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Malefex

In alleys, shantytowns, and wildernesses of the world there are people who make their way on the edges. Street gangs band together for mutual protection, tribes form traditions that help ensure their survival, and criminal organizations turn to shards of strange magic for an edge against their rivals. Malefexes are part of these traditions, an unspoken sorority of the downtrodden who master curses remembered in children’s songs and grandparents’ stories. When wizards turn up their noses at street-level work and sorcerers abandon the slums for a better life granted by their magic, the malefex is there, often trained by little more than life on the streets and traditions remembered from the last time the gang or neighborhood had a malefex. Many go their entire lives thinking their skills are a tradition unique to their own city or tribe, while others travel and discover to their surprise that other malefexes, remarkably like themselves, exist the world over.

Malefexes draw on tradition and communal memory to curse their enemies, and bring a variety of odd skills to the table to support their allies.

They thrive best when they can work with a team, setting up their friends and colleagues for lethal blows and easing their way through more esoteric problems.

Malefexes fight dirty, and make no apologies for winning.

Role: Malefexes cripple the enemies of their party and then go after soft targets while offering an array of useful skills and out-of-combat abilities. During explorations, malefexes can help handle traps and obstacles without blowing them up, and may supplement the sagacity of a party’s wizard or bard for threat identification.

Alignment: Any. A malefex can use her powers to any end she wishes.

Starting Age: Intuitive

Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills

The malefex’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: Malefex
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Malefactions Known
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Malefactions (least), school of hard knocks, trapfinding, wrack 2
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Skin of my teeth 3
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 School of hard knocks 4
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Sucker jinx 4
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Back-alley bargains 5
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Malefactions (lesser), school of hard knocks 6
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Schadenfreude 7
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Dual malefaction 7
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 School of hard knocks 8
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Cool under fire 9
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Malefactions (greater) 10
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 School of hard knocks, upon your house 10
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Curse breaker, witch walk 11
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Sublime schadenfreude 12
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 School of hard knocks 12
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 A dark and stormy night, malefactions (grim) 13
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Practiced jinxing 14
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 School of hard knocks 15
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Lingering misfortune 16
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Malefactions (malediction) 17

Class Features

The following are the class features of the malefex.

Occult Skill Unlocks

Though a malefex is not, strictly, a spellcaster, the psychic ties that fuel her powers allow her to use occult skill unlocks as if she could cast psychic spells.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A malefex is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as with light armor.

Malefactions (Su)

Malefexes express their power through curses and jinxes known as malefactions. All malefactions target a single creature or object within medium range (100 feet + 10 feet per malefex level) of the malefex, and require the malefex to clearly verbalize their curse against the target (a malefex with telepathy can substitute telepathic communication directed at the target, if she wishes). Malefactions do not provoke attacks of opportunity, and in order use one, the malefex must have a general idea of where the target is (such as by seeing them, or knowing the space they occupy).

Using a malefaction is a swift action.

At any given time, a malefex can have a maximum number of malefactions active equal to 3 + 1/2 her Wisdom bonus. She may only have one instance of a given malefaction active at once; if she wishes to use a malefaction she already has active, she must dismiss it (a free action) or wait until it ends.

Though malefactions are not, strictly, limited, they rely on the malefex’s presence to keep them from fading.

As such, malefactions last indefinitely so long as the malefex can still see, hear, or otherwise perceive the target. However, if the target escapes her awareness for 1 minute, each of her malefactions on them end.

A malefex only knows a limited number of malefactions.

She learns two malefactions at 1st level, and she increases in level, she learns additional malefactions as shown on Table: Malefex. At 1st level, a malefex may only learn least malefactions. Starting at 6th level she can learn lesser malefactions. At 11th level, she may learn greater malefactions, at 16th level, she may learn grim malefactions, and at 20th level, she may select a malediction.

If a malefaction prompts a save, the save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the malefex’s class level + the malefex’s Wisdom modifier. Malefactions that require Fortitude saves can still affect objects and creatures without Constitution scores. Malefactions are curse effects.

