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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]


    A spell is like a dagger in the proper hands, flexible, adaptable, and capable of sinking into the chinks of an enemies defenses just as subtly.
    Zack, A Nightblade working for a thieves guild.

    Spell and shadow are their friends. By darkness they move with haste, casting magic to benefit their circumstances. Nightblades are notorious for being assassins and thieves, they are magical skirmishers adept in the magical arts as well as concealment and mobility. Nightblades are adept at reconnaissance work, as they are skilled in skirmish tactics and mobility, this allowes them to observe from a distance and eliminate sentries quickly and quietly. To remain quick on their feet the Nightblade typically wears light armor and carries small blades, easy to conceal and not burdening to carry.

    Adventurers
    The most common trait amongst Nightblades is a strong, individualistic stride and self confidence. Even though they may (and frequently do) work together, a Nightblade by its very core is someone who looked to the mighty power of the arcane, or the versatility and practice of skill and wasn't sated with just one. They frequently try to have a plan for any situation they come across, always having an answer whether it be the clever manipulation of a lock or trap with a trained hand, or just the right scroll to strip the enemy archwizard of his protective dweomers. Often times Nightblades might even consider members of their own party or guild as nothing more than additional tools they can draw upon to reach their goal, such is the arrogance of those who wield arcane power as liberally as the Nightblades.

    Nightblades tend to adventure for a lot of reasons. Whether it be for greed of wealth or power and knowledge, revenge, loyalty to a commander or higher up, or even just the desire to test his skills and knowledge against the creatures and traps of the adventuring life.

    Characteristics
    Nightblades are swift and flexible spellcaster-rogues who combine a mixture of rogue combat and skills with a healthy supply of flexible and expansive arcane knowledge to support themselves. Almost all Nightblades invest into the arts of stealth and deception, particularly with the help of the Illusion and Silence spells.

    In combat Nightblades move swiftly, shifting from surprise and flanking attacks with wielded weapons, to subtle invocations of arcane power that can be missed by his enemies in the distraction of combat. The Nightblade is thus frequently capable of surprising his foes, pulling out tricks that they weren't expecting, and thus frequently allow the Nightblade to gain and keep the initiative in the fight - especially with the aide of dweomers to protect and enhance his combat prowess.

    Alignment
    Nightblades, due to their various backgrounds and walks of life, can be of any alignment. However, the nature of their skills and the fact that many Nightblades are thieves and/or assassins tends to lend the class towards the Chaotic Alignment.

    Religion
    A Nightblade is free to peruse any religion or belief, although they typically favor deities that show favor for arcane practitioners (such as Baccob or Mystra), or those that favor luck and skill (such as Olidammara and Tymora). More evil Nightblades tend to worship deities of secrets, murder, assassination, and other unsavory activities that their magical and cunning skill allows them to excel at.

    Background
    Nightblades come from all walks of life, from the lowly street urchin who somehow managed to steal arcane scrolls or tomes to study, to the young wizards apprentice who decided to broaden his experiences or even the thief who was taught by a wizard within his guild. Some Nightblades are even taught by older Nightblades, particularly in the case where Nightblades are openly welcomed and treated as an arcane discipline of its own.

    Races
    Humans and elves make up the majority of Nightblades by far, although gnomes and halflings are quickly on their heals owing to each race's familiarity with the less scrupulous skills and manipulating magic. Elves typically consider Nightblades to be more savory than the other races, viewing them more as trained mage-assassins or scouts to provide a stealthy arm of the college or organization they are apart of, while humans tend to revile Nightblades more as rogue-wizards in it for themselves.

    Other Classes
    Nightblades tend to work well with members of any class. They particularly mesh better with classes that can stand up front and distract any foe they're facing like a fighter or barbarian, or provide a source of divine magic – as both of these are options are things the Nightblade cannot readily bring to bare himself, while paladins and Nightblades don't tend to get along due to the former's focus on law and honor, while the second tends towards chaotic alignments and relies on sneaky, underhanded tactics. The presence of a wizard or other arcane spellcaster allows a Nightblade to focus more on spells that will enhance his skill or combat prowess rather than to try and cover all the magical options usually entertained by these classes, thus allowing him to excel at his strongest role.

    Role
    A Nightblade tends to fill either the scout/skill or arcane caster party member role, although they lack the Rogue's larger skill set and special skill related abilities, and are especially lacking to a wizard or sorcerer in arcane might. In exchange, however, the Nightblade is a fluid character, capable of moving from using his skills to spell from action by action. In batle, he is a swift skirmisher, gaining the drop on his enemies to take advantage of his sneak attack class feature, while using his spells to help ensure he and his party has the advantage.

    Game Rule Information

    Abilities
    Intelligence determines which spells the Nightblade can cast and how hard those spells are to resist. Dexterity helps him avoid blows in combat, as well as contributes to many of the skills the Nightblade might invest in. Constitution and Strength may help Nightblades who favor staying in melee for extensive periods of time.

    Alignment
    Any

    Hit Die
    D6

    Starting Age
    As a Bard.

    Starting Gold
    As a Rogue.

    Class Skills
    The Nightblade’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).

    Skill Points At 1st Level
    (6 + Int modifier) x4.

    Skill Points At Each Additional Level
    6 + Int modifier.

