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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    I mentioned it above, and it really seems that the Hero's/Fiendish Wings ability should become something along these lines. Wings, Mount or Servant, probably with a fourth ability for those who don't want any of the three AND key off Divine Spirit as an ACF for all four classes from this ability, so you get 5 options). I'm still with the idea of a Phantom Steed-esque special mount, which progresses differently, sorta like the idea with Astral Constructs so that you get an aquatic mount, a flying mount and even a burrowing mount which resemble animals you'd expect. So, you'd get Wings, Astral Mount, Lesser Servant, Divine Spirit and a fifth ability that could cover 4th, 9th, 14th and 19th level, and which would apply in their own way upon the four classes.
    That fifth ability could be something like a weapon that is tied to the Paladin. The Paladin could make his smites even more effective when they are channeled through this weapon, and it would gain in power as he levels. You could, in fact, give him a list of options here too, for different abilities that all make sense for a Paladin's weapon (I.E. holy, sacred flame, undead smiting, demon smiting, etc etc). If the weapon is destroyed, the Paladin could train X hours with another to turn it into his holy weapon.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Though, it may conflict with the amount of space I have for all classes. Paladin has little problem, since I could just shift the latter class abilities into the second page and extend the ability a bit more, but if I were to make it specific for each class, Blackguard has only one page (50,000 characters) worth of info so I have to format the ability to be concise for that class, and also Anarch and Justiciar.

    Wow, all these changes, and I still haven't posted Anarch, Justiciar OR the improved PrCs...
    You could make them more like Alternate Class Features rather than actually a part of the main post, and just link them into the Paladin post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
    NOTHING is simple. NO EXCEPTIONS. No, not even that.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - the Justiciar

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    That fifth ability could be something like a weapon that is tied to the Paladin. The Paladin could make his smites even more effective when they are channeled through this weapon, and it would gain in power as he levels. You could, in fact, give him a list of options here too, for different abilities that all make sense for a Paladin's weapon (I.E. holy, sacred flame, undead smiting, demon smiting, etc etc). If the weapon is destroyed, the Paladin could train X hours with another to turn it into his holy weapon.

    [...]

    You could make them more like Alternate Class Features rather than actually a part of the main post, and just link them into the Paladin post.
    I dunno...a Soulbound Weapon doesn't seem to cut it for me. It treads a lot into Soulknife and Psychic Warrior, but it makes you dependent on your weapon. I was thinking something along the lines of Heroism/Good Hope/Greater Heroism, something about your conviction flowing through you. That doesn't mean you can't go with 6 abilities.

    In any case, I might just go with Wings OR Mount as the 4th/9th/14th/19th level class abilities, with Lesser [Alignment] Servant, Divine Spirit, Celestial Weapon and the Heroism thing as ACFs. I do like the idea of having lots of ACFs, and since the latter four abilities don't fit into the idea of expanded mobility while the former two do, it would result in a variety of options. Though, it would also result in a myriad of ACFs (there's Serenity/Intuition which I haven't posted yet, Hands of a Healer (which could use a different name so as to separate it from the Retooled Healer ability of the same name) and Touch of the Fallen; that would make 10 ACFs for a small group of classes.

    Still, being this short, I think it's time to add the third leg of the Project, no? And this one definitely will be interesting...

    JUSTICIAR

    Illustration of Judge Magisters by Yoshitaka Amano.

    "I am the Judge, the Jury, and the Executioner. Justice is not served except through me." - Mantra of the Order of Ineffable Justice

    MAKING A JUSTICIAR
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    ABILITIES: Same as Paladin and Blackguard (Charisma, Constitution, Strength)
    RACES: Any race that has a strong attachment to Law, a group of strong men, and a dominant Lawful deity will have ordained justiciars on their society. Of these, humans are the most notable by virtue of their varied codices of law. Dwarves, with their strong attachment to law and tradition, hold very few justiciars; those who do are usually the cudgel of Moradin and his law, a force of order to be reckoned.
    On the savage lands, only the hobgoblins are suited for the responsibility of the justiciar, but they are few and far between. Some say that formians, natural inhabitants of Mechanus, hold a group of holy warriors who serve as the inspired protectors of the Law of the Multiverse; such warriors could easily be justiciars, coming from the ranks of elite warriors or myrmarchs.
    ALIGNMENT: Any lawful. Justiciars represent the application and enforcement of Order, much like Paladins represent Good and Blackguards represent Evil. Usually, a justiciar will be ordained as an officer of the law in the land he inhabits, with only a few occasions having the justiciar be a warrior of the faith or a defender of absolute Law much like an inevitable would.
    STARTING GOLD: As PHB Paladin
    STARTING AGE: As PHB Paladin


    Class Skills
    The justiciar class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis) and Use Rope (Dex)
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x4.
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

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    Use Rope? Well, it's not the best skill, but still...

    The skill list of the Justiciar is well-suited for investigations, hence Search and Gather Information are crucial. Adding Diplomacy and Intimidate allows for playing the "good cop/bad cop" routine, and with a high Charisma, it is definitely a given that one or both of the abilities will be highly useful. One thing they miss, and that could be added to them, would be Listen and Spot (perceptive skills) for purposes of pursuit. However, I'll leave that to whomever provides me with the strongest argument towards it.


    THE JUSTICIAR
    ——Spells per Day——
    Level Base Attack
    Bonus
    Fort
    Save
    Ref
    Save
    Will
    Save
    Special 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Aura of law, neutralize, verdict 1/encounter 2
    2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Diehard, conviction 2
    3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Sanction 3
    4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Turn/rebuke outsider 3 0
    5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Verdict 2/encounter, improved verdict 3 1
    6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Bonus feat, custody 3 1
    7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Submission 4 1
    8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Mettle 4 2 0
    9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Sanction, persecution (10 feet) 4 2 1
    10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Bonus feat, verdict 3/encounter 4 2 1
    11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Investiture of law 5 2 1 0
    12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Severe custody 5 3 2 1
    13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Improved mettle 5 3 2 1
    14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Bonus feat, persecution (15 feet) 5 3 2 2 0
    15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Sanction , verdict 4/encounter, devastating verdict 5 3 3 2 1
    16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Ordinance 5 4 3 2 1
    17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Unyielding resolve 5 4 3 3 2
    18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +5 +11 Bonus feat, absolution 5 4 4 3 2
    19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Persecution (30 feet) 5 4 4 3 3
    20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Judge of legend, verdict 5/encounter 5 4 4 3 3

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    This would be the application of the chassis for a Law-aligned class. You'll notice I highly based this on the Mega-City Judges and the Judges from the Ivalice Alliance games; characters who impart martial law and receive ordinance from their land to enable any verdict, from a mere fine to execution. Thus, you'll see most of the classes are riddled with legal terms, including the class abilities. As the mantra implies, they are no mere police.


    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the justiciar.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Justiciar are proficient with all simple and martial weapons plus the bolas and net, with all kinds of armor (heavy, medium and light), and with all kinds of shields.

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    Same as Paladin, so not much to say. Well...except they're proficient with bolas and net. You might add the lasso and mancatcher to the list; ideally, a Justiciar is proficient in capturing weapons such as those. The idea is that they are not only proficient with martial weapons, but with those weapons that allow them to capture their enemy unharmed (in case they are serving as police and not as the judge).


    Aura of Law (Ex): The power of a justiciar’s aura of law (see the detect law spell) is equal to his justiciar level, just like the aura of a cleric of a lawful deity. Unlike the aura ability below, this aura is always active.

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    Same as Paladin, Blackguard and Cleric. Note that you don't have to follow a religion to be a justiciar; however, they do get their power from following the letter of the Law.


    Spells: A justiciar casts divine spells, which are drawn from the cleric spell list plus a few spells added to the list below. A justiciar can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time.
    To learn or cast a spell, a justiciar must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a justiciar’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the justiciar’s Charisma modifier. Like other spellcasters, a justiciar can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Justiciar. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score. When Table: The Justiciar indicates that the justiciar gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Charisma score for that spell level. The justiciar does not have access to any domain spells or granted powers as a cleric does.
    A justiciar casts spells the same way a bard or sorcerer does, except his spells are divine in origin and thus he may cast them in any kind of armor. A justiciar may learn (and cast) any spell on the cleric spell list (see Player’s Handbook), with the following restrictions: a justiciar may not learn or cast a spell that has the chaotic descriptor, nor he can cast spells that are opposed to his moral alignment; lawful good justiciar may not cast evil spells, and lawful evil justiciar may not cast good spells. A justiciar, however, may learn and cast spells that are not available on the cleric spell list and that are unique to him. The spells that he may cast alongside those he may already learn within the cleric spell list appear below.
    Upon reaching 8th level, once per week and at every three class levels he gains, a justiciar can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged. A justiciar may swap only a single spell at any given moment, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the specified level.

    Table: Justiciar spells known
    Level 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    1st 2
    2nd 2
    3rd 3 11
    4th 3 21
    5th 3 2
    6th 3 3
    7th 4 3 11
    8th 4 3 21
    9th 4 4 2
    10th 4 4 3
    11th 5 4 3 21
    12th 5 4 3 2
    13th 5 5 4 3
    14th 5 5 4 3 21
    15th 6 5 4 3 2
    16th 6 5 4 4 3
    17th 6 5 5 4 3
    18th 6 6 5 4 4
    19th 7 6 5 5 4
    20th 7 6 5 5 5
    1 Provided the justiciar has sufficient Charisma to have a bonus spell of this level.

    As noted above, a justiciar need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.

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    Same as Paladin...well, by now you should know the gist of it; since it's basically using the same chassis, you can see how many things will be pretty much the same.

    The Justiciar works much like the Blackguard in that they have few restrictions in their spellcasting, mostly moral restrictions. The actual restrictions and added spells are seen later.


    Neutralize (Ex): A justiciar may choose to deal non-lethal damage instead of lethal damage with any weapon he wields with no penalty on his attack roll. As well, he may deal lethal damage instead of non-lethal damage with weapons that deal non-lethal damage with no penalty on his attack roll.

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    This is basically like the Paladin's merciful ability. If you're going for capture, you may use your weapons to deal non-lethal damage; on the other hand, if you're using a weapon that deals non-lethal damage (mancatcher comes to mind), you may deal lethal force with it. Not that difficult.


    Verdict (Su): The justiciar’s signature ability is the supernatural power to enforce a verdict upon a judged creature. The nature of this ability is rooted on his mundane ordinance as an officer of the law, coupled with his divine ordinance as a warrior of law. Whenever a justiciar is offering judgment, his final determination must be complied, with the responsibility that the creature has been judged fairly.
    In combat, a justiciar may issue a single verdict to a creature per encounter. The justiciar may choose to issue the verdict as part of a melee attack or individually. If the justiciar issues the verdict as part of a melee attack, he adds his Charisma modifier to the attack roll. Once the verdict is issued, the creature takes extra damage and suffers a special effect.
    Unless stated otherwise, a justiciar deals extra damage equal to his class level if using a melee attack, or half his class level otherwise. A justiciar may choose to deal nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage if it so desires. As well, all saving throw DCs are equal to 10 + half the justiciar’s class level + the justiciar’s Strength modifier; lawful creatures gain a bonus of +1 to the save per four HD or character levels, while a chaotic creature has a penalty of -1 to the save per four HD or character levels. A justiciar may not issue a verdict freely; on a city where law enforcement exists, a justiciar’s verdict fails if the creature has not been proven guilty. On dungeons, a road, open plains and lawless cities, a justiciar is free to issue his verdict to any opponent while in combat (except on lawful outsiders). A justiciar may use this ability even outside of battle, but only against one person at a time.

    Deterrent: a justiciar’s verdict penalizes the guilty creature by reducing his capability to react. If a creature fails its Will save, the creature gains a morale penalty on all attack rolls, AC, saving throws, skill checks and ability checks equal to 1 plus 1 per four class levels of the justiciar. This penalty remains in effect so as long as the creature is in line of effect to the justiciar and for 24 hours thereafter.

    Incapacitating: a justiciar’s verdict halts the creature in place. A creature that fails its Fortitude save becomes stunned for a number of rounds equal to the justiciar’s class level. Immunity to stun does not protect against the stunning ability of the justiciar’s verdict. A creature that succeeds on the save becomes dazed instead for the same number of rounds (immunity to daze protects against this effect)

    Retributive: a justiciar’s verdict is physically and especially painful to the creature. A creature takes double damage from the justiciar’s verdict; if the verdict was issued without a melee attack, the creature may attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage.

    At 5th level, and every five levels thereafter, the justiciar may issue a verdict one additional time per encounter (or to one other creature, if outside of battle)

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    This would be the justiciar's version of smite. However, unlike smite, it has a very interesting difference.

    When I refer to "encounter", I generally go with the idea of "whenever you're forced to roll initiative". This is important, because unlike smite, verdict can be used outside of battle. Well...smite CAN be used outside of battle, but it generally implies drawing a weapon and smiting. Verdict, on the other hand...

    The main thing you'll notice with verdict is that it works equally as a smite and as an effect. With the distinction of dealing non-lethal damage, you can as a justiciar impose a verdict on just about any lawbreaker that you find, and that creature won't be slain by means of your smite. This adds a whole layer of usefulness to verdict, because it implies the divine power granted to the justiciar to impart order in civilization. You'll notice that most abilities are keyed off the application of verdict.

    Oh, you will notice one thing. Verdict, unlike smite, is not limited by alignment. Lawful creatures will be capable of resisting because they generally follow the law, while chaotic creatures will have a penalty because they most likely resent the lawgiver, not necessarily because they are the most likely to commit a crime. Verdict works on the premise that the justiciar is imparting a divine punishment to someone that deserves it, and ethical alignment doesn't see whether you follow the law in other occasions or not. Justice is blind like that; it has no favorites. Well...probably a few in this case.

    UPDATE: To follow the trend of the Paladin and the Blackguard, all saves are based on the Justiciar's Strength modifier. However, the benefit from alignment still stands, so you don't need to have an immense Strength if you're using the abilities on chaotic creatures.


    Bonus Feat: At 2nd level, and every four levels after that, a justiciar gains a bonus feat in addition to those he obtains by means of improving levels. These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as fighter bonus feats, divine feats or domain feats. A justiciar must still meet the prerequisites for a bonus feat, as usual. For purposes of fighter level prerequisites, a justiciar is considered to have a fighter level equal to his justiciar level -4.

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    Same as Paladin and Blackguard. The idea here is to reinforce their "fighter" bit, in case the addition of bonus feats seems odd.

    Good Domain feats, of course, are the Law Devotion and Strength Devotion feats. Destriction Devotion is also a good one, as well.


    Diehard: At 2nd level, a justiciar gains the Diehard feat as a bonus feat. He does not need to meet the prerequisites of this feat to acquire it.

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    Not much to say. Increased resilience.


    Dangerous Offender (Ex): A 2nd level Justiciar may add his Charisma modifier to all damage rolls when wielding a shield. If he wields a tower shield, he may add the modifier to his attack rolls as well.

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    Same as Paladin's Protector's Might. The hardest thing was to find an appropriate term for the ability. I was THIS CLOSE to call it "Objection!", if only because the idea was pretty hilarious.


    Sanction (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, a justiciar channels the power of his ordinance through his body. Treat this ability as the paladin’s divine aura, except all auras are replaced as follows:

    Fairness: grants morale bonuses to all allies if opponents have morale bonuses; grants penalties to all enemies if allies have penalties. Amount shifted is equal to the bonus (or penalty) or the justiciar’s Strength modifier, whichever is lower.

    Fortune Stabilizing: denies luck bonuses and penalties to all creatures. Denied amount is equal to bonus (or penalty) or the justiciar’s Charisma modifier, whichever is lower.

    Interdiction: reduces hit point damage of any kind dealt to allies on area (except backlash damage or damage dealt to the ally by itself) by an amount equal to Constitution modifier. Damage ignored is instead taken by a chaotic creature or a creature issued a verdict.

    Punishment: deals damage equal to half the justiciar’s Strength modifier against creatures issued a verdict (see above) or opponents of chaotic alignment every round.

    Retribution: when receiving a melee attack, return an amount of damage to the attacker equal to the damage received or 5 times the paladin’s Constitution modifier, whichever is lower. Damage is considered force damage for purposes of damage reduction and incorporeality.

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    Justiciar and Paladins share one aura ability, which is retribution, and one with Blackguards, which would be Punishment. Interdiction is pretty sick; it works like the Paladin's devotion, but instead of shifting damage to oneself, it shifts it to a specified creature.

    Fairness and Fortune Stabilizing work as a neutral point between a buff and a debuff; both, of course, work mostly as buffs towards you, but that depends on whether the enemy has a bonus or whether your party has a penalty (so, assume an enemy casts Heroism; your entire party will benefit from it). Punishing an ally with a penalty can be pretty dangerous, since the creature and its allies will receive that punishment as well. Fortune stabilizing is meant to null any luck-based bonus, and it really serves as a counter to some of the Anarch's abilities (as well as Fortune's Friends, Luckstealers, Fatemakers and other luck-based classes).

    One thing you might notice is that Interdiction, Punishment and Retribution work against creatures issued a verdict. This expands the option of said abilities to apply to creatures that would normally be unaffected by the auras; so, a lawful evil creature might be affected by a lawful good justiciar's sanction of interdiction, because the guilt of the enemy (or the conviction of the justiciar) allows for an exception. The idea is that this makes verdict a key ability of the justiciar, because it works also as an enabler.

    UPDATE: Being partly Paladins and partly Blackguards, the Justiciars have some levity regarding their choice of auras. Thus, they get two Strength-based auras and two Constitution-based auras. No upgrade yet, but they have the caveat of working on creatures issued a verdict; probably gonna base it from that, or do it based on both shields and two-handed weapons.


    Conviction (Ex): At 3rd level, a justiciar toys with those who may seek to undermine his adherence to the law. If the justiciar fails a saving throw against a charm or compulsion effect, any order that would harm an ally or violate a law grants him a second saving throw. If the justiciar succeeds on any saving throw against a charm or compulsion effect, the justiciar breaks the link but may still act as if under the influence of the creature.

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    If the theme behind Paladin is "courage", the theme behind the Justiciar is "conviction". A judge should, ideally, resist any type of influences that may cloud their judgment, so naturally they are more resilient to charms and compulsions. That doesn't make them immune to mind-affecting effects, but if they try to "buy" the judge, the enemy might realize the justiciar is just fooling them into believing so, and when the time comes he simply says "I have no price" and whacks them with the verdict from the...planes of Law. Since "from the heavens" only works if you're Good, of course.


    Censure/Rebuke Outsider (Su): At 4th level, a justiciar acquires the ability to turn the forces of chaos and rebuke the forces of law. Treat this ability as the cleric’s ability to turn or rebuke undead, except a justiciar stuns (instead of turning) outsiders with the chaotic subtype, and rebuke outsiders with the lawful subtype. If an outsider with the chaotic subtype would be destroyed, it is otherwise banished to its home plane. A justiciar is treated as a cleric of three levels lower for purposes of censuring or rebuking outsiders. Creatures that have been issued a verdict (see above) are treated as chaotic outsiders for purposes of this ability, except they cannot be banished. This ability may be treated as turn or rebuke undead for purposes of feat, prestige class or magic item prerequisites.

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    Justiciar also get the ability to turn (and rebuke, as well), but this time they work against outsiders instead of undead. This is the justiciar's dispensation of divine energy, which allows them to choose and benefit from divine powers as if they had BOTH turn and rebuke undead (although alignment might be an issue).

    Again, verdict rears its head on this ability, allowing you to treat creatures affected by this ability as if they were outsiders. Thus, you can turn them (effectively giving them the frightened status even if they are immune to fear), even if you're limited on the first place. This makes turn/rebuke outsider quite the powerful (and useful!) ability. Since...otherwise you'd be turning demons and slaadi anyways.


    Improved Verdict (Su): At 5th level, a justiciar’s ability to issue a verdict improves.

    Deterrent: creatures struck by the justiciar’s verdict may forfeit their actions. If the creature fails a Will saving throw, for a number of rounds equal to half the justiciar’s class level it have a 50% chance to act normally (or else, forfeit its move and standard actions). If the creature succeeds on the Will saving throw, it still gains a penalty on all attacks, AC, saving throws, skill checks and ability checks (as the successful effect of the verdict) but only for a number of rounds equal to half the justiciar’s class level.
    Incapacitating: a creature sentenced by the verdict of a justiciar cannot use purely mental actions if they fail their saving throw against the stun effect.
    Retributive: a justiciar’s verdict expands to the creature’s accomplices. All enemies (or creatures related to the target) within 30 feet of the target creature must make a Reflex saving throw or take damage equal to the justiciar’s class level; a successful save ignores the damage.

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    An explanation of how each ability works goes here.

    Deterrent is basically applying a curse on the enemy. It works mechanically as the Bestow Curse spell (and people who have played the Bez-Kismet will recognize it as the Curse of the Fateless), except in smite form. At this moment, the ability works basically as a short-term Bestow Curse, providing two of the three curses usually provided by the spell.

    Incapacitating is basically the Paladins' Stunning Smite Evil, except a bit more powerful; while the Paladin paralyzes her enemies, the Justiciar blocks their mental abilities. This basically makes them unable to talk, issue orders to animal companions, and prevent psychics from using their powers (specifically those who like Schism). They're still stunned, not paralyzed, so resistance to stun applies...or would, if the ability bypassed stun resistance so early ago.

    Retributive is very similar to the Resounding and Vicious smites, in that it works as an Area of Effect smite. One of the ideas I wanted to work with was allowing the Paladin (and other classes) a smite that would allow them to deal damage to multiple enemies. This is partly inspired from the Fist of Raziel, which grants a specific ability to deal limited damage to nearby enemies, by means of a chained smite. Retributive merely works by dealing more damage than usual, but since it affects all enemies within area instead of just one, it is generally more useful than the latter two.


    Custody (Su): At 6th level whenever a justiciar is using his sanction, any enemy creature within the area gets all of its speeds reduced. Such creatures’ speeds are reduced by 5 feet for every three justiciar levels. A justiciar cannot reduce a creature’s speed to less than 5 feet. If the creature escapes the area of the justiciar’s sanction, it takes an amount of damage equal to the justiciar’s character level.

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    Unlike Divine/Necrotic Punishment, Custody works to keep enemies where the Justiciar can deal with them. The idea is to create a sort of "difficult terrain" area, playing with the more "traditional" idea of tanking (which, oddly enough, is really closer to battlefield control than to actual tanking, or viceversa). This ability comes mostly from the Aura of Lethargy of the Bez-Kismet, except that those who manage to escape get damaged, so the idea is to remain on the area.

    On that thread, a poster (don't recall who it was, but I think it's one of the people posting here; I think it might be Dust?) mentioned the idea of making Aura of Lethargy an ability that caused encumbrance instead of directly lowering speeds. In that case, that was generally difficult because Lethargy worked mostly like the Divine/Fiendish Aura or the Sanctions, based off the classes' Charisma modifier. Since in this class ability I can vary the traits, I thought that maybe causing the creature to be treated as having medium or heavy encumberance might be a deadly method of keeping them cornered, since they take damage if they escape and they are prevented from running, and some even from flying. You may determine if this is a better idea than the one mentioned above, because encumbrance also limits Dexterity bonus to AC and a few other things.


    Submission (Su): At 7th level, a justiciar acquires a pool of mystical energy which can be used to heal or punish. Treat this ability as the paladin’s lay on hands ability, except that it can be used to cause damage at enemies that have been issued a verdict (see above) at a ratio of one point of damage per two points expended. The justiciar may cause lethal or nonlethal damage if it so desires. This ability has no effect on undead creatures or constructs.

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    Submission is basically Lay on Hands, but applied to heal or punish creatures. You can heal allies or punish marked creatures. Really, that easy.

    UPDATE: With Lay on Hands turned now into burst healing (to an extent), dealing 5+your Justiciar level times your Charisma modifier on a single touch seems pretty abusive. Thus, you can only apply half of that damage, but due to how Lay on Hands works now, it can be done sparingly and not all at once. Thus, you can lay the harm all at once or sparingly alongside some healing.


    Mettle (Ex): Beginning at 8th level, if a justiciar makes a successful Will or Fortitude save that would normally reduce the save’s effect, he suffers no effect from the spell at all. Only those spells with a saving throw entry of “partial” or “half” are affected by this ability, and only for purposes of Will and/or Fortitude saves with these descriptors.

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    Same resilient ability as...I think I might lose count once I reveal the Anarch also has it. But I feel Mettle deserves more love than Evasion, actually.


    Persecution (Ex): At 9th level, a justiciar gains the ability to move faster than the norm. The justiciar’s increase in speed is limited at first, but as he increases in levels, he gains the ability to move faster.
    The justiciar increases one of his movement types by 10 feet. As a full-round action, he may change this bonus to speed between any other movement types he possesses. For example; a justiciar’s base land speed is 30 feet, but he also has a climb speed of 15 feet. At any moment, he may add his bonus to speed to either his base land speed or to his climb speed, and he may change the allocation of this bonus as he desires; thus, he may move 40 feet in land, then spend one round shifting his bonus to his climb speed and scaling with a speed of 25 feet.
    At 14th level, his speed bonus increases by 15 feet. At 19th level, this bonus increases by 30 feet. This bonus stacks with any other bonus to speed, such as the fast movement class ability and the bonus provided by the haste spell.

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    Raise your hand if you thought I'd give wings to the Justiciar. If you did...well, I guess you might or might not be disappointed.

