View Full Version : [3.5 PrC] The Empathic Martyr

2009-04-08, 11:41 PM
This class was inspired by a discussion over in the General Gaming section about how to make a healer other than a cleric. It's almost impossible to make a character who can heal all the things that can go wrong in a party without using some full divine caster or another, so I decided to whip up something that can fix everything, without necessarily being divine.

I know there are still some flaws in this class; in particular, the class as it stands doesn't really have much to do during combat-- Healing is generally best saved for after combat, and those abilities which I have now which are useful in combat are passive. Lethal or potentially-lethal abilities wouldn't really fit very well with the theme of the class, but does anyone have any good ideas for nonviolent combat abilities?

Empathic Martyr

Alignment: Any good
Skills: Heal 7 ranks, Concentration 4 ranks
Special: Must have some ability which heals others at the expense of damage to yourself, such as the Empathic Transfer psionic power, the Lifebond Vestments soulmeld, or the Stigmata feat.

HD: d12

{table=head]Level | Base Attack Bonus | Fort save | Ref save | Will save | Special
1 | 0 | +2 | +2 | +2 | Divine grace, healing level, share suffering
2 | 1 | +3 | +3 | +3 | Alleviate pain, item use
3 | 1 | +3 | +3 | +3 | Fast healing, share affliction
4 | 2 | +4 | +4 | +4 | Mettle, shield other
5 | 2 | +4 | +4 | +4 | Gift of life[/table]

Class skills: Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Knowledge (the Planes) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int)
Skill points at each level: 4 + Int modifier

Class features:
The Empathic Martyr does not gain proficiency in any weapon, but does gain proficiency in all armors and in shields (but not tower shields).

Divine Grace (su):
You add your Charisma modifier (if positive) as a bonus to all saving throws. This does not stack with similar bonuses such as that gained by a paladin.

Healing Level:
Levels in Empathic Martyr stack with levels in other classes for purposes of determining the effectiveness of any ability that heals damage in others. For instance, a paladin 4 / empathic martyr 5 would use Lay On Hands as a 9th-level paladin, and a cleric 4 / empathic martyr 5 would have a caster level of 9 for healing spells. This does not grant access to new spells or any other class abilities you wouldn't otherwise gain. If you have more than one class with healing abilities, this benefit applies to all of them (thus, a cleric 1 / paladin 3 / empathic martyr 5 would lay on hands as an 8th-level paladin and have a caster level of 6 for cleric healing spells, but would still be unable to cast any paladin healing spells). An ability which can only be used to heal yourself (such as the monk's wholeness of body class feature) does not benefit from this feature, but you can still use an ability which does benefit from it on yourself.

Share Suffering (su):
At will as a standard action, you may touch a living creature to heal that creature of any number of points of hit point damage. For every point of damage the creature is healed of, you take one point of damage. The damage you take cannot be prevented by any means, though it can be healed normally. You can be reduced to negative hit points or even killed by use of this ability.

Alleviate Pain (su):
Starting at second level, you continually project an aura which eases undue suffering within 30 feet of you. No creature in this area, friend or foe, can be effected by magic based on inflicting pain, such as Symbol of Pain. This effect cannot be suppressed or dispelled.

Item use (ex):
Starting at second level, your levels in Empathic Martyr can count as levels in any other class for purposes of using any spell trigger or spell completion magic item, provided that it deals no damage (other than nonlethal damage), and cannot kill. For instance, a Cleric 4 / Empathic Martyr 3 could use a wand of Ray of Enfeeblement like a 3rd-level wizard, and could use a scroll of Cure Critical Wounds like a 7th-level cleric.

Fast Healing (ex):
At third level, you gain fast healing 5. This ability only functions when you are at less than half of your normal maximum HP.

Share Affliction (su):
Starting at third level, at will as a standard action, you may touch a living creature to attempt to remove any status condition of your choice which offered a saving throw (such as disease, curses, or petrification, and including ability damage or ability drain if it offered a saving throw). Both you and the subject must immediately roll saving throws against this effect: If the subject succeeds, the condition is immediately ended for that subject. If you fail your saving throw, you suffer the effects yourself. You may voluntarily take a penalty on your saving throw (chosen before you roll) of up to your class level; the subject gains a sacred bonus to the save equal to twice the penalty you took.

You may also use this ability to remove a status condition (including ability damage or drain) which did not offer a saving throw. In this case, the subject is automatically cured of the condition, and you are automatically afflicted by it.

Mettle (ex):
Starting at fourth level, you can shrug off magical effects that could harm you. If you make a successful Will or Fortitude saving throw that would normally reduce (rather than negate) a spell or other effect, it has no effect on you at all. Anything that is normally negated by a successful saving throw is unaffected by this ability. This ability applies, if relevant, to any saves you make in connection with your Share Affliction ability.

Shield Other (sp):
At fourth level, you gain the ability to use Shield Other at will, as the spell (caster level equals your class level). You may have up to one creature per class level shielded at a time.

Gift of Life (sp):
At fifth level, you can even restore life to the dead. By touching the intact corpse of a creature that has been dead for no longer than two days per your class level and concentrating or praying for one ten minutes, you can restore the creature to life, as with the Raise Dead spell. This ability can be used at will, but each use costs you 1000 XP. In addition, you can choose to lose a level yourself when you use this ability, in which case the raised creature does not lose a level or Constitution points. If you do so, the level loss you suffer cannot be repaired by any means.

Ex-Empathic Martyrs:
If you cease to be good, you lose all abilities of this class and cannot take any further levels until you have become good again and atoned for your transgression (see the Atonement spell).

Paladins who take levels in this class can continue to progress as paladins.

2009-04-11, 02:03 PM
Item Use gives him plenty to do, plus its only a level 5 class so he has plenty of other levels to draw from for other abilities. Probably won't make a good Paladin though.

Maybe try giving him sort of aura set. Ones that grant immunities (poison, disease, ability damage, etc), grant fast healing, buff saves, grant temp hp, etc... to allies within a certain distance.

2009-04-11, 04:48 PM
Yeah, I put Item Use in there specifically to give him something to do, but I just thought there ought to be more. And I considered auras, but again, that's not really something to do, unless you're switching them around a lot for some reason.

Any other comments?

2009-04-11, 06:33 PM
Meh, its only a 5 level class, and clearly a support one at that. You're getting good stuff for a pretty light investment. Item use is a strong sort of "UMD light" type thing. If healing and support is what the character is after, its a strong class to go in to.

2009-04-12, 06:34 AM
Why not an ability that actively creates temporary hp?

Then they can run around trying to throw them up to save the blows.

I'd make it a really reliable resource (usable every 1dx rounds, but touch range only?).