View Full Version : [Core Class] Serious "Kaboom!"

2007-05-22, 12:13 AM
Some would claim that evokers dominate the battle field in terms of fire-power. Those proclaimers never bore witness to the walking cataclysm that is a forcemage. Forcemages, with meditation and the expanditure of knowledge, have learned to tap into the raw, chaotic discord of energy magic, expressing this connection with the anima blast ability. The forcemage's power can rock the battlements of even the strongest fortifications.
Adventures: A forcemage's abilities make him useful for combat and little else. So, most forcemages begin their study with the intent of venturing forth and make better use of their offensive prowess. Well equipped for the dangerous life of adventuring, forcemages ever seek to hone their skills.
Characteristics: Forcemages' power derives from arcane sources that must be learned and tamed. Therefore, they must study for one hour each morning after eight hours of undisturbed rest to reach the proper mental state. After that, forcemages are free to use their abilities as many times as they would like for the next 24 hours. Often, these powers are self-taught. Through some method touching upon an alternate states of being or mind, they will their bodies to harness energy as a weapon. Because a forcemage is drawn to combat, he is hardier than most arcane casters and is proficient with all simple weapons.
Alignment: In order to endure the terrific chaos of their evocations, forcemages must show indifference to the seeming disorder that surrounds them and their magic.

Game Rule Information

Abilities: Dexterity and Intelligence effect the power of the anima blast ability. More Dexterity means more hits and more intelligence means more damage die rolls. As always, Constitutions is just dandy.
Alignment: Any neutral. The forcemage must remain, in some way, aloof to the consequences of his devastating power.
Hit Die: d6.

Class Skills

The forcemage's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Intelligence modifier) X 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

The Forcemage

{TABLE]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Anima Storm Attack Bonus
1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Anima Blast 1d8|-4/-4
2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Detect Magic|-3/-3
3rd|+2|+1|+1|+3|Anima Blast 2d8|-2/-2
4th|+3|+1|+1|+4|Anima Shield|-1/-1
5th|+3|+1|+1|+4|Anima Blast 3d8|-1/-1
7th|+5|+2|+2|+5|Anima Blast 4d8|+1/+1
9th|+6/+1|+3|+3|+6|Anima Blast 5d8|+2/+2
10th|+7/+2|+3|+3|+7|Anima Essence|+5/+5
11th|+8/+3|+3|+3|+7|Anima Blast 6d8|+6/+6/+1
13th|+9/+4|+4|+4|+8|Arcane Potency|+7/+7/+2
14th|+10/+5|+4|+4|+9|Anima Blast 7d8|+8/+8/+3
17th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+5|+10|Anima Blast 8d8|+10/+10/+5
20th|+15/+10/+5|+6|+6|+12|Anima Blast 9d8|+13/+13/+8/+3

