Path of the Devourer

Alternate Names: The Hungry Beast, the Big Bad Wolf, the Dragon, the Wolf-Lord, the Hoarder; the Collector, the God of Feasts, the King of Beasts, the Corpulent Angel, the Wild Angel, the Fat Man, the Brood Mother, the Gilded King

The Hungry Beast exemplifies greed and the desire to own or consume for the sake of ownership or consumption. He is the archetype of the predatory beast in the jungle or woodland, or the predatory slaver, drug dealer or financier who uses their power to control and consume those around them. Like the Mystic Tyrant, the Hungry Beast controls their world, their domain, but that control is small, narrow and petty. The Hungry Beast is short-sighted, concerned only with its base needs, rather than having the long-term vision of the Mystic Tyrant.

Prerequisites

As with all paths, following the Path of the Hungry Beast requires an additional -5% pact modifier “Disciplines of Faith (Ritualism)”, representing how the character must spend every moment of his life carefully engaging in the symbolism of the Hungry Beast.

Furthermore, the Hungry Beast must have a minimum of -10 points worth of Disadvantages that center on his themes of greed, hunger and ambition to possess: Callous, Compulsive Gambling, Bully, Gluttony, Greed, Jealousy, Lecherousness or Selfish; Fat or Very Fat are also common for the Path, but will not fulfill the requirement.

Symbols

  • Color: Brown or Silver
  • Regalia: Animal skins; overly expensive or ostentatious garments; barbaric warpaint; jewelry made of bone or silver.
  • Tools: A collared, chained or caged creature (a beast or a slave); food (typically a banquet); gold and jewels.
  • Locations: A feasting hall; untamed and dangerous stretches of wilderness; a beast’s lair strewn with bones, a slaver auction.

Invocation of Symbols

Characters with Symbolic Resonance (Devourer) may invoke its symbols for any use of Animal Telepathy. It may also be used on any power to acquire what the psi most desires, or to satiate any primal need he has, especially if others suffer for a lack from it. It may never be used to benefit others; the Path of the Devourer often leaves the psion sated while others still hunger.

Milestones

  • (Domain Milestone) The Devourer seeks a lair. It finds a suitable location, the Garden of Paradise. This Garden of Paradise provides a sanctuary for the helpless, the weak and the morally good, and is protected by a Guardian. The Devourer infiltrates the domain and slays the Guardian. This desecrates the Garden of Paradise, which no longer provides sanctuary and notably twists into a darker, more vice-filled domain, but the Devourer gains control over it. The former inhabitants flee or fall into slavery to the Beast.
  • (Domain Milestone) The Devourer learns of a wondrous and sacred place rich with treasure, the Cave of Wonders. He must go on a quest to seek it out. His quest leads him across space and time and requires that he solve mysteries to gain access to the Cave of Wonders. Once within the Cave of Wonders, he sees its great riches and is confronted by the Guardian, who explains that the Cave of Wonders must remain preserved for the sake of the Natural Order. The Devourer slays the Guardian and claims the Cave of Wonders. This disrupts the Natural Order and unleashes some great evil. The tale of this deed spreads far and wide, so that the existence of the Cave of Wonders becomes widespread knowledge.
  • The Devourer encounters a Noble Youth, who has something the Devourer wants. The Devourer attempts to trick the Noble Youth into making a Wager with the Devourer; the Noble Youth does so, and the Beast cheats to win the wager. He acquires that which he wants, but the Noble Youth is broken by this (metaphorically consumed by the Beast).
  • The Devourer encounters the Fool, who has something the Devourer wants. The Devourer attempts to trick the Fool into making a Wager with the Devourer. The Fool makes the wager, but in a way that tricks the Devourer, and defeats the Devourer at the wager. The Fool can then claim a prize and drives off the Devourer.
  • The people cry out against the oppression of the Devourer, and a Champion arises to drive off the Devourer. The Champion learns of a rare weakness of the Devourer, acquires it, and uses it to defeat the beast. The Devourer cowers, begs and pleads for its life, and through humiliation, is able to trick the Champion into letting it go (accidentally or otherwise). The Natural Order is restored, but the Beast lives to consume another day.

