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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Behold, the power of lying! [3.5 Prestige Class, PEACH]

    Looking through Dragon Magazine recently, I came across the Charlatan PrC in #335. The basic concept behind it is that you're so good a pretending to be a spellcaster, you can use certain spells by convincing people you did. It was a cool idea, but the class suffered from "why not play an actual caster?" I felt the urge to remedy this, so here's the class I was inspired to create:

    THE CON MAGE


    “Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defense League, and five times winner of Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award. But I don't talk about that; I didn't get rid of the Banden Banshee by smiling at him.” -- Gilderoy Lockhart, a con mage


    In a world with magic, people who can use it have a large advantage over those who can't. Some people don't have much of anything other than a talent for lying. But isn't perception everything? Just convince people you can cast spells, and they'll treat you with the respect they would an actual wizard. If you're good enough, you can be so convincing that the spells actually work.

    Plus, you don't have to spend all that time studying like a real wizard.


    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Skills: Bluff 8 ranks, Disguise 8 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks, Perform (act) 4 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks, Use Magic Device 4 ranks
    Feats: Force of PersonalityCA


    Table: The Con Mage This is a meaningless spacer. Move along, nothing to see here. oooooo Hit Die: d6

    Saves Spells Per Day
    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special 0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Spurious Sorcery, False Reputation 3 2 — — — — — — — —
    2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Prestidigitator 4 3 — — — — — — — —
    3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Do You Know Who I AM? 4 3 1 — — — — — — —
    4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Convincing Counterspell 4 4 2 1 — — — — — —
    5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Prestidigitator 4 4 3 2 1 — — — — —
    6th +4 +2 +2 +5 All in Their Head 4 4 4 3 2 1 — — — —
    7th +5 +2 +2 +5 The Truth is What I Make of It 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 — — —
    8th +6 +2 +2 +6 I Know Just the Thing... 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 — —
    9th +6 +3 +3 +6 Prestidigitator 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 —
    10th +7 +3 +3 +7 Wish Upon a Wishing Star 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1

    Class Skills (4+Int modifier per level): Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Any) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int). Spot (Wis), Use Magic Device (Cha)


    CLASS FEATURES

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The con mage gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

    Spurious Sorcery: A con mage is so skilled at deception that he can trick the universe into letting him cast spells, of a sort. A con mage casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the sorcerer/wizard class list. He must prepare spells ahead of time like a wizard.

    To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the con mage must have a Charisma score of at least 10+the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a con mage's spell is 10+the spell's level+the con mage's Charisma modifier. The con mage has a caster level equal to his class level+1/2 his levels in other classes.

    Like other spellcasters, a con mage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.

    The con mage's spellbook works just like a wizard's spellbook, including the free spells gained each level. His initial spellbook contains all 0-level spells on the sorcerer/wizard class list, plus three 1st-level spells of his choice. For each point of Charisma bonus the con mage has, the initial spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of his choice.

    Due to the nature of his "spells", a con mage faces some limitations. When casting a spell, a con mage must make a Bluff check opposed by the target's Sense Motive check. If the target succeeds on the Sense Motive check, it recognizes that the effect is not quite right and is unaffected by the spell. He automatically succeeds on the Sense Motive check against any of his spells, due to the difficulty of lying to oneself. The con mage cannot affect mindless creatures with his spells, as they are too dumb to fool. Also, any spell the con mage casts is unable to affect anything other than creatures, as the power is in the target's belief-- effectively limiting him to spells that target creatures and area spells that include creatures in the area.

    Con mages face special restrictions when entering other prestige classes that advance spellcasting, as learning to deceive reality on such a grand scale requires their exclusive attention. They can qualify for prestige classes that require arcane spellcasting, and may advance this class feature as if it was arcane spellcasting. However, if a prestige class advances two kinds of casting, or spellcasting and psionic manifesting, that prestige class can never advance this ability.

    False Reputation (Ex): If you're going to claim to be great, then you ought to have people who'll back you up. To this end, the con mage spreads legions of rumors and tales about his prowess. Anyone inquiring after the con mage with a bardic knowledge, Gather Information, or Knowledge check (or with similar abilities) turns up false tales, gossip, and specific "facts" which corroborate his claims to greatness, unless the check result exceeds the DC by an amount equal to 10 plus the con mage's class level.

