False Prophet (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||The gods command you to kill in His name! Only then will you find salvation!||”|
|—Karl Mordo, Human False Prophet, The "Holy" Book of Pelor|
Insidous cancers within a religion, false prophets are charismatic preachers who speak the word of a god, and perform miracles and spells in his name. Yet these clerics are no clerics at all, but false prophets who work from within to destroy the system, introduce chaos, and turn religions of peace into savage murders, muddle the original teachings of true prophets, and destroy the lives of other clergy.
Becoming a False Prophet
|Skills:||Bluff 11 ranks, Diplomacy 8 ranks, Knowledge Religion 11 ranks, Spellcraft 8 ranks.|
|Special:||Must not have levels in a divine spellcasting class when entering.|
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Forsaken, Leech Divinity (1st), Preach (Fascinate), Turn Undead||3||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Leech Divinity (2nd), Preach (Counterpoint)||3||2||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||+1||+1||+3||Leech Divinity (3rd)||4||2||2||1||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+3||+1||+1||+4||Leech Divinity (4th), Preach (Temptation)||4||3||2||2||1||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+3||+1||+1||+4||Leech Divinity (5th)||5||3||3||2||2||1||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+4||+1||+1||+5||Leech Divinity (6th), Preach (Sway Opinion)||5||3||3||3||2||2||1||—||—||—|
|7th||+5||+2||+2||+5||Leech Divinity (7th)||6||3||3||3||3||2||2||1||—||—|
|8th||+6||+2||+2||+6||Leech Divinity (8th), Preach (Blame)||6||3||3||3||3||3||2||2||1||—|
|9th||+6||+2||+2||+6||Leech Divinity (9th)||6||3||3||3||3||3||3||2||2||1|
|10th||+7||+3||+3||+7||Anti-Savior, Preach (Zeal)||6||3||3||3||3||3||3||3||3||3|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level.
All of the following are class features of the false prophet.
Spells: A false prophet casts divine spells, which are drawn from the cleric spell list. His alignment does not restrict him from casting certain spells opposed to his moral or ethical beliefs, for the false prophet does not gain spells from deities willingly but steals them, leaching off their power (see Leach Divinity). A false prophet is limited in what level of spells he can leech successfully, so even if the false prophet obtains higher level spell slots through leveling he has no spells to fill them with until he gains the power to leech spells of that level. However he may fill them with lower level or metamagic-augmented spells as appropriate.
To prepare or cast a spell, a false prophet must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a false prophet's spell is 10 + the spell level + the false prophet's Wisdom modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a false prophet can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The False Prophet. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score. False prophets do not recieve domains.
False prophets meditate to restock their spells. Each false prophet must rest prepare for 1 hour as a wizard would, draining divinity through runic circles, eldritch alchemy, and questionable methods. When a spell is spent, the slot may be refreshed by resting for 8 hours, as a wizard. A false prophet may prepare and cast any spell on the cleric spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level and can leech it away, and he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily leeching.
Your caster level for false prophet spells is equal to your class level plus your levels in non-divine spellcasting classes.
Forsaken: Given that false prophets actively subvert the works of other gods, they are not well liked among divine casters. A false prophet must always make saving throws against divine magic spells, even if they would otherwise be beneficial or harmless. This restriction does not apply to his own magic, the magic of other false prophets, to non-divine casters who have similar spells (such as a cure light wounds from a bard), or from magical items. In addition, the false prophet always is susceptable to any alignment based effects from any divine casters in a way which is most disadvantagous, such as being affected by a paladin's smite evil or a cleric's dictum, regardless of their actual alignment.
They may not take levels in a divine casting class besides false prophet, or at least until level 10.
Leech Divinity (Su): A false prophet must draw in divine magic through unnatural means in order to use divine magic. At 1st level they learn to leech in 1st and 0th level spells from the cleric spell list. At 2nd level and each level beyond until 9th, they gain the ability to leech in spells one level higher. Without the ability to leech in spells, any higher spell slots cannot be filled except with lower level spells or spells affected by metamagic. Leeching takes 1 hour of work, carving in magic circles, speaking dark chants, and making obscure pacts with unmentionable beings.
As a side effect of leeching, false prophets ignore any inexpensive material component (1 gp or less) and do not need a divine focus, though to maintain their ruse they often do carry one.
