Zealot (3.5e Class)

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Zealots are holy berserkers who pride themselves on the scars they receive from fighting in the name of their god. Wearing nothing more at times than linen robes and wielding large, devastating weapons, Zealots are brutal foes on the battlefield. Their abilities in combat, though not as traditional as a Paladin's, are respected and feared, for good reason. When a Zealot does go into battle, they often fly into a holy fervor that causes them to think about nothing else except putting the business end of their weapon into their god's foe. Because of their deep devotion, Zealot are granted certain abilities by their gods, starting out as smiting their god's opposing aligned foes, and working towards actual spells granted by their gods. When they reach this, then they indeed become a force to be feared by any of their god's foes.

Making a Zealot[edit]

Strong Points of a Zealot are powerful weapon attacks, a high hit die that allows for more damage to be taken, divine abilities that make it powerful on the battlefield, and a divine frenzy that make them nigh-invulnerable to attacks that target the mind. Weak points of a Zealot are that they have low armor, their fanaticism doesn't increase reflexes very well, and they gain spell casting at high levels.

Abilities: Constitution should be high, as you will need health. Dexterity should be second in order to balance the low Reflex bonuses provided by your class. Charisma should also be high, because later levels in Zealot grant spells, which requires you to have a charisma score of 10+spell level.

Alignment: Like Cleric.

Starting Gold: 2d4x10 gp

Starting Age: Moderate.

Table: The Zealot

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Detect Alignment, Divine Fervor 1/day, Smite Opposed Alignment 1d6
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Uncanny Dodge, Fast Movement
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Zealous Courage
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Divine Fervor 2/day
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Scars of Penance, Smite Opposed Alignment 2d6
6th +6/1 +5 +2 +2 Improved Uncanny Dodge, Evasion
7th +7/2 +5 +2 +2 Combat Casting, Improved Zealous Courage 1 0
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Divine Fervor 3/day 1 1 0
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Smite Opposed Alignment 3d6 1 1 1 0
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Greater Divine Fervor 2 1 1 1
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Improved Evasion 2 2 1 1
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Divine Fervor 4/day 2 2 2 1
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Divine Health 3 2 2 2
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Smite Opposed Alignment 4d6 3 3 3 2
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Indomitable Will 4 3 3 3
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Divine Fervor 5/day 4 4 3 3
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Tireless Fervor 4 4 4 3
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 4 4 4 4
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Smite Opposed Alignment 5d6 4 4 4 4
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Empowered Fervor, Divine Fervor 6/day 4 4 4 4

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (The Planes)(Int), Knowledge (Religion)(Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Zealot is proficient in all Simple weapons and martial weapons and is proficient with Light Armor, but not shields.

Spells: At the seventh level, a Zealot is granted the ability to cast some spells. In order to cast spells, the Zealot needs to have a Charisma score equal to 10 + The Spell Level. The Difficulty Class for a Zealot's Spells is 10 + The Spell's Level + The Zealot's Charisma Modifier. Flagellants know all the spells on their spell list, but may prepare only a few, as shown on Table, the Zealot, per day. In order to receive their spells, the Zealot must pray to their deity for one hour each day. A Zealot caster level is equal to their Zealot level. A Zealot's spells come from the following list:

1st—Bane, Bless, SRD:Cause Fear, Doom, SRD:Inflict Light Wounds, SRD:Magic Weapon, SRD:Protection from Chaos, SRD:Protection from Evil, SRD:Protection from Good, SRD:Protection from Law

2nd— Aid, SRD:Align Weapon, SRD:Bear's Endurance, SRD:Bull's Strength, SRD:Eagle's Splendor, SRD:Inflict Moderate Wounds, SRD:Owl's Wisdom, SRD:Sound Burst, SRD:Spiritual Weapon