    No, the goddess of Justice is not Nike, but Nemesis. Actually, Nemesis is the goddess of retribution, and YES, SHE HAS WINGS. But when a Justiciar is hounding a criminal, it doesn't do it on wings. If it has wings, it has wings; if it doesn't, it moves like the gale. But the idea was to provide the Justiciar with the ability of persecution like a hound, or a hunter; implacable, swift, and precise. Once the criminal runs away, the last you'd expect is a divine warrior of Law, clad in heavy armor, outpacing you. And of course, that's the idea behind this ability; Justice may not be escaped, much less retribution. You know, like...Nemesis!

    So, instead of frilly wings, they get the ability to move real fast, but only to one of the creature's speeds. This means that, if the justiciar can fly and the creature is flying away, you can out-fly that criminal and verdict his criminal self into the slammer if you want to. Later on, it grants the Justiciar a speed comparable to few, possibly the Monk who might be actually able to out-run the Justiciar, but in any case few Monks exist (*wink wink*) that could outrun them. Since this ability stacks with Haste and fast movement, that generally means you can achieve speeds of around 100 ft. per move action, something that at near-epic levels isn't really unheard of.


    Investiture of Law (Ex): At 11th level, a justiciar may add his Charisma modifier as a deflection bonus to Armor Class. Treat this ability as if it were the paladin’s divine grace class ability for purposes of prerequisites for feats, prestige class or magic items (if any).

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    Blame Law Bearer and Law Devotion for this one. Oddly enough, when you associate Law, you associate it with...AC? So, I just decided to deny them excellent saves, make them a bit different, and...well, add AC to them...as a deflection bonus no less. As a benefit, you don't need to hog Rings of Protection or cast Shield of Faith every time you start a battle. On the other hand, saves are much more important here, so you may need better Dex and Wis to compensate.


    Severe Custody (Su): At 12th level whenever a justiciar is using his sanction, it may deactivate the effect and instead apply this ability. Any enemy spellcaster using a spell within the area of the justiciar’s sanction must succeed on a caster level check against a DC of 10 + the justiciar’s character level + the justiciar’s Charisma modifier or have the spell affect the justiciar instead. Spells with a range of personal are cast as if the justiciar had cast them, spells with targets are treated as if the justiciar was the targeted creature, and spells that burst or emanate from the caster instead emanate from the justiciar. If the spell discriminates between allies and enemies, the spell treats the justiciar as the caster. For all other effects, the spell is cast as if the original caster had used it. The justiciar’s custody effect remains in action while he uses this ability, as if it were any other sanction.

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    Unlike Divine Deterrence, Severe Custody works in a very odd way. Basically, it causes enemy spellcasters to have an insanely high caster level check against the justiciar's pretty strong Charisma modifier and get higher than 10 in order to have their spells affect somebody other than the justiciar. This hurts buffs particularly, since while spellcasters can basically cast spells before battle, those that are cast in-battle will undoubtedly end up in the justiciar's reserve. So, of course, that means they'd likely go for SoDs or aim spells to the Justiciar...which is exactly the point; the Justiciar protects his allies by absorbing the brunt of the spells. And, since the Justiciar can simply shift his aura as a swift action, it can be pretty fun to see a spellcaster blowing him (or her) self up trying to see if it would have ended on the Justiciar. It's a nice trick which, unlike the Paladin and the Blackguard, is based on caster level (which is not that hard to buff up, but still harder than skill checks or saving throws).


    Improved Mettle (Ex): At 13th level, a justiciar’s mettle ability improves. He still takes no effect on a successful Will or Fortitude save that has the “partial” or “half” descriptor, but henceforth he takes only the partial effect or half the damage on a failed save.

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    Same old, same old.


    Devastating Verdict (Su): At 15th level, a justiciar’s verdict ability acquires a powerful new effect, closely related to that of the justiciar’s original choice of verdict.

    Deterrent: the justiciar’s verdict is physically damaging to the opponent. If a creature initiates a hostile action (whether physical or mental), it takes damage equal to half the justiciar’s class level. If the creature fails its Will save, it is permanent until it receives the benefit of a remove curse spell; otherwise, it lasts for a number of rounds equal to half the justiciar’s class level.
    Incapacitating: the justiciar’s verdict reduces the creature’s agility. A creature that fails its Fortitude save takes 1d6 points of Dexterity damage along with being stunned; a failed save causes the creature to be entangled and dazed instead.
    Retributive: the justiciar’s verdict is irresistible. Creatures that succeed on their Reflex saving throw take half damage. Creatures with Improved Evasion still take full damage if they fail their save.

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    And, as expected, here are the most powerful versions of the verdicts. Deterrent works like the name intends, and it's intentional that I named it "deterrent"; it forces the target to do nothing hostile or be immediately punished. This particular ability is pretty punishing, because unless it is removed (like a curse; being a supernatural ability Break Enchantment doesn't really work), it's permanent. If the DM decides, next time they fight the curse is still there, so you can lock the target down for a long time. Incapacitating diverges from Stunning by adding a degree of Dex damage to the attack, lowering their AC and Reflexes and also most of their agility-based skills. Retributive, on the other hand, works much like Resounding and Vicious in that it can't be resisted...well, it does, but not THAT much.


    Ordinance (Su): At 16th level, a justiciar gains the ability to further resist the spells of chaotic creatures. He gains spell resistance equal to 15 + the justiciar’s class level, but only against spells with the chaotic descriptor or any spell cast by characters of chaotic alignment, clerics of chaotic deities, creatures affected by your verdict (see above), or chaotic outsiders.

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    This is basically Divine/Fiendish Resistance, which is basically a buffed-up spell resistance, but with a caveat; creatures issued a verdict are also affected. So it's slightly stronger than the others. Otherwise, same old same old.


    Unyielding Resolve (Ex): At 17th level, a justiciar becomes capable of fighting even when his forces fail him, beyond where others could stand. A justiciar is never considered disabled or staggered, even if he has less than 0 hit points or his nonlethal damage exceeds his current hit point total. Furthermore, he may continue to fight even if he has less than -10 hit points, but only to an amount of negative hit points equal to 10 plus half his character level plus his Constitution modifier. Instant death effects and attacks that destroy the body still affect the justiciar if successful.

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    Exactly the same as the Paladin's Unyielding Resolve. As you can see, the Diehard/Unyielding Resolve combo is part of the chassis itself, and not an ability exclusive to the class. This is in addition to Mettle and Imp. Mettle, since the chassis is built for a survivalist class.

    UPDATE: Now also based on Constitution, like the Paladin.


    Absolution (Ex): At 18th level, a justiciar’s resolve allows him to escape the whims of fate. A justiciar never fails Fortitude or Will saving throws on a natural roll of 1. However, he may still fail if the result is lower than the saving throw DC, as usual.

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    As you can notice, Justiciars don't add their Charisma to saving throws. To throw them a bone (no pun intended), they gain the most advanced form of Mettle:

    Immunity to natural 1.

    So yeah, they can fail their saving throws, but if the DC is equal to their saving throw bonus +1, they simply can't fail their save, period.


    Judge of Legend: At 20th level, a justiciar becomes a paragon of law, and his attachment to the letter of the law is rewarded. He is forevermore treated as a native outsider (unless he is already treated as one), gains the lawful subtype, and gains damage reduction X/epic and chaotic, where X is equal to half his class level.

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    And again, same old, same old. Except that instead of being a good or evil outsider, you're a lawful outsider. No biggie, really.


    Justiciar Spells
    The following spells are exclusive or enhanced to the justiciar:
    1st—alarm**, checkmate’s light**, hold portal**
    2nd— lesser geas**, mount**, suggestion**
    3rd—dimensional anchor-, discern lies-, mark of justice-, sepia snake sigil**
    4th— break enchantment-, dispel chaos-, greater command, hold monster-, lawful sword**, order’s wrath-, quest-, righteous might**

    The following spells are denied to the justiciar:
    3rd—meld into stone
    4th—control water, poison

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    As you can see, the justiciar gains only a small amount of spells unlike the Paladin and the Blackguard, because there was no Lawful Whatever "Paladin"-ish class with all that support. They do get a few of the Paladin's spells, such as Checkmate's Light (the Lawful warrior's Bless Weapon) and Lawful Sword (like Holy Sword, but for Lawful!). Another thing you'll see is that the Justiciar has a good share of enchantments, INCLUDING compulsions, because...once again, they are lawful. And commanding.

    As a small note; if you wish to add more spells, consider adding spells from the Paladin or Blackguard spell lists that reflect the ideals of a Justiciar; conviction, resolve, command, retribution, punishment, etc. If it has a [Good] or [Evil] descriptor tag, then it may not be as good; however, if it doesn't, you may be capable of adding that to the list. If the spell improves stuff (like a special mount, or Paladin class abilities such as lay on hands), you may also add them to the list.


    Ex-Justiciars
    If a justiciar is found to abuse of the powers bestowed upon him, or acts directly against the officials of law enforcement in the land or plane it visits, the justiciar immediately loses access to all of his supernatural powers, spellcasting and aura of law. He may recover these if he undergoes atonement by a cleric of a lawful deity. Unlike a paladin, a justiciar must follow this simple precept. A justiciar cannot lose his powers if he is unaware of which law is broken, and he may not be held liable for offenses to the law or the official of law enforcement without knowledge of the justiciar; a justiciar breaks his oath only if he willingly knows he has made an offense.

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    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    ...Yes, I distinctively recall mentioning, and I still stand by it, that the Paladin wasn't forced by a code of conduct. Note: that only mentioned the Paladin.

    Justiciar is a different monster. They're not only soldiers of faith; they are the long arm of the law. They don't follow a code of conduct; they follow the orders to the letter. While a Paladin who is both Lawful AND Good is primarily GOOD, in the case of a Justiciar it is primarily LAWFUL. The punishment is just as hostile as before, but the restrictions aren't as harsh; going against the law can be justified at times. Generally, if a law enforcement officer is breaking the law, it's just like the guy that was issued a verdict; guilty, and definitely processable.

    So yeah...of all the Paladin-ic classes, only the Justiciar has a code of conduct. But, that's what they get for being LAWFUL warriors, no? Specifically the very notion and concept of law and order.


    As usual, comments are welcome. I should post the Anarch later on, and once I finish with the class, I'll revise all of the abilities; thus, any more suggestions aside those established above are welcome. I want to refine the ideas given by Dust, Seerow and all of you guys before making a change, because there are five classes that may be affected by these changes. Afterwards, I'll provide the idea behind the chassis, which would be the first time I do some meta-writing on homebrew.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-05-19 at 06:28 PM. Reason: Fixing and updating the tables
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    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar
    In the case of the Paladin, Blackguard, Justiciar, Anarch and general "holy warrior" chassis, the idea should be to make three general abilities, and three alignment-exclusive abilities for a total of 15 different abilities, of which a character can only choose 6 in total. In order to make this easier to see, I'll make a table with all abilities, plus Charging and Grounding:
    ...
    What I intend to do is make Charging Smite, "Grounding" Smite and whichever 3rd ability there is ACFs that replace smite progression at 1st level, where you can elect to choose the first tier of any one of these smites at any level, and enable Tier 2 and Tier 3 progress of each smite. If there was a super-chassis that reunited Paladin, Blackguard, Anarch and Justiciar, they would stop being ACFs and be part of the smite list.
    I get where you're going here, I'm just saying you should be able to have at least 2 different smites, if not 3, which lets you give a steadier smite progression, and doesn't lock the paladin in so harshly. ie a Paladin who picks up Resounding wouldn't be so much weaker against anything not undead, since they could still have a secondary smite to use on other evil creatures. Your comments here seem to imply that even with the extra 3 ACF smites, you'd still only get one for your career.

    Most of these abilities usually work as an extension of a shield, so I might make Retributive Aura probably reflect Cha mod. damage per hit but add a bonus based on the worn shield (probably 2x with light shields, 3x with heavy shields, 4x on tower shields) for a single hit, AND deny this benefit to users of animated shields. That should make Retributive Aura weaker, but also benefit shield users who could use that buff (to make S&B more useful).
    Huh? Retributive Aura is an aura... how would your shield bonus increase the damage reflected by an ally 60 feet away? This statement mostly just confused me.

    Hmm...maybe extend LoH's reach while under the Vigor aura, as well as Cure Wounds spells? With Battle Blessing feat, you could provide an ally with a Cure Serious Wounds as a swift action without the need to move.

    Though, I feel a larger rider effect is needed. Not on percentages, though; maybe add (class level + Cha mod) to all healing spells and effects (except fast healing and regeneration) while under the Vigor aura. It's not percentage based, but at 11th level with 20-22 Cha (roughly at the moment Cleric gets Heal) that's a +16-+17 to the added heal, and same for the Crusader's healing strikes (not to mention Vigor Aura + Martial Spirit will work nicely). Experimenting with percentages should come for later, though I'd go with (5 x Cha)% bonus.
    That could work. I'd probably go a bit higher (like 2-3x cha mod), though that could potentially make low level healing spells far too efficient. Perhaps a bonus based on the level of the spell?

    Ie something like increase healing done by Paladin Level + Cha + 3x spell level.

    So that heal spell at level 11 gains 11+5+18 = 34 extra healing (increasing just about 30%), while a cure light spell gains only 19 extra healing (which is a far higher percentage, but less effective).

    I dunno percentages are the easiest way to balance something like that, but it could be workable.

    Hmm...maybe add Cha to damage against undead creatures? It boosts it up a little more, but it still remains on the niche. Add Charisma to damage against evil creatures expands its niche, but still not much. Perhaps add Cha to damage against evil creatures, 1/2 Cha on saving throw DCs against evil creatures and Cha to turning effects? That would make everyone benefit quite a lot, but I'm wary about going full Cha on saving throw DCs because that would make SoDs very powerful while a Paladin is there. I really have to consider what to upgrade in this case.
    Yeah I wouldn't boost the DCs. I'd keep it a niche against undead, rather than all evil creatures, maybe expand it to Demons/Devils, and say give +cha mod in damage, and +1/2 cha to all saving throws against those creature types, making it a bit more defensive as well.

    Hmm...1/encounter burst heal? Interesting: that would imply I'd have to improve the Monk's Wholeness of Body and the Hands of a Healer (from the Retooled Healer) to apply to this, tho. Remember that I want LoH to be similar to WoB, less than Touch of Vitality, and because Hands of a Healer is basically a just-as-strong ToV, I need to upgrade all of those in order to upgrade LoH without fear. Still, I could simply make LoH different, keep it (class level x Cha mod) and make it 1/encounter. It would break healing economy, though, if the amount of battles extend the number of dedicated spell slots a Cleric has for Heal (and will make Paladin LoH relevant up until 17th level when Mass Heal comes into play).
    I wouldnt worry too much about it breaking the healing economy in battle. It is a once an encounter deal. I'd be much more worried about taking 20-30 minute rests to get a lay on hands on everyone between encounters, rather than burning resources, which -could- break it.

    As to the other abilities you mentioned, yeah they could use a boost too. Healing Hands at least fills a different role, its ability to trade out hp for status curing is very powerful. Wholeness of body I'd personally modify to be more like a second wind in 4th edition, a once per encounter moderate self heal that boosts your defenses temporarily.

    Strength factors into smite damage already (you still add your Strength to all attacks, and smite is an attack, hence you add Strength to your smites), and it'll be a bit hard to add that into save DCs.
    Well I meant have it be a factor for the bonus damage for smite, above and beyond your normal strength to damage.

    And how would it be hard to add it into save DCs? I don't think it's too strange to think your smite save DCs are based off strength rather than charisma. There's probably a few other powers it could easily be switched around on as well.


    Con, on the other hand...I wanna keep Cha as a primary stat and Con/Str as a choice you could get. I was actually thinking, since Dex is meant to be a dump stat, to make Con add to AC instead of Dex, which already has precedent; that should make Con a bit more important. I could decide, if I wanted, to make that ability "add your Strength or Constitution to AC, whichever is highest, instead of your Dexterity modifier" ability, maybe make it an early-level class ability (though it adds to the dip-tastiness). Unyielding Resolve/Undying could also be 10 + 1/2 character level + Cha mod + highest of Con or Str modifier. That allows application of Constitution and/or Strength into more stuff, making those who wish to get more Con or more Str think of it as their secondary or tertiary options, while keeping Dex, Int and Wis as dump stats (or making Wis/Con/Str as their main stats with Serenity/Intuition). It's pretty small but should lead into improvements upon the class.
    Well, without giving another boost to hit somewhere, con vs str typically won't be an even match. You can deal with a few less hitpoints, having a lower attack bonus/damage is going to hurt your credibility as a threat, and make enemies ignore you.

    When I was saying con vs str I was speaking for the focus of the class as the secondary ability, because you can give class features to encourage con over strength... but trying to support both equally is going to hurt the class more than not.

    Basically, you know you want Charisma to be a given paladin's best stat. So then you need to determine what you want the secondary to be. Trying to support both is going to end up adding a lot of extra if/or statements to your write up, and still won't be quite balanced. Better to just pick what you want and stick with it.

    Either option will fit thematically, but I personally think emphasizing con is the better choice because there's more things you can add in that make sense (Con to AC, con to spells per day, etc.). The one downside to picking con is you really want to add either charisma or con to your attack rolls at all times in place of strength (not in addition to) to help ensure you can hit, while keeping MAD in check.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    I dunno...a Soulbound Weapon doesn't seem to cut it for me. It treads a lot into Soulknife and Psychic Warrior, but it makes you dependent on your weapon. I was thinking something along the lines of Heroism/Good Hope/Greater Heroism, something about your conviction flowing through you. That doesn't mean you can't go with 6 abilities.
    However, given the option to change weapons, it doesn't actually make you that dependent on it. And at higher levels, you could be able to switch it out faster and faster. And honestly, melee characters are just as dependent on their weapons, and they have to spend WBL on it.

    Although I do like the option of Heroism/Good Hope/Greater Heroism as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    In any case, I might just go with Wings OR Mount as the 4th/9th/14th/19th level class abilities, with Lesser [Alignment] Servant, Divine Spirit, Celestial Weapon and the Heroism thing as ACFs. I do like the idea of having lots of ACFs, and since the latter four abilities don't fit into the idea of expanded mobility while the former two do, it would result in a variety of options. Though, it would also result in a myriad of ACFs (there's Serenity/Intuition which I haven't posted yet, Hands of a Healer (which could use a different name so as to separate it from the Retooled Healer ability of the same name) and Touch of the Fallen; that would make 10 ACFs for a small group of classes.
    I honestly think that the more ACFs there are, the better. Given that ACFs widen the ability for a class to fit a character concept without needing to actually create a prestige class or new base class, they are very versatile and very useful, ACFs rock. The more the merrier.

    I am assuming Serenity/Intuition make the abilities based off of Wisdom and Intelligence, respectively? You could just give them the choice at first level, with a specific ability that allows them to choose which ability score to base their class abilities off of.
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    I get where you're going here, I'm just saying you should be able to have at least 2 different smites, if not 3, which lets you give a steadier smite progression, and doesn't lock the paladin in so harshly. ie a Paladin who picks up Resounding wouldn't be so much weaker against anything not undead, since they could still have a secondary smite to use on other evil creatures. Your comments here seem to imply that even with the extra 3 ACF smites, you'd still only get one for your career.
    And I'm not going against it. The table's purpose is mostly to indicate similarities, and also to structure how your proposal could work; basically, after level 5, you could either gain a Tier 1 of (6 of the 15) smites you have access to, or advance your existing smite to Tier 2. Level 10 would probably grant only access to a second or third new smite. Level 15 would either grant access to a third or fourth Tier 1 smite, advance a Tier 1 to Tier 2, or advance a Tier 2 to a Tier 3. And, you'd probably get a similar ability on level 20 to match it up. The table is there mostly for show and specifically for comparison.

    Ideally, the progression (as I would do it, based on your idea) would be:
    Level 1: Choose from 1 of the 6 Smites (gain new Tier 1)
    Level 5: Choose new smite (gain new Tier 1) OR advance smite to Tier 2
    Level 10: Choose new smite (gain new Tier 1) OR advance smite to Tier 2
    Level 15: Choose new smite (gain new Tier 1) OR advance smite to Tier 2 OR advance Tier 2 smite to Tier 3
    Level 20: Choose new smite (gain new Tier 1) OR advance smite to Tier 2 OR advance Tier 2 smite to Tier 3

    So, you could basically have: 5 Tier 1 smites, 3 Tier 1 Smites and 1 Tier 2 Smite, 1 Tier 1 Smite and 2 Tier 2 Smites, or 1 Tier 2 Smite and 1 Tier 3 Smite. The access to Tier 2 smites could be established at level 5 or level 10, while Tier 3 Smites are accessible from level 15 onward. Thing is, I'd like to have a solid go at it before changing four classes' smites and developing the other 2-3 smite choices as ACFs which you could acquire or replace at any level divisible by 5 (and 1st level).

    Huh? Retributive Aura is an aura... how would your shield bonus increase the damage reflected by an ally 60 feet away? This statement mostly just confused me.
    It's a way to make shield more relevant, even if it sounds a bit counter-intuitive. If the effectiveness of a shield exists only up to 5 feet away from you, there's no way a shield will be more useful unless it acted like a weapon, which is basically treating it like TWF except with an added feat. Mechanically, the idea is that S&B characters would have a better damage output by means of a class ability, separate from any enhancement to S&B done through feats or rule revisions. It would be harder to explain fluff-wise, but Retributive Aura is a manifestation of your faith; your shield (and specifically, the traits behind your shield) would probably...boost your resolve. The idea is, it's already getting nerfed (not to uselessness, but still a nerf), and the one who gets hit the most will be the S&B because retributive damage should be a great deal of its damage output, given that they're using a defensive item in their hand instead of another weapon or just using their hand for increased damage output with their existing weapon. Since TWF and THF vastly outgrow the damage output of S&B, they need a thematically-linked method of damage generation, and retributive damage is the closest-linked one.

    I could use some better fluff, though, but if a sword-and-boarder with Retributive Aura deals no more damage than a 2-hander or a TWF character with Retributive Aura, then it won't do much to increase S&B as a fighting method, aside from increasing your AC by...1-7 points at most. While the others deal larger amounts of damage. So, while the fluff might be a bit odd to reconcile, it is possible to mechanically tie shields with increased damage output via a class ability; I did mention I wanted to increase S&B effectiveness via feats and revising the rules, because that would be the core of its improvement. Think of adding this caveat to the ability as one more boost to S&B.

    Then again, it's probably because I'm pulling this off from MMOs, which don't need that explanation...or probably I just say a lot and don't explain myself real well.
    That could work. I'd probably go a bit higher (like 2-3x cha mod), though that could potentially make low level healing spells far too efficient. Perhaps a bonus based on the level of the spell?

    Ie something like increase healing done by Paladin Level + Cha + 3x spell level.

    So that heal spell at level 11 gains 11+5+18 = 34 extra healing (increasing just about 30%), while a cure light spell gains only 19 extra healing (which is a far higher percentage, but less effective).

    I dunno percentages are the easiest way to balance something like that, but it could be workable.
    Hmm...good one. Of course, percentages are the easiest way, but I'm dealing with percentages in baby steps; if I were to apply percentages to everything people might get drawn away because they'd think of it as far too powerful or alien to the D&D format. I believe that DR expressed as a percentage is a quite efficient way to deal with the "DR being useless on overflowing damage" problem, but going through this without establishing how people might react to the mechanic might cause people to shy off. Thus, I'd start with an arithmetical progression before adding percentages.

    Still, it's not a bad idea. It makes spells like CLW effective at low levels, while it makes high-level spells like Heal and Mass Heal very powerful. Mass Heal won't increase to a degree of over 30% its worth, but since it applies to everyone in the area, it basically stacks. It also increases the worth of Mass Cure Wounds spells as well.

    Yeah I wouldn't boost the DCs. I'd keep it a niche against undead, rather than all evil creatures, maybe expand it to Demons/Devils, and say give +cha mod in damage, and +1/2 cha to all saving throws against those creature types, making it a bit more defensive as well.
    Noted. Though, I'd probably make a point to make Divine Grace overlap Aura of Consecration, because otherwise the saving throws would be spectacularly high. That way, against undead and evil outsiders, allies get half of your Divine Grace bonus.

    I wouldnt worry too much about it breaking the healing economy in battle. It is a once an encounter deal. I'd be much more worried about taking 20-30 minute rests to get a lay on hands on everyone between encounters, rather than burning resources, which -could- break it.

    As to the other abilities you mentioned, yeah they could use a boost too. Healing Hands at least fills a different role, its ability to trade out hp for status curing is very powerful. Wholeness of body I'd personally modify to be more like a second wind in 4th edition, a once per encounter moderate self heal that boosts your defenses temporarily.
    So 1/encounter, [5 (or 10) + class level] x Charisma modifier bonus would suffice? That way it works as burst healing instead of extended healing. It would be closer to the DDO version, which pretty much works 1/rest (which is the equivalent of 1/day, but given how close those rests are, it pretty much works 1/encounter), but it works as burst healing; the Cleric would be the main healer (or the Favored Soul, in that regard), but the Paladin can self-heal or heal another by touch for a large amount. I'd word it differently, though, as in "you gain a pool of healing equal to [5 (or 10) + class level] x Charisma modifier, which you can expend as you desire. This pool recharges at the beginning of each combat encounter". That way, the resource would be mechanically similar (if not stronger) than the original but it allows recharging.

