Spirit Detective (3.5e Class)

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Haiyo Mizaku, a Spirit Detective with "The Eye of Truth"

Spirit Detective[edit]

The Spirit Detective is a seeker of justice, a righter of wrongs, and the bane of evil... or something like that. Stories about Spirit Detective portray them as being heroes who avenged the dead or solved some horrible mystery because they got the name of the culprit from the victim themselves. In reality, the life of a Spirit Detective isn't flashy and heart-pounding or anything of that extent. Spirit Detectives usually start their careers as simple guards man, or even investigators of some kind. Then it starts, something they investigate or look in too seems a little too weird. Maybe the case goes unsolved, maybe they figure it out. The encounter, however, always leaves them with a hunger for more. Their endeavors lead them to performing seances and contacting the dead. However they do it, somewhere along the line, communicating and dealing with the ethereal becomes a part of their every-day lives. However, their newfound connection with it leads the ethereal to seek them out, knowing all to well how quickly one can begin fighting them.

Making a Spirit Detective[edit]

Spirit Detectives aren't particularly skilled at combat, and they forego the ability to cast spells so that they may further their knowldge of the ethereal. Spirit Detectives play a more supportive role in most situations, unless confronted with un-dead, demons, and the ethereal as a whole. Spirit Detectives do eventually learn how to craft Spirit Sutra, which can be useful in a multitude of situations. They're skilled problem solvers and have a broad set of skills that rivals the rogue.

Abilities: The Spirit Detective is guided by forces that are normally out of physical control, there he has to use his sheer force of will. Charisma is probably their most important attribute, followed closely by intelligence and wisdom.

Races: Any. Many Spirit Detectives are humans from noble areas; however, in other races regards, Spirit Detectives were members who were particularly precise for their race on the finer details

Alignment: Any, though often Good. Good Spirit Detectives are often fighters or problem solvers for the solution of the unjust. Evil Spirit Detectives often seek to use their extensive knowledge to throw off those who oppose them.

Starting Gold: 3d8 ×10 gp (200 gp).

Starting Age: Moderate, as fighter.

Table: The Spirit Detective

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Good Detective Work
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Good Note Taking
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Favored Enemy Undead
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Spirit Calligraphy, Sutra of Barrier, Sutra of Destruction, Alter the Other Side
5th +3 +1 +1 +4
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Now Hiring, Sutra of Binding, Sutra of Light
7th +5 +2 +2 +5
8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 With the Help of a Secretary, Sutra of Connection, Sutra of Truth
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Practiced Note Taking
11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Favored Enemy Outsider Subtype
12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Ethereal Calligraphy, Dual Characters, Sutra of Disintegration
13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8
14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 Web of Contacts
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Specialist in a Field
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Word for Word Notes
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft calligraphy (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge spirits (Int), Knowledge one of your choice (Int), Open Lock (Dex), Perform séance (Cha), Profession detective (Wis), Profession one of your choice (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spiritcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Spirit Detective.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Spirit Detective is proficient with light armor, simple weapons, three martial weapons of your choice, and one exotic weapon of your choice. Spirit Detectives are also proficient with shields except for tower shields.

Good Detective Work: Your training as a detective allows you to gather information in an effective way. Gather information checks now only take 1d3 hours to complete. In addition, you are able to add your charisma modifier (again) to any diplomacy, gather information, or sense motive checks you make.

Good Note Taking: A good Spirit Detective keeps a notebook or some other form of information log. In any instance where the Spirit Detective would be able to "take 10" on a skill check, the Spirit Detective is allowed to add half of his Spirit Detective level, rounded down, to any knowledge check he makes.

Spirit Calligraphy (Ex): A combination of your calligraphy and your supernatural abilities allows you to imbue simple pieces of paper with great power. These sutra act as ranged attacks, which means you add your Dex modifier. Otherwise, you must succeed a ranged touch attack otherwise the sutra is waisted. Sutra act as magical items for the purpose detect magic and antimagic field. Sutra you can craft depends on your Spirit Detective level. The DC to craft each is listed.

