Entropy Champion (3.5e Class)
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No matter how long a creature lives, be it human or elf, dragon or dwarf, it will eventually die. This is life's one true certainty, and that deliberate, uncaring finality is the reason mortals fear death. The entropy champion accepts this fate and the oblivion that comes afterward so that he can speed the hands of fate along a path more suited to his tastes. By embracing the utter finality of entropy in this manner, he becomes entropy itself - a jaded spirit whose body serves little purpose beyond conveyance.
Making an Entropy Champion
Entropy champions are likely to be seen in adventuring parties because they wish to observe entropy at work, so that they might better understand it. In combat, they prove to be particularly brutal melee combatants, or they can provide insight into an opponent's weaknesses.
Abilities: The key ability scores for this class are Intelligence, which gives them the knowledge necessary to use their power, and Dexterity, which improves their AC. Constitution is, well, Constitution, and Strength is always nice for melee monsters.
Alignment: True neutral or any evil.
Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100 gp).
Starting Age: Moderate.
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+0||1||Unarmed strike, undead aura, entropic blow (1/day)|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+0||2||Insightful grace, entropic strike|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+1||2||Protect sheath, entropic celerity|
|4th||+4||+4||+1||+1||3||Destruction embraced (attack and damage)|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+1||3||Entropic blow (2/day)|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+2||+2||5||Destruction embraced (saves)|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+3||+3||7||Entropic blow (3/day)|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+4||+4||9||Destruction embraced (damage reduction)|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+5||+5||12||Entropic blow (4/day)|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+5||+5||13||Destruction embraced (spell resistance)|
|17th||+17/+12/+7/+2||+10||+5||+5||14||Hide in plain sight|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+6||20||Entropic blow (5/day), entropic collapse|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the entropy champion.
Unarmed Strike (Ex): An entropy champion gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat at 1st level. He deals unarmed damage as a monk of his class level. If an entropy champion gains levels in monk or in another class that has an unarmed strike progression, he adds his levels in the two classes together to determine his unarmed damage.
An entropy champion automatically qualifies for the Stunning Fist feat, though he must select it as a normal feat. He may use it a number of times per day equal to his class level.
AC Bonus (Ex): Starting at 1st level, an entropy champion adds his Intelligence modifier to his Armor Class when wearing no armor and not carrying a shield. This applies even against touch attacks or when the champion is flat-footed, but not when he is immobilized or otherwise rendered helpless.
Entropic Blow (Su): Once per day, an entropy champion may attempt to destroy an enemy with one normal melee attack. He adds his Intelligence modifier (if any) to his attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per entropy champion level. The entropic blow is especially good at unraveling that which binds nonliving matter together. It automatically ignores hardness, as well as any damage reduction possessed by constructs or undead (regardless of the source of the damage reduction). Otherwise, this ability is treated as the paladin's smite evil class feature.
At 5th level, and every five levels thereafter, the entropy champion may make an additional entropic blow per day, up to a maximum of five times per day at 20th level.
Entropic Strike (Su): At 2nd level, an entropy champion can channel his convictions into offensive might. His unarmed strike gains an enhancement bonus equal to the sum of his Intelligence bonus (minimum 0) and the number of points of essentia that he invests in this ability. However, this bonus cannot rise above 1/2 his class level. He may trade points of enhancement bonus for special abilities, chosen when he starts the day; however, all the normal rules regarding weapon enhancements apply (including the minimum of a +1 bonus and maximum of +5, until he reaches 22nd level). Once the abilities are designated, this ability is active continuously.
Protect Sheath (Su): At 3rd level, the entropy champion becomes able to wrap his body in a sheath of energy distilled from the very essence of decay. The exact appearance of this sheath varies from one entropy champion to the next, but each provides an armor bonus to AC equal to the number of points of essentia invested in this ability.
Entropic Celerity (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, an entropy champion can fuel his body with the power of decay. He gains a 10 foot bonus to his base land speed for each point of essentia he invests in this class feature, as long as he is not wearing armor.
Destruction Embraced (Su): Beginning at 4th level, an entropy champion gains power in exchange for submitting himself to decay. At 4th level, he gains a +1 luck bonus on attack and damage rolls once he has taken an amount of damage at least equal to twice his character level. This luck bonus increases by 1 for every 10 points of damage the entropy champion takes beyond that, up to a maximum bonus equal to his Constitution score minus 10, in addition to the original bonus. These bonuses can increase or decrease depending on his hit points, and last as long as he has the minimum amount of lethal damage needed to gain them. If the entropy champion is magically healed, the luck bonus decreases by 1 for a number of rounds equal to the level of the spell.
