Author Topic: Prestige Classes Roleplaying Resources and Lore  (Read 45167 times)


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Prestige Classes Roleplaying Resources and Lore
« on: February 07, 2007, 07:52:06 AM »
Below is a complete list of Prisoners of the Mist's available Prestige Classes, with information to be used as a resource for character development.

Supported Prestige Classes Requiring an Application:

Supported Prestige Classes Without Application:

Unsupported Prestige Classes:
  • Dragon Disciple (No longer supported, replaced by the Draconic Ancestry template.)
  • Harper Scout: Non-existent organization in the Land Of Mists, thus characters are unable to progress and develop in it.
  • Purple Dragon Knight: Non-existent organization in the Land Of Mists, thus characters are unable to progress and develop in it; also requires a mount which are currently disabled.

Sources: Ravenloft Dungeon Master guide, Dungeon Master Guide 3.5, Tome of Blood, Libris Mortis, The Quintessential Rogue, d20, Complete Warrior, Wizards of the Coast, DnD Wiki, Sword and Fist, Complete Divine, Player's guide to Faerun, Masters of the Wild, Tome of Magic, Van Richten's Arsenal Vol. I, Ravenloft Gazetteer III, Legacy of the Blood, Secrets of the Dread Realm.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2023, 07:37:32 AM by Branchie »


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Guidelines and Tips
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2007, 07:53:06 AM »
The PrC application is designed to make sure that applying players understand the class and how to roleplay it, as well as making sure it is a natural progression for their character. If, looking at the application, you find yourself honestly unsure of how to explain something, consider your roleplay and whether or not you need to find out more about the class in question, or continue your development.

The Community Council has attached an example of a successful PrC application below, in spoiler tags. This should be used as a tool and inspiration to help you write your own application, and give you some understanding of the expectations of the PrC application. Copies and plagiarism of the example application will be declined.

Character name:

Player account:

Forum account/name:

Other characters/accounts:


Class(es) and Levels of Each:

Desired Prestige Class:

Character Background:
- The history of your character: where they come from, and what they've done since arriving. Explain how your character has developed over the course of their time in the Land of Mists, and introduce them to members of the Council that haven't met the character in-game yet. While some experience in your background may be relevant to the training required to master your PrC, it is important to note that no training in your background at level two can justify mastering the PrC entirely.

Describe in your own words the class you are applying for:
- Explain the class as represented in lore, and where in this lore your character fits in, and what sets them apart from others (for example, in terms of alignment or training.) Exhibit an understanding of how to roleplay each of the class's abilities, and what the explanation is for having them in the first place. Take a look at our resources found in this thread, and use them as a starting line to look at whether or not you understand the basics of the class. Look elsewhere in the canon for further knowledge and inspiration.

What has your character done to achieve this prestige class and how will they roleplay mastering the new class?:
- Explain what you've done towards developing your character to the class. Training with other characters who have the class is not necessary, though it is recommended, as there must be some explanation of how your character acquired the knowledge, and some roleplay that demonstrates their efforts at working towards achieving it. Training, as well, doesn't stop at level 1: how will the character progress in their learning of the class if they do achieve it, each time they level up?
- Include screenshots, any relevant DM interactions, and the names of other PCs you've talked to and trained with, if you feel it will add to your application.
- Any training towards earning the class should be completed before the application has been sent in, not afterwards.

Why does your character want this PrC?:
- Achieving the PrC should be a logical progression of the character. Think of the character's understanding of the class IC, and of its strengths and weaknesses. What events have shaped their desire to try and achieve this class? Take a look back to the character's background, and the relevant history there. As well, how does this fit in with your character's goals and aims? Think about how this will help them towards achieving those ends, and how it will affect their life from then onwards.

Why do you, as a player, want this PrC?:
- Be honest. There is nothing wrong with wanting a powerful build or subrace, however, one of the purposes of the application process to prevent players from taking a PrC only for power. Council members will take into consideration any potential or prior OOC issues, such as a player having previous instances of griefing or violations of PvP guidelines.

Has the character met all mechanical prerequisites for the prestige class for which you are applying?:

Did you read and understand all of PotM's rules?

General Tips:
- The word limits attached to each question are guidelines only. Try to answer as succinctly as possible, while providing all detail you feel is relevant.
- Do answer each question in a distinct section, don't write it up as an essay.
- Do put large images in spoiler tags, or included simply as links.
- At the end of the application, do include extra information you think might be pertinent, that doesn't fit into any of the questions presented.
- The permissions can, and will, be stripped if abused or used to create a poor representation of the class.

Example Application for a Prestige Class (In Spoiler Below)

Spoiler: show
Application for a Prestige Class:

Character name: Nielsine Roesdahl

Player account: emptyanima

Forum account/name: emptyanima

Other characters/accounts: SheWhoSlaysDragons: Daewyn Orle’valsa, Edith Farthingale, and many, many more...

Alignment: CN

Classes: Fighter/Rogue

Desired Prestige Class: Weaponmaster (Favoured Weapon: Rapier)

Character Background: Twenty-two years ago, Nielsine (named after the eldest of the Three Sisters) was born in Abora, Nova Vaasa. Her family had made their fortune trading across the seas with Darkon, which bought her a life of comfort and security unknown to most of Nova Vaasa’s citizens. As an only child, Nielsine’s father raised her as he would have done a son, teaching her to ride (properly, rather than side-saddle), as well as some swordplay. However, as she grew older, she did not mature in the way he had hoped, and refused to put away the boyish things she had been taught. Her rage and stubborn nature led her father to compare her to the Vindhåre, a breed of Vaasi horse that is known for its speed and fierce temper.

Unbeknownst to Nielsine or her father, however, was that in fact, Nielsine was not truly her father’s daughter. While he was at sea, Nielsine’s mother had an affair with one of their Darkonese trading partners, and fell pregnant. As such, Nielsine is something of a Bastard Bastard (while this trope is usually subverted today, I felt it fitting to play with for this character). Enraged by his daughter’s inability to set aside the joys of her youth, her father sought to push responsibility over her onto another man, in marriage (the very man who actually fathered her, no less). Sickened by the idea of being ‘saddled’ by a husband (thus losing everything she found joy in and being made a housewife), she ran away from her home upon her Vindhåre, Angsar. Reaching the border with Hazlan, where the foreboding Skyggeskøv Forest lay, Angsar refused to press on. Tearfully, Nielsine removed Angsar’s tack, threw it aside, and set him loose into the Vaasi plains, knowing that it would be cruel to deny her friend his freedom while she claimed hers. While crossing through the misty forest, she spotted a dark figure on the path. Drawing closer to investigate, she was struck, lost consciousness, and woke in Barovia.

Describe in your own words the class you are applying for: The weaponmaster is one who has reached the pinnacle of expertise with their chosen weapon, beyond that of a usual combatant. Their power does not stem from raw brute strength, but from a high level of training, ultimately in a transition from weapon-wielder to true weapon. In many ways, the weaponmaster is closer to a monk than a fighter; their bond with their weapon is nigh-spiritual. Some weaponmasters refer to the unparalleled connection to their chosen weapon, the source of their abilities, as ‘ki’, though not all use this term. Their ultimate goal is to become so skilled with their chosen weapon that it becomes an extension of them, and they of it. This knitting together of weapon and weaponmaster requires a high level of dedication, discipline and dexterity. They must be as capable of blocking, parrying and dodging blows as they are of dealing them (and when they do, they are devastating).

This class raises a number of interesting RP points in its premise-- to what extent can one truly ‘become’ a weapon? Can the weaponmaster hold strong convictions, or does this only serve to separate them from true ‘oneness’ with their weapon of choice? The high feat cost to qualify for the class (especially compared with classes such as Arcane Archer or Red Dragon Disciple, which have comparatively simple requirements) reflects the level of dedication required, resulting in very nuanced, deep roleplay possibilities.

What has your character done to achieve this prestige class and how will they roleplay mastering the new class?

Nielsine has undergone intense training with Magda, weaponmaster of the rapier. She took Nielsine back to the basics of swordplay-- by unlearning the methods she was taught by her father, ones which valued showmanship over survival, Magda sought to distance her from her old life, and to train her in the Borcan style which she employs. Once she had built this new foundation, Magda had Nielsine spar with Temperance Levasseur. Nielsine lost the first spar, but driven by her anger and bastard’s streak, she demanded a second try. She was moments from sending Temperance tumbling into the sand when Magda stopped the fight and asked Nielsine what she had done differently. Nielsine replied that she had switched more swiftly between offensive and defensive stances, and had also been incensed by her rage. Magda offered no praise for this, instead having Nielsine challenge her tutor again. She was told to try to survive, but did not last long against the skilled weaponmaster. With this failure, Magda was quick to put her down. This was a theme that continued. Whether during her training, or while employing Nielsine in hard, back-breaking labour in gathering ore for her blacksmithing, she continued to mock and belittle her, while giving little, muted praise. At last, infuriated and exhausted, Nielsine snapped. She wrestled with Magda (verbally and physically) over her treatment, and asked why her teacher was hell-bent on tearing her apart when she had come to improve. Magda answered by pointing to the smelter and asking if Nielsine knew how it worked. Then the realisation came-- Nielsine had been seeking the same goal as Magda; to become the blade. However, due to her station of privilege and her own pride, she had begun with a poor foundation. As such, Magda required her to be torn down (essentially, to kill her old self) so that she could be reforged as a better blade. Nielsine immediately took this to heart, making a mixture of black dye and cropping her hair with the new blade Magda made for her, as a way to distance herself at once from her old life. The focus turned to sharpening her mind sufficiently to increase her survivability against the Barovian swordswoman. As Netanare, Magda's blade, is an extension of her, prevailing against its mind-affecting enchantments proved the best test of her dedication.

Upon attaining the class, Nielsine will take it to be a successful reforging. She will see it as her lessons, toil and pain coming to fruition. She is currently wrestling with her faith, as she tries to determine whether it is a relic of her old life, or if it contributes to the weapon she wants to become. She will likely abandon her faith in the Lawgiver, as it is a religion that relies on birth rather than work, and it shall be obsolete to her.

Screenshots of her training can be found here. A biography entry detailing the beginning of her metamorphosis can be found here.

Why does your character want this PrC?

Nielsine wants to become a weaponmaster of the rapier because it will validate the decision she made to leave her old life. She desires respect that she has earned, rather than respect because of her station or birth (something which is prevalent in the two-class system of Nova Vaasa, particularly as it is in the clutches of the Lawgiver church). She has poured blood, sweat and tears into her pursuit of the rapier, and to see this toil bear fruit is something that she desires more than anything.

She also desires it because it will be a milestone in her transition between her old life and the new. By changing her appearance (dyeing her hair and cutting it short) she has begun to create herself in a new image. By attaining this martial prowess, and forging this spiritual bond with her weapon, she will have fully cast off the self-congratulatory, showy and shallow swordplay of upper class duelists, and instead will have embraced the visceral, vital essence of fighting to survive on her own merits.

