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    Default (3.5) [PRC] Artillery Mage (Fluff incomplete)

    EDIT: This now has a Warlock-specific successor HERE.


    The thread you are reading right now has slipped into the "Necro-zone" so any further comments/question regarding it should be directed to me via PM.


    Artillery Mage



    "Roger that, bringing the rain." - Setem Meresh, elven artillery mage, just before releasing 2 fireballs onto a group of invading goblins.

    Artillery mages hide from their targets, allowing their stealth-oriented familiars to serve as the focal point for the sight by which they guide destruction to their foes.

    BECOMING AN ARTILLERY MAGE
    ((Hope I got the mechanics of "Obtain Familiar" and the non-core base classes right))
    Almost any arcanist with access to the appropriate spells can become an artillery mage. Warmages unfortunately have a very hard time of it unless they multiclass and put extreme amounts of effort into keeping their spellcasting abilities up to date and to learning to summon a familiar (IE take the Practiced Spellcaster and Obtain Familiar feats). This is a course of training few of them consider worth it. Bard, and Beguiler artillery mages are rarer than hens teeth.

    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Spellcasting: Able to cast Invisibility, Invisibility, Greater, or Invisibility, Mass at at least caster level 5.
    Spellcasting: Must know at least one damaging evocation with range Long, and at least 2 damaging ray spells.
    Feat: Spell Focus(Evocation) OR Weapon Focus(Ray)
    Special: Must have had a familiar from the lowest level you ever took of any arcane casting class that offers such (so 1st for a Sorcerer or Wizard, 2nd for a character who started out in Adept*, and etc), or third level of an arcane casting class, whichever is lower. Life restoring spells are acceptable but only if they were applied at the earliest reasonable time (GMs discretion), otherwisely you must summoned another familiar within no more than a year and a week of the death of the previous one (if the GM does not enforce the year and a day delay from the death of one familiar to the summoning of a replacement, then it much have been as early as reasonably possible).

    *Yes, I realize the circumstances that would lead to a character starting in Adept taking this class eventually are extremely unlikely to come up in most campaigns.

    Class Skills
    (Select one arcane casting class that you had before taking your first level in this class. That class's skill list is the skill list for this class.)
    Skills Points at Each Level: 2 + int

    Hit Dice: d4

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    | Cloak Familiar, Faithful Beyond Death(Fast Re-summoning, 3/4 Experience Loss), Familiar Progression, Spotter|-

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Terminal Guidance, Stealthy Familiar|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Faithful Beyond Death(1/2 Experience Loss)|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Rapid Barrage(2 spells at once, 1 extra spell per day)|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Transmit Personal Spell, Telepathic Link|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Faithful Beyond Death(1/4 Experience Loss), Rapid Barrage (2 spells at once, 2 extra spells per day)|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Transmit Touch Spell, Swift Familiar|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Faithful Beyond Death(1/8 Experience Loss)|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Rapid Barrage (2 or 3 spells at once, 3 extra spells per day)|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Rapid Barrage (2 or 3 spells at once, 4 extra spells per day), Faithful Beyond Death(No Experience Point Loss if same species), Bonus Feat|+1 level of existing spellcasting class [/table]

    Weapon Proficiencies: An Artillery Mage gains no proficiencies with weapons, armor, or shields.

    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    When a new artillery mage level is gained past the first, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in one arcane spellcasting class which he had before he added the prestige class level. He does not, however, gain most other benefits a character of that class would have gained (improvements to the familiar are the exception). If a character had more than one arcane spellcasting class before he became an artillery mage, he must decide to which class he adds each level of artillery mage for the purpose of determining spells per day.

    Cloak Familiar (Su): The duration of any Invisibility,spell you cast (including from a scroll, wand, or other device) ONLY on your familiar is increased to 10 minutes/caster level (20 minutes/caster level if Extended). Similarly the duration of any Invisibility, Greater spell cast ONLY on it is increased to 1 minute/caster level (2 minutes/caster level if Extended). Regardless of how many individuals you cast an Invisibility, Mass on, if one of them is your familiar, then for your familiar ONLY the duration is similarly extended to 10 minutes/caster level (20 minutes/caster level if Extended). It is still broken for the familiar if any member of the group attacks.

