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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
    The Pressman's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Corvallis, OR

    Default Final Rough Draft of the Polymath [3.5 base class]


    artwork pending

    "Maybe with just a tad more acid..."-Hieronymus Van Der Kjεrd, Polymath

    The Polymath is eccentric and unconventional, and is never afraid to try something new. His fighting style makes use of ranged attacks, with his potions doing splash damage. Up close, he prefers not to be there, but if he is there, a large blunt object or a small blade will suffice.

    Tinker, Doctor, Chemist, Analyst

    The Polymath functions as a combination of a naturalist, alchemist, and engineer. They can build, research, concoct, doctor, but their magic isn't so hot. With their innate manipulation abilities, combined with their knowledge of complex alchemical formulζ, they can whip up a potion spewing clock in.....wait forrrrr iiiiiittt....a day! Although they don't have the resources of wizards, or the labs of alchemists, they do have semi-psionic powers. They construct, concoct, heal, study, and invent, with a little spellcasting added on. The Polymath is interested in learning, creating, and innovating. Polymaths often come from small towns and a university education. Some are prodigies, some are not. But they all share a thirst for understanding that is part of their very souls.

    The Polymath
    {table="head"]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th

    1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Manipulate, Improvise 4/day, Scribe Scroll, Alchemical Splash(Smokescreen)|3|—|—|—|—|—|—

    2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Research 2/day, Brew Potion, Assemble 1/day, Alchemical Splash(Ephebian Fire)|3|1|—|—|—|—|—

    3rd|+2|+1|+1|+3|Craft Wondrous Item, Alchemical Splash(Acid)|3|2|—|—|—|—|—

    4th|+3|+1|+1|+4|Assemble 2/day, Improvise 5/day, Alchemical Splash(Epoxy)|3|3|1|—|—|—|—

    5th|+3|+1|+1|+4|Research 3/day, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Doctor|4|3|2|—|—|—|—

    6th|+4|+2|+2|+5|Improved Alchemy|4|3|2|—|—|—|—

    7th|+5|+2|+2|+5|Improvise 6/day, Craft Wand|4|3|3|1|—|—|—

    8th|+6/+1|+2|+2|+6|Research 4/day, Assemble 3/day|4|3|3|2|—|—|—

    9th|+6/+1|+3|+3|+6|Craft Rod|4|3|3|3|—|—|—

    10th|+7/+2|+3|+3|+7|Improvise 7/day, Assemble 4/day|4|4|3|3|1|—|—

    11th|+8/+3|+3|+3|+7|Research 5/day|4|4|4|3|1|—|—

    12th|+9/+4|+4|+4|+8|Craft Staff, Assemble 5/day|4|4|4|4|2|—|—

    13th|+9/+4|+4|+4|+8|Infuse Item|4|4|4|4|3|—|—

    14th|+10/+5|+4|+4|+9|Forge Ring, Research 6/day, Assemble 6/day|4|4|4|4|4|1|—

    15th|+11/+6/+1|+5|+5|+9|Alchemical Spray(Smokescreen)|4|4|4|4|4|2|—

    16th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+5|+10|Assemble 7/day|4|4|4|4|4|3|—

    17th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+5|+10|Alchemical Spray(Acid)|4|4|4|4|4|4|1

    18th|+13/+8+3|+6|+6|+11|Alchemical Spray(Epoxy), Assemble 8/day|4|4|4|4|4|4|2

    19th|+14/+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Alchemical Spray(Ephebian Fire)|4|4|4|4|4|4|3

    20th|+15/+10/+5|+6|+6|+12|Assemble 2-at-a-time 10/day, Research 2-at-a-time 10/day|4|4|4|4|4|4|4


    Class features

    Races:Many Elves and Half-Elves take up this profession, as it plays towards their inquisitive nature. Dwarves are good, as their stolid fortitude helps them persevere. Humans, as always, are prominent. Some rare Half-Orc Polymaths exist, but are usually non-mainstream.
    Abilities: A strong intelligence is good, and a strong fortitude helps them survive their work. A good dex score helps them grasp small parts.
    Role:Utility Noncombatant
    Alignment: Any, usually chaotic good. Most polymaths work to help people, whether it be via conveniences or medical services.
    Hit Die: d8
    Class Skills:
    Knowledge (all skills, taken individually), Craft (all skills, taken individually), Heal, Disable Device, Concentration, Open Lock, Spot, Search, Use Rope, Decipher Script, Use Magic Device and 1 of the player's choosing.
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) Χ 4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier
    Bonus Feats:
    Armor and Armament
    The Polymath is proficient with light and medium armor, and all simple weapons. As a result of his travails working in fields to fund his work, he is also proficient with Scythes.