Why do you, as a player, want this PrC?

I would like this prestige class for a number of reasons. I feel it is a natural (if hard-fought) progression of Nielsine’s arc. I have deeply enjoyed all of the roleplay surrounding the prestige class thus far, as it raises key, character-changing questions. The parallels it has with roleplaying a monk is something that I also enjoy. The facets of roleplay and potential avenues it opens up are very exciting to me. In addition, I love taking on a helpful role in the playerbase, so to be able to train others in the prestige class (Nielsine’s interactions with Magda have been among my favourite during my playtime on this server; their tough teacher/student dynamic is very different to anything I have explored thus far and I am having a lot of fun with it) is something I would greatly enjoy.

Additionally, I am intrigued by the idea of playing a character with a defining trait of being able in combat. This is not something I am used to (my characters usually fill auxiliary roles in a party, and in the past, my martial characters have not been overly effective), and is a facet of roleplay I would love to experience.

Has the character met all mechanical prerequisites for the prestige class for which you are applying?

Did you read and understand all of PotM's rules?

« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 09:52:34 AM by fenixphire »


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Arcane Archer
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2007, 07:53:37 AM »
Arcane Archer

The Arcane Archer is often cited as difficult to interpret because - as you can see below - there are only a few lines of flavour text written in official sources about the class. Is that really all there is to it? How can I demonstrate understanding of the class if there's isn't much to understand in the first place?

The secret is: if there truly isn't that much to go on, that gives you, the player more leeway to come to us with your own personal understanding and theory of the class. But one might be surprised by how much one can glean from reading between the lines of what is there, and decomposing its prerequisite abilities, into a picture of what the class represents in an archetypical and thematic sense.

So with that in mind, here's what the official sources have to say about arcane archers:

Quote from: Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5, p176
Master of the elven warbands, the arcane archer is a warrior skilled in using magic to supplement her combat prowess. Beyond the woods, arcane archers gain renown throughout entire kingdoms for their supernatural accuracy with a bow and their ability to imbue their arrows with magic. In a group, they can strike fear into an entire enemy army.

Fighters, rangers, paladins and barbarians become arcane archers to add a little magic to their combat abilities. Conversely, wizards and sorcerers may take this prestige class to add combat capabilities to their repertoire. Monks, clerics, druids, rogues and bards rarely become arcane archers.

NPC arcane archers often lead units of normal archers or form small elite units formed entirely of arcane archers. These units are one of the prime reasons that the elves are so feared in battle.

Quote from: Races of the Wild, p107
As creative individualists, elves see great value in finding a way uniquely suited to each person. Many elven martial traditions - arcane archery, bladesinging, spellsinging, and more - were born of talented individuals seeking the perfect and unique expression of their talents with spell, song, and sword.

Arcane Archer: Considered by some the pinnacle of elven archery, the arcane archer is a deadly ranged combatant.

Quote from: Ravenloft Dungeon Master's Guide, p107
Arcane archers are unsurprisingly and exceedingly rare in the human-dominated Land of Mists. Most arcane archers serve as respected guardians for the elven cities of Sithicus or northeastern Darkon.

What is an arcane archer?

Anyone who seeks any prestige class must first understand: an arcane archer is far, far more than an elf who uses magic for archery, just as an assassin is more than a bad person who kills people, a dwarven defender is more than a dwarf who guards things, a crypt raider is more than an adventurer who goes into crypts, and a shadowdancer is more than a stealthy performer. These prestige classes are more than the sum of their parts. To truly understand the arcane archer class, we must decompose it into its basic elements, and think about (i) how they work, and (ii) what they tell us about the class as a whole.

For starters, the arcane archer prestige class is exclusively restricted to elves and half-elves. Consider for a few moments why that might that be. If being an arcane archer were purely a matter of being a skilled archer or arcanist, or both, then how would we account for this racial restriction? What precludes an extremely dexterous, supremely intelligent human archmage archery champion from becoming an arcane archer? It tells us that the art of the arcane archer is a uniquely elven one.

From the source material, we know that arcane archers are very rare, that they are highly respected, and that they are capable of striking fear into entire kingdoms and armies, that they are much of the reason elven nations are feared in battle. Arcane archers are the pinnacle of elven military supremacy, and therefore embody a certain elven ideal: the theme of a closely-guarded ancient art form. Arcane archery is not just a technique, or a science. It is a traditional martial art, passed down reverently from one generation of respected elder guardians to the next. And with dangerous secrets, comes grave responsibility.

What can an arcane archer do?

The most basic class features of an arcane archer are Enchant Arrow and Imbue Arrow. Arcane archers can channel magic, and eventually arcane spells, through their archery. Eventually, an arcane archer can wield any bow like a +5 weapon, permanently. Alone, this would be an epic triumph of uniting the arts of the archer and the arcanist to create a gestalt greater than the sum of its parts (even enchanted weapons are not so strong), and a testament to elvenkind's mastery of both. But alone, this is not sufficient to become an arcane archer.

After having taken their fourth level of the prestige class, arcane archers can shoot an arrow that cannot miss. The arrow will even eerily bend around corners if the target flees. In the source material, arcane archers can phase an arrow through solid walls and even worn armour between them and their target, as if they could curve their shots through the ethereal plane. This is a level of truly preternatural oneness between archer and arrow that surpasses both mundane archery technique and conventional arcane magic. Though it should be noted that they cannot do this in PotM, and acting as if you can phase arrows through walls would run afoul of the rules. Instead, to make up for it, they get a second use of their Seeker Arrow ability. It's also noted in the Ravenloft source materials that one of the few things that can stop a seeker arrow short of an entirely enclosed room is a domain border.

Considerable proficiency in archery (+6 AB, the Point Blank Shot feat, and either Weapon Focus Longbow or Weapon Focus Shortbow) and the arcane arts are only the ground-floor entry requirements for these kinds of talents. On the server, the Phase Arrow ability is switched out for a second use of the Seeker Arrow ability but consider that in terms of comparable magic, the conjured Melf's Acid Arrow can miss its target, and that the unerringly accurate Magic Missile is a construct of magical force, rather than a physical object.

With eight levels in the class, an arcane archer can - in a moment of truly transcendent focus - shoot up to eight +4 arrows at eight different targets simultaneously, with the same pinpoint accuracy with which they would loose only one (using their primary attack bonus), rising to ten +5 arrows with their tenth level. This is a feat of such absurdly preternatural reflexes that there's an argument to be made that it's something only an elf could do. For a single moment, one single elf can become the equivalent of an entire group of supremely deadly archers. A Haste spell pales in comparison. And this is how a company of seasoned arcane archers can lay waste to entire armies. This is what strikes fear into the hearts of conquering kings. The esoteric elven art of the arcane archer is not one to be imparted lightly, and never to those who are not "of the people."

Having taken ten levels in the prestige class, there is one final eldritch secret at the heart of the tradition: the arrow of death. As per the tabletop rules, arrowsmithing, fletching and enchanting such an arrow consumes an entire day's worth of painstaking - perhaps even ceremonial - labour on the part of the arcane archer. Each archer may only possess one such arrow at any one time, and the enchantment lasts no longer than a day. Unless it can resist the enchantment, the creature this arrow strikes will die in the next heartbeat. Consider just how closely guarded such a secret must be, and what sacred trust is placed in the pupil to which this terrible art is revealed.

What are the themes of an arcane archer?

Elves as an element of D&D settings - as with Tolkien before them - often embody themes of superiority and grace. Elves are better. They are more patient, more skilled. Elves are more beautiful. They and their culture are ancient, almost primeval. The magnificence of their artistry brings mortals to their knees. The arcane archer class adds an addendum to that: and therefore elves are deadly. Like Shaolin Wushu, arcane archery is a traditional martial art, and those who wield it are but one link in a long lineage that spans countless generations of the elven people. To be an arcane archer is to bear the weight of that responsibility.

In the Land of Mists, this theme is seemingly cranked up to eleven. Arcane archers are even rarer. Many are the esteemed sentinels of the few bastions of the people in Darkon and Sithicus, where they stand in defense of whole cities. In Sithicus, as once under the Black Rose, elvenkind now toils under the grip of the Sorrow, who travels ceaselessly across the land in his chariot of bone putting down one uprising after the next; in Darkon, elves are reigned over by the Wizard King Azalin. So consider how being the bearer of such a potent secret of elven military supremacy might be a dangerous business in such an environment, where the people are denied stewardship of their own destiny.

A Darkonian arcane archer, on the other hand, might understand themes of secrets and their power better than most. For the concept is woven into both their creation myths and cultural attitudes to magic:

Quote from: Ravenloft Gazetteer, Volume II
Darkonese words have very precise definitions, but the word arcana means both "supernatural" and "secret." This is, obviously, the origin of the "arcane" tradition of magic. Secrets and power are firmly united in the Darkonian mind.

What gave Death its power over the Gray Realms was the secret it held. Death alone possessed the knowledge of its antithesis, life. Eons passed unnoticed while Death gloated over its little secret. Eventually, and entirely by chance, a flittering spirit called Darkonos happened to steal a glimpse at Death's captive. A mere moment passed before Death hid its toy away, but that brief glimpse of the silvery light flowing on Death's ebony clutches tainted Darkonos with the alien sensations of curiosity, identity, and purpose. Darkonos was not alive, but he was no longer truly dead.

The enlightened Darkonos longed to claim the spark of life. With newly opened eyes, he learned the secrets of the Gray Realms. Through him, the world saw magic before it saw life.

Quote from: Ravenloft Gazetteer, Volume II
Darkonians associate arcane power with secrecy; the more folk who know a secret, the less power each controls. Darkonian spellcasters thus jealously guard their secrets, revealing their prowess only with specific purpose - often to intimidate, control, or destroy the witness. Darkonians have a common saying: "The day you see magic is the day you die."

One might infer from all of this the above, therefore, the arcane archer class carries heavy themes of tradition, lineage, guardianship, trust, secrecy, and (with great skill, comes great) responsibility. The secret to a good application is to identify these themes within a prestige class, and then address them head-on in your application. Identify the patterns, and either provide evidence of how you're engaging with those patterns. Or, how and why you're consciously breaking with them. Consider the very uncommon case of a callous aspiring arcane archer who doesn't care about protecting elvenkind. Being at odds with the tutelary themes of the class could make it difficult to find mentors, but perhaps the story is a Promethean theft of coveted secrets by false pretense? One can departing from a norm in such a way as to reinforce that norm, if one does so reflectively. The options are truly endless, so be creative, and paint us a picture of what you're doing and what you're thinking. Most importantly though: provide thorough evidence for each step forward.

