Winter Lord (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Winter lords are not merely druids of the arctic—they embody the fury of the arctic climate and share its cruelty and beauty. Winter is a cruel season of hardship and death, but it is also a trial and those that survive emerge stronger.

Class Information

This is a prestige archetype, a druid of winter and death.

Prestige Class: Winter witch from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Paths of Prestige with elements from the winter witch archetype from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Magic.

Build Class: Druid.

Role: A winter lord masters the cold environment, imposing cold on unprepared enemies. In this way they control the battlefield and support their allies.

Alignment: Any. A winter lord is an agent of the cold death, the culler of flocks, but this is just nature's way of testing the living. Still, few winter lords are good and many are evil. Chaotic winter lords strike with the unpredictability of the blizzard, while lawful winter lords are more into trials of skill and endurance.

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills

The winter lord's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), and Survival (Wis).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

The winter lord has all class features of the druid, except as noted.

Cold Flesh (Ex)

At 1st level, a winter lord gains a personal endure elements as a constant supernatural ability, but only against cold temperatures. At 4th level, she gains cold resistance 5, making her comfortable in freezing temperatures. At 9th-level, this increases to cold resistance 10, and at 14th level, it becomes immunity to cold. This replaces wild empathy.

Ice Magic

A winter lord adds the following spells to her spell list at the following class levels:

Zero—ray of frost, 1st—icicle dagger, 2nd—gentle repose, 3rd—wall of ice, 4th—waves of fatuige, 5th—icy prison, 6th—freezing sphere, 7th—ice crystal teleport, 8th—simulacrum, 9th—mass icy prison.

A winter lord can channel stored spell energy into ice magic spells that she hasn't prepared ahead of time. She can “lose” a prepared spell in order to cast any spell from the above list of the same level or lower. A winter lord cannot cast spells with the fire descriptor, these are not on her spell list (but see snowcaster below). This replaces spontaneous casting and the ability to wild shape into Small and Medium plant creatures.

Frostfoot (Su)

A winter lord gains the frostfoot ability at 2nd level. This ability works like the spider climb spell, but the surfaces the winter lord climbs must be icy. The winter lord can move across icy surfaces without penalty and does not need to make Acrobatics checks to run or charge on ice. She can move across regular snow without penalty, and heavy snow only costs her 2 squares of movement instead of 4. This replaces woodland stride.

Skate (Su)

At 3rd level the winter lord can more at normal speed over ice and snow terrain. She counts each square as 2 squares of movement upslope and only ½ square of movement on flat ice or snow terrain and ¼ square downslope. She leaves no trail and cannot be tracked on snow or ice. She can choose not to use this movement and walk normally or leave a trail if so desired. This replaces trackless step.

Freeze and Thaw (Su)

At 5th level, a winter lord can freeze water or melt ice and snow with a touch. As a standard action, a winter lord can melt an adjacent 5-foot cube of ice or a 10-foot cube of snow. Melting snow produces a volume of water equal to 10% the snow’s volume. Alternatively, a winter lord can freeze 5 cubic feet of water into solid ice. This freezing takes place gradually over 1 round, making it almost impossible to trap a creature unless it’s helpless. This cannot affect water within a creature. One cubic foot of ice contains roughly 8 gallons of water and weighs about 60 pounds.

This ability works on fresh water and saltwater, but has no affect on water creatures; on liquids (frozen or otherwise) other than water; or on magical water, ice, or snow. A winter lord can use this ability a number of times per day equal to half her class level. This replaces resist nature's lure.

Wild Shape (Su)

This is exactly like the druid ability of the same name, except that the winter lord can only assume the form of arctic animals and magical beasts. She cannot assume elemental or plant forms.

Unnatural Cold (Su)

At 7th level, whenever a winter lord’s spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability deals cold damage, treat affected creatures as having half their normal cold resistance when determining the damage dealt. This replaces the ability to wildshape into Small elementals.

Sculpt Ice and Snow (Sp)

At 8th level, a winter lord can sculpt ice and snow into any shape that suits her purpose (as stone shape, except that it works with ice). This ability also works on snow, doubling the volume affected. At 12th level, this ability functions on ice or snow like the fabricate spell, increasing the volume manipulated and allowing a higher degree of craftsmanship. The winter lord must succeed at appropriate Craft checks to form complex items or ones with fine detail. Items created by the fabricate version of this ability solidify into ultra-hard ice (hardness 5, 10 hit points per inch of thickness) that resists normal melting but takes double damage from fire. The ice remains in this ultra-hard state for 1 hour per class level before returning to normal ice. A winter lord can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1/2 her class level. This replaces the ability to wild shape into Medium and Huge elementals.

Blizzard Sight (Su)

At 9th level, a winter lord can see normally in natural or magical rain, sleet, hail, fog, snowstorms, blizzards, and similar weather conditions. This ability replaces venom immunity.

Snowcaster (Su)

At 11th level, a winter lord can prepare any druid spell with the fire subtype as a cold spell, with an identical effect but inflicting cold damage instead of fire damage. This ability replaces the ability to wildshape into Large elementals.

Unearthly Cold (Su)

At 13th level, a winter lord’s spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities that deal cold damage become horrendously cold. Half the cold damage caused by these effects comes from an otherworldly power and is not subject to being reduced by resistance or immunity to cold-based attacks. This replaces a thousand faces.

Wild Shape Ice (Su)

At 17th level, the winter lord can wild shape into solid ice. This works like the ice body spell. This replaces the ability to wildshape into Large plant creatures.

Iceglide (Su)

At 19th level, a winter lord can move effortlessly at her base land speed through ice or snow.

This leaves behind no tunnel or hole, and doesn’t create any ripple or other sign of passage. While icegliding, a winter lord can breathe normally. A control water spell cast on an area containing an icegliding winter lord flings her back 30 feet in a random direction, stunning her for 1 round unless she succeeds at a DC 15 Fortitude save. A winter lord can use this ability for 10 minutes per day. This time need not be consecutive, but must be spent in 1-minute increments. Activating this ability is a swift action. This replaces the ability to wild shape into Huge plant creatures.

Table: Winter Lord

Base Attack
Special Spells per Day
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Cold flesh, ice magic, nature bond, nature sense, orisons 3 1
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Frostfoot 4 2
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Skate 4 2 1
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Wild shape (1/day) 4 3 2
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Freeze and thraw 4 3 2 1
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Wild shape (2/day) 4 3 3 2
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Unnatural cold 4 4 3 2 1
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Wild shape (3/day), sculpt ice and snow 4 4 3 3 2
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Blizzard sight 4 4 4 3 2 1
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Wild shape (4/day) 4 4 4 3 3 2
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Snowcaster 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Wild shape (5/day) 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Unearthly cold 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Wild shape (6/day) 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Timeless body 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Wild shape (7/day) 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Wild shape ice 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Wild shape (8/day) 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Iceglide 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Wild shape (at will) 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Summary of Changed Class Abilities

These abilities of the original class are lost or modified in this archetype:

  • Class Skills
  • Wild Empathy
  • Spontaneous Casting
  • Woodland Stride
  • Trackless Step
  • Resist Nature's Lure
  • Wild Shape (lvl 8, 10, 12)
  • Venom Immunity
  • A Thousand Faces
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