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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Sycophant [3.5 Base Class, WIP]


    "Noble Blood, Noble Heart" by princeendymion

    SYCOPHANT
    "I don't have sob stories like all of you. I could sit here and complain how our mom liked Zuko more than me. But I don't really care. My own mother... thought I was a monster... She was right of course, but it still hurt."
    Azula, from Avatar : The Last Airbender

    This is a class I've made specifically built around social interaction, which I perceived as being a typical throw-away feature set. The occasional Diplomacy and Intimidate on a class skill list doesn't really make the class "roleplay focused" so I decided to whip something up as a thought experiment. I know that making mechanics related to social interaction is a very unpopular idea, but I just wanted to see if it could be done.

    Below is the Sycophant, a character class designed to be a master manipulator. It can make people feel good, make them feel bad, crush their soul with its words, and lie like the best of them. It is particularly terrible for a typical dungeoneering campaign, but it can make an excellent villain in a court-intrigue-style game.

    This class is designed to work with Rich Burlew's Diplomacy fix. Otherwise, this class would win everything forever with Diplomancy.

    I'd like to know what you think. I've been told repeatedly it's not possible to build a social-based class. They may be right; this may be nothing more than a jumbled mess.

    This is just a rough draft, though. Is there anything missing? Any iconic manipulator abilities it's missing? Anything I could do to make this the de-facto manipulator class?

    The resistance mechanics are something I'm try to work with. Skill check vs. Save sounds imbalanced, but so does a level check. I don't really want to go with static DC vs. Save and have the skill check be meaningless, though. Suggestions?

    Alignment
    Any.

    Hit Die
    d6.

    {table=head; width=80%]
    Level
    |
    Base Attack
    Bonus
    |
    Fort
    Save
    |
    Ref
    Save
    |
    Will
    Save
    |
    Special


    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Charming, Narcissistic Elation (Action)

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Narcissistic Blow

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Gossip

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Exploit, Manipulative Awareness

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Lie to Your Face, Reprieve

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Cohort

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Narcissistic Injury

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Exploit, Narcissistic Rage

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Narcissistic Elation (Defense)

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Exploit, Lie to the Gods

    11th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Mirror Mind, Diplomatic Immunity

    12th|
    +6 / +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Exploit

    13th|
    +6 / +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Narcissistic Elation (Legend)

    14th|
    +7 / +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Exploit

    15th|
    +7 / +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Narcissistic Mortification I

    16th|
    +8 / +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Exploit

    17th|
    +8 / +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Mastermind

    18th|
    +9 / +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Exploit

    19th|
    +9 / +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Narcissistic Mortification II

    20th|
    +10 / +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Lie to the World, Exploit[/table]

    Class Skills
    The sycophant's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language, Spot (Wis), Use Magic Device (Cha).

    Skill Points at 1st Level
    (8 + Int modifier) ×4.

    Skill Points at Each Additional Level
    8 + Int modifier.

    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the sycophant.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency
    Sycophants are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor. They are not proficient with shields.

    Charming
    Sycophants tend to have particular talents in utilizing the psychological quirks unique to a gender. At 1st level, a sycophant may choose to be charming to men or to women. From then on, against a member of her chosen gender, her lies are considered one step more believable when using the Bluff skill, and her relationship is considered one step better for purposes of the Diplomacy skill. The charm isn't necessarily sexual (although it can be) and so it is acceptable to select her own gender. A male sycophant who is charming to men would be considered a "man's man," for instance.

    Note that gender identity is not linked to biology. A warforged, for instance, could identify as and possess the quirks of a male or female individual, even if it is biologically neuter. Similarly, a biologically gendered character may, in rare cases, identify and function as a member of the other gender.

    A male halfling who loves fashion, intimate conversations, and spending time with "his girls" could be considered a female for purposes of this class feature, instead of male.

    Once selected, the sycophant's target gender cannot be changed.

    Narcissistic Elation
    A sycophant can compliment and praise others into a state of constant, buzzing happiness. To use this ability, the target must be able to hear the sycophant. Activating this ability is a standard action, and lasts until the sycophant stops praising her target or until the subject can no longer hear her. Narcissistic Elation can affect a number of allies up to one-half the sycophant's class level.

    Once activated, maintaining Narcissistic Elation requires only a free action every round.

    A sycophant cannot use any other Narcissistic abilities while maintaining an Elation effect, but she can stop Elation, use a different ability, and return to Elation later.

    She cannot use Narcissistic Elation on herself.

    Action: All subjects gains a morale bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, and skill checks equal to the sycophant's Charisma modifier.

    Defense: All subjects gains a morale bonus on saving throws and a dodge bonus to AC equal to the sycophant's Charisma modifier.

    Legend: All subjects gain Damage Reduction equal to the sycophant's Charisma modifier. For example, if her Charisma modifier was +5, all subjects would gain DR 5/-.

    Narcissistic Blow
    Sycophants treat others as tools and materials to be manipulated and crafted. While these skills can be used to build-up, a sycophant of 2nd level can also tear down her enemies with pointed words. A sycophant must succeed on a Sense Motive check opposed by a special level check to read her opponent's current mental state. This check is a d20 roll, to which is added the target's level and Charisma modifier.

    If the sycophant wins, she may berate her opponent, inflicting a morale penalty equal to her Charisma modifier on all attack rolls, saves, and checks as long as her opponent can hear and understand the sycophant. This can be done to a number of creatures equal to one-half the sycophant's class level at any one time. Even when the sycophant stops, the effect lingers for 1d4+1 rounds afterward.

    If the Sense Motive check fails, she must wait 1d4 rounds before she can try again.

    Gossip
    At 3rd level, a sycophant learns to sow rumors like seeds, whether for good or ill. The sycophant can use her skills to alter an NPC's relationship with a character other than herself.

    To raise the NPC's relationship with another character, the sycophant uses Diplomacy, while Intimidate is used to lower the relationship. The sycophant's relevant skill check is opposed by a special level check on the part of the influenced character identical to the one used for Narcissistic Blow. If the sycophant is successful, the NPC's relationship with the other character shifts one step in the chosen direction. If the sycophant fails, she cannot try again until the NPC has had another substantial interaction with the character.

    A sycophant cannot make an NPC a personal foe, nemesis, friend, or intimate.

