Aztec Priest (3.5e Class)

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From the southern jungles come the Aztecs; a warrior tribe bent upon conquering all to prove their strength and to provide sustenance for the Sun God. Sustenance in the form of heart sacrifice. They are cruel, vicious and savage, but their savagery belies their true strength. Strength that should be rightly feared once more by the people of the north...

Making an Aztec Priest[edit]

Aztec Priests are strong divine spellcasters and are capable of holding their own in combat. However, due to their lack of armour, they are not as durable as a cleric, and cannot wild shape like a druid. They are at their strongest in natural environments, like druids, and are reasonably good at ambushing.

Abilities: An aztec priest needs a high wisdom score for spellcasting. They also need high strength, dexterity and constitution score so that they can hold their own in combat.

Races: Many aztec priests are human but other races are also accepted, another common race is orc. Some races, such as elves, dispose the aztec priests due to their often bezerk and violent tendencies.

Alignment: All Aztec Priests are Lawful. They follow strong laws, and although they believe they follow causes that are good, in truth they are needlessly destructive (but not necessarily truly evil).

Starting Gold: 5d4×10 gp (125 gp).

Starting Age: Druid.

Game Rule Information[edit]

Table: The Aztec Priest

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day1
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +2 +2 +2 Rage 1/day, Follower of the glorious earth, Rituals 5 3
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 Woodland Stride, Resist Nature's Lure/ fast movement + 10 6 4
3rd +2 +3 +3 +3 Uncanny Dodge 6 5 3
4th +3 +4 +4 +4 Recession 1 6 6 4
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 Skirmish +1d6 | Animal of the Sun 6 6 5 3
6th +4 +5 +5 +5 Rage 2/day 6 6 6 4
7th +5 +5 +5 +5 Fast Movement + 20 | Primeval Form 1/day 6 6 6 5 3
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Recession 2 6 6 6 6 4
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Improved Uncanny Dodge 6 6 6 6 5 3
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +7 Evasion | Skirmish +2d6, +1 ac 6 6 6 6 6 4
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +7 Rage 3/day, Primeval Form 2/day 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 — | Recession 3 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Improved Evasion 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +9 Skirmish +3d6, +2 ac 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +9 +9 Hide in Plain Sight, Primeval Form 3/day 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Rage 4/day, Recession 4 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Venom Immunity 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +11 Greater Rage 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +11 Indominable Will, Tireless Rage, Primeval Form 4/day 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +12 — | 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis),Hide (Dex), (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Aztec Priest:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Aztec Priests are proficient with padded, hide, chain shirts, and leather armor, Bucklers (chimalli), Light shields, Klars, Macuahuitl, Daggers, Javelins, Short Spears, Punching Daggers, Shortswords, Clubs, Shortbows (Tlouitolli), Composite shortbows (Tlouitolli), Longbows (Tlouitolli), Composite Longbows (Tlouitolli), Atlatl, Kukri and Greatclubs.

Spells: An Aztec Priest casts divine spells, which are drawn from the druid spell list. However, his alignment may restrict him from casting certain spells opposed to his moral or ethical beliefs; see Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells, below. An Aztec Priest must choose and prepare his spells in advance (see below).

To prepare or cast a spell, an Aztec Priest must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an Aztec Priest’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the Aztec Priest’s Wisdom modifier.

Like other spellcasters, an Aztec Priest can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Aztec Priest. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score. The aztec priest may also use his wisdom modifier instead of his intelligence modifier for his spellcraft checks.

Aztec Priests meditate or pray for their spells. Each Aztec Priest must choose a time at which he must spend 1 hour each day in quiet contemplation or supplication to regain his daily allotment of spells. Time spent resting has no effect on whether an Aztec Priest can prepare spells. An Aztec Priest may prepare and cast any spell on the cleric spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation.

Rage (Ex): An Aztec Priest can fly into a rage a certain number of times per day. In a rage, an Aztec Priest temporarily gains a +4 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Constitution, and a +2 morale bonus on Will saves, but he takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class. The increase in Constitution increases the Aztec Priest’s hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the rage when his Constitution score drops back to normal. (These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are.) While raging, an Aztec Priest cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can he cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function. He can use any feat he has except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats. A fit of rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s (newly improved) Constitution modifier. An Aztec Priest may prematurely end his rage. At the end of the rage, the Aztec Priest loses the rage modifiers and restrictions and becomes fatigued (–2 penalty to Strength, –2 penalty to Dexterity, can’t charge or run) for the duration of the current encounter (unless he is a 17th-level Aztec Priest, at which point this limitation no longer applies; see below).