By the rules of the server, training for a Prestige Class must occur in play, and cannot have already occurred in one's backstory. So while native and outlander elves alike may hail from a society with arcane archery traditions, each and every PC Arcane Archer must learn this art in Ravenloft in-game. Consider the lineage of the art you're learning, and the social and cultural contexts it might be connected to. And as with any Prestige Class application: consider the gothic horror themes you're bringing to the table.


Arcane archers are relatively rare in elven society.

Source: Dungeon master v.3.5 p. 176, Races of the Wild p. 107, Ravenloft Dungeon Master Guide p. 107
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 11:21:21 PM by DM Vetala »


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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2007, 07:54:54 AM »

In the criminal underworld, the Assassin is a deadly tool that strikes with the precision of a scalpel, neatly slicing away a troublesome rival or rabble-rousing, ambitious underling. The classical assassin is silent, highly accomplished killer. He strikes in cold blood, his ethics and morality as easily bought and sold as his loyalty.

Adventuring: No assassin springs onto the scene fully trained in the art of murder, his combat skills honed to a razor sharp edge. Many begin as simple thugs who manage to pick up a  few tricks here and there. Others begin as adventurers, testing themselves against monsters, traps, and other hazards in order to prepare themselves for their chosen vocation.

More see adventure as simply another opportunity to accumulate wealth - after all, most assassins work not for a love of killing but because of the tremendous fees their unique skill demand. Some rare assassins adventure as a cover for their assigments. A killer hired to take out an orc warlord may ally with a band of heroic paladins, using them as unwitting bodyguards and helpers to fulfill his contract.

Roleplaying: Killing for money is inherently an evil act, and while an assassin does not have to be murderous, unstable psychotic, it's the rare assassin that does not have a strong, greedy, self-centered steak. Assassins tend to look at people as things, rather than individuals. Their work requires a certain detachment from others. The assassin is a murderer, an important distinction from the heroic paladin who slays an evil preist or the fighter who rides to war in his liege's name. He kills not for the ideals or a belief but for his own gain. Thus, assassins are often cold, detached and calculating. They are liable to look at others purely in terms of their value as allies and only rarely develop true friendships.

The assassin focuses fighting skills to a greater extent than the typical Rogue. Weapons are the tools of his trade and he must be adept at their use in order to fulfill his foul vocation.

The assassin also has a knowledge of use Poisons as class skill, suggesting he must have a certain knowledge of alchemy and poisons. His Death attack deals an extra damage to humanoid creatures and can paralyze their targets as the assassin studies humanoid anatomy in order to learn its weaknesses.

Sadly, Ravenloft is home to more than its fair share of assassins. These silent killers are thought to be especially prevalent in the upper ranks of the Kargat, Darkon's secret police. In Rokushima Taiyoo, the four shujin all keep assassins (called ninja) in their employ. Many assassins in Ravenloft have failed one or more powers checks, making them all the more unpredictable and dangerous.

Assassins lurk in the shadows of every world.

 :arrow: Altered class features

-Prerequisite: In order to qualify for the assassin prestige class, the character must successfully execute a contracted assassination.

-Note: Killing a victim solely for prestige is a particularly vile act; increase the chance for failing the powers check for this murder in half (the premeditated murder of a good NPC would thus carry a 9% chance of failure).

-Spells: some spells function differently in Ravenloft.


Here is also additional read for the Assassin from the Wiki

- It also suggests the prospect assassins must have a certain knowledge of alchemy, poisons, human anatomy to excell in this class.

- Their spell casting abilities suggests the Assassin must ensure some sort of training to accomplish himself/herself as a lethal killer, a certain form of "arcane" study that is focused on their "killing art" as thei spell effects are generally those that make it easier to approach or kill a target, or those that aid the assassin's escape if discovered. Organizations exist in Barovia that could "teach" this to PC characters such as the Ba'al Verzi, however I can also see this class as self-learned throughout character development, depending on the concept and as long as you weren't an assassin prior your entrance to the Mists and that -strong- character development happened to your character leading him to that path.



-Ba’al Verzi, guild based in Barovia, members are ethnic Baloks and most are also nosferatu vampires, 5 full-fledged members at present, led by Nicu Moldonesti (nosferatu vampire Ari1/Rog6/Asn6 CE), historically the most infamous, feared and secretive assassins in the Land of the Mists, and this despite rarely striking outside of Barovia, Borca or Invidia, the contemporary reputation is owed in part to other guilds sometimes fabricating evidence against them to mislead investigators;

-Red Vardo Traders, organisation based in Krezk and willing to operate (for a price) throughout the Land of the Mists, members tend to be ethnic Baloks, led by Jacqueline Montarri (Rog8 or varies with head NE), 1 assassin is on staff and Montarri keeps at least one assassin’s head that she can don, the organisation will not turn away a customer ready to pay an exorbitant price for someone’s murder but will offer the victim the chance to meet that price;

-The Gundarakite rebels, resistance movement based in eastern Invidia and western Barovia, members are ethnic Gundarakites, they include 2 aged assassins from the old regime coaxed out of retirement to train a new generation, nominally commanded by Ardonk Szerieza (Com2/Ftr4/Rog4 N), secretive and cellular organisation that is happy to contemplate the murder of any Barovian whose death would materially, strategically or symbolically advance their cause;

-Nachte Naakter, little known guild within the Land of the Mists, members are Vistani of the Corvana tribe, the number of full-fledged members is unknown, although anyone successfully seeking out the Corvana with assassination as the purpose will find a member to contract with, the guild is a loose fraternity with no leader and no purpose beyond keeping the art that it practices alive among the Corvana, among the knowing few it is said that no Corvana assassin, having escaped the scene of the crime, has ever been caught;

-Kargat, secret police and intelligence service of Darkon numbering 200 members, up to half of who may be stationed abroad, 20 mid- and high-level members, mostly lycanthropes and undead, are assassins, Martira Bay faction and overall organisation led by Lady Kazandra (vampire Rog5/Asn3 LE), Karg faction led by Venrith Chole (ghost werewolf Rog6/Asn6 LE), and Corvia faction, which is gradually crumbling into disarray, led by the paranoid Beryl Silvertresss (vampire Ftr5/Ari5 NE), secretive and cellular organisation that never engages in contracted assassinations in its own name but from time to time may create fronts that do, accepting only those contracts consistent with the will of one or more of its leaders and not inconsistent with the commands of Azalin Rex;

-The Ministry of Intelligence (Falkovnia), based in Lekar and operating in the nations immediately surrounding Falkovnia and also in Invidia too, members are ethnic Falkovnians, the number of trained assassins is 7 at present with at least one on loan to Invidia at any time, directed by the Minister of Intelligence Falkfuhrer Calons Weir (LE), anyone so foolish as to approach the ministry to contract an assassination ends up, at best, impaled upon a stake;

-Lustmorde, a highly secretive, loosely associated fraternity of sadistic murderers with Morfenzi lying at the centre of their Falkovnian wide activity, members are ethnic Falkovnians, 3 are trained assassins and 1 still holds his position as an assassin employed by the Ministry of Intelligence, initiation is by a tenebris identifying itself as the Second (or Deeper) Shadow of Death;

-The (Night) Talons, highly secretive guild based in Lekar, members are liberated calibans and demihumans, 6 full-fledged members at present, led by the anonymous No One (elf Rng2/Rog3/Asn5/Shd4 NE), members delight in taking Falkovnian coin to take Falkovnian lives, they can be counted on to not betray the efforts of others to liberate their kin but little more, they do not seek the assassination of the Kingfuhrer as they believe that his replacement would be no less bigoted and all the more dangerous to them;

-Le coeur empalé, secretive guild based in Pont-au-Museau and operating in Richemulot and Dementlieu members are human female entertainers inflicted with lycanthropy by Jacqueline Renier herself, 6 full-fledged members at present, led by Elena Lafontaine (Brd6/Asn5 NE), they will contract for the life of any male, or for twice the price female, but only with the permission of the lord of Richemulot when the individual is of consequence.

-Les frères de mort, highly secretive guild based in Richemulot, members are freelance assassins who met untimely ends, were reanimated as constructs by Azalin in “an act of kindness” with an eye to eventually using them to penetrate the Death Shroud, and were subtly pushed together in Pont-au-Meseau that they might be tested, they number 6 currently, guided and brought back from destruction as need be by Ladislas Sintesti (construct Nec12 CE), they are equally willing to kill man, beast and man-beast, but are very conscious, indeed paranoid, about unwittingly creating patterns that might establish their existence and lead to their permanent destruction.

-Vexjensi, gang often based in La maison des sages, although equally at home in the environs of Aerie or Sturben and sometimes sheltering at the La Sanctuaire de la Dame Oublié, it operates in Richemulot, southern Falkovnia, and north west and north central Borca, members are Richemuloise, Falkovnian or Borcan, 2 are assassins, led by the Black (darkling (Corvana tribe)Rog5/Rng4/Asn3 CE), will gladly accept to perform any crime whatsoever for a not unreasonable price, but woe to anyone who attempts, or is perceived to attempt, a doublecross.

-The League of Nine, elusive and mysterious guild based in Borca, members are in fact apothecaries from leading families, they are 9 in number, led by Lorzen Olszanik (Rog5/CPo3/Asn3 NE), the guild may be appealed to right wrongs, which it does according to the advancement of its own pretensions to importance and power and in return for which it issues a bill;

-The Gelders, well known guild based in Nova Vaasa but willing to strike into Hazlan and Tepest, members are ethnic Vaasi, the number of full-fledged members is 6, openly led by Marguerite Vistins (Ari1/Rng6/Asn6 LE), the guild is a self-appointed guardian of Nova Vaasan interests, believed to enjoy the favour of Prince Othmar Bolshnik, widely known for maiming before murdering those involved in exporting from Nova Vaasa ungelded horses or the training techniques necessary to develop their full potential, but will accept any contract not prejudicial to the economy, culture, religion and state of Nova Vaasa, Malken has a well placed spy within the organisation and manipulates it as necessary;

-Afrbrand, secretive guild based in Toyalis, members are ethnic Mulans, 4 full-fledged members at present, led by Preben Valsisk (Mnk6/Asn3 LE), a guild born from the recent wreck of its predecessor and sworn to put the Rashemani back in their place and, in particular, to kill Eleni of Toyalis, it will enter into contracts on the lives of non-Mulan, most gladly those of Rashemani and of Mulans fraternising with Rashemani, the Iron Inquisition maintains a tenuous and deniable influence upon it as a tool for shaping secular events;

-Garras, highly secretive guild within the Lands of the Mists, members are Paka, the number of full-fledged members is but a handful at most, the guild is a loose fraternity with no leader, it rarely engages in contracted assassinations, existing rather to keep the assassin’s art alive among the Paka as a powerful instrument of vengeance;

-Lee-due anvo, guild based in the Shadow Rift and an open secret there, members are 3 powries, 1 sith and 1 teg, led by the powrie leader Malinda (Asn 8 CE), all members command at least one changeling, the guild rarely engages in contracted assassinations, existing for the pleasure of its members, to enforce the will of the Unseelie Court, and to ensure the safety of the Arak generally.

