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Deathlessby Rodger Burns
A deathless has a similar size and build to an adult human, though many are thinner and more astetic-seeming than normal. Their skin is smooth and never blotches or wrinkles; their hair is either pale blond or white and grows in unruly clumps that fall in all directions. A deathless's eyes and ears are generally smaller and better protected by bone and muscle tissue than a human's, though their perceptive abilities are similar. A typical deathless is about 6' tall and weighs about 160 pounds.
Deathless are so named because they do not appear to be born and do not appear to age. All deathless emerge into the mortal world seemingly full-grown, from the mouths of certain caves, and go about the world physically unchanged until they feel the urge to return to the sacred caverns once more. There's no record of what lies within (or beyond) the caves that deathless emerge from and return to - outsiders are generally forbiddent to enter, and in the few cases where this taboo has been evaded by force or guile the trespassers either reported the caves as laughably shallow... or did not return from their explorations at all.
All deathless are powerful and versatile mages, able to use spells of both human magic-users and some spells normally only available to clerics. They will often live in human cities and monasteries, pursuing scholarly knowledge along with wealth and influence, but will just as often withdraw into Clans of their own kind. A Clan of deathless is united not by blood ties (which don't exist, as such) but by a common philosophical or scholarly goal - the codification of a particular style of magic, the study of a particular area of knowledge, or the shaping of a certain nation or culture. A deathless Clan will often adopt a newly-emerged deathless who's seeking direction or purpose, but after a period of a few years will generally send the new adoptee out in the world to gain some practical experience. The bolder and more stern-minded of these often become adventurers.
Deathless are detached, stoic and conservative-minded, but by no means without emotion. Many are intensely ambitious, in their own way, eager to acquire worldly power and shape the world to their liking. Others are curious and inquisitive, fascinated by how humans and other creatures that spend such a large portion of their lives in the weak and unformed state of 'childhood' can accomplish such great things in their maturity. As deathless grow older, though, they often become grim and cynical, disillusioned by the way that all those around them continue to repeat the same mistakes time and time again. The longest-lived deathless often seek to withdraw from society altogether, communicating only with other members of their Clan and shaping the world at one remove.
A deathless can only advance to 10th level, though its spellcasting ability continues to improve somewhat even after reaching maximum level. This is balanced by its peerless spellcasting capability and broad spell selection.
Prime Requisite: A deathless has two prime requisites: Intelligence and Wisdom. If a deathless has a score of 16-18 in Intelligence and a score of 13 or better in Wisdom, he gains a 5% bonus to experience points earned. If both Intelligence and Wisdom are 16-18, the bonus is 10%.
Minimum Scores: A deathless must have a score of 9 or greater in both Intelligence and Constitution.
Hit Dice: Roll a 4-sided die (1d4) to determine a deathless's hit points. A deathless starts with 1d4 (1-4) hit points (plus Constitution bonus, if any) and gains 1d4 more hit points (plus bonus) with each level of experience.
Armor: A deathless cannot wear armor of any type, and cannot use a shield.
Weapons: A deathless can use the following weapons: hand axe, blackjack, throwing hammer, mace, staff, dagger, javelin, spear, trident, blowgun, and sling, as well as improvised weapons such as holy water, flaming oil and thrown rocks.
Deathless Experience Table
Spells/Level Level XP Atk Rnk Caster Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 1 - - - - - - - - 2 3,000 2 - - - - - - - - 3 6,000 2 1 - - - - - - - 4 12,000 2 2 - - - - - - - 5 24,000 2 2 1 - - - - - - 6 50,000 3 2 2 - - - - - - 7 100,000 3 3 2 1 - - - - - 8 200,000 4 3 2 2 - - - - - 9 400,000 4 3 3 2 1 - - - - 10 650,000 A 4 4 3 2 2 - - - - 900,000 B 11 5 4 3 3 2 1 - - - 1,150,000 12 5 5 4 3 2 2 - - - 1,400,000 C 13 5 5 4 4 3 2 - - - 1,650,000* D 14 6 5 5 4 3 2 1 - - 1,900,000 15 6 5 5 4 3 3 2 - - 2,150,000 E 16 6 6 5 5 4 3 2 1 - 2,400,000 F 17 7 6 6 5 4 3 3 2 - 2,650,000 18 7 7 6 5 4 4 3 2 - 2,900,000 G 19 8 7 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 3,150,000** H 20 8 8 7 7 6 5 4 3 2 3,900,000 20^ 8 8 7 7 6 5 4 3 3^
Special Defenses: An experienced deathless becomes more resistant to both magic and breath weapons, as a halfling. Resistance to spells is gained at 1,650,000 experience points, and resistance to breath weapons at 3,150,000 experience points.
Detection: A deathless's ability to detect any secret door, hidden trap or other dungeon feature is double normal if the item being searched for uses magic in its operation. If the magical effect would normally prevent any mundane search from discovering the feature, the deathless's chance to find the feature are 1 in 6 (though a successful roll may simply indicate that the deathless knows something is being hidden by magical means, without identifying exactly what).
Sense Illusion: If an illusion spell or effect (such as phantasmal force or hallucinatory terrain) is used within 60' of a deathless, the DM should secretly make a save vs. spells for the character. If the save succeeds, the deathless senses the presence and general location of the illusion (though not its precise location, or the identity of what is being obscured).
Mindmask: All deathless are naturally resistant to ESP spells and similar mind-reading effects. Such spells will detect the presence of the deathless as a living and intelligent being, but will not detect any specific thoughts.
