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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Alabenson's Avatar

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    Default The Bete Noire (PEACH)

    The Bete Noire

    When shadows creep across the land and the barriers between the worlds of the living and dead all but disappear, a unique breed of spellcaster begins to walk the land. Self-styled masters of fear and deception, the bete noire ostensibly patrol the barriers between this world and others. Many fear the bete noire due to the nature of their powers, however, and the insidious reputation many cultivate for themselves only worsens matters.

    Adventures: Bete noire often find themselves drawn to areas in conflict, as such places offer them the best chance to put their abilities to use, for good or for ill. Beyond that, bete noire will seek out adventures as a way to further their own power.

    Characteristics: Bęte noire are skilled spellcasters, with a particular knack for illusions and fear. Moreover, bęte noire are able to freely strike terror into their opponents, even those who would otherwise normally be immune to such attacks. Finally, every bęte noire is able to craft a lantern capable of revealing hidden threats.

    Alignment: Despite their sinister reputation, not all bęte noire are evil and in fact quite a few are good-aligned. However, maintaining close ties to the realms of spirits would be all but impossible for a lawfully aligned individual.

    Religion: The majority of bete noire tend to be drawn to deities of trickery and deception, such as Olidammara or to a lesser extent Boccob. A handful of more wicked bete noire, however, choose to venerate Nerull.

    Background: Bete noire typically learn their craft from a more experienced member who has chosen to impart their knowledge onto a new generation. Rumors persist of individuals who learnt their craft by contacting the spirits of the dead directly, but few pay such stories much heed.

    Races: Humans, half-elves and halflings make up a substantial number of bete noire. Halflings in particular find themselves drawn to the class’ focus on fear, being naturally resistant to the emotion themselves. Gnomes make up a substantial minority as well, largely thanks to their natural affinity for illusions. Few of the savage races follow the path of the bete noire, though occasionally a particularly clever goblin will find themselves drawn towards the class’ mastery of fear.

    Other Classes: Most other classes tend to be wary of bete noire due to their sinister reputations. Members of classes that also rely on deception, such as rogues and bards, do tend to be a bit more accepting.

    Role: bęte noire tend to excel at missions that rely on infiltration and deception thanks to their spells and class skills. In combat, they tend to take more of a support role, using their magic and ability to strike fear into their opponents to disrupt and confuse while their allies bring their foes down at their leisure.

    GAME RULE INFORMATION
    Bęte noire have the following game statistics
    Abilities: Charisma is the most important ability for a bęte noire as it not only controls their spellcasting but also affects the DCs for their special abilities. Bęte noire also make good use of Dexterity as they rarely wear armor, and Constitution is valued for granting more hp.
    Alignment: Any nonlawful
    Hit Die: D6
    Starting Age: As bard
    Starting Gold: As sorcerer

    Class Skills:
    Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Disguise, Forgery, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (religion), Perform, Profession, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spellcraft, Tumble
    [B]Skill Points at 1st level:[B] (4 + Intelligence Modifier) x4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Intelligence Modifier

    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special 0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Disguise Self, Spirit Lantern 4 3 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
    2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Frightening Visage (1 target, shaken) 4 4 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
    3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Trickery +2 5 4 3 -- -- -- -- -- -- --
    4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Spirit Lantern (reveal undead) 5 4 4 -- -- -- -- -- -- --
    5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Frightening Visage (2 targets) 5 5 4 3 -- -- -- -- -- --
    6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Trickery 5 5 4 4 -- -- -- -- -- --
    7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Spirit Lantern (reveal invisibility) 6 5 5 4 3 -- -- -- -- --
    8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Frightening Visage (3 targets) 6 5 5 4 4 -- -- -- -- --
    9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Trickery 6 6 5 5 4 3 -- -- -- --
    10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Fear to the Fearless, Spirit Lantern (magic circle) 6 6 5 5 4 4 -- -- -- --
    11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Frightening Visage (4 targets, frightened) 6 6 6 5 5 4 3 -- -- --
    12th +6 +4 +4 +8 Trickery 6 6 6 5 5 4 4 -- -- --
    13th +6 +4 +4 +8 Spirit Lantern (repel undead) 6 6 6 6 5 5 4 3 -- --
    14th +7 +4 +4 +9 Frightening Visage (5 targets) 6 6 6 6 5 5 4 4 -- --
    15th +7 +5 +5 +9 Improved Fear to the Fearless, Trickery 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 4 3 --
    16th +8 +5 +5 +10 Spirit Lantern (reveal illusions) 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 4 4 --
    17th +8 +5 +5 +10 Frightening Visage (6 targets, panicked) 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 4 3
    18th +9 +6 +6 +11 Trickery 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 4 4
    19th +9 +6 +6 +11 Spirit Lantern (greater repel undead) 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 4
    20th +10 +6 +6 +12 Horrifying Visage 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 4


    Class Features

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A bęte noire is proficient with all simple weapons. Bęte noire are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Like other arcane spellcasters, a bęte noire wearing armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure.

