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Gerrtt
2005-12-21, 10:51 PM
I haven't made a PRC in a while, and I've been working on a campaign setting and I want to have this organization of druids that have a focus on martial arts in an altered form. Please guys, feel free to tear this apart, it's been a long time since I tried to make something.

Druid of the Sacred Claw

A wounded tiger walks slowly through the underbrush, it’s fight with the owlbear did not go as well as it should. Suddenly, a pair of even bigger owlbears crash through the underbrush and throw the tiger to the ground. As they close in for the kill a snapped twig gets their attention. Before they can even look up to see what was there they are pounced upon by a feral looking elf with claws where there should be fingers and a stubby tail where there shouldn’t be one. A few moments later and the owlbears are in full retreat, leaving a thick trail of blood through the forest. The elf turns its attention to the wounded tiger, makes a few subtle gestures, and heals its wounds. “Not today, my friend” she says, “Not today.”

A Druid of the Sacred Claw combines the martial-arts with their ability to shape-shift and commune with nature for spells. No two Druids of the Sacred Claw are exactly alike, but are all members of the same grove.

To qualify for this class combining monk levels with druid levels is usually the best bet, but any character with the ability to shape-shift in some way could benefit from this class.

Requirements:
Alignment: Any
Skills: Tumble 6 ranks, Knowledge Nature 4 ranks, Handle Animal 6 ranks.
Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike.
Special: Must be able to Wild-Shape or have an alternate form from some other means.

HD: 1d8
Skill Points per Level: 4 + Intelligence Modifier

Class Skills:
Concentration (con), Diplomacy (cha), Hide (dex), Jump (str), Knowledge (Nature) (int), Listen (wis), Spot (wis), Survival (wis), Swim (str) and Tumble (dex).

Weapon And Armor Proficiency:
The Druid of the Sacred Claw gains no weapon or armor proficiency.

Spells per day:
Starting at level 1 every other level the Druid of the Sacred Claw gains a level in an existing spellcasting class. The Druid of the Sacred Claw does not gain any benefits or special abilities that go along with that class, merely the spells.

Feral Form:
The Druid of the Sacred Claw learns to assume a Feral Form instead of the form of a normal animal with the use of Wild Shape (or other shape shifting ability). The benefits of this form scale in level. At first level the Druid gains +2 Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, +2 Natural Armor Class, and loses 4 Intelligence. No spells can be cast while in feral form, even with the use Natural Spell feat. At fourth level the bonuses increase to +4 strength, dexterity, and constitution, +3 natural armor, and -6 intelligence. At 8th level the stat bonuses cap at +6 strength, dexterity, and constitution, +4 natural armor, and -6 inteliigence. While in Feral Form the Druid also sprouts powerful claws and a small tail of an animal of her choice. At first level the claws do 1d6 slashing damage, at third level they do 2d4 slashing damage, at sixth level the critical threat range doubles to 19-20, and at 8th level the claws do 1d10 slashing damage. At fifth level the druid gains the ability to cast spells in this form. This form can be assumed a number of times equal to one half the Druid of the Sacred Claws class level (minimum 1). The bonuses and penalties applied are similar to that of a Barbarian rage in terms of bonus type. Assuming Feral Form is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Scent: At second level, the druid of the sacred claw gains the scent ability in feral form.

Improved Grab: At 3rd level, if a druid of the sacred claw hits with a claw slash in feral form it can start a grapple as a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Provided it has the ability to do so, it can then rake.

Rake: At fifth level, a druid of the sacred claw in feral form can do a rake attack while grappling. This attack does 1 damage dice higher than normal (1d6 becomes 1d8, 2d4 becomes 1d10, 1d10 becomes 1d12) and is performed at the highest base attack bonus the druid has.

Pouncing Flurry: At seventh level, a druid of the sacred claw can charge an opponent and then make a flurry of blows equal to that of a monk with the same level and followed by two rakes.

Natures Balance: At tenth level the Druid of the Sacred Claw can assume Feral Form as a free action as many times per day as she chooses.

Gerrtt
2005-12-22, 12:08 PM
I'd really like some feedback about this, so I'm just gonna give it a little bump. I know I'm not supposed to double-post but since the last time I posted was last night and now this thread is on the second page (but not the third page so this isn't thread necromancy), I'm just gonna bring it up to the top for some hopeful feedback.

*bump*

canonade
2005-12-22, 06:19 PM
Hi,

Just to start, what are the saves and BAB progression? You might incorporate them into a table for easy reading.

Seffbasilisk
2005-12-22, 06:58 PM
Nature's balance? Very broken.

Druid 1/ Druid of the Sacred Claw 6.

So broken...

Limit the shifting some more, and why the - to intelligence? Shapeshifting doesnt mess with mental stats (your mind stays the same) only the physical ones. And with the -'s it's better to just go Bear Warrior. It's part broken, part nerfed. Not really balanced....just...screwed up...