Sources: The Quintessential Rogue,, Wikipedia, Ravenloft Dungeon Master guide p.107, Fraternity of the Shadows
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 11:10:32 PM by DM Vetala »


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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2007, 07:55:32 AM »

The Blackguard epitomizes evil he is nothing short of a mortal fiend. The quintessential black knight, this villain carrries a reputation of the foulest sort that is very well deserved. Consorting with demons and devils and serving dark dieties, the blackguard is hated and feared by all. Some people call these villains anti-paladins due to their completely evil nature.

The blackguard has many options available to him- sending forth dark minions and servants to do his bidding, attacking with stealth and honorless guile, or straightforward smiting of the forces of good that stand his way. Fighters, ex-paladins, rangers, monks, druids and barbarians make for indomitable combat oriented blackguards, while rogues and bards who become blackguards are likely to stress the subtle aspects of their abilities and spells, Sorcerers, wizards and clerics who become blackguards are sometimes called diabolists and favour dealing with fiends even more than other blackguards do.

As NPC's Blackguards usually lead legions of undead, evil outsiders or other monsters to conquer their own doomed demesne or expand their existing territory. Sometimes they serve more powerful evil characters as dark lieutenants. On occasion they operate alone as hired killers or wandering purveyors of ill destruction and chaos.

Blackguards are thankfully rare even in the Realm of Dread. Most blackguards, particularly those who were once paladins, quickly come to the attention of the Dark Powers and are sealed away in their own domains. Lady Elena Faith-hold of Nidala is Ravenloft's most notorious example of these fallen souls.

 :arrow: Altered class features:

-Prerequisite: In order to qualify for the Blackguard prestige class the character must have contracted the taint of true evil. This is most readily done by peaceful interaction with an evil outsider, typically summoned by the aspiring blackguard or a compatriot. Exceptions may be made such as in the case of deep devotion to and heinous deeds committed in the name of an evil power, or even to the cause of evil itself.

-Requirements: The Dark Powers pay special attention to paladins who fall from grace and remain unrepentant in their sins. Ex-paladins who have failed at least one powers check can become blackguards much more easily than members of any other class. In effect, the Dark Powers remove all obstacles from the fallen paladin's descent into darkness.

-Detect Good: no mortal magic can detect alignment in the Realm of Dread. In Ravenloft, this ability usually duplicates the effects of the spell detect law. Many blackguards have failed multiple powers checks; if so, the Dark Powers may replace this ability with some twisted equivalent. Elena Faith-hold believes she can detect evil when, in fact, she detects any strong emotion directed at her.

-Poison Use: it is possible for an ex-paladin in Ravenloft to become a blackguard without consciously knowing it, as with Elena Faith-hold, who still believes she is a true paladin. "Unwitting" blackguards are not skilled in the use of poison. When a blackguard accepts her true status, however, she gains this ability as normal.

-Spells: some spells function differently in Ravenloft

-Command Undead: This ability is altered in Ravenloft

-Fiendish Servant: a blackguard's fiendish servant is a dread companion (even if it were not, however, its behavior would hardly be less sinister)

Sources: Wikipedia,, Dungeon master guide, p.181, Ravenloft - Dungeon Master guide p. 197,198
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 11:11:29 PM by DM Vetala »


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Divine Champion
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2007, 07:56:08 AM »
Divine Champion

A divine champion is the strong right arm of her deity. She serves as guardian of holy sites, a protector of pilgrims and a leader of crusades. Though Paladins fill these roles in many good-aligned churches, a divine champion can take up the banner of any deity, regardless of the alignment or ethos. Rivalries between divine champions of opposing faiths have been the stuff of legends told by bards for centuries. These holy warriors are loved by their patron's worshipers and hated by the church's enemies in equal measure.

Most divine champions come from a combat or military background. Barbarians, fighters, paladins and rangers are the most common candidates, though monks, clerics and the more militant druids frequently pursue this path as well. Many divine champions of evil gods are also blackguards, and divine champions of all alignments often have levels in prestige classes unique to their churches. Bards, rogues, sorcerers and wizards rarely become divine champions unless they are unusually militant.

To qualify as Divine champion one must fulfill all the following criteria.

Base attack bonus: +7
Feat: Weapon focus (Deity's favored weapon)
Patron deity: A divine champion must have a patron deity, and it must be the one he serves as divine champion.

Sources: D&d 3.5 FR Players guide to Faerun p.49
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 11:45:48 PM by DM Vetala »


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Dwarven defender
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2007, 07:56:56 AM »
Dwarven Defender

The defender is a sponsored champion of dwarven cause, a dwarf aristocrat, a dwarven deity or the dwarven way of life. As the name might imply, this character is a skilled combatant trained in the arts of defense. A line of dwarven defenders is far better than 10 foot thick wall of stone and much more dangerous.

Most dwarven defenders are fighters, paladins, rangers or clerics, although ex-barbarians, sorcerers, wizards and druids can certainly all benefit from the defensive capabilities of this prestige class. Rogues, bards and monks usually depend too heavily on mobility to use the abilities of the dwarven defender class to the fullest.

NPC dwarven defenders are usually soldiers in a dwarven citadel, segregated into their own units separate from regular warriors or fighters. Occasionally a lone, wandering dwarven defender can be encountered on some mission, although he usually guards his words so losely that it's difficult to learn what his quest actually entails.


Even less common than the arcane archer, dwarven defenders are rarely seen beyond Darkon's Mountains of Misery, where they typically serve as elite guards in dwarven strongholds. Dwarven defenders encountered elsewhere in Ravenloft are usually Darkonian traveling abroad to complete specific missions.


The tradition of the dwarven defender harkens back to a lime when Moradin's Forge still belonged to the dwarves.

 :arrow: Altered class features


Source: Dungeon master guide 3.5 p.186, Ravenloft Dungeon Master guide p.108
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 11:11:49 PM by DM Vetala »


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Pale Master
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2007, 07:58:39 AM »
Pale Master

Necromancy is usually a poor choice for arcane spellcasters – those who really want to master the deathless arts almost always pursue divine means. However, there is an alternative for those who desire power over the undead but refuse to give up their arcane craft completely. Enter the pale master, who draws on a font of special lore that provides a macabre power all its own. As the practitioner travels further into the pale master class, they will find themselves irreversibly changed by their obscene craft. Drawn to vile self-mutilation in their obsession, the pale master eventually comes to emulate the very undead they study.

Wizards make for the most formidable practitioners of this art but other arcane casters may benefit from the physical strengths provided by the class at the sacrifice of their spellcasting abilities.

Deathless Mastery
Though the practitioner never truly becomes undead, he performs a foul ritual upon reaching the tenth level of the class. This act is a horror to the living, an unthinkable perversion that forever marks the pale master as one who stands between life and undeath. In the cumulation of the many experiments he has performed on himself to this point, he performs an operation that mummifies his internal organs to lessen his mortal weaknesses.  No longer will he suffer from staggering damage; the pale master becomes immune to critical hits.

He still needs to breathe, to eat, and to sleep as he normally would. He will still age but his art has now brought him to the point where he is impervious to critical hits, stuns, and paralysis effects. He is strengthened, his form enhanced by the bone armor he wears, and his arm replaced with a skeletal graft capable of delivering a deadly touch to the living.

His rituals may manifest in many forms but they are all self-inflicted in the strong desire to realize a self that idolizes the undead state. He is not a necromancer merely seeking control or create the dead, but one who would shape himself in their image. His work is perfection and his form the pinnacle of his art.

Though he may operate on himself as he deems fit, rituals of mummification are the most common method the pale master adopts.

The pale master first prepares himself to maintain a clear mind during the procedure. This may be achieved with spells, such as Feign Undeath, which would reduce any response to pain, or through other nerve and clotting agents. It is by the time the pale master attempts their final transformation that they understand the demands of their art.

An incision is made along the side of the body and the internal organs are removed one by one. The liver, lungs, stomach, heart, and intestines are all washed and packed with salt to act as a preservative. It is during this stage that the pale master may choose to replace his original organs with others of his choosing should they prove compatible to his needs.

He likewise prepares the cavity with preservatives and maintains this state of undeath for no less than twelve hours to assure the weaknesses of the flesh fully removed. Because he has affected the natural biology of his body, he may have to later apply oils to his skin to prevent damage thereafter. These oils mask the pungent odors caused by the ritual.

Once the internal organs have been returned they resume the necessary functions for life albeit at a numbed state, one no longer responsive in alerting the pale master of any ills. This continued function is a facet of the macabre art of the pale master art and does not impart true undeath.

He survives only by his magic after achieving the state of Deathless Mastery.

The above is only an example of how a practitioner might achieve this state. This has many effects on the body that might manifest in different ways, from a drying of the skin, changing of a body's color or perceived vitality, the sinking of the eyes, and so forth. Regardless of how it presents, the pale master is undeniably distinct from the living and can be recognized for their obscene craft. He may begin with acceptance among society but by the end he is scarcely more welcome than the undead he considers kin.

Controlling, Creating, and Summoning the Undead
It is within the means of the pale master to control undead through spellcraft as any necromancer might. This is a temporary influence and will only last so long as the caster remains in control of the spell. It is not a true alliance and once freed, the undead will turn on the caster as though he were a normal member of the living.

He also enjoys a unique bond to the undead within his own making. He may create a loyal companion with a piece or all of a corpse that will then be animated and, with expertise, even shaped to greater forms of unlife. This being is under the control of the pale master and will never waver in its loyalty.

He may also call upon undead to manifest before him through summoning. Unlike that of creation or animation, this ability brings existing undead to serve the pale master. These may be his creations or other allied undead that are brought forth and bound to his influence. When the duration of the summon ends, rather than attack the pale master as a previously controlled undead might, the bound creature returns to whence it came. Be warned, should the pale master mistreat his sapient summons his transgressions may be remembered...

OOC Considerations
The outcast rating of the character will increase as they progress in this prestige class. It becomes increasingly more difficult to blend in and live in society. pale masters who advance significantly will become outcasts who cannot operate openly within the many cities and towns of the setting. This may necessitate the character adopt strategies and behaviors similar to that of a caliban or other such races for continued survival.

Please take note that due to the limitations of the Neverwinter Nights engine that any arcane class that does not have the ability to learn its spells by scrolls will not receive caster advancement with this class. Bards, Beguilers, Sorcerers, Warmages, and other similar arcane casters will only receive the listed benefits of the class without its spellcasting progression. This cannot be remedied by taking additional base caster class levels after progressing as a pale master – the casting advancement will be lost as though levels had been taken in a non-caster class.

It is encouraged that a Dungeon Master is present for any rituals conducted on both aspiring pale masters and those who have already embarked upon the journey.

For additional information on the mechanical aspects of the class, please see the wiki page.

