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arcane trickster 3.murtak

 
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Murtak
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 10:41 pm    Post subject: arcane trickster 3.murtak Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sometimes when I have some spare time I like to redo classes or prestige classes which I like but deem underpowered or badly done. Some of these will eventually find their way into our games, so I am interested in feedback, especially concerning the power level of the classes. We do have a fair amount of houserules, which somewhat impacts a comparison. Here is a quick rundown:
- no polymorphing (currently working on a balanced version. basically anything stat replacement is suspect)
- no divine favor/divine power/tenser's (anything fiddling with BAB is out)
- no scrying (working on it at the moment)
- teleport takes 3 turns to cast and is visible and audible at both ends
- persistent spell has extend spell as a prerequisite and multiplies a beneficial spell's duration by 10 (can only apply it once)
- no "instant rest" spells (Mordenkainen's mansion, etc.)

I think that are the major ones . . . otherwise we use a mix of 3.0 and 3.5 material. Our games tend to go for quite a while before resting, so spell slots are a real issue for every caster. So far my baselines for testing have been: fighter 2/paladin3/templar 10/divine champion 5, rogue 20, core druid 20 (with natural spell), wizard 10/incantatrix 10 and cleric 10/sacred exorcist 10.

----------------------------------------------------

Ok, now with that out of the way, here is the first of my classes - the redone arcane trickster. This version assumes that the class is a thief, sneak and possibly assassin that uses magic where skills fail and vice versa. Hence some of the class features (and quite a few of the requirements) have changed.



Arcane Trickster

[code]
Hit Die: d4
Prerequisites: Skills: Disable Device 4 ranks
Knowledge: Arcana 4 ranks
Open Lock 4 ranks
Sleight of Hand 4 ranks
Spellcraft 4 ranks
Special: Able to cast second level arcane spells
Sneak Attack +1d6
[/code]


Skills: Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int),
Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana, local) (Int), Listen (Wis),
Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex),
Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill points per level: 4 + Int modifier
[code]
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special Spells
1) +0 +0 +2 +2 Convert Spell I
2) +1 +0 +3 +3 Sneak Attack +1d6
3) +2 +1 +3 +3 Ranged Legerdemain
4) +3 +1 +4 +4 Sneak Attack +2d6
5) +3 +1 +4 +4 Energy Attack
6) +4 +2 +5 +5 Sneak Attack +3d6
7) +5 +2 +5 +5 Convert Spell II
8) +6 +2 +6 +6 Rune Expertise, Sneak Attack +4d6
9) +6 +3 +6 +6 Force Attack
10) +7 +3 +7 +7 Sneak Attack +5d6
11) +8 +3 +7 +7 Improved Legerdemain
12) +9 +4 +8 +8 Sneak Attack +6d6
13) +9 +4 +8 +8 Convert Spell III, Steal Spell
14) +10 +4 +9 +9 Sneak Attack +7d6
15) +11 +5 +9 +9 Fool Divination
[/code]
Caster levels were messing up the table so I took them out. The class gives a caster level at all levels except for 3, 8 and 13.

Convert Spell: You may spontaneously convert a prepared spell (if you prepare spells) or use up an open
spell slot (if you cast spells spontaneously) into certain spells. You must loose a spell (or spell slot) of an
equal or higher level then the spell you are attempting to cast spontaneously.

At first level you may cast Mage Hand, Detect Secret Doors and Tenser's Floating Disc in this way. Beginning
at 7th level you may also cast Invisibility and Knock. At 13th level you may also cast Clairaudience/Clairvoyance
and Nondetection.

Ranged Legerdemain (Sp): You may expend a 1st level spell to perform a Disable Device, Open Lock or
Sleight of Hand skill check at a range of 50 feet. You take a -5 circumstance penalty on this check.

Energy Attack (Sp): As a move action:you may a project a ray of energy. This is a ranged touch attack that
deals 1 damage of the energy type of your choice (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic).

Force Attack (Sp): As a move action:you may a project a ray of force. This is a ranged touch attack that deals
5d6 force damage.

Rune Expertise (Ex): You get a +5 bonus on all checks to search for or to disable spell traps such as runes
or glyphs.

Improved Legerdemain (Sp): As Ranged Legerdemain except you expend a 2nd level, the range is 100 feet
and you take no penalty to your skill check.

Steal Spell (Sp): As a standard action make a melee touch attack. If you hit make a spellcraft check ( DC 25
+ spell level) for each spell effect active on your target to identify the effect. You may then make a sleight of hand
check (DC 5 + target's caster level) to steal one of these effects you identified. Treat the spell as if the target had
originally cast it on you.