School of Hard Knocks

At 1st level and again at 3rd level and every three malefex levels thereafter, a malefex selects a knock. Knocks are tricks, edges, and tactics that the malefex learns through training or experience. Some knocks have prerequisites; the malefex must meet all prerequisites for a knock she wishes to select. Unless otherwise indicated, a given knock may only be selected once.

Wrack (Su)

A malefex can take advantage of the weaknesses she creates, driving her attacks home with merciless force. She gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls made against cursed creatures, which increases by +1 at 4th level and again every 4 levels thereafter. In addition, her attacks against cursed creatures deal additional damage equal to her Wisdom modifier.

Trapfinding (Ex)

A malefex adds 1/2 her class level (minimum +1) on Disable Device checks and on Perception checks made to locate traps. A malefex can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps like a rogue can.

Skin Of My Teeth (Su)

Starting at 2nd level, a malefex gains a bonus equal to her Wisdom modifier (if positive) as a bonus on Fortitude and Reflex saves.

Sucker Jinx (Su)

A malefex of 4th level or higher is adept at cursing people when their guards are down.

Flanked creatures suffer a -2 penalty on saving throws against her malefactions, even if the malefex herself is not flanking them.

Back-Alley Bargains (Su)

A malefex of 5th level or higher can read the connections between community and commerce to turn up merchants and bargains in unlikely places. She gains a +2 insight bonus on Appraise checks. In addition, the malefex may concentrate as a move action on a specific kind of item (such as ‘magic weapons’, ‘potions’, or ‘wands’) and sense the direction and distance from herself to the nearest individual or shop that is selling such items, assuming one exists within 1 mile of the malefex.

Schadenfreude (Su)

Starting at 7th level, the malefex gains vitality by leeching the misfortune of her victims.

She gains 5 temporary hit points whenever another creature within close range of her (25 feet + 5 feet per two class levels) fails a saving throw against an ability, maneuver, spell, or spell-like ability with the curse descriptor. At 14th level, this increases to temporary hit points equal to her class level. These temporary hit points stack with themselves, up to a total equal to 1/2 the malefex’s full maximum hit points, and last for up to 1 minute.

Dual Malefaction (Su)

Malefexes of 8th level or higher may use two malefactions with the same swift action, provided each has a different target.

Cool Under Fire (Ex)

A malefex of 10th level or higher has become so practiced in certain skills that they are second-nature to her. Upon gaining this ability, she selects a number of skills equal to her Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). When making a skill check with one of these skills, she may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so.

Upon Your House (Su)

A malefex of 12th level or higher can affect any or all opponents within close range (25 feet + 5 feet per two malefex levels) of herself with a malefaction she invokes, instead of only one creature.

The malefex cannot target objects when invoking a malefaction in this way, and she still cannot invoke that malefaction again until all creatures affected by it are no longer under its effects. Using this ability counts as invoking three malefactions for the purposes of how many malefactions the malefex can maintain.

Curse Breaker (Sp)

Starting at 13th level, a malefex may use break enchantment twice per day as a spell-like ability, with a caster level equal to her malefex level.

Witch Walk (Su)

Starting at 13th level, a malefex may teleport a distance equal to her land speed as a move action. She must have line of effect to her destination and a reasonable idea of where it is (such as through sight, tremorsense, or a DC 10 Perception check to locate the square in question).

Sublime Schadenfreude (Su)

Starting at 14th level, the temporary hit points gained from the malefex’s schadenfreude ability instead last for up to 1 hour per class level. In addition, she may expend up to 4 temporary hit points per class level as a move action; if she does, she heals 1 hit point per 4 temporary hit points expended.

A Dark and Stormy Night (Su)

A malefex of 16th level or higher can tap her connection to myth and urban legends to wreath herself in dread. As a standard action, the malefex can project her power into a 30-foot radius around herself, altering it to fit her idea of a dreadful or cursed places. The appearance of stormy nights, billowing fog, or mist-choked graveyards are common, though not required; the images the malefex projects suit her idea of accursed places or dreadful moments.

