About Vlad the Heretic
Male Human (Taldan) Fighter (Unbreakable) 1 / Barbarian 2 (Invulnerable Rager)
Bonus Feat: Humans select one extra feat at 1st level.
Fast Movement (Ex): A barbarian’s land speed is faster than the norm for her race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor, and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the barbarian’s speed because of any load carried or armor worn. This bonus stacks with any other bonuses to the barbarian’s land speed.
Heart of the Wilderness: Humans raised in the wild learn the hard way that only the strong survive. They gain a racial bonus equal to half their character level on Survival checks. They also gain a +5 racial bonus on Constitution checks to stabilize when dying and add half their character level to their Constitution score when determining the negative hit point total necessary to kill them. This racial trait replaces skilled.
Invulnerability (Ex): At 2nd level, the invulnerable rager gains DR/— equal to half her barbarian level. This damage reduction is doubled against nonlethal damage.
This ability replaces uncanny dodge, improved uncanny dodge, and damage reduction.
Rage (Ex): A barbarian can call upon inner reserves of strength and ferocity, granting her additional combat prowess. Starting at 1st level, a barbarian can rage for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + her Constitution modifier. At each level after 1st, she can rage for 2 additional rounds. Temporary increases to Constitution, such as those gained from rage and spells like bear’s endurance, do not increase the total number of rounds that a barbarian can rage per day. A barbarian can enter rage as a free action. The total number of rounds of rage per day is renewed after resting for 8 hours, although these hours do not need to be consecutive.
While in rage, a barbarian gains a +4 morale bonus to her Strength and Constitution, as well as a +2 morale bonus on Will saves. In addition, she takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class. The increase to Constitution grants the barbarian 2 hit points per Hit Dice, but these disappear when the rage ends and are not lost first like temporary hit points. While in rage, a barbarian cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration.
A barbarian can end her rage as a free action and is fatigued after rage for a number of rounds equal to 2 times the number of rounds spent in the rage. A barbarian cannot enter a new rage while fatigued or exhausted but can otherwise enter rage multiple times during a single encounter or combat. If a barbarian falls unconscious, her rage immediately ends, placing her in peril of death.
Rage Powers (Ex):
As a barbarian gains levels, she learns to use her rage in new ways. Starting at 2nd level, a barbarian gains a rage power. She gains another rage power for every two levels of barbarian attained after 2nd level. A barbarian gains the benefits of rage powers only while raging, and some of these powers require the barbarian to take an action first. Unless otherwise noted, a barbarian cannot select an individual power more than once.
Any barbarian who meets the powers’ prerequisites can select and use rage powers. Totem rage powers grant powers related to a theme. A barbarian cannot select from more than one group of totem rage powers; for example, a barbarian who selects a beast totem rage power cannot later choose to gain any of the dragon totem rage powers (any rage power with “dragon totem” in its title).
Tough as Nails: An unbreakable gains Endurance and Diehard as bonus feats. This ability replaces the fighter’s 1st-level bonus feat.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A fighter is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, light, and medium) and shields (an unbreakable is not proficient with tower shields).
“Only in pain can one find enlightenment.”
Several years ago, Vlad Bloodmoon found himself down on his luck in Vigil after the death of his paladin father in battle. His sire, a hero of the Knights of Ozem, was buried in his hometown of Roslar’s Coffer in Roslar’s Tomb. After the burial, Vlad returned to Vigil, but with no other family, Vlad became homeless after a series of misfortunes.
With no earthly possessions left but his father’s holy symbol of Iomedae, Vlad lived in the gutters and began begging for a loaf, alms, or booze. With Vigil bustling with life, Vlad found himself some odd pariah who lost himself in insanity and drink. Tormented for months, he knew he was nothing but a pathetic wretch, one that could never live up to his hero father.
One dark evening, some louts from the tavern saw Vlad begging for a single coin. Drunken, the rowdy revelers decided to make a game of Vlad and smash his face in. What was a regular night of violence would shape Vlad’s life forever.
Instead of generosity, Vlad received a bottle to the face. Undaunted, he allowed himself to be abused by the drunkards, as each bloody blow only served to fuel a spark in Vlad’s darkened mind. As the merciless thugs exhausted the last of their strength, they were shocked to see the pauper invigorated by the rain of blows. With a bloody grin, Vlad spat out a chipped tooth and some of his self-loathing. The would-be assailants took a few steps back from the reveling masochist, then departed into the night. Not all men break after enduring suffering at the hands of others. Some realize the pathetic nature of their flesh and attempt to remold themselves into something better. What better source of inspiration for this fool?
Feeling changed by the painful but exhilarating beating, Vlad found sanctuary in the penance halls of the splendid Cathedral of Sancta Iomedaea, Vigil’s most impressive and famous building. With his father’s holy symbol and the Bloodmoon name, Vlad thought he might earn a chance as an initiate with the Knights of Ozem, a military order dedicated to Iomedae where his father had served with honor.
But while Vlad distinguished himself with his great strength and skill with the blade, he still carried deep pain. Further, he found himself at odds with the clergy on multiple points of church doctrine. Vlad’s father had been a fundamentalist—a religious absolutist, and Vlad took those views to excess. Vlad thought the church should focus more on justice, penance, and righteous vengeance. He felt himself pulled toward a small fringe group within the church, one that focused on zealous doctrine, such as the punishment of Iomedae’s enemies and enlightenment through physical anguish.