At 8th level, this luck bonus is also added to the entropy champion's saving throws.
At 12th level, the entropy champion becomes harder to harm when he has already taken a great deal of damage. While he is at or below half of his maximum hit points, he gains damage reduction equal to his class level that can be overcome by magic weapons.
At 16th level, the entropy champion gains spell resistance equal to 15 + his class level as long as he is below half of his maximum hit points.
Incarnum Overcharge (Ex): Beginning at 6th level, the entropy champion can temporarily raise the efficiency of his essentia at the risk of his health. He may take an amount of damage up to his Intelligence bonus (minimum 1) that is not affected by damage reduction. He gains temporary essentia for 1 round equal to the amount of damage he takes, which can immediately be invested in a receptacle. Essentia gained as a result of this class feature can be invested beyond the normal cap of the receptacle.
This ability is usable as a free action. The first time per day that it is used requires no other action; for each time beyond the first that it is used in a 24-hour period, it requires a Will save (DC 15 + number of times already used within the last 24 hours) to be used.
Destructive Expertise (Ex): As agents of destruction, 7th-level entropy champions learn to promote entropy by the most efficient means. The entropy champion may add half his class level as a bonus on Disable Device and Knowledge (architecture and engineering) checks when attempting to take apart or disable traps and other objects.
Understand Weakness (Ex): At 9th level, by observing a target as a full-round action, an entropy champion can understand the weaknesses and immunities of a given creature or object. For every full round spent studying a target, the entropy champion learns additional information, as indicated below.
1st Round: The defensive strength of the target.
3rd Round: The exact ranks and type of damage reduction, hardness, energy resistance, and immunities.
|Weak||9 or below|
Weightless Soul (Su): At 11th level, the power of the entropy champion's convictions allow him to transcend physical limitations on his movement. He gains a fly speed equal to 10 times the number of points of essentia invested in this ability, with good maneuverability, as long as he is not wearing armor.
Entropic Aura (Su): At 13th level, the entropy champion's connection to decay is so deep that his mere presence stimulates entropy in his surroundings. At the start of every turn, every creature adjacent to him takes 1d6 points of damage per point of essentia invested in this ability. A successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 class level + invested essentia + Con modifier) halves this damage. This ability is always active. If the entropy champion has essentia invested in this class feature, he seems to slip out of reality, thwarting blindsight and blindsense. Creatures with blindsight are aware of the entropy champion as if they had blindsense, and creatures with blindsense must make Spot or Listen checks to become aware of his presence.
Entropic Ray (Su): At 14th level, the entropy champion can draw on the power of decay to create a powerful ranged attack, a beam of nearly invisible entropic force. Using this ability is a standard action; you must make a ranged touch attack to hit your target. The entropic ray has a range of 60 feet and deals 1d10 points of damage per point of essentia invested in this ability. This ability can be used to destroy force effects, as a disintegrate spell cast by a wizard of the entropy champion's level.
Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): An entropy champion of 17th level can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as he is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, an entropy champion can hide himself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. He cannot, however, hide in his own shadow.
Unmaking Magic (Sp): Beginning at 18th level, the entropy champion can undo the bonds of magic. He can use a targeted greater dispel magic effect at will, on a successful melee touch attack. His caster level for this effect is equal to his class level. He must wait 1d4 rounds between uses of this ability.
Seal Weaknesses (Ex): By 19th level, an entropy champion gains immunity to critical hits due to his innate knowledge of his own weak points and how to best protect them. This immunity also renders him immune to abilities that rely on the ability to inflict critical hits (such as sneak attacks) but his creature type remains unchanged.
Entropic Collapse (Ex): At 20th level, the entropy champion has become so jaded as to become one with his convictions. His type changes to outsider, and he gains the native and evil subtypes. His natural weapons and any weapons he wields are treated as evil-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Furthermore, once per day as a full-round action, the entropy champion can declare one attack to be a final blow. He makes a single attack at his highest base attack bonus. If the attack succeeds, he adds twice his current hit points to the damage roll. His hit points then drop to -1 immediately, and he automatically fails all checks made to stabilize himself. If the attack fails, he instead loses half of his current hit points. Use of this ability must be declared before the attack is rolled.
