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Holy Champions II: The Bearers of Woe
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Class Description Holy Champions II
a cage of bone and sinew, humanity
suffers under an unrelenting
assault upon mind, body, and spirit. Those
few who have heard the calling of the
Suffering Goddess, and have been deemed
strong of will and flesh, have taken it upon
themselves to provide an example of stoic
acceptance of life’s pain and to intercede
on behalf of those who are not as strong.
Known as the Bearers of Woe, these Holy
Champions of Anshar struggle to understand
the mysteries of their faith; the tormented
aspect of their Bleeding Goddess.
Adventures: The Bearers of Woe can
be found throughout the Known Lands
of Arcanis as they view all of life as a
pilgrimage to transcend the suffering of this
life so that their passage to the Paradise of
the Gods is assured. These Holy Champions
have a strong sense of right and wrong.
They feel that existence doles out enough
misery normally without those of sadistic
or evil tendencies needing to heap further
atrocities upon the masses. When a Bearer
of Woe comes across such evil people, he
can be as wrathful and relentless as even the
most fanatical Nierite.
Characteristics: Anshar bestows upon her
Holy Champions the strength of will and
body needed to survive the most arduous
of tasks. As the Bearer of Woe progresses
in the class, he gains greater control of his
own body and senses. The Bearer learns
to withstand pain and injury and is even
taught methods of redirecting such agonies,
either by healing himself and others or by
imparting Anshar’s Kiss upon the deceitful
and wicked.
The Bearers of Woe also feel it their
obligation and duty to give the masses hope
that their suffering can be endured. Bearers
of Woe show the wretched how to plumb
their innermost selves to find the strength
they didn’t know they possessed. Members
of this Order teach, to anyone who will
listen, that the accumulation of material
wealth and possessions are nothing more
than traps of the flesh. Such material lusts
torment a person by driving them to possess
more and more, and mental anguish is
caused when said possessions are invariably
lost or stolen. It is far better to be free of
such fetters and live life as ascetically as
possible.
Due to their vow of poverty, the
Bearers of Woe rely upon the kindness
and mercy of others. When such a Holy
Champion is in need of shelter, food, or
equipment, it is considered an honor and
a blessing by the devout of the Mother
Church to offer these things without concern
for repayment.
Background: Many of the citizens who
live in the plush richness of the major
cities of the Empire and other nations view
the Bearers of Woe as a relic of a lost
and forgotten past, best relegated to the
pages of history. Civilization has brought
immense wealth and an easier life to many.
The teachings of these ascetic champions,
touting the stoic acceptance of misery and
poverty, are not lessons that many within
these towering cities wish to hear. The poor
and indigent, on the other hand, flock to
these scarred and battered pilgrims. They
see their own suffering and misery mirrored
in every scar, wound, and disfigurement of
the Bearer of Woe’s flesh.
The Bearers of Woe reach out to the
poor and downtrodden, and offer succor
where they can; either by offering words
of encouragement or by carrying a bit of
their burden themselves. They, along with
the priesthood of Anshar, explain that each
mortal is doled out a measure of misery
which he must endure before passing
through to the Paradise of the Gods. Living
a life of luxury and hedonistic revelry only
serves to postpone the burden that must
be carried by all. When the spirit of the
deceased stands before the Judgment of Nier
those who have fulfilled their debt of pain
shall be rewarded by paradise, while those
who still owe will boil in the Cauldron,
awaiting another turn at life and torment.
Races: Dark-kin, gnomes, Val, and humans
make up the majority of the Bearers of Woe,
with val’Inares being the most predominant
Val family due to their affinity with the
Goddess of Suffering. Half-orcs and half-
hobgoblins are able to join this holy order.
Due to their strongly-held and conflicting
religious beliefs, Elorii, dwarves, and
ss’ressen are not eligible for this class.
Alignment: Lawful Good.
Special: Must worship Anshar.
Hit Die: d8.
Class Skills
Skill points at each level: 4 + Int modifier.
The Bearers of Woe’s class skills (and the
key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex),
Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft
(Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex),
Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana)
(Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge
(geography) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently
(Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis),
Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str),
and Tumble (Dex).
Class Features:
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Bearers of
Woe are proficient with all simple weapons,
though they are not are proficient with any
type of armor or with shields. When wearing
armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium
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Anshar - The Bearers of Woe
W ithin this mortal coil, imprisoned in
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Holy Champions II Class Features
or heavy load, a Bearer loses the benefit of
his AC bonus (see below).
Aura of Faith (Ex): The power of a Bearer
of Woe’s divine aura is equal to his Bearers
of Woe class level plus any other class levels
that grant a divine aura (e.g. cleric).
