View Full Version : The Dark Saint PrC (PEACH)

Realms of Chaos
2011-02-06, 06:23 PM
Dark Saint

“But... I… I only wanted to help”
-Sandra Voorhein, Dark Saint

Excerpt from Darkwillow’s Quick and Easy Guide to Efficient Soul Collecting
Chapter III: Corrupting Societies

Now that we’ve covered the basic dos and don’ts of faustian pacts and the proper procedures for claiming credit to a captured soul (whether or not it is due), it is time to up the ante. That’s right, it’s time to play with the big boys and start corrupting entire societies. Don’t worry if this sounds over your heads, though. We’ll start small with small communities and move up from there. Have to walk before you can run and all that.

The first thing you have to understand is that treating towns like people is stupid. You might as well treat a balor like a delicious cupcake. Yeah, it’s that bad. Take a moment to recall those exercises outlined at the end of chapter 1. Now I want you to imagine doing the exact same things 50 times or more, in quick succession, while either corrupting the pure or making sure that the requests of others damn them as well. Let’s put aside the logistical nightmare of assembling “rewards” for your victims, the large number of favors that you’d need, and the fact that your superiors will notice that you’ve taken resources and demote you faster than you can say “Lemure”. Even putting all of that aside, the sheer amount of paperwork that you’d need to fill out ahead of time would tip off everyone you know that they’re a few signatures away from taking credit for something very big. It should go without saying that anyone stupid enough to try something like this deserves to lose credit for whatever they get.

Anyhow, it seems that I’ve gotten off topic. The point of the matter is that the only good ways to corrupt an entire community are to corrupt it from the top down (discussed at length in Chapter 8: Kings, Barons, and Mayors) or to make a pact with a large group in the community and let them do the rest of the work for you. As the former option has been proven difficult to use effectively in smaller communities, we’ll be starting with group pacts and dealing with the politicians later.

When I refer to making a pact with a group, I don’t mean turning up at the next town meeting and offering your services to the masses. All those screams of “Ahh, it’s a devil”, “Somebody kill it”, and “Lord have mercy on our souls” will interrupt your pitch before you can get five words out. As Valrus the Bloody has a copyright on all information pertaining to methods of dealing and controlling mobs of mortals, we’ll rule this out as an impossible means of approach.

Some of you people out there may think that I’m suggesting that you all go out and make cults. While I admit that having a legion of mortals that follows your every command and worships the ground you step on is both cathartic and practical, this is a guide to efficient soul collecting and efficient is something that a cult is not. Unless your cult is able to frequently recruit and enjoys sacrificing its own members to you or is exceedingly good at corrupting others, making a cult will do little but eat up your valuable time. It’s a sad truth but making a truly profitable cult is often more trouble than it’s worth.

The newest technique that we have perfected, thanks to countless hours of testing by Beelzebub, imitates those creatures that mortals have come to call “saints”. When the “forces of righteousness” want to spread goodness (or whatever they call it) through the world, they choose a patsy and give him the power to help other people out. That’s right, folks. One burst of power given to one mortal being used to help out everyone around them. Quite recently, we have learned how to make some “saints” of our own, tainting everyone who they come into contact with.

Of course, it isn’t quite that simple. We have to give the people around our saints a damn good reason not want to kill them on sight. As I’ve said before, you can’t treat a community the same way that you’d treat a person. While a person may have certain wishes, vices, and goals, communities have rather simple desires as a whole. They desire little beyond food and water, peace and prosperity, a roof above their heads and some peace of mind. The basic business plan for this venture, therefore, is an equally simple one: you are going to give those communities exactly what they want and simply hide the costs they pay in the fine print…

Every once in a while, an enterprising devil (either disguised or out in the open) seeks out a mortal to make a most interesting pact. Rather than offering to grant the mortal’s desires, the devil offers to grant them the power that they need to help others. Those who accept the deal, known as Dark Saints, can bless and provide for entire communities. Never to be altruistic, however, the devils have created a rather dark twist. Those who continue accepting the aid of a Dark Saint find soon enough that their souls have been damned. In this way, a devil can corrupt entire towns for generations without lifting a single finger. While commonly given to members of desperate towns who would require and rely on a new Dark Saint, this pact is sometimes made with false prophets and con artists who are made more fully aware of their powers and are rewarded for causing particularly rampant corruption.

