Tainted Wretch (3.5e Class)
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The Tainted Wretch is the after-effect of a great or lasting evil in the world. This corruption is tied to him, growing with him as it makes him more powerful. Corruption and taint grant him great power, but also affect his health and sanity. Think of it like a nuclear radiation blast that mutates someone into a powerful being but is also slowly destroying them. The class statistics are based on both the druid and the sorcerer, and slowly applies the Corrupt Creature template over 20 levels.
Making a Tainted Wretch
Tainted Wretches are unnaturally strong both physically and magically. However, there are several side effects to this great power. The wretch suffers the debilitating effects of Taint (see Heroes of Horror, p.62), as well as penalties to Dexterity, Wisdom, and Charisma. The Tainted Wretch is almost useless as far as skills go (except maybe Intimidate). Pretty much anything skillful, passive, or diplomatic in a good-aligned world is not his forte. He is quite effective in melee combat, however, and he can cast spontaneous spells (although he has fewer spells per day than a sorcerer). Because of his Fast Healing, Damage Reduction, and Disrupting Attack, he proves to be both an effective tank and damage-dealing class. He's the Death Knight of Dungeons and Dragons.
Races: Any race may become a Tainted Wretch, but not many individuals are willing to embrace such taint.
Alignment: Always evil.
Starting Gold: starting gold; 3d4×10 gp (75 gp).
Starting Age: Complex.
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+2||Disruptive Attack, Fast Healing, Taint||3||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+3||+4||+1||+4||Enhanced Power +1||5||3||2||1||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+4||+5||+2||+5||Corrupt Reserve 1||5||3||3||2||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|9th||+6/+1||+6||+3||+6||Vile Bonus Feat||6||4||4||3||2||1||—||—||—||—|
|10th||+7/+2||+7||+3||+7||Enhanced Power +2||6||4||4||3||3||2||—||—||—||—|
|12th||+9/+4||+8||+4||+8||DR 10/+3, Corrupt Reserve 2||6||5||4||4||3||3||2||—||—||—|
|13th||+9/+4||+8||+4||+8||Vile Bonus Feat||6||5||5||4||4||3||2||1||—||—|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+9||+5||+9||Enhanced Power +3||6||5||5||5||4||4||3||2||1||—|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+5||+10||Vile Bonus Feat||6||5||5||5||5||4||4||3||2||1|
|18th||+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+11||Corrupt Reserve 4||6||5||5||5||5||5||4||4||3||2|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+12||Enhanced Power +4||6||5||5||5||5||5||4||4||4||4|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Tainted Wretch.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Tainted Wretches are proficient with both simple and martial weapons, but not with armor or shields.
Spells: A Tainted Wretch casts arcane spells. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn to cast a spell, a Tainted Wretch must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The DC for a saving throw against a Tainted Wretch's spell is 10 + the spell level + the wretch's Charisma modifier. Tainted Wretches choose their spells from the following list:
1st—Suspend Disease BoVD, Black Bag BoVD, Extract Drug BoVD, Nether Trail BoVD, Drug Resistance BoVD, Sacrificial Skill BoVD, Stupor BoVD, Darklight BoVD, Death Grimace BoVD, Aberrate BoVD, Bestow Wound BoVD, Cheat BoVD, Tongue Tendrils BoVD, Seething Eyebane BoVD, Ectoplasmic Armor LM, Summon Undead I LM, Summon Monster I, Necrotic Awareness LM, Cause Fear, Chill Touch, Ray of Enfeeblement, Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, Lesser Orb of Acid, Lesser Orb of Cold, Dead End, Ebon Eyes, Net of Shadows, Nightshield, Spirit Worm.
2nd—Unheavened BoVD, Addiction BoVD, Entice Gift BoVD, Masochism BoVD, Sadism BoVD, Sap Strength BoVD, Darkbolt BoVD, Dance of Ruin BoVD, Shriveling BoVD, Slow Consumption BoVD, Wither Limb BoVD, Graz'zt's Long Grasp BoVD, Spores of the Vrock BoVD, Devil's Tongue BoVD, Fangs of the Vampire King BoVD, Lahm's Finger Darts BoVD, Summon Undead II LM, Summon Monster II, Blindness/Deafness, Command Undead, False Life, Ghoul Touch, Scare, Spectral Hand, Blade of Pain and Fear LM, Ghost Touch Armor LM, Ghoul Glyph LM, Necrotic Cyst LM, Necrotic Scrying LM, Spawn Screen LM, Melf's Acid Arrow, Phantasmal Assailants, Wall of Gloom, Investiture of the Spined Devil, Vision of Entropy, Claws of Darkness, Create Magic Tatoo, Curse of Impending Blades, Dark Way, Death Armor, Infernal Wound, Ray of Sickness, Ray of Weakness, Sting Ray, Stolen Breath, Veil of Shadow, Wracking Touch, Wraithstrike.
