Ceptu
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The City of 7 Seraphs
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Ceptu are a species of intelligent psychic creatures resembling jellyfish of many of the prime worlds. Unlike common invertebrates, ceptu have developed the ability to breathe above water for short periods of time. They make use of innate telekinetic abilities to hover above surfaces and manipulate small objects. The ceptu of the city were among the earliest civilizations to develop functional orrery drives allowing for traveling the Plane of Shadow and between the stars. Their design sensibilities have led to the majority of Foreseers’s ships resembling the marine life of some other worlds.

If they are to be believed, the ceptu claim their ancestors had all but mastered the oceans of their own world and had set off to explore the multiverse seeking distant kinsmen that had found a promised perfected land. The details of this journey lead the ceptu of the city to suspect a metaphor for self-progression. Not all are convinced that this world of eternal perfection does not actually exist, however. Whatever the motive, these ancient ceptu explored the stars and seas of creation and eventually made their way to the city and the alliance with the Foreseers.

As more of the ceptu joined the Foreseers it was only natural that a settlement of technicians and support teams grew around the nascent shipyards. Many visitors are surprised to find that so much of the vessels construction actually begins below the waterline. However, in the time since their home was created, ceptu have been born with divergent interests and desires to explore the planes under power of their own levitation. Some have even gone so far as to join circles of Wardens, or more physically oriented organizations like the Ashlords and Descendants of Thunder.

Many of the ceptu have taken to studying both the Radia and the nature of the Shadow Plane itself. These mages form one of the strongest rival groups of shadow weavers to the native shadow fey having advantages of Will over the inborn talents of their rivals. Others have lent themselves to more esoteric arts such as the dreamweaving of the Children or the energetic researches of both the House of Prominence and the Steamstriders.

The ceptu’s strength for organization, leadership, and bureaucracy has made them a natural fit for administrative roles and it has not been uncommon for more than one seat on the Parity Council to belong to a ceptu at the same time. This has on occasion cause suspicion to fall on the settlement of Undertow as other areas of the City claim imbalanced representation.

Telekinetics being common to the species, they are often sought as skilled laborers with the ability to manipulate fragile substances like glowglass and to perform traditionally physical tasks at range. Magical apparatus and spells are frequently used to enhance the basic species abilities of the species with enough strength to make levitation function at a level more resembling flight.

Gifted ceptu telekinetics are aggressively recruited by the Steamstriders to work in the Vaults on volatile and sensitive experiments requiring mental manipulation and control.

Physical Description

The central form of the ceptu is a translucent dome of a few feet across. Their bodies display internal organs visibly and some humanoids find them disturbing to watch for lengths of time. Some of these organs are involved in the species’s innate telekinetic abilities and are visibly luminous. A large mass of thin tendrils drops below the central bell. These tentacles are very weak allowing for no true physical manipulation to occur.

The ceptu’s central sensory organs are able to shift around its perimeter in a manner that provides sight in all directions simultaneously. This can make it very difficult to surprise them. Carrier ceptu often carry visible young gestating to the point of being independently motive within them.

Society

The majority of ceptu in the city live in an underwater neighborhood. This area of the docks is visible from above as a softly shimmering phosphorescent spectacle. Given the relatively plentiful food and support systems in ceptu society, they often find themselves with greater time to explore artistic and creative pursuits. Floating sculpture gardens and light paintings are particularly popular in the docks.

Many ceptu never leave these waters, finding the act of persistent levitation stress-inducing and unnecessary. A large number of their populace have created sympathetic analogs to various surface structures throughout the city. These serve as psychic projection nodes that allow the ceptu who live in their home to interact with the rest of the city without leaving the water.

The ceptu who do journey above the water often do so to witness events personally. Some of these individuals develop great skills at passive levitation and even telekinetic self-defense. Others simply wish to draw a more direct inspiration for their works of poetry, painting, and sculpture. Whatever their reasons, ceptu who journey above the waves take their roles representing their people seriously, trying to contribute depth and thoughtfulness to the discussions, movements, and organizations they join. Ceptu history holds that those who settled in the city did so willfully abandoning an “over-god” they believed would lead their people to a false paradise. The ceptu of the city are believed to be the minority of the greater number of their people that followed this entity to another world. Whether the species’ original world is still habitable is a matter of historical debate. Ceptu historians point to their lack of records of their exodus as indicator that the world must not have been worth returning to.

