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SurvivorX
2009-02-13, 03:49 AM
So, who here read Chainer's Torment out of the Magic: The Gathering series? And who else, apart from me, thought that it would be ridiculously cool to make a prestige class out of the dementists they had there?

For those of you who have no clue what I'm talking about, the book I mentioned has a whole group of people who, in layman's terms, take their mental image of every creature, monster, or nightmare they encounter over the course of their lives; they shape them into corporeal creatures, and summon them to fight their enemies or do other various tasks. They're also invariably mentally disturbed in some manner or another.

So, I just couldn't let it sit. I made a prestige class for this, as well as a creature template to apply to the creatures they summon.



Dementist
Shaping his insanity like a canvas, working his nightmares like clay, a dementist uses the horrific warping of his own mind to bring nightmarish creatures into being. Any creature he's fought and bested becomes his weapons, and he gains the ability to bring these twisted memories of what once was a material creature into the world to fight alongside him. An entire army lies within his brain, just itching to burst out and further accentuating the distortion in his own mind.
Hit Die: d4.

Requirements
Alignment: Any nonlawful
Spellcasting: Able to cast 2nd-level arcane spells
Spellcasting: Must have access to the
Conjuration and Transmutation schools of magic (must not be prohibited classes)
Knowledge (The Planes): 8 ranks
Special: In addition, the character must undergo a special magical ritual, in which the character's Wisdom score is reduced to 1d4+2.

Class Skills
Balance, Concentration, Intimidate, Sense Motive, Spellcraft
Skill Points at Each Level: 2+Int modifier.

{table="head"]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special
1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Dementia Space, Disquieted Mind
2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Dementia Absorption, Dementia Casting
3rd|+1|+1|+1|+3|Expanded Dementia Space
4th|+2|+1|+1|+4|
5th|+2|+1|+1|+4|
6th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Expanded Dementia Space, Nightmare Defences
7th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Dementia Multi-Casting
8th|+4|+2|+2|+6|
9th|+4|+3|+3|+6|
10th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Master Dementist
[/table]
Spells Per Day: +1 level of existing spellcasting class at 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Dementists gain proficiency with all simple weapons, and with light armor.

Dementia Space: Contained within the dementist's mind is a demiplane, called his dementia space, crafted from twisted, warped visual images of the dementist's earliest memories his birthplace, childhood fears, even dreams or nightmares the dementist might have had as a child. This plane is a 500 square foot area, shaped however the dementist wishes part this area is a hazy void. At 3rd level, the dementia space expands to an area of 1500 square feet. At 6th level it expands to 3000 square feet.
The dementist can transport himself bodily into his dementia space, as the plane shift spell. He can transport only himself, 50 lbs. of gear, and up to 3 other willing creatures.
Dementia space is hazardous however many dementists are tempted to stay in their dementia space forever, abandoning the Material Plane to literally live in their own little world. When a character enters his own dementia space, and every minute spent thereafter, he must make a Will save with a DC equal to 10+his dementist level. If this save is failed, the dementist immediately takes 2d6 permanent Wisdom drain, and he remains in his dementia space unless someone else forcibly extracts him from it. Even then, he must take another Will save against the same DC to regain his mental faculties and have the Wisdom drain turn into temporary Wisdom damage that heals at the normal rate. If he fails the save, he will do everything in his power to return to his dementia space. If he is unable to do so (due to a dimensional anchor or similar spell) he may make a new Will save every 1d4 minutes.
Any character in a dementia space that is not his own must make a Will check every turn (DC 10+dementist's level) to avoid taking 1d6 Wisdom damage.
A dementist can leave his dementia space at any time as a free action and be deposited on the Material plane right where he was when he left. Once he does so, any other characters who were in his dementia space with him are also ejected.
All aspects of this ability are supernatural effects.

Disquieted Mind: A dementist's brain is a raging maelstrom, and it is nigh impossible to make sense of anything going on in there. A dementist is immune to mind-influencing effects of all kinds. This is an extraordinary ability.

