Thunderborn, Variant (3.5e Prestige Class)
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This class was created largely as another option, combining two other prestige classes that didn't meet my powergaming standards, I've added the idea of drawbacks to the class as well, including one which is entirely RP orientated, I like having depth to my characters and I like what these provide, also they make it a little more balanced.
Becoming a Thunderborn
A very rare class, characters of this type have electrical energy radiating out of their bodies, they are born into this as generators, some choose to try to live a normal life and don't go on to pursue their gift, viewing it more as a curse, others instead hone their skills to become masters of Lightning and Thunder
|Base Attack Bonus:||+3.|
|Skills:||Must have 8 ranks in either Knowledge(Arcana), Knowledge(Religion), OR Knowledge(Psionics)||Additionally, must have 8 ranks in Knowledge(Nature)|
|Traits:||Must have started the game with the Electrical Generator character trait.|
|Saving Throws||Special||Special||Existing Class Bonus||Drawback|
|1st||1||1||0||1||Resistance to Electricity 5||Thunderblade||+1 level of existing class||Emotionally Charged|
|2nd||2||2||0||2||Lesser Static Charge||Intimidating 1||+1 level of existing class||Not So Stealthy 1|
|3rd||3||2||1||2||Shocking Aura 5ft||Lightning Strike 1d6||+1 level of existing class||Accidental Discharge 1|
|4th||4||3||1||3||Resistance to Electricity 10||Piercing Shock||+1 level of existing class||Electrical Mishap 1|
|5th||5||3||1||3||Static Charge||Stormwalker||+1 level of existing class||Not So Stealthy 2|
|6th||6||4||2||4||Shocking Aura 2||Lightning Strike 2d6||+1 level of existing class||Accidental Discharge 2|
|7th||7||5||2||5||Resistance to Electricity 15||Lightning Bolt||+1 level of existing class||Electrical Mishap 2|
|8th||8||6||2||6||Greater Static Charge||Intimidating 2||+1 level of existing class||Not So Stealthy 3|
|9th||9||6||3||6||Shocking Aura 3||Lightning Strike 3d6||+1 level of existing class||Accidental Discharge 3|
|10th||10||7||3||7||Electrocute||Lightning Leap||+1 level of existing class||Electrical Mishap 3|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the Thunderborn.
Resistance to Electricity: Thunderborn gain resist 5/electricity at their first level, this bonus increases by 5 at the 4th and 7th levels
Thunderblade: At 1st level you are able to channel your energy through your weapon, your weapon is treated as if it had the thundering special ability.
Static Charge: At 2nd level you begin to feel the energy coursing through your body, it drives you harder than before, you gain +10 to your movement speed, this bonus increases to +20 and +30 at the 5th and 8th levels, respectively.
Intimidating: At the 2nd level people around you are able to feel and hear the energy around you, you are the center of attention on the battlefield as sparks fly from you and your weapon, and you become more intimidating, especially when you want to be or when emotions run high, your field becomes stronger and more noticeable, creatures back down to your power, you gain +3 to intimidate, this bonus doubles to +6 at the 8th level
Shocking Aura: At the 3rd level, the energy radiating around you starts to spark across the metallic weapons of you and your allies, the aura is permanent and begins at a 5 foot radius. Any allies inside this aura, yourself included, gain +1d3 electrical damage on all melee attacks made with a metal weapon. This bonus increases as you level up, at the 6th level the radius increases to 10 feet and the damage doubles as well to +2d4, at the 9th level it increases again to 15 feet in radius and +3d5 damage
Lightning Strike: At the 3rd level the energy inside you begins to from complete circuits rather than discharging randomly, you can feel it flowing into and out of the weapon you hold, watching it glow in your hands. Enemies you strike with a metallic weapon take 1d6 bonus electrical damage
Piercing Shock: As you reach the 4th level of thunderborn, the energy in you grows stronger, too much so for anyone to entirely bare, anyone with immunity to electricity now only blocks half your damage instead, and you ignore up to 10 electrical resistance.
Stormwalker: 5th level, the energy inside you calms you in your natural environment, you feel at peace inside any kind of storm (rain/snow/ice/thunder, etc), you and your mount (if any) can walk or ride through natural or magical storms at your regular speed, completely unaffected by high winds (including magically or psionically created high winds), pounding precipitation or waves, objects driven by the wind (which always seem to miss you), great claps of thunder, natural bolts of lightning, or any other natural storm phenomena. Additionally, in lightning/thunderstorms particularly you are calmed, you are no longer at risk of Accidental Discharge or Electrical Mishap (Emotionally Charged still affects you) so long as you remain in those conditions.
Lightning Bolt: As you get the the 7th level, you find you are capable of controlling some of your discharging electricity, you are able to intentionally shock nearby creatures just like the Lightning Bolt spell. you can do this as many as 1 + your levels in thundeborn each day; however, every time Electrical Mishap is triggered and you fail it's save, you lose one charge of Lightning Bolt for the day, if you have no charges remaining you take 1d10 additional damage.
Electrocute: At the 10th level of thunderborn you gain the feat Electrocute, you are truly a force to be reckoned with.
