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Unearthed Arcana

LEGENDARY WEAPONS

pict This variant is a simple rule system that allows the abilities of weapons to improve along with those of their wielders. A character wielding a legendary weapon ó whether that weapon is a sword, axe, bow, or even a magic staff ó is eligible for one of the scion prestige classes presented below. As long as the wielder does not adopt the prestige class, the legendary weapon is simply a magic item with a small enhancement bonus (usually +1 or +2, or sometimes as high as +3 for truly powerful legendary weapons). But by taking levels in the prestige class, a character can unlock and utilize the weaponís more advanced powers. Commonly, the wielder gains access to a suite of weapon-appropriate feats, special abilities tied to the weaponís purpose, or even magical enhancements to the characterís own skills and abilities.

In every case, the scion prestige class associated with a particular weapon defines which of its abilities the wielder is eligible to benefit from. The descriptions of sample legendary weapons later in this section detail the specific abilities of each weapon. Thus, every scion is different, even with only four variations of the prestige class to choose from.

SCIONS
Scions come in as many varieties as there are legendary items, but each one falls into one of four distinct groupings based on the intended wielder of the item. Each sample weapon described in this section is tied to one of the following prestige classes (and the weapon description immediately follows the prestige class description).

Battle Scion: This prestige class is for the wielders of legendary weapons made for the hands of fighters, barbarians, rangers, monks, and the occasional paladin.

Faith Scion: This prestige class is meant for characters who wield legendary weapons of divine power for clerics, druids, and paladins.

Spell Scion: This class is for characters who wield legendary weapons designed for use by arcane spellcasters, such as wizards, sorcerers, and sometimes bards.

Swift Scion: This class is for those who wield legendary weapons that make use of or improve the wielderís stealth, speed, or dexterity (in the general sense). Rogues are excellent candidates for this class, as are bards, rangers, and the occasional monk.

Rules and Restrictions
None of the scion prestige classes grant a character any new weapon or armor proficiencies. Thus, it is entirely possible for a scion to be not proficient with his legendary weapon unless he independently takes the necessary weapon proficiency feat.

In addition to meeting the prerequisites for the appropriate prestige class (which are dictated by the weapons themselves), a character wishing to adopt a scion class must also abide by certain other rules and restrictions.

Weapon Specialization: A scion who does not meet the fighter level prerequisite for the Weapon Specialization feat may still select that feat, but only for the type of weapon (such as martial or exotic) that his legendary weapon is.

A scion who qualifies for the appropriate Weapon Specialization feat normally (that is, who has all the normal prerequisites for the feat) may select and apply the feat to any type of weapon.

Losing a Legendary Weapon: Legendary weapons should never become permanently lost, for fate has a way of bringing them back to their rightful wielders. On a more practical level, the loss of a legendary weapon means that the character who has invested levels in the associated prestige class is denied most of the classís special abilities until the weapon is regained, because the abilities are specifically tied to the weapon. Thus, as the GM, you must try to ensure that the weapon and its wielder do not stay separated for long ó unless, of course, the purpose of the adventure is to recover the weapon. In most cases, the weapon should turn up at the end of an encounter, or should be near enough at hand that the wielder need only make a reasonable effort to reclaim it.

Destroying a Legendary Weapon: Each legendary weapon has its own hardness and hit points. Treat the item as if it had a greater hardness and more hit points based on its maximum possible enhancement bonus, even if the wielder has not yet qualified to benefit from that high a bonus.

That said, under ordinary circumstances, legendary weapons do not break: Any attempt to sunder such an item automatically fails, and the weapon is treated as having immunity to all effects that could otherwise destroy it (such as a disintegrate spell, a dragonís breath weapon, and so on).

If an attacker is foolish enough to attempt to sunder a legendary weapon, the combatants should still make the opposed attack rolls, however. If the scion wins, the scion may immediately deal damage to the attackerís weapon as though the scion had initiated the attack.

The only exception to this rule is if the person attacking the legendary weapon is herself wielding a legendary weapon. In this case, the attacker may deal damage to the defenderís weapon if she wins the opposed attack roll. However, the defender also immediately makes his own sunder attempt against the attackerís legendary weapon. If the defender wins this second opposed roll, he may deal damage to the attackerís weapon ó even if his own weapon was damaged or destroyed by the attacker.

Repairing a broken legendary weapon should never be easy. It should be the result of an epic quest, perhaps involving aid from other planes, arduous rituals, and perilous voyages.

Gaining Additional Legendary Weapons: If the wielder of a legendary weapon somehow gains another legendary weapon linked to the same scion prestige class, she may only use the weapon as would a character with no levels in the weaponís associated prestige class, and she may not transfer the benefits of her scion levels to the new weapon. If she were to acquire a weapon linked to a different scion prestige class, she could begin advancing levels in the scion prestige class for that weapon, assuming that she meets the requirements.

The level of commitment that a legendary weapon demands from its wielder does not allow her to split her attention between two or more such weapons simultaneously. Thus, the owner of two legendary weapons must choose which commitment she wishes to focus on with each new character level, by virtue of her prestige class selection.

Ex-Scions: A wielder who no longer meets the prerequisites of his scion prestige class loses the ability to access the special abilities of his legendary weapon (as noted in the sample weapons below) that correspond to actual scion levels. He retains the basic features of the prestige class as given in its description (base attack bonus, base save bonuses, and even spellcaster levels, when appropriate), but the weapon supplies only the magical abilities it would grant to any wielder. Likewise, a scion who no longer possesses his legendary weapon (because of loss, destruction, theft, or some other reason) loses all the benefits that the weapon granted (though he still retains the basic features of the class). An ex-scion may not progress in the prestige class until he corrects the problem, either by once again meeting the requirements of the class or by regaining the weapon.

This restriction does not prevent a scion from taking levels in another class, or from using the abilities already gained as a scion while he does so. Unless the new class in some way violates the scion prerequisites (such as by requiring a different alignment), or the weaponís description specifies penalties for advancing in another class, then the only drawback to pursuing a different class is that the scion is not gaining new powers from the weapon.

BATTLE SCION
A battle scion has earned the right to fight with a particular legendary weapon, either because the weapon is an ancestral heirloom or because he upholds the principles for which the weapon was originally created. While characters of any class can eventually qualify for the battle scion class, those who wield weapons professionally ó fighters, barbarians, rangers, and paladins ó are ideal candidates.