    Faithful Beyond Death (Su): You no longer must wait a year and a day from the death of your familiar before you can summon a "replacement", for the spirit of the familiar returns from beyond the grave to heed your call, albeit in a new body. So eager is your familiar's spirit to return to you that you also subtract twice your class level from the time required to resummon your familiar (minimum 1 hour). You may never dismiss your familiar. Killing your familiar, taking obviously and/or overtly suicidal risks with it (as determined by the GM) resulting in its death, or similar may negate your ability to replace it in any way what-so-ever for a year and a day after which you may seek an Atonement spell from a cleric with either the Animal or Magic domain for this intentional transgression. After you received this you may summon your familiar again, using the usual procedures.

    Also at 1st level your bond is so strong that it persists to a faint degree even after death. This reduces the shock of the familiar's death such that you only take 3/4 of the experience loss you would otherwise take.

    At 3rd level you instead lose 1/2 the experience you would otherwise lose.

    At 6th level you instead take only 1/4 the experience loss you would otherwise.

    At 8th this is only 1/8.

    At 10th level you take no experience point loss when your familiar dies, but if you summon it back as a different species then AT THAT TIME you must make the appropriate fortitude save and take 1/8 the resulting experience point loss as a regular arcanist who has a familiar die.


    Familiar Progression (Ex): Unlike most spellcasting prestige classes, levels of artillery mage stack with all other applicable levels to determine your familiar's progression on the familiar table, a portion of which is duplicated below for convenience.

    Spotter (Sp): You may Scry on your familiar at-will, but the range of this effect is 100' feet per class level. Line of sight and line of effect are still not required. This effect does not require concentration to maintain, but while you are doing it, your own body is deaf and blind. This deafness does not cause a spell-failure chance.

    Stealthy Familiar (Su?): At 2nd level or higher, your familiar has an enhancement((untyped?)) bonus to move silently and hide checks equal to your highest arcane caster level.

    Terminal Guidance (Su): At 2nd or higher level as long as between the two of you, your familiar and you have line of sight(ignoring the fact that you are blind while using spotter) and effect to every part of a path from you to target (including a point in space), you may send any ray or evocation spell along that path. Count the spell range along that path, rather than in a straight line. In no case does this grant a greater effect or more chances to have an effect against a target than casting the spell normally, with a direct line of sight and effect would allow (so, no, you can't zig-zag a Lightning Bolt across a target for increased damage or to force multiple saving throws).

    Rapid Barrage (Su): This allows you to cast several spells at once, then launch them together. Select 2 spells to cast (or three, if you prefer, and are at least class level 9). You do NOT need to decide the specifics of targeting for those spells at that time. None of the spells involved (after taking into account metamagic) may be from the highest spell-level you are capable of casting. Apply any metamagic feats to each spell if you are an spontaneous caster, then, regardless of if you are a spontaneous caster increase the casting times AGAIN as if you were a spontaneous caster and the spells were metamagiced. You must then cast them in order, however none of them actually go into effect (shooting lightning or whatever) until the last one is cast. Any concentration checks required are as if it was the highest level spell +2 to the DC for each additional spell. A failed concentration check or voluntarily stopping in the middle wastes all of the spells involved.
    In order to not give your position away you have learned to cast very quietly while doing this, gain a bonus to the DC to be heard equal to twice your class level. You are limited to casting a single extra spell (so one set of 2) per day at 4th level. At 6th level you can do this twice per day. At 9th level you can cast 3 extra spells per day, either as 3 sets of 2 total, or as one set of 3 spells at once, and one of 2 at once. At 10th level you can string on up to 4 extra spells per day either in two sets of 3 total spells, one set of 3 and two sets of 2 total, or 4 sets of 2 spells total.

    Telepathic Link(Su): At 5th level you and your familiar as permanently joined as per Telepathic Bond. This is extremely useful for directing your familiar to coordinate better.