    The subject of the rumors need not be present or even fully known to the NPC. A sycophant can even use this ability multiple times; however, the character must have some interaction with the influenced NPC to confirm the new relationship before she can manipulate further.

    For instance, a dashing noble sycophant could spread rumors about the heroes before they arrive at a party, speaking about their heroic deeds and how kind they are. If he were successful on his checks, he might raise the partygoer's attitudes from "just met" to a positive acquaintance of the heroes before they even meet firsthand. After the party, he could use his gossip ability again to reaffirm his earlier words, utilizing the new social encounter as evidence and converting those who were resistant to his first attempt.

    Exploit
    Sycophants pick up particular talents and social skills dependent upon their style. At certain levels as indicated on the class table, the sycophant gains an exploit. The exploit must be chosen from the following list, and the sycophant must meet all prerequisites at the time of gaining the exploit.

    Unless otherwise specified, an exploit cannot be taken multiple times.

    Pass The Buck
    Whenever the sycophant successfully Bluff a target, and the target later finds out about the ruse, she may make a second Bluff check to blame someone else for the lie. If she succeeds, the target redirects their anger to her chosen person, as if that individual had been the one to make the original Bluff check.
    Requires: Bluff 6 Ranks

    Laugh it Off
    If the sycophant fails a Bluff check, she can immediately make a Diplomacy check with a -4 penalty, opposed by a second Sense Motive check. If she succeeds, her Bluff is ignored with no negative consequences.
    Requires: Bluff 6 Ranks, Diplomacy 6 ranks

    Insidious Insinuation
    Whenever the sycophant makes an Intimidate check, her opponent must make a Sense Motive check. If they fail, they are not aware that she intentionally manipulated them, and she suffers no negative shift in their attitude.
    Requires: Intimidate 8 ranks, Diplomacy 6 ranks

    Cheerleader
    The sycophant's Charisma modifier is considered 1 point higher for all purposes related to Narcissistic Elation. This Exploit can be taken multiple times, each time increasing the effective modifier by 1.
    Requires: Diplomacy 8 ranks, Charisma 15+

    Acid Tongue
    The sycophant's Charisma modifier is considered 1 point higher for all purposes related to Narcissistic Blow, Narcissistic Injury, Narcissistic Rage, and Narcissistic Mortification. This Exploit can be taken multiple times, each time increasing the effective modifier by 1.
    Requires: Intimidate 12 ranks, Insidious Insinuation

    Mask of Trust
    Whenever someone uses Sense Motive to gain a "hunch" about the sycophant, they must oppose her Disguise check in addition to the standard DC of 20. If the sycophant wins, they see her as trustworthy or as who she says she is, regardless of the truth.
    Requires: Diplomacy 8 Ranks, Disguise 8 ranks

    Sex Sells
    Whenever making a Diplomacy check, the sycophant's offer is considered one step better than it would normally be against a target of her chosen gender.
    Requires: Diplomacy 8 Ranks, Charming

    Psychologist
    The sycophant may use her Intelligence modifier instead of her Wisdom modifier on Sense Motive checks. Additionally, she gain a +2 bonus on Sense Motive checks.
    Requires: Sense Motive 6 Ranks, Intelligence 13+

    Angels and Demons
    The sycophant can increase an NPC's attitude from Ally to Friend or reduce it from Enemy to Personal Foe with Gossip if she beats their level check by 10 or more.
    Requires: Diplomacy 12 ranks, Intimidate 12 ranks, Narcissistic Rage

    Posse
    The sycophant gains the Leadership feat. This does not grant her a second cohort, but she gains followers and a +2 bonus to her Leadership score.
    Requires: Cheerleader, Cohort

    True Lies
    The sycophant becomes immune to any supernatural effect that would compel her to speak the truth.
    Requires: Lie to the Gods, Bluff 12 ranks

    Self-Assured
    The sycophant may use her Charisma instead of her Wisdom when making Will saves.
    Requires: Base Will save +5 or higher

    Manipulative Awareness
    A sycophant of 4th level and higher is skilled enough in the art of manipulation to know that others attempt to manipulate her, too. If the sycophant is an NPC, she gains the protections against manipulation that are afforded to player characters: Diplomacy and Intimidate cannot be used to change her attitude, even temporarily. Non-influence uses of the skills, such as Intimidate's demoralize use, function normally just as they do on player characters.

    A player sycophant gains no benefits from this class feature (because he or she already has it).

    Lie to Your Face
    Sycophants quickly learn the ways of people and can turn social interaction into a dry, rehearsed technique. At 5th level, a sycophant gains the ability to take 10 on Bluff checks, even when threatened.

    Reprieve
    A 5th level sycophant's body language and silver tongue make it difficult to do her harm. She may add her Charisma modifier (if positive) as a deflection bonus to her AC against any enemy who can hear and understand her.

    The sycophant does not gain this bonus if she is flat-footed, but retains it if she is immobilized or otherwise loses her Dexterity bonus. This ability depends heavily on the sycophant's ability to look harmless; if she is wearing armor, the ability is nullified.

    Cohort
    Upon achieving 6th level, a sycophant gains a cohort exactly as if she had taken the Leadership feat. The exact specifications of the cohort are up to the player and DM to decide together, but generally the cohort is someone the sycophant would find useful. Unlike a typical cohort, the NPC gained through this class feature may actually perceive himself as the leader with the sycophant as his side-kick, but his need for approval or his undeserved arrogance makes him clay in the hands of a skilled manipulator. Whether he knows it or not, he is taking orders from the sycophant with little question.

    Regardless, the situation is profitable for both parties; the cohort gains all the approval and compliments he needs, and the sycophant gains a trusty companion.

    The cohort cannot be a sycophant.

    This ability does not grant followers. If the sycophant takes the Leadership feat, however, this ability grants a +2 bonus to her Leadership score.

    Narcissistic Injury
    Sycophants of 7th level and higher know to read others and identify psychological weaknesses. All it takes is a well-crafted line or phrase to touch a soft, tender spot of the opponent's memories to break them. Though the words the sycophant speaks seems directly related to the target, even to the point of seeming divinely revealed, the phrases are, in fact, generic enough that they can apply to a wide variety of people and situations. The subject simply interprets the sycophant's insults in a way directly relevant to them.

    If the sycophant succeeds on a Sense Motive check against the special level check, they can get a read on their opponent and identify potential weaknesses. Doing so is a standard action.

