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Mortal Usher

Whether the trouble is a formidable lich draining power from thousands of enslaved ghosts or a qlippoth funneling stolen souls through an Abyssal stronghold, occasionally the psychopomps must enlist a mortal usher—a living agent imbued with their power and cunning—to travel where even the guardians of the River of Souls cannot tread.

Hit Die: d8.

Requirements

To qualify to become a mortal usher, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any neutral.

Skills: Knowledge (planes) 6 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 6 ranks.

Special: A mortal usher must befriend a psychopomp or perform a deed of great significance in defense of the natural order of life and death. Undead creatures can never become mortal ushers, and a mortal usher who becomes undead immediately loses the benefits of all class features granted by this class except for mortal talents.

Class Skills

The mortal usher’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Cha), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Mortal Usher
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +1 +0 +1 Reaping strike +1d6, Vital Strike
2nd +1 +1 +1 +1 Mortal talents
3rd +2 +2 +1 +2 Reaping strike +2d6, nosoi plague mask
4th +3 +2 +1 +2 Mortal talents
5th +3 +3 +2 +3 Catrina’s calm, reaping strike +3d6
6th +4 +3 +2 +3 Improved Vital Strike, mortal talents
7th +5 +4 +2 +4 Morrigna wrappings, reaping strike +4d6
8th +6 +4 +3 +4 Mortal talents
9th +6 +5 +3 +5 Reaping strike +5d6, vanth wings
10th +7 +5 +3 +5 Mortal talents, yamaraj-feather cloak

Class Features

The following are class features of the mortal usher.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A mortal usher gains proficiency with whips and scythes.

Reaping Strike (Su)

At 1st level, whenever a mortal usher deals hit point damage by using the attack action, casting a spell that targets only a single creature, or throwing an alchemical item as a standard action (including an alchemist’s bombs), he deals an additional 1d6 points of damage to the target, plus an additional 1d6 points of damage for every 2 additional class levels he has beyond 1st. This damage is positive energy damage if the target is undead, or negative energy damage if the target is living; creatures that are neither living nor dead, such as constructs, are unaffected by this ability.

Vital Strike

At 1st level, a mortal usher gains the Vital Strike feat, and at 6th level he gains the Improved Vital Strike feat, even if he would not normally meet the prerequisites for them. If the mortal usher already has Vital Strike or Improved Vital Strike when he would gain it through this ability, he can immediately swap it for another feat for which he qualified at the level he first took it. For the purposes of qualifying for any feat that includes Vital Strike as a prerequisite, the mortal usher can use his class level in place of his base attack bonus, adding this value to his base attack bonus from any other classes he has as normal.

Mortal Talents

At 2nd level, a mortal usher must choose a class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, the mortal usher gains the class features of an additional level in his chosen class (for example, a wizard 5/mortal usher 4 would have the arcane bond benefits, caster level, and spells per day of a 7th-level wizard). He still retains the Hit Dice, base attack bonus, saving throw bonuses, and skill ranks of the prestige class, but gains all other class features of his chosen class at the specified levels.

Nosoi Plague Mask (Su)

At 3rd level, a mortal usher can conjure or dismiss a nosoi plague mask as a free action.

This plague mask is a physical manifestation of the mortal usher’s soul and cannot be destroyed or stolen, though its magic can be suppressed by an antimagic field or similar effect. As long as the mortal usher’s nosoi plague mask is conjured, the mortal usher gains the ability to cast invisibility on himself as a standard action with a caster level equal to 5 + his class level.

In addition, the mortal usher can activate the nosoi plague mask as a standard action, forcing all living and undead creatures within a 60-foot radius to attempt a Will saving throw (DC = 15 + the mortal usher’s class level).

Those that fail are fascinated; this effect continues for every round the mortal usher maintains the effect as a swift action and for 1 round thereafter. The mortal usher cannot use the invisibility effect of the plague mask while using its fascinate ability, and a creature that saves against the fascination effect is immune for 24 hours. This is a sonic mind-affecting effect; it can affect undead even though they would normally be immune to mind-affecting effects.

Calming Aura (Su)

At 5th level, a mortal usher emits a 30-foot-radius aura that acts as a calm emotions spell on creatures within its area, with a DC of 16 + the mortal usher’s class level. Creatures are entitled to a new saving throw each time they reenter the area of the aura after leaving it, and a creature who successfully saves against the aura’s effects is immune to it for 24 hours. The mortal usher can suppress or resume this aura as a swift action.

Dedicated Wrappings (Su)

At 7th level, a mortal usher gains the ability to designate any cloak, scarf, robe, or shirt in his possession as his wrappings, granting it unique powers in addition to any abilities or enchantments it may already have. The wrappings grant the mortal usher a natural armor bonus equal to half his class level as long as it is in his possession, and they can be used as a magic whip that can be wielded even if the mortal usher’s hands are full. When used as a whip, the wrappings gain an enhancement bonus equal to the mortal usher’s class level. These bonuses can be added to the whip to increase its enhancement bonus to a maximum of +5 (minimum +1), or they can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: brilliant energy, disruption (this supersedes the normal requirement that a disruption weapon must be a bludgeoning weapon), flaming, flaming burst, frost, holy, icy burst, shock, shocking burst, unholy, or vorpal. Adding these properties reduces the enhancement bonus granted by this ability by an amount equal to the property’s cost.

The mortal usher can change how these properties and enhancements are assigned, or designate a new item as his wrappings, after an 8-hour rest.

Vanth Wings (Ex)

At 9th level, a mortal usher gains a 60-foot fly speed with good maneuverability and resistance to cold equal to 10 + his class level. The mortal usher gains a +5 circumstance bonus on Acrobatics checks and on concentration checks attempted while casting a spell.

Yamaraj-Feather Cloak (Su)

At 10th level, a mortal usher becomes immune to electricity and death effects, and whenever he is struck by an attack or effect dealing electricity damage, he regains 1 hit point per 3 points of electricity damage the attack or effect would normally deal.

If the amount of healing would cause the mortal usher to exceed his maximum hit points, he gains any excess as temporary hit points (maximum 50) that last for 1 hour.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Adventure Path #144: Midwives to Death © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Authors: John Compton, with Adam Daigle, Eleanor Ferron, Thurston Hillman, James Jacobs, Jason Keeley, Luis Loza, Ron Lundeen, Robert G. McCreary, Erik Mona, Michael Sayre, Owen K. C. Stephens, Mark Seifter, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.