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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Zaydos's Avatar

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    Default Morphic Claw (3.5, ToB, Base Class, PEACH)

    Morphic Claw

    This was originally made for the August/September 2012 Base Class contest. I've never actually been happy with the class, and finally got around to reposting it for general comments.

    ”What use is a sword when your body is a finer weapon?”

    A master of combat, a morphic claw is a warrior who transforms their entire body into a living weapon. Morphic claws fight without need of forged weapons, but with a ferocity and power like the greatest predators of the world.

    Adventures: A morphic claw might adventure for the chance to whet their skills with the challenge of the dangers that adventuring brings. Others adventure because their bestial transformations make them unacceptably strange even in a world of mages and monsters, something about it makes them not quite human and thus altogether too much of a monster for them to mingle with ordinary humans. Other morphic claws adventure for the reasons which attract all mortals, gold, fame, vengeance or a plethora of potential options.

    Characteristics: A morphic claw is at its heart a melee combatant. Mastering several martial disciplines, both those common to warblades and swordsages and some unique to their kind. Morphic claws are also capable scouts, and able to make their way through the wilderness, gaining enhanced speed and senses.

    Alignment: Many morphic claws find the freedom of the wild an intrinsic part of their own affinity for it. They are not bound easily by society’s laws, instead flowing through the gaps to find their own way and place. As such most morphic claws are chaotic, even though neutral and even lawful ones exist. Lawful morphic claws often see themselves as taping into the primal power of their own forms, through introspection and self-control. Many morphic claws find themselves falling to the allure of the hunter and predator, the joy of battle and bloodshed. These morphic claws, though a plurality, are not the majority and tend towards evil.

    Religion: Morphic claws are not particularly prone to religion; their powers come ultimately from within and their focus is often inwards. Those who do deal with gods often worship gods of war, making themselves into living weapons for their gods. Others worship gods of nature, especially those associated with predatory animals, or gods of change.

    Background: Morphic claws do not share a single unifying background. Some trained from early childhood, growing intone with their own inner beast, releasing it to face their enemies. Others inherited a trace of lycanthrope, doppleganger, or other shapeshifter blood giving them a natural talent for shapeshifting that they channeled towards combat. Some receive their talents due to mutations from being born in magic saturated regions. What they share in common is training and talent in combat, coupled with a skill at shifting their body into a form suited for battle. To many morphic claws it is not how you came to your power that matters, but what it allows you to do.

    Races: Humans, with their natural aptitude for adaptation, and tendency to carry bloodlines of mystical creatures within their veins are fairly common amongst morphic claws. Elves, despite their natural magic and connection to the wilderness, lack the savagery and physical hardiness of a morphic claw, although wild elves find it an easy and acceptable path. Dwarves, whose physical hardiness would prove a useful advantage, rarely follow the path because they lack the connection to the beast and the willingness to change. Half-orcs are fairly common, forged from a combination of adaptable human blood, orcish savagery, and social ostracism. Half-elves also find the path of the morphic claw relatively easy, taking to it more naturally than even humans.

    It is among more exotic races that the morphic claw is most common, though. Changelings find the transformations of the morphic claw to come naturally to them their bodies already fluid things. Shifters are the most likely to follow the path, their lycanthropic blood filling them with the power of the beast, and the talent for transformation, which combines to form the perfect template for a morphic claw.

    Other Classes: Morphic claws see themselves as part of the natural world of druids and rangers, feeling a certain kinship to them both; this is especially strong in their dealings with druids and wildshape rangers from whom many morphic claws think that they might have something to learn. Morphic claws also feel a kinship with barbarians whose wild savagery resembles their own. Monks and swordsages present a split to many morphic claws; some respect their discipline and focus, others find their refusal to release their inner beasts frustrating at best. Morphic claws take arcanists on a case by case basis, they can be very powerful and with some, such as transmuters, they feel a strong kinship though even then they tend to look down on anyone unwilling to wade into battle and get their hands bloody. Morphic claws get along well with clerics of the bloodier gods, or at least similarly aligned war gods, though few find much kinship with paladins and their strict codes.

