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View Full Version : The Spellshaper [3.5] (base class)



MageSparrowhawk
2008-12-30, 03:29 AM
The basic idea of this class has been kicking around in my head for quite a while now, and I've actually been putting some work into it recently, but I've hit some roadblocks. for starters, I'll show you what I have so far.

The Spellshaper has a very interesting kind of spellcasting. Whereas the Wizard casts spells through careful study, the Sorcerer calls on an arcane power within, the Cleric calls on divine assistance, and the Druid reaches to nature, the Spellshaper uses the magic inherent in the universe. Using his or her body as a conduit, and sheer will as a focus, the Spellshaper can cause almost anything to happen. There is an inherent flaw with this however. Using one's body in this manner displaces the natural positive energy for a split second, and living beings don't tend to function very well in that state. Early in a day, a Spellshaper can bounce right back from abuse such as this. However as the day progresses and more spells are cast, it brings about more and more strain on the body, eventually rendering the Spellshaper either unconscious or possibly even dead. This harmful effect has forced Spellshapers to learn other ways of non-spellcasting combat, and has even brought about a variation of their normal spellcasting to aid in such endeavors. The Spellshaper injects a weapon with the same raw magical energy to give it temporary bonuses. However, items tend not to handle this strain any better than the Spellshapers themselves, and tend to break after a while.

Abilities: All the physical abilities are important, as is Charisma
Alignment: Often chaotic, though Spellshapers run the gamut
Hit Die: d8

Class Skills:
Bluff, Craft, Decipher script, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana, nature, religion, Planes), Profession, Sense Motive, Speak Language, Spellcraft, Use magic device
4+int modifier/ level, x4 at first

Spellshaper
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+0|
+2|
+0|
+2|Starting Elements( Cha modifier), Spellshaping

2nd|
+1|
+3|
+0|
+3|Prestigitation at will

3rd|
+2|
+3|
+1|
+3|detect magic always-active

4th|
+3|
+4|
+1|
+4|Enhance weapon (+1)

5th|
+3|
+4|
+1|
+4|Enhance weapon (+1d4)

6th|
+4|
+5|
+2|
+5|1 element

7th|
+5|
+5|
+2|
+5|

8th|
+6/+1|
+6|
+2|
+6|Enhance weapon (+2)

9th|
+6/+1|
+6|
+3|
+6|

10th|
+7/+2|
+7|
+3|
+7|Occult Evolution, Enhance weapon (+2d4)

11th|
+8/+3|
+7|
+3|
+7|

12th|
+9/+4|
+8|
+4|
+8|1 element, Enhance weapon (+3)

13th|
+9/+4|
+8|
+4|
+8|

14th|
+10/+5|
+9|
+4|
+9|

15th|
+11/+6/+1|
+9|
+5|
+9|Enhance weapon (+3d6)

16th|
+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+5|
+10|Enhance weapon (+4)

17th|
+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+5|
+10|

18th|
+13/+8/+3|
+11|
+6|
+11|1 element

19th|
+14/+9/+4|
+11|
+6|
+11|

20th|
+15/+10/+5|
+12|
+6|
+12|Sorcerous Culmination, Enhance weapon (+5, +4d4)[/table]

Class Features:

proficient with (and can cast in) light armor
proficient with all simple weapons, and two martial weapons of your choice

Spellshaping: To cast a spell, you must make a Spellshaping check. A Spellshaping check is similar to a skill check, 1d20+level+Cha modifier. All spells have a base DC of 15.

Every time you cast a spell, make a fortitude save with a DC equal to the Spellshaping DC of the spell or become sickened until the end of your next turn. If you fail the save by 10 or more, you are instead nauseated until the end of your next turn.

Each time you cast a spell, there is a 10%+varies%/point you fail your check chance to move below the initial condition.
{table]Initial condition: 4% chance to move|1 damage/pt failed on check

First failure: 3% chance to move|1d2 subdual/pt failed on check

Second: 2% chance to move|1d4 subdual/pt failed on check

Third: 1% chance to move|1d6 subdual/pt failed on check

Forth: 1% chance to move|1d6 subdual+2 real/pt failed on check

Fifth: 1% chance to move|1 point con/pt failed on check

Final:|1 hour unconsciousness/pt failed[/table]

Enhance Weapon: As a standard action, a Spellshaper can force raw magical energy into a weapon she is holding, giving it the stated enhancement bonus and extra damage per hit. This lasts a number of rounds equal to half your level+Cha modifier

15% chance of an enhanced weapon breaking each time you enhance it. Each time past the first adds an additional 5%

The additional damage from enhancing your weapon is untyped damage.

