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Author Topic: DH's Alternate Divine Spellcasting System  (Read 8269 times)
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Doomed Hero
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« on: September 13, 2010, 08:12:17 AM »

I've always felt that the Legate class felt a bit off. It seemed odd to me that the channeled magic system was feat-based, but the divine system wasn't. Also, when you look a the class, it's almost laughably front-loaded. By 5th level, you're done with all the class features. At that point the class exists solely as a vehicle for spells. Frankly, that's just boring. I'm all for prestige classes, but when you have a class that essentially requires you to leave it for something better by 6th level, I think it's a bad design. There really should be Legates out there who aren't some special prestige sect, and as things stand, the only reason any legate would have for doing that is if they were brain damaged.

so, because I like to try to find solutions to the things I complain about, I decided to put together an alternate system to allow Legates to be as diverse as channeling-based casters can be. I liked the Feat based casting that Channelers use, so i decided to expand on that theme.


Overview- This is meant to be something of a dark reflection of the channeled magic system, but more versatile (even deliberately overpowered). These feats are not really meant for PCs, and I've always felt that the best "bad guy" options were the ones that played strongly to the "it's not supposed to be fair" school of thought that Midnight promotes. As such, the feat tree starts with a low power "spark" feat (like magecraft) and then quickly branches out into a more full array of casting options.

I've integrated the various sects within the Order of Shadow into the available feats, taking many of the names and descriptions from the Midnight 2nd ed. book and fleshing them out into actual mechanics. This isn't to say that these feats are a hard requirement into a particular sect. There are always exceptions. The feats are mostly supposed to provide a broader array of options to Divine casters, and give an idea of what a member of a given sect might be capable of.

Now, this isn't a perfect mirror. There are a lot of differences (I didn't want it to feel exactly the same), but I feel this system is a bit more versatile and Midnight-flavored than the old Legate class.

System note: This was written using the Pathfinder rules, but can be very easily modified if you use 3.5 d20.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 08:24:15 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged

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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2010, 08:14:52 AM »

Basic Divine Casting feats-


Shadow Initiate

Prerequisites: Must be faithful to Izrador and have been trained by someone capable of casting at least 2nd level Divine spells.

You gain 3 Orison spell slots and one 1st level spell slot. Every night at Midnight you may pray to Izrador and memorize spells of the appropriate level. You may choose any Orison from the Cleric spell list, and any of the first level spells granted by the Darkness, Death, Destruction, Evil, Magic or War domains.


Shadow Acolyte

Prereqs: Shadow initiate

You gain two spell slots of the highest spell level you qualify to cast, according to your level. Every time you gain a level, you gain an additional spell slot. Once you gain this feat you are no longer limited to the spells granted by Izrador's domain and may memorize any spell on the divine spell list. This feat may be gained more than once.


Shadow Devotee

Prereqs: Shadow Acolyte

Choose one of Izrador's Domains. You gain access to that domain, gain it's granted powers, and gain one additional spell slot for each level of spellcasting you qualify for. These extra spell slots must be used to memorize spells on the list granted by your chosen domain. This feat may be taken more than once.


Astirax Companion

Prereqs: Shadow Acolyte

You gain an Astirax Companion, exactly as described in the Legate class from the Midnight core book.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 08:52:30 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2010, 08:20:22 AM »

The Keepers of Obsidian

The following feats are for characters who join the Order of Obsidian


Keeper of Obsidian

Prereqs: Shadow Devotee, Knowledge Shadow 4 ranks, Any other Knowledge: 4 ranks. Must not ever have access to the War domain

You gain the Knowledge Domain and it's granted powers. You also gain one additional spell slot per spell level you qualify to cast. These spell slots can only be used to memorize the spells on the Knowledge domain list.

All Knowledge skills become class skills for you.



