Phoenix (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Editing: Sample character/encounter.


The wicked ones burned and all there beheld the might of a Phoenix.
—Char Grill, Half-Elf Phoenix, Clay Tablet of Ignus Xin Eof

Phoenixes are students of the legendary bird of fire, the phoenix, hoping to glean ancient knowledge from it. A Phoenix is a proselyte of the Plane of Fire, an embodiment of its lustrous and deadly beauty. They are dangerous melee combatants with spellcasting abilities, capable of even consuming the fire around them to keep themselves alive. They have a flair for flamboyant shows of their magical prowess and are always seeking power to bolster their magical talents.

Becoming a Phoenix[edit]

Phoenix are commonly drawn from the druid class. Immortality is a mystery that every mortal longs after and many alchemists have pursued this quest and failed. This class grants the acolyte of the phoenix a chance at immortality, and also a number of exceptional fire based abilities. Awesome power and legendary renowned garnered from this prestige class await those who follow this fiery trail.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Any Good
BAB: +3
Proficiencies: medium armor.
Special Must have survived a week in the Plane of Fire.
Special Must have the wildshape ability.

Table: The Phoenix

Hit Die: d8

Level B.A.B. Saving Throws Special Spellcasting
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Wildshape, Warm Blooded, Flameskin +1 level of existing spellcasting class
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Phoenix Phorm, Fire Orb +1 level of existing spellcasting class
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Caustic Healing +1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Rebirth +1 level of existing spellcasting class
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Fire Immunity +1 level of existing spellcasting class

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Speak Language, Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Phoenix.

Spellcasting: At every level, the Phoenix gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before adding the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained, except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming an phoenix, she must decide to which class she adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.

Wildshape (Ex): At level 1, each level of phoenix counts as a level of druid for the purposes of determining the duration and number of wildshape uses per day, and the size and type of creatures she is able to transform into.

Warm Blooded (Ex): At level 1, the phoenix and her animal companion have become attuned to heat as if they were burning with actual fire; they no longer succumb to the dangers of hot areas such as deserts. If the Phoenix has Trackless Step (Ex), the Phoenix can leave a trail of ash in natural surroundings which is easily tracked, giving anyone looking a trail +20 to a search check.

Flameskin (Ex): at level 1, the phoenix and her animal companion have become attuned to the fiery elements. The phoenix and her animal companion gain +1 Natural Armor and fire resistance 10 and an additional +1 Natural Armor and +5 fire resistance every other odd level levels after (At lvl 5, Max +3 Nat Armor, 20 Fire Resistance). These bonuses stack with similar bonuses while in alternate forms.

Phoenix Form (Su) At level 2, a phoenix can use their wildshape to transform into a magnificent, brightly plumaged phoenix. This phoenix wildshape form is only available to the phoenix prestige class.

  • A phoenix retains her ability to speak while in phoenix form and she can communicate normally with other birds.
  • Phoenix Form statistics:
    • Size: Large | Type: Magical Beast (Fire)
    • Speed: 20ft, fly 50 ft. (perfect)
    • Abilities: str=18 dex=20 con=16
    • Natural Armor: +5
    • Full Attack: 2 talons melee (1d6) + bite (1d8)
    • Racial feats: Flyby Attack, Wingover, Multi-attack
    • Racial Skill Bonuses: +8 Spot, +8 Fly, +8 Knowledge (History)

At character level 15, the Phoenix Form's statistics improve:

    • Size= Huge | type=Magical Beast (Fire)
    • Speed: 30ft, fly 70 ft. (perfect)
    • Abilities: str=22 dex=18 con=20
    • Natural Armor: +8
    • Full Attack= 2 talons melee (1d8) + bite (2d6)
    • Racial feats: Flyby Attack, Wingover, Multi-attack, Hover
    • Racial Skill Bonuses: +12 Spot, +12 Fly, +12 Knowledge (History)

At character level 20, the Phoenix Form's statistics improve:

    • Size= Gargantuan | type=Magical Beast (Fire)
    • Speed: 40ft, fly 100 ft. (perfect)
    • Abilities: str=30 dex=18 con=24
    • Natural Armor: +11
    • Full Attack= 2 talons melee (2d6) + bite (3d6)
    • Racial feats: Flyby Attack, Wingover, Multi-attack, Hover, Snatch
    • Racial Skill Bonuses: +20 Spot, +20 Fly, +20 Knowledge (History)

Fire Orb (Su): At level 2, as a swift action, a phoenix can conjure several flaming orbs in her open hands (or appendages). The Fire Orbs harm neither you nor your equipment. One Fire Orb can occupy one appendage at a time. The Fire Orbs can be used as part of an melee attack against enemies. When you can strike an opponent with an unarmed or armed melee attack, or natural attack, each attack deals additional fire damage equal to 1d6 +1/3 caster levels (rounded down) and expends 1 Fire Orb. The number of Fire Orbs that can be conjured per day is equal to her wisdom modifier + 1/caster level.

