Baatorian Arcanovore (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||I know fiends can shrug off some magic, I seen 'em do it back in my younger days when I did a little of the plane-hopping myself. But this weren't no spell deflection, it were more like spell consumption! Thing just marched right into the guild hall and took everything they threw at it like it was a 'tween meal snack, gettin' tougher and ornerier all the while!||”|
|—Tauro Glibrider, dwarven ex-adventurer and witness to the massacre at Ryanod Mage's Guild.|
Also called magebreakers by some planars, the arcanovores of Baator are infernal agents specialized in eliminating wielders of arcane magicks. A product of training in dark and cryptic arts at a secluded temple in the layer of Maladomini, the arcanovores are a branch of an order shrouded in secrecy. The true name of the order is known only to its members, but its symbol, two conjoined skulls opposite each other devouring an hourglass, is recognized by more inveterate denizens of the lower planes. Arcanovores are extremely resilient against arcane magic, and have access to a host of powers that tear down the spellcasting ability of their quarry. Only 222 arcanovores (called Tongues within the order) exist at any one time, each numbered according to their standing. Arcanovores themselves are a mixed bag, with members ranging from grizzled half-devils to greater devils and other outsiders captured at an early age. For reasons unknown, the Lords of the Nine allow the order considerable autonomy, placing arcanovores somewhat outside of Hell’s normal chain of command. Although often serving as kill teams in the infernal legions, or acting as agents for powerful devils, arcanovores ultimately report to the order. On occasion they have been known to travel to other planes to corrupt or assassinate select mortals.
Becoming an Arcanovore
Initiation into the arcanovore ranks is by invitation only. When a slot needs to be filled, the scouts of the order locate suitable replacements using mysterious criteria; the majority of new recruits don’t survive the initial training. Members are numbered according to their successes, experience, strength, and sometimes political maneuvering. Rankings are mutable, and like all hierarchical structures in the Nine Hells, there is no shortage of plotting and backstabbing. The hallmarks of this class are powerful defenses against arcane magic, the ability to nullify and even draw power from hostile arcane spells and effects, and enhanced damage versus arcane spellcasters and creatures with spell-like abilities. The latter also makes them effective against all kinds of outsiders. Charisma is important to the effectiveness of their special abilities, and high ranks in Spellcraft can help them better thwart arcane spellcasters.
|Alignment:||Non-good and non-chaotic.|
|Hit Die:||7 HD|
|Race:||Outsider or extraplanar subtype.|
|Skills:||Knowledge (arcana) 10 ranks, Knowledge (planes) 10 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks.|
|Feats:||Point Blank Shot or Power Attack.|
|Special:||Must have innate spell-like abilities, access to see invisibility or true seeing spell or spell-like abilities, spell resistance (Ex) or SR-granting abilities. Must have been approached by the order to become an arcanovore.|
|1st||+0||+2||+2||+2||Arcane defense +1, detect magic, devouring brand, improved caster level, magebane weapon, spell resistance|
|2nd||+1||+3||+3||+3||Arcane interference, smite arcane 1/day|
|3rd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Arcane defense +2, magebind|
|4th||+3||+4||+4||+4||Mageslayer, reject arcane|
|5th||+3||+4||+4||+4||Arcane defense +3, inviolate mind|
|6th||+4||+5||+5||+5||Spelleater, smite arcane 2/day|
|7th||+5||+5||+5||+5||Arcane defense +4,deplete power|
|9th||+6||+6||+6||+6||Arcane defense +5, Magedoom weapon|
|10th||+7||+7||+7||+7||Destroy Magic, smite arcane 3/day|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
|11th||Arcane defense +6|
|13th||Arcane defense +7, bonus feat|
|14th||Smite arcane 4/day|
|15th||Arcane defense +8|
|17th||Arcane defense +9|
|18th||Smite arcane 5/day|
|19th||Arcane defense +10, bonus feat|
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An arcanovore is proficient with two weapon groups of her choice (see Unearthed Arcana, p.95). She gains no proficiency with armor or shields.
