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Thread: PrC Contest XXIV: Good Will Towards Men!

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: PrC Contest XXIV: Good Will Towards Men!

    REDEEMER OF REGRETS

    "You've seen what bitter rewards you stand to reap. Let me give you another chance."

    It is a rare and fortunate individual who dies with no regrets. For those who die regretting their failures but unable to redeem themselves, the afterlife is without hope - a gray waste, a formless limbo, or worse yet, a feast of endless wickedness prepared for a soul that once was and holding no savor for the one who comes to be served. Then, too, even those without sin die wondering if they could have done more, if there only could have been one last opportunity.

    The redeemer of regrets returns the woeful dead briefly to the world, granting them the second chance they desire. The deeds carried out by souls in her service are carried with them just as their deeds in life are, giving those who regret their decisions in life the chance to atone for them in the physical world. In return, the redeemer gains the service of protectors and allies for whom death holds no fear and no mysteries, dedicated to helping her in the cause of good.

    Becoming a Redeemer of Regrets
    Every redeemer of regrets, by necessity, has the ability to animate the dead as zombies or skeletons, even if they do not use that ability before becoming a redeemer. Good-aligned clerics with the Death domain frequently become redeemers, although few other clerics do. Dread necromancers who attain a good alignment are also strongly drawn to this class.

    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Alignment: Any good
    Skills: Knowledge (religion) 8 ranks, Sense Motive 4 ranks
    Special: Must be able to either cast animate dead as a spell or use animate dead as a spell-like ability

    Class Skills
    The Class Name's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Spot (Wis).
    Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + int

    Hit Dice: d6

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells per Day

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Silver Redemption, speak with dead|-

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Crystal Redemption|+1 existing class level

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Opal Redemption|+1 existing class level

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Malachite Redemption|+1 existing class level

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Golden Redemption|+1 existing class level

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Diamond Redemption|+1 existing class level

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Garnet Redemption|+1 existing class level

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Topaz Redemption|+1 existing class level

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Platinum Redemption|+1 existing class level

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Marble Redemption|+1 existing class level[/table]

    Weapon Proficiencies: A redeemer of regrets does not gain any additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

    Silver Redemption: The redeemer of regrets learns to animate the dead through the partial reunion of the soul with the body, rather than puppeteering corpses by means of negative energy. When the redeemer of regrets prepares or casts animate dead or uses it as a spell-like ability, she may choose to treat it as a spell with the (good) descriptor rather than the evil descriptor. Doing this changes the spell's effects in ways that become more dramatic as the character advances.
    The initial changes are subtle but profound. When the redeemer of regrets casts or uses animate dead with the (good) descriptor, the zombies or skeletons created by the spell are of the deathless type (detailed in Book of Exalted Deeds) rather than the undead type. In addition, they are not mindless, and are treated as having an intelligence of 10 or average intelligence for the species of the corpse in life, whichever is lower. The deathless's memories of life are hazy, but sufficient to retain identity and personality. While this gives the deathless the ability to understand and carry out complex directions, it does not change the feats or skills available to skeletons or zombies created in this way (but see Golden Redemption below.)
    If the redeemer of regrets has any class features (but not feats) that specifically alter her abilities to create undead with animate dead or control undead created by animate dead, she may treat those features as applying to deathless created by animate dead. If the character requires a valuable material component to cast animate dead, it is replaced with a quantity of pearls or diamonds with value equal to the value of components normally required for the spell.
    Perhaps the most important change is that a creature to be animated as a deathless with animate dead may choose not to heed the call, just as a creature to be returned to life by other spells may. In general, it may be assumed that creatures with no strong reason to refuse the redeemer of regrets' service will accept animation. Animating creatures which were opposed to the redeemer of regrets in life but did not have a personal vendetta and were not wronged by her in life (such as soldiers from an opposing army or animals which were slain by the redeemer's party after attacking first) require a successful Knowledge (religion) check with a DC equal to (15 + the creature's HD) to be convinced to join the redeemer's service. Creatures with a strong personal grudge against the redeemer or her cause will normally not accept animation unless there is an overpowering common cause, which should be adjudicated on a case by case basis. If the reanimation fails, the spell's material components are not consumed. A deathless who no longer wishes to serve the redeemer of regrets may choose to instantly discorporate its material body and return to the afterlife, although usually they will speak to the redeemer of regrets about their concerns before abandoning her.
    A redeemer of regrets does not lose the ability to cast animate dead in its normal form. However, doing so is abhorrent to the forces that empower her, and a redeemer of regrets who voluntarily uses animate dead to create undead, or any spell that creates evil undead, loses the ability to cast it as a (good) spell and all associated abilities until an atonement is performed. At the discretion of the DM, a redeemer who joins the class with feats which exclusively apply to the creation of undead may replace those feats with other feats she could have chosen at the time that she learned them.

