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A warhawk politician grimly but eloquently calls for the destruction of a hated enemy. A loyal guard lays down his life for his homeland without hesitation. A cultist is driven to greater and greater ecstasies of blood to satisfy the wicked whispers that fill his mind day and night. All believe that if they sacrifice enough for their dreams, even the impossible can be realized. These dreams are enough to shape those around them—and, if realized—the world

Adventures: Zealots live in pursuit of a passion or cause. Each zealot has a purpose they intimately understand, from protecting their country, to spreading their religion, to hunting down every last one of the assassins who murdered their master.

Characteristics: Zealots typically have intense personalities—despite their commitment to one cause, if one fire cools, another will ignite. This fervency is what draws in their allies and sets them apart: What some might believe on an intellectual level in a vague, apathetic way, the zealot embraces and knows like a lover.

Alignment: Any. Zealots have a strict devotion to an ideal that they follow with reckless abandon. While zealots often allow the ends to justify the means, they also put the needs of something greater than themselves beyond their own needs. These conflicting motivations create zealots of every conceivable stripe. Though zealots do not change alignment more frequently than other classes, a zealot who changes alignments fights for his new ideals with the same intensity as the one he left behind.

Religion: Many zealots are religious, but their personal beliefs often clash with established dogma. Zealots often live at the extremes of a given religion—its most brutal enforcers, its most devout preachers, its first followers, its greatest defenders, and its most despised heretics. This purity of drive leads zealots to frequently found their own religions, philosophies, and cults.

Background: Zealots are found most frequently in times of uncertainty and places of conflict, though whether this is because these situations are ideal for creating zealots, zealots are drawn to these areas, or zealots create these situations is uncertain.

Races: Zealots are most commonly found in humans and other shorter-lived races, because zealots often live short and burn bright. Sadly, there may be just as many dwarven patriots as goblin fanatics, but the dwarves who follow less impassioned lives will typically live much longer ones. Half-breeds like half-orcs, half-giants, and tieflings are common zealots, as they are often born in areas of conflict and are forced into allying with one side of their heritage or another. Dromites and other highly-organized races can produce excellent zealots, as their culture helps instill them with a unique sense of purpose.

Other Classes: Zealots often mesh best with others who will fight for their cause, regardless of their allies’ motivations, a pragmatic stalker who can be counted on to perform a task for a few coins might be a more trusted ally to a zealot than a pious cleric who raises moral arguments against the zealot’s methods. Zealots sometimes clash with sorcerers, paladins, and others with strong personalities (a natural consequence of too many leaders and not enough followers), but thoughtful classes like inquisitors, oracles, and rangers can channel the zealot’s ardor against the proper targets. Zealots do not inherently get along well, and there are often zealots on all sides of a conflict.

Role: Leader. A zealot inspires the hearts and minds of those he fights alongside through pure passion, bringing his allies to heights they never thought possible. With proper feat and maneuver choices, zealots can also become masters of battlefield control.

Abilities: A zealot relies most heavily on his Charisma, which is his initiation modifier and grants bonus power points to fuel its class features. A high Constitution score aids him in soaking up damage for his allies, and investing in a decent Strength score is necessary for reliably striking foes and attempting combat maneuvers.

Starting Age: Self-taught.

Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp). In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills: The zealot’s class skills are Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (martial) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), and Sense Motive (Wis).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special PP/day Maneuvers Known Maneuvers Readied Stances Known
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Collective, compartmentalized aid, zeal +1 1 5 3 1
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Burning contemplation, conviction, martyrdom (3) 2 6 4 2
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Commitment, telepathy 3 7 4 2
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Echoes of steel, mission (focus) 5 7 4 2
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Defiance, zeal +2 7 8 5 3
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Conviction 9 8 5 3
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Martyrdom (4) 11 9 5 3
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Mission (augments) 14 9 6 3
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Unshakable Will 17 10 6 4
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Conviction, zeal +3 20 10 6 4
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Echoes of steel (2) 24 11 7 5
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Martyrdom (5) 28 11 7 5
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Stalwart 32 12 7 5
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Conviction 37 12 8 5
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Collective range (unlimited), zeal +4 42 13 8 6
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Metaphysical transcendence (allies) 47 13 8 6
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Martyrdom (6) 52 14 9 6
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Conviction 58 14 9 7
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Collective range (planar) 64 15 9 7
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Metaphysical transcendence (self), zeal +5 70 16 10 7

All of the following are class features of the zealot.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A zealot is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, light, and medium) and shields (except tower shields).

