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    Cliché Villain

    "First, the kingdom. And then, the world! Mwahahahaha!" ~Baron von Darksword, Cliché Villain

    Throughout history, there have always been stories of Good versus Evil, Right versus Wrong, Hero versus Villain. And in all these stories, the heroes always win. Why? Is it because they are more powerful? Or their bonds of friendship? Maybe it was that ancient artifact that they coveniently found the day before? No. It's because the villains are simply too incompetent to do anything right.

    Adventures: Typically, a Cliché Villain doesn't adventure. He sits back in his black tower and orders his minions around. However, villainy tends not to be a family business, and novice villains must get their own hands dirty once in a while. That doomsday device won't build itself, after all.

    Characteristics: The Cliché Villain is, above all, charismatic. He can charm and woo his way through almost any situation that his army of strangely loyal minions can't beat into submission. He is also capable of surprising acts of stealth and speed and can always get the drop on the hero, even if his ambushes never work out.

    Alignment: Cliché Villains are, of course, always evil. They tend towards law, but they can also be chaotic.

    Religion: Most Cliché Villains don't practice religion. They view themselves as equals to, or even superiors to, the gods. Some, however, do use a religion-based gimmick.

    Background: A Cliché Villain has no backstory, or at least not one longer than a couple lines. Backgrounds tend to make one sympathetic to others, and that is the opposite reaction that Cliché Villains strive for.

    Races: While any race with a propensity for grand evil can become a Cliché Villain, humans are the most numerous. Their typical delusions of grandeur easily lead them down this path. The arrogance and elitism of Elves lends well to the class, as well. However, they lack the ability to grow a suitable mustache.

    Other Classes: All good aligned classes, especially the Paladin, are understandably very hostile towards the Cliché Villain. Fighters and Rogues tend to easily find work as minions under the Cliché Villain and are more tolerant of the class. A job is a job, after all.

    Role: The Cliché Villain is largely the party face with some skill monkey thrown in, though he can also indirectly participate in combat via his minions.

    Adaptation: Cliché Villains can fit into any setting that has conflict as a central theme.

    GAME RULE INFORMATION
    Cliché Villains have the following game statistics.
    Abilities: The most important ability score for a Cliché Villain is Charisma. Dexterity is also important for stealth.
    Alignment: Any evil
    Hit Die: d4
    Starting Age: As a Cleric. Cliché Villains are often older than the heroes for whatever reason.
    Starting Gold: As a Fighter. Cliché Villains tend to have some good funding.

    Class Skills
    The Cliché Villain's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (All) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (None), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex)

    Skill Points at First Level: (8 + Int modifier) x 4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 8 + Int modifier

    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
    1st
    +0
    +0
    +2
    +0
    Flamboyant Costume, Dodge
    2nd
    +1
    +0
    +3
    +0
    Evasion, Uncanny Dodge
    3rd
    +1
    +1
    +3
    +1
    Loyal Henchman
    4th
    +2
    +1
    +4
    +1
    Charm Over Brains, Uncanny Stealth
    5th
    +2
    +1
    +4
    +1
    Impressive Opening, Weapon Finesse
    6th
    +3
    +2
    +5
    +2
    Recurring Villain
    7th
    +3
    +2
    +5
    +2
    Improved Evasion, Improved Uncanny Dodge
    8th
    +4
    +2
    +6
    +2
    Mad Inventor
    9th
    +4
    +3
    +6
    +3
    Expert Kidnapper
    10th
    +5
    +3
    +7
    +3
    Minions
    11th
    +5
    +3
    +7
    +3
    Corporate Funding
    12th
    +6/+1
    +4
    +8
    +4
    Behold the MacGuffin
    13th
    +6/+1
    +4
    +8
    +4
    Vanishing Act
    14th
    +7/+2
    +4
    +9
    +4
    Evil Gloating
    15th
    +7/+2
    +5
    +9
    +5
    Spy Drone
    16th
    +8/+3
    +5
    +10
    +5
    Pride Cometh Before the Fall
    17th
    +8/+3
    +5
    +10
    +5
    Death Ray
    18th
    +9/+4
    +6
    +11
    +6
    Abused Monster Pet
    19th
    +9/+4
    +6
    +11
    +6
    Robot Double
    20th
    +10/+5
    +6
    +12
    +6
    Doomsday Weapon

    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the Cliché Villain.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: All simple and martial light and one-handed weapons, all crossbows, and light and medium armor.

    Flamboyant Costume (Ex): Before he can do anything, a Cliché Villain must create his identity. Without a suitable name and costume, he is just another faceless thug to be squashed by the heroes. The Flamboyant Costume grants the Cliché Villain a bonus on all Charisma checks and Charisma-based skill checks equal to half his class level (minimum 1). It also grants him a morale bonus on Will saves equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

    Dodge: A first level Cliché Villain gains Dodge as a bonus feat.