Fool Divination (Su): When affected by a divination effect that reveals physical information (such as your
location or appearance) or mental information (such as your alignment) about you, you may make a bluff
check (for mental information) or hide check (for physical information) to fool the spell (DC 25 + 3 times the
spell's level). If you succeed you may choose to either have the spell reveal no information or to have it have
the opposite result. This ability lasts for one turn.

----------------------------------------------------

Thoughts? How does this stack up to my baselines? Are any of the abilities abuseable? Are the mechanics cumbersome? Would you enjoy playing a class like that? Is something missing that you think absolutely needs to be there? And finally, is there any weird or confusing wording in there? English is not my mother tongue and I sometimes have trouble finding the right words, especially when I try my hand at legalese.

P.S.: I assume it is fine to do these conversions on a public forum for anything that is in the SRD or that I make up myself., but something like the ravager is a big no-no - correct?

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erik
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Posts: 4966

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:49 pm    Post subject: Re: arcane trickster 3.murtak Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's gonna be an uphill battle since you gotta sacrafice a caster level at the get go. That stinks.

Mechanical concerns:

Well, using move actions for attack actions is kinda weird, and potentially problematic. At first I thought those abilities were total wastes, especially energy attack, though by level 13 (3 wiz, 1 rog, 9 arc trick) you get to do 10d6 (half force, half sneak) on a move, which is nothing to sneeze at I guess. If there is anything core in 3.5 that doubles move actions, that will make it more extreme.


The DC for stealing a spell is so low it isn't ever a problem. You'll be level 17 by the time you get it, and a level 20 spellcaster is only DC 25. So on skill ranks alone you can get +20. You have to touch the target sure, but that is easy too, even with the horrible BAB you'd have. So I'm just left to wonder if there is a combat application at all for stealing a spell (it'd probably be better just to kill the mook)... and this ability would mostly be used to cheese up during non-combat buffing phases.

Gotta run, so that's the first glances that I have for now.
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Murtak
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Posts: 1579

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:22 am    Post subject: Re: arcane trickster 3.murtak Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

clikml wrote:
It's gonna be an uphill battle since you gotta sacrafice a caster level at the get go. That stinks.

Well, loosing caster levels is pretty much a given if I want to keep the class remotely close to the original arcane trickster. My solution was to spread out the loss over the entire career of the character instead of having it all in the prerequisite stage.

clikml wrote:
Well, using move actions for attack actions is kinda weird, and potentially problematic.

That is true - I might make them once per turn I guess, or possibly swift actions, though that seems a little strong to me. I do not know of many ways to get extra move actions though - hustle, the marshal ability and that is about all I can think of right now.

clikml wrote:
At first I thought those abilities were total wastes, especially energy attack, though by level 13 (3 wiz, 1 rog, 9 arc trick) you get to do 10d6 (half force, half sneak) on a move, which is nothing to sneeze at I guess.

I don't consider a 3d6+1 touch attack at level 9 (in addition to your spellcasting) all that bad to be honest.

clikml wrote:
The DC for stealing a spell is so low it isn't ever a problem. You'll be level 17 by the time you get it, and a level 20 spellcaster is only DC 25. So on skill ranks alone you can get +20. You have to touch the target sure, but that is easy too, even with the horrible BAB you'd have.

Yep, you are right. The DCs will need some work.

clikml wrote:
So I'm just left to wonder if there is a combat application at all for stealing a spell (it'd probably be better just to kill the mook)... and this ability would mostly be used to cheese up during non-combat buffing phases.

There are some things you might want to steal, some with hilarious results - fly comes to mind (you only get the featherfall effect if it is dispelled). Improved Invisibility could be fun too, or Ghostform. Water Breathing, Prismatic Sphere, anything made permanent.

Hmm, the way I worded this ability means it does not play nice with personal buffs. I guess I will need to add clarification in that regard.

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MrWaeseL
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:16 pm    Post subject: Re: arcane trickster 3.murtak Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Murtak wrote:
fighter 2/paladin3/templar 10/divine champion 5, rogue 20, core druid 20 (with natural spell), wizard 10/incantatrix 10 and cleric 10/sacred exorcist 10.


