Prestige Classes


“The waste is a monument filled with eternal reminders.”

—Abesukh Habah, a walker in the waste

A walker in the waste embodies the harsh, unforgiving nature of the desert. The waste’s dryness can perfectly preserve a royal city, a wondrous creature, or a towering forest—caught at the very moment of death, before age and decay can spoil it. Maybe you want to protect your chosen environment and warn away those who would intrude. For you, most living things are nothing more than potential exhibits, and your soul is as parched as the sands that surround you.


Clerics who serve deities of thirst are the most common characters to take levels in this class. You already worship a harsh deity, and the magic of the dry and deadly waste comes readily to you. If you’re a desert druid of a harsh bent, you might take up this path as well.


However you got here, you’re a loner. You bring the desert with you, and you maintain it where it already exists. Not many understand your pure, dry desire to preserve. They think it is evil or perverse. But you know the truth: Someone needs to keep a record of what was. There is no higher calling.

At times you must join forces, at least temporarily, with others. A loose fellowship of walkers, called the Dusty Conclave, occasionally gathers to discuss mutual threats and plan action for the coming years. You sometimes work with desert-dwelling tribes and groups of druids, rangers, or barbarians to repel those who would threaten your waste and destroy the creation you have labored so hard to craft. You might use fear to coerce such service, but the desert also has its riches, and gold always speaks the right language.


You are a spellcaster primarily, not trained for hand-tohand combat, but your enemies might underestimate your deadliness in melee. The thickest armor is no defense against your desiccating touch. Just getting close enough to make that attack puts opponents under the effect of your local drought ability, possibly weakening and damaging them. You retain impressive spellcasting power, and once you have created golem servants, direct attacks against you become more difficult.

After you have learned the art of creating salt mummies, you “seed” them about the waste to maintain permanent vigilance. You always have at least one by your side as protection or to strengthen your bargaining position. Your tactics are straightforward: Send in the monster, then use spells and devastating touch attacks against distracted foes. When working with a group, it’s best to maintain your distance so as not to catch your allies in the local drought that surrounds you. You might advance, taking cover from one or more golem or mummy companions, weakening your foes while allies lob in ranged attacks. Alternatively, you might stand back and use pillar of salt to remove your most powerful foe, then let your companions finish off any remaining threats.

Once you have attained the pinnacle of your career, you are a fearsome monster in your own right. Those who do not quail before your terrible presence only hurt themselves when they try to harm you. Your vulnerabilities are few, and the armies of servants you can create keep all but the mightiest challengers from ever facing you. Only the hated touch of water is a true threat—you take extensive precautions to keep it from entering your domain.


A walker is not recruited so much as awakened. You are filled with a profound, all-consuming love for the arid beauty of the waste. You would do anything to be closer to that essence, to spread its cleanliness across the world. You spend more and more time wandering the deserts, practicing your magic and growing increasingly acclimated to the environment. Eventually, you encounter another who is equally dedicated to the waste. That one tells you of the fraternity of those who love the desert as you do, and you are introduced to the Dusty Conclave.

If you are deemed worthy of the mysteries, you become a full-fledged walker in the waste and are expected to do the conclave’s work assiduously. This task is not too hard, since all in the Dusty Conclave have the same goal—to spread the waste to every part of the world. You must expand the borders of your patrol and leave clear warnings to all who would interfere. You must defend the waste, whether personally or through the artificial guardians you create. If the conclave calls, you go to war.


Your own nature leads you down the walker’s path, and you attain the class’s lesser abilities through your own efforts. To craft the sand golems and salt mummies that are so indispensable to your work, you need the ancient lore of the Dusty Conclave. That organization is the source of the special materials needed to create these servants. The Sere Rite of your ultimate preservation also requires the participation of a dry lich, and only these most ancient walkers possess the knowledge of the materials and magic needed for that transformation.

