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Thread: Philosopher

  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Philosopher

    A while back, I was working on creating a divine spellcaster whose source of spells would not be directly from the gods, but some other source. This was what a came up with:

    The Philosopher seeks to find universal understanding of life. This quest can lead him across the world and beyond. Eventually, he or she gains better and better understanding of the nature of reality, and begins to use their own force of will to influence the fabric of existence. From the inside, they generate their own incredible power. All Philosophers have no deity that they worship. This does not mean that they do not believe in the gods, but simply that they seek to find their own way in the world.

    Game Rule Information
    Philosophers (Phl) have the following game statistics.
    Base Attack Bonus: Bad (as a Wizard).
    Hit Die: d4.
    Saves: Special (see below).
    Class Skills: The Philosopher’s class skills are Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (any, each taken separately) (Int), Listen (Wis) Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Use Magic Device (Cha). Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier (x4 at 1st level).
    Alignment: Any. A Philosopher can be of any alignment, although they are generally inclined towards lawful alignments.
    Starting Age: As a cleric.
    Starting Gold: 4d4 x 10gp.
    Favored Class Philosopher is a favored class for elves because of their contemplative nature and affinity for magic, but replaces that of the wizard; they have the option of choosing either.

    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the Philosopher.
    Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Philosophers are proficient with all simple weapons and shields, but not with armor.

    Level  Special Abilities/Feats
    1    Base saves, Quest for Knowledge, Domains, Spells, Philosophy
    2    Instill Principle
    6    Lesser Aspect of Power
    8    Instill Principle
    10   Well of Knowledge
    12   Partial Ascension
    14   Instill Principle
    15   Aspect of Power
    16   Ocean of Comprehension
    18   Greater Aspect of power
    20   One with the Way, Instill Principle
    Spells per day:
    lvl 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9
    1  3   1   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
    2  4   2   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
    3  4   2   1   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
    4  5   3   2   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
    5  5   3   2   1   -   -   -   -   -   -
    6  5   3   3   2   -   -   -   -   -   -
    7  6   4   3   2   1   -   -   -   -   -
    8  6   4   3   3   2   -   -   -   -   -
    9  6   4   4   3   2   1   -   -   -   -
    10  6   4   4   3   3   2   -   -   -   -
    11  6   5   4   4   3   2   1   -   -   -
    12  6   5   4   4   3   3   2   -   -   -
    13  6   5   5   4   4   3   2   1   -   - 
    14  6   5   5   4   4   3   3   2   -   - 
    15  6   5   5   5   4   4   3   2   1   - 
    16  6   5   5   5   4   4   3   3   2   - 
    17  6   5   5   5   5   4   4   3   2   1
    18  6   5   5   5   5   4   4   3   3   2
    19  6   5   5   5   5   5   4   4   3   3
    20  6   5   5   5   5   5   4   4   4   4
    Base Saves: The Philosopher always has a high base will save, but may choose to have either a high fortitude or high reflex save. If he chooses to have a high fortitude base save bonus, then he receives a low reflex base save bonus, and if he chooses to have a high reflex base save bonus, then he receives a low fortitude base save bonus

    Quest for Knowledge
    The Philosopher constantly seeks enlightenment about the multiverse. The Philosopher may choose up to two skills which become class skills for him/her. These skills can never be changed once chosen-they become part of the class. However, these skills must reflect the Philosopher’s alignment – a Lawful Neutral Philosopher would certainly not choose pick pocket, but may instead choose diplomacy.

    Being that he/she follows her own way, not restricted by attachment to deities, a Philosopher chooses his spells differently. A Philosopher has one domain which coincides with his alignment (i.e. a chaotic evil Philosopher may choose either the chaos or evil domains) (true neutral characters may select another domain that is not aligned instead), as well as an additional two other domains. The Philosopher gains the domain powers of these domains, and learns the spells of each domain as (s)he gains the ability to cast spells of apropriate level. At every even level, a Philosopher may learn a spell of the highest level spell they can cast from the cleric spell list. Three levels later, the Philosopher may learn another spell of the same level or lower.

