The Shade Channeler
"Interesting. I can sense how many creatures perish in this world. The number is staggering, we are nearing one hundred thousand for today alone. I wonder how people can be so foolish and stupid to die that easily and in such number. Then I remember there are people like you who just rush to their pointless death hoping for a fleeting moment of glory. Foolish heroes, only death is eternal!"
-Santu the Vile battling a group of adventurers
Death is natural, death is a part of every living creature. Even immortal gods perish after millenia. Shade Channelers are those who harness the power of the recently deceased. Powerful masters of undead Shade Channelers often have a small army of powerful undead following them.
A Shade Channeler may have many different reasons to adventure. A Shade Channeler may choose to adventure to help ease the pain of death around the world. Maybe he has a grand desire to reduce the amount of death in the world or to remove death entirely from the world. Maybe an Evil Shade Channeler wishes to spread more death and being an adventurer leads him to many sites of mass death where his power grows.
Shade Channelers are casters of great power. They may not have the dedication or the sustainability of other casters but they gain versatility and an impressive horde of undead at their beck and call.
Shade Channelers can be any type of alignment though most tend towards neutral. Some good aligned Shade Channelers travel the world trying to ease the pain of death for others, reduce the amount of death around the world. Evil Shade Channelers almost always attempt to cause more and more death around them. Wether through subtly manipulating politicians to go to war or declaring open war on kingdoms with a horde of undead behind them. They then often use the power gained from such wars to bolster their own power or further their own goals.
Most Shade Channelers follow a god of death such as Wee Jas or Nerull. Some decide to follow their lives to a god of life and energy to try to counteract the spread of death but those are far and few between.
Through either training, close contact with undead or spirits or some other way Shade Channelers become connected with the death of the world. They harness the power of those briefly departed and thus become harbingers for those who have fallen or devastating conquers whose power grows with each village overtaken. Many good and neutral aligned Shade Channelers become somewhat cold and depressed as their outlook on the world becomes somewhat blunt and cold. A Shade Channeler who can keep his hopes high despite feeling the pull of death all around them is truly an optimistic person.
Any race with a short life span is prone to becoming a Shade Channeler. Those who grow up unscathed by the touch of death tend to avoid becoming attuned to the spirit world. Such that races such as Elves and other long lived races will not often become Shade Channelers. Elans and outsiders almost never become Shade Channelers unless they spend a lot of their time around numerous dying humanoids or other sentient creatures.
Many paladins and clerics despise Shade Channelers as they associate all undeath with evil grave robbers. Many druids however tend to accept Shade Channelers if they are not to enthusiastic about raising the dead due to the Shade Channelers acceptance of death as a natural order. Most other classes treat Shade Channelers as any other necromancer, however many see them as grim and depressing at times.
The Shade Channeler is a primary caster who has incredible control over necromancy and the undead. He can focus on animating hordes of undead and coordinating them into a strike force of doom as he weakens and hampers opponents from afar.
Charisma is without a doubt the most important ability for a Shade Channeler as it determines their spell dc's, bonus spirit points, rebuke attempts, and a number of their class features. Con is of importance early levels but if they become undead as most Shade Channelers do it loses some value. Dexterity is important as many necromancy spells are rays and require ranged touch attacks.
The Shade Channeler's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int) , Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dexterity), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (All Taken Individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha)
Skill Points at First Level:
(4 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level:
4 + Int modifier
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies:
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spirit Points||Spell Level|
|Spirit Channeling, Rebuke Undead, Soul Harvest, Death Sense, Undead Tactic I||6||1st|
|Undead Tactic II||15||2nd|
|Spirit Boon I, Efficient Control (1)||21||2nd|
|Undead Tactic III,Horde Empowerment, Bonus Feat||28||3rd|
|Spirit Boon II, Form of Death (I)||36||3rd|
|Undead Tactic IV, Transfer Target (1/Day)||45||4th|
|Soul Tether, Spirit Boon III, Efficient Control (2)||54||4th|
|Undead Tactic V, Alternate Source ||62||5th|
|Custom Horde I, Spirit Boon IV, Bonus Feat||75||5th|
|Undead Tactic VI, Ranged Animation||89||6th|
|Spirit Boon V, Efficient Control (3),Form of Death (II), Transfer Target (2/Day)||104||6th|
|Undead Tactic VII, Custom Horde II||120||7th|
|Spirit Boon VI, Horde Perfection||137||7th|
|Undead Tactic VIII, Bonus Feat||155||8th|
|Custom Horde III, Spirit Boon VII, Dread Army, Efficient Control (4)||174||8th|
|Undead Tactic IX, Transfer Target (3/Day)||194||9th|
|Spirit Boon VIII, Form of Death (III)||215||9th|
|Undead Tactic X, Custom Horde IV||235||9th|
|Bonus Feat, Spirit Boon IX, Efficient Control (5), Embodiment of Death||261||9th|
Shade Channelers are proficient with all simple weapons and one martial weapon of their choice (Usually a scythe), chosen at the first level. They are proficient in all light armors and with all shields except for the tower shield.