If your patrol is threatened by those who would harm the desert, you are expected to deal with the interlopers. Even a novice in the class has power enough to destroy or dissuade enemies. Against greater threats, the conclave moves together. Each walker has a scarab amulet that is attuned to the others—a mental call for help brings others swiftly. Each sand golem also has such an amulet, and its creator can send the creature to the aid of any other who calls for it.


The existence of walkers in the waste offers a way to bring the desert environment to the PCs instead of forcing them to travel to a new location.


The Dusty Conclave has few members, so each walker patrols a large tract of the waste. They gather at most once a year, usually at midsummer noon to participate in ritual magic, exchange news, and address pressing issues. The conclave also maintains and passes on the knowledge of crafting sand golems and animating salt mummies to those deemed worthy of such knowledge. To demonstrate your worthiness, you must undertake a mission for the conclave. Usually this mission involves furthering the spread of the waste in some way: drying up a village’s water supply to force the inhabitants out, making a pilgrimage and an offering to a desert dragon, or establishing diplomatic ties with efreet or other dangerous waste spirits. If the conclave is satisfied that you have performed the task well, it introduces you to the higher mysteries. Otherwise, the conclave withholds the secrets of mummification and immortality (in game terms, you do not progress beyond 7th level in the prestige class).

NPC Reactions

Most other waste-dwellers fear the walkers. They see you and your comrades as heartless monsters who cruelly destroy life, but they don’t understand. People who inhabit the borders of a waste truly loathe walkers, for it is their land that is most in danger of “preservation.” If a walker is known to have entered the region, the leaders of desertbordering settlements waste no time in assembling a force to combat the threat. Experienced adventurers are in great demand when such a threat looms. Savage desert beings, such as scablands orcs, might offer a form of worship to a walker. They make excellent agents to clear the way of unnecessary life as you approach. Such creatures, though, have little sense of the value of history. Their looting destroys most items worthy of preservation, so they are best used only as shock troops; the more controllable golems can finish the job.

Bhukas hate walkers in the waste with a deep passion. They view such beings as the antithesis of their mother deity, since the walkers seem dedicated to undoing her great works. The presence of a walker is one of the few things that drive this peaceable race to take up arms.


Characters with Knowledge (arcana) or the bardic knowledge ability can research walkers in the waste to learn more about them.

DC 10: A terrible creature brings the desert with it wherever it travels.

DC 15: Certain spellcasters devoted to the magic of thirst are able to create new desert and leave behind dried husks of living things.

DC 20: Walkers in the waste are able to create hideous monsters of sand and salt, and the most powerful of them are undead creatures themselves.

DC 30: The walkers form a loose organization called the Dusty Conclave; their goal is to transform the world into desert. The most powerful members of this group are dry liches, undead beings that embody dryness. Their high ceremonies are held at midsummer noon.


An NPC walker in the waste presents an ongoing threat to civilization, which can form the basis of an entire story arc. Integrating a PC walker into the game is more difficult, since such beings are solitary by nature; however, a party of nongood characters could form the retinue of a walker, traveling together to spread the waste to other parts of the world. Alternatively, adventuring with a walker can appeal even to good PCs if the walker’s goal happens to support a worthwhile endeavor (such as drying up the swamps of evil lizardfolk).


If the idea of a solitary walker in the waste is not appealing as a prestige class choice, you can modify the concept. Instead of heartlessly spreading the desert, the walker is instead an environmental champion, a militant druid dedicated to protecting the waste against the encroachment of civilization or holding off the advance of hostile beings. Such a concept omits the nongood alignment requirement for the class. Such a walker might lead or hire an expedition to defend her homeland, or come to the aid of desert folk who are under attack.

Hit Die: d6.


To qualify to become a walker in the waste, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any nongood.

Feat: Heat Endurance.

Spells: Ability to cast at least three spells of the Sand or Thirst domain as divine spells.

