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Nikola Tesla

Medium humanoid (human), neutral tinkerer (mechanic) 9

Armor Class 15 (chain shirt)
Hit Points 49 (9d8+9)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
10 (+0) 14 (+2) 13 (+1) 19 (+4) 14 (+2) 12 (+1)

Saving Throws Con +5, Int +8
Skills Arcana +12, History +8, Insight +6, Investigation +12, Perception +6; artisan’s tools (all) +8, vehicles (air, land) +6
Senses passive Perception 16
Languages English, German, Serbo-Croatian, 5 others
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

Special Traits

  • Affect-Engines (Lightning; 2 total). Nikola can use an action to attach or detach an Affect-Engine to an object he is touching.
  • Affect Discharge. When Tesla hits a creature using a weapon with an attached Affect-Engine, he can expend a 1st-level spell slot to deal 2d6 extra damage to the target. The extra damage increases by 1d6 for each spell level higher than 1st (maximum 5d6). The damage type is according to the type of Affect-Engine (usually lightning).
  • Construction. Tesla can craft at a rate of 70 gp per hour as a light activity. While rapidly crafting, Tesla must expend material (such as wood, metal, or glass) with a value equal to the item he wants to make. The item can be an exact duplicate of a nonmagical item, such as a copy of a key, if he possesses the original. Items Tesla constructs that aren’t weapons or armor have AC 16 and hit points determined by material: Tiny (fragile 2 hp, resilient 5 hp), Small (fragile 3 hp, resilient 10 hp), Medium (fragile 4 hp, resilient 18 hp), Large (fragile 5 hp, resilient 27 hp).
  • Dingbots. Tesla adds find familiar to his sparknotes and can cast it as a ritual. It is always prepared and doesn’t count towards the number of spells he can have prepared. When Tesla casts this spell, his familiar is a dingbot (a construct immune to disease, resistant to poison, and without any need to drink, eat, or breathe). A dingbot reduced to 0 hit points disassembles, leaving behind no recognizable form or useful material. Constructing and reconstructing it requires 10 gp worth of material. Tesla’s dingbot can craft at a rate of 300 gp per hour. When using Construction with his dingbot, Tesla adds their crafting rates together.
  • Flexible Creation. When Tesla begins crafting, he can double the crafting time or value of materials needed to double the item’s hit points. Alternatively, he can choose to craft an item with half the normal hit points, crafting time required, or materials consumed.
  • Improved Affect Discharge (1/turn). Whenever Tesla hits using a weapon attack with one or more attached Affect-Engines, he can deal 1d8 energy damage to the target (of the Affect-Engine’s type), in addition to the weapon’s damage.
  • Instacraft (4/long Rest). Tesla can use an action to craft an item with a value of 1 gp or less.
  • Mechanic Proficiencies. Nikola doubles his proficiency bonus (+4) to tinkers’ tools and Intelligence checks made with Construction or on power appliances.
  • Power Appliances. Nikola can incorporate Affect- Engines into his creations (see Masterclass Codex). When an item with an attached Affect-Engine is destroyed, both are destroyed.
  • Quick Engine. Using tinker’s tools, Tesla can concentrate for 1 minute to construct an Affect- Engine. Each turn during this minute he can move, take bonus actions, and use his reaction, but must spend his action concentrating.
  • Spellcasting. Nikola is a 9th level spellcaster that uses Intelligence as his spellcasting ability (spell save DC 16; +8 to hit with spell attacks). Nikola has the following spells prepared from the tinkerer’s spell list:
  • Switch Function. Tesla can use an action or bonus action to change the elemental type of an Affect-Engine he is touching to another type. He can only do this to Affect-Engines that are not in use (an inactive weapon with an attached affect-engine is not in use).
  • Brilliant. Nikola always knows how long it will be before the next sunset or sunrise, the northerly direction, and can perfectly remember anything he’s experienced within the last 31 days.

Actions

  • Dagger. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) piercing damage.
  • Revolver. Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, range 40/120 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d8+2) piercing damage.
  • Overload. Tesla can touch an Affect-Engine, expend a spell slot to overload it, and throw it to a space he can see within 60 feet causing it to explode in a 10-foot-radius sphere. Creatures in the area make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or take 3d10 energy damage for a 1st-level spell slot plus 1d10 for each spell slot level higher than 1st (maximum 7d10), or half as much damage on a successful one. The damage type is according to the type of Affect- Engine. For each spell slot level higher than 1st, the radius of the sphere increases by 10 feet.

Actions

Alternating current electricity (the kind used almost ubiquitously around the world), hydropower, radio, robots, x-ray photography, sparkplugs, fluorescent lights, remote controlled boats—this inventor had over 700 patents and you are almost certainly currently using something that would not exist without him. Born in 1856 in Croatia to a priest, Nikola convinced his father after contracting cholera at the age of 17 to send him to engineering school. At the age of 28, with just 4 cents in his pocket he traveled to New York City, and proposed his alternating current system to Thomas Edison. He was offered $50,000 for his work, but Edison reneged on the deal.

When Tesla set up shop with the first induction motor, a lifelong rivalry began which ultimately ended up keeping both from winning the Nobel Prize. George Westinghouse eventually bought the design for $60,000.

Then the mad science really began, as Tesla started trying to transmit energy directly through the air. He was the first person to figure out radio using ‘Tesla Coils’, imagining a ‘wireless globe’ of communications, but a fire destroyed his papers.

This encouraged the success of Guglielmo Marconi— partly because the man was making use of more than a dozen of his patents.

Funding for Tesla’s projects didn’t go well as the Depression hit, and he started to display increasingly eccentric behavior, saving injured pigeons, receiving messages from aliens, and talking about making a Death Ray, until he died penniless in 1943 after the government seized his notes. They probably weren’t worth much though because purportedly he kept most of his designs up in his brain until they had to be drawn out.

Acumen or fate gently nudges Nikola toward the answers to his questions. When he fails to recollect or discover more about a subject of lore, he knows where or whom can give him that information (usually from an athenaeum, library, institute of higher learning, another scholar, or mystical creature). The lengths to which he must go to acquire this information and the feasibility of doing so is entirely at the GM’s discretion.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters Copyright 2020 EN Publishing. Authors Mike Myler, Russ Morrissey. www.enpublishingrpg.com