Prestige Classes


“Beneath every stone lurks a scorpion.”

—Anekhet, a scorpion heritor

The desert scorpion is thought to symbolize revenge, and sometimes cruelty. In the waste, the scorpion also symbolizes stealth, passion, and perseverance in the face of extinction. By emulating the essence of the scorpion and becoming one with the scorpion’s strength, desert people can tap into the scorpion’s vitality. Scorpion heritors, through a special relationship with the scorpion spirit, gain the mystical abilities of the scorpion, and can even take its shape.


Only characters who already revere the scorpion, who know something of its ways, who know how to survive in the desert, and who have taken the scorpion’s venom into their blood can become scorpion heritors. Rogues are most often associated with the scorpion heritor class, but it isn’t unheard of for barbarians, rangers, or even fighters to pick up a few levels of the prestige class. Most classes have to buy at least some ranks in required skills as cross-class skills.


You hold a deep reverence for scorpions, both of the normal and monstrous varieties. You know that the scorpion has much to teach, if only you could see the lessons it can provide. It is a survivor, preferring to strike suddenly from hiding. If forced into open combat, it is still a vicious, dangerous foe—like you. Though you would not willingly kill your lesser brethren, the monstrous scorpions that range the desert are tests—by slaying them, you gain their strength and increase your own skill.

Sometimes you take it upon yourself to explain to your friends the lessons the scorpion has to teach, if they seem as if they have open minds. You don’t particularly enjoy having proverbs thrown back in your face, especially the untruthful tale of the Frog and the Scorpion. You prefer truisms such as, “In ten thousand years the lands now green will be dry and dead, home of the scorpion,” or, “When you least expect it, you may find the desert in the heart of your brother. When you do, weather the storm like the scorpion. If necessary, seek vengeance afterward.”


Like the scorpion, you are swift, stealthy, and lethal. You are most effective when your enemies least expect your presence. Where others depend on charge attacks and direct strength of arms, you pick your moments, delivering your deadly attacks from the shadows.

In most cases, you should allow your brawnier companions, if any, to engage in conflict first, thus drawing the attention (and attacks) of your enemies. Once so engaged, your foes become easy prey for you. Even if you accidentally draw a few attacks from your enemies, in most cases your allies have already softened up the enemy sufficiently so that your assaults will be sufficient to finish the task.

At 3rd level, you become able to briefly take the form of a scorpion. Tiny in size, you can slip into places unguessed by your foes, wait in hiding for your moment to strike, or spy out secrets that you could never have learned otherwise.

At 5th level and higher, you can envenom your weapons with the scorpion’s poison. Use this ability against your most potent foes, weakening them enough for your physical attacks to bring the final darkness.


For the children of the scorpion, advancement is straightforward: Continue to focus on skills such as Hide, Move Silently, and Tumble. Spend discovered treasure hoards on poison, magic weapons, and protective magic. The Mobility feat is good to consider, as is Two-Weapon Fighting.

As a scorpion heritor, you can choose to walk your own path as you increase in power, or you can link your fortunes with the Lodge of the Scorpion (see Scorpion Heritors in the World, below), an organization that exists in some of the deep deserts of the world.


You have to rely on yourself more than anything else. Alone but hidden, your strength is magnified. However, if you do join the Lodge of the Scorpion (or are already a member, having gained your training in this prestige class from that organization), you discover that the lodge helps its own, providing a place to rest, relax, and heal from past exploits.

Other groups in the desert that revere the scorpion, such as the asherati and certain desert nomads, will also aid you if you are in distress, should you reveal your affiliation. On the other hand, stay clear of bhuka and common merchant caravans moving through the desert, which revile the scorpion as vermin.


If the PCs venture into the waste, they will eventually encounter those who revere the scorpion for its ability to survive the harshest of climates. Wherever those who honor scorpions are found, scorpion heritors likely hide in the sands.


In all the deserts of all the worlds, many groups have chosen to revere a particular desert creature, extolling its ability to survive and seeking to learn from the lessons that the creature’s mere existence can reveal. These groups are referred to as lodges. A lodge represents an association that goes beyond village or even desert borders, and a member of a given lodge can often find associates and a place to rest in the appropriate lodgehouse in another location. In addition to providing a safe house and gathering point for its members, a lodge also focuses on skills, conferred abilities, and extraordinary powers based on the creature from which the lodge takes its name. The Lodge of the Scorpion is the most pervasive, yet because of its secrecy and focus on stealth, it might be the least well known.

A typical lodgehouse for the Lodge of the Scorpion serves as a boarding house, meeting place, and training hall for its members. Many members live within its walls year round. Each lodgehouse is governed by an Elder of the Lodge, who sees to it that those who stay within the space abide by the rules.

To join the Lodge of the Scorpion, a character must submit to the initiation—being stung on the palm by a scorpion and surviving the experience. Some knowledge of the scorpion must also be demonstrated (Knowledge [nature] 1 rank), though someone usually joins a lodge for the purpose of learning more.

Each scorpion lodge has a particular quality associated with its reverence for a creature type, which is often linked with a feat (see Chapter 2). Scorpion’s Resolve is the feat associated with the Lodge of the Scorpion.

NPC Reactions

Whether folk fear or admire the scorpion, all respect its potential for danger. The same is true for one who openly bears the scorpion insignia. On the whole, though, commoners fear scorpions, and in situations where the scorpion heritor reveals his scorpionlike abilities, he is greeted with that same fear.

Of course, scorpion heritors need not adorn themselves with the scorpion motif, and might instead choose subtlety over dramatics. Stealth—and likely a scorpion heritor’s mission—requires that he not stick out as a potential danger.

Those who know that a character is a scorpion heritor give that individual a wide berth. One never knows what might cause a scorpion to sting, and many wonder if the same might not be true for the scorpion heritor.


Characters with Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), or Gather Information can research the scorpion heritors to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs when a higher result is rolled.

DC 10: Some think the scorpion’s survival in the desert is a worthy feat. These individuals are called scorpion heritors.

DC 15: The scorpion heritors are trained by an organization dedicated to revering the scorpion, called the Lodge of the Scorpion.

DC 20: Those who seek to become a member of the Lodge of the Scorpion or a scorpion heritor must submit to the sting of a scorpion.

DC 30: Scorpion heritors emulate the scorpion, gaining more than that creature’s resolve and ability to sense things normally unseen—their saliva is venomous, and they posses the scorpion’s tenacity and deadly stealth.

PCs who try to establish contact with a scorpion heritor (for whatever reason) should make a DC 20 Gather Information check to find a lodgehouse for the Lodge of the Scorpion, through which contact can be arranged, or a DC 25 Gather Information check to track a scorpion heritor down directly. If the PCs are trying to hire a scorpion heritor to infiltrate or slay an enemy in the desert, give them a +2 circumstance bonus on the check.


Scorpion heritors are there if you need them, ranging the deep desert in search of prey or sometimes helping those in need. Other scorpion heritors leave the desert entirely, roaming in more verdant realms but still relying on their desert-bred abilities.


This prestige class is most suited to those who prefer stealth to direct confrontations. They might have strange habits, such as a predilection for keeping dangerous pets (typically normal scorpions), that set them apart from others. Despite their differences, scorpion heritors probably do not require any great stretch on the DM’s part to include in the game, since their abilities are self-contained and in accord with the standard rogue class.

Hit Die: d6.


To qualify to become a scorpion heritor, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus: +3. Skills: Hide 8 ranks, Knowledge (nature) 4 ranks, Survival 4 ranks. Feat: Scorpion’s Resolve. Special: Must have survived the venomous sting of a monstrous scorpion.
Class Skills

The scorpion heritor 's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 8 + Int modifier.

Table: The Scorpion Heritor

Level Base
Attack Bonus
1st +0 +2 +0 +0 Scorpion’s Instincts
2nd +1 +3 +0 +0 Sneak attack +1d6
3rd +2 +3 +1 +1 Scorpion form
4th +3 +4 +1 +1 Sneak attack +2d6
5th +3 +4 +1 +1 Envenom blade, immunity to scorpion venom
6th +4 +5 +2 +2 Sneak attack +3d6
7th +5 +5 +2 +2 Scorpion’s Sense
8th +6 +6 +2 +2 Sneak attack +4d6
9th +6 +6 +3 +3 Tail of the scorpion
10th +7 +7 +3 +3 Sneak attack +5d6
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the scorpion heritor prestige class.

Scorpion’s Instincts: You gain Scorpion’s Instincts (see page 53) as a bonus feat.

Sneak Attack: Beginning at 2nd level, you deal extra damage when you are flanking an opponent or at any time when the target would be denied its Dexterity bonus to AC. This extra damage applies to ranged attacks only if the target is within 30 feet. See the rogue class feature, page 50 of the Player’s Handbook. This damage increases at 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level.

Scorpion Form (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, you can take the form of a Tiny monstrous scorpion once per day, as if using the polymorph spell, for up to 1 minute.

Envenom Blade (Ex): At 5th level, your saliva becomes venomous. As a free action three times per day, you can envenom your melee weapon, a thrown weapon, or a piece of ammunition for a ranged weapon. Using this ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The Fortitude save DC of the venom is equal to 15 + your Wis modifier. The venom deals 1d4 points of Constitution damage as its primary and secondary damage. If you already have a bite attack, you can choose to envenom your bite as a use of this ability.

Immunity to Scorpion Venom (Ex): At 5th level, you gain immunity to all scorpion poisons (but not to the poison of other creatures).

Scorpion’s Sense: At 7th level, you gain Scorpion’s Sense (see page 53) as a bonus feat.

Tail of the Scorpion (Su): At 9th level, you learn to grow a dark, translucent scorpion’s tail once per day, which magically emerges from whatever clothing or armor you’re wearing. The stinger on the end of the tail deals the damage indicated on the table below, + 1/2 your Strength bonus (if any). The DC for the poison save is 10 + 1/2 your Hit Dice + your Con modifier.

You can wield a weapon in one or both hands at your normal attack bonus and make a secondary natural attack with the tail at a –5 penalty.

Scorpion Heritor Size Stinger Damage Poison Damage (initial and secondary)
Small 1d3 1d2 Con
Medium 1d4 1d3 Con
Large 1d6 1d4 Con
The tail of the scorpion lasts for 1 hour or until you dismiss it. Growing or dismissing the tail is a standard action.