View Full Version : Set the darkness forth upon the lands.

2011-12-09, 05:22 AM
I want to release my gothness into a base class. I want this to be the darkest most brutal class ever.

For fluff I'm thinking like a warlock but who makes a deal with undead/gods of evil/most evil thing you can think of. I will call it: THE DEATHLOCK! I'm also thinking to give him invocations, with the same progression as the warlock.

He will also have an eldritch blast type of "main attack". The idea was inspired by the Cradle of Filth song Tonight in Flames. The idea is basically that he makes a wall of fire type of effect but in a 30 ft. circle. This will last for x rounds and do x damage(you must help determine x). It will do fire damage, but invocations will make it do cold, negative, vile and corrupt damage(the other evil typs of damage).

He will eventually become undead, I just need a good level to give it at. I also need a pretty powerful bump-up-to-tier-1-to-2-ish capstone.

So people. Start brainstorming.

2011-12-09, 09:15 AM
As a point to start from you might want to read into http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=211046
this one from a while ago.

I think in the final version Silva has created a well rounded (although pretty powerful) class there. And the flavor has been awesome from the beginning.

2011-12-09, 10:15 AM
This class will effectively be a more squishy caster-based class than that, but I have an idea of how to incorporate some of the ideas:

Cha to saves
And whenever you kill someone with the Flame ability you get profane bonuses to AC, Attack and Damage, Etc. Capped by charisma modifier.

2011-12-11, 04:41 AM
Okay, this might be fun. :) And I have a bit of more time today. (Edit: well, yesterday and today morning)

Some thinks in front:

A class is about what you can do, your abilities.
Evilness is about what you do do, your actions.
If you try to put to much evilness into a class the character made using this class is in a serious risk to become a stereotype.

The Fire thing: A Ring of fire is a complicated shape, for the ease of playing this should not be the level 1 at will ability of a class. Really just for playability's sake.

So, what do you want ... Undead/Warlock theme ... so I think kind of a grinder like character, little but solid damage output with some defensive abilities, maybe also a debuffer, going the enervation etc. rout of necromancy spells.

Overall: It is supposed to be a little more "feeble" then standard warlock (I once concept an Orc Barbarian 1 / Warlock X taking this eldrich shape invocation to deliver his blast with the great-sword first. Definitely an interesting way to play a Warlock that you don't expect when you read the class).
Thus the Deathlock (working title), should have a 4d hit die, good will save only, poor BAB.

1st level: I think I like the "unholy fire" idea. I also want him to be undead seamed from the very first level, I'm thinking of a "ghost familiar" here. Just no real ghost, something way less powerful.
Together, these abilities should be enough for first level with the right details:

Fire of Malebolge (Su) A target within 25 ft +5ft/level is burned by flames breaking from the ground, dealing 1d4 damage /2 levels (minimum 1d4). This ability can not target creatures flying more then 5ft above the ground, nor can it be used against targets in or on water.

Ghost Familiar: The character gains the service of a ghost familiar, a loyal ally native to the ethereal plane. The Ghost Familiar can telepathically communicate with its master and can take possession of corpses. It gains additional abilities, as the master rises in power.
If the Ghost Familiar is destroyed, the Deathlock may reanimate it (or create a new one, no difference) in a ritual that takes 24 hours and requires onyxs worth at least 50 gp per Deathlock level.

{table=head] Master Level | Animations Str | Abilities
1st | 0 | Animate body, Mind link 5 ft, Toughness |
3rd | 1 | Malebolge Resistances |
5th | 2 | Move earth 1/day |
7th | 3 | Negative energy attack |
9th | 4 | Mind link (long) |
11th | 5 | Move earth 3/day |
13th | 6 | Energy drain |
15th | 7 | Spell Resistance |
17th | 8 | Sense link |
19th | 9 | Manifestation |

Animate body (Su): The Ghost Familiar can posess a dead body by merging into it from the Ethereal plane (a 1 round action). The creature then acts as a Zombie in all respects. Creatures that can not be turned into Zombies (no skeletal system, etc.) or that have more HD then the Master's Deathlock Class Level can not be animated. The Zombie's Strength is increased by the number in the "Animations Str" column of above table. If the Zombie is destroyed, the Ghost familiar is ejected into the Ethereal plane again and dazed for 1 round.

Mind link: The Familiar can telepathically communicate with it's master, even if the master is on the material plane and the familiar on the ethereal plane, as long as the master is within 5 ft. at 9th level, the range dramatically increases to 100ft +10ft per level, or 1 mile, if the Familiar is using it's Animate body or Manifestation ability.

Malebolge Resistances: The Diabolic Powers the Deathlock wields protect the familiar and any Zombie created through the animate body ability. This results in a resistance of 5 against fire, cold and positive energy.

