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View Full Version : True Specialist Diviner [3.5 PEACH]



Kuma Kode
2010-07-17, 07:06 PM
This is a new base class for my Winds of Aether campaign. In it, the schools of magic are arranged in a circle, and specialist wizards must give up the school that opposes their specialty and one of the ones adjacent to the opposed school. There are others who go off the deep end, devoting themselves entirely to one school and losing access to all schools except for their specialty and the two schools adjacent to it. This is the first of that project, and I expect I will need help balancing it, so get out your CHAOTIC EVIL RED PENS OF CRITICISM :mad:

Note: The diviner counts as a specialist wizard, so being a multiclass wizard/true specialist diviner is not allowed.

Spell List: I was going to organize the spell lists a bit after I got them all done, but generally speaking, a true specialist has access to both divine and arcane spells of their school, with a few miscellaneous exceptions (Necromancers don't get the Resurrection line, for instance), and the standard wizard spells from the two secondary schools. Diviners have access to Divination as their primary school (obviously) and Necromancy and Transmutation as their secondary schools.


True Specialist Diviner

Few things are as mysterious as the future, and few come closer to unlocking its secrets than the diviner. Sacrificing nearly all other schools of magic, the true specialist delves deep into the mists of time to discover the nature of time and fate.

Adventures: Diviners adventure for knowledge, above all else. They are driven by a profound need to understand not only what, but why. They approach their problems with logic veiled under a layer of mystique, and they are always prepared.

Characteristics: Knowledge and planning are the tools of the diviner. Because she lacks much in the way of offensive magic, she must rely on her precongitive abilities to thwart attacks. Thankfully, because of her vast repertoire of divinations, knowledge is not hard to come by. Like other wizards, a true specialist diviner must prepare spells from a spellbook, though she is much better at determining what she'll need.

Alignment: Because the study of magic requires discipline, diviners favor law over chaos.

Religion: Diviners favor Boross the Calm for his meditative and contemplative attitude, a personality many of them seek to emulate.

Background: Like wizards, diviners learn their magic from a mentor or professor, but diviners spend less time mingling with other wizards than is typical. They prefer the company of each other, collecting into small oracular cults, sometimes merging with a cabal of necromancers who see them as kindred spirits.

Races: Of the sentient species, an overwhelming majority of diviners are dwarves. This is long thought to be because of their keen interest in maintaining their own history, but recent theories suggest that the diviners may be responsible for the detailed history, instead of the other way around. Humans and hobgoblins also respect divination specialists, but both tend to favor more flashy specialties.

Other Classes: Diviners understand their own limitations, and enjoy working with a varied group. Manipulating and directing such unique individuals is much like an elaborate game of chess to them, and an intellectual exercise. Because of their amazing powers to predict the future and to sense potential danger, adventuring groups are wary of pushing away a diviner who shows interest in joining them.

Role: Diviners rely on their extracurricular magic to protect themselves when the going gets rough. Ideally, however, the diviner acts as support, directing and arming their allies with the foreknowledge to save the day.


{table="width=95%;head"]
Level |
Base Attack
Bonus |
Fort
Save |
Ref
Save |
Will
Save |
Special |
0th |
1st |
2nd |
3rd |
4th |
5th |
6th |
7th |
8th |
9th


1st|
+0|
+0|
+0|
+2|Enhanced Divinations, Specialist Focus|
5|
2|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-


2nd|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+3|Uncanny Preparation I|
6|
3|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-


3rd|
+1|
+1|
+1|
+3|Foretell Failure 1/Day|
6|
3|
2|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-


4th|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+4|Sixth Sense, Providence +1 Insidious Insinuation|
6|
4|
3|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-


5th|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+4|Bonus Feat|
6|
4|
3|
2|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-


6th|
+3|
+2|
+2|
+5|Foretell Failure 2/Day, Providence +2|
6|
5|
4|
3|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-


7th|
+3|
+2|
+2|
+5|Omniscient Whispers, Uncanny Preparation II|
6|
5|
4|
3|
2|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-


8th|
+4|
+2|
+2|
+6|Sixth Sense, Providence +3|
6|
6|
5|
4|
3|
-|
-|
-|
-|
-


9th|
+4|
+3|
+3|
+6|Foretell Failure 3/Day|
6|
6|
5|
4|
3|
2|
-|
-|
-|
-


10th|
+5|
+3|
+3|
+7|Bonus Feat|
6|
6|
6|
5|
4|
3|
-|
-|
-|
-


11th|
+5|
+3|
+3|
+7|Cryptic Admonition, Providence +4|
6|
6|
6|
5|
4|
3|
2|
-|
-|
-


