Desert Nomad (3.5e Class)

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Desert Nomad
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Desert Nomad[edit]

The Desert Nomads travel the desert in large groups, making camps when they need rest. They also have trade posts in various deserts for travelers to buy goods from. All Sand Nomads carry a Type III Bag of Holding filled with magic, regenerating sand. The bag is enchanted to be half as light as a normal bag, and unbreakable by any means. It cannot be dispelled.

Skilled fighters, the Desert Nomads claim the deserts of the world as their own kingdom. There is rumor of a King, but no one has ever seen him.

Desert Nomads make good company with those they trust, and once you gain their trust they consider you 'family'. The Nomads love to drink, especially after a victory. It is not uncommon to find a Nomad with a drink in each hand before, and after a battle.

Making a Desert Nomad[edit]

Desert Nomads are capable warriors, and protectors of a magical sand.

Abilities: Desert Nomads are quick, and strong fighters, and are able to use a special, magical sand. Constitution, Dexterity, and Wisdom are the most important stats.

Races: The original Desert Nomads were human, but they are willing to accept anyone who wishes to join their ranks. Normally anyone who has been a Desert Nomad for any length of time will have darker skin than others of their race.

Alignment: Any, but most are lawful because they are a tight-knit community.

Starting Gold: 500 Gold

Starting Age: Any.

Table: The Desert Nomad

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +0 +0 Survivalist, Sand-Walker, Basic Sand Control, Sand Attack, Fist of Sand, Fasting
2nd +1 +3 +0 +0 Toughness, Sand Grapple,
3rd +2 +3 +1 +1 Sandstorm, Keen Eye, Dodge
4th +3 +4 +1 +1 Basic Sand Armor, Wall of Sand
5th +3 +4 +1 +1 Swift Feet, Main Gauche
6th +4 +5 +2 +2 Experienced Adventurer I, Instant Awakening
7th +5 +5 +2 +2 Guard Training, Quicksand
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +2 Improved Dodge
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +3 Wall of Sand II
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +3 Improved Sand Armor
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +3
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +4 Experienced Adventurer II, Complete Sand Control
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +4 Immediate Dodge
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +4 Wall of Sand III
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +5 Colored Sand
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Greater Sand Armor
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Experienced Adventurer III
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Sand Tomb
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Last Ditch

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Listen (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge [Desert] (Int), Ride (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Use Rope (Dex), Jump (Str), Concentration (Con), Survival (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Desert Nomad.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Desert Nomads are proficient with all Simple and Martial Weapons. They may also start with the feat to wield with proficiency one (1) Exotic Weapon, OR to gain the ability to dual wield, using any light weapon in the off hand (making the penalty -2/-2).

Desert Nomads are proficient with light armor, and may use only bucklers and light wooden shields without penalty.

Skills and Abilities[edit]

Survivalist: Living your life in the harsh desert has its benefits. The Desert Nomad gains 5 Cold and Fire DR at level 1, and it increases by 2 every 3 levels (maximum of -17 DR Cold/Fire at level 19).

Fasting: You are able to ignore the effects of hunger and thirst for up to six days without suffering any ill effects. After six days you must eat and drink normally for at least three days before fasting again.

Sand-Walker: Walking in the sand for years has strengthened your legs, allowing you to walk on rough terrain without affecting your movement. However, growing up with a lack of large bodies of water leaves your ability to swim hindered. -5 on all Swim Checks, and -3 to all checks in more than knee-deep water.[This negative effect is removed at level 12]

Basic Sand Control: A Desert Nomad may use the sand in their Bag of Holding, but they must first touch the sand.

Complete Sand Control: A Desert Nomad may now use the sand in their Bag of Holding, without touching it.

Dodge: During your action, you designate an opponent and receive a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class against attacks from that opponent.

Improved Dodge: The dodge bonus to Armor Class that you receive from the Dodge feat now applies against all attacks, not only those of one specific opponent.

Immediate Dodge: As an immediate action, you can elect to give up your next turn to perform the total defense combat action, thus gaining the appropriate dodge bonus to your armor class against incoming attacks (+4 dodge bonus, or +6 dodge bonus if you have five ranks or more of Tumble).

You must be able to apply your Dexterity bonus to AC against the attack, and you must declare this immediate action before the attacker makes their attack roll. Your initiative does not change; you simply do not take an action on your next turn. You gain this dodge bonus until the next time your initiative comes up after your "skipped" turn.

