S-Class Dread

What are S-Class Characters?

S-class characters are built using the core summoner class as the basis against which all other classes are balanced. If you have played, or GM’d for, a summoner and felt it was fine as is, you should have no problem running with an s-class character.

Spell-Like and Psi-Like Abilities

As explained in the source material, psionics function in many ways like spells, and are able to be countered, negated, and resisted just as spells are. The distinctions drawn between the two are purely in the ways in which they are learned and how they affect the world around them.

For this reason, the content here is provided more in context of other Pathfinder options, listing spell-like abilities and referring to spells when a psionic power or talent is equivalent to one.

S-class dreads are dangerous terrors armed with fear so potent that eventually even mindless undead can run from the sight of them. Their ability to weave frightening psionic magic is matched by no others, and with a select few choices, they can be equally terrifying in battle.

The strength of an s-class dread lies in their willingness to face the fear they control, reel it in, and make it their own. In doing so, they unlock secrets of panick that shake the foundations of the psyche.

Note: The s-class dread is an alternate, superior version of the dread class. It gains all of the same class features at the expected levels, so choosing an archetype is just as easy as for the standard class.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d8.

Starting Wealth: 3d6 × 10 gp (average 105 gp). In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The s-class dread’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Perception (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: S-Class Dread
Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special PP/day Powers Known Max Power Level
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Fearsome insight, devastating touch, talents 1 1 1st
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Bonus feat, terror 2 2 1st
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Aura of fear, channel terror, fear’s reach 4 3 1st
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Terror 6 4 2nd
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Bonus feat 8 5 2nd
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Terror 12 6 2nd
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Immersed in fear 16 7 3rd
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Bonus feat, terror 20 8 3rd
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Terrifying finish 24 9 3rd
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Penetrating fear, terror 28 10 4th
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Bonus feat, shadow twin, twin fear 36 11 4th
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Terror 44 12 4th
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Penetrating fear (-2) 52 13 5th
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Bonus feat, terror 60 14 5th
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Shadow twin (100 ft.), twin fear (form of doom) 68 15 5th
16th +12+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Penetrating fear (-4), terror 80 16 6th
17th +12+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Bonus feat 92 17 6th
18th +13+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Terror 104 18 6th
19th +14+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Penetrating focus, shadow twin (400 ft.) 116 19 6th
20th +15+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Bonus feat, fear incarnate, terror 128 20 6th

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the s-class dread.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies

S-class dreads are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as with light and medium armor, but not with shields.

Powers Points/Day

An s-class dread’s ability to manifest powers is limited by the power points it has available. Its base daily allotment of power points is given on Table: The Dread. In addition, it receives bonus power points per day if it has a high Charisma score. Its race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items.

Talents: Dreads learn minor powers they can use at will to aid them in a variety of ways. The dread gains two talents from the dread talent list.

Powers Known: An s-class dread begins play knowing one dread power of its choice. At every class level after 1st, it unlocks the knowledge of a new power.

Choose the powers known from the dread power list. (Exception: The feat Expanded Knowledge does allow an s-class dread to learn powers from the lists of other classes.) An s-class dread can manifest any power that has a power point cost equal to or lower than its manifester level.

The total number of powers an s-class dread can manifest in a day is limited only by its daily power points.

An s-class dread simply knows its powers; they are ingrained in its mind. It does not need to prepare them (in the way that some spellcasters prepare their spells), though it must get a good night’s sleep each day to regain all its spent power points.

The Difficulty Class for saving throws against dread powers is 10 + the power’s level + the dread’s Charisma modifier.

Maximum Power Level Known: An s-class dread begins play with the ability to learn 1st-level powers. As it attains higher levels, it may gain the ability to master more complex powers.

To learn or manifest a power, an s-class dread must have a Charisma score of at least 10 + the power’s level.

Fearsome Insight

The dread’s connection to the fears and the subconscious grows and it gains a greater understanding of the mental faculties which regulate fear. This translates into an insight bonus to Intimidate equal to half its class level (minimum +1).

Devastating Touch (Su)

An s-class dread is able to channel psionic energy from fear and nightmares into a touch that causes pain. To use this ability, an s-class dread must make a melee touch attack on a living target. If the attack hits, it deals 1d6 points of damage plus 1 point per class level.

Terror (Su)

Beginning at 2nd level, an s-class dread learns to harness the power of fear in a variety of ways called terrors. Using a terror is a swift action. Some terrors are channeled through its devastating touch class feature. These terrors charge an s-class dread’s touch (and later its weapon) until its next successful attack that round.

Some terrors can be augmented by spending power points, similar to manifesting powers, to increase their effect. When augmenting its terrors with power points, the dread cannot spend more power points than its manifester level on any single use of a terror.

An s-class dread can use its terrors a total number of times per day equal to its dread level + its Charisma modifier.

All terrors may only be chosen once unless otherwise specified. A sample list of dread terrors can be found at the end of this section.

