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Abelard
2004-07-19, 01:16 PM
PUPIL OF ABELARD

In the Real World, Peter Abelard was an enlightened scholar of the twelfth century AD. *He was considered one of the finest teachers of rhetoric and dialectic of the time, and attracted the top students from all over Europe to his schools in France. *He was also a member of the priesthood (and kicked out and reinstated several times!), and is mostly famous for his letters to his girlfriend, Heloise. *However, his abrasive style made him many enemies, and led to his downfall on more than one occasion.

In a fantasy setting, the Pupil of Abelard (PoA) prestige class is representative of any pious scholar who tends to take a rational, reasoning view toward faith (as opposed to the mystical, visionary view). *It stresses logic and values the capabilities of intellect to know and understand the parameters of an issue, and thereby the issue itself. *It is clearly designed for a cleric with an above-average intelligence.

PRE-REQUISITES

Must be able to cast 4th level divine spells.
Skills: any three Knowledge skills with at least 5 ranks
Special: the PC must sit for an entrance exam with a current PoA. The character must make a DC 22 Int check to pass, and he can take 20 on this check. Any additional methods used to pass this check (such as magical assistance, action points, etc.) will have consequences as determined by your DM, if any.

ABILITIES

Hit die: d4
Skill points: 2 + Int modifier
Class skills: Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills, taken separately) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int)


{table]


Level

BAB

Fort

Ref

Will
Special
Spells per Day



1

+0

+0

+0

+2
Writer, Broad Knowledge 1 *
+1 caster level



2

+1

+0

+0

+3
Blessing of St. Gildas
+1 caster level



3

+1

+1

+1

+3
Sic et Non 1/day, Broad Knowledge 2 *
+1 caster level



4

+2

+1

+1

+4
Discourse of Discomfort
+1 caster level



5

+2

+1

+1

+4
Broad Knowledge 3 *
+1 caster level



6

+3

+2

+2

+5
Sic et Non 2/day
+1 caster level



7

+3

+2

+2

+5
Great Teacher
+1 caster level



8

+4

+2

+2

+6
Reason Aids Faith 1
+1 caster level



9

+4

+3

+3

+6
Sic et Non 3/day, Broad Knowledge 4 *
+1 caster level



10

+5

+3

+3

+7
Reason Aids Faith 2


[/table]

The PoA gains +1 caster level to any one divine class at levels 1-9. *This is added to any previous levels in a divine class for purposes of number of spells that can be cast, caster level, and variable effects dependant on level. *This does not grant any other effects that gaining a level in that class would (e.g., turning undead, wildshape, laying on of hands, etc.).

ABILITY DESCRIPTIONS

Writer: Abelard believed in the power of the written word to spread knowledge and accomplish tasks, as evidenced in his letters to Heloise and his autobiographical letter, “Historia Calamitatum” (“The Story of My Calamities”). *The PoA gains the Scribe Scroll feat at first level, and gains the ability to read and write any language he can speak (if he can’t already).

Broad Knowledge 1: In the course of his teaching career, Abelard taught many subjects, and was reputed to have been equally brilliant in all of them. *In an attempt to learn as much as possible, the PoA has all knowledge skills added to the skill list of any class he takes a level in from this point forward.

Blessing of St. Gildas: Abelard became Abbott of the monastery of St. Gildas de Rhuys after his first teaching career, and was so hated by the monks that they attempted to poison him. *Abelard survived, and to honor this chapter in his life, the PoA builds up resistance to poisons, granting a +4 to all saves from poison and its effects. *This is an extraordinary ability.

Sic et Non: Abelard is considered to be the main philosophical developer of the teaching practice of “Sic et Non” (“Yes and No”), in which the student is presented with facts both positive and negative about a particular topic, and then asked to determine the truth of the matter based on the truth and strengths of the supporting arguments on either side. *This was meant to develop a keen sense of logic in the students, and the fruition of this is a +2 insight bonus to Will saves, usable a number times per day as indicated on the table, as a supernatural ability. The use of this ability must be declared before the roll is made.

