View Full Version : Pathfinder Blind Guardian - A Divine PrC inspired by the band of the same name

2017-02-26, 06:25 AM
Hello folks,

Here is a PF/3.5 prestige class intended for use by both Clerics and Druids, inspired (mostly) by works of Blind Guardian (which, in turn, references a plethora of established fantasy settings).

Any sort of feedback on the balance, appeal and viability of the class, is much appreciated. The intention is for the class to be buildable in a few different ways, with multiple exciting possibilities. Compared to some other martial-focused classes I have posted on these boards, the features are less generously given out because of how primary-casters are already awesome to begin with. Thanks for your time and rock on!

Blind Guardian (https://docs.google.com/document/d/11QH_1_2YF8JduKAMw6J7oinDRniE113neIQBZEpStqw/edit?usp=sharing)

2017-02-27, 12:38 PM
I have to ask, is this stuff you're posting going into your book?

Entry after level 4 through cleric or druid. 1 level of casting lost, and it's at the end. This is a strong caster class- there are practically no downsides to taking it for a cleric (screw channel energy, screw domain features- not that good anyway, in many cases, and you can grab nonscaling benefits if you need).
Class is not literally blind????

Level 1: Slightly expanded spell list for clerics, druids can healbot better. Actually a deceptively useful class feature. One of the big benefits of clerics and druids is that they can prepare whatever lolrandom niche spells (like shape stone! Who needs shape stone on a day-to-day basis?) but then turn them into useful spells on a moment's notice. This only increases that factor- they don't have to prepare healing spells or combat useful spells if they don't want to, since more warm bodies (summon nature's ally) are always useful.
Wording on this is somewhat wonky- a Druid 3/Wizard 1 can turn prepared wizard spells into cure spells but not summon nature's ally spells. Change wording so that you can convert "any prepared divine spell" into either version.

Rite of Sacred Words: we bard now boys
One bonus feat, basically (Sudden X spell) plus benefits for specific spells. Note that two of them are 1st-2nd level, but the third is 9th level. Elemental Swarm function is a less useful Augment Summoning, which is a feat you would take anyway. Flame Blade bonus is OK- it's inferior to a brilliant energy weapon for most of the later game- it is significantly helped by empower spell, depending on how you read it.
Verdict: Might take it if I had a dedicated flame blade build of some kind. Otherwise weak.

Inflict spells are bad. Hungry Darkness is good later on, though.
Spontaneous castings are pretty bad.
Could be a decent combo if the class is blind.

Meh overall. Flame Strike getting widened is OK, almost.

This is good-ish
wis drain based on duration in rounds but duration is in hours
suicide attack, but you only need it for one or two rounds usually
I looked around, and ability drain immunity is actually pretty rare! Being a construct is the only way I found
Restoration is a 4th level spell, so can negate the drain if you live.
Ironically, the best way to survive this is to die before the duration runs out (skipping becoming incapacitated by jumping over the dying state), or getting hit by flesh to stone.
You could get really, really screwed over if you're paralyzed while it's going or something similar, though.
Caster level +4 at maximum, but you lost one by taking level 10, so +3 net. I could do better with a strand of prayer beads (bead of karma). Still, it's a high-power effect in the right situation, moreso if combined with one of the spell-boosting abilities

Hilariously limited use (in many campaigns, you'll level up to the 1/month ability before the year ends, barring timeskips), and only niche uses.

TsSatIH: Did someone say "buffs"? Capacity to deal a stunning amount of damage post-buffs, but a full attack is better in most cases, I suspect. It looks like an improved Vital Strike. Could deal a lot of damage to single targets, I suppose, but it's got a whole lot of variability attached. Limited by the need to take a full-round action- takes two rounds to set up. Could combo well with AC debuffs.

Not going to go through the remaining abilities; they seem to primarily be 1/day abilities with a lot of power when they go off, and I'm tired. It offers a whole lot to prospective entrants through Cleric, who give up relatively little to take this. They lose some sustaining power in the channel energy loss, but gain a whole lot of 1/day power options to cover for that, as well as spontaneous summons. Less good for Druids, who have more power in their class features. Class supports going nova more often, which is something I usually try to avoid in class design.

Mastery of Rites: Extra use/day of a power is decent, gives a little more sustainability. Rechoosing your rites lets you switch out the selections with extremely long recharge times, making them closer to spells you prepare which have a weird-ass limitation than class features.

Are you putting these classes in your book?

2017-02-27, 10:18 PM
Hey aimless,

Yep. Everything you've reviewed of mine on this forum, thus far, is going in the book. Remind me to send you a copy sometime for all the reviewing you've done! (I'm serious). Thanks for the input.

