Most known and admired as symbols of rebirth and immortality, phoenixes are famous creatures, often associated with blessings and good luck. While phoenixes are not as numerous as other legendary creatures, they are far from being rare or unusual sights: their natural immortality makes them bold and daring, and they stop at nothing in their attempts to evade the boredom that comes from such a long life. Despite being reckless and impulsive when it comes to their own selves, phoenixes are rightly known as wise and noble beings, having amassed great experience in their long lives and being able to give valuable advice.
Phoenixes look like majestic birds of prey with brightly-colored feathers. While phoenixes closely resemble hawks or eagles, they have long, beautiful tail feathers and a crest on their head. The plumage of a phoenix is mostly on the tones of red and orange but they sport some feathers of other colors, such as golden, green, blue, azure, and/or purple. While rarely found wearing any decorations outside of their natural feathers, some phoenixes are fond of jewelry, wearing collars, rings on their talons, or even elaborated masks. Phoenixes are able of producing a wide range of sounds, allowing them to speak and perfectly imitate many different sounds.
- Hit Die: A phoenix uses a d8 as Hit Die at every lycanthrope HD he gains.
- Ability Score Modifiers: phoenixes have great inner strength and are fast on their wings, but their small bodies possess little strength. They gain –2 Strength, +4 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom and +4 Charisma.
- Size: phoenixes are small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
- Type: phoenixes are magical beasts with the fire subtype.
- Base Speed: phoenixes have a base speed of 15 feet on land, and they have a flight speed of 30 feet with good maneuvrability.
- Languages: phoenixes begin play speaking Common and Ignan. Phoenixes with high Intelligence scores can choose any language they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
- Terrain: mountain.
- Saving Throws: Charisma-based.
- Starting Wealth: 3d6 × 10 gp (average 105gp.).
- Deathless Spirit: phoenixes gain resistance 5 against negative energy damage. They do not lose hit points when they gain a negative level, and they gain a +2 racial bonus against death effects, energy drain, negative energy, and spells or spell-like abilities of the necromancy
- Elemental Immunity: phoenixes are immune to fire.
- Eternal Hope: phoenixes gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear and despair effects. Also, once per day, after a natural roll of 1 on a d20 roll, phoenixes may reroll and use the second result.
- Fire in the Blood: phoenixes gain fast healing 2 for 1 round anytime they would take fire damage (whether or not this fire damage overcomes their fire immunity). Phoenixes can heal up to 2 hit points per level per day with this ability, after which it ceases to function.
- Skylark: phoenixes gain a +2 racial bonus on Fly and Perform (sing) checks.
- Sociable: when phoenixes attempt to change a creature’s attitude with a Diplomacy check and fail by 5 or more, they can try to influence the creature a second time even if 24 hours have not passed.
- Lightbringer: phoenixes are immune to light-based blindness and dazzle effects, and are treated as one level higher when determining the effects of any light-based spells or effects they cast (including spell-like and supernatural abilities). If a phoenix has Intelligence 10 or higher, they gain the following spell-like ability:
- At will – light.
- Hatred: phoenixes gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against undead.
- Natural Attacks: phoenixes gain a beak attack, dealing 1d4 points of piercing damage plus their Strength modifier and 2 talon attacks, each dealing 1d3 points of slashing damage plus 1/2 their Strength.
- Darkvision: phoenixes can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
- Cold Weakness: phoenixes take half as much damage (+50%) from cold, regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed or if the save is a success or failure.
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int Modifier
|Level||Hit Dice||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special|
|1st||1||+0||+2||+2||+2||[Feat], Flaming Body|
|2nd||2||+1||+3||+3||+3||Ancient Recall, Heat Ray|
|3rd||3||+2||+3||+3||+3||[Feat], Bonus Feat, Phoenix’s Song, Song of Fire|
|4th||AT 1||Blazing Heat|
|5th||4||+3||+4||+4||+4||[Ability Score Increase], Ancient Recall|
|6th||AT 2||Medium Size, Rebirth|
|7th||5||+3||+4||+4||+4||[Feat], Heat Bomb|
|8th||AT 3||Halo of Flames|
|9th||6||+4||+5||+5||+5||Ancient Recall, Bonus Feat, Rhythm of the Hearth|
|11th||8||+6/+1||+6||+6||+6||[Ability Score Increase], Ancient Recall, Resurrection|
|12th||AT 4||Large Size|
|13th||9||+6/+1||+6||+6||+6||[Feat], Bonus Feat, Burning Melody|
|14th||AT 5||Fire Shield|
|15th||10||+7/+2||+7||+7||+7||Ancient Recall, Royal Flame|
|16th||AT 6||Sign of Fire|
|18th||AT 7||Piercing Blaze|
|19th||12||+9/+4||+8||+8||+8||[Ability Score Increase], Ancient Recall, Bonus Feat, Heated Finale|
All of the following are class features of the phoenix.
