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Zherog
2004-07-20, 05:24 PM
The Z Man

"Good morning, babes."
"Good morning, Z!"

Such is the official greeting between a Z Man and his Babes. Z Men work behind the scenes, directing their babes on secret missions that often have a great importance to the safety of the world. They possess a rare combination of skills that allows them to lead as well as gain tactical information. A typical Z Man lays down his sword or spellbook in favor of his wit and charm. He coaxes, manipulates and directs as required to ensure the success of his Babes.

Z Men always have 3 Babes directly under his control. He does everything in his power to protect and care for his Babes. Often times, a Z Man will assign his Cohort to help his babes, using the Cohort as a face man so he himself can remain anonymous to his Babes.

As a Z Man advances in level, he often learns of other Z Men, but rarely does he ever learn who are Babes, other than those who report directly to him.

Due to the stringent skill requirements, rogues and bards most often become Z Men. Other classes can qualify if they put in the effort, but rarely due so.

To qualify as a Z Man, a character must meet all of the following requirements:

Alignment: non-lawful, non-evil
Skllls: Diplomacy 8 ranks, Gather Info: 8 Ranks, Sense Motive: 8 ranks
Feats: Leadership, Persuasive
Abiliites: Charisma: 15 or higher without magical items
Sex: Male
Special: Must be initiated by an existing member of the class

Hit Points: d6 per level
BAB: Medium (as cleric)
Saves: Will and Fort good; reflex bad

The following are class skills for the Z Man:

Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (N/A)

Skill Points per Level: 4 + Int mod

Level 1: Alias; Contacts
Level 2: Charisma Bonus +1; Leadership Bonus +1
Level 3: Charm Person; Bonus Language
Level 4: Charisma Bonus +2; Leadership Bonus +2
Level 5: Nondetection
Level 6: Charisma Bonus +3; Leadership Bonus +3
Level 7: Knowledge is Power
Level 8: Charisma Bonus +4; Leadership Bonus +4
Level 9: Mind Blank; Bonus Language
Level 10: Charisma Bonus +5; Leadership Bonus +5

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A Z Man gains no additional weapon, armor or shield proficiencies.

Alias: Upon adopting this class, a character must change his name to something beginning with Z. He abondons his past name completely; should a Z Man ever divulge to anybody his past name, he may not progress any further in this class and loses all class abilities except for Charisma bonuses.

Contacts (Ex): A Z Man knows many people from many backgrounds. This myriad of contacts grants him a circumstance bonus on all Gather Information checks equal to his Z Man class level.

Charisma Bonus (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, and every even level thereafter, the Z Man gains an inherent bonus to his Charisma score. The bonus begins at +1 at 2nd level and rises by one every level until the bonus is a +5 inherent bonus at 10th level.

Leadership Bonus (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, and every even level thereafter, the Z Man gains a bonus equal to half his class level on his Leadership Score for determining followers. This bonus has no effect on the Cohort the Z Man may attract, and all other bonuses and penalties apply as normal.

Charm Person (Sp): The Z Man is a master of influencing others. Beginning at 3rd level, he can cast the spell Charm Person a number of times per day equal to his charisma modifier (minimum 1). The save DC against this effect is equal to 10 + 1/2 class level + the Z Man's Charisma modifier.

Bonus Language: At 3rd level and again at 9th level, the Z Man may choose a bonus language.

Nondetection (Sp): Beginning at 5th level, a Z Man becomes almost impossible to scry upon. He is constantly under the effects of a Nondetection spell. His caster level for overcoming the effect is half his total character level.

Knowledge is Power (Ex): A Z Man understands that knowledge of trivia and other tidbits sometimes makes his job easier. Beginning at 7th level, the Z Man may pick any two knowledge skills and he then receives a competence bonus equal to his class level on those two skills. Once selected, the skills may not be changed.

Mind Blank (Sp): At 9th level, the Z Man's protection against divination spells and similar abilities improves. The Z Man is constantly warded by a Mind Blank effect. His effective cast level for this ability is his total character level.

Zagaroth
2004-07-20, 08:40 PM
Add as a prerequiste:

"Must have flirted with at least a dozen women, and at 6 of them must have flirted back."

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Ok, obscure inside joke, but Z and M get it! and ai bet giant does too... and come to think of it, a lot of people on this boiard really should.

