This column aims to provide players with tips on creating effective and interesting characters of various types. Whether you're a beginning player creating your very first character or an experienced gamer looking to put some punch into an old standby, this column is for you.
Radiant servants of Pelor (Complete Divine, page 52) are devoted servants of the Sun Father. They minister to the needs of good folk everywhere and protect them from the rising tide of evil. They hold a particular hatred for undead and are puissant healers.
Radiant servants of Pelor have many useful abilities. Here are a few things to consider when building such a character:
- Average Base Attack Bonus: A radiant servant of Pelor's base attack bonus progresses as that of a cleric.
- Good Fortitude Saves: A radiant servant of Pelor has a good Fortitude saving throws (PH 22). Clerics also have good Fortitude saving throws, making radiant servants of Pelor very resistant to such affects.
- Good Will Saves: A radiant servant of Pelor has good Will saving throws (PH 22). Clerics also have good Will saving throws that, coupled with their high Wisdom, make radiant servants of Pelor particularly resistant to such attacks.
- Good Spellcasting Progression: When a character gains a new level in radiant servant of Pelor, he also gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had gained a level in whatever class he belonged to before he became a radiant servant.
- Special Abilities: Along with his impressive spellcasting abilities, a radiant servant of Pelor gains a suite of special abilities that augment both his healing ability and his undead-destroying capability. Levels in radiant servant of Pelor stack with cleric levels for all purposes regards turning undead.
- At 1st level, he gains extra greater turning attempts, and any spell he casts with the light descriptor becomes larger and more powerful.
- At 2nd level, a radiant servant of Pelor becomes immune to all diseases. Additionally, Empower Healing allows him to apply the affects of Empower Spell to any domain spell he casts from the Healing domain (without the spell using up a higher-level spell slot).
- At 3rd level, a radiant servant of Pelor radiates an aura of warding, boosting his ally's Will saving throws.
- At 5th level, he gains access to either the Glory or Purification domain (both from Complete Divine).
- At 6th level, any domain spell a radiant servant of Pelor casts from the Healing domain is treated as if it were affected by Maximize Spell (without the spell using up a higher-level spell slot). This ability supersedes his empower healing ability.
- At 8th level, a radiant servant of Pelor can spend two of his daily turning attempts to damage all undead within 100 ft. of him by releasing a burst of positive energy.
- At 10th level, he gains the supreme healing ability, which enables him to apply the affects of Empower Spell and Maximize Spell to any domain spell he casts from the Healing domain. The spell does not take up a higher-level spell slot.
The radiant servant of Pelor's advantages come at a price. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about such a character:
- Restricted Qualification: Only worshippers of Pelor able to cast 1st-level divine spells can qualify to become a radiant servant of Pelor. Prospective members must be neutral good, have access to the Sun domain, +5 base Will saving throw, 5 ranks in Heal, 9 ranks in Knowledge (religion), and Extra Turning (PH 94). In practice, this means that a radiant servant of Pelor must have at least one level of cleric.
- Poor Hit Dice: A radiant servant of Pelor use six-sided hit dice, making them less robust than normal clerics.
- Poor Reflex Saves: A radiant servant of Pelor has a poor Reflex saving throw (PH 22). Clerics also have poor Reflex saves, making this a major weakness of the prestige class.
- Skill Points: A radiant servant of Pelor receives only 2 (+ Int bonus) skill points at every class level.
Radiant Servants and Living Greyhawk
In Living Greyhawk, radiant servants can follow several other deities instead of Pelor. The following powers give access to the Sun domain and are of the appropriate alignment.
- Atroa: NG lesser Oeridian goddess of Spring, the East Wind and Renewal.
- Azor'alq: NG Baklunish hero god of Light, Purity, Courage, and Strength.
- Ehlonna: NG intermediate goddess of Forests, Woodlands, Flora & Fauna, and Fertility.
- Hiatea: NG greater giant goddess of Giants, Females, Nature, Agriculture, Hunting, and Childbirth.
- Iallanis: NG lesser giant goddess of Good Giants, Love, Mercy, and Beauty.
- Lydia: NG lesser Suel goddess of Music, Knowledge, and Daylight.
- Nola: NG (LG) lesser Touv goddess of the Sun.
- Pholtus: LG (LN) intermediate Oeridian god of Light, Resolution, Law, Order, Inflexibility, Sun, and Moons.
