View Full Version : "Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do." (PrC)

2008-01-16, 09:14 PM
We were winning the war - pushing back the goblin hordes and retaking our ancestral lands. It probably going to be the last battle, on the plains of the Redtail tribe, and we outnumbered them two to one. There was no way we would lose - but then we saw a light, brighter than the sun, coming over the hill to the north. We thought for sure it was some Sun God showing us his favor, because the goblins gave such a great roar when they saw the shining ones charging. When they fell on us, though... They were demons for sure. Even our finest armors can't block the light! It was a rout when the Shining Death showed up. Don't fear the darkness - it's the light you really have to worry about.
-Anders Johnson, human soldier

Light. Oftentimes this quality is seen as synonomous with Good and a force of life and comfort. Hence, the name Gods of Light means those Good Gods. Yet light itself is neither good nor evil; its power can be used equally for either. And when the light is used as a weapon, it is equally fearful to both the righteous and the wicked. And when the righteous or the wicked become the light, it is a fearful weapon indeed. These men and women who form themselves to living light are known as the Radiants, the Shining Deaths, the Deadly Light.

Most Radiants come out of the ranks of noble Paladins who serve the Sun or Light. Others come from more secular militaries, monasteries, or even wild tribes. Fighers, Monks, and Barbarians all make good Radiants. Few Rangers or Rogues choose this path, however, as it hinders their ability to go unseen, and most Clerics, Druids, and Bards do not possess the martial discipline to use this class to their advantage. Wizards or Sorcerers almost never become Radiants, as the discipline takes time away from their arcane studies. Surprisingly many Goblinoids and Orcs follow this path, though any race or creed may if they so desire.

Hit Dice: d8

BAB: +6
Skills: Knowledge (History) 4 ranks, Knowledge (Religion) 4 ranks
Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Combat Reflexes
Special: Must be proficient in martial weapons.

Class Skills: Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (History and Religion only) (Int), Listen (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex)
Skill Points per Level: 2 + Int modifier

{table=head]Level|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+0|Glowing Eyes, Shine, Noctiphobia

+0|Starslip Defense 10%

+1|Speed of Light 1

+1|Glowing Blade (Ghost Touch), Starslip Defense 20%

+1|Flash Step

+2|Speed of Light 2, Starslip Defense 30%, Dazzling Brilliance

+2|Glowing Blade (Brilliant Energy)

+2|Starslip Defense 40%, Blinding Brilliance

+2|Shining Life, Speed of Light 3

+3|Shining Death[/table]

Weapons and Armor Proficiencies: Radiants gain no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

Glowing Eyes (Ex): Every Radiant is immune to being Blinded or Dazzled through any means. They can still be unable to see if there is insufficient light, however. They also lose the Light Sensitivity ability if they have it.

Shine (Su): Radiants have infused their bodies with the very essence of light. As a standard action, a Radiant may begin Shining. While Shining, she produces bright light and may gain other abilities. Ending this ability takes another standard action. A Radiant may Shine for up to 1 round per class level, plus a number of rounds equal to their Charisma modifier. This ability is usable a number of times per day equal to their class level plus their Charisma modifier.

A Shining Radiant produces bright illumination within 10 feet of herself per class level, and shadowy illumination for another 10 feet per level.

At level 6, creatures that attack the Radiant in melee must make a successful Will saving throw (DC 10+ 1/2 class level + Cha modifier) or be Dazzled for 1d4+1 rounds.

At level 8, creatures that attack the Radiant in melee who fail their save are also Blinded for 1 round.

Blind creatures are not affected by this ability.

Due to the fact that they are effectively a living beacon while Shining, Radiants become extremely easy to see. Other creatures get a +2 circumstance bonus to all Spot checks to detect a Shining Radiant for every class level the Radiant possesses.

Noctiphobia (Ex): None of a Radiant's Supernatural abilities function when within an area of magical darkness cast with a higher Caster Level than the Radiant has Hit Dice. This ability does not hinder any of the Radiant's Spells or Spell-like abilities.

