View Full Version : Zern as PCs

2010-03-30, 10:44 AM
As the title says.

One of my players recently expressed his wish to start our new campaign with transmutation in mind (Master Transmogrifist to be more exact). And after a bit of searching he found this race and wants to use it, no matter the ECL. I'm ready to allow this because we will be starting off at around lvl 6 anyway, but the problem is I'm not sure what would be the racial stats/adjustments for a Zern character...? :smallconfused:

So if anyone knows of some entry about them other then the one in MM4, or even better can link me to one, I would be most grateful :smallsmile:

2010-03-30, 11:01 AM
Give him a refluffed bugbear or troglodyte or something. Seriously, 8 monstrous humanoid RHD?

2010-03-30, 11:07 AM
To find out what stat adjustments he would have simply subtract 10 from even stats and 11 from odd stats in the monster's entry. So for example if strength is 16 it would be +6 bonus to strength (16 - 10). Same goes if strength is 17 (17 - 11).

2010-03-30, 11:11 AM
I know it sounds overpowered but it is going to be a really tough and somewhat weird campaign, so I'm giving them more freedom than usual.

Thanks for the advice marjane sine, I wasn't aware of that fact; gonna go and block out the stats ASAP :smallwink:

2010-03-30, 11:18 AM
The listed Level Adjustment is +7 (see end of Page 196). As far as I'm concerned, give him his HD in caster levels and make the Level Adjustment +2 or so and allow him to buy that off.

Or rewrite him a monster class that gains the Transmuter-casting, and some other iconic abilities without dead levels. Maybe make him a Focused Specialist without bonus spell slots to compensate for the class abilities or so. Besides, Master Transmogrifist goes a long way towards mitigating the race's power; it has 4 dead levels of casting among others (though I'd frankly cut 'em down to 2 or s).

Either way, make the SLAs improve by level and consider Malleable Form-abilities from level 1, but improving level-by-level.

2010-03-30, 10:38 PM
I'd never take it. And I LOVE Zern. Why? LA SEVEN. That's unplayably bad. Make it LA +3 and require him to take Zern Mutator and we'll call that a day, and even then, he's kinda up the creek as far as builds go. After Mutator, where's he go? Fighter? I think it's alright looking, but god, that LA has to come down.

2010-03-31, 02:39 AM
Yeah, the LA 7 is not just because of the stats, its because of all the neato abilities a zern gets. The abilities you ripped out and put into the class. Really at that point it doesn't need a +7. Of course I don't think anyone would even bother with anything more than LA 3 because 3 is the last LA you can pay off pre-epic.

2010-03-31, 04:28 AM
Yeah, the LA 7 is not just because of the stats, its because of all the neato abilities a zern gets. The abilities you ripped out and put into the class. Really at that point it doesn't need a +7. Of course I don't think anyone would even bother with anything more than LA 3 because 3 is the last LA you can pay off pre-epic.

I "ripped them out" only because I'm trying to make a racial class out of it and in that way create a more viable solution for regular sessions and campaigns.

Here is the 1.2 version of the Zern:

Zern (Medium Monstrous Humanoid)

Racial Traits

+6 Str, +6 Dex, +8 Con, +4 Int, +2 Wis, +0 Cha: Cruel and amoral to the extreme in their never ending search for biological perfection, the Zern are masters of their own bodies, unmatched in their malevolence and intellect.

Monstrous Humanoid: Zern are not subject to spells or effects that affect humanoids only, such as charm person or dominate person.

Medium: As Medium creatures, Zern have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Zern base land speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision out to 60 feet.

Spell-like abilities: As a zern advances in levels, he gains spell-like abilities as indicated on the table below. Spell caster level is equal to his Hit Dice (minimum 1st). The save DCs are Charisma-based.

{table=head]Level|Spell-like ability
2nd|At will - reduce person
4th|1/day - gaseous form
7th|1/day - baleful polymorph

Zern have a spell resistance equal to 10 + class levels.

