Maleficus Lamnia

The Maleficus Lamniae (Dark Blades) are a sect of necromancers who have turned their skills to the assassin's arts. They use negative energy to steal abilities and even life energy from random targets or their victims in order to complete a mission - oftentimes this consists of taking the victim's place in order to get closer to someone or something else.

The Dark Blades are very secretive - many of those who have even heard of them doubt they exist - and very protective of that secrecy. They actively hunt down any who display knowledge of them, their membership, or their methods, removing memories and/or killing the person(s) in question to prevent others from finding them.

Many Lamniae are undead - vampires, sorcerer-wights, or even liches - but many are living beings specialized in the arts of magic, thievery, and/or assassination. Lamniae are almost always experienced rogues and/or Assassins, along with being accomplished clerics or (more often) mages. Many have levels in Shadowdancer to increase their stealth abilities as well.

Hit Die: d6.


To qualify to become a Maleficus Lamnia (MaL), the character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any evil

Skills: Disguise 12 ranks, Sleight of Hand 12 ranks, Stealth 15 ranks, Spellcraft 15 ranks

Sneak attack +3d6

Spells: Ability to cast 5th level arcane or divine Necromancy spells.

Class Skills

The Maleficus Lamnia's class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills) (Int), Perception (Wis), Search (Int), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), and Stealth (Dex).

Skill Points Per Level: 6 + Int modifier

Table 1: The Maleficus Lamnia
Level Base
Attack Bonus
Special Spells Per Day
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Steal memories
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Steal physical attributes +1 level of existing class
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Death attack
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Steal skills +1 level of existing class
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Steal mental attributes
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Necromantic death attack +1 level of existing class
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Steal supernatural ability
8th +6 +2 +6 +6 Steal health +1 level of existing class
9th +6 +3 +6 +6 Vampiric death attack
10th +7 +3 +7 +7 Steal arcane knowledge +1 level of existing class

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Maleficus Lamnia.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Maleficus Lamniae gain no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Steal (Su): Once per round as a free action, a Maleficus Lamnia can absorb abilities or attributes from a living being. In order to do so, she must touch the victim (this may require an attack roll); she then gains the chosen ability or attribute. The victim doesn't notice the loss, if applicable, for 1d4 rounds, which enables the Lamnia to escape. The Lamnia can steal multiple abilities from the same target, though each such theft requires a separate touch. All stolen abilities, except for attributes (see below), remain for 24 hours, until the Maleficus Lamnia is rendered unconscious, or until she steals new abilities to replace the old ones. The victim can make a Will save (DC 10 + the Lamnia's class level + Lamnia's Cha modifier) to resist the theft. The Lamnia can also voluntarily "give up" a stolen ability; this requires a standard action and is a simple act of will.

If a Lamnia is subject to another Lamnia's Steal ability, the second Lamnia cannot steal any stolen abilities. For example, if Kessa stole a victim's Con score and used it in place of her own, and then Merrick stole her Con score, he would get her original score, not her altered one. The ability damage applies to her altered score, though, and remains when she regains her original score (which could reduce it to 0).

The Maleficus Lamnia can steal any of the following, but is limited to only one of each at a time (that is, he can steal a target's memories, one physical and mental attribute, one skill, and one supernatural and spell-like ability).

Memories: The Lamnia can steal a memory of an event of up to 10 minutes in length, knowledge relating to a specific item/event/person/etc., command words or passwords, or just about anything else the victim knows (besides spells). Unless the Lamnia is looking for something in specific, she gains a random memory, which grants a +4 bonus on one Knowledge skill in which the victim possesses ranks, or a +2 bonus to Disguise checks when impersonating that victim. Unlike the other Steal abilities, a Lamnia can take more than one memory and can even search for specific memories or knowledge, but in-depth searching requires constant contact and a minute or more to find anything in particular (information that the victim would normally keep secret or hidden is generally harder to find; a rule of thumb is that general knowledge requires 1d6 rounds, specific knowledge requires 5d4 rounds, and hidden knowledge requires 2d4 minutes or more).