12th|
+6/+1|
+4|
+4|
+8|Sixth Sense|
6|
6|
6|
6|
5|
4|
3|
-|
-|
-


13th|
+6/+1|
+4|
+4|
+8|We are Legion, Providence +5|
6|
6|
6|
6|
5|
4|
3|
2|
-|
-


14th|
+7/+2|
+4|
+4|
+9|Uncanny Preparation III|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
5|
4|
3|
-|
-


15th|
+7/+2|
+5|
+5|
+9|Bonus Feat, Providence +6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
5|
4|
3|
2|
-


16th|
+8/+3|
+5|
+5|
+10|Sixth Sense|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
5|
4|
3|
-


17th|
+8/+3|
+5|
+5|
+10|Providence +7|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
5|
4|
3|
2


18th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+6|
+11|Aegis|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
5|
4|
3


19th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+6|
+11|Providence +8|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
5|
4|
3


20th|
+10/+5|
+6|
+6|
+12|Bonus Feat, Sixth Sense|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
6|
5|
4
[/table]

Game Rule Information

Diviners have the following game rule statistics.

Abilities: Intelligence determines how powerful a spell a diviner can cast, how many spells she can cast, and how hard those spells are to resist (see Spells, below). A high Dexterity score is helpful for a diviner, who typically wears little or no armor, because it provides her with a bonus to Armor Class. A good Constitution score gives a diviner extra hit points, a resource that she is otherwise very low on.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d4.

Class Skills

The diviner's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int Modifier) ◊ 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int Modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the diviner.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Diviners are proficient with either basic weapons or crossbows, but not with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a divinerís movements, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail.

Spells: A diviner casts arcane spells which are drawn from the diviner spell list. A diviner must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time (see below).

To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the diviner must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a divinerís spell is 10 + the spell level + the divinerís Intelligence modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a diviner can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on the above table. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Intelligence score.

Unlike a bard or sorcerer, a diviner may know any number of spells. She must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time by getting a good nightís sleep and spending 1 hour studying her spellbook. While studying, the diviner decides which spells to prepare.

Spellbook: A diviner keeps and maintains a spellbook, just like a non-specialist wizard does.

Enhanced Divinations: A diviner gains special benefits when casting divinations. She needs only to study an item for 10 minutes (rather than 1 hour) when casting identify. An arcane eye cast by the diviner travels at 20 feet per round when studying its surroundings (rather than 10 feet per round).

Specialist Focus: A diviner gains a +4 bonus on Spellcraft checks made to learn or identify a spell from the Divination school. She also gains a +2 bonus on similar checks against Transmutation or Necromancy spells.

Uncanny Preparation I: At 2nd level, hints of the future begin to filter into the diviner's mind, giving her subconscious clues as to what spells she will need for the day. She senses intuitively which spells she may require, though she does not know why. A diviner of 2nd level or higher may leave 1/3 of each level of her class-allotted spells per day unspecified, but still prepared. At any moment afterward, she may fill an unspecified slot with a spell she could have prepared, and cast it. Declaring a spell takes no time and may be done once for each unspecified slot. This essentially allows the diviner to reserve several slots to be used spontaneously like a sorcerer, except that the spell is considered prepared and therefore does not suffer an increase in casting time for metamagic feats attached.

For instance, Catrina, a 2nd level diviner, may uncannily prepare two cantrips and one first level spell, regardless of her intelligence bonus. She must prepare the remaining slots like a normal wizard, but these three slots are left empty. Later on, Catrina finds herself wondering if a mysterious doorway is guarded by a magical ward. She didn't prepare Detect Magic, but she has two uncannily prepared 0-level slots. She declares that she sensed she needed Detect Magic for today, and converts one of these empty slots into Detect Magic, casting it in the same round. If she had decided she wanted to investigate the door quietly, she could have converted her 1st level slot into a Silent Detect Magic instead, assuming she had the metamagic feat.

Foretell Failure (Su): The spirits may warn a diviner of a fruitless task, saving her valuable resources and time. At 3rd level, the diviner gains the ability to revoke the use of a special ability that must be declared before a roll is made, after she has seen the roll recall her actions for a round and redo them after she has seen the results, once a day. This ability cannot recall itself., not can it recall an ability that is itself an action (such as entering a Rage or a spell-like ability).

For instance, a cleric/diviner with the Sun domain declares she is using a greater turning attempt, offered by her domain. She rolls terribly, not enough to affect any of the undead she is fighting. She may use her Foretell Failure ability to recall her greater turning, deciding that she never used it in the first place. She still wastes a turning attempt and an action, but the spirits saved her greater turning for a better time. At 6th level, the diviner may use this an additional time per day. At 9th level, this increases to a total of three uses. She may never use it more than once a round, however.

