Last year, we introduced a new base class, the cultist, and later in the year, put out a book which expanded the class a bit, and added 13 new cults. Since then, we've added a cult devoted to ghosts, and today, I'm happy to expand the family of cults to include a new, vampiric-themed cult, the Cult of the Bat.
Cult of the Bat
Run by a trio of vampiric "sisters," the Cult of the Bat could almost be considered a crime syndicate, if not for the fanatical devotion and dogmatic loyalty that they instill in their members. Members of the cult are trained in stealth, infiltration, and assassination techniques, and sent on dangerous missions for the benefit of the cult. Sometimes these missions are to eliminate the cult's enemies, or capture relics that catch the fancy of the cult's vampiric masters, but more often they are simply contracts that the cult has taken on. Cultists that perform well are allowed to advance in the cult, with the promise of eternal life and ascension to a true vampire dangled as the final reward at the end of decades of valued service, although, to date, no one has yet earned that particular honor. Members of the cult who fail or disappoint their mistresses meet a grisly end as blood stock.
Their ceremonial garb is a loose-fitting cloth shirt and pants, all black, with a black mask shaped like a grinning, demonic bat. Their symbol is a black bat, its wings outstretched, on a red background.
Alignment: Members of the Cult of the Bat cannot be good.
Restricted Spells: Members of the Cult of the Bat cannot cast spells of the healing subschool, or which have the light descriptor.
Channeled Energy: Negative.
Familiar: Fiendish bat or stirge.
Sacrifice: Animal, Blood, Profane.
Hexes: Members of the Cult of the Bat can select from the following hexes.
Children of the Night (Su): As a standard action, the cultist can conjure bats to aid him. At 1st level, he can conjure 1d3 bats. At 3rd level, he can instead choose to conjure a single dire bat. At 5th level, he can instead choose to conjure a bat swarm. At 7th level, and every two levels thereafter, he may summon one additional dire bat or bat swarm, or 1d3 additional bats.
Regardless of the type and number of summoned creatures, they arrive after 1d4 rounds, and serve the cultist faithfully for 1 minute per class level. The cultist can use this ability once per day.
Mental Control (Su): The cultist can issue hypnotic commands to a creature he has already affected with the charm hex. This functions as the spell suggestion, except that the cultist can choose for the creature to forget being instructed to perform whatever tasks the cultist asks. This memory loss applies both after the task is complete, and, if the cultist specifies conditions that trigger the instructions, also applies before the task is carried out, as well, but does not prevent the target from following the instructions. The target still remembers completing the task, he simply does not recall why. The cultist can use this ability at will, but only on creatures currently affected by his charm hex. The cultist must have the charm hex in order to take this hex.
Necrotic Existence (Ex): The cultist becomes partially undead. He is healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy, like an undead creature. However, he is resistant to positive energy, and whenever he would suffer damage as a result of positive energy (such as a cure light wounds spell, or a cleric's channel energy class feature), the amount of damage he suffers is reduced by an amount equal to his class level (to a minimum of 0).
Vampiric Defenses (Ex): The cultist gains an amount of damage reduction equal to 1/4 his class level (rounded down, minimum 1) which can only be overcome by weapons that are both magic and silver. Additionally, he gains an amount of cold and electricity resistance equal to 1/2 his class level (rounded down, minimum 1). These abilities cease to function as long as the cultist is exposed to bright light, or sunlight of any kind.
Vampiric Reflexes (Ex): The cultist is infused with the speed and grace of a vampire. He gains any two of the following feats, of his choice, and may even gain ones for which he does not meet the requirements: Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Fleet, or Lighting Reflexes.
Cloak of the Night (Secret of the First Circle): A member of the Cult of the Bat is blessed by the spirits of the night, and finds succor in the darkness. The cultist gains darkvision 60 feet. If the cultist already had darkvision, or later gains it from another source, he instead gains the ability to see in darkness of all kinds, including magical darkness, to a range of 60 feet. Additionally, the cultist gains an unholy bonus equal to 1/2 his class level on all Stealth checks made in dim light or darkness. At 12th level, the cultist's supernaturally sharp ears grant him blindsight to a range of 60 feet.
Blood Drinker (Secret of the Second Circle): Beginning at 9th level, a member of the Cult of the Bat can drain blood from his victims. If the cultist establishes or maintains a pin against a living creature, it can drain the victim's blood instead of dealing damage, inflicting 1d4 points of Constitution damage and gaining a single blood point. At any time, as a swift action, the cultist can expend one blood point gained in this way in order to gain a +4 morale bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws for one round. The cultist cannot have more blood points at any one time than 1/4 his class level (rounded down).
Wings of the Bat (Secret of the Third Circle): Beginning at 17th level, a member of the Cult of the Bat can physically transform himself to more closely resemble the idol of his cult. As a move action, he can cause a pair of leathery bat wings to sprout from his back, granting him a fly speed of 60 feet with good maneuverability. Additionally, he can cast beast shape III at will, but only to transform into a bat.
Ascension: At 20th level, the cultist fully transforms into a vampiric undead. Instead of becoming an outsider, he becomes an undead, gaining all the benefits of being an undead creature.