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Forcemages are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a forcemage's arcane gestures, which can cause his anima blast to fail.
Anima Blast (Sp): A forcemage's potency derives from the anima blast. The forcemage evokes arcane energy, utilizing his soul as a power conduit to deal immense damage.
An anima blast is a ray with a range of 60 feet. It is a ranged touch attack that affects a single target, allowing no saving throw. An anima blast deals 1d8 points of damage at 1st level and increases in power as the forcemage rises in level. A forcemage also adds his Intelligence bonus (if any) to damage dealt by each anima blast. The maximum number of damage die that a forcemage can roll, however, is limited by his intelligence - 10. For example, a 7th level forcemage with an intelligence score of 13 can deal only 3d8 points of damage per blast. An anima blast is the equivalent of a spell whose level is equal to one-half the forcemage's class level (rounded down), with a minimum spell level at 1st and a maximum of 9th when a forcemage reaches 18th level or higher.
An anima blast is subject to spell resistance, although the Spell Penetration feat and other effects that improve caster level checks to overcome spell resistance also apply to anima blast. An anima blast deals half damage to objects. Metamagic feats cannot improve a forcemage's anima blast (because it is a spell-like ability, not a spell). However, the feat Ability Focus (anima blast) increases the DC for all saving throws (if any) associated with a forcemage's anima blast.
When a forcemage uses an anima blast, he must choose from fire, cold, electricity, acid, or sonic energy. The blast deals the chosen type of energy damage.
Anima Storm (Ex): When unarmored, a forcemage may unleash an anima storm at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, he may perform an extra anima blast in a round at his highest attack bonus, but this attack takes a -4 penalty, as does each anima blast made that round. This penalty changes to -2 at 10th level. The resulting modified base attack bonuses are shown in the Anima Storm Attack Bonus column. A forcemage must use a full attack action to strike with an anima storm. The forcemage may switch targets and energy types of each anima blast performed during the anima storm.
When a forcemage reaches 11th level, his anima storm ability improves. In addition to the standard single extra attack he gets from the anima storm, he gets a second extra attack from the +6 attack bonus. This happens again at 18th level and whenever a new +6 attack bonus is incurred.
Detect Magic (Sp): Beginning at 2nd level, a forcemage can use detect magic as the spell at will. His caster level equals his class level.
Anima Shield (Ex): At 4th level, a forcemage learns how to convert some chaotic energies into a protective aura. A forcemage adds his Intelligence bonus to his AC. In addition, a forcemage gains a +1 bonus to AC at levels 8, 12, 16, and a maximum of his Int bonus + 4 at 20th level.
Anima Essence (Ex): At 10th level, a forcemage may choose to apply an anima essence to his anima blast. The effect of the anima essence depends on the type of energy damage being dealt by the anima blast. An anima essence can only be applied to the first attack made with an anima storm. Every effect has a spell level equivalent, which is used in the calculation of save DC's (spell equivalent level + forcemage's intelligence bonus) and for other purposes. They are listed with the effect descriptions that follow.
Fire (3rd): When a forcemage deals fire damage with an anima blast, the target must succed on a Reflex save or catch on fire, taking 2d6 points of fire damage per round until it takes a full-round action to extinguish the flames or the duration expires. The fire damage persists for 1 round per five class levels the forcemage has. For example, a 15th level forcemage deals 2d6 points of fire damage for 3 rounds after the initial anima blast attack. A creature burning in this way never takes more than 2d6 points of fire damage in a round.
Cold (4th): When a forcemage deals cold damage with an anima blast, the target must succeed on a Fortitude save or take a -4 penalty to Dexterity for 10 minutes. The Dexterity penalties from mutliple anima blasts do not stack.
Electricity (4th): When a forcemage deals electricity damage with an anima blast, any living target struck must succeed on a Fortitude save or be blinded for 1 round.
Sonic (4th): When a forcemage deals sonic damage with an anima blast, any creature struck must succeed on a Will save or be confused for 1 round.
Acid (3rd): When a forcemage deals acid damage with an anima blast, the target must succeed on a Will save or the blast will ignore spell resistance.
Arcane Potency (Ex): The forcemage has attuned to the raw chaotic power of energy magic. Beginning at 13th level, his critical hit multiplier improves from x2 damage to x3 damage.
Disintegrate (Sp): At 15th level, a forcemage can use disintegrate as the spell 3 times a day. His caster level equals his class level.

2007-05-22, 06:46 AM
So essentially a slightly changed warlock? I like it, though the next posters will point out how weak it is, so I don't have to.

Single Shot Zombie
2007-05-22, 07:09 AM
More abilities? Needs more range, for one; hell, the Warlock had Eldritch Spear as a Least invocation........

Human Paragon 3
2007-05-22, 03:31 PM
Needs free weapon focus.

Needs add your INT modifier to damage.

Add in more powers, Flight maybe? Anima Armor that acts like a mage armour or Shield spell? A weakening Anima Blast that does some abillity damage? A paralyzing touch attack maybe?