Gerrtt
2005-12-22, 07:38 PM
Sorry, I knew I forgot something...the Saves are just like a druids, and the BAB is like a ranger.

And Sef...in general you can't be druid 1/sacred claw 6....you have to have wildshape or some other way to shapeshift to qualify (which basically means polymorph self or some other PrC that gives shape-shifting). The - to intelligence is to represent that they are more feral, not just shapeshifted, when in that form. They become more like animals rather than just looking like them.

Here's the table I made and forgot to post:

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special Spells
1 +1 +2 +0 +2 Feral Form, Claws +1 level
2 +2 +3 +0 +3 Scent
3 +3 +3 +1 +3 Improved Grab, Claws 2 +1 level
4 +4 +4 +1 +4 Feral Form 2
5 +5 +4 +1 +4 Rake, Feral Spell +1 level
6 +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Feral Critical
7 +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Pouncing Flurry +1level
8 +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Feral Form 3
9 +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 - +1 level
10 +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Natures Balance

Sorry for how bad it is...can't seem to get it quite right, the table that is.

The_Werebear
2005-12-22, 10:47 PM
Nature's balance is still fairly broken

I would have DotSC level count as druid levels for the purpose of wild shape abilities.

Seffbasilisk
2005-12-23, 01:42 AM
fine. *Druid5/Druid of the Sacred Claw 6. *Still less then 20. *Still broken.

Gerrtt
2005-12-23, 02:11 AM
Well, natures balance aside, is it horrible? I mean, I guess it is pretty silly because with it you might as well stay in feral form all the time. With the normal progression it lets you be feral 5x/day at level 10 which is pretty good anyway, I think I should definitely put a time length on it, one hour per level just like regular wildshape. I still want them to be able to assume the form as a free action though.

Wearbear:

I considered the thing about the DotSC levels counting towards wildshape as I was making it, but I dunno...I kinda wanted this to be something that set this particular tribe of druids in my game apart from the other druids, so rather than assuming the form of animals they have this bizarre type of transformation. Does that make sense?

The_Werebear
2005-12-23, 02:18 AM
Yeah, but even barbarians have limits on rage, which this is like.

Gerrtt
2005-12-23, 02:31 AM
It is but it isn't...if a human druid wildshapes into a tiger it can stay that way for 8 hours (8 is the minimum level for being able to turn into a tiger, which I based the abilities of this class off of) and have 23 strength and +2 natural armor the whole time it is in that form, not to mention improved grab and rake and pounce and all the jazz that comes with being a tiger. The minimum level 8 Character that could be in feral form is Druid 5/Monk 2/DotSC 1 which would only have a +2 bonus to strength, con, dex, and natural ac and if I put a limitation on the amount of time that a DotSC could be in feral form the normal druid in wildshape would straight up wipe the floor with it, especially if it had Natural Spell. I mean, even if it's 30 minutes per level at any given time its still better than putting a round-based time limit on it.

Also note that almost every one of the class' abilities stems from Feral Form, another reason for having a good duration on it.

Everyman
2005-12-23, 04:52 AM
Hmm..interesting class, Gerrtt. I just have a couple o' suggestions.

First, the requirements. You list no interaction with animals (at least from a training aspect) in the class. Instead, it seems as if it would make more sense if Survival 8 was part of the required skills (especially since it works with Scent), and you dropped the Handle Animal requirement.

BAB works (it's a fighting druid), but the saves would make more sense if Reflex and Fort were good, and Will was bad. You're not advancing spellcasting...you're getting better at physical combat.

As written, this class uses Wild Shape (or equivalent ability) to make use of its abilities. However, if a druid took this as soon as she could, she'd only have one use per day. I know you don't list a duration, but it makes sense for this ability to have some limitations...and if you give it a time limit, then the class can only benefit from its abilities once per day. With this in mind, give the class progression on Wild Shape every odd level (so a druid 5/DotSC 1 would have 2 uses of Wild shape, gaining another at 3rd, 5th, and so on), and just give it a duration of 10 mins per class level. There...it'll last long enough where it could last through a fight and then some, but there is a point where it needs to come out of the form.

The stat bonuses from Feral Form seem a tad extreme. I mean, it's duration surpasses a barbarian's, but it is almost as strong. I'd cap it at +4 to all of them, and grant the new cap at level 6. Otherwise, it's overshadowing the barbarian for damage potential. Of course, you should feel free to lower the Int. penalty by a reasonable amount as well.

Everything up to Nature's Balance (the one thing everyone has a problem with) looks fine. With NB, how 'bout you scrap the "free action" and "as many times per day" part, and replace it with "A DotSC may enter a Feral Form as an immediate action".

