General Prestige Class : Death's Chosen
"For the glory of the Deathless One!"
From time to time, mortal beings choose to pledge their lives so the service of a powerful undead creature. Some are terrified of their own mortality and hope that in return for faithful service, the master will consent to make the chosen into one of is spawn in due time. Others are hateful folk who view service to an undead master as an instrument of vengeance against those who have slighted them, whether those slights are real or imagined. A rare few death's chosen exist to support an undead creature they perceive as having special knowledge or value and thus they serve as a matter of duty and honor.
If accepted by his would-be master, a death's chosen serves as the master's living minion. The chosen gains great vigor and power in the service of his master, but slowly becomes tainted by close proximity to his master's unholy power.
Becoming a death's chosen necessitates turning one's back on life and the living. The demands of the master are all that matter - even if the master hungers for the blood or souls of the living. A loyal death's chosen can be a great boon to a powerful and predatory undead. He can go places the master cannot, and can help his master overcome its supernatural vulnerabilities. For example, a death's chosen in the service of a vampire can lure unsuspecting victims into the vampire's lair, spy on those plotting against his master in the sanctity of a hallowed church, or move his master's coffin to a new lair during the hours of hateful sun.
Fighters are the most common death's chosen, since most undead understand the utility of a body guard. Barbarians, rogues, some clerics dedicated to gods of death, assassins, and monks can also serve effectively as a death's chosen. Spellcasters rarely become death's chosen, though some clerics dedicated to gods of death take up this mantle.
NPC members of this prestige class typically remain close to their masters though they sometimes venture forth on important missions. Individual death's chosen don't have any special allegiance to one another. They serve their masters above all else.
To qualify to become a Death's Chosen, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Race: Aberration, dragon, giant, humanoid, magical beast, or monstrous humanoid
- Alignment: Any non-good.
- Skills: Knowledge (religion) 1 rank, Spot 2 ranks
- Base Attack Bonus: +5.
- Special: The character must be accepted as a death's chosen by a sentient undead creature with at least as many Hit Dice as the character.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the death's chosen prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Death's chosen gain no proficiency with any weapons, armor, or shields.
Shield of the Master (Ex): Whenever the master of a death's chosen casts a spell or uses an extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like ability, it can choose (as a free action) to exempt the death's chosen from its effects. The master must make this choice when it casts the spell or uses the ability. If the ability is always active, the master can choose to exempt its death's chosen from the effect; this immunity remains in effect until the master chooses otherwise.
For example, a mummy could (and probably would) choose to make its death's chosen immune to its despair ability. An undead spellcaster casting a fireball into a fight that included its death's chosen could choose when casting the spell to have it not affect the death's chosen.
Vigor of the Chosen (Ex): The physical needs of a death's chosen are greatly reduced. He needs to consume only one-tenth the normal amount of food and water each day - a few grubs and a mouthful of water make a full meal. He can subsist on a mere 2 hours of sleep each night without becoming fatigued (though spellcasters require the normal amount of rest to regain spells). He gains Endurance as a bonus feat (or, if he already has the feat, the bonuses granted by the feat increase to +8). He also gains a +4 bonus on Fortitude saves to resist disease.
Will of the Chosen (Ex): Starring at 2nd level, a death's chosen serves his master with inhuman intensity. He gains a ~2 morale bonus on Will saves as long as he is within 60 feet of his master.
Bravery of the Chosen (Ex): When within 30 feet of his master, a death's chosen who has attained 3rd level gains a +1 morale bonus on melee attack rolls and melee damage rolls. If his master has been reduced to half or less of its full normal hit points, this bonus increases to +2. The bonus disappears if his master is destroyed.
Unnatural Aura (Su): When a death's chosen reaches 3rd level, wild or domesticated animals can sense his unnatural presence our to a distance of 30 feet. The animals do not willingly approach nearer than that and become panicked if forced to do so. They remain panicked as long as they are within that distance.
|Death's Chosen||HD: d10|
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+0||Shield of the master, vigor of the chosen|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+0||Will of the chosen|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+1||Bravery of the chosen, unnatural aura|
Source: Libris Mortis