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Nightmare Controller

Since the dawn of man and beasts, one thing that is shared amongst all that lives, is fear itself. Fear can cripple hope and destroy dreams. Fear can manifest as nightmares within those who sleep. Fear can drive man to insanity and commit heinous acts. Fear can even kill outright. Nightmare controllers are the embodiment of this primal force, instilling fear into the hearts of men and beasts, and at the height of their powers, even those that should not fear.

The nightmare controller is an archetype of the illusionist class.

Class Skills

The nightmare controller gains Intimidate as a class skill but loses Diplomacy.

Spells

The nightmare controller gains access to the necromancer’s spell list, but is limited to only spells with the Fear descriptor. In exchange, he loses access to the Illusionist’s spells with the Charm descriptor.

Diminished Spellcasting

A nightmare controller gains fewer MP than normal equal to the spell level he gains. For example, a nightmare controller of 5th level would only have 6 MP excluding extra MP from Charisma bonus.

Table: Diminished Full MP Progression

LevelMPSpell Level
1st21st
2nd31st
3rd42nd
4th52nd
5th63rd
6th83rd
7th114th
8th154th
9th205th
10th245th
11th296th
12th356th
13th427th
14th497th
15th568th
16th658th
17th749th
18th839th
19th929th
20th1019th

Ray of Terror (Su)

At 1st level, as a standard action, the nightmare controller can fire an ominous black ray at any foe within 30 feet as a ranged touch attack. The ray causes creatures to be frightened (Will save DC 10 + half of the illusionist’s level + his Charisma modifier) for 1 round. Creatures with more Hit Dice than the nightmare controller’s level or those who make the save are shaken for 1 round instead. The nightmare controller can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier.

This ability replaces blinding ray.

Fear Pool (Su)

The fear pool is the nightmare controller’s source to fuel his powers. This fear pool has a number of points equal to his illusionist level + his Charisma modifier. The pool refreshes once per day when the nightmare controller rests for 8 full hours. By spending 1 point from his fear pool, the nightmare controller can generate the following effects:

  • use Fear as a spell-like ability as a standard action;

  • gain a +4 bonus on his next saving throw as an immediate action;

  • gain a +4 bonus on his next Charisma-based skill check made in the round as a swift action.

As long as there is at least 1 point in the Fear Pool, the nightmare controller is considered 1 caster level higher and increases the save DC by 2 when casting fear-inducing spells.

This ability replaces veil pool.

Awakening Fear (Ex)

A nightmare controller is a creature of the origin of fears and nightmares itself, instilling fear naturally. At 1st level he gains a bonus to Intimidate equal to half his illusionist level, rounded down (minimum 1), but suffers a penalty to Diplomacy of the same number. He also gains a +2 to saves against fear-inducing effects. This increases to +5 at 5th level, and gains immunity to fear effects at 10th level.

This ability replaces deceptive flourish.

Consume Fear (Su)

The nightmare controller can feed off the fears of living creatures. At 2nd level, as a swift action, the nightmare controller can tap into a shaken, frightened or panicked creature to drain their fears to restore his Fear Pool. The creature affected must make a Will save (DC 10 + half of the illusionist’s level + his Charisma modifier). A failed save will restore points to the nightmare controller’s Fear Pool dependent on the stage of fear:

  • Shaken: 1 point

  • Frightened: 2 points

  • Panicked: 3 points

A nightmare controller can never exceed the limit of his base Fear Pool with this ability.

This ability replaces discern deception.

Power of Fear (Su)

Starting from 3rd level, a nightmare controller can tap into his Fear Pool for greater powers. As a move action, he can spend 1 Fear Pool point to further strengthen himself. The bonuses gained from power of fear last for ten minutes since the last time a Fear Pool point was allocated this way, and depend on how many points are allocated, as follows:

  • 1 or more points: the nightmare controller gains a +2 profane bonus to Will saves and to opposed Charisma checks;

  • 2 or more points: the nightmare controller gains a +1 profane bonus to the save DC of all spells, extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities that he uses;

  • 3 or more points: the nightmare controller gains a number of temporary hit points equal to his Charisma modifier + his nightmare controller level;

