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    Blackskulls of Iuz
    Posted on Mon, October 01, 2001 by Dogadmin
    Epoch writes "Of all the servants of Iuz the Old, few are more feared than the Blackskulls: an order of elite priests and priestesses. Chosen through a terrifying ordeal of torture, fasting and spellcasting displays, the Blackskulls are among the most sadistic, cruel, and powerful members of Iuz’s army.

    Author: Epoch

    Blackskulls of Iuz

    by Epoch

    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Of all the servants of Iuz the Old, few are more feared than the Blackskulls: an order of elite priests and priestesses. Chosen through a terrifying ordeal of torture, fasting and spellcasting displays, the Blackskulls are among the most sadistic, cruel, and powerful members of Iuz’s army. Not all of the members of the Boneheart and Boneshadow (Iuz’s top servants and henchmen) are Blackskulls, but many of them are, and the painted black skull that serves as their symbol marks them as men and women to be feared and obeyed at all times.

    Blackskulls are most frequently clerics and blackguards of Iuz. Evil rangers sometimes serve the Old One and can qualify for this class. Druids of Iuz, however, are very rare, as Iuz’s disrepect and exploitations of nature are legendary. Iuz also favors wizard/clerics and sorcerer/clerics for their spellcasting powers. It’s nearly impossible for classes who don’t have divine spells to become Blackskulls.

    Hit dice: d8

    Requirements: to become a Blackskull, a character must meet all of the following requirements.
    Alignment: any evil
    Spellcasting: ability to cast 3rd level divine spells
    Knowledge (religion): 8 ranks
    Spellcraft: 8 ranks
    Feats: any metamagic feat
    Special: must worship and be chosen by Iuz in a special initiation ceremony.

    Class skills: alchemy, concentration, craft, diplomacy, heal, intimidate, knowledge (religion), profession, scry, spellcraft

    Skills points at each level: 2 + int modifier

    Class features: all of the following are class features of the Blackskull prestige class

    Weapon and armor proficiency: The Blackskull is proficient with all types of armor and shields, and all simple weapons. The Blackskull also receives proficiency with the greatsword (Iuz's favored weapon) if he doesn't have it already.

    Spells: a Blackskull’s training focuses on divine magic. Every time a new level in Blackskull is gained, the character’s level in his existing divine spellcasting class also increases (for purposes of determining caster level and spells per day, other class abilities such as rebuking undead are not affected). For example: Halga, a 5th level cleric of Iuz, picks up a level of blackskull. For the purposes of caster level and spells per day, she would be treated as a 6th level cleric, but her ability to rebuke undead would only be at 5th level.

    The Old One’s mark: At first level, the Blackskull receives a special tattoo and a new holy symbol (a human skull painted black) to indicate her new position. Any who worship Iuz as their patron recognize these marks, giving the Blackskull a +2 bonus to charisma-based skill checks when dealing with a follower of Iuz.

    Spell power: When your patron deity is on the same plane as you, it has its advantages. At 2nd level, the Blackskull can draw on a little extra power when casting spells, adding +1 to save DCs and caster level checks to overcome spell resistance for all spells. This ability improves (but doesn’t stack) at every even level: +2 at 4th, +3 at 6, +4 at 8th, and +5 at 10th.

    Spell augmentation: at 3rd level, the Blackskull can enhance her spells, using any metamagic feat she knows, on the fly. Casting a spell with this ability does not use up a higher level spell slot, but it does require a full round action to cast (or an extra full round, if the casting time is 1 round or more). This ability can be used once plus the Blackskull’s charisma modifier per day, and is considered an extraordinary ability.

    Metamagic feat: at 5th and 10th levels, the Blackskull may learn a metamagic feat for free.

    Dark magic focus: At 7th level, the Blackskull’s ability to cast dark magic is greatly increased. “Dark magic” includes necromancy spells and spells with the darkness descriptor. Such spells are cast as if the Blackskull were two levels higher.

    Black skull ray: Once per day at 9th level, the Blackskull can use a rebuke undead attempt to deliver a beam of destructive black energy from the negative energy plane through her holy symbol. The beam automatically strikes one target within long range (400 ft + 40 feet per Blackskull level), inflicting 1d8 points of damage per character level of the Blackskull if the target is nonevil. If the target is evil, the beam only deals 1d6 points of damage per character level. If the target is undead, it is raised to maximum hit points, and receices 40 bonus “phantom” hit points which are drained before regular hit points. Additionally, the undead receives a +2 turn resistance and is hastened (as the spell) for one round per Blackskull level. Black Skull ray is a supernatural ability.

    Blackskull class table

    Class LevelBABFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecialSpells Per Day
    1+0+2+0+2The Old One's mark+1 level of existing class
    2+1+3+0+3spell power +1+1 level of existing class
    3+2+3+1+3spell augmentation+1 level of existing class
    4+3+4+1+4spell power +2+1 level of existing class
    5+3+4+1+4metamagic feat+1 level of existing class
    6+4+5+2+5spell power +3+1 level of existing class
    7+5+5+2+5dark magic focus+1 level of existing class
    8+6+6+2+6spell power +4+1 level of existing class
    9+6+6+3+6Black skull ray+1 level of existing class
    10+7+7+3+7spell power +5+1 level of existing class

    Note: Prestige Class"
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    Re: Blackskulls of Iuz (Score: 1)
    by grodog on Mon, October 01, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    I like several of the ideas in this class, in particular the idea that a character who casts spells on the home plane of his god receives some direct benefits.

    This goes back nicely to a thread on Greytalk in March and April of this year, about the differentiation between hero- and demi-gods, among other things: see "the hero-god apotheosis" in the Greytalk archives.


    Re: Blackskulls of Iuz (Score: 1)
    by Man-of-the-Cranes ( on Mon, April 01, 2002
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    I would like to hear more about the trial a potential candidate must pass in order to become a Blackskull.

    Man of the Cranes

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