Every year, we try to provide some support for content from other third-party publishers, both to showcase cool things you may not have seen, and to promote cross-company design within the industry. This year, we decided to go to our fans and ask what classes from other publishers you wanted to see get a Necromancers of the Northwest archetype, and by far the most common answer was the direlock. This fascinating class from Forest Guardian Press has a very unique combat style, and one thing that stuck out to me was the dire zone. I wanted to see a version of the class that got to extend the dire zone a bit further, and make it a bit more of a dire place that enemies wanted to avoid, which is exactly what this week’s archetype, the fell caller, is all about.
New Direlock Archetype
While the dire zone of all direlocks is a fearsome place, some direlocks specialize in using this field of malignant energy to hamper and harm their foes, drawing opponents in close, and then trapping them in a nightmarish hellscape of pain.
Fell Zone (Su): A fell caller’s dire zone extends further than that of other direlocks, and impedes foes in more direct ways. The zone begins as a 10-foot radius emanation centered on the fell caller at 1st level. At 3rd level, and every two levels thereafter, the radius of the fell zone increases by an additional 5 feet, and at 20th level, it increases to a 60-foot radius.
As long as the fell caller has at least one point remaining in her dire pool, opponents treat the area within the fell caller’s dire zone as difficult terrain, but only for the purposes of moving away from the fell caller (movement that decreases the distance between the opponent and the fell caller, or which does not change the distance between them, is unaffected).
Beginning at 5th level, any creature flying within the fell caller’s dire zone is treated as though subjected to windstorm-level wind speeds (imposing a –8 penalty on Fly checks, forcing creatures of Medium size or smaller to succeed on a DC 20 Fly check or be unable to move, and forcing creatures of Small or smaller size to succeed on a DC 25 Fly check or be blown back 2d6 x 10 feet and take 2d6 points of nonlethal damage). These wind effects apply only if the creature attempts to move away from the fell caller, as outlined above. Other aspects of high winds, such as extinguishing fires or interfering with ranged attacks, do not apply.
At 9th level, it costs three squares of movement per square for a land-bound, burrowing, or swimming opponent to move away from the fell caller, and flying creatures are subject to hurricane-level wind speeds.
At 13th level, opponents attempting to use teleportation to leave a fell caller’s fell zone must succeed on a caster level check (DC 11 + the fell caller’s caster level), or the teleportation effect fails.
A fell caller’s fell zone is treated the same as other direlocks’ dire zones for the purposes of class features that interact with the dire zone.
This ability replaces the dire zone class feature.
Call Out (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, as a standard action, a fell caller can choose a single opponent that can see and hear her, and call out a dread challenge to that foe. The fell caller gains a +2 morale bonus to AC against attacks made by the chosen opponent. At 6th level, and every four levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +1 (to a maximum of +6 at 18th level). This bonus lasts for one minute. The fell caller cannot use this ability on another creature until this time has elapsed, or until the original target has been slain.
At 6th level, whenever the fell caller uses this ability, she can expend one point from her dire pool. If she does, then at the beginning of the target’s next turn, that creature must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the fell caller’s direlock level + the fell caller’s Charisma modifier) or be compelled to move as close to the fell caller as possible that round. If the target is able to reach the fell caller, and has the remaining actions to do so, he can attack her if he desires. This ability cannot compel a creature to take harmful actions to reach the fell caller (such as swimming through lava to reach her).
Beginning at 10th level, any creature that fails the Will save and is compelled to move towards the fell caller also suffers a –2 morale penalty on attack and damage rolls made against creatures other than the fell caller. This penalty lasts for one minute.
This ability replaces the dire sense class feature.
Eldritch Pull (Su): At 9th level, a fell caller can draw on dark forces to physically pull opponents within her fell zone towards her. As a standard action, the fell caller can expend 2 points from her dire pool in order to make a single drag combat maneuver check, using her Charisma modifier in place of her Strength modifier, and her class level in place of her base attack bonus. She applies the result to each opponent within her fell zone. Opponents affected by this ability are drawn towards the fell caller as though with a successful drag combat maneuver, although the fell caller herself may not move as part of this special action. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity, nor does using this ability provoke attacks of opportunity from creatures that threaten the fell caller.
This ability replaces the ravening strike class feature.
Dark Sanctuary (Su): At 13th level, as an immediate action, a fell caller can expend one point from her dire pool in order to gain a profane bonus to AC equal to her Charisma modifier until the beginning of her next turn. Additionally, during this time, any creature within her fell zone that successfully damages her suffers 2d6 points of damage. This damage is untyped, and not subject to damage reduction or resistance.
This ability replaces the dire presence class feature.
Fell Doom (Su): At 20th level, as long as a fell caller has at least one point in her dire pool, each opponent within her fell zone at the start of her turn each round must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 her direlock level + her Charisma modifier) or suffer 4d6 points of damage. This damage is untyped, and not subject to damage reduction or resistance.
This ability replaces the true direlock class feature.