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    Default Re: Base Class Challenge - The Altar of Naught

    Riftsink

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    Source, by Sketchboook.


    “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

    A riftsink is a creator interdimensional portals, or rifts, which he uses to deter movement, flit about the battlefield, and generally attack from relative safety.

    Abilities: Riftsinks are martial combatants, so the basic trio of Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution are all important to some extent. Constitution takes on a greater importance given the costs associated with opening and traversing the rifts, and Charisma is necessary to bend the void to the riftsink's will.

    Role: A riftsink is a mixture of zone controller, debuffer, and striker, generally in that order.

    Background: It has been suggested that riftsinks are akin to warlocks: exchanging their mortal souls for the abilities they possess. Some riftsinks have dismissed this as a fanciful notion cooked up in old wives' tales, while others have embraced the notion, though whether that acceptance is deception or not few can truly tell. Some suggest it is just a skill to honed, like a wizard's magic or a warblade's maneuvers. Others subscribe to the notion that riftsinks pay tribute to higher powers, celestial or fiendish, to acquire their abilities. In truth, it may be any one of these: a particular riftsink can only tell how he acquired his power, not how others may have acquired theirs.

    Those who do become riftsinks are often motivated by an incorrigible curiosity, though reasons as generic as wanting more power and wanting to travel and see the world (and beyond) are frequently cited among aspiring practitioners.

    Organization: Riftsinks are often courted by organizations that specialize in protection services, and stronger riftsinks sometimes find work as couriers of hazardous or important materials, in reconnaissance detail, or as message runners.

    Alignment: Entities of any alignment may become a riftsink, as anyone who desires power might assume the mantle. Though this is true, progressive exposure to the void tends to induce chaotic tendencies in those who venture beyond with regularity.

    Races: Any member of any race may become a riftsink. Riftsinks are more common amongst those races typically stricken with wanderlust, which may mean half-elves, halflings, or gnomes, or even humans, depending on the setting in question. Elves typically have alternative options for exploring the same means and are somewhat rarer, as are those races generally distrustful of anything that might be perceived as arcane magic. The vocation has a small, devoted niche among those who delve in the depths of the earth, where mobility is already limited and control of what little space there is has magnified ramifications. Outsiders, and others who might eventually seek to break the barriers of the planes, are also likely candidates to become riftsinks.

    Religion: Though most riftsinks are generally well-traveled enough to accept the existence of gods, their vocation does not invoke particularly pious tendencies, except in those that believe their powers are granted by a deity, who are understandably reverent. Such riftsinks tend to worship gods of chaos, travel, and the void. In terms of domains, potential suitors would probably include one or more of the following amongst their portfolio: Chaos, Darkness, Knowledge, Liberation, Luck, Madness, Trickery, Travel, and Protection.

    Other Classes: Riftsinks tend to get along well enough with other classes with morally ambiguous power sources, and it follows then that the suspect nature of the void tends to invoke some suspicion on those who cling to a path of righteousness, such as paladins, as well as good-aligned clerics and crusaders. Riftsinks also tend to mesh well with rangers and the odd druid who accepts the void as a legitimate part of nature, though those who reject that viewpoint tend to be decidedly less forthcoming in any interactions that might occur. Riftsinks are known to tread on the nerves of more simplistic martial combatants, who regard the restriction to their opposition's movements as a wash given the similar impact on their own mobility. Higher level riftsinks (really any riftsink, but those of higher level in particular), however, are considered a great boon to the strategically inclined warrior or party, and are typically accepted quite readily by those with a vested interest in survival.

    Adaptation: Just about any power source imaginable can be used to power the riftsink's abiltiies with the right background flavor. The riftsink could easily be a time traveler, have his abilities re-flavored to be psionic in nature, or even draw his power from a specific item that allows for his abilities to be used. The void that he taps does not have to be chaotic, alien, or oppressive, either, though justifying its effects if it were someplace less aberrant could prove an interesting challenge.

    Hit Die: d10

    Starting Gold: 3d4×10 gp (75 gp).

    Class Features

    Class Skills: The riftsink's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge [all skills, taken individually] (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Tumble (Dex).