Caustic Healing (Ex): At level 3, 1 day/4 caster levels, a phoenix can channel stored spell energy to simultaneously deal fire damage as an area effect and heal herself. As a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity, she can "lose" a prepared spell in order to deal 2d6 fire damage/spell level in a 15ft radius centered on her. If at least one enemy suffers fire damage this way, you heal 1d8/5 character levels + 1/caster level.

Rebirth (Su) At level 5, if a phoenix dies, her body bursts into flame, dealing 1d12 fire damage/character level to everything within 5 feet, and turning her body into ash. 1d4 days later, the ash reforms into a new body of adulthood age. When her body reforms, she permanently lose 1 phoenix level and 1 point Constitution. This level loss and constitution loss is unpreventable, and these levels cannot be restored by anything short of a wish spell. A phoenix restored to life by other means does not suffer this loss.

Fire Immunity (Ex): At level 10, a phoenix and her animal companion both gain immunity to fire and gain vulnerability to cold.

Description of the phoenix creature[edit]

A typical Phoenix.

This regal creature looks like a large peacock, but with vibrant orange, red and yellow plumage, a crest, and long, trailing tail feathers. Its feathers emanate ephemeral wisps of flame.

Phoenixes are rumored to come from the Elemental Plane of Fire. They are intelligent creatures and pride themselves on their beauty. They are fascinated by all forms of magic and have a fondness for magical items, but only a few actually cast spells. These magical birds live very long lives due to their unique way of cheating death, by immolating themselves at the end of their lifespan, and from the ashes, the phoenix is reborn. Phoenixes tend to live in dry deserts and are elusive and hard to find, though the feathers are of great value to alchemists as regents. A fledgingly phoenix is about 5 feet from tail to beak, and has a wingspan of 14 feet. It weighs about 40 pounds. Phoenixes speak Common, Celestial, and Ignan.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Phoenix[edit]

Combat: Phoenix are melee combatants with blazing magical abilities. They are very effective charging into melee combat, then unleashing powerful area spells, catching as many enemies in them as possible.

Advancement: Phoenix typically focus on gaining levels as a phoenix, though some take a levels druids, depending on the direction they want to focus.

Resources: Because of their vanity, phoenixes not social with other phoenixes and they are more likely to be found in competition with one another rather than working together.

Phoenix in the World[edit]

This town is under my protection. Move along or risk fiery death.
—Firenze, Human Phoenix

Phoenix are wanderers, always seeking power. Sometimes a phoenix may find a small town or a village that they protect from harm, but they could move on as quickly as they came, with no warning.

NPC Reactions: Most Phoenix are respected openly, but still feared by most for fiery wrath.

Phoenix Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) can research Phoenix to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Arcana)
DC Result
11 Phoenix are powerful fire mages.
16 Phoenix are able shape-shift into fiery birds.
21 Phoenix eventually gain the ability to absorb fire that would normally harm them in order to heal themselves.

Phoenix in the Game[edit]

Phoenix are enigmatic, power-hungry mages, rarely encountered in peaceful areas. A phoenix might appear as the protector of a desert, an oasis, a small town, or as a wandering mercenary, but they all have the same desire: to gain power.

Adaptation: Phoenix like druids can be difficult to balance against other player characters. If they prove overwhelming, try throwing monsters that deal cold damage or cannot be attacked with natural weapons.

Sample Encounter: Firenze, a marginally skilled phoenix, defends the small town of Drake's Hollow from raiders, thieves, and the like. The PC's could meet her while wandering the town, see her fighting a group of savage humanoids raiding the town, or even end up fighting her themselves if they end up disrupting the peace in the town.

EL 7: Firenze


CR 7

Human Fighter 5/Phoenix 5
Neutral Good Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init/Senses +5/Listen −1, Spot −1
Languages Common, Elven
AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 21
(+2 Dex, +8 Armor)
hp 76 (2d10+5d6 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +5/+2/+5
Speed 30 ft.
Base Atk/Grp +10/+10
Abilities Str 15, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 9, Wis 19, Cha 12
SQ Fire Resistance 15, Spirit of Fire +2
Feats Improved Initiative, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Spell Focus (Evocation), Greater Spell Focus (Evocation), Toughness
Skills Bluff +11, Concentration +13, Decipher Script +9, Knowledge (Arcana) +9, Spellcraft +9
Possessions +3 Flaming Longsword, +2 Leather Armor, Gloves of Dexterity +2, Amulet of Natural Armor +2, 365 gp

Firenze is a powerful fire-wielding warrior known as a phoenix. She has recently taken it upon herself to protect the town of Drake's Hollow from those who would bring harm upon it. Firenze has a rather wiry frame, making her appear less powerful than she actually is. She has short, reddish hair, and auburn eyes.

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