Maneuvers

A zealot begins his career with knowledge of five martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to him are Eternal GuardianGolden LionPiercing ThunderSleeping Goddess, and Solar Wind.

Editor's Note: Discipline Exchanges
  • Fool's Errand, Mangled Gear, Radiant Dawn, Roaring Mouse, Surging Shark: Any character of any class can access any of these disciplines by trading one of their available disciplines for one of the listed disciplines. If they do, they gain its associated skill as a class skill.
  • Leaden Hyena: Any character of any class which has access to Golden Lion may gain Leaden Hyena in exchange for one martial discipline they possess. They gain Bluff as a class skill.

Once the zealot knows a maneuver, he must ready it before he can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by zealot is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in it or its discipline’s description. A zealot’s maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and he does not provoke attacks of opportunity when he initiates one.

The zealot learns additional maneuvers at higher levels, as indicated on Table: Zealot. A zealot must meet a maneuver’s prerequisite to learn it. See Systems and Use for more details on how maneuvers are used.

Upon reaching initiator level 4th, and at every even numbered initiator level thereafter (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), the zealot can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one he already knows. In effect, he loses the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. He can choose a new maneuver of any level he likes, as long as he observes the restriction on the highest-level maneuvers he knows; the zealot need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. He can swap only a single maneuver at any given level. A zealot’s initiation modifier is Charisma.

Maneuvers Readied

A zealot can ready three of his five maneuvers known at 1st level, and as he advances in level and learns more maneuvers, he is able to ready more, but must still choose which maneuvers to ready. A zealot must always ready his maximum number of maneuvers readied. He readies his maneuvers by meditating for ten minutes. The maneuvers he chooses remain readied until he decides to meditate again and change them. The zealot does not need to sleep or rest for any long period of time in order to ready his maneuvers; any time he spends ten minutes in contemplation, he can change his readied maneuvers.

A zealot begins an encounter with all his readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times he might have already used them since he chose them. When he initiates a maneuver, he expends it for the current encounter, so each of his readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (unless he recovers them, as described below).

In order for the zealot to recover maneuvers, he must activate his zeal class feature by using the Aid Another action. Using the Aid Another action in this way is a move action, and when he does so, he recovers a number of expended maneuvers equal to his zealot initiation modifier (minimum 2), regardless of whether or not the Aid Another attempt was successful. Maneuvers initiated during the zealot’s current turn cannot be recovered in this way. Using the Aid Another action as any other action (such as with the Bodyguard feat or the battlesense power) does not allow the zealot to recover maneuvers. Alternately, the zealot may focus inwards, meditating and recovering a single maneuver as a standard action.

Stances Known

A zealot begins his career with knowledge of one stance from any discipline open to zealots. At 2nd, 5th, 9th, 11th, 15th, and 18th levels, he can select an additional stance to learn. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended and the zealot does not have to ready them. All the stances he knows are available to him at all times, and he can change the stance he is currently maintaining as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance or discipline description.

Unlike with maneuvers, a zealot cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one he already knows.

Power Points

A zealot’s ability to augment some of his abilities is limited by the power points he has available. His base daily allotment of power points is given on Table: Zealot. In addition, he receives bonus power points per day if he has a high Charisma score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Power Points), treating his class level as his effective manifester level for the purposes of bonus power points. His race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items. This effective manifester level does not make a zealot eligible for feats and prestige classes requiring a manifester level.

