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Graha013
2011-07-16, 08:48 AM
So in the 3.5 area I was posting about the lack of positive/negative energy spells and abilities - I think there was maybe 12, no more than 15, listed, in the entire game. I was asking because I started working on the below class and wanted to fill it with ingame mechanics and spells instead of changing them, to not-much-avail. I've reposted it here to get some input on it:


Ok - with the great input so far, I'm going to VERY PREMATURELY post what I have for this class I'm working on. The working title is 'The Harness of Positive and Negative Energy'. It's very long and needs truncated beyond 'Harness'. Here's what I got:

Alignment: Any Neutral
Hit Die: D4
Class Skills: Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Heal, Knowledge Arcana, Knowledge Religion, Knowledge The Planes, Profession, Spellcraft, UMD
Skill points 1st level: (2+int)x4
Skill points additionally: 2+int

Description:Harnesses', as they are called, are naturalistic spellcasters that study the negative and positive energy forces of the world. They understand that, like air and earth, fire and water, positive and negative energy are naturally occurring and are there for manipulation and use as any other element has been. Harnesses' go one step further, filling a void in the civilized world filled with superstitions and misconceptions, and focus their work in maintaining the natural balance of those most affected by the positive and negative
energy fields - the undead. Harnesses view undead purely as the result of positive and negative energy affecting the bodys, spirits, and souls, of the deceased. They work to right and remove malevolent forces and manipulation, such as would be found under the use of a Necromancer, but also to protect and strengthen naturally occurring areas of negative
energy, found in cemetaries, graveyards, and anywhere else a fount of negative energy may occur, from the destruction of an overly zealous Paladin or Cleric. Harnesses are as much at home creating non-sentient undead, which they view as automatons and tools and having continued useful purpose after death, as they are laying restless or malevolent spirits
to their final rest. They are typically viewed as misguided interlopers by priests and holy warriors, who typically shun their allowance and support of the negative energy forces, but even they cannot deny the effectiveness of their work when it comes to responding to dangerous undead and negative forces. On the other hand, almost all necromancers hate Harnesses', harboring deep resentment in the ease their undead are destroyed, and sometimes simply just comandeered, to serve the Harnesses' view of natural harmony.

BAB: 3/4 (Druid)
Saves: 2 good (Fort and Will)
Spells per day: As Druid

Weapon Prof: All simple weapons (as wizzies)
Armor Prof: No armor or shields (as wizzies)

Spells: Cast spontaneously (as sorc), drawing from Charisma, bonus spells can be earned based on high Charisma, etc.

Special Abilities:

Level 1. Turn and Rebuke Undead: When dealing with undead, the Harness has the ability to turn and destroy undead or rebuke and control them. He may use either power 3+Charisma modifier times per day. In addition, he may sacrifice his available spell slots per day to gain a maximum bonus of 4 turning or rebuking attempts that day. Each spell slot sacrificed is worth 1/2 a turning or rebuking attempt - count 0 level spells as 1/2 an attempt. A minimum of 2 spell levels must be sacrificed to gain 1 additional attempt per day (example: 4 level 0 slots, or 2 level 1 slots, equal 1 additional attempt). This ability stacks with other classes that grant the ability to turn/rebuke undead.

Level 1. Undead Familiar - The Harness can acquire an undead familiar as if they had taken the 'Stitched Flesh Familiar' feat (LM). The feat works the same except where noted below: The familiar does not appear stitched, merely undead. The owner must decide whether this is a skeleton or zombie familiar upon creation.

Level 2. Bi-Polar Aura, 1/day - At 2nd level, the Harness is surrounded by a fluctuating aura of positive and negative energy. Once per day, the Harness may extend this aura to affect his weapon or hands when striking. This ability applies a (positive) or (negative) descriptor to his attacks and helps him bypass magical immunity. This ability increases to 2/day at level 7, and 3/day at level 14.

Level 3. Undead Expert, +1 - The Harness gains +1 circumstantial bonus to all saves, skill checks, and attack rolls when interacting with Undead. This increases to +2 at level 9 and +3 at level 15.

Level 5. Polarized Exclusivity - The Harness excels at utilizing positive and negative energies. Because of this, he gaines a +1 to his effective level when utilizing any spell or ability that invokes the positive or negative energy plane, including turning/rebuking, controlling, animating, healing, or destroying undead. This ability increases by +1 every 5 levels after 5th, to a maximum of +4 at level 20.

Level 6. Animate Dead 1/day - As the spell, the Harness can now animate dead 1/day without spell components.

Level 7. Call for Peace - The Harness evokes a sudden surge of positive energy, laying undead in the radius to final rest per the 'Undeath to Death' spell.

