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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default All who challenge me will burn in the fires of my hatred! [3.5 PrC Fix, PEACH]

    Spellstoke Rager

    "Did Purphoros bless Maikal because of his rage? Or did Maikal's rage blossom after he'd been blessed? Only the gods know."
    -Eocles, concerning the favored soul of Purphoros

    Image and quote from Archetype of Aggression, original art by Mathias Kollros, © Wizards of the Coast 2014




    Many progressive societies are under the impression that advanced civilizations and higher learning hold the monopoly on magic. This could not simply be further from the truth: inborn sorcery, innate connection to divine beings, shamanistic affairs with nature spirits, and fundamental attunement to primal energies are testaments of magic being beyond
    the wielder's cultural refinement.

    Due to magic pervading all sorts of culture, it is of no surprise that some of these individuals utilize their magic in a rather rudimentary manner, reflective of their primitive methodologies. While most would view magic as a tool to a problem, such as a sorcerer would see unleashing a wave of fire as a means to vanquish his enemies, these individuals would view magic as more of an untapped source of energy to power his tools—taking the function of the fuel instead of the fire.

    These individuals are called Spellstoke Ragers—frenzied warriors who tap into and let their inner furnace of magic be used to keep the flames of their hatred eternally empowered.



    Alignment: Any
    Hit Die: 1d10

    Requirements:
    To qualify to become a Spellstoke Rager, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
    Base Attack Bonus: +4
    Skills: Concentration 4 ranks, Intimidate 8 ranks
    Caster Level: Able to spontaneously cast 1st-level spells
    Special: Rage ability

    Class Skills:
    The Spellstoke Rager’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str). Additionally, add up to two skills and one knowledge skill of your choice into the Spellstoke Rager class skill list, all of which must have been class skills from previous base classes.
    Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier


    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special Spells Per Day
    1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Unrelenting, Overpower Weakness +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Spellburnt Wreckage +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Spellburnt Might +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Spellburnt Armament +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Battercast, Self-Destruction-Fueled Self-Destruction +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    6th +6 +5 +2 +5 Power is Power -
    7th +7 +5 +2 +5 Spellburnt Euphoria +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    8th +8 +6 +2 +6 Spellburnt Recalcitrance +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    9th +9 +6 +3 +6 Spellburnt Cataclysm +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    10th +10 +7 +3 +7 Slaughtercast +1 level of existing spellcasting class


    Class Features
    All the following are class features of the Spellstoke Rager prestige class.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency
    A Spellstoke Rager gains no proficiency with any weapon or armor.


    Spells per Day
    At each level except for the 6th, the Spellstoke Rager gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also attained a level in any spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. If a character had more than one classes before becoming a Spellstoke Rager, he must decide to which class he adds each level of this class for purpose of determining either spells per day, spells known, & caster level.


    Unrelenting (Ex)
    While under the effects of rage, a Spellstoke Rager can cast abjuration, conjuration, evocation, necromancy, and transmutation spells. A Spellstoke Rager loses the usual feat restrictions normally incurred from raging, and may even apply metamagic feats without increasing the spell's casting time. Additionally, Spellstoke Rager levels stack with Barbarian levels to determine Rages per Day.


    Overpower Weakness (Ex)
    A Spellstoke Rager no longer incurs arcane spell failure from wearing light armor. At 6th level, this ability extends to medium armors as well.


    Spellburnt Wreckage (Ex)
    While under the effects of rage, a 2nd-level Spellstoke Rager may have any space he moves through in a particular round be considered difficult terrain for that round against creatures he is hostile to. Once per round as a swift action while under the effects of rage, he may expend a spell slot to gain a bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls for one round, equal to 1 per level of the spell slot expended and 1d8 per level of the spell slot expended, respectively. This bonus does not stack with those from the feat Arcane Strike.


    Spellburnt Might (Ex)
    While under the effects of rage, a 3rd-level Spellstoke Rager automatically succeeds on all Jump, Climb, and Swim checks with DC not greater than his Strength score times his combined Spellstoke Rager and Barbarian levels. Additionally, once per round as an immediate action while under the effects of rage, he may expend a spell slot to gain a bonus on grapple checks, strength-based skill checks, and opposed strength checks for one round, equal to 2 + 2 per level of the spell slot expended.


    Spellburnt Armament (Ex)
    While under the effects of rage, for the purposes of attacks, a 4th-level Spellstoke Rager treats his weapons as having an enhancement bonus equal to half his combined Spellstoke Rager and Barbarian levels. Additionally, as a swift action while under the effects of rage, he may expend a spell slot to imbue his weapon attacks for one round per Barbarian level, with any number of appropriate weapon special abilities of a total cost no greater than a weapon enhancement bonus of 1 + 1 per level of the spell slot expended.


    Battercast (Ex)
    While under the effects of rage, a 5th-level Spellstoke Rager can cast any touch spell he knows as part of a charge, full-attack, or a standard action attack, and the spell affects the first target hit in melee combat that round. The spell must have a casting time of 1 standard action or less.

