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SlaadLord
2010-07-19, 06:35 PM
Smoking Mirror Savant
Servants of the dark god Tezcatlipoca (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tezcatlipoca), smoking mirror savants are tools of chaos, evil, and darkness in the world.
Hit Dice: d6

Prerequisites:
Alignment: Any non-lawful, non-good.
Base Attack Bonus: +3
Skills: Bluff 2 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 5 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 2 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks
Feats: True Believer (Tezcatlipoca)
Special: Must be able to cast 1st-level arcane spells or possess Sneak Attack +1d6.

Class Skills
The smoking mirror savant's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Disguise (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills taken individually) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier

{TABLE]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Spellcasting/Sneak Attack
1|+0|+0|+2|+2|Nightfall 1/day, Sneak Attack +1d6|+1 level of existing class
2|+1|+0|+3|+3|Shadowcloak|+1 level of existing class
3|+2|+1|+3|+5|Nightfall 2/day, Beguiling Blackness|+1 level of existing class
4|+3|+1|+4|+5|Sneak Attack +2d6|+1 level of existing class
5|+3|+1|+4|+5|Guardian of the Night|+1 level of existing class
6|+4|+2|+5|+5|Call the Night Prowler, Sacrificial Stroke|-
7|+5|+2|+5|+5|Nightfall 3/day, Sneak Attack +3d6|+1 level of existing class
8|+6|+2|+6|+6|Jaguar's Call|+1 level of existing class
9|+6|+3|+6|+6|Nightfall 4/day|+1 level of existing class
10|+7|+3|+7|+7|Tezcatlipoca's Favor, Sneak Attack +4d6|-
[/TABLE]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Smoking mirror savants possess no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.
Spellcasting: When a smoking mirror savant attains a new level other than 6th or 10th, his arcane spellcasting level increases by +1 and he gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in whatever spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. If the savant increases his spellcasting level, he does not gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained, except for an increased effective level of spellcasting.
Nightfall (Su): This ability lowers the level of illumination by one stage in a radius around the smoky mirror savant equal to ten feet per class level. This radius follows the smoky mirror savant as he moves, and lasts for a number of rounds equal to twice his class level. All creatures and objects in the area gain concealment while this ability is in effect. Normal lights are incapable of illuminating the area of this effect, as are light spells of a level less than half the smoky mirror savant's class level. This ability is useable once per day at 1st level, and can be used once more at 3rd, 7th, and 9th level.
Sneak Attack (Ex): This is exactly like the rogue ability of the same name. The extra damage dealt increases by +1d6 at first level and every third level thereafter (4th, 7th, and 10th). If a smoking mirror savant gets a sneak attack bonus from another source, the bonuses on damage stack.
Shadowcloak (Sp): In areas of shadowy illumination or total darkness, a smoking mirror savant adds his class level as a profane bonus to Hide, Move silently, Search, Sleight of Hand, Disable Device, Open Lock, and Tumble checks.
Beguiling Blackness (Su): At 3rd level, a smoking mirror savant can choose to infuse the darkness he creates with a mote of the chaos and trickery his god seeks to inspire. When he uses his Nightfall ability, he can choose to make all enemies within the darkened area confused, as the spell, for 1 round per class level. A Will save (DC 10 + the smoking mirror savant's class level + Charisma modifier) negates this effect.
Guardian of the Night (Ex): A smoking mirror savant a +4 profane bonus to AC and attack rolls at night as well as a +8 bonus on Bluff, Hide and Move Silently checks at night or in areas of shadowy illumination or total darkness. This effect occurs at night even if the area is totally illuminated. The only exception is actual sunlight or a daylight spell.
Call the Night Prowler (Su): At 6th level, the smoking mirror savant can summon a Night Prowler of Tezcatlipoca to serve him once per day. This ability is the equivalent of a 6th-level spell and functions as a summon monster spell cast by a 15th level caster.
Jaguar's Call (Su): A smoking mirror savant of at least 8th level can expend a spell slot of 6th level or higher to summon a Night Prowler of Tezcatlipoca to serve him for a number of rounds equal to his caster level. Only two night prowlers of Tezcatlipoca will serve a savant at any one time.
Sacrificial Stroke (Ex): If a smoking mirror savant sneak attacks a flat-footed target that is unaware of his presence, the savant's attack is considered a critical hit. If this attack slays the victim, the smoking mirror savant immediately gains temporary hit points equal to the damage dealt to the victim (maximum 10 + the victim's current hit points) and a +4 profane bonus to Strength. These benefits last for an hour. The effects of making multiple sacrificial strokes do not stack.
Tezcatlipoca's Favor (Ex): The smoking mirror savant gains a potent and permanent bonus to his Dexterity, Intelligence, or Charisma. The savant chooses one of these ability scores and increases it by 4; this is an untyped bonus, similar to those gained once every four character levels, and thus stacks with all other bonuses.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Night Prowler of Tezcatlipoca
Large Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 10d10 + 40 (95 hp)
Initiative: +8
Speed: 50 ft., climb 20ft.
AC: 19, touch 13, flat-footed 15 (-1 size, +4 Dex, +6 natural)
Base Attack/ Grapple: +10/+19
Attack: Bite* +13 melee (2d6 + 5)
Full Attack: Bite* +13 melee (2d6 + 5) and 2 claws* +10 melee (1d6 + 2)
Space/Reach: 10ft./5ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, pounce, rake 1d6 + 2, sneak attack +2d6
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft., DR 10/good, evasion, low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +4
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 17, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills: Balance +17, Climb +16, Hide +6*, Jump +17, Listen +2, Move Silently +14, Spot +2
Feats: Improved Natural Attack (Bite), Multiattack, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Bite)
Challenge Rating: 6
Treasure: None
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
*3-point power attack.