Initiate of the Knife

Prerequisites: Keeper of Obsidian, Knowledge: Shadow 5 ranks

Upon gaining this feat you are given a +1 Unholy dagger blessed during a sacrifice at a Zordrafin Corith. This dagger may now be used as a Divine Focus for any spells that require them. Should you lose this blade you may gain another at any temple after having an Atonement spell cast upon you (usually this requires some kind of service or ritual beforehand)



Keeper of the Key

Prerequisites: Keeper of Obsidian, Knowledge: Arcana 5 ranks

Upon gaining this feat you are accepted into a sect of Keepers who's purpose is to guard the secret stores of forbidden lore that survived the purging of knowledge. You are given a black iron key inlayed with obsidian and enchanted to open the Vaults. The key is keyed to your blood and will work for no other, and will shatter if you die. When inside a temple you may visit the vaults to gain a bonus to any Knowledge check. This takes one hour and requires a ritual cleansing of your spirit once done to shed the taint of having touched and read forbidden manuscripts. This gives a +5 bonus in temples with Pale Mirrors, +10 in temples with Blood Mirrors and +15 at temples with Grand Mirrors.



Master of the Pale

Prerequisites: Keeper of Obsidian, Knowledge Shadow 6 ranks, able to cast 3rd level Divine spells

You become one of the Keepers of a Pale Mirror, responsible for maintaining it. When within your temple, your effective caster level increases by 1. On the day a sacrifice has been performed, this bonus increases to 2.



Master of the Blood

Prerequisites: Master of the Pale, Knowledge Shadow 10 ranks, able to cast 5th level Divine spells

You become one of the Keepers of a Blood Mirror, responsible for maintaining it. When within your temple, your effective caster level increases by 2. On the day a sacrifice has been performed, this bonus increases to 4.



Grand Master of the Mirror

Prerequisites: Master of the Blood, Knowledge Shadow 15 ranks, Able to cast 8th level Divine spells

You become one of the Keepers of a Grand Mirror, responsible for maintaining it. When within your temple, your effective caster level increases by 3. On the day a sacrifice has been performed, this bonus increases to 6.
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2010, 08:26:14 AM »

The Sisters of Tender Mercy

The following feats are for characters who join the Convent of Blessed Shadow


Sister of Tender Mercy

Prereqs: Shadow Devotee, Intimidate 4 ranks; Sense Motive 4 Ranks; Knowledge: Shadow 4 ranks, proficiency with the Whip. Must be Female. Must not ever have access to the Magic domain.

You gain the Inquisition domain and it's granted powers. You also gain one additional spell slot per spell level you qualify to cast. These spell slots can only be used to memorize the spells on the Inquisition domain list.

You gain a +2 profane bonus to Intimidate and Sense Motive.

You may use your Wisdom or Charisma score as your primary spellcasting attribute, whichever is higher.


Handmaiden of Sunulael

Prerequisites: Sister of Tender Mercy, Knowledge: Shadow 8 ranks

The primary purpose of the Convent of Blessed Shadow is to root out traitors within the Order of Shadow itself. Because the upper ranks of the Order is partially comprised of creatures which would be difficult to interrogate by normal methods, the Sisterhood has been taught special methods of interrogatio by the Priest of Shadow himself, allowing them to inflict pain on nearly anything.

You gain the ability to use your abilities on creatures normally immune to Subdual damage. Whenever you would normally inflict subdual damage to a creature that is immune to it, you instead inflict normal damage, and any additional effects happen normally. Your hands, and whips and scourges wielded by you, are treated as having the Ghost Touch enchantment for the purposes of inflicting subdual damage to incorporeal creatures, and as being whatever alignment or material is needed for the purposes of bypassing the Damage Reduction of any living or undead creature.


Inquisitor

Prerequisites: Sister of Tender Mercy, Sense Motive 5 ranks

You gain a +10 profane bonus to sense motive checks made to determine if you are being lied to.


Lasher

Prerequisites: Sister of Tender Mercy, Weapon Focus Whip

You gain a +2 Profane bonus to damage with Whips and Scourges. In addition, when using a Whip or Scourge you may make an additional attack each round at your highest attack bonus. All attacks you make that round suffer a -2 penalty.


Backlash

Prerequisites: Sister of Tender Mercy, Lasher, ability to cast 4th level Divine spells

Any spell or effect delivered through a whip or scourge that requires a saving throw effects the target again the following round exactly as if the effect had been delivered again.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 02:51:56 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2010, 08:29:24 AM »

The Umbral Catholicon

The following feats are for characters who choose to join the Umbral Catholicon


Shadow Shamed

Prerequisites: Must have been excommunicated from another order.

