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View Full Version : [3.5] The Zealot - a (retooled) warrior Soul by belief Born



T.G. Oskar
2012-06-05, 10:33 AM
Ladies and gentlemen! Children of all ages! Outsiders and Eldritch Abominations* too

*: the degree of welcoming outsiders and eldritch abominations may vary. See this thread for more details

Straight churned from the machine of ideas that is the development of the chassis and Project Heretica, behold!

As you may know, the Third Edition (Revised) of Dungeons & Dragons (which we know by its moniker, "three point five") has a somewhat distinctive love for divine champions, in that of all systems developed by them, at least four base classes have this background**. Magic, of course, has the Paladin; psionics has Divine Mind, martial maneuvers have the Crusader, and Incarnum...well, Incarnum has the Incarnate?

**:Five, if you consider the Knight of the Sacred Seal to do the same for Binders.

Well, for those who have the Magic of Incarnum splat intact, there's the Soulborn. The class is an analog of the Paladin but with Incarnum: a champion of extreme alignments, combining might with the power of unborn souls. This would be awesome fluff...but the crunch is bland. A pie with bland crust and neat fluffy filling will end up a disaster, as the filling will end up falling before it reaches your mouth.

How so, given that some people defend its worth? For starters, it's lacking imagination. The Soulborn has a washed-down version of the Incarnate's soulmeld list, with some exceptions (compare to the Totemist which has its own list of soulmelds, and you can see the reason). Soulmelds work very nicely, of course...but you find out their meldshaping abilities aren't up to par. For starters, you start meldshaping at 4th level (barring taking Shape Soulmeld at earlier levels), your binds come awfully late, and your amount of Essentia is halved. Furthermore, you're limited to the base essentia capacity per level, and your maximum amount of soulmelds viciously reduced, and you realize meldshaping, while nice, is not their strong point. They get much better by 15th-16th level, but by that level the Incarnate can spend twice as much Essentia (if not three times) and its capacity is much more robust (5-6 to the Soulborn's 4).

Of course, meldshaping isn't all what the Soulborn is made of...but its class abilities aren't up to par, even with the closest comparison there is (the Paladin, of course). Aside from meldshaping, you get (limited) smiting abilities, one form of immunity (which you can eventually share), the ability to detect your opposing alignment...and Timeless Body. Oh, and you get feats, which are quite good if you think about it. Some things are good (the feats, of course) when compared to the Pally (Remove Disease as a weekly SLA? Really? REALLY!?***), others not so much (Timeless Body vs., let's say...the Pally's special mount?)

***:You just heard this in the voice of a Kobold from DDO. Remember Waterworks! Yark!

Of course, as you may already know (and if you don't, you know now, but the fact that I gave a different name to the entire project that involves its retooling), my favorite class is the Paladin. And, through Project Heretica, I believe I made a very good retooling to my favorite class; whether others share my beliefs depends exclusively on them (and for greater refining, there's the good Dungeons & Dragons wiki (http://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Main_Page) to check that out; note that I pointed at the good D&D wiki and not the fail "Dandwiki", which I refuse to link at). As I also mentioned, I used the "divine warrior" chassis to deal with other similar classes, and I couldn't help but attempt the same to the Soulborn.

Not to mention: working with retooling the Soulborn was what made me interested in Incarnum enough to buy the supplement through the Interwebz, years after 4E was in full swing (it's actually my newest book, and it was cheap to boot!). So I owe this retool some respect. I hope you find it respectful as well.

So, without further ado, allow me to present to you...


THE ZEALOT
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff312/Osky-kun/Zealot.png
Zealot, male by Jseverin. Digital art. Original here (http://digital-art-gallery.com/picture/4440)

"You shall not stop me. In my hands, I hold the souls of a legion yet unborn. If I die, I shall join those who taught me, for when they grow of age to slay you." -- Last words of a devout zealot of a war god, before his death by the Army of the Red Falcon (now extinct).

MAKING A ZEALOT (or, what has and hasn't changed from the Soulborn)
ABILITIES: Being a partial meldshaper and user of Incarnum, Zealots almost completely focus on Constitution. Strength is useful for some of their offensive abilities, but Constitution defines their entire defensive qualities.
RACES: Naturally, Azurin (humans infused with Incarnum) make excellent zealots, for their inclination to extreme alignments and the zeal to which they ascribe to such beliefs. Humans also make strong zealots, because of their breadth of beliefs. Dwarfs make phenomenal zealots with their increased Constitution, most of them devout zealots to Moradin, or lawful good aligners. Skarns, with their militaristic upbringing, make strong aligner zealots (whether Lawful Good or Lawful Evil). Hellbred (see Fiendish Codex) make fantastical banisher zealots, and dragonborn of Bahamut with some knowledge of Incarnum become steadfast devouts to the Platinum Dragon.
Amongst the more "savage" races, hobgoblins make strong aligner zealots focused on Lawful Evil, but most races with a touch of Incarnum and a martial bent make effective zealots. On places such as Eberron, orcs affiliated with the Gatekeepers and hobgoblins of the Dhakaani clans become potent sealers, attempting to stop the ravages of Xoriat.
ALIGNMENT: Lawful good, lawful evil, chaotic good, chaotic evil or neutral. Zealots are the champions of extreme alignments, but that does not mean they ascribe to extremes. Some zealots defend neutrality with the same zeal as a paladin would uphold honor and justice.
STARTING GOLD: As PHB Fighter
STARTING AGE: As PHB Paladin

Class Skills
The zealot class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis) and Swim (Str). Zealots gain more skills based on their chosen path.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

As you can see, zealots are pretty diverse on their skill list, and their chosen Path of Zeal further expands this. The choice is based on the original Soulborn's ability to gain a specific skill based on their alignment, but expanded for some of the other options.

Hit Die: d10

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Soulmelds|Essentia|Chakra Binds

1st|+1|
+2|
0|
+2|Aura, path of zeal, smite 1/encounter|
0|
1|
0

2nd|+2|
+3|
0|
+3|Ward of zeal|
0|
2|
0

3rd|+3|
+3|
+1|
+3|Bonus feat|
0|
2|
0

4th|+4|
+4|
+1|
+4|Chakra binds (crown)|
1|
3|
1

5th|+5|
+4|
+1|
+4|Smite 2/encounter, improved smite|
1|
3|
1

6th|+6/+1|
+5|
+2|
+5|Path attunement (dispel resistance)|
1|
4|
1

7th|+7/+2|
+5|
+2|
+5|Bonus feat, gift of zeal|
2|
5|
1

8th|+8/+3|
+6|
+2|
+6|Chakra binds (feet, hands)|
2|
5|
1

9th|+9/+4|
+6|
+3|
+6|Mettle|
2|
6|
2

10th|+10/+5|
+7|
+3|
+7|Smite 3/encounter, path attunement (+1 capacity)|
3|
7|
2

