Soulcatcher (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||You borrow some measure of power from the multitude of little souls roaming the multiverse. Let me demonstrate what happens when one takes power from that which even the gods cannot destroy.||”|
|—Soral, human soulcatcher, speaking to an uppity incarnate|
Soulcatchers bind vesitges into the chakra they have gained control over through their use of incarnum. While this may give them considerable power, it carries considerable risks. In addition, they have sacrificed some of the vitality of their bodies to more fully concentrate on their souls. When they summon vestiges, they see wisps of incarnum floating around the edges, as the movement of such powerful souls drags this energy with them. When binding soulmelds, they must resist the powerful force of vestiges trying to force themselves onto the soulcatcher's chakras.
Becoming a Soulcatcher
All soulcatchers start with levels in binder, and a few levels in an incarnum using class (with incarnate being the most common). Charisma remains important, as binding vestiges into chakras is more difficult. Constitution is important for shaping soulmelds, and for containing the bound vesitges. After that, it is really up to the player.
|Alignment:||None, but they tend toward extreme alignments, with lawful alignments being more common.|
|Skills:||Diplomacy 5 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 5 ranks.|
|Meldshaping:||Ability to shape 3 soulmelds|
|Special:||Ability to bind a 2nd-level vesitge.|
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+2||Vestige essentia investment, Soothe the soul||+1 meldshaping class / +1 soulbinding|
|2nd||+1||+3||+0||+3||Chakra binds (Crown, feet, hands)||+1 meldshaping class / +1 soulbinding|
|3rd||+1||+3||+1||+3||Vestige chakra binds (least)||+1 meldshaping class / +1 soulbinding|
|4th||+2||+4||+1||+4||-||+1 meldshaping class / +1 soulbinding|
|5th||+2||+4||+1||+4||Chakra binds (arms, brows, shoulders)||+1 meldshaping class / +1 soulbinding|
|6th||+3||+5||+2||+5||Vestige chakra binds (lesser)||+1 meldshaping class / +1 soulbinding|
|7th||+3||+5||+2||+5||-||+1 meldshaping class / +1 soulbinding|
|8th||+4||+6||+2||+6||Chakra binds (throat, waist)||+1 meldshaping class / +1 soulbinding|
|9th||+4||+6||+3||+6||Vestige chakra binds (greater)||+1 meldshaping class / +1 soulbinding|
|10th||+5||+7||+3||+7||Vestige chakra release||+1 meldshaping class / +1 soulbinding|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
Meldshaping: At each level soulcatcher level, you increase your meldshaper level, the number of soulmelds you can create, the number of chakra binds you can create, and your essentia pool as if you had gained a level in ameldshaping class to which you belonged prior to gaining the soulcatcher level. You do not, however, gain any other abilities of that class, such as new tiers of chakra binds. If you had more than one meldshaping class before becoming a soulcatcher, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining your essentia pool, meldshaper level, and the number of soulmelds and chakra binds available.
Soulbinding: At each soulcatcher level, your soulbinding ability improves as if you had also gained a level in the binder class. Your soulcatcher levels and binder levels stack for the purpose of determining your bonus on binding checks, the effectiveness of your vestige-granted abilities, your abilities to bind-higher level vestiges, and the number of vestiges you can bind. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a binder would have gained.
Soothe the soul: A soulcatcher is adept at convincing souls to do his bidding. He may use his charisma in place of his wisdom for setting the DC of his soulmelds.
Vestige Essentia Investment (Su): You channel some of your personal power into a vestige you have bound, either in general or into one of your chakra's, giving it greater influence in the real world. You may invest your essentia into a bound vestige. For every point of essentia invested in a vestige, increase the bonuses granted by the vestige by one-half of the base value. For instance, 1 point of essentia invested into a vestige which granted a 1d6 damage attack would cause that attack's damage to increase to 1d6+1d3. 2 points of essentia would cause the attacks's damage to increase to 2d6. Investing one point of essentia into a vestige which granted a +2 to a skill would cause that bonus to increase to +3, while two would increase it to +4. This applies to all relevant abilities granted by the vestige. The base is dependent on your effective binder level if this affects the granted bonus, damage, etc. This ability may only be used if you made a good pact with the vestige. You may only invest a total amount of essentia equivalent to or less than your charisma modifier. You may invest a total amount of essentia in this way equivalent to or less than your soulcatcher levels. The DM is the final arbiter on what abilities may be affected by this class feature.
Chakra binds: As you attain higher levels, you can bindyour soulmelds and magic items to your chakras, gaining new powers based on the combination chosen.At 2nd level you can bind your soulmelds or magic items to your least chakras. At 5th level, you may bind to your lesser chakras. At 8th level, you may bind to your greater chakras.