    Wholeness of Body as a second wind? What I've seen is either Pathfinder (expend 1 point of ki, heal your level x Wis modifier in damage) or DDO (fast healing). A save booster, on the other hand, is quite interesting. Monks are already meant to have strong saves, so that would be meant to prevent the recently-recovered HP from dropping down again. I'd make a hybrid out of it, though: work as Lay on Hands (Monk level x Wis modifier), you can spread out through the encounter, and if you spend a point of ki (because I use a ki mechanic with the Monk) while healing, you can increase your AC and saves for a small amount of time (I usually make it rounds equal to 1/2 class level). I'd go with adding Wisdom, but Monks already add Wisdom to AC and Will saves, so I might need something else (maybe Constitution?)

    Healing Hands/Touch of Vitality might just be like Lay on Hands, but twice as strong. I honestly thought I had Healing Hands allow you to expend from your pool of HP to increase the amount of healing, tho. Odd one...

    Well I meant have it be a factor for the bonus damage for smite, above and beyond your normal strength to damage.

    And how would it be hard to add it into save DCs? I don't think it's too strange to think your smite save DCs are based off strength rather than charisma. There's probably a few other powers it could easily be switched around on as well.
    It's hard to add because it would make the smite DCs quite powerful. Saves stack faster than save DCs (Ability Focus being one of the few ways you can make your smite higher), but adding two scores to the saving throw DC might just push the save DCs into "always work" instead of 50/50 split. I could, though, make the saves work with "highest between Strength or Charisma modifiers", in case someone wants to have more Str than Cha, though given that Charisma is a really important stat, Strength would have to be much higher and it would induce the bad form of MAD. Perhaps if you could dispel my worries that stacking Strength and Charisma to the saving throw DCs won't mean that anyone without good saves, Cloak of Resistance and bonuses to saves will automatically fail the save, then I might consider making the save DC of smite dual-stacking.

    Though...I don't see which other powers. Most people resent Favored Soul because their bonus spells are based on one stat and their saving throw DCs are based on another stat. And stuff like Divine Grace and Unyielding Resolve work better with Con, not Str. Divine Deterrence and Divine Punishment based off Strength would be just as flimsy sounding as basing Retributive Aura off the type of shield (or lack thereof) you wear; not impossible, but weird-sounding and requiring a solid fluff backing it up.
    Well, without giving another boost to hit somewhere, con vs str typically won't be an even match. You can deal with a few less hitpoints, having a lower attack bonus/damage is going to hurt your credibility as a threat, and make enemies ignore you.

    When I was saying con vs str I was speaking for the focus of the class as the secondary ability, because you can give class features to encourage con over strength... but trying to support both equally is going to hurt the class more than not.

    Basically, you know you want Charisma to be a given paladin's best stat. So then you need to determine what you want the secondary to be. Trying to support both is going to end up adding a lot of extra if/or statements to your write up, and still won't be quite balanced. Better to just pick what you want and stick with it.

    Either option will fit thematically, but I personally think emphasizing con is the better choice because there's more things you can add in that make sense (Con to AC, con to spells per day, etc.). The one downside to picking con is you really want to add either charisma or con to your attack rolls at all times in place of strength (not in addition to) to help ensure you can hit, while keeping MAD in check.
    This sounds a bit confusing, though it resembles a bit 4e class mechanics (one primary stat, choose one of two secondary stats). 3.5 can still work well if going three stats, whereas the problems exist by going 4 stats because you're straining your stats too thin. If I were to make it two-stat, then some people might protest to the idea that it focuses too much on Con or Str when what they want is to use one of the two. Ideally, Cha/Str would be better, but Str is harder to add on other abilities, as you mentioned. Keeping them split (Str for offensive abilities, Con for defensive abilities) seems like the right choice, since you could have a more offensive-inclined Paladin with Str as its secondary focus, or a more defensive-oriented Paladin with a Con focus. Cha and then Str/Con as secondary (whichever is the highest) is the ideal way, but as you mentioned, it might not be as balanced.

    Perhaps it's just design vision differences. Design-wise, Strength is very hard to add, since it basically replaces Con in some extents (probably HP, Fort saves) while Con rarely replaces Strength (adding Con to attack and damage rolls is really bizarre), working better as a "defensive" stat (Con to AC is reasonable since it echoes endurance, for example; Con to bonus spells does as well because it echoes using your lifeforce to determine your spell strength or your spell accessibility). So, I would have to go Cha/Con for the class, but then I'd have troubles with those who want Strength to be the secondary score instead of the tertiary, and design-wise they'd still need good Strength to have good attack and damage rolls, which you mentioned (and again, adding Con to attack and damage is possible, but the fluff is weaker than adding any other score; adding Charisma to Strength for attack and damage rolls would conflict a bit with Smite in any case). Having Cha/Str, on the other hand, would have less trouble, but it would be harder to work with (since Strength mostly works for physical, offensive-related abilities so suddenly adding it to Strength seems odd, and that includes Reserves of Strength and Illumian sigils). And the ideal way to work with it might not just cut it.

    Perhaps if you go and expand how you'd do it, it might be easier to understand (or really, make greater sense out of it).

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    However, given the option to change weapons, it doesn't actually make you that dependent on it. And at higher levels, you could be able to switch it out faster and faster. And honestly, melee characters are just as dependent on their weapons, and they have to spend WBL on it.

    Although I do like the option of Heroism/Good Hope/Greater Heroism as well.
    That's why I went with tentative rather than simply no. Paladins already get Greater Magic Weapon and Holy Sword (and Lawful Sword and Flame of Faith, as well) so they get some options regarding their weaponry. I just find it treads a bit too much in the terrain of Soulbound Weapon and specifically the Soulborn, but if it can be worked properly then it might just work as an ACF. Some people might not want a mount or the ability to fly but a pimpin' weapon with which to fight evil with.

    I honestly think that the more ACFs there are, the better. Given that ACFs widen the ability for a class to fit a character concept without needing to actually create a prestige class or new base class, they are very versatile and very useful, ACFs rock. The more the merrier.
    I like ACFs. A lot. They work by adding new abilities to a class without having to rewrite them from the ground up. Sometimes, rewriting the class is what's necessary, but when you want to simply expand their options, this works well. I work ACFs closer to the Unearthed Arcana method (replacing one or more abilities instead of simply a minor one) but using the PHBII method (which is concise and catchy).

    I am assuming Serenity/Intuition make the abilities based off of Wisdom and Intelligence, respectively? You could just give them the choice at first level, with a specific ability that allows them to choose which ability score to base their class abilities off of.
    I'd like to keep Serenity as an ACF. The idea is that I want Paladins to be Cha-focused, but give that option to those who might want Wisdom. Thus, instead of including it on the class chassis, I find ACF works better on that regard (and it saves both space on the class description and a feat slot).

    BTW: Serenity/Intuition refers to the same ACF. It's just to distinguish it by alignment. A serene blackguard is truly a watch to behold, because blackguards are probably less inclined to act calmly and instead be either bullying or impulsive. That doesn't mean it's not possible. Also, allowing Charisma to be replaced by Wisdom is enough; allowing them to key off Intelligence opens a pathway to darkness.
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Oskar, while I like the work here, you still haven't solved a fundamental flaw - Clerics still fit the archetype you're aiming at better than the various champions do.


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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar
    Ideally, the progression (as I would do it, based on your idea) would be:
    Yeah, that way is definitely workable. My quick write up had a limited auto scaling in place because I was worried having a bunch of 1st level smites really wouldn't be the same as having 2 3rd level smites, because while the guy with 5 level 1 smites may have an answer for everything, all of his answers are going to suck compared to what other people are doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar
    Retributive Aura Stuff
    Okay, so we're suspending logic here for a moment and letting shields affect this aura. (Suggestion: If you want this aura to be what makes S&B iconic for Paladins, you probably want to make all of the auras similarly rely on your shield in some way. Where your smites are your sword, your auras are your shield)

    What if instead of depending on your shield type, we made it depend on your shield's enhancement bonus? At least then it seems like it's the magical part of the shield that is enhancing the aura. (And if the Paladin has Magic Vestment or whatever it is that lets a caster enchant armor with an enhancement bonus, he can gain the full bonus himself with little-no gold expenditure. If that spell is not currently on the Paladin list, it should get added. But I'm pretty sure it's a cleric spell so we should be good).

    But make the retributive aura something like 3 times your shield's enhancement bonus per hit. That's enough to make it noticeable, but not enough to be overwhelming. I know you're worried about keeping competitive with a power attacker, but really, I'd focus less on that. You ARE still getting that +2-7 AC bonus, which is a huge amount in reality. If other characters are getting this bonus without actually going sword and board via animated shields and the like-get rid of the animated shields. Because really as long as those exist, you're not going to make S&B a valid playstyle.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar
    So 1/encounter, [5 (or 10) + class level] x Charisma modifier bonus would suffice?
    Yeah, I'd say 5+class level x cha mod would be enough to keep it on par. It does fall slightly behind Heal when Heal first comes available, but it eventually outpaces it, and it's at least close enough to remain relevant. If you want to make sure it stays stronger, the 10+ should do it


    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar
    Wholeness of Body as a second wind?...
    Going back to 4e's Second Wind, I'd make it a flat bonus to saves/ac. Like a flat +5 for the next turn or two. Not everything needs to be +stat mod, though those do scale nicely, your defenses should already be scaling appropriately with enemy attacks, so a flat +5 just slants things 25% further in your favor. Assuming you were sitting at a point where you get hit about half the time, you just cut the amount you get hit in half.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar
    It's hard to add because it would make the smite DCs quite powerful.
    Okay here's the big miscommunication. I was suggesting give smites save DCs based off strength INSTEAD of charisma, not in addition to it. Charisma still controls basically every other class feature the paladin has, and will still be valued as a Paladin's best stat, but keying smite DCs of str instead can make a solid argument for reversing those priorities for some Paladins.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar
    Perhaps if you go and expand how you'd do it, it might be easier to understand (or really, make greater sense out of it).
    Personally, I'd focus on either Cha/Str or Cha/Con like I said.

    1) Cha/Str: The class stays similar to how it is now. Smite DCs get cha replaced with str. Either a class feature is added or a feat is created that allows 1.5x str with a one hander while wielding a shield. Divine Punishment/Deterrence switches to key off str mod instead. Possibly retune 2-3 auras to work off str instead of charisma where fitting.

    This method is reorganizing the abilities to make str play a bigger part in the damaging role of the Paladin. Right now charisma does everything. It is your spellcasting, your damage, your saving throws, etc. Str applies to your to hit bonus, and a bit to your melee attack damage, but charisma is just doing more than it at every level. The trick here is shifting the damage back to the province of strength.

    2) Cha/Con: Here we change a few more things around. With this, we play to the stats' natural strengths, and key con more towards defense. Since Cha is a very mutable stat for Paladins, we key it a bit further towards offense. You pick up a class feature that adds cha to hit in place of strb, but then divine grace and unyielding resolve get switched to keying off Con instead. Similarly, spells per day switches to con (thematic in that extra con lets him continue on longer), while spell DCs remain cha based for whatever that's worth.

    Here, the Paladin is expected to have Cha as his main damage output via special abilities (the smites, auras, punishment, etc) while most of the defenses switch towards Con.





    I'm saying this in place of what you seem to be angling for which is:

    Charisma to almost everything like now, then a half dozen features that can apply strength or con, whichever is higher. The reason I don't like this method is either the Paladin will have lower HP than you expect and be able to hit stuff no problem, or the Paladin will have more HP than you expect, and not be able to hit anything. When you balance around just one or the other it's easy to make predictions, trying to juggle both is painful.
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Oskar, while I like the work here, you still haven't solved a fundamental flaw - Clerics still fit the archetype you're aiming at better than the various champions do.
    I...seriously have no idea how to answer this without having my conversation devolve into incandescent plasma, but I think the point is really "Clerics have to be nerfed", not "this is a bad idea". Because, really, the concept of a Cleric can be played perfectly well by a Wizard. That's as much as I can say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Okay, so we're suspending logic here for a moment and letting shields affect this aura. (Suggestion: If you want this aura to be what makes S&B iconic for Paladins, you probably want to make all of the auras similarly rely on your shield in some way. Where your smites are your sword, your auras are your shield)

    What if instead of depending on your shield type, we made it depend on your shield's enhancement bonus? At least then it seems like it's the magical part of the shield that is enhancing the aura. (And if the Paladin has Magic Vestment or whatever it is that lets a caster enchant armor with an enhancement bonus, he can gain the full bonus himself with little-no gold expenditure. If that spell is not currently on the Paladin list, it should get added. But I'm pretty sure it's a cleric spell so we should be good).

    But make the retributive aura something like 3 times your shield's enhancement bonus per hit. That's enough to make it noticeable, but not enough to be overwhelming. I know you're worried about keeping competitive with a power attacker, but really, I'd focus less on that. You ARE still getting that +2-7 AC bonus, which is a huge amount in reality. If other characters are getting this bonus without actually going sword and board via animated shields and the like-get rid of the animated shields. Because really as long as those exist, you're not going to make S&B a valid playstyle.
    I'm quickly approaching to the idea that, aside from the enhancement bonuses, most of the weapon special qualities should be based on something only martial characters would have access to. Stuff like Flaming (extra damage) or Frightening (small chance of providing a status effect) should be capable of scaling, but only for those who dabble in martial arts to a definite extent. Mostly, the idea that "everyone has power; Wizards and Clerics use it through their magic, Rogues and Fighters through magic items", in that weapons and certain items worn by the less magically-adept characters end up being more powerful.

    I also agree Animated Shields should go or, at the very least, nerf the Animated property into something that makes S&B viable. But note: at the very least; it's quite possible the Animated property is relegated to Artifact status or even removed, ideally.

    As for the auras being based on shields: interesting concept, but might clash a bit with the idea of the chassis. I could make several interesting upgrades to the auras, in which some of the incorporated changes could apply only to shield-using characters, but most of the blackguards' auras are geared towards offense, so unless the shield is used offensively, paladins may be the only ones that use shields to improve their auras, making S&B a defining build trait of Paladins. Still, if workable, I could figure out really easily how to apply shields as modifiers to the auras, something that may make shields much more useful and also make the auras unique in their own right.

    Going back to 4e's Second Wind, I'd make it a flat bonus to saves/ac. Like a flat +5 for the next turn or two. Not everything needs to be +stat mod, though those do scale nicely, your defenses should already be scaling appropriately with enemy attacks, so a flat +5 just slants things 25% further in your favor. Assuming you were sitting at a point where you get hit about half the time, you just cut the amount you get hit in half.
    Hmm...interesting. Considering that it wouldn't imply adding the saves twice, and the bonus is high enough but not permanent (just enough to allow you to respond to the situation), it would make using WoB in-battle a huge save button. Of course, it would then have to be a real emergency button, so no "spread out healing" unless the ability activates the first time you use it (in order to keep stuff like Caduceus Bracers and unlikely feats such as Hands of a Healer from BoED relevant).

    Okay here's the big miscommunication. I was suggesting give smites save DCs based off strength INSTEAD of charisma, not in addition to it. Charisma still controls basically every other class feature the paladin has, and will still be valued as a Paladin's best stat, but keying smite DCs of str instead can make a solid argument for reversing those priorities for some Paladins.
    While not a bad idea, I'd need a bit more convincing. It's not a bad idea; in fact, it's sound, but I'd need to see it on the context of Cha/Con. Stripping away from Charisma is pretty easy, since the spellcasting and the class abilities make Charisma still relevant, but I would like to allow Con and Str to be competitive, ideally spearheading two different builds. Making smites (all smites) based off Strength instead of Charisma allows inclination towards a more offensive type of Paladin, one which values having high Strength. Since Fortitude and HP isn't so hard to achieve (Divine Grace and other modifiers make Fortitude relevant, a d12 and an item of Constitution allows for a very decent amount of HP given that you'd get 6-7 HP on average every level and even a 12-14 Con adds up real fast), something might be needed to support Con a bit more, and that could be related to defensive abilities. I can see how shifting Cha to Str in terms of design and fluff might not seem like a bad move, but if I were to go almost exclusively Cha/Str, with the high HP and Fort saves I might make Constitution a stat competing with Dexterity for the tertiary slot.

    Personally, I'd focus on either Cha/Str or Cha/Con like I said.

    1) Cha/Str: The class stays similar to how it is now. Smite DCs get cha replaced with str. Either a class feature is added or a feat is created that allows 1.5x str with a one hander while wielding a shield. Divine Punishment/Deterrence switches to key off str mod instead. Possibly retune 2-3 auras to work off str instead of charisma where fitting.

    This method is reorganizing the abilities to make str play a bigger part in the damaging role of the Paladin. Right now charisma does everything. It is your spellcasting, your damage, your saving throws, etc. Str applies to your to hit bonus, and a bit to your melee attack damage, but charisma is just doing more than it at every level. The trick here is shifting the damage back to the province of strength.

    2) Cha/Con: Here we change a few more things around. With this, we play to the stats' natural strengths, and key con more towards defense. Since Cha is a very mutable stat for Paladins, we key it a bit further towards offense. You pick up a class feature that adds cha to hit in place of strb, but then divine grace and unyielding resolve get switched to keying off Con instead. Similarly, spells per day switches to con (thematic in that extra con lets him continue on longer), while spell DCs remain cha based for whatever that's worth.

    Here, the Paladin is expected to have Cha as his main damage output via special abilities (the smites, auras, punishment, etc) while most of the defenses switch towards Con.

    I'm saying this in place of what you seem to be angling for which is:

    Charisma to almost everything like now, then a half dozen features that can apply strength or con, whichever is higher. The reason I don't like this method is either the Paladin will have lower HP than you expect and be able to hit stuff no problem, or the Paladin will have more HP than you expect, and not be able to hit anything. When you balance around just one or the other it's easy to make predictions, trying to juggle both is painful.
    Aside from that mentioned above, I'd personally incline towards a Cha/Str focus. Even just replacing smite DCs from Cha to Str makes the latter quite important; Punishment/Deterrence based off Strength not so much.

    The idea pitched to multiply Str as if using a 2-hander I'd rather make it a feat, because it makes wielding a 2-hander probably a bad idea overall, given that treating a 1-handed weapon as a 2-handed weapon while wearing a shield leads to increased PA damage and then you make 2-handed weapons pointless. Feat-wise, it will eat one of your feat slots to equate your damage potential to that of THF AND if you get Agile Shield Fighting you could even reach an intermediate point between THF damage potential and TWF hit potential. I'd personally make it a trait of Bastard Swords, Dwarven War-Axes and other "1-h exotic/2-h martial" weapons, because that would require one less feat and make wielding an exotic weapon actually important (not to mention it would make Dwarves save one feat, making them excellent for S&B builds).

    So, aside from that worry of changing smites from Cha to Str from a Cha/Con perspective (which isn't what you're suggesting, but more an observation of mine) and how to tackle the idea of Divine Punishment/Divine Deterrence keyed off Strength; how would other abilities could key off Str well enough to make Str a viable choice? I still hold the idea that Con should remain important enough to be a tertiary stat compared to, say, Dexterity (HP and Fort notwithstanding, since Dex would equate Fort with Reflex which is a greater trade and HP with ranged attack rolls which is something a Paladin currently lacks), so it might need one or two abilities that could shift the class into a more defensive one, or at least applicable as a tertiary stat while making Str all the more important. Ideally, so that if you were to get a, say, array much like Elite stat (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8), you could definitely put Cha and Str as your main stats, Con as tertiary, and leave Dex, Int and Wis as dump stats. So far, the only thing where Str applies (if I were to apply that change) is attack bonus, damage bonus, DC of smites, and potentially Divine Deterrence/Punishment (and any abilities that work similarly). Since I want the auras to run off the same score to keep parity amongst each other (and I'm already planning how to apply shield enhancement bonus to all of them), making Str/Cha distinguishing auras seems a bit off.

    Must be that trying to juggle between Cha, Con and Str in any way rubs off as "bad MAD", whereas keeping Charisma relevant in all areas approaches some degree of parity where you won't need much since Cha solves pretty much everything for you. Don't feel bad about this, but it just nags me off.
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Lovely work as usual, Oskar, though I do have a bone to pick about the action type of Severe Custody and similar. Is it meant to be immediate or some crazy form of free action?

    There's a small discrepancy between the Paladin's Fighter equivalent and the multiclassing between the two, as the equivalent is -4 and the multiclass is -5.
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - the Anarch

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Lovely work as usual, Oskar, though I do have a bone to pick about the action type of Severe Custody and similar. Is it meant to be immediate or some crazy form of free action?
    The latter. Basically, Divine Punishment/Necrotic Punishment/Severe Custody all are free actions done as a reaction of another creature. They behave like immediate actions, but they don't use that slot so they're free actions; on the other hand, you can only do this to a character once per round, so it's not exactly free.

    It'd be better explained with the 4e term "Immediate Reaction", since it works under similar guidelines. It's something to increase the damage output of the classes without spending actions, something not entirely noticeable but still a threat if done every turn; eventually the character will have to hit the Paladin, Blackguard or Justiciar if they don't want to suffer more damage, because all of that stacks up.

    Speaking of classes...there's one more class that should be around. Good, Evil and Law are covered, so how do you expect I'll cover Chaos?


    ANARCH
    (Image not found...yet)[/SIZE]

    "Law and Chaos are just two sides of the same coin; Order and Disorder. Both are distinctions, illusions made by mortals to understand the true nature of Pure, Unadulterated Chaos. And what is Pure Chaos, you ask? I dunno, I didn't make it; might want to consult a Slaadmaster for that. I heard they taste well with fermented tomato soup" - Fnardo "Knicknocker" Fnordftauffen, a gnome in extremely gaudy armor supposedly belonging to the "Orderless Order of Order and Disorder", and calls himself an "anarch"

    MAKING AN ANARCH
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    ABILITIES: Same as Paladin, Blackguard and Justiciar
    RACES: Anarchs, much like their orderly counterparts, favor races that grant bonuses to Charisma and Strength. This makes humans and Aasimar (the rare Aasimar that finds solace in chaos) two of the most favored races for this class.
    Within the savage races, most Orcs find themselves embracing the nature of Chaos and bestowed power from the fickle Slaadi to become Anarchs. Evil or not (but usually non-good), their huge strength serves as a strong counterpart to their subtle lack of Charisma. A few githyanki, to better oppose their githzerai kindred, take the mantle of the Anarch; while a few, the unnatural luck that surrounds the Anarchs has allowed them to escape their Lich Queen, which may see them as a threat to her rule.
    ALIGNMENT: Any chaotic.
    STARTING GOLD: As PHB Paladin
    STARTING AGE: As PHB Paladin


    Class Skills
    The anarch class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), and Sense Motive (Wis)
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x4.
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

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    Very few skills can truly be considered intrinsically "chaotic", so the inclusion of buff is quite expected. Otherwise, similar to the Retooled Paladin.


    Hit Die: d12

    THE ANARCH

    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    1st +1
    +2
    0
    +2
    Aura of chaos, entropic strike 1/encounter 2 - - - -
    2nd +2
    +3
    0
    +3
    Bonus feat, Diehard, shrewd tactic 2 - - - -
    3rd +3
    +3
    +1
    +3
    Anarchic aura, scofflaw 3 0 - - -
    4th +4
    +4
    +1
    +4
    Disable construct 3 0 - - -
    5th +5
    +4
    +1
    +4
    Entropic strike 2/encounter, improved entropic strike 3 1 - - -
    6th +6/+1
    +5
    +2
    +5
    Bonus Feat, entropic backlash (attacks) 3 1 - - -
    7th +7/+2
    +5
    +2
    +5
    Luck of the draw 4 1 0 - -
    8th +8/+3
    +6
    +2
    +6
    Mettle 4 2 0 - -
    9th +9/+4
    +6
    +3
    +6
    Anarchic aura, random leap (1/encounter) 4 2 1 - -
    10th +10/+5
    +7
    +3
    +7
    Bonus Feat, entropic strike 3/encounter 4 2 1 - -
    11th +11/+6/+1
    +7
    +3
    +7
    Slippery mind 5 2 1 0 -
    12th +12/+7/+2
    +8
    +4
    +8
    Entropic backlash (spells) 5 3 2 1 -
    13th +13/+8/+3
    +8
    +4
    +8
    Improved mettle 5 3 2 1 -
    14th +14/+9/+4
    +9
    +4
    +9
    Bonus feat, random leap (3/encounter) 5 3 2 2 0
    15th +15/+10/+5
    +9
    +5
    +9
    Anarchic aura, entropic strike 4/encounter, destructive strike 5 3 3 2 1
    16th +16/+11/+6/+1
    +10
    +5
    +10
    Anarchic resistance 5 4 3 2 1
    17th +17/+12/+7/+2
    +10
    +5
    +10
    Unyielding resolve 5 4 3 3 2
    18th +18/+13/+8/+3
    +11
    +6
    +11
    Bonus Feat, scion of fortune 5 4 4 3 2
    19th +19/+14/+9/+4
    +11
    +6
    +11
    Random leap (1/round) 5 4 4 3 3
    20th +20/+15/+10/+5
    +12
    +6
    +12
    Anarch of legend, entropic strike 5/encounter 5 4 4 3 3

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    Yeah, don't bash me for doing such a piss-poor interpretation of the Principia Discordia. Or did I do it right? You never know. I profess myself a follower of Order, so I tend to understand quite poorly the notion of chaos.

    Having said that; there are very few differences between the four classes, actually. If you've noticed, stuff like the BAB, the spells, and the organization of the abilities are remarkably similar on all four classes. Once I do the post that explains the nature of a "chassis", I'll place the skeleton I used for all of those, not to mention the Bez-Kismet, part of the Ranger and a yet-undisclosed class. If you're curious; my take on the Soulborn. Complete with different name.
    Now, you'll notice a few abilities are different. As usual, the spoilers are here to determine what are the differences. Namely, you'll see Entropic Strike, Luck of the Draw and Random Leap are quite dissimilar to similar abilities, and reflect the idea of random chance without the trouble of relying too much on rolls.