Move earth 1/day (Sp): Once per day, the Ghost Familiar can Move earth as the spell, except that the Area is restricted to one 10ft³ cube. At Level 11, the number of uses per day rises to 3.

Negative energy attack: The Familiar, in it's ethereal form or whenever possessing a Zombie adds 1d6 negative energy damage to it's attacks.

Energy drain: A creature damaged by the Familiar's negative energy must make a fortitude save (DC= Master's Deathlock level plus familiar's charisma bonus if positive) or gain one negative level for 1 Minute / level. The Familiar gains 5 temporary hit points.

Spell Resistance: The Familiar gets a spell resistance of 10+Level, in it's ethereal form or as a Zombie.

Sense link: If the Familiar is animating a body or manifesting on the Material plane, the Master can look through it's eyes if he is within 1 mile. He can use his invocations through this link, too.

Manifestation: The Ghost Familiar can manifest as an incorporeal creature on the material plane. It's Slam becomes an incorporeal touch attack.

{table=head] Nmae: | Ghost Familiar
Size/Type: | Small Undead
Hit Dice: | As Master (Master/2 + 3 hp)
Initiative: | +3
Speed: | Fly 40 ft. (8 squares) perfect maneuverability
Armor Class: | 17 (+1 size, +3 Dex, +3 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 14
Base Attack: | As Master
Attack: | Slam (1d4)
Space/Reach: | 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: | -
Special Qualities: | Low-light vision, Darkvision 60 ft
Base Saves: | As Master
Abilities: | Str 10, Dex 17, Con -, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills: | Hide +8, Listen +6, Move Silently +4, Spot +6 |
Feats: | Alertness, Toughness, Weapon Finesse[/table]

Okay, let's move on to the further abilities, it's time to think about Invocations... Looking at the Warlock and comparing (BAB, HD are lower in this one), I think one each level after the first is okay (19 total compared to Warlocks 12). A few Necromantic cornerstones can then still be added by default, if I don't make the list of available invocations overpowered. THis is good, because I want that "Master of the dead" to be always available, as well as a continuous drift towards undeath.
For the Invocations I will borrow partly from the Soul Devourer.

Level 2-5: Least,
Level 6-10: Least or lesser,
Level 11-15: Least, lesser or greater,
Level 16-20: Least, lesser, greater or dark.


See the Unseen (2nd): The Deathlock can see beyond the soul of a creature even if the creature is invisible. While under the effect of this invocation he is under the effect of a see invisibility spell. This invocation has a duration of 24 hours.

Unholy Demeanor (1st): The Deathlock wraps his form in dark shadows giving him a 10% miss chance to all attacks and a + 10 to intimidate checks. This invocation lasts 24 hours.

Dark Voice (2nd): By issuing a powerful dark phrase the Deathlock shatters objects. This invocation duplicates the effects of a shatter spell.

Death’s Messenger (2nd): As a move action the soul devourer can command a creature who is has slain to rise again through powerful necromantic magic. The creature is raised as an unseen servant able to life and manipulates 40 pounds of material. This creature can also speak common and shares a telepathic bond with the Soul devourer. This minion disappears after 1 hour or after taking 6 points of damage from an area attack.

Necrotic Ray (1st): The soul devourer sends a ray of pure negative energy at a target. This ability duplicates the effects of the Ray of Enfeeblement spell.

Darkness: Use darkness as the spell.

Summon Swarm: Use summon swarm as the spell.

Invisibility to undead: As spell + duration 24 hours.

Cloak of faces: Disguise self, Bluff +10

Cloak of fatigue: If attacked in melee, save or fatigue on attacker (only, no exhaustion)


Fly: Self only, land speed, good maneuverability

Invisibility: Self only, as spell.

Cloak of fear: If attacked in melee, save or shaken on attacker. If already shaken, frightened.

Ray of Exhausion: As spell

Sacrifice: One controlled undead is destroyed. The deathlock gets it's current HP in temporary HP. Intelligent undead get a saving throw and on success are uncontrolled afterwards.

Life Leech: A target in close range takes 1d6/4 levels negative energy damage. Fortitude halves. The Deathlock heals the same amount of damage.

Pain: Foot - as Caltrop, Arm - -2 attack/damage, Head - Concentration vs. Level Check to cast a spell. No save.


Poison: The Deathlock can poison a person or object. When using this invocation, the Deathlock chooses an ability score to be effected. If he uses the ability directly against a target, initial and secondary poison damage are 1d10, used on weapons or on food, the damage is 1d8 (on injury or ingestion, the poison is tasteless), using the poison on any other surface (and delivering it via contact) cases 1d6 ability score damage initial and secondary. The Deathlock may poison up to 1 object per caster level per day and the poison looses it's potency after one day.

Disease: Like the contagion spell but no touch required (range 25 + 5ft/2 levels) and the target is highly contagious: Merely touching him can spread the disease, although secondary victims have incubation periods as normal.