    Spells: A bete noire casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the bete noire spell list given below. When a bete noire gains access to a new level of spells, he automatically knows all the spells for that level on the bete noire’s spell list. A bete noire can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. Essentially, his spell list is the same as his spells known list.
    To cast a bete noire spell, a bete noire must have a Charisma score of 10 + the spell’s level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a bete noire spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the ascetic’s Cha modifier.
    A bete noire can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. The bete noire’s base daily spell allotment is given on the Table. In addition, a bete noire receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.

    Disguise Self (Sp): A bete noire has the ability to change their appearance at will, as if using the disguise self spell with a caster level equal to their class level.

    Spirit Lantern (Su): A bete noire of at least 1st level possesses the ability to craft a mystical item know as a spirit lantern. Crafting a spirit lantern is a process that takes 1 day and requires materials that cost 100 gp. A spirit lantern only functions in the hands of the bete noire who created it.
    Traditionally a spirit lantern takes the form of a hollowed-out gourd housing an eldritch fire, but its actual appearance is determined by the individual bete noire. Regardless, the spirit lantern always resembles some form of light source that weighs approximately 2 lbs. A spirit lantern continual produces light as though it contained a continual flame, producing bright illumination in a 30 ft radius and shadowy illumination in a 60 ft radius, though the bete noire may suppress this as a free action.

    Beginning at level 4, the bete noire’s spirit lantern gains the ability to reveal any undead who approach. Any undead who enters the area of bright illumination produces by the bete noire’s spirit lantern becomes surrounded by pale blue glow, as though they’ve been targeted by the faerie fire spell. This glow deals no damage and is too dim to have any special effects on undead who are vulnerable to light, but it does negate effects such as blur, displacement or invisibility. This effect persists for as long as the undead remains within the area of bright illumination and for 1d4 rounds after they leave the area of effect. This ability is continuous as long as the spirit lantern produces illumination.

    Beginning at level 7, the bete noire’s spirit lantern develops the ability to suppress all forms of invisibility within the spirit lantern’s area of bright illumination, as per the invisibility purge spell. The bete noire may activate this ability on their turn as a free action while the spirit lantern is producing light and may maintain this ability for a number of minutes per day equal to their class level, though this time does not need to be continuous.

    Beginning at level 10, the bete noire’s spirit lantern gains the ability to generate a protective ward in addition to its other effects. At the time the bete noire reaches level 10 they may select an alignment, and from then on their spirit lantern produces a magic circle effect against the selected alignment with a radius of 10 ft. This ability is continuous as long as the spirit lantern produces illumination.

    Beginning at level 13, the bete noire’s spirit lantern gains the ability to project a mobile, hemispherical energy filed that prevents the entrance of undead. This field has a radius of 10 ft, centered on the spirit lantern and may only be used defensively (see PHB 172 for rules regarding similar barriers). The bete noire may activate this ability on their turn as a free action while the spirit lantern is producing light and may maintain this ability for a number of minutes per day equal to their class level, though this time does not need to be continuous. This ability automatically fails if the bete noire attempts to activate it while undead are within its area of effect.

    Beginning at level 16, the bete noire’s spirit lantern develops the power to reveal any illusions caught in its light. Any illusion that would normally allow a save to disbelief within the area of the spirit lantern’s bright illumination is automatically perceived by all who see it as if they had successfully disbelieved it. If the bete noire wishes, they may choose to exclude their own illusions from this effect. This ability is continuous as long as the spirit lantern produces illumination.

