Kelvezu (3.5e Class)

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While mariliths act as generals in the Blood War, and balors are the mighty aristocrats of the Abyss, both find the kelvezu — the masters of infiltration and assassination of the demonic realm — quite useful. Kelvezu are rarely given a command of their own. Instead, they are sent out to surgically remove specific opponents, or play the long game of hiding behind the enemy lines just waiting for the opportune moment to strike a telling blow.

Kelvezu are quite unusual among the higher ranks of demonkind, largely due to their size and appearance. In fact, with the exception of their rosy to blood red skin and boiling eyes, they could almost pass a human even without the use of their disguise self ability.

In combat, kelvezu prefer to strike from stealth, relying not only on their innate invisibility, but also on their gift for hiding and sneaking. Like their mortal counterparts, these assassins try to dispatch their targets as quickly as possible. If they cannot, they retreat and strike again when conditions are favorable.

Special Note: The Kelvezu class is a continuation of Oslecamo's Improved Monster Classes from Giant in the Playground. It may not be suitable for standard campaigns. Be sure to check with your DM before deciding to play one.

Making a Kelvezu[edit]

Abilities: Dexterity and Charisma are by far the most crucial ability for a kelvezu. That said, a high Constitution is always helpful considering it determines the effectiveness of their innate poison, and a good Intelligence and Wisdom bonus can be helpful with many of their skills and saving throws.

Alignment: Being tanar'ri, kelvezu are almost always chaotic evil. There are always exceptions, however, but they retain their [Chaotic] and [Evil] subtypes regardless of their actual alignment. It's the curse of being an outsider.

Starting Gold: Same as rogue; 5d4×10gp (125 gp).

Table: The Kelvezu

Hit Die: d8

Level BAB Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Wicked Body, Demonic Eyes, Intrinsic Duelist, Sneak Attack +1d6
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Demon Blades, Evasion, Guile
3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Kelvezu Magic, Poisoned Claws, Sneak Attack +2d6
4th +3 +4 +4 +1 Bloodstained Flesh, Fiendish Flight
5th +3 +4 +4 +1 Closed Mind, Sneak Attack +3d6
6th +4 +5 +5 +2 Pierce Armor
7th +5 +5 +5 +2 Vanish, Sneak Attack +4d6
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +2 Unnatural Flight
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +3 Sudden Backstab, Sneak Attack +5d6
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +3 Improved Evasion
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +3 Puncture Armor, Sneak Attack +6d6
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 Imhuman Flight
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 Vile Poison, Sneak Attack +7d6
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +4 Improved Vanish
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +9 +5 Pierce Magic, Sneak Attack +8d6
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Penetrate Armor

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
The following are class skills for the kelvezu: Appraise (Int), Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Psionic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the kelvezu.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Kelvezu are proficient with all natural and simple weapons, plus the kukri, rapier, scimitar, short sword, longsword, and a single one-handed exotic weapon of choice. They are also proficient with light armor but not with shields.

Wicked Body: The kelvezu loses all other racial bonus and penalties, instead gaining outsider and tanar'ri traits (except they may not summon other tanar'ri). It becomes a medium-sized outsider with base land speed of 40 feet, and two natural claw attacks dealing 1d6+Dex damage each. Kelvezu also gain two bonus skill points each level (×4 at 1st level), but these points can only be used to improve Hide and Move Silently, reflecting their innate stealthiness. Furthermore, they may use Dex instead of Str when making Climb, Jump, and Swim checks, and Jump and Tumble checks gain a racial bonus equal to ½ of the kelvezu's HD.

Kelvezu gain an insight bonus to AC equal to their Cha modifier.

Additionally, the kelvezu gains +3 Dex, +1 Int, and +1 Cha at first level and...

  • +1 to Dex at levels: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, and 16, for a total of +13 at 16th level
  • +1 to Int at levels: 3 and 8, for a total of +3 at 16th level
  • +1 to Cha at levels: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, and 16 for a total of +13 at 16th level

Demonic Eyes (Ex): In addition to their regular senses, the kelvezu perceives foes through detect magic and see invisibility effects that are always active, even in antimagic zones. They can also see perfectly in darkness, including magical darkness. At 10 HD, the kelvezu's demonic eyes improve even more, granting the equivalence of true seeing.

