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Nexus




 

Regardless of whether he uses his will or his personality to channel this connection, the nexus is a potent channeler of magic. To a nexus, magic is almost literally a part of him—to the point of feeling pain if his incantations cannot be channeled. Because of this, a nexus sees magic as something that is essential to him. However, mundane objects of his sphere are meaningful to him as well, and because of the ambience of most of the spheres, there are few moments where a nexus will be completely isolated from his sphere. In addition, because nexuses can almost always channel their incantations, they often see their magic as the solution to their problems. This makes nexuses resourceful with the use of their magic, channeling incantations in ways that others usually don’t think of.

A nexus is a mage, much like a sorcerer or a wizard.

He uses his incantations to their highest potential to defeat his foes with amazing displays of magic.

Abilities: At character creation, a nexus chooses whether he uses his Charisma or Wisdom score to determine his channeling modifier and the highest Difficulty Class of incantations that he can channel. Regardless of which ability he chooses, this ability is essential to him. Because he is relatively delicate, a nexus can also benefit a lot from a high Constitution score. Some incantations involve attacking the foe from a distance, so a nexus who channels those incantations needs a good Dexterity score. Given the choice between Strength and Intelligence, the nexus will usually choose the latter, because it helps him to understand his sphere, which can grant him several benefits.

Races: The affinity for channeling magic can manifest itself in any of the races, although some spheres manifest themselves more clearly in some races, and some races have a better affinity for magic overall. Most of the psionic races, for example, boast at least several nexuses of the mind sphere, whereas elves prove to be adept in the channeling of magic of the nature sphere.

Alignment: A nexus can be of any alignment, although the instinctive method of wielding magic often make nexuses chaotic over lawful. However, there are nexuses who have a pact that relates to their magic—these nexuses are often lawful. Good nexuses are cunning mages who defend the weak with their infinite magic; evil nexuses are elitist channelers who seek to spread the sway of their spheres through any means necessary.

Starting Gold: 3d4x10 (75 gp).

Starting Age: Simple (as sorcerer).

Table: The Nexus
Level Base
Attack Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special

Incantations
Known

1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Magic sensitivity, soul opening  2
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Sphere resistance +1
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Magic touch
5th +2 +1 +1 +4
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Sphere resistance +2
7th +3 +2 +2 +5
8th +4 +2 +2 +6
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Sphere resistance +3
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Sphere defense
11th +5 +3 +3 +7
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Sphere resistance +4
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 Sphere resistance +5 10 
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 10 
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 11 
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Sphere resistance +6 11 
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 12 
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Soul rift 12 

Class Skills

The nexus’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration, Craft, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (psionics), Knowledge (the planes), Listen, Profession, Psicraft, Sense Motive, Speak Language, Spellcraft, Spot, Survival, Use Magic Device, Use Psionic Device.

Skill Points at 1st Level

(4 + Int modifier) ×4.

Class Features

Your ability to channel incantations is essential to you, when fighting and when you aren’t. In fact, it is so essential to you, that you are sensitive to magic. While this sensitivity might be a weakness sometimes, it can also prove to be your greatest asset. Depending on your sphere, you can wield the stars, elements, nature, or even the minds of your foes. Overall, your incantations are your signature, and they define you.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

You are proficient with simple weapons, but not with armor or shields.

Incantations

You begin your career with two incantations known. All of the spheres are available to you, although you may only know incantations from one sphere, which you must choose upon becoming a nexus. This choice does not affect your list of class skills.

Once you know an incantation, you may channel it. An incantation usable by nexuses is considered a supernatural ability. Your incantations are not affected by spell resistance, but you provoke attacks of opportunity when you channel one.

You learn additional incantations at higher levels, as shown on Table 1-1. You must be able to channel incantations of its Difficulty Class in order to learn it.

Your channeling modifier is equal to your nexus level + your Charisma or Wisdom modifier (hereafter referred to as your channeling ability modifier). You must choose which ability score affects your channeling modifier at character creation, and you cannot change it once it has been determined.

The highest Difficulty Class of incantations that you may channel equals your channeling ability modifier + 1.5 x your nexus level.

Magic Sensitivity (Su)

Your soul is suffused with the magic of your sphere. This makes you unusually aware of that sphere, to the point of being sensitive to it. When you cannot hold your magic, your soul aches. However, this sensitivity allows you to use magic other than your own with more ease.

When you are in a wild magic zone, you must make a DC 15 Will save each round or be confused for that round, as the spell. Furthermore, when you are in a dead magic zone, you must make a DC 20 Will save or become fatigued. If you fail the save by more than 5, you become exhausted instead.