Combat
Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a night prowler of Tezcatlipoca must hit with its bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can rake.
Pounce (Ex): If a night prowler of Tezcatlipoca charges a foe, it can make a full attack, including two rake attacks.
Rake (Ex): Attack bonus +15, damage 1d6 + 2.
Skills: Night prowlers of Tezcatlipoca have a +8 racial bonus on Jump, climb, and balance checks and a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks. They can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened. *Night prowlers of Tezcatlipoca have a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks at night or in dark areas.

Glimbur
2010-07-19, 07:04 PM
It seems to lack focus and isn't very strong. 4/10 spellcasting and only 2 dice of sneak attack over 10 levels means that either rogues or arcanists lose a whole lot by taking this class. 4+ skill points per level also hurts a rogue entry. Honestly, I might get in via Spellthief(Complete Adventurer) 4 which gives some arcane casting and some sneak attack, but then you miss 10 levels of spellthief ability. With classes like Unseen Seer and Arcane Trickster who do rogue/wizard with more competence and more generically, I'm not sure why this class exists. Consider making it 4/10 or 5/10 sneak attack or 8/10 casting.

Hypnosis is flavorful but unimpressive. How long does the gaze attack last?

Nightfall has a criminally small radius, consider 5' per class level or 5' per two class levels for its radius. This can be replicated with other spells, Darkness and such, so it too is not worth taking the class for.

The quickest entry is Duskblade (PHB II) 3, so Lesser Shadow Magic gives you lesser shadow conj/evocation at character level 5. The regular versions of those spells are 4th level, so the lesser versions are probably 3rd level at most, and a 5th level wizard can cast 3rd level spells by ECL 5. So at best Lesser Shadow Magic gives you a few spells at the same time wizards could get them. They're not great spells though due to allowing a will save on top of the original spell.

Guardian of the Night is cute but small.

Call the Night Prowler is a CR 6 monster at ECL 9 at the earliest. Three attacks, pounce, and sneak attack mean that it can do some damage, AC is low and 91 hp is ok.

Augury and Divination are useful, but a cleric could cast them for trivial GP cost (there is no XP cost) so this ability is flavorful but weak.

Tezcatlipoca's Favor is useful because it stacks with everything and higher numbers are handy, but this is nowhere near worth 10 levels.


