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guessmith
2004-07-14, 10:34 AM
Urname looked at the gynosphinx as if she had three heads. The riddle she had rhymed off made no sense to him. If only the bugger had horns instead of the upper body of a woman, he could be justified in striking the beast down. But she had given him a reasonable request to pass into the pyramid, and as much as he would have liked to, he could not bash her head in. This was her duty, just as it was his to find and return the scepter.
Urname left the sphinx and the pyramid for another day. Returning to Lomer, the city on the edge of the desert took most of the gold in his pack. All the time, he repeated the riddle to himself. He hated the desert almost as much as his steed Rashop, but he promised the Lady Monique that he would retrieve the scepter inside the pyramid.
Asking around, while none of his comrades could give him an answer to the riddle, they did direct him to a small gnomish pub far from the hectic market place. After cleaning himself off, he ventured in. While it was in a gnomish section in town, there were many others here, including dwarves, elves and halflings. All of them sat around with half-empty tankards either rolling the bones, playing cards or hunched over a piece of paper repeating simple riddles to themselves. A harmless lot, Urname thought.
A serving lady came over to ask him what he wanted, "Umm, I need help with a riddle." The entire crowd in the pub seemingly stood still, as two dozen faces turned towards him. A young gnome raised his hand and approached, "Yes, Wastelander, how can we help?"
Urname looked at the gnome who carried neither weapon or holy symbol, had seemingly guessed at his little recognized heritage. "How did you...?" Urname's question was left unsaid as the gnome both finished his question and answered it at the same time:
"Heritage, oh that's easy, your hair colour for one. Most desert people don't have red hair, besides your weapons seem to have a slight greenish tinge to them, an often noted side effect from the cold tempering used in the wasteland. Geography is one of my many interests."
After a brief introduction Urname learned that Bromsby, this gnome, was one of the guessmiths, a group of riddle and lore masters who gathered here at the Laughing Lass pub to test each other in games of chance and riddles. Explaining his predicament, Bromsby eagerly volunteered to accompany the elderly Wastelander into the desert.
Less than a week later, Bromsby and Urname were back at the pyramid.
“So,” said the large imposing gynosphinx, “I see you are back, and brought a friend.”
Urname nodded.
“To enter my charge, the price remains the same. Solve my riddle. So, I ask thee again: What runs all day, but never walks. Often murmurs, never talks...”
In the middle of the riddle, Bromsby joined with perfect harmony with the sphinx, “Has a bed, but never sleeps. Has a mouth, but never eats?”
Rather than saying a word, the little gnome threw a waterskin up to her, she easily caught it with her claw, and opened it, letting a stream of water flow into her mouth.
“What you need here in the desert; the answer is a river, my lady.”
The gynosphinx roared with laughter, “How right you are little one!”

Seven hours later, as Urname emerged from the pyramid with a scepter in hand as well as newly found cuts and bruises from the undead inside the tomb, he saw the gnome and gynosphinx still in conversation, sharing riddles and laughing at glee in one another in a friendly game of one-up-manship.

* * * ** * * **

Guessmith: Prestige Class

A guessmith is a student of riddles and games of chance. While they have no formal training or organization, their shared love of riddles and guessing games unites them in a loose circle of friends. While some may use these talents for riches, most are intrigued more by the challenge than wealth. *
Some people might assume that a guessmith is merely a master of lore, and spends most of their time in scholarly research, this in false. A guessmith is
most often found in pubs; drinking, dancing, laughing and rhyming off rude limericks and jokes. The are not serious scholars, but rather masters of trivia, picked up during day long drinking sessions.
Most who take this class are rogues or bards, but a smattering of others can take this prestige class if they can qualify. Barbarians because of their starting illiteracy are extremely rare.

Hit Dice: d6

Requirements
To qualify to become a guessmith, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Decipher Script 6 Ranks, Perform 4 ranks, 3 ranks in any two knoweldge skills
Special: Must be able to read and speak in a minimum of three languages

Class Skills
The guessmiths class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (n/a), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at Each Level
6 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are Class Features of the guessmith prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
A guessmith gains no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Special Abilities

Trivia (Ex): A guessmith excels in being able to
obscure trivia. They add their class level to any one knowledge check, chosen at first level; once chosen this does not change.

Skill Focus (Comedy) (Ex): Since many riddles are in the form of ryhmes, a guessmith learns to repeat limericks or jokes in an entertaining manner.