Improved Unarmed Strike (Ex): Beginning
at 1 st level, a Bearer of Woe gains the
Improved Unarmed Strike feat for free if he
does not already possess it. In addition, his
strikes inflict damage as a monk of one-half
his Bearer level (round up). Finally, at higher
levels, the Bearer may channel to empower
his unarmed strikes (as described below).
AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and
unencumbered, the Bearer of Woe adds his
Constitution bonus (minimum +1 even if
his Constitution is less than 12) to his armor
class. This increase in AC is an unnamed
natural armor bonus, and thus does not apply
against touch attacks, but does apply when
the character is flat-footed, immobilized, or
helpless. The Bearer loses this bonus when he
wears any armor or when he carries a shield.
In addition, this bonus does not stack with
the AC bonus that a monk or other related
class gains from a high Wisdom modifier.
I Feel Your Pain (Su): A Bearer of Woe
with a Constitution score of 12 or higher
can heal the wounds of others by touch.
Each day he can heal a total number of hit
points of damage equal to his Bearer of Woe
level times his Constitution bonus. A Bearer
of Woe may choose to divide this healing
among multiple recipients, and he doesn’t
have to use it all at once. The Bearer of Woe
suffers half of the damage healed in this
way (round down, minimum 1 point). Using
this ability is a standard action that does not
provoke attacks of opportunity.
Mind over Matter (Su): Beginning at
2 nd level, as the Bearer of Woe suffers
damage, several powers and abilities begin
to awaken, remaining active as long as the
character suffers wounds (whether lethal
or non-lethal). All effects are cumulative
and provide unnamed bonuses. Note that
the total damage suffered must be current,
lethal damage. Nonlethal damage does not
count, and lethal damage that is subsequently
healed ceases to count. If the Bearer’s total
damage drops below a listed level, then he
immediately loses the benefits of that level
(but not the benefits of any lower levels).
Temporary hit points do not count
towards these benefits, since they do not
represent real damage when they are lost. Hit
points gained from an increase in the Bearer’s
Constitution score, however, do count, for as
long as the effect increasing the Bearer’s
Constitution lasts. For example, consider a
Bearer of Woe who has 40 hit points when
fully healed. Once the Bearer has suffered
15 points of damage, he immediately gains
a +1 bonus to his natural armor. As soon as
he suffers at least 15 more points of lethal
damage, for a total of 30, he immediately
gains a +2 bonus to his Strength. (He also
gains a +10’ increase in his base speed after
suffering a total of 45 points of damage,
but unless he has some way of functioning
while at negative hit points, he is most likely
unconscious when that benefit kicks in, and if
he is healed enough to regain consciousness,
he will have lost the benefit before he wakes
up.) Some of the levels provide an increase
to the Bearer’s Constitution score. In order to
avoid the Bearer suffering the paradoxical
effect of dying upon being healed, the benefits
of these levels last for one minute (10 rounds)
even after the Bearer’s total damage taken
is reduced below the necessary level. For
example, suppose a 10 th -level Bearer who
normally has 80 hit points when fully healed
has already suffered 75 points of damage
and he suddenly gets hit for 20 more points
of damage. Normally this would reduce the
Bearer to -15 hit points and he would be
dead, but his Mind over Matter ability kicks
in and raises his Constitution score by +2.
This immediately gives him an additional
10 hit points, for a new total of 90, which
means that he is at -5 hp and dying (since
he has suffered 95 points of damage). If he
were then to receive the benefit of 6 points
of magical healing, he would temporarily be
raised to 1 hp, but his total damage suffered
would drop to 89 hp, which would cause
the loss of the +2 Constitution bonus, so
he would immediately lose the 10 extra hp
he gained, putting him at -11 hit points and
instantly killing him. Instead, the benefits of
the Constitution bonus last for 10 rounds,
during which time hopefully his companions
can bring him back from the brink of death.
Endurance (Ex): At 3 rd level, the Bearer of
Woe gains the Endurance feat for fee if he
does not already possess it.
You Shall Know My Pain (Su): Once per
day, a Bearer of Woe with a Charisma score
of 12 or higher may deal a grievous wound to
one opponent . With a successful touch attack,
the Bearer of Woe may inflict damage equal
his class level times his Charisma bonus.
The target is entitled to a Fortitude save (DC
10 + one-half the Bearer’s class level + the
Bearer’s Charisma bonus) for half damage.
The damage dealt by this ability may not
exceed the current total damage suffered
by the Bearer. The Bearer is healed by the
amount of damage inflicted. The damage
healed and dealt may be either nonlethal or
lethal, based on the damage that the Bearer of
Woe has already received, not both . Using
this ability is a standard action that does not
provoke attacks of opportunity.