    Skill Points at First Level: [6 + Intelligence modifier] * 4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Intelligence modifier

    {table=head]Level|
    Base Attack Bonus
    |
    Fort Save
    |
    Ref Save
    |
    Will Save
    |
    Special
    |
    Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    | Flurry of Blows, Reach Across Space | -2/-2

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    | Progenitor of the Void | -1/-1

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    | Reach Across Time | +0/+0

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Journeyman of the Rifts| +1/+1

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Gaze of the Abyss (Fascinated, Shaken), Hunter from Beyond| +2/+2

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |One's Company| +3/+3

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |The Hunger of Emptiness| +4/+4

    8th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Capricious Fury, Gaze of the Abyss (Confused)| +5/+5/+0

    9th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Champion of the Void| +6/+6/+1

    10th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Limit Break| +7/+7/+2

    11th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Gaze of the Abyss (Frightened), Greater Flurry| +8/+8/+8/+3

    12th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Assault of the Madcap, Two's a Crowd| +9/+9/+9/+4

    13th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Paragon of the Rift| +9/+9/+9/+4

    14th|
    +10/+5
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Gaze of the Abyss (Blinded)| +10/+10/+10/+5

    15th|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Sudden Translocation| +11/+11/+11/+6/+1

    16th|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Emissary of Unreality| +12/+12/+12/+7/+2

    17th|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Gaze of the Abyss (Dazed)| +12/+12/+12/+7/+2

    18th|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Three's a Party| +13/+13/+13/+8/+3

    19th|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Beyond the Material| +14/+14/+14/+9/+4

    20th|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |Lurker in the Depths| +15/+15/+15/+10/+5[/table]

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A riftsink is proficient with all simple weapons and all light armors.

    Flurry of Blows (Su): When wearing light or no armor, a rifstink may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, he may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a –2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. The resulting modified base attack bonuses are shown in the Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus column above. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the riftsink might make before his next action. When the riftsink reaches fifth level the penalty lessens to –1, and at ninth level it disappears. A riftsink must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows.

    A riftsink applies his Strength bonus (not Strength bonus ×1.5 or ×0.5) to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made during a flurry of blows, regardless of whether he wields a weapon in one or both hands.

    When a riftsink reaches 11th level, his flurry of blows ability improves. In addition to the standard single extra attack he gets from flurry of blows, he gets a second extra attack at his full base attack bonus.

    Reach Across Space (Su): A riftsink can make melee attacks against far off opponents as though they were within reach by sacrificing one hit point per attack he makes. The designated opponent must be within 10 feet, plus 5 feet per five class levels (15' at level 5, 20' at level ten, etc). If the the target is threatened by a creature hostile to it, it must make a Reflex save (DC 10 + riftsink's BAB) or the riftsink gains all the benefits of flanking against that opponent in the current round.

    The riftsink only threatens enemies through rifts during his turn, and not during others' turns.

    Progenitor of the Void (Su): As an attack action, a riftsink create a rift leading to the void: a semi-stable portal that fill a 5' x 5' x 5' cube. Each rift created in this manner costs the riftsink one hit point. Rifts are created in empty squares of riftsink's choice within the riftsink's reach, but the riftsink cannot create a portal in an occupied square. Rifts are hazardous to more concentrated forms of matter. General rules regarding damage and rifts are given below:

    Rift Damage
    * All damage dealt by rifts is untyped.
    * Always round down when determining how many damage dice a rift deals. *Damage dealt by a rift is not subject to damage reduction, though hardness still applies.
    * Voluntarily passing through a rift deals damage equal to half the riftsink's class level in d4; Fortitude halves -- if the transgressor ends his turn in the same space without moving further, he takes double damage.
    * Having one's space entered by a rift deals damage equal to half the riftsink's class level in d6; Fortitude halves.
    * If a rift is attacked with natural weapon, the attacker takes damage equal to half the rinksink's class level in d4.
    * If a rift is attacked using a manufactured weapon, that weapon takes damage equal to the half the riftsink's class level in d4.
    * When a rift deals damage to any creature or object, it winks out of existence.
    * A riftsink takes no damage from passing through his own rifts, but his movement through one will cancel it out.
    * A rift can damage a riftsink's allies.

    Rift Movement
    * Rifts cannot be farther than close range (25 feet + 5 feet per two class levels) from the riftsink who created them or they wink out.
    *Two rifts cannot occupy the same space. If the riftsink moves them so, both rifts wink out.
    * At the beginning of the riftsink's turn, each of his rifts can move 5' in any direction according to the riftsink's will - this requires no action on the riftsink's part, though he must be conscious.
    * The riftsink can spend a move action to move any of his rifts any distance, so long as the combined distance moved by the portals is less than 10 feet per class level; e.g., a level 12 riftsink has 120 feet of move to split among however many rifts he has opened.

