Phoenix (3.5e Prestige Class)

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The wicked ones burned and all there beheld the might of a Phoenix.
—Char Grill, Half-Elf Bard, Clay Tablet of Ignus Nuri

Phoenixes are students of the legendary bird of fire, the phoenix, hoping to glean ancient knowledge from it. A Phoenix is a proselyte of the Plane of Fire, an embodiment of its lustrous and deadly beauty. They are dangerous melee combatants with spellcasting abilities, capable of even consuming the fire around them to keep themselves alive. They have a flair for flamboyant shows of their magical prowess and are always seeking power to bolster their magical talents.

Becoming a Phoenix[edit]

Phoenix are commonly drawn from the druid class. Immortality is a mystery that every mortal longs after and many alchemists have pursued this quest and failed. This class grants the acolyte of the phoenix a chance at immortality, and also a number of exceptional fire based abilities. Awesome power and legendary renowned garnered from this prestige class await those who follow this fiery trail.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Any Good
BAB: +3
Feats: Multiattack, Natural Spell
Skills: 6 ranks Knowledge (nature), 6 ranks Heal
Special Must have survived a week in the Plane of Fire.
Special Must have the wildshape ability.

Table: The Phoenix

Hit Die: d8

Level B.A.B. Saving Throws Special Spellcasting
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Wildshape, Warm Blooded, Flameskin +1 level of existing spellcasting class
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Force (Bite), Scorching Attacks +1 level of existing spellcasting class
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Caustic Healing +1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Force (Claws) +1 level of existing spellcasting class
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Rebirth +1 level of existing spellcasting class
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Force (Wings), Fire Immunity +1 level of existing spellcasting class

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Phoenix.

Spellcasting: At every level, the Phoenix gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before adding the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained, except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming an phoenix, she must decide to which class she adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.

Wildshape (Su): At level 1, each level of phoenix counts as a level of druid for the purposes of determining the duration and number of wildshape uses per day, and the size and type of creatures she is able to transform into.

Warm Blooded (Ex): At level 1, the phoenix and her animal companion have become attuned to heat as if they were burning with actual fire; they no longer succumb to the dangers of hot areas such as deserts. If the Phoenix has Trackless Step (Ex), the Phoenix can leave a trail of ash in natural surroundings which is easily tracked, giving anyone looking a trail +20 to a search check.

Flameskin (Ex): at level 1, the phoenix and her animal companion have become attuned to the fiery elements. The phoenix and her animal companion gain +1 Natural Armor and fire resistance 10 and an additional +1 Natural Armor and +5 fire resistance at every odd level after (At lvl 5, Max +3 Nat Armor, 20 Fire Resistance). These bonuses stack with similar bonuses while in alternate forms.

Force (Su) At level 2, a phoenix can manifest the spirit of the phoenix to give herself natural attacks, which are also available in alternate forms. As a move action, she summon natural attacks made of pure force into existence. The natural attack's damage is based on size (Medium: Bite 1d6; Claw 1d4; Wing 1d4). As a force effect, these natural attacks can strike incorporeal creatures without the normal miss chance associated with incorporeality. While in an alternate form, she can use any of the force natural attacks if the form she is in does not have these natural attacks already. The natural attacks available are dependent on level.

  • At level 2: Bite attack
  • At level 4: 2 Claw attacks
  • At level 6: 2 Wing attacks. Her fly speed while the wings are manifested is equal to twice her base movement speed with perfect maneuverability.

Scorching Attacks (Su): At level 2, at will, as a swift action the phoenix can envelop her limbs in wispy flames that scorch. All of the phoenix's armed and unarmed melee attacks and natural attacks deal additional fire damage equal to 1d6 +1/3 caster levels (rounded down). Upon striking a successful critical hit, the scorching attack deals an additional +1d6 fire damage. These flames harm neither you nor your equipment, but flammable materials burn if the flames touch them.

Caustic Healing (Ex): At level 3, 1 day/3 caster levels, a phoenix can channel stored spell energy to simultaneously deal fire damage as an area effect and heal herself. As a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity, she can "lose" a prepared spell in order to deal 2d6 fire damage/spell level in a 15ft radius centered on her. If at least one enemy suffers fire damage this way, you heal 1d8/5 character levels + 1/caster level.

Rebirth (Su) At level 5, if a phoenix dies, her body bursts into flame and burns to ash, dealing 1d12 fire damage/character level to all adjacent creatures, Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 caster level + Wisdom modifier) for half . 1d4 days later, the ash reforms into a new body of adulthood age as if by a Resurrection spell.

Fire Immunity (Ex): At level 10, a phoenix and her animal companion both gain immunity to fire and gain vulnerability to cold.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Phoenix[edit]

Combat: Phoenixes are competent melee combatants with blazing magical abilities. They are very effective at charging into melee combat and tearing their opponents to shreds with their blazing natural attacks. And by unleashing blasts of fire with their caustic healing ability, they can hurt numerous enemies and heal themselves simultaneously.

Advancement: A phoenix typically focuses on gaining levels as a phoenix, though may supplement a few level in druid or another wildshape based prestige class, depending on the direction they want to focus.

Resources: Because of their vanity, phoenixes are often at odds with other phoenixes. They are more likely to be found in competition with one another rather than working together, especially if a magical item is at stake. Other druids condemn the phoenix's avarice as a corruption of their respect for nature.