Sources - Libris Mortis and Tome of Blood
« Last Edit: July 01, 2021, 01:49:40 AM by DM Vetala »


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Dragon Disciple
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2007, 07:59:01 AM »
Dragon Disciple
This Prestige Class is no longer supported and no further applications will be accepted.

A dragon disciple is different. He always suspected, but the flying dreams confirmed it. The experience is so vivid and real that other dreams are dusty by the earth, the dreamer exults in his beautifully scaled wings pulling him to smell, hear and see with a terrible clarity no mere human can ever really comprehend. A volatile power burns in his lungs, a potency he knows he could unleash with a mere breath. It's almost draconic.

It is known that certain powerful dragons can take humanoid form and even have humanoid lovers. Sometimes a child is born of this union and every child of that child unto the thousandth generation claims a bit of dragon blood, be it ever so small. Usually, little comes of it, though mighty sorcerers occasionally credit their powers to draconic heritage. For some, however, dragon blood beckons irresistibly. First come the dreams. Many dismiss them as nothing more than wish fulfillment (Or even nightmares) and that's the end of it. But a few embrace the dreams, recognizing their allure as a promise. These become dragon disciples, who use their magical power as a catalyst to ignite their dragon blood, realizing its fullest potential.

Dragon disciples prefer a life of exploration to a cloistered existence. Most are sorcerers, but bards sometimes follow the path. Already adept at magic, many pursue adventure, specially if it furthers their goal of finding out more about their draconic heritage. All dragon disciples are drawn to areas known to harbor dragons.

Hit die increase: As a dragon disciple gains levels in his PrC, his dragon nature expresses itself more.

Natural armor: At 1st, 5th and 8th level, a dragon disciple becomes more draconic in appearance. His skin develops tiny iridescent scales, nearly invisible at first, but becoming more noticeable at higher levels. This provides increasing natural armor bonuses to his base armor class. As his skin thickens, the dragon disciple takes on more and more of his progenitor's physical aspect.

At 9th level they grow wings. (These wings cannot be covered or hidden with cloaks, and that most NPCs will react with hostility automatically once you have wings, either by fleeing or attacking the character.)

Dragon apotheosis: At 10th level the dragon disciple fully realizes his draconic heritage.

Dragon Disciples can come from any Dungeons & Dragons setting; however, please note the restrictions for the following settings.

Birthright (Cerilia)
Characters from Cerilia cannot become Dragon Disciples due to the absence of standard D&D dragons in this setting. Cerilian dragons do exist, but cannot take humanoid forms nor do they willingly mingle with younger races. They are all part of the same ancient race, predating even elves and dwarves. They once existed in great numbers, but now only a handful live in the Drachenaur Mountains and in lands far across the sea. While they are extremely intelligent and preserve knowledge and lore older than mankind, the dragons greatly dislike being troubled by intruders, and view any nondragons as dangerous vermin to be exterminated if they venture too close to a dragon's lair.

Dark Sun (Athas)
Characters from Athas cannot become Dragon Disciples since the prestige class is incompatible with the setting due to the absence of standard D&D dragons.

There are no native Dragon Disciples in Ravenloft, as the background that would make it viable is incompatible with the world (i.e. only outlanders can take this class).

Gothic Earth
Dragons are as uncommon in Gothic Earth as they are in Ravenloft, and as such characters from this setting cannot become Dragon Disciples.

The type of dragon the character can be depends on their alignment. This represents his dragon blood steering his life and beliefs in certain directions. Good characters may only choose from the metallic dragons listed here. Characters may not change their alignment before taking a level in this class (must have been the same for at least 3 levels) and once the character takes a level in this prestige class their alignment cannot change unless something forces a change.
  • Lawful Good: Bronze, Gold, Silver
  • Lawful Neutral: Bronze, Silver
  • Lawful Evil: Blue, Green
  • Neutral Good: Brass
  • Neutral: None
  • Neutral Evil: Black, White
  • Chaotic Good: Brass, Copper
  • Chaotic Neutral: None
  • Chaotic Evil: Black, Red, White
Dragon Disciples cannot be native to Krynn. Of all the dragons of the world of Krynn, only two sorts have the power to assume human or demihuman shape, the gold and silver dragons. Of these two, only silver dragons enjoy taking the smaller shape to mingle in human and elven company. It is extremely rare that a silver dragon would enter into a romantic relationship with a mortal. For a variety of reasons, tragedy always doom such relationships. More importantly, such a couple cannot bear children without divine intervention requiring the dragon to first become fully mortal and lose all traces of draconic heritage. As such, the blood of dragons is never found among Krynnish mortals.

Sorcerers in Eberron do not claim blood descent from dragons, but they speak of mystical ties to the three progenitor dragons—Siberys, Eberron, and Khyber. Some sorcerers cultivate abilities reminiscent of dragons and adopt prestige classes such as the dragon disciple, but they are simply emulating the dragons they admire, rather than manifesting latent qualities of hidden dragon bloodlines.

There are no Dragon Disciples native to Wildspace. Only one type of dragon in Wildspace is known to be able to naturally assume human or demihuman form: the radiant or celestial dragon. However, this dragon despises mammalian beings like humans and demihumans, at best regarding them as intelligent rivals for territory. There are a few cases of radiant dragons being friendly to humankind, but these are isolated cases, and the dragons could not possibly imagine taking a human as a mate.

(The character's outcast rating will increase as they progress in this prestige class, making it increasingly harder to blend in and live in society. At level 9, the character will grow wings which can't be hidden with a cloak; NPCs will then react automatically with hostility or fear. Also, note that dragon disciples do not gain extra features: tail, horns, VFXs aside from the wings.)

Sources: Tome and Blood, Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5, Player's Guide to Eberron, AD&D's Birthright Campaign Setting Boxed Set, Dragon Magazine #206: Part Dragon, Half Hero (p. 22), Living Greyhawk: Campaign Sourcebook 595 (and after)
« Last Edit: February 11, 2023, 07:35:33 AM by MAB77 »


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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2007, 08:02:53 AM »

Shadowdancers operate in the border between light and darkness. These nimble artists of deception are never completely trusted but always induce wonder when met. Many use their abilities to infiltrate past defenses and dupe others. Any class can become a Shadowdancer, often rogues, rangers or bards make the best of them.

Despite their link with the shadows and trickery; Shadowdancers are as often good as evil. Shadowdancers often work in troupes, never staying in one place too long. Some use their abilities to entertain. Others operate as thieves, using their abilities to infiltrate past defenses and duper others. All shadowdancer troupes maintain an aura of mystery among the common folk, who never know whether to think well or ill of them.

Not all who manipulate shadow do so through intense study and arcane formulae. A rare few grow so close to darkness, they brush the edges of shadow on an instinctive level. Shadowdancers pierce the borders of the Plane of Shadow when the make use of their abilities, even if most remain ignorant of that fact. To date, shadow magic casters have been unable to determine what it is about shadowdancers that grants them this innate link to shadow, but it is an area of intense study and debate whitin their various societies and organizations.

HiPS => Hide in Plain Sight: Shadowdancers can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as they are within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, shadowdancers can hide themselves from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind.

Other definitions/beliefs and visions in regards of HiPS:  If you cast a light spell on someone, that is a twenty-foot radius of light. That means there won't be shadows there. Ten feet is quite a distance. That means that if you are next to someone with a fifteen-foot light radius, you wouldn't be able to use the ability, or if you had a 10-foot light radius item you wouldn't be able to use it either. In short some believe, there's no way you could use this while meleeing somoene with a ''light radius item'' - he glows too bright voiding any shadow.

Main Peeves in regards of Shadowdancer: What people are getting tired of is otherwise seemingly normal people, suddenly disappearing and reappearing in plain sight in broad daylight without the slightest hint of how they did it - no mention of a shadows, no emotes, no facination with the dark, shadows - no thought at all into why they have taken this class. In other words, what people in general seem to loathe is the ''HiPs'ing spamin'. These are peeves going beyond one's opinion, but are subject of discussion in every single PW forums  some come across; its important to be aware of them.

Misconceptions and clarifications: Being a Shadowdancer has nothing to do with being a rogue - often believed or played as such,  any class can become a SD-  some are just much better at it than others. Rogues, rangers, and bards are the best at it, but a palemaster could become one pretty easily too, and likewise wizards/sorcerers could as well. Classes totally uninvolved with stealth could spend those cross-class skill points and become one.  A Shadow Dancer is not just someone with the supernatural ability of Hide in Plain Sight - he/she has a certain attachment to shadows - basically that's where their power comes from - Shadow Plane.

Being an SD is not a natural extension of being a rogue nor really being good at 'sneaking' - it is something else.

1) You're supposed to need shadows to hide in. Some believe it shouldn't even be possible to use the ability if you have any items that shed light, or are around someone who is shedding too much light.

2) Shadowdancers are supposed to have some special connection to shadows. It goes beyond just hiding in them all the time. The Hide in Plain Sight ability is a supernatural one - a magical one, due to your connection with shadow plane.

:arrow: To be or not to be a Shadowdancer: How to become one.

This is subject to a lot of controversy, although, there seems to be a solid consensus; one just 'doesn't' become one by 'sneaking' constantly all the time. It goes beyond that, some claim it is mentored and in -very- rare cases 'self-learned' through magical studies, Shadowdancers often learn their art by someone teaching them. Wheter you take this aproach or not, is entirely up to you, one thing you should retain however, its the fact that it is NOT an extention of being a ''Good rogue that sneaks well'' but rather a class with its lifestyle of its own where there is a strong connection to the Shadow Plane.

The Shadow Plane: The Plane of Shadow

The plane of shadows neighbors and overlaps the material plane, and many of the other as well. It is a dark, twisted reflection of the real world, made all the more alien by its nagging similarities. Color is faded memory, bleached from the world and replaced by shades of gray. The sky is an endless vault of black, with neither sun nor stars to break the gloom. Emotions are as muted as colors, love and hate, joy and sorrow, mirth and mouring are all less potent, less expressive. Only true needs, hunger, thirst, exhaustion and pain, remain undiminished. Bring all the light you like, it will not shine half so brightly as it does in the darkes night of your own world.

The plane of shadow is the litteral shadow of the material plane, cast not by any light, but by the mystical energies that hold creation together. The domain conrains twisted reflections of everything that exists in the physical realm. Mountains rise from the earth, but they are perverse and foreboding, Structures stand clustered into communities, but they are warped and often worn.

It is only natural to consider the Plane of Shadow lesser than the material plane. After all, it is merely a reflection of "true" existence, a shadow distorted by the angle of the light and the movements of the world. It is simple image without substance. A rare few understand a deeper truth, however. Shadow is sculpted in the endless darkness. Carved from the only force that is truly eternal, it has a greater meaning, anda  greater existence, than the physical world itself. Rather than the plane of shadow poorly reflecting the materal plane, the plane of light and substance in the ephemeral reflection of all encompassing shadow.

