View Full Version : (PrC, 3.5) Engineer's Auxillary to the Society

2009-06-16, 09:31 AM
(Work in progress)It may be good to go mechanically... one of these days I might get motivated to get the the crunch and the nomenclature brought into line...

This PrC is for Lappy9000's Engineer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114229) base class.

*Hereafterward referred to simply as "engineer's auxillary members"!

"Here's acid in your eyes! and your chest and... eh, basically everywhere..." - Tilk Migath Weko, Engineer's Auxiliary Member

A long time ago, the militant arm of the trade guild that had a legal monopoly on the production of repeater crossbows deported itself well in a long war. Their heavy losses evoked the sympathy of an allied blink-dog clan known as the pack of Jark (their ancestral leader). The dogs noted that it was the lack of mobility to get to a range for accurate attack, while still remaining out of reach from melee combatants that was the weakness of these units. Being highly mobile themselves, the pack of Jark volunteered to serve as their mounts if some way could be found to allow the gnomes to travel with the dog when it used its spell-like mobility and defensive abilities. The project caught the interest of gnomish spell-researchers, and their bold inquisitiveness soon solved the problem. The names of the gnomes and blink dogs who were lost between dimensions in the course of said research are enshrined in the oral traditions of the pack of Jark, and on a plaque in the society headquarters.

So successful was the combined unit, that not only has it survived to this day, rather than dissolving into two separate groups at the end of the war, but the gnomish government annexed the property next to the main guild-hall of the gnomish artisans, and built a permanent "kennel" (the term doesn't quite apply in the usual sense since they can open the doors themselves) and gifted it to the pack. In addition the government and the guild work together to heavily subsidize the purchase of the saddles for new members of the society's militant arm, and the training of the blink dogs who wish to become their mounts.

With the development of Dynamo Cannons a rival guild formed. The rivalry between the proponents of repeater crossbows and dynamo canons continues to this day (the repeater crossbows dominate the market since the cannons are extremely difficult for anyone but their creator to use, but the questions of relative usefulness still continue). The pack of Jark, however, saw this as an oportunity to expand versitility, and eventually convinced the Society to add an Auxillary to its militant branch for skilled Dynamo Cannon weilders.

Technically members of the militant wing of the society are expected stand to stand ready or do patrols to defend gnomish lands. As a practical matter, a clause in the charter of that wing regarding detached duty for the purposes of specific missions to gain practical experience in the use of combat skill provides a generous loop-hole for adventuring members of the society.
Most members of the Engineer's Auxillary are single-classed Engineers.

Race: Gnome
Skills: Ride 4.5 Ranks, Craft (Any) 9 ranks
Feats: Point-Blank Shot, Mounted Combat, Mounted Archery
Vocations: Dynamo Cannon and two that have that as a pre-requisites.
Special: Contribute 7,500 GP towards cost of society saddle, own a dynamo cannon
Alignment: Any Good

Class Skills
Appraise (Int), Concentration(Con) ,Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (architecture/engineering) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Open Lock (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride(Dex), Swim(Str), Tumble(Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + int

Hit Dice: 1d6

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+0|Jark Mount, Mounted Archery*, Continuing Innovation Studies

+0|Weapon Focus [Dynamo Cannon]**

+1|Dimension Door Tolerance

+1|Many-Shot*, Weapon Specialization [Dynamo Cannon]

+1|Dynamo Cannon Vocation

+2|Artillery-Gnome, Greater Weapon Focus [Dynamo Cannon], Improved Ride-by-Attack

+2| Blink Timing, Improved Artillery-Gnome

+2|Greater Artillery Gnome, Greater Many-Shot*, Greater Weapon Specialization [Dynamo Cannon]
+3|Greater Ride-by-Attack, Dynamo Cannon Vocation

+3| Masterful Rapid Shot, Improved Mounted Archery, Wrenching Shot?[/table]
*Dynamo Cannon only, applies even if it that feat would not normally apply to Dynamo Cannons.
**If the Auxillary member already has this feat, they may substitute any other feat that they meet the prerequisites for.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Auxillary Society members gain no weapon, armor, or shield proficiencies.

