View Full Version : D&D 3.x Class The Improvementalist [3.5 Base Class/Not completely serious]

2018-08-16, 04:07 AM
The Improvementalist

An improvementalist is an adventurer who revels in having a large number of diverse abilities.

Adventures: An improvementalist usually seeks adventure to see what new possibilities exist out in the world.

Characteristics: Improvementalists are people who research for the purpose of discovery and are unafraid of field work to further their research.

Alignment: An improvementalist can be of any alignment, but they tend away from lawful alignments.

Religion: Improvementalists who are religious tend to revere deities of knowledge.

Background: An improvementalist is generally an individual who has studied a vast array of different abilities both mundane and magical to some degree.

Races: Improvementalists can be of any race, but races with a lawful affinity are somewhat less likely to produce improvementalists.

Game Rule Information:
Improvementalists have the following game statistics.
Ability Scores: Improvementalists benefit from constitution regardless of what decisions they make in the way of abilities. A large number of the abilities an improvementalist has improve with his charisma modifier. If the improvementalist chooses to engage in melee routinely they may wish to have a higher dexterity and/or strength score.
Alignment: Any
Hit Dice: d8.
Starting Wealth: As rogue.
Starting Age: As rogue.

Class Skills:
The Improvementalist's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (Arcana)(Int), Knowledge (Local)(Int), Knowledge (Religion)(Int), Listen (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Spot (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at First Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier

The Improvementalist






















Class Features

All of the following are class features of the improvementalist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Improvementalists are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light armor, and with light shields.

Improvementalism (Ex)

At 1st level and each level thereafter, an improvementalist may gain one of the abilities listed below. He cannot choose any ability more than once except unearthly splendor (which grants an additional use per day). The improvementalist's caster level for these abilities is equal to his improvementalist class level and he uses his Charisma modifier to determine any saving throw DCs.

Cold Breath (Su): At 1st level, an improvementalist can breathe a line of cold out to 20 feet dealing 1d6 cold damage (half on a successful reflex save). The range of this ability can be increased or decreased (to a minimum of 5 feet) by up to 10 feet at 8th level and every 7 levels thereafter. The damage of this ability improves by 1d6 at 3rd level and every two levels thereafter until 11th (3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th), thereafter it improves by 1d6 at 14th level and every three levels thereafter. At 8th level, an improvementalist may choose to have half of the damage dealt by this ability be untyped.

Damage Reduction (Ex): At 1st level, the improvementalist gains damage reduction 1/-. At 8th level and every 7 levels thereafter this damage reduction improves by 1.

Dispel Magic (Su): An improvementalist can dispel magic by duplicating spells for which his caster level would be sufficient to cast as a cleric or wizard that require a caster level check for success. Some potential examples of spells that can be duplicated are break enchantment, dispel magic, erase, and greater dispel magic. This ability can be used once per day per improvementalist level.

Divine Grace (Su): An improvementalist may add his charisma modifier (if any) to his saving throws as a sacred bonus.

Domains: An improvementalist may choose two cleric domains and gain the domain granted power as well as the ability to use the 1st level domain spell as a spell like ability once per day.

Eldritch Blast (Su): At 1st level, an improvementalist can make a ranged touch attack out to close range (25 feet + 5 feet per 2 caster levels) to deal 1d6 magical damage as a standard action. If the target has spell resistance he must overcome it to deal damage. The damage of this ability improves by 1d6 at 3rd level and every two levels thereafter until 11th (3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th), thereafter it improves by 1d6 at 14th level and every three levels thereafter.

Elemental Companion (Ex): Once per day, as a standard action, an improvementalist can summon a modified air, earth, fire, or water elemental of HD equal or less than his improvementalist class level + 1 for 24 hours. The improvementalist and the elemental can communicate telepathically for the duration of this ability. Use the standard small, medium, large, huge, greater, elder stats. For each level above the normal HD of the chosen size of the elemental increase HD (but only improve bab and hit points), strength, dexterity, constitution, and wisdom by 1. While this ability does summon the elemental, it is treated as an extraordinary ability and thus the elemental does not wink out in antimagic or similar effects.

Etherealness (Su): An improvementalist can duplicate the effects of the ethereal jaunt spell as a standard action for up to 1 round per day at 1st level plus an additional round for every 7 improvementalist levels thereafter (8th, 15th, etc.). An improvementalist may spread the duration of this ability out as desired.

Evasion (Ex): An improvementalist recieves no damage from attacks that would inflict half damage on a successful reflex saving throw. A helpless improvementalist does not gain the benefit of this ability.

Forcefield (Su): An improvementalist adds his charisma modifier (if any) to his armor class as a deflection bonus.