A Shade Channeler casts spells drawn from the Shade Channeler spell list (See the Spirit Channeling class feature below). He casts spells spontaneously from any spell he has available to him. To cast a spell a Shade Channeler needs a charisma score of 10+ the spell level. The difficulty class for a saving throw against a spell cast by a Shade Channeler is 10+the spell level + the Shade Channeler's charisma modifier. A Shade Channeler does not cast by expending spell slots but instead channels the energy of the recently departed to cast his spells. Any prestige class that advances casting advances the Shade Channeler's Spirit Point progression and his maximum spell level at every level where it would normally progress spell casting. The Shade Channeler's spells are neither arcane or divine, though they do not have arcane spell failure.
The Shade Channeler does not cast spells by expending his own energy, he simply molds the energy of the world's recently deceased. Spirit Points are the Shade Channeler's ability to manipulate the energy of the dead and to use their power. The Shade Channeler gains a bonus on Spirit Points equal to his charisma modifier multiplied by his class level. The Shade Channeler can regain Spirit Points just like a caster normally regains spell slots. Casting a spell functions as normal but instead of expending a spell slot the Shade Channeler expends a number of Spirit Points equal to double the spell level of the spell. The Shade Channeler can never have more Spirit Points than his maximum, the number indicated by his class level + his charisma modifier * class level.
The Shade Channeler does not have a spell list like normal casters. Instead whenever he refreshes his spirit energy he calls certain spells that he will have available for the day. For every spell that the Shade Channeler calls for that day he must expend Spirit Points equal to double the spell level of the spell. He may never call more than three spells available per spell level. The Shade Channeler may call any spell from the Necromancy school or any spell from the Conjuration school that is on the Wizard/Sorcerer spell list. In addition, at first level the Shade Channeler can choose to call spells from an additional school on the Wizard/Sorcerer spell list, either, Evocation Illusion, Divination or Abjuration. Once the Shade Channeler makes this choice it can't be changed even with a wish or a miracle. Finally, the Shade Channeler can choose any spell that specifically enhances undead or animation of undead. Thus he could choose desecrate since it helps animating undead but not bull's strength as that can help all creatures not just undead.
As a Shade Channeler gains power based on the recently deceased in the world they gain more power when death's are above average and less when deaths are below average. If a Shade Channeler spends significant time in an area of great death he also can harvest more energy if he replenishes his Spirit Points within the next 24 hours. Similarly if he spends significant time in an area of low death his power declines. This is up to a DM to decide but I will make a table to illustrate some guidelines. If the DM feels that the campaign world would make this feature unbalanced he may not use it in the setting.
(Ex) The Shade Channeler feels death around him and can sense when a creature dies near him. The Shade Channeler feels out in an aura of 100ft per class level. If any creature dies within the area the Shade Channeler can feel his soul escaping and can pinpoint not only the location of the death but also the general cause. The Shade Channeler can only determine general information from a death sensed through this class feature. A Shade Channeler can feel a person was murdered within the area but can't tell by what or how, he can't determine it was done by Bob the butler with a knife, who lives on 123 Main Street on the 3rd floor.
In addition the Shade Channeler has a general feel for the death in the world though it is much less accurate than his aura explained above. He automatically knows the number of people who have died that day and can generally determine roughly what causes the deaths in the world. Thus for example a Shade Channeler may know that around 25% of the deaths were caused by disease 30% due to monster attacks or murder 10% due to old age and 35% to war. He can't determine the percentage of people that died to anything specific like a particular kind of disease or a particular war going on.
The Shade Channeler can rebuke undead as a cleric of equal level a number of times equal to 3 + his charisma modifier.
Soul Harvest (Su):
As a free action the Shade Channeler can attempt to harvest the essence of those recently fallen more effectively. If any creature within 10ft/class level dies within the next round the Shade Channeler gains a number of Spirit Points equal to 1/2 of the Shade Channeler's class level (round up). The Shade Channeler can gain at most a number of Spirit Points equal to his class level in a single round. This ability only works on intelligent creatures (those with an intelligence score of 3 or higher). This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to 1/2 the Shade Channeler's Class level (Minimum 1).
