The Messenger

of the Dead

October 20th, 2015

Alex Riggs

Best in Class Archive

                We now interrupt our scheduled Medium Week programming with these important messages… from the other side! Mediums are all about contacting the spirit world, and while being able to call the spirits of the dead into one’s own body is certainly one popular way to channel spirits, it’s not the only way. Many mediums report that they receive their contacts from beyond the grave not by being inhabited by a spirit, but rather that they are triggered by the presence of individuals whose deceased loved ones have important messages for them. This week’s medium archetype is one such type of medium, who provides a voice to spirits with none.


New Medium Archetype
Messenger of the Dead

                Not all mediums call the spirits of the dead to them. Some are unable to escape the whispering voices of unbidden spirits who flock to the medium in order to pass on messages to the living. These mediums are often known as messengers of the dead.

                Messenger’s Trance (Su): A messenger of the dead can enter a serene trance as a move action by allowing his spirit to gain 1 additional point of influence over him. If he does, he gains a +4 morale bonus to any two ability scores of his choice, but suffers a -2 penalty on Will saves made to resist compulsion effects, and any form of mental possession. These benefits and penalties last for a number of rounds equal to the messenger of the dead’s Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). At 10th level, the morale bonuses to the chosen ability scores increase to +6, and at 20th level they increase to +8.

                This ability replaces the spirit surge class feature.

                Messages from the Beyond (Su): By 5th level, a messenger of the dead is so in tune with the spirit world that he is constantly open to whispered messages from the other side, which relate to the people around him. These messages are much stronger when the messenger of the dead first meets a person, but by focusing intently, the messenger of the dead can actively seek out messages even for those that he knows quite well.

                Whenever the messenger of the dead meets an intelligent creature for the first time (one with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher), he automatically gains a good sense of that individual’s personality, as though he had successfully used the hunch application of the Sense Motive skill. Additionally, the messenger of the dead receives a single message, of no more than 25 words, relating to that individual. Most of the time, these messages are from deceased loved ones, and their content usually relates to how the deceased loved one is happy in the afterlife, loves the individual, and wants them to be happy in life. In some cases, however, the message may contain a cryptic warning or specific instructions. In rare cases, the message may not even be directed to the individual, but rather to the messenger of the dead himself (such as if the message comes from the victim of a murderer, crying for vengeance or warning the messenger of the dead to be wary). The GM determines the exact nature of the message. As a general rule, there is a 10% chance per message, whether it is a generic message of contentment or a more specific message, that it contains some specific detail that would be difficult to know without contacting the dead. If this occurs, the messenger of the dead gains a +4 circumstance bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks against that individual for 1 week.

                Additionally, the messenger of the dead can allow his spirit to gain 1 additional point of influence over him in order to deliberately search for messages relating to an intelligent creature within 60 feet. Doing so is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity and requires concentration, but does not involve any obvious physical actions. If there are any spirits or otherworldly entities with particular messages to pass on to the person in question, besides the usual messages of contentment (subject to GM discretion), the messenger of the dead learns them, up to a maximum number of messages equal to 2 + 1 per 5 class levels beyond 5th. Otherwise, the messenger of the dead can instead mentally ask that many yes or no questions about the individual to the spirit world, which are answered as though with the spell commune.

                This ability replaces the location channel class feature.

                Vision of the Deceased (Su): At 7th level, a messenger of the dead can reach out to a deceased creature’s spirit, allowing him to receive a vision of something the spirit experienced. Doing so requires 1 minute of meditation, during which time the messenger of the dead must meditate on the specific spirit he wants to contact. He must then make a Wisdom check to establish a connection to the spirit. The base DC of this Wisdom check is 15, but it is modified by the messenger of the dead’s knowledge of the spirit, and any connections he may have to the spirit. These modifiers are identical to those listed for the call spirit spell, except that they apply to the DC of the Wisdom check, rather than on a Will save made by the spirit.

                If the messenger of the dead establishes a connection, he receives a brief vision of an important moment in the spirit’s life, experiencing it exactly as though he had lived through it himself. If there is a particular event that the messenger of the dead wishes to see, he can make that desire known to the spirit, but it is ultimately the spirit who chooses what moment to show. The messenger of the dead can force a spirit to show a particular vision, but doing so requires allowing the messenger of the dead’s channeled spirit (from the spirit class feature) to gain 1 additional point of influence over him. If the desired vision does not exist (such as because the event the messenger of the dead is looking for did not occur), the messenger of the dead sees a different vision, selected by the spirit, instead. The vision may cover up to 10 minutes of events, but is experienced in an instant.

                This ability replaces the connection channel class feature.