    Prestidigitator (Ex): In addition to his spells, a con mage learns some more mundane tricks, using various alchemical mixtures and other forms of smoke and mirrors. He can duplicate certain spells as an extraordinary ability, with an effective caster level equal to his class level+1/2 his levels in other classes. He can do this a number of times per day equal to 1+his class level+his Charisma modifier. At 2nd level, he can use prestidigitation, burning hands, obscuring mist, and pyrotechnics. At 5th level, he can use gust of wind and shatter. At 9th level, he can use mind fog and incendiary cloud. In order to use this ability, he must have a spell component pouch to retrieve the necessary materials from.

    Do You Know Who I AM? (Ex): A con mage's reputation grows ever more impressive, and he uses this to strike terror into the hearts of those foolish enough to oppose him. At 3rd level, a con mage can spend a full round action to boast about his accomplishments. He makes a Bluff check, opposed by the Sense Motive checks of all foes within 30 feet. Any foe who fails this check is shaken for 1d4+1 rounds. This is a mind-affecting language-dependent fear effect. It does not stack with itself, and a creature that succeeds on its check cannot be affected by this ability for 24 hours per point by which it beat the con mage's Bluff check.

    Convincing Counterspell (Ex): A con mage might not be that good with spells, but he's great at making you think he is. This even extends to actual mages. A con mage of at least 4th level, by pretending to counter a spellcaster's spell, can trick the caster into abandoning their spell. To use this ability, the con mage must ready an action to counterspell. If the target attempts to cast a spell, the con mage makes a Bluff check, opposed by the target's Spellcraft check. If the target succeeds, they notice some small error made in the attempt, and cast their spell normally. If the con mage succeeds, the target is so thoroughly convinced that they were counterspelled that the spell fails, exactly as if it had been counterspelled.

    All in Their Head (Ex): As a con mage becomes more skilled at deception, he learns to trick the subconscious even when the conscious is undeceived. Whenever he casts a spell gained from his Spurious Sorcery class feature, it maintains 50% reality (similar to shadow conjuration), even if the target succeeds on their Sense Motive check. He is still unable to affect anything other than creatures.

    The Truth is What I Make of It (Ex): A con mage is so caught up in his own web of lies that distinguishing the truth is nearly impossible. At 7th level, divination spells and similar effects only reveal information about the con mage's false reputation, instead of reality. The caster can make a caster level check with a DC equal to 10+the con mage's Bluff ranks+the con mage's Charisma modifier. If successful, the spell reveals true information.

    I Know Just the Thing... (Ex): A con mage is prepared for everything, or so he'd like you to believe. At 8th level, a con mage can back up these claims. Once per day, the con mage may cast a specific spell as if he had prepared it, even though he did not. The spell must be one he knows, and casting it expends a spell slot of the appropriate level as normal. In order to use this ability, the con mage must succeed on a Spellcraft check with a DC equal to 20+the level of the spell, and a Bluff check with a DC equal to 30+twice the level of the spell. A failure still counts as his daily use.

    Wish Upon a Wishing Star (Ex): There comes a time in every con mage's career when he desperately needs to be able to do something that he cannot do. A con mage of at least 10th level can do it anyway through the power of lying. To use this ability the con mage must make a Bluff check opposed by the universe's Sense Motive check. The universe is considered to have a +40 bonus on Sense Motive checks for the purpose of this ability. If the con mage succeeds on this check, he gains the effects of wish, as the spell, with the following limitations:

    • He may freely use the spell duplication abilities, but must pay the XP cost of any spells duplicated. If the spell has an expensive material component, he must sacrifice an amount of wealth equivalent to the cost of the component.
    • Only one item created by this ability may exist at a time. He may never use this ability to create an item with a limited number of uses.
    • He cannot grant inherent bonuses to ability scores.