Curse: Like bestow curse, but the Deathlock does not need to touch the target, if instead he has something coming from the targets body (a hair, a drop of blood or ... well ... excrements work too). The maximum range is 1 mile and if the target is not in sight, the invocation time increases to 10 minutes.

Cloak of Aversion: One will save needed each to aproach below 30ft, 20ft and 10ft. can spend full round actions to force another save forcing the target back.

Cloak of Stunning: If attacked in melee, save or stun 1 round on attacker, +3d6 damage with dagger-like weapons and save or dazed 1 additional round against stunned opponents.

Undead Marshall: The Deathlock can grand any undead a teamfighting bonus. This results in a +1 competence bonus either to attack and AC or to attack and weapon damage. for every other teamfighting undead within 5ft to a maximum of +3.

Age: This ages the target by 5d6 years, Fortitude halves. The Deathlock gains a temporary hit point per year. The target must make an immediate fortitude save once it passes it's maximum age or die. Every additional use of this ability will force another save and once the target ages beyond the maximum age possible for it's race 110 years for humans, any year above this will increase the DC by 1. Dragons and creatures without a maximum age are not effected by this invocation. A Greater Restoration spell can undo the aging, if used within one week per caster level.


Etherealness: The Deathlock can switch between the Ethereal and Material plane at will.

Dark Foresight: Use foresight as the spell, and communicate
telepathically with a close target of the effect.

Master of many eyes: Greater Invisibility (self only), Mayor Image, Hallucinatory Terrain, Blindness

Sense of life and undeath: Be aware of every living and undead creature within 100 ft +10 ft/level, it's HD, current HP and any conditions. He knows their locations but they still have full concealment, unless he can normally see them.

Cloak of death: If attacked in melee, save or 10d6 damage, death for lesser enemies.

Broken Mirror: Creates 1 shadow per target. The shadows are uncontrolled and only driven by the desire to kill the creatures they sprung from, will dissipate once their targets are dead. Same target can only be choosen after 24 hours again.

More to come, specifically Fire of Malebolge essences/shapes and modifications to the other class abilities. But let's brainstorm that first.
I looked into The rebuke/control undead thing and it might be a nice addition but the problem I have with it is, that I want this "Wall of Zombies/Skeletons" image and there is really no reason for a Necromancer to run around with Zombies and Skeletons, when HD are the metric, that says, what and how much he can control. Those undead just have way to many HD when compared to more creative undead like Shadows, Ghouls, Wight or Wraith. ... And generally speaking: Whether a Level 20 Character has a 10 HD Zombie (CR~3) controlled is so massively unimportant, it's not even worth noticing. Now, among undead, Those 2 types are specifically notable because they are the core mindless undead. I do have a good feeling to generalize the idea: Mindless undead = Twice as much HD per power then those, that think for themselves. Thus:

Masterful rebuke undead (Su): From second level on, the Deathlock can Rebuke and Control undead like an evil Cleric of his level can. He can also Dispell Turning and Bolster Undead and may use all those abilities unlimited times per day.
The total number of undead, he can control at a time is equal to twice his class level and mindless undead count as having only half the HD they actually have (round down).

Master of mindless masses (Su): From Level 3 on, the Deathlock may attempt to gain control over an Undead with no intelligence score, that he has already rebuked. If the Undead fails a will save (DC 10 +level/2 + Cha mod), it is controlled by the Deathlock. If this brings the total number of undead above the limit (level *2, HD of undead without Int count half), the Deathlock must cease control of some of the undead controlled within a number of turns not higher then his class level.

That should take care of this. He can not field a football team but with 4 Zombies equal to his own HD plus his Ghost Familiar's One, he is ready for undead Basketball.

Now, you wanted the Deathlock to become undead himself. This is quite a list of traits, that can be spread out over his career:

Immunity to:
- mind-affecting effects
- poison
- sleep effects
- paralysis
- stunning
- disease
- death effects
- critical hits
- nonlethal damage
- ability drain
- energy drain
- damage to its physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution)
- fatigue and exhaustion effects
- any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).
- necessity to breathe, eat, or sleep.

Above that there is the constitution score thing, and the "destroyed at 0 HP sharp! Along with it, "All HD are d12", usually. I'm not exactly happy to give this to player characters, because the benefit depends a lot on the character build and the point buy system and it may not be suitable for some groups while being overpowered for others.
Also, the switching of positive and negative energy effects along the way.

5: sleep effects
6: poison
7: paralysis
8: disease
9: stunning
10: fatigue and exhaustion effects
11: negative energy immunity
12: death effects, lack of positive energy healing
13: critical hits
14: nonlethal damage
15: ability drain
16: energy drain
17: damage to its physical ability scores
18: mind-affecting effects
19: any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).
20: necessity to breathe, eat, or sleep, negative energy healing, positive energy vulnerability ... undead type???