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    Orc in the Playground

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    Jul 2014

    Default Re: GiTP Prestige Class Contest XLVII: Rebirth


    Finally, I am what I was truly meant to be. Forget whatever you remember about the old me. From now on, this is all that I am.
    - Jerniah, upon completing his rebirth.

    Reborn characters desire desperately to become something they are not. They've glimpsed what life can be like in a new body and long to have their perfect self. By striking a deal with an immensely powerful entity, the character sacrifices their current body and mind in exchange for a new set, reforged from the ether. The path is certainly not for everyone, but those who choose to walk down it rarely, if ever, look back with regret.

    Just about anyone can become reborn. Due to the specific requirements for entry, it almost necessitates either access to powerful magic oneself or making allies with those who wield such powers. Besides this, skill-based classes make light of the Knowledge requirements.

    Skills: 13 ranks in any one of the following Knowledge skills: arcana, the planes, or religion.
    Special: Must have experienced a permanent change in form. This can be accomplished by means of certain spells (like polymorph any object or reincarnate), through the use of grafts, or through certain acquired templates or class features that grant new body parts, such as wings or claws.

    Class Skills
    At each level, the reborn character chooses one of her existing classes to serve as the clas skill list for the purposes of skill point allocation for that level.
    Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + int

    Hit Dice: d8

    Level Base Attack
    Evasion, pact of rebirth, pounce
    Advance class features, skill mastery, sublime grace
    Adapted defense, advance class features

