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View Full Version : Class Tweaks and a Homebrew World



F.H. Zebedee
2007-03-22, 07:46 PM
I'm thinking of DMing a campaign on my forums with a world I've been dreaming up, and have been doing some class tinkering to try and balance it. I haven't got into the real crunch (no statting the changes out) yet (still planning them), but here's the deal:

The world is blessed with ambient energy, magic some call it. Periodically, it is bombarded with bizarre, meteorlike objects. There are two varieties of these, Seeds of Life, and Seeds of Void. When Seeds of Life hit, they deposit varieties of objects and such. Sometimes as mundane as good planting soil, other times they deposit blessing, such as new species of live stock and crops, magical items, or even the beginning population of new races, fully formed and matured with no memory of their pasts. When a Seed of Void strikes, it instantly disintegrates everything within a certain radius, leaving only the Seed nestled in the crater. These seeds are supposedly sent by respectively the Lord of All, a creator deity, and the Lord of Nil, a destroyer deity.

The planet is warmest (virtually unlivable) toward the North Pole, and frigid cold at the south, with the most balanced temperatures occuring at the Equator. This is due to two beasts, Ignis of Flame, and Inej of Ice, making their homes at the respective poles. Their power ebs and flows with the number of followers that either one has, leading to changing climates world over.

Religions exist, but have no allignment restrictions. An evil being may desire the power of the Lord of All to structure and organize the world, while a good character may find inspiration in the Lord of Nil's ability to purify and purge the world of corruption.

Magic as a whole is generally not studied, thus no Wizard class. People recognize the phenomena around them, and know well of it, but usually do not attempt to learn to harness it for their own gain.

So, with my setting presented, my changes to the classes:
All class skills will be revised. I'm thinking of making some basic skills Class skills for anybody (Spot, Listen).

Druid: Warriors that can warp the ambient energy of the world around them to transform themselves and strengthen others. They have a great respect for nature, though much of that is tied to fearing accidentally injuring their colleagues.
Changes: Probably one of my more extreme. Instead of spells, they'll pick and choose new animal forms based on level that they can turn into. I'll probably be significantly powering up that ability, though taking away a few of their other ones (namely most of their spellcasting, and downsizing their animal companion to be even with Rangers). I think I'll remove most of the summoning, and replace it with healing instead. I want to have a class that's more paladin in capability. Healing and melee, neither one AS good as a cleric or fighter, but with versatility instead.

Sorceror: People, who, from birth, have been gifted with a natural control over the energy surrounding them. They cast by a variety of gestures and actions that instinctively lead to spells.
Changes: No Familiar. Doesn't need spell components. When they level up, they instantly know spells to their maximum ammount of spells known, which are tied to physical gestures. Players may request spells, and the gestures tied to them, of the DM, but where they are not chosen, the DM fills in the choices for them. (And the DM gets the final say. If a DM were a jerk, this could be ugly, but this is moreso a safety check to prevent any borken material)

Cleric: People who specialize in channeling the divine energy present in their holy symbol. Their holy symbols are made of either the respective seed, or an actual piece of horn/hoof or shell from Ignis or Inej.
Changes: Not sure here. I know that since there's no undead in the setting, Turning goes WAY away, as well as their ability to trade spells for healing. I'm thinking that clerics lose most spells, and just use domains of their deity. But I'm really unsure of how to balance it. All classes are getting depowered, barring one or two, but this one is problematic. Also, what domains would the big four be, anyways? I want to avoid anything too broken. (And REALLY dislike summoning)

Ranger: A hunter from the fringes of society who prefers the company of animals to that of people.
Changes: Losing virtually all spellcasting. Just seems off-flavor. They may or may not get some bonuses (Bonus feats maybe?) to compensate. Possibly better movement.

Monk: People who believe the planet reveals something about their bodies and souls, and vice-a-versa. They meditate upon nature, attempting to learn the answers to whatever questions weigh upon their souls. They control the energy flow in their bodies in a mimicry of what they see in nature, gaining supernatural powers.
Change: Roughly the same. May add some Lay on Hands for spice.

Bard: Incredibly skilled musicians who have learnt to deal with political situations as well as entertaining. Their kind has adapted the teaching of monks and clerics to learn several tricks.
Changes: Removing their casting as is, and replacing it with various Spell-like abilities that they'll gain throughout their level progression, probably with choices and maybe a Combat-Track style choice or two. Trying to figure how to amp up their music (no pun intended) as well.

Fighter: Same. Maybe some spicing up if they need it, but I think that a flat fighter is around the power level I'm aiming for.

Rogue: Same. POSSIBLY better movement.

