View Full Version : Prc- Black Masquerader (need a better name)

2009-05-20, 03:08 AM
Note that this is a rough draft, advice and assistance is welcome

The fluff-
Black Masqueraders, for whatever reason, choose to emulate the undead in every way possible. They study and follow undead and eventally come to understand their cycle of 'life'. Despite this fact, the majority of Black Masqueraders are not evil. Good and neutral clerics often become a Black Masquerader to better understand intelligent undead and empathize with their plight. Occasionally Arcane spellcasters become Black Masqueraders if they work consistently with the living dead. Rarely Rogues take the Black Masquerader class for the ability to not only sneak attack undead, but do it constantly against unintelligent undead. Ironically, this study of undeath gives them a new perspective on live, increasing their vitality and appreciation of living.

Requirements to Become a Black Masquerader-
-Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks
-Profession (gravedigger) 4 ranks
-Must have expierenced life like an undead such as eating flesh with a ghoul, sleeping in a coffin with a vampire, screaming to the sky with a banshee etc.
-Must not be currently undead

HD d6
Skills- 4+int mod

{table=head]Level | Base Attack Bonus | Fort Save | Ref Save | Will Save | Special
1st | +0 | +2 | +0 | +2 | Lesser Death Form, Deathlike Pallor, Modified Turning
2nd | +1 | +3 | +0 | +4 | Commune with Undead
3rd | +2 | +3 | +1 | +3 | Lesser Death Form
4th | +3 | +4 | +1 | +5 | +1 Level of Existing Class*
5th | +3 | +4 | +1 | +4 | Lesser Death Form
6th | +4 | +5 | +2 | +5 | Physiology of the Dead (that probably needs a new name too)
7th | +5 | +5 | +2 | +5 | Death Form
8th | +6/+1 | +6 | +2 | +6 | +1 Level of Existing Class
9th | +6/+1 | +6 | +3 | +6 | Death Form
10th | +7/+2 | +7 | +3 | +7 | Crawl Back
11th | +7/+2 | +7 | +3 | +7 | Greater Death Form
12th | +8/+3 | +8 | +4 | +8 | +1 Level of Existing Class
13th | +8/+3 | +8 | +4 | +8 | Greater Death Form
14th | +9/+4 | +9 | +4 | +9 | Flatline
15th | +9/+4 | +9 | +5 | +9 | True Death Form
*Please note that this means that you recieve special abilities as you would in said class. This does not include BaB, Saves, mount/familiar progression and other such things. But does include sneak attack dice, spells, bonus feats and other such class abilities

Death form- From personal expierence with a form of undead a Black Masquerader learns how to emulate certain aspects of that form of undead.
Lesser Death Forms

Zombie- The zombie death form is one that most every Masquerader learns. Its simple to maintain and provides anonymity for the user. When activated, the user gains the following abilities.
-zombies will not only ignore him if he dosent do damage, but will be confused if he attacks. He may flank mindless undead and (something else cool)
more soon

