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    Default The Beastman, Revised (PEACH)

    I've been going through a lot of my old 'brew lately. This guy worked out pretty well in actual play, but I think I can go one better.

    Game Rule Information:
    Abilities: Wisdom is the most important ability for a Beastman, as it drives his Beast Shape and Animalistic Resilience abilities. Constitution boosts his already impressive health, and Strength and Dexterity help make him an effective melee combatant.
    Starting Age: As barbarian.
    Starting Gold: As barbarian.
    HD: d10

    The Beastman’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) ×4.
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
    1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Track, Wild Shape
    2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Wild Empathy, Beast Senses
    3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Woodland stride, Beast Speech
    4th +3 +4 +4 +1 Wild Shape (Move Action), Primal Might
    5th +3 +4 +4 +1 Wild Shape (Tiny or Large)
    6th +4 +5 +5 +2 Trackless step, Wild Shape (Vermin)
    7th +5 +5 +5 +2 Swift tracker
    8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +2 Wild Shape (Swift Action)
    9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +3 Venom immunity
    10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +3 Wild Shape (Special Qualities)
    11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +3 Resistance to Transmutation
    12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 Wild Shape (Free Action; Magical Beasts I)
    13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 Thousand Faces
    14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +4 Adamantine Claws
    15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +9 +5 Wild Shape (Huge or Diminutive)
    16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Wild Shape (Immediate Action)
    17th +12/+7/+3 +10 +10 +5 Timeless Body
    18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Wild Shape (Magical Beasts II)
    19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Immunity to Transmutation
    20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Animalistic Might, Wild Shape (Colossal or Fine)

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Beastmen are proficient with all simple weapons, and with the natural weapons of any form he might transform into. They are also proficient with light armor.

    Wild Shape (Su): A Beastman can transform himself into a wide variety of animals. This ability functions as the Alternate Form special ability, except as noted here.

    As per the usual Alternate Form rules Beastman gains the physical abilities (Str, Dex, Con) of his new form. However, he also gains a bonus or penalty to that ability, based on the value of his original score:
    Original Ability Bonus or Penalty
    6 or less -4
    7-9 -2
    10-13 +0
    14-17 +2
    18+ +4
    Bonuses and penalties only apply to the corresponding score. For example, when using his Wild Shape ability, a Beastman with the stats Str 8, Dex 12, Con 14 would gain a -2 penalty to his new form's Strength and a +2 bonus to its Constitution.

    Any gear worn or carried by the Beastman melds into the new form and becomes nonfunctional. When he reverts to his true form, any objects previously melded into the new form reappear in the same location on his body that they previously occupied and are once again functional. Any new items worn in the assumed form fall off and land at the his feet.

    A Beastman gains any racial skill bonuses or racial bonus feats his new form would provide, as well as any extraordinary (or unlabeled) sensory abilities, such as scent, low-light vision, or tremorsense.

    Changing shape is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. At 4th level, a Beastman may change shape as a Move action. At 8th level, he may change shape as a Swift action, and at 12th as a Free action. At 16th level, he may change shape as a Free or Immediate action.

    A Beastman may use this ability at will, and may remain in an alternate form as long as he wishes.

    A Beastman can only assume so many different forms. At each level (except for 6th and 12th, see below), he may select one creature with a number of hit die equal to or less than his Beastman level and "learns" its form. Henceforth, he can use Beast Shape to transform into it, gaining the benefits mentioned above. In addition to these learned forms, all Beastmen "know" the forms of all Animals in the "Animals" chapter of the Monster Manual 1 with hit die equal to or less than his Beastman level.

    Initially, all forms must be Animals. Beginning at 6th level, he may select learn Vermin forms. At 12th, he may learn the forms of Magical Beasts with an Intelligence of 1 or 2, and at 18th he may learn the form of any Magical Beast. At each of these levels, he learns an additional two new forms, for a total of three new forms. These extra forms must be of the type he just gained access to.

    At first level, a Beastman may only select Medium or Small forms. Beginning at 5th level, he may select Large and Tiny forms. At 15th level, he gains access to Huge and Diminutive forms, and at 20th level he may select Colossal and Fine forms.

