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    Default The New Horned Harbinger (3.5 Prestige Class)

    The Horned Harbinger


    I always hated how the Horned Harbinger was so poorly written in Faiths and Pantheons. A class that is made for spellcasters that DOESN'T progress spell casting? I hopefully made it more useful with this update. Please tell me if I went overboard with some of the class features. I ignored the fluff from the class from Faith's and Pantheons because too many DM's would look at it as campaign specific and give them another reason to refuse it. (And DM's rarely approve homebrew anyway). This new class works really well with the Dread Necromancer (HoH), the Lord of the Uttercold and really any charisma based necromancer, as well as my own homebrew corpse crafter feats (Shameless Self promotion ftw!). See my sig for both

    Becoming a Horned Harbinger
    Entry Requirements

    Skills:Knowledge (Religion) 8 Ranks, Knowledge (The Planes) 5 ranks
    Feats: Corpse Crafter, Skill Focus Knowledge (Religion)
    Spell casting: Ability to cast animate dead.


    GAME RULE INFORMATION
    Hit Die: d8


    Class Skills
    The Horned Harbinger's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int),Ride (Dex), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int)

    Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier

    Horned Harbinger
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spellcasting
    1st
    +0
    +2
    +0
    +2
    Bone Horns, Rebuke Undead, Death Domain, Animate Dead -
    2nd
    +1
    +3
    +0
    +3
    Death Watch, Improved Corpse Crafter + 1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class
    3rd
    +2
    +3
    +1
    +3
    Desecrate, Bonus Feat -
    4th
    +3
    +4
    +1
    +4
    Create Undead, Ranged Animation + 1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class
    5th
    +3
    +4
    +1
    +4
    Captain of Undeath -
    6th
    +4
    +5
    +2
    +5
    Greater Undead + 1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class
    7th
    +5
    +5
    +2
    +5
    Repeated Animation, Bonus Feat -
    8th
    +6
    +6
    +2
    +6
    Create Greater Undead + 1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class
    9th
    +6
    +6
    +3
    +6
    Perfect Undead -
    10th
    +7
    +7
    +3
    +7
    General of Undeath, Lichdom + 1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class

    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the Horned Harbinger.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Horned Harbinger gain no proficiencies with armor or weapons.

    Spells Per Day/ Spells Known: At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level of Horned Harbinger the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in whatever spellcasting class she belonged to before she entered 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 Horned Harbinger to the level of whatever other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.

    If a character had more than one spellcasting class before she became a Horned Harbinger, she must decide to which class she adds each level of Horned Harbinger for the purpose of determining spells per day.

    Bone Horns (Ex): Horned Harbingers grow six short curved horns of bone from their skull, as if wearing a crown of bone. These horns are treated as a single natural weapon that deal 1d6 piercing damage and deals double damage on a charge.

    Rebuke Undead (Su): The character can rebuke and command undead as a cleric of equal level to his Horned Harbinger levels. If the character already has rebuke undead then the character's Horned Harbinger levels stack with that ability.

    Death Domain: Upon Adopting the Horned Harbinger class the character gains access to the death domain and its granted power. The character has an effective cleric level for the death domain's granted power equal to his caster level + Horned Harbinger level.

    Animate Dead (Sp): The Horned Harbinger can use animate dead as a spell like ability 1/Day. His caster level for this ability is equal to his character level level + his charisma modifier.

    Bonus Feat: At every level indicated in the table above the Horned Harbinger gains a bonus feat. They can be chosen from this list and the Horned Harbinger must meet any prerequisite in order to take the feat. Improved Turning, Extra Turning, Empower Turning, Quicken Turning, Tomb Tainted Soul, Any Corpse Crafter Feat, Any Leadership Feat, Undead Leadership, Weapon Focus (Bone Horns), Profane Lifeleach.

    Death Watch (Su): Starting at 2nd level the Horned Harbinger can as an at will free action view the world as if he were using a death watch spell.

    Improved Corpse Crafter (Ex): At 2nd level all other corpse crafter feats that directly increase animated undead stats have their effects increased by 50%. For example Nimble Bones would grant + 15 Movement Speed and + 6 Initiative while Destructive Retribution would remain unchanged.

    Desecrate (Su): At 3rd level the Horned Harbinger generates an unholy aura that duplicates the effect of the Desecrate Spell. The range for this aura is 10ft/Horned Harbinger Level. If the character previously had an aura of desecrate add this one's range to the previous aura.

