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Closet_Skeleton
2005-12-17, 10:15 AM
This was my third attempt to make a priestige class along these lines of a scary adrenalin junky swordsman. I have no idea of whether it's balanced in any way and would like to know what people think.

The Sword Demon
Some people fight for a justice or honour, some people fight for freedom. The Sword Demon is one who fights simply to fight. These bloodthirsty adrenalin junkies are said to fight like demons on the battlefield, or at least like a man possessed.
Hit Dice: d8
Good Saves: Fortitude
Base Attack Bonus: Good

Requirements
To qualify to become a Sword Demon, a character must fulfil all the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +7
Skills: Intimidate 5 ranks, Sense Motive 2 ranks.
Feats: Dodge, Combat Expertise, Cleave, Power Attack.
Alignment: Any non-good non-lawful, but usually CE

Class Skills
The Sword Demonís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Iaijutsu Focus (Cha)*, Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int Modifier

*unavailable in most campaigns/under most DMs

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Sword Demon prestige class.
Weapons and Armour Proficiency: Sword Demons gain no proficiency with any weapons or armour.
Battlesense: The Sword Demon has the extraordinary sense the flow of combat around him. He never looses his dexterity bonus to AC when caught flat-footed. In addition he gains a dodge bonus to AC as shown on the table (class level/2 rounded up Ė2). This AC bonus is restricted as though it was a Dex bonus by the Maximum Dex bonus of any suit of armour the Sword Demon is wearing. If the character already has the uncanny dodge class feature from another class he gains improved uncanny dodge as well.
Supreme Cleave: At 1st level, the Sword Demon can take a 5 ft. step between attacks when using the Cleave or Great Cleave feat, if he has not otherwise moved in that round. This ability can be used once per round and counts as the Sword Demonís 5-foot move for the round.
Aura of Fear: At 2nd level, the Sword Demonís obvious murderous intentions inspire fear in those around him. Anyone within 10 feet of him must pass a will save against fear (DC 10 + the Sword Demonís class level + the Sword Demonís charisma modifier) or become shaken for as long as he is within the radius. A character that succeeds his save is immune to this power for the rest of the day.
Fight like a madman: At 3rd level, the Sword Demonís urge to kill defies common sense. He adds his class level to any saving throws against fear effects.
Monster Strength: At 4th level, the Sword Demon becomes able to make almost supernatural feats of physical strength. He may choose to make a special effort on any strength-based check (excluding attack roles) or melee damage roll and gain a +4 bonus on such checks and damage rolls for that entire round. When wielding a weapon two-handed he uses 1.5 times the normal bonus if increasing the damage. He may use this ability 3 + his constitution modifier times per day. At 8th level this ability increases to a +8 bonus.
Blood Fiend: At 5th level, the Sword Demonís blood lust becomes so great that he becomes more terrifying the more he kills. Every time the Sword Demon kills a creature he gains a cumulative +1 bonus to the save DCs of all his special attacks. The bonuses disappear if the Sword Demon remains outside of combat for more than 5 minutes.
Aura of Terror: At 7th level, the radius of the Sword Demonís aura of fear extends by 5 feet and anyone that fails their save is frightened as well as shaken.
Manslayer: At 10th level the Sword Demon becomes such a master of killing that any humanoid with a HD of lower that Ĺ the Sword Demonís HD Ė2 that the Sword Demon strikes must make fortitude saves v.s. death (DC 10 + the Sword Demonís HD + the Sword Demonís strength modifier) or die. Creatures that would normally be immune to death from massive damage are immune to this effect.

Ex-Sword Demons
A Sword Demon who becomes good or lawful loses the Aura of Fear, Fight like a Madman, Blood Fiend, Aura of Terror and Manslayer abilities and becomes unable to progress any further in this class until he receives an atonement spell.

Thomas
2005-12-17, 10:26 AM
Blood Fiend: At 5th level, the Sword Demonís blood lust becomes so great that he becomes more terrifying the more he kills. Every time the Sword Demon kills a creature he gains a cumulative +1 bonus to the save DCs of all his special attacks. The bonuses disappear if the Sword Demon remains outside of combat for more than 5 minutes.

This is entirely too powerful. It'd be easy as anything to manufacture situations where you boost the DCs well over 100.


Manslayer: At 10th level the Sword Demon becomes such a master of killing that any humanoid with a HD of lower that Ĺ the Sword Demonís HD Ė2 that the Sword Demon strikes must make fortitude saves v.s. death (DC 10 + the Sword Demonís HD + the Sword Demonís strength modifier) or die. Creatures that would normally be immune to death from massive damage are immune to this effect.

