The Mind's Eye
Dread Champion (Prestige Class)
By Scott Brocius and Mark A. Jindra

"Yes, I am dead. Prepare to join me."

Some people are fascinated with the undead and the dark arts. Many believe following those arts is the path to power. A small group of these people know that to gain ultimate power, one must embrace this path fully. The dread champion is one of these people. Through delving into these forbidden subjects, the dread champion has found a way to join the ranks of the undead. This has its risks, but the dread champion knows the reward is worth the effort. By completing a ritual found within ancient texts, the dread champion transforms himself.

Initially, the dread champion appears as walking dead; his skin is pallid, and his wounds tend to stay slightly open. As he advances in levels, his skin toughens and becomes leathery, and his whole body withers. Finally, once he achieves the complete connection to the Negative Energy Plane, his eyes take on a reddish glow.

Hit Dice: d8.

Requirements

To qualify to become a dread champion, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any nongood.
Skills: Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks.
Manifesting: Ability to manifest a 4th-level psychic warrior power.
Special: Must have defeated an undead creature that has an Intelligence score.

Class Skills

The dread champion's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Psicraft (Int), Remote View (Int), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spot (Wis).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the dread champion prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dread champions are proficient with simple and martial weapons, and all armor (heavy, medium, and light), and shields.

Manifesting: At every even numbered level, the dread champion gains a psychic warrior level with regards to power points gained and powers discovered. His effective manifester level is increased by one for each level of the prestige class.

Psionic Combat: The dread champion gains no additional psionic attack and defense modes while advancing in this class. (Characters do not forget previously discovered attack and defense modes.)

0-Level Powers: Dread champion levels count toward the level of the psionic character for determining the number of free manifestations per day of 0-level powers.

Undeath (Ex): By embracing this path, the dread champion becomes an undead creature. He becomes immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, polymorphing, stunning, disease, death effects, and necromantic effects. He also ignores mind-influencing effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), but he is still subject to psionic combat. Dread champions are also not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, or energy drain. He has no Constitution score and is therefore immune to any effect requiring a Fortitude save (unless it affects objects). A dread champion uses his Charisma modifier when making Concentration checks.

As an undead, a dread champion is no longer healed normally. He requires negative energy (such as an inflict wounds spell) to heal, though regeneration and fast healing effects work normally.

A dread champion is not at risk of death due to massive damage, but he is immediately destroyed if reduced to 0 hit points or less. He can no longer be raisedor resurrected. He can be brought back to existence only through use of a wish or psionic reality alteration.

A dread champion gains darkvision with a range of 60 feet.

A dread champion can be turned.A dread champion can no longer use Psychometabolism powers and uses his Charisma modifier for Psychokinetic powers.

Ability Gains (Ex): As the dread champion gains levels in this prestige class, his ability scores increases as noted in the class table. These increases stack and are gained as if through level advancement.

Examples of Hit Dice Promotion:

A level 10/3 psychic warrior/dread champion has 13d8 Hit Dice. Upon reaching 4th level as a dread champion, these Hit Dice change to d10, so the dread champion now has 14d10. When this dread champion reaches 8th level, his Hit Dice change to 18d12.

If the character received a set percentage of hit points per Hit Die, just adjust the total to reflect the new Hit Die type. For example, if the particular campaign gives out 50% of maximum hit points, the 10/3 psychic warrior/dread champion would have had 52 hit points at 13th level, but upon gaining 14th level, his total becomes 70 hit points.

If the character actually rolled for hit points, the DM has a couple of options. The character can either add 13 hp to reflect the difference in average hit points between d8 and d10, or the character can roll a new set of 13d10's, but the total should not be less than the current total.

Hit Dice Promotion (Ex): At 1st level, each previous Hit Die gained promotes to a d8 if it was less than a d8. At 4th level, each promotes to d10, and then they promote to d12 at 8th level. Any levels gained after becoming a dread champion use the current dread champion Hit Dice type to determine hit points gained.

Damage Reduction (Su): At 2nd level, the dread champion's body toughens, giving him damage reduction of 2/-, this power improves to 3/- at 4th level, 4/- at 6th level, and to 5/- at 8th level.

Natural Armor Class (Ex): Due to the increasing toughening of his body, the dread champion gains the listed natural Armor Class bonus.

Fear Aura (Su): As a standard action, a dread champion can exude an aura of fear in a radius of 15 feet. Once activated, the aura lasts one round, Anyone in or entering the area must make a Will save of DC 10 + the dread champion's class level + dread champion's Charisma modifier. Those who fail suffer a -2 penalty on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, and saving throws for 5d6 rounds.

Negative Energy Blast (Sp): Once per day, the dread champion can create a blast of negative energy, doing 1d6 points of damage per level of the character (max 20d6). This blast has a radius of 20 feet and long range (400 feet + 40 ft./level).

The negative energy of this ability also rebukes undead creatures, causing them to cower in fear. Undead in the area may be rebuked. The dread champion makes a turning check to rebuke them as a cleric of 2 levels lower than their level.

Power Resistance (Su): At 5th level, the dread champion gains power resistance equal to 15 + his dread champion levels. At 9th level, this improves to 20 + his dread champion levels.

Turn Immunity (Ex): At 5th level, the dread champion becomes immune to turning effects. He cannot be turned, rebuked, or commanded, but he is still subject to spells and powers that affect undead, such as sever the tie.

Cold Immunity (Ex): At 7th level, the dread champion becomes immune to cold damage.

Chilling Touch (Su): At 10th level, the dread champion completes his connection to the Negative Energy Plane. His unarmed strikes do a base d8 points of damage, and he is considered armed if he chooses to fight this way. In addition, he may choose to infuse his attacks with negative energy. This adds 1d8 points of negative energy damage to his attacks and causes 1 point of temporary Constitution damage, unless a Fortitude save (DC 20 + dread champion's Charisma modifier) is made. Effects that block negative energy will protect against this attack. Dread champions cannot use this to heal themselves.

The Dread Champion
Level Base
Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Reflex
Save
Will
Save
Special Powers
Discovered
1 +1 +2 +0 +2 Hit Dice promotion (d8), undeath --
2 +2 +3 +0 +3 Str +2, damage reduction 2/- +1 psychic warrior level
3 +3 +3 +1 +3 Natural AC +2, fear aura --
4 +4 +4 +1 +4 Hit Dice promotion (d10), damage reduction 3/- +1 psychic warrior level
5 +5 +4 +1 +4 Negative Energy blast, power resistance, turn immunity --
6 +6 +5 +2 +5 Natural AC +4, damage reduction 4/- +1 psychic warrior level
7 +7 +5 +2 +5 Cha +2, cold immunity --
8 +8 +6 +2 +6 Hit Dice promotion (d12) damage reduction 5/- +1 psychic warrior level
9 +9 +6 +3 +6 Natural AC +6, improved power resistance --
10 +10 +7 +3 +7 Str +2, chilling touch +1 psychic warrior level


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