General Prestige Class : Stormcaster
"My breath is the wind. My heartbeat, the thunder. My fury, the lightning. To test my wrath is to test the very forces of the storm, to your peril." - Tamask Laryn, master stormcaster
Many things in nature have drawn the attention of the seeker of the arcane - the elements, the nature of the unseen world, the weaving of illusions. The stormcaster is one who seeks to tap into the power of a strange and terrifying phenomenon: the raging storm. The stormcaster is a terrible figure to most who encounter him. He seems to travel, unconcerned, through the foulest of weather. A part of him revels in this destructive manifestation of the elements - the fouler the weather, the happier he seems. Many who know of these weather wizards whisper that they do not follow storms - rather, the storms follow them.
The would-be stormcaster revels in the fury of the storm. There is something awesome and terrible about a storm that draws him, and he is constantly seeking to understand it. He masters those spells that mimic the power of the storm and even learns to infuse the elements of the storm - whether the clap of thunder or the strike of lightning - into his other spells, seeking to become one with that power.
Stormcasters are drawn from the ranks of arcane or divine casters. The wizard who pursues this path needs to understand the primal energies inherent in the storm. The sorcerer, on the other hand, often feels that he is laying claim to some terrible birthright - many such sorcerers have in their heritage the blood of blue dragons or of other creatures who are at home in a wild storm's fury. Druids occasionally pursue the path of the stormcaster but at the risk of turning their backs on much of their natural powers.
To qualify to become a Stormcaster, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Alignment: Any nonlawful
- Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks, Knowledge (nature) 4 ranks.
- Spellcasting: Must have the ability to cast gust of wind and either lightning bolt or call lightning.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
The following are class features of the stormcaster.
Storm Spell Power (Ex): You are truly skilled in the use of spells that wield the power of the stormy seas. Any spell you cast that has the air, electricity, sonic, or water descriptor is cast at +2 caster level.
Thunderclap (Su): You can channel stored spell energy into pure sonic energy. You can lose any prepared spell or spell slot in order to generate a 30-foot-radius burst of sonic energy. The burst deals 1d4 points of sonic damage per level of the spell slot to all targets in the area; any creature damaged by this effect is stunned for 1 round. A Fortitude save halves this damage and negates the stun effect. You are immune to your own thunderclap power. This otherwise functions like the cleric's spontaneous casting class feature.
Resistance to Electricity (Ex): At 2nd level, you gain some ability to resist the deadly power of lightning (resistance to electricity 10).
Spellcasting: Beginning at 2nd level, when you gain a new stormcaster level you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a stormcaster, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.
Shield of Winds (Sp): Starting at 3rd level, you can call up high winds to cast aside the arrows of your foes. As an immediate action (equivalent to a free action, except you can take it when it isn't your turn), you can surround your space with an effect equal to a wind wall for 1 round. You can use this ability once per day at 3rd level, two times per day at 6th level, and three times per day at 9th level.
Eye of the Storm (Ex): Even in a storm, the winds whipping around you seem to leave you unaffected. Beginning at 4th level, you ignore the penalties associated with ranged attack rolls and Listen checks due to high winds. Actions that are impossible in high winds (such as using ranged attacks in winds above 50 mph) are still impossible.
At 8th level, you gain the ability to share this protection with any number of allies within 30 feet. Granting (or removing) this benefit from any number of allies is a free action.
Thunderbolt (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, you use your knowledge of the storm to add the power of thunder to your lightning-based spells. Any spell you cast that deals electricity damage also deals an extra 1 point of sonic damage per spell level and stuns any creature damaged by the spell for 1 round (Fortitude save negates; DC equals the save DC of the spell, even if the spell wouldn't normally allow a save).
Resistance to Sonic (Ex): At 7th level, you become somewhat resistant to the power of thunder. You gain resistance to sonic 10.
Call Storm (Sp): You only feel fully at home within the confines of a storm. At 8th level, you gain the ability to use a control weather effect once per week but can only create a windstorm, thunderstorm, or hurricane-force winds. You are treated as a druid when using this ability (or when casting control weather through your own spellcasting power) for the purpose of duration and area of the spell.
Lord of the Storm (Su): At 10th level, your mastery of the power of the storm is complete. You gain resistance to electricity 30 and resistance to sonic 30. You are immune to being blown away, knocked down, or checked by high winds (whether natural or magical). You gain a +2 competence bonus on saves against spells with the air or water descriptor.
|Stormcaster||Hit Die: d4|
|1st||+0||+2||+2||+0||Storm spell power, thunderclap||-|
|2nd||+1||+3||+3||+1||Resistance to electricity 10||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|3rd||+1||+3||+3||+1||Shield of winds 1/day||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|4th||+2||+4||+4||+1||Eye of the storm||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|5th||+2||+4||+4||+2||Thunderbolt||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|6th||+3||+5||+5||+2||Shield of winds 2/day||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|7th||+3||+5||+5||+2||Resistance to sonic 10||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|8th||+4||+6||+6||+3||Call storm, eye of the storm 30-ft. radius||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|9th||+4||+6||+6||+3||Shield of winds 3/day||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|10th||+5||+7||+7||+3||Lord of the storm||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
Playing A Stormcaster
As a stormcaster, you are most at home when the winds howl, lightning cuts the sky, and thunder shakes the very ground beneath you. There is something primal within you that is happiest in the midst of these great storms, and you have turned your formidable powers toward understanding and deepening that kinship. You believe that the peace that most people seek is a falsehood, an illusion of security in a world that provides none. Better by far to seek shelter in the midst of the raging torrent and become one with it.
