View Full Version : [Idea] Spring-heeled Jack

2006-09-25, 03:53 AM
I was thinking of making an PrC of him. Yeah, I know, this is now two PrC idea topics I have open, but with any luck there'll be two PrC showcases soon.
For those unfamiliar with the legend of Spring-Heeled Jack as well as being unfamiliar with Wikipedia, here's the Tl;Dr version.
Crazy dude in victorian london, scared people and jumped away, tabloids made him into the first superhero.
Hundred odd years later, nerd on a DnD forum gets an idea to make a PrC based on him.

Prestige Class
Must be chaotic
High dex, possibly str encouraged
High levels in jump and craft required.
Main features: Character gains a natural affinity for jumping (I'd suggest just adding levels in "name of PrC" to jump checks, or maybe a more smooth progression based on levels or something), and must craft a Spring-Heel device, which enhances their maximum jumping abilities, also based on level.
Now, so far, I dunno. But there's one other ability that the "real" SHJ had, firebreath. Now, this could be handled either by simply copy-pasta`ing the Dragon Disciple dragon breath, but that seems skeezy. However, as the jumping is handled as a device, the fire-breath *should* be as well. Not sure how it would work... lo damage, for certain, as it was merely a scare-tactic.
... Just like everything else about him.

-I dunno. I'm really feeling the need to make this, and it scares me.

Jack Mann
2006-09-25, 04:20 AM
Cool idea. As the Original Spring-heeled Jack (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=homebrew;action=display;num=11543041 03;start=4#4) on the boards, I approve.

For firebreath, I'd honestly have it do damage, unless you want to have it go all out for intimidating and frightening an enemy. In that case, you'll have to be careful to do a better job than the poor, sad CW Samurai. Ing's idea might work, especially if you explain it as using some sort of drug in the fuel (in which case a fortitude save would be more appropiate). I'd make sure that the DC scaled somewhat, possibly having it based on half the Spring-heeled Jack levels plus intelligence modifier (as you're building the device and concocting the fuel, making it more powerful would depend on Int).

If you go the damage route, the best limitation, I think, would be a cooldown period. Possibly 1d4 rounds, a bit like a dragon's breath. Alter as needed. Either start it off at, say, level five of the prestige class as Elixer of Fire Breath and have it increase as you level, or else make it more powerful and give it at level ten as a capstone ability (assuming a ten level prestige class). The scaling would be explained as the Spring-heeled Jack getting better at concocting the fuel mixture.

Of course, that brings us to the problem with item-based abilities: transfer. Generally, if you can use it, someone else can. If someone else can just take these abilities (or a player can take the abilities from a defeated NPC by looting him), you can easily create a power imbalance. Perhaps these devices must be specially fitted to the wearer, and require extensive training to keep from injuring yourself while using them?

2006-09-26, 01:50 AM
Hmmm... yeah, I was thinking that they would be specially fitted. The Spring-heel itself presents a major opportunity for horror if used by someone who isn't the creator (I recall the Germans tried experimenting with such a dvice with disasterous results). Anyways, like the Bonded Duskstrider, I'll probably make it a 10-level with epic progression.

You know, I just re-checked the wikipedia article, and they mention that in one of the last sightings (1986, for cryin' out loud, the guy would be 200) he was jumping pretty damn far. By level ten, this PrC shouldn't have trouble navigating a medium sized city with ease, spiderman style.
Except, you know, without the whole web thing.

Oooooon the other hand, I had a vision last night of one of my characters, and recalled that his character backstory mentioned a tribe called the "Spring-Heels" as an explanation for his extraordinary fumping abilities. So, it could go the other way, with non-item or -magic based jumping.

-I don't know.