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Old Screeds


The Whisperer [2 March 2015] A new Pathfinder prestige class centered on multiple companions of the same kind.

I've always wanted to play a crazy cat lady, with a gang of cats! With this prestige class, you can advance your whole crew: familiar AND animal companion AND eidolon AND monster cohort.

The Whisperer in Kind

Note: Most whisperers refer to themselves by the kind of creature they love: snake whisperer, bird whisperer, cat whisperer, etc.

Some people just have a way with animals. They have a natural sense of how to care for them, communicate with them, and command them. This is not just a bond with a single individual creature, but deep empathy with an entire kind: a horse whisperer, for example, has a knack for all equine creatures, from ponies and zebras to unicorns and pegasi.

Role: Some whisperers work hard to serve as a bridge between animals and people, working as trainers, teachers, and handlers for domesticated animals, such as dogs, horses, birds of prey, and elephants. Others scorn civilization, living out on their own with only wild animals for company. Some seek adventure and fortune with the help of their most loyal and powerful animal friends.

Alignment: Whisperers care deeply about the creatures they befriend, and that love of other makes evil whisperers rare. However, they can be of any alignment.

Simpsons crazy cat lady
Her pocket is a Grey Bag of Tricks that only summons cats.

Hit die: d8

Requirements

  • Skills: Survival 3 ranks, Handle Animal 5 ranks.
  • Feats: Animal Affinity and one teamwork feat.
  • Trait: one of the following -- Animal Friend, Beast Bond, Child of Nature, Dedicated Defender, Frontier-Forged, Loyalty across Lifetimes, Perpetual Companion, Resilient, Savage, Savanna Child.
  • Spells: Ability to cast second level spells.
  • Special: Two companion creatures (animal companion, cohort, eidolon, or familiar) of the same kind (see below).

Table: The Whisperer in Kind

Lvl...Att....Fort...Refx...Will...Class Abilities
.1....+0......+1.....+1.....+0.....Empathy in Kind, Bonus Feat
.2....+1......+1.....+1.....+1.....Master Sharer
.3....+2......+2.....+2.....+1.....Teamster
.4....+3......+2.....+2.....+1.....Companions' Aid, Bonus Feat
.5....+3......+3.....+3.....+2.....Bonded Companions
.6....+4......+3.....+3.....+2.....Communion in Kind
.7....+5......+4.....+4.....+2.....True Link, Bonus Feat
.8....+6......+4.....+4.....+3.....Flexible Teamster
.9....+6......+5.....+5.....+3.....Aid in Kind
10....+7......+5.....+5.....+3.....Resurrect Companion, Bonus Feat

Class Features

Class Skills Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Know (Nature) (Int), Know (Geography) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
Skill Points per level: 4 + Int modifier

Companion Kind Your companions must be of the same kind. Possible chosen kinds of creatures include: amphibians, avians, bats, canines, cetaceans, elephants, equines and other odd-toe ungulates, felines, fish, lizards and crocs, mustelids, pinniped, rodents, simians (not including humans), snakes, boars, hippos, deer and other even-toed ungulates, and ursines. Dinosaurs may be allowed as a chosen kind in campaigns that feature them. Usually vermin are excluded, but a DM may make exceptions if appropriate. Note that a companion, including eidolons and any others with evolutions, must look and behave like a creature of the whisperer's chosen kind, and cannot have evolutions out of character for its type. A cat whisperer's eidolon cannot have wings or tentacles or the ability to burrow under the earth; subtle differences, such as tremorsense or spell resistance, are acceptable, as the DM allows.

Certain whisperer class abilities affect creatures of your chosen kind, and that includes those of other monster types. For example, a dog whisperer can use the "empathy in kind" ability on blink dogs (magical beasts) and hell hounds (outsiders). Your DM will decide if there is any question as to whether a creature is a certain kind.

