I have a character who recently hit level 21, which will be the last level of the campaign. As such, I am looking for something fitting her destiny more than power, and the DM is most likely willing to wiggle a lot of stuff since the character will soon be retiring anyway. I am primarily just looking for ideas, to save myself the trouble of writing up my own, than I am looking for anything effective or even anything that I could conceivably actually take. It could even be a monstrous creature; we’d just steal some key special features/attacks/qualities.

The character is a human dread necromancer/jade phoenix mage with the Tomb-Tainted Soul feat (i.e. necromantic spells, faith & fire maneuvers, and she heals from negative energy and hurts from positive energy, as undead do).

She is also a devout worshiper of the Silver Flame. What this means is she uses her necromantic prowess to put the undead to rest, and tries to encourage the Church to see the undead as victims rather than abominations. She sees necromancers that actually control undead as slavedrivers.

She’s become very close to the Silver Flame over the course of the campaign, having physically touched it in Flamekeep, where it spoke to her, and then having been given a piece of it by the Keeper of the Flame for her quest to save the world. The jade phoenix mage class has been refluffed as a silver phoenix mage, and there have been hints throughout the campaign that the spirits she has attuned to are those of the couatls that sacrificed themselves to create the Silver Flame in the first place.

She is planning with her team to use that piece of the Flame, along with her Silver Immolation class feature, as a kind of massive holy/positive energy bomb to destroy the Moon of Death which is currently attempting to Majora’s Mask the world.

What I’d like to do with her last level is turn her into a kind of angel of the undead, protecting them from necromancers and guiding them to peace and final death. She is not Deathless, nor, with the Tomb-Tainted Soul feat, would becoming Deathless be particularly appropriate for her, but a Deathless creature might have the right fluff here.

Anyway, any thoughts or options anyone can provide would be very much appreciated.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Drat. I played a psychopomp in @Magician's 4e game and have an excellent build.... for the wrong system. Are you looking for a literal psychopomp or a mortal... equivalent? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2014 at 3:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrianBallsun-Stanton Considering I'm primarily looking for inspiration, I’d totally accept a 4e-based answer that gave me good ideas and sources. I have some 4e books so I might even be able to see the build. Anyway, literal or mortal equivalent are both equally valid here. The character could transcend to the former or just be the latter. Note, however, that Eberron doesn't have any that I know of, so she'd be something new and unique there. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 3:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Meta on the topicality of this question here. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 3:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is old enough that I wanna give a usage 'correction' here rather than edit it myself: I think that 'slavedrivers' should be 'slavemasters' as the first is (in informal 'Murican parlance) merely a tough taskmaster, where the second is much more perjorative and suggests ownership. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 4:51

2 Answers 2


In 4e terms, my character Montanus Mortis, was literally designed as an epic psychopomp1 from the get go. In pratice, since this was set in a post-apoc fantasy world the "wheel of reincarnation" was broken. (The "natural" cycle of souls being formed in the outer planes and returned to them.

So, the epic destiny was "Keeper of the Everflow" (Heroes of Shadow) that had excellent fluff as someone trying to escort souls into the afterlife, and fix the world such that there was an afterlife.

In 3.5 terms, a psyhopomp will require a number of essential attributes:

  • Greater plane shift at will
  • The ability to whack people and turn their spirits into petitioners for the appropriate plane (since that's not a bad representation of souls), saints, or corrupted as appropriate.
  • A divine proxy for the god of death may work for you, if being a psychopomp is a delegated power.
  • The ability to ensure that no door nor wall may bar your way. (remember, if it's a sealed room, you'll need to show up more quickly than otherwise for their soul.)
  • A really good scythe. (You've turned yourself into a metaphor. Use it.)
  • The ability to apply true death (Hunter of the Dead, CW, level 5) to undead, or any of pelor greater turning cheese.

Death, by Paul Kidby for Terry Pratchett

Beyond that, Terry Pratchet's Death is an excellent Psychopomp. No door can bar his way. He can talk that talk and stalk that stalk. Read Mort for his story.

1 Psychopomps (from the Greek word ψυχοπομπός - psuchopompos, literally meaning the "guide of souls") are creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls to the afterlife. Their role is not to judge the deceased, but simply provide safe passage.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Also read "Reaper Man." In fact, you might want to read the whole Discworld series - Death appears in very book. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 3:51

Here’s an Epic Destiny I’ve imagined for this; many thanks to Brian for some excellent ideas.

