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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Boston, MA

    Default Order of the Hidden Seal (3.5 PrC, PEACH)

    Master of the Hidden Seal

    "The blessing of the Stern Lady shines upon us even as we call powers from the Void. None can match us. And yet, none know we exist. That more than anything else is the source of our power." -Galaga Tal, a priestess of Wee Jas and Mistress of the Hidden Seal talking to a new apprentice.

    Many binders know that the Order of Seropanes was founded by the Churches of Vecna, Heironeous, St. Cuthbert and Wee Jas to combat the threat posed by binders to the worship of traditional gods. However, very few realize that even from the start the Churchs of Wee Jas and Vecna had a very specific, ulterior motive. Ages before, members of both churches had discovered the power of vestiges well before the discoveries of Syfal. Vecna is a god of secrets and magic while Wee Jas is a goddess of death and magic; thus, it should not be terribly surprising that their clerics had worked together to learn of the power of vestiges well before anyone else. Clerics of Wee Jas delighted in this new magic and saw vestiges as a symbol of far more irrevocable permanent death than the common form. Meanwhile, clerics of Vecna reveled in the new secrets this strange magic encompassed.

    Later, when Syfal announced his discoveries, the clerics of Wee Jas and Vecna desired to keep the power limited to themselves and did not want other churches to benefit from the great power that would come if they combined divine magic with the power of vestiges. The secret orders of binders in the church manipulated Seropaenes into forming his crusade against binders.

    Even today, centuries later, a hidden order of binders exists within the churches of Wee Jas and Vecna. Some of members Of The Hidden Seal have even infiltrated the the Order of Seropanes, while the other Seropaneans do not realize their true power or allegiance.

    Within the two churches exist two parallel secret hierarchies composed of Seal members. This is kept secret from almost all other clergy in the churches, excluding even the highest ranking clerics. Regarding concerns related to the Seal, members are almost as likely to consult Seal members in the other church as they are likely to consult members of their own church.

    A note about recruitment and terminology: Members are generally recruited from within the Church when another Master notices that a member of the Church is expressing interest in pact magic. In some cases, the individual begins their training even before the recruit has successfully bound a vestige. High ranking male members of this prestige class are known as Masters of the Hidden Seal while high ranking female members are known as Mistresses of the Hidden Seal.

    Becoming a Master of the Hidden Seal

    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Spellcasting: Able to cast 2nd level divine spells
    Soulbinding: Able to bind a 1st level vestige
    Skills: Knowledge(religion) 8. Knowledge(the planes) or knowledge(arcana) 8. Sense Motive 2. Bluff 4.
    Special: Patron deity Wee Jas or Vecna. Must be approached by a member of the Hidden Seal of at least third level. Note that the Order will not approach someone unless they are confident that they will be able to trust the person. Therefore, they are unlikely to approach chaotic individuals. Most often then not, the person who approaches a prospective candidate is a fellow clergymember who has known the candidate for a long time.

    Note: As phrased in Tome of Magic, a cleric will generally lose all divine spellcasting if they bind a vestige. However, this prestige class requires both soulbinding and divine spellcasting. There are two solutions to this issue: First one can loosen this rule so that clerics who have only experimented with binding do not fall immediately out of favor. Second, one can have potential members be approached after they have shown an interest in binding but before they have actually done so. They then take a level in binder and take their first level in Master of the Hidden Seal at the next level.

    Class Skills
    The Master of the Hidden Seal'e's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Decipher Script (Int),Gather Information (Cha) Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis) and Spellcraft (Int)
    Skills Points at Each Level: 2 + int

    Hit Dice: d8

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spellcasting/Binding

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Vestigial Command, Divine Concealment,Initiate of the Hidden Seal,Suppress Sign|+ 1 level Soul Binding/-

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Dark Secrets, Deific Gift|+ 1 level Soul Binding/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Divine Binding|+ 1 level Soul Binding/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Lesser Vestige Necromancy|+ 1 level Soul Binding/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Pierce the Veil, Secrets of the Gods|-/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Divine Disruption|+ 1 level Soul Binding/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    ||+ 1 level Soul Binding/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    | Vestige Necromancy|+ 1 level Soul Binding/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    ||+ 1 level Soul Binding/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Master/Mistress of the Hidden Seal, Gift of Wee Jas/ Gift of Vecna|+ 1 level Soul Binding/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class [/table]

    Weapon Proficiencies: A Master of the Hidden Seal gains no additional weapon proficiencies.

    Spellcasting: Whenever you gain a new Master of the Hidden Seal level other than first you gain new spells per day and spells known as if you had also gained a level in a divine spellcasting class you belonged to before you added the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained.

    Soul Binding: At each level but 5th your soul binding ability improves as if you had gained a level of the Binder class. This increases your effective binder level, the bonus you receive on binding checks, and the level and number of vestiges you may bind. You do not, however, gain any other abilities or advantages a Binder would have gained.

    Suppress Sign: At first level, you gain the suppress sign class feature if you do not already have it.

    Vestigial Command(su): At first level, you add your total number of vestiges bound to your effective cleric level for turning or rebuking. This does not alter how many times daily you may turn or rebuke and does not give you any turning or rebuking ability if you do not already possess it.