    This ability can be used once per week, and a failure on the Bluff check still counts as his weekly use. This ability has a caster level equal to his class level+1/2 his levels in other classes





    Adaptation: Theoretically, the concepts behind a con mage's power could be used with divine magic instead. Such a "False Prophet" would make the following changes:


    • Replace the Knowledge (arcana) entry requirement with Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks.
    • Rename Spurious Sorcery as Duplicitous Devotion. The ability grants divine spells instead of arcane, from the cleric class list. It otherwise functions as normal.
    • Rename Prestidigitator as Faith Healing. It does not grant the normal spells. Instead, at 2nd level it grants guidance, bless, cure moderate wounds, and lesser restoration. At 5th level, it grants consecrate and remove curse. At 9th level, it grants heal and greater restoration. It otherwise functions as normal.
    • Replace Wish Upon a Wishing Star with the following ability:
      Outwit the Reaper (Ex): A false prophet has lots of experience in duping entities of great power. Why not Death itself? At 10th level, a false prophet can make a Bluff check opposed by Death's Sense Motive check, in order to convince it that some creature shouldn't have been dead in the first place. Death is considered to have a +40 bonus on Sense Motive checks for the purpose of this ability. If the false prophet succeeds on this check, he can duplicate the effects of a true resurrection spell, as Death rectifies the alleged mistake. This ability can be used once per week, and a failure on the Bluff check still counts as his weekly use.






    So, what do people think? Too OP? Hopelessly weak? Somewhere in the middle? I was trying for something that, while it isn't as powerful than the class it imitates, has something to give it a niche.
    Last edited by Vedhin; 2014-04-30 at 12:42 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Don't you see it? The inert Shrieker may have more raw power, but the rock has something the Shrieker will never have. VERSATILITY.

    Also, the rock will probably be lighter than the Shrieker, allowing it to be used as a improvised thrown weapon should the need arise.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Magikeeper's Avatar

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    Default Re: Behold, the power of lying! [3.5 Prestige Class, PEACH]

    Neat idea.

    Questions:

    1) How does this work with self-buffing?

    2) Why is the caster level so low relative to the spell levels? Having the con mage add 1/2 his levels in other classes to his caster level could be a good idea. Low CL further pushes the con-mage towards buffs and such, even though a number of the more powerful buff spells are hurt by the CL loss.

    3) Does using Wish upon a Wishing Star cost XP if you don't use it to create an item / copy a spell with an XP component?
    Last edited by Magikeeper; 2014-04-27 at 03:32 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Behold, the power of lying! [3.5 Prestige Class, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Magikeeper View Post
    Neat idea.
    Thanks!

    1) How does this work with self-buffing?
    Much better than intended, now that you bring it up. Does making the con mage automatically succeed on Sense Motive checks against his own spells sound like a good way to stop this? They'd still get some self-buffing from All in Their Head, but it would work at 50% power.

    2) Why is the caster level so low relative to the spell levels? Having the con mage add 1/2 his levels in other classes to his caster level could be a good idea. Low CL further pushes the con-mage towards buffs and such, even though a number of the more powerful buff spells are hurt by the CL loss.
    Sounds like a good idea to me.

    3) Does using Wish upon a Wishing Star cost XP if you don't use it to create an item / copy a spell with an XP component?
    [/quote]

    No, hence the limitations on spells and items.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Don't you see it? The inert Shrieker may have more raw power, but the rock has something the Shrieker will never have. VERSATILITY.

    Also, the rock will probably be lighter than the Shrieker, allowing it to be used as a improvised thrown weapon should the need arise.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Behold, the power of lying! [3.5 Prestige Class, PEACH]

    you may want to put some limitations to prevent spells that don't make so much sense.

    Poison? Make people feel they've been poisoned.
    Heroism? Make people feel empowered.
    Charm Person? Plain old Hypnotism
    Phantasmal Killer? Scare targets to death
    Fireball? Uh... make... target... spontaneously combust... mentally?
    Plane Shift? Um... what?
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2014-04-28 at 07:45 AM.
    I'm try not to be too vain but this was too perfect not to sig.
    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Fury View Post
    okay RoC, that is enough! the gitp boards can only take so much awsome, you might actually hurt somebody with this one!
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: Behold, the power of lying! [3.5 Prestige Class, PEACH]

    Prestidigitator: The fluff and the facts don't exactly line up. The way it is written you'd expect some sort of material component (or gp cost for materials used).

    Also, specify if he can use each ability that often, or all of them combined.

    Do You Know Who I AM?: While the "if it fails, can't affect for 24 hours" thing is a standard aspect from existing materials... I'd think there should be permanent immunity (if I don't believe all the crap he's spewing today, why believe him tomorrow?)... maybe if you beat the check by X, or do it X amount of times... and/or when you've seen proof that he's full of it?

