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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: GitP PrC Contest XXVII: Epically Destined

    Herald of the Twilight


    Image by Grungefm

    There is a power beyond which man can understand. Since time before time, magic was forbidden. No one is sure why this taboo came into place. Some believe that it is because those with the power will come to abuse it. Others just think that magic is shunned because it is more than what any normal human can hope to do. The real reason? My predecessors. The Heralds of Twilight, the wielders of Shadow Magic. The bringers of the apocalypse.

    There is a power beyond that which has mortal bounds. Power beyond what even the gods can do. In ancient times, this power was unleashed. It tore on the edges of reality, unraveling the strands of time, distance, fate. Until it was sealed. This power was known as Shadow Magic. If it were to be left alone, then nothing would still stand. Life, death, the afterlife, the planes themselves would all be unraveled into the chaos which is the far realms, before it, too, would be annihilated. To prevent this ultimate end, an ancient race, whose name was lost to time, sacrificed their entire plane to prevent this final end, which they dubbed the Twilight. In this act, the plane and source of shadow magic would be destroyed, and the power locked away. The prison came to be known as the planet Zaaman-Rul, where the power could not do any harm. While it could seep into the universe, it could not spread, and the Twilight could not happen. But then the unthinkable happened. The inhabitants of the planet tore the world asunder when they called the moon down upon the surface of the planet, destroying the prison which held the magic. In an attempt to save life, one of the races of the plane, the Serpentes, sacrificed their life to make a web of energy surrounding the planet, keeping the Shadow Magic at bay, and allowing life to continue to life on the planet. However, the damage was done. The energy of the web has been slowly failing over time, and shadow magic has begun to seep through. And as the power seeps across the plane, it calls some of it's inhabitants to itself, coercing them into using it, and thus facilitating it's release, and the coming of the Twilight.
    Fluff drawing on arguskos's Zaaman-Rul setting.

    Becoming a Herald of the Twilight
    Only one with great durability and magical skill are called to become Heralds of the Twilight. In order to survive the rigors of casting but a single spell of Shadow Magic is enough to tear the mortal body asunder. Therefore, the Shadow only calls to those who have trained their bodies to endure. In order to weave even a single strand of shadow magic into a usable form, one must master magic the highest level of common magic, having a keen mind as well as an enduring body. However, even the keen mind of the most powerful archmage in the body of the indestructible Tarrasque could not even summon forth a single strand of shadow magic. Shadow Magic is anathema to life, and not even the most depraved individual may manifest a connection to it, as his very body would destroy itself in the attempt. In order to wield Shadow Magic, one must die.

    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Alignment: Any nongood
    Base Fortitude Save: +5
    Base Attack Bonus: +5
    Spellcasting: Must be able to cast third level spells
    Skills: Spellcraft 10 ranks
    Feats: Skill Focus (Spellcraft), Improved Toughness
    Special: Must be dead.

    Class Skills
    The Herald of the Twilight's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are... Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (All, taken individually) (Int), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
    Skills Points at Each Level: 2 + int

    Hit Dice: d12

    Herald of Twilight
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Life in Death, Shadow Casting, Dark Pool|+1 level of existing Arcane spellcasting class

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Dark Tutors, Shadow Armor|See Text

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Shadowed Casting, Burning Darkness|+1 level of existing Arcane spellcasting class

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Durable, Bonus Seed|See Text

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Aura of Darkness|+1 level of existing Arcane spellcasting class

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Dark Infusion, Invulnerable|See Text

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Aura of Darkness|+1 level of existing Arcane spellcasting class

    8th|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Unstoppable|See Text

    9th|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Aura of Darkness|+1 level of existing Arcane spellcasting class

    10th|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Immortal, Bonus Seed|See Text [/table]

    Weapon Proficiencies: A Twilight Herald gains no proficiency with any weapons or armor.

