[Whiteleaf] Acolyte of the Skin revised PrC

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willpell
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[Whiteleaf] Acolyte of the Skin revised PrC

Post by willpell » Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:53 pm

As part of a comprehensive review of prestige classes for the Whiteleaf setting, I present this syncretism of the original 3.0 Acolyte of the Skin, from Tome and Blood, and it's revised version in Complete Arcane (which, among other changes, curiously removed the "arcane" requirement, making the class available to divine spellcasters). The Acolyte is regarded as a weak PrC since it removes five caster levels, giving small stat bonuses and a bunch of 1/day SLAs in exchange. Overall a Wizard 5/Acolyte of the Skin 10 is going to compare very unfavorably to a Wizard 15; the latter is of course quite OP, so I don't want to equal its potency, but restoring the 3.0 version's bonus feats is a good first step toward narrowing the gap, so those five levels with no spellcasting don't feel quite so dead.

Requirements: nongood alignment, Knowledge (the planes) 8 ranks, caster level 5th, must have made friendly contact with a summoned demon or devil. (Variations on the ritual exist which involve other fiends, aberrations, certain nightmarish Fey, and even ancient ghosts, but these would give different SLAs and are beyond the scope of this article.)
{I am keeping the option for clerics and druids, as well as warlocks, to access this PrC, since it is more useful to them than to wizards; it also means not punishing sorcerers for being a spell level behind the wizard curve. Raising the skill requirement back to 8 closes a loophole which allowed entry at level 3 or earlier, if you could cheese your caster level in one of many counterintuitive ways.}

Special: A character who is within 500 XP of attaining a new level must perform the Ritual of Bonding to take his or her first level of Acolyte of the Skin. The ritual takes 1 minute to perform, and continues regardless of interruptions. Each round, the character is wracked by the change (if forced to engage in combat, s/he should at least be Shaken, if not Nauseated or even Stunned, by the intense trauma of magical flaying), and takes 1d4 damage which cannot be healed until the ritual is complete (it is far from uncommon for impetuous diabolists to kill themselves while attempting this transformation). If the character survives, s/he gains 500 roleplaying XP and now has the first Acolyte of the Skin level (and probably drinks a few Cure potions). Numerous variations on the ritual exist; fragile characters can sometimes receive healing or other assistance from appropriately powerful and sinister entities during the process, which will ensure they survive...for a price, of course.

Class Statistics: 3/4 Base Attack Bonus, good Fortitude and Will saves. D8 Hit Dice (the original had D4s, which I almost kept because it's hilarious, but I'm trying to make this thing actually playable). x2 skills from the following list: Craft, Profession, Concentration, Spellcraft, Intimidate, and the following Knowledges: Arcana, Ghost Lore, Dungeoneering, History, Religion and The Planes. No new proficiencies. Advances one prior spellcasting class at every even-numbered level.

Wear Fiend (Su): Grants plus 2 natural armor, Darkvision 60 feet, and most importantly a plus 2 inherent bonus to Dexterity.

Poison (Sp): Twice per day, the acolyte can use Poison as the spell, with a caster level equal to the character's normal caster level *plus* his level in this prestige class (thusly it starts at level 7, jumps to level 9, then 10, then 12), to a maximum of 20 at acolyte level 10. At level 5, this ability may be used at will, but not more than twice on any creature each day.

Resistance (Ex): at 2nd level, the acolyte gains resistance 10 to fire. At 6th level, s/he gains resistance 10 to cold.

Stunning Glare (Su): 1/day at 3rd level and higher, the acolyte can target any creature s/he can see within 100 feet and in line of effect. The target is shaken for 10 minutes (no save) and must Will save at DC 10 plus the character's combined Charisma modifier and Acolyte level. A creature which fails this save is stunned for at least 1 round (2 if it has fewer than 201 current hit points, 3 at 150 or less, 5 at below 101, and 10 at no more than 50). If a creature fails this save and then takes enough additional damage to fall below these thresholds, it immediately becomes stunned for an appropriate number of additional rounds.
Stunning Gaze is a mind-affecting fear effect. At level 8 it may be used three times per day.

Improved Wear Fiend (Su): At 5th level the acolyte gains an additional plus 3 natural armor, raises Darkvision to 120 feet, and adds a plus 2 inherent bonus to Constitution.

Glare of Flame (Su): A 7th level acolyte can fire a ray from each of his eyes as a single action once per day. The rays may strike one target each or one for both (chosen simultaneously), at a range of up to 100 feet, and each ray deals 8d6 fire damage.

Summon Fiend (Sp): At 9th level 1/day, the acolyte may summon the fiend from which he got his spiffy new skin, who serves him for up to an hour. The DM selects one demon or devil with a CR of 6 as the source of the skin; it never changes thereafter. (If the summoned fiend is slain, it returns to the lower planes and can be summoned again, but if someone Calls that exact fiend, or tracks it down on its home plane, and destroys it, the acolyte loses this class feature; at the GMs option he may find a new fiend and bargain to do the bonding ritual again, in order to summon that fiend instead). Optionally, the DM may allow the skin to come from a more powerful fiend (up to CR 13), or even up to three fiends (CR 9 each), but in this case the mightier fiend may refuse the summons (average 35% chance that it/they will appear and obey; the GM is encouraged to invent ritual complications which improve these odds).

Symbiosis: a level 10 acolyte of the skin gains the Outsider type (although he can still be raised or resurrected), damage reduction 10/good, and immunity to the natural hazards of the "donor" fiend's specific environment, as determined by the DM . (Thusly, if the donor was from the ever-burning Infernal layer of Dis, his skin would grant immunity to the flames of Dis, but not to any other fire, not even the also-blazing hell called Phlegethos.) The acolyte can use Plane Shift once per day as a spell like ability, but only to travel between his home plane and that of the donor. The donor regards this "perfected" acolyte as effectively a part of itself, and other creatures of its kind regard the character favorably (by fiendish standards), but he has no particular protection against any other denizens of the Lower Planes, even the one he Plane Shifts to (all demons and devils have enemies aplenty in their home dimension; even the acolyte's "relatives" may wish him ill, though they are less likely to).

There, hopefully that is now a bit more relevant while still being balanced. Let me know if you'd like to playtest it.

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