Collective (Su)

A zealot learns to use psionic power to connect willing minds through an internal network that strengthens their psychic bonds. As a standard action, a zealot can join any number of willing targets into his collective (up to his limit, see below). The zealot must have line of sight to each target, each target must have a Wisdom score of at least 1, and all targets must be within medium range (100 feet + 10 feet per zealot level). The collective can contain up to his zealot initiation modifier or half his zealot level (minimum 1), whichever is higher, plus the intensity of his zeal. The zealot is always considered a member of his own collective, and does not count against the maximum number of creatures in the collective.

The zealot can choose to remove a member as a free action on his turn, and any member can voluntarily leave the collective as a free action on their turn. Any member whose Wisdom drops to zero or who moves out of range of the collective is automatically removed. If a member enters a null psionics field, the connection to the collective is suppressed until the member leaves the field. A member who leaves the collective for any reason immediately loses any and all benefits they may have gained from being a member. A zealot is aware of the status of his collective and can, roughly, sense the presence of each member, although beyond telling if such a creature is still a member, this has no mechanical benefit until higher levels (see telepathy).

A zealot can initiate certain maneuvers through his collective. If a zealot maneuver specifies one or more willing targets (or is harmless) and has a range greater than personal, he can initiate this maneuver on a member of his collective regardless of the range of the actual maneuver. All other non-range restrictions still apply.

If he is capable of manifesting powers, casting spells, or initiating maneuvers from a different class (as is the case for a multiclass zealot), any compatible spell, power, or maneuver with a range greater than touch can also be used through the collective. He may manifest any power with the Network descriptor this way, regardless of their actual ranges or targets.

If a member of the collective dies, the member is removed from the collective and the zealot must make a Fortitude save (DC 15) or lose 1 power point for every Hit Die of the fallen member or be sickened for an equal number of rounds.

At 15th level, a zealot’s collective range is limitless on the same plane as the zealot.

At 19th level, a zealot’s range reaches even across other planes and dimensions.

Compartmentalized Aid (Ex)

A zealot can mentally divide a fraction of himself to objectively analyze his actions, allowing him to use the Aid Another action on himself to grant himself a bonus to an attack roll or AC and recover maneuvers (and activating the zealot’s zeal class feature). When he does so, the bonus applies to an attack that comes before the end of his next turn. In addition, he can use the Aid Another action with a ranged attack as long as he is within his weapon’s first range increment.

Zeal (Su)

The zealot’s martial competence and inspiring exhortations give his collective the courage to fight no matter the odds. Whenever a zealot successfully hits an opponent with a strike maneuver, all allies in his collective (including him) gain a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls for one round. This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level and every five levels thereafter.

A zealot’s zeal is also activated when he uses the Aid Another action as to recover maneuvers (regardless of whether or not the Aid Another attempt was successful). In addition, when he uses the Aid Another action to grant an ally a bonus on a skill check or to their AC, he adds the intensity of his zeal to the bonus granted.

In addition, the zealot’s ardor for his beliefs draws others to follow and support him. The zealot adds the intensity of his zeal to the maximum number of creatures he may have in his collective.

Burning Contemplation (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level, a zealot’s inner fire allows him to unlock latent psionic potential within himself. For the purpose of qualifying for psionic feats, he may use his Charisma score instead of his Wisdom score.

Conviction

In addition to his purpose and plans, a zealot champions minor beliefs and practices. At 2nd level and every four levels thereafter, a zealot gains a conviction from the following list. Unless otherwise noted, a zealot cannot select an individual conviction more than once. Some convictions can only be taken if the zealot meets certain prerequisites first, as noted in the individual conviction’s description.

Zealot convictions can be found here.