    Life in Death
    When a prospective Herald of Twilight is slain, they feel a voice from within the dark portions of their souls. They are offered a choice- to remain dead, and free to proceed to their final rest, or to get another lease on life. A new body, reforged from the old, free from destiny and fate, and one gifted with powers beyond their wildest imaginings. Should they refuse the offer, they are indeed free to proceed to their final rest- but they will never be offered the opportunity again. If they accept, their transformation begins. Shadow Magic, from the core of the shattered planet Zaaman-Rul, inundates their body, suffusing it with the power to weave and handle it, and repairing it for the soul of it's new servant. Just one round after the demise of the newly appointed Herald of Twilight is shown, the lance of blackest energy strikes the immobile corpse, allowing it to keep functioning even after it's death, reforming and altering the husk in mere seconds. Then, as the shadows fade away, the new Twilight Herald is once more given life, restored as by a True Ressurection spell, and they have their spell slots restored as if they had a full night's worth of sleep. Thus, the Herald is reborn.

    This ressurection is not without it's cost, however. The Herald is a mockery of the natural order, anathemical to life. And life is anathemical towards him. All creatures of the plant and animal types' starting attitude towards this character worsen by two steps, and the character suffers a penalty to all ride and handle animal checks equal to their class level + 3. His presence disrupts natural flora; his steps leave dead plants in their wake, giving survival checks made to track the character in any place with a large number of plants a +5 circumstance bonus. Finally, the sunlight itself is disruptive to the character; as long as the light of the natural sun touches him, he is treated as Sickened and Fatigued. However, this penalty can be easily circumvented by wearing long, hooded cloaks and or similar things, or staying within shaded areas. When this character dies, his soul is forfeit to the black entity that gave him his new life. The character can not be brought back to life through the normal means- at least, not with the power already acquired. While they can be brought back to life- something their dark master encourages, and sometimes outright forces them to do, doing so causes the character to no longer fulfill the prerequisites they have for this class, and as such they lose all class features. They may only regain their class features if they manage to regain the state that was once given to them- an arduous task, to be sure. In order to do so, an Ex-Herald must ritually slay himself within a large, ornate pentagram made of black onyx, costing in the vicinity of five thousand gold pieces to construct. As the Ex-Herald dies once more, this black onyx ignites, allowing a sliver of shadow energy to pierce into this world and once again restore it's awesome power to it's champion, restoring the Herald's former powers. This ritual destroys the black onyx, burning the seal onto the floor forever- a sure sign for any pursuers that the Herald is once again at large.

    Spellcasting
    At every odd level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a Herald of Twilight, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

    At every even numbered spell level, you gain an increase in caster level, the number of spells your character know, and the highest level spell they can cast or scribe in their spellbooks as if they had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class to which you have belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained, including spells per day. If you would gain the ability to cast spells of a new level each day, you may cast spells if your ability modifier is high enough to gain bonus spells of that level. This bonus applies to all arcane spellcasting classes you had before becoming a Herald of Twilight.

    Shadow Casting
    A Herald of Twilight's first and most devastating ability is his power to call upon the Shadow to cast spells. However, such an act is not one that is easy to master, or survive, or even access in the first place. When the Herald of Twilight gains this ability, he selects one Epic Spellcasting seeds from the following list: Animate Dead (You may not animate more HD of undead than your own HD; extra undead created are immediately destroyed), Afflict, Compel, Delude, Destroy, Dispel, Energy, Heal (Negative version only), Slay. Every three Herald of Twilight levels later gained allows the Herald to gain one additional seed. When the Herald of Twilight is at or below 1/2 their maximum hit points, the Herald may access this power. When the Herald attempts to cast a Shadow spell, they resolve the attempt in a similar manner to casting an Epic spell. When casting a Shadow Magic spell, the first seed he learned is always the base seed of the spell. After that, the Herald must apply a number of Seeds and Epic Spell factors so that the total spellcraft DC is equal to or greater than 5x the Herald's character level plus the number of points in the character's Dark Pool class feature. After this, the Herald may apply any mitigating factors he wants from the following list:
    {table=head] Factor | Spellcraft DC modifier
    Backlash 1d6 points of damage (max d6 = casterís HD ◊2)*| -1
    Burn 100 XP during casting (max 20,000 XP)|-1
    Change from target, touch, or area to personal|-2
    Decrease damage die by one step (d4 minimum) |-5
    Backlash 1 point ability burn to stat of caster's choice*|-1[/table]
    *The caster cannot somehow avoid or make him or her self immune to backlash damage. If backlash damage kills a caster, no spell or method exists that will return life to the casterís body without costing the caster a levelónot even wish, true resurrection, miracle, or epic spells that return life to the deceased. Spells that normally penalize the recipient one level when they return him or her to life penalize a caster killed by backlash two levels. Please note that the backlash damage is only applied after the spell has finished resolving. (Credit to WotC here.)