    Battercast doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity.


    Self-Destruction-Fueled Self-Destruction (Ex)
    Once per round while under the effects of rage, a 5th-level Spellstoke Rager may choose to damage every creature (including him) in his space, with an amount equal to his remaining spell slots, in order to quicken the next spell that he casts without spell slot adjustment.

    This damage bypasses any damage reductions redirections, immunities, and conversion to non-lethal, by any means (including, but not limited to, damage reduction, the Share Pain power, the Shield Other spell, and Regeneration.)


    Power is Power (Ex)
    A 6th-level Spellstoke Rager may use his Strength score in place of his Charisma score for all purposes. Additionally, any time he expends a spell slot, the duration of his Rage increases by an amount of round equal to the level of the spell slot expended.


    Spellburnt Euphoria (Ex)
    While under the effects of rage, a 7th-level Spellstoke Rager gains Fast Healing equal to half his combined Spellstoke Rager and Barbarian levels. Additionally, once per round as a free action while under the effects of rage, he may expend a spell slot to make each successful melee attack for one round grant temporary HP equal to 3 + 3 hit per level of the spell slot expended, to a willing ally (including him) of his choice. Temporary hit points from Spellburnt Euphoria stack, but lasts only until the end of the encounter.


    Spellburnt Recalcitrance (Ex)
    While under the effects of rage, an 8th-level Spellstoke Rager may ignore any language-based or mind-affecting effect from creatures he is hostile to. Additionally, once per round as an immediate action while under the effects of rage, he may expend a spell slot to ignore for one round spells with equal level to that of the spell slot expended. Harmless spells on him are excluded from this effect.


    Spellburnt Cataclysm (Ex):
    While under the effects of rage, a 9th-level Spellstoke Rager's melee weapon attacks affect all creatures and unattended objects in an area of either a 20 ft. line, a 10 ft. cone, or a 5 ft. radius sphere. The area attack must be either centered (if sphere) or originated (if line/cone) from his square, whichever applies. Additionally once per round as a swift action while under the effects of rage, he may expend a spell slot to multiply the area range by 1 + 1 per level of the spell slot expended.

    If used with Battercast, choose only one successfully hit creature to be affected by the spell.


    Slaughtercast (Ex)
    While under the effects of rage, a 10th level Spellstoke Rager can cast any touch spell he knows as part of a full attack action, and the spell affects each target hit in melee combat that round. Doing so discharges the spell at the end of the round, in the case of a touch spell that would otherwise last longer than 1 round. The spell must have a casting time of 1 standard action or less.

    Slaughtercast doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, and can't be used in conjunction with Battercast.




    Author Notes
    Thoughts about the class
    Spoiler
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    First of all, I'm not actually sure if this counts as a Rage Mage fix. It does, thematically, feel the same. And for the sake of tagging and ease of identification, I will claim that this is indeed a rage mage fix.

    However, I feel that the two PrCs offer two different things, at least in what I think the design concept of Rage Mage was supposed to be. When I hear of Rage Mage, I imagine a frenzied spellcaster slinging spells willy nilly like a pissed off, desperate, dragonball Z villain slinging energy beams (think of Vegeta!). Basically, Rage Mage is the type who will melt your face with nuke and reduce it to ashes, instead of smashing it with a warhammer until it is reduced to a bloody pulp... all the while cackling maniacally. Rage Mage. A mage who rages. A furious mage. A mage who harnesses divine fury to deliver deific flames/storms/etc. of vengeance. This is practically the archetypal crazy mad pyromancer.

    Then there's the Spellstoke Rager. This is the type of guy who rages with a weapon in hand. This is practically a buffed BSF in a can. This is Broly getting too overwhelmed with anger and turns into the legendary super saiyan mode, his pure undiluted hatred in the form of ki seeping out from the very pores of his skin and further reinforcing his power. Spellstoke Rager. A rager who has spells. A rage who gets ever more pissed and ever more powerful. A rager whose very spells are the ones used to fan the flames of fury. This is practically the berserker who crudely uses anything within arm's reach, even his own spells, as an improvised implement of violence.

    For PrC Users
    I appreciate any sort of feedback on how the class worked (or didn't) on your campaign, so feel free to post on this thread about it. Any suggestions on improving the class is also welcome.

    For PEACHers
    In a continuous effort to improve my homebrewing skills (and quite frankly, is there any other way than practicing and learning from mistakes?), here's my take on a Barbarian Gish class, which is somehow reminiscent of the Rage Mage. The aim is to make a barbarian gish class viable to be played with.


    PEACHes, comments, pure adulation, and suggestions are all welcome and are dearly appreciated! Go ahead folks! Let her rip!
    Last edited by ben-zayb; 2015-03-23 at 05:52 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by MERC_1 View Post
    I find it very amusing that a very theoretical discussion of how to Optimize Bardic Music, turns into a discussion on how much worms you can eat in 7 minutes.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: All who challenge me will burn in the fires of my hatred! [3.5 PrC Fix, PEACH, WI

    Extra reserved post for good measure. Other than that... class PEACHing is a go.

