Is it just me, or is Abraham Lincoln enjoying something of a popularity boom?
Okay, obviously Lincoln isn’t the sort of person who’s going to be forgotten anytime soon, but all of a sudden he seems to have exploded into the cultural consciousness. From the book-turned-movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter to the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln to his appearance in the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, he’s suddenly everywhere.
This is interesting because it represents something about the cultural zeitgeist we’re living through. Unlike even a few years ago, we’re living in an age where people are lionized or demonized to an exceptional degree. The rapid proliferation of mass media across cable television and (to an even greater degree) the internet has given such omnipresence to famous people that they’ve expanded to the point of becoming icons. These icons have then become points of mass consumption, easily transcending issues of fiction and nonfiction until they’re everywhere.
Needless to say, this can be a disorienting and even frightening process, as these figures are reinterpreted and re-imagined to the point where it’s easy for people to disagree vehemently on what the “correct” view of them is. In essence, such figures become all things, with people choosing which version of them to adopt.
This is nothing new, of course; while the media by which it happens are different, this has always been how mythologies have been invented.
It’s in that spirit that I present this Eclipse build for Abraham Lincoln. This isn’t meant to represent any particular version of Honest Abe (though it admittedly draws a lot from his presentation as a vampire hunter), but rather functions as something of a composite – this is Lincoln, the Civil Warrior of the United States of America.
Available Character Points: 312 (level twelve base) + 24 (Duties) + 12 (Restrictions) + 36 (levels one, three, five, seven, nine, and eleven feats) + 6 (human bonus feat) = 390 CP.
Abe’s duties are to always act in accordance with what’s most beneficial for the United States of America and its people; he’s something of a national paladin in that regard. His restrictions are to refrain from using spellcasting or psionics – such mystical powers run counter to the ideal of the hardworking American who pulls themselves up by their bootstraps.
Ability Scores (25-point buy): Str 14, Dex 15, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 12. These include Abe’s +2 human bonus (added to Constitution), and three instances of Improved Self-Development for his being 12th-level, added once to Constitution and twice to Strength.
- Bonus feat (6 CP).
- Fast Learner, specialized in skills (3 CP).
- Humans get to pick which attribute enjoys the Pathfinder Template bonus – buying off a Corruption worth (4 CP).
Basic Purchases (270 CP)
- 1d20 starting Hit Die, and 11d12 additional Hit Dice (104 CP).
- Light Armor Proficiency (3 CP).
- All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP).
- +12 Warcraft (72 CP).
- +8 Fortitude (24 CP).
- +8 Reflex (24 CP).
- +4 Will (12 CP).
- 22 skill points (22 CP).
|Skills||Ranks||Ability Bonus||Class Bonus||Total|
|Craft (woodworking)||1||+1 Int||+3||+5|
|Knowledge (geography)||2||+1 Int||+3||+6|
|Knowledge (history)||2||+1 Int||+3||+6|
|Knowledge (local)||2||+1 Int||+3||+6|
|Knowledge (religion)||2||+1 Int||+3||+6|
|Martial Arts (heavy lumberjack)||12||+4 Con||+3||+19|
|Perform (oratory)||2||+1 Cha||+3||+6|
|Perform (sing)||2||+1 Cha||+3||+6|
|Profession (politician)||2||+2 Wis||+3||+7|
Lincoln receives 12 skill points for his racial Fast Learner over twelve levels, and another 12 skill points for his +1 Int bonus at each level, which together with his purchasing 22 skill points, give him a total of 46 skill points. Since Lincoln has Craft, Profession, and twelve other skills with ranks put in them, they all count as class skills, as per the Pathfinder Package Deal.
Lincoln’s total bonus in his Heavy Lumberjack martial art grants him ten martial arts techniques. Abe has taken Attack 1 and Power 2 basic techniques, Combat Reflexes, Improved Sunder, and Whirlwind Attack advanced/master techniques, and all of the listed occult techniques.
