|System Reference Document v3.5|
Racial paragons rarely undergo the rigorous training or study that members of other classes commonly undertake between levels. Their experience, wisdom, and heroic abilities simply manifest in the form of superior innate racial abilities. Despite this strong association with race, racial paragons need not have specific views or special dedication to their race's beliefs or typical attitudes (although many do).
Obviously, a character can only take levels in the racial paragon class associated with his race. A human cannot take levels in dwarf paragon — only dwarves are capable of reflecting the highest virtues of dwarfhood by gaining levels in the dwarf paragon class.(Half-elves and half-orcs are an exception; see the Half-Elf Paragon and Half-Orc Paragon sections below.)
Like the fighter, the wizard, and the other standard character classes, the racial paragon classes have no prerequisites (other than being a member of the appropriate race). Paragon class levels can be taken any time a character gains a new level, even at 1st level (in which case they receive four times the normal number of skill points gained at each succeeding level). A character can multiclass freely between standard character classes, prestige classes for which he or she qualifies, and the character's appropriate racial paragon class.
It's possible for a powerful magic effect such as shapechange, reincarnate, or wish to change a character's race. If a character has already taken racial paragon levels in his original race, he can never become a paragon of another race. However, such shapechanging and form-altering magics also cause no loss of a paragon's class abilities — the class abilities gained from racial paragon levels are affected no more or less drastically than benefits gained from having levels in any other class.
Levels in racial paragon classes never result in XP penalties for multiclass characters.
As a general rule, a member of a subrace can take levels in the standard race's paragon class unless a specific paragon class exists for the subrace. For example, aquatic elves, gray elves, wild elves, and wood elves may all advance as elf paragons, but drow elves may not, because drow have a separate paragon class. If you wanted to further differentiate the elven subraces by creating a paragon class for one or more of the subraces, those subraces could not then take levels of elf paragon.
When deciding whether to create new paragon classes for subraces in your game, consider how different the subrace is from the main race. For instance, the gray elf is very similar to the standard (high) elf, but both the wild elf and wood elf receive a penalty to Intelligence, suggesting that the elf paragon's Intelligence increase at 3rd level might not be appropriate for those races. The forest gnome is very similar to the standard (rock) gnome, but the svirfneblin is so different (including a +3 level adjustment) that it probably deserves its own paragon class.
Like many of the variants rules, racial paragons can be a powerful tool for shaping a campaign world or play experience. Including racial paragons in a campaign is as easy as allowing players to advance in the classes or designing NPCs with class levels from the appropriate paragon class. However, this variant can be more than just another long list of possible classes. By allowing different subsets of the racial paragon classes to be present in your game, you can shape which races are the most influential or numerous in the campaign.
For example, in a setting in which elves and dwarves have all but died out, the traditions of their racial paragon classes might have been lost. In the same campaign, however, humans, half-orcs, and halflings all thrive, and powerful NPCs of these races might frequently have a level or two in the appropriate paragon class.
Furthermore, the prevalence of racial paragons can reflect the importance of racial issues. In campaigns where tensions run high between the civilized races, each race is more likely to have a large number of racial paragons among its members. As the cause of expanding humanity's borders into the wilderness becomes more and more important to the race, more human paragons come to the fore — while halflings in the same campaign, content and secure with their lot in life, turn to other classes and pursuits less tied to the goals of their race.
You might choose to create your own racial paragon classes. When creating a racial paragon class for a race with a level adjustment of +1 or higher (such as drow or half-dragon), it's acceptable for the class to be a little better than a paragon class for a race with a level adjustment of +0. In general, the benefits of a race with a level adjustment tend to decrease in value as the character gains levels, and an above-average paragon class can help that race maintain its edge.
Drow society is full of intrigue and fierce competition. Even the most able drow paragons can do little more to advance their race than to strive against the machinations of other powerful drow. When they succeed in breaking away from drow culture and its cruel influence, however, good-aligned drow paragons can be the most able and successful members of their race.
Adventures: Drow paragons adventure for one of two reasons. Those of an evil bent adventure to increase their own personal power, by acquiring wealth and powerful magic items or by improving their combat skills. Those few drow paragons with less selfish motives adventure to remove themselves from the influence of their race's harsh and cruel society. These latter drow paragons are the ones most likely to be seen in the company of other races.
Characteristics: Drow paragons are typically more reserved than other members of their race. Drow paragons consider themselves the elite of drow society, although they are careful about sharing these viewpoints with the powerful priestesses that hold sway over most aspects of drow culture. If anything, drow paragons are even more secretive and devious than average members of their race, and their success in such dangerous society emphasizes their ability to navigate treacherous social environments and manipulate the actions of others. It is said that the day a drow stops scheming is the day of her death.
Alignment: The vast majority of drow, including most drow paragons, are unrelentingly evil. However, the few good-aligned drow who survive their formative years are actually quite likely to gain levels in the drow paragon class. This makes good-aligned drow paragons more frequent than good drow of other classes, but still nowhere near as common as evil-aligned drow paragons.
Religion: Much of drow culture is dominated by religion, and the powerful priestesses who rule drow society see drow paragons as tools — more skilled than other ambitious drow, perhaps, but no more inherently valuable. This outlook chafes against the drow paragons own belief that she is the elite of her race. As a result, drow paragons are unlikely to follow religion of any kind when removed from the direct influence of the drow priestesses.
