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Abelard
2004-07-22, 12:29 AM
Peter Abelard, as brilliantly outlined in another thread, was a great thinker, and smartass, and possibly a heretic. *He was also the father of a little boy, Astrolabius. *Why only one child? *Because Abelard’s father-in-law had him castrated when he found out that Abelard had married has daughter without permission.

And women wonder why guys fear their in-laws?

Anyway, Abelard’s new status led him to the medieval support groups he could find, such as the Noble Order of Brave And Loyal Legionnaires Society, and also to media appearances such as “Ye Jerrye Springre Showe”. *It was on this circuit that he became aware of a special type of young man, who would willingly let himself be emasculated in order to preserve his sweet, angelic, youthful voice. *Abelard, being devastatingly intelligent, was curious about these obviously misguided boys, so he began to talk with them and eventually came to understand their decision and lifestyle. *He found himself most unnerved that, rather than being praised for their sacrifice to their art, they were often ridiculed by the older and tougher boys. *Inspired to help these boys who were so much like him, he founded the order of Abelard’s Special Boys to develop their abilities into not only artists’ tools, but also warriors’ tools.

PRE-REQUISITES

To become one of Abelard’s Special Boys (ASB), the character must meet the following:
Skill: Perform (sing), 8 ranks
Feat: Skill Focus (Perform (sing))
Special: the character must be castrated at a special induction ceremony. This ceremony combines ancient magic and powerful bardic music (and a little chamomile tea, because it's so soothing to the throat!) to revert the character's voice back to the sweet and clear sounds of youth. The effects of this ceremony are detailed in the "What Haven't I Got?" ability, below. Being castrated in any other manner will not produce this effect on the character's vocal cords, and will effectively bar him from entering this PrC (unless he somehow regenerates the required equipment and then goes through the proper ceremony).

ABILITIES

HD: d6
Alignment: any
Skills: Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), 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), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha)
Skill Points per level: 6 + Int modifier


{table]


Level

BAB

Fort

Ref

Will
Special
Spells per Day



1

+0

+2

+0

+2
Sound Burst, Singer, Distraction, What Haven't I Got?
+1 caster level



2

+1

+3

+0

+3
You Think THAT Hurts?
+1 caster level



3

+2

+3

+1

+3
Shatter, Focused Drone
+1 caster level



4

+3

+4

+1

+4
Pumping Up
+1 caster level



5

+3

+4

+1

+4
Stone Shatter, Targeted Shrill
+1 caster level

[/table]

The ASB gains +1 caster level to any one spellcasting class that the character had before becoming an ASB. *The class levels in ASB are added to any previous levels in that class for purposes of determining the number of spells per day, caster level, and variable effects dependant on level. *This does not grant any other effects that gaining a level in that class would normally grant (improved familiar, bonus metamagic feats, etc.) except as noted below.

The ASB gains no extra weapon or armor proficiencies above what he had upon entering the class.

ABILITY DESCRIPTIONS

Sound Burst: Once per day, the ASB can cast the spell Sound Burst as a spell-like ability, with a caster level equal to the levels of ASB + Bard (if applicable), and a save DC of 12 + Cha mod. *The number of uses per day increases to 2 at third level and 3 at fifth level.

Singer: Levels of ASB count as levels of Bard to determine the number of Bardic Music uses per day and Bardic Music abilities available.

Distraction: The ASB can fill the air around him with a distracting noise as a move-equivalent action. *All Concentration checks within 30 feet of the ASB suffer a -2 penalty. *This can be sustained for a number of rounds equal to the ASB level + Cha modifier (if positive). *Sustaining this ability prevents the ASB from using other vocal abilities (casting spells with a Verbal component, using another Bardic Music ability with any oral Perform skill, speaking, etc.) while it is sustained. *This supernatural ability can be used once per day at first level, twice per day at third level, and three times per day at fifth level.