Alternatively, the diviner may use her Foretell Failure to redirect, but not revoke, a spell or attack after she has seen the attack roll, caster level check, and/or saving throws. If, for instance, she fails to overcome the demon's spell resistance, she could instead redirect her spell to one of its minions so as not to completely waste it.

Sixth Sense (Su): Diviners traffic with the spirits of the dead, and the constant contact facilitates further sensitivity. At 4th level, a diviner begins to feel the spirits around her tugging on her mind, pointing out that which she would otherwise miss. She may select a detection spell that she already knows (A spell that follows the pattern of "Detect X", such as Detect Magic, Detect Undead, Detect Poison, Detect Good, etc.), which becomes a supernatural ability. This ability is always on, requires no concentration, and covers a 60 ft. sphere. It is otherwise identical to the spell, including information gathered during multiple rounds of scanning.

She gains this class feature again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level. Each time she gains it, she selects a new detection spell, and and the new aura overlays, but does not negate, the older ones.

Providence (Su): The spiritual forces with which the diviner communes subtly alter reality in her favor, depending on her chosen course of action. At the beginning of each day, when she prepares her spells, the diviner may grant herself a +1 circumstance bonus to attack rolls, all saves, or AC. Once her choice is made, she cannot change it until 24 hours have passed. At 6th, 8th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, and 19th level, the diviner gains an additional +1 bonus to distribute. She need not allocate all of her Providence points into the same statistics; At 6th level, for example, Catrina could grant herself a +2 circumstance bonus to AC, a +2 circumstance bonus to attack rolls, or a +1 circumstance bonus to both AC and attack rolls.

Insidious Insinuation (Ex): When threatened, a diviner's associate spirits can perform reconnaissance, allowing a specialist of 4th level or higher to dig into an enemy's past and cause its darkest secrets to surface with merely a mention. To do so, the diviner must make a Sense Motive check opposed by the enemy's special level check (1d20 + the target's HD + the target's Wisdom modifier). If she is successful, the target is shaken for the duration of the encounter or 5 minutes, whichever is longer. Even characters immune to fear, such as paladins or intelligent undead, can be demoralized in this manner, as the effect comes from the victim's own psyche. To be affected, the target must be able to hear and understand the diviner, and must have an intelligence score of 3 or higher.

For instance, Jevs, an evil diviner, is in combat with a paladin of honor. As he advances, Jevs uses Insidious Insinuation, succeeds on his Sense Motive check, and senses the paladin harbors deep regret about a woman he failed to save. The diviner smiles, locks eyes with the paladin, and says in a firm, knowing voice, "She would still be alive if it weren't for you." The paladin is now shaken for the rest of the encounter, even though he is immune to fear effects, until he has enough time to step away and clear his head. The penalties arise from his own guilt, not a supernatural fear effect.

Bonus Feat: A 5th level diviner gains a bonus metamagic or item creation feat, just like her other wizardly colleagues.

Omniscient Whispers: With her sensitivity to the metaphysical world growing ever stronger, a diviner of 6th level or higher begins to hear the voices of the spirits themselves, whispering secrets of the omniverse in alien tongues. She gains Omniscient Whispers (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/buildingCharacters/spelltouchedFeats.htm#omniscientWhispers) as a bonus feat (found in Unearthed Arcana).

Uncanny Preparation II: At 7th level, a diviner may begin uncannily preparing up to 2/3 of her class-allotted spell slots. This ability otherwise functions as Uncanny Preparation I.

Cryptic Admonition: A simple phrase from the mouth of a divination specialist may not seem significant when said, but it could be the difference between life or death later. At 11th level, a true specialist diviner gains the ability to offer cryptic advice passed through her by her spiritual patrons, allowing her to transfer one or more uses of her Foretell Failure onto another. The so empowered individual may activate Foretell Failure to preserve one of their own powers, such as Smite Evil, in the same way the diviner could, even if she's not around. These imbued uses disappear if not used when the true specialist prepares her spells (or recharges her own uses, if these times are different). She may opt not to recall that use, however, if she feels the individual could still need it. In such a case, she regains any uses of Foretell Failure she did not pass on to another.