    Once read, the sycophant takes a stab in the psychological dark, causing painful secrets to be dug up in their target's mind. The target is considered shaken for the rest of the encounter with the sycophant and for 1 minute afterward. This even applies to creatures who are normally immune to fear; the effects result from the subject's own guilt and internal thoughts, not an external fear effect.

    For example, Catarina the sycophant is a member of the noble court, who she has been manipulating against Katosho, a foreign paladin emissary. She succeeds on her Sense Motive check to read the paladin, and knows her opponent is battle-hardened and has many ghosts in his past. Later, during the dinner, she brushes past him, and quietly whispers, "She would still be alive if it weren't for you" before continuing on her way, as if the passing had never happened. Until he has a chance to step outside for a few minutes and clear his head, Katosho suffers penalties as if he were shaken, even though paladins are typically immune to fear, with every glance and sinister smirk she gives serving to remind him of his previous failures and the people he failed to save years ago.

    If the sycophant can successfully identify the opponent with a Knowledge check, they gain a +4 bonus on the Sense Motive check.

    This ability does not stack with itself, or with other fear effects.

    Obviously, the subject must be able to hear and understand the sycophant's speech.

    Narcissistic Rage
    A sycophant of 8th level or higher can use her guile to insult and chide an opponent so deeply as to make them shake with anger. Use of this ability is a standard action, opposed by a special level check identical to that used by narcissistic blow.

    If the sycophant succeeds, the opponent enters a state of narcissistic rage. Any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), any abilities that require patience or concentration, and spells or spell-like abilities require a Concentration check (DC 10 + ½ the sycophant's class level + her Charisma modifier) to perform.

    While enraged, however, the target gains a morale bonus on attack rolls against the Sycophant equal to the Sycophant's Charisma modifier.

    This rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to half the sycophant's class level or until the opponent successfully deals damage to the sycophant, whichever is sooner.

    Lie to the Gods
    The sycophant has become so good at keeping a straight face while lying that the talent filters down into the very essence of her being. A sycophant of 10th level or higher can pretend to be any alignment she chooses, fooling even magic and magic items with alignment restrictions. She can change her emulated alignment as a free action.

    The sycophant's classes, feats, and other internal mechanical features still use her true alignment.

    Mirror Mind
    Sycophants are so adept at manipulation that they can learn to manipulate manipulation itself. Whenever a sycophant of 11th level or higher is targeted by a mind-affecting attack and succeeds on her saving throw, she can choose to falsify her save or to reflect the power.

    If she chooses to falsify the save, she remains in full control of herself, but the ability's user is informed that she failed her save. She can play along and pretend to be affected as long as she chooses.

    If she attempts to reflect the attack, the original caster must succeed on the same save, including the original DC and all modifiers. Success reveals to the caster that their spell was reflected and they were targeted, but a failure indicates that the caster is the new target, with the sycophant considered the caster. As if being charmed by their intended target is not enough, a successfully reflected spell informs the caster that the sycophant failed their save; the original caster believes their mind-affecting attack has succeeded, when instead it has been reversed.

    All effects, such as duration, are calculated using the original caster's statistics, including any adjustments from metamagic feats.

    Diplomatic Immunity
    A sycophant of 11th level and higher can, with a standard action, speak with such force and authority that few would dare harm her, for fear of the retribution she could bring. This works exactly like a Sanctuary spell as cast by a cleric of the sycophant's level.

    This ability is usable once per day per five levels of sycophant.

    Narcissistic Mortification
    A sycophant of 15th level or higher can destroy an opponent's sense of purpose and will to live with a mere suggestion. Using this soul-crushing ability is a standard action. The subject must be able to see, hear, and understand the sycophant, and the sycophant must succeed on an Intimidate check opposed by a special level check. This check is a d20 roll, plus the target's Hit Die, plus the target's Charisma and Wisdom modifiers.

    If the sycophant wins the opposed roll, the target gains one negative level.

    The sycophant can attempt this multiple times, but each time the target becomes more resistant. The sycophant suffers a -4 penalty on her Intimidate check for every previous attempt, regardless of whether or not the attempt succeeded or failed.

    These usage penalties last for 24 hours, just like the negative levels.

    These negative levels result from direct internal suppression of the soul and are not based on negative energy. Because of this, individuals cannot be slain by this ability (but see below). A character who acquires as many negative levels as they have Hit Die becomes catatonic, complacent, and rendered helpless, having lost its will to live and pursue its goals. It returns to normal when its Hit Die once again exceed its negative levels.

    Negative levels inflicted by a sycophant are resisted by Will saves, unlike negative energy-based negative levels, which are resisted by Fortitude saves.

    At 19th level, each use of this ability inflicts two negative levels instead of one. The target dies immediately if its negative levels equal or exceed its hit die, but does not rise as an undead.

    Mastermind
    At 17th level, a sycophant gains the ability to create a web of deceit and intrigue that goes far beyond their physical environment. The result of a Bluff check, a Forgery check, or Gossip can be distributed through a population like a virus.

    Initially, the check is performed normally. If the check succeeds, the manipulated victim becomes "infected" by the sycophant's words. From then on, whenever the infected individual socially encounters an uninfected individual, the check is repeated, with all the modifiers of the original check, using the infected individual as a proxy for the sycophant. Success infects the new individual with the Bluff, Forgery, or Gossip, who can then go on to spread the information further.

    This process can continue until an entire population has become infected with false (or true) information, but each generation of "infection" suffers a cumulative -2 penalty to the sycophant's check result.

    Lie to the World
    A 20th level sycophant's words are so easily believed that even the universe itself bends and conforms to her decree. Once a day, the sycophant can spend one minute crafting a beautiful, intricate story so filled with detail that even the world believes it to be true. This works exactly as a Miracle spell, cast as a cleric of the sycophant's level. A sycophant must succeed on a Bluff check (DC 25 + the replicated spell's level or equivalent level of the request), and may be required to pay experience, as well.

    This is a spell-like ability.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-08-15 at 01:26 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    katarl's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Sycophant [3.5 Base Class, WIP]

    Intriguing, a social class that ignores immunities, can't fight and has no magic. It's very ambitious and pretty complete as is.

    That said, some abilities are too weak as compared to the others (ignoring balance against other classes).

    Elations are an example of this- Action is AMAZING power-wise, yet defence is so-so, and legend is nearly totally useless. By the time you get legend, everyone will have magic weapons, and already have better DR. I'd recommend changing defence to include AC, and Legend to be DR cha/-, or weakening Action.