Channeling (Su): Beginning at 4 th level, a
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Class Features Holy Champions II
Bearer of Woe can channel divine energy as
a cleric would channel positive or negative
energy. This may be used in conjunction
with other feats or class abilities as described
elsewhere. A Bearer of Woe may channel a
number of times per day equal to 3 plus his
Charisma modifier.
Empowered Fist (Ex): By channeling , a
Bearer of Woe may imbue his fist with
some measure of power. The Bearer makes
a standard channel check, using his own Hit
Dice as the target (as if he were trying to turn
himself). If the channel check is successful,
he may apply the channeling damage to
imbue his unarmed strikes as if greater
magic fang had been cast upon him, with an
effective caster level equal to the amount of
damage rolled (this caster level is only used
to calculate the enhancement bonus, not the
duration) Alternatively, for purposes of
defeating damage reduction, the Bearer may
treat her unarmed strike as if it were magical,
as if it were aligned, or as if it were made
of an alternate material. The Bearer begins
by making a standard channel check against
her own Hit Dice. If the check is successful,
then the amount of damage rolled may be
applied as follows: Overcoming DR/silver or
DR/cold iron is treated as if it were a 5 HD
creature, overcoming DR/good or DR/lawful
is treated as if it were a 10 HD creature,
overcoming DR/adamantine is treated as if
it were a 15 HD creature, and overcoming
DR/fervidite is treated as if it were a 20 HD
creature. Only one “type” of DR may be
selected with each activation of this ability,
regardless of how much channeling damage
is rolled, but multiple activations for different
DR types do stack.
Using channeling in this manner is
a standard action. The effect lasts a number
of minutes equal to the Bearer’s class level
(this overrides the normal duration of greater
magic fang ).
Spells (Sp): Beginning at 4 th level, Bearers of
Woe gain the ability to cast a small number of
divine spells, which are drawn from the Holy
Champion and Bearers of Woe spell list. The
Bearer of Woe must choose and prepare his
spells in advance. To prepare or cast a spell,
a Bearer of Woe must have a Wisdom score
equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The
Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a
Bearer of Woe’s spell is 10 + the spell level +
the Bearers of Woe’s Wisdom modifier. Like
other spellcasters, a Bearer of Woe can cast
only a certain number of spells of each spell
level per day. His base daily spell allotment
is given on Table HC-02: The Bearers of
Woe . In addition, he receives bonus spells per
day if he has a high Wisdom score. When the
table indicates that the Bearer of Woe gets 0
spells per day of a given spell level, he gains
only the bonus spells he would be entitled
to based on his Wisdom score for that spell
level. The Bearers of Woe do not have access
to any domain spells or granted powers, as a
cleric does. A Bearer of Woe prepares and
casts spells the way a cleric does, though he
cannot lose a prepared spell to spontaneously
cast a cure spell in its place. A Bearer of Woe
may prepare and cast any spell on his spell
list, provided that he can cast spells of that
level, but he must choose which spells to
prepare during his daily meditation. Through
3 rd level, a Bearer of Woe has no caster level.
At 4 th level and higher, his caster level is one-
half his class level.
Diehard (Ex): At 6 th level, a Bearer of Woe
gains the Diehard feat for free if he doesn’t
already possess it.
Pain Tolerance (Ex): At 6 th level, a Bearer
of Woe gains DR 1/-. This stacks with other
forms of class-based damage reduction (such
as that granted by the barbarian class).
Power of Pain (Su): At 6 th level, a Bearer
of Woe may spend one of his daily channel
attempts to utilize an additional attempt of I
Feel Your Pain or You Shall Know My Pain.
There is no channel check required for this
usage, and making the exchange does not
count as an action, but once exchanged, the
channel attempts cannot be used in any other
fashion other than to power the selected
ability.
Divine Grace (Ex): Beginning at 8 th level, a
Bearer of Woe applies his Charisma modifier
(if positive) to all saving throws.
Improved Pain Tolerance (Ex): At 10 th
level, a Bearer of Woe gains an increase
in his damage reduction. This increase is
equal to one-half the Bearer’s Constitution
bonus (minimum +1). Thus a Bearer with a
Constitution of 17 or less gains an increase
of 1, for a new DR of 2/-. A Bearer with
a Constitution of 18-21 gains an increase
of 2, for a new DR of 3/-, a Bearer with
a Constitution of 22-25 gains an increase
of 3, and so on. The DR bonus should be
recalculated any time the Bearer receives an
increase or bonus to his Constitution score
(for example, a bear’s endurance spell grants
a +4 enhancement bonus to Constitution,
so a Bearer who did not have any other
enhancement bonus would receive a one-
point increase in his DR for the duration of
the spell, assuming he had a Constitution of
at least 14 to begin with).
