Faerûnian Prestige Class : Black Blood cultist
"The power of the beasts is undeniable." - Zert of the Wild Brothers
Worse things than wolves and orcs hunt the dark forests of the North. The beastly lycanthropes known as the People of the Black Blood venerate Malar with bloody rites that claim hundreds of human, elf, and dwarf lives every year. Black Blood cultists, worshipers of these lycanthropic horrors, are drawn from the totemic barbarian tribes scattered across the northern lands. They exhibit fearsome powers drawn from the veneration of the tainted animal spirits of their masters. That their reverence for the lycanthropes goes unrewarded does not matter to the unfettered spirits of the cultists - they rage for their cruel masters and bring death to those who are not touched by the Beastlord's terrible power.
Most Black Blood cultists come from an Uthgardt barbarian tribe that has fallen under the sway of a Malar-worshiping chieftain. Still, there are cultists dedicated to Malarite lycanthrope tribes in other parts of Faerûn - notably near the High Forest, in northern Cormanthor, and in Chult. Some barbaric nature is necessary to the pursuit of the cult's powers, and barbarian/rangers are especially potent candidates. Druids rarely want to sacrifice their studies to become worshipers of abominations, but some find the savage nature of the cultist to be an irresistible draw. Strength (for savage attacks), Wisdom (for tracking prey), and Constitution (to survive deadly melee combat) are key abilities for a Black Blood cultist.
To qualify to become a Black Blood Cultist, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Alignment: Chaotic evil, chaotic neutral, or neutral evil
- Skills: Knowledge (nature) 2 ranks, Survival 8 ranks
- Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike, Track.
- Special: Ability to rage.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Black Blood cultists are savage fighters whose natural attacks become more fearsome as they increase in level.
Feral Rage (Ex): Black Blood cultist class levels stack with barbarian levels for purposes of determining your rage ability. Thus, an 8th-level barbarian/4th-level Black Blood cultist can use greater rage four times per day, just as a 12th-level barbarian could.
Black Blood cultists strengthen their fingers and toughen their nails with special training. As a result, when raging, you gain two claw attacks at your highest base attack bonus. Each claw deals 1d6 points of damage plus your Strength modifier. You can use a one-handed weapon and a claw, but when doing so the claw counts as a secondary weapon (adding only half your Strength bonus to damage, and with a -5 modifier on the attack roll).
At 3rd level, you gain a bite attack when raging in addition to your two claw attacks. The claws are still your primary weapons and the bite is your secondary weapon. The bite deals 1d4 points of damage plus half your Strength modifier. You can use a two-handed weapon with your bite as a secondary attack, or you can use a one-handed weapon with your claw and bite as secondary attacks.
At 6th level and higher, whenever you hit with both of your claw attacks during a rage, you rend your opponent's flesh, automatically dealing double claw damage in addition to normal damage.
Damage Reduction (Ex): At 4th level and at 9th level, you gain damage reduction, which stacks with damage reduction from other sources. Silvered weapons ignore the damage reduction granted by levels in this prestige class.
Improved Grapple: At 2nd level, you gain the Improved Grapple feat even if you do not meet the prerequisites for it.
Scent (Ex): At 4th level, you gain the scent ability.
Stranglehold: At 5th level, you learn to snap the necks of fallen enemies, allowing you to administer a coup de grace with your bite attack as a move action.
Improved Natural Attacks: At 7th level, your natural attacks become even more deadly. Your claw attacks now deal 1d8 points of damage and your bite attack deals 1d6 points.
Savage Grapple: Starting at 8th level, you deal damage as if you had hit with all your natural weapons (including rend, if you are raging) on a successful grapple check.
Feral Form: By 10th level, you have gained great control over your bestial nature. You can now use your claw, bite, and rend attacks even when you are not raging.
|Black Blood Cultist||Hit Die: d12|
|1st||+0||+2||+2||+0||Feral rage (claws), damage reduction 1/silver|
|3rd||+2||+3||+3||+1||Feral rage (bite)|
|4th||+3||+4||+4||+1||Scent, DR 3/silver|
|6th||+4||+4||+4||+2||Feral rage (rend)|
|7th||+4||+4||+4||+2||Improved natural attacks|
Black Blood cultist Lore
Characters with Knowledge (local Chult, the Dalelands, or the Silver Marches) can research the People of the Black Blood or the Black Blood cultists. The most relevant information will come from victims, who are often afflicted with terrible wounds as a result of their meeting with or investigation of a tribe. Lycanthropes in disguise might intentionally mislead a character in order to draw them into a deadly ambush in tribal territory. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs.
DC 10: "They look like animals, they worship animals, they are animals."
DC 15: "A pack of shapechangers lives in this area; how the barbarians have survived so long among them is anybody's guess."
DC 20: The character picks up information about a hidden route through the cultists' lands, or a secret hideaway from which the characters could safely gather information about or strike out at the tribe.
DC 30: A character who tracks down this much information about a local tribe can get lore about a lycanthrope that might be sympathetic to the characters, some background information on the shaman of the tribe, or similar information that can help the characters defeat the barbarians more easily.
Most locals know of at least the existence of a local tribe of animal worshipers who rampage from time to time. The DM should assign a DC between 15 and 25, depending on the nature and recent activities of the tribe in question. Gaining an audience with a tribal chieftain is difficult, if not impossible, for anyone that is not close to nature (rangers, druids, barbarians, etc.). Even if an audience is granted, the chieftain might arrange a hunt or a run-in with some of the local lycanthropes to test the characters and determine Malar's will in the matter.
Source: Champions of Ruin