    Beginnnig at 10th level, when a Beastman assumes an alternate form, he gains that creature's Extraordinary (Ex) Special Qualities.

    Spoiler: Beastmen and Feats, PrCs
    Show

    Because a Beastman's Wild Shape does not function exactly as the ability was written, compatibility problems can crop up from time to time. Here's how to resolve them:
    • Class levels which progress wild shape HD limits and/or daily uses also allow the Beastman to pick his new form for the level.
    • Abilities which add additional wild shape forms, such as the Aberration Wild Shape feat, add new forms to his list of potential forms. In addition, any such feat allows him to choose two additional new forms, which must be of the newly-accessible forms.
    • Abilities which require wild shape uses to be expended, such as the Eagle's Wings feat, may be taken. The Beastman is considered to have a number of daily wild shape uses to expend on these abilities equal to one-fourth his class level plus his Wisdom modifier.



    Track: At first level, a beastman gains Track as a bonus feat.

    Wild Empathy (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, A Beastman can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The Beastman rolls 1d20 and adds his Beastman level and his Wisdom modifier to determine the wild empathy check result.

    The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.

    To use wild empathy, the Beastman and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.

    A Beastman can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a -4 penalty on the check.

    Beast Senses (Ex): At 2nd level, a Beastman gains Low-Light Vision and the Scent special abilities.

    Woodland Stride (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, a Beastman may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. He may also walk through thorns, briars, or overgrown areas that have been magically affected to impede movement (such as by an entangle spell), provided that his Beastman level is higher than the effect’s caster level.

    Beast Speech (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, a Beastman may communicate with animals as though under the effects of a speak with animals spell. In addition, when using his Wild Shape ability, he maintains his ability to speak normally (including verbal components of spells) regardless of the form he takes.

    Primal Power (Su): Beginning at 4th level, a Beastman's natural weapons gain an enhancement bonus equal to one-fourth his Beastman level. In additionally, he gains a bonus to natural armor equal to his Wisdom modifier.

    Trackless Step (Ex): Beginning at 6th level, a Beastman leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. He may choose to leave a trail if so desired.

    Swift Tracker (Ex): Beginning at 7th level, a Beastman can move at his normal speed while following tracks without taking the normal -5 penalty. He takes only a -10 penalty (instead of the normal -20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.

    Venom Immunity (Ex): At 9th level, a Beastman gains immunity to all natural poisons.

    Resistance to Transmutation (Ex): At 11th level, a Beastman has incredible control over his own form. He gains a competence bonus to saves against any all transmutation spells equal to his Wisdom modifier.

    A Thousand Faces (Su): Beginning at 13th level, a Beastman gains the ability to change his appearance at will, as if using the disguise self spell, but only while in his normal form. This affects his body but not his possessions. It is not an illusory effect, but a minor physical alteration of the his appearance, within the limits described for the spell.

    Adamantine Claws (Su): Beginning at 14th level, a Beastman’s natural weapons are treated as being made of adamantine.

    Timeless Body (Ex): After attaining 17th level, a Beastman no longer takes ability score penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties him may have already incurred, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and he still dies of old age when his time is up.

    Immunity to Transmutation (Ex): at 19th level, a Beastman has such perfect control over his own form that he becomes immune to transmutation spells. Whenever a transmutation spell is cast on him, he is aware of what effect it will have on him. If he chooses, he may either allow it to work normally.

    Animalistic Might (Su): Beginning at 20th level, when assuming a new form, the Beastman can choose to be one size category larger or smaller than normal, to a minimum of Fine and a maximum of Colossal. If already in a form, he may enlarge or shrink his current form by one size category as a swift action; however, these abilities do not stack. When doing so, he gains all the normal benefits and penalties of changing size categories. (See the "Improving Monsters" entry of the Monster Manual).

    ----------------

    New Magic Item-- Beast Buckle
    Price (Item Level): 2,500 gp (8th)
    Body Slot:
    Caster Level: 5th
    Aura: Faint; (DC 17) transmutation
    Activation:
    Weight:

    A Beast Buckle may be attached to any magic item normally worn on the body. Whenever the item would meld into your form-- for example, if you use Wild Shape-- the item continues to provide its magical properties. For example, a pair of Gauntlets of Ogre Power with a Beast Buckle attached would continue to provide a +2 enhancement bonus to Strength. On the other hand, a set of +2 chainmail would only provide a +2 enhancement bonus to AC-- the armor bonus itself would be lost.

    Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, wild shape.
    Cost to Create: 2,000 gp, 160 XP, 4 days.

    Much belated 2017 edit: just noticed that the former capstone, Colossal/Fine shapes, does virtually bupkiss-- I think it only adds two shapes, and one only if you had the Dragon Wild Shape feat. Animalistic Might shifted to 20th to compensate.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2017-11-05 at 09:30 PM.

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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    It's looking like I'm going to have a chance to play this guy in an upcoming game, so I've been looking back at it, and now that I sit down to build a character, I'm getting second thoughts about the "beast change" thing. My main concern at the time of writing had been "beastman 1/master of many forms 10" builds, but... after changing how many forms you can learn, and taking hit dice into account, is it really that bad? I'm essentially throwing out all those wild shape feats and prestige classes...
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2014-02-20 at 10:47 AM.

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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    neat-o class.

    to get your 2nd post question out of the way master of many forms requires wild shape to get into. and other than magical items function as if wildshape for beast form. You do not make any other this ability is wildshape for puproses of requirements and feats. so beast man 1/master of many forms 10 is not going to happen. that being said if it IS intended beast form = wildshape id slap on another pre-req such as BAB +4 or so

    being able to be a dragon at 11th level, or vermin at 6th Is a bit much I think, since that PrC is basically beast master in 10 levels. And beast form is a very strong ability, is it as good as wildshape, No but then again wildhsape is the most powerful ability ever.

    I thing the class is very solid, the only changes I would make are the action required to change shape I think you start the lower action a bit soon instead of 4th, 8th, 12th, and 16th. I think id go 6th, 10th, 14, 18th.

    also. you need a capstone not sure what you could put there but I believe that any class that don't get 6th level spells needs a capstone

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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by ngilop View Post
    to get your 2nd post question out of the way master of many forms requires wild shape to get into. and other than magical items function as if wildshape for beast form. You do not make any other this ability is wildshape for puproses of requirements and feats. so beast man 1/master of many forms 10 is not going to happen. that being said if it IS intended beast form = wildshape id slap on another pre-req such as BAB +4 or so
    The question becomes, I think, "is the improved access balanced out by the limited hit die and limited number of forms known?" And that is a question, I think.

    being able to be a dragon at 11th level, or vermin at 6th Is a bit much I think, since that PrC is basically beast master in 10 levels. And beast form is a very strong ability, is it as good as wildshape, No but then again wildhsape is the most powerful ability ever.

    I thing the class is very solid, the only changes I would make are the action required to change shape I think you start the lower action a bit soon instead of 4th, 8th, 12th, and 16th. I think id go 6th, 10th, 14, 18th.
    Mmm. Perhaps.

    also. you need a capstone not sure what you could put there but I believe that any class that don't get 6th level spells needs a capstone
    Magical beasts and colossal forms aren't enough?

    Actually, I was thinking about changing it to vermin at 6th, magical beasts with 1 or 2 intelligence at 12th, and all magical beasts at 18th. Which would leave me hunting for a capstone again, I suppose. Hmm...

    (I might also throw in (Ex) special qualities at some point here).

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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    [SPOILER]all Beastmen "know" the forms of all Animals in the "Animals" chapter of the Monster Manual 1 with hit die equal to or less than his Beastman level./SPOILER]

    Since SRD sources in internet have more than just Monster Manual I monsters, you would do well in specifying what exactly are the animals the Beastman starts knowing.

    Well, turning into a dog at 1st level is like Rage, but with a +4 CA bonus (size and Dex), no Will bonus (though you don't need it), reduced damage and unlimited duration... quite solid, and not overpowered at all.

    By 8th level, though, you are adding +12 to +16 to your Str and Con, generally with a CA bonus. Much better than Rage. Ok, I just checked your own Giants&Graveyards barbarian. The Beastman is way overpowered compared to the RAW Barb, but is at most equal in combat compared to G&G Barb. Still powerful, given the potential it has to utility, but not too much.