  • 4 or more points: the nightmare controller gains a +4 profane bonus to Will saves, opposed Charisma checks, and Bluff, Perform, and Stealth checks;

  • 5 or more points: the nightmare controller gains a +2 profane bonus to the save DC of all spells, extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities that he uses, and a +1 to caster level, when applicable;

  • 6 or more points: the nightmare controller gains damage reduction 10/good;

  • 7 or more points: the nightmare controller gains a +2 profane bonus to Charisma;

  • 8 or more points: the nightmare controller adds his Charisma bonus as an insight bonus to armor class and to attack rolls;

  • 9 or more points: the nightmare controller gains a +4 profane bonus to Charisma;

  • 10 or more points: the nightmare controller adds his Charisma bonus as an insight bonus to damage rolls;

  • 11 or more points: the nightmare controller gains a +6 profane bonus to Charisma

  • 12 or more points: the nightmare controller can reroll any one d20 roll, after knowing the result, once every 10 minutes. Also, the nightmare controller gains a spell resistance equal to his level plus his Charisma modifier.

This ability replaces veil powers.

Crippling Terror (Su)

Fear is more than just scaring the opponent into submission. It can also crush hopes and cripple morale. When an enemy fails a save against a fear-inducing spell or effect made by the nightmare controller of 4th level or higher, depending on the stage of fear, the enemy also suffers additional effects:

  • Shaken: The enemy also takes 1d6 non-lethal damage for as long as they are frightened, and their movement speed is reduced by 5 feet (minimum of 5 feet). This damage is increased by another 1d6 for every four illusionist levels attained after 4th level.

  • Frightened: The enemy also suffers a -1 penalty to AC equal to half of the nightmare controller’s illusionist level as long as they can see the nightmare controller, and their movement speed is reduced by 5 feet (minimum of 5 feet).

  • Panicked: The enemy also takes 2d6 non-elemental damage for as long as they are panicked, and suffers a -4 penalty to Will saves against fear effects that is not stackable with the penalties of panicked, and their movement speed is reduced by 5 feet (minimum of 5 feet). The damage is increased by another 2d6 for every four illusionist levels attained after 4th level.

These effects are cumulative and stacks on top of each other, and lasts for as long as the fear effect is in place.

This ability replaces social cloaking, tenacious illusions, body double, resilient illusions, and bend reality.

Fearful Delusions (Su)

Starting from 5th level, the fear induced by the nightmare controller starts to cause the deepest and darkest fears from the enemy to manifest in front of their eyes. As long as the nightmare controller is within visual range, and the enemy is frightened or panicked, the nightmare controller can spend a Fear Pool point as an immediate action when casting phantasmal spells to deal an extra 2d6 non-elemental damage to the enemy.

This ability replaces true illusion.

Sudden Fear (Su)

At 6th level, when a nightmare controller has a creature under the effects of an enfeebling spell other than fear, and that creature has line of sight to the nightmare controller, the nightmare controller can attempt to shaken the enfeebled target as a move action. As long as the target has line of sight to the nightmare controller and is enfeebled, the nightmare controller can maintain the shaken effect as a free action each round. The nightmare controller can maintain only one shaken effect in this way. At 13th level, the nightmare controller can choose to frighten the enfeebled target as a move action instead.

This ability replaces the show must go on.

Improved Fear Pool (Su)

Starting from 7th level, the nightmare controller adds Pain to his Fear Pool powers.

This ability replaces quick veil.

Fear Over Matter (Su)

The power of fear and terror that the nightmare controller of 9th level and above is so potent, that it can even influence that which cannot feel fear. The nightmare controller’s fear-inducing spells and abilities now ignores immunity to fear and mind-affecting effects. At 14th level, creatures that are normally immune to fear and mind-affecting effects also suffer a -4 penalty to resist the nightmare controller’s fear effects and spells.

In addition, the nightmare controller can use the Intimidate skill to cause enemies within 30 feet to be Shaken. If the enemy is already Shaken, they are Frightened instead. At 15th level, frightened enemies can be panicked. This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to the nightmare controller’s Charisma modifier.

