Savage Priest (3.5e Prestige Class)
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The Savage Priest
|“||The dichotomy of ferocity and benevolence the grand beasts of the wild express is shown through us; we are the healers, the menders, the predators and the devourers.||”|
Many in the hands of the Divine pursue, tirelessly, the promise of some fulfillment in mortal life and that after, that they will, through service to their deity or oath, be rewarded. Others yet, achieve a destiny that is born with them; their very flesh and blood granted greatness by the strength of magic alone, but not all are granted such privileges, for nature favors the strong and culls the weak, even in the realm of magic. The calling of a Savage Priest is one that begins before birth, one where the spirit is encouraged to find kinship in the merciless wild, and progress through life following the more barbaric and feral life yet acting as a beacon of power for both mortal and beast alike.
Becoming a Savage Priest
Savage Priests are destined to travel their path of animal affinity before even being born; they have always had an affinity for animals, large or small, but their strongest of ties lay in those anchored to the feline, canine and ursine. At times known as the Great Three to the Savage Priest, the trio of true predators exemplify the strongest and most cunning of animal power; one worthy of both respect and fear, the latter of which they as a Savage Priest do not know, for they are allies among them. It is only a matter of time before a Savage Priest awakens their beast influencing power...
|Alignment:||To qualify, one must be Neutral on at least one alignment axis, but may be any combination of alignments that satisfy this requirement, such as Neutral Good, Lawful Neutral, etc.|
|Skills:||Knowledge (Nature) 8 ranks, Knowledge (Religion) 8 ranks|
|Base Attack Bonus:||+3|
|Special:||The ability to Turn Undead|
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+1||+1||+0||+1||Beast Tongue, Bestial Purity, Animal Domain||+1 level of existing Divine spellcasting class|
|2nd||+2||+1||+0||+2||Turn Animal, Allegiance to the Wild||+1 level of existing Divine spellcasting class|
|3rd||+3||+2||+1||+2||Awaken Beast||+1 level of existing Divine spellcasting class|
|4th||+4||+2||+1||+3||Mend Beast||+1 level of existing Divine spellcasting class|
|5th||+5||+3||+1||+3||Feral Rebirth||+1 level of existing Divine spellcasting class|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the Savage Priest.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Savage Priests gain proficiency with the Scimitar, but do not gain any further weapon or armor proficiencies.
Animal Domain: Upon 1st level, a Savage Priest gains the Animal Domain as an additional domain regardless of their previous selections. However, instead of gaining the Speak with Animals spell-like ability of the Animal Domain and the Knowledge (Nature) skill, the Savage Priest gains a bonus to turning attempts against Animals of +2.
Beast Tongue (Ex): At the 1st level a Savage Priest gains the benefit of Beast Tongue, which allows them to communicate with all feline, canine, or ursine Animals as if they were under the effects of the Speak with Animals spell. In addition to acting as a permanent Speak with Animals spell, it also qualifies as a permanent Tongues for speaking to Magical Beasts which are feline, canine, or ursine in nature or similarity. Beast Tongue's effect cannot be suppressed by any means and continues to function regardless of suppression short of the Savage Priest's willful desire to do so.
Bestial Purity (Ex): Savage Priests of 1st level become immune to all disease and poison effects, along with any effects which would attempt to raise them as an Undead creature. Because of their enormous spiritual anchor to the wild, their bodies become divinely empowered by animal energies to resist any such attempt without failure. Resurrection spells, or the overall reuniting of soul to body and returning to life, function as normal, but they cannot be transformed willingly or unwillingly into an undead creature at any point. Attempts to do so simply fail with no further effect, be it beneficial or harmful, to them or the individual attempting to raise them as undead.
Due to this absolute purity of spirit by beast-magic, the souls of Savage Priests are anchored to the wild and cannot be freely or forcefully relinquished; they cannot have their spirit destroyed, as it belongs to the same pool of bestial energy which they learn to attune themselves to. However, they may return to life from death by the typical means such as a resurrection spell, reincarnation, wish or miracle without penalties beyond the norm, or their Feral Rebirth provided they are of sufficient level to access it.
