Liberator (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||I fight for the oppressed, the downtrodden, and the enslaved. I am every tyrant's nightmare.||”|
|—Melina Willowfoot, wood elf liberator|
Every society has its flaws, and those it treats as "lesser". Even in times of peace there are tyrants, slavers, warlords, bullies--whatever you call them, they exist. Some choose to combat their injustice with laws, bureaucracy, or protests; others choose a more direct approach. Liberators are those who are willing to take up arms for the causes of freedom and equality, and are truly a force to be feared.
Becoming a Liberator
The first liberator, Melina Willowfoot, was an urban ranger and order of the bow initiate with a long history fighting for equality in her homeland. While working in the Legion of Heroes and traveling the planes, she trained under the famed assassin Nightblade (Namú) to hone her skills of stealth and perception. She also worked to cultivate greater self-knowledge, and understand what she truly wished to accomplish with her life. Eventually she came to know and embrace her potential as a beacon of hope for the enslaved, and a friend to all those who seek freedom. The "liberator" class is the result of her realization and subsequent efforts: a true fusion of her skills and ideals.
When, at the end of The Reckoning, she ascended to godhood with other heroes of the Legion, she taught the skills and beliefs of the liberator class to her followers. As such, those who pursue this class almost always do so under the guidance of the Church of Melina. If not directly affiliated with the Church, they at least earn the goddess's favor with their work.
|Alignment:||any alignment however good are mostly seen in this class|
|Base Attack Bonus:||+6|
|Skills:||Gather Information 8 ranks, Sense Motive 8 ranks|
|Special:||"Favored Enemy" class feature. Must accept and abide by the following Code of Conduct:
1. Courage and enterprise in the pursuit of liberation
2. Defense of the oppressed unto death
3. Respect for all peers and equals; courtesy to all lesser
4. The liberator must never become the oppressor
Bluff, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information, Heal, Hide, Intimidate, Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Search, Sense Motive, Spot
|1st||+1||+0||+0||+2||Tyrant's Ruin +2|
|2nd||+2||+0||+0||+3||Iron Will, Smite the Guilty 1/day|
|3rd||+3||+1||+1||+3||Aura of Resolve, Defensive Stance +2|
|4th||+4||+1||+1||+4||Tyrant's Ruin +4|
|5th||+5||+1||+1||+4||Break Enchantment 1/week|
|6th||+6/+1||+2||+2||+5||Smite the Guilty 2/day, Defensive Stance +4|
|7th||+7/+2||+2||+2||+5||Tyrant's Ruin +6|
|8th||+8/+3||+2||+2||+6||Dimensional Anchor 1/day|
|9th||+9/+4||+3||+3||+6||Mettle, Defensive Stance +6|
|10th||+10/+5||+3||+3||+7||Break Enchantment 2/week, Smite the Guilty 3/day, Tyrant's Ruin +8|
All of the following are class features of the Liberator.
Tyrant's Ruin (Ex): Beginning at 1st level, a liberator may study a target for 3 rounds to determine if they are a tyrant. If target is a tyrant, they are marked and the liberator receives +2 on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival checks, and Damage rolls. This bonus lasts until the target is killed, but is removed if the liberator uses this ability on another tyrant. This bonus increases by 2 every three levels.
Iron Will (Ex): At 2nd level, a liberator gains this feat as a bonus.
Smite the Guilty (Su): At 2nd level, 1/day a liberator may add their Charisma modifier to attack rolls against a Tyrant marked by Tyrant's Ruin and add their liberator class level to the damage dealt. The times per day increases by 1 every four levels.
Aura of Resolve (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, a liberator is immune to compulsion effects. Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against compulsion effects. This ability otherwise functions identically to the paladin's aura of courage class feature.
Defensive Stance (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, at the start of any turn a liberator may transfer 2 points of their AC to an adjacent ally, provided that ally has lower health. The amount of AC they may transfer increases by 2 every three levels.
Break Enchantment (Sp): At 5th level a liberator may cast break enchantment once per week as a caster level equal to the liberator class level. This increases to 2/week at 10th level.
Dimensional Anchor (Sp): At 8th level, a liberator may cast dimensional anchor on one target/day. Use the liberator level as the caster level.
Mettle (Su): At 9th level a liberator may take no damage from spells requiring fortitude or will saves, as the feat "Evasion" allows no damage to be taken from spells requiring reflex saves.
If a liberator ceases to be Chaotic Good or breaks the Code of Conduct, they loose all class features and abilities and are unable to gain levels as a liberator. Class features and the ability to gain levels return once their alignment returns to Chaotic Good and, if necessary, amends have been made.
Playing a Liberator
Combat: Liberators generally function similarly to rangers in combat: they may be good at ranged or melee attacks, and focus most strongly on specific types of enemies. They are also a protective and supporting class to an extent.
Advancement: Ranger is a necessary starting class for liberators, but multiclassing beyond ranger/liberator to classes that focus on stealth or combat can be beneficial. A ranger/liberator/rogue, ranger/liberator/order of the bow initiate, or ranger/liberator/guardian paramount are all viable combinations, among others.
Resources: Although nearly all liberators are affiliated with or taught by the Church of Melina, most function independently in their missions. It is not uncommon for them to temporarily ally themselves with larger organizations in the pursuit of others' freedom.
Liberators in the World
|“||Oh aye, I hunt. Slavers are my specialty, although I've been known to take warlords as quarry.||”|
|—Sabetha Ras, human liberator|
Those that become a liberator must above all not only love freedom, but be willing to fight for that of others. Slavers, political tyrants, and oppressive institutions are all targets of the liberator, who will pursue their eradication mercilessly. However, a liberator must take care never to put the freedom of one group above that of another. They must seek equality in the truest sense, and never become too attached to one region or people.
Liberators are often found turning the tides of battles--be they open or covert--of the oppressed against their oppressors; because of their extraordinary skill they are a much-needed relief force in many cases. They may also seek out individuals in need of freedom, or specific tyrants that must be overthrown.
NPC Reactions: NPC reactions to liberators vary widely. Some see them as welcome relief and beacons of hope for the oppressed; others see them as troublesome upstarts more concerned with abstract ideals than maintaining a functioning society. Some even feel outright threatened by them and may actively seek to kill them. Typically, NPCs of less-respected races and classes will view liberators more favorably, while those of a more privileged status are more likely to dislike and mistrust them.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge: History or Knowledge: Local can research liberators to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Liberators dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to the cause of freedom, even at the cost of their own lives. They follow a code of conduct in accordance with these beliefs.|
|16||Liberators' hatred of tyrants makes them especially good at killing them.|
|21||It is thought that a liberator's dedication to the cause of freedom makes them immune to certain kinds of spells.|
|26||Characters who get this result can know the names and locations of specific liberators and items related to them.|
Liberators in the Game
Liberators are excellent PCs when the campaign will pit them against obvious sources of injustice, and can provide an interesting twist on traditional ranger flavor. As NPCs, they can be valuable allies for good-aligned PCs, helping with missions that coincide with their own cause. For evil-aligned PCs they can be dangerous foes, either once or repeatedly.
Adaptation: For campaigns with a different cosmology and history than the one the liberator class originated in, it's easy to replace the deity "Melina" with a like-minded deity from your own campaign. Liberators can also function without gods entirely.
Sample Encounter: Good-aligned PCs may recruit a liberator as a temporary ally to kill a group of slavers, or seek one out to gather information about a particular political tyrant. Evil-aligned PCs may be the subject of assassination attempts by one or more liberators.