When the wolves of the forest howl, it is as though a thousand mouths cry out in pain.
For some, spellcasting is not about fancy duels, earth-shattering meteors or illusory cities. Nor is it about swords and sorcery, or divine intervention, or an invisible means of support.
For some, it is about summoning the animals of the earth, armed to the teeth and claws with great and terrible magics, even constructed of the very spells that are their genesis. These crazed guardians of nature are the Feragenitors.
Many assume that Feragenitors are specialised druids, but this is not always true. Many clerics, sorcerers and even wizards follow the path, and paladin, ranger and even assassin feragenitors have not been unheard of.
BECOMING A FERAGENITOR
Feragenitors are not following any kind of destiny, nor do they plan their path for years. On the other hand, they do not suddenly have their fates thrust upon them, nor suffer from the sudden inspiration which strikes some others - it strikes them only as foolish. Instead, they see the potential of this ability, and seek to learn it.
Spellcasting: Must be capable of casting third-level spells (or manifesting third-level powers, or speaking third-level utterances of the Lexicon of the Evolving Mind, see variants)
Skills: Spellcraft 9 ranks. An arcane spellcaster must have Knowledge (Arcana) 9 ranks, a divine caster who receives spells from a deity, such as a paladin or cleric, requires Knowledge (Religion) 9 ranks, and a divine caster who receives spells from elsewhere, such as a druid or ranger, must have Knowledge (Nature) 9 ranks.
Special: Must have a Constitution score of at least 16.
At each level, the Feragenitor chooses one class he has already taken levels in and uses that class's class skill list when determining which skills are treated as class skills for that level. In addition, the Feragenitor always has the Handle Animal, Knowledge (Arcana, Nature and Religion) and Spellcraft skills as class skills.
Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + int
Hit Dice: d12
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spellcasting 1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Feral Spell LV/CR 1 2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Feral Spell Lv/CR 2 +1 level of existing spellcasting class 3rd +1 +3 +1 +3 Class Ability, Extra feral spell +1 4th +2 +4 +1 +4 Feral Spell Lv/CR 3 +1 level of existing spellcasting class 5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Extra feral spell +2 6th +3 +5 +2 +5 Feral Spell Lv/CR 4 +1 level of existing spellcasting class 7th +4 +5 +2 +5 Extra Feral spell +3 8th +4 +6 +2 +6 Feral Spell Lv/CR 5 +1 level of existing spellcasting class 9th +5 +6 +3 +6 Extra Feral spell +4 10th +5 +7 +3 +7 Feral Spell Lv/CR 6 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
Weapon Proficiencies: Feragenitors gain no proficiency with any weapons or armour.
Spellcasting: At every second level, the Feragenitor chooses a single class with which he can cast third-level spells and advances that class's casting abilities, but not any features of that class, as though the Feragenitor had gained a level in that class.
Feral Spell: Feragenitors are capable of turning a spell into a creature which represents that spell, and in some sense is that spell.
To do this, the Feragenitor need not sacrifice a spell slot. Instead, they choose a single spell that they know or have prepared, even if they have already cast that spell, and sacrifice a number of hit points depending on that spell's level:
Spell Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th Required Feragenitor level 1st 2nd 4th 6th 8th 10th Cost 1 3 6 10 15 21
Note that it is impossible to make cantrips, or spells of seventh level or higher into Feral Spells. The former would be unable to sustain their own magical energy and implode, while the latter would be unstable, and probably end in the creature self-immolating or disintegrating, or some other suitably horrific end. The exception is that cantrips which are on your spell list, and also on another class's spell list as first-level spells, can be cast as first-level feral spells. It is for due to these limits that bards, paladins and others with sub-optimal spellcasting often become Feragenitors.
Once this is done, a Feragenitor chooses what type of animal the spell will take the form of. Again, this has an associated hit point cost. The Feragenitor may choose any creature with the Animal, Magical Beast, Vermin or Dragon type for this purpose.
