June 15, 2015

Keeper of the Elder Sign

Sacred Oath
Comments from the Finger: Your enemy isn't powerful, it is powerful on a scale you can't comprehend. Your mind reels attempting to process it -- its scale, its form, its utterly alien intent. Nothing is clear but perhaps that this thing, this Outer God, could crush you, and your entire world, as swiftly as one might crush an ant.
     But there is the Elder Sign. As ancient as the universe, perhaps even older, the Sign is an anathema to the Far Realm and the creatures beyond the veil of reality. Indeed, it may be your only defense.
     This class is something of a conversion of the 3.5 class Keeper of the Cerulean Sign, with as much of the Lovecraft source material included as I possibly could. Hopefully, it can play as either a paladin sworn to defeat the Elder Evils or a cultist dedicated to bringing about their return.

Oath of the Elder Sign

Keepers encounter the Elder Sign in a multitude of ways. Some find it in the derelict pages of an antediluvian tome, yet others see its shape in their very dreams. All who gaze upon it know its authority, as instinctively as animals know to fear fire; it is an icon of power originating from beyond the veil of reality, one that no men were meant to know. You have sworn to hold the sign as its Keeper, and vowed to protect the mortal realm from the forces beyond, or vowed to tear reality asunder, and let the Elder Evils henceforth seep through.

Tenets of the Pact of the Elder Sign
The principles held by the Keepers of the Elder sign are as esoteric as their ancient order. Dedicated to the secrets of the universe and the keeping them mercifully hidden from the world, the Keepers are a clandestine and influential organization.
     Keep the Sign. The Elder Sign is a tool of immense power, and must be kept safe. You can scarcely understand the source of power contained in this mere piece of geometry, but you know it can never be allowed to fall into the wrong hands.
     Seek Knowledge. Whenever possible, you should seek out and acquire hidden, esoteric knowledge. You are drawn to such secrets, like the Elder Sign, and perhaps can turn them against your foes.
     Go Unseen. It is imperative the struggles you face are kept secret. The forces are work here are barely comprehensible, and their reveal can drive men to the brink of madness.
     Defend the Gates. It is your job to stand vanguard at the gates that form where our world intersects the Far Realm. You may be protecting it from those who would seek to close it, or you may wish to stem the tide of creatures coming through.

Oath of the Elder Sign Spells
Paladin Level Spells
3rd     arms of Hadar, protection from evil and good
5th     crown of madness, detect thoughts
9th     fear, magic circle
13th      Evard's black tentacles, hallucinatory terrain
17th      dominate person, planar binding

Channel Divinity
When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
     Invoke Elder SignAs an action, you can fleetingly create the form of the Elder Sign, a powerful symbol which can strengthen or wear thin the walls of reality. Choose a space adjacent to you, which is where the sign burns brightly for 1 minute in a 20-foot radius sphere. No darkness, magical or otherwise, can obscure this area. Each creature friendly to you in this area gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls and gains a +1 bonus to armor class. No outsider, an aberration, celestial, elemental, fey, or fiend, can enter or teleport within this area or use portals, such as those created by the gate spell, to enter the area. Those that are already in this area are shunted to the nearest space available. As such, Elder Signs are often placed in front of gates to the Far Realm, to close leaks into that reality.
     Alternatively, when you use this ability, you can choose to Invert the Elder Sign. Doing so casts hunger of hadar for one minute centered on the sign. You take no damage from this spell on the round it is cast.
     Glimpse the UnspeakableAs an action, choose one creature you can see within 30 feet. This creature must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature sees a glimpse of the Far Realm, and is stunned with horror until the beginning of your next turn.

Aura of Mental Fortitude
Beginning at 7th level, you and allies within 10 feet of you have immunity to psychic damage. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Word of Revelation
By 15th level, your research in musty, forbidden tomes has proven fruitful. As an action, you can utter a word used in the creation of the universe. All magic effects within 15 feet of you are targeted by dispel magic. After using this ability, you cannot use it again until you complete a long rest.

Sunder Reality
At 20th level, you can call upon the Elder Sign to tear the very fabric of reality, creating a one-way rift to or from the Far Realm for 1 minute. Choose an unoccupied 5-foot radius sphere that you can see and whether this portal should lead to, or come from the Far Realm. Creatures that end their turn within 30' of the sphere are inexplicably moved 5 feet toward it, as if pulled by an unseen force. If the portal leads to the Far Realm, creatures that enter it are flung to the far reaches of space, taking 8d10 psychic damage from the horrors they witness and are ejected from the far side of the portal 1 round later. If the portal leads from the Far Realm, creatures adjacent to it are restrained by tentacles, claws, or other monstrous appendages that reach through it. Creatures so restrained can break free as an action by making a Strength saving throw. After using this ability, you cannot use it again until you complete a long rest.

Changelog: 6/19/15: Aura of Mental Fortitude now gives immunity to psychic damage, instead of resistance. Also, range changed is now 10 feet until 18th level, when it becomes 30 feet.


  1. Thank you for making these classes. I wanted to ask if you could help me with making a homebrew class better? Any advice would be useful.

    1. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9ePUWJ_GznBeE9pTXh6ZC1VaTA/view?usp=sharing

    2. Wow that's 20 pages of text. Do me a favor? Drop me an email at middlefingerofvecna@gmail.com. We can talk about this work through that medium when I get time to read through it all.

  2. Is the intent behind the channel divinity power meant to keep only creatures of those types from using and activating portals in the sign's area of effect, or all portals in general?

    1. It would seem, from the wording of that portion, that the effect is kept within the sign’s own AoE.

  3. This is probably my favorite subclass on this blog. I like that there are no "weak" points across the features, as each is potent in its own way. Every feature is something that I can look forward to, and to top it off, each of the spells granted to the class are really useful! Or at least the spells on the website. They are different from the ones in the pdf, and I think I prefer the website ones. That said, I also like how a character interested in protecting the Prime Material coudl, in a time of need, use the "ebil variants" of the powers. Also, I think Glimpse the Unspeakable is incredible. Stunning people aside, it's also a great roleplay option: "Do you REALLY want to know what I'm fighting against? Alright, then. Open your mind."

    I kind of want to play a shardmind paladin with this. Seems thematic. But onyx or swarm? Hmmm....

  4. The spell list in the pdf matches the spell list described for the inquisitor.

  5. Well, some of them match the inquiistor.

  6. There's no DC to determine whether a creature escapes the tendrils of the far realm.

    1. This saving throw is against your spell save DC.

  7. Uhh so there are two different spell lists displayed on the page and the pdf, which is supposed to be the real one?

  8. Does the inverted symbol effect require concentration? Seeing as the magic stems from the sigil, I'm not sure

  9. This looks almost useless if you're trying to protect reality from the Far Realm. You know what sounds good for a big lawful neutral paladin powerup? TEARING A HOLE IN THE FABRIC OF REALITY. So there's no way you could use Sunder Reality, but you get to know that you have it. And using abberation magic & fear/madness effects... You would be confined to half of your class & you couldn't use half of your spells if you wanted to be a good protector. Honestly, there's better shit out there.

  10. I feel like the level 20 ability is not that strong. No intelligent creature is going to walk through a rift in space or get close to it, even if they are being pulled 5ft a round. I think you should change it so reality warps around the paladin and gives them special effects/debuffs enemies. Otherwise, one of my favorite Sacred Oaths I have seen, ever.