    Weapon Proficiencies: Reborn characters gain no weapon proficiencies by virtue of this class.
    Pact of Rebirth: A creature seeking rebirth makes a pact with some powerful, perhaps unknowable outside entity or force of the universe, such as a deity, demon lord, archangel, etc, as appropriate to the corresponding Knowledge skill used to qualify for this class. This pact stipulates that in exchange for the very essence of her being, slowly collected through advancement in this class, this entity will eventually create a new body, and perhaps even elements of the mind and soul, for the character to inhabit. In terms of game mechanics, the character to be reborn decreases each of her ability scores by 2 points at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th levels in this class. This is not ability damage or drain, nor is it a penalty applied to the score; the base score is actually reduced, in exactly the opposite manner it would be increased if selected for the normal ability score improvement gained by all characters on every fourth level. Ability scores cannot be reduced to below 1 in this manner (or 3, in the case of Intelligence); however, for each point below this minimum the score would be reduced by the pact, the character suffers an additional -1 penalty on the associated ability check and all skill checks based on that ability score. Though this ability reduction severely weakens the reborn by her fourth level, her abilities are restored (and then some) in the rebirth (see below).
    Evasion (Ex): As her body and mind first begin to falter, the reborn begins to (out of necessity) master the art of survival. She gains evasion at 1st level, as the monk class feature. If she already possesses evasion, she gains Improved Evasion (also as the monk class feature). If she has Improved Evasion already, this has no effect.
    Pounce (Ex): At 1st level, the reborn learns to make the most of her failing strength. She can now make a full attack at the end of a charge.
    Advance Class Features: At 2nd level and again at 4th, the character on the path to rebirth successfully makes up enough study to advance an effective level in her previous class. Each time this ability is gained, the reborn can select one class to which she belonged prior to gaining levels in this prestige class. She gains an effective level in that class; she uses the HD, skill points, and saving throw increases from the reborn class, but gains class features and improvement upon existing features as if she gained a level in the other class. She is considered one level higher in that class as well; for instance, a rogue 12/fighter3/reborn2 who advances her rogue level would be treated as a 13th level rogue for the purposes of her improved uncanny dodge ability, and would gain an additional sneak attack die and a special ability of her choosing.
    Skill Mastery (Ex): At 2nd level, the character seeking to be reborn begins to internalize her training, relying more on instinct and muscle memory to perform complicated tasks than knowledge of such tasks. She may take 10, even while under stress or otherwise not normally able to do so, with a number of skills equal to the character's Intelligence modifier (not including any magical enhancements or temporary bonuses). If her Intelligence modifier ever increases, she may select an additional skill to master in this way. A reduction of Intelligence never leads to unlearning a skill mastery.
    Sublime Grace (Ex): Also at 2nd level, the reborn gains a bonus on all saving throws equal to her Charisma modifier (if positive). This effect does not stack with any other ability that provides a Charisma-based bonus to saving throws, including a paladin's divine grace class feature or the unearthly grace racial ability of the nymph.
    Mettle (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, the reborn learns to rely on a previously untapped inner reserve of power to resist harmful effects. If she makes a successful Will or Fortitude save against an attack that normally would have a lesser effect on a successful save (such as any spell with a saving throw entry of Will half or Fortitude partial), she instead completely negates the effect. An unconscious or sleeping character does not gain the benefit of mettle.
    Adapted Defense (Ex or Su): By 4th level, a character seeking rebirth has sacrificed much of herself toward this end. She is a fragile creature, and so has adapted to survive in unusual ways. The character may select any one ability score other than Dexterity, and add it to their AC in the following manner:
    Strength: The character heaves the weight of her armor around by virtue of her bulk, making more efficient use of armor. Any armor bonus to AC is increased by an amount equal to the character's Strength bonus.
    Constitution: The character relies on an inborn durability to protect herself from the worst attacks. Her natural armor bonus (0, if not listed) improves by an amount equal to her Constitution score.
    Intelligence: The character has learned that by carefully observing the enemy and making quick, almost subconscious calculations on the fly, many attacks can be accurately predicted and avoided. She gains an insight bonus to AC equal to her Intelligence modifier.
    Wisdom: The character relies on her instincts, detecting subtle changes in her environment and reacting as if possessing a sixth sense for danger. When wearing light armor or no armor, and when carrying no more than a medium load, she may add her Wisdom modifier to her AC, in the same way a Monk does. This bonus to AC applies even against touch attacks and when flat-footed, but not when immobilized or helpless.
    Charisma: The character has discovered there is something in her very soul that discourages attackers from landing solid hits, or following through with the full force of the blade. She gains a deflection bonus to AC equal to her Charisma modifier. This is a supernatural ability; all other AC bonuses are extraordinary.
    These bonuses actively correspond to the tied ability score, increasing and decreasing as they do. Likely, this feature will not serve the reborn well immediately, but will come in quite handy after the rebirth.
    Rebirth (Su): Upon gaining the fifth and final level in this class, the character is reborn in a supernatural process that takes 1 hour to complete and must occur in solitude. If this process cannot be completed upon gaining fifth level, all other level-dependent benefits accumulate as normal, and the rebirth occurs at the next available opportunity.
    The rebirth has two primary effects. The first is that the character's body is restored; each ability score improves by 4d4 points. Like the reduction, this is not a bonus of any kind, and is a natural adjustment to the scores.
    Spoiler: Variant
    If you desire that the player have more direct control in the rebirth process, you can opt to instead grant him or her 50 points to distribute into ability scores. The first 10 points of improvement to a given score each cost 1 point apiece; from 11-20, each ability score increase costs 2 points; and beyond 20 points to a single score, three points must be spent for each point of ability increase.
    The second, more profound effect is that the reborn character chooses a new form. The fine details of her appearance remain the same, so she is recognizable to close friends and family, but the nature of her physiology changes dramatically. She may select one of the following creature types for her new form. She gains the traits appropriate to that type, but not the type features (as described in the Monster Manual glossary). Each type also grants additional abilities, as described below.
    Aberration: The character's appearance grows bizarre in some subtle way - chitinous skin, bulging eyes, a coating of slime, etc. She also gains a retractable tentacle, located somewhere of her choice on the body, which can be used to attack for 1d4 damage (1d3 for a Small reborn and 1d6 for a Large), and which has a reach 5ft greater than the character's normal reach. She also gains Improved Grab (Ex) with regards to this tentacle - see the Monster Manual glossary for details. Finally, she gains the Madness (Ex) special quality - anyone targeting the reborn character with a telepathy, mind control, or thought detection ability makes direct contact with an alien mind and suffers 1d4 points of Wisdom damage.
    Construct: The character is remade as a living construct, gaining also the subtype of the same name. She appears crafted of fine metals and stone, wrought in exquisite detail. She also gains DR 10/adamantine, and a slam attack which deals 1d6 damage (1d4 Small, 1d8 Large).
