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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Death and the Past or the Mind and the Future (2 ToB PrCs)

    After the fall of the Temple of Nine Swords, much martial lore and many techniques were forgotten. Some say that some obscure disciplines which were known only to a few of the masters may have been completely lost.

    A group of swordsages reacted to this loss of knowledge. However, they disagreed on both techniques and ultimate goals. Some of them turned to the powers of necromancy to regain the lost martial skills of the dead while others used the powers of the mind to preserve the knowledge that still existed for future generations. Thus were born The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preservers of Future Blades.


    The Seekers of Lost Swords are a loosely affiliated group of necromancer-warriors who dedicate their power primarily to recovering lost martial power. The Preservers of Future Blades in contrast uses psionics to spread martial knowledge and preserve it for future generations. The two disagree with their methods and precise goals but most of them see eye-to-eye enough that members are more likely to consider themselves friendly rivals than anything else. Some of them even understand that their skills are complementary.

    Seeker of Lost Swords

    I contain within my soul the knowledge and skill of hundreds of masters who came before me. How can I not help but triumph? - Talmagat, a Seeker of Lost Swords before a duel with an Ebon Phoenix Mage

    BECOMING A SEEKER OF LOST SWORDS

    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

    Skills: Martial lore 8 ranks, knowledge(history) 5 ranks. 8 ranks in either knowledge(religion) or knowledge(arcana).
    Feats: Spell Focus(necromancy)
    Maneuvers: Able to use one martial maneuver from The Narrow Bridge that is of at least second level. Knowledge of martial maneuvers from at least three different disciplines.
    Spells: Able to cast a 2nd level necromancy spell
    Special: Must train with a Seeker of Lost Swords and then must consume a special special alchemical mixture from the ashes of a corpse of someone able to use martial maneuvers. The alchemical components aside from the corpse itself cost 100 gp and takes three days to prepare. The corpse must be of at least small size. No more than one dose of such potion may be made from a corpse no matter how large the original corpse.

    Class Skills
    The Seeker of Lost Swords's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Hide(Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge(arcana) (Int), Knowledge(history) (Int), Knowledge(religion) (Int), Martial Lore(Int), Sense Motive(Wis) Spellcraft (Int).

    Skills Points at Each Level: 2 + int

    Hit Dice: d6

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spellcasting

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Necromantic Penetration, Learn What the Dead Knew, Lesser Martial-Necromantic Synergy|-

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Death's Quickness,Forensic Expertise| +1 of existing casting class

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Recover that Which Has Been Lost, Martial Channeling 1/day|+1 of existing casting class

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Martial Knowledge+2, Bonus Feat|+1 of existing casting class

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Necromantic Insight|+1 of existing casting class

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Martial Channeling 2/day, Take Knowledge from Those Who Have Not Yet Died|+1 of existing casting class

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Steal Spell Knowledge|+1 of existing casting class

    8th|
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Necrotic Channeling, Martial Knowledge+4|+1 of existing casting class

    9th|
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Martial-Necromantic Synergy,Martial Channeling 3/day|+1 of existing casting class

    10th|
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |True Enlightenment,Gift to Those Yet To Be|-[/table]

    Maneuvers: A Seeker of Lost Swords may take maneuvers from Diamond Mind, Narrow Bridge, Setting Sun and Shadow Hand, disciplines. Levels in Seeker of Lost Swords count full for calculating your initiator level.

    {table="head"]Level|Maneuvers Known|Maneuvers Readied|Stances Known
    1st|
    0
    |
    0
    |
    1

    2nd|
    1
    |
    0
    |
    0

    3rd|
    0
    |
    0
    |
    0

    4th|
    1
    |
    0
    |
    0

    5th|
    0
    |
    1
    |
    0

    6th|
    1
    |
    0
    |
    0

    7th|
    0
    |
    0
    |
    0

    8th|
    1
    |
    0
    |
    1

    9th|
    0
    |
    0
    |
    0

    10th|
    1
    |
    1
    |
    0
    [/table]

    Weapon Proficiencies: A Seeker of Lost Swords gains no proficiencies with any weapon, shield or armor.