    Does Posse stack with Cohort?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zeta Kai's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Final Chapter
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Sycophant [3.5 Base Class, WIP]

    To boost the Defense Elation, you should allow it to apply to AC, as well. To boost the Legend Elation, you should remove the restriction on magic weapons &/or apply the entire Charisma bonus, instead of just half.

    Other than that, the only thing that I would change is the BAB, which I would nerf down to 1/2 HD, like a Sorcerer or Wizard. This is a great class; simple, elegant, powerful, flavorful, & fun. Kudos.

    Also, yoink.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Gender
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    Default Re: Sycophant [3.5 Base Class, WIP]

    • Narcissistic Elation (Defense) now adds a Dodge bonus to AC.
    • Narcissistic Elation (Legend) now grants DR (Cha Mod)/-.
    • Clarified Posse to reiterate Cohort's stacking rules.
    • Reduced Base Attack Bonus from ¾ to ½.


    I liked the input I received and your suggestions made a lot of sense, so I made changes.

    What should I do about a resistance mechanic, though? That's a definite sore spot here, I think.

    Skill check vs. Skill check would likely be an auto-win for the Sycophant. In most cases.
    10+½ level + stat mod vs. saving throw is a simple, balanced way to do it, but it utterly ignores the sycophant's skill.
    Skill check vs. special Level check is used for Intimidate, and it scales with level, but it favors the sycophant and, with even just a little optimization, can become a near auto-win for her.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Sycophant [3.5 Base Class, WIP]

    this class is something of a real curiosity to me. I've come close to a non-combat manipulator class but this thing is the real deal. I will look at this thing in real depth.

    Long Review:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post

    "Noble Blood, Noble Heart" by princeendymion

    SYCOPHANT
    "I don't have sob stories like all of you. I could sit here and complain how our mom liked Zuko more than me. But I don't really care. My own mother... thought I was a monster... She was right of course, but it still hurt."
    Azula, from Avatar : The Last Airbender

    This is a class I've made specifically built around social interaction, which I perceived as being a typical throw-away feature set. The occasional Diplomacy and Intimidate on a class skill list doesn't really make the class "roleplay focused" so I decided to whip something up as a thought experiment. I know that making mechanics related to social interaction is a very unpopular idea, but I just wanted to see if it could be done.

    Below is the Sycophant, a character class designed to be a master manipulator. It can make people feel good, make them feel bad, crush their soul with its words, and lie like the best of them. It is particularly terrible for a typical dungeoneering campaign, but it can make an excellent villain in a court-intrigue-style game.

    This class is designed to work with Rich Burlew's Diplomacy fix. Otherwise, this class would win everything forever with Diplomancy.

    I'd like to know what you think. I've been told repeatedly it's not possible to build a social-based class. They may be right; this may be nothing more than a jumbled mess.

    This is just a rough draft, though. Is there anything missing? Any iconic manipulator abilities it's missing? Anything I could do to make this the de-facto manipulator class?


    Well, from a cursory glance, there seems to be a lack of psychological "mind control". While diplomacy is a wonderful thing, being able to fool someone into performing specific actions (rather than giving them a general attitude towards you) can be very handy, both in noble courts and on the battlefield.

    Also, perhaps some ability (either related or unrelated to the ability above) to catch a single creature in a web of lies, luring the target deeper and deeper until they are unable to see deception in your words.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    The resistance mechanics are something I'm try to work with. Skill check vs. Save sounds imbalanced, but so does a level check. I don't really want to go with static DC vs. Save and have the skill check be meaningless, though. Suggestions?
    Hmmm... skill checks are very difficult to balance as they can be optimized to extreme lengths but counting on players doing so often means forcing them to do so. I, for one, would suggest a compromise (a level check with a bonus equal to their will save).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Alignment
    Any.

    Hit Die
    d6.

    {table=head; width=80%]
    Level
    |
    Base Attack
    Bonus
    |
    Fort
    Save
    |
    Ref
    Save
    |
    Will
    Save
    |
    Special


    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Charming, Narcissistic Elation (Action)

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Narcissistic Blow

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Gossip

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Exploit, Manipulative Awareness

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Lie to Your Face

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Cohort

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Narcissistic Injury

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Exploit, Narcissistic Rage

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Narcissistic Elation (Defense)

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Exploit, Lie to the Gods

    11th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Mirror Mind

    12th|
    +6 / +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Exploit

    13th|
    +6 / +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Narcissistic Elation (Legend)

    14th|
    +7 / +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Exploit

    15th|
    +7 / +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Narcissistic Mortification I

    16th|
    +8 / +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Exploit

    17th|
    +8 / +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Mastermind

    18th|
    +9 / +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Exploit

    19th|
    +9 / +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Narcissistic Mortification II

    20th|
    +10 / +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Lie to the World, Exploit[/table]

    Class Skills
    The sycophant's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language, Spot (Wis), Use Magic Device (Cha).

    Skill Points at 1st Level
    (8 + Int modifier) ×4.

    Skill Points at Each Additional Level
    8 + Int modifier.
    Pretty good so far. I have a slight complaint, but it's over something pretty trivial (aesthetic stuff) that I'll mention later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the sycophant.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency
    Sycophants are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor. They are not proficient with shields.

    Charming
    Sycophants tend to have particular talents in utilizing the psychological quirks unique to a gender. At 1st level, a sycophant may choose to be charming to men or to women. From then on, the sycophant gains a bonus on all Charisma-based checks against that gender equal to their level in Sycophant. The charm isn't necessarily sexual (although it can be) and so it is acceptable to select your own gender. A male sycophant who is charming to men would be considered a "man's man," for instance.

    Note that gender identity is not linked to biology. A warforged, for instance, could identify as and possess the quirks of a male or female individual, even if it is biologically neuter. Similarly, a biologically gendered character may, in rare cases, identify and function as a member of the other gender.

    A male halfling who loves fashion, intimate conversations, and spending time with "his girls" could be considered a female for purposes of this class feature, instead of male.