Paladin: Removed, due to the fact that religious crusaders don't have much of a role. I'm trying to think of a heat/cold based variant for devout followers of Ignis/Inej, but the code of conduct keeps saying "Can't travel with hot people/Can't travel with cool people" or such, and that just doesn't make me happy. Smite Feverish/Chilly?

Barbarian: An unfortunate soul that has somehow received a shard of the void inside their body. Due to this, they live much shorter lives and are prone to uncontrolable rages, although their strength grows to superhuman ammounts.
Changes: Lose Trap sense, and probably lose the Illiteracy as well. Gains a +2 bonus to strength over the level progression. If the shard is removed, they fall like a Paladin, losing Rage and most abilities until it's placed in them once more.

Well, that's most of it, I think. Most of these changes are very tentative, though. I'm fond of the Druid idea and the Sorceror idea, but there is some serious work needed on the Cleric to balance it out. Any opinions or ideas or suggestions are appreciated.

MeklorIlavator
2007-03-22, 08:03 PM
This should be in homebrew, so just PM a mod for the change.

On topic:
Limiting clerics spellcasting is okay, but don't limit it to far, because right now they will be much weaker than adepts, with only a maximum of 9 spells per day. Also, taking away spontaneous healing makes one of their main roles harder, because they have to prepare what limited spells they have as healing. This is making them very bad heal bots. A suggestion would be to use something like eldrich blast, and give them the healing blast ability of the eldrich theruge. Their primary blast could deal fire or cold damage as appropriate to give appropriate flavor.

And having the Dm choose spells for the sorcerer is harsh. Why not just ban spell that you don't like, instead of making the class wholly based on a 3rd parties whim. It reeks of DM railroading.

grego
2007-03-22, 08:26 PM
How about allowing clerics to "channel energy" from either the Lord of all or the Lord of Nil.... Lord of Nil clerics would get something along the lines of spontaneous Inflict, while Lord of All clerics would get cure. Or they could choose... make it positive damage (energy overload, la positive energy plane) or positive healing (cure wounds) or negative damage (inflict) or negative healing (remove disease, poison, ailments, what have you). dont know how balanced that would be, but I'm just throwing it out there.

F.H. Zebedee
2007-03-25, 08:06 PM
Thank you both for your opinions. Clerics are VERY hard to get right since they're naturally a little off balance. I'm liking the Spontaneous Inflict/Cure kind of idea, giving them a sort of limited use to it per day, but scaling per level, in addition to domain spells. And then Inej clerics would get Debuffs (limited somehow) and Ignis clerics will get Buffs. (All's theme is building up/repairing, Nil's theme is destroying/harming, Inej is about slowing/stopping, and Ignis is about charging/hammering away). So, now that I think about it... Yeah, they'll get domains and then on top of that, probably some deity specific spontaneous abilities. (Need a buffer? Get a cleric of Ignis. Need a healer? Lord of All's got the medicine.)

Well, the Sorceror idea COULD be abused by a bad DM, but ideally, it'd be more like:
Player: Okay, next level I wanna get Fireball.
GM: Okay, so how will it go?
Player: Well, I was thinking snapping my fingers to use it.
GM: FMA much?
Player: *stupid grin*
GM: Well, sounds alright to me. *jots it down on a list of spells for the Sorc to earn later*
Basically, it's just messing around with it a little bit. I acknowledge that there could be issues, but with any luck, it won't be abused. (It's moreso to make players have to name the gestures to do their spells.) I'm considering making it possible for them to sacrifice some spell slots for templates, to represent their bodies mutating or other transformation sort of things, but I think that'd be tricky as all get out to balance out.

I'll get right on PMing a mod to get this fixed. Thanks!

Gorbash Kazdar
2007-03-25, 08:11 PM
Comrade Gorby: Off to Homebrew!

Annarrkkii
2007-03-25, 08:51 PM
...but the code of conduct keeps saying "Can't travel with hot people/Can't travel with cool people"
Hahaha! My thoughts exactly. I can't stand that about paladins.

But seriously, I would personally consider, rather than morphing the druid to be more like the paladin in class roll, leave the druid as is, or mostly as is, and instead alter the paladin. You could do it quite easily.

Replace Special Mount with an animal companion as per the ranger class. Retain Lay On Hands, Divine Health (under a new name), and Remove Disease, but lose the Aura of Courage, Smite Evil, Detect Evil, Turn Undead, and Divine Grace abilities in exchange for casting using, say, the Bard's model, only with access instead to the Druid's spell list.

Holocron Coder
2007-03-25, 09:23 PM
The bit about the druid: if you haven't seen it yet, take a look at the PHBII variant of the druid. It's similar to what you have. Lose the forms/day and the familiar to gain change at will into a limited set of creatures instead of anything the player can find. (Take on the appearance, but not the stats of a wolf. You get flat bonuses based on which "form" it is.)