    Divine Concealment (su): Divine Concealment (Ex): All who practice the art of the Hidden Seal know that their secrets will be the death of them, should they be exposed. To this end, all Masters of the Hidden Seal learn techniques to thwart and distort spells that attempt to discern information on their subjects. A Master of the Hidden Seal adds their class level to Will Saves made against abilities that attempt to discern any meaningful information from the Master, such as spells from the Divination school and powers from the Clairvoyance discipline. In addition, whenever the Detect Vestige spell or a similar power that targets Vestiges or those bound by them targets you, make a Caster Level check (using the higher of your Caster Level or your Effective Binder Level) against the effect. If you succeed, the ability yields no information.

    Additionally, if you fail a binding check to bind a vestige, you may choose to not bind the vestige. However, if you do so, the total number of vestiges you can bind is reduced by 1 for 24 hours for each vestige you use this ability with.

    Initiate of the Hidden Seal: Add Conceal Seal, Detect Vestige, Vestige Message and Vestige Wrack to the spell list of a single Divine spellcasting class you belong to. (See below for Conceal Seal and Vestige Message).

    Dark Secrets (ex):. The Hidden Seal has existed long before any other organization of binders. They have unparalleled lore about all sorts of subjects, especially vestiges. You may treat all knowledge skills as class skills. Additionally, you get a bonus on all knowledge checks related to vestiges and pact magic equal to your class level as long as you have at least one rank in that knowledge skill.

    Deific Gift (su): At 2nd level, your patron deity bestows upon you additional magic to manipulate and benefit vestiges.

    You may when preparing spells in the morning reduce for 24 hours your total number of vestiges you may bind by 1, to add an additional spell slot to one casting class of your choice. The slot added must be of level strictly less than the highest level in that class and must be of level no higher than highest level vestige you can bind.

    Divine Binding You can channel vestiges through your patron deity, allowing you to bind vestiges even under circumstances where you would not normally be able. At third level, when in an area holy to your patron deity you may make pact without drawing a seal. The vestige must have have no special requirements for the nature of the seal or you must have the Ignore Special Requirements feat. To use this ability you you must make a successful binding check or the process fails and cannot use this ability to bind that vestige for 24 hours. In addition to this check, you must still make a binding check to see if the pact is a good or bad pact.

    Lesser Vestige Necromancy (Su): Both Vecna and Wee Jas are deities concerned with death. The Hidden Seal has specifically studied how vestiges interact with death and necromantic energies. At 4th level you gain the ability touch a target corpse and , you find out if the individual had any ability to bind to vestiges. If so, you also learn if the being was bound any vestiges at the time of death and if so, what vestiges. You make a special binding check for each vestige the individual was bound to at the time of death. For each vestige you succeed on the binding check for, you learn the name of the vestige, a mental image of its seal detailed enough for you to draw it, and you learn whether you are of a level high enough to bind that vestige, and what special requirement, if any, the vestige has.

    Secrets of the Gods (Su): Your deity whispers secrets of how to use divine power to augment your connection to vestiges. At 5th level, you gain the ability to as a free action sacrifice a spell slot to immediately reuse a vestige ability that would normally have a 5 round waiting period before the 5 rounds have elapsed. The spell slot sacrificed must be of level at least the level of the vestige which grants the ability in question. Use of this ability does not reset the remaining wait time to reuse the ability.

    Pierce the Veil(Su): Your unique hybrid of divine magic and the power of vestiges allows you to detect residues of vestiges that others cannot. At level 5th, you can instantly tell when anyone you see is bound to a vestige as long as they are not suppressing the sign. You can do so even if there is no visible manifestation of the sign (such as if the sign is covered by an illusion or by clothing).

    Additionally, if you touch a given vestige seal and concentrate for 1 full round you can tell if the seal was used to bind a vestige in the last 7 days, and can also tell if the pact was a good or bad pact. You may also use this ability on any object that could be used as part of a special requirement to bind a vestige such as a gemstone that could be used for Acerak or any of the items used to bind Andromalius. Additionally, you can use that object in an aid to a Scrying or similar spell and treat the object as if it were a body part for purposes of the will save from a Scrying spell.

    Divine Disruption (su): You have learned to use divine energy to disrupt peoples' connections to vestiges. You may sacrifice a divine spell slot and target one being in 60 feet of you. That being must make a will save (DC 10 + the level of the spell slot sacrificed + your wisdom modifier). If they fail that save, one vestige they are bound to suppressed for the remainder of the time they would be bound to it. This vestige is picked randomly from all vestiges the person is bound that are of level no higher than the level of the spell slot sacrificed. The vestige still has influence if the pact was bad, and still displays a sign, but the victim gains no benefits from the vestige.

    Vestige Necromancy(su): At 6th level, you add four times your number of vestiges bound to you to determine the maximum number of hit die of undead you may control through animate dead and similar effects.