Hide in Plain Sight (Su): At 1st level, the improvementalist can hide even while being observed and without anything to hide behind as long as he is at least 20 feet from anything greater than shadowy illumination and is not moving. At 8th level, an improvementalist can hide in shadows even if he has nothing to hide behind and/or is being observed as long as he is within 10 feet of a shadow. At 15th level, an improvementalist can use the hide skill even while being observed regardless of whether or not he has anything to hide behind.

Lay on Hands (Su): An improvementalist with a Charisma score of 12 or higher can heal wounds (his own or those of others) by touch. Each day he can heal a total number of hit points of damage equal to his improvementalist level × his Charisma bonus. An improvementalist may choose to divide his healing among multiple recipients, and he doesn’t have to use it all at once. Using lay on hands is a standard action.

Magical Knack (Su): An improvementalist adds his improvementalist class level to any use magic device checks he makes as a competence bonus.

Mettle (Ex): An improvementalist who successfully saves against a fortitude or will save recieves no lesser effect that would apply if the saving throw is successful.

Natural Armor (Ex): At 1st level, an improvementalist gains a +1 natural armor bonus to AC or his existing natural armor improves by 1. This bonus or improvement increases by 1 at 8th level and every 7 levels thereafter.

Shadow Jump (Su): An improvementalist can travel between shadows as if by means of a dimension door spell. The limitation is that the magical transport must begin and end in an area with at least some shadow. An improvementalist can jump up to a total of 20 feet each day in this way; this may be a single jump of 20 feet or two jumps of 10 feet each. Every 3 levels higher than 1st, the distance a shadowdancer can jump each day doubles (40 feet at 4th, 80 feet at 7th, and 160 feet at 10th). This amount can be split among many jumps, but each one, no matter how small, counts as a 10-foot increment.

Skirmish (Ex): At 1st level, if an improvementalist moved at least 10 feet during the round, he may add 1d6 damage to his attacks that use attack rolls. This damage improves by 1d6 at 8th level and every 7 levels thereafter. This extra damage is precision damage.

Smite (Ex): At 1st level, once per day, an improvementalist may attempt to smite with one normal melee attack. He adds his Charisma bonus (if any) to his attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per improvementalist level. At 8th level, and at every 7 levels thereafter, the improvementalist may smite one additional time per day.

Spell Resistance (Ex): An improvementalist gains spell resistance equal to his improvementalist level + 10. In order to affect the improvementalist with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the improvementalist’s spell resistance.

Turn Undead (Su): An improvementalist has the power to turn or destroy undead creatures by unleashing his power upon them. An improvementalist may attempt to turn undead a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier. An improvementalist with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) gets a +2 bonus on turning checks against undead.

Unearthly Splendor (Su): Once per day, as a swift action, an improvementalist may gain a +2 sacred bonus to his Charisma score lasting for 1 round per improvementalist level. At 8th level and every 7 levels thereafter, the bonus granted by this ability improves by 2.


The class skills are really more of a best guess? I have no idea what power level this is or if it is even suitable for campaigns. I just thought it would be fun to make. Made the fluff up on the spot admittedly. There are 21 options. One can be chosen repeatedly. Every single option improves as your character progresses in some fashion :D.

2018-08-16, 08:49 PM
Okay so looking at this thing… The obvious best option at 1st level to ensure you have some functional gimmick is Elemental Companion. Following that you may as well stock up on non-scaling defensive options for a bit until the scaling options catch up and start being useful. Quite frankly you're never going to deal real direct damage with this class. You're 3/4s BAB and lacking much of anything to help with either that or your damage output because nothing scales fast enough. I guess you could combine Eldritch Blast and Skirmish, but even that seems ineffective at actual damage output, seeing as you lack blast shapes and don't get any ability score to damage. You could also just pick up a weapon and Skirmish but again that's not exactly impressive damage output. There is absolutely no reason to ever take Damage Reduction. Spell Resistance is tempting but probably a trap option (you're likely to need to receive healing spells etc. from allies more often than you'll be targeted by enemy spells, and some of the nastier save-or-dies don't allow SR anyway; furthermore, many monsters use save-or-suck/save-or-die abilities that aren't actually spells and thus do not allow Spell Resistance). Natural Armour, Smite, Hide in Plain Sight, and Etherealness should probably not be selected until 8th level if you're going to select them at all. Magical Knack is obviously strong, and is essentially your other primary class feature after Elemental Companion.