    Spells learned by level:
    “>” means no greater than this level spell
    lvl 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9
    1  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
    2  -   >   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
    3  >   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
    4  -   -   >   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
    5  -   >   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
    6  -   -   -   >   -   -   -   -   -   -
    7  -   -   >   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
    8  -   -   -   -   >   -   -   -   -   -
    9  -   -   -   >   -   -   -   -   -   -
    10  -   -   -   -   -   >   -   -   -   -
    11  -   -   -   -   >   -   -   -   -   -
    12  -   -   -   -   -   -   >   -   -   -
    13  -   -   -   -   -   >   -   -   -   - 
    14  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   >   -   - 
    15  -   -   -   -   -   -   >   -   -   - 
    16  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   >   - 
    17  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   >   -   -
    18  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   >
    19  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   >   -
    20  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   >

    Spell Casting
    The Philosopher casts divine spells. He/she begins play with up to 5 orisons of his/her choosing, and learns an additional cantrip once every two levels. The Philosopher’s spells are very different than those of a cleric. For one, the Philosopher never prays for spells – he replenishes them in a way fitting to him. (For example, a Philosopher of “Carpe Diem” might have to be doing something active, but not strenuous, while he or she regains spells). Philosophers also cast their spells spontaneously, as their spells come from within and thus can be accessed as they wish.* Philosophers do, however, have the option of "preparing" a metamagic feat when they regain spells, but they must get rid of a spell known of that level for that day. I.E. a philosopher with the extend spell feat wants his forcecage to last longer, and so he prepares the spell “extended forcecage”. He now "knows" forcecage as if it was an eighth level spell with twice the duration of forcecage, but he must sacrifice one eighth level spell that he knows in order to “power” the slot for that day. Knowing his party will be fighting a white dragon today, he decides to get rid of polar ray. Thus he can now cast an extended forcecage spontaneously without penalties, but he can not cast polar ray until he next regains his spells. Philosophers choose one mental ability on which to base their spellcasting, fitting to their Philosophy.

    *Note: If a Philosopher ever casts a Miracle spell, then he or she draws from his or her own inner power instead of that of a deity, or requests the aid of a deity whose portfolio agrees with the character’s Philosophy.

    The Philosopher chooses a way that he believes the multiverse works and runs. This may be broad or specific, but the only game term effects is limiting the use of certain spells (see above). All spells which have a descriptor that agree with the philosophy are cast at +1 caster level, and the save DC is raised by one. If for any reason the philosopher violates his/her philosophy, the philosopher loses ALL abilities granted by the class aside from BAB and hit dice (this includes access to and ability to use philosophical feats). If the act was unintentional, then the philosopher must atone, as the spell cast by a cleric/philosopher of his/her alignment, to regain his or her spellcasting abilities. In order to regain other class abilities, however, the philosopher must spend a year in contemplation, reaffirming their beliefs. The actual act of contemplating varies between philosophers. Some may spend their time in deep meditation, whereas others may go out into the world in order to see how well their philosophy holds up when applied to the real world. Philosophers who intentionally violate their philosophy, but on a relatively small level, lose all class abilities, and but may regain them as a philosopher who unintentionally violated their abilities.
    Philosophers who intentionally and grossly violate their philosophy lose all class abilities and can never become a philosopher of their chosen philosophy again. They may atone to a new philosophy, and gain spellcasting abilities. However, in order to regain other class abilities a philosopher must sacrifice 20,000 xp, and spend a year in contemplation. Ultimately, the philosopher must undergo a sort of mental rebirth in which his/her old philosophy is accepted to be false and his/her new philosophy is reaffirmed in his/her mind. If a philosopher violates his/her “second” philosophy in a gross manner, then he/she permanently looses all class abilities.