11th|+11/+6/+1|
+7|
+3|
+7|Bonus feat, grace of the unborn|
3|
8|
2

12th|+12/+7/+2|
+8|
+4|
+8|Chakra bind (arms, brow, shoulders)|
3|
9|
2

13th|+13/+8/+3|
+8|
+4|
+8|Improved mettle|
4|
10|
2

14th|+14/+9/+4|
+9|
+4|
+9|Path attunement (extra chakra bind)|
4|
11|
3 (4)

15th|+15/+10/+5|
+9|
+5|
+9|Bonus feat, smite 4/encounter, zealous smite|
4|
12|
3 (4)

16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|
+10|
+5|
+10|Chakra binds (throat, waist)|
5|
13|
3 (4)

17th|+17/+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+5|
+10|Undying soul|
5|
14|
3 (4)

18th|+18/+13/+8/+3|
+11|
+6|
+11|Path attunement (share chakra)|
5|
16|
4 (5)

19th|+19/+14/+9/+4|
+11|
+6|
+11|Bonus feat, timeless body|
6|
18|
4 (5)

20th|+20/+15/+10/+5|
+12|
+6|
+12|Chakra bond, smite 5/encounter|
6|
20|
4 (5)[/table]

Some HUUUUUUGE changes here!

For starters, while they're following the Divine Champion chassis, they get a d10 instead of the Paladin's hearty d12. However, compare that most of the class abilities depend on Constitution, and you've got a guy with MONSTROUS HP, so adding more is like insulting the rest of the classes. Certainly, it won't hurt to have a character that sports 300 HP by the end of its run, but one that can reach it by...say, 15th level? Not so much...

I know some of you will say "compared to the original Soulborn, anything's an improvement. I don't want you to say that; however, let's compare jut by looking at the chassis how the class has changed.

For starters, its meldshaping ability. The old Soulborn had its first point of essentia by 6th level, which really, REALLY sucks; its first soulmeld at 4th, and its first chakra bind at 8th. The Zealot, in comparison, starts with Essentia right from 1st level, and follows the exact same progression of the Totemist; its ability to shape melds and bind chakras is slightly more limited, of course, as they're not full meldshapers, but it's far more robust. 6 soulmelds to the soulborn's 5 may not seem much of an improvement, but the fact that its gained slightly faster does (essentially 1 soulmeld per every 3 levels starting from the 4th). Chakra binds, however, are where the Zealot crushes the soulborn: you have 4 binds, which is just one less than the actual Incarnate and Totemist, but with their two main abilities, you might just have more than enough binds for your soulmelds and your class abilities.

Yes, you read right. Class abilities now get essentia and can be bound to soulmelds. Is that a...
http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m178/krelian_uzuki/TrollFace.png

Of course, I hope not. You see, the Incarnate has the meldshaping hat of "most powerful soulmelds in terms of DC and essentia capacity", while the Totemist had the meldshaping hat of "unique magical beast 'melds that bind to a special and unique chakra I only have". The Soulborn's hat, however, was "I do things half-heartedly, because I have half the amount of Essentia, half the amount of soulmelds, and half the amount of binds than everyone". That is not a good hat. Thus, we changed that to "I can shape 'melds and use class features, but I can empower both with the same resources!" Yep, exact analogue to the Project Heretica...wait, that's not right! Where are the auras?

No auras for you, sir! Instead, you get awesome stuff through chakra binds!

So, where did I drew the idea (which I mention here, as it permeates ALL of the zealot's class abilities, if not a good deal of them)? Look no further than the Incandescent Champion, then! As you may recall, some of its class features could be imbued with essentia, which made them slightly more powerful. Problem is, they couldn't be bound to chakras; for that purpose, the Incarnum Blade made some phantom "blademelds" that did exactly the same. Take both ideas, exploit them, and the Zealot becomes strikingly different from the rest.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the zealot.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Zealots are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor, and with all shields (including tower shields).

Not many differences here. Move along.

...well, there's the thing with Tower Shields, but well...

Meldshaping: Although the zealot does not learn at first instance the intricacies of meldshaping and binding soulmelds to its chakras, the path he follows grants him knowledge about the basic principles of incarnum. At first, he may only invest essentia upon his martial abilities, but as he progresses further down the path he has chosen, he learns the ability to shape soulmelds and to open his chakras to strengthen his martial ability.

At 1st level, the zealot gains access to his personal pool of essentia, which he can invest in his smite ability and other abilities he learns by means of his class (including soulmelds once he gains access to them). The size of the essentia pool is determined on the table above. If the zealot has access to a soulmeld (through means of multiclassing into another class, or by means of the Shape Soulmeld feat), his character level determines the maximum quantity of essentia that he may invest in any single soulmeld (see Magic of Incarnum, page 19 for more information); this also affects the essentia capacity of his class abilities and any incarnum feat unless otherwise noted. As a swift action, the zealot can reallocate the essentia investments in its soulmelds every round (see Essentia, page 50 of Magic of Incarnum).

Beginning at 4th level, the zealot gains the ability to shape soulmelds, which are drawn from the soulborn soulmeld list (see page 56 of Magic of Incarnum). The zealot knows and may shape any soulmeld from the list (but see Aligned Soulmelds) below.

The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a zealot soulmeld is 10 + number of points of essentia invested in the soulmeld + the zealotís Constitution modifier. The zealotís meldshaper level is equal to its class level -3.

A zealot can shape only a certain number of soulmelds per day. His base daily allotment is given on the table above. The maximum number of soulmelds that the zealot can have shaped simultaneously is equal to his Constitution score minus 10 or the number of soulmelds on the table, whichever is lower. At 4th level, the zealot can shape one soulmeld at a time (assuming he has a Constitution score of at least 11). As the zealot advances in level, he can shape an increasing number of soulmelds.

A zealot does not study or prepare soulmelds in advance, but must have a good nightís rest and must meditate for 1 hour to shape his soulmelds for the day (see Shaping Soulmelds, page 49 of Magic of Incarnum).

Most of the info here is pretty much taken verbatim from the Soulborn, so no big things to mention here.

Aura (Ex): The unyielding conviction of a zealot pours to the exterior as an aura related to his alignments (see the detect evil spell for details). The zealot has an aura related to his alignment on the law-chaos axis and on the good-evil axis. A neutral zealot does not gain this ability.

Basically the old aura the Soulborn has, except for the explanation that the neutral zealot has none. Pretty basic stuff.

Path of Zeal: The zealot holds a near-fanatic fervor towards a specific goal, and his training usually focuses upon that particular belief. No two zealots are the same; some are fervent followers of their deity, others are the bane of a specific creature which threatens the stability of the world, and some follow a unique philosophy. The choice of path of a zealot shapes his soul to become a receptacle of incarnum, much as he learns to shape the power of unborn souls into soulmelds in a distant future.