No two battle scions are identical, by virtue of the weapons that grant them access to this prestige class. One scion might wield an heirloom weapon that provides him with the abilities needed to uphold the familyís honor. Another could be the scourge of an evil temple, using his legendary sword to prove that might does indeed make right. Yet another could be wielding an axe, hammer, or staff dedicated to his profession, or to his race, with abilities that draw on the strengths thereof.

For all the powers his sword grants him, a battle scion isnít terribly different from any other fighter, barbarian, ranger, or paladin who uses his share of the treasure to upgrade his favorite weapon every so often. What really sets him apart is the fact that his weapon is leading him toward a particular destiny, if only by shaping his future advancement choices.

Hit Die: d10.

Requirements
To qualify to become a battle scion, a character must fulfill the criteria given in his particular weaponís entry. (For an example, see Drakeblade, below.)
Class Skills
The battle scionís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Battle Scion
LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1st+1+2+0+0Bonus feat
2nd+2+3+0+0ó
3rd+3+3+1+1ó
4th+4+4+1+1Bonus feat
5th+5+4+1+1ó
6th+6+5+2+2ó
7th+7+5+2+2Bonus feat
8th+8+6+2+2ó
9th+9+6+3+3ó
10th+10+7+3+3Bonus feat
Class Features
The following are class features of the battle scion prestige class. A legendary weapon associated with the class provides a unique set of additional special abilities, which are detailed in the weaponís description. (For an example, see Drakeblade, below.) These abilities accrue in addition to those already noted in the Special column on Table: The Battle Scion. However, because those abilities are functions of the weapon rather than the wielder, they are lost if the legendary weapon that granted them is lost. The features mentioned on Table: The Battle Scion are retained even if the weapon is lost.

Bonus Feats: At 1st level, a battle scion receives a bonus feat. Thereafter, he gains an additional bonus feat at 4th, 7th, and 10th level. These bonus feats must be drawn from the fighter bonus feat list. A battle scion must still meet all prerequisites to take a bonus feat.

Drakeblade
Reputedly carved from the fang of a great wyrm red dragon, the bastard sword known as Drakeblade has served many masters over the centuries, from bloodthirsty warlords to treasure-seeking adventurers. It is a legendary weapon that provides many benefits to its wielder, but most of the benefits apply only if the wielder has levels in the battle scion prestige class.

Requirements: Any character can wield Drakeblade as a +2 bastard sword and also gain the benefit of the bravery special ability described below. A battle scion who wields Drakeblade gains additional special abilities if the character fulfills the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus: +9.

Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 6 ranks.

Feats: Improved Critical (bastard sword), Iron Will.

Attributes: Drakeblade has the following attributes.

Hardness/Hit Points: 20/55.

Caster Level: 15th.

Value: To any character other than a battle scion who meets the above requirements, Drakeblade appears to be worth as much as a Medium +2 bastard sword that grants the bravery special ability (market price 14,335 gp).

Table: Abilities Granted By Drakeblade
Battle Scion LevelAbility Gained
óBravery
1stBane (dragons)
2ndResistance to energy 10
3rdEnhancement bonus +3 (+5 against dragons)
4thIntimidating presence
5thResistance to energy 20
6thEnhancement bonus +4 (+6 against dragons)
7thDodge bonus
8thResistance to energy 30
9thFrightful presence
10thEnhancement bonus +5 (+7 against dragons)

Special Abilities: Drakeblade provides a number of special abilities to its wielder, depending on the characterís class level in the battle scion prestige class.

Initial Abilities: When first acquired, Drakeblade functions as a +2 bastard sword. Anyone who wields it, whether a battle scion or not, also benefits from the bravery ability (see below).

Bravery (Ex): The wielder of Drakeblade has immunity to a dragonís frightful presence ability. All allies within 30 feet of the wielder gain a +4 morale bonus on saves against the frightful presence of dragons.

Bane (Dragons) (Su): When wielded by a battle scion, Drakeblade gains the bane (dragons) special ability. Its enhancement bonus is treated as 2 points higher when attacking a dragon, and it deals an extra 2d6 points of damage on a successful strike against a dragon.

Resistance to Energy (Su): Once per day, when a battle scion of 2nd level or higher wielding Drakeblade is dealt at least 1 point of damage from any type of energy (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic), the scion gains resistance 10 to that form of energy for 1 hour thereafter (including against the damage that activated the ability). For example, if the scion were engulfed in a fireball, the resistance would immediately take effect, reducing the damage taken by the fireball (and any other source of fire damage for the next hour) by 10 points.

Once the energy type is determined, it cannot be changed for the current use of the ability. If two or more types of energy strike the scion simultaneously, he may select the energy type against which his resistance protects.

When a battle scion attains 5th level, the resistance granted by this ability increases to 20 points. At 8th level, it increases to 30 points.

Intimidating Presence (Ex): A battle scion of 4th level or higher wielding Drakeblade may add his class level as a bonus on Intimidate checks made against dragons (or one-half his class level as a bonus on Intimidate checks made against nondragons).

Dodge Bonus> (Ex): At 7th level and higher, a battle scion wielding Drakeblade gains a +2 dodge bonus to Armor Class against creatures at least two size categories larger than himself.

Frightful Presence (Ex): A battle scion of 9th level or higher wielding Drakeblade can unsettle foes with his mere presence. This ability takes effect automatically whenever the scion attacks or charges. Creatures within a radius of 60 feet are subject to the effect if they have fewer Hit Dice than the scionís character level.

A potentially affected creature that succeeds on a Will save (DC 10 + class level + scionís Cha modifier) remains immune to that scionís frightful presence for one day. On a failure, creatures with 4 or less HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds. Even dragons can be affected by the scionís frightful presence.

FAITH SCION
A faith scion wields his legendary blade in the name of his deity ó or, in the case of a druid, in the service of nature. A legendary weapon usually comes into the hands of a faith scion either as a gift from his religious order or as a blessing from his deity. Because of the divine nature of these weapons, clerics, druids and paladins are ideally suited for this prestige class, though other classes can also qualify.