    Speak With Dead: A redeemer of regrets learns to better understand the fallen before reanimating them. If the redeemer of regrets is able to cast spells, speak with dead is added to her class list, spellbook, and/or spells known as applicable. If she is not a spellcaster, she gains the ability to use speak with dead twice per day as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to her hit dice.

    Crystal Redemption: As the redeemer of regrets grows, the spirits of the deathless in her service become purified and clarified, granting them strength and vitality. When the character creates deathless with animate dead or other spells or spell-like abilities, the deathless created gain a +4 sacred bonus to Strength and +2 hit points per hit die.

    Opal Redemption: The growing strength of the redeemer of regrets' convictions strengthens her deathless servants' bonds to the material world. Deathless created by the character gain +4 turn resistance.

    Malachite Redemption: The deathless know how rare a second chance is, and move swiftly to seize on theirs. Deathless created by the character gain +4 to initiative, and all their movement speeds increase by +10 feet.

    Golden Redemption: Thanks to the redeemer of regrets' growing experience in reuniting lost souls with their former bodies, the deathless she creates retain an increased portion of their memories of life. Creatures which had class levels in life may be reanimated with hit dice equal to their hit dice in life including class levels. Creatures which had above-average intelligence in life are reanimated with their full intelligence, and deathless created by the redeemer of regrets now gain feats and skills normally in accordance with their deathless HD. These feats and skills are normally chosen by the DM, and will tend to reflect the creature's abilities and proclivities in life. For example, former fighters might have Power Attack and its related feats, rangers might have two-weapon fighting or archery feats, while a wizard might have more esoteric feats such as Magical Training (Player's Guide to Faerun) or devotion feats (Complete Champion) which grant him magic-like abilities.

    Diamond Redemption: Having returned the deathless to the material world, the redeemer of regrets' strength helps keep them there long enough to see their redemption carried out. Deathless created by the character increase their natural armor bonus by +2.

    Garnet Redemption: At this level, the burning need for salvation that drives the redeemer's deathless servants becomes strong enough to manifest as a physical force. The melee attacks of any deathless created by the redeemer of regrets deal an extra 1d6 fire damage.

    Topaz Redemption: The deathless created by a redeemer of this power do not return quietly to the night when evil is at hand. When a deathless created by the character is destroyed, it may choose to explode in a burst of brilliant energy. All non-deathless creatures in this burst except for the redeemer of regrets that created the deathless take 1d6 points of sacred damage per 2 HD of the deathless creature. This damage may be halved with a successful Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 the deathless's HD + the deathless's Cha bonus).

    Platinum Redemption: At this point, the deathless created by the redeemer of regrets take on certain qualities of celestial creatures. Deathless created by the character gain DR, SR, and energy resistance equal to that granted a celestial creature of the same HD as the deathless creature.

    Marble Redemption: The final revelation achieved by the redeemer of regrets is not one of glory, but of humility. The character no longer requires material components to cast animate dead if it is cast to create deathless.


    Playing A Redeemer Of Regrets
    You have the opportunity to give the greatest gift imaginable: a second chance where none would otherwise be possible. While the deathless you create serve you loyally, they do so in the name of a higher cause, or at least their own redemption. Abusing their loyalty would be a betrayal of enormous scope. On the other hand, your troops do not fear death; they know that whatever fate it brings them will be better than it could have been for their actions in your service.
    Some of your deathless soldiers may have more specific regrets from life that they wish to see assuaged, especially as they remember more of their past selves at higher levels. When you have the opportunity between grand adventures, it behooves you to help them with these concerns. Not every regret is a matter of cosmic importance, but each one can gnaw at the soul.
    It may seem strange that you can call on the soul of a warrior your allies cut down in combat to join your cause. An important matter to remember is that most evil individuals are not devoted to evil as a moral cause, and only the most fiendish enjoy what awaits them in the Abyss or the Nine Hells. From the eternal perspective of the afterlife, the individual you address with your animate dead has had plenty of time to consider his life and the state of his soul, and if your Knowledge (religion) check is passed, it is presumed that you have correctly assessed him as having come to regret it. In the case of animals and creatures of animal intelligence, the matter is simpler; conflict and death are part of nature, and if the conflict was one the creature understands, it does not hold a grudge into death.
    Combat: The backbone of your strength as a redeemer of regrets is, of course, the deathless you have reanimated. As you grow in experience, they grow ever more powerful. Your soldiers' equipment is a matter to be considered; even humanoid deathless gain natural attacks when reanimated, but unlike mindless undead minions, the deathless are capable of making good use of quality equipment and complicated tactics. You also continue to advance your spellcasting as a redeemer of regrets, and can potentially combine your spellcasting with your troops to great effect. In addition to the usual buffs and healing, consider using Fortitude-targeting area spells such as stinking cloud to which the deathless are immune but enemies probably are not to give your deathless allies an enormous advantage.
    Advancement: As a spellcaster, it is probably in your best interest to focus on feats and advancement that complement your spellcasting. If you don't have it already, you could benefit immensely from adding consecrate to your spell list, possibly through the Celestial domain (Book of Exalted Deeds) or the Deathless domain (Eberron Campaign Setting). The Deathless domain in particular, although rare, offers a few spells which create different forms of deathless and thus benefit directly from your class abilities.

