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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5) PEACH

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    Aspirants are a rare breed of Incarnum masters. While the majority of those who wield essentia prefer to utilize it through the shaping of soulmelds, these seekers of perfection instead channel their raw spiritual energy through advanced martial arts techniques.

    Alignment: Any

    Class Skills:The aspirant's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Autohypnosis (Wis; Trained Only), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

    Hit Die: D8
    Aspirant
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Essentia Unarmed Damage AC Bonus
    1st
    +0
    +2
    +2
    +2
    AC Bonus, Worldy Forms, Unarmed Strike, Psychic Awakening 1 1d6 +0
    2nd
    +1
    +3
    +3
    +3
    Release Technique (Mongoose), Collective Experience 2 1d6 +0
    3rd
    +2
    +3
    +3
    +3
    Empty Body, Release Technique (Boar) 3 1d6 +0
    4th
    +3
    +4
    +4
    +4
    Bonus Feat, Release Technique (Shrike) 4 1d8 +0
    5th
    +3
    +4
    +4
    +4
    Master Form, Uncanny Dodge 5 1d8 +1
    6th
    +4
    +5
    +5
    +5
    Release Technique (Asura) 6 1d8 +1
    7th
    +5
    +5
    +5
    +5
    Release Technique (Unimpeded Step), Collective Experience, Sudden Release (Intercepting Strike) 7 1d8 +1
    8th
    +6/+1
    +6
    +6
    +6
    Bonus Feat, Release Technique (Empty Strike), Empty Body, Flowing Spirit 8 1d10 +1
    9th
    +6/+1
    +6
    +6
    +6
    Improved Uncanny Dodge, Partitioned Mind 9 1d10 +1
    10th
    +7/+2
    +7
    +7
    +7
    Heavenly Forms 10 1d10 +2
    11th
    +8/+3
    +7
    +7
    +7
    Sudden Release (Piercing Sight) 11 1d10 +2
    12th
    +9/+4
    +8
    +8
    +8
    Bonus Feat, Collective Experience 12 2d6 +2
    13th
    +9/+4
    +8
    +8
    +8
    Perfect Form, Empty Body 13 2d6 +2
    14th
    +10/+5
    +9
    +9
    +9
    Release Technique (Bodiless Step) 14 2d6 +2
    15th
    +11/+6/+1
    +9
    +9
    +9
    Flowing Spirit 15 2d6 +3
    16th
    +12/+7/+2
    +10
    +10
    +10
    Bonus Feat, Sudden Release (Flash Step) 16 2d8 +3
    17th
    +12/+7/+2
    +10
    +10
    +10
    Collective Experience 17 2d8 +3
    18th
    +13/+8/+3
    +11
    +11
    +11
    Empty Body 18 2d8 +3
    19th
    +14/+9/+4
    +11
    +11
    +11
    Partitioned Mind 19 2d8 +3
    20th
    +15/+10/+5
    +12
    +12
    +12
    Bonus Feat, Incarnum Perfection 20 2d10 +4
    Class Features

    All of the following are class features of the aspirant.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency
    Aspirants are proficient with club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, sling and unarmed strikes.
    Aspirants are not proficient with any armor or shields
    When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a aspirant loses his AC bonus.

    Aspirant Weapons
    When using any release techniques, an aspirant may attack only with unarmed strikes, special monk weapons or natural weapons. Weapons not from the above list also do not gain any benefit from worldly form (fire).

    Unarmed Strike
    At 1st level, an aspirant gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A aspirantís attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that an aspirant may even make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a aspirant striking unarmed. A aspirant may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.
    Usually a aspirantís unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.
    An aspirantís unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
    An aspirant also deals more damage with his unarmed strikes than a normal person would, the table above assumes a Medium aspirant. A Small aspirant deals less damage than the amount given there with his unarmed attacks, while a Large aspirant deals more damage; see table below.
    Level Damage (Small Aspirant) Damage (Large Aspirant)
    1-3rd 1d4 1d8
    4-7 1d6 2d6
    8-11 1d8 2d8
    12-15 1d10 3d6
    16-19 2d6 3d8
    20 2d8 4d8



    AC Bonus (Ex)
    When unarmored and unencumbered, the aspirant adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC. In addition, an aspirant gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five aspirant levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).
    These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the aspirant is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

    Psychic Awakening (Ex)
    After years of meditation, an aspirant accesses portions of the mind that many are unaware exist. An aspirant gains one Power Point, allowing them to gain Psionic Focus.

    Worldly Forms (Su): The body is the house of the spirit and the aspirant seek to perfect their physical form. An aspirant has access to four techniques, known as the Worldly Forms. These elements comprise the physical body and through the use of essentia, they can empower their various attributes. A Worldly Form is always active as long as the aspirant is conscious and has at least one point of essentia invested into it.
    Fire: For each point of essentia invested in this form, attacks made with manufactured weapons, natural weapons or unarmed strike benefit from a +1 enhancement bonus.
    If the aspirant has at least 3 points of essentia invested in this form, their attacks are considered to have the Cold Iron/Silver properties for the purposes of overcoming Damage Reduction.
    If the aspirant has at least 4 points of essentia invested in this form, their attacks are considered to have the Adamantine property for the purposes of overcoming Damage Reduction.
    If the aspirant has at least 5 points of essentia invested in this form, their attacks gain an alignment quality matching their own for the purposes of overcoming Damage Reduction.
    Earth: For each point of essentia invested in this form, the aspirant gains an equal insight bonus to AC.
    If the aspirant has at least 2 points of essentia invested in this form, they are considered to have Mettle of the Body. If he makes a successful Fortitude save against an attack that normally would have a lesser effect on a successful save (such as any spell with a saving throw entry of Fortitude partial), he instead completely negates the effect.
    If the aspirant has at least 5 points invested in this form, Improved Mettle of the Body. He still negates attacks that allow a reduced effect on a successful Fortitude save, but henceforth he still reduces the effect on a failed save.
    Air: For each point of essentia invested the aspirant gains a +10 enhancement bonus to his movement speed and a +1 to his initiative checks. In addition he no longer takes damage from falling, though he may still incur damage from dangerous terrain such as a spiked floor.
    If the aspirant has at least 2 points of essentia invested in this form, he is treated as having the Evasion special ability.
    If the aspirant has at least 5 points of essentia invested in this ability, he is treated as having the Improved Evasion special ability.
    Water:For each point of essentia invested in this form, the aspirant gains a +2 competence bonus to Bullrush, Disarm, Grapple, Overrun, Sunder and Trip attempts used by or against him.
    If the aspirant has at least 2 points of essentia invested in this form, he is treated as having the Mettle of the Mind ability. If he makes a successful Will save against an attack that normally would have a lesser effect on a successful save (such as any spell with a saving throw entry of Will half), he instead completely negates the effect.
    At least 5 points, Improved Mettle of the Mind. He still negates attacks that allow a reduced effect on a successful Will save, but henceforth he still reduces the effect on a failed save.

