Vermin Lord

While most druids deal with plants and animals alone, there are some who look to the lowly insect as an ally. Mindless, yet possessed of great strength and endurance, insects, arachnids, and other vermin have the ability to form swarms, are tireless, and cannot be controlled by normal spells – in short, they are perfect minions. The rats of the alleys, the spiders of the crawlspaces, the locusts of the wild are all allies of the Vermin Lord; they provide him with valuable helpers and a virtual army to do his will.

Unlike other druids, Vermin Lords do not shun civilization – in fact, many of them live in cities, as these are the best places to find rats, bats, centipedes, and other creepy-crawlies. Some even live underground, where they are surrounded by subterranean beetles and centipedes.

Vermin Lords are often quite distinctive – they usually have vermin of some sort on or around them, their clothing is usually filthy from frequenting areas where vermin can be found, and they are often unwashed themselves. They typically shun contact with other beings of their race in favor of their vermin companions.

Most Vermin Lords are druids, though some few rangers or clerics of nature gods have been known to follow this path also.

Hit Dice: d8.

Requirements

To qualify to become a Vermin Lord (VLd), the character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Skills: Knowledge (nature) 9 ranks

Spellcasting: Ability to cast 3rd level divine spells.

Class Skills
The Vermin Lord's class skills are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Search (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points Per Level: 4 + Int modifier



Table 1: The Vermin Lord
Level Base
Attack Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special Spells Per Day
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Speak with vermin, immunity
to disease, vermin companion
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Summon greater swarm +1 level of existing class
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Giant vermin
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Wild shape (vermin) +1 level of existing class
5th +3 +4 +2 +4 Summon vermin
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Control vermin +1 level of existing class
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Wild shape (vermin swarm)
8th +6 +6 +3 +6 Summon multiple swarms +1 level of existing class
9th +6 +6 +3 +6 Awaken vermin
10th +7 +7 +4 +7 Vermin resurrection +1 level of existing class


Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Vermin Lord.

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

Speak with Vermin (Su): A Vermin Lord can speak with vermin as if he were employing the speak with animals spell. Since most vermin are unintelligent, the Lord can gain little real information, but he can sense emotions from them – hunger, fear, hatred, etc.

Immunity to Disease (Ex): Due to the conditions in which he (often) resides and his association with disease-bearing vermin, the Vermin Lord gains immunity to all nonmagical diseases.

Vermin Companion (Ex): The Vermin Lord can exchange his current animal companion, if he has one, for a creature of the vermin type (use the Improved Animal Companion charts for creatures of comparative power). The companion gains abilities based on the Vermin Lord's class levels + druid levels.

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 a character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a Vermin Lord, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.

Summon Greater Swarm (Sp): When casting the summon swarm spell, the Vermin Lord can summon any kind of swarm, not just rats, bats, or spiders. He cannot summon a hellwasp swarm, however.

Giant Vermin (Sp): The Vermin Lord can cast the giant vermin spell once per day as a spell-like ability.

Wild Shape (Vermin) (Su): This is identical to the druid wild shape ability, but the Vermin Lord can change form into a vermin. This ability is usable once per day if he does not already have the wild shape ability; otherwise it is treated as a new form (which doesn't count against the maximum) and the Vermin Lord gets another wild shape use per day.

Summon Vermin (Sp): The Vermin Lord can summon a vermin of the appropriate power level when casting summon nature's ally I-IX instead of an animal or elemental. All other criteria for the spell remain the same.

Control Vermin (Su): The Vermin Lord can exert control over a number of unintelligent vermin (summoned or not) equal to his character level. This requires a full round action; he must make an opposed Cha check vs. the targets' Will saves. If the Vermin Lord wins, he can control the vermin for up to one round per class level, as if he had summoned them (he can control one vermin per class level whose ECL does not exceed 1/3 his combined class and druid levels). A given vermin (or vermin swarm) can be controlled only once per day. The Vermin Lord can also seize control of vermin summoned by another source; in this case, the controller must make the Will save. A failed save means the Vermin Lord has taken control, but the spell's duration does not change.

Wild Shape (Vermin Swarm) (Su): This is identical to the druid wild shape ability, but the Vermin Lord can change form into a vermin swarm. This ability is usable once per day if he does not already have the wild shape ability; otherwise it is treated as a new form and the Vermin Lord gets another wild shape use per day.

Summon Multiple Swarms (Ex): When casting the summon swarm spell, the Vermin Lord can summon 1d4+1 lesser (rat, bat, spider) swarms, or 1d3 greater (centipede, hornet, locust) swarms.

Awaken Vermin (Su): Once per point of his Wis bonus each month, a Vermin Lord can grant a nonintelligent vermin intelligence, as if he were casting the awaken spell. This ability cannot be used on a swarm or vermin golem.

Vermin Resurrection (Su): If the Vermin Lord is reduced to his death threshold, the body collapses into a vermin swarm – a mass of small insects, rats, etc, which immediately scatters. If even one member of the swarm escapes (i.e., the entire swarm is not captured, or destroyed via area of effect spells), the Vermin Lord can reform one month later, though he loses a level in so doing. The Vermin Lord cannot discorporate if his body is completely destroyed – via disintegration, destruction, etc. – as there is nothing left to form a swarm.

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