Do you feel safe, wrapped in your magical armor and protected by your magical cloak? Let me show you that what one man can make, another can unmake.
The Dwemer Defiler turns an opponentís magical items against them.
Becoming a Dwemer Defiler
Dwemer Defilers start as either spellthieves or artificers. In either case, they acquire an interest in quick and dirty sabotage of magical items as their opponents use them.
Special: Retain Essence class feature or Steal Spell class feature and 8 ranks in Use Magic Device
The Dwemer Defiler's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Disable Device (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Listen (Wis), Search (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skills Points at Each Level: 6 + int
Hit Dice: d6
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special 1st +0 +0 +2 +2 First Principles, Magical Misfire 2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Magical Misfire, Enchanterís Eye 3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Magical Misfire, Drain Staff 4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Magical Misfire, Bonus Feat 5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Magical Misfire, Continuing Education
The Dwemer Defiler gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies
First Principles (Ex): A Dwemer Defiler continues to practice the fundamentals which led him to quick and dirty tampering with magical items. At first level, the Dwemer Defiler can choose to progress either the Item Creation class feature (from the artificer) or the Steal Spell class feature (from the spellthief). This decision also decides whether he uses Intelligence (artificer) or Charisma (spellthief) to determine the save DCís and some other effects for his Dwemer Defiler class features. Apart from progressing either the ability to make more powerful items or the ability to steal and store more and better spells, the Dwemer Defiler does not progress any other class features from either artificer or spellthief.
Magical Misfire (Su): The signature abilities of the Dwemer Defiler are called Magical Misfires. They all interact with or sabotage somehow magical items used by their opponents. Some of the abilities offer a saving throw and some do not; in general copying does not offer a save but disabling or perverting an item does. Magical Misfires do not affect artifacts.
Each level, the Dwemer Defiler learns one Magical Misfire from the following list.
- Wondrous Mirror: The Dwemer Defiler may, as an immediate action, duplicate the effect of a Wondrous magic item which was just used within his line of sight by an opponent. He may choose a different target for the effect, and any random effects are randomized again for this copied use. For example, a Necklace of Fireballs would roll again for damage. Use of this ability does not offer a saving throw, but the resultant effects might. He may not duplicate a spell which has a higher spell level than his character level divided by two.
- Enhancement Enchantment: The Dwemer Defiler may, as a standard action, copy one enhancement bonus to an ability score which is being provided to an opponent within line of sight. He gains the same enhancement bonus to the same ability score for the rest of the encounter. At character level eight, he may choose to steal the effect rather than just copying it. This grants the target a Will save (DC 10+Int or Cha+class level); if the save is successful then the effect is not removed from the target but it is still copied to the Defiler. At character level ten, the Dwemer Defiler may apply the enhancement bonus to a different ability score than the original item provides to the original user. At character level fourteen, he may half the bonus provided to him by copying the effect but make it untyped, rather than an enhancement bonus. He may not apply more than one bonus from this ability to the same ability score.
- Flight of Fancy: Item-based flight is normally quite reliable, unless a Dwemer Defiler gets involved. As a standard action, he can sabotage an opponent who is flying using an item. If the opponent fails the will save (DC 10+Int or Cha+class level) then he moves erratically until he succeeds on the will save (check once at the start of each turn after the first) or the encounter is over. Moving erratically means that the DM rolls a d8 to determine direction (like a grenade-like missile) and rolls d100 to determine what percent of top speed the opponent moves at. If this random movement would cause him to stall, he stalls. Movement up and down is not possible as long as erratic movement continues. If the erratic movement moves the opponent into a solid object, movement ends there dealing no damage but with the possibility of falling depending on their maneuverability.
- Displaced Accuracy: Normally, magical items which blur your outline or cover you in smoke make you harder to hurt. If someone were to twist the protective enchantments, they can instead become a beacon that guides harm straight to you. As a standard action, the Dwemer Defiler can invert the protection of any one item that grants a miss chance which is being used by an opponent within line of sight. If the target fails the will save (DC 10+Cha or Int mod+class level), the miss chance instead becomes a hit chance: any attack which misses their AC has a % chance to hit them anyway equal to the % miss chance the item used to offer. This effect lasts for the rest of the encounter.
Protection Negation: Negative energy can pull the life right out of you. Some charms and wards can protect from this un-life, but if they are warped they can cause more harm than good. The Dwemer Defiler may, as a standard action, invert the negative energy protection provided to one of his opponents within line-of-sight by an item.
- Rod Reversal: The magic of a rod can have many different effects. This is because the process for enchanting a rod is a bit slapdash, so if you resonate the right thaumic waves at it andÖ ...and then it turns into a snake. As a standard action, the Dwemer Defiler can attempt to turn any rod carried or used by an opponent within line of sight into a viper. The target is allowed a will save (DC 10+Cha or Int mod+class level) to avoid the effect. The viper has a number of animal hit dice equal to the caster level of the rod, and it gains feats in the following order: Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat, Improved initiative, Weapon Focus (Bite), Ability Focus (Poison), Improved Natural Attack (Bite), Improved Natural Armor, Dodge, Improved Toughness. This viper is always tiny no matter how many hit dice it has, and the base Fort save for its poison is 10+half hit dice+Con modifier. Ability bonuses from hit dice advancement go towards Dexterity. It starts in the same square as the person who was carrying the rod and is hostile to him. If slain, it turns back into the rod it was made from, otherwise it turns back into a rod at the end of the encounter.
