Prestige Classes


Characters driven by revenge, greed, or other base desires may return from death as ghosts, revenants, or other undead. By contrast, a risen martyr is an exalted character who continues in his earthly existence after his martyrdom, rather than entering the ranks of the petitioners on the celestial planes, in order to finish some unfulfilled task. Within a short time of his martyrdom (usually 1d4+1 days), a risen martyr returns in a spiritual body to complete the holy task that led to his martyrdom.

In general, a character who is actively involved in an adventure that involves an exalted goal, and who is martyred for the sake of that purpose, has a sufficient holy purpose to return as a risen martyr. Appropriate holy purposes for a risen martyr might include aiding in the downfall of an evil tyrant or villain, locating a relic or holy artifact in order to stave off a great evil, or defending a city from a plague of ghosts. The goal need not be extremely short-term, and might even be the focus of a whole campaign. However, a risen martyr’s time on the Material Plane is limited.

Risen martyrs are very rare, and they actually appear as player characters more often than as NPCs, simply because player characters are generally the ones who pursue the most important and holy quests that can lead to a risen martyr’s existence.

Hit Die: d12.


To qualify to become a risen martyr, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any good.

Base Save Bonuses: Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +2.

Skills: Any one skill 9 ranks, Speak Language (Celestial).

Feats: Nimbus of Light, any one other exalted feat.

Special: The character must have suffered martyrdom (see Chapter 2 of the Book of Exalted Deeds) and must not have been returned to life. As a special feature of this prestige class, the character rises with the abilities of a 0-level risen martyr added to the character’s previous abilities. When the character earns enough experience points to advance another level, he must become a 1st-level risen martyr.

Class Skills

The risen martyr's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (the planes, religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spot (Wis).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Risen Martyr

Level Base
Attack Bonus
0 +0 +0 +0 +2 Spiritual body
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Charisma score increase, deflection, holy purpose +1
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Bless, magic circle against evil
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Daylight, holy purpose +2
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Acid immunity, detect evil
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Charisma score increase, protective aura
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Holy purpose +3, shield other
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Celestial brilliance, cold immunity
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Holy aura
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Electricity immunity, holy purpose +4
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Perfection, final ascension
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the risen martyr prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Risen martyrs gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Spiritual Body (Ex): When a martyr rises as a 0-level risen martyr, he takes on a corporeal spirit form. His creature type changes to deathless (see Chapter 8: Monsters in the Book of Exalted Deeds), and he gains the features and traits of the deathless type. Deathless creatures have no Constitution score, and the risen martyr rerolls his hit points using d12s instead of his previous racial and class-based Hit Dice.

A risen martyr’s spiritual body is formed of solid, spiritual flesh and is neither ghostly nor incorporeal. His ability scores remain unchanged (except for his Constitution score), and all his other characteristics remain the same except that he is no longer a living creature.

Charisma Score Increase: At 1st level, a risen martyr’s Charisma score increases by +2. At 5th level, it increases by an extra +2.

Deflection Bonus (Su): A 1st-level risen martyr gains a deflection bonus to Armor Class equal to his Charisma bonus.

Holy Purpose (Ex): A 1st-level risen martyr receives a +1 sacred bonus on all attack rolls, damage rolls, ability checks, and skill checks that are directly related to the fulfillment of his purpose. This bonus increases to +2 at 3rd level, and increases by an extra +1 every 3 levels thereafter.

Bless (Sp): Three times per day, a risen martyr of at least 2nd level can use bless, as the spell.

Magic Circle Against Evil (Su): At 2nd level, a risen martyr is continually surrounded by a protective aura that functions as a magic circle against evil spell.

Daylight (Su): At will as a free action, a 3rd level risen martyr can use daylight, as the spell.

Acid Immunity (Ex): At 4th level, a risen martyr gains immunity to acid.

Detect Evil (Sp): At will, a risen martyr of at least 4th level can detect evil, as per the spell.

Protective Aura (Su): At 5th level, the risen martyr’s magic circle against evil is replaced by an effect that duplicates the Protective Aura supernatural ability (see the Angel creature type).

Shield Other (Sp): A 6th-level risen martyr can use shield other, as the spell, three times per day.

Celestial Brilliance (Sp): A 7th-level risen martyr can use celestial brilliance*, as the spell, once per day.

*New spell described in Chapter 6 of the Book of Exalted Deeds.

Cold Immunity (Ex): A 7th-level risen martyr gains immunity to cold.

Holy Aura (Su): At 8th level, the risen martyr’s protective aura is supplemented by an effect that duplicates the holy aura spell. The holy aura protects only the risen martyr, while his protective aura continues to protect allies within 10 feet as well as himself.

Electricity Immunity (Ex): At 9th level, a risen martyr gains immunity to electricity.

Perfection (Su): A 10th-level risen martyr is as close to celestial perfection as a mortal creature can be. He is considered a celestial for the purpose of any spell or effect that has special effects on celestials. If he is lawful, he is also considered an archon. If he is chaotic, he is also considered an eladrin. If he is neutral, he is also considered a guardinal. If he is a spellcaster, he can cast spells that have the Celestial, Archon, Guardinal, or Eladrin components, as appropriate.

Final Ascension: When a 10th-level risen martyr has earned enough experience points to gain his next level, his perfected, spiritual body is taken whole into the upper planes.

A risen martyr cannot advance in any class other than risen martyr in order to delay his final ascension. Once he rises and adopts this prestige class, he must continue to gain risen martyr levels and no levels in any other class.

Code of Conduct: A risen martyr who willfully performs an evil act is immediately destroyed and goes to face his judgment on the Upper Planes.