View Full Version : Base Classes for a Custom Campaign

2009-06-16, 06:51 PM
Base Classes
* for variant

Archivist (Heroes of Horror)
Brute (Barbarian*)
Templar (Paladin *)
Warmage* (Complete Arcane)

Inevitable Questions.......

1. Why no druids? Or wizards, for that matter?

Well, power reasons and inexperience reasons, mostly. Wizards are hard for inexperienced players to play, and if the player can do well with them, it becomes hard to DM. Druids are basically the same in that respect. I'm an inexperienced DM and my players are inexperienced players, so these classes are out.

There's also the matter of fluff in my campaign setting, which would make it hard for druids or wizards to join on adventures. (Which will be explained later, if I decide to post the fluff here.)

1a. Monks?

Monks suck...... and would require a lot of reconcepting to even vaguely fit in here. I saw a Brawler class somewhere on these forums that was an interesting, non-spiritual unarmed fighter, but couldn't track it down to include it.

2. If the Cleric is the only divine caster, isn't the Archivist weakened a bit?

Well, yes. But I happen to think the Archivist has a few things going for him.

That said, just because the Druid is out as a PC class doesn't mean Druidic magic isn't floating around. I imagine a bit of non-cleric spell knowledge could be a good reward for an Archivist PC.

3. If you're an inexperienced DM, should you really be tinkering with game balance?

Maybe, maybe not. Let's just say I'm kind of ambitious and have an inflated view of myself. I have played D&D and I think my (admittedly limited) experience gives me some way to look at game balance.

Like, for example, the Warmage. Generally rated pretty low.... but I've found the Warmage to be really fun to play, myself. Its also quite easy to pick up and go, and requires a lot less tinkering level to level than a class like the wizard.

So yes, I might be overstepping my bounds, but generally, I've kept my tinkering (beyond the change to the line-up) fairly minor, generally sticking to variants proposed in rulebooks.

Anyways, on to the changes.

First, the hit die.

Brute d12
Fighter d10
Templar d10
Cleric d8
Warmage d8
Rogue d6
Archivist d6
Sorcerer d6
Bard d6

So, you might notice that there are no d4s. There's a reason for that. As said, inexperienced players. By ensuring no one is overly squishy, I can make it a bit more fun without lowering the overall power level.

The Warmage-Sorcerer dichotomy was lifted directly from the Cleric-Archivist match. It makes sense, at least to me.

Archivist: No changes.

Bard: No changes.

Brute: Taking this from the fan-made Dark Sun 3rd Edition, Swim (Str) is now a cross-class skill, Escape Artist (Dex) and Profession (Wis) are now class skills. I am looking for a way to include a bite attack somewhere in the level progression.

Cleric: Removed proficiency with heavy armor.

Fighter: Removed proficiency with heavy armor and tower shields, but not medium armor. Other than that, its the Thug variant from UA. 4 +Int skill points per level.

Loses: Swim (Str) Gains: Bluff (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge (local) and Sleight of Hand (dex) No bonus feat at first level.

Ranger: No spellcasting variant from Complete Warrior.

Rogue: No changes

Sorcerer: Other than the hit die, no changes.

Templar: Still tweaking this, but, essentially, I want one class to represent Paladins of Evil or Good. If a Paladin falls, they may simply convert their powers over to the opposite alignment's class features.

Warmage: Warmages now cast from WIS not CHA. For one thing, it adds variety to the arcane caster line-up. For another, it makes sense. Warmage Edge still draws from INT.

I understand that CHA is usually used to represent spontaneous spell-casting. However, the spontaneous spell-casting of the Warmage is different from that of the sorcerer. Taking the spells he learned by rote and drill, analyzing the situation and deciding how to use them? That is Wisdom, all the way.


Anyways, that's all. Thoughts?

2009-06-16, 11:17 PM
So.... no thoughts?

And I apologize for the bump, but this forum moves rather fast in pushing things to the bottom.

2009-06-16, 11:36 PM
Brute looks fine, and adding a bite attack to the barbarian is unlikely to unbalance it.

Fighter's main issue is probably going to be good feats, maybe get a list for players? An easier solution to the Fighter is to replace them with the Warblade from Tome of Battle.

Templar... I'd steal the Faxadin (http://wiki.faxcelestis.net/index.php?title=Paladin)

Cleric and Archivist shouldn't have to many problems, though Archivists are about as hard to play as Wizards.

Warmage / Sorcerer should be fine, but keep in mind that warmage's fill more of an Archer type role then anything else.

Rogue and Bard are your Skill monkeys.

Overall, it looks good for an inexperienced DM.

2009-06-17, 12:04 AM
Yeah, I'm just not sure where to plug in the bite attack or how to have it level with the class. (Or if it should just be a last resort, or in-Rage only sort of ability, etc...)

I am collecting all the bonus feats I can find in the books I have to write down for the player who has indicated he wants to play a Fighter. Plan on giving each player a notebook with stuff specific to their class once we get started on character creation. (Don't have Tome of Battle, anyways)

I realize Archivist has the same limitations as Wizard.... but they have Dark Knowledge to help the other players out in the case that they selected bad spells for that day and they have more hit die. I've considering bumping them up to average BAB, but I'm not sure. Also, no player seems to want to play a divine caster, so any such caster will probably be a DMPC anyways. (Also, the Archivist was partially there for fluff reasons- some adventure-archaeology type stuff going on)

I just might take that Fax-Paladin, although the plan was to keep them in Lawful Evil or Lawful Good.

I realize that Warmage is a little more limited, but I've usually seen more inexperienced players jump to damage spells before anything else anyways. At least the Warmage is better suited to it (and Eclectic Learning from the PHBII should help them broaden it a bit as they get used to the system. Eclectic Learning lets them replace their Advanced Learning for one level they would get it and grab a spell of any wizard/sorcerer school, adding one to the spell level.)

And thanks for commenting.

2009-06-17, 02:58 PM
On Brute: You could probably just throw it into Rage from level 1.

On Templar: You can then just drop all of Chaos, and have Lawful abilities as abilities that either of the two can share.

Warmage: For new players, yes it is better suited for it.

Overall, it looks like you have a good grasp on what your doing.