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Apogee

The Malleability Of The Code

You are one of the few that has ever seen it, The Code. It makes up the world around you, shapes and molds it into purpose. You try to tell others, but they will never understand. It is in all things and it is all things. Unlike the others who have merely witnessed the Code, you can command it, alter it to your will. The Code is not set and with the right force and understanding, you can change the very world around you.

Because all things are equal to the Code, you have forgone the need for weaponry and armor. You can shape the force of your punches to match that of a conventional weapon and alter your awareness to deflect attacks. While these abilities come “naturally”, hacking the code in more extreme ways is much harder. The power to do something as simple as bending a spoon takes years of practice, rewriting the makeup of a creature is something on an apogee of great strength can hope to accomplish.

Meditation and Information

When you first saw the Code, it was harrowing. The seams between reality opened themselves to you and the things you saw in between defy explanation. You were told that this was just your childish imagination, that all was well, not to dwell on what you saw. For a time, you may have even believed it was just in your head. But then it happened again, and again.

As you grew older you dedicated yourself to researching this strange phenomenon. Why were you different? Were there others like you? How could you open the seams yourself? How could you change the Code?

Some like you have spent their life in isolation. Searching old tomes in search of ancient knowledge by half mad seers. Many find solace in mind altering substance, denying their own senses in order to hold on to their shredded life. Others find themselves locked away. Espousing the truth has put them in jackets and bars, raving to anyone who will listen. A few rare individuals have found power in the knowledge of the falsity of reality. They seek nothing but to increase their abilities, even knowing that the power they have isn’t necessarily real either.

Powerful Prophecy

Because of the apogee’s abilities, they are often tied to prophetic destiny. The average citizen has no idea how you can do the things you do. Your abilities can be mimicked by magic but you do not fit within the confines of what magic they may be exposed to. Additionally, apogees are incredibly rare, as many who see the Code are quickly broken by it. Whether the prophecies are true is debatable, especially as you understand, or at least can comprehend, the source of your powers. You are different, that much is certain, but are you the fabled chosen one, or are you just another fluke in the world? It is possible for many apogee’s to exists at a given time, even having multiple within the same area. Sometimes this lines up with the prophecy of a team of heroes, or the destined battle between two powerful warriors. It can be hard to tell how much of your future is set in stone when the prophecy is ascribed to you. Are you truly destined to be the savior or destroyer of the world, or is the collective belief in you enough to push you that direction? Can you buck fate without falling into a different one? Bending the Code grants you incredible power but how much power do you truly have if you must walk a path set before you by someone else’s words? Are you in control of your future?

Multi Range Class

This class offers a large variety of options for most users. The themes of fate, power, and will play heavily into its background and abilities. Early users may find great reward in playing a strong class and advanced users will enjoy using the variety of abilities to tackle most any situation.

Creating An Apogee

When creating aa Apogee think about how this knowledge of the true nature of the world has affected your life. Did you learn about the Code first through seeing visions of the true world, or did you discover its existence in old tomes and then seek it out? Do you accept the power that comes with this knowledge? Do you fear what it means about those whom you love? Do you grow distant and wary of all others you see? Or do you revel in the absurdity of it all and live your “life” to the fullest?

Also consider how you found a way to change the Code. Was it through natural intuition that you began to understand and change the symbols? Were you a unnaturally adept student, learning all you could from deranged scholars? What mistakes have you made when you first began? How much did those mistakes cost you? What is your end goal now that you can change the Code?

Pre-gen Character

You can make an Apogee quickly by following these suggestions. First, make Intelligence your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the Player background.

Apogee Level Proficiency Bonus Hack-Fu Hack Points Features
1 +2 1d4 1 Fate Path, Hack-Fu, Hack
2 +2 1d4 2 Binary Boons
3 +2 1d4 3 Mental Fortitude, Fate Path feature
4 +2 1d4 4 Power Up
5 +3 1d6 5 Extra Attack
6 +3 1d6 6 Code Blast Improvement, Fudge Reality
7 +3 1d6 7 Fate Path feature
8 +3 1d6 8 Power Up
9 +4 1d6 9 Warp Jump
10 +4 1d6 10 Codenesis, Fudge Reality improvement
11 +4 1d8 11 Fate Path feature
12 +4 1d8 12 Code Blast Improvement, Hack-Fu Improvement, Power Up
13 +5 1d8 13 Warp Jump Improvement, Ex-Machina
14 +5 1d8 14 This Isn’t Real, Fudge Reality Improvement
15 +5 1d8 15 Fate Path feature
16 +5 1d8 16 Power Up
17 +6 1d10 17 Phoenix Reboot
18 +6 1d10 18 Code Blast Improvement, Ex-Machina improvement, One with The Code
19 +6 1d10 19 Power Up
20 +6 1d10 20 Fate Path feature

Class Features

As an apogee, you gain the following class features

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per apogee level

Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier

Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per Apogee level after 1st.

