Grimreaper, Variant (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||The time is nigh.||”|
|—Hurleyquin Milknight, human Grimreaper|
Grimreapers are a well-known feature of folklore; known as the staunches foes to the walking dead. Grimreapers are specialists in ridding the world of the scourge of the undead. Grimreapers' duties are also to take care of the recently deceased, preventing them from suffering the evils of undeath. They are often seen at battlegrounds and cemeteries protecting the dead before any necromancers arrive to take advantage of the bodies available.
Becoming a Grimreaper
Grimreapers are mostly culled from the ranks of priests or paladins; rarely some are drawn from the countless ranks of those who have suffered attack or loss at the hands of the living dead. The most important abilities for Grimreapers are Strength, Wisdom and Charisma.
|Alignment:||Any; usually good, but any are possible.|
|Base Attack Bonus:||+5|
|Skills:||Knowledge (religion) 2|
|Spellcasting:||Able to cast 1st level divine spells.|
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+2||Turn undead, Resist Undeath, Detect Undead|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+3||Minor Disruption, Restful Slumber||+1 of existing spellcasting class|
|4th||+3||+4||+1||+4||+1 of existing spellcasting class|
|6th||+4||+5||+2||+5||+1 of existing spellcasting class|
|8th||+6||+6||+2||+6||+1 of existing spellcasting class|
|10th||+7||+7||+3||+7||Aura of the Armored Soul||+1 of existing spellcasting class|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
Grimreapers exist to destroy the abominations which are the undead, and those who would create them. A grimreaper will always focus his attacks on the undead if encountered, unless for an extremely good reason. It is very rare for Grimreaper powers to be used against anyone other than undead creatures or necromancers. All of the following are class features of the Grimreaper.
Spellcasting: At second level and every even level thereafter, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. You must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.
Turn or Destroy Undead (Su): Any grimreaper, regardless of alignment, has the power to affect undead creatures by channeling the power of his faith through his holy (or unholy) symbol (see Turn or Rebuke Undead).
A grimreaper can turn or destroy undead creatures; any previous ability to rebuke or command such creatures becomes turning or destroying. All grimreaper levels stack with any levels from a previous class for turning ability.
A grimreaper may attempt to turn undead a number of times per day equal to 3 + his charisma modifier + his grimreaper class level. A grimreaper with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) gets a +2 bonus on turning checks against undead.
Resist Undeath(Ex): A grimreaper becomes immune to ability drain/damage and energy drain from the extraordinary, supernatural or spell-like abilities of an undead creature. He also gains +3 to all allowed saves versus any extraordinary, supernatural or spell-like attacks of undead creatures.
Minor Disruption(Su): At second level, the grimreaper gains a +1 divine bonus to weapon damage, and a +1 caster level bonus, per three grimreaper levels to all attacks made against the undead.
Restful Slumber(Sp): A grimreaper of 2nd level may place his hand upon the corpse of a mortal being and intone a benediction against undeath, insuring that thereafter the body cannot become undead by any means short of using a wish to remove the benediction; this takes one minute.
The grimreaper is likewise protected from becoming one of the undead upon his death (Ex).
Reaper's Aura(Sp): At third level, the grimreaper gains an aura against the undead. Any undead within five feet of the grimreaper automatically suffers divine damage equal to 1/2 the grimreaper's class level per round and takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks. Undead of greater HD than the grimreaper has class levels are immune to damage from this effect, but will still take the –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks.
Improved Disruption(Su): At fifth level, the grimreaper's held melee weapons become capable of critical strikes against the undead, also allowing him to make coup de grace attacks against helpless undead targets; lastly he causes +1 damage per die to all undead with his damaging spells.
Eternal Lullaby(Su): At seventh level all damage caused to an undead creature by the grimreaper cannot be fast healed, regenerated or rejuvenated until one hour per grimreaper level has passed since the encounter. Undead with HD equal to or less than the grimreaper's class level + Charisma modifier that are brought to zero hit points are truly destroyed and cannot assume gasseous form or have their souls transferred to a phylactery.
Greater Disruption(Su): At ninth level, all melee weapons held by the grimreaper are considered to have the disruption weapon enhancement, regardless of damage type, against any undead of HD equal to or lesser than the grimreaper's class level + Charisma modifier. Undead with more HD instead have any critical threat to them by the grimreaper automatically confirmed.
Aura of the Armored Soul(Su): At tenth level, the grimreaper gains an aura that protects all living beings within 15 feet of him from the undead. All living beings within the aura, ally or not, gain the benefits of the grimreaper's resist undeath class feature. Furthermore, all undead suffer a -2 penalty to hit with melee attacks while attacking anyone within the aura; this does not stack with the penalty from reaper's aura.
Playing a Grimreaper
Combat: Grimreapers are melee combatants with moderate divine spellcasting abilities. They are highly effective at challenging the undead, but are somewhat weaker against living foes.
Advancement: Grimreapers typically focus on gaining levels as a grimreaper, some take additional levels of cleric, paladin or blackguard.
Resources: Grimreapers aren often affiliated with a local religion. Even grimreapers of normally opposing religions will cease hostilities against each other long enough to destroy any undead threat in the area.
Grimreapers in the World
|“||Come at me you stinking corpses! Feel the power of Moradin rip thru ye!||”|
|—Pavehk, Dwarven Grimreaper|
Grimreapers are wanderers, always seeking the next undead abomination to end. Sometimes a grimreaper may find a small town or a village that they protect from harm, but they could move on as quickly as they came, with no warning.
NPC Reactions: Most grimreapers are greatly respected for their fight to protect the living from the undead, but are sometimes seen as over-serious and close-minded.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) can research Grimreapers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Grimreapers are powerful warrior-priests that protect us all from the undead.|
|16||Grimreapers are often able to destroy the undead with a single divinely charged blow.|
|21||Specifics or history of individual grimreapers.|
Grimreapers in the Game
Grimreapers are solemn, dedicated foes of the undead; encountered in peaceful areas tending to the local dead; or out in the world taking the fight against undeath to all who defy the rightful order of things. A grimreaper might appear as the ecclesiastical strongarm of a small town, or as a wandering mercenary, but they all have the same desire: to put to rest as many undead as possible.
Adaptation: Grimreapers aren't difficult to work into a campaign without creating an imbalance in power. Most grimreapers can easily be treated as a cleric or paladin with little need for change.
Sample Encounter: Pavehk, a skilled grimreaper, defends the small town of Sunnydale from the seemingly unending undead terrors sent by a ruthless necromancer bent on conquest. The PC's could meet him while wandering the town, encounter him fighting the latest undead horror sent to attack the town.