View Full Version : Alienist Fix [3.5, Fluff to be added later, PEACH]

2010-12-04, 01:18 PM
I got bored today, so i'm going to give myself something to do.
Now, it's generally known that while the Alienist isn't BAD, it's not very good either. It's a summoning Prc that gimps your summons slightly, and doesn't offer much else. Full casting or not, it needs a tweak. Note, this might end up being a re-haul. If it is, then it is. Now then.......

The Alienist


"Somewhere, there is an institution. In one room of the institution, there is a man who spends his days and nights screaming at things that only he can see. Things we made him see. They have to keep him in a straitjacket twenty-four hours a day or he'll claw his own eyes out just to make it stop."
An Alienist known as "The Mad Star"

Alignment: Any Chaotic
Skills: Knowledge (The Plains) 8 Ranks, Spellcraft 8 Ranks
Feats: Aberrant Blood, one other Aberrant Feat.
Spellcasting: Must be able to cast a Conjuration (Summoning) spell of 3rd Level or higher.
Special: Must of had contact with something native to the Far Realms.

Hit Dice: d4
{table=head]Level | Base Attack Bonus | Fort Save | Ref Save | Will Save | Special | Spellcasting
1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Familiar Abilities, Warped Summoning|+1 level of existing Spellcasting class
2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Mad Minded|+1 level of existing Spellcasting class
3rd|+1|+1|+1|+3|Cerebral Chatter|+1 level of existing Spellcasting class
4th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Unharnessed Power|+1 level of existing Spellcasting class
5th|+2|+1|+1|+4|That Is Not Dead|+1 level of existing Spellcasting class
6th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Which Can Eternal Lie|+1 level of existing Spellcasting Class
7th|+3|+2|+2|+5|And With Strange Eons|+1 level of existing Spellcasting class
8th|+4|+2|+2|+6|Even Death May Die|+1 level of existing Spellcasting class
9th|+4|+3|+3|+6|Improved Warped Summoning|+1 level of existing Spellcasting class
10th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Something of Madness|+1 level of existing Spellcasting class [/table]

Skill Points: 2+INT Mod at each level
The Alienist’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (any) (Int), Listen (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Spot (Wis).

Class Features

All Alienist Class Features are (Su)

Spellcasting: A alienist continues training with magic. Thus, at every level, the character gains new spells per day and spells known as if she had also gained a level in whatever spellcasting class she belonged to prior to adding this prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that level would have gained (improved familiar abilities, metamagic or item creation feats, etc).

Familiar Abilities: Levels of alienist stack with levels of any class that provides access to a familiar. This ability does not grant an alienist a familiar if they did not already possess one.

Warped Summoning: At 1st level and beyond, whenever an alienist would use a summon spell to summon a creature, she instead summons a pseudonatural version of that creature. This adds the “Pseudonatural Creature” (Complete Arcane p160) template to the summoned creature instead of any other templates. Alienists lose the ability to summon non-pseudonatural creatures (Such as Fiendish or Celestial Creatures), unless they make a Concentration check equal to the monster's HD. If they succeed, the monster is summoned as normal, and if they fail, the caster summons a Pseudonatural verson of the monster instead. At Level 9, all monsters they summon gain the Pseudonatural Creature template on top of their other templates (So you could summon a Fiendish Pseudonatural Raven, for example).

Mad Minded: At 2nd level and beyond, the Alienist subtracts the number of half their Alienist levels from any Will Saves and Concentration Rolls they make, and add it to the duration in rounds that any monsters they summon spend in their service. Also, they may choose to lose part of themselves to the madness so that they protect their mind from the outside world. Whe an Alienist gains their second level in Alienist, they may choose to lose 4 WIS or CHA points, that nothing, not even a Wish can regain. If they do, they gain immunity to all mind affecting effects.

Cerebral Chatter: At 3rd level, a Alienist gains Telepathy out 100ft. If they already possess Telepathy, increase the range by 50ft.

Unharnessed Power: At 4th level, the alienist learns to siphon greater power from the Far Realms, increasing the power of the creatures they are able to summon. Whenever the alienist casts a summon spell, they may select creatures from a summon list one level higher than her spell would normally allow. When they would gain Summon Monster IX, or another summoning spell of the most powerful version possible (Barring Epic Spells), whenever they would cast that spell they may add the Anarchic template to the monster when summoning it, instead of using a higher spell list (Which they can't).

That Is Not Dead: Beginning at 5th level, an alienist’s familiar, if any, gains the “Pseudonatural Creature” (Complete Arcane p160) template. This ability does not replace the familiar – the familiar has been taking on pseudonatural aspects as the alienist advanced in levels, and those characteristics become fully functional at this point. From now on, the alienist’s newly summoned familiars also have the same “Pseudonatural Creature” template. If they do not have a Familiar, the Alienist gain a bonus Aberrant Feat instead, keeping the power for themselves.

Which Can Eternal Lie: By 6th level, the alienist’s body has been thoroughly saturated with the energies of the Far Realms. They no longer requires food or water to survive, and ceases to excrete waste entirely. They lose any need for sleep, and may recover and prepare spells after only 8 hours of quiet contemplation of the Far Realms. The alienist may survive indefinitely without air, and suffers no penalty for being exposed to the vacuum of space.

And With Strange Eons: Upon reaching 7th level, the alienist stops aging. They no longer take ability penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. Ability score bonuses from aging still accrue, and any penalties the alienist may have already taken remain in place. At 10th level, any aging penalties they have are removed entirely.

Even Death May Die: At 8th level, the Alienist becomes under a continous Death Ward effect, and they gain Regeneration 1. If they have immunity to Non-Lethal Damage (Construct Type, or Undead Type etc.), they gain Fast Healing 5 instead (this stacks with other Fast Healing).