An entropy champion who changes to a prohibited alignment loses all class features (except for bonus feats, base attack bonus, weapon proficiencies, saves, and unarmed strike damage), and may no longer advance as an entropy champion until he atones (see the atonement spell description).
Epic Entropy Champion
|25th||Entropic blow (6/day)|
|30th||Entropic blow (7/day)|
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Entropic Strike: The epic entropy champion's entropic strike continues to improve. Beginning at 22nd level, he can apply enhancements of greater than a +5 bonus to his unarmed strike. The bonus cannot rise above 1/2 his class level, as normal.
Entropic Blow: The epic entropy champion adds his class level to damage with any entropic blow, as normal. He can use an entropic blow one additional time per day for every 5 levels higher than 20th.
Bonus Feats: The epic entropy champion gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic entropy champion bonus feats) every 4 levels after 20th.
Epic Entropy Champion Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Blinding Speed, Damage Reduction, Devastating Critical, Dire Charge, Epic Essentia, Epic Prowess, Epic Will, Exceptional Deflection, Extended Life Span, Fast Healing, Great Intelligence, Great Smiting, Improved Stunning Fist, Infinite Deflection, Keen Strike, Overwhelming Critical, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Spellcasting Harrier, Superior Initiative, Vorpal Strike.
Azurin Entropy Champion Starting Package
Weapons: Heavy sickle (Planar Handbook, p. 68) (1d8, crit x2, 6 lb., one-handed, slashing). Light crossbow (1d8, crit 19-20/x2, range inc. 80 ft., 4 lb., piercing).
|Knowledge (the planes)||4||Int||-|
|Knowledge (architecture and engineering)||4||Int||-|
Bonus Feats: Blind-Fight.
Gear: Backpack with waterskin, one day's trail rations, bedroll, sack, flint and steel. Hooded lantern, three pints of oil. Case with 10 crossbow bolts.
Gold: 4d4 gp.
Playing an Entropy Champion
Religion: Entropy champions aren't usually religious, if for the simple reason that most deities take umbrage toward their conviction that even gods are not truly immortal. This isn't a rule, however; many entropy champions pay token service to gods of death or destruction, such as Erythnul or Nerull. A few of the more convinced entropy champions pay homage to Obad-Hai.
Other Classes: Entropy champions have little concern for what allies they surround themselves with; the group will dissolve eventually. As such, they have little patience for most martial characters, particularly barbarians or warblades and especially paladins. Most prefer the company of rogues, who share their preference for finishing battles as quickly as possible. They work well with druids or rangers, who may accept that death is an intrinsic fact of life, and may also befriend similarly-aligned crusaders. As a whole, though, entropy champions tend to remain indifferent to other characters, advocating a sort of "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Combat: An entropy champion's place is on the front lines, bringing the fight to your foes. You are most at home against constructs or other nonliving foes, when your entropic blow can do more damage than most of your friends' attacks. At 3rd level, when you gain your entropic celerity class feature, you can become the party scout, or aid an existing scout. Later, you can use your abilities to aid in disabling traps and even to measure up an opponent to see how likely your party is to defeat it. When you gain your entropic aura and entropic ray class features, combat becomes a puzzle of how to arrange yourself for the best effect. Will you close to melee, or blast a stronger foe so that a partner can finish him off? Will you remain perfectly vulnerable, or risk hurting your allies so that you can gain a surprise attack on the dragon? As an entropy champion, you are truly a jack of all trades. Just remember, you should focus on one aspect of your abilities at a time, or wind up being incredibly ineffective at all of them.
Advancement: Most entropy champions experienced some traumatic event in their lives that turned them to depression. You might have grown up with an abusive parent, only to accidentally kill him upon discovering your power. You may have watched a loved one die slowly, wasting away while you could only watch helplessly. Or perhaps you undertook a great quest to learn the ways of decay from a mysterious master in some remote region. However you came to this class, you pursue it with a single-minded devotion, spending most of your free time in studying the ways in which entropy affects the world around you. Your wide variety of abilities affords you a similar variety of feats to choose from. Select feats that enhance your preferred style of battle, such as Power Attack or Dodge. General combat feats such as Weapon Focus and Improved Critical are also appropriate for your character, as are feats that enhance unarmed combat such as Stunning Fist. Picking up a couple incarnum feats can improve your class features, your combat prowess, or both.