    Create Undead (Sp): At 4th level once per day the Horned Harbinger can duplicate the spell Create Undead as a spell like ability. His caster level for this ability is equal to his character level + his charisma modifier.

    Ranged Animation (Su): At 4th level any use of Animate Dead wether as a normal spell or spell like ability can animate any corpse within medium range (100ft + 10ft/Caster Level). If cast as a spell it still need to consume the material components.

    Captain of Undead (Ex): At 5th level the Horned Harbinger's limit for controlling undead through Animate dead increase to six times his caster level. If the character was previously a Dread Necromancer then the limit becomes (6 + Cha Modifier) times his caster level. As well the Horned Harbinger's cap for controlling undead through his command undead ability is increased to 2 times his effective cleric level for rebuking.

    In addition their animate dead SLA can now be used 3 times per day.

    Greater Undead (Ex): At 6th level undead created by the Horned Harbinger gain unholy strength and endurance. All undead created by the Horned Harbinger gain 1 HP per HD.

    Repeated Animation (Su): The Horned Harbinger is so adept at animating undead that he can now reanimate undead that have been destroyed. As long as there body is still in a condition to be animated the Horned Harbinger can spend 10gp of Onyx Gems per hd to reanimate any undead creature created through Animate Dead or Plague of Undeath. This Material Component must be payed regardless if the Horned Harbinger can normally ignore the material cost.

    Create Greater Undead (Sp): Once per day the Horned Harbinger can duplicate the spell Create Greater Undead as a spell like ability. His caster level for this ability is equal to his character level + his charisma modifier.

    Perfect Undead (Ex): At 9th level undead created by the Horned Harbinger gain further unholy strength and endurance. All undead created by the Horned Harbinger gain + 2 Strength and Dexterity as well as 1 HP/HD.

    Also the HD cap for creating zombies and skeletons is removed and the Horned Harbinger can create zombies and skeletons of above 20HD.

    This ability stacks with Greater Undead.

    General of Undead (Ex): At 10th level the Horned Harbinger's limit for controlling undead through Animate dead increase to 12 times his caster level. If the character was previously a Dread Necromancer then the limit becomes (12 + Cha Modifier) times his caster level. As well the Horned Harbinger's cap for controlling undead through his command undead ability is increased to 5 HD per effective cleric level for rebuking.

    Also the Horned Harbinger's Ability "Animate Dead" now duplicates the spell Plague of Undeath.

    Additionally his create undead and create greater undead SLA's can now be used 3 times per day.

    Lichdom (Ex): The Horned Harbinger gains the secrets to crafting a Phylactery and becoming a lich. The Horned Harbinger does not need the Craft Wonderous Item feat in order to craft the Phylactery and does not expend XP to craft it either. Once the Phylactery is crafter the Horned Harbinger completes an hour long ritual near a desecrate shrine to a death god or goddess or to death itself. After the ritual the Horned Harbinger emerges as a lich. The Horned Harbinger counts as animating himself for purposes of corpse crafter feats and other abilities. With DM permission he may select another undead template to become.

    At the DM's digression they may select another undead template to animate themselves as which is equal to or weaker than the lich template.
    Last edited by Silva Stormrage; 2019-05-18 at 04:36 PM.
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    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger

    I loved the Chronicles of Prydain too.

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    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger

    Quote Originally Posted by paddyfool View Post
    I loved the Chronicles of Prydain too.
    I had to look up that b4 I had ANY idea what you meant. And the character's title is the Horned KING (According to wikipedia >.>) so slightly different .

    While you are here... any comments on the class
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    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger (3.5 Prestige Class)

    So I take it no one knows of the Horned Harbinger because its obscure . Do the new class features do a good job of offsetting the 4 caster levels lost?
    Quote Originally Posted by Hazuki View Post
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    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger (3.5 Prestige Class)

    Man, that book. Lots of good things. Some were less thought out. Artifact of untold power that grants you a PrC? Didn't really flow.

    You neglect to mention how the inherent Desecrate effect would stack with that from another class, which isn't frequently a problem, but since you mention several other ways this class fits to others, it seems worth including.

    Overall, it's very powerful, but perhaps overly so? If you removed one or two things, I think it could come out quite nicely.