    Psions often are grouped with other self-disciplined classes; either respected or shrugged off as missing what is important, though with the additional stigma of being afraid of physical combat. Psychic warriors, though, are usually seen with a certain kinship, especially those who wield claws of mental force. Incarnum is usually treated as just another form of magic, but totemists do have some similarities that a morphic claw has trouble turning a blind eye to; some even seek to learn and copy such powers.

    Role: Morphic claws serve as melee combatants, fighting on the front line through the use of their natural weapons and martial maneuvers. They can also serve as primary scouts, although their lack of trapfinding proves a hindrance there they have a skill for stealth, enhanced speed, and improved senses to aid them.

    Adaptation: Morphic claws could easily be regulated to a single order of supernaturally skilled warriors; an offshoot of the temple of nine swords for example. They could also be connected to a god of change, war, or animals as holy warriors. The low number of morphic claws amongst elves could be reversed, turning it into an ancient elven art. Perhaps they only exist amongst a sect of true lycanthropes, or ones who have begun training human warriors in their arts as a part of a plan to integrate with humans or subvert control of a region.

    GAME RULE INFORMATION
    Morphic claws have the following game statistics.
    Abilities: Strength determines your ability to hit and deal damage with your natural weapons. Dexterity adds to your AC, and with your bonuses to damage might even be usable to replace Strength for to-hit. Constitution helps make up for your d8 HD, allowing you to survive more blows, and at high levels it can determine the cap to your class based AC bonus.
    Alignment: Any.
    Hit Die: d8
    Starting Age: As cleric.
    Starting Gold: 3d4 x 10 GP.

    Class Skills
    The Morphic Claw's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animals (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

    Skill Points at First Level: (6 + Int modifier) x 4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier

    CLASS NAME
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Maneuvers Known Maneuvers Readied Stances Known
    1st
    +0
    +2
    +0
    +2
    Unarmed Combat, Natural Blows (Ferocity +2)
    6
    3
    1
    2nd
    +1
    +3
    +0
    +3
    Claws, Shifting Skin, Natural Skill (Weapon Focus)
    7
    4
    2
    3rd
    +2
    +3
    +1
    +3
    Natural Blows (Ferocity +3), Enhanced Movement (Speed)
    8
    4
    2
    4th
    +3
    +4
    +1
    +4
    Eldritch Claws, Shifted Sense (Sight)
    9
    4
    2
    5th
    +3
    +4
    +1
    +4
    Natural Blows (Accuracy +1), Natural Blows (Ferocity +4)
    10
    5
    3
    6th
    +4
    +5
    +2
    +5
    Bestial Knowledge
    11
    5
    3
    7th
    +5
    +5
    +2
    +5
    Natural Blows (Ferocity +5)
    12
    6
    3
    8th
    +6/+1
    +6
    +2
    +6
    Enhanced Movement (Climb)
    13
    6
    3
    9th
    +6/+1
    +6
    +3
    +6
    Fangs, Natural Blows (Ferocity +6)
    14
    6
    3
    10th
    +7/+2
    +7
    +3
    +7
    Natural Blows (Accuracy +2)
    15
    7
    4
    11th
    +8/+3
    +7
    +3
    +7
    Body Control, Natural Blows (Ferocity +7)
    16
    7
    4
    12th
    +9/+4
    +8
    +4
    +8
    Shifting Claws, Claws (Expertise)
    17
    8
    4
    13th
    +9/+4
    +8
    +4
    +8
    Natural Blows (Ferocity +8), Enhanced Movement (Wings)
    18
    8
    4
    14th
    +10/+5
    +9
    +4
    +9
    Shifted Sense (Ears)
    19
    8
    4
    15th
    +11/+6/+1
    +9
    +5
    +9
    Natural Blows (Accuracy +3), Natural Blows (Ferocity +9)
    20
    9
    5
    16th
    +12/+7/+2
    +10
    +5
    +10
    Natural Blows (Ferocity +7), Improved Bestial Knowledge
    21
    9
    5
    17th
    +12/+7/+2
    +10
    +5
    +10
    Natural Blows (Ferocity +10), Self-Sanctified Form
    22
    10
    5
    18th
    +13/+8/+3
    +11
    +6
    +11
    Enhanced Movement (Sudden Burst)
    23
    10
    5
    19th
    +14/+9/+4
    +11
    +6
    +11
    Natural Blows (Ferocity +11), Shifted Sense (Electrolocation)
    24
    10
    5
    20th
    +15/+10/+5
    +12
    +6
    +12
    Natural Blows (Accuracy +4), Living Battle
    25
    11
    6