Background: Drow paragons learn their skills just as other drow do: by succeeding where weaker drow fail. Drow paragons build their skills among the hidden dangers of the subterranean realms and in a society where the powerful freely prey upon the weak. Regardless of alignment or other abilities, drow paragons are all forced at some point to make a decision about their race's cruel and everpresent religion. Those drow paragons who choose to follow the tenets of the evil priestesses often rise to become deadly lieutenants, carrying out the will of the matriarchs. The few who reject the priestesses' teachings must do so quietly and covertly, biding their time until they can escape the influence of other drow.
Races: Most drow paragons have little use for members of the other races, viewing them only as potential prey or slaves. Good-aligned drow paragons, however, see the merits of interracial cooperation. These paragons seek out adventurers of other races, often coming to relate more to the societies of their adventuring companions than to their own culture.
Other Classes: Drow paragons see members of other classes as tools. They value a broad skill set in those with whom they associate, provided they can control the actions of these associates when the need arises. Drow paragons are willing to work with anyone they can manipulate to their own ends.
That said, drow paragons often see fighters as ideal companions because they combine great martial proficiency with physical prowess, while at the same time they are typically incapable of matching the drow's stealth and subtlety—ensuring that the drow paragon can gain the upper hand whenever desired.Table: The Drow Paragon
Drow paragons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Drow paragons favor fighting from ambush, making Dexterity important for its role in sneaking and striking with ranged weapons. Wisdom helps in detecting a potential foe before the foe detects the drow in turn. Strength is also important due to its obvious role in melee combat.
Hit Die: d6.
The drow paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the drow paragon class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Drow paragons are proficient with all simple weapons, rapiers, longswords, and hand crossbows, and with light armor.
Spells per Day: At 1st and 3rd level, a female drow paragon gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in cleric. A male drow paragon instead gains new spells per day as if he had gained a level of wizard. The paragon does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus metamagic feats, and so on). This essentially means that the character adds the level of drow paragon to her level in cleric or wizard, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.
If the drow paragon is female and has no levels in cleric, or is male and has no levels in wizard, this class feature has no effect.
Light Sensitivity (Ex): A 2nd-level drow paragon's light blindness is lessened to light sensitivity. Instead of being blinded by bright light, she is merely dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
Dwarf paragons are doughty warriors, and powerful paragons often take the lead in battles as well as diplomatic engagements.
Adventures: Dwarf paragons stand at the forefront of their people, ready to defend or promote the interests of their race through word and deed. Although they are as disparate a group as the members of any character class, most dwarf paragons undertake adventure freely, as along as it does not threaten or endanger a dwarven community.
Characteristics: Dwarf paragons are tough, skilled warriors who are most at home when deep underground. Because of their martial focus, dwarf fighters and paladins are likely to become paragons, although many clerics also find that their race's innate abilities and interests blend well with their divine training, and they frequently take levels in dwarf paragon as well. Because of their race's ability with weaponsmithing and other crafts, dwarf paragons are likely to look down upon weapons and gear made by members of other races.
Alignment: Dwarf paragons can be of any alignment, but their interest in the success of their communities and their ingrained sense of dwarven honor ensures that many act in a lawful and good manner. Neutral dwarf paragons are found more frequently in areas where relations with other good races have become strained, or where the different races focus more on the interests of their people than on morality.
Religion: Religion is an important part of many dwarven communities, and thus dwarf paragons often exemplify this aspect of dwarven life as they exemplify all others. Many dwarf paragons are also clerics of dwarven deities, and the two philosophies support and reinforce each other.
Background: Although many dwarf paragons grow into their power in the hearts of strong and strident dwarven communities, some rise from areas where dwarves have been oppressed or even defeated. Whatever their origins, dwarf paragons are tough, determined folk who seek out specialized training and master complex tasks to further the aims of their people. Dwarf paragons are often descended from heroes of older generations, and these individuals may seek to honor their ancestors' memory through deeds of their own.
Races: Dwarf paragons are all dwarves, of course, and like other racial paragons, their actions and efforts are motivated primarily by the interests of their people. Despite their focus on their own race's innate abilities, they remain surprisingly open to adventuring with members of other races. In most cases, it is practicality that drives a paragon more than anything else once a dwarf paragon has decided on a course of action, he uses whatever and whomever is at hand to accomplish the task.
Dwarf paragons, like other members of their race, consider the building of trust and friendship a long, slow task that cannot be rushed. Although it might take a hundred years or more to earn a dwarf paragon's complete trust, dwarf paragons are by no means a suspicious lot.
Other Classes: In general, the reactions of a dwarf paragon are governed more by how an individual or race interacts with the dwarven community than by class or personal training but some general attitudes are common to most dwarf paragons. Dwarf paragons generally get along well with dwarf fighters, paladins, and clerics, although they appreciate anyone who is willing to work in the best interests of the dwarven people. Dwarf paragons see wizards and sorcerers as important allies in the defense and promotion of the dwarven people, but powerful spellcasters of any kind can pose a threat to an entire community, making dwarf paragons wary of their power.Table: The Dwarf Paragon
Dwarf paragons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Strength is important for dwarf paragons because they often serve as defenders of their people and emphasize their own martial training. Constitution is important not only to a dwarf paragon's ability to stay on his feet in battle, but also because physical toughness is a hallmark of the dwarf race.
Hit Die: d10.
The dwarf paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Survival (Wis).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the dwarf paragon class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dwarf paragons are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light, medium, and heavy armor, and with shields (but not with tower shields).