Silver Phoenix

Aicanique becomes a spectral entity of silver flame and ghostly wings, almost angelic in appearance despite her undead state.

For another character, I’d want to see the Tomb-Tainted Soul and Undead Empathy feats and the ability to cast spark of life, in addition to that 21st level requirement.

21st level: Turn Undeath (Su)

Equivalent to Turn Undead, except undead who would be turned are instead affected as if by spark of life and lose any hungers, cravings, or similar nourishment requirements from their undead status (e.g. vampires no longer need blood, ghouls no longer crave flesh, and so on).

Aicanique may maintain a number of undead in such a state as if they were undead controlled by a dread necromancer with the Undead Mastery class feature. The undead leave this state only if her “control” of them is broken, as usual for controlling undead with Rebuke Undead.

Undead who would instead be destroyed are quietly released from their unnatural unlifes, to go on to whatever comes next for them. See the Release feature, below.

Willing undead may accept the effect of this ability as if they had 0 HD (that is, it is always powerful enough to affect them and does not take HD away from others). In this way, Aicanique may restore large groups of willing undead.

Aicanique may use this ability 3 + Cha times per day, uses her arcane caster level as her cleric level for the turning check, and may treat it as Turn Undead for the purposes of requirements, triggering feats (such as Divine feats), and for things that grant extra uses of Turn Undead per day (such as the Extra Turning feat).

Ultimately, this is primarily fluff. The effect, from a combat perspective, is rarely as good as what Turn Undead or Rebuke Undead would get you. That said, it is powerful fluff, as the ability to make undead quasi-living, and much less automatically-dangerous, changes a lot of basic assumptions about them.

21st level: Release (Ex)

Any undead creature destroyed within 100 ft. of Aicanique immediately has its soul ferried to wherever it is that the soul was supposed to go before becoming undead; any actions taken while undead have their taint cleaned from the soul (though depraved actions taken before becoming undead, particularly those taken to turn undead, may very much still do so).

The remains of any undead so released may not be used again for any kind of necromancy, and only true resurrection or a carefully-worded wish spell could return the soul to life.

This is ultimately what allows her to perform as a psychopomp.

24th level: Deathsense (Su)

Equivalent to Lifesense (Libris Mortis), but functioning on undead creatures, not living creatures.

Just seemed fitting and appropriate. Highlights undead in a certain radius, even through solid material.

27th level: Radiant Touch (Su)

Aicanique may use this supernatural ability in place of her uttercold touch at any time. It deals the exact same damage, except that the damage is “radiant” damage. This damage only harms the undead, creatures with the [Evil] subtype, and creatures harmed by bright light. It has no effect on other creatures.

Though the radiant touch does deal damage, it is painless, and in fact mildly pleasant, to the creatures it affects.

Aicanique has a powerful attack, uttercold touch, which she may use as a touch or add on top of her cold and/or necromancy spells, but it deals half-cold, half-negative damage, which tends to wind up doing nothing, or even healing the undead. It makes her ability to interact with hostile undead really limited. This fixes that.

30th level: Spectral Angel (Ex)

Aicanique’s type changes to Undead, and she gains the Incorporeal subtype. She also gains immunity to Rebuke Undead or Turn Undead.

Aicanique retains her Constitution score, unlike all other undead. She is immune to Constitution damage, drain, burn, or any other effect that attempts to reduce it. Her HD do not change to d12s, and she does not recalculate her HP.

The constitution thing is weird, but I like it as a kind of “flip-side” of Tomb-Tainted Soul: before she was a living being with an unusual undead-like lifeforce. Now she is an undead creature with an unusual, lifelike lifeforce.

The immunity to Turn/Rebuke is just to portray her as a little bit more of a “force of nature,” rather than a wayward spirit that exorcists can just banish or necromancers can try to control.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrianBallsun-Stanton No, it’s an Epic Destiny, 4e-style, in 3.5. One of the last things they released for 3.5 was a back-port of some of 4e’s Epic Destinies, where the mechanics are that instead of feats at 21st, 24th, 27th, and 30th levels, you get the Epic Destiny features. So these are replacing feats, which is why I moved the more significant stuff later. Also, to date the character has never so much as seen a scythe, so it’s really not a part of her symbolism, I don’t think, and I don’t think Eberron establishes that link between reaping and souls moving on anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 12:43

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