The Sacrifice

To Medieval Classes

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Valentin de Boulogne, Martyrdom of St Processus and St Martinian, 1629
Oil on canvas, 308 x 165 cm
Pinacoteca, Vatican. 

Valentin de Boulogne, Martyrdom of St Processus and St Martinian, 1629
Oil on canvas, 308 x 165 cm
Pinacoteca, Vatican. 

The Quintessential Cleric II
Author Patrick Younts
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2004
OGL Section 15 qclrii

Netbook can be found on the following website

The Grand OGL Wiki

The material below is designated as Open Game Content

There is so much pain in the world. Pains of the flesh; starvation, disease, poison, torture. Pains of the spirit; doubt, anger, grief, despair. Peasants toil in the field by day, their bodies chipped and shattered and worn down, then cry out for respite in their squalid huts at night. Knights on the battlefield fight and die, their bodies split like overripe melons, spirit and blood running as they shriek. With so much pain, it is a wonder there is any joy, any light, any happiness in the world at all. That there is, is in no small part due to the work of the sacrifice.

The sacrifice is a cleric who feels the pains of the mortal world most keenly. His spirit aches to reach out and comfort everyone, to take the pains, the fears and the doubts that all mortals share as his own, to ease the burdens of his fellow man. The sacrifice’s devotion to mercy stirs even the unfathomable hearts of the gods and they respond by gifting him with the means to accomplish his most fervent desire.

The sacrifice willingly subjects himself to unimaginable agonies and does it with quiet assurance. Not for him is the pursuit of glory and the accumulation of fame and earthly power. No teeming hordes will chant his name, no statues will be erected in his honour and there will be no feast days dedicated to his memory. None of that matters to the sacrifice. Only willing martyrdom matters. Only willing suffering matters. Only giving, unto the point of death, matters.

Only the faith matters.

Non-Player Character sacrifices tend to either be loners, or to only have a few, extremely close friends. They wander the slums of major cities and traverse war ravaged lands, always looking for an opportunity to help and to heal. Sacrifices tend to be gracious and humble almost to the point of absurdity and are so willing to give of themselves that it is hard for someone who does not follow the same path to relate to them at all.

Hit Die: d10.

Requirements

To qualify to become a sacrifice, a character must meet all the following criteria:

Base Will Save: +6 or higher.
Skills: Concentration 6 ranks, Healing 10 ranks.
Feats: Endurance, Iron Will.
Alignment: Any good.
Spells: Must have the ability to cast divine spells of at least 5th level and must have access to clerical Domains.
Domains: Must count Good, Healing or Protection among his Domains.
Special: The character must have willingly sacrificed himself to save another from death, though he need not have died himself.

Class Skills

The sacrifice’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Concentration (Constitution), Diplomacy (Charisma), Heal (Wisdom), Knowledge (religion) (Intelligence), Profession (any) (Intelligence) and Spellcraft (Intelligence). See Skills in SRD for skill descriptions.
Skill Points At Each Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

The Sacrifice
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spellcasting
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Stigmata +1 cleric level
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3   +1 cleric level
3rd +1 +3 +1 +3 Wound that will not heal  
4th +2 +4 +1 +4 shield other +1 cleric level
5th +2 +4 +1 +4 Ease the spirit’s burden +1 cleric level
6th +3 +5 +2 +5 Denial of death  
7th +3 +5 +2 +5 Nobility of suffering +1 cleric level  
8th +4 +6 +2 +6   +1 cleric level
9th +4 +6 +3 +6 Clarity of agony  
10th +5 +7 +3 +7 Avatar of suffering +1 cleric level

Class Features

All the following are class features of the sacrifice prestige class.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: The sacrifice gains no new proficiencies with weapons, or with armour or shields.

Spells: The sacrifice continues to gain spell power, albeit more slowly than other clerics do. At every level except 3rd, 6th and 9th, the sacrifice gains new spells as though he had also gained a level in the cleric class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. This means that he adds his sacrifice levels (except 3rd, 6th and 9th) to his cleric levels to determine both how many spells he can cast and how powerful those spells are.

Stigmata (Su): When the cleric takes his first step on the sacrifice’s journey, his body is forever marked with the symbols of his sacrifice. He gains stigmata, wounds on his body which seep blood and ichor when he uses his divine abilities or in times of stress. These stigmata can never be healed, not even by magic as powerful as miracle or wish, and though they can be covered, they will bleed through even the heaviest clothing.