Craft Expertise (Ex): A dwarf paragon may add his class level as a racial bonus on all Craft checks related to stone or metal items.
Improved Stonecunning (Ex): At 1st level, a dwarf paragon's racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework increases to +4. The range at which he receives an automatic Search check for coming near an example of unusual stonework increases to 20 feet. Also, he can intuit where true north lies in relation to himself (as if he had 5 ranks in Survival) whenever underground.
Save Bonus (Ex): A 2nd-level dwarf paragon's racial bonus on saves against poison and against spells and spell-like effects increases by 1.
Adventures: Elf paragons retreat from the world less readily than most elves, seeing much of the nature of the elf race in the form and shape of the world. They enjoy travel and interaction with other races, learning as much about themselves in the process as they do about those they meet. Elf paragons are aware that voluntary isolation from other good-aligned races poses a great danger to the elven race — although such self-absorption lessens the pain and frustration involved in dealing with other races, it leaves an elven community vulnerable to stagnation and decline.
Characteristics: Elf paragons are curious, patient, and, when roused to action, deadly. They are swift and stealthy and have amazingly acute senses, allowing them to react far faster than opponents might expect. Their aptitude in both stealth and weapons makes them excellent at attacking from ambush, and their propensity to take rogue and ranger levels in addition to their paragon levels accentuates these strengths.
Alignment: Elf paragons can be of any alignment, but most are neutral good. They see the world as a place of harmony, a place that can provide bounty to all those willing to live in peace so long as society is not pushed to extremes of law or anarchy.
Religion: Although elves as a whole can be as religious as members of any other race, elf paragons rarely concentrate on religion. Instead, they focus their attention and devotion on the mortal members of their race.
Background: Most elf paragons come into their abilities through a strong love of their people and the work of an influential mentor. Although this mentor may be of any class, it is often the lorekeepers and wizards of the elf race who seek to foster the skills of fledgling elf paragons, knowing that one young elf turning to the path of the paragon can benefit the race for nearly a thousand years.
Races: Elf paragons are, for the most part, open and gracious when dealing with members of other races. Even if she secretly looks down on shorter-lived and less gifted folk, an elf paragon knows that other races can offer her the one thing that most elves lack: a sense of urgency. As an elf paragon grows in power, she becomes more and more apt to look upon members of other races as curiosities to be studied rather than as peers — but she remains gracious and trusting, striving to learn how the virtues of other races might benefit the elf race.
Other Classes: Like most racial paragons, elf paragons tend to think more in terms of relations with other races than they do about interactions with other classes. Elf paragons relate best to characters who revere nature or seek to live in harmony with the world around them. They find common philosophical ground with monks and common cause with many paladins, but they are most comfortable around wizards, rangers, and druids. Although elves are as religious as any other race, elf paragons often mistrust clerics' reliance on divine guidance, and heavily armored warriors have an approach to combat that elf paragons sometimes have a hard time appreciating.Table: The Elf Paragon
Elf paragons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Agility and physical grace are hallmarks of the elf race, and a high Dexterity score helps an elf paragon avoid blows in combat and make more accurate ranged attacks. Dexterity can even (after the selection of the Weapon Finesse feat) aid in melee combat. A high Intelligence score allows an elf paragon to access a broader selection of skills, and a high Wisdom is important for some of the class's most important class skills.
Hit Die: d8.
The elf paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the elf paragon class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Elf paragons are proficient with all simple weapons, rapiers, longswords, shortbows, and longbows. Elf paragons are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.
Spells per Day: At 2nd and 3rd level, an elf paragon gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in wizard. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus metamagic feats, and so on). This essentially means that she adds the level of elf paragon to her level in wizard, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.
If an elf paragon has no levels in wizard, this class feature has no effect.
Elfsight (Ex): An elf paragon has exceptional visual acuity. Her racial bonus on Search and Spot checks increases to +4. In addition, an elf paragon's low-light vision increases in range, allowing her to see three times as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination.
Weapon Focus (Ex): At 2nd level, an elf paragon gains Weapon Focus as a bonus feat. This feat must apply to either the rapier, longsword, shortsword, shortbow, longbow, composite shortbow, or composite longbow.
Adventures: Gnome paragons adventure for the sake of discovery. They are curious and social individuals who can balance the demands of clan life with the joys of travel. Many gnome paragons blend their love of adventure with their duties to their clans by traveling and adventuring only during the summer months, returning in the autumn to their homes with news and skills learned during their travels.
Characteristics: Personable and curious, gnome paragons get along well in most communities, and they often provide a lively diversion wherever they go. Socially adept enough to know when their questions are wearing thin on their companions, gnome paragons nonetheless share their race's propensity for long strings of seemingly unrelated questions. This lighthearted behavior does not make them silly or weak, however; they are calm and likable in most situations, but determined and sometimes ruthless when protecting their friends and communities.
Religion: Seldom religious themselves, gnome paragons are curious about religion and sincerely interested in the traditions of others. Those gnome paragons who do follow the teachings of one deity almost always worship a deity of knowledge or travel, the two disciplines that appeal most to the paragon's inquisitive nature.
Background: Gnome paragons have incredibly varied backgrounds, much more so than the paragons of any other race except humans. They travel unusual and individual paths toward achieving their status as paragons, and most do so without realizing it. Burgeoning gnome paragons are so involved in the nature of their race and the love of new experience that they seldom realize they champion and demonstrate the greatest virtues of gnomekind.