F.H. Zebedee
2007-03-25, 10:17 PM
Thanks, Daedu! I'll take a peek at that and see what it has to offer. If the variant accomplishes what I was hoping for, that will have saved me a lot of work.

Yeah, actually, I'm thinking now it'd be pretty darn easy to whip up a Paladin variant. (I wasn't trying to make the druid INTO the paladin, they just had their mechanical role end up similar. Paladins would be of either Heat or Cold, though I'm thinking I'll get rid of the code of conduct beyond simply "Can not advance the religion of the other weather-beast.") They are one of the easier things to work on changing. I guess that I'll make them like the clerics of their respective faiths, just more towards physicals and straight combat, and less towards the Buffs/Debuffs.

So:
Change:
*Change Mount to specific ones per deity.
*Remove Turning and Casting. Replace with spontaneous Buff/Debuff like the Cleric mod.
*Change Detect Evil to a Thermal Vision sort of thing.
*Remove Lay On Hands/Remove Disease for some Spell Like ability to do the appropriate kind of spell.
*Change Smite into Fire/Cold damage.

F.H. Zebedee
2007-04-03, 09:32 PM
Okay, I need some more help rigging a change to one of the classes. I've got a very strong notion of what I'm doing with the Bard (removing their standard casting and replacing it with Spell Tracks that earn them spells that they can use instantly a certain number of times per day.) I've gotten the tracks chosen, but I'm having trouble deciding the spells to fill out and balance these tracks.

I'm basically thinking that in addition to the spells, Bards will get bonuses like Domains for the Cleric, though I'm having trouble balancing them all out.

Bardic Casting (Sp)
At 2nd level, a Bard may choose their primary Spell Track. At levels 5, 10, 13, 17, and 19, they gain additional spells in this track.
At 4th level, a Bard may choose their secondary Spell Track. At 7, 11, and 16, they gain additional spells in this track.
Spells learnt via spell track are used as Spell-like abilities up to a (specified number of times in the track) per day. They do not need to be prepared, and do not require components to cast.
Primary Spell Track: This track is mainly to guide a Bard's ability in Combat. Deception bards pick up illusory spells, while Combat ones gain damaging spells, and Assitance Bards gain various buffs and healing.
*Deception: This bard has learnt the art of bending the planet’s energy to manipulate and deceive his foes.
-Bonus: A Bard with the Deception track receives a +5 Competence bonus on all Bluff checks.
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*Combat: This bard has learnt techniques that can be used to better fight in combat.
-Bonus: A Bard with the Combat track receives a +4 Competence bonus on all Intimidate checks.
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*Assistance: This Bard has learnt techniques that can be used in combat to help strengthen themselves and their allies.
-Bonus: A Bard with the Assistance track receives one additional use of Bardic Music per day for every five Bard levels.
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Secondary Spell Track: The secondary spell track is for flavor moreso than direct application, although it does affect combat ability. These generally are for granting the bard abilities that will come in handy in both adventuring, noncombat situations, and SOMETIMES battle.
*Animals: This Bard has learned how best to deal with animals and other natural beings.
-Bonus: A Bard with the Animals track receives a +2 Competence Bonus on all Handle Animal and Ride checks.
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*Fireworks: This Bard has learned how to create dazzling pyrotechnic displays.
-Bonus: A Bard with the Fireworks track gains a +4 Competence Bonus on all Craft: Alchemy checks.
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*Acrobatics: This Bard enhances their performance with acrobatic maneuvers and supernatural transportation.
-Bonus: A Bard with the Acrobatics track receives a +2 Competence Bonus on all Escape Artist, Balance, Tumble, Jump, and Climb checks.
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*Shock: This Bard uses their supernatural ability to astonish and surprise their audience.
-Bonus: A Bard with the Shock track has +2 to their Fort save.
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*Survival (Urban): This Bard uses supernatural tricks to help eke out a living in the city.
-Bonus: A Bard with the Survival (Urban) track receives a +3 on Bardic Knowledge checks.
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*Survival (Rural): This Bard uses supernatural tricks to aid life in a farming area.
-Bonus: A Bard with the Survival (Rural) track receives a +1 Competence Bonus to all Handle Animal, Use Rope, Ride, and Profession checks.
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*Survival (Wilderness): This Bard uses supernatural abilities to stay alive in the most ferocious of settings.
-Bonus: A Bard with the Survival (Wilderness) track receives a +2 Competence Bonus to all Heal and Survival checks.
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Triaxx
2007-04-04, 08:58 AM
You could reset the paladin, by placing him as the counter point of the Barbarian. Jam a shard of Life into him, and give him certain healing powers such as Lay on hands, Remove disease, and perhaps an aura of something or other.