Though stigmata can often appear gruesome, they cause no real harm to the sacrifice, though they do bleed anytime the sacrifice casts any spell, or when he uses his Domain granted powers or his turn undead ability (or alternative divine power, if he has one).

When the sacrifice wishes, he can cause his stigmata to pulse and begin to flow freely as a free action and the blood he spills is touched by the divine healing energy of his god. When the sacrifice casts any cure spell, he can empower the spell to heal up to double the rolled amount (including level based and other bonuses) at the cost of a number of his own hit points equal to the extra amount healed. Hit points bled in this fashion cannot be healed by the use of magic and can only be healed naturally.

At 3rd level, the sacrifice can heal up to three times the amount rolled on any cure spell and need only bleed 1 hit point per 2 extra hit points cured. At 5th level, he can heal up to four times the amount and need only bleed 1 hit point per 3 extra points cured and at 7th level, he can heal up to five times the amount and expend only 1 hit point per 4 extra hit points cured.

When the sacrifice uses his stigmata ability, his body is suffused with divine power and the blood which flows from his wounds glows golden. Stigmata is a supernatural ability.

Wound That Will Not Heal: As the sacrifice continues his journey, travelling from place to place and accepting the burden of misery from those he can, his body begins to suffer and break down from the constant torment, despite the fact that he is supported by divine energy. When he achieves 3rd level in the sacrifice class, he permanently loses 2 points of Constitution, which cannot be restored by any means save level based increases – not even wish or miracle are sufficient to heal him. Should the sacrifice’s Constitution fall below the level required for him to qualify for any feat, or for another prestige class, he does not lose access to that feat or class.

At the same time, however, the suffering which the sacrifice endures gives him an insight into the nature of faith and the relationship between mortal and god that few others can match. His Wisdom score is permanently increased by 2 points when he gains the wound which will not heal.

shield other (Sp): The sacrifice will not permit another to suffer if he can help it. Thanks to his devotion to his god and to his duty, he does not have to. Beginning at 3rd level, the sacrifice can cast shield other as a free action, once per day as a spell-like ability, at a caster level equal to his cleric + sacrifice levels.

Beginning at 5th level, the sacrifice can, once per round, choose to absorb all hit point damage inflicted by an attack upon the one he is shielding. The shielded subject is still considered to be hit by the attack, for the purposes of other effects transmitted by the blow, but the sacrifice receives all the actual damage. shield other is a spell-like ability.

Ease the Spirit’s Burden (Su): The sacrifice is not just concerned with matters of the flesh. He is equally dedicated to easing the spiritual burdens of other mortals and healing the wounds of the soul. Beginning at 5th level, the sacrifice can, once per day per sacrifice level, attempt to heal those around him of mental injury with a touch. A being under the effects of a mind-affecting spell or spell-like ability who is touched by the sacrifice can automatically attempt a new saving throw against the effect, using the sacrifice’s saving throw bonus or his own, whichever is higher. If the saving throw succeeds, then the effect ends but if it fails, the sacrifice must attempt his own save or succumb to the effect as well.

Ease the spirit’s burden is a mind-affecting, spell-like effect which requires a standard action to use.

Denial of Death (Su): The sacrifice does not take on his burden lightly. He is absolutely dedicated to easing the suffering of others through the assumption of their pain and will not shirk from that self-appointed duty even when he knows the doing will surely kill him. Beginning at 6th level, the sacrifice can, once per day as a free action, cause any spell, spell-like effect, melee attack or supernatural attack which brings an ally to 0 hit points or less, or which kills him outright (as a phantasmal killer spell would), to affect him instead. So, while the blow or spell actually connects with the victim, it is the sacrifice who feels the impact.

In order for the sacrifice to use this ability, he must be within 25 feet + 5 feet per class level of the one he intends to save. This ability takes effect only after the victim to be saved fails to save against the effect, or after the blow is struck; the sacrifice can declare his intent to use this ability at any time and can use it as a free action on anyone’s turn.

