Avenger

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IMPORTANT NOTE: In general. this prestige class requires worship of Jancassis, the god of revenge, and therefore is not available to player characters.

AVENGER

The avenger is driven by a deep aching need for revenge. Before you can be an avenger, you must first be a victim of a soul-piercing injury. Then you will understand the hunger of the wronged, the anger and guilt of the survivor, and the consuming hatred of those who still bleed. The avenger learns to take these drives and emotions, and he channels them into implacable relentless action -- action leading to vengeance. Because the avenger understands the wounds carried by those who have been injured, he may also try to salve the hurts of other victims and offer closure to those in whom grievance gnaws like a cancer.

Honoring Jancassis as patron and inspiration, avengers nurse deep hurts and dream of making their enemies pay. They are fueled by controlled rage, cool determination, and the will to see the downfall of their foes. They plan ahead, operating in shadows until the day of vengeance is at hand. Only those with fierce determination and the patience for stealth can pass the stringent tests required of avenger candidates. Cleric/rogues make the best avengers, although bards twisted by tragedy and monks driven by deep grievance also make good avengers.

As NPCs, avengers work for the day of vengeance, and they do not flinch if that day is years or decades away. Sometimes an avenger remains secret, and common folk never know that one has walked among them. Other times an avenger wears clear signs of devotion to Jancassis, sowing hope among the injured and dismay among the guilty. Yearning for revenge, those who offer silent prayers to Jancassis sometimes encounter mysterious strangers who help them drive the dagger of vengeance into the back of their enemy.

Hit Die: d8

Requirements

To qualify to become an avenger, a character must fulfill the following criteria.

Note: This prestige class requires the permission of the Campaign DM before it can be taken.

  • Feats: Iron Will
  • Skills: Stealth 3 ranks
  • Special: First, the candidate must have suffered a grievous wrong, for which he or she seeks revenge. Then, the candidate must pass a harsh ritual initiation.

Initiation Ritual: The decision to become an avenger of Jancassis should not be taken lightly, and certain tests are imposed to weed out those not able to cope with all it entails. Initiates are tested in two ways:

  • Test of Suffering: The candidate is bitten repeatedly by spiders, scorpions, and snakes -- the pain is a lesson in suffering, to feel it, experience it, and know that it must never be dealt lightly; the stilling, narcotic effect of the bite is a symbol of the quietness of the mind that will be needed in order to enact proper vengeance. To represent this testing, the candidate must make a poison Fortitude save vs. DC. 20, with no magical or artificial aids to resistance allowed.
  • Test of Determination: The candidate is provoked, unbearably and in many ways -- often beaten and verbally abused, pushed relentlessly toward anger, fear, terror, a candidate must control and suppress these emotions to pass the test. They will be tempted by lust and greed, and if they fail, they will be rejected. They will be given tasks, often unsavory, and will be offered many distractions -- if they fail to complete assigned tasks, they will be rejected. An Avenger of Jancassis has his or her emotions fully under control and is deadly, resolute and unwavering. This training enables the Avenger to cope admirably in the sea of anguish often present in those who have been woefully wronged and to deliver vengeance in a completely dispassionate manner. To represent this testing, the candidate must make a Will save vs. DC. 20, with no magical or artificial aids to resistance allowed.

If one or both tests are failed, the candidate is dumped in a private place. If the candidate fails the test of suffering, he or she is poisoned, taking 1d6 Strength and 2d6 Constitution damage. If the candidate fails the test of determination, he or she is confused for 2d6 hours. A candidate who fails the test can retake it after gaining a level in another class. When retaking a test, the candidate gains a +1 for each time he took that test and failed, and a +2 for each time he took that test and passed. These bonuses stack.

If the candidate passes both tests, he or she becomes a fully initiated Avenger of Jancassis, The new first level Avenger gains a complete immunity to snake, scorpion, and spider venom and complete immunity to fear as a result of passing these ordeals.

Class Skills

The avenger's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points per level: 6 + Int modifier

Table: The Avenger
Level Base
Attack
Bonus
Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +1 +1 +1 Sneak Attack +1d6
2nd +1 +1 +1 +1 Poison Use
3rd +2 +2 +2 +2 Sneak Attack +2d6, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th +3 +2 +2 +2 Resolute Will, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
5th +3 +3 +3 +3 Sneak Attack +3d6, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
6th +4 +3 +3 +3 Sacred Tattoo, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
7th +5 +4 +4 +4 Sneak Attack +4d6, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
8th +6 +4 +4 +4 Death Attack, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
9th +6 +5 +5 +5 Tattoo Swarm, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
10th +7 +5 +5 +5 Agent of Vengeance, +1 level of existing spellcasting class

Class Features

Weapon & Armor Proficiency: Avengers are proficient with the crossbow (hand, light, or heavy), dagger (any type), dart, rapier, sap, short bow (normal and composite), short sword, and whip. Avengers are proficient with light armor but not with shields.

Spells Per Day: At levels three through ten, when a new avenger level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (better wildshape, metamagic or item creation feats, and so on). This essentially means that she adds the level of avenger (minus two) to the level of some other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before she became an avenger, she must decide to which class she adds her avenger levels for purposes of determining spells per day when she first adopts the PrC.

