'The Tree' (H.P. Lovecraft d20)

Michael O. Varhola

"The Tree" is a very short story by H.P. Lovecraft set, uncharacteristically, in ancient Greece and about the relationship in life and death between two virtuoso artists. This one really had me stumped for appropriate game content! I debated putting the title Tree into game terms, but could not think of anything that that would be interesting in an adventure that still fell within the scope of what Lovecraft described; a scary tree that can periodically drop one of its limbs is going to fall prey to almost any adventuring party. I also considered stat'ing out one or both of the artists but that would have been a complicated job with results of limited value. Then, the following Feat, which was introduced in the Skirmisher Publishing book  Experts v.3.5  occured to me as something that was both appropriate and of potential use to DMs and players alike.


Feat: Creative Touch [General]

A character with this feat is able to create original works of art in a variety of mediums.

Prerequisite: Skill rank 8 or higher in any skill capable of producing a work of art, including an applicable Craft (e.g., Drawing*, Sculpting*, Writing) and Perform (Oratory).

Benefit: A character with Creative Touch can use an art-related skill in which he has at least 8 skill ranks to create original work, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, choreography, plays, fiction, musical compositions, and other items of aesthetic value. Roll the DC as usual when using a skill to create artwork. If the roll meets or exceeds the DC, a normal object of normal value is created. If a doubled DC is met or exceeded, the creation is original art; multiply the base value of the finished product by 2d4. If a tripled DC is met or exceeded, a masterpiece has been created; multiply the base value of the finished product by 2d8. On a natural roll of 20, multiply the base value by 2d20 instead.

Normal: A character with Craft skills but not this feat may create original work, but it is not of exceptional uniqueness or value.

Special: The Creative Touch feat effects stack with masterwork benefits. Time and monetary requirements, however, increase accordingly. Note that masterwork items are extremely well-made normal objects without exceptional artistic value; works of art are merely aesthetically pleasing normal items. Use the masterwork value of the object as the base value (i.e., apply the masterwork adjustment first, then multiply by the 2d4 to 2d20 artistic modifier).