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dragonsamurai77
2010-07-20, 01:30 PM
The Flame Dancer is a very offensive class, combining melee weapons with powerful fire spells, but sacrificing defense and versatility.

Playing this class, your only objective is to do damage: you have no supportive abilities and only weak armor. In combat, Flame Dancers unlease powerful ranged spells, then charge into melee with their powerful blades.

Class Skills: Knowledge, Climb, Craft, Profession, Spellcraft, Survival, Use Magic Device, Balance, Tumble
Skill Points: 4*(4+Int modifier) at Level 1, 4+Int modifier at every other level

Flame Dancer
{table=head]Level|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

1st|
+1|
+0|
+2|
+2|Bonus Feat, Resist Fire 10, starting feats,Small Fire Elemental|3

2nd|
+2|
+0|
+3|
+3||4

3rd|
+3|
+1|
+3|
+3||5

4th|
+4|
+1|
+4|
+4|Bonus Feat|5|3

5th|
+5|
+1|
+4|
+4|Elemental 2/day|5|4

6th|
+6|
+2|
+5|
+5|Resist Fire 15|5|5|3

7th|
+7|
+2|
+5|
+5|Bonus Feat|5|5|4

8th|
+8|
+2|
+6|
+6||5|5|5|3

9th|
+9|
+3|
+6|
+6|Resist Fire 20|5|5|5|4

10th|
+10|
+3|
+7|
+7|Bonus Feat, Elemental 3/day|5|5|5|5|3

11th|
+11|
+3|
+7|
+7|Fire Immunity|5|5|5|5|4

12th|
+12|
+4|
+8|
+8||5|5|5|5|5|3

13th|
+13|
+4|
+8|
+8|Bonus Feat|5|5|5|5|5|4

14th|
+14|
+4|
+9|
+9||5|5|5|5|5|5|3

15th|
+15|
+5|
+9|
+9|Elemental 4/day|5|5|5|5|5|5|4

16th|
+16|
+5|
+10|
+10|Bonus Feat|5|5|5|5|5|5|5|3

17th|
+17|
+5|
+10|
+10||5|5|5|5|5|5|5|4

18th|
+18|
+6|
+11|
+11||5|5|5|5|5|5|5|5|3

19th|
+19|
+6|
+11|
+11|Bonus Feat|5|5|5|5|5|5|5|5|4

20th|
+20|
+6|
+12|
+12|Elemental 5/Day|5|5|5|5|5|5|5|5|5[/table]

8-sided HD
Proficient with all simple and martial bladed weapons, as well as light armor
Bonus Fighter or metamagic feat every 3 levels
Starts off with Searing Spell and Armored Mage (only applies to light armor, and only for Flame Dancer spells)

Spells:
Dex must be 10+spell level
Casting is spontaneous
Flame Dancers know 1 spell of each level (except 0):
1. Burning Hands
2. Flame Blade
3. Fire Bolt (Lighting Bolt, but Fire damage)
4. Fire Shield
5. Cone of Fire (like Cone of Cold)
6. Fire Seeds
7. Delayed Blast Fireball
8. Fire Storm
9. Meteor Swarm

Other class features:
Can learn Ignan regardless of race.
Can summon a Small Fire Elemental as a familiar.
Fire Resistance 10, increases with level

Familiar Rules:
HD=1.5 x FD Level if higher
Size increases as HD increases. (4 = Medium, 8 = Large, 16 = Huge, 21 = Greater, 24 = Elder)
Can be summoned 1/day per 5 levels, as a full action (dismissal is also a full action)
Can't use equipment
BAB = your BAB if higher

Temotei
2010-07-20, 01:37 PM
No class features?

Morph Bark
2010-07-20, 01:40 PM
Would also sound more like a PrC to me...

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-20, 01:53 PM
M-Bark: What's a PrC?

I'm not quite done yet, either. I'm going to add the class features right now.

For Valor
2010-07-20, 02:01 PM
hark, noob! Ye shall be taught!

PrC: Prestige Class.

Also, what's the BAB on this guy? Also, see Fire Immunity and Fire Resistance. This guy would DIE against an Efreet or a Fire Elemental.

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-20, 02:07 PM
hark, noob! Ye shall be taught!

PrC: Prestige Class.
\facepalm

Also, what's the BAB on this guy?Added Also, see Fire Immunity and Fire Resistance. This guy would DIE against an Efreet or a Fire Elemental.So it should be higher?

Responses in bold.

Temotei
2010-07-20, 02:08 PM
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9[/table]

Why no 0-level spells? Flare?

Copy the table above and continue to copy that format (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. in the level column, | dividing columns).

Alternatively, look here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10313).

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-20, 02:12 PM
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9[/table]


Why no 0-level spells? Flare?That's a light spell.

Thank you very much for the table, I would never have found that on my own. But, how do I add columns?

Morph Bark
2010-07-20, 02:18 PM
Thank you very much for the table, I would never have found that on my own. But, how do I add columns?

Simply add more of | to each line.

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-20, 02:20 PM
Simply add more of | to each line.