    Additionally, once a day when you create or animate any intelligent undead (such as with the Create Undead or Create Greater Undead spells) or when you turn an unintelligent undead intelligent (such as with the Awaken Undead spell), you may pick a single level 1 vestige. If you do, the undead being is permanently bound to that vestige, with effective binder level 1 with the usual sign and influence. In addition, undead that you bind Vestiges to in this way gain a +2 bonus to their Effective Binder Level and can suppress their Vestige's signs in any location that is sacred to your deity, depending upon whether your patron deity is Wee Jas or Vecna.


    Gift of Wee Jas/Gift of Vecna (su): At 10th level, your patron deity bestows upon you further power to use vestiges to serve the ends of your deity.

    You may once a day when you cast a divine spell which allows a save, modify the spell modify if so that if any spellcaster fail their save then they lose randomly selected spell slots or prepared equal to the number of vestiges you currently have bound, starting at the highest level spell slot they have remaining and moving down. For each spell-slot or prepared spell removed this way, you may recover one divine spell slot or prepared spell that you expended in the last 24 hours. The recovered spell slots or prepared spells may not exceed the levels of the spell slots or prepared spells lost.

    Master/Mistress of the Hidden Seal (ex): You have reached true perfection in combining your use of divine magic with the power of vestiges. At 10th level, your binder level and divine caster level become one and the same. No class level may add more than +1 to this level, but any level that adds to divine caster or binder level may add to this level. Any bonus to caster or binder level may be added to this level, but any bonus that affects both may only be added once. You may use this level for any effect that relies on caster level or binder level. This does not grant you additional spells known and only effects your binder level for purposes of the the effects your vestiges have and the total number you may bind, but does not increase the level of what vestiges you are able to bind.

    Playing a Master of the Hidden Seal

    You have a secret that has lasted for hundreds, if not thousands of years. You are part of a conspiracy deeply embedded in your church. You will protect that secret and at the same time use it to further your ends and the ends of your deity.

    Combat: You have a similar spell-selection to whatever divine casting class you used to qualify and will likely use that as a first resort. Although you can also use our vestige related abilities you may need to be careful in that you don't want to give away to people that you are able to bind vestiges.

    Advancement: You will likely choose the same advancement that a binder or cleric might. You will thus search out for magical items that give you further power and may want to adopt feats that are useful for one or both sets of abilities. As with any caster, Spell Focus and metamagic feats will be useful. Feats that improve your ability to control and use vestiges, such as Favored Vestige or Expel Vestiges will also be helpful.

    Resources: A member of the Hidden Seal will not generally have much in the way of resources they can draw on that a member of their church's clergy would not already have access to. The only exceptions to this is that if they need information about pact magic, a member may be likely to find other members that can provide them information. They may also be able to get more direct assistance if they have some goal that they can convince other members will advance the cause of the Order (such as destroying a coven of anima mages or binders or recovering a lost artifact related to pact magic).

    Masters of the Hidden Seal in the World
    "Who?" - Dalen Cuttlewild, Seropaenean Exorcist when asked about the Masters of the Hidden Seal

    Very few know about the Order of the Hidden Seal. Even those who do know about it know very little about the nature of the Order or even what churches it is connected to.

    Due to the extremely secret nature of The Hidden Seal, the knowledge checks to find out about them are much higher than normal. A character may make knowledge(religion) check at the following DCs to gain information about the Order:

    DC 20- There are some who say that despite many major religions officially condemning and suppressing pact magic, behind the scenes some of them have practiced that magic, possibly for a very long time.

    DC 25- These whispered rumors are most plausible and most repeated for two churches: The Churches of Wee Jas, a goddess of death and magic, and the church of Vecna, a god of secrets. Some speculate that these churches only participated in the persecution of binders in order to preserve the power for their own use.
    DC 30- Some legends refer to an organization known as "The Hidden Seal" which uses divine power to more effectively channel vestiges. Members of the organization are extremely secretive and often hidden even to most of the clergy of their religions.
    DC 35- Individuals who achieve this level of success may be able to contact a specific member of The Hidden Seal. However, individuals should be careful since a member of the Seal may respond to such contact by figuring out how much they know about the organization and then possibly silencing them to prevent them from spreading knowledge of the organization.

    These checks may also be made with a bardic knowledge check, a knowledge(arcana) check or a knowledge(the planes) checks although the DCs are in all cases 5 higher.

    Clerics of Wee Jas and Vecna, as well as other official members of the church hierarchy get a +5 circumstance bonus to these checks.

    Daily Life: For most members, their normal days are much like the days of any similar clergymember of their church. They will occasionally be called upon to serve the goals of the Order or to recruit a new member.

    Notables: Tal Agorth is one of the highest ranking cleric of Wee Jas who is in the Hidden Seal. However, Tal only recently joined the Order and so is not very highly ranked in the Hidden Seal. He is currently devoting much of his effort to locating the tomb of Agra, the first anima mage. Tal believes that the secrets hidden in the tomb will provide deep insights into pact magic, and he wants to ensure that those secrets belong to the Hidden Seal and no one else.

    Elena Tor is a half-elf cleric of Wee Jas. She first encountered the Order of the Hidden Seal as a novice when she showed an interest in pact magic. One of her immediate superiors approached her, and revealed the true history of the pact magic and the order. Under his tutelage, Elena quickly became very skilled at pact magic and rose high in the ranks of the Order. Currently Elena is investigating reports that some anima mages have learned to make Vestige Scrolls. Since this knowledge was previously limited to the Hidden Seal, she is
    attempting to determine if the anima mages discovered the knowledge on their own or if their is a traitor in the Seal.

