Archdeacon (3.5e Class)

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Archdeacons have dedicated their lives to the service of divine beings as have the cleric or the paladin and is very similar to the bishop. Indeed, one might even call the Archdeacon a protestant or apostate bishop, as they are so very similar but with significant differences. As when a bishop learns to be a bishop, the Archdeacon is presented with three paths to choose from: he may choose to be the cold, intelligent, and calculating priest (int), the lucid, insightful, and wise prelate (wis), or the fervent, confident, and passionate missionary (chr).

Making an Archdeacon[edit]

Archdeacons are known for their superior versatility, and have an advantage to be able to act how they seek best serve their needs, the needs of their companions and their gods. Archdeacons, while prevalent in but a few weapons and no armor, are a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.

Abilities: Like the bishop, Archdeacons must decide which ability score is most important to them. At first level, an archdeacon must decide whether to base their spellcasting ability off of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. Whichever of these ability scores the Archdeacon selects, that one will inexplicably become the most important to a him. The second and third most important ability scores to an Archdeacon will always be Constitution and Dexterity, so that he can have some extra hit points to compensate for their low HD, and to adjust for their low AC that sprouts from their lack of proficiency in armor. Dexterity also helps to raise the saving throw bonus of the class' lowest save. Next in importance come the two mental ability scores that the bishop did not select as the ability score that their spellcasting would be based on. Strength is not recommended for this class.

Races: Any.

Alignment: Unlike a cleric, an Archdeacon does not need to stay within one step of their gods alignment to keep their powers. In fact, a lawful evil Archdeacon could very easily worship a chaotic good deity.

Starting Gold: 6d6×10 gp (210 gp).

Starting Age: Complex, As wizard.

Table: The Archdeacon

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day1
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Grace of God (Ex) 3 1+1
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 4 2+1
3rd +1 +3 +1 +3 4 2+1 1+1
4th +2 +4 +1 +4 5 3+1 2+1
5th +2 +4 +1 +4 Bonus Feat 5 3+1 2+1 1+1
6th +3 +5 +2 +5 5 3+1 3+1 2+1
7th +3 +5 +2 +5 Divine Fate (Ex) 6 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1
8th +4 +6 +2 +6 6 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1
9th +4 +6 +3 +6 6 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1
10th +5 +7 +3 +7 Bonus Feat 6 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1
11th +5 +7 +3 +7 6 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1
12th +6/+1 +8 +4 +8 6 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1
13th +6/+1 +8 +4 +8 Gods Power (Su) 6 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1
14th +7/+2 +9 +4 +9 6 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1
15th +7/+2 +9 +5 +9 Bonus Feat 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1
16th +8/+3 +10 +5 +10 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1
17th +8/+3 +10 +5 +10 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1
18th +9/+4 +11 +6 +11 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1
19th +9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Sacred Aura (Ex) 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1
20th +10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Bonus Feat 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 4+1 4+1
  1. In addition to the stated number of spells per day for 1st-through 9th-level spells, an Archdeacon gets a domain spell for each spell level, starting at 1st. The "+1" in the entries on this table represents that spell. Domain spells are in addition to any bonus spells the Archdeacon may receive for having a high Wisdom score.

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis)

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Archdeacon.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Archdeacons are proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield. The Archdeacon also has access to a special weapon, the Shepherd's Crook which works exactly the same as the quarterstaff, but also allows the Archbishop a +4 to trip attacks which cause no damage to an adjacent foe if the trip is successful. If the trip attack fails, the Archdeacon can drop the crook to avoid being tripped himself. In addition, when using the crook, attack roles add the Dexterity Modifier, instead of Strength, as with the Weapon Finesse feat. This is the only weapon to which this rule applies for the Archdeacon.

Aura (Ex): An Archdeacon of a chaotic, evil, good, or lawful deity has a particularly powerful aura corresponding to the deity’s alignment (see the detect good spell for details). Archdeacons who don’t worship a specific deity but choose the Chaotic, Evil, Good, or Lawful domain have a similarly powerful aura of the corresponding alignment.

Spells: An Archdeacon casts divine spells, which are drawn from the cleric spell list and faces no alignment restrictions as to what spells he may choose to cast as Archdeacons are able to justify the use of power to achieve the will of their God, or advance their own, sometimes complicated, philosophies.

At first level, an Archdeacon selects one of his mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma), in order for him to cast a spell, an Archdeacon must have a score in the selected ability score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an Archdeacon’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the Archdeacon’s selected ability modifier.

Like other spellcasters, an Archdeacon can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Archdeacon. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high score in his selected ability score. An Archdeacon also gets one domain spell of each spell level he can cast, starting at 1st level. When an Archdeacon prepares a spell in a domain spell slot, it must come from his domains (see Deity, Domains, and Domain Spells, below).