Weapon & Armor Proficiencies You gain no new proficiency in any armor. You gain proficiency with whips. When you use a whip against a creature of your chosen kind, you inflict only nonlethal damage and you ignore armor, shield, and natural armor bonuses. When you use a whip as a tool to guide and command creatures of your chosen kind, you add the enhancement bonus of the whip, if any, to your handle animal checks. You also gain proficiency with nets and lassos. If you entangle a creature of your chosen kind with a net or lasso, then each round make a handle animal check; if the creature fails a will save vs your check result as the DC, then it will not try to use strength to escape or break free that round.

Spellcasting You do not advance in the ability to cast more spells per day nor in the ability to cast higher level spells. However, your whisperer level does stack with other class levels in determining caster level, for classes that grant you a companion. For example, a Druid 3 / Summoner 4 / Whisperer 5 has caster level 8 as a druid and caster level 9 as a summoner. Such a character could cast spells per day as a druid level 3 and a summoner level 4.

Also, you add several spells to your spell lists for classes that grant you a companion. If you are a spontaneous caster, also add them as bonus spells to your list of spells known. Level 0: Speak with Animals. Level 1: Call Animal. Level 2: Greater Magic Fang. Level 3: Charm Monster. Level 4: Baleful Polymorph. Level 5: Awaken. These spells can only speak/call/buff/awaken creatures of your chosen kind, and the baleful polymorph must change targets into creatures of your kind.

Companion Advancement Every time you gain a level, starting with level 1, you advance two companions as if you had gained a level in the class that grants the companion. If you have more than two companions, pick two to advance each time you level, and carefully track which ones you have advanced over time.

  • If you advance an animal companion, holy mount, oracle or cavalier mount, or other creature using the druid class rules, then add one to your effective level of stacked classes to advance your animal companion on the Animal Companion Base Statistics table.
  • A cohort that is a creature of your chosen kind advances per the Leadership feat, using your experience points and your Leadership score. If you also use your whisperer ability to advance your cohort, it gains the following progression of powers, gaining one each time a level is advanced:
    1. Share Spells
    2. Decrease the penalty on leadership for having other companions from -2 to -1.
    3. Empathic Link
    4. Natural Armor Bonus +2
    5. Evasion
    6. Deliver Touch Spells
    7. Decrease the penalty on leadership for having other companions from -1 to 0.
    8. Devotion
    9. Natural Armor Bonus +2
    10. Improved Evasion
  • If you advance your eidolon, then add one to your summoner level to advance your eidolon on the Eidolon Base Statistics table. Do not advance any Special Abilities listed in the main summoner class table; the whisperer prestige class does not advance summoner powers such as shield ally, maker's call, transposition, etc. Keep in mind that no companion can take an evolution that is obviously at odds with the fundamental attributes of a creature of your chosen kind.
  • A familiar uses your BAB, base saves, skill ranks, and gains half your hit points. If you also use your whisperer ability to advance your familiar, it gains the following progression of powers:
    • Per the Familiar Ability Descriptions table, at odd levels you increase your familiar's intelligence, natural AC bonus, and possibly other special abilities, such as delivering touch spells and spell resistance.
    • At levels 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18, your familiar gains a feat, freely chosen from any for which it meets the prerequisites.
    • At levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20, your familiar gain a +2 bonus to one ability score.

Class Abilities

Empathy in Kind (Ex) You can use your Handle Animal skill to improve the attitude of any creature of your chosen kind. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person (see Using Skills). If you have Wild Empathy and the creature has an Intelligence of 1 or 2, then you may add your Wild Empathy bonus to your Handle Animal check. You and the creature to be influenced must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing a creature in this way takes 1 minute, but you may make the check in just one round at a -4 penalty. You can affect multiple creatures of the same kind at the same time with the same check, but you make the check at a -1 penalty per extra creature.