You bear the Mark of Shame branded prominently on your body. This mark is both physical and magical and impossible to disguise by any means, though it can simply be covered, such as with clothes or bandages. This mark is immediately recognizable by any member of the Order of Shadow and anyone who succeeds on a DC 15 Knowledge Shadow check. members of the Order of Shadow will treat you disrespectfully, as will many who work for them, but the fact that you were someone who failed, but was skilled or important enough not to simply kill carries some weight. Though disrespectful, they will have an effective starting disposition of Friendly toward you. Also, the mark, being magic, deepens your connection to Izrador. Your effective caster level increases by 1. This bonus increases to +2 at midnight and during the new moon.
In addition, upon receiving this mark you lose access to the Death, Destruction, Magic and War domains if you had them, but receive a bonus feat for each one you lose. Because of this, many of the Shadow Shamed become members of the Umbral Catholicon.


Disciple of the Umbral Catholicon

Prereqs: Shadow Acolyte, Heal 1 rank, Must not ever have access to the Death, Destruction, Magic or War domains.

You gain the Healing and Protection Domains and their granted powers, You also gain two additional spell slots per spell level you qualify to cast. These spell slots can only be used to memorize the spells on the Healing or Protection domain list.



Surgeon's Knife

Prerequisites: Disciple of the Umbral Catholicon, heal 6 ranks

You gain a +5 insight bonus to heal checks. In addition, when you use the Heal skill to Treat Deadly Wounds, you may use a sharp knife and a needle and thread in place of a healer's kit.



Binder of Blood

Prerequisites: Disciple of the Umbral Catholicon, Knowledge: Shadow 6 ranks.

By sacrificing a living humanoid creature, you may attempt to bring another creature back to life. The ritual takes 10 minutes, at the end of which a Knowledge: Shadow check is made to perform the sacrifice. The DC of the check is 10+ 1 per minute the creature has been dead (this means the minimum difficulty, after the ritual is complete, is 20). If you fail the check by 5 or more the dead creature and the sacrifice immediately rise as Fell. If you succeed, the dead creature makes a Fortitude save (using the save it had when alive) at a DC equal to the Knowledge: Shadow check. If it fails by more than 5, it immediately rises as Fell. If it succeeds it returns to life at -9 HP.
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2010, 08:32:47 AM »

Soldier Legates

The following feats are for characters who choose to become Soldiers of Shadow


Soldier Legate

Prereqs: Shadow Acolyte, BaB +4; Martial weapon proficiency; Medium armor proficiency, Must not ever have access to the Magic domain.

You gain the Strength domain. and it's granted powers. You also gain one additional spell slot per spell level you qualify to cast. These spell slots can only be used to memorize the spells on the Strength domain list.

The round after you cast a spell you gain a +2 profane bonus to Strength.



Bearer of the Black Shield

Prereqs: Soldier Legate, BaB +4, Shield proficiency

When you are wielding a shield, it gains a Profane bonus equal to +1 per 4 levels you possess, up to a maximum bonus equal to your Strength score.



Knight of Shadow

Prereqs: Soldier Legate, Weapon Focus, BaB +5

You gain a +2 profane bonus to damage with any weapon you have Weapon Focus with.



Dark Knight

Prereqs: Soldier Legate, Astirax Companion, BaB +6, Ride 4 ranks

You are granted the services of a Hadukar mount blessed with the blood of fiendish shadow demons. This makes it even stronger than normal hadukar and gives it the ability to slip in and out of the spirit world. This mount functions as the Fiendish Boon ability granted by the Antipaladin class in the Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide, except that it only grants the services of a Fiendish Hadukar warhorse.



Dark Templar

Prereqs: Soldier Legate, Bearer of the Black Shield, BaB +7

When wearing medium or heavy armor you gain DR /magic equal to your Strength modifier.



Warrior-Son of the Dark God

Prerequisite: Soldier Legate, BaB +8

When you deal a blow that reduces an enemy to negative Hit Points, you may cast Death Knell as a free action. This ability is usable a number of times per day equal to your Strength modifier.