    Once selected, the sycophant's target gender cannot be changed.
    This class feature rubs me the wrong way for a couple of reasons.
    1. Although Rich Berlew's Diplomacy fix does prevent players from getting away with anything, I'm pretty sure that giving players a large extra bonus with half of the population kind of undoes that fix.
    2. The way this ability is written, this bonus is added when using most of your class features involving opposed rolls (at least against the proper gender). I'm afraid that this may make some of your abilities more powerful than intended (unless you wanted automatic success).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Narcissistic Elation
    A sycophant can compliment and praise others into a state of constant, buzzing happiness. To use this ability, the target must be able to hear the sycophant. Activating this ability is a standard action, and lasts until the sycophant stops praising his target or until the subject can no longer hear her. Narcissistic Elation can affect a number of allies up to one-half your level in Sycophant.

    Once activated, maintaining Narcissistic Elation requires only a free action every round.

    You cannot use any other Narcissistic abilities while maintaining an Elation effect, but you can stop Elation, use a different ability, and return to Elation later.

    You cannot use Narcissistic Elation on yourself.

    Action: All subjects gains a morale bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, and skill checks equal to the sycophant's Charisma modifier.

    Defense: All subjects gains a morale bonus on saving throws and a dodge bonus to AC equal to the sycophant's Charisma modifier.

    Legend: All subjects gain Damage Reduction equal to your Charisma modifier. For example, if your Charisma modifier was +5, all subjects would gain DR 5/-.
    This ability, from an aesthetic viewpoint, looks incredibly odd to me. The bonuses themselves don't increase too much and you merely gain access to new types of bonuses as you level up. The problem with this, however, is that adding your charisma bonus to anything is awesome (perhaps too awesome) at 1st level but isn't too impressive at higher levels.

    Instead of making these bonuses like a marshall's minor auras, however, I'd recommend making them more like a marhsall's major auras, granting all of these buffs at 1st level and giving the bonus a set size that increases over time. At the very least, I would set the cap of the bonus at your class level.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Narcissistic Blow
    Sycophants treat others as tools and materials to be manipulated and crafted. While these skills can be used to build-up, a sycophant of 2nd level can also tear down her enemies with pointed words. A sycophant must succeed on a Sense Motive check opposed by a special level check to read her opponent's current mental state. This check is a d20 roll, to which is added the target's level and Charisma modifier.

    If the sycophant wins, she may berate her opponent, inflicting a morale penalty equal to her Charisma modifier on all attack rolls, saves, and checks as long as her opponent can hear and understand the sycophant. This can be done to a number of creatures equal to one-half the sycophant's class level at any one time. Even when the sycophant stops, the effect lingers for 1d4+1 rounds afterward.

    If the Sense Motive check fails, you must wait 1d4 rounds before you can try again.
    Again, I'd either give this thing a set bonus that increases over time or at least cap the penalty at your class level so that it doesn't totally shut enemies down (rather than merely debuffing them) at lower levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Gossip
    At 3rd level, a sycophant learns to sow rumors like seeds, whether for good or ill. The sycophant can use her skills to alter an NPC's attitude of a character other than herself.

    To raise the NPC's attitude towards another character, the sycophant uses Diplomacy, while Intimidate is used to lower the attitude. The sycophant's relevant skill check is opposed by a special level check on the part of the influenced character identical to the one used for Narcissistic Blow. If the sycophant is successful, the NPC's attitude towards the other character shifts one step in the chosen direction. If the sycophant fails, she cannot try again until the NPC has had another substantial interaction with the character.

    You cannot make an NPC hostile unless it was already unfriendly before you got to it. Likewise, you cannot make an NPC helpful unless it was already friendly without your meddling.

    The character you are spreading rumors about need not be present or even fully known to the NPC. You can even use this ability multiple times; however, the character must have some interaction with the influenced NPC to change their attitude before you can manipulate further.

    For instance, a dashing noble sycophant could spread rumors about the heroes before they arrive at a party, speaking about their heroic deeds and how kind they are. If he were successful on his checks, he might raise the partygoer's attitudes from indifferent to friendly to the heroes before they even meet firsthand. After the party, he could use his gossip ability again to reaffirm his earlier words, utilizing the new social encounter as evidence and converting those who were resistant to his first attempt.
    The bolded portion seems a bit odd to me. When you use the word "change" in that sentence, do you (1) mean that the character has to change the NPC's attitude even further before you can use this again; or (2) actually mean to say "...with the influenced NPC to (cement/confirm) their new attitude..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Exploit
    Sycophants pick up particular talents and social skills dependent upon their style. At certain levels as indicated on the class table, the sycophant gains an exploit. The exploit must be chosen from the following list, and the sycophant must meet all prerequisites at the time of gaining the exploit.

    Unless otherwise specified, an exploit cannot be taken multiple times.

    Pass The Buck
    Whenever you successfully Bluff a target, and the target later finds out about the ruse, you may make a second Bluff check to blame someone else for the lie. If you succeed, the target redirects their anger to your chosen person, as if that individual had been the one to make the original Bluff check.
    Requires: Bluff 6 Ranks

    Laugh it Off
    If you fail a Bluff check, you can immediately make a Diplomacy check with a -4 penalty, opposed by a second Sense Motive check. If you succeed, your Bluff is ignored with no negative consequences.
    Requires: Bluff 6 Ranks, Diplomacy 6 ranks

    Insidious Insinuation
    Whenever you make an Intimidate check, your opponent must make a Sense Motive check. If they fail, they are not aware that you intentionally manipulated them, and you suffer no negative shift in their attitude.
    Requires: Intimidate 8 ranks, Diplomacy 6 ranks

    Cheerleader
    Your Charisma modifier is considered 1 point higher for all purposes related to Narcissistic Elation.
    Requires: Diplomacy 8 ranks, Charisma 15+

    Acid Tongue
    Your Charisma modifier is considered 1 point higher for all purposes related to Narcissistic Blow, Narcissistic Injury, Narcissistic Rage, and Narcissistic Mortification.
    Requires: Intimidate 12 ranks, Insidious Insinuation

    Mask of Trust
    Whenever someone uses Sense Motive to gain a "hunch" about you, they must oppose your Disguise check in addition to the standard DC of 20. If you succeed, they see you as trustworthy or as who you say you are, regardless of the truth.
    Requires: Diplomacy 8 Ranks, Disguise 8 ranks

    Sex Sells
    Whenever making a Diplomacy check, your offer is considered one step better than it would normally be against a target of your chosen gender.
    Requires: Diplomacy 8 Ranks, Charming

