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Mystara 3E - Chapter 1: Characters, New Classesby Roger LV Girtman II
The Known World has three new character classes which are unique to MYSTARA: the Dervish, Rake, and Shamani.
NOTE: These classes are completely new and have NOT been extensively playtested. The Shamani is a combination of the Ethengari shaman and the Atruaghin Shamani. I tried my best to capitalise on the similarities while blurring the differences... as always, feedback is extremely welcome!
The dervishes are holy hermits, true believers and scholars that live solitary lives of contemplation and physical devotion in the desert wilderness. Also known as desert druids, these holy men live in caves, crude shelters, or tents in remote regions. Dervishes are revered by desert nomads, who aid in providing the holy hermits with food and shelter needs.
In contemplation they strive to achieve a mystical oneness with nature by studying and participating in the tranquillity and majesty of the desert wilderness. They patiently observe and commune with the animals and plants of the desert, and at higher levels of the discipline, may even communicate with the elemental forces of the desert such as the wind, the sand, the stone, the sun, and the miraculous inspiration of the water.
Their physical devotions, a discipline of strenuous ritual exercises, are their prayers. Acrobatic and athletic, these devotions produce men of remarkable durability and stamina. They dash barefoot across the desert, across the dunes, and over rocky mountains. They juggle rocks, lift great stones, and twirl like tops in the heat of the noonday sun or in the chill of the evening.
Dervishes have withdrawn to the desert wilderness to escape the distractions of commerce with other men, and they avoid becoming involved with the affairs of men. Visitors to the wilderness are considered uninvited guests; if they are polite, not disruptive or demanding, and gone quickly, they are not offensive.
However, due to their religious doctrine, the dervishes are still bound by the principles of concern for the welfare of their fellow man. Dervishes are normally extremely restrained and judgemental in their expression of this concern. The foolish and arrogant may be left to their own devices when stranded in the desert; the wise and respectful should not need aid.
Dervishes are pacifistic in philosophy; they carry no weapons, wear no armour, and learn no combat skills. They seldom interfere in violent conflicts, though their superb physical conditioning gives them advantages when forced to fight. Their spells are primarily intended to facilitate their study and observation of nature, though some are useful for self-defence.
Religion: Dervishes are cultural icons. In most cases, a dervish will be the most devout proponent of a regions major religion. In the case of Ylaruam, a dervish would be a follower of al-Kalim. Sindhi dervishes are called Rishiyas.
Preferred Character Regions: Dervishes are located most often in arid desert regions such as Alasiya and Sind. A few humanoid cultures have developed a dervish culture in the more inhospitable areas of the Broken Lands.
Game Rule Information
Dervishes have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Wisdom determines how powerful a spell a dervish can cast, how many spells he can cast per day, and how hard those spells are to resist. To cast a spell, a dervish must have a Wisdom score of 10 + the spell's level. A dervish gets bonus spells based on Wisdom. The Difficulty Class of a saving throw against a dervish's spell is 10 + the spell's level + the dervish's Wisdom modifier.
Since a dervish wears only light armour, a high Dexterity score greatly improves his defensive ability. Charisma is also helpful as it modifies some of the dervish's special abilities, such as Turn/rebuke undead as well as Wild empathy.
Alignment: Any Lawful.
Hit Dice: d8.
The dervish's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (history)(Int), Knowledge (nature)(Int), Knowledge (religion)(Int), Listen (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), and Survival (desert)(Wis).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier)×4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level:2+Int modifier.
TABLE 1—4: DERVISH
Base Attack: Medium
Spells per Day: as Cleric
Level Special Abilities 1 Absolute devotion, Turn/rebuke undead 2 Nature sense 3 4 Evasion 5 6 Wild empathy 7 8 Fast movement 9 10 Still mind 11 12 Purity of body 13 14 Improved evasion 15 16 Divine health 17 18 Timeless body 19 20 Natural communion, Bodhisattvah
All of the following are class features of the dervish.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Dervishes gain Light Weapon Proficiency and Light Armour Proficiency, as well as Shield Proficiency. Dervishes generally refuse to use weapons or armour, though there is no reason why they could not use them if they so choose.
