Catalyst

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Overview

Certain people are innately tuned to the ebb and flow of magical energies in the world around them, but are, for whatever reason, unable to control those energies enough to channel them into discrete spells. These people instead train themselves to harness the raw energy itself, infusing their own bodies with magical power which can be released in its pure form, or transferred to others. These people are called "catalysts", as they often partner with other spellcasters to produce more powerful effects.

When a catalyst is paired with another spellcaster, their combined power is far greater than either one could achieve alone. Thus many catalysts eventually hire themselves out to temples, magic schools, or individual mages of high reputation. However, this synergy can also be turned against the catalyst, as it means they are highly prized by Merythion elves and orc tribes as slaves. The enslaved catalysts who manage to escape do so spectacularly, often turning their captors' spells against them.

Because their abilities can be deadly if abused, catalysts are viewed with suspicion and even fear in some areas. Even a mid-level catalyst could wipe out a wide swath of townsfolk before being stopped. Fortunately, their inability to create spells of their own is such a rare condition that their existence does not generally lead to panic.

Party Role: In an adventuring party, the catalyst is a powerful force in his own right, but may also hang back with spellcasters to enhance their magical prowess.

Restrictions: Catalysts do not possess the ability to channel their magical energies into spellcasting, and thus cannot multi-class into any class that has a spellcasting ability.

This topic is specific to the Dungeons & Dragons d20 system. D&D v3.5 Class Definition

Fatcow-page-edit.png This section defining the Catalyst class in D&D v3.5 is a stub. Content will be added to this page as time allows.