Oops, I meant, how do I add rows?

Owrtho
2010-07-20, 02:28 PM
Oops, I meant, how do I add rows?

Just make a new line. Usually works best if you double space it (otherwise it sometimes won't catch it).

Owrtho

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-20, 02:44 PM
Just make a new line. Usually works best if you double space it (otherwise it sometimes won't catch it).

Owrtho

I found it now, already added magic

EDIT: Class Table is complete!

jiriku
2010-07-20, 02:55 PM
Too many spells of low level; I'd suggest you cap at 4 or 5 spells per day of a given level (remember, the character will probably augment that number with bonus spells from a high casting stat). Needs a larger hit die. Needs (at a minimum) light armor proficiency and the Armored Mage class feature. Needs Searing Spell as a bonus feat. Needs more level-appropriate spells from levels 4-6 (the existing spells are too weak for the level at which they're granted). Fire resistance should scale faster.

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-20, 03:01 PM
Too many spells of low level; I'd suggest you cap at 4 or 5 spells per day of a given level (remember, the character will probably augment that number with bonus spells from a high casting stat). Needs a larger hit die. Needs (at a minimum) light armor proficiency and the Armored Mage class feature. Needs Searing Spell as a bonus feat. Needs more level-appropriate spells from levels 4-6 (the existing spells are too weak for the level at which they're granted). Fire resistance should scale faster.

I don't have access to anything other than the PH, so do you know any good mid-level Fire spells I could use? I'll lower the spell caps a little later, do you have any particular ideas?

AugustNights
2010-07-20, 03:07 PM
I agree with M-Bark, in that this wants to be a Prestige Class.
It is too narrowed of a concept to be a general class.

As a prestige class, the Ignan thing (Which feels weird as a class feature) could be a prerequisite. As a Base Class it focuses far too much on fire to be terribly useful, you will quickly find that Spell Resistance, and Energy Resistance will nuke and Nerf this class. A 10 level prestige class with full bab and a fire spell casting focus would be much more appropriate, allowing for a more versitile character.

When compared to other classes, it appears to be better and worse than a warlock. Better in that it has access to higher level spells, worse in that they are all fire based damage, and there is no selection for you're spell levels.

Full base attack bonus is nice, and access to ninth level spells would be ridiculous, but it's actually not all that great with the super limited spell list. If you have the books to do so compare it to the Wu Jen, Elemental Savant, or even just the Martial Sorcerer variant.

My recommendations are to increase the spell lists, decrease spells per day to at least a Sorcerer's. 9 of any spell per day is about as good as at will, when you consider bonus spells from high casting stat. Consider adding divine spells of the fire subtype. Break it down to a 10 level prestige class (Look at the Eldritch Knight (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/prestigeClasses/eldritchKnight.htm) And if you are going to call it a Dancer, consider giving it some unique class abilities based around dancing about like fire, or learning from the way fire dances, ect.

Also I can't find your skill list, and you may consider expanding on summon elemental (So that it has a duration, and a Summoning time, or is it like a familiar/animal companion?)

jiriku
2010-07-20, 03:22 PM
I don't have access to anything other than the PH, so do you know any good mid-level Fire spells I could use? I'll lower the spell caps a little later, do you have any particular ideas?

4 - fire shield
5 - cone of cold, substituted to fire
6 - fire seeds

Also consider replacing fireball with a fire-substituted lightning bolt at level 3. Closer-range spells are more appropriate for a melee-oriented class.

Armored Mage class feature - cast spells in light armor (only) with no chance of arcane spell failure

Searing Spell metamagic feat - Your fire spells ignore fire resistance, deal half damage against fire immune foes, but still don't do jack against creatures with the fire subtype. +1 level.

I've done a fire mage base class, although it's less slashy and more casty than your class idea. Check the emberhaunt in my sig - feel free to raid it for ideas.

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-20, 05:46 PM
I agree with M-Bark, in that this wants to be a Prestige Class.
It is too narrowed of a concept to be a general class.

As a prestige class, the Ignan thing (Which feels weird as a class feature) could be a prerequisite.This was inspired by Druids, who automatically learn Sylvan. As a Base Class it focuses far too much on fire to be terribly useful, you will quickly find that Spell Resistance, and Energy Resistance will nuke and Nerf this class.Searing Spell fixes this. A 10 level prestige class with full bab and a fire spell casting focus would be much more appropriate, allowing for a more versitile character.

When compared to other classes, it appears to be better and worse than a warlock. Better in that it has access to higher level spells, worse in that they are all fire based damage, and there is no selection for you're spell levels.

Full base attack bonus is nice, and access to ninth level spells would be ridiculous, but it's actually not all that great with the super limited spell list. If you have the books to do so compare it to the Wu Jen, Elemental Savant, or even just the Martial Sorcerer variant.

