Feral Maenad

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Laura Theresa Alma-Tadema (18521909), Lawrence Alma-Tadema (18361912) Women of Amphissa Date 1887 Laura Theresa Alma-Tadema (18521909), Lawrence Alma-Tadema (18361912) Women of Amphissa Date 1887
Relics & Rituals: Olympus

© 2004 White Wolf Publishing, Inc. Distributed for Sword and Sorcery Studios by White Wolf Publishing, Inc.

By W. Jason Peck, Aaron Rosenberg, Christina Stiles and Relics & Rituals: Olympus team 

Dionysus, god of wine, is a deity of two natures. On the one hand, he is the bringer of joy who eases the cares of humanity and spreads laughter and song. But on the other hand, he is the god of wild, drunken violence, of the dangers of the inner animal unleashed. Many worship him in his first aspect, but those who worship him in his second aspect are a dangerous few. They race over the hills by night, hunting in a drunken frenzy. While most maenads (though the word usually refers to women, males can join this class as well) are dangerous, the feral maenad is the most dangerous of all — when “liberated” by the spirit of the vine, the feral maenad becomes more animal than person.

Barbarians, druids and rangers are all most likely to become feral maenads, as they are the classes who already are closer to their wild natures. Becoming a feral maenad involves gaining a measure of animalistic ability, which is often tempting to members of these classes. Clerics of Dionysus are also potential initiates into this prestige class, although clerics of other gods are very unlikely to become feral maenads. Fighters and rogues who take this path are rare, although some might find the new abilities and practices quite liberating. wizards and sorcerers lose too much by giving up rationality for savagery to benefit much from the class, and paladins and monks are incompatible with the wild, undisciplined path of the maenad.

NPC feral maenads are usually encountered leading their own bands of maenads or maenads, roaming the countryside in sacred night revels. Some give themselves over wholly to their savage aspect, and are wild hermits and hunters even when sober. Others live surprisingly civilized lives by day, surrendering to drunken abandon only in times of high ritual. Some NPC feral maenads have been known to take to the battlefield when
their homelands are invaded, fighting alongside — but not side-by-side with — their more civilized neighbors. When the feral maenads race screaming onto the field, it’s hard to say whom they terrify more, their foes
or their friends.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become a feral maenad, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Skills: Craft (winemaking) 4 ranks, Survival 8 ranks
Languages: Sylvan
Feats: Great Fortitude
Alignment: Any chaotic.


The feral maenad class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Strength), Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Handle Animal (Charisma), Intimidate (Charisma), Jump (Strength), Knowledge (nature) (Intelligence), Listen (Wisdom), Ride (Dexterity), Survival (Wisdom) and Swim (Strength).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.

The Feral Maenad
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells per Day
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Alertness, Low-Light Vision, Scent
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 +1 level of spellcasting class
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Feral talons, healing draught
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 +1 level of spellcasting class
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Drunken rage 1/day, liver of bronze, Multiattack
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 +1 level of spellcasting class
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Drunken rage 2/day, pounce
8th +6 +6 +2 +6 +1 level of spellcasting class
9th +6 +6 +3 +6 Drunken rage 3/day, rend
10th +7 +7 +3 +7 Savage talons +1 level of spellcasting class


All of the following are features of the feral maenad prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The feral maenad is proficient with all simple weapons, and gains no additional armor or shield proficiencies.

Spells per Day: At 2nd level, and at every other level thereafter, a feral maenad with levels in a divine spellcasting class gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in whatever divine spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (extra uses of wild shape as a spell-like ability, turning undead and so on). In effect, she divides her feral maenad level by 2 and adds that to the level of whatever other divine spellcasting class the character may possess, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.

If a character had more than one divine spellcasting class before she became a feral maenad, she must decide to which class she adds each alternate level of feral maenad for the purpose of determining spells per day.

Alertness: At 1st level, the feral maenad gains Alertness as a bonus feat. If the character already possesses the Alertness feat, this ability has no effect.

Low-Light Vision (Ex): At 1st level, a feral maenad gains Low-Light Vision; she can see twice as far as a human in conditions of poor light such as starlight or moonlight. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions. If the feral maenad already possesses Low-Light Vision, the range increases to three times as far as a human can see.

