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Aboleth Corruption


The veiled masters have long controlled countless minions in the Inner Sea region’s political arenas.

Catalyst

Sinister agents of the eldritch aboleth empire have brainwashed you.

Progression

Whenever you have the opportunity to gather intelligence valuable in political intrigue or relevant to the specific interests of your brainwasher (GM’s discretion), you must attempt a Will saving throw (DC = 15 + your manifestation level). Failure means you black out and unwittingly attempt to seize the information when you have the best chance to do so undetected in the next week. Whether or not you manage to do so depends on the GM’s discretion and your abilities, but if obtaining the information is obviously beyond your means, you may instead work to undermine the defenses surrounding the intelligence so you or another corrupted agent can attempt to gain the information at a later date. If you succeed at this saving throw, you resist the unexpected urge, but the DC of future saving throws against your corruption’s progression increases by 2. This increase is cumulative, but it reverses when you fail the saving throw or your corruption progresses. Whenever you make a significant sacrifice to assist your aboleth master or advance its agenda in a way that harms innocents, your corruption progresses.

Corruption Stage 1: The first time you perform such an action, you find it harder to question your own motives. You take a –2 penalty on skill checks made to investigate your corruption, and your alignment shifts one step toward lawful evil.

Corruption Stage 2: The second time you perform such an act, the skill check penalty doubles, and your alignment becomes lawful evil.

Corruption Stage 3: The third time you perform such an act, you become a willing pawn to the veiled masters under the GM’s control.

Removing the Corruption

Psychic conditioning can reverse aboleth corruption, but only if the implanted agenda is understood in detail.

Manifestations

The following are manifestations of aboleth corruption.

Fathomless Psyche

Your memory becomes increasingly unreliable.

Gift: Your mind contains gaps that serve as traps to those who contact it. You gain a +2 bonus on Will saving throws against mind-affecting effects. Anyone who reads your thoughts or emotions must succeed at a Will saving throw or become confused for 1 round. A creature can only be affected by your fathomless psyche once every 24 hours.

Stain: The bonus from your gift becomes a –2 penalty to Will saving throws against aboleths and their kind (including those they have corrupted).

Forgettable

Your psychic wake burns away all memory of your passing.

Prerequisite(s): Manifestation level 6th.

Gift: You gain the ability to use hidden presence as a quickened spell-like ability once per day. You can use this ability twice per day at corruption stage 2, and up to three times a day at corruption stage 3.

Stain: People find you creepy but can’t explain why.

Living creatures gain a +4 morale bonus on Perception and Sense Motive checks to notice you or to see through your Bluff checks.

Inexplicable Illusions

Your lies distort the world around you.

Prerequisite(s): Manifestation level 5th.

Gift: Once per day, you can manifest an illusion via either audiovisual hallucination or hallucinatory terrain.

At manifestation level 7th, you can also choose to create your illusion via mirage arcana or persistent image. At manifestation level 9th, you can choose programmed image or veil. Regardless of your options, you can only create one illusion per day via this ability. The save DC for these illusions is equal to 10 + your manifestation level + the spell’s level.

Stain: You cannot discuss your aboleth corruption with anyone, whether verbally or by other means, unless you succeed at a Will saving throw. You can attempt this saving throw once per day. Aboleths and their kin are immune to your illusions.

Malleable Flesh

Your body twists to conform to your deceptions.

Prerequisite(s): Manifestation level 3rd.

Gift: With 10 minutes of concentration, your flesh takes on a new arrangement, as per alter self. At manifestation level 5th, you can use this ability to assume the shape of a specific individual. At manifestation level 7th, this ability also functions as monstrous physique I.

Stain: The process of shifting your flesh is painful, and you are sickened while concentrating on making the change and for 10 minutes afterward.

Porous Mind

Your mind is full of holes.

Prerequisite(s): Manifestation level 2nd.

Gift: You can hear the thoughts of others when you listen closely. Whenever you succeed at a Sense Motive check to get a hunch about a creature, you can attempt to read that creature’s mind as if using detect anxieties, detect desires, detect thoughts, or sense madness as a standard action (revealing all the information from 3 rounds of concentration). At manifestation level 6th, you can communicate telepathically with anyone within 30 feet who shares a language with you.

Stain: The constant psychic noise makes it hard for you to stay focused. For 1 hour after you learn information about a creature with any divination spell or effect (including this manifestation), you take a –4 penalty on concentration and Knowledge checks.

Preternatural Persuasion

Your brainwashing is contagious.

Prerequisite(s): Manifestation level 3rd.

Gift: Once per day, when you succeed at a Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate check against a target, you can weave a suggestion, as per the spell, into your conversation as a full-round action. At manifestation level 5th, you can instead use modify memory. At manifestation level 9th, you can instead use dominate person.

Stain: Aboleths and their kin can read your surface thoughts by concentrating; a successful Will saving throw negates this intrusion. An aboleth or related creature can issue a suggestion once per day at any range to anyone whose actions are currently controlled by your mind-affecting effects, automatically overriding your control if the orders conflict.

Skill Conditioning

You have skills you do not remember learning.

Gift: You speak and understand Aklo. Choose a skill.

You are treated as having ranks equal to your Hit Dice in that skill and it is a class skill for you. At manifestation level 5th, you can add a second skill with ranks equal to your Hit Dice.

Stain: Your mind works in ways that are unsettlingly alien to mortals. You take a –4 penalty on Diplomacy and Sense Motive checks against non-aberrations.

Traitor to the Surface World

The world of sunlight has grown foreign to you.

Gift: You feel at home in the water, and as long as you are swimming you gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks, Reflex saving throws, and all Dexterity-based skill checks.

You gain a +4 bonus on Swim checks.

Stain: Your skin is painfully sensitive to dryness. You take a –1 penalty on attack rolls and Fortitude saving throws when you are not underwater; this penalty increases by 1 for every 24 hours you go without spending at least 1 hour underwater, to a maximum penalty of –4 after 4 days spent out of water.

Unconscious Agenda

You can suppress intrusive memories or thoughts.

Gift: As an immediate action once per day, when you are subjected to any compulsion effect that allows a saving throw, you can choose to reroll that saving throw after you roll but before you learn the results of your first roll. You can use this ability twice per day at manifestation level 4th, and three times per day at manifestation level 5th, but never more than once per saving throw attempt.

Stain: You become more vulnerable to mental influence from aberrations and take a –2 penalty on saving throws against compulsions from aberrations. You can still use your reroll ability against such saving throws, but the –2 penalty applies to all of your rolls.