Al-Qadim D&D Forgotten Realms homebrew Rogue Table Top

Al-Qadim Adventures: The Holy Slayer

By popular demand (says nobody), Al-Qadim Adventures is back. This time around, the holy slayer gets the update treatment. This kit hinges on the concept that assassins in the setting are religious, and work with churches to jointly further goals and remove obstacles. Holy slayer is interesting, in that it is really an assassin, very similar to how assassin in presented now, but the it’s the class description that really goes out of its way to show you how different this kit really was, in terms of world use and theme, which Al-Qadim did an amazing job of conveying.

First, the setting outlines five different holy orders for assassins, each ruled by a Grandfather or Grandmother. You have the Soft Whisper (ladies only, no dudes), the Wind of Fate (dudes only, no ladies), the Wrath of the Old, the Storm Which Destroys, and the Grey Fire. Each order uses, and grants proficiency in, a specific weapon, and in some cases these weapons are single use, strange material preparation weapons. They are also skilled poisoners, but specifically only with non-lethal combat poisons. They don’t consider ingested poisons skillful, so they look down upon it. Besides that, they focus on some basic disguise, but not the advanced disguise as presented in the core Player’s Handbook. In fact, it specifically says in the Arabian Adventures book that they adopt the other rogue kits to blend in, but don’t get anything special to really sell it, other than wardrobe.

There is a lot in the Arabian Adventures book about the zealous loyalty of the holy slayers to the Grandfather and Grandmother, and how to handle “the call” and actions to cause conflict with the holy slayer. I won’t repeat that here, other than to just briefly mention it’s good, and it should be considered carried over.

In addition to the archetype, several new poisons will be presented, meant as options to make poisoning a slightly more robust option for anyone with a poisoning kit.

Holy Slayer

In the Land of Fate, religion is a way of life. There is almost no one within Zakhara that doesn’t believe in the gods, and most believe that only the truly foolish would choose not to do so.

Holy slayers are the ghosts of the deserts. They mete out justice and threats in a manner that intimidates and frightens most foreigners as well as many Zakharans. These holy slayers view an opposing army or nation as a great beast to be slaughtered, or at least confused by the severing of its head. Sometimes the mere warning that a holy slayer is nearby is enough to turn away those who seek to harm the holy slayer’s people.

The fellowships of the holy slayers play an important part of their work. These fellowships are religious organizations dedicated to the advancement of its particular faith. Some organizations usually have the support of moralist clergymen, but vary in their intolerance of other factions. Each fellowship operates from a secret location, which is unknown to low-ranking members.

There are five known fellowships in Zakhara, the Soft Whisper, the Wind of Fate, the Wrath of the Old, The Storm Which Destroys, and Grey Fire. Members of these fellowships may be female or male, save for the Soft Whisper, a sisterhood, and the Wind of Fate, a brotherhood.

Bonus Proficiencies

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with the disguise kit and the poisoner’s kit. You also gain a weapon proficiency dictated by your order, and/or an additional weapon property.

Soft Whispers:  Jambiya (dagger variant), increased Armor Class by 1 when wielded with no object in the other hand

Wind of Fate: Blowgun, Advantage on attacks that apply poisons

The Wrath of the Old: Katar (dagger variant), Strength modifier also applies when dealing damage with this weapon

The Storm Which Destroys: Longsword, Longsword is a finesse weapon

Grey Fire: Javelin is a finesse weapon when wielded in melee

Weaken the Beast

Beginning at 3rd level, you may re-roll your sneak attack damage after making a successful sneak attack in a round in which you have dealt poison damage, applied the poisoned condition, successfully attacked a poisoned foe, or successfully attacked a foe currently suffering from any poison. You must keep the second result. You may use this ability once per turn.

Secrets of the Fellowship

Starting at 9th level, you have been taught more of the secrets of your fellowship and their practices with their ceremonial weapons. Each fellowship crafts weapons of special materials, meant to slay but a single foe. Once a target has been killed, the weapon is abandoned and left behind as a warning.

 

These weapons must be made of specific materials, and then must be anointed in specially prepared holy oils and prayed over for one day. Once prepared in this fashion, the weapon must be prayed over at each sunset in order to retain its preparations. Only one weapon may be prepared at any time.

Each fellowship requires different materials, and confers different abilities when used in battle.

Soft Whisper: The sisterhood of the Soft Whisper requires a jambiya cut from jade. While anointed, the weapon grants the wielder resistance to psychic damage, Advantage on saving throws against spells, and deals an extra 1d8 piercing damage on a successful hit for each spell level the target possesses, or the level of the highest level spell-like effect the creature can produce.

Wind of Fate: The brotherhood of the Wind of Fate use finely crafted lapis lazuli needles to tip their darts. While anointed, the weapon grants the wielder resistance to necrotic damage, and ignores cover.

It allows the bearer to re-roll any hit die spent to heal or allow a healing spell or ability targeting the bearer to be re-rolled, though the second result must always be accepted. Once used, this ability may not be used without taking a long rest.