Look at it this way: there's a wizard 15, a rogue 15, and a rogue 5/Smoking Mirror Savant 10. Each is sent on a sneaky assassination mission to please Tezzy. The wizard teleports in, finger of death's the guy, and leaves. The rogue uses trickery, guile, Bluffing, Hiding, Moving Silently, Gather Information, etc, and an elaborate plot which drops the target through a trap door on to spikes. The rogue then finishes the job. The Smoking Mirror Savant sneaks on to the property of the target, runs in to some guards, uses the panther to escape, meets the target, and fails to kill him. This is a made up scenario but it seems plausible to me.

jiriku
2010-07-19, 07:17 PM
I like the style. There's not enough Aztec-themed stuff floating around, and this is a welcome addition. I also like that you used the True Believer feat as a requirement. Relics are a neat idea that haven't yet been fully explored, IMO.

You still have a lot of work to do to bring this class to a level where a player would want to take it, or even to the level of being competitive with similar prestige classes like arcane trickster, unseen seer, or daggerspell mage, but I'll try to offer some useful criticism.

First, the core principle of a theurgic prestige class (one that combines two distinctly different base classes and progresses them both) is that the whole must be greater than the sum of its parts. By this I mean two things:

You need to progress the core abilities of each base class at more than 50% of their original rate.
You need to create synergies where the strengths of the two classes combine in interesting ways and make it possible to do something that you couldn't do simply by alternating levels in the two base classes.

To meet these two principles, you need to advance skill use and sneak attack at a better rate (I'd suggest 6 points per level and +1 die every two levels or three levels), and you need to advance spellcasting at a better rate (I'd suggest somewhere between 6/10 and 10/10, depending on the strength of the other abilities you offer.

Several of the abilities you're including, while flavorful and interesting, are mechanically bad choices that aren't as good as what someone could get by, for instance, simply alternating levels of rogue and wizard. By this I refer to the bonus feat option (it's greatly inferior to the choice of an additional caster level) and all of the spell-like abilities (they're too narrow in scope and usable too few times per day).


You also want to include some abilities that synergize the strengths of the class. For example, the character might get a bonus to caster level with a successful skill check (like hiding and casting unseen), or a bonus to the save DC of a touch spell that's delivered with a sneak attack. Contrariwise, perhaps he could expend a spell slot to sneak attack something normally immune, or at least get grave strike and razing strike added to his class spell list.


Side Note: The night prowler is interesting, but without Search and Survival, its Track feat and trapfinding abilities are worthless. Reallocate its skill points so that it can use all of its abilities. Also, its feat choices are quite poor, and its AC is low for its CR. You might want to fiddle with that to produce something more effective.

SlaadLord
2010-07-19, 07:18 PM
How about sneak attack 1d6 per two levels and identical spellcasting/feat progression?

Dusk Eclipse
2010-07-19, 07:19 PM
I like the flavor, a lot (and I am half-tempted to homebrew a servent of Quetzalcoatl here)

But yeah it seems kida weak.... maybe increasing the arcane casting advancement to at least 8/10 would be a good idea..... also probably giving a SA progression similar to the Unseen seer 4d6 IIRC.

jiriku
2010-07-19, 07:24 PM
How about sneak attack 1d6 per two levels and identical spellcasting/feat progression?

That's a good start, but I'm not sure you want to make the class more than "arcane trickster plus". A problem you have is that every single class feature can be duplicated exactly (or nearly so) by spells available to members of other classes. It has nothing to truly call its own. If you can address that issue in addition to the power issue, you'll really be picking up some steam with this concept.

Edit: Duh, I are illiterates.

SlaadLord
2010-07-19, 07:40 PM
How's it look now? Made it half and half, made Nightfall actually potent and fixed the skill points back up to 6 + Int. Also upped the usefulness of Guardian of the Night and trimmed off the pointless spell-like abilities.

Gonna fix the night prowler using what i have here as a base.

Milskidasith
2010-07-19, 08:00 PM
How's it look now? Made it half and half, made Nightfall actually potent and fixed the skill points back up to 6 + Int. Also upped the usefulness of Guardian of the Night and trimmed off the pointless spell-like abilities.

Gonna fix the night prowler using what i have here as a base.

Half spellcasting is generally sub-awful for any spellcaster.

