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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Jormengand's Avatar

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    Default Low-power classes for 3.5

    Preamble: This is part of my Book of Balance, which will talk about playing games at the low, medium and high power level. These classes are for the low power level, powering up the expert (which isn't even powerful enough to fit in a low power game) while creating weaker psionic characters in line with the paladin and the adept.

    The Aether Guard
    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
    Power Points
    Maximum Power Level
    Powers Known
    1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Resolute Smite 1/day
    -
    -
    0
    2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Ego Shield, Psyblast
    -
    -
    0
    3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Dauntless
    -
    -
    0
    4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Defend the Aether
    0
    1st
    1
    5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Hover, Resolute Smite 2/day
    1
    1st
    1
    6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Mental Healing 1/week
    3
    1st
    2
    7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Improved Hover
    5
    1st
    2
    8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2
    7
    2nd
    3
    9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Mental Healing 2/week
    10
    2nd
    3
    10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Resolute Smite 3/day
    13
    2nd
    4
    11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3
    16
    3rd
    4
    12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Mental Healing 3/week
    19
    3rd
    5
    13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Levitate
    22
    3rd
    5
    14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Anchor to the Aether
    26
    3rd
    6
    15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Resolute Smite 4/day,Mental Healing 4/week
    30
    3rd
    6
    16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5
    34
    4th
    7
    17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Fly
    38
    4th
    7
    18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Mental Healing 5/week
    42
    4th
    8
    19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Become Ethereal
    47
    4th
    8
    20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Resolute Smite 5/day
    52
    4th
    9
    Alignment: Any
    Hit Die: d10
    Class Skills
    The Aether Guard’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Autohypnosis* (Wis), Climb (Str), Concentration* (Con), Craft (Int), Jump (Str), Knowledge (psionics)* (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), and Swim (Str).

    Skill Points at first level: (2+Int modifier)*4
    Skill Points at each additional level: 2+Int modifier

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency
    Aether guards are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (including tower shields).

    Power Points/Day
    An aether guard’s ability to manifest powers is limited by the power points he has available. His base daily allotment of power points is given on Table: The Aether Guard. In addition, he receives bonus power points per day if he has a high Wisdom score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Power Points). His race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items. A 1st- to 4th-level aether guard gains no power points for his class level, but at 4th level he gains bonus power points (if he is entitled to any), and can manifest the single power he knows with those power points.

    Powers
    An aether guard learns his first power at fourth level, when he gains a psychic warrior power of your choice. Each time he achieves a new even level, he unlocks the knowledge of a new power. He is still treated as a psionic character at first level, and as such can attain psionic focus.

    Choose the powers known from the psychic warrior power list. (Exception: The feats Expanded Knowledge and Epic Expanded Knowledge do allow an aether guard to learn powers from the lists of other classes.) An aether guard’s manifester level is half his class level.

    Otherwise, an aether guard manifests powers just like a psychic warrior does.

    Resolute Smite (Su)
    At first level, and every five levels thereafter, the aether guard gains one use of this ability per day. When the aether guard makes a resolute smite, he must lose his psionic focus and make an attack. He adds his charisma bonus (if any) to the attack roll and his aether guard level to the damage roll.

    Ego Shield (Su)
    From second level, the Aether Guard adds his charisma modifier as a deflection bonus to all saving throws.

    Psyblast (Su)
    Beginning at second level, an aether guard with a Charisma score of 12 or higher can deal nonlethal damage by touch. Each day he can heal a total number of hit points of nonlethal damage equal to his aether guard level × his Charisma bonus. An aether guard may choose to divide this damage among multiple targets, and he doesn’t have to use it all at once. Using psyblast is a standard action and requires a successful touch attack. The aether guard chooses how much damage to deal on a successful touch attack.

    Dauntless (Ex)
    From third level, the aether guard is immune to fear effects and to confusion.

    Defend the Aether (Su)
    From fourth level, the aether guard can attack and deal damage to ethereal or incorporeal creatures as though they were material.

    Hover (Su)
    From fifth level, an aether guard hovers just above the surface of the ground. He can hover freely over water, and can also automatically rise through water at a rate of 100 feet per round to reach the surface, as well as taking his normal actions for the round. The aether guard is not affected by hazards on the surface of the ground or water while hovering like this, and need not take balance checks to balance on surfaces that can support at least one tenth of his weight (including the weight of his armour). He may stop hovering or resume hovering as a free action. He cannot hover while carrying more than his maximum load.

