Medium (3.5e Class)

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A medium turns malevolent spirits.


Death is terrifying because it is so ordinary. It happens all the time.
—Susan Cheever

A medium is a conduit between the afterlife and the living.

Making a Medium[edit]

The medium acquires a range of abilities that make him a capable opponent against both the dead and undead as well as the living. He is potentially a great face for a party, but keep him away from the front lines. His skill set is something of a compromise between a cleric and a rogue, but he will never replace either. If a party has a place for a warlock, then it has a place for a medium, since the two share similar roles.

Abilities: Charisma is the determining ability for a medium special abilities and the absolute single most important ability for a medium. Constitution eventually becomes superfluous, and all other abilities are more or less important depending on how you plan to play the character.

Races: Any race may become a medium, although races with shorter life spans (such as humans) are more likely to choose this path.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 2d4×10 gp (50 gp).

Starting Age: Moderate.

Table: The Medium

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Bolt of Sorrow, Necromonger, Sixth Sense
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 I See Dead People
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 The Dead Are Not Silent
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Bequeath the Sight 2/day
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 A Million Is A Statistic
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Mutual Understanding
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Revenge of the Fallen (1)
8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 Forlorn Voice
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Death Is Another Part of Life
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Bequeath the Sight 4/day
11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Embracing Death
12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 The Sending 1/day
13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Revenge of the Fallen (2)
14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 On Death's Door
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Emptiness of Death 1/day
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Bequeath the Sight 6/day
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 The Point of No Return
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 Emptiness of Death 2/day, The Sending 2/day
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Revenge of the Fallen (3)
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Premature Burial

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int, Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge: History (Int), Knowledge: Local (Int), Knowledge: Nobility and Royalty (Int), Knowledge: Religion (Int), Knowledge: the Planes (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (n/a), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the medium.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A medium is proficient with all simple weapons and light armor, but no shields.

Bolt of Sorrow (Su): Every man dead, a mother’s son; every woman deceased, a mother’s daughter. Death leaves many things behind, and not just the companions known during life. Every death carries with it the weight of unfulfilled dreams and broken promises. And make no mistake; few bear a grudge better than one with nothing but the eternal nothingness granted by death.

By tapping into the hostility of the deceased, the medium can channel their malevolence into a ranged touch attack that deals 1d6 untyped damage per medium level. The dice used in this attack can change, however, to reflect that certain individuals (or creatures) are more likely to have stepped over someone’s corpse to get ahead in life, or are more likely to have caused grief simply be existing as what they are (such as vampires). The range of a bolt of sorrow is 50 ft + 5 ft/medium level. Using bolt of sorrow is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Distinction Modifier
Evil Alignment +1
Undead Type +1
Spawn-Creating Undead* +1
Fiend +2
Dragon +1
Age: Old (Dragon) +1
Age: Ancient (Dragon)** +1
Age: Wyrm (Dragon)** +1
Age: Old (Humanoid) +1
Age: Venerable (Humanoid)** +1

* This category includes shadows, spectres, vampires, wights, and wraiths, and stacks with the regular undead type.
** This category stacks with the age categories below (above) it.

Table: Bolt of Sorrow Adjusted Damage

Total Modifier New Dice
+1 d8
+2 2d4
+3 d10
+4 d12
+5 2d6
+6 2d8

Furthermore, characters with class levels in blackguard, assassin, or another class where being evil is a prerequisite, take one additional point of damage per class level in one of these classes. Character with levels in classes specifically devoted to manipulating the dead, such as dread necromancers and true necromancers, take two points of additional damage per class level.

To illustrate this effect, here are a few examples using an 8th level medium as the base character:

A bone devil targeted by a bolt of sorrow from this character would normally take 8d6 damage, however, because the bone devil is evil (+1) and a fiend (+2) (total modifier +3), it takes 8d10 damage instead.

If this same character were to target a 60 year old (+1) neutral evil (+1) human dread necromancer 7, the target would take 16d4+14 damage; 16d4 on account of having a total modifier of +2, and two extra points of damage for each dread necromancer level.