    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the anarch.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Anarchs are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all kinds of armor (heavy, medium and light), and with all kinds of shields.

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    While Paladins and Justiciars tend to have nifty tricks, Anarchs and Blackguards lack such a benefit. I might need to find some ideas regarding what to grant them, though I might just give them the ability to treat anything as a weapon. Might be thematically fitting, maybe not.


    Aura of Chaos (Ex): The power of an anarch’s aura of chaos (see the detect chaos spell) is equal to her anarch level, just like the aura of a cleric of a chaotic deity. Unlike the aura ability below, this aura is always active.

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    Not so different from similar auras, so to fill this...it's quite odd that, after going with "a Paladin", "a Blackguard" and "a Justiciar", I have to use "an" for Anarch, a repetition I find a bit unnerving. Then again, "a Anarch" is just as repetitive and worse-sounding.


    Spells: An anarch casts divine spells, which are drawn from the cleric spell list plus a few spells added to the list below. An anarch can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time.
    To prepare or cast a spell, an anarch must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a anarch’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the anarch’s Charisma modifier. Like other spellcasters, an anarch can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Anarch. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score. When Table: The Anarch indicates that the anarch gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, she gains only the bonus spells she would be entitled to based on his Charisma score for that spell level. The anarch does not have access to any domain spells or granted powers as a cleric does.
    An anarch casts spells the same way a bard or sorcerer does, except her spells are divine in origin and thus she may cast them in any kind of armor. An anarch may learn (and cast) any spell on the cleric spell list (see Player’s Handbook), with the following restrictions: an anarch may not learn or cast a spell that has the chaotic descriptor. Furthermore, an anarch may not cast spells that oppose her moral alignment; a chaotic good anarch may not cast evil spells, nor a chaotic evil anarch may cast lawful spells. An anarch, however, may learn and cast spells that are not available on the cleric spell list and that are unique to her. The spells that she may cast alongside those she may already learn within the cleric spell list appear below.
    Upon reaching 8th level, once per week and at every three class levels he gains, an anarch can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged. An anarch may swap only a single spell at any given moment, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the specified level.

    Table: Anarch spells known
    Level 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    1st 2 - - - -
    2nd 2 - - - -
    3rd 3 11 - - -
    4th 3 21 - - -
    5th 3 2 - - -
    6th 3 3 - - -
    7th 4 3 11 - -
    8th 4 3 21 - -
    9th 4 4 2 - -
    10th 4 4 3 - -
    11th 5 4 3 21 -
    12th 5 4 3 2 -
    13th 5 5 4 3 -
    14th 5 5 4 3 21
    15th 6 5 4 3 2
    16th 6 5 4 4 3
    17th 6 5 5 4 3
    18th 6 6 5 4 4
    19th 7 6 5 5 4
    20th 7 6 5 5 5
    1 Provided the anarch has sufficient Charisma to have a bonus spell of this level.

    As noted above, an anarch needs not prepare her spells in advance. She can cast any spell she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.

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    Technically, there shouldn't be much difference between the spells of an Anarch and the spells of other such "holy warriors". The format is quite similar, nothing so important. Still, when you see the spells, you'll notice they are quite powerful compared to other classes, and it may just make Archivists happier. It's not the problem of the class, but that of the Archivist itself.


    Entropic Strike (Su): An anarch has the singular ability to infuse her strikes with the power of chaos, causing lethal damage to creatures of law and affecting creatures that remain neutral. The effect of infusing attacks with the power of chaos is, unexpectedly, a mixture of unpredictability and expectancy, in which an anarch may control the power of her strike or leave the results to chance and risk the outcome.
    Once per encounter as part of a melee attack, an anarch may smite an opponent. The anarch adds her Charisma modifier to the attack roll; if successful, the attack causes extra damage and a special effect. An anarch must choose her method of smiting; once it is chosen, it becomes permanent (but see below).
    Unless stated otherwise, an anarch deals an amount of extra damage equal to her anarch level (neutral creatures take half damage). As well, all saving throw DCs are equal to 10 + half the anarch’s class level + the anarch’s Strength modifier; lawful creatures suffer a penalty of -1 to the save for each four HD or class levels of the anarch. If the anarch accidentally strikes a creature that is chaotic, the strike has no effect but the ability is not used for the day.
    Although the anarch may smite her opponent with a fixed ability and fixed damage, she may take a risk and expect a different outcome. An anarch that smites her opponent and leaves the result to random chance may increase or decrease the amount of damage dealt and inflict a different effect. An anarch that makes this choice acquires a -5 penalty on damage rolls (to a minimum of 0) but rolls a d10 and adds the outcome of the roll to the damage dealt; furthermore, she may roll a d6 and determine the effect that will apply.

    Confounding: the anarch’s strike erodes the creature’s mind. If the creature fails a Will saving throw, the creature is treated as confused for a number of rounds equal to half the anarch’s class level. A creature that succeeds on the save is merely confused for one round. Mindless creatures are not affected by this ability regardless of alignment. An anarch that decides to leave effects to luck use this effect if a d6 roll ends up in 1 or 4; furthermore, the amount of rounds the creature is confused is instead equal to the anarch’s class level.

    Disruptive: the anarch’s strike disrupts the functioning of the creature. If the creature fails a Fortitude save, the creature is treated as if sickened for a number of rounds equal to half the anarch’s class level (minimum 1). This effect is not actual sickness, and thus creatures naturally immune to sickness are affected by this ability (such as undead or constructs), furthermore, the penalty to attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks and ability checks increases by one for every five class levels of the anarch. An anarch that decides to leave the effect to random chance uses this effect if a d6 roll ends up in 3 or 6; furthermore, the sickened creature is treated as if nauseated for one round (but creatures immune to nausea are not affected by this bonus).

    Entangling: the anarch’s strike lingers upon the enemy, crippling its movement. If using this ability, the anarch’s attack deals no extra damage; however, the creature must succeed on a Reflex save or become entangled for a number of rounds equal to half the anarch’s caster level. Each round the creature is entangled, the creature suffers 1 point of damage plus 1 point of damage per four class levels of the anarch; this damage is of divine origin and cannot be resisted. An anarch that decides to leave effects to random chance use this effect if a d6 roll ends up in 2 or 5; as well, the d10 roll is added (or subtracted) to the amount of rounds the creature is entangled.

    At 5th level, and every five levels thereafter, the anarch may strike a non-chaotic creature one additional time per encounter.

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    This isn't your grandparents' smites. Not even similar to the smites of the Paladin and Blackguard, and strikingly different from the Justiciar's verdicts.

    Entropic Strike works at a different level. You see, you can play it safe. Chaos doesn't mean you have to be totally reckless; you are just willing to try new stuff to see if it works. It's not a bad idea, actually, and people that follow Order do so as well, but there's a big difference. While an orderly person tries new things on a very calculated way, leading to repulsion, a person who chooses chaos tries new things for the very experience of it. If it's bad, they learn from it and may try it again from a new perspective; otherwise, it's just one of the large sets of tricks they learn.

    Why this small quip, though? Entropic Strike works in a similar trend; you can play it safe, using the strikes you know, but you may leave it to random chance. This means, at any moment, the Anarch may find herself fighting a mindless, yet oddly lawful creature (well, actually, not THAT odd at all...). That would block, say, the anarch's confusing strike, but that doesn't mean they're out of options. In that case, they leave it to random chance; they roll a d6 and a d10, and they may end up with the right strike and an increased benefit, or with the same strike but with little damage.

    Now, why is this special? You see; leaving it to random chance alters the nature of the smite by adding an extra rider effect. Perhaps the strike is more powerful than before, the effect lasts for more rounds; the idea is that, while you might want to play it safe sometimes, there should be a clear benefit to leaving the results of the smite to the Random Number Gods.

    Aside from that; what does the strikes do? Confusing Strike, the Will-based strike, does exactly as intended; a confusion effect which can be just as annoying as it sounds, and it works on those who are complete menaces when confused; melee characters. Disruptive Strike works with the oft-maligned sickness condition, which is cool but it doesn't stack and doesn't progress, unlike fear which stacks and definitely becomes worse with each step; you'll see on the Improved version, which basically has nauseated as the step after sickened (and nauseated is a tough condition to beat). Entangling Strike is basically a damage-over-time strike, something only a single maneuver has (a Desert Wind boost, to be precise), coupled with a pretty tough debuff based off Reflex. All three have equal chances of being randomly executed and a reasonable spread so you'll see all three quite often if you prefer to leave the use of the ability to happenstance.

    UPDATE: Following the trend, entropic strike save DCs are based on Strength instead of Charisma.


    Bonus Feat: At 2nd level, and every four levels after that, an anarch gains a bonus feat in addition to those she obtains by means of improving levels. These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as fighter bonus feats, divine feats or domain feats. An anarch must still meet the prerequisites for a bonus feat, as usual. For purposes of fighter level prerequisites, an anarch is considered to have a fighter level equal to her anarch level -4.

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    Same old, same old. As usual, the Anarch can't get Law Devotion, but it feels right at home with Trickery Devotion.


    Diehard: At 2nd level, an anarch gains the Diehard feat as a bonus feat. She does not need to meet the prerequisites of this feat to acquire it.

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    No difference here. Typical endurance feat. Move along...


    Shrewd Tactic (Ex): A 2nd level anarch may add her Charisma modifier as a bonus to all weapon damage rolls when wielding a shield. If she wields a tower shield, she may add the modifier to her attack rolls as well.
    Furthermore, whenever the anarch faces an opponent that is flat-footed, flanked or otherwise denied its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, the anarch's damage from her Strength (and Charisma, if applicable) increases. An anarch wielding a shield adds 1-1/2 times the sum of her Strength and Charisma modifier, while an anarch wielding a two-handed weapon adds twice her Strength modifier.

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    Same as...wait, that's not the same as the other three! Why does the Anarch get more damage?

    Well, considering they're opportunists and tend to take advantage of the situation, you can expect the Anarch to deal increased damage whenever the time is right (and being a class that depends on chance, that is definitely something to exploit). Thus, an anarch with Strength 16 and Charisma 16 would deal 9 points when fighting with a shield, or 6 points when fighting with a two-handed weapon if taking the enemy unaware. That is one potent tactic, if you consider it (and makes fighting with a shield and flanking all the more tasty). Just remember that the sustained damage may be higher, but two-handed weapon users deal more damage anyways.


    Anarchic Aura (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, an anarch channels the power of chaos through her body. Treat this ability as the paladin’s divine aura, except all auras are replaced as follows:
    Disturbance: penalty to saving throws equal to Charisma modifier against mind-affecting effects on opponents, morale bonus to saving throws equal to Charisma modifier against mind-affecting effects on allies.
    Ennui: denies morale bonuses to opponents. Amount denied is equal to total bonus or the anarch’s Charisma modifier, whichever is lower.
    Happenstance: circumstance bonus to allies or penalty to opponents equal to Charisma modifier: effect is chosen at random (d12: 1 – penalty to attack rolls, 2 – bonus to attack rolls, 3 – penalty to damage rolls, 4 – bonus to damage rolls, 5 – penalty to AC, 6 – bonus to AC, 7 – penalty to Reflex saves, 8 – bonus to Reflex saves, 9 – penalty to Will saves, 10 – bonus to Will saves, 11 – roll again, 12 – choose one) every round
    Rowdiness: morale bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls, morale bonus to Will saves equal to half the anarch’s Charisma modifier; penalty to AC equal to half the anarch’s Charisma modifier on any non-lawful creatures. For barbarians and creatures under a state of rage, instead add Charisma modifier to effective barbarian level if raging for purposes of determining rage bonuses; creatures that are raging but have no barbarian levels are treated as if they had 1 level of barbarian for purposes of determining their rage bonuses.
    Unpredictability: miss chance equal to 5% times the anarch’s Charisma modifier (maximum 50%). Treat as the effect of a entropic shield spell, but it also protects against melee attacks. This only applies to the anarch.

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    These are probably some of the most powerful auras around. Anarchs aren't playing when they use their auras.

    Happenstance is quite the powerful aura, actually. The idea was that everybody had the bonus or the penalty specified, but then I remembered something I actually believe; what's equal isn't a disadvantage. In other words, if you have a penalty to attack rolls, enemies have an advantage; however, if the enemies ALSO have a penalty to attack rolls, that advantage is neutralized. Battles become shorter or larger if only because such values fluctuate. Thus, happenstance and its current incarnation; either your allies gain a bonus or your enemies gain a penalty, which ends up in benefits on your behalf.

    Rowdiness will be perfect for those anarchs that cast the rage spell or that have barbarian buddies. An anarch that has enough Charisma may cause the barbarian to enter a Greater Rage or Mighty Rage early on, something that they surely will appreciate. Otherwise, the bonus it provides is thematically between Rage and Inspire Courage, which as you may know are abilities used by chaotic-inclined classes. Unpredictability, on the other hand, is definitely an aura meant to be annoying, given that miss chances block sneak attacks and generally work better than AC-based defenses. As you can see, the anarch is unusual in that you simply can't seem to hit her.

    NOTE: Unlike the other divine champions, I decided to keep Charisma for the effects of these auras. While it was easy to deal with Paladin=tank=Constitution and Blackguard=damage dealer=Strength, it was a bit hard to try and deal with the Anarch and a different stat. Thus, they're the few lucky ones that use their highest modifier for stuff like Circumstance or Unpredictability.


    Scofflaw (Su): At 3rd level, an anarch is immune to divination effects, as if she were under a constant nondetection effect. The caster level for the effect is equal to the anarch’s class level.

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    While the Paladin has a way to deal with fear, and the Blackguard has a way to turn fear into a weapon, not to mention the Justiciar having a way to deal with compulsions, it's quite odd to see the Anarch having something so bizarre as having immunity to detections. If they could hide, or become invisible, it would be a bit more useful. Still, slippery mind at this level is traditionally considered a quite powerful ability.

    Still; I can hear any idea pitched for this level, even if it's just a very elaborate explanation of why slippery mind isn't a bad idea for 2nd level.


    Disable Construct (Su): At 4th level, an anarch acquires the ability to affect the functions of constructs. Treat this ability as the cleric’s ability to turn or rebuke undead, except if an anarch would turn the construct, it instead disables it for a number of rounds equal to half the anarch’s class level. If a construct would be destroyed, it instead reduces the HP of the construct to 0 but does not destroy it outright (any amount of hit point restoration reactivates the construct instead). An anarch is treated as a cleric of three levels lower for purposes of disabling constructs. This ability may be treated as turn or rebuke undead for purposes of feat, prestige class or magic item prerequisites.

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    If I wanted, I could have gone with a simple "turn/rebuke outsider" and make it relate to lawful or chaotic outsiders. However, while undead and outsiders have lots of counters, and even plants and oozes of all creatures have counters, constructs have very little. Fighting a golem can be pretty annoying to anyone except characters that can bypass their AC and DR, or Conjurers. Constructs are, by nature, representatives of order (not always, but a disproportionately large amount of times), so it's natural that such an obedient, orderly mindset (if any; constructs are usually mindless to boot) could be disabled through supernatural means. In a place like Eberron, an anarch would be deadly because it could disable waves of Warforged, most homunculi and other such deadly creatures; even in vanilla Greyhawk, having an anarch disable a golem in one turn can be pretty surprising. As usual; disable construct is the pool of points an anarch gets for divine feats, so in the odd case there are no constructs an anarch still gets good use of this ability.


    Improved Entropic Strike (Su): At 5th level, the anarch’s entropic strike increases in potency.

    Confounding: the anarch’s strike directly affects the mental functions of the creature. If the creature fails the Will saving throw, it takes 1 point of damage to Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma as well as become confused. Mindless creatures do not receive ability damage even if they are subject to it. If the anarch uses this ability by means of random chance, increase the ability damage by 1d3 points each.

    Disruptive: the anarch’s strike ignores various resistances. Damage dealt by the strike ignores any damage reduction and hardness. If the anarch uses this ability by means of random chance, damage dealt by the smite (including weapon damage, but not precision-based damage) is doubled.

    Entangling: the anarch’s strike entangles nearby creatures. Opponents within 30 feet of the affected target must make a Reflex save or become entangled. All creatures take the same damage as the target creature. If the ability is chosen through random chance, roll a d12 instead of a d10 to determine the bonus rounds of entangling.

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    As with the other classes, Entropic Strike has its share of upgrades. Unlike the other classes, these upgrades also come with random-chance rider effects. Confusing Strike deals mental damage but is based off a Will save, so it suddenly becomes lethal to spellcasters; Disruptive Strike bypasses DR and hardness so it suddenly becomes dangerous to melee characters, and Entangling Strike...finally entangles. As usual, you can play it safe, but there's clear benefits within random chance.


    Entropic Backlash (Su): At 6th level, whenever an anarch is using her anarchic aura ability, she may deactivate it in order to gain the benefit of this ability. If an enemy creature succeeds in making a melee or ranged attack against an ally of the anarch, the creature must make a d100 roll. If the creature rolls 25 or under, the ally takes no damage and the enemy takes the full brunt of the attack (if it is a melee attack) or deals damage to an adjacent creature that is not an ally of the anarch (if it’s a ranged attack or if the creature makes a melee attack while one of its allies is adjacent to it). This ability activates each time the enemy creature succeeds on an attack. The anarch gains no benefit from this ability.

    At 12th level, this effect also applies to spells. Only spells, spell-like abilities, psionic powers, psi-like abilities and mysteries (so as long as they are used as arcane spells or spell-like abilities) with a range of personal, touch, close, medium or long are affected by this ability. If any of the above-mentioned abilities backfires, the spellcaster takes damage equal to 1d6 points per level of the spell, spell-like ability, psionic power, psi-like ability or mystery.

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    While the Paladin, the Blackguard and the Justiciar have deterrents against attacks and spells, the Anarch has a variant on these abilities. 25% "miss chance" on pretty much everything except extraordinary and supernatural abilities might not seem much; it's really 1 in every 4 attacks. On the other hand, on the case that attack misses, the enemy will take a much more severe backlash than the original abilities, which generally deal a smaller amount of damage in comparison. What makes this ability much more dangerous is that it applies at all moments, not just once per round like in most of those "deterrent" abilities. It really reinforces the idea that fighting against an anarch really IS a gamble. This makes the anarch deceptively dangerous.


    Luck of the Draw (Su): At 7th level, an anarch acquires a pool of mystical energy which can be used to heal or punish. Treat this ability as the paladin’s lay on hands ability, except instead of healing (or inflicting) an amount of hit points up to a fixed amount, the anarch instead has a pool of dice (d6) equal to her class level plus her Charisma modifier.

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    I recall a good amount of months ago that someone on this same forum proposed an idea to improve lay on hands on a very similar way to Pathfinder; make lay on hands based on dice rolls. While I don't really like the idea with the Paladin (given that the class generally inclines towards Law), I found it spectacular for an Anarch.

    Still; why the small dice pool? Well, it scales poorly (with 24+ Charisma, at level 15 that means about 22d6 worth of healing, which is around 77 points of damage on average), but it's quite big at the beginning (11d6 at the level you gain this ability, roughly 5 points more than the average you'd get with the traditional lay on hands). And, since you can really hit the jackpot later on, and there are ways to reroll d6s in the odd case there's a 1, there's a chance you get much more HP than usual.

    Now; I'm posting the ability as I developed it originally. I've started to consider replenishing the pool on a per-encounter basis; in this case, that means I might need to reconsider the right amount of dice on the pool. Does (class level + Cha modifier)d6 sounds well as a refillable pool, or perhaps something less (like d6 equal to your Charisma modifier)?


    Mettle (Ex): Beginning at 8th level, if an anarch makes a successful Will or Fortitude save that would normally reduce the save’s effect, she suffers no effect from the spell at all. Only those spells with a saving throw entry of “partial” or “half” are affected by this ability, and only for purposes of Will and/or Fortitude saves with these descriptors.

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    Same old same old. Not much to see here. As you can see, I really seem to like Mettle, and I find that while it's a quirky ability, it's one that really defines what a survivalist-type of tank should actually do. I also find it hardly underused, and something that should have been part of the OGL as an evasion counterpart.


    Random Leap (Su): At 9th level, an anarch gains the ability to jaunt away from trouble to prevent damage or closing distance in a very short notice. Although her jaunting ability is limited at first, she eventually gains the ability to warp in-between spaces with incredible ease as she grows more powerful.
    Once per encounter, as a move action, the anarch may move up to twice her unmodified base land speed (meaning, the speed that she would have without enhancement bonuses or penalties because of armor). She effectively replaces her move with this ability.
    At 14th level, she may use this ability three times per encounter. At 19th level, she may use this ability once per round, but only up to her unmodified base land speed (she may still move three times per encounter up to twice her base land speed).

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    While Paladins and Blackguards gain the ability to fly and Justiciars move swifter than anyone, Anarchs simply leap around and end up right where they're needed the most. As you can see, this is an ability that starts better than usual, since you can use it once per encounter compared to only 3 times per day (although the Justiciar's movement bonus is permanent). Later on, it becomes a 1/round ability, meaning that if you want you can basically warp instead of moving (totally taking the enemy unaware and bypassing restrictions such as threatened areas and whatnot) but take no advantage from enhancements to movement.

    Ideally, this should work much like Dimension Door, except you can act after moving. I personally recommend you using this ability with Sun School or as part of a shadow-pounce build, if only because most melee characters could make good use of such an ability. That means I should place a small disclaimer so that you can enable such nice tricks (even if only once or three times per encounter) on your builds.


    Slippery Mind (Ex): At 11th level, if an anarch with slippery mind is affected by a mind-affecting spell or effect and fails her saving throw, she can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. She gets only one extra chance to succeed on her saving throw.

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    Don't look at me that way! Anarchs get slippery mind before rogues do, actually, and with their huge Will saves they actually can make good use of this ability.

    Still, as I mentioned with the scofflaw ability; if you find slippery mind isn't fit for 11th level but fits perfectly as a 2nd level ability, by all means do so. I do believe slippery mind has its niche right around level 6, where enchanters start to become a bit more dangerous, but the fact that enchantments aren't so powerful to begin with...


    Improved Mettle (Ex): At 13th level, an anarch’s mettle ability improves. She still takes no effect on a successful Will or Fortitude save that has the “partial” or “half” descriptor, but henceforth she takes only the partial effect or half the damage on a failed save.

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    Same old, same old. Just as I like mettle, I also like the improved version. It's basically improved evasion but refluffed, so it makes little sense that it ain't OGL by all means...


    Destructive Strike (Su): At 15th level, an anarch’s entropic strike ability acquires a powerful new effect, closely related to that of the anarch’s original choice of strike.

    Confusing: an anarch’s strike ignores mental defenses. Immunity to confusion or mind-affecting spells do not ignore the anarch’s confusion effect, and a creature suffers 1d3 points of Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma damage regardless of whether it is immune to ability damage. Mindless creatures are still immune to the effect of the anarch’s strike. If the anarch uses this ability by means of random chance, increase the ability damage by 1d6 points each.

    Disruptive: an anarch’s strike is utterly devastating. Creatures that fail their Fortitude save take triple damage from the smite (including the weapon’s damage, as well as any other damage modifiers, but not precision-based damage such as sneak attack). If the anarch uses this ability through random chance, the creature takes quadruple damage.

    Entangling: an anarch’s strike reduces the mobility of all creatures. If a creature fails its Reflex save, it becomes slowed instead of entangled; creatures that succeed on their saving throws are still entangled for a number of rounds equal to half the anarch’s class level. Freedom of movement and similar effects do not ignore the slow or entangle effect. If the ability is chosen through random chance, roll a d10 and add the result to the damage dealt by the entangling.

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    Destructive Strike doesn't really seem so destructive, but as you can see, it's one of the few ways to deal four times your damage, alongside a very decent static damage bonus that gets multiplied alongside it. Entangling is also quite powerful, being one of the few non-magical ways to slow enemies and without a Will save (meaning both spellcasters and melee characters get affected by the ability), and the clause that freedom of movement doesn't protect you from this smite is all the more worthwhile. Confusing ends up being one of the least powerful of all abilities, however; still, taking mental damage AND remain confused for a few rounds can be just as devastating.


    Anarchic Resistance (Su): At 16th level, an anarch gains the ability to further resist the spells of lawful creatures. She gains spell resistance equal to 15 + the anarch’s class level, but only against spells with the lawful descriptor or any spell cast by characters of lawful alignment, clerics of lawful deities, or lawful outsiders.

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    Spell Resistance but against order. This is probably the most annoying of them all, because the game tends to incline towards law and good over chaos and evil. If the cleric or wizard just happens to be lawful, that means you'll constantly be bouncing off those spells. As well, most enemies are chaotic so they may find little resistance. And there are very few lawful spells, so spell-wise they aren't so protected. Still, when you have a miss chance against spells, you have pretty much all the protection you need against them, no?


    Unyielding Resolve (Ex): At 17th level, an anarch becomes capable of fighting even when her forces fail her, beyond where others could stand. An anarch is never considered disabled or staggered, even if she has less than 0 hit points or her nonlethal damage exceeds her current hit point total. Furthermore, she may continue to fight even if she has less than -10 hit points, but only to an amount of negative hit points equal to 10 plus half her character level plus her Constitution modifier. Instant death effects and attacks that destroy the body still affect the anarch if successful.