Melifaxis
2004-07-21, 11:19 PM
I love it! :D

Did you consider giving him the Charm Person as a Still Spell? To do so would seem to fit with the class' feel. No need for somatic gestures when words alone will suffice. It makes the ability far more subtle. What about adding Charm Monster at a higher level?

The only other thing I can think of is that it just seems wrong that the two classes don't have some kind of bonus that only works when they are together. Sorry, I'm stuck in OA mode and the only example I can think of is Great Teamwork (page 63) which grants a +4 flanking bonus in place of the normal +2 flanking bonus.

Sorry my feedback is not as thorough as yours, but yours is put togther far better than mine was initially! ;D

Gorbash Kazdar
2004-07-25, 05:35 PM
<Flavor text and class description>
I love it! I used to watch Charlie's Angels all the time, and I can't help but like the idea. I'd like to see more flavor describing the class, but at the same time what you have is just about perfect because its so short.


To qualify as a Z Man, a character must meet all of the following requirements...

Alignment: non-lawful, non-evil
The rest of requirements fit very well, but I question the non-lawful alignment. I don't see why a lawful Z Man couldn't work behind the scenes, secretely, on behalf of a government.


<Hit Die, Skills, Table, Proficiencies>
Everything here seems just about perfect, though I would argue that 6+Int skill points a level would be more in line with the class focus and the classes that will likely become a Z Man. Also, while I can follow what the BAB and Saves would be, having them included in the table would make it easier to read. If you need a hand with the table, just drop me a PM ;)


Alias: Upon adopting this class, a character must change his name to something beginning with Z. He abondons his past name completely; should a Z Man ever divulge to anybody his past name, he may not progress any further in this class and loses all class abilities except for Charisma bonuses.
Wonderful flavor ability.


Contacts (Ex): A Z Man knows many people from many backgrounds. This myriad of contacts grants him a circumstance bonus on all Gather Information checks equal to his Z Man class level.
Very fitting for the class, but maybe a bit limited. Perhaps he can also Gather Information through his contacts without having to go out and cruise the taverns/noble houses/whatever? Instead, his contacts come to him if he wants to get some information. That would fit nicely with his working behind the scenes as well.


Charisma Bonus (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, and every even level thereafter, the Z Man gains an inherent bonus to his Charisma score. The bonus begins at +1 at 2nd level and rises by one every level until the bonus is a +5 inherent bonus at 10th level.
The one thing that makes me hesitant about this ability is that someone with an even Charisma score does not benefit as greatly as some with an ordd score. Maybe a slower progression (say, 2nd, 6th, and 10th), but a +2 each time?


Leadership Bonus (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, and every even level thereafter, the Z Man gains a bonus equal to half his class level on his Leadership Score for determining followers. This bonus has no effect on the Cohort the Z Man may attract, and all other bonuses and penalties apply as normal.
Just to be sure I'm reading this correctly, Z Man levels count 1.5 times for the leadership score. I like it, but maybe it should be a bit more - the Thrallherd in the XPH counts Thrallherd levels twice with a similar ability.


Charm Person (Sp): The Z Man is a master of influencing others. Beginning at 3rd level, he can cast the spell Charm Person a number of times per day equal to his charisma modifier (minimum 1). The save DC against this effect is equal to 10 + 1/2 class level + the Z Man's Charisma modifier.
Is that all class levels, or just Z Man levels? I think its the former, in which case its perfect. Love the idea of Charm Person being a class ability. :)


Bonus Language: At 3rd level and again at 9th level, the Z Man may choose a bonus language.
Nice minor flavor ability for the class, though perhaps he should get one at 6th as well.


Nondetection (Sp)
Fairly powerful ability, but it fits pefectly with the class. Like it.


Knowledge is Power (Ex): A Z Man understands that knowledge of trivia and other tidbits sometimes makes his job easier. Beginning at 7th level, the Z Man may pick any two knowledge skills and he then receives a competence bonus equal to his class level on those two skills. Once selected, the skills may not be changed.
Another interesting flavor ability.


Mind Blank (Sp)
Great late level ability that ups the behind the scenes, cannot be found aspect.

I'd love to see more class abilities connected to followers (the Babes), but I haven't had chance to look over the Z's Babes class yet, so I'll come back to that later.

Just to reiterate, love the concept!