    Redeemers Of Regrets In The World
    It's creepy, all right, I won't deny that. Walking bones is walking bones, no matter how they're polished. Thing is, these bones talk, they laugh - a few of them tell dirty jokes like old soldiers. I guess if you've gotta be bones someday, there's worse ways to do it.
    - Mercenary serving alongside a redeemer of regrets.

    Let's face it - animated corpses are creepy. Deathless have some advantages in this regard; they tend to dry and stiffen rather than decomposing, thanks to the positive energy flowing through them, and your intelligent deathless have an alertness and vitality that is less unsettling than the blank shamble of undead skeletons and zombies. Despite all this, they are still walking corpses, and most people's first reactions will not be positive. Many people will not understand the difference between what you do and genuine necromancy; at best, they may perceive you as a "white necromancer" who does unsavory things in the name of good. Your best bet is to learn to accept that and show what you are through deeds - you have nothing to hide.
    Daily Life: Your daily life is much as it might be for any other adventurer in your class, modified by the concerns of your deathless followers and your general preoccupation with the concerns of the dead. In many ways, being a leader of deathless is like responsible for any other small group, requiring you to see to your men's concerns and keep them organized. On the other hand, with troops that don't eat, sleep, or fear death, many common logistical and morale concerns are severely mitigated.
    Notables: Redeemers of regrets tend to avoid the limelight thanks to the distrust many have for them. One exception is Balo the Second Chance, a halfling redeemer who lives in a great city fraught with crime. Balo uses his abilities to contact murder victims and gives them a chance to bring their killers to justice. Some of his "clients" return to the grave when their case is resolved; others remain to help protect other citizens from becoming victims as they did. As a result of his work, Balo has become something of a local celebrity.
    Organizations: There are few if any organizations specifically devoted to redeemers of regrets. However, many will find themselves affiliated with the churches of good or neutral gods that watch over the dead - psychopomps, shepherds of the dead, and comforters of the weary. Others, especially arcane redeemers of regrets, fall in with good-aligned military organizations, giving the most loyal soldiers a chance to serve their cause beyond the grave.

    NPC Reaction
    As previously mentioned, the uninformed will tend to mistake redeemers of regrets for necromancers and distrust or hate them. Those communities and organizations that understand the redeemer's nature, however, will often welcome redeemers both as guardians and as consolers of the bereaved. Evil communities tend not to get along very well with redeemers of regrets for fairly obvious reasons.

    Redeemers Of Regrets In The Game
    Like any character focused around the deployment of minions, the redeemer of regrets can be a potential logistical headache for campaigns that are unprepared for it. One thing that can be useful to prevent things from getting out of hand is for the redeemer to restrict herself to a relatively small number of elite followers. The Golden Redemption in particular facilitates this, allowing for a smaller number of capable, high-HD deathless without having to resort to giants and other huge beasts that fill up the battlefield. While the redeemer is herself primarily a spellcaster and fills any of the roles a spellcaster might, her deathless followers can fill a more physical role, serving as "tanks" or tactical assistance. They are nowhere near as powerful as living adventurers of their level, and can't replace a "real" fighter-type PC on the battlefield, but as tactical support, flankers, and other "fill-in" roles they can provide a great boost.
    Adaptation: In Eberron, redeemers of regrets can serve most obviously as followers of the Undying Court. Since they revere the deathless as semi-divine figures, the Undying Court's followers might treat the lesser deathless created by redeemers of regrets as a sort of inherently purifying and redemptive state that helps the soul improve. In the Forgotten Realms, they might find an unexpected home in the church of Ilmater, giving of themselves to ease the otherwise eternal suffering of the regretful dead.
    Encounters: One of the deathless followers of a redeemer of regrets committed a grievous wrong against a PC during his life. The redeemer approaches the PC to find out what, if anything, can be done to redress this crime.

    Spoiler
    Show
    This is my first entry in one of the PrC contests. Many of the class's abilities directly mirror the effects of the Corpsecrafter line of feats; the goal of the class is to allow a good-aligned character more or less equivalent to a genuine necromancer in his capabilities. While the deathless created by a redeemer of regrets are considerably more powerful than the skeletons and zombies of a normal necromancer, this is intended at least in part to compensate for the loss of other necromancer advantages: Create Undead, Awaken Undead, and Vile Death specifically, but there are a variety of support feats, spells, and items for necromancers that simply don't exist for deathless.
    Last edited by Benly; 2010-12-26 at 08:12 PM.