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Spell Maverick, Trapfinding, Sneak Attack +1d6|2|

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Subtle Spellcasting|3|0|-

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Spell Feint|3|1|-|-

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Sneak Attack +2d6|3|2|0|-|-

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Evasion|3|3|1|-|-|-

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Beguiled Blade|3|3|2|-|-|-|-

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Sneak Attack +3d6|3|3|2|0|-|-|-|-

    8th|
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Cunning Cast|3|3|3|1|-|-|-

    9th|
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    | |3|3|3|2|-|-|-

    10th|
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Sneak Attack +4d6|3|3|3|2|0|-|-

    11th|
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    | |3|3|3|3|1|-|-

    12th|
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Subtle Spellcasting|3|3|3|3|2|-|-

    13th|
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Sneak Attack +5d6|3|3|3|3|2|0|-

    14th|
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Concealing Illusion|4|3|3|3|3|1|-

    15th|
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    | |4|4|3|3|3|2|-

    16th|
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Sneak Attack +6d6|4|4|4|3|3|2|0

    17th|
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    | |4|4|4|4|3|3|1

    18th|
    +13
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    | |4|4|4|4|4|3|2

    19th|
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Sneak Attack +7d6|4|4|4|4|4|4|3

    20th|
    +15
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |Twilight Stalker|4|4|4|4|4|4|4[/table]

    Prepared Spell Slots By Level

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

    Weapons and Armor Proficiency
    Nightblades are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow, and short sword. Nightblades are proficient with light armor, but not with shields. A Nightblade can cast spells gained from this class (or those gained from prestige or paragon classes which progress Nightblade spellcasting) while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, a Nightblade wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component (most do). A multiclass Nightblade still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes. Additionally, a Nightblade can cast Sorcerer/Wizard spells gained from this class with somantic or material components while his hands are full, for example when the Nightblade is wielding two weapons (one in each hand).

    Spells
    A Nightblade casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list with the following additions (1st level; Undead Strike, Vine Strike). A Nightblade can cast any spell he has 'prepared' as many times as he wants, assuming he has a spell slot of equal or higher level to the prepared spell he wants to cast. A Nightblade is treated as a spontaneous spellcaster for the purposes of feats, metamagic, and other effects. To learn or cast a spell, a Nightblade must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Nightblade’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the Nightblade’s Intellgence modifier.

    Like other spellcasters, a Nightblade can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score. When the table indicates that the Nightblade gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Intelligence score for that spell level.

    A Nightblade has no limit to the number of spells that he knows, so long as the spell is recorded in his spell book, held within a scroll, or other medium which allows a wizard to prepare spells from it. A Nightblade can prepare his spells at any time (assuming he has a prepared spell slot empty) by studying the scroll or tome that holds the spell, an act which takes one minute per level of the spell (30 seconds for cantrips). The Nightblade can only change what spells he has prepared after a full night's rest, at which point he can empty as many prepared spell slots to fill throughout the day as he wishes.

    A Nightblade, unlike a wizard, does not prepare a spell for each spell slot he can cast in a day, instead he can prepare a number of spells per day per spell level equal to one-half the number of spells he can cast that level (not including temporary bonuses, such as those from items or spell effects), afterwards he can spontaneously cast any spell he has prepared usng unexpended spell slots of an equal or higher level. A Nightblade does not prepare what spells he can cast for the day with metamagic effects, he may spontaneously apply any metamagic feat he posseses to any spell he has prepared for the day at the time of casting, provided he has an appropriate unexpended spell slot to use.

    Spellbook
    A Nightblade begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level Sorcerer/Wizard spells, but unlike a wizard, doesn't start with any 1st-level spells in his spellbook. At each new Nightblade level, he gains one new spell of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new Nightblade level) for his spellbook. At any time, a Nightblade can also add spells found in other wizards’ spellbooks to his own by the same method as wizards.

    Spell Maverick
    Any spell transcribed into a spellbook by the Nightblade is written in a special coded format unique to him. The Nightblade can quickly read and write in this coded format and takes no penalties or difficulties to transcribe, prepare, or read his spells written in this format. However, other spellcasters attempting to do so from the Nightblade's spellbook must succeed on a Decipher Script roll (difficulty 30 + level of the spell attempting to be read), this cannot be overcome with the Read Magic spell, and readers with the Read Magic spell must still spend the full time (one minute per level of the spell) to attempt to decipher each coded spell. The Nightblade can choose whether or not to use this ability when he enscribes a spell into a spell book.

    A Nightblade has a +10 bonus on the Decipher Script check to understand the spells coded with Spell Maverick by other Nightblades.

    Trapfinding
    Nightblades can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20.

    Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

    Nightblades can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

    A Nightblade who beats a trap’s DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with his party) without disarming it.

    Sneak Attack
    If a Nightblade can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

    The Nightblade’s attack deals extra damage any time his target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the Nightblade flanks his target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every three Nightblade levels thereafter. Should the Nightblade score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

    Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

    With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a Nightblade can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. He cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty.

    A Nightblade can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies—undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The Nightblade must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A Nightblade cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

    Subtle Spellcasting (Ex)
    At second level, when the Nightblade defensively casts a spell he can choose to make a Sleight of Hand check in place of his Concentration skill check.

    At twelfth level, whenever the Nightblade uses his Subtle Spellcasting ability to defensively cast a spell with his Sleight of Hand skill, he can surprise an enemy with the spell. If he beats the DC to defensively cast his spell by 10, any enemy is treated as being flat footed against the spell being cast.

