View Full Version : Pathfinder The Battlecaster - a military-themed mage with fireball on tap!

Ethereal Gears
2015-10-10, 11:32 PM
So I dun a class. It's called the battlecaster. You can detonate eldritch munitions, summon spell soldiers and cause all manner of arcane battlefield mischief. Enjoy!

The Battlecaster (https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8e09cD4OAF3WFF3MjhDWlRHalE&usp=sharing)

- Gears

2015-10-11, 02:53 PM
Oooh, new class by Gears!

A primary caster that only gets up to 4th level spells, that actually functions as a full-caster? Color me impressed.

The existence of the Bombling spell-soldier makes me cackle with evil glee, even though i'm pretty sure that the only way for a detonation to be successfully triggered is if either the timer runs out or the Battlecaster manually detonates it, an option to detonate multiple bomblings at once as well as a way to trigger detonation on destruction would be nice, either as some sort of strategem or an addemdum under Self-Destruct that reads something like "When the bombling would be reduced to zero or less hp by an attack, it can attempt a Reflex save against DC 20 to Detonate its stored Munition as a free action."

With the Bombling's dex starting at 17, that gives them a starting 20% chance to reflexively detonate which tops out at 70% by 20th level.

A high level ability to summon a Troop (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/rules-for-monsters/creature-types#subtype-troop) of Grunt type spell soldiers would be really cool as well. Said troop would need some sort of volley-fire attack though.

Ethereal Gears
2015-10-11, 03:52 PM
Glad you like battlecaster, Skip. I thought after all the goth I've been channeling via the shadewright, it was time to switch things up and regale the populace with a more metal class. I'd like to think Lemmy would want to play this class if he was a nerd instead of a hörned rock god.

I like your suggestions. I'll probably just implement all of them as stratagems. I feel like I've painted myself into a bit of a terminological corner with my "spell soldier troop types" vs. "the troop subtype", but I'll find some way to word a "grunt squad" stratagem to be easily understandable. I've gotten some more notes on this class in a thread on the Paizo boards (check it out if you want (http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2szzp?The-Battlecaster-a-militarythemed-mage-with)), so I'll be working to update the class based on feedback both here and over there. I'll probably be able to get most of it done tomorrow. It's getting sort of late over here in Sweden.

I'll post a changelog here when I'm done!

- Gears

2015-10-11, 06:09 PM
I popped over to the pathfinder thread to read those comments, I agree with that the spell soldiers need more stratagems dedicated to them.


Scout Swarm: In the same vein as the Grunt Troop, a more traditional swarm could be formed out of scout type soldiers.

Battlemount: A hybrid Rider/Brute soldier that serves as a personal mount for the Battlecaster or one of his allies.

Grenadier Corps: You can equip your Grunt, Bombling and Warden type soldiers with alchemist's Bombs. Each soldier is created with a number of Bombs equal to the Battlecaster's Int mod, and they deal damage as an alchemist of 1/2 Class level. If you take this strategem more then once, each additional time gives you access to a single bomb-related discovery that can be used to further enhance your soldier's grenades, treat your alchemist level as equal to your class level for the purpose of qualifying for discoveries gained through this ability.

Mage Cannon: A hybrid mageling/bombling that replaces the ability to self-destruct and cast spells for the ability to detonate Munitions.

Ethereal Gears
2015-10-12, 01:51 AM
These are all ideas worth considering. Thanks, Skip!

I'm a little leery of starting to dole out AoE blast abilities to the spell soldiers themselves, even in the form of rather modest alchemist bombs. It just feels a bit off to me; the battlecaster is supposed to be the master blaster disaster, while the spell soldiery minions should, ideally, have other roles in combat.

But I'll add all of these to my list of things to potentially add/change. What makes it into the final mix will be revealed when I post the changelog. I'm working on my alloprax archetype for the shadewright simultaneously, so attention's a bit divided.

- Gears

2015-10-12, 10:41 AM
I can understand your concern about grenades bluring the line between the role of Munitions vs Spell Soldiers. What if instead of directly dealing damage, we limit the grenades to only carrying appropriate discovery rider effects?

Smoke Bomb, Stink Bomb, Poison Bomb, Inferno Bomb, Blinding Bomb and Tanglefoot Bomb would all be useful even without the base damage component. We could even limit it to solely being a Bombling upgrade that replaces/enhances their splash weapon attack, or go a different route and make it Adjunct-Only since the ability to lay down some battlefield control would fit perfectly with their role as support troops. The number of grenades per soldier would still be limited by (Int Mod X War Points spent) or possibly (1 + # of times this stratagem selected) X (War Points spent).

