Campaign of the Month: November 2011
Avatar: Conquest of the Imperial Order
The Avatar, a central figure in the world of Avatar The Last Airbender, is preceived to be the physical incarnation of the spirit of the world. The Avatar serves to maintain a balance of power between the four human nations, promote peace and prosperity throughout the world, protect the environment, and bridge the gap between the world of the spirits and the physical world.
The Avatar’s unique ability to master all four of the Bending Arts and use them in combination makes the Avatar extremely powerful. In addition to the disciplined mastery of all the elements, the Avatar can, in times of great danger or emotional stress, enter into a special “Avatar State,” wherein the Avatar can call on the knowledge and power of all the past Avatars. The Avatar’s eyes glow and his or her power increases substantially. The Avatar State even allows the Avatar to use bending abilities he or she would normally be unable to perform. Finally, through intense meditation, the Avatar can enter into the spirit world and interact with spirits.
DM’s including the Avatar in their campaigns should be cautious. At any given level, the Avatar is likely to be substantially more powerful and versatile than any non-Avatar character. Additionally, the Avatar has a well-defined role to play in the campaign setting, and possesses a prestige that few (if any) other characters can match. NPC’s should act appropriately when confronted with the Avatar, likely the most powerful and influential individual on the planet. This means that an Avatar PC can easily overshadow his or her party members.
DM’s considering allowing a player to create and play an Avatar character should take these issues into account.
Creating the Avatar
“Avatar” is an inherited template that can be added to any living, corporeal human (referred to hereafter as the base creature). The Avatar uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
- The Avatar State (Su): When in situations of extreme duress and in life threatening situations where escape is almost impossible, a special defensive ability known as the Avatar State is awakened in the Avatar. Situations of extreme stress include: whenever the Avatar is reduced to 0 or less hitpoints (but before death), situations where the Avatar is subjected to fear, emotion, rage, or similar effects, or emotional influences (such as extreme hurt, anger, sadness, or loss). Entering into the Avatar state requires 1d4 full rounds as the energies build within the Avatar. While in the Avatar State, the Avatar is a being of thoughtless emotion and generally reacts to the situation with whatever emotional state they felt upon entering. This state decides what actions are taken in the Avatar State, such as if the Avatar is injured by someone, he will focus his attacks on the attacker, or if someone has kidnapped his friend, he will go to rescue his friend and woe to any in his way. While in the Avatar State, the Avatar’s power increases exponentially as he unlocks the knowledge and power of all previous incarnations of the Avatar. The Avatar’s overall bending level increases by 10 in each bending discipline (including ones he does not currently know) and he gains a +25 insight modifier to all bending skill checks he makes (if the Avatar does not currently know one or more of the other bending disciplines, he uses a straight 25 as his skill and can use it untrained). Additionally, the Avatar may access the compiled knowledge of all of his previous incarnations and utilize any bending seed. The Avatar may also safely overbend an amount of Constitution damage equal to twice his character level with no penalty. When the Avatar comes out of the Avatar state he resumes his normal status. If he overbends, then he is fatigued (or if overbending until Unconsciousness or Death he is then unconscious and exhausted.) The Avatar State lasts for a number of minutes equal to the Avatar’s character level. Using the Avatar State is a very dangerous gamble, because if the Avatar is killed while in the Avatar State, then the eternal cycle of the Avatar is broken and the Avatar may not reincarnate again. Special: It is said that an Avatar may learn to control the Avatar State by unlocking all of his body’s chakras and learning to purely channel the energy from them. There are many ways for this to be done, so it is a spiritual quest for the Avatar to learn how. Once this is unlocked, the Avatar State may be called upon by the Avatar whenever he chooses to use it, but harnessing this energy can only be safely done a number of times per day equal to the Avatar’s Wisdom modifier. This is due to the extreme stress on the Avatar’s psyche that bringing forth the Avatar State causes. The defensive reaction of the Avatar State may still also happen, however, but this leaves the Avatar exhausted for several days if the Avatar State is used too often (such as if all uses for the day are expended and then the defensive state is used).
- Mastery of Elements: As the Avatar, the base creature must select a primary bending class based on which nation the Avatar was born into (Air Nomads, Water Tribe, Earth Kingdom, or Fire Nation) and start as a member of that nation’s bending class (Airbender, Waterbender, Earthbender, or Firebender). When the Avatar reaches third level in that class, he may then start adding additional bending classes (provided he has access to a teacher who is of at least level 5 in the class he is entering) to his repertoire. Once the Avatar has enough experience to advance in level after he has studied under a master of the art he is learning, he may advance a level in both classes (only his primary class is counted as his character level); example being level 5 airbender advances with waterbender training, becoming a level 6 airbender/level 1 waterbender. Every level after the initial 1st level of the new bending class, the secondary style advances at two levels at a time when the Avatar advances his primary bending class until it equals said bending class. (Example: In the previous example, advancement would be 7AB/3WB, 8AB/5WB, 9AB/7WB, 10AB/9WB, and finally 11AB/11WB). Third and fourth styles advance at three levels and four levels at a time respectively (though third and fourth styles can never surpass the second style) until they equal the primary bending discipline in level. Note that when adding additional bending classes, the Avatar does not gain the skills, saves, hit points, base attack bonus or proficiencies of that class. He gains the class abilities, access to their bending skill, and their seeds. Seeds the Avatar learns are separate from the number of seeds he knows in a different bending class (meaning he doesn’t have to spend Airbender seeds to learn Firebender seeds, he gets separate totals).
- The Bridge Between: The Bridge Between: As the Avatar is the reincarnating spirit of the world in mortal form, he is uniquely suited to be the go-between for the material world and for the spirit world. By meditating and making a DC 25 Concentration check, the Avatar may move his spirit away from his body and into the Near Spirit World or deeper into the True Spirit World with an additional DC 30 Concentration check.. The Near World is a shadow of the material world where most weaker and mundane spirits dwell. The True Spirit World is a whole new realm unto itself where powerful incarnations of the world dwell, as well as the spiritual remains of some previous Avatars. The Avatar may pass through the layers of the spiritual plane easily enough (without a check) but must find his body in the Near World to return. If it is moved, he will be trapped until he finds it. In the spiritual plane, the Avatar has no access to his bending arts as there are no elements to bend.
The Avatar gains an additional bonus skill point per level that must be placed in a bending discipline’s skill for every style he knows.