Deathlock (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||...Highpass was beaten. An army of orcs, goblins and ogres was swarming up out of the valleys below like blood from an open wound, everything in their wake dead and burning. We were all sure we were done for then, but suddenly the mountain heaved and Orcs and other terrors went flying in all directions, burning. Lightning struck from above, again, and again, and again. I don't know how long those white-hot bolts kept falling, but to me it seemed like hours - my whole body was numb and I could barely hear by the time they stopped. I slowly looked up, towards the valley below, at what had been a forested descent into a large fertile valley full of crops - nothing of it remained but blacked and blasted rock. Nothing remained at all of the enemy army, and for just an instant I felt the thrill of victory. Then a man in a black cloak landed on the wall, and he leaned down to me and said 'well, what do you know. Somebody survived.' He laughed like a madman as he faded away like a foul specter. I stared past where he had been, though - at what remained of my once-proud fortress. Except for the small patch of wall I was standing on, Highpass, with all of its 8000 residents, was gone.||”|
|—Lord Rupert Highpass, sole survivor of the Highpass Massacre|
Deathlocks are among the most destructive forces in existence, with only a few infernal beings and deities beyond them. Born out of nothing but the desire for power and destruction, these twisted individuals live for the sole purpose of inventing new ways of destroying large sections of the mortal world, if not ways to kill the gods themselves. As a result, they have absolutely no interest in upholding any form of law or order laid down by even divine authority.
Becoming a Deathlock
Wizards consumed by the desire for power will gradually become Deathlocks.
|Skills:||Concentration 20, Spellcraft 20, Knowledge(arcana) 20.|
|Feats:||Silent Spell, Still Spell, Empower Spell|
|Spellcasting:||Must have at least one 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th level spell that inflicts damage.|
|Special:||Undergoes Ethereal-Material Transmutation when class selected|
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Summon Epic Familiar, Scribe Scroll, Epic Spell||5||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||The Essence of Magic||5||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Magical Genius, Bonus Feat, Epic Spell||7||5||4||2||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|10th||+5||+3||+3||+7||Bonus Feat, Epic Spell||9||7||6||5||4||3||—||—||—||—|
|15th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+9||Destruction Distilled, Epic Spell||9||9||9||8||7||6||5||4||2||—|
|20th||+10/+5||+6||+6||+12||Bonus Feat, Terror of the Deathlock, Epic Spell||9||9||9||9||9||9||8||7||6||5|
All of the following are class features of the Deathlock.
Ethereal-Material Transmutation: Recreate your character. Re-roll each stat with a d20, discarding all values below 14 and re-rolling. All skills other than spellcraft, concentration, and Knowledge(any) are returned to 0, with those that are not lost entirely reduced by half. All non-meta-magic feats are lost. Character Level is returned to 1 and experience to 0. All spells that inflict damage are retained, but you may not keep your familiar. Your character from now on will appear youthful, regardless of their age, and their hair grows approximately one foot a day, resulting in frequent trimmings. All items in your inventory are destroyed except for your spellbook(if applicable) and one other magical item(this ignores plot items). Add 2 to wisdom, Charisma, and Intelligence after re-rolling. You level with a level adjustment of +3. For the purpose of gaining feats, your character is treated as an Epic, spontaneous arcane spell-caster.
Epic Spells: At 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level, a Deathlock has an arcane epiphany and learns an epic spell. This can be any epic spell from the standard epic spell list or created.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Deathlocks can wear light armor and are proficient with daggers only. Any arcane spell failure percentage for light armor can be ignored, but is tripled if the Deathlock attempts to wear medium or heavy armor. Deathlocks can also choose to become proficient in certain weapons via bonus feats.
Summon Epic Familiar: Epic Familiars are far more powerful than a wizard or sorcerers familiar - they are the melee protectors of their master. In this regard they are somewhat similar to the Druid's animal companion, with the key difference that Epic Familiars are intelligent. Refer to the Epic Familiar section for a list of selectable Epic Familiars and their progression table.
