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DarkbornEdit

A New Prestige Class for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

"He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


Sometimes that which is evil requires the sacrifice of something equally as noble. A darkborn is a creature with a great capacity for love & kindness who offers to do penance for the wickedness that exists in the world by making the ultimate sacrifice. By accepting the wickedness into their hearts, they become a twisted weapon for good that can go where honest folk cannot. Cursed to eternally stalk in the shadows and scorned by the very light they serve, the life of a darkborn is a choice one can not make easily.

Examples: Demon Hunters (Warcraft), Claymores (Claymore), Jackie Estacado (The Darkness), Vaapad users/Grey Jedi (Star Wars), Riku (Kingdom Hearts)

Requirements:Edit

Alignment: Good (Note: A good alignment is required to take the first level of this class but further levels can be taken regardless of your alignment)

Skills: Knowledge (religion) 5

HD: d10Edit

Class SkillsEdit

The darkborn’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), and Sense Motive (Wis).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.Edit

Level

Base Attack Bonus

Fort Save

Ref Save

Will Save

Special

Spells per Day

1st

+0

+0

+1

+0

Darkweaving, heartshield, ritual of shade, tainted soul

-

2nd

+1

+1

+1

+1

Suppress darkweave

+1 level of existing class

3rd

+2

+1

+2

+1

Aura of evil, darkweave

+1 level of existing class

4th

+3

+1

+2

+1

Evil eyes, wickedness within (+2)

+1 level of existing class

5th

+3

+2

+3

+2

Darkweave

-

6th

+4

+2

+3

+2

Dark form

+1 level of existing class

7th

+5

+2

+4

+2

Darkweave

+1 level of existing class

8th

+6

+3

+4

+3

Evil eyes, wickedness within (+4)

+1 level of existing class

9th

+6

+3

+5

+3

Darkweave

-

10th

+7

+3

+5

+3

The fate of heroes

+1 level of existing class

Class Features:Edit

All of the following are class features of the darkborn.


Weapon and Armor Proficiency:Edit

Darkborn are proficient with all simple and martial weapons.


Spells per Day:Edit

At the indicated levels, a darkborn gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class (arcane or divine) that he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain other benefits a character of that class would have gained, except for additional spells per day, spells known (if he is a spontaneous spellcaster), and an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a darkborn, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.


If a darkborn has no levels in a spellcasting class or would like to choose to not gain advancement with his number of spells per day, he may forgo advancing his spellcasting class feature and instead gain the following base attack bonus progression:

Level

Base Attack Bonus

1st

+1

2nd

+2

3rd

+3

4th

+4

5th

+5

6th

+6

7th

+7

8th

+8

9th

+9

10th

+10

Ritual of Shade (Su):Edit

“As you take your first steps into the darkness, you begin to fear that you are alone. Only then do you realize that you are not and that is when a deeper fear will truly start.”


A darkborn also gains a pool of wickedness equal to 3 x his HD (See “Wickedness & Purity” below for more details). Wickedness can be used to trigger darkborn curses called “darkweaves”. When he activates a darkweave, a darkborn must allocate a certain number of his wickedness to the action. His target can allocate some of its purity (all creatures have purity even if they are unaware of it). If the darkborn allocated more wickedness than the target did purity, the darkweave he tried to inflict upon them has successfully affected them. A failed darkweave lashes back at the darkborn and curses the darkborn instead.


A character with at least 1 level in the darkborn class has 0 purity as it is all ritually burnt away from him. However, a darkborn may use his own wickedness to counterbid against another darkborn’s darkweaves in place of purity.


Sidebar: Wickedness & PurityEdit

“A man who utters a white lie stains his soul ever so slightly. Though it is just a single drop of malice on a sea of goodness, it shall forever be a stain upon him.”

Purity is a creature’s purity and nobility of heart. Purity & wickedness regenerate at a rate of one per hour and is fully restored after 8 hours of rest. Alternatively a character can regain their purity by spending 1 hour in prayer to a good aligned deity or concept that they believe in.


Mortals

  • Creatures of the good alignment have 2 x their HD in purity.

  • Creatures of the neutral* alignment have their HD in purity.

  • Creatures of the evil alignment have 1/2 their HD in purity.

  • A character with at least 1 level in the darkborn class has 0 purity. (See the ritual of shade class feature above)


Outsiders

  • Evil aligned outsiders have no purity.

  • Neutral* aligned outsiders have their HD in purity.

  • Good aligned outsiders have 5 x their HD in purity.

  • Note: This is neutral on the good/evil axis.

Heartshield (Su):Edit

“When the day seems darkest, wrap yourself in your heart and remember the warmth it once held. That will be shield enough to stave off the worst any foe can muster.”

At 1st level a darkborn binds with the wickedness of mankind and gains negative energy resistance equal to 5 times his darkborn level.


