View Full Version : Raising the Dead with a PrC: Playing Beyond Death

2010-10-11, 11:17 AM
Hey all. In the spirit of Halloween, I thought It might be fun to make a class for dead characters. Any critiques are welcome, and if you've had a similar idea, you should post it too!

So, here is my attempt "The Honored Dead"

The Fluff
The Honored Dead are those rare individuals with true faith and purpose that extends beyond life. These exemplars are truly dedicated to a cause, and when their time upon the mortal world is brought to a close divine power may intervene to create one of the Honored Dead.

The Honored Dead is a spirit returned to its body by a Divine agent. The Dead agrees to serve as a champion upon the material plane for the chance to live again and directly serve a higher power. In return he is granted a strange version of unlife -- not truly undead, sustained by divine will rather than negative energy, the Honored Dead walks through the ages supporting his God and champining causes throught the realm.

Any character with truly strong faith can become one of the Honored Dead. Some return as honored dead after being resurrected, while others rise by divine will alone, climbing out of graves or rising from gore-spoilt battlefeilds with no discernable cause.

Rarely, when a Raise Dead or Resurrection attempt goes wrong, a creature similar to one of the Honored Dead is created. Known as a Hateful Revenant, this creature is a vessel of divine power and pure rage, sworn to make an end to the deity that spawned it. In addition to all the Powers possessed by the Honored Dead, a Hateful Revenant can detect the presence of Divine Spellcasters within (Charisma Modifier) miles. The Revanant has an Inescapable Craving for despair, which it satisfies by attacking clerics of it's Godly nemesis.

The Stuff
Honored Dead


Concentration: 6+
Character must openly and ardently worship a god
Character must have died in pursuit of a cause matching his alignment

Hit Die: d12

The Honored Dead
{table=head]Level|Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Invocations

+2|Revenant Rising; Eternal Rejuvenation|1 Least

+3|Divine Hand|2 Least

+3|Supernal Endurance; Channeled Invocation (+2)|2 Least; 1 Lesser

+4|Wrathful Hand|2 Least; 2 Lesser

+4|Channeled Invocation (+4)|2 Least; 2 Lesser; 1 Greater[/table]

The Honored Dead is a unique prestige class that effectively allows you to raise yourself from the dead, once. You can only take this class when dead. Doing so results in the loss of your highest level, as if you had been Raised. You then immediatly gain 1 level of Honored Dead, and are restored to "life."*
(*Thanks to GodGoblin for this idea)

Level 1: Revenant Rising
Upon death, the character is visited by a messenger or avatar of his deity, and given the option of walking the world again. If the character accepts, he becomes one of the honored dead, an undying agent of the divine on the mortal plane.
The character gains qualities similar to that of an undead creature, with some important differences.

1) The character is not tied to the negative energy plane, but directly to the power of a deity. Positive and negative energy effects are reduced by half with respect to the character -- cure light wounds will still heal one of the Honored Dead, but will only heal half the normal amount.

2) The character can be turned by clerics with at least one alignment component opposed to his own. This effect functions identically to the turn undead ability, save that it will never result in the destruction of the Honored Dead.

The Honored Dead gains all other characteristics of corporeal undead (immunity to critical hits, all hit dice converted to d12s, loss of Constitution score etc.)

Level 1: Eternal Rejuvenation
When an honored dead is created, he is given a physical symbol of his deity’s power. This symbol functions as an anchor to the material plane for the Honored Dead, housing his soul if his body is destroyed.
If the Honored Dead is reduced to 0 hp, his body crumbles to dust but his soul is stored in the anchor. Each hour the Honored Dead remain in his anchor allows him to regain 1 hit point. Once all HP is restored, a physical entity must hold the anchor and invoke the characters name. This is a ritual similar to Resurrection (though with half the cost), save that any character with Knowledge (Religion) 12 ranks can make the attempt, as can any Cleric of 6th level or higher.
Care must be taken with the anchor, for any person in possession of the item possesses great power over the Honored Dead. A person holding the Anchor can communicate with the Honored Dead at any distance and can manifest spell effects upon the Honored Dead as if he were touching him. A cleric holding the Anchor can turn the Honored Dead regardless of alignment. A cleric with an opposed alignment who holds the anchor can instantly destroy the Honored Dead with a single turn undead attempt (no roll needed) regardless of range.
The Anchor is always an item of tiny or smaller size, with a Hardness of 15 and 20 Hit Points. The shape it takes usually depends of the God who invested in the Dead -- Gods of War may imbue a weapon as an anchor, While a god of Flame may grant the Dead a blazing ruby pendant. Horns are popular with all deities -- reminding the character of the call her heard past death.
If the anchor is destroyed, the Honored Dead can no longer use Invocations. If the Honored Dead dies with a destroyed anchor, he returns as spirit to his Gods home plane.