Phoenix in the World[edit]

What a lovely cloak of charisma you have there, how much would you be willing to part with it for?
—Seraphina Aurorus, Human Phoenix

Phoenixes are majestic individuals who delight in the aesthetic beauty of the world. Their love of beauty causes some of them to be as greedy as they are vain, always seeking for more power, accruing magical objects that delight their almost Jackdaw nature. Because stealing is against their beliefs, they prefer to bargain for the magical trinkets they find interesting. Their desire for more power often leads them on wandering adventures from one charming local to another. Kindness also characterizes them well, they do not abide evil, and if provoked, their fiery temperament can get the better of them. Their enjoyment of exquisitely crafted items rivals their appreciation of the wonders of the natural world. Wanton destruction of nature is repulsive to a phoenix.

NPC Reactions: A phoenix's lavish attire often catches eyes. Their sometimes gaudy appearance will make much a fuss for local townsfolk. They are admired openly for their beauty, but some will find them pretentious. Nobility may be irked and loathsome because the phoenix's appearance rivals to their own stature. But should a phoenix's true nature be revealed, many will be right to fear their fiery wrath.

Phoenix Lore[edit]

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

Knowledge (Arcana)
DC Result
11 Phoenixes wear flashy attires, much to the nobility's displeasure.
16 Phoenixes are able to augment their shapeshifting beyond what a normal druid can do.
21 A phoenix can heal themselves by immolating their enemies.

Phoenix in the Game[edit]

Phoenix are precocious, power-hungry druids.

Adaptation: Phoenix, due to their druid mechanics can be difficult to balance against other player characters. If they prove overwhelming, try throwing monsters that deal cold damage or are dangerous to be attacked with natural weapons.

Sample Encounter: Seraphina Aurorus, a marginally skilled phoenix, is defending a beautiful grove of oak trees from peasants from the nearby town of Sunvale. Rumors in the town have convinced the peasants that there is treasure to be found buried somewhere in the grove, and they come with saws, axes, and spades to tear the oak grove apart. Seraphina stands stalwart before the grove, ready to wildshape and attack the unruly mob. The PC's would be able to see the squabble from the road that leads to Sunvale. The PC's can choose which side of the standoff between the peasants and the phoenix to join. If a fight breaks out, a dryad and a treant will come to aid Seraphina. If the PCs end up fighting Seraphina themselves and search the grove afterwards, they may find her stash of magical items at the cost of razing the grove.

CR 9: Seraphina Aurorus

Seraphina Aurorus

CR 7

Human Druid 5/Phoenix 6
Neutral Good Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init/Senses +6/Listen −1, Spot −1
Languages Common, Elven
AC 22, touch 12, flat-footed 21
(+2 Dex, +8 Armor, +3 Natural Armor)
hp 61 (11d8 +11 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +6/+3/+9
Speed 30 ft.
Base Atk/Grp +7/+7
Abilities Str 19, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 9, Wis 15, Cha 12
SQ Immunity to Fire, Vulnerability to Cold,
Feats Multiattack, Natural Spell, Improved Natural Attack, Improved Initiative, Exalted Wildshape
Skills Bluff +11, Concentration +13, Decipher Script +9, Knowledge (Arcana) +9, Spellcraft +9
Possessions +1 Flaming Scimitar, +2 Wild Dragonhide Plate, 4 Scrolls (5th: 1 Cone of Cold, 7th: 1 Waves of Exhaustion, 1 Mage's Sword, 1 Scrying Greater), Pearl of Power II, Bag of Devouring, backpack, bedroll, noble's outfit, traveler's outfit, spell component pouch, 2 candles, chalk, soap, 50ft hemp rope, 2 waterskins, 7 days rations, Mirror of Figments, 4 gold rings, 7 gems, 183 gold, 92 silver.

Mirror of Figments: Thrice per day, the user can look into the mirror and say their name 3 times to activate the spell trigger, emulating the Mirror Image spell with a caster level of 6. Faint illusion; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, Mirror Image spell; Price 5,000gp; Weight 2lb.

Seraphina is a powerful fire-wielding druid known as a phoenix. She has recently taken it upon herself to protect an oak grove from the peasants from the nearby town of Sunvale who would bring harm upon it. Seraphina wears has a rather wiry frame, making her appear less powerful than she actually is. She has short, reddish hair, and auburn eyes.

Description of the creature, the Phoenix[edit]

This regal creature looks like a large peacock, but with vibrant orange, red and yellow plumage, a crest, and long, trailing tail feathers. Its feathers emanate ephemeral wisps of flame.

Phoenixes are rumored to come from the Elemental Plane of Fire. They are intelligent creatures and pride themselves on their beauty. They are fascinated by all forms of magic and have a fondness for magical items, but only a few actually cast spells. These magical birds live very long lives due to their unique way of cheating death, by immolating themselves at the end of their lifespan, and from the ashes, the phoenix is reborn. Phoenixes tend to live in dry deserts and are elusive and hard to find, though the feathers are of great value to alchemists as regents. A fledgingly phoenix is about 5 feet from tail to beak, and has a wingspan of 14 feet. It weighs about 40 pounds. Phoenixes speak Common, Celestial, and Ignan.

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