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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default A Social Rube Goldberg Machine (3.5 base class)

    Social conflict in 3.5 is a very streamlined and straightforward affair. You make a check and maybe RP a bit. If your DM is feeling fancy, maybe there's an opposed check or two and circumstance modifiers. For most cases, this streamlined approach does the job pretty well. If you want to make a social puppeteer as a character, however, there really isn't ANY ground to cover outside of enchantment magic. This is a class for those who want to explore social manipulation in greater depth, giving you a system to work with and seeing what you build with it. Inspired in part by Amechra's own Machiavellian, this is my attempt to make a more modular social system (like my Runic Demolisher, except more urbane).

    The Machiavellian

    Alignment: Any
    Hit Die: d6

    Class Skills:
    Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Local), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (N/A)
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) ◊ 4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier

    The Machiavellian

    1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Craft Social Contagion (1 manipulation)

    2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Silver Tongue

    3rd|+1|+1|+1|+3|Craft Social Contagion (2 manipulations)

    4th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Subtext (Increased Cooperation)

    5th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Craft Social Contagion (3 manipulations)

    6th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Conditioning (Quick Training)

    7th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Craft Social Contagion (4 manipulations)

    8th|+4|+2|+2|+6|Subtext (Blameless Manipulator)

    9th|+4|+3|+3|+6|Craft Social Contagion (5 manipulations)

    10th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Conditioning (Combat Readiness)

    11th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Craft Social Contagion (6 manipulations)

    12th|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8|Subtext (Aligned Views)

    13th|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8|Craft Social Contagion (7 manipulations)

    14th|+7/+2|+4|+4|+9|Conditioning (Thirst for Life)

    15th|+7/+2|+5|+5|+9|Craft Social Contagion (8 manipulations)

    16th|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10|Subtext (Piercing Contagion)

    17th|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10|Craft Social Contagion (9 manipulations)

    18th|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Conditioning (Instill Preparedness)

    19th|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Craft Social Contagion (10 manipulations)

    20th|+10/+5|+6|+6|+12|Subtext (Perfect Plotting)


    Class Features:

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A Machavellian gains proficiency with simple weapons and light armor but not with shields.

    Craft Social Contagion: As a Machiavellian, you can subtly manipulate the minds of others, bending them to your will. As a standard action, you can craft a Social Contagion (see below) and pass it on to another creature who can hear and understand you. If the target succeeds on a will save (DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier), it negates the entire contagion. Otherwise, the target gains the social contagion.

    Despite your cleverness, however, there is only so much plotting and forethought one person is capable of. At any given time, you may only possess a number of active social contagions equal to 3 + your Int bonus (if positive). Creating a social contagion past that limit instantly ends another active social contagion of your choice as your plot unravels at the seams without your full attention. If you spend a full hour using this ability (requiring continual social contact with your target), however, the resulting social contagion does not count towards your maximum. At 1st level, each social contagion you craft may only contain one manipulation. At each odd level thereafter, an additional manipulation can be included in a single social contagion.

    Social Contagion:

    A social contagion is a cleverly planned psychological trap, subtly controlling a single creature over time or travelling from target to target depending on how it is crafted. Each social contagion is composed of one or more manipulations, at least one of which must be an instruction. As you gain class levels, you gain access to subtext and conditioning as well.

    An instruction, fittingly enough, is a simple order no longer than a couple of sentences which you need never directly state. If the targetís intelligence score is high enough to comprehend that order, it will regard that order as if two steps closer to helpful towards you (or towards the current source of the contagion if spread from another source) if it fails its will save (DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier). Each instruction possesses one of four triggers of your choice as listed below , allowing a new save to resist whenever the instruction is triggered and requiring one successful save to purge that instruction from the mind of the target (though other instructions in that social contagion remain).

    When the final instruction of a social contagion is purged from all targets, the social contagion has ended. Similarly, a social contagion ends if all vectors die, you attempt to create too many contagions (see above) or if all instructions in that contagion are rendered impossible or meaningless. No creature may be affected by more than one social contagion at once. All social contagions are mind-affecting, language-dependant charm effects.

    Instruction Triggers:
    • Constant Trigger: This instruction comes into action the moment the target fails its initial saving throw and lasts continuously. If you include two or more instructions with a constant trigger, you must prioritize them in order of importance.
    • Temporal Trigger: This instruction can be made to activate and deactivate over time, either occurring over the course of a one-time schedule or occurring on a recurring loop.
    • Contingent Trigger: You may select up to two triggers for the instruction. For each trigger, which the target must be capable of sensing (whether using magic or mundane senses), you choose whether it activates or deactivates the order and whether it works only once or an unlimited number of times.
    • Contagion Trigger: Used to craft spreading contagions, each contagion trigger is keyed to trigger only for those with a listed mental identity marker such as a given gender, status, alignment, or specific identity. Whenever the target spends at least one round interacting with another creature who can hear and understand them, the instruction is passed onto the new target (no save) and triggers if the target possesses the identity marker. At your option, the trigger may instead only be passed on to targets capable of triggering it. Either way, once triggered, the instruction may not be spread further.