    At level 19, the bete noire’s spirit lantern’s ability to repel undead greatly improves. The radius of this ability increases to the area of the spirit lantern’s area of bright illumination. Furthermore, the bete noire may attempt to activate it while undead are within its area of effect. If they do, any such undead must make Will saves (DC = 10 + 1/2 the bete noire’s class level + the bete noire’s Cha modifier). Any undead who fail their save must leave the area of the spirit lantern’s bright illumination by any means they have at their disposal on their next turn. If all such undead fail their saves then the spirit lantern’s repel undead ability takes effect. If any such undead succeeds, however, then the repel undead ability fails to come into effect and the bete noire may not attempt to activate it again for 1d4 rounds.

    Frightening Visage (Su): At 2nd level, a bete noire refines their disguise self ability to briefly transform their face into an image of pure terror. As a standard action the bete noire can force a target within 30 ft to make a Will save (DC = 10 + 1/2 the bete noire’s class level + the bete noire’s Cha modifier) or be shaken for 1 round per 2 class levels (rounded down). A target the successfully saves against the bete noire's frighening visage ability cannot be affected by it again for 1 minute. The bete noire must be using their disguise self power in order to use this ability. This ability is a mind-affecting fear effect.
    Initially the bete noire can only affect a single target with this ability. At 5th level, and again at every three levels thereafter (8th, 11th, 14th, and 17th) the bete noire gains the ability to target an additional opponent with each use of the ability.
    Starting at level 11, creatures who fail their saves against the bete noire’s frightening visage ability are frightened for 1 round per 2 class levels (rounded down) and on a successful save are shaken for 1d4 rounds.
    At level 17, creatures who fail their saves against the bete noire’s frightening visage ability are panicked for 1 round per 2 class levels (rounded down) and on a successful save are shaken for 2d4 rounds.

    Trickery (Ex): In addition to their magical training, a bete noire supplements their abilities with training in more mundane methods of deception. Starting at 3rd level, a bete noire receives a +2 bonus to Bluff, Disguise, Intimidate and Sleight of Hand. For every three levels beyond level 3 (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th and 18th) the bete noire may increase the bonus to one of these skills by an additional +2.

    Fear to the Fearless (Ex): Beginning at 10th level, a bete noire masters the power of fear to the extent that they can instill it even in creatures that would otherwise be immune. Any spell the bete noire casts that has the fear descriptor or special ability they use that produces a fear effect may affect any creature with an Intelligence score, even if that creature would normally be immune to fear or mind-effecting affects. However, if a creature that would normally be immune to such effects is targeted then they receive a +4 bonus on their saving throw.

    Improved Fear to the Fearless (Ex): At 15th level, the bete noire’s mastery of fear improves further. The bete noire’s fear effects may now affect any creature regardless of Intelligence, and creatures that would normally be immune no longer receive a bonus to their saves.

    Horrifying Visage (Su): A bete noire of 20th level has mastered the power of fear to such a degree that they can terrify their opponents with a single glance, potentially even to death. A bete noire of this level may now use their frightening visage ability as a gaze attack with a range of 30 ft. as long as they are under the effect of their disguise self ability.
    Furthermore, once per day as a standard action a bete noire may choose to focus this gaze on a single target within range, forcing them to make a Will save or die, suffering the normal effects of the bete noire’s frightening visage on a successful save. Creatures that would normally be immune to death effects are instead overwhelmed by fear and cower for 1 round per class level, during which time they are unable to take any action and are considered helpless.

    Bete Noire Spell List
    Spoiler
    Show
    0: dancing lights, detect magic, ghost sound, light, mage hand, open/close, prestidigitation, read magic, touch of fatigue

    1: animate rope, bane, cause fear, chill touch, color spray, detect undead, disguise self, doom, enlarge person, ghost light, hypnotism, lesser confusion, obscuring mist, ray of enfeeblement, reduce person, silent image, summon undead I, ventriloquism

    2: apparition, augury, blindness/deafness, blur, command undead, continual flame, darkness, fog cloud, ghoul touch, hypnotic pattern, invisibility, glitterdust, gust of wind, knock, magic mouth, minor image, mirror image, misdirection, phantasmal assailants, scare, spectral hand, summon undead II, rebuke, wall of gloom

    3: blink, clairaudience/clairvoyance, deeper darkness, dispel magic, displacement, explosive runes, gaseous form, halt undead, haunting tune, hold person, invisibility sphere, locate object, major image, nondetection, phantasmal strangler, phantom steed, ray of exhaustion, sepia snake sigil, shadow binding, shadow cache, shrink item, speak with dead, stinking cloud, suggestion, summon undead III