To qualify to become a Dark Saint, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.
Skills:Bluff 8 ranks or Diplomacy 8 ranks.
Special: Must have made a special Faustian pact (see above).

Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d8

Class Skills:
Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, Knowledge (all skills, taken individually), Listen, Perform, Profession, Sense Motive, Speak Language, Spellcraft, Spot, Use Magic Device
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier

Dark Saint
{table="head"]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th

0|+0|+0|+0|+0|Hidden Darkness, Devil’s Light, Root of All Evil|-|-|-|-|-

1st|+0|+2|+0|+2|Dark Offering (Pleasure), The Devil Provides (Drinks), Tainted Blessing|1|-|-|-|-

2nd|+1|+3|+0|+3|Dark Offering (Peace), Ritualistic Casting (Healing), Shelter of the Damned|2|1|-|-|-

3rd|+1|+3|+1|+3|Aura of Awe, Dark Offering (Prosperity), The Devil Provides (Food)|3|2|1|-|-

4th|+2|+4|+1|+4|Dark Offering (Protection), Ritualistic Casting (Divination), Home of the Damned|3|3|2|1|-

5th|+2|+4|+1|+4|Dark Offering (Power), The Devil Provides (Feast), Eternal Corruptor|3|3|3|2|1


Class Features:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dark Saints gain no additional proficiency with any form of weapon or armor.

Hidden Darkness (Su): Immediately upon accepting the pact with a devil, a small bit of evil is hidden deep within a good or neutral dark saint. When viewed with detect evil or a similar spell, the caster makes a caster level check (DC 10 + your HD + Charisma modifier) against the saint, viewing a faint evil aura around you if they succeed. An evil Dark Saint instead has the moral component of their alignment concealed unless a caster succeeds on a caster level check against the same DC.

Devil’s Light (Su): Upon making the pact with a devil, a dark saint gains an aura of light that surrounds them which may be stylized in any manner of their choice (ranging from a halo above one’s head to a formless aura to ghostly raiment’s of light and so on), shedding bright illumination out to 10 feet and shadowy illumination out an additional 10 feet. While this light is active, the dark saint gains a +2 bonus to charisma checks made against good creatures, +1 per class level. A dark saint may suppress or activate this aura of light as a move action.

Root of All Evil (Su): Being highly cynical and lacking much empathy, most devils assume that mortals will instantly use their powers to make themselves a fortune. Being highly greedy and again lacking much empathy, devils aren’t exactly inclined to let a mortal keep such a fortune. Whenever money or goods are exchanged for the use of a class feature, it vanishes instantly, teleported to the domain of the dark saint’s patron. Services not resulting in goods, however, can be exchanged if desired.

Always in a rush to obtain souls, however, the masters of a Dark Saint will grant material goods to mortals in return for a faster investment. As a full-round action, a Dark Saint can enable a willing mortal creature within 30 feet to create any number of nonmagical, non-alchemic items of their choice worth up to 50 gp + 50 gp per class level. This item remains until it passes out of the mortal's possession (whether willingly or unwillingly) for 24 consecutive hours, at which point the items vanish. Each time this ability is used on a mortal's behalf, however, their maximum life span is reduced by 1 year.

Spells: Beginning at 1st level, a Dark Saint gains the ability to cast a number of divine spells using energy siphoned directly from the gods (much like those of an ur-priest). To cast a spell, a Dark Saint must have a Charisma score of at least 10 + the spell's level. Dark Saint bonus spells are based off of Charisma, and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + the Dark Saint's Charisma bonus (if any). The Dark Saint's spell list appears below and the Dark Saint gains full access to all spells on that list. A Dark Saint prepares and casts spells as a cleric, save that he may do so at any time of the day and need never provide a divine focus. Like a cleric, a Dark Saint may select two domains, gaining their powers and adding their spells to the Dark Saint's spell list if not already on it. As this energy isn't supplied by a Saint's infernal patrons, they are able to cast any [good] or [chaotic] spells on their list as normal. A Dark Saint's caster level is equal to twice its class level.