Spells: Dervishes cast divine spells. Their spells, a mixture of clerical, druidic, and special spells, are specifically adapted to their life in the desert.
Bonus Languages: Dervishes gain no special bonus languages.
Absolute devotion: The studies of a dervish are a lifelong pursuit. A dervish may not multiclass with any class except monk, who's physical and martial abilities accent the dervish's own disciplines. If a dervish multiclasses with any other class can never take another level of dervish. In addition, they loose all supernatural abilities, including divine spells and the ability to turn or rebuke undead. These abilities can never be regained; however they do retain all extraordinary abilities earned up to the point of their digression.
Turn or Rebuke Undead (Su): Any dervish, regardless of alignment, has the power to affect undead creatures by channelling the power of his faith through his holy (or unholy) symbol (see Turn or Rebuke Undead, PHB Chapter 8).
A good or neutral dervish can turn or destroy undead creatures. An evil dervish instead rebukes or commands such creatures. A dervish may attempt to turn undead a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier. A dervish with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) gets a +2 bonus on turning checks against undead.
Nature sense (Ex): A dervish gains a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Survival (desert) checks.
Evasion (Ex): At 4th level or higher if a dervish makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a dervish is wearing light armour or no armour. A helpless dervish does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Wild Empathy (Ex): A dervish can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The dervish rolls 1d20 and adds his dervish level and his Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result.
The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.
To use wild empathy, the druid and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
A dervish can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but she takes a -4 penalty on the check.
Fast movement (Ex): At 8th level, a dervish gains an enhancement bonus, of +20 feet, to his speed. A dervish in armour or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed.
Still mind (Ex): A dervish of 10th level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against spells and effects from the school of enchantment.
Purity of body (Ex): At 12th level, a dervish gains immunity to all diseases except for supernatural and magical diseases. However, previously contracted diseases remain until cured by some other means.
Improved evasion: At 14th level, a dervish's evasion ability improves. He still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless dervish does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Divine health (Su): At 16th level, a dervish's Purity of body improved to include supernatural and magical diseases. Additionally, any previously contracted diseases are cured, seemingly naturally in 1d4 days.
Timeless body (Su): After attaining 18th level, a dervish no longer takes ability score penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties he may have already incurred, however, remain in place.
Bonuses still accrue, and the dervish still dies of old age when her time is up.
Natural communion (Su): At 20th level, a dervish can commune with nature, as per the spell, once per day as a spell-like ability. This ability has half the casting time (5 minutes) and double the potency (up to 6 facts) of the normal spell.
Bodhisattvah (Ex): By 20th level a dervish has attained oneness with the desert, and may now multiclass freely without penalty or loosing any spells or supernatural abilities.
The people of the Pearl Islands admire the trickery, agility, and cleverness of the rogue. But they don't like stealing—it offends their philosophy of personal growth and individual excellence. So in the Pearl Islands there developed a class of rogues, called rakes, who don't steal. They have roguish skills and abilities—except that they don't have sneak attack and sleight of hand is not a class skill. Across the centuries the idea of the rake has spread across the Empire, so you can find rakes in many parts of the world.
Despite being similar to rogues, rakes do not belong to Thieves' Guilds (rogues do not consider them to be in their profession). Many are lawful. A rogue may not multiclass as a rake, nor may a rake become a rogue. When that choice is made, it's for life. The rake profession is a good choice for players who want their heroes to be lightly armed swashbuckling types.
Preferred Character Regions: The rakes originated in the Pearl Islands, and have since spread throughout the Empire to many regions, including Hattias, Ochalea, Thyatis, and Traladara. Rakastans from Ochalea have also adopted the rake and spread it amongst their people.