Proficiencies

Armor: Light armor

Weapons: Simple weapons, one martial weapon, unarmed attacks

Tools: One set of Artisan’s Tools and one Gaming set

Saving Throws: Intelligence, Constitution

Skills: Choose any three

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • One simple weapon and one martial weapon
  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
  • Plasteel fiber clothing

Fate Path

All Apogee have been given the ability to see the seams of the world, either by chance, destiny, or through their own determination. An Apogee who can put these new powers to use is often seen as a chosen one, a person of prophecy. How they interpret and interact with this prophecy will influence how their skills develop and ultimately how they will change the world around them. You choose your path at 1st level: Risen, Fateless, or Shattered. Your choice grants you features at 1st, 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th, and 20th level.

Hack-fu

At 1st level your knowledge of the spaces between has allowed you to summon knowledge in combat prowess you would never gain naturally. You become deadly in unarmed combat, bending the data around your blows to mimic the code behind many weapons. You gain the following benefits while you are wearing no armor or light armor and are not using a shield:

  • You can use Intelligence instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes and mimicked weapon. You do this by channeling The Code to augment your attacks
  • You can choose one melee weapon you are proficient with to mimic. Once on your turn, when you make an unarmed strike, you can cause your unarmed strike to do the exact same damage amount and type, as if you had attacked with that weapon. When you reach 12th level, you can gain proficiency with an additional melee weapon of your choice and use it in the same way. You can also use this ability twice on your turn when making unarmed strikes. All other unarmed strikes deal a set amount of bludgeoning damage which increases as you gain apogee levels, as shown in the Hack-Fu column of the Apogee table. Alternatively, you can keep the damage type of a weapon but replace the damage dealt by that of your unarmed strikes.
  • When you use the Attack action to make an unarmed strike, you can use your bonus action to cause an Afterimage of you to appear, making an unarmed strike against the same target. This can only be used to repeat an unarmed strike and not spell attacks or attacks augmented with spells or effects, such as a Smite spell, or with non-apogee features, such as Sneak Attack. If doing an attack that required the use of Hack points, you must use additional Hack points for the Afterimage equal to the original attack or this effect simply fails.

Hack

Starting at 1st level, your ability to see beyond allows you to alter The Code of the universe. Changing the fabric of reality around you is exhausting for both body and mind, for this reason your ability to alter the world in any meaningful way is represented in Hack points. Your Apogee level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Hack points column of the Apogee table. You are considered proficient with all attacks that require the use of Hack points.

You can spend these points to use various Hack features.

When you spend a Hack Point, it is unavailable until you finish a short or long rest, at the end of which you have regained enough mental acuity to recover all expended Hack points. You must spend at least 30 minutes intently watching the world during your rest to regain you Hack points.

Some of your Hack features require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature’s effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Hack save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Binary Boons

At 2nd level, you gain a small set of powers that you can use Hack Points to activate.

Higher Contrast

If you use the Afterimage Hack-Fu ability and the second attack hits, you can use 1 Hack point and your reaction to make the same attack one additional time.

Code Blast

As an attack you can spend 1 Hack point to call together energy from the air into your palm and project it forward at a rapid velocity. You are proficient with this ranged attack with a range of 30/60. On a hit, this blast does 1d6 radiant damage. At 6th level this increases to 2d6 and 40/80. At 12th level this increases to 3d6 and 50/100. At 18th level this increases to 4d6 and 60/120.

Scanner

By spending 2 Hack points and using a bonus action you can focus your vision to discern one thing about a creature within 15 feet of you. This could be their current Hit Points, AC, any one stat modifier, a special ability, or others at the GM’s discretion. You can use this feature multiple times on the same creature. This cannot be used to read minds or discern intention.