At 1st level, the zealot must make a choice of path. Once this choice is made, it is permanent and may not be changed. Each path provides a series of abilities closely related to his core belief, as shown below and upon other class features. As well, they treat one skill as a class skill depending on their chosen path.
Aligner: the zealot is a paragon of his chosen alignment. Lawful good zealots devote to the improvement of society towards the goals of good; chaotic good zealots oppose the structures that promote injustice in the world; lawful evil zealots thrive in a society where laws exist to be exploited to his own benefit; chaotic evil zealots are the strong amongst the strong, and defy those who threaten his concept of strength; and neutral zealots are paragons of balance, where good, evil, law and chaos merely exist as lies and restraints upon the self. Although they are the paragons of their chosen alignment, that doesnít mean they are meant to be flawed; lawful good zealots understand the importance of defending free will so that society may make their choice towards gravitating to order; chaotic good zealots understand the importance of a stable government but are always aware of decay and corruption; lawful evil zealots know that there are rules that are meant to be broken if they cannot be twisted; chaotic evil zealots understand that even the weak have their importance (even if itís only to serve as an example to other weaklings), and neutral zealots understand that regardless of their desire, the best they can achieve is a stalemate where no alignment surpasses the other. Zealots of opposed alignments violently clash with each other, while neutral zealots treat each extremist with the same measure.
Lawful good zealots treat Diplomacy as a class skill. Chaotic evil zealots treat Bluff as a class skill. Chaotic good, lawful evil and neutral zealots treat either Bluff or Diplomacy as a class skill, and they must make a choice when they gain their 1st level of zealot; once this choice is made, it is permanent and may not be changed.

Banisher: the zealot seeks to retain the purity of his native plane, facing and expelling any creature alien to this plane. The zealot may understand the temporary necessity of a creature to exist within a plane not its own, but they are well aware that the time should be, at best, limited.
Banisher zealots gain Knowledge (the planes) as a class skill.

Devout: the zealot has a feverish fervor for his deity, almost to the exclusion of others. A zealot does not negate or resent the existence of other deities, but he believes that his deity is superior to the others. A zealot that travels with a cleric or paladin of a different faith whom has ties of alliance does not immediately scorn his partners and shows a measure of respect, but a devout of a faith opposing his own earns the full and unbridled enmity of the fervent zealot. Unlike other paths, a zealot must be of the same alignment as his deity in order to choose this path.
Devout zealots gain Knowledge (religion) as a class skill.

Purist: the zealot strives to end the taint and menace of undeath in this world. Few zealots are so devoted and dedicated as purist zealots. To them, no undead is truly deserving of existence; once death has taken its toll, it must be enforced. Those whom are resurrected are not punished by purists, as the very act of resurrection means death has not truly sought him. Purist zealots are like maruts in their task; unflinching, always willing to face those whom would dare to defile life (their own or that of others) in their quest for futile immortality. The zealot does understand that some souls return to life after their deaths to protect something dear; even then, they would rather prefer these souls to depart than to remain, and leave their unfinished tasks for the living to complete. Unlike other paths, only lawful good zealots may choose this path.
Purist zealots gain Knowledge (religion) as a class skill.

Necrocarnate: the zealot follows a dark path, using the power of necrocarnum to stir the souls of the dead and awaken their rotting corpses to do their bidding. Usually, the necrocarnate zealot follows a deity with a preference for undeath, but as necromancers do not necessarily follow the path of undeath with a faith in mind, neither does the zealot; his desire goes beyond divine belief and enters the realm of the philosophical superiority of undeath over life itself. Unlike other paths, only lawful evil or chaotic evil zealots may choose this path.
Necrocarnate zealots gain Knowledge (religion) as a class skill.

Sealer: the zealot is the bane of aberrations everywhere. Usually, a zealot that chooses this path will understand the existence of beings outside the existence of his plane, but that doesnít mean he will acknowledge their right to live. An aberration with intellect may form an unlikely bond of friendship with the zealot, but even the slightest wrong may drive him to form an unwilling foe. Otherwise, the zealot has a gruesome hatred for all aberrations, particularly those that do not share his alignment. The term ďsealerĒ comes from the intention of zealots following this path to seal the source of all aberrations in the world, restoring the balance of the natural world.
Sealer zealots gain Knowledge (dungeoneering) as a class skill.

This is the first BIIIIG change to the class. Essentially, on one class, you have several build choices. Aligner zealots are essentially the old soulborn whereas the devout zealots are basically "Incarnum paladins", but the others are pretty specific: you've got your Incarnum-powered undead hunter, your Incarnum-powered extraplanar banisher, your Incarnum-powered aberration slayer, and the leader of undead armies everywhere.

Path of zeal, of course, defines pretty much everything about the class: its ward and gift of zeal, its smiting ability, and which soulmelds it can choose. Thus, be careful of what to choose, as the soulmeld list is much more restrictive than before.

Smite (Su): Once per encounter, a zealot may attempt to smite an enemy with one normal melee attack. The zealot adds his Constitution modifier to the attack roll; if successful, the zealot deals extra damage equal to his class level. If the zealot makes a smite as part of a full attack, he may only use it once per round.

Depending on his path, a zealot gains the ability to infuse essentia into his smites. Although this limits the targets that may be affected by his smite, the zealot gains special abilities tailored to the chosen path. For every point of essentia the zealot infuses to his smite, he adds a +1 to the attack and damage rolls and causes the smite to deal an extra 1d6 points of damage (as if attacking with a bane weapon). The amount of essentia a zealot may infuse into his smites has a maximum limit determined by his character level. If the smite has an ability that requires a saving throw, the DC for this ability is equal to 10 + half the zealotís class level + the amount of points of essentia invested in this ability + the zealotís Strength modifier. The zealot may reallocate essentia from a soulmeld to his smite ability and back as a swift action, as if the smite were a soulmeld (but cannot bind this ability into a chakra until later levels, see below).

Aligner: when investing at least one point of essentia into his smites, the zealot limits his smites only to creatures that are at least two steps away from his own alignment (thus, a lawful good zealot may affect any creature except lawful good, lawful neutral and neutral good creatures); neutral zealots may only affect creatures that are non-neutral on either the law-chaos axis or the good-evil axis. The smite is treated as if having the alignment of the zealot for purposes of bypassing damage reduction (a neutral zealot instead is treated as if his weapon had all four alignments).

Banisher: when investing at least one point of essentia into his smites, the zealot limits this ability only to creatures of extraplanar origin (including summoned creatures).

Devout: when investing at least one point of essentia into his smites, the zealot limits this ability only to creatures devoted or dedicated to faiths opposed to his deityís own (namely, any deity whose alignment is at least two steps away from the zealotís deityís own), as well as any creature with an Intelligence score of 8 or higher that does not follow any deity, or any creature that opposes any deity, regardless of the creatureís actual alignment. The smite ability is treated as if the weapon has the alignment of the deity for purposes of bypassing damage reduction.

Purist: when investing at least one point of essentia into his smites, the zealot limits this ability only to undead creatures. The zealot ignores any kind of damage reduction that the undead may have when using a smite, even if the weapon may not bypass the alignment normally.

Necrocarnate: when investing a point of essentia into his smites, the zealot limits this ability only to living creatures (hence, constructs are not affected unless the latter is a living construct). In the case of undead creatures, the necrocarnate heals the undead for the same amount of damage.