Level 10. Energy Burst - The Harness can now focus their bi-polar aura into an energy burst with a 30' range. It deals positive or negative damage equal to 1d6 per 2 levels of Harnesser, for a maximum of 10d6. Using the aura in this manner requiers 2 of the daily uses of the Bi-polar aura allowed by the Harness.

Level 11. Greater Turning 1/day - The Harness can utilize their turning ability to a greater extent, and those undead that would be turned by his ability are instead destroyed.

Level 14. Touch of Undeath - as 'Enervation' spell 1/day, as a touch attack.

Level 18. Greater Hallow/Unhallow - The Harness may spend a week preparing a selected area as a special place imbued by positive or negative energy. This ability acts like the spells 'Hallow' or "Unhallow' respectively, except for the following conditions: The area of effect is expanded to 100 feet. Two spell effects (instead of one) can be tied to the hallowed site, however those spell effects cannot counter each other (i.e. bane, and bless, cannot be tied together). Finally, the spell effect 'alarm' is in constant effect during the duration of the hallow/unhallow effect, notifying the Harness if anyone adversely affected by the area has entered it's radius. This lasts the duration of the hallow/unhallow effect. Only one hallow and one unhallow created by the same Harness can be in existance at the same time. Using this ability to generate a second hallow/unhallowed area before the first one expires or is dispelled simply will not work.

Alright, I haven't even tried to balance the spelllike abilities, but let me know what you think of the flavor, mechanics, and suggestions are always welcome!.

Gamer Girl
2011-07-16, 10:36 AM
I think your on the wrong track here.

You want to make a class that manipulates positive and negative energy, but then you give it things like Turning Undead and Undead Familiar. Why the focus on Undead? Are you just trying to make a class for necromancer types? Knowing about negative energy would not make you an undead expert. And notice how many 'negative'/undead powers they get, and how few 'postive' ones. Plus powers that manipulate energy are missing.

1.Take your class: ''The energy guy walks over and he has the ability to turn undead and has a zombie cat.'' Ok, sounds like a necromancer...

2.Take what it could be: "The energy guy has the ability to project positive or negative energy at will(like a warlock basically) and has a small ball of energy floating along with him.'' See how that's unique and not like anything else.


I think you should drop all the undead stuff and make this a class about energy, not necromancer rip off stuff.

Graha013
2011-07-16, 10:47 AM
Definitely appreciate the input. It might not be as concise as I need, but, the focus on undead stems from the fact - and correct me if I'm wrong - that negative energy is the driving force for necromancy and undead while positive energy is the driving force of healing and destroying undead.

That being said, the aim of the class was a balance in-between necros and clerics without the good vs bad, holy vs unholy, religious overtones. Someone who views undead not as evil/good but as part of a natural order.

The class is a necro build, but more in the vein of Druids than anything else. The name is admittedly a misnomer.

I like the idea of going pure energy based, but that wasn't the idea I was trying to put out there

Gamer Girl
2011-07-16, 10:56 AM
Definitely appreciate the input. It might not be as concise as I need, but, the focus on undead stems from the fact - and correct me if I'm wrong - that negative energy is the driving force for necromancy and undead while positive energy is the driving force of healing and destroying undead.

That being said, the aim of the class was a balance in-between necros and clerics without the good vs bad, holy vs unholy, religious overtones. Someone who views undead not as evil/good but as part of a natural order.

The class is a necro build, but more in the vein of Druids than anything else. The name is admittedly a misnomer.

I like the idea of going pure energy based, but that wasn't the idea I was trying to put out there

So you just want to make a cleric/necromancer like class? A necro druid? Hummm...maybe I should make my 'pure' energy class myself then....it's a good idea.

Your view of energy is a bit undead focused. Try to think of negative energy as more obliteration and positive energy as more creation. Yes, undead use negative energy, but that's not the end all and be all of negative energy(Cars use gas, but gas is not all about powering cars).

Graha013
2011-07-16, 12:39 PM
Your view of energy is a bit undead focused. Try to think of negative energy as more obliteration and positive energy as more creation. Yes, undead use negative energy, but that's not the end all and be all of negative energy(Cars use gas, but gas is not all about powering cars).

I thought that I made it pretty clear in the description that, out of the balance of neg/positive energies, Harnesses focus on that area which applies to undead:


Harnesses' go one step further, filling a void in the civilized world filled with superstitions and misconceptions, and focus their work in maintaining the natural balance of those most affected by the positive and negative energy fields - the undead. Harnesses view undead purely as the result of positive and negative energy affecting the bodys, spirits, and souls, of the deceased.

So I'm ok with the narrowing of focus into that which deals with necromancy - and that an energy based class like your idea would both apply/fill a void and not overlap with my idea.

But no real feedback on the balance and over/under powering of what I've got so far.. seeing that the focus IS neg/positive applied to undead, what are your thoughts?

