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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

 Phaetox, Advanced Creautre Class

The Phaetox is one of my oldest playable PC races, used as a flying bastion of strict order in a world of chaos and destruction. My version is loosely based on the Phaeton from the Dragon Lance setting, which itself was based on the Greek myth of the same name. While they have a significant benefit - flight, the harsh penalty of not being able to lie in even the smallest way was a great trade off to minimize power-gaming. 

This is a chance for me to adjust this creature to my new base. I am now leaning most non-player class options to specialized monster levels instead of class ones. When players pick a creature like a Phaetox, they choose whether to advance as the creature or as a class, but if they are an NPC they are always advanced as the creature class.

 PhaetoxThese humanoids appear the same as a human, except on concentration they can sprout flame wings as part of their devotion to their heavenly patron – the Eternal Mother of Order, Lady Phoenix. They are the epitome of order, as they instinctively follow rules even if they don't understand or agree with them.


Personality: They are great believers in discipline but others describe them as sour and serious. Most are peaceful, spending most of their lives in simple work and simple pleasures, such as music, art, sports. They defer to others in areas of specialty (such as magic or legal issues) and avoid conflict with most others in philosophy, but are open to friendly discussions with friends.


Physical Description: Phaetox appear as five feet tall, humans with white, blond or red hair. Most wear simple tunics; if armed they usually use a dagger, cross-bow or staff, Their warriors often use small one-handed crossbows. They avoid heavy armor as it can gives movement penalties. When in danger, they can sprout flame wings from their back. The average citizen use their flame wings to quickly avoid dangers but the warrior caste use their wings as many others use a sword.


Relations: Phaetox view elves, jahlen, and halflings with some suspicion, as these races often bring disruption to Phaetox society. They see the dwarves as a potential ally but rarely have formalized relations. They have no pre-set opinion on humans, though individuals who are bound to Law or their heavenly patron are well received. Unless visitors are known fugitives, they are welcomed to their cities, but no one is above Phaetox laws or customs. Likewise, even if one of the chaotic races, once you've proven your loyalty they will show respect and gratitude.


Alignment: They tend towards both law and neutrality. These peaceful people are highly organized and have followed ceremonial laws for millennium.


Lands: Their territories are mountain regions, spires and the cloud isles, preferring cities to rural areas. They do a mix of hunting and harvesting, and trade with other races when they can.


Religion: Their devotion is to the Phoenix, their living connection with the Mother of Order. Phaetox clerics do not exist, but druids, rangers and monks sometimes act as a center piece of their faith through their actions not their words. Though rare, Paladins exist, as they balance roles of both crusader and custodian of laws.


Language: Phaetox & the common tongue. At higher levels they also learn Avian, the language of common flying beasts.


Adventurers:  The most common reason why Phaetox adventure it is the chosen path for those who fail the ritual of ascension. They depart from their communities to dedicate themselves to a lawful purpose and learn their personal path along the way. Well over eighty percent of those who leave, return and do so with their faith reinvigorated and ready to ascend into unity with the phoenix. A few however are permanently changed, these exiles are usually evil and are bared from re-entry into Phaetox communities.


Phaetox Racial Traits+2 wisdom, +2 charisma, -2 strength
+2 diplomacy, +2 knowledge (religion), +2 Fly
Flame Wings for 1 minute per point of constitution (15 con = 15 minutes)Speed: Fly 30 (Clumsy), Better movement, fly capacity as fight time increases
Racial Hit Dice: 1d6 / level
Attack and saving throws as Cleric; + 6 skill points per HD
Natural Attack: Flame Wings (1d4 dmg), does not gain bonuses for high strength. If creatures are immune to flame, take only one point of damage. At higher levels, quarter the maximum to determine the damage flame wings will do to flame resistant creatures.


Disadvantage: Unable to lie or tell any falsehoods; can not take ranks in disguise or bluff

HD Adjustment Table 
2 HD Radiate Law, Feat, Speak Avian
3 HD Resolve, Law Domain (1st), Feat
4 HD Law Domain (2nd), + 2 Wis & Con, Speak Elemental
5 HD Flame Wings, +2 to wing attacks, 1d8 Damage; Duration (5 min / Con)
6 HD Protection from Chaos - Spells (Constant), Feat, Law Domain (3rd)
7 HD Greater Resolve; + 2 Wis & Con, Speak Elder Lawful
8 HD Flame Wings, +4 to wing attacks, 1d12 damage; Duration (10 min / Con),  Law Domain (4th)
9 HD Protection from Chaos 40 ft Radius (3/day), Feat, Law Domain (5th)
10 HD Absolute Resolve, + 2 Wis & Con; Flame Wings, 2d10 damage (at will), Law Domain (6th)

Phaetox cannot deviate from their creature class features until they reach 5 HD. If they change to gain standard classes, they cannot gain their higher level natural class features at a later point.


Radiate Law: +2 reaction bonus from lawful creatures; -4 from chaotic creatures


Flame Wings are considered a magical touch attack. They inflict damage on creatures that suffer from damage from fire or from a lawful aligned weapon. Their flames are temporary in nature, they do not cause material items such as wood or paper to be consumed. Phaetox can take weapon feats to gain additional specialty or abilities when using their wings in combat.


Resolve: Gain Wis or Cha bonus on saves vs illusions or falsehoods
Greater Resolve; Gain HD bonus + Wis / Cha bonus on saves vs illusions or falsehoods

Absolute Resolve: Immune to falsehoods and illusions


Speak Lawful Languages: While appearing very similar to humans, they are in fact closer to planar beings. As they adventure, they learn to speak avian, then elemental, and finally a lawful dialect that all lawfully aligned creatures understand


Law Domain: Cast Spells from this domain, Can use either their wisdom or charisma score to determine highest level and saving throws same as other spell-casters. Domain Spells: 1st—protection from chaos, 2nd—align weapon (law only), 3rd—magic circle against chaos, 4th—order's wrath, 5th—dispel chaos, 6th—hold monster


Core Racial Skills: Craft (any), Diplomacy, Heal, Knowledge (local, geography, history, religion), Perception, Perform (Any), Sense Motive, Stealth, Survival


Preferred Classes: Fighter, Monk, Ranger, Sorcerer,


Restricted Classes: Barbarian and Cleric


Phaetar In some locations there is a lawful evil variation called the Phaetar that have pale white skin and their wings are pitch black flames. As they gain levels, they gain protection from good instead of chaos. These are individuals that failed or chose not to ascend. They have chosen another path, one where they lead instead of following laws. Most of these exiles try to gin levels in wizard cabals or evil churches (usually Keran) for power, but a cavalier or ranger options are fairly popular as well. While Phaetar seek power, comfort and personal wealth, they try to take these things from others, as few have the confidence to face their kin as they rarely return to their native lands.