Level 2: Divine Hand
The Honored Dead is a vessel for divine power, his very touch anathema to the unrighteous. Once each round the Honored Dead can make a melee touch attack that inflicts 1d6/level damage to an opponent. This damage gains an alignment descriptor chosen by the Honored Dead when this power is gained. This descriptor must match the alignment of the God the character worships.

Level 3: Supernal Fortitude
Those chosen to champion a divine cause even beyond death represent a significant investment for the gods who choose to create such servitors. The Honored Dead is sheltered by his creators hand, adding his Charisma Bonus to all saving throws, and gaining Charisma modifier hp per Honored Dead Level.

Level 3: Channeled Invocation
The Honored Dead can channel mystic energy through his Anchor to infuse his art with divine power. If the Honored Dead Holds his anchor while using an invocation, the Honored Dead adds 2 to the DC of any saves against his invocation.
At level 5, divine wrath spills into the invocations the Honored Dead manifests. While holding his anchor, the Honored Dead adds 4 to the DC of his invocations while using the anchor.

Level 4: Wrathful Hand
When using the Divine Hand class feature, the Honored Dead now inflicts 1d8/level damage. An opponent with an alignment opposed to the damage type must make a fortitude save or be struck blind for 1 round.


At level 1 the Honored Dead gains access to 1 Least Invocation
At level 2 the Honored Dead gains access to a second Lesser Invocation
At level 3 the Honored Dead gains access to 1 Lesser Invocation
At level 4 the Honored Dead gains access to a second Lesser Invocation
At level 5 the Honored Dead gains access to 1 Greater Invocation

Thanks for any input!


List of Invocations
Least Invocations

Detect Opposition
Least, 2nd
You can detect entities with at least one alignment component opposed to your own as per Detect Good.

Divine Utterance
Least, 2nd
Your words effect a target as a Command spell. Targets with fewer hit dice than you are also Dazed for (1 round/2 levels).

Empowering Mantle
Least, 2nd
Single target gains the benefits of Aid and +2 to damage for 1 minute.

Final Word
Least, 2nd
You channel divine power into a shout, harming your foes and stilling their tongues. Opponents within 15 feet take 1d8 + Charisma sonic damage and are Silenced for 1 round/level. A successful fortitude save halves the damage and negates the silence effect.

Sheltering Hand
Least, 2nd
You conceal yourself in the shadow of your patron deity's power, gaining the effects of Sanctuary. While this effect is active, you also gain +10 to Hide checks.

2010-10-11, 12:27 PM
It's a good concept, but the format you've put it in makes it confusing to read. Might I suggest drawing up a table? Plenty of information how to do so in Fax's Guide to Homebrewing (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10313).

2010-10-11, 02:36 PM
This class remind me of the deathless type(book of exalted deeds) it really just seems that you took it and turned it into a class, But i dont really say that it's a bad thing. It could be very good

2010-10-11, 02:37 PM
This class remind me of the deathless type(book of exalted deeds) it really just seems that you took it and turned it into a class, But i dont really say that it's a bad thing. It could be very good

I knew I should have picked that book up :(

What exactly can deathless do -- I'll see if i can make any changes to differentiate this