Sealer: when investing at least one point of essentia into his smites, the zealot limits this ability only to aberrations. (If the EBERRON ô Campaign Setting book is used, the zealotís weapon is treated as if made of byeshk for purposes of ignoring damage reduction).

At 5th level, and every 5 levels afterwards, the zealot gains the ability to smite one more time per encounter.

As you may have noticed, the zealot's smite is essentially one of the most powerful weapons it can have on its arsenal. You have two forms of smite in one: either you do a superb attack against just about everyone, or a brutally abusive strike against some specific enemies. While you might not see it right now, the improved versions of the zealot's smite impose penalties and conditions that require DC, and the DC itself is pretty high (even if using a secondary score such as Strength). However, by imposing Essentia, you can boost that score to "you lose" levels pretty easily. The damage dealt is no slouch, either: up to an extra 5d6 points of damage is pretty weak, but then you add those juicy 25 points of damage and it suddenly turns nice. Then add stuff like Sapphire Smite (for even MORE essentia consumption) and you can one-shot things just for laughs!

Ward of Zeal (Ex): At 2nd level, the path that the zealot follows grants him a measure of defense against anyone that opposes him, but especially against those enemies he opposes vehemently.

A zealot adds his Constitution modifier as a bonus to his Armor Class. Treat as the monkís AC bonus ability, except the zealot may wear any kind of armor and still receive the benefit of this ability.

As well, the zealot may invest essentia into this ability. For every point of essentia that the zealot invests, he gains a +1 insight bonus to his saving throws based on the path the zealot has chosen. The amount of essentia a zealot may infuse into this ability has a maximum limit determined by his character level. The zealot may reallocate points of essentia from his soulmelds to this ability and viceversa as a swift action, as if this ability was a soulmeld (but cannot bind this ability to any chakra).

Aligner: insight bonus on saving throws against fear (lawful good and lawful evil only), against charms and compulsions (chaotic good only), against daze, stun and paralysis (chaotic evil only) or against spells and spell-like abilities with an alignment component (neutral only).

Banisher: insight bonus on saving throws against spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural effects of extraplanar creatures, and an insight bonus on saving throws to prevent being banished when on another plane.

Devout: insight bonus on saving throws against divine spells cast by creatures that worship a deity opposing the zealotís own.

Purist or Necrocarnate: insight bonus on saving throws against ability damage, ability drain, death effects, energy drain and negative energy damage.

Sealer: insight bonus on saving throws against psionics and the supernatural abilities of aberrations. If using the Expanded Psionics Handbook in the campaign, the insight bonus also applies to psionic powers and psi-like abilities.

Ward of Zeal is pretty powerful if you think about it. Con to AC is something only a few classes get (Deepwarden, essentially), and you get it here at 2nd level regardless of armor. With Constitution being the alpha score of every character sheet (if not the first, then the second) and with the huge reliance of the zealot for this skill, you can easily get +5 AC just by means of raw ability scores.

The second feature, the one that requires essentia to power up, seems a bit pale in comparison, but nonetheless is pretty strong. Devouts and sealers get the juicy bits here as their abilities apply to a wide variety of effects, particularly sealers (they partially null every psionic ability thrown at them).

Bonus Feat: At 3rd level, and every four levels after that, a zealot gains a bonus feat in addition to those he obtains by means of improving levels. These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as fighter bonus feats or incarnum feats. A zealot must still meet the prerequisites for a bonus feat, as usual. For purposes of fighter level prerequisites, a zealot is considered to have a fighter level equal to his zealot level -5.

One thing taken from the old soulborn and improved, the zealot now has a better feat progression (one every four levels, which means 5 feats by 19th level) and a diverse variety of feats (fighter bonus feats for your martial bent and Incarnum feats for your meldshaper bent). The last bit allows you to get stuff like Weapon Specialization and eventually Weapon Supremacy if you want to, in case you really like it; however, if you've followed me quite closely, you know you'll get more love out of it (scaling feats, the ability to make a move and use all iterative attacks by 10th level, and more).

Chakra Binds: Beginning at 4th level, the zealot can bind his soulmelds to his chakras, granting him new powers based on the soulmeld and the chakra chosen. Binding a soulmeld to a chakra closes the body slot associated with that chakra (see Chakras, page 50 of Magic of Incarnum), so that he cannot also benefit from a magic item worn on the body slot associated with that chakra.

The number of chakra binds that the zealot can have active at any one time depends on the zealotís class level (see the Chakra Binds column on the table above). At 4th level, the zealot can bind soulmelds to his crown chakras. At 8th level, the zealot can bind soulmelds to his feet and hands chakras. At 12th level, the zealot can bind soulmelds to his arms, brow, and shoulders chakras. At 16th level, the zealot can bind soulmelds to his throat or waist chakras. At 20th level, the zealot gains the ability to bind a soulmeld to either his heart or his soul chakra; he must make this choice at the indicated level, and once it is made, it is permanent and may not be changed.

For more information on chakra binds, see page 51 of Magic of Incarnum.

So yeah: giving only ONE form of chakra bind by 4th level (and the crown chakra to boot) may seem slightly insulting, but bear with me when I tell you it's intentional and makes sense.

Yes, it makes sense. Just going out of the base soulborn soulmeld list, the crown chakra wins over arms and feet, so you have a pretty decent first selection. Then, you get binds much, much faster than before (every four levels instead of waiting six levels and then waiting four). Furthermore, unlike the original soulborn, the zealot gets its choice of heart OR soul chakra as a capstone, which means they get one more type of chakra bind than the actual soulborn, and one that the Totemist won't get.

By the moment the soulborn has access to binding chakras to class abilities (when things will get rough), you'll get a good deal of the necessary binds, and a good amount as well.

Improved Smite (Su): At 5th level, the path of the zealot grants him a powerful new ability whenever he invests essentia in the ability. If the smite gains an ability that grants a saving throw, the Difficulty Class for the ability is equal to 10 + half the zealotís class level + the zealotís Strength modifier + the amount of essentia invested on the smite ability.
Aligner: the zealot cripples his enemy by causing a hindering status effect on a creature that opposes his alignment. If the creature opposes the zealotís alignment in both the law-chaos and the good-evil axis, the creature takes a -4 penalty to resist the effect. Lawful good zealots cause the target to be stunned (dazed on a successful save), chaotic good zealots cause the target to be confused (dazzled on a successful save), lawful evil zealots cause the target to become panicked (shaken on a successful save), and chaotic evil zealots cause the target to become nauseated (sickened on a successful save). All of the effects last for a number of rounds equal to half the zealotís class level plus one round per point of essentia. A neutral zealot is treated as if it were on one extreme of the alignment when dealing with a creature from the opposing alignment (thus, a neutral zealot would stun a chaotic evil enemy on a successful smite).