    4: animate dead, bestow curse, confusion, fear, dimension door, divination, greater invisibility, greater rebuke, hallucinatory terrain, illusory wall, phantasmal killer, rainbow pattern, scrying, shadow conjuration, summon undead IV

    5: contact other plane, false vision, magic jar, mind fog, mirage arcana, nightmare, persistent image, seeming, shadow evocation, spiritwall, summon undead V, teleport, telekinesis, wail of doom, waves of fatigue

    6: aura of terror, eyebite, greater dispel magic, imperious glare, legend lore, mislead, permanent image, programmed image, shadow walk, veil

    7: control undead, evil glare, ethereal jant, final rebuke, greater shadow conjuration, greater teleport, insanity, mass invisibility, plane shift, project image, waves of exhaustion

    8: chain dispel, ghostform, greater bestow curse, greater shadow evocation, maddening whispers, mind blank, scintillating pattern, screen, skeletal guard, veil of undeath

    9: astral projection, etherealness, foresight, genius loci, plague of undead, reality maelstrom, shades, teleportation circle, weird
    Last edited by Alabenson; 2018-11-23 at 01:05 PM.
    If brute force isn't working, that just means you're not using enough of it.

    When in doubt, set something on fire. If not in doubt, set something on fire anyway.

    My Homebrew


  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    nonsi's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Bete Noire (PEACH)

    .

    Fear to the Fearless: Notice that this shouldn't apply to mindless creatures with no survival instinct (such as golems or zombies).

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Alabenson's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Bete Noire (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    .

    Fear to the Fearless: Notice that this shouldn't apply to mindless creatures with no survival instinct (such as golems or zombies).
    Correct, the basic version of fear to the fearless only bypasses mind-affecting immunity for creatures with an Intelligence score, so mindless undead and many constructs, plants and vermin will continue to be immune until the bete noire receives the improved version of the ability.
    If brute force isn't working, that just means you're not using enough of it.

    When in doubt, set something on fire. If not in doubt, set something on fire anyway.

    My Homebrew


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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Maat Mons's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Bete Noire (PEACH)

    Why does a class with "black" in the name get dancing lights, light, color spray, hypnotic pattern, glitterdust, and rainbow pattern on its spell list?

    I don't really see why "that which is hated or feared" is an undead-themed class. I mean, yes, undead are hated and feared. But so are aberrations, demons, devils, chromatic dragons, and vermin.

    Considering bete noir is a synonym for bugbear, it's ironic that bugbears never take the class.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    nonsi's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Bete Noire (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alabenson View Post
    Correct, the basic version of fear to the fearless only bypasses mind-affecting immunity for creatures with an Intelligence score, so mindless undead and many constructs, plants and vermin will continue to be immune until the bete noire receives the improved version of the ability.
    Improved Fear to the Fearless shouldn't make any difference.
    Making a golem fear you is as equally viable as making a wrist watch fall in love with a lightning rod, or making a pebble engineer a space station.
    It's not a matter of overcoming a weakness, but more of a mechanical deficiency on the most basic level. Mindless animated creatures don't have the capacity to feel fear anymore than they have the capacity to feel pain, love or remorse. If commanded to take suicidal actions, they do so w/o the slightest hesitation. There's no survival instinct in them to manipulate.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Bete Noire (PEACH)

    Keep in mind that the french also use the word "bete" as "idiot"

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    Alabenson's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Bete Noire (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Improved Fear to the Fearless shouldn't make any difference.
    Making a golem fear you is as equally viable as making a wrist watch fall in love with a lightning rod, or making a pebble engineer a space station.
    It's not a matter of overcoming a weakness, but more of a mechanical deficiency on the most basic level. Mindless animated creatures don't have the capacity to feel fear anymore than they have the capacity to feel pain, love or remorse. If commanded to take suicidal actions, they do so w/o the slightest hesitation. There's no survival instinct in them to manipulate.
    On one hand I can certainly understand where your coming from, and that was the reason I included the language preventing mindless creatures from being affected by the baseline version of the ability. On the other hand, however, I don't feel that temporarily instilling the capacity to feel a specific emotion (in this case fear) in a mindless creature is out of bounds for a level 15 character given the other abilities that a character of that level may possess.
    If brute force isn't working, that just means you're not using enough of it.

    When in doubt, set something on fire. If not in doubt, set something on fire anyway.

    My Homebrew


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