A divinely influenced legendary weapon should be rare and unique. Certainly no deity would create multiple copies of one weapon as a matter of course, and few religious orders can afford to do so. Thus, each weapon should grant different abilities, except in special cases. For example, duplicate weapons might be created especially to combat the enemies of a church, or perhaps to destroy (or create) undead. A divine legendary sword of an order devoted to healing might even be less a weapon than an instrument for easing the suffering of others.

A faith scion usually has high status within his religious order. His possession of a legendary weapon implies that he has the favor of his deity, or that he is more in tune with nature than others of his order, in the case of a druid. Depending on the alignment of his deity, though, his ownership of the weapon could be construed as an invitation to try to take it from him.

Hit Die: d8.

Requirements
To qualify to become a faith scion, a character must fulfill the criteria given in his particular weaponís entry. (For an example, see Hammer of the Dwarffather, below.)
Class Skills
The faith scionís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), and Survival (Wis).

Domains and Class Skills: A cleric who gains additional class skills from his domain can treat those skills as class skills for the faith scion class.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Faith Scion
LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpells per Day/Spells Known
1st+0+2+0+2+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
2nd+1+3+0+3+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
3rd+2+3+1+3+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
4th+3+4+1+4+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
5th+3+4+1+4+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
6th+4+5+2+5+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
7th+5+5+2+5+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
8th+6+6+2+6+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
9th+6+6+3+6+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
10th+7+7+3+7+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
Class Features
The following are class features of the faith scion prestige class. A legendary weapon associated with the class provides a unique set of additional special abilities, which are detailed in the weaponís description. (For an example, see the Hammer of the Dwarffather, below.) These abilities accrue in addition to those already noted on Table: The Faith Scion. However, because those abilities are functions of the weapon rather than the wielder, they are lost if the legendary weapon that granted them is lost. The features mentioned on Table: The Faith Scion are retained even if the weapon is lost.

Spells per Day/Spells Known: At each faith scion level, a character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which he belonged before adding the prestige class level. If the character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a faith scion, the player must decide to which class to add each faith scion level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.

Special Abilities: Faith scion levels stack with other class levels for determining the effectiveness of the following abilities: animal companions, lay on hands, special mount, turn or rebuke undead, wild shape (including additional daily uses or increased range of sizes or creature types), and wild empathy. For instance, a 5th-level druid/6th-level faith scion could assume wild shape four times per day (including Tiny creatures), and would add 11 (plus Cha modifier) to his wild empathy checks. His animal companion would be treated as that of an 11th-level druid.

Hammer of the Dwarffather
The Hammer of the Dwarffather is said to have been crafted by the dwarven gods and symbolizes the glory of the dwarven race.

Requirements: Any character can wield the Hammer of the Dwarffather as a +2 adamantine warhammer and also gain the benefit of the Craft bonus and lore of souls special ability described below. A faith scion who wields the Hammer of the Dwarffather gains additional special abilities if the character fulfills the following criteria.

Race: Dwarf.

Alignment: Lawful good.

Base Attack Bonus: +7.

Skills: Craft (armorsmithing) or Craft (weaponsmithing) 10 ranks.

Feats: Armor Proficiency (heavy), Great Fortitude, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (warhammer).

Spells: Ability to cast protection from evil as a divine spell.

Restrictions: Should the wielder of the Hammer of the Dwarffather become an alignment other than lawful good, or attack a lawful good, lawful neutral, or neutral good-aligned dwarf, he loses all special abilities granted by the faith scion prestige class. To regain these abilities, the scion must receive an atonement spell from a dwarf cleric.

Maintenance: A wielder of the Hammer of the Dwarffather must strike the hammer against an anvil at least once every seven days. Failure to perform this task reduces the hammerís enhancement bonus by 1. Multiple failures are not cumulative (that is, if the hammer goes two weeks without striking an anvil, the reduction does not increase to 2).

Attributes: The Hammer of the Dwarffather has the following attributes.

Hardness/Hit Points: 30/76.

Caster Level: 15th.

Value: To any character other than a faith scion who meets the above requirements, the Hammer of the Dwarffather appears to be worth as much as a Medium +2 adamantine warhammer that grants the Craft bonus and lore of all souls special ability (market price 21,812 gp).

Table: Abilities Granted by the Hammer of the Dwarffather
Faith Scion
Level
Ability Gained
óCraft bonus
óLore of souls
1stSmite evil 1/day
2ndFortitude of souls +2
3rdThrow and return
4thEnhancement bonus +3
5thSmite evil 2/day
6thFortitude of souls +4
7thEnhancement bonus +4
8thFortitude of souls +6
9thSmite evil 3/day
10thEnhancement bonus +5

Special Abilities: The Hammer of the Dwarffather provides a number of special abilities to its wielder, depending on the characterís class level in the faith scion prestige class (see the table below).

Initial Abilities: When first acquired, the Hammer of the Dwarffather functions as a +2 adamantine warhammer. Anyone who wields it, whether a faith scion or not, also benefits from the Craft bonus and lore of souls ability (see below).

Craft Bonus (Ex): The owner of the Hammer of the Dwarffather gains a +5 insight bonus on all Craft checks related to stone or metal.

This bonus increases by an additional +1 for every faith scion class level gained, including 1st level.

Lore of Souls (Su): Three times per day, the owner of the Hammer of the Dwarffather can use a full-round action to consult the knowledge of his dwarven ancestors. This gives the character a bonus on any one Knowledge check (made as part of the action) equal to his faith scion level (if any) + his Wisdom bonus (if any). (At the GMís discretion, if the Knowledge check is directly related to dwarvenkind, the bonus granted by the characterís faith scion level is doubled.) The check is treated as a trained skill check, even if the character has no ranks in that Knowledge skill.

Smite Evil (Su): Once per day, a faith scion wielding the Hammer of the Dwarffather may smite evil with an attack. The attack may be a melee attack or a ranged attack, but must be delivered by the Hammer of the Dwarffather. The wielder adds 4 to his attack roll and deals 2 extra points of damage per faith scion level. If the wielder accidentally smites a creature that is not evil, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up for that day.

A wielder may use this ability twice per day at 5th level and three times per day at 9th level.

Fortitude of Souls (Su): A faith scion of 2nd level or higher wielding the Hammer of the Dwarffather derives endurance from the support of his ancestors, gaining a +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution. At 6th level, the bonus increases to +4, and at 8th level to +6.

