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    Grod_The_Giant's Avatar

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    Default Fixed-List Caster Project (3.5)

    In the triplicate name of Balance, Simplicity, and Fun, I have set myself to a challenge: to finish the job WotC began and to create fixed-list casters (like the Beguiler and Dread Necromancer) to cover all aspects of magic. This here's meant to be a sort of index page, with links to all the various classes and things.

    Base Classes
    • Bard- Gets split in two, to create a spellcaster-bard and one focused on Invocation-style musical powers.
    • Beguiler- Now with useful class features at every level, and a core+SpC spell list to match the others.
    • Cleric- A tiny "core" spell list, with the rest based on domains.
    • Conjurer- Summoning and mobility, mobility and summoning. Summoning is being handled mainly through class features to reduce versatility a tad.
    • Dread Necromancer- A revised spell list and new class features to handle minion-mancy.
    • Druid- Spell list and class features sorted into thematic "circles."
    • Mage of the Unseen Hand- All those odd little Transmutation and Evocation spells that have to do with moving things around the room.
    • Night Soul- A master of stealth and shadow magic.
    • Ritualist-A wizard-y, craft-y class, with slow magic but a huge variety of spells.
    • Seer- A sort of rogue-caster hybrid. Very much inspired by Alex Verus.
    • Shaper- Changes his own shape through class features, and other people's shapes through spells.
    • Warden- A martial caster with a whole lot of buffs up his sleeve.
    • Warmage- Direct damage and battlefield control.


    Prestige Classes
    • Arcane Theurge- A PrC designed to slowly merge the lists of two of the above casters.
    • Exalted Mystic: A PrC for the goody-goody two-shoes in all of us, and a way to learn Sanctified spells.
    • Mystic Healer-- A PrC designed to turn YOU (already a caster, be it divine or arcane) into an effective healer.
    • Vile Mystic: A PrC for the eeeevil edgelord in all of us, and a way to learn Vile spells.


    Little Fixes
    • Duskblade: Gets a new improved list, with more variety and the ability to channel spells through ranged as well as melee combat.
    • Extra Spell allows you to learn two new spells from your root classes' list (see Frozen Insight for details). Spells are learned at their original level, but you can only learn new spells of up to one level below the highest you can cast.
    • Frostmage
      Spoiler
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      • Advances spellcasting at all levels except 1 and 5
      • Loses Gain Knowledge
      • New class feature at first level: Frozen Insight-- Every time you gain a level of this class, you select two spells described in Frostburn and add them to your list of spells known.
      • If you are adding spells to the Cleric, Druid, Paladin, or Ranger lists, the spells must come from the matching class list.
      • If you are adding spells to the Bard list, spells can come from either the Bard or Sorcerer/Wizard lists, taking whichever version is lower level if there is a disagreement.
      • If you are adding spells to the list of a different arcane caster, select your spells from the Sorcerer/Wizard list.
      • If you are adding spells to the list of a different divine caster, select your spells from the Druid list.
    • Paladin: Gets a revised spell list and mechanics-- Zero level spells! Cha-based casting! Full CL! Best paired with my full rewrite.
    • Ranger: Gets a revised spell list and mechanics like the Paladin's. Best paired with my full rewrite.
    • Sand Shaper
      Spoiler
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      • New entry requirements: Knowledge (Arcana) 5 ranks, Knowledge (Nature) or Survival 5 ranks, Caster Level 5, Drift Magic.
      • Advances spellcasting at all levels except 1 and 5.
      • Revised Desert Insight-- Every time you gain a level of this class, you select two spells described in Sandstorm and add them to your list of spells known.