We Are Legion (Su): A powerful diviner stands as the gate between our world and the next, and her constant channeling of spirits has caused a few to take up residence within her. This unusual and eerie inhabitance does not harm the diviner, but it offers great protection against her school of opposition: Enchantment. Whenever a diviner of 13th level or higher is targeted by a mind-affecting ability that targets a specific number of creatures, she counts as a number of creatures equal to her caster level. Any ability that is unable to affect that many creatures fails against her. Additionally, she may select a creature type, and plays host to spirits of that fit her specifications. Against mind-affecting attacks, she is considered a creature of that type. She gains no other abilities from that type, not even immunity to mind-affecting attacks. Changing the creature type is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

For instance, at 13th level, Catrina begins to invite fey spirits to inhabit her. An enemy enchanter casts Charm Person on her, which immediately fails because it cannot affect fey. Angrily, the enchanter tries again, casting Charm Monster on her. This likewise fails, because it targets only a single creature, and she currently channels the spirits of twelve fey, plus herself, for a total of thirteen creatures. It would take a targeted Mass Charm Monster to affect her.

A mind-affecting attack that affects an area, such as a mind flayer's mind blast, or otherwise works without regard to number of targets, is unaffected by We Are Legion.

Uncanny Preparation III: At 14th level, a diviner's ability to predict the future is without precedent. She may uncannily prepare any spell slots she gains from her diviner class. Only her bonus spells must be declared upon preparation.

Aegis (Su): A powerful diviner can control the flow of destiny not only for herself, but for those around her as well. At 18th level, all allies within 30 ft. of the diviner gain a circumstance bonus equal to half that granted by the diviner's Providence class feature. If Catrina used Providence to gain a +3 to her attack rolls and a +4 to her saves, for example, all allies nearby gain a +1 circumstance bonus on their attack rolls and a +2 circumstance bonus to every saving throw.

Kellus
2010-07-17, 08:22 PM
It's sort of a mixed bag. On the one hand there's some genuinely cool ideas that I haven't really seen done before, like the excellent We Are Legion class feature, one of the cleverest use of mechanics I've seen recently, as well as the neat uncanny preparation magic, which is a great divination-style take on regular spell slots. On the other hand, I think the class would have a real shortage of interesting things to do in battle, one of the reasons most homebrew diviners wrap it together with abjuration. Also, while Foretell Failure seems like an interesting idea, it's not especially clear what it can and can't be used on, and seems pretty limited. I don't especially understand why you can recall a Greater Turning but not a regular turning attempt, for example. I'm also having trouble seeing what a diviner would actually use it on that fits the parameters if she doesn't have levels in any other class, since none of the class features seem to fit the requirements.

Omniscient Whispers kind of sucks, being a once/week things that will never really be very interesting. Providence is some pretty boring small number keeping that gets even more boring when it expands to include other people. I mean, think how much bookkeeping there's going to be when you have, say, a +3 AC and +4 saves which also gives +1 AC and +2 saves to anybody that arbitrarily is standing within whatever feet of you. That's a lot of planning and conditional positioning that would have to be taken into account when the bottom line is that at 18th level nobody cares about numbered bonuses that small. There's a real shortage of interesting things to do with your spells and more focus on small unrelated divination-flavored abilities that don't really do much that you couldn't just do with your spells.

As for the other abilities, Sixth Sense is cool, but is a lot for the DM to remember all the time when you have like six of the active. It would suck for him to constantly have to be saying whether you detect law or good or plants or whatever whenever you pass within however many feet of it, but it ruins the class feature if it doesn't. While it's thematically interesting to have these abilities active all the time, it's mechanically slow and uninteresting.

Basically, the entire class depends on how your DM works with divination and the style of the campaign. Some might not mind building the campaign around someone like this, but it's not the sort of thing you can just slot into a campaign. While I might enjoy having it in certain styles of campaign, it really wouldn't be able to contribute much in a combat campaign, and would actually be pretty boring. In a mystery or roleplay heavy campaign it would pretty much be the **** since it could solve the mystery immediately unless the DM were to arbitrarily say everyone has a mind blank or whatever in which case what's the point of playing the class?

Interesting idea and some cool class features, but a boring class.