    Spells: At every level but 1st and 10th, when a new level of Seeker of Lost Swords is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. This essentially means that she adds the level of Seeker of Lost Swords to the level of some other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly. If the character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a Seeker of Lost Swords, the player must decide to which class to add each Seeker of Lost Swords level for the purposes of determining spells per day and spells known.

    Necromantic Penetration (su)At 1st level, whenever you complete a successful martial strike against a target you may choose to use this ability. If you use this ability, the target's SR against necromancy spells and effects you originate is reduced by your class level for a number of rounds equal to your initiator level. When you use this ability you must specify that you are doing so against that target. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack, they only reset the duration. This ability stacks with any other ability that reduces spell resistance.

    Learn What the Dead Knew (su):At 1st level , whenever you touch a corpse you gain an instinctive impression of whether the being had any martial prowess. You learn if it was capable of using maneuvers. You get to make martial lore checks to recognize every maneuver it knew just as if you had witnessed it performing them in life. You also get a +2 bonus on the check if it had the maneuver readied any point in the 24 hours before its death this becomes a +4 bonus if it had the maneuver readied or active at the time of its death. This takes a standard action, and there is no retry for recognizing maneuvers this way. For all purposes, this is a supernatural necromantic effect of 3rd level with effective caster level equal to your initiator level. This may only be used on beings who have been dead no more than weeks equal to your wisdom modifier (min 1). At 3rd level this may extend out to 1 month per your wisdom modifier (min 1) and at 5th level months becomes years. At 7th level years becomes decades and at 9th level decades become centuries.

    Lesser Martial Necromantic Synergy(ex) At first level, you begin to glimpse some of the deep relations between necromancy and martial combat. Whenever you are in a martial stance you add the level of the stance for any concentration check related to either successfully casting a necromancy spell or casting a necromancy spell defensively.

    Death's Quickness (su): At 2nd level, whenever in any Narrow Bridge stance you may sacrifice a spell slot or prepared spell of at least 2nd level to switch to another Narrow Bridge stance as a free action rather than the usual swift action. Once a day you may use this ability as an immediate action when it is not your turn. Also, you may when in any martial stance sacrifice a 2nd level spell slot or prepared spell to switch to a Narrow Bride stance.

    Forensic Expertise (ex): At 2nd level, familiarity with martial ability and death gives you the ability to tell whether a being died violently. If you see a corpse that is less than 1 week old and reasonably well-preserved you can spend 1 minute examining it. If you do, you will know if the being died from combat and if so from what. This ability allows you notice very subtle signs even those that would not be obvious to the untrained eye (such as if they were killed by say a Phantom Killer or a Finger of Death). If they were killed by an obscure effect you may need to make some form of check to idenity it in detail beyond the broad nature of how it killed them. For spells you may make a spellcraft check to recognize the spell as if you had just witnessed it to determine what spell killed them. If they were killed by a martial maneuver you may make a Martial Lore check to determine what maneuver killed them. Similar checks apply to other effects (thus for example a psicraft check would be used to recognize how someone was killed by a psionic power). Failure on such checks does not prevent one from determining the broad cause of death (thus, one would still for example be able to see that someone was killed by magical fire even if one couldn't tell that it was a fireball).

    Martial Channeling (ex): You have learned to channel necromantic energy to further push the limits of your martial abilities. At 3rd level, you may once a day sacrifice a prepared necromancy spell or a spell slot capable of being used for a necromancy spell to initiate a maneuver you know that is either expended, not readied or not granted. The maneuver must of level no higher than the level of the spell sacrificed. This ability can be used any number of times daily.