2010-10-11, 02:45 PM
nothing really diffrent from what you have explained. jus say that it has these traits
No Constitution score.
• Darkvision out to 60 feet.
• Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions,
phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).
• Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning,
disease, and death effects.
• Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, or
ability drain. Immune to damage to its physical
ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution)
as well as fatigue and exhaustion effects.
Unlike undead, the deathless are subject to
energy drain. Like living creatures, deathless are
harmed by negative energy and healed by positive
• Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude
save, except for energy drain attacks, effects that
also work on objects, and harmless effects.
• Cannot use the run action.
• Uses Charisma modifier for Concentration
• Not at risk of death from massive damage, but
when reduced to 0 hp or less, it is immediately
destroyed. 157
Illus. by D. Kovacs
• Not affected by raise dead and reincarnate spells or abilities.
Resurrection and true resurrection can affect the deathless if they
are willing. These spells turn deathless creatures back into the
living creatures they were before becoming deathless.
• Evil clerics can turn or destroy deathless creatures as good
clerics turn or destroy undead. Good clerics and paladins can
rebuke, command, or bolster deathless creatures as evil clerics
rebuke, command, or bolster undead.
• Deathless creatures gain the same benefits from
consecrate and hallow as undead do from desecrate
and unhallow, and they are hindered by desecrate
and unhallow as undead are by consecrate
and hallow. Hide from
undead and undeath to death
also work against deathless.
Detect undead and deathwatch also
reveal deathless, and allow the
caster to distinguish deathless
creatures from undead. Evil casters can be
stunned by overwhelming auras of deathless
creatures as good casters can be stunned
by overwhelming undead auras. Use the
“undead” line in the detect evil spell description
when deathless are in the area of a
detect good spell. Deathless are healed by
disrupt undead and damaged by unholy
water as undead are by holy water.
Deathless are not affected by disrupting
weapons. Spells that have
greater than normal effect against
undead creatures—including chill
touch, magic stone, searing light,
sunbeam, sunburst, and wall of
fire—do not have these enhanced
effects against deathless
creatures. Deathless
take only 1d6 points of
damage per two caster
levels from searing light.
Spells such as command
undead, control
undead, create undead,
create greater undead,
and halt undead do not affect or create
deathless creatures.
• Proficient with its natural weapons and any weapons mentioned
in its entries.
• Proficient in whatever type of armor (light, medium, or
heavy) it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types.
Deathless not listed as wearing armor are not proficient with
• Deathless do not breathe, eat, or sleep

2010-10-11, 04:01 PM
I knew I should have picked that book up :(

What exactly can deathless do -- I'll see if i can make any changes to differentiate this

I wouldn't worry about it--they're different enough. Deathless are essentially good-aligned, positive energy-fueled undead. What you're making seems to me a way to preserve the poignancy of death while allowing the player to continue using the same character, and in a way that's full of flavor.

2010-10-12, 08:30 AM
I like the concept alot, but Im confused about the dying within the hour requirment, Im also a bit confused about how to level into a prestige class while dead :smallconfused: Any clarification there?

2010-10-12, 10:58 AM
I like the concept alot, but Im confused about the dying within the hour requirment, Im also a bit confused about how to level into a prestige class while dead :smallconfused: Any clarification there?

The Dying Within the Hour Requirement was intended to give the players a relatively small window to choose to become one of the Honored Dead -- The soul might have to be relatively "close" to its physical shell in order for the God to pull off the mojo to make an Honored Dead.

I've changed it so that players can become honored dead while being resurrected or raised -- the God appears and offeres you a deal, no matter how much time has passed. I've also added a new restriction that is mostly fluff for the DM to arbitrate.

As for how you take the class, Its just a random mystical thing. D&D allows for the existence of the soul, and I assume that the soul is capable of doing stuff after death. If you stuck really close to an ideal, a god might choose you as its champion. Deity X offers your soul a deal -- "live again and serve me." For some characters this might be an interesting option, particularly Paladins (who are pretty likely to throw down with BBGs they can't really face). No matter what, it will result in a different style of play for the character.

In game terms, i think the class would have to replace your highest level of your previous class. This is effectively the same as you losing a level from being raised -- actually, its better since you lose a level, but then gain it right back as the PrC. I really need to put this in the description.

Hope this clarifies stuff.


2010-10-12, 11:01 AM
Thanks a lot for all your help, guys -- particularly GodGoblin, for pointing out a pretty essential think I was missing (see above).

I've expanded the fluff section a bit.
I've added a table to clarify things.

"How to Play..."
"In the World..."
"List of Invocations"

Oh, can anyone help me out with a skill list? I'm always bad at making that section.

Many Thanks