Psion Prestige Class : Storm Disciple
"My blade is the pure embodiment of the storm I am but a vessel for its glorious discharge." -Dante, storm disciple
A storm disciple is a character who decides that the best, most glorious way to serve his ideals is through the natural power, fury, and splendor of the storm. While he retains knowledge of mantles, he might have come to feel that those mantles are of lesser value than his connection to the storm.
A disciple delights in singing the song of the raging storm, of blackened skies where the thunder is born. He seeks to master the flow of electrical energy that infuses his chosen weapon with power, becoming a conduit for that astonishing energy.
Almost all storm disciples, whether multiclass or single-classed, begin as divine minds or ardents. Ardents are often drawn to the universal truth embodied by the natural world and its energies. For them, becoming a storm disciple is a natural extension of their powers. Most divine minds who become storm disciples, on the other hand, are confident in their ability to serve their deity however they deem most fit, taking on the fury of the storm and their training in its use all on their own.
To qualify to become a Storm Disciple, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Alignment: Any chaotic
- Skills: Knowledge (religion) 8 ranks.
- Base Attack Bonus: +5.
- Special: Energy mantle or Natural World mantle.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Storm disciples take the power and fury of the storm and direct it in combat against their enemies. They can use this power to take an active role in combat, using their resistance and damage-dealing abilities to cut a swath through the field of battle. All the following are class features of the storm disciple prestige class.
Manifesting: At 2nd, 3rd, and 4th levels, you gain additional power points per day, an increase in manifester level, and access to new powers as if you had also gained a level in a manifesting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one manifesting class before becoming a storm disciple, you must decide to which class to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining power points per day, manifester level, and powers known.
Shocking Aura (Ex): At 1st level, you gain a special aura that is always active. You and allies within your aura deal an extra 1 point of electricity damage on weapon damage rolls. The area affected by this aura increases as you gain levels as shown below.
Resistance to Electricity (Ex): As you gain levels in this prestige class, you become increasingly resistant to electrical energy, gaining resistance to electricity in the amount shown below.
Stormwalker (Ex): At 3rd level, you and your mount (if any) can walk or ride through natural or magical storms at your regular speed, completely unaffected by high winds (including magically or psionically created high winds), pounding precipitation or waves, objects driven by the wind (which always seem to miss you), great claps of thunder, natural bolts of lightning, or any other natural storm phenomena.
Thunderblade (Su): At 5th level, your weapon gains the thundering special ability.
|Storm Disciple||Hit Die: d10|
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+2||Shocking aura 5 ft.||-|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+3||Resistance to electricity 5||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+3||shocking aura 10 ft., stormwalker||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|4th||+4||+4||+1||+4||Resistance to electricity 15||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+4||Shocking aura 15 ft., thunderblade||-|
Playing A Storm Disciple
You are a constant advocate for your beliefs through the power of storm, traveling the land and destroying any opposite-aligned cause that crosses your path with electrical fury. If you are part of an organized church, you are likely at the service of higher-level clergy, typically clerics. You might serve alongside paladins, whom you consider almost equal in divine favor.
You rely on a combination of martial prowess combined with a connection to the power of storms to defeat your enemies. As you gain levels, you unlock additional psionic abilities, though your manifesting abilities will not be as developed as if you had not followed the call of the storm. The abilities your focused study has granted you, however, more than make up for the lack of psionic advancement.
As with any martial psionic character, psionic powers with a manifesting time of 1 swift action or 1 immediate action are great choices, because they don't force you to choose between an action and a desired effect. Good choices include burst, catfall, empty mind, evade burst, hustle, and psionic lion's charge.
When fighting with allies, you'll serve as a front-line combatant, allowing other, less martial characters some measure of safety while they employ their own combat skills, abilities, spells, or powers.
You always love it when it storms. As you train to become a storm disciple, you find yourself meditating out among the elements. Observers might think you insane, sitting out peacefully in furious thunderstorms that seem to rage all the fiercer for your presence. To you, though, these moments of connection are sublime.
If you are in the service of a deity, that is your greatest resource. As with most clerics and ardents, you can usually count on your temple or sanctuary, food and shelter, as well as time for study, training, and meditation. Beyond the temple of their particular deity, all disciples eventually hear of a place called the Storm Citadel - lace where all storm disciples are welcome, no matter their particular divine affiliation (or lack thereof).