Focused Charge

You can use your action to regain Hack Points. Roll 1 Hit Dice, expending it and regaining Hack Points equal to the roll. You can continue this for a number of turns equal to your Intelligence modifier, with your initial use counting as one, so long as you take no other actions beyond movement on your turns and take no damage on your turn. You can use this feature once, with a continued charge counting as a single use, before finishing a long rest. This feature cannot be used outside of combat.

Mental Fortitude

Beginning at 3rd level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + Your Intelligence modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Power Up

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. Alternatively, you can gain one feat. You cannot increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Fudge Reality

At 6th level you have the ability to change one small detail in the world around you. The cards in a game of chance, the contents of a water skin, a silver piece into gold. By spending 1 Hack Point you can roll a d4 with the number determining the level of your success.

d4 Effect
1 No change.
2 Minor change. Not exactly what you had intended.
3 Positive and meaningful change. The details may not be exactly what you intended.
4 or more Desired result. This ability does not affect magical items.

The full extent at which this power can be used it at the GM’s discretion. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of once) before finishing a long rest. At 10th level, you add +1 to each roll. At 14th level you add +2 to each roll.

Warp Jump

Starting at 9th level you can spend 1 Hack Point to warp from one place to another as your movement. You can instantly teleport in any direction to place that you can see within 60 feet. You cannot pass through magical barriers using this skill but can pass through walls if you can clearly see the other side. You have advantage on your next melee attack roll if the attack is made immediately after warping at least 30 feet to a location within 5 feet of a target. You can only use this feature once on your turn.

At 13th level this ability is enhanced to include a wave of force. When you warp, all creatures within 5 feet of the area you warped to must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save all creatures within the area take 1d8 force damage and are pushed back 5 feet. On a successful save all creatures within the blast take half damage and are not moved. You can spend additional Hack Points to add 1d8 force damage to the blast per Hack Point used, to a maximum of four Hack Points and 5d8 extra damage.

Codenesis

At 10th level you can manipulate much of the world around you without seeming to touch it. Using 2 hack points, you can use your action to cast the spell Telekinesis without components, with Intelligence as your spellcasting ability. The spell ends at the start of your next turn, unless you use 2 additional Hack points to continue its effects; otherwise it follows the same rules as a concentration spell. You can maintain this effect for up to 1 minute, so long as you have enough remaining Hack points to do so. You can use an additional Hack point to increase your spellcasting ability for this effect by 1 for each Hack point used (maximum of 5).

Ex-Machina

At 13th level you can force your influence upon the world around you. As an action, you can spend 4 Hack points to bring one helpful boon to yourself or party. This could be a healing potion rolling to your feet, a large precarious rock falling on your opponent, finding a patch of water in a desert, a spell backfiring or becoming more powerful, anything that is useful. The effect is immediate though it may not always be immediately apparent. The full extent of this feature and its effects is up to the GM, but it will always be helpful to you or your immediate party. This effect can only be used once before finishing a short or long rest. At 18th level you can use this feature twice before finishing a long rest.

This Isn’t Real

At 14th level you have become so attuned to The Code that you can negate its influence on you. If targeted by an attack, effect, or spell, you can use 6 Hack Points and your reaction to completely ignore it. Even if it hits, you receive no damage, take no effects, and cannot be moved by it. You must finish a long rest before this ability can be used again. At 20th level you can use this feature three times before finishing a long rest.

Phoenix Reboot

At 17th level death loosens its grip on you. If you fail three death saving throws you can immediately burn 3 Hack Point slots, permanently, to bring yourself back to life. You regain life as if you had just taken a long rest. When you rise from the dead you are surrounded in a powerful aura that explodes out from you. All creatures of your choice within 15 feet of you must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, all hostile creatures within the area take 6d12 force damage and are pushed back 15 feet. On a successful save they take half that damage and are not pushed. You do not have to have 3 Hack points available to use this as this ability sacrifices 3 Hack points from your max total possible. If you do not have 3 Hack Point slots you cannot use this feature.

Additionally, your Constitution score decreases by 1. If your Constitution bonus decreases because of this you must adjust your new Hit Point maximum. You must finish a long rest before you can use this feature again.

One With The Code

At 18th level, at the start of your turn, if you have no Hack points you can use a bonus action to roll a d6, regaining Hack Points equal to the roll. At 20th level the this is changed to a d8.

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Lasers & Liches: Tales from the Retroverse - Test Wave 3 Player's MTX Creator(s) Chris Lock, Lluis Abadias Copyright 2021