Intrinsic Duelist (Ex): When wielding weapons that benefit from the Weapon Finesse feat, the kelvezu can apply their Dex bonus to attack rolls instead of their Str modifier, and they may add their Dex to damage rolls. They also gain Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat at 1 HD and Improved Combat Reflexes at 15 HD even if they don't normally meet the prerequisites.

Additionally, kelvezu may make an attack with their off-hand weapon at the same BAB as your mainhand, though doing so causes a -2 penalty on all of their attacks that round. At 6 HD they can also attack with each weapon it is currently wielding at the end of a charge. This ability counts as the entire line of Two-Weapon Fighting at the appropriate levels for purposes of meeting prerequisites.

Sneak Attack (Ex): If the kelvezu can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, they can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The kelvezu’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the kelvezu flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two kelvezu levels thereafter. Should the kelvezu score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, the kelvezu can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. They can use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, but in doing so they suffer the usual –4 penalty to the attack roll.

Demon Blades (Su): The kelvezu is able to craft a pair of bladed weapons out of their own essence. Even if dropped, thrown, or stolen, these demon blades mystically reappear in the kelvezu's hands at will. This grants the kelvezu a number of advantages, such as allowing it to perform multiple iterative thrown attacks, and making them all but immune to being disarmed, sundered, or otherwise left weaponless. The kelvezu can create or dismiss their demon blades as a free action.

The demon blades can appear as any one-handed bladed weapon that the kelvezu is proficient with. Regardless of what form they take, at 2nd level the demon blades have all the same stats as a normal weapon of its type except that they benefit from the Weapon Finesse feat, are treated as light weapons for purposes of dual-wielding, and automatically gain the shadow striking (ToM, p. 155) weapon property for free.

For every 2HD the kelvezu possesses, each demon blade gains the equivalence of a +1 weapon. The maximum enhancement bonus in pre-epic levels is +5, with extra bonuses going towards various enhancements such as keen, flaming, or wounding. Each blade must be given a minimum of a +1 enhancement bonus, however, just as if they were traditional magic weapons. Their innate shadow striking property, however, does not count against this limit, and there are no limits at all once the kelvezu reaches epic levels. The kelvezu can change the properties of their demon blades after one hour of meditation. Otherwise, they retain the same qualities each time they are summoned. Demon blades are also treated as natural weapons or manufactured weapons, whichever is most beneficial to the kelvezu.

At 10 HD, the effective reach of the kelvezu's demon blades, regardless of what form it takes, increases by 5 feet and all of the kelvezu's attacks are treated as touch attacks, just as if they were under the effects of the spell wraithstrike.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level and higher, the kelvezu can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If it makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, it instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the kelvezu is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless kelvezu does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Guile (Ex): Kelvezu gain a racial bonus to Bluff, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks equal to their HD. Further, they can use Cha in place if Wis when making Sense Motive checks.

If the kelvezu has access to mind-affecting effects, at 10 HD they become so proficient with them that they can bypass immunities, even those possessed by undead and similar creatures. As usual, such immunities instead grant a +5 bonus to their saving throws, if any.

Kelvezu Magic (Sp): The kelvezu gains a number of spell-like abilities as it progresses. Treat the kelvezu's HD as their caster level, and saving throw DCs were applicable are equal to 10 + ½ their HD + their Charisma modifier.

Once each per day per HD — darkness (improves to deeper darkness at 5 HD), desecrate, detect good, dimension door (improves to teleport at 6 HD and greater teleport at 12 HD), disguise self, dispel magic (improves to greater dispel magic at 9 HD), dispel psionics, invisibility (self only; improves to greater invisibility at 9 HD), protection from good, silence, and tongues
Once each per day per 2 HD — blink (improves to greater blink at 12 HD), charm person (improves to charm monster at 13 HD), freedom of movement, silent image (improves to minor image at 5 HD, major image at 9 HD, and persistent image at 13 HD), and suggestion
Once each per day per 3 HD — plane shift and unhallow

If the kelvezu uses their teleport ability and end in a square adjacent to one or more opponents, they can perform a full attack as a standard action, assuming they haven't already used their standard action for that round.

