"Breathe your last gasps, defenders of this place. You fought well; take comfort in the knowledge that your deaths shall serve a higher purpose. My master will be most pleased..."
- Fazdren Tor'esta, Half-Drow Infernal Ascendant
The Infernal Ascendant's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (none), Spot (Wis), and Swim (Str)
Skills Points at Each Level:
4 + int
Any non-good. Making the Pact Infernal is an act of sufficient evil to immediately shift the alignment of a good character to neutral.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
|Level||BAB||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spell Level|
|1st|| +1 || +2 || +0 || +2 ||Pact Infernal|| 1|
|2nd|| +2 || +3|| +0 || +3 ||Infernal Claws ||1|
|3rd|| +3 || +3 || +1 || +3 ||Bonus Feat, Drain Magic||1|
|4th|| +4 || +4 || +1 || +4 ||Damage Reduction (2/good), Pact of Presence||2|
|5th|| +5 || +4 || +1|| +4 ||Infernal Flesh|| 2|
|6th|| +6/+1 || +5 || +2 || +5 ||Infernal Wings (30ft., average)||2|
|7th|| +7/+2 || +5 || +2 || +5 ||Blindsense (30 ft.), Resistances||3|
|8th|| +8/+3 || +6 || +2 || +6 ||Infernal Wings (60 ft., Wing Attack), Pact of Mind||3|
|9th|| +9/+4 || +6 || +3 || +6 ||Damage Reduction (5/good), Infernal Resilience||3|
|10th|| +10/+5 || +7 || +3 || +7 ||Blindsense (60 ft.), Infernal Wings (80 ft.)|| 4|
|11th|| +11/+6/+1 || +7 || +3 || +7 ||Bonus Feat, Spell Resistance||4|
|12th|| +12/+7/+2 || +8 || +4 || +8 ||Tail Slam, Infernal Wings (Good), Pact of Might ||4|
|13th|| +13/+8/+3 || +8 || +4 || +8 ||Learned Spell Immunity||5|
|14th|| +14/+9/+4 || +9 || +4 || +9 ||Damage Reduction (10/good), Infernal Wings (100 ft.)||5|
|15th|| +15/+10/+5 || +9 || +5 || +9 ||Blindsight||5|
|16th|| +16/+11/+6/+1 || +10 || +5 || +10 ||Infernal Wings (120 ft.), Pact of Resilience ||6|
|17th|| +17/+12/+7/+2 || +10 || +5 || +10 ||Telepathy||6|
|18th|| +18/+13/+8/+3 || +11 || +6 || +11 ||hellball, Infernal Wings (150 ft.)||6|
|19th|| +19/+14/+9/+4 || +11 || +6 || +11 ||Bonus Feat, Damage Reduction (15/good)||7|
|20th|| +20/+15/+10/+5 || +12 || +6 || +12 ||Infernal Wings (200 ft.), Pact of Infernal Dominion, Regeneration|| 7|
Infernal Ascendants are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all forms of armor, and with light and heavy shields (but not tower shields).
Throughout an Infernal Ascendant's journey to true power, she gains a number of spell-like abilities. At each level, the Infernal Ascendant gains a single spell-like ability from the wizard spell list, usable once per day. The spell level of the chosen spell-like ability cannot exceed the maximum spell level available to her, as shown on the table above.
The Infernal Ascendant may select the same spell-like ability multiple times, gaining an additional daily use of that ability each time. If she selects a spell of a level lower than her maximum, she instead gains two daily uses of that spell-like ability. If she selects a spell of two or more levels lower than her maximum, she instead gains three daily uses of that spell-like ability.
To use a given spell-like ability, the Ascendant must have an Intelligence score of 10 + the effective spell level of the spell-like ability (Int 11 for 1st level spell-like abilities, Int 12 for 2nd, and so on). The saving throw, if any, for a Infernal Ascendant's spell-like abilities are 10 + effective spell level + her Intelligence modifier.