Races: Gnome paragons, like many other gnomes, prefer the company of dwarves over that of other races—but they enjoy social interaction with nearly any race. Gnome paragons are sincerely interested in experiencing what other races have to offer, making their company appealing to all but the most reclusive or staid individuals. Gnome paragons are even willing to interact with monstrous creatures, and good-aligned individuals from normally evil races find themselves welcome in gnome communities due to the efforts of gnome paragons.
Other Classes: Gnome paragons enjoy adventuring with members of any class. They benefit greatly from fighting beside or behind a larger, stronger melee combatant. They are adept in social situations that many classes find taxing. And they provide minor spellcasting support that benefits many combinations of allies. Gnome paragons even get along well with the paragons of other races, finding the magnified characteristics of racial paragons both entertaining and instructive.Table: The Gnome Paragon
Gnome paragons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Charisma determines the effectiveness of a gnome paragon's limited spellcasting ability, and it is important to the social skills in which the class excels. Dexterity can help gnome paragons survive combat with larger, stronger foes, and help make them more effective as ranged combatants, while Constitution can make them more able to withstand the physical dangers of adventuring.
Hit Die: d6.
The gnome paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the gnome paragon class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Gnome paragons are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor.
Spells per Day: At 2nd and 3rd level, a gnome paragon gains new spells per day and spells known as if he had also gained a level in bard. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bard class features, and so on). This essentially means that he adds the level of gnome paragon to his level in bard, then determines spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly.
If a gnome paragon has no levels in bard, this class feature has no effect.
Illusion Aptitude (Ex): A gnome paragon may add his class level to his caster level to determine the effects of any illusion spells he casts, including those gained as innate abilities of the gnome race. This bonus stacks with the extra spellcasting levels gained from the gnome paragon's spells per day entry (see above).
For example, a 2nd-level wizard/3rd-level gnome paragon's caster level is 2nd for most wizard spells but 5th for wizard spells of the illusion school (and 4th for his innate spell-like abilities dancing lights, ghost sound, and prestidigitation). A 3rd-level bard/2nd-level gnome paragon's caster level is 4th for most bard spells but 6th for bard spells of the illusion school.
This increased caster level affects only spells that the character can cast; it does not give him access to higher-level spells or more spells per day.
Mirror Image (Sp): At 2nd level, a gnome paragon gains the ability to cast mirror image once per day as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his gnome paragon level.
Adventures: Half-dragon paragons adventure for the obvious reasons of gaining wealth, power, or the other trappings of worldly success. Some are motivated to adventure to gain stature in their dragon parents' eyes or (in the case of many chromatic half-dragons) to gain the power necessary to protect themselves from their powerful dragon parents. Metallic half-dragons might be motivated to adventure to fulfill some noble quest or to undertake some journey of selfdiscovery, but chromatic half-dragons typically adventure for more selfish reasons.
Characteristics: Half-dragons have an innate self-confidence that borders on arrogance — or crosses that border. Many individuals, of course, manage to rein in their arrogance around other races. Half-dragons follow the nature of their dragon parents much more often than that of their other parent, being kind or cruel as their dragon parent would be.
Alignment: A half-dragon paragon generally follows the precepts and beliefs of her dragon parent, adopting the alignment and beliefs typical of that dragon parent's kind. There are those who rebel against their dragon parents and their parents' alignments, though. Instances of this behavior are more common among chromatic half-dragon paragons — but the evil dragons are often keen to destroy rebellious offspring. As a result, half-dragon paragons with unexpected alignments are rare among both metallic and chromatic varieties.
Religion: Half-dragon paragons rarely gravitate to religion; they're simply too self-involved to study the tenets of an organized religion. Many metallic half-dragons have no trouble making common cause with good-aligned clerics, however, and those who multiclass as paladins find that their noble natures blend well with the religion behind the paladin's code. Chromatic half-dragons, however, take a different tack, and many have benefited from the adulation of cults of lesser creatures dedicated to the worship of dragons. Whether they believe in their own divinity or not, evil dragons and half-dragons have no trouble duping and using those they see as beneath themselves.
Background: Strife and tragedy haunts chromatic half-dragon paragons just as love and a powerful protective presence shelters most metallic half-dragon paragons. A half-dragon paragon masters the skills of combat and adventuring out of necessity: Chromatic half-dragons must do so to gain some measure of protection or usefulness in the eyes of their powerful and cruel parents, and metallic half-dragons must do so to ensure that they do not become a vehicle through which others can take advantage of their noble parents.
Races: Just as it dominates many other aspects of their lives, the innate confidence of half-dragon paragons shapes their view of other races. Half-dragons have a grudging respect for any who achieve greatness or prove themselves capable. But they maintain, to one degree or another, that anything that one can accomplish could be more easily accomplished if one were a half-dragon.
Other Classes: Because half-dragon paragons are blessed with substantial physical prowess, they tend to favor martial classes for multiclass options, and they have a higher regard for those who stand toe-to-toe with their enemies than for those who strike from afar. Although they admit that spellcasters can indeed grow mighty, they scoff at sorcerers, who owe their abilities to a mere trace of dragon ancestry.Table: The Half-Dragon Paragon
Half-dragon paragons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Strength is important to half-dragon paragons because of its role in combat. Charisma is important because many half-dragon paragons also have minor sorcerous spellcasting ability, and Wisdom and Charisma are both important for many half-dragon paragon class skills.
Hit Die: d12.
The half-dragon paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spot (Wis).