The Essence of Magic: You drain magical energy from your surrounds(or the Weave, if playing in Forgotten Realms). Every turn you gain the equivalent energy of one level 1 spell, and you can choose as a free action to transform that energy into a level 1 spell or allow it to continue accumulating, thus having the energy of a level 2 spell on the next turn, which you must choose to turn into a level 2 spell or continue accumulating, and so on so forth. After gaining the equivalent of a level 10 spell's energy, you can transform it into a level 9 and a level 1 spell. This accumulation continues up to 20th level energy, and does not accumulate at all if you have all of your spell slots. This magic regeneration can be used to restore a lost Epic spell slot by spending the max 20th level equivalent power. If you have 20th level spell equivalent power charged but do not spend it, you do not accumulate more spell energy even if you have spent spell slots.
Magical Genius: Whenever you reach an odd level (starting at level 5), you are now allowed to select a single spell from the Deathlock spell pool in addition to normal spell acquisition (refer to Wizard for details). You can have no more than three Deathlock spells prepared, and each one consumes one epic spell slot. Magical Genius automatically grants the ability to cast epic spells if you could not already.
Focused Emotion: You may select one arcane spell that you know and apply the effects of the empower, extend, maximize, heighten, quicken, still and silent spell feats to it. This spell must be an attack spell. It can then be cast whenever the Deathlock or one of his allies has lost half of their hit points, as a full round action that does not consume any spell slots. Once activated, all allies of the Deathlock are unaffected by the spell. The spell selected cannot be a Deathlock spell or Epic spell.
Eternal Suffering: Once per day you may select one successfully cast attack spell. Double all variables attached to that spell. The target(s) must make a will save(DC 35) or else be wracked with pain for 2 turns + duration of the spell. They cannot perform any action while wracked with pain.
Destruction Distilled: Once per day, select any single arcane lightning, fire, or ice elemental spell and triple its damage. This spell will also count as a non-selective area of effect spell equaling (5 x character level)ft in effect, with the caster immune to its effects. All terrain in the spell effect suffers heavy damage from the spell. Lightning magic blasts craters in the ground (and/or destroys any ceiling) halving movement rates over affected terrain, ice magic causes everything to freeze to the point where any movement results in the destruction of ground underfoot and a thirty-foot fall, and fire attacks turn affected areas into shallow lava, dealing 2d6 fire damage per turn to any creature standing in it. Only the space occupied by the caster is unaffected.
Mighty Devourer: Automatically obtain the Deathlock spell "Mighty Devourer" from the spell pool if you do not already have it. When casting this spell, it no longer affects allies and the caster can choose to distribute the acquired health as he wishes to any party members.
Terror of the Deathlock: Select one Deathlock spell and four arcane spells from your spell list. Apply all metamagic feats you know to each of these spells, and for the purposes of Destruction Distilled and Eternal Suffering, treat these spells as a single use. These spells can then be cast as a full round action simultaneously. They occupy their original spell slots + 3 level 9 slots, 2 level 8 slots, and one epic spell slot.
Spellcasting: A Deathlock can acquire 2 new arcane spells per available spell level when leveling up and their caster level is computed by character level + wisdom modifier. Deathlocks do not receive bonus spells for any stat modifier and must spend one hour in meditation or else lose the benefit of Essence of Magic and have only 2 spells of each level the next day(does not affect epic spells). They must receive a minimum of 5 hours of sleep every 24 hours, or else lose the use of their Epic spells. This does not effect the use of Deathlock Abilities except Terror of the Deathlock - while in this depleted state, Deathlocks can sacrifice all cast-able spells to execute Terror of the Deathlock, but lose consciousness for 2d4 hours afterwords.
Bonus Feats: All Metamagic feats, Combat Casting, Dodge, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (spiked chain or whip), Martial Weapon Proficiency (scythe), Quick draw, Run, Spell Focus, Spell Specialization.
Deathlock Spells: Deathlocks have their own pool of 20 spells which the character may begin learning at level 5. Each of these spells is counted as an epic spell. Additionally, even if more epic slots are available, no more than 3 Deathlock spells can be used per day.