    Spell Feint (Ex)
    At third level, when a Nightblade casts or activates a spell during his turn which deals damage or imposes a condition or penalty against an enemy within reach of his wielded melee weapon, he can attempt to make a Bluff check to feint the enemy (as per the Feinting In Combat rules under the Bluff skill) as a free action, with a bonus to his Bluff Check equal to the level of the spell used or activated. If the Nightblade's spell affects multipe enemies all within reach of him, he may attempt to feint against all applicable targets - in this case he only rolls once and each enemy rolls against his bluff check. No matter how many targets he feinted, the effect only last until his next melee attack, as per normal.

    Evasion (Ex)
    At 5th level and higher, a Nightblade can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the Nightblade is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless Nightblade does not gain the benefit of evasion.

    Beguiled Blade (Su)
    At sixth level, any bladed weapon the Nightblade wields is treated as a magic weapon for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction, and also deals additional damage equal to the Nightblade's Intelligence modifier.

    Cunning Cast (Ex)
    At eighth level, whenever the Nightblade casts a spell against an enemy that is denied their dexterity to armor class or is flanked by the Nightblade, he may add his dexterity modifier on his spellcaster level check to overcome the target's Spell Resistance. This ability can only be used with spells that require an attack roll to hit their target.

    Concealing Illusion (Ex)
    At fourteenth level, whenever the Nightblade is under the effects of or in the area of an illusion spell cast by himself he gains concealment based off of the effect of the illusion. Minor alterations, such as disguising himself as another species of the same body type, or another person of the same species, grants concealment (50% miss chance). An illusion that disguises him as a much different species (for example, a human disugising himself as a dragon with an image spell) or totally conceals or covers his body (such as an invisibility spell or using an illusion to, for example, make the appearance of a tree surrounding where the Nightblade is standing) grants total concealment (50% miss chance).

    Twilight Stalker(Su)
    By 20th level, a Nightblade has become the master of invisibility spells, the spell being so familiar that it becomes engrained to his very mind. At-will as a swift action, he can gain the effects of an Improved Invisibility spell as if he had cast it himself (thus using his spell level and gaining the effect of his Concealing Illusion special ability). This invisibility lasts so long as the Nightblade continues to use his swift action to maintain the ability. If he does not maintain this ability by using a swift action, he becomes visible at the end of his turn.

    Additionally, he becomes so adept at his illusions that he can even conceal his presence from those with truesight, see invisibility, or other spells or vision types that allow one to see invisible creatures (but not alternative vision types that allow one to detect invisible creatures presence, such as touchsight, tremor sense, and etc.). While under the effects of an invisibility spell cast by himself, the Nightblade is treated as having the Hide In Plane Sight (Su) ability, and can use the Hide skill even while being observed. He can even hide himself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind.

    Change Notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    • Clarified that the Nightblade uses the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list with additional spells (so far just Undead Strike and Vine Strike) in the spellcasting and equipment proficiency, and thus removed any mention of “Nightblade Spell List” in favor of “Sorcerer/Wizard Spell List” or “Spells gained from this class”. It's hopefully clear and not cluttered, but if it presents a problem I'll remove the mention of casting in light armor and while both hands are full to a special ability gained at level one and cut down on the rest of it, even though that'll give the Nightblade four special abilities at level one...
      Clarified that Nightblade's can change/clear what spells they have prepared after a full night's rest. They can still fill any empty prepared spell slots whenever they want, but now need to rest like any other spellcaster to change that list (either to clear spell slots to fill later in the day, or change to spells he'd need immediately).
    • Clarified that metamagic is applied spontaneously at casting, not prepared when he selects what spells he has prepared for the day.
    • Clarified that Nightblades can add spells from other spellbooks to his own in the same manner as wizards.
    • Fixed a typo in the Subtle Spellcasting entry. Sublte, really? What was I thinking.
    • Added the clause to the special ability descriptions that they activate at their relative levels (At level six, etc etc etc).
    • Changed the description of Spell Feint, clarifying that its only activated by a spell which deals damage, imposes a condition, or applies a penalty, and only by a spell cast or 'activated' during his turn. This should mean spells like Cloud of Knives would apply spell feint every time they're 'activated', but something which enchants the Nightblade's weapon to deal additional damage shouldn't. (Or casting a spell which creates a weapon such as Ice Axe).
    • Changed the name of Shadow Blade to Beguiled Blade – which fits the nature of the class more.
    • Finished the lore and fluff sections at the start of the post, and also added a quote! Directly ripped the introductary paragraph to Nightblades from the Elder Scrolls wiki due to it being better stated than my own.
    • Simplified Subtle Spellcasting to just change the Concentration check to a Sleight of Hand check, rather than try to mirror the effects of the skill trick.
    • Removed the Surprise Casting abilities entirely; they were a bit too spellcasting heavy for the class. In exchange, Subtle Spellcasting was given an additional ability at level 12, and three new abilities were added (at levels 8, 14, and 20).
    • Cunning Spellcast added to replace the SR penetration of Subtle Spellcasting, and further intermingling dexterity and intelligence for the class to better blend the two features.
    • Concealing Illusions added, giving Nightblades a bit more utility out of their illusion spells.
    • New capstone ability added. All in all, the new abilities gained should help the class be less bottom heavy in features, and thus encourage people to take the full 20 levels of the class.


