I used the Pathfinder RPG Conversion Guide to rework the Doomguide prestige class from the Forgotten Realms[i] 3E supplement [i]Faiths & Pantheons as a Pharasmin religious order, for use with an undead-hunting cleric I built for our current campaign. While I was doing that, the group got to talking about some of the other classes in the book, and my friend mentioned the Heartwarder, so I did that one too.
The Order of Doomguides schismed from the Voices of the Spire in the 4610s. Formed by moderates appalled at the Voices’ complicity in crimes against refugees from the growing Worldwound to the north, the Doomguides sought to regain some balance in the approach to the Pharasmin faith.
Doomguides train themselves hard to slay undead and their mortal or immortal masters, but are expected to display compassion for the living, recognizing that they serve the goddess of fate, not merely the goddess of the dead.
Further, doomguides serve the church in a less obvious way, often acting as couriers from one temple to another. Seldom attached to a particular temple, doomguides are expected to travel the world, spreading the word of Pharasma.
Doomguides often lead bands of adventurers to clear out enclaves of undead or punish a particularly powerful or vile necromancer. Occasionally, they officiate at important funerals or provide life-restoring magic to those who have served the church in the past and still have important work to conduct in this world. Their requirement for travel makes encountering a doomguide in the wilderness nearly as likely as encountering one in more urban surroundings.
Like all Pharasmin priests, doomguides carry a skane, a ceremonial dagger used to cut the umbilical cord and cloth for burial shrouds. A typical skane has Pharasma’s symbol depicted on the pommel and a gray finish on the blade.
- Alignment: Any neutral.
- Base Save Bonus: Will +4.
- Skills: Diplomacy 2 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 2 ranks.
- Feats: Extra Channel, Great Fortitude.
- Spells: Ability to cast speak with dead as a divine spell (3rd level cleric list, for reference).
- Patron: Pharasma.
- Special: The character must have destroyed an undead of at least 5 HD, whether by using weapons, spells, or positive energy. He does not need to have done this alone.
The character must own a skane, a dagger of at least masterwork quality. It does not have to be their main weapon.
- Hit Die: d8.
- Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A doomguide gains no weapon or armor proficiencies.
- Class Skills: The doomguide’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
- Good saves: Fort, Will (see Pathfinder RPG Conversion Guide p. 15)
- Base Attack Bonus: +0, +1, +2, +3, +3, +4, +5, +6, +6, +7
- Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
- Spells per Day: At each doomguide level, the character gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in a divine spellcasting class to which he belonged before adding the prestige class level. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (such as increased level of channel energy—however, see the Pharasma’s Boon ability below). If the character had more than one divine spellcasting class before becoming a doomguide, the player must decide to which class to add each doomguide level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.
- Pharasma’s Boon: By grace of the Lady of Graves, doomguides add their doomguide class levels to their cleric levels for purposes of channeling energy.
- Rite of the Passing (Su): As a standard action, a doomguide may touch a corpse to protect it from those who would seek to animate it. A dead creature for whom the ritual has been performed may not be animated in any way except the direct intervention of a deity. A doomguide may perform the rite of the passing upon one creature per doomguide level per day. Corpses of creatures with four or more Hit Dice more than the doomguide are immune to the ritual.
- Converse with Dead (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, the doomguide’s study of the process of death has granted him the guile and understanding to coax additional information from corpses when using the speak with dead spell. Instead of the usual one question per two caster levels, doomguides may ask one question per caster level.
- Bonus Feat: At 3rd, 6th, and 10th level, a doomguide may select any feat affecting their Channel Energy class ability as a bonus feat. They must still meet all relevant prerequisites.
- Save Bonus (Ex): At 4th level, doomguides get a +4 bonus on saving throws against death effects and to saving throws to overcome a negative level. Upon reaching 8th level, a doomguide always makes his saving throw to overcome a negative level.
- Bond of the Spiral (Su): The doomguide’s devotion to Pharasma and dedication to the teachings of the Lady of Graves has helped him to establish certain supernatural links to Pharasma's spiral dagger. These links manifest in the form of a pale green nimbus around the weapon, representing the ability of the doomguide to increase the power of weapons he wields.
The ability lasts for 1 round each time it is used, and can be invoked as a free action a number of times per day equal to the doomguide’s Charisma bonus (minimum one). A doomguide must decide to use the ability before attacking, and if the attack misses that use is wasted.
At 5th level, the bond grants wielded weapons the ghost touch property. At 7th level, weapons wielded by the doomguide gain both ghost touch and the undead bane properties. At 9th level, wielded weapons gain the ghost touch, undead bane, and disruption properties even if they are not bludgeoning weapons. The weapon’s normal abilities still apply.