Jark Mount(Partner): At first level a society member is paired with a blink-dog, an incomplete monster listing for this secondary PC is provided later in this document. The elite array is distributed by the player, and it modified by the racial adjustments given. Skill points are similarly distributed, but the initial feats listed are static and may not be altered (except later, if the DM allows retraining). Feats for additional HD beyond 7 (so at 9, 12, 15, and 18 HD) are selected by the player. This pairing is almost always for life (and beyond in the case of Resurrection). Losing levels in this class or failing to meet the requirements (other than alignment violation) does not cause the partnership to end. In the case of death replacement partners are arranged ONLY if there is absolutely no practical way (up to and including the sale of all team (not party, team) equipment other than the saddle, non-magical armor, and an single non-magical crossbow) of arranging the decease's return to life via something that would preserve the form. At the GMs descretion, if there is an ECL difference of 3 or more between the dog and rider, a replacement might be allowed or even forced. The blink dog never advances beyond medium size, but starts with HD equal to the gnome's ECL, it gains HD to keep it equal, provided no level loss on either side creates an imbalance and there is no ECL buy-off involved. In the case of level loss, the imbalance will continue at an equal amount until and unless the level loss is recovered. In the case of buy-off, the dog does not level up until after blink-dog HD=gnome HD (both modified for level loss) once again.

Example(If this were in print I would do it as a side-bar, as it is, a quote will have to do.):

Methar Dir Tilazook the Half-Bronze Dragon (brother of Silbok), is accepted into the militant arm of the guild as a 6th level fighter. With his new prestige class level, his ECL is 6+1+2=9. He is paired with Obok, a upstanding and soft-spoken bitch of 9 HD.

Not one month after joining the society, an outbreak of vampirism forces them into a fierce battle. Methar is level drained 2 levels. Two failed fortitude saves later, Methar is a 5th level Engineer with a +2 LA. Unfortunately, no caster of sufficient power is available to reverse Methar's level loss at that time. Neither Obok, nor the society at large cares one whit about the fact that Obok could no longer make the entry requirements for their initial training program that included getting to be paired with Obok, let along use the skills he learned in that training program.

After some brief but intense training to consolidate the lessons learned from the battle, Obok is back up to 9 HD and Obok is a 6th level engineer with an ECL of 8.

A bit later, they hook-up with another unit that contains a 15th level cleric. Swamped with casting, the cleric does not have to divine energy to help them for a few days, but eventually a Restoration, Greater is cast, returning Methar to a 6th level fighter, 1st level Society Member, +2 LA half-dragon, for a total ECL of 9.

Some leveling, another death and a Resurrection later, Obok is a 12 HD, medium-sized blink-dog, and Methar is a 6/3/+2 Engineer/Society Member/Half-Dragon for an ECL of 11. Obok is now the stronger of the two in some ways, but they simply take this into account with their tactics, and get on with their jobs.

Methar removes one point of his level adjustment to become an ECL 10 character. Obok does not loose a HD from this process and remains a 12 HD character.

Methar gains a level. Because they are separated by 2 points of ECL, and only 1 of that is level loss, Obok does not gain a HD. Obok is still 12 HD, and Methar is a 6/4/+1 -> ECL 11 character.

Another level up by Methar makes Obok a 13 HD blink-dog, still of medium size, and Methar a 6/5/+1 Engineer/Society Member/Half-dragon for an ECL of 12.

Continuing Innovation Studies (Ex): You gain 2 points of innovation per class level.

Dimension Door Tolerance (Ex): You may now act in a round after being dimension doored by your mount.

Artillery Gnome (Ex): As per the Far-Shot feat, but applies only to Dynamo Cannons.

Blink Timing (Ex): You ignore the miss chance from being under a Blink spell and/or similar effect.

Improved Ride-by-Attack(Ex): While mounted you may make a full attack with one or more repeater crossbows. All attacks at your highest BAB happen at the start of the movement, all attacks at your lowest BAB happen at the end-point of the movement, and all other attacks happen at the mid-point of the movement. You many not use Rapid-Shot or other such feats or effects (such as Haste or a Repeater Crossbow of Speed) to gain more attacks, however you many benefit from any two-weapon fighting feats granted by this class.

Improved Artillery Gnome (Su): Any Dynamo Cannon you wield counts as having the Distance enchantment.

Greater Artillery Gnome (Ex): As per the Precise Shot and Improved Precise Shot feats, but applies only to Dynamo Cannons.

Greater Ride-by-Attack(Ex): You may now use Rapid shot, as augmented by this class while making a ride-by attack.

Masterful Rapid-Shot(Ex): You now only take a -1 to-hit penalty instead of -2 when using Rapid-Shot with one or more Dynamo Cannons.

Improved Mounted Archery(Ex): The penalty you take when using a ranged weapon while mounted is re-halved: -1 instead of -2 if your mount is taking a double move, and -2 instead of -4 if your mount is running.

