Other Exclusive Prestige Class : Luminaire
by James Wyatt (Dragon #314)
The world of Gothic Earth is very similar to our own world in the Victorian Era of the 1890s, but a mysterious force of evil known as the Red Death plagues humanity. Where it can corrupt, people become greedy, arrogant, and wicked. Where it cannot, death follows in its wake. Its minions are the creatures of the night: hideous monsters, warped animals, and lost human souls who serve its evil ends. This is the premise of the MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH campaign.
The Red Death does not reign over Gothic Earth unopposed. Small groups of enlightened, dedicated individuals struggle against its attempt to rule or destroy the world. Called qabals, these groups are like a tiny candle flame flickering against a vast darkness, but they are not without power to fight the evil of the Red Death. Their greatest weapon is knowledge, and with knowledge of the foe they face they are sometimes able to bring their power to bear to win at least some small victories in what might well be a neverending war against the Red Death and its minions.
Organized in France in the mid-1700s, La Lumiere is a qabal dedicated to the belief that learning and culture are humanity's best hopes for a bright future. Its members see the human mind as the greatest resource in the unending search for freedom and peace. They are frequently in conflict with the minions of the Red Death, who strive to spread fear and ignorance where La Lumiere stands for understanding and knowledge. La Lumiere is called The Enlightened or The Enlightenment in English-speaking regions.
The members of La Lumiere seek to support those who wish to expand the frontiers of the arts, sciences, and other areas of learning. To the leaders of this qabal, there can be no future in which human compassion and artistic expression do not share equally with scientific advances and progress. Some might call La Lumiere anarchistic, since its members place individual freedom of expression and the pursuit of science above national borders and governmental ideologies. They see all the world's people as belonging to a single, great community. World unity, they insist, will bring about the dawn of a new age in which the sufferings of humanity will end.
The members of La Lumiere are generally opposed to the use of violence in the attainment of the qabal's goals. Of course, some situations demand that they abandon this ethical code, but they never resort to force without due consideration of alternatives.
While La Lumiere counts among its number a great many of the world's best-known artists and scientists, the requirements for membership are quite strict. Those who would be considered for membership must be of the highest intelligence and have a deep belief in the rights of the individual over the laws of society. Further, the order accepts only persons of culture and refinement as members. The qabal actively recruits such individuals, while maintaining its shroud of secrecy as much as possible.
A champion of knowledge and understanding, the luminaire is an elite member of La Lumiere. She uses her keen intellect to exploit the weaknesses of her foe and inspire her allies to greater courage in the face of evil. While La Lumiere is committed to a pacifist philosophy, the luminaire is on the front lines of a war against ignorance and fear, and she wages that war with all the considerable power at her disposal. Her enemies are not flesh and blood, however, but supernatural forces of evil that feed on fear and thrive on ignorance and superstition.
To qualify to become a Luminaire, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Alignment: Chaotic Good
- Skills: Diplomacy 4 ranks, Knowledge (any one) 7 ranks,
- Feats: Combat Expertise,
- Base Attack Bonus: +3
- Special: The candidate must be a member of La Lumiere.
The luminaire's class skills are Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disguise, Gather Information, Hide, Knowledge (all skills taken individually), Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Sense Motive, Speak Language, Spellcraft, Spot, Survival, and Use Magic Device.
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the luminaire.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Luminaires gain no proficiency with any weapons, armor, or shields.
Resist Influence (Ex): A 1st-level luminaire gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against charm, compulsion, and fear effects.
Light of Reason (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, a luminaire can use her intellectual power to help overcome her foes. Once per day for a number of rounds equal to her Charisma bonus (minimum 1), she can add her Intelligence bonus to her attack roll against an evil, supernatural creature (including any evil creature with a spell-like or supernatural ability or the ability to cast spells). If she hits with this attack, she deals an additional +1d6 points of damage with the attack.
At 5th level, she can use this ability twice per day and deals +2d6 points of damage. At 8th level, she can use it three times per day and deals +3d6 points of damage.
Inspire Bravery (Su): A 3rd-level luminaire gains the ability to inspire bravery in her allies (including herself) once per day, bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be affected, an ally must be able to hear the luminaire speak. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the luminaire speak and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects, and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. At 6th level, the luminaire can use this ability twice per day, and the bonus increases to +2. At 9th level, the luminaire can use it three times per day, and the bonus increases to +3.
Starting this effect is a standard action, but after the first round the luminaire can continue to speak as a free action each round. However, as long as the luminaire continues to speak, she cannot cast spells, activate magic items by spell completion (such as scrolls), or activate magic items by magic word (such as wands). Just as for casting a spell with a verbal component, a deaf luminaire has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use this ability. If she fails, the attempt still counts against her daily limit. Inspire bravery is a language-dependent, mind-affecting ability.
Favored Enemy (Ex): At 4th level, the luminaire may select a type of creature from the following as a favored enemy: Aberration, Construct, Magical Beast, Monstrous Humanoid, Outsider (evil), Undead. The luminaire gains another favored enemy from those available to her at 7th and 10th level. This ability otherwise functions exactly like the ranger ability of the same name, and if the luminaire has favored enemies from another source (such as from having ranger levels), the favored enemies stack. For example, a 10th-level luminaire that gained the 1st level of the ranger class would pick her 4th favored enemy from the ranger list. The favored enemy chosen cannot be one already chosen from the luminaire list, and the character could increase the bonuses she gains against any one of her other favored enemies by +2.
Air of Enlightenment (Su): At 10th level, the luminaire gains the ability to weaken the hold of fear and ignorance on the minds of those around her. If she makes a successful saving throw against a fear, charm, or compulsion effect, in the following round, as a standard action, she can grant a new saving throw with a +2 bonus to any allies who failed the saving throw against the same effect. The allies must be within 30 feet of the luminaire and must be able to hear and understand the luminaire's words. A luminaire can use this ability only once for each effect-she cannot grant the same ally more than one new saving throw against the same effect.
|Luminiare||Hit Die: d8|
|2nd||+1||+3||+3||+3||Light of reason 1/day (+1d6)|
|3rd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Inspire bravery 1/day (+1)|
|4th||+3||+4||+4||+4||1st favored enemy|
|5th||+3||+4||+4||+4||Light of reason 2/day (+2d6)|
|6th||+4||+5||+5||+5||Inspire bravery 2/day (+2)|
|7th||+5||+5||+5||+5||2nd favored enemy|
|8th||+6||+6||+6||+6||Light of reason 3/day (+3d6)|
|9th||+6||+6||+6||+6||Inspire bravery 3/day (+3)|
|10th||+7||+7||+7||+7||Air of enlightenment, 3rd favored enemy|
Source: Dragon #315