    Release Techniques : Core to the fighting style of the aspirant is the use of release techniques. By entering into a serene state of focus they can unleash amazing abilities that baffle mundane combatants. In order to use a release technique, an aspirant must first gain psionic focus. At any time afterwards they choose one of the available techniques they know and use it with a standard action, expending the psionic focus. An aspirant can further modify these techniques by investing essentia in their release pool at any point after gaining psionic focus but before the technique is activated. When investing essentia, the points aren't tied to a specific technique, rather all invested essentia is focused on whichever technique the aspirant uses. When a release technique is used, all invested essentia is placed back into the general essentia pool.
    As a full-round action, an aspirant may use a release technique at the end of a charge.
    Release techniques cannot be used with ranged weapons.
    Mongoose (Ex)(2nd): The aspirant may make one attack, plus an additional attack for each point of essentia invested in their release pool. These attacks are made at your highest base attack bonus.
    Boar (Ex)(3rd): The aspirant may make a special bullrush attack. The aspirant must first make a melee attack against opponent and follow the normal rules for a bullrush, except that the aspirant does not need to move as part of the attack. For each point of essentia invested in their release pool, they gain a +2 insight bonus to the bullrush attempt.
    Shrike (Su)(4th): The aspirant may make a ranged attack against a target within 20ft. This attack deals the same amount and type of damage as the aspirants unarmed attack or held weapon, whichever is used to initiate the attack. If the aspirant has an ability to augment their attack, such as with Stunning Fist, it can be used in tandem with Shrike Release. If the attack would normally be a touch attack, the Shrike Release still needs to hit the targets normal AC. For each point of essentia invested in this technique, the range increased by 5ft.
    Asura (Ex)(6th): The aspirant may make a single attack against each enemy within reach. For each point of essentia invested in their release pool, the aspirant's critical threat range increases by 1. This latter ability is not multiplied by effects such as Keen or Improved Critical and is added after such effects if applicable.
    Unimpeded Step (Su)(7th): The aspirant may make a short-range teleport to an area to which they have line of sight. The range of this ability is 10ft+10ft per each essentia invested.
    Empty Strike (Su)(8th):The aspirant may make a special dispel attack against an enemy. If the aspirant successfully strikes a target, they may make a dispel check (1d20+ aspirant level). You make a dispel check against the spell with the highest caster level. If that check fails, you make dispel checks against progressively weaker spells until you dispel one spell or until you fail all your checks. For each point of essentia invested in your pool, you gain a +2 insight bonus to your dispel check.
    Bodiless Step (Su)(14th): The aspirant may temporarily shed their worldly self and become pure incarnum, gaining the incorporeal incorporeal subtype. The aspirant loses all physical attacks and gains the ability to make a touch attack (1d6+ Wisdom modifer). While under the effects of this technique, the aspirant cannot use any Release or Sudden Release techniques. This effect lasts for 1 round+1 round per essentia invested. After this technique ends, the aspirant cannot use Bodiless Step again for 10 minutes.

    Collective Experience (Su): Tapping into the vast current of incarnum that permeates the universe allows the aspirant to glimpse bits of knowledge from other lives. At the start of each morning, the aspirant can choose two skills to gain a +2 competence bonus. Furthermore he can invest essentia to increase that bonus an additional +2 for each skill per essentia invested. If the skill is trained only, he must still have ranks in the skill in order to use it.
    At level 7, the aspirant may choose an additional skill to which he may apply his Collective Experience. This increases again at level 12 and 17.

    Empty Body (Ex): The aspirant feels the flow of energy in battle, relying on intuition more than brute strength. At 3rd level, an aspirant adds his Wisdom modifier to any checks to Bullrush, Disarm, Grapple, Overrun, Sunder or Trip used by or against him. At 8th level, the aspirant is considered to be one size category larger than normal for the purposes of using grapple, overrun or trip . This does not bestow any numeric benefits, but it does allow the aspirant to target enemies with these attacks who are otherwise too large. At level 13th, he counts as two size categories larger and at 18th he is three categories larger.

    Bonus Feat: At 4th level and every four levels after, an aspirant gains access to a bonus feat. The feat can be any feat with the [Incarnum] tag or chosen from this list: Deep Vision, Focused Perception, Focused Skill User, Focused Sunder, Ghost Attack, Instinctive Consummator, Mental Juggernaut, Mental Leap, Narrow Mind, Psionic Charge, Psionic Dodge, Psionic Fist, Psionic Meditation, Psionic Shot, Psionic Weapon, Return Shot, Speed of Thought, Unavoidable Strike, Up the Walls, Wounding Attack. The aspirant must meet all the requirements of this feat.

    Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 4th level, an aspirant can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. He retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.
    If an aspirant already has uncanny dodge from a different class he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

    Master Form: Dedication has borne fruit for the aspirant, allowing greater amounts of incarnum to flow through their body. The essentia limits on all of their Worldly Forms are increased by 1.

    Sudden Release: Hours of practice have enable the aspirant to unlock a new form of release techniques that can be unleashed in the blink of an eye. Sudden Release Techniques follow the normal rules for release techniques with the exception that they require an immediate action to activate.
    Intercepting Strike (Ex)(7th): When a foe that the aspirant threatens makes a melee attack, the aspirant may make a counter attack. Intercepting Strike occurs simultaneously with the opponents attack. This attack deals double the damage, though any precision damage that the aspirant may have such as sneak attack is not doubled. If the attack is a critical hit, it instead increases the critical multiplier one step (X2 to X3, X3 to X4, etc.) For each point of essentia invested, the aspirant deals an extra 2 damage after the damage is multiplied.
    Piercing Sight (Su)(11th): The aspirant floods their senses with incarnum, casting aside all falsehoods. When the aspirant activates Piercing Sight, all illusions within 10ft are treated as having been interacted with. The aspirant also has True Seeing, but only for illusory effects that were within range at the activation of this technique, this effect has no duration. In addition, he gains Blindsight 10ft for one round. For each point of essentia invested, the range of both abilities increases by 10ft.
    Flash Step (Ex)(16th): The aspirant may move up to double their movement speed. This does provoke attacks of opportunity as normal. For each point of essentia invested, the aspirant gains a +2 dodge bonus to his ac for one round.

    Flowing Spirit: The life of an aspirant is not spent simply meditating. Hours upon hours of repetitive training has taught him to unblock the channels of energy that flow in his body. At 8th level, the aspirant learns how to increase the essentia capacity of his release techniques. At the start of the day, choose one release or sudden release technique. The essentia capacity for that technique increases by 1 for 24 hours.
    At level 15, the capacity increases to 2. He additionally may choose a second technique to increase the capacity by 1.

    Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): An aspirant of 9th level or higher can no longer be flanked.
    This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the aspirant's level.
    If a character already has uncanny dodge from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

    Partitioned Mind: Through deep meditation, the aspirant has learned to segment his mind, allowing him to store to separate reserves of will. At level 9, the aspirant learns how to store two different psionic foci. This allows him to create two pools of essentia for using his release techniques. This does not reduce the amount of actions needed to gain focus, he must acquire each through separate concentration checks.
    At level 19, he learns to create a third psionic focus.

    Heavenly Forms (Su): The wise aspirant knows that while the worldly forms encompass the body, the heavenly forms shape the spirit. At level 10, the aspirant gains two new forms, Void and Ideal.
    Void: For each point of essentia invested in this form, he gains 5 SR.
    If the aspirant has at least 3 points of essentia invested in this form, he is immune to ability damage.
    If the aspirant has at least 5 points of essentia invested in this form, he is immune to energy drain.
    Ideal: For each point of essentia invested in this form, he gains 5 resistance against Acid ,Fire, Cold and Electricity damage.
    If the aspirant has at least 3 points of essentia invested in this form, he is immune to diseases and poisons of all kinds.
    If the aspirant has at least 5 points of essentia invested in this form, he do not need to breath.

    Perfect Form: Few have reached the level of mastery that the aspirant has found themselves at. Their Worldy Forms now have their essentia limits increased by 2 and their Heavenly Forms by 1. This ability replaces Master Form.

    Incarnum Perfection: The aspirant has reached the culmination of a lifetimes worth of devotion. Pure incarnum flows through his body and changes the aspirant forever. Henceforth the aspirant is immune to any affects that would damage his essentia.
    The aspirants Worldy Forms essentia limit increases by 3 and their Heavenly Forms by 2. This ability replaces Perfect Form.
    Lastly the aspirant may revive themselves upon death once per week. This ability functions like True Resurrection, except that the aspirant can choose an area within one mile of the location where they died or if his body still exists, he may revive there.


    Note on Aspirants and their interaction with Monks
    The Aspirant is designed with the intent to replace the Monk base class. Therefore any items, feats, prestige classes and other effects that reference Monk can interact with the Aspirant instead. For the purposes of interacting with such abilities, consider Mongoose Release to count as Flurry of Blows. Item's like the Monk's Belt for instance would increase the Aspirant's ac and unarmed strike damage as if they were five levels higher. The feat Ascetic Mage would allow your levels of Aspirant and Sorcerer to stack for the purposes of determining your AC.
    Last edited by Waker; 2017-07-28 at 03:14 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Oh Gods, someone stop me!
    While I was working on my Soul Singer and pondering all things Incarnum, I got to thinking. Always a dangerous thing to do. Anyways, I thought maybe I would get around to making a Monkish class. But there is a catch. This Incarnum Monk wouldn't have any soulmelds himself!
    I know you're asking, "Waker you handsome man, are you single?" To which I would reply, "We're getting off topic, let me instead tell you how an Incarnum Monk without soulmelds would work."
    The Aspirant has access to essentia which they can invest into Forms or Release Techniques. Forms are effectively re-jiggered monk abilities with the option to improve them by investing essentia. As an example, the Fire Form grants an Enhancement bonus to Aspirant's Unarmed Strikes as well as any manufactured weapon they wield. In addition, greater amounts of essentia invested will also allow the Aspirant to overcome DR by imitating special materials such as Silver or Cold Iron, or imbuing them with the aspirant's alignment.
    The other unique trait to an aspirant is Release techniques. Now I've always thought the Psionic Focus mechanic was the bees knees. So I figured I would steal it, or as I prefer the term, misappropriate it. Release Techniques function by gaining Psionic Focus, investing essentia into it if you wish, and then using a Standard Action to expend the focus and activate the special ability. Most of the Release Techniques are attacks, such as the Mongoose Release, which emulates the Flurry of Blows ability.