You can’t make attacks of opportunity while using the total defense combat action. An immediate action can be taken at any point, even when it's not your turn.

Instant Awakening: When subject to an attack while asleep, you may make an immediate Reflex save (DC 15) to awaken and defend yourself normally. On a successful save you are not considered helpless or surprised, so you are not vulnerable to a coup de grace, and you may take a standard action in the surprise round (if one occurs); roll for initiative and resolve attacks normally. You may still be considered flat-footed if your initiative is worse than your attacker's.

Sand Attack: [Range: 10 feet] By throwing a handful of sand at the opponent, the Desert Nomad can attempt to blind them. If the target is blinded the character cannot see. He takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class, loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any), moves at half speed, and takes a –4 penalty on Search checks and on most Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks. All checks and activities that rely on vision (such as Reading and Spot checks) automatically fail. All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) to the blinded character.

Once per round, the target may choose to use an action to wipe the sand from their eyes. They need to make a DC check of 16 or higher. If they succeed, they are free from blindness, and no longer take a penalty. If the Sand Nomad tries to blind the same target, they can make a Reflex Save to see if they dodge the sand.

Fist of Sand: [Range: 5th level - 20 feet/10th level - 30 feet/15th level - 40 feet] The Desert Nomad may use a handful of sand to create a floating fist, that he can fire like a ranged touch attack at an opponent for 5+1d8 damage, and it can hit up to 3 times before returning back to the bag. First attack uses 5+1d8, second uses 3+1d6, and the third uses 1+1d4. At 5th level, 10th level, and 15th level you add 1 more dice roll per hit (Max of 5+3d8, 3+3d6, and 1+3d4 at 15th level). This can be used 5 times/day.

Quicksand: [Range (From Caster): 15 feet] Clenching your fists then shaking them loose, you transform a 10-foot radius area of land into 8-foot deep quicksand. It appears not to have changed but when a small or larger creature steps on it, the ground is actually more liquid and the creature sinks 1 foot into it unless it succeeds on a Reflex save in which case the creature stops just after disturbing the surface. The area may also be noticed by a DC 20 Spot check.

Creatures that sink into the quicksand continue sinking at a rate of 1 foot per round. They may not move anything in the quicksand and thus cannot swim out of it until freed from the original foot. This is done by succeeding on a DC 25 Strength check or DC 18 Escape Artist check where the creature raises 2 feet out of the quicksand. Alternatively, someone may assist trapped creatures by pulling them out with rope or any other object the creature can grab onto, in which case they rise at the same rate. Once above the quicksand, the creature must make it out in a single move action at a max move speed of its base land speed. Otherwise, it sinks a foot into the quicksand once again.

Those that do not make it out of the quicksand cannot be seen from ground level. They are also considered paralyzed due to the insane pressure of the sand, and are suffocating. If they are still underground when the technique ends, they are entombed beneath the ground. Any part of a creature caught when the technique ends is trapped in the earth and requires a Strength check or Escape Artist check as defined by the type of ground they are stuck in. Moist earth or very dry ground is a DC 18, in-between is a DC 20, other materials are defined by the DM based on these things. If half of the creature is stuck below ground, increase the DC by 4. If the creature's arms are completely underground (including below the arms), increase the DC by 10.

Toughness: Living in the desert is never easy. With this feat you gain +3 HP. This ability stacks, adding +3 HP at level 2, and every 2 levels after that (Max +30 HP at 20th level).

Sand Grapple: [Range: 2nd level - 15 feet/10th level - 30 feet] The Desert Nomad must take a full round action to take 4 hand fulls of sand out, and on the next turn may use it to encase an enemy in sand. The target must make a grapple check, and if they fail they are constricted for 1+1d4 rounds. Each round they take 3+1d6 bludgeoning damage. At 10th level, the Sand Grapple ability gains Improved Grapple and the damage increases to 10+3d10. At level 2 this can be used 2 times/day, at level 10 it can be used 5 times/day.

With "Complete Sand Control" you can use Sand Grapple as a move action.