    Transmit Personal Spell (Su): As long as you are scrying on your familiar you may cast spells that affect it, and only it, as if you were touching it.

    Swift Familiar (Ex): All movement speeds of your familiar increase by 50%. If your familiar has a natural fly speed, its maneuverability with it increases by one step, to a maximum of Perfect.

    Transmit Touch Spell (Su): As long as you are scrying on your familiar you may "load" it with spells for its "deliver touch spells" ability as if you were touching it.

    Bonus Feat (Su): At 10th level you gain either Enlarge Spell or Widen Spell as a bonus feat. If you have both of those already, you instead gain either Empower Spell or Maximize Spell. If you have all 4 of those already, you instead gain any one metamagic feat.


    PLAYING AN ARTILLERY MAGE
    Protective magic items are a must for your familiar(including something to boost move silently checks), and even at lower levels, spells that specifically effect only a familiar can be very useful. Invisibility, is very important, strongly consider a wand. Once you get theTransmit Personal Spell class feature, defensive buffs for your familiar become even more important to have prepared. If you took this class with a toad familiar, weep bitterly at your foolishness every night, but also realize that it has a reasonably high armor class and can be gently tossed short distances if you don't think anyone would hear the "splut" sound.
    Combat: As well as shooting around corners, Terminal Guidance is useful for avoiding hitting your allies with line effects.

    Advancement: Straight-up blasting is the most obvious route to take with this class, but non-damaging attack spells and battle-field control can also be very effective. Short duration buffing of allies can also work well with this class.
    Resources: If you were trained by the military for this role, you might still have some general contacts. Otherwisely, probably about the same as if you had levels in whatever base class you used to qualify for this class.
    NOTHING OF SIGNIFICANCE MODIFIED FROM BLANK PRC TEMPLATE PAST THIS POINT
    Spoiler
    Show

    ARTILLERY MAGES IN THE WORLD
    A quote of somebody else talking about your class!

    A brief description of how your class is perceived in the world and how he interacts with the world.
    Daily Life: Some general information about the typical day in the life of your class.
    Notables: Make up some cool information about notable figures in the history of your class. It's best to give a little information from one of the good alignment and evil alignment (unless it's a good or evil only class).
    Organizations: Some information about organizations dedicated to the practice of your class and other organizations which members of your class will be attracted towards.

    NPC Reaction
    This is an in detail description of how NPC's would perceive your class and the immediate generalization that people would give of your class.

    ARTILLERY MAGES IN THE GAME
    Expect a more systematic and careful approach to dungeons as the artillery mage scouts his familiar ahead and tries to set things up to protect both himself and his familiar. At the same time, Rapid Barrage encourages "going nova".
    Adaptation: This is a place where you put in detail how people can adapt your class into their campaign setting.
    Encounters: This is a place to describe what sort of encounters PC's will have with NPC versions of your class.

    Sample Encounter
    Give an example of how one might encounter a member of this PrC.
    EL x: Give the encounter level and description of a sample member of this class and a stat block for him/her.


    Name
    Lawful Evil/Female/Dwarf/Wizard 5/Artillery Mage 4
    Init +1, Senses: Listen +2, Spot +2, Darkvision 60'
    LanguagesCommon, Dwarven, Undercommon, Drow
    ------------------------------------------------
    AC , touch , flat-footed ()
    hp 31 (9d4 HD)
    Fort +, Ref +, Will +10
    ------------------------------------------------
    Speed ft. ( squares)
    Melee
    Base Atk +, Grp +
    Atk Options
    Combat Gear
    Spells Prepared
    Supernatural Abilities
    -----------------------------------------------
    Abilities Str 8, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 19 (15 Base), Wis 14, Cha 9
    SQ
    Feats Weapon Focus(Ray),
    Skills Spellcraft +16
    Possessions

    Whisper
    Lawful Evil/Female/Enhanced Bat/9 HD



    Edit Oct. 21 12:02 PM Eastern: Nerfed Rapid Barrage by making it so you can't use your highest level slots with it. Might consider saying that one of the spells per use can be from your highest slot.