Physical Attributes: The Maleficus Lamnia can absorb a victim's Strength, Con, or Dex scores and use either her own or the victim's. This can take one of two forms: either she "borrows" the victim's score and uses it in place of her own, or she actively steals ability points from the victim and uses them to augment her own. In the first case, the victim suffers 2 points of damage to the chosen ability, but the Lamnia gains the ability score for only 1 hour; in the latter, the victim is drained of up to 1 point per two class levels, which the Lamnia adds to her own score for 24 hours. If the victim's ability score(s) is/are reduced to 0, the victim suffers the normal effects of such (paralysis or death, as applicable). A borrowed ability score cannot be more than (class level + 3) points higher than her own; if it is higher, her score is increased to the maximum only.

For example: Lydia the 3rd-level Lamnia chooses to borrow the victim's Strength (18 vs. her 13); she touches him, deals 2 points of Strength damage, and now has an effective score of 18 for the next hour. If his score were 20 or higher, she could only increase her score to 19 (13 + 3 + 3).

Skills: As with physical attributes, the Lamnia can either "borrow" a victim's skill score, in which case he suffers a -4 penalty to that skill and she can use his score in place of her own for 1 hour, or she actively drains 2 ranks per class level from one of the victim's skills, using it to augment her own ability for a full 24 hours. This cannot reduce the victim's number of ranks to below 0, and the Lamnia does not gain any of the victim's bonuses - only skill ranks. If the skill is not already a class skill for her, it is treated as a class skill as long as the points remain viable.

Mental Attributes: The Lamnia can absorb a victim's Int, Wis, or Charisma scores and use either her own or the victim's. This is otherwise identical to stealing physical attributes (see above). Increases in mental stat scores do not grant more spells per day.

Supernatural Ability: The Lamnia can absorb one supernatural ability of the victim's. This is an active theft - victim loses the use of that ability while the Lamnia has it; the DC for the ability is 10 + 1/2 the Lamnia's class level + whichever stat modifier applies to the original ability (usually Cha).

Health: The Lamnia can borrow health from her victim, which deals nonlethal damage to him and grants her temporary hit points, or she can actively absorb health from her victim, which is identical to the vampiric touch spell - it deals lethal damage, and she gains them as healing. In either case, she can steal up to 1d4 hit points per class level, which are automatically added to her own. Any hit points in excess of her maximum are temporary hit points; she can have up 150% of her maximum total, and all excess is lost. A victim drained to 0 hit points falls unconscious and cannot be drained again; if she absorbs health and drains her victim from 1 or more hit points to below his death threshold with one touch, though, he is killed, reduced to a drained husk.

Arcane Knowledge: The Lamnia can absorb any arcane or divine spells or spell-like abilities the subject knows or has prepared, which she gains as spell-like abilities once per day (no matter how often the victim could use them). A quick touch gains a randomly chosen spell; if the Lamnia spends time searching, she can choose which spell(s) or abilities to steal. She must be high enough level and have a high enough ability score to cast the spell or use the spell-like ability in question. She can absorb divine spells if she is an arcane spellcaster (and vice versa) and still be able to use them, but she suffers a 25% chance (-2% per point of the spellcasting bonus used to cast spells of that type) of spell failure.

For example: Lydia (a wizard) steals a divine spell from a cleric; her Wisdom score is only 13, so she has a 23% chance of failure when attempting to cast that spell. She cannot scribe the spell into a scroll or spellbook, but she can use it to craft magical items.

Death Attack (Ex): This is identical to the Assassin ability. If the Lamnia already has death attack from another class, the DC for this ability is increased by +2.

Necromantic Death Attack (Su): The Lamnia can use a ranged touch necromantic spell, like enervation, to deal the death attack. The target makes a single save vs. the death attack's DC; if it succeeds, he avoids both the death attack's effects and those of the spell, while failure subjects him to both effects.

Vampiric Death Attack (Su): when making a death attack (not a necromantic one), the Lamnia can choose to employ any of her Steal abilities in place of the death or paralysis effects. The victim makes a save as normal; a success means he resists the theft, but he still takes damage from the sneak attack.

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