While fighting, a phoenix’s body burns with red-hot flames. Any creature that hits or is hit by the phoenix with a natural attack or a light melee weapon takes 1d4 points of fire damage. As these flames ignite when the phoenix is ready for battle, the bonuses from flaming body or fire shield (see below) are not in effect during the surprise round unless the phoenix can act during it.
As a standard action, a phoenix of 2nd Hit Die or higher can target a ray of intense heat on a single creature up to 60 feet away, dealing 1d6 points of fire damage per Hit Die on a successful ranged touch attack. This ability can be used at will and doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.
At every even-numbered Hit Die, a phoenix gains either 3 extra skill ranks for that Hit Die, or the Skill Focus feat.
A phoenix can create special effects by singing. Each one of the phoenix’s songs have separate entries describing their effects and the required ranks in the Perform (sing) skill needed to initiate them. All the phoenix’s songs share the same pool of rounds of their daily duration, calculated as 4 + twice the Phoenix’s Hit Dice + its Charisma modifier. Initiating a phoenix’s song is a standard action at 3rd Hit Die, a move action at 8th Hit Die, and a swift action at 11th Hit Die. [Bard – Bardic Performance]
A phoenix of 3rd Hit Die or higher with at least 3 ranks in Perform (sing) can initiate this special song as a standard action. All allies that can hear the phoenix and are within 30 feet of her gain a bonus to attack rolls equal to the phoenix’s Charisma modifier, and deal 1d6 points of extra fire damage with each attack. If the attacks are directed at creatures with the cold subtype, also the phoenix’s Charisma bonus is added to the extra fire damage.
At 3rd Hit Die and every 3 Hit Dice thereafter, a phoenix gains a feat she qualifies for.
At its 1st Advancement Tier a phoenix’s fire burns hotter. The damage from flaming body increased to 1d6 points, and it’s applied also to attacks with all melee, non-reach weapons.
A phoenix of 2nd Advancement Tier or higher that successfully stabilizes regains a number of hit points equal to her Charisma bonus.
At 2nd Advancement Tier, a phoenix grows larger, becoming Medium-sized. The base damage of her talon attacks becomes 1d4, and that of her beak becomes 1d6. Furthermore, the phoenix gains a +4 bonus to Strength, a +2 bonus to Constitution, a –2 penalty to Dexterity, and two secondary wing attacks dealing 1d4 + 1/2 her Strength modifier points of bludgeoning damage each. The size change also lowers the phoenix’s bonus to AC and attack rolls, Fly skill checks and Stealth skill checks to 0, as well as reducing to 0 the penalty to CMB and CMD.
A phoenix of 5th Hit Die or higher can focus her heat in an explosive attack. This ability works as a fireball spell, except that it deals 1d8 points of fire damage per phoenix Hit Die (max 10d8). This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to the phoenix’s Charisma modifier.
At 3rd Advancement Tier, the phoenix’s flames burn even hotter. The damage from flaming body increases to 1d8, and is applied also to attacks with reach weapons.
A phoenix of 6th Hit Die or higher with at least 6 ranks in Perform (sing) gains access to this special performance. All allies within 30 feet of her gain resistance 30 against fire, and a +4 morale bonus to saving throws against necromancy, enchantment, and petrification effects. Allies under the effect of this ability take no damage from fire spells and effects originating from allies, and only take half damage from cold spells and effects originating from allies.
A phoenix of 8th Hit Die or higher brought to 0 or less hit points can recover a number of hit points equal to her Charisma modifier as an immediate action. This ability can be used once per day, plus one more time per day at 12th Hit Die.