    Edit Nov. 15 4:19 PM Eastern: Thanks to Remus on #CFF I corrected a spelling error, a terminology error, and added Invisibility, Mass to the list of spells augmented by Cloak Familiar
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2010-10-16 at 10:13 AM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillary Mage

    Four whole levels of this PrC are spent buffing your familiar and nothing else. I can't really talk about the other class features because they're not statted out yet, but they better be really good, because no one wants to buff their familiar this much (unless the other abilities are good and rely heavily on the familiar, which is another problem altogether because familiars are very very squishy).

    I'd definitely like to see more of this class though, it could be very interesting and I like the concept, but a PrC that buffs familiars is very iffy.
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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillary Mage

    Oh, it gets "worse"... the effect of "Expendable Spotter" "Faithful Beyond Death" at later levels is to reduce the XP loss when your familiar dies, so in a way it only counts as an improvement for the familiar.

    But yes, this is a class designed to make familiar's cool, without actually giving them any direct combat powers. It is inspired by the way spotting vehicles and infantry work to vector in artillary in modern times. Note that the familiar is going to end up highly stealthy... now note that as of second level you can move your familiar up to a corner, invisible, and then send fireballs around curving that corner, down 60' feet to the room full of orcs. The orcs won't have line of sight or effect to you, and your familiar won't be breaking Invisiblity or giving its position away via having your spells emerge from its position (if it is up near the ceiling you can skim the fireball beads along the floor and vice-versa).

    As for first level, just think of it as at-will, dual function Clairvoyance/Clairaudience, unlike talking to your familiar, it doesn't have to come back.

    As of 5th level you can buff your familiar for a rapidly developing situation without it returning to you.

    As of 7th level if you have a touch spell that you want to mix in with the rays and fire-balls and lightning-bolts (Oooo... zig-zaging lightning-bolts may be TOO good... even with a clause that the damage from re-crossing a given target with a given casting doesn't stack), you can cast it for your familiar to deliver without recalling your familiar to you and then sending it out again.

    EDIT: Oh... and Rapid Barrage: That lets you charge up spells and launch them all at once for a devestating first strike. Sorta to Quicken Spell what Sudden Strike is to Sneak Attack, except that it doesn't raise the level of the spells in question, and even wizards can do it on the fly. It also has marginal utility for over-loading energy resistances by concentrating your damage into a single round even once the battle has started.

    Ideas to make the class more juicy (if people still think it needs it):
    -Give more meta-magic feats.
    -Give the Familiar Toughness, or even Improved Toughness at first level.
    -Have levels 1, 5, and 10 (or something) count as two levels for advancing the familiar on the chart (so you end up with 3 points better SR for the familiar by level 20).
    -Give full casting progression, rather than 9/10, and call keeping a familiar alive from 1st to 5th level the main cost that means that not EVERY Arcanist would take this class.
    -EDIT: Change the natural armor increase that the familiar gets from being a familiar into a deflection bonus.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2009-07-12 at 07:38 PM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillary Mage

    Ok, I'm liking the idea a little more now. However, your familiar buffs are too close together, they're almost all at level 1-4. You could take 2 levels in this class and get the best abilities! (spotter/terminal guidance)

    Maybe the ability to teleport your familiar? Make him able to teleport back to you if things get bad? Maybe as a higher level ability, allow you to increase the range when using the spotter ability, or a certain amount of times per day not require LoS? So you could teleport him away, like 2 miles away, and shoot off a disintegrate at your target, then have the familiar teleport back. That might be a little too powerful though. Just some ideas.
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2009-07-12 at 03:42 PM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillary Mage

    Pretty damn awesome.

    One thing though...you may want a clause of some sort saying that your Familiar gains unbeatable spell resistance against any area-of-effect spells you cast. Nothing is worse than accidentally killing off Fluffy with a poorly placed Fireball.