You may not enhance a weapon that is already magical.
__________________________________________________ _______________
Now for my problems. I'm not really sure how the 'spells' should be written up. The basic idea is something along the lines of:

Offensive fire spell:
Element: Fire 1d6 fire damage: 1pt increase in DC. Chose an attack type: ray +0 DC, Line: +1 DC/10 ft, Cone: +3 DC/20 ft, Burst: +1 DC/5 ft radius

There would be several similar spells for the other energy types, and a couple others like light (1d4 'light' damage/+1 DC) in a similar vein.

So far, these are the elements I've come up with (feel free to suggest your own)
Acid, Arcana, Death, Fauna, Fire, Flora, Force, Ice, Knowledge, Life, Light, Lightning, Metal, Shadow, Sonic, Stone, Water, Wind

I'd like to see the ability to make almost any affect possible within the logical bounds of each element, but I'm not sure how well I (or anyone (or any one)) can do that.

As for the 10th and 20th level abilities, They should be something in regard to the Spellshaper's body actually starting to use that raw magical energy instead of positive energy. This would provide some reasonable bonuses, but at the same time, it would (for example) gain only half healing and then no healing from standard sources (besides other Spellshapers). The stuff I was thinking about would be bonuses against death effects, inflict spells, and the like, and then eventually becoming an ageless, native outsider.

Please help! I'd really like to see this class come into existence, and I know you people can help me. And any questions you have, I'd be happy to answer. I also have a short story involving one started, so if that kind of cinematic description would help anyone, I'd be glad to add it in later.

xanaphia
2008-12-30, 06:10 PM
The main problem with this is that it seems to completely be different from normal spellcasters, so it could be good instead of them, but you'll never come up with a large number of good spells without seeming derivative.

Lappy9000
2008-12-30, 06:50 PM
Could you possibly work on your formatting? I can't make heads or tails of this....

MageSparrowhawk
2008-12-30, 08:11 PM
The concept for the spells is that they, individually, could be used at any level. But each one can also be built on the fly, and there isn't technically a limit of spells per day. It's just that as the day progresses, you will take more and more damage from the spells you cast. It's kind of themed after epic spellcasting...sorta...


what is confusing specifically? I can't really help you if you say 'I don't get it'...
Let's see what I can do anyway...above the line, things are set to about an alpha level. below the line, I'm really just not sure. The actual class table is the only exception.

Innis Cabal
2008-12-30, 08:16 PM
There is already a system for this, printed by Mongoose. Take a look at their Chaos Mage supplment for 3.5, its exactly what your proposing in a better format.

MageSparrowhawk
2008-12-30, 08:23 PM
hmm...I will go inspect what you suggest...

MageSparrowhawk
2008-12-30, 11:59 PM
From what I found, it is reasonably similar to what I'm attempting to do. However, I was not able to actually get a look at any specifics (especially on short notice...)
If you can give any examples of specifics, that would be very helpful. None the less, I'd still like to see this class get to a 'beta' form.

Shades of Gray
2008-12-31, 01:08 AM
It is too easy to boost skill checks, and the DC doesn't scale. At level one, a spellshaper with 16 CHA will, and skill focus (spellshaping), on average, manages to cast spells 65% of the time. At higher levels the skill check is not needed at all.

A) Maybe increase the DCs for higher level spells.

B) Change the check to: Spellshaping=2xCha+d20. The level thing doesn't work well.

Lappy9000
2008-12-31, 01:45 AM
The concept for the spells is that they, individually, could be used at any level. But each one can also be built on the fly, and there isn't technically a limit of spells per day. It's just that as the day progresses, you will take more and more damage from the spells you cast. It's kind of themed after epic spellcasting...sorta...


what is confusing specifically? I can't really help you if you say 'I don't get it'...
Let's see what I can do anyway...above the line, things are set to about an alpha level. below the line, I'm really just not sure. The actual class table is the only exception.

Well, for one thing, you could use the format that is standard for all classes from the Player's Handbook.

Bolding the class features would be a nice start.

I don't know what "1 element" means from the table, "Occult Evolution" and "Sorcerous Culmination" aren't even described, I don't know where they get their spell lists from, and the rest of your formatting is inconsistent with itself and difficult to read overall.

I know the class is far from finished, but it is seriously painful to read as it stands.

Melayl
2008-12-31, 02:19 AM
I like this concept (I've been thinking of doing something along this vein myself), but it does appear that things could be explained better.

For instance, with the "failed check" table, is that a cumulative percentage per spell cast? Per spell failed?

