The Zealot is an uncompromising fighter whose fury at those who do not share his Faith knows no bounds. They may seem like a simpleminded brute, once given a target they will not rest until that target is either converted or dead. While the Priest is the core of any Faith and the Paladins their defenders, the Zealot would be their militant attack force. Zealots do not typically exist in great numbers, but the devastation a single one can wreak upon their foes is considerable. Without laws, regulations, or any restriction beyond their beliefs, there is little one can do to reason with a Zealot, and even less to persuade them from their goals. One of a few limited options is to simply get out of their way.
As those who would lay waste to (as they see it) entire heretic cities or even countries, they are never to be taken lightly. They can be powerful allies, however can sometimes be a liability. With no law higher than their Faith, they can turn on anyone they see as a threat and will do everything in their power to wipe them out. To this end they are sometimes seen as more of a burden then an asset, but in combat there are few who can match their relentless attacks. A Zealot’s ability to keep themselves and their allies fighting is enhanced by the unwavering resolve of their Faith.
Typical Roles: Healer, Support/utility, Melee Damage, Ranged Damage
Damage Types: Physical, Faith (Holy, Demonic, Psionic, Primal)
Class Mechanics: Fury and Faith
Available Races: Wild Elf, Dwarf, Human, Anakim, Half-Elf, Orc, Half-Orc, Kayden, Minotaur, Centaur
Initial Gold: varies by race from 76 to 140
During Character Creation you may choose to use the Default Stat Line, before racial modifiers, instead of rolling for stats, or if after rolling ten sets of stats you don’t like the results
Natural Armor Proficiency: Cloth
Trainable Armor Proficiency: Leather, Mail
Natural Weapon Proficiency: Knives, Bludgeons and Axes
Trainable Weapon Proficiency: Axes (2-handed), Hand Weapons, Whips, Crossbows, Firearms
See Equipment section for details. When using a weapon that your class is not proficient with, see Combat Penalties. There is no level or title prerequisite to train in a new proficiency, however you must receive the appropriate Training.
For Zealots, their intense Faith is often used as a weapon, feeding the constant fury and turmoil within themselves. In addition to the typical methods of fury gains, the Zealots Militant Faith Class Passive also allows for Fury gains both inflicting and receiving damage from Faith Powers.
However, a Zealots fury can be equally stoked when they find themselves forced to heal or otherwise benefit their allies. Whether this is out anger that someone would dare attack their allies or out of rage for the missed opportunity to inflict damage themselves, varies depending on the Zealot. Regardless, Zealots also gain +1 Fury for a normal heal or buff of any kid, and +2 Fury for a Crit heal.
|Gain +1 Fury for every killing blow||Dealing Normal Damage||Dealing Crit Damage||Taking Normal Damage||Taking Crit Damage|
|Physical Attack w/ 1 Handed Weapon||+1 Fury||+2 Fury||+1 Fury||+2 Fury|
|Physical Attack w/ 2 Handed Weapon||+2 Fury||+4 Fury||+2 Fury||+4 Fury|
|Faith Power (including healing/benefiting an ally)||+1 Fury||+2 Fury||+1 Fury||+2 Fury|
While learning new Faith Powers requires study, prayer, meditation or contemplation, learning new Fury Skills is relatively simple, and follows the standard methods of training. Typically Zealots are solitary and self sufficient, honing their Fury skills by using them in battle. To learn new skills they may simply rely upon the experience of a local Combat Trainer or pick up a new skill when they cross paths with a fellow Zealot. Their lifestyle often keeps them on the road and finds them in the wilder places of the world, meaning interactions with Barbarians, Berserkers, Shamans and other such Fury Classes can also be a means to learning new skills.
New fury skills require training unless they are upgrades (i.e. Berserker Strike -> Improved Berserker Strike), see Learning New Fury Skills for details.
Zealots carry the words of their Faith with them wherever they go. This most often includes the accepted mainstream Text of their faith, but also could include scrolls or letters written by fanatical outliers or long dead Inquisitors of old. Some Zealots have even been known to wear pages of scripture on their clothing, a superstitious practice with little practical value other than to make known their presence. Regardless of how a Zealot chooses to carry the teachings of their faith with them, it is an essential repository of knowledge that acts as a source book of sorts for all of the Faith Powers that they would have access to as part of their faith. Depending on the circumstance and character background, a GM might choose to restrict what Powers are recorded within those sacred writings and scriptures, however unless otherwise stated it contains the entirely of what would be available for their choose Faith Path (i.e. if following the Holy Faith, it would contain all Holy Faith powers from all Disciplines)
From this repository, a Zealot can memorize powers for day-to-day use and for use in combat. For additional details see Learning New Faith Powers.
