Vampires are kind of our thing here at Necromancers of the Northwest, and not just because of our company name. Ever since Liber Vampyr: Secrets of the Blood (available for free on our download page, I might mention), we’ve been slowly building on the framework we made for vampire characters, and today, we’re doing it again with a class that melds cruomancy with psychic magic from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures. I give you the revenant manipulator.
New Base Class
Many vampires are skilled deceivers and seducers, able to convince their prey to give up their life’s blood willingly. But only a few can be called true manipulators, and they are the ones that follow the path of the revenant manipulator. These vampires draw upon psychic powers, and their own undead nature, to confuse and befuddle their prey. Very rarely must a revenant manipulator drain blood by force. Often, they even cultivate followings from impressionable individuals, who allow themselves to be fed upon in order to stay close to the revenant manipulator.
Role: Revenant manipulators are a vampiric approach to the mesmerist, and fulfill a similar role. Although they cannot use mesmerist tricks to aid their allies in combat, and cannot remove harmful conditions, they can grant those allies that allow the revenant manipulator to feed on them morale bonuses in combat, and also have access to a wide variety of vampiric powers.
Alignment: Any, although most are evil and very few are good.
Hit Die: d8.
Starting Wealth: 3d6 x 10 gp (average 105 gp). In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
The revenant manipulator’s class skills are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
The following are the class features of the revenant manipulator.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A revenant manipulator is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, sap, sword cane, and whip. He is proficient with light armor, but not with shields.
Cruomancy: At 1st level, a revenant manipulator gains the revenant template. If the revenant manipulator was already a revenant, this has no effect. Characters that cannot gain the revenant template cannot take levels in revenant manipulator.
For each level of revenant manipulator that a character gains, his cruomancer level increases by 1. Additionally, as he gains additional levels of revenant manipulator, the maximum number of blood points that he can have in his blood point pool increases, as indicated on Table: The Revenant Manipulator.
For more information on revenants and cruomancy, see Liber Vampyr: Secrets of the Blood.
Spell Casting: A revenant manipulator casts psychic spells drawn from the mesmerist spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a revenant manipulator must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell's level. The saving throw DC against a revenant manipulator's spell is 10 + the spell's level + the revenant manipulator's Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a revenant manipulator can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Revenant Manipulator. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.
The revenant manipulator's selection of spells is limited. A revenant manipulator begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the revenant manipulator's choice. At each new revenant manipulator level, he learns one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Revenant Manipulator Spells Known.
Unlike a revenant manipulator's spells per day, the number of spells a revenant manipulator knows isn't affected by his Charisma score; the numbers on the table are fixed.
At 5th level, and every 3 levels thereafter, a revenant manipulator can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the revenant manipulator loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell's level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least 1 level lower than the highest-level mesmerist spell the revenant manipulator can cast. A revenant manipulator can swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.
A revenant manipulator need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any mesmerist spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell's level.
Knacks: Revenant manipulators learn a number of knacks, or 0-level spells. These spells are cast like any other spells, but they do not consume any slots and can be used again. Knacks cast using other spell slots, due to metamagic feats, for example, consume spell slots as normal.
Insidious (Ex): A revenant manipulator adds 1/2 his class level (minimum 1) on all Bluff checks. In addition, whenever he initiates a grapple, he may first make a Bluff check against the target as a free action. Treat this as a Bluff check made to feint the opponent, but if the check succeeds, he does not provoke an attack of opportunity for initiating the grapple, and gains a bonus to CMB for the initial grapple check (but not any subsequent checks to maintain the grapple) equal to his Charisma modifier.
Hypnotic Stare (Su): A revenant manipulator can focus his stare on one creature within 30 feet as a swift action. That creature takes a –2 penalty on Will saving throws. This penalty changes to –3 at 8th level. A revenant manipulator can maintain his stare against only one opponent at a time; it remains in effect until the revenant manipulator stares at a new target, the opponent dies, the opponent moves farther than 30 feet away, or the revenant manipulator falls unconscious or dies. The revenant manipulator can remove the memory of his stare from the target's mind; the creature doesn't remember that it was affected (nor does it realize that it is currently being affected) unless the revenant manipulator allows it. The hypnotic stare is a psychic effect, and relies more on the revenant manipulator's focus than the target's perception of his stare. It can't be avoided in the same ways a gaze attack can. The revenant manipulator can use this ability even while blinded, but must succeed at a DC 20 concentration check to do so. Staring at a creature requires the revenant manipulator's focus, so if he uses a gaze attack or similar ability, he must either target the subject of his hypnotic stare or voluntarily end the stare. The penalties from multiple revenant manipulators' stares don't stack, nor do they stack with penalties from mesmerists’ stares or witches' evil eye hexes. This is a mind-affecting effect.