    Silver Tongue: Starting at 2nd level, you have mastered the art of social graces, carefully crafting each and every statement in your mind to obtain the optimal effect. You may use your Intelligence modifier in place of your Charisma modifier when using bluff, diplomacy, and/or intimidate. Furthermore, at 2nd level and each level afterwards, you may learn an additional language.

    Subtext: Starting at 4th level, you gain access to a second form of manipulation to combine with your instructions. Known as subtexts, each one counts as a single manipulation and alters a single instruction. More than one subtext may be used on a single instruction but no subtext may be used more than once on a single instruction. You gain access to the following forms of subtext at the appropriate levels.
    • Increased Cooperation: gained at 4th level, this subtext treats the attitude of the target as helpful (instead of increasing their attitude by 2 steps) towards the altered instruction. Furthermore, if the target ignores an active instruction for a consecutive hour, they gain a -2 penalty to all d20 rolls until they pursue the instruction for one hour or the instruction is rendered inactive (whichever comes first)
    • Blameless Manipulator: gained at 8th level, this subtext convinces the target that the altered instruction is entirely their own idea (even after the contagion ends), preventing them from reversing their actions unless their lives or livelihoods depend on it.
    • Aligned Views: gained at 12th level, this subtext alters the targetís attitude towards any beings or groups referenced in the altered instruction by up to two steps, either favorably or unfavorably depending on which aids the completion of the instruction. A targetís attitude towards a person he was ordered to help would increase and his attitude towards someone he was ordered to attack or sabotage would decrease, for example.
    • Piercing Contagion: Gained at 16th level, this subtext allows a social contagion to ignore immunities against mind-affecting effects, language-dependent effect, and/or charm effects, though only instructions modified with this subtext are actually delivered. This does not grant unintelligent or mindless targets the ability to comprehend complex instructions.
    • Perfect Plotting: gained at 20th level, this subtext represents your ability to masterfully anticipate every move your pawns would take. If/when the target pursues the altered instruction, your foresight is so skilled that you may effectively know what the target is sensing and gain control over it, though you may not make it take self-destructive actions. Only one instruction in any of your social contagions may benefit from this subtext at a time.

    Conditioning: Starting at 6th level, you know from experience that simple manipulation counts for rather little if those you control arenít prepared for the tasks you require of them. As such, you gain access to the third and final form of manipulation, conditioning. Like subtext, each conditioning is applied to only a single instruction. More than one conditioning may be applies to a single instruction but one conditioning may not be added multiple times to a single instruction. You gain access to the following forms of conditioning at the appropriate levels.
    • Quick Training: Starting at 6th level, you can use this conditioning to choose up to two skills. For the purpose of completing the altered instruction, the target gains temporary ranks in those skill equal to your Intelligence bonus (minimum +1). This allows for the use of trained-only skills and doesnít stack with ordinary skill points or qualify the target for any prerequisites.
    • Combat Readiness: Starting at 10th level, you can use this conditioning to grand the target might in battle. Whenever the target must fight for the purpose of completing the altered instruction, the target may temporarily use your Intelligence bonus (minimum +1) in place of its base attack bonus if it is higher and adds a bonus of equal size to saving throws against fear when working towards completion of the altered instruction. This doesnít allow the target to meet prerequisites.
    • Thirst for Life: Starting at 14th level, you can use this conditioning to select one saving throw. While pursuing the altered instruction, the target may use your intelligence bonus in place of its base save bonus for that saving throw if it is higher and the target gains diehard as a bonus feat, even if it doesnít meet the prerequisites. A bonus to Will saves gained in this way doesnít apply against your class features. This ability doesnít allow the target to meet prerequisites.
    • Instill Preparedness: Starting at 18th level, you can use this conditioning to ready a target for all that might stand in their way. While pursuing the altered instruction, the target may use your Intelligence modifier in place of its Dexterity modifier to determine AC and Initiative if it is higher. Furthermore, the target is never caught flat-footed while actively pursuing the altered instruction.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2013-04-21 at 04:48 PM.
    I'm try not to be too vain but this was too perfect not to sig.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
    Amechra's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Where I live.

    Default Re: A Social Rube Goldberg Machine (3.5 base class)

    One of my classes inspired a thing! Yay!

    This'll probably be a lot more balanced than my class. I'll read through it and tender my thoughts.
    Quote Originally Posted by segtrfyhtfgj View Post
    door is a fake exterior wall
    If you see me try to discuss the nitty-gritty of D&D 5e, kindly point me to my signature and remind me that I shouldn't. Please and thank you!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: A Social Rube Goldberg Machine (3.5 base class)

    This is so freaking cool.

    It's so elegant; there are no filler abilities.

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