    Miscellaneous
    * The space occupied by a rift is never treated as threatened.
    *A riftsink can see from any of his portals as though he were standing in that space, though others looking into the rift see nothing. For each portal a riftsink has open within the gaze attack range of an opponent who possesses such an attack, the effectiveness of averting his eyes against that gaze attack is reduced by 10%.
    * A rift touched while in a dimensional lock winks out harmlessly.
    * Rifts provide soft cover from ranged attacks; if an attack would hit but for this cover the rift winks out.
    * The maximum number of active portals a single riftsink may have open at one time is equal to his Charisma modifier or his class level+3, whichever is lower.

    Reach Across Time (Su): A riftsink can delay without affecting his place in the initiative count in future rounds. Doing this costs the riftsink one hit point. Before the beginning of each round of combat after the first, a riftsink can increase the result of his initiative roll (and thus potentially the order in which combatants act) by two in exchange for one hit point.

    Journeyman of the Rifts (Su): When a riftsink steps into one of his rifts he now may choose to appear adjacent to (but not above) any other rift he has open (in an unoccupied square) rather than negating the rift. Entering a rift and appearing outside another consumes 5 feet of available movement. Each time the riftsink passes through a rift he uses he pays one hit point. He may also attack through his rifts at no cost (hit points) to himself. Treat each rift as having a reach equal to the riftsink to determine which squares he can attack. The riftsink only threatens squares in this manner during his turn. If a creature is flanked by two a riftsink's portals, it is flanked when he attacks it through a portal using this ability. If the riftsink is Large or larger, he may only travel in this manner if there is enough open space near the rift he intends to appear at. If there is not, he merely does not travel and shorts out the gateway rift.

    For every odd rift (first, third, fifth, etc.) a riftsink passes though in a round, he gains a +1 untyped bonus to attack rolls until the beginning of his next turn.

    A riftsink cannot enter or exit portal that is in a dimension lock, though a riftsink targeted by dimensional anchor may still use this class feature to move around, just not those effects specifically prohibited by dimensional anchor.

    Gaze of the Abyss (Su): Select a portal. By expending a standard action (and one hit point) this portal gains a gaze attack for a single instant. All creatures within 30 feet (allies included) at the time of activation must save (Will) or suffer from an effect of the riftsink's choosing. Creatures who save against a particular status effect are immune to that effect until the end of the encounter. Every three levels after fifth the riftsink gains a new effect option.

    Hunter from Beyond (Ex): His aura, scent, and footfalls stolen by the void, the riftsink gains the Darkstalker feat.

    One's Company (Su): One per round as a free action that may be taken out of turn, a riftsink may select two portals. If anyone enters either of these two portals, they appear adjacent to the other one in an empty space, just as if they had the riftsink's Journeyman of the Rifts class feature. If the creature does not wish to travel in this manner, it may choose make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 riftsink class level + riftsink Charisma modifier) to resist, though a success means the creature takes damage from the rift (it is still entitled to a save to halve that damage). Once either portal has been used, this effect ceases to function and the portals are once again hostile to foreign creatures. Enemies do not know this at first take. Large or larger creatures who cannot travel in this manner do not sustain damage from the shorted rift. Using this ability costs the riftsink one hit point. The ability to use One's Company recharges at the beginning of the riftsink's turn.

    The Hunger of Emptiness (Su): A creature slain by a riftsink's portal has its essence returned to him in part by the void. If a rift reduces a a creature to below zero hit points (even undead and constructs and the like), the riftsink is restored X hit points per hit die that creature had. Consult the table below to determine X.

    The Hunger of Emptiness
    {table=head]Riftsink Level|X

    1-8
    |2

    9-12
    |3

    13-16
    |4

    17-19
    |5

    20
    |8[/table]

    Furthermore, each time the riftsink passes through a rift, the void clings at his material form, returning it only reluctantly. For each rift (which need not be a unique rift) he passes through in a round, the riftsink gains DR 1/--, which stacks with itself (though not with damage reduction from other sources). This damage reduction lasts until the beginning of the riftsink's next turn.

    Capricious Fury (Ex): When the riftsink uses his flurry of blows class feature, he may move 5 feet between each pair of (main hand) attacks. This movement can provoke attacks of opportunity, and it does not count against the riftsink's ability to take a 5' step during his turn.

    Champion of the Void: The riftsink's rifts can now be sustained within medium (100 feet + 10 feet per class level) range, and may force targets to save using their Fortitude or Will save (this applies to damage only, not the Gaze of the Abyss class feature); the riftsink chooses which save is targeted when a rift is activated. Gaze of the Abyss may be used as a standard or move action, but the same portal may not be used twice in the same round.