Regardless of their appearance, the malefex’s allies gain concealment and a +2 circumstance bonus on Intimidate checks while within this area, and her opponents suffer a -2 penalty to saving throws, which worsens to -4 against fear effects. This ability lasts for as long as the malefex wishes, and she cay cease projecting these images as a free action, even if it’s not her turn. This is an illusion (shadow) effect.

Practiced Jinxing (Su)

A malefex of 17th level or higher drives her curses home with refined expertise.

Up to four times per day, as a free action, she may force an opponent to reroll its saving throw against one of her malefactions. This reroll must be declared after the opponent’s save has been rolled, but before its results have been determined. The opponent must use the results of the second roll, even if they are worse. You may not force an opponent to reroll the same saving throw more than one time with this ability.

Lingering Misfortune (Su)

Starting at 19th level, a malefex may teleport to any space adjacent to a creature suffering from one of her malefactions as a move action, regardless of the distance between her and that creature.

She does not need line of sight or line of effect to that creature; indeed, she does not even need to know where it is or what plane it is on. She gets a brief glimpse of the area within 10 feet of the creature in question before she teleports, enough to safely select her space or choose not to make the teleportation. If the malefex has the bad penny knock, she may also teleport to a space adjacent to one of her pennies in this fashion.

Knocks

A malefex can choose from the following abilities with her school of hard knocks class feature.

Bad Penny (Su)

The malefex may bind an object to herself in a special ritual, ensuring that she has it when she needs it. This ritual requires the object in question, which must be small enough for the malefex to lift and carry, as well as 10 minutes and 100 gold pieces’ worth of reagents and preparatory materials. Thereafter, the item in question is the malefex’s penny. The malefex may summon her penny to herself as a swift action, teleporting it into her possession regardless of any physical distance or planar boundary. If the penny is a weapon, she may have it arrive in her hand. If the penny is armor, she may have it arrive donned and ready (any armor she’s currently wearing appears on the ground next to her in a neat pile). Containers that are pennies arrive, with their contents, in the appropriate place on the malefex’s body (backpacks on her back, pouches tied to belts or bandoliers, quivers at her belt or slung over her shoulder, etc). A malefex may only have one penny at a time, and divesting an object of this status requires another ritual which takes ten minutes to break the bond between her and it. A destroyed object ceases to be a penny, as do objects that cease to be objects (such as one animated by animate objects). A malefex may select this knock a second time; if she does, she may have an additional number of pennies at one time equal to her Wisdom modifier (for a total number equal to 1 + her Wisdom bonus). She may summon any number of her pennies with the same swift action.

Bare-Knuckle Brawler (Ex)

The malefex gains Improved Unarmed Strike and Greater Unarmed Strike as bonus feats, and use her Wisdom instead of her Strength for attack rolls (but not damage rolls) with unarmed strikes.

Bitter Experience (Ex)

The malefex adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) as an insight bonus on Disable Device prerequisites for this feat) and deals additional damage equal to her class level against flat-footed creatures, as well as creatures she hits with her attacks of opportunity.

Know-It-All (Ex)

The malefex selects two Knowledge skills. She is treated as having skill ranks equal to her character level in the chosen Knowledge skills, including for prerequisites. Upon taking this knock, she may immediately retrain any and all skill points she has in those Knowledge skills, without any cost of time or gold.

Make Do (Ex)

The malefex treats her armor, tools, and weapons as being masterwork unless their quality is already better (typically by being magical). In addition, the malefex never suffers penalties to skill checks for having no tools or inappropriate tools; she can always make do with the resources at hand. This knock may be selected a second time; if it is, the malefex gains the ability to use make whole at-will as a spell-like ability (caster level equal to her class level), and selects a weapon or armor special ability with a value of +1. Her wielded weapons (including improvised weapons, natural weapons, and unarmed strikes) or worn armor (as appropriate) gain that special ability in addition to their other enhancements, even if they are not otherwise magical or masterwork. This additional enhancement fades 1 round after the malefex is no longer in possession of the items in question. This additional enhancement may not cause her weapons or armor to exceed the normal +10 enhancement limit; if it would, the weapons or armor in question do not gain the additional enhancement from this ability. This additional enhancement is a supernatural ability.

