Divine Soldier (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||As a boy, me father said I could earn Moradin's favor through prayer and deed. I thought he was screw-loose. But look at me now!||”|
|—Ulftor, Dwarf Divine Soldier, overheard at an inn in Greyhawk|
Divine Soldiers are mortals who have made a promise to their gods to do their bidding, and in exchange have won their favor. The deity of a divine soldier siphons the soldier some of their divine power, which manifests itself as improved skill and magical ability. Divine Soldiers are always on the lookout for a chance to serve their deities will, whether by assisting fellow worshipers or slaying opposing factions. When performing acts of heroism (or anti-heroism), they are quick to give credit to their deities, on the off chance some impressed by-standers may convert.
Becoming a Divine Soldier
It is simple to become a Divine Soldier. The gods often try to influence the material plane, and will usually take any chance they can get to put another piece on the chessboard. Of course, any deity knows a heretic when they see one, so only the truly devoted are accepted. Soldiers of chaotic gods are usually rangers or barbarians. Lawful gods usually recruit from the ranks of paladins and fighters. Clerics and favored souls cannot become divine soldiers, as they are already in the service of their deity. Any class can become a divine soldier, albeit usually at higher levels than the 4 mentioned above.
|Alignment:||same as deity.|
|Base Attack Bonus:||+5.|
|Skills:||Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks.|
|Feats:||proficiency with patron deity's favored weapon.|
|Patron:||Any deity capable of granting spells to clerics.|
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+2||1st Domain, Damage Reduction 1|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+3||Deity's Weapon Focus|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+3||Spell Like Ablities: 2nd Lv. 1/day|
|4th||+4||+4||+1||+4||2nd Domain, Damage Reduction 2|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+5||Deity's Weapon Specialization|
|6th||+6||+5||+2||+5||Spell Like Abilities: 2nd Lv. 2/day, 4th LV. 1/day|
|7th||+7||+5||+2||+5||Greater Deity's Weapon Focus, 3rd Domain|
|8th||+8||+6||+2||+6||Damage Reduction 3|
|9th||+9||+6||+3||+6||Spell Like Abilities: 2nd Lv. 3/day, 4th Lv. 2/day, 8th Lv. 1/day|
|10th||+10||+7||+3||+7||Greater Deity's Weapon Specialization, 4th Domain|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the Divine Soldier.
Damage Reduction (Su): At level 1 a divine soldier gains a damage reduction of 1. This is a supernatural ability. The damage reduction is overcome by silver if the soldier is lawful, or cold iron if the soldier is chaotic. This improves to 2 at 4th level, and 3 at 8th level
Domains: At 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th level, a Divine Soldier gains a domain, like the domains a cleric can choose. Like the cleric, a divine soldier must choose one of his deity's associated domains. The divine soldier gains no spellcasting ability on account of these domains, only the granted power.
Deity'y Weapon Focus: At level 2 the divine soldier gains the feat Weapon Focus for the deity's favored weapon. If he already has this feat, he may choose another from the fighter bonus feat list.
Spell Like Abilities (Sp): At 3rd level a Divine Soldier can cast a spell from one of his domains, of 2nd level or lower, as a spell-like ability, once per day. This increases to twice per day at at 6th level, and three times at 9th. In addition, at 6th level, he can cast a spell of 4th level or lower once per day as a spell-like ability, also chosen from one of his domains. This improves to twice a day at 9th level. Similarly, at 9th level, he may cast 1 spell of of 8th level or lower as a spell-like ability, chosen from one of his domains, once per day. These all apply, a lv. 9 divine soldier will have 3 spell-like abilities. He cannot change his choice of spells, except upon gaining a divine soldier level in which he gains a new spell-like ability or access to a new domain. Caster level is equal to class level, and dcs are charisma-based.
Deity's Weapon Specialization: At 5th level, a divine soldier gains Weapon Specialization with his patron deity's favored weapon as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisits. If he already has this feat, he may chose another from the fighter bonus feat list.
Greater Deity's Weapon Focus: At 7th level, a divine soldier gains Greater Weapon Focus with his deity's favored weapon as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisits. If he already has this feat, he may chose another from the fighter bonus feat list.