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    And again, another "indestructible" class. Sort of. Anarchs and their spellcasting, alongside Entropic Backlash or the Aura of Unpredictability makes them already annoying to fight, and pretty much resilient to anything they are thrown off; having high HP and extended negative HP range makes them even more resilient.

    UPDATE: Went for Constitution on this one.


    Scion of Fortune (Su): At 18th level, an anarch gains the ability to alter her fortune ever so slightly. Once per round, whenever an anarch fails a roll, she may attempt a reroll with a -5 penalty. She must take the result of this roll, even if its lower than the previous one.

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    Paladins get an increase to their total HP amount; Blackguards gain traits like undead, and Justiciar gains no failure on their saving throws. How an anarch can compare against that?

    Well, exactly as you see. This is the ultimate form of luck reroll, except its not a luck reroll. You gain a penalty on that, but if you rolled a 1 and all you needed to roll was a 2 or something, this may not necessarily be the case. Since it applies to just about anything, it means that your chances of success just got up even more. But again; NO LUCK REROLL. That's in case you have luck feats.


    Anarch of Legend: At 20th level, an anarch becomes an embodiment of revolution, and her legacy inspires change (for good or for bad). She is forevermore treated as a native outsider (unless she is already treated as one), gains the chaotic subtype, and gains damage reduction X/epic and lawful, where X is equal to half her class level.

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    And yes, the capstone. Consider that being a chaotic outsider makes you one of the rarest creatures around. Few things really affect chaotic creatures, so DR X/epic and lawful means very few things really hit you. Except, you know...devils. And inevitables; those are gonna hit pretty hard (but most of the inevitables aren't Epic, mind you).


    Anarch Spells
    The following spells are exclusive or enhanced to the anarch:
    1st—hideous laughter**, lesser confusion**, weapon of tumult*
    2nd—blur**, misdirection**, mount**, touch of idiocy**
    3rd—glibness**, mirror image**, rage**
    4th— break enchantment-, chaos hammer-, confusion-, dispel law-, righteous might-

    The following spells are denied to the anarch:
    1st—command
    2nd—calm emotions
    3rd—meld into stone, stone shape
    4th—control water, dimensional anchor, giant vermin, imbue with spell ability

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    And here's the spell list.

    Look at the 2nd level spells for a while. Notice that blur is one of the spells? Now look at level 3; mirror image. That's an odd choice of spells, mostly illusions. Alongside lesser confusion and rage, you get a few of the bard's own spells.

    This is intentional. The bard is to Chaos what the Paladin is to Good; probably its best exemplar. Thus, if the Anarch is to become the exemplar of Chaos, then it's not so difficult to allow it to cast a few of the bard's own spells, in divine format. That also means mirror image and some of the other spells become part of the archivist's spell lists...well, on games where Divine Bards are absent, anyways.

    What you'll notice, though, is that the Anarch will chafe on compulsions. This is odd, because the Bard thrives on compulsions; however, much like the Paladin chafes on some forms of necromancy because they are antithetical to their beliefs, and since one of the anarch's core beliefs is defense of free will and the right to choose, compulsions definitely play against that. Except for rage, that's less of a compulsion and more something about loosening inhibitions, so not ALL compulsions are forbidden. Just...those that deal with domination. Mostly

    Aside from that (and calm emotions because chaos is often related to passion and not on self-control), the spell list isn't so different from the rest. When getting spells for Anarchs, consider adding spells that Bards might use, except those who rely on compulsions (charms are free play). Bardic buffs are strong contenders, and bardic illusions even more. However, be careful on what you add them; having a character that can cast spells from the cleric and bard spell lists may make for a strong character.

    By the way; would you like haste on the list or not? It's the kind of spell that separates them from the norm.


    Weapon of Tumult
    Transmutation
    Level: Anarch 1

    This spell is exactly as the bless weapon paladin spell, except as follows: instead of improving a weapon’s effectiveness against evil opponents, this spell makes a weapon more effective against lawful opponents.

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    And as a final bonus; there's bless weapon, corrupt weapon and checkmate's light, but there's no spell to turn weapons chaotic. Even if you don't like anything from the retools, at least consider this addition to a spell. This works well with holy liberators (if you're using the PrC), as it allows them to cover that area.


    And that should wrap up the four primary classes. Next, a collection of alternate class features that apply to ALL above classes, including Serenity. Before that, however, I'll be revising the classes and adopting the recommendations mentioned above. For ease of reference; would you please recap all recommendations (or if everyone agrees, someone recollect all recommendations organized by poster) in order to make the necessary changes easier? I figure a few days should be enough; since some of the changes directly involve the chassis behind all four classes, I want to make sure the recommendations are dealt with before tackling the core of Project Heretica.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-05-20 at 01:17 PM. Reason: Fixing the table

  11. - Top - End - #41
    Troll in the Playground
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    May 2009
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    Male

    Default Re: Project Heretica - ACFs for the divine champions

    Multiclassing
    Unlike other classes, blackguards and justiciars may not multiclass freely. Any of these classes is allowed to take a prestige class without any restrictions (other than meeting the prerequisites for the base class) and still be allowed to take levels in their respective classes so desires, but if they take a level in a base class, they may not gain any more levels in their respective classes. An anarch may multiclass freely in another class, but it may not take any more anarch levels if it takes a level in a class that requires changing to a lawful alignment; once embracing the notion of order, the anarch's connection to raw chaos is forever altered.

    Blackguards, justiciars and anarchs that multiclass into a fighter, a martial adept, or a divine spellcaster gains special benefits, however. Such classes may multiclass freely into a fighter if they so desire; this is an exception to the aforementioned rule. Furthermore, if they have more than six levels, they may treat their class level -4 as effective fighter levels for purposes of meeting prerequisites for fighter bonus feats. As well, they may treat their class levels -4 as effective initiator levels for purposes of qualifying for maneuvers if she multiclasses into a martial adept class (instead of merely half her level); however, they face their multiclass restriction as usual. If they multiclass into a divine spellcaster, they may treat half their class levels as part of that specific divine spellcasting caster levels (but not actual class levels to, for example, gain higher level spells or spell slots), and may prepare spells exclusive to their spell lists (but not reduced-level spells or spells that appear on other classes' spell lists); they face their multiclass restrictions as usual (if any).

    Expanded Multiclass Options
    All four classes (paladin, blackguard, justiciar or anarch) may advance auras gained through the marshal, divine mind or dragon shaman class abilities. Treat half the class levels in paladin, blackguard, justiciar or anarch as class levels in marshal, divine mind or dragon shaman for purposes of determining the strength of (but not access to) auras, and viceversa. If using the Bez-Kismet, apply the same bonus as well.

    As well, all four classes may advance some class abilities of divine minds, crusaders, and soulborn. Treat half of the class levels in paladin, blackguard, anarch or justiciar as effective manifester levels for divine mind class abilities or the effective caster level for the soulborn's soulmelds (if any). As well, add full class levels in paladin, blackguard, anarch or justiciar to the smite opposition class ability of the soulborn (if using it against evil creatures with paladin, good creatures with blackguard, chaotic creatures with justiciar or lawful creatures with anarch) and the smite ability of crusaders (but not steely resolve). This also applies to the smite ability gained through means of multiclassing into a cleric with the Destruction domain.

    A blackguard or anarch that multiclasses into bez-kismet adds half their class levels to the bez-kismet class level to determine their arcane caster level and the power of their curse of the fateless, and add half the class levels in bez-kismet to determine their divine caster level and the strength of their smite good/entropic smite class abilities. Furthermore, they add their full class levels to determine the spell resistance (if any) gained by means of bez-kismet, blackguard or anarch.

    Blackguards that multiclass into warlocks may add half their class levels in blackguard to their effective caster level for invocations, and to determine the strength of their eldritch blast (but not gain any new invocations). As well, they may add half their class levels in warlock to the caster level of blackguard spells, and if they use the hideous blow blast shape invocation, they may use a smite as part of the same action. Finally, the blackguard adds half his class levels in warlock to determine the damage of his smite good ability and their saving throw DC (but not to determine new smites)

    Anarchs that multiclass into barbarian add half their class level to their effective barbarian level when raging. As well, they add half their class levels to determine the caster level of bard spells and effective bard level to access songs (but not daily uses of bardic music) and may add bard spells to their anarch spell list and viceversa.

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    Since the above-mentioned classes hold some synergy, it's not a bad idea to reinforce that innate synergy that they hold by stacking to a certain extent some class abilities.

    Having the auras inspired on the marshal, I decided that they should provide a reasonable boost to such abilities on aura-using classes (such as the marshal, the dragon shaman, and the ill-conceived divine mind). This should make dipping or dunking into the class less of a pain, although why would you like to multiclass if the latter abilities are so good anyways...?

    Being primary smiters (and the paladin being the smiter per excellence), I also decided to provide some strength to the smite abilities of other classes. The smite ability of these four classes exceeds that of the above-mentioned, but just so that you don't get punished so much for pursuing a rare and interesting choice...

    As you can see, blackguards and warlocks merge well, as well as anarchs with the traditionally chaotic classes (bard and barbarian). Because of this, they also gain some benefits when multiclassing.

    And finally, some of the homebrew I've made also gets some benefit. This includes the Retooled Marshal and the Bez-Kismet; in case you still don't know, the [divine warrior] chassis was used as the core of the Bez-Kismet, and it's natural that at least two of the classes that can multiclass into it allow for some synergy between them.

    These, along with multiclass feats, work under a dynamic of making multiclassing a less stringent option whenever a reasonable (or in the case of multiclass feats, unreasonable) synergy exists. Although this doesn't exist in most of my homebrew, some vestiges do appear (just as how the [ki-powered] chassis classes have some synergy between each other and thus stack their ki pool and ki strike abilities). Of course, for those who want to go all the way, you get a class that's worthwhile on its own right, but in the case you might want to spice up your build with an interesting build (or are mostly interested in more powerful spells or something), you gain a bonus for doing the right combination, even if you DO lose a good bit of stuff.


    ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Serenity/Intuition
    Most divine warriors devoted to a specific group of alignments are natural-born leaders, and thus they are naturally charismatic. However, some of these warriors are terrible leaders, but possessed of great wisdom, sometimes beyond their own years. Such warriors derive their unique powers from their wealth of knowledge and their unique connection with their deities, rather than a pool of inner strength.
    Level: Paladin, blackguard, justiciar or anarch 1st
    Replaces: See below
    Benefit: Any class ability that is based off Charisma (such as the paladin's smite evil bonus to attack rolls or the blackguard's dark blessing, but not turn or rebuke undead, censure or rebuke outsider, or disable construct) is now based off Wisdom. Thus, a 1st level paladin that chooses this feature adds her Wisdom (not her Charisma) to her attack rolls when using smite evil, and a 7th level blackguard's uses of his vampiric touch ability are based off Wisdom.
    In the case of spells, the paladin, blackguard, justiciar or anarch prepares spells instead of casting them spontaneously. The character uses its Wisdom modifier to determine bonus spells and the saving throw DC of the spells it casts, but must spend time preparing its spells like a cleric does. A paladin does not gain the ability to spontaneously cast cure spells, and the blackguard does not gain the ability to spontaneously convert his spells to cast inflict spells instead.

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    So, here's the touted Serenity/Intuition ACF. The Serenity/Intuition is really the same ability, but you give it the name you'd like; serenity works better for paladins and good-aligned anarchs and justiciers, while Intuition works fine for everybody. The idea is that all Charisma abilities are based off Wisdom instead, so there's no need to get the Serenity feat from Dragon Compendium to make the Paladin less SAD.

    The biggest change is that Serenity returns to the Paladin and the related classes their ability to cast prepared spells, in exchange of limiting their access to turn undead and similar abilities (because, of course, that means Charisma becomes a dump stat now). This is probably a huge change, because while the typical Paladin or Blackguard has some restrictions in the amount of spells it knows, the serene Paladin or the intuitive Blackguard can prepare the right spell for the right moment...but the spell slots are limited. Going with 6th level spell slots would make Serenity the better choice against regular spellcasting, since the sheer amount of spells you could prepare would overcome the loss of Turn Undead by quite a bit.


    ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Charging Smite
    All divine warriors gain the ability to smite their opponents in differing ways. However, sometimes, the best way to deal damage to your enemy is by rushing to them and delivering one solid strike.
    Level: Paladin, blackguard, justiciar or anarch 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th or 20th.
    Replaces: Smite Evil, Smite Good, Verdict or Entropic Strike (see below)
    Benefit: At 1st level, or at any level you may choose a new smite ability, you may instead choose to learn how to make a charging smite. To use this ability, you must make a charge. You may use this ability if you charge with a mount.
    When using a charging smite, you deal the smite damage to your enemy based on your alignment (thus, a paladin would deal smite damage to evil enemies), and you gain a free bull rush attempt with the ability. If the enemy is of an alignment that opposes yours (such as an evil creature against a paladin), you double your Strength bonus on your charge attempt.
    At 5th level, you deal twice your smite damage when you make a charging smite.
    At 15th level, when using a charging smite, you may make a full attack at the end of your charge. The enemy need not oppose your alignment to gain the benefit of this full attack action, but if it does, all successful attacks done within this full attack action deal extra smite damage. You add your Charisma modifier to all attacks dealt with this full attack action against creatures that oppose your alignment as well.
    Unlike other forms of smite evil, smite good, verdict or entropic strike, if you strike an enemy that does not oppose your alignment (such as a paladin attacking a neutral or good creature), you still expend one encounter use of your smiting ability. You do not expend your smite if you fail your charge attack; at 15th level, you do not gain a full attack at the end of your charge if you fail your first attack, but you do not lose an encounter use of your charge either.

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    So yeah: Charging Smite has been replaced with a much more fitting ability. The original was pretty good, mind you, but this one does better because of a few things.

    For starters, it allows any of the divine champions to use their smites against non-opposing alignment enemies. So, this makes smite partly effective against those pesky true neutral guys. Second, it grants pounce. I know you love pounce. While late AND limited to per-encounter uses, the fact that you can make a full attack action while mounted (something that, IIRC, regular pounce doesn't grant), you add your Cha to attack rolls on all the attacks (including Snap Kick/Haste) and you add all that damage to the smite. That last one should make all uber-charger lovers cackle with glee.

    I do heartily recommend one thing, though; if there's a way to work Ride-by Attack so that you can do multiple attacks, do so. That way, your smite becomes an area attack, limited as long as your mount or your own speed allows you to (but specifically your mount, or your phantom steed if you wish to go with style.


    ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Ranged Smite
    The power of a divine warrior's faith usually manifests through their weapon. Some divine warriors' smiting abilities aren't as strong or varied, but they have a better weapon at their arsenal; range.
    Level: Paladin, blackguard, anarch or justiciar 5th, 10th, 15th or 20th
    Replaces: Smite evil, smite good, verdict or entropic strike (see below)
    Benefit: At 5th level, or at any level you may choose a new smite ability, you may instead choose to learn how to extend the range of your known smite abilities.
    When choosing this option, you gain the ability to make smites with any thrown or projectile weapon. The smite is treated by all means as if it were a normal smite, except the range increases to the range of the weapon. In the case of thrown weapons, you may throw your weapon up to a distance equal to the range of your divine aura, fiendish aura, sanction or entropic aura, but only when making the smite.
    At 15th level, you may choose to improve your ranged smites. You can make a ranged smite with your melee weapon, but only up to a distance equal to the range of your aura. When using your melee weapon to make the attack, you deal damage as if the enemy was within reach of your weapon, but you don't add any extra damage from your weapon special qualities (except for the weapon's enhancement bonus).

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    This one is simple: instead of gaining a new smite, you further improve your existing smites so that they are usable at range.

    ...So yeah, I know there's a feat that allows you to smite at a distance (Book of Exalted Deeds has it), but it limits you to projectile weapons. And it costs a feat. Then there's also the Elven Paladin ranged smite evil exchange, but that one blows (you can't make melee smites, in any case).

    However, the last one doesn't really exist. This allows you to make a smite within range with no ranged weapon. Ever seen the moves from Final Fantasy Tactics, the "Holy Sword" and "Dark Sword" and "Mighty Sword" and how Orland(ea)u creamed just about everyone with that? Well, this allows you to do something similar, except you DON'T need only swords to do so.

    So, you can choose to go as a dwarf, throw your hammer to an enemy, smite that enemy and remain where you stand, or you can just think you're Orland(ea)u delivering brutal strikes to an enemy. And in the case of area-of-effect powers, on several enemies.

    The only one that doesn't really need this is the Justiciar, because verdict already works this way. However, this does allow the Justiciar to use his verdict with a ranged weapon AND add that damage, so it's not really that bad. The only ability that might not work is Charging Smite, BUT you might combine it with one of the feats from Miniatures Handbook and pull off a Charging Ranged Smite against a single enemy before getting to the other one.


    ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Mark of Punishment
    The ability to smite a creature that opposes the creed of the divine champion stems from a swift, powerful burst of divine energy coming straight from the representatives of Chaos, Good, Evil or Law, and manifesting through conviction. Some, however, transform that surge of energy into a baleful mark that punishes their foolishness for defying them.
    Level: Paladin, blackguard, justiciar or anarch 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th.
    Replaces: Smite Evil, Smite Good, Verdict or Entropic Strike (see below)
    Benefit: Once per day, a divine champion (Paladin, Blackguard, Justiciar or Anarch) can impose a mark against an enemy that opposes its creed. As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target to mark. If the creature opposes the divine champion's alignment (or in the case of a Justiciar, if it has committed a crime), the champion may add its Charisma modifier to its attack rolls and deal extra damage equal to its class level with each attack. An anarch instead deals an extra 1d6 points of damage, plus 1d6 points of damage for every five class levels (2d6 at 5th level, 3d6 at 10th level, and so on). The mark causes a surge of divine energy to pour into the wound, enabling the divine champion to ignore damage reduction regardless of the source (including DR X/-). The mark lasts until the enemy is slain or until 24 hours have passed (if the marked creature survives the encounter).
    At 5th level, the divine champion attunes itself to the mark with little to no mental effort. The divine champion always knows the location of the creature; by spending a full-round action in concentration, the divine champion knows the exact direction and relative distance of the creature marked. If the creature is within range of the divine champion's aura (such as the paladin's divine aura, the blackguard's profane aura, the justiciar's sanction or the anarch's anarchic aura), the divine champion always pinpoints the location even if blinded, or if the creature is invisible. This also allows the champion to ignore miss chances caused by concealment or some spells (including the Displacement spell but not the Blur spell), but does not allow it to deliver sneak attacks or other kinds of precision damage that resemble sneak attack.
    At 10th level, the divine champion may expend two daily uses of this ability. When doing so, he may extend the benefit of this ability to any ally within line of sight; all allies gain the ability to see the mark, gain a bonus to their attack rolls equal to the divine champion's Charisma modifier, and deal extra damage equal to half the divine champion's class level.
    At 15th level, the divine champion may expend two daily uses of this ability and mark all opponents within the area, instead of just one, with the same swift action. By expending a third daily use of this ability, the divine champion allows all allies to gain the benefit of this ability against all marked enemies (as if activating the 10th level benefit of this ability and the 15th level benefit of this ability at the same time).
    A divine champion gains an extra use of this ability every five character levels. Furthermore, at 5th level, and every ten levels afterwards (such as 15th level), the divine champion gains twice the daily uses instead. Thus, a 10th level divine champion may use this ability four times per day, while a 15th level divine champion may use this ability six times per day. If the ability is used on a creature that does not oppose the divine champion's alignment, the ability has no effect but is not wasted; in the case of the 15th level benefit of this ability, the uses are expended but only affect creatures opposing the divine champion's alignment (even if only one).

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    So yeah...remember I mentioned that THE PATHFINDER PALADIN'S SMITE EVIL IS NO SMITE!!!1!111!, right? I envisioned it as a mark, in which you could essentially gain bonuses against a single enemy of your choice, beating it in record time, but not that BOOOMPH! which implies a smite. You know, the lightning strike, the pillar of light, the choral "AAAAAAAH!!"... However, I must admit it's not a bad ability. Quite the contrary; it is quite good, perhaps very good for what it offers (essentially, you increase your damage by an amount equal to your class level, and even 10 extra points are pretty powerful). However, it's not really "daily" material because of a few things.

    For starters, it affects only one enemy. The damage scales formidably, but if you can already kill your enemy in one blow, the smite gets essentially wasted in one turn, which albeit awesome, really doesn't merit a daily restriction. You could make that ability work once per encounter, keep the same ol' progression, and it wouldn't be overpowered because you'd be restricted to one or two uses per encounter.

    The second is the limited amount of creatures it affects; now, evil creatures are quite extensive, but some of the most dangerous creatures aren't affected (constructs, for example, aren't affected aside from the retriever, and Inevitables are lawful, not evil; likewise, oozes and plants can be a menace AND neutral, gem dragons aren't evil by any sense of the word, and you can't affect neutral NPCs). While you can still hit quite a lot of the enemies in just about any Monster Manual, Bestiary or whatnot, it's not something that could really merit a daily restriction, no matter how hard you can hit with a full attack, or that you can deal double damage to undead, evil outsiders and evil dragons (yet what about the evil aberrations? The Beholders, the Aboleths, the Mindflayers?).

    The third, of course, is how limited the effect is at first. Sure, by...well, 13th-16th level you'll have enough uses for one day, but it's those first few levels which will be a headache. You'll have to store that smite for the most dangerous enemy of them all, or if not essentially force the group to rest before time. At 4th level you get two uses, but still 4 encounters/day; 7th level is a bit more decent with the uses, and you get the second iterative one level earlier but until then you need to gauge exactly WHEN to pull the ability and when to keep it reserved. Compare to Leading the Charge or Tactics of the Wolf, which offer similar abilities but are applicable at-will and work with all allies (and in the case of the latter, the amount of times it can be applied far outweigh the reduced damage).

    I've always considered Rage as THE way to gauge a daily ability. Despite the restrictions, the benefits far outweigh the losses. Just that it applies to every creature, not just a few ones, makes it a great daily ability despite the lower damage provided. The PF "Smite", on the other hand, provides lots of goodies but against a single creature, and then the sinking feeling that you could have gotten a spell to do just that (and with more uses). BTW, Righteous Might is a 5th level Cleric spell, and actually a daily.

    The good thing is that the PF "Smite" really didn't need much to improve. Really. Just to provide an ability to affect all allies, a benefit that would affect all allies (like what the PF Paladin gets at 10th level), and something that would affect that one thing that can ruin everything; miss chances. Suddenly, being marked for death by the Paladin, or the Blackguard, becomes even more dangerous. That is what I aimed for when I translated that ability here, because, hey, it's pretty good for what its worth. Besides, the Project Heretica divine champion classes are meant to compete with the big guys; the uberchargers, the Half-Giant Fighters wielding Fullblades and dealing 3d8+33 points with Power Attack while still having a +11 to attack rolls, the Barbarians... While I was sorely disappointed that such an outcome wasn't what happened, I made the adjustments, and now they should be competitive; the Smite still was surprising, effectively locking down the enemy (something I find more important than just dealing damage).

    So, I should thank Gnaeus in one way or another. I really don't like the feel of the PF Paladin, and I feel that there's something that still makes it weak in terms of build (I blame the lack of feat support for that; they still have feat starvation). But, he helped me somewhat gauge exactly what I felt was wrong with the Smite, and translate it into something that may work right. This is really for the guys who want to play a Project Heretica divine champion with the feel of a Pathfinder character, and I have the distinct impression that this version is far stronger and worth a daily slot.


    ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Winged Warrior
    Being a down-to-earth warrior, the divine warrior suffers when an enemy attacks from a flying mount or otherwise places distance while keeping them grounded. Some divine warriors breach the skies by their own willpower, but sacrifice some of their resolve alongside it.
    Level: Paladin or Blackguard 4th, 9th, 14th and 19th
    Replaces: Stand upon Adversity or Thrive in Pain
    Benefit: At 4th level, you gain the ability to manifest a pair of ethereal wings as a move action. These wings spread from your back, but their nature allows you to wear any kind of armor with them. This allows you to gain a fly speed equal to your base land speed with good maneuverability. You may manifest these wings for a number of rounds equal to your class level, and these rounds need not be consecutive. A paladin manifests bird-like wings (white or gold) while a blackguard manifests bat-like wings (red or black).
    At 9th level, the duration of this ability is determined by minutes instead of rounds. At 14th level, the duration increases to hours per class level, and at 19th level this ability is permanent. If the wings become permanent, you may still hide them as a move action and manifest them later, but you lose your flight abilities while the wings are hidden.

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    Well, I won't let the wings effort be wasted. This revision, though, allowed me to play with the class ability a bit more; instead of arbitrary limitations such as uses per day, now I can give it a much more reasonable limitation (rounds per day, then minutes per day, then hours per day). Using them a few rounds per day at 4th level may not seem much, but the progression is quite natural.

    In fact, I wonder why I didn't thought of this before?


    ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Valiant Steed
    The image of a knight in shining armor cannot be complete without riding a valiant steed. The forces that grant the divine warriors their powers also endow them with the ability to summon a mount from the Upper (or Lower) Planes, which improves with the warrior.
    Level: Paladin, blackguard, anarch or justiciar 4th, 9th, 14th and 19th
    Replaces: Stand upon Adversity, Thrive in Pain
    Special: If you choose this class feature, you may not learn or use the air walk, mount or phantom steed spells.
    Benefit: You gain the services of a strong, unusually intelligent and loyal steed to serve you on your battles. The mount assumes at first the form of a heavy warhorse (for Medium creatures) or warpony (for Small creatures), but you may choose other options (such as a riding dog, or a Medium shark if the campaign is primarily aquatic). You may not choose magical beasts at first, but you may choose to transform your mount into such creatures as you progress in levels.