      • If you are adding spells to the Cleric, Druid, Paladin, or Ranger lists, the spells must come from the matching class list.
      • If you are adding spells to the Bard list, spells can come from either the Bard or Sorcerer/Wizard lists, taking whichever version is lower level if there is a disagreement.
      • If you are adding spells to the list of a different arcane caster, select your spells from the Sorcerer/Wizard list.
      • If you are adding spells to the list of a different divine caster, select your spells from the Druid list.
    • Wavekeeper
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      • New entry requirements: Knowledge (Arcana) 5 ranks, Knowledge (Nature) or Survival 5 ranks, Caster Level 5, Aquatic Spellcasting (Lords of Magic), Ship's Mage (Stormwreck) or Steam Magic (Stormwreck)
      • Advances spellcasting at all levels except 1 and 5.
      • New class feature at first level: Ocean Insight-- Every time you gain a level of this class, you select two spells described in Stormwreck and add them to your list of spells known.
        • If you are adding spells to the Cleric, Druid, Paladin, or Ranger lists, the spells must come from the matching class list.
        • If you are adding spells to the Bard list, spells can come from either the Bard or Sorcerer/Wizard lists, taking whichever version is lower level if there is a disagreement.
        • If you are adding spells to the list of a different arcane caster, select your spells from the Sorcerer/Wizard list.
        • If you are adding spells to the list of a different divine caster, select your spells from the Druid list.
      • Wave Master may be used a number of times per day equal to your Wisdom modifier at second level, and at-will at 7th.
      • Wave Form lets you take the form of a Small Elemental at 4th, a Medium Elemental at 6th, a Large Elemental at 8th, at a Huge Elemental at 10th. It may be used for a total of 1 hour/day/class level, split up however you wist.
      • Call of the Abyss may be used a number of times per day equal to your Wisdom modifier.


    New Feats
    • Healing Disciple
      Spoiler
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      Prerequisite: Caster Level 1, Wisdom 13
      Benefit: Add all spells from the Healing domain to your list of spells known. In addition, the Heal skill is always a class skill for you.
    • Natural Caster
      Spoiler
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      Prerequisite: Desert, Frozen, or Ocean Insight
      Benefit: You gain the benefits of your Desert, Frozen, or Ocean Insight class feature as though you had gained another level in the appropriate class, allowing you to learn two new spells. If you have muliple Insight class features, you must choose one to advance.
      Special: You may take this feat more than once.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2018-02-17 at 11:13 AM.

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
    A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system, by me. Now officially released!

    Grod's Guide to Greatness
    A big book of player options for 5e, by me

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Fixed-List Caster Project (3.5)

    Hm, torn on the small fixes.

    Beguiler:
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    Any specific reason it's charisma for casting, other than clinging to an unofficial precedent set by the Sorcerer, Warmage and Dread Necro? I always felt that beguilers worked as magical rogues, putting their cunning minds toward the magical side of being a thief and worked better with intelligence, not necessarily drawing their power from confidence or audacity.

    Eclectic learning is good, though. You should reword since it's not entirely clear on when you pick a spell not from the preferred school. Maybe say "The beguiler can only choose spells outside if these if they're 1 level lower than the highest spell level the beguiler can cast." after listing what schools are available at their level.

    Spells: I think this is where Seer and Beguiler have a problem. Since you're saying you want the Seer to be a rogue/caster hybrid, but that's what the beguiler is, so really you're tearing off a good portion of the useful spells from the Beguiler's list to prevent overlap with a class that you seem to want to replace it with. It's an unnecessary split that severely hurts the beguiler, leaving him borderline useless when the CR lineup starts bringing in Mind-affecting immunity, creatures who simply don't care about illusions due to various abilities and are probably immune to nonlethal damage (he already suffered in this aspect in his original form, but this is crippling to the point where it shouldn't even be on the table past mid-level). The beguiler doesn't need to have spells removed, or if you REALLY feel that some aspects of its spell list are unnecessary, then you should provide enough replacements to make up for the lost options and power. Granting four buffing spells does not make up for lost divination, battlefield control and escaping spells.


    Dread Necromancer:
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    Your nerf to fear aura makes me think you don't actually understand how wimpy it is. It's ok as a constant, suppressible effect because it's a will save against shaken against anyone adjacent to you, and only serves two purposes. Having a slightly better chance of not getting hit by anyone that doesn't attack you with ranged or reach weapons, and having something to let Intimidate stack up to frightened. And neither works if the target make their will save, is immune to fear (gets pretty common higher up) or simply does not care about mind-affecting abilities. The potential for abuse is very low and it doesn't hold up strong enough to matter all too much at higher levels, so giving it a limited duration ruins it, being a very weak commodity you have to carefully manage instead of a constant effect to give you some survival benefit.

    See the beguiler critique on Eclectic learning.


    Odd-numbered spell level access: This is a potentially good way to go with casting, since it is a much-debated issue that plagues people who are essentially punished power-wise for choosing classes with fixed versatility and no book-keeping headaches. It's not a bad thing to change, so it might work.