Unlike Bishops, the Archdeacon does not keep his spells in a book. Through years of study he has learned prayers and spells, and has memorized all the spells available from the cleric spell list. However, he can only use the spells when he has the appropriate caster level and available slots in his daily allotment. The Archdeacon must pray or meditate for 1 hour each day to regain his daily allotment of spells. Unlike the Cleric, he does not need to choose which spells to prepare for the day, but instead is able to cast any spells he knows so long as he is powerful enough to use them and has not used his allotted spell number for the day. Also, unlike Clerics, the Archdeacon has no automatic abilities against the undead.

Deity, Domains, and Domain Spells: An Archdeacons’s deity or personal philosophy influences what magic he can perform and how others see him. An Archdeacon chooses one domain from among those belonging to his deity. An Archdeacon can select an alignment domain (Chaos, Evil, Good, or Law) only if his alignment matches that domain.

If an Archdeacon is not devoted to a particular deity, he still selects one domain to represent his spiritual inclinations and abilities. The restriction on alignment domains still applies.

Each domain gives the Archdeacon access to a domain spell at each spell level he can cast, from 1st on up, as well as a granted power. The Archdeacon gets the granted powers of the domain selected.

With access to one domain spell at a given spell level, an Archdeacon prepares one spell from each level that he can cast from that domain each day, in his domain spell slot. If a domain spell is not on the cleric spell list, he can prepare it only in his domain spell slot. He can sacrifice a domain spell for another spell available to him of equal or lesser caster level should he so choose.

Grace of God (Ex): Like Bishops, Archdeacons are servants of the divine entities known as gods, and this makes them feared foes upon the battlefield. At first level, an Archdeacon gains the ability to add the ability score that they selected for their spellcasting ability to all of their saves (If an Archdeacon selected Wisdom for their spellcasting ability, then this allows them to add their Wisdom to their Will save twice).

Bonus feat: At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level, the Archdeacon gains a bonus feat. At each such opportunity, he can choose a metamagic feat or an item creation feat. He must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including caster level minimums.

These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. The Archdeacon is not limited to the categories of item creation feats or metamagic feats when choosing these feats.

Divine Fate (Ex): Archdeacons are nearly impossible to stop in any battle in which they take part: at seventh level, an Archdeacon gains the ability to add the ability score that they selected for their spellcasting ability to their AC.

Gods Power (Su): Archdeacons eventually gain the ability to focus themselves, and channel the force of their god's power with such conviction, that it seems nothing can bear their ability. At thirteenth level, an Archdeacon gains the ability to, a number of times a day equal to ⅛ the Archdeacon's levels in Archdeacon, sacrifice a single spell that they have prepared (of 6th level or lower) in order to, immediately afterwards, cast the sacrificed spell as a supernatural ability. For this supernatural casting of the spell, the save DC changes from (10 + the spell level + the Archdeacons’s selected ability modifier) to (DC 10 + half the Archdeacon's Hit Die + the Archdeacon’s selected ability modifier)

Sacred Aura (Su): An Archdeacon eventually becomes a force to channel the divine energies of the universe, and this can be plainly seen in the way they affect the world around them. At nineteenth level, whenever the Archdeacon prays or meditates, he may select a single spell of 6th level or lower that has a range of ‘personal’, and prepare it in a special way: as long as a particular spell is prepared with this class feature, then the Archdeacon is under its effects. If the Archdeacon is struck with a dispel or enters an antimagic field, then the spell temporarily ends, and reactivates again either three rounds after the dispelling occurred, or three rounds after the bishop leaves the antimagic field. Additionally, the Archdeacon can sacrifice the spell slot that the spell that has been prepared in, thereby ending the effects of this class feature, and have the spell be transferred to anyone within (100 feet + 10 feet/caster level) of the Archdeacon, of whom he is aware. The spell is treated as it normally would be if it is transferred this way.

Epic Archdeacon, or Archbishop[edit]

Table: The Archbishop

Hit Die: d4

Level Special
21st Now known as Archbishop
23rd Bonus Feat
26th Bonus Feat
29th Bonus Feat
30th Divine Agent (Ex

6 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Divine Agent (Ex): At 30th level an Archbishop's mind truly begins to channel the infinite energies that are the divine forces of existence, becoming a new force upon the face of reality. At this point the Archbishop gains a +4 inherent bonus to whichever ability score he chose at first level to be his main spellcasting ability. Additionally, the Archbishop gains the ability to cast 3 spells of 5th level or lower that he knows as spell-like abilities. Also, the Archbishop's type changes to outsider, and he gains the augmented subtype, with his origninal type next to it. The Archbishop can still be raised normally. Additionally, the Archbishop never has to pay an XP cost less than 5,000 XP again, and any XP cost that he has to pay, is lowered by 5,000 points.

Bonus Feats: The Archbishop gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic bishop bonus feats) every three levels after 20th.

Archbishop Bonus Feat List: Augmented Alchemy, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Combat Casting, Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Epic Rod, Craft Epic Staff, Craft Epic Wondrous Item, Efficient Item Creation, Enhance Spell, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Forge Epic Ring, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Multispell, Permanent Emanation, Scribe Epic Scroll, Spell Focus, Spell Knowledge, Spell Penetration, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic. In addition to the feats on this list, an Archdeacon may select any item creation feat or metamagic feat not listed here.

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