Banisher: the zealot imbues his weapon with the energies of the plane which is anathema to the native plane of the extraplanar creature. When the zealot invests points of essentia in his smite ability, the bonus on damage rolls granted by the smite ability increases by 3 per point of essentia (thus, a 5th level zealot following the banisher path that invests two points of essentia into its smite ability deals 11 points of extra damage to extraplanar creatures in addition to the 2d6+2 points of damage from investing essentia). If the sum of the zealotís class level and the amount of essentia invested in this ability double the creatureís HD, the creature is banished into its home plane instead.

Devout: the zealot interferes with the state of mind that allows divine spellcasters of deities opposed to his own to cast divine spells. If the divine spellcaster targeted by the smite ability fails a Will saving throw, the spellcasterís power becomes impeded; the spellcaster must then succeed on a Concentration check equal to 13 + the zealotís class level + 2 per point of essentia invested in the smite in order to cast a spell, or else it does not function (although the spell slot becomes expended as if the spell was cast). This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to half the zealotís class level plus 1 round per point of essentia.

Purist: the zealot causes great damage to undead creatures and causes them to cower as if they were turned. On a successful smite, the attack deals an extra amount of damage equal to 3 per point of essentia, and the undead creature must succeed on a Will saving throw or be treated as if turned. If the sum of the zealotís HD and the amount of essentia invested in this ability double the creatureís HD, it is destroyed instead.

Necrocarnate: the zealot absorbs the lifeforce of a living creature and produces exhaustion. Upon a successful smite, the target of the attack must make a successful Fortitude save or become exhausted; a successful save merely causes it to become fatigued. If the creature becomes exhausted, the zealot immediately gains an amount of temporary hit points equal to 1d6 per point of essentia invested in the smite.

Sealer: the zealot disrupts the mind of the aberration, disabling its mental potential. If the aberration targeted by the smite ability fails a Will saving throw, the aberrationís power becomes impeded; the creature must then succeed on a Concentration check equal to 13 + the zealotís class level + 2 per point of essentia invested in the smite in order to cast a spell (if it casts spells), spell-like abilities, psionic powers or psi-like abilities (if it has them) or else it does not function (although the spell slot, daily use of spell-like ability or power points become expended as if the ability was used). This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to half the zealotís class level plus 1 round per point of essentia. If the aberration is also a psionic creature, the creature takes an amount of damage to its power points equal to 3 per point of essentia invested in this ability.

While still somewhat limited, Improved Smite needs no explanation. Some of the granted abilities against the zealot's sworn enemies are weak, but some are frighteningly strong. Aligner zealots gain abilities based on the Project Heretica Paladin (and Blackguard, Justiciar and Anarch), with neutral zealots getting four smites in one (they just sacrificed their aura for it ;P). Banisher zealots get extra damage and the potential for dismissal, while purists get the potential for undeath to death, both without saves. Devouts and Sealers get power-dampening abilities, particularly Sealers that also allow them to damage PP of psionic creatures. Necrocarnate gets a particularly vicious form of smiting, as they can exhaust their enemies and draw some of their lifeforce with it, which is one serious buff/debuff in one strike.

Path Attunement (Su): The training of a zealot allows him to use abilities that are unique given their treatment as soulmelds. Their smiting power, their gifts and wards, and powers can be infused with essentia, and further into their training, they may even bind their abilities into their own chakras. This comes with a price; their understanding of incarnum is slower and less powerful than most other meldshapers. However, it is the very concept of following a path to the understanding and appropriate application of incarnum which allows them to fight and use incarnum almost as expertly as any other user.

At 6th level, soulmelds shaped by the zealot are harder to resist. If the zealot has at least one point of essentia in at least one of his abilities, any soulmeld he shapes that he learned by means of his path are treated as if having a meldshaper level one higher than the zealotís own for purposes of resisting dispel attempts. This increase in effective meldshaper level applies per each class ability in which he has at least one point of essentia. Thus, if a lawful good aligner zealot has at least one point of essentia in his smite and ward of zeal abilities, he is treated as if he was a meldshaper level two higher than usual when a spellcaster attempts to dispel his soulmelds.

At 10th level, the essentia capacity of all of the zealotís class abilities increases by 1. Thus, a 10th level zealot has a maximum essentia capacity of 3 (instead of 2) for his smite, ward of zeal and gift of zeal class abilities. As the zealot gains levels in the class, other class abilities that benefit from essentia also gain the benefit of his path attunement.

At 14th level, a zealot gains an extra chakra bind, but he may only bind a single class ability (neither soulmeld nor magic item nor feat; only class abilities gained by the zealot aside from meldshaping) in this way. Thus, the zealot may bind three soulmelds to his arms, feet and shoulders chakra, and then bind his grace of the unborn ability to the crown chakra or the brow chakra to gain the secondary benefits of this ability. As usual, if the zealot binds a class ability to one of his chakras, he is treated as if he had bound a soulmeld and thus cannot benefit from magic items or bind soulmelds to the bound chakra (but see below).

At 18th level, a zealot may bind a single class ability and still gain the benefit of a magic item in that chakra, or bind both a class ability and a soulmeld. Thus, the zealot may use his extra chakra bind to gain the benefit of a gloves of ogre power and bind his smite to the hands chakra, or bind both the strongheart vest soulmeld and the grace of the unborn ability to the waist chakra. A zealot may not use this ability to take the benefit of a magic
item and bind a soulmeld to the same chakra, however.

Path Attunement is what makes the Zealot be a better meldshaper without having full meldshaping. Let's see how this works.

Remember that the old soulborn had half meldshaping ability, which made their 'melds laughably easy to dispel? While level-3 meldshaping ability is NOT exactly weak, it's not exactly strong either; however, by placing essentia into class features, you strengthen the 'melds you get from your class itself (thus, those you get from your "path"; this doesn't limit to path-exclusive 'melds). An increase of 4 (1 more than your typical Incarnate or Totemist) might not seem like much, but 6 or even 8 does (3 to 5 points higher than the other classes), meaning your 'melds become harder and harder to dispel just by boosting your class features.

At 10th level, you get your class-exclusive essentia capacity boost, much like the Incarnate and Totemist; however, instead of applying to your 'melds, it applies to your class features. That means you get, by 20th level, an essentia capacity of 5 to all your class features, such as your smite, your path of zeal, and what you get later on.

At 14th level, you get your own exclusive chakra bind for class abilities. This is important, as it makes the zealot capable of using their class features to the fullest extent without worrying whether the slightly lesser amount of chakra binds won't come bite them in the foot...

...a worry completely lost by 18th level. This is the Totemist's ability to share chakra on steroids. While you don't entirely split your chakra, the fact that you can get a class feature to apply to five chakras and still have 4 chakras for 'melds and magic items definitely boosts the overall power of the zealot. And when you see what you can get via binding class features to your chakra...

Next post will have the remaining abilities, alongside the Zealot's soulmelds.