In order to actually cast any of their powers, a Zealot, Cleric, or Paladin must speak out a memorized scripture or verse while focusing their mind on the desired outcome. This must be paired with a simple but forceful casting gesture, often made with a symbol, relic, idol, or other such device of their faith (see Methods of Casting).
For Zealots, conflict and violence are common place. As such they have become adept at exercising their Faith in the powers they serve while in the thick of battle. Many choose to recite battle hymns or shout out words of power that can carry across a battlefield. Many also choose to forge the symbols of their faith into their weapons to make it that much easier to switch from casting to melee combat as required.
Zealots use the following chart for levelling up:
- Re-calculate Fury Max each level
- New fury abilities require training unless they are upgrades (i.e. Berserker Strike -> Improved Berserker Strike), see Learning New Fury Abilities for details
- Max Faith Powers Known does not include Tier 0 powers (i.e. Prayers/Rituals/Systems/Mantras)
- Leveling up only increases the capacity for known Faith Powers, to actually learn new powers see Learning New Faith Powers for details
Specializations are recommended for advanced players only, and are accomplished through the Secondary Skill system (see Specialist Skills). Zealots may choose to specialize their skills in one weapon use, one combat style and/or one faith discipline, but can not have more than two specializations in total.
- Max one Weapon Specialist skill (choose from: Knives, Bludgeons, Axes, Hand Weapons, Whips, Crossbows)
- Max one Combat Specialist skill (choose from: Freehand, Great Weapon, Paired Weapon, Freestyle, Mounted)
- Max one Faith Specialist skill (choose from any Discipline associated with your Faith Path)
Zealots gain titles based on their deeds and reputation both on and off the battlefield. Their Renown grows as they pursue heretics, witches, and other such deviants. This often leads them to become praised by some, yet hated by others. Zealots are unique in that they must manage their reputation among the common folk but also the Faiths that they either serve or persecute.
The titles awarded by a Zealot’s Renown are as follows:
A Heretic is one of the most hated a reviled outlaw titles for faith classes. These individuals have broken the most sacred doctrines of their faith, choosing to dabble in forbidden powers, or choosing to follow a faith path of their own making. While a Faith class may be able to hide these practices for a time, even maintaining other Titles, once found out they are either immediately branded Heretics or labelled so after a trial of some kind. The most militant orders will then seek to execute the Heretic as an example, while more lenient Orders may simply force the Heretic into exile. While a Heretic may escape the immediate wrath of his former Order, nothing will spare him from the attention of Zealots of the Faith.
- Must be labelled as a Heretic (either summarily or after a trial) by an established religious order, priesthood or monastic community for breaking away from their orthodoxy, doctrine or creed, most often as a result of being caught using Forbidden powers and/or mixing of powers
Rewards & Consequences:
- Gain Tiers at the minimum level requirement for non-outlawed titles (with the exception of positions of governance, retain any other title rewards gained prior to becoming a Heretic)
- can use any Faith powers they choose (except for Opposing Faith Powers)
- Religious Orders may attempt to execute you or at least exile you
- if surviving will still be pursued by Witch Hunters
In general terms, as with any Fury class your choice of weapons and secondary skills should focus on improving your fury generation. This can be accomplished by ensuring that you hit often (either with high plus to hit or multiple attacks) or high critical hit chance. Of course, with axes being the preferred weapon of many Zealots why not do both, and dual wield a pair of axes. When it comes time to consider weapon and armor craftings and enchants you could further focus on fury generation or include some options to increase the potency or effectiveness of your Faith powers.
The Zealot Class Passive (Militant Faith) encourages a play style that alternates between offensive fury based melee attacks and supportive faith powers. This means that Zealots perform well in the front ranks, and tend towards offensive or support/healing faith powers. However, builds vary considerably depending on the source faith type that they employ.
Holy Zealots often see themselves as hunters of demonic or undead creatures, as such it is common to see them specialize in Exorcism powers, representing a pure offensive and largely solitary build as together Fury and Exorcism provide very few options to assist allies. For a zealot more inclined to combat undead forces, Healing powers provide considerable options. Specializing in Healing allows the Zealot to act as a powerful healer, key to any group make up, while not being restricted to a healing-only role. At the same time they can use those same healing powers to offensively target the undead with high critical hit chance powers (an unparalleled +15%). Blessing specializations provide a more generic opportunity to fight on the front lines while still assisting your allies with wide spread buffs.