Sandstorm: [Range (From Caster): 3rd level - 20 feet/9th level - 40 feet/15th level - 60 feet] Using 2 full round actions with 8 hand fulls of sand, you can summon a sandstorm around a group of enemies. The sandstorm has an center, the place where the sand was originally cast upon and is also where the most damage is done. Any enemies caught in the sandstorm are blinded, and have their movement speed reduced by 1/2. The range for the sandstorm is 15 feet in a circle, from the center. Anyone caught within 5ft of the center is immobilized for 1+1d4 rounds, and takes 2+4d6 damage per round. If you are 10 feet away or more, you can still move but at 1/2 speed, and take 2d6 damage per round as long as you are in the sandstorm. This can be used 1/day.

At 9th level, the range of the storm is doubled (30 ft), the immobilize becomes 2+1d6 rounds and you add 2+2d6 to each damage roll within the sandstorm (4+6d6 at the center, and 2+4d6 at 15ft). This can be used 1/day.

At 15th level, the range is of the storm tripled (45 ft), the immobilize becomes 3+2d6 rounds and you add 3+4d6 to each damage roll within the sandstorm (7+10d6 at the center, and 5+8d6 at 15ft). This can be used 1/day.

With "Complete Sand Control" you can use Sandstorm as a single turn standard action.

Keen Eye: Life in the desert has made your eyes as tough as your body. You are immune to becoming Blinded.

Basic Sand Armor: You cover yourself in sand providing yourself with strong armor that has health equal to 3d6 plus your class level. HP is removed from the armor before your health. The armor is visible as it is the color of sand and covers your entire body except your head. It also cracks as it is damaged. This can be used 2 times/day.

Improved Sand Armor: Your ability to shield yourself with your sand is greatly improved. The sand armor now has health equal to 6d6 plus your class level. This can be used 3 times/day.

With "Complete Sand Control" you can also add half your CON modifier to the armors HP.

Greater Sand Armor: Your ability to shield yourself with your sand is vastly improved. The sand armor now has health equal to 12d8 plus your class level. This can be used 4 times/day.

Move Speed is reduced to 10 ft/sec

With "Complete Sand Control" you can also add your CON modifier to the armors HP.

Wall of Sand I: You can create a 3 foot wall of sand in a line up to 10 feet long. The wall has 10 HP. If used as an immediate action (to trip an enemy or defend an ally) you lose your turn that round. Can be used 3 times/day.

Wall of Sand II: You can create a 6 foot wall of sand in a line up to 15 feet long. The wall has 20 HP. If used as an immediate action (to trip/block an enemy or defend an ally) you lose your turn that round. Can be used 4 times/day.

Wall of Sand III: You can create a 9 foot wall of sand in a line up to 20 feet long. The wall has 30 HP. If used as an immediate action (to trip/block an enemy or defend an ally) you lose your turn that round. Can be used 5 times/day.

Swift Feet: At 5th level: Add +5' to your base movement rate when wearing light armor or less. At 10th level: Add +10' to your base movement rate when wearing light armor or less.

Experienced Adventurer I: Experience has taught you a few lessons about staying alive. You gain a +1 Bonus to your Will, Reflex, and Fortitude Saves.

Experienced Adventurer II: Experience has taught you a few more lessons about staying alive. You gain a +3 Bonus to your Will, Reflex, and Fortitude Saves. You've also learned to swim by now, so you lose the negative effects you had from the start of your adventure.

Experienced Adventurer III: Experience has taught you enough lessons about staying alive, that you could walk through a mine-field without hurting yourself. You gain a +5 Bonus to your Will, Reflex, and Fortitude Saves.

Main Gauche: If you are using a light off-hand weapon, or even holding a buckler, hat or rolled up cloak in your off hand, you can use your off-hand weapon to defend. It also works with a double weapon. You must make a full-round attack, and you are giving up all off-hand attacks for the round. This gives you a +4 bonus to Armor Class and a -2 penalty to attack.

Sand Tomb: The ultimate sand attack, you must first grab the target using Sand Grapple. Then you must wait 2+1d4 turns, to concentrate the spell. If the opponent is still held by the Sand Grapple, you summon a ball of sand that completely covers the target, and begins crushing them. The Desert Nomad cannot move during this, as they need to be completely focused. The target is then crushed for 3 rounds, taking 10+10d10 damage per round. After 3 rounds, the Desert Nomad raises the ball into the air, and slams it down with such a force that anyone near the hit are knocked back 10-15 feet (based on how close they are to the impact) and are put into prone position. The target inside the ball, on collision with the ground takes 10+15d12 damage. If they are still alive, they are stunned, blinded, and prone for 1+2d4 rounds.