CR Required level Cost <1/4 1st 0 1/4 1st 1 1/2 1st 2 1 1st 3 2 2nd 4 3 4th 6 4 6th 9 5 8th 13 6 10th 18
That creature will then appear in any location within close range (25 ft + 5 ft/2 levels), and lasts for ten minutes before disappearing. This is a conjuration (Creation) effect, and if someone casts Detect Magic or a similar spell, the animal reads as being such, as well as the school of the spell used in its creation. The animal need not be commanded as such, it automatically performs whatever actions you wish, and even if you are unconscious it fights to the best of its ability.
The creature also has a special effect, determined by the spell used in its creation. None of these spells require any components save for a somatic component. Each of the spell descriptions below, listed in alphabetical order, explains what happens to the created animal.
Some spells have simple effects when made feral, and will be listed either as "Fulcrum," "Clawspell," or "Subject." "Fulcrum" means that the creature becomes the centre of the spell in question, and the spell moves with it. It is immune to the spell's effects. "Clawspell" means that those who are hit by the creature's natural weapons are subject to the spell's effects. "Subject" means that the creature is the subject of the spell's effects, which last until the creature's destruction regardless of the normal duration.
In any case, the DC of the spell's effect is based on your ability score and the spell's level. Metamagic can be applied normally, though it increases the cost to cast the spell. However, the Feral Spell's casting time is always a standard action, regardless of the spell's actual casting time.
If you die or fall unconscious, all feral spells made by you enter Temporal Stasis, as the spell, until such a time as you are conscious again. However, their durations still elapse as normal, possibly causing them to disappear. At first level, you may only have a single feral spell at once.
List of feral spells.
Spells which aren't listed, but are of one of the correct levels, should have an effect determined by the DM. Players should check with their DMs when using such spells as feral spells.
Extra Feral spell: At third level, and every second level thereafter, the feragenitor can have an extra feral spell at a time. However, you may only have one instance of Feral Imbue With Spell Ability at once, no matter your level.
PLAYING A FERAGENITOR
Feragenitors are suboptimal spellcasters in the conventional sense, but their Feral Spells can be used as long as the feragenitor is healthy enough to do so, and usually allow the feragenitor to do many of the same things.
Combat: In combat, a feragenitor's animals' natural weapons are capable of dealing heavy damage to foes, and their damage potential can easily be augmented with evocation spells. However, the creatures can also bear other types of spell to allow them to control the combat.
Advancement: The feragenitor's advancement depends largely on which spells are available. Feragenitors who use bard spells will focus on illusions and enchantments, while those with paladin spells will try to use their animals to protect others. The Feragenitor will usually advance in such a way as to join or augment the animals in their task. Bard feragenitors tend to improve their performances, as they can create certain creatures capable of benefiting from their Bardic Performances.
Resources: The feragenitor is relatively easy to qualify for, and many different classes are capable of doing so, with different results:
Bards are a good choice for a feragenitor, due to having exactly as many spell levels as the feragenitor can use (Though due to the feragenitor's spellcasting progression and Feral Spell progression, sixth-level spells can't be used as feral spells until epic levels.) Also, their bardic music will often be able to affect their creations.
Clerics have access to a wide variety of spells for restoring or adding to their creatures' health, or even making them immune to certain conditions. A CR 6 dragon with 150 extra hit points is one tough customer, but might it be more powerful if it were instead immune to some of the most hindering conditions?
Druids might seem to lend themselves to the class, but as they already have an animal companion, they don't need more animals running around. That said, some lackluster druid spells have interesting effects when made feral, and there is something to be said in favour of a few shrubs suddenly turning into five dragons and an angry druid.
Paladins seem an odd choice, but they sometimes get spells which are normally high-level at a lower level, allowing them to spend less of their health. Further, they have the high hit dice necessary to supply such hit points anyway. They cannot reach tenth feragenitor level until epic levels, but given that they have only fourth-level spells in any case, they hardly need the last level. The paladin's combat abilities also compensate for the low spellcasting potential afforded by a feragenitor.
Rangers have similar benefits to paladins, and their ability to use archery efficiently from behind a wall of wolves lends itself to the feragenitor.
Sorcerers and wizards make good feragentors for the same reason they are good casters in the first place - they have a wide range of spells doing all sorts of different things to their animals. Wizard feragenitors who combine effects to increase their spell's saves can end up with fearsome Feral Phantasmal Killers.
