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    Default Elemental Guardsman PrC [3.5 PEACH]

    ELEMENTAL GUARDSMAN




    This is a 10-level prestige class for my previously published elemental casters. Inspired by its namesake, the Elemental Guardsmen originally presented in the Rokugan Campaign Setting (pp. 68-70), it also borrows from the Swiftblade and Jade Phoenix Mage. The elemental guardsman enables an elemental caster to adopt a more martial role in combat, taking the fight to his foes with spell and steel.

    TL;DR comments are spoilered here.
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    • This class supports the archetype of the swords-and-sorcery hero who wields both spell and blade, with a strong alignment towards a single element (although you can easily dip other elements with the feats provided earlier in this thread). It blends spellcasting, martial maneuvers, and elementally-themed immediate and swift action abilities. Although it has many powers, most of them are of short duration, and you'll quickly find your swift and immediate actions at a premium. Especially after 3rd level, the elemental guardsman tends to be more mobile than other characters, because martial maneuvers and quickened smiting spells tend to make you hit hard enough that a full attack is often not necessary.
    • At higher levels, elemental aspect allows you to gain the benefit of powerful elemental forms without sacrificing your gear or ability to make weapon attacks (although an elemental guardsman with void as a chosen element will need to invest in a ghost touch weapon).
    • I have tried to ensure that it gets fun, interesting abilities at all levels, such that players will never be bored or disappointed on level-up and will truly feel that the benefits gained are worth the sacrifice of their base class features.
    • I'd like this to balance at the power level of the swiftblade or jade phoenix mage, both of which were strong inspirations for the class.



    Changes made in response to Playgrounder feedback will be spoilered here:


    REQUIREMENTS
    To join the elemental guardsmen, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria:

    Base Attack Bonus: +3.
    Skills: Concentration 6 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 9 ranks, Spellcraft 6 ranks.
    Feats: Elemental Spell Focus, Smiting Spell.
    Spellcasting: Must be able to cast 3rd level arcane spells (without early entry tricks)
    Weapon Proficiency: Must be proficient with at least one martial weapon.
    Special: Must fulfill either of the following requirements;
    1. Possesses one of the following class features: Call the Storm, Channel the Dream, Crashing Waves, Ritual of Flame, or Sense Void; or
    2. Must have spent the entire previous level using all 3rd-level spell slots to exclusively cast spells of the element for which you have Elemental Spell Focus.



    Hit Die: d8

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Spells Per Day|Man. Known|Man. Readied|Stances Readied

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Chosen element, elemental smite, elemental guard stance, soul of the elements 1/day (clarity)|--|1|1|1

    2nd|
    +2p
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Spell and steel|+1 level of existing class|0|0|0

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Swift elemental smite|+1 level of existing class|1|0|0

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Elemental infusion, soul of the elements 2/day (repose)|--|0|1|0

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Purity of the elements|+1 level of existing class|1|0|0

    6th|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Elemental aspect 1/day (medium)|+1 level of existing class|0|0|1

    7th|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Greater elemental spell focus, soul of the elements 3/day (stillness)|--|1|1|0

    8th|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Elemental aspect 2/day (large)|+1 level of existing class|0|0|0

    9th|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Elemental archon stance|+1 level of existing class|1|0|0

    10th|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Mastery of elements, elemental aspect 3/day (huge), soul of the elements 4/day (fury)|--|0|1|0[/table]


    CLASS SKILLS (4 + Int mod per level)
    An elemental guardsman’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Iaijutsu Focus (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int) and Spot (Wis).
    An elemental guardsman learns an additional class skill based on his chosen element: Tumble (Dex) for fire, Sense Motive (Wis) for air, Balance (Dex) for earth, Swim (Str) for water, and Hide (Dex) for void.


