Mad Science

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So, a player character in my ongoing game has suffered from an Extract Water Elemental right where it hurts (IE: everywhere) and is now dead. Being on poor speaking terms with the local Clergy, the players are putting their money on the local mad scientist who provides them with magic items to try and manage some kind of resurrection. Now, they question is both "Can the Mad Scientist successfully raise the character and have a playable result?" and "What exactly describes this process and what kinds of weird crap can I stick on the character?"

Some points:


  • The players are level 12-13 so normal resurrection should be well within their ability. Therefor I don't see problems for at least offering it to them even without a cleric.

  • The Mad Scientist is well in the player's pocket but is well and truly crazy, having previously dismembered party members. Something as drastic as a resurrection should be messy and leave the character with some MAJOR disfigurements and probably no longer Humanoid (human).

  • The party possesses the dead players dessicated corpse and (most of) the extracted water.

  • The Mad Scientist, while essentially epic level, abhors the use of "Magic" or at least of Spellcasting. This, combined with the "Death by dessication" creates a bit more of a challenge than could normally be solved with just a dose of lightning and cranial electrodes.



I already know of the "Gelatinous creature" template from Savage Species and want to know if anyone has any other input on templates or other effect that could be used to describe an attempt to resurrect the water, dessicated corpse, or both. Thank you.
The ashen husk and dustblight from Sandstorm are creaures that might result from doing things with the corpse, though I wouldn't normally think of them as playable (even if the dustblight does have a Level Adjustment), or you could have the player mummified (the template appears in both Savage Species and Libris Mortis), or give them a god-blooded template (Monster Manual 5).

I'd imagine that the methods would involve some kind of forceful rehydration and/or attaching parts of some other creature in order to restore the body in addition to the actual lifeforce.  It could be anything from applying the woodling template (by "repairing" him with living plant matter) to bringing him back as a warforged (by putting his brain in a mechanical body).  Anything you could reasonably get fluid out of could serve as the basis for a template application from replacement blood.

You could also go for something more customized and do something like imbuing his original water with life as a permanent water elemental and forcing it back into his body to revive him so that he seems normal, but have the water elemental escape whenever he's suitably weakened (perhaps whenever he's reduced below 0 hp) so that the party has to drive it back into him.  Possibly with something like Water Heritage added as a bonus feat, so it's not all negative.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
So, what is this Mad Scientist? An Epic level Expert with ranks in Alchemy, or something?

I'm not sure about official rules for this kind of situation (I'm sure the more knowledgable people on here will be able to help there), but with a unique NPC like this, as the DM you can make it work however you want as long as it makes sense for your world and keeps you and your players happy. It all goes back to the age old arguement of does Rules trump Story, or Story trump Rules. I personnally am in favor of Story.

Regarding Templates:

Dustform Creature from Sandstorm pg161 might work if you want to work the dried out body angle. It has a +2 LA.

Half-Elemental Water from Manual of the Planes pg188 would be good to work the combining his body with his water again leaving him a little soggy angle. It has a +3 LA. (Sorry, couldn't find a link)
@Slagger
Mummies are a bit too supernatural for the character, but I'll give another look at Sandstorm for those other two. Woodling fits the insanity almost perfectly, but not the character. Nice try though. I'm going to try to avoid warforged since the player's last character was one and there were some hoops that they had to jump through to fit it into the setting since it's significantly more low fantasy than Ebberon.

The Water elemental idea seems interesting, but considering how rare it is that characters linger at death's door, it doesn't seem a very good fit. I had thought about making the character a water elemental, but looking at the benefits that would yield I decided to check for other answers that might better encompass the idea.

@Ahruhn
The Mad Scientist is a Expert who prestige classed into a custom prestige class based on the ideas of Gnomish Artificer (Magic of Faerun page 24) and the Scientist from d20 Modern (d20 Past page 83). To summarize the class, they build otherwise normal magic items that work with limited charges. They can then apply Modifications (vaguely similar to metamagic feats) to the items and they gain new Modifications based on Working Theories that they pick up as they advance in the class. I built the prestige class because, no matter how ugly it ended up, it would be easier to run than an Artificer and the setting needed a class to fill that niche.

As for Story vs. Rules, don't worry, DM caveat is in full play here. However I hadn't had a good idea what I wanted the end result to look like, so I figured I'd see if there was any one else who might remember something that fit the theme. Something that gets close to what I'm looking at I can make fit as needed. Whatever goes on though, this gives me ideas to work with even if I'm forced into making it all up from scratch in the end.
The Water elemental idea seems interesting, but considering how rare it is that characters linger at death's door, it doesn't seem a very good fit. I had thought about making the character a water elemental, but looking at the benefits that would yield I decided to check for other answers that might better encompass the idea.

You can always adjust the escape threshold up a bit (into conscious territory) and include a save to keep the elemental contained.

It becomes a more significant downside that way, however (instead of a rare effect to occur on risky occasions), so it should have a commensurately improved benefit.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
A few random thoughts: half-golem, use the Reincarnation table & just turn him into something else, require him to retcon his last level to the first level of the PrC that turns humanoids into Warforged. He won't be one (yet), but he'll have "bionic" components.
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I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
This seems like a perfect chance to Frankenstein the hell out of your player. As a dessicated corps you could say that the scientist rules the body to be mostly unusable save for the brain, maybe throw in that you have to grind the rest down into a base concoction to save the brain from the after effects of the spell. After that, a new "vessel" needs to be created, which leads to some good old fashion grave robbing and the assembling of a flesh golem body to put the brain in. Que some "thunder bolt and light" (very, very frighting...you know the rest) and some jumper cables applied judiciously to some neck bolts and you have a sentient flesh golem with the class features of the player. Instead of the standard rage that a flesh golem has you could use the smae percentile to determin if the rest of the body over comes the mind and rampages on it's own, effectively putting the player under your control like lycanthropy. You probably shouldnt make him a full blown golem, go with some ability enhancers and DR, possably the traits of a living construct, stuff of that nature.