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Thread: Elemental Exemplar
- Join Date
- Dec 2015
- Central Illinois
I've always loved the idea of Invocations, and warlock has been my favorite D&D class for a while now. However, there's only two Invocation classes. You've got the Warlock, with an attack that keys off touch AC, and DFA, with a breath attack. So why not an melee focused version? Yes, I'm aware of glaivelocks and clawlocks but I think there's a gap there. This class is an attempt to provide a third type of invocation user: a mobile, melee oriented version that attacks normal AC (but has a better BAB than the other two). I'm aware that this class is more powerful than either of the other two, but those classes are honestly under-powered and I usually beef them up for my campaigns, and I'm not at all using them as a balancing point (please keep that in mind!). This is aiming for more of a high tier 3 spot. Each element also grants unique bonuses and abilities to the exemplar, and hopefully allows for a distinct play style from the other elements.
These are the intended strengths of the class (not counting individual elemental abilities):
-Not reliant on equipment
-Strong melee attack
-Good defensive abilities (AC bonus, resistances, fast healing, and two good saves)
-Relatively low HP for a melee class
-No real ranged capabilities without feat investment, and even then it'll still be sub-par (probably d4's instead of d8's, and it'll have a pretty short range of maybe 60 feet or so)
-Invocation list will be supplementary to main abilities
-Low Will save
-Somewhat MAD (melee class with Charisma for damage, so needs Strength/Charisma to be high, and a decent Wisdom to counteract the low Will save, as well as the ever useful Dex/Con)
I suppose the goal is somewhere between a lightning bruiser and a glass cannon.
NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, all Elemental Exemplar abilities are Supernatural (Su).
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Class Features Invocations Known 1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Elemental Manifestation, Elemental Blade (1d8)1 2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Elemental Resistance 3, Elemental Casing2 3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 E. Blade (2d8)2 4th +4 +4 +4 +1 E. Resistance 6, Fast Healing 13 5th +5 +4 +4 +1 E. Blade (3d8), +10 movement4 6th +6 +5 +5 +2 E. Resistance 9, E. Casing (+4)4 7th +7 +5 +5 +2 E. Blade (4d8)5 8th +8 +6 +6 +2 E. Resistance 126 9th +9 +6 +6 +3 E. Blade (5d8)6 10th +10 +7 +7 +3 E. Resistance 15, E. Casing (+6)7 11th +11 +7 +7 +3 E. Blade (6d8), +10 movement8 12th +12 +8 +8 +4 Fast Healing 2, Elemental Synthesis (lesser)8 13th +13 +8 +8 +4 E. Blade (7d8)9 14th +14 +9 +9 +4 E. Casing (+8), Elemental Shroud (lesser)10 15th +15 +9 +9 +5 E. Blade (8d8)10 16th +16 +10 +10 +5 E. Synthesis (greater)11 17th +17 +10 +10 +5 E. Blade (9d8), +10 movement12 18th +18 +11 +11 +6 E. Casing (+10)12 19th +19 +11 +11 +6 E. Blade (10d8)13 20th +20 +12 +12 +6 Fast Healing 3, E. Synthesis (master), E. Shroud (greater)14
Skills: 2+Int/level ([2+Int]x4 at first level)
Skill List: Climb, Concentration, Craft, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (the planes), Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Search, Spot, Swim, Use Magic Device
Proficiencies: Simple Weapons, Light Armor, Medium Armor
Elemental Manifestation: The Elemental Exemplar is so deeply connected to one of the four elements (earth, air, water or fire) or to the positive/negative energy planes that they manifest the power of that element, and can harness that power to achieve great feats of power. Whether this attuning come from years of meditation or simple inborn talent, it grants superhuman abilities to its bearer. Exemplars manifest their power in different ways, but all have much in common. Upon taking a level of Elemental Exemplar, the character must select one of the six mentioned "elements" as the source of their power. This choice affects the type of damage they do with their elemental attacks, as well as affecting the nature of their invocations. Each element has an opposite element, to which to they are "weak". Once an element has been chosen, the exemplar may never change it. The exemplar may "multiclass" and take another level of exemplar with a separate element, but the elemental attacks and all other class features are treated as separate classes and may not be combined. The elemental exemplar's caster level, from which the power of his elemental attacks are derived, is equal to his levels on elemental exemplar. This caster level may be modified by feats such as Practised Spellcaster, but may never exceed the number of levels in elemental exemplar that the character possesses.
Spoiler: Elemental Manifestation DetailsFIRE: Fire exemplars do fire damage with all their elemental attacks, and their power is such that they deal 50% damage to enemies possessing the Fire Immunity trait. They receive an extra +10 feet to their land speed upon taking their first exemplar level, although this does not apply if they are wearing heavy armor (at ninth level this bonus improves by an extra +10 feet). At 7th level, any opponent struck by their elemental blade in two successive rounds must roll a Fortitude save (DC 10+[1/2 exemplar level]+Cha) or become blinded for 2d4 rounds. At 13th level, an opponent blinded by this ability who is struck again by the elemental blade (while still blind) must make a Fortitude save or become dazed (same DC as the blinded save) for 1d4 rounds. They are weak to the element of water (cold damage).