    The mitigating factors may decrease the DC below 5*your character level. After applying all factors, the character makes a spellcraft check against the final modified spellcraft DC generated above, using his primary spellcasting ability modifier rather than his intelligence on this check. He may not apply bonuses gained from one-time use items, spells, or similar temporary things on this check, but he may apply a bonus granted by a permanent magic item on this check. Doing so destroys the item after the check is made. The caster can never take 10 on this check. If the caster succeeds, the Shadow spell resolves as normal. If he fails, however, the spell goes awry. The spell targets the caster of the spell, if applicable, or is otherwise centered on the caster, and the caster takes a number of points of backlash damage equal to the final DC of the spell in addition to the normal effects and the backlash damage from the mitigating factors. If the character manages to reroll this check, by using a luck reroll or some similar trick, he still suffers this backlash damage, but the spell otherwise works as intended. Using this ability adds a number of points to a character's Dark Pool equal to the final spellcraft DC of the cast spell. Casting a shadow spell is always a full-round action, regardless of the casting time of the base seed or other applied mitigating factors. The effects occur immediately after the character is finished with the action, rather than at the start of their next turn. The character cannot have their spell disrupted when using this ability. However, if the character is forced to make a concentration check, they resolve it as if they were casting a 10th level spell. If they fail the check, they take a number of points of backlash damage equal to the amount they failed the check by. This damage does not prompt an additional check. Using Shadow Magic is a dangerous and imprecise art, even to the most skilled practitioner; it is for this reason that Heralds of the Twilight only use this ability in desperate situations, for the power they call upon may well destroy them rather than their foe. However, when used properly, it can also rain death upon whoever stands in the Herald's way, often in ways more painful than possible, annihilating any who stand before him.

    Dark Pool
    Shadow Magic, when it is given to a person, does not merely come when called- it surrounds the caster for days after it is invoked, appearing as a dark nimbus around the character, fluctuating with the character's power use. After using a class feature, it subtracts a certain number of points to your Dark Pool, and can influence the functioning of some class features. There are only two ways to gain points into your Dark Pool: By invoking Shadow Magic, or by drawing it from it's source through force of will. Whenever you invoke Shadow Magic, you add a number of points to your dark pool equal to the spellcraft DC you attempted. In addition, once each day as an immediate action, the character may attempt to draw shadow magic to themselves, adding a number of points to their Dark Pool ability up to their spellcraft rank. When they do, they must attempt a spellcraft check (DC = 10+ the number of points in the character's dark pool+the number of points the character is trying to add). The character may not add bonuses from spells, magic items, or other similar methods of boosting this check. They may, however, get a bonus from a Bard's Inspire Competence class feature, assuming the bard has at least 5 ranks in spellcraft himself. If the character succeeds, the points are added to the pool as normal. If they fail, they take a number of d6 points of backlash damage equal to the number of points they attempted to add.

    Dark Tutor
    The dark power of Shadow Magic, and the Herald's skill in weaving it causes the relative ease of learning lesser spells to become apparent. At second level, the Herald of Twilight gains an Insight bonus equal to their class level on all Spellcraft checks.

    Shadow Armor
    Shadow Magic does not allow its practitioners to die. When the corrupting powers of Shadow Magic scour the flesh of it's channeler, it subtly influences that person, allowing them to become more durable and allows them to survive more. This begins to manifest at second level, as the flesh of the caster begins to become dark and hard, giving the caster a bonus to natural armor equal to their half their class level. In addition, the character can channel some of the energy of their Dark Pool to enhance the protection of the armor. As an immediate action, the character may remove any number of points from the Dark Pool class feature, up to a maximum of their ranks in Spellcraft. They gain a deflection bonus to their armor class until the beginning of their next turn equal to the number of points removed.