- Phyton: CG lesser Suel god of Nature, Beauty and Farming.
- Skerrit: NG lesser centaur god of Centaurs, Community, and Natural Balance.
For more information about radiant servants of Pelor in Living Greyhawk, refer to the Living Greyhawk Deities document.
Playing a Radiant Servant of Pelor
All the general advice relating to playing a cleric character applies to a radiant servant of Pelor. However, radiant servants of Pelor are particular good at two things -- healing and turning undead. They should seek to do those things as often as possible. In many fights, a radiant servant's prodigious healing ability is all that stands between his companions and death, while his ability to turn undead can annihilate foes before they decimate the party.
A radiant servant of Pelor is almost certainly a party's main healer and should pick his spells and magic items appropriately. Using his domain spell slots to memorize healing spells allows him to make effective use of his Empower Spell, Maximize Spell, and supreme healing abilities. Combining such spells with Divine Metamagic provides powerful healing to those in dire need.
Radiant servants of Pelor specializing in the healing arts should consider the following feats:
Augment Healing(CD): Healing spells do +2 per spell level.
Healing Devotion(CC): Gain or grant fast healing for 1 minute.
Imbued Healing(CC): Provide beneficial carrier effect with healing spells.
Reach Spell(CD, 1): Touch spell becomes a ray with 30-ft. range.
Sacred Healing(CD): Allies gain fast healing 3 for a short time.
Touch of Healing(CC): Heal 3 points of damage per level of the highest-level healing spell you have available to cast.
1: Extremely useful for healing an ally you cannot reach.
Radiant servants of Pelor live to battle undead and are normally the first into battle when such foes appear, using their divine powers to blast them out of existence. Such characters expecting to battle undead on a regular basis should consider the following feats:
Empower Turning(CD): Can turn more undead.
Extra Turning(PH): Turn undead an extra four times a day.
Discipline of the Sun(CD): Spend an extra turn attempt to destroy undead instead of turning them.
Quicken Turning(CD): Can turn undead as a free action.
Sacred Vengeance(CW): Spend a turn undead attempt to deal an extra 2d6 points of damage on melee attacks against undead.
Complete Divine introduces a new kind of feat -- the divine feat. Simply put, these feats allow a cleric to spend one or more of his daily uses of turn undead to power an ability granted by a divine feat. Because a radiant servant of Pelor must have the Extra Turning feat, he has more turn attempts than normal for a cleric. Normally, he is unlikely to be in a situation where he can use all these attempts in any given adventure. Thus, taking one or more divine feats makes perfect sense, because it allows him to make use of his turn attempts even when undead are not present. Divine feats also appear in Complete Warrior and Complete Champion. A complete list appears below.
Discipline of the Sun(CD): spend an extra turn attempt to destroy undead instead of turning them.
Divine Cleansing(CW): Gain +2 sacred bonus on Fortitude saves.
Divine Metamagic(CD): Spend turn/rebuke attempts to enhance spells with a metamagic feat you know.
Divine Might(CW): Add Cha bonus to weapon damage.
Divine Resistance(CW): Gain resistance to cold 5, electricity 5, and fire 5.
Divine Shield(CW): Add Cha bonus as sacred bonus to your shield's defense.
Divine Spell Power(CD): Spend turn/rebuke attempts to increase your caster level.
Divine Vigor(CW): Increase base speed by 10 ft., gain +2 hp/level.
Domain Spontaneity(CD): Spend turn/rebuke attempt to spontaneously cast a domain spell.
Elemental Healing(CD): Spend turn/rebuke attempt to heal nearby elementals.
Elemental Smiting(CD): Spend turn/rebuke attempt to smite an elemental.
Glorious Weapons(CD): Allies' weapons gain an alignment for overcoming DR.
Profane Bonus(CD): Nearby inflict spells are maximized for 1 round.
Retrieve Spell(CC): Spend turn/rebuke attempts to regain a previously cast spell.
Sacred Boost(CD): Nearby cure spells are maximized for 1 round.
Sacred Healing(CD): Allies gain fast healing 3 for a short time.
Sacred Vengeance(CW): +2d6 points of damage on melee attacks against undead.
Spiritual Counter(CC): Spend turn/rebuke attempts to counterspell.
True Believer(CD): Gain a +3 bonus on one save each day.