So my take-away from this is that there are perhaps 2-3 abilities that should be closely looked at (particularly the res one) and reworked, and that overall the class needs more appeal for Druids; although most of the features aren't great, they're good enough for a Cleric to take this class given how little they sacrifice. Druids need to be dissuaded from just going full Druid where they can keep their animal companions and wild shape.

What I am presently considering is giving the 1/day benefit abilities both an active and a passive component. For example, the Fire one giving +1 CL with fire spells or something like that, the Lightning one +1 CL with lightning spells, the "inflict" one something better than both of those so the spells become worth occasionally considering, and so on. Then making it so that the 2nd level in the class doesn't give +1 CL - so there's an immediate loss for the first two levels of stuff.

2017-02-27, 11:32 PM
Alright. The main issue I see with the class (only just realized it) is that most of the spell-related options (calling out BtFoM, MtD, PotS, and WT&L) is that their main power is not something you can build around- as-is, what you get is casters who prepare one appropriate spell, tell themselves "okay, I'll burn my use per day on this", and then the rest of the build proceeds as normal. This problem only gets worse with Mastery of Rites, which I only just realized. (the other five are fine, although I really wish I could expend spell slots to recharge Wheel of Time- it's a neat but minor ability that's held back by it's limited uses per day).

I'd actually prefer for spells of the appropriate kind to get some thematically appropriate enhancement- perhaps some sort of 3/day more general ability, or a passive effect on all your spells. What about something like (example for the light-booster)

Glorious Radiance:
-Any enemy within the area of one of your [light] spells, or who fail a save against one of your [light] spells, is automatically (dazzled or shaken-not sure which. Shaken part shouldn't be stackable with other fear, though) for one round unless they look away from the source square of the effect- treat this as though they were averting their eyes from a gaze attack. This is a mind-affecting, fear effect.
-Once per day, you can intensify the brightness of this effect; those who would be dazzled are instead blinded for one round in addition to being shaken.
Basic traits: A minor effect, which you can enhance 1/day for a cool power. It's closer to a unique ability than a metamagic feat, too, which makes people of this class distinctive, and more significantly, it's something which has interesting effects on the spells you choose to prepare.

If you choose to keep the "specific spells get an extra benefit" thing, I would suggest looking at the spell levels of affected spells:
Fire ability affects a 1st and 2nd level spell, but also a 9th level spell.
Light one affects a 1st level spell, a 3rd level spell (or so- not looking it up), and a 5th or so level spell
Weather one affects a ~6th level spell and a 9th level spell.
See the problem? I'd suggest picking out a 1st-3rd level spell, a 4-6th level spell, and a 7th-9th level spell as your representatives.

I'd suggest moving away from metamagic feats for an effect- it's pretty much comparable to a bonus feat, and isn't quite as interesting as a lot of the other abilities.

Agree to dropping casting at level 2- it gives you some space to design for power. Replacing that with a CL bonus to the relevant abilities isn't the best idea though- consider that the net change is the same, and CL bonuses aren't that interesting effects (see previous notes)

2017-03-01, 01:36 AM
Excellent point, there. Thanks again.

I'm gonna come back to the Light one tomorrow, as it might be one of the most inconsistent of the spell-descriptor-types so far as what their spells tend to do. However, I put the class at CL -2 and buffed all of the other Rites, and reworked them to mostly avoid metamagic.

2017-03-01, 12:50 PM
A thought on Through the Twilight Hall- right now, it's super limited (and something you would only grab with Mastery of Rites sometimes) because it's basically built on a spell you only use very infrequently. With the overhaul to the Inflict enhancer, what do you think of making that one the Cure enhancer? It would help shore up a basic issue with Cure spells (their healing can't compete at all with Channel Energy), and you can put the revive-enhancers in the "specific spell" adjustment section.

I love the changes to the spell enhancers- energy resistance is the bane of blasting spells. You might want to tweak the spells enhanced a little- the Fire one almost only affects druid spells. Maybe grab Sun Metal, a 1st level cleric spell which enhances weapon damage like a lesser flaming enchantment, and move flame strike in there for a little cleric enhancement? Spell allotment for the lightning/sonic spells looks pretty much good, although I note that there are a few more cleric spells in there than druid spells- maybe add call lightning to make up for the presence of holy word and shatter, which are cleric-only?
I'm not sure about those additions- it almost looks like you've set up thunder & lightning as the cleric option, and fire as the druid option, which looks like it might be a deliberate design decision. Is that accurate?

Wheel of Time feels like it could use a little more buffs- maybe to 3/day. It really isn't super strong- the nastiest thing I think you could do with it is penalizing saving throws, but if they already failed one, enemies might already be screwed over (see: Welcome to the Otherland), so the optimization ceiling isn't actually that high.

