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PaigeXenon
2012-06-15, 10:10 AM
I'm a relatively new DM and I'm about to under take the large project of creating a whole campaign setting. I have run a few adventures for my old group but they were all in the eberron setting now that i have moved and will be starting a new group I want a setting that is my own. I have started work on on a new class that is a modification of the soulknife class without psionics and a shadow magic feel, I just need some help balancing it and coming up with a few unique class features.
I don't have a lot done for the class yet but here is what I've got.

Abilities:
Alignment:
Hit Dice: d8
Level BAB Fort save Ref Save Will save Special

1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Shadow Blade, Weapon Focus(Shadow Blade)
2nd +1 +3 3+ +0 Two weapon Fighting
3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Shadow Blade(Lethal), Shadow Striking +1d4
4th +3 +4 +4 +1 +1 Shadow Blade
5th +3 +4 +4 +1 Free Draw, Twin blades
6th +4 +5 +5 +2 Shadow Striking +2d4
7th +5 +5 +5 +2
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +2 +2 Shadow Blade
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +3 Shadow Striking +3d4
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +3
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +3
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 +3 Shadow Blade, Shadow Striking +4d4
13ht +9/+4 +8 +8 +4
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +4
15th +11/+6 +9 +9 +5 Shadow Striking +5d4
16th +12/+7 +10 +10 +5 +4 Shadow Blade
17th +12/+7 +10 +10 +5
18th +13/+8 +11 +11 +6 Shadow Striking +6d4
19th +14/+9 +11 +11 +6
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 +5 Shadow Blade


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shadow Knives are Proficient with all simple weapons, with their own Shadow Blades, and wiht light armor and shields (except tower shields).

Shadow Blade (su): This abillity is like the Mind Blabe except it only does non lethal damage until 3rd lvl and can only make daggers. At 3rd level teh damage becomes lethal and the shadow knife is able to form the blade in to a short sword or kukri.

Two weapon fighting

Shadow striking: At 3rd The shadow blade gains an ability that allows it to do an addition 1d4 damage while being wielded with in an area of shadowy illumination or darkness. Both the wielder and their target must be in the area for this effect to work. This extra damage does not effect creatures that are immune to critical hits.
The damage done increases by 1d4 every 3 levels. A shadow knife can sacrifice 1 extra damage die to change the type of damage by the other dice to cold damage.

Free Draw: A shadow knife can create its shadow blade as a free action.

Twin blades: The shadow knife has the ability to create a second blade at -1 than the first





That all I have so far Any suggestions would be great, Shadow magic will be a big part of my campaign so any ideas features, other classes or races that will help my setting keep the shadowy feel would also be nice.

Thank you all in advance for all your help. XD

Kuulvheysoon
2012-06-15, 01:07 PM
This... should probably be moved to Homebrew.

eggs
2012-06-15, 01:25 PM
1. Yeah. The Homebrew forum is the place for this.

2. Tables are your friend

3. You're going to need to need to explicitly lay out all the rules here. The damage type on the shadow strike, etc.

4. This is weaker than the Soulknife, which is already one of the bottom handful of base classes in D&D. Powerwise, it needs a lot of work.

5. This is probably the mot important bit: What do you want this character to do? Right now, it has a weapon, and that's it. That's an ability which would be more fitting to a feat, race or level 1 spell/mystery/power than it is for a 20 level base class. The bonus damage is flavorful, but it isn't worth much more than a level 3 spell slot.

So I'd recommend spelling out exactly what you want this class to be able to do, including flashy tricks and non-numeric powers (ie. not bonus damage dice or attack bonuses or whatever), then sit down and see if you can make a 20 level class out of it. If not, this may be better suited to a PrC, a couple spells or a few feats.

Bloodgruve
2012-06-15, 03:11 PM
My suggestions;

Shadow Strike: Base d6's, d8's in darkness/shadows, d4's in bright daylight and base cold damage with the ability to change to slashing as levels improve.

Add the ability to throw the Shadow Blade.

Free Draw: Allow for a free action draw per each attack that the character can make, for more clarity.

Give the class some 'Shadow Invocations..' like Shadow Jaunt type teleportation x/day that progress from Standard>Move>Swift actions as levels increase. And maybe some invisibility or Hide in Plain Sight in dark conditions and a personal shadowy darkness aura. -OR- Give the class a spell progression like a Bard with utility and 'dark' spells.

Maybe add in some abilities that can be used with the strikes like extending melee range, doing a some con or dex damage x/day or on critical hits (carefull with this), make attacks as touch attacks x/day or some other fun stuff.

Make some feats that work with shadow blades, shadow strikes and invocations that improve damage and utility. Maybe extra damage from Int+ or Dex+'s.

What level of skills will this class have Int+X?

Without spells the only hope for melee classes is mobility, let him get to the target and deal damage. This class screams mobility. Fill in the dead levels to keep it interesting.

IMHO
Blood~

PaigeXenon
2012-06-15, 05:38 PM
I'm sorry about posting this in the wrong forum, I noticed that right after I posted it.