Level 4: Sutra of Barrier: In order to activate the effect of the sutra of barrier, you need four sutra. The sutra will stick to any surface it is placed on; including walls, floors, doors, rocks, and even armor or tower shields (explained). If the four sutra are placed on the same surface, all four on the floor, it creates a seal that when stepped upon creates an effect similar to resilient sphere except that it also captures ethereal creatures, it is also anchored to the spot where the sutra are. If placed on a tower shield (for example), it is possible to pick up the seal and move both it and its prisoner. If the sutra are placed on two to four different surfaces, two on the ceiling and two on the floor, it creates an effect similar to wall of force. It is possible to break through the wall upon a successful spiritcraft check versus a DC of 10 + 1 per Spirit Detective level. At one time, you may only carry four sutra of barrier, enough for one effect. Upon obtaining Ethereal Calligraphy there are no other means of breaking either effect aside from making a spiritcraft check versus a DC of 15 + 3 every 2 Spirit Detective levels. DC 20

Sutra of Destruction: This sutra is activated the moment it makes contact with any surface after leaving the hands on the Spirit Detective. The sutra explodes with enough force to deal 1d6 per Spirit Detective level damage to the target and anything in a square adjacent to it (burst 1). At one time, you may only carry two sutra of destruction. Upon obtaining Ethereal Calligraphy damage is increased to 1d8 per Spirit Detective level, and now damages all squares adjacent to burst 1 (burst 2). DC 22

Level 6: Sutra of Binding: This sutra is activated the moment it makes contact with a creature, be it ethereal or corporeal. The target is placed under the effect of the chaining version of binding. The difference is that the subject is not physically bound by anything generating antipathy, the effect is removed as soon as the sutra is removed, and as long as the seal on the sutra remains in tact the binding will remain (paper and ink aging places the lifespan of the sutra at about 9 months to a year.) Sutra of binding can not be the secondary sutra of sutra of connection. At one time, you may only carry two sutra of binding. Upon obtaining Ethereal Calligraphy the ink and paper used on the seal becomes permanent (lifespan in excess of 100 years), and if used with a sutra of connection then it can bind ethereal creatures to inanimate objects with similar removal methods. DC 25

Sutra of Light: This sutra activates the moment it comes into contact with a creatures (ethereal or corporeal) aura, DC 15 spiritcraft to see this. The sutra bursts in a flash of light and sound, as per the spells color spray and sound burst in a burst 3 (see Sutra of Destruction for reference) area. At one time, you may only carry four sutra of light. Upon obtaining Ethereal Calligraphy add the eyebite effect to the sutra of light, and extend the range to burst 4. DC 25

Level 8: Sutra of Connection: The sutra of connection activates when two are placed on different surfaces. A thin invisible, DC 25 spiritcraft of spellcraft to see, line forms between the two sutra. This line acts like a trip wire in a multitude of instances. Whether or not a secondary sutra is designated or not, an alarm effect is generated. This alarm gives the mental sound off, and has the ability to trigger for ethereal creatures. If a secondary sutra is designated, the secondary sutra will not activate until the alarm is tripped. This can cause sutra of destruction, sutra of light, and sutra of barrier to behave in much more beneficial ways (as traps.) At one time, you may only carry four sutra of connection. Upon obtaining Ethereal Calligraphy you can set spells as the secondary "sutra," these spells must be on scrolls, or written on similar sutra paper. DC 25

Sutra of Truth: This sutra activates the moment it touches a creature (ethereal or corporeal). It casts a series of effects similar to zone of truth, tongues, and true seeing on the target. The effects last as long as the sutra remains intact and on the target. Sutra of truth can not be the secondary sutra of sutra of connection. At one time, you may only carry two sutra of truth. Upon obtaining Ethereal Calligraphy the sutra adds the effect of alter self, of which you (the creator) choose the form altered to. DC 28

Alter the Other Side: At 4th level, the Spirit Detective is able to alter the ethereal plane to a certain degree, using what he's discovered about it and himself during his time as a Spirit Detective. He can either See the Ethereal, or Touch the Ethereal. He chooses one, which allows him to use it for 1 minute per day. Every 4 levels after 4th (8th, 12th, 16th, 20th) he chooses one to increase by an additional minute. Therefore, a Spirit Detective can, at 8th level, have the ability to See the Ethereal and Touch the Ethereal for 1 minute each.