The Infernal Ascendant may ignore any materials or foci normally required for the spells she selects as spell-like abilities, provided they cost no more than 100 gp each. If the material or focal component for a spell exceeds this price, she must supply it or lose experience points equal to one-fifth the total gp cost of the missing foci and components to use the spell-like ability. The Infernal Ascendant must pay any experience point cost a selected spell would normally have to use it as a spell-like ability.
Few mortals know of the pact-making of the devils. Fewer still possess the tenacity necessary to convince an entire chain of devils to pass their request on up the ranks, finally ending with a Balor grudgingly acting as an intermediary between a lawful Infernal and the mortal. However rare it may be though, the few creatures who successfully strike such a bargain are greatly rewarded for their unwillingness to settle for less.
Upon taking the 1st level in this class, the character signs the Pact Infernal in her own blood, sealing the fate of her soul, in exchange for the promise of great power. Should the Ascendant ever die, her soul immediately passes into the possession of the Infernal with which she made the pact, to do with as it pleases. However, the pact allows a grace period of one year per class level, in which the Infernal cannot destroy or alter the Ascendant's soul - should the Ascendant be raised during this time, the pacts she has made are still in effect, as if she had never died.
The Pact Infernal is a horrendously complex document, as, in truth, are nearly all fiendish pacts. In the end however, the effects it grants the Ascendant vary based on her accomplishments and her power, as seen by the Infernal.
At 1st level, the Ascendant gains a +1 bonus to damage rolls. This is the simplest of the pact's requirements: power. The Infernal fulfills it willingly, eager to see where this trickle of its strength takes the Ascendant.
At 5th level, the pact allows the Ascendant to seek answers from the Infernal when her own knowledge fails her. Once per week, the Ascendant can ask two questions of the Infernal, as if from the Commune
spell. The Infernal answers as best as it is able, but it is not a true god, and its knowledge is not complete.
At 10th level, the pact allows the Ascendant to escape a situation that could only end with death - if rarely. Once per month, when her hitpoints drop to -10 or lower, an unnatural black fog forms around the Ascendant's body, solidifying into a spiky black carapace that completely envelops her. The carapace has DR 20/-, hitpoints equal to the Ascendant's class level times ten, and complete immunity to magic - even effects created by Conjuration (creation) spells; this magical immunity is not spell resistance, but something stronger, blocking even spells that do not allow for spell resistance. The carapace allows beneficial spells through without interference however, allowing them to affect the Ascendant normally. Creatures attacking the carapace with natural attacks or melee weapons without reach take automatic damage equal to the damage dealt by the Ascendant's claw attack. The carapace persists for five rounds, at which point it disappears in a puff of black mist.
While within the carapace, the Ascendant recovers hitpoints as usual with her Infernal Resilience ability and benefits fully from healing magic, despite being dead. Should her hitpoints reach -9 or higher while inside the carapace, she is restored to life with no loss of level or other penalties. If the Ascendant regains consciousness while within the carapace, she can dismiss it as a free action or continue to heal until it disappears normally. While within the carapace, the Ascendant can take no action other than to dismiss it.
The carapace does not cure the Ascendant of existing conditions, and as such, poisons or other delayed effects might continue to affect her while within the carapace.
At 15th level, the pact further ensures the Ascendant's continued existence, having had her value proven several times over. The Ascendant gains immunity to death effects and effects that would slay her outright but are not explicitly death effects, such as a holy word
spell with a caster level ten higher than her HD.
At 20th level, having fulfilled her entire side of the pact, the Ascendant reaps the greatest reward yet. Once per day, she may call a servant of the Infernal - a pit fiend - to aid her in combat for one minute as a standard action. The pit fiend is not under the Ascendant's direct command, but it is
under order from the Infernal to aid her to the best of its ability, and will do so until its choices are to flee or be killed, or until the duration of its servitude expires.