    Instill Principle
    At second level, and every six levels later, the Philosopher gains one bonus philosophical feat. At the DM’s discretion, this may be a metamagic or item-creation feat.

    Lesser Aspect of Power
    At fifth level, the Philosopher’s beliefs begin to take shape, and make him seem more than mortal. He or she gains a +2 bonus to all Charisma based checks, skills etc, and has a medium magical aura around him, which he can suppress at will.

    Well of Knowledge
    The Philosopher's Knowledge of all things has increased immensly. The Philosopher adds a +5 bonus to all knowlefdge checks made.

    Partial Ascension
    At twelfth level, the Philosopher has gained a tiny divine spark, and has started to ascend mortality. The Philosopher ceases to age, not gaining any aging penalties. When his/her time is “up” instead of dying, the Philosopher merely continues living, but does not gain any further bonuses from age.

    Aspect of Power
    The Philosopher’s power has further increased and he seems almost otherworldly. His or her voice can be heard by anyone in the same room clearly if he or she so wishes (even at a whisper). The Philosopher has also transcended the mortal need for food and water, and no longer needs to eat or drink.

    Ocean of Comprehension
    The Philosopher's ability to reason and comprehend has transcended the limits of ordinary men. The Philosopher gains a +3 bonus to any intelligence based checks, and may make Knowledge checks without ranks in a particular skill.

    Greater Aspect of Power
    The Philosopher has achieved such a great height of power that even archangels and demon princes mark their actions. The philosopher has become literally steeped in the magic of his/her philosophy, emanating a strong magical aura. A further +2 bonus is added to all Charisma based checks, skills, etc, and he/she may select one spell whose level is no greater than 1 to be a spell-like ability useable once per day per point of charisma bonus.

    One With the Way
    Reaching an Apotheoses with his or her philosophy, the Philosopher is now treated as a native outsider, and is respected across the planes. The Philosopher is immune to all mind influencing effects and gains a +2 inherent bonus to all intimidate checks.

    Epic Philosophers
    Epic Philosophers have reached such heights of power that some may even mistake them for quasi deities. Indeed, they may rival them in power.

    Epic Philosophers gain a bonus feat from the Epic Philosopher Bonus Feat list at 23rd level, and one every three levels after. Their caster level increases normally, however, they no longer learn any new spells unless they select feats such as Spell Knowledge or Bonus Domain.

    lvl Special   Caster Level
    21. --------------  +1 caster level
    22. --------------  +1 caster level
    23. Bonus Feat    +1 caster level
    24. --------------  +1 caster level
    25. --------------  +1 caster level
    26. Bonus Feat    +1 caster level
    27. --------------  +1 caster level
    28. --------------  +1 caster level
    29. Bonus Feat    +1 caster level
    30. --------------  +1 caster level

    Epic Philosopher Bonus Feat list:
    Armor Skin, Augmented Alchemy, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Bonus Domain, Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Epic Rod, Craft Epic Staff, Craft Epic Wondrous Item, Efficient Item Creation, Enhance Spell, Epic Combat Casting, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Forge Epic Ring, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Alignment-Based Casting, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Multispell, Negative Energy Burst, Permanent Emanation, Planar Turning, Positive Energy Aura, Scribe Epic Scroll, Spectral Strike, Spell Focus, Spell Knowledge, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity, Tenacious Magic, Undead Mastery, Zone of Animation.

    New Feats
    Philosophical Feats
    Philosophical Feats may only be selected by a divine spellcaster. The feat must reflect the individual’s Philosophy. For example, a True Neutral Druid who believes in passive non-interference, may select the Dao feat, but would never select the Armor of Conviction feat.

    Armor of Conviction [Philosophical] (Su)
    Prerequisites: Cha 15+, Philosopher level 5th or higher.
    Philosophy: any non-passive
    Benefit: You may add you charisma bonus as an armor bonus to your AC.