Broad Knowledge 2: Beginning at third level, and each time the character takes a new level of the PoA class, he receives two bonus skill points that must be placed into Knowledge skills or else they are forfeited for the remainder of the class levels. *They can be placed in two different skills, or the same skill, but the PoA must still be within the standard maximum ranks rule. *This ability does not preclude the PoA from placing other skill points normally attained when leveling into Knowledge skills.

Discourse of Discomfort: The PoA’s learning has increased so that they can discuss any subject more knowledgably; they gain a +1 to all Knowledge skill checks (whether or not the PoA has ranks in a particular Knowledge skill). *However, these discussions often turn abrasive, as the PoA’s lecture style holds little respect for anyone they perceive to not be as knowledgeable as they think they are. *This abrasiveness gives them a -2 penalty to all Diplomacy checks. *Ultimately, Abelard’s inability to remain civil in the course of arguing his positions led to his ruin from every position of authority he held over his lifetime.

Broad Knowledge 3: Under the intense studies of the “Sic et Non” style, the PoA has learned a little more than his peers. *The maximum ranks for any Knowledge skills is increased by one (e.g., character level + 4).

Great Teacher: At this point, the PoA has progressed far enough along his path of studies that he begins to attract his own students. *He gains the benefits of the Leadership feat, with the following exceptions: (1) he gains no cohort; (2) all followers are one level higher than on the Leadership table; and (3) this instance of the Leadership feat has no bearing on any followers or cohorts the PC already has or gains in the future from taking the Leadership feat as one of his normal feats.

Reason Aids Faith 1: Abelard was a proponent of the “Reason Aids Faith” school of theology, as opposed to the “Faith Aids Reason” adherents. *He felt that you could intellectually rationalize your way to a deeper understanding of faith. *As a representation of that, the PoA gets to add his Int modifier (if positive) to his Wis modifier in order to determine the number of bonus spells he gets each day.

Broad Knowledge 4: The PoA has learned to understand not only by reason, but also to hone his intuition and direct his “gut” towards a true insight. *Once per day, the PoA can add his Wisdom modifier to any Knowledge check.

Reason Aids Faith 2: In the ultimate enlightenment that true reason brings to spirituality, the PoA can now add his Int modifier (if positive) to his caster level when casting spells to determine effects, range, duration, and spell resistance, as well as adding to the DC of any saving throw of a spell he casts.

- - - - - - - - - -

What I'm obviously trying to do here is make a non-traditional cleric-based class, partly to mirror the real life tradition of the early middle ages, when the intelligentsia were more often than not the priests and monks. *To me, Abelard always represented a break from that, in that I feel that his top priority was himself and his goals, not the glory of God (and I may be wrong in that), so my prestige class focused on his devotion to learning and reason as a way to the divine.

I like the abilites except Discourse of Discomfort; I wanted to make it a plus-and-minus kind of benefit, since that's Abelard in a nutshell, but I'm not sure this is the best way to do it, so I welcome any thoughts. *And I'd love to hear what you think about the rest of the class, too!

If I were to be picking a screen name for the first time just for this contest, I'd have picked something easier!

- - - - - - - - - -
edit 7/20/04: changed HD, caster progression, Discourse of Discomfort penalty to Diplomacy, Broad Knowledge 3 wording
- - - - - - - - - -
edit 7/22/04: clarified use of Sic et Non and clarified Discoure of Discomfort

Starbuck_II
2004-07-19, 01:26 PM
With the Giant's Knowledge rules: this class is pretty good.
The Discourse of Discomfort is how most arguments happen on internet lol.

The 4th lv spells are gained around lv 7 for cleric.
Only trouble is knowledge skills are harder I think.

So why are the HD 1d6? Aren't clerics usually around 1d8?

The Giant
2004-07-19, 01:36 PM
When I saw this thread, I was really worried your class would have a Castration special prerequisite. :-/

I would suggest lowering the hp to d4, since he's more bookish than any class save the wizard.