    Psychologist
    You may use your Intelligence modifier instead of your Wisdom modifier on Sense Motive checks. Additionally, you gain a +2 bonus on Sense Motive checks.
    Requires: Sense Motive 6 Ranks, Intelligence 13+

    Angels and Demons
    You can increase an NPCs attitude from Indifferent or Friendly to Helpful or reduce it from Indifferent or Unfriendly to Hostile with Gossip if you beat their level check by 10 or more.
    Requires: Diplomacy 12 ranks, Intimidate 12 ranks, Narcissistic Rage

    Posse
    You gain the Leadership feat. This does not grant you a second cohort, but you gain followers and Cohort counts as a "special power," granting you a +2 bonus to your Leadership score.
    Requires: Cheerleader, Cohort

    True Lies
    You become immune to any supernatural effect that would compel you to speak the truth.
    Requires: Lie to the Gods, Bluff 12 ranks
    Not much to say but ss there any particular reason why acidic tongue/cheerleader can't be taken multiple number of times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Manipulative Awareness
    A sycophant of 4th level and higher is skilled enough in the art of manipulation to know that others attempt to manipulate her, too. If the sycophant is an NPC, she gains the protections against manipulation that are afforded to player characters: Diplomacy and Intimidate cannot be used to change her attitude, even temporarily. Non-influence uses of the skills, such as Intimidate's demoralize use, function normally just as they do on player characters.

    A player sycophant gains no benefits from this class feature (because he or she already has it).
    I'm not sure how I feel about an NPC-only ability but I can certainly see why it is here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Lie to Your Face
    Sycophants quickly learn the ways of people and can turn social interaction into a dry, rehearsed technique. At 5th level, a sycophant gains the ability to take 10 on Bluff checks, even when threatened.
    Good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Cohort
    Upon achieving 6th level, a sycophant gains a cohort exactly as if she had taken the leadership feat. The exact specifications of the cohort are up to the player and DM to decide together, but generally the cohort is someone the sycophant would find useful. Unlike a typical cohort, the NPC gained through this class feature may actually perceive himself as the leader with the sycophant as his side-kick, but his need for approval or his undeserved arrogance makes him clay in the hands of a skilled manipulator. Whether he knows it or not, he is taking orders from the sycophant with little question.

    Regardless, the situation is profitable for both parties; the cohort gains all the approval and compliments he needs, and the sycophant gains a trusty companion.

    The cohort cannot be a sycophant.

    This ability does not grant followers. If the sycophant takes the Leadership feat, however, this ability counts as a "special power," granting a +2 bonus to her Leadership score.
    Nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Narcissistic Injury
    Sycophants of 7th level and higher know to read others and identify psychological weaknesses. All it takes is a well-crafted line or phrase to touch a soft, tender spot of the opponent's memories to break them. Though the words the sycophant speaks seems directly related to the target, even to the point of seeming divinely revealed, the phrases are, in fact, generic enough that they can apply to a wide variety of people and situations. The subject simply interprets the sycophant's insults in a way directly relevant to them.

    If the sycophant succeeds on a Sense Motive check against the special level check, they can get a read on their opponent and identify potential weaknesses. Doing so is a standard action.

    Once read, the sycophant takes a stab in the psychological dark, causing dark secrets to be dug up in their target's mind. The target is considered shaken for the rest of the encounter with the sycophant and for 1 minute afterward. This even applies to creatures who are normally immune to fear; the effects result from the subject's own guilt and internal thoughts, not an external fear effect.

    For example, Catarina the sycophant is a member of the noble court, who she has been manipulating against Katosho, a foreign paladin emissary. She succeeds on her Sense Motive check to read the paladin, and knows her opponent is battle-hardened and has many ghosts in his past. Later, during the dinner, she brushes past him, and quietly whispers, "She would still be alive if it weren't for you" before continuing on her way, as if the passing had never happened. Until he has a chance to step outside for a few minutes and clear his head, Katosho suffers penalties as if he were shaken, even though paladins are typically immune to fear, with every glance and sinister smirk she gives serving to remind him of his previous failures and the people he failed to save years ago.

    If the sycophant can successfully identify the opponent with a Knowledge check, they gain a +4 bonus on the Sense Motive check.

    This ability does not stack with itself, or with other fear effects.

    Obviously, the subject must be able to hear and understand the sycophant's speech.
    This seems... oddly weak. It's an okay ability with good duration that passes immunities. On the other hand, you're getting it 5 levels after another ability that does far more and targets more foes at once. Perhaps turn this ability into a special use of narcissistic blow, targetting only 1 creature but affecting them whenever they are in your pressence for the next hour.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Narcissistic Rage
    A sycophant of 8th level or higher can use her guile to insult and chide an opponent so deeply as to make them shake with anger. Use of this ability is a standard action, opposed by a special level check identical to that used by narcissistic blow.

    If the sycophant succeeds, the opponent enters a state of narcissistic rage. Any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), any abilities that require patience or concentration, and spells or spell-like abilities require a Concentration check (DC 10 + ½ Your level is Sycophant + your Charisma modifier) to perform.

    While enraged, however, the target gains a morale bonus on attack rolls against the Sycophant equal to the Sycophant's Charisma modifier.

    This rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to half your level in Sycophant or until the opponent successfully strikes the Sycophant, whichever is sooner.
    I like this ability but there's one thing that I want to make clear:
    As this ability is currently written, a simple slap across the cheek (either with a hand or dueling glove) would let a target end this ability without making a total fool of themselves. Was this intentional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Lie to the Gods
    The sycophant has become so good at keeping a straight face while lying that the talent filters down into the very essence of her being. A sycophant of 10th level or higher can pretend to be any alignment she chooses, fooling even magic and magic items with alignment restrictions. She can change her emulated alignment as a free action.

    Classes, feats, and other internal mechanical features still use her true alignment.
    Just noticed that your abilities aren't marked as Ex/Su/Sp. Is this a supernatural ability?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Mirror Mind
    Sycophants are so adept at manipulation that they can learn to manipulate manipulation itself. Whenever a sycophant of 11th level or higher is targeted by a mind-affecting attack and succeeds on her saving throw, she can make a choice. She can choose to falsify her save or to reflect the power. If she chooses to falsify the save, she remains in full control of herself, but the ability's user is informed that she failed her save. She can play along and pretend to be affected as long as she chooses.

