Alternate Class - Corrupter

by James Jacobs, Dragon #313

Of the three unholy warriors presented here (anti-paladin, despot) none can match the corrupter in his capacity for evil. The despot serves as a guardian to those he oppresses and abuses, and the anti-paladin is often too self-destructive and capricious to be a long-term menace. Additionally, their goals are often focused on large scales, and as such their evil is blatantly obvious. The corrupter, on the other hand, specializes in smaller scale perversions and cruelties. He may not rule nations or drive his enemies before himself with waves of fear, but the effects of his deeds are arguably more terrifying. The corrupter is a hidden evil, a lurking menace that uses charm, guile, and deception to allow his evil to work like a slow poison in the souls of his victims.

The corrupter's primary focus is to corrupt the faith of others; his favored targets are good clerics. He uses the abilities granted by his deity to infiltrate the churches of other gods, usually in the guise of a mercenary looking to add purpose to his life in the form of newfound faith. Once he has corrupted as many priests as possible, but before he is discovered, he moves on to a new church. Another favorite tactic is to quietly slay the enemy clerics in a settlement so that minions of his own faith can fill the void left by their passing; often, a town readily accepts the arrival of a new band of clerics when the previous ones have mysteriously been slain.

Corrupters are always neutral evil; they ignore the laws of the land as they see fit to work their evil, yet must remain focused and true to their own deities. All evil deities count at least a few corrupters among their faithful, although most worship deities of deception and temptation. A corrupter's faith in his deity is absolute; he sees himself as a personal extension of his patron's will and strives to undo the work of all other faiths. While he does his best to survive in the wake of his anguished victims, he never hesitates to make great personal sacrifices in order to ensure the success of his hateful goals.

Class Skills

The corrupter's class skills are Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Disguise, Forgery, Hide, Knowledge (history), Knowledge (religion), and Sense Motive.

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at each additional level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the corrupter:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: All unholy warriors are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (except tower shields).

At 5th level, and at every five levels thereafter, the unholy warrior may smite one additional time per day, to a maximum of five times per day at 20th level.

Divine Grace (Su): At 2nd level, the unholy warrior gains a bonus equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws.

Aura of Fear (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, an unholy warrior exudes an almost palpable aura of menace and evil. Each enemy within 10 feet of her suffers a -4 morale penalty on saving throws against fear effects. The unholy warrior herself is deadened to the emotion of fear, and is immune to all fear effects. This ability functions while the unholy warrior is conscious, but not if she is unconscious or dead. An unholy warrior can suppress or activate this aura as a free action.

Spells: All unholy warriors gain the ability to cast divine spells as early as 4th level (if their Wisdom score is high enough to grant bonus 1st level spells). Each unholy warrior has a unique spell list, and members of these classes must choose and prepare their spells in advance. Unholy warriors gain spells at the same rate as paladins.

Aura of Evil: The power of a corrupter's aura of evil (see the detect evil spell) is equal to his corrupter level.

Detect Good (Sp): At will, a corrupter can detect good, as the spell.

Smite Heathen (Su): A corrupter's smite targets all creatures with the ability (including potential ability, such as a paladin or ranger who have yet to progress to a level that allows spellcasting) to cast divine spells, with the exception of worshipers of his own faith. Smiting a target requires a normal melee attack. The unholy warrior adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per unholy warrior level. If the unholy warrior accidentally smites a target that is inappropriate, the smite attack has no effect, but the ability is still used up for that day.

At 5th level, and at every five levels thereafter, the unholy warrior may smite one additional time per day, to a maximum of five times per day at 20th level.

Hidden Faith (Su): A corrupter's faith in his deity becomes hidden when he reaches 2nd level. He gains a +4 profane bonus to all Bluff, Disguise, and Forgery checks to maintain this deception, and any magical attempt to discern his actual faith fails unless the caster makes a successful level check (DC = the target's corrupter levels + 10).

Disguise Self (Sp): At 3rd level, a corrupter can cast disguise self as the spell. He may use this spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma bonus (minimum of once per day), at a caster level equal to his corrupter level.

Intercession (Su): When a corrupter reaches 4th level, he gains the supernatural ability to cut divine spellcasters off from their source of power. To do so, the corrupter makes a turning check as a cleric three levels lower would. The result indicates the highest-level divine spellcaster the corrupter can cut off from her connection to her deity. The turning damage result indicates the maximum total Hit Dice of divine spellcasters within 60 feet the ability can affect. The corrupter's intercession affects the closest divine spellcasters it can affect first. Affected divine spellcasters cannot cast divine spells for 1 minute, except if the corrupter has twice as many corrupter levels as the creature has divine spellcaster levels; in this case, the divine spellcaster loses the ability to cast divine spells for 24 hours. If the corrupter attacks an affected divine spellcaster in any way, or the affected spellcaster receives an atonement spell, the divine spellcaster is freed from this effect. The corrupter's allies and other creatures can attack the divine spellcaster without breaking the effect. The corrupter may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier.

Fiendish Familiar (Su): At 6th level, a corrupter gains the Improved Familiar feat as a bonus feat, even if he normally couldn't qualify for this feat's prerequisites. His new familiar must be an imp or a quasit. The corrupter's class level counts as the "master class level" for the purposes of determining what benefits the familiar gains.

Fallen Soul (Sp): At 8th level, a corrupter gains the ability to cast fallen soul, as the spell, once per week. He may use this ability an additional time each week every additional four levels, to a maximum of 4 times a week at 20th level.

Code of Conduct: A corrupter must be neutral evil, and loses all class abilities if he ever willingly commits a good act or an act that exposes his faith to an opposing religion and results in his detriment. He must strive to corrupt and taint all faiths apart from his own, with a special focus on good faiths. He is allowed to make whatever vows or declarations are required in order to maintain this deception, as long as he spends at least an hour each day in private prayer to his deity. He must strive to remain hidden, although the methods by which he undermines other faiths are left to his own discretion.

Associates: A corrupter can adventure with characters of any alignment, but remains suspicious and wary of good-aligned characters. He tolerates the presence of good associates only as long as he is secretly working to convert them to evil. He will not continue an association with someone who consistently offends his moral code by resisting his efforts to convert them. A corrupter may only accept henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are neutral evil.

CorrupterHit Die: d10
CLBABFortRefWillSpecialSpells per Day
1st+1+0+2+0Aura of evil, detect good, smite heathen 1/day----
2nd+2+0+3+0Divine grace, hidden faith----
3rd+3+1+3+1Aura of fear, disguise self----
4th+4+1+4+1Rebuke divine magic0---
5th+5+1+4+1Smite heathen 2/day0---
6th+6/+1+2+5+2Fiendish familiar1---
8th+8/+3+2+6+2Fallen soul 1/week10--
10th+10/+5+3+7+3Smite heathen 3/day11--
12th+12/+7/+2+4+8+4Fallen soul 2/week110-
15th+15/+10/+5+5+9+5Smite heathen 4/day2111
16th+16/+11/+6/+1+5+10+5Fallen Soul 3/week2211
20th+20/+15/+10/+5+6+12+6Fallen soul 4/week, Smite heathen 5/day3333

Corrupter Spell List

Source: Dragon #313

Alternate Character Classes
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