Mutt

The malefex gains a heritage feat she qualifies for as a bonus feat (see Bloodforge for more details).

Notoriety (Ex)

The malefex gains the vigilante’s renown social talent (see the Reference Materials section). Unlike a vigilante, her renown only grants her a single benefit; when she gains this knock, she chooses to have a social identity or a vigilante identity for the purposes of her renown. She may change the choice she made once per month when she gains renown in a community. If she chooses to have a vigilante identity, her renown spreads as long as she spends at least 4 hours socializing and making contacts (as normal), but she does not gain the normal benefits; only the benefits that would normally be gained in a vigilante identity.

At 9th level or higher, the malefex can select this knock again, gaining the great renown social talent. At 12th level or higher, she can select it a third time to gain the incredible renown social talent. These talents work the same way as the malefex’s renown talent.

Notorious Identity (Ex)

The malefex gains one of the following social talents: celebrity discount, celebrity perks, feign innocence, loyal aid, or triumphant return; the malefex must be at least 6th level to select celebrity perks or feign innocence. A malefex must possess the notoriety knock to select this knock. This knock can be selected multiple times, each time selecting a different social talent from the list of those available.

Personal Touch (Su)

The malefex selects a weapon or armor special ability with a value of +1 or +2; once selected, this special ability may not be changed. Her wielded weapons (including improvised weapons, natural weapons, and unarmed strikes) or worn armor (as appropriate) gain that special ability in addition to their other enhancements, even if they are not otherwise magical or masterwork. This additional enhancement fades 1 round after the items are no longer in the malefex’s possessions.

This additional enhancement may not cause her weapons or armor to exceed the normal limit on enhancements. Special abilities that have or grant an ability with limited uses per day (such as lucky) may only be used that many times per day, no matter how many weapons or suits of armor the malefex bestows them upon. In addition, the malefex treats improvised weapons as unarmed strikes for the purposes of affecting them with an amulet of mighty fists or similar items. A malefex must have selected the make do knock twice and be 9th level or higher to select this knock.

Rogue Talent

The malefex gains a single rogue talent (but not an advanced talent). She may not select talents that modify sneak attack.

Size Up (Sp)

The malefex can use psychic reading as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to her Wisdom modifier. A malefex must be at least 6th level to select this knock.

Street Tactics (Ex)

Once per day, the malefex can designate one or more creatures her partners, up to a maximum number equal to her Wisdom modifier, by training with them for ten minutes. For the rest of the day, whenever the malefex is within medium range (100 feet + 10 feet per class level) of one or more of her partners she gains the benefits of any teamwork feats those partners possess (including counting as a creature that possesses those feats).

The Boogeyman’s Trick (Su)

The malefex needs neither time nor tools to gain passage. Whenever she attempts to open a door, window or other entryway, she may make a Disable Device check as a free action, including bonuses from items and tools on her person (even though she’s not actively using them). Any lock or trap within 10 feet of the door, window, or entryway in question (including those on the entryway itself) with a DC lower than the malefex’s check result is unlocked and disarmed harmlessly. A malefex must be at least 9th level to select this knock.

The Cursed Condition

The cursed condition, introduced in Path of War: Expanded, does not have an effect of its own. Any creature suffering from a spell or ability with the curse descriptor (such as bestow curse or a malefaction) is considered cursed, though other abilities may also apply the cursed condition.

Cursed creatures are vulnerable to additional effects from certain abilities, items, maneuvers, or spells, such as a malefex’s wrack ability. A creature continues to suffer the cursed condition until all of the curses affecting them end. The successful application of break enchantment, remove curse, and similar effects removes the cursed condition from the target in addition to their normal effects. This takes precedence over the definition of the cursed condition in Path of War: Expanded.