At second level the Shade Channeler gains Corpse Crafter as a bonus feat. In addition, whenever the Shade Channeler animates an undead creature he can place a special mark on it as the Spell, Arcane Mark
The Shade Channeler is proficient with commanding hordes of undead. The Shade Channeler can preform a special maneuver or tactic with undead under his control. At first level and every 2 levels after that the Shade Channeler can select a tactic from the list below. A tactic with the (Horde) tag affects all undead within line of sight controlled by the Shade Channeler. A tactic with the (Platoon) tag affects all undead within line of sight up to a number of undead equal to 1/2 of the Shade Channeler's caster level (Minimum 1 undead). A tactic with the (Commander) tag only affects a single undead. All tactics are standard actions. A Shade Channeler may use one Horde Tactic, Platoon Tactic and Commander Tactic every 5 rounds. Such that if a Shade Channeler used a horde tactic he must wait 5 rounds before using another horde tactic. The following round he could use a commander tactic instead of a horde tactic though, thus causing him to wait 5 more rounds to use another commander tactic.
Spirit Boon: (Ex)
At fourth level the Shade Channeler can use his powers to enhance the undead under his control. By spending a number of rebuke undead attempts indicated by the boon he can enhance an undead with a spirit boon he has available. He starts with 1 spirit boons at 4th level and gains 1 ever other level after chosen from the list below. A particular undead can only have a single boon applied at a time at 4th level. They can have an additional boon applied at 10th level and an additional boon every 6 levels after 10th. If the Shade Channeler is undead then he counts as being under his control for the purposes of this ability. Spirit Boons are either (Ex) or (Su) depending on the boon and spirit boons last until the Shade Channeler regains spirit points.
Efficient Control: (Ex)
Whenever the Shade Channeler attempts to rebuke an undead creature he can treat the undead's HD as a number of HD lower equal to the number indicated by Efficient Control. At 4th level he can treat undead as 1HD lower, at 8th 2 HD, etc. In addition the Shade Channeler may consider undead he animates with animate dead to have the same number of HD reduced for determining how many undead the Shade Channeler can control with Animate Dead (Minimum 1 HD).
Horde Empowerment: (Ex)
At 5th level the Shade Channeler can control 6hd/caster level instead of the normal 4HD/caster level for Animate Dead. In addition he can control twice his rebuking level in undead. Finally the Shade Channeler can increase his rebuke undead control pool by one HD by sacrificing 3 HD of his animate dead control pool. The Shade Channeler can also sacrifice one hd his rebuke undead control pool to increase his animate dead control pool by three hd.
At 5th level and every 5th level after the Shade Channeler can select a bonus feat from the following list. Any Corpse Crafter Feat, Undead Leadership or any leadership feat, Extra Turning, Any Divine Feat, Improved Spell Calling*, Extra Spirit Boon*, Extra Tactic*. The Shade Channeler must qualify for the feat in order to take it.
*New Feats Described Below
Form of Death: (Ex)
The Shade Channeler's form begins to change due to his strengthening connection with death itself. At 6th level the Shade Channeler gains a +4 bonus on hide checks in darkness or shadowy concealment and also gains darkvision out to 120ft. At 12th level the Shade Channeler gains a deflection bonus to ac equal to his Class Level/4 (round down). At 18th level the Shade Channeler gains the ability to see in all forms of magical and non magical darkness and the Shade Channeler gains a profane bonus on fort saves equal to his charisma modifier.
Transfer Target: (Su)
The Shade Channeler understands that their are the spirits of the dead all around the world passing into their next life. The Shade Channeler can 1/day as an immediate action transfer any spell or spell like ability as it is cast and switch the target to one of these passing over spirits. This only works on spells that target a creature, such as charm person. Effectively, this negates the spell. The Shade Channeler gains an additional use of this ability at 12th and 17th level.
Soul Tether: (Su)
At 8th level due to his connection with the dead the Shade Channeler can prevent a soul from leaving a recently slain subject allowing the target to be healed back to health or at least survive a bit longer. The Shade Channeler can as an immediate action cast Delay Death on one target within 10ft/class level. Using this ability consumes 1 rebuke undead attempt. This ability can be used on non mindless undead targets and living constructs.
Alternate Source: (Ex
At 9th level the Shade Channeler can power necromancy spells with the energy he gains from the death of the world instead of onyx. He can triple the normal Spirt Point cost of an undead animating spell instead of paying any material components for the spell.
Custom Horde: (Ex)
At 10th level the Shade Channeler has gained insight on how to animate particular undead. At 10th level he gains the ability to animate a new undead creature or template with the create undead spell. The Shade Channeler can choose an additional custom creature to animate every 3rd level after. The Shade Channeler can choose any undead creature with a CR equal to his class level - 4. Thus at 10th level he can choose to animate a creature with CR 6 or lower, at 13th level he can select a creature with CR 9 or lower, etc. For templates the template selected must have a cr increase of 1/2 of his class level - 6. Thus at level 10 he can select a template that has a cr increase of +1, at level 13 he may select a template that has a cr of +2 or less. The template or creature he selects at 16th and 19th level can only be animated with the create greater undead spell.
