Damnation feats represent a bargain the character has made with some dark power, granting the character great power at the cost of her eternal soul. Damnation feats are distinct from more common feats in three ways.
Damned: A character with a damnation feat is damned. This is likely a permanent condition, but might be avoided through redemption.
As long as a character possesses a damnation feat, she experiences the effects of damnation. Only non-evil creatures can retrain damnation feats. If retraining a damnation feat, the character must follow all the usual rules associated with replacing a feat and must be the target of an atonement spell cast by a good character. Evil characters seeking to redeem themselves might also make use of the redemption rules. Even after a character has redeemed herself and replaced her damnation feats, whoever had once ensnared her is unlikely to give up on its attempts to corrupt her.
Greater Power: Damnation feats increase in power relative to the number of damnation feats a character possesses. Each new damnation feat increases the power of all of the character’s damnation feats, including the newly taken feat and future feats.
Patronage: All damnation feats require the patronage of an evil outsider—typically a daemon, devil, demon, or kyton. This evil outsider patron must be favorably disposed toward the character and must have a number of Hit Dice equal to or greater than her character level. An evil outsider summoned via a spell like planar binding might be coerced to serve as a character’s patron (whether that character is the spell’s caster or another seeking patronage). The caster of a planar binding spell must still attempt Charisma checks to coerce the outsider into service, but she gains a +4 bonus on her Charisma checks if that service is to act as a damnation feat’s patron. Other outsiders might more willingly serve as patrons at the GM’s discretion.
When a character takes a damnation feat, his soul is damned. The character’s spirit is promised to a dark power, whether an evil deity or a foul planar race, and his soul will ultimately be consigned to some grim fate after his death. The method by which one becomes damned typically determines the specifics of this eternal doom, but the in-game effects are the same regardless.
Upon taking a damnation feat, the character’s soul becomes ensnared by dark, otherworldly forces. From that point on, if the character dies, returning him to life proves to be more difficult. Any nonevil spellcaster who attempts to bring the character back from the dead must attempt a caster level check (DC = 10 + the slain character’s Hit Dice). Success means the spell functions as normal, while failure means the spell fails and cannot be attempted again for 24 hours. Evil spellcasters, however, can raise the slain character normally, without a check.
Upon taking a second damnation feat, the character becomes even more ensnared by his doom. He remains difficult to return from the dead (as noted above), and he can’t be affected by breath of life or raise dead, even when these spells are cast by an evil spellcaster. Also, the character’s alignment shifts one step toward evil (typically toward the alignment of whatever creature serves as his patron).
This corruption continues if the character takes a third damnation feat. He is affected as previously noted, and in addition, the spell resurrection no longer affects him.
The character’s alignment again shifts one step toward evil (typically toward the alignment of whatever creature serves as his patron).
Finally, upon taking a fourth damnation feat, the character can no longer be returned from the dead by any method short of a wish or miracle. The character’s alignment shifts one more step toward the alignment of whatever creature serves as his patron.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Player Companion: Champions of Corruption © 2014, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Paris Crenshaw, Jim Groves, Sean McGowen, and Philip Minchin.