    Mental Healing (Ps)
    From 6th level, an aether guard can, once per week plus once per week per 3 levels after 6th, remove a single mind-affecting ability, or the confused, cowering, fascinated, frightened, panicked or shaken condition from a single creature.

    Improved Hover (Su)
    From 7th level, an aether guard's speed is increased by 10 feet while hovering.

    Levitate (Su)
    From 13th level, the aether guard can hover up to 30 feet above the ground or water, rather than mere inches.

    Anchor to the Aether (Ps)
    From 14th level, the aether guard can throw a material creature into the ethereal plane with a successful touch attack if the creature fails a will save. The creature is helpless, but immune to all helpful and harmful effects, for 1 round per level, after which they return to the material plane. A will save negates the effect, which is the equivalent of a fifth-level power.

    Fly (Su)
    From 17th level, the aether guard can hover up to 60 feet above ground or water.

    Become Ethereal (Ps)
    From 19th level, the aether guard can become ethereal. If he does, he can't attack creatures on the material plane. He can only do this once per day, for one round per level, and this is the equivalent of a sixth-level power.

    The Mystic
    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
    Power Points
    Maximum Power Level
    Powers Known
    1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Psibolt (d2)
    1
    1st
    1
    2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Psicrystal Affinity
    3
    1st
    2
    3rd +1 +1 +1 +3
    6
    1st
    3
    4th +2 +1 +1 +4
    8
    2nd
    4
    5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Psibolt (d3)
    12
    2nd
    5
    6th +3 +2 +2 +5
    15
    2nd
    6
    7th +3 +2 +2 +5
    19
    2nd
    7
    8th +4 +2 +2 +6
    23
    3rd
    8
    9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Psibolt (d6)
    27
    3rd
    9
    10th +5 +3 +3 +7
    32
    3rd
    10
    11th +5 +3 +3 +7
    37
    3rd
    11
    12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8
    42
    4th
    12
    13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Psibolt (d8)
    47
    4th
    13
    14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9
    53
    4th
    14
    15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9
    59
    4th
    15
    16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10
    64
    5th
    16
    17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Psibolt (d10)
    71
    5th
    17
    18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11
    77
    5th
    18
    19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11
    83
    5th
    19
    20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12
    90
    5th
    20
    Alignment: Any
    Hit Die: 1d4

    Class Skills:
    The mystic’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Psicraft (Int), and Survival (Wis).
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) × 4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier

    Weapon and Armour Proficiency
    Mystics are proficient with all simple weapons and with no type of armour or shield.

    Power points/day
    A mystic’s ability to manifest powers is limited by the power points she has available. Her base daily allotment of power points is given on Table: The Mystic. In addition, she receives bonus power points per day if she has a high Intelligence score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Power Points). Her race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items.

    Powers Known
    A mystic begins play knowing a mystic power of your choice. Each time she achieves a new level, she unlocks the knowledge of a new power.

    Choose the powers known from the mystic power list. (Exception: The feats Expanded Knowledge and Epic Expanded Knowledge do allow a mystic to learn powers from the lists of other classes.) A mystic can manifest any power she knows that has a power point cost equal to or lower than her manifester level.

    The number of times a mystic can manifest powers in a day is limited only by her daily power points.

    A mystic simply knows her powers; they are ingrained in her mind. She does not need to prepare them (in the way that some spellcasters prepare their spells), though she must get a good night’s sleep each day to regain all her spent power points.

    The Difficulty Class for saving throws against mystic powers is 10 + the power’s level + the mystic’s Intelligence modifier. Maximum Power Level Known: A mystic begins play with the ability to learn 1st-level powers. As she attains higher levels, a mystic may gain the ability to master more complex powers.

    To learn or manifest a power, a mystic must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the power’s level.

    Psibolt (Ps)
    From 1st level, mystics can launch a psibolt, which is a ranged attack just like a crossbow bolt except that it is psionic in origin and deals the damage indicated on Table: The Mystic, at will as the equivalent of a 0-level psychic power.

    Psicrystal Affinity
    From second level, the mystic gains psicrystal affinity as a bonus feat.