Relations

Ceptu are often surprised by the veryx fascination with humanoids. They are consummate historians and have developed multiple media to store their knowledge psychically. Surface pilgrimages to encode books into crystal foci and other mnemonic devices are common, if relatively short in duration. Their relative disinterest in the grove has caused the shadow fey to regard them as alien and aloof. Relations between the two peoples has not been made any easier by the ceptu’s efforts to cultivate a second source of food for the city in the fisheries and kelp forests of Undertow.

Alignment & Religion

Ceptu are steeped in mysticism and spiritual traditions. The original settlers of their area were monotheists worshipping a disembodied force. Their introduction to the Loci of Eternity and the House of Prominence philosophies has muddled this simple belief with a more complex form of faith in spiritual evolution. Most ceptu in their home have come to understand that their current spiritual state is unable to interface with their original deity directly and rather the intercession of ceptu Eternals is required for them to receive direct energies.

As with their biological development, spiritual advancement is generally thought to be tied to age. Spiritual progression to a higher state is generally set aside for the closing days of a carrier’s life when they have had the turns they wish welcoming new clusters into the greater cloud of the community. At that time the carrier then makes ready to move to a new state, some even think of it as a fourth divine gender, formed of energy and transcending the prior need for a physical state.

Adventurers

Despite clairvoyant exploratory theatres and mnemonic transfers, some ceptu simply crave original experience. The satisfaction of firsthand knowledge is particularly drawing to young and restless individuals, while carrier-aged ceptu sometimes feel that physical journeys will help acclimate the gestating young to greater ranges of tolerance or be of assistance in quickening various psychic and magical abilities.

Many ceptu study magic to assume more practical forms for time spent on the surface, though few find long periods of time with the “restrictive” forms of humanoids enjoyable, finding them limited in sensory scope and difficult to move and balance. Many who do find themselves in humanoid shapes prefer to use magic that does not suppress their own telekinetic innate powers. Ceptu also display a love of organization and structure.

The finite control of adventuring guilds, Warden Circles, and other adventurous enterprises engages them passionately. They often times can be drawn into such lifestyles by seeing the need of a better direction and tactical structure within a traveling group of adventurers. Ceptu often seek roles of leadership and authority because from their perspectives they are well suited to such tasks.

Names

Ceptu progress through gender stages but most keep the same name. A rare subset prefer to change their name with each gender metamorphosis. Regardless of gender ceptu names favor softer sounds and drawn out sounds like: Uuloo, Soossup, and Woomlu.

Ceptu Species Traits

+2 to Intelligence and Wisdom, -2 to Strength: Ceptu have well-developed minds, but their gelatinous bodies make them physically quite weak.

Medium: Ceptu are Medium-sized creatures, have the magical beast type, and have no bonuses or penalties due to size.

Amphibious: Ceptu can breathe in both air and water environments.

Speed: Ceptu hover at a base speed of 30 ft. on land. In the water, a ceptu has a swim speed of 40 ft. Ceptu gain a +8 species bonus to all Swim checks.

Low-light vision: A ceptu’s mode of vision is low-light, low-color vision.

All-Around Vision: A ceptu is a circular creature with a 360-degree field of vision, and has no front, back, or side. Ceptu are always facing every direction and cannot be flanked, backstabbed, or fall prey to any other action dependent on facing.

Unusual Anatomy: Ceptu cannot wear clothing or armor except for specially made robes. A ceptu may equip up to two sets of bracers, two necklaces, and three rings. Ceptu cannot wear belts, gloves, robes, backpacks, but can carry bags by fastening them to their tentacles.

Minor Telekinetics (Su): Ceptu can exert a force on objects around them with their minds. A ceptu may hover and manipulate two other objects at the same time, provided the combined weight of the two objects in pounds does not exceed the ceptu’s Wisdom score. A ceptu can carry a single object up to ten times their Wisdom score. Weight limits increase by a factor of five underwater. The range for a ceptu’s telekinesis is ten feet, plus five feet per point of its Wisdom bonus. Their tendrils are incapable of holding an object of more than 1 pound.

Limited Hover (Su): A ceptu can use its telekinesis to push against the ground, allowing it to hover at will up to 5 feet above any flat surface, whether water or land. This is similar to flight with a maneuverability rating of good, but without any altitude. A ceptu cannot jump as well as creatures with legs; Int is used as the base for the Acrobatics skill, and all jump distances are halved. Ceptu cannot climb ropes, ladders, or the like without some form of assistance. Ceptu do not fly, and can and will fall if there is no surface beneath them, and can negate the first ten feet from any falling damage sustained though.