    This is an unique class, yet its main mechanic is quite simple. 9th level seems to be right where special qualities should had coming in, well done.

    For curiosity sake, what animal and vermin forms you intend using in the campaign you are going to play?
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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mighty_Chicken View Post
    Since SRD sources in internet have more than just Monster Manual I monsters, you would do well in specifying what exactly are the animals the Beastman starts knowing.
    That's why I specified the book. (Which does match the list at d20srd.org, so I'm not sure what exactly you're referring to here)

    Well, turning into a dog at 1st level is like Rage, but with a +4 CA bonus (size and Dex), no Will bonus (though you don't need it), reduced damage and unlimited duration... quite solid, and not overpowered at all.

    By 8th level, though, you are adding +12 to +16 to your Str and Con, generally with a CA bonus. Much better than Rage. Ok, I just checked your own Giants&Graveyards barbarian. The Beastman is way overpowered compared to the RAW Barb, but is at most equal in combat compared to G&G Barb. Still powerful, given the potential it has to utility, but not too much.
    I specified ability modifiers to ensure that you couldn't dump physical stats. Do you think it'd be better to go back to the standard polymorph stat replacement rules? (Comparing to, say, a swordsage or psiwar)

    For curiosity sake, what animal and vermin forms you intend using in the campaign you are going to play?
    It's a level 6 game. I'm thinking Barracuda at 2, Dire Jackel at 4, Dire Ape at 5 and Dire Eagle at 6. (I'm avoiding the fleshraker, since that's kind of cheese). Haven't quite decided for 1 and 3.

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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    I'm looking at it, and one thing has me confused about the beast shape. The text says that the animals modifiers are added to his own, which is all well and good, but it then says that these are calculated by subtracted 10 from the animal's modifiers (11 if odd). Aren't modifiers calculated by subtracting 10 (11 if odd) and then dividing by 2?

    So, for example, a black bear with 19 str would have a modifier of (19-11=8/2=+4), not (19-11=+8). Assuming that I read beast shape correctly, that is.
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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakoa View Post
    I'm looking at it, and one thing has me confused about the beast shape. The text says that the animals modifiers are added to his own, which is all well and good, but it then says that these are calculated by subtracted 10 from the animal's modifiers (11 if odd). Aren't modifiers calculated by subtracting 10 (11 if odd) and then dividing by 2?

    So, for example, a black bear with 19 str would have a modifier of (19-11=8/2=+4), not (19-11=+8). Assuming that I read beast shape correctly, that is.
    The racial ability modifiers, not the normal ability bonuses. The sort of thing where it's like "Str +8, Dex -2," etc.

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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    Oh.. so nows its even better than what wildshape is supposed to be

    I was liek ' yaay Grod did the same thing i did and make it be you get the stat modifier'

    but now its ' yaay you get a huge bonus to your stat that is even better than it used to be'

    im not sure if that was the point or not though.

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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by ngilop View Post
    Oh.. so nows its even better than what wildshape is supposed to be

    I was liek ' yaay Grod did the same thing i did and make it be you get the stat modifier'

    but now its ' yaay you get a huge bonus to your stat that is even better than it used to be'

    im not sure if that was the point or not though.
    I'm not sure what you're going for here? Wild/Beast Shape either replaces your ability score entirely (the default), or it replaces your racial ability change (my version).

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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    what i am saying is before a human druid with a strenth of 14 would get a str of 19.

    with your version now the human get a str of 22, instead of the 18 that I thought it was gonna be.

    I just think that giving the ability modifer as a buff is good enough i don't want a class to be ability independant and this way you can just go i'll takes 10 in everything idc'

    Now you might need to put a few points into your physical stats instead of completely ignoring them and making your int/wis/cha sky high and then never really suffer/


    But I might be thinking too much into this

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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    I'm still not sure entirely what you think is going on, but I've come up with a way to hopefully settle all worries. Now your ability scores in your base form do matter, but you won't wind up with obscenely large abilities when you shapeshift.

    Still going back and forth on the Beast Shape/Wild Shape thing...

