Bishop (3.5e Class)
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Bishops are the divine agents of the almighty entities known as 'gods', and stand tall, amongst the other divine emissaries of the world, such as the cleric or the paladin. When a bishop learns to be a bishop, he is presented with three paths to choose from. He may choose to be the cold, intelligent, and calculating priest, the lucid, insightful, and wise prelate, or the feverent, confident, and passionate missionary. No matter the path that is chosen, a bishop is a force to be reckoned with, whether they bear the words of salvation or damnation upon their lips.
Making a Bishop
Bishops can be paticularly powerful forces upon a battlefield, who can overwhelm foes with unerring power, and who can seemingly avoid every danger that befalls them, no matter how undodgable it may be. Bishops usually choose to stay in the background of a battle, choosing to decimate their foes and the rest of the world from afar, to avoid harm falling upon themselves. A bishop is truly a potent enemy to fight against, one who can surprise even the most veteran warriors.
Abilities: Bishops are an unusual class for one reason and one reason alone: they must decide which ability score is most important to them. At first level, a bishop must decide whether to base their spellcasting ability off of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. Whichever of these ability scores the bishop selects, that one will inexplicably become the most important to a bishop. The second and third most important ability scores to a bishop will always be Constitution and Dexterity, so that the bishop 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 a bishop.
Alignment: Unlike a cleric, a bishop does not need to stay within one step of their gods alignment to keep their powers. In fact, a lawful evil bishop could very easily worship a chaotic good deity.
Starting Gold: 6d6×10 gp (210 gp).
Starting Age: Complex, As wizard.
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day1|
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+2||Grace of God (Ex)||3||1+1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+3||+5||+2||+5||Divine Fate (Ex)||6||4+1||3+1||2+1||1+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||—||—|
|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|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the bishop.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Bishops are proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield.
Aura (Ex): A bishop 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). Bishops 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: A bishop casts divine spells, which are drawn from the cleric spell list.
At first level, a bishop selects one of his mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma), in order for him to cast prepare or cast a spell, a bishop 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 a bishop’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the bishop’s selected ability modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a bishop can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Bishop. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high score in his selected ability score. A bishop also gets one domain spell of each spell level he can cast, starting at 1st level. When a bishop prepares a spell in a domain spell slot, it must come from his domains (see Deity, Domains, and Domain Spells, below).
Bishops keep track of their spells in a Prayerbook that was granted to they when they first began to follow the path of the bishop. Each bishop must choose a time at which he must spend 1 hour each day in quiet contemplation while meditating over this Prayerbook to regain his daily allotment of spells. Time spent resting has no effect on whether a bishop can prepare spells. While meditating, the bishop decides which spells to prepare.
Deity, Domains, and Domain Spells: A bishop’s deity influences what magic he can perform and how others see him. A bishop chooses one domain from among those belonging to his deity. A bishop can select an alignment domain (Chaos, Evil, Good, or Law) only if his alignment matches that domain.
If a bishop 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 bishop access to a domain spell at each spell level he can cast, from 1st on up, as well as a granted power. The bishop gets the granted powers of the domain selected.
With access to one domain spell at a given spell level, a bishop 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, a bishop can prepare it only in his domain spell slot.
Prayerbooks: A bishop must meditate over his prayerbook each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his prayerbook, except for spells granted to him from his domain, which he can prepare from memory.
A bishop begins play with a prayerbook containing all 0-level cleric spells plus four 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of the bishops selected ability score bonus the bishop has, the prayerbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new bishop level, he gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new bishop level) for his prayerbook. At any time, a bishop can also add spells found in other bishops’ spellbooks or written on religious text to his own.
Grace of God (Ex): Bishops are servants of the divine entities known as gods, and this makes them feared foes upon the battlefield. At first level, a bishop gains the ability to add the ability modifier that they selected for their spellcasting ability to all of their saves (If a bishop 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, a bishop gains a bonus feat. At each such opportunity, he can choose a metamagic feat or an item creation feat. The bishop 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 bishop is not limited to the categories of item creation feats or metamagic feats when choosing these feats.
Divine Fate (Ex): Bishops are nearly impossbile to stop in any battle they take part in. At seventh level, a bishop gains the ability to add the ability modifier that they selected for their spellcasting ability to their AC.