What Haven't I Got?: Upon entering the ASB society, the mystical castration ritual confers the following effects on the character -
<1> the ASB permanently loses 4 hit points. These can only be regained by powerful magic (e.g., Wish, Miracle, etc.) or regeneration of the removed parts, either of which will result in loss of all class abilities until re-inducted into the ASB class;
<2> the ASB gains Extremely Light Fortification: upon receiving a critical hit, the ASB has a 5% chance to negate it (there's one less critical area to hit!);
<3> The ASB suffers a -2 penalty to Charisma on social interaction checks when dealing with males of any race except fey creatures.

You Think THAT Hurts?: Once you’ve been castrated, there ain’t nothing like it. *Drawing upon that memory allows the ASB to ignore a little bit of damage received. *He gains DR 1/- as an extraordinary ability.

Shatter: Once per day, the ASB can cast the spell Shatter as a spell-like ability, with a caster level equal to the levels of ASB + Bard (if applicable), and a save DC of 13 + Cha mod.

Focused Drone: The ASB has learned to better direct his vocal abilities. *As a standard action, the ASB can project his voice as a cone extending 60 feet, and every creature in the cone suffers a -4 penalty to Concentration checks and a -2 penalty to Will saves. *A successful Will save (DC 10 + ASB level + Cha mod) halves these penalties. *The effects last for a number of rounds equal to the ASB level + Cha modifier (if positive). *This supernatural ability can be used once per day at third level and twice per day at fifth level.

Pumping Up: Noting that most castrati ended up being “soft”, and that this was a point of teasing, Abelard instilled a regimen of training for the boys. *The ASB can choose a permanent +2 inherent bonus to either Strength or Constitution.

Stone Shatter: Once per day, the ASB can cast the spell Stone Shatter as a spell-like ability, with a caster level equal to the levels of ASB + Bard (if applicable), and a save DC of 14 + Cha mod.

Targeted Shrill: The ASB can now specifically target those to affect with his vocal abilities. *As a standard action, the ASB can afflict a number of creatures within 60 feet equal to his levels of ASB + Bard (if applicable) with a -6 penalty to Concentration checks, a -4 penalty to Will saves, and 1d6 sonic damage. *A Will save (DC 15 + Cha mod) halves the penalties and damage. *This supernatural ability can be used once per day.

- - - - - - - - - -
Hee. *This was inspired by The Giant's comment about my Pupil of Abelard PrC entry for the Screen Name contest (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=features;action=display;num=10902573 81), where he noted
When I saw this thread, I was really worried your class would have a Castration special prerequisite. *

So I started thinking about who would be castrated, and, well, this is what you get. *It's an admittedly not-fully-baked idea, so I'll be tweaking it, and, as always, your comments are welcome.

Note that the spell Stone Shatter is from "Magic of Faerun", and it does pretty much what the name implies. *A little non-core, but I think it was needed as a pinnacle.

- - - - - - - - - -
edit 7/22/04 to delete duplication and delete duplication
- - - - - - - - - -
edit 7/27/07 to add save DC's and the "Pumping Up" bonus type; please see my post of 7/27 to comment on a new requirement/ability combo
- - - - - - - - - -
edit 7/30/04 to change the name of the support group (get it?), add a note about weapon/armor proficiency, toss in some bolding, and add/modify the castration ritual and effect descriptions

Musrum
2004-07-22, 12:54 AM
Well that was interesting: Castrato. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castrato)
Sort of explains The Backstreet Boys etc in terms of Darwinian natural selection.

Grey Watcher
2004-07-22, 09:28 AM
"Ye Jerrye Springre Showe" ;D

By the way, you have a small repeat in the middle. It says "ABILITIES" and then launches into the background info again.

And Musrum, what does castration have to do with Darwinism? Castrati can't father children (they're missing a couple of important parts for that). And the Backstree Boys are definitely tenors (poorly trained, whiny tenors, but tenors nevertheless). I've never heard a castrati, but even countertenors sing more like girls than the Backstreet Boys.