Greater Deity's Weapon Specialization: At 10th level, a divine soldier gains Greater Weapon Specialization with his deity's favored weapon as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisits. If he already has this feat, he may chose another from the fighter bonus feat list.
If a Divine Soldier acts in a way that contradicts the dogma of his deity, purposefully changes his alignment, or if the harms or refuses assistance to a fellow worshiper (assuming the god wishes his followers to work together), or ceases to revere his deity, he loses all class features, including all spell like abilities, domain granted powers, and any bonus feats gained at levels 2, 5, 7, and 10 cease to function (if the divine soldier took a different feat because he already had the normal one, the feat he took as a bonus feat ceases to function. Any feats he took which include a non-functioning feat in the prerequisits also cease to function). He can no longer advance as a Divine Soldier. If he atones, (see Atonement), and does one deed (or more, for colder deities) that pleases the deity, his class features return, and he can continue advancing in the class.
If a Divine Soldier's alignment changes against his will to farther than one step away from his deity's, (Lawful Good to Lawful Evil, Chaotic Evil to Neutral Good etc.), then he loses all class features and cannot continue to advance, as above, but in order to atone he merely has to correct his alignment. While he does not require the Atonement spell, that is the most likely way he will restore his former alignment. If he commits acts like those described above while his alignment is changed, the DM decides whether or not the deity forgives these acts as results of his new alignment. If the DM decides the deity does not forgive, refer to the above atonement procedure. The Neutral alignment counts as two away from deities that are lawful neutral, chaotic neutral, neutral good, or neutral evil.
If a Divine Soldier's alignment changes against his will to only one step away from his deity's (Lawful Good to Neutral Good, Neutral to Chaotic Neutral, etc.) he cannot continue to to advance as a Divine Soldier, but retains all class features. To atone, he need only reverse his alignment change.
Playing a Divine Soldier
Combat: A Divine Soldier usually takes an active roll in combat, entering melee to take advantage of his impressive skill with his weapon. His spellcasting is limited, but as it is based on spell-like abilities, which take a swift action, he can cast and fight at the same time.
Advancement: The best fits for this class are barbarian, fighter, paladin, and ranger slightly less than the others. Other classes are less suited to being divine soldiers, but still eligable.
Resources: The Divine Soldier is often a wandering vigilante, but any church of his faith that recognizes him will be immediately helpful. Good Divine Soldiers may also find help with groups of paladins.
Divine Soldiers in the World
Divine Soldiers of deities like Heironeous fit well into the typical "slay the bad guy" campaigns, and soldiers of deities like Olidammara fit well into intrigue campaigns. For anti-hero campaigns, servents of deities like Nerul fit right in. They will also make good villians in other campaigns. An important role-play aspect of the Divine Soldier is that he must serve his deity first, and the party second. This may complicate things, but that's not neccessarily a bad thing. NPC Divine Soldiers may be enlisted in the PC's cause if it involes facing an enemy he shares with them.
NPC Reactions: An NPC who worships the same or similar deity will be freindly, but one who worships an opposing deity will be unfreindly, and for good reasons. Divine Soldiers, even those of distant, uncaring gods like Boccob, tend toward fanatacism, zealotry, and most often, violence.
Divine Soldier Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (religion) can research Divine Soldiers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||This is a Divine Soldier. They are devoted worshipers and strong warriors. They make a point of weilding their deity's favored weapon.|
|16||Divine Soldiers of all full-fledged deities exist. They have magical abilities, depending on the deity.|
|21||Their magic cannot be used often, but it can be used swiftly. Divine Soldiers' favored tactic is to wade into melee and sling spells simultaneously.|
|26||Divine Soldiers will lose their power if they fall from grace, and change of alignment can block their powers, if it is severe enough. Slight change will cut them off, but they will retain the power they already have as long as they are still in their god's favor.|
Divine Soldiers in the Game
NPC Divine Soldiers are zealots, and evil ones make excelent antagonists.
Adaptation: Any campaign in which there exists a church with an agenda is viable background for an NPC Divine Soldier. PC Divine Soldiers will take quests that suit their values, if there isn't a better alternative way for them to occupy their time.