    Dragon: The character is covered in scales, and she possesses a small tail (too weak to be used in combat). She also gains a Breath Weapon (Su) of her choice from among the following: cone of acid, cone of cold, line of lightning, cone of fire. Cones are 30ft long and the line is 60ft long, and the breath weapon deals 1d6 damage for every two HD of the reborn (or half on a successful Reflex save against DC 10 + 1/2HD + Constitution bonus). This breath weapon is useable once per day per point of Constitution modifier, and the reborn must wait 1d4 rounds between breathing. She also gains resistance 20 with regard to the chosen element, and gains the associated subtype (air=electric, earth=acid).
    Elemental: A character reborn as an elemental must choose either air, earth, fire, or water as a subtype, becoming an elemental of the appropriate type. She retains the same basic shape but her body is crafted wholly from the chosen element. She also gains the Vortex (Ex) ability: once per hour, the character can transform into a whirl of air, dirt and dust, fire, or water, and remain in that form for every 2 HD she has. In vortex form, an air or fire elemental can fly at its base land speed or fly speed (whichever is faster), an earth elemental can move at its land speed, and a water elemental can move on land or swim at either its base land speed or its swim speed, whichever is faster. Movement in vortex form does not provoke attacks of opportunity, even if moving into another creature's space. Creatures one size category or smaller than the reborn elemental must succeed on a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2HD + Strength bonus) or be picked up and held suspended in the powerful currents, automatically taking 1d6 damage each round (1d4 for a small elemental, 2d6 for a large, and 2d8 if huge or larger). An affected creature is allowed a Reflex save each round to escape the vortex; if successful, they take damage as normal but leave the vortex. Creatures trapped within the vortex cannot move except to go where the reborn carries them or to escape the whirlwind; they may otherwise act normally, but must make a Concentration check (DC 10 + spell level) to cast spells, and suffer a -4 penalty to Dexterity and a -2 penalty to attack rolls. The elemental can eject any carried creatures she wishes, depositing them on the ground below. Vortexes of earth, fire, or water obscure all visoin, including darkvision, beyond 5ft. Creatures 5ft away have concealment and those farther away have total concealment. In vortex form, the character does not threaten her surrounding area and cannot make any attacks or cast spells.
    Fey: The character's skin sparkles faintly, the colors in her eyes shift like passing clouds, and she appears of very short stature for her size category. She gains DR 10/cold iron, and three spell-like abilities, each useable at will, which can be selected from any spell on the sorcerer/wizard or druid lists that is an enchantment or illusion and of 2nd level or lower.
    Giant: The character assumes a hefty form and gruff countenance. Her size increases by one size category, and she gains Rock Throwing (Ex) and Rock Catching (Ex), as the abilities described in the Monster Manual. In addition, she gains a slam attack, which deals 1d8 damage (1d6 for a Medium reborn giant, 2d6 for a Huge one.)
    Humanoid: A character reborn as a humanoid must select a humanoid-specific subtype (dwarf, elf, goblinoid, human, orc, reptilian, etc.) Her appearance changes to match the specific subtype chosen, as appropriate, and allows her to be treated as a specific race for purposes of any items, effects, and requirements which are baesd upon race. Beyond the ability score increases granted by the rebirth itself, being reborn as a humanoid grants the character a +4 improvement to a single ability score, +2 to to ability scores, or +1 to four ability scores. It also provides the character with two bonus feats, which can be any feat for which the character qualifies.
    Magical Beast: The character looks somewhat bestial. She gains a light coat of fur, and her rear legs lengthen and the knee joints reverse. She can, at her option, walk bipedally or choose to walk quadripedally; if she walks on all four limbs, her carrying capacity is increased appropriately for being a quadruped. She also gains a bite attack and two claw attacks, which deal 1d6 and 1d8 damage respectively (assuming a Medium creature). She also gains the Improved Critical feat for both of these natural weapons.
    Monstrous Humanoid: The character becomes slightly more monstrous in some significant aspect, gaining feline eyes and whiskers, small (nonfunctional) horns, vestigial wings, or some other such feature. She gains two bonus feats, which can be selected from among any feats the reborn qualifies for. However, by meditating for 1 minute at the beginning of each day, she may change the selection of these bonus feats. She must always qualify for the selected bonus feat and cannot use a feat that she will be removing to qualify for a newly selected feat.
    Ooze: The character retains the same approximate form, but is made of a single contiguous mass of monochromatic jelly. Unlike most oozes, she is not mindless, however she is blind. Luckily, her new body serves as a primitive sensory organ, granting her Blindsense (Ex) to a range of 30ft. In addition, she gains Split (Ex): Slashing and piercing weapons deal no damage to the reborn ooze, instead splitting her into two identical copies of herself with half the original's current hit points (rounding down). A split ooze with 10 hit points or less cannot be further split and dies if reduced to 0 hit points.
    Outsider: The character's appearance changes in a hard-to-describe way, making her appear somehow more stately and imposing. Additionally, her form reflects her alignment: good characters may have golden hair and small feathered wings, evil characters may sprout horns and thick red hide, lawful characters become more symmetrical and even in form, and chaotic characters may appear to have the parts from several different creatures or some ever-shifting form. All reborn outsiders must select whether to possess the native subtype or the extraplanar subtype; if extraplanar is selected, the character must designate a non-Material plane as her new home plane. She may also choose to possess any alignment subtypes that match one of her alignment components; a lawful neutral reborn outsider could select the lawful subtype, but not chaotic, good, or evil. Additionally, the character gains five spell-like abilities. These may be selected from among all sorcerer/wizard and cleric spells of 4th level or lower. A spell of 0 or 1st-level is useable at will; 2nd- and 3rd-level spells are useable 3/day; and 4th-level spells are useable only 1/day.
    Plant: The character's skin either turns green or grows thick and woody, and her overall appearance becomes more sinewy and flowing. A reborn plant character gains DR 10/slashing and Photosynthesis (Ex), which allows the reborn to go an entire day without food as long as she gets at least 1 hour of direct sunlight exposure of 4 hours of indirect exposure.
    Undead: The character's flesh appears pale and sickly, and slowly decays as time goes on. Her eyes appear sunken, with receded gums and sparse (if any) hair. A character reborn as an undead creature gains turn resistance +5 and Unholy Toughness (Ex), gaining bonus hit points equal to her HD times her Charisma modifier.
    In addition, a character of any type may select up to two elemental subtypes, with the following caveat: A character cannot possess both the earth and air subtypes, and fire can be paired with neither water nor cold. She may also select either the psionic subtype or the incarnum subtype, if desired, gaining 1 power point or 1 essentia, respectively, if no pool currently exists of the appropriate points. Finally, she may choose to select the swarm subtype; if this subtype is selected, the additional benefits for each type described above are not gained. The reborn's appearance changes to a swarm of winged humanoids (with bird wings if good, fly wings if neutral, and bat wings if evil). She is treated as a swarm of Tiny creatures of the appropriate type, with the Hivemind (Ex) ability, allowing for the swarm to function with a single intellect and remain undispersed below zero hit points, instead following the rules for a single creature while suffering a negative hit point total.