    At 4th level, you may summon your mount once per day as a full-round action. Your mount appears alongside you and remains with you for 2 hours per class level, or until you dismiss it. The mount is a typical mount of its type and subtype (thus, a heavy warhorse is treated as an animal), except for the following traits: the mount gains a bonus on its hit points equal to half your own, is treated as if having 2 extra HD for purposes of base attack bonus, saving throws and determining the creature's HD for purposes of spells that might affect it. The mount's Intelligence increases to 6 if not already higher, gains a +2 bonus on Strength and a +4 bonus to its natural armor (which stacks with enhancement bonuses to natural armor). You and your mount may communicate empathically for up to 1 mile, as a spellcaster does with its familiar.

    At 9th level, your mount is treated as if it had 4 extra HD (not two), its Intelligence increases to 8, it gains a +4 bonus on Strength and a +6 bonus to natural armor. You may choose one bonus feat, but this feat only applies to your mount and your mount must comply with the prerequisites for this feat. The mount's base land speed increases by 10 feet, and gains the ability to move unimpeded by terrain (as if it had the woodland stride class ability). Furthermore, you may share a spell you cast on yourself with your mount, and your mount uses the best of its saving throws or yours. If you decide, you may summon one of the following mounts, but you are treated as a paladin of 5 levels lower for purposes of determining what abilities to gain: dire boar, dire wolf, dire wolverine, giant lizard, Large monstrous spider or rhinoceros. A Small character may choose a dire badger, dire weasel or Medium monstrous spider. If on aquatic campaigns, you may choose a Large shark or porpoise.

    At 14th level, your mount is treated as if it had 6 extra HD (not four), its Intelligence increases to 10 (and it gains the ability to speak the languages you speak, regardless of Intelligence), it gains a +6 bonus on Strength and a +8 bonus to natural armor. You may choose up to two bonus feats (instead of one), but these feats only applies to your mount and your mount must comply with the prerequisites for this feat. The mount's base land speed increases by 20 feet (instead of 10). As well, it gains the benefit of the celestial (if paladin), fiendish (if blackguard), axiomatic (if justiciar, see Manual of the Planes) or anarchic (if anarch, see Manual of the Planes) template. As well, the mount gains the ability to walk on air as if it had the air walk spell cast upon, which lasts for the entirety of the duration. You may dismiss your mount and summon it at a later time; the rounds in which your mount may be summoned need not be consecutive. If you decide, you may summon one of the following mounts, but you are treated as a paladin of 10 levels lower for purposes of determining what abilities to gain: bulette, dire lion, hippogriff or wyvern. A paladin may choose between a giant eagle or giant owl, while a blackguard may choose between a nightmare or a winter wolf. A Small creature may choose between a dire bat or monitor lizard; a Small blackguard may choose a worg instead. In the case of aquatic creatures, you may choose a sea cat.

    At 19th level, your mount is treated as if it had 8 extra HD (not four), its Intelligence increases to 12, it gains a +8 bonus on Strength and a +12 bonus to natural armor. You may choose up to three bonus feats (instead of two), but these feats only applies to your mount and your mount must comply with the prerequisites for this feat. The mount's base land speed increases by 30 feet (instead of 20), and all other speeds increase by 10 feet. The mount gains spell resistance equal to your own. Twice per day, your mount may use a plane shift effect on itself and you, allowing you to transport to any plane of existence. If you decide, you may summon one of the following mounts, but you are treated as a character of 15 levels lower for purposes of determining what abilities to gain: dire tiger or gryphon. A paladin may choose between a pegasus or a unicorn (the latter only to female or elf riders, and is treated as a celestial charger), while a blackguard may choose between a cauchemar or a displacer beast. In the case of aquatic creatures, you may choose a dire shark instead.

    If your mount falls in battle, you lose the benefits of this ability for one week. If you have a feat that improves the traits of summoned or called creatures (such as Augment Summoning), this ability is treated as if a conjuration (calling or summoning) spell for those purposes. This is a spell-like ability.

    Spoiler
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    And here it is; the glorious return of the special mount! If you've noticed, the special mount is even more powerful than before, if only because I worked with the options in the DMG, plus added the benefits from Phantom Steed. At level 19th, if your heavy warhorse isn't taking you to Hell and back (literally), it ain't a cool steed.

    The reason I made such a huge description was to fully define the abilities of the mount, but do notice that it's slightly better than the description on the paladin's special mount class feature. You do lose a few abilities (namely, the ability to use air walk, mount or phantom steed, because the abilities that you gain clearly outpace what you'd otherwise gain.

    Now: what if you have feats or class abilities that power your special mount? Well, this is basically your special mount, so those levels stack. Also, it's treated as a summoned creature, so if you want, you can go for Augment Summoning and call it a day.

    Now...why not go for fiendish servant? I'd really love to, but that would take me about four more paragraphs, and I still haven't gone over the remaining ACFs.


    ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Blade Spirit
    The soul of the warrior is its weapon, some sword masters would say. If that is true, then the soul of a divine warrior is just as powerful as its owner. Or rather, a manifestation of the divine warrior's unyielding spirit.
    Level: Paladin, blackguard, justiciar or anarch 4th, 9th, 14th and 19th.
    Replaces: Stand upon Adversity or Thrive in Pain
    Special: If you choose this ability, you may not learn or use magic weapon, greater magic weapon or holy sword, lawful sword.
    Benefit: At 4th level, you create a bond with a weapon of your choice. This weapon must be a masterwork weapon with which you have proficiency. You must meditate for 8 hours with your weapon, only stopping to eat. If you are to engage in battle, you must engage only with this weapon and no other. If you wish to change your weapon, you may make this ritual with the new weapon but you must have the old one nearby. If the weapon is broken or destroyed, you must make the ritual with a shard of the old weapon.

    At 4th level, the weapon gains a +1 enhancement bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls, and deals damage as a magic weapon of your alignment (good for paladins, evil for blackguards, lawful for justiciar or chaotic for anarchs). You may draw or summon your weapon as a swift action from any place. If you make a successful critical hit with your weapon, the attack is automatically confirmed. Your weapon shines as bright as a torch if you're good, or distorts your image if evil (the latter granting a +5 bonus to Hide checks).

    At 9th level, the weapon's enhancement bonus increases to +3 and gains the axiomatic (if a justiciar), anarchic (if an anarch), holy (if a paladin) or unholy (if a blackguard) special quality. As well, you are treated as if having a protection from evil spell relative to your alignment aura while wielding the weapon.

    At 14th level, your weapon becomes an extension of yourself, gaining intellect. Your weapon gains Intelligence 10 and scores in Wisdom and Charisma equal to 10 + 1 for every four class levels. The weapon is of your same alignment, can see and hear for 60 ft. as well as see in the darkness. When you first reach 14th level, you may choose two lesser powers from the list of Intelligent items and a weapon special quality that does not exceed a +2 enhancement bonus or 8,000 gp. Your weapon can speak and understand any languages you speak. The personality of your weapon is defined at the moment you reach 14th level, and may have a mentoring personality, a companion personality or a much closer personality (perhaps a reflection of someone you love or admire), but usually informs you of actions that may threaten your alignment, as if you wielded a phylactery of faithfulness.

    At 19th level, your weapon gains a +5 enhancement bonus. If you make a critical hit with your weapon against an enemy of your opposed alignment, you deal 1d10 points of damage plus 1d10 for every critical multiplier above x2. Furthermore, your weapon emits a constant magic circle against evil effect. Finally, your weapon gains telepathy and blindsense up to 60 ft., and you may choose one power from the greater power list.

    If your weapon is more than 1 mile away from you or is worn by someone you don't know, it loses all its benefits until it returns to your hand or you summon it (your weapon may still be summoned, as usual). You may lend your weapon to an ally, but your weapon will try to exert its will upon your ally if it acts against the item's alignment. If a creature that opposes your alignment wields the weapon, it gains 1 negative level, plus 1 negative level for every five class levels above 4th (2 negative levels at 9th level, 3 negative levels at 14th level, and so on). Your weapon loses all abilities if you are within an antimagic field except for the ability to be summoned and the phylactery of faithfulness effect (which is manifested as an empathic feeling). If you exchange weapons, all benefits are likewise exchanged between weapons, but otherwise all choices, once made, are permanent and may not be changed.

    Spoiler
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    So, as I promised, I'd do something that would resemble, or rather, steal draw inspiration from the Pathfinder Paladin divine bond class feature. Of course, I find it a bit weak and limited so I decided to work it under the Retooling Workshop (tm), and this is the result.

    Yep, it's an intelligent weapon. I can already hear the DMs claiming "OMG H4X!!11!!!!!one!11!" And to an extent...well, it's true. It's basically an intelligent Holy Avenger with permanent bless weapon, plus a phylactery of faithfulness, that just happens to have +2 worth of special enhancements. This makes pretty much anything cry foul, except probably the special mount which is just as cool.

    There are a few things, of course. It's only a weapon, not a shield or piece of equipment; however, you can exchange which weapon gains the ability. It will be the same weapon each time, but not the same weapon shape, so, Orcrist the Bloodbane weapon can at first be a bastard sword, then later a greataxe, and later a composite longbow, but it'll be the same Orcrist, the Bloodbane. Another is that you don't need to spend any XP or GP for it, so as long as it's a masterwork weapon; you can make it mithral or adamantine or cold iron or silver, but it'll be the same weapon. And let's face it, it's a very strong weapon what you're wielding.

    Of course, this goes with a few exchanges, and what it loses...well... You lose Magic Weapon and Holy Sword (if a Paladin), but the greatest lost might be Greater Magic Weapon. I might even remove Bless Weapon and similar spells if necessary; you're focusing the power of all those spells into creating a new weapon.

    Now, if you think the benefits greatly outweigh the penalties (and let's face it, it's either a cool mount, a cool weapon, or not dying 1/encounter or exploding into pieces if you die), you can decide what else might serve as a penalty. It IS a powerful pair of abilities, after all.


    ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Divine Spirit
    Paladins, in their crusade against evil, often find themselves facing more than they can handle. Although they are formidable warriors and leaders, sometimes their allies need some assistance. The forces of Good provide a Paladin with a powerful boon from the Upper Planes, but this boon often makes Paladins less resolute than their peers.
    Level: Paladin 4th, 9th, 14th or 19th
    Replaces: Stand upon Adversity
    Benefit:At 4th level, you may summon a celestial spirit from your deity or your patrons to aid in the battle against evil. You may summon this spiritual aid as a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Once summoned, the spirit provides its benefits for a number of rounds equal to the paladin's class level; the rounds need not be consecutive, and the paladin can spread the aid provided by the spirit upon different rounds.
    The spirit, once summoned, occupies a 5 ft. step in the map within 30 feet of you. You may command the spirit to move up to 30 ft. as a free action. The spirit is insubstantial and translucent; it does not block line of sight or line of effect and any creature may pass through it freely. The summoned spirit is treated as a summoned creature for purposes of spells or effects that may dispel it (such as banishment or dispel good), but otherwise it may not be attacked and takes no damage from any spell or effect. You may summon this spiritual aid a number of times per day equal to your Charisma modifier, plus one for every five class levels after the 4th.
    All spirits have a "discharge" effect, which immediately dismisses them. If you choose to "discharge" a spirit, you may not summon it again until the next day. If you discharge the effect of all spirits you have access to, you may not use this ability even if you have remaining uses. Dismissing a spirit does not necessarily discharge its effect.

    At 4th level, you may summon a spirit of fervor. When summoned, any ally (including yourself) that stays within 5 feet of the spirit gains a sacred bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls equal to your Charisma modifier. At 9th level, your weapons deal damage as if they were good-aligned and magical; at 14th level, your weapons deal an extra 1d6 points of damage against evil creatures, and at 19th level, you may discharge this spirit to grant all allies within 5 feet of the spirit a number of temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier.

    At 9th level, you may summon a spirit of healing. When you summon this spirit, you gain the ability to use lay on hands on range, using the spirit as if it were yourself for purposes of creatures you may touch; thus, you may use your lay on hands on any creature within 5 feet of the spirit. At 14th level, any ally that begins its turn in the same square as the spirit heals hit points equal to your Charisma modifier, and at 19th level, you may discharge the spirit to heal a number of hit points equal to 4d8 plus your class level to all allies within a 30 foot burst (including yourself).

    At 14th level, you may summon a spirit of resilience. Any ally within 10 feet of this spirit gains the benefit of the Diehard feat and damage reduction equal to half your class level, which can only be defeated by magic weapons of evil alignment. At 19th level, you may discharge this spirit to grant a single ally the benefit of a stoneskin spell cast as a spellcaster of your class level, except there is no cap in the number of hit points that can be resisted, you add your Charisma modifier to your effective caster level to determine the maximum amount of hit points, and the damage reduction is defeated by a magic adamantine weapon of evil alignment (thus, a 19th level with Charisma 24 grants an ally DR 10/magic, evil and adamantine until it has absorbed 250 hit points worth of damage). This benefit lasts until the end of the encounter. You may not benefit from this spiritual aid, unlike with others.

    At 19th level, you may summon a spirit of the fallen. If an ally falls below 0 hit points or lower, the spirit heals the ally at the start of its next turn, allowing it to take actions automatically. The spirit heals a number of hit points equal to twice your paladin level plus your Charisma modifier. The spirit may not revive allies whose hit points are -10 or lower, that have been destroyed (such as by a disintegrate spell), whom have suffered a bodily change (such as flesh to stone or baleful polymorph) or that have been slain by means other than hit point damage. If you decide to discharge this spirit, the ally gains the benefit of a raise dead or a heal spell, whichever applies.

    Spoiler
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    So yeah; I love what the devs did with Divine Spirit. While it had its limitations, you could use it just about any time and gain some pretty decent benefits; the ability to heal at a distance, deal more damage, have the paladin be really resilient, and even keep others in combat. Considering the wealth of options you could use with Divine Spirit, the mount was really something lacking; yeah, you could do damage, but this allowed you to survive one serious encounter, and actually be useful for once. However, when you compare it to special mount or getting a free intelligent weapon or the ability to fly at will or the ability to not die, Divine Spirit really lost part of its utility.

    Thus, I decided to buff it up real good. For starters, the paladin has options on which spirit to summon and how many times per day. Second, the paladin has options that tie to its abilities and that don't replace stuff like divine aura; you can have your aura and the spirit at the same time. Third, the options increase with level, so all four spirits remain relevant on their respective levels.

    And then, there's the discharge. Gained at the end of your career, the spirit discharges allow you to gain a potent, but brief, benefit. The first spirit's benefit may not seem as much, but it's still worthwhile. But, getting stuff like mass cure serious wounds, stoneskin, heal or even raise dead through discharging the spirit once per day really make you think what's better for the encounter. It also makes the Paladin slightly better at buffing.


    ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Hands of a Healer
    While all paladins have a task to heal the wounds struck by fell creatures and evil warriors, some are more dedicated to the task than others. Such paladins are devotees of gods of healing, or exist within places devoid of healers which can aid those who are wounded or stricken with disease.
    Level: Paladin 7th
    Replaces: Lay on Hands
    Benefit: You add your Charisma modifier to all Heal checks. As well, whenever you cast a spell of the healing subschool, you add your Charisma modifier to the amount of healing granted by the spell. Only spells cast from spell slots granted to the Paladin gain the benefit of this ability; spells cast from cleric spell slots or from other classes that grant healing spells are not affected.

    Spoiler
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    An ACF more in line with what the devs originally intended for (in terms of the mechanic), Hands of a Healer is really a very minor boost that you grant to all spells you cast. While not as powerful as Lay on Hands and its boosted healing, any spell of the healing subschool heals for a little bit more, providing for better out-of-combat healing (or even in-combat healing, if desperate). Of course, only a few spells work for this, so it may seem like a bad exchange, but it has no limitations and the Cleric spell list has quite a few such spells. Example? Restoration. So, you lose some of the potent healing of Lay on Hands, and in exchange you power up Restoration. So it's a bit more extense; it just requires the right choices.


    ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Touch of the Fallen
    Most blackguards sap the life of their enemies with a touch. However, some blackguards instead receive a foul gift from their unholy patrons that empowers their manipulation of negative energy.
    Level: Blackguard 7th
    Replaces: Vampiric touch
    Benefit: A blackguard that takes this ability adds his Charisma modifier to the amount of damage dealt by all inflict spells and spells that deal negative energy damage. A number of times per day equal to your Charisma modifier, you may expend one of your spell slots as a swift action to imbue your next attack with an inflict spell of the same level as the spell slot expended. The attack deals its normal damage plus the spell's damage (including the increased damage from your Charisma modifier). Only attacks made by weapons are affected by this ability (including natural weapons, but not unarmed strikes). You may use this ability with a ranged weapon, but it applies only to one thrown or projectile weapon (in the case you have the Manyshot feat or another ability that allows you to make more than one attack at the same time); you may choose which arrow gains the benefit of this ability.

    Spoiler
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    And here's the counterpart to Hands of a Healer. Not only do you get an increase to damage from inflict spells, but you can use those spells to deal increased damage. Think of it as an extra "smite", but using inflict spells.

    Now, while Hands of a Healer provides a bonus to negative energy damage, Touch of the Fallen only applies to hit point damage. Not ability damage, not ability drain, and especially NOT ENERVATION (or, as it's known, negative levels). Only negative energy hit point damage. Otherwise, this would be pretty broken. Otherwise, this is pretty straightforward.


    So, this is the HUGE dump of ACFs thus far. Comments and suggestions are always welcome. The next will not be an introduction of a new class, but rather the explanation behind the chassis system and how it has influenced my 'brewing. So, in many ways, it's a treatise on homebrewing.

    By the way; this is what's missing:
    Spoiler
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    Immobilizing Smite, Fiendish Servant, more options for Justiciars and Anarchs. Ideas are welcome.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2011-08-10 at 08:10 AM. Reason: Adding Mark of Punishment ACF
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Very well done. The Paladin makes an excellent Tank, although I also like Paladin concepts that focus more on the smiting than the invincibility, but that's basically the other side of the coin, being the offense to your defense.

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    Another [email protected]$$ work here sir. I need to get it another thorough reading over to comment more than this, but I will say I love how you rearranged some of the basic class features and removed Aura of Courage; your replacement is as elegant as it is effective. Good work!

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    Another two things come to my mind about the Project: 1) Justicars and Anarchs having their 'smites' vary depending on alignment is a bit off to me, in that the variance is based off of their hit dice. I mean, why would they get more vulnerable to opposing effects the stronger they get? You'd think they'd be more deeply set into their ways and thus resistant to such opposition. I'd make the vulnerability based off of the Justicar/Anarch's class level instead, as showing that they're becoming an ever more powerful representative of their chosen force of belief, making those opposed to it that much more easily overwhelmed.

    2) Checkmate's Light is a pain to find, as I found it in a web article, which you should really link to if that's the source for it. Also, it's a bit more powerful than the rest of the counterparts, as it gives you full out Axiomatic for that +2d6 damage against chaotic opponents, which none of the others remotely touch. There's a reason it's listed at Paladin 3 and I think lowering to Paladin-equivalent 1 is a bit much. Maybe Justicar 2 would be better and making the equivalent of Bless Weapon to fit with the rest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Another two things come to my mind about the Project: 1) Justicars and Anarchs having their 'smites' vary depending on alignment is a bit off to me, in that the variance is based off of their hit dice. I mean, why would they get more vulnerable to opposing effects the stronger they get? You'd think they'd be more deeply set into their ways and thus resistant to such opposition. I'd make the vulnerability based off of the Justicar/Anarch's class level instead, as showing that they're becoming an ever more powerful representative of their chosen force of belief, making those opposed to it that much more easily overwhelmed.
    I'll have to be pointed on that. Both basically have the following: the save DC is pretty vanilla (10 + 1/2 class level + modifier), but characters that are from the opposing alignments take a further penalty to the save. I can see it within the Justiciar (the penalty actually based on the other character's HD or levels), but the Anarch is exactly as you intend to (based off the Anarch's character level, hence the "HD or anarch class level" thing). So I should really change the clause on the Justiciar, not the Anarch.
    2) Checkmate's Light is a pain to find, as I found it in a web article, which you should really link to if that's the source for it. Also, it's a bit more powerful than the rest of the counterparts, as it gives you full out Axiomatic for that +2d6 damage against chaotic opponents, which none of the others remotely touch. There's a reason it's listed at Paladin 3 and I think lowering to Paladin-equivalent 1 is a bit much. Maybe Justicar 2 would be better and making the equivalent of Bless Weapon to fit with the rest.

    It's also on Spell Compendium
    , and it's much weaker. Still, it's meant to be a Paladin 2 spell, so I guess I should raise it a bit. The SpC version is basically Greater Magic Weapon, except with half the benefit of Bless Weapon alongside it (and light). I oddly had the idea that it worked just like Bless Weapon, though. I'll do that change, but it's not as powerful as the original (which basically became Lawful Sword, the Lawful equivalent of Holy Sword).

    That reminds me, tho: I should raidcheck the Paladin and Blackguard spell lists for spells that Justiciars and Anarchs could use without problems. Basically, an extension to which spells to use based off the Spell Compendium.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Now all we need is a Bard fix to supply our Hero's theme song. Course, I just want a Bard fix anyway, but you and jiriku are the ones I know could manage it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    Now all we need is a Bard fix to supply our Hero's theme song. Course, I just want a Bard fix anyway, but you and jiriku are the ones I know could manage it.
    Why would you need a bard fix? Bards are already a solid class as is, no buffs or changes needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Why would you need a bard fix? Bards are already a solid class as is, no buffs or changes needed.
    I agree. In fact, it serves as a testament to how splatbooks can make a class that's already decent (though not gamebreaking) even better. Since their two best abilities are gained at first level (Inspire Courage and spellcasting), they get great skill points and loads of great skills (including and not limited to UMD), they do well. The higher-level abilities are no slouch either, but since most people complement their builds with PrCs nowadays, few can be said about optimizing a Bard 20 build. They're good from 1st level (with their songs), through 8th level (when they already get a good amount of 3rd level spells including Haste, and another boost to IC) and even through 14th (third increase of IC, a decent selection of 5th level spells). That they gain natural access to stuff like Dragonfire Inspiration and Sublime Chord just adds to their power, not reduces.

    If I were to provide support to the Bard, it would be through ACFs, probably reducing spellcasting capability (but not that much, so as to make them non-spellcasting based) to provide more variety in songs. That's why I support loads of ACFs. Now, that doesn't mean I can't make a class that's basically the anti-Bard (a debuffer instead of a buffer), though Dragon Compendium's Jester is pretty close. That, or a Battle Dancer that's thematically similar to the Final Fantasy series Dancer (debuffing dances and martial capability, probably some maneuvers) to complement the bard. But it would be based thematically from the Bard, which is already quite good. I don't intend to touch a lot of stuff Tier 3 or higher, since they're already quite good, though I might tackle one or two just in case.

    Still working on the changes; I have a good idea regarding smites now that I have them all (plus the Charging Smite and the immobilizing smite ACFs), perhaps turn the wings into an ACF and provide something at that level related to heroism, and dealing with the auras to equalize them a bit. I only need to redact them, before showing for inspection.
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    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Huh. I guess I was just misinformed. I just remember a lot of stuff about bards being useless, but I guess I was just confusing people talking about their lack of combat ability in and of themselves.

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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Bards are on the bad end of mediocre in Core (they still beat fighters if played correctly, and leave monks in the dust easily). Once you get splat books involved, however... They're actually quite versatile and strong. Their fluff can be sort of silly, but I actually really like them and they're very useful.



    I still love what you're doing here, Oskar. I've been lurking, but I don't have anything constructive to add (hence no posts).
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Also, I hope you don't mind me drawing heavy inspiration from this for my Soulborn fix. After all, they're pretty much just a Paladin variant using Incarnum instead of spellcasting.

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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    Also, I hope you don't mind me drawing heavy inspiration from this for my Soulborn fix. After all, they're pretty much just a Paladin variant using Incarnum instead of spellcasting.
    Well, you see...I only got one word for you.

    Zealot.

    For a better explanation: it's a retooling to the Soulborn based on the "divine champion" chassis, but with a focus on Incarnum. It's still incomplete, tho.

    EDIT: I guess I was a bit unfair with that answer. What I meant was that I tackled the same thing. Still, if you wish to base yourself on the work, go ahead. Was a bit rough while saying that; giving ideas is just as great, and then there's something that I might not have thought of that you do. Don't get hopeful or disappointed I thought on the same idea; after all, I should be promoting 'brewers, not bashing them off just because I went with the same idea.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2011-04-22 at 12:59 AM.
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    I'll have to be pointed on that. Both basically have the following: the save DC is pretty vanilla (10 + 1/2 class level + modifier), but characters that are from the opposing alignments take a further penalty to the save. I can see it within the Justiciar (the penalty actually based on the other character's HD or levels), but the Anarch is exactly as you intend to (based off the Anarch's character level, hence the "HD or anarch class level" thing). So I should really change the clause on the Justiciar, not the Anarch.
    Hhmm, perhaps that's my not reading it close enough, then...


    It's also on Spell Compendium
    , and it's much weaker. Still, it's meant to be a Paladin 2 spell, so I guess I should raise it a bit. The SpC version is basically Greater Magic Weapon, except with half the benefit of Bless Weapon alongside it (and light). I oddly had the idea that it worked just like Bless Weapon, though. I'll do that change, but it's not as powerful as the original (which basically became Lawful Sword, the Lawful equivalent of Holy Sword).