T.G. Oskar
2012-06-05, 11:03 AM
Gift of Zeal (Su): At 7th level, a zealot gains an ability related to the path it follows. As with other abilities, the zealot may invest essentia to power up these abilities. The amount of essentia a zealot may infuse into this ability has a maximum limit determined by his character level. The zealot may reallocate essentia between a soulmeld and this ability as a swift action, as if this ability was a soulmeld (but cannot bind this ability to any chakra).
Aligner: a zealot with this ability gains damage reduction. The zealot reduces the first three points of damage dealt by any attack, unless the weapon is both magical and aligned with any of the alignments opposed (thus, a lawful good zealot gains DR 3/magic and DR 3/chaotic or evil). If the zealot already has damage reduction from either magic or any of the alignments, this damage reduction does not stack, but overlaps with the other. Per each point of essentia, the zealot reduces an extra 3 points of damage (thus, a lawful good zealot that invests two points of essentia gains DR 9/magic and DR 9/chaotic or evil)

Banisher: a zealot following this path gains the ability to censure creatures of extraplanar origin. A number of times per day equal to 3 plus the zealotís Constitution (not Charisma) modifier, the zealot may use this ability. Treat as if it were the turn undead ability, except it affects creatures of extraplanar origin instead, the zealotís effective cleric level for this ability is equal to its class level -6 plus 2 per point of essentia invested on this ability, and the creature is treated as if it were stunned instead of cowering (this ability ignores immunity to stunning). If the sum of the zealotís HD and the amount of essentia invested in this ability double the creatureís HD, it is banished instead.
If the zealot gains the ability to turn (or rebuke) undead from other sources, he stacks his effective cleric level with levels in the mentioned class (zealot level plus cleric level -6 for cleric levels, zealot level plus paladin level -9 for paladin levels, and zealot level plus levels in other classes that grant turn or rebuke undead -6 for other classes) for purposes of both turn (or rebuke) undead and this ability, and he uses the better of his Charisma and Constitution modifiers to determine the daily uses of this ability. However, he may only have one pool at a time; the zealot may expend a daily use to turn undead or censure creatures of extraplanar origin.

Devout: a zealot gains the granted power of a domain from the list granted by his deity. If the granted power depends on cleric level, treat the zealot as having an effective cleric level equal to his class level -6 plus 2 for every point of essentia invested in this ability, except if the cleric level is used to determine caster level (the zealotís meldshaper level is used instead, with the same boosts from essentia). The zealot does not gain the ability to cast spells from the domain, but it is treated as if having a bonus domain if it gains cleric spellcasting levels (or any spellcasting levels; see Complete Divine page 31 for details).

Purist: a zealot gains the ability to turn undead as a cleric of his class level -6 (plus two per point of essentia invested in this ability), except the daily uses of this ability are equal to 3 + his Constitution (not Charisma) modifier. If the zealot gains the ability to turn undead from other sources, he stacks his effective cleric level with levels in the mentioned class (zealot level plus cleric level -6 for cleric levels, zealot level plus paladin level -9 for paladin levels, and zealot level plus levels in other classes that grant turn undead -6 for other classes), and he uses the better of his Charisma and Constitution modifiers to determine the daily uses of this ability.

Necrocarnate: a zealot gains the ability to rebuke undead as a cleric of his class level -6 (plus two per point of essentia invested in this ability), except the daily uses of this ability are equal to 3 + his Constitution (not Charisma) modifier. If the zealot gains the ability to turn undead from other sources, he stacks his effective cleric level with levels in the mentioned class (zealot level plus cleric level -6 for cleric levels, zealot level plus blackguard level -8 for blackguard levels, and zealot level plus levels in other classes that grant rebuke undead -6 for other classes), and he uses the better of his Charisma and Constitution modifiers to determine the daily uses of this ability.

Sealer: a zealot gains the ability to disrupt the mental potential of aberrations. A number of times per day equal to 3 plus the zealotís Constitution (not Charisma) modifier, the zealot may use this ability. Treat as if it were the turn undead ability, except it affects creatures of extraplanar origin instead, the zealotís effective cleric level for this ability is equal to its class level -6 plus 2 per point of essentia invested on this ability, and the creature is treated as if it were nauseated instead of cowering (this ability ignores immunity to nausea, if any) as well as taking 1d6 points of damage for every 2 effective cleric levels.
If the zealot gains the ability to turn undead from other sources, he stacks his effective cleric level with levels in the mentioned class (zealot level plus cleric level -6 for cleric levels, zealot level plus paladin level -9 for paladin levels, and zealot level plus levels in other classes that grant turn or rebuke undead -6 for other classes) for purposes of both turn undead and this ability, and he uses the better of his Charisma and Constitution modifiers to determine the daily uses of this ability. However, he may only have one pool at a time; the zealot may expend a daily use to turn undead or disrupt aberrations.

While slightly late, Gift of Zeal grants some nifty abilities to the different paths of zeal. You might notice that most of them seem pretty weak, but that is a deception: all are pretty strong (perhaps not the aligner's one, but DR is not so bad, and you end up with DR 18 at higher levels).

In the case you get a turning ability (essentially anyone but the aligner and devout), you may notice that you might not get a worthwhile ability to use your turning (or rebuking), but you can infuse essentia into it. By the time you reach 10th level, you equal the penalty, and by 12th level and higher you exceed it, which is phenomenal as you end up with a +4 bonus on turning in comparison to classes that excel on it by most means (the cleric, basically). Another thing to point out is that, at least for the Purist and Necrocarnate, this opens the door for Divine Feats, so you end up with an essentia-powered turning ability (which can be fueled even MORE by Azure Turning, by the way) which can further reinforce your character...and since you have bonus feats, that means you can spare at least one or two feat slots for them. Even just dipping into a TU/RU granting class gives the same property to the others! Not like you didn't had it just by dipping, anyways.

Mettle (Ex): Beginning at 9th level, if a zealot makes a successful Will or Fortitude save that would normally reduce the saveís effect, he suffers no effect from the spell at all. Only those spells with a saving throw entry of ďpartialĒ or ďhalfĒ are affected by this ability, and only for purposes of Will and/or Fortitude saves with these descriptors.

You know how much I love Mettle. So no biggie that they get them. Move along.

Grace of the Unborn (Su): At 11th level, a zealot may imbue himself with the power of incarnum to better protect himself against harmful effects. The zealot gains a +1 bonus on all saving throws. Per every point of essentia invested in this ability, the bonus on all saving throws increases by 1. This bonus does not stack with the bonus of divine grace (if the zealot gains the ability), but it is treated as divine grace for feats and prestige classes that treat it as a requirement. The zealot may reallocate essentia from a soulmeld to his grace ability and back as a swift action, as if the grace were a soulmeld.

Unlike other class abilities of the zealot, he may bind this ability to certain chakras to gain a further effect. If the zealot binds this ability to his brow chakra, he gains a bonus on all saving throws equal to his Intelligence modifier. If he binds this ability to the crown chakra, he gains a bonus on all saving throws equal to his Charisma modifier. If he binds this ability to the waist chakra, he gains a bonus on all saving throws equal to his Strength modifier. In all three cases, this replaces the bonus on saving throws granted by the ability, but not the increase in saving throw bonuses granted by an increase in essentia.