It is said that once there was a cabal of arcanists who sought to understand and master the secrets of the storm. Unfortunately, this organization was torn apart by the mercurial moods and rages of its members. Throughout the years, others have tried to codify these teachings and organize a school or brotherhood to foster its mysteries, but all have been riven by rivalries and soon dispersed. Let the others have their councils, school, brotherhoods, cabals - nothing matters to you but the fury of the storm.
Stormcasters who take to adventuring usually do so as a means of funding their research and so they can be among those who aren't immediately afraid of them. NPC stormcasters are always impressive figures. Some are terrible creatures who wield the storms at their command as weapons, threatening and destroying those who defy them, while others are simply hermits with odd interests and abilities.
You possess some of the most formidable combat spells available, such as lightning bolt, call lightning, ice storm, or even a fireball transmuted into an explosion of lightning through the Energy Substitution feat. Protect yourself through spells such as protection from energy so that you don't have to be concerned with your own lightning effects. The ability to augment them through metamagic feats (especially Empower Spell and Widen Spell) is highly desirable, so don't hesitate to do so.
In combat, keep in mind that while you are likely to be our of the way casting spells into the fray, your allies are apt to be right in the middle of it. Protect those who are most likely to find themselves in the middle of your lightning spells with a protection from energy spell. Indeed, it might be wise to invest in a wand of protection from energy. Do note, however, that any archers in your group are unlikely to thank you for making their job more difficult through the strong winds with which you usually surround yourself.
A stormcaster's most advantageous combat location is flying in the middle of a howling storm. Your spells are harder to resist because of the call storm ability and you are nearly impossible to hit with ranged attacks due to the high winds. You, on the other hand, benefit greatly from those winds - you might even find it useful to invest in some ranged attack spells for just these situations.
There is no single origin story for a stormcaster. Some might have had the secrets of the class told to them by a creature of the storm, a friendly elemental, or the servant of a storm god. Many sorcerers simply awaken to their own potential. Others felt the call to enter a storm and found an experienced stormcaster there, reveling in the heart of the terrible gale.
Stormcasters actively seek out storms, or even create them, in order to understand their powers and abilities. As a result, they find it difficult to live in civilized areas, since most people aren't interested in having a storm-summoner as a neighbor.
As you increase in level, you will find it beneficial to prepare for your big battles. Certainly, your arrival being presaged by a massive storm could tip off the foe, but you command the upper hand in such a situation. Keep to the air when you can, and invest in the Extend Spell feat. Do your spellcasting from on high, which will keep you out of the reach of most of your enemy's attacks.
Very little support is to be had from other stormcasters, save for a certain kinship of the like-minded. On the other hand, a wand of protection from energy will greatly benefit you and those you work closely with, allowing you to cut loose with your truly destructive magics while leaving your allies relatively unaffected. Stormcasters capable of creating magic items usually create a stormrider cloak.
Stormcasters In The World
The stormcaster is a figure of strange yet attractive power - no one can deny the incredible primal force of the storm, and it is a pleasing thought to imagine controlling that kind of power. A stormcaster can fulfill a variety of roles, from the strange hermit on a stormy mountaintop to the mage who wanders into town at the onset of a hurricane and is gone with the winds. Stormcasters make not just good villains but also enigmatic figures who possess secrets that the PCs might want but must brave the storm to find.
As attractive as most people find the thought of the power a stormcaster wields, being faced with the reality of one is something else entirely. If a character is a known stormcaster, he will be treated like any other force of nature - safely ignored when he can be, or appeased until he goes away. Clerics and worshipers of Procan share the savant's admiration of storms and are inclined to be friendly to known stormcasters.
Characters with Knowledge (arcane) or Gather Information can research stormcasters to learn more about them.
- DC 10: Some arcanists, called stormcasters, seek to tap into the power of the storm, becoming one with it.
- DC 15: Stormcasters have the ability to fly in storms. They are immune to lightning and thunder and resistant to those spells that create electricity and damaging sound.
- DC 20: A stormcaster can command the storm to lift him up, cast aside arrows, and carry his voice for miles. He has the kind of command over weather spells normally found only in druids and clerics.
- DC 30: The winds of a storm aid a stormcaster, bringing sounds to his ears and carrying his projectiles and spells toward his foes.