    Additionally, you may instead channel martial power to substitute for necromancy spells. When you use this ability you expend a readied maneuver to cast a necromancy spell. If you use spell slots then this does not consume the normal spell slot. If you use prepared spells then you must have a copy of the spell prepared but the prepared copy is not consumed. The maneuver expended must be of level strictly larger than the level of the spell. You can use this ability once daily at 3rd level, twice daily at 6th and 3 times daily at 9th level.

    Recover that Which Has Been Lost(su): At 3rd level, you learn how to perform a powerful necromantic ritual which takes martial knowledge from the dead. This ritual takes 1 hour and requires special incense worth 250 gp, and a corpse of a martial adept. The ritual must must be performed at night during which you burn the corpse with a mix of the incense and chant for one hour. If the process is interrupted at any point you must make a DC 20 concentration check or the ritual fails with the corpse still being destroyed. Each subsequent interruption increases the DC of this check by 1.

    At the end of the ritual, you immediately gain full knowledge of which maneuvers were known to the dead being as if had used Learn What the Dead Knew ability and had succeeded on all the martial lore checks. For each maneuver they knew you make a martial lore check with DC equal to the recognition DC that you would normally need to use Learn What the Dead Knew. Of the maneuvers that you succeed on this check, you may select one. This maneuver must be of level no higher than the highest level maneuver you can use -2. (At 6th level this becomes no higher than the highest level you can use -1 and at 10th level may be up to the highest level you can use.) You pay 1000 xp per level of this maneuver and gain it as an additional maneuver known in all martial classes you have.

    You must sometime in the future set aside 8 hours for training and meditating with the new maneuver, during which time you must make a skill check in the skill associated with the discipline the maneuver is from (DC 10 + the maneuver level), to be able to gain the maneuver. You may repeat this process any number of times until you gain the maneuver.

    If you do gain the maneuver you also gain the associated class skill as a Seeker of Lost Sword's class skill, and are treated as having the maneuver's discipline as a valid discipline for any martial class or PRC that you can gain maneuvers in.

    Maneuvers gained using Recover that Which Has Been Lost cannot be replaced by any form of retraining ability.

    Good or neutral Seekers of Lost Swords are likely to attempt to commune with the spirit of the corpse in question before using this ability, or if that is not an option, to gain permission from the next of kin before performing the ritual. Evil Seekers may go out of their way to use this ability on fallen enemies.


    Martial Knowledge (ex) At 4th level, your extensive study of past martial masters gives you a +2 bonus to all Martial Lore checks and all Knowledge(History) checks. At 8th level this becomes a +4 bonus.

    Bonus Feat: At 4th level, a Seeker of Lost Swords may gain as a bonus feat, Martial Necromancy(see below), Martial Study or any feat that requires a Narrow Bridge maneuver.

    Necromantic Insight(su) You can sense the remnants of very faint necromantic auras. Whenever you touch a corpse you know instinctively if the corpse was ever animated or turned into an undead or deathless being.. This ability also tell you if the apparent corpse touched is actually an undead or deathless playing dead (by not moving).

    Take Knowledge from Those Who Have Not Yet Died(su): At 6th level, you gain a special strike that allows you to rip away martial knowledge of stances from targets even as they are still alive. This strike is not from any discipline. This strike takes a standard action to initiate. When you use this strike the foe must make a will save (DC 17 + wisdom modifier). If they fail the save, they immediately lose whatever stance they are in, cannot take that stance for 2d6 rounds and you may assume that stance as a free action lasting the whole 2d6 rounds (even if you would not normally meet the prerequisites for the stance). If you use this ability, this additional stance does not count against your maximum number of stances you may be in. If you strike the killing blow on them within the 2d6 rounds (including with the same hit as that which took the stance) then you may instead assume the stance for up to 24 hours

    If the target fails its will save but is not currently in a martial stance it instead for 1 round/initiator level treats its Base Attack Bonus as 4 lower than it is. They are for that time treated as having a BAB that is 4 lower than it is, for all purposes (but cannot reduce BAB below zero). This effects iterative attacks, to hit bonus and access to feats or class features which specifically require a certain BAB. This does not effect access to a PrC even if that PrC would normally require a feat that you now cannot use (Essentially, you still have the feats, you just can't use them temporarily).