Telekinetic Fighting (Su): A ceptu can fight with weapons held in its telekinetic grip. The mechanics of telekinetic fighting are quite similar to physical fighting, only with much greater range. A ceptu can wield one weapon or a weapon and a shield normally, but takes standard penalties if using two weapons. If using two weapons though, a ceptu has the advantage of being able to attack two different opponents, even opponents on different parts of the battlefield. When attacking with a weapon, a ceptu applies its Intelligence bonus instead of its Strength bonus to attack and damage rolls. If it takes the Weapon Finesse feat, a ceptu can substitute its Charisma bonus for its attack rolls. The location of each levitated weapon should be tracked for reach purposes. The reach and size rules apply as standard for a Medium creature.

Sting (Ex): A ceptu’s tentacles contain a potent stinging acid. These tentacles can be wielded as a natural weapon and can hit anyone within 5 feet of the ceptu. Anyone struck by these tentacles receives 1d6 points of acid damage and must make a Fortitude save vs. a DC equal to 10+ 1/2 the ceptu’s hit dice + its Constitution modifier or be stunned for 1 round. Ceptu tentacles score a critical threat on a roll of 20, dealing double damage and increasing the stun’s DC by 4. Ceptu have many tentacles, but can make only one effective tentacle attack per round. A tentacle attack is considered an armed attack and does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Sleep Difficulties: When asleep, a ceptu cannot maintain the concentration necessary to keep itself in the air. Ceptu require that their bodies be suspended in liquid (preferably seawater) in order to sleep naturally. Alternatively, a ceptu sling (simple device similar to a hammock) can be purchased to allow a ceptu to support itself enough to sleep. A ceptu who foregoes sleep suffers a cumulative –1 penalty to all rolls for every day he goes without rest. A ceptu with a cumulative penalty greater than his Wisdom bonus can no longer hover, and drops to the ground. Ceptu also cannot recover spells if they have not slept. Eight hours of sleeping suspended in water removes any accumulated penalties. Spell effects such as levitate do allow ceptu to snooze, but the effect rarely lasts long enough to pass the night.

Languages: Ceptu begin their careers speaking ceptu and common. Ceptu with high Intelligence scores can choose from Fade, Dolphin, or whatever best suits their background.

Alternate Species Traits

Coralfooted (Su)

Some ceptu have grown weary of being denied the surface world for lengthy periods of time and have had themselves overgrown with magical exoskeletons of coral in a humanoid configuration. These ceptu lose their levitation ability in exchange for a natural armature for lengthy land-bound journeys. This ability replaces the limited hover, sleeping difficulties, and unusual anatomy traits.

Deepshade Lurker (Su)

These ceptu are particular adapted to deep water environments having both cold and fire resistance 5. Additionally, they can take advantage of dim lighting conditions to become nearly invisible. This grants them a 50% miss chance from attack rolls and a +4 species bonus to Stealth checks. This trait replaces the ceptu’s choice of sting or telekinetic fighting.

Mindsight (Su)

These ceptu add +1 to the DC of any saving throws against divination spells or clairsentience powers that they cast or manifest. Ceptu with Wisdom scores of 11 or higher also gain the following psi-like and spell-like abilities: 1/day—detect magic, detect poison, empathyUP, light, and read magic. The caster level for these effects is equal to the ceptu’s level. The DC for these spells is equal to 10 + the spell’s level + the ceptu’s Wisdom modifier. This trait replaces the ceptu’s choice of sting or telekinetic fighting.

Nightmare Touch (Su)

Some ceptu claim that swimming along the bottom of the bay sometimes takes you elsewhere, a sea of utter darkness flowing with the terror and nightmares of the sleepers of the Prime Worlds. Occasionally carriers who claim visiting this place give birth to ceptu with this ability that gain a devastating touch similar to that of a dread class character. This touch deals 1d6+1 damage to a living creature and is a mind-affecting fear effect and may be used as an off-hand attack while telekinetically fighting with another weapon. If the ceptu takes levels in dread, it treats its level as +2 higher for purposes of its devastating touch ability. This ability replaces sting.

Seeking Vision (Su)

These ceptu can send their vision beyond their form. While using this ability they are helpless. They may activate a remote viewing effect as a psi-like ability. The manifester level for these effects is equal to the ceptu’s level. This trait replaces the ceptu’s choice of sting or telekinetic fighting.

Skydancer (Su)

Some ceptu favor a telekinetic expression that emphasizes movement over manipulative strength. These ceptu gain a fly speed of 40 ft. perfect and have only the strength to lift small single objects in line with a mage hand spell. This trait replaces the telekinetic fighting trait.

Sparkglow (Su)

This ceptu has developed a psychoelectrical discharge to defend themselves. As a standard action, the ceptu can charge their body with electrical power gaining a +1 deflection bonus to AC for 1 round per level. Creatures striking with melee attacks must make a Will save vs. a DC of 10+1/2 the ceptu’s hit dice + Constitution modifier or being stunned for 1 round. When a creature fails this save, the sparkglow is discharged. This trait replaces sting.