    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the CLASS NAME.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: An Morphic Claw gains no proficiencies beyond their natural weapons. An Morphic Claw is proficient in light and medium armor but not shields.

    Maneuvers: You begin your career with knowledge of six martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to you are Diamond Mind, Feral Hunger, Protean Hunter, Stone Dragon, and Tiger Claw.

    Once you know a maneuver, you must ready it before you can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by morphic claws is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description (note all Protean Hunter maneuvers are Supernatural). Your maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and you do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you initiate one.

    You learn additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on the table above. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. See Tome of Battle page 39, Table 3-1, to determine the highest-level maneuvers you can learn.

    Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered morphic claw level after that (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), you can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one you already know. In effect, you lose the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. You can choose a new maneuver of any level you like, as long as you observe your restriction on the highest-level maneuvers you know; you need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. For example, upon reaching 10th level, you could trade in a single 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd- or 4th-level maneuver for a maneuver of 5th level or lower, as long as you meet the prerequisite of the new maneuver. You can swap only a single maneuver at any given level.

    Maneuvers Readied: You can ready three of the maneuvers you know at 1st level. You ready your maneuvers by exercising for 5 minutes. The maneuvers you choose remain readied until you decide to exercise again and change them. You need not sleep or rest for any long period of time to ready your maneuvers; any time you spend 5 minutes in practice, you can change your readied maneuvers.

    You begin an encounter with all your readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times you might have already used them since you chose them. When you initiate a maneuver, you expend it for the current encounter, so each of your readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (until you recover them, as described below).

    You can recover one maneuver each round in which you reduce a creature with a CR of at least your IL – 8 to 0 or less hp or render it unconscious. To do so is a free action. You may not recover a maneuver you have used since the start of your last turn.

    Stances Known: You begin play with knowledge of one 1st-level stance from any discipline open to morphic claws. At 2nd, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level, you can choose additional stances. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and you do not have to ready them. All the stances you know are available to you at all times, and you can change the stance you are currently using as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description (note all Protean Hunter stances are Supernatural).

    Unlike with maneuvers, you cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one you already know.

    Unarmed Strike (Ex): An Morphic Claw learns to fight with every inch of their body. An Morphic Claw gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat and their unarmed strikes deal 1d6 lethal or nonlethal damage, and counts as the better of a natural weapon or manufactured weapon for all purposes.

    Natural Blows (Ex): An Morphic Claw is a master of their natural weapons. As their mastery with their natural weapons increase Morphic Claws of the Morphic Claw gain a bonus to hit and damage.
    Ferocity: At 1st level an Morphic Claw gains a +2 untyped bonus to damage with unarmed strikes and natural weapons, this bonus increases by +1 at 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter. This bonus also applies to damage dealt by maneuvers which do not use weapons.
    Accuracy: At 5th level an Morphic Claw gains a +1 untyped bonus to attack rolls with unarmed strikes and natural weapons. This bonus increases by +1 at 10th level and every 5 levels thereafter.