    Multiple uses of this strike do not stack. Repeated use simply removes whatever prior stance was gained from this strike if you choose to use the new stance. This strike is a 7th level strike for all purposes.



    Steal Spell Knowledge(su): Your skill at gaining martial knowledge has extended to gaining other forms of power as well.

    At 7th level, you gain a special strike that allows you to take knowledge of spells. This strike takes a standard action to initiate. You make a melee attack. Your target must make a will save (DC 15 + your wisdom modifier ) or lose 1d6 randomly prepared spells lost from each spellcasting class that prepares spells. If they have spellcasting classes which use spell-slots they lose the same number of spell-slots from their highest level spells. You become aware of what prepared spells were lost that are on any of your spell casting class lists that are of a level that you can cast (Dread Necromancers using this ability treat all sor/wiz and all cleric necromancy spells as on the class list). If any of the spells are of a level you can cast you may pick one and store it. You may cast the prepared copy just as if you had a prepared copy. Spells stolen in this form fade after rounds equal to your 1/2th your initiator level + primary spellcasting ability modifier(if you have multiple spellcasting classes you must decide which to assign the stolen spell). You cast the spell as if it were with being cast by you using that class. Thus, you use your primary ability modifier and caster stats. Thus, for example, stealing a divine spell makes it effectively an arcane spell if you are casting using an arcane casting class and the reverse if you try to cast an arcane spell from a divine class. For all purposes, this is a 5th level strike.

    Necrotic Channeling(su):You can channel arcane energy into your blade causing wounds to fester with undeath. At 8th level, when you use a martial strike, you may sacrifice a spell slot or prepared spell. If you do, the strike deals extra d6 damage die equal to the spell level or the maneuver level, whichever is lower. The target must make a fortitude equal to 10 + the spell level sacrificed + your wisdom modifier. On a failed save, half this additional damage becomes vile damage as undead flesh forms in the wound. If you use this ability together with The Flesh Crawls maneuver (from Narrow Bridge) then all the undead flesh becomes animated as per how that maneuver normally operates.

    Martial-Necromantic Synergy(su): You have learned to substitute necromantic power for martial flexibility and vice-versa. At 9th level, you may when making your morning preparations you may chose one of the following options:

    1) Reduce your maximum number of maneuvers you may have readied by 1. If you do so, you may pick one spell casting class you have and add for that day an extra spell slot of level one less than the highest level you have in that class. This slot can only be used for necromancy spells.

    2) You may remove a spell slot of the highest level you can cast in a class. If you do so, you may increase the number of maneuvers you may have readied by 1, but this extra maneuver readied must be from The Narrow Bridge.

    You may only choose one of these on any given day. Once chosen, this choice lasts for 24 hours.

    Additionally, while in any martial stance you get an insight bonus on all spellcraft checks related to necromancy spells and effects equal to half your class level.


    Gift to Those Yet To Be(su): Although many say that the Seekers of Lost Swords look only to the past this is not completely the case. They understand that even masters of necromancy and martial arts such as themselves will one day grow old and feeble. Thus, they developed this power to ensure that the knowledge they recovered would not be lost forever.

    At 10th level, you gain the ability to sacrifice yourself in a burst of necromantic magic to permanently pass on some of your martial prowess to another individual. This process takes 1 full minute and a willing participant whom you are touching throughout the process. At the end of the process, you die and the maneuver selected by you at the beginning of the process becomes known to the participant. The maneuver is known to them as an extra maneuver for any martial class they have. Moreover, they are treated as having gone through the training necessary to learn maneuvers from that class just as if they had paid the usual 1000 xp cost and trained with you. They also gain a +1 necromantic bonus to all martial lore checks.

