Faerûnian Prestige Class : Dreadmaster

Dreadmasters are the ultimate tyrants.

They seek to rule absolutely (next to, of course, Bane himself), preferably through terror and domination. They instill the fear of Bane in all, but especially in those who do not give at least lip service to his supremacy as a deity.

Dreadmasters tend to accumulate followers and build organizations - like churches or societies, or political bodies such as kingdoms, nations, or city-states - over which they can rule with an iron fist. They want to know everything that is going on, overseeing every detail with what they see as ruthless precision and others see as an obsessive need to control. They love to accumulate items that enhance their personal presence to better cow others, their physical strength to better beat the weak into submission, or their wisdom or mental faculties to better plot the doom of their enemies. Dreadmasters always have many enemies (whether real or imagined).

Clerics most often become dreadmasters, although wizards, sorcerers, monks with a passionate devotion to Bane or to dictatorship sometimes choose this path as well. Rogues, fighters, and rangers become dreadmasters less frequently, though they are often part of a dreadmaster's retinue.


To qualify to become a Dreadmaster, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The dreadmaster's class skills are Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Knowledge (religion), Profession, Ride, Sense Motive, Speak Language, and SpellCraft.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

The following are features of the dreadmaster prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A dreadmaster gains no weapon or armor proficiencies.

Spells per Day/Spells Known: At each dreadmaster level, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which he belonged before adding the prestige class level. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of turning or destroying undead, metamagic or item creation feats, and so on). If the character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a dreadmaster, the player must decide to which class to add each dreadmaster level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.

Dominating Aura (Su): A dreadmaster is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Enemies within 20 feet of a dreadmaster suffer a -4 morale penalty on saving throws against fear effects. The radius of this aura increases at 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th level.

Insidious Insight (Ex): A dreadmaster has a knack for ferreting out what others are up to so that he can more effectively keep control. Beginning at 2nd level, dreadmasters receive a +2 circumstance bonus on Sense Motive and Gather Information checks.

Rodcraft (Ex): Dreadmasters have an affinity for magic rods, seeing them as an extension of the symbolism of the divine scepter of rulership that is also seen in Bane's favored weapon, the morningstar. Beginning at 4th level, when a dreadmaster makes a rod, the DCs for saving throws against the powers of rods they craft are two higher than would be those made by a non-dreadmaster crafter of comparable level. They especially love to make rods of rulership, enemy detection, and lordly might.

Enhanced Leadership (Ex): Beginning at 6th level, the dreadmaster receives a +2 bonus to his Leadership score. This increases to +4 at 8th level and +6 at 10th level. (He still cannot attract a cohort of greater than his character level.) At 6th through 10th level, a dreadmaster does not suffer the -2 cumulative Leadership penalty for causing the death of a cohort for one cohort per each dreadmaster level above 5th (up to a total of five cohorts at 10th level). Dreadmasters of 10th level do not suffer the normal general -2 Leadership penalty for cruelty.

Fanatical Loyalty (Su): Followers and cohorts of the dreadmaster become fanatically loyal to the dreadmaster, with only Bane himself inspiring greater loyalty in them. They do not balk at life-threatening actions or actions that would normally lie outside their moral compunctions or normal behavior if the dreadmaster asks them to perform such actions. Spells that the dreadmaster has cast upon his cohorts that normally grant a saving throw or saving throw bonus if the subject is asked to take life-threatening actions or actions contrary to her nature do not do so when the subject is fanatically loyal to the dreadmaster. The dreadmaster gains this ability at 8th level.

Special Cohort: The dreadmaster attracts a special cohort (see Chapter 2 of the Dungeon Master's Guide) in addition to any cohort already gained. If a leader loses this special cohort, he can generally replace it, according to his current Leadership score. It takes time (1d4 months) to recruit a replacement. At 10th level, the dreadmaster attracts a second special cohort in addition to any cohort or special cohorts already gained. Because of the lawful nature of Bane, special cohorts who are mutually inimical by type, alignment, or nature arc not drawn to the same dreadmaster. Use the table to below select special cohorts gained through this ability.