    Let the flaming begin!
    Quote Originally Posted by MERC_1 View Post
    I find it very amusing that a very theoretical discussion of how to Optimize Bardic Music, turns into a discussion on how much worms you can eat in 7 minutes.
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    Default Re: All who challenge me will burn in the fires of my hatred! [3.5 PrC Fix, PEACH, WI

    Too good.
    With Abjurant Champion you could end up with BAB +18, full CL 18 and tons of features.
    A sorcerer would have no reason in the world not to take it.

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    Default Re: All who challenge me will burn in the fires of my hatred! [3.5 PrC Fix, PEACH, WI

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Too good.
    With Abjurant Champion you could end up with BAB +18, full CL 18 and tons of features.
    A sorcerer would have no reason in the world not to take it.
    I'm not sure what you meant by that. Is it powerful specifically because it stacks with Abj. Champion to get high BAB and 9ths?

    I probably should have noted that I'm balancing this with the assumption that there are other, similar, well-balanced, homebrews in a game where this is used (like another gish class, except this one's barbarian themed), so basically what the Spellstoke Rager offers is not only the possibility of playing a gish (since we already have plenty of that in here), but the possibility of specifically playing a savage gish in contrast to your eldritch knights, duskblades, jade phoenix mages, abjurant champions, etc..

    If that wasn't the case, can I request for a more thorough explanation for the source of imbalance? I tried to balance most of the abilities with common spell effects of equal weight, taking into consideration its 1-round duration compared to a spell likely lasting more than that.

    I'm also open to taking suggestions for fixes in place where you think the class is problematic.
    Quote Originally Posted by MERC_1 View Post
    I find it very amusing that a very theoretical discussion of how to Optimize Bardic Music, turns into a discussion on how much worms you can eat in 7 minutes.
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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: All who challenge me will burn in the fires of my hatred! [3.5 PrC Fix, PEACH, WI

    This class falls into the typical trap that most gish classes fall into, which is "I have to keep as much of my spellcasting ability, plus give new bonuses to spellcasting, otherwise there will be no point to take it because it's strictly worse than spellcasting!"

    Here's the thing most homebrewers don't realize. Most gish players prefer playing warriors. They pick up spellcasting for utility and bonuses, as well as to deal with all the things melee typically can't deal with. I just played a PF game that lasted six months and during that time our magus cast maybe 3 spells in combat. He picked magus for the ability to detect magic and because he wanted a talking sword (Bladebound is admittedly awesome).

    So, you've got a whole lot of sorcerer but very little barbarian here. For one thing, this is a class that requires the Rage ability but does not enhance it in any way. You remove the penalties (Unrelenting) and let it stack with barbarian, but...what exactly is new here? Overpower Weakness is a good example of a gish ability, though it only applies to sorcerers, and since the rest of the classes that can qualify for this class (beguiler, dread necromancer, warmage, bard) all ignore light armor casting, this may as well be a dead level.

    Spellburnt Wreckage is a good example of why free actions are a terrible thing that really shouldn't exist. Why should this character, a gish, be allowed to buff his power and cast a quickened spell in the same round? When you play a spellcaster, you should be making choices. If you remove the opportunity cost associated with those choices, and give the caster more action economy advantage, you are widening the gap between melee and mundane, which breaks the number one rule of Homebrew. We brew to have fun and to make things more fun for the players.

    Spellburnt Might is awesome. I imagine the warrior's eyes glowing red as he suddenly gets the strength necessary to force the dragon crushing him off.

    Spellburnt Armament is really really really common in homebrew and I don't understand why. This ability will never be good enough to not be copied by greater magic weapon, and that spell can be cast on allies' weapons as well. Make a new ability here, something unique and not easily replaceable by a spell. That's what class features should do. They need to be unique.

    Battlecast - Now here we go. This is nice, and it comes in at an appropriate level.

    Self-Destruction-Fueled Self-Destruction (Ex) - K, well, this is dangerous. You seem to be intending this to be a prestige class for a sorcerer/barbarian hybrid, and even though it looks like you want it to be sorc 1/barbarian 4, your class features much more strongly encourage the player to go sorc 6/barbarian 1 so they have plenty of spell slots to power their abilities. That means that the typical player of this class is going to have 6 levels of d4 hit dice and a lot of spell slots per day. Not a good combination here.

    Not really much I can suggest. The cost is too great to be practical, but definitely reasonable due to the power of the ability. I think you'd be better off just making it a once per rage thing with no cost, but that it can only affect a spell up to the class level of the spellstoke rager to prevent dipping/9th level shenanigans.

    Power is Power - Here we go. Now raging increases the DC of my spells. This is a nice ability that actually feels like a gish ability instead of a "make the sorcerer better at hitting things" ability.

