The Words Mystery

July 8th, 2013

Alex Riggs

Best in Class Archive

            Though we will always be necromancers at heart, we try to provide a roughly even amount of support for characters of all kinds of classes. I’m proud to report, for those of you who haven’t been following along at home, that as of the moment that I am writing this, we have, so far in the course of this year, provided at least one (and, in some cases, several) archetypes and/or collections of alternate class features for each and every class in the Pathfinder core rules, including the ones from the Advanced Player’s Guide and Ultimate Magic. All of them, that is…except for one.

            Oracles, in short, are hard to write for. There are basically two approaches when it comes to making a Best in Class for oracles: either one makes new oracle curses (which is a pretty densely-populated area of design space, and, what’s more, kind of a weird one, as the curses always need to be flavorfully bad but mechanically good), or one commits to making a ginormous oracle mystery. Well, we’ve put it off long enough and the time has finally come to get down to business with the newest mystery available to oracles of every sort: the words mystery.



New Oracle Mystery

            Words have power. Words carry ideas, which can change the course of history. Words convey names, which can give things power, or limit and define them. Words allow for communication and interaction, for concepts to travel from one mind to the next. Words are, in their way, the most basic form of magic, and those who truly devote themselves to unlocking their power, as the oracles of this mystery do, can achieve incredible results.

            Class Skills: An oracle with the words mystery adds Linguistics and all Knowledge skills to her list of class skills.

            Bonus Spells: command (2nd), blistering invectiveUC(4th), tongues (6th), denounceAPG(8th), greater forbid actionUM(10th), word of recall (12th), power word blind (14th), power word stun (16th), power word kill (18th).

            Revelations: An oracle with the words mystery can choose from any of the following revelations.

            Automatic Writing (Su): Once per day, you can spend a full hour in uninterrupted meditation. During this period, your hands produce mysterious writing that pertains to the future. At 1st level, the prophetic writing manifests as an augury spell with 90% effectiveness. At 5th level, the writing takes the form of a divination with 90% effectiveness. At 8th level, the writing manifests as a casting of commune with no material component required.

            Babble (Su): You speak a word of power and strip a single creature of the ability to speak or understand language. As a standard action, you can force a single intelligent creature (one with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher) to make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your oracle level + your Charisma modifier) or lose all ability to speak or understand language. The target is completely unable to communicate verbally or through writing for 10 minutes per oracle level you possess, though he can still communicate through pantomime, facial expressions, and similar methods that do not rely on words. Any attempt to speak or write comes out as unintelligible gibberish, and the target similarly fails to understand any spoken or written words during this time. This has no impact on the target’s ability to cast spells. A tongues spell, or more powerful magic, overrides this effect, while remove curse or a similar effect can end it prematurely. If the target succeeds on his saving throw, he is immune to this effect for 24 hours. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1/2 your oracle level (rounded down, minimum 1).

            Dread Word (Su): You speak a single word steeped in power, which causes unease in anyone who merely hears it. Each creature within 60 feet of you that can hear and understand you must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your oracle level + your Charisma modifier) or be shaken for 2d4 minutes. Even those that succeed on their saving throws suffer a -1 morale penalty to attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks for 1d4 rounds. Regardless of whether or not a given creature succeeds on its saving throw, it gains a cumulative +2 bonus on saving throws made to resist this ability for each time it has been exposed to this ability in the last 24 hours. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier. This is a language-dependent mind-affecting fear and emotion effect.

            Eloquence (Ex): Your mastery of words and language show plainly in your speech, which lends more weight to what you say. Choose Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate. You gain a competence bonus to the chosen skill equal to 1/2 your class level. You may select this revelation multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, choose a different skill to gain the bonus to.

            Intensified Communication (Su): You are capable of condensing complex and complicated information—the equivalent of an entire paragraph or more—into a single, supercharged magic word, which conveys your meaning directly into the minds of those you want to convey it to, and simply sounds like gibberish to all other listeners. As a swift action, you can speak up to 25 words per oracle level you possess, which is immediately and perfectly understood by any number of creatures you designate that can hear you. To all other creatures, that can hear you, it simply sounds as though you speak a single nonsense word.

