View Full Version : Rules lawyer [PrC]

2008-05-24, 07:28 AM

This class was originally posted by me on the WotC boards.
First of all I would like to point out that this class is primarily a joke class playing on various stereotypes sloshing around the internets. The class descriptions and abilities are peppered with puns and jokes, but also one or two (more or less) serious thoughts. But it's all in good fun.
I would also like to point out that, while this is indeed a joke class, it is intended to be fully playable.
If anything about the class seems odd, it is probably intentional. If it bugs you however, feel free to mention it to me and I might be able to shed some light on the matter.
That's basically it... I think.

Because such a prominent feature of our community needs a prestige class of its own.

Rules Lawyer
"I'm sorry, but according to RAW..."

Alignment: any nonchaotic
Skills: Diplomacy 8 ranks, bluff 4 ranks, Knowledge (metalaw) 8 ranks
- or -
Diplomacy 8 ranks, bluff 4 ranks, Profession (lawyer) 8 ranks
Feats: Iron Will, Great Fortitude

Rules Lawyers come form all walks of life, but all have the same goals: improving themselves and their allies. If this means bending the rules a bit, that's fine.

Rules Lawyer (HD: d4)
{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Previous class features

+2|"You misunderstand"|+1 level of existing class

+3|I think you missed this part +1|-

+3|"These actually synergise quite well"|+1 level of existing class

+4|I think you missed this part +2|-

+4|"You know, those actually do stack"|+1 level of existing class

+5|I think you missed this part +3|-

+5|"You can't do that"|+1 level of existing class

+6|I think you missed this part +4|-

+6|"I have the answer. No, you don't need to like it."|+1 level of existing class [/table]

Skill points: 4 + int modifier
class skills: Knowledge (any), craft, profession, diplomacy, bluff, intimidate, sense motive, sleight of hand, spellcraft, psicraft, use magic device, use psionic device, autohypnosis, any other four (choosen when you first take this class).

Class features:

"You misunderstand":
At first level and every odd level after that (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) the rules lawyer gain class features as if he had also gained a level in one other class he possessed before becoming a rules lawyer (ie a rogue 6/RL 3 would have 4d6 sneak attack, trapfinding abilities as an 8th level rogue etc). If you have levels in multiple classes before entering this prestige class you must decide which one this ability will apply to. Once the decision has been made, it cannot be changed.

I think you missed this part:
The rules lawyer may apply an enhancement bonus to one of his own or another creatures ability score. This bonus may only affect one person and ability score at any time and can be reassigned at will as a full round action that provokes an attack of opportunity.
The bonus is +1 at second level and increases by one at every even-numbered level (max +4 at 8th level).

"These actually synergize quite well":
At third level, you may pick one skill that you have 5 ranks in. This skill now provide a synergy bonus to any other skill you have ranks in, but not the same one. You may change this skill synergy by concentrating continually for 8 hours straight.
You must also explain the reason for the synergy between the two skills to the DM. No matter how far-fetched, it still works.

"You know, those stack":
Pick one 'typed' bonus that is affecting you or one of your items. That bonus becomes untyped (and thus stack with all other bonuses, even untyped ones).
Designating a bonus as untyped takes 8 hours of continuous and uninterrupted concentration, and you may never have more than one bonus converted by this ability at any time.
This ability can not be used on 'inherent' bonuses.
Example: a masterwork sword has a +1 enhancement bonus to hit. When becoming magical (and all magic weapons are masterwork) this bonus is subsumed into the +1 weapons enhancement bonus to attack and damage because they are both enhancement bonuses and don't stack. Now, our rules lawyer designates the masterwork bonus as untyped, therefore giving that +1 sword +2 to hit. This also works the other way around, making it a nice deal for arcane archers (who wants the extra damage from the +5 bow to stack with your +5 AA arrows?) though that RL/AA would have to choose between stacking attack or damage.