Throw and Return (Su): Three times per day, a faith scion of 3rd level or higher wielding the Hammer of the Dwarffather can treat the weapon as a throwing returning weapon. Activating this ability is a free action, and it lasts for 1 round.

SPELL SCION
Sometimes a magic weapon is not so much a weapon as a magic device in the shape of a weapon. The spell scion is the ideal wielder for a legendary weapon of this sort. Spellblades and similar items are weapons of significant arcane power, and their wielders often have great magical destinies. Such a character might wield a fey sword, or a demon blade, or a magic staff that is actually an important symbol of his or her arcane order.

Wielding an arcane legendary weapon is a great responsibility because the weapon contains so much magical power. Arcane spellcasters who recognize a particular weapon usually afford the wielder more respect ó or perhaps fear ó than they might another of their ilk who was not so equipped.

Hit Die: d6.

Requirements
To qualify to become a spell scion, a character must fulfill the criteria given in her particular weaponís entry. (For an example, see Kaiein, below.)

Class Skills

The spell scionís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Spell Scion
LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpells per Day/Spells Known
1st+0+0+0+2+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
2nd+1+0+0+3+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
3rd+1+1+1+3+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
4th+2+1+1+4+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
5th+2+1+1+4+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
6th+3+2+2+5+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
7th+3+2+2+5+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
8th+4+2+2+6+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
9th+4+3+3+6+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
10th+5+3+3+7+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
Class Features
The following are class features of the spell scion prestige class. A legendary weapon associated with the class provides a unique set of additional special abilities, which are detailed in the weaponís description. (For an example, see Kaiein, below.) These abilities accrue in addition to those already noted on Table: The Spell Scion. However, because those abilities are functions of the weapon rather than the wielder, they are lost if the legendary weapon that granted them is lost. The features mentioned on Table: The Spell Scion are retained even if the weapon is lost.

Spells per Day/Spells Known: At each spell scion level, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which she belonged before adding the prestige class level. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (metamagic or item creation feats, and so on). If the character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a spell scion, the player must decide to which class to add each spell scion level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.

Kaiein, the Blazing Staff
Created by a wizard from pure elemental fire, Kaiein is a conduit between the wielder and the Elemental Plane of Fire. The staff is made of polished obsidian and is wreathed at all times in wispy blue-white flame. This flame deals no damage to the wielder.

Requirements: Any character can wield Kaiein as a +1 flaming/+1 flaming quarterstaff and also gain the benefit of the resistance to fire special ability described below. A spell scion who wields Kaiein gains additional special abilities if the character fulfills the following criteria.

Alignment: Any nonlawful.

Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 5 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 10 ranks.

Feats: Empower Spell.

Spells: Ability to cast 4th-level arcane spells, including at least three spells with the fire descriptor.

Special: Must have been reduced to -1 or less hit points on at least one occasion from a hit that dealt fire damage.

Restrictions: If Kaiein is grasped by a creature with vulnerability to cold, the weaponís flame goes out temporarily. This renders all the staffís special abilities (except for its enhancement bonus) inactive. The creature grasping the staff takes 1 point of fire damage in every round when the weapon remains grasped.

Maintenance: Kaiein must be kept in a warm environment to remain at full power. If the staff spends at least 1 hour in an area where the temperature is below 50įF, its flame goes out temporarily. This renders all the staffís special abilities (except for its enhancement bonus) inactive. This loss of special abilities can be postponed by dealing at least 5 points of fire damage to Kaiein every hour. (Damage dealt to the staff "counts" for this purpose even if the staff actually takes no damage, such as because of its hardness.)

Attributes: Kaiein has the following attributes.

Hardness/Hit Points: 14/45.

Caster Level: 15th.

Value: To any character other than a spell scion who meets the above requirements, Kaiein appears to be worth as much as a Medium +1 flaming/+1 flaming quarterstaff that grants the resistance to fire ability (market price 24,600 gp).

Table: Abilities Granted by Kaiein
Spell Scion
Level
Ability Gained
óResistance to fire 5
1stResistance to fire 10, empowered spells
2ndRecall spell 1/day
3rdFire shield
4thResistance to fire 20
5thEnhancement bonus +2/+2, recall spell 2/day
6thPlane shift
7thResistance to fire 30
8thRecall spell 3/day
9thEnhancement bonus +3/+3
10thImmunity to fire

Special Abilities: Kaiein provides the following special abilities to its wielder, depending on the characterís class level in the spell scion prestige class (see the table below).

Initial Abilities: When first acquired, Kaiein functions as a +1 flaming/ +1 flaming quarterstaff. Anyone who wields it, whether a spell scion or not, also benefits from the resistance to fire ability (see below).

Resistance to Fire (Ex): The wielder of the staff gains resistance to fire 5, even if she has no levels in the spell scion class.

A spell scion who wields the staff gains resistance to fire 10. At 4th level, the resistance improves to 20, and at 7th level to 30. This resistance does not stack with any other resistance to fire the wielder may have.

Empowered Spells (Su): Three times per day, a spell scion wielding Kaiein can empower (as the Empower Spell feat) any arcane spell she casts that has the fire descriptor. She may apply this effect to any spell whose level is equal to or less than her spell scion level, and may even apply it to spell-like abilities cast by the staff itself. Activating this power is a free action and has no effect on the spellís level or its casting time.

Recall Spell (Su): As a free action, a spell scion of 2nd level or higher can recall any arcane spell she has just cast, as long as that spell has the fire descriptor, up to a maximum spell level equal to her spell scion level. She either restores that spell to her list of prepared spells (if she prepares spells) or regains that spell slot (if she does not prepare spells). She may only recall a spell cast in the same round that she uses this ability.

This ability can be used once per day at 2nd level, twice per day at 5th level, and three times per day at 8th level.

Fire Shield (Sp): Once per day, when wielded by a spell scion of 3rd level or higher, Kaiein can wreathe the wielder in a warm fire shield of blue flames.

Enhancement Bonus (Ex): When Kaiein is wielded by a spell scion of 5th level or higher, the staffís enhancement bonus improves from +1/+1 to +2/+2. The bonus increases to +3/+3 when the wielder attains 9th level as a spell scion.