    Gilgarik is a lich in the service of Vecna. He claims to be old enough to remember the founding of the Seropaeneans but he is exaggerating and was only been a young child when Seropaenes died. He pursues two goals: furthering his personal understanding of pact magic and preserving the secrecy of the Hidden Seal.

    Organizations: The Order of The Hidden Seal is roughly hierarchical but not in a very formal way. More powerful binders or members who have been in the Order longer generally rank higher and are given more respect. Order members who worship Vecna may turn to members or worship Wee Jas for instructions or assistance and will often consider orders from superiors in the Order to override instructions from actual church higher-ups.

    NPC Reaction

    Almost no one one knows anything about the Hidden Seal. Even those who do knows about the Seal's existence have very little knowledge about the Seal. They may not even know which churches the Order is associated with or that it is associated with multiple religions.

    Any member of the Order will most likely present themselves simply as a member of their respective religion's hierarchy and will be treated accordingly. If they do find out that the individual is a member of the Seal they will likely be confused if they know anything about the nature of pact magic. On rarer occasions, a member of the Order may disguise their divine allegiance and pass as a binder or an anima mage. On those occasions, they will likely be treated by an NPC just as a binder or anima mage would be.


    Masters of the Hidden Seal in the
    game


    Masters of the Hidden Seal will generally not be very different than a cleric for most game play purposes. They will be slightly weaker and have poorer BAB so they will slightly more closely resemble a squishy caster. They do however have a lot of options. If they qualified as a cleric/binder (the most likely way to qualify) they will have a lot of options. This can result in potential issues for the DM with making challenges but these are essentially the same issues that would normally occur for any Tier 1 class. The class is slightly weaker in that regard than a straight cleric since in most builds they will end the class at least 2 caster levels below a cleric.

    Adaptation: Given the secret nature of the Hidden Seal, the Seal can be added in with little modification to any campaign that uses the standard deities and contains binders.

    The Hidden Seal can be easily modified to fit other settings without much work. The Order is appropriate to any gods of magic or secrets although gods of magic that are more open about spreading magic (such as Mystra in Forgotten Realms) may not thematically fit. Alternatively, one could connect this class to a deity that is connected to binding in some way, such as a deity associated with the barrier between this realm and the realm of vestiges. Also, if the Seal has members in two religions one could easily see there being members in other religions as well, possibly not known even to most of the members of the Seal. Nerull is a plausible deities that might have associated Masters of the Hidden Seal. If one is playing both with Lords of Madness (and especially if one is using the alternate Cthulhu Mythos vestiges) then Ghaunadaur, Mak Thuum Ngatha, Tharizdun and Ilsenine are all plausible other deities although one might then need a plausible back story about how the Seal had spread to such disparate religions.

    In Eberron, the notion of hidden orders within religions works particularly well given how religion works in that setting. One could easily see the Silver Flame persecuting binders at the same time as it had a secret order of binders within the religion itself. This might would require removing the undeath related aspects of the class and replacing them with something else, possibly something fire-themed. If one wishes to keep a pair of religions, with little modification one could have the religious pair be the Blood of Vol and the Undying Court. The primary modification would be to change the features that deal with undead to deathless for those loyal to the Undying court. This combination has particular potential since the Undying Court and the Blood of Vol are typically at odds.

    One could also have deities that are more openly accepting of those who work with vestiges, and correspondingly modify the class features that emphasize concealment.
    Encounters: (Will do later)

    Sample Encounter
    Give an example of how one might encounter a member of this PrC.
    EL x: Give the encounter level and description of a sample
    member of this class and a stat block for him/her.


    Name
    alignment/Gender/Race/Levels
    Init +0, Senses: Listen +, Spot +,
    Languages
    ------------------------------------------------
    AC , touch , flat-footed ()
    hp ( HD)
    Fort +, Ref +, Will +
    ------------------------------------------------
    Speed ft. ( squares)
    Melee
    Base Atk +, Grp +
    Atk Options
    Combat Gear
    Spells Prepared
    Supernatural Abilities
    -----------------------------------------------
    Abilities Str , Dex , Con , Int , Wis , Cha
    SQ
    Feats
    Skills
    Possessions[/QUOTE]

    Additional Spells and Feats

    Conceal Seal
    Illusion
    Level: Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V,S
    Casting time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: Seal touched
    Duration: 1 hour/level
    Saving throw: Will disbelief
    Spell resistance: No

    This spell only effects copies of vestiges seals (whether drawn in sand, or such or inked to a paper, etc.). The surface instead appears blank (thus for example a page of paper might appear to have a solid block of white, a stone carving would be appear blank etc.). A being that has reason to suspect that there is something concealed gets a will save to disbelieve. This spell only provides a visual illusion and if the seal has any physical depth then a direct search will reveal the presence of the seal (in which case they get again a chance to make a will save as illusions normally function).

