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Ess' Project Class #13: The Wanderer

 
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Essence
Knight-Baron


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 536
Location: Olympia, WA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:47 pm    Post subject: Ess' Project Class #13: The Wanderer Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Howdy, y’all. I’ve obviously faltered on my “I’m gonna post 50+ core classes” project, but we just recently started a new game, and Maj is playing one of my modified classes. We’ve been wondering how it holds up in terms of power/effectiveness in eyes other than our own. So, I’d greatly appreciate your opinions on how it balances with other classes in terms of power, and how well it conveys the idea of a wanderlust-filled student who chooses to learn from experience (as opposed to the Scholar, for example).

Here she is:


WANDERER
Version 1.2

Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d8.
Class Skills: (8+Int)
The wanderer’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Craft (Int), Knowledge (all skills) (Int), and Profession (Wis). In addition, the wanderer selects 12+Int additional skills to be in-class skills. These skills are chosen at the first class level, and never change once selected.

BAB: High
Saves: Fort mid, Ref high, Will low

Class Features by Level:
[code]
1 Evasion, tradesman
2 Ward of the albatross, trapfinding
3 Uncanny dodge (Dex to AC)
4 Bonus feat
5 Tireless stride
6 Uncanny dodge (can’t be flanked)
7 Extraordinary communication
8 Bonus feat, unhampered stride
9 Uncanny dodge (Dex while hindered), wanderer’s knowledge
10 Trailblazer
11 Constant guard, wanderer ability
12 Uncanny dodge (Dex while stunned), bonus feat
13 Wanderer ability
14 Defensive roll
15 Uncanny dodge (+1 AC), wanderer ability
16 Bonus feat
17 Wanderer ability
18 Uncanny dodge (+2 AC), wanderer’s luck
19 Wanderer ability
20 Bonus feat, improved trailblazer
[/code]