Necromonger (Su): A medium can choose to turn or rebuke undead as a cleric of his level regardless of his alignment. Just like a cleric, he gains a number of turn/rebuke attempts equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier. A medium with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Religion) gets a +2 bonus on turning checks. The medium needs no holy symbol to use this ability; it stems only from his unique connection to the dead.

Sixth Sense (Su): The dead, like any sentient people, look out for their own best interests. It just so happens that the medium is often inseparably tied to those interests. By listening to the deceased's whispers of warning, the medium gains an insight bonus to his Armor Class equal to his Charisma modifier.

I See Dead People (Ex): A second level medium sees as though under the effect of a deathwatch spell; this effect is permanent and cannot be dispelled.

The Dead Are Not Silent (Ex): The medium has always felt a powerful connection to the realm of death. Since his youth, he could hear the voices of those he knew to no longer be living, and now the connection has grown so great that he can talk back. A third level medium can speak with the deceased as if they were normal beings. He may speak with the dead at will as though they were living, so he is not limited by any of the restrictions of the speak with dead spell, and no saving throw is allowed or necessary. A deceased being may choose not to answer, but is subject to the medium’s skills (Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, etc.) as if he were normally engaging in conversation.

Bequeath the Sight (Su): Whenever he makes a touch attack, a medium of 4th level may, as a free action, bestow upon a target terrifying, even crippling visions of gruesome death twice per day. This ability is a melee touch attack that functions similarly to a holy word or blasphemy spell, except that alignment is not a factor and outsiders of opposed alignments are not banished. The target of bequeath the sight suffers the following ill effects based on its relationship to the medium’s level:

HD Effect
Equal to medium level Dazed
Up to medium level –1 Weakened, dazed
Up to medium level –5 Paralyzed, weakened, dazed
Up to medium level –10 Killed, paralyzed, weakened, dazed

The effects are cumulative and concurrent, and no saving throw is allowed against them.

Dazed: The creature can take no actions for 1 round, though it defends itself normally.

Weakened: The creature’s Strength score decreases by 2d6 points for 2d4 rounds.

Paralyzed: The creature is paralyzed and helpless for 1d10 minutes.

Killed: Living creatures die.

The medium gains an additional two uses of bequeath the sight per day ever six levels after fourth.

A Million Is A Statistic (Su): A single death is a tragedy. A million is a statistic. At 5th level, the medium may sacrifice a daily use of his necromonger ability to use his bolt of sorrow in a burst centered around him. The radius of this burst is equal to 5 feet plus 5 additional feet for every five medium levels.

Mutual Understanding (Ex): At 6th level, the medium gains the effect of a tongues spell whenever he speaks with a deceased person. This effect does not apply when he speaks to the living.

Revenge of the Fallen (Su): The medium can hear the voices of the dead crying out for blood, and he is only too happy to oblige. The medium’s touch attack devastates living beings at 7th level, dealing 1 negative level on a failed Fortitude save (DC 10 + ½ medium level + Charisma modifier). At 13th level, the medium drains two negative levels, and finally three negative levels at 19th level. This ability manifests automatically as a free action whenever the medium makes a touch attack, although it can be suppressed. The medium gains no benefits typically associated with level-draining effects (temporary hit points) when using Revenge of the Fallen.

Forlorn Voice (Ex): At 8th level, the medium is easily recognized by the dead as an advocate of their lost cause. He gains a bonus to all Charisma-based checks equal to one half his level (rounded down) when speaking with the dead.

Death Is Another Part of Life (Su): It is said that when someone is close to death, they will see their life flash before their eyes. When fighting a medium, they may see the lives of others instead. A medium of 9th level or higher may give up a daily use of his necromonger ability to channel his melee touch attacks into his bolt of sorrow. These effects stack with the base damage delivered by the bolt of sorrow.

Embracing Death (Ex): After spending so much time with the dead and undead, the medium starts to take on some qualities of those beings. At 11th level he becomes immune to poison and disease. As he approaches closer to Death's door, he gains immunity to ability drain and level drain at level 14. At 17th level the medium acquires immunity to death effects and no longer ages, although any ability score penalties he had accrued up to this point are retained.

