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Author Topic: New PrC: Fell Preacher (v. 3)  (Read 4895 times)
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Dirigible
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« on: September 24, 2006, 11:15:32 PM »

|         

“The faith of the dead is just as strong as the faith of the living. The Shadow in the North hears prayers from dessicated lips with the same forbearance as those from slobbering mortal maws. For His dark glory, then, I shall assemble a choir of the dead to chant through eternal nights, and my fleshly brethren will see our true devotion!”
Legate Vosse Iskrandyr, speaking to a maelgral on the outskirts of Theros Obsidia.[/i]

At best seen as eccentrics by other legates, and at worst as dangerous schismatics, Fell Preachers are a non-centralised and disunited philosophy, rather than a nascent sect. They are legates who have taken their mastery of the living dead to new nadirs of depravity, and seek to assemble congregations of the Fell and other varieties of undead, rather than leading human and orcish worshippers. Bewitching followers with their Izrador-granted powers and sorceries, they populate mockeries of the Temples of Shadow with unliving flocks that perform a semblance of devotion to the Shadow. What disturbs many other legates, however, is that these Temples are often quite successful, and maintain their Black Mirrors admirably.

The path to becoming a Fell Preacher often begins with an unusually horrific incident in a prospective legate's childhood, or because of some death-obsessive sickness of the mind. A common story is that Fell Preachers witnessed their families being devoured by ravenous packs of Fell, and only avoided the same fate by hiding amongst the dead bodies that no longer interested the cannibalistic creatures, or because some sudden divine spark warded the undead off. This often leaves them deeply dedicated to the Shadow, and with a warped, affectionate view of the living dead. Other Preachers discover their calling when they break under the relentless brutality of their indoctrination in Theros Obsidia. As their minds crumple up, some wish for death; but some come to realise that being dead-but-alive would free them from the pain and fear of the seminary, and so become obsessed with the undead, even seeking to tansfigure themselves.

Most Fell Preachers come from the Keepers of Obsidian or Voices of Shadow; these are the sects that are most inclined towards the founding and maintenance of new Temples, and the creation of new devout worshippers of the Shadow. Regardless of the sub-order they once belonged to and trained with, most Fell Preachers become outcasts due to their twisted beliefs, adhering to no sect but the good of their own undead flock.

Hit Die: d8.

Prerequsites
Legate level 6+ with the Death domain.
Skills: Diplomacy 4 ranks; Knowledge (Arcana) 8 ranks; Knowledge (Spirits) 8 ranks; Heal 6 ranks.
Feats: Extra Turning.
Achievement: The legate must have successfully persuaded a Fell or other intelligent undead to convert to the worship of Izrador. She may have used rebuking or other magical abilities in order to gain an audience with the creature (or to simply still its murderous hunger long enough to allow communication), but the actual process of conversion must have been accomplished through reason and theology, not compulsion (using Diplomacy to change the creature's attitude to Friendly might be sufficient, at the GM's discretion).

Class Skills: Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Religion), Knowledge (Shadow), Knowledge (Spirits), Perform (Oratory), Profession (Wis), Speak Lanugage (n/a) and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points per Level: 4 + Int mod.

LevelBAB  Fort  Ref  Will  Casting  Special 
1+0+0+0+2-Empowered Command, Spontaneous Death-Magic, Grow the Flock
2+1+0+0+3+1 LoEC*Rite of the Black Anointment
3+2+1+1+3+1 LoECDeathlike +2
4+3+1+1+4--
5+3+1+1+4+1 LoECFlesh Manna
6+4+2+2+5+1 LoECDeathlike +4
7+5+2+2+5-Undead Martyrdom
8+6+2+2+6+1 LoEC-
9+6+3+3+6+1 LoECDeathlike +6
10+7+3+3+7+1 LoECLichdom Beckons

* = Level of Existing Class

Special Abilities
Empowered Command: Fell Preachers are more easily able to force compliance from undead that they bombard with negative energy than are their brethren. The Fell Preacher need only have levels equal to or greater than the undead's hit dice in order to Command it. Normally, a legate requires twice as many levels as the undead has hit dice to achieve this effect.

Spontaneous Death Magic: The Fell Preacher is thoroughly familiar with the practises of Izrador's portfolio as it relates to death. She may spontaneously cast any spell on the Death Domain list equal to or less than the level of the spell sacrificed, in addition to spontaneously casting inflict spells. For example, a Fell Preacher could choose to lose her prepared darkness (2nd level) spell in order to cast either inflict moderate wounds (the 2nd level inflict spell or death knell (the 2nd level Death Domain spell).

