Iceheart

Icehearts are the archetypal cold-blooded killers - passionless, emotionless, and implacable, they strike with surgical precision and ruthless efficiency. The old saying about having icewater in one's veins applies here, almost literally. They typically serve as assassins, though some are employed as bounty hunters or sent on missions to recover people and/or items.

Icehearts are always pale-skinned, no matter how much sun they see, and their skin is always cold to the touch. Their eyes are always a clear, deep blue, no matter what color they were before their transformation (see below). They rarely, if ever, show emotion (indeed, they are nearly incapable of it), and seldom speak above a normal, flat, tone of voice.

To become an Iceheart, one must undergo the Trial of Endurance, a series of tests that include spending several days in a cold environment with no protection from the elements beyond normal clothes; killing a cold beast, like a yeti or winter wolf, and drinking its blood; and swimming naked in near-freezing waters. Many die during the tests, and many more drop out, but those who persevere partake of a special ritual in which they are infused with the power of elemental Ice, completing their transformation into an Iceheart.

Fighters, thieves, and rangers are most likely to become Icehearts, for this class's abilities complement their own the best. Bards never become Icehearts, because the loss of their ability to feel emotion prohibits their ability to make music; likewise, barbarians who become Icehearts lose the ability to rage. By the same token, once a character becomes an Iceheart, he can never take a level in bard. Monks make particularly deadly Icehearts; their strong will combined with the Iceheart's inability to feel emotion makes them formidable foes.

Hit Die: d8.

Requirements

To qualify to become an Iceheart (Ice), a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: LN, N, LE, or NE

Base Will Save: +2

Skills: Intimidate 6 ranks, Survival 6 ranks

Feats: Endurance

Special: Must undertake and survive the Trial of Endurance.

Class Skills

The Iceheart's class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Perception (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), and Survival (Wis).

Skill Points Per Level: 4 + Int modifier



Table 1: The Iceheart
Level Base
Attack Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Cold aura, dispassionate, cold resistance 5
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Ice touch, killing frost
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Arctic chill
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Frost weapon, hibernation
5th +3 +2 +4 +4 Hoar frost, cold resistance 10
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Ice sculpture
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Glaciation
8th +6 +3 +6 +6 Ice armor
9th +6 +3 +6 +6 Cryostasis
10th +7 +4 +7 +7 Ice form, cold resistance 15


Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Iceheart.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Icehearts gain no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

Cold Aura (Ex): Due to the chill that permeates their bodies, Icehearts radiate cold. The temperature in a 5-foot radius around an Iceheart is always 10 degrees colder; this effect ceases only when the Iceheart dies.

Dispassionate (Ex): Icehearts are nearly incapable of feeling emotion. While this makes them implacable killers, it also makes them nearly immune to spells and effects that alter emotions, like fear, the various symbols, the emotion spell, and intimidation. Icehearts gain a resistance bonus equal to their class level to Will saves against such effects. The lack of visible emotion also gives them a +4 circumstance bonus on Intimidate checks.

Conversely, they are also resistant to beneficial effects like bardic music. Each time an Iceheart would be affected by a beneficial effect, she must make a Will save with the bonus noted above, using the normal DC for the effect (for example, a bard's inspire courage would be DC = Perform check). If the save is successful, she remains unaffected. She cannot voluntarily fail this save.

Cold Resistance (Ex): Due to their ties to elemental cold, Icehearts are resistant to its effects. They do not suffer nonlethal damage from cold temperatures, and have cold resistance 5 against all other effects. This increases to resistance 10 at 5th level and resistance 15 at 10th.

Ice Touch (Su): Three times per day, as a standard action, an Iceheart can invoke this power. One of her hands (either one) turns bluish-white and becomes rimed with frost. Attacks made with that hand are considered armed touch attacks and deal +1d4 points of cold damage. She can make one attack per class level before the energy dissipates. In addition, she can freeze liquids with her touch - up to one pint per class level. Freezing liquids counts as a touch attack.