Shadowdancers in Ravenloft often work as spies or assassins. Having tied themselves so closely to the dangerous Plane of Shadow, most shadowdancers have a reputation for insanity or recklessness and are seldom trusted even by their masters. Shadowdancers are rumored to be relatively common among the Arak, however.

 :arrow: Altered class features

-Summon shadow: if a shadowdancer dies, any shadow she has summoned immediately becomes chaotic evil. These shadows are under the control of the slain shadowdancer's shadow (see below). A shadowdancer's shadow is able to communicate intelligibly, but only with the shadowdancer themselves.

-Death's Shadow: when a shadowdancer dies, within 1d4 rounds her shadow animates as a chaotic evil shadow with Hit Dice equal to the shadowdancer's level. The character cannot be raised or otherwise restored to life until the shadow has been destroyed.

To note: In PoTM, make sure you have this PrC as being part of your in game character development, like any other PrC's, they must be learned in game, a bad example of a PrC application for this class would be to state your character learned the Class in your character background, or that he was a Shadowdancer and lost his powers to regain them later. The most plausible way to learn or become a Shadowdancer is by being mentored by one in game, or by requesting mentorship quest via a DM quest/event or via secret societies.

Sources: Dungeon Master guide p. 194, 195, Ravenloft Dungeon Master guide p.109, 110, Tome of Magic p.110
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 11:25:31 PM by DM Vetala »


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Master of Many Forms
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2007, 08:03:27 AM »
Master of Many Forms

Masters of many forms have no shape that they call their own. Instead, they occupy whatever body is most expedient for them at the time. While others base their identities largely on their external forms, masters of many forms actually come closer to their true self through their transformations. Of necessity, their sense of self is based not on their outward form, but on their soul, which is truly the only constant about them. It is the inner strength of that soul that enables them to take on any shape and remain themselves within.

At first, the master of many forms can risk only humanoid forms and familiar animal shapes. As she grows more comfortable with her own true shapelessness, however, she can assume more outlandish forms. Eventually, she knows herself so well that she feels just as comfortable in the shape of a completely different creature type as she does in her own. At that point, her past-even her race becomes irrelevant, since external form no longer matters to her.

The master of many forms' path is ideal for a druid of any race who has experienced shapeshifting and yearns for more of it. Such a character can be a great force for either good or ill in the world; an evil master of many forms in particular poses a terrible threat, for she can appear anywhere, in any form. The same opponents may face her again and again, in one shape after another, never realizing that they actually face a single, formless enemy.


This page gives a good overview of this class as well.

Here are important points.

Masters of Many Forms also have the unique ability to retain their equipment as they change, instead of having it meld with their new body or fall off. Retained equipment changes size and shape to match the new form, within reason. For example, a Master of Many Forms could not assume the form of a snake and retain their boots. Equipment cannot be used without suitable appendages to utilize it, or a magical means of compensating. For example, a creature without hands cannot use a sword.

Experienced Masters of Many Forms can change so fluidly that they no longer require a concentration check or provoke attacks of opportunity if threatened by enemies.

Eventually, Masters of Many Forms reach a point where they no longer have a standard form and can change shape as often as they wish. They also stop aging in the normal fashion and are classified as 'shapeshifter' rather than 'humanoid'.

Masters of Many Forms and society

Masters of Many Forms are druids who grow tired of their birth form or yearn to experience the world in different bodies. Masters of Many Forms tend to grow closer to their 'true self' due to the fact that they cannot base their identities on their external appearance. Eventually, they reach the stage where they are just as comfortable in any shape. Masters of Many Forms tend to consider the history of their birth race as irrelevant. They can be either good or evil, depending on their personality.

Evil Masters of Many Forms in particular can be a terrible threat, since they can appear at any time in any form. This may fool their opponents into thinking that they are facing a well organized attack by a variety of beings, and also makes it difficult to be certain that the Master of Many Forms in question has actually been killed or captured.

Certain evil characters have been known to revel in the bestial nature of their new forms, and the fact that they do not identify with any particular form, Masters of Many Forms could be seen as particularly susceptible.

Source: Complete Adventurer, Masters of the Wild, 2nd Edition, Realmshelps.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2022, 03:27:01 PM by EO »


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Monster Hunter
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2018, 05:29:51 PM »
Monster Hunter

Known to the folk of Ravenloft as monster hunters, these men and women are scholarly adventurers who research dangerous creatures seeking their weaknesses in order to eliminate them more easily. Monster hunters generally prefer to defeat their foes using knowledge, guile and superior tactics rather than brute force. Monster hunters learn to cast a few spells to assist in their hunt. A few have been mistaken as witches due to this ability. Monster hunters are generally of good alignment, but some become too zealous or fall into the trap of taking on their foes' tactics or worldview, usually without realizing they have done so. Evil monster hunters usually still believe themselves to be good, but may overlook a few mistakes or a too-forceful questioning of innocents in their pursuit of their foes.

Sources: Secrets of the Dread Realms, p. 4, 5.


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People's Champion
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2018, 05:31:59 PM »
People's Champion

In every land, there are nobles who misuse their positions of privilege. The people's champion rises to the defense of commoners who suffer under the excesses of abusive nobles and their hirelings. The champion has no desire to overthrow the existing social order, but is instead motivated by a desire to see that justice is done within its confines.

Characters belonging to this class are invariably former clergy or church warriors who turned their backs on the organized hierarchical churches they were part of. This was due to what they perceived as corruption, abuse of authority for personal gain of the clergy and exploitation of the masses of faithful in favor of the rich and powerful.

Some members of this class remain within the church hierarchy, where they work to root out corrupt church leaders and their toadies, but others take to the streets to defend commoners against nobles who lack nobility. Interestingly, although these champions have invariably turned away from the structure of their faith to a greater or lesser degree, they remain strongly devoted to the belief in their deity. In turn, the god or goddess clearly favors the character's efforts, as they continue to answer his prayers for spells and to grant him other supernatural abilities.

Note from the community council:

For the purpose of gaining this prestige class, a significant ecclesiastical hierarchy from the would be people's champion faith must exist, either on the server or within the Ravenloft setting canon lore, for your character to rebel against. Likely candidates for this prestige class include, but are not limited to, followers of Ezra, the Lawgiver, Zhakata, Yutow the Peacebringer, the Divinity of Mankind, the Nidalan church of Belenus and the Faith of the Overseer.

Sources: Legacy of the Blood
« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 05:25:24 PM by EO »


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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2018, 05:33:17 PM »

Though a sewer system enhances the quality of life for city residents, it also provides ample shelter for the most loathsome creatures of the night. Those hunters who are willing to venture below to root out these evils earn praise for their courage. Hunters who spend too much time in the lightless tunnels, however, tend to acquire an unsavory reputation. Pale skin, ragged garments, and a revolting odor easily distinguish these haunted souls, colloquially termed grimetrekkers. Ultimately, grimetrekkers are more comfortable below than above, and few folk notice when they vanish for weeks at a time into the wilderness beneath the city.

Nearly all grimetrekkers begin their careers as rangers with an atypical knack for urban or subterranean tracking. Fighters and rogues have also been known to turn to the path of the grimetrekker when provoked by vengeance against sewer denizens. Though they are rare, caliban barbarian/grimetrekkers are not unprecedented. City folk often tell tales of malformed people living beneath their streets, surviving on the refuse of civilization. Many grimetrekkers cut their teeth in the sewers of Richemulot, though others hail from Dementlieu, Darkon, or the fabled twilight city of Nosos.

Sources: Ravenloft Gazetteer III


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Crypt Raider
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2018, 05:34:23 PM »
Crypt Raider

Many cultures have no title that carries greater shame, or summons up deeper revilement than the grave robber. The crypt raider, however, brushes aside such concerns with the nonchalance gained from years of experience. Whether for the sake of knowledge, righteousness, or old-fashioned avarice, the crypt raider has dedicated his life to breaching the resting places of the dead. Many crypt raiders are indeed motivated by greed; the riches of the past can be a tempting hoard no matter what lethal traps and horrors may guard them. But many crypt raiders hunger just as deeply to destroy the living dead that inevitably guard such caches, and their plunder is merely a fringe benefit. Still other crypt raiders are genuine idealists and academics, devoting themselves to bringing the past into the light of day, so that others might benefit from the lessons and the mistakes of those that have gone before.

Sources: Van Richten's Arsenal, Volume I


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Hallowed Witch
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2018, 09:49:37 PM »
Hallowed Witch

This page is a summary and guide for the Hallowed Witch PrC. For more complete information, read about the Servants of Hala.

What is a Hallowed Witch?

Devotees of Hala often speak of the Weave, a hidden web of magical power which flows through the natural world. The magic of the Weave is not arcane or divine, but something wholly different, the mystical pulse of the land and all its living creatures. Hags have learned to tap into the Weave and corrupt it to their whims, tangling it like a cat's cradle on their wicked talons. For those who are pure of heart and wise in the ways of magic, however, the Weave can open up new realms of magical power, brimming with all the fury of nature Herself. These are the Hallowed Witches, spellcasters who have seen the pattern of the Weave and made it their ally, tool, and weapon. Their art is known as witchcraft, and in its pursuit they gather together in covens to fortify their power.

Hallowed Witches are descendants of the original Thirteen Witches and Warlocks to whom the goddess Hala gave secret knowledge of the Weave. Through the careful study of magic both arcane and divine, they prepare themselves to be indoctrinated into the mysteries of the Weave by other Hallowed Witches. Their divine magic is always received from Hala, usually as clerical magic, but there are druidic worshippers of the Goddess and even some rangers reach the level of necessary proficiency to comprehend the first elements of the manipulation of the Weave itself.

As the Hallowed Witch already carries magical potential within their blood, their arcane class is most often sorcerer, but many study the arcane in a more formal manner as wizards. ((Note: Sorcerer is currently only partly compatible with this class and will not receive new spells on Hallowed Witch levels.))

Note that Coven magic is only possible with DM participation.

What kinds of origins do Hallowed Witches have?

The followers of Hala do not aspire to become Hallowed Witches. The existence of the Hallowed Witches is a secret carefully kept even from most of the faithful of Hala, and so, in order to become a Hallowed Witch, a full-fledged Hallowed Witch must teach the aspirant the secrets of their art. This requires a significant amount of trust, and every relationship between teacher and student is unique and personal. Typically it is those who are exemplary in their religious service who are picked to join a coven, but the Hallowed Witches desire more from their members than textbook knowledge. Patience, attentiveness to details, wariness of danger, awareness of risk and consequences of actions, trustworthiness, loyalty, cleverness, and courage are all necessary virtues for a coven to survive and succeed.