An Aztec Priest can fly into a rage only once per encounter. At 1st level he can use his rage ability once per day. At 6th level and every five levels thereafter, he can use it one additional time per day (to a maximum of four times per day at 16th level). Entering a rage takes no time itself, but an Aztec Priest can do it only during his action, not in response to someone else’s action.

Follower of the Glorious Earth (Ex): At first level, the priest chooses one of these following domains and adds these spells to his spell list. He does not gain the Granted power. The domains you can choose from are Glory, Sun, Fire, Moon, Mysticism, and Healing.

Aztec Rituals (Ex): The priest has become a master of performing rituals to their God. Rituals can be casted once per day per level + wisdom modifier. These last for 5 rounds + wisdom modifier. Each ritual require a minimal priest level and a minimum number of ranks in spellcraft to qualify. If a priest has the minimum level but not the required ranks of spellcraft, he does not get that ritual until he gets the required spellcraft rank. All rituals only take one daily use unless otherwise expressed.

Activating a ritual takes a full-round action. It does not require you to make a concentration check each round to keep it maintained.

Curse of the burning sun: As you finish chanting the sun grows brighter and hotter, shining down in its glory on your enemies. All enemies in a 30ft radius of the priest are considered fatigued. At 4th level this increases to exhaustion, and at 7th level this increases to blindness. Also, all your allies weapons gain the flaming enchantment as long as they are within the rituals range. You gain this ritual at 1st level

Wrath of the water empress: You chant, singing of water and storms, when you end the chant a crack of thunder ripples across the sky, and you hear the crashing of waves. As you finish the ritual waves and lighting destroy you enemies. The first round, wind picks up within the area, the priest may pick one spot to place a wind wall spell, this increases to 2 wind walls at level 7, and 3 at level 10. The second round, any enemy within 50ft of the caster is hit by massive currents and waves, each person hit takes 1d6/two caster levels. Finally on the third round, rain and lightning pour down, dealing 1d8/caster level damage within the 50ft radius. You gain this ritual at 4th level.

Visage of the Great Eagle: You pray to the powerful eagle god of valor and battle, Uitzilopochtli. After you finish, massive white feathered wings shoot out of your back, giving you the ability to fly at 3x your base speed. Secondly you grow large talons on your feet doing damage dependent on size (1d6 medium), this can be used as a secondary attack. Finally you get a +2 to distribute between Strength and Dexterity (priest's choice). At 10th level this increases to +4, and at level 13 this increases to +6. You gain this ritual at 7th level.

Deluge of stars: You call upon the power of Centzon, the god of the stars to make stars fall from the sky. This is a 40ft radius centered on the caster of blazing white stars. This does 4d6 per round to all enemies within the radius(1d6 holy, 1d6 bludgeoning, 2d6 fire). The damage increases to 4d8 at 13th level, and 4d10 at 17th level. This also aids your allies, giving them Regeneration 1/2 caster levels (Regeneration 10 at 20th level) and a +1 to attack and damage rolls/3 levels. (+6 at 18th level). You gain this ritual at 10th level.

Blight of the Jade Fowl: You pray to the god of pestilence and disease, Chalchiuhtotolin. You summon a black mist that covers a 20'x20' square with disease. Any enemy within that area takes 2 points of ability drain from any ability score(priest's choice). This increases to -4 at 16th level, and -6 at 19th level. Secondly all enemies are fatigued within the area, this increases to shaken at 17th level. Finally all enemies are infected with a disease of the priest's choice, the incubation time is reduced to 1 round. It also has a modified DC save (DC: 10 + caster level + 1/2 wis mod). This effects creatures usually immune to disease. The diseases available are up to your DM. You gain this rital at 13th level

Woodland Stride (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, an Aztec Priest may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him.

Resist Nature's Lure (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, an Aztec Priest gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against the spell-like abilities of fey.