    Evasion (Ex): As the Rogue ability.

    Uncanny Dodge (Ex): As the Rogue ability.

    Loyal Henchman (Ex): At level three, a Cliché Villain finally earns the respect and loyalty of a personal henchman. The henchman is a cohort who is always two levels below the Cliché Villain. He can be of any class, but it must be thematically appropriate with the Cliché Villain's identity. He also wears a costume of his own that is often inspired by the Cliché Villain's Flamboyant Costume. The henchman is always either Lawful Neutral or Lawful Evil and is uncompromisingly loyal to the Cliché Villain. If the henchman dies, the Cliché Villain can recruit a new one which takes one week and costs 100 gp/level.

    Charm Over Brains (Ex): While most Cliché Villains claim to be smart and clever, they are, more often than not, moronic and predictable. Nevertheless, they are experts at putting on the facade of intelligence. At level four, a Cliché Villain's Intelligence score drops to 8 (if it is higher), but he can substitute his Charisma modifier on all Intelligence-based skill checks.

    Uncanny Stealth (Ex): Despite never having any formal training in the arts of stealth, Cliché Villains have a remarkable level of talent for it. At level four, he can add one half his Cliché Villain level on all Disguise, Hide, Move Silently, And Sleight of Hand checks.

    Impressive Opening (Ex): A Cliché Villain dominates the battlefield, at least until the hero learns to believe in himself and inevitably turns the tables. When the Cliché Villain designates a creature as the target of his Dodge feat, he gains a bonus on attack rolls equal to the target's total number of hit dice as long as the target has over half it's health left. When the target drops to half health, the Cliché Villain, instead, receives a penalty to attack and AC equal to the target's total number of hit dice against that creature, even if he switches his Dodge feat to a different target.

    Weapon Finesse: A fifth level Cliché Villain gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat.

    Recurring Villain (Su): By level six, a Cliché Villain has become prominent enough to earn recurring villain status. He gains a bonus on Escape Artist and Open Lock checks equal to his Cliché Villain level, and once per day, when he drops below 25% health, he can, as an immediate action, use Dimension Door with a caster level equal to his Cliché Villain level.

    Improved Evasion (Ex): As the Rogue ability.

    Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): As the Rogue ability.

    Mad Inventor (Su): Cliché Villains do not possess intrinsic powers like the heroes do. Instead, they builds gadgets and robots to close the gap. At level eight, a Cliché Villain gains Craft Construct as well as any other item creation feat as bonus feats. He never needs to know spells to craft magic items. Instead, he makes a Use Magic Device check against a DC of 15 + the level of the highest spell necessary to build his items. If he fails this check, 25% of the time and raw materials are wasted.

    Expert Kidnapper (Ex): There is nothing a Cliché Villain likes doing more than kidnapping. Whether it be for ransom, to taunt the hero, or to find a future wife, there is always a practical reason for a good kidnapping. A ninth level Cliché Villain gains a competence bonus on all skill checks involved in kidnapping-related actions equal to one half his class level.

    Minions (Ex): By level ten, a Cliché Villain has finally become infamous enough to start attracting minions. Minions are much like followers and are acquired as per the table below. First level minions are always Fighters, but higher level minions can be of any classes that are thematically appropriate to the Cliché Villain's identity. Minions all wear uniforms inspired by the Cliché Villain's Flamboyant Costume with a face concealing helmet. All minions, regardless of level, have a maximum of 1 hit point. Minions that die are replaced within 1d4 days.

    Corporate Funding (Ex): At level eleven, a Cliché Villain has managed to seduce his way into the lap of some powerful and rich benefactor and receives monetary aid. He does not need to pay to hire a new henchman, nor does he need to pay the gp cost for crafting items, magical or otherwise. In addition, he only needs to pay half the cost for constructing or upgrading a stronghold or other headquarters However, this mysterious benefactor expects a return of investment, and from this point forward, the Cliché Villain must sacrifice 20% of all money he receives through adventuring, looting, or random acts of villainy.

    Behold the MacGuffin (Ex): At level twelve, a Cliché Villain has finally gotten his hands on the MacGuffin, the device necessary to complete his dastardly plan. He hasn't figured out how to use it, yet, but he will. Possibly. The MacGuffin gives the Cliché Villain a +1 bonus on all d20 rolls. If this MacGuffin is ever lost or stolen, he suffers a -2 penalty on all d20 rolls until it is regained. The MacGuffin is an indestructible item that weighs 5 pounds.