    The maneuver cannot be used until they know at least one other maneuver of that level and meet the normal prerequisites for that maneuver. It otherwise remains locked in their minds.

    The target also automatically gains sufficient experience to gain a level and put them halfway to their next level. This additional level must be taken in either swordsage or warblade. The powerful necromantic magic used in this process permanently severs your soul from the material plane, leaving it impossible for you to be resurrected by any means short of divine intervention.

    You may engage in a 10 minute ritual with a willing target that causes this ability to trigger automatically when you die of old age. The target then gains the benefits regardless of distance (or whether they are on the same plane), and the process does not take the normal 1 minute. You may not have more than one such person designated. Designating an individual this way automatically removes any prior dedications. You may as a standard action change what maneuver is granted by this ability to your designated target. Neither the 10 minute ritual nor the standard action use of this ability may be forced to occur by any form of magical compulsion.

    True Enlightenment(ex): At 10th level you have gained true understanding of the awesome and mysterious connections between necromancy and martial skill. Your initiator level and caster level become one and the same. No class level may add more than +1 to this level, but any level that adds to caster or initiator level may add to this level. Any bonus to caster or initiator level may be added to this level, but any bonus that affects both may only be added once. You may use this level for any effect that relies on caster level or initiator level. This does not grant you additional spells or maneuvers known.

    Playing A Seeker of Lost Swords

    Seekers vary greatly in their attitudes and approaches. Some Seekers are dark warriors who have turned to necromantic powers to suit their own ends. Other seekers are those who seek to recover lost knowledge, valuing knowledge above all else. Some seekers use the power for good, seeking only more strength to fight evil, and, at the last, to pass on a gift to some other worthy champion of righteousness.

    Combat: You are weaker in combat than a straight spell-caster and you will likely be unable to deliver as much heavy damage as a simple martial adept. However, what you lack in heavy damage you make up in flexibility. You can use almost any maneuver you know if you are willing to burn a spell slot. And your power and flexibility only increases with each martial adept you defeat.

    Advancement: You are likely going to start out with a lot of necromantic power. However, you need to be more durable than the regular spellcaster. If you are an arcane spell-caster you may want to consider some abilities which reduce your arcane spell-failure chance. You will likely adventure to find lost tomes of martial lore or to find the bodies of fallen martial adepts. While other mages might become ecstatic at finding the tomb of a fallen wizard, you will be more likely to seek out that of a great warrior, hoping to plunder from the body the warrior's true secrets.

    Resources: The Seekers have no particular shared resources. A Seeker might belong to a regular guild of mages or necromancers or possibly belong to some military group.

    Seekers of Lost Swords in the world
    "The guy looked like some sort of weakling wizard. I was all ready for him to use his nefarious magics on me but he just drew a sword and the next thing I knew I was bleeding in four places." Tindarsin, a dwarven fighter commenting on his encounter with a Seeker of Lost Swords.

    Daily Life: Many Seekers are mercenaries or adventurers. Their abilities do not fit well with a sedentary life. A normal mage can spend years in his tower studying magic but if a Seeker wishes to improve he must go out and search for dead or dying adepts.

    Notables: Talmagat is a crusader-Seeker who has traveled widely to defeat evil and improve his martial skills. He is willing to use the corpses of evil adepts without any hesitation but he is careful to seek permission from others. He has been known to show up when an old martial adept lays dying, to seek their permission to use their corpse so that their martial power is not lost. He seems to be supernaturally gifted at finding out when their death is near and some speculate that he uses divination magic to find dying adepts.