CD = Complete Divine, CW = Complete Warrior, CC = Complete Champion
Sample Radiant Servant of Pelor: Caralon of the Cleansing Light
Of average height but well muscled, this handsome human male has olive skin, blue eyes, and an oval face framed by shoulder-length, fair hair. He is clad in full plate armor and carries a heavy steel shield and heavy mace both emblazoned with the face of the blazing sun.
Caralon of the Cleansing Light (CR 16)
Male human cleric 6/radiant servant of Pelor 10
(Complete Divine page 52)
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init -1; Senses Listen +1, Spot +4
Aura warding (10 ft., +2 to Will saves)
AC 25, touch 13, flat-footed 25
(-1 Dex, +9 armor, +3 shield, +4 deflection)
hp 81 (16 HD)
Immune critical hits, disease
Fort +18, Ref +9, Will +24
Speed 20 ft. in full plate (4 squares), base speed 30 ft.
Melee+1 undead bane heavy mace +14/+9/+4 (1d8+3)
Base Atk +11; Grp +12
Special Actions Divine Metamagic (Reach Spell), Divine Spell Power, Divine Vigor, greater turning 5/day, positive energy burst, radiance, spontaneous casting (cure spells), supreme healing, turn undead 13/day (+6, 3d6+16 x 1.5, 16th)
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 16th, healing 17th; +10 ranged touch, +13 melee touch)
8th -- mass cure critical wounds (D), fire storm (DC 25), holy aura (DC 25)
7th -- greater restoration (2), holy word (DC 24), summon monster VII, sunbeam (D)
6th -- blade barrier (DC 23), greater dispel magic, heal (D) (2), word of recall 5th -- break enchantment, flame strike (DC 22), holy sword (D, CD), righteous might, spell resistance, true seeing
4th -- air walk, death ward, divine power, fire shield (D), freedom of movement, neutralize poison
3rd -- cure serious wounds (D), daylight, dispel magic (2), magic vestment (2), protection from energy, searing light
2nd -- aid, align weapon, bless weapon (D), eagle's splendor, remove paralysis (2), silence, resist energy
1st -- bless, comprehend languages, detect undead (2), endure elements (D), entropic shield, obscuring mist, protection from evil
0 -- detect magic, detect poison, light (2), purify food and drink, read magic
D: Domain Spell. Deity: Pelor. Domains: Glory, Healing, Sun
Combat Gearpearl of power (6th-level spell), ring of blinking, winged boots, numerous potions and scrolls
Abilities Str 14, Dex 8, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 24, Cha 14
Feats Divine Metamagic (Reach Spell), Divine Spell Power, Divine Vigor, Empower Turning, Extra Turning, Extra Turning, Reach Spell
Skills Concentration +20, Heal +14, Knowledge (religion) +12, Sense Motive +14, Spellcraft +14
Possessions combat gear plus +1 undead bane heavy mace, +1 heavy fortification full plate, +1 reflecting heavy steel shield, ring of protection +4, cloak of protection +5, periapt of wisdom +6, healer's kit, 500 gp.
Aura of Warding (Su) Carolan and all his allies within 10 ft. gain a +2 morale bonus on all Will saving throws.
Positive Energy Burst (Su) As a standard action, Carolan can spend two uses of his turning ability to create a burst of positive energy that deals 10d6 points of damage to all undead creatures within 100 ft. A DC 20 Reflex save halves this damage.
Radiance When Carolan casts a spell with the light descriptor, the radius of illumination doubles and the spell is treated as it if were one level higher than it actually is for all purposes.
Supreme Healing (Ex) When Carolan casts a domain spell from the Healing domain the spell is affected as though by the Empower Spell and Maximize Spell feats. The spell does not use up a higher-level spell slot.
Caralon had the following ability scores before applying Hit Die ability score increases and stat boosting items: Str 13, Dex 8, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 14.
Any additional advice you would include for this prestige class? Let us know your thoughts on how it played or what changes you would make to it.
About the Author
Creighton Broadhurst is a member of Living Greyhawk's Circle of Six and a mad-keen World of Greyhawk fan. He has two young sons (whom he nicknames "Ghengis" and "Khan"). His house (when it is not falling down) is an oasis of tranquility, tidiness, and order. His upcoming design credits include Monster Manual V and Exemplars of Evil.