Tainted Soul (Su):Edit

Each time a darkborn gains a new level after 1st, he must make a Will save (DC 10 + 2 x darkborn level). If he fails, he shifts his alignment one step towards evil.


As he progresses in level, a darkborn becomes increasingly wicked looking. This is generally exhibited in the growth of physical traits that are often found in evil outsiders. These manifestations are generally superficial. To cover them up it takes a DC 10 + 2 x darkborn level Disguise check to appear normal.


Alternate Rule: The Seduction of PowerEdit

A 5th level darkborn who wishes to take a level in a different class for his next level must make an extra Will save (DC 10 + 2 x next darkborn level) or be unable to take a level in that class. This represents the seductive nature of power and the growing influence the wickedness has on them. It will plague a darkborn with doubt and distractions when trying to sideline it and do everything in its power to totally consume him.


Sidebar: “The Wicked”Edit

The term, “the wicked,” is used to describe the evil that you allow to join with your soul. This is not necessarily tied to any extraplanar force like devils or demons. It is a more metaphorical thing and it is tied to the nature of evil in a primal sense. If you wish it, a darkborn may be joined to a literal devil or demon. In this case the PC may be obliged (or compelled) to serve their demonic patron in some way.


Darkweaving (Su):Edit

At 1st level and every even level thereafter, a darkborn learns a new use for his tainted power. This manifests as a curse known as a darkweave. Activating a darkweave is a swift action. A darkweave must target a single creature whom he can draw line of sight and line of effect to within 10 ft. + 5 ft. per darkborn level. A darkweave requires no attack roll and does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Smoky black tendrils (or whatever is thematically appropriate for the particular darkborn) lash out at the darkborn’s target. An instantaneous moral battle occurs within the darkborn’s target where the purity of their action is weighed against the darkborn’s powers.


Both sides secretly place a wager. The creature wagers their purity and the darkborn wagers their wickedness. The creature who paid less is afflicted with the darkweave. In the event of a tie a darkborn wins and the attack is successful. Regardless of the outcome, the wagered points are expended by both parties.


Road of TrialsEdit

Description: Any step the creature takes is upon thorns, broken glass, tacks, caltrops, or other hazards that magically manifest themselves to force penance upon the creature who walks upon them.

Effect: A creature afflicted with this darkweave has their speed reduced by half and takes 1d6 points of damage + 1d4 bleed every time they take an action that moves them. Forced movement does not induce this effect.

Duration: 1 + 1 round per amount the wager was won by.


Fire of RetributionEdit

Description: Retributive fire scorches the flesh of the accused as the creature with the moral high ground inflicted penance upon them.

Effect: Any time the creature afflicted with this darkweave takes damage from the creature they lost the wager too they take an additional 1d6 fire damage.

Duration: 1 + 1 round per amount the wager was won by.


Chains of DamnationEdit

Description: Ghastly chains signal a deep affliction of the spirit that has locked the creature in this place physically to represent their moral inability to grow.

Effect: The spectral chains inhibit movement, if the target fails an initial Will save they are immobilized. During each of their turns the target may attempt a Will save a swift action, on a success the target is no longer immobilized and it able to move normally. The initial save DC is 10 + 1/2 HD. The save DC increases by one for each excess point of wickedness used to activate it, or the amount you won the wager by.


Wrath of the WickedEdit

Description: The smokey tendrils that once probed the soul of the creature you tried to darkweave now fill them with unimaginable pain and wrack their very form with physical manifestation of their sins. If the darkborn loses the struggle then the backlash falls upon them.

Effect: The loser of the wager is stricken with 1d6 points of negative energy damage per level of darkborn. A darkborn takes 1 damage per dice that would afflicted a normal creature (3d6 results in 3 damage).

Duration: Instantaneous


Sword of PunishmentEdit

Description: For every blade that cuts you ten wounds open on your body, for every stab a thousand pricks, for every burn you suffer a million scars.

Effect: The next attack the creature who won the wager delivers against the creature who lost the wager gains a profane bonus to damage equal to 2 x darkborn level.

Duration: The attack must be made within a number of rounds equal to 1 + the 1 per amount the wager was won by.


Pit of DespairEdit

Description: A great maw opens from the ground and swallows whole the offender until he has contemplated his sins.

Effect: As per the spell create pit, however, it simply swallows the creature who wagered less. The spell only affects the afflicted creature and has no bearing on any other creature. The creature automatically fails any sort of Reflex save to be avoid falling in as if he had willingly failed the save. Once inside, the creature can attempt to climb out. The caster level of the spell is 2 x darkborn level. While in this pit the creature suffers visions of their most regrettable acts (though this has no mechanical impact).

Duration: 1 + 1 round per amount the wager was won by.