In addition, each half-dragon paragon gains class skills based on its parent dragon type:
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the half-dragon paragon class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Half-dragon paragons gain no proficiency with any weapons or armor.
Sorcerous Blood (Ex): A character's half-dragon paragon levels stack with sorcerer levels for purposes of determining the caster level of arcane spells granted through sorcerer levels. For example, a 2nd-level sorcerer/3rd-level half-dragon paragon's caster level is 5th for the spells she can cast as a sorcerer. This increased caster level affects only spells that the character can cast; it does not give her access to higher-level spells or more spells per day.
Adventures: Half-elf paragons turn to adventuring for many reasons. Like members of any other class, many half-elf paragons adventure out of a simple desire for wealth, fame, or personal power. Because they are less attached to their communities than any other racial paragons (except perhaps for half-orcs), half-elf paragons rarely adventure to defend a home or further the interests of their race as a whole—instead, they often turn to adventuring as a means of finding their own place in the world.
Characteristics: Half-elf paragons are a strange blend of curiosity and introspection. Half-elf paragons share the adaptable and inventive nature of their human parents with the refined senses and penchant for long, careful thought of their elf parents. Half-elf paragons are accomplished in both combat and stealth, and one often fills the role of scout or sentry in an adventuring party. Although it might seem to some that half-elf paragons lack focus, it is in a half-elf paragon's nature to fit her skills to the job at hand - and it is precisely her blend of skills that makes her capable of overcoming a wide array of challenges.
Alignment: Half-elf paragons can be of any alignment, but most are chaotic and many are good. Freedom appeals to half-elves — perhaps, because they seldom have firm roots in a community, they find free choice and an open mind appealing. Although a half-elf's mixed ancestry is occasionally the result of an evil act, most half-elves exhibit the better aspects of their parent races' natures.
Religion: Half-elf paragons tend to have extreme views on religion. Many shy away from it, seeking clerics and other servants of the gods only when need arises. A few gravitate toward religion, devoting themselves to a specific deity, an entire pantheon, or a philosophy. Such individuals find, in religion, the sense of belonging and purpose they don't get from their communities. Half-elf paragons who are drawn to religion often follow a deity of travel or freedom, finding the road and its endless challenges a compelling change from their homes.
Background: The background of most half-elves, paragons included, tends to be one of extremes. Either a half-elf finds unusual acceptance and peace throughout her life, or she finds herself faced with near-constant upheaval and turmoil. Whatever their individual circumstances, adult half-elves rarely have strong ties to a place or community, and many choose a life of adventure and travel.
Races: Half-elf paragons are reserved in their views on other races. They get along well with members of most races, but the two races to which they are closest — humans and elves — are also the two most likely to provoke strong feelings from a half-elf paragon. Events in an individual half-elf paragon's life are likely to shape attitudes about one or the other of those races — usually for ill.
Other Classes: Half-elf paragons are among the most open minded adventurers to be found. They value the skills of other classes equally, although their elven heritage gives them a slight preference for wizards and rangers. Because half-elf paragons often multiclass as rogues and rangers, they share some of the predilections of those classes, valuing less subtle companions when battle is joined but occasionally finding them a nuisance when stealth is called for.Table: The Half-Elf Paragon
Half-elf paragons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Equally adept at melee and ranged combat, half-elf paragons benefit from high Strength and high Dexterity scores. Wisdom and Charisma, because of their importance to the half-elf paragon's most useful class skills, are also valuable to the class.
Hit Die: d8.
The half-elf paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the half-elf paragon class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Half-elf paragons are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor.
Spells per Day: At 2nd level, a half-elf paragon gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before adding the level. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus metamagic or item creation feats, bard or assassin abilities, and so on). This essentially means that she adds the level of half-elf paragon to the level in the spellcasting class, then determines spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly.
If a character had more than one spellcasting class before she became a half-elf paragon, she must decide to which class she adds the level of half-elf paragon. If a half-elf paragon has no levels in a spellcasting class, this class feature has no effect.
Bonus Feat (Ex): At 1st level, a half-elf paragon gains a bonus feat. The character must meet the feat's prerequisites normally.
Divided Ancestry (Ex): Unlike other racial paragons, half-elves can take levels in more than one racial paragon class. After gaining at least one level as a half-elf paragon, a character can take either elf paragon levels or human paragon levels (but not both).
Adventures: Half-orc paragons adventure to see the world, look for a home, search for fame and power, or simply wander for wandering's sake. With fewer connections to their race as a whole than other racial paragons, half-orc paragons are likely to remain active adventurers for long periods of time.
Successful half-orc paragon adventurers often attract others of their race. These like-minded half-orcs seek acceptance in the half-orc paragon's community, seek to become adventuring companions, or simply want to be followers.
Characteristics: Half-orc paragons are as mixed in outlook as they are in ancestry. Most half-orc paragons come to identify strongly with one or the other of their parent races, and see themselves as the bridge between that race and other half-orcs. Many view themselves as gifted with strength and opportunities beyond those of either of their parent races.
Alignment: Half-orc paragons, like most orcs and half-orcs, tend toward a chaotic outlook. Some half-orc paragons give in to bitterness caused by the difficulties they encounter in communities of other races, but most look beyond that, drawing strength of character from the inequities they face.
Religion: Half-orc paragons rarely have strong religious views. Although they respect the obvious power of the deities and their clerics, few half-orc paragons feel the call of a higher power — perhaps because they sit so clearly between two numerous and powerful races.