    If she attempts to reflect the attack, the original caster must succeed on the same save, including the original DC and all modifiers. Success reveals to the caster that their spell was reflected and they were targeted, but a failure indicates that the caster is the new target, with the sycophant considered the caster. As if being charmed by your intended target is not enough, a successfully reflected spell informs the caster that the sycophant failed their save; the original caster believes their mind-affecting attack has succeeded, when instead it has been reversed.

    All effects, such as duration, are calculated using the original caster's statistics, including any adjustments from metamagic feats.
    This seems like a lot of fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Narcissistic Mortification
    A sycophant of 15th level or higher can destroy an opponent's sense of purpose and will to live with a mere suggestion. Using this soul-crushing ability is a standard action. The subject must be able to see, hear, and understand the sycophant, and the sycophant must succeed on an Intimidate check opposed by a special level check. This check is a d20 roll, plus the target's Hit Die, plus the target's Charisma and Wisdom modifiers.

    If the sycophant wins the opposed roll, the target gains one negative level.

    The sycophant can attempt this multiple times, but each time the target becomes more resistant. The sycophant suffers a -4 penalty on their Intimidate check for every previous attempt, regardless of whether or not the attempt succeeded or failed.

    These penalties last for 24 hours, just like the negative levels.

    These negative levels result from direct internal suppression of the soul and are not based on negative energy. Because of this, individuals cannot be slain by this ability. A character who acquires as many negative levels as they have Hit Die becomes catatonic and complacent, having lost its will to live and pursue its goals. It returns to normal when its Hit Die once again exceed its negative levels.

    Negative levels inflicted by a sycophant are resisted by Will saves, unlike negative energy-based negative levels, which are resisted by Fortitude saves.

    At 19th level, each use of this ability inflicts two negative levels instead of one. The target dies immediately if its negative levels equal or exceed its hit die, but does not rise as an undead.
    Again, this this thing is simply awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Mastermind
    At 17th level, a sycophant gains the ability to create a web of deceit and intrigue that goes far beyond their physical environment. The result of a Bluff check, a Forgery check, or Gossip can be distributed through a population like a virus.

    Initially, the check is performed normally. If the check succeeds, the manipulated victim becomes "infected" by the sycophant's words. From then on, whenever the infected individual socially encounters an uninfected individual, the check is repeated, using the infected individual as a proxy for the sycophant. Success infects the new individual with the Bluff, Forgery, or Gossip, who can then go on to spread the information further.

    This process can continue until an entire population has become infected with false (or true) information, but each generation of "infection" suffers a cumulative -2 penalty to the sycophant's check result.

    Lie to the World
    A 20th level sycophant's words are so easily believed that even the universe itself bends and conforms to her decree. Once a day, the sycophant can spend one minute crafting a beautiful, intricate story so filled with detail that even the world believes it to be true. This works exactly as a Miracle spell, cast as a cleric of the sycophant's level. A sycophant must succeed on a Bluff check (DC 25 + the replicated spell's level or equivalent level of the request), and may be required to pay experience, as well.
    Both are excellent abilities and this looks to be a very good class. Highly social and yet capable of doing quite a lot.
    I'm try not to be too vain but this was too perfect not to sig.
    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Fury View Post
    okay RoC, that is enough! the gitp boards can only take so much awsome, you might actually hurt somebody with this one!
    At long last, I have an extended signature

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sycophant [3.5 Base Class, WIP]

    I like this class, and the info about being a "man's man" just makes me want to play a frat-boy type with this class...

    Nice work Bro-Pen Source Initiative!
    Quote Originally Posted by Fredaintdead View Post
    *high fives*
    Someone get this man a medal, because he either reads my posts or my mind.

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    Default Re: Sycophant [3.5 Base Class, WIP]

    I like this one. I like it very much. The only thing I would add is the ability to substitute Wisdom for Charisma, when Will saves are included.

    Sure, you can spend a feat on it, but if there is any class that would draw willpower from their personality and faith in themselves, this is the one.

    Also, as a minor note, Sycophants can be of any alignment. That is cool. However, the word itself has strictly negative connotations as far as I'm concerned. What would a Good Sycophant be called?
    Adrie, half elven bard. Drawing by Vulion, avatar by CheesePirate. Colored version by Callos_DeTerran. Thanks a lot, you guys.
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    Default Re: Sycophant [3.5 Base Class, WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordokai View Post
    I like this one. I like it very much. The only thing I would add is the ability to substitute Wisdom for Charisma, when Will saves are included.
    Added as an Exploit.

    Also, as a minor note, Sycophants can be of any alignment. That is cool. However, the word itself has strictly negative connotations as far as I'm concerned. What would a Good Sycophant be called?
    Whatever you want. Rogue also suffers from this problem; they can be of any alignment, even good, but rogue is an inherently negative word because underhanded tactics, lying, and manipulation carry a negative connotation even when done for the right reasons.

    Orator? Charmer?

    Quote Originally Posted by togapika View Post
    I like this class, and the info about being a "man's man" just makes me want to play a frat-boy type with this class...

    Nice work Bro-Pen Source Initiative!
    As a supporter of the Open Source Initiative, this made me laugh. Then die a little inside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    Well, from a cursory glance, there seems to be a lack of psychological "mind control". While diplomacy is a wonderful thing, being able to fool someone into performing specific actions (rather than giving them a general attitude towards you) can be very handy, both in noble courts and on the battlefield. Also, perhaps some ability (either related or unrelated to the ability above) to catch a single creature in a web of lies, luring the target deeper and deeper until they are unable to see deception in your words.
    Noted.
    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    Hmmm... skill checks are very difficult to balance as they can be optimized to extreme lengths but counting on players doing so often means forcing them to do so. I, for one, would suggest a compromise (a level check with a bonus equal to their will save).
    I'll remember this suggestion when I'm running some math later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    Pretty good so far. I have a slight complaint, but it's over something pretty trivial (aesthetic stuff) that I'll mention later.
    Is it the italic headers being somewhat difficult to read?
    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    This class feature rubs me the wrong way for a couple of reasons.
    1. Although Rich Berlew's Diplomacy fix does prevent players from getting away with anything, I'm pretty sure that giving players a large extra bonus with half of the population kind of undoes that fix.
    2. The way this ability is written, this bonus is added when using most of your class features involving opposed rolls (at least against the proper gender). I'm afraid that this may make some of your abilities more powerful than intended (unless you wanted automatic success).
    Eeeesh. You are correct on both counts. Would ½ Class level be any better?