Also, the class seems to hit a roadblock at 4th level. Imagine a cleric PC looking at this 4th level: he gets no spellcasting increase, and he gets a –4 penalty to a very oft-used skill, in return to a +1 bonus to a few rarely used skills. I think most players would just return to the base cleric class, or another PrC, rather than suffer through this level. The high levels just don't offer anything valuable enough to give up spellcasting levels until 10th level. I think this class would be fine with full spellcasting progression with only one "blank" level, and that should be at 10th. Let people make the choice, "Do I want to increase my spellcasting level, or add my Int bonus to my DCs?"

Grey Watcher
2004-07-19, 01:52 PM
I agree (and if my internet hadn't decided to hiccup on me I would've been first, too), the Discourse of Discomfort penalty is a bit too severe. I think a -1 to Diplomacy checks is good (bad?) enough. Another thought is that, rather than a continuous effect, you could make it into an invoked ability. Perhaps somehow making Knowledge able to help out Intimidate or something. Or perhaps the penalty could only apply in certain situations.

And I didn't notice the breaks, but I think you should keep getting caster levels throughout the class. Losing turning and other priestly stuff is already a tradeoff with gaining the class abilities, so not having those caster levels all the way through is going to hurt (since your character is presumably adventuring).

Zagaroth
2004-07-19, 06:45 PM
Um...



Broad Knowledge 3: Under the intense studies of the “Sic et Non” style, the PoA has learned a little more than his peers. The maximum ranks for any Knowledge skills is increased by one (e.g., character level + 4 for a skill that has been a class skill for each level of the character’s career).


that shoudl be "for class skills, half that for cross class skills". While the cost varies on your current class skill list, once it is a class skill ever, your normal maximum is HD+3 even if you have to pay 2-for-1 for your skill points

Musrum
2004-07-19, 09:57 PM
PRE-REQUISITES

Intelligence must be 14+

Stat prerequisites are not politicly correct in 3.5E DnD.

Put enough skill ranks as prerequisites and the low INT guys will be uninterested in this PrC anyway.

Abelard
2004-07-20, 08:16 AM
Hey, everyone, thanks for the comments...

Starbuck II:

The 4th lv spells are gained around lv 7 for cleric.
Only trouble is knowledge skills are harder I think.

I originally had this at 2 skills w/ 5 ranks each: figuring an avg Int mod of +2, a Cle7 has earned 40 skill points, so 25% would have to be dedicated toward the pre-req. But then I realized that Knowledge (religion) and (arcana) were almost default skills for a cleric, so I increased it to three skills.


So why are the HD 1d6? Aren't clerics usually around 1d8?
I was reducing it to show that this was not a martial class in any way, but I think I'll take The Giant's advice and bust it all the way down to d4.

The Giant:

Also, the class seems to hit a roadblock at 4th level. Imagine a cleric PC looking at this 4th level: he gets no spellcasting increase, and he gets a –4 penalty to a very oft-used skill, in return to a +1 bonus to a few rarely used skills. I think most players would just return to the base cleric class, or another PrC, rather than suffer through this level. The high levels just don't offer anything valuable enough to give up spellcasting levels until 10th level. I think this class would be fine with full spellcasting progression with only one "blank" level, and that should be at 10th. Let people make the choice, "Do I want to increase my spellcasting level, or add my Int bonus to my DCs?"
I figured with the extra spells and increases to DC that I would have to curtail caster levels a little, but no more than 1 spell level, so I picked evenly-spaced intervals. But you have a good point about that 4th level dilemma. I'll switch it to just 10th.

On the Diplomacy side, I'll consider lowering the penalty, but I don't think it's as big as you do. IMX, there's usually one person in the party who's the mouthpiece, and they do all the talking; currently, I'm playing the bard, and out of the six other characters, if more than one has made a Diplomacy check in the past game year, I'd be shocked. They swing the swords, they cast the fireballs, they open the chests, and I talk our way past things. So giving a Diplomacy penalty to a cleric is something I see as penalizing a skill they won't use much, anyway. But maybe -4 is too severe...


Grey_Watcher:

Another thought is that, rather than a continuous effect, you could make it into an invoked ability. Perhaps somehow making Knowledge able to help out Intimidate or something. Or perhaps the penalty could only apply in certain situations.
You mean, the PoA is only a complete ass when he's telling you how right he is? That's interesting, but how often do you make a Diplomacy check after a Knowledge check? It would be a penalty that would never come into use, that I can see.