Background: Most half-orc paragons become champions of their race because they endure unusual circumstances involving both humans and orcs. Many who are born in areas of great conflict between the two races feel the constant pull of a mixed heritage. Often, it is travel away from such areas that crystallizes the paragon's view of his own race, allowing him to see the value and virtue in his own abilities and outlook.
Races: Half-orc paragons face challenges wherever they turn, for many races look on them with suspicion or view their orcish parentage as a taint. Most half-orc paragons form close friendships with only a few individuals. Because it is usually difficult for a half-orc to find friendship and trust, even among those of their own kind, half-orc paragons are all the more loyal to those who do become their close friends.
Other Classes: Half-orc paragons understand the harsh life and ferocity of barbarians, particularly those paragons who hail from regions populated by barbarian tribes. Half-orc paragons admire classes that are proficient in battle, considering the practiced skills of a fighter and the woods lore of the ranger equally valid choices for a warrior. Although half-orc paragons can admire the effects of powerful spells wielded by clerics, wizards, and other spellcasters, they often look on members of such classes with suspicion or even contempt, seeing magic as little more than a cover for physical weakness.Table: The Half-Orc Paragon
Half-orc paragons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Strength is important to half-orc paragons because of its role in combat, and several half-orc paragon skills are based on Strength. Dexterity and Constitution are valued because of their roles in combat, and a high Constitution also allows a half-orc paragon to rage for longer periods of time.
Alignment: Any, although predominantly chaotic.
Hit Die: d8.
The half-orc paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the half-orc paragon class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Half-orc paragons are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor and medium armor.
Divided Ancestry (Ex): Unlike other racial paragons, half-orcs can take levels in more than one racial paragon class. After gaining at least one level as a half-orc paragon, a character can take either orc paragon levels or human paragon levels (but not both).
Monstrous Mien (Ex): Half-orc paragons can channel their innate ferocity, resulting in a +4 racial bonus on Intimidate checks.
Rage (Ex): At 2nd level, a half-orc paragon comes to understand and draw upon the natural ferocity that courses through his blood. He gains the ability to fly into a screaming blood frenzy once per day (or one additional time per day, if he already has a rage ability). The effect of this ability is identical with the effect of a barbarian's rage ability. If a half-orc paragon has improved rage abilities (such as the barbarian class features greater rage, indomitable will, tireless rage, or mighty rage), those improvements apply to the rage ability granted by the half-orc paragon class as well.
Adventures: Filled with the wanderlust of the halfling race, halfling paragons see adventuring as a natural extension of their travels through the world. In fact, it's unlikely that a halfling paragon thinks of herself as being on an adventure at any time, even in the middle of a trapfilled dungeon. For a character with a lust for excitement and discovery, what could be a more natural place to visit than a dungeon or ancient ruin?
Occasionally halfling paragons embody the worst of their race's characteristics, using their stealth abilities and their natural cunning to steal from other races — races they consider dupes and fools.
Characteristics: Exasperated adventuring companions claim that halfling paragons invented curiosity. With their small size and uncanny stealth, halfling paragons can go nearly anywhere undetected. Remaining undetected, however, is rarely any fun. halfling paragons enjoy the benefits of their small size, and many secretly wonder how bigger races can ever do anything quietly.
Alignment: Most halfling paragons are chaotic good. They love freedom, and their approach to life is in many ways carefree and unpredictable. While most halflings tend toward neutrality over chaos, a halfling paragon embodies the race's curiosity and love of travel.
Religion: Halfling paragons favor a variety of deities. Some flit from religion to religion carelessly; they find new ideas compelling and often investigate the tenets of one religion for a while before moving on to another. In this way, halfling paragons amass a few scattered bits of philosophy culled from several different religions into their own happy amalgam. Halfling paragons who remain dedicated to one deity or philosophy almost always multiclass as clerics devoted to a god of travel.
Background: A halfling paragon learns her skills while traveling with her clan. Although she may be born to a nomadic people, even the clan's travel eventually seems too infrequent, the pace too slow. The wanderlust of the halfling race flows through her, and eventually she sets off on her own, outpacing the slow-moving wagons of her people. Many halfling paragons multiclass as rogues or rangers, and their skills develop while sneaking around in large cities or stalking game through deep wilderness.
Races: Halfling paragons travel, and they never seem to tire out. Because they spend so much time in the communities of other races, they strive to get along well with everyone. They are adept, as most halflings are, at fitting into the communities of others, although they rarely stay long.
Halfling paragons enjoy a mixed lot of traveling companions — too many members of just one race makes for boring company. Although open-minded in the extreme, halfling paragons can occasionally find dwarves too dour and serious for their tastes. halfling paragons particularly enjoy the company of gnomes.
Other Classes: Halfling paragons regard other classes with a mixture of relief and frustration. They are happy to stand behind fighters and members of other physically powerful classes when monsters charge up to do battle, and they are grateful when a spellcaster's abilities help them sneak past an opponent or heal their wounds. But few classes can match the halfling paragon's capability for stealth, and more often than not it is members of those other classes that get the halfling paragon into a fight in the first place. Halfling paragons get along best with other stealthy characters, particularly rogues and rangers, and many multiclass between the two classes.Table: The Halfling Paragon
Halfling paragons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Dexterity is important to halfling paragons because it helps them avoid the attacks of larger foes and increases their accuracy with thrown weapons and slings, their favorite forms of attack. Because halfling paragons value skill and subtlety, a high Intelligence can help them a great deal. Charisma is important to many of the halfling paragon's class skills.