Primeval form (Ex): A primary ability of the priest is the supernatural ability to assume an alternate form. This functions similarly to the druid's wild shape ability, except the alternate form chosen must be selected when the character takes his second level of Aztec priest and cannot be changed after that. Each time the character changes form with this ability, he assumes the same form. This ability functions like the polymorph spell, except as noted here. It lasts for 1 minute per two priest levels, or until he changes back. Changing form (into either form) is a standard action and doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. The priest does not assume the animal's physical ability scores. Instead, he adds the animal's ability score —10 (for even scores) or —11 (for odd scores) to his own ability scores. For example, a Aztec priest with a Strength score of 16 who assumes the form of a dire lion (Strength 25) adds +14 to his normal Strength of 16 to determine his Strength score in his primeval form. Remember, items that enhance the character's ability scores may be rendered inoperative by his change in form. The priest loses his ability to speak while in primeval form because he is limited to the sounds that the form can make naturally. The primeval form chosen must be a prehistoric animal of some sort (dinosaur, dire animal, or other creature approved by the DM). The primeval form chosen must have no more than 8 HD and cannot be more than one size category larger than the priest (so a Small character is limited to Medium animals or smaller, and a Medium character is limited to Large or smaller animals). The primeval form can be from any terrain familiar to the character.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 3rd level, an Aztec Priest retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If an Aztec Priest already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Recession (Ex): As a priest gains levels, he begins to physically regress into a more primal, feral version of himself. At 4th level, the primeval reduces his Intelligence and Charisma scores by 1 point (to a minimum of 3) and gains 1 point of Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom. At 8th level, he repeats his regression, losing an additional point of Intelligence and Charisma, and gaining an additional point to the rest of his ability scores. At 12th level, the primeval regresses again, losing a third point of Intelligence and Charisma but gaining a third point to the rest of his ability scores. The regression happens a final time at 16th level.

Skirmish (Ex): A priest relies on mobility to deal extra damage and improve her defense. She deals an extra 1d6 points of damage on all attacks she makes during any round in which she moves at least 10 feet away from where she was at the start of her turn. The extra damage applies only to attacks made after the priest has moved at least 10 feet. The skirmish ability cannot be used while mounted. The extra damage applies only to attacks taken during the priest's turn. This extra damage increases by 1d6 at 5th level, 10th level, and 14th level.

The extra damage only applies against living creatures that have a discernible anatomy. Undead, constructs, oozes, plants, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are not vulnerable to this additional damage. The priest must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. Priests can apply this extra damage to ranged attacks made while skirmishing, but only if the target is within 30 feet.

At 10th level, a priest gains a +1 competence bonus to Armor Class during any round in which she moves at least 10 feet. The bonus applies as soon as the scout has moved 10 feet, and lasts until the start of her next turn. This bonus improves by 1 at level 15 for a total of +2 ac.

Animal of the Sun(Ex): At 5th level, a priest gains an animal companion selected from the following list: cheeta ,Ape, Leopard, crocodile, large constrictor snake, eagle, panther, or wolf. If the campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, the following creatures may be added to the ranger’s list of options: manta ray, porpoise, Medium shark, and squid. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the priest on his adventures as appropriate for its kind. See the new leveling system down below. If you choose an eagle, up its HD to 3.

Fast Movement (Ex): From 2nd level onward until 7th level, an Aztec Priest's land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. From 7th level onwards, an Aztec Priest's land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +20 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor or light armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the Aztec Priest’s speed because of any load carried or armor worn.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 9th level and higher, an Aztec Priest can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the Aztec Priest by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has barbarian levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

Evasion and Improved Evasion (Ex): At 10th level and higher, an Aztec Priest can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the Aztec Priest is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless Aztec Priest does not gain the benefit of evasion. From 13th level onwards, the Aztec Priest receives only half damage on a failed save.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): While in any sort of natural terrain, an Aztec Priest of 15th level or higher can use the Hide skill even while being observed.

Venom Immunity (Ex): At 17th level, an Aztec Priest gains immunity to all poisons.

Greater Rage (Ex): At 18th level, an Aztec Priest’s bonuses to Strength and Consitution during his rage each increase to +6, and his morale bonus on Will saves increases to +3. The penalty to AC remains at –2.

Indominable Will (Ex): While in a rage, an Aztec Priest of 19th level or higher gains a +4 bonus on Will saves to resist enchantment spells. This bonus stacks with all other modifiers, including the morale bonus on Will saves he also receives during his rage.

Tireless Rage (Ex): At 19th level and higher, an Aztec Priest no longer becomes fatigued at the end of his rage.

Aztec Animal[edit]

This is the progression for the Aztec Priest's animal.

Armor Adj.
5th-7th +0 +0 +0 Spell-like Abilites
8th-10th +2 +2 +1 +1d4 fire
11th-13th +4 +4 +2 DR 5/magic
14th-16th +6 +6 +3 +1d6 fire
17th-19th +8 +8 +4 DR 10/magic
20th+ +10 +10 +5 +2d6 fire

Sun Born (Ex): Does extra fire damage based on hit dice (see above) when it hits with natural weapons..