Vestige chakra bind (Su):' By opening up your own soul more fully to the vesitges you bind, you give them greater anchoring to the real world, and may thus bind many more than normal. At third level, you may bind vestiges to your least chakras. Only vestiges of 3rd level and below may be bound in these chakras. At 6th level, you may bind vestiges to your lesser chakras. Only vestiges of 6th level and below may be bound to these chakras. At 9th level you may bind vestiges to your greater chakras. Only vestiges of 9th level and below may be bound to these chakras. When a vestige is bound to the chakra, its seal appears in a glowing azure on your skin in the area appropriate for the chakra. The illumination is about the same as a candle. The illumination may be dimmed as a free action, but the mark remains as a bright azure tattoo. A soulcatcher may only have as many vestiges bound to his chakras equal to his constitution modifier. There are risks to doing this however. Giving vestige a greater anchor in the world, and greater access to your body allows them greater control when you have made a bad pact. The effects are as follows:
Crown: Going against the influence of a vestige bound to this chakra may cause splitting headaches. The character takes a -2 penalty to any action requiring concentration, on top of any other penalties.
Feet:Going against the influence of a vestige bound to this chakra may cause unbearable foot pain. The character is reduced to half his current land speed.
Hands:Going against the influence of a vestige bound to this chakra may cause sores to erupt on ones hands. The character takes a -2 penalty on any action requiring manual dexterity, including attack rolls. This is on top of any other penalties.
Arms:Going against the influence of a vestige bound to this chakra may cause ones arms to become weak. The character drops anything he is holding, and may not pick anything up. Brow: Going against the influence of a vestige bound to this chakra may cause blindness. There is a 50% chance each round that the character is blinded for one round.
Shoulders: Going against the influence of a vestige bound to this chakra may cause the muscles of the back to contract in odd ways. The character suffers a -2 penalty to dexterity and a -2 penalty to strength.
Throat: Going against the influence of a vestige bound to this chakra may cause ones throat to seize up. The character is fatigued, and suffers from a 5% cumulative chance for each round spent in combat or other strenuous activity to begin suffocating from lack of air. Every minute spent out of strenuous activity decreases this chance.
Waist: Going against the influence of a vestige bound to this chakra may cause enormous pain to erupt from ones core. The character can only writhe in agony on the ground, prone, until he succeeds on a DC25 will check.Even if this check succeeds, the character still takes a -4 to all rolls due to the unbearable agony.
Vestige chakra release: By releasing a vestige from a chakra, you can a swell of power, but suffer the backlash of so much power. Once per day, you may expel a vestige from a chakra as a full-round action. Doing so grants you a pool of essentia equivalent to the vestige's level. You may invest this essentia however you wish. However, it disappears 1d4 rounds later. Also, the sudden shutting off of so much power harms your chakra, closing it down for binding for 24 hours. In addition, vestiges resent being rejected from the real world in such a manner, and you suffer a -5 to your binding check the next time you try to bind that vestige.
One cannot truly become an ex-soulcatcher except through one mean: losing one's soul. However it happened, it is a problem. With no soul, a soulcatcher cannot use his class abilities. Note that an outsider has a soul, it just isn't separate from its body.
Playing a Soulcatcher
Combat: A soulcatcher's strength is his flexibility. He can be whatever he needs to be. In addition, he can make an important distinction between strategy and tactics. He can pick the vestiges he will bind for the day strategically, but alter his tactics on the fly with soulmelds. It is thus important that he does not occupy all of his chakras with vestiges, as this will limit his immediate flexibility.
Advancement: Continuing in a class that advances his binder or meldshaping abilities is the general path most take.
Resources: Learning from other soulcatchers, or the base classes they come from, is generally the only resources these individuals may hope for.
Soulcatchers in the World
NPC Reactions: The average NPC reacts to a soulcatcher in the same way they would to a binder or meldshaper. A meldshaper or binder generally reacts more poorly than average to soulcatchers, seeing their powers as strange and threatening.
Characters with ranks in knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (the planes) can research soulcatcher's to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs. Bardic knowledge may also reveal this information, but with an +5 to the DC.
Soulcatchers in the Game
These are the masters of flexibility. Whatever is needed, they can do it. They might do it as well as a wizard, but even that nerd can't match in terms of versatility.
Adaptation: Just throw it in there. This class, and its base classes, have powers that are strange, and unfamiliar to most players. They aren't going to have any idea what is going on, and thats the way it is supposed to be.
Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPC of this class->
EL whatever: <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter->