Prestige Classes


"I shall sweep aside your sins, evil, and wickedness, and sweep you from the world with them!"

-Orielle Bladeworthy, Swift Wing of Pelor

Many churches use analogy and allegory to describe the traits of their deities, as well as the proper attitude their faithful should maintain. It's not unusual for these analogies to compare crusading gods and their clerics to elements of dragonkind. After all, dragons are formidable creatures considered by many to be symbols of deific power. In a few churches, the use of allegory becomes so strong that certain worshipers actually begin to refer to the church itself as a holy dragon, and to themselves as parts of that dragon. Swift wings are church servants who see themselves as the fast-moving, hard-hitting crusaders of their god's cadre of worshipers.


Most commonly, clerics of martial deities take the swift wing prestige class, though a few paladins are drawn to it as well. Characters of this sort relish the thought of using the power of a dragon toward the goals and efforts of a religious cause. They believe their gradual assumption of draconic powers represents an acceptance of their new path by their deities, and often see the more traditional members of their church as hidebound and stubborn. Since these traditionalists won't apply force as quickly and decisively as swift wings consider necessary, members of this class use their augmented power to operate without the support of their church organization.


You are more than just another servant of your god. As part of a holy dragon, you can find your deity's foes with keen senses, run them down with swift speed, and destroy them with purifying force. Although you might spend more time supporting your allies than striking down foes directly, you do it from the front of every battle. You have powers beyond those of typical priests, and you are dedicated to using them to further your church's goals. You might not appear to be a dragon, but spiritually you have adopted that role as much as your religious vocation.

Perhaps your church considers you a blessed champion, granted powers by your deity as a sign of special favor. In this case, church leaders call on you to undertake especially dangerous missions that others have failed to carry out. They expect you to be self-sufficient, taking on any threat without the assistance of common church members. Alternatively, your superiors might view you with suspicion. Although you feel that you are a dragon in service to a higher calling, others in the church don't understand why a divine agent is drawn to such an arcane symbol. In this case, your church constantly tests you, wary of your true intentions and unwilling to extend you the benefit of the doubt. But no matter what your relationship with your church, you are largely cut off from its aid - and that's fine. You have learned to depend on yourself and some close allies, and you don't need the help of other church members to carry out your deity's goals.


As a swift wing, your place is in the forefront of any conflict, but you must use your superior senses and mobility to keep yourself from being cut off or overrun. If you were a front-line fighter before becoming a swift wing, you need to remember that you're not quite as tough as a full-fledged paladin. If you came to this class as a cleric, your basic function remains unchanged - heal and aid your allies, harm undead, and support the primary combatants. You can do this while flying, even in heavy armor, and you now have the defenses to survive longer if you draw enemy fire. Don't stand in one place and let yourself get bogged down. Rather, you are most effective when you choose your targets carefully, felling wounded foes, healing comrades near death, and casting spells to strike at enemies beyond hammer's reach.


You set foot on the path of the swift wing the first time you heard an elder of your church describe the faithful as a holy dragon in your deity's service. Most of the people listening heard nothing more than an analogy of the power of faith, but to you, a deeper truth had been revealed. The gods had servants in the form of archons and other celestials - why not dragons, too? Not all dragons would be appropriate, but the image of one particular type of dragon acting as a mortal warrior for your deity stuck in your head. You began to see every ecclesiastical role as part of the draconic whole of the church, with paladins as claws, divine magic as a cleansing breath weapon, and yourself as a swift wing who brings the power of the church to its foes.

You sought out lore about dragons, studied examples of priests and dragons working together, and imagined yourself as a mighty, draconic assistant of your god. In time, you realized that your faith in this role was well placed. Your affinity for dragons grew, and you began to receive not just divine magic from your deity, but gifts of dragonlike powers as well.

At first, these changes seemed minor. While you had access to a few new spells and could spot things you once would have overlooked, there was little to set you apart. But as you have grown and advanced, you've learned that you truly are different. Listen and Spot are class skills for you, allowing you to increase your keen senses to be the match of anyone in your group. You eventually gain a natural fly speed as well, allowing you to take Flyby Attack and similar flight-augmenting feats.


You've stepped outside the traditional role of an agent of the church, embracing a symbol generally associated with arcane spellcasters. Even if your deity has ties to dragons or arcane magic, others in your church are unsure how to assist you. Your faith sets you apart from fellow clerics and paladins, and you must be prepared for the solitude that choice brings. You can forge close alliances to protect your back, but as far as others of your faith are concerned, you're on your own.


"I cannot condone the interpretation of a silver dragon as a representative of the light of Pelor. I also can't argue against the effectiveness of members of our congregation who believe that interpretation."