Zherog
2004-07-22, 05:10 PM
<<snipped flavor text>>

Your flavor text had me cracking up! ;D


PRE-REQUISITES

To become one of Abelard’s Special Boys (ASB), the character must meet the following:
Skill: Perform (sing), 8 ranks
Feat: Skill Focus (Perform (sing))
Special: must be a castrato

Really rather easy to get into. There's no reason for any male bard not to take this class - since losing his nuts has no real game effect. I'm drawing a blank, though, on something else to toss into the pre-reqs.


ABILITIES

HD: d6
Alignment: any
Skills: Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), 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), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha)
Skill Points per level: 6 + Int modifier

Is this pretty much a direct copy of the Bard's skill list? It looks like it, off the top of my head. Nothing wrong with that, of course.



The ASB gains +1 caster level to any one spellcasting class that the character had before becoming an ASB. *The class levels in ASB are added to any previous levels in that class for purposes of determining the number of spells per day, caster level, and variable effects dependant on level. *This does not grant any other effects that gaining a level in that class would normally grant (improved familiar, bonus metamagic feats, etc.) except as noted below.

I love when classes give full caster progression. However, this might be a case where it should be curtailed. With full caster progression and full Bardic Music, there's no reason for a Bard to pass up this class. If you apply casting at 1st, 3rd and 5th the Bard has to sacrifice something, even if it is a little small.


Sound Burst: Once per day, the ASB can cast the spell Sound Burst as a spell-like ability, with a caster level equal to the levels of ASB + Bard (if applicable). *The number of uses per day increases to 2 at third level and 3 at fifth level.

Save DC?


Singer: Levels of ASB count as levels of Bard to determine the number of Bardic Music uses per day and Bardic Music abilities available.

Nice. 8)


Distraction: The ASB can fill the air around him with a distracting noise as a move-equivalent action. *All Concentration checks within 30 feet of the ASB suffer a -2 penalty. *This can be sustained for a number of rounds equal to the ASB level + Cha modifier (if positive). *Sustaining this ability prevents the ASB from using other vocal abilities (casting spells with a Verbal component, using another Bardic Music ability with any oral Perform skill, speaking, etc.) while it is sustained. *This supernatural ability can be used once per day at first level, twice per day at third level, and three times per day at fifth level.

I'm wondering if a save should be allowed? Or (ironically) a separate concentration check?


You Think THAT Hurts?: Once you’ve been castrated, there ain’t nothing like it. *Drawing upon that memory allows the ASB to ignore a little bit of damage received. *He gains DR 1/- as an extraordinary ability.

Nice flavor.


Shatter: Once per day, the ASB can cast the spell Shatter as a spell-like ability, with a caster level equal to the levels of ASB + Bard (if applicable).

Save DC?


Focused Drone: The ASB has learned to better direct his vocal abilities. *As a standard action, the ASB can project his voice as a cone extending 60 feet, and every creature in the cone suffers a -4 penalty to Concentration checks and a -2 penalty to Will saves. *A successful Will save halves these penalties. *The effects last for a number of rounds equal to the ASB level + Cha modifier (if positive). *This supernatural ability can be used once per day at third level and twice per day at fifth level.

Save DC again.


Pumping Up: Noting that most castrati ended up being “soft”, and that this was a point of teasing, Abelard instilled a regimen of training for the boys. *The ASB can choose a permanent +2 increase to either Strength or Constitution.

You should probably name this bonus type.


Stone Shatter: Once per day, the ASB can cast the spell Stone Shatter as a spell-like ability, with a caster level equal to the levels of ASB + Bard (if applicable).

I don't have MoF with me - is a save appropriate? If so, you need to list the DC again.