This ability replaces illusionary puppet and invisibility field.

Dominion of Fear (Ex)

At 11th level, the nightmare controller can attempt to wrestle control over a feared enemy’s mental actions, forcing the target into the nightmare controller’s subjugation. As a full-round action, the nightmare controller can attempt to control one frightened or panicked target. The target is allowed a Will save (DC 10 + half of the illusionist’s level + his Charisma modifier), or has its actions controlled by the nightmare controller for 1d4 rounds or until the fear effect ends, whichever is the earliest. The nightmare controller can only control one target this way.

This ability replaces cloak of shadows.

Terrifying Visage (Su)

At 12th level, a nightmare controller can emit a terrifying aura in a 30-foot-burst as a standard action. Enemies within the area of effect take 1d6 points of non-elemental damage per two illusionist levels and are immobilized for 1 round. Shakened and frightened enemies are immobilized for 1d4 rounds on a failed save. A Will save halves this damage and negates the immobilization. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + half of the illusionist’s level + his Charisma modifier. Enemies that failed the Will save and were not originally feared are now frightened for a number of rounds equal to the nightmare controller’s Charisma modifier. A nightmare controller can use this ability once per day at 12th level plus one additional time per day at 15th and 18th level.

This ability replaces beguiling aura.

Devour Fear (Su)

Starting from 15th level, the nightmare controller can use a full-round action to use Consume Fear as a 30-ft.-radius burst, subjecting the enemies to the same Will saves as Consume Fear, and regaining points much quicker that way. The nightmare controller can use this ability once per day at 15th level, twice per day at 17th level, and three times per day at 20th level.

This ability replaces doublecast.

Maddening Terror (Su)

Starting from 16th level, a nightmare controller can leave his victims mindless and powerless from his fear. When a fear effect or spell that was cast by the nightmare controller on an enemy ends, he can have the enemy make a Will save (DC 10 + half of the illusionist’s level + his Charisma modifier). A failure meant the enemy’s mind is broken and suffers the cowering status effect for a duration equal to the nightmare controller’s Charisma modifier. The nightmare controller can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier.

This ability replaces illusive reality.

Terror Beyond Death (Su)

At 17th level, if an enemy were to die while under the effect of a fear-inducing effect or spell by the nightmare controller, a phantasm emerges from the corpse of his victim for 2d4+1 rounds, wailing in pain and screaming in fear. The phantasms do not move, and radiates a fear aura of 30-ft.-radius. Enemies within the aura or enters the aura must make a Will save (DC10 + half of the illusionist’s level + his Charisma modifier) or be shaken for a duration equal to the nightmare controller’s Charisma modifier. If the enemy moves into another phantasm’s aura, they are allowed a new Will save to not cascade the effect. Succeeding on the save does not worsen the fear effect, while failing it will raise the fear level to the next stage (Shaken → Frightened → Panicked) and resets the duration of the fear. Enemies already frightened are panicked instead, and enemies panicked are now immobilized and are considered helpless. Enemies that make the save or are no longer feared are immune to further effects of the phantasms created by Terror Beyond Death for 24 hours. The nightmare controller cannot have more than 3 of such phantasms up at any given moment, and the phantasms’ fear aura, even when overlapped, does not increase the Will save DC or duration of the fear effect.

This ability replaces blurred reality

Doomed to Fear (Su)

Starting from 19th level, enemies panicked by the nightmare controller’s spells and/or abilities, are doomed for a number of rounds equal to the duration of their fear-effects (minimum 1). This does not affect enemies shakened or frightened.

This ability replaces master of the veil.

Fear Eternal (Su)

At 20th level, the nightmare controller has reached the pinnacle of his power. He gains the Nightmare template and acquires the abilities of one, but not the ability scores, skills and spell-like abilities of it. In addition, if an enemy were to die within 60 feet of the nightmare controller while under the effect of a fear-inducing spell or ability, the nightmare controller automatically regains Fear Pool points as if he had used Consume Fear on it. Finally, once a week, if the nightmare controller were to die, he can spend all his pool points (minimum 10) to remain at 0 hit points.

This ability replaces bend reality.

Nightmare Controller