I think an "optimal" route is something like this:
1. Elemental Companion
2. Forcefield
3. Divine Grace
4. Domains (Nobility and Charm, or Spell and Charm if you have access to the Spell domain from Faerun)
5. Magical Knack
6. Mettle
7. Lay On Hands
8. Shadow Jump (just kinda neat to have, could put it in a different order with Evasion and Dispel Magic)
9. Evasion
10. Dispel Magic (Why not, seems useful)
11. Unearthly Splendor (or Natural Armor I suppose)
12. Unearthly Splendor
13. Unearthly Splendor
14. Unearthly Splendor
15. Etherealness
16. Unearthly Splendor
17. Unearthly Splendor
18. Unearthly Splendor
19. Unearthly Splendor
20. Unearthly Splendor

(If you aren't otherwise planning on taking domains, either the Charm domain or Faerun's Lust domain is always a superior choice to the first selection of Unearthly Splendor. As for this build… the main draw of the Charm domain is +4 Charisma for 1 minute, which gives you +2 AC and +2 to all saves during that time; it also stacks with Unearthly Splendor if you need some serious burst defence. As for the Nobility domain, you don't really care about Divine Favor, you're just in it for the ability to give your Elemental Companion a +2 bonus to attack rolls, skill checks, ability checks, saving throws, and weapon damage rolls for 1 combat per day. Alternatively, the Spell domain lets you cast Mage Armor on your Elemental Companion, making them harder to kill. That said, this build doesn't include shenanigans with Devotion feats and Turn Undead, since I haven't taken feats into account at all here.)

It definitely seems like a fun class idea (create-a-classes of this nature often are), but a lot of the options seem decidedly not up to snuff, such as Skirmish (does not scale fast enough to make your melee or ranged damage competent on its own), Smite (uses per day scale too slowly to make melee an effective option, and it's not worth investing in as a "last resort" option, at least until higher levels where you've already got everything that's worth prioritizing and are filling in slots with Unearthly Splendor), Damage Reduction (DR 1/— is already irrelevant at 1st level, and it just gets worse from there), and Etherealness (neat, but its very limited uses per day and 1 round duration make it more of a side event than a main attraction). (Eldritch Blast scaling is dumb and always will be dumb, same with Cold Breath scaling. That, however, is not your fault but the fault of whatever writers at WotC wrote the Warlock in the first place. The lack of Blast Shape availability does not do it any favours, however.) Of course, Elemental Companion alone makes you more powerful than a 3.5e Fighter. Lay on Hands is generally a relatively weak amount of healing but can help keep your Elemental Companion alive, which is good since the only way you're getting more than one of them per day is if you have a downtime day where you're not adventuring (you activate the summon last thing before you rest for the night, meaning it remains active for the vast majority of the next day).

2018-08-22, 07:33 PM
I'm gonna largely agree with FlameUser here, but I want to comment in a bit of a different direction.

A class with "Improve" in the name, it doesn't actually improve any of its base chassis. For starters, I would suggest the following additions/changes, just to keep features more or less in line with each other.

Cold Breath ==> Breath Weapon
This kind of complex wording is the enemy, simplify!
Choose shape and energy when selected, 1d6 at 1st, additional d6 every 2 levels thereafter. Keep the typeless option at 8th. Scale distance as you see fit, been too long since I read the Draconomicon to remember it properly.

Damage Reduction, Natural Armor ==> Physical Resistance
Gain 2 DR and 1 NatAC at 1st and every 4 levels. Easy.

Domains ==> Domain
Allow multiple selections, but only give 1 domain at a time. Sprinkling in some of the higher spells off the list wouldn't hurt too much either.

Eldritch Blast
Allow picking blast invocations every so often, keep it from being stale.

Elemental Companion ==> Companion
Let them have any extraplanar creature, elementals are nice and all, but they don't have much personality, which of course is bad for RP with a companion. Suggested limit: neither HD nor CR can exceed character level. Suggested Fluff: Its only ever 1 entity, it just changes its shape to suit the needs of the Improvementalist.

Magical Knack ==> Knack
Make all skills class skills, and give a choice of any skill to receive the /level bonus. Let 'em take it again for more skills to get the bonus.

Just make it as Scout ffs.

Either make it per encounter or give 'em one use every other level, see also every Paladin remix in existence.

Spell Resistance
Let 'em drop it for friendlies.


Martial Aptitude
Give full BAB and proficiency in ALL weapons, even ones they've never seen before.

Pick another save to be a good save, and give proficiency in ALL Armor and Shields, including Tower.

Also, just take a look around at some other class features. Find some more hidden scaling gems, like Shadow Jump, to throw in as options, let the players come up with some truly crazy combos! (Sideslip from Complete Scoundrel's Mountebank PrC is one of my personal favs)

2018-08-23, 02:49 AM
It seems odd to limit Companion by both HD and CR. The current limit of HD = class level + 1 is equivalent to CR = class level, at least for Elementals. Are there any extraplanar creatures that have a CR rating greater than their number of HD? On the other hand, imposing that additional restriction might make sense with some extraplanar creatures, because I'm sure that allowing any extraplanar creature opens the doors to a lot more shenanigans than just the four primary elementals. That said, all the other suggestions seem good.