Killing Frost (Su): This is exactly like the Assassin's death attack ability, except for the following: The paralyzing attack inflicts a bone-numbing chill on the victim for 1d6 rounds +1 round per class level, during which he cannot move or take any actions (this effect circumvents items like rings of elemental resistance, and the spells resist energy and protection from energy, because it doesn't actually inflict any damage on the victim). If the victim fails a Fort save (DC 10 + Iceheart's level + Iceheart's Int modifier), he freezes from the inside out.

This ability has no effect on creatures that are immune to cold.

Arctic Chill (Su): Once per day as a standard action, an Iceheart can freeze metal items, as the spell chill metal (there is no save to avoid this effect). A side effect of this ability is that the ambient air temperature in a 20-foot radius around the target plunges to a deep chill (0 degrees F) for 1 minute – all unattended liquids in the area of effect are instantly frozen. Beings who are not protected from cold suffer the normal effects of exposure.

Frost Weapon (Su): Three times per day, as a standard action, an Iceheart can imbue a light or one-handed weapon that she holds with a cold aura for 1 round per class level. The weapon deals +1d6 points of cold damage per strike, as the frost magic weapon ability. She can use this on her hands or natural weapons, but it does not stack with the Ice Touch ability.

Hibernation (Ex): Once per day, the Iceheart can put herself into a state of suspended animation – she is, for all intents and purposes, dead. She appears to have frozen to death – white skin, blue lips, and cold to the touch. Heal checks will not reveal that she is alive, but spells that detect living or dead beings will see through the ruse.

Entering the state of hibernation requires a full minute, after which the Iceheart is only minimally aware of her surroundings – she cannot hear or see, but she has a general sense of what is around her. She can set her internal clock to awaken after a set period of time (up to 1 day per class level), or at a set stimulus – when she is wounded, for example. Awakening requires only a single round, and the Iceheart is not disoriented, but she may need a round to two to get her bearings if she awakens somewhere other than where she entered hibernation. While in this state, she is immune to all spells and effects that affect living beings – poison, disease, energy/ability drain, death effects, etc. Spells with an ongoing duration continue normally (and will usually end before she awakens), but diseases and poisons are merely put into abeyance – they will not harm her, but they are not removed either.

Hoar Frost (Su): Once per day, an Iceheart can suffuse a victim with cold energy simply by making a melee touch attack. The victim, if it fails a Fort save (DC 10 + Iceheart's class level + Int mod), is coated with frost as the energy courses through it, slowing it for 1 round per class level and dealing 1 point of nonlethal cold damage per round. Inflicting 10 or more points of fire damage to a slowed creature will melt the frost, freeing it. Endure elements and similar spells will protect against the cold, but not the slow effect; immunity to cold will protect against both effects.

This ability requires a standard action to manifest and remains active for 1 round per class level or until the Iceheart makes a successful touch attack, whichever comes first.

Ice Sculpture (Su): One of the Iceheart's more renowned skills is the ability to produce items of ice from thin air. To form an item, she summons moisture from the air around her and freezes it into whatever form he desires. Such items cannot be greater than 1 cubic foot in size, though they can be one larger item (a short sword, e.g.) or a number of small ones (ice daggers or darts; a number of items up to the Iceheart's class level can be made).

The time required to create an ice sculpture varies with the climate; desert climates require a full round, while temperate climes (with a normal amount of humidity) require a standard action, and very humid conditions (tropical clime, or a rainstorm) are a move action. An Iceheart can also create items from liquids as a free action - in this case, the item's size cannot exceed 150% of the water volume (water expands when it freezes), to a maximum of 1 cubic foot.

The duration of ice sculptures also varies according to the air temperature. A created item normally lasts for 1 round per Iceheart level; extremely high temps (over 100 degrees F) halve this time, while temps below freezing extend it indefinitely. Items created using this power otherwise behave as normal ice and do damage according to their form (an ice dagger does 1d4, an ice dart does 1d3, etc).

The Iceheart can use this ability any number of times per day to create any number of items until the limit of 1 cubic foot of volume is reached. A rough guideline is: two short swords or light hammers, 6 daggers, or 30 darts/spikes/shuriken.