At 6 HD, kelvezu can use their teleport ability as a move action, and at 12 HD they can use greater teleport as a swift action instead. At 15 HD, they can use it once per round as a free action on their turn.

Furthermore, if the kelvezu multiclasses into a spellcasting- or initiating-using class, they can choose to use their Charisma in place of Intelligence or Wisdom for any purpose in which it matters for spellcasting, class features, or initiating maneuvers, but not attack or damage rolls. Saving throw DCs for their spells or maneuvers equal to 10 + ½ their HD + their Charisma modifier. They must choose which class this applies to as soon as they multiclass into it, and once chosen this feature only applies to that class's abilities. Additionally, their levels as a kelvezu count as full initiator levels for the purposes of multiclassing, but they may only choose maneuvers from the Desert Wind, Devoted Spirit, Diamond Mind, Iron Heart, Shadow Hand, and Tiger Claw disciplines for any such levels in which their kelvezu levels count. Finally, their natural weapons and demon blades always count as discipline weapons for all intents and purposes.

Poisoned Claws (Ex): Kelvezu continually coat their claws with an injury poison (Fort save DC 10 + ½ their HD + their Constitution modifier) produced from under their fingertips. Kelvezu poison is highly perishable, however, becoming inert 10 rounds after its produced.

The initial damage of this poison inflicts 1 point of Con damage while the secondary damage slows the target 1d4 rounds. The initial damage becomes more virulent as the kelvezu becomes more powerful, increasing to 1d4 Con damage at 8 HD, 1d6 Con damage at 12 HD, and at 16 HD the poison becomes so deadly that it even bypasses poison immunity. Instead, creatures that are normally immune to poison gain a +5 bonus to their saving throw.

At 5 HD, the kelvezu can coat their demon blades with this poison as a swift action or any other held weapon or item as a move action. At 9 HD, the poison becomes an innate characteristic of the demon blades, and they are treated as if they are always poisoned unless the kelvezu desires otherwise.

Bloodstained Flesh (Ex): At 4 HD, the kelvezu's flesh becomes a darker shade of red. At that point, the kelvezu gains DR/cold iron or good equal to ½ their HD, SR equal to 11 + their HD, fast healing equal to ½ their HD, and a bonus to Hide and Move Silently checks equal to their HD. It may raise or drop their SR as a free action. At 12 HD, their DR improves to DR/cold iron and good equal to their HD, and their SR increases to 15 + their HD.

Furthermore, the kelvezu gains resistance to acid and fire equal to 10 + ½ their HD. At 6 HD, they also gain resistance to cold at the same value. At 8 HD, their resistances to fire and acid increases to 10 + their HD. At 10 HD their resistance to cold follows suit. Finally, at 12 HD, they gain full immunity to acid and fire, or a +10 bonus to saving throws to resist it in cases where immunities are bypassed.

Fiendish Flight (Su): At 4 HD, the kelvezu gains a fly speed equal to their land speed with average maneuverability, as well as the three Spring Attack line of feats as bonus feats even if they don't meet the normal prerequisites for them. The kelvezu does not grow wings when gaining this abiliity; it is a purely magical ability.

Should the kelvezu enter an antimagic field or similar area where supernatural abilities are suppressed or dampened, they automatically float to the ground as per an extraordinary feather fall effect.

Closed Mind (Ex): Kelvezu are assassins who are particularly skilled at eliminating supernatural opponents. At 5 HD, the kelvezu and any effects it creates become immune to divination effects. At 11 HD, this ability improves to include all mind-affecting effects as well. If another effect bypasses these immunities, the kelvezu instead gains an automatic saving throw (even if the effect doesn't normally grant one) with a bonus to the roll equal to their HD. This replaces the mechanics normally associated with the bypassing of immunities.