Manipulation: As a revenant manipulator increases in level, he gains a number of tricks that allow him to use his vampiric potential to the fullest. At 1st level, he can choose to gain a single vampire feat of his choice for which he qualifies, or one of the abilities listed below. At 2nd level, and every even-numbered level thereafter, he gains an additional vampire feat as a bonus feat, or an additional ability chosen from the list below. Unless otherwise noted, each of the abilities listed here can only be chosen once.
Combat Trick (Ex): The revenant manipulator gains one of the following feats as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites: Improved Dirty Trick, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, or Improved Grapple. If he is 11th level or higher, he can also select from the following, but only if he has the improved version of the listed feat: Greater Dirty Trick, Greater Disarm, Greater Feint, or Greater Grapple. The revenant manipulator can take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, he must select a different feat.
Lifelike Disguise (Ex): The revenant manipulator gains a bonus equal to 1/2 his class level on Disguise checks made to appear as a living creature.
Lose Weakness: The revenant manipulator chooses a single lesser weakness that she gained as a result of gaining the revenant template, and loses it, forever freeing herself of that particular weakness. The revenant manipulator cannot lose the blood dependency or sunlight vulnerability weaknesses, nor any greater weaknesses, in this way.
Mesmerist Trick (Su): The revenant manipulator learns a single mesmerist trick, from the class feature of the same name. He can use this trick a number of times per day equal to his Charisma bonus (minimum 1). It otherwise functions as normal for a mesmerist trick. This manipulation can be selected multiple times; however, it cannot be taken more than once per six class levels the revenant manipulator possesses. All mesmerist tricks gained in this way share the same number of daily uses, but for each time this ability is selected after the first, the number of daily uses increases by 2.
Undead Empathy (Su): The revenant manipulator’s undead nature makes him able to affect undead creatures with mind-affecting effects, although such creatures gain a +4 bonus on their saving throws. As a swift action, the revenant manipulator can expend 2 blood points to focus on a single undead creature in order to negate this bonus for 1 minute.
Weakening Stare (Su): Once per round, as an immediate action, the revenant manipulator can focus intensely on the target of his hypnotic stare, interfering with her course of action. Each time the revenant manipulator uses this ability, he can choose to impose one of the following negative effects: a penalty equal to his hypnotic stare penalty on attack and damage rolls for the next attack the target makes, increasing the arcane spell failure chance on the next spell the target casts by an amount equal to 5 times his hypnotic stare penalty (even if she would not normally be subject to arcane spell failure), or reducing her movement speed by 5 feet per point of hypnotic stare penalty (minimum 5 feet). Whichever penalty is chosen, if it has not been expended by the beginning of the revenant manipulator’s next turn, it has no effect.
Unnatural Reflexes (Su): At 2nd level, a revenant manipulator gains unnatural reflexes. He adds his Charisma bonus (minimum 0) on Reflex saving throws, and as a bonus on Initiative checks. If the revenant manipulator is flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity bonus to AC, he loses the bonus to his Reflex saves, but not the bonus to Initiative checks.
Aura of Contentment (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, as a move action, a revenant manipulator can project an aura of contentment, which affects all creatures within 60 feet that the revenant manipulator has consumed at least 1 blood point’s worth of blood from in the last week. Each such creature gains a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws for as long as they remain within 60 feet of the revenant manipulator, and as long as he continues to maintain this effect. He can use this ability for a total number of rounds per day equal to twice his class level. Additionally, the DC of Diplomacy checks made to convince a creature under the effects of the revenant manipulator’s aura of contentment to allow him to feed on them an additional time is decreased by –5. This is a mind-affecting emotion effect.
At 10th level, the morale bonus granted by this ability increases to +4, and the penalty to the DC of Diplomacy checks made to convince affected creatures to allow the revenant manipulator to feed on them increases to –10.
Commanding Stare (Sp): Beginning at 3rd level, as a swift action, by expending 1 blood point, a revenant manipulator can affect the target of his hypnotic stare as though with the spell command, except that the saving throw DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the revenant manipulator’s class level + the revenant manipulator’s Charisma modifier. Additionally, the revenant manipulator can force the target to forget performing the commanded action in the same way that he forces a target to forget the effects of his hypnotic stare. The revenant manipulator’s caster level for this effect is equal to his class level.
Mental Potency (Ex): At 5th level, the revenant manipulator can affect more powerful creatures or a greater number of creatures than normal with his mental effects. Both the HD limit and the total number of HD affected with each enchantment or illusion spell he casts increase by 1.
