Paramander (3.5e Prestige Class)
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Paramanders do not exist. No one has ever met one, and any reports of their activities have been pure speculation. Were they to exist as a secret society, their purpose would be to preserve the balance and defend the natural order, playing off good vs. evil, law vs. chaos, so that none ever becomes too powerful.
In nature, the strong feed off the weak, but never take more than they need. In so doing, they cull the flock, allowing the strong to survive.
Nature always rights itself. Any imbalance is swiftly countered, and harmony restored.
Not so with so-called intelligent species. They cut down whole forests, leaving nothing behind but barren wasteland. They hunt animals for sport, killing more than they need to eat, even driving them to extinction. Their incessant wars with one another devastate everyone and everything in their path.
The paramanders would have been sent to right the imbalance created by the intelligent species. They would mostly observe, keeping tabs on the ebb and flow of kingdoms and empires. They would act subtly to preserve the balance in small ways, protecting forests or animals from unnatural threats. When any empire grew too strong, they would act decisively to sabotage it, restoring balance with its neighbors.
All along, no one would know of their existence.
No one would ever ask to become a paramander. The paramanders would identify a likely candidate, follow him around for some time to be certain, and then make the approach. Recruits would come from all moderate classes, especially rangers and druids.
In many campaign settings, the paramanders could be an elite arm of the church of Silvanus (or a similar true neutral nature deity), their existence known to only a few of his highest priests.
Within the paramanders might be some who believe that the only way the balance can be restored is to wipe the intelligent species from the face of the earth. Called paremandyr by their brethren, they would continually strive to identify the most powerful non-neutral intelligent force around, and eliminate it.
A paremandyr would share all prerequisites and class features in common with paramanders. He might be recruited directly by another paremandyr, or recruited by the paramanders and then subverted.
The names paramander and paremandyr, as well as the concept of true neutral paladin-like operatives, came from a Dragon magazine article, A Plethora of Paladins. However, the 3.5 edition game mechanics are original.
- Alignment: True neutral.
- Base Attack Bonus: +5.
- Feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Track.
- Skills: Bluff 5 ranks, Hide 8 ranks, Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, Move Silently 8 ranks.
- Special: Must be approached by a current paramander and offered membership. Only one chance would ever be given.
|2nd||+2||+0||+3||+3||Sneak attack +1d6|
|4th||+4||+1||+4||+4||Sneak attack +2d6|
|6th||+6||+2||+5||+5||Sneak attack +3d6|
|8th||+8||+2||+6||+6||Sneak attack +4d6|
|9th||+9||+3||+6||+6||Hide in plain sight|
|10th||+10||+3||+7||+7||Sneak attack +5d6|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level): Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (any) (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (any) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
All of the following would be class features of the paramander:
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A paramander would not gain any proficiency with weapons or armor.
Nondisclosure (Sp): To become a paramander, a character would have to submit voluntarily to a geas constraining him never to reveal the existence of the organization, either directly or indirectly, or any secrets learned from them. The caster level of the geas would be the paramander's character level plus 6, and would continue to rise as he gained levels.
Nondetection (Su): A paramander would gain nondetection as a supernatural ability. The caster level would be the paramander's character level plus 6, and would continue to rise as he gained levels. The effect would be continuous, and could not be suppressed by the paramander.
Sneak Attack: At 2nd level, a paramander would gain the ability to do sneak attack damage as a rogue, dealing 1d6 extra damage. This amount would go up an additional +1d6 at each additional even level. This damage would stack with sneak attack bonuses from other classes.
Detect Aura (Sp): Starting at 3rd level, a paramander could detect aura at will as a spell-like ability. This would have the effect of simultaneously casting detect evil, detect good, detect chaos, and detect law, remaining in effect as long as he maintained concentration.
Align Weapon (Sp): Starting at 5th level, a paramander could use align weapon as a spell-like ability up to 3 times per day.
Woodland Stride (Ex): Starting at 7th level, a paramander could move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment.
However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that were enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion would still affect him.
Swift Tracker (Ex): Starting at 7th level, a paramander could move at his normal speed while following tracks without taking the normal –5 penalty. He would take only a –10 penalty (instead of the normal –20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.
Hide in Plain Sight (Su): Starting at 9th level, a paramander could use the Hide skill even while being observed, as long as he is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow (other than his own).
Code of Conduct: A paramander would have considerable freedom to act as he saw fit in the performance of his duties, even committing deeds of unmitigated good, evil, law, or chaos. However, should he continue in a pattern favoring one alignment over another, without a clearly understood overall purpose in preserving the balance, then he would lose all spell-like and supernatural class abilities until such a time as he atoned for his errors in judgment. A paramander who involuntarily broke his oath of nondisclosure (e.g. through a compulsion spell) would be subject to the same consequences.
Ex-Paramanders: A paramander who ceased being true neutral, who voluntarily broke his oath of nondisclosure, or who voluntarily left the paramanders for any reason, would immediately and irrevocably lose all spell-like and supernatural class abilities. He would furthermore be under a death sentence, for the paramanders could not risk letting him expose their secrets.
The Epic Paramander
Hit Die: d12
|12th||Sneak attack +6d6|
|14th||Sneak attack +7d6|
|16th||Sneak attack +8d6|
|18th||Sneak attack +9d6|
|20th||Sneak attack +10d6|
Skill Points Per Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following would be class features of the epic paramander:
Sneak Attack: An epic paramander would gain an additional +1d6 sneak attack damage at each even level.
Bonus Feats: An epic paramander would gain a bonus feat at 13th and 17th levels, selected from the Epic Paramander Bonus Feat List.
Epic Paramander Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Blinding Speed, Dexterous Fortitude, Dexterous Will, Distant Shot, Energy Resistance, Epic Dodge, Epic Endurance, Epic Prowess, Epic Speed, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus, Fast Healing, Improved Sneak Attack, Legendary Climber, Legendary Rider, Legendary Tracker, Lingering Damage, Perfect Health, Polyglot, Self-Concealment, Sneak Attack of Opportunity, Superior Initiative, Swarm of Arrows, Uncanny Accuracy.
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