Too powerful. Can't be fixed if you don't get rid of Blood Fiend. If you do, then you can (maybe) fix this by making the DC dependent on class level (i.e. Sword Demon level). Even then, the DC will be 30+ easily, which I still find too high for comfort.

Karellen
2005-12-17, 11:19 AM
This is pretty interesting. I'm geting a... Black Hat Jineh vibe out of this, and the concept is definitely cool. As a whole, the class is slightly underpowered compared to the really good fighter prestige classes, but as it's also pretty flexible, it could probably be used to great effect with a bit of minmaxing.

The skills, of course, are what make or break a Prestige Class, and this one... hmm. The AC bonus is pretty negligible, but it's nice to have, and there's no need for it to be any bigger. Aura of Fear isn't unbalanced in itself; People who fail their fear check can't break it for the rest of the encounter, but then, Shaken isn't genuinely crippling anyway, and since the class is otherwise not so powerful, I think it's definitely fair. I like the upgrade to Aura of Terror because it makes it more powerful, but with that one, characters who fail it definitely should be able to retry their fear checks, because otherwise it's too much.

Monster Strength is a bit odd. I do think the +8 to damage a couple times a day is pretty cool, but it's no match for the sort of power that, say, Dervish Dance has. You'll probably want to make it apply to all damage rolls within the round, at least, in which case it's actually very useful, but still perfectly fair, the class gets no bonus to hit rolls. Incidentally, I think Blood Fiend should probably do something more concrete, like give the character a +1 to hit (with, of course, greater limitations or penalties), because that makes him just that much scarier. =D

Manslayer I think is pretty cool, because it allows you to murder weaker opponents you could probably kill anyway in a quick and brutal fashion; that said, I think the Fort save is pretty sick, since the ability doesn't work on any enemy that was at all likely to be able to make it. 'Course, I also think it would be neat to be able to use it as an ambush attack of sorts against some stronger opponents too. Hmm...

Well, as it is, it's a decent class, with some slightly overdone special powers, but limited usefulness against opponents of the same or higher level. Ah well, I'd make a NPC enemy with this, if not a PC. =D

Closet_Skeleton
2005-12-18, 06:46 AM
This is entirely too powerful. It'd be easy as anything to manufacture situations where you boost the DCs well over 100.
.

I personally see it as only that broken if you have the kind of DM that puts 80 enemies within 5 minutes of each other, perhaps the time should be shortened though. When a DC gets over 30 it's pretty much the case that any higher means nothing since you'll need a natural 20 anyway. Beside, if you saw someone just kill 80 people I think a DC 100 save not to run away is pretty fair.

Monster Strength to damage for the whole round is sort of what I meant, but I know I'm not that good at making things clear, it's use on other strength based checks was supposed to give the class some benifits for adventuring such as breaking down doors or breaking through bonds but it was mainly designed as a NPC class like Blackguard.

It is limited against equal or higher level enemies, unless they have a lot of minions to kill to boost the DCs. I gave it d8 HD incase it was too powerful and this sits well with the AC bonuses. For me this was a problem of keeping to the "Priestige classes should be more specialised but not more powerful" rule and the class should definatly be better at killing massed weaker enemies though not outclassed by someone of the same level.

Making Blood Fiend add to attack as well is a bit dangerous unless you cap it to around +5 but it does give the Sword Demon a bit more strength against equal leveled enemies as long as they have a horde of minions as well.

Changing Manslayer to a Class level rather that HD based DC could be a good idea.

Thomas
2005-12-18, 07:33 AM
Village = victims. Teleport to actual enemy. Bam. A DC 100 save not to run away makes absolutely no sense; first of all, you don't have to see the guy do it, and second of all, that's higher than divine abilities get. You're more scary than a scary god, now? Right. Nevermind that dragons slaughter people, and are far more capable of slaughtering you than a swordsman - yet their fear DCs don't go up past 41 at the great wyrm end. Nevermind it doesn't take into account that you may be 20 class levels above this guy, and able to crush him in one round, but you're still going to run away? Pft.

Taking out Blood Fiend is the only way to hope to balance this PrC.

Thrune
2005-12-18, 03:31 PM
Eeeek. Way, way too powerful. My powergaming sense is overloaded. Also, all abilities should be based on class level not hit dice.