Class Skills

The walker in the waste's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (alchemy) (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Walker in the Waste

Level Base
Special Spells per day
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Desiccating touch 1d6, Improved Heat Endurance
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 The wasting +1 level of existing spellcasting class
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Desiccating touch 2d6, local drought +1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Withered toughness +1 level of existing spellcasting class
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Desiccating touch 3d6, pillar of salt +1 level of existing spellcasting class
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Create sand golem +1 level of existing spellcasting class
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Desiccating touch 4d6 +1 level of existing spellcasting class
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Create salt mummy +1 level of existing spellcasting class
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Desiccating touch 5d6, greater drought +1 level of existing spellcasting class
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Dry lich
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the walker in the waste prestige class.

Spellcasting: At each level except 1st and 10th, 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 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 spellcasting class before becoming a walker in the waste, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

Improved Heat Endurance: You gain Improved Heat Endurance (see page 50) as a bonus feat. If you already have the Improved Heat Endurance feat, you can choose another feat.

Desiccating Touch (Su): As a touch attack, you can drain moisture from a living creature. At 1st level, this ability deals 1d6 points of dessication damage, or 1d8 points to plant creatures or elementals with the water subtype. At every odd-numbered level thereafter, the dessication damage increases by 1d6 (or 1d8), to a maximum of 5d6 (or 5d8) at 9th level. The touched creature can make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + walker in the waste level + your Wis modifier) for half damage.

The Wasting (Su): On reaching 2nd level, you can transform a handful of dust or sand into a terrible disease. Once per day, you can blow sand into the face of a living opponent within 20 feet. Using this ability is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. You can pick up dust from the ground as a move action or take it from a pouch as a free action. The opponent is entitled to a Reflex save (DC 10 + walker in the waste level + your Wis modifier) to avoid inhaling the dust. On a success, the dust has no effect and drifts harmlessly to the ground. An opponent who fails this save contracts the wasting, a supernatural affliction that gradually mummifies its victims (see Disease, page 21).

Local Drought (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, you can produce desert conditions in a 20-foot-radius emanation with you at the center. The temperature band in that area rises by one step or to hot, whichever produces the hotter result. (See Heat Dangers and the effects of natural dehydration in Chapter 1.) You can suppress this effect for 1 round as a free action, but it renews automatically on your next turn unless you consciously suppress it again.

Withered Toughness (Ex): When you attain 4th level, your body becomes inured to the arid conditions in which you thrive. Your flesh grows leathery and tough, and your natural armor bonus improves by 2. In addition, you gain immunity to the effects of dehydration (although not the effects of magical dessication damage) and heat dangers (such as heat exhaustion and sunstroke), sun glare, and sunburn, although fire damage affects you normally.

Pillar of Salt (Sp): At 5th level and higher, you can use flesh to salt once per day, duplicating the effect of the spell (see page 116). Your caster level for this ability is equal to your class level.

Create Sand Golem (Ex): At 6th level, you learn the secret of creating a sand golem (see page 182). You do not need the Craft Golem feat to create a sand golem, as you normally would, but you cannot use this ability to create any other type of golem.

Create Salt Mummy (Su): At 8th level, you learn a specialized form of the ancient art of mummification. Invested with the dark power of the waste, you are able to preserve and animate a corpse. You also add to it the essence of dehydration to produce a horrid salt mummy (see below).

Greater Drought (Su): Beginning at 9th level, you can produce extreme desert conditions in a 100-foot radius emanation with you at the center. The temperature band in that area rises by two steps or to severe heat, whichever produces the hotter result. (See Heat Dangers and the effects of natural dehydration in Chapter 1.)

You can suppress this effect for 1 round as a free action, but it renews automatically on your next turn unless you con sciously suppress it again. This effect supersedes that of the local drought ability.

Dry Lich: On reaching 10th level, you learn to apply the secrets of waste preservation to your own body, becoming a dry lich. You must undergo the Sere Rite, overseen by another dry lich, which includes preserving your flesh, removing your organs and storing them in special canopic jars, and imbuing your body with foul magic to make it undying. See the dry lich template, page 155, for more information.

As a dry lich, you cannot be permanently killed unless the canopic jars containing your life essence are destroyed.