    CLASS FEATURES
    All of the following are class features of the elemental guardsman.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The elemental guardsman gains no proficiency with weapons or armor.
    Spells: At each level except 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th levels, the elemental guardsman gains improved caster level, spells known, and spells per day as if he had advanced a level in another arcane casting class he possesses.
    Maneuvers: At each odd-numbered level, you gain an additional martial maneuver known. You may select your maneuvers from the Iron Heart or Tiger Claw disciplines. You also have access to an additional discipline based on your elemental focus: Desert Wind for fire, Setting Sun for air, Stone Dragon for earth, Diamond Mind for water, or Shadow Hand for void.
    You gain an additional maneuver readied at 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th level.
    Stances Known: At 1st level and again at 6th level, you learn a martial stance from one of your disciplines listed under Maneuvers above.
    Chosen Element (Ex): Upon taking your first level in the elemental guarsdsman class, declare one element for which you have the Elemental Spell Focus feat. This element becomes your chosen element, and it is this division of the guardsmen that you join. Your choice of element influences your list of class skills and available martial disciplines, as described above. It also determines what benefit you gain from most of your other class abilities, as described below. Your chosen element is the defining characteristic for this class, and once made, the choice cannot be changed, even if your DM normally allows retraining.
    Elemental Smite (Ex): When casting a spell of your chosen element, you can apply the Smiting Spell metamagic feat to the spell without increasing its casting time or spell level.
    Elemental Guard Stance (Su): You learn how to channel the energy from one of your stances in a new way, adopting the traditional martial stance of the elemental guard. While you are in a stance from any discipline you know, you can forgo its normal benefit as a swift action to gain the effect of elemental guard stance. This ability lasts as long as you would maintain the stance. You can also stop using elemental guard stance and resume gaining the normal benefit of the stance as a swift action.
    While you use this ability, your caster level increases by half your class level (minimum +1), up to a maximum of your Hit Dice. You also gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC. In addition, when you first activate this ability, you can choose to expend an arcane spell slot or prepared arcane spell of your chosen element. If you do, you also gain an elemental aura that damages your attackers. Any creature that strikes you takes 3 points of damage per spell level, with a type shown on the table below (select a type of your choice when assuming this stance).
    {table=head]Element|Damage Type
    Air|Electricity or nonlethal
    Earth|Acid or bludgeoning
    Water|Acid or cold
    Fire|Fire or light
    Void|Untyped[/table]
    Reach weapons, such as longspears, do not endanger their users in this way. Creatures that are in a grapple with you take the damage once per round at the beginning of their turn. To those who can see you, your aura appears as pulsating sheath of your chosen element visible just below your skin (turbulent winds or crackling electricity for air, blowing ash or whirling stones for earth, globules of acid or eddies of snow for water, licking flames or motes of light for fire, and pitch blackness broken by twinkling stars for void).
    Soul of the Elements (Su): The elemental guardsman learns to embody his chosen element to empower himself, and possibly affect nearby allies or enemies as well. An elemental guardsman can activate Soul of the Elements as an immediate action, once per day. To use this ability, the elemental guardsman must currently be under the effect of elemental guard stance, elemental archon stance, or elemental aspect. Each ability described below requires both a minimum elemental guardsmen level and a minimum number of ranks in the Knowledge (arcana) skill to qualify. If the elemental guardsman does not have at least 9 ranks in Knowledge (arcana), he does not gain Soul of the Elements until he acquires the needed ranks. Soul of the Elements has the descriptor of the elemental guardsman's chosen element.
    Soul of the Elements is similar to several other class features, such as Call the Storm, Channel the Dream, Crashing Waves, Ritual of Flame, and Sense Void. The elemental guardsman may expend daily uses of any of these abilities to activate Soul of the Elements, and vice versa, provided the abilities share the elemental descriptor of his chosen element. For example, an emberhaunt/elemental guardsman has Chosen Element (fire) and possesses both Ritual of Flame and Soul of the Elements. Both of these abilities have the fire descriptor, so he may pool his uses per day in the two abilities.
    At 1st level, an elemental guardsman with at least 10 ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can embody elemental clarity, gaining an ability from the menu below according to his chosen element. He gains the benefit listed below, and may also provide a benefit or hindrance for allies or foes within 30 ft as well. If the effect is not immediate, it lasts until the beginning of the elemental guardsman's next turn.
    {table=head]Element|Effect on self|Effect on others
    Air|see through illusions|foes' invisibility is suppressed
    Earth|ignore cover and penalties for attacking/defending while prone|foes cannot claim cover
    Water|immune to surprise|foes cannot make Hide checks
    Fire|ignore concealment and total concealment penalties|foes cannot feint or demoralize
    Void|gain blindsight 60 ft range|allies gain uncanny dodge[/table]