Bonus Feats At 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th levels, you gain a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. At 4th, 7th, and 10th levels, you can choose to learn a new bonus feat in place of a bonus feat you learned at an earlier level. That is, you lose the bonus feat in exchange for a new one. The old feat cannot be one that was used as a prerequisite for another feat, prestige class, or other ability. You can only change one feat at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the feat when you gain a new bonus feat for the level. Whisperer bonus feats are selected from this list: Animal Soul, Athletic, Die Hard, Endurance, Evolved Companion, Evolved Familiar, Fleet, Improved Familiar, Leadership, Mounted Combat, Mounted Skirmisher, Self Sufficient, Trample, Toughness, Trick Riding, Undersized Mount, Unfettered Familiar.

Master Sharer (Su) ANY spell or spell-like ability that you cast on yourself can also affect your companions if they are within short range (25ft + 5ft/whisperer level) and if they already have the standard share spells ability. The shared spell duration is not divided among you; the usual duration applies to all. Instantaneous spells, such as curing spells, also affect all of you instantly. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the companion if it moves beyond short range and will not affect the companion again even if it returns before the duration expires. A shared spell affects companions even if the spell has a target of "You" and even if the spell normally does not affect creatures of the companionsí type.

Teamster (Ex) At 3rd level, any teamwork feats you and your companions have are usable by yourself and them. That is, you automatically grant your teamwork feats to your companions, and they grant theirs to you and to each other, even if you or they do not meet the prerequisites of these teamwork feats. However, no one but you and your companions can ever benefit from your teamwork feats.

Companions' Aid (Ex) When a companion creature uses the aid another action in combat to boost your AC or attacks, the companion does not have to be in a position to attack your opponent, so long as the companion is in your square or adjacent to you. Also, the aid another bonus applies to your AC against all melee attacks made against you that round, or to boost all melee attacks you make that round.

Bonded Companions (Su) As a standard action, you may create a bond between yourself and one of your companions. Each round at the start of your turn, if the bonded companion is wounded for 5 or more hit points below its maximum hit points, it heals 5 hit points and you take 5 hit points of damage. You may have one bond active per companion. This bond continues until the companion dies, you die, the distance between you and the companion exceeds medium range, or you end it as an immediate action (if you have multiple bonds active, you may end as many as you want as part of the same immediate action).

Communion in Kind (Ex) You gain a +2 insight bonus on Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge, Ride, Sense Motive, and Survival skill checks related to creatures of your chosen kind. When using the Handle Animal skill with your chosen kind, you can handle an animal as a free action, you can push an animal as a move action, and you can teach, train, and rear an animal in one quarter of the usual time. You can use your skill on multiple creatures of your chosen type simultaneously by taking a -1 on the Handle Animal check per creature beyond the first. You can use the Handle Animal skill on creatures of your chosen kind regardless of their intelligence ability score. Also, using the Heal skill with your chosen kind, the number of hit points restored and the saving throw bonuses bestowed are doubled.

True Link (Su) If your companions already have an Empathic Link, a druidic Link, or a summoner Link, then they now can communicate emotions and thoughts to you and to each other within one mile of you. You can also use your companions' eyes and ears freely, though not such special senses as low light vision, darkvision, blindsight, etc. Such use of companions' senses does not interfere with your usual senses.

Flexible Teamster (Ex) As a standard action, you can choose to learn a new teamwork feat in place of one you already know. In effect, you lose the teamwork feat in exchange for a new one. You can change a teamwork feat a number of times per day equal to 1 plus your Wisdom modifier, minimum 1/day.

Aid in Kind (Su) Once per day, you may make a request of a creature of your chosen kind, per the Diplomacy skill rules for making a request -- you can make this request as a full round action, even if the creature is unfriendly or hostile. The creature will grant your request, no roll required. Granting the request does not change the creature's attitude toward you (although a seperate use of the Empathy in Kind ability might). Open-ended, greedy, or extravagent requests may be twisted by the creature, at the DM's discretion, and no request is granted if it takes more than one hour to grant.

Resurrect Companion (Sp) Once per day, as a spell-like ability requiring a standard action and no material component, you may Resurrect your dead companion.


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