Variant Heritages

Shadowspark Ceptu (+2 Wisdom and +2 Charisma, -2 Strength)

While the magical ambient energies of the city seemed to alter the veryx in ways to make them manifest Radia-biased variants, the ceptu seem to have developed a small segment of individuals who bear the power of the Bay of Shadow within themselves. These ceptu swim with dark inky layers in their flesh, soft bioluminescence in deeper color ranges, and a manner that is sleek and seductive. They have the deepshade lurker and sparkglow alternate species traits and lose sting and telekinetic fighting.

Psychology

Nearly all ceptu crave control on some level. It is the ways they achieve this control, however, which vary greatly from individual to individual. Some ceptu claim this drive stems from symmetry. A need to see the whole of creation as balanced and structured as their own forms. Others instead simply seek to shape things, a wild craving to leave an impression. Many of these are artists using their psychic abilities to sculpt living art from coral, telekinetically shape simple stone or clay, or to use more esoteric arts to craft bioluminescence in living tissue.

For others this need to control and organize is expressed socially. These ceptu strive to become political, academic, and philosophical leaders. They create vast networks of association and complex codes of interaction. On occasion these impulses are seen as going too far, restricting new members or prohibiting talented individuals from participating with needlessly complicated qualification examinations. Others seek positions of tactical acumen applying their sense of control and oversight to military actions for defensive parameters. The Ashlord’s affiliation with the sacred groves of the grove tends to preclude common ceptu membership but telekinetic warriors are present in both the Descendants of Thunder and the Wardens.

Ceptu rarely accept lifetime appointments. Even the youngest and most impulsive males realize that their physiologies will change as they mature. It is common for a ceptu to request a period of leave during a metamorphosis and then to reapply after their new state is achieved.

Physiology

Each ceptu starts life as a bell shaped polyp that gathers nutrients with its trail of drifting tendrils. They have multiple chambers each capable of functioning in different environments both above and below the waves. Some of these chambers utilize a series of valves that allow the ceptu to speak in an airy, whispery tone.

The membranes of the outer bell are more resistant than those of most similar creatures slowing the dehydration of the creature and allowing for either a fluid medium or gaseous fill of their skeleton. While initially aiding in flotation, these amphibious structures are vital as psychic abilities develop to levitate the ceptu.

The polyps develop rapidly into their first adult phase wherein they exhibit many of the physical aspects traditionally exhibited in a binary male. Their first stings mature to venomous potency and their telekinesis becomes aggressively functional. At this age they function as the species warriors, explorers, and other outward pursuits. Many ceptu begin adventuring careers in this metamorphic state.

At a later age, the ceptu metamorphoses into an egg-laying state analogous to binary sexed female state. A limited number of eggs are deposited over the age of this state. These ceptu tend toward developmental pursuits, applying knowledges from their exploratory stage and developing knowledge into new and creative applications. Adventuring ceptu at this age are often fighting for a community or philosophical ideal.

The ceptu’s final stage is that of a carrier, gathering the fertilized eggs of the species and gestating them in an optimally maturation environment. Many carriers consider this third adult stage the true adulthood but none devalue the states of younger genders and their contribution to the community as a whole.

Combat

Despite a predominately cerebral nature, ceptu are far from pacifistic. Many of them find a challenge in matching their telekinetics against more physically inclined combatants. Their ability to engage in physical combat at range is an advantage not lost on most of their warriors. The ceptu’s panoramic vision and ability to be present in multiple locations can make the ceptu warriors highly sought after.

As common as telekinetic battle is, more aggressive manifestations and specialized psychic offense talents are presented during times of extreme danger or war. Ceptu kineticists and psions are well known for their violent energetic manifestations and even relatively pacifistic ceptu mystics are generally capable of aggressive projection.

Death

Much of ceptu culture is developed to ensure long life and a natural death. Violent death is generally thought to disrupt the natural psychic ascent of ceptu spiritual energies. While it is likely there are ways to prepare one’s essence for an unexpected departure it is considered wise to avoid a death like that at all costs. This can cause some ceptu to be seen as paranoid or overly cautious as that they tend to extend this viewpoint to the spiritual well-being of their own allies.

Species bioluminescence tends to equate life in this realm with light and color. When a ceptu dies its luminescence fades out. This in turn leads to a very literal belief in the value of light and dark. Some ceptu extend this to include a supernatural strength to dark as well and seek to understand shadow magic and necromancy as the ultimate expression of the power of the dark.


