Role: Archetype-merging necromancer
Playstyle: A reaper customizes soulsown, to which she later binds to gain access to the abilities she built into them. Given this skillset, a reaper can be or do just about anything, and since magic can mix with the martial, she outright eclipses martial specialists from inferior professions.
When a mortal being dies, its soul tends to move on to the next phase of existence. Whether this happens to be an afterlife, an eternity of haunting, or a few centuries in a soul gem is up to specific circumstance. What few know, however, is that the soul is not truly sempiternal. If death comes in a moment of grief or by the hands of a being of sufficient power, the soul itself will rend and tear, scattering identity to the four winds.
Discarded scraps of souls have been piling up in heaps since the dawn of time, and, long before magic was codified in the way we understand it today, some of the first true necromancers just so happened to notice that they were up to their knees in these catatonic bits and pieces of what used to be people like them. Calling themselves reapers, these necromancers found ways to coax scraps of soul back together, to give lost souls a new lease on life, and to grant these aggregate beings a means of interacting with the world once more. Necromancy, and the rest of magic, has since moved on from what is now considered a product of the formative, dark age of magic, but certain circles still remember its power, and with every advance the rest of the world makes, the reaper gains a new tool.
Role: Moreso than any other adventuring profession, a reaper can basically do anything. The soulsown that she cultivates determines what it is she can do, from spellcasting to being a frontline fighter.
Alignment: Any. Reaping is an ancient branch of the school of necromancy, and those who seek out the dusty tomes that detail the process may be motivated by anything from the desire to help those who literally cannot help themselves to the wish to cobble together the perfect slave.
Hit Die: d6
Starting Wealth: 2d6 x 10 gp (average 70 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Seeds||Base Essence Pool Size|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Essence pool, reaping||2||3|
|3rd||+1||+1||+1||+3||Germination – 1/day||2||9|
|5th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Germination – 1d4 essence, speak with dead||3||15|
|7th||+3||+2||+2||+5||Germination – 2/day||3||21|
|9th||+4||+3||+3||+6||Essence pool – ability mod||3||27 + mod|
|10th||+5||+3||+3||+7||–||3||30 + mod|
|11th||+5||+3||+3||+7||Germination – 3/day, germination – 2d4 essence||3||33 + mod|
|12th||+6/+1||+4||+4||+8||–||4||36 + mod|
|13th||+6/+1||+4||+4||+8||Essence pool – 2 ability mods||4||39 + 2 mods|
|14th||+7/+2||+4||+4||+9||–||4||42 + 2 mods|
|15th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+9||Germination – 4/day||4||45 + 2 mods|
|16th||+8/+3||+5||+5||+10||–||4||48 + 2 mods|
|17th||+8/+3||+5||+5||+10||Germination – 3d4 essence||4||51 + 2 mods|
|18th||+9/+4||+6||+6||+11||–||5||54 + 2 mods|
|19th||+9/+4||+6||+6||+11||Germination – 5/day||5||57 + 2 mods|
|20th||+10/+5||+6||+6||+12||–||5||60 + 2 mods|
The following are all class features of the reaper.
Reapers are proficient with simple weapons.
Armor and Shield Proficiency
Reapers are proficient with light armor and shields, but not tower shields. A reaper suffers from arcane spell failure chance as normal for her arcane spells, but also suffers from arcane spell failure chance on spells sourced from a primal-seeded soulsown if she’s wearing metal armor.
Essence Pool (Su)
At 1st level, a reaper gains an essence pool, a measure of her ability to use the powers learned by her soulsown. The number of points in the reaper’s essence pool is equal to three times her reaper level.
At 9th level, choose Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. The size of the reaper’s essence pool is now increased by the reaper’s ability modifier in the chosen ability score (if positive). At 13th level, choose one of the two ability scores that were not chosen at 9th level. The size of the reaper’s essence pool is now also increased by the reaper’s ability modifier in the chosen ability score (if positive).
The essence pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation? these hours do not have to be consecutive.
At 1st level, a reaper learns how to grow various bits of wayward souls together into a single entity, which she then binds to her own form in order to draw from the power that these beings had in life. This process, the namesake of her profession, is known as reaping, and the end creations are known as the soulsown.