Scent (Ex): At 1st level, the feral maenad gains the Scent special ability, as detailed in the MM.

Feral Talons (Ex): At 3rd level, a feral maenad’s spiritual surrender to her bestial nature grants her a claw/claw/bite attack routine. Damage for these attacks is determined by the character’s size. The two claw attacks are made at the character’s normal melee attack bonus, while the bite attack is made with a –5 penalty. The claw attacks receive the character’s full Strength bonus to damage, while the bite receives 1/2 the character’s Strength bonus. The feral maenad is considered armed at all times, always threatens out to her reach, and may make attacks of opportunity with her
natural weaponry.

Feral maenad Natural Weapon Damage
Character Size Claw Base Damage
Bite Base Damage
Small 1d4 2d4
Medium 1d6 2d6
Large 1d8 2d8

Healing Draught (Su): Also at 3rd level, by consuming enough wine to get drunk, a feral maenad may regain hit points as if having rested for an eight-hour sleep. The feral maenad may heal hit points in this fashion only once per day.

Drunken Rage (Su): Beginning at 5th level, a feral maenad can enter a berserk frenzy when consuming Alcohol, or when Alcohol remains in her bloodstream. Even a mouthful of wine is enough to send the feral maenad into a drunken rage; the power is a spiritual rage rather than a side effect of drunkenness. The feral maenad does not automatically enter into a drunken rage whenever she takes a drink or even becomes drunk; she enters the state when she chooses, and may end it when she likes.

While in a drunken rage, a feral maenad gains a +4 bonus to Strength and Constitution, but suffers a –2 penalty to Dexterity. The increase in
Constitution grants the feral maenad additional hit points equal to 2 points per character level, although these hit points go away at the end of the drunken rage when her Constitution returns to normal, and are not lost first in the manner of temporary hit points.

In addition, while in her drunken rage, the feral maenad gains a Spell Resistance score of (11 + character level) against mind-affecting spells and spell-like abilities.

While raging, the feral maenad cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (save <a href="skill%20balance.htm">Balance</a>, Escape Artist, Intimidate and Ride). She may use any feat she possesses except Combat Expertise, item creation and metamagic feats; she cannot activate magic items that require a command word, spell trigger or spell completion to function. She can cast divine spells while in a drunken rage, although she must make a Concentration check to do so (DC 20 + spell level), and she cannot cast any spells with a casting time longer than one action.

A feral maenad can fly into a drunken rage only once per encounter. The rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + her rage-enhanced Constitution modifier; she may end it prematurely. At the end of the drunken rage, the feral maenad becomes fatigued for the duration of the current encounter. A feral maenad can enter a drunken rage once per day at 5th level, twice per day at 7th, and three times per day at 9th level.

Feral maenads who gain rage abilities from other sources (such as levels in barbarian) do not combine rage abilities with the drunken rage ability. Thus, a 9th-level barbarian/1st-level druid/5th-level feral maenad can enter a barbarian rage three times per day and a drunken rage once per day; while in a barbarian rage, she cannot cast divine spells, and she can enter a barbarian rage without the benefit of Alcohol.

Liver of Bronze (Ex): At 5th level, the feral maenad has developed a powerful resistance to poisons — the character gains a natural bonus to saves versus poisons equal to 1/2 her feral maenad level (rounded down).

Multiattack (Ex): At 5th level the feral maenad gains the benefits of the Multiattack feat. Her secondary attacks with her natural weapons suffer only a –2 penalty on attack rolls rather than the usual –5.

Pounce (Ex): At 7th level, if a feral maenad charges a foe, she can make a full attack.

Rend (Ex): At 9th level, if a feral maenad hits with both of her claw attacks, she deals an additional amount of rending damage equal to double her claw damage base die, plus 1/2 her Strength bonus. For example, a feral maenad with a Strength of 20 who deals 1d6 +5 points of damage with a claw attack, deals 2d6+7 on a successful rend attack.

Savage Talons (Su): At 10th level, the feral maenad gains a permanent +2 enhancement bonus to all unarmed attacks, including her claws, bite and grappling checks. Her natural weaponry is considered magic and chaotic for purposes of bypassing damage reduction.

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