    A handy reminder on the investment of essentia, specifically the cap.
    Character Level Essentia Capacity
    1-5 1
    6-11 2
    12-17 3
    18-20 4
    To give you some idea of how Essentia works, I'll plagiarize Shneeky.
    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Essentia Essentials


    An important part about soulmelds is Essentia. All Incarnum classes gain essentia according to their class charts. You can also gain essentia with certain feats found in the book. Certain PrC's also have unique methods of increasing your Essentia pool.

    Essentia can be invetsed into Soulmelds so that they can provide an increased benefit. Certain feats, class abilities, items, or racial features may also have essentia invested in them to enhance them. You may invest Essentia as a Swift action. This allows you to shift the focus of your character rapidly, however essentia invested in feats are stuck there until the next time you rest for 8 hours.

    You have a cap on the maximum amount of Essentia you may invest in anything, based on your character level. This is where a lot of the legends about Incarnum classes are great multiclassers... because even though you may only have two levels of Totemist, your entire character's set of levels count for purposes of determining how many essentia can go into any given effect. You do *NOT*, however, gain any additional essentia by multiclassing. Therefore, a Totemist2/Barbarian1/Fighter2/Ranger7 might be able to invest up to 3 essentia in any given meldshape, by virtue of being 12th character level, and even be able to invest 4 essentia into his Totem chakra, by virtue of his Totemist2 class ability, he still only has 2 essentia to play with, unless he picked up more via feats.

    There is a cute little quirk about essentia, however, in regards to multiclassing and essentia capacity. Some classes grant an essentia capacity bonus, such as Incarnum. However, they only apply to that class's binds. Therefore, an Incarnate6/Totemist2 would have increased soulmeld capacity for anything bound as an Incarnate, or for the Totem chakra when binding as a totemist, but other totemist binds would not be affected by this.
    Last edited by Waker; 2016-10-08 at 06:55 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Not much to say just expressing my interest. Still looks a little MAD, and a little squishy for a frontline fighter. But still a definite improvement.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by WyvernLord View Post
    Not much to say just expressing my interest. Still looks a little MAD, and a little squishy for a frontline fighter. But still a definite improvement.
    It is still a bit MAD, though I am in the process of fixing it some more. Empty Body will give some more boosts to certain special attacks and defense by adding Wis to Str/Dex. And certain Forms like Fire improve attack a bit, while Earth gives some more defense.
    The class is a front-line fighter, but I am trying to take it more in the direction of being a skirmisher. Because of the boosts to speed from Air Form and the Release Techniques being triggered from a Standard Action (granted you need to gain Focus) it can allow the Aspirant to move and get a good-sized attack with Mongoose, Boar or Asura without the need to rely on Pounce/Charge shenanigans. Unimpeded and Bodiless Step also help with mobility.
    Lastly, I have no delusions about the aspirant being a "mage-killer". While Emperor's Fist and Empty Strike will help let him contribute to encounters against magic users, he won't be soloing wizards anytime soon.

    Anyways, I have started to fill in the table more, add some flavor text and greater details to some of the abilities. Might want to add another Release Technique or two or some small boosts to fill in some table gaps. And then of course I gotta start listing all the available bonus feats.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Phew, got a small update for the aspirant class. Gave him Improved Uncanny Dodge and another new kind of ability, the Sudden Release Techniques. The Sudden Release Techniques follow the same rules as Release Techniques, except they require an immediate action to activate.
    Flash Step will be useful to grant the aspirant that extra bit of movement and AC to potentially avoid a dangerous attack.
    Intercepting Strike is a massively powerful blow that acts as a deterrent against a foe in melee.
    Piercing Sight will let the aspirant deal with enemies who rely on concealment, illusions and other inconveniences.
    Empty Voice is one of the abilities I imagine most people will gripe about. The intended use of the power will let the aspirant negate one spell that affects him. The standard Empty Voice will negate a level 1-2 spell, with each essentia increasing the range by 2, culminating in stopping a 9th level spell with 4 essentia.
    Bear in mind with all Release and Sudden Release techniques, an aspirant must first gain Psionic Focus and then release it as part of the action.

    I will be updating the class abilities, fleshing out some more as well as potentially rearranging others later tonight.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    This is interesting. A few things need cleaning up, though.

    The psionic focus thing should be either removed or you should give them some pp. As it stands, the monk cannot achieve psionic focus, and thus, cannot use his release techniques. Also, how come it doesn't get autohypnosis?

    You should specify the actions to invest essentia in his powers. I'd assume that these work like feats, in that you invest at the start of the day, but it is not clear.

    You should also write out the release techniques. They look like cliff notes at the moment.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dragon View Post
    This is interesting. A few things need cleaning up, though.

    The psionic focus thing should be either removed or you should give them some pp. As it stands, the monk cannot achieve psionic focus, and thus, cannot use his release techniques. Also, how come it doesn't get autohypnosis?

    You should specify the actions to invest essentia in his powers. I'd assume that these work like feats, in that you invest at the start of the day, but it is not clear.