Aura of Fear (Su)

At 3rd level, an s-class dread radiates a palpably daunting aura that causes all enemies within 10 feet to take a –4 penalty on saving throws against fear effects. Creatures that are normally immune to fear lose that immunity while within 10 feet of an s-class dread with this ability. This ability functions only while the dread remains conscious, not if it is unconscious or dead.

Channel Terror (Su)

At 3rd level, the dread learns how to channel its terrors through any melee weapon it is holding or through its devastating touch class feature, even if using devastating touch as a ranged attack (such as through the mindlock terror). If channeling a terror through a weapon, it does not gain the benefits of the devastating touch ability.

Bonus Feat

At 2nd level, the dread gains a bonus feat chosen from the following list. The dread must still meet all prerequisites for the bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.

These bonus feats are in addition to the feats that a character of any class gains every two levels. An s-class dread is not limited to the list of feats below when choosing these other feats.

Any combat feat, Additional Terror, Deep Focus, Disciple of Fear, Extra Terrors, Fear Mastery, Fear’s Reach, Multiple Connections, Open Door, Psicrystal Affinity, Psicrystal Containment, Psionic Body, Psionic Meditation, Psionic Shot, Terror Mastery, Touch of Terror.

The dread gains an additional bonus feat from the same list every 3 levels thereafter (5th, 8th, and so on).

Immersed in Fear (Su)

At 7th level, the dread gains immunity to fear (psionic or otherwise). This ability functions whether the dread is conscious or unconscious, but not when it is dead.

Terrifying Finish (Ex)

At 9th level, an s-class dread with at least 3 terrors remaining for the day can deliver a coup de grace to cowering or stunned targets within its aura of fear. Killing a creature in this way expends 3 of the dread’s terrors.

Penetrating Fear (Ex)

At 10th level, an s-class dread masters fear in such a way that it can cause even the mindless minions of its enemies to cower in terror. The dread gains Penetrating Fear as a bonus feat, which allows the dread to expend its psionic focus when activating a terror and affect those normally immune to fear effects or mind-affecting effects. Targets still get a +4 bonus to any applicable save against those effects.

At 13th level, targets affected by the dread’s penetrating fear only gain a +2 bonus to any applicable saves, and at 16th level, they no longer gain any bonus. At 19th level, the dread no longer has to expend its psionic focus to gain the benefits of Penetrating Fear; they become constant.

Shadow Twin (Su)

An s-class dread of 11th level is able to draw forth a replica of herself formed from fears and nightmares. The shadow twin appears at a location chosen by the dread that is within 30 ft. and lasts for one round per class level. The dread and this shadow twin are, for all intents and purposes, one person – including only having one round’s worth of actions to use between the two, sharing attacks of opportunity, sharing a single pool of hit points and power points, and having access to all of the same abilities and daily uses of those abilities. If the shadow twin is damaged or healed, the dread takes the damage or healing, and vice versa. If both the dread and the shadow twin are affected by the same area of effect, damage is only counted once.

If the shadow twin attacks, it uses the dread’s attack values. The shadow twin can threaten squares and has all the same equipment as the dread, but charged items or items with limited uses per day have their uses shared between the two. Any permanent magic items are also active on the shadow twin.

The shadow twin can allow the dread to flank an enemy, make attacks of opportunity it wouldn’t normally be able to do, extend the range for a power or mindlock, or just scout ahead.

Effects, both beneficial and detrimental, that affect the dread also affect the shadow twin, and vice versa. The shadow twin must stay within 30 ft. of the dread or the effect immediately ends.

An s-class dread can use shadow twin a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier.

At 15th level, the shadow twin must stay within 100 ft. of the dread before the effect ends.

At 19th level, the shadow twin must stay within 400 ft. of the dread before the effect ends.

Twin Fear (Su)

When an s-class dread of at least 11th level has a shadow twin active, if any creature within 30 ft. of the dread or the shadow twin suffers from the shaken, frightened, or panicked condition at the start of the dread’s turn, the shadow twin uses a separate action pool instead of sharing the round’s actions with the dread for that round. This means that it and the dread could both make attacks in the same round.

At 15th level, if any creature within 30 ft. of the dread or shadow twin suffers from the frightened or panicked condition, the shadow twin is treated as if under the affect of the form of doom power. Unlike other effects, the dread is not also under this effect.

Fear Incarnate

At 20th level the dread no longer acts as a simple conduit between the realm of nightmares and the Material Plane, but becomes the embodiment of nightmares. The dread’s type changes to Outsider (native), it gains DR 10/psionic, and it gains the ability to turn ethereal at will. In addition, the dread can use the Nightmare Form terror at will, even if it does not already have it. Using Nightmare Form no longer consumes a use of its terrors for the day.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

S-Class Character Compendium © 2022, Samurai Sheepdog, Author: Kevin Glusing

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