Quick recap:
* Lose Handle Animal, add Survival 8.
* Fort and Reflex saves good, Will poor
* Grant uses of Wild Shape every odd level
* Require a duration (10 mins/level)
* Reduce Stat bonuses and penalties a bit
* Alter Nature's Balance (immediate action)

Please take all this with the consideration that this is truly a cool class. The problem is it's tendency to overshadow more "fighty" classes too quickly (with potent ability boosts and HUGE duration). With my suggestions, you can clean up this one problem in your design, but still keep a rather impressive fighting class that doesn't loose flavor.

Good job. I look forward to seeing the next class.

the.sundance.kid
2005-12-23, 04:52 AM
Nature's Balance isn't too out there, since Feral Form isn't quite as good as most wildshape forms. Pouncing Flurry is way, way too good, though. Full attack on charge is one of the most coveted and most powerful melee capabilities in the entire d20 system.

Gerrtt
2005-12-23, 11:19 AM
Tarkhan: All of that sounds pretty good actually...and still accomplishes more or less what I was looking at, but I do have a few questions:

Why survival 8 instead of 6 like tumble or like the previously there Handle Animal?

Should they be able to use WildShape or Feral Form as a WildShape use? If so, does WildShape have an altered time limit? (It's regularly 1 hour per level)

So the stats should be toned down...but what about the natural AC increases, were those OK?

I'll have to go look up the difference between "Free" and "Immediate" actions, which I have before but the difference isn't rememberable to me right now...TO THE SRD! Thanks for your suggestions.

Everyman
2005-12-23, 04:15 PM
Reply time!

Well, I thought of Survival 8 for several reasons:
1) Shows that the character has a significant understanding and compentance living in the wild
2) It works so well with Scent that it helps giving them a boost towards that end.
3) Most PrCs that don't list a BAB have a skill requirement that keeps munchkins from entering it early (don't ask me how...). This helps towards that end.
You certainly don't have to make it Survival 8 (especially now that I remember that druids don't get Wild Shape till level 5 anyway). It just seems to fit the profile in mind.

As far as Handle Animal, the class doesn't actually focus on using or training animals, but turning into one. As such, it doesn't make as much sense as Survival. Again, use your own judgement. It's your PrC.

I'd suggest making Feral Form require expending a use of Wild Shape (and giving them progression on that). Yes, I know that limits how often it can be used, but they will still be able to use their abilities a lot and (frankly) this class isn't lacking in other offensive abilities, with both spell progression and perfect BAB.

I'd try and give Feral Form a limit though. An hour per level is just too long, considering that that they get MASSIVE combat abilities as they level up. The only way I could see balancing it was to suggest putting a duration on it. I suggest 10 mins/level, but even that might be a tad too long. Try giving your PrC a trial run and see if it overshadows the fighter and barbarian. If it does, lower the duration more.

Ah...you noticed I didn't say to lower the AC! Good eye! Yeah, I didn't see why that was too necessary, as this is a class that literally rushes into battle...and druids don't have the best AC in the world. Giving them a +4 natural armor insures that they have a bit more lasting power.

And now, DEFINITIONS!
Free action: An action that takes little to no effort that is performed ONLY during your turn.
Immediate action: An action that takes little to no effort that can be performed during any moment, even in the middle of someone elses turn.

Hope that makes my notes a tad easier to understand. :)

Gerrtt
2005-12-23, 04:29 PM
Thanks for the reply and answers, I'll be making the following modifications to the original post:

Requires 6 tumble, 6 survival, and 4 knowlege (nature).
Special: Must be initiated in to the Order of the Sacred Claw.

Fort and Ref saves good, Will bad.

Feral Form lasts up to 10 minutes/level or until canceled. This makes it so that if they need to cast a spell at low levels they lose their bonuses...incentive to get to at least level 5 in this class. At level 1 the bonuses are +2 to str, dex, con and nat. AC, -2 int. At level 4 it's upped to +4 stats, +3 nat. AC, -4 int. At level 8 it's +6 to stats, +4 nat AC, -6 int. Assuming this form is a standard action, doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. Feral Form allows DotSC levels to count as druid levels for the purposes of the original wildshape ability, meaning that the DotSC continues to gain in power and usage of the wildshape ability. Wildshape keeps it's original duration. Assuming feral form requires an expenditure of a use of wildshape.

Feral Spell: I toned this down a tad. The DotSC can cast spells in feral form, but doing so decreases the time they are able to spend in feral form by the level of the spell x2 minutes.

Natures balance: big tone down from the original but it does make sense really. Assuming feral form becomes an immediate action, casting spells in feral form doesn't decrease time spent in the form.

[[Edit]]

Note that if I didn't say something changed, it didn't. So you still need improved unnarmed strike or it's equivalent gained by monk levels to get this class.