Warrior Nun (3.5e Class)
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It is said that mortal men and women can be judged by how much their most base wants that control them. So goes the saying in the depths of both the Nine Hells and the Abyss, for it is by far the easiest way to gain control of the Material Plane. Such thoughts bounce around in their scheming minds of every fiend, but their pitch-black hearts know full well why it isn't so easy to run rough-shod over the mortal realms. Yes, paladins fall hardest when confronted with the absurdity of their position and clerics were made to be broken, but there are those mortal women who have made a pact to effectively "marry" their god, not just work for them. These "wives of the gods" are the bane of all but the most powerful of demons and devils, for the fiendish powers that make them nearly invincible fall short when faced with these "blessed brides". For all the powers that these women wield, their name betrays all such notions of how far they have come with a simple act of wordplay.
These women are called...NUNS.
Making a Warrior Nun
So you wanna make a warrior nun? You wanna put the sting in "Celestia everlasting"? You wanna be able to make devils and demons think twice before messing with your party? Then you're gonna have to remember first, foremost and for all your character levels in warrior nun that you are and shall remain CHASTE (that means no more sex for your character). If you can't deal with being chaste and missing out on all kinds of nookie you can get from the tavern, or hold to the standard of lawful good, then the warrior nun class is not for you.
Warrior nuns are strong in melee combat, and almost as competent in divine magic. They can communicate with the common man as a disciple of a good deity, and with practice can become a true force of good like the paladin or the cleric. The warrior nun has a few weak points: she'll most likely do without certain magic items that have fiendish or dark connotations, nor will she work with those that perpetuate such lies and atrocities by action or existence. Additionally, she will not engage in any type of sexual activity or banter nor will she tolerate it in her presence. What does this mean for the accompanying party member? It means that melee classes stand a lot to gain physically and morally from a front-line fighter that can heal afterward, rogues better be extra sneaky when playing their part for monetary gain or deception (it'll make 'em better in the long run), and arcane casters had better keep their spells to themselves.
Abilities: Strength is a great asset to a warrior nun, for she must be able to trade blows with the forces of evil. Wisdom is another skill that determines how many spells she can cast. Charisma enhances a warrior nun's healing power, self-protective capabilities and undead turning ability.
Gender: Warrior nuns must be female from character creation, without change.
Races: Humans and half-elves are drawn to the class. Halflings, dwarves and elves possess the abilities to be warrior nun if their gods permit such martial priestesses. Other races with lawful good tendencies are available at DM/GM discretion.
Special: Must have taken the Oath of St. Arseman, dedicating oneself to their god and none other through a vow of chastity. (Note: this special requirement does not provide any game mechanic bonuses in any way, like the Vow of Chastity feat found in the Book of Exalted Deeds.)
Alignment: Lawful Good.
Starting Gold: 6d4×10 gp (150 gp).
Starting Age: Moderate.
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+2||Aura of good, detect evil, unarmed strike, turn undead||3||1||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+3||Divine grace, lay on hands||3||1||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+3||Smite evil 1/day, chastity shield 3/day||3||2||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+4||+4||+1||+4||Hellspawn Hatred +2||3||2||0||—||—||—|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+4||Remove disease 1/week||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+2||+5||Smite evil 2/day||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+2||+6||Hellspawn Hatred +4||3||3||2||0||—||—|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+3||+6||Smite evil 3/day||3||3||2||1||—||—|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+3||+7||Remove disease 2/week||3||3||2||1||—||—|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+7||+3||+7||Courage of Heaven||3||3||3||2||—||—|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+4||+8||Smite evil 4/day, hellspawn hatred +6||3||3||3||2||0||—|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+5||+9||Smite evil 5/day, remove disease 3/week||3||3||3||3||2||—|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+5||+10||Hellspawn Hatred +8||3||3||3||3||2||0|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+11||Smite evil 6/day||3||3||3||3||2||1|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+12||Holy Gear of Heaven, hellspawn hatred +10, remove disease 4/week||3||3||3||3||3||2|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the warrior nun.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A warrior nun is proficient in all simple and martial weapons, including the bastard sword. She is also proficient with all types of armor(light, medium and heavy), but not shields.
Unarmed Strike: A warrior nun is trained to strike at the heart of evil with or without a weapon. A warrior nun gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. If she already has Improved Unarmed Strike, she may choose another feat.
Aura of Good (Ex): The power of a warrior nun's conviction radiates from her. Her aura of good is equal to her class levels in warrior nun, just like a cleric of a good deity.