All soulsown are built around a particularly rugged bit of soul, one which can hold up under the stress of being the core of a cobbled mess of varying beings. These cores are known as seeds, and a reaper begins play with two of them. At 6th level and every six levels thereafter, a reaper
gains an additional seed, for a total of five seeds at 18th level. Seeds form the basis of the powers that a soulsown can grant its reaper.
Full details for a soulsown’s progression as its reaper increases in level are below.
While largely a blank slate, the most fundamental aspects of seeds are set in stone, for even when shredded and without a sense of self, a soul remembers something of the power it wielded in its former existence. As a result, seeds have subtypes, which reflect one of the four primary sorts of power in the world: arcane, divine, martial, and primal. Upon acquiring a seed, a reaper chooses that seed’s subtype. The chosen subtype influences the abilities that the soulsown built around that seed gains as its creating reaper increases in level. This decision cannot be changed.
Seeds of the arcane subtype were once part of the soul of a wizard, sorcerer, magus, or other arcane practitioner. As a result, soulsown grown around such a seed reflect such a pedigree, granting spellcasting as their core feature with various ancillary abilities based on both
instinctive and book-learned magic.
Seeds of the divine subtype came from one whose religion defined their very being. While spellcasting does feature quite heavily in those favored by a divine mandate, soulsown grown around the divine seed also draw from the very domains of the gods, and touch upon the mysteries of the universe.
- Pool System: Fortune points, which manipulate d20 rolls
- Wide Reach: Cleric domains
Most seeds are based upon magic. This makes sense, as magic leaves an indelible mark upon a soul no matter how shattered that soul may end up being in the distant future. Those with no such imprint upon them, be it warrior or thief, find themselves grouped into the martial subtype. Soulsown based upon this seed enhance their reaper’s physical prowess to awesome levels, which is absolutely necessary given what magic tends to be able to do.
- Pool System 1: Technique points, allowing for simple maneuvers
- Pool System 2: Raging, as a barbarian
- Wide Reach: Bonus feats
A deep connection with nature is the hallmark of the primal subtype, counting druids, barbarians, rangers, and others among their number. Again, while the natural world does confer spellcasting to those who seek to understand its mysteries, regression to an animalistic state and empathizing with the natural world does seem to go hand in hand with this seed.
- Pool System 1: Totem points, which expand totem options
- Pool System 2: Raging, as a barbarian
- Wide Reach: Totems, deployable objects that cast channeled spells
Binding Seeds (Threshing)
In order to receive benefit from her soulsown, a reaper must first bind with one of them in a process known as threshing. Threshing is performed while communing with the soulsown, and the visible pattern of roots crawling just under the surface of the reaper’s skin is its physical manifestation. When a reaper threshes, she chooses one of her soulsown, gaining the benefits of its seed and its known talents for the threshing’s duration.
A reaper must get 8 hours of sleep and commune with her soulsown for 1 hour in order to change her threshed soulsown. A reaper does not need to commune with her soulsown each day to refresh her daily uses of her soulsown’s abilities. Rather, in order to refresh her daily uses of her soulsown’s abilities, she need only get 8 hours of sleep each night. In essence, a reaper needs not commune at all if she is happy with her current soulsown.
Starting at 3rd level, a reaper gains the ability to form temporary, secondary bonds with her soulsown using a process known as germination. Initiating germination is a swift action. To germinate, the reaper chooses a soulsown other than the one with which she is threshed, if any. Germination lasts for 1 minute, and while it lasts, she gains the benefits of that soulsown’s seed core ability, as well as the benefits of any talents it possesses that specifically function while germinating. A reaper cannot initiate germination if she is already germinating with another soulsown. This ability may be used once per day, plus an additional time per day at 7th level and every 4 levels thereafter.
Starting at 5th level, a reaper gains 1d4 temporary essence points whenever she initiates germination. These temporary essence points persist for the duration of the germination. This increases to 2d4 temporary essence points at 11th level and 3d4 temporary essence points at 17th level.
Threshing and germination are collectively referred to as “binding”, and are only referred to individually when necessary. By extension, a reaper who is currently threshed or germinated is referred to as “bound”.
Speak with Dead (Sp)
At 5th level, all of the reaper’s soulsown with the arcane, divine, or primal seeds learn the speak with dead spell as a 2nd-level spell. This spell does not count toward the number of 2nd-level spells known for the purpose of the Pyramid Rule.