Howler Dagger
2011-07-16, 12:45 PM
you might want to try putting stuff on a table like they do in the SRD, the code for doing so is here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10313)

Kellus
2011-07-16, 12:52 PM
Well, for starters here's a format that doesn't make me want to claw my eyes out. :smallsmile:

Alignment: Any neutral
Hit Die: d4
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier

Class Skills: A harness' class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (any) (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the Planes) (Int), Profession (any) (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

The Harness
{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

1st|+0|+2|+0|+2|Turn and rebuke undead, undead familiar|5|3||||||||

2nd|+1|+3|+0|+3|Bipolar aura|6|4||||||||

3rd|+2|+3|+1|+3|Undead expert +1|6|5||||||||

4th|+3|+4|+1|+4||6|6|3|||||||

5th|+3|+4|+1|+4|Polarized exclusivity +1|6|6|4|||||||

6th|+4|+5|+2|+5|Animate dead|6|6|5|3||||||

7th|+5|+5|+2|+5|Call for peace|6|6|6|4||||||

8th|+6/+1|+6|+2|+6||6|6|6|5|3|||||

9th|+6/+1|+6|+3|+6|Undead expert +2|6|6|6|6|4|||||

10th|+7/+2|+7|+3|+7|Energy burst, polarized exclusivity +2|6|6|6|6|5|3||||

11th|+8/+3|+7|+3|+7|Greater turning|6|6|6|6|6|4||||

12th|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8||6|6|6|6|6|5|3|||

13th|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8||6|6|6|6|6|6|4|||

14th|+10/+5|+9|+4|+9|Enervation|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3||

15th|+11/+6/+1|+9|+5|+9|Polarized exclusivity +3, undead expert +3|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4||

16th|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10||6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3|

17th|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10||6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4|

18th|+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+11|Greater hallow or unhallow|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3

19th|+14/+9/+4|+11|+6|+11||6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4

20th|+15/+10/+5|+12|+6|+12|Polarized exclusivity +4|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6

[/table]

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the harness.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:

Class Feature (Ex/Su/Sp):

Alignment: Any neutral
Hit Die: d4
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier

Class Skills: A harness' class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (any) (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the Planes) (Int), Profession (any) (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

The Harness
{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

1st|+0|+2|+0|+2|Turn and rebuke undead, undead familiar|5|3||||||||

2nd|+1|+3|+0|+3|Bipolar aura|6|4||||||||

3rd|+2|+3|+1|+3|Undead expert +1|6|5||||||||

4th|+3|+4|+1|+4||6|6|3|||||||

5th|+3|+4|+1|+4|Polarized exclusivity +1|6|6|4|||||||

6th|+4|+5|+2|+5|Animate dead|6|6|5|3||||||

7th|+5|+5|+2|+5|Call for peace|6|6|6|4||||||

8th|+6/+1|+6|+2|+6||6|6|6|5|3|||||

9th|+6/+1|+6|+3|+6|Undead expert +2|6|6|6|6|4|||||

10th|+7/+2|+7|+3|+7|Energy burst, polarized exclusivity +2|6|6|6|6|5|3||||

11th|+8/+3|+7|+3|+7|Greater turning|6|6|6|6|6|4||||

12th|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8||6|6|6|6|6|5|3|||

13th|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8||6|6|6|6|6|6|4|||

14th|+10/+5|+9|+4|+9|Enervation|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3||

15th|+11/+6/+1|+9|+5|+9|Polarized exclusivity +3, undead expert +3|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4||

16th|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10||6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3|

17th|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10||6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4|

18th|+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+11|Greater hallow or unhallow|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3

19th|+14/+9/+4|+11|+6|+11||6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4

20th|+15/+10/+5|+12|+6|+12|Polarized exclusivity +4|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6

[/table]

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the harness.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:

Class Feature (Ex/Su/Sp):

Actual critique on next post.

Kellus
2011-07-16, 01:03 PM
Okay, so basically the main problem with this class is that it's too focused. Every class feature and ability is related to undead, but different campaigns have different amounts of undead in them. That means that it's impossible to tell how actually useful the class is compared to other classes, because it's so campaign-dependent. It's like the ranger's problem, but times a thousand.

Now, that being said, here's a few things I did notice.

Dead Levels: 13th, 17th and 19th levels are really boring right now because you don't get a class feature or a new spell level. Boring class levels are class levels that people don't take. Levels where the only thing you get are undead expert or polarized exclusivity are almost as bad, since they only provide a small numerical bonus and not a real new ability that you can use. Numerical bonuses are easy to write, but boring to actually play.