Targeted Shrill: The ASB can now specifically target those to affect with his vocal abilities. *As a standard action, the ASB can afflict a number of creatures within 60 feet equal to his levels of ASB + Bard (if applicable) with a -6 penalty to Concentration checks, a -4 penalty to Will saves, and 1d6 sonic damage. *This supernatural ability can be used once per day.

Once again, is a save (or saves) allowed, and if so what's the DC? I'd recommend Fort to avoid the penalties and reflex to avoid the damage.

***

A nice class. I think it might be too good for a Bard - but given the general suckiness of the bard, this might actually help. ;)

Grey Watcher
2004-07-23, 01:10 AM
Personally, I would think that for your bard to be a castrati, you would have to declare that at the beginning of the game. I mean, it seems awfully cheesy (muchkiny) to up and say to your fellow players, oh, by the way, these past 5 levels, I haven't had any balls.

Zherog
2004-07-23, 07:41 AM
You could certainly add that to the requirement - but it isn't necessary. In some games, it'll be handled perfectly.The DM will have encounters where people react to the guy's higher pitched voice on ocassion.

I play in games with other DM's, though, where it just wouldn't matter. You wouldn't get treated differently in any city or town. In those cases, this class is just gravy on top of the bard.

Abelard
2004-07-27, 07:48 PM
Sorry for not addressing your comments sooner; had a short vacation where I expected to have web access, but didn't.

Anywho, to your comments:

Zherog:


Is this pretty much a direct copy of the Bard's skill list?
Er, yeah. I admit, not very creative...


If you apply casting at 1st, 3rd and 5th the Bard has to sacrifice something, even if it is a little small.
I'm very against slowing caster progression for a bard in a PrC; they get less powerful spells slower than other casters (and I know all the arguments for and against this, believe me), so they need what they can get ASAP. I'm already taking away Bardic Knowledge progression. Please, don't cripple the bard anymore than he (well, in this case, "it") already is! ;D


Save DC?
OK, I've got to put those in, right.


I'm wondering if a save should be allowed [re: Distraction ability]?
I'd say no because it is not something that you're actively resisting; the enemy caster is making the Concentration check because she is casting defensively, or is being damaged, or whatever, and that's what they are concentrating on - but there's this buzz in the background that you don't notice until you try to ignore everything around you... it's like the tick-tock of a clock that you never notice until there are no other sounds. Anyway, that's my logic for it.


And I've thought of a new way to make the castrati requirement pertinent:
Requirements, Special: the character must be castrated at a special induction ceremony. This ceremony combines ancient magic and powerful bardic music to revert the character's voice back to the sweet and clear sounds of youth. Being castrated in any other manner will not produce this effect on the character's vocal chords, and will effectively bar him from entering this PrC (unless he somehow regenerates the required equipment and then goes through the proper ceremony). The effects of this ceremony are detailed in the "What Haven't I Got?" ability, below.
Abilities, 1st level; "What Haven't I Got?": In entering the ASB society, the mystical castration ritual confers the following effects on the character - <1> the ASB permanently loses 4 hit points. These can only be regained by powerful magic (e.g., Wish, Miracle, etc.) or regeneration of the removed parts, either of which will result in loss of all class abilities until re-inducted into the ASB class; <2> the ASB gains Extremely Light Fortification: upon receiving a critical hit, the ASB has a 5% chance to negate it (there's one less critical area to hit!); <3> The ASB suffers a -2 penalty to Charisma on social interaction checks when dealing with males of any race except fey creatures.

The only problem is that it doesn't properly fit the flavor text, and that it might be too cumbersome. OK, that's two problems...

I'll make the other mods tonight, and please let me know what you think about the new requirement/ability.

Zherog
2004-07-27, 09:05 PM
I think the requirement/Ability work very well together. There's a slight benefit (the fortification effect) as well as a small penalty - though important enough to a Bard to make a character think twice.

Abelard
2004-07-30, 09:36 AM
OK, I've added the ritual and effect descriptions to the main post. I actually think this is a decent class now! How did that happen? :o