 
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2010, 08:35:23 AM »

Witch Takers

The following feats are for characters who join the Witch Takers


Witch Hunter

Prereqs: Shadow Devotee; Track; Survival 4 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks. Must not ever have access to the Death domain.

You gain the Seeker domain and it's granted powers. You also gain one additional spell slot per spell level you qualify to cast. These spell slots can only be used to memorize the spells on the Seeker domain list.

You gain a +4 profane bonus to Sense Motive and Spot checks to see through mundane or magical disguises worn by individuals with the Magecraft feat. Survival is always a Class skill for you.



Witch Hammer

Prereqs: Witch Hunter, Spellcraft 5 ranks

You gain the ability to stop Channeled magic cast in your presence. You are always considered to have an action readied to Counterspell. When you are aware of a spell being cast within a range of 10' per level, you may make a Spellcraft check, as normal, to determine the spell. If successful, you may sacrifice an unused spell of equal or higher level to attempt to counter it. This functions in all ways as Dispel Magic for purposes of Counterspelling. You gain a +1 bonus to your caster check for each level higher the spell you sacrificed was than the spell you are attempting to counter. This ability is a Swift action (and so can only be used once a round) but can be used at will, as long as you still have spells prepared.



Witch Taker

Prereqs: Witch Hammer, Spellcraft 8 ranks.

Any time you successfully counter a spell, the caster of that spell must make a Fortitude save (DC= 10+the level of the spell countered+your Wisdom modifier) or be stunned for 1d4 rounds.



Seeker of Blood

Prereqs: Witch Hunter, Survival 6 ranks

If you are somehow able to gain a sample of the blood of an Arcane spellcaster, you may choose that caster as your Mark. You may only have one Mark at a time. You gain a +10 bonus to any roll made to track your Mark, a +2 bonus on Saves to resist effects and spells cast by your Mark, and a +2 bonus to attacks and damage against your Mark. If any spell or ability you possess effects your Mark, Increase the difficulty of the Mark's save against it by 2, and raise your effective caster level by 2 when determining it's affects against the Mark.



Wolf of Shadow

Prereqs: Witch Hunter, Survival 8 ranks

You gain one Teamwork feat. In addition, you may take a standard action to grant a teamwork feat you possess to all allies within 30 feet for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom or Charisma modifier (whichever is your primary spellcasting attribute). Allies affected by this ability do not have to meet the prerequisites of the feat this ability grants. This ability may be used at will but requires a standard action to use every time. Only one Teamwork feat at a time may be granted by this ability.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2011, 01:09:46 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2010, 08:38:34 AM »

Voices of Shadow

The following feats are for characters who become members of the Black Chorus


Voice of Shadow

Prereqs: Shadow Devotee; Bluff 4 ranks, Perform 4 ranks. Must not ever have access to the War domain.

You gain access to the Trickery Domain and it's granted powers. You also gain one additional spell slot per spell level you qualify to cast. These spell slots can only be used to memorize the spells on the Trickery domain list.

You gain the ability to Fascinate one or more creatures. This functions in all ways as the Bardic Performance ability of the same name. This ability may be used for a number of rounds per day equal to 2+ your Wisdom modifier, +2 per character level.



Darkvoice

Prereqs: Voice of Shadow, perform 6 ranks

You gain the Bardic Performance class feature, exactly as described in the Bard class description, except that it uses the number of performance rounds granted by the Voice of Shadow feat as it's pool. For the purposed of the Perform skill used with this feat, your performance is limited to Oration only.



Shadowcaster

Prereqs: Voice of Shadow, ability to cast 3rd level spells.

Illusions created by you gain the Extend Metamagic effect.