2007-05-22, 04:37 PM
Okay, cool. I tried to make the class a bit underpowered to start off with. I like to work from the ground up rather than tear down my ideas. By the by the forcemage wasn't really supposed to be a warlock variation. The idea was to forgo versatility for damage dealing power. I was gonna change it to where you can add your intelligence bonus to damage anyway, so I'm goin' with that. I also like the weapon-focus idea. I'm also gonna improve the anima storm attack bonus chart to be similar to the monk's flurry of blows attack bonus progession. However, it still needs more; something that will improve damage output. Perhaps I can alter the anima blast damage progression, making it a little weaker than 1d8 at the beginning and way stronger than 9d8 at the end? If that's STILL not good enough, I have some spells in mind that the forcemage could gain as spell-like abilities (Project Image for one).

2007-05-22, 04:43 PM
I wouldn't think the class is underpowered, if anything it's overpowered (he's a warlock who can use eldritch blasts multiple times per turn; and the anima storm penalty doesn't count for much, as touch attacks are very very easy to hit with)

My issue is that you're essentially a one-trick pony; you can toss a lot of force blasts but you can't do much else. Perhaps more abilities like Anima Essence to give you tactical options.

Also, Arcane Acuity shouldn't stack with other critical increases, generally increases never should. At level 15 with Arcane Potency, as written, with Improved Critical you threat on a 18-20 (15% of the time), almost always confirm (it's a touch attack, with Power Critical it's a forgone conclusion), and deal 21d8 damage. With 3 attacks per turn, you crit at least once on 45% of your turns, and since you'll hit almost all of your attacks (unless your enemies specifically have very high touch ACs) you're averaging about 145 damage per turn, every turn, with no daily limits or costs, doing whatever damage type you'd like.

2007-05-22, 05:25 PM
Keep in mind these are ranged touch attacks, so against anything big slow or easy to hit you're looking at 4 succesful hits per round each doing 9d8 points plus intellegence bonus each hit for a total of 36d8 + 4xint mod damage each round, this gives a higer damage output than a disintigrate spell with the added bouns of not allowing a saving throw. so for dps against a single force vunerable target the force mage is very nice. What he could use is some added abilities.

Some ideas:
Anima armour:
At fourth level and higher a Force mage learns to use some of his anima defensively, He gains a deflection bonus to his armour class equal to his intellegence modifier, at eight level and every fourth level afterwards this bonus improves by +1 for Int modifier +4 at level 20.

At sixth level the Force mage gains the ability to use telekenesis as a spell like ability.

Anima accuracy
At eighth level a Force mage's control of his anima powers allow him to use it on much more distant targets, increasing its range by five feet per Force Mage level to a maximum of 160 ft range at 20th level

Anima Penetration
When a force mage of lv 13 or higher manages to slay a target with their anima blast, they may choose to have the blast attack a secondary target that was within 10 feet of the primary target, at the same attack bonus.

Anima wave
As a full round action that provokes a attack of opportunity, a Force mage of lv 16 or higher can attack any number of targets within 30 feet with a single Anima Blast

Anima Wall
At 18th level a force mage can use wall of force as a spell like ability

2007-05-22, 06:22 PM
Alright, I see what you're saying. I'll keep the +Int bonus to damage, but I won't change the anima storm attack bonus. Also, I'll consider the ideas that I've been presented and integrate them into my design. Thanks for the input Malroth! Oh! I'm also gonna change the improved critical thing. Thanks again!

2007-05-22, 07:03 PM
At sixth level the Force mage gains the ability to use telekenesis as a spell like ability.How often? At Will? No, ridiculous, no, no, no...

Anima Penetration
When a force mage of lv 13 or higher manages to slay a target with their anima blast, they may choose to have the blast attack a secondary target that was within 10 feet of the primary target, at the same attack bonus. Also not a good idea, it effectively doubles their number of blasts.

Anima Wall
At 18th level a force mage can use wall of force as a spell like abilityAgain, At Will? Probably way too good.