    Sample Characters
    Spoiler
    Show

    Gweniffer (CR 6)
    Female Gray Elf Nightblade 6
    CN Medium humanoid (elf)
    Init +4
    Senses low-light vision; Listen +1, Spot +10
    Languages Common, Elven, Dwarven, Halfling, Gnome
    AC 19, Touch 14, Flat-footed 15
    (+4 Dex, +5 Armor)
    HP 39 (6 HD)
    Immune sleep
    Fort +2, Ref +9, Will +4 (+6 against enchantments)
    Speed 30ft (6 squares)
    Melee MW Rapier +9, 1d6+3 (18-20/x2)(Piercing, Magic)
    Melee MW Shortsword +9, 1d6+3 (19-20/x2)(Piercing, Magic)
    Melee touch +8 (spell)
    Ranged MW Longbow +9, 1d8 (x3)(Piercing)
    Full-Attack Rapier +7 (1d6+3/18-20), Shortsword +7 (1d6+3/19-20)
    Base Atk +4; Grp +4
    Atk Options Two-Weapon Fighting, Spell Feint, Sneak Attack +2d6
    Combat Gear Wand of Cure Light Wounds, Belt of Healing, Scroll of Shield
    Nightblade Spells Known (CL 6th)
    2nd (3/day) Alter Self, Glitterdust, Wraithstrike
    1st (4/day) Color Spray, Invisibility
    0th (3/day) Select from Nightblade spell list.
    Abilities Str 11, Dex 18, Con 10, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 10
    SQ Cloaked Casting, Trapfinding, Spell Maverick, Subtle Spellcasting, Evasion, Shadow Blade
    Feats Fey-Mystery Initiate, Weapon Finesse, Two-Weapon Fighting
    Skills Balance +11, Disable Device +12, Hide +13, Jump +10, Move Silently +13, Search +12, Sleight of Hand +13, Spot +10, Tumble +13, Use Magic Device +9
    Possessions MW Rapier, MW Shortsword, MW Longbow, 10 arrows, +1 Mithril Chainshirt, Belt of Healing (MIC), Boots of Agile Leaping (MIC), Wand of Cure Light Wounds, Spellbook

    Strategy
    Gweniffer is best played to her strengths as an NPC, where by she knows the PCs arrival, and can be best found typically in nature - perhaps guarding a fey commune or as an agent of such. She'll take time to cast spells to increase her strength; usually using her Scroll of Shield as well as Alter Self (typically either into the form of a Skulk or Troglodyte for stealth or combat, or into an ally of the player characters to manipulate them). She'll then approach with Invisibility, particularly towards any that are isolated from the rest of the party. She will then break invisibility with a full attack after casting Wraithstrike. If the target is still alive in her next round, she will use color spray, using it to spell feint for an attack on her third round. If she becomes surrounded (or is in danger of becoming surrounded) she will cast invisibility and try to escape until the party is vulnerable for another attack.



  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Nightblade

    So far this is pretty good; though how the spell list is done can make or break this class.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Nightblade

    I really like this. It seems like a combative version of the Beguiler. I agree that the spell list is going to be a major impact of how playable the class is though.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Nightblade

    Hey all, thanks for the comments. This class started ages back when I really didn't have a direction for it (besides shadowy, slightly magicy rogue). You can thank the Elder Scrolls series for giving it a direction to me. Its intended to be pretty much a pocket gish, everything you need to go to do a rogue/wizard mix relatively well, and while not having quite the punch of a true gish, should be able to stand on its own at around tier 3.

    I thought I had done the Spell list before I went to sleep, but here it is. I decided it was easier to just state they get the Sorcerer/Wizard spells and add what they get in addition to this (Mostly just the Sneak Attacking targets spells). I may or may not include a few choice Assassin spells on there as well.

    I also decided to have the pretty big spell list access for the fact that, pretty much every school of spells fit - especially considering the classes inspiration from the Elder Scrolls class. Enchantment and Illusion fit for its sneakiness and lip service to Beguiler, Transmutation and Augmentation supliment the classes capacity to go into melee (with protective and buff spells), Evocation can provide a bit more fire power when needed, Conjuration gives them the capacity to control the flow of battle which a sneaky caster like this will like, Divination helps the Nightblade find what he seeks, and finally Necromancy adds a lot of oomph to the class, especially with Vampiric Touch which allows the Nightblade to add some additional damage and survivability. Also considering the sources the Nightblade is using to 'prepare' his spells (spell tomes and scrolls) are normally associated heavily with wizards, it makes sense that he'd be able to tap into the entire Wizard spell list.

    If this proves to be too much, I may make a dedicated spell list just for them, but that would require a lot of work (and may require source diving to find spells that fit from splash books, too).

    Finally, I'm pondering an ability (likely higher level) which allows a Nightblade to channel touch spells into a held weapon and deliver it through that - if only to help smooth the rogue/wizard sides of the class together. Other abilities which help the spellcasting and rogue sides of the class mish that wouldn't over balance it would be good choices too.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Nightblade

    It would really require some indepth playtesting to determine if the whole wiz spell list is too much. But given its slow progression and limit to 0-6th level it shouldn't be too bad.