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the wanderer

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A wanderer is proficient with all simple weapons, light armor, and shields (but not heavy shields).
Evasion (Ex): If a wanderer makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the wanderer is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless wanderer does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Tradesman (Ex): Whenever the wanderer increases a Craft, Knowledge, or Profession sub-skill by one rank, he may also increase another sub-skill of the same type by one rank. For example, whenever a wanderer raises Profession (sailor) by one rank, he may also raise Profession (tailor) or Profession (blacksmith) by one rank. This ability continues to function if the wanderer multiclasses later in life.
Ward of the Albatross (Su): Once per day, plus once per day per 10 levels, a wanderer of at least 2nd level may treat a roll of a natural 1 on a skill check, attack roll, ability check, or saving throw as if it were a natural 20, including all of the effects that come with rolling a natural 20, such as automatically succeeding at a saving throw or threatening a critical blow with an attack roll.
Trapfinding (Ex): At 2nd level, a wanderer gains the ability to detect and disable traps as a Rogue.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 3rd level, a wanderer retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a wanderer already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.
At 6th level and higher, a wanderer can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a wanderer the ability to sneak attack the wanderer by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more levels of a class that provides uncanny dodge than the target has wanderer levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a wanderer must be to flank the character.
At 9th level and higher, a wanderer no longer loses his Dexterity bonus to AC under any of the following conditions: when he is grappled or grappling, when he is climbing, when he is balancing on a delicate surface, or when he is running. Finally, he no longer takes a Dexterity penalty while entangled.
At 12th level and higher, a wanderer no longer loses his Dexterity bonus to AC when he is stunned.
For every 3rd level past 12th (15th and 18th), the wanderer gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC.
Bonus Feat (Ex): A wanderer gains a bonus feat with the [general] descriptor at 4th level and every 4th level beyond that. He must meet the prerequisites of the feats he chooses.
Tireless Stride (Ex): Wanderers of 5th level and beyond never suffer damage, fatigue, or exhaustion from extended marching, walking, or running. They are considered to automatically succeed on all Fortitude saves related to fatigue from traveling, and can run indefinitely, including at overland scales.
Extraordinary Communication (Ex): Wanderers of 7th level and above can communicate effectively, though simply, with any creature that has a language, provided that language is sound-based and can be mimicked by the wanderer’s mouth and throat . The wanderer and the creature can understand each other as though each had an effective Intelligence of 6 for the purposes of communication.
Unhampered Stride (Ex): Starting at 8th level, a wanderer may move through any sort of nonmagical terrain at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him, and the wanderer cannot use this ability to walk on water, or other surfaces unable to support his weight. This ability does not negate damage from falling, or from being submerged in acid or lava (though simply skipping across the surface of lava, if the wanderer can avoid falling in, doesn’t harm him).
In addition, if the wanderer has the Track feat, he can move at his normal speed while following tracks without taking the normal –5 penalty. He takes only a –5 penalty (instead of the normal –20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking. In addition, such a wanderer gains a +10 bonus to Survival checks made to cover his own tracks, and can travel at normal speed while doing so without penalty.
Wanderer’s Knowledge (Ex): At 9th level, the wanderer learns how to mimic abilities of people more gifted them himself. He may ignore any ability-score prerequisites when selecting feats.
Trailblazer (Ex): At 10th level and onward, a wanderer can activate Master Earth as a spell-like ability twice per day, but with a limit of one creature per two class levels and 50 pounds of equipment per two class levels. At 20th level, the wanderer’s creature and weight limitations are doubled (one creature and 50 pounds per class level), and the wanderer may activate this ability a number of times per day equal to his Constitution modifier or four, whichever is higher.
Constant Guard (Ex): A wanderer of at least 11th level is never surprised, and may always roll initiative and take actions on the first round of any combat.
Wanderer Ability (varies): At 11th level, and again every other level thereafter (13th, 15th, 17th, and 19th), a wanderer gains one ability from the following list. Each ability can be taken multiple times unless otherwise noted, and each bonus provided by these abilities stacks with itself.
Cultural Interactions (Ex): The wanderer gains a greater understanding of social interactions by observing people in a variety of cultural and geographical conditions. He gains a +1 insight bonus to all skills with Charisma as a key attribute, and to Sense Motive checks.
Exotic Fighting (Ex): The wanderer gains a bonus feat with the [combat] descriptor.
Exotic Magic (Sp): The wanderer learns how to use some of the magic of the strange lands he has visited. He can choose, when taking this ability, whether to gain the bonus feat Basics of Magic (with a type of magic he has no spellcasting ability in), or whether to instead the bonus feat Advanced Magic Study (with a type of magic he has spellcasting ability with).
Exotic Skills (Ex): The wanderer can choose any 3 skills to become Wanderer class skills. The Wanderer gains a number of skill ranks in these skill equal to his Intelligence modifier when this ability is chosen (up to his max. ranks when this ability was chosen).
Locale Expertise (Ex): The wanderer selects a particular nation or region. He gains the ability to take 20 on Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Survival, and Urban Lore checks about the area without taking extra time to do so, and even when under pressure.
Perfect Communication (Su): The wanderer can communicate perfectly with any creature that has a language, even if that language is supernaturally foreign (such as an ooze that communicates via a variety of unpleasant scents). This ability can be selected only once. When this ability is selected, the wanderer gains a pool of skill points equal to the number of languages he knew that can be redistributed amongst his skills.
Perfect Direction (Su): The wanderer has a constant, nearly-perfect map of their locale in their minds, and they can always unerringly point in the direction of any location they have ever visited, provided they have previously traveled from that location to their current location overland or via their Trailblazer ability. Similarly, they always remember and can retrace any path they took, no matter how complex the intervening terrain. This ability also makes wanderers immune to the spell Maze. This ability can be selected only once.
Road Scholar (Ex): The wanderer gains 1 additional skill point per class level. This change is retroactive, and this ability cannot be selected more than twice.
Improved Evasion (Ex): This ability works like evasion, except that while the wanderer still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks he now takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless wanderer does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Social Adroitness (Ex): The wanderer may reroll any failed Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Gather Information, or Intimidate check, and if the second attempt succeeds, the first attempt is ignored.
Defensive Roll (Ex): A wanderer of 14th level or higher can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than he otherwise would. Once per round, when he would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), the wanderer can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, the wanderer must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt). If the save succeeds, the wanderer is left at 1 hp regardless of damage dealt; if it fails, he takes full damage. He must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute his defensive roll—if he is denied her Dexterity bonus to AC, he can’t use this ability. Since this effect would not normally allow a character to make a Reflex save for half damage, the wanderer’s evasion ability does not apply to the defensive roll.
Wanderer’s Luck (Su): Once per day, plus once per day per 20 levels, a wanderer of 18th level or higher can automatically succeed at a saving throw without rolling, as though he had rolled a natural 20. This ability must be used before the saving throw is rolled.



Thoughts?

Thanks!

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rapanui
Knight


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 319

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:32 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #13: The Wanderer Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Uhhhh... low Reflex Save and evasion/defensive roll?

Probably a typo, you wanted Ref high and Will low right?