Spells: A deathless casts spells as a magic-user, with an expanded spell list. The deathless can use clerical spell scrolls to cast spells that appear on the list below, but cannot use clerical spell scrolls of any other type.
Deathless Magical Spells List
First Level Second Level Third Level Analyze Continual Light* Clairvoyance Charm Person Detect Evil Create Air Cure Light Wounds* Detect Invisible Dispel Magic Detect Magic Entangle Fireball Floating Disc ESP* Fly Hold Portal Invisibility Haste* Light* Knock Hold Person* Magic Missile Levitate Infravision Predict Weather Locate Object Invisibility 10' Radius Protection From Evil Mirror Image Lightning Bolt Read Languages Phantasmal Force Protection From Evil 10' Radius Read Magic Resist Cold Protection From Normal Missiles Remove Fear Snake Charm Resist Fire Shield Speak With Animal Speak With The Dead Sleep Web Warp Wood Ventriloquism Wizard Lock Water Breathing
Fourth Level Fifth Level Charm Monster Animate Dead Confusion Cloudkill Cure Disease* Conjure Elemental Cure Serious Wounds* Contact Outer Plane Dimension Door Cure Critical Wounds* Growth of Animal Dissolve* Growth of Plants* Feeblemind Hallucinatory Terrain Hold Monster* Ice Storm/Wall of Ice Magic Jar Massmorph Neutralize Poison* Protection From Poison Passwall Polymorph Other Protection From Lightning Polymorph Self Speak With Plants Remove Curse* Telekinesis Wall of Fire Teleport Wizard Eye Wall of Stone
After the deathless reaches 10th level, spellcasting ability continues to increase. At this time, though, the deathless must choose from one of three specialized paths of magic - either Body, Mind or Spirit. This choice is permanent and irrevocable, and dictates which spells of the 6th level and above may be memorized and cast by the deathless. Though each path is traditionally associated with a different hue (Body - Black, Mind - Grey and Spirit - White) there's no morality, alignment or status considerations associated with any of the paths - each is an equally valid path for advancement. Wish is included on all the spell lists below, but is only available to deathless with an Intelligence of 18 (or greater) and at least 3,900,000 experience points.
Spells of the Body (Black)
Sixth Level Seventh Level Eighth Level Ninth Level Anti-Plant Shell Anti-Animal Shell Dance Creeping Doom Disintegrate Barrier* Force Field Earthquake Insect Plague Delayed Blast Fireball Metal to Wood Heal Move Earth Statue Permanence Immunity Stone to Flesh* Summon Object Polymorph Any Object Meteor Swarm Wall of Iron Sword Restore Shapechange Wish^
Spells of the Mind (Gray)
Sixth Level Seventh Level Eighth Level Ninth Level Anti-Magic Shell Charm Plant Aerial Servant Contingency Geas* Lore Dance Gate* Invisible Stalker Mass Invisibility* Mass Charm* Maze Projected Image Power Word Stun Mind Barrier* Shapechange Truesight Reverse Gravity Symbol Survival Weather Control Teleport Any Object Travel Timestop Wish^
Spells of the Spirit (White)
Sixth Level Seventh Level Eighth Level Ninth Level Death Spell Create Normal Monsters Create Magical Monsters Create Any Monster Dispel Evil Delayed Blast Fireball Explosive Cloud Holy Word Geas Find the Path Power Word Blind Power Word Kill Lower Water Magic Door* Restore Prismatic Wall Raise Dead* Power Word Stun Symbol Raise Dead Fully* Turn Wood Transport Through Plants Word of Recall Survival Wish^
Turn Undead and Elementals: A deathless may attempt to turn undead, as a cleric of his caster level. Creatures of elemental or Nightmare Dimension heritage can also be turned - an elemental creature of 1-4 HD is turned as a wight, 5-8 HD as a mummy, 9-12 HD as a vampire, 13-16 HD as a haunt, 17-20 HD as a nightshade, and 21-30 HD as a special. Elemental and Nightmare creatures of 31+ hit dice cannot be turned by a deathless. A deathless's turning power is not as well-controlled as that of a human cleric, though - after each turn attempt, there is a chance that the energies backfire, doing 1d6 damage to the deathless. This chance is 10% if the turn attempt was successful, 25% if the turn attempt was unsuccessful.
Read Languages: A deathless of 6th level or greater has an 80% chance to read any normal writing or language, in a manner similar to the thief ability.
Deathless Saving Throws Table
Higher Experience Levels
A deathless who reaches 10th level is known as a deathless sage. He commits himself to one of the three paths of magic (as described above) and may gain allies, associates and rivals from among other experienced deathless following similar or different magical traditions. A deathless who chooses to build a tower or stronghold is treated much like a human magic-user by most rulers and nobles - his tower is considered a private sanctum and approached only in the most dire of circumstances. In return for this discretion, however, the deathless is generally expected to avoid disruptive or dangerous researches and to help when needed in defense of the region.
Deathless Clans will generally take note of a new sage, and treat him as a peer and with respect, but will generally not relocate themselves to his vicinity. However, a deathless sage with an established tower may, in the course of a campaign, be able to recruit a following or rescue an endangered clan that would then take up residence near the sage's stronghold. This should be handled in the course of play and is not guaranteed by any means, even as an opportunity.
Levels 1-3 4-6 7-9 10 Death Ray/Poison 11 8 5 2 Magic Wands 13 10 7 4 Paralysis/Turn to Stone 12 9 6 3 Breath Attack 16 12 8 4 Rod/Staff/Spell 15 11 7 3