It's also strange you can enter this without actually having any casting.

SlaadLord
2010-07-19, 08:10 PM
It's also strange you can enter this without actually having any casting.

That's why I had it spellcasting/bonus feats before...

devinkowalczyk
2010-07-19, 11:48 PM
So, just throwing out an idea (sorry it is not working on the current issues of the previous prestige)


Aztecs where the hearts in hands offered to the sun so that it would rise.
So
Something to do with Eclipses/Darkness
Something to do with KALIIIMAAAAAA!!!!
Obsidian was huge (sharper then modern day surgical instruments, shatters into shards in the wound)
Builder classes who know about stone (their pyramids)
where they the one with the floating city?

SlaadLord
2010-07-20, 10:54 AM
Aztecs where the hearts in hands offered to the sun so that it would rise.

There were two other gods that demanded a)sacrifice so the sun would rise; or b)the hearts of warriors so they could battle the enemies of the Aztec better.
Tezcatlipoca is neither of these gods. He demanded sacrifice, but not in the form of hearts nor so the sun rose.


Something to do with Eclipses/Darkness

Tezcatlipoca was the god of darkness, among other things.


Something to do with KALIIIMAAAAAA!!!!

Indian mythology, not aztec.


Obsidian was huge (sharper then modern day surgical instruments, shatters into shards in the wound)

Yes, it was. It's also impractical to use on a regular basis, because it needs regular repair and replacement.


Builder classes who know about stone (their pyramids)

Experts with Knowledge (architecture and engineering) and Craft (masonry).


where they the one with the floating city?

No.

jiriku
2010-07-20, 11:42 AM
How's it look now? Made it half and half, made Nightfall actually potent and fixed the skill points back up to 6 + Int. Also upped the usefulness of Guardian of the Night and trimmed off the pointless spell-like abilities.

Gonna fix the night prowler using what i have here as a base.

Yes, this is better. I'd recommend further increasing the casting progression. Again, the casting prestige classes that are considered "worthwhile" all grant at least 6/10 progression or better, and the one that grants 6/10 (swiftblade) grants REALLY GOOD abilities that are useful in almost every encounter of every day. Perhaps you could grant additional abilities that apply at night or in the area of a magical darkness effect. Ideas that come to my head include Hide in Plain Sight, swift invisibility, Strength/Con damage on a successful sneak attack, blind, daze, or stun on a successful sneak attack, miss chance against spells while in darkness, spell resistance while in darkness, spontaneously convert a spell slot of 6th level or higher to summon a night prowler, or polymorph into a night prowler.

Re: the new nightcrawler statblock, this looks better, but you have some empty feat slots. Since its attack bonus is quite high for its CR, Power Attack seems like an obvious choice. Stick an automatic Power Attack for -4 in there and its attack routine becomes +12/+9/+9 for 2d6+9/1d6+6/1d6+6, with the possibility of two rakes of +11/+11 for 1d6+6/1d6+6. That's pretty solid for a CR 6 monster.

SlaadLord
2010-07-21, 01:31 AM
Lots of seemingly random upgrades. There is a method to my madness. It occurred to me that, as it was before, this class was incredibly overpowered for casters. it granted half casting, sure, and that was all well and good but it also gave sneak attack progression on par with the rogue's. This wouldn't be a problem if the class required two classes to enter, but as the prerequisites clearly say must be able to cast 1st-level arcane spells OR possess Sneak Attack +1d6, the rogues that manage to meet all of the prerequisites would be sorely disappointed and a bit shafted when compared to their spellcasting peers.

I'm taking on suggestions for what happens at 4th level...preferably split like the spellcasting/sneak attacking thing.

Milskidasith
2010-07-21, 02:00 AM
Lots of seemingly random upgrades. There is a method to my madness. It occurred to me that, as it was before, this class was incredibly overpowered for casters. it granted half casting, sure, and that was all well and good but it also gave sneak attack progression on par with the rogue's. This wouldn't be a problem if the class required two classes to enter, but as the prerequisites clearly say must be able to cast 1st-level arcane spells OR possess Sneak Attack +1d6, the rogues that manage to meet all of the prerequisites would be sorely disappointed and a bit shafted when compared to their spellcasting peers.