My recommendations are to increase the spell lists, decrease spells per day to at least a Sorcerer's.Already done. 9 of any spell per day is about as good as at will, when you consider bonus spells from high casting stat. Consider adding divine spells of the fire subtype. Break it down to a 10 level prestige class (Look at the Eldritch Knight (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/prestigeClasses/eldritchKnight.htm) And if you are going to call it a Dancer, consider giving it some unique class abilities based around dancing about like fire, or learning from the way fire dances, ect. The name's just flavor.

Also I can't find your skill list, and you may consider expanding on summon elemental (So that it has a duration, and a Summoning time, or is it like a familiar/animal companion?)Will fix.

Like before, responses in bold.

Morph Bark
2010-07-20, 06:00 PM
On the Ignan thing... the Druid doesn't auto-learn Sylvan, they auto-learn Druidic and put Sylvan on their list of languages they can learn.

"Bonus Languages: A druidís bonus language options include Sylvan, the language of woodland creatures. This choice is in addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of her race.
A druid also knows Druidic, a secret language known only to druids, which she learns upon becoming a 1st-level druid. Druidic is a free language for a druid; that is, she knows it in addition to her regular allotment of languages and it doesnít take up a language slot. Druids are forbidden to teach this language to nondruids. Druidic has its own alphabet."

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-20, 06:10 PM
On the Ignan thing... the Druid doesn't auto-learn Sylvan, they auto-learn Druidic and put Sylvan on their list of languages they can learn.

"Bonus Languages: A druidís bonus language options include Sylvan, the language of woodland creatures. This choice is in addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of her race.
A druid also knows Druidic, a secret language known only to druids, which she learns upon becoming a 1st-level druid. Druidic is a free language for a druid; that is, she knows it in addition to her regular allotment of languages and it doesnít take up a language slot. Druids are forbidden to teach this language to nondruids. Druidic has its own alphabet."

Oops. Guess I'll have to fix that.

Temotei
2010-07-20, 06:31 PM
double space it (otherwise it sometimes won't catch it).

Really? I've never had that problem. Cool. :smallbiggrin:

I_Got_This_Name
2010-07-20, 10:11 PM
Two things:
Fundamentally, what are your goals here? In a sentence or maybe two, what's the class supposed to do (not game-mechanically). For example, this class (not mine) (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Fire_Mage_(3.5e_Class)), is supposed to be simple to play while clearly a magic user, and able to hold its own against level-appropriate opposition, and finally themed around fire.

So what's this class? How does it earn the name Flame Dancer? I can see the flame, I don't see the dance. What's it supposed to do? Once I know that, then I can help you come up with good abilities for it.

As it is, it looks like a pile of random abilities dropped onto a list. It's also fairly weak, so you have room to add stuff without taking anything away, but I don't know why it has some of its abilities (+5 to Diplomacy with fire critters), so I might suggest dropping those.

Technical issue:
Skill points/level?

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-21, 09:27 AM
Two things:
Fundamentally, what are your goals here? In a sentence or maybe two, what's the class supposed to do (not game-mechanically). For example, this class (not mine) (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Fire_Mage_(3.5e_Class)), is supposed to be simple to play while clearly a magic user, and able to hold its own against level-appropriate opposition, and finally themed around fire.

So what's this class? How does it earn the name Flame Dancer? I can see the flame, I don't see the dance. What's it supposed to do? Once I know that, then I can help you come up with good abilities for it.

As it is, it looks like a pile of random abilities dropped onto a list. It's also fairly weak, so you have room to add stuff without taking anything away, but I don't know why it has some of its abilities (+5 to Diplomacy with fire critters), so I might suggest dropping those.

Technical issue:
Skill points/level?

Added skill points, and tried to explain what it does.

Lev
2010-07-21, 03:34 PM
You have best BAB, 2 max saves, spell advancement (and therefore CL), 3 bonus feats at level 1 (either meta or fire) and unconditional uncapped class features not limited to just immunity to fire.

What would I change?

Not that I really NEED to reiterate this, but let's do a small comparison from FD to Fgt:
----
FD Pros vs Fgt
4SKP vs 2SKP and the benefit of UMD in their skill list (Arguably the best)
2 Good Saves vs 1
Caster Levels and Spells (Per day casting at par with Sorcerer)
Fire Immunity (Being on fire is 1d6)
Immortal Fire Companion (Unlimited uses so far)
V^V^V^V^
FD Cons vs Fgt
D8 vs D10
Light Armor (The only negs for wearing heavier armor are ACP, which is neg since armored mage, and can be re-applied with bonus feat, so completely circumventable)
No Shield Profic
Bonus Feat/3lvl vs /2lvl
---

1) You are a dancer, why are you using INT for casting?
2a) The conceptualization of the character is very nice, but the equation to get there is way off. For example, if you were a level 10 and you wanted to be a Fgt/Sorc you would take 5 levels in Fgt and 5 levels in Sorc, you wouldn't take 10 levels in Fgt and 10 levels in Sorc since that isn't the equation. Or to put it more simply:
2b) ClassA + ClassB Divided by 2 = Class C
3) The class features are unlimited, overpowered, have no risk and consume nothing.
4) As a splash class FD is completely broken, I can see no reason why I would not take at least 1 level in this class regardless of character choice.