Zargoth:

that shoudl be "for class skills, half that for cross class skills".
I learn something new every day. Thanks! I'll update the description.

Musrum:

Stat prerequisites are not politicly correct in 3.5E DnD.

Put enough skill ranks as prerequisites and the low INT guys will be uninterested in this PrC anyway.
Who said the middle ages were PC? ;) Seriously, yeah, I know. But I felt that, since I was making a "scholarly" association, they would have some kind of entrance exam which would theoretically set the Int level at a standard minimum. How about I make a special condition: must be able to get a 22 on an Int check when applying for entrance to the order?

I don't want to increase the skill requirements, because I still want the cleric to be able to take other skills, and even a cross-class one or two (I've got one with three ranks in Use Magic Device so when we find something that looks even vaguely religious, I've can make a roll to see if I can activate it). As noted above, I'm already asking that the cleric devote 37.5% of their total (estimated) skill points to be part of this class, even if some would have gone to those skills anyway.

Ikkitosen
2004-07-20, 08:55 AM
I like this class a lot. It kinda fits with the whole priests being pillars of the community idea - now you can go to them with questions both theological and logical!

I think it would take a pretty dedicated PC to choose this though, since it seems a little more sage than adventurer. Then again, adding 2 stats to save DCs is kinda powerful!

btw, kudos on the background knowledge :)

Grey Watcher
2004-07-20, 11:38 AM
You mean, the PoA is only a complete ass when he's telling you how right he is? That's interesting, but how often do you make a Diplomacy check after a Knowledge check? It would be a penalty that would never come into use, that I can see.

Not so much that he's only an ass when he's telling you how right he is, but that it just doesn't show nearly as much in other situations. ;D As far as somehow making this ability actually boost Intimidate, I just think this sort of overbearing intellectualism CAN be used to Intimidate someone, especially if that person knows a thing or two about the subject, but not as much as the PoA seems to know (thinking of a conversation I was in last night, where they were discussing art, photography, music, and I suddenly felt very small because I didn't know half of the people they were referring to.

The Giant
2004-07-20, 02:09 PM
On the Diplomacy side, I'll consider lowering the penalty, but I don't think it's as big as you do. *IMX, there's usually one person in the party who's the mouthpiece, and they do all the talking; currently, I'm playing the bard, and out of the six other characters, if more than one has made a Diplomacy check in the past game year, I'd be shocked. *They swing the swords, they cast the fireballs, they open the chests, and I talk our way past things. *So giving a Diplomacy penalty to a cleric is something I see as penalizing a skill they won't use much, anyway. *But maybe -4 is too severe...



See, in my campaign, PCs are always splitting up in the cities, so they end up all using it (for good or ill) once in a while. Like the rogue who wants to haggle to sell the stuff he secretly swiped during the adventure. In fact, the PCs generally speak for themselves and are unwilling to let the bard do the talking on their behalf when it concerns them directly.

Abelard
2004-07-20, 04:52 PM
Actually, Giant, it is our, um... "Specialist in Unorthodox Methods of Acquisiton" who is the other maker of Diplomacy checks. For the reason you note.

When we split up, it is usually in situations where a certain person or group is already well-disposed towards the particular character (e.g., the gnome artificer - a little Eberron thrown in there - visiting the gnomish council, or the cleric stopping by his order's temple), so a Diplomacy check is not usually entailed.

OK, I'm going to stop hijacking my own thread now...

Grey Watcher
2004-07-20, 11:10 PM
Actually, Giant, it is our, um... "Specialist in Unorthodox Methods of Acquisiton" who is the other maker of Diplomacy checks. For the reason you note.

When we split up, it is usually in situations where a certain person or group is already well-disposed towards the particular character (e.g., the gnome artificer - a little Eberron thrown in there - visiting the gnomish council, or the cleric stopping by his order's temple), so a Diplomacy check is not usually entailed.