In essence, the soul is the blueprint of both mind and body, and when the soul breaks, all sense of self is utterly discarded. While unable to find all of the scraps that originally made up a soul, many reapers see it to be their duty to take what compatible bits they can find and slowly work them together until a stable aggregate soul, or soulsown, is formed. While the afterlife is closed to most of these aggregate beings for the simple reason that different scraps of the soulsown are meant to go to different afterlives, the soulsown’s ability to think and do once more is usually grounds for gratitude bordering on the slavish. And for those reapers who make soulsown for their own benefit, this is exactly the reaction that they want.
As stated earlier, all soulsown are brought into being through the cultivation of a “seed”. When a soulsown is first created, its reaper selects its seed subtype, which dictates both the soulsown’s core abilities, as well as the talents it can learn. Once a seed subtype is selected, it cannot be changed.
Soulsown with the arcane, divine, or primal seeds are empowered with the magic associated with their focus. Each subtype draws from another class’ spell list, as shown on Table: Soulsown Spellcasting Subtypes, below. When creating a spellcasting soulsown, its reaper chooses one of the two ability scores listed for that subtype. The chosen ability score becomes the soulsown’s spellcasting ability score.
An arcane, divine, or primal soulsown begins play knowing a single spell drawn from the appropriate spell list, plus an additional spell for each reaper level its creator possesses. At each new reaper level, the soulsown learns an additional spell. A soulsown begins play with the ability to learn 1st-level spells, increasing to 2nd-level spells when its master attains reaper level 4th, 3rd-level spells when its master attains reaper level 7th, and so on to a maximum of 6th-level spells at reaper level 16th.
The Difficulty Class (DC) for a saving throw against a soulsown’s spell is 10 + 1/2 its reaper’s class level + the reaper’s spellcasting ability modifier, as defined by the soulsown. A soulsown cannot cast spells, for it cannot touch the mortal realm. Instead, while bound to a soulsown that knows spells, a reaper gains the ability to cast the spells that soulsown knows. To cast a spell in this manner, she must expend essence points equal to the desired spell’s spell level. Her caster level is equal to her reaper level and her spellcasting ability score is the one chosen upon soulsown creation.
The Pyramid Rule
In order to learn a spell of a particular level, a soulsown must know more spells of each lower spell level. For example, if a soulsown knows one 3rd-level spell and wishes to learn a second 3rd-level spell, it must possess at least two 2nd-level spells and two 1st-level spells.
Soulsown with the martial seed are exemplars of the physical form. A martial soulsown begins play knowing a single fighter bonus feat (also known as a combat feat), using its creator’s ability scores and reaper level as its ability scores and fighter level for the purpose of meeting the feat’s prerequisites. At 3rd level and every four levels thereafter, a martial soulsown learns another fighter bonus feat. While bound to its creating reaper, the soulsown grants its master the benefits of all fighter bonus feats that it knows? proficiency with martial weapons? a +4 circumstance bonus to Constitution, but only for the purpose of calculating hit points? and sets the reaper class’ contribution to base attack bonus to be equal to reaper level rather than equal to half reaper level (base attack bonus as fighter).
While bound to two soulsown, if one is martial and one is not martial, the circumstance bonus to Constitution detailed above is reduced to +2, and the reaper class’ contribution to base attack bonus is set to be equal to three-quarters reaper level rather than equal to half reaper level (base attack bonus as cleric). See Table: Reaper Base Attack Bonus by Binding Status.
In lieu of learning a fighter bonus feat as part of its seed, a martial soulsown may instead choose to gain the following ability.
Summon Weapon (Su)
As a standard action, a reaper bound to a soulsown with this ability may expend 2 essence points to draw any simple or martial weapon (but not ammunition for said weapon) out of thin air. This weapon persists for 1 minute or for the duration of the binding, whichever comes first, and the weapon’s quality is determined by the number of times the soulsown has taken this ability.
Special: Summon weapon can be taken up to six times, and progresses as shown on Table: Summon Weapon.