Alignment: Any, although most favor neutrality.
Hit Die: d6.
The halfling paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the halfling paragon class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Halfling paragons are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor.
Adventures: Adventure occupies much of a human paragon's time. Whether impulsive or carefully studious, a human paragon searches almost constantly for the new and unexplored. Few, however, think of themselves as pioneers or inventors. They see themselves as naturally curious, deeming the intelligent and unusual way in which they use their skills to be the norm rather than an exception. Curiosity and wanderlust are easily the two most common motivations for undertaking adventures, but human paragons may find themselves on adventures as a result of a quest or some other necessary duty.
Characteristics: Human paragons are inventiveness personified. They are adaptable and capable of using their skills in a broad variety of situations. Perhaps because they are capable in such a wide range of situations, human paragons tend to dislike repetition and crave variety. They seldom pass up a chance to indulge in a new experience, and a new challenge is much more likely to excite them than a lingering goal.
If human paragons have a downfall, it is that they see themselves capable of overcoming any challenge or inventing a solution for any problem. When asked who would be best for a task, a human paragon almost always chooses himself — not out of overconfidence or egotism, but because he has learned through success after success that when backed into a corner, he'll almost always find a way out.
Alignment: Human paragons have few tendencies in alignment. Perhaps more are attracted to chaos over law, although those who become devoted to a religion or cause seem to gravitate toward lawful deities or philosophies.
Religion: Humans are as varied in their beliefs as they are in every other aspect of their lives, and human paragons are no exception. Many human paragons dabble in religion, learning a bit of one doctrine, following another deity for a brief time, and so on. Although these individuals seldom stay with one belief system for long, they become quite well versed in religion over time. While it's more common to find human paragons with only these surface attachments to religion, some human paragons develop a passion for worship that fuses seamlessly with their views of humanity, resulting in zealotry. In almost every case, these human paragons follow lawful deities and multiclass as clerics or paladins.
Background: Although there is no single common background for human paragons, many share some common characteristics. They often arise from situations in which they have many opportunities to learn, either from parents, an accepting community, or even a monastery filled with learned monks and clerics.
Races: Human paragons are open and accepting, embodying the best aspects of humanity's flexibility and tolerance. Human paragons usually delight in poking gentle fun at the foibles of other races, finding their extremes of behavior amusing. They also find much to admire in other races, including the stoic fortitude of the dwarves, the beauty and grace of the elves, and the curiosity and inventiveness of the halflings. In truth, human paragons are closer in attitude to halflings than any other race — both suffer (or benefit) from more than a touch of wanderlust.
Other Classes: Human paragons are widely accepting of other classes. They value the presence of fighters, rangers, and other skilled combatants, knowing that they are more likely to survive a battle when teamed with such characters. They also understand the value of knowledge, and they regard spellcasters with a bit of awe. Rogues and bards, closest in ability (if not in spirit) to human paragons, usually have skills that overlap the paragon's in several areas, allowing the paragon to diversify his learning rather than become overly specialized.Table: The Human Paragon
Human paragons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Skilled and quick to adapt, human paragons benefit from a high Intelligence. But they are also often at the forefront of humanity's wars, making Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution important for their respective roles in combat.
Hit Die: d8.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier. (Does not include the human's bonus skill point at each level.)
All of the following are class features of the human paragon.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Human paragons are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor. In addition, a human paragon is proficient with any one martial weapon of his choice.
Spells per Day: At 2nd and 3rd level, a human paragon gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the level. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus metamagic or item creation feats, bard or assassin abilities, and so on). This essentially means that he adds the level of human paragon to the level in the spellcasting class, then determines spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly.
If a character had more than one spellcasting class before he became a human paragon, he must decide to which class he adds each level of human paragon. If a human paragon has no levels in a spellcasting class, this class feature has no effect.
Adaptive Learning (Ex): At 1st level, a human paragon can designate any one of his human paragon class skills as an adaptive skill. This skill is treated as a class skill in all respects for all classes that character has levels in, both current and future. For example, if a human paragon chooses Spot as an adaptive skill, he treats Spot as a class skill for all future class levels he gains, even if it is not normally a class skill for the class in question.
Bonus Feat (Ex): At 2nd level, a human paragon gains a bonus feat. Due to the varied talents and adaptable nature of humans, this feat can be any feat for which the human paragon is qualified (he is not restricted to a special list of bonus feats). The character must meet the prerequisites for the bonus feat normally.
Adventures: Orcs undertake adventures for many reasons, although most do so to gain wealth or power. For orcs, "adventuring" often means raiding the cities and towns of other humanoid races, rather than exploring lost tombs or slaying powerful monsters. Despite this tendency, orcs can occasionally be found accompanying small groups of adventurers on quests of great significance. Some find their own culture stifling, and wish to rise above its cruel savagery, while others seek to learn the fighting techniques of other races to grow mighty themselves, hoping to become a champion of the orc race.
Characteristics: Mean and foul-tempered, orcs have many characteristics that other humanoid races find offensive or repulsive. Most orcs are savage and cruel. Orc paragons, however, ternper this behavior with keener powers of observation and a slightly more tolerant view of other races and cultures. Orc paragons are much more curious than other members of their race, and many come to see learning as the key to advancing the orc cause.
Alignment: Orc paragons are nearly always chaotic, but a rare few see a greater future for orcs as a race if they can become more orderly and organized. These orc paragons, arguably the most forward-thinking members of their warlike race, favor neutral alignments.
