Some adventurers drift from vocation to vocation, testing out various paths and skillsets, never quite happy with their lot. Some of these notice a pattern in their tinkering: in each station, they've been in the service of a particular deity. Some might shrug this off as coincidence. The pious retainer is one who sees this pattern as a sign of fate, and henceforth devotes himself entirely to his deity.
Role: The pious retainer is not a paragon of battlefield combat, and he does not advance any spellcasting ability he may have once had. Instead he becomes a master of his deity's favored weapon and his deity's domain powers. His role depends largely on said powers. A pious retainer with the Air and Water domains might excel at blasting his enemies from a distance; a pious retainer with the Strength and War domains might prefer a less subtle role on the frontlines.
Alignment: Same as deity's.
Hit Dice: d8.
To qualify to become a pious retainer, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Alignment: Same as deity's.
Skills: Knowledge (religion) 7 ranks.
Feats: Weapon Focus with deity's favored weapon.
Domains: Any 4 from deity's portfolio.
The pious retainer's class skills are Appraise (Int), Knowledge (religion), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the pious retainer prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A pious retainer gains no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
Domain Power: At 1st level, and at every level thereafter, a pious retainer gains an additional daily use of a domain granted power to which he has access. If the pious retainer selects a domain granted power with usage measured in rounds or minutes per day instead of uses, increase that number by 2. In addition, at each level, the pious retainer selects a spell from one of his domains. He can cast that spell once per day as a spell-like ability with caster level equal to his character level and save DCs set by his Wisdom modifier. The selected spell must be of a level equal to or lower than 1/2 the pious retainer's character level, and it cannot have an expensive material component. A pious retainer can select the same spell multiple times with this ability, each time increasing the number of times per day he may cast it as a spell-like ability.
Focused Worship (ex): Now devoting his efforts entirely on following his deity, a pious retainer can progress many domain abilities at once. A pious retainer's class levels stack with levels in each class which grants him one of his deity's domains for the purposes of determining the caster level, effects, and DCs of that class's granted domain powers, and which powers are available to him.
Example: John Doe is a 4th level cleric of Abadar with the Law and Nobility domains, a 1st level druid with the Earth domain, and a 2nd level inquisitor with the Travel domain. Upon attaining his 1st level of pious retainer, John Doe treats his effective cleric level for Law and Nobility as 5, for Earth as 2, and for Travel as 3.
Obsessive Theology (Ex): A pious retainer adds his class level to all Knowledge (religion) skill checks.
Vow of Obedience: A pious retainer takes an oath to his deity upon recognizing their connection. This functions as the paladin's code of conduct, except that the pious retainer, rather than being lawful good and honorable, must stick to his deity's alignment and act in accordance to his deity's wishes. Failure to do so results in the loss of all class abilities (including feats) and domain granted powers (even those granted from other classes) until such a time as the pious retainer can benefit from an atonement spell.
Weapon Specialization: At 2nd level, the pious retainer gains Weapon Specialization with his deity's favored weapon as a bonus feat, even if he doesn't meet its prerequisites.
Domain Training (Ex): Much as a fighter trains with weapons, a pious retainer trains with his deity's domain powers. At 3rd level, he receives +1 on all attack and damage rolls with granted powers from his deity's domains. At 5th level, and every odd-numbered level thereafter, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +4 at 9th level.
Greater Weapon Focus: At 4th level, the pious retainer gains Greater Weapon Focus with his deity's favored weapon as a bonus feat, even if he doesn't meet its prerequisites.
Domain Combat: At 6th level, whenever the pious retainer wields his deity's favored weapon, he treats it as a conductive weapon (see APG, p. 286).
Improved Critical: At 6th level, the pious retainer gains Improved Critical with his deity's favored weapon as a bonus feat, even if he doesn't meet its prerequisites.
Greater Weapon Specialization: At 8th level, the pious retainer gains Greater Weapon Specialization with his deity's favored weapon as a bonus feat, even if he doesn't meet its prerequisites.
Divine Paragon (Su): At 10th level, the pious retainer perfects his training with his divine gifts. While wielding his deity's favored weapon, he cannot be disarmed. In addition, he automatically succeeds on all concentration checks to use domain granted spell-like abilities defensively. Finally, he selects two 1st-level domain granted powers; he may use these at will.