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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    Beast Shape: I’d reconsider how the Beastman gains new forms, since as written it’s a little wonky. I’d probably just let them transform into any appropriate form within the creature type and hit die limits. Given that the ability both has a different name and different mechanics than Wild Shape, I wouldn’t worry overmuch about the class being used as an easy early entry into Master of Many Forms.

    Primal Power: You should specify whether the Beastman receives the natural armor bonus constantly, or only when using Beast Shape. I’d recommend having it granted constantly to cut back on MAD.

    Adamantine Claws: I’d add something along the lines of “for purposes of overcoming hardness and damage reduction” to the end of the ability description.


    I wouldn’t be too worried about losing Wild Shape specific feats and prestige classes. The Beastman can still qualify for a few of the other prestige classes like Warshaper, and most of the Wild Feats are either redundant with Beast Shape as written or can be replicated with other feats.
    If you’re looking for a new capstone, I’d consider something along the lines of turning into a dragon at 20th level.
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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    Amazingly, I have no notes or objections.

    This is surprising because I hate polymorphism with a fiery burning passion.

    I would, however, like to see a Totemist/Beastman theurge PrC.

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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    An interesting class premise, though I see some issues;


    @Beast Shape:
    The limitation on HD might be an issue. Most animals, vermin and magical beasts have considerably higher HD than their CR. This might affect the class adversely in mid-levels and high levels. For example, a 12th level Beastman is not capable of shifting into CR 12 animals - he's maybe capable of shifting into CR 7 ones. Even a 20th level beastman will never shapeshift into something with more CR than 12 or so - he will always be missing out the cooler shapes.
    OTOH, the numerical bonuses the ability ends up giving coupled with a few wilding clasps will still make him a competent and versatile melee combatant in higher levels despite his inability to access the cooler forms.

    @extraordinary abilities:
    Why not give them too? As is, the changing shape only changes ability scores, base attacks, movement mode and natural armor - numerical bonuses that are a bit boring after a time. Why shouldn't a low-level beastman changing into a tiger not also get pounce or one turning into a warhorse gain trample? Why shouldn't a mid-level Beastman that changes into a huge spider also get its webbing and poison? Why shouldn't a high-level Beastman changing into a Pyrohydra also gain its fire immunity, fast healing and breath weapon?

    @BAB:
    Does it change to match its type when he changes? I.e. when turning into a magical beast, have the BAB equal HD. If it doesn't, should it?

    @PrC qualification:
    You can add this line under Beast Shape: "this ability counts as wild shape for qualification purposes". This simplifies matters of compatibility in not making it exclude all those existing PrCs. Though there might be enough changes between Beast Shape and Wild Shape to cause the occasional mechanical problem here or there - I'll need to think about this some more.


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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Belial_the_Leveler View Post
    @Beast Shape:
    No one has ever complained about Wild Shape being weak before. But this part, I can be pretty sure of-- I had a player run the last version of this class in a campaign that ran from 10-14, and he held up just fine next to the crusader, sorcerer, and favored soul.

    @extraordinary abilities:
    As per the base Alternate Form rules, "The creature gains the natural weapons, natural armor, movement modes, and extraordinary special attacks of its new form."

    @BAB:
    Does it change to match its type when he changes? I.e. when turning into a magical beast, have the BAB equal HD. If it doesn't, should it?
    Again, see the Alternate Form rules. (The answer is no)

    @PrC qualification:
    If I was sure that I wanted it to count for PrCs, I'd have left it named Wild Shape. But I'm not entirely sure that's balanced. (coughMasterofManyFormscough)

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    to defend grod's choice of not saying it acts or is wild shape the PrC warshaper explicity states
    Quote Originally Posted by Warshaper requirements
    Wild shape or similar class feature (bear warrior, druid).
    Since this is a similar class feature the beast man can take levels in that PrC> sicne master fo many forms says [QUOTE-Master fo Mnay forms requirements]Wild shape class feature.[/QUOTE] this class is excluded from taking that PrC

    I think Grod did that on purpose as MoMF is basically the beast man but in 10 levels AND you get to be a dragon to boot! It makes perfect sense to me at least

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Beastman, Revised (3.5, PEACH)

    ...Meh, I'm giving up and turning it back into Wild Shape.

    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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