Chorus of Shadows

Prereqs: Darkvoice, Perform 9 ranks

You may turn your speeches over to the disembodied spirits of the Trapped who are faithful to Izrador. You are able to empower a trapped spirit to continue your performance for you, allowing you to use any of your Bardic Performance abilities as Free actions while this ability is active. This ability is a standard action to activate, a free action to maintain, and can be used a number of rounds per day equal to your 1/2 your character level. Rounds this ability is active count against your normal number of Performance rounds per day, exactly as if you were the one performing. While this ability is active it's effects originate from the space you were in when you activated it and do not move even if you do. While it is active you may perform any other actions you wish, including casting spells, combat, or even beginning another Bardic Performance. For the purposes of abilities that are canceled certain conditions, such as Facinate and threatening gestures, you are still considered to be the performer.
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2010, 08:42:54 AM »

For my games I've created a sub-sect of the Umbral Catholicon called the Grey Hand which is made up of deformed Orcs who would have otherwise been killed at birth if not for thier strong natural connection to Izrador. I include them here in case you want to use them. If you don't like the idea of an orcish subsect, these feats work fine as additional options for the Umbral Catholicon


The Grey Hand

The following feats are for characters who are trained as members of the Grey hand.



Grey Hand

Prereqs: Disciple of the Umbral Catholicon. Must be an Ork (or possess Orc blood)with a crippling birth defect.

You gain access to the Martyrdom domain and it's granted powers. You also gain one additional spell slot per spell level you qualify to cast. These spell slots can only be used to memorize the spells on the Martyrdom domain list.

You become immune to any effect that magically heals you, except for spells and abilities granted by the Martyrdom domain. You cannot positively benefit from any magic you cast yourself. For example, if you were to cast Bear's Endurance, Mass, you could not include yourself as a target. If you cast Hero's Feast, you cannot eat any of it.



Grey Martyr

Prereqs: Grey Hand, ability to cast 3rd level Divine spells

You gain Regeneration at a rate of 1 HP per minute. Your regeneration is stopped by Holy energies, whether it is Izrador's or rare powers associated with the Lost Gods. You also gain one additional spell slot of each level you can cast.



Grey Saint

Prereqs: Grey Martyr, ability to cast 5th level Divine spells.

You gain Regeneration 5. Your regeneration is stopped by Holy energies, whether it is Izrador's or rare powers associated with the Lost Gods. You also gain one additional spell slot of each level you can cast.
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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2010, 08:55:19 AM »

Updated and New Domains

These are the Midnight-specific domains, updated for Pathfinder.



Inquisition Domain

Granted Powers: Izrador grants you the power to root out truth with the simplest tool of persuasion- Pain.

Hand of Mercy: You may make a melee touch attack to deal Subdual damage equal to your character level. Creatures who take damage from this ability gain a penalty to Will saves equal to the total amount of damage taken from this ability divided by their character level. For example, a 4th level character would take a -1 penalty to Will saves for every 4 points of damage they have taken from this ability. This penalty cannot ever be larger than the victims' character level, no matter how much damage they have taken. This ability can also be delivered by a whip or scourge, exactly as if the weapon were your hand.

Induce Agony: At third level you may choose to change the damage dealt by any spell you cast to Subdual damage when you cast it. if you do, the target{s) of the spell must make an additional Will save equal to the saving throw of the spell or be Sickened by pain for a number of rounds equal to the level of the spell.

Where There's a Whip There's a Way: At 6th level, you gain the ability to cast harmful spells through your attacks. As a Swift action you may choose to cast any non-benificial spell  with a range of Touch you have prepared when you successfully attack with a Whip, Scourge or Flail. The weapon damage is dealt normally, and the spell effects it's target as if a successful touch attack had been made.

Where it Hurts: At 9th level you gain Improved Critical with the Whip. In addition you are considered to have the Improved Critical feat with any damage-dealing spell that requires an attack roll.

Domain Spells: 1st- Shocking Grasp, 2nd- Zone of Truth, 3rd- Bestow Curse, 4th- Discern Lies, 5th- Symbol of Pain, 6th- Geas, 7th- Legend Lore, 8th- Trap the Soul, 9th- Energy Drain




Seeker Domain

Granted powers: You are gifted with the means to track those who defy the will of Izrador.

Magic Hunter: You have a latent sense for magically endowed blood that is similar to that of an astirax’s abilities. You may attempt to track individuals with the Magecraft feat as though following a mundane set of tracks. The normal rules and modifiers for tracking apply and you
are considered, for this purpose only, to have the Track feat and the scent ability. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to the Survival check for every two spell energy points your quarry had when he was in your area.