OK, I'm going to stop hijacking my own thread now...

Well, when submitting a Prestige Class for public perusal, I think it's a good idea to take into account that not everyone plays the way you do. Some players may end up finding their Cleric/PoA all alone to talk their way through something. If so, then Discourse of Discomfort, as originally written, can be a disaster. I like the -2 penalty better. Pretty bad, but not quite so nuts.

And it's your thread, you can "hijack" it as much as you like. ;D

Musrum
2004-07-21, 05:57 AM
Who said the middle ages were PC? ;) Seriously, yeah, I know. But I felt that, since I was making a "scholarly" association, they would have some kind of entrance exam which would theoretically set the Int level at a standard minimum. How about I make a special condition: must be able to get a 22 on an Int check when applying for entrance to the order?

I don't want to increase the skill requirements, because I still want the cleric to be able to take other skills, and even a cross-class one or two (I've got one with three ranks in Use Magic Device so when we find something that looks even vaguely religious, I've can make a roll to see if I can activate it). As noted above, I'm already asking that the cleric devote 37.5% of their total (estimated) skill points to be part of this class, even if some would have gone to those skills anyway.


That would work. Special: Entrance exam. Applicants must sit an entrance exam. This is a INT test against a DC 22 to pass. Applicants may take 20 on the exam. Penalties for cheating (eg. any magical assistance) are left up to the DM...
(Also Action points should be banned - although how a player can come up this a cinematic way to pass an exam might be worth a laugh).

Vik
2004-07-21, 10:02 AM
I like this class a lot !

However I'm not comfortable with the idea of having two stats increasing spells DC and caster level, that's munchkinism, even at the cost of one caster level (compare this to a hierophant level for example). At those levels, an Int of 20 is likely (minimum of 14 at base, Intellect headband +6), so that will mean an effective +5 to spells DC, caster level for spells effects, and so on ... :'(
I'd remove this ability and give another one and the last caster level - imho, the HD decrease to d4, the lost of Turn Undead and the Diplomacy penalty are enough.

Zherog
2004-07-21, 04:31 PM
I only skimmed the other comments, so if I repeat something somebody else said, please forgive me. ;)


PUPIL OF ABELARD

In the Real World, Peter Abelard was an enlightened scholar of the twelfth century AD. *He was considered one of the finest teachers of rhetoric and dialectic of the time, and attracted the top students from all over Europe to his schools in France. *He was also a member of the priesthood (and kicked out and reinstated several times!), and is mostly famous for his letters to his girlfriend, Heloise. *However, his abrasive style made him many enemies, and led to his downfall on more than one occasion.

In a fantasy setting, the Pupil of Abelard (PoA) prestige class is representative of any pious scholar who tends to take a rational, reasoning view toward faith (as opposed to the mystical, visionary view). *It stresses logic and values the capabilities of intellect to know and understand the parameters of an issue, and thereby the issue itself. *It is clearly designed for a cleric with an above-average intelligence.

I enjoyed the history lesson, and the way the flavor ties the real world history to the class. Very nice.


PRE-REQUISITES

Must be able to cast 4th level divine spells.
Skills: any three Knowledge skills with at least 5 ranks
Intelligence must be 14+

As this class is meant for any divine caster, not just clerics, perhaps you should tweak the requirements to be 2 knowledge skills and spellcraft. While clerics have 3 knowledge skills as class skills, Druids do not. ;)

I know others said it's a no-no, but I'm OK with a stat requirement in certain situations. This one fits. What if I have a 10 INT and a +4 headband of intellect, though? Does that qualify?


Hit die: d4
Skill points: 2 + Int modifier
Class skills: Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills, taken separately) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int)

I like the lower hit die. Definitely reflects the bookish nature of the class. The skill list seems fine to me, no problems show up there.



The PoA gains +1 caster level to any one divine class at levels 1-9. *This is added to any previous levels in a divine class for purposes of number of spells that can be cast, caster level, and variable effects dependant on level. *This does not grant any other effects that gaining a level in that class would (e.g., turning undead, wildshape, laying on of hands, etc.).

