A vessel of the failed channels the spirits of those who attempted the Test of the Starstone but failed; these spirits grant the medium abilities wrought from the spirits’ ultimate shortcomings. A vessel of the failed intimately understands the shaky line between success and failure and embraces walking that line to gain power from the spirits he calls.
Will of the Failed (Su)
A vessel of the failed is intimately familiar with the supernatural stubbornness of the brash heroes who have met their demise pursuing the Test of the Starstone, and he can tap into this strength when he needs it the most.
When a spirit attains 5 or more points of influence over the vessel of the failed, the vessel can attempt a Will saving throw (DC = 15 + half the vessel’s class level) to avoid completely losing control to the spirit. The first time in a single 24-hour séance period that the vessel succeeds at this saving throw, he is deafened until he awakens the next day with the spirit gone. The second time the vessel succeeds at this saving throw during that period, he is also blinded.
The third time, he is also staggered. These conditions are unavoidable and cannot be removed through magic or any other method. (If he wishes, the vessel of the failed can choose to forgo this saving throw and lose control to the spirit as normal.)
The fourth time in a single séance period that a spirit gains 5 or more influence points over the vessel of the failed, the vessel must succeed at a Will save or he loses control to the spirit and effectively becomes an NPC under the GM’s control until after he awakens the next day with the spirit gone.
If a spirit ever attains 7 or more points of influence over the vessel, the vessel automatically loses control to the spirit and effectively becomes an NPC under the GM’s control until after he awakens the next day with the spirit gone.
A vessel of the failed cannot channel a weaker spirit.
This alters spirit and spirit mastery.
Reckless Surge (Su)
A vessel of the failed can attempt to tap into his spirit’s bravado—though harnessing such moxie is never guaranteed. If the vessel allows his spirit to gain 2 additional points of influence over him after failing a d20 roll that was modified by his spirit bonus, there is a 75% chance (1–75 on a d%) that he can add 3d6 to the check’s result without taking an action. (At 10th level, these dice increase to 3d8, and at 20th level, they increase to 3d10.) However, there is a 25% chance (76–100 on a d%)
that the vessel instead gains no bonus from this ability.
The vessel of the failed must allow his spirit to gain the 2 points of influence over him before determining whether he receives any bonus.
The vessel of the failed can use the spirit surge ability as normal. However, using reckless surge in the way described above always requires the vessel to allow his spirit to gain 2 additional points of influence over him, regardless of abilities that allow him to otherwise use spirit surge without incurring influence (such as taboo or spirit mastery).
This alters spirit surge.
Heroic Exceptions (Ex)
Each time a vessel of the failed breaks a taboo he has accepted, he can allow his spirit to gain 1 additional point of influence over him. When he does so, the penalty he takes on attack rolls, damage rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws changes from –2 to –1. This influence is in addition to the influence the spirit normally gains for breaking the taboo in the first place.
If the vessel continues violating the taboo while taking a reduced penalty, the duration of the reduced penalty extends, but the spirit doesn’t gain additional influence over the vessel.
This alters taboo.
Spiritual Swan Song (Sp)
At 15th level, when the circumstances are right, the vessel of the failed can become a conduit for his spirit’s brush with divinity. Whenever the vessel makes a successful saving throw via the will of the failed ability to avoid completely losing control to his spirit, the vessel gains one use of a spell-like ability tied to the spirit’s legend, as noted below.
When he gains a use of a spell-like ability, the vessel of the failed can expend it anytime before his next séance. (A vessel might gain multiple uses of these spell-like abilities, depending on how many times he successfully saves to avoid losing control to a spirit.) However, if he loses contact with a spirit during that time, he also loses all uses of the spell-like ability gained from avoiding losing control to that spirit. If the vessel does not expend his uses of these abilities, they disappear when he loses contact with that spirit or when he starts a new séance, whichever comes first.
This replaces trance of three.
Archmage: The vessel of the failed can cast chain lightning, freezing sphere, or sirocco as a spell-like ability. The vessel must choose which one when he gains a use of this ability. If he gains multiple uses of this ability in a single séance period, the vessel of the failed can make a different choice each time.
Hierophant: The vessel of the failed can cast mass cure moderate wounds or mass inflict moderate wounds as a spell-like ability. The vessel must choose which of these two he can use when he gains a use of this ability. If the vessel of the failed gains multiple uses of this ability in a single séance period, he can choose a different spell-like ability each time.
Pathfinder Player Companion: Disciple’s Doctrine © 2018, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Saif Ansari, Mara Lynn Butler, Jeffrey Hersh, Andrew Hoskins, Lyz Liddell, Luis Loza, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.