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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillary Mage

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaynor View Post
    Ok, I'm liking the idea a little more now. However, your familiar buffs are too close together, they're almost all at level 1-4. You could take 2 levels in this class and get the best abilities! (spotter/terminal guidance)
    I had no idea how many levels to make this thing for a bit. If I have to I can squeeze it down/cut it off to 5 or even 3 levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaynor View Post
    Maybe the ability to teleport your familiar? Make him able to teleport back to you if things get bad? Maybe as a higher level ability, allow you to increase the range when using the spotter ability, or a certain amount of times per day not require LoS? So you could teleport him away, like 2 miles away, and shoot off a disintegrate at your target, then have the familiar teleport back. That might be a little too powerful though. Just some ideas.
    Interesting idea... perhaps have two paths (like TWF vs Archery for rangers... except I doubt people would think this is as weak as that)... one gives rapid barriage (see description above), and the other gives a progression of the ability you describe. For a brief description of Rapid Barrage, see the edit I ninja'ed into my reply to your first comment.



    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    Pretty damn awesome.
    Thank you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    One thing though...you may want a clause of some sort saying that your Familiar gains unbeatable spell resistance against any area-of-effect spells you cast. Nothing is worse than accidentally killing off Fluffy with a poorly placed Fireball.
    If the mage and/or fluffy are that stupid they deserve what they get. Then again I could slap the name "VERY close support" on it and give it either as a high level ability, or as a third path. In the second case it would start out as a rapidly increasing bonus to the SR for such cases, with the capstone being full immunity.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2009-07-12 at 08:01 PM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillary Mage

    May as well point out that it's spelled "Artillery".

    Looks like an interesting class overall, but I would change the XP penalty reduction, and instead give an ability, some like 1/day, return your familiar to life for 1/2 the normal XP cost. You could lower the XP cost even more, but I wouldn't let it hit 0, because then people will just send their familiars out on suicide missions all the time. At any rate, definitely don't have it as you do now, which would just cause people to get their familiar killed on purpose (or just flat-out kill it themselves) and summon a new one to have a familiar suited to the task at hand. (Fighting in a fire temple? Stab the crow and summon up a lesser fire elemental!)
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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillary Mage

    Well, I beleive the summoning ritual DOES take 24 hours if I remember correctly. So that is a cost (the 100 gp is utterly trivial at those levels), but you do have a very valid point. I had a vague idea of having the rest of the penalty (the part that got negated by the class ability) hit if you got a new familiar instead of resurrecting the old. In any case, I think something needs to be changed about that, just have to figure out exactly what. EDIT: Have now added "Faithful Beyond Death" and rolled the experience loss reduction into that. The name works much better than "Expendable Spotter", which I used ONLY because nothing better occured to me at the time and I was trying to get my thoughts typed up before I ran out of momentum.

    One wild hair of an additional ability might be to grant crafting feats, and/or a reduction of crafting costs, but if you use those abilities those items will only work for the familiar. This would help offset the problem of having to have two sets of equipment. OTOH this class already has a lot of abilities.

    EDIT: One minor ability might be something that plays off of rapid barrage and the fact you can pick the path for your spells that if you hit someone with two spells at the same time, then they both get a +2 on any required to-hit roll, as per a flanking bonus.

    EDIT^2: On double checking I find that a slain familiar can not be replaced for a year and a day. This messes up the class itself (easy enough to put a bypass in at 1st or 2nd level), but more importantly the XP penalty for having adventured for too long without a familiar between levels 1 to 5 inclusive. Will have to think of how to handle that. EDIT: Have fixed the class proper in this regard with Faithful Beyond Death, although, like everything at this stage I am still very much open to further changes. The prerequisites are also edited, but I am much less sure about the quality of the result in that case, I only know that it works much better than the original.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2009-07-15 at 10:18 AM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillery Mage (Crunch Ready for critique)

    Have made some pretty major additions and edits since the last time this thread got bumped, here are the ones I can remember:
    • Swapped around the first XP penalty reduction and Rapid Barrage.
    • Typed up the mechanics for transmit personal spell, transmit touch spell, and Rapid Barrage. Rapid Barrage may be clear as mud right now, so help with clarifying it would be appreciated.
    • Explained about entering the class (need help with feats and classes I don't have access to to make sure I got some of this right).
    • Changed "Expendable Spotter" to "Faithful Beyond Death" which also incorporates a rapid re-summoning ability at first level with penalties for abuse.
    • Reduced the duration boosts for Cloak Familiar to "only" times 10.
    • Slapped in a telepathy ability at 5th level... strongly considering putting it at 1st so the player won't have to RP the familiar not knowing where it should go or whatever.