    Mystic Power List:

    1st: Control Light, Create Sound, Crystal Shard, Daze, Dissipating Touch, Energy Ray, Hammer, My Light, Defensive Precognition, Offensive Precognition, Offensive Prescience, Vigor
    2nd: Biofeedback, Concussion Blast, Control Sound, Specified Energy Adaptation, Energy Push, Identify, Knock, Levitate, Swarm of Crystals
    3rd: Body Adjustment, Body Purification, Darkvision, Energy Bolt, Energy Burst, Energy Wall, Touchsight
    4th: Correspond, Divination, Energy Ball, Metamorphosis, Wall of Ectoplasm, Weapon of Energy
    5th: Adapt Body, Ectoplasmic Shambler, Hail of Crystals, Major Creation, True Seeing

    The Artisan
    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
    1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Skill Focus, Jack of All Trades, Alchemist
    2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Skill Focus, Improved Splash Weapon 1d6
    3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Skill Focus
    4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Skill Focus
    5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Skill Focus, Improved Splash Weapon 2d6
    6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Skill Focus
    7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Skill Focus
    8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Skill Focus, Improved Splash Weapon 3d6
    9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Skill Focus
    10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Skill Focus
    11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Skill Focus, Improved Splash Weapon 4d6
    12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Skill Focus
    13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Skill Focus
    14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Skill Focus, Improved Splash Weapon 5d6
    15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Skill Focus
    16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Skill Focus
    17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Skill Focus, Improved Splash Weapon 6d6
    18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Skill Focus
    19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Skill Focus
    20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Skill Focus, Improved Splash Weapon 7d6
    Alignment: Any
    Hit Die: 1d6

    Class Skills:
    All skills except for Lucid Dreaming (Wis), Truespeak (Int), Use Magic Device and Use Psionic Device are class skills of the artisan.
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (10 + Int modifier) × 4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 10 + Int modifier

    Weapon and Armour Proficiency
    Artisans are proficient with all simple weapons, all light armour, and shields (except for tower shields).

    Skill Focus
    The artisan receives skill focus as a bonus feat at every level.

    Jack of All Trades
    The artisan receives Jack of All Trades as a bonus feat at first level.

    Alchemist (Ex)
    The artisan can use craft (alchemy) despite not being a spellcaster.

    Improved Splash Weapon (Ex)
    At second level, and every third level after second, the artisan gains a +1d6 bonus to the direct hit damage of any ranged splash weapon (and therefore +1 to the splash damage).
    Last edited by Jormengand; 2016-06-11 at 05:08 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Low-power classes for 3.5

    Quibbles:

    Aether Guard should have "-" power points at 1st - 3rd, in line with the table entry for Rangers.

    Artisan's table is inconsistent with text. Text lists both Skill Focus and Jack of All Trades as bonus feats at each level, but table lists Skill Focus at each level and Jack of All Trades at only 1st.

    Design:

    I think the dead levels are bad design. On some level, that's a result of the design goals, but you could at least give people fluff abilities or bonus feats.

    The Artisan isn't underpowered per se, but for it to work (even in a "low powered" game) there needs to be a different balance of combat and non-combat encounters than is probably typical, unless you intend for Artisans to abuse Iaijutsu Focus. I'd give them 1d6/3 levels Sneak Attack (so 1/3/6/etc), and maybe Trapfinding.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Jormengand's Avatar

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    Default Re: Low-power classes for 3.5

    I've fixed the actual problems with it.

    The dead levels might be considered bad design, but the classes they're emulating (mashes of psychic warrior/paladin and adept/psion) both have lots of dead levels, and I'm not sure what I should put to fill them. Plus, a level where you're getting a new power and power points isn't really a dead level exactly. I'm not sure what to put in them.

    I don't like the idea of giving Artisan sneak attack, otherwise they're just going to end up being like rogue, but not rogue. They do need some way to contribute in combat but I can't think of a good way that doesn't just make them into a slightly odd rogue.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Low-power classes for 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    The dead levels might be considered bad design, but the classes they're emulating (mashes of psychic warrior/paladin and adept/psion) both have lots of dead levels, and I'm not sure what I should put to fill them. Plus, a level where you're getting a new power and power points isn't really a dead level exactly. I'm not sure what to put in them.
    If you're doing this level of revision, you should revise those classes as well.

    Dead levels aren't terribly hard to deal with. For example, you could give the Mystic an energy bolt that's about as effective as a crossbow. It's not a power up (because they could already use a crossbow), but it's an ability. You could give them small skill bonuses, minor SLAs (like 1/4 or 1/5 of level), or some followers at high levels.

    I don't like the idea of giving Artisan sneak attack, otherwise they're just going to end up being like rogue, but not rogue. They do need some way to contribute in combat but I can't think of a good way that doesn't just make them into a slightly odd rogue.
    The Mystic is already a worse Psion. There's nothing wrong with the Artisan being a worse Rogue. You could give them some alchemy abilities. Maybe +1d6/3 levels to damage with alchemists fire/acid/whatever, and wave the requirement to be a caster to craft them.

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