Wrenching Shot (Su): You construct a new modification for your dynamo cannon, based on highly advanced blue-prints in the auxiliary's secret archives that you only now comprehend. When mounted on your partner, you may use your shots to alter the dimensional stability of a target. By spending 1 point of innovation you may produce one of the following effects in place of a normal shot (you may use this ability as many times as you can attack per rounding including Haste, rapid shot, multi-shot, etc):
-Dimensional Anchor
-Ethereal Jaunt
-Add or remove the Incorporeal subtype(Assume strength scores for creatures with that subtype are average for a creature of their size).
These effects last for one round per 3 auxillary levels that you possess. If used on an enemy they must make a Fortitude save DC 10+ your Intellegence Modifier plus half your auxillary level or be stunned for one round by the violent and bewildering nature of the transition. If used on an ally the DC is a straight 15.

You are a tinkering gnome who is probably every bit as geeky as you are are deadly. You and your mount are a team, equals in every way, and next to nothing without the other, you share a common purse... a purse with very tight strings that tends to go empty at intervals since the costs of your equipment are high, not to mention the costs for the occasion Resurrection or whatever for the "pilot" side of your "pilot/gunner" duo.

Combat: Use skirmisher archer tactics, but your short range means a foe may be able to close on you. This isn't actually all that much of a problem since you can simply dimension door away. Use the dog to get to an advantageous position, then put as many shots as possible into your foes or use the threat of such to lure them out of position.
Advancement: Your only really major choices are what level of armoring to go with for your partner at lower levels (until you get the Dimension Door Tolerance class feature) and what Dynamo Cannon Vocations to take. Your non-bonus feats should probably be defensively oriented, perhaps including Skill-Focus(Ride) to further boost your ability to protect the blink dog.
Resources: In addition to the society and pack themselves, society members are have the respect of both gnomes and blink-dogs everywhere. Since blink-dogs are known for their unflagging dedication to the cause of Good, the altruism of a society members is rarely questioned by anyone who knows anything about magical beasts.

"WHERE IN OUR HOMELAND DID ALL THAT FLESH BRUISING NOISE COME FROM?" captured demon, sole survivor of a clash with auxiliary members.
Auxillary members serve much the same social function as fighters, and mix with army and town guard units quite readily. Although seen as a bit oddball, they are well respected for what they do.
Daily Life: A typical day might go in the following order: Breakfast, Dynamo Cannon tinkering, patrolling as town watch or gnomish borders, lunch, run agility course with targets, more practice separately (probably the only part of the day where you are apart from your mount), dinner, playful argument about which of you gets the foot of the bed this time (lose intentionally), sleep.

Notables: ???

Organizations: The Society and the Pack are the only organizations likely to be involved.

NPC Reaction
Between their gung-ho combat mindset and geeky sides, most ordinary folk steer clear of direct social interaction with auxiliary society members given the option.

The power of Society Members varies a lot with how high wealth the game is. The mount should not slow combat down much since the team wants to remain at range (so no bite attack), and they occupy a single space. Society members are good for bold players who get easily bored when their boldness ends up with their character temporarily out of the fight or scenario (paralyzed or dead respectively) since they can still contribute at some level by playing the blink-dog. Similarly, the gnome is weaker, but not totally useless without the dog. Dimension Door at will is a very powerful ability just for shear terrain negation, and once Dimension Door Tolerance kicks in expect the gnome+dog unit to become the one of the most highly mobile units in the game.
Adaptation: Opening the class to other races, rather than having it be quite so elite, could be interesting. In such a case, have the blink dogs start as Large instead of medium, so that they can carry humans etc. For a middle course on this option, do not subsidize the saddles for non-gnomes.
Encounters: If they are doing something suspicious in gnome lands, having a blast of acid hit the wall exactly two inches to the right and left of the party leader's head can be a nice wake-up call. Conversely a teleporting arrival as reinforcements to a losing battle can be a very dramatic way of avoiding a Total Party Kill. Speaking of PC death, if a member of this class dies, the player can "limp along" by playing the dog until a reanimation or replacement character can be arranged.

Example Character:

"Blank" for most common starting Jark Blink-Dog
Medium Magical Beast
HD 7d10+(7*Con Mod)
Speed 40 ft. (8 squares)
Init: DEX Mod
AC (18+DEX Mod); touch (13+DEX Mod); flat-footed 18
(+(DEX Mod) Dex, +3 Natural, Chain-Shirt Barding of Jark +1)
BAB +7; Grp +(7+STR Mod)
Attack Bite +(7+Str Mod) (1d6 + (1.5*STR Mod))
Full-Attack Bite +(7+Str Mod) (1d6 + (1.5*STR Mod))
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Qualities Blink, darkvision 60 ft., dimension door, low-light vision, scent
Saves Fort +(7+DEX Mod), Ref +(7+DEX Mod) Will +(6+WIS Mod)
Ability Modifiers* Str (+0), Dex (+6), Con (+0), Int (+2), Wis (+2), Cha (+0)
Class Skills Being Ridden, Hide, Jump, Listen, Spot, Survival, Swim
Feats Iron Will, Run, Protect Rider
Alignment Any Good
Advancement 8+ HD (Medium)
*Use the elite array, as distributed by the player.
Languages Known: Gnomish, Blink Dog
Starting equipment before additional purchases/upgrades from the funds the gnome brought to the partnership: Saddle of Jark (partially paid for by gnome), Chain-Shirt Barding of Jark +1, saddle-bags, waterskin, 10 day's preserved rations, food and water bowls, Tent large enough for self and partner, masterwork grooming brushes and claw-files,

