Flame Crusader (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||They will burn... they will all burn.||”|
Flame Crusaders are those who have become one with fire. They're not so much a part of it that they're physical form changes, but they gain a mastery of it unparalleled by most other beings.
Becoming a Flame Crusader
Flame Crusaders can be from any background. Those who have angered a powerful being are just as likely to be Flame Crusaders as those who seek the powers of fire on their own. The most important abilities for a Flame Crusader are Strength and Dexterity for combat, Charisma (for certain skills), and Constitution (for hit points).
|Base Attack Bonus:||+6.|
|Skills:||Intimidate 4 ranks.|
|Proficiencies:||Proficient with a martial weapon.|
|Special:||Must have been exposed to constant flame for at least 1 hours (magical or otherwise).|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Fire Resistance 10, Fire Specialization, Sphere|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Breath Fire (Blast 15 ft.), Ignite|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Fire Resistance 15|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+1||Breath Fire (Blast 20 ft.)|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Fire Resistance 20, Sphere|
|6th||+6||+5||+5||+2||Breath Fire (Blast 25 ft.), Greater Ignite|
|8th||+8||+6||+6||+2||Elemental Shape, Breath Fire (Blast 30 ft.)|
|10th||+10||+7||+7||+3||Flaming Body, Elemental Swarm, Expert Ignite|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the Flame Crusader.
Fire Resistance (Ex): 1st level Flame Crusaders have Fire Resistance 10. This Fire Resistance increases by 5 every other level thereafter up to 5th level (Fire Resistance 20).
Fire Specialization (Su): A Flame Crusader chooses 1 type of fire damage from Divine Fire, Hellfire, or Plasma Fire when he becomes 1st level. All fire damage that the Flame Crusader deals due to class features (other than damage dealt by his Sphere Ability) become this type of damage, and are not subject to Fire Resistance.
Spheres: At 1st level, a Flame Crusader can choose 1 sphere between the Fire or Pyre spheres . The choice is permanent and the Flame Crusader gains basic access to this sphere. For determining the maximum spell level that can be cast from his chosen sphere treat his caster level as equal his Flame Cursader level. A Flame Crusader can use this ability as many times as (Flame Crusader level/2 rounded down + 3) a day while access is considered basic. The sphere is not considered Psionic unless Psionic spheres were known before hand or learned later. When considered Psionic, cost uses power points and not granted uses via Flame Crusader. If he has Basic or Greater access to both Spheres as a Psion, he may choose any other 1 sphere that he does not have Basic or greater access to. At fifth level, this access increases to Advanced having a use of (Flame Crusader level/2 rounded up + 5) a day, and at 9th level the access becomes Expert-level with a usability of (Flame Crusader level + 2 or Charisma Modifier whichever is higher) per day. A Flame Crusader that has achieved Expert-level now treats his caster level for his sphere as equal to his current hit dice.
Breathe Fire (Su): Upon reaching 2nd level, a Flame Crusader gains the ability to breathe fire. The breath weapon is a 15ft. cone originating from the Flame Crusader and does 1d6 points of fire damage per level + the Flame Crusader's Charisma Modifier. (Reflex DC for half damage: 10 + Flame Crusader level + Charisma Modifier). The size of this cone increases by 5 ft. x 5 ft. every other level up to 8th (Blast 30 ft.).
Ignite (Su): A Flame Crusader chooses 1 of the two Ignite specializations upon reaching level 2:
Ignite Others: The Flame Crusader can spend a full action to light 1 target within close range on fire. Unattended objects get no saving throw, but living subjects and objects that are being carried or held can make a Will or Relfex (subject's choice) saving throw (DC: The Flame Crusader's ranks in Intimidate) to avoid being lit on fire. If the flame is put out, a Flame Crusader can spend an Immediate Action to rekindle it immediately (treating the subject as though the flame were never actually put out. There is no save for this.), but may only take a partial action during his next turn.