I know the class needs a lot of work. My end goal for this class is a melee fighter who makes use of shadows for tactical combat, but i do not want a rouge like class who just sneaks around stabs people in the back.

Oops I forgot the throw ability like the mind blade had (fixed it now)

The shadow striking was not meant to be a sneak attack type thing that's why I had the damage as a d4 because whenever their opponent and they were in the shadows it would do more damage.

I was going to add an ability that did dex damage (or to sacrifice extra dice for -1 dex ) but I was worried about the power of something like that along with how many times an ability like that would be useable.

an idea i had at work today was to give them some uses of the the mysteries in the Cloak of shadows path, Steel Shadows and Sharp Shadows looked like the most useful for this class. maybe from the Shutters and Clouds path as well.

skill wise I was thinking have it be 6+ int and have all the acrobatic skills as class skills.

eggs
2012-06-15, 06:18 PM
Shadowcasting plays very poorly with gishes, so it might need a bit of tinkering.

My first thought would be giving it access to Fundamental, Apprentice and Initiate paths with some slight modifications:
1. Give it its own paths. The existing options aren't particularly friendly to gishes. Abilities like teleports, buffs and melee rider effects would all help the archetype.
2. Let it ignore ACF in light armor and use the shadow blades in its somatic components. Neither of these should be a big deal.
3. Give it a mystery refresh ability. It could be something as basic as recovering one mystery at a time as a Swift action, usable Int+Level times per day (refreshed at nightfall?); the main point is to give it a bit of staying power without rocketing it up to 9th level spell effects.
4. Base saves off 10+1/2 Class level+ability, rather than 10+Mystery level+ ability. This will keep the low-level mystery access from being crippling.

Numbers 3 and 4 would be good ideas to implement for the basic Shadowcaster as well. (Yeah, I know of Ari Marmell's informal patchjob, but I find its other aspects distasteful.)

If the end result leaves the Shadowcaster unhappy, make the gish's mystery level advancement require 3 mysteries of a given level to learn a mystery of the next.

EDIT:
I don't want this to sound like the way it capital-S Should be done; I'm just throwing ideas around.

Kuulvheysoon
2012-06-15, 06:24 PM
I'm sorry about posting this in the wrong forum, I noticed that right after I posted it.

I know the class needs a lot of work. My end goal for this class is a melee fighter who makes use of shadows for tactical combat, but i do not want a rouge like class who just sneaks around stabs people in the back.

Oops I forgot the throw ability like the mind blade had (fixed it now)

I don't see it anywhere in the first post. Just please, please incorporate Multiple Throw into the default ability.


The shadow striking was not meant to be a sneak attack type thing that's why I had the damage as a d4 because whenever their opponent and they were in the shadows it would do more damage.

I was going to add an ability that did dex damage (or to sacrifice extra dice for -1 dex ) but I was worried about the power of something like that along with how many times an ability like that would be useable.

I'd advise that you look up the Ambush feats from Complete Scoundrel. They cover a lot of ground on what you could sacrifice dice of extra damage for. As for dealing Dexterity damage straight-up... the Soulknife class itself gives precedence for ability damage in it's Knife to the soul ability.


an idea i had at work today was to give them some uses of the the mysteries in the Cloak of shadows path, Steel Shadows and Sharp Shadows looked like the most useful for this class. maybe from the Shutters and Clouds path as well.

skill wise I was thinking have it be 6+ int and have all the acrobatic skills as class skills.

Instead of giving them partial access, why not just make them reduced casters? Something along the lines of Bard casting (up to 6th) or even Ranger/Paladin Casting (up to 4th) would be interesting, especially since there is no true mystery-using partial caster.


4. Base saves off 10+1/2 Class level+ability, rather than 10+Mystery level+ ability. This will keep the low-level mystery access from being crippling.

Actually, funny enough, this SHOULD be done to the base Shadowcaster. That's the basic saving throw calculation used for (default) Supernatural abilities. The shadowcaster's low-level mysteries/fundamentals are near-unique in this regard.

PaigeXenon
2012-06-15, 07:56 PM
I do like the idea of it being a partial caster. If I set it up like a ranger using the path related restrictions would be difficult, Making it go to level 6 would work best. Then I could still use the path system and make use of Apprentice and Initiate mysteries. The only problem is I'm not sure what kind of mysteries to make to go along with this class, there are only 3 paths in ToM that fit this class (Cloak of Shadows, Shutters and clouds, & Ebon Roads) I'm also unsure how to set up the spell/spell-like progression for a class like this.

I do like the idea of making some sort of refresh ability for mystery uses. It would either be a perday and gain x total uses back or some kind of meditation thing for so long to get a use back. Maybe at night fall they gain 1 use of ever mystery that is a spell like ability.

Kuulvheysoon
2012-06-15, 08:20 PM
Well, if you're intending to slow 'spell' access, one thing that I did for one of my players that wasn't too overpowered was making the uses per encounter.

The Cityscape enhancement also presented 3 or 4 new paths.