Lightning Falling Like Rain: This spell deals out 5d6 + (1d6)*(caster level) lightning damage to an area 20ft x caster level in radius. Targeted area must be in line of sight, and all enemies within affected area are stunned and lose their next turn. Even enemies immune to lightning damage will lose their turn.
Black-Steel Lances: This spell creates 1 lance per caster level arranged in a circle around the caster. Each lance can then be used to attack any enemy within eyesight individually, dealing 1d8 + Wisdom modifier damage per lance. Enemies struck by a lance are considered impaled, and will need to use a full-turn action to remove the lance or suffer 1d8 damage each turn they leave it alone and be unable to move. If an enemy is struck by multiple lances, the effects stack and they will need to sacrifice a full turn to remove just one lance.
Infernal Wave: Creates a wall of Flame 40ft wide and 40ft tall in front of the caster which then moves forward at 100ft per turn for 10 turns. When it comes in contact with a creature, that creature takes 5d10 + 1d10 * (caster level) fire damage and must make a Fortitude saving throw(DC 24) or burst into flames, taking an additional 1d10 damage each turn for the remaining duration of the spell.
The Black Wind: For every caster level, the caster is now in possession of a "black wind" effect. He can either have these effects surround him, nullifying 5 damage per effect as Damage Reduction, or he can send as many as four of them to attack per turn as a free action. When a black wind effect strikes a creature, they take 2d6 damage and must make a will save(DC 30) or suffer fear, and a will save(DC 15) or be rendered "wind-touched", and incapable of performing any action other than mumbling and taking 5-foot steps for 5 + caster level turns. Black Wind effects dissipate after 5+caster level turns even if they are just used as a shield.
Internal Growth: Cast on a single target creature, the targeted creature increases one size category and gains 12 to strength, constitution, and dexterity. However, 10 turns after the spell is cast, the target creature returns to normal and their hp is automatically reduced to -9. The Deathlock cannot target himself with this spell.
Spontaneous Glaciation: All creatures within 30ft + 10ft x caster level take 6d8 ice damage and must make a will save(DC 26) or instantly be frozen solid. Every turn thereafter, they must make a fortitude save(DC 25) in order to thaw out. For every turn frozen, they take 2d10 damage and when(if) they thaw, they are considered helpless until they have a restoration spell or similar effect used on them.
White Light of Devastation: All creatures directly in the caster's line of sight(10ft wide) take 8d10 + 2d10 * caster's level damage. Those whose hit points drop below 0 are vaporized.
Steel Meteor Shower: select a target. For an area 40ft around and including that target, 10 x caster's level flaming steel orbs fall to the earth, dealing 1d6 bludgeoning and 1d6 fire damage per orb to all in the spell area. Creatures must make a fortitude saving throw(DC 30) or be crippled in a limb of the caster's choice. Note that damage dealt it per orb - you must still choose how many orbs hit which targets.
Accursed Blade of the Moon: Conjures a luminescent great sword with weight equal to a dagger. Treat this as a +10 great sword for attacks that also deals 5d6 fire and 5d6 ice damage, with a range of ten feet. To use this spell, the caster must already have a bladed weapon drawn. The sword remains in effect for a maximum of 15 turns, but can be dispelled at will. The caster is treated as proficient with accursed blade of the moon and uses it one handed, as it is weightless. The sword can be handed off to others and terminated at the Deathlock's will.
Mighty Devourer: The caster is transformed into a life magnet when this spell is activated. All creatures within 40ft take 2d6 damage per caster level per turn and the Deathlock recovers an equal amount of health to the total damage dealt. Any creature the Deathlock is standing directly next to suffers twice the damage. The spell persists for 5 turns.
Acid Surge: Causes any nearby body of water - or other liquid - to transform into extremely potent acid. It then surges to fill 40 5ft cubes with acid, dealing 1d6 x caster level acid damage for the next 3 turns. All creatures and objects susceptible to acid take damage, including the caster if he is within the designated range. This spell cannot be used without a large enough body of liquid. The cubes can be in any designated location, even suspended in mid-air.