    I would stay away from the spell channeling. Leave the Duskblade something to do.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Nightblade

    That was my thought as well, although I was going for something more along the lines of the Daggerspell Mage's Daggercast (spells would still take a standard action, however they could be delivered via a weapon). Still, I agree that it's stepping on the Duskblade's toes, especially since they're similar gish in a can concepts. Besides, a Bloodstone weapon or such would be a good enough envestment for Nightblade's wanting to have that sort of feel. (Huh, I just now noticed the similar names).

    I am still a bit concerned about the lack of high level class features, though. I'm not sure if there's enough special features to keep the class viable for all 20 levels, and in essence don't want people using this class to think that they need to jump into a prestige class. Then again, ignoring All SR for every wizard spell from levels 0 to 6 is probably incredibly powerul...

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    I wish there was more fluff and a spell list. The class reminds me of Daggerspell Mage and/or a beguiler.

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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    Spell Feint: can this be used any amount of times in a round? Like, attack, feint if hit, attack, feint if hit, etcetera?
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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Spell Feint: can this be used any amount of times in a round? Like, attack, feint if hit, attack, feint if hit, etcetera?
    There's nothing against the rules to do so currently, however it would be very difficult to do so. At best, assuming some way to get an additional action and using a swift action spell, the Nightblade would get one feinted attack and set up for an additional feint next action (swift: cast spell, standard: attack, additional standard: cast another spell for next turn).

    It could perhaps be broken additionally by a spell that can attack as a free action for multiple turns. I'm on iffy on if this would be broken, or just an effective combo, especially since I'm relatively sure the Nightblade wouldn't be able to declare that attack in the 'middle' of an action. So he can't, for example, go swift action spell (and feint), one attack of a full attack, then declare the free spell strike from the other spell, and go on for another attack.

    Unless you're talking about a spell which is applied whenever the Nightblade attacks (perhaps via a Bloodstone weapon, or a spell I'm not thinking of off the top of my head). Which... Yeah I can see that as a problem. I should probably think of some way to clarify that those sorts of spells don't work without breaking its intended feature and potential combinations.

    As for the fluff... I do need to work on it. But the mechanics is my primary concern. I want to have the fluff for this class be very open ended to fit anyone's perception of a magic using rogue type. The spell list is already decided, but I could clarify in the initial post that the Nightblade uses the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list with a few additions. However, it might mean breaking the simple terminology of the special way it casts spells... I could just move those clauses into a special ability granted at level one - but this would clutter level one with even more special abilities.

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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    As written right now, you don't need to cast a spell to use the class feature (which makes the name a little strange), so you can do it just fine on each attack in a full attack, other than the first. Actually, you could even do it on the first attack if you cast a swift action spell before doing a full attack.

    Unless I misunderstood and you meant that the attack has to be with a spell, in which case the wording could use some changing to clarify that.
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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    As written right now, you don't need to cast a spell to use the class feature (which makes the name a little strange), so you can do it just fine on each attack in a full attack, other than the first. Actually, you could even do it on the first attack if you cast a swift action spell before doing a full attack.

    Unless I misunderstood and you meant that the attack has to be with a spell, in which case the wording could use some changing to clarify that.
    Yeah, on it now. I need to clarify that, as well as the fact that multi-turn duration spells that apply on a weapon hit (if any) don't count. I just have to think of a way to clarify it well.

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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    Change Notes:
    • Clarified that the Nightblade uses the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list with additional spells (so far just Undead Strike and Vine Strike) in the spellcasting and equipment proficiency, and thus removed any mention of “Nightblade Spell List” in favor of “Sorcerer/Wizard Spell List” or “Spells gained from this class”. It's hopefully clear and not cluttered, but if it presents a problem I'll remove the mention of casting in light armor and while both hands are full to a special ability gained at level one and cut down on the rest of it, even though that'll give the Nightblade four special abilities at level one...
      Clarified that Nightblade's can change/clear what spells they have prepared after a full night's rest. They can still fill any empty prepared spell slots whenever they want, but now need to rest like any other spellcaster to change that list (either to clear spell slots to fill later in the day, or change to spells she'd need immediately).
    • Clarified that metamagic is applied spontaneously at casting, not prepared when she selects what spells she has prepared for the day.
    • Clarified that Nightblades can add spells from other spellbooks to his own in the same manner as wizards.
    • Fixed a typo in the Subtle Spellcasting entry. Sublte, really? What was I thinking.
    • Added the clause to the special ability descriptions that they activate at their relative levels (At level six, etc etc etc).
    • Changed the description of Spell Feint, clarifying that its only activated by a spell which deals damage, imposes a condition, or applies a penalty, and only by a spell cast or 'activated' during his turn. This should mean spells like Cloud of Knives would apply spell feint every time they're 'activated', but something which enchants the Nightblade's weapon to deal additional damage shouldn't. (Or casting a spell which creates a weapon such as Ice Axe).
    • Changed the name of Shadow Blade to Beguiled Blade – which fits the nature of the class more.

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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    Hey! I found this via the PEACH Exchange thread and though I'd take a look.

    I think this is an interesting addition to the existing selection of "gish in a can" classes. I think that rogue and wizard synergize well, and a class like this can be effective. I agree with other posters that it would be cool to see a bit more flavor (where do these guys come from, how to they fit in society, who do they tend to be, how did these abilities come to exist, etc.) but it seems a work in progress, so I'll just wait to see what emerges on that front .