Arcane Defense (Ex): Extensive training in countering arcane magic of all types manifests itself as a bonus to saving throws against arcane (but not divine) spells or spell-like abilities. These bonuses are +1 at 1st level, and increase by 1 every odd level thereafter.
Detect Magic (Sp): As spell. Continuously active.
Devouring Brand (Ex): Part of an arcanovore’s power stems from an infernal brand placed upon her body. While it grants considerable benefits, it also consumes some of her vitality and imparts certain vulnerabilities. Arcanovores take double damage from silver weapons and permanently lose 2 points of Constitution as a sacrifice to the brand. An arcanovore loses one spell-like ability of her choice upon taking the first level of this class (it cannot be an ability granted by this class). In addition, high ranking members of the order can induce wracking pain in any arcanovore within 1 mile. This manifests as a -4 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks. However, the brand confers immunity to energy drain, ability drain, and death effects.
Improved Caster Level (Ex): The caster level for an arcanovore’s spell-like abilities (Sp) increases by 1 for each arcanovore level gained.
Magebane Weapon (Su): At first level an arcanovore may choose an individual weapon that becomes her magebane weapon. Arcanovores are automatically proficient with their Magebane weapon. Magebane weapons deal an extra 2d6 points of damage against arcane magic users and creatures with spell-like abilities, and are considered to have an enhancement bonus 2 higher than normal (thus, a +1 spear becomes a +3 spear when wielded against such targets). If the weapon is destroyed, the arcanovore loses the ability to deal the extra damage until a replacement weapon is reinfused with power. This process takes 1 week, and requires full attention each day at the expense of all other activities. In the hands of anyone other than the arcanovore these weapons do not deal extra damage granted by this ability. Arcanovores share a link with their weapon, and can summon it as by the Instant Summons spell once per day. Magical enchantments may be placed on the weapon as normal; this ability does not count toward a weapon's total enhancement bonus for the purposes of determining cost.
Spell Resistance(Ex):A Baatorian arcanovore’s spell resistance increases by 1 for every Baatorian arcanovore level she has.
Arcane Interference (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, the arcanovore can emit a field of arcane static up to a range of 10 feet per class level, negating the telepathy ability of all creatures within range. In addition, arcane spells and spell-like abilities cast or used in the area are impeded. To use arcane spells or spell-like abilities, a caster must succeed on a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level + arcanovore Cha modifier). If the check fails, the spell or spell-like ability does not function but is still lost as a prepared spell, spell slot, or daily use. If the check succeeds, the spell functions normally. This ability does not affect the arcanovore’s own spells or abilities. She can suppress this ability for 1 round as a free action.
Smite Arcane (Su): Acquisition of the smite arcane ability marks acceptance as an official numbered Tongue in the order. Once per day, an arcanovore may attempt to smite an arcane magic user or creature with spell-like abilities with a normal or ranged melee attack. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per class level. If the arcanovore accidentally smites a creature that is not an arcane caster, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up. The number of uses per day increase at 6th and 10th level.
Magebind (Sp): As a standard action the arcanovore may block all extradimensional travel for a single arcane magic user or creature with spell-like abilities in line of sight within 120 ft. Forms of movement barred include astral projection, blink, dimension door, ethereal jaunt, etherealness, gate, maze, plane shift, shadow walk, teleportation, and similar spell-like abilities. Magebind also prevents the use of an existing gate or teleportation circle. The effect persists for 10 minutes per caster level but may be negated by spell resistance. The arcanovore’s caster level is equal to her caster level for spell-like abilities. This ability is the equivalent of a 5th level spell.
Reject Arcane (Su): Once per day as an immediate action an arcanovore may attempt to dissipate any incoming arcane spell or spell-like ability targeted at her, or to dispel the effects of a spell she makes contact with. Roll 1d4 + class level. If the total is higher than the spell level, then the spell fizzles and has no effect. It is possible to dispel pre-existing spells in this way as long as the arcanovore is in the area of effect or makes contact with the enchantment.