    Of note, one balancing thing could be explicitly stating that having the horns removes the [Head] slot of the equipment tree. No helmets, crowns, so on. The space is filled. A very minor drawback to help counter-balance.

    I like the bonus feats, so I don't want to trim them overmuch, but for 3.5, it does need to get cut down. If you reduced it to A bonus feat at 3rd, 6th, and 9th, I think that would be adequate.

    Just for clarity, are Improved Undead and Greater Undead granting +1Hp per HD or is it +1HP or HD? Logically, it has to be the first one, but clarity helps.

    Finally, I would say that this PrC stacks with Divine classes for the purposes of Domains, but doesn't grant new ones, and instead move the buff you give Corpse-crafter feats to second level, as a stand-alone. That makes it plenty appealing, and stronger if you are a Divine caster, but more balanced, in my mind. You could even have the buff on those feats happen later, such as 5th or 7th, since it's quite likely people would sink 5 levels in for General of Undeath almost alone. Having the buff only shortly thereafter would keep them hooked, and at that point they might as well finish it, right?

    The 10th level benefits present a powerful lure, as well.

    In all, it's very powerful PrC, and much more flavorful and appealing, both from a role-playing and stat perspective. The only thing I might do is add some RP fluff to help explain why they have horns (other than the obvious tenuous link to the old version) and some lore for the class.

    Looks good!

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    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger (3.5 Prestige Class)

    I would say don't remove anything and turn it into a base class. You could spread the abilities out among 20 levels and then add a spell progression that grants necromancy spells (or if it were me, I would create a whole new spell system for the class). The way I'm looking at it you have enough abilities to fill up 15 levels and still keep at least two abilities at level one. And that isn't including wherever you decide to put the bonus feats.
    Last edited by eftexar; 2011-07-26 at 12:28 AM.

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    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger (3.5 Prestige Class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pennance View Post
    Man, that book. Lots of good things. Some were less thought out. Artifact of untold power that grants you a PrC? Didn't really flow.

    You neglect to mention how the inherent Desecrate effect would stack with that from another class, which isn't frequently a problem, but since you mention several other ways this class fits to others, it seems worth including.

    Overall, it's very powerful, but perhaps overly so? If you removed one or two things, I think it could come out quite nicely.

    Of note, one balancing thing could be explicitly stating that having the horns removes the [Head] slot of the equipment tree. No helmets, crowns, so on. The space is filled. A very minor drawback to help counter-balance.

    I like the bonus feats, so I don't want to trim them overmuch, but for 3.5, it does need to get cut down. If you reduced it to A bonus feat at 3rd, 6th, and 9th, I think that would be adequate.

    Just for clarity, are Improved Undead and Greater Undead granting +1Hp per HD or is it +1HP or HD? Logically, it has to be the first one, but clarity helps.

    Finally, I would say that this PrC stacks with Divine classes for the purposes of Domains, but doesn't grant new ones, and instead move the buff you give Corpse-crafter feats to second level, as a stand-alone. That makes it plenty appealing, and stronger if you are a Divine caster, but more balanced, in my mind. You could even have the buff on those feats happen later, such as 5th or 7th, since it's quite likely people would sink 5 levels in for General of Undeath almost alone. Having the buff only shortly thereafter would keep them hooked, and at that point they might as well finish it, right?

    The 10th level benefits present a powerful lure, as well.

    In all, it's very powerful PrC, and much more flavorful and appealing, both from a role-playing and stat perspective. The only thing I might do is add some RP fluff to help explain why they have horns (other than the obvious tenuous link to the old version) and some lore for the class.

    Looks good!
    Thanks for the reply. I tried to make it have very powerful class abilities and didn't have much to base off of since there really aren't ANY prestige class that I know that has 6/10th casting that is useful other than the swift blade, which has different abilities and is meant for a gish that doesn't need caster levels as much.

    There is another class with an inherent desecrate aura? I actually don't know of one that isn't homebrew, I think True Necromancer has one but that really isn't much of a problem... I will add clarification though.

    Good Idea with the horns, I mean have you seen that picture... What helmet would fit on that guy . Added that with a note that even if you polymorph you still keep the horns so people don't just polymorph any object themselves into a similar looking human and where a helmet.