3rd— SRD:Bestow Curse, Dispel Magic, Inflict Serious Wounds, SRD:Magic Circle against Chaos, SRD:Magic Circle against Evil, SRD:Magic Circle against Good, SRD:Magic Circle against Law, SRD:Magic Vestment, SRD:Searing Light

4th— SRD:Dispel Chaos, SRD:Dispel Evil, SRD:Dispel Good, SRD:Dispel Law, SRD:Divine Power, SRD:Inflict Critical Wounds, SRD:Mass Inflict Light Wounds, SRD:Greater Magic Weapon, Poison

Detect Alignment (Su): As a free action, a Zealot can detect the alignment of a single creature. This ability acts exactly like the spell Detect or the Paladin Detect Evil ability. However, it detects any alignment, instead of just evil.

Smite Opposed Alignment (Su): When you deal weapon damage to an opponent, you may also smite an enemy whose alignment opposes yours. You must already know the alignment of your enemy is opposed to your alignment, and make a successful weapon attack. At the first level, a successful smite deals 1d6 extra damage to a successful attack. This damage increases by 1d6 at the 5th, 9th, 14th and 19th levels.

Divine Fervor (Ex): A Zealot can fly into a Holy Frenzy a certain number of times per day. In this Fervor, a Zealot temporarily gains a +2 bonus to Strength, a +2 bonus to Constitution, and a +4 morale bonus on Will saves, but he takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class. The increase in Constitution increases the Zealot’s hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the Fervor when his Constitution score drops back to normal. (These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are.) While in the Fervor, a Zealot cannot use any Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills, the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can he cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function. He can use any feat he has except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats. The Fervor lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s (newly improved) Constitution modifier. A Zealot may prematurely end his Fervor. At the end of the Fervor, the Zealot loses the Fervor modifiers and restrictions and becomes fatigued (–2 penalty to Strength, –2 penalty to Dexterity, can’t charge or run) for the duration of the current encounter (unless he is a 17th-level Zealot, at which point this limitation no longer applies; see below). A Zealot can fly into a Fervor only once per encounter. At 1st level he can use his Divine Fervor ability once per day. At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, he can use it one additional time per day (to a maximum of six times per day at 20th level). Entering a Fervor takes no time itself, but a Zealot can do it only during his action, not in response to someone else’s action.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, a Zealot retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a Zealot already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Fast Movement (Ex): At the 2nd level, a Zealot’s land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor or light armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the Zealot’s speed because of any load carried or armor worn.

Zealous Courage (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, a Zealot is immune to fear (magical or otherwise).

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level and higher, a Zealot can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the Zealot by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has Flagellant levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

Scars of Penance (Ex): At the 5th level, a Zealot's skin becomes toughened due to scarring. He gains +4 Natural Armor. This increases to +5 at level 10, and +6 at level 15.

Evasion (Ex): At 6th level or higher if a Zealot makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a Zealot is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless Zealot does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Combat Casting (Ex): At the 7th level, a Zealot gains the bonus feat Combat Casting.

Improved Zealous Courage (Su): At the 7th Level and higher, the Zealot courage inspires his allies. Each ally within 10 feet of the Zealot gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects.

Greater Fervor (Ex): At the 10th level, a Zealot bonuses to Strength and Constitution during his Fervor each increase to +6, and his morale bonus on Will saves increases to +3. The penalty to AC remains at –2.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 11th level, a Zealot’s evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless Zealot does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Divine Health (Ex): At the 13th level, a Zealot gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases.

Impenatrable Will (Ex): While in a Fervor, a Zealot of 15th level or higher gains a +4 bonus on Will saves to resist enchantment spells. This bonus stacks with all other modifiers, including the morale bonus on Will saves he also receives during his Fervor.

Tireless Fervor (Ex): At the 17th level and higher, a Zealot no longer becomes fatigued at the end of his Fervor.

Empowered Fervor (Ex): At 20th level, a Zealot’s bonuses to Strength and Constitution during his fervor each increase to +8, and his morale bonus on Will saves increases to +6. The penalty to AC remains at –2.