Game Rule Information
Rakes have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Dexterity provides extra protection for the lightly armoured rake. A high Intelligence score is important for many of the rake's skills, as well as giving the rake extra skill points, which can be used to expand his repertoire. A high Charisma score is also a hallmark of a successful rake.
Hit Dice: d8.
The rake's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local)(Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex). See Chapter 4 in the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (8 + Int modifier) × 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 8 + Int modifier.
TABLE 1—5: RAKE
Base Attack: Medium
Level Special Abilities 1 Weapon Finesse, Trapfinding 2 Grace +1 3 Insightful strike 4 — 5 Dodge bonus +1 6 — 7 Acrobatic charge 8 Improved flanking 9 — 10 Dodge bonus +2 11 Grace +2, lucky 12 — 13 Acrobatic skill mastery 14 Weakening critical 15 Dodge bonus +3 16 — 17 Slippery mind 18 — 19 Wounding critical 20 Dodge bonus +4, grace +3
All of the following are class features of the rake.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Rakes are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armour. Some of the rake's class features, as noted below, rely on him being no more than lightly armoured and unencumbered.
Weapon Finesse (Ex): A rake gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat at 1st level even if he does not qualify for the feat.
Trapfinding (Ex): Rakes may search for and disable traps exactly the same as a rogue. Refer to Chapter 3 of the Player's Handbook for details on the Trapfinding ability.
Grace (Ex): A rake gains a +1 competence bonus on Reflex saves at 2nd level. This bonus increases to +2 at 11th level and +3 at 20th level. A rake looses this bonus when wearing medium or heavy armour or when carrying a medium or heavy load.
Insightful Strike (Ex): At 3rd level, a rake becomes able to place his finesse attacks where they deal greater damage. He applies his Intelligence bonus (if any) as a bonus on damage rolls (in addition to any Strength bonuses he may have) with any light weapon, as well as any other weapon that may be used with Weapon Finesse, such as a rapier, whip, or spiked chain. Targets immune to sneak attacks or critical hits are immune to the rake's insightful strike. A rake cannot use this ability when wearing medium or heavy armour or when carrying a medium or heavy load.
Dodge Bonus (Ex): A rake is trained at focusing his defences on a single opponent in melee. During his action, he may designate an opponent and receive a +1 dodge bonus to Armour Class against melee attacks from that opponent. He can select a new opponent on any action. This bonus increases by +1 at every five levels after 5th (+2 at 10th level, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th). A rake looses this bonus when wearing medium or heavy armour or when carrying a medium or heavy load.
If the rake also has the Dodge feat, he need not designate the same target for this ability as for the Dodge feat. (If he designates the same target, the bonuses stack.)
Acrobatic Charge (Ex): A rake of 7th level or higher can charge in situations where others cannot. He may charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement or allies blocking his path. This ability enables him to run down steep stairs, leap down from a balcony, or to tumble over tables to get to his target. Depending on the circumstance, he may still need to make appropriate checks (Jump or Tumble checks, in particular) to successfully move over he terrain.
Improved Flanking (Ex): A rake of 8th level or higher who is flanking an opponent gains a +4 bonus on attacks instead of a +2 bonus on attacks. (Other characters flanking with the rake don't gain this increased bonus.)
Lucky (Ex): Many rakes live by the credo "Better lucky than good." Once per day, a rake of 11th level or higher may reroll and failed attack roll, skill check, ability check, or saving throw. The character must take the result of the reroll, even if it's worse than the original roll.
Acrobatic Skill Mastery (Ex): At 13th level, a rake becomes so certain in the use of his acrobatic skills that he can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. When making a Jump or Tumble check, a rake may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so.
Weakening Critical (Ex): A rake of 14th level or higher who scores a critical hit against a creature also deals 2 points of Strength damage to the creature. Creatures immune to critical hits are immune to this effect.
Slippery Mind (Ex): When a rake reaches 17th level, his mind becomes more difficult to control. If the rake fails his save against an enchantment spell or effect, he can attempt the save again 1 round later at the same DC (assuming he is still alive). He gets only this one chance to succeed at a certain saving throw.