    Spellburnt Euphoria - Nope, nope nope. Arcane casters do not get access to healing magic, that's not a good idea at all. This ability would work much better as temporary hit points, and you could even stand to increase the number a bit, as long as you put in a cap. (Maybe 5*spell level, max 50 temporary hit points in one round?)

    Spellburnt Recalcitrance - I would just rephrase this to say "As an immediate action, a spellstoke rager can spend one of his highest level spell slots he has available to cast to grant himself the Magic Immunity special ability of a golem for the rest of the round". It would make sense thematically, it's easier to read and understand, it removes all odd abuse cases from your wording (such as immunity to illusions, how does that work?) and it comes with the penalty of immunity to beneficial magic as well, which is again, a cost for using the ability that is necessary and encourages strategy and choice instead of just good numbers.

    Spellburnt Cataclysm - I want this ability to be good. I really do. But turning a single melee attack into an AOE should not be a 14th level ability, and it's definitely not worth the spell slot expenditure. I like the range being affected by the spell you give up, but here's how I'd improve it:

    "While raging as a full-round action, a spellstoke rager may expend a single spell slot. He makes a single attack roll with his melee weapon, at his highest attack bonus. All creatures and unattended objects within range of the spellstoke rager (using the ranges you've provided) are treated as the targets of this attack roll and take bonus damage if they are hit. This damage is based on the spellstoke rager's Base Attack Bonus:

    13-15: The attack's total damage is equal to the weapon's damage dice plus all damage modifiers (including Strength bonus) times four.
    16+: The attack's total damage is equal to the weapon's damage dice plus all damage modifiers (including Strength bonus) times five.

    This attack cannot critically strike, however, if the spellstoke rager rolls a natural 20 on his attack roll, he may expend all remaining spell slots he has to force each creature affected to make a Fortitude save (DC 10+class level + Charisma modifier) or die instantly".

    Slaughtercast - Decent ability, but not that great of a capstone. Was expecting something flashier. I like Spellburnt Cataclysm much more.


    So over all you have a few good ideas and bunch of generic and bad ones. In order to make this class work, you need to really think about what makes a barbarian so good and unique! My advice? Take a look at the Pathfinder Barbarian and Pathfinder sorcerer to really understand why they are so different and unique from the fighter/wizard. Give your class some unique magical flair while he's raging, and balance your abilities between spellcasting enhancement and battle enhancement.

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    Default Re: All who challenge me will burn in the fires of my hatred! [3.5 PrC Fix, PEACH, WI

    I would have this class drop at least two, maybe four caster levels for the sake of balance. That aside, this class is amazingly fun-looking and inventive.

    One of my favorite parts about this class would have to be Power is Power. I can all sorts of goofy uses for it in social situations.

    (makes bluff check)

    Other guy: I don't believe you.

    You (activates rage): ARE YOU CALLING ME A LIAR?
    Dark Green, the color of Chaotic Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Altruistorc is leaving me deeply disturbed and intrigued at the same time...

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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: All who challenge me will burn in the fires of my hatred! [3.5 PrC Fix, PEACH, WI

    Quote Originally Posted by Thealtruistorc View Post
    I would have this class drop at least two, maybe four caster levels for the sake of balance. That aside, this class is amazingly fun-looking and inventive.

    One of my favorite parts about this class would have to be Power is Power. I can all sorts of goofy uses for it in social situations.

    (makes bluff check)

    Other guy: I don't believe you.

    You (activates rage): ARE YOU CALLING ME A LIAR?
    Sadly, you can't use Charisma-based skill checks while raging, except Intimidate.

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    Default Re: All who challenge me will burn in the fires of my hatred! [3.5 PrC Fix, PEACH, WI

    Quote Originally Posted by Thealtruistorc View Post
    I would have this class drop at least two, maybe four caster levels for the sake of balance. That aside, this class is amazingly fun-looking and inventive.

    One of my favorite parts about this class would have to be Power is Power. I can all sorts of goofy uses for it in social situations.

    (makes bluff check)

    Other guy: I don't believe you.

    You (activates rage): ARE YOU CALLING ME A LIAR?
    You: Is that story not convincing enough? *smashes a boulder with his fist*


    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Sadly, you can't use Charisma-based skill checks while raging, except Intimidate.
    Unrelenting actually enables you to do just that. Argumentum ad baculum is a totally viable "logic" for the Spellstoke Rager.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    This class falls into the typical trap that most gish classes fall into, which is "I have to keep as much of my spellcasting ability, plus give new bonuses to spellcasting, otherwise there will be no point to take it because it's strictly worse than spellcasting!"