Protect Rider [Jark]
Jark Blink-dogs are partners to their riders in ways that even a paladin's mount isn't. They require no direction, and, indeed, the gnome in the saddle may sometimes be breifly surprised by where the teams ends up, but only to the extent that two swordsmen working together might vary SLIGHTLY from each-others' expectations.
Prerequisites:Blink-dog of the Pack of Jark
Benefits: You fight cooperatively with your rider. The "Fight with Warhorse", "guide with knees", and "Jump" aspects of the Ride skill may not be used with you, but as long as you are cooperating with your rider, the mechanical effect is as if "Fight with Warhorse", and "guide with knees" had been rolled successfully.
The exclusive skill "Being Ridden", counts as a class skill for you. The uses of this skill all require that you also have this feat. For this reason, the skill is described here instead of in a separate block. The skill is Dexterity based and may not be used untrained. There are three uses for this skill:

Once per round when your partner(not merely any rider, but your dedicated partner) is hit in combat while riding you, you may attempt a Being Ridden check (as a reaction) to negate the hit. The hit is negated if your Being Ridden check result is greater than the opponentís attack roll. (Essentially, the Being Ridden check result becomes the riderís Armor Class if itís higher than the riderís regular AC.) You may not use this action if the rider is currently using the "Cover" use of the Ride skill.
You may make a DC 20 being ridden check to retain an unconscious rider in the saddle when they would otherwise fall off.
Spur Self: You can mentally spur yourself to greater speed with a free action. A successful DC 15 Being Ridden check increases the your speed by 10 feet for 1 round but deals 1 point of damage to you. You can use this ability every round, but each consecutive round of additional speed deals twice as much damage to yourself as the previous round (2 points, 4 points, 8 points, and so on). The speed increase is NOT cumulative with that from the "Spur Mount" use of the Ride skill, and they count as each-other for purposes of determining damage.

Normal: A rider must expend actions to control a mount and is not any harder to hit unless taking cover behind the mount.

Jark Saddle
Price: 15,000 gp + 200 per point of spell resistance.
Body Slot: Belt (for the dog)
Caster Level: 7th or (spell resistance bestowed -10), whichever is greater.
Aura: Conjuration (strength varies by caster level)
Activation: Use (free action to augment use of appropriate SLA by wearer)
Weight: 10 lbs
Descriptive text
This military saddle allows a Jark Blink Dog to take their bonded rider and equipment with them when the Blink and Dimension Door. The spell resistance, if present, only functions to allow the Blink and Dimension Door SLA's of a blink dog wearing the saddle and only against Dimensional Anchor, Dimension Lock and similar spells and effects. Note that in the case of Dimensional Anchor it is irrelevant if it was the Jark blink dog, the rider, or some item of their equipment that was hit, the SR kicks in anyway.
prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, Blink, Dimension Door
cost to create: (Calculate as normal based on market price)

Armor of Jark
Price: +500 GP (subsidized to be free to add for Jark blink-dogs) armor must be fitted for a blink-dog and have an enchantment bonus of +1 or more
Body Slot: Armor Enchantment
Caster Level: 5th
Aura: Faint Transmutation (strength varies based on weapon's total enchantments)
Activation: Use
Weight: -5% (feel free to ignore this since it is so small of a change)
Developed by the arcanists who work with the Society, this enchantment goes a long way to emphasizing the equality between the partners, freeing the gnomes from serving the dogs, and making the dogs much less dependent on the gnomes.
Holds the last pose it was in if its owner is not in it except that it stands up on its own (albeit with a strength of 1) and has typically has no seams or fasteners for donning/removing it. This simplifies the design, and the blink dog can simply Dimension Door in and out of the armor.
prerequisites: Craft Magical Weapons and Armor, Mage Hand , Craft (Armor Smith) 3 ranks
cost to create: 250 gp, 20 xp, 1 day

2009-06-16, 01:47 PM
Bumping to call attention to updates. It may be good to go mechanically now... just need to get the crunch and the nomenclature brought into line and it should be good to go...