OK, other than that I like the class. It's like a combination Bard, Ranger, and Rogue... perfect for a traveling gypsie. Hell, I like it better than any of the aforementioned classes, and it can master more skills than a Rogue thanks to "In addition, the wanderer selects 12+Int additional skills to be in-class skills. "
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FrankTrollman
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27147

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #13: The Wanderer Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Rules questions on the first ten levels:

When exactly does the 12+ Int extra class skills get chosen? First level? every level? If your intelligence goes up or down, what happens to your class skill list? That's not obvious, and has some profound implications.

Seemingly, the Tradesman ability functions after you multiclass into something else, right?

You don't actually use the automatic success of a save on a 20 do you? That smacks of using 3.5 save rules, and that's generally bad.

You don't actually lose your dex bonus while entangled, you lose 4 points of dexterity. You should clarify whether the improved uncanny dodge actually does anything against entangling. Also you clarify whether and how it stacks since the basic rules only have 2 levels of UCD.

Bonus Feats don't require that you meet the prereqs, so getting "a bonus general feat" is hillarious.

Does tireless stride also negate the prohibition on continuing to run after you fail the roll? It seems to do everything except that, you aren't tired, but that's still the limit on how many rounds you could continuously run (making you break off for what, a single round?). You should probably mention that you don't have to make constitution checks to maintain exertion over a long period of time, rather than simply making you immune to nearly every single potential side effect of failing such a check.

Unhampered Stride allows you to walk on water and lava without damage, right?

The JoaT feat doesn't actually do anything except make us cry. Seriously, giving that out at 9th level - or any level - is bullshit. It can't actually allow you to make UMD checks in any meaningful fashion, but it will allow you to use "Knowledge: High Lord Sephiroth's Safe Combinations" untrained, which is straight-up cheesetastic. All the normal trained-only skills also need huge piles of ranks to actually accomplish anything - except for all the extra knowledge skills that theoretically exist and basically ass fist all puzzles and mysteries.

The Trailblazer ability is completely useless. It comes one level later than teleport. Please, work with me here.

-Frank
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FrankTrollman
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #13: The Wanderer Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Evaluations of Wanderer Abilities:

Cultural Interactions: This gives a bonus to Use Magic Device, and is um... therefore almost indistinguishable from just getting a +2 bonus to Charisma, except that if you are multiclassed, it doesn't do anything really good. Decent I suppose, but not terribly exciting.

Exotic Fighting: There should be a "combat feat" designator that is all the crap that makes you better at clubbing people and happens to also be the list of available feats for a Fighter - but there currently isn't one. So I'm not really sure what this is supposed to do. Still, as a bonus feat you can select any feat you want whether you meet prereqs or not - so I think it lets you take "Combat Tail Use" and such. I guess that would cause you to get a hand coming out of your butt that could hold weapons, or something.

Exotic Magic: I don't have a fvcking clue what this does, since it lets you gain feats that are apparently integral to a home brew magic system you are using.

Exotic Skills: This doesn't do a god damned thing, because you already get to select 3-4 class skills of your choice beyond the skill points that you actually get for going up a level. So it's a waste of time, and there's no reason for it to even be on the list.

Locale Expertise: This is extremely campaign specific, since the area is apparently not defined explicitly. I'd take "Eurasia" or perhaps "The Prime Material Plane" - but that's just me. Regardless, while the "only in one area" clause of the ability is pretty dumb, so is the power. This doesn't even apply until level 11+, and the relevent skills it adds to don't normally even have high DCs available. By the time you could get this, you don't care.

Perfect Communication: You already have the ability to communicate in Tourista to anything, so the ability to have always-on Tongues is even less of a big deal for you than it is for anyone else. So this ability - while very "cool" is not very "good". At the very least it should come with you being able to trade in all of your known languages for skill points instantaneously or something.

Perfect Direction: Remember when there was an Intuit Direction skill? That was dumb. So is this ability. It makes you keep track of when the last time you were exposed to Dimension Door was, and such like. So while it's supposed to allow hand-waiving and save time in working your way through puzzles - actually it does the complete opposite.

Road Scholar: Non-retroactive skill accumulation increases are the devil. They simply and obviously fail any possible pretense of game balance, because a character who takes ability A and then ability B is clearly superior to one who does the same in the opposite order. Plus, getting a non-retroactive bonus when you are already at high level and almost universally at the end of the campaign is just kind of pointless.

Skill Boost: Why?

-Frank
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Essence
Knight-Baron


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 536
Location: Olympia, WA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:54 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #13: The Wanderer Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Rapanui wrote:
Probably a typo, you wanted Ref high and Will low right?


Yep. My bad.

Frank wrote:
When exactly does the 12+ Int extra class skills get chosen?


