There's a fine line between love and loathe
Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Dellamorte

Dr. Dellamorte
NE Half-Elf Druid 5/Ranger 1/Blighter 7/Thrall of Orcus 7

What Makes a Man?
Spoiler
Show

You'd best mind your elders child, else we let old Dellamorte Dellamore have away with your soul!

Dr. Dellamorte wasn't always the dark figure that parents spook their children with and people speak about in hushed whispers, but he wasn't a saint, either. Sure, he had a hard life; abandoned as a child, called a freak and cast out of his home town as an adult. Sometimes adversity like that makes a man stronger. And sometimes ... something deep inside him breaks, and you wind up with a man like Dellamorte, forever bent on pain and death.

After his village cast him out, Dellamorte was taken in by a sect of druids who dedicated themselves to being the harbingers of nature's destructive power. Dellamorte excelled in his studies, and delighted in causing destruction upon those who, in his view, did not respect nature. He became a full-fledged druid, and set out to wander the natural places of the world and punish interlopers. For a time, this was all he needed to be happy. Then, while she was out for a ride in the countryside, he met Valentina, the daughter of the local Duke. True love blossomed, as it does, and the lovers would meet regularly in a secluded glade.

It wasn't long before the Duke became curious about where his daughter was spending much of her time, so he sent some of his men-at-arms to follow her with instructions to keep her safe. When the men-at-arms saw what she was up to, they attempted to intervene. Dellamorte was incensed, and slew one of them in his fury. The men-at-arms fought back, and during the scuffle Valentina threw herself in front of a crossbow bolt meant for Dellamorte. The druid drove them off, but was left with the cold, lifeless corpse of his love. Dellamorte sought the aid of his druid brethren, but they scorned him for his dalliances, and would do nothing to help restore Valentina to life. Having gone mad with grief at the loss of his love and further rejection of his brethren, Dellamorte sought the aid of a mad warlock, who was only able to reanimate Valentina as a zombie. But for the now unhinged Dellamorte, that was enough.

Dellamorte descended into madness and depravity, losing his connection to the natural world. He now understood that life and nature were not a perfect creation to be kept in balance - they were an abomination to be destroyed. This newfound understanding gave birth to fell powers within him, and he dedicated himself and his deeds to the fell prince of undeath himself, Orcus. Dellamorte hunted down the men-at-arms who slew Valentina and sacrificed them to Orcus, his zombie "bride" at his side the whole time. After that, it wasn't a difficult leap for Dellamorte to turn on his former brethren.

These days, Dellamorte can be found travelling from village to village, masquerading as a doctor to treat the ill and injured. He uses his cover to spread disease, death, and despair.


The Good Doctor
Spoiler
Show
Dr. Dellamorte
{table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

1st|Druid 1|
+0
|
+2
|
+0
|
+2
|(4+Int)Concentration 4, Heal 4, Listen 4, Spot 4, Survival 4|Evil Brand|Spellcasting, Animal Companion, Nature Sense, Wild Empathy

2nd|Druid 2|
+1
|
+3
|
+0
|
+3
|(4+Int)Concentration 5, Heal 5, Listen 5, Spot 5, Survival 5| |Woodland Stride

3rd|Druid 3|
+2
|
+3
|
+1
|
+3
|(4+Int)Concentration 6, Heal 6, Listen 6, Spot 6, Survival 6|Lichloved|Trackless Step

4th|Druid 4|
+3
|
+4
|
+1
|
+4
|(4+Int)Concentration 7, Heal 7, Listen 7, Spot 7, Survival 7| |Resist Nature's Lure

5th|Druid 5|
+3
|
+4
|
+1
|
+4
|(4+Int)Concentration 8, Heal 8, Knowledge(Religion) (1), Listen 8| |Wildshape (1/day)

6th|Ranger 1|
+4
|
+6
|
+3
|
+4
|(6+Int)Concentration 9, Heal 9, Knowledge(Arcana) (1), Knowledge(Religion) (2), Listen 9|Thrall to a Demon, Track(B)|1st Favored Enemy(Humanoid[Human]), Track, Wild Empathy

7th|Blighter 1|
+4
|
+8
|
+3
|
+6
|(4+Int)Concentration 10, Heal 10, Knowledge(Arcana) (2), Listen 10| |Spellcasting, Deforestation

8th|Thrall of Orcus 1|
+5
|
+10
|
+3
|
+8
|(2+Int)Concentration 11, Spot 9| |+1 level of existing spellcasting class, Carrion Stench

9th|Thrall of Orcus 2|
+6
|
+11
|
+3
|
+9
|(2+Int)Concentration 12, Spot 11|Willing Deformity|Touch of Fear

10th|Thrall of Orcus 3|
+7
|
+11
|
+4
|
+9
|(2+Int)Concentration 13, Spot 13| |Demon Wings

11th|Thrall of Orcus 4|
+8
|
+12
|
+4
|
+10
|(2+Int)Concentration 14, Listen (10.5), Spot 14| |+1 level of existing spellcasting class, Skeletal Visage

12th|Thrall of Orcus 5|
+9
|
+12
|
+4
|
+10
|(2+Int)Concentration 15, Listen (11), Spot 15|Corrupt Spell|Summon Minor Undead

13th|Thrall of Orcus 6|
+10
|
+13
|
+5
|
+11
|(2+Int)Concentration 16, Listen (11.5), Spot 16| |Pallor of Death