    At 4th level, the elemental guardsman gains an additional use per day of Soul of the Elements, and if he has at least 13 ranks in Knowledge (arcana), he can embody elemental repose, gaining an ability from the menu below according to his chosen element.
    {table=head]Element|Effect on self|Effect on others
    Air|next ranged attack or ranged touch attack is reflected on attacker|allies may use normal AC against next ranged touch attack
    Earth|gain DR 20/-, immune to trip, grapple, stun|allies gain DR 5/-
    Water|heal all damage, up to ˝ maximum hp|allies automatically stabilize
    Fire|cure all fatigue/exhaustion and fear on self|cure either fatigue/exhaustion or fear on allies
    Void|next damaging effect is reflected on attacker|allies gain improved uncanny dodge against next attack[/table]

    At 7th level, the elemental guardsman gains an additional use per day of Soul of the Elements, and if he has at least 16 ranks in Knowledge (arcana), he can embody elemental stillness, gaining an ability from the menu below according to his chosen element.
    {table=head]Element|Effect on self|Effect on others
    Air|immune to ranged attacks and ranged touch attacks|--
    Earth|immune to all damage|--
    Water|ignore all effects that limit mobility|--
    Fire|ignore all magical penalties to attacks, saves, checks, and AC|--
    Void|gain spell immunity|--[/table]

    At 10th level, the elemental guardsman gains an additional use per day of Soul of the Elements, and if he has at least 19 ranks in Knowledge (arcana), he can embody elemental fury, gaining an ability from the menu below according to his chosen element.
    {table=head]Element|Effect on self|Effect on others
    Air|Mighty cyclone, as the 17th level storm lord ability|--
    Earth|Rock storm deals 1d6/level bludgeoning damage to all foes|--
    Water|Maelstrom, as the 17th level wavekeeper ability|--
    Fire|Burning heat, as the 17th level emberhaunt ability|--
    Void|Void pulse deals 1d6/level damage to all foes; slain foes are disintigrated|--[/table]