Martyrdom (Su)

At 2nd level, the zealot learns to share the immense pain and suffering his allies must face to fulfill their calling. Once per round, when a willing member of the zealot’s collective other than himself takes hit point damage, the zealot can redirect up to 5 points of damage per zealot level to himself as a free action, even if it isn’t his turn. Effects other than hit point damage (such as poison, stunning, or ability damage) are not reduced or transferred. Damage the zealot redirects to himself with this ability ignores any form of damage reduction, resistance, immunity or regeneration the zealot may possess. When the zealot activates this ability, he can pay up to 1 power point per zealot level to negate 3 points of the damage redirected to him per power point spent (to a minimum of 1 point of damage taken).

Starting at 7th level, if one of the zealot’s allies takes ability damage, the zealot may choose to take up to 1 point of that ability damage per three zealot levels in place of the ally. When the zealot activates this ability, he can pay up to 1 power point per zealot level to negate 1 point of this ability damage redirected to him per 2 power points spent. In addition, he now negates 4 points of redirected hit point damage per power point spent.

Starting at 12th level, the zealot can use his martyrdom ability on each creature in his collective once per round, and he now negates 5 points of redirected hit point damage per power point spent.

Starting at 17th level, the zealot automatically negates the first 10 points of damage redirected each time he uses this ability (to a minimum of 1 point of damage taken), and negates 6 points of redirected hit point damage per power point spent.

Commitment (Su)

The fervor a zealot ignites in his allies does not end at the limits of his physical body. As his allies internalize his beliefs, they increasingly feel the zealot’s presence beside them even in the harshest circumstances. Starting at 3rd level, a zealot can use the Aid Another action on any member of his collective, regardless of distance.

Telepathy (Su)

When a zealot reaches 3rd level, all willing members of his collective (including the zealot himself) can communicate with each other telepathically, even if they do not share a common language. Psionic creatures who are willing members in a zealot’s collective (including the zealot himself) may manifest unknown powers from powers known by another willing psionic creature in the collective as if they were making physical contact.

Echoes of Steel (Su)

As a zealot continues to mold the hearts and minds of those around them, his collective begins to copy his words and his deeds, working to advance his cause. At 4th level, this manifests in the ability to temporarily psychically transfer the zealot’s techniques.

When the zealot initiates a maneuver at least one level below his maximum maneuver level known, he can spend 1 power point per maneuver level to grant another member of his collective the ability to initiate that maneuver one time within 1 minute or until the zealot chooses to recover the maneuver. This is not considered an augment and does not count against the maximum amount of power points the zealot can spend on the maneuver.

The maneuver becomes a known and readied maneuver for that ally, using the zealot’s initiator level and initiation modifier. After the zealot’s ally initiates the maneuver or 1 minute passes, it is expended and the echo ends. This does not cause the creature to unlearn a maneuver it knows from other sources.

If the zealot recovers the granted maneuver, this ability ends immediately and the maneuver is removed from the ally. This ability does not allow a creature to have two of the same maneuver readied. The zealot can only have one echoed maneuver at a time; using this ability ends any previous use. A creature can only have an echoed maneuver from one zealot at a time, but a creature may end any echoed maneuver on them as a free action (even if it isn’t their turn).

At 11th level, the zealot can grant up to two echoed maneuvers at a time. Any given creature may still only know one echoed maneuver at one time. Granting another echoed maneuver while the zealot already has two maneuvers echoed causes the oldest echoed maneuver to be expended and removed from the creature benefiting from it.

Mission (Su)

The zealot is defined by his cause. Zealots might pray for guidance on what mission to choose, receive orders through dark, mysterious whispers, decide for themselves after careful analysis, or simply pursue the task that fate puts before them. At 4th level, the zealot chooses a mission, granting him a benefit when he is psionically focused and an ability that can be used by expending his psionic focus.

Starting at 8th level, a zealot’s mission grants him the ability to augment his maneuvers by spending power points (see below for a full list of missions and their granted abilities). A zealot can spend a maximum number of power points augmenting a maneuver equal to one plus one additional power point for every four initiator levels he possesses (up to a maximum of 6 at 20th level). If the zealot has the ability to augment his maneuvers in other ways, such as from another class feature or the maneuver itself, this cannot be combined with the augments granted by his mission; he must choose which augmentation type to use when initiating the maneuver.