    Special: A member of The Hidden Seal may treat this spell as on their class list for any divine spellcasting class in which they can cast spells.

    Vestige Message
    Universal
    Level: Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V,S,F
    Casting time: 1 full round
    Range: Touch
    Target: Seal touched
    Duration: Permanent until discharged
    Saving throw: None
    Spell resistance: No

    This spell effects a single depiction of a seal of a given vestige. This can be a normal full sized seal or smaller, as long as it is large enough to be visible to the unaided eye. When casting the spell you impart into the seal a message of at most 25 words/caster level. The next time someone bound to that vestige touches the seal, the message enters their mind.

    Focus: You must be bound to the vestige whose seal you target.

    Special: A member of The Hidden Seal may treat this spell as on their class list for any divine spellcasting class in which they can cast spells.



    Feats:

    Scribe Vestige Scrolls
    Prerequisites: Able to bind a first level vestige, have the scribe scroll feat.
    Benefit: When you scribe a scroll while you are bound to a vestige you may scribe a variant version. These scrolls are just like a normal scrolls but also have an additional ability.

    A binder of level high enough to bind the associated vestige who touches such a scroll automatically knows its special purpose and sees the seal glowing over the words. They can consume the scroll as a standard action
    to bind the vestige without constructing a seal and ignoring any special requirements. Such pacts are automatically bad and last for 24 hours like normal. You cannot use such a scroll to increase beyond your normal number of vestiges you may be bound to. Alternatively, one can use the scroll to cast the spell as a normal scroll. Finally, if the spell is not of the highest level you can cast and the vestige is of level lower than the highest level you can bind to, then you may use a full-round action to cast the spell, and after the spell is cast you then become immediately bound to the vestige.

    A scroll of this form costs the same amount to make a scroll of the
    same cost as a scroll of one level higher than a scroll of that level would normally cost. Due to the extreme rarity of binders and the further rarity of people who have need for both scrolls and vestiges, it is very hard to find someone willing to generally buy such a scroll for full price.

    Vestige Symbol
    Prerequisite: Able to cast a divine spell of at least 2nd level that requires a divine focus. Able to bind a vestige of at least first level.
    Benefit: You may treat your holy symbol as a vestige phylactery. If you have the ability to turn or rebuke (either undead or some other type of being such as through a relevant domain ability) then when you have a vestige stored in the phylactery you may choose when you turn or rebuke to use an extra turn or rebuke attempt, release the associated vestige from the holy symbol and increase your effective level for turning and rebuking by 1.

    Notes on construction:
    Spoiler
    Show

    I made this PrC since I really like pact magic, really like necromancy and think that the standard divine magic/binder hybrid class, the Tenebrous Apostate, in ToM is not ideal for this role. However, this is like the Tenebrous Apostate still focused on specific deities. Also, note that in the original version of this I had made the fluff so that Seropaenes was actually a member of the Hidden Seal. I've modified that aspect of the fluff since it seemed overkill and also to be consistent with the Seropaenean Avenger and
    Seropaenean Excorcist PrCs.
    Last edited by JoshuaZ; 2010-04-21 at 05:14 PM.
    My homebrew:

    Spoiler
    Show


    Completed:
    ToB disciplines:

    The Narrow Bridge
    The Broken Blade

    Prestige classess:
    Disciple of Karsus -PrC for Karsites.
    The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preserver of Future Blades Two interelated Tome of Battle Prcs,
    Master of the Hidden Seal - Binder/Divine hybrid
    Knight of the Grave- Necromancy using Gish



    Worthwhile links:

    Age of Warriors

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA

    Default Re: Order of the Hidden Seal (3.5 PrC, PEACH)

    Ok. I've gone through extensive modifications after some feedback. It seems that a lot of people aren't happy with the capstones among other issues. I've also removed the Experienced Bluffer since people correctly pointed that was out of place. Some class features could also use better names. Any other thoughts?

    Also, some people have suggested more class features revolving around the recovery of knowledge and the destruction of knowledge/memories in the hands of others. Suggestions for how to deal with that would be good.

    Also, I think the capstone's may need to be completely reworked.
    Last edited by JoshuaZ; 2010-04-12 at 10:12 PM.
    My homebrew:

    Spoiler
    Show


    Completed:
    ToB disciplines:

    The Narrow Bridge
    The Broken Blade

    Prestige classess:
    Disciple of Karsus -PrC for Karsites.
    The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preserver of Future Blades Two interelated Tome of Battle Prcs,
    Master of the Hidden Seal - Binder/Divine hybrid
    Knight of the Grave- Necromancy using Gish



    Worthwhile links:

    Age of Warriors

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Order of the Hidden Seal (3.5 PrC, PEACH)

    Don't have much time, but this was the one thing I noticed:

    Master of the Hidden Seal: I feel like this should say something like "you use the higher of your divine caster level or your EBL for both values," unless I'm misunderstanding. The wording is a bit cryptic.