How do you feel about the Cannon Soldier idea though? If you think it's too powerful to give them a Munition Blast attack (even with limited ammo) then what if instead they had a Rocket Bomb attack? Dealing only splash damage in an area limits the power, and of course Bombs, unlike other splash weapons, allow a reflex save for half damage against the splash.

I would like to see grenades at least make it in, so as to facitate proper Shock and Awe tactics for my Robot Death Army. :smallbiggrin:

2015-10-12, 10:45 AM
I haven't looked at the strategems yet, but have you considered sapper bomblings?
Give them a 5 foot burrow speed and the ability to do more damage to objects and constructs and so on?

Ethereal Gears
2015-10-12, 11:32 AM
I'm in the process right now of looking through all the suggestions both here and over on the Paizo boards. VM mercenario over Paizo way had rather a lot of them, and a lot are quite obvious utility options I feel it behooves me to include. I've also added on Skip's "Grunt Squad" idea, and will similarly create a "Scout Swarm" stratagem. As of right now, there is already a new stratagem that lets bomblings create any alchemical weapon they want in addition to alchemist's fire (as long as it is within a certain price range).

I think one solution to Skip's perverse yearning for mass bombardment would be to simply create a stratagem that has micro-munitions as a prerequiste, allowing these to be channeled through your bomblings so they can detonate them. That's just off the top of my head.

A sapper bombling stratagem would be really cool Aergoth. I purposefully released this class with very few spell soldier-centric stratagems created, because I figured everyone interested in the class would have their own wish list. It seems I was somewhat justified in that belief. Consider your sapper idea on the list of things to add!

There's still a lot to go through, and I'm in the middle of the process right now, but as stated I'll post a massive log with all the tweaks and additions once I've completed and re-read it all. Then if people have even further ideas we can start round 2. :)

- Gears

Urist Mcmage
2015-10-12, 11:39 AM
Google docs does not seem to show anything but the cover pages of each document, claiming that it cannot show more. What should I do?

Ethereal Gears
2015-10-12, 12:19 PM
That happened to me a few days ago with another class I had uploaded. I think sadly Google Docs has just been wonky lately. It was really slow earlier. If I find anything is wrong on my end I'll let people know. Otherwise, probably just try again in half an hour or so.

- Gears

Ethereal Gears
2015-10-12, 03:56 PM
Alright. So I've done quite a few tweaks and additions to the battlecaster. Nothing radical, mostly just creating new stratagems and fiddling with a few mechanical details as per suggestions from perspicacious critics. Thanks to VM mercenario (Paizo forums) and Skip Sandwich and Aergoth (GiantITP forums) for their contributions!

I'm sure there's still room for improvement and addition, but the class is starting to feel a lot more complete. Below follows a list of changes:

* Arcane strategist was moved to 5th level. Not necessarily a much-needed nerf, but it feels more elegant. 1st level was rather jam-packed. You can gain arcane strategist one level earler (at 4th) by taking the rewritten favored class bonus dealing with it.

* Mageling spell soldiers now benefit from share spells just like battlecasters do. All spell soldiers can be conjured with shields. Warder spell soldiers can be conjured with tower shields.

* Strategic Strikes and strategic reactions rewritten to synergize.

* Tactical Mind was altered to let you spot ambushes.

* New Troop Type created: Sentinel

* New Stratagems created: Adept Mageling, Alchemical Bombling, Combat Mageling, Effortless Command, Eldritch Artillery Battery, Elite Grunt, Grenadiers, Grunt Squad, Sappers, Scout Swarm, Tandem Spell Soldiers, Toxic Scout

Probably going to do phalanx-fighting warders as per VM mercenario's suggestion, as well as a few other ones that're floating around in my head, in addition to the new stratagems noted above. Suggestions still welcome!

- Gears

2015-10-12, 07:13 PM
Digging the new stratagems!

War-Forged may be better expressed as something like: A Spell-Soldier, unless otherwise specified in it's description, is created with up to two pieces of equipment, which can take the form of any type of weapon or shield. Ranged weapons also come with 25 rounds of ammunition, and thrown weapons come in sets of 5, but the spell soldier may be created with an extra load of ammunition instead of a 2nd weapon or shield, if desired.

This eliminates the need to single out Two-Weapon Fighting as an exception case as well as gives a little more depth to ranged soldier equipment choice, do you give them extra ammo or a backup melee weapon or bayonet?

Ethereal Gears
2015-10-12, 07:22 PM

Yeah, I agree, that's a neater way of wording it. Thanks for the suggestion, Skip; I'll change the wording to that. It's especially egregious that the old wording didn't make accommodations for throwing weapons, so this is definitely a necessary fix.

- Gears