This topic is specific to the Pathfinder d20 system. Pathfinder Class Definition

Hit Die: d6; SP/Level: +4+mINT
Level Base Attack Saving Throws Class Features Charges Per Day
Fort Ref Will 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 +0 +2 +0 +2 spell charges, channel energy 1d6, 1st aura focus 1
2 +1 +3 +0 +3 energy ray (1 target) 1
3 +1 +3 +1 +3 channel energy 2d6, transcendence of language 1
4 +2 +4 +1 +4 aspiration, 2nd aura focus 2 1
5 +2 +4 +1 +4 channel energy 3d6 2 1
6 +3 +5 +2 +5 energy ray (2 targets), transcendence of size 2 1 1
7 +3 +5 +2 +5 channel energy 4d6, 3rd aura focus 3 2 1
8 +4 +6 +2 +6 sublimation 3 2 1 1
9 +4 +6 +3 +6 channel energy 5d6, transcendence of distance 3 2 1 1
10 +5 +7 +3 +7 energy ray (3 targets), 4th aura focus, transmission (30ft) 4 3 2 1 1
11 +5 +7 +3 +7 channel energy 6d6 4 3 2 2 1
12 +6 +8 +4 +8 accession, metastasis, transcendence of time 4 3 3 2 1 1
13 +6 +8 +4 +8 channel energy 7d6, 5th aura focus 4 4 3 2 2 1
14 +7 +9 +4 +9 energy ray(4 targets) 4 4 3 3 2 1 1
15 +7 +9 +5 +9 channel energy 8d6, transcendence of power 4 4 4 3 2 2 1
16 +8 +10 +5 +10 6th aura focus 4 4 4 3 3 2 1 1
17 +8 +10 +5 +10 channel energy 9d6 4 4 4 4 3 2 2 1
18 +9 +11 +6 +11 energy ray (5 targets), transcendence of chance 4 4 4 4 3 3 2 1 1
19 +9 +11 +6 +11 channel energy 10d6 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 2 1
20 +10 +12 +6 +12 manifestation, transmission (60ft) 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2 1
Class Skills
Appraise (INT), Craft (INT), Diplomacy (CHA), Heal (WIS), Knowledge:Arcana (INT), Knowledge:Religion (INT), Linguistics (INT), Profession (WIS), Spellcraft (INT), Use Magic Device (CHA)
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Catalysts are proficient with simple weapons only, and no armor or shields. If a catalyst chooses to learn an armor proficiency as a feat, then the armor's arcane spell failure chance applies to all of a catalyst's class abilities.
Spell Charges (Sp)
At first level, catalysts gain the ability to harness magical energy, but cannot focus it into spells. Instead, they may transfer that energy to another spellcaster. As a standard action, the catalyst may touch any target and spend an available spell charge. If the target is able to cast spells of that level, then the target gains one more spell of that level for the current day. This ability may be used only to recharge a spell slot that has already been used by the target spellcaster that day. If the target is unwilling, then a melee touch attack roll is needed. If, for any reason, the attempt is unsuccessful (the target was unwilling and the attack failed, or the target has no spell slots of that level to be recharged, or the target is not a spellcaster), then the magical energy in the spell charge "backfires", dealing 1d4 points of damage per spell level to the catalyst.
A catalyst's spell charge may be used to restore a spell slot of equal or lesser level; if used to restore a slot of lesser level, however, the excess energy backfires, dealing 1d4 damage for each level of the difference.
Catalysts gain bonus spell charges per day based on their Constitution modifier. To use a spell charge of a given level, the catalyst's Constitution score must be equal to or greater than 10 plus the spell charge's level.
Attempting to use a spell charge is a spell-like ability which provokes attacks of opportunity. A concentration check may be made to use this ability on the defensive (as if casting a spell defensively). Also, there must be some ambient magical energy around the catalyst which can be absorbed; a magic-nullification field suppresses this ability.
Channel Energy (Sp)
Catalysts have the ability to channel the magical energy all around them to produce various effects. In its raw form, this energy may be used to heal or inflict damage, depending on the type of energy channelled and the creatures that are affected. A catalyst may channel energy a number of times per day equal to 4 + the catalyst's Constitution modifier.
Channelling energy creates a burst that affects all creatures in a 30-foot radius centered around the catalyst. The amount of damage dealt is equal to 1d6 points of magical damage, plus 1d6 for every two levels beyond 1st. This damage is typed according to a chosen Aura Focus (see below). Creatures included in the burst may attempt a Fortitude or Reflex save to halve this damage. The DC of the save is equal to 10 + ½ the catalyst's level + the catalyst's Charisma modifier. Spell resistance also applies to this effect; the catalyst must make a caster level check to include creatures with spell resistance. The catalyst himself always takes the minimum damage from the effect. If the catalyst is wearing armor, then the result of each die is reduced — by 1 point for light armor, 2 for medium armor, or 3 for heavy armor.
Using this ability is a standard action which provokes attacks of opportunity. Also, there must be some ambient magical energy around the catalyst which can be absorbed; a magic-nullification field suppresses this ability.
This class feature counts as the "channel energy" class feature referenced by other feats and skills. However, since it is not inherently positive or negative, its effects must be mediated differently. See the Channel Energy Feats subpage for more details.
Aura Focus
At 1st level, and every 3rd level thereafter, the catalyst chooses a specific energy type to be collected and released with his channel energy ability, producing additional effects as outlined in the table below. Creatures identified as "weak" take double the rolled damage. Creatures identified as "null" take no damage from the effect. Creatures noted as "healed" may still make a saving throw but are healed by the effect. The healing effect will not raise a creature's hit points above maximum; excess healing is lost. (Note that these energy type interactions are not what one might expect from the standard rules for energy types and elementals. Double damage specified by this table does not stack with "vulnerability" to an element; the rules below replace vulnerability for this effect.) These categories also apply to the catalyst himself.
Energy Type Effect
aura of life Weak: undead creatures, negative-energy creatures, or creatures with the evil or unholy type descriptor
Null: (n/a)
Heal: living creatures, positive-energy creatures, or creatures with the good or holy type descriptor
aura of death Weak: positive-energy creatures, or creatures with the good or holy type descriptor
Null: (n/a)
Heal: undead, negative-energy creatures, or creatures with the evil or unholy type descriptor
aura of flame Weak: creatures with the cold type descriptor, ice-elemental creatures, or objects made of ice
Null: water-elemental creatures
Heal: fire-elemental creatures and creatures with the fire type descriptor.
Special: This burst is not sufficient to ignite combustible objects.
aura of water Weak: creatures with the fire type descriptor or fire-elemental creatures
Null: electricity-elemental creatures, or creatures with the electricity type descriptor
Heal: water-elemental creatures.
Special: Creatures within the burst who are on fire may immediately make a saving throw (if applicable) to douse the flame, with a +10 circumstance bonus.
aura of lightning Weak: water-elemental creatures, or creatures with the acid type descriptor
Null: earth-elemental creatures
Heal: electricity-elemental creatures, or creatures with the electricity type descriptor
aura of earth Weak: electricity-elemental creatures, or creatures with the electricity type descriptor
Null: air-elemental creatures
Heal: earth-elemental creatures
aura of wind Weak: earth-elemental creatures
Null: ice-elemental creatures, or creatures with the cold type descriptor
Heal: air-elemental creatures
aura of frost Weak: air-elemental creatures.
Null: fire-elemental creatures, or creatures with the fire type descriptor
Heal: ice-elemental creatures, or creatures with the cold type descriptor, or objects made of ice
Use of this ability cannot be combined with the following feats that alter the channel energy ability: Alignment Channel, Elemental Channel, Versatile Channeller. This ability may be used with the Channel Smite feat; if so, the additional damage and its effects are as described as in this ability rather than in the feat's description.