    Shadowed Casting
    At third level, the Shadow Magic surrounding the Herald begins to seep into their regular magic, dealing a number of untyped points of damage equal to the number of points in the Herald's Dark Pool (Maximum caster level+class level) to the target of each of the Herald's spells. This ability automatically applies to all spells cast at a target other than the caster, even harmless ones (which now allow a save). If the Herald is only one of the targets of the spells, each other target suffers damage, but the Herald does not.

    Burning Darkness
    The Shadow Magic within a herald's mind is enough to make any mortal man mad. When lesser spellcasters attempt to influence your mind with any spell with the [Mind-Affecting] descriptor, they take a number of points of damage equal to the number of points in your Dark Pool class feature, and you gain a bonus on the save equal to your primary spellcasting modifier. This damage also applies to any creature that senses you or attempts to communicate with you through telepathy. This damage applies each round the contact is maintained.

    Durable
    The slow progress of the Darkness rebuilding your flesh has reached a new stage now. You gain Damage Reduction/- equal to half your class level as your flesh and bones begin to be replaced with shadow energy, keeping them functioning even after damaged to the point where your flesh would otherwise begin to fail. In addition, as a swift action, you may remove a number of points from your Dark Pool class feature equal to or less than your ranks in Spellcraft to bolster your interior structures, gaining an insight bonus to Strength or Constitution equal to half the points expended for one round. You may not add a bonus to an ability score greater than your class level.

    Aura of Darkness
    At 5th level, and every two levels thereafter, the shadow energy around you begins to exude a presence on the world. This manifests differently for each Herald, giving each a number of options for how the power would manifest. You may activate or deactivate an aura as a swift action. You may have more than one aura active at a time.
    • Aura of Disruption- Each creature within 10ft/class level gains spell resistance equal to 10+your character level. If they already had spell resistance, it is changed to this amount.
    • Aura of Power- Each spell cast within 10ft/class level is automatically empowered, as the spell, without an increase in spell level. However, spells within this area take a full round to cast, or an additional round if the spell already had a casting time of 1 full round action or more.
    • Aura of Madness- An area around you with a radius of 10ft/caster level functions as a Wild Magic Zone.
    • Inhibiting Aura- Each spell cast within 10ft/class level of you decreases all numeric, variable components by 50%. However, the action required to cast a spell is reduced by one. For example, a spell with a casting time of a standard action is cast as a move action, a spell cast as a full round action becomes a standard action, etc.
    • Absorbing Aura- Each time you or another creature within 10ft/class level of you attempts to cast a spell, they must succeed on a concentration check with a DC equal to the number of points in your Dark Pool class feature.


    Dark Infusion
    At 6th level and higher, whenever you prepare or spontaneously cast a spell, you may tap some minor quantity of Shadow Magic into it, turning it into a more powerful spell that you know. When you use this feature, you may prepare or cast a spell as any other spell that you know. When you cast the spell, subtract a number of points equal to your Dark Pool class feature equal to twice the difference of the level of the spells. This can't be a negative number. Using this ability to cast a spontaneous spell does not increase the spelll's casting time.

    Invulnerable
    The Shadow Magic's reconstruction of your body has become quite extensive by now, replacing major organs with constructs of dark magic, and rendering your body immune to many forms of influence. Whenever you would be affected by a critical hit or a sneak attack, there is a 10% chance per class level that you are unaffected by the attack. In addition, whenever you would become paralyzed or stunned, you are instead Slowed for a round. You are immune to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, nonlethal damage, and fatigue. Any effect that makes you exhausted only inflicts penalties as if you were fatigued. In addition, when you would take hp damage, you may remove a number of points from your Dark Pool class feature up to the number of ranks you have in spellcraft. You are not affected by the damage for a number of rounds equal to the points expended.

    Unstoppable
    Your reconstruction as a servant of Shadow Magic is nearly complete. Most of your body is now made of solid Shadow Magic, which quickly repairs itself if damaged, with little remnant of your original flesh still within your body. You gain Fast Healing equal to 1/2 your class level. In addition, as a swift action, you may expend a number of points from your Dark Pool class feature up to the number of ranks you have in Spellcraft. You are affected by Freedom of Movement for a number of rounds equal to the number of expended points.