Malefactions

The weakest malefactions are known as least malefactions. Lesser, greater, and grim malefactions, as well as maledictions (in order of strength) represent stronger, more insidious curses laid down by malefexes and other characters who practice the art of malefactions.

All malefactions are curse effects, though they may have other descriptors, such as mind-affecting. Malefactions are formatted, in order of strength, as follows:

Name

Type [descriptors]

Target: Typically 1 creature or 1 object
Saving Throw: Typically Fort, Reflex, or Will negates

Descriptive text.

Effect

Least Malefactions

Baleful Glare

Least [curse]

Target: 1 creature or 1 object
Saving Throw: Will negates

You subject your victim to the evil eye.

If your target fails it save, it suffers from a -2 penalty on caster level checks, concentration checks, manifester level checks, saving throws, and skill checks.

Face Stealer

Least [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates

You rob your victim of their identity.

If your target fails its save, it suffers a -2 penalty to its Charisma and you gain the benefits of a disguise self spell, at a caster level equal to your character level, except that you appear as your target. If your target dies while suffering from this malefaction, its corpse’s face becomes permanently, and entirely, featureless, imposing a -10 circumstance penalty to attempts to identify the body.

Glued Boots

Least [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: None

You foul the movements of your victim.

Choose one:

  • Your target cannot take 5-foot steps or use the withdraw action.
  • Your target’s movement speeds are halved (rounded down to the nearest multiple of 5 feet). You gain a 15 foot enhancement bonus to your movement speeds.

Sandman’s Deception

Least [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will negates

You dim the senses of your victim.

If your target fails its save, choose a special sense (such as darkvision, greensight, or scent). Your target loses that sense, if it possesses it. Otherwise, your target suffers a -4 penalty on Perception checks.

Sands of Time

Least [curse]

Target: 1 object
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You wither an object, as though it has been neglected for years.

If your target fails its save, it loses 2 points of hardness per character level (minimum 0). If this reduces the object’s hardness to 0, it gains the broken condition for the duration of this malefaction.

Steal Courage

Least [curse, fear, mind-affecting]
Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will negates

You rob your victim of their valor.

If the target fails its save, it becomes shaken and you gain a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls against it.

Steal Possessions

Least [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You rob your victim of their goods.

If the target fails its save, it takes a penalty to its CMD against steal and disarm combat maneuvers equal to your Wisdom modifier and you gain a luck bonus equal to your Wisdom modifier to your CMB on steal and disarm combat maneuvers as well as not provoking attacks of opportunity from attempting steal or disarm combat maneuvers against those affected by this effect.

Steal Stamina

Least [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You rob your victim of their strength.

If the target fails its save, it becomes fatigued and you gain a +2 morale bonus to your Strength and Dexterity scores.

Steal Talent

Least [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will negates

You rob your victim of their skill.

If the target fails their saving throw, it takes a penalty on all skill checks equal to your Wisdom modifier and you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on all skill checks.

Tongue Tie

Least [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You afflict your victim with a stuttering curse.

If your target fails its save, it suffers a -4 penalty on all skill checks with a verbal component (including, but not limited to, Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate), as well as a 20% failure chance on spells with a verbal component. This is in addition to any other failure chances they have (though it is rolled separately).

Traitor’s Blade

Least [curse]

Target: 1 held or wielded weapon
Saving Throw: Will negates

You curse a weapon to betray its master If the target fails its save, creatures holding it suffer a -1 penalty on attack and damage rolls. This penalty increases by -1 for every four character levels you possess.

Lesser Malefactions

Censure: Succor

Lesser [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial (see text)

You cut your victim off from aid or healing.

Your target loses any fast healing and regeneration abilities it possesses for the duration of this malefaction (no save).

In addition, if they fail their saving throw they ignore the first 10 points of healing (plus 5 points for every 4 levels you possess, to a maximum of 30 points at 20th level) from nonextraordinary healing effects.