I was a little curious why you opted to skip the last level for spellcasting progression, but then I read the abilities. Nice dilemma you place PC's in when opting whether to take level 10 or not. :)


Writer: Abelard believed in the power of the written word to spread knowledge and accomplish tasks, as evidenced in his letters to Heloise and his autobiographical letter, “Historia Calamitatum” (“The Story of My Calamities”). *The PoA gains the Scribe Scroll feat at first level, and gains the ability to read and write any language he can speak (if he can’t already).

Two things on the read/write ability. First, it's mostly unnecessary by core rules. The only character class that can't read and write every language they speak is the Barbarian, and they get the ability once they multiclass anyway. Also, if the ability remains purely for flavor, a special note should be made about "spoken only" languages. That is, languages that don't have a written form.


Broad Knowledge 1: In the course of his teaching career, Abelard taught many subjects, and was reputed to have been equally brilliant in all of them. *In an attempt to learn as much as possible, the PoA has all knowledge skills added to the skill list of any class he takes a level in from this point forward.

Nice ability. Fits well with the flavor, and has some benefit.


Blessing of St. Gildas: Abelard became Abbott of the monastery of St. Gildas de Rhuys after his first teaching career, and was so hated by the monks that they attempted to poison him. *Abelard survived, and to honor this chapter in his life, the PoA builds up resistance to poisons, granting a +4 to all saves from poison and its effects. *This is an extraordinary ability.

Another interesting history lesson. ;)


Sic et Non: Abelard is considered to be the main philosophical developer of the teaching practice of “Sic et Non” (“Yes and No”), in which the student is presented with facts both positive and negative about a particular topic, and then asked to determine the truth of the matter based on the truth and strengths of the supporting arguments on either side. *This was meant to develop a keen sense of logic in the students, and the fruition of this is a +2 insight bonus to Will saves, usable a number times per day as indicated on the table, as a supernatural ability.

Very nice flavor, but it strikes me as a little on the weak side. I think that's OK in this case, though, as other abilities can make up for it. Can the PoA opt to apply this bonus after he has rolled the die? If so, can he opt to wait to find out the result of the save?


Broad Knowledge 2: Beginning at third level, and each time the character takes a new level of the PoA class, he receives two bonus skill points that must be placed into Knowledge skills or else they are forfeited for the remainder of the class levels. *They can be placed in two different skills, or the same skill, but the PoA must still be within the standard maximum ranks rule. *This ability does not preclude the PoA from placing other skill points normally attained when leveling into Knowledge skills.

Another very nice ability, both from a flavor and mechanical point of view.


Discourse of Discomfort: The PoA’s learning has increased so that they can discuss any subject more knowledgably; they gain a +1 to all Knowledge skill checks. *However, these discussions often turn abrasive, as the PoA’s lecture style holds little respect for anyone they perceive to not be as knowledgeable as they think they are. *This abrasiveness gives them a -2 penalty to all Diplomacy checks. *Ultimately, Abelard’s inability to remain civil in the course of arguing his positions led to his ruin from every position of authority he held over his lifetime.

It would be nice if there were some way to make the Diplomacy penalty situational, but I can't think of a good way to do so mechanically. The ability isn't bad as worded, certainly. Does the +1 even apply to skills the PoA doesn't have ranks in?


Broad Knowledge 3: Under the intense studies of the “Sic et Non” style, the PoA has learned a little more than his peers. *The maximum ranks for any Knowledge skills is increased by one (e.g., character level + 4).

Interesting. I don't recall ever seeing a PrC do this before.


Great Teacher: At this point, the PoA has progressed far enough along his path of studies that he begins to attract his own students. *He gains the benefits of the Leadership feat, with the following exceptions: (1) he gains no cohort; (2) all followers are one level higher than on the Leadership table; and (3) this instance of the Leadership feat has no bearing on any followers or cohorts the PC already has or gains in the future from taking the Leadership feat as one of his normal feats.