    Claws: An Morphic Claw has begun to transform their body. At 2nd level their hands change into deadly claws giving them two claws which may act as primary or secondary natural weapons and deal 1d6 damage for a medium sized Morphic Claw. The Morphic Claw may only use one claw if they also attack with their unarmed strike, and may not use either claw if they make attacks with their unarmed strike through Two-Weapon Fighting rules, even if they do not use their hand for the unarmed attacks. An Morphic Claw also gains the Supernatural ability to revert these claws to regular hands as a standard action, returning them to claws is a swift action.

    At 12th level your expertise with your claws is such that you may now use both claw attacks even in a round in which you have used your unarmed strike.

    If you already have claw attacks you do not gain new claw attacks, but the damage increases as if you had gained a size category, as this is not an actual change in your size it stacks with other effects which would increase your damage with natural weapons.

    Shifting Skin (Su): An Morphic Claw learns to harden and transform their skin. Their hardened skin grants them increased protection against physical attacks. An Morphic Claw’s natural armor bonus is increased by ½ their class level to a maximum increase of 2 higher than their Constitution modifier (if they do not have natural armor treat it as +0).

    Natural Skill: An Morphic Claw has a talent for all natural weapons. At 2nd level they are considered to have Weapon Focus in any natural weapon they possess (including unarmed strikes).

    Shifted Senses (Ex): An Morphic Claw learns to change the very nature of their sensory organs, these modifications growing more complex as they advance along their path.

    Eyes: Your eyes have changed becoming more sensitive to light, or those transmissions which exist even without it. Choose either Low-Light Vision or Darkvision. If you do not already have that ability you gain it (out to 60-ft with darkvision), if you already possess that ability you gain Superior Low-Light Vision (if you selected Low-Light Vision), or your Darkvision extends by 60-ft (if you selected darkvision). Whichever option you select you gain a +4 competence bonus to Spot checks.

    Ears: Your ears have grown keen enough, that you can pinpoint creatures through echo-location. You gain Blindsense out to 30-ft, and a +4 competence bonus to Listen checks.

    Electroreception: Your entire body has grown sensitive to the electric signals of the world around you, letting you sense their location like a fish in water. You gain Blindsight out to 30-ft. If you take electricity damage equal to or greater than your Constitution score in one attack your blindsight is suppressed for 1d4 rounds.

    Enhanced Movement (Ex): An Morphic Claw’s body adapts to the needs of the battlefield transforming to grant them battlefield supremacy. At 3rd level, and every 5 levels afterwards, an Morphic Claw’s ability to move about the battlefield improves in some way.

    Speed: At 3rd level you base land speed increases by 10-ft.

    Climb: At 8th level your claws adapt to climbing and while they are manifest you gain a climb speed equal to ½ your base land speed.

    Wings: At 13th level wings sprout from your back granting you a fly speed equal to your land speed with average maneuverability. As a full-round action you may retract these wings into your body (hiding them is a Su ability), and may allow them to reassert themselves as a standard action.

    Sudden Burst: At 18th level your body has grown accustomed to sudden bursts of movement; whenever you take a full-attack action (but not a strike or other action which allows you to full-attack) you may move up to half your speed as part of that action. This movement must come before or after all of your attacks and provokes attacks of opportunity as normal; you may still take a 5-ft step even in a round in which you use this ability.

    Eldritch Claws (Su): An Morphic Claw is in many ways a being of magic, and this magical nature extends to their natural weapons. Beginning at 4th level an Morphic Claw’s natural weapons and unarmed strikes overcome DR as if they were magic weapons and may hit incorporeal creatures as if they were magic, but not ghost touch, weapons.

    Bestial Knowledge (Ex): An Morphic Claw learns much about identifying creatures due to their imitation of the monstrous form. Beginning at 6th level an Morphic Claw gains a +2 untyped bonus to Knowledge checks to identify creatures or as part of Knowledge Devotion.

    Fangs: An Morphic Claw continues to change and enhance their body, becoming more and more of a living weapon. At 9th level an Morphic Claw gains either a Bite or Tail attack as his body shifts to grow this new weapon; once this choice is made it cannot be changed. Whether Bite or Tail is chosen it is a secondary natural weapon (-5 to hit and +1/2 Str to damage without feats or items) dealing 1d6 damage for a medium size creature (1d4 for small, 1d8 for large). As a standard action (Su) he may revert this weapon into his form to hide it; restoring his natural weapon is a swift action.