    I wouldn't take this myself, probably; the cost is rather high (you end up at ECL 15 with cleric casting at level 13 and binding at 10, though your EBL for effects is 13). Essentially, I don't want to lose either, which is why I'd never take any hybrid caster. But I don't see the harm in giving it full progression for both abilities, to be honest.
    -E3
    Homebrew (PEACH):
    The Defender

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Where the Wild Things Are
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    Male

    Default Re: Order of the Hidden Seal (3.5 PrC, PEACH)

    Note: As phrased in Tome of Magic, a cleric will generally lose all divine spellcasting if they bind a vestige. However, this prestige class requires both soulbinding and divine spellcasting. There are two solutions to this issue: First one can loosen this rule so that clerics who have only experimented with binding do not fall immediately out of favor. Second, one can have potential members be approached after they have shown an interest in binding but before they have actually done so. They then take a level in binder and take their first level in Master of the Hidden Seal at the next level.
    Forbidden Lore
    Type: [General Feat]
    Prerequisite: Soulbinding.
    Benefit: Your levels in Binder no longer cause you to loose access to your Cleric or Favored Soul spells and abilities. You may still face expulsion from the church if you are caught harboring the secrets of the Vestiges, however.

    Problem solved, lets have pie!

    Hit Dice: d6
    Both the Binder and the Cleric have a d8 Hit Die. I see no reason for this to go down.

    Vestigial Rebuking(su): At first level, you add your total number of vestiges bound to your effective cleric level for turning or rebuking. This does not alter how many times daily you may turn or rebuke and does not give you any turning or rebuking ability if you do not already possess it.
    I know we talked a little about the awkwardness of the word 'Vestigial,' but its starting to grow on me. I think this class feature still sounds awkward though, and I'd suggest Vestigial Command instead. It has a really strong presence to it.

    Divine Concealment (su): You have learned to use residual divine magic to conceal the auras created by vestiges and to warp vestiges power to better suit your purposes. At first level, divination effects that are 3rd level spells or lower or equivalent do not reveal you as being bound to a vestige or being able to bind to a vestige unless you want them to detect you. You are immediately aware when any such effect affects you and learn it quickly enough to decide if it will apply to you (default for when you do not have a chance to do so, such as if you are sleeping or unconscious is that you will not). At 5th level, this applies to any effect equivalent to a 6th level spell or lower. And at 10th level this applies to any non-epic effect. If the effect is too high level for you to prevent it, you are still aware that such an effect occurred. The primary effect of this ability is that you don't show up to a Detect Vestige spell unless you want to.

    Additionally, if you fail a binding check to bind a vestige, you may choose to not bind the vestige. However, if you do so, the total number of vestiges you can bind is reduced by 1 for 24 hours for each vestige you use this ability with.
    I think this one class feature can encompass all of the anti detection stuff you're looking for in this class, freeing the rest of it up for cool abilities. I also recommend making it Extraordinary so it can't be suppressed or anything.

    Divine Concealment (Ex): All who practice the art of the Hidden Seal know that their secrets will be the death of them, should they be exposed. To this end, all Masters of the Hidden Seal learn techniques to thwart and distort spells that attempt to discern information on their subjects. A Master of the Hidden Seal adds their class level to Will Saves made against abilities that attempt to discern any meaningful information from the Master, such as spells from the Divination school and powers from the Clairvoyance discipline. In addition, whenever the Detect Vestige spell or a similar power that targets Vestiges or those bound by them targets you, make a Caster Level check (using the higher of your Caster Level or your Effective Binder Level) against the effect. If you succeed, the ability yields no information.

    Initiate of the Hidden Seal: You may treat Conceal Seal, Detect Vestige, Vestige Message and Vestige Wrack as if they were on your
    class lists for all divine spellcasting classes. (See below for Conceal Seal and Vestige Message).
    I'd change the wording to simply "Add spell X, Y, and Z to the spell list of a single Divine spellcasting class you belong to." or something similar.

    Dark Secrets (ex):. The Hidden Seal has existed long before any other organization of binders. They have unparalleled lore about vestiges which they pass down either in disguised forms or orally. You get a bonus on all knowledge checks related to vestiges and pact magic equal to your class level. This does not allow you make any type of knowledge check untrained.
    Why stop there? This is Vecna, the lord of dark secrets. I'd say something along the lines of "Add all Knowledge Skills to all lists of Class Skills you possess" and have the bonus apply to any Knowledge skill you have ranks in.

    Lesser Gift of Wee Jas/Lesser Gift of Vecna (su): At 2nd level, your patron deity bestows upon you additional magic to manipulate and benefit vestiges.

    If you are a follower of Wee Jas, you may when preparing spells in the morning reduce for 24 hours your total number of vestiges you may bind by 1, to add an additional spell slot to one casting class of your choice. The slot added must be of level strictly less than the highest level in that class and must be of level no higher than highest level vestige you can bind.

    If you are a follower of Vecna, you may reduce for 24 hours your total number vestiges by 1. If so, you add as a bonus to any saves you make against any divination spells or other divination effects the maximum level vestige you can bind (so for example, if you can bind at most 4th level vestiges you would add a bonus of +4). You also add this bonus to sense motive and bluff checks. This bonus lasts 24 hours.
    Drop the deity specific thing. Its really hard to balance it, and the way you have it set up, Wee Jas's bonus Spell Slot is much better then a bonus against Divination spells. Keep Wee Jas's ability and making it for all Masters and just drop Vecna's.