CreatureAlignmentLevel Equivalent
Helmed horrorNeutral13th
Gouger (beholderkin)Neutral evil14th
Deathkiss (beholderkin)Neutral evil16th
BaneguardLawful evil5th
BanedeadLawful evil6th
Hell houndLawful evil6th
ImpLawful evil7th
Displacer beastLawful evil7th
BanelarLawful evil10th
DreadmasterHit Die: d8
CLBABFortRefWillSpecialSpells per day
1st+0+2+0+2Dominating aura 20 feet+1 level of existing class
2nd+1+2+0+2Insidious insight+1 level of existing class
3rd+2+3+1+3Dominating aura 30 feet+1 level of existing class
4th+3+4+1+4Rodcraft+1 level of existing class
5th+3+4+1+4Dominating aura 40 feet+1 level of existing class
6th+4+5+2+5Enhanced leadership +2+1 level of existing class
7th+5+5+2+5Dominating aura 50 feet+1 level of existing class
8th+6+6+2+6Enhanced leadership +4, fanatical loyalty+1 level of existing class
9th+6+6+3+6Dominating aura 60 feet, special cohort+1 level of existing class
10th+7+7+3+7Enhanced leadership +6, second special cohort+1 level of existing class

Epic Dreadmaster

The epic dreadmaster rules (or seeks to rule) all he can survey and he keeps his subjects in a constant state of terror. The ultimate tyrant, the dreadmaster satisfies himself with nothing less than total control of his domain.

The typical epic dreadmaster focuses feat selection on those that boost his ability to rule the wills, minds, and souls of others, such as Epic Spell Focus (Enchantment), Epic Reputation, Epic Leadership, and Legendary Commander. Craft Epic Rod allows the dreadmaster to strengthen the symbolic representation of Bane, while Epic Spell Penetration ensures that even powerful outsiders and the like can't escape his dominion.

After Wisdom, which controls the dreadmaster's divine spellcasting capability, Charisma is the character's most appropriate choice for ability increases.

Other Options: Dreadmasters can augment their undead-rebuking powers with Negative Energy Burst, Planar Turning, or Undead Mastery.

Hit Die: d8.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Spells: The epic dreadmaster's caster level increases by 1 per level gained above 10th. In addition, at every level, the epic dreadmaster gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in whatever spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class, up to the number of spells per day possessed by a 20th-level character of that class.

Dominating Aura (Su): The radius of this aura increases by 20 feet every 2 levels beyond 9th (11th, 13th, 15th, and so on).

Enhanced Leadership (Ex): The bonus to the epic dreadmaster's Leadership score increases by +2 for every 2 levels after 10th (+8 at 12th, +10 at 14th, and so on). This bonus also applies to the epic dreadmaster's Leadership score if he takes the Epic Leadership feat.

Bonus Feats: The epic dreadmaster gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic dreadmaster feats) every 3 levels after 10th.

Epic Dreadmaster Bonus Feat List: Bonus Domain, Craft Epic Rod, Enhance Spell, Epic Leadership, Epic Reputation, Epic Skill Focus (Intimidate), Epic Spell Focus (Enchantment), Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Improved Alignment-Based Casting, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Legendary Commander, Multispell, Negative Energy Burst, Permanent Emanation, Planar Turning, Spell Opportunity, Spell Stowaway, Spontaneous Domain Access, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic, Undead Mastery, Zone of Animation.

Epic Dreadmaster
11thDominating aura 80 feet
12thEnhanced leadership +8
13thDominating aura 100 feet, bonus feat
14thEnhanced leadership +10
15thDominating aura 120 feet
16thEnhanced leadership +12, bonus feat
17thDominating aura 140 feet
18thEnhanced leadership +14
19thDominating aura 160 feet, bonus feat
20thEnhanced leadership +16

Source: Faiths & Pantheons

Realms Prestige Classes