Upon creation, a soulsown gains a talent, plus an additional talent for every two reaper levels its creator possesses. When its master attains reaper level 2nd and every two reaper levels thereafter, a soulsown gains an additional talent, for a total of 11 talents at reaper level 20th. A soulsown must meet the prerequisites of a talent and have its subtype listed in that talent’s compatible seeds listing to take that talent. While threshed to its creating reaper, a soulsown grants its reaper the benefits of all talents it knows. Some unique talents also function in some capacity while germinating.
The Difficulty Class (DC) for a saving throw against a soulsown’s talent is 10 + 1/2 its reaper’s class level + the reaper’s spellcasting ability modifier, as defined by the soulsown. If a soulsown has no spellcasting ability modifier, use the reaper’s Charisma modifier instead.
For the full list of options, see Soulsown Talents.
|Seed Subtype||Spell List as Class||Spellcasting Ability Score|
|Arcane||Wizard||Intelligence or Charisma|
|Divine||Cleric||Wisdom or Charisma|
|Primal||Druid||Intelligence or Wisdom|
|Times Summon Weapon Taken||Quality of Resulting Weapon|
|The Soulsown Reaper’s Level||Special (Arcane, Divine, Primal)||Special (Martial)|
|1st||Seed, Talent||Bonus feat OR summon weapon, seed, talent|
|3rd||–||Bonus feat OR summon weapon|
|7th||–||Bonus feat OR summon weapon|
|11th||–||Bonus feat OR summon weapon|
|15th||–||Bonus feat OR summon weapon|
|19th||–||Bonus feat OR summon weapon|
|Reaper’s Level||Base Attack Bonus: Normal||Base Attack Bonus: Bound to Both Martial and non-Martial Soulsown||Base Attack Bonus: Bound to Martial Soulsown Only|
Sidebar: Reading Soulsown Talents
In essence, a soulsown is a bundle of talents and other abilities that the reaper chassis uses to make an alcoholic sit down and finally play one character for once. While threshed to a soulsown, the reaper gains access to all of that soulsown’s abilities. Given this dynamic, the proper way to codify soulsown talents would be to preface all of them with something along
the lines of, “While bound to this soulsown, you…” and then continue with the text. For the sake of making these talents a bit easier to parse, I’ve removed that bit of language, and remind you that your soulsown (rather than you) know these talents whenever this simplifying assumption begins to break down. This is generally the case for talents that mess with skills, feats, and other such mechanical bits. You didn’t build that. Your soulsown did.
Prerequisites form a special case that needs to be considered here. As your soulsown is the thing picking the talents, it has to meet the prerequisites of a talent, not you. As such, any talent prerequisites need to be met by that soulsown, not by another one in your collection, and certainly not by some psychotic gestalt thing you built that somehow found a way to give a player character soulsown talents somehow. The one exception here is that a soulsown can use your reaper level to meet talent prerequisites? everything else must come from the soulsown itself. Further, a fair number of talents allow a soulsown to grab feats that are normally for actual characters. Here, things get a little odd. The soulsown must meet the prerequisites of the talent, yes, but then the talent lets you go out and grab something else that also has prerequisites. The rules for how this second round of prerequisites works is listed within the text of the talent itself. Generally, you can consider the end result to be an amalgamation of sorts, using abilities from both you and your soulsown in an attempt to meet those prerequisites. Further details as to how that works is present in each talent that uses this mechanic.
Sidebar: Reapers and Pets
The reaper base class has an absolutely immense footprint. Both cleric domains and sorcerer bloodlines are open to reapers, which, being the sort of content that just about everyone and their grandmother will print to fill in a page somewhere, means that a base class with that sort of reach can grab hold of a lesser version of just about any class definition under the sun, and that’s with just two talent chains! This sidebar is an effort to grab one of the most problematic areas and nail it down so the class works and sits at a happy tier 3 despite its wide reach.
A reaper’s soulsown can qualify for familiars, animal companions, cohorts, and other “pets” or “minions” through fourteen different talents, which do everything from drop a companion in the player’s lap to poach said companion from a bloodline somewhere. Given the effectively infinite reach of a soulsown’s talents, as discussed above, this definition of “pet” or “minion” is intentionally left open just in case an ability out there comes up with a new way to hand out underlings. For all abilities that grant access to long-term creature assistance other than animal companions, cohorts, and familiars, check with your game master to see if he considers that creature to be a “pet” or “minion”. If it is, it’s subject to the rules in the next paragraphs.