Starslip Defense (Su): At level 2, a Radiant begins the long process of phasing out of the corporeal realm. While Shining, she may add her Charisma bonus as a Deflection bonus to her Armor Class. Further, while Shining she has a 10% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source (Force effects, positive and negative energy damage, and attacks made by Ghost Touch weapons are not affected). At level 4, 6, and 8, this chance increases by a further 10%.

At level 10, this ability is subsumed and overwritten by Shining Death and no longer has any effect on its own.

Speed of Light (Su): At level 3, 6, and 9, a Radiant gets a +10' bonus to all of her movement speeds. While Shining, this bonus doubles.

Glowing Blade (Su): At this stage, a Radiant has begun to learn how phase her equipment into light along with herself. At level 4, any natural or artificial weapon a Radiant wields may be treated as if it had the Ghost Touch property. At level 7, this ability further improves, and the Radiant may treat these weapons as if they also possessed the Brilliant Energy property.

Flash Step (Sp): Experienced Radiants have learned how to actually transform themselves into light for a fraction of an instant to go to where they want to go. At level 5, as a swift action a Radiant may teleport themselves up to 10 feet per class level to any location they can see. After using this ability, it cannot be used again for 1d6+4 rounds.

Shining Life (Su): Those approaching mastery of a Radiant's craft have learned that the light never truly fades, and dawn will always come again. Once per week, at dawn on the morning after a 9th level Radiant dies, she is affected as if by a True Ressurection spell. The Radiant need not be touched by daylight for this ability to function, though if it does fail to function on the morning after the Radiant's death for any reason (such as if the Radiant's remains are within magical darkness or an antimagic field), the ability does not try again the next morning.

Shining Death (Su): Those who have truly mastered the way of the Shining Deaths have attained the true form of light incarnate. At 10th level, a Shining Radiant is treated as if they had the Incorporeal subtype whenever it would benefit them. The benefits of this ability include, but are not limited to:
The Radiant has a 50% chance to avoid all damage from any source except Force effects, negative and postitive energy damage, and Ghost Touch weapons, as Incorporeal creatures treat her as Corporeal and Corporeal creatures treat her as Incorporeal.
She is immune to all nonmagical attack sources, as they treat her as Incorporeal.
She has a Deflection Bonus to her Armor Class equal to her Charisma modifier or +1, whichever is higher.
The Radiant may enter or pass through solid objects as a creature with the Incorporeal subtype may.
Her attacks ignore armor, shield, and natural armor bonuses to Armor Class, though those gained from Force effects (such as Mage Armor) work normally against her.
She may treat herself as weightless if she wishes, and may move completely silently and cannot be heard with Listen checks if she does not wish to be. Nonvisual senses, such as Scent or Blindsight, work normally against her.
She has an innate sense of direction and may move at full speed even when she cannot see.

If it would be beneficial for a Shining Radiant to be considered Incorporeal for any other reason, she is considered Incorporeal. This ability subsumes and overwrites Starslip Defense; that ability is no longer effective at level 10 as Shining Death provides superior benefits.

I had an idea for a light-based monster a while ago, but I couldn't quite decide how I wanted to stat it out. I just knew that I wanted it to be semicorporeal so it could treat itself as corporeal or incorporeal at will, and I wanted it to be hard to kill except in magic darkness, but beyond that I had no ideas. Eventually it hit me that those same abilities would make a pretty spiffy PrC, and those are quite a bit easier to stat out than the CR 16-20 beasty I was looking at, so that's what Radiant the Shining Death has become :smallsmile:

I'm a bit iffy on the requirements for this class, but other than that I think it looks fairly good. I may consider adding in more offensive abilities, and perhaps allowing Flash Step to be treated as a charge, so I'm looking for suggestions. Any comments would be appreciated.

Edit: Made some changes, set Shine to work off class level instead of HD as suggested, and made Shining Life 1/week.

2008-01-16, 09:53 PM
As it stands, this class seems altogether too good as a one-level dip. Shine should probably be tied to class level rather than HD, to encourage people to stick with it; otherwise they'll take this class just for Shine and reap the benefits at every level afterwards.