Dementia Absorption: At 2nd level, a dementist gains the supernatural ability to absorb a living, corporeal creature with negative hit points into his dementia space. He must make a Charisma check (DC 11+the creature's HD).
If he succeeds, the creature is sucked into the dementist's mind, deposited in his dementia space. The creature has the Nightmare creature template applied to it, and is restored to full hit points, with any subdual or ability damage removed. The creature is thenceforth completely under the dementist's control, as a Dominate Monster spell, but completely unbreakable.
The dementia space can hold as many creatures as will fit in its area. Any more creatures are killed and their bodies hurled into the Astral Plane.
A dementist in his dementia space can alter all sorts of cosmetic physical traits of the creatures he's pulled in. Size of limbs, changing skin to scales, adding a tail or nonfunctional wings, or changing a fanged maw into a wicked hooked beak can all be done by the dementist as a standard action.
The dementist should feel free to experiment with the creatures to come up with something that is pleasing to him. He can even change a few minor combat-related things change a claw attack into a slam attack, or a fire-based breath weapon into a cold-based one, or something to that effect. The DM should decide whether a change is okay, or if it would increase the creature's combat stats too much.

Dementia Casting: At 2nd level, a dementist gains the ability to summon forth, as a standard action, any Nightmare creature in his dementia space. This ability is as a Summon Monster spell of a spell level equal to his dementist level 1 (For example, a 5th-level dementist would cast it as a Summon Monster IV spell). The creature lasts one round per dementist level, then is returned to its dementia space. He cannot have more HD of monsters outside his dementia space than his total character level at one time.
At 7th level, a dementist can cast multiple copies of a single Nightmare creature. He still cannot have more HD of monsters outside his dementia space than his total character level at one time.

Nightmare Defences: At 6th level, the creatures within a dementist's mind can help him to throw off enchantments and other mind-influencing effects. The dementist adds +1 to his Will save for every 2 HD (round down) of creatures in his dementia space, to a maximum of +10.

Master Dementist: At 10th level, the dementist has demonstrated true mastery over his mind, his dementia space, and his Nightmare creatures. He gains 2d4+4 Wisdom points, becoming lucid once again. He is no longer subject to a Will save to avoid becoming trapped in his own dementia space. He can travel to his dementia space even if under the effects of a dimensional anchor or similar spell, or within an antimagic field. In addition, his dementia space is of unlimited size, and the number of HD of Nightmare creatures he can bring outside his dementia space at one time increases by 50%.



I figured that while the class has a lot of very powerful abilities, just taking a level in the class is risky enough to balance it out (dump your Wis down to 2-5, and have to put what's left at risk just to be able to use your central class ability). Once you hit level 10 though, those risks are pretty much tossed out the window and it's probably broken.

Anyways, I mentioned a Nightmare template. Here is that:


Nightmare
A dementist absorbs creatures into his dementia space, but he does not pull them in as-is. The transition from a material, corporeal creature with thoughts and feelings, into the imaginary friend of a madman is obviously not a kind one, and often creatures are horribly warped and twisted by the experience.

Unlike other templates, the dementist can go into his dementia space and alter the specifics of this template by giving up 300 XP and taking 1 temporary Wisdom damage. For example, he could give a creature damage reduction, but later decide he wanted it to have spell resistance instead, and change it.
Creature Type: Changes to Aberration

Hit Dice: Changed to D8.

AC: The dementist can add up to +1 natural armor for every 2 dementist levels he has, for a maximum of +5. This can also be added on top of the creature's existing natural armor. In addition, if the creature had nonnatural armor (like scale mail or full plate, etc), the dementist can exchange up to +3 of that for natural armor.

Attacks and Damage: The dementist can swap out various attack types bites for slams, or claws for tentacle rakes, or the like, but otherwise same as the base creature.

Special Qualities: The nightmare gets special immunities and turn vulnerability, plus damage reduction, regeneration, or spell resistance (dementist's choice but not even a wish spell can allow a creature to have more than one of these abilities at a time).
Damage Reduction: The creature's body seems to shed all sorts of blows, giving it damage reduction 15/+1.
Spell Resistance: The creature gains spell resistance 10 + the base creature's HD.
Regeneration 5: Silver and positive-energy attacks deal normal damage to a Nightmare creature. The creature cannot regenerate lost limbs.
Immunities: Nightmare creatures are immune to mind-influencing affects, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects. Not subject to subdual damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.
Turning Vulnerability: Nightmares can be turned or destroyed just like undead. They can be rebuked, but not commanded.