Preach (Ex): A false prophet is as dangerous as they are not only for their theft of divine energy, but more for their sinister silver tongue. Once per day per false prophet level, a false prophet can preach to a group of people to sway and corrupt the minds of those around him in a manner similar to bardic music. Each ability requires both a minimum false prophet level and a minimum number of ranks in the Bluff skill to qualify; if a false prophet does not have the required number of ranks in the bluff skill, he does not gain the preach ability until he acquires the needed ranks.
Starting a preach effect is a standard action. Some preach abilities require concentration, which means the false prophet must take a standard action each round to maintain the ability. Even while using preaching that doesn’t require concentration, a false prophet cannot cast spells, activate magic items by spell completion (such as scrolls), or activate magic items by magic word (such as wands). Just as for casting a spell with a verbal component, a deaf false prophet has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use preach. If he fails, the attempt still counts against his daily limit.
Fascinate (Sp): A false prophet with 11 or more ranks in the bluff skill can use his words to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with him. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see and hear the false prophet, and able to pay attention to him. The false prophet must also be able to see the creature. The distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. For every level a false prophet attains beyond 1st, he can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability.
To use the ability, a false prophet makes a bluff check. His check result is the DC for each affected creature’s Will save against the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the false prophet cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and listens to the sermon, taking no other actions, for as long as the false prophet continues to preach and concentrate (up to a maximum of 2 rounds per false prophet level). While fascinated, a target takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Listen and Spot checks. Any potential threat requires the false prophet to make another bluff check and allows the creature a new saving throw against a DC equal to the new bluff check result.
Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect. Fascinate is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability.
Counterpoint (Sp): A 2nd level false prophet with 12 or more ranks in the bluff skill can belittle the preachings of others, being disruptive and at the same hand gaining the respect of others. When a creature is using bluff or diplomacy to sway others to their viewpoint, a false prophet can counter their arguement, making an a bluff check opposed to the other creature's bluff, diplomacy, or intimidate (whichever they were using to convince others). If the false prophet is successful, treat the difference between results as a positive gain for the false prophet, and a negative loss for the speaker. For example if a diplomat were making a speach on being nice to puppies with a diplomacy result of 25, and the false prophet countered on how they should eat puppies with a bluff of 36, creatures listening would treat the false prophet's idea as if he rolled an 11 to convince others of the virtues of puppy eating, while the diplomat would have gotten the result of -11 to convince them that being nice to puppies is a good idea.
Counterpointing can be dangerous, as failing to beat the opposed roll invokes the penalties on yourself while making the other side look potentially better off. In addition if the counterpoint is too outlandish or shocking even a successful roll may not convince others, though it will certainly make your opponent look bad in the process.
Temptation (Sp): A 4th level false prophet with 14 or more ranks in the bluff skill can speak to a crowd of people and convince them of certain acts which they may otherwise not do. After at least 1 minute of preaching, a false prophet can make a insidious suggestion (as the spell) to up to 1 creature per class level that he has already fascinated (see above). Using this ability does not break the false prophet's concentration on the fascinate effect, nor does it allow a second saving throw against the fascinate effect.
Making a insidious suggestion doesn’t count against a false prophet's daily limit on preaches. A Will saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 HD + false prophet's Cha modifier) negates the effect. Temptation is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language dependent ability.
Sway Opinion (Sp): A 6th level false prophet with 16 or more ranks in the bluff skill can sway the opinions of not only individuals, but entire communities. A false prophet can spend at least 30 minutes speaking to a crowd of at least 50 creatures, and at the end make a bluff check against the entire group, using the highest sense motive check in the crowd to counteract it. If successful, the group becomes convinced of the topic you spoke of being truth, and will proceed to spread the word around. For every +10 points you exceeded the opposed roll, the group will be able to convince 50 more creatures that what you said is true. By spreading dangerous rumors, such as negative publicity of the ruling members, one can begin to formulate the seeds of revolution. If 200 or more creatures in a community are convinced, the DC to convince other individuals and groups the truth of your words drops by 5 points. This effect is culmilative. Sway opinion consumes a use of preach and is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language dependent ability which does not disrupt the concentration of fascinated creatures.
Blame (Sp): A 8th level false prophet with 18 or more ranks in the bluff skill can blame another for all the problems that be, drowning out their protests to the contrary. By using a preaching attempt they may pick out a creature within 90 feet, blaming them for some crime. The victim may make a Will save DC 10 + 1/2 HD + false prophet's Cha modifier. If they succeed on their save, the false prophet takes a -10 penalty on all future bluff, diplomacy, and intimidate rolls for the rest of the day. If they fail, they are cursed as an outcast and all their social attempts to convince others will automatically fail regardless how believable, true, or honest it is. Evidence to the countary will be laughed off or explained away. This curse is permenant and may only be removed by a break enchantment spell or higher. Blame consumes a use of preach, and is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language dependent ability.