    You should also write out the release techniques. They look like cliff notes at the moment.
    Yeah, I was planning on adding some PP at some point soonish. Been rather busy with work as of late, so most of the time I just pop in for a few minutes here and there, hence the "cliff notes" style writing. Adding Autohypnosis is a good idea and I'll do that now.
    As for investing essentia, it works likes this.
    Forms function much like a soulmeld, with the exception that they don't inherently grant a bonus without essentia invested. Moving them around is a swift action as normal.
    Release techniques require you to gain Psionic Focus. As you gain focus or any time after, you may move essentia in/out as if it were a soulmeld. The Release holds essentia in a general pool, and when you choose to expend your focus, you decide then which specific ability you are using. At that point the essentia is uninvested until you move it to somewhere else.
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    After a way too long hiatus, I finally got around to finishing this class. PEACH this class's brains out. Of note, I may decide to change the effects of the Earth and Air Worldly Forms, granting DR/- and Dodge AC respectively. Will have to see how everyone feels about the current setup. I'll also add in the note about Aspirant levels counting as Monk for the purposes of feats, classes and items, not to mention the little primer about how essentia investment works (specifically the cap determined by level.)
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Do they need to expend their psionic focus to use Releases or merely maintain it? Because it reads as maintain at the moment, but I must think that at-will immediate action 120 ft movement (i.e. immune to melee, and usually negate 1 spell/round) is probably not intended as a 7th level ability.
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Do they need to expend their psionic focus to use Releases or merely maintain it? Because it reads as maintain at the moment, but I must think that at-will immediate action 120 ft movement (i.e. immune to melee, and usually negate 1 spell/round) is probably not intended as a 7th level ability.
    Release Techniques trigger upon expending the psionic focus. I edited my post to correct the error.
    Last edited by Waker; 2016-10-07 at 07:22 PM.
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Alright going through and comparing them to Warblade and monsters early game...

    They need something more in the first 4 levels. I'd suggest +2 Skills/Level (so they have out of combat capabilities), and moving Master Form to 3rd. That said it'd give them Mettle and Evasion (not all three aspects at once but still mettle and evasion) at 3rd level so if you did that I'd suggest considering upping those abilities to require 3 essentia each.

    I don't like Improved Mettle thematically or mechanically. Reflex saves are almost always 'half effect', if they're negate they're abilities that improved evasion's half damage couldn't apply to anyway with a few exceptions (Flaming Sphere). This makes Evasion great (50% damage is now 0% damage) and Improved Evasion so-so (yeah it's the same reduction, but if you have Improved Evasion you're probably making Reflex saves anyway). Fort and Will saves, however, do not work that way. They are 'save for wrist slap effect' with many that are save negates and the difference is that save negates ones are easier thematically to resist. This makes Mettle (Fort and Will together) actually end up not as good as Evasion (if you've made the save on Reflex you're getting hurt, if you did on Mettle you're getting annoyed), but makes Improved Mettle even if just Fort or Will stronger than Improved Evasion as well as just narratively problematic in that the harder something is to shrug off the easier you shrug it off. I'd suggest you just give +1 to Fort/Will saves for each additional essentia, over Improved Mettle.

    Released Forms:

    I'd make a statement that you can't use Bodiless Form again until X rounds after it ends to avoid them being constantly incorporeal, but that's more of a 'this feels silly to me as a world builder' than game mechanic.

    Other than that of the Standard action ones you have a potentially strong Dispel which at high levels (when you have +8 from essentia) the DM will either have to crank up the CL on everything, or resort to negation options (mages buffed to be untouchable, or just avoid self-buffers). It's not really a problem, though (we're talking 18th level, if the DM is using enough buffing foes for it to be a probem they're probably buffed to be untouchable anyway).

    Then there's Mongoose which is 5 attacks at highest bonus each round. Presses you to two-hand more than usual (as you will be hitting as even the 2nd attack usually hits, it's just not worth maximum efficiency PA on it for the effect to the 3rd/4th attacks), but that's an issue of Power Attack (and simply fixed by buffing its effects on one-handers to equal that on two-handers).

    The immediate action ones are stronger, just as a rule sometimes without the immediate action part.

    Flash Step is a get out of melee free card, though it does provoke AoOs (which is weird since you can interrupt their attack with it) tumble DC 15 is easy to make by 7th level (you ought to have at least +13 using the elite array), and the movement gets you 60 to 120 ft away. Which means it also gets you out of most spells. I'd say it pushes towards broken at 7th level even with it taking a move action on your next turn. Neither Lesser Celerity nor Abjurant Jaunt is balanced. This is better than at-will Lesser Celerity.

    Intercepting Strike is good but usually not worth giving up your psionic focus and ability to mongoose for, but if you can finish the opponent with it.

    Piercing Sight is good, but at 11th level. It's some nice utility.

    Heavenly Forms:

    Void: SR 10. That's what this is when you get it. It's useless until 13th level where it sky rockets to SR 20 and immunity to ability damage, but even that is poor SR. 20th level it's SR 30. I'd probably make it 10 + 4 times Essentia (18 at 10th, 22 at 12th, 26 at 13th, 30 at 18th, and 34 at 20th) That'd put it a little high at 13th and 20th (Level +13 and +14 respectively) but not beyond PC reach (through incarnum). Maybe make it 8 + 4 times essentia (16, 20, 24, 28, and 32) which caps at 12 + Level at 20th, and 11 + level at 13th but is usually worse than 10 + level.

    Ideal: Universal Energy Resistance 0 to 30, reasonable. The added effects are ok. Still probably actually weaker than your earthly forms.

    Perfect Form: I don't like that this is 1 level after a straight classed character's essentia capacity rises already but so now you have +5 weapons, +5 AC, +50 ft speed, and improved evasion-mettle. Not all at once, but I'd still say it's too early for improved mettle of any sort from a game balance point of view, even ignoring the verisimilitude headscratchers of the ability (I've handed it out before myself - I regret it in my soul). In general, though, the +5 weapons just lets you keep up with people with Full BAB and Greater Magic Weapon a little better and I've known few 13th level mages that wouldn't cast GMW in exchange for a Pearl of Power with which to cast it. Even ignoring that your BAB is 4 worse. That said you can go '4 attacks at highest BAB' for your full attack each round but I'd be guessing still weaker than a warblade. The AC is actually bigger but reliant upon mage friend and splats (oh no BoED? You AC is not high enough to be breaking things).