Many of the followers of Hala are raised into the faith, often taught by the elders of their family. They learn to act with mindfulness and compassion, and as they mature and lead their own lives, Hallowed Witches will observe and note their suitability for the cause. When a Hallowed Witch sees potential in an unknowing faithful, they will often begin to create a personal relationship with them. The Hallowed Witch will likely reaffirm the prospect’s knowledge of Hala’s teachings, and perhaps set them on a task to prove their personality and abilities. Rarely will the Hallowed Witch mentor reveal their power unless there is absolute need, or the student is ready to learn the truth. Once the Hallowed Witch has revealed themselves to the student in earnest, they will have been accepted into the coven and their true training will begin. Once a Hallowed Witch is accepted into a coven they almost always stay with it for the rest of their lives, because a Hallowed Witch without a coven could be a liability to the secret of the covens' existence.

How can my character become a Hallowed Witch?

The mechanical requirements for the Hallowed Witch prestige class can be found here. It is reserved to characters native to Ravenloft but any race or subrace is eligible.

In terms of roleplay, the Hallowed Witch prestige class has the most stringent approval conditions of all the prestige classes because of its power and secretive nature. In order to become approved for this PrC, the aspiring PC must have been mentored by a PC who is in possession of the PrC, or a DM. Because of the secrecy of the Hallowed Witches, there is no valid way to guarantee training or even ask for it in character. However, there are a number of things that can be done to increase the chances of receiving mentorship.

Showing interest in the teachings of Hala and portraying adherence to those philosophies will go a long way (Make sure you have a good understanding of the resources). In places such as Barovia where the faith of Hala is scarce, members will often naturally strive to familiarize themselves with one another when given the chance to. Showing interest in other followers of Hala will likely guide you to cross paths with a Hallowed Witch even if you will not recognize them for what they are. When meeting other faithful of Hala, expressing an interest to learn and cooperate will go a long way to earn their trust. A Hallowed Witch PC will require time to get to know you, which can take between a couple of weeks to a month in time, depending on activity, values, and compatibility. During this time topics of philosophy are often discussed, especially that of magic.

All Hallowed Witches are True Neutral. This means that they are not doers of evil nor champions of good, and neither are they uncompromisingly following principles or ignoring them completely. All Halans encourage compassion and many will freely give aid and healing to others despite owning next to nothing themselves. While this seems inherently good, Halans are also very pragmatic and may make seemingly cold decisions in troubled times. For example they are not above telling lies or committing crimes if they believe it serves their purpose. In general they are firm believers that all actions have consequences they will not needlessly risk themselves or others of their faith. They often altogether avoid conflicts and many of the faithful do not even carry weapons at all. When playing your character, avoiding controversies and making mindful, effective decisions is likely to be viewed favourably by potentially observing Hallowed Witches.

All followers of Hala are sworn enemies of hags, but the Hallowed Witches are their nemeses. They will work hard to expose and exterminate hags, often by covert actions. If you find yourself in a situation where there is the potential threat of a hag, it is recommended to bring it to the attention of other Halan players you know. It could be a good opportunity to impress potential mentors by handling the situation with responsibility and cleverness. On the other hand, recklessness in such a situation may have the opposite effect, as the Hallowed Witches are wary of liabilities and protective of their flock.

In everyday situations the most promising students are the ones who are unassuming and careful in the eyes of outsiders of the faith. This means respecting local laws (at least publicly), not seeking recognition or fame, not aspiring for riches or titles, and in many cases not pursuing marriage or other worldly attachments. Expectations may greatly differ between covens and regions, but ultimately they are all interested in proof of character.

If you believe you are receiving guidance from a Hallowed Witch, it is recommended to be careful not to get ahead of the RP. For instance, spontaneous visions of the Weave, proclamations of unusual magic, or feigned witchcraft is not going to be viewed favourably by the potential mentor. Listen to what is being said and described, and be careful not to take it out of context. Another example would be if your character is given an item that could possibly be a Focus for witchcraft, to not emote using it successfully as a magical instrument until your application has been reviewed or a DM is present. Remember even approved Hallowed Witches can only perform witchcraft rituals with a DM directly involved.

Finally, when pursuing the Hallowed Witch PrC there may be times when there seem to be nothing coming from it. Perhaps other Halans seem to be withholding and time is passing on without there being any developments. It is possible that the active Hallowed Witches have no intention of teaching, but they may also be following the expectations of their coven, and the decision to invite a new member is not always up to the individual. Patience is encouraged, but if there is any doubt OOC you are always welcome to get in touch with the Community Council or the DM team to clear things up.

Parting Thought
If you have a Hallowed Witch concept that you feel is viable but does not quite fit the mold, don't hesitate to reach out to the Community Council for guidance.

Sources: Van Richten's Arsenal, Volume I, Van Richten's Monster Hunter's Compendium Volume III
« Last Edit: February 06, 2023, 06:07:05 AM by Onkel Bob »


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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2019, 03:22:47 PM »

Bards follow many paths in these lands. Some fill the traditional role of the wandering troubadour, singing of their own harrowing adventures in the Land of Mists. Others are tortured artists, madly attempting to realize the perfect song that echoes in their minds. A haunted few pursue a darker path still, one that draws them inexorably towards places of the dead. Such bards are obsessed with death, and often feel most at home (if not entirely at ease) in crumbling graveyards and dusty vaults. These dirgists are not necessarily evil. Indeed, they have been profoundly touched by death, and feel the pain of mortal loss more deeply that others. Their songs speak of the sorrow of youth cut short, old age wasted, and the numbing finality of the fate that all men share. Such is the dirgist's closeness to the grave, that it is rumored that the dead whisper their secrets to him while he sleeps.

Since the ability to weave song into magical power is necessary for the dirgist's path, all dirgists are bards. Although multiclassed dirgists are unusual, it is not unheard of for bard/clerics, bard/rogues, and bard/wizards to pursue this prestige class. Some tales even speak of barbarian/bards who lament their fallen ancestors with gruesome war ballads.

Sources: Van Richten's Arsenal, Volume I


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Re: Weapon Master
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2021, 03:47:28 PM »
Weapon Master

While the Monk harnesses Ki energy as part of her martial discipline, she is not the only such person capable of doing so. Some pursue the study of Ki by channeling it into mastery of a single melee weapon. Weapon Masters can come in any size or shape and originate from many different walks of life, but they all share an ability to fight uncannily well with their weapon of choice.

A Weapon Master initiate must choose a weapon type they favor to hone their martial skill with. Once selected and the training commitment is made, this weapon of choice cannot be changed.

What is a Weapon Master?

A Weapon Master is a warrior who chooses to seek perfection in combat through the mastery of a single kind of melee weapon. A Weapon Master seeks to unite this weapon of choice with her body, to make them one, and to use the weapon as naturally and without thought as any other limb.

This does not mean a Weapon Master is forced to exclusively use the specific weapon she owned when she first became one. A wise Weapon Master would certainly seek upgrades to her chosen armament as they become available.

Additionally, a Weapon Master may also use weapons other than their favored type; she is still a warrior at heart, after all. These alternative weapons will not confer the benefits of their rigorous and focused trainings, though. Foolish is the adventurer who travels with no ranged weapon, and if caught unarmed and unprepared, a Weapon Master could certainly still pick up an object with which to defend themselves.

What can a Weapon Master do?

A fully-fledged Weapon Master represents the pinnacle of the art of combat in their favored weapon. So focused and second-nature is the use of their favored weapon, they can strike their foes with pinpoint precision in their weakest spots to deal out massive amounts of damage to help take down their foes quickly. Depending on the depth she has delved into her art, the Weapon Master can, at least once between rests or meditations, channel her Ki into such a potent strike as to deliver the maximum possible damage allowed with her favored weapon type.

This proclivity to execute such critical strikes is not the same as a sneak attack, nor does it require flanking to function. In quite the contrast to a scoundrel’s sneak attack, a Weapon Master will typically face her foes head-on and toe-to-toe. That said, if the Weapon Master is trained in such a skill, she can leverage the potency of a sneak attack in addition to her critical strike abilities.

Additionally, their long, preparatory training regimen teaches them to move around fluidly in combat to avoid drawing attention and being hit, while also allowing them to deliver spectacular and crippling whirlwind assaults once in position!

What are the themes of a Weapon Master?

Given their dedication to the use of Ki being channeled into their favored weapon type, many, many Weapon Masters tend to adopt at least some affinity for an Eastern flair, but this does not have to be the case. While it may go by other names from other cultures or backgrounds, the energy applied is Ki. It may be treated as some other spiritual or even supernatural way to build this bond with the weapon type, but the Weapon Master will be generically using Ki energy and will be expected to train in its exploitation as such.

Weapon Masters do many things with their talents that can both improve (or lower!) their quality of life and open up a world of role play opportunities in PotM.  Aside from being the quintessential adventuring warrior or stalwart companion, consider some of the following ideas (but to not feel fenced in by them!):

    A Weapon Master might have inherited the family heirloom weapon, and mastering it is a family tradition that the character feels she must live up to.

    Become part of the muscle of an organization by acting as bodyguard and escort for merchants, politicians, or other VIPs, or falling into hired thuggery.

    Display prowess as part of a circus or carnival show. Perform acts such as knocking lit cigars out of unsuspecting peoples’ mouths, or juggling three of their favored weapon while blind-folded.

    Run an expensive school or dojo dedicated to taking on students and training more Weapon Masters.

While there is no specific requirement for a Weapon Master to be of Lawful alignment, learning what they need to learn in order to channel Ki into their weapon will often require some period of patience, dedication, and discipline to get started, at least until they fully become Weapon Masters and the use of their weapon becomes second-nature. Consider this when crafting your character’s backstory; one who has spent their life burning, looting, and pillaging is unlikely to be able to prove they possess the discipline to become a Weapon Master - not impossible, but unlikely.

There are no base-class or multi-class exclusions to becoming a Weapon Master, though Fighters and Monks are typically best suited to the role.
Considerations for other base classes:

    Barbarians can become Weapon Masters, though their wild nature often drives them to other paths.

    Paladins can also become Weapon Masters, but this is uncommon due their divine devotions and oaths.

    Most Rangers tend to favor archery, but every so often a dedicated, melee-oriented ranger emerges who could certainly become a viable Weapon Master.

    Rogue Weapon Masters are uncommon, and typically only pursue this when multi-classing with one of the other warrior types.

    Bard-based Weapon Masters are not unheard of, either, and could make for an autobiographical warrior-skald.

    A Hexblade could conceivably become a weapon master, trading some of their arcane & cursing potential for raw fighting prowess.

    A battle-oriented Cleric might be able to become a weapon master, but this will often come at the cost of many divine abilities.

    Druid, Voodan, Wizard, Sorcerer, Beguiler, and Warmage-based Weapon Masters are possible, but because of their own specialized skill sets they are nearly unheard-of.

How can my character become a Weapon Master?


The mechanical requirements for achieving the Weapon Master prestige class can be found here.


While this class does not require an application to obtain, the following is relevant for those wishing to progress as a weapon master.