Gods Power (Su): Bishops eventually gain the ability to focus themselves, and channel the force of their gods power with such conviction, that it seems nothing can bar their ability. At thirteenth level, a bishop gains the ability to, a number of times a day equal to ⅛ the bishops levels in bishop, 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 bishop’s selected ability modifier) to (DC 10 + half the bishop's Hit Die + the bishop’s selected ability modifier)
Sacred Aura (Su): A bishop 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 bishop prepares his daily spells in his Prayerbook, 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 bishop is under its effects. If the bishop 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 bishop 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 bishop, who he is aware of. The spell is treated as it normally would be if it is transferred this way.
|30th||Divine Agent (Ex), Bonus Feat|
6 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Divine Agent (Ex): At 30th level a bishop'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 bishop gains a +4 inherent bonus to whichever ability score he chose at first level to be his main spellcasting ability. Additionally, the bishop gains the ability to cast 3 spells of 5th level or lower that he knows as spell-like abilities. Also, the bishops type changes to outsider, and he gains the augmented subtype, with his origninal type next to it. The bishop can still be raised normally. Additionally, the bishop 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 epic bishop gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic bishop bonus feats) every five levels after 20th.
Epic Bishop 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, a bishop may select any item creation feat or metamagic feat not listed here.
Gray Elf Bishop Starting Package
Weapons: Light Crossbow
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.
Feat: Heighten Spell.
Gear: Bedroll, 12 Candles, Ink (10 oz.), Inkpen, Bullseye Lantern, Oil (6 pint flask), Paper (20 sheets), Belt Pouch, Sealing Wax, Signet Ring, Waterskin, Winter Blanket.
Gold: 100 gp.
Playing a Bishop
Religion: Bishops of every faith can be found in the world, from the pious, passionate clergyman of a church of a god who reigns over glory and justice, to the cold, calculating zealot of a cult of a pantheon of abominations. Though, no matter their paticular faiths, bishops are terrible forces to behold, who can turn away even the most resolute forces that oppose them. Of course, some bishops could not even follow a religion at all, and instead devote themselves to a paticular philosophy or manner of living. While these bishops aren't usually as organized as others of their kind, they are with no doubt, just as strong.
Other Classes: Bishops tend to vary in who they get along with depending on their faith. For example, a bishop who worships a dark, evil god could very quickly befriend a blackgaurd or a cleric of an evil diety. Controversely, a bishop who worships a good, kind god could find a connection with a paladin or a cleric of a good diety. Though, regardless, they tend to always have some find og connection with other spellcasters, be they wizards or sorcerers.
Combat: Bishops can usually fit into the role of the group buffer with extreme ease, what with their personal survivability allowing them to enter into the thick of battle and heal or strengthen their allies with as little harm coming to them as possible. At the same time, of course, they are capable of decimating the field of battle with but a thought, acting in as intense and aggresive ways as they can. At later levels, a bishop gains unnatural power, being able to overwhelm barriers that would otherwise stop magic in it's tracks, and crush their foes with a power that is rarely ever seen.
Advancement: Bishops always have many paths of advancement open to them, from the most subtle of routes, to the grandest, most destructive avenues imaginable. For example, a paticular bishop may look to the hierophant class, to provide themselves with more diverse ways of channeling thier divine power. On another hand, they may find the loremaster class to be enticing, for it's archaic mannerisms, and interesting symmetries. A paticular bishop may seek to take levels in thaumaturgist even, to allow themselves to bring their gods minions to the world with greater speed. Lastly, for those bishops who do not follow a set religion, they may be tempted by the fruits of arcane magic, and seek to take levels in sorcerer or wizard and then mystic theurge.
Bishops in the World
|“||The words I bear cannot be ignored, nor can they be endured.||”|
|—Eric Remiel, Aasimar Bishop|
Bishops can find themselves in any role, from the chilly dispositioned priest who guides young ones to be pious and good, according to the commandments of their religion, to the passionate and strong willed prelate who seeks to spread the word of their god, and strike down the enemies of their faith. Other bishops can find themselves coming into power that few others find themselves offered with, such as being the individual who an emporer seeks out for advice, or the ancient philosopher who men come to from around the world, just to meet.