If the Desert Nomad is attacked while concentrating, the attacker gains an Attack of Opportunity and the Sand Nomad takes an additional 3d6 damage, as well as the attackers normal action. They also need to make a concentration or check, or add 1d4 to concentration for the turn(s).

If the Desert Nomad is attacked while the enemy is being crushed, he must make a fortitude save to keep them held in the ball. If they fail, the target is dropped and the Desert Nomad becomes stunned for 1d4 rounds. If you fail to make a concentration check during this step, the attack fails.

Last Ditch: The heart of a hero beats in your chest, allowing you one last attack. Whenever you are dropped in combat you may take a single attack at whatever dropped you (typically by dropping you to below 0 hit points or killing you), as long as the target is within your attack range. This attack is made at your base attack bonus and you get a special +2 morale bonus to hit and damage.

Colored Sand[edit]

At 15th level, the Desert Nomad may add a color to their sand. Each color provides a bonus, but only one color may be used. The choices are as follows:

Red Sand: Your sand becomes Crimson in color, and you gain an additional +10 Fire DR, and your Fist of Sand, and Sandstorm deals an additional 3d8 Fire Damage.

Blue Sand: Your sand becomes Cerulean in color, and you gain an additional +10 Cold DR, and your Fist of Sand, and Sandstorm deals an additional 3d8 Cold Damage.

Green Sand: Your sand becomes Jade in color, and you gain an additional +10 Acid DR, and your Fist of Sand, and Sandstorm deals an additional 3d8 Acid Damage.

White Sand: Your sand becomes Ivory in color, and you gain an additional +10 to your DR, and your Sand Armor heals your HP by 5 per round.

Black Sand: Your sand becomes Onyx in color, and you gain an additional +10 to your AR, and your Sand Armor deals 5 damage to enemies who touch you.

Ex-Desert Nomads[edit]

Once a Desert Nomad leaves the tribe he or she is from, they will be treated as a friendly outsider to the clan, meaning they may buy goods but cannot travel with them.

Epic Desert Nomads[edit]

Table: The Epic Desert Nomad

Hit Die: d12

Level Special
21st +1 Bonus Feat
22nd +2 to all saves
23rd Many Feats
24th +2 to Base Attack
26th +1 Bonus Feat
27th +4 to all saves
28th Many Feats
29th +4 to Base Attack
30th +2 to all stats

<-number of skill points-> + Int modifier skill points per level.

Human Desert Nomad Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Steel Scimitar, Steel Dagger, Bedroll, Flint, Water Pouch, Small Pouch of Dried Meats (3 days worth) .

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
<-Skill name-> <-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills-> <-Abbrieviated key ability-> <-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If innapplicable put "—"->
<-Skill name-> <-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills-> <-Abbrieviated key ability-> <-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If innapplicable put "—"->

<-copy and paste the rows as necessary.->

Feat: <-1st-level feat selection->.

Bonus Feats: Human Bonus Feat

Gear: Leather Wrappings, Dark Cloth Pants, White or Beige Cloth Shirt, Leather Vest, Head-wrap (see picture for looks).

Gold: 500 Gold

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Desert Nomad[edit]

Religion: Many Desert Nomads worship Helios Majora, the deity of Sun, Fire, and Travel. However, most choose to worship who they feel will help them most, be it many different deities or none.

Other Classes: The Desert Nomad is accustomed to travel in large groups, yet they are usually very wary of outsiders. If a Nomad trusts you, they will get along with you no matter what class you are.

Combat: Can fight defensively, or offensively based on how they act, and their outlook on battle in general.

Desert Nomads in the World[edit]

The more you struggle, the swifter your death shall be...
—Zalith, Human Desert Nomad

Daily Life: Normally a Desert Nomad, male or female will spend the early hours practicing Sand Control. Then they will go about their daily jobs

like patrolling, cooking, hunting, weaving and other normal tasks.

Organizations: Most Desert Nomads are found in various deserts across the world. However, you may find them at outposts they have built near Oasis'.

NPC Reactions: People treat Desert Nomads as they would anyone else, but since they rarely leave the desert not many people see them.


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