Friends of the Game (Ex): Because most guessmiths are not motivated purely by wealth, they can easily make friends of other creatures who also enjoy games of chance or riddles, such as gynosphinxes, fey or any other creature the DM designates. On these creatures, a guessmith gains a +2 bonus on charisma based skills (such as Diplomacy.)

Second Guess (Su): Once a day, a guessmith can make a second try at guessing an answer without repercussion, even if a second attempt would normally negatively affect the outcome. This may be in regards to any trained intelligence or charisma based skill check or any type of riddle.

Guinness Lore (Ex): Like trivia, except they add their class level to any three additional knowledge skills. This does not stack with minor trivia, so there is no benefit in choosing the same knowledge skill twice.

Second Chance (Su): Like Second Guess, except this re-roll applies to any skill check, attack or saving throw roll. They must use this ability immediately after the failed roll. They can use this ability once a day.

* BAB Fort Ref Will * *Special * * * * * * * * * * * *Spells*
1 *+0 *+0 *+0 *+2 * * *Trivia, Skill Focus * +1 lev
2 *+1 *+0 *+1 *+3 * * *Friends of the Game * * +1 lev
3 *+1 *+1* +1 *+3 * * *Second Guess * * * * * * +1 lev
4 *+2 *+1 *+2 *+4 * * *Guinness Lore * * * * * * +1 lev
5 *+2 *+2 *+2 *+4 * * *Second Chance * * * * * +1 lev

* If a guessmith had spell-levels before taking this class, they continue to advance in their spell-casting abilities.

Zagaroth
2004-07-18, 02:14 PM
MM, i woudl give them "Lore" with a notation that this ability works exactly like bardic lore and stacks with it.

DnD tends to judge power a lot by combat, so for such a very non-combat oriented character, I would have no issues with them having very strong non-combat abilities in their specialty. So they could be a bard, then go this class, then go Lore Master... very knowledgeable person. :)

Geethree
2004-07-19, 05:48 PM
While it's a good idea, I think it's a pretty weak class and I don't see many people taking it unless they just really, really don't care about their character's power.

Also, this class is somewhat unorthodox since you can start taking it at level 4. Most prestige classes start at 6, 7, or higher. I'd make the requirements higher and increase the power overall.

You need to work on your writing. For example,

On these creatures, a guessmith has a +2 charisma bonus. Does that mean his charisma score is treated as 2 points higher? What about for spells? Or is this a +2 to charisma based skills?

Any two Knowledge skills +3 Do you mean 3 ranks or simply +3 in two knowledge skills?

Starbuck_II
2004-07-19, 06:34 PM
If the class isn't too powerful I don't see a problem with it taken at lv4.

With the giants new knowledge rules: the trivia power is decent.

Minor Trivia (Ex): A guessmith excels in being able to remember things they have previously read or heard. They add their class level to any one knowledge check, chosen at first level; once chosen this does not change.

also Major Trivia: if you are in the right situations these become very useful.

Even if not in right situation, then Dc+10 makes Dc 30 basic and 40 advanced.
With trivia powers you could make it easily at later levels.

Unless the character really likes Giants knowledge rules, its not very strong.
However, if they are into knowledge then they are good abilities.

Giving them Bardic Lore might not be that overpowered: its up to you but I'd think it'd be okay.

Musrum
2004-07-19, 10:05 PM
Requirements
To qualify to become a guessmith, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Decipher Script 6 Ranks, Any two Knowledge skills +3

Is that 3 ranks?

Nicely fllavoured PrC..

guessmith
2004-07-19, 11:07 PM
While it's a good idea, I think it's a pretty weak class and I don't see many people taking it unless they just really, really don't care about their character's power.

Power, like flavour, is relative to a campaign.


Also, this class is somewhat unorthodox since you can start taking it at level 4. Most prestige classes start at 6, 7, or higher. I'd make the requirements higher and increase the power overall.

Othordoxy is a good thing?


You need to work on your writing. For example, Does that mean his charisma score is treated as 2 points higher? What about for spells? Or is this a +2 to charisma based skills?


For charisma based skills, a guessmith will gain a +2 in these rolls. Sorry, you are right sloppy writing.


Do you mean 3 ranks or simply +3 in two knowledge skills?

A guessmith needs to have +3 ranks in two different knowledge based skills to qualify for this PrC..

guessmith
2004-07-19, 11:13 PM
Is that 3 ranks?
Yes it is. Sorry it's badly worded which I will fix shortly.



Nicely fllavoured PrC..