    Spell and Steel (Su): An elemental guardsman knows that some foes cannot be defeated with magic alone, but must be put down with cold steel. Upon reaching 2nd level, you may expend an arcane spell slot or a prepared arcane spell of your chosen element as a swift action to refresh an expended martial maneuver of equal or lower level.
    Swift Elemental Smite (Ex): When an elemental guardsman of 3rd level or higher applies the Smiting Spell metamagic feat to a spell of his chosen element, the spell is also quickened, as if with the Quicken Spell feat, without increasing its spell level.
    Elemental Infusion (Su): An elemental guardsman of 5th level or develops profound insight into his chosen element, and gains the class feature associated with his element, as shown on the table below.
    {table=head]Element|Class Feature|From Class
    Air|Cloud Sight|Storm Lord
    Earth|Earth Sight|Earth Dreamer
    Fire|Constant Searing Spell|Emberhaunt
    Void|Self/No Self|Void Disciple
    Water|Fog Sight|Wavekeeper[/table]
    While you are using your elemental infusion, your eyes acquire a distinctive otherwordly appearance appropriate to your element.
    Purity of the Elements (Su): One cannot harm the mountain, the ocean, the wind, or the raging volcano. One cannot harm the world. As an immediate action, an elemental guardsman of 5th level or higher can embrace this truth and immerse himself within his element to gain protection from hostile magic. By expending an arcane spell slot or a prepared arcane spell of his chosen element, he gains spell resistance equal to his character level +10. This benefit lasts for a number of rounds equal to the level of the spell or spell slot expended.
    Elemental Aspect (Su): At 6th level, an elemental guardsman gains the ability to encase his form in a protective shell of his chosen element once per day. He may increase his size if he wishes, up to a maximum of Medium. His gear also grows to match his size, although any piece of equipment returns to its normal size one round after leaving his possession. He gains racial bonuses to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution and natural armor as if he were an appropriately sized elemental of his chosen element, and gains the elemental’s slam attack (although he can use weapons instead, if he prefers), movement modes, and extraordinary and supernatural abilities. He also gains the feats listed for an elemental of his size. He retains his own type and racial attributes, but gains the subtype of his chosen element.
    The effect lasts one minute per character level, or until the elemental guardsman changes back. Changing form is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. Elemental Aspect is a wild shape ability (and counts as such when meeting prerequisites) and has the descriptor of the elemental guardsman’s chosen element. It doesn’t interfere with the elemental guardsman's spellcasting.
    Upon activating Elemental Aspect, the elemental guardsman regains hit points (but nothing else) as if he had rested for the night. If slain in aspect form, he reverts to his normal shape (but remains dead).
    The elemental guardsman gains an additional use per day of this ability at 8th level, and may assume up to Large size. He gains a further use per day at 10th level, and may assume up to Huge size.
    If your chosen element is Void, you gain Strength and Dexterity bonuses appropriate to an air elemental of your size, and also gain the elemental’s fly speed and feats. You do not gain its special abilities. Instead, you gain the following abilities:
    Airless Aura (Su): Your body is surrounded by an aura of near vacuum at all times. The means that any creatures adjacent to you have no air to breathe and must hold their breath.
    Disrupt Essence (Su): Living creatures hit by your touch attack must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + ˝ hit dice + Cha modifier) or take 1d2 points of Constitution drain. When you drain a victim’s Constitution, you gain 5 temporary hit points, no matter how many points you drain. These points last for up to 1 hour. Constitution drain will reduce the number of rounds of remaining breath for any creature affected by your airless aura.
    Incorporeal (Su): You are incorporeal and gain the incorporeal subtype. You gain a deflection bonus to AC equal to your Charisma bonus (minimum 1). You gain an incorporeal touch attack that deals 1d4 points of damage. This damage does not increase when your size increases. If you are 8th level or higher, you may make 2 incorporeal touch attacks as a full attack; these are not weapon attacks and you do not qualify for iterative attacks.
    Greater Elemental Spell Focus: Upon reaching 7th level, an elemental guardsman gains Greater Elemental Spell Focus for his chosen element as a bonus feat. If he already has Greater Elemental Spell Focus from an earlier feat slot, he may immediately retrain that earlier feat slot.
    Elemental Archon Stance (Su): You learn how to channel the energy from one of your stances in a new way, adopting the traditional martial stance of the elemental guard. While you are in a stance from any discipline you know, you can forgo its normal benefit as a swift action to gain the effect of elemental archon stance. This ability lasts as long as you would maintain the stance. You can also stop using elemental archon stance and resume gaining the normal benefit of the stance as a swift action.
    While you use this ability, your caster level for spells of your chosen element increases by +7, up to a maximum of your Hit Dice + 2. You gain Fortification and a +4 enhancement bonus to your natural armor. In addition, when you first activate this ability, you can choose to expend a 2nd level or higher arcane spell slot or prepared arcane spell of your chosen element. If you do, you also gain the ability to reroll any attack rolls, saves, skill checks, or ability checks that roll lower than the level of the spell slot you expended. You may not reroll any die roll that has already been rerolled, nor may you reroll if you rolled a natural 1 on an attack roll or saving throw. After rerolling, you must take the second result, even if it is worse than the first.
    Your reroll abilitylasts for only one minute, although the other abilities of this stance persist normally thereafter. You can take a swift action to refresh this stance if you wish, expending another spell slot or prepared spell to activate the reroll ability as normal.
    Mastery of Elements (Su): At 10th level, your connection to your chosen element grows so profound that when you assume an elemental aspect, you can become a mighty engine of destruction, overwhelming foes with your raw power. When you assume an elemental aspect, you may expend a 6th level or higher arcane spell slot or prepared arcane spell of your chosen element as part of the action required to change your form. If you expend a 6th level spell, you assume the form and abilities of a greater elemental of your chosen element, instead of a huge elemental. You also gain a +2 bonus to the save DCs of any abilities granted by elemental aspect. If you expend a 7th level spell, you assume the form and abilities of an elder elemental, and your bonus to save DCs increases to +4. If you expend a spell of 8th level or higher, you assume the form and abilities of an elemental monolith, and your bonus to save DCs increases to +10.
    Invoking mastery of elements reduces the duration of your elemental aspect to 1 round/level.
    If your chosen element is void, you gain the normal benefits as described under elemental aspect, but your stat bonuses and bonus feats are as for a greater air elemental, elder air elemental, or air elemental monolith of the appropriate size.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2010-07-30 at 05:47 PM.
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