- Ethereal Purge (Sp): At 8th level, once per day the doomguide may surround himself with a sphere of power with a radius of 5 feet per class level that forces all ethereal creatures in the area to manifest on or shift themselves to the Material Plane, as appropriate. For example, it forces ghosts to manifest, and ethereal filchers or creatures using an ethereal jaunt spell are forced into the Material Plane. Such creatures may attempt a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 doomguide’s class level + doomguide’s Wisdom bonus) to resist this effect. Those who fail suffer the above effects and are prevented from returning to the Ethereal Plane for 1 minute per class level.
- Pharasma’s Grace (Su): At 10th level, a doomguide gains complete immunity to energy drain and death effects. Furthermore, allies within 10 feet of him gain a +4 bonus on saving throws against death effects and to saving throws to overcome a negative level.
Homebrew Feat: Empower Channel [Channeling] (was: Empower Turning and Heighten Turning)
You can trade decreased energy-channeling penetration for greater damage, or vice versa.
Prerequisites: Ability to channel positive or negative energy, Cha 13, Extra Channeling
Benefit: When you channel positive or negative energy, you may choose a number no higher than your effective class level for channeling energy. Either subtract that number from your save DC (to a minimum of 10), while adding it to your channeling damage roll, or add it to your save DC, while subtracting it from your channeling damage roll.
The design process for the Heartwarder was a little more complicated. Where doomguides are specific to Kelemvor—who converts pretty easily to Pharasma—heartwarders are specific to Sune, who doesn’t cleanly map onto the pantheon of Golarion. Shelyn is the closest match, but sexuality is part of her purview as well, which Pathfinder gives wholly to Calistria.
But then I had a brainstorm: there’s a longstanding bit of lore that Shelyn, Sarenrae, and Desna are in a polyamorous relationship. I decided to use this as a jumping-off point for a prestige class that venerates all three goddesses together as a trinity—there's an official one in 2E called the Prismatic Ray, but I named mine the Triune Heart—and revolves around fostering love and happiness, particularly in regards to healthy relationships and sexuality. To that end, I changed out one class feature in particular that came off as running contrary to that (the Tears of Evergold supernatural power became a spell-like ability tied to Sarenrae due to consent issues with the potion of love effect), and added a code of conduct feature like a paladin’s.
The class is one of the more powerful ones in the original source, especially for Charisma-based spellcasters; the main mechanical balancing is the wizard-level hit die (now d6, up from d4 in the original). I also dropped the alignment requirement to “any Good” from Chaotic Good only, since two of the three deities in the trinity are Neutral Good.
It is widely known among the faithful of Golarion that Desna, Sarenrae, and Shelyn are lovers. It was perhaps inevitable that a splinter cult would develop to venerate all of them at once. The Sodality of the Triune Heart was built to nurture and protect love, and lovers, in all its myriad forms, and worship the three goddesses together as a trinity. Those who follow this belief system are known as heartwarders.
The Sodality of the Triune Heart attempts to emulate the love that Desna, Shelyn, and Sarenrae have for one another. They celebrate each goddess’s high holy days in turn. They guard lovers who are under threat and work to smooth their way through the world.
Most heartwarders are clerics, cleric/bards, cleric/rogues, or cleric/sorcerers, although other class combinations, particularly those including enchanter, are not unknown. Paladins are even rarer among the heartwarders, and come almost exclusively from the knighthood of Shelyn and not Sarenrae, whose paladins tend to focus more on martial pursuits.
Heartwarders are relatively rare, and usually found in large cities in the company of the cultural elite. In public, most are active patrons of the arts, and all play the role of matchmaker for persons in all levels of society, as well as officiating weddings and counseling couples. Many are employed as artists, crafters, performers, or instructors. Those who teach instruct in such varied subjects as art, choral music, cosmetics, dance, deportment, etiquette, fashion, handiwork, instrumental music, and manners. A few travel the world to promote beauty and love, and adventure.
Heartwarder private ceremonies have been compared to Calistrian bacchanals but tend to be more subdued and discreet and resemble arts exhibitions. These ceremonies often do involve sex, but couples or groups of celebrants prefer to enjoy one another’s charms in private rooms or groves rather than in plain view for all to see. Like their divine patrons, heartwarders are almost always polyamorous and pansexual, but often select one lover in particular to be their primary consort.
Heartwarders are often closely allied with the kindlier followers of Calistria, particularly in the roles of protecting and healing prostitutes. However, heartwarders are forbidden to prostitute themselves—those who repeatedly violate this rule outside of extreme circumstances may lose their class features until an atonement spell can be cast—and are staunch opponents of the slave trade, making them natural allies of Andoren agents and missionaries.
- Alignment: Any good.
- Base Save Bonus: Ref +2.
- Skills: Bluff 1 rank, Diplomacy 3 ranks.
- Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Spell Focus (Enchantment).
- Spells: Ability to cast 3rd-level spells.
- Patron: Desna, Sarenrae, or Shelyn. The character’s patron deity changes to the Triune Heart (considered NG for the purposes of permitted spells and divine spellcasters and any Aura class feature) at 1st level.