Skeleton, Ghoul
Death Forms
Wraith, Mummy
Greater Death Forms
Lich, Vampire, Death Knight [/url]
True Death Form- This will be different from other Death Forms. Be prepared for Epic.
Deathlike pallor- The Black Masqueraders obsession with undead has given him an eerie appearance similar to that of the undead. He is treated by all mindless undead as though he is a fellow mindless undead , but if he is unconscious or dying it requires a DC 15 Heal check to discern that he isn't really dead. Also, he is treated as though he has +Class Level Cha towards all undead he has a death form of for things such as turning attempts, Cha based skill checks directed toward the undead. No matter what an undeads state of hunger is it will never see a Black Masquerader as a food item unless that undead would cannibalize its own kind.
Modified Turning- Black Masqueraders generally do not wish to harm the undead they turn, but will in emergencies. When they succeed in turning a specific undead, they may choose weather to turn or awe the undead, and if his level is double the undeads HD he may choose to command or destroy them. A Black Masquerader may turn as a cleric of equal level in addition to preexisting classes which grant turning
Physiology of the Dead- The amount of educated study that a Black Masquerader has done on the undead now gives him the ability to damage undead he has the Death Form of with precision damage and halves any DR, SR or Energy Resistance that the Undead has because of its undead template. Additionally, the Black Masquerader is immune to any disease, poison, negative levels or
Crawl Back- The Black Masquerader's bond with the undead has now reached supernatural levels. It is so powerful that 1d30 days after his death a Black Masquerader will rise from the dead, but will wander around thinking it is a mindless undead for Xd6 days. In addition, the Black Masquerader loses XP equal to 1000*X where X is the number of times that the Black Masquerader has used this ability.
Flatline- The Black Masquerader has become master of death, undeath, and life. They may transition seamlessly between any state at any time, but when transitioning to alive they may immediately be killed. They may choose to become any undead which they have a Death form for, but must make a daily will saving throw vs DC (Level at which they acquired the Death Form)+(Number of days they have been in this death form) or become Evil, insane, and believe themselves to actually be that form of undead.

Information about transitioning between states
[spoiler]When the black Masquerader gains the Flatline ability they immediately roll d12 to calculate their HP as an undead. If this is greater than their HP+10, that number is the Black Masqueraders undead HP. If not, than treat their undead HP as their normal HP +20. When dying, a Black Masquerader may immedately choose to die, but if their wounds are mended (healing effects on a dead Black Masquerader do half healing) than they may come back as in a stable but unconcious state. If they choose to come back as an undead, then their damage is transfered to the undead state, but their total HP is equal to their Undead HP total minus HP lost while alive. All damage done by precision damage while alive is still subtracted from the HP total, but disease and poison damage and fear effects done to ability scores are immediately healed. If the Black Masquerader is sent to the bottom of their Undead HP they are immediately destroyed and may only be resurrected by a true resurrection spell.

Information about death state.
When dead a Black Masquerader sees things from a perspective around ten feet from their body. The black Masquerader may only stay dead for 10d6 days before decay is severe enough to kill them, but they will know it's coming 1d4+int mod days before it happens. If they are doused in 10,000 gp worth of embalming fluid, holy oils and obscure alchemical substances after their death they may be revivified at any time, but lose the ability to become an undead until raised and gain one negative level per decade embalmed. Permanent Death will result if the character takes more negative levels than they have levels.

2009-05-20, 03:30 AM
For requirements, at least a few token ranks of Knowledge(Religion) would seem to be a must here... if you absolutely have total failure of ideas of what to make another pre-requisite, you could try "Must have been an undead at one point (probably not of your own choice), not necessarily an intellegent one. Current alive vs undead status is irrelevant."

I may suggest more later.

2009-05-20, 03:35 PM
Bump, perhaps?

2009-05-20, 08:46 PM
The unofficial standard for bumping on this forum, as I understand it, is that it should have AT LEAST fallen off the first page or there it might be considered a bit naggy...

2009-05-20, 09:01 PM
I don't know what I'm looking at.

You could break it up a bit into separate paragraphs and there are some broken HTML tags.

2009-05-20, 09:11 PM
The class itself seems a little confusing to me. As a general rule, Good-Aligned people cherish life, and I can't think of many cases where a Good-Aligned person would willingly give themselves to unlife. If you ask me, I think you'd be better off dropping the Death Forms and instead make the class about studying and fighting the undead.

Also, typically Prestige Classes are either 5 levels or 10 levels to allow flexibility. With 15 levels, I'm skeptical as to how many people would take your class, because it requires a lot of commitment on a player lever.

There is definitely such a thing as too many powers, and your list looks chock-filled with them. Traditionally, one of the downsides of a class like this that can have multiple types of base classes take it is that the class itself becomes weaker or over clunked with stuff.