Dark Offering (Su): As early as 1st level, a Dark Saint may provide great boons for himself and his society through ritual sacrifice. The victim may be willing or unwilling and need not belong to the community being blessed but must be sentient and possess a soul (to compensate the Saint’s infernal patrons). The sacrifice requires 8 hours to complete and names no greater power to receive the sacrifice either explicitly or implicitly (thus avoiding the stigma behind an obviously infernal ceremony). For the duration of the ritual, the target must remain either willing or helpless. The type of ritual that a Dark Saint can carry out depends on his or her class level. A single offering affects an entire community up to the size of a small city or a single district of a larger community. All Dark Offerings last for 1 year and do not stack with themselves. Assisting the Dark Saint in this ritual is not inherently damning but helping to sacrifice an unwilling creature (even one chosen lawfully through lottery) is an evil act.

Offering of Pleasure: At 1st level, a Dark Saint can provide happiness to their community through their sacrifice, keeping them pliable and content with their lives as the Dark Saint works around them. To those affected, colors become brighter and more vivid, sounds more melodious and soft, and the nature of others seem more pleasant and understanding. All members of the town gain a +1 morale bonus to skill checks and gains a +4 bonus to Will Saves against spells and effects that would alter their emotional state. A Dark Saint may perform this offering without any assistance.

Offering of Peace: At 2nd level, a Dark Saint may create a peaceful and safe community through their sacrifice, keeping citizens alive longer so they may be corrupted. Within the community, violent crime drops to levels of near non-existence and members of the community may only take a violent action if they succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + Class level + Cha modifier) or have witnessed another violent action within the past minute. Lastly, all members of the community gain a +1 profane bonus to AC and to all saving throws. Performing this ritual requires the assistance of twenty other sentient beings or of one fourth of the community; whichever is smaller.

Offering of Prosperity: At 3rd level, a Dark Saint may create a prosperous community through their sacrifice, attracting new citizens and travelers for corruption. Within the community and the lands immediately around it (all lands owned by the community within 1 mile), crops flourish and produce double their normal yield as livestock fatten easily and produce litters of staggering size. In addition, the community sees an economic boom as crafter and performers are inspired, workers craft new techniques, new trade routes are formed, new resources are discovered, and so forth. Any skill check performed to earn a living produces twice as many riches for those that live within the community. Performing this ritual requires the assistance of fifty other sentient beings or of half of the community; whichever is smaller.

Offering of Protection: At 4th level, a Dark Saint may protect a community through their sacrifice in one of two ways, keeping out potential dangers to the current operations of the Dark Saint. Using the first form of this protection, the Dark Saint selects a creature type as if selecting a favored enemy. Creatures of the selected type (or subtype) can’t enter the community unless they succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + Class level + Cha modifer). A new saving throw may be attempted only once per day. Though devils aren’t affected by this power, they can still tell if a community should be “protected” against them and don’t enter such a community if there is any way to avoid it as revealing this ruse is often grounds for immediate demotion (a fate worse than death for devils).

Alternately, the Dark Saint may summon a guardian to guard the town. The guardian is a devil of the DM’s choice with HD up to twice the Dark Saint’s class level, magically concealed as a less-malignant outsider. The disguise is permanent and the Saint has no innate power to see through it, though a true seeing spell reveals its true form. The guardian is under orders to protect the community but puts priority on protecting the Dark Saint and the nearly-damned if possible.

As usual, a single community may only benefit from a single offering of protection at a given time. Performing this ritual requires the assistance of 100 other sentient beings or of three-fourths of the community; whichever is smaller.