The Spirit Detective may choose to See the Ethereal, which is a standard action to activate this ability. See the Ethereal allows the Spirit detective to view the ethereal plane while still in the material (ethereal creatures may also see him in a similar fasion this way.) He can see magically hidden doors as though they weren't hidden at all. In addition, this insight allows him to add his Charisma modifier to his roll to see through or notice an illusion, he may also reroll a failed attempt at this by sacrificing his Charisma bonus on the reroll. Once the Spirit Detective can use See the Ethereal for 3 minutes, he learns how to see everything. He gains the ability to cast True Sight on himself as a standard action once per day, this uses his Spirit Detective level to determine durration. For every minute past 3 that the Spirit Detective is able to use See the Ethereal, increase the ammount of times per day he may cast True Seeing by 1 (for a max of 3 times per day at 5 minutes per day of See the Ethereal.)

The Spirit Detective may choose to Touch the Ethereal, which is a standard action to activate this ability. Touch the Ethereal allows the Spirit Detective to act as though he had the Ghost Touch feature (ethereal creatures may also affect him in this way.) He may use Mage Hand as a free action durring the durration of Touch the Ethereal, but he can not deliver touch attacks with it. Also, he is able to add his Charisma modifier to his Will Saves against spells that target him, he may only apply this if he can see the person casting the spell on him (can't use it against magical traps, invisible casters, etc.) Once the Spirit Detective can use Touch the Ethereal for 3 minutes, he learns how to enter the ethereal plane alltogether. He gains the ability to cast Ethereal Jaunt on himself as a standard action once per day, this uses his Spirit Detective level to determine durration. For every minute past 3 that the Spirit Detective is able to use Touch the Ethereal, increase the ammount of times per day he may cast Ethereal Jaunt by 1 (for a max of 3 times per day at 5 minutes per day of Touch the Ethereal.)

Now Hiring: You've reached a small turning point in your career as a detective, and deem it necessary to hire help. If you take the leadership feat, you may choose a humanoid with a number of HD equal to or less than your own to become your cohort. This cohort makes the task of performing your profession easier, and guarantees an addition of 2d6 gp per day of work in a prosperous city. However, the cohort is hired and needs to be paid (3d10 × 10 − your Cha modifier) gp per month, or your cohort will quit. If you don't take the leadership feat, you may still choose a humanoid with a number of HD below yours by two or more. However, this person acts as an associate whom you have a telepathic connection with, as per the spell telepathic bond. The duration is as long as you pay the associate (3d8 × 8 − your Cha modifier) gp per month.

With the Help of a Secretary: You and your secretary are able to tackle research, negotiations, and even interrogations together, resulting in a better performance altogether. Gather information checks now only take 1d2 hours. Whenever you "take 10" on a diplomacy or sense motive check, you may add five to the result (as if you were "taking 15" instead.) Also, you may add an additional + 1 to diplomacy, gather information, and sense motive for every four ranks you have in those skills. You still gain the bonus to these checks from Good Detective Work.

Practiced Note Taking: You're now an exceptional note taker, able to get more information down that you can look over later. Whenever you're able to "take 10" on a skill check, you can add your Spirit Detective level to any knowledge check you make.

Ethereal Calligraphy (Ex): Your abilities to make sutra are extraordinary, so much so that the ethereal fear them now more than ever. Your sutra can no longer be detected by detect magic, and act as Spirit Calligraphy while in an anitmagic field. Your sutra gain the bonuses mention in their description, and you learn how to make the most devastating sutra.

Sutra of Disintegration: This sutra activates the moment it comes into contact with any surface. It acts as per the spell disintegrate, dealing maximum damage. Sutra of disintegration does not work in an antimagic field, but can affect ethereal creatures. If placed on a surface of non-living matter (ie. a wall), it will make a hole 20ft in diameter, 10ft inward. At one time, you may only carry one sutra of disintegration. DC 35 and become fatigued for 1d6 hours. If you fail the DC by more than 10, make a reflex save DC 15 or be affected by the sutra as though you were the target.

