Hooded Pupil (3.5e Prestige Class)
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The Hooded Pupil is a person who was lured by the promises of necromancy, envious of the power the necromancer wields and the unending existence the vampire enjoys, but yet are not ready to relinquish life.
Hooded Pupils are usually found serving an "apprenticeship" with a more powerful intelligent undead. The undead master sometimes has need for living servants to advance its ends in societies of the living. On the other hand, the living pupil sees firsthand what it means to fully embrace the darkness.
Hooded Pupils are usually only created when a powerful undead bequeaths a secret of necromancy to one who accepts its truth. As testament to their apprenticeship, Hooded Pupils are most often dressed in some sort of ominous hooded mantle.
Becoming a Hooded Pupil
|Special:||Must submit to a greater necromantic power.|
|1st||+0||+1||+0||+1||Drink Blood, Resistance to Cold, +1 Str, +1 Skills||+1 level of any existing spellcasting class|
|2nd||+1||+1||+0||+1||+1 AC, +1 Wis, +1 Cha, Bonus Feat||+1 level of any existing spellcasting class|
|3rd||+2||+2||+1||+2||Clutch of Orcus, +1 Str, Bonus Feat, +2 Skills||+1 level of any existing spellcasting class|
|4th||+3||+2||+1||+2||+2 AC, Spider Climb, +1 Wis, +1 Cha, Bonus Feat||+1 level of any existing spellcasting class|
All of the following are class features of the Hooded Pupil.
Spellcasting: At each level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a Hooded Pupil, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.
Drink Blood (Su): At first level, once per day, a Hooded Pupil can suck blood from a living victim who has damage that is yet unhealed. It does so by making a successful grapple check (it usually prefers to use this ability on foes that are already helpless). Against a pinned or helpless foe, it drinks blood, dealing 2 points of Constitution damage.
Resistance to Cold (Ex): At first level, Hooded Pupils gain resistance to cold 5.
Clutch of Orcus (Sp): At 3rd level, once per day, a Hooded Pupil can use the spell Clutch of Orcus. Caster Level 10th. The Save DC is Charisma-based.
Spider Climb (Su): At 4th level, Hooded Pupils can climb sheer surfaces as though with a Spider Climb spell.
Natural Armor Bonus: The Hooded Pupil gains a natural armor bonus of +1 at 2nd level as its skin thickens into an all-encompassing yellow callus. This bonus increases to +2 at 4th level.
Skill Bonuses: At first level, the Hooded Pupil gains a +1 bonus to Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot checks. This bonus increases to +2 at 4th level.
Bonus Feats: The Hooded Pupil may choose Alertness, Improved Initiative, or Lightning Reflexes as a bonus feat at levels 2, 3, and 4.
Playing a Hooded Pupil
Combat: Hooded Pupils have a greater combat ability than most spellcasters with the unholy power granted by their masters. A Hooded Pupil will usually begin combat by using Clutch of Orcus on any great threats. Once it has the opportunity, it will grapple the weakest enemy and attempt to drink its blood.
Advancement: I intended to use this monster class as a precurser for humanoids who wish to become Liches later on. I have also created another monster class which creates a Lich over four levels.
Resources: Hooded Pupils usually serve in evil necromantic cults under greater necromancers.
Hooded Pupils in the Game
Hooded Pupils work into the game as servants to more powerful undead or necromancers. They are those who desire to embrace the power of necromancy, but are not yet willing to embrace death itself.
Adaptation: I created this as an alternative for PCs who wanted to acquire the Hooded Pupil template from the Libris Mortis without requiring the horrific +4 Level Adjustment. Instead of +4 LA, they just gain the template over 4 levels. I created this for my campaign where mortals can join a evil temple where they are taught the secrets of necromancy and slowly become a Hooded Pupil and then from there transform slowly into a Lich.