    All in Their Head: specific that it still doesn't effect objects (as shadows spells can do so) - assuming that is still the intention.

    The Truth is What I Make of It: I like it, however, I'd add to this that this boosts the False Reputation class feature as it brings even more misinformation into the world.

    I Know Just the Thing...: A bluff check would be fine (even if the DC his a bit on the high side) if he is just convincing his target that he prepared that spell... however, he must also "fast prepare"/"remember" or what not that spell himself. Add a spellcraft/knowledge/whatnot check for his own side of the equation?

    Wish Upon a Wishing Star: You might want to limit the "Grant a creature a +1 inherent bonus to an ability score" part of the wish, as it is another of the aspects of the wish spell that makes it (almost) "worth" it's XP cost.


    Beyond all that, I should say that I was willing to hate it from the start (10 level class that grants full casting up to 9th level with (powerful) abilities at each level), but in the end it feels quite interesting (and maybe even somewhat balanced... as far as any casting class can be)
    Help improve my (favorite) homebrews: The Disciple of the gem, the Dragonhearted and my Warlock fix.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Behold, the power of lying! [3.5 Prestige Class, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Loek View Post
    Prestidigitator: The fluff and the facts don't exactly line up. The way it is written you'd expect some sort of material component (or gp cost for materials used).

    Also, specify if he can use each ability that often, or all of them combined.
    I thought I put in something about needing a spell component pouch. Well, I will now. And it's a pool of uses, not per spell.

    Do You Know Who I AM?: While the "if it fails, can't affect for 24 hours" thing is a standard aspect from existing materials... I'd think there should be permanent immunity (if I don't believe all the crap he's spewing today, why believe him tomorrow?)... maybe if you beat the check by X, or do it X amount of times... and/or when you've seen proof that he's full of it?
    How about extending it to a 24 hours per point you beat the check by?

    All in Their Head: specific that it still doesn't effect objects (as shadows spells can do so) - assuming that is still the intention.
    It does not, so will do.

    The Truth is What I Make of It: I like it, however, I'd add to this that this boosts the False Reputation class feature as it brings even more misinformation into the world.
    It doesn't so much boost False Reputation as much as expand it.

    I Know Just the Thing...: A bluff check would be fine (even if the DC his a bit on the high side) if he is just convincing his target that he prepared that spell... however, he must also "fast prepare"/"remember" or what not that spell himself. Add a spellcraft/knowledge/whatnot check for his own side of the equation?
    Good point.

    Wish Upon a Wishing Star: You might want to limit the "Grant a creature a +1 inherent bonus to an ability score" part of the wish, as it is another of the aspects of the wish spell that makes it (almost) "worth" it's XP cost.
    Another good point.

    Beyond all that, I should say that I was willing to hate it from the start (10 level class that grants full casting up to 9th level with (powerful) abilities at each level), but in the end it feels quite interesting (and maybe even somewhat balanced... as far as any casting class can be)
    That was the tricky part. I was trying to give it something over just playing a caster, without being an obviously better choice. Thus, its spells are limited, but it gets higher level ones slightly faster and actual class features.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Don't you see it? The inert Shrieker may have more raw power, but the rock has something the Shrieker will never have. VERSATILITY.

    Also, the rock will probably be lighter than the Shrieker, allowing it to be used as a improvised thrown weapon should the need arise.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: Behold, the power of lying! [3.5 Prestige Class, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vedhin View Post
    How about extending it to a 24 hours per point you beat the check by?
    How about something like this:

    For the casual observer: For each point more than 5 that you beat the check you are immune for another 24 hours beyond the first

    For someone more familiar with him: For each point you beat the check, you are immune for another 24 hours AND for each 5 points more than 10 that you the check, you cannot be affected by this ability until the con mage has gained a level (so beat it by 10-14 = 1 level later, beat it by 15-19 = 2 levels later...).

    And on top of that something along the lines if you find X solid proof/beat it Y times/get disappointed Z times you become (increasingly or permanently) immune to the ability.
    Help improve my (favorite) homebrews: The Disciple of the gem, the Dragonhearted and my Warlock fix.

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