Body of the Sun (Ex): The Priest's companion gains damage reduction based on their hit dice. (See above)

Spell-Like Abilities (Ex): The aztec priest is given an animal blessed by the sun god, Huitzilopochtli. This animal works like the druid's animal companions, except it doesn't get bonus tricks or the regular abilities of a standard animal companion, except the priest gains it at level 5 just like a ranger. Below is the spells they gain access to based on its hit dice.

1-2 Burning Hands At-Will
3-4 Boiling Blood 3/day
5-6 Energy Spheres 1/day
7-8 Wall of Fire 1/day
9-10 Fire & Brimstone 1/day
11-12 Fire Seeds 1/day
13-14 Firestorm 1/day

Ex-Aztec Priest[edit]

An Aztec Priest who ceases to be lawful or fails to worship the Mesoamerican Gods and Goddesses looses his supernatural abilities and spellcasting power until he atones.

Epic Aztec Priest[edit]

Table: The Epic Aztec Priest
Level Special
21st Rage 5/day
24th Bonus Feat
26th Rage 6/day
28th Bonus Feat

2 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Hit Die: d10

Caster Level: The Aztec Priest's caster level is equal to his class level, as normal.

Rage: At 21st level and every 5th level herafter, the Aztec Priest gains an additional use of rage each day.

Bonus Feats: The epic Aztec Priest gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic barbarian and cleric bonus feats) every 4 levels after 20th.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing an Aztec Priest[edit]

Characteristics: Aztec Priests are vicious, ruthless and unmerciful. They are cruel to others to an extent that few can match. Aztecs are warriors born and bred- they earn their first warrior gear at an early age and are not considered an adult until they slay an enemy in combat. On the battlefield they fight like savages, baiting the enemy to strike first, and attacking with savagery somewhat akin to a barbarian.

Religion: The Aztec Priests worship the Mesoamerican Gods and Goddesses. They believe in ritual sacrifice- namely heart sacrifice. This process involves an unwilling victim (captured by an Aztec Warrior raid party) being restrained and held upon a curved altar so that their chest is forced upwards. The heart is then cut out by an obsidian dagger, and ripped out of the chest cavity while it is still beating. The Aztecs believe that this "feeds" the Sun God, keeping the sun moving around the sky.

Other Classes: Aztec Priests treat Aztec Warriors as honorary warriors or guards, but treat members of most other classes with scorn. They share an understanding of Barbarians, as both are people of the wild. They mistrust Sorcerers and Wizards for the strange powers they possess.

Combat: The Aztec Priests are the healers of the party, using their divine might to keep other up and fighting. They can hold their own in combat, and so work well with a combat specialist party member. They are the "leaders" of the party.

Aztec Priests in the world[edit]

Let the sun cross the sky by this beating heart.
—Hwaranki, Human Aztec Priest

Aztec Priests come from Aztec Warrior Families, and are those that show greater faith than their warrior brothers. They are trained to be priests in the temples, and then keep the Aztec faith, sacrificing living hearts to keep the sun moving through the sky.

Daily Life: Aztec priests spend their day watching the skies and performing horrific heart sacrifices. They often take lead roles in religious ceremonies (which happen surprisingly often).

Notables: Tenoch was perhaps the first aztec priest. He lead the aztecs to the site of their holy city, and so, to this day it is called Tenochtitlan (Tenoch's land).

Organisations: All aztec priests are members of the temple-pyramids that dwarf the other buildings in the aztec cities.

NPC Reactions: Aztecs respect aztec priests greatly, and rely upon them to predict weather and measure the seasons (both very important for farmers), while others fear and hate aztec priests, thinking them to be barbarians.

Aztec Priest Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in knowledge (religion) can research Aztec Priests to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

<-the appropriate skills->
DC Result
5 The aztecs are a "heathen" cult spread throuout the south-west.
10 The aztecs sacrifice hearts to keep the sun "going around the sky".

Aztec Priests in the Game[edit]

A typical Aztec Priest adventures deep in the jungle, seeking out new tribes to conquer, more people to capture to sacrifice, and more riches for the Aztec People. The Aztecs will never stop hunting for more potential sacrifices, as they believe that the Sun God is always hungry. Hungry for more human hearts, ripped out of a living human's chest as an offering. And if the Sun God is not sustained with constant supplies of living hearts, it will stop moving round the sky, and the world will come to a premature end...

Sample Encounter:

EL 9: Mixloch, a level 7 aztec priest, and three level 7 aztec warriors attack the PCs as they travel through the jungle, with the intent of capturing them for sacrifice.

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