    I am fine with the bonus feats to be honest. In most campaigns leadership is not allowed so that cuts out the leadership feats. Corpse crafter feats pretty much suck other than corpse crafter (a prerequisite for the class) and destructive retribution. I could very well see many horned harbingers taking improved turning 3 times. The rest of the bonus feats aren't too impressive either, (Weapon Focus Bone Horns, Profane Lifedrain, Tomb Tainted Soul is going to be taken at 1st level for Dread Necros)

    Also as a side note it only gains 1 more bonus feat than the previous version.

    Yes Improved Undead and greater undead give 2hp per hd I will clarify.

    Though I always thought that saying 1 hp/Hd meant 1 Hp Per HD that is the second time someone has asked me to clarify on that. Is that not the case?

    I made it add the Death Domain because first, it was in the original class, second because Death domain is pretty bad, it really doesn't add a single unique spell to clerics or really to dread necros (It adds Wail Of the Banshee to clerics and it adds destruction to DNs and DNs do not need more save or dies that target fort >.>). It does help Sorcerors and wizards slightly but still not that much.

    I actually don't see that many people going in for captain of undeath (I assume you mean that one not General that is gained at 10th ) because they lose 2 caster levels putting them a whole spell level behind what they are supposed to be casting.

    I think I will remove greater undead, move improved undead to 6th and place at second level the corpse crafter bonus. I think that will help balance it out.

    For fluff I think I will have it so that the descendants of the original Horned Harbingers still possess the ability to enter the class. And leave a small adaptation section for other campaigns and worlds.

    Thanks for the indepth review.
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    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger (3.5 Prestige Class)

    Oddly enough, I actually prefer the original Horned Harbinger. The only update it needed was to double the controlled undead from Captain of Undeath and General of Undeath (to 10 times caster level and 20 times caster level respectively) to keep them in line with the doubling of the control limits on Animate Dead in 3.5.

    I personally liked having to make the choice between continuing as a full caster and having an Undead Army.

    Whatever else you do, do not remove the Head slot due to the Horns. That is just a **** move. The Horns are essentially a flavour feature and will probably never be used in any but the most amusing of curcumstances. Don't deny a caster the slot for Intelligence/Wisdom boosting items due to fluff. Magic items resize to fit the user. If a helmet is too much to fit around the Horns, that's up to the DM but you can always fit a headband or a periapt (which is essentially a very small box tied to the head).

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    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger (3.5 Prestige Class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quarian Rex View Post
    Oddly enough, I actually prefer the original Horned Harbinger. The only update it needed was to double the controlled undead from Captain of Undeath and General of Undeath (to 10 times caster level and 20 times caster level respectively) to keep them in line with the doubling of the control limits on Animate Dead in 3.5.

    I personally liked having to make the choice between continuing as a full caster and having an Undead Army.

    Whatever else you do, do not remove the Head slot due to the Horns. That is just a **** move. The Horns are essentially a flavour feature and will probably never be used in any but the most amusing of curcumstances. Don't deny a caster the slot for Intelligence/Wisdom boosting items due to fluff. Magic items resize to fit the user. If a helmet is too much to fit around the Horns, that's up to the DM but you can always fit a headband or a periapt (which is essentially a very small box tied to the head).
    I am not worried about preventing Wizards from getting + Int headbands at all really. Due to Magic Item Compendium they can have numerous slots enchanted with the juicy + int.

    And if you enjoy the first Horned Harbinger, thats fine. The problem I had with it is that the first one would NEVER be entered as a caster, why would it? A class with knowledge the planes and no spell casting would be better to take it 9/10 times. Losing 5 spell levels is NEVER equal to gaining a higher cap of undead. Hell you could make the cap 100 times caster level for captain of undeath and 1000 times caster level for general of undeath. After a certain point animating regular zombies and skeletons doesn't do anything anymore. And since the original didn't actually give any bonuses to the strength of the undead, they would end up with a lot of fodder troops that didn't really do much but flank and take up space.

    Also dread necromancer doesn't have to make the choice between being a spellcaster and having an army, why should the other casters have to?
    Last edited by Silva Stormrage; 2011-07-26 at 06:01 PM.
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    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger (3.5 Prestige Class)

    I am also concerned that 5 bonus feats is a tad excessive. Four (you said the original class had four?) would be more manageable, and then you could place them at 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th level so they line up with and compensate for the lost caster levels. If you really feel the feat list sucks too much to justify this, you can always take out some of the bad choices and replace them with better ones.

    If you intend to grant a domain, it's nice to also stack prestige class level onto existing domain powers. If the character entering already has the Death domain, throw them a bone and allow them to pick another of their deity's domains instead.