WATER: Water exemplars do cold damage with all their elemental attacks, and their power is such that they deal 50% damage to enemies possessing the Cold Immunity trait. They receive a Swim speed of 30 feet upon taking their first exemplar level, and may choose to apply the movement bonuses of 5th, 11th and 17th level to their Swim speed instead of their fly speed. They also receive a +2 insight bonus to Move Silently and Hide upon taking their second level of elemental exemplar. At 7th level, they gain the ability to become invisible (as 2nd level spell) for 1+Cha rounds per day (min 1). At 13th level, this ability improves to mimic the spell greater invisibility; the duration remains the same (1+Cha, min. 1); and the Move Silently/Hide bonus improves to +4. They are weak against the element of fire (fire damage).
AIR: Air exemplars do electricity damage with all their elemental attacks, and they may convert up to half their elemental damage into sonic damage (this decision must be made before attacking). They receive a Fly speed of 30 feet (average) upon taking their fifth level of elemental avatar (if character already has a fly speed, improve it by 10), and may choose to apply the movement bonuses of 11th and 17th level to their fly speed instead of their land speed. Upon taking their seventh level of elemental avatar, any opponent successfully damaged by an elemental blade attack using the sonic damage option must roll a Fortitude save (DC 10+[1/2 exemplar level]+Cha) or become deafened for 2d4 rounds. At 13th level, any opponent that takes a critical hit from the elemental blade attack must make a Reflex save (DC 10+[1/2 exemplar level]+Cha) or be blown away (see ability in SRD). They are weak against the element of earth (acid damage).
EARTH: Earth exemplars do acid damage with all their elemental attacks and they may convert up to half their elemental damage into force damage (this decision must be made before attacking). They receive a Burrow speed of 15 feet upon taking their first exemplar level (this improves to 30 feet at level 13). At fifth level, they receive DR 3/electricity; at ninth level this improves to DR 5/electricity and at seventeenth level this improves to DR 7/electricity. At seventh level they become immune to being dazed; at thirteenth level they become immune to being stunned, and at nineteenth level they become immune to being paralyzed. They are weak against the element of air (electricity damage).
POSITIVE ENERGY (ECTROPY): Ectropic exemplars do positive energy damage with all their elemental attacks, and such is their power that even beings that are normally unaffected by (or resistant to) positive energy damage are dealt 50% damage from the exemplar's elemental attacks. Diplomacy is a class skill for ectropic exemplars (replaces Intimidate). Upon taking their first level of ectropic exemplar, the character gains a +4 insight bonus against fear effects and at third level a +4 insight bonus to Diplomacy; at seventh level they become immune to fear and at ninth level the Diplomacy bonus increases to +8. At fifth level, ectropic exemplars gain the ability to heal wounds and gains the Lay on Hands ability (as paladin, except the amount healed is equal the exemplar's charisma bonus x their ectropic exemplar level). At fifteenth level their Fast Healing ability is converted into the Regeneration ability (the amound healed per turn is the same); any energy damage is treated normally (but still subject to the exemplar's resistance). They are weak against entropy (negative energy damage).
NEGATIVE ENERGY (ENTROPY): Entropic exemplars do negative energy damage with all their elemental attacks, and such is their power that even beings that are normally unaffected by (or resistant to) negative energy damage are dealt 50% damage from the exemplar's elemental attacks. Entropic exemplars are especially skilled at destruction, and deal an extra +1 untyped damage per die on their elemental blade attacks, and score x3 critical hits with their elemental blade attacks with a critical range of 19-20. At fifth level, any opponent struck by an elemental blade attack from the entropic exemplar must roll a Will save (DC: 10+[1/2 exemplar level]+Cha) or become shaken for 2d4 rounds; this ability does not stack with itself and cannot exacerbate existing fear conditions. At ninth level, the entropic exemplar can advance an already shaken opponent (must have been shaken by the entropic exemplar's elemental blade attack) to frightened with a successful elemental blade attack; the Will DC is the same. At thirteenth level they may advance an already frightened opponent (must have been frightened by the exemplar's elemental blade attack) to panicked with a successful elemental blade attack; Will DC is the same. At seventeenth level, the entropic exemplar's fear effects stack normally with other fear effects. They are weak against positive energy damage. They are weak against ectropy (positive energy). NOTE: Undead are damaged by the entropic exemplar's elemental blade unless they elect to heal the undead with the attack; in either case the amount dealt is limited to 50% of the elemental blade's damage.