Entropy Champions in the World
|“||Everything is meant to die, even the gods themselves. Nothing lasts forever, not even diamond. Even entropy falls victim to itself at times, but it is still all-encompassing. I am not destroying the natural order... I'm just helping it along.||”|
|—Pomfret Akumu, azurin entropy champion|
Entropy champions are the mortal vessels of decay, like eternal crusaders in favor of the darker side of the cycle of life. Entropy champions are the truest of blackguards, or at least that's how they appear to the commoners.
Daily Life: Many entropy champions, even those of lawful alignment, live apparently chaotic lives, doing as they please when they so please to do it. Some will offer a helping hand to others; don't be fooled, these are the group that believes that attempting to halt entropy begets more entropy. The rest will either do nothing to help nor to harm, or else they will gladly destroy whatever they come across.
Notables: If entropy champions have departed heroes to look up to, they aren't sharing. In contemporary times, the young Pomfret Akumu is heralded as "the single most depressing individual in the known world," mostly for the rather uncanny habit of kingdoms falling to ruin in a matter of days after his visits.
Organizations: On the Material Plane, entropy champions are few and far between. Sects of Afflux, Erythnul, or Nerull will occasionally boast of the two or three entropy champions they may have within their ranks. On the planes, however, entropy champions are more common, but still not more than a handful per thousand people, if that. On the planes, entropy champions are the exclusive enforcers of a faction known as the Doomguard, which believes that the goal of the multiverse is to collapse into Entropy.
NPC Reactions: No matter one's perspective, an entropy champion is always a threat. An entropy champion defending that city will later ruin that city either on a whim or unintentionally. An entropy champion leading an army to the gates of that city is a dangerous overt threat. A mercenary entropy champion between campaigns could well be both - not just another annoying drunk at the local tavern. In general, NPCs greet entropy champions with unfriendly reactions unless they have reason to feel differently. People who have met an entropy champion before will later greet that entropy champion more coldly, without exception.
Entropy Champion Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (the planes) can research entropy champions to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|20||Entropy champions are heralds of destruction. They draw magical power from the force of decay at work around them.|
|25||Entropy champions take this force, focus it, and redirect it to suit their own purposes. Their strengths lie in destruction: entropy champions can gain massive offensive power, and are especially good at breaking down objects.|
|30||Entropy champions actually become stronger the closer they are to dying. At higher levels, they can burn their own life to give themselves more power, and even break the bonds of gravity.|
|35||Information about a notable entropy champion.|
Entropy Champions in the Game
An entropy champion is a brawler first and everything else second. He work wonders in a party that lack healing magic, especially once he's reached 4th level and gained the destruction embraced feature, and makes for a challenging, even vexing solo encounter, as an entropy champion becomes stronger the closer he is to defeat. If straight-out combat isn't the best option, the entropy champion makes for an excellent scout and disabler, especially after he has gained his destructive expertise. All in all, the entropy champion can be a vicious foe, and should never be used as a "run-of-the-mill" encounter.
Adaptation: The relative anonymity of entropy champions makes adding them to a game fairly simple. The players may simply have never heard of them before; you can even apply a revisionist history, stating that some infamous blackgaurds were really entropy champions the whole time. Entropy champions in your campaign wouldn't even have to be just as stated here. For example, instead of an unarmed strike progression, the entropy champion could draw upon and crystallize decay, creating an entropic blade otherwise identical to the soulknife's mind blade. He could even use martial maneuvers in place of essentia, especially those of the Diamond Mind, Setting Sun, and Shadow Hand disciplines; in this case, all of the class features relying on essentia should be removed, and the Hit Die should increase to d12, with light armor proficiency.
Sample Encounter: Entropy champions are drawn to scenes of carnage and destruction. The PCs may encounter one in or near the entrance to a ruined castle or battlefield. The more fanatic entropy champions may be instigators instead, moving to attack the PCs on the order of superior or more likely, simply because the PCs are the only people in the village he's attacking that are foolish enough to fight him.