    Healing Disciple: This feat is a must have for anyone that can afford the Wisdom for it, turning every caster who has it into the party healer (or one of the healers of a party of healers). Any caster can now sustain themselves off of leftover spell uses, which does eliminate the need for an obligatory healing class and that is potentially a good hindrance to be rid of depending on your viewpoint. I guess my main issue with this that a party with any spellcasting has to be bursted down full-to-zero on the same encounter until spells are exhausted, turning the only threatening encounters being those with potentially too high of CR or a long string of regular encounters specifically meant to outlast the party's spellcasting. It removes the need for a specific role in the party to be filled by classes designed for it, and puts the "optimized" party composition more towards a homogeneous casting pile with less individuality.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Grod_The_Giant's Avatar

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    Default Re: Fixed-List Caster Project (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldurin View Post
    Any specific reason it's charisma for casting, other than clinging to an unofficial precedent set by the Sorcerer, Warmage and Dread Necro?
    A little bit to distinguish them from the Seer, and rather more that... well, they're trickster-casters. They deal in magical lies. That strikes me more as Charisma than Intelligence.

    Spells: I think this is where Seer and Beguiler have a problem.
    The beguiler is... well, the Seer needs to be rogue-y, because you can't survive just on divinations. The beguiler, meanwhile... "magic rogue" is as broad a category as "magic warrior." I think there's certainly space for both.

    And maybe I was a bit harsh when it came to cutting spells-- their list is huge at lower spell levels-- but they are already crazy versatile, and I was trying to focus them more in line with my other casters. The big issues are mindless creatures and those who see through illusions, then? What if I give them a "Full-Spectrum Illusion" ability, that works sort of like Darkstalker and makes your visual illusions fool creatures with weird senses?

    Your nerf to fear aura makes me think you don't actually understand how wimpy it is.
    It's actually that I didn't understand how vague my wording was. The duration is meant to be for how long a creature is shaken-- right now, by RAW, they're shaken forever.

    Odd-numbered spell level access:
    It also keeps new abilities flowing faster at levels people commonly play.

    Healing Disciple: This feat is a must have for anyone that can afford the Wisdom for it, turning every caster who has it into the party healer (or one of the healers of a party of healers)
    For a given value of healer, perhaps, but they still don't have any status-healing spells like restoration. Not unless they take the PrC.

    I guess my main issue with this that a party with any spellcasting has to be bursted down full-to-zero on the same encounter until spells are exhausted,
    I'm not sure entirely what you mean here, but it sounds like you're complaining about out-of-combat healing? To which I ask "are there parties that don't just buy wands of lesser vigor or CLW?" You'll burn out your spells fast if you try to do it manually.

    It removes the need for a specific role in the party to be filled by classes designed for it, and puts the "optimized" party composition more towards a homogeneous casting pile with less individuality.
    It only replaces the healer, which needs removing anyway. Clerics, druids, and bards all have plenty of other, more interesting things to do with their spells. And I fail to see how eliminating the "need" for a specific healbot class makes for a more homogenous party.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2013-12-04 at 11:26 AM.

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
    A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system, by me. Now officially released!

    Grod's Guide to Greatness
    A big book of player options for 5e, by me

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

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    urkthegurk's Avatar

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    Default Re: Fixed-List Caster Project (3.5)

    I'm excited to see you doing this; its something I've wanted for awhile but didn't have the time. As such, though, I've located some material that might be useful to you. Check out the shapeshifter, and the Summoner. I think they could fill some of the slots for your as-yet unbuilt classes.Heck, check out ALL of jiriku's classes while you're at it. Also don't forget the Savant, which could fill a role sort of like you want to with the Ritualist. Maybe they could utilize the same design space, I don't know how balanced the Savant is considered, but it seems a'ight to me. ANd finally, the Telekineticist, which might be helpful for your Forcemage

    Other than that, I look forward to seeing your work progress!
    Last edited by urkthegurk; 2013-12-04 at 11:51 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fixed-List Caster Project (3.5)

    With the Ritualist up and environmental PrCs written, I'm tentatively calling this project complete!

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
    A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system, by me. Now officially released!

    Grod's Guide to Greatness
    A big book of player options for 5e, by me

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

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