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
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: Only members of the Aztec Empire can become Aztec Priests, and only humans are members of the Aztec Empire, so only Humans can become Aztec Priests. Besides, most races are disgusted by the barbaric Aztec ways, and so will not join their cause.
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: Simple.
Game Rule Information
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day1|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Woodland Stride, Resist Nature's Lure/ fast movement + 10||6||4||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+4||Sneak Attack +1d6 | wild shape 1/day||6||6||5||3||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+5||Fast Movement + 20||6||6||6||5||3||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+6||+6||Damage Reduction 1/—||6||6||6||6||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+6||+6||Improved Uncanny Dodge||6||6||6||6||5||3||—||—||—||—|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+8||+8||— | wild shape 2/day||6||6||6||6||6||6||4||—||—||—|
|14th||+14/+9/+4||+9||+9||+9||Sneak Attack +2d6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||4||—||—|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+9||+9||Hide in Plain Sight||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||5||3||—|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+10||+10||Rage 4/day, Damage Reduction 2/—||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||4||—|
|19th||+19/+14/+9/+4||+11||+11||+11||Indominable Will, Tireless Rage||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||5|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+12||+12||— | wild shape 3/day||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Aztec Priest:
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Aztec Priests are proficient with padded and leather armor, Bucklers (chimalli), Macuahuitl, Daggers, Javelins, Short Spears, Punching Daggers, Clubs, Shortbows (Tlouitolli), Composite shortbows (Tlouitolli), Longbows (Tlouitolli), Composite Longbows (Tlouitolli), Atlatl 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.
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.
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.
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.
Trackless Step (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, an Aztec Priest leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. He may choose to leave a trail if so desired.
Sneak Attack (Ex): From 5th level onwards, if an Aztec Priest can catch an opponent when she is unable to defend herself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage.
The Aztec Priest’s attack deals extra damage any time his target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the Aztec Priest flanks his target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 5th level, and it increases to 2d6 at 14th level. Should the Aztec Priest score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.
Wild Shape (Ex): At 5th level the Aztec Priest obtains the ability to wild shape into a creature of medium size or smaller once a day. twice per day at 12th level and 3 times a day at 20th level.
Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.
With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, an Aztec Priest can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. He cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.
An Aztec Warrior can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies—undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The Aztec 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. An Aztec Priest cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.
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.
Damage Reduction (Ex): At 8th level, an Aztec Priest gains Damage Reduction. Subtract 1 from the damage the Aztec Priest takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. This increases by 1 at 16th level.
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.
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.
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
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.
Playing an Aztec Priest
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
|“||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
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.
|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
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...
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.