From level 1 onwards, the avenger gains access to specific avenger-only spells if they can cast spells of the given level. Divine avengers gain access to these spells as they do to all their spells. Arcane avengers can either prepare these spells without a spell book (like Read Magic) or can spontaneously cast them (these new spells do not count against the spells known by class level).

The following spells are exclusive to the Avenger Prestige Class.

Sect: Avengers organize in secret societies, planning in private places and plotting the downfall of those who have wronged them. Avengers do not boast, and they keep to their own hidden ways. They often communicate secretly (using the Bluff skill) -- and some refuse to talk openly. Many people do not even believe in avengers, and avengers encourage others to think them mere myth.

Sneak Attack: Any time the avenger's target would be denied her Dexterity bonus to AC (whether she actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), the avenger's attack deals +1d6 points of damage. This extra damage increases by +1d6 points every other level (+2d6 at 3rd level, +3d6 at 5th level, and so on). This ability is exactly like the rogue ability of the same name, and it stacks with other sneak attack damage.

Poison Use: Avengers are trained in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a weapon. They know all the poisons listed in the DMG and how to use them. As noted above, at first level the avenger is immune to spider, snake, and scorpion venom. At second level, the avenger gains a bonus equal to his level on other poison saving throws.

Resolute Will: The avenger attains great control over his emotions. He gains a bonus equal to his level when making Bluff, Concentration, and Intimidate checks. He also gains a bonus equal to half his level on saves vs. all mind-affecting magic. And as noted above, at first level the avenger is immune to fear.

Sacred Tattoo: A black and red tattoo appears on the avenger -- choose a scorpion, spider, or viper. All other tattoos that the avenger might have fade away, and any familiar or animal companion is dismissed. Once per hour, the tattoo can crawl off the avenger as a free action and become a magical beast, exactly like a tiny familiar. The crawling tattoo has all the abilities of a familiar. If the avenger has class levels that give a familiar or animal companion, all those levels stack to determine the capabilities of the crawling tattoo (a snake tattoo familiar does not give a bonus to Bluff checks). In crawling form, a tattoo's poison torments its victims with pain: Will DC 10 + avenger level, initial damage sickened for 1 minute, secondary damage sickened for 1d3 days. If the crawling tattoo reaches zero hit points, it vanishes -- but the tattoo reappears over the avenger's heart the next morning. As a free action, a crawling tattoo can return to the avenger if they are touching, which cures all of its damage. A tattoo on an avenger gives a blessing when it is not crawling around -- the location of the tattoo determines the blessing. A tattoo can move to a new location on the body only after returning from a crawl.

  • Location: Blessing
    • Hands: Toxic -- +2 DC using nonmagic poison that damages Con (snake, scorpion) or Str (spider).
    • Face: Aware -- scent (snake) or 60 ft darkvision (scorpion) or 20 ft tremorsense (spider).
    • Feet: Careful -- +3 Climb (snake) or +3 Stealth (scorpion) or +3 Acrobatics (spider).
    • Chest/Heart: -- Commanding: turn snakes, scorpions, and spiders (stacks with venom domain granted power).
    • Back: -- Watchful: avenger cannot be flanked.

Death Attack: If an avenger studies his victim for 3 rounds and then makes a sneak attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack has the additional effect of possibly either paralyzing or killing the target (avenger's choice). Studying the victim is a standard action. The death attack fails if the target detects the avenger or recognizes the avenger as an enemy (although the attack might still be a sneak attack if the target is denied his Dexterity bonus to his Armor Class or is flanked). If the victim of such a death attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the avenger's class level + the avenger's Int modifier) against the kill effect, she dies. If the saving throw fails against the paralysis effect, the victim is rendered helpless and unable to act for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per level of the avenger. If the victim's saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal sneak attack. Once the avenger has completed the 3 rounds of study, he must make the death attack within the next 3 rounds. If a death attack is attempted and fails (the victim makes her save) or if the avenger does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before he can attempt another death attack.

Tattoo Swarm: In addition to the single black and red tattoo the avenger gains at level 6, at level nine the avenger's body is covered with more tattoos of diminuitive spiders, snakes, and scorpions. Once per day, the avenger can order these diminuitive tattoos to crawl off his body and attack as a swarm. Treat the swarm as a Spider Swarm with 16 hit points and with distraction and poison save DCs of 25 (see the Pathfinder rules for a Spider Swarm). The swarm uses the avenger's base saving throws. The avenger triggers the swarm as a supernatural ability that requires a standard action. Thereafter, the avenger controls the swarm as a free mental action. An avenger in the same space as his swarm is unaffected by it. The swarm must stay within 25 feet of the avenger. The swarm lasts for ten minutes or until forced more than 25 feet away or until destroyed. But even if disrupted or destroyed, the diminuitive tattoos reform on the avenger the next morning. At the avenger's choice, the diminuitive tattoos can be concealed under clothing or exposed on hands, face, etc.

Agent of Vengeance: If the avenger has achieved her own personal revenge -- that is, avenged the wrong that drove her to take this prestige class -- AND the avenger has achieved tenth level, then she becomes an Agent of Vengeance in direct service to Jancassis. The avenger's creature type becomes outsider, and she gains damage reduction 10/magic. Additionally, she can cast True Seeing or Legend Lore once per day and Commune or Gate once per week, in addition to her usual spells. An Agent of Vengeance expects to be sent on missions and given tasks by Jancassis personally from time to time.