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Bodhisattva Complex

Premise

In 2006 a campaign was conceived for play in a D&D group on a popular online forum. This campaign fused D&D mechanics with console RPG storytelling models and a heavy emphasis on character development. It became known as “Broken Mandala.”

Mandala came and went, but the world in which it was set is still a very strong presence for the campaign creator. Bodhisattva Complex is an expansion on the world of Mandala and an opportunity to showcase the power and flexibility of a little-respected D&D supplement: Incarnum.

Backstory

Atma. One word that commands infinite respect, fear, and desire for power. No one fully understands its intricacies, but all beings of the world know its influence. It is the stuff of life, the very substance that constitutes what is known as the soul.

Sixteen thousand years ago, the world was embroiled in the First Age of Man. Prosperity came easily to them then. But something under the surface stirred, and the darker face of atma was revealed. A well was discovered, spilled over in rage and envy, and turned the population of the world into feral beasts with no higher minds. This was the Dark Age.

Only recently, within the span of two hundred and thirty years, has the Dark Age come to pass and the Second Age begun. People are resilient; they picked up exactly where they had left off without a thought as to the unforgiveable creatures they used to be. The Second Age, though a damnsight better than what it used to be, is marred by conflict and lack of resolution between peoples. Olmenna, militant and zealous, is the main cause of this conflict.

They have found another well.

Three travellers are swept up in a struggle against an unyielding foe and left alone in the world. They have only one thing to fall back on for support and peace of mind. Their spirit guides, soldiers from the First Age who have somehow remained in spirit through the influence of atma. With the joining of past and present, the true potential of the stuff of souls is revealed. These travellers are no longer simply humans…they are now animists.

Nations will seek to use them. Those in power will attempt either to woo or to destroy them. It is entirely up to these new warriors to discover the secret to the world’s turmoil and make a choice. Bring it to rest, or break the mandala and send the world plummeting further into the abyss.

House Rules and Conventions

  • Inclusion of custom meldshaping classes Esprit and Vedic
  • 32-point buy for ability scores
  • Gestalt class combinations, one side of which is encouraged to be an Incarnum class
  • Advent of a karma score for each character
  • Variant races naga, rakshasa, vanara and automa
  • Spirit guides or Asura whose function resemble a combination of legacy weapons and vestiges
  • Some skills combined into skill packs (i.e. Swim, Climb, and Jump are now one skill, Athletics)

Cast

This is the cast of player characters in the campaign so far.

Character Description Current Asura
Charlotte Cabochon A worldly scholar with an undisclosed interest in atma and its effects on the world Bedlam
Honoria Blanchard A noblewoman with a sharp tongue and an inexplicable talent with the sword Cecilia
Milo Shore Member of the Guran tribe on a seemingly endless search for his errant brother Hyuga
Ravi Wachter Professor of anima studies at Aeon Home Academy and amateur explorer Purusha
Jacques Lafayette Cabochon Tomboyish mercenary and paramage with a funny name and something to prove Unknown
Padme Ancient automa warrior with severe memory issues, and the seal upon Nandi the Behemoth None

Resources

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Bodhisattva Complex ethersphere