Thunderborn (3.5e Prestige Class)

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The Thunderborn[edit]

The strike of my sword is the clash of thunder, the pounding of my fist is as the tolling of a great bell. I am thunderborn.
—Daltigoth, Human Thunderborn.

Thunderborn are powerful sound based warriors, capable of bringing the mightiest knights or giants to their knees. Thunderborn, whether good hearted or evil to the core, detest silence and solitude; they crave sound and conversational interplay. They are always seeking excitement, usually loud, and are often in competition with one another. Sometimes groups of thunderborn may take a side in a war, or some may take opposing sides. Any group able to count a thunderborn as an ally is very likely to win battles against groups that cannot.

Becoming a Thunderborn[edit]

People become thunderborn for many reasons, though most reasons are centered on a desire for action and thrill. Thunderborn must have at least a few levels of a melee class before taking their first level in this class. Con is important for a thunderborn, to improve their health, Str for added damage and Dex for higher AC.

Entry Requirements
BAB: 5
Ability Scores: Con of 14.
Special: Must have been the target of a sonic energy or sound based attack/spell.

Table: The Thunderborn

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Sonic Resistance, The Subtle Ear
2nd +2 +2 +0 +0 Thunderous Strike
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Battle Roar, Bonus Feat
4th +4 +3 +1 +1 Sonic Dampening, Bonus Feat
5th +5 +4 +2 +1 Sonic Boom, The Subtle Ear
6th +6 +4 +2 +2 Thunderous Strike
7th +7 +5 +3 +2 Battle Roar, Greater
8th +8 +5 +3 +2 Sonic Dampening, Improved, Bonus Feat
9th +9 +6 +4 +3 Touch of Destruction, The Master's Ear
10th +10 +6 +4 +3 Sonic Nova, The Subtle Ear

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), Swim (Str), Profession (Wis), Listen (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Thunderborn.

Bonus Feat: A thunderborn gains a bonus fighter feat at 4th and 8th levels.

Sonic Resistance (Ex): A thunderborn has sonic resistance equal to 3 times his thunderborn level.

The Subtle Ear (Ex): A thunderborn is immune to deafening effects, and receives a +2 bonus to listen checks; this bonus increases to +4 at 5th level and again to +6 at 10th level.

Thunderous Strike (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, the thunderborn can use this power to energize his weapon or unarmed strike. The attack deals an extra 1d4 points of sonic damage on a successful hit. This is a free action and the thunderborn may so energize a weapon once each round; at 6th level the extra damage increases to 1d6 and he may energize two attacks each round. This ability is negated by silence effects.

Battle Roar (Sp) At 3rd level, as a standard action, a thunderborn can loose a devastating roar every 1d4 rounds. The effect is a cone extending 30 feet in front of the thunderborn, all creatures in the area of effect must succeed on a DC 15 Will save or become sickened for 2 rounds and fatigued, those already fatigued become exhausted. Silence negates this effect; hearing protection, such as beeswax in your ears, provides a +2 bonus on the save.

Sonic Dampening (Ex) At level 4, the thunderborn learns to create counter-vibrations when struck by physical weapons to lessen their kinetic energy, granting DR/- equal to his one half his thunderborn level; this DR stacks with any other DR possessed by the thunderborn. This ability does not protect him from energy damage of any kind.

Sonic Boom (Su) Beginning at 5th level, all melee weapons held by a thunderborn are considered to have the thundering enhancement in addition to all its normal properties; this ability functions with the thunderborn's unarmed strikes as well. This ability is negated by silence effects.

Battle Roar, Greater (Sp) At 7th level, as a standard action, the thunderborn's battle roar increases in power as a shout spell (Fortitude DC 16 partial, 2d6 points of sonic damage, target deafened for 2d6 rounds); this is in addition to its normal effect. The thunderborn may only perform a greater battle roar once per day for each three levels of thunderborn he has attained. Silence negates this effect; hearing protection, such as beeswax in your ears, provides a +2 bonus on the save.

Sonic Dampening, Improved (Su) At level 8, the thunderborn has learned to use vibrations to offset the changes in thermal and vibrational energy from fire, cold or electrical attacks, granting him energy resistance to fire, cold and electricity equal to one half his thunderborn level. This resistance stacks with any other energy resistance possessed by the thunderborn.

The Master's Ear (Ex): A thunderborn becomes completely immune to sonic damage at level 9; furthermore he becomes immune to any spell or spell-like effect based on sound or requiring the target hear the effect.

Touch of Destruction (Sp): At level 9, the thunderborn gains the ability to use sympathetic vibration as a spell-like ability once per day.

Sonic Nova (Su) At 10th level, a thunderborn's sonic boom ability increases in power. On a successful critical hit it instead deals +6d6 points of sonic damage (or +9d6 if the critical multiplier is x3, or +12d6 if the critical multiplier is x4). Additionally, all melee weapons wielded by the thunderborn have their critical threat range increased by one; this effect is lost to the weapon once it leaves his hand and does not stack with other effects that increase threat range. This ability functions with the thunderborn's unarmed strikes as well. This ability is negated by silence effects.


Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Thunderborn[edit]

Combat: Thunderborn are melee combatants with strong sound based abilities. They are very effective charging into melee combat, then unleashing powerful area effects, catching as many enemies in them as possible.

Advancement: Thunderborn typically focus on gaining levels as a thunderborn, some take additional levels of fighter or monk.

Resources: Thunderborn aren't affiliated with one another, though, unless called against each other battle, they are likely to feel a sense of comraderie and respect with other thunderborn.

Thunderborn in the World[edit]

This town is under my protection, move along, or things are going to get loud.
—Daltigoth, Human Thunderborn

Thunderborn are wanderers, always seeking the next adventure. Sometimes a thunderborn may find a small town or a village that they protect from harm, but they could move on as quickly as they came, with no warning.

NPC Reactions: Most thunderborn are openly respected for their martial skill, but somewhat avoided for their infamous penchant for being noisy.

Thunderborn Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) 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.

Knowledge (Arcana)
DC Result
11 Thunderborn are powerful warriors that use sound.
16 Thunderborn are able to wield sound as a weapon in their hands, and even use it to sicken and deafen their enemies.
21 Powerful thunderborn eventually gain the ability to bring down the walls of a castle with sound.

Thunderborn in the Game[edit]

Thunderborn are boisterous, action-hungry warriors, rarely encountered in peaceful areas for long. A thunderborn might appear as the protector of a small town, or as a wandering mercenary, but they all have the same desire: to battle as loudly as possible.

Adaptation: Thunderborn aren't difficult to work into a campaign without creating an imbalances in power if they are not in very large numbers. Most thunderborn can easily be treated as a fighter with little need for change.

Sample Encounter: Daltigoth, a marginally skilled thunderborn, defends the small town of Sunnydale from raiders, thieves, and the like. The PC's could meet him while wandering the town, hear him fighting a group of savage humanoids raiding the town, or even end up fighting him themselves if they threaten the folk of the town.

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