+6 Natural Armor: A Zern's evershifting skin and muscles can quickly reform and adapt to provide protection from any sort of attacks.

Zern have a +2 racial bonus on Use Rope checks that involve binding.

Automatic Languages: Common, Zern. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven.

Favored Class: Transmuter.

Level Adjustment: +3

Zern Mutator







Other Classes:



Race: Zern

Special: Level 1st

Game Rule Information
Zern Mutators have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Strength is an ideal ability for a Zern Mutator, augmenting his melee prowess. Intelligence is very important as it determines how powerful a spell a zern mutator can cast, how many spells he can cast, and how hard those spells are to resist and it also determines the number of bonus damage zern deals with its Warping Energy attack. Dexterity provides better defense and bonuses on ranged attacks. Constitution upgrades the Zern Mutator's toughness.

Alignment: Any evil (usually neutral evil)

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills: The Zern Mutators class skills (& the key ability for each skill) are Craft (Flesh Sculpting) (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Listen (Wis), Spot (Wis) and Use Rope (Dex)

Skill Points at 1st level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier

Table 1-1: Zern Mutator
{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Reflex Save|Will Save|Special|Spells per Day
1st|+1|+0|+2|+2|Malleable Form 2, Transmuter-casting|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
2nd|+2|+0|+3|+3|Warping Energy 1d6, Shifting Guise
3rd|+3|+1|+3|+3|Malleable Form +1, Immunity (poison)
4th|+4|+1|+4|+4|Warping Energy 2d6, Transmutation Affinity|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
5th|+5|+1|+4|+4|Malleable Form +1, Immunity (stuning),
6th|+6/+1|+2|+5|+5|Warping Energy 3d6, Adaptive Defenses
7th|+7/+2|+2|+5|+5|Malleable Form +1, Immunity (paralysis)|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
8th|+8/+3|+2|+6|+6| Warping Energy 4d6, Fast Healing 5

Class Features

Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Zern are proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, quarterstaff and shortspears. They are also proficient with light armor.

Transmutation-casting: The zern are natural transmuters and they pickup knowledge related to this school of magic with great ease. However their close specialization also heavily interferes with their studies in other fields of magic. Beginning at 1st level and every three levels thereafter you gain an arcane spellcasting level as if you were a wizard with a focused specialty in transmutation, except that you don't gain any of the bonus spell slots usually granted by focused specialty starting ability. In addition you do not gain any other benefit a character of a wizard class would have gained (bonus metamagic or item creation feats, familiar or familiar special abilities, and so on).

Malleable Form (Ex): A zern can rapidly alter its metabolism, internal structers, organs, and other bodily systems to cope with a variety of environments and situations. As a swift action, a zern can gain benefits of one of his selected malleable forms. Each benefit has unlimited duration. Generally, a zern remains in one form, and then slips into another one as the situation dictates. When a zern uses a swift action to gain one of these forms, it loses benefits of the form it previously held. You start with two malleable forms at 1st level and chose one additional form at every odd number level after that.

Adrenal Surge: The zern's upper-body muscles bulge and grow with enhanced power. It gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls and a +4 bonus on damage rolls. including those using its warping energy ability.

*Athletic Augment: The zern's whole body shifts, his height improves, its limbs become elongated and slender and its hands and feet allow for a far better grip. The zern now can take 10 on any climb, jump or swim check as well as any check that involves running.

Boneless Form: The zern's body seems to melt into a puddle of goo as its bones liquefy. It gains a +8 bonus on Escape Artist checks, which increases to +16 on checks made to squeeze through a tight area.

*Heightened Senses: The zern's eyes grow, his nasal cavity expands and his lobes widen. It gains a +2 competence bonus to Initiative, his darkvision range increases by 60 feet and he gains Scent.

Impervious Hide: The zern's skin shifts into plates of armor. It gains +4 bonus to AC and DR5/piercing.

Size Shift: The zern can shift to Large or Small size. A Large zern gains a +2 bonus to Strength, and it's space and reach increase to 10 feet; one that shifts to Small takes a -2 Strength penalty. The zern gains the standard size bonuses or penalties on attacks, Hide checks, and so forth.

