View Full Version : New PrC--The Player King

The Demented One
2006-01-22, 10:53 PM
I'm looking for balancing advice with this PrC. The abilities are probably totally unbalanced, and I'm too tired to fix them up. Thus, the task is left to you.

Player King

”This is magnificent–and it is true! It never happened; yet it is still true! What magic art is this?”

Stories have power. They are the archetypes of reality, the things that, deep down, all living things know are true. Even fiction is true in a sense–while it has not actually happened, it should have, and that is truth enough. Player Kings are those who know the power of the stories, and channel it, becoming living exemplars of fictional characters.

Skills: Perform (Comedy, Drama, Epic, Ode, Storytelling, or Ballad) 12 ranks, Knowledge (History) 4 ranks.
Feats: Skill Focus (Perform)
Special: Must have performed for an outsider or being of great power, and won its approval.

d6 HD

Skills per Level: 4 + Int
Skill List: Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Knowledge (History) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (None), and Spellcraft (Int).

1.......+0....+0....+0....+2.......Become Character 1/day (2 skills)
2.......+1....+0....+0....+3.......Alter Character
3.......+2....+1....+1....+3.......Become Character (1 feat)
4.......+3....+1....+1....+4.......Become Character 2/day (3 skills, +2 stat), Share Character
5.......+3....+1....+1....+4.......Become Character (1 class feature), Morphic Character
6.......+4....+2....+2....+5.......Become Character 3/day (2 feats)
7.......+5....+2....+2....+5.......Become Character (+4 stat)
8.......+6....+2....+2....+6.......Become Character 4/day (2 class features)
9.......+6....+3....+3....+6.......Become Character (3 feats)
10......+7....+3....+3....+7.......Become Character 5/day (3 class features, +6 stat), Shape Character

Become Character (Su)
A Player King can wrap himself in a cloak of stories, becoming a character in them. Once per day, and one additional time per day at every even level after 2nd, he may, as a standard action, become a character. He gains a insight bonus equal to half his class level on two skills appropriate to that character. At 4th level, he gains a bonus to a third skill. In addition, he gains a +10 competence bonus on all Bluff or Disguise checks to act the role of the character.

At 2nd level, the Player King gains a +2 bonus to one stat when he becomes a character. At 7th level, he may have this bonus increase to +4, or gain a +2 bonus to two stats.
At 10th level, he may have this bonus increase to +6, or gain a +2 bonus to three stats.

At 3rd level, he gains a bonus feat appropriate to the character, which he must meet the requirements for. At 6th and 9th level, he gains another bonus feat.

At 5th level, he gains one of the following class features appropriate to the character: Divine Grace, Evasion, Favored Enemy, Flurry of Blows, Smite Evil 1/day, Sneak Attack +2d6, Trapfinding, Turn Undead 3/day, Uncanny Dodge, Wild Empathy, or Wild Shape 1/day (Medium). Alternatively, he may choose to gain one of the spellcasting progressions listed below, choosing a set of spells known, and spontaneously casting them as either a sorcerer or a favored soul or replace his normal Player King BAB with a BAB equal to his Player King class level. At 8th level, he may choose a second class feature from the list. At 10th level, he may choose ability, which may be from the following list: Greater Flurry, Improve Evasion, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Rage 3/day, Smite Evil 3/day, Sneak Attack +5d6, or Wild Shape 3/day (Large). Class features dependant on class level use the character’s Player King class level.

If a Player King of 5th level or higher chooses to gain spellcasting rather than class features, he must choose to cast arcane spells from the Wizard class list spontaneously as a sorcerer, or divine spells from the Cleric class list as a Favored Soul. He uses the tables below to determine the number of spells he can cast per day and the number of spells known, regardless of the type of casting chosen. Each time he becomes a character, he chooses a new set of spells known, all of which must be appropriate to the character.

Spells Per Day


Spells Known


The set of bonuses, feats, and abilities gained must all make sense for the character that the Player King becomes. For example, a 10th level Player King becoming a famous thief might choose to grant himself bonuses to Hide, Move Silently, and Sleight of Hand, gain the Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, and Lightning Reflexes, while gaining the Trapfinding, Evasion, and Sneak Attack +5d6 class features. However, a skill bonus to Survival, the Maximize spell bonus feat, or the spellcasting class feature would be inappropriate.

Becoming a character lasts for 1 minute/class level + the Player King’s Cha mod.
Altered Character (Sp)
Whenever a 2nd level Player King becomes a character, he may become a member of that character's race, as if he had cast the Alter Self spell, with a caster level equal to twice his class level, but with a duration equal to that of the Become Character ability.

