KEEPER OF THE DEAD
My long dead ancestors have been whispering things in my ears while you talk. They don't like you.
-Dwarn, a Keeper of the Dead
A general description of whatever the class is!
BECOMING A KEEPER OF THE DEAD
In order to become a Keeper of the Dead, one needs to have extensive knowledge of the dead, supernatural mastery of the ways of controlling them, and must prove that they can speak with them.
Knowledge (Religion) 8 ranks, Knowledge (History) 4 ranks
Must have access to either the Death or Repose domain
Must be able to cast 2nd level spells.
Must have made peaceful contact with an intelligent Undead without using Turn/Rebuke Undead or any spell that removes the Undead's freewill.
The Class Name's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills;selected individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Speak Language.
Skills Points at Each Level:
4 + int
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spellcasting|
|Death's Knowledge (Ancestral Knowledge), Turn Undead, Aura|| |
|Spirit Blade||+1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class|
|Death's Knowledge (Vengeful Will)||+1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class|
|Power over Death||+1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class|
|Death's Knowledge (Secret Whispers)||+1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class|
|Spirit Shield|| |
|Death's Knowledge (Agent of Death)||+1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class|
|Spirit Armor||+1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class|
|Death's Knowledge (Keeper of Secrets)||+1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class|
|Master of the Dead||+1 Level of Existing Spellcasting Class|
: A Keeper of the Dead is proficient with Simple weapons and with Light armor and shields (but not Tower shields).
A Keeper of the Dead adds their class level to the power of any alignment based Aura (see the Cleric feature) they have.
: A Keeper of the Dead continues to learn how to control undead. A Keeper of the Dead adds their class level to their effective turning level.
: A Keeper of the Dead continues to master ever greater magical energies. At each level except first and sixth, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if they had also gained a level in a spellcasting class they belonged to before they added the prestige class. They do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. This essentially means that the character adds the level of Keeper of the Dead to the level of some other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly.
: A Keeper of the Dead learns more about the dead than any other, and they apply this knowledge to other paths of their life. At every odd Keeper of the Dead level, a Keeper of the Dead gains two additional uses of their Turn/Rebuke Undead feature and a cumulative +1 bonus to Knowledge (Religion) checks. The Keeper of the Dead also gains the following benefits at the listed levels.
: A Keeper of the Dead speaks with their ancestors, and the ancestors of others. At first level, a Keeper of the Dead may use their Wisdom modifier instead of their Intelligence modifier for Knowledge checks, and may sacrifice one Turn Undead use to Speak With Dead
as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to their effective Cleric level for Turning Undead.
A Keeper of the Dead learns not only to speak with and control undead, but to protect them from those who would defile or destroy them. A third level Keeper of the Dead gains the ability to Turn creatures with an Aura (see the Cleric class feature) and powerfully aligned creatures as if they were Undead. A Keeper of the Dead that Turns Undead may Turn creatures with an Evil Aura and creatures with the [Evil] subtype, while a Keeper of the Dead that Rebukes Undead may Turn creatures with a Good Aura and creatures with the [Good] subtype.
Treat this as a normal Turning attempt, except instead of effecting Undead, it effects creatures described above. A creature with an Aura has an equivalent amount of Hit Dice equal to the strength of their Aura +2. A creature with the appropriate alignment subtype uses its Hit Dice, as normal for a Turning attempt, but has +4 Turning Resistance to this effect.
A Keeper of the Dead speaks with their ancestors and the ancestors of others. Sometimes these ancestors know something about the question at hand. A fifth level Keeper of the Dead may expend a Turn Undead use as a free action to gain an Insight bonus equal to their class level to Knowledge checks for one minute.
Agent of Death:
A Keeper of the Dead is well on their way to mastering death and the art of talking to spirits. A seventh level Keeper of the Dead may add their Wisdom bonus and their Charisma bonus when making Turning checks, and may add their Wisdom bonus to their Charisma bonus for determining the effects of any [Divine] feat the Keeper of the Dead uses.
Keeper of Secrets:
A ninth level Keeper of the Dead has learned horrible secrets from their ancestors. These secrets are so horrible as to be unspeakable. The Keeper of the Dead gains a bonus equal to their class level on saves versus fear. In addition, a Keeper of the Dead may tell others a horrible tale. Telling a tale requires a Full-Round action, during which the Keeper of the Dead expends a number of Turn Undead uses (minimum 1) up to a maximum of their Keeper of the Dead level. All creatures who hear the tale suffer the following ill effects, based on the difference between their Hit Dice and the Keeper of the Dead's Cleric level for Turning. Creatures that are not immune to fear are allowed no save versus these effects, but a creature that is normally immune to fear is allowed a save versus these effects at a DC of 10 + number of Turns expended + Wisdom modifier. A successful save moves the creature up one position on the table. For example, if a Paladin that is 3 levels lower than the Keeper of the Dead makes a successful saving throw versus this effect, they are treated as being up to the Keeper of the Dead's Cleric level -1 and are therefore Stunned for 1d2 rounds.
|Equal to Cleric level||Stunned|
|Up to Cleric level -1||Nauseated, stunned|
|Up to Cleric level -5||Weakened, nauseated, stunned|
|Up to Cleric level -10||Killed, weakened, nauseated, stunned|
Stunned: The creature is Stunned for 1d2 rounds while the creature vomits everything in their guts.
Nauseated: The creature is Nauseated for 1d6 rounds while their stomach tosses and churns.
Weakened: The creature's Constitution score suffers a 2d6 penalty for 2d4 rounds, while they contend with their weakened stomach.
Killed: The creature dies instantly, slain by the horror of the story.