    Twin Focus: Big power boost, but mainly lets you flash step more easily as you'll still want to regain focus regularly. Still gives you the option not to which is something they've been starving for for 13 levels.

    3 Dead Levels: I will note that this is the range where Flash Step is reasonable.

    Incarnum Perfection: I HAVE +7 WEAPONS! Ok actually the +7 AC is bigger. Functional, not game breaking.

    Would I allow this in a game: Not Flash Step. Besides that one ability, though, nothing breaks the basic numbers of the game (i.e. the same monster can threaten you as a warblade/swordsage/fighter). It might need some buffs here and there, and doesn't come online till 6th level, but all in all pretty decent.

    Good job.
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    I'm not too worried about the Improved Mettle since it can't be done until 13th level and would require the majority of the class's essentia, but if enough people bring it up, I could change it.
    I'll edit Bodiless Form to have a 1 hour cool down later.
    Is the dispel that strong? I know the caster check can get pumped high, but it requires Psionic focus, the swift to invest essentia, and then a standard action to make a melee attack which also needs to hit. Compared to a warlock invocation which can be used at will, ranged and doesn't require an attack roll, the aspirant has lot more to do.
    Mongoose is basically the flurry for the class. It and all the others can only be used with monk weapons, unarmed strike and natural attacks. So while there are 2h weapons, that is mostly limited to stuff like quarterstaff. I'll edit that in later.
    Flash Step I might move to a later level or delete entirely.
    I don't like the dead levels either, though technically Empty Body gets an upgrade at 18th. If you have any other suggestions about what to put there, lemme know.
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Waker View Post
    I'm not too worried about the Improved Mettle since it can't be done until 13th level and would require the majority of the class's essentia, but if enough people bring it up, I could change it.
    It's a fluff thing to me mainly, though the big 'fort/will partial' SoLs come online at 7th level spells, before that they tend to be 'fort/will negates'.

    I'll edit Bodiless Form to have a 1 hour cool down later.
    I was only talking about a 1 minute cooldown.

    Is the dispel that strong? I know the caster check can get pumped high, but it requires Psionic focus, the swift to invest essentia, and then a standard action to make a melee attack which also needs to hit. Compared to a warlock invocation which can be used at will, ranged and doesn't require an attack roll, the aspirant has lot more to do.
    At d20 + level + 8 it needs a 3 to succeed against equal CL. Which means that it's dangerously close to turning into a binary (you hit they lose everything/you can't hit the ability is worthless) unless the opponent has inflated CL. It's less that it's too strong and more I don't like those kinds of abilities in general and they can bite the player from behind if it makes the DM throw different things at you since there's no point in throwing something that you'll just auto-negate. So it's more that when the DC is 11 + level and you add your level adding another + 8 is a lot and to consider.

    Also the comparison is off. The warlock one that's range has a CL cap of +10 (it copies dispel magic). Which means that when you get this you're already more likely to succeed than that warlock will ever be, without even noting that theirs will stop scaling in two levels. In effect you're comparing Dispel Magic to melee ranged Greater Dispel Magic and while at 8th level there's not much of a difference and the +4 to CL is neglible, at 18th level that's a big difference. The better comparison is Devour Magic (Greater Invocation) which is Greater Dispel Magic but a Touch spell (necessitating an attack roll). Here it's Melee touch vs Melee attack which hurts, but you're getting a +8 on the dispel check (which means instead of dispelling half of an equal level character's stuff you're dispelling 90%).

    I'd actually suggest +1/essentia and a side benefit.

    Mongoose is basically the flurry for the class. It and all the others can only be used with monk weapons, unarmed strike and natural attacks. So while there are 2h weapons, that is mostly limited to stuff like quarterstaff. I'll edit that in later.
    I still think that 1-handers v 2-handers need to be fixed in 3.5 in general, but that's not really in the scope of this.

    Flash Step I might move to a later level or delete entirely.
    I'd suggest doing so, but I'd suggest replacing it with something as well.

    I don't like the dead levels either, though technically Empty Body gets an upgrade at 18th. If you have any other suggestions about what to put there, lemme know.
    Oh yes Empty Body, I read it as you don't get the +4 bonus for size each time and just can grapple bigger things and... are harder to swallow whole, can't be walked around by larger creatures, and... what all is it supposed to apply to?

    And as for abilities... Could give them some swift action movement option, either requiring expending focus but fast (could make Flash Step Swift instead of immediate and it'd be a little on the weak side even at 7th level actually) or just requiring maintaining focus so they can move, attack, and refocus... and then not be able to do it the next round because they need to re-invest essentia.

    Could give them a Wall of Blades ability, but if it requires expenditure of focus it becomes kind of on the weak side (they're worse at it already than a warblade).

    Could give them the ability to shift essentia 1/round as a free action as a high level ability.

    Possibly sudden release to attempt to reflect a spell as if with spell turning, with a max level of 1 + 2 per point of invested essentia?
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Ah, I get your grief with the dispel effect. I haven't played a spellcaster for a few years and forgot the exact description. Meant to limit the effect to remove only 1 spell on one target. I'll edit that later as well.
    Empty Body is mostly just to let the aspirant use any special moves that are dependent on size. Bullrush, trip, grapple, etc.
    I'll have to ponder the other suggestions a bit.
    Last edited by Waker; 2016-10-08 at 01:02 AM.
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    First thought was to make a perspirant class, freedom of movement, grease, skate and gatorade style glow sweat.

