Ego (Inath Roll)
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Ego is described in the Dungeon Master’s Guide (and SRD Intelligent Items) as the power of an intelligent item in terms of its capacity to drive against the whims of its possessor. Ego in the Inath system denotes the power of forcefulness opened up through access to one’s internal Divine Spark, which mirrors the divinity within the realms. Inath Levels at even the first tier of the Inath Caste, Ghimhara, grant the ability to utilize Ego and Spirit Rolls (also, see Spirit Roll).
When a character gains access to this vital roll in Inath culture, they are open to a whole new possibility in terms of how they operate. Rather than rolling a Will save against an intelligent item’s Ego score to defy its whims, an Inath character may substitute an opposed Ego check, where the character’s Ego Roll is pitted against a similar roll, with the intelligent item’s Ego Score becoming a bonus to a d20 roll. In further variation, if a GM decides that an intelligent does not receive an Ego Roll unless it was directly created by a deity (or Inath character), it receives only its Ego score, with no d20 roll involved. In this manner of gaming, deity-created intelligent items would also receive their own Ego Roll bonus, which would equal their Ego Score.
Ego is a measure of one’s power within their character Class, race/culture, how well educated in the divine methods they are, the level of a given statistic (a race or class’ Applicable Statistic), and gains further abilities when characters progress further up in Divine Rank.
An Ego Roll equals the following:
- 1d20 Roll + Applicable Statistic + Intelligence modifier + (Imburith or higher) Class Level & HD + (Qil-Ruri and higher) Divine Rank
Yes, I know, that’s a lot to follow. Let’s consider: Ego for intelligent items is based on their Int, Wis, AND Cha scores, as well as how well they’re crafted (magic item bonus – somewhat like base attack bonus for creatures), and what kind of inherent abilities they have from their lifetimes (Creatures, Characters and Deities alike gain Extraordinary, Psi-like, Spell-like, and Supernatural abilities at various levels, so this is not off-key).
An Ego Roll accounts for most of these in a variant rule system. Everybody’s Ego Roll is dependent on the same system (the exception of which is intelligent items, which have unique Ego bonuses), making it a decently balanced system for divine challenges. Unlike a physical or magical attack, which simply takes place based on one or two distinct successes, an Ego Roll success (somewhat like a Grapple check) can change practically every round, depending on how quickly deities and Inath entities can act. Having the upper hand one moment can mean success or undoing the next moment, and rather like chess than a dungeon battle, each entity is constantly employing methods to outwit the other and establish Divine Dominance over the situation, and hence, the other deity (Inath).
An Applicable Statistic is one singular Ability Score that defines and determines the base strength of an Inath entity’s persona upon its environment and others. Fighters revere their own physical strength, choosing that score as their definitive principality, while Wizards are intelligent and well-educated on arcane knowledge, and rely heavily on this score to define what part they play in life. These personal values come out in an Ego score as the most prominent and unmoving portion of an Ego score. This is not to say that divine abilities and unique craftwork could not deny an Inath entity its Applicable Statistic. Racial HD determines a non-character race’s Applicable Statistic, as noted elsewhere.
Some objects and living constructs can gain access to this Roll, gaining Inath Levels and taking on Mana, Divine Sparks, Affinities, Talents, and Ego capacities like any mortal character. Structures like architecture often rely on Con as their Applicable Statistic, though it is not unheard of for a building or object to take on Int, Wis, Cha, or another as an Applicable Statistic, provided that it is the only Statistic that it gains as a ‘character stat’ ability. If the object or construct does not have an Int score, its Int modifier is 0. If an object or living construct attains an Inath Level in the Imburith Caste, it adds its HP/4 (round down) or Character Class HD – whichever is higher – in place of HD. For example, The Temple of the Eternal Spirit is a blessed site which has an Inath Level of Nadaath, a Cha score (being its Applicable Statistic), and no Int score. Its Ego Roll would equal simply 1d20 + Cha score (no racial HD or Class HD at Nadaath; no Divine Rank at Nadaath).
Ego and Spirit Rolls alike are flexible, in that they progressively get better as Inath entities progress. At the Imburith Caste, the ability to add Class Level (Class HD) and Racial HD (for creature characters), or one-quarter their HP if they are inorganic (as stated above) is granted. At the Inath Caste of Qil-Ruri, Ego gains whatever inherent Divine Rank the deity has (all Qil-Ruri characters have a single inherent Divine Rank, but they be granted or gifted more at any Inath Level). Divine Rank cannot be added to an Ego Roll until the Inath Level, Akesda, of the Qil-Ruri Inath Caste. Spirit similarly receives a benefit at Qil-Ruri Caste, gaining Class+HD as Ego does at a lower Inath Level. Spirit does not gain an inherent bonus at Imburith, nor does it inherently grant Divine Rank (as seen in Spirit Roll).