    Divine Binding You can channel vestiges through your patron deity, allowing you to bind vestiges even under circumstances where you would not normally be able. At third level, when in an area holy to your patron deity you may make pact without drawing a seal. The vestige must have have no special requirements for the nature of the seal or you must have the Ignore Special Requirements feat. To use this ability you you must make a successful binding check or the process fails and cannot use this ability to bind that vestige for 24 hours. In addition to this check, you must still make a binding check to see if the pact is a good or bad pact.
    I always liked this ability :).


    Lesser Vestige Necromancy (Su): Both Vecna and Wee Jas are deities concerned with death. The Hidden Seal has specifically studied how vestiges interact with death and necromantic energies. At 4th level you gain the ability touch a target corpse and , you find out if the individual had any ability to bind to vestiges. If so, you also learn if the being was bound any vestiges at the time of death and if so, what vestiges. You make a special binding check for each vestige the individual was bound to at the time of death. For each vestige you succeed on the binding check for, you learn the name of the vestige, a mental image of its seal detailed enough for you to draw it, and you learn whether you are of a level high enough to bind that vestige, and what special requirement, if any, the vestige has.
    Still love this power ^_^.

    Secrets of the Gods (Su): Your deity whispers secrets of how to use divine power to augment your connection to vestiges. At 5th level, you gain the ability to as a free action sacrifice a spell slot to immediately reuse a vestige ability that would normally have a 5 round waiting period before the 5 rounds have elapsed. The spell slot sacrificed must be of level at least the level of the vestige which grants the ability in question. Use of this ability does not reset the remaining wait time to reuse the ability.
    Good wording on the exhaustion mechanic.

    Pierce the Veil(Su): Your unique hybrid of divine magic and the power of vestiges allows you to detect residues of vestiges that others cannot. At level 5th, you can instantly tell when anyone you see is bound to a vestige as long as they are not suppressing the sign. You can do so even if there is no visible manifestation of the sign (such as if the sign is covered by an illusion or by clothing).

    Additionally, if you touch a given vestige seal and concentrate for 1 full round you can tell if the seal was used to bind a vestige in the last 7 days, and can also tell if the pact was a good or bad pact. You may also use this ability on any object that could be used as part of a special requirement to bind a vestige such as a gemstone that could be used for Acerak or any of the items used to bind Andromalius. Additionally, you can use that object in an aid to a Scrying or similar spell and treat the object as if it were a body part for purposes of the will save from a Scrying spell.
    The problem with this ability is that with the Order of Seropaenes around, this ability would probably see little use, as Binder Seals will probably be destroyed either by the Order or by the Binders themselves, as they wouldn't want to leave a trail for the Order.

    Divine Disruption (su): You have learned to use divine energy to disrupt peoples' connections to vestiges. You may sacrifice a divine spell slot and target one being in 60 feet of you. That being must make a will save (DC 10 + the level of the spell slot sacrificed + your wisdom modifier). If they fail that save, one vestige they are bound to suppressed for the remainder of the time they would be bound to it. This vestige is picked randomly from all vestiges the person is bound that are of level no higher than the level of the spell slot sacrificed. The vestige still has influence if the pact was bad, and still displays a sign, but the victim gains no benefits from the vestige.
    Fun stuff.

    Vestige Necromancy(su): At 6th level, you add four times your number of vestiges bound to you to determine the maximum number of hit die of undead you may control through animate dead and similar effects.

    Additionally, once a day when you create or animate any intelligent undead (such as with the Create Undead or Create Greater Undead spells) or when you turn an unintelligent undead intelligent (such as with the Awaken Undead spell), you may pick a single level 1 vestige. If you do, the undead being is permanently bound to that vestige, with effective binder level 1 with the usual sign and influence. If your patron deity is Wee Jas then in any area holy to Wee Jas the undead being's effective binder level increase by 2 and the being may suppress the sign at will. If your patron deity is Vecna then the beings may suppress the sign anywhere but gains no special benefit for being near to a holy location.
    Another instance where the difference in deity provides too much of an advantage. I'd consider changing it to the following. "In addition, Undead that you bind Vestiges to in this way gain a +2 bonus to their Effective Binder Level and can suppress their Vestige's signs in any location that is sacred to your deity, depending upon whether your patron deity is Wee Jas or Vecna."

    Gift of Wee Jas/Gift of Vecna (su): At 10th level, your patron deity bestows upon you further power to use vestiges to serve the ends of your deity.

    If you are a follower of Wee Jas you may once a day when you cast a divine spell which allows a save, modify the spell modify if so that if any spellcaster fail their save then they lose randomly selected spell slots or prepared equal to the number of vestiges you currently have bound, starting at the highest level spell slot they have remaining and moving down. For each spell-slot or prepared spell removed this way, you may recover one divine spell slot or prepared spell that you expended in the last 24 hours. The recovered spell slots or prepared spells may not exceed the levels of the spell slots or prepared spells lost.