A soulsown’s animal companions, cohorts, or familiars are reflections of companions that aggregation of souls had in life. When a soulsown gains one of the aforementioned companions, you choose that companion as normal, but your choice of companion can never be changed. In effect, clauses within the rules for each style of “pet” or “minion” that allows the master to change his mind about his minions do not function for a soulsown, for how can a soulsown pick out a new familiar if the familiar he has is a pale imitation of the only boon companion in mortal days that a sliver of a soul can remember?
Since a soulsown’s pets are bound to the soulsown and not its reaper, a soulsown’s pets suddenly materialize around the reaper whenever she initiates threshing with that soulsown, and those pets vanish without a trace as soon as that bond ends. If the reaper herself has a pet of the same type, then a soulsown’s pet of that type does not materialize. For example, if the reaper has a familiar, then no soulsown familiars will ever come into being while bonding. If a soulsown’s pet is slain, it merely disintegrates for the time being, and pops right back into existence again as if nothing had happened the next time the reaper initiates threshing with that soulsown. Memories turn out to be very hard to eradicate. Memories also have a tendency to fade. As a result, a reaper has an effective class level equal to her reaper level – 3 (minimum 1) for the purpose of determining the power of all pets gained through soulsown talents.
Favored Class Bonuses
Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have reapers as their Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.
- Aasimar Every 3 times this bonus is selected, the reaper gains 1 temporary hit point whenever she casts a cure spell (a spell with “cure” in its name). These temporary hit points persist for 1 round.
- Drow Every 10 times this bonus is selected, choose a soulsown talent known by at least one of your soulsown. This talent must be usable a limited number of times per day, and the number of daily uses must be at least two. That talent may be used an additional time per day.
- Dwarf Every 6 times this bonus is selected, choose a soulsown. The reaper may initiate germination with the chosen soulsown once per day without expending a daily use of germination. She does not gain temporary essence points when germinating in this fashion.
- Elf Add +1/2 to the size of the essence pool.
- Gnome Every 8 times this bonus is selected, choose a soulsown, then choose a feat with no prerequisites. While threshed with the chosen soulsown, the reaper gains the benefits of the chosen feat. Choose a different soulsown each time you gain this ability.
- Half-elf Every 10 times this bonus is selected, choose a soulsown talent known by at least one of your soulsown. This talent must be usable a limited number of times per day, and the number of daily uses must be at least two. That talent may be used an additional time per day.
- Halfling Add +1 to skill checks made to earn a living during downtime.
- Half-orc Every time this bonus is selected, the reaper gains 1 temporary hit point whenever she initiates germination. These temporary hit points persist for the duration of the germination.
- Hobgoblin Treat the reaper’s class level as though it were +1 higher for the purpose of the duration of the summon weapon seed ability.
- Human Add +1/2 to the size of the essence pool.
- Kitsune The reaper gains a trickery pool containing points equal to one-third the number of times this bonus has been taken, rounded down. Points from the trickery pool may be used in place of fortune, presto, technique, and totem points. The trickery pool is replenished whenever the reaper replenishes her essence pool.
- Kobold Add +1/4 to the Difficulty Class of all spells if the victim is a gnome.
- Orc Every time this bonus is selected, the reaper gains 1 temporary hit point whenever she initiates germination. These temporary hit points persist for the duration of the germination.
- Puddling Every 8 times this bonus is selected, choose a soulsown, then choose a feat with no prerequisites. While threshed with the chosen soulsown, the reaper gains the benefits of the chosen feat. Choose a different soulsown each time you gain this ability.
- Tiefling Every 3 times this bonus is selected, the reaper gains 1 temporary hit point whenever she casts an inflict spell (a spell with “inflict” in its name). These temporary hit points persist for 1 round.
- Vanara Every 8 times this bonus is selected, choose a soulsown, then choose a feat with no prerequisites. While threshed with the chosen soulsown, the reaper gains the benefits of the chosen feat. Choose a different soulsown each time you gain this ability.
- Vishkanya Every 6 times this bonus is selected, choose a soulsown. The reaper may initiate germination with the chosen soulsown once per day without expending a daily use of germination. She does not gain temporary essence points when germinating in this fashion.