You might want to change winter is coming to operate as an immediate action, much like you did with the Psychotron. Moderately more powerful, but it distinguishes it from simply quickening the spell spontaneously, and is much more useful against casters or those with variable energy options. I don't know- might be too good. How often do you unexpectedly need energy resistance?

2017-03-01, 10:29 PM
Today's changes include:
- Put the Sun ability back into commission. I find this one a little tricky because there's not a lot of consistency in what the various offensive 'light' spells do, except that the good ones tend to blind on a failed save. I ended up having to pull from spells featured in the Sun Domain.
- Added Sun Metal for the Fire ability.
- Wheel of Time and Winter is Coming have been reworked a bit. I've standardized all of the per-day abilities to offer 3 uses, and made it so that every ability (except Time Stands Still) gets better at levels 5 and 10 in the class.
- Renamed the healing ability (I have a particular theme to uphold, which is to use appropriate song lyrics and titles from the band as much as possible), and remade it as suggested.
- Master of Rites no longer lets you "respec", but it now lets you regain a use three times per day. I am wondering if this, along with abilities getting better at 10th level, is sufficient reason to lose a caster level to take 10 levels in the class.

It wasn't quite my intention for the Fire ability to be Druid-focused, but it did sort of turn out that way because... well... Druid gets a lot of the core Fire spells. I figured it's OK though because both classes get Flame Strike and Fire Storm. Also, the ability should work spectacularly with a Fire Domain Cleric.

The Lightning ability was actually designed with Call Lightning in mind; the writing of it is different from the Fire ability, in that a Druid can proc a stagger effect with every bolt they call down. So the Sonic spells were added because it seemed that Clerics would have hardly anything to use with it otherwise.

2017-03-01, 11:03 PM
Alright! No further objections.
-Fire option looks pretty good. It's very useful for blaster druids, especially in combination with the lightning one. 9th level option is especially spectacular. Has some nice options for specific spells, too.
-Miracle Machine is definitely something I would take as a druid (although channel energy still beats it in general... grr.). In addition to making Cure spells much more useful, I think it gives some much needed usefulness to the mass cure series. It also has niche use as a general anti-undead tool, since death ward is so important against energy drain. Niche use as a resurrection improver- happy to see that you can use it even if the worst doesn't occur.
-Murder the Dawn makes spontaneous Inflicts actually useful. Very pleased with that. The negative level trick is also very useful, both as a debuff to apply, and as what I like to think of as a "peasant-killer".
-Power of the Sun is a good trick. Some niche tools in daylight, but also more general uses. Not a priority pick, but the effects get pretty handy for higher level druids when you run into sunbeam and sunburst.
-The soulforged... thingy is a powerful alpha strike. You're unlikely to see it outside clerics (who can spend 100 gp and a 4th level spell slot later to clear out the downside) but it puts them on a clear clock to make use of their enhanced caster level. Good synergy with the blasting spells, too. A bit of a niche pick, like the Power of the Sun, but that's OK.
- Time Stands Still: I'm still a little on the fence about this, but I think it's an interesting pick for melee-focused clerics. The 3/day power makes it a bit more useful. I actually think it would work maybe too well with touch attack spells, which hit way more? Might want to mention whether they have to use a weapon attack (don't specify manufactured or natural, though, so druids can use it).
-Welcome to the Otherland- just spotted the teleport usage. Could see it on a Travel domain cleric, but that's OK, I think. Nice temporary removal, nice teleport option sometimes.
-Wheel of Time. Hoo boy, Wheel of Time. I actually love it to bits (do you mind if I take the basic mechanic of applying success=ongoing bonus, failure = ongoing penalty for inspiration?). It's not necessarily likely to be super powerful, but I think it evokes the idea of a caster with their finger on the scales of fate really, really, well.
-Winter is Coming: Moving immediate-action use to level 10 is probably wise. I do think that you should take out the move-action option- consider that a quickened spell is a swift action, so it's actually beneficial to have a move-action casting over a swift action.
-With Thunder and Lighting: I see what you mean about repeatedly staggering. Definitely a fan of this + fire for a "blaster" build. Energy resistance bypass continues to be extremely important for it to work effectively.

I think this looks really great! Just make a decision for the note on Time Stands Still, and you should be good.

2017-03-02, 01:30 AM
Certainly, feel free to borrow from the Wheel of Time ability or anything else I post here that matter. You've been of tremendous help. I'll be crediting you in the book, if you don't mind.

Yes, I see what you mean in regards to Time Stands Still and Winter. I'll make sure to address both of those, with the minor necessary fixes.