Fanatical in his beliefs, emotion ruled over reason for Vlad. Deeply devout, where others might attend temple services once a week, he would go every day. If others found faith in the Acts of Iomedae, he saw hidden truth the clergy could not. An hour of prayer was not enough, and he focused on the ritual washings, his sense of justice, and bringing Iomedae’s civilization to those without it—compelled, if necessary.
During his training, Vlad found kindred spirits in a pair of more violent paladins who revered the avenging angel Ragathiel. They introduced him to extremist literature regarding Ragathiel, Gorum, and even the Hellknight Order of the Godclaw, which taught revised doctrines to stamp out disorder, particularly its divine opposition to chaos with religious zeal. Though still a true believer of Iomedae, like his father, Vlad felt these doctrines should be emphatically emphasized in the church, and was not afraid to make his stance known.
After reading these controversial texts, he began subjecting himself to flogging with various whips as a religious discipline—a form of penance and demonstration of piety that would bring him enlightenment through pain. Among his peers, he was generally regarded with a toxic mixture of fear, awe, and disgust. The power he drew from martyrdom was unsettling—in one moment he was a fountain of piety, and the next, a conduit of terrible wrath. He seemed on the brink of madness.
Vlad’s training with the Knights of Ozem and Iomedae’s clergy ended abruptly when Vlad was condemned as a radical and banished from the church for his heretical views. Furious, Vlad gathered his things and stormed out of the Sancta Iomedaea. They must be made to see the truth! I have found true Ascendance, absolution, and redemption! I have found the higher belief, but only for those with the fortitude to pay the price!
Looking for guidance, the bitter but still-believing Vlad felt pulled toward Roslar’s Coffer to visit his father’s tomb, as well as other heroes of Iomedae buried nearby. Perhaps this would give this religious pilgrim some purpose and clarity, and enlighten him on reconciling with the church to help them see the truth. In Roslar’s Coffer, he also hoped to find a job with high risk for high reward—a test of mettle for one of Iomedae’s most valiant servants!
Appearance: Vlad is tall and muscular, with unkempt auburn hair and a long chinstrap beard. He wears portions of his father’s scale armor, including a lion-emblazoned shoulder guard of Iomedae, though he keeps his chest and back uncovered. There, the scars and abrasions that cover his body are clearly visible. He wields a flail, a particularly cruel and merciless weapon, which he brings to bear on enemies—or himself.
Vlad favors the reds and white of Iomedae, and wears her holy symbol around his neck on a chain. He carries an earmarked copy of Acts of Iomedae to frequently review the eleven miracles she performed in mortality.
Personality: Vlad is a consummate Samaritan, a paragon of his faith (as he sees it), and a completely fanatic zealot. Each morning, he performs Iomedae’s obedience, a ritual in which the worshiper holds his primary weapon in front of him with the goddess’ holy symbol attached. He then prays for guidance and protection from the Inheritor, while promising to follow her teachings.
He never tolerates insults against his faith, and is quick to accuse such dissenters of being heretical heathens deserving of nothing less than a highly public execution. Vlad is not above bending laws to his favor. He is assertive and vigilant in rooting out evil.
If there was ever such a thing as ‘weaponized suffering’, then Vlad would be the term made flesh. This man is unique in the sense that he thrives on the ruin of his mind and body. Whereas every sane person aims to minimize wounds, Vlad welcomes them. He might stand like a wall between his comrades and his foes, with his arms wide open, his body exposed, acting like a magnet for all harm that may come their way. His power lies within the martyrdom, and it is something that transcends physical laws: every action of violence that lands on his tortured corpus creates not an equal, but a far more potent reaction. And the more his enemies try to end his life, the stronger he becomes, since his strength is at its summit when he himself is at the brink of death… or madness.
Town Connection: Vlad's uncle, Arun Bloodmoon, an inquisitor of Iomedae, lives in Roslar's Coffer. Arun is very similar to Vlad's deceased father, and does not approve of Vlad's recent conduct. Vlad feels a need to prove himself to his uncle, as well as his father's memory.
”Those who oppose Iomedae shall know pain without end.”
Class Taken: Fighter
Class Feature Gained: tough as nails
Hit points Gained: 1d10, +2 Con, +1 favored, +3 toughness
Skill Points (1 + 2 background, +2 profession): craft (weapons)(1), knowledge (history)(1), knowledge (religion)(1), linguistics (1), profession (pilgrim)
Feats: endurance, diehard, fey foundling, toughness
Power Attack (-1/+2):
Combat Expertise (-0 (threatening defender)/+1 AC):
RAGE! (based on 21 Str) (reckless abandon: -1 AC/+1 atk)
RAGE! Power Attack (-1/+3) (reckless abandon: -1 AC/+1 atk)
Combat Expertise (-0 (threatening defender)/+1 AC) (reckless abandon: -1 AC/+1 atk)
*+1/2 character lvl to survival
5 - f- extra rage power (witch hunter); r- lesser beast totem