    Special Abilities

    Manipulate(SLA): The Polymath can move small objects instinctively. This ability lets him move a small (6 lb or less) at a distance of max 40 ft, but with out much force. If it hits something, it will stop. He can also use this ability like Stick, and can adhere something up to 7 lbs to another. It can be removed easily, but will stick while something is disturbing it if the caster maintains concentration (1 standard action). All effects are subject to DM fiat. Treat this ability as Telekinesis, but weaker, yet still cast by a level 5 caster.
    Assemble(SLA): The Polymath, after honing his skills, can now assemble things, like mechanisms, or concoct things, like potions. It can lift no more than 10 lbs at a time. They must have first collected all the ingredients needed for the object, and must have the blueprint/formula/plan in their portfolio.
    Time Needed=(((# components)*(number of steps))*(30 seconds))+(cooking time{optional})
    DC=(# components)+(# steps)
    Improvise(EX): The Polymath often has studied in diverse fields, and is very intelligent. If faced with a problem, he can improvise a device or compound as a 3 minute action. The complexity of the device/compound is limited, and if it overreaches the boundaries of what could be sensibly found there, it becomes negated. To use, the player makes a DC 10 Craft check for the craft most closely related to the item to be produced.
    Research(EX): The Polymath can absorb information and transcribe it for later use. The information can come from diverse sources, such as books*, Scrolls*, animals, plants, mechanisms, compounds, locations, people, etc. The information can be used to add to their Portfolio.
    *including those of magic
    Improved Spellcasting
    The Polymath does not suffer from Arcane spell failure while wearing light armor. Medium armor imposes usual DC.
    The Polymath, educated in anatomy and physiology, can doctor and fix people/living things. He starts out with knowledge of the base races. To add more, he must research. This grants a +4 to healing, magical or skill based.
    Improved Alchemy(EX)
    The Polymath can brew potions with considerably less cost to both components and time. He has to use 25% less components, and they take 50% less time to make. Note, however, that because he usually works on his own, he cannot make more than 3 at a time with this ability. Making beyond this is subject to the usual constraints.
    Tools of the Trade
    The Polymath is proficient with Light Hammers and Picks.
    Improptu Spellcasting
    The Polymath has spontaneous spellcasting.
    Item Creation
    The Polymath has the same Item creation feat progression as the Artificer.
    Improptu Weapon(EX)
    The Polymath studies many disciplines. This has let them develop their skills to the point where they know how to fight with many things that people would not think of as weapons. This lets them fight with tools like hammers, crowbars, planks, etc, and not be penalized. Damage done is by the weapon closest in category to the improptu armament.
    Alchemical Splash
    The Polymath can create potions that have a damage factor. Learned from his days enduring chemical spills, he can create several potions, including Fireball, Explosion, and Smokescreen. It takes 8 hours to prepare potions, and he can make 3 at a time. These are mechanical (game mechanics) potions, and therefore are different from standard potions. They act as splash-damaging objects. They attack the target square plus the squares within 5 feet of it.
    Ephebian Fire|Alchemist's Fire
    Epoxy|Tanglefoot Bag
    Infuse Item
    The Polymath can imbue an item that they have built or bought with spells from his portfolio, and then that item, when activated, produces an effect akin to the spell being cast. This could be when the item is thrown, is drunk, is activated, explodes, etc. It could even be when a clock finally rings. This involves casting the spell as one level higher. It basically allows an item, such as a stone, a clock, etc, to cast a spell, predetermined, once, when something, predetermined, happens to it. The spell expires after 24 hours, and at that point, the spell will no longer be cast when the event occurs.
    Alchemical Spray
    At level 15, the Polymath has refined his weaponized potions to the point where they have a spray effect when burst. Excellent for crowd control, they hit all squares within 10 ft of the target.

    The Polymath uses a portfolio to keep blueprints, diagrams, recipes and spells in one place. The Portfolio is not a bound book, but instead a briefcase/folder kind of thing. Starting size is 100 pages.

