The “other” category of themes stated as professions that weren’t really professions: urchin, royalty, and things like that. One of my players suggested adding things like philosophies and lifestyles, which is where we got the epicurean. Once I started looking at things that way I knew I wanted to make absolutely certain I had at least one theme that flew in the face of typical Pathfinder character design.
This theme borrows a little from the design space of my go at the healer class, but with a completely different power level. I also had to make sure the theme applied to multiple character concepts. It’s easy for a healer to fight without doing damage, but a magus or gunslinger doing the same is a lot more interesting.
Adventuring is a dangerous profession, for both adventurers and their enemies. Innumerable people have lost their lives in dark dungeons at the hands of terrible monsters, and even more creatures have been slain by those same adventurers. You’ve dedicated your life to preventing this senseless slaughter. Whatever your reasons, you make sure everybody makes it home alive, even the things trying to kill you.
Theme Skills: Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Linguistics, Stealth
Theme Feats: Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Defensive Combat Training, Improved Counterspell, Mobility
Novice Quests: These quests are appropriate for advancing through 3rd tier.
- A dwarf is looking for allies to join him on a wholesale slaughter of kobolds. He believes they have murdered his kin, and he wants a bloody revenge. Even if it costs him his life, he’s going to take as many with him as he can. He doesn’t know that the kobold tribe he wants to attack is not responsible for the killings, but a rampaging dwarf attacking them for imagined crimes is exactly the sort of catalyst that would justify them performing actual invasions of nearby villages.
- A group of young people has formed a party, but in reality they act more like a gang, making shows of force against anybody who crosses them. Why they’re doing it isn’t obvious because they won’t talk to anybody outside of their group. If they continue as they are they will soon get into trouble they cannot handle.
Expert Quests: These quests are appropriate for advancing through 6th tier.
- The laws have changed recently in a large city. In an effort to deter crime, the death penalty is being used to punish smaller and smaller infractions. Not only is this leading to the deaths of various nonviolent criminals or wrongly-accused people, but it’s also driving the citizens to consider a violent revolution to end the practice.
- A once-belligerent warlord is looking for a security detail as he attends a meeting with other leaders of like mind. If the meeting is constructive, the leaders could agree on borders, rules of engagement, and various other things to enforce an era of peace. But there may be any number of people looking to undermine to meeting for their own purposes, including those who want to murder the warlord himself.
Advanced Quests: These quests are appropriate for advancing through 9th tier.
- Violence is on the rise. Tense situations are escalating into full-blown combat with alarming speed and regularity, over a large area that includes several settlements are various sizes. All of the combats are small-scale, no larger than a bar fight, but the sheer number of them is starting to affect the stability of government and social institutions. Nobody knows whether the problem has a monstrous, magical, or mundane cause, and anybody who tries to look into it quickly comes to blows with anybody looking at it in an even slightly different way.
- War has broken out between two neighboring nations. Hundreds of soldiers die in every battle, and the toll of noncombatants is rising rapidly. But it’s not clear why exactly the nations are fighting, only that they are. There may be a secret motive or magical compulsion driving the nations’ leaders against each other.
Legendary Quest: A horrifying monster is coming. It may be an abomination from the Far Realms, the judgment of a deity, or the long-slumbering subject of a prophecy, and it will not stop until there is nothing left of its target, even it that target is an entirely country. It cannot be reasoned with or dissuaded, and thousands are willing to lay down their lives to stop it. But if it is killed, an even greater threat is waiting in the wings. It must be stopped, and it must remain alive.
Expeditious Healer (Ex): You can make Heal checks as a move action. If you have the reactive stabilization ability, you can stabilize up to two adjacent creatures, and you lose a move action on the following turn for each creature you attempt to stabilize.
Greater Placation (Ex): Enemies avoid you as best they can. When you placate a creature, the target cannot attack you directly or indirectly. For example, it cannot include you in the area of a fireball, even if you are at the center of your allies. You must be at least 7th tier and possess the improved placation ability before selecting this ability.
Improved Placation (Ex): You can appeal to multiple enemies at once. When you placate a creature, the effect lasts for one round plus one round for every 5 points by which you beat the DC. You must be at least 4th tier and possess the placation ability before selecting this ability.
Placation (Ex): You can convince your enemies you’re not worth the trouble. Placating a creature takes a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and has a DC equal to 10 + the target’s Hit Dice + the target’s Wisdom modifier. If you succeed, the target cannot target you with an attack on its next turn. It can still attack you indirectly, as with area effects. You cannot make this check against a creature that does not understand you or has an Intelligence score of 3 or lower. Any act by you that threatens the target ends the effect and prevents you from using this ability again for the rest of the encounter. This is a mind-affecting charm effect.
Quick Healer (Su): You can make Heal checks as a free action. If you have the reactive stabilization ability, you can stabilize any number of adjacent creatures and you do not lose any actions on the following turn. You must be at least 7th tier and possess the expeditious healer ability before selecting this ability.
Reactive Stabilization (Su): Nobody dies on your watch, not even enemies. When a creature adjacent to you falls unconscious, you can make a Heal check as an immediate action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The DC for this check is 10 + the target’s negative hit point total. If you succeed, you stabilize the target, and if the target’s negative hit point total is equal to or greater than their Constitution score, it is instead equal to their Constitution score – 1. Regardless of whether you succeed or fail you cannot use your standard action on your next turn. You must be at least 4th tier before selecting this ability.
Subdual Expert (Ex): You can target noncritical areas with your attacks or force enemies to exhaust themselves. You take no penalty when dealing nonlethal damage with weapons that deal lethal damage.
Subdual Master (Ex): You excel at nonlethal combat. You gain a bonus to nonlethal damage rolls equal to half your theme tier (minimum 1). You must be at least 4th tier and possess the subdual expert before selecting this ability.
Technique Master (Ex): When combat must occur, you participate without dealing damage. You have a +2 theme bonus to your Combat Maneuver Bonus. If you deal damage to an enemy, you lose this bonus until the end of the encounter.
Halt Combat (Sp): Even a joined battle doesn’t have to end in bloodshed. At 4th tier, you can cast calm emotions and sanctuary each once per day.
Stall Combat (Ex): You can fit an impassioned plea for prudence into a pre-combat lull. At 7th tier, enemies within 30 feet of you take a -4 penalty to initiative checks. You gain a +4 theme bonus to Charisma-based skill checks in the surprise round or the first round of combat.
Prevent Combat (Su): You can halt all activity in battle through sheer force of will. At 10th tier, as a full-round action you can create a 30-foot aura of pacifism. Creatures within the aura are immune to damage and spell effects and cannot take actions that damage or harm other creatures. Creatures can still cast spells with the harmless descriptor. At least half of a creature must be within the aura for it to be effected. You can create this aura for a number of rounds per day equal to half your character level (minimum 1).