Associated Talents

Beastmaster: [10/level] (Greater Primordial Expertise). See Power-Ups 3, page 6.

Business Acumen: [10/level] (Greater Primordial Expertise). Found in GURPS Basic.

Associated Miracles

  • Minor Blessings (Neutral)
    • Dark Confidence
    • Hunter’s Eyes
    • Unstoppable
    • Heart’s Desire
    • King of Beasts
    • Sense Domain
    • Skin of the Beast
  • Major Blessings (Good)
    • Hunter’s Eyes (Enhanced)
    • Sense Dark Communion
    • Unstoppable (Enhanced)
    • Desecrate Ground
    • Sense Passion
    • The Endless Feast
    • Dark Wager
    • Primordial Expertise, Greater (Beastmaster or Business Acumen)
  • Miraculous Power (Very Good)
    • Dark Regeneration
    • Desecrate Ground (Enhanced)
    • Moment of Dark Truth
    • Channel Archetype (Hungry Beast)
  • World-Shaking Miracles (Excellent)
    • Dark Regeneration, Enhanced
    • Domain of the Beast
  • History-Shaping Miracles (Excellent+4)
    • Primordial Avatar (Hungry Beast)

Unique Miracles

King of Beasts

Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Dark Communion 6, Legendary Reputation (The Hungry Beast) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 5 points

With this miracle complete, the Devourer takes on the aspect of a primal king. Those who see him know the inevitability of his dominion. Even beasts, especially predatory beasts, are forced to submit to his power. He gains the ability to use Influence skills (especially Intimidation or Diplomacy) to persuade beasts as well as people, and gains +7 to all rolls to do so. This does not make him more likeable, rather his power and dominion seems inevitable.

Statistics: Animal Empathy (Dark Communion Path -25%) [4], Call of the Wild [1]; Charisma 7 (Aspect, encourages submission only -20%; Dark Communion Path -25%) [20].

Sense Domain

Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Dark Communion 4, Legendary Reputation (The Hungry Beast) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 3 points

The Devourer knows all that goes on within his domain. This requires the Devourer to have a domain; see the Milestones for suggestions on how he might accomplish this. A domain is typically a region a mile across, the size of a small city or a major neighborhood, though the GM might be more generous with the scale of the area in areas of wilderness (up to 10 times as large).

Whenever something threatens his domain, whether it be the denizens within, or threatens to take control of the domain, the Devourer may attempt to invoke this miracle; if so, Dark Communion gives him a vision of the threat; the character must roll Philosophy or Theology to correctly interpret it. He also knows the exact location of the threat. Characters who take this as a Learned Prayer may reflexively roll Perception to notice the threat and its location and then Philosophy or Theology to gain greater understanding of the nature of the threat. The character may ignore all range penalties in all cases, even if he’s lightyears from his domain.

Statistics: Detect (Threats to My Domain, Rare; Dark Communion Path -25%; Long Range 2, +100%; Precise, Non Targeting +90%; Reflexive +40%) [15].

Skin of the Beast

Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Dark Communion 4, Legendary Reputation (The Hungry Beast) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 12 points

The Devourer can change into the form of another creature. This creature must be a “natural predator;” it cannot be an “unnatural” creature such as a mutant or a cybernetic beast, nor can it be one fundamentally alien to the characters’ experience (those fall under the domain of the Other), and it cannot be a prey animal. The beast’s racial template cost also cannot be greater than the character’s own racial template cost + the cost of the character’s current level of Dark Communion. If taken as a Learned Prayer, the character must specify a single animal that he can change into.

Statistics: Alternate Form (Beast; Dark Communion Path -25%) [12]

The Endless Feast

Reaction Required: Good
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Dark Communion 9, Legendary Reputation (The Hungry Beast) 2
Learned Prayer Cost: 20 points

The devourer can consume a prodigious amount of food in a single sitting. For every equivalent to a full meal that he eats (a typical meal usually weighs 1 lb, though rations may be lighter, and takes at least a minute to finish), he regains 1 HP. He may exceed his normal HP totals by up to 13 additional HP, which forms a separate “vitality reserve;” he loses HP from this first. If he ever loses access to his Path, he not only loses access to this miracle, but any current value of Vitality Reserves that he has.