Allegiance to the Wild (Ex): Upon reaching the 2nd level a Savage Priest aligns to the wilderness, becoming an ally of beasts which are feline, canine, or ursine in origin; such Animals treat a Savage Priest with a friendly attitude at minimum, regardless of what their attitude would normally be toward the Savage Priest. This allegiance is a spiritual binding to which creatures of the previously listed types recognize immediately upon viewing the Savage Priest. However, their attitude can be improved or worsened as normal toward the Savage Priest.
Turn Animal (Su): Starting at the 2nd level a Savage Priest may utilize their Turn Undead ability against Animals. Turn attempts used in this manner are treated like a Good Cleric using Turn Undead to compel the targeted animal to flee; Turn Animal cannot be used to destroy animals as it does Undead. However, a Savage Priest may instead choose to command an animal through Turn Animal as an Evil Cleric chooses to command undead. In addition, a Savage Priest may attempt to bolster commanded animals or dispel a turning effect on an animal as an Evil Cleric does for undead. These effects function regardless of alignment, meaning a Neutral Good Savage Priest may command animals in the same way an Neutral Evil Savage Priest does without any penalty.
Animals commanded or turned by Turn Animal are treated as indifferent toward the Savage Priest who turned or commanded them if they were not already indifferent or of better attitude toward the Savage Priest once the turn effect ends. Animals that willingly comply to Turn Animal effects retain their attitude once its effects end.
Awaken Beast (Sp): At 3rd level a Savage Priest may preform an Awaken spell, once per week, on an Animal that is feline, canine, or ursine. Unlike a regularly cast Awaken spell, there is no cast time required to complete the spell and no experience component; the effect is free and instantaneous. A beast awakened by Awaken Beast while under the effects of Turn Animal immediately breaks free of the Turn Animal effect. Awaken Beast's effects are permanent and cannot be reversed or otherwise undone once cast, and the targeted animal permanently receives the benefits provided by Awaken Beast, in addition to receiving the maximum ability score increases caused by the Awaken spell effect.
Mend Beast (Su): When having attained 4th level a Savage Priest may heal wounds (their own or those of feline, canine, or ursine Animals or Magical Beasts which are similar to those animals) by touch. Each day they can heal a total number of hit points of damage equal to their character level times their Wisdom modifier. Mend Beast also grants the benefits of a Remove Disease spell and a Neutralize Poison spell as if they were cast on the recipient of Mend Beast by the Savage Priest, provided the Savage Priest used at least half of their total maximum healing for that day through Mend Beast on the targeted creature. A Savage Priest may choose to divide the healing among multiple recipients, and need not use the healing all at once. Using Mend Beast is a standard action that requires the Savage Priest touch the target and does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
Feral Rebirth (Ex): Upon reaching the 5th level a Savage Priest is capable of reincarnating as a beast of nature upon death. When a Savage Priest of 5th level dies, he or she may attempt a roll (DC of 10 + 1/2 Character Level + Savage Priest level versus Will) to be reborn into the world 1d10 days later after their apparent death as an Animal of their choosing, provided is is feline, canine or ursine. If the Savage Priest succeeds in their Will check, they will reappear at the closest wilderness location to the scene of their death which is appropriate for the animal they chose to find themselves reborn as; a Savage Priest reborn as a tiger but had died in a plane without a jungle reappears in the nearest jungle to where he or she had entered that plane from as a tiger. Fading into life from an energy filled mist, the Savage Priest recalls all information he or she knew in life along with the last events that took place prior to their death.
In their new form, a Savage Priest's previous types change to Magical Beast and they lose all benefits granted to them by their previous race, such as a Human's bonus feat, a Dwarf's Stonecunning, etc, and instead gain all the qualities of their chosen animal such as movement speed, natural armor, etc, except that they recall and may speak all the languages they knew at their time of death. However, they retain all other features such as their natural ability scores in their new animal form and their previous Hit Dice, along with their saves, and so on. In addition to gaining all the qualities of their chosen animal, they also no longer require materials, components, or any similar items to cast Divine spells, and only require the ability to cast their spells through semantic and verbal means, which they may still preform. Spells which lack a verbal or semantic requirement now require the Savage Priest capable of preforming them through a verbal and semantic means instead of whatever listed means; spells that still have an experience cost, retain that experience cost regardless, however.