Mageslayer (Su): Once per day the arcanovore can make a single attack with a magebane weapon that has the chance to kill arcane magic users or creatures with spell-like abilities outright. The declaration must be made before the attack is rolled. The attack receives bonuses to hit and damage the same as the arcanovore’s smite arcane ability. If the attack hits, damage is dealt and the target must succeed a Fortitude save (DC 10 + class level + Cha modifier) or be destroyed, their own arcane energies blasting them apart. On a critical hit the DC increases by (2 x critical multiplier). A successful fortitude save negates destruction, and the attack instead deals an extra 4d6 points of damage. Creatures not subject to critical hits are still affected by this ability. Arcanovores are themselves immune to mageslayer attacks.
Inviolate Mind (Ex): The archanovore becomes immune to mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, patterns, phantasms, and morale effects), harmful telepathy powers, and spells attempting to detect her thoughts and alignment as if affected by mind blank. She can raise or lower this ability as a free action.
Spelleater (Su): The name arcanovore derives from the formidable spelleater ability. This ability enables absorption and digestion of the energies that power arcane magic. Whenever an arcanovore of 6th level or higher 1) makes a successful saving throw against any arcane spell or spell-like ability, 2) whenever her spell resistance negates such abilities, 3) whenever she successfully uses the reject arcane ability, or 4) whenever she makes a declared spelleater touch attack against a creature or area with ongoing magical effects, roll a special caster level check. The original spellcaster rolls (1d20 + caster level + spell level) against the arcanovore’s roll (1d20 + Spellcraft + Cha modifier). If the arcanovore’s total is greater, the spell ends, is absorbed, and is converted into infernal energy augmenting her power. The next single melee attack made gains a temporary profane bonus to attack and damage equal to the level of the absorbed spell. A profane bonus can be stored for up to one hour. The arcanovore also heals hp equal to the level of the spell absorbed. If multiple spells are absorbed in one round, only the highest level spell is stored as a profane bonus for attacks, but multiple absorbed spells stack for restoring hp. Hp gained that bring her total hp above their normal maximum are temporary and last for 1 hour. This ability cannot be used on magic items, and an arcanovore cannot absorb her own spells or abilities.
Deplete Power(Su): The attacks of an arcanovore are now extremely dangerous to spellcasters and anyone who uses mental attributes to draw power. 3/day as a standard action the arcanovore can make a ‘deplete power’ attack with her magebane weapon. If it hits no hp damage is caused, but it instead deals temporary ability damage to a mental attribute. The damage dealt is equal to the arcanovore’s charisma modifier. The attribute is whichever one the target draws his or her power from (Cha for sorcerers, Int for mages, Wis for clerics, Cha for spell-like abilities or psi-like abilities, etc). If the target relies on multiple attributes, one is randomly affected. Creatures that don't have spellcasting, psionics, spell-like, or psi-like abilities aren't affected. The target may make a Will save (DC 10 + class level + Cha modifier) to avoid ability loss. Failure indicates that he or she may lose access to spells due to the ability loss. Points lost return at the rate of 1 point per day (or double with complete bed rest).
Seal Magic (Su): Starting at 8th level, an arcanovore can temporarily neutralize arcane spellcasting and spell-like abilities by reading and disrupting the flow of arcane energies. Three times per day she may make a melee touch attack as a standard action requiring a special caster level check to be made. The target rolls (1d20 + caster level + relevant ability modifier) against the arcanovore’s roll (1d20 + Spellcraft + Cha modifier). If the target scores lower than the arcanovore, they are unable to use arcane spells or spell-like abilities for 1d3+1 rounds.
Magedoom Weapon (Ex): At 9th level an arcanovore’s magebane weapon becomes a magedoom weapon. Its enhancement bonus is now considered 3 higher than normal against arcane magic users and creatures with spell-like abilities, and an extra 4d6 points of damage are dealt against such targets. Furthermore, any critical hits scored count as if they were critical using the mageslayer (Su) ability and require a similar Fortitude save vs destruction. This does not use up the daily use of mageslayer, but the attack does not retroactively receive a bonus to damage equal to class level.