Zherog
2004-07-26, 05:38 PM
I love it! *I used to watch Charlie's Angels all the time, and I can't help but like the idea. *I'd like to see more flavor describing the class, but at the same time what you have is just about perfect because its so short.

Thanks! ;D I always struggle over flavor text - I never think it's good enough. Of course, I never think any of my writting is good enough. :-/


The rest of requirements fit very well, but I question the non-lawful alignment. *I don't see why a lawful Z Man couldn't work behind the scenes, secretely, on behalf of a government.

I went with non-lawful because, well, it's possible (and even likely) a Charlie, er, Z Man would order his babes to do illegal things (such as breaking and entering, theft, etc) in order to accomplish the mission. Decidely non-lawful in my opinion.


Everything here seems just about perfect, though I would argue that 6+Int skill points a level would be more in line with the class focus and the classes that will likely become a Z Man. *Also, while I can follow what the BAB and Saves would be, having them included in the table would make it easier to read. *If you need a hand with the table, just drop me a PM ;)

I pondered 6 skill points per level, and it just seemed too good. That's why I went with 4.

As for the table, well... there's two reasons. I generally post custom prestige classes to a different message board (Nifty (http://azure.bbboy.net/niftymessageboard)) and there is no table code there, so I use this general format. Reason two is, honestly, I was too lazy to change the format to work here. ::)


Very fitting for the class, but maybe a bit limited. *Perhaps he can also Gather Information through his contacts without having to go out and cruise the taverns/noble houses/whatever? *Instead, his contacts come to him if he wants to get some information. *That would fit nicely with his working behind the scenes as well.

Well, nothing in the rules says it can't happen that way normally to be honest. Nothing says he can't use spells such as Sending or similar to perform his info gathering.


The one thing that makes me hesitant about this ability is that someone with an even Charisma score does not benefit as greatly as some with an ordd score. *Maybe a slower progression (say, 2nd, 6th, and 10th), but a +2 each time?

I went with the progression I did solely because inherent bonuses max out at +5. In the long run (over 20 levels) this ability saves the Z Man 137,500 GP (the cost of a Tome of Leadership and Influence +5). When viewed in that light, it's a rather phat bonus! 8)


Just to be sure I'm reading this correctly, Z Man levels count 1.5 times for the leadership score. *I like it, but maybe it should be a bit more - the Thrallherd in the XPH counts Thrallherd levels twice with a similar ability.

Yep, you are getting the 1.5 correctly. Remember that those charisma bonuses will also bump his overall leadership score, too. I viewed this ability as more flavor than substance, and so I paced it at the same level as the charisma bumps.


Is that all class levels, or just Z Man levels? *I think its the former, in which case its perfect. *Love the idea of Charm Person being a class ability. :)

It is half his levels in the Z Man class. I went with 1/2 rather than class because Charm Person is such a low level spell. The Z Man will already surpass the DC of a sorcerer or wizard who cast the spell normally - I didn't want to thoroughly trump the spellcasters.


Nice minor flavor ability for the class, though perhaps he should get one [bonus language] at 6th as well.

If I were going to throw another one in, it would be at 7th since I like the synergy of all the even levels granting the exact same thing. ;)


Fairly powerful ability, but it fits pefectly with the class. *Like it.

Actually, as has been pointed out to me over on Nifty this ability really isn't all that powerful. A lower level wizard is going to have around a 50% chance to break through the protection. I'm still pondering if I want to bump it to full character level for the caster level.


Another interesting flavor ability.

I love these kinds of abilities. But I guess everybody knows that by now. ;)


Great late level ability that ups the behind the scenes, cannot be found aspect.

Yep - The Mind Blank effect does a lot more to hide the Z Man from scrying and such than the Nondetection ability does.


I'd love to see more class abilities connected to followers (the Babes), but I haven't had chance to look over the Z's Babes class yet, so I'll come back to that later.

That doesn't really fit the overall concept, though. Charlie never did a lot to help the Angels, other than providing information. So keeping that in mind, that's how I built this class. Now, if I were going to build a Bosley class that might have some abilities that interfaced between the two in some way. Hmmm.... maybe I'll find a way to rename Bosley "Zherog" and make that my official entry. ;)


Just to reiterate, love the concept!


Thanks! Both classes were fun to write.