Dual Characters (Ex): You are able to better manage the spiritual energy of the sutra you carry, while taking up less paper. Except for sutra of disintegration, double the carrying capacity of your sutra.

Bonus Feat: At 12th level, and every even level afterward, a Spirit Detective gains a bonus feat from the following list, even if he doesn't meet the prerequisite: Damage Reduction, Epic Fortitude, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Reflexes, Epic Reputation, Epic Toughness, Epic Will, Jack of All Trades, Epic Leadership, Mind Over Body, Polyglot, Rapid Metabolism, Stand Still.

Web of Contacts: You've met a lot of people, and they're willing to help you when you need it. You automatically pass a DC 25 on any gather information check you make (you can still role to see if you get higher, but you will always pass the DC 25.) You may also add you Spirit Detective level to any diplomacy, gather information, or sense motive check you make (this does not stack with the bonus from Good Detective Work.)

Specialist in a Field: Like many detectives, you're a specialist in one particular field. Choose one knowledge skill, and whenever you make a check for that knowledge, you get a bonus of + 2 per Spirit Detective level to the result.

Word for Word Notes: You've gotten so used to taking notes, that you essentially write all information you receive word for word, without wasting anyones time. Whenever you're able to "take 10" on a skill check, you can add your Spirit Detective level, plus half, to any knowledge check you make (essentially 1.5 per level, round down.)

Spiritcraft (Int): Is essentially the characters ability to identify the dead, spirits, and the ethereal. You would make a spiritcraft check to determine if a house is haunted, or a person is possessed by a demon of some kind. Conditional modifiers would be: In a graveyard (+2), know something about the object/subject (+1 to +4), have slept or performed a séance within the last two hours (+5). In order to make a spiritcraft check, you must be able to see the object/person/building. For every time a character has died and been resurrected, they gain a cumulative +3 to spiritcraft checks. Ethereal creatures and undead have a spiritcraft equal to half their HD, plus their (Int) modifier.

Ex-Spirit Detectives[edit]

Epic Spirit Detective[edit]

Table: The Epic Spirit Detective

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
21st Renowned Detective
22nd Bonus Feat
24th Bonus Feat
25th Language Celestial or Abyssal. Gather Information, Diplomacy +2 vs outsiders.
26th Bonus Feat
27th Demonic Reputation
28th Bonus Feat
30th Bonus Feat

10 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Renowned Detective: Your accomplishments are known throughout the land, and people are more willing to pay you more. Double any money you would make through your craft, perform, or profession skills.

Demonic Reputation: +4 on Bluff and Intimidate checks vs demons.

Epic Spirit Detective Bonus Feat List: Damage Reduction, Epic Fortitude, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Reflexes, Epic Reputation, Epic Toughness, Epic Will, Jack of All Trades, Epic Leadership, Mind Over Body, Polyglot, Rapid Metabolism, Stand Still

Human Spirit Detective Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Glaive (1d10, crit ×3, 10lb., two-handed, slashing) Crossbow, light (1d8, crit 19-20/×2, range inc. 80ft., 4lb., piercing)

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 9 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Bluff 4 Cha
Craft calligraphy 4 Int
Diplomacy 4 Cha
Disguise 4 Cha
Gather Information 4 Cha
Heal 4 Wis
Knowledge spirits 4 Int
Knowledge one of your choice 4 Int
Profession detective 4 Wis
Sense Motive 4 Wis
Spiritcraft 4 Int
Spot 4 Wis


Bonus Feats:

Gear: Chain shirt (+4 AC, armor check penalty -2, speed 30ft., 25lb.), buckler (+1 AC, armor check penalty -1, 5lb.), backpack (2lb.), bedroll (5lb.), 5 candles, flint and steel, 2 ink vials, calligraphy brush, 10 sheets of paper, pouch belt (1/2lb.), travelers outfit (5lb.), 5 days trail rations (5lb.), and 20 crossbow bolts (2lb.)