I'd also limit Shine, either with uses per day or some kind of damage (ongoing damage, ability damage, or temporary negative levels). There's currently no reason to ever stop shining, unless you want to hide.

Overall, it's a bit more powerful than it ought to be, especially with requirements that simple, but the concept is great.

Also, you might want to look at the Phantom template from MMV. It's a sort of semicorporeal thing. Adding that to a some kind of light-related monster like a sunwyrm or radiant dragon could be close to the monster idea you mentioned.

2008-01-16, 10:34 PM
When you are shining, you are blinding everything all the time? This makes a Radiant too effective in melee (the opponents need to save constantly to have a hope of hitting you). Also, the other melee members of your party will start to attack you, and not by accident. Tie the blinding/dazzling ability to class levels and make it something you willingly activate, or be on the wrong end of the party barbarian.

2008-01-17, 10:05 PM
So, at level nine, the only way this guy can ever be killed for good is if his body is in magical darkness at dawn? Way too much there, my friend. In addition to the previous comments (which are spot on), this needs some kind of limit I think. Perhaps it only functions once a month or week or what have you. It's an interesting class with good flavor, but some of its abilities need looking at.

2008-01-17, 10:25 PM
I've made a couple changes as people have suggested. For one, Shine is 1/day per level + 1/day/CHA modifier, works off of class levels instead of HD, doesn't Dazzle until level 6 and then only on being attacked in melee with a lower save than previously, doesn't Blind until 8th level, and has a set duration of 1 round/level+1 round/Cha mod. For another, Shining Life is 1/week. As written now, they're still powerful in melee and difficult to kill regardless, but not quite so powerful.

I am still looking for suggestions on changes to the requirements, since as is I think the class is too easy to enter, but I'm kind of out of ideas for requirements to add that would actually make sense:smallsigh:

And I'll see if I can't find a copy of MMV someplace... Don't have that book, so I can't really look into it very easily.

2008-01-17, 10:40 PM
All good changes to make.

Well, for prereqs, dodge and mobility already really punish anyone entering this class; the only reason you'd ever want to take those feats is to fill prerequisites after all. That's already a pretty steep cost to pay to get into this class, I think.

Do you have the Tome of Battle? There are a few maneuvers in there in the Desert Wind and Setting Sun disciplines that you might have as a requirement (which anyone can get through the Martial Study feat). You might also consider something like Sun Devotion (CChamp) but that doesn't quite fit with the flavor.

Honestly, prereqs for this are going to be hard... DnD flavor typically gets sun and light tangled rather closely, and it seems you're not going for that.

2008-01-17, 11:44 PM
Well, I love the idea. I'm no good with crunch, but I'd play one.

2008-01-23, 11:08 PM
Quite an interesting class, that's for sure. You got me with the "fear the light" catch line right away. :smallamused: Still, since I've been looking into creating a light mage-ish class, this caught my attention.

Apart from those changes you already made, I'd also recommend adding that a character who has already saved against Shine (whether to be dazzled or blinded) is immune to this effect for 24 hours. That way, opponents won't have to constantly save - but any newcomer will have to (and hopefully pay for it).

Overall, though, I agree with the others. Nice work!

2008-01-23, 11:50 PM
Yeash, nicely done

2008-01-24, 04:03 PM
What's with the random blue text? It hurts my eyes.

2008-01-24, 07:14 PM
You say that Orcs and Gobbos prefer the Radiant class, but don't they take a Cha penalty? It may be wise to allow uncharismatic characters to choose a different ability score.

2008-01-25, 11:10 AM
The +2 to spot a glowing radiant seems low for what's happening. +2 is a basic circumstance bonus--I'd say to spot something man-sized that glows like a torch would be easily a +10 to spot in darkness. You basically have to natural 1 to miss a spot on something like that.

2008-01-25, 11:56 AM
The +2 to spot a glowing radiant seems low for what's happening. +2 is a basic circumstance bonus--I'd say to spot something man-sized that glows like a torch would be easily a +10 to spot in darkness. You basically have to natural 1 to miss a spot on something like that.

I't +2 per level (so a grand total of +20).