    That reminds me, tho: I should raidcheck the Paladin and Blackguard spell lists for spells that Justiciars and Anarchs could use without problems. Basically, an extension to which spells to use based off the Spell Compendium.
    Ah, yeah, that is a marked difference. Not sure why I didn't check SpC, either...
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Well, you see...I only got one word for you.

    Zealot.

    For a better explanation: it's a retooling to the Soulborn based on the "divine champion" chassis, but with a focus on Incarnum. It's still incomplete, tho.

    EDIT: I guess I was a bit unfair with that answer. What I meant was that I tackled the same thing. Still, if you wish to base yourself on the work, go ahead. Was a bit rough while saying that; giving ideas is just as great, and then there's something that I might not have thought of that you do. Don't get hopeful or disappointed I thought on the same idea; after all, I should be promoting 'brewers, not bashing them off just because I went with the same idea.
    Indeed. And, as I said before, I like paladin concepts that have extra damage as well as invincibility, which is what I'm incorporating into my fix. For example, a secondary smite that has daily uses and deals tons of extra damage.

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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    Indeed. And, as I said before, I like paladin concepts that have extra damage as well as invincibility, which is what I'm incorporating into my fix. For example, a secondary smite that has daily uses and deals tons of extra damage.
    Well, I tried to balance the smite between doing a lot of damage and having rider effects. A daily smite would require a lasting effect (sorta like rage, which I find is a very balanced way to make daily actions useful), but smite implies, by definition, a sudden and immediate effect. That's why I settled for rider effects, but because reserving the smites for daily uses would still cramp the Paladin, I decided for per-encounter uses. The invincibility (or perception of it), on the other hand, is a double-edged sword because it ensures your survival at the toughest battles but generally gets "balanced" by poor damage output which doesn't seem to work on most games (in fact, is there any game where having a good defense surpasses a strong offensive action?); then again, it would be unfair to admit that it's my favored strategy (alongside supporting allies and self for increasing damage output or defensive capabilities).

    In the meanwhile: I'll be placing here how I'd deal with the suggestions offered to modify class abilities, mostly smite (since I'd need a bit more time to fine-tune the auras). I'll spoiler them for length (added text on italics).

    Smites:
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    Once per encounter as part of an attack action, a [divine champion] may attempt to smite with one normal melee attack. The [divine champion] adds her Charisma modifier to the attack roll, if successful, the [divine champion] deals extra damage and causes a special effect. At 1st level, a [divine champion] must choose her method of smiting evil amongst the following; once she makes a choice, it is permanent. If the [divine champion] makes a smite as part of a full attack, she may only use it once per round.

    Unless stated otherwise, a [divine champion] deals an amount of extra damage equal to her [divine champion] level. As well, all saving throw DCs are equal to 10 + half the [divine champion]’s class level + the [divine champion]’s Strength modifier. If the [divine champion] accidentally smites a creature that [it doesn't qualify for], smite has no effect but the ability is not used for the day.

    [Smite methods]

    At 5th level and every five levels afterwards, a [divine champion] gains another use of this ability per encounter. As well, she may choose another method of smiting; at higher levels, a [divine champion] may choose to improve her smites instead.


    Other stuff about smites (unspoilered)
    • The three "common" smiting choices (Charging Smite, Immobilizing Smite and a third I have no idea how to tackle, but may be a buff-based smite perhaps) will be treated as ACFs, meaning you'd have at least 6 options (3 shared, 3 unique).
    • Should the improved versions of the smites go online at 5th level or 10th level? Devastating versions of the smites would remain at 15th level. That way, all classes can have a strong 2nd tier smite or 2 1st tier smites at 5th level, which would be equated at 10th level. Yet, some of the abilities may seem a tad strong for 5th level and probably not as much for 10th level.


    Auras (thus far)
    Spoiler
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    Paladin
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    • Consecration Aura grants a sacred bonus on turning checks and turning damage against undead equal to Charisma modifier, sacred bonus on damage rolls against undead and evil outsiders equal to Charisma modifier, sacred bonus on all saves against undead and evil outsiders equal to half Charisma modifier
    • Courage Aura remains as-is, at the moment.
    • Devotion Aura grants morale bonus to AC and Reflex saves equal to Charisma modifier, but the Paladin cannot benefit from this ability (only his/her allies)
    • Retribution Aura now returns a fixed amount of damage per round equal to Charisma modifier on a per-enemy basis. Ideally, the action should make multiple attacks against the Paladin less harmful than a single attack.
    • Vigor Aura improves healing spells and effects cast within the area. Effect is equal to Paladin Level + Charisma modifier.


    Blackguard
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    [LIST]Aura of Covetous and Aura of Cowardice remain as-is, for the moment[*]Aura of Cruelty now adds a morale bonus to allies' damage rolls equal to Charisma modifier.[*]Aura of Desecration grants a profane bonus on rebuking checks and rebuking "damage" against undead equal to Charisma modifier, profane bonus on damage rolls against deathless and good outsiders equal to Charisma modifier, profane bonus on all saves against deathless and good outsiders equal to half Charisma modifier[*]Aura of Vengeance remains as intended


    Justiciar and Anarch remain as intended, at the moment.


    Other stuff about auras (partly unspoilered)
    • I'm planning to allow shields to provide a rider benefit to auras. At the moment, this may extend only to the Paladin, but perhaps also improve the auras of all other classes. Improvements would be as follows
      Spoiler
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      • Consecration Aura would add the shield's enhancement bonus to damage rolls against undead and evil outsiders.
      • No idea on Courage Aura; morale bonus on AC based on shield's enhancement bonus while under a fear effect?
      • Devotion Aura would grant the paladin a buffer on reduced damage equal to twice the shield's enhancement bonus per round. Thus, a Paladin can ignore the first 2 points of damage he would otherwise receive with a +1 shield
      • Retribution Aura would increase the "pool" of damage granted by the aura per enemy per round based on the shield's enhancement bonus. The increase would be equal to the shield's enhancement bonus times the Paladin's Charisma modifier. Thus, a Paladin with 20 Charisma using a +2 shield would be capable of returning 10 HP of damage per round against each enemy (on a per-enemy basis) instead of merely 5 points.
      • Vigor Aura would increase the amount of healing by an amount equal to 2-3 times the shield's enhancement bonus.
    • Should I keep the auras' bonuses based off Charisma or base them off Constitution? Charisma still seems the likely choice, but that would make Constitution a much more viable choice, and it would make Constitution the "defensive" stat while Strength would be the "offensive" stat.


    9th/14th/19th level class ability (Hero's/Fiendish Wings)
    I'm planning to change this ability to something that would be iconic for a Paladin archetype, probably granting the ability at 4th level and keeping a similar progression. Hero's Wings/Fiendish Wings would thus become an Alternate Class Feature that would replace this ability. Thus far, I haven't been capable of figuring what ability would be there that could work well, although a "vanilla" ability based on determination would suffice. Something along the lines of providing bonuses based off the Heroism/Good Hope spell whenever the Paladin reaches half his hit point amount. While it's mostly a bonus and it's as vanilla as it gets, it should be reasonable enough to appeal to the grittier Paladin.

    On the other hand, I have a suite of alternate class features related to this ability:
    Spoiler
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    The Hero's Wings/Fiendish Wings ability would be turned into an ACF, retaining the same benefit as before. That way, the Paladin may be a bit less grittier but will have the ability to fly.

    Special Mount would return as an ACF tied to this ability, for the charger mounts. However, the mount wouldn't be based on the traditional Paladin mount (for that, you'd need to be on the Cavalier prestige class), but on phantom steed instead.

    SHAMELESSLY RIP-OFF Draw inspiration from the Pathfinder Paladin to provide the character with a divinely-bound special weapon. Although I would also love to tackle the Holy Avenger to make it just as awesome.

    Redefine the Divine Spirit Alternate Class Feature. I actually would like to use the old Paladin class JUST to use Divine Spirit. The way it was defined made it far more interesting than the mount IMO, and the abilities make for a support-based Paladin.


    That would grant about 5 different options for the class, which would further expand the number of builds you can do. I might just make a dump of even more ACFs unique to the Blackguard, Justiciar and Anarch to replace some ACFs that would suit the Paladin even better. By my expectations, I'd see about 20-25 ACFs for all four classes, which I like more and more.

    Other class features
    • Lay on Hands is now a burst-heal done once per encounter rather than a 1/day ability. Ideally, you regain the pool's bonus at the beginning of a combat encounter, and you can spread the points while at it or use them all at once. Vampiric Touch would remain as-is. Submission would likely undergo a similar improvement, though not so sure about Luck of the Draw.
    • Unyielding Resolve/Undying will now be based off both Charisma AND Constitution. Thus, the maximum amount of negative hit points a character would have is equal to 10 plus half the [divine champion]'s class level + Cha modifier + Constitution modifier. It also tackles nicely a similar class ability for another class that uses the divine champion chassis.
    • Basing off Divine Punishment and similar abilities off Strength. That makes the stat much more attractive as a secondary class skill. May do the same with Divine Deterrence and related abilities.
    • Divine Deterrence and related abilities now force a caster level check (against a DC equal to 10 + the [divine champion]'s class level + the [divine champion]'s Strength or Charisma modifier), not a Concentration check. If the caster level fails, the effect works as usual. This would make Divine Deterrence a souped-up spell resistance check, punishing the enemy while at it.


    That would be the main changes for now. Let's arbitrarily call this "Patch 1.4" because it's a great deal of changes done for all classes, but the project isn't yet over, and this really feels like a patch notice.

    UPDATE: In case someone follows this page for changes, I'll just add this. It'll apply to all Divine Champions, not just the Paladin:
    Protector's Might (Ex): A (1st/2nd/3rd) level paladin may add her (Constitution/Charisma) modifier to all damage rolls when wielding a shield. If she wields a tower shield, she may add the modifier to her attack rolls as well.

    Spoiler
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    1st-3rd is the right moment where the ability must appear, since the Paladin has to deal as much damage as fast as possible. Charisma or Constitution is explained above; Charisma is the better score, while Constitution is the score best fit for a shield-using Paladin, since it also improves the auras, which are further improved by the use of a magic shield. The tower shield bit is part of my reasoning; the Paladin had a reasonable to-hit bonus equal to his BAB + his Strength modifier + 1 from the masterwork battleaxe, but had the -2 penalty from the tower shield. This, while reasonable, caused lots of failures because my rolls often were lower than 10 (and at times, lower than 5), so the Paladin could hit once whereas the Fighter could hit twice, EVEN with the smite bonus. I could simply add Cha/Con to attack rolls from the beginning, but there are ways to make the attack bonus increase faster; this is mostly to reduce the penalties from wielding a tower shield and possibly wielding a Large one-handed weapon via Monkey Grip.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2011-08-10 at 04:44 AM. Reason: Adding the ability of Protector's Might (and equivalents)
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Alright, gents, so a little bumping is on the place!

    The Paladin and the Blackguard have been revised with the new abilities. The changes are on the post above, and the first page has links to most, if not all, classes for easier revision.

    As well, I finally finished with the huge ACF dump. As you can see, there's easily about 7-9 ACFs, and the task isn't over yet. Some of the old class abilities (such as special mount and the now-removed flight ability) make their appearance here, while others are simply standard ACFs that exchange one ability for a more flavorful other. And of course, Serenity as an ACF so that you don't have to spend a feat to get Wis to nearly anything.

    Another thing is multiclass synergies and how they might apply. This is really something I figured very recently, but that serves as an expansion to what I placed on the Paladin. As well, the paladin's and the blackguard's spell lists have been revised, adding a plethora of new spells from the Bard and arcane spell lists. Of course, all are PHB material, so no SpC as of late; if you want that, you'll need to ask for it real hard.

    After a while, I'll do that "treatise" on homebrewing, or at least how I work with it. Then, I'll dump a lot of prestige classes I've worked with related to Paladins and similar, including Pious Templar, Hospitaller and even Gray Guard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    The revisions are certainly neat, though I feel a bit off about the Blackguard's nuke at 19th. On the one hand, it just screams, "I'll take you to Hell with me!" which is neat in and of itself. On the other hand, I've never personally been a fan of abilities that only kick in after you're out of the fight, though you're admittedly not spending feats on it, so not as bad as it could be, I suppose. Plus, I can ACF out of it for something I do want.

    Speaking of ACFs, they are damn neat! There are a couple of faux pas, like with locking Charging Smite to affecting evil as opposed to your holy warrior's opposite alignment in the 15th level ability about adding smite damage to your pounce. Another, going back to the Paladin redux, is the confusing language of the new Lay on Hands, as it says it's a once per encounter ability then goes into talking about how you don't have to use all your healing in one shot and can split it up. I assume you meant for there to be a per-encounter pool you can draw from but clarification would be nice. Spirit of Resilience's Stone Skin-like effect is also confusing, as it both says that it has no limits on the damage it can absorb then goes into describing how much it can absorb. Also, the example total should have a limit of 260 HP, not 250 (19 (level) + 7 (Cha bonus at 24) = 26 x 10 = 260).

    On multiclassing, the original Paladin section on it still has the -5 bit for being treated as Fighter levels. The Initiator level 'bonus' doesn't really work that well, as when it kicks in, your IL drops so that you'd prefer to take 1/2 class level as opposed to class level -4; i.e. Paladin 6/Crusader 1 in your system has an IL of 3 (2 (Paladin level -4= 6-4=2) +1 (Crusader level)), where the basic system has an IL of 4 (3(Paladin level/2=6/2=3) + 1 (Crusader level)). It may be sparkly later on but I don't want it at 6th as currently written. I'd take a page from the Warblade and go for Paladin level-2, so we see an immediate advantage of having them levels (IL 4 in your system, 3 previously), instead of waiting for Holy Warrior 9 for the benefit to finally kick in. Finally, I think the Justiciar should have synergy with Knight, like boosting your Challenge abilities' DCs and effective level for when you get new ones. They may end up looking very similar between the two but they mesh fairly well, I think.

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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    For valiant steed and blade spirit what feature would they replace for the justiciar and anarch?
    Last edited by Witty Username; 2011-05-05 at 11:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    The revisions are certainly neat, though I feel a bit off about the Blackguard's nuke at 19th. On the one hand, it just screams, "I'll take you to Hell with me!" which is neat in and of itself. On the other hand, I've never personally been a fan of abilities that only kick in after you're out of the fight, though you're admittedly not spending feats on it, so not as bad as it could be, I suppose. Plus, I can ACF out of it for something I do want.
    That, and pulling off the Balor's death throes, were exactly what I had in mind. I'd need to work something out, but the Blackguard is geared towards being used as an enemy NPC, so this ability would be much like poison or disease; terrible when a PC uses it, devastating when an NPC uses it. Yet, I'd need to see how to work a thematically similar ability, so as to make the Death Throes replace only the ability of that level. Or make it something like Righteous Aura (the Paladin spell); after all, Righteous Aura is the higher-level version of this ability.

    Speaking of ACFs, they are damn neat! There are a couple of faux pas, like with locking Charging Smite to affecting evil as opposed to your holy warrior's opposite alignment in the 15th level ability about adding smite damage to your pounce.
    Yeah, must be because I had the PHB II open in the Charging Smite page when writing it, considering I was careful about the other abilities.
    Another, going back to the Paladin redux, is the confusing language of the new Lay on Hands, as it says it's a once per encounter ability then goes into talking about how you don't have to use all your healing in one shot and can split it up. I assume you meant for there to be a per-encounter pool you can draw from but clarification would be nice.
    It's basically that: a per-encounter pool that you can draw from. It's best understood if you read Seerow's idea and how I adapted it: that way, Lay on Hands works as a burst-heal ability but allows you to spread it through multiple uses, until it recharges. I thought I had it pretty clear, but it seems to be a bit confusing. I might need to see how to clear up the language behind it, considering I tried to be pretty concise.
    Spirit of Resilience's Stone Skin-like effect is also confusing, as it both says that it has no limits on the damage it can absorb then goes into describing how much it can absorb. Also, the example total should have a limit of 260 HP, not 250 (19 (level) + 7 (Cha bonus at 24) = 26 x 10 = 260).
    Urgh! That's what I get for doing mental calculations.

    Still, the idea is that there's no cap, not that there's no limit. I think I wrote it up that way: having no cap but specifying a limitation means it still has a limitation, but that it has no cap in that limitation. Otherwise, it'd be much like the actual Stoneskin, which has a cap effect, and the idea is that aside from the weapons that bypass the DR (namely, an evil-aligned magic weapon) and the total HP it can bypass, it's exactly as Stoneskin (so you get DR 10, but only to a specific number of uses).

    On multiclassing, the original Paladin section on it still has the -5 bit for being treated as Fighter levels. The Initiator level 'bonus' doesn't really work that well, as when it kicks in, your IL drops so that you'd prefer to take 1/2 class level as opposed to class level -4; i.e. Paladin 6/Crusader 1 in your system has an IL of 3 (2 (Paladin level -4= 6-4=2) +1 (Crusader level)), where the basic system has an IL of 4 (3(Paladin level/2=6/2=3) + 1 (Crusader level)). It may be sparkly later on but I don't want it at 6th as currently written. I'd take a page from the Warblade and go for Paladin level-2, so we see an immediate advantage of having them levels (IL 4 in your system, 3 previously), instead of waiting for Holy Warrior 9 for the benefit to finally kick in.
    Might be capable of changing it now.

    Thing is, the thing with Fighter levels is based on a revision I'm doing to pretty much all feats, of which Fighter levels play a really important part. Originally, that part I won't really mention now was based off an odd method of BAB and afterwards from Initiator Level before eventually becoming "effective Fighter levels", so I needed to make those equal. Then, after some workout, the effective Fighter levels the Paladin offered were equal to the class level of the Paladin -4; thus, the increase in Initiator levels had to be similar.

    Now, as for the odd scaling of levels, I might just have to revise the language to make it like this: between Paladin 1 to Paladin 4, you progress as usual; from Paladin 5 onwards, you progress your Initiator Level at a 1:1 ratio. Thus, the Paladin 6/Crusader 1 would have an IL of 5th (Paladin 4 = IL 2nd, Paladin 5 & 6 = +1 IL, Crusader 1 = +1 Crusader IL), making it better than normal and getting it closer to the original, losing at most 2 Initiator Levels, not to mention being pretty close to the Warblade idea.

    Finally, I think the Justiciar should have synergy with Knight, like boosting your Challenge abilities' DCs and effective level for when you get new ones. They may end up looking very similar between the two but they mesh fairly well, I think.
    I might, but the Justiciar and the Knight have an odd thematic feel, and I'd have to provide the same bonus to the Paladin (since the Paladin as-is has a mild Lawful inclination). The Knight and the Justiciar are both lawful, but while the Knight is a chivalrous character (much like the Paladin), the Justiciar is a law-enforcement officer (which the Knight sparingly is). I might do it just because of the Lawful alignment requirement, but I need to consider that Knight and Paladin make a much closer thematic fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Witty Username View Post
    For valiant steed and blade spirit what feature would they replace for the justiciar and anarch?
    Currently, that'd be Persecution and Random Leap. Thing is, when I made the change from Hero's/Fiendish Wings to Stand upon Adversity/Thrive upon Pain, I did because some people thought the wings were off to characters which represented endurance. While Random Leap is just as odd (if not more powerful) for the Anarch, Persecution is excellent for the Justiciar as it allows catching up to the generally swift criminals. I still haven't decided if I should make the changes to said abilities as I did for Paladin and Blackguard (aka, if the change has to be at the level of the class chassis or at the level of the class as an individual vehicle), so I kept those levels "empty" for the moment. If I do decide to change them I'll do the necessary alterations, but for the moment Justiciars exchange their Persecution ability and Anarchs replace their Random Leap ability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Project Heretica - not just a Paladin retooling

    Hmm...I was expecting at least one more post before going with it, but I guess I should go to the meat of the discussion; the very core of Project Heretica, and I'd dare say, all of my class rewrites.

    The Chassis

    I know I've seen the name used before, but I've generally embraced the idea of working with a class "chassis". One of the things that D&D 3.x has (both the 3rd Edition proper and the 3.5 revision) is the very strict class progression, and how neatly organized it is, but one thing strikes as pretty peculiar: how modular it is.

    To explain a bit further, I'll just put the table often used by 3.x homebrewers and that reflects the tables in most of the 3.x books:
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells/powers/invocations/mysteries/maneuvers/etc.
    1st +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class abilities X
    2nd +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class abilities X
    3rd +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class abilities X
    [...]
    20th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class abilities X

    While the format is mostly a formality, observing the table itself shows a peculiarity upon the D&D class system: constrained in 20 levels there is a very rigid progression of abilities.

    Looking a bit deeper, you can notice a specific trait within certain specific classes. For example; have you seen full spellcasters? Prepared spellcasters usually have a set of spells per day that looks somewhat like this:

    Level 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st 3 1 - - - - - - - -
    2nd 4 2 - - - - - - - -
    3rd 4 2 1 - - - - - - -
    4th 4 3 2 - - - - - - -
    5th 4 3 2 1 - - - - - -
    6th 4 3 3 2 - - - - - -
    7th 4 4 3 2 1 - - - - -
    8th 4 4 3 3 2 - - - - -
    [...]
    19th 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3
    20th 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

    From there, you can notice a few things:
    • 1) Prepared spellcasters get no more than 6 spells
    • 2) Prepared spellcasters get spells at even levels
    • 3) Prepared spellcasters get 1 spell at first, then another spell at the next level, then a third spell at the next two levels, and then 4 spells at the next 3 levels. There's a chance that they get a fifth spell, which follows a similar progression
    • 4) Between levels 5th to 18th, the number of spells per day within the four highest spell levels alternate between 4/3/2/1 and 4/3/3/2


    There are a few differences (Druid gets 5 spells within the first few levels, four levels after they get one extra spell per day of that level), but for the most part it behaves in exactly the same way. When making a prepared full spellcaster, you're expected to follow this precise pattern. There's a difference between prepared spellcasters and spontaneous spellcasters (two: namely, that spontaneous spellcasters get more spells per day to cast and they learn spells at odd levels), of course, but you're usually expected to work within the same guidelines.

    Now, remember the first table? Replace the last column with the second table, and you get something like this:
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class abilities 3 1 - - - - - - - -
    2nd +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class abilities 4 2 - - - - - - - -
    3rd +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class abilities 4 2 1 - - - - - - -
    [...]
    20th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class abilities 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

    Without giving you any other description than the list of spells, you'll easily recognize this is meant to be a spellcaster class, that it's most likely a prepared spellcaster, and you'll probably expect one or two of the following things:

    • 1) Poor or Medium BAB
    • 2) A hit dice no larger than a d6, though it may reach a d8
    • 3) At least one good save, possibly Will
    • 4) Few class abilities


    Of course, there are exceptions (even if they're meant to be parodies like the Lightning Warrior), but for the most part just adding table A to table B creates a very familiar kind of class. While fluff-wise it isn't a class yet (you do need to fill it up with awesome fluff and defined abilities), you have a very strong mechanical set up for a prepared spellcaster. With that, and with the organization of BAB, saves and class abilities, you have a "skeleton" of a class: this, of course, would be the "chassis". To be precise, what you have above is a "chassis" for a "prepared full spellcaster".

    Going strictly from tradition, and deep into the core of D&D's class system, you have three base "chassis" to work with:
    1) The Warrior chassis
    Shown in all its glory in Unearthed Arcana, the Warrior chassis usually behaves the following way:

    Skill points at first level: [(2~4) + Int modifier] x4
    Skill points at each additional level: (2~4) + Int modifier

    Hit Die: d8 ~ d12
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
    1st +1
    +2
    +x
    +0
    Class abilities, bonus feat
    2nd +2
    +3
    +x
    +0
    Class abilities, bonus feat
    3rd +3
    +3
    +x
    +1
    Class abilities, bonus feat
    [...]
    20th +20/+15/+10/+5
    +12
    +x
    +6
    Class abilities, bonus feat

    ...and the following traits:
    • 1) Hit dice between a d8 to a d12
    • 2) 2 or 4 skill points per level (plus Intelligence modifier)
    • 3) Good BAB
    • 4) Good Fortitude, usually poor Will, usually poor Reflexes
    • 5) Usually has bonus feats geared towards combat
    • 6) Proficiency with all simple and martial weapons, no less than medium armor unless it's a "light-armored warrior" archetype, almost always proficient with shields


    There are several differences, but you can figure the Barbarian, the Fighter, the Samurai and the Swashbuckler usually work this way. If you're gonna create a class that represents a specific warrior archetype, whether it's a revision to an existing class or a brand new one, the idea is to work with the above-mentioned chassis while exchanging one suit of things for another.

    Subtypes within this chassis involve "Half-Spellcaster Martial", "Martial Adept".

    2) The Expert/Skillmonkey chassis

    Also shown in all its glory in Unearthed Arcana, the Expert chassis (or as we call them, "skill monkeys") usually behaves the following way:

    Skill points at first level: [(6~8) + Int modifier] x4
    Skill points at each additional level: (6~8) + Int modifier

    Hit Die: d6 or d8
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special[/b]
    1st +0
    +0
    +2
    +0
    Class abilities
    2nd +1
    +0
    +3
    +0
    Class abilities
    3rd +2
    +1
    +3
    +1
    Class abilities
    [...]
    20th +15/+10/+5
    +6
    +12
    +6
    Class abilities

    ...and the following traits:
    • 1) Hit dice either d6 or d8
    • 2) 6 or 8 skill points per level (plus Intelligence modifier)
    • 3) Medium BAB
    • 4) Good Reflexes, usually poor Fortitude or Will
    • 5) Usually has a form of precision damage (sneak attack, skirmish, sudden strike)
    • 6) Proficiency with all simple weapons, light armor, may have proficiency with shields


    Variants are rare, but may include the "Half-Spellcaster Expert", the "Martial-Inclined Expert" or the "Jack of All Trades, Master of a very Few".