    Here's the thing most homebrewers don't realize. Most gish players prefer playing warriors. They pick up spellcasting for utility and bonuses, as well as to deal with all the things melee typically can't deal with. I just played a PF game that lasted six months and during that time our magus cast maybe 3 spells in combat. He picked magus for the ability to detect magic and because he wanted a talking sword (Bladebound is admittedly awesome).
    Hm...actually, the character you mentioned was what I envisioned in the first place, if only more savage. That's why nearly all of the class features relate more to actual, physical, "make an attack roll" combat improvement than spellcasting enhancement. The only actual spell casting (not spell slot expending) benefits I see are:
    • 9/10 casting
    • enabled casting
    • STR-based DC, and STR-based bonus spells per day
    • reduced metamagic casting time (not uncommon to be waived in many games)
    • reduced ASF (that only affects sorcerer, as you mentioned)
    • quickened spells (with a significant cost)


    Of this, the 9/10 casting is the standout spellcasting benefit, and the only reason it's there is to give the class character flexibility (in that both a Barb>Mage character and a Mage>Barb character can leave this class at 10th level, satisfied). A gish who loves to play as a warrior, for example, can go Barb4/ Caster1/ SSRager10/ BearWarrior or Barbarian 5.

    So, you've got a whole lot of sorcerer but very little barbarian here. For one thing, this is a class that requires the Rage ability but does not enhance it in any way. You remove the penalties (Unrelenting) and let it stack with barbarian, but...what exactly is new here? Overpower Weakness is a good example of a gish ability, though it only applies to sorcerers, and since the rest of the classes that can qualify for this class (beguiler, dread necromancer, warmage, bard) all ignore light armor casting, this may as well be a dead level.
    Unrelenting actually unlocks all skill and feat restrictions of raging, it is also actually THE class feature that bumps rage bonuses from +4 to +6 and gives rage +X/day more uses. Failing that, what are your thoughts on bumping the Overpower Weakness immediately to affmedium/heavy armor if they are already ignoring ASF from light/medium armor?

    Spellburnt Wreckage is a good example of why free actions are a terrible thing that really shouldn't exist. Why should this character, a gish, be allowed to buff his power and cast a quickened spell in the same round? When you play a spellcaster, you should be making choices. If you remove the opportunity cost associated with those choices, and give the caster more action economy advantage, you are widening the gap between melee and mundane, which breaks the number one rule of Homebrew. We brew to have fun and to make things more fun for the players.
    I'm not sure if it's really that bad... Spellburnt Wreckage is practically the same as the Arcane Strike feat. So, technically, everyone taking this class already has that option, I'm just giving them a free (slightly better) version of feat as their only class feature for that level.

    Spellburnt Might is awesome. I imagine the warrior's eyes glowing red as he suddenly gets the strength necessary to force the dragon crushing him off.
    Yep, that's the effect that I was aiming for.

    Spellburnt Armament is really really really common in homebrew and I don't understand why. This ability will never be good enough to not be copied by greater magic weapon, and that spell can be cast on allies' weapons as well. Make a new ability here, something unique and not easily replaceable by a spell. That's what class features should do. They need to be unique.
    Actually, this feature can instead give you Weapon Abilities, as mentioned. I'm pretty sure you can't suddenly gain the Defending ability on the fly (by expending a level 1 spell slot, no less!) using GMW, as well as any of these situational abilities: Ghost Touch, Ghost Strike, Ethereal Reaver, Revealing, Swarmstrike, Shattermantle, Bane, Holy, Lucky, Shielding, Sundering, Dispelling, Spellstrike, Magebane, Skillful, Aptitude, Mouthpick, Wounding, Shadowstriking, Harmonizing, Vorpal, Martial Discipline, Vampirc, Wrathful Healing, Knockback, Morphing, Metalline, Binding, Whirling, etc.

    It's actually one of the most versatile class abilities.
    Battlecast - Now here we go. This is nice, and it comes in at an appropriate level.
    Yeah, thanks to the Duskblade class for the inspiration!

    Self-Destruction-Fueled Self-Destruction (Ex) - K, well, this is dangerous. You seem to be intending this to be a prestige class for a sorcerer/barbarian hybrid, and even though it looks like you want it to be sorc 1/barbarian 4, your class features much more strongly encourage the player to go sorc 6/barbarian 1 so they have plenty of spell slots to power their abilities. That means that the typical player of this class is going to have 6 levels of d4 hit dice and a lot of spell slots per day. Not a good combination here.

    Not really much I can suggest. The cost is too great to be practical, but definitely reasonable due to the power of the ability. I think you'd be better off just making it a once per rage thing with no cost, but that it can only affect a spell up to the class level of the spellstoke rager to prevent dipping/9th level shenanigans.
    I think it depends more on if the typical player wants to roll a barbarian with magic, or a sorcerer-gish with rage. Personally, I just like keeping options open for both sides (something that 3.5 didn't feel like doing).

    Power is Power - Here we go. Now raging increases the DC of my spells. This is a nice ability that actually feels like a gish ability instead of a "make the sorcerer better at hitting things" ability.
    Now... I kinda get what you mean when you say "make the sorcerer better at hitting things". The problem is that the Barbarian class is inherently lacking in good features to progress. Rage gets more uses and increased bonus, but the fact is the Barbarian has already enough damage as is. The problem is, "how will the Barbarian class itself be improved (aside from giving more dakka) such that it's worth progressing?"

