Epic Insights10/18/2002


Faiths and Pantheons



In this column, we present epic-level progressions for three prestige classes from Faiths and Pantheons -- the dreadmaster, dweomerkeeper, and stormlord -- three new epic feats designed for these characters, and two new epic spells perfect for your epic divine spellcaster: glorious light of renewal and horrible army of the dead. All of these epic-level progressions enhance the rules provided in the Epic Level Handbook and Faiths and Pantheons.

New Epic Feats

These three new epic feats are tailor-made for divinely oriented epic characters. At the DM's option, they can be added to the list of bonus feats for any divinely oriented character (including clerics, paladins, and many of the prestige classes in Defenders of the Faith, Faiths and Pantheons, and the like).

Chosen Weapon Specialization [Epic]

You deal more damage when wielding your deity's chosen weapon.

Prerequisites: War domain, Epic Prowess, Weapon Focus with deity's chosen weapon.

Benefits: You gain a +2 bonus on weapon damage when wielding your deity's chosen weapon.

Divine Spell Penetration [Epic]

Choose a component of your alignment. Your divine spells of that alignment are more capable of defeating spell resistance.

Prerequisites: Wis 21, Improved Alignment-Based Casting, domain of chosen alignment, alignment matching chosen component, ability to cast 9th-level divine spells.

Benefits: When casting spells of the chosen alignment, you gain a +4 bonus on caster level checks to defeat spell resistance.

Epic Devotion [Epic]

Choose an alignment component (chaos, evil, good, or law) different from your own alignment. You are particularly resistant to spells of that alignment.

Prerequisites: Wis 21, Iron Will, alignment different from the chosen component, patron deity who does not accept clerics who have the chosen component.

Benefit: You gain a +4 divine bonus on saves against spells of the chosen alignment component. For instance, a lawful good paladin of Helm who selected "chaos" would gain a +4 divine bonus on saves against chaotic spells. That paladin could not select "good" or "law" because they are part of her own alignment, nor could she select "evil" because Helm accepts evil clerics.

Special: You can take this feat more than once. Each time you select the feat, select a new alignment component.

Prestige Class Epic Progressions

Below are presented epic progressions for three prestige classes from Faiths and Pantheons: the dreadmaster, the dweomerkeeper, and the stormlord.

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.

Dreadmaster

Level

Special
11 Dominating aura 80 feet
12 Enhanced leadership +8
13 Dominating aura 100 feet, bonus feat
14 Enhanced leadership +10
15 Dominating aura 120 feet
16 Enhanced leadership +12, bonus feat
17 Dominating aura 140 feet
18 Enhanced leadership +14
19 Dominating aura 160 feet, bonus feat
20 Enhanced leadership +16

Epic Dweomerkeeper

The epic dweomerkeeper serves as one of Mystra's most trusted and powerful safeguards of the Weave. Few living creatures exceed the epic dweomerkeeper's knowledge of arcane mysteries.

Most epic dweomerkeepers continue their training in metamagic and/or item creation with such feats as Improved Metamagic, Improved Heighten Spell, Craft Epic Staff, or Craft Epic Wondrous Item.

As with most epic spellcasters, ability increases should go to improving the character's spellcasting capability. Regardless, Intelligence is a good second choice since it boosts many of the dweomerkeeper's signature skills.

Other Options: Though most dweomerkeepers focus on spellcasting pursuits over more mundane clerical capabilities, feats such as Positive Energy Aura or Negative Energy Burst can come in handy.

Hit Die: d4.

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

Spells: The epic dweomerkeeper's caster level increases by 1 per level gained above 10th. In addition, at every level the epic dweomerkeeper 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.

Mantle of Spells (Su): At 12th level, and every 2 levels thereafter (14th, 16th, and so on), the epic dweomerkeeper adds one arcane or divine spell to the list of spells which he can spontaneously convert from other spells. The number in parentheses indicates the total number of spells into which the epic dweomerkeeper can spontaneously convert other spells.

Bonus Feats: The epic dweomerkeeper gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic dweomerkeeper feats) every 4 levels after 9th.