A Savage Priest reborn by Feral Rebirth has none of their previous equipment or items on their person unless an item was specifically bound to them. Savage Priests still retain their ability to wear the armor types they could previously, however, they temporarily lose all of their weapon proficiencies unless they assume a humanoid form.
Should a Savage Priest die within 10 days of revival through Feral Rebirth, the difficulty of being reborn again is increased to (10 + Character level + Savage Priest level) + 10. This + 10 to difficulty is additive, meaning a Savage Priest who dies twice within 10 days of being reborn by Feral Rebirth must succeed in a (10 + Character level + Savage Priest level) + 20 versus Will check to be reborn again. After the 10 days since the most recent rebirth pass, the DC is reduced by 10 each day until it reaches it's normal value.
A Savage Priest who fails their check to return to life through Feral Rebirth dies as normal without any added penalty.
Spellcasting: A Savage Priest continues advancing in spellcasting ability as well as gaining the abilities of his or her new class. Thus, when a new Savage Priest level is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if they had also gained a level in whatever spellcasting class he or she belonged to before they added the prestige class. They do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of controlling or rebuking undead, wild shape ability, and so on). This essentially means that he or she adds the level of Savage Priest to the level of whatever other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day accordingly. For example, if Cassandra, a 10th-level cleric, gains a level as a Savage Priest, she gains new spells as if she had risen to 11th level as a cleric, but uses the other Savage Priest aspects of level progression such as base attack bonus and save bonuses. If she next gains a level as a cleric, making her an 11th-level cleric/1st-level Savage Priest, she gains spells as if she had risen to 12th level as a cleric. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before she became a Savage Priest, the player must decide which class to assign each level of Savage Priest for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.
A Savage Priest who ceases to revere or exalt the wild strength of animals and creatures feline, canine or ursine, or willfully acts against those deemed creatures with no other intent but to cause them harm for harm's sake loses his or her class features until they atone. The Savage Priest must confess and seek forgiveness from such beasts, in addition to having someone cast an Atonement spell for them. A Savage Priest who has been subject to Feral Rebirth remains in their animal form and receives its benefits as usual, but loses all other class features until they properly atone.
Playing a Savage Priest
Combat: The Savage Priest is an excellent spellcaster, and can be found on the front lines of combat slinging spell and swinging sword alike, all while commanding various animals under their control. A Savage Priest never dares to enter combat alone, and instead brings a ferocious armada of wild creatures with them, unleashing them upon their chosen foes and directing them with the tact of an experienced commander. Each beast under the Savage Priest's command fights with unmatched ferocity, willing to sacrifice itself for the greater collective without question asked; albeit compelled, beasts under the control of a Savage Priest believe the Savage Priest's commands are for the will of the wild.
Resources: While a form of Cleric or, as the name implies, Priest, a Savage Priest has no particular organization. To call a Savage Priest uncommon is a staggering understatement, as their numbers are exceptionally limited; the majority of Savage Priests that do exist find themselves in company with Champions of the Ferine, their closest relatives in the animal soul. Most Savage Priests are shunned from their former houses of worship by the most pious of their former collective, albeit the more open minded divine willingly accept their presence among them.
Savage Priest Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Religion) can research Savage Priests to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Savage Priests are Divinely appointed warriors of the wild whom ally with and command feline, canine and ursine beasts in battle.|
|16||Savage Priests can Awaken animals in a method similar to Druids, however, the awakening preformed by a Savage Priest is significantly more powerful, so much so that its level of power is unusual to even the eldest of Druids.|
|21||No mortal or even magical beast of their lot dares strike a Savage Priest without provocation; they can truly walk where lions lie without fear.|
|26||Savage Priests are rumored capable of averting death, taking on the purity of the the savage wilderness itself and returning to life once more in a fabled, cloudy mist as a beast.|