Wounding Critical (Ex): A rake of 19th level or higher who scores a critical hit against a creature also deals 2 points of Constitution damage to the creature. (This damage is in addition to the Strength damage dealt by the rake's weakening critical class feature.) Creatures immune to critical hits are immune to this effect.
Shamani are similar to clerics, in that they oversee the mystical practices of their tribal societies. In addition, they have much in common with the mysterious druids that are found in the dark and secluded wilderness. They are not trained in combat, but do manage to keep themselves in shape due to the nature of many of their devotions.
The Shamani are powerful, yet humble. The Way of the Shamani is not a path to be chosen, one is born with it, and it grows within you. The time comes when the spirit within you makes itself known. It is not a welcome gift, for it brings the illness with it. In this time, the shamani will fall into a trance for as long as nine days. It is then that he becomes aware of his fetch, the spirit that leads them through life.
Because of their knowledge of the spirits, their advice is sought out in such things as when is the best time to make and break camp, to warn of natural disasters, and to determine the best time to organise hunts and make war. Shamani are also the memory of their people, the storytellers who relate the great tales of their ancestors and the Spirit Lords.
Preferred Character Regions: Shamani are most often found in tribal societies such as Atruaghin and the Steppes. There are a few shamani known to exist in the more isolated areas of the Hinterlands, Freeholds and Northlands. Shamani also are known to be prevalent within most humanoid cultures.
Game Rule Information
Shamani have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Wisdom determines how powerful a spell a shamani can cast and how many spells he can cast per day. Charisma determines how hard those spells are to resist (see Spells, below). Like a druid, the shamani benefits from high Dexterity and high Constitution due to the fact that he begins with proficiency with only light armour.
Alignment: Any. Shamani are nominally aligned with their native culture, therefore Atruaghin shamani are nearly always lawful, whilst Ethengari shamani are usually neutral in at least one axis.
Hit Dice: d8.
The shamani class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (geography)(Int), Knowledge (history)(Int), Knowledge (local)(Int), Knowledge (nature)(Int) , Knowledge (religion)(Int), Knowledge (the planes)(Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) X 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.
TABLE 1—6: SHAMANI
Base Attack: Poor
Spells Per Day: as Sorcerer
Level Special Abilities 1 Fetch, Disability 2 Animal language, 1/day 3 Detect toxin 4 Animal language, 2/day 5 Animal friendship 6 7 Animal language, 3/day 8 Fetchform, 1/day 9 10 Animal language, 4/day 11 Fetchform, 2/day 12 Detect poison 13 Animal language, 5/day 14 Fetchform, 3/day 15 16 Animal language, 6/day 17 Fetchform, 4/day 18 19 Animal language, at will 20 Fetchform, 5/day
All of the following are class features of the shamani.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A shamani is proficient with the club, dagger, dart, hand axe, javelin, longspear, quarterstaff, shortspear, spear, sling, shortbow, throwing axe, and with light armour and shields. These are the weapons commonly used by the tribal societies in which shamani are found.
Spells (Su): Shamani cast divine spells. Their spells are prepared by entering a trance state for one hour a day where they meditate with their fetch, who teaches the shamani his spells.
Shamani possess a divine focus for their spells, called a fetish or gri-gri. This focus is usually in the form of a wand-sized piece of carved wood or bone, with certain trinkets such as feathers, strips of fur, and animal skulls attached to it. Shamani must use this focus during their trance meditation, in order to prepare spells, in addition to casting spells which require a divine focus.
Fetch (Su): All shamani have a fetch, a personification of the spirit world. In some sense a shamani and his fetch are one being, both knowing and seeing and experiencing the same things. Unlike a familiar, a fetch is not a separate entity from the shamani. He is the only one sho can perceive or interact with his fetch. It exists only inside his own mind and soul.
The shamani's fetch confers greater awareness of his surroundings, and grants him the Alertness Feat.
