There are few terrains that seem to be as inherently spiritual as the desert. There is something about the vast stretches of emptiness, the intense heat, and the crushing isolation that seems to speak to our souls. Those who wander the desert and survive it often come out changed by the experience, touched in ways that others can’t quite comprehend. Today’s archetype attempts to capture the essence of those scarred and toughened individuals who have braved the desert, and, in exchange for the suffering and pain they endured in it, received a level of enlightenment. Naturally, the warpriest, a class already associated with battle-scars and spiritualism both, seemed like the best fit.
New Warpriest Archetype
There are few warpriests who cannot be said to be battle-hardened and tough, but there are some that are particularly hardy warriors of their faith. One such group, the dunelords, endure grueling tests of faith in the desert, subjecting themselves to the harshness of the scorching sun and shifting sands, the endless hunger of the barren wasteland, and the solitude of the desert wanderer. They emerge from the experience changed, and carry the power of the desert with them always.
Beloved of the Desert: A dunelord gains a pair of spell-like abilities that reflect his close connection to the desert. These abilities are effectively a minor and major power for a blessing, and uses of these abilities count against the number of times that the dunelord can use his blessings that day. Similarly, the saving throw DCs for these abilities is equal to 10 + 1/2 the dunelord’s warpriest level + the dunelord’s Wisdom modifier.
Heatstroke (Su): At 1st level, a dunelord can infuse a single weapon he wields with the heat of a malevolent desert sun. For 1 minute, whenever he damages a creature with the weapon, the target must succeed on a Fortitude save or suffer an additional 1d10 points of nonlethal fire damage. Creatures that suffer any amount of nonlethal damage from this ability are fatigued for as long as that nonlethal damage remains.
Sand Blast (Su): At 10th level, a dunelord can conjure sand from thin air, creating a blast of sand that explodes outwards from him in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in the blast suffers 1d4 points of bludgeoning damage per two warpriest levels the dunelord possesses. A successful Reflex save halves this damage. Creatures that fail their Reflex save by 5 or more are also blinded for 1d3 rounds. The sand created by this ability remains, covering the ground in the area to a depth of six inches (for a total of 300 cubic feet of sand). The sand itself is non-magical, and does not create difficult terrain, but can be moved and used like any other sand.
Sworn to the Desert: A dunelord may select only a single blessing, and must select it from among the following: air, animal, death, earth, fire, sun, or travel. The normal restrictions for choosing blessings still apply.
This ability modifies the blessings class feature.
Shape Sand (Sp): Beginning at 3rd level, by touching a mass of loose sand, a dunelord can supernaturally cause that sand to take the shape of a small object, and harden instantly. This functions as the spell fabricate, except that only sand can be converted, and only 1 cubic foot per two warpriest levels can be affected. Additionally, once the item takes its desired shape, it instantly hardens, gaining hardness 10 and losing the fragility of objects made of sand. For example, a longsword made of sand could be used in the same fashion as a longsword made of metal, without worry that it would crumble as a result of being made of sand. The sand remains in this shape for 24 hours, or until the dunelord chooses to end the effect (a swift action). The dunelord can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Wisdom modifier. He can use it additional times beyond that, but each time he does so he must expend one daily use of his fervor class feature.
This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 3rd level.
Sand Storm (Su): At 9th level, a dunelord gains the ability to whip up a sandy whirlwind around himself. This fills a 20-foot-radius area centered on him with swirling sand, which obscures all sight, including darkvision, beyond 5 feet. A creature within 5 feet has concealment (attacks have a 20% miss chance). Creatures farther away have total concealment (50% miss chance, and the attacker can’t use sight to locate the target). Additionally, each creature in the area suffers 1d3 points of bludgeoning damage per round. At 12th level, and every three levels thereafter, this damage increases by an additional 1d3. The sand storm remains for 1 minute. It moves with the dunelord, and does not affect his space. A strong wind (21+ mph) disperses the sand in 4 rounds.
The dunelord can use this ability once per day. In order to use this ability, the dunelord must be in an area with at least one inch of sand on the ground. If the sand he is on does not cover the entire area affected by this ability, only the portion of the area which has a layer of sand is affected.
This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 9th level.
Hands of the Desert (Su): Beginning at 15th level, three times per day, a dunelord can shape sand into giant, floating hands which respond to his will. In order to use this ability, there must be at least 300 cubic feet of sand within 60 feet of the dunelord, which he magically shapes into the form of a giant hand. The hand functions as a grasping hand spell, with the dunelord’s warpriest level as the caster level. The dunelord must concentrate on this effect (a move action for each active grasping hand), or the hands crumble into loose sand.
This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 15th level.