Advice for fixing it?


1) The spell/BAB ratio absolutely has to be tweaked, if anything downgrade the BAB and change the cast stat to Cha so it can't be splashed with Wizard and fits the Dancer idea better.
2) The fire immunity is broken, a good way around this could be a form like a Barbarian Rage, ex:
-----

Heart of Fire (Su)
Once per day + 1/4FD Lvl you can transform into a being of fire, your entire body is engulfed in flames, you take on the fire subtype and gain Fire Resistance 10.

The fire surrounding your body is not magical fire although it's source is magical and therefore you take 5 points of fire damage per round which is negated by the fire resistance (reducing your total fire resistance per round to 5), anything flammable you have on you is subject to the fire as well.

You can exist in this state for a maximum of 10 rounds + your charisma modifier, but after 7 rounds + your Con modifier you start to take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage per round due to suffocation, if you reach 0HP you pass out and the flames extinguish. At any time you can dismiss the effect from yourself but anything heated or on fire continues to be so.

When in Heart of Fire you take -2 to spot checks in direct sunlight, -4 in dim light and -6 in darkness due to the fire's effect on your vision and -4 to listen checks due to the roar of the fire.

You shed bright light while in this state 20' and an additional 20' of dim light.

Anyone grappling with you takes an additional 1d3 fire damage to your unarmed damage.

-----


As for the fire elemental, why not make it an Elemental Companion of sorts?

Example:
At level 2 a Fire Dancer gains a supernatural being of fire that joins her on her journeys, this companion is a small fire elemental and advances at the Fire Dancer advances. If the fire companion dies the Fire Dancer suffers XP loss and has to go through a ritual to summon a new one, it comes in Green, Blue, Crimson, Orange, Yellowish White and Purple flame color. The fire elemental must consume combustibles every hour or take damage, as a full round action it can hide or unhide inside an already present fire that's as small or smaller than it, hiding inside the fire reduces it's HD appropriately but it only requires as much combustibles as the flame is already using (a small candle for fine, a lantern for diminutive, a torch for tiny, a fireplace or furnace for small, a bonfire for medium, a large bonfire or burning tree for large, a burning house for huge, a burning ship for gargantuan and a forest fire for colossal.

The flame elemental acts like a druid's animal companion in terms of behavior and can be taught tricks.

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-21, 03:43 PM
Well, this is funny. Some people think it's too weak, others think it's too strong. Until I figure out which one is right, I have no idea how I'm going to fix this.
EDIT: Limited familiar resummonning, got rid of Diplomacy boost, changed magic to be based on Dexterity, added several favored skills, clarified Armored Mage.

Morph Bark
2010-07-21, 03:54 PM
You know, I'm thinking if this were a skill-based caster like the Truenamer (but better-done of course) using Perform (dance), it could turn out real nice, unique and flavourfully crunchy.

Lev
2010-07-21, 04:06 PM
Generally GitP is best for looking out for exploits as most of them are powergamers and OPers, if you want a contextual and balanced character it's best to do it mainly on your own and ask GitP if there are major holes that players can seriously abuse. Either way, not a hugely good idea to ask GitP "Is this class too strong?" because 8/10 will respond with "No, my several AoO TripWhip Ranger could totally pwn it." or a similar mindframe ;p


I was a fire dancer for 3 years, was in a professional fire troupe performing with some of the best in the world and invented flaming swordchuck style as a viable fire performance tool (in real life). I really do like the idea of this class and am not trying to shoot it down, but it does need a little bit of fairness compared to the other non OPed options.

jiriku
2010-07-21, 06:07 PM
Well, this is funny. Some people think it's too weak, others think it's too strong. Until I figure out which one is right, I have no idea how I'm going to fix this.
EDIT: Limited familiar resummonning, got rid of Diplomacy boost, changed magic to be based on Dexterity, added several favored skills, clarified Armored Mage.

I would respectfully disagree with Lev's assessment of your class's power level. The comparison of the fire dancer to the fighter is not a fair comparison; the fighter is quite frankly a terrible class, essentially useless at any task that doesn't involve hitting something with a stick, and easily outclassed in the stick-hitting role by other PHB classes such as cleric or druid. The core classes are extremely poorly balanced against one another, and there's a wiiiiide gulf in power and versatility between the strong classes (cleric, druid, sorcerer, and wizard) and the weak classes (barbarian, fighter, monk, paladin, and ranger). The bard, barbarian, and rogue are balanced precariously in the middle.

I won't attempt to speak for others, but the advice I'd give you would attempt to steer your power level towards that narrow middle ground, to develop classes that can be effective in their roles and boast a range of versatilite secondary abilities. The ideal class should not be able to to destroy all sorts of encounters single-handedly, nor should it require continual support from allies and the DM just to remain relevant.