The exact form of the fetch appears to the shamani at 1st level. A fetch normally takes the form of a normal animal. The exact form of the fetch should be determined randomly, or chosen by the DM, from the table below. The fetch also confers a bonus to one ability score as well as a +2 bonus to one Skill. If the skill is not a class skill, it becomes one.
Disability (Ex): Shamani experience an illness when their fetch first appears. During the shamani suffers a minor disability that marks the shamani throughout the rest of his life.
Roll 1d6 and consult the following table to see which ability is affected. The character looses 1 point from the ability score and suffers a slight disability. The lost point may be not be restored except by natural level progression. Regardless, the disability remains.
Roll Ability Disability 1 Str Thin or wasted looking, stringy arms or legs 2 Dex Twisted hands, legs, back, etc. 3 Con Pallid complexion, unhealthy looking 4 Int Drooling, nose picking, moronic cackle, etc. 5 Wis Brash, insulting, stubborn, etc. 6 Cha Twisted face, high-pitched voice, pimples, large coloured mark on face, pock-marked face, etc.
Animal Language (Sp): Beginning at 2nd level, the shamani can speak with animals of the same type as his fetch, as per the speak with animals spell. This ability can be used once per day at 2nd level, twice at 4th, and one more at each additional 3 levels. This ability can be used at will upon attaining 19th level.
Detect toxin (Ex): Shamani have a natural affinity to the wild lands of the Known World. Because of this, they are able to tell whether plants and animals are safe to eat after a quick (1 round) examination and spot unhealthy water on sight. This ability reveals natural poisons, diseases, or any other normally occurring taint.
Animal Friendship (Su): Non-magical animals, under their own free will, including giant versions of mundane creatures, will never attack a shamani. This protection does not extend those travelling with or near the shamani.
Fetchform (Su): At 8th level, a shamani learns how to temporarily take the form of his fetch. This ability is useable once per day, plus once for every three levels beyond 8th. This transformation works exactly like the wild shape ability of a druid (including as a prerequisite to the Natural Spell feat), except that the form is limited to that of the fetch. The size of the fetch's form may be any size normally found by the fetch's animal-type, including giant or dire forms.
Detect Poison (Ex): At 12th level, the shamani has become so intimate with his natural surroundings that he as learned to detect artificial toxins that have been placed on some consumable by a character with some sleight of hand skill. The search DC for this check is equal to the original poisoner's sleight of hand check.
TABLE 1—7: SHAMANI'S FETCH
d100 Fetch Ability Skill Bonus 1-3 Badger Str Knowledge (Architecture) 4-6 Bear Con Intimidate 7-9 Buffalo Str Knowledge (Religion) 10-12 Camel Con Knowledge (Geography) 13-15 Cat Dex Survival 16-18 Cougar Con Balance 19-21 Coyote Int Speak Language* 22-24 Crane Wis Concentration 25-27 Crow Cha Spot 28-30 Dog Wis Diplomacy 31-33 Eagle Str Sense Motive 34-36 Elk Con Knowledge (Nobility) 37-39 Falcon Wis Handle Animal 40-42 Fox Wis Hide 43-44 Gerbil Wis Sense Motive 45-47 Goat Con Bluff 48-50 Hawk Int Spot 51-53 Horse Str Ride 54-56 Lion Cha Listen 57-59 Lizard Cha Disguise 60-62 Monkey Dex Escape Artist 63-65 Otter Cha Swim 66-68 Owl Wis Knowledge (Local) 69-71 Rabbit Int Jump 72-74 Raccoon Cha Sleight of Hand 75-77 Scorpion Dex Knowledge (Planes) 78-79 Sheep Con Knowledge (Nature) 80-82 Snake Int Knowledge (Arcana) 83-85 Spider Dex Craft 86-87 Swan Cha Sense Motive 88-90 Tiger Dex Sense Motive 91-93 Turtle Wis Knowledge (History) 94-95 Vulture Wis Heal 96-98 Wolf Int Survival 99-00 Yak Str Intimidate
*Coyote provides 1 unrestricted language choice.