Demonic powers not particularly adept at assisting allies, though they do have some limited capabilities. As such most Demonic Zealots will focus on melee combat,using the bonus +1 to their Difficulty role from Militant Faith to unleash powerful de-buffs, such as those found in the Curse and Disease trees, against their enemies. A key ability that most Demonic Zealots build around is Demonic Frenzy, which instantly maxes out their highest ranking Frenzy (Fury) ability. This is an extremely powerful combination, potentially boosting the bonus damage from Frenzy by 67%. With other powers found in the Corruption tree, such as Touch of Corruption and Sinful Strike, which add demonic damage to melee attacks, specializing in this tree is a great option for Demonic Zealots that want to deal huge amounts of damage.
Psionic Zealots are less common than other types, from a lore standpoint this is because Psionic faiths or religious are largely based on a reverence of the mind and tend more towards a personal or collective philosophy. This seems to breed less extreme of zealous behavior, a key component of the Zealot class. It is also reflected to some extend in ability trees that interface less directly with the Zealot Class Passive. However that is not to say that Psionic Zealot builds cannot be potent on the battlefield. An Omen specialized Zealot would play very similar to a Curse or Disease specialized Demonic Zealot. Likewise Psimaturgy presents plenty of opportunities to gain additional fury by healing and supporting your allies.
Primal Zealot builds are arguably some of the best suited to make use of the Zealots unique play style. Almost every form found in the Shapeshifting tree benefits melee combat in some way, and when a Zealot takes on Ursine Form they can use Challenging Roar to generate massive amounts of fury. Aspect specialized Zealots can likewise buff their own combat potential while also assisting their allies, maximizing their fury gain by activating their Class Passive and while never missing a round of melee combat. Aspect of the Wolf is particularly useful as it awards additional Fury for killing blows. Hemomancy can also be an attractive option as it provides a good mix of offensive powers and support powers, most of which can be used effectively in melee combat.
While typically Zealots are a lawless and disorganized lot, in the Kingdom of Tolgatha found in the Northern reaches of Norlanin, they are an integral part of the powerful Religious Caste. They act as a sort of secret police force, tasked with safe guarding the Tolgathan way of life and quietly putting down anyone with divergent beliefs. Tolgathan Zealots are however strictly governed by the Tolgathan Order of Justice and Inquiry, also known as TOJI.
Lead by the ruthless Grand Inquisitor Maldrenus, TOJI reports directly to the Theocratic Assembly. However some say that Maldrenus believes himself to be second only to the Patriarch-King himself. The mere mention of TOJI can inspire mistrust and fear for it is common for those that draw the attention of this organization to simply disappear. However what many don’t realize is that TOJI is also largely responsible for keeping demonic threats and even full scale invasions in check throughout their vast kingdom.
Elsewhere in Norlanin and throughout Gant as well, Zealots remain largely disorganized and self sufficient. Many religious orders will retain small groups of Zealots or employ them on a contractual basis as they do have their uses.
Arolthus the Halforc
Holy Zealot, former Royal Executioner of King Dannorath of Vesticar and Commander of the Vesticar Remnant at the Battle of Farthing Field. Perished in battle against the Shade of Deathlord Archibald at the foot of the Undead Fortress of Necrodark.
Arolthus too was celebrated, by the citizens of Gant as well as his own people, the refugees and few ragged survivors of the war known as the Vesticar remnant. A mausoleum was built on a small hill overlooking the Cathedral of the One God. There Arolthus was entombed with the highest honors, regaled not in fanciful funeral garb but in his scarred and battle-worn armor with his fearsome reaper claws laid across his broad chest. Some said it seemed as though he was merely resting, his grim visage looking oddly at peace yet his body ready to spring into battle in the afterlife at a moment’s notice. Long after the ceremony had ended, it was said that a centaur could be seen sitting in silent vigil beneath the shadow of his friends tomb, an empty flask of strong spirits in his unmoving hand. Carved overhead in the stone of the mausoleum it read, “HERE LIES THE BEST OF US, BORN INTO SHAME, YET DYING IN GLORY”
-Excerpt from the War of the Twin Terrors, Epilogue.
Arolthus the Halforc