At 4th Advancement Tier, a phoenix grows larger, becoming Large-sized. The base damage of her talon and wing attacks becomes 1d6, and that of her beak becomes 1d8. Furthermore, the phoenix gains a +6 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Constitution, a –2 penalty to Dexterity and a +2 bonus to its natural armor. The size change also gives the phoenix a –1 penalty to AC and attack rolls, a +1 bonus to its CMB and CMD, a –2 penalty on Fly skill checks, and a –4 penalty to Stealth skill checks. The phoenix gains a 10-foot reach.
A phoenix of at least 9th Hit Die with at least 9 ranks in Perform (sing) gains access to this special performance. All sources of fire damage used by allies within 30 feet ignore all fire resistances, and deal half the damage to creatures immune to fire. Creatures with the cold subtype or vulnerable to fire within 30 feet take an amount of fire damage equal to 1d8 + the phoenix’s Hit Dice each round of this performance.
At 5th Advancement Tier, a phoenix’s flames become even more dangerous, and can also protect the phoenix from harm. The phoenix’s flaming body provides also the same damage rate and protection as the fire shield spell as if cast by a spellcaster with level equal to the phoenix’s Hit Die. This effect can be dispelled, but the phoenix can restore it using a free action during her turn. While the effect of fire shield is suppressed, damage from halo of flames still applies.
Once per day per point of Charisma modifier, a phoenix of 10th Hit Die or higher can cause her heat ray to deal 1–1/2 times its normal damage. The subject of a royal flame must make a Fortitude save or lose their damage reduction, regeneration and/or fast healing for 1d4 rounds. If the target has more than one of these special qualities, the phoenix must choose which one to suppress, or the GM chooses randomly. On a successful save, the damage reduction, regeneration and/or fast healing of the creature are instead reduced by 5 points for 1d4 rounds. Using a royal flame is a full-round action.
By expending a daily use of heat bomb, a phoenix of 6th Advancement Tier or higher can create a 30ft-radius burst centered on itself. The cleansing flames released this way deal 2d6 points of fire damage per phoenix Hit Die to all the undead caught in the area. A successful Reflex save halves the damage. All allies in the area are instead subject to a break enchantment effect, as if cast by a 15th-level spellcaster.
A phoenix of 11th Hit Die or higher can willingly burst into flames fueled by her own life-force. This is a full-round action activated by expending of a daily use of heat bomb. Up to 1 creature per Hit Die within 30 feet of the phoenix takes 1d8 points of divine damage per phoenix Hit Die and is stunned for 1 round. A successful Fortitude save causes the creature to be staggered instead of stunned. After using this ability, the phoenix is left at –1 hit points and dying, regardless of the amount of hit points it had before using immolation.
All the fire damage inflicted by a phoenix of 7th Advancement Tier or higher ignores all amounts of fire resistance and deals half damage to creatures immune to fire. If a burning melody is also in effect, the phoenix deals +1 points of damage per die whenever it deals fire damage, and deals full damage against creatures immune to fire.
A phoenix of at least 12th Hit Die can use this ability as a swift action that consumes 5 daily rounds of performance, and only while maintaining another of its performance abilities. Using this ability ends the previously active performance. All foes within 30 feet that sustained fire damage in the previous or current round must make a Fortitude save or instantly sustain one half of that amount of damage immediately. Regardless of the save result, all foes that were entitled to the saving throw are flat-footed until their next action.
Alternatively, the phoenix can spend an extra round of performance while it is maintaining another performance to directly deal damage as a standard action. All creatures in a 10ft-radius spread centered on a point within a long range take fire damage equal to the result of a Perform (sing) check. These creatures can attempt a Reflex save to halve the damage.
A phoenix at the peak of its maturity is almost impossible to kill. A phoenix that has achieved its 8th Advancement Tier can attempt to stabilize even if she is effectively dead. Negative hit points greater than her Constitution score don’t count for the stabilize check, and she doesn’t take further damage from a failed check. When the check is successful, the phoenix regains hit points as per her rebirth ability, but also suffers 1 negative level for the following 24 hours. A phoenix cannot revive this way if the negative level would leave her at 0 or less Hit Dice. The days spent dead count towards removing these negative levels, meaning that if a phoenix is dead and with negative levels equal to its Hit Dice –1, it will have one less negative level on the next day and will be able to return to life. When this ability revives the phoenix, she can choose to burst into flames; if she does, all adjacent creatures take damage as per the immolation ability.
Of Stranger Bonds, © 2019, Alessandro Passera