Confiscate: Blood

Lesser [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You rob your victim of their life.

If the target fails its save, it takes bleed damage equal to your Wisdom bonus and you gain temporary hit points equal to twice your Wisdom modifier. These temporary hit points last for the duration of this malefaction. The bleed stops when this malefaction expires, unless it is removed first.

Confiscate: Thoughts

Lesser [curse, mind-affecting]
Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will negates

You rob your victim of their mind.

If the target fails its save, you may read its thoughts (as if you had concentrated for three rounds on a detect thoughts spell). In addition, you gain +2 insight bonus to your armor class against attacks made by your target. At malefex level 11th, this bonus increases to +4.

Confiscate: Vitality

Lesser [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You rob your victim of their toughness.

If the target fails its save, it is exhausted and you gain a temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier, which last for up to one minute per character level.

Decree: Anteros

Lesser [compulsion, curse, mind-affecting]
Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will negates

You inspire hatred and enmity in your victim.

Choose a creature within range other than your target. If your target fails their saving throw, their attitude becomes hostile towards the chosen creature.

Embargo: Alacrity

Lesser [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You dull the reflexes of your victim.

If your target fails their saving throw, their abilities (such as maneuvers, powers, psi-like abilities, supernatural abilities), or spell-like abilities that normally use a swift action instead require a move action to use (this curse does not change the action cost of immediate actions). The target may still only use one such ability per round.

Forbiddance: Flight

Lesser [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You drag your victim to the earth.

If your target fails their saving throw, they are rendered incapable of flying for the duration; they lose any and all fly speeds they possess, are treated as having no ranks in the Fly skill, and cannot hover, leap, or levitate higher than ten feet from the ground. If the target is flying or levitating when they are affected by this malefaction, they fall to the ground slowly and suffer no falling damage.

Interdiction: Sorcery

Lesser [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You punish your victim’s attempts to use sorcery.

If your target fails their save they take points of damage equal to 1d6 + your Wisdom modifier whenever they attempt to cast a spell, manifest a power, or use a psi-like or spell-like ability. This damage increases by 1d6 at malefex level 11th, and again at 16th level. Your target is aware of this effect, and the damage happens after the ability, power, or spell in question.

Prohibition: Courage

Lesser [curse, fear, mind-affecting]
Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will negates

You erode the courage and valor of your victim.

Creatures immune to fear or mind-affecting abilities are not wholly immune to this malefaction; instead, see the second effect below. If your target fails their save, they suffer a penalty on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws equal to your Wisdom modifier.

If your target is normally immune to fear for any reason (including being immune to mind-affecting abilities), they instead lose that immunity if they fail their save. Creatures immune to other effects remain immune to those effects (for instance, a creature immune to mind-affecting abilities may be affected by fear effects, but not charm person).

Sanction: Cowardice

Lesser [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will negates

You punish your victim for failing to face you in battle.

If your target fails their save, then whenever they use an ability or make an attack that does not include you as one of the targets (or within its area, for an area effect), they become shaken until the end of their next turn. Successive triggers of this ability increase the fear to a greater condition, as normal, and the condition is applied before the effect in question, potentially penalizing or disrupting the action.

The target is aware of this effect if they fail their save.

Greater Malefactions

Chink in the Armor

Greater [curse]

Target: 1 creature or 1 object
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You strip your victim of their armoring nature.

If your target fails their save, they lose any and all damage reduction and/or hardness that they possess. In addition, they suffer a -2 penalty to saving throws.

Delusion

Greater [curse, mind-affecting]
Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will partial (see text)

You wreak havoc on your foe’s perceptions.

Your target suffers a -4 penalty on attack rolls and Perception checks (no save). In addition, if your target fails their save their attacks suffer a 40% miss chance.

Distraction

Greater [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will negates

You dazzle your victim with an assault of power.

If your target fails their save they are dazed for 1 round, then sickened for the remaining duration of this malefaction.