    Spellburnt Euphoria - Nope, nope nope. Arcane casters do not get access to healing magic, that's not a good idea at all. This ability would work much better as temporary hit points, and you could even stand to increase the number a bit, as long as you put in a cap. (Maybe 5*spell level, max 50 temporary hit points in one round?)
    Actually, Sorcerers do explicitly have access to healing spell due to its draconic lineage. That said, I'm not really a fan of temporary hit points, but I'm thinking of a Die Hard effect instead. (adds 5*spell level to allowable negative HP before dying, which is stackable with itself but activable once per round, and lasts until end of rage). Thoughts?

    Spellburnt Recalcitrance - I would just rephrase this to say "As an immediate action, a spellstoke rager can spend one of his highest level spell slots he has available to cast to grant himself the Magic Immunity special ability of a golem for the rest of the round". It would make sense thematically, it's easier to read and understand, it removes all odd abuse cases from your wording (such as immunity to illusions, how does that work?) and it comes with the penalty of immunity to beneficial magic as well, which is again, a cost for using the ability that is necessary and encourages strategy and choice instead of just good numbers.
    While I actually like it, the intent I as going for was actually more:
    1. Ignoring LoS-breaking, movement-impeding, misschance-inducing effects from Conjurations such as fog, smokes, and mists
    2. Ignoring misschance-inducing, AC-pumping, Escape DR-improving effects from Abjuration, Conjuration, Illusion, and Transmutation buffs.

    Spellburnt Cataclysm - I want this ability to be good. I really do. But turning a single melee attack into an AOE should not be a 14th level ability, and it's definitely not worth the spell slot expenditure. I like the range being affected by the spell you give up, but here's how I'd improve it:

    "While raging as a full-round action, a spellstoke rager may expend a single spell slot. He makes a single attack roll with his melee weapon, at his highest attack bonus. All creatures and unattended objects within range of the spellstoke rager (using the ranges you've provided) are treated as the targets of this attack roll and take bonus damage if they are hit. This damage is based on the spellstoke rager's Base Attack Bonus:

    13-15: The attack's total damage is equal to the weapon's damage dice plus all damage modifiers (including Strength bonus) times four.
    16+: The attack's total damage is equal to the weapon's damage dice plus all damage modifiers (including Strength bonus) times five.

    This attack cannot critically strike, however, if the spellstoke rager rolls a natural 20 on his attack roll, he may expend all remaining spell slots he has to force each creature affected to make a Fortitude save (DC 10+class level + Charisma modifier) or die instantly".
    Hmm...one attack roll to deal x4-x5 damage to a minimum of one target creature, regardless of spell slot expended, sounds problematic. It's far more versatile in use as well as area/range, and at least 4x / 2x more potent than Mithral Tornado (4th level) / Adamantine Hurricane (8th level). For designing this feature, I was aiming more for horizontal improvement more than vertical improvement, which the Barbarian already has plenty of. The original wording is made such that Spellburnt Cata can be used as part of a charge, an AoO, a full-attack, or even a maneuver (comboes well with maneuvers if you think about it, actually).

    Perhaps I can make it x2 damage at BAB +16 (basically a multiplier based on half of iterative attacks instead of all).

    I'd like to implement this suggestion as a capstone of sort, but I'm not sure how to balance it. Maybe make the x4/x5 consume 1 rage/day use? And what are your thoughts if I make the critical = death a passive effect as part of this particular capstone?
    Slaughtercast - Decent ability, but not that great of a capstone. Was expecting something flashier. I like Spellburnt Cataclysm much more.
    Slaughtercast was also flexible (like the original arcane channeling at 13th level Duskblade) in that you can use it as part of a Charging Pounce maneuver, Time Stands maneuver, and a normal full attack.

    Not to mention you can combo it with Spellburnt Cataclysm. Touch Effect -> Area Effect? Want to hit your enemies up to 100ft. away with a Wraithstriked Irresistible Dance? 5th level and 8th level slot! How about a Wraithstriked Vampiric to anyone within 10ft radius?

    So over all you have a few good ideas and bunch of generic and bad ones. In order to make this class work, you need to really think about what makes a barbarian so good and unique! My advice? Take a look at the Pathfinder Barbarian and Pathfinder sorcerer to really understand why they are so different and unique from the fighter/wizard. Give your class some unique magical flair while he's raging, and balance your abilities between spellcasting enhancement and battle enhancement.
    I'm not too familiar with PF but I'll look on it for inspirations. So PF Sorcerer is really unique from the wizard? That's great to hear!


    I'm actually thinking of making a unique ability or two (not just rage-related) that will scale with barbarian levels (to give those types of characters a little more incentive). I'd likely restrict it to one or two because the fluff is really about "throwing arcane energies to crudely buff himself in combat", but that line of "make the sorcerer better at hitting things" really struck home.
    Last edited by ben-zayb; 2014-06-18 at 10:01 PM.
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    Default Re: All who challenge me will burn in the fires of my hatred! [3.5 PrC Fix, PEACH, WI

    Quote Originally Posted by ben-zayb View Post
    Unrelenting actually enables you to do just that. Argumentum ad baculum is a totally viable "logic" for the Spellstoke Rager.
    I see...and why does it let you do that, exactly? What is it about this spellstoke rager, a champion of power and arcane might who is able to unleash his most destructive force while he channels it through his inner rage, that lets him stop for a second and look at the birds next to him and say "Those are African swallows, clearly"?