Lev
2010-07-21, 07:28 PM
I would respectfully disagree with Lev's assessment of your class's power level. The comparison of the fire dancer to the fighter is not a fair comparison; the fighter is quite frankly a terrible class, essentially useless at any task that doesn't involve hitting something with a stick, and easily outclassed in the stick-hitting role by other PHB classes such as cleric or druid. The core classes are extremely poorly balanced against one another, and there's a wiiiiide gulf in power and versatility between the strong classes (cleric, druid, sorcerer, and wizard) and the weak classes (barbarian, fighter, monk, paladin, and ranger). The bard, barbarian, and rogue are balanced precariously in the middle.

I won't attempt to speak for others, but the advice I'd give you would attempt to steer your power level towards that narrow middle ground, to develop classes that can be effective in their roles and boast a range of versatilite secondary abilities. The ideal class should not be able to to destroy all sorts of encounters single-handedly, nor should it require continual support from allies and the DM just to remain relevant.

I'm willing to accept that, but first please indicate a class with full cast and BAB advancement to compare to?

Morph Bark
2010-07-21, 07:57 PM
I'm willing to accept that, but first please indicate a class with full cast and BAB advancement to compare to?

Duskblade?

Lev
2010-07-21, 08:56 PM
Duskblade?
Close! I think a duskblade would be a better template to base the casting off of at least, spell level 0-5 instead of 1-9.

For spells I think an entirely alternative casting system would work better, especially if one is expected to be able to splash level FD, so here are some alternative options:

A) Instead of spell 1-9 have level 0-5 as Duskblade.
B) Instead of any spells have supernatural abilities/day
C) Have the spell list you've already created except use custom skill tricks to activate them in different ways (Complete Adventurer) so it would be similar to something out of ToB but instead of maneuvers you have a spell slot pool to use? What about a basis of about DC6+ 3/spell level? For instance you could ST Burning Hands + Tumble for a Fireball Roll or Cone of fire + Jump for an a FlameArc Leap.
D) Take away Armored Mage and let the players deal with ACP the old fashioned way, if you don't want a FD to have defensive capabilities why give them something that takes away the penalties for armoring themselves?

jiriku
2010-07-21, 09:02 PM
I'm willing to accept that, but first please indicate a class with full cast and BAB advancement to compare to?


Duskblade would be my first choice, yeah. Duskblade doesn't have full cast up to 9th, but it has a lot more spell versatility, and delivering a 5th-level spell via a weapon attack as a duskblade can is similar to using a 9th-level slot to cast a quickened 5th-level spell.
Cleric is widely considered to be a class with full base attack and full casting, since clerics have access to (and frequently exploit the heck out of) divine power, which sets BAB = HD.
The closest parallel is probably a multiclass combination like paladin 7/divine crusader 3/hospitaler 10, which has base attack 19 and one spell of each level up to 9th. But frankly, those are three janky classes and the OP's class is both more effective and more interesting.


Also, an important distinction in my mind is that there's a WORLD of difference between something like cleric casting, which includes access to literally hundreds of spells and the ability to change up one's options to meet any situation, and flame dancer casting, which has a mere 9 spells in total, all of which are merely variations on the theme of "kill it with fire."

Does that make sense?

Dilb
2010-07-21, 09:42 PM
Well, this is funny. Some people think it's too weak, others think it's too strong. Until I figure out which one is right, I have no idea how I'm going to fix this.
EDIT: Limited familiar resummonning, got rid of Diplomacy boost, changed magic to be based on Dexterity, added several favored skills, clarified Armored Mage.

People may think it's overpowered only because a poorly worded class feature can be used as an exploit in other classes. The way I think you intend it to be used, it's pretty weak as is.

First, the fire elemental companion is really weak. The small elemental is not terrible when you get it, but after level 4 the elemental will die pretty much anytime it actually is targeting in combat, even after it advanced to medium, or large, or huge. Druid animal companions are useful because the druid can put equipment and buff spells on them, and though there's technically nothing saying you can't put a ring of protection on a fire elemental, it's not obvious that you should be able to.

Also, does the elemental use the normal rules for familiars, like natural armour bonus, limited to half your hit points, uses your BAB rather than it's own, etc.?

Second, the spell casting is fairly weak. The only buff spell you have is fire shield, giving you 50% cold resistance and some relatively damage for anything that attacks you in melee without a reach weapon. The only spell really more damaging than a full attack would be fire seeds use to make holly bombs, which thanks to fire immunity you could use as a kamikaze sort of attack. Given that you have full BAB, I think the casting is fine.

You should clarify whether casting is prepared or spontaneous, I presume it spontaneous, so searing spell can be applied on the fly.

I'd suggest changing the elemental to have HD = 1.5*flame dancer level and just outright say it can't use equipment, or something like that, so that the elemental is basically your personal meat shield. You can summon it as a full round action 1/day per 5 levels or something. I.e. 1/day at level 1, 2/day at level 5, up to 5/day at level 20, it lasts forever but only 1 can be summoned at a time. A huge fire elemental is not going to be welcome in many towns, or on wooden ships, or in the ancient magical library you're raiding, and it's annoying to have a major class feature that can die on you and be unusable for 30 days. Unlike animal companions, elementals can't be resurrected, and unlike familiars the elemental would actually be expected to fight.