Thanks.

guessmith
2004-07-19, 11:22 PM
MM, i woudl give them "Lore" with a notation that this ability works exactly like bardic lore and stacks with it.

DnD tends to judge power a lot by combat, so for such a very non-combat oriented character, I would have no issues with them having very strong non-combat abilities in their specialty. So they could be a bard, then go this class, then go Lore Master... very knowledgeable person. :)

But the problem with giving them lore is that they become more powerful than a bard of the same level. This way, they gain their abilities in trivia and guessing again, gain most of their spells, but not all of the abilities. I felt, perhaps incorrectly, that lore would put them over the top.

And yes, for their pure love of trivia/lore, a lore master would make an excellent combo with a guessmith.

Zagaroth
2004-07-20, 01:58 AM
Nah, not with loosing 2 levels of spelc astign progression, if any, and not gaining bardic music. A Bard is NOT a lore specialist, he is a generalist (sneaky, not to bad ina fight, casts spells, knows stuff). This guy is a lore specialist, he shoudl know more.

Note: Lore master is a lore specialist with a focus on arcane. Your PrC is more 'learn everything'

Geethree
2004-07-24, 05:25 PM
Power, like flavour, is relative to a campaign. That isn't entirely true. While you may tone power up or down for your campaign, we have a standard measure of balance, namely the Player's Handbook and the DMG (for base classes and PrCs respectively). If you want to make a weak class, that's fine. However, you should be aware that a lot of people will look at a weak class and think, "If I take that class then the other players will outclass me and I will be useless." Remember that D&D is primarily a team-based game, and this is why balance is such an important concept.


Othordoxy is a good thing? In this case, I think so. A Prestige Class isn't as prestigious when low-level characters have them, as a rule.


A guessmith needs to have +3 ranks in two different knowledge based skills to qualify for this PrC.. What do you mean by "+3 ranks"?

I do think that this is an interesting idea for a PrC, it's just not one that I can see myself taking. I think this class would be improved if you fleshed it out to 10 levels and expanded on its abilities.

Exitor
2004-07-25, 01:42 AM
There is no reason to take level 5 in this PrC. You get no BAB, no Saves and no spell level, all you get is a once a day reroll, not powerfull enough to give up everything else. Either give them back the spell level or give them a bit more power/ability/something.

guessmith
2004-07-25, 02:47 AM
That isn't entirely true... If you want to make a weak class, that's fine. However, you should be aware that a lot of people will look at a weak class and think, "If I take that class then the other players will outclass me and I will be useless." Remember that D&D is primarily a team-based game, and this is why balance is such an important concept.

I doubt they would be seen as useless or weak, just not as focused on combat, but I understand your point. Power gamers would never want to take this class, but someone who would like an interesting class might, and that is usually the case for anyone who takes a bard in the first place. But, your points are fair.


A Prestige Class isn't as prestigious when low-level characters have them, as a rule.
I politely disagree. A prestige class can just mean specialized, well fitted for one campaign, style or focus.



I do think that this is an interesting idea for a PrC, it's just not one that I can see myself taking. I think this class would be improved if you fleshed it out to 10 levels and expanded on its abilities.
A few of the ideas presented in this thread have given me some things to chew on (especially your own.)

guessmith
2004-07-25, 02:49 AM
There is no reason to take level 5 in this PrC. *You get no BAB, no Saves and no spell level, all you get is a once a day reroll, not powerfull enough to give up everything else. *Either give them back the spell level or give them a bit more power/ability/something.

Excellent point, Exitor! They now get the spell level. Thanks for noticing that!

guessmith
2004-07-25, 02:57 AM
Geethree & Exitor,

Your comments have made me tweak the class, I have given them +1 spell level every level.

Thanks again!

Exitor
2004-07-25, 04:39 AM
Abilities, even minor abilites make a class more fun to play, this gives wizards and scorcerers something to do without sacrificing spells/power.

Fenris
2004-07-25, 08:12 AM
I like this very much, I think that knowledge is under valued or most DM don't make there players play by Character Knowledge.
Example: If your character doesn't know that troll regenerate unless hit by fire or acid your character shouldn't just start using his weaker fire weapons when he sees them, but if you have the knowledge and the wizard tells every one trolls are weak to fire go crazy.
This makes the difference on how you feel about this class I think, I would love it power wise and for flavor.

Zherog
2004-07-27, 01:20 PM
Well, I know I read this last night; but it appears I failed to leave any comments. Guess it goes to show how tired I am lately.