Offering of Power: At 5th level, a Dark Saint can grant divine power to those living, turning them from the worship of true deities and granting the power of their worship to the saint's infernal sponsor. All affected creatures other than adepts gain the ability to cast spells as an adept of their class level and adepts gain an extra spell slot per spell level. Furthermore, all creatures are treated as if their Wisdom score was 4 higher for the purposes of this spellcasting (and for no other purpose) and gain instant awareness of this power. In order to prepare spells, a creature must spend either four hours in prayer or a single hour in prayer while possessing a line of sight to the Dark Saint (who acts as the catalyst for these dark energies). Performing this ritual requires 200 other sentient beings or the entire community; whichever is smaller.

Tainted Blessing (Su): The very touch of a Dark Saint carries a twisted blessing, protecting a target from harm and granting them luck while slowly damning their soul. As a standard action, a Dark Saint may touch a creature to grant it temporary hit points equal to twice the saint’s class level and the benefits of the Devil’s Favor feat (FCII, p. 81) for 24 hours. Any creature with one or more exalted feats may make a will save (DC 10 + Class level + Cha modifier) to resist this effect or lose access to all such feats as normal for creatures with devil-touched feats. A given creature may only benefit once from a single Dark Saint’s touch within 24 hours.

Any good creature who has already received seven such blessings from a single Dark Saint must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1 per previous success) with each successive blessing from that saint or have their alignment shifted from good to neutral. Creatures are never aware that any attempt has been made on their soul or morality and they may only regain a good alignment after receiving an atonement spell.

Note:If trying to keep the nature of a dark saint secret from the PCs, feel free to simply grant the benefits of the Devil's Favor feat without listing it by name. A single +2 bonus once per day likely won't attract too much attention.

The Devil Provides (Su): Seeing as it is quite difficult to corrupt the dead, it is in the best interests of a Dark Saint’s patrons to keep the people around them alive. Starting at 1st level, a Dark Saint may produce up to two gallons/class level of any form of non-magical, non-alchemic beverage as a standard action at will.

Starting at 3rd level, a Dark Saint may also produce any form of mundane foodstuff or combination of foodstuffs (enough for up to two meals/class level) as a standard action at will. Unlike food created via create food and water, this food remains fresh until it rots normally.

Starting at 5th level, a Dark Saint may produce a huge and magical feast, as the heroes’ feast spell, three times per day as a full-round action. Up to 12,000 meals can be created in this way with each use. This ability may only be used in an area large enough to comfortably hold the amount of food to be created and thus can’t be used to crush opponents to death or accomplish similar aims. This ability creates tables, chairs, and service as normal and gaining the benefits require 1 hour but all items created last for up to 4 hours or until they are dismissed as a standard action. No creature may benefit more than once from a single use of this ability.

Anyone who partakes of food or water created through this ability gains the saint’s hidden darkness class feature for 24 hours, helping to disguise the source of the taint within the community. In addition, if such a creature fails a Will save (DC 10 + Class level + Cha modifier), they desire more of the Dark Saint’s sustenance 24 hours later.

Note: the version of hidden darkness that a creature receives and the DC of the caster level check depends on their own alignment and HD, not those of the dark saint.

Shelter of the Damned (Su): Starting at 2nd level, a Dark Saint can create shelter for the homeless, cursed structures that damn those who live within. With 10 minutes of work, the Dark Saint can create a shabby lean-to or hut formed from local elements, occupying a 10-foot square. All creatures within the structure benefit from an endure elements effect and are protected from all but the very worst weather. A shelter possesses a single window with a curtain, a single flimsy wooden door (more for privacy than safety), a few straw mats for sleeping on, and a lantern that never runs out of fuel. If the mats or lantern are removed from the hut, they instantly dissolve into dust and reform within the hut.

Any creature who has slept within a shelter of the damned on seven occasions in the past (regardless of how long may pass between these occasions) must make a Will save every time they do so again (DC 15 + 1 per previous success) or have their soul (if any) damned, destined to travel to the Baator after the creature’s death. A Shelter of the Damned lasts for one week but the duration resets whenever somebody sleeps or meditates within it for at least 4 hours.