Daily Life: The life of a bishop depends entirely on how they seek to live out their lives. For example, the day to day life of a bishop who chooses to follow a calm life as a priest may consist mostly of prayer and preaching. Or, on the other hand, a bishop who has sought to travel, and spread the words of their faith to the far reaches of the world may find that they are travelling every day, and meeting new people with each stop. Though, regardless, they will always have a connection to the divine that they can feel in their their daily lives.
Notables: Charles Ovoru, Male Human Bishop: the last true high priest of an ancient religion.
Kita Slate, Female Gnome Bishop: partook in a battle held between two deities, and survived.
Sean Petice, Male Wood Elf Bishop: was the right hand man of a long dead god for many years.
Organizations: Bishops who are part of an organization are usually priests or cultists, considering that their divine ability virtually anchors them into such positions. Though, it isn't uncommon for there to be wandering bishops who seek to spread the word of their faith alone. These bishops tend to shun organizations and rarely ever stay in the same place for long, instead always moving through the world, seeking out new people to spread the word to. Although, there are bishops who follow neither extreme, and merely serve as a preacher on a philosopher without actually being part of something larger.
NPC Reactions: An NPC's reaction to a bishop depends entirely on the NPC in question. For example, a paticular NPC could have a strong aversion to religion, and behave outrightly rude to a bishop. On another hand, an NPC could share a religion with the bishop, and recognize them for being a priest of their faith, and act very friendly to the bishop. Though, individuals who do not fall into these two groups tend to be indifferent, friendly, or aprehensive of the bishop, depending on the NPC.
Characters with ranks in knowledge (religion) can research bishops to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Bishops are individuals who can cast divine magic.|
|10||Bishops keep their spells in a prayerbook.|
|15||Bishops can channel the forces of the divine with a force that few can truly match.|
|20||Characters who get this result can know the names and locations of specific bishops and items related to them.|
Bishops in the Game
Bishops can be seen anywhere in this world, from the dark pits of an ancient dungeon that a local cult has claimed for themselves, to the pristine, white marble halls of a religious king, to the dusty, untrodden paths in the underside of civilization. Though, there is one thing about bishops that is set in stone, wherever they may be found, there is an almost palpable sense of divine energies in the air. Bishops are truly very powerful beings in this world, who can be found anywhere, and in any situation.
Adaptation: Bishops can fit into any campaign imaginable. For example, bishops could be the dark cultists who lead their followers to raise an ancient god from the depths of history, so that he may once again wreak havoc upon the wolrd. Or, bishops could be the individual followers of gods, and there may only be one for any paticular god. It is even possible for bishops to only be able to be found in a monestary floating in the astral plane.
Sample Encounter: Aaron Tagge grew up in a distant world, one that had no emotion, one that blended all together into a seamless stretch of grey. During the first half of his life he saw judges pass sentences without so much as batting an eye and men kill without a second thought. It seemed, from Aarons point of veiw, that the world was a bleak place, where hope was almost non-existant. Aaron was a cold man because of this, and he was dreaded by those who knew of him as the man he was. Though, he was not happy, and he knew this, and this knowledge slowly ate away at him, until, one day, he attempted to take his life. Though, he did not die, not then, for there was someone there, a travelling bishop who had entered the room Aaron had rented in the local tavern by mistake. This man cut Aaron down, healed him as fast as he could, and brought him to. During that night, the man chose to stay with Aaron, and speak to him, talk to him about why he tried to kill himself. That night lasted longer than most nights, it seemed, and the two men talked about many things, from the dim prospect that was Aarons life, to the exotic corners of the map that the bishop had travelled to. Eventually, the talk came back to why the man was here, and he told Aaron of his faith, and the joy and color it brought to his life. Then, in the morning, the bishop left again, heading back out to the road, waving goodbye to Aaron with a smile, but, before he had even gotten a mile down the road, Aaron had made a descision, bought a backpack, some clothes, a few weeks worth of trail rations, and caught back up with him. To date, Aaron is still travelling with the man who saved his life, and they are still spreading the word of their faith, and the life that Aaron abandonned rested, quite and still.
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