<<snipped flavor text>>

Nice flavor text. It was interesting to read, and it also gives a feeling as to exactly what this class is about.


Hit Dice: d6

Requirements
To qualify to become a guessmith, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Decipher Script 6 Ranks, 3 ranks in any two knoweldge skills
Special: Must be able to read and speak in a minimum of three languages

I might consider dropping the Hit Die to a d4, simply to reflect the "bookish" nature of the class.

The requirements really aren't difficult. What about adding one feat, such as Skill Focus (any knowledge)?


Class Skills
The guessmiths class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (n/a), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at Each Level
6 + Int modifier.

A bunch of those skills really don't seem to fit the class - for example, what do Hide and Move Silently have to do with a person who solves riddles? I think you might want to consider removing Appraise, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently and Swim. I don't see how those relate to the class at all. I'd also consider dropping the skill points to 4 per level.

I understand you just copied the bard list (more or less), but the whole list doesn't really fit.


Minor Trivia (Ex): A guessmith excels in being able to remember things they have previously read or heard. They add their class level to any one knowledge check, chosen at first level; once chosen this does not change.

You should name the bonus type. I'd recommend Competence.


Skill Focus (Limericks) (Ex): Since many riddles are in the form of limericks, a guessmith learns to repeat all kinds of limericks or jokes in an entertaining way.

This is a nice ability, but given the way Perform has been altered in 3.5 I'd recommend changing this to either Perform (Oratory) or Perform (Comedy). Limericks are listed as a subcategory of Comedy. Oratory seems to be the most likely skill to cover riddles in general, if they don't fall under Comedy.


Friends of the Game (Ex): Because most guessmiths are not motivated purely by wealth, they can easily make friends of other creatures who also enjoy games of chance or riddles, such as gynosphinxes, fey or any other creature the DM designates. On these creatures, a guessmith gains a +2 bonus on charisma based skills (such as Diplomacy.)

Nice little ability.


Second Guess (Su): Once a day, a guessmith can make a second try at guessing an answer without repercussion, even if a second attempt would normally negatively affect the outcome. This may be in regards to any trained intelligence or charisma based skill check or any type of riddle.

Would this apply, for example, to a simple knowledge check? I'm guessing not, since Second Chance applies to Skill checks in general.


Major Trivia (Ex): Like minor trivia, except they add their class level to any two additional knowledge skills. This does not stack with minor trivia, so there is no benefit in choosing the same knowledge skill twice.

Also nice. Seeing as the class is only 5 levels total, I don't think it would be bad to make both Minor and Major grant the bonus to 2 skills each. The best it'll ever get is +5, since a 5 level class can't have an epic progression.

You also need a bonus type here. Again, Competence seems the best.


Second Chance (Su): Like Second Guess, except this re-roll applies to any skill check, attack or saving throw roll. They must use this ability immediately after the failed roll. They can use this ability once a day.

This is like granting the Luck domain - a nice ability, but not too good.


<<snipped the table>>

I'd recommend dropping the BAB progression to be the poor progression (same as the wizard). Again, the class doesn't focus on combat. The saves look good.

***

I love this class! I'm envisioning a "sage" - a gnome Bard/Guesssmith/Lore Master! A very nice, flavorful class!

guessmith
2004-07-27, 02:43 PM
Nice flavor text. *It was interesting to read, and it also gives a feeling as to exactly what this class is about.
Thanks.



I might consider dropping the Hit Die to a d4...,
A bunch of those skills really don't seem to fit the class...Appraise, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently and Swim. *I don't see how those relate to the class at all. *I'd also consider dropping the skill points to 4 per level.

I understand you just copied the bard list (more or less), but the whole list doesn't really fit.


A guessmith isn't, or at least wasn't intended to be bookish. They love to adventure for the challenge.
they disdain combat, like pure book skills because they like risk. In a magical world, that often means, sneaking into lairs using hide, move silently, and swim...all would be part of the fun for a guessmith, trying to overcome.

(In my story blurb, Bromsby could have told Urname the answer, but part of the fun is coming along.)



Would this apply, for example, to a simple knowledge check? * I'm guessing not, since Second Chance applies to Skill checks in general.
I always envisoned them being able to do this, but your point is quite valid.



I love this class! *I'm envisioning a "sage" - a gnome Bard/Guesssmith/Lore Master! *A very nice, flavorful class!
Thanks again for the comments and criticism.