Spells: A warrior nun casts divine spells (just as a druid, cleric, ranger or paladin does) which draws from the cleric spell list. Her alignment restricts her from casting spells with the Evil or Chaos descriptor. A warrior nun must prepare her spells in advance. To prepare or cast a spell, a warrior nun must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell's level (Wis 10 for 0-level spells, Wis 11 for 1st-level spells, and so on), The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a warrior nun's spell is 10 + the spell's level + the warrior nun's Wisdom modifier. Like other spellcasters, she can only cast a number of spells per level per day. She receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score. Warrior nuns pray for their spells, spending 1 hour each day in contemplation or supplication to regain her daily allotment of spells. Time spent resting does not restore a warrior nun's powers.
Spontaneous Casting: A warrior nun can channel stored spell energy into healing spells that she did not prepare ahead of time. She can "lose" a spell in order to cast any cure spell of the same level or lower.
Turn Undead (Su): A warrior nun suffers not the abominations of undead that walk the earth. She may attempt to turn undead a number of times each day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. A warrior nun turns undead as a cleric with levels equal to her warrior nun levels.
Detect Evil (Sp): At will, a warrior nun can use detect evil, as the spell.
Divine Grace (Su): At 2nd level, warrior nun gains a bonus equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws.
Lay on Hands (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, a warrior nun with a Charisma score of 12 or higher can heal her own wounds (or the wounds of others) by touch. Each day she can heal a total number of hit points equal to her warrior nun level x her Charisma bonus. Using lay on hands is a standard action. This ability can be used on undead creatures to harm rather than heal. Using lay on hands requires a successful melee touch attack and does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If used in this way, all the healing is used up for the day.
Smite Evil (Su): At 3rd level, a warrior nun may attempt to smite evil with one normal melee attack. She may only use this ability once per day. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per warrior nun level. If she accidentally smites a creature that is not evil, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up for that day. At 6th level and every three levels after thereafter, the warrior nun may smite one additional time per day, to a maximum of six times per day at 18th level.
Chastity Shield (Su): At 3rd level, a warrior nun can call forth an invisible shield formed from her chastity at will. This shield grants a deflection bonus to her Armor Class equal to half her warrior nun level (rounded down) and lasts 5 minutes + 1 minute per 2 levels of warrior nun. She may use this ability no more than three times per day.
Hellspawn Hatred (Ex): Warrior nuns are sworn enemies of devils, demons and their minions. Due to their extensive study of the infernal races, a 4th-level warrior nun gains a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls when fighting an evil outsider with the baatezu or tana'ari subtype. At 8th level and every four levels after, she gains an additional +2 to damage rolls to a maximum of +10 at 20th level. This damage bonus stacks with the damage bonus from smite evil, as well as any damage bonuses gained from items, spells or class abilities.
Remove Disease (Sp):At 5th level, a warrior nun can produce a remove disease effect, as the spell once per week. She can use the ability one additional time per week for every five levels after 5th(twice a week at 10th level, three times at 15th, and so forth).
Endure Elements (Ex): Warrior nuns are trained to withstand the harsh realities of the world, in order to harden their resolve. At 7th level, a warrior nun no longer receives any damage or penalties from exposure to extreme temperatures.
Courage of Heaven (Su): At 11th level, a warrior nun is immune to fear effects and enchantment spells created by an evil outsider with the baatezu or tana'ari subtype.
Holy Gear of Heaven (Su): At 20th level, a warrior nun can call forth a suit of armor and a special weapon forged by angelic servants of their god as a standard action. The armor appears as a suit of shining +3 spell resistant(19) full plate with wings that allow a fly speed of 60 feet. and replaces any armor worn by the warrior nun, regardless of superiority. A special aura surrounds the warrior nun while in this armor, destroying any evil outsider with the baatezu or tana'ari subtype that strikes it with a melee attack unless they succeed on a Will save (DC 40). The weapon appears as a +3 brilliant energy version of their current base weapon and replaces the current weapon, regardless of superiority. If she is not wielding a weapon, a +3 brilliant energy version of their deity's favored weapon appears in her hands. If the warrior nun is disarmed, the weapon disappears, but reappears in the warrior nun's hands 1 round later. This special gear (the weapon and the armor) lasts for 5 minutes + 1 additional minute per warrior nun level beyond 20th. She may summon this armor no more than three times per week.
Code of Conduct: A warrior nun must be of lawful good alignment and loses all supernatural and spell-like class abilities if she ever willingly commits an evil act. She is to respect legitimate authority, act with honor (with exception to devils and demons), help those in need and punish those that threaten the innocent. A warrior nun is a holy bride to her deity, and thus must remain chaste.