Pierce Armor (Ex): Each attack the kelvezu makes with their demon blades or natural attacks has a 25% chance of ignoring all immunities to crit and sneak attack, Uncanny Dodge, concealment, any cover less than total of their target, or similar effects. This includes creatures normally immune to such attacks such as constructs, undead, and oozes. If the kelvezu has a similar ability from another source, the chance of bypassing such immunities increases by 25%, or they may use the other ability instead, whichever is most preferable.

Additionally, the kelvezu's crit range with their demon blades doubles. This stacks with other similar abilities such as keen or Improved Critical.

Vanish (Ex): The kelvezu can use the Hide skill even while being observed as a move-equivalent action. As long as it is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, the kelvezu can hide themself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. It cannot, however, hide in their own shadow.

Additionally, the kelvezu can take 10 when making Hide, Jump, Move Silently, or Tumble checks, even if stress and distractions wound normally prevent them from doing so. They also do not suffer a penalty for accelerated movement while hiding, and creatures that can normally ignore hidden characters (such as those with blindsense, lifesense, mindsight, scent, or tremorsense) must still make a Listen or Spot check to notice the kelvezu as if they did not possess such an ability.

Unnatural Flight (Su): At 8 HD, the kelvezu's fiendish flight ability improves to twice their land speed and good maneuverability. They also gain Flyby Attack as a bonus feat.

Sudden Backstab (Ex): Trying to run away from a kelvezu is a foolish proposition at best. At this level, every sucessful attack of opportunity from the kelvezu is considered a Sneak Attack.

Improved Evasion (Ex): This ability works like evasion, except that while the kelvezu still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks henceforth it henceforth takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless kelvezu does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Puncture Armor (Ex): Each attack the kelvezu makes with their demon blades or natural attacks now has a 50% chance of ignoring all immunities to crit and sneak attack, Uncanny Dodge, concealment, and any cover less than total of their target. If the kelvezu has a similar ability from another source, the chance of bypassing such immunities increases by 25%, or they may use the other ability instead, whichever is most preferable.

Additionally, the kelvezu's crit range with their demon blades triples. This stacks with other similar abilities such as keen or Improved Critical, but not with the doubling granted by Pierce Armor.

Inhuman Flight (Su): At 12 HD, the kelvezu's unnatural flight speed increases to triple their land speed with perfect maneuverability. In addition, while moving the kelvezu gains a blur-like effect that functions similarly to a set of robes of scintilating colors. As long as they move at least 10 feet per round, this quasi-blur effect grants the kelvezu an incremental +10% miss chance each round, up to a maximum of 50% (total concealment).

Vile Poison (Ex): The kelvezu adds both their Con and Cha modifier to the saving throw DC of their Poisoned Claws, instead of just Con.

Improved Vanish (Ex): The range of the kelvezu's vanish ability increases to 60 feet, and it may "take 15" when making Hide or Move Silently checks. Improved Vanish is now also a free action, but it can only be used once per round and only on the kelvezu's turn.

Pierce Magic (Ex): Opponents that the kelvezu threatens cannot cast or manifest defensively (they automatically fail their Concentration checks to do so). Furthermore, their fierce concempt for such opponents allows kelvezu to disregard the miss chance granted by magical or psionic effects such as darkness, blur, ghostform, or psionic invisibility, as well as effects used to create concealment effects (such as a wizard using a permanent illusion to fill a corridor with illusory fire and smoke). In addition, when facing an opponent protected by an effect such as mirror image, the kelvezu can immediately pick out the real creature from its figments.

The kelvezu's ability to ignore these effects does not apply to extraordinary abilities, only those of a magical or psionic nature.

Penetrate Armor (Ex): Each attack the kelvezu makes with their demon blades or natural attacks has a 75% chance of ignoring all immunities to crit and sneak attack, Uncanny Dodge, concealment, and any cover less than total of their target. If the kelvezu has a similar ability from another source, the chance of bypassing such immunities increases by 25%, or they may use the other ability instead, whichever is most preferable.

Additionally, the kelvezu's crit multiplier increases by 1. For example, a ×2 multiplier improves to ×3.


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