3rd—Absorb Mind BoVD, Love's Pain BoVD, Red Fester BoVD, Rotting Curse of Urfestra BoVD, Serpents of Theggeron BoVD, Touch of Juiblex BoVD, Circle of Nausea BoVD, Clutch of Orcus BoVD, Flesh Ripper BoVD, Devil's Eye BoVD, Eyes of the Zombie BoVD, Glimpse of Truth BoVD, Drown BoVD, Wall of Chains BoVD, Evil Eye BoVD, Dread Word BoVD, Vile Lance BoVD, Cruel Disappointment BoVD, Curse of the Putrid Husk BoVD, Reality Blind BoVD, Tongue Serpents BoVD, Ectoplasmic Feedback LM, Summon Undead III LM, Summon Monster III, Incorporeal Enhancement LM, Necrotic Bloat LM, Gentle Repose, Halt Undead, Ray of Exhaustion, Vampiric Touch, Stinking Cloud, Magic Circle against Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, Resist Taint, Corpse Candle, Shadow Binding, Investiture of the Bearded Devil, Investiture of the Chained Devil, Extract Gift, Blacklight, Contagious Fog, Mass Curse of Impending Blades, Deeper Darkvision, Manyjaws, Nauseating Breath, Undead Lieutenant, Undead Torch.
4th—Psychic Poison BoVD, Abyssal Might BoVD, Hell's Power BoVD, Wall of Deadly Chains BoVD, Damning Darkness BoVD, Mirror Sending BoVD, Grim Revenge BoVD, Liquid Pain BoVD, Wrack BoVD, Corrupt Summons BoVD, Dancing Chains BoVD, Absorb Strength BoVD, Evard's Black Tentacles, Summon Undead IV, Summon Monster IV, Animate Dead, Bestow Curse, Contagion, Enervation, Fear, Crushing Despair, Bloodstar, Necrotic Domination, Orb of Acid, Orb of Cold, Burning Blood, Investiture of the Amnizu, Investiture of the Erinyes, Investiture of the Harvester Devil, Investiture of the Steel Devil, Wall of Evil, Wall of Chaos, Wall of Law.
5th—Imprison Possessor BoVD, Call Dretch Horde BoVD, Call Lemure Horde BoVD, Call Nightmare BoVD, Wall of Ooze BoVD, Soul Shackles BoVD, Stop Heart BoVD, Heartclutch BoVD, Morality Undone BoVD, Resonating Resistance BoVD, Forbidden Speech BoVD, Power Leech BoVD, Claws of the Bebilith BoVD, Call Forth the Beast BoVD, Oath of Blood BoVD, Summon Undead V LM, Summon Monster V, Haunt Shift LM, Kiss of the Vampire LM, Necrotic Burst LM, Night's Caress, Dismissal, Cloudkill, Lesser Planar Binding, Contact Other Plane, Blight, Magic Jar, Symbol of Pain, Waves of Fatigue, Permanency, Viriolic Sphere, Spiritwall, Freezing Fog, Investiture of the Narzugon, Investiture of the Orthon, Death Throes, Graymantle, Gutsnake, Miasma of Entropy, Night's Caress, Nightstalker's Transformation, Viscid Glob.
6th—Impotent Possessor BoVD, Snare Astral Traveler BoVD, Alert Bebilith BoVD, False Sending BoVD, Ectoplasmic Enhancement BoVD, Fiendish Quickening BoVD, Thousand Needles BoVD, Cloud of the Achaierai BoVD, Consume Likeness BoVD, Master's Lament HoH, Cloak of Hate HoH, Ghoul Gauntlet LM, Incorporeal Nova LM, Necrotic Eruption LM, Revive Undead LM, Spectral Touch, Planar Binding, Summon Monster VI, Geas/Quest, Circle of Death, Create Undead, Eyebite, Symbol of Fear, Undeath to Death, Arrow of Bone, Fiendform, Investiture of the Barbed Devil, Investiture of the Malebranche, Oozepuppet, Mass Contagion, Fleshshiver, Howling Chain, Ray of Entropy.