Weapon Quality & Pride
A prospective Weapon Master would possess a masterwork-or-better quality weapon that they intend to choose as their favored. This could be a discovered item or something well-crafted, typically from steel or another specialty metal and should offer some manner of attack and/or damage bonus, or other special power.

An Understanding of Ki (or other bonding power)
A Weapon Master’s true strength comes from channeling Ki and therefore she must demonstrate an understanding of what that is and show that she is ready to manipulate it through her favored weapon type.

A Weapon Master does not rise above the ranks of other warriors by simply using a specific weapon a lot. Any soldier can claim that. Candidates for Weapon Master should seek out a mentor, when possible, to become an apprentice-trainee and discover how to create a that spiritual/energy connection or bond with their chosen weapon. This energy is always Ki, and is typically known as such, but more creative means of harnessing and acknowledging that energy are possible if proper aptitude and evidence are shown.

As far as a choice of mentor goes, the apprentice should ideally be seeking another Weapon Master, but another character familiar with Ki, such as a Monk, may suffice.

A continual honing of skills with the intended chosen weapon type beyond what a normal warrior would do is recommended as well.

Parting Thought
If you have a Weapon Master concept that you feel is viable but does not quite fit the mold, don't hesitate to reach out to the Community Council or DM Team for guidance.

Sources: Sword and Fist, p.38, 39.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2023, 08:25:44 AM by MAB77 »
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Re: Prestige Classes Roleplaying Resources and Lore
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2022, 01:25:49 PM »
Black Powder Avenger

It has been said that before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. For those that claim the title of Black Powder Avenger, however, a single smoking crater will suffice.

What is a Black Powder Avenger?

The deep rooted desire for revenge can fester in anyone. But for a Black Powder Avenger that desire grows to the point where self-preservation no longer matters. The avengers will use the most dangerous weapons to see their dream of vengeance fulfilled. One of the most infamous and destructive weapons of all is the volatile black powder, which is the signature weapon of the Black Powder Avenger. Only a fool would carry explosives into battle where any presence of fire threatens to undo them, but the Black Powder Avenger favours the pistol, the musket, and bombs made through their self learned "black crafts"  despite the danger to themselves and those around them. It is the single-minded pursuit for vengeance that defines the avengers.

The reason why the avengers choose to make the black powder their weapon of choice is because it serves as an equalizer of power against their opponents. It is not powerful mages or mighty warriors who become avengers, but people who have no hope of achieving revenge without something as dangerous as black powder. The risk the black powder is to anyone and everyone does not matter to the avengers if it buys them a chance to accomplish the violent revenge which they otherwise could not.

The fact that black powder is dangerous to anyone actually spurs the avengers to commit to their path. Their fearlessness of their own devices gives them an edge against their opponents, who will almost definitely be wary of the black powder. The avengers surround themselves with weapons and tools that could explode at a single stray spark, which drives anyone wise enough away from trying to get in their way. By intentionally embrace the hazardous consequences of their methods the avengers liberate themselves to more easily pursue their quarry. Carrying what they do, they are feared by beings, groups, and institutions far more powerful than themselves. The avengers will of course also use everything at their disposal to cause their sworn enemy as much damage as possible. They learn to develop unique bombs to suit their needs, often created in combination with a merciless plot against those they hate.

What kinds of origins do Black Powder Avengers have?

Black Powder Avengers can come from many walks of life. After all, no one is exempt from tragedy. A noble's house guards afford little protection from the sharp fangs of a lycanthrope, much like how the paper thin walls of a pauper's hovel offers no shelter from the indiscriminate grapeshot fired by jackbooted thugs. However, the avengers always share a blinding, self consuming rage - a seething hatred of the object of their vengeance. They will risk anything and everything for a meager chance at offing their foe, resorting to any means necessary.

It is because of their hatred that the avengers have taken to flintlock and explosives rather than sword and shield. For them these cunning methods are a necessity, rather than a matter of convenience or flare. The avengers often lack the resources, influence or skills to slay their foes by conventional means. Thus, they bear the risks imposed by their violent tools gladly; they see no other choice for themselves. Though their weapons might backfire, and their bombs might land at their own feet, revenge is often described as a self destructive endeavor. But the avengers do not care for their own safety and often not for the safety of anyone around them either.

The bombs they carry will almost inevitably harm more than their intended targets. As a Black Powder Avenger grows in lethality, cunning and explosive expertise, their tolerance of collateral harm may likewise expand. Avengers will trend toward the chaotic as they pursue the destruction of their mark. A rare few may be able to escape this vicious cycle but should their lust for revenge waiver, so too will their aim. A Black Powder Avenger who hesitates may find themselves unable to operate their weapons with such conviction as they once had. Their bombs become duds, and their fingers unable to pull the trigger.

What are the themes of a Black Powder Avenger?
  • Revenge - Although all Black Powder Avengers have personal reasons and goals, they all share the overwhelming drive to take revenge upon something or someone. They make it their life's goal to destroy those who wronged them, irrationally prepared to sacrifice anything they have left to accomplish this task. Whereas anyone can wish for revenge against anyone for virtually any reason, the avengers invariably target beings more powerful than themselves, often in retribution to personal suffering at their hands. For instance a Dementlieuse citizen whose life was ruined by a seemingly "untouchable" nobleman, a Barovian who powerlessly witnessed their family get murdered by creatures of the night, or a Rashemi slave who escaped the abuse of the Mulan of Hazlan. The only hope these forsaken individuals could possibly have at becoming threats to the people, monsters, or organizations they strive to take revenge on is to claim and use black powder as their weapon.

  • Desperation - There is no glory at the end of the road for Black Powder Avengers. In fact, the road they walk would not exist at all if not for their dangerous weapons. They have to use black powder if they want to have any hope at all in enacting the vengeance they want more than anything else. The weapons and tools themselves are but a means to an end and have no value in and of themselves to the avengers. In fact, the most experienced and reckless avengers will purposefully abuse and destroy their own tools if they believe it will cause the damage they so desperately crave to inflict.

  • Morality - As Black Powder Avengers use their terrible devices of destruction to pursue their revenge with reckless abandon, bystanders and innocents will come to harm. This is a price the avengers believe themselves willing to pay, which often drives them towards a chaotic alignment. Their initiative to take matters into their own hands, on their own terms, at a cost often paid by others than themselves will easily lead to conflicts with authorities, whether or not they are actually the target of the Black Powder Avenger. In some cases an Avenger may begin to question their own rationalization and attempt to use their tools in a way that puts others at a lesser risk. However, should their reluctance overwhelm their recklessness completely, they may lose the mentality needed to stay on their path and fail to prepare and use their notorious tools of revenge.

    Although zeal, revenge, and bloodlust aren't particularly virtuous traits, an avenger who survives his first crusade could become a valued ally to heroes eager to drive back the forces of darkness. Even the most independent avenger may agree to work with others if their goals and morals align.
What base classes are suitable for becoming a Black Powder Avenger?

Paladins and monks cannot become Black Powder Avengers without losing their abilities. Consider the other classes as they are described below, for inspiration.
  • Barbarian - Barbarians often learn to channel their rage from a sense of hatred, fearlessness, and retribution not unlike Black Powder Avengers. Although the tools of the avengers are much too unorthodox for most Barbarians, one of good intellect could take to learning the black crafts like anyone else. In such an event, the barbarian could be a truly frightening figure to behold, ignoring the agony of his own devices to charge into the fray and tearing his enemies apart while they are in disarray from his bombs.

  • Bard - Bards who do not fully unlock their potential in song and instead match their skills with that of a rogue may be suitable for becoming avengers. Their tendency towards a chaotic alignment makes them more likely to develop a recklessness which the avengers are known for.

  • Beguiler - Beguilers are unlikely to take to the path of the Black Powder Avenger because of their preference to subtlety, and powerful arcane abilities. However, unlike most other caster classes, Beguilers (and some very specialized sorcerers and wizards) are always limited in the amount of destructive spells they can cast. For a beguiler who wishes for nothing less than terrible annihalation on their most hated enemy, the allure of the possibilities of black powder may draw them in.

  • Druid - It is very unlikely that a druid will ever become an avenger, as flintlocks, muskets, and bombs are weapons of metal and often associated with civilizations that threaten the harmony of nature.

  • Fighter - Fighters can easily strive towards becoming avengers if they deem their ordinary weapons and skills as insufficient to accomplish the vengeance they desire.

  • Hexblade - Many Hexblades grow up without guidance and have to figure out their abilities on their own. They are often considered to be cursed and ostracized by their families and neighbors without reasonable explanation. The isolation and misfortune they experience could easily inspire anger and hatred for anyone who crosses them. If they do not learn to master their mystical powers, the direct means of the avengers could become an appealing alternative.

  • Ranger - Rangers are probable candidates of becoming avengers depending on the depth of their affinity with nature. If their allegiance to nature is similar to that of druids they may reject the possibilities of the avenger path due to their values, but one who is willing to compromise will likely make excellent use of the resources. Rangers are known to possess the same kind of individualism that avengers do, and the grit of the lust of revenge can only be tempered and hardened by the exposure to elements, which rangers are used to.

  • Rogue - Rogues may be the most typical avengers, as their familiarity with locks and traps could greatly be of help in discovering and developing their practices of black crafts.

  • Cleric, Favored Soul, Voodan - These classes will likely only ever turn to the path of the avengers if it fits their religious beliefs.

  • Wizard, Sorcerer - These classes will typically not become Black Powder Avengers as they already have greater potential at gaining even more powerful abilities of destruction on the paths they are on.

  • Warmage - Warmages will most definitely never feel the need to learn black crafts since they can already cause similar and greater destruction with their ordinary abilities.
How can my character become a Black Powder Avenger?

The mechanical requirements for achieving the Black Powder Avenger prestige class can be found here.

For roleplay, focus on following the central themes of the avenger. The character must be driven by an overwhelming desire for revenge, they must believe they can only achieve what they want with the tools of black craft, and they are blind to or acceptant of the damage they may cause in their wake. All of these points must be true or the character will start to stray away from the path of the PrC.

Although avengers are typically single-minded you have many possible means to create roleplay. For example, in portraying progressional learning and development of the black crafts, perhaps in the company of alchemists. Also, include others in intricate plots of vengeance on your character's obsession, make their hatred and ambition known. Additionally, make the risk of collateral damage they possess felt by acting appropriately towards death and damages, and potentially present yourself as injured to reinforce the feeling of danger associated with the avengers (burns, flesh wounds, etc.). Finally, consider becoming introduced to the PrC by being mentored by another with the class; serving as their powder monkey is appropriate for both character development and the spirit of the class.

Parting Thought
If you have a Black Powder Avenger concept that you feel is viable but does not quite fit the mold, don't hesitate to ask the Community Council for guidance.

Sources: D&D 3.0 Ravenloft: Heroes of Light, p. 20-22.

A special thank you to Onkel Bob, without whom, this wouldn't have been possible.