All harbingers draw power from their understanding of their negative emotions and the tragedies and evil that afflict all people. Those who become crimson countesses have a different emphasis: rage. These harbingers, consumed by wrath, revenge, frustration, or simple malicious fury, crimson countesses mark their opponents for bloody vengeance and then wreak devastation upon them. While not all permit their rage to consume them, enough do that these blood-splattered warriors have a dark and dangerous reputation that follows them wherever they go.
Several of a crimson countess’ class features depend on her having Claimed a creature, or affect creatures she has Claimed. For the purposes of these class features, only creatures Claimed using her dark claim ability count; she may not use them with other Claims (such as the soul hunter stalker’s soul claiming class feature)
Starting at 1st level, a crimson countess deals 1d4 damage to each creature Claimed by her at the start of each of her turns. This damage increases to 2d4 at 6th level, 3d4 at 10th level, 4d4 at 14th level, and 5d4 at 18th level.
This ability replaces ill tidings.
At 2nd level, a crimson countess develops the ability to gain and store Vitae. The crimson countess gains 1 point of Vitae whenever she Claims a creature. At the beginning of each of her turns, she gains Vitae points equal to the number of creatures she has Claimed. The maximum amount of Vitae a crimson countess may have stored is equal to her class level. A crimson countess’ Vitae pool resets to 0 after she has spent 1 minute out of combat.
The crimson countess gains a morale bonus on attack and damage rolls made as part of a strike or counter equal to 1/2 her stored Vitae points. These bonuses increases by +2 when initiating such maneuvers against a Claimed creatures. In addition, she gains the following abilities as her Vitae pool grows:
Drain (Su): If the crimson countess has at least 1 Vitae point stored, she can deal damage equal to her class level to each creature she has Claimed as a move action. If she has at least 2 Vitae points stored, she also heals 1d6 hp per creature she has Claimed when she uses this ability.
Recover (Su): Starting at 6th level, if the crimson countess has at least 4 Vitae points stored, she can recover one of her expended boosts or counters as a move action.
Sacrifice (Su): Starting at 10th level, if the crimson countess has at least 6 Vitae points stored, she can activate this ability as an immediate action when she would be take hit point or ability damage. If she does, she chooses a creature she has Claimed; that creature must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the crimson countess’ class level + the crimson countess’ initiation modifier) or take the damage instead of the crimson countess. On a successful save, the creature takes half the damage (rounded down) and the crimson countess takes the remainder. A crimson countess may only use this ability once per encounter.
Sovereignty (Su): Starting at 14th level, if the crimson countess has at least 8 Vitae points stored, she can activate this ability as a standard action. Each creature she has Claimed must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the crimson countess’ class level + the crimson countess’ initiation modifier) or be teleported to an unoccupied space of the crimson countess’ choice within 60 feet of her. The crimson countess may not teleport Claimed creatures into spaces that are intrinsically dangerous (such as those filled with lava, spaces underwater, or spaces in the air if the creature cannot fly).
Exsanguinate (Su): Starting at 20th level, if the crimson countess has at least 10 Vitae points stored, she can activate this ability as a standard action, choosing a single creature she has Claimed. That creature must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the crimson countess’ class level + the crimson countess’ initiation modifier) or die. On a successful save, the target instead takes 13d6 points of damage. If the target dies from this ability, the crimson countess heals a number of hit points equal to 1/2 her normal hp maximum. This ability is a death effect. A crimson countess may only use this ability once per encounter.
This ability replaces dark focus.
Starting at 3rd level, a crimson countess can move up to her speed as a swift action once per encounter. She can use this ability twice per encounter at 9th level, and three times per encounter at 15th level.
At 9th level, a crimson countess gains the ability to transform herself and all of her worn and carried items into a pool of blood with a radius of 5 feet per class level. She can change into her pool form or revert to her natural form as a swift action. When the crimson countess reverts to her natural form, she appear in any space that her pool form occupied (this is not a teleportation effect; she re-forms in the chosen space). While in her pool form, she gains a the following benefits and drawbacks:
- The crimson countess and other creatures can share a space freely. Neither the crimson countess nor these creatures gain any benefit or suffer ill effects from sharing the same space.
- The crimson countess does not threaten spaces and cannot make attacks of opportunity.
- The crimson countess cannot make melee or ranged attacks (and thus cannot initiate maneuvers that require them).
- The crimson countess becomes immune to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
- The crimson countess gains a climb speed of 10 feet.
- The crimson countess does not gain Vitae.
At 15th level, a crimson countess gains the ability to turn into a bloody mist in addition to her pool form. While in mist form, she gains all the benefits and drawbacks of her pool form, except that the mist is a sphere with a radius equal to that of her blood pool form, and she gains a fly speed equal to her land speed with perfect maneuverability. In addition, while transformed, opponents treat spaces occupied by the crimson countess’ pool or mist forms as difficult terrain.
This ability alters and replaces grim news.
Path of War – Expanded, © 2016, Dreamscarred Press.