2007-05-22, 07:54 PM
Okay, so that leaves Anima Armour, Anima Accuracy, and Anima Nova out of Malroth's ideas...Would adding in Dimension Door 3/day at 8th level be too good? I figure that it would make an eloquent solution to the range problem. Port in, blast away, port out.

2007-05-22, 08:00 PM
My issue is that you're essentially a one-trick pony; you can toss a lot of force blasts but you can't do much else. Perhaps more abilities like Anima Essence to give you tactical options.

Originally Posted by Malroth View Post
At sixth level the Force mage gains the ability to use telekenesis as a spell like ability.
How often? At Will? No, ridiculous, no, no, no...

I was trying to suggest additonal abilities that present these options, while still retaining the flavor of a natural force magic user. as to weither these abilites are broken or not, deciding this requires the difficult task of deciding how physics and game mechanics translate, according to telekenesis spell description, the maximum amount of force the telekenesis spell is capable of exerting is 325 pounds, which in the real world is aproximately equal to the amount of force generated when a twelve year old girl hops on one foot. Even if you were to take the most liberal approach to the spell discription and allow the spell to affect up objects weighing up to 325 pounds (975 pounds of force really) then you are merely having to wait till sixth level to do what a half orc barbarian with the improved grapple feat could do at first level. As for wall of Force, the next level that was free of useful abilities in his chart was 18th, A Sorceorer of the same level could cast wall of force 33 times per day and has many other tactical options avalible besides

2007-05-22, 08:59 PM
Well, I edited it. Int is now added to damage and Detect Magic is now available at level 2. Dimension Door is in there, too, sitting at one use per day and, at 15th level, the forcemage can use Disintegrate 3/day. Also, i used Malroth's idea for boosting the forcemage's wretched AC (thank you kindly, sir). I would tend to agree with ArmorArmadillo, though, about Telekinesis being too good to be an "at will" spell, especially at 6th level because of the Combat Maneuvers that the spell allows. So, 6th level is still empty...and I think that it would probably be best to come up with a high-end ability around 18th level besides Wall of Force, just because it seems too much of a toss-up.

2007-05-22, 09:24 PM
Perhaps it's an idea to put a list of maximum number of spell-like abilities/day/class level in.. In that case, you could have a telekinesis ability without overpowering it too much. Dimension door, though.. That's conjuration, and is about bending the planes. I'd say: No, not as a spell-like ability. The class would loose it's raw appeal by adding in the more subtle spells to the possibilities.

Also, since this class is such one of an absurd damage-output, lower the hit die progression.
Also, look out for multiclass. First level: Rogue. Second level: Forcemage. All the rest: Rogue. (with perhaps an assasin prestige)
So.. The skills to be a thief and sneak, sneak attack damage, no weapons (Means your opponents are nearly always flat-footed in the first round of combat)
The effect is devastating. Here; bite 1d8+int+1 damage, of the energy type I choose, plus my sneak attack damage, plus a potential death attack, and you don't have the faintest clue as to where it came from. Of course; this would not prove very handy with spell resistance, but there have been plenty builds of rogues that worked on things like frostbolt, acid splash and the like, because they could get into everywhere, would be allowed because they didn't wear any weaponry, and were capable of enormous damage with a cantrip. (4/day) This blast could go on endlessly.

Now; I really love the class itself. It has a nice ring to it, to me, and I think the class is worth the trouble of rogue min-maxers. You do, after all, get those with just about every class.

Baron Corm
2007-05-22, 09:43 PM
err... why doesn't anima blast deal force damage? i just don't understand...

disintegrate is not a force effect, i don't know why you gave that either

as for the class's flavor, which you say is dealing damage; he shouldn't get things like dimension door or wall of force then.

so if everything made sense, your only ability would be anima blast, perhaps with some way of making it deal damage in a 20 ft. radius or something...

either the flavor (pure destruction) or the class's name's flavor (force effects) needs to be changed i think. but if it's only force effects, you know, why not just make a wizard which can cast those force effects along with everything else.

i might suggest the warmage class which i think is from complete arcane; they're basically mages which focus on dealing damage.

maybe i just can't see where you were going with this.