    Vanishing Act (Ex): Heroes are often stupid and easily distrected. If a thirteenth level Cliché Villain ever fails a Hide or Move Silently check, he can make an immediate Bluff check to draw attention away from himself. If successful, he can reattempt his Hide or Move Silently check as if the failure never happened. However, most people won't fall for the same gag twice. He can only use this ability once per person per day.

    Evil Gloating (Ex): A true Cliché Villain knows the value of a good gloat. At level fourteen, whenever the Cliché Villain attempts a coup de grace against a good-aligned creature, he must spend a number of rounds equal to his Charisma modifier gloating about it first. If he then successfully kills the creature, he gains a morale bonus on attack and damage rolls equal to his Charisma modifier for a number of rounds equal to his Cliché Villain level.

    Spy Drone (Sp): Upon reaching level fifteen, a Cliché Villain has crafted a device that allows him to spy on the heroes over great distances. He can use Scrying as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his Cliché Villain level at will. This ability can only be used against creatures with a good alignment.

    Pride Cometh Before the Fall (Ex): A sixteenth level Cliché Villain is on the cusp of success. This has inflated his ego to such incredible proportions that he can use it as a tool to intimidate and dominate others. As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a Cliché Villain can enter into an ego battle with a chosen target as long as both he and the target can see each other. Though a series of fabulous moves and powerful glares, he attempts to assert his dominance. Both he and the target make an opposed Charisma check. If the Cliché Villain succeds, the target's attitude becomes Fanatic for a number of rounds equal to twice the amount by which he succeeded the check. If he fails, then he suffers a morale penalty on all d20 rolls by the amount he failed for the rest of the encounter.

    Death Ray (Sp): By level seventeen, a Cliché Villain has finally completed his Death Ray, a device that allows him to fight the heroes more competently. He makes a ranged touch attack against an creature within 100 feet. If successful, the creature makes a Fortitude save versus a DC of 10 + 1/2 Cliché Villain level + his Charisma modifier. If the target fails this save, it is instantly slain. Otherwise, it is stunned for one round. Creatures of a good alignment receive a +2 luck bonus on the save, and are brought to 1 hit point on a failed save. The heroes are, of course, protected by the plot. This ability is usable once every 1d4 rounds.

    Abused Monster Pet (Ex): When all else fails, a Cliché Villain knows to always have a last resort in his back pocket, a trump card to play when the going gets tough. At level eighteen, a Cliché Villain acquires a monstrous pet which he convinces to serve him through physical abuse. The pet can be any creature of large size or larger with an Intelligence score less than 3. It's CR can be no more than the Cliché Villain's level plus five. The creature can have any number of templates or additional HD so long as its modified CR does not pass this limit. The pet is unfriendly towards the Cliché Villain and only follows orders with a successful Intimidate check. If the pet dies, the Cliché Villain can find and train a new one in after one week.

    Robot Double (Su): At level ninteen, a Cliché Villain can construct a perfect duplicate of himself. It has all the same stats and abilities of the Cliché Villain except that it does not have its own henchman or minions and can't create another robot double. The double follows all orders given by the Cliché Villain. It also has a duplicate of his mind and acts just like him even when not ordered. The robot double is nearly impossible to identify, and nothing short of True Seeing can detect it. If the Cliché Villain ever dies while his robot double still lives, he can declare that he was actually the double the whole time. He retroactively switches places with the double who then dies instead. If the double ever dies, the Cliché Villain can build a new one taking a week to finish.

    Doomsday Weapon (Sp): Eventually, after all the grueling struggle, a Cliché Villain finally manages to build his Doomsday Weapon at level twenty. He must be in possession of his MacGuffin for it to work. The Doomsday Weapon allows the Cliché Villain to use Wish as a spell-like ability once per month.

    Level 1 Minions Level 2 Minions Level 3 Minions Level 4 Minions Level 5 Minions Level 6 Minions
    Level 10 4 --- --- --- --- ---
    Level 11 6 2 --- --- --- ---
    Level 12 9 3 --- --- --- ---
    Level 13 13 4 1 --- --- ---
    Level 14 19 6 2 --- --- ---
    Level 15 28 9 3 1 --- ---
    Level 16 42 13 4 2 --- ---
    Level 17 63 19 6 3 1 ---
    Level 18 94 28 9 4 2 ---
    Level 19 141 42 13 6 3 1
    Level 20 211 63 19 9 4 2
    Level 21+ ×1.5/level ×1.5/level ×1.5/level ×1.5/level ×1.5/level ×1.5/level
    Last edited by Celestia; 2017-03-07 at 10:23 PM.
    Princess Celestia's Homebrew Corner
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