Infernal Claws (Ex):
At 2nd level, the Infernal Ascendant gains the ability to extend her fingertips into long, savage claws as a free action. She gains two primary claw attacks, dealing 1d6 damage plus her full strength modifier, or 11/2
her strength modifier if they are her sole natural attack. The Ascendant can also use a single claw attack as a secondary natural weapon when attacking with a manufactured weapon, in which case she adds half her strength modifier to the damage roll.
If the Ascendant already possessed one or more claw attacks, she instead increases the damage of those claw attacks by one step.
At 3rd level, and again at 11th and 19th, the Infernal Ascendant gains a bonus feat. These feats must come from the Fighter bonus feat list or be a [Vile] feat.
Drain Magic (Su):
Starting at 3rd level, whenever the Infernal Ascendant damages a foe with a natural weapon granted by this class, her target must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Strength modifier) or lose one of its highest level unused prepared spells or spell slots. If the victim has no prepared spells or unused spell slots (either because it has exhausted its spellcasting for the day or because the target is not a spellcaster) the attack instead inflicts a -2 penalty to Intelligence for one hour. Multiple penalties inflicted by this ability stack, but the Ascendant can never reduce a foe's intelligence score below 1 in this fashion.
Even if the Ascendant strikes with multiple attacks in the same round, she cannot force more than one save against this ability per creature per round.
At 4th level, and again every four levels thereafter, the Infernal Ascendant is offered new, lucrative pacts, with only minor downsides - or so it seems.
At 4th level, the Ascendant may sign the Pact of Presence. If she does so, she gains a +2 inherent bonus to Charisma, and a +2 bonus to bluff and intimidate. However, in exchange, she allows the Infernal some measure of influence over her emotions; she takes a -2 penalty to Diplomacy checks made to influence a Good creature's attitude, and Good creatures have a starting attitude one step lower than normal to the Ascendant, as she involuntarily sneers or scowls when she first feels the "taint" of their alignment.
At 8th level, the Ascendant may sign the Pact of Mind. If she does so, she gains a +2 inherent bonus to Intelligence, and a +2 bonus to all knowledge skills, along with the ability to make knowledge checks untrained. However, she gains a constant, distracting whisper in the back of her mind. Sometimes the voice is commanding, sometimes it simply mutters aimlessly, but without fail it speaks of revenge and punishment; revenge on those who created it, and punishment for those who would seek to destroy it. The Ascendant takes a -2 penalty to concentration checks.
At 12th level, the Ascendant may sign the Pact of Might. If she does so, she gains a +2 inherent bonus to Strength, and a +2 bonus to strength-based skills. However, she takes a -1 penalty to attacks made against evil creatures, and a -2 penalty against devils or evil creatures with the Lawful subtype.
At 16th level, the Ascendant may sign the Pact of Resilience. If she does so, she gains a +2 inherent bonus to Constitution, and a +1 bonus to saving throws. However, she takes a -2 penalty to saving throws made to resist spells or effects used by Evil creatures.
At 20th level, the Ascendant is offered one final pact, the Pact of Infernal Dominion. If she signs, she gains an additional +2 inherent bonus to each of the ability scores granted by an above pact that she signed, and she gains the Outsider type. The Ascendant is considered native to the material plane, any evil-aligned plane, and any neutral plane.
In addition, the Ascendant gains the Infernal Leadership feat. This functions like the Leadership feat, except that the Ascendant does not gain a cohort, and the only factors that determine her leadership score are her level and her charisma modifier. The Ascendant may make the Pact Infernal with any of her followers, allowing them to take levels in the Infernal Ascendant class. However, the Ascendant is merely an intermediary in these dealings; the actual pact is made between the Infernal that granted the Ascendant her powers and the Ascendant's followers. The Ascendant and her followers are considered worshippers of the Infernal; with enough followers, the Infernal's divine rank may increase. The precise impact of an Infernal ascending to godhood is left up to the DM to decide.