Religion: Although orcs as a race tend to follow the teachings of brutal and savage deities or worship powerful evil creatures, orc paragons are seldom deeply religious. Those who rise to leadership positions in their tribes don't hesitate to use religious beliefs as a tool to shape the tribe members to their desired ends, but they rarely possess strong beliefs themselves. The exceptions to this general statement can be extremely dangerous, however, and sometimes raise great hosts in the name of some powerful orc god.
Background: Orc paragons gain their skills in the crucible that is orc culture. They prove their strength by defeating lesser members of their tribes and often earn leadership positions within their culture. Nearly all orc paragons eventually seek knowledge and skills from cultures beyond their own, striving to bring more potent forms of combat arid more sophisticated knowledge back to their tribes.
Races: Orc paragons, like other orcs, hate and detest elves and dwarves above all other races. Orcs rarely view other races as anything more than potential prey for their raids and wars, but when necessary, orc paragons can suppress their aggressive nature and get along with other races.
Other Classes: Orc paragons respect those with strength and physical power, especially barbarians and fighters. Rangers are more often opponents of orc paragons than allies, but even so the two classes share a grudging respect for each other's skills and martial proficiency. Orc paragons care little for arcane spellcasters, but quickly learn to value powerful wizards and sorcerers capable of taking down multiple foes with a single spell.Table: The Orc Paragon
Orc paragons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Strength is important to orc paragons because of its role in combat, and several orc paragon skills are based on Strength. Dexterity and Constitution are also important to an orc paragon's capability for combat.
Hit Die: d10.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the orc paragon class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Orc paragons are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with light and medium armor.
Elf Slayer (Ex): A 2nd-level orc paragon learns to channel his hatred of the elven race. He gains a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against elves.
Adventures: Tiefling paragons undertake adventures for the usual reasons of gaining wealth, prestige, or power. Evil tieflings, in particular, adventure to fulfill selfish desires — to gain powerful magic or find lost knowledge that will give them an advantage in some conflict. Good tiefling paragons typically adventure to prove their worth to a community, to stick with the few close companions they have managed to find, or simply to get away from the press of civilization.
Characteristics: Tiefling paragons are stealthy, deceptive, and often selfish. Trusted by few, they in turn trust no one, knowing that, no matter their behavior, they'll likely be suspected of wrongdoing as soon as any problem arises in the community. Because of such hard lessons in dealing with other races, tiefling paragons are suspicious of kindness and almost never trust that a member of another race will remain loyal or friendly once the tiefling's ancestry is known. Many tiefling paragons, even those who aren't truly evil, have an appetite for cruelty that is difficult to suppress.
Alignment: Almost all tiefling paragons are evil. Those that are not must constantly struggle against thoughts of violence and corruption, seldom knowing the peace that many other goodaligned creatures take for granted.
Religion: Most tiefling paragons steer clear of religion, knowing that many followers of good deities see it as their duty to expose or attack tieflings. Evil tiefling paragons involved with evil cults (typically dedicated to powerful fiends of some kind) are an exception.
Background: Tiefling paragons learn their skills while slipping quietly through the societies of other races. They frequently multiclass as rogues, and often have similar backgrounds. A lucky few tiefling paragons have mentors and opportunities to learn in comfortable environments, but the vast majority must overcome the prejudices of those who fear the tiefling's ancestry, learning their skills among criminals and in back alleys.
Tiefling paragons do not see themselves as fellows or champions of their race. Instead, if evil, they see themselves as champions of evil and representatives of their fiendish forefathers. Good tiefling paragons seek to absolve themselves of the reputation imposed upon them by their ancestry.
Races: Tiefling paragons have widely differing attitudes about the humanoid races, depending on alignment and their experiences in the communities of different races. Although they can get along in many societies, tiefling paragons prefer large human cities, where it's generally easier to conceal their ancestry. Tiefling paragons rarely have time for dwarves, mostly because dwarves are likely to be suspicious and critical of the tiefling's presence. Conversely, they empathize with the prejudice and difficulties that half-orcs face in many civilized communities and can form friendships based on this shared perspective.
Other Classes: Tiefling paragons are happy to work with members of other classes, provided that the tiefling can manipulate events to her own ends, make off with choice treasure at opportune moments, or gather information for later use. Evil tieflings, naturally, avoid the company of paladins, but those tieflings who have dedicated themselves to good actually prefer the company of holy warriors, knowing that a paladin's word will go a long way toward assuring others that the tiefling can be trusted.Table: The Tiefling Paragon
Tiefling paragons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Because they tend to favor light armor, agile combat styles, and stealth whenever possible, Dexterity is extremely important to tiefling paragons. A high Intelligence grants the tiefling paragon access to more skills at each level, and a high Constitution helps compensate for the Hit Die lost because of the tiefling's level adjustment. Although tieflings take a racial penalty to Charisma, a good score in this ability can help those tiefling paragons who wish to conceal their nature from others and gain acceptance whenever their true nature becomes known.
Hit Die: d8.
The tiefling paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), and Spot (Wis).
Skill Points at Each Level: 4+ Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the tiefling paragon class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Tiefling paragons are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor.
Improved Resistance (Ex): At 1st level, one of a tiefling paragon's natural resistances to energy (fire, cold, or electricity) improves from 5 to 10. The character can choose which of her three resistances improves, but once she makes this choice it can never be altered.
Darkness (Sp): At 2nd level, a tiefling paragon can use her darkness spell-like ability three times per day.