For enchantment and illusion spells he casts that target a number of creatures greater than one, the number of creatures affected also increases by one (so a spell that targets one creature per level would be affected, but a spell that targets only one creature would not be). For example, a 5th-level revenant manipulator could affect 5 HD worth of creatures with sleep, affect 2d4+1 HD worth of creatures with hypnotism, and change the categories for color spray to “3 HD or fewer,” “4 or 5 HD,” and “6 or more HD.” The number of additional HD or creatures increases by an additional 1 for every 5 levels beyond 5th, to a maximum increase of 4 at 20th level.
Thinned Blood (Ex): At 5th level, a revenant manipulator gains the ability to drain blood from a willing or helpless creature without harming the donor in any way. Doing so requires a full minute, and grants the revenant manipulator 1 blood point. The donor must be a creature that could otherwise provide blood points through the Vampire’s Bite feat, or other means. The revenant manipulator can use this ability once per day at 5th level. At 9th level, and every four levels thereafter, he can use this ability one additional time per day.
Swift Contentment (Su): At 6th level, a revenant manipulator can activate his aura of contentment as a swift action, rather than as a move action.
Fascinating Stare (Sp): Beginning at 7th level, as a swift action, by expending 1 blood point, a revenant manipulator can cause the target of his hypnotic stare to be forced to succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the revenant manipulator’s class level + the revenant manipulator’s Charisma modifier) or become fascinated by the revenant manipulator. If he successfully fascinates the creature, that creature suffers a –4 penalty on all Will saves made to resist mind-affecting effects from the revenant manipulator for as long as she remains fascinated. Additionally, the revenant manipulator can force the target to forget being fascinated in this way in the same way that he forces a target to forget the effects of his hypnotic stare. This is a mind-affecting compulsion effect.
Charming Stare (Sp): Beginning at 11th level, as a swift action, by expending 2 blood points, a revenant manipulator can affect the target of his hypnotic stare as though with the spell charm monster, except that the saving throw DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the revenant manipulator’s class level + the revenant manipulator’s Charisma modifier. The effect persists even after the target ceases to be the target of his hypnotic stare. Additionally, even after the effect ends, the target’s attitude is permanently increased by one step (to a maximum of helpful). The revenant manipulator’s caster level for this effect is equal to his class level.
Glib Lie (Su): At 11th level, a revenant manipulator can deceive truth-detecting magic. A creature using this sort of magic against the revenant manipulator must succeed at a caster level check against a DC of 15 + the revenant manipulator's class level to succeed (as if the revenant manipulator were under the effect of a glibness spell); failure means the magic doesn't detect the revenant manipulator's lies or force him to speak only the truth. This ability does not give the revenant manipulator the glibness spell's bonus on Bluff checks.
Endless Contentment (Su): At 14th level, as a swift action, the revenant manipulator can expend 1 blood point in order to increase his daily number of rounds of his aura of contentment ability by an amount equal to his Charisma modifier.
Suggestive Stare (Sp): Beginning at 15th level, as a swift action, by expending 2 blood points, a revenant manipulator can affect the target of his hypnotic stare as though with the spell suggestion, except that the saving throw DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the revenant manipulator’s class level + the revenant manipulator’s Charisma modifier. The effect persists even after the target ceases to be the target of his hypnotic stare. Additionally, the revenant manipulator can force the target to forget performing the suggested action in the same way that he forces a target to forget the effects of his hypnotic stare. The revenant manipulator’s caster level for this effect is equal to his class level.
Domineering Stare (Sp): Beginning at 19th level, by expending 3 blood points, a revenant manipulator can affect the target of his hypnotic stare as though with the spell dominate person, except that the saving throw DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the revenant manipulator’s class level + the revenant manipulator’s Charisma modifier. Creatures of the fey, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, and outsider types can be affected by this ability, but gain a +4 bonus on their saving throws. Creatures of the animal type can be affected as though they were humanoids. The effect persists even after the target ceases to be the target of his hypnotic stare. Additionally, the revenant manipulator can force the target to forget some or all of the time it was dominated in the same way that he forces a target to forget the effects of his hypnotic stare. The revenant manipulator’s caster level for this effect is equal to his class level.
Hypnotic Resurrection (Su): At 20th level, when a revenant manipulator is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, he can attempt to implant his psyche into a living creature within 30 feet. That creature must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the revenant manipulator’s class level + the revenant manipulator’s Charisma modifier) or be affected as though by the spell riding possessionOA, with an indefinite duration. Once per day, while riding in the target’s psyche, the revenant manipulator can attempt to take control, changing the effect to function as possessionOA until the next dawn. The target is entitled to a Will save (same DC) to remain in control. If the revenant manipulator successfully gains control for three consecutive days, the target’s mind is permanently erased, and the creature’s body transmutes into an exact copy of the revenant manipultor's over the course of 24 hours, leaving him with statistics identical to those he had when he was reduced to 0 hit points and first used this ability. Any effect that ends the riding possession or possession effect before this occurs erases his psyche from the target’s mind, causing him to truly die.