This effect lasts for as long as you are in the dead magic zone and for 1 hour thereafter.

Soul Opening (Su)

When you channel magic, you use relatively little of your soul’s potential to successfully invoke the incantation that you want to use. This is because you subconsciously limit yourself to keep your soul from straining too much. However, you can release your subconscious inhibitions to channel incantations with tremendous power.

A number of times per day equal to your channeling ability modifier, you can open your soul to channel incantations with more power. When you do so, your channeling modifier becomes 1.5 x (your nexus level + your channeling ability modifier). In addition, the highest Difficulty Class of incantations that you may channel equals your channeling ability modifier + 2 x your channeler level, which may exceed 40 (unlike normal channeling DCs; see Chapter 3 for more details).

Tapping into the magic of your soul is straining, however. Immediately after your soul opening ends, you become fatigued. Additionally, you must make a Will save (DC 10 + 2 x the number of rounds you used this ability). If you fail this save, you take 1 point of ability burn for every point by which you failed the saving throw. This ability burn affects your channeling ability score. For example, if you used your soul opening for three rounds, you must make a DC 16 Will save. If you fail the saving throw by 7, you take 7 points of ability burn to your channeling ability score.

Sphere Resistance (Ex)

As you channel the magic of your sphere longer, you gain more resistance to the damaging effects of your sphere.

At 3rd level, you gain a +1 insight bonus to saving throws against incantations, spells, powers, and other effects with certain descriptors, depending on your sphere (see Table: Spheres and Sphere Resistance for more details). This bonus increases by 1 for every three nexus levels you have.

Magic Touch (Su)

Even though the magic that you wield is unlike that of spellcasters and manifesters, you can use your affinity for your sphere to use some items made by them. At 4th level, you gain a bonus equal to one-half your nexus level on Use Magic Device and Use Psionic Device checks. However, you may only gain this bonus when using items that have a spell with one of the descriptors that you would apply your sphere resistance to as a requirement. In addition, you may take 10 when making a Use Magic Device or Use Psionic Device to activate such a magic or psionic item. However, you still may not take 10 when distracted or threatened. If your channeling ability score is Wisdom, you may apply your Wisdom modifier instead of your Charisma modifier to these checks.

Sphere Defense (Ex)

Beginning at 10th level, you have become so used to the magic of your sphere that you can shrug off magical attacks of it with relative ease. If you succeed on a saving throw against an incantation, spell, power, or other effect with a descriptor that you apply your sphere resistance to (see above) that would normally produce a lesser effect on a successful save (such as a spell with a saving throw entry of Will half or Fortitude partial), you instead negate the effect.

You do not gain the benefit of sphere defense when you are unconscious or sleeping.

Table: Spheres and Sphere Resistance
Sphere Descriptors
Astrology Light, darkness, teleportation
Elements Air, earth, fire, water
Mind Fear, mind-affecting
Nature Animal, electricity, plant, weather

Behind The Curtain: Alternative Flavor For Soul Opening

The soul opening class feature of the nexus is its defining class feature. However, its flavor can be easily adapted to create an entirely different feel to the nexus.

Heroes with the ability to wield magic gain their tremendous power through a plethora of different ways. For one character, it might be a possessor that lends the character his might, and for another, it might be an inherent ability. Regardless of how the character acquires this ability, it can be represented by the nexus’ soul opening ability. Because of this, you could change the flavor of the soul opening class feature to create an interesting character (even if your character has an ability that can be seen throughout the fantasy genre).

Soul Rift (Su)

At 20th level, your connection to your sphere is so complete that you can unleash the full fury of your sphere. Your unbridled force allows you to channel incantations that you normally could never use, but it is taxing on your body as well.

Once per day, you can unleash a soul rift while you are using the soul opening ability. While you are in a soul rift, you may channel incantations of any DC. As usual during a soul opening, the DC may exceed 40.

This ability is dependent on the soul opening ability; if you the soul opening ends, the soul rift immediately ends as well. The soul rift lasts for a number of rounds equal to your channeling ability modifier. When it ends, you immediately become exhausted. This doesn’t end your soul opening, however.

Playing A Nexus

Your link to your sphere makes you who you are.

Like fighters rely on their weapons and armor while they fight, and spellcasters rely on their spells, so do you rely on your link to your sphere. However, to a fair number of nexuses, that link goes deeper than their means of defeating their opponents. To you, it may be something to hold your faith in, knowing that your sphere will always be there to provide you with the strength when you need it most. Friends may be there for you, but they are far less reliable than your sphere, upon whom you can always call. Some nexuses see their sphere as an additional parent, especially those who gained their power to channel incantations when they were young. Others see their sphere as a guide.