    Benota Tan is a young but very powerful Jade Phoenix Mage. She has recently become interested in using the Seeker's powers to recover martial knowledge from some of her old bodies. Since she remembers where multiple of these bodies are, this could potentially give her great power. So far, her attempts to convince the other Jade Phoenix Mages that this is a worthwhile task have not succeeded. They have dismissed her ideas as not useful (in so far as Jade Phoenix Mages rarely have long-lifespans anyways) and regard them as possibly too dangerous given the inherent temptations involved in using such necromancy.

    Temeth is by all accounts an evil swordsage who spends most of his time tracking down martial adepts who he thinks he can get away with killing, challenging them to duels, and then desecrating their corpses to plunder their martial secrets.

    Ran Targat is a half-elf swordsage wizard. He is possibly the most skilled Seeker alive and he is known for his great knowledge of magic as well as his knowledge of martial lore. He cares little for morality, taking a studied pragmatism and dedication to the pursuit of knowledge above all else. He is however aging, and is looking for someone to pass on his greatest secrets to.

    Organizations: While the Seekers of Lost Swords are at least nominally affiliated with each other in so far as they are all dedicated to recovering martial knowledge, many of them grow secretive about the knowledge they have. It does not take much for a Seeker to realize that the people with the most incentive to kill a Seeker of Lost Swords are other Seekers who can then steal martial skills from the defeated Seeker although in practice a Seeker who kills many other Seekers may find other Seekers banding together to track them down.

    NPC Reaction
    While the Seekers are not a hidden organization, few know about them. Most people who encounter a Seeker are likely to treat them as they would treat anyone else with apparent skill in both combat and magic. If you use your more necromancy based abilities or some of the more unpleasant abilities from The Narrow Bridge, they are unlikely to react positively. And of course, most civilized people are not fond of burial desecration or grave robbing.

    Seekers of Lost Swords in the game

    The Seeker will in most circumstances not play very differently than any other gish using martial maneuvers. However, they are more unpredictable since they have access to many different maneuvers. Thus, DM's may have trouble predicting exactly what they expect a Seeker to do. A Seeker can if they really need to, use almost any maneuver they know. Also, if a party faces a martial adept with obscure or cool maneuvers, you are practically giving the Seeker extra fun if the Seeker manages to get access to the corpse. If a Seeker is likely to get extra maneuvers from an encounter, it may make sense to reduce the amount of treasure that is found that corresponds to Seeker accordingly. However, this treasure reduction should not be severe since the Seeker still needs to pay xp to gain new maneuvers. In general, this is similar to a wizard to gaining access to spellbooks which have obscure or unusual spells except that the Seeker must pay additional xp to have access to the equivalent benefits.

    Adaptation: Seekers could be adapted to instead of using necromancy to more directly commune with the spirits of warriors past, possibly then becoming a hybrid incarnum/martial class as a result. Another option is to keep the emphasis on necromancy but have it be used to summon the spirits of the dead who then give maneuvers to the Seeker. This could be used to make the Seeker more morally acceptable if they ask permission or more potentially evil if a given Seeker summons spirits unwillingly. Alternatively, one could completely remove the aspect related to death and allow them to learn new maneuvers from martial scripts. This might require reflavoring or complete replacement of some of the class abilities (such as that which allows one to steal spells and that which allows one to gain information from corpses).


    New feats:

    Martial-Necromancy
    You have learned how to channel some of your martial skill into undead you create.
    Prerequisites: Able to use a 2nd level martial maneuver, able to use some method to create undead, animate undead, or to give intelligence to unintelligent undead. Martial Lore 5 ranks, Knowledge(religion) 2 ranks.
    Benefit: Whenever you use any ability that creates undead or gives existing unintelligent undead intelligence (such as the Awaken Undead spell), you may choose to give the undead a copy of the Martial Study feat. If you do, you decide what maneuver to assign, which must be a maneuver which you know. Note that generally unintelligent undead can only use maneuvers if they are given explicit instructions to do so.
    Last edited by JoshuaZ; 2013-01-19 at 11:08 AM. Reason: typos