    Someone in a chat room actually suggested that familiars are SO very very fragile that I should give ALL the benefits of Faithful Beyond Death at first level. They also said that it seemed a very niche class that PCs would be unlikely to take. Note that they only were working from a description of the class, rather than actually looking at it, and may not have fully known about the stealth abilities.

    I still need to put in some stuff to prevent Lightning Bolt from being abused.

    Considering putting in something that reduces the 24 casting time necessary to replace a slain familiar.

    Any thoughts on how I handled the skill list? I thought it was an elegantly simple solution.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2009-07-13 at 09:46 AM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillery Mage (Crunch Ready for critique)

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    [*]Typed up the mechanics for transmit personal spell, transmit touch spell, and Rapid Barrage. Rapid Barrage may be clear as mud right now, so help with clarifying it would be appreciated.
    I'd help...but I really can't make head or tail of most of it. Can you explain what you were going for in a different fashion, even if it's not rules-worthy, so we know what we're trying to put into the class ability?

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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillery Mage (Crunch Ready for critique)

    Ok, I will try:
    A few times per day you can spend some time to cast 2 spells in a row, and they all go off when you finish casting the last one.

    Round 1: Full round action to cast Scorching Ray... nothing happens, and an observer who failed a spellcraft check would think you flubbed the spell.

    Round 2: Full round action to cast Fireball... when you finish several scorching rays and a fireball bead go whipping over the castle walls to strike the trolls crewing the oversized balista that has been stimying the approach of your sides adamintine tipped battering ram.

    Thus you don't give your position away as early, and enemies don't have time to spread out to avoid being hit by the second Fireball after the first one hits. At higher levels you can do 3 at once instead of 2.

    As I said earlier, in tactical effect (assuming you don't get heard) it is vaguely to Quicken (despite the fact that it INCREASES the casting times) what the ninja's Sudden Strike ability is to the rogue's Sneak Attack.

    Another example (to explain the casting time stacking thing for spontanious casters using metamagic) for a Sorcerer 6/Artillitery Mage 9:

    Round 1: Full round action to start casting maximized magic missile. Nothing happens.

    Round 2: Full round action to finish casting maximized magic missile. Nothing happens.

    Round 3: Full round action to cast lightning bolt. Nothing happens.

    Round 4: Full round action to cast Melf's acid arrow. Five pink aetherial shuriken*, a snaking stream of crackling electricity, and a glob of tenacious acid fly simultaniously from the sorcerers hand before his turn next round and strike the sleeping titan.

    *This sorcerer has a weird sense of humor or something...
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2009-08-07 at 10:46 PM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillery Mage (Crunch Ready for critique)

    Ah. Got it.

    Personally? I'd just prefer to see you hand out free uses of Sudden Quicken, as its a little less complicated (that, and the ability to toss out 3+ spells a round is a little to powerful). Alternatively, perhaps something like the following...

    Rapid Barrage I: As a full-round action, the Artillery Mage may cast a single spell as a standard action, and a single spell of 1st level or lower as a move action.

    Rapid Barrage II: As a full-round action, the Artillery Mage may cast a single spell as a standard action, and a single spell of 2nd level or lower as a move action.

    Rapid Barrage III: As a full-round action, the Artillery Mage may cast a single spell as a standard action, and a single spell of 3rd level or lower as a move action.

    Rapid Barrage IV: As a full-round action, the Artillery Mage may cast a single spell as a standard action, and a single spell of 4th level or lower as a move action.