Damage Reduction (Su):
Starting at 4th level, the Infernal Ascendant's body becomes more resistant to physical attacks. She gains damage reduction 2/good.
At 9th level, her damage reduction increases to 5/good.
At 14th level, her damage reduction increases to 10/good.
At 19th level, her damage reduction increases to 15/good.
Infernal Flesh (Su):
Starting at 5th level, the Infernal Ascendant's entire body becomes infused with evil energy. This ability has several effects, as follows.
The Ascendant gains an aura of evil as a Cleric of her class level.
The Ascendant's natural weapons are considered evil-aligned for the purpose of bypassing damage reduction, and gain a +1 enhancement bonus to attack and damage rolls for every five Infernal Ascendant levels.
The Ascendant gains a bonus to saving throws against shapechanging and petrifying effects, as well as energy drain, ability drain, and ability damage from physical sources (such as a Vampire's Blood Drain ability, but not a ray of stupidity
spell) equal to half her class level.
Infernal Wings (Ex):
Starting at 6th level, the Infernal Ascendant gains the ability to sprout and retract great, batlike wings as a swift action. These wings allow the Ascendant to fly with average maneuverability at a speed of 30 feet while wearing any form of armor and carrying up to a heavy load.
At 8th level, this speed increases to 60 feet, and the Ascendant gains the ability to make a pair of wing attacks, even while flying. These attacks deal 1d4 damage for a medium Ascendant, or 1d3 damage for a small Ascendant, and add half of her strength modifier to the damage roll.
At 10th level, the Ascendant's flight speed increases to 80 feet. At 12th, her maneuverability increases to good. At 14th, her flight speed it increases to 100 feet. At 16th, it increases to 120 feet. At 18th, it increases to 150 feet. At 20th, it increases to 200 feet.
Starting at 7th level, the Infernal Ascendant gains the Blindsense special ability. The Ascendant can pinpoint creatures at a distance of 30 feet, though opponents the Ascendant can't actually see still have total concealment against her.
At 10th level, the range of the Ascendant's blindsense increases to 60 feet.
At 15th level, this ability becomes blindsight out to 60 feet instead.
Starting at 7th level, the Infernal Ascendant gains resistance 10 to fire and cold damage.
At 15th level, these resistances improve to 20.
Infernal Resilience (Su):
Starting at 9th level, while at or below half hitpoints, the Infernal Ascendant gains Fast Healing equal to her Intelligence modifier.
Spell Resistance (Ex):
An Infernal Ascendant of 11th level or higher has spell resistance equal to 10 + class level. Unlike ordinary spell resistance, she may lower and resume her spell resistance as a free action taken out of turn, so as not to interfere with allied spells.
At 12th level, an Infernal Ascendant grows a long, powerful tail, with which she can make tail slam attacks. A tail slam deals 1d6 damage for a medium Ascendant, or 1d4 damage for a small Ascendant, and adds her full Strength modifier to the damage roll.
Learned Spell Immunity (Ex):
Starting at 13th level, whenever an Infernal Ascendant is affected by a hostile spell (whether she makes a save or resists it entirely or not), she gains immunity to that spell from that spellcaster for 24 hours.
An Infernal Ascendant of 17th level or higher may communicate with any creature within 100 feet that has a language.
Once per encounter, an Infernal Ascendant of 18th level or higher can channel raw arcane energy into a bead of destructive power. By sacrificing a daily use of a spell-like ability, she may instead use the hellball
deals 1d6 each of acid, cold, electric, fire, and sonic damage per level of the sacrificed spell-like ability. In all other respects, hellball
functions like the fireball
has a spell level equal to the level of the spell-like ability sacrificed to use it.
At 20th level, an Infernal Ascendant gains a tiny fragment of a Infernal's incredible durability. She gains regeneration 1. This regeneration is bypassed by good-aligned weapons, sacred and divine damage, and spells with the good descriptor.