    Polymath Spell-List:
    In Progress
    0th (Sketches): Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Read Magic, Mending, Detect Poison, Detect Secret Doors, Resistance, Dancing Lights, Light, Message, Open/Close, Stick, Arcane Mark, Prestidigitation, Create Water, Cure Minor Wounds, Know Direction, Summon Instrument
    1st: Identify, Know Greatest Enemy, Master's Touch, Alarm, Endure Elements, Hold Portal, Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, Shield, Mage Armor, Obscuring Mist, Grease, Tenser's Floating Disc, Disguise Self, Silent Image, Animate Rope, Enlarge Person, Erase, Expeditious Retreat, Feather Fall, Jump, Magic Weapon, Reduce Person, Cure Light Wounds, Command, Summon Monster 1, Charm Person, Magic Weapon
    2nd: Make Whole, Know Vulnerability, Weapon Shift, Status, Dispel Magic, Arcane Lock, Protection From Arrows, Web, Detect Thoughts, Locate Object, See Invisibility, Continual Flame, Darkness, Invisibility, Minor Image, Alter Self, Darkvision, Knock, Levitate, Pyrotechnics, Rope Trick, Spider Climb, Cure Moderate Wounds, Darkness, Silence,
    3rd: Quick Potion, Know Opponent, Ruin Delver's Fortune, Dispel Magic, Explosive Runes, Tongues, Suggestion, Leomund's Tiny Hut, Wind Wall, Illusory Script, Invisibility Sphere, Major Image, Fly, Gaseous Form, Haste, Secret Page, Shrink Item, Water Breathing, Create Food and Water, Cure Serious Wounds, Charm Monster, Sculpt Sound, Speak with Animals
    4th: Globe of Invulnerability, Dimension Door, Leomund's Secure Shelter, Minor Creation, Arcane Eye, Invisibility (Greater), Mass Enlarge Person, Polymorph, Stone Shape, Speak with Plants
    5th: Break Enchantment, Leomund's Secret Chest, Major Creation, Teleport, Dominate Person, Bigby's Interposing Hand, Persistent Image, Seeming, Fabricate, Passwall, Telekinesis, Permanency, Shadow Walk
    6th: Antimagic Field, Analyze Dweomer, Contingency, Permanent Image, Programmed Image, Control Water, Disintegrate, Move Earth, Heal, Veil

    The Assemblage Fund
    The Polymath has an Assemblage Fund that works much like the Artificer's craft reserve. That is, it lets the maker use crafting points instead of XP when building, concocting, or constructing. The points are not cumulative, and expire with each level.
    Assemblage Fund
    {table="head"]Level|Fund Points
    Last edited by The Pressman; 2010-08-01 at 11:16 PM.
    Endless Thanks go to Akrim.elf for the excellent avatar of an antique Gordon-Style Letterpress. With haberdasherical accessory.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Djinn_in_Tonic's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Stuck in a bottle.

    Default Re: Final Rough Draft of the Polymath [3.5 base class]

    As requested, a review.

    First off, your concept is a little all over the place. Not really a bad thing, but it makes your class lack focus.

    Now, on to the review...

    Class Features Section

    5 skill points a level? Just give them the full 6, as no published class gets an odd number. Also, there is no skill called Knowledge. What you want is Knowledge (all skills, taken individually). Alphabetical order also helps.

    Proficiency with light picks, armor, and scythes makes little sense, honestly. ESPECIALLY the reasoning for scythe proficiency, as not all Polymaths will have that in their background. Also, if you want them to not suffer arcane spell failure, make that a class feature, not part of the proficiency list. At best, he shouldn't suffer the penalty when in light armor, not all armor.

    Class Table Section

    That's a rather sad table for the last 10 levels...anything you can do to make it more interesting? I don't really get any special abilities past level 10.

    Class Abilities

    Improvise, Assemble, Research, and Manipulate aren't worded well, seem like strange abilities for the class, and all rely on DM fiat to figure out exactly what they can do. That's not very good design right there: as a character taking this class, I'd be confused by what my powers actually are. Also, why the psionic nature to what is basically a tinker class? Finally, you just suddenly stop the uses per day progression. Why?

    I'd never use Impromtu Weapon. I have a terrible attack bonus, and no reason to enter combat with a table leg or a plank. I'd rather have a class feature I actually would use.

    You never explain the potions you give as class features, making it impossible to comment on them.

    Infuse Item is strange: how does this work? Can I cast spells without using it? What's the trigger for actually casting the spell? How do I infuse an item, and what happens if I do? How long does the infusion last before I can't use it? ...and so on. Not well worded: it only has the flavor description, not the actual rules.

    Spell Section

    Some odd choices stick out: the polymorph/shapechange spells, charm person, the cure spells, heal, dominate person, wish, gate. Why add these in when they don't really fit the flavor you've set out? Also, why does the spell list increase to 9th level, when the table stops at 6th level?


    My conclusion is that you don't know what you want this class to be, and, as such, it's all over the place. There are about 3-4 different concepts floating in here, but you haven't yet brought them together, or isolated the one you really want. Abilities are vaguely defined or completely undefined, and there is a huge discrepancy between the spells in the table and the spells listed in the text. You need some serious revisions, although most of the revisions really come from working out the mechanical details of your abilities and making levels above 10th actually worthwhile.

    -The Djinn
    Last edited by Djinn_in_Tonic; 2010-08-01 at 10:38 AM.


    2oz Djinn
    5oz Water
    1 Lime Wedge


    Pour Djinn and tonic water into a glass filled with ice cubes. Stir well. Garnish with lime wedge. Serve.

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