FERAGENITORS IN THE WORLD
Forgive me, lieutenant, but in my experience wolves cannot fire missiles from their mouths, nor do bears turn entire cliff faces to mud at their touch. These are not normal ani... sir, look out! Sergeant Hallethor, called "The Unrelenting."
When people think of magically-created animals, most would think of the animal companions of the druid or ranger, or maybe a druid in wild shape. A few might give credit to a paladin's special mount. The creatures of the feragenitors are often assumed to be one of these things, but when they are recognised, feragenitors are often viewed with suspicion and no small amount of fear.
Daily Life: Feragenitors spend a lot of their time leading fairly casual lives, as giving up part of your life energy to create a semi-real creature is a strenuous activity, and the feragenitor must rest to restore this energy. Feragenitors often enjoy taking walks in the woods, but are often quite sociable people.
When people get used to the idea of a feragenitor, they are treated with greater respect, as the utility of their creations cannot be denied - sending animals to defend areas, act as messengers or potentially halt entire armies long enough to send reinforcements is just the start of the feragenitor's value to a town.
Notables: Castor Daedalus is a paladin and the guardian of Windhold, a small town in the woods. The town has no need for a town watch or even vigilantes, as even the threat of crime will be met with a pack of wolves surrounding the would-be criminal and bandits are usually met with bears who are seemingly immortal; a truly terrifying experience.
Arya Krystal is a strange druid who spends all her time in the forest, and generally takes no notice of much else. Those who enter the woods often find friendly animals, or Arya herself, guiding them across, though those with ill intent often find themselves coming down with a severe case of dragon. In any case, Arya usually keeps to herself, and though it is rumoured that she has a lover in hiding with her, he or she has never been seen.
Lorn Harrell is a sorcerer and a feragenitor, and uses his animals to spy in secret upon the good people of the world, as well as to steal items and to sow disorder amongst the people. His love of nature first led him to a quiet disdain for society, which has now grown to something deeper, and one day he would see every town and city razed to the ground.
Organizations: Feragenitors have no organisations per se, though they often join forces with others of their calibre, and join organisations of whatever they might have been before they became one - while some wizardly and sorcerous organisations might turn away feragenitors, druids and rangers approve of the feragenitor's choice and paladins accept the choice as necessary for the protection of the realm, while bards congratulate them for following their naturalistic muse and clerics of nature, healing or animal gods celebrate their attempt to get closer to their god.
Feragenitors, with their array of animals, are often mistaken for druids or rangers - though some, of course, are - but when people find out their true nature, feragenitors are often found frightening, suspect or dangerous, but just as often considered intriguing, useful and even noble.
FERAGENITORS IN THE GAME
Feragenitors generally balance out a lot of the spellcasting classes - paladins have a lot more options than they might, while wizards find themselves at a loss for ninth-level spells. When feragenitors fight druids, rangers, conjurers or each other, they can quite often find themselves in a small proxy war as their summoned or feral creations fight, but in general the feragenitor arrives on the battlefield with the animals.
Adaptation: With third level powers and knowledge (Psionics) 9 ranks, consider a psionic feragenitor. With Truespeak 9 ranks and third-level utterances from the Lexicon of the Evolving Mind, a truespeak-based feragenitor could also be possible - the Lexicon of the Evolving Mind largely consists of Subject or Clawspell utterances, while the Lexicon of the Perfected Map would work well with most of its utterances using the animal as the fulcrum. The Lexicon of the Crafted Tool contains only ten utterances, making it easy to adapt.
Encounters: Those who visit Windhold with criminal intent will inevitably find themselves in conflict with Castor Daedalus, though those who come in peace may be able to converse with him normally.
Those who go near enough Arya Krystal are bound to encounter her. Often she will guide the heroes through the woods, though if they wish damage to the forest she will repel or slay them alongside her animals, using magic to disguise them as trees or such.
Lorn Harrell periodically uses animals to attack people indirectly, and those who encounter him personally usually have a surprisingly civil interaction. He does not trouble those who live outside cities unless he has cause to do so, and enterprising adventurers might "Let slip" a few weaknesses of an evil city that they would rather didn't exist, and wait for Lorn to do their work for them. On the other hand, earning Lorn's ire often earns conflicts with Feral Nightmares and similar.