Invocations: Invocations are treated in the same way as the Warlock's invocations. For the moment it's the same list, although obviously it would re-flavored for each element. Blast shapes and essences do not apply to the Exemplar's Elemental Blade.
Elemental Blade: The elemental exemplar's primary attack is the elemental blade, a weapon made out of focused energy of the appropriate type. Elemental Blade is a melee attack that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, and is considered to be a weapon-like effect; it targets AC as normal (doesn't key off touch AC like eldritch blast) and the exemplar adds their Charisma bonus to damage (not Strength). It does, however, allow for normal iterative attacks and has a critical hit value of x2 (only on natural 20). I visualized an elementally-flavored version of the Bound weapons from the Elder Scrolls series. The actual appearance of the blast and the blade is up to the player's interpretation, but obviously it should within reasonable bounds. The damage scale actually derives from the exemplar's caster level; the formula is 1d8 for the blade x ([caster level+1]/2).
Resistance: The exemplar gets this resistance against all forms of energy damage, with two exceptions. He receives 1.5 times this quantity against his own element (ie a fire exemplar with Resistance 9 has Resistance 13 against fire damage), and .5 this amount against their weak element (the same exemplar has Resistance 4 against cold damage).
Elemental Casing: The exemplar can shroud themselves in a cloak of energy, deflecting attacks and distracting attackers. Elemental Casing provides an armor bonus to AC, and can be activated/deactivated at will by the exemplar. This armor bonus does not fully stack with other forms of armor (except Elemental Shroud, with which it stacks fully); if the exemplar has another source of an armor bonus, the Elemental Casing bonus is decreased by one half (Example: Level 2 exemplar with leather armor receives a +2 armor bonus from leather armor and a +1 (+2 x .5) armor bonus from the Elemental Casing.
Fast Healing: As ability.
Movement bonuses: This bonus applies to land movement only (unless otherwise noted the Elemental Manifestation section), and only so long as the Exemplar isn't wearing heavy armor.
Elemental Synthesis: The exemplar becomes so skilled with his element that he/she can, through force of will, coalesce it into a semi-autonomous being. The exemplar may draw on surrounding energy and "summon" an elemental of the appropriate energy type (haven't decided yet what entropic/ectropic exemplars get; ideas?). This ability has three tiers, which affect the size/type of elemental summoned:
-Lesser: Up to Medium size
-Greater: Up to Huge size
-Master: Up to Elder; May summon up to 2 elementals simultaneously so long as at least one is of a lower tier
The elemental exists only as long as the exemplar mentally maintains it, or until it is destroyed. One elemental does not place any great strain on the exemplar, but maintaining more than one elemental simultaneously requires a DC 15 Concentration check each round; this DC increases by +2 per elemental per round (IE, maintaining two elementals increases the DC by 4 each round) and fatigues the exemplar. Summoned elementals never attack the exemplar that summoned them but otherwise behave as normal. The exemplar exercises complete control over their summoned elementals through a telepathic bond (like that of a wizard and their familiar).
Elemental Shroud: The exemplar has gained such mastery that he/she can draw on the energy around themselves, wreathing themselves in a cloak of raw energy. This ability can be used for a number of rounds per day equal to 3+Cha modifier (min. of 3), and comes in two tiers.
-Lesser: 40% miss chance for ranged attacks, SR equal to (10+[1/2 exemplar levels]+Cha modifier; does not apply against weak element's spells), +2 enhancement bonus to physical stats (Str/Dex/Con), +3 armor bonus to AC (this does stack with Elemental Casing)
-Greater: 80% miss chance for ranged attacks, SR (same as lesser, but applies to all spells), Spell Immunity (to all spells of the exemplar's element), +2 enhancement bonus to all stats (stacks with the lesser bonus, so Str/Dex/Con are now at a +4 bonus), +6 armor to AC (same). The AC bonus is subject to the same limitations as Elemental Casing.
I am going to eventually come up with an actual invocation list for the Exemplar, especially since blast shapes and essences are useless for the Exemplar; it will be weaker than the warlock invocation list. More importantly, I'm going to come up with a chain of custom feats that allow for customization of the Elemental Blade (granting reach, allowing for a version of Power Attack keyed off charisma, granting a ranged version, etc).
Please give me your constructive feedback! This is probably still overpowered, but I prefer to start with too much and then trim it back as necessary.
Last edited by Bobby Baratheon; 2016-02-13 at 04:16 PM.“Stupid entropy ruins everything.”
My divine portfolio (cred goes to Jormengand):SpoilerBobby, the Twist in Time
Divine Rank: 4
Deity of: Twisted Truth, Time
Symbol: A pair of wings made of fossils
Alignment: True Neutral
Worshipers: Archaeologists, forgers
Cleric Alignments: Any neutral
Domains: Artifice, Creation, Knowledge, Time
Favoured Weapon: Longsword