    From a rules perspective, my main concern is in the spellcasting mechanic. Specifically, this class seems to combine all the day-to-day flexibility of prepared spellcasting with the moment-to-moment flexibility of spontaneous casting with no real downside other than fewer spells/day. A nightblade can potentially prepare any Sor/Wiz spell she wants and then cast them spontaneously once prepared. If today's selections aren't the best, she can change them tomorrow and still cast whatever spell is most appropriate for the moment even if she's already cast it that day. I know that this is intentional, that you're trying to do something new by combining these two styles of spellcasting, but I'm concerned that the drawback of fewer spells/day isn't significant enough. That said, this class is fairly MAD, so one wouldn't expect the astronomical Intelligence scores that a normal wizard would have, so that might be a mitigating factor that brings this back to reasonableness. It's not a reason to condemn the class entirely, just something to be careful about.

    The class features all look fairly straightforward, though subtle spellcasting seems a little confusing. If I'm reading it correctly, it allows you to use Slight of Hand instead of Concentration for defensive spellcasting. If so, why not just say that?

    I agree with the concern that you voiced in the PEACH Exchange thread;there's no reason other than Cloaked Casting to stay in this class after 6th level. Even something like Arcane Trickster would be attractive, since it progresses the spellcasting and gives better sneak attack progression. Really, any full-casting PrC would be a viable option. There are a couple ways you could address this. You could always make some more class abilities to fill the empty levels in the second half of the class. You could also expand Spell Feint (giving extra bonuses or new abilities at higher levels when you're successful in feinting with a spell) or Beguiling Blade (perhaps adding enhancement bonuses or special abilities to the weapon in addition to overcoming DR). These expansions could improve in stages to fill up some of the dead levels.

    Those are my thoughts. I hope they're helpful.
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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    Honestly, I'd consider reducing their spell list to something like the assassin's spell list, plus 2 levels above that. Partly for balance, partly for flavor--I feel like lobbing a fireball or summoning a demon doesn't really fit with the flavor. Plus, things teleport may make them a little too powerful in terms of versatility etc.

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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    I like it, it's like if Wizard and rouge had a baby, though I feel it could use some work, things i'd think about are a fallowed,

    1: The spell list seems a little too broad, If you don't want to go through the trouble of making specific spells, make it so he can only learn Illusion/transmutation/enchantment/ect instead, I have a class that's also a wizard version of bard, I even borrowed the table you made since I didn't know how to code it (thanks for that =D) and what i did was make it so he COULD learn any wizard spell, but only if a real wizard gave him the spell for his spell book, other wise he had to take from a small list of spells(not saying the way i did it is the right way, just something to think about).

    2: The subtle casting is a great idea, I'd expand on it by saying he could in later levels lets say, do a slight of hand spell coupled with a bluff check, passed on a delayed spell that would go off in a minute, so he could delay a fireball spell (which takes the form of a small ball before being detonating) and slip it into someones pocket, as they walk away the person just explodes out of NOWHERE! and no one is the wiser.

    3: this is mostly a very small nit pick, but your example is that of a male character yet your descriptions seem to go back and forth referring to the character class as male and female, though this does happen in the books, it comes off more as a mistake then something done on purpose.

    over all score 4/5
    5/5 for fluff, nothing to improve upon.
    5/5 for melee balance
    3/5 spell balance
    Verdict: Very Playable!

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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    Oh these bring me back to the days when I played Oblivion! The class looks really nice however, good work!

    Maybe you could fill some dead levels with Poison Expert (no risk in getting accidentally poisoned when poisoning a weapon) and Improved Poison Expert (poisoning a weapon is faster)? To me, it seems these abilities could fit well with the class style
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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    I'm not too concerned with dead levels, because the class still gains spells on those levels. That and the fact its only got five dead levels besides that probably means it should be ok.

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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoren View Post
    I'm not too concerned with dead levels, because the class still gains spells on those levels. That and the fact its only got five dead levels besides that probably means it should be ok.
    Uh, maybe I let myself be led astray by the image. In oblivion the nightblade class did use alchemy (if I remember well), but maybe you didn't wanted to follow the game's class that strictly, right?

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    Well, they do have Craft: Alchemy, or can go Craft: Poisonmaking. :P But from what I remember their core 'concept' was as a skilled sort of rogue that utilized magic a lot. Sure, a Nightblade could use potions and poisons all he wants though, all he has to do is invest in the skills and take a feat for Poison Use (and improve the effects of his poison), but in my mind it seems like any poison related abilities would come FAR to late if they were added to fill the five dead levels in the last half of the progression and be more awkward than add to the class adaption/inspiration.

    But then again, that's just my opinion. You could always design an ACF based around this class which trades something for posion use and poison spells. :P

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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    well, in my opinion there is no need for acf. Those abilities can easily be placed at 4th and 9th level:)

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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Nightblade

    FINALLY getting around to returning the PEACH you did for me.
    Should have done it days ago, I apologize I've been crazy busy this week.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoren View Post
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    Ok, most of the fluff seems fairly standard. The only thing I might object to is the "Alignment" section. There are plenty of literary examples of contract killers, and the guys in Ocean's 11 seemed pretty well organized, so I would think that a class with this particular specialization would tend to lean towards Evil more than Chaos.
    But hey, maybe you didn't want to make a moral judgement on the basis of theft and murder.