14th|Thrall of Orcus 7|
+11
|
+13
|
+5
|
+11
|(2+Int)Concentration 17, Listen (12), Spot 17| |+1 level of existing spellcasting class, Demon Wings (at will)

15th|Blighter 2|
+12
|
+14
|
+5
|
+12
|(4+Int)Concentration 18, Spot 18, Survival 10|Malign Spell Focus|Blightfire, Sustenance

16th|Blighter 3|
+13
|
+14
|
+6
|
+12
|(4+Int)Concentration 19, Listen 14, Spot 19, Survival 11| |Undead Wild Shape (1/day)

17th|Blighter 4|
+14
|
+15
|
+6
|
+13
|(4+Int)Concentration 20, Listen 16, Spot 20, Survival 12| |Speak With Dead Animal, Undead Wild Shape (2/day)

18th|Blighter 5|
+14
|
+15
|
+6
|
+13
|(4+Int)Concentration 21, Listen 18, Spot 21, Survival 13|Natural Spell|Contagious Touch 1/day, Undead Wild Shape (Large)

19th|Blighter 6|
+15
|
+16
|
+7
|
+14
|(4+Int)Concentration 22, Listen 20, Spot 22, Survival 14| |Animate Dead Animal, Undead Wild Shape (3/day)

20th|Blighter 7|
+16
|
+16
|
+7
|
+14
|(4+Int)Concentration 23, Listen 22, Spot 23, Survival 15| |Contagious Touch 2/day[/table]


Stats and Increases
Spoiler
Show

Starting Ability Scores:
Str - 10
Dex - 14
Con - 14
Int - 12
Wis - 16
Cha - 12

Final Ability Scores:
Str - 10
Dex - 16 (+2 Skeletal Visage)
Con - 14
Int - 12
Wis - 21 (+5 stat bumps)
Cha - 12


Spells per day
Spoiler
Show

Spells per day
{table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

1st|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

2nd|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

3rd|4|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

4th|5|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

5th|5|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

6th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

7th|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

8th|5|3|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

9th|5|3|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

10th|5|3|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

11th|5|3|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

12th|5|3|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

13th|5|3|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

14th|6|3|2|1|0|-|-|-|-|-

15th|6|3|3|2|1|0|-|-|-|-

16th|6|3|3|3|2|1|0|-|-|-

17th|6|4|3|3|3|2|1|0|-|-

18th|6|4|4|3|3|3|2|1|0|-

19th|6|5|4|4|4|4|3|2|1|0

20th|6|5|5|4|4|4|4|3|2|1[/table]


Methods To His Madness
Spoiler
Show

Level 5
Dr. Dellamorte has led an eventful life thus far, but is losing his grip on the forces of nature. He's lost his love, had her returned, in a fashion, and is starting to turn against his teachings. He operates as pretty much any other 5th level druid does. He's got some good spellcasting, an animal companion, and Wildshape to tackle combat. He also makes a reasonable scout.

Level 11
Life has taken quite a turn for the doctor, and he has now dedicated himself to destroying the living in the name of Orcus. He now operates as a scout and debuffer. His spells, Touch of Fear, and Carrion Stench all help to sap the strength of the opposition. He has flight, albeit limited, through Demon Wings. Skeletal Visage gives him a minor boost to Dex, as his form warps and shifts to more resemble his "love".

Level 16 "Sweet Spot"
The good doctor now has permanent flight, wild shape utility, battlefield control spells, minionmancy, and high DC save or lose tools added to his arsenal of destruction. Demon Wings provides flight regardless of form, which is handy given that any animal Dellamorte wildshapes into has the skeleton template applied to it. He is a potent debuffing force, can scout well, wade into combat as a skeletal bear with wings, and can summon or animate his own party. Sustenance removes the need for food and water, Blightfire gives him some fallback blasting utility, Summon Minor Undead means he's never alone for long, and Pallor of Death lets him take on an appearance that he hopes will be pleasing to his "love".

Level 20
The last few levels only serve to enhance Dr. Dellamorte. He gains even more potent spellcasting ability with 9th level Blighter spells, the ability to turn into large skeletal animals, a 1/day Animate Dead for animals that allows him to whip up cost-free bruisers, and Contagious Touch to spread disease among the living. Lastly, the doc tops out with a +16 BAB.


Usage of the Secret Ingredient
Spoiler
Show

So, the first question you may be asking is, why only 7 levels of the SI? To answer that, let's look at what Dr. Dellamorte would get with those last few levels:

Pros:
  • A low DC at-will Death Touch
  • A 1/week super minion summon
  • +1 Spellcasting level
  • +17 BAB


Cons:
  • Lose access to 9th level spells, and has fewer spells
  • Lose access to free Animate Dead for animals
  • Lose access to usable combat forms for Undead Wild Shape


The low DC Death Touch and +1BAB aren't that bad, but losing Summon Nightwing hurts. Thankfully, Dr. Dellamorte has an approximation of Death Touch (Contagious Touch), better spellcasting, and a free bruiser minion each day. I decided that it was better to stick to his theme rather than finish the SI for the sake of finishing it. He loses very little by making the jump at 7th level, and is stronger for it.


Sources
Spoiler
Show

Player's Handbook (Druid, Ranger, Natural Spell)
Book of Vile Darkness (Secret Ingredient, Corrupt Spell, Evil Brand, Lichloved, Malign Spell Focus, Thrall to a Demon, Willing Deformity)
Complete Divine (Blighter)