Lightning Leap: At your command, the essence of electricity overwhelms you momentarily, you become Lightning and leave behind a trail of destruction as you flash across the battlefield, either to safety or to meet your foes head on. This functions Identically to the Lightning Leap spell from The Complete Mage, and you may use it a number of times equal to your 1 + 1/2 your levels in this class every day.
All of the following are class drawbacks of the thunderborn.
Emotionally Charged: Your powers grow stronger with your emotions, unfortunately your ability to control them weakens, you make a will save without your will modifier, the DC is 11 (suggestion only). If you fail you are shocked for Xd3 damage where X is the number of points you failed the save by. Example, if you rolled 11, the DC, then you take 1d3 damage, everyone within 15 feet of you, friend or foe, is also shocked for half that amount, fortitude save (DC 10+ your levels in this class) will half the damage they take, and if they get a natural 19 or 20 the lightning misses them leaving them unharmed.
This drawback is mostly orientated around Role Playing, and may require help from your DM, make them aware that you have this, as they will decide when it is triggered, they may adjust the DC of the save appropriately, higher DC for stronger emotions, lower for more mild ones, typically between 3-18. If triggered more than once, you are capped to rolling only 20d3 in an hour, after which you are drained and your emotions run free without penalty.
Notes about the save you make: it is classified as will, however you do not get your will bonus to the save itself, the purpose of this being that in times of high emotions you don't get to focus on holding back your power, the only modifiers you will be granted on the roll are those provided by your party members as temporary buffs/auras to you.
Not So Stealthy: People near you feel your electrical field, they can hear the static crackling around you, and some can even see the sparks around you and your blade/armor, at the second level of thunderborn you gain -3 to all stealth checks, this penalty increases to -6 and -9 at levels 5 and 8.
Accidental Discharge: At the third level, the energy inside you becomes too strong to fully control in combat, at the start of each of your turns you make a fortitude save (DC of 5), if you fail you must spend your entire turn (a full round action) shocking all creatures (friend or foe) within 5ft. The damage is 4d8, and is split evenly among all the creatures in range. Each one of them may make a fortitude save (DC 15 + your levels in thunderborn) to half their portion of the damage. As you get stronger Accidental Discharge becomes more volatile, the DC increases to 10 and 15, and the damage increases to 6d9, and 8d10, at levels 6 and 9.
Conditions for when Accidental Discharge cannot trigger: This effect can only be triggered once per day, after which you no longer have the build up of energy and don't need to roll at the start of your turns. If you start the round flat-footed, you are considered well grounded and are safe from Accidental Discharge. If you pass the save one round then you are safe the next round of combat as well and do not need to roll again.
Electrical Mishap: This is gained at the 4th level, and improves at the 7th and 10th. Electrical Mishap is a strengthened version of the drawback from Electrical Generator, you still take the -15 to move silently and need the extra food, the remained of it's drawback is now replaced, you don't get both that and Electrical Mishap. You are becoming more conductive, this is a side effect of becoming stronger, when you come into contact with water you must make a fortitude save (DC of 20 + your levels in this class) if you fail you will be damaged for 4d4 damage, all creatures within 30 feet of you also receive a shock for half the damage dealt to yourself, fortitude save (DC of 15 + your levels in this class) will half the damage, a natural 19 or 20 and the lightning misses them, doing no damage. The damage dealt to yourself cannot be reduced by Electrical Resistance/Immunity, though for everyone else it is electrical type damage and this can be done. Additionally, the damage of this ability goes up as you level, becoming 4d6, and 4d8, at levels 7, and 10 of thunderborn, respectively.
Thunderborns who choose to stop training, for any reason, retain all the drawbacks gained, but lose all benefits, a thunderborn may restart their training but must do so from the beginning at level one, they do not regain a second copy of their draw backs which they retained. This is extremely rare.
Playing a Thunderborn
Combat: Thunderborns can be from any class and
Role Playing: Thunderborn typically start out shy about their condition, they don't know how to control it and some try to hide it as best they can. As they grow to understand their powers some become more confident and brave, others however never lose their sensitiveness to the condition.
Thunderborns in the World
Characters with ranks in Knowledge(Religion) or Knowledge(Nature) can research thunderborn to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||A thunderborn is terrible at hiding due to the constant crackling of their electrical aura, the same aura buffs their, and their allies, attacks.|
|16||Thunderborn are vulnerable to water, they may accidentally shock themselves and those around them on contact.|
|21||When a thunderborn is Emotionally Stressed they can accidentally discharging shocking themselves and anything else in range.|
|26 (Religion Only)||Few thunderborns know it, but most have their condition because a deity chose them, at birth, and left a mark on them, empowering their bodies with electrical energy. The thunderborn are watched over by the deity who chose them.|
Thunderborns in the Game
Thunderborns have various, sometimes unexpected, reactions when their condition is pointed out by another person, or when they accidentally shock someone. Higher level thunderborns are more likely to be confident in themselves, while lower level ones are more likely to be uncomfortable talking about it. Most are apologetic when they shock an ally unintentionally.