Ritualistic Casting (Sp): With some assistance from other mortals, a Dark Saint can manifest a bit of curative energy. The process, however, exposes the saint’s aides to darker powers, slowly driving them mad. Starting at 2nd level By increasing it’s casting time to 1 minute (unless it was otherwise longer), a Dark Saint may imitate a spell of the healing subschool of a level up to the Saint’s class level. The spell fails to manifest unless a number of additional mortals equal to the spell’s class level (other than intended targets) spend a full-round action to help channel the spell while it is being cast. Doing so grants each such participant corruption (HoH) equal to the level of that spell.

Starting at 4th level, the Dark Saint may imitate spells of the divination school in the same way, dealing depravity (HoH) instead of corruption.
Any creature who gains corruption or depravity in this way suppresses all symptoms and benefits (up to and including death/insanity) from that source of taint for as long as they remain within five miles of the Dark Saint, at which point the effects are manifested and aren’t hidden by approaching the Dark Saint once more. Until the effects have manifested themselves, a Dark Saint may not heal them in any way.

A Dark Saint may use this ability at will. The save DCs for these spells are 10 + Spell level + Cha modifier. All XP costs, foci, and material components for an imitated spell must be provided as normal.

Aura of Awe (Su): Starting at 3rd level, a Dark Saint radiates an aura out to 20 feet that fills allies and passersby with awe as it fills enemies with dread, roughly imitating the aura archons produce. Hostile creatures within the aura must make a Will Save (DC 10 + Class level + Charisma modifier) or take a -2 penalty to their Attack Rolls, Armor Class, and Saving Throws for 24 hours or until they successfully damag ethe Dark Saint. A creature who successfully saves against this ability or ends it can't be affected again by that Saint's aura for 24 hours.

Home of the Damned (Su): Starting at 4th level, a Dark Saint can create better superior shelters for those who need them. When using shelter of the damned, they may spend 30 minutes of work rather than 10 to create a structure that imitates a secure shelter spell, including an unseen servant (who follows the orders of anybody in the home). The endure elements effect functions within these structures and there are two lanterns with limitless fuel in each such structure. Unlike a normal secure shelter spell, however, there are no alarms or arcane locks, though there is a good lock on the door (the key to which rests on the writing desk when the home is created). Any furnishing removed from the home (other than the key) instantly dissolves into dust and reforms in the home.
A home of the damned dooms the souls of those within it just like a shelter of the damned and it lasts for equally long.

Eternal Corruptor: At 5th level, a Dark Saint has proven themselves useful enough to be added on as a permanent asset to their patrons. The Dark Saint effectively gains the Saint template with two exceptions. First, the Saint’s holy touch class feature does not function against devils but rather informs them of what the dark saint really is, enough of a reason for most devils to retreat and leave a Dark Saint in peace. Secondly, anybody targeted by one of the template’s spell-like abilities benefits from the dark saint’s tainted blessing class feature as well if they haven’t been targeted within the past 24 hours.

My basic idea: Mechanically, what I have here is a 3/5 caster who makes up for the two remaining levels with a +2 LA template, a few flavorful blessings for communities, the ability to make food/water/shelter whenever you need it, situational pseudo-spellcasting, and a weak blessing that can target a creature once per day.

What I was aiming for in terms of flavor, however, is what I take pride in. I have created a large-scale corrupting force that a society might be willing to live with even when fully aware of its nature. It is now possible for a being who has not only fed the hungry but provided them with feasts; who has not only sheltered the homeless but have given them true homes; who has brought seemingly endless blessings to the community at large; to be a sort of bad guy. This is a type of “villain” that doesn’t otherwise exist within D&D and that there is no single “right” way to deal with.

For the record, though, I’d personally rule that killing the dark saint to save the town or allowing it to be damned to save the inhabitants from death and despair are both neutral acts, incapable of even causing exalted character from losing their rank.

