Gravewire (3.5e Prestige Class)

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None shall disturb this hallowed ground!
—Owen Bartlett, human Gravewire

The Gravewire are a notably reclusive and stoic ranger-like class, known for a silent streak, which is finely honed in their many lonely hours defending and patrolling their ward: large cemeteries, tombs, crematoria and similar locations. They typically guard very large such places - like those with ten thousand or more bodies stored - but the older the location is, the more likely they are to defend it even if it is smaller. Gravewire are not required to stay at their assigned location constantly, but they typically leave only for short durations.

Becoming a Gravewire[edit]

Gravewire are fiercely dedicated to ensuring that the dead remain at-rest, and that they not be disturbed either physically or mentally. They spend many hours most days patrolling their assigned cemetery or other location.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Any Good.
Base Attack Bonus: +7.
Feat: Weapon Focus (Shovel)
Table: The Grinreaper

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spellcasting
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Necropolis Affinity, Speak with Dead, Grave Pact +1 of existing Wildclaine spellcasting
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Swift Dig, Voice from Beyond, Consecrate +1 of existing divine spellcasting
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Holy Shovel, Open Grave +1 of existing divine spellcasting
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Critical Shovel 19-20/x2 +1 of existing divine spellcasting
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 +1 of existing divine spellcasting
6th +6 +5 +2 +5 Critical Shovel 18-20/x2, Mighty Shovel +1 of existing divine spellcasting
7th +7 +5 +2 +5 Graveyard Omniscience +1 of existing divine spellcasting
8th +8 +6 +2 +6 Critical Shovel 17-20/x2 +1 of existing divine spellcasting
9th +9 +6 +3 +6 Vorpal Shovel +1 of existing divine spellcasting
10th +10 +7 +3 +7 Critical Shovel 16-20/x2, Holy Avenger Shovel, Entomb +1 of existing divine spellcasting

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Knowledge (necrology/weather) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis). Spellcraft (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

Like all members of the Church of Modroben, Gravewire are expected to be neutral in most affairs (excepting only the defense of death, time and fate). Their class features should not be used except in the manner of church business and in direct self-defense. It is very rare for Gravewire powers to be used against anyone other than undead creatures or necromancers. All of the following are class features of the Gravewire.

Spellcasting: At first level and every level thereafter, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained.

Necropolis Affinity: At level 1, while within the confines of his cemetery or other applicable burial location, a Gravewire gains additional +1 bonus/2 Gravewire levels on all damage rolls and saves.

Speak with Dead: At level 1, 3/day the Gravewire can cast the Speak with Dead spell. The Gravewire gains a +4 sacred bonus to all charisma checks with the undead.

Grave Pact: At level 1, if the Gravewire fails to secure the bodies under his control, he comes under effect of a Geas (as the spell), requiring him to return any necessary body parts or otherwise avenge the desecration.

Swift Dig: At level 2, the Gravewire gains a burrow speed equal to his base movement speed. He can also dig with his favorite shovel at a rate of ten cubic feet per round.

Voice from Beyond: At level 2, the Gravewire gains the ability to speak with the plants and animals that live in his cemetery or other appropriate burial location as if under the permanent effects of a Speak with Animals spell an a Speak with Plants spell.

Consecrate: At level 2, 1/day the Gravewire can cast Consecrate with a caster level equal to his character level.

Holy Shovel: At third level, the Gravewire's favorite shovel becomes holy.

Open Grave: At third level, the Gravewire can crack open the ground to create a huge pit. Once every 1d4 rounds, he can slam his shovel into the ground as a full round action to create a pit of any size or shape up to 10 cubic feet/class level. Creatures standing atop the pit must make a reflex save equal to DC 15 + Con modifier. The gravewire can use this ability a number of times each day equal to his constitution modifier.

Critical Shovel: Starting at fourth level and every other Gravewire level thereafter, the critical hit range of his shovel increases by one to a max of 16-20/x2. This effect does not stack with other critical range increases.

Mighty Shovel: At sixth level, the Gravewire's favorite shovel becomes an Mighty Cleaving weapon.

Graveyard Omniscience: At seventh level, the Gravewire gains the abilty to continually see out of the eyes of any of the animals in his cemetery, giving him constant surveillance over the entire area.

Vorpal Shovel: At ninth level, the Gravewire's favorite shovel is considered vorpal as long as he within an applicable burial area.

Holy AvengerShovel: At tenth level, the Gravewire's shovel becomes a Holy Avenger shovel (usable only by the Gravewire instead of a paladin). This +2 cold iron shovel becomes a +5 holy cold iron longsword in the hands of a Gravewire.

It provides spell resistance of 5 + the gravewire’s level to the wielder and anyone adjacent to her. It also enables the wielder to use greater dispel magic (once per day as a standard action) at the class level of the paladin. (Only the area dispel is possible, not the targeted dispel or counterspell versions of greater dispel magic.)

Entomb: At tenth level, once per day the gravewire can use his Open Grave ability to entomb any number of creatures. If a creature falls into the pit, it will close afterwards, trapping it beneath the earth.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Gravewire[edit]

Combat: Gravewires smack their opponents with their mighty shovels. They can create pit traps on demand to separate and incapacitate dangerous enemies or to simply bury opponents alive.

Advancement: Gravewire gravitate towards classes that focus on melee combat. Levels in martial classes like Fighter or Warblade work well as multiclass options for Gravewire.

Resources: Gravewires do not have many resources outside of the mortuary profession.

Gravewire in the World[edit]

Alas poor Yorrick, I knew him well.

Gravewire are contemplative folk who keep a vigilant eye over their graveyards as is their duty.

NPC Reactions: NPC's will welcome a Gravewire's services in fighting.

Gravewire Lore[edit]

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

<-the appropriate skills->
DC Result
11 Gravewire are caretakers of the dead.
16 Gravewire wield mighty shovels.
21 Gravewire can bury people alive in a single stroke.

Gravewire Champions in the Game[edit]

Gravewire can assume a similar role to the Paladin in a game. PC's might take the class to be a righteous warrior, perhaps fed up with lawful restrictions of the Paladin or not needing their support abilities. An NPC might be a dire foe for an evil party, or a helpful ally for a good one.

Adaptation: Perhaps in your campaign, not every devout warrior has innate spellcasting ability. Maybe that result, instead of being devout fighters, would be this class. In any case, Gravewire can take the role of a paladin in most any campaign. Be sure to adjust for the fact that they tend to be better for fighting single enemies.

Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPC of this class->

EL whatever: <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter->

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