7th—Wall of Eyes BoVD, Fiendish Clarity BoVD, Whirlwind of Teeth BoVD, Eye of the Beholder BoVD, Wretched Blight BoVD, Imprison Soul BoVD, Chain of Sorrow BoVD, Death by Thorns BoVD, Rapture of Rupture BoVD, Ghost Trap LM, Avasculate LM, Awaken Undead LM, Energy Ebb LM, Necrotic Tumor LM, Banishment, Plane Shift, Summon Monster VII, Insanity, Control Undead, Finger of Death, Symbol of Weakness, Waves of Exhaustion, Ethereal Jaunt, Limited Wish, Sword of Darkness, Investiture of the Ice Devil, Soul Link, Barghest's Feast, Evil Glare, Kiss of the Vampire, Symphonic Nightmare.
8th—Phantasmal Thief BoVD, Gutwrench BoVD, Steal Life BoVD, Bestow Greater Curse BoVD, Soul's Treasure Lost BoVD, Befoul BoVD, Pestilence BoVD, Evil Weather BoVD, Plague of Nightmares BoVD, Familial Geas HoH, Avascular Mass LM, Necrotic Empowerment LM, Veil of Undeath LM, Ghostform, Dimensional Lock, Greater Planar Binding, Summon Monster VII, Trap the Soul, Symbol of Insanity, Clone, Create Greater Undead, Horrid Wilting, Symbol of Death, Blackfire, Heart of Stone, Flensing, Investiture of the Horned Devil, Shun the Dark Chaos, Embrace the Dark Chaos, Death Dragon, Skeletal Guard, Wrathful Cstigation.
9th—Utterdark BoVD, Programmed Amnesia BoVD, Mindrape BoVD, Crushing Fist of Spite BoVD, Despoil BoVD, Apocalypse from the Sky BoVD, Plague of Undead BoVD, Vile Death BoVD, Necrotic Termination LM, Gate, Summon Monster IX, Astral Projection, Energy Drain, Soul Bind, Wail of the Banshee, Wish, Sphere of Ultimate Destruction, Mindrape, Investiture of the Hellfire Engine, Investiture of the Pit Fiend, Abyssal Rift, Abyssal Army, Black Blade of Disaster, Hellish Horde, Hunters of Hades, Maw of Chaos, Sphere of Ultimate Destruction.
Disruptive Attack (Su): The Tainted Wretch deals additional vile damage when it touches uncorrupted, living corporeal nonoutsiders. This only dealt when the wretch makes touch attacks, natural attacks, unarmed attacks, or otherwise touches the target. This damage cannot be controlled or prevented by the Tainted Wretch as it comes from his own tainted body. The amount of vile damage dealt is equal to half the wretch's caster level.
Fast Healing (Ex): Each round, the Tainted Wretch heals damage equal to half of his caster level (maximum of 10 hit points healed). If the Tainted Wretch would gain another Fast Healing ability from another source, the effects do not stack. Instead, use the better value.
Taint (Ex): The taint involved with becoming a Tainted Wretch comes with astounding power, and unhealthy side effects. The Tainted Wretch automatically gains the following ability modifications: Str +4, Dex -2, Con +4, Int +0, Wis -2, Cha -2. The wretch also gains 1 point of taint each level, start with 1 at level 1. This taint cannot be prevented nor removed with anything short of a Wish or Miracle spell. This taint becomes the minimum amount of taint for the Tainted Wretch to retain his class features. See the rules on Taint in the Heroes of Horror supplement page 62 for information on Tainted feats, corruption effects, and depravity effects.
Deformity: At 3rd level, the Tainted Wretch may choose either Deformity (clawed hands) or Deformity (teeth) as a bonus feat. For flavor purposes, this deformity could spring purely from his corruption and taint instead of self-mutilation.
Damage Reduction (Ex): At 4th level, the Tainted Wretch gains DR 5/+1. This bonus increases to 5/+2 at 8th level and to 10/+3 at 12th level.
Enhanced Power (Su): At 5th level, the Tainted Wretchis more able to enhance his spell power and magically shield himself with an aura of pure evil. He gains a +1 bonus to his AC and to his spell save DC for all of his spells. This bonus increases to +2 at 10th level, +3 at 15th level, and +4 at 20th level.
Corrupt Reserve (Ex): At 6th level, the Tainted Wretch has become so defiled by corrupt energy that he can reduce the corruption costs of Corrupt spells. He is filled with so much corruption that it serves as a reserve cost for each Corrupt spell. Each time the wretch pays a corruption cost, the reserve reduces the cost of any one dice roll in that cost. However, if the reduction would bring the die roll at or below zero, it reduces it to one instead. The reduction granted by the reserve is 1 at 6th level, but then increases to 2 at 12th level, and finally to 4 at 18th level.
Vile Bonus Feat: At 9th, 13th, and 17th levels, the Tainted Wretch may gain any Vile Feat as a bonus feat, provided that he meet the prerequisites for that feat.