Special: The lich template can not be selected by this ability. A DM has the authority to prevent any undead creature or undead template from being selected if he feels the creature or template would unbalance the character.
Ranged Animation: (Su):
At 11th level whenever the Shade Channeler casts animate dead as a spell or a spell like ability it has a range of medium (100ft +10/level) instead of touch. In other words the Shade Channeler can animate any undead within this range without needing to touch the corpse. If the spell requires material components they do not need to be placed on the corpse but they are expended.
Horde Perfection (Ex):
At 14th level the Shade Channeler becomes more adept at animating undead and can now animate skeletons and zombies with HD higher than 20 with animate dead. In addition he can specialize in either skeletons or zombies. If he specializes in Skeletons any Spirit Boon applied to them only costs half as many rebuke undead attempts (Minimum 1). If the Shade Channeler specializes in Zombies all Zombies created by the Shade Channeler lose their single action only ability.
Dread Army: (Su)
At 16th level whenever the Shade Channeler kills a subject he can temporally bind the subjects soul into the corpse. This allows the corpse to function as a normal skeleton under the control of the Shade Channeler for 1 round/class level. After this duration expires the skeleton deanimates and falls to the floor. The zombie is treated as if being created by a necromancy spell for purpose of feats and class features. The creature can be reanimated as undead again after the duration expires. The undead animated by this ability take actions on the Shade Channeler's turn and can take their first set of actions on the Shade Channeler's next turn.
Embodiment of Death: (Ex)
The Shade Channeler becomes an embodiment of death. He either gains the lich template with a free phylactery at no level adjustment cost or he can apply a template to himself that he can animate with create undead or create greater undead at no level adjustment cost.
Improved Spell Calling
You are very efficient at calling a particular spell.
Spirit Channeling, Shade Channeler class level 6.
Select one spell the you can cast. When calling that spell you do not have to pay Spirit Points to call the spell. This spell still counts against the number of spells you can have called of a certain level.
This feat can be taken multiple times. Each time you must select a different spell.
Extra Soul Harvesting
You are very efficient at calling a can harvest the power from the fallen more readily.
You can use soul harvest an additional time per day.
This feat can be taken multiple times, its effects stack.
Extra Spirit Boon
You are have studied how to apply spirit boons and have more boons to enhance your undead with.
You may select an additional Spirit Boon that you qualify for. You can now use that Spirit Boon as if you had learned it normally and it counts for qualifiy for other Spirit Boon prerequisites.
This feat can be taken multiple times. Each time a different Spirit Boon must be selected.
You are have studied how to maneuver your undead.
You may select an additional Tactic that you qualify for. You can now use that Tactic as if you had learned it normally and it counts for qualify for other Tactic prerequisites.
This feat can be taken multiple times. Each time a different Tactic must be selected.
Lesser Animate Dead
Dread Necromancer 1, Wizard/Sorcerer 1, Cleric 1
One medium or smaller sized corpse touched
This spell turns the bones or bodies of dead creatures into undead skeletons or zombies that follow your spoken commands.
The undead can follow you, or they can remain in an area and attack any creature (or just a specific kind of creature) entering the place. They remain animated until they are destroyed. (A destroyed skeleton or zombie canít be animated again.)
Regardless of the type of undead you create with this spell, you canít create more HD of undead than half your caster level (Max 4 HD, Min 1 HD) with a single casting of animate dead. (The desecrate spell doubles this limit)
The undead you create remain under your control indefinitely. No matter how many times you use this spell, however, you can control only 1 HD worth of undead creatures per caster level (Max 5HD). If you exceed this number, all the newly created creatures fall under your control, and any excess undead from previous castings become uncontrolled. (You choose which creatures are released.) If you are a cleric, any undead you might command by virtue of your power to command or rebuke undead do not count toward the limit.
A skeleton can be created only from a mostly intact corpse or skeleton. The corpse must have bones. If a skeleton is made from a corpse, the flesh falls off the bones.
A zombie can be created only from a mostly intact corpse. The corpse must be that of a creature with a true anatomy.
You must place a black onyx gem worth at least 5 gp per Hit Die of the undead into the mouth or eye socket of each corpse you intend to animate. The magic of the spell turns these gems into worthless, burned-out shells.
Rod of The Grand Rebuker:
This black rod of metal has a carving of a metal skull at the top of it. Anyone who holds the rod can control twice as many undead than he normally could with his Rebuke Undead ability. For instance, normally a caster canít control more HD of undead than his rebuking level, but while holding the rod of undead mastery he can control twice his rebuking level of undead.
Strong necromancy; CL 12th; Craft Rod, command undead; Price 20,000 gp.