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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Rearranged the list a bit, putting Intercepting Strike at 7th and Flash Step to 16th. Changed Empty Strike to 1d20+ (1/2 aspirant level) and can only dispel one effect per usage. Cleaned up the placement of abilities to reflect their order in the table. Included a little blurb saying that release techniques and worldly form (fire) only work with specific weapons. Clarified the text on Empty Body and Piercing Sight.
    Added the new ability Collective Experience. I considered giving the class an extra 2 skill points a level, but decided that this fit a bit better thematically. This can let a character expand on their abilities a bit and let them customize some day to day or give them the opportunity to specialize even further in a skill.

    Later on, I might make a change to Mongoose to allow extra attacks if the aspirant is using Two-Weapon Fighting or Multiattack.
    Last edited by Waker; 2016-10-08 at 04:20 PM.
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    With dispel functioning as area and not targeted you can probably give them the full +level+2/essentia and it'd not be too anything, and make it a touch attack. At that point yeah you can spend your turn to get rid of a single buff but that's getting rid of a single buff for your turn.

    Also I like Collective Experience. It's significantly better in truth than +2 skill points (it's close to +2 reselectable skill points/level that can be placed in already maxed out skills) but that's not really a problem (you lack the wide range of class skills needed to make it one, and incarnates can still upstage you there easily enough). It's very beautiful and gives them things to do other than punch stuff (which they aren't as good at as a warblade, well at least not up to 6th level where I stopped actually comparing low optimization characters*).

    *I do think trying the grapple route was a mistake, at least with the Elite Array they just don't have the stats for it, with a 17, 16, 15, 14, 12, 10 array they'd be much closer to Warblade making up 1 point of AC (3 behind previously) possibly even matching the warblade at 6th, getting +2 to Grapple (compared to elite array) meaning they have a better chance of successfully doing it. Still elite array grappler was a bad line even for 'low op'.
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Hmm, your comment about grappling got me thinking. I haven't really liked the extra AoOs granted from water form, I could replace it with +2 to the various special attacks granted by Empty Body. Let's the class stay competitive. Might also add sunder to the list of attacks.
    Thinking of changing Fire from, bumping the alignment to 5 points and sticking adamantine at 4 points.
    Last edited by Waker; 2016-10-08 at 11:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    I'm a bit out of practice on 3.5 'brew, but... first impression: very cool class. I like how you managed to mix elements of multiple subsystems to get such a perfect mystic-kung-fu feel. Further impressions, reading through...
    • I notice that MADness is a bit of a problem-- like the Monk, you need Dex, Wis, and Str all for your basic combat skills. I'd add a Weapon Finesse/Shadow Blade style "use Dex for attack and damage" bit of language somewhere, say as part of Fire Form's base effect.
    • Speaking of, it's odd that Air has an extra bit of utility power to it (Feather Fall) that the other forms don't. Fire Form could perhaps give you immunity to nonmagical fire, Earth let you ignore some forms of natural terrain, and Water give you a swim speed.
    • Release Techniques could probably stand to say what level you get them at. Also, I'm not clear on when you have to invest Essentia. It sounds like you're supposed to do it when you gain Focus, but I don't see actual rules to that effect?
    • I like Collective Experience; a nice little bit of utility that neatly replaces a lot of the skill-boosting melds. I'd probably allow Essentia to be invested in the ability as a whole, though, rather than each skill individually. It's a little easier to keep track of, matches said melds better, and doesn't really affect balance much, since you usually don't roll multiple skills at the same time. This is your main noncombat contribution; let's make it count. Perhaps allow Master/Heavenly/Perfect/Incarum Form to boost your potential investment here as well?
    • Empty Body is nice, but not enough, I don't think-- you're still provoking attacks of opportunity, and while you can attempt checks against much larger foes, you're still unlikely to succeed unless you pick up, say, Girallon Arms. Wis-to-checks is a nice bonus, but you're not likely to have much Strength, so... I suggest borrowing the language from my Fighter Fix to fully nullify the size bonus, rather than just letting you attempt checks against foes who already have a sizable advantage. Or maybe open it up to essentia investment-- say, +2/point, with the first point also letting you not provoke AoOs. As Collective Experience was your main noncombat utility ability, this is your main combat versatility one-- it should be smokin' EDIT: Never mind, just noticed that Water Form does this. My bad. You should still get to ignore the AoOs, though, those are a huge barrier to using such things in combat.
    • Flash Step needs a duration on the dodge bonus to AC.
    • The dead level at 19th saddens me.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2016-10-09 at 02:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    [*]I notice that MADness is a bit of a problem-- like the Monk, you need Dex, Wis, and Str all for your basic combat skills. I'd add a Weapon Finesse/Shadow Blade style "use Dex for attack and damage" bit of language somewhere, say as part of Fire Form's base effect.
    I tried to reduce the MADness a bit with things like Empty Body or having Worldly Form (Fire) help compensate. I could have just given them something like that, but I choose style over strict mechanics. I suffer for my art.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    [*]Speaking of, it's odd that Air has an extra bit of utility power to it (Feather Fall) that the other forms don't. Fire Form could perhaps give you immunity to nonmagical fire, Earth let you ignore some forms of natural terrain, and Water give you a swim speed.
    I gave that little bit to Air since it kinda got the short stick when compared to the other Forms. I mean, Fire is the big go to for attack, Earth grants AC and now Water has all the special attack bonuses. Plus the class is supposed to be Monk+, so I needed a Slow Fall update.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    [*]Release Techniques could probably stand to say what level you get them at. Also, I'm not clear on when you have to invest Essentia. It sounds like you're supposed to do it when you gain Focus, but I don't see actual rules to that effect?
    Added the level you gain each technique in their individual descriptions. As for investing essentia, you can do that at any point after gaining focus and before activating the technique. I'll rewrite the description to help clarify
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    [*]I like Collective Experience; a nice little bit of utility that neatly replaces a lot of the skill-boosting melds. I'd probably allow Essentia to be invested in the ability as a whole, though, rather than each skill individually. It's a little easier to keep track of, matches said melds better, and doesn't really affect balance much, since you usually don't roll multiple skills at the same time. This is your main noncombat contribution; let's make it count. Perhaps allow Master/Heavenly/Perfect/Incarum Form to boost your potential investment here as well?
    Edited the ability to allow across the board skill boost when investing essentia.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    [*]Empty Body is nice, but not enough, I don't think-- you're still provoking attacks of opportunity, and while you can attempt checks against much larger foes, you're still unlikely to succeed unless you pick up, say, Girallon Arms. Wis-to-checks is a nice bonus, but you're not likely to have much Strength, so... I suggest borrowing the language from my Fighter Fix to fully nullify the size bonus, rather than just letting you attempt checks against foes who already have a sizable advantage. Or maybe open it up to essentia investment-- say, +2/point, with the first point also letting you not provoke AoOs. As Collective Experience was your main noncombat utility ability, this is your main combat versatility one-- it should be smokin' EDIT: Never mind, just noticed that Water Form does this. My bad. You should still get to ignore the AoOs, though, those are a huge barrier to using such things in combat.
    Empty Body and Worldly Form (Water) weren't meant to be flat-out replacements for the feats. They were there to help compensate for a moderate BAB and the fact that many opponents have a huge advantage over PCs when it comes to making those attacks. Boar Release is the only special attack that I gave away for "free", the others still need the feat investment. And Asura is Whirlwind Attack too, so that's another feat chain I gave the class.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    [*]Flash Step needs a duration on the dodge bonus to AC.
    Changed it to say the bonus lasts one round.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    [*]The dead level at 19th saddens me.
    Don't worry, I finally got around to adding what will hopefully be the last big edits to the class.