    Added that it does not apply to anything of the Narcissistic line (since being charming doesn't work when you're insulting someone).

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    This ability, from an aesthetic viewpoint, looks incredibly odd to me. The bonuses themselves don't increase too much and you merely gain access to new types of bonuses as you level up. The problem with this, however, is that adding your charisma bonus to anything is awesome (perhaps too awesome) at 1st level but isn't too impressive at higher levels.

    Instead of making these bonuses like a marshall's minor auras, however, I'd recommend making them more like a marhsall's major auras, granting all of these buffs at 1st level and giving the bonus a set size that increases over time. At the very least, I would set the cap of the bonus at your class level.
    One of my players looked over this and also suggested the same thing; the bonus was too great at first level and made it a somewhat attractive dip for a support-based character.

    I'll look up the Marshal and see about this, but I agree that the ability is a little too sudden in its progression.

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    Again, I'd either give this thing a set bonus that increases over time or at least cap the penalty at your class level so that it doesn't totally shut enemies down (rather than merely debuffing them) at lower levels.
    Whatever I decide to do with Elation will likely be mirrored here, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    The bolded portion seems a bit odd to me. When you use the word "change" in that sentence, do you (1) mean that the character has to change the NPC's attitude even further before you can use this again; or (2) actually mean to say "...with the influenced NPC to (cement/confirm) their new attitude..."
    Confirm was the correct interpretation. I have changed the ambiguous text.

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    Not much to say but ss there any particular reason why acidic tongue/cheerleader can't be taken multiple number of times.
    Only that I forgot to even think about which ones can be taken multiple times, no. I have now made them multiplicable (Note: This is not a word), but this may change depending on what I do with Elation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    I'm not sure how I feel about an NPC-only ability but I can certainly see why it is here.
    Yeah, I figured it was odd, but it's definitely needed. I made sure to place it on a level with something else so it's not a PC-only dead level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    This seems... oddly weak. It's an okay ability with good duration that passes immunities. On the other hand, you're getting it 5 levels after another ability that does far more and targets more foes at once. Perhaps turn this ability into a special use of narcissistic blow, targetting only 1 creature but affecting them whenever they are in your pressence for the next hour.
    The important thing about it is that shaken is an untyped penalty, meaning that it stacks with their Narcissistic Blow and need not be maintained. I do like the "whenever you're around" idea, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    I like this ability but there's one thing that I want to make clear:
    As this ability is currently written, a simple slap across the cheek (either with a hand or dueling glove) would let a target end this ability without making a total fool of themselves. Was this intentional?
    No. It could just be reapplied in that case, but I'll add a note about dealing damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    Just noticed that your abilities aren't marked as Ex/Su/Sp. Is this a supernatural ability?
    No, similar to a Use Magic Device check used to emulate an alignment. I'll note that Lie to the World is Spell-Like.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Sycophant [3.5 Base Class, WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Eeeesh. You are correct on both counts. Would ½ Class level be any better?
    You may run into some problems even then. You might be best off with some static effect that works off of charisma-based skills (such as a combination of the sex sells exploit and making all bluffs 1 step more believable to targets of the chosen gender).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    One of my players looked over this and also suggested the same thing; the bonus was too great at first level and made it a somewhat attractive dip for a support-based character.

    I'll look up the Marshal and see about this, but I agree that the ability is a little too sudden in its progression.

    Whatever I decide to do with Elation will likely be mirrored here, too.
    One thing you might do if you're worried about overcrowding the class table is just making another column on your table, put a number in that table (maybe 1 at 1st level and increase by 1 every 5 levels afterwards) and use it for both abilities.

    Also, just realized another manipulator-ability that I'd think this guy could use. Namely, the ability to add his charisma bonus to AC (against sentient foes who understand him) when unarmored. I know that this guy shouldn't see too much combat but it seems to fit perfectly (especially as he can't elate himself).
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    Default Re: Sycophant [3.5 Base Class, WIP]

    Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos
    Well, from a cursory glance, there seems to be a lack of psychological "mind control". While diplomacy is a wonderful thing, being able to fool someone into performing specific actions (rather than giving them a general attitude towards you) can be very handy, both in noble courts and on the battlefield. Also, perhaps some ability (either related or unrelated to the ability above) to catch a single creature in a web of lies, luring the target deeper and deeper until they are unable to see deception in your words.
    I'd like to second this, it has worked well for other social-based classes.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sycophant [3.5 Base Class, WIP]

    Went through and normalized my wording. I no longer jump between 3rd person singular and 2nd person in the class descriptions.

    Charming has been changed to alter steps and relationship instead of adding a flat bonus.

    Gossip and related abilities have been modified to use Rich Burlew's attitude levels instead of the standard.

    Reprieve (Charisma to AC) and Diplomatic Immunity (Sanctuary) have been added.

    Miscellaneous errors and clarifications.

    Still not certain as to the scale for the Narcissistic abilities. What constitutes a meaningful bonus at 20th level?

    Using Charisma as the base, this can range from anything like +2 at first level (I assume you wouldn't play this class with anything less) to a +12 at 20th (18 + 5 inherent + 5 ability increases + 6 enhancement). I understand this is too swingy to really base a core class feature on, so what other scale could I use? The bard does +1 at 1st and +1 more ever 6 levels. That seems... low.

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    Default Re: Sycophant [3.5 Base Class, WIP]

    Is this based in any way on AEG's Courtier class from the L5R OA modules and Swashbuckling Adventures?

    Seems familiar that way.

    Anyway, I've been working on something similar and you seem to have a selection of extra ideas so mind if i plunder some of them?

    I'll happily share some of my conclusions:

    For instance, you've tried what I called Charm in my designs, but i found that that was horribly powerful as an automatic [social skills tend to have much more effect on the game than other skills].

    As a result, I tied it to the ability to study the target, which requires either 10 minutes of conversation with them first [which a lot of people are not willing to spend with you] and a Sense Motive check, or about a week of very careful Gather Information.

    I actually have both abilities tied to different classes, truth be told; I built a brute force type social class called Socialite but i've been working to add in a more...wizardly base class that's got more tricks and manipulations and uses the law to mess with you and stuff like that. Spider in his web thing, hence why i'm interested in the exploits you've come up with.

    If you can get hold of it, check out Iron Heroes. It's got an awesome feat called Political Mastermind, which can only be handy in this sort of project.
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