Contemplative (3.5e Prestige Class)

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The Contemplative[edit]

For any servant of a deity, no joy is greater than at those rare moments when the presence of her patron deity is a real, tangible force, sending shivers of power through her body and sending her soul soaring. For some, the taste of this experience is such a powerful attraction that they begin devoting their lives to cultivating it, hoping to attain greater closeness to their deity through a life of contemplation. Spending hours in prayer and meditation, these devoted followers purify their souls, making them worthy of closer contact with the divine. While some contemplatives withdraw from the world into private retreats, others remain active, even adventuring, fi nding that true nearness to their deity comes from living out the deity’s will in the world. In return, they find their minds, bodies, and souls purifi ed, perfected, and finally brought close to union with their deity.

Rather than devoting their lives to a deity, some contemplatives strive to conform themselves to some other abstract principle, such as an alignment. Their mission is no less divine than that of contemplatives devoted to a deity, and their methods substantially the same. Many such contemplatives live as itinerant philosophers, teaching their doctrines in schools or in the marketplace as they travel from city to city, hoping to enlighten the masses.

Most contemplatives are clerics, though paladins are also often drawn to the mystic’s journey. Members of other classes rarely have sufficient devotion to a deity or philosophy to choose this course.

An NPC contemplative might be a reclusive hermit, a church leader, or a passionate champion of her deity. Such a character might have something a group of player characters needs—a holy relic, a bit of sacred lore, or simply a higher-level spell than the clerics in town can cast.

Adaptation: Central to this prestige class is the notion of gaining power through meditation and prayer. Perhaps only certain deities reward their followers in this specific way, or maybe only clerics who don’t worship a deity are eligible to become contemplatives because they aren’t tied to specific tenets of faith. Finally, the flavor of this prestige class and the flexibility of the bonus domain class feature make it a good choice if you want a prestige class to represent a change in worship from one deity to another.

Hit Die: d6.


To qualify to become a contemplative, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

  • Skill: Knowledge (religion) 13 ranks.
  • Spells: Able to cast 1st-level divine spells.
  • Special: Must have had direct contact with one’s patron deity or a direct servant of that deity, or with an enlightened being embodying the highest principles of an alignment (a solar, for example).

Class Skills[edit]

The contemplative's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table : The Contemplative
Fort Ref Will Special Spells per Day
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Bonus domain, Divine health +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Slippery mind +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Divine wholeness +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Divine inspiration +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Divine body +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Bonus domain +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Divine soul +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Endless vigil +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Eternal body +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Mystic union +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are Class Features of the contemplative prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Contemplatives gain no additional proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Spells per Day/Spells Known: A contemplative who was previously a spellcaster continues to gain access to more powerful divine magic while following the contemplative path. Thus, when a new contemplative level is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in the spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. This essentially means that she adds the level of contemplative to the level of whatever other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day accordingly. For example, if Theresa, an 11th-level cleric, gains a level as a contemplative, she gains new spells as if she had risen to 12th level as a cleric, but uses the other contemplative aspects of level progression such as base attack bonus and save bonus. If she next gains a level as a cleric, making her a 12th-level cleric/1st-level contemplative, she gains spells as if she had risen to 13th level as a cleric.

If a character had more than one divine spellcasting class before she became a contemplative, the player must decide which class to assign each level of contemplative for the purpose of determining divine spells per day and spells known.

Bonus Domains: Upon adopting the contemplative class, and again at 6th level, a contemplative gains access to a bonus domain of her choice. The character can choose any domain made available by her deity or alignment (or appropriate domains at the dungeonmaster's discretion), or the Meditation domain. The contemplative gains the granted power associated with the domain she chooses, and access to the spells in that domain as domain spells.

Divine Health (Ex): Upon adopting the contemplative class, a contemplative gains immunity to all diseases, including magical diseases such as mummy rot and lycanthropy.

Slippery Mind (Ex): At 2nd level, a contemplative gains the ability to shrug off magical effects that would otherwise control or compel her. If a contemplative with slippery mind is affected by an enchantment and fails her saving throw, one round later she can attempt her saving throw again. She only gets this one extra chance to succeed on her saving throw.

Divine Wholeness (Su): At 3rd level and higher, a contemplative can heal her own wounds, in addition to any other healing ability she may have. She can heal up to four times her contemplative level in hit points each day, and she can spread this healing out among several uses. Divine Wholeness is a supernatural ability and is thus a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Divine Inspiration (Su): At 4th level and higher, a contemplative adds her contemplative class levels to any class levels she has in other classes for all purposes relating to either Turn Undead or Smite Evil (or any other Smite, if applicable, such as Smite Good). If she previously had access to both Turn Undead and Smite Evil (or any other Smite), she must choose which ability her contemplative class levels should contribute towards. If the contemplative has neither Turn Undead nor Smite Evil (or any other Smite), she instead gains a Bonus Feat. This feat must a Divine or Exalted feat for which she qualifies.

Divine Body (Su): At 5th level, a contemplative becomes immune to poisons of all kinds.

Divine Soul (Su): At 7th level, a contemplative gains spell resistance. Her spell resistance equals her class level + 15. In order to affect the contemplative with a spell, a spellcaster must roll the contemplative’s spell resistance or higher on 1d20 + the spellcaster’s level.

Endless Vigil (Su): At 8th level, a contemplative no longer needs to sleep (but may still choose to do so), and becomes immune to fatigue and exhaustion caused by any natural means. This does not protect the contemplative from magic spells and effects, such as Touch of Fatigue or Sleep. The contemplative still needs to take the normal time to pray or meditate in order to replenish her spells.

Eternal Body (Ex): After achieving 9th level, a contemplative no longer suffers ability penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. Additionally, she adds a number of years equal to the age of adulthood of her race to her maximum age. Age-based bonuses still accrue, and the contemplative still dies of old age when her time is up (but often know well in advance when that time is).

Mystic Union (Su): At 10th level, a contemplative becomes a magical creature. She is forevermore treated as an outsider (native) rather than a humanoid for the purposes of spells and magical effects. If she is already an outsider, she instead gains damage resistance 10/magic.

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