    Immortal
    You are now just a figment of solidified Shadow Magic, and as such you are now completely immortal and indestructible, a permanent blight on the world, and one who will lead to the eventual Twilight. The only thing that can harm you is your own power, and even that will not completely destroy you. It will merely deform you for a while. But you will endure. You now treat all non-backlash damage as nonlethal for the purposes of healing and how it affects you, but you are not immune to it. If you are somehow killed, your body instantly is reintegrated with the Shadow Energy gathered around you. You may expend a number of Dark Pool points equal to twice your ranks in Spellcraft to instantly rematerialize your body anywhere within 1 mile per rank of spellcraft you have. You may add points to your Dark Pool class feature once per day, as normal, during this time. Any effect that would steal your soul prevents the use of this ability.

    Playing a Herald of Twilight
    The moment you become a Herald of Twilight, you have gained access to a dark and dangerous power, the use of Shadow Magic. Such an option is always at your command, should you be desperate enough to use it, and your connection to Shadow Magic has made you a durable combatant. You have a wide variety of class features to use at your disposable, making you a versatile being, and when all else fails, you have the power to annihilate those who stand in your way.
    Combat: You always have a variety of options to act on during your turn, be it hammering down upon your enemies with your blade, altering the battlefield to your advantage with your magics, or positioning yourself to use your auras to devastating effect. As you progress down this path, however, you need to be wary of how you spend your Dark Pool points. You can only gain so many in a day, and you have a limited number of them. They also, at higher levels, have a greater influence if they are not expended. A Herald of Twilight must take care when using this powerful force, to make sure that they do not over-exert their powers.
    Advancement: While progressing down your path as a Herald of the Twilight, you have a variety of options on what you can do. Many Heralds choose to invest their feats into Luck feats, helping to reduce the chance of destroying themselves with their Shadow Magic, and also granting them an advantage in adding points to their Dark Pool rather than injuring themselves while doing so. Other than that, many Heralds choose to gain feats that enhance their combat prowess or increase their spellcasting capability, much as they would have before taking this class. After a Herald of the Twilight has finished progressing down their path, there is often not enough room in their careers as adventurers to accomplish much. However, those that do have room to continue often choose to advance their melee combat and spellcasting arts at the same time, often becoming Abjurant Champions or Eldritch Knights.
    Resources: Heralds of Twilight often suffer a lack of resources at their disposal. While some manage to join adventuring groups and achieve backing from their allies there, the vast majority are shunned by society. Even without revealing their forbidden powers, the corruption of their body by Shadow Magic often reveals them for what they are, causing almost, if not all, Heralds of Twilight to lack for allies, resources, or both. While they can hire out their services as sell-swords and mercenary spellcasters, they often lack both allies and respect, leaving them bereft of any resources save what they have by means of their skill.

    Heralds of Twilight in the World
    Yeah, he came through here. It would be hard to miss him. Wherever he went, the dogs started barking at him, the crops would die, and the cloak didn't do him any favors, either. And... when I think about what he did in Darkworm Forest... I still wet my bed at night.