    Rapid Barrage V: As a full-round action, the Artillery Mage may cast a single spell as a standard action, and a single spell of 5th level or lower as a move action.

    Then give this ability at levels 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 or levels 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. Slightly less overall power, but more much clearer. Add Quickened spells for added fun and profit.

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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillery Mage (Crunch Ready for critique)

    I just wanted to pop in to say that I've never wanted to play a spellcaster who didn't immediately replace his familiar with an Alternate Class Feature. Until now.

    This is an amazing concept, and one perfect for something in a game I'm DMing. I think I'll genuinely be using this, and probably more than just once or twice, which isn't something I can say about most stuff in the homebrew forum.

    So, just...thank you

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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillery Mage (Crunch Ready for critique)

    Djinn in Tonic:
    Interesting suggestion, my gut reaction is negative, mostly because it seems to require less forethought and risk/benefit analysis to use your version, but looked at it from a different perspective my underlying concept might be too much of a gamble, where-as yours is something people could actually use without making a given combat a cake-walk or a disaster for the PCs based on a few quirks of terrain and a listen check or three...

    I suppose it would help if I knew how Sudden Quicken works (for both prepared and spontanious casters if that makes a difference).

    I will ponder all this, but in the mean time, what do you think of the last round of edits appart from that?


    Xefas:
    Thank you very much. Two things:
    1.) How much should I push to get this thing done, and should I focus on getting the lower levels hammered out, or are you going to be creating the NPCs in question at 10+ class levels or whatever?
    2.) As with any homebrew, it would be REALLY nice if you could take a few notes about how it went and post them to this thread.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2009-07-13 at 10:00 AM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillery Mage (Crunch Ready for critique)

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Djinn in Tonic:
    Interesting suggestion, my gut reaction is negative, mostly because it seems to require less forethought and risk/benefit analysis to use your version, but looked at it from a different perspective my underlying concept might be too much of a gamble, where-as yours is something people could actually use without making a given combat a cake-walk or a disaster for the PCs based on a few quirks of terrain and a listen check or three...
    That's actually the reason I opted for what I did. Your ability, while interesting, is only useful if A: The familiar is spotting, B: The enemies remain stationary (you have no clause for what happens if a target isn't in the targetted location for Ray spells, for example), and C: Your allies aren't in combat. It turns the fight into an Artillery Mage only event.

    I suppose it would help if I knew how Sudden Quicken works (for both prepared and spontanious casters if that makes a difference).
    For either caster: 3/day, treat a single spell as quickened, with no increase in spell level. I believe it allows a sorceror to cast a quickened spell.

    I will ponder all this, but in the mean time, what do you think of the last round of edits appart from that?
    Honestly? I only read over the new stuff. I'll take a look later today.

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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillery Mage (Crunch Ready for critique)

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Djinn in Tonic:
    Interesting suggestion, my gut reaction is negative, mostly because it seems to require less forethought and risk/benefit analysis to use your version, but looked at it from a different perspective my underlying concept might be too much of a gamble, where-as yours is something people could actually use without making a given combat a cake-walk or a disaster for the PCs based on a few quirks of terrain and a listen check or three...
    The version you have right now basically mimics Delay Spell--cast spells in sequence and set them off at the same time within 1-5 rounds. I personally like Djinn's suggestion, though another idea would simply be to require Delay Spell as a prerequisite and then state that using Delay Spell doesn't increase level or casting time.
    Last edited by PairO'Dice Lost; 2009-07-13 at 11:03 AM. Reason: No need to address SQ. Damn djinn ninjas.
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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillery Mage (Crunch Ready for critique)

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Xefas:
    Thank you very much. Two things:
    1.) How much should I push to get this thing done, and should I focus on getting the lower levels hammered out, or are you going to be creating the NPCs in question at 10+ class levels or whatever?
    2.) As with any homebrew, it would be REALLY nice if you could take a few notes about how it went and post them to this thread.
    Well, it being summer break and all, with most of my players off on vacation, I probably won't be needing to make the NPC Artillery Mages for another...I dunno...month?

