Cherubim are the angels that observe and ponder on all phenomena, mystic scholars and philosophers that probe with their minds and souls the true nature of things, born when mortals of great intellect and ingenuity die. Despite their mostly contemplative role, their path to knowledge gives them great practical benefits in the form of magic, allowing them to serve the cause of good in more direct ways than writing essays.
Cherubim are tall, thin humanoids sporting long but narrow wings. Their skin is pale, and their hair, eyes, and wings are red, ranging from deep rust red to the color of fire, which is the reason why they are sometimes called Crimson Angels. While most angels favor practical clothing or the armor that befits a warrior, cherubim are most often found wearing elaborate robes and arcane jewelry, which still may serve a practical purpose to a weaver of spells. Some cherubim may also have arcane runes tattooed over their bodies, but they usually avoid any form of adornment not tied to faith or the art of magic. As angels, the cherubim are immortal and do not age, though they appear to be anything between 18 and about 40 (in human terms). As cherubim are formed in heaven as a consequence of the death of a bright mortal, they do not actually have reproductive organs and their bodies take on a more feminine or masculine appearance depending on the gender of the mortal that caused their birth.
- Hit Die: a cherub uses a d6 as Hit Die at every cherub HD he or she gains.
- Ability Score Modifiers: cherubim are mystics who devote their lives to study and meditation and, as a result, their stamina suffers. They gain –2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, and +2 Charisma.
- Size: cherubim are Medium creatures and gain no bonuses or penalties because of their size.
- Type: cherubim are outsiders with the native subtype.
- Base Speed: cherubim have a base speed of 30 feet on land, and a base flight speed of 40 feet with good maneuverability.
- Languages: cherubim begin play speaking Common and Celestial. Cherubim with high Intelligence scores can choose any language they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages
- Terrain: urban.
- Save DCs: Intelligence-based.
- Starting Wealth: 2d6 × 10 gp (average 70gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
- Celestial Resistance: cherubim gain acid resistance 5, cold resistance 5, and electricity resistance 5.
- Enlightened Philosophy: cherubim gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear and despair effects. Also, once per day, after a natural roll of 1 on a d20 roll, cherubim may reroll and use the second result.
- Truth Seeker: cherubim gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusion spells and effects.
- Arcane Understanding: cherubim gain a +2 racial bonus to Spellcraft
- Emissary: once per day, cherubim can roll twice when making a Bluff or Diplomacy check and take the better roll.
- Arcane Focus: cherubim gain a +2 racial bonus on concentration checks to cast arcane spells defensively.
- Heavenborn: cherubim gain a +2 bonus on Knowledge (planes) checks, and they cast spells with the [good] or [light] descriptor at +1 caster level.
- Darkvision: cherubim can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Skill Ranks per Level: 2+ Int Modifier
|Level||Hit Die||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||1||+0||+0||+0||+2||[Feat], Cantrips, Domain, Scribe Scroll||3||1+1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||4||+2||+1||+1||+4||[Ability Score Increase], Arcane School||4||3+1||2+1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||5||+2||+1||+1||+4||[Feat], Heavenly Secret||4||3+1||2+1||1+1||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||8||+4||+2||+2||+6||[Ability Score Increase], Way to Perfection||4||4+1||3+1||3+1||2+1||—||—||—||—||—|
|12th||12||+6/+1||+4||+4||+8||[Ability Score Increase], Bonus Feat||4||4+1||4+1||4+1||3+1||3+1||2+1||—||—||—|
|15th||15||+7/+2||+5||+5||+9||[Feat], Heavenly Secret||4||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1||3+1||2+1||1+1||—|
|16th||16||+8/+3||+5||+5||+10||[Ability Score Increase]||4||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1||3+1||3+1||2+1||—|
|19th||19||+9/+4||+6||+6||+11||[Feat], Heavenly Arcanist||4||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1||3+1||3+1|
|20th||20||+10/+5||+6||+6||+12||[Ability Score Increase], Heavenly Secret||4||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1||4+1|
All of the following are class features of the cherubim.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies
A cherub is proficient with clubs, daggers, heavy crossbows, light crossbows, and quarterstaffs. It is not proficient with any type of armor or shield.
