Cultist, Variant (3.5e Class)

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A worshiper of gods forbidden in their homeland, the cultist works to bring light, or darkness, to their lands. Some work to undermine evil governments, saving the good from the forces of evil. Others seek to topple good governments, and sow death and destruction in their wake.

Making a Cultist[edit]

Cultists work well as in place of, or with other divine spell casters. Thanks to their increased turning abilities, they are able to work well in place of a paladin for destroying undead. Their mastery of Divine magic helps them in the casting place of a Cleric, but their lack of armor makes them ineffective melee combatants.

Abilities: Wisdom, as their casting stat is very important. Charisma helps with avoiding detection, and with convincing others to see things their way. Con, and Dex help with their fragile defenses.

Races: Those oppressed, seeking to work against the greater forces are drawn to being a cultist. Humans are fairly common, but one can find cultists, should they look hard enough, in almost any intelligent species.

Alignment: Their alignment, like a cleric, must be within one step of the deity they worship.

Starting Gold: 3d6x10 gp average starting gold: 90 GP

Starting Age: Simple

Table: The Cultist

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Divine Meta-Magic, Spread Taint, Turn or Rebuke Undead. 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 5 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 6 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Improved Turning 6 6 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Bonus Feat 6 7 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 6 7 6 4 0 0 0 0 0 0
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 6 7 7 5 0 0 0 0 0 0
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 6 7 7 6 4 0 0 0 0 0
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 6 7 7 7 5 0 0 0 0 0
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Bonus Feat 6 7 7 7 6 4 0 0 0 0
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 6 7 7 7 7 5 0 0 0 0
12th +6 +4 +4 +8 6 7 7 7 7 6 4 0 0 0
13th +6 +4 +4 +8 6 7 7 7 7 7 5 0 0 0
14th +7 +4 +4 +9 6 7 7 7 7 7 6 4 0 0
15th +7 +5 +5 +9 Bonus Feat 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 6 0 0
16th +8 +5 +5 +10 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 6 4 0
17th +8 +5 +5 +10 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 5 0
18th +9 +6 +6 +11 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 6 4
19th +9 +6 +6 +11 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 5
20th +10 +6 +6 +12 Bonus Feat 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Charisma), Climb (strength), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Charisma), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Charisma), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Charisma), Heal (Wisdom), Hide (Dex), Jump (Strength), and the Knowledge Skills (Each taken separately).

Class Features[edit]

Cultists are a different breed of Cleric, working in the dark to aid the light. Relying on good judgement, quick thinking, and moving, the Cultist is mobile and deceptive. All of the following are class features of the Cultist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: While able to use Simple Weapons, they are unable to use any armor.

Turn or Rebuke Undead (Su): Any cultist, regardless of alignment, has the power to affect undead creatures by channeling the power of his faith through his holy (or unholy) symbol (see Turn or Rebuke Undead).

A good cultist (or a neutral cultist who worships a good deity) can turn or destroy undead creatures. An evil cultist (or a neutral cultist who worships an evil deity) instead rebukes or commands such creatures. A neutral cultist of a neutral deity must choose whether his turning ability functions as that of a good cultist or an evil cultist. Once this choice is made, it cannot be reversed. This decision also determines whether the cultist can cast cure or inflict spells.

A Cultist may attempt to turn undead a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier. A cultist with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) gets a +2 bonus on turning checks against undead.

Bonus Feats: Use the Wizard's Bonus feat list, with the addition of Divine Metamagic.

Spread Taint: A cultist spreads the domain of their deity where ever he goes. At first level, a cultist must choose either Evil, Good, Law, or Chaos. The Cultist is the center point of the taint, it reaching out in a circle with a diameter of 5 times the cultist's cultist level. As a cultist gains levels, he becomes a stronger beacon of the power of their deity. Utilize the UA: Taint alternate rule for this skill. The cultist is considered to have embraced taint, even while his taint score is less than 10. For every 5 levels, the saves against the Taint is increased by 2. (( ))

Spells: The Cultist relies on their Wisdom for both the strength of their spells, and to determine what spells they can cast. Cultists choose their spells from the Cleric's spell list. They also gain three domains, to a cleric's two.