    Furthermore, after passing through two rifts in a round with his Journeyman of the Rift class feature, all attacks the riftsink makes afterward force opponents to save or be affected by his Gaze of the Abyss class feature. The second rift opens up the level five effect options, and each even number rift after that opens up the next effect (so the fourth rift opens up confused, the sixth frightened, and so on), but only if the riftsink has already unlocked that effect for Gaze of the Abyss. An opponent who successfully saves against a status effect is immune to that effect (from the riftsink's class features) until the end of the encounter. A riftsink must declare the intended status effect before he makes an attack roll. This class feature cannot be combined with Reach Across Space.

    Limit Break (Su): As a move action, a riftsink can create a rift in any unoccupied space with 100 ft/class level. This rift ignores the usual distance limitations, lasts until the end of the riftsink's current turn, and then winks out.

    Assault of the Madcap (Ex): When using his flurry of blows class feature, the riftsink may sacrifice a main hand attack to move 5 feet (not take a 5' step -- this movement can provoke attacks of opportunity, does not count against 5' step for the round).

    Two's a Crowd (Su): One's Company can now be used twice per round.

    Paragon of the Rift: The riftsink's rifts can now be sustained within long (400 feet + 40 feet per class level) range, and may force targets to save using their Fortitude, Reflex, or Will save (this applies to damage only, not the Gaze of the Abyss class feature); the riftsink chooses which save is targeted when a rift is activated. Gaze of the Abyss may be used as a standard, move, or swift action, but the same portal may not be used twice in the same round.

    Sudden Translocation (Su): As an immediate action, the riftsink can move one of his rifts 10 feet per class level. The rift moved in this manner may not be moved into or through an occupied square. Using this ability costs one hit point.

    Emissary of Unreality (Su): For each separate rift that he passes through, the riftsink has a 5% chance of being unaffected by any new effect (existing effects, spells, and the like carry over) that originates from a source other than the riftsink, positive or negative, until the start of his next turn. This miss chance does not apply to the riftsink's Hunger of Emptiness class feature, nor does is prevent a riftsink from paying the hit point costs of his riftsink class features.

    Three's a Party (Su): One's Company can now be used thrice per round.

    Beyond the Material (Su): As a standard action, the riftsink may create a new rift or designate an existing rift, which now acts as a gate spell (travel version only). This ability costs the riftsink one hit point per round it is held open. The riftsink may close the gate, leaving a normal rift, as a free or immediate action. Upkeep cost is paid at the beginning of the riftsink's turn.

    Lurker in the Depths: A riftsink now threatens squares with his Journeyman of the Rifts class feature even when it is not his turn. The riftsink no longer pays hit point costs for any of his riftsink class features, and may now use his Gaze of the Abyss class feature as an immediate action. The five feet of movement allowed to him by his Capricious Fury and Assault of the Madcap class features no longer provokes attacks of opportunity.

    Assorted Addenda

    Spoiler
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    You can't actually make opponents fall indefinitely, as they get to choose the space they appear in. Thus they can choose to appear above a portal that would otherwise signal the start of an indefinite fall, shorting that portal out as they fall and breaking the cycle before it actually begins.

    As far as falling speeds go, using established physics formulas for Earth gravity, a typical human will fall roughly 665 feet in the round he begins falling, and 1080 in each round thereafter. Rounding these numbers to 500 and 1000 feet, respectively, doesn't hurt anyone, and may be useful if your riftsink decides to do something crazy. Otherwise I would suggest that the creature deals falling damage to whatever it hits equal to what it would take from the fall, before adjusted by class abilities.

    A riftsink yo-yoing (choosing to repeatedly appear above his rifts and falling back into them) is an issue I haven't worked out yet, though I doubt it would be an issue at lower levels given the hit point cost of doing so. With that said, yo-yoing in turn isn't really a concern, it's what happens if you end the turn yo-yoing that I'm concerned about.

    Part of me is tempted to say that yo-yoing would confer more or less the same benefits and disadvantages as blink, though this discounts the ability to use more than two portals. Furthermore, given that blink is already quite a decent spell, I'd rather not offer it for too cheaply.

    One thought I did have was to make it so you could not appear above a portal, but then this creates the infinite fall loop mentioned above. I think I may end up going with this, as most legitimately dangerous enemies (monsters and NPCs) should be able to fly at that point, even if by magic item. Those that can't are screwed, but that just allows you to keep them out of battle until you're prepared to let them down. And enemies technically can choose to avoid the portals entirely, I suppose, so their choice?

    I'm just going to leave this here for now while I muse on the matter. Any thoughts on the matter would be greater appreciated.


    I've added a save to One's Company. I have no issues with indefinite falls on multiple failed saves. Also added a clause stating that you cannot appear above your portals, so yo-yoing is out.
    Last edited by Jota; 2010-07-13 at 11:55 AM.