I'm taking on suggestions for what happens at 4th level...preferably split like the spellcasting/sneak attacking thing.

Sneak attack is (near) worthless for casters. Caster levels are not.

SlaadLord
2010-07-21, 07:20 AM
Sneak attack is (near) worthless for casters. Caster levels are not.

Right. So I let them choose.

jiriku
2010-07-21, 12:15 PM
Hrm. Your changes have addressed some old problems, but created more new problems than they've solved.

The class now looks and feels like two entirely different prestige classes spliced into one table. If you seriously intend for rogues and wizards to advance along separate tracks, you would do better to create a different prestige class for each.

Beguiling Blackness does not need a separate pool of uses per day. It is already constrained by the limited uses per day of Nightfall.

Shadowcloak is terribly terribly limited. I suppose all the abilities don't have to be strong, though.


Hrm...really what this needs...lemme see...if I could suggest? This is the level of power that would actually draw player interest in the class. By level 15 you probably have sneak attack of a rogue 10, skill points of a rogue 12-13, casting of a sorcerer/wizard 12, and several unique abilities that cannot be gained from either class.

Prerequisites:
Alignment: Must not be lawful or good.
Skills: Knowledge (religion) 2 ranks and either Bluff 8 ranks or Spellcraft 8 ranks
Feats: True Believer (Tezcatlipoca)
Special: Must be able to cast 1st-level arcane spells and possess Sneak Attack +1d6 or greater.

Class Skills
The smoking mirror savant's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Disguise (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills taken individually) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier

{TABLE]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Spellcasting
1|+0|+0|+2|+2|sneak attack +1d6, nightfall 1/day|+1 level of existing class
2|+1|+0|+3|+3|Shadowcloak|+1 level of existing class
3|+2|+1|+3|+3|Nightfall 2/day, beguiling blackness|+1 level of existing class
4|+3|+1|+4|+4|sneak attack +2d6|+1 level of existing class
5|+3|+1|+4|+4|Guardian of the night|+1 level of existing class
6|+4|+2|+5|+5|Call the night prowler, sacrificial stroke|-
7|+5|+2|+5|+5|sneak attack +3d6, nightfall 3/day|+1 level of existing class
8|+6|+2|+6|+6|Jaguar's call|+1 level of existing class
9|+6|+3|+6|+6|Nightfall 4/day|+1 level of existing class
10|+7|+3|+7|+7|sneak attack +4d6, tezcatlipoca's Favor|-
[/TABLE]

Shadowcloak adds class level to Hide, Move Silently, Search, Sleight of Hands, Disable Device, Open Lock, and Tumble while in nighttime or shadowy conditions.

Beguiling blackness is an option whenever nightfall is used.

Jaguar's Call and Sacrificial Stroke are not mutually exclusive. Sacrificial stroke grants temp hp = damage dealt, to a max of victim's current hp+10 prior to the strike.

SlaadLord
2010-07-21, 01:09 PM
I concur and applaud your effort sir. This looks great to me, and I will make the appropriate changes immediately. I'm considering changing the "must be able to cast 1st-level arcane spells" requirement to Arcane Caster level 1st to allow warlocks access.

jiriku
2010-07-21, 02:33 PM
Actually, now that I think about it, an even better simplification for Shadowcloak would be that it adds class level to Search + all Dexterity-based skill checks in night-time or shadowy conditions. That's a little broader too.
Also, your Will save progression is off at levels 3 and 4.

Debihuman
2010-07-21, 10:25 PM
The attack is off for the Night Prowler. I think you forgot the size modifier. Melee attacks are BAB+Str Modifier+Size Modifier (Large is -1). 10 + 5 -1 =14.

Attack: Bite +14 melee (2d6+5)
Full Attack: Bite +14 melee (2d6+5) and 2 claws +9 melee (1d6+2)

If you were including 3 points of power attack it would be Bite +11 (2d6+8) You subtract the 3 from the melee attack and add it to the damage. The statblock generally shows the normal attack so you added unnecessary asterisks.

Debby