Glaciation (Su): A more powerful form of the Hoar Frost ability, Glaciation allows the Iceheart to freeze the target in place with a touch attack, as the hold monster spell. A creature who fails its Fort save is coated in ice and cannot move for one full minute, +1 round per Iceheart level. During this time, the creature suffers 1d4 points of nonlethal cold damage per round; when the ice finally melts, it suffers a -2 circumstance penalty to attack rolls, Dex-based skill checks, and Reflex saves for one hour afterward, or until it spends at least 10 minutes in a warm (80 degrees Farenheit) area or suffers at least 15 points of fire damage. Inflicting 15 or more points of fire damage to a held creature will also melt the ice, freeing it, and will negate the penalties. Endure elements and similar spells, or cold immunity, will negate the cold damage but not prevent the hold effect. Glaciation is usable once per day.

This ability requires a standard action to manifest and remains active for 1 round per class level or until the Iceheart makes a successful touch attack, whichever comes first.

Ice Armor (Su): Once per day as a full-round action, the Iceheart can coat herself in a sheathe of icy armor by drawing on moisture from the air around her. When the armor is complete, it provides a +6 armor bonus, immunity to cold-based attacks and magic, and a +4 resistance bonus on saves against fire-based damage. The ice armor is equivalent to hide armor (-2 Dex penalty, -4 Concentration penalty, and x4 max speed). It lasts for 1 minute per class level or until the Iceheart takes 15 or more points of fire damage in a round - any lesser amount can be repaired as a move action by drawing more moisture from the air to repair it.

Cryostasis (Su): Once per week, an Iceheart can flash-freeze a living creature, placing it into a state of suspended animation. The process takes a full minute, during which she must be touching the creature and focusing her will (concentrating). The creature can be conscious or not; if it is, it loses consciousness by the 6th round if it fails the Fort save (see below).

The Iceheart infuses the creature with elemental cold, lowering its life signs and reducing the body's need for oxygen to the point where the heart beats only once per hour. The creature slowly turns blue, then white, as it freezes and becomes hard and cold to the touch. It is, for all intents and purposes, dead – it appears to have frozen to death. Heal checks will not reveal that it is alive, but spells that detect living or dead beings will see through the ruse.

An unwilling creature can make a Fort save (DC 10 + Iceheart's class level + Int modifier) 5 rounds into the process. If the creature makes its save, the Iceheart removes her hands from the body for any reason, or she loses her concentration, the ability fails and is used up for that week. If the save is successful, the creature resists the elemental cold, but it takes 5 full minutes to restore circulation and body functions to normal – during that time, the creature is effectively helpless.

The creature can remain frozen for up to one month per Iceheart class level and can be "stored" at any temperature up to 75 degrees without harm. Prolonged exposure to higher temperatures (over an hour) will cause partial or total defrosting, which can inflict irreparable harm to the victim, since the process was not done properly. This can manifest in a number of ways, including permanent loss of hit points or ability damage, but usually simply results in death.

A limited wish, lesser miracle, or similar spell, or an Iceheart of 9th level or higher, can reverse the process at any time. Once the process has begun, the creature must spend 10 minutes "defrosting" – its core temperature slowly increases and function returns to organs and limbs – before it can act normally. It suffers no harm from being placed in stasis.

A creature in stasis is completely immune to cold and all spells and effects that affect living beings – poison, disease, energy/ability drain, death effects, etc. Any poisons or diseases in its system are placed in abeyance. It has damage resistance 10 to slashing and piercing weapons, since they would have difficulty slashing through its frozen skin. Any wounds inflicted on it do not bleed, further enhancing the illusion that it is dead (though damage still counts toward its hit point total).

Ice Form (Su): At 10th level, an Iceheart can transform her body to living ice. This ability can be used only once per day, as a full-round action. Once the transformation is complete, she gains the Cold subtype and the vulnerability to fire special quality. She can make armed touch attacks that inflict 1d6 cold damage and is immune to some attacks that affect living beings - stunning, poison, paralysis, and all mind-affecting effects; she has moderate resistance to critical hits and sneak attacks. Any Iceheart class abilities employed while in this form gain +2 points per die of damage, and the base DC for saves against such attacks increases to 12. The Iceheart can remain in this state for 1 minute per class level; if she is killed in this form, she shatters into shards of ice and cannot be brought back by any spell short of true resurrection.

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