A warrior nun who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who grossly violates the code and loses all supernatural and spell-like class abilities. She no longer has the ability to cast divine spells gained from the warrior nun class and may not progress further as a warrior nun. She may regain her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (via the atonement spell or as appropriate). Due to her martial, spiritual and lawful leanings, a warrior nun may multi-class as a cleric, monk or paladin. If she multi-classes as any other class, she may not take any more levels as a warrior nun--once she leaves the bosom of the order, she may never return.
Epic Warrior Nun
|21st||Smite evil 7/day|
|24th||Smite evil 8/day, hellspawn hatred +12|
|25th||Remove disease 5/week|
|27th||Smite evil 9/day|
|28th||Hellspawn hatred +14|
|30th||Smite evil 10/day, remove disease 6/week|
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Lay on Hands (Su): Each day the epic warrior nun cures a total number of hit points equal to her Charisma bonus(if any) times her warrior nun level, as normal.
Smite Evil (Su): The epic warrior nun adds her warrior nun level to damage with any smite evil attack, as normal. She can smite one additional time per day for every three levels beyond 18th (7/day at 21st, 8/day at 24th, 9/day at 27th and so on).
Turn Undead (Su): An epic warrior nun turns undead as a cleric of equal level, as normal.
Spells: An epic warrior nun does not gain any more spells per day beyond 20th level.
Hellspawn Hatred (Ex): An epic warrior nun continues to fight the never-ending battle against the fiendish hordes. Her bonus to damage rolls when fighting evil outsiders with the baatezu or tana'ari subtype increases by +2 for every four levels beyond 20th (+12 at 24th, +14 at 28th and so on).
Remove Disease (Sp): An epic warrior nun can use remove disease one additional time per week for every five levels beyond 20th (5/week at 25th, 6/week at 30th and so forth).
Bonus Feats: The epic warrior nun gains a bonus feat every three levels after 20th.
Human Warrior Nun Starting Package
Warrior nuns travel as light as possible, sometimes forgoing the better ranged bow or crossbow for a simple sling. She will always have a nun's habit, no matter how hot.
Weapons: Longsword (d8, crit 19-20/x2, 4 lb., one-handed, slashing.) Sling (d4, crit x2, range inc. 50 ft., 0 lb., bludgeoning.)
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Feat: If Strength score is 13 and above, Power Attack. If below 13, Weapon Focus(longsword).
Bonus Feats: Lightning Reflexes.
Gear: Chain shirt (+4 AC, -2 armor check penalty, speed 30 ft., 25 lb.), Backpack with waterskin, two days' trail rations, holy book, wooden holy symbol, bedroll, flint and steel, nun's habit.
Gold: 6d4 gp.
Playing a Warrior Nun
Some see you as a bossy prude, others see you as a person one can trust and count on--women who are caring and live up to the namesakes "Sister" and "Mother". Opinions of the common man notwithstanding, there is a deeper side to the warrior nun, one based solely on her promise to her god and to her mission.
As a warrior nun, you stand at the vanguard of the battle to stem the tide of fiendish invasions into the Material Plane. If a devil, demon or related monster dares to rear its head within sight of a warrior nun, it will soon be disembodied. If a warrior nun could seal the Abyss and/or the Nine Hells off from the Material Plane forever, she would jump at the chance and give her life if necessary as a servant and bride of her god.
Religion: As a bride of her chosen deity, a warrior nun embraces religion as she embraces her husband. She is appreciative of other lawful good faiths and tries to bring the good news to neutral or chaotic members of the flock. She has very little patience to spare on those who follow evil faiths.
Other Classes: Paladins, rangers, fighters, barbarians, monks and clerics look upon the warrior nun with respect--some for her martial prowess and others for her dedication. Bards are too self-absorbed, while druids and psionic characters seem distant, but all must know the name of her god nonetheless. Rogues and warrior nuns rarely work together, and only in extreme cases. Sorcerers and wizards might end up on the end of a warrior nun's sword one day, for she blames their arcane meddling for all fiendish incursions.
Combat: She excels at melee combat, but prefers to be a support character. If a fiend shows up, she becomes a front line combatant while employing every ability she can.
Advancement: A warrior nun may multi-class as a cleric, monk or paladin, but risks losing her powers if she multi-classes with anything else.