A PoA could develop a nice little "army" by combining the followers from this with the followers from the actual Leadership feat. ;)


Reason Aids Faith 1: Abelard was a proponent of the “Reason Aids Faith” school of theology, as opposed to the “Faith Aids Reason” adherents. *He felt that you could intellectually rationalize your way to a deeper understanding of faith. *As a representation of that, the PoA gets to add his Int modifier (if positive) to his Wis modifier in order to determine the number of bonus spells he gets each day.

Wow! A very nice ability. It comes late in the class, so this seems OK to me.


Broad Knowledge 4: The PoA has learned to understand not only by reason, but also to hone his intuition and direct his “gut” towards a true insight. *Once per day, the PoA can add his Wisdom modifier to any Knowledge check.

Good again. Given that it comes so late, you could probably grant it's use a few more times per day - once per day isn't really much. Maybe 3 times per day?


Reason Aids Faith 2: In the ultimate enlightenment that true reason brings to spirituality, the PoA can now add his Int modifier (if positive) to his caster level when casting spells to determine effects, range, duration, and spell resistance, as well as adding to the DC of any saving throw of a spell he casts.

Wowza!! Definitely a nice payoff at the end of the class, and very well to be worth the "lost" caster level.


What I'm obviously trying to do here is make a non-traditional cleric-based class, partly to mirror the real life tradition of the early middle ages, when the intelligentsia were more often than not the priests and monks. *To me, Abelard always represented a break from that, in that I feel that his top priority was himself and his goals, not the glory of God (and I may be wrong in that), so my prestige class focused on his devotion to learning and reason as a way to the divine.

I think you've succeeded. This would make a great NPC class, and I can even see PC's taking it in some campaigns.

Overall, I really liked this class. It's quite neato how you took a real world person, and made a fantasy world PrC based around that. The lower level abilities are nice, but not overwhelming, and the end abilities provide true power for somebody willing to stick it out through the class.

This classs would seem to stack very nicely with the Loremaster.

Abelard
2004-07-22, 12:04 AM
It's great to be getting so much feedback...

Grey Watcher:

on Jul 20th, 2004, 8:16am, Abelard wrote:You mean, the PoA is only a complete ass when he's telling you how right he is? That's interesting, but how often do you make a Diplomacy check after a Knowledge check? It would be a penalty that would never come into use, that I can see.

Not so much that he's only an ass when he's telling you how right he is, but that it just doesn't show nearly as much in other situations. As far as somehow making this ability actually boost Intimidate, I just think this sort of overbearing intellectualism CAN be used to Intimidate someone, especially if that person knows a thing or two about the subject, but not as much as the PoA seems to know

What I'm trying to capture is basic personality of Abelard, as presented in the various reading I did. He was certainly charming when he wanted to be, but once you got into a real debate with him, he became a total jerk. It is noted that several of his teachers sent him away because he constantly argued with them - and sometimes, he was right! But I don't feel it's right... maybe the right way is to make it more of a "anytime the PoA either makes a knowledge check or has to explain something, he gets a -2 to Diplomacy checks and +2 to Intimidate checks involving those nearby for the next week. This effect can stack with itself if the situation arises multiple times in a week." Comments?

Musrum, I'm going to add that special pre-req. Thanks for your help with that.

Vik:

I like this class a lot !

However I'm not comfortable with the idea of having two stats increasing spells DC and caster level, that's munchkinism, even at the cost of one caster level (compare this to a hierophant level for example). At those levels, an Int of 20 is likely (minimum of 14 at base, Intellect headband +6), so that will mean an effective +5 to spells DC, caster level for spells effects, and so on ...
I'd remove this ability and give another one and the last caster level - imho, the HD decrease to d4, the lost of Turn Undead and the Diplomacy penalty are enough.
Yeah, there are some pretty great abilities (IMO) at the upper levels, but on the way there, you get essentially some small skill bonuses and a bonus to an already good Will save. And you lose 2 hp per level and turning. I think that, compared to most other PrC's, which give out spell-like abilities every level or two (have you looked at Complete Divine?!), this needs the big boost at the end to make it worthwhile. But I see where it is something the DM needs to keep in mind: for just 36K, the PC can buy a +3 to Int mod, which, while a tad abusive with the Reason Aids Faith abilities, isn't quite broken. Powergaming, not munchkinism.