2007-05-22, 09:55 PM
Interesting way around Vancian limitations. I like. VERY focused... I don't, as a practical matter necessarily agree that you wouldn't see them as non-combatants... just because all you can do is hurt people and break stuff doesn't mean you have to fight... I could see these guys blasting their way rapidly through the earth as miners (using sonic damage), or even providing ice to chill the drinks at the parties of nobles (not to mention keeping food perserved if someone thinks of it)... the fact that they have an UNLIMITED SUPPLY makes up for a lot when it comes to finding creative uses for the abilities.

The special effects associated with Sonic and Acid seem a bit funky... but I wouldn't know how it would work out... Stunned seems better for Sonic than Confused.

Mr. Moogle
2007-05-22, 10:28 PM
All you did was beef the eldrich blast ability of warlocks, and add a flurry of blows type thing. Its a major rippoff and i dont really see any originality. But due to the nature of its overpoweredness, i belive i will have to yoink it for the planetouched-lich mages that i had planned to meet a party i DM *insert evil laugh*.
P.S. its also overpowered because there is no arcane spell failure chance so with full plate it could be a relitavely high HP, AC mongering mage.

2007-05-22, 11:10 PM
Okay, a couple things. I'm taking out Disintegration and Dimension Door because they apparently just don't fit, but I thought I'd throw them out there. I can explain acid overcoming spell resistance and sonic damage causing confusion. There are a couple of invocations/spells that overcome spell resistance just because they're acid energy abilities. I figure that the boys at TSR made it that way because acid can, in some way, denature the qualities of magic expressed on the physical plane.
As far as the correlation between sonic damage and confusion goes, think back to your highschool prom night and how you can get disoriented from standing too close to the loud speakers. That's because the otoliths in your middle/inner ear get jumbled around, thereby throwing off your equalibrium. This subsequently creates confusion in your balance and relative positioning.
Confusion also seemed a better choice because a chance to stun an opponent every turn would be too crazy and deafening your opponent seems redundant after electricity's ability to blind. I can still see that we haven't quite agreed on the game balance of the character. Some say it's too weak, some say it's too strong...*shrug*...I think that 36d8+4xInt damage EVERY ROUND is plenty to get excited about without having too many extra abilities, but that's still up for debate. If I see that the class IS too strong, though, I might limit the HD progression to d4's. By the by, there IS spell arcane failure. You CAN'T use anima blast or anima storm while armored. Also, that's how the DMG suggests one should create their own classes. By mix-matching class abilities.
Finally, I don't care what my class's name is. I just wanna be able to pump out damage like a mad house.

2007-05-22, 11:56 PM
I wasn't complaining about the acid effect per se...
MIGHT want to consider rounding out the class with some energy resistance, but I dunno... I would keep the d6 hit-die definitely.

2007-05-23, 12:27 AM
Yea, I thought about Spell Resistance, but that's usually something reserved for prestige classes, ya' know?

2007-05-23, 12:59 AM
Question about using Anima Blast in close combat, can enemies gain attacks of opportunity against it? Realistically it should, otherwise there is no reason for Forcemages to ever shy away from close combat.

Here's what I propose, every Anima Blast that the Forcemage uses is subject to an attack of opportunity. If an attack hits then the Forcemage must make a concentration check or have the Anima Blast fizzle into nothingness. Additionally they cannot make any more attacks that round if they fail the skill check.

This would effectively keep them from having another character buff their hit points and AC and letting them wade through fighters and the like.

2007-05-23, 01:12 AM
Well, actually, since it's a spell-like ability, it's implied that you would use the same rules involved with using spell-like abilities in combat. It describes on page 142 that they do normally incur attacks of opportunity.