Grow the Flock: Fell Preachers find that they must work to increase the number of undead they can lead at any one time, or else their congregations will be petty in the Shadow's eyes. The limit of undead the Fell Preacher can control from the animate dead spell and her command undead ability is increased by 10% per class level, rounded up. For example, a Legate 6 / Fell Preacher 2 would normally be able to control (6+2 x 2) 16 HD of animated undead and 8 HD of commanded undead; with the +20% bonus from her Fell Preacher levels, she would be able to control (16 x 120% = 19.2, rounded up) 20 HD and (8 x 1.2 = 9.6, rounded up) 10 HD, respectively.

Rite of the Black Anointment (Ex): Through a gruesome ritual involving fresh blood and unholy oils at the foot of a Temple's altar, the Fell Preacher may bless her followers with resistance to the rebukes of other legates, while simultaneously tying them closer to her. This ritual takes ten minutes per recipient, costs 100vp of blessed unguents (total), and its effects last for one arc. Undead that receive the anointment gain Turn Resistance equal to the legate's Charisma modifier against all rebuke attempts except those of the Fell Preacher that blessed them. Against that specific individual's rebuke and command attempts, however, they gain Turn Vulnerability equal to her Charisma modifier. For example, if a Fell Preacher with Charisma 16 blessed her followers, they would count as being 3 HD higher for the purposes of resisting hostile rebukes / commands, but 3 HD lower (to a minimum of 1 HD) if they tried to resist the Fell Preacher's rebukes / commands.

Deathlike: The Fell Preacher takes on some traits of her flock, becoming willingly tainted with undeath. She gains the listed bonus to saves against sleep, paralysis, poison, disease, death effects and fatigue.
|      At 6th level this bonus increases to +4 and the Fell Preacher also gains DR equal to her Cha mod against nonlethal damage.
|      At 9th level this bonus increases to +6 and the Fell Preacher no longer requires food or drink to survive, except a few pounds of fresh, sentient flesh per week.

Flesh Manna (Sp): By saying a dark blessing over their food and charging it with necromantic energy, the Fell Preacher may empower her followers. She must expend a rebuke attempt in order to do so. This works similarly to the spell heroes' feast, except that it does not conjure food, merely enhances the properties of 200 lbs of fresh, sentient meat per caster level. The bonuses only affect undead creatures that partake of the meal and eat their fill. These creatures gain a +2 bonus to Strength and all saving throws and 1d8+1 per two caster levels (maximum +10) temporary hp, rather than the usual benefits of heroes' feast.

Undead Marytrdom (Ex): Despite her twisted devotion to her mouldering congregation, the Fell Preacher knows that her own 'life' as an apostle of the Shadow is more valuable than a few skeletons and zombies. By expending a rebuke attempt, she may attempt to shift the damage of one spell or attack to an undead under her control within 30ft. The Fell Preacher must make a Spellcraft check with a DC equal to 15 + the damage inflicted. If successful, the damage is entirely shifted to the designated undead via a negative energy bridge.

Lichdom Beckons: At the pinnacle of her dark career, the Fell Preacher may feel that only the deathly immortality of lichdom offers further opportunities for progress. She gains the Craft Wondrous Item feat, making it easier for her to create her phylactery.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2006, 02:13:13 PM by Dirigible » Logged
Albert
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2006, 01:54:55 AM »

First of:
Really cool class, I totaly love the concept.

Now, for the picking of the nits.
As far as I can remember Knowledge:Religion doesn't exist in midnight, I don't have the books with me at the moment though, and I couldn't find skills on Darkness Falls, so I'm not completely sure.
Undead Martyrdom is powerful, but very fitting and cool. Perhaps you should remove the level up in spellcasting on that level, to balance things?
Perhaps you should even the Grow the flock ability out a bit? Instead of doubling the limits on level 8, give a slight increas on say, level 4 and improve the bonus to the current one on level 8? In that way these legates can have more undead followers before they reach as high as lvl 14, wich very few npcs do in my campaigns.
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arnon
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2006, 02:09:58 AM »

This is like... totaly cool dude!
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Dirigible
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2006, 02:35:17 AM »

Quote
As far as I can remember Knowledge:Religion doesn't exist in midnight, I don't have the books with me at the moment though, and I couldn't find skills on Darkness Falls, so I'm not completely sure.