Destroy Magic (Sp): Upon reaching 10th level an arcanovore is anathema to all magic, and can permanently destroy magical effects and even disjoin magic items and their enchantments. Three times per week, an arcanovore can use a modified version of Mordenkainen's (Mage's) Disjunction. It is the same as the spell in every way except that its radius of effect is 20 feet. Caster level for this ability is equivalent to the arcanovore's caster level for spell-like abilities.
Playing an Arcanovore
Combat: Arcanovores are decent melee combatants, especially if they have lots of outsider HD. They seek out and target arcane spellcasters, neutralizing their casting ability and rendering them ineffective in the battle. An arcanovore's smite arcane and mageslayer abilities are then used to finish off the enemy once they are weakened. They can also destroy area effects and spells placed on party members with the reject arcane and spelleater abilities. Taking the quicken spell-like ability feat for magebind allows for immediate cornering of spellcasters without wasting a move or attack action in a potentially critical first round.
Advancement: It's best to take as many levels of arcanovore as you can in sequence to get the abilities you want, then move on to other classes or outsider HD. Multiclassing choices depend on whether you would want to be a stalker, a spellslinger, or a basher type mage killer.
Resources: Considering their autonomy and the secretive tasks undertaken by the order, Baatorian arcanovores have a good information network and resource pool at their disposal, at least in the lower planes. Most of the time arcanovores work alone, but it is not unheard of for them to work in small teams of 3-10. All 222 are never assembled in one place at one time, and members are often only familiar with those they have worked with previously. Orders are handed down by adherents called 'eyes' of the order.
Baatorian Arcanovores in the World
|“||No, I have nothing against spellcasters. I myself am one. You ask why then have I ravaged your eyries and hunted your order mercilessly, doggedly, and without rest these past months until only you remain? I pursue you because it is what I was made for. I kill you because it is what I am good at.||”|
|—Sadrisa, erinyes arcanovore ranger, to a cowering wizard|
NPC Reactions: Most NPCs wouldn't know what a Baatorian arcanovore is. Those that do are likely to be characters in the know who are leery of dealing with some of Hell's special soldiers. Mages in particular would probably take an immediate dislike to them.
Baatorian Arcanovore Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (planes) can research Baatorian arcanovore to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|18||Baatorian arcanovores are some kind of specialized soldiers from the Nine Hells.|
|20||They are adept at slaying arcane spellcasters.|
|27||There is a small, fixed number of them and they work for an order outside of Hell's normal chain of command.|
|32||They have a brand located somewhere on their body that confers great powers, but also certain weaknesses.|
Baatorian Arcanovores in the Game
The arcanovores of Baator usually keep their own council. When not on missions, they are likely to be honing their skills while traveling or waiting in a Hellish citadel. As NPCs they could be villains targeting the party or targeting an ally of the party. As a PC class they could be escorts or servants of another PC, or a party leader who uses the other PCs to help complete the tasks he is assigned.
Adaptation and Notes: The Baatorian arcanovores can be used as is in any campaign where the lower planes exist, or the flavor can be modified to better fit in with your universe. This class was originally made for NPCs in a Planescape-like campaign with outsider PCs, and it is admittedly a powerful class. But outsiders themselves are powerful even without class levels, unlike PCs of normal races. Compared to gaining outsider HD, this class receives fewer hp, slower BAB advancement, and considerably less skill points per level. They also do not gain some of the benefits that may come with advancing outsider HD. It does offer a wide variety of useful abilities for outsider characters, however. Much of the inspiration for these abilities came from the Hellbreaker, Hellreaver, and Occult Slayer WoTC PrCs, adapted and consolidated especially for extraplanar characters. Tieflings are an attractive normal PC class option, since they have the extraplanar subtype, although it would be up to you how they manage to get spell resistance.