Speed Burst: The zern's legs lengthen and its lower body muscles bulge and grow. Its base speed increases by 30 feet.

* - new malleable forms.

Warping Energy (Su): At 2nd level a zern can produce energy that rends and tears at its opponents flesh. As a standard action, a zern can use this ability to make a melee or a ranged attack that deals 1d6 points of damage plus the zern's Intelligence modifier. The ranged version of this attack can reach to 120 feet and has no range increment. This damage increases to 2d6 at 4th level, 3d6 at level six, to a maximum of 4d6 points of damage at level 8th.

Shifting Guise (Ex): As the alter self spell; at will; caster level is equal to zern's monstrous HD. A zern can choose to shift into a different monstrous humanoid form or any humanoid form.

Immunities (Ex): Their malleable biology and advanced body chemistry allows the zern to rapidly adapt their metabolism and repel many forms of attack. At 3rd level the zern gains immunity to all sorts of poison, at 5th level it becomes immune to all forms of stunning and at 7th level it is no longer subject to paralysis and similar effects.

Transmutation Affinity (Ex): Zern are so in tune with transmutation based spells that they can cast them to a greater effect almost effortlessly. As of 4th level the save DCs of any transmutation spells or spell-like abilities used by a zern increase by 4.

Adaptive Defenses (Ex): A zern's ever-changing physiology allows it to shrug off effects that attack its endurance or disrupt its bodily functions. Beginning at 6th level, zern is immune to all spells and effects that require a Fortitude save unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless. A zern can choose to allow an effect that requires a Fortitude save to affect it.

Fast Healing 5 (Ex): As of 8th level zern's body becomes so adaptable that it can quickly recover from many harmful effects, close open wounds, repair internal damage and recuperate from severe injury. He is now capable to heal almost instantly and regains 5 hit points per round. This does not include hit points lost due to starvation, thirst or suffocation and it does not allow a zern to regrow lost body parts.

Table 1-2: Spells Known

I considered your proposal and made it ECL3 but I still think that it is way to powerful for such a low rating...not that that is a bad thing or something :smalltongue:

I added some spellcasting in the lines of what Eldariel suggested and I like the idea of toying around with new malleable forms, I added two so far. If you have any ideas for some other forms I would be happy to hear you out. I'll finish the class description and fluff later this day.

So what do you think? Does it need some more adjustments or anything? Please tell me what you think of it, I am in dire need of some good feedback before I can safely let this thing loose in my campaign. Thank you for the comments so far! :smallsmile:

Note: Accidently deleted my previous post, sorry for that :smallannoyed:

2010-03-31, 06:46 AM
Full wizard casting with d8 hitdie, full BAB, two good saves and partial immunity for things that target the bad save?

Well, at least it doesn't get a familiar.

2010-03-31, 07:02 AM
Full wizard casting with d8 hitdie, full BAB, two good saves and partial immunity for things that target the bad save?

Well, at least it doesn't get a familiar.

Well I said I needed help :smalltongue:

Taking the presented abilities into account how would you organize them? I'm not that much experienced in making and balancing out classes - especially when they have this powerful abilities to start with. So please help!

Edit: v.1.2 - nerfed spellcasting

2010-03-31, 07:32 AM
Well I said I needed help :smalltongue:Have you tried the homebrew forum?

2010-03-31, 07:33 AM
Have you tried the homebrew forum?

Umm...nope. Will do that now :smallredface:

2010-03-31, 09:47 AM
I "ripped them out" only because I'm trying to make a racial class out of it and in that way create a more viable solution for regular sessions and campaigns.

Hmm, me saying ripped out kinda sounded harsh didn't it? My bad :P

Pretty much anything you do will make the zern obscenely powerful at low levels, especially since its so easy to be powerful at low levels. If you really wanted, you could take off a bunch of the stats and put them into the racial class in increments for a better curve of power.