The Sending (Su): A medium may do his best to reason with the dead (or undead), but just as it is in life, some people are just assholes. That's when the negotiations ceases and the gloves come off. Oncer per day, a 12th level medium may re-create the effects of an undeath to death spell. This functions like a spell-like ability, although the effect cannot be lost if the medium is hit when activating it.. The medium gains an additional daily usage of this ability every six levels after acquiring it.

Emptiness of Death (Su): At 15th level, the medium can become incorporeal, mimicking the ghosts and other incorporeal undead that torment his thoughts. He may become incorporeal as per a ghostform spell (Libris Mortis 65), and while in this form he may make full use of all of his touch attacks and his bolt of sorrow to attack material creatures. He gains an additional daily use of this ability at 18th level. Activating the emptiness of death is akin to a spell-like ability, although the effect cannot be lost if the medium is hit when activating it.

Premature Burial (Ex): At 20th level, the medium transcends the boundaries of mortality. His material body dies, and his type changes to undead (with the incorporeal subtype). Bonus hit points gained from Constitution are lost. The medium now uses his Charisma modifier for Fortitude saves and bonus hit points, which he gains retroactively using his Charisma modifier. He automatically gains the Ghostly Grasp feat (LM 27), allowing him to touch, hold, and wear material objects as though he were not incorporeal. Any equipment he was carrying when he died is also remade in this incorporeal form, although he can continue to equip his material items normally. Furthermore, the medium can no longer use his emptiness of death class ability.

Epic Medium[edit]

Table: The Epic Medium
Hit Die: d8
Level Special
22nd Bequeath the Sight 8/day
23rd Bonus Feat
24th The Sending 3/day
25th Revenge of the Fallen (4)
26th Bonus Feat
28th Bequeath the Sight 10/day
29th Bonus Feat
30th The Sending 4/day

6 + Int modifier skill points per level.

A medium's epic levels stack with his medium levels when determining the strength of his ability to turn or rebuke undead, the benefits of his Forlorn Voice, and the effects of Bequeath the Sight.

Bequeath the Sight: The medium continues to accumulate daily uses of Bequeath the Sight on a same six level scale.

Bolt of Sorrow: The medium's Bolt of Sorrow continues to add an additional 1d6 points of damage at every level beyond twentieth.

Revenge of the Fallen: At 25th level a medium's Revenge of the Fallen attack deal four negative levels per successful attack.

Bonus Feats: The epic medium gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic medium bonus feats) every three levels after 20th level.

Epic Medium Bonus Feat List: Energy Resistance, Epic Fortitude, Epic Prowess, Epic Reflexes, Epic Reputation, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Toughness, Epic Will, Great Charisma, Polyglot, Superior Initiative, Undead Mastery.

Human Medium Starting Package[edit]

Sample Base Abilities:

Table: Point Buy System
Ability 24 28 32 36
Strength 10 10 10 10
Dexterity 12 14 14 14
Constitution 10 10 10 10
Intelligence 12 14 12 14
Wisdom 10 10 10 10
Charisma 16 16 18 18

Weapons: Heavy mace, dagger.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor Check
Autohypnosis 4 Wis
Bluff 4 Cha
Diplomacy 4 Cha
Gather Information 4 Cha
Heal 4 Wis
Listen 4 Wis
Sense Motive 4 Wis

Feat: Improved Initiative.

Bonus Feats: Point Blank Shot.

Gear: Studded Leather Armor.

Gold: 11 gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Medium[edit]

Religion: Due to the nature of their abilities, mediums are often obsessed with death. Whether it is the spread of death or the prevention of it is dependent on the alignment of the medium. As a result, mediums who choose to worship a god usually choose one that represents the grim solemnity that they live by, the truth of death that only they can comprehend.

Other Classes: Good mediums despise necromancy and, by association, its practitioners. While they understand the reasons for the existence of undead through extenuating circumstances and often become undead themselves, they abhor the idea of intentionally animating corpses for power. They have no hard feelings towards the undead, only those who create them, and as a result may be sympathetic towards other undead characters (an exception would likely be the necromancer who has achieved lichdom). No other characters draw their particular ire, but a medium's strange abilities and brooding manner are more likely to negatively affect others' opinions of him rather than vice versa. Evil mediums, on the other hand, might be even more prone to becoming necromancers and the like, using their additional prowess to create an even stronger grip on their undead progeny.