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-22, 08:37 AM
People may think it's overpowered only because a poorly worded class feature can be used as an exploit in other classes. The way I think you intend it to be used, it's pretty weak as is.

First, the fire elemental companion is really weak. The small elemental is not terrible when you get it, but after level 4 the elemental will die pretty much anytime it actually is targeting in combat, even after it advanced to medium, or large, or huge. Druid animal companions are useful because the druid can put equipment and buff spells on them, and though there's technically nothing saying you can't put a ring of protection on a fire elemental, it's not obvious that you should be able to.

Also, does the elemental use the normal rules for familiars, like natural armour bonus, limited to half your hit points, uses your BAB rather than it's own, etc.?

Second, the spell casting is fairly weak. The only buff spell you have is fire shield, giving you 50% cold resistance and some relatively damage for anything that attacks you in melee without a reach weapon. The only spell really more damaging than a full attack would be fire seeds use to make holly bombs, which thanks to fire immunity you could use as a kamikaze sort of attack. Given that you have full BAB, I think the casting is fine.

You should clarify whether casting is prepared or spontaneous, I presume it spontaneous, so searing spell can be applied on the fly.

I'd suggest changing the elemental to have HD = 1.5*flame dancer level and just outright say it can't use equipment, or something like that, so that the elemental is basically your personal meat shield. You can summon it as a full round action 1/day per 5 levels or something. I.e. 1/day at level 1, 2/day at level 5, up to 5/day at level 20, it lasts forever but only 1 can be summoned at a time. A huge fire elemental is not going to be welcome in many towns, or on wooden ships, or in the ancient magical library you're raiding, and it's annoying to have a major class feature that can die on you and be unusable for 30 days. Unlike animal companions, elementals can't be resurrected, and unlike familiars the elemental would actually be expected to fight.

I changed the familiar as you suggested.

Lev
2010-07-23, 12:40 AM
1. Duskblade would be my first choice, yeah. Duskblade doesn't have full cast up to 9th, but it has a lot more spell versatility, and delivering a 5th-level spell via a weapon attack as a duskblade can is similar to using a 9th-level slot to cast a quickened 5th-level spell.
2. Cleric is widely considered to be a class with full base attack and full casting, since clerics have access to (and frequently exploit the heck out of) divine power, which sets BAB = HD.
3. The closest parallel is probably a multiclass combination like paladin 7/divine crusader 3/hospitaler 10, which has base attack 19 and one spell of each level up to 9th. But frankly, those are three janky classes and the OP's class is both more effective and more interesting.


Also, an important distinction in my mind is that there's a WORLD of difference between something like cleric casting, which includes access to literally hundreds of spells and the ability to change up one's options to meet any situation, and flame dancer casting, which has a mere 9 spells in total, all of which are merely variations on the theme of "kill it with fire."

Does that make sense?
I agree with 1, though I don't completely agree that to find a base template to a homebrew class that you should necessarily take the most powerful example and use that, as it tends to further unbalance "weaker" classes down the ladder.

Are 2 and 3 valid points without using "exploitive" behavior? If so I think that the class should be considered buffing, if not then why set the bar anywhere near the exploitive level?

Technically because of DnD the cleric has infinite spells as you can make your own, though fire is a WIDELY underestimated ability. A flask of cooking oil and a level 0 or 1 fire spell is enough to destroy a building or smoke out a dungeon.

Though that being said, I completely agree with the whole "hit with stick, kill with fire" weakness and think that if the FD gets less spells it should instead get an unarmed attack class feature like the Battle Dancer from Dragon Compendium which all considering should have been the original template for this class since it's base, if it was prestige then maybe dervish instead.
Am I right?






Additionally, here are some more homebrew classes from this forum:
Dancer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7821895)

Dancer II (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=134667)

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-23, 06:19 PM
Any more help?

Lev
2010-07-23, 07:32 PM
Any more help?
Change the name? Nothing about this class indicates it's a dancer.

Dilb
2010-07-23, 11:29 PM
Fire Tamer might be more appropriate, yeah.

As it is, the spells are mostly redundant. Burning hands, fire bolt, cone of fire, delayed blast fireball and firestorm are all 1d4 or 1d6/level reflex half. I'd suggest Wall of Fire at level 5, Incendiary Cloud at level 8, and maybe Faerie Fire at level 1. That gives it some spells that will actually help when you're in melee combat.

Strictly speaking the elemental's size depends on it's HD, and I don't think it's necessary to limit the size like you have in the table. If it's not a familiar, it's a bit odd to give it your BAB, though if you go straight flame dancer the elemental will have a higher BAB anyway. I guess it means the elemental is a bit more useful if you multiclass into something else, but it's not that much of an improvement.

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-24, 11:29 AM
Fire Tamer might be more appropriate, yeah.

As it is, the spells are mostly redundant. Burning hands, fire bolt, cone of fire, delayed blast fireball and firestorm are all 1d4 or 1d6/level reflex half. I'd suggest Wall of Fire at level 5, Incendiary Cloud at level 8, and maybe Faerie Fire at level 1. That gives it some spells that will actually help when you're in melee combat.

