Cultist (3.5e Class)

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Making a Cultist[edit]

Abilities: Charisma is their main casting ability, dexterity and constitution help AC and HP a lot.

Races: Most cultists are humans, since humans are easily attracted in such things. However every race has their share of cultists.

Alignment: Any non-good.

Starting Gold: As cleric.

Starting Age: Simple

Table: The Cultist

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Dark Favors, Rebuke Undead, Vileness 1 0
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 AC Bonus 1 1
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Dark Secret 1 1 0
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Vileness 1 1 1
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 2 1 1 0
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Attract Cult, Dark Secret 2 1 1 1
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Vileness 2 2 1 1 0
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Call of the Unholy 2 2 2 1 1
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Dark Secret 2 2 2 1 1 0
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Vileness 2 2 2 1 1 1
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 2 2 2 2 1 1 0
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Dark Secret 2 2 2 2 1 1 1
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Vileness 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 0
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Dark Secret 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 0
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Vileness 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 0
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Dark Secret 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Vileness 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Aspect of the Beast 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Cultist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Cultists are proficient with all simple weapons, but not with any type of armor or shield.

Spells: Cultists can cast any spells on the cleric spell lists spontaneously, however they gain fewer spells per day than other classes (see Spell per Day on the Cultist table). To prepare or cast a spell, a cultist must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a cultist’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the cultist’s charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a cultist can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Cultist. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score.

A cultist's caster level is based on the mere whim of her dark master. It is equal to her cultist level -3 (cannot be brought higher using Practised Spellcaster) for a minimum of 1. Whenever a cultist casts a spell, she rolls a d6 and adds the result to her caster level. If the caster level would be reduced below 0, then the DC is reduced by the same amount instead. Thus if Clary, a 1st level cultist casts inflict light wounds (-3 caster level but counts as 1) if she rolls a 6 her caster level is effectively 4. If she roll a 1, her caster level remains 1, but her spells DC is reduced by 2.

Dark Favors (Su): A cultist is able to call upon her dark patron once per day per cultist level she has. She may reroll 1 die taking the new result even if it is lower. Using this ability is an immediate action.

Rebuke Undead (Su): As the cleric ability of the same name.

Vileness: At 1st level and each 3 levels thereafter, a cultist gains a bonus vile feat. She needs to meet the prerequisite for the feat however. A neutral cultist may ignore the evil alignment prerequisite of vile feats.

AC Bonus (Su): Cultists rarely rely on armor, most of the time they are half-naked performing dark rituals and profanities. Their dark masters understand this however. At 2nd level a cultist gains a vile bonus to AC equal to their Charisma modifier.

Dark Secrets: At 3rd level and each 3 levels thereafter, a cultist gains an unique knowledge. A dark secret never meant to be known, a profanity among profanities. Each time she gains this class feature she must choose one ability in the following list. There are some secrets that can only be learned at later cultist levels, as it grows in power and knowledge.

Minimum Level: 0

Fang of the Vampire (Ex): A cultist learning this dark secret gain a bite attack, she may use it as a secondary weapon and deal 1d8 damages for a medium creature or 1d6 for a small creature. She also gain the ability to drain the blood of a helpless or pinned creature, dealing 1d4+1 constitution damages and restoring 5 hp per constitution point drained.

Kiss of Darkness (Su): A cultist may channel vile energy through a melee touch attack, inflicting 1d8 vile damages per caster level she has.

Evil Gaze (Su): Seemingly staring into the very soul of her enemy the cultist may use a ranged Touch Attack to slow her enemy for 1d8 rounds (see the slow spell). A successful Will save negates the slow effect. The DC for a saving throw against Evil Gaze is 10 + cultist level + charisma modifier. Neutral (neither good nor evil) aligned Creatures have a +4 Bonus on their saving throw against Evil Gaze. Evil Creatures are not affected by it. Also grants a +2 Bonus on intimidate checks against good creatures.

Animate Dead (Sp): Once per day, per 5 cultist levels (she may take this ability at cultist level 3, but not cast it before level 5) the cultist may cast the Animate Dead spell as a spell-like ability.

Vile Form (Su): Once per day the cultist may transform into a tiny floating aberration comprised of violet black tentacles for up to 1h per cultist level. The cultist transforms with her equipment (it becomes nonfunctional for the duration). The cultists Constitution becomes 6 for the duration, and she can only attack with her tentacles for 1d4-1 damage. While in Vile Form the Cultist cannot use any spells, or special abilities other than transforming back into her original form, which takes a full-round action.

Black Tentacles (Sp): Once per day, per 8 cultist levels (she may take this ability at cultist level 3 or 6, but not cast it before level 8) the cultist may cast the Black Tentacles sell as a spell-like ability.