Abilities: The dementist chooses two out of Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution to give +2 to. The creature has no Intelligence score, and its Wisdom score becomes 2.

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +2
Treasure: None
Alignment: Same as the dementist
Advancement: None

So, thoughts? I wanted to rename the dementist, dementia space, and nightmares to something a bit less "taken directly from the book", but that's what I got so far. I'm not even sure if they count as copyrighted, which is another reason why I want to change them a bit.

Also, is the class broken, or is the risks inherent in taking the class enough to balance it, or are they too much and it's pointless to even take the class?

EDIT: Meep! How could I have forgotten their semi-signature piece of equipment? :smallbiggrin:


Dementist Goggles

A dementist uses these metal goggles with thin, glass slits in the front to prevent the creatures he has summoned from recognizing him in the Material Plane. This, along with the enchantment over the goggles, can prove to be a vital aid in taming them and controlling them. The number of HD of creatures that a dementist can have outside his dementia space is increased by 2 if he is wearing Dementist Goggles.
Caster level: 8th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, 2 or more levels of the Dementist prestige class, alter self. Market Price: 5,600 GP; Weight: 3 lbs.

RMS Oceanic
2009-02-13, 03:54 AM
I dunno about the whole reducing Wisdom thing. Remember that one Dementist in Judgement who had just as much control over his Dementia space as Chainer or Braids, but happened to be 100% sane? I'd make it will-save dependant: every few levels, make a will save or have your wisdom reduced by 2.

DracoDei
2009-02-13, 05:57 AM
I dunno about the whole reducing Wisdom thing. Remember that one Dementist in Judgement who had just as much control over his Dementia space as Chainer or Braids, but happened to be 100% sane? I'd make it will-save dependant: every few levels, make a will save or have your wisdom reduced by 2.

Rolled a 4 on the die for a 6 Wisdom, and was wearing a Headband of Intellect +4?
In any case I would consider grant immunity to wisdom damage and drain to keep poisons or perhaps even a Curse (I forget if that has a "to a minimum of 1" clause) from taking the character out too easily... the mind may be twisted, but i could be STRONG it its warpedness....

SurvivorX
2009-02-13, 03:28 PM
Rolled a 4 on the die for a 6 Wisdom, and was wearing a Headband of Intellect +4?
In any case I would consider grant immunity to wisdom damage and drain to keep poisons or perhaps even a Curse (I forget if that has a "to a minimum of 1" clause) from taking the character out too easily... the mind may be twisted, but i could be STRONG it its warpedness....

That's a good idea. Suppose I made that an "Improved Disquieted Mind" ability at Level 3-4? Obviously it wouldn't apply to Wisdom damage from modifying his Nightmare creatures or a failed dementia-space Will save...

Arachu
2009-02-19, 07:43 PM
I'd add a 'Madness' quality like the Derro's... Just because you're completely insane doesn't mean you are unwise...

I take Wisdom to mean planning and mental strength. To be insane is not necessarily to be mentally weak. Unstable, yes, but rarely weak...

Plus, the whole 'up to 6 wisdom' thing would leave them with abysmal Will saves, even if the lack of mind effects would result in less of a need. Plus, you know, it almost guarantees that entering the Dementia Space results in staying.

Anyhow, back to my first statement, I think having to trade a good half of your Wisdom in favor of Charisma makes sense, especially when you hand over the Will save to Charisma.

There's my two cents. Well, my two dollars, really... Lotsa two-cents...

Oh, and 'Sweet, this is awesome'. Can't forget that part :smallcool:

Pyrusticia
2009-02-20, 12:52 AM
Disquieted Mind: A dementist's brain is a raging maelstrom, and it is nigh impossible to make sense of anything going on in there. A dementist is immune to mind-influencing effects of all kinds. This is an extraordinary ability.

Nightmare Defences: At 6th level, the creatures within a dementist's mind can help him to throw off enchantments and other mind-influencing effects. The dementist adds +1 to his Will save for every 2 HD (round down) of creatures in his dementia space, to a maximum of +10.


Doesn't the first ability make the second redundant? Or am I missing something?

Fizban
2009-02-22, 08:09 AM
That book was awesome. My thoughts:

I believe the official term was Dementia Summoner, as in Braids, Dementia Summoner.

