View Full Version : Zealot [Base Class]

Defiant Element
2007-11-21, 02:02 AM
Ok, this is my second attempt at creating a Base Class. The first was the Outlaw class which received a bunch of positive feedback, and I hope this one will be as well received.

I recently started a new campaign in which the players are all Rogue-Oriented, they have some (limited) class selection options; however, they are limited to classes which have Roguish traits/abilities. One of the other people playing in the game typically (by which I mean always) plays a Paladin, and as such, he was upset at first by the class restriction. So, based on a number of existing PrCs, I set about to create a base class for him which would incorporate some elements of both the Paladin and the Rogue. The result is this odd little class that focuses on the cleansing role of fire.

Essentially, if you're a Zealot, you're a fanatic, over-zealous individual hell-bent on purifying people's mideeds (real or imagined) at any cost. Have fun and enjoy!

(I'll try to make an actual table shortly, I just don't have the time at the moment)

Blackflame Zealot

“A single zealot may commence prosecutor, and better men be his victims” -- Thomas Jefferson

Class Information
Hit Die: d8

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Class Skills: Bluff, Sense Motive, Intimidate, Knowledge (Religion), Climb, Hide, Move Silently, Heal, Listen, Spot, Craft, Gather Info

Skill Points at 1st Level: (3 + Int Modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: (3 + Int Modifier)

Base Attack Bonus: As per Rogue.
Saves: As per Paladin.

The Blackflame Zealot
1 Fiery Blood, Immunity to Fear, Purifying Light I
2 Mercy
3 Smite (1/Day)
4 Sneak Attack +1d6
5 Purifying Light II
7 Smite (2/Day)
8 Sneak Attack +2d6
9 Righteous Fervor
10 Sneak While Armored, Purifying Light III
11 Smite (3/Day)
12 Sneak Attack +3d6
13 Fiery Mind
15 Smite (4/Day)
16 Sneak Attack +4d6
17 Purifying Light III
19 Smite(5/Day)
20 Sneak Attack +5d6

Class Features
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Blackflame Zealots have the same Weapon and Armor Proficiencies as a Paladin; however, they are not proficient with shields.

Fiery Blood: see Divine Health.

Immunity to Fear: at 1st level, the Blackflame Zealot gains immunity to fear.

Purifying Light: At 1st level, a Blackflame Zealot may use Purifying Light to either cast the spell Light or to cast a healing spell that a Paladin of similar level could cast. At 5th level, Purifying Light may also be used to turn Undead. At 10th level, Purifying Light’s functionality changes, and the Zealot may now cast the spell Daylight rather than Light. At 17th level, the Zealot can use Purifying Light to emanate a powerful burst of divine energy that forces every person within 30ft to deal with the sins they have committed. Those who are truly pure remain unhurt; however, those who have committed misdeeds are struck for 6d6 damage (halved by Will, DC 25). Purifying Light can be used a maximum of 1+ Level/4 times per day.

Mercy: The Zealot is single-minded in pursuing offenders, while by-standers often get caught in the cross-fire, the Zealot is loathe to kill the innocent and prefers to merely render them unable to deter his mission. At 2nd level, the Zealot is able to deal subdual damage at no penalty.

Smite: Beginning at 3rd level, the Zealot gains the ability to smite evil as per the Paladin’s Smite Evil ability, with a couple of notable exceptions. First and foremost, the Zealot may successfully smite a foe that he deems evil. However, in order to do so, the Zealot must first convince himself that his target is evil (Will Save -- Variable DC -- Free Action). Second, the additional damage dealt by the smite is treated as Fire Damage.

Sneak Attack: see Sneak Attack.

Righteous Fervor: When a Zealot successfully smites an opponent, he can whip himself into a religious frenzy. When he does so, he gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage against the foe which lasts as long as he continues to attack that foe.

Sneak While Armored: Although Zealot’s are always able to use Heavy Armor, like the Rogue, they are unable to Sneak Attack or use Hide/Move Silently effectively while doing so. However, at 10th level, the Zealot has become so adept at combining his seeming diametrically opposed abilities that he is able to use Sneak Attack while wearing Medium/Heavy Armor, and he takes no penalty to Hide or Move Silently checks. His base speed is still reduced appropriately however.

Fiery Mind: At 13th level, the Zealot has become so fanatical that he is nearly impossible to coerce or compel through magical means and he gains the ability to fight off magical intrusions as per the Rogue’s Slipper Mind ability. However, by 13th level, the Zealots connection to fire is so deeply ingrained that attempting to intrude on a Zealots mind is like attempting to grab hold of white-hot metal, and any who try to do so take 2d6 damage (no save).

Multi-Classing: If a Zealot chooses to multiclass, he experiences the same penalties as a Paladin for doing so.