Still others are relatively normal about their sphere, treating it as a tool of sorts, comparing it to the tool of an artisan or the sword of a fighter.

Because your talent is either powered by your intuition or your personality, and never your intellect, you tend to have a strong personality.

For most nexuses, there is really one thing that they need to know, and that is that they can always call upon their incantations—the rest is secondary, unnecessary knowledge.

As a nexus, you adventure to strengthen your link with your sphere, becoming able to channel better incantations as your link improves. However, there may be other motives for you to take to the path of the adventurer, depending on your sphere. If you are of the nature sphere, for example, you might travel for the same reasons as a druid, or if you are of the mind sphere, you might travel for the same reasons as a psion, or more commonly, as a wilder.

Religion: Depending on your relationship with your sphere, you may or may not revere a deity. If you revere a deity, it will most often be one who has at least some relevance to your sphere. Other channelers revere their sphere in one way or the other. Those who come from a primitive culture might see their sphere in the spirits around them, which is especially appropriate for the elemental and nature spheres. Revering a sphere as a deity in and of its own isn’t an uncommon religion among the nexuses.

Other Classes: Because your magic came to you naturally, you get along well with other classes who have gained their powers in that way, such as sorcerers and wilders. However, you also get along well with those who wield magic similar to your own, regardless of how they gained their ability.

In that aspect, it is rare for you to dislike people, because the spheres are near-universal in their nature. However, a nexus specialized in incantations of a certain element might be prejudiced when dealing with people who specialize in their opposite element. Because you are rather frail, you also get along well with frontline combatants, who can protect you, while you affect their opponents with your incantations.

Combat: Your role in combat depends partly on your sphere and the incantations that you know. However, all nexuses have several things in common when it comes to their fighting style.

As a channeler, you are as frail as any wielder of magic, so you are not likely to be an effective front line fighter. Instead, you should stay back, pelting your opponents with offensive incantations, while some of your incantations may be able bolster your allies. Because you can’t continuously channel incantations, you should channel your incantations somewhat sparingly, so that you’ll always have an incantation ready when the situation demands it.

The way in which you use your incantations will depend mostly on your sphere. Nexuses of the elements sphere are usually the artillery of the party, using their mastery of the elements to pelt their opponents with air, earth, fire, and water, although they can know a few useful utility incantations as well. The mind sphere offers a nexus many ways in which to incapacitate their opponents.

Some of the incantations of the mind sphere can debilitate a spellcaster or manifester when used in the right way at the right moment, while other incantations are dangerous, regardless of the opponents’ class. Incantations of the nature sphere use the environment, debilitating the opponent and bolstering your allies. In addition, you can call animals and even the plants to your aid.

As you become more experienced, you gain more abilities to defend yourself against your sphere, meaning that there is a relatively small chance of your incantations backfiring.

Advancement: Nexuses can come from any walk of life and from any race. It might have been that you were a youth in a tribe who suddenly discovered that he could handle nature with magic, or you could have been the son of a long line of psychic adepts who manifested his talent not in the form of psionic powers, but through incantations of the mind sphere.

There are relatively few nexuses who have mastered their magic with the help of someone else, and they may not even want aid; they may prefer to find out how they can channel incantations on their own. Nonetheless, a few nexuses have chosen to take on apprentices who show that they have talent, whether it was on purpose or accidentally. Schools for nexuses, however, are rare, if there are any such schools at all.

As you learn how to channel incantations better and your bond with your sphere improves, the most essential decisions in your career are choosing the incantations that you want to learn. Try to keep yourself versatile, so that you always have a backup that you can rely on when one of your incantations fails to have the effect that you wanted it to have.

Human Nexus Starting Package

Armor: None (speed 30 ft.).

Weapons: Quarterstaff (1d6/1d6, crit x2, 4 lb., two-handed bludgeoning), light crossbow (1d8, crit 19-20/x2, range inc. 80 ft., 4 lb., piercing).

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability
Concentration 4 Con
Craft 4 Int
Know (arcana) 4 Int
Know (nature) 4 Int
Know (psionic) 4 Int
Know (planes) 4 Int
Listen 4 Wis
Profession 4 Wis
Psicraft 4 Int
Speak Language 4 N/A
Spellcraft 4 Int
Spot 4 Wis

Feat: Channeling Prodigy.

Sphere: Elements.

Incantations: Conjure flame (DC 3), wind push (DC 3).

Gear: Backpack with waterskin, one day’s trail rations, bedroll, sack, and flint and steel. Ten candles, map case. Case with 10 crossbow bolts.

Gold: 4d6 gp.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Channeling Copyright 2007, Robert van der Meer