Wrath of the Old: The fellowship of the Wrath of the Old requires a weapon made of cold-forged iron. While anointed, the weapon grants the wielder resistance to poison damage, Advantage on saving throws against the charmed and frightened condition, and deals an extra 3d8 piercing damage against any target with piercing resistance.

The Storm Which Destroys: The fellowship of The Storm Which Destroys requires a weapon made of obsidian. While anointed, the weapon grants the wielder resistance to fire damage, Advantage on Investigation checks and attack rolls attempting to destroy an object, and deals an extra 3d8 slashing damage against any target with slashing resistance.

Grey Fire: The fellowship of the Grey Fire requires a weapon made of ash, adorned with the feathers of a heron. While anointed, the weapon grants the wielder resistance to cold damage, Advantage on saving throws against the grappled, restrained, and being knocked down, and deals an extra 3d8 piercing damage against any target with piercing resistance.

Poisoner’s Pardon

Starting at 13th level, you have mastered poisons and wielding them in combat. You may apply poisons to your weapon as a bonus action, and you can make a weak poison out of just about anything. During any short or long rest, you may prepare a temporary vial of poison that can be applied to your weapon, but loses its efficacy after only one day. Once applied, the poison deals an extra 1d8 poison damage on a successful hit. If you critically hit while this poison is on your blade, you apply the poisoned condition to your foe if they fail a Condition saving throw (DC 8 + Dexterity Bonus + Proficiency Bonus).

Additionally, any foe that is immune to poison is instead treated as if they are resistant to poison, and have Advantage on any saving throws against the poisoned condition.

The Call

At 17th level, you are one of the most trusted and valuable resources of your fellowship, and gain zealous fervor when called upon to aid them. Whenever you are answering “the call” of your Grandfather or Grandmother, you become a force of unerring death.

Using your action, you place yourself in a mental state as when you were in “the Garden”. For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:

  • Enemy creatures within 10 feet of you have disadvantage on saving throws against poisons and the poisoned condition, and are vulnerable to poison damage.
  • You have Advantage on any Intelligence or Wisdom Saving Throws.
  • Enemies hit by you must succeed on a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + Dexterity Bonus + Proficiency Bonus) or become vulnerable to the next slashing or piercing damage dealt by you.

 

Alright, done with the class, which I like the theme of quite a lot if nothing else, I am moving on to poisons. I will refrain from suggesting cost here, other than to say this might want to scale in accordance with some of the consumable magic items listed in the DMG, and possible be much easier to make. First up, let’s finish the progression of damaging poisons.

Poison, Advanced. You can use the poison in this vial to coat one slashing or piercing weapon or up to three pieces of ammunition. Applying the poison takes an action. A creature hit by the poisoned weapon or ammunition must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or take 1d8 poison damage. Once applied, the poison retains potency for 1 minute before drying.

Poison, Master. 

You can use the poison in this vial to coat one slashing or piercing weapon or up to three pieces of ammunition. Applying the poison takes an action. A creature hit by the poisoned weapon or ammunition must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take 1d12 poison damage. Once applied, the poison retains potency for 1 minute before drying.

Ok, those out of the way, you’d think there would be a poison that applies the poisoned condition, right? There should be others that make the target sickly and frail, and probably a paralysis or sleep poison. Maybe both.

Poison, Concentrated.  You can use the poison in this vial to coat one slashing or piercing weapon or up to one piece of ammunition. Applying the poison takes an action. A creature hit by the poisoned weapon or ammunition must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned. Once this weapon has successfully hit a foe, the poison on the weapon becomes ineffective at the end of the turn.

Poison, Paralysis. You can use the poison in this vial to coat one slashing or piercing weapon or up to one piece of ammunition. Applying the poison takes an action. A creature hit by the poisoned weapon or ammunition must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or become paralyzed. Once this weapon has successfully hit a foe, the poison on the weapon becomes ineffective at the end of the turn.

Poison, Sleep. You can use the poison in this vial to coat one slashing or piercing weapon or up to one piece of ammunition. Applying the poison takes an action. A creature hit by the poisoned weapon or ammunition must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or become incapacitated. Any damage to the target, or someone using an action to shake or slap the sleeper awake ends the effect. Once this weapon has successfully hit a foe, the poison on the weapon becomes ineffective at the end of the turn.

Poison, Slow.  You can use the poison in this vial to coat one slashing or piercing weapon or up to one piece of ammunition. Applying the poison takes an action. A creature hit by the poisoned weapon or ammunition must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or become afflicted with a disease that makes the target unable to regain hit points until the target takes a long rest, or has the disease cured. Once this weapon has successfully hit a foe, the poison on the weapon becomes ineffective at the end of the turn.

 

Finally, I just like the idea of magic-user killing poisons. I’m a sucker for mage bane stuff (see above).

Poison, Mage Bane. You can use the poison in this vial to coat one slashing or piercing weapon or up to three pieces of ammunition. Applying the poison takes an action. A creature hit by the poisoned weapon or ammunition must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take 1d8 poison damage per spell level the creature possesses, or the level of the highest level spell-like effect the creature can produce . Once applied, the poison retains potency for 1 minute before drying.

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