Spot the odd one out Up To Something

Glancing at the class, it seems underpowered. I'll post moer constructive criticism later.
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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: arcane trickster 3.murtak Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Murtak wrote:

I think that are the major ones . . . otherwise we use a mix of 3.0 and 3.5 material. Our games tend to go for quite a while before resting, so spell slots are a real issue for every caster. So far my baselines for testing have been: fighter 2/paladin3/templar 10/divine champion 5, rogue 20, core druid 20 (with natural spell), wizard 10/incantatrix 10 and cleric 10/sacred exorcist 10.


Well, I really can't balance it against a druid at all since you took out polymorphing, which makes natural spell a moot point.

It's more powerful than a rogue 20.

As for the fighter type, I'm not entirely certain but I'd probably say this would function better, so long as you're battling something vulnerable to crits.

The casters are mixed actually, and depends on the casting progression for your class (whcih I couldn't find), but basically at level 20 or any level where all classes get 9th level spells, your AT is going to take down an equal level wiz. When the max spell level is different, I'm not quite sure. Your class clearly does more damage because of the energy ray move action, but it's also losing out on options. Options are probably more valuable, though I don't even know how you fix that power problem.
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Murtak
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 8:41 pm    Post subject: Re: arcane trickster 3.murtak Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RandomCasualty wrote:
Well, I really can't balance it against a druid at all since you took out polymorphing, which makes natural spell a moot point.

I should have clarified that. By "core druid + natural spell" I mean that druids can still use wild shape for the monster manual 3.0 animals, but things like dragon wildshape are out.

RandomCasualty wrote:
The casters are mixed actually, and depends on the casting progression for your class (whcih I couldn't find)

Murtak wrote:
Caster levels were messing up the table so I took them out. The class gives a caster level at all levels except for 3, 8 and 13.


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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 5:33 pm    Post subject: Re: arcane trickster 3.murtak Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Murtak wrote:

I should have clarified that. By "core druid + natural spell" I mean that druids can still use wild shape for the monster manual 3.0 animals, but things like dragon wildshape are out.

Ok, hmm... well wtihout nature's avatar and all those uber complete divine spells, I'd assume druids wouldn't be too powerful compared to your class, at least not at 20th level, since you're removing shapechange, which is the pinnalce of druid power at high levels. You could still run into some trouble with an octopus druid or something, but I don't forsee too much.

You've still got cheese like mass fireseed stacking, or awaken cheese, though I don't really see too much of a problem. At 10th level though, the druid still pretty much rules the day. Not sure what you can do for that though.

Murtak wrote:
Caster levels were messing up the table so I took them out. The class gives a caster level at all levels except for 3, 8 and 13.


Hmm... so overall you'll be missing 4 caster levels, one from taking rogue to qualify and the other three from the class itself. I'm not sure how this would work out since caster balance is fairly "out there" depending on the myriad of tactics you can use.

Gate summoning is obviously going to be a major deciding factor if you're allowing it. Time stop also is going to be a huge factor, at least if you're juist talking core. Though besides those I don't think having only 8th level spells will hurt that much. It'll be bad, but not that bad.
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Murtak
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:04 am    Post subject: Re: arcane trickster 3.murtak Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


Yep, the druid power curve certainly hs it's moments. Eventually (read: after I work out something I like for polymorph) I am going to revisit wildshaping.

Gate is pretty much a non-issue for us. We switch playing and DMing and we pretty much agreed that some things will simply not happen. So until someone thinks gate is somewhat lame at level 9 and actually wants to use some summon/binding spell it will not have it's text changed and noone will use it. If I ever think of a good solution I will probably fix it on the spot, but so far noone is even touching summon monster so it is not exactly high on my list.

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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: arcane trickster 3.murtak Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Murtak wrote:

clikml wrote:
Well, using move actions for attack actions is kinda weird, and potentially problematic.

That is true - I might make them once per turn I guess, or possibly swift actions, though that seems a little strong to me. I do not know of many ways to get extra move actions though - hustle, the marshal ability and that is about all I can think of right now.


Remarkably, making it a swift action is less powerful than making a move action. Mainly because you can't stack it with anything.

As a move action, you end up with: ray + quickened spell + normal spell.

With a swift action, you lose that quickened spell, which hurts. Balance wise the energy attack is equivalent to a basic cantrip (it's ray of frost give or take). Which is good but not great. The force attack is similar in many regards to magic missile, only it has a touch attack roll, which is actually better for an arcane trickster. So overall, the two abilities are similar to 4th and 5th level slots.

Having attacks as move actions can be dangerous mechanically, but personally I think I'd rather just eliminate all the abilities that grant extra actions, since that's a broken mechanic to begin with, and raises all sorts of weird crap.
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