its potency for one minute—if it’s not used before then it’s lost.
     MAGNIFICENCE: This Magnificence can only be used with CONTAGIOUS MANDATE, and never on a knight. You flood your host with neurotoxin; they immediately become a mindless servant under your control. They are given no save at the hour’s end, and just straight-up die.

Court of Whispers: Your knight’s cochlea unfurls and becomes a tiny mouth. They lose hearing in one ear, but you no longer must be inside them to communicate. Lasts until rest.
     MAGNIFICENCE: As above, but they keep the hearing and it’s permanent. They may also grant a temporary, hourlong version of Court of Whispers to anyone else with a touch.

Symbiont Warhorse: You move your full speed inside your knight, dragging them with you. You can use this movement to leap alarmingly high/far or climb walls/ceilings. Used instantly.
     MAGNIFICENCE: Your knight gains a permanent speed boost of +5 and can climb walls at half speed.

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