You are correct. I used K:Religion as it's the skill in D&D that contains 'undead lore', but I see in MN that that has folded into K:Spirits. Will edit.

Quote
Undead Martyrdom is powerful, but very fitting and cool. Perhaps you should remove the level up in spellcasting on that level, to balance things?

What if I made the Spellcraft DC 10, 15 or 20 + damage?

Quote
Perhaps you should even the Grow the flock ability out a bit?
That's a pretty good idea. I'll work on that.


EDIT:
OK. I made the Undead Martyr ability DC 15 + damage, I made Grow the Flock +10% per level (so at level 10 they can control +100%, double, the normal number of deadites), and I removed one casting LoEC.

What do y'all think? I might increase the power of the Flesh Manna ability, perhaps doubling the bonuses and / or extra HP it grants - especially seeing that undead are already immune to msot of the things it grants immunity / resistance to.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2006, 03:02:11 AM by Dirigible » Logged
Kane
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2006, 06:48:37 AM »

Dirigible,

Very nice piece.  I especially liked the background material/quote.  I've always thought that Shadow would attract the deranged as well as the dangerous. 

Kane
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Dirigible
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2006, 07:04:52 AM »

I'd rather play up the creepiness than the silliness - the eerie horror of a choir of throatless voices raised in prayer to the Shadow in the North, or supplicants genuflecting before an altar until their patellas and foreskulls wear thin, of Temples that are as much ossuary and cahrnal house as place of worship.
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Bleak Knight
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2006, 07:39:29 AM »

Absolutely awesome. I love it. Have a second cookie of the day.
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arnon
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2006, 01:58:48 AM »

I'm giving you a poisond coockie... for this and the Deathwielder.
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Glacialis
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2006, 11:29:49 AM »

Dirigible: one Cookie if Taintedness +1 coming your way!
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Albert
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2006, 07:30:04 AM »

I hadn't thought of how useless heroes feast would be for most undead, but htey only get a small sliver of benefits from the thing, as opposed to the huge benefits living creatures gain from this.

Quote
Every creature partaking of the feast is cured of all diseases, sickness, and nausea; becomes immune to poison for 12 hours; and gains 1d8 temporary hit points +1 point per two caster levels (maximum +10) after imbibing the nectar-like beverage that is part of the feast. The ambrosial food that is consumed grants each creature that partakes a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls and Will saves and immunity to fear effects for 12 hours.

Okay, so disease, sickness, nausea, poison, fear and most things that require will saves they are already immune to. Actually there's the fear effect from chill touch that normally affects undead, and nausea or sickness that you save against using will saves (some splat spells use that mechanic), but mostly it's stuff undead are immune to.

So, it's basically a long lasting mass aid, that requires lots of flesh and time to cast, cool, but still just a few temp hp and +1 attack.


This ability and the spell name has me thinking about a spell from MtG, Feast of the unicorn, always loved that mental picture for some reason. The spell itself was something like "enchant creature BC +4/+0" or however it is you write MtG cards in short, anyways, maybe up the attack bonus from the feast a bit, wouldn't hurt to give them +2 would it?


I like the new "Undead martyrdom" and "Grow the flock". K.Religion is still there though, don't know if you forgot about or is deliberalty refraining from chaning it while editing other abilities Wink.

Feast of Tainted Cookies!!
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Dirigible
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2006, 02:12:50 PM »

Feast of the Unicorn + Ironroot Treefolk = repeated, painful death  sealedlips (to me!)

I changed Flesh Manna's bonuses rather significantly, and changed Religion to Spirits. Good call on both.
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Albert
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2006, 11:30:30 AM »

Since you've now changed the effects of the ability to be significantly different from Heroes feast, you might as well ommitt the name "Heroes feast" completely.

But hey, at least you get to imagine treefolk feasting on unicorns.
"Could there be a fouler act? No doubt the Baron knows of one."
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Dirigible
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Oh, the humanity!


« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2006, 03:58:53 PM »

Your idea has merit, but I think the reference to HF gives some idea of the twisted imagery involved - and provides the baseline for casting time etc.

Actually, that's make a good idea for a spell on it own. Villains' Feast; makes those who eat it more scary and resistant to good-empowered effects.
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