Heavy Lumberjack (Con)
This aggressive style concentrates on using an axe to deal massive amounts of damage to enemies, relentlessly chopping the opposition into pieces. While it does teach a rudimentary defense, it’s primarily focused on absorbing blows while continuing to deal egregious damage until all attackers have been hacked to bits.
- Requires: Weapon Focus/Battleaxe or greataxe, or equivalent point buy.
- Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Defenses 1, Power 2, and Toughness 4.
- Advanced/Master Techniques: Breaking, Combat Reflexes, Improved Sunder, and Whirlwind Attack.
- Occult Techniques: Focused Blow, Inner Strength (x2), Iron Skin.
Special Abilities (120 CP)
- Action Hero with the Stunts and Influence option (12 CP).
- Augment Attack (3 CP). Lincoln gains a +1 bonus to hit with a battleaxe.
- Berserker with the Odinpower and Enduring modifiers/corrupted for two-thirds cost – Lincoln may only use these abilities in an encounter that includes at least one of his favored foes as an enemy (8 CP). Five times per day Lincoln may gain the following modifiers for 10 rounds: +6 Str, +6 Con, +3 Fort, -2 Wis; he is not fatigued afterwards.
- Defender/corrupted for two-thirds cost – only while wearing light armor or no armor/ +2 dodge bonus (4 CP).
- Favored Foe (6 CP). Lincoln’s favored foes consist of the following: Undead/specialized in vampires for double effect – Lincoln receives a +8 to damage and on Knowledge (religion), Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against vampires. Humanoids (human)/specialized in lycanthropes for double effect – Lincoln receives a +8 to damage and on Knowledge (local), Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against lycanthropes. Aberrations – Lincoln receives a +2 to damage and on Escape Artist, Perception, Stealth, and Survival checks against aberrations.
While Eclipse encourages switching around the bonuses for favored foe, it’s silent on if you can do so for multiple types of enemies learned as part of the same expenditure. In this case, we’re saying that such diversity is allowable, as it encourages greater diversity in how exactly a character studies his favored foes.
Similarly, we’re being slightly selective with the uses of specialization here. Instead of specializing favored foe as a whole, we’re selectively specializing particular foes chosen as part of the ability. Since this is being done for increased effect, rather than diminished cost, and since it still applies to a much narrower range of foes, this seems reasonable.
- Imbuement with the Focused modifier (12 CP). Lincoln treats any battleaxe he wields as a +2 silver weapon.
- Imbuement with the Superior modifier (12 CP). Lincoln treats any leather armor he wears as though it were +4 armor.
This is a variant on the Imbuement ability where it applies to armor instead of weapons. Given that this is an exceptionally straightforward change, it’s surprising that Eclipse doesn’t mention anything like this for this power.
- Immunity to mind-affecting effects of 7th-level or below (common/severe/great) (24 CP).
- Leadership with the Beast-lord modifier/specialized and corrupted for one-third cost; limited to one giant eagle (3 CP).
This is specialized and corrupted for how much the total levels of cohorts Lincoln is receiving from this ability. Normally, he should get twenty-six levels’ worth of followers and cohorts. However, a giant eagle is a CR 3 creature with four Hit Dice and (in 3.5 parliance) a +2 level adjustment. Given that it’s a level six creature at most, and so less than a fourth of what he’s entitled to, specializing and corrupting this ability seems like the very least that can be done.
- Major Privilege (6 CP). As one of the greatest Presidents of the United States, Lincoln has the support of most of its people, and can count on governmental backing and support for his actions.
- Reputation with the Improved and Superior modifiers (12 CP). Lincoln has a +8 Reputation score; characters must make a DC 20 check (gaining their Int score +8 on the check) to know who Abraham Lincoln is. Lincoln receives a +5 bonus on social skill checks with the American people, but a -5 on social skill checks against supernatural creatures (save for Intimidate, to which Lincoln receives a +5 bonus against such monsters).
- Returning with the Extraordinary and Unique modifiers (18 CP). Lincoln is empowered by the collective will of the people of the United States of America. So long as the United States continues to exist as a country, he will return to aid its people.
Until next time readers, may you one day get your face carved into a mountain!