Angry Stone: All stone and earth within 40ft of the Deathlock rumbles and then suddenly rises into many sharp stone or clay pillars, stabbing or cutting those within range. Deals 1d8 x caster level damage and transforms a 40ft radius into hazardous terrain that deals 2d4 damage to anyone trying to move through it. Reflex save for half damage. The area occupied by the Deathlock is excluded.
Sound Wave: The Deathlock creates focused sonic energy and releases it by making a noise(speaking, snapping fingers, clapping, etc). In addition to being heard miles off as a thunderous boom, it throws all objects not fastened down to 60ft from the Deathlock, simultaneously dealing 1d6 x caster level damage to living things, 1d8 x caster level damage to metal objects, and 1d12 x caster level damage to stone or crystal objects within that 60ft range. All structure hardness is ignored for calculating damage done to the surroundings. All creatures within 120ft take half damage, but structures merely shake.
Void Touch: The Deathlocks hands become sheathed in black energy and they execute a touch attack against a target. If successful, that target is momentarily enveloped in black energy and is erased from existence. If a god is targeted, they have a 2 x divine rank chance of taking 200d6 damage instead. Those killed by this effect can only be revived by a Greater Deity directly intervening on their behalf, or by a Wish spell utilizing the destroyed individuals True Name.
Disjoint Reality: Reality is distorted within 100ft of the Deathlock and gripped by insanity. All creatures within undergo a spontaneous alignment and racial change, and objects twist into bizarre shapes. Gravity functions erratically(25% no gravity, 25 % normal, 50% pulls in a random direction every turn) and spells cast within it have a 90% failure chance. 1d4 Primal elementals spawn from the most prevalent substance and begin attacking everything hostile to the deathlock. All effects persist for 10 rounds, then end completely. During this time, the Deathlock may choose to submit to the same effects or ignore them.
Don't Ever Touch Me!: can be cast on any friendly individual within 40ft. Once cast, for one hour all physical or immaterial attacks targeted at the recipient of the spell are thrust back by an unseen force and dealt 5d6 bludgeoning damage. For projectiles, they are merely knocked back.
Epic Familiars are selected at level 1 and progress alongside the Deathlock. You may select any creature from the Druid animal companion list as well as the following: Ankheg, Basalisk, Blink Dog, Very Young Dragon(chromatic or metallic only), Griffon, Hieracosphinx, Krenshar, Phase Spider, or Worg. Additionally you can select a basic familiar - it will be able to transform into a corresponding animal from the Druid's animal companion list. Whatever creature you select, the following are different from a normal creature of its species.
- If the Epic Familiars intelligence, charisma, or wisdom is less than ten, equal that stat to ten.
- Epic Familiars can speak one language their master can speak in addition to any natural languages.
- Epic Familiars can be summoned magically as if by a Greater Teleport spell to their master at any time.
- Epic Familiars cannot be killed - when reduced to -10 hit points, they dissipate into thin air and reform 24 hours later.
|1st-2nd||2||+1||+1||10||Alertness, Improved Evasion, Share Spells, Empathic Link|
|3rd-4th||4||+2||+2||11||Deliver Touch Spells|
|5th-6th||4||+4||+4||12||Speak with Master, Familiar Spell|
|7th-8th||6||+5||+5||13||Speak with Animals of Its Kind|
|13th-14th||10||+9||+9||17||Scry on Familiar, Familiar Spell|
Blood Bomb: When the Familiar's hit points reach -10, they explode, dealing bludgeoning damage equal to 1/2 their max hit points to all adjacent creatures. The Deathlock can choose to suppress this effect. It does not affect the reformation time of the Epic Familiar.
If a Deathlock's alignment shifts away from chaotic for any reason, they lose the use of any Deathlock spells and feats, and their spell cap per level is reduced to 5. If their alignment is shifted back within a day, no other penalties apply. if the change persists, they will have their spell cap reduced once every week.
Playing a Deathlock
Combat: Deathlocks are phenomenally dangerous spellcasters, but like all spellcasters are quite susceptible to physical attacks. Deathlocks should stay to the back with at least 2 melee combatants between him and any enemies.
