Revered as seers, able to channel memories and even physical features of prior incarnations as people and animals, Brightness Seekers devote themselves to the pursuit of enlightenment. During their uniquely personal journeys, they learn how to interpret signs and portents that allow them to make uncannily accurate predictions about possible actions for themselves and others. Over time, as they forge ever-deeper connections with their past lives and approach an ultimate state of oneness with the world around them, they develop the capacity to manifest the abilities and eventually the actual forms of many different animals. Eventually, Brightness Seekers even gain the power to shrug off death itself should it interfere with their quest for enlightenment, and their ability to reincarnate themselves with their memories intact offers them a chance to eventually reclaim their original form.
Hit Die: d8
To qualify to become a Brightness Seeker, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria:
Feat: Iron Will
Skills: Perception 1 rank, Survival 1 rank, Knowledge (nature) 1 rank and Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks (or vice versa).
The Brightness Seeker’s class skills (and the key ability for each) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Table: Brightness Seeker
The following are class features of the Brightness Seeker prestige class.
All Brightness Seekers know how to interpret the omens the natural world presents to them in order to discover lucky or unlucky actions for themselves and others. Once per day per class level, a Brightness Seeker may attempt to forecast the future of herself or a creature within 30 ft.
Searching for an omen takes 1 hour of uninterrupted meditation; the Brightness Seeker rolls 1d20 and adds her class level and Charisma modifier to determine the omen check result. She may add a +3 to her roll if she knows the target’s birthday and birth month, the target’s true name or birth name, or his city of birth (or similarly specific geographic area); these bonuses stack if she knows more than one of these things. If the check result is 20 or higher, she learns an omen regarding that creature’s next 24 hours. She may perform multiple forecasts for the same creature if the initial check fails to reveal an omen, but once she achieves a result, she cannot forecast for that creature again until a day has passed.
A creature who knows his omen may utilize a one-time insight bonus equal to the Brightness Seeker’s class level. This bonus may be used on any single attack roll, ability check, skill check, or saving throw made by the creature. Alternatively, he can apply the insight bonus to his AC against a single attack targeting them (even if flat-footed). Activating the effect doesn’t take an action; the character can even activate the bonus on another creature’s turn if needed. The character must choose to use this bonus before making the roll it is to modify. Once used, the effect of the omen ends.
Most elves revere Brightness Seekers, and will often do whatever they can to help them complete their personal journeys through their current incarnations. Elves who believe in the Brightness who normally would have an initial attitude of hostile, unfriendly, or indifferent toward the character instead start as one step closer to friendly when dealing with the character.
At 2nd level, Brightness Seekers establish a mystical connection with their previous lives spent as simple creatures of the forest or field. Once per day, a Brightness Seeker may spend 1 hour meditating to manifest one of the special qualities detailed below. This special quality remains for 1 day or until the Brightness Seeker changes form or dismisses it.
At 2nd level, Brightness Seekers awaken memories of their past incarnations and realize that even death is merely a threshold to another existence rather than something to be feared. They gain a +10 resistance bonus on saves against fear effects.
At 3rd level, Brightness Seekers discover ways to make natural creatures accept them as kindred spirits. They gain the wild empathy ability; to use this ability they roll 1d20 and add their class level and Charisma bonus. This ability stacks with class levels from classes that also provide wild empathy.
At 3rd level, Brightness Seekers develop an even stronger capacity to call upon the forms of their prior animal incarnations, which manifests as the ability to wild shape as a druid once per day. At 5th level, this increases to twice per day. If a Brightness Seeker has the ability to wild shape from another class, the uses per day stack. Class levels in Brightness Seeker stack with druid levels and other class levels that grant wild shape for the purpose of determining what size and type of creature the character can change into.
At 4th level, a Brightness Seeker forms a personal relationship with the living world. Brightness Seekers may cast commune with nature as a spell-like ability usable at will (though it still requires 10 minutes of uninterrupted concentration to activate, just like the spell).
At 5th level, Brightness Seekers gain the ability to return from the grave if they die through violence or any other sort of unnatural end. A slain Brightness Seeker may activate this ability any time between 10 minutes and 1 week after death occurs, at which point their soul reincarnates in the form of a healthy adult animal the same size as the previous body and of a type common to where the previous body died. The character’s ability scores do not change, but she gains all abilities associated with her new form, including forms of movement and speeds, natural armor, natural attacks, extraordinary abilities, and the like. The character gains a negative level, which cannot be removed by any means, but goes away automatically when the character achieves a new experience level or dies. This ability doesn’t work if the character was killed by a death effect or she was turned into an undead creature.
Each time a Brightness Seeker in animal form gains a new experience level, she may attempt a DC 20 Will save; success means she regains her previous race and appearance. If a Brightness Seeker is killed in animal form, she cannot use this ability to reincarnate again, though normal methods of reviving the dead still work. A miracle or wish can restore a living or dead animal Brightness Seeker’s original form (and bring her back to life, if dead).
Pathfinder Companion: Elves of Golarion, Copyright 2008, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors Jeff Quick and Hal Maclean.