Zherog:

As this class is meant for any divine caster, not just clerics, perhaps you should tweak the requirements to be 2 knowledge skills and spellcraft. While clerics have 3 knowledge skills as class skills, Druids do not.

I know others said it's a no-no, but I'm OK with a stat requirement in certain situations. This one fits. What if I have a 10 INT and a +4 headband of intellect, though? Does that qualify?


That's a tough call, Zherog. First of all, I can't see a druid taking this class and missing out on wildshaping and other druidic goodies. But even so, I don't think I'm against the druid having to make a serious commitment to get into the class. The req's a knowledge skills because that's where all the bonuses are going to go. I'm going to leave it as is for now, but I promise to consider the plight of the hippie... I mean, druid. :D

Since I'm changing this to the "entrance exam" method Musrum and I cooked up, the using magical items to make the cut is easily explained: sometimes, even idiots test well. If you raise your Int temporarily to make it in, and later you drop to, say, Int 10, then you're going to get no benefit out of the higher class abilities, and the joke's on you.


I was a little curious why you opted to skip the last level for spellcasting progression, but then I read the abilities. Nice dilemma you place PC's in when opting whether to take level 10 or not.

I'll give credit where it's due: this was a result of the suggestions by The Giant and other early commentators. It is much better than the way I had it.


Two things on the read/write ability. First, it's mostly unnecessary by core rules. The only character class that can't read and write every language they speak is the Barbarian, and they get the ability once they multiclass anyway. Also, if the ability remains purely for flavor, a special note should be made about "spoken only" languages. That is, languages that don't have a written form.

Yeah, it's a flavor thing, since as you note, you write what you speak (not looking at you, Barbarian-boy). Can you explain a little more what you mean about "spoken only" languages? You mean like Druidic, or a thieve's cant?


Can the PoA opt to apply [the bonus from Sic et Non] after he has rolled the die? If so, can he opt to wait to find out the result of the save?

No, this must be declared before the roll; it represents the PoA actively using his logic to resist something, not a reaction to "Oh, wait, I don't think I'm going to make it, gotta think a little harder..." I'll clear it up in the description.


Does the +1 [bonus to Knowledge skills from the Discourse of Discomfort ability] even apply to skills the PoA doesn't have ranks in?

Oh, sure it does. Part of being smart means a little bit of just being able to draw a logical conclusion even a matter you know nothing about. Doesn't mean you're right, but it still sounds good...


Given that [Broad Knowledge 4] comes so late, you could probably grant it's use a few more times per day - once per day isn't really much. Maybe 3 times per day?
I thought about that. To me, the once per day represents that you get a good hunch that you follow once per day, and on your other Knowledge checks that day, you either get a hunch that you deduce is wrong, or your gut tells you nothing either way. I wouldn't want the PC to always have a "feeling" about something, when the whole concept is based on reason and logic. And how many Knowledge checks do you make a day? I try to not give so many abilities that they go unused ("At level X, you can cast "Secure Shelter" 10 times per day").


I think you've succeeded. This would make a great NPC class, and I can even see PC's taking it in some campaigns.

Overall, I really liked this class. It's quite neato how you took a real world person, and made a fantasy world PrC based around that. The lower level abilities are nice, but not overwhelming, and the end abilities provide true power for somebody willing to stick it out through the class.
Thanks. In fact, and this was purely unintentional ,the cleric I'm playing would love love love this PrC - I've got to get my DM over to the boards...

And, I have to add, coming soon is my second entry into the contest... and after that, I promise that I'll make the time to comment on everyone else's entries.

Zherog
2004-07-22, 12:20 AM
Yes, Thieves Cant was exactly the sort of thing I was talking about. It's a "language" that has no written form. I'm not sure if Druidic has a written form or not. But basically, I was suggesting that if there are any languages that do not have a written form, this ability should take those into account.

Abelard
2004-07-22, 12:32 AM
Hmmmm, Zherog. I'm not sure the local cutpurse guild would like the PoA's writing a Common-to-Thieve's Cant lexicon. I think I may not let them do that.