When the sacrifice successfully uses this ability, the effect which he has taken onto himself automatically takes effect, without possibility of a saving throw. Magic items which would normally protect the sacrifice will not do so, since he is actually assuming the already inflicted agony of another onto himself. In the case of melee attacks or direct damage spells, spell-like effects and other, similar effects which cause hit point damage, the sacrifice’s hit points are automatically reduced to whatever total the victim’s would have been lowered to, even if the sacrifice has many more hit points than the victim. So, for example, if a sacrifice with 65 hit points chooses to use denial of death to preserve a warrior with 9 hit points remaining from a melee attack which inflicts 11 points of damage, then the sacrifice’s hit point total is reduced to –2, exactly as the warrior’s would have been, instead of to 54.

Denial of death will not work to protect a victim from further effects, if any, from the attack or injury. So, for example, if the victim falls into a pit of lava and suffers enough damage to kill him, the sacrifice can choose to die in his place but that will not save the victim from damage inflicted by the lava in the next round. Denial of death is a supernatural ability.

Nobility of Suffering (Ex): The grace with which the sacrifice accepts the agonies which are inflicted upon him inspires the souls and reignites the spark of faith in all those who come in contact with him, hardening them against the lesser pains and sorrows of mortal existence. Beginning at 7th level, all allies within 10 feet + 5 feet per class level of the sacrifice benefit from a sacred or profane bonus to all saves against fear, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion and stunning equal to 1 + the sacrifice’s Charisma modifier.

Nobility of suffering is an extraordinary, mind-affecting ability.

Clarity of Agony (Su): When the sacrifice reaches this stage of his journey, he is so conversant with pain that he has learned to use it as a tool, as a clarifying mirror which shows him the truth of his spirit and the larger truths of the world around him. Beginning at 9th level, the sacrifice can, once per day, turn his divine powers inward, searing his nerves and inflaming his spirit. He suffers 2 points of temporary Constitution damage, which cannot be healed by magic of any sort, but gains the ability to communicate directly with the divine as by the spell Commune cast by a cleric of his sacrifice + cleric levels combined. Rather than receive terse, one word answers, however, the divinity answers the questions using sentences of up to 10 words.

Clarity of agony is a supernatural ability which requires 10 minutes of absolute Concentration before it can be used.

Avatar of Suffering (Su): The sacrifice is the living symbol of divine mercy and grace, the ultimate embodiment of a god’s love for his flock and the cleric’s love for his fellow mortals. When a sacrifice completes his journey along the path of suffering, he takes on all the spiritual suffering of the mortal plane, which manifests as great, puckered scars, bruises which will not heal, bones which shatter and reform in an endless cycle of fire and gaping wounds which ooze pus and shimmering, golden blood. At the same time, the sacrifice attains a level of spiritual purity which elevates him almost to equality with the most holy angels, a just reward for one so willing to suffer for the happiness of others. When the sacrifice reaches 10th level in the prestige class, he becomes an avatar of suffering, gaining all of the benefits outlined below.

The sacrifice’s body, wracked with the world’s agony at all times, is rendered immune to lesser injuries. Lesser injuries in this case include axe wounds, terrible burns and the like. The sacrifice is immune to critical hits, gains damage reduction equal to his Wisdom bonus/evil, energy resistance to all forms of energy equal to his Wisdom bonus and regenerates 5 hit points a round (fire defeats his regeneration).

The sacrifice’s soul, likewise, is rendered largely impervious to minor pains, since it is already so torn by the spiritual agonies of all mortals, living and dead. The sacrifice gains a bonus to all saving throws equal to his Wisdom modifier. This bonus applies to his Will saves as well, meaning he adds twice his Wisdom modifier to all Will saves (rounding down).

Avatar of suffering is a supernatural ability which is always active.

Epic Sacrifice

Hit Die: d10.

Skill Points At Each Additional Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

Turn Undead: The epic sacrifice gains no improved ability to turn as he increases in level. He uses only his cleric levels when determining the most powerful type of undead he may turn, rebuke or destroy.

Spellcasting: The epic sacrifice gains new cleric caster levels every two of three times he gains an epic level. This means that he gains new caster levels at 21st and 22nd level, does not gain one at 23rd level and then gains them again at 24th and 25th levels. After 20th level, he gains only new caster levels, not new spells per day.

Bonus Feats: The epic sacrifice continues to get new feats every three levels after 20th (at 23rd, 26th and so on).

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