    At the heart of the reborn class is the desire to permanently change the very nature of one's being. These characters may have been unhappy for one reason or another in the past, but typically show a steadfast determinism once the pact has been made, knowing that once the rebirth is complete, they will truly feel at peace with themselves. From a combat perspective, the character will mostly serve the same role it did before taking levels in this class, though it may struggle to perform at the same level until after it completes the class, at which point it should excel in its desired field.
    Combat: As mentioned above, this class does not offer much in the way of new combat options. With the pounce ability at 1st level and a full base attack bonus, this certainly serves single-attribute-dependent martial characters more than it does casters or multiple-attribute-dependent characters such as monks and paladins.
    Advancement: The primary avenue of customization for a reborn character comes from the class' capstone, and the type and subtypes chosen at that point (as well as ability score point distribution is using the provided variant).
    Resources: In the later levels of this prestige class, the various abilities gained will be dearly required for basic survival. A fourth level reborn is dependent on her friends and allies for support, though even with the hefty ability reduction, should be able to hold her own in short battles.

    I wonder what kind of power you'd have to have to even be able to re-create your self like that. Are these pacts with gods or devils? Or is this the working of deranged men?
    - Oexerus, archmage and recluse

    Known by few and understood by even fewer, the process of rebirth - and by extension, its practitioners - is considered anything from strange and exotic to reckless and dangerous. Rarely do the reborn profess themselves as such, as they (ironically, perhaps) identify themselves more with their previous classes. In fact, the common nomenclature for such characters refers only tangentially to their reborn nature - a human fighter 15/reborn 5 would be referred to as an Reborn Fighter, rather than a Fighter/Reborn, and without reference (usually) to their new type.

    Daily Life: Characters with a few levels in the class may find their days much as they were before, if perhaps a bit harder in some regards. But a completely reborn character views every day as a blessing, a new opportunity to explore their new form and bring themselves to bear on the world around them. It can, perhaps, be overbearing at time for those in the reborn's immediate vicinity.
    Notables: Few, if any, kings, conquerors, or heroes are well-known to have been reborn. However, many reborn say it is likely that the greatest figures of legends accomplished their feats post-rebirth - they argue that the odds of getting exactly the right soul in exactly the right body at the right time and place are so slim, that surely some divine (or quasi-divine) intervention played a part in their success.
    Organizations: Rare as they are, the seekers of rebirth don't often congregate, and when they do, in no numbers so large as to merit naming the group. However, with their focus on self-improvement and -attunement, many gravitate toward monastic orders, though often only the most 'fringe' of these will accept the reborn. This is true of the openly-reborn; those who are not may simply join the orders appropriate to their previous classes - fighters', thieves', or mages' guilds, knightly orders, and so forth.