    Contemplation [Philosophical] (Ex)
    Prerequisites: Int 15+
    Philosophy: any
    Benefit: You remove yourself from worldly matters. Unconcerned with material thoughts of pain, you gain a +3 insight bonus to concentration checks and a +1 competence bonus to all knowledge skills that you posses.

    Dao [Philosophical] (Ex)
    Prerequisites: Wis18+, partial or true neutral alignment, level 12+.
    Philosophy: Passive, focused on non-interference
    Benefit: You believe in living life as life should be. When you taste salt and it is salty, you smile. When the wind ripples through your clothes, you smile. You gain the ability to simply shrug off effects that others would scream at. Once per day per two points of wisdom bonus, you may make a will save in the place of a different save against an effect that allows a save. For example, if a Philosopher were attacked with a disintegrate spell, he or she could make a will save instead of a fortitude save to lessen the damage.

    Superior Understanding [Philosophical] (Ex)
    Prerequisite: Intelligence 17+
    Philosophy: focused heavily on the acruement of knowledge
    Benefit: You may add an extra two skills to your class skill list
    Special: this feat may only be taken once.

    Karmic Elevation [Philosophical] (Su)
    Prerequisite: Dexterity 15+, Intelligence 13+, Wisdom 13+
    Philosophy: focused on karma
    Benefit: You can make yourself to levitate a few inches above the ground at will. In addition, you may cast the spell Levitate once per day per point of wisdom modifier (with a caster level equal to your total philosopher level). Ground, for this ability, is defined as the closest solid surface below your feet.

    Ceribrial Deflection [Philosophical] (Su)
    Prerequisite: Intelligence 15+, Philosopher level 5+
    Philosophy: focused on a definitive, rather than intuitive understanding of existence
    Benefit: You are able to warp reality around you in order to lessen or even divert harmful blows against you. You may add your intelligence bonus to your armor class as a deflection bonus, with the total bonus not exceeding your level/4.

    Smite/Bolster Undeath [Philosophical] (Su)
    Prerequisites: Cha 15+, Wis 15+, Philosopher level 3+, good or evil alignment,
    Philosophy: focus is on death or life.
    Benefit: You can now turn/rebuke undead as per your alignment as if you were a cleric one level lower that your philosopher levels.
    Special: You gain access to the extra turning/rebuking feat, and qualify for other turning feats.

    Intensity [Philosophical] (Ex)
    Prerequisite: Wis 15+, Concentration 14 ranks
    Philosophy: focused on meditation or contemplation
    Benefit: Once per day per point of wisdom modifier, you may "take 20" on any concentration check. However, you will have become intensly immersed in your current task, and thus will suffer a -4 penalty on listen and spot checks for the current and next rounds, and unable to perform any other action during the round that you use this ability.

    These feats are simply guidelines for the “flavor” that they should take. You can make more feats as you like, but remember to keep restrictions high if the feat is “specialized.” You don’t want one philosopher who can do everything simply because your feats have no restrictions other than ability scores.

    Guidelines for Philosophies:
    All Philosophies should make actual intuitive sense to the PC (i.e., the PC must be able to formulate a reason why this might be, to understand the philosophy, and to explain why this character has picked up this outlook on life.). Then, as a DM, review the Philosophy and see if it fits and does not overpower the character. A philosophy should make sense on some level, and should be the source of some moral guidelines for the character. “Killing monsters is cool” is not a philosophy, but an opinion.
    Real wizards use staves

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    totally brisbane

    Default Re: Philosopher

    There is a lot of work put into this class, and you should be proud of the effort you produced : )

    That said, a few things about this class make me raise my eyebrows a little.

    Firstly, am i right in reading this, that they get 3 domains? The section on domains does confuse my small pathetic brain when I read it, does it mean that at every even level, he may choose to learn a 'spell of the highest level spell they can cast' from the 'domain' lists?

    Also, you said that 1 domain must relate to his allignment, vague as that is, what about the other two? Could you have a lawful neutral philosopher with 'healing' as one domain, and WAR and DEATH as the other two?