-Prelate Phelan, High Priest of Pelor

Swift wings are crusaders driven to seek out and eliminate enemies of their church. Not content to sit and wait for reports about foes to filter in to them, they scour the world looking for wrongs to right. As long as a swift wing has the slightest clue that an enemy of her deity is active or the faithful of her religion are in trouble, she will bring her force to fight wherever she can do the most good.


The relationship between a swift wing and the official hierarchy of her church is strained at best. Because she still commands the divine powers granted by her deity, a swift wing rightfully claims to be following the tenets of her faith. However, her unorthodox belief structure makes it hard for typical priests to comprehend her. In many cases, a swift wing is treated like a loose cannon, allowed to fight for the church but not accepted as a member of its inner circle.

Excluded from the normal authority structure of her organization, a swift wing is more likely than many clerics to seek out her own allies. She knows she has set herself apart from her fellow priests and is willing to work with allies that others of her order might find questionable. A swift wing won't compromise her principles, but she gives friends and comrades the benefit of the doubt as long as they help bring down the adversaries of her deity. With no formal place in her own organization, she must learn to make one in whatever group will have her.

A swift wing still fills the role she played before following her radical path of faith. If previously a paladin, she remains a devout warrior at the forefront of battle. If she was a cleric, she remains a supporting character who can hold her own in a fight. Swift wings have forceful personalities and can provide leadership to groups lacking purpose or direction. However, for swift wings who are not party leaders, the most important goal is to accomplish each mission so as not to undermine the authority of their commander.

NPC Reactions

Among members of her own faith, a swift wing rarely receives more than an indifferent welcome at first, though her actions can earn her greater respect once others get to know her. Typical divine agents remain condescending or suspicious, but powerful good-aligned wizards, sorcerers, and dragons are friendly to swift wings, seeing them as open-minded. Common folk are often friendly toward swift wings, moved by their natural drive and their unwillingness to let bureaucracy obstruct their quest to make the world a better place.

Evil spellcasters of any sort are unfriendly toward swift wings, viewing them as hybrid threats that are too dangerous to risk leaving alive. Evil dragons are openly hostile toward swift wings, offended that mortals dare to siphon the draconic energies that flow through the world. Their anger often causes them to attack swift wings first - if they can identify the upstarts, of course.

Additionally, any foe that would fear a good cleric or paladin is hostile toward a swift wing. Demons, devils, cultist, and evil monsters all see swift wings as strong threats that must be eliminated. Undead in particular have good reason to loathe any character with a breath weapon that exudes positive energy.


Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (religion) can research swift wings to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 10: A swift wing is a divine spellcaster who has taken on aspects of dragonkind.

DC 15: Though rarely trusted by her senior priests, a swift wing is a dedicated foe of her deity's enemies and uses supernatural dragonlike abilities to find and destroy them.

DC 20: A swift wing has reduced access to divine spells but gains keen senses, the power of flight, a breath weapon that gives off positive energy, and resistance similar to that of a dragon.

Finding a swift wing operating in a given area requires talking to locals; church officials are unlikely to help those who seek one of their black sheep. A DC 15 Gather Information check reveals the details of any swift wing known by local nobles, commoners, or brigands.


A swift wing requires no extensive organization or church to support her. Any cleric or paladin who meets the entry requirements can choose to follow this somewhat radical path, knowing that she is putting herself apart from the traditional ranks of her religion. All she needs is a gentle push, perhaps from a lone older swift wing or a prayer book or sermon that compares the agents of her deity to the might of a dragon. From there, the swift wing must find her own place, bolstered by her draconic powers and certain knowledge of her god's support.

Swift wings are self-confident characters who ignore the limitations of their church hierarchies in favor of getting things done. A player looking for a character who eschews extensive limitations or support networks might enjoy a swift wing's independence. The prestige class should also appeal to players who want to make their clerics more interesting, experiment with draconic powers, or try a character similar to a paladin but with different abilities.


Because this prestige class requires that an entrant have the ability to turn (rather than rebuke) undead, the swift wing is designed for good characters over evil ones, though a neutral cleric could conceivably qualify. To make swift wings into draconic agents of evil instead, the DM can simply change the requirement to allow characters who can rebuke undead. Such evil swift wings might be favored humanoid agents of Tiamat or members of a church controlled by an evil dragon. In an Eberron campaign, the swift wing class could be linked in some manner to dragonmarks, retaining the draconic connection but altering it to better fit that world.

Sample Encounter

Player characters usually encounter a swift wing while she is engaging in a dangerous task alone or looking for allies to undertake such a task. Of course, if the adventurers have a reputation (deserved or otherwise) for spreading evil or destruction, she might hunt them down to demand an explanation for their actions. A group that can reasonably claim to have been mischaracterized as evil avoids immediate attack, but the swift wing openly tags along with them for a time to ensure that their actions match their words. A swift wing is not afraid to take a group of adventurers to task if they prove cruel or hazardous to the communities they visit.