Eldritch Familiar: The cultist may obtain a familiar, similar to sorcerers, but with some differences: The animal becomes an aberration instead of a magical beast, and changes appearance to a slightly more alien anatomy. It gains a +1 damage bonus on any attacks. The cultist does not gain the ability to scry on her familiar. The cultist that worships notions of Evil and Abyss in general can get a normal Familiar sent for them, but these familiar as cut from his very soul and the plane's energies, and thus do not owe allegiance to any Lord of the Abyss of Hell.

Demon Claws (Ex): The cultist’s fingernails grow into sharp claws, she may use as a secondary weapon to deal 1d6 damage plus poison. The poison is delivered by injury, and deals 1 Str initial damage , und 1d6 Str secondary damage. The Fortitude save against the poison is 10 + cultist level + cultist’s Constitution modifier.

Tentacle Arms (Su): Once per day the cultist may change the form of her arms into 15 feet long tentacles for 5min per cultist level. She gains a +6 bonus on grapple checks. The tentacles may grab and hold any object the cultist could normally lift, but at the increased reach. If not holding any Object the cultist may attack with her tentacles for 1d8 bludgeoning damage. On 9th level or higher the cultist may choose to take Tentacle Arms a second time, increasing the reach to 20 feet, the grapple bonus to +10 and the duration to 10min per cultist level. Also she can then use Tentacle Arms twice a day.

Elder Flesh (Su): Once per day, per five cultist levels, a cultist may harden their skin into a cancerous and scarred hide, which varies in effectiveness. When activated, this ability gives a cultist +1d6 to their constitution score and +1d4 to their natural armor bonus. This ability lasts for 1 minute per cultist level, and the effects of this ability do not stack with another use, another usage simply resets the duration of the current bonuses.

Ties to Undeath: The Cultist has managed to cut off some of its links to the plane of positive energy that infuses him with life. Like an Undead, he is now healed by Negative Energy and damaged by Positive Energy and uses his CHA modifier for concentration checks.[b]Special:[/b] Can only be learned after a decent period of contact with an intelligent undead.

Minimum Level: 10

Dark Intercession (Su): Once per day, per five cultist levels, a cultist may use a spell-like ability that is similar to a Quell and blocks divine power of good and neutral deities (but it doesn't block fiends' or Elder Evil power). To do so, the cultist makes a turning check as if it were a cleric of his level. The result indicate the highest-level divine spellcasters the cultist can cut off from their deity. It lasts one minute, but if the cultist has twice the levels of the cleric, it may last for 24 hours. If the cultist attacks the affected spellcaster, the intercession ends. Special: Must be learned from a willing Quell.

Empathic Feeding (Su): Like a Gray Jester, the cultist have learned the ways of draining joyous emotions from humanoid beings. This functions in the exact same way as a Grey Jester`s ability, but where it says HD, change it to cultist levels. Special: Can only be learned from a willing Grey Jester.

Ties to Undeath II: The Cultist has managed to sever most of the links to the plane of positive energy that infuses him with life. Like an Undead, he is now immune to any kind of mind-magic and energy or ability Drain. Special: Can only be learned after a decent period of contact with an intelligent undead.

Minimum Level: 16

Enslave Soul (Su): A Cultist can attempt to enslave the soul of any mortal creature within 60 feet as a swift action. The cultist must have line of sight to the target. The target can resist this special attack with a DC 18 Will save, but is staggered for 1 round even if the save is successful. If the save is successful, the creature is immune to this ability for 24 hours. If the save is a failure, the target’s soul is enslaved—this creature takes a –6 penalty on all attack rolls and saving throws against that cultist. If a creature with an enslaved soul is slain by that cultist, the soul immediately infuses his body, affecting it with a heal spell (CL 12th). A cultist can have only one mortal soul enslaved at a time — if it enslaves a second soul, the first is released. This is a mind-affecting death effect. The save DC is Charisma-based. Special: Can only be learned from a willing Kalavakus.

Ties to Undeath III: The Cultist has managed to sever all of the links to the plane of positive energy that infuses him with life. His creature type changes to Undead, but all his memories, abilities and feats remain equal unless otherwise stated. The kind of Undead will vary accordingly to the personality of the Cultist and their Patron. He gains all Undead immunities, and does not age, eat or sleep. His body (unless otherwise stated) remains unchanged, although it is now pale, cold and his eyes give off a dead gaze. Like a Vampire, he gains the ability to rejuvenate its appearance back to the time of his Undeath by drinking blood of inteligente creatures.

More coming...

Attract Cult: A 6th level cultist attracts followers as if she had the leadership feat. However she does not gain a cohort. If she has already taken leadership, she gains a +2 bonus on her leadership score.

Call of the Unholy (Su): At the 8th level, a cultist has gained the ability to detect the presence of evil at any time. The effects are that of a detect evil spell, but acts as if it is constantly upon the third round of said spell. As well, a cultist gains a +5 bonus to any diplomacy, bluff, or preform check if it will help lure someone into the cult of their elder evil.