PaigeXenon
2012-06-15, 08:38 PM
I'm not a huge fan of the per encounter abilities. I don't know why they just don't feel right to me.

dspeyer
2012-06-15, 11:08 PM
Perhaps the character should be able to control his shadow, and send it forth to spy for him or to trip enemies, or even to turn into a pair of wings for him to fly with. See Nicodemus from Dresden Files or Lord Bun-Bun, Eater of Holidays (http://www.sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/031201).

For simpler mechanics, consider Shadow Conjuration and Evocation -- two very versatile spells.

As for per-encounter abilities, I know I dislike them because an "encounter" is such a metagame concept. How do you feel about powers usuable every d4 minutes? Or a power pool that can be refreshed at any time by 5 minutes of meditation (while sitting in absolute darkness, perhaps)?

Bloodgruve
2012-06-16, 12:20 AM
With your current setup at say level 12 with three attacks hitting you'll push 58ish damage on average assuming +4 bonus damage from stats. This is not bad but with the d6's, you're only adding 1 damage per dice roll on average so its not really overpowered IMHO. Also with the slower progression maxing at 6 dice I don't see a problem with the strikes always available in whatever condition.

Those Mysteries are a good option, but I would also give them a way to refresh and limit the available list. I play a Factotum and the encounter refresh mechanic is actually very fun, you can use all your fun tricks once per fight and you don't feel like you need to save the koolest ones for the big bad.

Could be a very fun and flavorful class to play.

GL
Blood~

PaigeXenon
2012-06-16, 09:42 AM
EDIT: here is what I have so far I was unsure how or when to give the meditation to get back uses of mysteries

Abilities:
Alignment:
Hit Dice: d8
Class skills: Blance, Bluff, Climb, craft, Concentration,Diplomacy, hide, intimidate, Jump, move silently, profession, swim, tumble
skill points 4+int

Level BAB fort save Ref Save Will Save

1st+0 +2 +2 +0 apprentice mysteries, shadow blade, weapon focus(shadow blade)
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Two weapon fighting, Throw shadow blade
3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Shadow blade(lethal), shadow striking +1d6
4th +3 +4 +4 +1 +1 shadow blade
5th +3 +4 +4 +1 Free draw, twin blades
6th +4 +5 +5 +2 shadow striking +2d6
7th +5 +5 +5 +2 Improved two weapon fighting
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +2 +2 shadow blade
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +3 shadow striking +3d6, greater weapon focus(shadow blade)
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +3 apprentice mysteries(spell-like), initiate mysteries
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +3
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 +3 shadow blade, shadow striking +4d6
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 Greater two weapon fighting
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +4 Multiple throw
15th +11/+6 +9 +9 +5shadow striking +5d6
16th +12/+7 +10 +10 +5 +4 shadow blade
17th +12/+7 +10 +10 +5
18th +13/+8 +11 +11 +6 shadow striking +6d6
19th +14/+9 +11 +11 +6
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 +5 shadow blade, apprentice mysteries(supernatural), initiate mysteries(spell-like)


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shadow Knives are Proficient with all simple weapons, with their own Shadow Blades, and wiht light armor and shields (except tower shields).

Shadow blade:
This ability is identical to the soulknifes Mind Blade with a few changes. It only does non lethal damage until 3rd lvl and can only make daggers. At 3rd level the damage becomes lethal and the shadow knife is able to form the blade in to a short sword or kukri.

Mysteries:
these follow the same rules as the shadow caster mysteries except the dc is 10 + class lvl + cha
Mysteries my only be selected from the Cloak of Shadows, Ebon Whispers, Eyes of Darkness, Shutters and Clouds apprentice paths and the Black Magic, Ebon Roads, Veil of Shadows, and Dakend alleys(cityscape enchancement) Initiate paths

Mystery level (uses per day)
Class level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st 1
2nd 1
3rd 1
4th 1 1
5th 1 1
6th 1 1
7th 1 1 1
8th 1 1 1
9th 1 1 1
10th 2 2 2 1
11th 2 2 2 1
12th 2 2 2 1
13th 2 2 2 1 1
14th 2 2 2 1 1
15th 2 2 2 1 1
16th 2 2 2 1 1 1
17th 2 2 2 1 1 1
18th 2 2 2 1 1 1
19th 2 2 2 1 1 1
20th 3 3 3 2 2 2


Shadow striking: At 3rd The shadow blade gains an ability that allows it to do an additional 1d6 damage while being wielded with in an area of shadowy illumination, and 1d8 in areas of complete darkness. If wielded in an area of daylight the effect is severely reduced and only dose 1d2 additional damage.. Both the wielder and their target must be in the area for this effect to work. This extra damage does not affect creatures that are immune to critical hits.
The damage done increased by 1 die every 3 levels. The damage of the added dice is cold damage. *A shadow knife can sacrifice 1 extra damage die to change the type of damage by the other dice to slashing damage.

Throw shadow blade: as soulknife's throw mind blade

Free Draw: as soulknife

Twin blades: The shadow knife has the ability to create a second blade at -1 bonus of than the first
Multiple throw: as soulknife



Im not sure why but tables hate me