    Abilities
    Alignment
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    Starting Age
    Starting Gold
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    Skill Points
    Unlike the RAW rogue, this class actually has a reason other than skill points to put some resources into boosting Intellect, so I'm not worried about having to scrounge for skill points.

    Also, other than a few of the knowledge skills, what DOESN'T this class get?
    I think you should either save yourself some trouble and just say it get's all class skills like the Factotum, or find more skills that it doesn't get. Not having certain class skill can add just as much flavor as the ones you do.
    For example, take out anything Charisma based. Rather than having to talk their way into or out of a situations, it seems like most nightblades would find it simpler to just charm/sneak past/murder anything that gets in their way.

    Also, (and this is really minor, I admit that) Swim. To me, any class or profession predicated on being near civilization, like assassins and thieves, aren't likely to stumble across rivers and lakes in their day-to-day activities.

    Weapons and Armor Proficiency
    I would specify that a nightblade can cast while holding one-handed weapons or other small, light objects but not just "while his hands are full". Otherwise, I apply this chain of logic: I can cast if my hands are full, which means I don't really need my hands, which means my spells don't really have somatic components. If my character is hauling around a dead body or a gigantic sack of loot, or is clinging to a two-handed battleaxe, it seems like that might seriously interfere with spellcasting.

    Also, you wrote "paragon classes" when I think you meant Prestige classes. The only paragon classes I know of are the racial paragon classes, so if that WAS what you meant maybe clarify it.

    Spells
    Alright, you've got this weird fusion of prepared and spontaneous casting going on. Half of me wants to say "just pick one or the other" but the other half of me is saying "there's nothing wrong with this setup, it's just different".
    I think I would have to playtest it to actually see how it pans out.

    My initial assessment though, is that it's too complicated.
    I'm not sure exactly how many spells you can prepare, because it's apparently half the number you can cast not including bonus spells, but you can prepare new ones at any time, but you can only replace prepared spells after resting???
    I can't even figure out if you've got the best/worst of each, because you've got so many different pieces floating about and caveats for all of them.


    To simplify, try something like this: The nightblade prepares spells each morning like a wizard. He can prepare a number of different spells of each level equal to his spell slots of that level. (not including bonus spells). [i.e. if he has 2 spellslots he can prepare 2 different spells; if 3 spellslots then 3 spells, etc.]

    A nightblade can cast any spell he has prepared at any time, so long he has an unused daily spellslot of the appropriate level. A nightblade does not need to prepare spells with metamagic effects, he can add them to his spells spontaneously.

    A nightblade does not need to prepare all his spells at once. Any unused spellslots can be prepared at any time during the day, taking 1 minute per spell level (30 seconds for level 0 spells). [frankly, this is a rule I would put in place for ALL prepared casters]

    Spell Maverick
    My first thought is: why wouldn't/couldn't any caster do this?

    My second thought is: does it add anything beyond flavor?
    If a PC is trying to read a nightblade's spellbook, then it's just kinda mean, and how often do PC's share their spellbooks with others?

    Trapfinding

    Sneak Attack
    Standard rogue stuff. Only comments I would make are the ones complaining about sneak attack being overly restrictive.
    ex. A fighter can kill a giant by chopping at it's ankles all day but the rogue can't deal sneak-attack damage? How is that fair?

    Though frankly, it's probably less of an issue for a class with access to magic.

    Subtle Spellcasting (Ex)
    Sleight of Hand needs some TLC, so no objections here.

    My only question is, what benefit does being flat-footed against a spell really provide? Does it prevent reflex saves? I'm asking because I'm not certain.

    If it does, that seems kind of unfair to Reflex. Maybe change it so that the target of the spell just takes a -5 penalty on any save, due to the surprise.
    That prevents the DM from having to interpret weird situations dealing with being flat-footed.

    Spell Feint (Ex)
    Ok, here's a general concept to keep in mind: if your sentence explaining some ability is more than three lines of text, think of ways to simplify it.
    Do you need to specify "during his turn"? Is the nightblade getting AoO-spells now? How many immediate-action spells does the nightblade have access too?

    How about: When the nightblade casts a spell, he may immediately attempt a Feint against any or all enemies he threatens that where affected by that spell. The nightblade gets a competency bonus on his bluff check equal to the level of spell he cast. If the nightblade's spell affects multiple targets, the nightblade rolls only 1 bluff check, but all enemies roll seperate Sense Motive checks against him.


    Now that I've gone through all that, I'm not certain exactly how useful this is, because presumably the nightblade is casting as a standard action, and so every affected enemy will take another turn before the nightblade gets to act again, and then they will no longer be flat footed.

    I realize what you're trying to do is set up opportunities to use sneak attack more often, but frankly the hoops you are jumping through to stay with the standard game rules are (IMHO) dragging down the class features.
    You may be aware that I'm not a fan of the RAW Feinting rules; I'm not such a huge fan of flat-footed stuff either.
    But here's a suggestion: if you want your class to be able to sneak-attack in the middle of combat, then just CHANGE SNEAK ATTACK.

    Personally, I like the "rogues can sneak attack whenever they're flanking some one" houserule, which also encourages teamwork.

    Beguiled Blade (Su)
    A free way to beat DR, and an added benefit from Intellect; this I like.

    Cunning Cast (Ex)
    It only works with spells that both check for SR, and use attack rolls, and you need to be right up in some one's face to use it. A good idea, but there are to many limits, IMO.