Ah, finally! The first class feature that allows you to bind chakras!

Essentially, "Grace of the Unborn" is Divine Grace with a different title; it allows you to qualify for the few feats that require Divine Grace (essentially Gift of Grace) and the few PrCs that depend on it. It's also gained hilariously late.

The chakra binds allow you to get the classical form of the grace ability, but based off three other scores, particularly the scores that aren't used for saving throws (fyi, those who are used are Constitution, Dexterity and Wisdom). The last tidbit is confusing, but not so much: basically, you replace the +1 bonus for Str/Int/Cha modifier, but the essentia investment remains the same (so you lose practically nothing, save a +1 bonus). On the other hand, this does not stack with divine grace, so you can't have Constitution, Intelligence and Charisma to saving throws if you want to.

Improved Mettle (Ex): At 13th level, a zealotís mettle ability improves. He still takes no effect on a successful Will or Fortitude save that has the ďpartialĒ or ďhalfĒ descriptor, but henceforth he takes only the partial effect or half the damage on a failed save.

As you know, if I love Mettle, I also love Improved Mettle. So they get it. Move along.

Zealous Smite (Su): At 15th level, the zealot gains gains the ability to improve his smites by binding the ability to smite to his chakras. Usually, the zealot binds his chakras to either his hands or his arms chakra, gaining the same result; in occasions, binding the chakra to different places grant different results.
Aligner: if the zealot binds his smite to the hands chakra, he may ignore any immunity to the secondary effect of his smite that the creature of opposed alignment may have. If he binds his smite to his arms chakra instead, the creature of opposed alignment must make a Fortitude save or die instantly.

Banisher: if the zealot binds his smite to the hands chakra, the extraplanar creature is banished if it fails the save so as long as its HD is equal or less than the zealotís class level (plus his bonus on essentia). If he binds his smite to his arms chakra instead, the extraplanar creature must succeed on a Will saving throw or become locked to this plane (as the effect of a dimensional anchor spell, with a caster level equal to the zealotís meldshaper level plus 2 per point of essentia invested).

Devout: if the zealot binds his smite to the hands chakra, a failed save causes the divine spellcaster of opposed faith to take a penalty on caster level for its divine spellcasting ability equal to 1, plus 1 per point of essentia invested in the smite, for a number of rounds equal to half his class level (multiple smites on the same creature do not stack, but the duration overlaps). If the zealot binds his smite to the arms chakra, the zealot removes a number of spell levels from the divine spellcaster of opposed faith equal to 1d4 plus 1d4 per point of essentia invested in this ability (maximum 5d4 spell levels).

Purist: if the zealot binds his smite to the hands chakra, he may ignore the undead creatureís turn resistance when using either a smite or his turn undead ability granted by the gift of zeal class ability above. If he binds his smite to the arms chakra instead, the undead creature is destroyed if it fails the save so as long as its HD is equal or less than the zealotís class level (plus his bonus on essentia; turn resistance still applies).

Necrocarnate: if the zealot binds his smite to the hands chakra, the target becomes unconscious for a number of rounds equal to 1, plus 1 per point of essentia invested in this feat. If he binds his smite to the arms chakra instead, the temporary hit points become actual hit points instead.

Sealer: if the zealot binds his smite to the hands chakra, the aberration takes ability damage to its Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma scores (the zealot selects when making the smite). If he binds his smite to the arms chakra instead, the aberration that fails the save immediately dies.

So, by waiting dutifully until 15th level, you get to bind your smites to your chakras! Essentially, you get two smites for the price of one, or rather two improvements for the price of one, and both are extremely strong. Most of the arms chakra binds involve "fail the save and die", just to show the extent of the power inherent in chakra binds. Others blatantly ignore immunities (so neutral aligner zealots binding their smite to the hands chakra get to bypass four immunities with their smites), or ignore turn resistance. Banishers get to send enemies to their plane faster, or lock them in the plane (perfect for those pesky Quori, actually).

Now, since I made this ability before I got a better grasp of meldshaping, that means I have to make a slight suggestion. Is it appropriate that I allow the zealot to change their chakra binds for the purpose of class features only, so that they have access to all of their chakra bind abilities and alter their gameplay appropriately? Particularly for the smite ability, you NEED to have that because you'll never know when one is more effective than the other, and the lessons learned through Project Heretica and having more than two forms of smite make me incline towards it.

Undying Zeal (Ex or Su): At 17th level, a zealot becomes capable of fighting even when his forces fail him, beyond where others could stand. A zealot is never considered disabled or staggered, even if he has less than 0 hit points or his nonlethal damage exceeds his current hit point total. Furthermore, he may continue to fight even if she has less than -10 hit points, but only to an amount of negative hit points equal to 10 plus half his character level plus his Constitution modifier. Instant death effects and attacks that destroy the body still affect the zealot if successful.

A zealot may invest essentia into this ability. Per every point of essentia invested in this ability, the range of negative hit points increases by 3 (thus, a 17th level zealot that invests two points of essentia and has a Constitution modifier of +5 may fight up to an amount of negative hit points equal to 29; the base 10, plus 8 for his character level, plus 5 for his Constitution modifier, plus 6 for his essentia). The maximum amount of essentia the zealot may invest into this ability is based on his character level. The zealot may reallocate essentia from a soulmeld to his smite ability and back as a swift action, as if the smite were a soulmeld.

Unlike other class abilities of the zealot, he may bind this ability to certain chakras to gain a further effect. If the zealot gains the ability to bind soulmelds to his heart chakra (see Chakra Binds) and binds this ability to it, he gains fast healing equal to his Constitution modifier plus 1 per point of essentia invested. If the zealot gains the ability to bind soulmelds to his soul chakra and binds this ability to it, he gains a bonus to his Constitution equal to twice the amount of essentia invested (thus, the Constitution modifier of the zealot increases by 1 per point of essentia).

The ability to last for an extended period of time is treated as an extraordinary ability, but allocating essentia and binding this ability to chakras are both treated as supernatural abilities. In the presence of an antimagic field or another place where supernatural abilities are impaired, only the first of the three abilities remains in effect.

Now THIS is the mark of an unstoppable warrior! Since you might get the chance of benefitting from Death Ward, having the ability to survive negative hit points really helps. However, unlike the other divine champions, the Zealot gets to boost this ability even further, first with essentia and then at 20th level with the special chakra binds. Heart makes you regenerate slowly, so that means you really can't die unless damage overflow occurs (and with your huge AC and awesome bonuses, you simply can't die), whereas soul makes your already formidable Constitution even higher (as in, ridiculously high, which means more HP, more Fortitude, more AC, and more powerful soulmeld abilities).

Did I mention that by now you're pretty much invulnerable? Well, age can really screw you up, so...

Timeless Body(Ex): At 19th level, the amount of essentia that suffuses in the soul of the zealot grants him lasting vitality to walk his path until the end of his days. The zealot no longer takes ability penalties to his ability scores and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties the zealot may have taken by means of age, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the zealot still dies of old age when his time is up.