Spirit Blade (su):
A second level Keeper of the Dead learns to fight all types of undead creatures, including incorporeal creatures. Any weapon the Keeper of the Dead wields is treated as having the Ghost Touch weapon property while being wielded by the Keeper of the Dead. In addition, by expending 1 use of Turn Undead a Keeper of the Dead may convey this property to another creature for 1 minute per Keeper of the Dead level.
Power Over Death (ex):
A fourth level Keeper of the Dead has mastered their supernatural control over the dead. The Keeper of the Dead exudes an aura of power over Undead creatures. Any Undead creature that comes within 30 feet of the Keeper of the Dead is effected by their Turn or Rebuke Undead class feature automatically, although your effective Cleric level is reduced by 10 for the purposes of this feature (though not below 1). The Keeper of the Dead can be identified as the source of the aura by any who can sense the Keeper of the Dead by any means. The Keeper of the Dead may stop exerting this aura at will as a free action and may resume exerting it as a Standard action.
Spirit Armor (su):
A sixth level Keeper of the Dead learns to protect against all types of undead creatures, including incorporeal creatures. A Keeper of the Dead may add their Shield bonus to their Touch AC. In addition, by expending 1 use of Turn Undead a Keeper of the Dead may convey this property to another creature for 1 minute per Keeper of the Dead level.
Spirit Armor (su):
An eighth level Keeper of the Dead continues to learn to protect against all types of undead creatures, including incorporeal creatures. A Keeper of the Dead may add their Armor bonus to their Touch AC. In addition, by expending 1 use of Turn Undead a Keeper of the Dead may convey this property to another creature for 1 minute per Keeper of the Dead level.
Master of the Dead (su):
A tenth level Keeper of the Dead has mastered death, and transcends the power others have over alignment. A Keeper of the Dead may choose to exert an Aura (see the Cleric class feature) of any alignment they choose, at any strength up to their character level, changing the strength and alignment of the Keeper of the Dead's Aura is a Swift Action. A Keeper of the Dead is always treated as whatever alignment is most favorable for an effect (such as being Chaotic when effected by Chaos Hammer, or being Good when effected by Smite Evil) even if they are not of that alignment or are currently exerting a different Aura.
PLAYING A KEEPER OF THE DEAD
You are most likely a Cleric, and have great power over Undeath.
Use your spells to your greatest advantage, augmented with your Turn-based powers. Divine Feats are great options for your character, particularly Divine Metamagic (Quicken Spell).
You should try and continue both your Turning and Spellcasting. Prestige Classes that do so are rare, so you are most likely going to have to go back to your original class.
You have access to your spells, and the knowledge of your ancestors. Use your Knowledge Skills!
KEEPER OF THE DEAD IN THE WORLD
The dead should be respected, not defiled by those that claim to 'keep' them.
-Generic Good Aligned Character, talking about an evil Keeper of the Dead.
Keepers of the Dead are percieved as bearers of knowledge, what they do with that knowledge is up to them. A Keeper of the Dead understands the phrase 'Knowledge is Power' even more so than most.
You commune with dead people for a living, and cast spells. You were most likely a Cleric, and have a clergy attached to that.
The Dread Terror Eric V'lan was a Keeper of the Dead who summoned vast hordes of dead minions that he had completely under his own control. He was almost impossible to track down and even harder to kill. Rumor has it that he never actually was killed, and that he slumbers as a lich somewhere, waiting to unleash his might on the world again...
Some information about organizations dedicated to the practice of your class and other organizations which members of your class will be attracted towards.
A Keeper of the Dead is almost impossible to recognize as anything more than a character with supernatural abilities over undead. Expect to be mistaken for a Cleric often.
KEEPER OF THE DEAD IN THE GAME
Clerics will be frightened of PrC'ing out, knowing that they can be Rebuked (or Commanded) by an evil Keeper of the Dead. A Keeper of the Dead is a big threat to any incorporeal creature, not just undead, so incorporeality is no longer an auto-win button.
There is little to no adaptation required for most fantasy settings.
Encounters with Keepers of the Dead vary widely. Some are kindly sages, while others are crazed Necromancers bent on destroying everything.
Rumors abound of a man, or rather, the shadow of a man, who has been terrorizing the North Woods with undead creatures. Can you fight through his undead minions and defeat him?
Deadman Durnik took over a bandit group who had been raiding the North Woods and proceeded to kill them and animate the bodies. He came in with nothing but the shirt on his back, and that's how he intends to stay.
NE/Male/Human/Dread Necromancer 5/Keeper of the Dead 6
: Listen +1, Spot +1,
21, touch 13, flat-footed 21
66 (11 HD, 5d6+6d4)
30 ft. (6 squares)
Masterwork Cold Iron Spiked Gauntlet +8, 1d4+1
Charnel Touch +7, 1d8+1
Spells, Charnel Touch, Rebuke Undead, Power over Death, Negative Energy Burst
+3 Mithral Breastplate, +2 Twilight Mithral Heavy Shield
N/A (9th level spontaneous Dread Necromancer casting, plus Death Domain Spells and 2 Necromancy spells: 1 2nd and 1 3rd)
Fear Aura, Spirit Blade, Spirit Shield
Str 10, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 17
Damage Reduction 2/Magic and Bludgeoning
Tomb-Tainted Soul (1st), Improved Turning (Human), Arcane Disciple (Death) (3rd), Quicken Spell (6th), Divine Metamagic (Quicken Spell) (9th)
Knowledge (Religion) +18, Knowledge (History) +5, Spellcraft +15, Intimidate +17, Concentration +14
Explorer's Outfit, Cloak of Resistance +2, Spell Component Pouch