Thyria is a 5th-level human catalyst with aura of life and aura of flame. Her adventuring party is accosted by a group of skeletons and zombies controlled by a necromancer. The catalyst hangs back with the party as the skeletons approach. She then uses her aura of life ability to create a 30-foot radius burst of positive energy, dealing 3d6 damage to the skeletons, healing 3d6 damage for her party, and healing 3 points of damage for herself. She then runs through the decimated line of undead, and uses aura of flame, dealing 3d6 points of damage to the necromancer and remaining minions, and 3 points of fire damage to herself.

Energy Ray (Sp)
At 2nd level, a catalyst may choose to release channelled energy as a ray instead of as a burst. This ray has a medium range (100+10Lv feet) and is a ranged touch attack. The target may not make a saving throw to halve the damage, but spell resistance still applies.
At 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th levels, the catalyst may choose an additional target for this ability. When multiple targets are chosen, the catalyst must divide the damage dice among the targets. For example, for 3d6 damage across two targets, the catalyst may choose to apply the first die rolled to the first target, and the next two dice to the second target. Die assignment must be decided before damage is rolled. A catalyst may not target himself with this ability; however, the catalyst must still take minimum damage from using the ability.
Aspiration (Sp)
At 4th level, the catalyst may deflect magical attacks. If the catalyst is the target of a magical effect, or is included in the area of a magical effect, and the spell is subject to spell resistance, he may attempt a caster level check against a DC of the spellcaster's level + 11. If successful, the catalyst deflects the energy of the effect, avoiding it.
The catalyst may spend a spell charge to gain a cumulative competence bonus to this check equal to the spell charge's level. If the spell charge spent is of a level higher than the original spell, then this bonus is doubled. Using a spell charge in this way is an immediate reaction but provokes attacks of opportunity; these attacks may be avoided with a successful concentration check (DC 15 + spell charge's level).
Aspiration may be used only if the catalyst is wearing no armor, and cannot be used to avoid damage caused by the catalyst's own abilities.
Transcendence (Su)
At 3rd level, and every third level thereafter, the a catalyst may infuse another spellcaster with a spell charge to grant that spellcaster the benefit of a similar metamagic feat. Use of this ability is a standard action which must be completed at the same time that the spell is being cast. The total level of the spell being cast and the catalyst spell charge being used may not exceed 9. The transcendences are described below:
  • transcendence of language (3rd) — removes verbal component requirement (as Silent Spell, uses 1st-level charge)
  • transcendence of size (6th) — doubles effect area radius (as Widen Spell, uses 3rd-level charge)
  • transcendence of distance (9th) — doubles targeting range (as Enlarge Spell, uses 1st-level charge)
  • transcendence of time (12th) — doubles effect duration (as Extend Spell, uses 1st-level charge)
  • transcendence of power (15th) — multiplies variables by 150% (as Empower Spell, uses 2nd level charge)
  • transcendence of chance (18th) — maximizes variables (as Maximize Spell, uses 3rd-level charge)

Solan is a 6th-level catalyst, and Myrddin is a 7th-level wizard. Myrddin has prepared the fireball spell, but as it is 3rd level, he cannot yet use Enlarge Spell to widen its area. Solan, however, still has a 3rd-level spell charge available. He waits for Myrddin to begin casting the spell, and burns his 3rd-level spell charge to grant transcendence of size to Myrddin. When the spell casting is completed, the radius of the fireball effect is doubled to 40 feet.