Zealot Active Energy Types

Every psionic character, regardless of whether or not they can manifest powers, has an active energy type (cold, electricity, fie, or sonic) that they choose when they become psionically focused. See Chapter 4 of Ultimate Psionics for more details.

(Zealot Missions can be found here)

Defiance (Su)

At 5th level, the zealot learns to continue supporting his allies while hanging on to his last breath. The zealot gains Diehard as a bonus feat (even if he do not meet the prerequisites), and does not take damage for using the Aid Another action while at or below 0 hit points. In addition, the zealot does not die until he reaches negative hit points equal to his zealot level plus his Constitution score.

Unshakable Will (Su)

At 9th level, the zealot is able to maintain his concentration even after dire setbacks. The zealot automatically succeed on the Fortitude save when a member of his collective dies, and automatically succeeds on Aid Another checks to grant a member of his collective a bonus to attack rolls or AC.

Stalwart (Su)

Starting at 13th level, a zealot can use mental and physical resiliency to avoid certain attacks. If he makes a successful Fortitude or Will saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, he instead avoids the effect entirely. A helpless zealot does not gain the benefit of the stalwart ability.

Metaphysical Transcendence (Su)

At 16th level, the zealot breaks the limitations between ideals and existence; as a word lasts beyond the life the one who spoke it, so the zealot and his allies persist beyond their own mortality. As long as their visions are still carried out, the zealot and his collective can not truly be destroyed. When a member of his collective dies, the creature’s soul merges with his collective for up to one day per zealot level. During this time, it can be affected by psionic revivify, raise dead and similar abilities as if it died within 1 round, without need for the creature’s corpse. The creature still counts towards the maximum number of creatures in his collective while merged. If the zealot dies, the creature’s soul departs, killing it.

At 20th level, when the zealot dies, he can choose to merge with his own collective. While he is merged with his collective, his collective continues to function and he can continue to use the Aid Another action, add creatures to his collective, remove creatures from his collective, and merge souls with his collective. Only if all other members of the zealot’s collective die does the zealot die.

Favored Class Bonuses

  • Alicorn: Add +1/3 conviction point to the zealot’s pool.
  • Blue: Add +1/2 to the maximum number of creatures in the zealot’s collective.
  • Decataur: Add +1/4 to the zealot’s conviction pool.
  • Dromite: Add +1/2 to the maximum number of creatures in the zealot’s collective.
  • Duergar: Gain 1/4 of a new zealot conviction.
  • Dwarves: Gain 1/4 of a new zealot conviction.
  • Elan: Add +1/4 of a maneuver known from the Sleeping Goddess or Eternal Guardian disciplines.
  • Elves: Gain 1/4 of a new zealot conviction.
  • Entoli: Add +1/2 to the maximum number of creatures in the zealot’s collective.
  • Forgeborn: Increase the forgeborn’s natural armor bonus by + 1/4.
  • Gnome: Add +1/2 to the maximum number of creatures in the zealot’s collective.
  • Half-elf: Add +1/2 to the maximum number of creatures in the zealot’s collective.
  • Half-giant: Gain 1/4 of a new zealot conviction.
  • Halfling: Gain 1/4 of a new zealot conviction.
  • Half-orc: Gain 1/4 of a new zealot conviction.
  • Human: Gain an additional power point per day.
  • Maenad: Add +1/4 of a maneuver known from the Elemental Flux or Sleeping Goddess disciplines.
  • Ophiduan: Add +1/2 to the maximum number of creatures in the zealot’s collective.
  • Rana: +1 power point per level.
  • Thrallspawn: +1 power point per level.
  • Watcher: Gain +1/6 of a new conviction.
  • Xeph: Add +1/4 of a maneuver known from the Sleeping Goddess or Eternal Guardian disciplines.

Archetypes

Discordant Crusader

Excruciator

Void Prophet

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