Plane Shift (Sp): Once per day, Kaiein can transport a spell scion of 6th level or higher to the Elemental Plane of Fire, just as if it had cast plane shift. Additional willing characters can accompany the scion, as described in the plane shift spell. The effect is more accurate than normal for plane shift, delivering the scion 5 to 500 yards (not miles) from her intended destination. The spell scion must have her own method of return, since Kaiein provides no return trip.

Immunity to Fire (Ex): At 10th level, a spell scion wielding Kaiein gains immunity to fire.

SWIFT SCION
Some legendary weapons are meant for the hands of the quick and the silent. A swift scion might inherit her weapon or acquire it "by accident", but the weapon is no less part of her destiny than is the legendary weapon of any other scion. Characters of any class can become swift scions, but rogues, bards, rangers, and monks benefit most from the special abilities of the legendary weapons associated with this class.

Swift scions wield their weapons for a wide variety of purposes. A rogue may use it to supplement her income, while a monk might merely seek to master its use. A bard could draw upon the power of her weaponís rich history to enhance her music, while a ranger might use it as part of the hunt. Of all legendary weapons, the ones associated with the swift scion class are the most focused in their application. Each tends to favor rogues, monks, rangers, or bards specifically, rather than a broad range of classes as the other legendary weapons do.

Hit Die: d6.

Requirements

To qualify to become a swift scion, a character must fulfill the criteria given in her particular weaponís entry. (For an example, see >Nightphantom, below.)

Class Skills

The swift scionís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: The Swift Scion
LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1st+0+0+2+0Bonus class skill
2nd+1+1+3+0Bonus special ability
3rd+2+1+3+1ó
4th+3+1+4+1ó
5th+3+1+4+1Bonus class skill
6th+4+2+5+2Bonus special ability
7th+5+2+5+2ó
8th+6+2+6+2ó
9th+6+3+6+3ó
10th+7+3+7+3Bonus special ability
Class Features

The following are class features of the swift scion prestige class. A legendary weapon associated with the class provides a unique set of additional special abilities, which are detailed in the weaponís description. (For an example, see Nightphantom, below.) These abilities accrue in addition to those already noted on Table: The Swift Scion. However, because those abilities are functions of the weapon rather than the wielder, they are lost if the legendary weapon that granted them is lost. The features mentioned on Table: The Swift Scion are retained even if the weapon is lost.

Bonus Class Skill: At 1st level, 5th level, and 9th level, a swift scion may choose an additional class skill from the following list: Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha). Once designated, that skill is considered a class skill for the swift scion prestige class.

Bonus Special Ability: At 2nd level, 6th level, and 10th level, a swift scion may choose an additional special ability from the following list. She may select the same ability more than once if desired, and the effects stack where appropriate.

Arcane Spells per Day/Spells Known: A swift scion may gain a number of new spells per day and spells known (if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which she belonged before adding the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (metamagic or item creation feats, and so on). If the character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a swift scion, the player must decide to which class to add each swift scion level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.

Bardic Music: A swift scion may choose to gain an extra two daily uses of the bardic music ability, provided that she already has the ability. She doesnít gain any new bardic music abilities, nor do her existing bardic music abilities improve in effectiveness.

Fast Movement (Ex): If a swift scion has an enhancement bonus to her speed from a class feature, she may choose to increase this enhancement bonus by 10 feet. This enhancement bonus follows the same rules as her existing enhancement bonus to speed (for instance, a monk who selects this feature only benefits from the enhancement bonus when wearing no armor).

Improved Bardic Knowledge: A swift scion can choose to gain a +4 bonus on bardic knowledge checks. (If the character doesnít have the bardic knowledge class feature, this benefit has no effect.)

Improved Evasion (Ex): A swift scion may choose to gain the improved evasion ability, provided that she already has the evasion ability.

Improved Favored Enemy: If a swift scion has at least one favored enemy, the bonus gained on damage rolls and certain skill checks against any one favored enemy improves by +2. The character doesnít gain any additional favored enemies by selecting this ability.

Improved Unarmed Damage: If a swift scion has the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, she may choose to increase the damage dealt by her unarmed strikes. Treat this as if the characterís monk level had increased by four. For instance, a 6th-level monk/2nd-level swift scion who selects this ability would increase her unarmed strike damage from 1d8 to 1d10. (If the character has no monk levels, she gains unarmed damage as a 4th-level monk.)

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): If a swift scion has the uncanny dodge class feature, she may select improved uncanny dodge. Her swift scion levels stack with her levels in other classes that grant uncanny dodge to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

Sneak Attack: If a swift scion has the sneak attack ability, she may choose to increase the extra damage it deals by 2d6 points.

Swift Tracker (Ex): If a swift scion has the Track feat, she may select this special ability. A swift scion with this ability can move at her normal speed while following tracks without taking the normal -5 penalty. She takes only a -10 penalty (instead of the normal -20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.

Trap Sense: If a swift scion has the trap sense ability, she can take this special ability to increase her bonus on Reflex saves and to AC against traps by 1.

Nightphantom
A cabal of halfling clerics created the bow called Nightphantom long ago. Since then, it has been passed down along a line of elite rangers and rogues, but was recently lost when its wielder was slain while away from her village.

Requirements: Any character can wield Nightphantom as a +2 composite shortbow (+2 Str bonus) and also gain the benefit of the stealth special ability described below. A swift scion who wields Nightphantom gains additional special abilities if the character fulfills the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus: +6.

Skills: Hide 10 ranks, Move Silently 10 ranks.

Feats: Point Blank Shot, Far Shot, Stealthy.

Special: The wielder must be of Small size.

Restrictions: Nightphantom does not grant its stealth ability to a wielder who is not of Small size, though its enhancement bonus is still effective.

Attributes: Nightphantom has the following attributes.

Hardness/Hit Points: 15/55.

Caster Level: 15th.

Value: To any character other than a swift scion who meets the above requirements, Nightphantom appears to be worth as much as a Small +2 composite shortbow (+2 Str bonus) that grants the stealth ability (market price 10,525 gp).

Table: Abilities Granted by Nightphantom
Swift Scion LevelAbility Gained
óStealth
1stInvisibility
2ndGhost touch
3rdEphemeral presence (trackless)
4thEnhancement bonus +3
5thDreamstrike arrows
6thGreater invisibility
7thEnhancement bonus +4
8thEphemeral presence (scentless)
9thEtherealness
10thEnhancement bonus +5

Special Abilities: Nightphantom provides a number of special abilities to its wielder, depending on the characterís class level in the swift scion prestige class (see the table below).