Storm Disciples In The World
"Say what ya want about yer own priests and such, but I'm telling ya that Dante serves his god with th' crashing thunder an' blindin' lighting!" -Ceni Dogwaddle, half-orc ranger and barstool philosopher
A storm disciple need not be directly tied to a religious organization. One might be unaffiliated with any such group, and instead follow the power of the storm. In the EBERRON campaign setting, storm disciples could work with the mysterious blue dragon enclave rumored to be the source of lightning storms in the mountains of Adar, in southern Sarlona. These storm disciples are followers of the Path of Light, but choose a more active role in the defense of their alpine refuge.
The Storm Citadel could be added near a mountain range where storms are frequent, such as the Adar mountains in Eberron, or could be placed atop an island near a major coastline or waterway, since lords of the storm are typically revered in coastal regions. A storm-shrouded peak amid the Nelanther Isles in the FORGOTTEN REALMS setting would be a perfect place to set a citadel full of worshipers of Talos and Umberlee who revere the power of the storm.
Some storm disciples choose to be part of a hierarchy of a church or priesthood that accepts them. Given the martial nature of storm disciples, these characters always serve the church in a military capacity. Some doctrines do not accept the devotion of a storm disciple, so these disciples are forced outside the hierarchy, where they continue to serve their deity as rogue operatives. Those who have no church affiliation often eschew organizations altogether, choosing a small band of companions to help them proceed in their chosen quests.
The most notable organization that includes storm disciples is located in the legendary Storm Citadel. The Storm Citadel is a black iron and stone fortress built atop a high peak thrust up into the belly of a permanent flashing thunderstorm. Open parapets and balconies are subject to a constant stream of lightning strikes, howling winds, drenching rains, icy hail, and deafening thunder. Inside the many-roomed fortress, the elements are muted, but the shaking thunder, reflected flashes of exterior lightning, and strong, cool breezes find their way into every chamber.
The Storm Citadel's reputation isn't sterling, however - it is whispered among those who know of it that those who reside there have completely severed their ties with their former deity (if they ever had one in the first place) and instead worship only the howling madness of the thunderstorm.
Despite what these stories describe, however, those who live in the Storm Citadel are not required to give up any previous affiliation or belief. All that is required is an ability to appreciate (and survive!) the wild fury of a thunderstorm. The Storm Citadel is under the authority of a storm disciple called White Mary, who is happy to let anyone come and stay who can survive the ascent to the fortress.
Those who wish to become affiliated with the Storm Citadel gain some advantages of being a part of an organization, including contacts, inside information, a place to stay, and the camaraderie of fellow storm addicts. Storm disciples who aspire to join also agree to take on tasks assigned by Storm Citadel elders from time to time.
Among those NPCs who know of storm disciples, the starting attitude toward such characters is likely to be indifferent. There are simply too many varied goals to characterize the group as a whole as friend or foe to NPCs they might meet. Their unhealthy (to the average NPC) fascination with storms is also something that might prevent an NPC from wanting to be too close to a storm disciple - after all, just because the lightning doesn't strike the disciple doesn't mean the NPC is similarly blessed.
Storm Disciple Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (religion) or Knowledge (psionics) can research storm disciples to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
- DC 10: Storm disciples are some kind of paladins who fight with blades of lighting.
- DC 15: Actually, storm disciples have focused completely on their connection to storms.
- DC 20: Storm disciples sometimes disappear for a year or more. When they reappear, if they do at all, they are circumspect about their past whereabouts, saying only that they had received a summons from some group or place called the Storm Citadel.
Storm Disciples In Your Game
Because storm disciples are essentially martial characters, it should be easy enough to fir player character disciples into your game. Your player characters might also meet a storm disciple as either an ally or enemy.
The storm disciple is a well-contained class, and should work well in any game that allows psionic rules. The organization associated with the class, the Storm Citadel, is described as legendary and distant. The class's tie to the organization could be strengthened to give storm disciples more of a footprint in the world.
The next time your PCs deal with a large religious organization, either as an ally of or an enemy against, they might encounter Dante, a storm disciple.
EL 12: Dante is a storm disciple of St. Cuthbert. He warily questions the PCs about their recent activities in connection with a series of crimes in the area. He isn't prone to immediately attack, but any hostile action is met in kind.
Source: Complete Psionic