Let's alleviate that. By 19th level, the zealot is nothing short of immortal. Make it an elf, and the zealot IS immortal. Well, so as long as it can work other stuff (such as, say, a permanent Death Ward effect), but Constitution alone makes it immortal. Or, hey, an Elan works fine too! (Oh, an Elan Sealer zealot; it just cracks me as much as the namesake ;) What, you mean the Time Machine namesake? Bollocks!

ZEALOT SOULMELD LIST
Adamant Pauldrons -- shoulders (Aligner only)
Airstep Sandals -- feet
Armguards of Disruption -- arms (Purist only)
Bloodwar Gauntlets -- arms, hands (evil Aligners or Banishers only)
Bluesteel Bracers -- arms
Cerulean Sandals -- feet
Crystal Helm -- crown
Diadem of Purelight -- crown
Enigma Helm -- crown
Fearsome Mask -- brow
Flame Cincture -- waist (Devout only)
Frost Helm -- crown
Gloves of the Poisoned Soul -- hands
Heart of Fire -- waist (Devout only)
Hunter's Circlet -- crown
Impulse Boots -- feet
Keeneye Lenses -- brow, soul
Lifebond Vestments -- arms, heart (Purist only)
Lightning Gauntlets -- hands
Lucky Dice -- hands
Mauling Gauntlets -- arms, hands
Necrocarnum Circlet -- crown (Necrocarnate only)
Necrocarnum Touch -- arms (Necrocarnate only)
Necrocarnum Mantle -- throat (Necrocarnate only)
Necrocarnum Shroud -- soul, waist (Necrocarnate only)
Necrocarnum Vestments -- heart, waist (Necrocarnate only)
Necrocarnum Weapon -- hands (Necrocarnate only)
Pauldrons of Health -- shoulders
Planar Ward -- throat (Banisher only)
Riding Bracers -- arms
Sailor's Bracers -- arms
Sighting Gloves -- hands
Silvertongue Mask -- brow, throat
Soulspark Familiar -- brow, crown, throat
Soulspeaker Circlet -- crown, throat
Spellward Shirt -- heart
Strongheart Vest -- heart, waist
Therapeutic Mantle -- shoulders
Thunderstep Boots -- feet
Truthseeker Goggles -- brow
Vitality Belt -- waist (Purist only)
Wind Cloak -- shoulders

Apologies for the simplistic form of presentation, but it shouldn't be hard to see that the Zealot has more soulmelds than the old Soulborn, despite some losses (mostly those that enhance magic, as Soulborn don't need those since they don't cast magic).

The soulmelds acquired, just in case, are Adamant Pauldrons, Airstep Sandals, Bloodwar Gauntlets, Frost Helm (the Incarnate has the Lammasu Mantle, so you can freely take from Totemists as well, no?), Heart of Fire, Keeneye Lenses, Lifebond Vestments, Lightning Gauntlets, Planar Ward and Vitality Belt. Of those, most are locked by path (with the Sealers having absolutely no unique 'melds), but a few being free choice (Airstep Sandals, Frost Helm, Keeneye Lenses, Lightning Gauntlets). The amount of soulmelds gained, thus, is much larger than those lost, even considering just the 'melds acquired by all Zealots. Considering that Heart and Soul chakras can be opened eventually, you're short of the full suite of abilities for all accessible melds. Furthermore, some of the chakras with less 'melds (feet, shoulders) now have more choices available (free choices, to boot!)

ALIGNED SOULMELDS
A zealot may not shape soulmelds with an alignment descriptor that does not match its own. For example, if the zealot is chaotic good, it cannot shape soulmelds with the lawful or evil descriptors. Most of the aligned soulmelds are usually limited to a specific path, which generally has its own alignment restrictions; however, if the zealot gains a soulmeld by different means (such as from the Shape Soulmeld feat), the restrictions apply.

SOULMELDS IN OTHER DUNGEONS & DRAGONS SUPPLEMENTS
For any other soulmeld that appears in a latter supplement, all soulborn soulmelds are considered zealot soulmelds. Restrictions on soulmelds may apply, as follows:
Aligner -- if the soulmeld is specifically aligned to chaos, evil, good or lawful, it only applies to a zealot that follows this path.
Banisher -- if the soulmeld deals with banishing a creature or combat against outsiders, it applies only to a zealot that follows this path.
Devout -- if the soulmeld has a very strong tie to faith, it applies only to a zealot that follows this path.
Necrocarnate -- if the soulmeld has the necrocarnum descriptor, it applies only to a zealot that follows this path.
Purist -- if the soulmeld provides a boon against undead, or if it provides healing or protection against attacks that would usually relate to undead, it applies only to a zealot that follows this path.
Sealer -- if the soulmeld provides a boon against aberrations, it applies only to a zealot that follows this path.

The last bits refer to the zealots' meldshaping restrictions. As you can see, aligners have an edge over incarnates because they can handle having slightly more soulmelds without the alignment restrictions.

The second bit refers to any soulmeld found in other supplements. Currently as I speak, the only other official supplement with soulmelds is Dragon Magic, so technically there's no changes. However, in the rare and dubious case that WotC showers a bit of support to Incarnum, or in the case of homebrewed soulmelds, please follow the indications above. Particularly in the case of sealers, which are the red-headed stepchildren of meldshaping because Incarnum doesn't, somehow, care about aberrations.

silphael
2012-06-06, 06:30 AM
There is no particular zealot dedicated to CG characters? They need some more love ^^

NineThePuma
2012-06-07, 06:55 PM
Subscribing. Will review when I'm not drained.

Elfstone
2012-06-07, 11:08 PM
Subscribing. Will review when I'm not drained.

Pretty much this. Finals and all....

But it looks pretty awesome. I was surprised to see it was a full base class..

T.G. Oskar
2012-06-16, 01:34 AM
Wow...so odd that there's not much response. Soulborn fixes/reworks/retools are quite rare, so I'd thought there'd be some attention towards it. Guess I was wrong?


There is no particular zealot dedicated to CG characters? They need some more love ^^

Technically, the purist might qualify as also nudging close to CG territory, but the way it was written pretty much implies discipline and unflinching compromise, something that seems very Lawful to me.

That said: they have the same amount of choices as a Neutral zealot would, so they're not alone in that. Chaotic Good and Neutral are very hard to work with, particularly as the focus of the first generally involves liberation and dealing with the small fries, whereas the focus of Neutrality is either "I don't care" or "Balance is the only extreme; all others are just pointless". So, they don't get as much "love" as other classes, but they still have their ways to deal with things.

NineThePuma
2012-06-16, 01:38 AM
I've really been struggling reading it, to be honest. It might be easier if you listed the "Aligners" as the core version, with everything else as ACFs...

Loki_42
2012-07-01, 11:30 AM
Wow, how did I miss this. Excellent work, I can definitely see some use for this. I would probably allow some kind of switching around of Chakra binds, though I'm not sure how to do it.