Epic Zealot[edit]

Table: The Epic Zealot

Hit Die: d10

Level Special
21st Improved Combat Casting
23rd Smite Opposed Alignment 6/day, Bonus Feat
24th Divine Fervor 7/day
26th Bonus Feat
27th Smite Opposed Alignment 7/day
28th Divine Fervor 8/day
29th Bonus Feat

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Bonus Feats: The epic Zealot gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Zealot bonus feats) every three levels after 20th.

Epic Flagellant Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Bane of Enemies, Death of Enemies, Damage Reduction, Epic Dodge, Extended Life Span, Superior Initiative

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Zealot[edit]

Religion: Zealot are warriors for the gods, and thus are keenly devoted to worshiping one god and claiming its superiority over all others. Zealot go about the world preaching their god's gospel, and fighting enemies of their god whenever they rear their heads. While some temples will take in Zealot, many won't, due to their hard-line beliefs and fundamentalist viewpoints.

Other Classes: Zealot will work with almost anyone, except clerics and paladins of opposing deities. Flagellants are often in the front lines with barbarians and some rangers, dealing damage and slaying foes with flail and magic in hand. They are rarely in the back of battle, as they have limited to no ranged capabilities.

Combat: Zealot wade into combat, going into divine fervor and wailing on foes. However, when they cannot continue their fervor, they will often spend the rest of the time casting harmful spells or bolstering allies.

Advancement: Zealot who wish to also dabble in healing often become clerics or paladins, while flagellants who wish for more combat prowess tend to multi-class into barbarians, rangers, rogues or fighters.

Zealots in the World[edit]

Fear the man who believes he has the gods on his side, and no qualms about wading into battle without armor. For his armor is faith, and his sword is the light of those on the astral plane
—Father Theodore Nalfieus, Human Cleric

Zealot are traveling preachers for their god, going from village to village preaching their word. They aid those who cannot aid themselves, and often do odd jobs for no cost while they are staying in an area temporarily. They believe hard work and sacrifice are what the world needs, and will set an example wherever they go for this reason alone.

'Daily Life: A Zealot will start his day early, saying praises to his god and preparing spells for the day. After a simple breakfast, if one at all, the Zealot gets a move on. If he is a party, he will often sing psalms along the way to their destination. If he is alone or in a group of other flagellants or holy men, he will recite praises from his holy books. At mid-day, he has a small lunch, and continues on with prayer and praise-singing. At dusk, he eats a small supper, and reads his holy books before saying one final prayer to his god and laying down for the night.

Notables: Bremias the Pentient, a former heretic and loyalist of Tiamat, is one of Bahamut's greatest Zealot, warding off greed and vice with good works and much charity.

Organizations: In major settlements, like-minded Zealots often gather in small warrens in the poorest parts of the community, doing charity work and preaching the word of their gods.

NPC Reactions: Unsavory characters will often meet Zealots with fear, while complacent NPC's will look at them with contempt.

Zealot Lore[edit]

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

DC Result
5 Zealots are traveling preachers of many gods, and are often hard-line fanatics to their cause.
10 Many large cities have secret cabals of like-minded Zealots, and they are often in the poorest sections of such cities.
15 While on the outside, most temples and churches don't condone the acts of many Zealots, most keep an active network of them traveling throughout the world to fight their enemies.
20 The First Zealot was created when a great plague swept over the world and men were called to combat it with self sacrifice.

Zealots in the Game[edit]

Zealots roam the world speaking for their deity and fighting evil. They are also alms-givers and aid the needy and destitute wherever they go. In battle, they wield ferocious powers and will stop at nothing to finish the job.

Adaptation: Zealots can be the cultists of evil gods, or even sanctioned holy warriors for a predominant church.

Sample Encounter: A group of evil Zealots, led by an evil Cleric, are harassing a community that worship Pelor.

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