If it was me, I would sit down and think about the typical person to take this class. Good Clerics? Evil Rogues? Neutral Sorcerers? Psions? From there, I would build a class that would improve that character's abilities towards your goals, which seems to be copying the undead.

One last thing I want to offer you is this; death is not Evil, death is not Good. Death is Neutral. However, the act of raising an unwilling corpse from its eternal slumber into service, aka undeath, is Evil. A class that uses aspects of death is not necessarily evil, but you can bet that a class that gets this down and dirty with undead is probably evil :).

2009-05-20, 09:25 PM
But the idea behind it is that a Black Masquerader empathizes with the undead, sapient or otherwise. They understand what its like to be an undead and try to avoid harming them if they can.

2009-05-20, 09:30 PM
But the idea behind it is that a Black Masquerader empathizes with the undead, sapient or otherwise. They understand what its like to be an undead and try to avoid harming them if they can.

Avoiding harming the undead is definitely NOT Good, hahaha. Might wanna change your opening statement :).

2009-05-20, 11:16 PM
If they are seen as unfortunate victims of evil spells, then by that logic, empathizing with them and freeing them, even by a means OTHER than destruction would be seen as a Good thing.

2009-05-20, 11:35 PM
Sorry but this may sound a little rediculous...

Is this PrC supposed to be "What happens if Richard Attenborough loved Zombies not Big African Cats?" That is what it seems to be to me.

#1 What intelligent undead would want a living humanoid around who wasn't a thrall??
#2 What unintelligent undead would not eat the humanoid??
#3 Who in their right mind actually goes "mmm eating corpses with a ghoul sounds like fun!!"

I could understand if this was flavoured more like a "Mad Zombie Scientist" but there are heaps of those PrCs already...

2009-05-21, 12:51 AM
#3 Who in their right mind actually goes "mmm eating corpses with a ghoul sounds like fun!!"

The idea isn't that its fun. The idea is to put yourself in the shoes of the Ghoul who does it. You might do that by fasting for long amounts of time or developing a psychological addiction to raw meat so that when you imbibe of flesh with a ghoul you understand the pain and desperation that drives that, and in a sense you understand the ghoul.

2009-05-21, 01:42 AM
@OP: Sure I get that, but you still have this requirement that the person does these things with an actual undead... so either we have

#1: Lunatic who gets killed by ghoul/skeleton/vampire/mummy
#2: A zombie-loving Richard Attenborough.

#2 is already covered by various kinds of Necromancy-based PrCs.

I just really doubt you are ever, in game, going to get a character who goes "I want to experience life as a ghoul" who doesn't also think "I want to become a super-powerful vampire/lich/crucimigrated-all-powerful-being-of-awesome".

There probably isn't a thematic place in D&D for this PrC that hasn't already been filled by other PrCs.

2009-05-21, 05:19 AM
Here's how you could fix this: The idea of a mortal mimicking the traits and abilities of the undead without the use of arcane power might work for a covert hunter of particularly dangerous undead (vamps and liches), for a very specialised tomb-robber, or perhaps even for someone with a dark fascination with them but no patience for arcane study. This might work particularly well for a world dominated by the undead (a post-zombie-apocalypse type setting, perhaps), as a way for someone who isn't a necromancer or cleric to survive and prosper.

First, call it a Death Mask, unless that name's already taken. Give it some bonuses along the general lines of the Ranger "favoured enemy" ability (specifically for undead), and bonuses to disguising itself as an undead, followed up in later levels with lots of ex abilities some of which would replicate undead abilities (fortification), or enable it to ignore undead immunities (to sneak attack and crits particularly, but perhaps also a generalised way of bypassing DR wouldn't be bad either). An expert not on manipulating the undead via arcane or divine power, or on going toe-to-toe with them, but on bypassing them and their dark power. As a sneaky class, then, it should be designed to work particularly well for the Rogue or Factotum, with lots of skill points being a must, and possibly also some sneak attack progression.

How would that sound?