    If you already have the type of natural weapon you selected, or would gain it from another source, instead your damage die with it increases by 1 size.

    Body Control: An Morphic Claw’s body is always shifting and changing, even if only in small ways. At 11th level an Morphic Claw gains the Shapechanger subtype, a +4 on Fortitude saves versus poison and disease, light fortification (this does not stack with fortification from other sources), and if they succeed on a Fortitude save against an effect which allows a save for Fort half or Fort partial they suffer no effect.

    Shifting Claws (Su): An Morphic Claw learns to synthesize mystical materials and infuse his blows with them. Beginning at 12th level an Morphic Claw may choose one special material type, his natural weapons and unarmed strikes deal damage as if they were that material. An Morphic Claw may, with a swift action change which material their claws deal damage as.

    Improved Bestial Knowledge (Ex): An Morphic Claw’s knowledge of the monstrous form continues to grow. Beginning at 16th level an Morphic Claw gains a +5 untyped bonus to Knowledge checks to identify creatures, and for Knowledge Devotion. In addition they may now make Knowledge checks to identify creatures even if they are untrained. This ability supersedes (does not stack with) Bestial Knowledge.

    Self-Sanctified Form (Ex): As a Morphic Claw nears the heights of their power their mastery of their own body and form is greater than that of a natural shapeshifter. At 17th level a Morphic Claw gains immunity to Transmutation spells or effects which allow Spell Resistance, although they can lower or raise this immunity as a swift action.

    Living Battle (Ex): As an Morphic Claw reaches supremacy in their field they have become embodiments of war. Going far beyond mere living weapons which they have been for some time upon their path, they have become a battle concentrated into mortal form. At 20th level an Morphic Claw’s control over their own body grants them immunity to critical hits, stunning, poison and disease. If an effect allows a Fort save for partial or half, an Morphic Claw suffers no effect on a successful save, and even on a failed save suffers the reduced effect. Finally their presence as a being of battle allows their natural weapons and unarmed strikes to overcome damage reduction as if Epic and the alignment of choice. This alignment does not need to match that of the Morphic Claw’s and can even oppose it. They may change which alignment their natural weapons are treated as with a swift action.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2014-04-09 at 01:29 PM.
    Peanut Half-Dragon Necromancer by Kurien.

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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Zaydos's Avatar

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    Default Re: Morphic Claw (3.5, ToB, Base Class, PEACH)

    Change log, feats, PrC, just in case reserved post.
    Peanut Half-Dragon Necromancer by Kurien.

    Current Projects:

    Group: The Harrowing Halloween Harvest of Horror Part 2

    Personal Silliness: Vote what Soulknife "Fix"/Inspired Class Should I make??? Past Work Expansion Caricatures.

    Old: My homebrew (updated 9/9)

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    gooddragon1's Avatar

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    Default Re: Morphic Claw (3.5, ToB, Base Class, PEACH)

    Shifted Senses (Ex):

    Electroreception = Electrolocation on table

    Levels they are gained at aren't listed in text

    ===

    Improved mettle... never thought I'd see the day, but at 20th it's alright.

    I'd often thought of creating a reaver class with claws, rake, and some bonuses to hit but this looks much more thought out than that. Seems to address several issues that melee would normally suffer from. I like that you can pick bite or tail because I hate bite attacks but that's just me (I'd never bite anything I don't intend to eat). I feel like races with natural attacks might not gain as many benefits as those with unarmed strikes since you can make 2 extra attacks? Combat monster incarnate as a base class looks good in damage output and chance to hit. Did you potentially factor in shadow blade feat for damage output though? Can't see any serious problems and the class looks much more interesting than a straight up damage dealer.
    There is no emotion more useless in life than hate.

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