"You can't do that":
The rules lawyer may, as an immediate action, force any other creature to reroll any one roll (or one die, in a case where multiple dice are rolled) and choose the lowest of the two rolls.
Example: Krusk attacks an offensive tree with his axe of treeslaying, getting a natural 20 for the win. Bont the Druid 5/Rules Lawyer 7 intervenes on the behalf of the poor tree and forces a reroll before Krusk deals critical damage. Krusk rerolls the d20 and gets a natural 1. Forced to pick the lower of the two rolls, he stabs himself in the face, gaining +4 charisma from a stylish scar and a moderate concussion (the charisma bonus is, however, not part of this ability, but a weird fumbles table).
This ability is usable as an immediate action and affects any given creature only once per encounter.

"I have the answer. No, you don't need to like it.":
At ninth level, the Rules lawyer reaches the pinnacle of his art. He may, once per day, use ONE class feature of any other class as a 9th level member of that class. For example, he may add 5d6 sneak attack damage to his attacks as a 9th level rogue does, he may use improved combat style as a 6th level ranger, he may use improved evasion OR Flurry of blows as a 9th level monk or he may cast a spell* (and only one spell) as any 9th level caster (max spell level 5) etc.
*spell/psionic power/mystery/whatever.
This ability is activated as an immediate action and lasts until the beginning of the Rules Lawyers next turn. Any action to be taken using this ability must be completed before that time (ie rage lasts only one round, no spells can have a casting time of more than one round) but all lingering effects persist as normal (mage armor has its usual duration, rage fatigues you, bardic music lasts for 5 rounds (assuming you have the perform skill to use it), your armor induces spell failure for arcane spells and some mysteries etc).
This ability is usable once per day.

2008-05-24, 09:10 AM
Very nice. I like it. Why only nine levels though?

Zeta Kai
2008-05-24, 10:04 AM
Hahaha... nice prestige class. I thought that I saw a Rules Lawyer PrC on here before, but this is rather well done. It isn't uber-powerful (although You Can't Do That gets more potent as more enemies enter an encounter), but it can provide a welcome font of bonuses to a party, while still contributing to combat.

I love the You Misunderstand ability; it reminds be of the Class Feature class feature from the Lancer in my FFX D20 project.

The only criticism I have concerning this (aside from the massive number of typos) is that I would think a Rules Lawyer would have to be lawful, or at least non-chaotic. Capriciousness & randomness are not very lawyerly traits. Just a thought, really.

For the record, prestige classes can be of nearly any length. The shortest are no less than 3 levels (paragon classes, etc.), but 14-15 level classes are known (True Necromancer from Libris Mortis is 14 levels). Although 5-level & 10-level progressions are by far the most common, homebrew should not be restricted to only 10-level PrCs.

2008-05-24, 03:23 PM
@ Zeta Kai: you have a point about the alignment, however a chaotic RL is intended to advocate rules much more randomly than a lawful one, the specific rule wouldn't matter much as long as the RL won the argument. I have met such persons in real life so I think it's valid. Also, I got most of the spelling mistakes the second time around, my eyesight is ba-ad right now. Doctors with Eye Lazors got me.

Actually, it was during a game of warhammer 40K between A and B. When B became uncertain of the Tyranids 'shoot the big ones' rule, he said he would look it up in the book he had at hand. At that point Bs brother C, who wasn't even in the game, said right off the bat that the rule didn't allow line of sight, and stole the rulebook so B couldn't look it up. They played the rest of the match without the 'shoot the big ones' rule because of this. Chaotic rules lawyer.
@ SilentNight: The 9-level cap is a bit of an in-joke I made. You see, when plannimg prestige-classing you go in pairs for wizard BAB and fourths for cleric BAB. This class have nine levels, and as such you must choose between the capstone ability and BAB, since taking the ninth level means a permanent -1 to max BAB. At least I thought it was funny :P

2008-05-29, 08:18 PM
Odd sense of humor....

But funny class. This tempts me to run an OOTS campaign.