Strictly speaking the elemental's size depends on it's HD, and I don't think it's necessary to limit the size like you have in the table. If it's not a familiar, it's a bit odd to give it your BAB, though if you go straight flame dancer the elemental will have a higher BAB anyway. I guess it means the elemental is a bit more useful if you multiclass into something else, but it's not that much of an improvement.

Fixed the elemental size, and it is a familiar.

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-25, 03:56 PM
I am considering giving him 2 spells at each level instead of 1, thoughts on this or anything else?

I_Got_This_Name
2010-07-27, 01:40 AM
I am considering giving him 2 spells at each level instead of 1, thoughts on this or anything else?

Why?

I'm not saying "this class shouldn't have more than one spell per level". Maybe it should and maybe it shouldn't. I have no idea. Why do you think it should? Given a reason, a goal, an idea of what the class is supposed to be, I can say whether or not giving it two spells per level makes the class do what you want it to do or makes it worse.


The Flame Dancer is a very offensive class, combining melee weapons with powerful fire spells, but sacrificing defense and versatility.

Playing this class, your only objective is to do damage: you have no supportive abilities and only weak armor. In combat, Flame Dancers unlease powerful ranged spells, then charge into melee with their powerful blades.

"Does damage" doesn't explain what your class is supposed to do. Lots of classes do damage. Taking out the classes that also slap on status effects, or have defensive powers, there are still a bunch. Rogues do damage. Duskblades do damage more than anything else. So do Warblades. So do Warmages. For optimized builds, Uberchargers do damage, as do blaster sorcerers. Going through other homebrew classes, Fire Mages (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Fire_Mage_(3.5e_Class)) and Acid Mages (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Acid_Mage_(3.5e_Class)) do damage. This Samurai (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Samurai,_Tome_(3.5e_Class)) fix does nothing but damage. Sharpshooters (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Sharpshooter_(3.5e_Class)) also do damage.

It does narrow things a bit to say that this is a damage class. It means that things like Glitterdust are out of class for it. It means that you deal with your enemies by running them out of hit points, instead of by banishing them to another plane, or turning them into something else.

You also want it to both cast blasty spells and charge into melee. That's doable, but tricky, for a few reasons. First, there's no synergy between those two options at all. Every turn on which you cast a spell is one in which you don't make a melee attack; every turn you spend in melee is one that you're not casting spells during. Being able to quicken your spells for free when making melee attacks might help balance this.

Second, melee sucks. If you're going to stand in melee, you absolutely need two things. First, you need defenses enough to stand there. Second, you need something to make your melee attacks any good at all, usually a rider effect or a big pile of bonus damage. A mid-level fighter who sets all of his feats on fire to get one good attack can in perfect circumstances do a few hundred damage per round, and, in imperfect circumstances, sucks. This class doesn't have anything to justify the "powerful blades" in its description.

Which brings me to emphasize point 1: unless you set things up differently, melee and spellcasting are actually counter-synergistic. You have a limited number of feats and a limited amount of money to spend on the two of them, and melee is both feat-hungry and item hungry. Most of your feats will have to go to that to make it not suck, but spending a feat to make your spells better, or the money to buy a metamagic rod, looks like a better choice.

You can make them synergize. The usual way to do this is to make it so that your melee and casting aren't trying to eat eachother's action pools (D&D turns are long, and if you're only one thing on any given turn, you're only one thing), and/or to focus the casting on buff spells and make melee your main damage output. This also gets you the huge piles of bonus damage you need to make your melee attacks viable. If you're supposed to do one then the other, then you can give bonuses to doing things in that order; maybe if you hit something shortly after casting a spell at it, you do lots of bonus damage.

Also, if you're looking at this limited of a spell list, maybe you shouldn't be using the spellcasting mechanic at all. Maybe the class should just get spell-like abilities on some use schedule as they progress.

Finally, I still see nothing in the class to make it a dancer, and I don't have the faintest clue why it has the abilities it has. Why does it get to summon a fire elemental? Why does it not get anything else that's truly its own?

If I was writing this class, I'd call this "draft one" or whatever, write out my ideas non-mechanically until I had a clear idea of where I was going with draft two, and start from a blank post. If I'd written out nicely-formatted abilities, I might copy-paste them over if I was sure I wanted to keep them. I can think of a couple concepts to try out for it:
Someone with magical dances that summon a firey minion (maybe not an MM fire elemental), and substantial melee combat abilities in a mobile fighting style. Lots of abilities to switch places (with minions, allies, enemies), terrain control, and so on. This gets your class's name.
A fire Gish, like the Fire Mage (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Fire_Mage_(3.5e_Class)) above, but in the gish/duskblade style, with magic and melee, and a good deal of the magic being there to make the melee combat abilities awesome. Possibly steal a bit from the soulknife, except that it's a conjured sword made of fire instead of psychic energy; if not, it still needs Flame Blade or a knock-off/improvement of it. Not on its spell list, as an at-will spell-like ability.
What you described above, a fire blaster who charges into melee. Needs things to make melee a good option, and also needs good spells. I'd probably also put their magic on limited per-encounter or short recharge (5 rounds, probably), to make them have to melee. The model here is something that fights like a dragon: it breathes fire, but then it has to either fly away and come back for another pass some rounds later, or close to melee, before it can do it again. Maybe it even has buff spells or something, like a dragon.

dragonsamurai77
2010-07-27, 03:27 PM
Why?

