Grave Warden (3.5e Class)
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A strong warrior with minor leadership that draws durability and strength from the undead they revere
Making a Grave Warden
The class is essentially a beefy version of a fighter with large amounts of damage to deal but a very all or nothing fighting style lacking the ability to do multiple hits but with the ability to hit for massive chunks of damage also it is rather poor with ranged weapons and lacks magical capability in any real regard
Abilities: Strength defines this class and dexterity can help with it's reflex or ac but overall it it built for 1 thing hitting very hard.
Races: Humans and other death averse races are likely to pick this class.
Alignment: Any. (tends towards evil)
Starting Gold: 2d6×10 gp (70 gp).
Starting Age: Simple
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+0||Like the Dead|
|4th||+4||+4||+1||+1||Corpse Strength 1|
|7th||+7||+5||+2||+2||Bonus Feat Leadership/Undead Leadership|
|8th||+8||+6||+2||+2||Corpse Strength 2|
|10th||+10/5||+7||+3||+3||Corpse Flesh, +2 Str|
|12th||+12/7||+8||+4||+4||Corpse Strength 3|
|16th||+16/11||+10||+5||+5||Corpse Strength 4|
|19th||+19/14||+11||+6||+6||Corpse Strength 5|
Walking about the crypt and brute force. All of the following are class features of the Grave Warden.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Proficient with all simple and martial weapons and all normal (read as non exotic) armors and shields.
Like the Dead: Grave Wardens have a deep reverence for the undead and seek to become more like them as such their flesh becomes paler and their skin dries and numbs to pain (they ignore 10% of all damage they take which increases by 5% every 5 levels (caps at 30%)). grave wardens also become stiffer (they lose 2ac since they are stiff) and more sluggish but since they lack feeling of pain they hit much harder (grave wardens are capped at a maximum of 2 attacks on a full attack roll but each attack is doubled in damage and healing magic is less effective on them (-25% to healing spell effects heal checks have +5 DC).
Grave Dodger: Grave Wardens avoid actually dying at all costs (they revere undeath not death) and as such they refuse to fall down and die easily they can act normally when below 0 hp and they do not actually die until their hp hits -30 but if they ever hit this number they disintegrate instead having made their body fall apart from the strain
Corpse Strength: Grave Wardens gain more strength as they travel through their journey to undeath gaining and extra 1 die per level of corpse strength to the damage of their weapon (each level of corpse strength replaces the previous level so a 1d6 attack with corpse strength 2 becomes a 3d6 since corpse strength 1 is no longer factored in)
Crypt Commander (Ex): This ability allows the Grave Warden to activate one of 3 different abilities that affect him and all willing allies within 100ft (range increases by 10ft every 2 levels after unlock). activation of these abilities is considered a movement action and they remain active until deactivated by the Grave Warden as a free action.
Ability 1: Lance Of Destruction: the grave warden and all willing allies gain +5 to all attack rolls and also gain half of the Grave Warden's class level as bonus damage to any damage they deal (this damage ignores resistances). however any ally (including the grave warden themselves) also have their ac reduced by 4 for the duration of this ability
Ability 2: Iron Tombstone: the grave warden and all willing allies gain damage resistance equal to half of the grave warden's class level and gain +4 ac while this ability is active. however as long as this ability is active all allies (including the grave warden) who choose to benefit from this have their movement speed for all forms of movement reduced by half and all flying movement types are set to clumsy (unless they already have this movement type in which case flying is disabled)
Ability 3: Peace of The Crypt: the grave warden and all willing allies gain regeneration 1 and regain 2d8+(grave warden's class level)hp each time it is the grave warden's turn to act. however as long as this ability is active all parties benefiting from it will have any damage they deal halved
Healing Rattle (Ex): The Grave Warden may 1+(class level divided by 4 rounded down)/times per day as a full round action let out a ghastly death rattle that heals them for their class level in d3's of hp this action also forces all living creatures within 25ft of the grave warden to pass a dc15(+ warden's class level) fear check or be stunned for 1 round
Corpse Flesh: The grave warden gains regeneration 2 and is now healed by negative energy for half of the damage it would have dealt to him otherwise, however any positive energy healing done to the grave warden is now reduced to 1/4th effectiveness and all heal checks made on the warden have their dc increased by 15
False Grave (Ex): The Grave Warden may upon taking damage choose to feign death and this ruse requires a DC50 heal check to determine if the warden is dead or not and if they remain undisturbed until their turn to act they immediately get to their feet and have their health fully restored however this ability cannot be used more than once in the same battle (if used more than once the DC is set to 0) and no more than 2 times a week
Iron Corpse: The Grave Warden may now choose to permanently use their strength as a substitute for constitution however if they do they are no longer healed by positive energy
Crypt Blade (Ex): The grave warden may choose to double their damage when they use a full round action. however this forces them to lose their standard action the next time they act and their movement speed to be halved until 1 turn after this ability is activated. (this ability can only be used 3 times per week)
Eternity Unlocked: The Grave Warden is now considered an undead with all strengths and weaknesses that this entails and their strength score is now increased by 4 points. in addition they also gain a pestilent breath weapon (6d8 damage) that travels 30ft in a line that causes random diseases and corrodes metal like acid (this can be used twice per day
Epic Grave Warden
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Bonus Feats: The epic Grave Warden gains a bonus feat every 4 levels after 21st.
Playing a Grave Warden
Religion: Grave Wardens only have any reverence for the undead, the gods of undead, and themselves.
Other Classes: This class works well with necromancers and can get along with most classes that either don't mind the class's desires or the result of said desires or active like the undead. however classes that dislike undead will not be tolerated by them.
Combat: This class is a typical front-line fighter type with a mild ability to bestow boons upon his allies he can act as a magic devoid paladin in most circumstances or as just another heavy hitter.
Advancement: Most people using this class will advance to level 20 before considering a multi-class option but this class can't hurt from a bit of dabbling in necromancy or other negative energy abilities if they want a full death knight experience.
Grave Wardens in the World
|“||You will be reborn as I have, gaining the powers of the crypt, and we shall become greater than any mortal can dream of. It really is a pity they are so weak... isn't it?||”|
|—Vaukon Lak Sami, Half-Dragon Grave Warden|
Grave Wardens are often seen working for/with necromancers or being used to guard places which require 24 hour guarding
Daily Life: Many live their lives nearly identically to their former lives just without any real fear of death.
Notables: Most Grave Wardens do not share what they are so there aren't many famous/infamous ones.
Organizations: Unless they are bound by a religion most grave wardens have little in common with each other in most circumstances so there is not likely a unified organization but there may be small groups of friends or allies.
NPC Reactions: Most Grave Warden's do not look very different from their former selves so most people treat them roughly the same they always did unless they find out their secrets then most react with horror or disgust.
Grave Warden Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) can research Grave Wardens to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Grave Warden's are heavy hitting madmen who desire immortality through undeath.|
|15||Many Grave Warden's are unafraid to use disease and poison to get what they want.|
|20||Nearly every Grave Warden is undead after a certain amount of time and will use trickery like faking death as a way to heal themselves.|
|45||The very first grave warden was created by a necromancer after he had accidentally slain his closest friend and wished to bring him back and this warden is still alive to this very day.|