    My campaign world has a small communist nation of Spellscales (Races of the Dragon), where the majority of the population have some manner of inborn arcane talent. Even most people who would be 'commoner 1 or 2' are instead a more sorcerous version of adept 1 or 2.

    They'll most likely be going to war soon, and I wanted them to be kind of distinctive on the battlefield. Duskblades mounted on drakkensteeds and so forth. I wasn't sure what to do for their purely spellcaster support. I could do just plain old sorcerer shooting fireballs into the fray, but I think Artillery Mage would make them so much more interesting.

    I'm thinking most will just be Sorcerer 6/Artillery Mage 2.

    Speaking of which, I could see a range increase on spells being appropriate for the class.

    And I'll be back with feedback when I use them . Though that may be a long while.

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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillery Mage (Crunch Ready for critique)

    One problem here is I DON'T want to give many abilities that have much use once initiative has been rolled in a direct line of sight fight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    That's actually the reason I opted for what I did. Your ability, while interesting, is only useful if A: The familiar is spotting,
    Not ALWAYS... you could be invisible or hidden yourself (perhaps casting Silenced spells), or the enemy could be unsuspecting (note the second example with the titan, and also the bonuses to the DC of Listen checks to hear you). But usually that is correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    B: The enemies remain stationary (you have no clause for what happens if a target isn't in the targetted location for Ray spells, for example)
    Ah, that is a point I need to clarify! You don't have to actually pick the targets until the moment the spells launch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    C: Your allies aren't in combat. It turns the fight into an Artillery Mage only event.
    Well, for instance, if there is a closed door between you and the target, and the party starts out around a corner 40 feet from the door, the rogue can sneak up to it, probably check for traps, then give you a slow 10 count on his fingers before flinging open the door, at which point the fighter who VERY slowly moved JUST around the corner charges as your spells fly past him. Second round the Rogue tumbles past the fighter into flanking position to deliver a sneak attack while you cast a spell normally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    For either caster: 3/day, treat a single spell as quickened, with no increase in spell level. I believe it allows a sorceror to cast a quickened spell.
    Ok, now I know. That sounds much too general purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    Honestly? I only read over the new stuff. I'll take a look later today.
    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost
    The version you have right now basically mimics Delay Spell--cast spells in sequence and set them off at the same time within 1-5 rounds. I personally like Djinn's suggestion, though another idea would simply be to require Delay Spell as a prerequisite and then state that using Delay Spell doesn't increase level or casting time.
    Well, it is more limited in that you can't run away after casting the delayed spell, and the duration is less in most cases, and it extends the casting time even if you are a prepared caster... but yeah, basically. As for making delay spell a pre-requisite, that seems a little harsh for a class that is supposed to be entered when you can only cast 3rd level spells who doesn't have the higher level slots to make that sort of thing really worth it (at least as I think of such things).

    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas
    Speaking of which, I could see a range increase on spells being appropriate for the class.
    Well, they can get Enlarge Spell at 10th level as a bonus feat for exactly that reason. I could give a bonus that stacks with that sort of thing... but really, it rarely comes up, and I didn't want to give out to many bonus feats. I suppose SINCE it rarely comes up, that giving it as a specific bonus feat at an earlier level, or some sort of bonus (perhaps +10% range per class level) that stacked with that feat MIGHT not hurt anything.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2009-07-13 at 12:47 PM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) [PRC] (Work in Progress) Artillery Mage (Crunch Ready for critique)

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    As for making delay spell a pre-requisite, that seems a little harsh for a class that is supposed to be entered when you can only cast 3rd level spells who doesn't have the higher level slots to make that sort of thing really worth it (at least as I think of such things).
    Well, keep in mind that you'd give the ability to use it without an adjustment as part of the class and that you can take a feat at the same level you gain the PrC to meet the prereqs, so you could give the ability at 1st level and have them enter at 6th at the same time they pick up Delay Spell. Of course, you don't have to do it this way, just wanted to point out that it is an option.
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