Balanced scales of Abadar fulfill a specialized role in Katapesh. In addition to utilizing their powers of mercantilism, balanced scales seek out lost, unclaimed, or wrongly seized wealth among the many tombs and ruins of the Katapesh desert. Balanced scales of Abadar develop unique powers that afford them the ability to enter dangerous areas where lost treasure can be restored to the light or hidden goods can be returned to their rightful owners. A balanced scale finds the most satisfaction in discovering long-lost treasures hidden in unmarked strongholds, owned by now nameless individuals of the past. A balanced scale can claim such wealth for her own and use it to further the strength of her church.
Hit Die: d6
To qualify to become a balanced scale of Abadar, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria:
Spellcasting: Ability to cast 3rd-level divine spells
The balanced scale of Abadar's class skills (and the key ability for each) are Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Table: Balanced Scale of Abadar
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells per Day|
|2nd||+1||+1||+1||+1||Appraising eye||+1 level of divine spellcasting class|
|3rd||+1||+1||+1||+2||Access the vault (non-magical items), bottomless bag (type II)||+1 level of divine spellcasting class|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+2||Eloquent bargainer||+1 level of divine spellcasting class|
|5th||+2||+2||+2||+3||Access the vault (magic items)||+1 level of divine spellcasting class|
|6th||+3||+2||+2||+3||Bottomless bag (type III), vault jump||+1 level of divine spellcasting class|
The following are class features of the balanced scale of Abadar prestige class.
At levels 2–6, the balanced scale gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in a divine spellcasting class she belonged to before. She adds the level of balanced scale of Abadar to the level of whatever other spellcasting class she has for the purposes of determining her caster level.
Ancient ruins often contain locked and sometimes warded doors; as such, a balanced scale can pick the lock of even a magically locked door (such as one sealed by arcane lock or hold portal). The Disable Device DC for the door is considered 10 higher than normal due to the effect of the warding spell. A balanced scale also gains a +2 sacred bonus to Disable Device checks. As a full-round action, a balanced scale can make a Disable Device check to disable a magical trap (such as a glyph of warding) for 1 minute.
A balanced scale must estimate value quickly and accurately, particularly when in a dangerous environment such as an underground tomb. She gains a +2 sacred bonus to all Appraise checks, and can appraise an item with 1 full-round action, instead of 1 minute, if she takes a –10 penalty.
Sometimes a balanced scale finds an unexpected treasure too large to transport. Once per day she can turn any ordinary sack, backpack, or other container into a bag of holding type II. The container remains a bag of holding for 1 hour per class level; after the duration expires, the container resumes its normal properties, and any items too large to fit within its true dimensions immediately and harmlessly fall out of the opening. Unlike a permanent bag of holding, the bag created by this ability cannot be overloaded or ruptured, nor does it have any special interaction with other kinds of extra-dimensional spaces.
At 6th level, the balanced scale’s bottomless bag increases to the size of a bag of holding type III. Alternately, she can create two bags of holding type II, though their extradimensional spaces are not linked in any way.
Getting permission to enter treasure-laden ruins sometimes requires talking to the right people and handing around a few coins for bribes, “finder’s fees,” and so on. At 4th level, a balanced scale learns which palms to grease and what promises to make, gaining a +2 bonus to Diplomacy checks when she offers an appropriate bribe (minimum 10 gp × the level of the recipient) during the interaction. In addition, she receives a +2 sacred bonus on Charisma checks made to compel a bound creature to perform a service when using the lesser planar binding and greater planar binding spells.
At 3rd level, a balanced scale gains the power to access the First Vault, Abadar’s planar repository for perfect versions of every item ever made. Once per week a balanced scale can summon a copy of any one non-magical item (normal or masterwork) as long as its market price is equal to or less than 500 gp per divine caster level and its volume is less than 1 cubic foot per caster level. The item remains with the balanced scale for 1 minute per class level, after which it returns automatically to the First Vault. Consumable items vanish once used but function for their normal duration or 1 minute per class level, whichever is less. Even if an item is destroyed while in the balanced scale’s possession, a new copy appears in the First Vault. At 5th level, a balanced scale can use this ability to summon a magic item from the First Vault. Items with charges always arrive fully charged, and the price limit applies to this fully charged version (for example, a fully charged wand of cure serious wounds costs 11,250 gp, putting it out of reach of any caster level 22 or lower).
Items taken from the First Vault are obviously of exceptional quality and radiate magic (even if not normally a magic item, such as a chair or table), and their unearthly perfection is enough to make any intelligent potential buyer suspicious. The church of Abadar frowns on selling items from the First Vault, as it is essentially stealing from the buyer (as the items vanish shortly thereafter), which disrupts faith in fair trade and the church; balanced scales who abuse this ability lose access to the First Vault until they have atoned for their transgression.
Because there is only one perfect copy of each item in the First Vault, there is a remote chance (approximately 1%) that the item the character wants is unavailable because another person has borrowed it. If this happens, it does not expend the balanced scale’s ability, and she may try again next round to summon that or another item.
Some religious scholars theorize that this power does not actually draw items from the First Vault, as Abadar would not lend out his true perfect copies, and that the items are actually copies of the perfect items, perhaps placed in another divine vault created for this purpose or as a backup.
Those who drive hard bargains and search for lost treasures sometimes bite off more than they can chew, and a quick exit is often the only way to escape a bad situation alive. Once per day, a balanced scale can create a one-way portal through the First Vault, which has one of two effects. First, she may use the portal as if it were a dimension door, but can only travel to areas within range and to which she has been (for example, she cannot use it to get past a sealed door into the unknown room beyond). Second, she may use the portal as if she were casting word of recall, but instead of returning to her sanctuary she always returns to the closest active temple of Abadar. The balanced scale’s caster level for this ability is equal to her divine caster level, and she can bring others with her as defined in the spell descriptions.
Travel through the First Vault is uncomfortable and disorienting, possibly because the Vault rejects imperfect mortal flesh in an attempt to protect itself, or because the aura of so much perfection is overwhelming to mortal senses. Regardless of the distance traveled, the balanced scale (and anyone traveling with her) arrives 1d4+1 rounds later and is nauseated for 1d4+1 rounds after arriving (Fortitude DC 15 negates).
As with the balanced scale’s ability to access the First Vault, some scholars believe this ability transports the user through a space other than the First Vault. Their reasoning is that, if a balanced scale were mind-controlled or otherwise compromised, this ability might allow thieves to access the First Vault and steal the priceless, perfect items stored there.