Initial Abilities: When it is first acquired, Nightphantom functions as a +2 composite shortbow (+2 Str bonus). Any Small character who wields it, whether a swift scion or not, also benefits from the stealth ability (see below).

Stealth (Su): The wielder of Nightphantom may use her Wisdom bonus (if any) as a bonus on her Hide and Move Silently checks.

Invisibility (Sp): A swift scion wielding Nightphantom can become invisible once per day as a free action. The effect lasts for 1 round per class level.

For a swift scion of 6th level or higher, the invisibility granted by this power is the equivalent of greater invisibility. The duration remains 1 round per class level.

Ghost Touch (Su): When Nightphantom is wielded by a swift scion of 2nd level or higher, any arrow fired from the bow can damage incorporeal creatures as if it had the ghost touch special ability.

Ephemeral Presence (Su): A swift scion of 3rd level or higher bearing Nightphantom leaves no trail and cannot be tracked.

At 8th level, a swift scion bearing the weapon no longer gives off a scent. Creatures with the scent ability cannot detect her presence by means of that ability, nor can she be tracked by scent.

Enhancement Bonus (Ex): When Nightphantom is wielded by a swift scion of 4th level or higher, the bowís enhancement bonus improves from +2 to +3. The bonus increases to +4 at 7th level and +5 at 10th level.

Dreamstrike Arrows (Su): Three times per day (but no more than once per round), a swift scion of 5th level or higher can fire a special arrow from Nightphantom. The arrow strikes as a touch attack (ignoring armor, shield, and natural armor bonuses to AC). The arrow deals only half the normal damage, but the damage dealt is Wisdom damage, not hit point damage. Bonus damage dice, if any, do not apply to the damage dealt by a dreamstrike arrow.

Etherealness (Su): At 9th level or higher, a swift scion bearing Nightphantom can become ethereal for up to 10 rounds per day (which need not be spent all at one time) Activating this power, or deactivating it to become material, is a standard action.

ITEM FAMILIARS

pict Like the legendary weapons rules, the item familiars variant system presents a method by which a character, even a nonspellcaster, can find himself linked to a particular magic item for a large part of his career. These items gradually gain in power and sentience, and often fulfill small roles similar to those of living familiars, but sometimes they become powerful entities in their own right.

To utilize these rules, the character must choose the following new feat.

Item Familiar [General]
Choose a permanent magic item that you possess. You establish a link to that magic item, and the item improves in capability as you gain levels.

Prerequisite: A character must be at least 3rd level to take this feat.

Benefit: By establishing a link to a particular item, you enable that item to gain power as you gain levels. The exact nature of the item and the powers are described in the following text.

Special: If you ever lose the chosen item (have it removed from your possession for a continuous period of more than one day per level) or if the item is destroyed, you automatically lose 200 XP per level as well as all benefits derived from possessing the linked item (plus any resources you put into the item). If you recover the item, you regain these XP. You may replace a lost or destroyed item familiar after you have advanced one level, as if you were gaining an item familiar for the first time.

Types Of Item Familiars
An item familiar must be a permanent magic item. Typically, it tends to be a magic weapon (such as a sword, axe, or bow), a rod (one that does not depend on charges for its powers), or a ring with a permanent magical power. The GM may allow for various wondrous items to be item familiars, and in such a case can adapt the following rules fairly easily.

In order to be an item familiar, a magic item must:

  • Have a price of at least 2,000 gp.
  • Be usable by the character (if it is a weapon, the character must be proficient with the appropriate category of weapon).
  • Have a permanent magical effect that the character can (and knows how to) use.

Keep in mind that the item only needs to meet the basics of this criteria. The magic item may have functions the character cannot currently use, and once the item is linked to the character he can separate from it for short periods of time without any harm.

Intelligent Items
This variant system does not depend on the item in question being intelligent, but any item familiar created eventually becomes intelligent. Item familiars normally become intelligent gradually, however, which lessens the complexity of the standard rules for intelligent items.
BONDING TO AN ITEM FAMILIAR
When a character selects an item and chooses the Item Familiar feat, the character establishes a permanent, supernatural bond to the item familiar. This bond can be suppressed by an antimagic field or similar effect, but it cannot be dispelled.

Once the character has become bonded to the magic item, the item may gain additional powers or intelligence. The character can also begin investing abilities into the item, using the item familiar to improve his own capabilities.

Use Table: Item Familiar Abilities to determine what, if any, abilities the item familiar gains based on its ownerís character level.

Table: Item Familiar Abilities
Character LevelAbility
1stInvest life energy; invest skill ranks; invest spell slots
7thSapience; senses; communication
10thSpecial ability
14thSpecial ability
18thSpecial ability
21st or higherOne additional special ability per three character levels above 20th
Invest Life Energy
A character of 6th level or lower may invest a portion of his life force into his item familiar, receiving bonus XP in return. These XP are actually part of the item, however, so if the item is lost or destroyed, the character loses not only the bonus but a quantity of his existing XP as well.

When a character chooses to invest his life energy into his item familiar, his current XP total and all future XP awards increase by 10%. However, if the character loses the item, he loses all bonus XP gained, plus an additional 200 XP per character level.

For example, Boredflak, a 6th-level character with 19,000 XP, chooses to invest his item familiar, a ring, with some of his life energy. He adds 1,900 XP (10% of 19,000) to his XP total, so he now has 20,900 XP. If he goes on an adventure and earns another 1,000 XP, he actually gains 1,100 XP (1,000 + 10% of 1,000), increasing his total to 22,000 XP, which makes him a 7th-level character.

If he then loses the ring, he would lose the 2,000 XP gained from the investiture (the 1,900 XP he received originally plus the bonus 100 XP he earned later), plus an additional 1,400 XP (200 XP per level), for a total loss of 3,400 XP. This loss would reduce his XP total to 18,600 and his character level to 6th.

