Souleater

Souleaters are assassins created far back in the mists of time by a forgotten god or murder, raised from the ranks of his clergy. Using ancient and secret methods now known only to a very few, their souls are drawn out of their bodies in an initiation ritual. If the person's faith in his god is strong, he does not die, but instead becomes a soulless being – a Souleater. If his faith is lacking, he merely dies, and his soul is subsequently destroyed.

It is rumored that Souleaters are not even human; there is certainly no proof to the contrary – the few fragmentary descriptions of these legendary assassins depict them as lone figures always dressed in black robes with deeply cowled hoods hiding their features. They always speak in sibilant whispers, and what little is ever seen of them (usually just their hands, when they wield their deadly garrotes) does not appear human. No one has ever been able to prove the rumors one way or the other; those few who have actually managed to kill a Souleater were dismayed to find that the body evaporates into a black mist. Divination magics designed to detect the presence of life or undeath are extremely vague; it is known that Souleaters are not constructs, but they do not appear to have souls of their own. They are definitely not undead, however, but something trapped between life and death. Some scholars have postulated that their lack of a soul is why (or how) they devour the souls of others – they need the essence of life to keep themselves going.

All Souleaters are high-level clerics; their transformation does not unduly affect their ability to cast spells, though they rely more on their unnatural abilities than their magics. Most also have levels in rogue, monk, and/or Assassin.

Note: This class is not recommended for player use. Souleaters should be used only as NPCs to challenge the players.

Hit Die: d8.

Requirements

To qualify to become a Souleater (Soe), the character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any evil

Patron Deity: God of Murder

Skills: Knowledge (religion) 18 ranks, Stealth 11 ranks

Feats: Weapon Group Proficiency (garrotes)

Spells: Ability to cast 8th level spells from the Death domain.

Special: Must craft a garrote of souls and use it to slay a sentient victim. Must undergo the initiation rite (see above).

Class Skills

The Souleater's class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana, religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), and Stealth (Dex).

Skill Points Per Level: 6 + Int modifier



Table 1: The Souleater
Level Attack Bonus Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special Spells Per Day
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Soulless, dissolving form, soul leech
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Death attack +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Neckbreaker, silent
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Soul reaver +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
5th +3 +2 +4 +4 Rapid death attack, unnatural aura
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Improvised garrote +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Strike to the soul, dark speech
8th +6 +3 +6 +6 Shadow walk +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
9th +6 +3 +6 +6 Black rumal, fear aura
10th +7 +4 +7 +7 Devour the soul +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class


Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Souleater.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Souleater gains no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

Soulless (Ex): As soulless beings, Souleaters gain a number of benefits and drawbacks. They are immune to all ability damage/drain, energy drain, and spells and effects that affect the soul (including, but not limited to, spells like trap the soul). They are not affected by cure or inflict spells of any kind (the only way a Souleater can heal damage is by devouring souls or soul energy), and cannot regain hit points naturally, through rest. They cannot be raised or resurrected, even with a wish or miracle. Souleaters cannot be detected by spells or abilities that detect the presence of living or undead beings, as they are neither.

Dissolving Form (Ex): When a Souleater dies, his body immediately dissolves into a black mist, which dissipates in one round.

Soul Leech (Su): When a Souleater kills a victim with his garrote of souls, he feeds on part of the life essence (whether or not the soul is sucked into the garrote). The Souleater gains 5 hit points of healing per HD of each victim. Such victims, if raised, lose two levels instead of the normal one; the second lost level is from the soul leech (note: a 1 HD creature killed this way cannot be raised). Any hit points gained in excess of his maximum are temporary hit points.

Death Attack: This is exactly like the Assassin ability of the same name. The Souleater can add any Assassin levels he has to his class level when calculating the save DC.

Spells Per Day: At the indicated levels, the character gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of controlling or rebuking undead, metamagic feats, etc.), except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If the character had more than one divine spellcasting class before becoming a Souleater, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.

Neckbreaker (Ex): If the Souleater makes a death attack (or a critical hit, if he is not performing a death attack) with a garrote of souls, the victim must make a Fort save (DC 10 + Souleater's combined class and Assassin levels + Str modifier) or die from a broken neck.

Silent (Su): Souleaters automatically succeed at any Stealth check they make to move silently.

Soul Reaver (Su): When making a death attack with any weapon other than his garrote, the Souleater can choose to drain a Hit Die with a successful strike. The save to avoid this effect is the same as for a normal death attack. The Souleater gains 5 hit points of healing from the lost Hit Die. Any hit points gained in excess of his maximum are temporary hit points.

Rapid Death Attack (Ex): A Souleater need only study his victim for 2 rounds to perform a death attack. At 8th level, the study time is reduced to 1 round.

Unnatural Aura (Su): Animals, whether wild or domesticated, can sense the unnatural presence of a Souleater at a range of 20 feet. They will not willingly approach nearer than that and will panic if forced to do so; they remain panicked as long as they are within that range.

Improvised Garrote (Ex): A Souleater can improvise a garrote from any suitable piece of material – a length of wire or rope, a strip of cloth, etc. All abilities gained through use of the Souleater's special garrote, except for Soul Leech and Devour the Soul, can be used with this improvised weapon as well.

Strike to the Soul (Su): If the Souleater has a bit of his target's blood on a weapon and uses it to attack the target, he bypasses any damage reduction when making a death attack.

Dark Speech (Su): A Souleater's power is such that even its soft speech can strike fear into the hearts of those who hear it. Any living beings within 30 feet who hear a Souleater speak must make a Will save (DC 10 + class level + Cha modifier) or be shaken for 3d4 rounds. A given being can be affected only once in a given 24-period by a Souleater's speech; a successful save means the being is immune to that Souleater for 24 hours. This is a sonic, mind-affecting effect.

Shadow Walk (Su): Three times per day, a Souleater can transport himself between two areas of shadow, as if he were using a greater teleport spell. Both areas – the origin point and the destination – must be shadows large enough to hide the Souleater; he steps into one as a standard action and is instantly teleported to the other, which must be within 100 miles per class level and on the same plane.

Black Rumal (Su): A Souleater can sacrifice a single divine spell of 5th level or higher and use its energy to create a garrote of black energy. This garrote functions in all ways like a normal garrote; it has an enhancement bonus of +1 per two spell levels, and lasts for 1 round per level of the spell sacrificed.

Fear Aura (Su): A Souleater radiates an aura of malevolence in a 10-foot radius. Any being entering this aura must make a Will save (DC 10 + class level + Cha modifier) or be shaken for as long as it remains in the aura and for 2d4 rounds afterward. A successful save means the creature is immune to that particular Souleater's aura for 24 hours.

If a creature that is shaken (from the Dark Speech ability, e.g.) fails its save against the fear aura, it becomes frightened. If it cannot flee, it suffers a -4 penalty to all attack rolls, saves, skill checks, and ability checks.

Devour the Soul (Su): If a Souleater strangles a victim with a garrote of souls (or breaks the victim's neck with one), he can devour its soul immediately, instead of having it drawn into the garrote. The victim must make a Fort save (DC 10 + Souleater's class level + Int modifier; this is base Fortitude only, no modifiers) to avoid this effect; if the save fails, the Souleater devours the soul, gaining 5 points of healing per Hit Die and/or class level of the victim; the victim's soul is permanently destroyed and cannot be recalled by any means, even a wish. Any hit points gained in excess of his maximum are temporary hit points. This ability does not stack with Soul Leech.

Spells and effects that protect the soul, like an amulet of life protection, prevent this effect.

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