Epic Dweomerkeeper Bonus Feat List: Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Bonus Domain, Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Epic Rod, Craft Epic Staff, Craft Epic Wondrous Item, Efficient Item Creation, Enhance Spell, Epic Skill Focus (Knowledge [arcana] or Spellcraft), Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Epic Weapon Focus (ray, energy missile, or touch spell), Familiar Spell, Forge Epic Ring, Ignore Material Components, Improved Alignment-Based Casting, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Darkvision, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Master Staff, Master Wand, Multispell, Permanent Emanation, Scribe Epic Scroll, Spell Knowledge, Spell Opportunity, Spell Stowaway, Spontaneous Domain Access, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic.

Dweomerkeeper

Level

Special
11
12 Mantle of spells (4)
13 Bonus feat
14 Mantle of spells (5)
15
16 Mantle of spells (6)
17 Bonus feat
18 Mantle of spells (7)
19
20 Mantle of spells (8)

Epic Stormlord

The epic stormlord is a barely contained frenzy of destructive energy -- almost more a force of nature than a mortal being. He does what he wants, when he wants, and he answers to no one but Talos the Destroyer himself.

Maximize your destructive power with feats such as Automatic Quicken Spell, Blinding Speed, and Multispell. Crush your enemies with Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, and Intensify Spell. Broaden your power base with Bonus Domain, Improved Spell Capacity, or Spectral Strike.

As a divine caster, Wisdom is your best bet for ability increases. Constitution is a good second option, since you pride yourself on being tough.

Other Options: On the off chance that you decide that the best defense isn't a good offense, protect yourself with Energy Resistance, Epic Fortitude, or Epic Toughness.

Hit Die: d8.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Spells: The epic stormlord's caster level increases by 1 per level gained above 10th. In addition, at every level the epic stormlord gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in whatever divine 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.

Electricity Resistance: The epic stormlord's electricity resistance increases by 5 points for every 3 levels gained after 9th (35 at 12th, 40 at 15th, and so on).

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

Epic Stormlord Bonus Feat List: Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Blinding Speed, Bonus Domain, Energy Resistance, Enhance Spell, Epic Endurance, Epic Fortitude, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus (any spear or javelin), Ignore Material Components, Improved Alignment-Based Casting, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Multispell, Negative Energy Burst, Permanent Emanation, Planar Turning, Positive Energy Aura, Spectral Strike, Spell Stowaway, Spontaneous Domain Access, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic, Undead Mastery, Zone of Animation.

Stormlord

Level

Special
11
12 Electricity resistance 35
13 Bonus feat
14
15 Electricity resistance 40
16 Bonus feat
17
18 Electricity resistance 45
19 Bonus feat
20

New Epic Spells

These two new epic spells let your character hold the power of life or death in her hands.

Glorious Light of Renewal
Conjuration (Healing)
Spellcraft DC: 80
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: 100 ft.
Target: Up to 5 dead creatures
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

To Develop: 720,000 gp; 15 days; 28,800 XP. Seed: life (DC 27). Factors: change from touch to target (+4 DC), change from target to area (+10 DC), increase range by 400% (+8 DC), add 4 extra targets (+40 DC). Mitigating Factor: backlash 9d6 (-9 DC)

Up to five dead creatures are restored to life and complete vigor so long as any portion of the creatures' bodies remain. The creature can have been dead for no longer than two hundred years.

The vast amount of positive energy channeled by this spell deals 9d6 damage in backlash to the caster.

Horrible Army of the Dead
Necromancy [Death, Evil]
Spellcraft DC: 112
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 full round
Range: 300 ft.
Area: 300-ft. radius
Target: One or more living creatures
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

To Develop: 1,008,000 gp; 21days; 40,320 XP. Seeds: animate dead (DC 23), slay (DC 25). Factors: reduce casting time by 9 rounds (+18 DC), create additional 60 HD of undead (+60 DC), create skeletons (-12 DC). Mitigating factor: burn 1,000 XP (-10 DC).

All living creatures within the area (to a maximum of 80 HD, no creature with more than 10 HD is affected) wither and die, their flesh falling to dust in seconds. The next round, these creatures rise as skeletons. You can naturally control 1 HD of undead per caster level; any undead beyond this number are uncontrolled (but since you're probably creating them out of the middle of your enemy's army, they'll cause plenty of chaos on their own).

XP Cost: 1,000 XP.

Game Resources: To use the material in this article to its fullest, check out the Epic Level Handbook, and grab a copy of theFaiths and Pantheons. Of course, you'll also need the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and the Monster Manual!

About the Author

Andy Collins is the co-designer of the Epic Level Handbook. Read more about him and his projects at www.andycollins.net.

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