            Namecast (Su): You can write a creature’s name on a piece of paper, and use the power of that name’s universal harmonic frequency to cast a spell on that creature regardless of distance. The written name must be the target’s real name and not an alias, title, or description. This can be used to cast spells at a greater range in one of two ways. By using the name as a component in casting a spell with a range of touch, close, or medium and increasing the spell’s casting time to 1 round (or twice the spell’s normal casting time, whichever is longer), you can increase the range of the spell to close (if it was touch), medium (if it was close), or long (if it was medium). Alternatively, by increasing the spell’s casting time to 1 hour per spell level (or five times the spell’s normal casting time, whichever is longer) and causing it to take up a spell slot four levels higher than it normally would, you can increase the spell’s range to affect the target regardless of distance, as long as it is on the same plane. The spell in question must have a single target, or it fails. You can use this ability once per day.  You must be at least 11th level to select this revelation.

            Named Spell (Su): You can use a creature’s name when casting a spell in order to make that spell harder to resist. Whenever you cast a spell, you can speak the target’s name (typically the name that he received at birth, but any name that the target recognizes as his own will suffice). Doing so causes the spell to have verbal components, if it would not already (even if the spell is affected by Silent Spell, or similar effects). If you do, the saving throw DC to resist that spell increases by +2, and you gain a +2 bonus on any attack rolls made as part of the spell. If you provide the wrong name, the saving throw DC to resist that spell decreases by -4, and you suffer a -4 penalty on any attack rolls made as part of the spell, instead. You must be at least 7th level to select this revelation.

            Predetermined Alignment (Su): You are able to use the power of words to redefine deeds. Terrorists become freedom fighters and honored soldiers become hated butchers. Your words take on more weight than most, however, and are capable of altering a target’s aura. As a standard action, you may select a single creature within 60 feet (including yourself) and determine a new alignment for that creature. The target may make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your oracle level + your Charisma modifier) to resist the effect. If he succeeds, he is immune to this ability for 30 days. Otherwise, his alignment is treated as a specific alignment of your choice (such as lawful good, chaotic evil, and so on) for the next 24 hours. The target’s actual alignment doesn’t change, but he is treated as though he had the chosen alignment instead of his actual alignment for the purposes of spells like detect evil or word of chaos, as well as a paladin’s smite evil class feature, and anything else that depends on the target’s alignment. Remove curse, atonement, or more powerful magic can end this effect. You can use this ability once per day, plus an additional time per day at 5th level, and every five levels thereafter.

            Protection from the Known (Su): Whenever you identify a creature with the appropriate Knowledge skill, you gain a +1 morale bonus to AC for the purposes of attacks made by that creature, and a +1 morale bonus to saving throws made to resist the special attacks, spells, or spell-like abilities of that creature. If the result of the Knowledge check exceeds the DC by 5 or more, these bonuses increase by +1 for every 5 points by which your result exceeds the DC. This protection only applies if you actually identify the creature with the relevant Knowledge skill, and other means of identifying the creature do not apply. These bonuses last for one minute, but you may make a new Knowledge check each time that you encounter the same creature.

            Universal Language (Su): You are able to gain brief flashes into a universal language that lets you communicate with any non-mindless creature, even those with no language of their own. As a swift action, you can activate this ability in order to make your speech understandable to any creature with an intelligence score. Such creatures hear you as though you were conversing in their own language or other natural mode of communications, and you hear their responses as though in your own native language. This ability has no impact on the attitude of such creatures, and non-intelligent creatures (those with Intelligence scores of less than 3) may give limited responses. This ability lasts for a number of minutes equal to your Charisma modifier each time it is used, and can be used once per day. Further, the process is draining, and leaves you fatigued for 10 minutes after the ability ends. At 6th level, and every six levels thereafter, this ability can be used an additional time each day, and beginning at 13th level, you are no longer fatigued after using this ability.

            Final Revelation (Sp): Beginning at 20th level, your words carry the weight to rewrite the fabric of reality itself. Once per day, you can cast wish as a spell-like ability. This does not require a material component, but the wish cannot be used to grant ability score bonuses, nor can it be used to replicate spells with expensive material components. Additionally, you are constantly treated as being able to read, speak, and understand all languages (this does not allow you to speak with creatures that don’t have a language).