Archives of Nethys

Prestige Classes

Pain Taster

Source Occult Mysteries pg. 46 (Amazon), Pathfinder #15: The Armageddon Echo pg. 60 (Amazon)
For pain tasters, agony is more than a pleasure—it’s a path to power. Until recently, pain tasting was a practice employed exclusively by the drow. However, in recent decades Kuthite scholars have begun spreading details about the practice through cult circles. Though on the surface most pain tasters are followers of Zon-Kuthon, that path is now beginning to crop up among other evil and neutral cults as well.


To become a pain taster, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Feats: Diehard, Endurance, Great Fortitude.
Skills: Heal 5 ranks, Intimidate 5 ranks.
Alignment: Any nongood.
Special: The candidate must survive a special ritual designed to inure her to pain.

Class Skills

The Pain Taster's class skills are Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), and Survival (Wis).

Skill Points at each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Hit Die: d10.

Class Features

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1st+1+1+0+0Disciple of pain, masochism 1, scourge
2nd+2+1+1+1Cruelty +1d6, damage reduction 1/—
3rd+3+2+1+1Blood control, torturer's mettle 1/day
4th+4+2+1+1Cruelty +2d6, damage reduction 2/—, masochism 2
5th+5+3+2+2Pain mastery
6th+6+3+2+2Cruelty +3d6, damage reduction 3/—, torturer's mettle 2/day
7th+7+4+2+2Exquisite lash, masochism 3
8th+8+4+3+3Cruelty +4d6, damage reduction 4/—
9th+9+5+3+3Sadism, torturer's mettle 3/day
10th+10+5+3+3Cruelty +5d6, damage reduction 5/—, masochism 4

The following abilities are class features of the pain taster prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A pain taster is proficient with all simple weapons, martial weapons, and whips. A pain taster gains no armor or shield proficiencies.

Disciple of Pain (Su): At 1st level, a pain taster can focus her agony through the use of six torture routines. Each routine grants her a different day-long benefit. The first time a pain taster performs a particular torture routine, she must spend 1 hour inflicting self-harm using materials that cost 2,000 gp. The method of self-torture is detailed in the routines below. After performing a routine for the first time, she can subsequently perform a less strenuous version of that routine to gain its benefits for 24 hours without needing to expend any further money on torture implements, ritual incense, and pain heightening drugs.

If the pain taster wishes to change her routine, she must spend 2,000 gp when first performing the new ritual. She must pay this cost each time she changes her routine, even if returning to a routine she had previously paid for. A pain taster can benefit from only one routine at a time.

Disciple of Acuity: By spending an hour reciting a lengthy series of mantras while clutching a length of razor-edged metal, the pain taster gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Intelligence for 24 hours. The initial torture session for this routine involves making dozens of arterial incisions and writing the mantras in blood.

Disciple of Flexibility: By spending an hour painfully hyper-extending each joint, the pain taster gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity for 24 hours. The initial torture session for this routine involves tearing major tendons in each limb.

Disciple of Insight: By spending an hour whipping or bludgeoning herself while meditating on her failures and regrets, a pain taster gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Wisdom for 24 hours. The initial torture session for this routine involves inserting a long needle directly into the heart, causing massive internal hemorrhaging.

Disciple of Spirit: By spending an hour splitting her tongue by cutting it centrally from the tip to the base, the pain taster gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Charisma for 24 hours. The initial torture session for this routine involves applying acid to a normally visible part of the body, inflicting extensive chemical burns.

Disciple of Torment: By spending an hour eating dirt, rocks, and other indigestible matter, the pain taster gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution for 24 hours. The initial torture session for this routine involves slicing open the abdominal cavity with a blade, and then sewing up the wound.

Disciple of Vigor: By spending an hour hanging by the wrists from a tree, crossbeam, or any other support structure, the pain taster gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Strength for 24 hours. The initial torture session for this routine involves breaking each rib by lying on the ground, and then repeatedly dropping a large rock directly on the ribcage.

Masochism (Ex): At 1st level, a pain taster becomes empowered by pain, and is inured to its effects. She receives a +4 class bonus on saving throws made against pain effects.

Additionally, a pain taster can deal lethal damage to herself at any time to gain a bonus on attack and damage rolls. Doing so is a swift action that deals 2 points of damage to the pain taster, does not require an attack roll, and bypasses any damage reduction the pain taster possesses. For 1 round, the pain taster gains a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls and a +2 bonus on damage rolls. Every 3 levels thereafter (4th, 7th, and 10th), the amount of damage the pain taster deals to herself increases by 2 and the resulting bonus she receives on damage rolls increase by 1 (to a maximum of 8 points of self-inflicted damage and 5 points of bonus damage to other targets at 10th level). At 7th level, the bonus on attack rolls gained when using this ability increases to +2.

Scourge (Ex) Pain tasters are masters of torture, and at 1st level they receive Weapon Focus (whip) as a bonus feat. If the pain taster already has Weapon Focus (whip), she instead receives Whip MasteryUC as a bonus feat.

Cruelty (Ex) At 2nd level, a pain taster gains the sneak attack ability, but only when using a whip. This additional damage stacks with any sneak attack damage she possesses from other classes. The amount of damage dealt by cruelty increases by 1d6 every 2 pain taster levels thereafter.

Damage Reduction (Ex) At 2nd level, the pain taster’s incredible resilience grants her a modest amount of damage reduction (DR). Subtract 1 point from the damage she is dealt by any weapon or natural attack. The pain taster’s damage reduction increases by 1 point every 2 pain taster levels thereafter. This ability stacks with any other damage reduction the pain taster might already have from other classes. The value of this damage resistance doubles when the pain taster is subject to nonlethal damage.

Blood Control (Ex) At 3rd level, the pain taster gains the ability to control the blood pressure throughout her body. Anytime the pain taster is dealt bleed damage, she reduces the amount of damage taken by 1 per pain taster level (minimum 0). When taking Constitution damage as a result of blood loss (such as a stirge or a vampire’s bite), a pain taster reduces the amount of ability damage dealt by an amount equal to half the pain taster’s class level (minimum 0).

As an immediate action, a pain taster can delay the onset of injury or contact poisons by succeeding at a Will save. The DC of this check is equal to the poison’s save DC. If the save is successful, the poison’s initial and secondary damage are both delayed by 1 minute per pain taster level.

Torturer’s Mettle (Ex) At 3rd level, a pain taster can gain a number of temporary hit points equal to her pain taster level as a swift action. These temporary hit points last for 1 minute. This ability is a swift action that can be used once per day at 3rd level and an additional time per day every 3 levels thereafter (6th and 9th).

Pain Mastery (Ex) At 5th level, when using her masochism ability, the pain taster can combine two of her daily routines into one. The pain taster must still selfinflict the combined amount of hit point damage for both routines, though she can perform both routines simultaneously in 1 hour. When she does so, she gains the benefits from both routines (a pair of +2 enhancement bonuses). To gain access to a second routine for the first time or to change out one of the paired routines, the pain taster must still perform the new routine’s initial torture session in full, and must pay the cost for it.

Exquisite Lash (Ex) At 7th level, a pain taster’s aptitude with the whip increases. She receives Whip MasteryUC as a bonus feat. If the pain taster already has Whip MasteryUC, she instead receives Improved Whip MasteryUC as a bonus feat.

Sadism (Ex) At 9th level, a pain taster becomes worked into a frenzy when dealing damage to other targets. When she deals bonus damage to a target using her cruelty ability, she halves the number of points of damage she must self-inflict as part of her masochism ability until the end of her next turn.