    Introducing Flowing Spirit and Partitioned Mind! Back in the day, the abilities that mutated into Master/Perfect Form were originally for improving release techniques. And when I started working on this class again, I kinda got forgetful about some stuff. With Flowing Spirit however you can improve the effectiveness of your release techniques, raising the essentia cap on your favorites. I also changed Twin Focus into Partitioned Mind to allow for two and eventually three psionic foci.
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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Waker View Post
    I tried to reduce the MADness a bit with things like Empty Body or having Worldly Form (Fire) help compensate. I could have just given them something like that, but I choose style over strict mechanics. I suffer for my art.
    Those are basic attack boosters, sure, but I don't know that either really gets big enough to compensate for your probably low Strength-- they're doing a bunch of work just keeping up with the medium BAB. The problem is worst at the lowest levels-- an Incarnate or Totemist can start with Expanded Soulmeld Capacity and gets a class-based boost almost immediately, while you're stuck waiting until 5th.

    Empty Body and Worldly Form (Water) weren't meant to be flat-out replacements for the feats. They were there to help compensate for a moderate BAB and the fact that many opponents have a huge advantage over PCs when it comes to making those attacks. Boar Release is the only special attack that I gave away for "free", the others still need the feat investment. And Asura is Whirlwind Attack too, so that's another feat chain I gave the class.
    Perhaps; personally, I despise the feats for, essentially, locking 90% of all mundane combat techniques behind a pricy build resource (feats). You can certainly be effective at your chosen maneuver with this class, so that's well done.

    I gave that little bit to Air since it kinda got the short stick when compared to the other Forms. I mean, Fire is the big go to for attack, Earth grants AC and now Water has all the special attack bonuses. Plus the class is supposed to be Monk+, so I needed a Slow Fall update.
    True enough. The asymmetry just bugs me a bit. I'd rather see the other forms get similar but less powerful abilities, to keep the net balance similar. And/or upgrade the base ability a bit, though I'm not sure what would be most appropriate. Should be another defensive boost, to match Fire... maybe a bonus to saves? +1 insight, +1 for every two points of essentia beyond the first?

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    Default Re: Aspirant (Incarnum Monk, 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Those are basic attack boosters, sure, but I don't know that either really gets big enough to compensate for your probably low Strength-- they're doing a bunch of work just keeping up with the medium BAB. The problem is worst at the lowest levels-- an Incarnate or Totemist can start with Expanded Soulmeld Capacity and gets a class-based boost almost immediately, while you're stuck waiting until 5th.
    I gotcha. If I think of something that fits thematically and fixes the problem, I'll make the change. For now though, we're all a little MAD here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Perhaps; personally, I despise the feats for, essentially, locking 90% of all mundane combat techniques behind a pricy build resource (feats). You can certainly be effective at your chosen maneuver with this class, so that's well done.
    I'm not terrible pleased with the feat system as it stands either. At my table I tend to be rather favorable with combining feats and getting rid of others to make them standard rules (like Weapon Finesse being a weapon quality). Since I don't know how who is gonna end up playing this class and how lenient the DM is though, I decided to err on the side of not overpowering the class too much by saying they have the equivalent of half of dozen feats built-in for free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    True enough. The asymmetry just bugs me a bit. I'd rather see the other forms get similar but less powerful abilities, to keep the net balance similar. And/or upgrade the base ability a bit, though I'm not sure what would be most appropriate. Should be another defensive boost, to match Fire... maybe a bonus to saves? +1 insight, +1 for every two points of essentia beyond the first?
    I also dislike asymmetry. Hmm, well I could grant each of the other Forms some real small mechanical benefit. Maybe give Earth a boost to carrying capacity. I'd like to avoid any save boosting mechanics, since the class already has all good saves and there are feats to pump saves. I'll have to ponder this.
    Last edited by Waker; 2016-10-09 at 08:34 PM.
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