EL 15: Reinforce has made quite a name for herself as a vandal and a mass murderer. When questioned on this, she replies that she is only granting a wish to someone close to her. Rumors of this sort reach the PCs' ears, as do rumors of a much darker variety... specifically, that Reinforce is hunting them.
|Female human entropy champion 15|
|LE Medium humanoid (human)|
|Init/Senses||+2/Listen +4, Spot +4|
|Languages||Common, Abyssal, Infernal|
|AC||23, touch 20, flat-footed 21; +1 armor per invested essentia|
(+2 Dex, +4 Int, +3 natural, +4 deflection)
|hp||107 (15 HD)|
|Speed||30 ft. (6 squares) (+10 ft./invested essentia), fly (10 ft./invested essentia) (good)|
|Melee||unarmed strike +20/+15/+10 (2d6+5)|
|Ranged||entropic ray +17/+15 (1d10 per invested essentia)|
|Atk Options||entropic blow 7/day, Stunning Fist 20/day, entropic strike, entropic aura, Fiery Fist, Ki Blast|
|Special Actions||incarnum overcharge, understand weakness|
|Combat Gear||3x potion of inflict moderate wounds|
|Abilities||Str 10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 18, Wis 13, Cha 8|
|SQ||undead aura, insightful grace, protect sheath, entropic celerity, destruction embraced, destructive expertise, weightless soul|
|Feats||Stunning Fist, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Sapphire Smite, Fiery Fist, Ki Blast, Extra Stunning|
|Skills||Disable Device +28, Jump +18, Knowledge (arcana) +21, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) +28, Knowledge (the planes) +21, Tumble +20|
|Possessions||combat gear plus amulet of natural armor +3, clear ioun stone, headband of intellect +2, ring of protection +4|
|Undead Aura (Ex)||Reinforce radiates negative energy. She is registered by the detect undead spell as a 15 HD undead.|
|Entropic Blow (Su)||Seven times per day, Reinforce can attempt to destroy an enemy with a melee attack. She adds +3 to her attack roll and +18 to her damage roll. This attack ignores hardness and damage reduction possessed by constructs or undead.|
|Insightful Grace (Su)||Reinforce adds her Intelligence modifier as a bonus on her saving throws. This change is already reflected in the stats above.|
|Entropic Strike (Su)||Reinforce can channel entropic force into offensive might. She gains an enhancement bonus to her unarmed strikes equal to the sum of her Intelligence modifier and the number of points of essentia invested in this ability. She can trade points of enhancement bonus for special abilities, chosen when she starts the day. The total bonus can never rise above half her character level (rounded down).|
|Protect Sheath (Su)||Reinforce can distill entropic energy into a protective field around her body, which takes the form of an off-white robe. This energy provides an armor bonus to her AC equal to the number of points of essentia she invests in this ability.|
|Entropic Celerity (Su)||Reinforce can increase her base land speed by 10 feet per point of essentia invested in this ability.|
|Destruction Embraced (Su)||Reinforce gains strength as she takes damage. When she has taken at least 30 points of damage, she gains a +1 luck bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws. This bonus increases by +1 for every 10 points of damage she takes beyond this point, to a maximum of +4. When she is below half of her maximum hit points, she gains damage reduction 15/magic. This ability remains in effect as long as she has taken the minimum damage required for it to apply.|
|Incarnum Overcharge (Su)||As a free action, Reinforce can inflict up to 4 points of damage (which is never affected by damage reduction) to herself to gain that much temporary essentia for 1 round. This essentia can immediately be invested in any receptacle, even if it would exceed the essentia cap of that receptacle. The first time this is done during a day requires no action, but each additional use requires a Will save (DC 15 + number of uses in last 24 hours).|
|Destructive Expertise (Ex)||Reinforce adds half of her class level as a bonus on Disable Device and Knowledge (architecture and engineering) checks made to disable traps or other objects. This change is already reflected in the stats above.|
|Understand Weakness (Ex)||As a full-round action, Reinforce can study the weaknesses and immunities of a given object. After one round of this, she knows the object's defensive strength. After the second round, she knows of damage reduction, hardness, energy resistance, or immunities. After the third round, she knows the exact levels of each of these defenses.|
|Weightless Soul (Su)||Reinforce can fly by using her essentia to sever the bonds of gravity. She gains a fly speed of 10 feet per point of essentia invested in this ability, with good maneuverability.|
|Entropic Aura (Su)||Reinforce's presence has the potential to stimulate entropy. When she starts her turn, every creature adjacent to her takes 1d6 points of damage per point of essentia invested in this ability. In addition, if she has essentia invested in this ability, Reinforce seems to slip out of reality, thwarting blindsight and blindsense. Creatures with blindsight are aware of her as though they had blindsense, and creatures with blindsense must make Listen or Spot checks to become aware of her.|