View Full Version : Help Make my Monstrologist

2008-10-16, 09:49 PM
I have a vague but interesting (to me) concept for a character for a 3.5 game of D&D, but I need help ironing out the details.

My idea for the character is that he is the son or grandson of an infamous and powerful bad guy sent to study under an equally infamous lich while his father/grandfather was out doing bad guy type stuff.

At first the lich was intrigued by the potential usefulness of his new student, but found that his personality simply didn't meet the requirements for villainy (leaning more toward good or at least neutrality.). Eventually, he found a use for the boy as a scribe and sketch artist to assist him in cataloging various creatures and whatnot that he encountered in his research.

The boy took to this rather well as he had an affinity for dealing with animals (whether this is due to his heritage or his own personal nature has yet to be decided.) And so he assisted the lich for several years, learning of creatures and a few spells he observed his instructor performing along the way. One day, however, a terrible mistake on the part of the boy caused volumes of important research to be lost.

Furious, the lich has demanded that the boy replace the information regarding the more difficult to locate or observe creatures or else suffer a hideous fate.

Now the boy travels from place to place with a list of creatures he must collect information on, armed with a sketchbook, some charcoal, and writing utensils.

Seems like a fun character to play to me, but I still don't have a clue as to what race he should be, and I'm still fuzzy on what class(es) he should be. I was thinking that bard would fit his knowledge of various creatures and the limited spellcasting it would offer him would reflect his apprenticeship under the lich. The variant class feature that gives bards animal companions might help reflect his fondness and connection with other creatures, but I really am not set on any of this.

All help welcomed.

2008-10-16, 09:56 PM
Archivist has Dark Knowledge.
Ranger has the Favored Enemies, with a couple of feats to boost the number of them and a high starting level that might work.
Knowledge Devotion is a Feat with bonuses based off of Knowledge checks.
And Bard of course has the BSK check he can pull to know about anything.
I like Archivist because it seems to fit the concept more, especially with Knowledge Devotion. Take ranks in Nature, Planes, Religion, Dungeoneering, Arcana, and Local and you know every conceivable monster. Snag the Collector of Stories Skill Trick to get +5 for identifying monsters, and you're good.

2008-10-16, 09:57 PM
Duskblade wouldn't be a bad one, either. Limited spellcasting, grab a familiar with a feat, and all knowledge skills are class skills for you. Take Knowledge Devotion and you have a functional character, too.

2008-10-16, 09:58 PM
A knowledge based build, who has formal magical training under a lich? Most probably an Archivist (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20051007a&page=3). For race, any that doesn't have an Int penalty or ECL will do fine.

Add the gain familiar feat to give him a small pet animal if you are so inclined.

2008-10-16, 10:20 PM
The Beast Heart Adept (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20070209a&page=4) PrC (Dungeonscape) is like a Beastmaster, but for magical beasts. It could fit. You'd probably want to back it up with a group-support class like Crusader. Or Bard. Or both.

The Totemist (Magic of Incarnum) is one of the Incarnum magic/skill/things that assumes features of Magical Beasts. It fills much the same role as a Ranger would.

The Ranger's an obvious choice, Wild Empathy and limited casting combine pretty readily.

The Bard could do well with Music of Growth and Soothe the Beast (ECS). Leadership and that Animal Cohort feat could get you animal companions.

2008-10-16, 10:21 PM

Or Monstrologist.

But Monsterologist urts my earbrains.

2008-10-16, 10:24 PM
Thank you all very much. I think I will go with the archivist for a class, and perhaps take a prestige class at higher levels if the story would fit it.

Now what about his race? Most templates are allowed if reasonable, and I was considering using the rules for a blood line of some sort. Any suggestions?

What I was thinking for race (or perhaps some sort of heritage feat) was something that was either generally considered evil or destructive or was tied to something like that. For example, his father (or grandfather or some similar relation) might be a demon or something, so tiefling or a fiendish heritage feat might fit. That was just an example though.

I guess you could say I'm looking for his father/grandfather's race, and a good way to reflect that in his (grand)son.

Edited for clarity... sort of...

2008-10-16, 10:42 PM
Human? I don't really know what you're looking for here, but a human Archivist can take both of the expanded Dark Knowledge feats, if knowing every monster and knowing it well is what you're going for. Knowledge Devotion from Complete Champion might be flavorful as well--it provides attack and damage bonuses against enemies based on how much your character knows about them.

There aren't many Prestige Classes that capture the "knowing monsters well" concept as well as Archivist that advance your spellcasting as they go on.

2008-10-17, 12:41 AM
Archivist was also the very first thing that came to mind when I saw the title of this thread.

Magnor Criol
2008-10-17, 01:55 AM
Yeah, archivist fits pretty much perfectly fluff-wise and mechanically.

Dark/evil subjects of study (studied under a lich) => Dark knowledge
Scribe, studious, interested in learning => high Int character, the word "archivist"

If you want something more core-onlyish, then go cleric, perhaps the cloistered cleric variant even. Make sure you get the Knowledge domain somehow, and the Knowledge Devotion feat from Complete Champion that Temp mentioned would work perfectly as well.

2008-10-17, 02:04 AM
Make sure you get the Knowledge domain somehow,No need to bother; the Archivist already has all Knowledge skills and access to all Divine spells.

2008-10-17, 02:59 AM
Knowledge Devotion, and a PrC suggestion: Paragnostic Disciple.

2008-10-17, 04:57 AM
Play an Awakened Animated Monster Manual Box Set.

2008-10-17, 10:07 AM
Maybe a changeling or a doppleganger, something that can turn into various creatures with ways of blending into different environments to make studying creatures in their habitats easier

2008-10-17, 10:27 AM
Tiefling is slightly inclined towards the evil, but may not be dark enough.
I say go with a demon/devil bloodline, even if they aren't particularly optimized.

2008-10-17, 11:14 AM
For race, you could go Gnome (with their speak with animals racial ability). Alternatively, you could go with a race that has a natural propensity for the wilds anyhow (anything featured in Races of the Wild, really; elves, raptoran, catfolk, etc).

2008-10-17, 11:49 AM
So, let me get this straight: You've gotta catch'em all?

2008-10-17, 11:54 AM
So, let me get this straight: You've gotta catch'em all?

Lol. I'm afraid a friend of mine has already beaten you to that joke.

2008-10-17, 02:59 PM
I love the idea you should have them "write" the monster books

2008-10-17, 04:44 PM
Organize the data on monsters that you encounter into "Manuals" that detail how tough they are, how hard they are to hit, how accurate their blows are, special abilities, etc. Proceed to flee the DM wrath. :smallbiggrin:

2008-10-17, 07:44 PM
Organize the data on monsters that you encounter into "Manuals" that detail how tough they are, how hard they are to hit, how accurate their blows are, special abilities, etc. Proceed to flee the DM wrath. :smallbiggrin:

when you run out of ideas, write a "Fiend Folio" to include more information about those you've encountered. Get demons to pose in it

2008-10-17, 08:03 PM
If I go with a demonic bloodline, the demon affinity will help me convince them to pose.

2008-10-17, 10:21 PM
Not to mention you've got two reference sources and big names to pull out and show that you are serious about your business...add in some "it's to make mortals fear you" for flavor and you are set.

2008-10-18, 09:17 PM
If I go with a demonic bloodline, the demon affinity will help me convince them to pose.

wouldn't the fiendish template work better?