Something of Madness: A 10th level Alienist transcends their mortal form and becomes...something else. Their type changes to Outsider, and they gain DR 10/Magic, as well as Acid and Electricity Resistance 10. Also, they gain a tentacle in a random place (On their back, sticking out of their elbow, etc). This tentacle is capable of fine manipulation and can deal 1d8 damage as a natural attack.

Now, I have no idea what-so-ever if it's balanced. None at all. But it desperately needed a fix, so I don't quite care as long as it's not game-breaking/steaming pile of doo-doo/disappointing.

Epsilon Rose
2010-12-04, 03:04 PM
What happens when you get summon monster IX(?- whatever the highest level one is)?

2010-12-04, 03:07 PM
Nice, you named the Timeless Body ability "Strange Aeons."

Criticism follows. It looks like you've got a good start so don't take this harshly.

Overall it seems a bit overpowered. For pure optimization there's no reason not to take this class. It gives at least +2 all spell save DCs (depending how you read Mad Minded), +2 CR summons, and free telepathy in exchange for two bonus feats (for a wizard) or nothing (for a sorcerer). Obviously you don't want to hit spellcasting progression and you want to be able to give cool new stuff, but you could balance the cool stuff with more meaningful penalties.

I like the idea of Mad Minded but the penalty seems meaningless because pure casters don't care about mechanics other than spellcasting. It seems weird to apply it to Int or Cha, because insanity scores traditionally hit Wisdom. The blanket boost to casting attribute fights the idea of the farplane specialist, because it makes every spell better and appeals to every spellcaster.

If you don't rework Mad Minded, consider rewriting it for clarity. I can't figure out if it gives +1/2 level from 2nd level on, +1 at 2, 4, 6, and 8, or +1 at 2, +2 at 4, +3 at 6, +4 at 8.

I'd drop the skills to 2+Int. A character is most likely entering this class via wizard or sorcerer, both of which get 2+Int, and I don't see anything about Alienist that makes it need more skills.

Tainted Blood seems like it should be a prereq. Granting it at 1st level essentially says "don't take Aberration Blood as a feat, because once you take Alienist the feat will be wasted."

Define what happens when the alienist casts Summon Monster VIII or IX. Does Unharnessed Power cap out at 9th-equivalent?

2010-12-04, 03:16 PM
Hey, I'm just glad I got a responce. And wall of texts mean I get more things to edit :smallsmile:
Firstly, simple things. Less skill points and Aberration Blood as prerequirement. I can do that.
Secondly, I might replace Unharnessed Power +2 and give them something else. Btw, no cap on Unharnessed Power, just UNLIMITED POWEEEEEEEER.
And for Mad Mind, I have something in mind, so if you would wait one moment *Elevator Music*
EDIT: Made changes! Now get with thoes PEACHes!

2010-12-04, 04:04 PM
I like the new Mad Minded, but it might still be too strong. +5 save DC is super good. +1/-2, +2/-4 maybe?

I like Even Death May Die. What happens when an undead gets it though? As far as I know, Regeneration + Subdual immunity = blanket damage immunity.

2010-12-04, 04:43 PM
1.) I changed Mad Minded. Again. Now it increases the duration of your summons.
2) I can't help it if people try to abuse Even Death May Die. Hell, by the time you get it, you could of broken the game in half so many ways it's not even funny. It's mainly so you become a bit like Cthullu. No matter how much your hurt, you can just sleep it off. It might just take a while.
EDIT: Changed the names of the class abilities, because there's never enough Lovecraft.

2010-12-05, 01:54 PM
I'm going to bump this so I can get more opinions. Good? Bad?

2010-12-05, 06:15 PM
I like the new Mad Minded, but it might still be too strong. +5 save DC is super good. +1/-2, +2/-4 maybe?

I like Even Death May Die. What happens when an undead gets it though? As far as I know, Regeneration + Subdual immunity = blanket damage immunity.

You can't benefit from Regeneration if you don't have a Con score, though WotC has made a few creatures that break this rule and there are other ways to become immune to subdual damage. I'm a bit more concerned with how Regeneration 0 is supposed to work; do you need to pick up that feat that increases your Regeneration by 1 to get any benefit at all, or what?

If you're concerned about people using this for damage immunity, you can just add something that overcomes the regeneration. Cold iron, byeshk (a material specific to the Eberron setting), sacred damage, and fire are all pretty thematically appropriate.

Being able to heal yourself damage equal to your Insanity Score is pretty much useless, both because it maxes out at 5 and because you get Regeneration in two more levels.

Other than that, looks pretty good.

2010-12-05, 06:31 PM
Regeneration 0 is basically half of Regen. It turns all damage into Non-Lethal, but it heals 0 points of non-lethal damage (i.e none), so you only naturally heal like everyone else. And because nothing can bypass your regen, you can't be coup de grace'd to death (I think). Basically, you can't be killed, but you can be put in a very long coma, just like Cthullu. A little edit is needed for thoes trying to become damage immune, though.......

And the healing IS useless, so that can just go.

2010-12-05, 08:06 PM
Nitpick: Is the butchering of the quote deliberate? It's "That is not dead which can eternal lie," not "That which is not dead." Flows better, dunnit? :smalltongue:

2010-12-06, 10:42 AM
/facepalm.........And that is what you get when you Google stuff. I'll change that now.

2010-12-06, 11:53 AM
On Insanity: Ever seen the feat willing deformity: madness? It's really good. I'd advise you mimic it.
In a nutshell: you lose 4 points of wisdom, permanently, but gain immunity to mind-affecting. Alienists don't strike me as the type to be easily dominated.

2010-12-06, 12:00 PM
Ooooo. That seems really cool. I shall see if I can squeese it in.