Favored Class Options

  • ArcanistACG: Add one spell with the mind-affecting descriptor from the psychic spell list to the arcanist’s spellbook at the same level. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the arcanist can cast.
  • Bard: Add +1/3 to the DC of one bardic performance.
  • Cleric: Increase the DCs of Intimidate and fear effects you generate by +1/4.
  • Druid: Add +1/2 a level to effective druid level when determining wild shape duration.
  • Echo: Add 1/6 a deeper reflection that grants access to a mental source origin or grants a memory of power of a psychic spell from the psychic class list or psionic power from the psion class list.
  • GuruAM: Add +1/2 to damage when dealing nonlethal damage to attacks made with a philosophy weapon.
  • InvestigatorACG: Increase the total number of points in the investigator’s inspiration pool by ⅓.
  • KineticistOA: Add +1/4 force damage to electrical element blasts that do electricity damage.
  • MesmeristOA: Add +1/2 to the number of tricks the ceptu can implant in allies each day.
  • Nexus: Select one veil that deals damage with a electricity or force descriptor. If you have at least 1 point invested in it, increase the effects of essence of that veil by 1/5.
  • OccultistOA: Gain 1/3 a point of mental focus you may only invest in a divination or enchantment school implement.
  • ParamourCoLSP: +1/6 of casting an illusion or enchantment spell with heart’s magic without beginning to increase to tides of passion cost.
  • PsionUP: Increase the DCs of charm and fear effects you generate by +1/4.
  • PsychicOA: Add +1/2 point of damage to a psychic spell cast that deals to damage and has the mind-affecting descriptor.
  • Radiant: Choose one veil with the [mind-affecting] descriptor. If you have at least 1 point invested in it, treat the veil’s effects at a DC of +1/4.
  • Shadow Weaver: +1/6 of a piercing glimpse.
  • Sorcerer: Choose electricity, force, or negative energy damage. Add +½ point of the chosen energy damage to spells that deal the chosen energy damage cast by the sorcerer.
  • SpiritualistOA: Add 1 skill rank or 1 hit point to the spiritualist’s phantom.
  • Theurge: Add one spell from a source other than your two primary sources to one of your two books as a spell of the same level. This spell cannot be the highest spell level you have access to.
  • VizierAM: Select one veil with a mind-affecting or electricity descriptor. Increase the essence capacity of that veil by 1/5. You may only select a veil five times per specific veil.
  • Wizard: Select one spell you know, you may now prepare this spell as though you had the Spell Mastery feat.
  • ZodiacCoLSZ: Increase the essence pool +1/5.Essence from this ability may only be used to summon from air constellations.

Ceptu Feats

Advanced Telekinetic Locomotion

Prerequisites: Ceptu, 5th level.

Benefit: Your species hover ability improves to true flight, granting a fly speed of 30 ft. (average maneuverability).

Awaken Vision

Prerequisites: Ceptu, 3rd level spellcaster or psionic manifester.

Benefit: You gain the mindsight alternate species ability without loss of other abilities.

Awaken Vision, Greater

Prerequisites: Ceptu, 9th level spellcaster or psionic manifester.

Benefit: You gain the seeking vision alternate species ability without loss of other abilities.

Extra Ring Slot

Prerequisites: Ceptu, 7th level

Benefit: You may wear and use an additional magical or psionic ring.

Force Mastery

Prerequisites: Ceptu, Telekinetic Hurl, 9th level spellcaster or psionic manifester.

Benefit: A number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier you may use a swift action to replace the highest known spell or power with a force descriptor with any spell or power on your class list with a lower level that also has a force descriptor. You may maintain this replacement for 1 round per point of Wisdom modifier.

Telekinetic Hurl

Prerequisites: Ceptu.

Benefit: A number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier as a standard action, you may throw a small object violently as a ranged touch attack. This telekinetic throw deals piercing or bludgeoning damage equal to 1d4 + 1 per 2 hit dice you have. This is a spell-like ability that does not allow spell resistance.


City of 7 Seraphs by Lost Spheres Publishing
Classes
Aegis Aethernaut Echo
Eclipse Nexus Radiant
Shadow Weaver Theurge
Races
Ceptu Judow Mirrorkin Rhyzala Shadow Fey Veryx
Xodai
Luminous Organizations
Ashlords Children of Dreams Everlasting Dawn Foreseers House of Prominence Steamstriders
Neutral Organizations
Cocoon Pact Descendants of Thunder
Umbral Organizations
Blackswords Booksealers Church of Coin Frozen Graves Hands of Burden Scarlet Sovereignty
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