    Also, having 3 domains, like, i can see a lot of players just picking domains for the granted abilities and spell lists, cause like, 3 sets of domain abilities is neat, and then being able to pick a new spell every level, from 3 domains, thats like, slaardcore.

    You said this class begins play with 5 cantrips, do you actually mean cantrips, or orisons? Cause, wizards/sorcerers/bards get cantrips, lvl 0 divine magic is orisons. Just, thought id put that out there.

    karmic elevation is phrased weirdly. is the abliity 'only' levitation 1/+ wis modifier per day, or like..does the character literally float all the time despite this?

    Also, the actual philosphy aspect is a very good idea. but i can see it being abused most horidly. What if someone was playing a philosopher whose philosophy was

    'I do what i want all the time, and sometimes i help people, sometimes i hurt people, and sometimes I dont!"

    Like, what philosophy are you refering to? Can players just make it up? If a players philosophy included "I heal people" and he had the "healing" domain, when casting healing spells would his caster level then, be counted as '2' higher then regular? Or just 1?
    Sugar, salt, bacon and elf. All the components of a healthy gnolls diet.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Default Re: Philosopher

    I agree with hyena.

    Also, the way you learn new spells is needlessly complex. Or maybe it's not, and I just need a chart to understand it. Make a chart?

    Also, the ability to choose which stat they want to base their spellcasting on sounds good in theory, but combined with the class abilities, CHA seems the best choice. The Philosopher gets a bunch of CHA-related bonuses. The feats seem to be almost all Wisdom-tailored. If I was making a Philosopher, depending on how lpowerful I thought I'd get (for the feats), I'd either pick Wisdom, and get a bunch of the feats, with Cha as my second stat, or primarily cha, with secondary wisdom if I was only getting one or two feats.

    I assume their BAB is like a wizard's, but you should put that in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randel View Post
    How about the fact that humans can apparently breed with anything on two legs (or even four legs if you count dragons)?

    Human: Hey elf, you look like a girl.
    Elf: To a human, everything must look like a girl.
    Human: What?
    Elf: Half-orcs, half-ogres...
    Human: ... shut up.
    Dwarf: Half-dragons, half-kobolds.
    Human: I said shut up!
    Elf: ...
    Dwarf: ...
    Human: ...
    Elf: Centaurs.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Rimouski, Quebec

    Default Re: Philosopher

    Love it. It'll make a great addition to my Monk20/Nomad20/EnlightenedScholar5/TattooedMonk5 build... yeah... philosopher levels with Cerebral Deflection *drools*

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
    idksocrates's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Los Angeles

    Default Re: Philosopher

    The philosopher seems like a class that should only be put in by a DM that knows his players are munchkins, and will enjoy the class for the flavor, and not the godliness that he may get.

    One major way the class might be decided is the spells that the Philosopher can cast. You make no spell list, or any referece that the Philosopher uses another classes spell list, so I assume that the list just hasn't been posted/created yet?

    Also, the feats seem tailored to only be really useful if you specialize in some wisdom scores. And even if you do get several of them, it isn't that beneficial. Many of the feats merely give you AC bonuses (which merely replace any feats that you would otherwise have to take to get armor proficiency).

    Plus, the entire point about choosing philosophies you missed. The feats need to be engineered so that if a philosopher chooses one philosophy, they can't choose several different types of feats because it becomes contrary to their beliefs. This class requires heavy DM monitoring.

    Overall, I like the class, and I might eventually incorporate it into some campaign.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Philosopher

    I updated the class, too try to make some things clearer.

    The class was designed to be intensive in player/DM colaboration. I can be heavily abused, but I think it would be really cool if played well.
    Real wizards use staves

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Re: Philosopher

    Quote Originally Posted by idksocrates
    The philosopher seems like a class that should only be put in by a DM that knows his players are munchkins, and will enjoy the class for the flavor, and not the godliness that he may get
    Why would a DM want to give this class to players who he knows are munchkins and won't play it for its flavor?

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