    NPC Reaction
    I've heard about these 'rebirthers', or what-you-call-it. Seem like a bunch of weirdos to me. Disrespectful to their parents, to their communities. It ain't right.
    -Kleitus, wheat farmer
    I think it's noble, what they're doing. You have to be true to yourself. If you know what you want, what you need, and you go for it - well, there's no more righteous goal than that.
    -Saebira, daughter of a deposed duke

    A character undertaking the path to rebirth generally does so as an aside; while an all-consuming reality for the reborn, it often has little to no bearing on her general interactions with the public. Among friends and family, however, the decision is often fraught with controversy - can such a great sacrifice truly be worth it in the end? Of course, the reborn would argue it is, especially having learned so much about themselves through the struggle. Few people in the world have walked the path of rebirth, and for many, it seems a strange and dangerous choice.

    Having a character with levels in this prestige class in the party will most definitely upset the usual balance of power, and is best suited for experienced players who are not afraid to roleplay, possibly extensively, and even in combat. In a campaign that begins at level 20 or above, or which uses an early-entry-modified version of this class and begins above its minimum completion level, the possibility for an unusual creature type in the party will be the biggest wildcard. It is recommended, as always, that any player wishing to play reborn discusses these issues with the DM beforehand and gets his or her approval.
    Adaptation: In an already-low-powered campaign setting, consider reducing the pact's ability reductions to -1 per level instead of -2, reducing the increases gained from Rebirth to 2d4 (or 25 points, using the variant). Additionally, you could tie the 'powerful entity' with whom the pact is made to a specific figure, creature, or even location, as appropriate for the setting.
    Encounters: Reborn NPCs are relatively unlikely, as with most rare prestige classes. However, those encountered are likely to be either the pinnacle of some organization, the second in command, or a reclusive shut-in who has focused on gaining power. They could be powerful allies or dangerous foes, or simply require the PCs' assistance to achieve some objective (at which point their rebirth will begin).

    Sample Encounter
    After destroying myriad monsters thrown their way by the corrupt warlord, a group of plucky-and-then-some adventurers finally penetrate his defenses and make their way to the general's war room. They bust down the door, prepare for a fight to the death, but what they find is a whirling vortex of flame. Stunned into stillness for a moment, a crackling voice bellows out from the inferno. "I've been expecting you."
    EL 17: The reborn fire elemental warlord

    General Dradias Flint
    LE Male Human Fighter 17/Reborn 5
    Init +6, Senses: Darkvision 60ft; Listen +1, Spot +1,
    Languages Common, Giant
    AC 28, touch 11, flat-footed 27 (+1 Dex, +18 armor, +9 shield)
    hp179 (20HD)
    Fort +17, Ref +11, Will +10
    Immunities elemental immunities, immunity to fire
    Vulnerabilities vulnerability to cold
    Speed 20ft. (4 squares) (base 30ft)
    Melee +2 flaming burst longsword +29/+24/+19/+14 melee (1d8+9 plus 1d6 fire/17-20/x2 plus 1d10 fire)
    Base Atk +20, Grp +25
    Atk Options Great cleave, improved bull rush, improved overrun, improve sunder, pounce, power attack, vortex
    Combat Gear +5 full plate, +5 tower shield, +2 flaming burst longsword
    Abilities Str 20, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 12
    SQ Adapted defense (strength), darkvision 60ft, elemental traits, evasion, mettle, skill mastery (climb, intimidate, and swim), sublime grace
    Feats Blind-Fight, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Great Cleave, Greater Weapon Focus (longsword), Greater Weapon Specialization (longsword), Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (longsword), Improved Initiative, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder, Leadership, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack
    Skills Climb 28, Handle Animal 9, Intimidate 24, Knowledge (religion) 18, Jump 28, Swim 28
    Possessions Combat gear only; all other possessions in safe
    Last edited by ezkajii; 2014-09-18 at 12:57 AM.
    Behold! The Monster Compendium

    My Homebrew.

    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.
    Mine started with the intrepid heroes whisked away to a battle gauntlet in the sky by a mystery deity! It was meant to be strictly a playtest but quickly devolved.