General Prestige Class : Ruathar
"If you agree to leave the land west of the Dursar River unsettled, the elves of Veldiri will give you leave to settle in the eastern forest and answer any call for their aid, should you need it. On this matter I can speak for the Veldiri." -Johdur Ter Harak, elf-friend of Veldiri
Also known as "elf-friend" or "star-friend," a ruathar is a person of some other race who has earned the special friendship of the elven folk. While many individuals who render the elf people some notable service are known as elf-friends, a ruathar is truly blessed - the recipient of a powerful magical ritual that infuses him with the real and lasting blessing of the elf race. The elves extend the invitation to become ruathars to very few individuals indeed, but those so honored have a home among the elf people for the rest of their days if they so desire.
Elves can become ruathars, but such characters are somewhat unusual. An elf becomes a ruathar when he renders a great service to an elf realm that is not his homeland, or when one or more of his non-elf companions receive the honor in recognition for a deed he also shared in. When an individual elf is singled out for this kind of recognition in his homeland, he is usually called "star-friend" rather than "elf-friend."
Becoming A Ruathar
Ruathars are expected to be capable of serving as defenders of the elven people. While many elf-friends render elves service of great importance through feats of diplomacy, invention, gift giving, or compassion, only those who are willing and able to hazard their lives side-to-side with elf warriors are made into ruathars. Therefore, elves must find some basic competence with blade or spell in a potential ruathar before they consider bestowing the honor of the ritual. Ruathars must be noteworthy examples of elven values, so they are often particularly keen-eyed, magically skilled, or well-spoken individuals.
To qualify to become a Ruathar, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Skills: Any skill 9 ranks, OR
- Base Attack Bonus: +6, OR
- Spells: Ability to cast 3rd-level spells
- Special: In addition to meeting one of the three requirements given above, you must have performed a great service to an elf community, such as participating in the defeat of a monster of at least CR 10, recovering a valuable elven magic item, or risking death in order to save an elf's life.
The ruathar's class skills are Concentration, Craft (any), Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Hide, Knowledge (all skills taken individually), Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Search, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Spot, and Survival.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
You continue to improve both your skill at arms and your spellcasting abilities as you advance in level.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You receive Martial Weapon Proficiency as a bonus feat. You can choose the longsword, rapier, longbow (including composite longbow), or shortbow (including composite shortbow). Other than that, you gain no proficiency with any type of weapon, armor, or shield.
Spellcasting: At each level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other class feature a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a ruathar, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.
Word of Friendship (Sp): You learn a short magical phrase that identifies you as a ruathar. While anyone can learn to mouth the words of the phrase, only ruathars are taught the magical key that makes the phrase more than just a few words in Elven. This is a sonic, language-dependent effect and is equivalent to a 1st-level spell. The word of friendship does not influence the hearer's mind in any way, but all elves know that only ruathars are taught it. Elves addressed in such a fashion generally begin with an attitude of friendly or helpful toward you, unless you are obviously engaged in an evil act.
Gift of the Elves: During the ruathar ceremony, you are traditionally presented with a gift of elven magic to aid you in your travels. This gift takes the form of any one of the following items: boots of elven kind, cloak of elvenkind, elven chain, a +1 rapier, a +1 longsword, or a +1 composite longbow (Strength bonus up to +4, as appropriate for you). The elves provide whatever gift they deem most useful to you. If the gift is lost or destroyed, you do not receive another one. While you are free to give away or sell the gift, good manners dictate that the gift of the elves should be kept and treasured.
Low-light Vision (Ex): At 2nd level, you gain low-light vision. You can see twice as far as a human in conditions of dim illumination. If you already have low-light vision, you gain improved low-light vision, and you can now see four times as far as a human in conditions of dim illumination.
Elfwise (Ex): At 2nd level, you gain the uncanny visual acuity and senses of the elves. You gain a +2 bonus on Search, Spot, and listen checks. (These bonuses stack with an elf's racial bonuses.)
Star Blessing (Su): At 3rd level, you gain a +1 sacred bonus on attack rolls and saving throws while under the night sky (above ground and outside during nighttime).
Arvandor's Grace (Ex): When you reach 3rd level, the love of the elven folk actually changes you, instilling in you a glimmer of elven agelessness. Your racial life span and the lower limit of each of your age categories increase by 50%. If this change places you in a younger age category than you formerly occupied, you retain any ability score bonuses and penalties you previously gained for aging - your aging effectively stalls until you cross a threshold into an age category that's new to you.
For example, a human normally reaches middle age at 35, old age at 53, and venerable age at 70, and his maximum age is 2d20 years beyond that. A 3rd-level human ruathar reaches middle age at 52, old age at 79, venerable age at 105, and has a maximum age of 3d20 years beyond that. If a 40-year-old human became a 3rd-level ruathar, his age category would revert to adult. He would retain the -1 penalty to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution he took when he previously entered middle age at age 35, as well as the +1 bonus to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma he previously received. He wouldn't age further until age 79, when he would receive the bonuses and penalties for old age.
Even elf ruathars can receive Arvandor's grace; such characters are astonishingly long-lived.
|Ruathar||Hit Die: d6|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Word of friendship, gift of the elves||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||Low-light vision, elfwise||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+3||Star blessing, Arvandor's grace||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
Source: Races of the Wild