    Concealing Illusion (Ex)
    This is a nice ability, and the nightblade certainly benefits from staying hidden. It does sort of require him to prepare illusions though to benefit, limiting his already small spell selection. If this is the path you want to take, maybe also give him Diguise Self or Alter Self as X/day abilities around this level as well.

    I'll say more about illusion magic in my last comment though.

    Twilight Stalker(Su)
    I guess the group is unlikely to have both a nightblade AND a rogue, so you don't need to worry so much about eclipsing fellow party members, but permenant invisibility also makes any ranks you put in Move Silently/Hide/Stealth seem sort of a waste.

    The second half of this ability makes for a more interesting captsone, though it doesn't necessarily need to be linked to illusion spells. Again, I'll say more about this in a sec.

    Finally, I'm pondering an ability (likely higher level) which allows a Nightblade to channel touch spells into a held weapon and deliver it through that - if only to help smooth the rogue/wizard sides of the class together. Other abilities which help the spellcasting and rogue sides of the class mish that wouldn't over balance it would be good choices too.
    This would probably be good; either something that lets you store a touch spell in a blade and then unleash it on a hit, or a special Full-round action where you both cast and attack all in one round.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoren View Post
    I thought I had done the Spell list before I went to sleep, but here it is. I decided it was easier to just state they get the Sorcerer/Wizard spells and add what they get in addition to this (Mostly just the Sneak Attacking targets spells). I may or may not include a few choice Assassin spells on there as well.
    Spoiler
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    I also decided to have the pretty big spell list access for the fact that, pretty much every school of spells fit - especially considering the classes inspiration from the Elder Scrolls class. Enchantment and Illusion fit for its sneakiness and lip service to Beguiler, Transmutation and Augmentation supliment the classes capacity to go into melee (with protective and buff spells), Evocation can provide a bit more fire power when needed, Conjuration gives them the capacity to control the flow of battle which a sneaky caster like this will like, Divination helps the Nightblade find what he seeks, and finally Necromancy adds a lot of oomph to the class, especially with Vampiric Touch which allows the Nightblade to add some additional damage and survivability. Also considering the sources the Nightblade is using to 'prepare' his spells (spell tomes and scrolls) are normally associated heavily with wizards, it makes sense that he'd be able to tap into the entire Wizard spell list.
    Here's my problem; you can make arguments that pretty much every single school of magic is fairly beneficial and not entirely out of character for practically ANY class. The goal should NOT be to see how much you can cram in, that's easy. The goal should be to pick things that are interesting and balanced, without stepping on the toes of other classes.

    Its not that hard to make a dedicated spell list; start with the PHB/SRD, and then end with: "plus any other spells approved by the DM". Go through extra splat books one every couple of days so you don't get burned out.

    And furthermor, I would recomend you pick a few specific schools and focus on those. They should NOT include illusions; if I want to play a Beguiler I'll play a Beguiler. You want things that make your class different and interesting. You don't need to hide behind Illusions, thats what all those skill points are for!
    Evocation? Forget that, there's nothing stealthy about an exploding fireball.
    Conjuration? BAH! The nightblade is independent and doesn't rely on others, you said so yourself.
    Abjuration? I think you're misunderstanding, the nightblade doesn't worry about defense, HE does the killing.
    and so on and so forth

    The two schools that I would reccomend you make most of the spell list from are Transmuation, and Necromancy.

    Firstly, because the half-caster gishes so infrequently use these schools. They tend to stick with things like Enchanment (Bard), Illusion (Beguiler), or Evocation (Warmage). You want to be more like the Duskblade.

    Transmutation has lots of variety; I doubt you'll ever lack for options with this school. And it has plenty of buffing-style spells to help out with your less-than stellar melee stats.
    And Necromancy is because this is the kind of class who would feel right at home in a graveyard or lugging dead bodies around.

    You mentioned earlier that you wheren't certain you had a good concept for the class; while sorry to rain on your parade but the sneaky-trickster rogue archetype has just about been done to death. Admittedly, the magic assassin is only slightly less common, but within the context of D&D a rogue-type character wielding necromancy and transmutation magic don't show up quite as often.

    Those are my suggestions anyhow.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2013-01-24 at 10:50 PM.
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Nightblade [3.5 Base Class][PEACH]

    Not to worry. I think I've gotten enough feed back about the large spell list that it might actually be better to hammer out their own spell list now. The caveat of allowing spells to be added with DM permission is something I probably should have thought of.

    By the way, you CAN sneak attack targets that you flank. That's not a house rule, that's intended. :P

    As for the flat footed from Subtle Spellcasting, that's mostly a way to try and meld the Rogue and Wizard parts of the class into one cohesive hole that gives it its own identity, allows the Nightblade to easily add Sneak Attack to attack spells, and also allows him to add his dexterity modifier to pierce Spell Resistance when he gets the ability later on.

    The main thing about the confusing text with Spell Feint was that I trying to allow spells such as Cloud of Knives to trigger it (a spell that is cast once, but can attack multiple times afterwards), but didn't want something such as conjuring a magical blade and dealing damage with it to essentially had out a free feint every time the Nightblade attacks. It may be better to just sign off on that, but I thought I'd try to get the rules as simple as I could while keeping that in mind.

    As for everything else, I'll keep it in mind. I think I'll start putting together the spell list for now before turning my eye to everything else.

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