    The Rage feature is very clear in its thematic abilities. You can't Hide or Move Silently. You can't make Knowledge checks, Spellcraft checks, or anything that requires concentration. It makes sense, and it helps balance the ability. You're going against your original theme of the class by giving the spellstoke rager the ability to use Intelligence and Dexterity based skills during rage, and in doing so, you're not really giving any worthwhile bonus to him for it.


    Hm...actually, the character you mentioned was what I envisioned in the first place, if only more savage. That's why nearly all of the class features relate more to actual, physical, "make an attack roll" combat improvement than spellcasting enhancement. The only actual spell casting (not spell slot expending) benefits I see are:
    • 9/10 casting
    • enabled casting
    • STR-based DC, and STR-based bonus spells per day
    • reduced metamagic casting time (not uncommon to be waived in many games)
    • reduced ASF (that only affects sorcerer, as you mentioned)
    • quickened spells (with a significant cost)


    Of this, the 9/10 casting is the standout spellcasting benefit, and the only reason it's there is to give the class character flexibility (in that both a Barb>Mage character and a Mage>Barb character can leave this class at 10th level, satisfied). A gish who loves to play as a warrior, for example, can go Barb4/ Caster1/ SSRager10/ BearWarrior or Barbarian 5.
    Here's the issue. This class requires the player to sacrifice spell slots to power all of its abilities. In order to have spell slots, you need to be a high level sorcerer. So...why would I enter this class as a 1st level sorcerer with only 3 1st level spell slots available to me, and therefore having almost no benefit from the Spellburnt Wreckage and Spellburnt Might abilities that I get almost immediately?

    Unrelenting actually unlocks all skill and feat restrictions of raging, it is also actually THE class feature that bumps rage bonuses from +4 to +6 and gives rage +X/day more uses. Failing that, what are your thoughts on bumping the Overpower Weakness immediately to affmedium/heavy armor if they are already ignoring ASF from light/medium armor?
    This is too much for a single class feature. It gives you more uses of rage, gives you Greater Rage, and then removes all the penalties associated with rage. This is straight up better than advancing in the standard barbarian class. You lose access to Improved Uncanny Dodge and Damage Reduction, and you don't advance your Trap Sense feature, but you gain everything else from the class (IE, all the good stuff) while also gaining spellcasting. This is not good class design, and classes that grant full advancement of two classes in a hybrid are usually either overpowered (Arcane Hierophant) or have ridiculously tough prerequisites (Mystic Theurge).

    Don't remove the skill penalties, they're part of the rage. Don't grant Greater Rage, that's part of barbarian. Your class should be a unique class with its own class features, not barbarian + sorcerer + some extra stuff.

    I'm not sure if it's really that bad... Spellburnt Wreckage is practically the same as the Arcane Strike feat. So, technically, everyone taking this class already has that option, I'm just giving them a free (slightly better) version of feat as their only class feature for that level.
    The Arcane Strike feat was changed to function as a swift action when it was updated to Pathfinder, and I personally don't see why it should even be a free action in this class. You've made the feat better. Good. You also gave it to them for free. Good. So there's no reason why the cost can't be a little higher (swift instead of free action).

    Actually, this feature can instead give you Weapon Abilities, as mentioned. I'm pretty sure you can't suddenly gain the Defending ability on the fly (by expending a level 1 spell slot, no less!) using GMW, as well as any of these situational abilities: Ghost Touch, Ghost Strike, Ethereal Reaver, Revealing, Swarmstrike, Shattermantle, Bane, Holy, Lucky, Shielding, Sundering, Dispelling, Spellstrike, Magebane, Skillful, Aptitude, Mouthpick, Wounding, Shadowstriking, Harmonizing, Vorpal, Martial Discipline, Vampirc, Wrathful Healing, Knockback, Morphing, Metalline, Binding, Whirling, etc.
    You're right, but see, the problem with that is that the large majority of the abilities you just listed are only worth their time over the life of the weapon they are used to enchant. In other words, a wounding weapon is only really worth the spell slot used to create it if you get to use it for a few days/months/years. You are granting this bonus for 1 round. Chances are, the spell slot I gave up would probably have done far more to my enemies than a +3 bonus or any of the bonus abilities you listed would have.