A Cultist who violates the tenants of their gods lose their magic related powers until either they use the atonement spell, or find a new god to restore their powers. Unlike a Cleric, a Cultist who finds a new god doesn't need to start retaking levels in cultist for that god, and uses their pre-existing cultist levels.

Epic Cultist[edit]

Table: The Epic Cultists

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
23rd Bonus Feat
26th Bonus Feat
29th Bonus Feat
*4+ Int modifier skill points per level.

Bonus Feats: Take Bonus feats from the Wizard Bonus feat list, with the addition of Divine Metamagic.

Bonus Feats: The epic Cultist gains a bonus feat every 3 levels after 20th.

Epic Cultist Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Bonus Domain, Enhance Spell, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Ignore Material Components, Improved Alignment-Based Casting, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Multispell, Negative Energy Burst, Permanent Emanation, Planar Turning, Positive Energy Aura, Spectral Strike, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity, Spontaneous Domain Access, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic, Undead Mastery, Zone of Animation.

Human Cultist Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Wooden Club, holy symbol.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Climb 2 Str -
Knowledge (Religion) 2 Int -
Disguise 2 Charisma -

Feat: Empower Turning

Bonus Feats: Quicken Spell, Human Bonus Feat: Able Learner

Gear: Robes, disguise kit, holy symbol.

Gold: 90 GP.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Cultist[edit]

Religion: Cultists worship whatever god they feel devoted to, normally gods that are either frowned upon in the area, or outlawed.

Other Classes: Cultists normally look upon most others with suspicion until they earn their trust. Paladins, and Cleric of their religion earn their trust much easier than others. Rouges, and other stealth based classes are the hardest for an Cultist to trust.

Combat: Cultist work well as scouts, and for filling in roles where divine magic is needed. Neutral Cultists with negative energy manipulation work well with Positive Energy Clerics, allowing the Cleric to focus on heals, and buffs, while the Cultist works on Debuffs, and damage.

Advancement: Cultists sometimes advance into classes that advance divine spell casting progression. Those with a darker inclination may take up True Necromancy, working to unleash a horde of undead for their god.

Cultists in the World[edit]

"Surprise, I trained the peasants how to use magic, and weapons, and they, are, pissed."
—Havel, Human Cultist

Cultists spring up in either peaceful kingdoms, or ruthless Tyrannies. They enjoy spreading their faith where they shouldn't, or doing things that need to be done in secret.

Daily Life: A cultist's life is that of a farce, deception, and cunning. They try to bring new sheep into the fold, get important ingredients for rituals, or something else to further their sect's agenda. It all depends on the Cultist in question.

Notables: None, yet.

Organizations: Where there is one cultist, given enough time, they'll create more. Either though brain washing, or evangelizing, they will draw more to their sect. It normally starts out as one, or two people starting the cult, and it catching on like wildfire, especially in areas lacking hope.

NPC Reactions: Many NPCS mistake Cultists for clerics, or for Archivists if they learn of their magical abilities. Those that learn what they truly are may either attempt to aid them, seeing their cause as just, or alert the local authorities to deal with them, should they be a more dubious cult.

Cultist Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Local) can research Cultists to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Local), Knowledge (History), Knowledge (Religion).
DC Result
5 Cultist are Divine Spellcasters, like Clerics.
10 Cultists prefer to work from the shadows.
15 Cultists take up the mantle of a cultist to spread a religion in an area that forbids the worship of their god. As such, depending on their homeland, one can hazard a guess at who they serve.
20 Cultists are weak to strong ranged attacks, as they can't wear heavy armor. They also rely on stealth, and deception. Magical detection, and strong ranged attacks are how one easily roots them out.

<-pluralized class name-> in the Game[edit]

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