A cherub casts arcane spells drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. A cherub must choose and prepare its spells ahead of time.
To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the cherub must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell’s level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a cherub’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the cherub’s Intelligence modifier.
A cherub can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Its base daily spell allotment is given on the table above. In addition, it receives bonus spells per day if it has a high Intelligence score.
A cherub may know any number of spells. It must choose and prepare its spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending one hour studying its spellbook. While studying, the cherub decides which spells to prepare.
Starting Spells: a cherub begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells, plus three 1st-level spells of its choice and its 1st-level domain spell. The cherub also selects a number of additional 1st-level spells equal to its Intelligence modifier to add to the spellbook. At any time, a cherub can add wizard spells found in other creatures’ spellbook to its own.
Spells Gained at a New Level: Cherubim perform a certain amount of spell research between adventures. Each time a cherub attains a new level, it gains two spells of its choice to add to its spellbook. The two free spells must be of spell levels it can cast. At every new spell level, the cherub also adds the appropriate spell from its domain to its spellbook.
Cherubim can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on the table above under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again. A cherub can prepare a cantrip from an opposition school, but it uses up two of its available slots (see below).
A cherub gains access to the powers and spells of one domain (or one of its subdomains) among air, charm, earth, fire, knowledge, magic, protection, rune, travel, trickery, void, or water, or alternatively any domain granted by its patron deity (if any). It gains all the domain powers and spells, plus the extra spell slot to prepare its domain spell. Domain spells count as wizard spells for a cherub, who uses half its Hit Dice (rounded down, minimum 1) as its cleric level to determine the number and strength of the domain powers. The cherub can only prepare its domain spell in the single extra slot per spell level that it possesses, it cannot use that slot to prepare another spell (but see arcane school below), or prepare the domain spell in another slot. [Cleric – Domain]
A cherub can choose to specialize in one school of magic, gaining additional spells and powers based on that school. This choice must be made at 4th level and, once made, it cannot be changed. A cherub that does not select a school receives the universalist school instead.
A cherub that chooses to specialize in one school of magic must select two other schools as its opposition schools, representing knowledge sacrificed in one area of arcane lore to gain mastery in another. A cherub who prepares spells from its opposition schools must use two spell slots of that level to prepare the spell. In addition, a specialist takes a –4 penalty on any skill checks made when crafting a magic item that has a spell from one of its opposition schools as a prerequisite. A universalist cherub can prepare spells from any school without restriction.
Each arcane school gives the cherub a number of school powers, using the cherub’s level –3 as its wizard level for the purpose of determining the effects of those powers. In addition, specialist cherubim can prepare spells from their specialty school in their extra domain spell slot, instead of the domain spell. Universalist cherubs cannot do so.
At 5th level and every five levels thereafter, a cherub must choose a spell from its specialist school or domain, and one metamagic feat among Bouncing Spell, Disruptive Spell, Ectoplasmic Spell, Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Focused Spell, Intensified Spell, Silent Spell, or Still Spell. The chosen spell is permanently modified by the chosen feat, without any change in the spell level. This ability doesn’t require the cherub to actually have the chosen feat, but the spell must be written on its spellbook. No spell can be modified through this ability more than once.
The cherub may also prepare the chosen spell without the metamagic feat applied, or apply other matamagic feats as normal while preparing the chosen spell (in addition to the free modification gained through heavenly secret).
At 6th level and every six levels thereafter, a cherub gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained through advancement. This feat must be a Metamagic or Item Creation feat. The cherub must have all the prerequisites for the selected feat. [Wizard – Bonus Feat]
When casting a spell belonging to its specialist school, or from its domain, a cherub of 19th level or higher adds its Wisdom bonus (if any, minimum +2) to the Difficulty Class for that spell. If the spell doesn’t allow a saving throw, the effective caster level for the spell is increased by 2.
If the spell has more than one target, choose one creature among the targets and apply the bonus of heavenly arcanist only against that target. These bonuses do not stack with other bonuses to save DC (including those gained through Spell Focus) or caster level, apply only the highest.
Of Stranger Bonds, © 2019, Alessandro Passera