Personally, I think I would make the penalties based paritally on number of spells failed, with cumulative per fail penalty progression, AND extra penalties based upon how badly you fail your check.

Using your Fire spell, for example:

1d6 damage base, increasing by 1d6 (with a +2 or 3 to the DC per extra die), plus your shape DC modifiers: ray +0 DC, Line: +1 DC/10 ft, Cone: +3 DC/20 ft, Burst: +1 DC/5 ft radius

so you could cast a 4d6 Fire spell as a ray, with a DC of 21 (base 15 +2 per extra die).

If you passed your check, no problem. If you failed, however, you'd suffer penalty based upon the tier you were in and how badly you failed.

Using your current tier system (as I understand it), if it was your first failure, you'd take 1 point of nonlethal damage, in addition to the sickened condition. I'd make this 1 point of damage per 2 points of failure (if your check for the above spell was an 18, you'd suffer 2 points of damage). You'd then roll your chance to see if you move down your penalty tier (I'd make each percentage cumulative, probably with a set percentage of 4 per failure, regardless of tier -- probably with an extra percentage of 1 per 2 points you fail your check -- and you'd start with the base 10% in each new tier).

The final tier in your list should be worse than unconsiousness. I'd go with an ability Burn or similar BAD effect (unconsiousness can easily be reversed by another spellcaster).

I hope that's understandable.

Like I said, I like where you're going with this, and when I get more time to work on it I'll post more suggestions. Keep working on it.

MageSparrowhawk
2008-12-31, 02:22 AM
@Shades of Gray: The ability is like a skill check, but isn't. so at first level and a Cha of 16, one would have a +4 to cast a spell. (it was originally a skill check, but I realized the problems associated with doing so)

Also, I'm not sure what you mean by 'higher level spells', as the spells available to the Spellshaper aren't categorized by level, just by subtype. If you mean that they should scale faster, then I think I understand. I'll see what I can do.

@Lappy9000: I tried to follow the standard layout as much as I could...but with the class as partially formed as it is makes it very difficult.

Bolded the class features that have been figured out.

A spellshaper picks a number of available elements (see the fourth paragraph below the line) which are much like spell subtypes. Any Spellshaper spell (not standard Wizard/Sorcerer spells) with that subtype, the Spellshaper can cast.

I'm not sure what "Occult Evolution" and "Sorcerous Culmination" will do yet...I have some thoughts on them, but not much in the way of distinct mechanics yet.

@Melayl: that's per point failed on the check. eg. DC 21, you roll and 18, and it's your first spell of the day. that means you take 3 points of subdual, and have a 22% chance of moving one step lower on the condition track. I can see adding an additional 1 or 2% chance per spell failed in each condition level...

as for your example...hmmm

the DC would be 19, 15 base, +4 for +4d6 (it doesn't start with any damage, however, your way might be better)

If you fail, you take 1 pt of subdual damage per point you fail by, not just if you fail or not.

if you pass your check, you still have to make the fort save and check for moving down on the table.

all of those percentages are (for example) +4% per point failed on the check

i forgot about the whole 'waking up' thing...hmmm...*eh* I'll just make it something like a coma that magic can't wake you up from normally...

does all of that sound reasonable?

I'll see if I can throw up some more spells. That might help explain how it works...

MageSparrowhawk
2008-12-31, 03:47 PM
ok, lets see here...

Some simple offensive spells (element is in italics)
Acid +1 DC/1d6 acid damage
Ice +1 DC/1d6 cold damage
Lightning +1 DC/1d6 electricity damage
Sonic +1 DC/1d6 sonic damage
Arcana +3 DC/1d8 untyped damage
Force +2 DC/1d6 force damage
Light +1 DC/1d4 'light' damage

and a couple other spells I've worked out
"fly": Wind +1/10ft fly speed, +1/fly speed rank (starts at clumsy)
"Bull rush" * +1/+2 to effective strength score (starts at 10), +3/additional target within 15 ft of the first (+1 for each 5 ft beyond that), uses your BAB as base
*I can see this in several different elements, which leads me to believe that some/many spells might be 'multi-element'. for this one, I'd hazard force, wind, and stone.

all of the attack spells above will probably have the same optional AoEs, though each one might have it's own special options. Same goes for any other similar spells.

one thing I'd like to make clear, I don't see Spellshapers making anything very permanent happen. Maybe 1 round/level at the longest...or up to a minute or two. They should have little in the way of illusions (why make something look like something else when you can just make that thing happen), or mind effecting spells (too difficult to manipulate the magic the finely). Not really sure what else, but I'm up for recommendations. (as always)

MageSparrowhawk
2009-01-02, 08:21 PM
:frown:

*bump*