Zeal (Sp): A 10th level false prophet with 20 or more ranks in the bluff skill can invigor others to fanatical battle rage simply by commanding them to do so. This functions like temptation, except the suggestion effect is specifically a command to perform some act of violent, vandalism, or rioting and the effect lasts for 1 day/level, and a +4 morale bonus to attack, damage, AC, and saving throws for the duration. They will do their best to fulfill the goal stated even in face of impossible odds or high stakes, though if their actions are against their normal behavior when the duration ends they will be aghast at what they've done, and be immediately hostile to the false prophet. Zeal is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language dependent ability.
Turn or Rebuke Undead (Su): A false prophet turns or rebukes undead as a cleric of twice his class level. A false prophet chooses on entering the class, even being able to turn undead as an evil false prophet. Once chosen, it cannot be changed. This stacks with any previous turning abilities.
Anti-Savior: The false prophet has gotten so convincing that even some of the gods have begun believing that they may be one of their own. The false prophet may once again take divine casting classes, though they are still subject to any restrictions of their other classes. They no longer need to resist helpful and harmless divine spells.
In addition, if the false prophet dies (or seems to die) while others are convinced that he is indeed a real prophet, said creatures will automatically become affected by zeal, following whatever interpretation of their prophet's teachings they see fit. Because they decide what to perform on their own natural inclinations, they never take actions violently against their nature and never grow hostile when the duration expires. Many false prophets forge their own deaths, and in the process creating sects of religion and strange cults dedicated to their lies.
The epic false prophet gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic false prophet feats) every 3 levels after 11th.
Epic False Prophet Bonus Feat List: PENDING
A false prophet which no longer makes the alignment qualifications cannot level in false prophet until their alignment is acceptable again. Until 10th level, false prophets are unable to level in any other divine classes, gaining no spells from said classes if they do.
Playing a False Prophet
Combat: You are a cleric, or at least you can convince others of it. Besides wielding the might of divine magic, you are good with words and can convince entire nations to fall at your command.
Advancement: It is advised that false prophets remain in their class for the entire way, as multiclassing will prevent them from leeching higher level spells, or losing the restriction on other divine magics.
Resources: False prophets are viruses which infect other groups. Alone they have no organization, so they steal others.
False Prophets in the World
|“||We must burn the witch, stone the sinner, and suffer not the heretic to live! Kill them in the name of Pelor!||”|
|—Dorma Mamu, Tiefling False Prophet|
NPC Reactions: To the common man the false prophet, done right, is not a liar but a true paragon of good and justice. If only they knew...
False Prophet Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge Religion can research false prophets to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||False prophets pose as clerics and holy men, but steal their divine magic from the gods.|
|15||False prophets have a silver snake tongue, and can turn the entire town against you should you so provoke their ire.|
|20||Powerful false prophets could start entire new religions or bring down nations, and only make the problem worse in their passing.|
|30||Those that reach this level of success can research specific false prophets, their lore, history, location, motives, and with a sufficently high check perhaps their true motives.|
False Prophets in the Game
Adaptation: It may be possible that false prophets are indeed clerics of a god or entity devoted to destroying others in the pantheon. Rather than grant spells, their clerics are encouraged to steal from others, reducing the gods power even if only by a tad.
Sample Encounter: There is an upstart among the commonfolk, St. Ajora they call her. She is proving quite popular, but the government is growing concerned of her more outspoken tyrades against what they stand for. And where will you stand, with St. Ajora or against her?
EL 15: PENDING
|Allowed Alignments||Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +|
|Article Balance||Very High +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Moderate +|
|Class Ability||Prepared Spellcasting + and Divine Spellcasting +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Poor +|
|Identifier||3.5e Prestige Class +|
|Minimum Level||8 +|
|Rated By||Leziad + and Sulacu +|
|Rating||Rating Pending +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Poor +|
|Skill||Bluff +, Concentration +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Diplomacy +, Disguise +, Forgery +, Gather Information +, Heal +, Intimidate +, Knowledge +, Perform +, Profession +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand +, Speak Language + and Spellcraft +|
|Skill Points||4 +|
|Summary||The false prophet sets themselves up within the clergy of others, performing miracles while subtly subverting their dogma from the inside out. +|
|Title||False Prophet +|
|Will Save Progression||Good +|