Grand ExileEdit

Description: Reality shatters as the offending creature is tossed from this plane of existence to the wretched place that they were birthed from.

Effect: If the creature that lost the wager was an outsider, they are subject to the spell dismissal. This darkweave can only afflict an outsider. If the darkborn loses the wager they take 1d6 points of damage for every 2 points they lost the wager by to a maximum of a number of dice equal to their darkborn level. A darkborn of 5th level or higher can use banishment in place of dismissal if they wish. The caster level for the spell is equal to 2 x darkborn level.

Duration: Instantaneous


Pyre of GuiltEdit

Description: The crimes a man has committed literally burn his skin in vibrant black flames.

Effect: The creature that lost the wager catches on fire and begins to burn taking darkborn level in fire damage each round until they take a standard action to put themselves out or darkborn level rounds pass.

Duration: Rounds equal to darkborn level


Suppress Darkweave(Su):Edit

A darkborn of 2nd level can suppress any darkweave upon themselves as a free action that must be made at the start of their turn. It costs them 1 point of wickedness to do this.


Aura of Evil (Su):Edit

“Lies cannot be hidden forever. They crawl and creep their ways out until they do more harm than good. It is best to not surround yourself with lies or you may find yourself facing harm no matter where you tun.”

At 3rd level the darkborn gains an aura of evil. The power of a darkborn’s aura of evil (see detect evil) is equal to his darkborn level. A darkborn always registers as evil regardless of his true alignment.


Wickedness Within (Su):Edit

“Evil on the outside best burns evil on the inside.”

A darkborn of 4th level gains a +2 bonus to damage against evil outsiders. In addition the darkborn bypasses half the DR & resistances an evil outsider possesses.


At 8th level the bonus to damage against evil outsiders improves to +4 and the darkborn automatically bypasses all DR and Resistances the evil outsider possesses.


Evil Eyes (Su):Edit

“Evil knows its own kind like two old friends.”

At 4th level a darkborn may cast detect evil by spending 1 point of wickedness. Additionally a darkborn is instantly made aware when an evil outsider of equal or less HD is within 30 ft. of him.


At 8th level a darkborn is instantly made aware when a creature of evil alignment of equal or less HD is within 30 ft of him.


Darkform (Su):Edit

At 5th level a darkborn can shift into a tainted form of themselves. This twisted beast appears similar to that of the darkborn but much more bestial and shares many traits with evil outsiders.

A darkborn assumes the form of a medium creature of his base type. He gains the evil subtype and one of the following abilities:

  • Climb 60 ft., fly 60 feet (good maneuverability), or swim 60 feet,


And all of the following abilities:

  • Darkvision 60 feet

  • Low-light vision

  • +2 natural armor

  • One bite (1d8)

  • Two claws (1d6)

  • All of your natural attacks deal an extra 1d4 negative energy damage

Activating this is a swift action and it costs 1 point of wickedness to enter. In addition, at the start of each round, the darkborn must expend 1 more point of wickedness to remain in this form. Exiting the darkform is a swift action. Once out of their darkform, a darkborn is fatigued for 1 round per round he spent in his darkform. A darkborn cannot enter his darkform while fatigued.


The Fate of Heroes:Edit

“Perhaps it is true what they say. You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

At 10th level the darkborn becomes an evil outsider and shifts his alignment two steps towards evil. If he is of lawful alignment he becomes a devil, if he is of chaotic alignment he becomes a demon, and if he is of neutral alignment (on the law-chaos axis) he become a daemon. He gains the appropriate subtype.

This character is no longer able to be played by the player as the wickedness has totally consumed him- leaving only a physical form and a totally corrupted spirit.


Optional Rule: SalvationEdit

Before he takes his 10th level in this class, a darkborn using this optional rule gets a final Will save (DC 25). If he succeeds it, he does not gain the fate of heroes class feature.





Section 15 OGL Copyright Declaration:Edit

Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Paizo Publishing, LLC.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Player’s Guide. © 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn

Little Red Goblin Games Racial Guide I. © 2010, Little Red Goblin Games, LLC; Author: Scott Gladstein, Caleb Aylsworth

Little Red Goblin Games Racial Guide II. © 2010, Little Red Goblin Games, LLC; Author: Scott Gladstein, Jeremiah Zerby, Caleb Aylsworth, Christos Gurd

Grey Alien Racial Guide. © 2010, Little Red Goblin Games, LLC; Author: Scott Gladstein, Jeremiah Zerby, Caleb Aylsworth

Noble & Skirmisher © 2013, Little Red Goblin Games, LLC; Author: Scott Gladstein, Jeremiah Zerby, Caleb Aylsworth, Dayton Johnson

Tome of Twisted Things © 2014, Little Red Goblin Games, LLC; Author: Ian Sisson, Caleb Aylsworth, Scott Gladstein, and Christos Gurd.

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