Invest Skill Ranks
Whenever a character with an item familiar gains skill points, he may choose to put some or all of those skill points into his item familiar. He assigns the skill points normally, but notes that they now reside in the item familiar. For every 3 ranks he assigns to the item familiar, he gains a +1 bonus that he can apply to any single skill. This bonus can be applied to a skill in which he already has maximum ranks. He can apply multiple bonuses to the same skill, but he may not have more points of bonus in a skill than he has ranks.

If the character loses the item familiar, is separated from it for one day per level (see the Item Familiar feat description), or if the item familiar is destroyed, these skill points and the bonuses related to them are lost.

For example, Boredflak has just achieved 7th character level, and he takes a level of wizard. Because of his high Intelligence score, he gains 7 skill points. He assigns 1 skill point to each of the following skills:

  • Concentration
  • Decipher Script*
  • Knowledge (arcana)*
  • Knowledge (dungeoneering)*
  • Knowledge (nobility and royalty)*
  • Knowledge (the planes)*
  • Spellcraft*

He uses an asterisk to note that 1 rank for each of six skills resides in his ring. Since that adds up to a total of 6 skill ranks in the ring, he gains two +1 bonuses he can apply to any skill. He decides to assign both bonuses (a total of +2) to his Concentration skill. Boredflak only has 1 rank in the cross-class skill Spot. If he had desired, he could have applied a single +1 bonus to that skill, but not both.

Invest Spell Slots
Only spellcasters may choose to use this option. A character with an item familiar may choose to invest a single spell slot in his familiar and gain a bonus spell slot in return. The single spell slot must be of the highest spell level he can cast, and the bonus spell slot is always two levels lower than the slot invested in the item. As the caster gains (or loses) levels, the spell slot invested in the item changes so that it is always of the highest spell level he can cast, and the bonus spell slot also changes accordingly, remaining two levels lower than that.

If a spellcaster does not have a spell slot two levels lower than the highest spell level he can cast (if he can cast only 0- and 1st-level spells), he cannot use this option.

As with all other investiture options, if the item familiar is lost or destroyed, so are both spell slots.

For example, as a 7th-level wizard, Boredflak can cast 4th-level spells. He chooses to invest one 4th-level spell slot in his ring. The ring gains an additional 2nd-level spell slot, which Boredflak can use as long as he has the ring in his possession. When Boredflak attains 9th level, the spell slot assigned to the ring automatically becomes a 5th-level spell slot, and the bonus slot becomes a 3rd-level spell slot instead of a 2nd-level one.

Sapience
If a character with an item familiar is at least 7th level, the item gains rudimentary sapience. It gains Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Two of these scores (playerís or GMís choice) are 10 and one is 12. The item familiar also gains an Ego score. This last score should not come into play very often ó an item familiar is completely loyal to its master, unless its master radically changes alignment or one or the other is affected by some strange compulsion.
Senses
If a character with an item familiar is at least 7th level, the item can see and hear in a 60-foot radius as if it were a creature. It does not normally make Spot or Listen checks separately from its master, but its master gains the benefit of the Alertness feat while wielding the item.
Communication
If a character with an item familiar is at least 7th level, the item begins to communicate with the master using basic emotions or feelings. The item may try to tell the master of danger, for example, by putting forth a feeling of fear. It can only communicate in this manner while being worn or carried by its master.
Special Ability
When an item familiarís master reaches 10th level, and at every four levels thereafter, the master chooses a new special ability for the item from the following list. Once an ability is chosen, it becomes a permanent part of the item (unless otherwise specified). Some abilities have prerequisites.

Armor, Shield, or Weapon Special Ability: An item familiar empowered with this special ability gains an ability equivalent to a +1 bonus (as found on Table: Melee Weapon Special Abilities, or Table: Ranged Weapon Special Abilities), such as the light fortification, bashing, or defending special ability. This ability contributes to the overall enhancement bonus of the item and its value but does not cost the master of the familiar any gold pieces or time. This ability may be used in conjunction with the normal rules for improving an existing magic item (see Improving an Item Familiar, and Adding New Abilities). A character may select this special ability multiple times, each time enabling his familiar to gain a different ability equivalent to a +1 bonus.

Prerequisite: The item familiar must be a type of magic armor, a magic shield, or a magic weapon.

Cantrips/Orisons: An item familiar empowered with this special ability can cast 0-level spells. The familiar may cast any spell invested in it as a standard action (or longer, as defined by the spellís casting time) as long as the spell does not have an expensive material component or an XP component. The item familiar need not provide any verbal or somatic components, and it need not provide any material components that cost less than 1 gp. It has access to all the 0-level spells from any single class spell list of the masterís choice (taking into account any alignment restrictions against casting spells of a certain class or alignment subtype). It can cast a number of 0-level spells per day as if it were a sorcerer of the masterís character level (though the master does not have to be a spellcaster). The item familiar uses its own ability scores to determine spell save DCs but can cast its 0-level spells only on its masterís order. The master may use a free action on his turn to issue these orders, or he may give a number of contingency orders (such as "If I fall unconscious, cast cure minor wounds on me") equal to one more than his Charisma modifier (minimum one).

Greater Power: An item familiar empowered with this special ability gains any single greater power listed on the Intelligent Item Greater Powers table. The item uses this power as described, at the masterís command. A character may select this special ability multiple times, each time applying it to a different greater power.

Prerequisite: An item must have at least one lesser power for every greater power it is given. The master must spend the amount of gold pieces given in the Base Price Modifier column of the Intelligent Item Greater Powers table to purchase the greater power. The process of empowering an item in this way takes 24 hours.

Greater Senses: An item familiar empowered with this special ability gains blindsense out to 30 feet.

Prerequisite: The item familiar must already have the improved senses special ability.

Improved Senses: An item familiar empowered with this special ability gains darkvision out to 60 feet.

Increased Sapience: An item familiar empowered with this special ability gains +4 to any single ability score and +2 to its other two scores. The item can now communicate telepathically in a recognizable language with the master out to 120 feet and can speak audibly in Common. It can speak, read, and understand one additional language per point of Intelligence bonus. A character may select this special ability multiple times, each time improving all three of the itemís ability scores and increasing the number of languages it can speak, read, and understand.

Lesser Power: An item familiar empowered with this special ability gains any single lesser power listed on the Intelligent Item Lesser Powers table. The item uses this power as described, at the masterís command. A character may select this special ability multiple times, each time applying it to a different lesser power.