Spell-Like Abilities: A lot of your class features are centered on giving access to spell-like abilities, but this class is already a full caster! It doesn't need the SLAs! Especially something like enervation once per day at 14th level, when he could actually CAST it at 8th level! Similarly, animate dead comes earlier than anyone else can get it as a spell, which might or might not be what you intend. Remember also that as a SLA you don't need to provide material components, which means one of the big limiting factors for animating dead is simply gone at that point. The once per day thing seriously doesn't even matter, because animate dead is an out-of-combat thing and the party can actually just sit around for a week while the harness uses a lot of free animate deads to create a small undead army. And this is two levels before he gets the actual spell to cast (material component and all)!

Also, the spoilers are really distracting. I'd strongly suggest just writing your abilities in plaintext and visible without having to click a dozen buttons. They should also have tags for what kind of ability they are (Su/Ex/Sp).

Graha013
2011-07-16, 03:25 PM
Okay, so basically the main problem with this class is that it's too focused. Every class feature and ability is related to undead, but different campaigns have different amounts of undead in them. That means that it's impossible to tell how actually useful the class is compared to other classes, because it's so campaign-dependent. It's like the ranger's problem, but times a thousand.

Now, that being said, here's a few things I did notice.

Dead Levels: 13th, 17th and 19th levels are really boring right now because you don't get a class feature or a new spell level. Boring class levels are class levels that people don't take. Levels where the only thing you get are undead expert or polarized exclusivity are almost as bad, since they only provide a small numerical bonus and not a real new ability that you can use. Numerical bonuses are easy to write, but boring to actually play.

Spell-Like Abilities: A lot of your class features are centered on giving access to spell-like abilities, but this class is already a full caster! It doesn't need the SLAs! Especially something like enervation once per day at 14th level, when he could actually CAST it at 8th level! Similarly, animate dead comes earlier than anyone else can get it as a spell, which might or might not be what you intend. Remember also that as a SLA you don't need to provide material components, which means one of the big limiting factors for animating dead is simply gone at that point. The once per day thing seriously doesn't even matter, because animate dead is an out-of-combat thing and the party can actually just sit around for a week while the harness uses a lot of free animate deads to create a small undead army. And this is two levels before he gets the actual spell to cast (material component and all)!

Also, the spoilers are really distracting. I'd strongly suggest just writing your abilities in plaintext and visible without having to click a dozen buttons. They should also have tags for what kind of ability they are (Su/Ex/Sp).

Awesome, and thank you for the table conversion. In response tot he critique, which wasn't as much as I feared, here are some answers/thoughts:

Dead Levels: I think, in answer to those dead levels, I've got a couple of levels that may be too heavily invested and might help to spread them out a bit. I was worried about having too many abilities to be honest. I'll look at spreading them - but then again, that being said, I was afraid that a +4 to caster level build up and a +3 max bonus to all things dealing with undead was borderline too high. Would increasing it help on those dead/boring levels?

Spell Like Abilities: One note on this class is that while it will be a fully capable caster, I planned on it having an extremely limited spell list to choose from, as a caveat. The spell-like abilities were to reduce his reliance on the spells and to balance out his undead negative abilities with his positive abilities. As far as their level location, No, I didn't intend it to be before they can actually get the spell, just to make it handier without the spell component, once a day. Perhaps I need to look at one of the lesser undead creating spells instead? Removing it seems to nerf it totally.


I do realize (and am building this for) an undead heavy campaign.

Kellus
2011-07-16, 04:00 PM
I'm really confused. I can see where you're going for this class, but I think the Dread Necromancer pretty much does everything you're hoping for. It's an arcane spellcaster class that focuses on necromancy, has rebuke undead, and can channel negative energy through it. What else are you hoping for?

Graha013
2011-07-16, 06:24 PM
I'm really confused. I can see where you're going for this class, but I think the Dread Necromancer pretty much does everything you're hoping for. It's an arcane spellcaster class that focuses on necromancy, has rebuke undead, and can channel negative energy through it. What else are you hoping for?

The parts where it turns undead instead of rebuking and when it channels positive energy. Dread necro is evil opposite of this class - raising and rebuking undead and being unholy. Radiant servants are the good opposite of the class - turning and destroying undead. This class is for maintaining the balance naturally found between positive and negative energy, and in acting so has to be able to replenish and remove to maintain said balance.

GideonRiddle
2011-07-16, 06:51 PM
Maybe you could give them the option to make deathless as well as undead?

Graha013
2011-07-16, 08:37 PM
Maybe you could give them the option to make deathless as well as undead?

I'm not really familiar with deathless actually..throw me a bone?

Yitzi
2011-07-16, 09:10 PM
For the name...call it a "channeler", as that's what he does (channel positive/negative energy).

Owrtho
2011-07-16, 10:10 PM
I'm not really familiar with deathless actually..throw me a bone?

Deathless can be summarized as undead powered by positive energy. From what I recall that is the only difference between them, though I may be wrong on that account.

Owrtho