Once, at first level, and once chosen, they remain static regardless of other changes to your character. You can't multiclass into a different Wanderer class and choose different skills, either. Tongue


Frank wrote:
Seemingly, the Tradesman ability functions after you multiclass into something else, right?


That is correct.


Frank wrote:
You don't actually use the automatic success of a save on a 20 do you? That smacks of using 3.5 save rules, and that's generally bad.


I do use automatic successes on saves and attacks. I do not use automatic failures on either.


Frank wrote:
You don't actually lose your dex bonus while entangled, you lose 4 points of dexterity. You should clarify whether the improved uncanny dodge actually does anything against entangling.


Oops, you're right. I've rewritten it to say "You no longer suffer dexterity penalties while entangled."


Frank wrote:
Also you clarify whether and how it stacks since the basic rules only have 2 levels of UCD.


Yeah, I liked your idea better, so all classes with Uncanny Dodge have an indefinite progression that follows the Wanderer's. First Dex to AC, then Can't be Flanked, then Dex while Hampered, then Dex while Stunned, then +1 dodge bonus to AC per stage.


Frank wrote:
Bonus Feats don't require that you meet the prereqs, so getting "a bonus general feat" is hillarious.


I don't believe that in the first place, but just for the sake of completion, I added the requisite disclaimer.


Frank wrote:
Does tireless stride also negate the prohibition on continuing to run after you fail the roll? It seems to do everything except that, you aren't tired, but that's still the limit on how many rounds you could continuously run (making you break off for what, a single round?). You should probably mention that you don't have to make constitution checks to maintain exertion over a long period of time, rather than simply making you immune to nearly every single potential side effect of failing such a check.

Unhampered Stride allows you to walk on water and lava without damage, right?


Actually, I looked for a "roll" that had to be made before someone had to stop running, and I didn't find one. All I found was "The average person with a Con above 9 can run for about a minute before resting". So, I added a line that said "you can run indefinately, even on overland scales".

Also, I added a line that (highly paraphrased) says "you can't walk on surfaces that won't hold your weight, and you still take damage from falling or immersion in lava (though just stepping in a puddle of lava won't injure you)"



Frank wrote:
The JoaT feat doesn't actually do anything except make us cry.


Oops. I meant "Veteran", not "JoaT". I replaced this with an ability that says "You get to ignore ability-score prerequisites when selecting feats". Like the Veteran feat, only better.


Frank wrote:
The Trailblazer ability is completely useless. It comes one level later than teleport. Please, work with me here.


Good point. I altered it to allow the Wanderer to cast Master Earth (MoF) twice per day at 10th level, and Con mod per day at 20th.


Frank wrote:
Exotic Fighting: There should be a "combat feat" designator that is all the crap that makes you better at clubbing people and happens to also be the list of available feats for a Fighter - but there currently isn't one.


Every feat that a Fighter could take as a bonus feat has the [Combat] designator IMC.


Frank wrote:
Exotic Magic: I don't have a fvcking clue what this does, since it lets you gain feats that are apparently integral to a home brew magic system you are using.


True. The Basics of Magic feat lets you cast a few cantrips. The Advanced Magic feat lets you cast one spell of a level one level higher than your current level, but not higher than half your class level.


Frank wrote:
Locale Expertise: This is extremely campaign specific, since the area is apparently not defined explicitly. I'd take "Eurasia" or perhaps "The Prime Material Plane" - but that's just me. Regardless, while the "only in one area" clause of the ability is pretty dumb, so is the power. This doesn't even apply until level 11+, and the relevent skills it adds to don't normally even have high DCs available. By the time you could get this, you don't care.


Good point. I'll replace this with something more useful.


Frank wrote:
Perfect Communication: You already have the ability to communicate in Tourista to anything, so the ability to have always-on Tongues is even less of a big deal for you than it is for anyone else. So this ability - while very "cool" is not very "good". At the very least it should come with you being able to trade in all of your known languages for skill points instantaneously or something.


That seems fair.


Frank wrote:
Road Scholar: Non-retroactive skill accumulation increases are the devil. They simply and obviously fail any possible pretense of game balance, because a character who takes ability A and then ability B is clearly superior to one who does the same in the opposite order. Plus, getting a non-retroactive bonus when you are already at high level and almost universally at the end of the campaign is just kind of pointless.


Oops. I thought I had edited that ability to be retroactive already. My bad.


Frank wrote:
Skill Boost: Why?


Oops. That existed before I added the "gain a General Feat" ability. I'll replace that with something more useful, as well.



My thanks, rapa and Frank. 
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