Aura of Courage (Ex): Beginning at 12 th
level, a Bearer of Woe is immune to fear
(magical or otherwise). Each ally within
10 feet of him gains a +4 morale bonus
on saving throws against fear effects. This
ability functions constantly if the Bearer is
conscious, but not if he is unconscious or
dead.
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Holy Champions II Class Features
Inner Strength (Su): Beginning at 12 th
level, a Bearer of Woe gains an additional
number of channeling attempts equal to
his Constitution modifier (minimum of +1
even if his Constitution modifier is not
positive). In addition, the Bearer may attempt
to channel in a manner that targets his own
person (using his own Hit Dice as the target).
If the check succeeds, the channeling damage
rolled is applied as a non-lethal buffer for a
number of rounds equal to his class level
(for example, damage of 17 HD treats the
next seventeen points of damage received as
non-lethal damage, provided that damage is
received within a number of rounds equal to
the Bearer’s class level). Once damage has
been converted to non-lethal from the buffer,
that damage does not covert back when the
duration ends; however, any unused portion
of the buffer dissipates when the duration
ends. Multiple uses of this ability stack for
purposes of determining the size of the non-
lethal buffer, but the durations overlap rather
than stack. Using this ability is a standard
action that does not provoke attacks of
opportunity.
Travail Stasis (Ex): At 14 th level, a Bearer
of Woe can ignore a total number of points
of ability damage (to all scores cumulatively,
not individually) equal to his class level for
a number of hours equal to his class level.
Permanent ability drain may also be ignored
using this ability, but it counts as two points
towards the Bearer’s total for each point
of ability drain. Once the duration expires
for any particular type of ability damage or
drain, the effect then has to be dealt with
in the usual manner (such as by normal
rest in the case of ability damage, or by the
restoration spell in the case of ability drain).
The duration is tracked separately for each
instance of ability damage or ability drain.
Resilience (Su): At 16 th level, the Bearer of
Woe may attempt to channel against his own
person in a new manner. If his check succeeds,
the channeling damage rolled is applied as a
stoneskin spell with a total damage capacity
equal to the damage rolled. The duration
is calculated as if the spell had been cast
by a sorcerer of the Bearer’s class level.
The effects of multiple channeling attempts
can stack for purposes of determining the
damage capacity of this ability, but do not
extend the duration.
In addition, starting at 16 th level
the Bearer gains double the normal benefit
provided by the Endurance feat.
Perseverance over Pain (Sp): At 18 th level,
a Bearer of Woe may attempt to channel
against his own person to cure damage that
he has suffered. If the check succeeds, the
Bearer does not roll channeling damage as
normal. Instead, he chooses a number of
points of damage (up to the amount that he
has currently suffered) and attempts a Will
save (DC 10 plus the amount of damage
chosen). On a successful save, the Bearer is
cured of the amount of damage chosen. If the
save is unsuccessful, the channeling attempt
is expended but to no avail. Using this ability
is a standard action that provokes attacks of
opportunity.
Martyrdom (Su): At the pinnacle of
achievement, a Bearer of Woe may utilize
Empower Fist, Inner Strength, Resilience,
and Perseverance over Pain all at the same
time with but a single channel attempt.
In addition, he gains an additional
number of hit points per HD equal to his
Charisma modifier (if positive) but these hit
points are only counted for the purposes of
sustaining nonlethal damage.
Finally, the Bearer may attempt to
channel in a manner that targets his own
person in order to remove both temporary
and permanent ability damage. This may
include damage that he is currently ignoring
by means of the Travail Stasis ability. To do
so, the Bearer selects one of his ability scores
and attempts a channeling check against
a target of 20 HD. If the check succeeds,
channeling damage is rolled against a target
of 20 plus the number of points of ability
damage currently suffered by (or being
ignored against) the chosen ability score.
Permanent ability drain counts towards the
target as 2 points per point of drain. If
the channeling damage exceeds the target
number, then all of the damage and drain to
that ability is immediately healed. The bearer
may not channel to cure ability damage
against the same ability score for a period of
24 hours (but he may still try to cure other
abilities if he is suffering from multiple types
of ability damage or drain).
Table HC-02-1: Mind over Matter
Total
Benefits
15 hp Natural Armor +1
30 hp +2 bonus to Strength
45 hp +10’ base movement
60 hp Natural Armor +1 (total +2)
75 hp +2 bonus to Strength (total +4)
90 hp +2 bonus to Constitution
105 hp +2 bonus to Strength (total +6)
120 hp Natural Armor +1 (total +3)
135 hp +20’ base movement (total
+30’)
150 hp +2 bonus to Strength (total +8)
165 hp Natural Armor +1 (total +4)
180 hp +4 bonus to Constitution (total
+6)
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