I'm not saying "this class shouldn't have more than one spell per level". Maybe it should and maybe it shouldn't. I have no idea. Why do you think it should? Given a reason, a goal, an idea of what the class is supposed to be, I can say whether or not giving it two spells per level makes the class do what you want it to do or makes it worse.



"Does damage" doesn't explain what your class is supposed to do. Lots of classes do damage. Taking out the classes that also slap on status effects, or have defensive powers, there are still a bunch. Rogues do damage. Duskblades do damage more than anything else. So do Warblades. So do Warmages. For optimized builds, Uberchargers do damage, as do blaster sorcerers. Going through other homebrew classes, Fire Mages (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Fire_Mage_(3.5e_Class)) and Acid Mages (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Acid_Mage_(3.5e_Class)) do damage. This Samurai (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Samurai,_Tome_(3.5e_Class)) fix does nothing but damage. Sharpshooters (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Sharpshooter_(3.5e_Class)) also do damage.

It does narrow things a bit to say that this is a damage class. It means that things like Glitterdust are out of class for it. It means that you deal with your enemies by running them out of hit points, instead of by banishing them to another plane, or turning them into something else.

You also want it to both cast blasty spells and charge into melee. That's doable, but tricky, for a few reasons. First, there's no synergy between those two options at all. Every turn on which you cast a spell is one in which you don't make a melee attack; every turn you spend in melee is one that you're not casting spells during. Being able to quicken your spells for free when making melee attacks might help balance this.

Second, melee sucks. If you're going to stand in melee, you absolutely need two things. First, you need defenses enough to stand there. Second, you need something to make your melee attacks any good at all, usually a rider effect or a big pile of bonus damage. A mid-level fighter who sets all of his feats on fire to get one good attack can in perfect circumstances do a few hundred damage per round, and, in imperfect circumstances, sucks. This class doesn't have anything to justify the "powerful blades" in its description.

Which brings me to emphasize point 1: unless you set things up differently, melee and spellcasting are actually counter-synergistic. You have a limited number of feats and a limited amount of money to spend on the two of them, and melee is both feat-hungry and item hungry. Most of your feats will have to go to that to make it not suck, but spending a feat to make your spells better, or the money to buy a metamagic rod, looks like a better choice.

You can make them synergize. The usual way to do this is to make it so that your melee and casting aren't trying to eat eachother's action pools (D&D turns are long, and if you're only one thing on any given turn, you're only one thing), and/or to focus the casting on buff spells and make melee your main damage output. This also gets you the huge piles of bonus damage you need to make your melee attacks viable. If you're supposed to do one then the other, then you can give bonuses to doing things in that order; maybe if you hit something shortly after casting a spell at it, you do lots of bonus damage.

Also, if you're looking at this limited of a spell list, maybe you shouldn't be using the spellcasting mechanic at all. Maybe the class should just get spell-like abilities on some use schedule as they progress.

Finally, I still see nothing in the class to make it a dancer, and I don't have the faintest clue why it has the abilities it has. Why does it get to summon a fire elemental? Why does it not get anything else that's truly its own?

If I was writing this class, I'd call this "draft one" or whatever, write out my ideas non-mechanically until I had a clear idea of where I was going with draft two, and start from a blank post. If I'd written out nicely-formatted abilities, I might copy-paste them over if I was sure I wanted to keep them. I can think of a couple concepts to try out for it:
Someone with magical dances that summon a firey minion (maybe not an MM fire elemental), and substantial melee combat abilities in a mobile fighting style. Lots of abilities to switch places (with minions, allies, enemies), terrain control, and so on. This gets your class's name.
A fire Gish, like the Fire Mage (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Fire_Mage_(3.5e_Class)) above, but in the gish/duskblade style, with magic and melee, and a good deal of the magic being there to make the melee combat abilities awesome. Possibly steal a bit from the soulknife, except that it's a conjured sword made of fire instead of psychic energy; if not, it still needs Flame Blade or a knock-off/improvement of it. Not on its spell list, as an at-will spell-like ability.
What you described above, a fire blaster who charges into melee. Needs things to make melee a good option, and also needs good spells. I'd probably also put their magic on limited per-encounter or short recharge (5 rounds, probably), to make them have to melee. The model here is something that fights like a dragon: it breathes fire, but then it has to either fly away and come back for another pass some rounds later, or close to melee, before it can do it again. Maybe it even has buff spells or something, like a dragon.

Thinking about it, I really like option 3 (fighting like a dragon), with some of 1 mixed in. Once I figure out exactly what I'm doing with this, I'll start a new topic. Thank you so much for the input!