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While the vast majority of divine spellcasters gain their powers from a deity, there are some who despise the gods. The ur-priests have learned to siphon off the divine or unholy energies granted by gods to their divine spellcasters, using it for their own needs without giving even lip-service to any god.
Ur-priests, while rare, come from all walks of life, as there is no spellcasting requirement for this class. Some of the deadliest, however, are ex-clerics who, for whatever reason, have decided to forswear their deity to gain earthly power.
Whereas clerics, paladins, and the like pray for their spells each day at a chosen time, ur-priests go into a meditative state not unlike the elven resting trance. In this state, they mentally steal the power gods channel to their spellcasters. Of necessity they are cunning and stealthy, never stealing too much from any single deity, but instead slipping in, drawing out power, and slipping back out. They become highly resilient to divine spells and creative with the energies they steal. The main strategic disadvantage of this is a limitation on their versatility: they do not have the capability to cast domain spells, spontaneously cast cure or inflict wounds spells, or gain domain powers.
Ur-priests rarely congregate, which is largely due to the fact that any gathering could attract unwanted and possibly lethal attention from the gods. They are frequently solitary, in fact, though they often find partnerships with other classes useful. And for obvious reasons, they rarely associate with other divine spellcasters, who see them as abominations of the highest order.
This article is mainly about the ur-priest that seeks to gain earthly power by siphoning off the power of the gods. But there is another type: the ex-cleric of a dead god. In this case their deity died, disappeared, or faded from lack of worship; the ur-priest siphons power to keep his divine powers working while he tries to resurrect his god, or elevate a new deity to replace it.
Though not much is known about the ur-priests, it is a surety that siphoning the power the gods grant to their servants is a sin beyond reckoning; the ur-priests likely face the fate of the Faithless when they reach Kelemvor's domain following their death.
- An ur-priest casts Wisdom-based spells drawn from the cleric spell list. He prepares them like a cleric, sans prayer. He is not limited by alignment-based descriptors. An ur-priest's caster level is equal to his ur-priest level plus one-half his caster level in any other spellcasting classes (cleric caster levels don't count).
- Rebuke Undead
- Like evil clerics, 2nd level ur-priests can channel negative energy to rebuke and command undead. His turning level is equal to his class level.
- Divine Spell Resistance
- 4th level ur-priests gain respectable spell resistance, but only against divine spells and outsider spell-like abilities. This increases every four levels thereafter.
- Siphon Spell Power
- Since ur-priests steal their spell energy, they can learn to manipulate it in ways impossible for other spellcasters. A 6th level ur-priest can temporarily sacrifice two or more lower-level spell slots and use them to prepare a higher-level spell. This can only be performed once per day, and the higher-level spell must be of a level that the ur-priest could normally cast.
- Steal Spell-Like Ability
- Once per day, a 10th level ur-priest can use his siphoning abilities power to copy a spell-like ability from another creature. He can use it as often as the creature could, up to three times per day, but loses the ability after 24 hours.