Prerequisite: The master must spend the amount of gold pieces given in the Base Price Modifier column of the Intelligent Item Lesser Powers table to purchase the lesser power. The process of empowering an item in this way takes 24 hours.

Special Purpose and Dedicated Power: An item familiar empowered with this special ability gains a special purpose and a dedicated power chosen by its master (see the Intelligent Item Purpose and Special Purpose Item Dedicated Powers tables).

An item familiar usually displays more flexibility in how it carries out its special purpose than a standard intelligent item, especially if its purpose conflicts with its master. However, if a master (especially one who gave the item a special purpose in the first place) consistently acts against the itemís special purpose, the item has even more leverage for keeping the "master" in line. An item familiar can temporarily sever the link between item and master, essentially shutting down access to any abilities invested in the item plus all its normal magical abilities, as if the item had been lost or destroyed. The item only reestablishes the link if it is convinced the master is committed to helping it fulfill its special purpose.

No item familiar may have more than one special purpose and one dedicated power.

Prerequisite: The master must spend the amount of gold pieces given in the Base Price Modifier column of the Special Purpose Item Dedicated Powers table to purchase the dedicated power. The process of empowering an item in this way takes 24 hours.

Spell Use: An item familiar empowered with this ability may cast any spell invested in it as a standard action (or longer, as defined by the spellís duration) as long as it does not have an expensive material component or an XP component. The item familiar need not provide any verbal or somatic components, and it need not provide any material components that cost less than 1 gp. The item familiar must meet the ability score prerequisites for the spell but casts the spell at the masterís level. The item familiar may cast the spell only on the masterís order (as described in Cantrips/ Orisons, above). If an item familiar casts an invested spell, it is as if the master cast it for purposes of spells per day and preparation.

Prerequisite: The item must have an invested spell slot of the appropriate spell level, and the master must have the ability to cast 3rd-level spells.

ITEM FAMILIAR ALIGNMENT
An item familiar gains its masterís alignment and, if the character changes alignment, it generally changes alignment accordingly. However, if this alignment change would be in direct conflict with the item familiarís special purpose (if any), the item does not change alignment, and it immediately severs the link between itself and its master. The link can only be reestablished when the master changes to a nonconflicting alignment.

If an item familiar changes to an alignment that would preclude it using some of its powers not tied to a special purpose, the change in alignment takes place, no severing of the link occurs, and the item cannot use those powers until its alignment becomes compatible again. For example, if a neutral good rod has the ability to cast druid cantrips and the rod becomes lawful good, it loses that ability. If a holy avenger item familiar becomes nonlawful, it loses all the abilities it had for being a holy avenger but remains a +2 cold iron longsword and retains its other item familiar abilities.

Improving An Item Familiar
An item familiar can be improved as other magic items can be. By spending gold pieces (and time and experience points, assuming the character is the one doing the work), a character can add new abilities to his item familiar. If a character links himself to a +1 longsword, for example, it only costs 6,000 gp (or 3,000 gp and 240 XP) to add another +1 of enhancement bonus or, perhaps, a special ability that is equivalent to a +1 bonus (such as spell storing or flaming). The character can accomplish this even without having the requisite item creation feats.

This type of improvement has nothing to do with the masterís character level, though it may affect the itemís eventual Ego score.

INHERITING AN ITEM FAMILIAR
Sometimes characters die, after which other characters pick up and use their items; this turn of events is an integral part of the d20 game.

When a character finds or somehow comes into possession of another characterís item familiar, two results can occur.

An Ego Contest Ensues: An item familiar normally resists being picked up and used by another character. If the item familiar has an Ego score, it automatically tries to resist being wielded by anyone other than its linked master, even if the link has been severed (possibly because the master is dead). The rules for Ego conflicts can be found under Items against Characters. Normally, an intelligent item resists its owner only when a conflict of personality or purpose ensues. An item familiar assumes that any use of it by someone other than its linked (or previously linked) master is a conflict, and so it resists every time the new owner attempts to make use of it.

If the new owner wins the Ego contest, he can wield the item safely for 1 hour but cannot access any of the abilities the item familiar gained through its link (such as invested XP, skill ranks, or spell slots, or any special abilities it has that arenít simply a feature of the magic item). An item familiar may talk to its new owner (if it has that capability), but it feels at best unfriendly and could be extraordinarily hostile. If an item familiarís alignment matches that of its new owner, the item familiar may become less hostile over time but always forces Ego contests when possible.

The New Owner Can Attempt a Link: The new owner can attempt to link to the item by selecting the Item Familiar feat (assuming he meets the prerequisite). What occurs next depends on his character level compared to the character level of the highest-level previous owner.

New Owner Is Same or Higher Level: The link succeeds. The new owner gains all the benefits of the abilities of the item familiar, and the item familiarís alignment changes to match that of its new master. If the item familiar had invested skill ranks and/or spell slots, those investments become accessible to the new owner, adding to his totals. If the item familiar has spell slots, the new master can access them only if he could already cast spells of the appropriate levels.

New Owner Is Lower Level: The link partially succeeds. The alignment of the item familiar changes to match that of its new master, and the new owner can use all the item familiarís special abilities and powers. However, the new master cannot benefit from any invested skill ranks or spell slots until his character level equals or exceeds that of the item familiarís highest-level previous owner.

True Inheritance
A character may willingly pass on an item familiar. This transfer can be accomplished while the owner is alive, or it can be stipulated as part of a last will and testament if the owner dies. If a living character willingly passes on an item familiar to a new owner with a matching alignment, an Ego contest immediately ensues, but the new owner gains a +10 circumstance bonus on the check. If the new owner wins, the item familiar does not force an Ego contest again unless the new owner does something to violate his alignment or to obstruct the itemís special purpose (if any). The item familiar does not actually have a new master until the new owner selects the Item Familiar feat, but it cooperates with its new owner.
AWAKENING POWERS AND ABILITIES
Rather than giving a player free rein to choose an item familiarís special abilities, the GM may decide to create items with "sleeping" abilities that can only be awakened by having characters link themselves to them. In such cases, the Game Master retains more control over what new abilities and strange items get introduced into his game, but he does limit the likelihood of characters taking the Item Creation feat.

The GM may wish to mix and match awakening abilities with allowing characters to choose new abilities for their familiars. This system can support both concepts.