- Neck-less Necklace: Necklaces can bear a variety of different enchantments. This versatility also allows them to be turned against their wearer in a different way. As a standard action, the Dwemer Defiler can cause his opponentís magical necklace/amulet/etc to constrict. If the target fails a reflex save (DC 10 + Cha or Int mod + class level) then the amulet stops offering its normal magical bonus and begins dealing 2d6 damage per round to the wearer. The amulet can be removed with a strength check (DC 10 + Cha or Int mod) or an escape artist check (DC 10 + character level + Cha or Int mod). Attempting either of these checks is a standard action. Alternately, the amulet can be sundered as norma. Otherwise it stops constricting after a number of rounds equal to the Dwemer Defilerís class level plus Int or Cha modifier.
- Armor Acquisition: Magical armor is normally better than regular armor. Normally. As a swift action, the Dwemer Defiler may imbue his next successful weapon attack in that round with the ability to steal armor bonuses. His target must make a Fort save (DC 10 + Int or Cha mod + class level) or lose the effect of his Armor bonus to AC for the rest of the encounter. The Dwemer Defiler gains the armor bonus to his AC; this might overlap with the armor bonus from armor he is actually wearing. He gains no other effects from the armor: arcane spell failure, movement speed reduction, etc. This ability only works on magical armor, and it only works on creatures which are hostile to the Dwemer Defiler.
- Warp Weapon: Magical weapons throw magic all over the place. Normally this works to cause greater damage, but some Dwemer Defilers can catch this extra energy and use it for their own ends. As an immediate action, the Dwemer Defiler may copy the enhancement bonus of a weapon which was just used to attack him. This enhancement bonus then applies to any weapon attacks he makes for the rest of the encounter. This ability may only be used on weapons wielded by creatures hostile to him.
Enchanterís Eye (Su): The Dwemer Defiler has tuned their senses to the magical, and therefore can identify items with a mere glance. Usually. The Dwemer Defiler instantly identifies all magic items being used by all opponents within line of sight in an encounter.
Drain Staff (Su): The magical energy inherent in a staff can be turned to different ends. A third level Dwemer Defiler may, as a swift action, drain charges from a staff possessed by the next opponent they hit with a weapon attack in that round. The Defiler drains a number of charges equal to either his Intelligence or Charisma modifier, as determined by his First Principles class feature. He heals himself a number of hit points equal to five times the spell level of the highest level spell in the staff. This ability has no effect on Runestaffs, and offers no save. The ability targets the staff the opponent is holding, if they have staves on their person but are not holding them select the target at random.
Bonus Feat (Ex): Dwemer Defilers have a variety of different abilities. At level 4, the Dwemer Defiler may gain any one feat which he qualifies for. It is recommended but not required to be one of the new feats introduced with this class.
Continuing Education (Ex): Even though the Dwemer Defiler reaches the limits of how many Misfires he can master, his accumulated knowledge continues to grow. Save DCís for his Dwemer Defiler abilities are now calculated as 10+Int or Cha modifier + half character level.
Playing a Dwemer Defiler
Youíll continue to play like either an Artificer or a Spellthief, but you have additional options for fighting people who have magic items.
Combat: Try to strike a balance between debuffing and killing with your actions. A few powers are swift or immediate actions; it might be worth taking one of them just to get more options.
Advancement: Artificers probably want to go back to artificer. Spellthieves might go for a rogue/wizard PrC after getting some more casting, go back to spellthief, or do something else entirely. Crusader could be fun.
Resources: Dwemer Defilers donít have an established order to support them. Find an adventuring party.
Dwemer Defilers in the world
I thought having the biggest and best magic items meant I would win. And then he had to show up.
Daily Life: Dwemer Defilers are best in roles where they oppose people with magic items. They may be part of an elite police force, adventurers, assassins, or something else.
Notables: House Cannith, as might be expected, has a few Dwemer Defilers kicking around. Theyíre useful for research, as well as the occasional removal of an over-equipped hero or villain.
Organizations: The problem with organizing people who are good at fighting against magic items is that magic items are too expensive for general use, so this specialization isnít terribly helpful for, say, winning battles. Winning the special operations front, on the other handÖ.
Reactions range from disgust to fear. People count on their magic, and when it doesnít work as intended they have problems.
Dwemer Defiler in the game
Dwemer Defilers require you to know where the NPCís get their power, and to think about what magic items they have.
Adaptation: Dwemer Defilers might serve a god(dess) of magic in your world, or be random tinkerers who discovered clever tricks, or anything else. Theyíre not strongly tied to anything but being able to mess with magic.
Encounters: You will make PCís mad if you use a Dwemer Defiler. Humanoids with class levels and gear are the best targets for the Dwemer Defiler. So, use a pack of them and watch for flying books.
Intensive study can unlock additional misfires for the Dwemer Defiler.
Prerequisites: Magical Misfire class feature
Benefit: You learn an additional Magical Misfire.
Special: This feat may be taken more than once
Magical Misfires can be enacted very quickly if you know the secrets.
Prerequisites: Must know at least two Magical Misfires
Benefit: You may use a Magical Misfire as a swift action instead of as a standard action twice per encounter.
Chain of Misfires
Similar items can be twisted in similar ways, if you have the gumption for it.
Prerequisites: Must know at least three Magical Misfires
Benefit: Once per encounter, you may target a number of opponents up to your Intelligence or Charisma modifier with a magical misfire, rather than just one opponent.