Faithless Sorcery

Greater [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will negates

You strip your victim of their magical wards.

If your target fails their save, choose a power or spell affecting them. The effects of that power or spell are suppressed for the duration of this malefaction, and you may choose to gain those effects until either the power or spell’s duration expires, this malefaction’s duration expires, or this malefaction is dismissed or removed.

Infirmity

Greater [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You wither your victim with a baleful curse.

If your target fails their save, they suffer a -4 penalty to all of their mental or physical ability scores, chosen when you invoke this malediction.

Steel’s Betrayal

Greater [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Reflex partial

You break an object with your will.

Choose an object worn or held by your target. It gains the broken condition for the duration of this malefaction. If your target fails their save, they suffer 5d6 + your class level points of magical piercing damage as they are sprayed with shards of the object.

Suspicion

Greater [curse, mind-affecting]
Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will partial (see text)

You ravage your victim with paranoia and suspicion.

Your target does not count as an ally to any creature for the purposes of flanking and targeting abilities, as well as determining the effects of abilities with an area of effect (no save). In addition, if your target fails their save they may not waive their saving throws against other effects (this means, amongst other things, that they always roll a saving throw against harmless effects).

Wyrmbane Curse

Greater [curse]

Target: 1 creature or 1 object
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You introduce an elemental vulnerability to your victim.

Choose an energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, negative energy, positive energy, or sonic). If your target fails their save, they become vulnerable (+50% damage) to the chosen energy type. In addition, they lose all energy resistance they possess, and their energy immunities (from any source) are downgraded to resistance 30 against that energy type, which is not further reduced by this malefaction.

Grim Malefactions

Blood For Blood

Grim [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fort negates (see text)

You tie your life to that of your victim.

If your target fails its save, it takes half of any damage it deals to you (only actual damage taken is counted; damage negated by immunities, damage reduction, energy resistance, or a similar effect is not reflected back) This damage cannot be reduced or avoided in any way. In addition, if you are reduced to 0 or fewer hit points while your target suffers from this malefaction they must succeed at a Fortitude save or be stunned for 1 round.

Circe’s Word

Grim [curse, polymorph]
Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You force your victim into a more humble, unassuming form.

If your target fails their save, they are affected as if by baleful polymorph (they attempt their Will save against a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 your class level + your Wisdom modifier), except that it only lasts for the duration of the malefaction.

Decree of Exile

Grim [curse, teleportation]
Target: 1 creature or 1 object
Saving Throw: Will negates

You banish your victim from your presence.

Unlike other malefactions, this malefaction lasts for 1 minute per malefex level, or until it is dismissed, whatever comes first, and does not stop if the target leaves the malefex’s perceptions. If your target fails their save, they and their attended, carried, held, and/or worn objects are transported to a flat, featureless demiplane with traits identical to the prime material plane (including breathable air). This demiplane is a sphere with a 300-foot radius. If multiple creatures are subject to this malefaction at the same time (such as with the upon your house class feature), they all arrive in random locations in the same demiplane that are on the ground and not within one another’s threatened areas.

At the end of this malefaction’s duration your target, or their corpse, and their relevant possessions are transported to their previous space. If that space is occupied, they instead arrive in the nearest unoccupied space that is not inherently hazardous (such as by being a pool of lava).

Drain Vigor

Grim [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You rob your victim of their essence.

If the target fails its save, it becomes staggered and you gain the benefits of a haste spell, at a caster level equal to your character level.

Mystic Isolation

Grim [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will partial (see text)

You cut your victim off from their allies’ power.

Your target gains spell resistance equal to 15 + your class level, but only against abilities, powers, and spells that originate from their allies or are harmless. This spell resistance otherwise functions as normal, including the target having the ability to suppress it as a standard action and only applying to spells and effects that permit spell resistance. If they fail their save, this spell resistance is instead equal to 25 + your class level.

Witch’s Prison

Grim [curse]

Target: 1 creature or 1 object
Saving Throw: None

You prevent your victim’s escape.

