About Jassminder Shah
Human (Keleshite) Paladin (Tortured Crusader) 1
Initiative +3; Senses Perception +5
AC 15, Touch 13, Flat-footed 15 (5 Armour, 3 Dex)
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 7
Heal 5 (1 point, Class Skill, 1 Wis)
Craft (bowyer) 4 (1 point, Class Skill)
Blessed Touch (faith): Divine power flows through you like a mountain stream, making your healing touch more potent than that of others. You heal 1 additional point of damage when using lay on hands, channeling energy, or casting a cure spell.
Freed Slave (regional, Katapesh): You spent a significant portion of your childhood as a slave, but were freed from slavery several years ago by a benevolent master who purchased you from an auction after your previous master’s death. Yet while the memories of your difficult childhood still haunt you, the hard life did toughen you. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Fortitude saves.
Foe of the Strange (campaign): You awake feeling emboldened after a terrifying nightmare. Instead of being frightened by the bizarre creatures from your nightmares, these experiences have steeled you against these startling alien beings. You know that you fell victim to strange circumstances and loathsome forces, but you refuse to give in to a creeping sense of helplessness. Instead, you vow to fight back against whoever or whatever is responsible for your current situation. The creatures of your nightmares won’t hold fear over your head. You’ll take the fight to them. You gain a +1 trait bonus on saving throws against extraordinary, spell-like, and supernatural abilities of aberrations (for example, a gibbering mouther’s gibbering or an intellect devourer’s confusion). In addition, whenever you’re confused and roll to determine behavior in a given round, subtract 10 from the result.
Point Blank Shot: You get a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at ranges of up to 30 feet.
Precise Shot: You can shoot or throw ranged weapons at an opponent engaged in melee without taking the standard –4 penalty on your attack roll.
Torment: Torment: A tortured crusader’s great suffering in the face of inevitable horror strengthens her faith and resolve, even as it makes her introverted and far less personable than most paladins. A tortured crusader uses Wisdom instead of Charisma as her key spellcasting ability score (to determine her spell DCs, bonus spells per day, bonus on concentration checks, and so on), and to determine the effects of lay on hands.
Smite Evil: Once per day, a paladin can call out to the powers of good to aid her in her struggle against evil. As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite. If this target is evil, the paladin
Self-Sufficient: A tortured crusader adds Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (planes), Perception, Stealth, Survival, and Use Magic Device to her list of class skills, instead of Diplomacy and Handle Animal. She gains a number of skill ranks equal to 4 + her Intelligence modifier at each level, instead of gaining a number of skill ranks equal to 2 + her Intelligence modifier. This ability alters the paladin’s class skills and skill ranks per level.
All is Darkness: Everything around a tortured crusader is so bleak that detecting evil only reminds her that the odds are always against her. A tortured crusader doesn’t gain the detect evil or divine grace class features. At 1st level, a tortured crusader gains the smite evil ability, but she doesn’t add her Charisma bonus to attack rolls or a deflection bonus equal to her Charisma bonus to her AC against the target of her smite. At 2nd level, she adds a +4 bonus to attack rolls and a +4 deflection bonus to AC against the target of her smite. This ability replaces detect evil and divine grace and alters smite evil.
Alone in the Dark: Faced with endless foes, a tortured crusader can’t ask others to confront the same horrors she does. She can’t use her lay on hands ability to heal others or to channel energy, though starting at 4th level, she can convert two uses of lay on hands into an additional use of smite evil. Her aura of courage, aura of resolve, aura of faith, and aura of righteousness affect only her, not her allies. When she selects a divine bond, it must be with a weapon, not a mount.
Scale Mail Armour
1) As a child, seeing her owner murdered in the streets of Katapesh (watching with interest as his blood pooled in the street; waiting for the town watch to arrive. Only much later did she wonder whether she ought to have felt anything).
2) Realising that she was ‘different’ from the other acolytes she was training and studying with: the things that bothered them, that made them happy and sad, didn’t affect her.
3) Her first kill: the satisfaction of body and mind working in perfect coordination to send her arrow straight into the bandit’s eye. (The same sense of satisfaction as if she had hit the bullseye of a target. As for killing someone? Well, yes - it's not a training exercise. The arrow was supposed to kill him.)
4) Her capture and interrogation by ‘them’ and being tortured until she told them everything - which took longer than they expected, since the psychological elements of torture didn't really affect her, although pain of course works on everyone. (She has no idea, now, of who 'they' were; she can’t remember her answers, or even the questions). (In-game, this is my rationalisation for her relatively low stat score: her body is still recovering from the trauma)
5) This one is not so much a memory as a certainty: she knows she didn’t escape. ‘They’ let her live because they thought it was crueller than just killing her.
Appearance & Personality:
Jassminder is Lawful: orderly, methodical (all her arrows are fletched in the same way, with the same amount of twine wound in the same pattern), rational and above all, calm even in the midst of battle. Well aware that no plan survives contact with the enemy, she survives by being well-prepared: even when she has to improvise on the spur of the moment, she does so on the back of well-rehearsed and well-trained movements. She is not given to panic, or to moments of impulsive individualism. She is also truthful: it’s enough effort that her entire emotional life is a pretence, and she has no inclination to complicate things further.
Jassminder is Good: morality for her is not a question of feeling or personal preference, but of rational choice. She prefers the company of people who are good, because they are less likely to betray her or stab her in the back or enslave her. She may not share their propensity to, say, go all ‘gooey’ over small children and kittens and the like, but she would rather live in a world of good people than in a world of evil people. Keeping the good people safe is Jassminder's role, and if that means evildoers have to be eliminated, so be it. But she doesn’t take joy in killing: she vividly remembers her first kill, but hasn’t bothered to remember any of the subsequent ones (and there have been several). Bragging about killing, or keeping trophies or notches or records of kills, is something she finds incomprehensible: they’re dead, you’re alive, end of story, move on.
It’s important to note that Jassminder is not completely devoid of emotion; it’s more as though there’s a party in a house she is walking past: she can smell the food, and hear the laughter of the guests enjoying themselves, but there’s a wall between them and herself. It’s not something she worries about. She may not participate in the emotional highs of ‘normal’ people, but she doesn’t suffer from doubt, fear, despair, panic or any of the other afflictions ‘normal’ people have to endure. About the only time she feels anything comparable to emotional closeness is in the aftermath of good sex; and that creates a conundrum, since she enjoys the sex but emotional closeness is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. So far she has yet to find a rational solution, since complete abstinence is out of the question – the body has needs and appetites, after all.
In terms of appearance, Jassminder is relatively compact (just over 5 feet in height), although her broad shoulders tend to mean people perceive her as taller than she really is. Her hair, like most Keleshites, is black, and she wears it long because it’s easier than cutting it regularly.
Her eyes are dark and tend not to meet other peoples’ very often, usually making initial contact and then darting away, looking down. She is aware that most people are seeking to make some sort of connection when they look at you, and (not being able to make that sort of connection) she finds it uncomfortable; so she avoids it.
Jassminder appears to be in her mid to late twenties, although she has lost track of her exact age – along with most of her memories, it seems. She doesn’t fidget, or have any particular mannerisms; although perhaps her ability to be still no matter the circumstances, until she explodes into action, is a mannerism in itself. Even when caught by surprise she is highly unlikely to flinch or jump.