As a general or specific prayer, this miracle lasts for a single feast (however large that feast is, but it ends the moment the character devours all available food, or gets up to leave the feasting area), though the Vitality Reserves remain until they are used. If this is taken as a Learned Prayer, the presence of the Vitality Reserves do not interfere with any further uses of Dark Communion.

Statistics: Regeneration (Fast, Accessibility, requires 1 full meal per HP restored -20%; Divine Path -25%) [28]; Vitality Reserves 13 (Can only regenerate with this miracle -50%, Divine Path -25%) [13]; Unique Immunity (Never becomes sick from eating too much) [1]. Note that the Vitality reserves are not taken as an Alternative Ability.

Dark Wager

Reaction Required: Good
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Dark Communion 7, Legendary Reputation (The Hungry Beast) 2
Learned Prayer Cost: 6 points

The Devourer loves to gamble for the things that he wants. If the Devourer and a target make a wager, the Devourer can invoke this Miracle to make sure that Dark Communion enforces it. The terms of the wager usually involve the Devourer getting something he wants (the target’s first born, the target as a slave, the target’s most prized possession, etc) if the target loses, and forced to give the target a boon if the target succeeds. The specifics can be worked out between GM and player, but the Devourer is always more clever with his wording than the player, so the GM should always give the benefit of the doubt to the Devourer when it comes to the specific, exact wording of the wager.

The Devourer cheats. The target gains a disadvantageous destiny to fail the wager. The GM may spend up to three impulse buy points to harm or hamper the target’s efforts to succeed at the wager (the GM may instead grant three impulse buy points to the Devourer that he can use to hamper the target).

If the Devourer wins, the target permanently gains the Cursed (Mitigator, Oath -65%) [-27] disadvantage; the target must abide by the terms of the wager or suffer the Cursed disadvantage. If the wager involves a one-time transfer (such as the character giving the Devourer a prized possession) then the GM can allow the target to dispense with the disadvantage once the transfer has occurred; if the wager involves a permanent change of status, such as the target becoming the Devourer’s slave, then the disadvantage remains. If the target wins, the Devourer gains Cursed (Mitigator, Oath -65%) [-27] until he fulfills his end of the bargain! As with the target, if the Devourer’s end of the deal involved a permanent change of status, the disadvantage is permanent.

The Curse can be broken if the winning party agrees to release the cursed victim. Alternatively, a major quest that takes up to a year and/or a huge expense might also find some way to break the curse. At the GM’s discretion (and depending on the terms of the wager), the curse may be generatlonal.

Certain archetypes excel at defeating the Beast at his own game. Characters who have Archetypal Reputations as high or higher than the Hungry Beast’s are immune to the disadvantageous destiny and the Demonic Contract Lawyer perk switches to them rather than the Hungry Beast (That is, the GM should favor the target rather than the Devourer when it comes to the specifics of the wager). This includes the Paths of the Exiled Master, the Beautiful Fool, the Mystic Tyrant, Death and the Other.

Statistics: Affliction (Accessibility, target must be willing -50%; Cosmic, no Roll +100%; Dark Communion Path -25%: Disadvantages: Cursed (Mitigator, Wager and Oath -65%) and Destiny (To Fail Wager) 3, +42%); Permanent +150%, Temporary Disadvantage, Cursed (Mitigator, Wager and Oath) -27%) [29] + Demonic Contract Lawyer [1].

Domain of the Beast

Reaction Required: Excellent
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Dark Communion 15, Legendary Reputation (The Hungry Beast) 4
Learned Prayer Cost: 34 points

The Devourer is one with his domain. This requires the Devourer to have a domain; see the Milestones for suggestions on how he might accomplish this. A domain is typically a region a mile across, the size of a small city or a major neighborhood, though the GM might be more generous with the scale of the area in areas of wilderness (up to 10 times as large).