- Special: The character must be proficient with at least one of the starknife, glaive, or scimitar.
- Hit Die: d6.
- Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A heartwarder gains no weapon or armor proficiencies.
- Class Skills: The class skills of a heartwarder (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
- Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
- Good saves: Fort, Will (see Pathfinder RPG Conversion Guide p.15).
- Base Attack Bonus: +0, +1, +2, +3, +3, +4, +5, +6, +6, +7.
- Spells per Day/Spells Known: At each heartwarder level, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if they had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which they belonged before adding the prestige class level. They do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved uses of channel energy, metamagic or item creation feats, and so on). If the character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a heartwarder, the player must decide to which class to add each heartwarder level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.
Divine spellcasters must select one of the three goddesses of the Triune Heart each month to grant their spells. If they change to a new patron and have the Domain or Inquisition class feature, they must check their selected domain(s) or inquisitions against the list of available domains, subdomains, or inquisitions of that goddess, and switch any unavailable ones to one granted by their new patron. This requires 1d20 hours of meditation and prayer.
- Code of Conduct: A heartwarder must be of good alignment and loses all class features if they ever willingly commit an evil act. This functions as the paladin class feature of same name, but with the following tenets:
-- A heartwarder is expected to promote and protect healthy relationships. This may take the form of providing matchmaking services, aiding lovers whose relationship has been forbidden by others, assisting gender-nonconforming persons in transitioning (such as crafting them an elixir of sex shifting), or helping someone escape an abusive relationship.
-- A heartwarder may not turn a blind eye to abusive relationships, and engaging in abusive conduct themselves may lead to permanent loss of class features. Nor is a heartwarder permitted to engage in slavery of sapient beings of any kind.
-- A heartwarder may never accept or offer sex for services or payment (exceptions can be made for offering sex as payment in extreme situations).
-- Associates: While they may adventure with good or neutral allies, a heartwarder avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends their moral code. Under exceptional circumstances, a heartwarder can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what they believe to be a greater evil. A heartwarder should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should they feel it is doing more harm than good. A heartwarder may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are good-aligned.
- Sarenrae’s Light (Sp): At 1st level, a heartwarder gains the ability to cast either daylight or searing light once per day as an oracle of their heartwarder level (that is, each day they may cast daylight once, or searing light once; they are not permanently locked to one or the other). This increases to twice per day at 5th level, and three times per day at 10th level.
- Charisma Increase (Ex): As the heartwarder gains levels in this prestige class, they become increasingly more persuasive and attractive. At level 1 they gain a +1 inherent bonus to their Charisma score, and every other heartwarder level after that this bonus increases by +1 to a maximum of +5 inherent bonus at level 9.
- Desna’s Voice (Ex): At 2nd level, a heartwarder evinces such passionate belief in whatever they do or say that they can sway the thoughts of the most rigid critic. This ability translates into a +2 bonus on all Charisma-based skill checks.
- Bonus Teamwork Feat: The heartwarder recognizes that love is not a solitary pursuit, nor does beauty have value without eyes to appreciate it, and even the freedom of the open road is better enjoyed with companions. The heartwarder gains a bonus teamwork feat at 3rd, 6th, and 9th levels. They must still meet all relevant prerequisites.
- Shelyn’s Kiss (Su): At 4th level, a heartwarder’s kiss confers a state of bliss upon its recipient, conferring a +2 morale bonus on attacks, weapon damage, checks, and saves. Moreover, it temporarily suspends the effects of exhaustion, fatigue, and nausea. An enraptured recipient receives a +2 saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects. This ability lasts 5 rounds, and can be used a number of times per day equal to their Charisma bonus. The one downside to a heartwarder’s kiss is that it also has the effect of a daze spell upon the recipient (the normal saving throw applies) as if cast by a sorcerer of heartwarder’s caster level.
- Song of the Trinity (Su): At 7th level, a heartwarder’s voice is so enticing that they weaken the ability of opponents to resist their spells. They gain the Greater Spell Focus (Enchantment) and Spell Penetration feats, but they only apply to spells with a verbal component (and are not altered with the Silent Spell feat).
- Fey Metamorphosis: At 10th level, a heartwarder is so attuned to the forces of natural beauty that they transcend mortal definitions of beauty. Their type changes to “fey,” which means, among other things, that they are no longer affected by spells that specifically target humanoids, such as charm person.
So the doomguide is mainly for clerics of Pharasma. If they have two particular (so-so but not wasted) feats then they can stop progressing their domains and get 3 bonus feats and some class abilities over 10 levels. Which looks like a straight upgrade if you take it after level 6 or 8 depending on the exact domains. I'm not sure why clerics of Pharasma need an upgrade.
The heartwarder has worse required bonus feats and a code of conduct but much better benefits - potentially brokenly good for a cha-based spellcaster. I don't think this is balanced at all.