    The class is slightly front-loaded and back-loaded. Right now, I can dip 3 levels (losing only 1 caster level) to get two bonus feats (one of which makes up for a sub-optimal entry feat, oh well), doubled corpsecrafter benefits with free desecrate, animate dead as an SLA (no gp cost, i c wut u did thar), a free domain, and some other minor abilities. That's a heck of a deal. Alternately, after taking all ten levels, hey, I'm a lich! That's normally worth +4 LA.

    To smooth it out, you might consider granting nerfed versions of some undead racial treats or lich special abilities in the middle levels, where the benefits are currently a little less spectacular. If you feel that crowds the chart a bit, you could make room by removing those weak bonus feats.

    The caster level calculations for for animate dead, create undead, and the death domain are needlessly complex, and it's not clear how they interact with the HD control limits for undead. You might also wish to steer clear of adding Cha to caster level, as it's much easier to optimize a stat than to optimize general caster level, which can lead to inflated results you didn't want. In particular, what the Death domain really needs is more uses per day, so you can one-shot minions and look like a badass, not extra CL, which would allow you to one-shot bosses and end fights anticlimactically on the first round.
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    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger (3.5 Prestige Class)

    Wow I completely forgot about this class. After rereading it a bit later a lot of the abilities looked to strong for the price you payed to get them. I reduced some of the abilities (Improved Corpse Crafter + perfect undead) reduced the amount of bonus feats and also reduced casting to 1/2.

    Anyone have any comments on the new new horned harbinger
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    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger (3.5 Prestige Class)

    Going through my old homebrews making sure everything has a workable table and fixing balance issues.

    Minor updates for this class as it's mostly fine as is. A 1/2 casting progression class is kinda hard to make overpowered. I mostly changed the amount of times the SLA's could be used and slight tweaks to balance. The ability to use animate dead cha mod times per day as an SLA made it waaaaay too strong as a 1 level dip. Now the uses per day increase as you progress in the class.
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    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger (3.5 Prestige Class)

    I like the class. I'm not sure how I feel about giving Leadership as a potential bonus feat but that's more because I'm not happy with Leadership as a whole. This is much better done than the official class. Is this class intended to be focused on a specific deity the way the original Horned Harbinger was or more general?

    Also, I'd let them when selecting a template instead of lich also be allowed to select one which is of lower power(probably intended but maybe nice to say explicitly).

    And nice to see you around- haven't seen you active in the board in a long time.
    Last edited by JoshuaZ; 2019-05-18 at 01:57 PM.
    My homebrew:

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    Completed:
    ToB disciplines:

    The Narrow Bridge
    The Broken Blade

    Prestige classess:
    Disciple of Karsus -PrC for Karsites.
    The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preserver of Future Blades Two interelated Tome of Battle Prcs,
    Master of the Hidden Seal - Binder/Divine hybrid
    Knight of the Grave- Necromancy using Gish



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    Age of Warriors

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    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger (3.5 Prestige Class)

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaZ View Post
    I like the class. I'm not sure how I feel about giving Leadership as a potential bonus feat but that's more because I'm not happy with Leadership as a whole. This is much better done than the official class. Is this class intended to be focused on a specific deity the way the original Horned Harbinger was or more general?

    Also, I'd let them when selecting a template instead of lich also be allowed to select one which is of lower power(probably intended but maybe nice to say explicitly).

    And nice to see you around- haven't seen you active in the board in a long time.
    Frankly I probably shouldn't have both leadership and undead leadership in the bonus feat section. I am mostly fine with Undead Leadership though because even though it is a ridiculously overpowered feat (It is) it's also something thats fitting and if the DM doesn't allow leadership in general than they have plenty of other options available.

    The class is intended to be flavor neutral and a DM or player is free to associate it with a particular god. I felt it was too limiting to the class though as it made the class very setting specific and I figured giving a DM another reason to say no to homebrew was a bad option.

    Good catch on the lich clause though.

    And ya it is good to be back designing homebrew. I have been DMing for two groups every week so that kinda ate up all of my spare time for D&D. But now I am a player for the foreseeable future so that means I can get back into reworking a lot of my old stuff that is of... questionable quality XD.
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    May 2019

    Default Re: The New Horned Harbinger (3.5 Prestige Class)

    I like the idea your going with.

    No advice, just praise.

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