    Now... I kinda get what you mean when you say "make the sorcerer better at hitting things". The problem is that the Barbarian class is inherently lacking in good features to progress. Rage gets more uses and increased bonus, but the fact is the Barbarian has already enough damage as is. The problem is, "how will the Barbarian class itself be improved (aside from giving more dakka) such that it's worth progressing?"
    Pathfinder demonstrates this quite well. Barbarians gain all kinds of awesome abilities, like the ability to Intimidate as a move action, the ability to absorb energy and use it to power their weapons, the ability to jump, swim and climb ridiculously well while in rage, the ability to smash the ground and create difficult terrain, and even the ability to shapeshift into a great beast or a horrible demon or a swarm of insects and gain their respective powers. The important thing here is that you consider what exactly a "spellstoke rager" means to you, and use the flavor of the class to determine what you give, not the numbers.

    Actually, Sorcerers do explicitly have access to healing spell due to its draconic lineage. That said, I'm not really a fan of temporary hit points, but I'm thinking of a Die Hard effect instead. (adds 5*spell level to allowable negative HP before dying, which is stackable with itself but activable once per round, and lasts until end of rage). Thoughts?
    That sounds complicated but it probably would work.

    While I actually like it, the intent I as going for was actually more:
    1. Ignoring LoS-breaking, movement-impeding, misschance-inducing effects from Conjurations such as fog, smokes, and mists
    2. Ignoring misschance-inducing, AC-pumping, Escape DR-improving effects from Abjuration, Conjuration, Illusion, and Transmutation buffs.
    That's what dispelling effects are for. You can't just "ignore" an enemy's magical buffs and auras because they are inconvenient for you. That is impractical and relies completely on the DM to explain to you each individual aura his characters are currently under. If you really want something like this, then granting him an antimagic field centered on himself would probably work, though there'd be no way for you to avoid the fact that it would cancel out your spells as well.

    Hmm...one attack roll to deal x4-x5 damage to a minimum of one target creature, regardless of spell slot expended, sounds problematic. It's far more versatile in use as well as area/range, and at least 4x / 2x more potent than Mithral Tornado (4th level) / Adamantine Hurricane (8th level). For designing this feature, I was aiming more for horizontal improvement more than vertical improvement, which the Barbarian already has plenty of. The original wording is made such that Spellburnt Cata can be used as part of a charge, an AoO, a full-attack, or even a maneuver (comboes well with maneuvers if you think about it, actually).

    Perhaps I can make it x2 damage at BAB +16 (basically a multiplier based on half of iterative attacks instead of all).

    I'd like to implement this suggestion as a capstone of sort, but I'm not sure how to balance it. Maybe make the x4/x5 consume 1 rage/day use? And what are your thoughts if I make the critical = death a passive effect as part of this particular capstone?
    Slaughtercast was also flexible (like the original arcane channeling at 13th level Duskblade) in that you can use it as part of a Charging Pounce maneuver, Time Stands maneuver, and a normal full attack.

    Not to mention you can combo it with Spellburnt Cataclysm. Touch Effect -> Area Effect? Want to hit your enemies up to 100ft. away with a Wraithstriked Irresistible Dance? 5th level and 8th level slot! How about a Wraithstriked Vampiric to anyone within 10ft radius?

    I'm not too familiar with PF but I'll look on it for inspirations. So PF Sorcerer is really unique from the wizard? That's great to hear!


    I'm actually thinking of making a unique ability or two (not just rage-related) that will scale with barbarian levels (to give those types of characters a little more incentive). I'd likely restrict it to one or two because the fluff is really about "throwing arcane energies to crudely buff himself in combat", but that line of "make the sorcerer better at hitting things" really struck home.
    You sound like you've thought this out, so I'll let you just take from my original suggestion what you will and edit the class to how it works with your ideal flavor in mind.

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    Default Re: All who challenge me will burn in the fires of my hatred! [3.5 PrC Fix, PEACH, WI

    Alright, as per NeoSeraphi's numerous suggestions (which actually made far more sense than my justifications) and after a series of playtesting with a T2-T3 party, I've added and changed plenty of the class features after what seemed to be eternity. No, really, I kinda forgot I had this brew despite the link in my sig.

    Some benefits are added or changed to be passive and happen when under the effects of rage, some are also reworded for ease of reading, and some have been nixed entirely (no witty and tricksy skill checks while *SMASH* *SMASH* *BOOM*). The passive effects of "Spellburnt" abilities are supposed to be weaker, but still useful, than their activated counterpart.


    EDIT: New Feat!

    Crude Casting
    Prerequisite: Battercast class feature
    Benefit: Whenever a Spellstoke Rager casts a spell while under the effects of rage, he may substitute any shout or battlecry for verbal components, any violent non-attack motions such as stomping the ground for somatic components, any stray dirt, grime, or debris on his person for non-expensive material components, and any wielded weapon for focus (regardless of cost). Additionaly, he no longer takes the -4 nonproficiency penalty for wielding improvised weapons.
    Last edited by ben-zayb; 2015-03-23 at 03:13 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by MERC_1 View Post
    I find it very amusing that a very theoretical discussion of how to Optimize Bardic Music, turns into a discussion on how much worms you can eat in 7 minutes.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Default Re: All who challenge me will burn in the fires of my hatred! [3.5 PrC Fix, PEACH, WI

    This class looks significantly better than it did before! Well done!

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