I don't remember any actual mention of them physically entering their dementia space, if I remember right, it was your standard la la land trance. I'd have the class start out requiring a minute long personalized ritual to access it, falling to 1 round and then a standard action. Once accessed you could alter creatures or pull them out to fight, with either no duration or one measured in minutes.

A big point in the book was that Chainer's master didn't want him killing if he could avoid it, because all the creatures he killed would be there waiting for him along with the particular nightmares from his childhood. When he took his final test, he had to enter his dementia space and subdue them by force of will (as the space responds to your will), after which he could summon and control them. As such, I'd say your space starts with one nightmare of CR equal to your character level of your choice, based on your character's fears (probably a demon, undead, or abberation of some sort, or construct one using templates), and then adds every creature you've personally killed ever (those aiming for this class should keep track ahead of time).

In order to summon a particular creature you must first take control of it within your dementia space by force of will. There are a few mechanics you could use, but the general assumption should be that you make the check most of the time. In the book failure meant death, but DnD it would probably mean you can't use the creature until you've beaten it, and can't try again till you gain another level. Entering the class should require one to win the contest against all the creatures that will populate his dementia space upon entering (the chosen creature and all creatures he's killed personally up to that point), though one might allow groups (treat all humans/humanoids under one roll to speed it up for example). Oddly enough, this means the dark and disturbed character, if prudent, would be the least likely to kill for a while.

In any case, the final result is that we have a character who should be able to summon level appropriate creatures based on those he has killed/is afraid of. I don't remember if they were reusable in the book, but for DnD we'll say they're summoned and can be reused after a day if killed. The question is how much spellcasting should they retain, and how powerful of creatures they should summon. This could be compared to summon monster, planar binding, animal companions, cohorts, CR, HD, or just whatever he can win the check against. CR is generally a better comparison of combat power, but you shouldn't get a CR equal to your own, cause then you've got more than your share of power. Too many HD can be problematic as well.

A cohort should be about 2 CR/ECL below you at all times, so let's say you can control creatures of up to CR= Character Level-3, with no more than 2HD/level (the same limit as animate dead). You lose 1 level of spellcasting at 1st level. If you want more summoning and less casting, then take another at 5th and up the CR limit to level-2. For multiple creatures at a time, double the number allowed for every 2 CR lower they are, gaining the ability at 3rd level. At 7th and 10th levels you'll want 2 more abilities. Let's say at 7th you can 1-3/day make a phantasmal killer style touch attack, and at 10th they have to will save or be sucked into your dementia space and fight all of your nightmares at once (essentially will save or die).

After that, just tack on some generic insanity stuff: immunity to confusion, wisdom loss/penalties/involuntary ticks you have to save against, and you're good.

Okay, so I basically just built my own class, now I'll take a look at yours.

You're requiring 2nd level casting and only giving half casting for the PrC, so I would assume you're trying to to be casting focused. Your d4 HD and 1/2 BAB says otherwise.

The sizing for the dementia space is odd (DnD rarely, if even, mentions square feet), and I see no reason for the dementist to ever actually visit if he doesn't want to. You've listed no amount of time needed to make changes to monsters, and there's no need to do so once captured anyway, unless you want to. And since it costs a ton of xp alongside a save or effectively die, you don't.

Your capture check is just mean. Monster HD scales far faster than character level, and charisma bonus is maybe half that with maximum optimization. The check basically comes down to "round up a bunch of something you want to summon, and keep killing them until you roll high". I'm guessing you want to make it a bit of a challenge to capture a creature, but be aware that it's generally assumed that performing at the stated limit of your power isn't supposed to require rolling high, at least for spellcasters (If you can cast spells with CL10, you don't have to roll a 15 to cast them. Fighters have to roll to hit, but they don't have to roll to get their feats.)

HD is a fine limit for one creature, but splitting your level's worth of HD into even two creatures means they'll be absolutely useless in any level appropriate fight.

The arbitrary wisdom loss and regain is well, arbitrary. There are plenty of better ways to represent loss of sanity and mad clarity, and it makes the character's wisdom roll completely irrelevant. Nevermind the fact that one could actually gain wisdom upon entry if they dumped it hard enough on character creation. I'd go with the simple wisdom penalty/immunity to confusion method, then lose the penalty at 10th level.

The class is a great idea, and it could work just fine, but obviously I'd do it differently myself.