Warrior Nuns in the World
So what makes a warrior nun different from a regular nun? Just the demonslaying? Find out in this exciting exposé on warrior nuns!
|“||In the name of St. Cuthbert, get thee back devil! CHASTITY SHIELD!||”|
|—Sister Taja, human warrior nun|
The warrior nun usually stays at the nunnery, playing the role of caretaker and servant to their god. Adventuring warrior nuns are welcome in good and neutral kingdoms, but not in bars and taverns. She can cook up a shepherd's pie and bale hay just as easily as cleaving through demon hide, so she's welcome on the farm. Minor celebrities, warrior nuns rarely outstay their welcome. Their healing abilities also make them a fine asset in times of pestilence.
Daily Life: Morning prayers and stretching exercises start the day of a warrior nun, for she must be physically and spiritually prepared to her daily combat training routine. After that, chores are next. The next thing a warrior nun does is study her scripture, for without her knowledge of her faith, her powers are meaningless. She keeps these scriptures to the front of her mind as she makes her rounds, healing the sick and wounded. Some warrior nuns teach the local children(of any race) basic reading, writing and math skills as well as the holy word. Meals are interspersed throughout the day, mostly after group training exercises made to look like simple calisthenic stretches. Those who do know of warrior nuns believe that the mass that these sisters hold is a secret cabal of code words and cryptic sayings. All the reason a warrior nun needs to slay every demon on the Material Plane is in their holy text, commonly made known to all who come to mass. After sharing what secrets they are able, the warrior nun sleeps in her cell, awaiting the new sunrise and praying never to have to use her skills against those she loves and protects as a sister of the church.
Notables: Many warrior nuns hold the legend of Saint Arseman, the first warrior nun, in high regard. Some even mention the rogue warrior nun-turned-demon hunter Denali, but usually with a slight tone of shame.
Organizations: Warrior nuns are found in churches serving clerics, and in their nunneries. Some may even belong to hospitals as on-staff clergy. Regardless of their location, any warrior nun can get information on particular events and help in a given area by a tight-knit network of spies, sympathizers and supporters in addition to the warrior nuns themselves.
NPC Reactions: Everyone loves a nun... except the bad guys.
Warrior Nun Lore
You'd never know the nun who makes the banana bread at the church bake sale is a stone-cold demon-slaying machine. The warrior nuns like to keep it that way, because too much information spread draws the attention of the dark forces. Only in times of open war would you ever see such a nice woman bearing the marks of her faith in a martial manner.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (religion) can research warrior nuns to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|15||Warrior nuns are devoted servants of their god.|
|18||Warrior nuns are really good at killing demons.|
|20||Warrior nuns have great divine powers, due to being chaste brides of their chosen god.|
|25||Saint Arseman, the first warrior nun, drove a great demon back to the Abyss and passed her skills on to the next generations of warrior nuns, as all warrior nuns do to this day.|
|30||Saint Arseman was rumored to be a powerful outsider in the service of her god. She left him to serve another god and was granted even greater power than before. She was actually driven out of the Abyss by 10,000 demons in her lone quest to purge the planes of evil, where she ended up on the Material Plane. Learning from her mistake, she trained all future warrior nuns in the use of her skills, so that she could match the 10,000 that drove her back.|
Warrior Nuns in the Game
So, how are you supposed to squeeze a character class like this into a campaign setting when you already have paladins? Simple: paladins ain't enough to hold back the fell hordes of darkness and evil, so they go to the only people with the slayer skills to get the job done. Outside of prestige classes, these are your go-to girls.
An NPC warrior nun will look and act like a regular nun when there are no fiends about. They'll give spiritual comfort, bake up a mean pie and sing songs of love, peace and their god. If you give a tithe, she'll heal you. Like a shelter from the storm, warrior nuns are there. This behavior is the very reason why so many demons and devils die at the hands of warrior nuns. To see them in this way would mean that they're harmless. Quite the contrary.
A PC warrior nun, however, is free to be a melee combatant or a support character. But who would want to be a support character when damned dirty devils are right there, itching to be sent back to their foul realms?
Adaptation: In an Oriental Adventures-style setting, the warrior nun would be a miko ("shrine maiden") trained to fight the demon hordes, called a betsushikime. In Warhammer 40,000, the warrior nun class could be modified to match a Battle Sister of the Adeptas Sororitas. There might be other ways to fit a demon-slaying holy woman into your game...
Sample Encounter (EL 11): The tiefling wizard called Ezzural is the only person who can tell you where the Burning Axe is, a key component in your quest. He stretches out his hand to accept payment for information you need badly. That hand is quickly jerked away as Ezzural stumbles for cover, a crossbow bolt piercing his hand. The source of the bolt is the vigilante called Denali who approaches Ezzural, accusing him with infiltration of the Material Plane, a crime punishable by death. If she kills him, you'll never know the location of the Burning Axe!