Ignite Weapons: The Flame Crusader may use a standard action to light his weapon on fire. The weapon gives off light like a torch (20 ft. illumination), and is treated as flaming (attacks made with the weapon deal 1d6 extra fire damage). When cancelled with a spell with the [Cold] Descriptor or a water spell, the flame goes out. However, the Flame Crusader can simply reignite his blade as a standard action. When taken into ability repression fields or areas of extreme cold, the flame also goes out and the Flame Crusader cannot use his ability until he leaves. But the weapon reignites itself once it exits the field, not the cold (so long as the Flame Crusader is still holding on to it). A standard action must be used to reignite the weapon if exiting an area of extreme cold. These effects only work for weapons that the Flame Crusader is holding or his unarmed attacks. Only one weapon may be affected at a time. The effect does not stack for weapons that are already treated as flaming.
Greater Ignite (Su): At 6th level, a Flame Crusader increases the power of his Ignite specialization:
Greater Ignite Others: This replaces Ignite Others. The Flame Crusader picks either Reflex or Will when he gains this class feature. As a move-equivalent action, a Flame Crusader can target anything within medium range and light it on fire once per round. Unattended objects do not get a saving throw, but attended objects or creatures get a Reflex or Will saving throw (the Flame Crusader designated this when he gained the class feature) to avoid being lit on fire (DC: The Flame Crusader's ranks in Intimidate). If the fire is put out, a Flame Crusader may spend an Immediate Action to rekindle the flame (treating the subject as though the flame were never actually put out. There is no save for this.), but may only take a partial action during his next turn.
Greater Ignite Weapons: This builds off of Ignite Weapons. When the Flame Crusader ignites his weapon, it is also treated as a flaming burst weapon. This effect does not stack with weapons that are already treated as flaming burst.
Fire Immunity (Ex): At 7th level, a Flame Crusader takes no damage from fire. He also gains vulnerability to cold, which means he takes half as much (+50%) damage as normal from cold, regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed, or if the save is a success or failure.
Elemental Shape (Su): When he reaches 8th level, a Flame Crusader gains the ability to transform himself into a fire elemental a number of times per day equal to half his Charisma Modifier (rounded down) or 1 whichever is greater. acting as polymorph except as noted here, but as a supernatural ability. He cannot take any other form except for a Fire Elemental from small to huge. The Flame Crusader cannot assume the shape of an elemental of greater hit dice than his own. If a character's code of conduct prohibits this transformation, he can instead use an ability similar to wall of fire once per day per three levels of Flame Crusader he has. Additional damage caused by "caster level" when creatures pass through is not taken into account since the flame is not magical and is locked at +4.
Incinerate (Su): At 9th level, a Flame Crusader gains a powerful new attack to bypass foes with strong defenses. The Flame Crusader is able to use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma Modifier (if positive) + 1. The Flame Crusader makes a melee touch attack against his target, if successful the target takes 2d8 per class level points of fire damage.
Flaming body (Sp): At 10th level, the Flame Crusader gains a passive control over fire that manifests itself as a shield of flame. The effects are equivalent to fire shield (Warm Shield) except as noted here. The Flame Crusader's caster level is treated as equal to his current hit dice. The maximum duration of the spell is equal to 1 minute per caster level and deals 1d6+1 damage per 3 caster levels. The Flame Crusader is able to use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma Modifier + 3. Igniting the shield is a swift action and can be dispelled as free action.
Elemental Swarm (Su): At 10th level, a Flame Crusader may use the spell elemental swarm once per day to summon fire elementals as a Druid of his level. The durations between the appearances of elementals is also halved.
Expert Ignite (Su): A 10th level Flame Crusader upgrades his Ignite specialization to one of the following:
Expert Ignite Others: This builds off of Greater Ignite Others. A Flame Crusader with this ability also gains a 5 ft. radius passive aura of flame. Aside from his mount and objects on his person, flammable things will burn and objects that melt in fire will melt. Those within the aura take 1d6 + the Flame Crusader's BAB + his Charisma mod (if positive) damage (Reflex save for half). A Flame Crusader can deactivate the aura as a free action, but must spend a standard action to bring it back.