Advancement: Once a Deathlock reaches level 20, they can no longer increase their level in Deathlock. They may multiclass at level 20 only.
Resources: Deathlocks normally spend a great deal of time alone, but there is a Circle of Deathlocks. The circle is brazen to the point of meeting in broad daylight, often in highly populated areas, but for the most part will simply be seen as unusually young wizards. The circle will not aid a Deathlock except to provide some limited reagents and a variety of artifacts and occasionally a spellbook, retrieved from the corpse of one of their members. if a large enough threat appears, the Circle will eradicate it. None have appeared yet.
Deathlocks in the World
|“||What does it mean to be a Deathlock? Its amusing, quite entertaining, in fact. And terrifying. I sometimes wake up at night after having some inspiration and just have to test it out, but I'm always a bit afraid I might accidentally vaporize some poor farmer, or even a town. But I'm not exactly typical; most of my kind wouldn't care one way or another if their magic wiped out a few people. Most wouldn't care if they erased a kingdom.||”|
|—Eseiran Rechai, human Deathlock|
Deathlocks are rather rare. In all of Faerun, as an example, no more than 40 of them exist. They are solitary, sometimes spending decades working on some magical conundrum, and very rarely set out to adventure for any reason. When they do, their attachment to people around them is tenuous, though occasionally they will get attached. Young Deathlocks(200yrs or less) may even fall in love, but due to their virtual immortality such feelings will ultimately be short lived.
Player Interactions: Each Deathlock has a very different way of thinking about others, but most regard other classes as inferior to varying degrees. In particular they dislike fighters, rogues and barbarians, who do not possess any form of magic. Deathlocks also recognize that these classes are dangerous to them. Very rarely, Deathlocks will take a wizard or sorcerer as an apprentice. Deathlocks are much more likely to be romantically interested in another spell-caster than in a physical combatant, though if they do develop feelings for, say, a fighter, they often harbor feelings of pity for that individuals inability to use magic.
NPC Reactions: Very few individuals can tell a Deathlock on sight, with only very powerful wizards or sorcerers being able to see them for what they are. Meeting a Deathlock, for a wizard, is a bit like meeting a god; they've met a being that is virtually immortal, powerful beyond imagining. Most spellcasters who encounter a Deathlock will desire to become one themselves from then on.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge(arcane) skill can research Deathlocks to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Deathlocks consume the magic around them, giving them potentially limitless power.|
|16||A Deathlocks familiar cannot be killed and does not age as long as the Deathlock is alive.|
|21||Deathlocks are immortal. While they can be killed, they do not age.|
|26||A Deathlocks Astral body grows in size as they age, eventually reaching the level of a god(after about 4000yrs).|
Deathlocks in the Game
Deathlocks are almost perfect as villains, but as players they're rather overpowered. Due to their magical studies, they may also be viable quest givers, sending players to fetch materials or test objects for them. Players choosing to upgrade from wizard to Deathlock should beware the early levels, however - it might only take one encounter to get to level 6, but you will probably have Hit Points less than 30 for that epic-level encounter.
Adaptation: A Deathlock might be found living in a sophisticated magical lab deep underground, or in the middle of a desert, or even in the remains of a dragon's lair. As a recently transformed Deathlock is already extremely powerful, you could have a level 1 or two Deathlock causing difficulties for a town or city.
Sample Encounter: Your party walks into a town they visited recently to discover that a number of citizens are gone and perhaps the local wizard's store is a crater. You may also note some local official banning the use of magic within the city. Further investigation reveals that a Wizard transformed himself into a Deathlock during your absence and Destroyed his former home and did some rather nasty things to some townspeople. You may either move on or try to bring justice to - or recruit - the Deathlock.
Leadership: Deathlocks may never, at any time, be mere followers, and only a Deathlock at least 6 levels lower than the leader character may be a cohort. Deathlocks may take the leadership feat, but suffer a -4 penalty to their leadership score due to their near-insanity.