EL 10: Orielle Bladeworthy (LG female human cleric 5/swift wing 5 of Pelor) is tracking down a group of evil raiders she suspects of being in league with shadow dragons. She has been hunting them for weeks, but lacking the Track feat, she has little choice but to fly in circles above the site of one of their assaults until she spots something. Frustrated, she realizes she needs help to bring the raiders to bay - help she hopes the PCs can provide, once she sees them below her.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become a swift wing, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus: +3.

Languages: Draconic.

Spellcasting: Ability to cast 3rd-level divine spells.

Special: Ability to turn undead.

Class Skills

The swift wing's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Swift Wing

Level Base
Special Spellcasting
1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Dragon affinity, Dragon domain
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Draconic Senses +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Breath of life +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
4th +3 +4 +4 +1 Energy resistance +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
5th +3 +4 +4 +1 Wings
6th +4 +5 +5 +2 +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
7th +5 +5 +5 +2 Damage reduction 5/magic +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
8th +6 +6 +6 +2 +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
9th +6 +6 +6 +3 Energy immunity +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
10th +7 +7 +7 +3 Draconic surge +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
Class Features

Swift wings lose some spellcasting ability in return for gaining dragonlike powers. Their new abilities make them more versatile without removing their power to heal allies and damage undead. As they rise in level, they also become more resilient and mobile, able to resist many attacks and move more quickly to support teammates.

All of the following are class features of the swift wing prestige class.

Weapon Proficiency: You gain proficiency with your deity's favored weapon.

Spellcasting: At every level except 1st and 5th, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a divine spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one divine spellcasting class before becoming a swift wing, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

Dragon Affinity (Ex): Your concept of yourself as part of a holy dragon that serves your church draws upon a mystic link to a particular kind of dragon you consider affiliated with your deity. At 1st level, select one kind of dragon (such as gold or red) that has an alignment within one step of your deity's alignment. Your affinity for this kind of dragon grants you a +5 circumstance bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, and Sense Motive checks made regarding dragons of this variety.

Dragon Domain: At 1st level, you gain the granted power and spell access of the Dragon domain. If your spellcasting doesn't normally allow domain access, you can add the spells of the Dragon domain to the spell list of your divine spellcasting class.

Its granted power allows you to add Bluff and Intimidate to your list of divine spellcasting class skills, and its domain spells are (in ascending order of level) magic fang, resist energy, greater magic fang, voice of the dragon, true seeing, stoneskin, dragon ally, mass suggestion, and dominate monster.

Draconic Senses: At 2nd level, you gain Draconic Senses as a bonus feat, even if you don't meet the prerequisite. If you already have this feat, you can select any other draconic feat for which you meet the prerequisite.

Breath of Life (Su): At 3rd level, you gain the ability to channel positive energy into a breath weapon. As a standard action, you can spend one use of your turn undead ability to create a 30-foot-long, cone-shaped breath weapon. The breath weapon deals 1d6 points of damage per level to undead; a successful Reflex save (DC 10 + class level + Cha modifier) halves this damage. Living creatures within the area of the breath weapon are instead healed of 1 point of damage per level.

Energy Resistance (Ex): At 4th level, your link to the dragon variety you have affinity with grows to grant you energy resistance. Choose one energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic) that your affiliated dragon kind either is immune to, resistant to, or deals as damage with a breath weapon. You gain resistance 20 to that energy type. If your chosen dragon variety has no energy immunity, energy resistance, or energy breath weapon, you gain resistance to fire 20.

Wings (Su): At 5th level, you gain the ability to sprout and dismiss wings as a free action. The wings are supernatural effects, growing through clothing and armor without damaging them. The wings match the appearance of the wings of the dragon variety you have affinity with.

With the wings, you can fly at a speed equal to your land speed with good maneuverability. You can fly in light, medium, or heavy armor, but not when carrying a heavy load. Flying with the wings takes only as much concentration as walking, leaving you free to cast spells, make ranged attacks, or take other actions.

At 10th level, your fly speed increases to twice your base land speed.

This ability counts as having a fly speed when qualifying for feats such as Flyby Attack and Wingover.

Damage Reduction (Su): At 7th level, your link to draconic energies gives you a hide as tough as a dragon's, though you look no different. You gain damage reduction 5/magic.

Energy Immunity (Su): At 9th level, your link to draconic energy is so complete that you gain immunity to the energy type you selected for resistance at 4th level.

Draconic Surge (Ex): At 10th level, you become filled with draconic energy, making you physically and mentally more dragonlike. You gain a +1 bonus to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution (your choice), and a +1 bonus to Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma (your choice). Once you have assigned these bonuses to two ability scores, they cannot be changed. Often, the draconic surge is accompanied by a slight physical change in your appearance - for example, your eyes might become more dragonlike, or your hair might change color to match the hue of the dragon variety you have affinity with.