Combat: A medium's primary role serves in aiding the party's efforts to gather information, using his ability to communicate with the dead to quickly gain knowledge of his surroundings and the events taking place within. When combat starts, however, he is not the greatest help on the front lines until he gains the ability to turn incorporeal, although with his Sixth Sense he shouldn't be a total slouch. It is then that he can unleash the full potential of his devastating melee touch attacks. Until then, his bolt of sorrow is an effective weapon, especially against the ruthless and bloodthirsty foes that so often propagate a campaign.

Advancement: Despite their undeniable connection to death, mediums are not necromancers, and take the gravest offense to any such comparison (if good). While these mediums loathe necromancy-based classes, they will not shy from undead-based prestige classes, particularly those that can make use of their particular talents. Evil mediums have no such qualms about becoming masters of the undead. Because the medium's key abilities are unaffected by armor, taking a level or two in a martial-based class is only logical. If you can somehow mesh the two conflicting ideologies into something manageable, paladin is a second option second to none.

Mediums in the World[edit]

“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”

Daily Life: A medium's life is one of constant service, or at the very least, constant hounding. The dead have their own desires, caprices, and feelings and they very often have few qualms about pestering the few who can hear them until they get what they want. A medium's typical day otherwise depends on his occupation. If the medium communes with the dead for a living, he likely works as something of a freelance consultant (on the behalf of the living) or investigator (on behalf of the dead).

Notables: The Sorrow (the primary inspiration for this class).

Organizations: Mediums are a rare breed, and as such mass get-togethers are all but impossible. When mediums do meet, it is most often by chance, although mediums who have met may maintain some form of correspondence. There are rumors of cults that seek out, recruit, and harbor mediums, although whether their actions are well-intentioned for the benefit of confused young individuals or something far more sinister remains to be seen, if such groups even exists at all.

NPC Reactions: Mediums tend to induce a myriad of reactions depending on the individual. There are those who appreciate of the medium's talents and may treat him with some level of deference, but there are others who are just as likely to be skeptic of his abilities. If a medium's unique talents are not known, then he's really just another face in the crowd, since he lacks both the flash of a wizard and the clunking, straight-forward get-up of a fighter.

Medium Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Religion) can research mediums to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Religion)
DC Result
10 Mediums are individuals who can both talk to and hear the voices of the dead.
15 Mediums have no particular attitude toward the (un)dead, unlike clerics or paladins.
20 The medium can channel the energy of the dead into projectiles of malevolent emotion.
30 At this degree of difficulty, success can acquire information about specific mediums.

Mediums in the Game[edit]

Mediums are unique individuals; it is not often that someone can communicate with both the living and the dead. With this power comes a great deal of eccentricity, as many would view the ability to see and hear the deceased as an insufferable curse. Likewise, the medium must also contend with the souls of the dead, just as jealous and wanting as the living but lacking the ability to help themselves. The dual responsibilities of the medium towards both sides can cause a great deal of headache, but it can be a profoundly gratifying calling nonetheless.

Adaptation: DM's are strongly encouraged to work with their players in regard to both the The Dead Are Not Silent and Bolt of Sorrow class abilities. One would think the ability to speak with the dead without conventional restraints would be a powerful source of information, but the dead often have desires related to the land of the living and given that they have all the time in the world, can be very stubborn about the exchange of information unless some sort of favor is exchanged. For Bolt of Sorrow, the attack is intended as the manifestation of all the grievances from those left in an individual's wake, so in all likelihood it shouldn't do much (if any) damage to say, a baby (you evil bastard!), or perhaps a non-violent pacifist could take reduced damage (down to d4).

Sample Encounter: EL 14: Ethan Wesker is sadistic bounty hunter. Maybe he's after one of the PCs, maybe he's after someone close to them, maybe they just got in his way. It doesn't really matter to Wesker. Ethan Wesker

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