Kuma Kode
2010-07-18, 08:04 PM
It's sort of a mixed bag. On the one hand there's some genuinely cool ideas that I haven't really seen done before, like the excellent We Are Legion class feature, one of the cleverest use of mechanics I've seen recently, as well as the neat uncanny preparation magic, which is a great divination-style take on regular spell slots. I'm glad you like those abilities, they're the two abilities I'm actually really happy with. I'll be sure to keep them in the revisions of this class.
On the other hand, I think the class would have a real shortage of interesting things to do in battle, one of the reasons most homebrew diviners wrap it together with abjuration. Yeah, locking myself into preset class relations based on fluff is going to make balancing these classes a challenge.
Also, while Foretell Failure seems like an interesting idea, it's not especially clear what it can and can't be used on, and seems pretty limited. I don't especially understand why you can recall a Greater Turning but not a regular turning attempt, for example. I'm also having trouble seeing what a diviner would actually use it on that fits the parameters if she doesn't have levels in any other class, since none of the class features seem to fit the requirements. Yeeeaaahhh, I realized that too... Foretell Failure was one of the first abilities I figured out, besides Uncanny Preparation, and I intended there to be other abilities it could be used on, buuut it ended up being useful only for multiclass characters. The reason it can recall Greater Turning but not the normal turning attempt is I figured allowing a player to recall whole actions and redo their turn would be rather jarring in combat, where it's already confusing enough, so essentially it can only recall abilities that modify your actions. However, now that I think about it, it's probably not too bad to just allow it to recall your turn and redo it after you've seen the results. Would that be better? It would make it equally useful to everyone, regardless of class, and would make Cryptic Admonition a bit more useful.


Omniscient Whispers kind of sucks, being a once/week things that will never really be very interesting. Omniscient Whispers was mostly a fluff thing, I admit. I considered that, too, the only real use of it is that it's acquired before other characters get access to Commune and Contact Other Plane, so the diviner gets it first.
Providence is some pretty boring small number keeping that gets even more boring when it expands to include other people. I mean, think how much bookkeeping there's going to be when you have, say, a +3 AC and +4 saves which also gives +1 AC and +2 saves to anybody that arbitrarily is standing within whatever feet of you. That's a lot of planning and conditional positioning that would have to be taken into account when the bottom line is that at 18th level nobody cares about numbered bonuses that small. Providence was kind of thrown in last minute as a kind of precongnitive flavored defense, but you're right... no one really cares about numbers that small at that level. Providence needs to be reworked, or ditched.
There's a real shortage of interesting things to do with your spells and more focus on small unrelated divination-flavored abilities that don't really do much that you couldn't just do with your spells. Diviners get a few true-specialist-only spells, but I'll be sure to work on some ways to perhaps expand a diviner's uses of their spells beyond what the average wizard can do.


As for the other abilities, Sixth Sense is cool, but is a lot for the DM to remember all the time when you have like six of the active. It would suck for him to constantly have to be saying whether you detect law or good or plants or whatever whenever you pass within however many feet of it, but it ruins the class feature if it doesn't. While it's thematically interesting to have these abilities active all the time, it's mechanically slow and uninteresting. I'm not sure if it's that slow, since the same kind of thing may happen with darkvision and low-light vision. Still, I understand what you mean that, generally, this class requires a lot of bookkeeping. I'll see about streamlining it.


Basically, the entire class depends on how your DM works with divination and the style of the campaign. Some might not mind building the campaign around someone like this, but it's not the sort of thing you can just slot into a campaign. While I might enjoy having it in certain styles of campaign, it really wouldn't be able to contribute much in a combat campaign, and would actually be pretty boring. In a mystery or roleplay heavy campaign it would pretty much be the **** since it could solve the mystery immediately unless the DM were to arbitrarily say everyone has a mind blank or whatever in which case what's the point of playing the class?

Interesting idea and some cool class features, but a boring class.

Thank you for your thorough critique! I really appreciate it. So basically, the idea is...

The class has a few abilities (Sixth Sense, Providence) that need to be streamlined to prevent unnecessary bookkeeping.
The class is too narrowly focused. It is good at doing only a few things, and a player of a true specialist diviner would have difficulty contributing to situations that are not specifically geared to his/her talents.
A few of the ideas are poorly considered. They need to be expanded, explained, and perhaps reworked.


This gives me a place to start, and I already have a few ideas. :smallbiggrin: Thanks for taking the time to do a review!

Kellus
2010-07-18, 08:37 PM
No problem. Sorry if I came off a little harsh, I was really tired when I posted. It does have some good ideas, but definitely needs some work. Honestly, it is one of the better divination-style specialists I've seen.

If you'd like a hand with the base classes for your setting, just give me a PM. I might be able to help you out.

Sereg
2010-07-19, 09:51 AM
As Kellus said, this has some interesting features though you need ways of contributing in battle. I think that this has a lot of potential. When improving this class i want you to think "knowledge is power". That is what should come across. It needs to be able to get insight bonuses to pretty much everything. Illusion and concealment shouldn't work easily agianst it. It knows your weak points, so precision effects could come in. It knows where you are going to be, so your dexterity mod isn't going to help your AC. It needs massive boosts to skill checks (knowledge checks in particular) as it knows the best way of doing things. I suggest giving them the ability to warn their allies so that their allies gain the benifits of some of their class features. Also a way to know what their enemies are intending to do on their next turn. Just a few ideas that I'm throwing out for you.