Dreadmaster (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Dreadmaster (of Bane)

The Dreadmaster[edit]

Dreadmasters are the ultimate tyrants. They seek to rule absolutely (next to, of course, Bane himself), preferably through terror and domination. They instill the fear of Bane in all, but especially in those who do not give at least lip service to his supremacy as a deity.

Dreadmasters tend to accumulate followers and build organizations - like churches or societies, or political bodies such as kingdoms, nations, or city-states - over which they can rule with an iron fist. They want to know everything that is going on, overseeing every detail with what they see as ruthless precision and others see as an obsessive need to control. They love to accumulate items that enhance their personal presence to better cow others, their physical strength to better beat the weak into submission, or their wisdom or mental faculties to better plot the doom of their enemies. Dreadmasters always have many enemies (whether real or imagined).

Clerics most often become dreadmasters, although wizards, sorcerers, monks with a passionate devotion to Bane or to dictatorship sometimes choose this path as well. Rogues, fighters, and rangers become dreadmasters less frequently, though they are often part of a dreadmaster's retinue. While it is theoretically possible for a lawful good character to become a dreadmaster, a dreadmaster is unlikely to remain so for long, and the abilities and ideals of the dreadmaster lends itself most favorably to lawful neutral or (especially) lawful evil.

Adaptation: Although originally titled with Bane in mind, this prestige class doesn't have to be dedicated to him, and can easily be adapted to other deities espousing ideals of dictatorship or rule of absolute law or principle. While the prestige class can advance spellcasting of any type, note the alternative bonuses for non-spellcasters.

Hit Die: d8.

Requirements[edit]

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

  • Alignment: Any lawful.
  • Skills: Intimidate 8 ranks, Sense Motive 4 ranks.
  • Feat: Leadership, Skill Focus (Intimidate).
  • Base Attack Bonus: +4.
  • Special: Must have a deity of leadership, rule, tyranny or similar as a patron deity. Clerics who wish to become dreadmasters must have access to either the Domination or Tyranny domains.

Class Skills[edit]

The dreadmaster's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language, and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table : The Dreadmaster
Base
Attack
Fort Ref Will Special Spells per Day
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Dominating aura 20', Insidious insight +1 level of existing spellcasting class
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Bonus Domain +1 level of existing spellcasting class
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Dominating aura 30' +1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Rodcraft +1 level of existing spellcasting class
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Dominating aura 40' +1 level of existing spellcasting class
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Enhanced leadership +2 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Dominating aura 50' +1 level of existing spellcasting class
8th +6 +6 +2 +6 Enhanced leadership +4, Fanatical loyalty +1 level of existing spellcasting class
9th +6 +6 +3 +6 Dominating aura 60', Special cohort (first) +1 level of existing spellcasting class
10th +7 +7 +3 +7 Enhanced leadership +6, Special cohort (second) +1 level of existing spellcasting class

Class Features[edit]

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

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A dreadmaster gains no additional proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Spells per Day/Spells Known: When a dreadmaster level is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in whatever spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. This essentially means that he adds the level of dreadmaster to the level of whatever other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day and spells known accordingly.

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

Dominating Aura (Su): A dreadmaster is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Enemies within 20 feet of a dreadmaster suffer a -4 morale penalty on saving throws against fear effects. The radius of this aura increases at 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th level.

Insidious Insight (Ex): A dreadmaster has a knack for ferreting out what others are up to so that he can more effectively keep control. A dreadmasters receives a +2 bonus on Sense Motive and Gather Information checks. Additionally, if the character has no spellcaster levels whatsoever (and thus cannot add spells per day or spells known), the base attack bonus of the dreadmaster instead becomes that of a Fighter of equal level (+1 at level 1, +2 at level 2, and so on).

Bonus Domain: Upon reaching 2nd level a dreadmaster gains access to a bonus domain, choosing one out of the following: Domination, Hatred, Law, Nobility, Planning, or Tyranny. The dreadmaster gains the granted power associated with the domain he chooses, and access to the spells in that domain as domain spells. If the character has no spellcasting levels whatsoever (and thus cannot add spells per day or spells known), the dreadmaster may instead choose to take a bonus feat for which he meets the prerequisites.

Rodcraft (Ex): Dreadmasters have an affinity for magic rods, seeing them as an extension of the symbolism of the divine scepter of rulership that is also seen in Bane's favored weapon, the morningstar. Beginning at 4th level, when a dreadmaster makes a rod, the DCs for saving throws against the powers of rods they craft are two higher than would be those made by a non-dreadmaster crafter of comparable level. They especially love to make rods of rulership, enemy detection, and lordly might. Note that this does not confer the ability to make magic rods. Additionally, if the character has no spellcasting levels whatsoever (and thus cannot add spells per day or spells known), the dreadmaster may instead choose to gain Weapon Focus (Morningstar) and treat all morningstars as if they had the Keen magic enhancement when wielded.

Enhanced Leadership (Ex): Beginning at 6th level, the dreadmaster receives a +2 bonus to his Leadership score. This increases to +4 at 8th level and +6 at 10th level. At 6th through 10th level, a dreadmaster does not suffer the -2 cumulative Leadership penalty for causing the death of a cohort for one cohort per each dreadmaster level above 5th (up to a total of five cohorts at 10th level). Dreadmasters of 10th level do not suffer the normal general -2 Leadership penalty for cruelty. Additionally, at 10th level, if the character has no spellcasting levels whatsoever (and thus cannot add spells per day or spells known), the dreadmaster receives a +4 bonus on Intimidate checks.

Fanatical Loyalty (Su): Beginning at 8th level, followers and cohorts of the dreadmaster become fanatically loyal to the dreadmaster, with only deities such as Bane himself inspiring greater loyalty in them. They do not balk at life-threatening actions or actions that would normally lie outside their moral compunctions or normal behavior if the dreadmaster asks them to perform such actions. Spells that the dreadmaster has cast upon his cohorts that normally grant a saving throw or saving throw bonus if the subject is asked to take life-threatening actions or actions contrary to her nature do not do so when the subject is fanatically loyal to the dreadmaster. Similarly, such spells cast upon the dreadmaster's cohorts by others gain an extra saving throw or doubles the saving throw bonus when acting against the interests of the dreadmaster, and taking actions against the dreadmaster counts as taking life-threatening actions or actions contrary to their nature.

Special Cohort: The dreadmaster attracts a special cohort (see Chapter 2 of the Dungeon Master's Guide) in addition to any cohort already gained. If a leader loses this special cohort, he can generally replace it, according to his current Leadership score. It takes time (1d4 months) to recruit a replacement. At 10th level, the dreadmaster attracts a second special cohort in addition to any cohort or special cohorts already gained. Because of the lawful nature of Bane, special cohorts who are mutually inimical by type, alignment, or nature arc not drawn to the same dreadmaster. Use the table to below select special cohorts gained through this ability. Other suitable special cohorts may be available as determined by the dungeon master.

Table : Special Cohorts
Creature Alignment Level Equivalent
Doppelganger Neutral 6th
Helmed horror Neutral 13th
Gouger (beholderkin) Neutral Evil 14th
Deathkiss (beholderkin) Neutral Evil 16th
Baneguard Lawful evil 5th
Banedead Lawful evil 6th
Hell hound Lawful evil 6th
Imp Lawful evil 7th
Displacer beast Lawful evil 7th
Banelar Lawful evil 10th

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