Second Sight: At 5th level you learn to see magic like most creatures see color. You are affected by a continuous Detect Magic spell.

Sense Heresy: At 9th level your perceptions have honed themselves until you no longer need to rely on your eyes to feel the presence of a Channeler. You gain the ability to detect Channelers near you. This ability functions exactly as the Detect Evil ability , as described in the Paladin class description, except that it effects Channelers instead of Evil creatures.

Domain Spells: 1st- Longstrider, 2nd- Locate Object, 3rd- Speak With Dead, 4th- Locate Creature, 5th- Shadow Walk, 6th- Analyze Dweomer, 7th- Sequester, 8th- Anti-Magic Field, 9th- Disjunction


========================================================


The following Domain is new, made for the Grey Hand


Martyrdom Domain

Granted Powers: Your place is to suffer so that the chosen of Izrador may continue to fight, but your suffering has toughened you. You gain an extra two HP per character level.

Take Wound (su): At third level, as a standard action you may touch a target and heal them by taking the injury upon yourself.  This ability functions exactly as the Paladin ability Lay On Hands, except that it cannot be used to heal yourself, and uses Wisdom instead of Charisma to determine the number of times per day it can be used. In addition, the following changes are made: When you heal damage from this ability, wounds identical to those healed appear on your body. (If you heal an 8 HP injury caused by a sword blow to the shoulder, you take 8 HP of damage and an identical sword wound opens on your shoulder, exactly as if you had been the one struck.) When using this ability, an entire wound must be taken or the damage returns. This may require subsequent rounds of use. For example, if the target has taken a 20 HP wound, and you only heal 12 points of it when using this ability, you must maintain contact with the target and use this ability again in subsequent rounds until the entire wound is healed. If contact is broken or the possessor of this feat is interrupted, the previously healed damage returns to the target at the same rate it had just been healed until the wound is once again as it had been. Damage taken by you when using this ability does not heal if it is interrupted before an entire wound is taken.

Stigmata (su): At 5th level, you gain the ability to recover quickly from wounds you have taken from others. Damage taken by use of the Take Wound ability heals at a rate of 1 point per minute.

Bestow Wound (su): At 8th level you gain the ability to transfer wounds you have taken to others. This ability works exactly as the Lay On Hands ability when used against undead, except that it effects, and can only be used on, living targets. Using this ability heals you an amount equal to the damage you deal, but it can only be used when you have unhealed damage taken by use of the Take Wound ability. Bestow Wound specifically, and only, heals damage taken through use of the Take Wound ability. It, in effect, transfers wounds you have taken on yourself to another target. Unlike the Take Wound ability, Bestow Wound can be used to give a target a "piece" of a wound, no contact need be maintained, nor subsequent rounds are required. This ability can be used at will, as long as you have unhealed damage from the Take Wound ability.

Domain Spells: 1st- Sanctuary, 2nd- Delay Poison, 3rd- Helping Hand, 4th- Imbue with Spell Ability, 5th- Breath of Life, 6th- Hero's Feast, 7th- Repulsion, 8th- Unholy Aura, 9th- Miracle
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 08:58:50 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2010, 05:44:17 PM »

I can echo your sentiments on the legate class, and this really adds some cool variety so the different sects actually feel separated.

This, frankly is awesome..
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2010, 03:29:50 PM »

In my game (as you will eventually see) I have replaced Wisdom with Charisma as the casting stat for the Sisters.
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2010, 05:25:34 PM »

That's not a bad idea, really. I'm still fleshing this out, and I may steal that.
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2012, 02:01:28 PM »

Just thought it was about time to bring this thread back.

Regarding Shadow Acolyte.  If a character was to take Shadow Initiate and then take Shadow Acolyte at 7th level would they get 2 4th level spell slots alone, or would they also get an appropriate amount of 1st-3rd level spells as well.
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2012, 03:46:23 PM »

Just the 4th level slots, which they can use for lower level spells if they need to.

This keeps the feats from giving too many spells, and means that individual legates have quite a bit of variance when it comes to magical resources.
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