This miracle requires an hour-long cycle of meditation, which can be done at any point during the day (usually once the Devourer wakes), after which he may attempt to call upon Dark Communion to invoke this miracle (usually as a specific or learned prayer). If successful, at any point during the next 24 hours, the Devourer may trigger the effects.
Within the confines of his specific domain (usually no more than a mile across), he gains total control of some aspect of it. This must be specified when the Devourer claims his domain. For example, the Devourer may control the plant and wild-life of his domain or the Earth itself or the crime of his city or the buildings of his city, etc. He may literally control it (making plants lash out, making the earth buckle) or abstractly control it (suddenly criminal encounters become a lot more probable and hostile). He can use this to manipulate his rolls or his target’s rolls by up to +2 or -2.

Once the miracle has been prepared, the entire region shifts in psychic aura. The “readiness” becomes palpable in a sense of edginess, foreboding or gloom. This is visible to any mundane character, and characters with some sort of sensory ability that detects psychic powers or the state of Communion gain a +4 to notice the change, and a +0 to sense the invoker of the miracle. When the miracle has been triggered, this becomes much sharper and more obvious: characters gain a +8 to detect the nature of the change, a +4 to detect the fact that the Devourer is its center, and where he is.

The GM may allow this as a General prayer, in which case the character feels compelled to Meditate for an hour as part of the miracle.

Statistics: Control 6 (One specific aspect of “The Land”, Common; Accessibility, the Beast’s Marked Domain Only -80%; Divine Path -25%; Extended Duration, 1 hour, +100%; Limited Use, 1/day -40%; Preparation Required, 1 hour, -50%; Natural Phenomenon +100%; Nuisance effect; obvious psychic signature and atmopshere of gloom woth at least -2 in reaction modifiers, -5%; Persistent +40%) [168]

Avatar Templates

Lesser Avatar of the Hungry Beast

Learned Prayer Cost: 18 points

The psion retains his own personality, but gains channels the skills associated with the Hungry Beast. He also gains an aura of inevitable power; those who see him understand that they must submit to his appetites, and animals naturally submit to his will as well. Finally, he gains +1 to any roll to satiate his hungers or to acquire the things he desires.
Statistics: Lesser Avatar of the Hungry Beast template as Alternate form

Lesser Avatar of the Hungry Beast

109 points

Advantages: Lesser Avatar Template [25]; Beastmaster 3 [30] and Optional Rule: Talent may exceed +4 [1]; Business Acumen 3 (Divine -0%) [30] and Optional Rule: Talent may exceed +4 [1]; Animal Empathy [5]; Charisma 3 (Aspected, only for submission -20%) [12]; Higher Purpose (Hunger) [5].

Greater Avatar of the Hungry Beast

Learned Prayer Cost: 22 points

The psion reveals his true form. He sheds his mask of humanity and takes on the monstrous image of a hybrid between beast and man. He stands upright, but a rows of razor teeth fill his maw, and grasping claws extend from his hand. His muscles bulge from beneath his skin and he grows keen in his senses, able to smell and hear with greater acuity than any humanoid can and to see nearly perfectly in the dark. He strikes Terror in the hearts of those who see him, and his bestial cries echo for miles. Additionally, he has greater resilience, with an extra 13 “Vitality reserves” that he can expend before suffering true HP damage. His mind becomes consumed by its bestial nature: he can no longer use his hands as a human would, but he can instead make cutting attacks with them with an armor divisor of 5. He reacts as a beast would, and hungers for meat and blood, though he won’t necessarily eat people, he’s hard pressed to resist a nice steak.

Statistics: Greater Avatar of the Hungry Beast template as Alternate form.

Greater Avatar of the Hungry Beast

285 points

Attribute Modifiers: ST+13 (No Fine Manipulators) [39]; DX+2 (No Fine Manipulators -40%) [24]

Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: Perception +3 [15].

Advantages: Primordial Template [175]; Discriminatory Smell [15]; Claws (Sharp) [5]; Natural Attack Enhancement (Armor Divisor 5 on 3d cutting) [9]; Penetrating Voice [1]; Nightvision 9 [9]; Teeth (Sharp) [1]; Terror [30]; Ultra Hearing [5]; Vitality Reserves (13) [26].

Disadvantages: Appearance (Monstrous; Glamour Will-5 -5%) [-19]; Bestial [-15]; Gluttony (12) [-5]; No Fine Manipulators [-30].

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