    3) Spellcaster class
    See the first example above for "Prepared Spellcaster".

    Variants include "Spontaneous Full Spellcaster", "Spontaneous Specialist", "Invoker"

    --

    With the introduction of Expanded Psionics Handbook, new chassis began to exist. Those include the "Psionic" chassis, the "Soulbinder" chassis and the "Meldshaper" chassis. As well, there are a few chassis that involve mixtures of two different types of chassis; thus, you may mix "Spellcaster" with "Warrior" (giving the "Half-Spellcaster Warrior" chassis), "Psionic" and "Warrior" (giving "Psychic Warrior" for its most famous representative), and so forth. There are even combinations between a main chassis and a sub-chassis (such as the Swordsage, which combines traits of "Expert" and "Martial Adept").

    Thus, I introduce the second aspect of the chassis: its modularity. When I refer to "modularity", I refer to how you can exchange certain things from one chassis or introduce key aspects of another chassis to represent a different archetype. This is crucial, because most, if not all, of the classes in D&D are basically combinations of chassis, with their class abilities providing the key differences. That's why it's not very difficult to imagine, if you strip all classes of their class abilities and provide them as, for example, bonus feats, you can work with "generic" classes. Exactly how well you can pull off the introduction of one key trait of a chassis into another depends on your skill as a homebrewer, but usually alterations within a specific chassis can provide for a very interesting take of, or even a much needed mechanical upgrade to, a certain archetype you can represent via fluff.

    Oddly enough, this is exactly what the developers of D&D 3.x (in other words. Mr. Cook, Mr. Williams and Mr. Tweet) intended. I'll quote a specific point from the Dungeon Master's Guide to illustrate that point:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dungeon Master's Guide, 3.5 edition, page 175, "Creating New Classes"
    It's possible to create entirely new classes ,or rather, to alter existing classes so dramatically that they're no longer recognizable.
    Applied to a chassis-based vision of class homebrewing, the idea is that you can take things from one chassis and apply it to another, to the point that you're not creating an alteration to an existing class (the realm of Alternate Class Features, an expansion to the modularity of D&D's class system), but create a whole new class that represents a different archetype altogether.

    The main problem behind this is that the developers had a different idea behind it: new classes had to be pretty specific, to the point that a new class should be tailor-made for a campaign and not meant for publishing. This vision effectively precluded the very intention of what a prestige class does; provide a mechanism for a character to specialize within a specific trait, providing mechanics that would be far too specific for one class. Classes, by definition, should be like proposals for an essay: neither too broad to attempt to encompass all archetypes, nor too specific to provide the application of different archetypes. An example of the first situation (too broad) is the Fighter, which by definition is meant to reflect all kinds of fighting men (swashbucklers, guards, weaponsmasters, lancers, expert archers, two-weapon masters, brawlers, etc.) but failed on providing class abilities that could create a difference. A very close example is the Ranger, which provides for two very different types of characters (an expert archer and an expert two-weapon warrior) but provides no more options to play with. On the other hand, examples of the second situation (too specific) exist within the Monk and the Soulknife: classes whose main schtick can be replaced with feats or magic items (Monk's Belt for the first, an actual weapon for the second). There are variations within the rule: classes which are far too broad but not intended to be so (the Cleric, which is meant to be a divine full prepared spellcaster but may end up fighting better than the Fighter and pretty much eclipses the Paladin in its own turf) or classes that are too specific but not intended to be so (the Barbarian, whom is universally played as a two-handed weapon master, or the Paladin whom is universally played as cavalry despite their spell list, or perhaps because of it). To specify: a good class shouldn't be too broad to attempt to encompass all archetypes (because the very notion of a class system thrives on specialization) but not too specific to limit you to one archetype only (such as hammering you into a specific kind of weapon and a specific method of combat). While not visible at first within the classes of Project Heretica (at a first glance, the "Divine Warrior" chassis seems a bit too specific for anyone's tastes), there's a specific reason why the classes are neither too broad nor too specific (although they lean upon the line of specific).

    The concept of Chassis within Project Heretica:
    Now, with a small introduction to what I mean with "chassis" and how it works, let's see how all of that applies to the above-mentioned traits of how should a class be (at least, IMO; other people have their ideas on what a class should be) and how it fits that description.

    As you may notice, the Paladin, the Blackguard, the Anarch and the Justiciar (henceforth as the PBAJ, or the "Peanut Butter And Jelly" :P) work within the same chassis. I'll refer to it as the "Divine Warrior" chassis.

    So, what consists the "Divine Warrior" chassis? Let me show you how:
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int mod.) x4
    Skill Points at each additional level: 4 + Int mod.

    Hit Die: d12

    THE DIVINE WARRIOR CHASSIS
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    1st +1
    +2
    0
    +2
    Alignment aura, smite 1/encounter 2 - - - -
    2nd +2
    +3
    0
    +3
    Diehard 2 - - - -
    3rd +3
    +3
    +1
    +3
    Aura 3 - - - -
    4th +4
    +4
    +1
    +4
    [Bloodied effect], [Turning ability] 3 0 - - -
    5th +5
    +4
    +1
    +4
    Smite 2/encounter, improved smite 3 1 - - -
    6th +6/+1
    +5
    +2
    +5
    Bonus Feat, [anti-melee deterrent] 3 1 - - -
    7th +7/+2
    +5
    +2
    +5
    [Healing/hurting pool] 4 1 - - -
    8th +8/+3
    +6
    +2
    +6
    Mettle 4 2 0 - -
    9th +9/+4
    +6
    +3
    +6
    Aura, [Bloodied effect 4 2 1 - -
    10th +10/+5
    +7
    +3
    +7
    Bonus Feat, smite 3/encounter 4 2 1 - -
    11th +11/+6/+1
    +7
    +3
    +7
    [Apply Charisma to X trait] 5 2 1 0 -
    12th +12/+7/+2
    +8
    +4
    +8
    [Anti-spellcaster deterrent] 5 3 2 1 -
    13th +13/+8/+3
    +8
    +4
    +8
    Improved mettle 5 3 2 1 -
    14th +14/+9/+4
    +9
    +4
    +9
    Bonus feat, [Bloodied effect] 5 3 2 2 0
    15th +15/+10/+5
    +9
    +5
    +9
    Aura, smite 4/encounter, greater smite 5 3 3 2 1
    16th +16/+11/+6/+1
    +10
    +5
    +10
    Alignment specific spell resistance 5 4 3 2 1
    17th +17/+12/+7/+2
    +10
    +5
    +10
    [Negative HP extender] 5 4 3 3 2
    18th +18/+13/+8/+3
    +11
    +6
    +11
    Bonus Feat 5 4 4 3 2
    19th +19/+14/+9/+4
    +11
    +6
    +11
    [Bloodied effect] 5 4 4 3 3
    20th +20/+15/+10/+5
    +12
    +6
    +12
    [Divine warrior] of legend, smite 5/encounter 5 4 4 3 3

    ...Pretty specific, no? There are a few traits that you can extrapolate from the "Divine Warrior" chassis:
    • 1) It's meant to be a "tank"; a character that withstands a great deal of punishment and lures damage to himself/herself.
    • 2) The "Divine Warrior" is alignment-specific, so it has loads of alignment-specific abilities
    • 3) Limited, yet substantial, amount of spellcasting. Their spellcasting ability is spontaneous and increased from the original Paladin.
    • 4) Smite as their main method of dealing damage, usually consisting of improved hit rate, increased damage and a status effect as a "rider" effect, or an effect that activates upon the success of the ability itself.
    • 5) Auras, which provide a consistent buff to the Divine Warrior's allies so as long as they stand within range of him (or her). The Auras may also affect enemies, usually debuffing them or causing damage.
    • 6) Good BAB and good Fortitude saves, alongside bonus feats, represent the hallmark of the Warrior chassis.
    • 7) Spellcasting, good Will saves, full caster level and Turn Undead (or reasonable facsimile) as hallmarks of spellcasters, drawing very specifically from the Cleric. It also allows the Divine Warrior to gain access to Divine feats, which increase their potential and distance them from typical Warriors and boost them as much as Clerics.
    • 8) Several resistance-related abilities, plus a "bloodied" effect which activates when the Divine Warrior has less than 50% of its maximum HP, indicate the Divine Warrior mechanically has substantial staying power on its own, which can be further incremented through magical items or spellcasting.


    Through observation of the traits, the class seems to be too awfully specific, geared towards "survival"-related tanking. However, a Paladin (as the primary example) could apply several mechanical and fluff-related archetypes with a variety of choices. For example:

    --Consider a character whom takes the Blinding Smite Evil ability, ways to improve Turn Undead (such as the Seek Eternal Rest spell and the Aura of Consecration), and gears its spellcasting towards defeating undead. This allows the Paladin to work as a very effective undead hunter, threatening anything from a lowly skeleton to a powerful lich.
    --Similarly, using the Stunning Smite, spells such as Holy Smite which work against Evil Outsiders, the Aura of Consecration which also works against Evil Outsiders, and replacing their ability Stand upon Adversity for the Blade Spirit Alternate Class feature could also work well as a hunter of evil outsiders.
    --A Paladin with the Stunning (or Resounding) Smite ability, coupled with the feat Strength of Conviction from Exemplars of Evil, good Dexterity, Combat Reflexes, either Robilar's Gambit or Karmic Strike, Stand Still, a reach weapon, Aura of Devotion, Combat Expertise and Improved Trip (and believe me, it has enough feats to pull off all of this) can work as an effective lockdown/control build with added protection towards the attacks of enemies against allies. Replacing Aura of Devotion for Divine Deterrence provides further lockdown against spellcasters.
    --A Paladin that chooses the Special Mount Alternate Class Feature, spells to reinforce the mount, Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge, probably add the Charging Smite ACF and a good lance can work the classic "Ubercharger" build that's usually best done with a Paladin.
    --A Paladin with Aura of Vigor, loads of Charisma, Hands of a Healer (from Book of Exalted Deeds), healing spells and spells that enhance Lay on Hands, the Caduceus Bracers, and Battle Blessing makes for a phenomenal combat healer (probably better than a Cleric, actually) and still allows for actions during combat.
    --A Paladin with Aura of Devotion and Shield Other (or if you have BoED, Glory of the Martyr) may draw lots of hit point damage to himself or herself, which works just as fine with the above ability to become a self-healer that soaks the damage enemies deal to allies.

    ...and so forth. To one extent or another, the Paladin class provides about 6 options, and is flexible enough to allow you to deal two or three things well.

    Now, observe the Bez-Kismet, the retooling of the Hexblade. The Bez-Kismet, believe it or not, uses the Divine Warrior chassis. How?
    • 1) A Bez-Kismet doesn't have a proper Smite ability, but that is replaced with Curse of the Fateless, the upgrade to the Hexblade's Curse
    • 2) It has a series of auras much like the Divine Warrior
    • 3) It has deterrent auras against melee creatures and spellcasters
    • 4) It has a similar spellcasting progression, except Bez-Kismet uses arcane spells from a limited set of schools.
    • 5) The Bez-Kismet has bonus feats much like the Divine Warrior does, at the exact same levels
    • 6) The Bez-Kismet has Mettle and Improved Mettle
    • 7) The Bez-Kismet eventually becomes harder to kill, and if killed, usually makes the killer regret it (Destiny Bond)


    These, amongst others, indicate that the Bez-Kismet and the PBAJ use the same chassis, but with enough changes to be a different class altogether. In fact, the idea that the Bez-Kismet usually follows no deity and casts arcane spells shouldn't make it a Divine Warrior, but the similarities are just TOO much. There's another class that works in a similar way, which hasn't been posted to this date (if I do post it, it's the Zealot), but instead of divine spellcasting it uses Incarnum; otherwise, it's the exact same chassis. This is an example of how to build a class while using a specific chassis, providing enough differences to create an entirely different class.

    The inverse (applying traits of the Divine Warrior to another chassis) is also true. To place it as an example, observe the Retooled Ranger. At a glance, it may seem difficult to observe the traits of the Divine Warrior chassis; and of course, that's intentional. However, observe the spellcasting the Retooled Ranger has. As you can see, it's my own brand of half-spellcasting, and it's very similar to that of the PBAJ: based off the Druid spell list minus a few spells, with the Ranger-exclusive and reduced-level-on-Ranger-spell-list spells on top of that. The main difference is that Rangers prepare their spells, while the PBAJ/Divine Warrior cast spells spontaneously. Also, notice where the Retooled Ranger has Evasion, and where it has Improved Evasion; pretty close to where the PBAJ/Divine Warrior has Mettle and Improved Mettle. That's another influence of the Divine Warrior chassis.

    An example of a chassis which has quite distant applications is the "Ki" chassis:
    Level BAB Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
    1st +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability, ki power
    2nd +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    3rd +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    4th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability, ki strike (first tier, magic)
    5th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    6th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    7th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    8th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability, ki strike (second tier)
    9th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    10th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    11th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    12th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability, ki strike (third tier)
    13th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    14th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    15th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    16th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    17th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    18th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    19th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Class ability
    20th +x
    +x
    +x
    +x
    Mastery of ki

    The traits of this chassis go as follows:
    • 1) Ki pool equal to 1/2 class level + Wis modifier
    • 2) Several abilities tied to the ki pool
    • 3) Ki-based abilities usually last for rounds equal to class level, or have a caster level equal to 1/2 class level
    • 4) Ki strike appears in one way or another


    Now, to show just how different they are, consider the three classes so far that use the Ki chassis: the Retooled Monk, the Retooled Ninja, and the Retooled Samurai; the first is a warrior with traits of scout (but no skirmisher; rather it's a highly resistant frontal warrior), the second is a skillmonkey with specialties in disguise, jump, escape and explosives, and the third is a warrior class first and foremost, with combat styles representing the usual suspects (two-weapon combat, two-handed or S&B combat, archery, unarmed combat, defensive combat) eventually improved via ki. All three use the same core chassis, but the end result is very, very different from the norm. You may think all three are very different, but in the end they are pretty similar because all three use the Ki chassis.

    To further things, the Retooled Warmage and the Retooled Healer use the "Spontaneous Spellcaster" chassis but slightly...erm, retooled to make them more effective. As you can see, in my particular case all classes usually work within an easy to define chassis; perhaps the two greatest examples of anomalous data would be the Blademaster (my only unique class, so to speak) and my earlier work (both base classes under the name of "Nostrum"), and even then you can justify the influence of the Chassis in my homebrewing.

    Chassis and YOU (yes, you, for which I mean "you whom are reading this")!

    So, with all this monologue about how the concept of a "chassis" is meant to work, how YOU, reader, can apply this?

    If anything, consider the notion of a chassis for two things: simplicity, and elegance. Both are great for novice homebrewers, and even for experienced ones, whether you intend to homebrew a fix for your favorite class or a brand-new class that spearheads your brand-new system for the 3.5 system. Note; this only applies to D&D in the 3.x incarnation, which may translate almost fully into Pathfinder, and only moderately into d20 Modern and SWd20/SW Saga (which have their own concepts about chassis).

    The first is simplicity. If you know something works, then use it. Many easy fixes include taking a thing from one chassis and applying it to another; however, exactly how that works is a different matter. Simplicity, you see, isn't exactly as simple as it seems. Yes, it's an oxymoron, but bear me when I say it's meant to be simple. Basically, what you want is a simple and clean translation from one chassis to the other, so that it doesn't seem out of place. The cleanliness will be dealt with Elegance; this is Simplicity, mind you. Now, copying and pasting isn't exactly an example of simplicity; you need to figure how to alter that introduced ability into existing and invisible dead levels.

    So...what do I mean with "dead levels"? Seeking the simplest explanation, a "dead level" is a level within a class where you don't gain anything. For example: core Fighter has several dead levels, basically all odd levels aside from the 1st. As you can see, while it gains BAB and a chance to gain increased saves, you gain no class abilities at all, so your progression isn't entirely notable; BAB-wise, it's the rough equivalent of taking Weapon Focus with all weapons, and nothing else. Wizards have lots of dead levels in this way; however, they don't actually get so many dead levels if you consider they gain a new spell level every even level. That's not just something; it's a humongous something they get.

    Now, what's an "invisible" dead level? That implies a level in which what you gain is practically nothing. Consider a core Paladin reaching a level divisible by 5 (level 5, level 10, level 15, level 20). Of all four, only the first isn't really a dead level; while you gain something all four levels (an extra use of your Smite Evil ability), three of the four levels act like if you didn't gain anything (because you only gain an extra use of Smite Evil per day). With Extra Smite (a feat) you gain what you'd have gained those three levels with a very simple expenditure: of course, a feat slot may seem like a lot, but when you consider that you may make a dip in Fighter and gain one net extra feat (you "regain" the feat you'd have otherwise expended on Mounted Combat or Ride-by Attack and gain an extra feat almost instantly) without losing much (except Smite Evil extra damage, which is basically the only thing you lose but then again you may find a way to deal even MORE damage), then you realize you gained nothing at all. Sure, you may gain an extra spell slot, but then again you could expend that level on a class with better spellcasting. And let's not get started on Remove Disease as a weekly feature; that cries in the eyes of...well, not really Gygax and Arneson (may they roll natural 20s on the celestial gaming tables!), since they pretty much promoted that, but considering that the Paladin needs a fix, it cries in the eyes of Cecil and Uther Lightbringer. So, aside from the mount, all levels after 5th are effective dead levels, with 8th, 11th and 14th not so dead because you get a new spell level (and thus, more spells).

    When dealing with tweaking a class by making minor alterations to its chassis or scavenging on other chassis to draw useful abilities (such as killing the Scout and scavenge it to boost the Ranger), you should consider that all levels should be interesting enough. Ideally, that means you should never keep dead levels. It may happen if you're not talented enough to gauge a good, stand-alone feature that's fit for the level range (1-5 being low level, 6-10 being mid-level, 11-15 being high level, 16-20 being pre-epic), but try to keep it to one or two dead levels in that way, and make sure to consider what should be good. That's permissible in full spellcasters (they get spells after all), but it's generally BAAAAD on non-spellcasters, because they need something to gain at that level. Thus, you should consider when its the best moment to apply X or Y ability to Z level on W class' chassis. Doesn't sound very simple, right?

    Well, it's actually pretty simple. While, at the very end, it's a question of Elegance, experimenting where to add X or Y ability to Z level on W class' chassis consists only on placing such ability in the table and copy-pasta the information. Well, you should consider that not ALL abilities are meant to be copy-pasta'ed, but paraphrasing (another concept of Elegance) is your friend here. If it doesn't work, try again; if it DOES work, don't change it! Now it should sound pretty simple. It's simple once you consider it's really trial and error.

    Elegance, on the other hand, consists on how the chassis is organized; how rigid are its mathematical patterns, how alluring and presented the chassis is, and whether all levels have a roughly equal degree of abilities so that you gain something significant each time you gain a level.

    To show how this works, notice the core Paladin's Smite Evil ability. While it's not entirely elegant, it does have an elegant organization; it is neatly presented as an ability that progresses as follows: you add [class level] to your damage, and you gain a new use of such ability at a class level that's a multiple of 5. Likewise, the Barbarian's Rage ability has a very neat mathematical progression: 1 extra use per day every 4 class levels. An example of an inelegant progression is a class ability that you gain at 2nd level, then progresses at 6th, 9th, 13th, 15th and 18th level. As you can see, it follows a 4/3/4/2/3 pattern, and while it can easily fill dead levels that way, it doesn't follow a pretty mathematical pattern. Something like 2nd/6th/10th/14th/18th (every 4 levels starting from the 2nd level) or 3rd/6th/9th/12th/15th/18th (every 3 levels starting from the 3rd) is mathematically precise, and hence VERY elegant.

    Another concept of elegance is appropriate power class abilities. An example of this is Divine Grace: it's a class ability that adds your Charisma to all saving throws you make. The first 6 levels in the game are meant to be pretty challenging, but not that deadly; the next 5 levels are meant to be slow and safe, the next 5 levels afterwards very deadly, and the last levels before Epic should be pretty lethal. Divine Grace is gained at 2nd level, which implies a very brutal boost at early levels which may or may not balance out at later levels; after all, if you start with a Cha of 16, that's a +3 to all saving throws at 2nd level, which is pretty unfair considering you might already have a very good Fort save which makes failing a great variety of spells pretty doubtful; that immediately takes your saves into "can't touch this" levels. Taken between 6th and 11th implies that you get it at a level range in which things get nasty real quick; by the time you reach level 11, you'll have a powerful protective ability on your character sheet, but you'll still have a reasonable chance to fail a Fort save very early on. That, believe it or not, isn't so bad. In fact, Divine Grace is SO good (I mean, your Cha bonus to all 3 saves on a Charisma wh...I mean, Charisma fanatic!?!?!?!), it can work on the high-level range without problems. Just...don't keep it all the way to pre-epic, where you might have already reached death (or a VERY good Cloak of Resistance, or a way to get Superior Resistance + Conviction).

    While this is what makes mixing and matching from one chassis into another less simple than it should seem, it does help on one thing; it makes the class very elegant, and it helps on the concept of "balance". Now, balance on D&D is pretty arbitrary; a balanced class is one that isn't too strong to beat the game on its own (thus, not Tier 1) but not so weak that it gets replaced pretty easily (thus, not Tier 5 or 6). It can do several things well, but it really excels on one particular one (Tier 3). Even then, that's not really "balance"; you can easily take your specialization into ridiculous levels through practical optimization, of course. However, it involves a great degree of care with your 'brew, and it allows others to easily pick the flaws on your creation (more often than not) and what (and how it) can be improved.

    When working with a brand-new chassis, consider the following: first, what will be the core of the chassis? If you're introducing a new system, for example, construct your chassis based on the class that best defines it. For example; let's say you're making a new system to introduce superpowers (as those gained from X-Men or the Avengers or the Justice League) into a d20 system. You decide to create four classes to represent four archetypes; the superhero that has superior physical qualities, the superhero with vast intellect, the superhero that controls various forms of energy and works as a "blaster" of sorts, and the superhero whose abilities are subtle and that mostly "boost" talents it already has. All four are different enough archetypes, but they have one common trait; they all use your new system. You already explained how the system works, and you have a very strong grasp on how the system works; the problem is how to make the classes distinctive enough without having one class be a copy of the other (unless that's your intention, of course). The best way would be to create a chassis that applies to all four classes, and then mix & match from other chassis. For example: your superhero with supernatural physique could be a mix between a warrior and a skill-monkey focused on Strength and Dexterity-based skills, while your superhero with subtle powers could very well work as a skillmonkey. Working with that, you could develop classes that have their own distinctive flavor without stepping too far on the toes of the others; while the "Brawler" class would be different from the "Vigilante" class, there could be a point where they overlap, such as that of the dextrous Brawler and the melee-talented Vigilante. Or they could be extremely different, such as the super-strong, super-resilient Brawler and the very subtle, fear-mongering Vigilante. That's where the "not too broad, not too specific" approach works. The rest is just Simplicity (just how simple it is to capture your archetype) and Elegance (how obvious those options are and whether you won't have one level that's much better than the remaining 19).

    "But I don't want to use chassis!"

    Alright, alright, that happens. This is a pretty long rant, and you may not agree with all I say (and that's fine; I do like the debate now and then). However, there are a few things that, based on my own experiences, I can tell:

    For starters, the idea behind Elegance. Sure, being "mathematically precise" on the arrangement of levels may seem a bit misguided, but a very elegant presentation is key to attract people's attention. Anything that seems too overloaded will seem overpowered, but something that's well organized and neat will seem "balanced" enough (of course, whether it's really balanced at a much closer glance depends mostly on how you redact your abilities).

    Second, creating an entirely new mechanic is fine, but the beauty of the D&D class system is that, sometimes, just reworking an old ability into something better gives great results. Creating a new mechanic may seem needlessly complex if another class has an ability you can scavenge and apply to your new class' chassis. However, sometimes, and I do mean sometimes, you need to get to the drawing table and forge a new mechanic. Think of it as customizing your car by applying a custom-made piece; in simpler terms, creating a new mechanic should "Pimp your Ride", never make it a gizmo that will eventually be forgotten.

    Third, sometimes renaming things works for the better. Perhaps you don't want to call it "chassis"; however, you may agree with the idea of "archetypes". Part of the description works within the idea of "class" and "role"; the class chassis is the mechanical vehicle to represent your "role" within the game. In simpler terms: Miko uses the Paladin and Monk classes, or essentially the "Warrior" and "Ascetic" chassis/mechanical archetypes to represent herself as a "Samurai", which is her role or fluff archetype. Ideally, the chassis should serve as a recollection of archetypes that are not too broad, but not too narrow either. As well, they should ideally be a recollection of mechanical and fluff archetypes.

    Finally, if nothing else seems to work, then don't feel pressured. There's a slight chance you might do better with point-based or classless systems. Perhaps your vision of what a class should be differs strikingly from mine. That's fine. I'm not forcing you to adopt the idea of a "chassis", but do consider that it fits pretty well what one can do with homebrewing classes (and why not, Prestige Classes as well!) within the d20 system, particularly D&D 3.x and game systems related to it.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2014-05-20 at 02:06 PM.
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 (and 5e/Next) content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder. Also available for 5th Edition
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

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