Aspect of the Beast (Su): A 20th level the cultist take upon the traits of her elder evil patron, effectively gaining the Outsider (native) type. The cultist is still considered her former creature type for the purpose of resurrection. Additionally the cultist is granted 2 of the following benefits:

  • Damage Reduction 15/epic
  • Regeneration 10/Good
  • No longer lose any level upon resurrection.
  • Gain +2 vile bonus to any one attribute.


If a cultist ever becomes good, she loses all supernatural abilities, spell-like abilities and spells granted by the cultist class. She may also lose them is she loses the favor of her patron. However she may regain all she lost by sacrificing her cultist level in HD of good aligned creatures.

Epic Cultist[edit]

Table: The Epic Cultist

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
21st Bonus Feat, Dark Secret
22nd Vileness
24th Bonus Feat, Dark Secret
25th Vileness
28th Bonus Feat, Dark Secret
29th Vileness

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Bonus Feats: The epic Cultist gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic cultist bonus feats) every 3 levels after 21th.

Epic Cultist Bonus Feat List: 'Armor Skin, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Bonus Domain, Enhance Spell, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Ignore Material Components, Improved Alignment-Based Casting, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Multispell, Negative Energy Burst, Permanent Emanation, Planar Turning, Positive Energy Aura, Spectral Strike, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity, Spontaneous Domain Access, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic, Undead Mastery, Zone of Animation..

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Cultist[edit]

Religion: Cultist worship elder evils, some worship them out of madness, apathy or nihilism while other seek their power. Some may even worship these viles creatures out of idealism. Cultist never worship deities, since deities use clerics, and in fact usually tend to hate them. Many cultists cults worship fiends instead of Elder evils.

Other Classes: Cultist are incredibly versatile divine casters, however their devotion to elder evils/Fiends tend to trouble other divine casters or good party members. Non-good wizards and sorcerers tend to respect the cultist, thank to her divine magic. Otherwise other classes tend to be neutral toward her.

Combat: Cultist are weaker in melee than clerics, thus most of them are debuffer or otherwise spellcasters. Many animate hordes of undeads to back her others may find enjoyment using evil spells to destroy her enemies.

Advancement: A cultist usually want to reap everything her career offer, amny choose to remain cultists until the end. Other simply go into prestige classes.

Cultists in the World[edit]

The damned stand ready
—Anonymous human cultist.

Cultists are the evil creepy guys and gals sacrificing virgins and spilling the blood of orphans... well generally. Most are insane, others are... well very very creepy. Some are drawn to the cultist class through promise of power. Some may even be raised as cultists, no matter why they are cultists, they are not really nice... generally.

Daily Life: There 2 archetype of cultist, the one who hide her rather... unusual beliefs and live a normal life during daytime but once a week gather with similar guys and gals and perform profanities in the name of their unspeakable gods. The second archetype live her life fully as a cultist, she live with others like her below abandoned monasteries or in old ruins and perform profanities day-in and day-out. The later tend to be killed by adventurers not minding their business. The former require investigation and finesse.... typical adventurer rarely do any of those things so they live longer until they turn the whole town into zombies, tend get killed by adventurers. Rare are the cultists living a full life, some get eaten by their god, sacrificed because for failure. Some survive past all this, but they are lucky ones.

Notables: Viri Mallua, a powerfully evil halfling cultist. He was the favored one of his elder evils. Leading many assaults on paladins churches and surviving, bringing the holligans to his altar. He lived a long life as a cultist, but was betrayed and slain by his son as a sacrifice.

Organizations: Cultists organize in cults... to their Master fiends or elder evils. Most are recruited from a young age, but a lonely few hear the call directly and arrange new gatherings of their own.

NPC Reactions: Most non-evil NPCs shun cultists, as performing sacrifices and trying to provoke the end of the world don't make you very popular after all. Evil NPCs may attempt to use a cultist to his or her end, but usually distrust a cultist. Really, no-one really want to be naked on a altar with a dagger in his or chest... except if you are an exceptionally creepy guy or gal.

Cultists Lore[edit]

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

Knowledge (Religion)
DC Result
5 Cultists are usually devoted to elder evils or Fiends, they draw limited but potent divine power from them.
10 The power of cultist really depend only on the master's whim, thus a cultist magic power's may be quite.. unstable and random.
15 Some advanced cultist form cults, becoming cult leaders. They are able to empower their magical strength and perform rituals easily while grouped.
20 Info on all cultist class features.

Cultist in the Game[edit]

Cultist PCs normally attempt to keep their class hidden from their fellows, emulating clerical powers, or sorcerous abilities to divert attention from their true power source. Cultist PCs tend to get along with clerics of similar alignment, sorcerers of similar alignments, however they're normally skittish around Paladins, good clerics, and other good divine casters.

Adaptation: Cultists can be adapted to be following good gods in evil aligned nations, reflavoring their abilities with good aligned variants to reflect this. They could also go with variants for chaotic, or lawful cults.

Sample Encounter: A 'missing children' investigation turns grim when the adventurers interrupt an unholy ritual.

EL whatever: COMING SOON.

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