Sublimation (Sp)
At 8th level, the catalyst gains the ability to convert a spell charge into an energy burst. The energy burst gained by the spell is distinct from normal uses of the channel energy ability, in that it does only 1d6 damage per level of the spell charge used.
The spell charge may be spent as a move action, and the energy burst may be released as a standard action. If the burst is not released in the same turn that it is converted, then it burns within the catalyst's body, dealing 1 point of typeless damage per level per round. (The energy does not acquire its aura type until it is released.)
Transmission
At 10th level, the catalyst gains the ability to transmit spell charges up to 30 feet; use of the spell charge ability in this way becomes a ranged touch attack. No attack roll is necessary for willing targets, but the catalyst must still have line of sight to the target. At 20th level, the range of this ability extends to 60 feet. This ability may be used in conjunction with Transcendence.
Accession (Sp)
At 12th level, the catalyst may distribute beneficial magical effects to nearby targets. The catalyst must first succeed at a Spellcraft check with a DC of 20 + the spell's level. If successful, and by spending one use of his channel energy ability, the catalyst may choose any beneficial magical effect with a non-instant, non-permanent duration currently applied to himself by a single-target spell or spell-like ability, and create a burst which spreads that effect onto each creature adjacent to the catalyst. The remaining duration of the spell is divided equally (rounded down) among the catalyst and all affected creatures.
Use of this ability is a full-round action which provokes attacks of opportunity. This ability may not be used in conjunction with the energy ray ability. The ability cannot be used with spell charges converted using the Sublimation ability, as those energy bursts are of less intensity.
Metastasis (Sp)
At 12th level, the catalyst may distribute harmful magical effects to nearby targets. The catalyst must first succeed at a Spellcraft check with a DC of 20 + the spell's level. If successful, and by spending one use of his channel energy ability, the catalyst may choose any detrimental magical effect with a non-instant, non-permanent duration currently applied to himself by a single-target spell or spell-like ability, and create a burst which spreads that effect onto each creature adjacent to the catalyst. Each creature affected may make a saving throw, with DC equal to 10 + the spell's level + the catalyst's Charisma modifier. Spell resistance also applies if it is part of the original spell's description; the catalyst must make a caster level check to overcome the spell resistance of affected creatures. The remaining duration of the spell is divided equally (rounded down) among the catalyst and all affected creatures.
Use of this ability is a full-round action which provokes attacks of opportunity. This ability may not be used in conjunction with the energy ray ability. The ability cannot be used with spell charges converted using the Sublimation ability, as those energy bursts are of less intensity.
Manifestation (Sp)
At 20th level, the catalyst may attempt to reflect the effects of a spell or spell-like ability. Whenever a catalyst successfully avoids a magical effect using his Aspiration ability, he may attempt to reflect its effect back to the caster. To do so, the catalyst must succeed at a Spellcraft check with DC equal to 20 + the spell's level. If successful, the catalyst is able to choose any alternate target within the spell's remaining range (the difference between the maximum range and the distance between the catalyst and the original caster). If the original spell is a ranged attack (such as a ray), the catalyst must succeed at his own ranged attack of the same type in order to affect the new target. If the spell or effect grants any sort of saving throw, the DC of that saving throw is recalculated using the catalyst's level and Charisma modifier. The catalyst must also make his own caster level check to overcome the new target's spell resistance, if any.
A catalyst may use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Constitution modifier.
Use of this ability counts as an attack of opportunity; if the catalyst cannot make an attack of opportunity, then he cannot use this ability.
If the original spell had multiple targets, the other targets are still subject to the effect as normal.