Gold: 1d6 gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Spirit Detective[edit]

Religion: Seeing as being a Spirit Detective doesn't directly the diety they worship, it's difficult to give a description of religion. They tend to stick to gods that are non-chaotic.

Other Classes: Most of the time, Spirit Detectives are just doing their job. Although they don't often agree with the methods wizards or sorcerers use for just about anything, they respect them enough to not say anything. They get along fairly well with most classes, only being looked down on by arcane spell casters.

Combat: The main role of a Spirit Detective at all is that of support.

Advancement: Spirit Detectives are capable of advancing in many different areas. Some find their calling in the heat of battle and eventually become fighters or metahands. Others strive to take their skills to new levels and either become bards or even rogues.

Spirit Detectives in the World[edit]

Damn you, damn the victim, damn the building, and damn this cursed arm!
—Keijo Nikamura, Human Spirit Detective

Spirit Detectives do everything in their power to appear normal, to instead of scaring people, act as a beacon of hope. They strive to attain justice, whatever their views on it be, and often do the right thing to get there. Spirit Detectives are usually hired as private investigators, detectives, or even body-guards.

Because the presence of a Spirit Detective usually draws the attention of the ethereal and undead, they tend to wander from town to town, getting what work they can find done. This wandering, combined with researching topics, leads them to have a broad knowledge. They can often notice things most wouldn't, know things that others wouldn't have a clue about, and solve cases that would have required the attention of a much more powerful spell caster.

Daily Life: The day of a Spirit Detective usually begins about the same; wake up, fix hair, get dressed, etc. If the Spirit Detective recently moved into the area, he will often do a little investigating to find out what he can; what's the norm around town, why does Mr. Laughtry's gnome roommate refuse to shower, and (most of all) has anything odd happened recently? Once the morning investigations are done, a Spirit Detective will usually try to find work, using what he learned beforehand to find the right people. Once he finds a job, he tries to finish it as quickly as possible, and get paid.

This pattern will repeat for about a week, before the Spirit Detective feels he's bothered the town too much and decide to leave. He will do his best to leave no job unfinished.

Notables: Haiyo Mizaku: A Spirit Detective afflicted with "The Eye of Truth." He's done extensive study into the effects of the curse. He was the first Spirit Detective to utilize the use of sutra in battling the ethereal. He's more commonly known as the only person to have a lit cigarette going into the sea to investigate a haunted sunken ship, and come back out with a new, lit, cigarette.

Keijo Nikamura: A Spirit Detective afflicted with "The Arm of Justice." His manifested in his left arm. He's rumored to have taken on a building haunted by 1000 ghosts and walk out alive and sane. Even though it was really only 10 ghosts and a bunch of mirrors, he is the first to have discovered that he could pass the attributes of his arm onto a weapon for a limited time. He's also the first Spirit Detective to use his sutra against the living, and find it to be successful.

Organizations: It is very rare for two Spirit Detectives to meet. They sometimes meet over a couple drinks, share some things they've learned, and then one will move on.

NPC Reactions:

Spirit Detective Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Gather Information can research Spirit Detectives to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Gather Information
DC Result
5 Spirit Detectives act as your normal investigator, but the means they use to investigate could be called "supernatural."
10 Spirit Detectives are believed to be able to communicate with ghosts, it's not rare to see them talking to no one in particular..
20 Spirit Detectives are experienced in the ways of spiritcraft, they can act as mediums and occasionally psychics by using their strong link with the ethereal plane. This however can lead to hysteria, so powerful Spirit Detectives are often a little cooky. They can also make sutra of many kinds, which can be one of their most powerful assets.

Spirit Detectives in the Game[edit]

Spirit Detectives are usually someone just passing through and staying for a while. NPCs of this class can seek the aid of the party in solving some kind of mystery, or maybe even sell them wares of odd and spiritual powers. PC's are usually never found in a place where they grew up, and might join a party because they're "heading in the same direction."

Sample Encounter: Just getting the class playable for now... I'll come up with the rest when I have more time to sit and think...

EL 0: No encounters here yet.

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