View Full Version : [3.5 psionic PrC] Updating the Ballisteer

2011-07-06, 07:23 PM
The psionic Ballisteer (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20030426b) is what the Arcane Archer wishes it could be. Unfortunately, while the AA got updated for whatever reason, the Ballisteer was left behind. It's time to fix that. Since a bunch of conventions in psionics have changed between editions, the class will also have to be modified. These modifications will be discussed in italics.

The Ballisteer

Hit Die: d8

To qualify to become a ballisteer, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Skills: Concentration 9 ranks
Feats: Point Blank Shot and Psionic Shot
Manifesting: Ability to manifest a 2nd-level power

The old skill requirement was Tumble, which makes no sense since Psychic Warriors don't get Tumble in-class, and an archer doesn't need it. I have replaced it with Concentration, since many of the class's abilities will rely on psionic focus. Likewise, Dodge and Mobility used to be prerequisites, but they're prerequisites for everything and frankly suck.

The ballisteer's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Wis), Jump (Str), Profession (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Intuit Direction was folded into Survival, so that's been replaced on the list.

{table=head] Level | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Special | Manifesting

1st | +0 | +0 | +2 | +2 | Bonus feat | -

2nd | +1 | +0 | +3 | +3 | Invisible shot |+1 level of previous manifesting class

3rd | +2 | +1 | +3 | +3 | Ethereal shot |+1 level of previous manifesting class

4th | +3 | +1 | +4 | +4 | Bonus feat |-

5th | +3 | +1 | +4 | +4 | Energy shot |+1 level of previous manifesting class

6th | +4 | +2 | +5 | +5 | Incorporeal shot |+1 level of previous manifesting class

7th | +5 | +2 | +5 | +5 | Bonus feat |-

8th | +6 | +2 | +6 | +6 | Infused shot |+1 level of previous manifesting class

9th | +6 | +3 | +6 | +6 | Explosive shot |+1 level of previous manifesting class

10th | +7 | +3 | +7 | +7 | Phase shot, bonus feat |-[/table]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Ballisteers gain no proficiency in any armor or weapons.

Manifesting: At every level except 1, 4, 7 and 10, a ballisteer gains power points and learns powers as if he had advanced in the psionic class he used to qualify for this prestige class.

The old ballisteer had "+1 psychic warrior" progression, gained PP every level and generally did a bunch of other dumb 3.0 things. Now it progresses powers at the same level, but does so for every class and in a consistent way. One might say that by losing the PP progression every level, the class has been weakened, but it will be improved in other ways to make up for that. One such improvement is a good Will save; this is a psionic class after all.

Bonus Feats: The ballisteer may select a bonus feat from the following list at 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th levels: Far Shot, Precise Shot, Greater Psionic Shot, Fell Shot, Rapid Shot, Manyshot, Greater Manyshot, Shot on the Run, Improved Precise Shot, Throw Anything, Psionic Sidestep, Improved Psionic Sidestep, Pinpoint Shot and Mounted Archery. He must meet all prerequisites for the feat.

The original class gave four feats, but they kinda sucked. By adding those feats to the soulbow's bonus feat list, we have something that an archer can really make use of, and if the ballisteer wants to take the old crappy feats, he has the option.

Invisible Shot (Ps): By expending 1 power point per shot, the ballisteer makes his fired ammo invisible. This provides the ballisteer with a bonus of +2 to hit and denies the target the ability to deflect the attack, unless it has the ability to detect invisible objects. The ballisteer must decide whether or not to use this ability before making the attack roll.

Ethereal Shot (Su): As long as the ballisteer is psionically focused, his ranged attacks affect ethereal creatures as though they were not ethereal.

Energy Shot (Su): As long as the ballisteer is psionically focused, his ranged attacks deal an additional die of force damage equal to the damage die used by his weapon, up to a maximum of 1d12. Thus, a thrown medium-sized dagger would deal an additional 1d4 points of force damage.

Damage is always nice, especially for archers and especially damage that ignores DR, the archer's bane. This used to deal "energy damage", and was the capstone, but it's not really good enough. In order to tone it down a little, it now requires the user to be psionically focused, and rules out abuse from size increases.

Incorporeal Shot (Su): As long as the ballisteer is psionically focused, his ranged attacks affect incorporeal targets as though they were not incorporeal.

Incorporeal Shot and Ethereal Shot have been changed from 1pp/shot to "psionic focus", but I'm still not sure they're all that useful, especially since so much of this class provides force damage anyway.

Infused Shot (Ps): If he expends his psionic focus when making an energy shot, the ballisteer can spend power points to increase the bonus damage. For each power point spent this way he increases the damage by an additional die, up to his ballisteer level.

This ability used to give d4s, and was usable on every shot. It also came earlier. This way, a more impressive bow makes a more powerful energy shot, giving something for archers to do that people who throw armloads of daggers at a time can't do as well. However, the increased damage comes at the cost of psionic focus, meaning that the character can't expend all of his PP in a single volley, brutally decimating his target.

Explosive Shot (Ps): By paying 2 power points per shot, the ballisteer can detonate his ranged attacks in a powerful psionic pulse. The attack becomes a 10ft radius burst, with a Reflex save (DC equal to 10+half the ballisteer's class level+the ballisteer's Wisdom modifier) to negate the damage. This ability can be used after the attack has been rolled, but not after the ballisteer knows the result.

This ability used to have a flat DC of 20. It is also usable after you think your attack whiffed, as a last ditch effort to damage the enemy.

Phase Shot (Ps): By expending 3 power points per shot, the ballisteer causes his ammo to phase and move through the Astral Plane. Treat this as a touch attack and the target as flat-footed (unless under the effect of detect teleportation or a similar ability that would alert it). This ability also allows you to shoot targets through opaque walls, but the target gets total concealment against these attacks. This is considered a teleportation effect and can be blocked by powers and spells that affect those.

This ability is now the capstone, and in exchange had the "no sneak attack" clause removed. If you shoot someone through a wall, and ignore the concealment somehow (hint: Pinpoint Shot is a bonus feat) they damn better be surprised. This level also has a bonus feat to sweeten the deal, since a Psion or Wilder taking this level will lose 9th level powers.

2011-07-06, 07:30 PM
I want to play one.