A Tainted Wretch who drops below his minimum taint (equal to his caster level), who ceases to be evil, or who violates the code of conduct of his god (if he has one) loses all spells and class features except for armor and weapon proficiencies. The only way for a Tainted Wretch to atone is to gain an amount of taint equal to his caster level. Basically, his atonement ritual is in a series of grossly evil acts.
Epic Tainted Wretches
|21st||Vile Bonus Feat, Corrupt Reserve 5|
|24th||Corrupt Reserve 6|
|25th||Vile Bonus Feat|
|27th||Corrupt Reserve 7|
|29th||Vile Bonus Feat|
|30th||Corrupt Reserve 8|
2 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Corrupt Reserve: The Corrupt Reserve continues to increase every third level.
Bonus Feats: The epic Tainted Wretch gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Tainted Wretch bonus feats) at 21st, 25th, and 29th level, and every four levels after that.
Epic Tainted Wretch Bonus Feat List: Dark Speech, Disciple of Darkness, Evil Brand, Lichloved, Sacrificial Mastery, Thrall to Demon, Verminfriend, Vile Ki Strike, Vile Martial Strike, Vile Natural Attack, Abyss-Bound Soul, Blood War Conscript, Demonic Conduit, Willing Deformity, Deformity (clawed hands), Deformity (eyes), Deformity (face), Deformity (gaunt), Deformity (obese), Deformity (skin), Deformity (teeth), and Deformity (tongue).
Human Tainted Wretch Starting Package
Weapons: Longspear, dagger.
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2 + Int modifier.
Feat: Willing Deformity
Bonus Feats: Eschew Materials, Corrupt Arcana.
Gear: Scroll of Seething Eyebane, hempen rope (50'), spell component pouch, various spell components, needles (100), empty flask.
Gold: 3d4 gp
Playing a Tainted Wretch
Religion: Tainted Wretches either worship evil gods or else consider themselves completely separate from them. They usually do not gain their corrupt powers from higher beings, but receive it from the pure taint of evil itself.
Other Classes: A Tainted Wretch is more monster than mortal, and is instictively territorial. They have an automatic hatred of good-aligned classes, apathy toward neutral classes, and tense caution of evil classes. The only way for a Tainted Wretch to exist in a party is if the party has evil intentions or has a great benefit for him.
Combat: The Tainted Wretch is a good tank as long as he doesn't take too much damage at once. He also serves as a damaging spellcaster.
Advancement: A good Tainted feat for the wretch to acquire is the Corrupt Arcana feat so that he can prepare Corrupt spells and take advantage of his Corrupt Reserve. Other than that, the best Vile feats, as far as flavor is concerned, are the Deformity feats. His body is naturally deformed, so it's not much to add to his grotesque appearance without additional abilities to boot.
Tainted Wretches in the World
|“||This is my curse to bear...so I'll use the power lust to compensate for the horrid appearance.||”|
|—Kin'Drassth the Wretched, Human Tainted Wretch|
Tainted Wretches make good encounters when in an area tainted by great evil. Despite their animalistic bloodlust, they can connive and plot just like any villain. They can play the evil minion, the cult initiate, or the evil genius in a campaign.
Daily Life: Wake up, spread evil and taint, torture prisoners, steal souls, "gather" spell components, mutilate self, meditate, go to bed.
Notables: There aren't really any notables of this class since I completely made it up.
Organizations: Tainted Wretches don't belong to organizations of their own, but they can join evil syndicates or cults if they have initiative. Normally they might hang in the wretched slums of the city and prey upon the innocent.
NPC Reactions: Higher level Tainted Wretches might look more like undead than like any living creature, but lower levels might just seem creepy. NPCs tend to avoid direct confrontation.
Tainted Wretch Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research Tainted Wretches to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||They are sadistically evil.|
|10||They are born from a great evil.|
|15||It is almost impossible to return a Tainted Wretch to normal.|
|20||They still draw power from the original source of their corruption.|
Tainted Wretches in the Game
Tainted Wretches are minions, villains, or otherwise evil characters. They only look out for themselves, but might be able to stand the presence of a party if they gain something out of it.
Adaptation: If a Tainted Wretch will not fit into a campaign, their are other options that can adapt the character as an antihero. He could be the unfortunate side effect of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He gained power from his corruption, but he didn't want it. Such a character may be neutral, but never good. He deliberately makes moves to resist the taint that grants him power, perhaps seeking priests to have them try to remove additional taint. He might search for scrolls such as Resist Taint or Restoration. Despite his taint, he tries to repent for his own corruption by grouping with a party and seeking endlessly for something to remove his curse.