Your target is subject to a dimensional anchor effect.

Additionally, if your target moves or is moved more than 100 feet from you by any means, they teleport to a space of your choice that is adjacent to you, ignoring the dimensional anchor effect, at the end of their movement.

Your movement does not trigger this effect; if you yourself move or are moved more than 100 feet away from the target, the malefaction ends.

Reckless Rage

Grim [curse, mind-affecting]
Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will negates

You cloud your victim’s mind with roaring fury.

Unlike other malefactions, this malefaction lasts for 1 round per malefex level, or until it is dismissed, whatever comes first, and does not stop if the target leaves the malefex’s perceptions. If your target fails their save they rage for the duration of this malefaction, as a 1st-level barbarian, except that they take an additional penalty to their armor class equal to your Wisdom modifier. Targets that have the ability to rage may expend rage rounds to instead benefit from their own rage (and negate the additional penalty to their armor class and CMD), but any round in which they are not raging under their own power they instead suffer the effects of this malefaction.

Silent Suffering

Grim [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial (see text)

You condemn your victim to silent torment.

Your target is subject to a silence effect, except it only affects their own space and cannot be dispelled (no save).

Additionally, if your target fails their save, they suffer 2 points of Constitution damage whenever they gain a negative level or suffer damage from another of your abilities or attacks.

The Black Spot

Grim [curse, death]
Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fort negates

You mark your victim for death.

If your target fails their save, they manifest as hideous black growth on their hands or other appendages and gain 1 negative level each time you damage them or they fail a save against one of your other abilities while they continue to be affected by this malefaction (no save). For every 2 negative levels inflicted on them, you gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws. If they die while under this effect (including by the negative levels), these bonuses persist for 1 minute before fading. Otherwise, both the negative levels and the granted bonuses expire when this malefaction does.

Valor Undone

Grim [curse, fear, mind-affecting]
Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Will negates

You rob your victim of their heroism.

If the target fails its save, it becomes frightened and you gain a +6 morale bonus on attack and damage rolls against it.

Maledictions

Word of Doom

Malediction [curse]

Target: 1 creature or 1 object
Saving Throw: None

You lay the protections of your victim bare.

Your victim loses any and all energy resistance, damage reduction, fast healing, hardness, immunities, and regeneration they possess. They may not gain energy resistance, damage reduction, fast healing, hardness, immunities, or regeneration while under the effects of this malefaction. Creatures or objects without a value in an ability score (such as undead and Constitution) still cannot suffer damage, drain, or penalties to that ability score.

Word of Horror Unending

Malediction [curse]

Target: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial (see text)

You wrack your victim with your raw, unending animosity.

Unlike other malefactions, your target must make a saving throw against word of horror unending each round at the beginning of their turn until its duration ends or you dismiss this malefaction. Your target gains 1 negative level and suffers 3 points of damage to each ability score whenever they fail their save against this malefaction.

The Waerloch’s Word

Malediction [curse]

Target: 1 attended, carried, or worn object that is not already intelligent
Saving Throw: Will negates

You cause an item to flare to life, betraying its master.

Unlike other malefactions, the waerloch’s word may only be invoked once per week. Its duration is instantaneous. If your target fails its save, it becomes an intelligent item with Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma equal to your own. Its alignment is opposite to the creature attending, carrying, or wearing it (determine the opposite of that creature’s neutral alignment components randomly). The item possesses empathy and telepathy, as well as 3 randomly determined powers. The item has the special purpose of killing the creature that was attending, carrying, or wearing it at the time it was awakened by this malefaction, as well as defeating any creatures that share an alignment with that creature; it has 1 special purpose power, determined randomly.

Once the creature attending, carrying, or wearing the item awakened by this malefaction is either dead or forced from the plane it was on when the item was awakened, the item awakened by the waerloch’s word is teleported to a random creature on the same plane of existence that shares an alignment with it.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Unfettered Dreams: Malefex, © 2017, Dreamscarred Press. Authors: Jade Ripley and Ehn Jolly.