    Heralds of Twilight are generally not well received. In rural areas, Heralds not only destroy livelyhoods by merely walking around, but their approach is also heralded by a large number of bad omens, such as hostile wolves, missing sheep, and dogs barking at nothing there. And to top it all off, the Heralds wear hoods in daylight, walking in their own constant area of shadow, marking them as different from others. Much of this is mitigated in large cities, when people don't really notice the blackened steps and there are fewer animals to attack. Heralds in cities sometimes try to fit in, though they often have problems. Their aversion to the sunlight is still just as potent as it was before, and it can manifest in strained social relationships. However, wherever they go, no matter how hard they try, their nature is revealed. And when it is, it usually resolves in the destruction of the Herald, the town... or both.
    Daily Life: Most Heralds spend their days wandering, or searching for an adventuring group to take them in. While some do try to integrate into society, relationships with others are often strained at best, or most often outright hostile after the Herald's nature is revealed. Other than that, they mostly wander the wilderness, be it in a dungeon in the arctic or a jungle out to kill them, searching for ways to improve the power they paid so much for.
    Notables: There are few records of Heralds of Twilight, as they are often stricken from the records of history by wise priests, attributing the events they cause to random magical phenomenon. However, the history of one Herald is unable to be struck from history, though it is often obscured: Shara'khal, the first Herald. A student of magic obsessed with death, and finding ways around it, it was he who set the basics for the ritual of lichdom. After he was convinced the ritual was complete, he performed it, and if he succeeded, he would have been the first and last lich. However, a dark force intervened, conjured by the ritual as a residual effect. Rather than let Shara'khal succeed, it told him that the ritual failed, and offered him the choice or service or damnation. Shara'khal accepted the offer, gaining much more power than any before or since. Until thousands of archmages united to end his reign, he nearly took over the entire planet of Zaaman-Rul, far in the depths of prehistory. After his death, his legacy was hidden from future generations, in an attempt to prevent anyone from recovering his power. Unfortunately, they could not erase the legacy entirely... the Shadows had permanently gained a channel into the world, and It intends to use it...
    Organizations: Heralds of Twilight don't naturally gravitate to any organizations; outcasts as they are, wielding power greater than that of any companions they could find, they are often left to wander on their own. However, there are a few places where Heralds can find a place. Adventuring guilds, much like adventuring parties, accept just about anyone into their ranks, no matter how odd that person is as long as they're willing to wield a sword for the organization. In addition, should more than one Herald of Twilight exist at the same time in the world (a disturbing prospect, to be sure), the dark influence of Shadow Magic will inevitably draw them towards each other through it's subtle manipulations, gathering it's power into one place, and greatly weakening the barrier preventing it's release.

    NPC Reaction
    Heralds of Twilight, as mentioned before, are generally unnerving at best to NPCs, and a horror to be killed immediately at worst. Their shady manner and aversion to the natural world don't help, but should the Herald's true power be revealed, most NPCs would either view the character as a cosmic horror, needing immediate destruction, or as a threat, and something to be dispatched before it gains further control over it's powers. Either way, should the Herald's powers be uncovered... their destruction is the goal of most, if not all of the NPCs in the setting.

    Heralds of Twilight in the Game
    Heralds of Twilight are not something to be added lightly to a game. Putting this class into a player's hand grants them the ability to avert potential disasters, if the player abuses their Shadow Casting power, the game can grow to be unenjoyable to the other players, as the Herald consistently outperforms them in everything they do, and then slows down the game with the constant rest needed. DMs with players who abuse this power are encouraged to take actions to show the player the costs of abusing it; making stat drain permanent, or making hit points claimed by backlash damage from Shadow Casting spells irrecoverable until the character abstains from using it for a while can help to balance out the different in power somewhat, though it is still an extremely powerful mechanic. If you wish to limit the power in the hands of the players, then this class may be best excluded from your game, or NPC only. However, if you are wish to give the players an instant panic button, then this class can be a valuable addition to the party.
    Adaptation: The Herald of Twilight need not be the servant of a dark force in your game. They may, alternatively, be risen prophets given great power by previously unknown gods, or a group of people devoted to holding back the power of Shadow Magic, using it only as a last resort to keep themselves alive.
    Encounters: Members of this prestige class should not often be encountered by player characters; their Shadow Magic class feature, unless somehow disabled, can destroy the entire party if they are unprepared. As such, the players should only fight Heralds at the climax of an adventure, given ample time to prepare for for the Herald's inevitable use of Shadow Magic, and fighting them in a suitably dramatic environment.

    Sample Encounter
    Give an example of how one might encounter a member of this PrC.
    EL x: Give the encounter level and description of a sample member of this class and a stat block for him/her.


    Name
    alignment/Gender/Race/Levels
    Init +0, Senses: Listen +, Spot +,
    Languages
    ------------------------------------------------
    AC , touch , flat-footed ()
    hp ( HD)
    Fort +, Ref +, Will +
    ------------------------------------------------
    Speed ft. ( squares)
    Melee
    Base Atk +, Grp +
    Atk Options
    Combat Gear
    Spells Prepared
    Supernatural Abilities
    -----------------------------------------------
    Abilities Str , Dex , Con , Int , Wis , Cha
    SQ
    Feats
    Skills
    Possessions

    Twilight Apostle

    A picture can go here too!

