View Full Version : Interim Classes: Neither Core nor Prestige

2005-08-05, 12:28 AM
Core classes are made to be common, useful and extend for a long while (level twenty for D&D, level ten for d20 Modern). Prestige classes are generally made with core classes in mind.

Certain classes may have specific bonuses that are too specific to be gained twice (but singularly are perfectly fine) and/or an ability set that is far too limited to go on to higher levels. However, they may nonetheless be the sort of thing one could learn too early in life to have gained a significant number of levels.

For example, suppose a certain group of tribal warriors has a specific combat style (which is significantly different from a Monk's or a Fighter's and whatnot). This style isn't terribly complicated (consisting of few techniques), but at the same time, it's taught too early in life to be a Prestige Class. Or, suppose one wants to make a class for whom the focus is on skills. However, this is far too limited to extend to higher levels without really reaching, and isn't really appropriate to slap some requirements on to.

Interim Classes extend for only a few levels (let's say five tops), but can be gained at first level. For example, a Tribal Warrior class may be used by virtually every member of the tribe (or group of tribes) that invented it, yet not fit any of the core or NPC classes, and not powerful enough to be prestige, and not complex enough to warrant a new full fledged twenty or ten level class.

Does this idea seem bad?

2005-08-05, 12:32 AM
It sounds like a Paragon class from Unearthed Arcana.

2005-08-05, 02:56 AM
The problem (at least as i see it) is that even if the 'tribal warrior' interim class is available at 2nd level, most people in the tribe won't be eligible (A majority of NPCs are 1st level). If you wanted a tribe to have a unique flavorful technique, I would just make it a feat (unless it's too powerful, then make it two feats)

Of course, the ineligibility through lack of levels is the main problem I have with PrCs. I mean, if you need to be level 7 to get into a PrC, what are the chances that one of the 30 level 7+ people in a city have all the prerequisites, and want to join the PrCs order? Espescially when there are over 30 PrCs running around in the campaign.

Whatever, My 2 cents, don't hate me.

2005-08-05, 04:17 AM
What you're asking for reminds me of the Substitution levels from Races of Eberron. For example, a Warforged is leveling up his Fighter class. Every once in a while, he could take his Racial Substitution level. It still counts as a Fighter level, except it has a different HD or Skill points modifier and grants a race-based ability instead of the normal bonus fighter feat. A substitution level is the same class, but can only be taken at certain times, and only if you belong to a certain race (or tribe, as you're going to need it to be).
(I know that I'm being a bit vague, but I can't be too specific without getting in trouble. This isn't OGL.)

Instead of your Intermediate class, why not try the Substitution? The only things you would need to do are as follows:
1) Choose a class. Let's say....monk.
2) Choose 3-4 levels (within the first 10 levels of the class). You're going to want to make your choices that sync up with currently established class abilities that you want to change. I want to lose the ability to choose bonus feats to make a combat style, so I'll "lose" 1st, 2nd, and 6th.
3) Decide what changes should occur. In my tribe, these monks have trained themselves to be incredibly resiliant to damage. Every sub. level they a d10 instead of their normal d8, and they gain the following abilities instead of their normal bonus feats-
1st: Gains Endurance and Toughness as bonus feats.
2nd: Gains Diehard and Toughness as bonus feats.
6th: DR 1-
(They still get any other abilities a monk would gain at that level, like Unarmed damage increases or AC bonuses).

It is important to note two things though. First, a substitution level often looks a bit more potent than a normal level. That may be true, but keep in mind that it usually A) takes away choice of some kind or B) focuses on something (less customizable or versatile).

Second, a substitution level is ALWAYS OPTIONAL. For example, a monk is 1st level. He took the substitution feat as his first level. However, he really wants some combat tricks, so he doesn't take the Sub. 2nd level and takes a normal level of monk. He's still a 2nd level monk, but one of his levels was a sub. Later on, he may choose to take the Sub. 6th level or (again) take a normal monk level. His choice. However, he MUST TAKE A SUB LEVEL AT THE LEVEL LISTED. If he goes to 6 level (normal monk), he will never get a chance to take the sub level again.

How's that? Fit your idea?

2005-08-05, 10:37 AM
I agree with Tarkhan; these sound very similar to the racial substitution levels, but based around culture more than race (meaning you might have some which apply to the Minwar Barbarians, other which only apply to gnomes from Mugglepuck, or what have you).

It's not a bad idea, though... and it might be interesting to see the concept applied to NPC classes, as well.

2005-08-05, 10:08 PM
The Alternate: Interim Classes would be available at first level, but not reach into very high levels.

The Tribal Warrior was just an example; it's not the general set of abilities.

Another example of an "Interim Class" would be a doctor class for a no magic setting in order to function as a healer. It can be taken first level (I mean, there are lots of doctors, and you can begin studying as a teenager), but it has limited progression due to the fact that in order for it to be fairly realistic, it must have a small ability set.

Yet another would be a buff/debuffer in such a setting. Or a Scholar class, like Expert but a PC-level class (and as such, unable to proceed to high levels without getting rather unbalancing abilities).

2006-08-27, 04:04 PM
d20 modern had something like this. You took levels in one of 6 starting classes and then you took levels in something in-between core and prestige.

For example, you could start as a strong hero, then level into a soldier, then you could get some soldier-based prestige class.