Share Character (Su)
A 4th level Player King may spend two uses of his Become Character ability to grant a willing creature touched the benefits of his Become Character ability, using his class level to determine the abilities gained.

Morphic Character (Sp)
Whenever a 5th level Player King becomes a character, he may become a member of that character's race, as if he had cast the Polymorph spell, with a caster level equal to twice his class level, but with a duration equal to that of the Become Character ability.

Shape Character (Sp)
Whenever a 10th level Player King becomes a character, he may become a member of that character's race, as if he had cast the Shapechange spell, with a caster level equal to twice his class level, but with a duration equal to that of the Become Character ability.

2006-01-22, 11:38 PM
Excellent flavor, and not too overpowered.

2006-01-23, 12:04 AM
This class is extremely similar to the Chameleon class in Races of Destiny- except in that class, you could be your "character" for a much longer period of time, but had restrictions on the number of times you could use special abilities

It differs in that with this class, the change only takes a standard action. So you could be a wizard, cast your spells, then switch to a fighter and smash people.

What exactly is meant by a "character?" Can your character just be "generic archmage guy?" Do you need to know a specific person?

Oh, and the requirements need to be upped, I think. As they are now, you can enter the class at second level- Unless that's what you wanted.

The Demented One
2006-01-23, 12:47 AM
By character, I mean any character in a story that the Player King knows.

I know it's a lot like a Chameleon. I've added a few shapeshifting abilities to differentiate it.

2006-01-23, 02:00 AM
I like the idea behind this, but there's a couple things I'd change.

First off, with the requirements, I'd make the skills Peform (Act) or Perform (Oratory), since those are what people would take, not the sub-Performs you listed. Also, 12 ranks means that the earliest someone could take this would be 9th level; is this right? Also, I'd suggest maybe Disguise as a prerequisite skill, too, but see below for that.

Second, there's no real method defined for what constitutes a character, so it's possible, with a standard action, to basically give you whatever abilities you need right then. I would suggest something like:

Repetoire: As a Player King gains levels, he or she learns more parts. At first level, he or she picks (some number between 1-3, maybe based on Int mod) characters which she learns extremely well. She may learn an additional character (each level/every two levels...) To learn a character, the Player King must spend 8 hours practicing mannerisms, vocal patterns, and so forth, and must make or acquire costume pieces (perhaps costing some amount). Each character has the bonuses associated with it set when the Player King learns it. A Player King may forget a character to learn a new one, and can re-learn a character to change the bonuses associated with it (if the Player King has gained levels, for example), spending 8 hours to learn the character either way.

Third, with the timing you've got right now (standard action to become the character, # of minutes = lvl + Cha mod), like Dragonmuncher mentions, this basically would let the character blaze through a ful stack of spells in a few minutes, take a standard action to switch to a different character with more spells, burn through those, etc., over the course of the day. First, I'd suggest making the duration of the effect longer, maybe 10 minutes per instead of 1 (I mean, most plays are a couple hours anyway). Second, I'd make the amount of time needed to get "into character" longer, at least a minute. Maybe at higher levels you could add "Quick Change: once per day the Player King may change characters in 1 full round instead of the usual minute." Just something to prevent combat-changing from being a regular occurance. Also, you probably would want to restrict whether or not more than one character can use a given ability, especially those with limited uses per day. Maybe just that every character draws from the same "use pool"...

Oh, one last idea for a mid-to-high level ability:
Play the Villain: (Su) When learning a new part, the Player King may choose an alignment for that character. While playing that character, the Player King's alignment appears to be the chosen alignment to detect spells & abilities that mimic those spells. The actual character's alignment doesn't change, and other spells and magic effects which depend on alignment still function normally.

Anyway, like I said, I love the concept!

2006-01-23, 04:21 PM
"We don't care what shape you take.
We don't care what tricks you try.
You see, my friends and I...
We're mental shapeshifters. I open a comic book and become Captain America. Rumy creates a manga about a sorceress. Will role-plays Morpheus.
And we've each spent hours apiece thinking ourselves into the role of a physical shapeshifter. So there's nothing you can think of...that we haven't anticipated.
Final shot of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Curry. Freeze-frame...
Fade to seipa...
Roll closing credits."

-Rikk Oberf, from T. Campbell's "Fans".
Kinda reminded me of this. Rikk would certainly have approved.