    A long time past, the Herald of Twlight had already passed on from a mortal being into a manifestation of shadow energy. However, for the most powerful amongst the ranks of the Heralds, the journey is not over. Shadow energy constantly tries to pervade the essence of the world, seeking deadlier shapes and more obscure power as it encompasses our world. These experiments are seen in the flesh of the Twilight Apostle, as they transform into an entity made solely to destroy the world. Many have been sealed away, but some are still active... waiting for the perfect chance to destroy the multiverse, waiting for the time to free their brethren, and waiting for the time to reveal themselves to the world at large. But the time has not yet come... yet.

    Requirements: Ability to weave Shadow Magic

    {table=head]Level|Benefit
    21st|Shadow's Boon, Beyond Mortal Spheres
    24th|Ascended Form
    27th|Powers from Beyond
    30th|Completion[/table]

    Shadow's Boon (Su): At 21st level, as a being composed of pure shadow energy, you have learned to sculpt the energy that forms you, idealizing your form. You may apply 1/2 your primary casting stat's ability score modifier as an enhancement bonus to each of your other stats. In addition, you gain the power to shape your body into a weapon; you are treated as having two primary natural Claw attacks that each do 1d10+1.5* your strength modifier damage, and a secondary natural Bite attack that deals 1d8+your strength modifier damage. If you deal damage with any of these weapons, the hit person must make a fortitude save (DC = 10+1/2 character level+casting stat modifier) or gain one negative level. The DC to remove the negative level is the same. Any creature slain by this damage cannot be brought back to life, as their life force has been drained into the darkness that is Shadow Magic; nothing can escape there, unless the Shadow Magic wishes it to.

    Beyond Mortal Spheres (Ex): You are treated as under the constant effects of a Freedom of Movement spell; your form transcends the material plane, and effects that inhibit your movement only in the multiverse that you manifest in fail to effect an ascended being like yourself. In addition, you are unaffected by any planar traits, such as gravity, time (though you appear to act in the same time frame as the beings in that plane), magic-dead zones, and similar traits.

    Ascended Form (Ex or Su): You have achieved mastery over your form, and have the power to sculpt a new body for yourself, manifesting exactly as you envision it. You may sculpt yourself a new body at will; when you do so, however, you dissociate into shadow energy, and you can neither effect the material plane (or any other plane), nor can that plane or anyone on it effect you. Sculpting your body takes 1 day to complete, and when you manifest it, you can add any of the following traits as you wish. Your form has the same starting stats that your original form had.
    • Telepathy: You gain telepathy out to a radius of 100ft/point of casting modifier bonus, the benefits of the Mindsight feat, and the ability to detect thoughts on any being within the area constantly, as if you had been studying them for three rounds (no save).
    • Huge: Your size increases one size category, and your new form gains a +2 bonus to strength and a -2 penalty to dexterity. You may select this as many times as you want.
    • Wings: You gain a 100ft fly speed with perfect maneuverability.
    • Aquatic Adaptations: You gain a 100ft swim speed, a +16 racial bonus on all swim checks, and you automatically get a result of 20 whenever you would roll a swim check.
    • Fast: You gain a +30ft racial bonus to any one movement speed you possess.

    In addition, you may select one of the following powers to accompany your form:
    • Ghost: You may become ethereal or incorporeal at will as a swift action, and you may become corporeal or remanifest on the material plane as a free action as well. Whenever you pass through an object, that object's hardness is halved, and any living being you pass through gains 3 negative levels (which cannot be regained by fortitude saves; they must be removed by magic).
    • Swarm: You may, at will, as a swift action, create 2d4+1 swarms of a spiders, bats, rats, locusts, centipedes, scorpions, or any other similar swarm that the DM sees fit to include in this list, anywhere within 5ft/character level. Created swarms are nonmagical and cannot be dispelled; they were created from energy stored within Shadow Magic, and then changed to become a part of this world. All creatures created within the swarm are inherently loyal to you; not even magical compulsion can wrest control of them from you. Even swarms you did not create will obey any order you give; however, you cannot command them while they are under the magical control of someone else. In addition, as a full-round action, you may merge yourself with any swarms within 50ft, becoming a part of them. While within the swarm, you can cast spells, activate items that you had on your person, and so on as if you were still solid; however, you may not be targeted as an individual unless each swarm you merged with is destroyed. If they are, you too die.
    • Shapechanger: You may change forms at will; you gain the ability to use Polymorph at will as a swift action, but you may only affect yourself with the effect.
    • Form of madness: Your form is too horrible for the mortal mind to imagine; whenever a creature encounters you, it must make a will save (DC = 10+1/2character level+casting stat modifier) or be panicked for 3d4 rounds. On a successful save, the creature is merely frightened for 1d4+1 rounds.