Role-Playing Thoughts
So, as I mentioned earlier, I made this for a friend specifically for the new campaign we've just started. But, when he first saw it, his response was "I can't play this." His reasoning was that if he were to follow the reasoning of the class, he'd have to kill the other members of the party, thieves, who were likely evil, and would be unable to assist in the commission of a crime. It's a valid point, which is why I think that effectively playing this class in a manner which is both practical and stylistically appropriate relies heavily on the players ability to RP.

Unlike the Paladin, the Zealot has no concrete Code of Conduct with which to guide himself. His view of morality, while possible quite stark, is defined entirely by his own moral compass, as demonstrated by his ability to smite those who are not necessarily evil. To the Zealot, no one/nothing is objectively good or evil, until he defines it as such of course. The idea is really rooted in self-justification, the Zealot is, at heart, a fanatic, one who is good aligned. However, his moral caliber is such that he is able to convince himself of a person's relative evil and then act accordingly as if he were smiting his target with divine aid. The Zealot is, in many ways, a vigilante, and some might view his actions as evil in of themselves, particularly the methods he uses to accomplish his means. The Zealot however sees himself as cleansing the "taint" on humans, and moral paradoxes need not exist for him. He can kill and steal if he can justify those actions morally to himself, and in the same day, "cleanse" a killer or a thief.

Azerian Kelimon
2007-11-21, 09:34 AM
Sounds nice, but it has a bit of overpower and quirks.

1) Sneak PLUS smite? Doesn't make sense, those abilities more or less counter each other, since once you are in a position to start using smites, you can't sneakattack anymore.

2) Fire damage? For a smite? NAAAAAAH. Smites are divinely inspired. If anything, they should do Divine type damage.

3) Sneak while armored is not productive. Heavy and medium armor gives big time penalties to Move silently. Just remove this.

The problem with this class is that you're trying to mix two incompatible roles. I say you take only one and remake things so that it fits that one role better. In my personal opinion, the zealot could work like a sort of paladinish psionic warrior, and it would be pretty neat. But being BOTH a rogue and Paladin won't work.

And in case I'm wondering, I'm the same guy who bitched around in the Outlaw thread. Nice to be back.

2007-11-21, 09:46 AM
Azerian: Have you looked at the actual Blackflame Zealot from Complete Adventurer? It's the same thing, just compressed into a PrC instead.

OP: The only problem I have is that you must be Chaotic Good. Why not just open it up to Any Chaotic and change Smite Evil to Smite Opposition?

Azerian Kelimon
2007-11-21, 09:49 AM
Is it really? God, I can't see that working. I mean, you have a clunky, armored guy who sneaks around, all the while shoutin' and smiting? Makes no sense. The Blackflame seems like it was a poorly thought PrC.

Defiant Element
2007-11-21, 12:25 PM
Ok, a couple of things I guess.

1) "Sneak while armored is not productive. Heavy and medium armor gives big time penalties to Move silently. Just remove this." I hate to sound bitchy, but did you actually read the ability? It removes those penalties, that's the entire point, and if you have that ability, you're no longer nearly as clunky, in fact, no more so than a Rogue.

2) The fire damage for a smite was a result of the fact that his incarnation of the Zealot sees fire as the means of cleansing sin, thus, fire damage when you smite someone you deem evil.

3) The idea was in fact to make a Paladin/Rogue type-class loosely based on the actual Blackflame Zealot, so there is some precedent here.

4) Yeah, any chaotic makes some sense, but I have a hard time thinking of a Chaotic Evil Zealot who sees himself purging the world of... good? And as far as Chaotic Neutral goes, what he have to be zealous about? I don't know... any Chaotic will work, but Chaotic Good just seemed to fit the best in my mind.

D Knight
2007-11-21, 01:56 PM
hey it looks good and all but there is all ready a black flame zealot in complete divine as well.try looking in to this one it might meet what you are looking for.

Defiant Element
2007-11-21, 02:21 PM
Yeah, I've seen the one in the Complete Divine as well.

2007-11-21, 06:10 PM
Is it really? God, I can't see that working. I mean, you have a clunky, armored guy who sneaks around, all the while shoutin' and smiting? Makes no sense. The Blackflame seems like it was a poorly thought PrC.

The Blackflame Zealot prestige class is more of a priest-assassin. Need I 2nd level divine spells (12 wisdom and 3 levels cleric), sneak attack, and 8 ranks hide, move silently. Also they cannot be good.
But they do get immunity to fear...

2007-11-21, 07:22 PM
Hmm, you seem to have beat me to it. I'm finishing up a zealot class myself, although it is PrC and a little more 'cleansing' and less nice and less violence.

Basically: cleansing fire to hunt evil.

2007-11-21, 07:46 PM
I would recommend changing the name of your blackflame zealot base class to something else in order to avoid confusion.

Sort of like this... http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0209.html