    If you are a follower of Vecna you may once a day when casting a divine spell that allows a save you may modify the spell so that any being that is bound to a vestige that fails its save must make a fortitude DC 15 + your charisma modifier (if positive) or die. You add +1 to this save for every vestige you or the being is bound to. This is a supernatural, death effect.
    Loosing the Spell, in my opinion, is much better then the Death Effect. First, Binders have a good Fortitude Save progression, and Constitution is used for many of their special abilities, meaning it's going to be hard to actually get this ability off. Burning Spell Slots (and possibly Power Points if you choose to) is an excellent idea, and accents the fact that this class already gains the power to suppress Vestiges. I'd drop the Vecna ability and make the Wee Jas ability available to all Masters of the Hidden Seal.

    Master/Mistress of the Hidden Seal (ex): You have reached true perfection in combining your use of divine magic with the power of vestiges. At 10th level, your binder level and divine caster level become one and the same. No class level may add more than +1 to this level, but any level that adds to divine caster or binder level may add to this level. Any bonus to caster or binder level may be added to this level, but any bonus that affects both may only be added once. You may use this level for any effect that relies on caster level or binder level. This does not grant you additional spells known and only effects your binder level for purposes of the the effects your vestiges have and the total number you may bind, but does not increase the level of what vestiges you are able to bind.
    I like this one, a fitting capstone.

    I'm flattered that you changed your concept to work with our ideas, and I'm sure Xallace would feel the same way :). Or, maybe not, since he wrote the Exorcist class xD. Either way ...

    MAY THE FORGOTTEN ARTS OF THE SEAL RISE ONCE MORE!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA

    Default Re: Order of the Hidden Seal (3.5 PrC, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    Forbidden Lore
    Type: [General Feat]
    Prerequisite: Soulbinding.
    Benefit: Your levels in Binder no longer cause you to loose access to your Cleric or Favored Soul spells and abilities. You may still face expulsion from the church if you are caught harboring the secrets of the Vestiges, however.

    Problem solved, lets have pie!
    Hmm, that seems like a feat tax.


    Both the Binder and the Cleric have a d8 Hit Die. I see no reason for this to go down.
    Good point. Fixed.


    I know we talked a little about the awkwardness of the word 'Vestigial,' but its starting to grow on me. I think this class feature still sounds awkward though, and I'd suggest Vestigial Command instead. It has a really strong presence to it.
    Done.


    I think this one class feature can encompass all of the anti detection stuff you're looking for in this class, freeing the rest of it up for cool abilities. I also recommend making it Extraordinary so it can't be suppressed or anything.
    Using your version with the small exception that I'm still including the ability to reject a binding if it would lead to a bad pact. Bad pacts are a really easy way to detect binders.

    I'd change the wording to simply "Add spell X, Y, and Z to the spell list of a single Divine spellcasting class you belong to." or something similar.
    Done.


    Why stop there? This is Vecna, the lord of dark secrets. I'd say something along the lines of "Add all Knowledge Skills to all lists of Class Skills you possess" and have the bonus apply to any Knowledge skill you have ranks in.
    Seems good.

    Drop the deity specific thing. Its really hard to balance it, and the way you have it set up, Wee Jas's bonus Spell Slot is much better then a bonus against Divination spells. Keep Wee Jas's ability and making it for all Masters and just drop Vecna's.
    Agreed. Done.


    The problem with this ability is that with the Order of Seropaenes around, this ability would probably see little use, as Binder Seals will probably be destroyed either by the Order or by the Binders themselves, as they wouldn't want to leave a trail for the Order.
    Yes, this ability is pretty fluffish and I suspect will get infrequent use. It may get more use on the specific objects but even then will be rare. I'm ok with a rarely used simple ability that does more fluff than anything else.




    Another instance where the difference in deity provides too much of an advantage.
    Agreed. Made your change.



    Loosing the Spell, in my opinion, is much better then the Death Effect. First, Binders have a good Fortitude Save progression, and Constitution is used for many of their special abilities, meaning it's going to be hard to actually get this ability off. Burning Spell Slots (and possibly Power Points if you choose to) is an excellent idea, and accents the fact that this class already gains the power to suppress Vestiges. I'd drop the Vecna ability and make the Wee Jas ability available to all Masters of the Hidden Seal.
    Done.



    I'm flattered that you changed your concept to work with our ideas, and I'm sure Xallace would feel the same way :). Or, maybe not, since he wrote the Exorcist class xD. Either way ...
    Yeah, I would shudder to imagine how a Seropaenean Exorcist would react to find out about the Hidden Seal.

    MAY THE FORGOTTEN ARTS OF THE SEAL RISE ONCE MORE!
    No, see. We'd rather not have them rise. We'd much rather keep them secret in our dusty little tomes. These secrets belong to the followers of Wee Jas and Vecna. You shan't have them!
    My homebrew:

    Spoiler
    Show


    Completed:
    ToB disciplines:

    The Narrow Bridge
    The Broken Blade

    Prestige classess:
    Disciple of Karsus -PrC for Karsites.
    The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preserver of Future Blades Two interelated Tome of Battle Prcs,
    Master of the Hidden Seal - Binder/Divine hybrid
    Knight of the Grave- Necromancy using Gish



    Worthwhile links:

    Age of Warriors

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