    Powers from Beyond: At 27th level, the Shadow magic that composes your body has attuned itself to the form of power that you specialize most in, be it magic of the chord of epic spellcasting, or augmentations to your physical prowess. Choose one of the benefits below:
    • Martial prowess: You are constantly affected by a number of spells of third level or below whose total level does not exceed 9. These are treated as Ex abilities.
    • Spellcasting Mastery: Select one spell of 7th level or lower from any spell list. You may cast that spell at will as a standard action as a spell-like ability. You may circumvent any material components of the spell, but not any XP components of the spell. In addition, at the start of each day, select two spells of fourth level or below. You may case these spells at will as a swift action for the day.
    • Epic Seed:
      You gain the power to, at will as a full-round action, cast a Shadow Magic spell with a base Spellcraft DC of 40 using only the seed you selected as your first seed. You need not roll to succeed in the check, and you may not apply any mitigating factors to the spell. In addition, you gain one of the special abilities below, depending on which seed you chose:
      Animate Dead: You may cast Plague of Undead and Create Greater Undead at will as supernatural abilities.
      Afflict: You gain an aura with a radius of 10ft/casting stat modifier that causes all enemy creatures within the radius to suffer a -6 penalty to all attack rolls, damage rolls, skill checks, and saving throws.
      Compel: You may use Mass Suggestion at will as a supernatural ability.
      Delude: You are surrounded by a constant Mirage Arcana of your making at all times, out to a duration of 10ft/casting stat modifier. You may change the illusion at will as a free action. Creatures don't get a saving throw to disbelieve the effect unless they would take actual damage from the illusion; in which case, if they fail a saving throw (DC = 20+casting stat modifier) they take damage as if the illusion was real.
      Destroy: You can use Disintegrate at will as an attack action.
      Dispel: The area around you is treated as an Antimagic Zone for all enemy casters unless they succeed on a will saving throw (DC = 10+1/2 character level+casting stat modifier).
      Energy: Energy spells and effects you create ignore energy resistance and deal 3/4 damage to any creature immune to the energy type; you gain an immolating aura that deals damage equal to your character level to all enemies within 10ft/casting stat modifier of you at the start of each of your turns.
      Heal: You may use Harm at will as an attack action.
      Slay: Creatures with HD less than 3/4 your caster level die when they approach within 100ft of you.


    Completion: You are now complete. You have achieved mastery over Shadow Magic energies, and are now truly a disciple of Shadow, gaining powers that mock the supreme beings of this multiverse. You gain a divine rank of 1, with a portfolio and domains of your choice. However, you do not gain a salient diving ability with your rank; instead, you gain the Malefic properties Anathemic Secrecy and one other of your choice (Elder Evils, page 14). You also may gain a sign (Elder Evils, page 7) if you so choose.

    Immortality: Twilight
    You are now the true child of shadow magic. You are an immortal being, free from the meddling of gods and free to wreak havoc amongst the planes. But you have literally all the time in the multiverse and more to accomplish your goal; not to mention, hurrying your efforts may result in defeat for you and your master, and possibly your imprisonment or, worse, the destruction of Shadow Magic. Thus, you content your time to wait and scheme for the end times, when you and your brethren shall come down upon the multiverse and end it, creating the final end of the multiverse. Until then... there is no more need to involve yourself in mortal affairs. So why bother?
    Last edited by Fable Wright; 2011-05-31 at 05:44 AM.
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