1st level: Alarm, Bless, Bless Water, Calm Animals, Curse Water, Disguise Self, Endure Elements, Light, Mending, Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, Pass without Trace, Purify Food and Drink, Ray of Hope***, Sanctuary, Shield of Faith, Silent Image, Speak with Animals, Summon Monster I, Vision of Glory*
2nd Level: Aid, Bear’s Endurance, Benediction**, Bull’s Strength, Calm Emotions, Consecrate, Desecrate, Divine Presence**, Eagle’s Splendor, Elation***, Gentle Repose, Make Whole, Mark of the Outcast*, Minor Image, Owl’s Wisdom, Resounding Voice*****, Shield Other, Summon Monster II, Zone of Truth
3rd Level: Mass Aid*, Daylight, Dispel Magic, Distilled Joy***, Glibness, Glyph of Warding, Helping Hand, Heroism, Invisibility Purge, Magic Circle against Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, Major Image, Prayer, Quench, Remove Curse, Speak with Dead, Summon Monster III, Water Breathing, Water Walk
4th level: Air Walk, Blinding Beauty***, Celestial Brilliance***, Control Water, Death Ward, Dismissal, Freedom of Movement, Hallucinatory Terrain, Imbue with Spell Ability, Lesser Planar Ally, Manifest Desire****, Minor Creation, Remove Fatigue***, Sending, Spell Immunity, Summon Monster IV
5th level: Break Enchantment, Dispel Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, Dream, Fabricate, Hallow, Major Creation, Mark of Justice, Mark of Sin**, Mass Fly*, Persistant Image, Plane Shift, Seeming, Summon Monster V, Teleport, Unhallow, Wall of Stone
*from spell compendium
** from complete champion
***from book of exalted deeds
****from heroes of horror
*****from heroes of battle

Preemptive Final Note: I am aware that this PrC gains Heroes’ Feast a level before spellcasters do and that it can feed more individuals than any other single source in all of DnD can (at least without high epic cheese). I am quite aware that this ability could indeed help a town fight off a siege and empower its entire militia/army. As the power of this ability is less a matter of scale and is more a matter of scope, however, it shouldn’t make much of a difference when it actually comes to gameplay. I’m not saying that it isn’t powerful but rather that it shouldn’t end up overpowering a player/breaking the game/overshadowing another player. If I have gotten this point wrong, I’m counting on you guys to let me know right away.

2011-02-06, 06:48 PM
And with that, ladies and gentlemen, Realms of Chaos is back!

Now this is a very interesting Prestige Class. Imagine, an entire city damned to hell because of a single force who only wanted to help.

Gameplay wise, I see no problems with it. Flavor wise, it is delicious. I can see my players using this and even using it myself against them. Won't they be surprised to find out that their souls have been damned just because they ate something or because they slept in a shelter provided by a kind old man. Or having them go made because they needed to learn where to go next to find the bad guy.

2011-02-06, 07:22 PM
Blast, this looks like a much better corruptor than my attempt (though it onlydoes corruption, while the Disciple of Mephistopheles (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145356&highlight=mephistopheles) was a little more general)

Unfortunately, i'm not able to form a coherent analysis right now. Will comment tomorrow.

2011-02-06, 09:15 PM
Both classes are similar in concept to my Nightsinger (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7310622&postcount=4).

Concealed evils - the best kind :D

2011-02-07, 05:33 PM
I don't know how exactly this would fit in, but since the Dark Offering requires a sentient being with a soul(basically any intelligent non-construct and maybe some undead). So, what if the Dark Saint gained the ability to awaken animals, and thus make them eligible to be sacrificed shortly after, effectively twisting a normally good act? I think it'd be cool.

2011-02-07, 05:57 PM
What's the "0th level?" Is that after he's made the pact, but before he takes a level in the class?

Realms of Chaos
2011-02-07, 07:32 PM
Yep, that is exactly what 0 level is. I got the idea of the 0 level from that risen martyr PrC in the BoED. It seemed that compared with the normal immediate benefits of a Faustian pact, simply gaining permission to take class levels some time later on was pretty weak.

2011-02-07, 07:38 PM
Yep, that is exactly what 0 level is. I got the idea of the 0 level from that risen martyr PrC in the BoED. It seemed that compared with the normal immediate benefits of a Faustian pact, simply gaining permission to take class levels some time later on was pretty weak.

Gotcha. Makes sense to me!

Edit: I really like how that gives evil characters a free, weakened undetectable alignment. Good call.