Expert Ignite Weapons: This builds off of Greater Ignite Weapons. A Flame Crusader who has specialized in using weaponry all the time is now a combatant to behold. He increases his fire damage bonus from igniting his weapon from 1d6 to 2d6, he increases his threat range by 2 (after calculating other threat range increases, such as keen weapons.) and increases his critical multiplier by 1 for weapons that he uses, as long as he is proficient in them and has used the weapon to deal fire damage before.
Playing a Flame Crusader
Combat: Flame Crusaders are strongly attached to fire, and strongly desire to add their ability to burn things into every combat. The common Flame Crusader strategy is to light their opponents or opponents' possesions on fire and then run up and attack those dealing with the flames. If a creature has fire resistance, Flame Crusaders usually leave it alone, or may befriend it (they hold respect for those with similar powers to them).
Advancement: Flame Crusaders usually come from the ranks of paladins, fighters, knights, and barbarians, and may go back into that class if he decides to end his work as a Flame Crusader. Flame Crusaders are not recommended to class into spellcasting-intensive classes, because the strategies of the two just don't coexist well.
Resources: Flame Crusaders are usually isolated from each other, due to their rarity. They develop a respect, but not empathy for others of their kind, and will kindly cooperate with other Flame Crusaders; they just won't create guilds or anything of the sort. Flame Crusaders can expect to recieve attention and (maybe) even respect from creatures of fire, such as Fire Elementals, Gold and Red Dragons, Efreets, Salamanders, Magmins, and the like.
Flame Crusaders in the World
|“||Fire and Chaos were the first two things to exist in this universe. They are the most basic and fundamental elements which compose all of our bodies and minds. I, who have embodied the forces of fire, am an advocate for half of the powers of the universe. Get out of my way or face the consequences...||”|
Flame Crusaders are not always crusading. They're usually lonely outcasts from a society that doesn't understand them. Lawful Flame Crusaders enlist to fight with powerful Lawful beings (deities, powerful kings, celestials or devils), while Chaotic Flame Crusaders live lives of constant adventure, spending their time in any way that doesn't involve following rules. Flame Crusaders are also well-known for their vendettas, and can be found in pursuit of certain figures to obtain vengeance for some wrongdoing (commonly their creation. After all, burning alive for an hour isn't well-known to cause cheerfulness)
NPC Reactions: Flame Crusaders are usually avoided due to stories (usually overexaggerated ones) that tell of the havoc they have wreaked over the many planes. They aren't always feared, but people are usually wary of them (especially when their body lights on fire or they ignite an object by staring at it.).
Flame Crusader Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcane) or Knowledge (The planes) can research Flame Crusaders to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Flame Crusaders are those who have combined the powers of fire with combat. Belial, Archduke of the Fourth Hell of Baator, is a powerful Flame Crusader.|
|16||Flame Crusaders can carry vendettas with them, usually against the one who made them the way they are. Others serve powerful beings as right-hand men, generals, or powerful bodyguards.|
|21||The only way to become a Flame Crusader is through constant exposure to fire for about an hour. Beings who live through (or are revived after) the experience find themselves attuned to the enthralling ways of fire.|
|26||The Blood War, which has raged on since near after the creation of the Outer Planes, has been traced to the actions of a group of knightly warriors, one of which was a Flame Crusader.|
Flame Crusaders in the Game
Flame Crusaders are not to be reckoned with lightly. They posses a power unmatched by many, and are commonly revered as strong warriors on the battlefront. Outside of battle, though, a Flame Crusader can be just about anything. He could serve a powerful fiend, employ powerful fiends, train would-be warriors in the ways of battle, and could even have a family and close friends.
Adaptation: Because Flame Crusaders are quite versatile in their backgrounds, you can fit the above class traits into just about any campaign (changing the cosmology, making the class more common, changing the special requirement, etc.)